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It was Jed. “Christie, your grandfather played guitar for fun sometimes. Played his guitar and sang at a local pub, right? I seem to remember hearing him a year or so before he died.”

“He used to play at O’Reilly’s. It was a real hangout for the Irish in the area. It’s still there.”

“Thanks for the info.”

“Why? What’s up?”

“I’m not sure. I’m just looking at all kinds of stuff. You just keep your door locked, okay?”

“I always do.” As she spoke, Killer started to bark, followed by the doorbell. It was uncanny how he always knew ahead of time when someone was coming. “Someone is here.”

“Don’t open the door till you know who it is,” he said, but she had already set the receiver down.


“I don’t believe it,” Dan breathed. He was standing in front of the bulletin board, staring at the piece of paper announcing the casting for the new show had been done. He touched the sheet reverently.

Zeus, main: Daniel McDuff. Stand-ins…

He didn’t see who would be standing in for him. He didn’t care. He couldn’t believe it. His own name was there, and he was too excited to think past that.

“Congratulations!” someone said, and he turned. The face in front of him was blurred. Tears? he thought. No, it couldn’t be.

“Thanks,” he said, and his voice was hoarse.

Other people came by, and the congratulations continued to flow. It was incredible. His life was incredible. He was so happy….

“Patti Jo was up for this show,” someone said, and Dan swallowed, wincing. How could he have forgotten?

But…oh, hell. He had made it! He couldn’t help the huge smile on his face, couldn’t help feeling as if he had conquered the world.


Jed knew she hadn’t hung up on him, that she had just set the phone down, because he could hear the dog barking and some kind of commotion.


She didn’t pick up the phone again, and, swearing, he headed out, unable to explain the sense of sheer panic he was feeling.

“Gen? My God—I can’t believe you’re here!”


It was so good to see her friend, it seemed almost impossible. Genevieve was standing on the front porch, and she wasn’t alone. She was with her husband, Thor, and an older man she introduced as Adam Harrison.

Christina knew who he was from her Internet research. He was the head of Harrison Investigations, specialists in the paranormal, though he never actually claimed when speaking to the press that he believed in the supernatural or the occult. He seemed an expert at double-talk, at sounding forthcoming without actually saying anything at all.

He was an impressive-looking man. He was obviously in his seventies—or more—but he stood ramrod straight and had a full head of snow-white hair. His eyes were both warm and sharp, the kind of eyes that seemed to see far beneath what was obvious on the surface.

She led them all into her parlor together, where the conversation was casual at first. Then, as if they’d simply run out of script, everyone stopped speaking and they all just stared at one another.

“I have a ghost,” she said into the silence.

“So you told Gen,” Thor said, and she had to smile. His tone was so soft and reassuring, though the man himself was pretty much a giant, and very blond. No one, she was certain, had ever fit the name better. She had met him for the first time when she had attended Gen’s wedding, but she had liked him right away.

Christina looked at him. “So you…you believe I have a ghost?”

He glanced at Adam with a trace of amusement. “I’m fairly open to the possibility,” he said.

“You told me you think Beau Kidd is haunting your house,” Genevieve offered encouragingly.


“Why?” Genevieve asked.

“Why?” Christina echoed. “Because I’ve seen him.”

“No,” Genevieve said, a small smile curving her lips.

“Why would he be haunting this house?” Thor explained.

“Did he ever live here?” Adam asked.

She shook her head. “No.”

“Has he…threatened you in any way?” Genevieve asked.

Christina shook her head. “No. Though he had me thinking I was going crazy, moving things around in the house, putting coffee on,” she admitted. “I thought maybe my cousins were playing tricks on me.”

Genevieve frowned, hands clasped before her, leaning forward. “Christina, you don’t think Dan or Mike would…would try to scare you out of here, do you?”

“Or worse?” Thor added.

“Worse?” she demanded. She felt as if she were bristling, just like Killer when his hackles rose.

The dog, in fact, seemed to know intuitively that she was upset. He barked, then walked over to stand next to her, glaring at the others.

“Dan had quite a sense of humor when you were kids,” Genevieve reminded her. “Once, down in the Keys, he threw a bunch of fish he’d bought into the water and they died, remember? And they thought they had a real problem on their hands. The park service wound up getting involved.”

“Dan has grown up,” Christina said. “And my cousins aren’t playing tricks on me,” she added firmly, then turned to stare at Adam, as if daring him to disagree.

“I believe you,” he assured her.

He was such an interesting combination, she thought. So dignified and authoritative in looks, but when he spoke, his words were quiet, and his smile made you feel you’d known him forever.

“Gen…” she said, then took a deep breath. “Look, I know you all kept a low profile over the events in the Keys…The treasure you found, how you found it. The fact that you were nearly killed. But there was something else going on there, wasn’t there?” She stared hard at her friend. “Ghosts.”

Gen smiled, meeting Christina’s eyes. “Ghosts can be good, you know,” she said.

“So, can you see Beau Kidd?” Christina asked.

“No. Do you see him right now?”

Christina shook her head. “He’s…not here right now.”

“But he visits you because he wants his name cleared, right?” Adam suggested.

“Yes. But…I hoped you could talk to him. He should really be haunting someone else, someone who can help him. Can you…can you at least feel him?”

Adam smiled gently. “I rarely have any direct connection with the supernatural, but I know those who do,” he told her.

“He talks to you? He actually carries on conversations with you?” Thor asked.

She nodded.

“When did he first appear?” Adam asked.

“He first appeared at the foot of my bed a few days ago. I thought he was a dream—or that I was dreaming, I should say—but he…he seemed so real that he scared me half to death. I ran out of the house, and then he came up behind me. He tapped me on the shoulder, and I ended up passed out on the lawn.”

“You passed out—outside?” Thor asked, then turned to Adam in concern.

“Yes, I know. I should stay inside, because the killer—the Interstate Killer or the copycat, whoever—isn’t snatching women who are safely locked in their houses. But anyway, later…later I had to accept that Beau was here, that he does exist.”

Genevieve was watching her. “Don’t you remember, Christie?” she asked softly.

“Remember what?”

“When we were kids. We’d go places, and you would rattle off all kinds of history, stuff you had no way of knowing. Christie, you saw things back then. And then, when your grandfather died…when I talked to you after, when I told you how sorry I was, you said that you knew he was okay, that he told you he was fine. Christie, you’ve always had…a connection to the other world.”

Christina shook her head. “No. I…I don’t have a connection or a gift or whatever you want to call it. If I did, I’d be able to see my parents. And if ghosts are so real, why doesn’t Granda, the nicest man in the world, haunt this place instead of Beau Kidd?”

Thor cleared his throat. “Maybe because your grandfather doesn’t have anything to prove and Beau does?”

Christina looked pointedly at him. “You talk to him, then.”

“He’s chosen to talk to you, and he’ll either let the rest of us in or he won’t,” Adam said.

Christina groaned softly. “He doesn’t even know why he’s connected to me. It might be something as simple as a flower I put on his coffin—he was buried on the same day as my grandfather, right nearby, and I went over and left a flower. I don’t even know why.”

“It is a connection, however tangential,” Adam mused.

“Then again, it might have been the Ouija board,” Christina said.

“Ouija board?” Adam repeated, frowning.

“Yes…it’s from when I was a kid,” Christina said defensively. “A bunch of us pulled it out the other night, and he…talked to us. To me.”

“Ouija board…” Adam said thoughtfully.

“Should we get it out?” Genevieve suggested.

Adam shook his head. “No, not at this point. I think we’d be better off trying…”

“I agree,” Thor said, looking at Adam.

“With what?” Christie demanded.

“A séance. A full-scale séance,” Adam told her, his tone serious.

Dead serious.

Silence filled the room after he spoke. Then Killer suddenly jumped up and began to bark, followed by a thunderous pounding on the door.

He didn’t like it. He didn’t like it one bit. There was too damn much activity.

He took a deep breath. Time to take a break. Time to lay low. He could do it; he’d done it before. Of course, he could also go away for a while, get a change of scenery.