That Thing You Do
Whispering Bay # 1
By: Maria Geraci
Releasing April 28th, 2015
Allie Grant doesn’t believe in second chances. She does, however, believe in the power of a permanent paycheck. So when a tipster reports that the soon-to-be demolished senior center in her hometown is haunted, Allie hightails it to Whispering Bay to get the scoop that could secure her dream job at Florida! magazine. What she finds, though, is far scarier than any ghost. Cue her ex-boyfriend, sexy construction foreman Tom Donalan.
When Tom catches Allie poking around his construction site, he quickly realizes his former high school flame is just as feisty as ever. And, heaven help him, her irresistible, mile-high legs still take his breath away. But Tom isn’t about to delay the building’s demolition because of a silly ghost story.
With neither of the stubborn exes backing down from their opposing positions, sparks fly. And, underneath the surface, the fire of their old attraction burns as hot as ever. When strange things start happening with increasing frequency around town, even a tough skeptic like Tom is tested. The question is, can Allie and Tom stop fighting long enough to get to the bottom of Whispering Bay’s ghost problem—and the more important matter of mending their broken hearts?
Tom unlocked the door to the senior center and handed Allie a flashlight. “I’ll get the rest of the stuff out of my truck.”
“Hey, look, I know this is a huge imposition. You really don’t have to stay the night. I promise, I’ll be a good girl. No broken windows this time. Scout’s honor.” She used her finger to make the cross symbol over her chest and even smiled at him. Just to show him she meant it, which she did, of course.
“Sorry, like I said, it’s an insurance thing.”
Gone was the flirtatious mood Allie thought she’d detected from their text messages this afternoon. Right now, Tom was all business. Which was good because she needed to be all business, too. Only she really didn’t want to spend the next twelve or so hours alone with him. All business or not.
She brought in her belongings, careful to keep her flashlight aimed at the ground. Hopefully the cockroaches would make themselves scarce tonight. She found a clear space in the center of the main room and set down Mimi’s picnic basket, then opened up her backpack and checked the contents: laptop, cell phone (which had a pretty decent camera), and a yellow legal pad for note-taking.
The building looked exactly the way it did last night except the window she’d broken into was now patched over with clear vinyl sheeting and duct tape. Did Tom do that?
Allie couldn’t help feel just a tad bit guilty over the trouble she’d caused him. She wondered again for the umpteenth time exactly what had made him change his mind about delaying the demolition. Maybe tonight, if the timing was right, she’d ask him again. And maybe this time, he’d tell her the truth.
Tom lugged in more supplies. He had a broom, a blow up mattress, blankets, and a few kerosene lamps. He’d also brought along a radio, which he immediately set to a station carrying a baseball game.
“Hope you don’t mind,” he said. “The Braves are playing tonight.” He swept over a large area to clear it of debris, then squatted down and began inflating the mattress with a hand pump.
Allie watched as the mattress filled with air. Queen size, she’d guess. She hadn’t given a thought to actually sleeping tonight. No, the mattress was all his. She was here to work.
She pulled out her cell phone to check the camera setting. There was a new app on her phone. She clicked on the icon and the small screen opened up to reveal…a ghost detector. No wonder Cameron had been so pleased with himself!
She read the directions then casually held her phone out in the palm of her hand. On the screen, a yellow band went round and round in a circle, like those radar things from a submarine movie. According to the instructions, a blip would come across the yellow band in the presence of “extra energy,” aka a ghost.
Tom would probably laugh at this bit of technology, but Allie was thrilled. Not that she really believed it might work, but hey, you never knew unless you tried, right? Plus, it would give her something to do besides watch Tom set up camp for the night. A queen sized air mattress, blankets, and Mimi’s secret basket of goodies all combined were way too cozy as far as Allie was concerned.
“I’m going to walk around,” she said.
He barely glanced up at her. “Go for it.”
With the flashlight in one hand and her cell phone in the other, she slowly walked the perimeter of the main room. She glanced down at her phone screen. No blips, no beeps. She made her way down the hall facing the entrance to two rooms that had once been used as classrooms. The rooms were dark and strewn with the same scattered trash she’d encountered last night.
She randomly picked the room on the right and went inside. Since Tom couldn’t see her all the way back here, there was no point in hiding what she was doing, so she held the phone out in front of her, allowing it to guide her steps. The yellow line continued round and round in the same circle.
She should probably be disappointed, but she wasn’t. After all, it wasn’t as if she expected the thing to work. Fighting off a fit of the giggles, she repeated the routine in the next room. All she needed to complete the ridiculousness was the Ghostbusters theme playing in the background. She was about to give up when her phone made a strange sound. Allie glanced down to find a red blip on the screen.
She shook the phone. Just to make sure she wasn’t imagining it. The blip was still there.
This was priceless! Too bad Cameron wasn’t here to share in the fun.
All of a sudden the room went warm. The smell of lemons hit her like a slap in the face. It was the same sensation she’d experienced last night. Allie had almost begun to believe that she’d imagined it, but this was as real as the ground beneath her boots. Her hand trembled, making it difficult to concentrate on the screen. She willed herself to take a deep breath.
The blip became bigger and the lemon smell stronger. It should have gagged her, but it didn’t. Instead she wanted to drown in it. To sink against its warmth, like a fire on a cold winter day. She shook away that ridiculous thought and concentrated on her phone screen. According to her location, whatever was making the ghost radar go off was standing directly behind her.
About the Author:
|Author Maria Geraci|
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