The things I see aren’t for the faint of heart.
And I am no longer willing to ignore them. Not even when my family, and my best friend, tell me to keep quiet about what’s happening. They say people will think I’m crazy.
Maybe I am.
But the spirit haunting my professor’s house is definitely trying to tell me something, and I’m the only one who can see it.
The one person who can help me is my best friend's brother. But I don’t know if I can trust him or his friends. Or if I can step outside the protective bubble I’ve built around myself.
At this point it’s a toss up: the ghosts will kill me or my panic attacks will.
Either way, I figure I’m going to die.
Then there was my second reason for being at the library today. If I truly wanted to help this ghost-girl, then I needed to learn more about my sensitivity and any abilities that gave me—and people like me.
I frowned down at the top of my white coffee cup. Remembering this topic made me recall the events of the night before—
“Bianca?” Finn’s shocked voice broke through my thoughts. My eyes shot up. The blond-haired man was pushing past students in line at the coffee shop in order to reach my small, round table. “What are…”
“Hello, Finn.” I smiled at him, hoping the guilt from my lies didn’t show on my face. “How are you? What are you doing here so early in the morning?”
Finn’s mouth dipped, and he didn’t respond at first. Instead, he set his leather backpack on the floor and sat down in the seat across from me. “It’s not early. And I come here every day—to study. But”—he leveled a suspicious look at me, his gray eyes calculating—“you don’t.”
I raised an eyebrow in response, but he continued, “I got your message last night. Why did you cancel our meeting? What’s going on? I was worried.”
Sure. I could tell how worried he was when he didn’t even care if the ghost killed me.
I picked up my cup and blew on the rising steam before I answered, trying to sound nonchalant. “I do have homework too. Plus, I like reading. It’s not unheard of for me to come to the library, you know.”
“All right,” he conceded as he continued to study me. “But you only come late at night, when most people are partying. In fact, how can you even stand to be awake before ten in the morning?”
Darn him, he was right.
“The magic of caffeine.” I sipped on my coffee again, as if to prove my point. “Lots and lots of caffeine.”
His lips thinned, but he nodded. From the wary look in his eyes, he knew I was hiding something. But he seemed inclined to let it drop.
Instead, he pulled out his laptop and opened it—ready to do his technology thing.
That was kind of nonsensical. “Finn, why are you setting up? The library opens in less than ten minutes. Won’t you just move again?”
“Yes.” Finn began typing. “But that’s ten minutes worth of work that I’ve gotten done. I am busy right now, and I’m behind…” His voice trailed off as he frowned at the computer.
He was weird.
“I thought you finished your work for the semester already.”
Finn distractively waved his hand. “It’s not that. Don’t worry, it’s nothing that concerns you. I’m working on family stuff. My mother needed me to check into something. Where did you go last night?”
I ignored his question. “Your mom has you doing corporate work?”
“Something like that.” He looked up finally, his gaze meeting mine. My heart suddenly jerked—he was displeased. But about what?
After a silent moment, the look passed and he grinned warmly at me. “I’m glad you are here with me,” he said. And in an unexpected move, he shut his laptop and pulled one of my hands into his own. “I work better with you around. You inspire me. I don’t know what I’d do without you, Bianca.”
I almost choked, and my face exploded in heat. This was the side of Finn that always managed to catch me off guard—the one that made me think I meant as much to him as he did to me.
And every time, I acted like an idiot. “I do? I—I’m glad I could help.”
“You do.” He traced his thumb over my knuckles. My face grew warmer at the action and his grin grew. “We should work together today. Are you going to be in the library all day? Sit with me.”
My warm feelings vanished.
I averted my eyes, unable to stand his intensity. He couldn’t know what I was researching. “Maybe…”
“Maybe?” Finn sounded surprised, and when I looked up, he was watching me with raised eyebrows. After our gazes met, he let go of my hand. “You don’t want to sit with me?” He paused, and an expression that I had never witnessed from him before shone in his serious eyes. “Bianca, are you meeting someone else? Have I done something?”
“No!” I vehemently denied, somewhat frightened at the intensity of his reaction. He was being terribly possessive. Especially for someone who had never even asked me on a date. I would have remembered if he had done so, because it was, after all, an event I had been dreaming about for years.
Or, was he only upset because he was afraid I had replaced him as a friend?
I was so confused.
I fidgeted as I tried to think of a way to redirect his attention. “I have research to do today. In fact, I might not even be here all day. I planned on going back and forth between the library and greenhouses.”
He rested his chin on his fist as he watched me. “You’re a terrible liar. The greenhouses are on the other side of campus, and you’re wearing a skirt.”
I froze, the fabric he mentioned clenched in my fist. Finn was right, of course. I never wore skirts when working in the conservatory. “Um…”
“What have you been up to—today and last night?” Finn studied me, his eyes demanding answers. “Are you lying to me about something?”
I grew more flustered as the seconds passed. I had to think of something!
He had made his point clear two days ago, and I couldn’t bring up that topic again. Even outside of meeting Damen, he’d never believe what Damen had said about me being a sensitive. Plus, if he knew I was involved in anything paranormal—especially trying to talk to a ghost—not only would he get involved, but so would my parents.
I couldn’t go through that confrontation with him again. Even if he—and everyone else—thought it was for my own good. It would break me this time.
So I had to think of something that would guarantee Finn would have zero interest in being anywhere near me today. A topic that would make a male flee in terror. Something awful.
“I—” My mental resources screamed out ideas, but nothing brilliant came to me. Lacking anything else, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. “I’m doing a research paper on how human placenta usage in gardening may or may not be nourishing to the soil.”
Finn’s mouth was opened in shock, and my face burned. But I couldn’t stop now. “I have a theory that if you grind up the pla—”
“Stop!” Finn’s complexion was slightly green as he watched me in horror. “That’s great for you, but I really don’t need to know anymore. Please.”
Crude, but effective. It had worked.
And if you'd like to read more, check out the first three books in the series
gathered together here in Mu