Authors: Amie Nichols
Tags: #romance, #love, #suspense, #mystery
Emma heads for the row of oils picking up one
and searching for what else she needs. I start to browse the store
and see a shelf full of herbs, bloodroot, blessed thistle, and
celadine. I saunter slowly toward the back and see Frankincense
tears. I wonder what those are used for. The closer I get to the
back the darker the items are. I look up and see a vial of brittle
yellowish pieces. I pick it up and study it. I read the label,
“Toenails of a dead man.” I put it back on the shelf fast with a
shiver. That is NOT normal. As I come around the corner I meet Emma
who has her hands full of a few vials and some bundles of
“You ready?” I ask her, my stomach growling
ready to eat.
“Yeah. I’ll pay then we can go get something
to eat,” she laughs as she hears my stomach growl then starts to
head for the counter. As we pass the back of the store on our way
to the counter, an elderly Haitian looking woman comes through some
beaded curtains that cover the back of the store. She has very dark
skin and wrinkles all over her sullen face. Stopping short she
looks at me, her eyes wide in pure terror. She clutches her chest
and I notice her face turns pale and white. I stare back then look
behind me wondering what it is she is looking at that is making her
She grabs my wrist and I jerk back trying to
free myself from her grasp. I look down as her long yellow
fingernails dig into my skin. It hurts and I feel dread and terror
from the look in her eyes.
“Samantha,” she whispers in a chilling tone.
Her head tilts up as her eyes roll back in her head, and all you
can see is the whites of her eyes. “
Mourioufantom o diab,
she says in an otherworldly tone. It paralyzes me. What is she
saying, is she talking in tongues? The woman straightens back up
and looks down at her hands. She lets loose of me whispering,
” as she hurries out of the store.
I rub my wrist looking at Emma whose eyes are
about as big as quarters. “What in the world was that?” I gasp.
“What did she say, and who’s Samantha?”
Emma stares at me blinking rapidly, mouth
open. “It was Haitian Creole,” she explains. “The only word I made
out was dead. I’ll ask Maria when I get home,” Emma mutters saying
the words over and over again so she doesn’t forget them as she
hurries to the counter.
“Let’s go,” Emma says as she grabs my arm.
“Just some crazy, superstitious old woman I’m sure.” Although she
is trying to keep it together, I can tell she’s a little
We do some more shopping hitting a few
clothing stores, but I can’t get that woman out of my head. The
rest of our afternoon is darkened with the experience at Bon
Dieu’s. We decide to head home after a late lunch.
We pull back in the driveway of the
plantation right at dusk. I stop at Emma’s red VW bug that’s parked
in front of the garage. She gets out grabbing all her shopping bags
as she goes. I pull the car into the garage and walk out to hug her
“Hey, forget about it,” Emma consoles as she
gives me a quick hug then goes to get in her car. “I’ll be over
tomorrow and we can start working on redecorating ideas.” I know
she is trying to get my mind off the old woman.
“Yeah, that would be great,” I say not
wanting her to leave. I have been chilled to the bone ever since
the encounter. I rub my wrist where the woman’s imprints from her
fingernails are still left in my skin.
“Forget about it. She was crazy,” she says
seeing me rub my wrists and gives me a smile. I can tell she
doesn’t want to tell me something, like she knows it would creep me
out further. “I’ll see you
he waves again as she drives away.
Jacob meets me at the door grabbing my
shopping bags before I walk in the house. I am so glad he is here.
I don’t want to be alone.
“I see you had some luck,” Jacob says lifting
the bags off my arm. When I go shopping with Emma she makes me buy
all of the clothes I try on and items that she likes. Thanks to
Emma my closet is now teaming with designer clothes and shoes.
“I really need to get the master bedroom
remodeled so I can move in there. I need more closet space,” I tell
him throwing my purse on the chair that sits in the side entry. I
refuse to move into the master bedroom until everything of Jane is
gone. I did have Miss Finnegan get rid of all her things, but I
want the walls, floor, and everything in the bathroom to be new
before I sleep in that room.
“I met Luke,” Jacob chimes as we walk into
the great room setting the bags at the bottom of the steps. “He is
very confused as for the need for security. I take it he doesn’t
know about the intruder. I think he is also a little jealous that I
am a live in,” he says looking at me for a reaction.
“I haven’t told him because I haven’t talked
to him. I don’t know why he would be jealous.” I am very pleased at
the thought of Luke being jealous over me.
“I don’t know, but he was giving me the third
degree asking me if I had a girlfriend and what I do here all day
and “night.” He puts emphasizes on night like there is something
going on between us.
“So what’d you tell him?”
“I told him that we are lovers and I ravish
you every night,” Jacob teases.
“You did not!” Even though I know he is
teasing, does Luke think that?
“I didn’t, but I told him that you are like a
sister to me and all I am here to do is protect you,” Jacob says
still laughing at my reaction. “He kept pushing me on what I am
protecting you from so I told him he needs to talk to you. It’s not
my place to tell him anything.”
I haven’t seen him in over two years. He has
no right to question how I live. I’m suddenly angry with Luke.
Where has he been? The reason he left was because of Jane and where
has he been since she’s been gone?
“Do you want to tell me about what happened
at Bon Dieu’s?” Jacob asks me. I remember then that I had texted
him after it had happened telling him the strangest thing had just
I tell him what had happened and he listens
“Well you know how I feel about the whole
voodoo thing, but I think Emma’s right. Sounds like a crazy old
woman,” Jacob tells me and for some reason it makes me feel better
when he says it.
“Like I’ve told you before, maybe you should
stay out of those kinds of shops,” Jacob lectures. Knowing that
voodoo gives him the heebee geebees, this story just drives his
“I’m beat. I’m going to bed,” Jacob says
giving me a kiss on the cheek goodnight.
“Night,” I say as he walks away.
I walk into the kitchen and see the cottage
lights aglow causing my insides to instantly warm. Any feeling of
anger that I had disappears as I think about Luke being here and so
close. I pour myself a glass of wine. It is such a beautiful night
I walk out on the patio and sit in one of Adirondack chairs to look
up at the stars. There are so many tonight, it’s so clear. I hear
the cottage door open and look to see Luke walking my way. Here we
go again. Hopefully I can talk this time. I take a drink of wine,
then another as he gets closer. I see he is freshly showered and
his hair is still wet. He is wearing faded Levis, a loose fitting
white cotton button down shirt with the sleeves rolled halfway up
his arms, and he’s barefoot. The sight of him makes my whole body
“Mind if I join you?” He asks pointing to the
chair next to me.
“Please,” is what comes out of my mouth. I’m
shocked that I was able to form a word. He sits down and scoots the
chair a little closer to me so the chairs are touching. I can smell
him he is so close, and he smells fresh, clean, and well
“What a nice night,” he says looking up at
the stars then to me. “Did you have a good time in New Orleans?” He
“It was very interesting to say the least,” I
answer, but don’t go into detail. “I’m surprised you’re not hanging
out with your girlfriend tonight,” I blurt out wanting to get it
out of the way. I drink half the glass of wine to prepare myself
for the answer.
“No girlfriend,” he answers shaking his head
and moves in his chair so he can see me better. “Why do you think I
have a girlfriend?” His question throws me and I don’t know how to
answer. I look at him and he is staring at me waiting for an
answer. So I mirror him and turn sideways in my chair. I pull my
knees up to my chest and wrap my arms around them so we are facing
each other. He has that wicked grin on his face that makes me
almost lost for words. I can do this, I can have a conversation
with him. Get a grip Lilly.
“I don’t know, I just figured you did. A good
looking guy like yourself, you probably have them lined up,” I
divulge wanting to say, “
If you don’t have a girlfriend why
didn’t you come back sooner?”
“Well, if that’s the rule, how come you are
not with your boyfriend tonight?” He inquires one eyebrow raised,
staring at me in a way that turns my insides to mush.
I don’t have a boyfriend because no one will
ever compare to you is what I want to say.
“No boyfriend, what do you mean if that’s the
“I mean, if I should have a girlfriend
because I’m a “good-looking guy,” he says making quotation marks
with his fingers, “Then you should have a boyfriend being the
smart, sexy, and beautiful woman you are,” he smiles at me and I
“I know it’s dark out here, maybe you think
you are speaking with someone else. It’s me, Lilly.” His head goes
back and a loud laugh escapes his throat.
“Oh and also very cute and funny,” he adds
still laughing. “I know exactly who I’m talking to, Lilly flower,”
he says not laughing now, and my belly tightens as he goes
“Oh,” is all I can muster. My face has to be
bright red and my insides are on fire.
“So no boyfriend, huh,” his lips twitch in a
mind blowing smile. “Good, no competition then,” his voice is low
and sexy. He gets out of the chair facing mine, placing his hands
on the arms of my chair, he bends at the waist so his face is close
to mine. I smell his minty breath and his fresh clean scent. I feel
like I’m going to melt. He places a feather light kiss on my
forehead before he turns to head to the cottage.
“Dream sweet, Lilly flower,” his words are
like tiny pins pricking all over my skin. With just that single bit
of contact, I feel my body convulse. I’m unable to move as he walks
back to the cottage and watch him until he disappears through the
I pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Still not able to move from my spot, I just sit there staring at
the cottage. About 15 minutes later the lights turn off and I
picture him lying on the bed. I bet he looks really good in bed, I
think to myself, blushing at my thoughts. I finally decide to go to
bed, and when I lie down a huge smile grows on my face as I think
There’s something chasing me but I can’t see
what. I try with all my might to move my legs but I can’t. The
hallway is so dark and seems to go on forever. I’m screaming for
help, but no one comes. My breathing is heavy and I’m finally able
to move my legs. I feel like they weigh two hundred pounds. I see
the whites of eyes and hear strange sounds screaming at me. I can’t
make out what they are saying.
I wake up sitting straight up in bed. My
heart is pounding and I look around. A rush of relief washes over
me. It was just a nightmare, Lilly, I think to myself as I try to
calm my breathing. The old woman that was in the shop and that look
on her face makes me shiver. I remember the horror in her eyes.
Samantha, she thought I was Samantha. Who is she?
Crazy old woman, I try and comfort myself, as
I look at the alarm clock. Seven-thirty and the sun is shining
through the bay windows of my room. I climb off my new four-poster
king size bed and head into the bathroom stretching as I go. After
taking care of my morning business, I walk back into my room.
I am starving. My stomach growls and I head
for the kitchen. I am only wearing an oversized t-shirt, but it’s
ok because I’m the only one home. Miss Finnegan has the day off to
see her mother, and Jacob is out for his morning run. He does an
hour run every morning, followed by weights at the gym.
I bounce down the stairs humming to myself as
my fingers run along the cool banister. As I reach the bottom I
hear a very loud crash coming from the kitchen. I take off in a
slow jog coming around the corner just as I hear, “Lilly, watch
out!” Luke yells just as I feel the sharp pain go through the
bottom of my foot. In one swift move Luke lifts me up under my arms
and sets me on the counter. Grabbing my foot, he lifts it high to
see the cut on the bottom. I swiftly push the hem of my t-shirt
between my thighs as my leg goes in the air. I look at him and
start to blush as he notices I am not wearing any pants, just some
white lacy panties. I feel hot blood trickling down my heel and see
drops falling toward the tile floor.
“I’m so sorry, Lilly,” he says cheeks turning
rosy. I notice his eyes traveling up my leg to the end of my shirt.
“This might hurt,” he stammers as he averts his eyes back down to
my foot, and in one rapid move, pulls a shard of glass from my
I place my hand on his shoulder so I don’t
topple over and I can feel my belly tighten as I feel his muscles
flex under his shirt. I feel a little woozy. I am not sure if it’s
from the pain or the fact that he is touching me and I’m half
naked. He’s so close I can smell his shampoo mixed with his scent,
it’s heaven. I feel like there is an electric current going through
me as he looks up into my eyes with a sorry look on his face. “What
happened?” I’m finally able to speak.