Six months after buying his house, author Scott Drake wonders if he's sharing it with a spirit when, nightly, he hears the sounds of a car crash on the road in front of it. Then he sees the reflection of a man behind him in the windows.
Jack Weaver, Scott's online friend, suggests he research the house's history. Then, intrigued by what Scott discovers, he pays him a visit.
As the two men work to discover who--or what--is sharing the house with Scott, their previously long-distance friendship begins to blossom into more. Can they survive what they discover? And if they do, will the fact that they live hundreds of miles apart destroy any chance of love between them?
This book also includes Ryker Savage, Vampire PI by Scott Drake.
Can Ryker keep Mason Fox safe from a stalker and avoid falling in love in the process?
The squeal of tires then the horrific sound of metal tearing into metal brought Scott upright out of a dead sleep.
"Not again, damn it," he cursed, rushing to his bedroom window to look out, just as he had every night for the last week. As always, there was nothing to see but the moonlit road at the edge of his property.
"Scotty, what's wrong?"
For a moment, Scott ignored the sleepy, querulous voice of the man occupying the other half of his bed. Then he turned back from the window to look at the guy whose name he couldn't remember for the life of him and said, "Nothing, just a nightmare. Sorry. Go back to sleep."
"Maybe I don't want to sleep now," the man pouted.
Scott shrugged. "Then get dressed and go home. Makes me no nevermind."
"Well, I never," the man huffed. "I guess I might as well. Looks like nothing more's going to be happening here."
With a shrug, Scott grabbed his robe then put it on as he strode out of the bedroom. When he was downstairs in the kitchen, he started a pot of coffee, sighing in relief a few minutes later when he heard the front door close.
Coffee in hand, he went into his office to boot up the computer. Once he was online, even though it was late--close to midnight--he opened his IM program with the hope that the friend he only knew as "JackSmith" was around. They had connected on the Facebook group run by Scott's publisher--Scott as an author, JackSmith as a fan--and discovered they had some mutual interests. After that, they continued to talk periodically via IM, discussing books, movies, and the occasional events in their lives.
If JackSmith was there, he was under the radar, so Scott sent him an off-line--It happened again. Then he leaned back in his chair and waited.
Sure enough, a couple of minutes later, JackSmith's familiar avatar appeared as he went visible.
JackSmith: Same time?
Scott: Yes. Twelve twenty-five on the dot. Everything was exactly the same--the screech of tires, the crash, and nothing out there when I looked.
JackSmith: Do you know yet if anyone else in the neighborhood has heard it?
Scott: I asked the woman who lives the next house down. She just looked at me like I'd lost my mind. And I had company tonight who didn't hear it either. But I'm not imagining it, damn it.
JackSmith: Ghosts, boyo *laughing*
Scott: Never believed in them, Jack. Besides. A ghost car crash? Come on.
JackSmith: Well, something's going on. You said you've never been in an accident, to say the least of a bad one, so it's not your mind playing that over and over.
Scott: And it never happened until I moved here.
JackSmith: So it must have to do with your new place. Do you know the history behind it?
Scott: The house? Not really. It's older, built in the fifties.
JackSmith: *chuckling* 1850's, 1950's?
Scott: Nineteen. I'm not into antiques and upkeep. *rolling eyes*
JackSmith: So just for yucks and grins, do some research. See how the previous owner diedâ€¦or if there really was an accident on that road in front of your place.
Scott: Yeah, I will *yawning* Back to bed for me. I don't know how you can stay up so late.
JackSmith: Practice, boyo, practice. *laughing* Night.
"May I help you?" a grandmotherly appearing woman at the library's help desk asked.
"I hope so. I'm looking for the history of the house I just bought." Scott gave her the address, wondering as he did if libraries actually had that kind of information. His Realtor hadn't--or at least not that he'd admit to.
"The old Constantin house," she said, without missing a beat.
"You know that off the top of your head?" he asked in surprise.
She smiled. "It's a small town, and I've lived here all my life. There isn't much I don't know about the residents, past and present. Let me see." She tapped her chin then stood up, beckoning him to follow her.
They ended up in a small room at the back of the library. Shelves of books lined three walls. A table holding a microfilm reader sat in the center of the room. The librarian went to a cabinet on the fourth wall, opening the drawer she needed.
"These should help," she said, handing him several rolls of microfilm. "I'm afraid you'll have to scroll through them to find what you want. They're copies of the local newspaper from the early nineteen fifties, when Mr Constantin built the house. Quite a tragic story, as you'll find out. Once you're finished, if you have any questions, I'll try to answer them. Do you know how to use this?" She tapped the reader.
Scott nodded. "Actually, yes." Putting the rolls down, he pulled over a chair, thanking her for her help before sitting and inserting the first film.
Four hours later he was bleary-eyed and yawning, but he had the information he'd been seeking. Putting the last roll of film back into its container, he left them stacked on the desk, closed his notebook, then returned to the Help desk.
"Did you have any questions?" the librarian asked.
"Not yet. Not until I process what I found out. Thank you for all your help."
"I'm here Tuesday through Saturday, so feel free to come back and pick my brain," she told him with a smile.
"Trust me. I will." After thanking her again, he left, heading back home.