DEJA VU mystery/romantic suspense by Samantha Gentry
Then the image exploded in her mind again. The mud sliding toward her, the out of focus face, the skull, and finally the skeletons—this time more vivid than any of the previous assaults on her senses. A cold shudder moved up her spine, followed by a lump in her throat and a churning in the pit of her stomach. She hugged her shoulders in an attempt to fend off the shivers, but not from the cold. Her insides trembled to the point where she felt as if she had no control over her own body. Even though she still didn’t understand the message trying to get through to her, this time the vision truly frightened her on both a physical and emotional level.
This time it felt very real…and very personal.
She tried to shake off the uncomfortable feelings, but without much success. Then a new sensation hit her, an eerie awareness of someone watching her. Someone obscured by the fog. Someone laying in wait. Someone wanting to harm her? The possibility sent a hard jolt of fear racing through her veins. It played on her already tautly stretched nerves. A genuine sense of alarm welled inside her. She fought the desire to run blindly down the road. But toward what? And away from whom? One thing loomed abundantly clear…she needed to move on, to get away from this spot that radiated a feeling bordering on evil.
Lexi hurried down the road toward the mansion as she fought against the almost uncontrollable urge to continually glance over her shoulder. The panic built, layer upon layer. The danger close on her heels, almost as if it could reach out and grab her. Only the paved road under her feet offered any comfort or relief from the overwhelming sensation. The large Victorian mansion became visible through the fog, but would it provide a sanctuary? A safe haven?
She forced out the words that tried to choke off in her throat. “Who is Gable Talbot? Who are you?”
He turned and stared out the window, his gaze falling on the ocean without really focusing on it. What to do. How much to tell her. He had known the time would come when he had to confide the truth to her, especially after they spent an incredible night making love. A night that had a remarkable impact on his life. A night that confirmed his involvement with her had moved beyond the physical to encompass the emotional as well. But he had not been prepared for her to confront him the very next day and certainly not with the knowledge of his deception about his identity.
Divulge his entire plan to her? Confess his true identity while holding back the details of his scheme? He had never felt so torn between two opposing ends of one reality. Even as a teenager he knew what had to be done. For twenty-five years he had pursued a single-minded course of action and long range plan aimed at one, and only one, conclusion. A plan that included his one and only long time ally and confidant.
And now he stood there, staring out the window and wondering what to do. He tried to shake off his rapidly growing apprehension. He had no option other than to trust her with the truth. At least part of it…for the time being. He turned to face her, but stayed more than arm’s length away. He could not allow his desire for her to cloud his thinking and touching her would do just that.
A sigh of resignation escaped his throat. “You’re putting me in a position I wasn’t quite ready to accept in spite of the fact that I’ve given it considerable thought over the last day or so. I wanted to be honest with you.” He tried to calm his rattled nerves, but without much success. “What I’m about to tell you must be kept in the strictest of confidence. The seriousness of what’s going on here…the importance of all this can’t be emphasized too much. There cannot be any exceptions. I need to have your absolute promise of discretion and complete secrecy.”