During her hiatus from the show, she planned on exploring the possibility of visualization as a way of handling the aftereffects of her little gift. Learning to concentrate for longer than five seconds might enable her to “see” the headaches and tremors float away, absorbed by the atmosphere instead of another human being. That would be a plus if the opportunity for another relationship ever arose. Which wasn’t likely to happen anytime soon.
Because, as much as she wished otherwise, she couldn’t imagine anyone not caring that she had the ability to read them through any object they’d touched.
She’d know if they were lying or cheating.
She’d know if even for one brief moment they hated or feared her.
Oh, hell; enough of the pity party.
The water was cooling faster than it should have. She tried adjusting the temperature, but it never got any warmer, and she added a water heater to the growing list of items the house might need. If she ended up keeping the house, it wouldn’t be a huge problem in the summer, but a winter in Kansas City spent taking tepid baths wasn’t an option she wanted to entertain.
She turned off the shower and pulled open the curtain. A shadow was there one moment, filling a corner of the room, and gone the next. It was almost as if the lights had flickered on and off. Fabulous. Whether she stayed or not, she’d need an electrician.
And she probably shouldn’t trust the fuses to hold up under the addition of a small window-unit air conditioner until she had the place checked out.
Stepping over the rolled lip of the tub, she grabbed for a fluffy white towel and blotted her hair and body but left enough droplets behind to help keep her cool for as long as possible. Wrapping the towel sarong style, she padded down the hall.
The water on her back and chest had evaporated by the time she’d made it to her small square bedroom. Sunrays filtered through the leaves of the huge old tree outside her window, leaving a dappled pattern on the crisp, white cotton sheets she’d found in the linen cupboard. They’d been tied with a rose-pink satin ribbon and still held a trace of her aunts’ loving attention within its threads.
She exchanged the towel for a short white cotton robe and turned away from her reflection in the cheval glass at the foot of the bed. The shower hadn’t helped her look any less tired. This season had been brutal. Between the nonstop shooting schedule and trying to deal with her grief she’d been on autopilot with barely a minute to breathe.
The room was marginally less stuffy since she’d turned on the ceiling fan. Closing her eyes, she tried to envision the sharp shards of emotional energy dissolving in a shower of soft, warm sparks that cascaded over her and into the ground. Instead the shards clung like dark magnets against her skull.
She was lousy at this.
A breeze chilly enough to raise goose bumps washed over her bare arms. A shadow flickered across the mirror. She blinked and for the second time that afternoon caught movement out of the corner of her eye.
The pale ivory curtains covering the windows on either side of the wide mahogany dresser had stopped rippling. The air around her was still—and cold.
“Are you Cassidy?” rasped a voice that sounded as if it were filtered through a layer of dust. “Maude said that you could help me.”
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