Monday, December 31, 2012

Haunted: Innocence Lost Last Chapter

(Not Professionally Edited)

Chapter 29

Sam had never heard a sweeter voice than his. Though she couldn’t make out his face, the light behind him making him a giant black blob, she knew his voice. Pulling herself up to her feet, she hopped toward him.

“Oh, Samantha. What has he done to you?” He cupped her face in his hands, resting his brow on hers. “I thought I lost you.”

All she could do was mumble and bounce, but she was damn glad to see him. She’d been saved.

“I need to remove this, but it’s going to hurt.” She nodded then drew in a deep breath as he picked at the edges of the tape. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She closed her eyes and tipped her face up, and waited.

“Quickly, all right?”

She nodded, and braced herself. He ripped the tape from her mouth, igniting a fire as the skin was pulled and scored. She cried out, couldn’t help herself.

“Oh god, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that hurt you.” He pulled her into his arms and Sam wished she too could hold him.

“My hands.” She twisted so he could see they were bound.

“I could kill that bastard!” Moving in behind her, he knelt down, taking her bound hands in his.

She fully expected him to cut her free, but not the kiss he placed to her wrists. The sentiment of that gesture brought tears to her eyes.

She heard a click, and then felt him tugging at the tape. “How did you know I was here? How did you find me?” She winced as he pried the tape from her skin.

“Almost done, baby, almost done.” He kissed her wrists again, then continued working the tape. “Your father knew where to find you. I drove him out here. There we go, all done.”

The instant her hands were free, she threw them around his body, taking comfort in the simple feel of him. “I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”

“I feared the same. It is so good to feel you.” He kissed her with a force that nearly knocked them both over. Laughing, he released her, and then his eyes went wide.

“Her name is Alexis and she was killed by Daniel Bennett,” she explained, knowing what it was he saw. “He’s here, somewhere. You have to find him.”

Cupping her face in his hands, he kissed Sam’s panic away. “You’re safe. He’s in custody. How do you know who she is?”

She couldn’t tell him, not now at least. “I just do. Can we get out of here now?” The shadows outside the door caught her attention, and looking up, she saw her father race down the steps.

“Oh, Sammy girl. Thank god!” Running to his daughter, grabbing her from Ethan, he nearly smothered her when he pulled her into his arms. “Let’s get you out of here.”

“In a minute. There’s something I need to do first.” Though she knew Ethan was standing right behind her, she had to do what was needed. Turning to Alexis, she knelt down as she spoke softly. “It’s time now. You can go home.”

The spirit of the child looked up, and smiled. “Thank you, Samantha.” A brilliant light began to form around her like tiny crystal shards, sparkling as she ascended to her final resting place.

Turning, Sam nodded to her father then eagerly took Ethan's hand. “I’m ready to go now.”


The instant she arrived back at her place her family surrounded her, fawning over her and it drove her crazy. But Sam sat patiently while her mother stroked her hair and tended to her wounds, while her sister brought her one blanket after another and her brother fluffed the pillow behind her head half a dozen times. She knew they loved her, and so she let them take care of her. She’d refused to go to the hospital, but had allowed the paramedics that had come to the church to fix her up as best they could. And even when they argued with her to get her head wound checked out in the hospital, she’d refused. She didn’t want to spend the night in a sterile hospital room, having some nurse check on her every few hours, or a doctor poking at her. She wanted to be home, where she knew she was safe and loved. So they’d stitched her up and reluctantly let her go.

She’d driven back to the city with Ethan, her father in the back seat, and both men had continually asked her if she was all right. Though she’d reassured them both she was, she knew they didn’t believe her. And now that she was home, sitting on her own sofa, neither man had said a word to her. It worried her that maybe Ethan was having second thoughts about being with her after seeing her speak to a corpse. And she worried her father was disappointed in her for being with Ethan.

“It’s time we went home.”

Sam looked up when her father spoke and her heart ached. He didn’t even want to be near her.

“But, C.J., Sam needs us.”

“She’ll be fine, Jessica.”

“We can’t just leave her alone, Dad,” Colleen pleaded.

“She won’t be alone. Go to the car, I’ll be right there.”

“If you need anything, Sam, just call.”

The kiss her mother placed on her cheek warmed her heart. “I will, Mom. Thanks for everything.”

With shiny eyes, her mother left her with another kiss to the head.

“Same goes for me,” Andrew piped in, putting his cheek on her head.

“And me.” Colleen took her hand, giving it a little squeeze.

She really did have great siblings. “I’ll be fine. But I’ll call if I need anything,” she reassured them, waving as they left her house. The instant the door closed, she looked up at her father, full of worry. “Dad—”

He turned to Ethan with a pointed finger. “I’m trusting you to look after her and take care of her. That doesn’t mean I like what the two of you are doing, but I know better than to stand in the way of love,” he lowered his voice so only Ethan could hear, but Sam heard it clear as day. “Hurt her, and you’ll be very very sorry.”

Ethan gave a curt nod. “I promise you I will never hurt her.”

“Make sure you don’t.” He turned to Sam now and she feared what he might say. “Don’t be stubborn. Take something when the pain gets to be too much.”

“Yes, Daddy.”

He touched her cheek, and Sam rejoiced in the love she saw in his eyes. “I hope I’m doing the right thing.”

She leaned into his hand, feeling so much better now. “You are. I love you, Dad.”

He smiled then kissed her cheek. “I love you, too.” She watched him leave, knowing it was hard for him to do so, and loving him even more for it.

“Do you need anything?”

 “Only you.” She held her hand out to him, waiting for Ethan to come to her. When he took her hand in his, it felt so right to be with him, to have him hold her. If only it could be this way forever. “Have I thanked you yet for saving me?”

“Why don’t you show me?” Lifting her chin carefully and just as gently he touched his lips to hers.

She sighed, letting the kiss wash away all the ugliness she’d been part of for the past day. She was utterly relieved to know he still wanted her. And when he released her, she wanted nothing more than to have him kiss her again.

“I never thought I would ever feel love for someone again. As a matter of fact, I swore I would never open my heart like that again.”


“I love you,” he exhaled it. “I love you, Samantha, and I think I’ve loved you from the very first moment I saw you.” He stroked her raw face gently, the passion and sympathy she saw in his eyes was staggering.  “You are a strange woman, and I hardly know you, but I know how I feel. I can’t breathe without you. You are constantly on my mind and I long for every moment I can share with you. And I promise you now, with all my heart, I will be free from my ties by the end of the week. I love you,” he repeated. “And I’m never going to let you go.” He took her mouth now a little more firmly. He kissed her with passion, and she felt it sink right into her core. Then he blew her mind when he kissed the bruises on her face and hands, soothing the pain she felt inside.

She had never felt so much love before in her life. He undressed her with such care it melted her heart. His hands, as they stroked over her body, making her quiver, were not hard or rushed, but gentle and caring. His kisses weren’t greedy, but a whisper of soft flesh that gave her goose bumps. He loved her, and God help her, she loved him back.

Would they ever be able to be together as a normal couple? She believed they would. Eventually. But right now, at this moment, she took what was offered, and gave without question. If all she had was the here and now with Ethan, then she would live it to its fullest. Pulling him to her, their naked bodies joining, Sam took his face in her hands as she melted into the kiss. While their bodies rocked, slick naked flesh ripe with desire, their hearts joined as one.

“I love you, Samantha,” Ethan whispered as he held her in his arms.

“I love you, Ethan.” Her eyes heavy, Sam drifted off to sleep.


Sam knew she was in one of her hypnotic dreams simply because everything looked choppy, like she’d been drugged and wasn’t seeing things normally, as it always did in her dream-like state. The only reason she had dreams of this caliber were when the dead came to call. She really didn’t want another spirit haunting her sleep. Not after the ordeal she’d just been through with Bennett and the children. All she wanted was some peace and quiet for a while. Some time to be with her…lover, to enjoy life. Yet Sam knew all the begging in the world would not make it go away.

Resigned to the dream, Sam gave in and let it lead the way.

Might as well figure out why I’m here.

Soft classical music played from somewhere she couldn’t determine, and it sounded like it was in water. Sounds were always a little distorted in her dream state. She stood in what looked like a grand foyer of some mansion and as she looked up, she was in awe of the gorgeous crystal chandelier that hung high above her head. It had to be at least ten feet up and three tears long. Man, she would hate to have to clean that puppy.

She felt like she was moving in jelly when she turned and saw the grand spiral staircase to her left. Was that marble flooring on the steps? Holy shit, it was! And get a load of the paintings on the wall. Oh my God! That was a frikin Matisse hanging along the stairwell. And look at that vase by the wall. Was that a Ming? Sweet God it was!

Man, whoever lived here had to be filthy rich. The place reeked with money

Confused as to why she was here, Sam turned around, and saw the lower torso of a female body lying on the floor.

Ah, now I get it, she thought as she moved toward the room the body lay in. “Why do the dead always have to be so damn cryptic?” But as she stepped into the room, her entire body froze.

Crouched over the woman, was Ethan.

“Dear God, Gwen!”

“Ethan!” Sam called out, but she knew it was no use. He wouldn’t hear her because she really wasn’t there. And then she felt it. Her body was pulled from the dream, sucked back into reality like a vacuum. Despite her attempt to fight it, she was dragged back.

And woke with a start.

Ethan was not beside her.


 Well, I hope you all enjoyed the first book in my Haunted series. As you can see the end is not the end for Sam and Ethan. Several things have yet to be tied up. Will Sam tell Ethan about her gift? Did Ethan finally end his problem by killing Gwen? So many loose ends. But fear not, there is a second book. I just haven't finished going over it to clean it up yet.
In the mean time, stay tuned because my next free book will be posted right after the new year.
Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2013!

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