Return to Autumn House
(A Halloween Serial)
Hallie had tried to hold Kane as he fell, but two hundred pounds of muscles stretched over bones that topped at six three was more than she could handle on a good day. Today was not even close to being good. Backside planted in the mud, Kane’s limp body pinned her down.
Trying to look up, rain pelted her face. Cris lifted Kane by the shoulders. “I’ll take him to Doc’s. You go on back to the hotel. I’ll call you later.” Without a care to Kane’s comfort Cris tossed the unconscious lawyer back into the county issued vehicle.
“No, I’m going with you. You can’t drop that kind of price tag on me then say we’ll talk later. Cowardly! Come on boy!” The dog barked at her then turned and ran back to the house. Ugh. Stupid dog. “Cowardly!”
Cris already sat in his car. With one last look at the dog, she sighed then jumped in the back seat. “I’m staying with Kane until I find out what’s going on.”
“I told you what was going on. Who do you think you should trust? He's lawyer. I enforce the law and I’m your cousin.”
“My cousin twice removed.” She glared at him. “I just want answers. What’s in Granddad’s will and why is someone offering so much for the old property?” She glanced at the man in her lap. And why was Kane bloody in the front flowerbed?
Like a great beast, the storm rattled the car. Holding Kane in her lap, she brushed back the bloody mess of hair.
“You haven’t been around, but your grandfather went crazy. There are people, including me, that think lawyer boy took advantage of him.”
Who could she trust? Her childhood friend and cousin, or the boy that she used to love with all her heart? With him back in her arms, it felt as if pieces she had left behind clambered to reunite. Superman to her Louis.
Twisting around, she looked over her shoulders. Through the back window the house stood alone on the cliff’s edge. Surrounded by a deep darkness.
Once upon a time, it stood as a beacon of light, a sanctuary from her challenging parents. She worked until her fingers bled and the skill had earned her a spot at Julliard and the Chicago Symphony, but hadn’t been good enough. First chair stayed out of her reach, let alone the London Symphony Orchestra that they wanted for her.
Even after their deaths she could hear their criticism. The echo of their demands. More, more, more…still drove her to perfection. She was their protégé, their legacy in the music world.
A tear slip out. Wiping it away she swallowed the bitter lump of regret and grief that clogged her throat. Or maybe it was those nasty chips she ate earlier.
All she knew was that her parents had taken her away from the only place she had known unconditional love, claiming her grandfather was too soft. That he would weaken her. Now he was gone too. And she hadn’t said goodbye.
Kane moaned. His eyes squeezed tight then fluttered. She stroked his jaw. He had been her teenage dream, she thought they would grow old together in the house on the cliff. But just as her parents had sent her away, he had cut her off without explanation and the dream had become a nightmare.
Now he wanted her to trust him. He turned his head, the beautiful blue she had gazed into so many times now looked confused. His mouth opened. “The…”
“Kane?” His head fell to the side. “Cris can you go any faster? I’m really worried.”
“I’m going as fast as I can in this storm. I need you to listen to me. Stop making goo-goo eyes at him. Kane can’t be trusted.”
“That’s what he said about you.” She kept her gaze on Kane, watching for any sign of change.
“I’m not the one that dumped you for Ivy. He hasn’t changed, he’ll do whatever it takes to get what he wants. Remember the lies he told you, going on about how beautiful you were. He’s low. He probably hit himself over the head to get your sympathy. Is it even real blood? I have some people you need to talk to before you do anything.”
Old insecurities raised their ugly heads. Looking up from Kane’s perfect profile she glanced out the window. Her heart slammed against her breast bone and her skin became too tight. “This isn’t the way to Doc’s. Cris where are you taking us?” Dread snaked through her veins. She really needed Kane to join the party.
Tomorrow tune in to find out if Kane wake's up....
If you are looking for a nice Christmas story - my October release would be perfect for you. A Texas Christmas Wish is available now. :)