Phantom Touch #2

Book Cover: Phantom Touch #2

Having escaped from the graveyard with scarring memories, Jess stumbles back to her campus apartment and finds that another unsettling surprise has followed her from the grave. She must struggle to understand what’s happening to her or risk believing herself mad.

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We reached the car and Brent shoved me into the passenger seat. I didn’t argue, as he jammed the keys into the ignition and flipped the car around so fast I got whiplash. I pulled on my seatbelt and held onto the oh-shit handle above the door. We raced along the road with the wheels barely touching the ground. I didn’t dare take a look back until we were almost back to town, and by that time the trees and farms had been replaced with suburbia.
Nothing was back there. No dark shadow, no drunken boyfriend trying to kill me with my own knife.
“Damn it!” I yelled.
My words were loud enough that they startled Brent. He swerved along the road for a few yards before he slammed his foot on the brake. We lurched to a stop in the middle of the road with the car at a funny angle. Good thing it was so late that traffic was nonexistent. I clutched at my heart and Brent’s head snapped in my direction. “What? What is it?” he asked me in a frantic voice.

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“Rob took my best cutting knife,” I told him.
Brent’s mouth slowly dropped open and he tilted his head to one side. “Seriously? That’s what you’re worried about after him trying to kill you with it?”
“Hey, a girl’s got her priorities.” I glanced over my shoulder at where we’d come. It was a relief to see the streetlights after the darkness and gloom of that cemetery, but I still had a chill in my bones. It was like a coldness that I just couldn’t shake off, and when next I spoke my voice had dropped to a whisper. “You think he’s fine in there? You know, in that cemetery?”
He, too, looked back down the road. “As fine as any drunk is anywhere with a knife,” Brent answered philosophically. It must have been my hushed voice, because he glanced over to me. “Why? You see something in there?”
“What? Oh, well, no. At least, I don’t think I did.” I promptly turned around and faced the front of the car. I didn’t want to talk about it. A bath and a night of sleep was what I needed, and then I’d wonder what the hell happened among those old graves. “But any way you can get me to my dorm? After that mess I really don’t want to be walking alone in the dark.”
“It’s not my car or yours, so I don’t know about going very far with it,” Brent reminded me. He turned around to face forward, and drove the car from the middle of the road toward the university campus. “We could get into a lot of trouble when Rob comes back.”
“I don’t care about him anymore. After tonight nobody should give a damn about him,” I countered. I swear I could still feel the blade of that knife swinging past me.
“You going to call the police or should I?” he asked me, but I just shrugged.
“Do what you want, but he’ll probably show up tomorrow with a hangover and wanting to know where his car is.” It wasn’t any skin off my back whether he was a little inconvenienced by his homicidal actions. We could drive the car into the deepest part of the river, for all I cared. “I just want to get back to the dorm and get some sleep.”
“Yeah, not a bad idea,” he agreed.
We drove on in silence; I slumped down in my seat and looked up out the window. The sky was still clear above us, as clear as that guy’s eyes. I shuddered and sat straight up. That wasn’t what I wanted to be thinking about if I wanted to get any sleep tonight. That guy was creepy, plain and simple, and I’d have to tell Ashley that there was some fancy-dressed guy walking that scary cemetery at night. On second thought she’d probably start thinking he was that shadow guy she’d seen all those years ago. Funny, he felt real enough to me.
I reached up and pressed my fingers against my lips. I swore I could still feel his lips pressed against my own, and a strange thrill that went through my body. That was definitely, well, interesting, but I didn’t think I’d want to repeat the performance. Actually, no way in hell was I ever going to be going into that cemetery, day or night.
We reached my dorm building a few minutes later. I lived in the middle of a small but nice public university. There were some old buildings with their columned fronts that ran along the main road, and then there were some newer, blockier places that were scattered about wherever the administration could fit them. Trees from all the previous years’ classes were planted all over the campus, and there were sidewalks and student paths all over the place. It was a mosaic of orderly chaos, especially in-between classes; a perfect picture of early-twenties wildlife.
I had a short walk from the parking lot to the entrance to my dorm, and when Brent parked he pointed the headlights at the doors. “You want me to help you inside? You’re looking pretty pale,” he asked me.
I did feel pretty weak-legged, but I was a pigheaded girl when it came to a boy helping fragile, little-old-me into my own dorm. “Nah, I feel fine, just spooked from that damn cemetery.” I opened the door and got out.
Brent leaned over the divide between the front seats and smiled at me. “I’ll call you tomorrow if something comes up, okay?”
“Yeah, that’d be great.” I didn’t think much would come up, so it was an easy agreement to enter into. At least he wasn’t asking me to sign my name in blood anywhere. “See you later.”
“Later,” he called back.

COLLAPSE

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