Ghost Talker

Ghost Talker by Robin D. Owens Page A

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Authors: Robin D. Owens
will remind you that I asked you to look online for info about me.” He couldn’t keep from leaning a little on his cane. This woman, this lover, had been one of the few who’d never glanced at his crippled leg. At least he’d never seen her, sensed her, doing that—a miracle. He hadn’t wanted to tell her that particular story, how he’d made a bad mistake that had gotten him shot below the knee, and destroyed his career along with his peroneal nerve.
    But he had ended up telling her some of his stories. Had listened to hers. “When did you look up my stuff?” he asked.
    She flushed slightly more, as if recalling the videos online of the aftermath of the shooting. A TV crew had been close to the scene. Last time Zach had checked, the videos were still available on the net.
    â€œI don’t recall when I, uh, checked you out,” Clare said.
    â€œNot the night of the day we met, when I told you to?” he asked, knowing the answer that continued to warm him. She’d trusted him, thought more of him in person than any images and words or events she’d seen on the Internet.
    She shook her head. “No, I didn’t search for data on you that night.”
    â€œOr for several days afterward?”
    Clare spread her hands. “Not that I recall.” Her eyes met his. “It didn’t matter.”
    His shoulders relaxed, though he kept his expression serious. “We know each other, Clare.” Almost, he told her that he loved her, but she’d withdrawn a little. He wouldn’t use that to lure her back into a better frame of mind with him.
    She nodded. “Yes, we know each other.” Lifting her chin, she said, “You’re ready to go, then?”
    â€œLet me get my computer.” He grabbed the briefcase with the notebook in it from the far end of the breakfast bar counter, and saw vulnerability peek through her eyes. “What?” he asked.
    â€œUm, do you have enough clothes at my place . . . at home . . . for work tomorrow, too? Do you want to spend the night with me?”
    He took the time to smile slowly at her. “Of course I want to
sleep
with you. And I’ve got clothes.” So, they’d negotiated, as usual, this bump in their relationship. Their differences made life interesting, and didn’t compare to the amount of stuff they had in common. “My work hours are flexible.”
    â€œI noticed.” She grimaced. “So are mine; definitely not nine-to-five anymore. A
lot
of overtime.”
    â€œI’m going in today on this freebie . . . ah, pro bono case . . . to keep relations between me, as a rep for Rickman’s agency, smooth with the DPD. He continues to cultivate them to get more investigative talent for the business.”
    Clare nodded.
    â€œDon’t know if Rickman has other cases for me or not.” Zach shrugged. “Guess I’ll find out.” He nodded to Clare to head for the exit, and she did, holding the outer door open for him as he set the security alarm then left his apartment. Nice enough and a good guy space, but Clare’s home . . . also really comfortable and not too girly. “I have enough clothes in the closet you gave me at your house.” He didn’t think she checked that closet like one of his former, too obsessive, live-in lovers had. So Clare didn’t know that he’d put in several jackets and some trousers.
    As for Clare’s walk-in closet, like the house itself, it had plenty of space for additional things.
    She slanted him a look and smiled back at him. “I like having you in my house.” She glanced at the not-so-hidden security camera aimed at the door of his apartment, then dropped back to his far side where he’d block her from the recording and murmured, “And I like you in my bed, very much, Jackson Zachary Slade.”
    â€œYeah. We’re very good

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