Read First Visions Online

Authors: Heather Topham Wood

Tags: #young adult, #paranormal romance, #abduction, #new adult, #psychics, #upper ya

First Visions (6 page)

BOOK: First Visions
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He cut her off, “I never said Aunt Lizzie was
bat shit crazy.”

“Ok, well I guess it was implied. Anyway,
I’ve heard about this type of stuff happening. A girl from a
wealthy family goes missing and all the con artists come out of the
woodwork. I don’t know what this girl’s angle is, but I’m sure she
has an agenda.”

While clasping his hands tightly, Nikki gave
him a pleading smile. “I love that you’re doing everything you can
to find my sister. It means the world to me. But I think your
efforts should be more focused on finding a witness or some sort of
clue he may have left behind.”

“Of course, we’re doing that. Unfortunately,
it’s almost like your sister vanished into thin air. No one saw a
suspicious car parked by the house and your neighbors didn’t hear
anything. We still have a lot of interviews lined up and I’m
hopeful someone saw something. If nothing turns up, would it really
be harmful to try and use a psychic?”

Her doubtful countenance gave him an idea. “I
know. Why don’t I introduce the two of you? Then, you can judge for
yourself and realize she’s not after your family’s money.” He
pushed back a strand of her hair and gave her his most charming
smile. Nikki could be opinionated and stubborn, but he knew how
much her sister meant to her. She would want to find her anyway
possible.

She rolled her eyes and waited a long minute
before finally answering him. “You know I can never say no to you.
I’ll meet her, but don’t be surprised if my predictions about her
being useless come true.”

She reached for him and they both relaxed
into a warm hug. Kissing the top of her head, he questioned whether
it would be a good idea after all for Kate and Nikki to meet. Kate
was skittish enough about working on another abduction case. He
hoped being faced with Nikki’s skepticism wouldn’t scare her off.
There were also his concerns about the slight pang he’d been
feeling while around Kate. He’d been dealing with it by convincing
himself she was a kid and his interest stemmed merely from the lure
that she could solve Cori’s disappearance.

 

***

 

Kate didn’t return home until mid-afternoon.
She had stayed up until it was practically sunrise with Julie.
Julie understood her friend’s need for space and that Kate didn’t
want to rehash her fight with her mom. Instead, they bonded over
junk food and a marathon of
True Blood
. Her friendship was
the easiest and most natural thing in Kate’s life. Julie never had
let the Matt Spencer fiasco weird her out or badger Kate with
questions about it.

The only disconcerting thing was Kate
continued to lie about her second sight to Julie. Julie had
questioned Kate about Jared’s visit and Kate only explained the
detective was going door to door looking for leads on Cori’s
disappearance. The entire town was aware of the case. Besides the
news coverage, flyers were hanging up all over. Despite her
dishonesty with Julie, Kate dreaded leaving the tranquility of her
friend’s apartment and heading back home.

Her mother was at the kitchen table when she
walked in. She rushed towards her as if she’d been away at war.
“Thank god you’re home! I was just debating about whether or not to
call your father.”

“Overreact much, Mom? What was Dad going to
do? Ground me?” Kate asked dryly and tossed her keys on the
counter. “I’m hitting the shower. I’ve been in these clothes since
yesterday and have about six inches of grime on me.” Julie had
offered to lend her some clothes, but Kate had decided why
embarrass them both by trying to squeeze her body into Julie’s size
zero outfits.

“Kate, I barely slept. Please just talk to
me,” she begged in a small voice.

Her words made Kate hesitate. Her mother
typically never sounded defeatist. She turned to her and took a
quick inventory of her looks. Bags were under her eyes and they
were red-rimmed. Her mouth was set into a grimace and did not have
the usual infectious smile in place. Her mother had been her only
constant this past year since her dad left. Kate would never cause
her any unnecessary pain, even if she was livid with her.

“Fine, I’m not sure what you want me to say
to you. I’m pissed, Mom. You could’ve been there for me this whole
time. Helping me deal with these stupid visions and instead you led
me to believe you had no idea they were still happening.” She put
her hands on her hips and gave her a steely gaze.

“Honey, you made it clear you hated the
reactions of everyone after the news story and how you felt like a
freak. I didn’t want to put you on the spot and make you feel as if
you had to use your psychic abilities if that’s not what you
wanted,” she explained.

“It isn’t like I have a choice. I see things
even when I don’t want to.”

“I didn’t understand how it worked. I’m very
sorry about lying to you, but I’m not sorry you do have this
amazing ability.” She took a deep breath and continued on. “Now
that everything is out in the open, maybe I can help you. We might
be able to figure out how to control your visions.”

Kate shook her head. “I would hardly call it
a gift—more like a pain in my ass.”

“Katie, you shouldn’t think like that. You
were dying and came back with these abilities. You were obviously
chosen for some reason. I really feel they’re gifts from a higher
power.”

“Mom, we go to church like once a year on
Christmas. I doubt I would be high up on the list to receive
celestial powers,” Kate scoffed.

“Debate me all you want on this, but you’ve
already done so much good with them. Who knows what would’ve become
of Matt Spencer if you didn’t lead the police to him?”

Her mother walked over to her and grasped
Kate by the arms. “I shouldn’t have gone to the police station
before talking to you. It was a terrible mistake. I knew how
tormented you were over the dream about Cori and I was only trying
to help out.”

“Mom, I can tell things haven’t been easy for
you either—I know I’m the main reason Dad took off. I’m also hip on
how he…began seeing someone and she’s another one of the reasons he
moved,” she said dejectedly looking at the floor.

“Katie! You were never to blame for your
father leaving. We had problems long before you were sick. And how
did you learn about Carly? He told me he didn’t want you to know
just yet.”

It was funny how her mother and father had
regular pow-wows over her although she was an adult. Maybe she
needed to consider moving out if she wanted to be treated like a
grown-up. However, her medical receptionist’s salary wouldn’t cover
her living in her car, no less an apartment.

“I saw you two in visions—the fights in your
bedroom late at night. The accusations you flung at him about the
affair and how he admitted to it. Mom, I heard him say one of the
reasons he turned to Carly was to deal with the pressures from his
life including the whole psychic thing.”

“You should’ve never seen that. I’m sorry you
had to deal with this alone. I wish we talked sooner and you were
able to open up to me. Your father loves you. Our marriage was the
problem, not your psychic ability.”

Reaching out to her, she enveloped Kate in
her arms. Kate inhaled her scent and relaxed into the embrace. Her
mother’s smell was one of the most comforting things in the world
and she had no doubt of her fierce loyalty.

“I love you, Mom and I know you never
intentionally meant to hurt me. I never told you, but I had a dream
about you. You were sitting by my bed in the hospital and I could
feel your anguish. I heard you praying and begging for my life. I’m
sorry I called you a shitty mother.” She gave her a huge squeeze.
There was no way she could hold a grudge for long against her
mom.

“Honey, you didn’t call me shitty
mother.”

“Ok, that one might not have been to your
face,” she laughed and grabbed her phone from her purse as it
chimed.

She quickly scanned the text message.
Hey,
it’s Jared, how did things go with your mom? I didn’t want to call
in case you two were talking.
Her mother watched her closely as
a small smile came upon her face. That was really nice of him to
check up on her.
All good in the hood. Can’t stay mad at her,
she did birth me after all. Thanks for asking.
Her phone chimed
again less than a minute later.
Is there anyway Nikki and I
could stop by later to talk? She wants to meet you.

Kate let out a groan. She should’ve known he
would have an ulterior motive. Turning, she addressed her mother.
“Jared wants to bring his girlfriend over. What do you think?”

“She probably wants to ask you about the
vision. He called me late last night. He mentioned you had ended up
at his apartment close to midnight…”

Her mom’s tone of voice made it sound
completely scandalous, like she’d gone there for a booty call. Her
mom continued, “It’s nice you’re helping out with Cori. I made
Jared swear a million times to keep your name out of
everything.”

Kate nodded. “That’s good. I’ll be like the
secret weapon or something. Yeah, I imagine his girlfriend has some
questions about what I saw in my vision. I’ll see if they could
come by in a couple of hours.”

No way in hell was she going to look like a
hot mess in front of Nikki. She might even break out the push-up
bra for the visit.
Sounds epic. Be here around 3?
Jared
texted back his assent and Kate ran up the stairs to get
beautiful.

Later, Nikki and Jared arrived promptly and
Kate could hear her mother ushering them into the living room. From
her bedroom, Kate heard her mom call up to let her know they had
arrived. They both declined a drink and her mother offered them a
seat on the sofa. Although trying to keep her expression neutral,
Kate noticed how her mom practically had to stifle a laugh as she
walked down to meet them. Instead of her usual ragged everyday
loungewear, she’d thrown on her most expensive and favorite pair of
jeans. These jeans had the amazing ability to lift her butt and
make her backside look fantastic. With a sexy tank top that hugged
her curves, she was able to show off a small amount of cleavage.
Instead of wearing her hair in the usual unruly style, she took the
time to straighten it. Her eyes flicked to Jared to see if he
noticed her appearance. She smiled to herself when she observed he
was purposefully not meeting her eyes.

“Hi, you must be Nikki. I’m Kate—it’s so nice
to meet you.” She introduced herself graciously with a smile. Nikki
was as gorgeous in person as in the photos at the apartment. Her
blond hair sparkled with the hint of new highlights and her eyes
were either naturally one of the brightest blue Kate had ever seen
or were enhanced with contact lenses.

A flash of irritation passed over Nikki’s
face before she gave her a bland look. “Likewise. So, Jared says
you can help out with finding my sister?”

Kate got the impression the girl wanted to
get right to the point and get the hell out of there as soon as
possible. Sliding down on the couch, Kate took a seat next to her
mother. “I hope I can.”

“Ok, well how does this work?” Nikki asked
exasperated. She thrust her hands towards Kate. “Do you read my
palms or something?”

Kate instantly noted the derision. She seized
Nikki’s hands and contemplated them. She said dryly, “Yes, I see it
now. You will die old and alone with only twelve cats to mourn
you.”

“Katie…” Her mother sent her a warning
look.

Kate hoped one day her mother would teach her
that skill. Instant guilt with only a single glance. “I’m sorry,
really I am. You must be a wreck about your sister.” She shot a
look over to Jared who seemed to be mesmerized by the carpet. “I
promise to help anyway I can.”

Nikki gave her a baleful stare. “I hope
you’re being honest here. My sister means the world to me and my
family. Only a really
sick
person would try to take
advantage of someone in our position.”

Jared finally intervened. With a solemn
expression, he addressed them both. “Hey, look, we’re all on the
same page here. We all want to find Cori. Kate, have you seen
anything else?”

Kate sighed. “No, I’ve tried to think about
her last night before I went to sleep, but nothing. I wish I could
just close my eyes and visualize her, but it doesn’t work like
that.” She turned towards Nikki. “If it’s any comfort, I do think
she’s alive.”

“Jared told me the details of what you saw in
your dream and about the guy being all cracked out. How can you be
positive he didn’t bug out and kill her?” Nikki demanded.

It was the first sign of vulnerability Nikki
had shown. The guilt began to eat at Kate’s gut. She was really
going to have to stop trying to make moves on this girl’s
boyfriend. It was much easier to crush on a guy with a girlfriend
when she was being a harpy.

“I don’t make a connection with the dead. I
had the vision of Cori three days after she was taken, which makes
me believe she’s still alive,” Kate explained.

“Who knows if that’s better? Why would he be
keeping her? I can only imagine the twisted things he’s doing to
her,” Nikki began crying.

As Nikki covered her face with her hands and
sobbed, Jared reached over and embraced her. Kate also had the urge
to cry over the thought of Cori suffering, but forced herself not
to envision the horrible possibilities. It only made her resolve to
try as hard as possible to find the little girl. Everyone fell
silent as Jared comforted his crying girlfriend for several
moments. Kate’s mom offered her a tissue and she accepted
gratefully.

After Nikki pulled herself together, she
turned to Jared and requested that he drive her home. Kate
apologized again and assured she’d be in touch with any new
information. Her mom excused herself and headed to the backyard to
tend to her garden.

BOOK: First Visions
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ads

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