On Fridays I’m sharing a chapter a week from one of my books. The first book is Souls Lost. If you wish to purchase it to read faster, you can find it at your favorite retailer. Find chapter 1 here.
Kay drove into Zoe’s driveway just after three. Zoe had sent her father out on an errand, suggesting it would be easier if the two girls talked alone. He’d agreed but with a certain amount of reluctance. She had had to agree to call him if anything happened. And then she would call Taran no matter that he and Kay were divorced and probably didn’t want to see each other.
When Zoe opened the door to Kay, she was surprised at how young the other woman looked. Zoe felt like she aging, becoming a woman, but Kay had the youthful look she’d had when she graduated high school. She looked better, in fact, having lost a few pounds, probably from working out at a fitness center. After all, she did live in a city now. Her hair was perfect, with highlights that brought out the green of her eyes. Zoe had always thought Kay’s eyes were brown, not that she was in the habit of looking into them or anything, but the green was a surprise, not something she remembered.
“You look fantastic,” Zoe said, stepping back. The boots Kay wore had heels perhaps an inch high and were caramel colored with laces up the front. Her jeans were skin tight, stone washed, and had once been pressed given the slight crease that ran down the front. Her blouse was plain cotton but in a stylish design that hugged her narrow waist and accentuated her breasts, not that she was super large in that area. In her slightly baggy jeans, slippers and t-shirt, Zoe felt frumpy.
“I finally went to school to do hair,” Kay smiled. “I loved doing hair and nails but my daddy thought I should get a degree in something. Momma thought it was a good idea, saying I could always go back to learn to do hair. I got an associates in business and then met Taran so I never followed up on that, until now.”
“Well it suits you,” Zoe said. She’d not known Kay well enough to have ever talked about dreams and ideas.
“But you think I know something about your momma?” Kay asked, walking into the entry. She looked at the family room, then at Zoe, then walked into the front room where the more formal chairs were, not that anything in the Hyer house was particularly formal. Zoe followed as if she were the guest and not Kay.
“Yeah,” Zoe said slowly.
Kay flopped down on the sofa which was pale blue with dark wood accents around the arms and the feet. It was more comfortable than it looked. Zoe took one of the club chairs she loved, which were a navy and pale blue print that flanked the sofa on either side.
“You know very well I never talked to your momma and have no way of shedding light on anything about her,” Kay said. She was looking at Zoe directly. There was something in her eyes, like she was just waiting to confess to something. Zoe just needed to ask the right questions.
“I know,” Zoe said, deciding to play this honestly.
“So what is it you want from me?”
“I saw something in the yard. When Chief Rees was here. I think he and I both saw it. It said I was in danger and I needed to bring you to town,” Zoe said.
“Momma always said there were demons and that I needed to be careful about how I consorted with them. She had me protected until she died, you know,” Kay said.
Zoe waited, not sure what to say. She wasn’t at all certain what she had seen, only that it was real and that it seemed to want to warn her.
“It said I wasn’t strong enough alone. That with me and Chief Rees we might hear it but it needed you,” Zoe continued.
“But not Taran,” Kay pressed.
Zoe shook her head. “Just that he knew you and needed to get you back here.”
Kay sighed. “And he didn’t do it, did he? He didn’t get me back here. You did.”
“It seemed easiest. He wasn’t sure you’d come if he asked.”
“I probably wouldn’t have. I was trying to leave this whole place behind, the memories from my momma and then the things with Taran, all those times we weren’t able to be who the other person needed, you know?”
Zoe nodded, watching. She did know all too well, although she and Tyler weren’t officially divorced. How hard would it be for her to return to Portland to help him? She didn’t think she could do it, although if a girlfriend, like LeAnne called, she would have. She’d probably have gone even for a casual friend, the sort she and Kay were.
“What do I need to do?” Kay asked. “It wants to talk to me. Did it say how?”
“I was in the back of the house,” Zoe said. “I think I closed my eyes and it was there. I didn’t get instructions on how you were to talk with it.”
Kay drew in a breath and stood. “I think Momma used to go to the backyard. That’s what Daddy always said, at least. Up until she lost the baby she was pregnant with before me. She almost died then.”
Zoe listened to Kay talk as they walked through the house. Kay stopped at the sliding door. Zoe held back. “I was told I shouldn’t go out in the backyard.”
“And I was told I shouldn’t consort with demons,” Kay insisted, looking at her. “I think we’re about even, don’t you?”
Zoe tried to smile although she didn’t really feel like smiling. This could be her life, but she had a feeling Kay wasn’t going to go any further if she didn’t go with her.
Kay was reaching for the slider as Zoe slid her hand into Kay’s. The other woman looked at her, sliding the door with her free hand. The warm air hit them. Zoe closed her eyes, hoped that Kay was doing the same. Together they stepped out onto the patio.
Chapter 33 will be coming next Friday. Don’t want to wait? Find the book here.