I'll Be Seeing You, page 1
I’ll Be Seeing You
©2015 Darlene Kuncytes
All rights reserved.
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Willow’s Indie Book Services
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of the author, except for brief quotations for reviewing purposes.
This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and characters are solely the product of the author’s imagination, and any similarity to people or places is purely coincidental.
There are so many people who I need to thank. My family both related by blood and related by love... I have gotten so much support and strength from you all, and it means the world to me. Thank you all, for being my sounding boards,, lifting me up when I needed it most…but most importantly, for being the amazing people that you are!
One can only live within the shadows for so long before the nightmare needs to be faced head on. To find that strength within yourself is to find what you have always desired…love.
Katherine Chastain nervously walked through the doors of the police station and took a deep, cleansing breath, trying hard to get her nerves under control as she once again questioned why she was even here to begin with. Maybe this was all just a huge mistake. Maybe she shouldn’t have come.
The place was abuzz with the sounds of phones and shouts as she walked through the front doors, and she could feel her hands beginning to tremble as they instantly grew clammy. God, she hated police stations with a passion. They made her nervous. She grunted quietly; who in the hell was she trying to kid…she was absolutely terrified of them.
She straightened her spine and willed herself to move, walked over to the middle-aged man sitting at the first desk, and cleared her throat.
“Excuse me,” she croaked, closing her eyes a moment as she tried to control the rapid beating of her heart. Damn it! Suck it up, Katherine! You can do this! You have to. You have to at least try!
The man glanced up from his computer screen and looked her over, his eyes crinkling slightly in appreciation at what he saw, and she had the insane urge to slap him. She hated being looked at, almost as much as she hated police stations.
“Can I help you?” he asked, his voice having that rasp of a long-time smoker.
“Yes, I’m looking for a Detective McKenzie.” She tried hard to sound self-assured and strong, but realized with a sinking feeling in her gut that she sounded anything but. She squeezed her eyes shut once again and urged herself to calm down. She wasn’t that frightened little girl anymore. She wasn’t! She could do this–she was stronger than this, damn it!
“Mac? Yeah, sure,” he mumbled, quickly eyeing her up and down again before pointing toward a hallway to her left, his mouth turned up in an amused smirk that made her feel as if she were missing some private little joke. And for some reason, it made her feel dirty. “Right down the hall there, last door on the right.”
Katherine squared her shoulders and forced her feet to move, silently praying that she could keep her knees from shaking; or worse, giving out on her as they seemed to so want to do. She didn’t like crowds, and the activity going on around her was unsettling. She caught the interested glances of some of the men mulling about as she walked past, and fought hard to keep her breathing even. God, she hated to be gawked at. It made her physically ill.
She tapped on the door with Sr. Detective McKenzie stenciled on it, and heard a gruff enter being called out. Okay, Katherine…this is it. Time to man up. You can do this!
Katherine wasn’t prepared for the man sitting behind the desk. He looked up and she stopped dead in her tracks; the deep blue of his eyes nailing her to the spot as if her feet were suddenly glued there. His hair was such a dark brown that it appeared almost black, and just touched the collar of the white dress shirt that he wore. His broad shoulders and muscular arms were intimidating to say the least. The man was a solid wall of muscle and raw masculinity. His strong jaw and full lips were what dreams were made of. Oh, God. This was a mistake!
“Can I help you?” he asked, his eyes locking with hers, and she felt her heart rate accelerate to dangerous proportions, practically leaving her breathless. The man just oozed authority and strength…and danger. Yet, she didn’t feel that all too familiar panic overtaking her for some strange reason, and it was throwing everything completely off.
“Yes, I…I’m Katherine Chastain,” she whispered, feeling as if her mouth was suddenly filled with cotton batting. Oh, Lord. You have got to keep it together, Katherine, she once again reminded herself.
“How can I help you, Ms. Chastain?” he asked, motioning for her to take a seat across from where he sat. She felt her stomach flutter at his low, smoky voice as it passed his incredibly full lips. It was smooth and deep, and made her body tingle in a way that she was far from comfortable with. Her reaction to this man was something that was completely foreign to her.
“Sherriff Dunlop, he…he told me to contact you,” she croaked out in a nervous rush. “He said you were…friends.” She eased herself into the chair across from him and crossed her legs; once again praying that this all hadn’t been a horrible mistake.
* * *
Cole McKenzie watched in fascination as the beautiful brunette walked…no, scratch that he thought with a soft grunt. He watched as she freaking glided across his office and sat down; crossing legs that went on forever with the elegance of a damned dancer. He could see how nervous she was and a part of him instantly wanted nothing more than to ease it for her. Her emerald eyes caught his and he found that he was unable to tear himself away from their hypnotic beauty. He had never seen anyone with eyes that color. Christ, they were the greenest eyes that he had ever seen. Deep, rich…amazing, with just the slightest hint of gold scattered throughout. Jesus H.
“Ray Dunlop?” he questioned softly and she nodded. Cole felt those old feelings come rushing back at the mention of his friends name and swiftly pushed them away. He definitely wasn’t going to go there. “What can I do for you, Ms. Chastain?” he asked her once again, trying hard to focus on finding out just what had brought this beautiful creature into his dingy precinct.
Katherine twisted her hands in her lap as she nervously nibbled at her bottom lip, and Cole found himself unable to look away, absolutely enraptured by the sight. He had seen and been with his fair share of beautiful women – but this one…Hell! She could knock the breath right out of a man without even trying. Her lips were full, pouty, and her beautiful face; heart shaped. He gave himself a mental shake and tried to concentrate on what she was saying, but the smooth huskiness of her voice was making that damned hard. It was like warm molasses slipping past her lips.
“I…I’m being…followed,” she murmured, and he swore that he saw a shudder run across her.
“Followed? Are you sure? How do you know?” He spit the questions out at her at a dizzying speed, going right into cop mode.
“I know that this is going to sound insane…but, I can feel him.”
Ah, crap! Cole thought with a quiet groan, wanting nothing more at that moment than to choke the living shit out of Ray. That tired old bastard had sent him a damned nut case! What? Was she going to tell him next that she was the frigging Ghost Whisperer or some shit?
He ran his hands through his thick hair and tried to hide his aggravation. “You can feel him?” he repeated, trying hard to keep the cynicism from his tone – but hell, it was damned hard. He should have figured that someone this beautiful had to have something wrong with her. This type of perfection was damned near impossible to achieve.
“It’s not only that…things turn u
“And what Ms. Chastain?” he urged, feeling that sudden overwhelming urge to put her at ease once again; to comfort her. He found that he didn’t like that look of panic in her eyes, and he wanted to make it disappear. Jesus! Where in the hell had that come from? She was most likely just some nut case.
“He leaves me flowers…I mean; he leaves a flower outside my door. But, yesterday there was one left on my…bed.” She took another shaky breath and looked up at him, her eyes sparkling with moisture, and it made them shine like freaking liquid fire.
“Couldn’t it just be from a boyfriend?” he asked, although he knew that it was a damned stupid question. A boyfriend would sure as hell take credit for the flowers. Being a man, he knew you scored brownie points where you could; and he realized with a tightening of his jaw, that he had asked because he wanted to know if there was a boyfriend in the picture.
She shook her head. “I’m not seeing anyone.”
Nice to know, Cole thought, trying hard to hide the smile that wanted to curve his lips. Damn, but he was heading down a slippery slope here.
“What about an ex?”
“No. I mean I…we ended things well,” Katherine replied with difficulty as she tried to swallow the lump that was forming in her throat. How could she tell this man that she hadn’t dated in over four years, and that her last relationship ended with her finding him in bed with some random woman? One of many, she thought with a frown. Yes, she wasn’t great at the whole intimacy thing…so she really couldn’t blame him. No, Mark wasn’t her problem. They had only dated a little over six months before she caught him with some tramp in his bed. Besides, she had heard that he had moved to California over a year ago. Regardless, she thought with a frown, that was another city…another name. Another life. She had been Kasey Chambers then, and the thought of having to become someone else yet again, brought a pit to her stomach.
Cole watched her closely, his eyes narrowing slightly, knowing that she was keeping something from him. “Did you call the police when you found the flower on your bed?”
“Yes, and they came out and checked but said that they didn’t see any sign of a break in, and that there was nothing really that they could do. Not without me knowing who it is,” she responded, sounding absolutely exhausted. She had been through this before. So many years ago…so many times. She felt a chill run through her body and once again thought that this had been a mistake. He wouldn’t believe her; no one ever did. It was commonplace to her by now.
“How do you know Ray?” Cole asked suddenly, and saw her visibly pale–her body beginning to tremble. “Ms. Chastain? Do you need some water?”
Katherine nodded and Cole jumped up, grabbing a bottle from the mini-fridge. “Here,” he murmured, handing it to her, and he couldn’t help but notice how her hand shook as she reached out for it. He didn’t know what it was about this woman, but she just brought out a need in him to protect. It was instantaneous and powerful; much like a punch to the throat.
Katherine sipped the water and tried desperately to get her beating heart to calm down. She hadn’t been expecting that reaction when asked about that time. She stiffened her spine and took a deep breath.
“Thank you, Detective. I’m fine. Really.”
Cole sat back down, but this time on the edge of his desk…close to her, his eyes scanning her face. He didn’t know what in the hell it was about her, but there was a vulnerability, yet strength in her that had his nerve endings snapping and popping with awareness–like fricking pop rocks–and he felt his body responding in ways that were completely unprofessional and utterly lecherous. Easy there, big boy.
“You didn’t answer my question, Ms. Chastain,” he urged softly, trying hard not to notice how her sweet, full lips trembled ever so slightly, or how easy it would be to get lost in those amazing eyes of hers. “How do you know Ray?”
“He…he helped me out years ago,” she muttered, staring down at the bottle that she held in her hands in what seemed to be a death grip. “I had a problem similar to this back home.” Home, Katherine thought with an automatic clenching to her heart. She had been Katie Philips then. But… that girl didn’t exist anymore, she reminded herself with a firm mental shake. She was long gone, and she was Katherine now.
“This has happened before?” he asked, his surprise evident. “Do you think it’s the same person?”
She looked up at him then, her emerald eyes meeting his with resolve and just a hint of stubbornness, and damned if it didn’t impress the hell out of him.
“Depending on who you ask…no. It couldn’t be the same person,” she replied, holding his gaze. “But…I don’t believe that.”
“What aren’t you telling me, Ms. Chastain?” he whispered, his eyes going to her lips with a will of their own. And only a moment later, when she took that perfect bottom one between her teeth and nibbled on it, he thought he would freaking combust. That one unconscious gesture had him thinking and wanting things that he just had no business at all thinking.
Katherine held his gaze as she debated on whether or not she should get into it all with this man. She wasn’t even sure if he believed her or not, so why bother? Besides, it was the past, and this very well could be just some other nut.
She took a deep breath and shook her head. Hadn’t her therapist told her over and over that this was all just post-traumatic stress? She suddenly felt like a fool. But only a moment later, a shiver ran up her spine and she knew that she was only fooling herself. She had told that piece of shit therapist that she wasn’t imagining it. There were too many things that were the same. The flowers, the moved items in her house… No! She wasn’t making this up. She wasn’t! He was still out there–and he had found her again. But…didn’t he always?
“Listen, Detective McKenzie,” she said in a rush, trying hard to control the quiver in her voice. “Sherriff Dunlop told me that you might be willing to help me. That you might at least check it out for me. If you’re too busy, I understand. I do. I don’t want you to feel obligated just because you’re a friend of Ray’s, and…” she broke off, standing; wanting nothing more right then than to do what she did best– turn tail and run. She should have known better than to come here. Even Ray had sounded skeptical when she had called him this morning and asked him for help.
She turned to leave, suddenly feeling like a complete idiot. She would think of something. She would move yet again if she had to. That thought hit her like a Mack truck. She liked it here; she had begun to make a life here. She didn’t want to have to run…again.
“Thank you for your time, Detective.” She took a step to leave but his hand on her arm stopped her cold, and she felt an odd current of something hit her. So hard, that she thought her knees were finally going to give out on her. And it wasn’t the usual fear that was causing this reaction…it was something different. This man didn’t frighten her like every other man on the planet did. This reaction was completely different. Damn it! It had been a mistake coming here–but she was so tired of running. Just…so damned tired.
“Just wait a second, Miss Chastain,” Cole said softly, not about to let her just walk away. At least not yet. “Let me do some checking, all right?”
She nodded, not wanting to turn around and have to look at him. She didn’t want him to see that fear in her eyes–that humiliation. She sensed him standing up behind her, and a moment later, felt his strong, firm hands on her arms as he turned her back to face him. She felt the breath leave her body when those deep blue eyes of his met hers.
“Do you need me to take you home?” he asked, and Katherine once again swallowed the lump forming in her throat.
“No…I…have my car,” she stammered, not liking the heat running up and down her arms from the contact of his fingers on her skin. This was something that she had never experienced before – and it was scaring the he
“I can follow you home and check your place out. I mean, if it would make you feel better. Just to make sure that everything is secure and that you have the correct locks.” And so I don’t have to let you go quite yet, he silently finished.
Katherine shook her head, knowing without a doubt that there would be no trace of anything. How did you prove that your things had been moved? And her doors had been locked when she had come home. Not to mention that he didn’t need to worry about her locks–she had locks. Lots of them. They just didn’t seem to matter much – and, she wasn’t ready for him to come search, find no signs of a break in, and look at her with that look. The same way that the officer had looked at her last night. The man had been so condescending. Treating her like she was some nervous little woman who was freaking herself out and jumping at shadows because she lived all alone. How could she make anyone understand that He was very good? That, He could slip in and out, without leaving a trace whatsoever. Almost as if he was a ghost.
“I’ll be fine. Again, thank you for your time, Detective.” She tried to pull from his hold but he held fast, his eyes boring into hers with an intensity that shook her to her core. Was he trying to figure out if she was lying? A nut? He finally released her and dug into his pocket, handing her a card.
“This is my contact information,” he said, slipping it into her hand, his strong fingers brushing against hers and lingering for just one earth-shattering moment. “Keep it with you and call me if anything at all happens–no matter how insignificant it may seem. I’ll be in touch.”
Of course he would, Katherine thought with the slightest hint of disgust. As soon as he talked to Ray and found out all about her past–he’d be in touch; if for nothing more than the freak factor.
She nodded again and slipped his card into her purse, knowing that it was useless. No one would believe her. They never did. Without another word, she grabbed the doorknob and practically ran from his office….the effect that he had had on her sending her running for the hills.
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