Mystery of Love, Book 2
© 2017Jennifer Skully
Previously published by HQN
All books in this series are standalone, connected romances.
~ 4 stars from Romantic Times
“The perfect novel for the beach or a relaxing bath.”
~ Love Romances and More
She’s a little bit crazy, she’s a whole lot beautiful, and she just might be psychic. Or not.
Opal Smith comes from a family of psychics, and all her life, she’s wanted to be just like them. Only problem, she doesn’t have a psychic bone in her body. At least not until she has a vision of a man falling off a freeway overpass and knows she has to save him no matter the cost.
He’s tall, dark, and dynamite. The reincarnation of Dynamite Davis, that is. Or not.
Jack Davis is a man who’s had too much crazy in his life. So what’s he supposed to do when a gorgeous woman bats her baby blues and begs him to help her stop a man from jumping off an overpass? It’s bad enough that he rear-ended her when she slammed on her brakes because she’d had a “vision”. But when her grandmother claims he’s the reincarnation of racecar driver Dynamite Davis and her mother thinks she was Cleopatra in a former life—not to mention the brother who talks to dead people and the sister who reads Tarot cards? Well, there’s only so much crazy a man can take.
But what if Opal’s the real thing? And her vision is just the tip of something evil coming their way. Now all Jack’s protective instincts are sparked. And instead of a man on an overpass, Opal is the one he’s desperate to save. Whether she thinks she needs him to or not.
More in the series in order:
Drop Dead Gorgeous
It Must Be Magic
One Crazy Kiss
You Make Me Crazy
© 2017Jennifer Skully
Jack Davis fought down the air bag and scrambled from the cab of his truck. The woman he’d rammed into was already out of her sporty red mini-SUV and on her hands and knees looking beneath the vehicle.
“What are you doing?” Jack swallowed the epithet he’d been about to use. He’d learned to apply politeness regardless of the circumstances, despite the fact that she’d slammed her car to a standstill right in front of him. In the middle of the freaking freeway.
Still entranced with the underside of her car, the woman didn’t respond.
Standing in the center freeway lane, Jack surveyed the slow-moving traffic on both sides of him. For once, he could appreciate a Silicon Valley rush hour. If they’d been going faster, they wouldn’t have made it through the collision without serious injury. Christ. Jack turned to the gold Cadillac that had rear-ended him when he’d slammed on his brakes. The Caddy’s driver hadn’t moved yet, though his air bag had deflated.
Jack ran back. Squatting by the Caddy’s closed window, he shouted through the glass. “You okay?”
No answer, but at least the old man’s eyes were open, though dazed, and he’d turned his head. Jack whipped his cell phone off his belt and punched in emergency.
With the call made, he opened the door slowly. The cars in the commute lane to his left moved over to the shoulder, giving him room. He held the man back against the seat when he tried to move. “Just stay put until the ambulance gets here. They need to check you out. Feel like anything’s broken?”
The old man shook his head, but would he really know? His eyes couldn’t seem to focus on Jack’s face. At least there wasn’t any blood.
Then Jack saw the woman again, the one responsible for the accident. This time her head was under his truck, her butt in the air, short skirt barely covering her essentials. “What are you doing now?”
Stalking back, he grabbed her arm and pulled her out.
Still on her knees, she stared up at him with the bluest, most freaked-out eyes he’d ever seen.
“Didn’t you see it?”
“See what?” he asked as calmly as possible. She’d started to worry him. He looked for blood on her head, or any sign of trauma.
“The body. It fell off the overpass right in front of me. I ran over it.”
She was young, mid-twenties or so. Blond hair that curled softly over her chest, ocean-blue eyes, a healthy bloom to her cheeks, and, from his vantage point as she knelt beside his truck, nice...nice everything.
Despite being nuts.
“I didn’t see a body flying off that overpass, ma’am.” Jack struggled to retain that ingrained politeness.
She bit her lip, then looked through his legs at the Cadillac. “Maybe it’s under there.”
Jumping up, she tipped sideways on her high heels, leaning dangerously close to the commute lane. Jack reached out to grab her, but she recovered on her own and rushed around him to peer beneath the old man’s gold car.
She leaned into the open door of the Caddy. “Did you see a man fall off the overpass?”
The old man shook his head. He still hadn’t spoken, and Jack was anxious about him. The gas fumes and the noise started a pounding in his head. “You could have killed someone jamming on your brakes like that.”
She sucked in a breath. “Oh my God, I didn’t...are you all right?”
“Fine. Thanks for asking.” He didn’t point out she should have shown the concern before she crawled under his truck.
She put a hand on the old guy’s shoulder. “What about you?”
He smiled up at her blissfully. And nodded.
“I’m so sorry. But the body fell right in front of me.”
Jack closed his eyes and shook his head. “There is no body.”
She stared at him with guileless eyes. “But I saw it.”
He didn’t know why he was trying to convince her, but he walked to the front of her car, leaned down to look under it, did the same with his own truck—aw Jesus, the crushed bumper made him wince—and finally the Cadillac. Then he spread his hands. “Nothing here.”
Sirens sounded in the distance. Behind them, traffic was stacking up.
“Nothing back there, either,” he said when she looked at the stream of cars with blinkers on, trying to merge around them.
She stared back at the overpass. She’d skidded several feet beyond it. “But I saw it.”
He cocked his head. She had an odd manic look, overly bright eyes, flushed skin, like a fever, manic fever. He’d seen it on his mother enough times to know. “You have a name, ma’am?”
She stared at him for a few too many seconds, and he had the gut feeling she couldn’t remember.
“Opal,” she finally said. “Opal Smith.”
Thank God, she at least knew her own name. Nice name, too. “You have insurance, Opal?”
“Of course. It’s illegal to drive without it.” She was still staring up at the bridge, and her lips moved. Over the traffic sounds, he couldn’t make out the words.
“What’d you say?”
“It was a vision.”
He put his finger in his ear, jiggled it. “Come again?”
“I had a vision.” She lifted her shoulders and fastened her baby blues on him. “You know. A vision.A premonition.”
Oh man. She wasschizo, a malady with which he’d had far too much experience. Jack looked off down the shoulder lane next to the median where red lights flashed at least a freeway exit away. The ambulance.Or the cops. Another warm July day, but the hot exhaust fumes turned the morning into mid-August weather. He’d started sweating in his thin T-shirt. Or maybe it was the months of insurance red tape he envisioned. “Don’t tell the cops about any visions you had.”
She tipped her head to the side. “But how am I going to explain about slamming on my brakes?”
“Tell them you saw a dog.”
“Jumping from the overpass?”
Jack closed his eyes and took a really deep breath. He’d never bought the old axiom before, but what they said about blondes might be true. The beautiful ultimate proof stared him right in the face, albeit a few inches shorter than his own six-two. “No,” he enunciated slowly as if she were deaf. “You tell them it came from the side of the road.”
“We’re in the fast lane. Somebody else would have hit it.”
He knew he shouldn’t have gotten up this morning. Monday.Late for work. The boys at the site were probably sitting on their butts waiting for him to arrive. “It was in the median lane, probably got trapped out there, then made a run for it.”
“But that would be a lie.”
He could see himself repeating this story months from now over Monday Night Football at Donahoe’s, and he actually had to smile. The poor woman needed help, a lot of help. The most he could do for her now was make sure she didn’t tell the cops she’d had a vision. “Maybe there really was a dog.”
“Dogs don’t fall out of the sky.”
Neither did bodies. He’d always considered himself a patient man, but he had his limits. “Have you been drinking?”
Her pretty eyes widened with horror. “It isn’t even nine o’clock in the morning.”
“Head-start on Happy Hour?”
She eye-rolled him.
“How about drugs, then?”
She gave him a pressed-lip look. Nice red lipstick.
“If you tell the cops you had a vision, they’re going to test you for every illegal substance known to man.” Or, more likely, haul her off to the nearest psych ward. He really did not want to have to call her family to break that news since he knew exactly how it felt. “You have that much time?”
She passed a look from the now-crushed rear of her little red SUV, over his double-whammied truck, to the crumpled front of the gold Cadillac, then to the old man still sitting dazed in the front seat. “All right.A dog.” She tipped her head again. “Did you see it? Just in case they ask.”
“I didn’t see anything but your rear end.” Especially when she was peering under his truck. Now that was a vision.
* * *
“I had a vision. A real one.” Opal had waited all day for this moment, to make her spectacular revelation.
Grandma Blue’s head thunked against the scarred Formica tabletop, her fingers clutching spasmodically at the ceramic coffee cup. The last of the sun’s rays shone through the kitchen window making the fuchsia blossoms on her muumuu glow.
“Grandma Blue?” Opal had always thought of her grandmother as, well, ancient, though the older Opal got, the less ancient she seemed. Opal’s heart thumped. “Are you all right?”
Her grandmother raised her head, her eyes just a little glazed. “No, I’m not all right. I have a daughter who’s proclaimed herself ‘psychic to the stars,’ a grandson who appears on TV calling himself a medium and cavorts with dead people, and a granddaughter who gives tarot readings. And actually makes a good living at it.” Grandma Blue sighed, world-weary. “You were the only normal one.”
Opal had never considered herself normal, at least not in the context of her family.Even her father, who had died almost thirteen years ago—Opal still missed him terribly—had a spectacular gift.Blake Smith had been a world-renowned telekinetic, manipulating objects at will.Each member of her family had a special talent.Opal had been waiting all her life to find her own psychic gift.“Will you love me any less if I had an honest-to-God vision?”
“Won’t love you any less, sweetie pie, but I will be losing the only one of you I had anything in common with.”