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Avoiding love is hard, but proving a suicide was murder can be fatal.
When Rob’s sister passed away, she left him her dog and house. He can handle being a dog owner, but doesn’t need another home. Especially one the neighbor swears is haunted. Then he meets Bridget. She needs a cheap place to live and he has a house in need of repairs. He might have found the perfect way to get to know her better.
Bridget is working on getting her life together after an auto accident left her scarred in more ways than one. But it’s time to move on, starting with leaving her parent’s house...again. Broke, she can’t pass up free lodging, regardless of the shape it’s in. Or the roommate that’s part of the package. She’s never believed in ghosts, now she’s living with one.
Charlie may be dead, but she’s not gone. And she’s certainly not about to let the one person who can see her slip away. She has to prove she didn’t commit suicide before the killer decides Rob’s next.
Charlene Gentry hadn’t known what to expect upon her death. She was basically a good person, so would Heaven welcome her? Or would those commandments she’d broken condemn her to Hell? Not that she had a choice, but she’d assumed those were the only two destinations.
Certainly not 5542 Sycamore Lane.
She must be dead. How else could she explain the view of her bedroom from above her bed? She didn’t own a mirror on the ceiling, though she’d dreamed of putting one there, and the eyes of the body—her body—lying on the bed below were closed. Then there was that damn needle…
Oh God no. What had that bastard done?
She needed to get back into her body. Maybe then she’d be okay. She moved her arms as if performing the breaststroke, but remained hovering over her bed.
The front door slammed. “Charlie, it’s me.”
Robbie. Oh thank God. He’d help her. Her big brother fixed everything.
“I’m in the bedroom!” She flapped her arms like a bird, but still didn’t move anywhere. How the hell did she get down?
Barnaby barked from outside. The sliding door scraped opened. “Hey, fella. Charlie? You out here?”
“What, are you deaf? I said I was in the bedroom!” No response. What if he couldn’t hear her? What if he left before he found her body? If only she could get off the damn ceiling.
Tick, tick, tick. Barnaby’s claws skittered across the kitchen floor.
“Whatcha hurry?” Robbie asked. Soon the chocolate Lab burst through the bedroom door, Robbie close behind.
“Charlie?” His eyes widened at the sight. He rushed to her body and placed two fingers against her neck.
Thank God he’d found her. But did he get a pulse? Was she alive?
“Shit.” He pulled out his cell, punched 9-1-1, and tossed it on the bed. Ringing sounded through the speaker. After yanking out the needle, he proceeded to perform CPR on her body.
“That’s it. Resuscitate me. Bring me back, Robbie!”
“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?”
“I need an ambulance at fifty-five forty-two Sycamore Lane. Hurry! It’s my sister. I think she OD’d.”
“No, I didn’t,” Charlie said. “I swear.”
“Is she breathing?” the operator asked.
“I don’t think so. Just hurry! Come on, Charlie. Wake up!”
“You don’t know?”
“She has no pulse. I’m performing CPR.”
“Why do you suspect she OD’d?”
“Because… Oh shit.”
“She has a history of abuse, okay? And I found her with a needle up her arm. Just get the fuck over here!”
Barnaby sat in the corner and whined at Robbie.
“Someone is already on their way,” the operator said.
Robbie pumped her chest frantically. “Dammit, Charlie. Come back! Don’t leave me.”
Charlie pictured standing beside her brother and the next instant she was there. Thank God. “I haven’t left you,” she said. “Don’t you dare give up!”
Her appearance made no difference in Robbie’s actions, so she was invisible, too. Figured.
Where were the damn paramedics? They should have been here by now. She only lived a couple of blocks away from the fire station.
Robbie checked her neck again and swiped at his eyes. “Why, Charlie? Why?”
Was he crying? Giving up? “No! Keep pumping on me!” She reached out to shake him and her hands went through his body. “Holy shit.”
He continued with the CPR. “I trusted you! How could I be so stupid?”
“You’re not stupid, Robbie. It was Carl. He did this!”
Paramedics rushed into the house. About damn time. They shocked her body, but the machine didn’t beep with a heartbeat. They zapped her several more times. All with the same result.
They pronounced her dead.
Robbie fell to his knees and hugged Barnaby. His sobs wrenched her heart. But if she were really and truly dead, why did her chest hurt so much?
Oh crap. Maybe she was in hell.
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