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"Grandma Ghost" borrowed from Jimmy Buffett.
Lyrics are property of band "Isis".
Kneeling, scraping, praying
Her lips glisten
The burning noise and sting
Her jaws dripping
I switched my truck off and walked into the house; they played some weird shit on the radio these days but I caught myself humming the tune I'd just heard anyway.
Thoughts of dream Alice with eyes that would glisten as she...
"Want a beer, son?" Real life brought me swiftly out of my daydream.
"Sure Dad, I'll get it."
"Stop treating me like an old horse put out to pasture, now do you want a beer or not?" His smile belayed his words.
I watched him expertly maneuver himself around our small kitchen and retrieve two bottles and open one for himself.
All I could do was say "thanks."
I flopped down on the couch, stretched out my long legs, sighed and twisted the cap off my own bottle before taking a long satisfying pull.
Dad chuckled, "Long week, son?"
"In more ways than one, old man." I answered with a wry grin.
I sighed again; this time not in relaxation but as ever, in regret. Being in the middle of Emmett's preparations for his date with Rose just underscored my inability to make an equally romantic gesture for Alice.
"How's the Cunningham job going?" Dad, like all the old timers still referred to Alice and Emmett's house by the name of its previous owner. He liked to stay in the loop about my work and to tell the truth, without him doing the books and keeping supplies ordered, I'd be in over my head.
There hadn't been much time for us to catch up during this whirlwind week and I was happy to have a few minutes to spend with him before my shift at the Den started. I might regret a lot of things and live more in the realm of 'what if' and 'if only' than in the present but I don't regret my decision to stay and care for my father; I just wish the luck could have been a little better for both of us.
Something about what he just said was tickling the back of my mind...previous owners, Alice, the renovation...
I let my thoughts wander...
"Dad!" He twitched but calmly stated "I'm right here son."
"You mentioned the Cunninghams and it reminded me of something I meant to tell you about earlier, before Emmett decided to work me around the clock."
I can't believe I forgot about it! I couldn't wait to see the look on his face...
"I found a memory box from the twenties when I pulled up some rotten floorboards. Dad, I think I found Grandma Ghost."
I groaned in relaxation as the skilled masseuse worked on my back and Jasper responded in kind.
"How's the big case? I'm still shocked you were able to take time off to come and play." My empathetic friend is a rising star in the San Francisco District Attorney's office.
"The judge wanted a long weekend with his mistress so he scheduled a continuance until Tuesday." Jasper may be a sensitive soul but he wasn't above gossip.
"Oh do tell," I encouraged.
"Nuh huh, we're here to talk about you, not my boring case. I want to hear more about this man who has you so frazzled."
"I'm not frazzled, just...I don't know Jazz...he's special. There's just something different about this guy; he doesn't respond to the same old tricks."
"Not a chance!" I cut him off. "What are the odds that the second time I'm interested in a man for more than just a night he turns out to be gay?"
Jasper just laughed and shrugged his shoulders, earning him a little hiss of disapproval from the woman trying to massage that area.
"Besides, I already asked Leah." I said under my breath.
"He's driving me crazy!" I admitted. "He'll talk forever about a book he's read or movie he likes and he's told me all about the Quileute legends, they're so interesting, but he doesn't say a thing about himself.
Argh! It's probably just the whole mysterious, sexy enigma thing that has me so wound up but I just want to crawl inside his head and know all his secret thoughts.
Oh! And speaking of mysteries, remember I said we had to do some floor work in the office?"
"Mmm humm." was Jasper's reply but he was watching me intently.
"We found an old box under one of the boards. It was full of letters and pictures and a diary that looked like they all belonged to this French woman from the twenties and Jake nearly shit himself when he read the inscription and said it was his great-grandmother."
"What?" Jasper was fully engaged now. "Hold on a sec", he asked his masseuse.
Sitting up and making sure his towel was wrapped securely around his waist, he dangled his legs off the massage table.
"What else did he say? How did her stuff end up in your house?"
"I have no idea." I replied, my own massage now forgotten as well.
"Emmett came in all bright eyed and bushy tailed about his big date right then. I hid the box but Jake must have taken it home with him because it was gone when I went back for it later. He's so private and he seemed so freaked out by it that I didn't want to pry. Then Emmett had us busy day and night to get the place in shape for Rose and I never had a chance to talk to him in private even if I wanted to. I feel bad enough about all the gratuitous flirting and 'little outfits' since he practically admitted to being a virgin anyway..."
It was Jasper's turn to interrupt me with a snorting laugh and an incredulous look, "He said what?!"
"He didn't come right out and announce it but the implication was there.
He said he'd never been out with anyone except a group get together that included Leah back in high school."
Jasper snorted again and I rolled my eyes. "I know, the irony doesn't escape me either." Jake and I had evidently both pursued someone whose interests lay with their own gender but at least I was scarred for life because of it.
"But he hasn't dated since then and that was six years ago!" I exclaimed.
Jasper laughed again and ran a hand through his longish hair. I don't know how they let him get away with that in the courtroom.
"Let me tell you a little something about men," he said. "If I wasn't sure before, I am now. This guy likes you. He was telling you that there hasn't been anyone special in his life but he wasn't necessarily saying he'd never been laid. You said he's a private one and that's good, it just means he doesn't go bragging about his conquests, but I can assure you that any healthy red-blooded male is getting his needs met somewhere."
I considered what Jazz was saying; I wasn't sure I wanted the pressure of being with a twenty-something virgin, especially considering my past escapades, but the thought of Jake having a secret somebody wasn't a happy one either.
I must have looked a little dejected because Jasper touched my shoulder and hurried to reassure me, "You told me how busy he is and that he doesn't date locally. It seems like he spends most of his waking time with you anyway, when would he be going off to see anyone else?"
"I guess you're right." I said. "But do you really think there may be an interest?" I hated how high school I sounded but this was my best friend, he may tease but he wouldn't make fun and he wouldn't tell anyone how silly I was being.
"I really think so, honey, but you've got to show him you're interested too," he replied, "and not by parading around in your short shorts. Talk to him; ask him out. You're a smart, intelligent, modern lady. Woman up and nail him before someone else catches him!"
I shook my head and laughing, decided that Jazz just might be right.
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