I always assumed that death was the end. So when my life was cruelly taken away from me, I never thought I would get a second chance to say what I needed to.
But then I was given a choice, a choice that allowed me to see the people I had left behind, and I knew I had to take it.
I wanted to say a proper goodbye. I needed justice for what happened to me.
But even in death, things rarely go to plan.
I never expected to meet him. I didn’t anticipate falling in love. I hadn’t considered the repercussions of coming back. I never realized I would put another person in danger.
I didn’t know my actions were going to haunt us forever.
My name is Detective Aiden Mercer, and I think I have gone insane.
I am seeing the murder victim of my current case alive and in the flesh, and that is simply not possible.
I can see her, hear her, touch her. She’s real to me, however I know this cannot be real. Right?
But try telling my heart that, because as I grow closer to catching Thea’s killer, I also fall deeper into trouble.
Because love is rarely anything but trouble and I know this love will haunt me forever.
For the first time since I have been here, Aiden wakes up before me. Or perhaps he never went back to sleep. Either way, the first thing I see when I open my eyes is Aiden walking towards me holding a tray. He sets it down carefully on the bed before he cautiously hops back in next to me, pulling the tray to rest between us.
“You made breakfast?”
“It’s the least I can do since you’ve made me breakfast every morning. I’m not as good as you, but I do know how to make a mean toasted bacon sandwich.”
I smile at him, pick up the uncut sandwich, and take a small bite, pulling half of the crispy bacon out with me.
“Good?” he asks me nervously.
“Perfect,” I reply around my mouthful, sounding incredibly unladylike.
He gives me a true smile, and my heart suddenly squeezes in my chest. Is that not the best smile I have ever seen in my life? I desperately want to see him smile again.
He takes a huge bite out of his own sandwich, drowning it with a mouthful of hot coffee. I also decide to try the coffee he made, barely swallowing any before I spit it back out into the mug.
“What the hell is that?”
“It’s coffee, I think.”
“Did you just grab some dirt from outside and add hot water?” I don’t filter my response, realizing afterwards how harsh I sound, but he replies by laughing at my comment.
“Max used to say the same thing to me when I made him coffee. It’s not that bad.”
“Actually, it is.” I slowly put the mug down, acting like I expect it to explode at any moment, and I am thrilled when he again laughs over my antics.
Was I actually excited about his smile before? Because his laugh is so much better. Deep, hearty, and his eyes light up with his mirth.
“Why are you staring at me? Do I have mayo on my face?” As he wipes his lips, I mentally slap myself.
I shouldn’t care about his smile or his laugh. Well, not in the my heart is skipping kind of way. The most Aiden can be is my friend, and friends don’t stare longingly at each other.
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.