“I already said it’s fine.”
“So…” I held my breath. “You’re not mad?”
“It would take a lot more than that to have me lose my temper.”
“And the security footage?” I asked in a small voice. “Won’t it be hard to delete them—-”
“I know people who can make it happen.” A lock of hair fell over my eye, and struck with a sudden, inexplicable impulse to brush it off, I found myself reaching towards him—-
What the hell was I doing?
Hadrian’s fingers curled around my wrist. “What do you think you’re doing?”
My jaw dropped.
His fingers were around my wrist. His touch was real. Hot. Tangible. And before I knew it, I had already covered his fingers with my other hand, and oh my God, I could still feel his touch. How was this possible?
Oops. I let go of his hand right away, and his fingers released my other hand right after. “I’m s-sorry,” I stammered. “It’s just…I’ve never…” Shit. It wasn’t like me to babble, so I took a deep breath and tried again. “I’m sorry. I tried touching other people before, and it never worked…until now.”
“I’m different,” was all he said.
Different…but not dead. There were two other women with us when we had taken the elevator to the basement parking, and even without all the flirting they did, the way they had stared at him was more than enough proof they could see him the way they couldn’t see me.
“I can see you have many questions,” he murmured, “and it’s understandable. But I’m pressed for time at the moment, so if it’s alright with you, we can talk about your case later.”
“For now, however, there’s somewhere I need to go,” he continued, “and I suppose I have no choice but to take you with me.” A frown marred his forehead, and he added almost as an afterthought, “But we can also agree to meet somewhere else—-”
Realizing that he was about to ditch me, I said quickly, “It’s fine. I’ll be happy to go with you.”
Hadrian glanced at me oddly. “You don’t even know where I’m going.”
“Anywhere’s fine.” He could be heading for Mars for all I cared, and it wouldn’t matter. Stranger danger wasn’t exactly a thing anymore when you were dead, and right now, I was just happy to have some company.
“Suit yourself.” He started the engine and asked me to put my seatbelt on.
“You’re kidding, right?”
Hadrian gave me a look that made me feel I was 3.8 years old instead of 38. It was cute, but still.
“Why would I have to—-oh.” No point protesting now, with an impatient Hadrian having already reached for my seatbelt just to get it over with. As he snapped the lock into place, the side of his arm accidentally brushed against my breast—-
I sucked my breath in surprise while Hadrian jerked away from me like the contact scalded him. Um. Okay. Did I disgust him or something?
“Sorry about that,” he said curtly.
I fluttered my lashes at him. “Please don’t.”
“In case you didn’t notice,” I said helpfully, “that was me flirting.”
His lips twitched. “I noticed.”
“Do you find it weird? A ghost flirting with you?”
His gaze dipped to my breasts, and I found myself sucking my breath for another time when his gaze lifted back to mine. “I absolutely don’t mind.” And this time, the heat in his eyes was unmistakable, and I nearly squealed in delight. Yes. Yes. Yes. Who would’ve thought I could still have a shot at dating even in the afterlife?
“You’re attracted me, too,” I declared boldly. “Aren’t you?”
His lips only curved in response, but this only added to his appeal. I had always been (secretly) attracted to men of mystery and intrigue, and Tall, Dark, and Handsome here had mysterious written all over him.
Definitely my type, but…
I cocked my head to the side as I studied him. “I think I already know the answer to this, but…” My gaze flicked to his ringless finger as I asked him point blank: “Are you married?”
“No.” His gaze narrowed. “My turn to ask questions.”
“Sure.” I was happily expecting him to start asking the same questions, but instead everything he wanted to know had to do with my demise.
But since I was dying for any kind of conversation after months of isolation…
How long have you been dead? Five months, three days, but who’s counting?
Cause of death? Ruptured brain aneurysm, but since it happened when I was asleep, I didn’t feel a thing. One day, I just woke up, and I was dead.
Did you know right away you were dead? No.
And so it went on and on, and I answered every question truthfully because, well…that’s another perk of being a ghost: there’s absolutely zero pressure to be anything but yourself.
“And you’re absolutely sure,” Hadrian asked, “there was no tunnel of light?”
“Was there supposed to be one?”
“If you’re not meant to be reborn and you’ve gained instant entry to the Isle of the Blessed…yes.”