"Sit down. "Sandra collected the cards and crystals from a table and moved them to a side counter. "Would you like some tea?"
Mike hesitated. If the guys ever saw him here... "Sure." He sat on the plush chair and watched her fill a silver tea ball with loose leaves.
Sandra put the kettle on a hot plate and joined him, smoothing the black and gold tablecloth as she sat down. "You're troubled by something. I can see it in your eyes."
Mike squirmed. Damn, why didn't I just go to Davey Jones' Bar? A few shots would stop the cough, and I could spill all to Davey about my wife having a mid-life crisis. If the guys ever found out about a psychic reading, they'd laugh me off the bar stool.
She took his hands into hers and turned them palm up. Even the gentle touch prickled his skin.
"Sad events in your past. And you need some of this." She tossed a tube of hand lotion onto the table and got up to attend to the whistling kettle.
He picked it up like it had teeth.
Sandra laughed "Shea butter. And plain black tea." She dropped the tea ball into the pot and carried it over on a tray with two cups and a jar of honey. "Tell me what's going on."
He rubbed the greasy lotion in and dared look her in the eye. "Where do I begin?
She poured, adding two teaspoons of honey before handing him a floral cup balanced on
a pink saucer. "At the beginning, of course. Though I suspect it has to do with the ghosts."
He almost dropped the tea in his lap. I could use that shot of whiskey right about now. Davey just says he understands and serves it up. No questions.
She stared at him intently, fear, maybe desperation in her eyes. “We can only talk to each other about this. Others might use any information against us.”
“Who would do that, Liz?’
Her demeanor hardened. She sat up, raised her chin. “My son. Your daughter. Sandra.”
“You’re paranoid. The kids have no inkling about ghosts. All Sandra has are theories. She doesn’t know about your incident–or my illness. And I’m not going to tell her.” Guilt twanged in his gut. Sandra had come up with all the ghostly interpretations on her own, right?
Liz jumped up. “She knows about my injury. Maybe not how it happened, but when Mae went in there to get my things, she figured out it was for me. She reads minds, or manipulates people into blabbing what they know.”
Mike lowered his voice to a whisper. “It doesn’t take much for Mae to spill information. I think you’re giving Sandra too much credit.” Yet, she did ask him about the ghosts as soon as he sat down.
“You can joke all you want, Mike, but this is serious. We can’t let anyone else in.”
“I won’t say a word about anything ghostly to anyone. As long as things stay under control.”
Liz studied him.
Mike squirmed. “I think I’m going to take a nap.” He settled back on the sofa.
She tucked the blanket around him and kissed him on the cheek. “I’ll go help Mae with dinner.”
She didn’t believe him. He didn’t trust her. This was never going to work.