Jenny Morgan Drake and her husband, Trevor Drake, from “All This Time” Book 1 of the Style & Profile series, visits Lana Malloy, a psychic private investigator, to interview Lana for Jenny’s family magazine, Morgan Fashions. This interview will take place between books 2 & 3, GET OUT OR DIE and THE WEDDING CRASHER, from the LANA MALLOY PARANORMAL MYSTERY series and after Book 1 of the Style & Profile series—Book 2, “Before We Wed” was released June 2017.
* * * *
A Little Backstory
Trevor reluctantly accompanies Jenny on the trip to James Island, South Carolina. He agrees to go only because Jenny refuses to wait, and he doesn’t want her to go alone in her much pregnant condition.
Trevor doesn’t believe in ghosts roaming the earth, much less someone who can see and talk to them. He expects to see a rundown witch/voodoo shack in the swamp. He’s done his research and knows Lana’s fiancé, Tony Calabria is a man of means, but he figures Tony probably hides his girlfriend out in the boonies as to not scare the town folk.
On the other hand, Jenny has read all about Lana’s experiences and believes she is exactly who she claims, a private investigator for the unusual.
Lana is in the process of moving stuff into their getaway home on James Island, near Charleston, South Carolina, where they will live part-time after they’re married. She loves the house and wants to show it off.
* * * *
Lana meets them at the front door. “Hello. Jenny, Trevor, welcome to my home. Please come in? And help yourselves to the tray of iced tea and cookies here in the den. Please forgive the mess. I’m in the process of moving a few things into this house.”
“Lana, how lovely you are.” Jenny touches her belly as she wobbles inside.
Trevor stands in the doorway listening and looking around the house as if something might jump out at him.
“Thank you.” Lana says, as she leads them to the den.
“You have a lovely home. It’s exquisite and huge, but also has a homey feel. I love all the porches.” Jenny elbows Trevor playfully in the ribs. “Doesn’t she, Trevor?”
Trevor clears his throat nervously. “Yes, it’s very nice. The Weeping Willow trees along the long drive are nice.” He straightens his tie.
“Tony bought the house as a wedding present to me. He’s a sweetheart. He knows how I hate living in the city.”
Jenny asks, “But didn’t I read somewhere that you did live near the beach front in Charleston?”
“Yes. I’m transforming it into a full-time office.” She glances at Jenny’s girth. “How far along are you?” Lana asks. “Have a seat, please.” She motions them toward a sofa near the picture window.
“Oh, I’m a little over six months.” Jenny sits on the couch as Lana sits in her favorite chair opposite them. Trevor slides in beside his wife.
“If you’d like, after we finish our snacks, we can go out on the back porch for the interview. It’s shaded from the hot sun this time of day.” Lana takes a bite of her chocolate chip cookie.
“That sounds nice.” Jenny sips on her tea, already having finished off three of her own cookies.
Lana ushers them to the back porch overlooking the pool in the back yard. She turns on the porch’s ceiling fans to stir the air and guides them toward the four rocking chairs lined up across the porch.
As they get settled, Lana feels a kindship to Jenny. She senses the loss of Jenny’s mother and sister. And that her father, although still alive, had a health scare a couple of years ago.
Jenny positions her pen above her pad to take notes, but asks, “Do you mind if I record our interview?”
“Not at all.” Lana spreads her hands over her sundress to smooth out the wrinkles.
Trevor takes the small recorder from his pocket and presses the on button.
“Jenny, I hope I’m not overstepping, but I was told to tell you that your mother and sister are pleased and thrilled that you and Trevor chose to name your daughter after them. Caroline Beth Drake, isn’t it?”
Trevor almost chokes on the mouthful of tea he’d just sipped. “What!”
“Oh and Trevor, your father hopes you’ll name your son after him. It doesn’t have to be your son’s first name but a middle name would be nice.”
Jenny appears shocked. She believes that spirits are all around them, and she believes in Lana, but just to have her come out and say that was chilling. She never figured her mother and sister would contact her like this. Tears come to eyes and she pulls a tissue from her purse. “Thank you, Lana, and can you tell them I love and miss them. And tell Alfred, we’re not giving our son his first name but we may give him the name David which is Alfred’s middle name.”
Lana smiles. “You just told them.”
Both women look at Trevor who has turned three different shades of red and his eyes are watering. Lana isn’t sure if he’s crying or if it’s from where he’d choked. “How do you, or my father for that matter, know that we’re having a boy this time?”
“Trevor!” Jenny gives him her most furious expression. “Don’t start.”
“No. I’m not trying to . . . I just need to know.”
“That’s okay. Trevor, the spirits know many things that are unknown to us. They give me bits of what they know when they want me to know about it. In this case, you father wants you to know how he feels.”
“Okay. That sounds like my father. Tell him I love and miss him, please.” Trevor sniffs and wipes his nose with a handkerchief. He loosens his tie and opens the top button of his shirt.
“He can hear you, Trevor.” Lana looks at him with concern. She hopes she hasn’t said too much.
He runs both hands through his hair. “I’ve got to take a walk. Will you be okay?” he asks his wife.
Jenny touches his hand as he stands up. “Are you okay, Honey?” she asks him. Concern is evident in her voice.
“I will be, I just need to rethink everything I’ve ever believed.” He walks off the porch and around the corner of Lana’s house.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset him,” Lana says, regretting she’d let Alfred talk her into telling Trevor about his presence.
“It’s okay. His father has always been a sore subject for him. He and his mother lost him when Trevor was only ten.” Jenny searches the area to see if she can see Trevor but he’s out of sight. She picks up her pad and looks at Lana. “Shall we get on with the interview?”
“Well, Lana, you have been one busy psychic.”
“I suppose so.” Lana smiles.
“How do you do it? Do the ghosts just appear to you and help you solve whatever problem there is at the time?”
“Not exactly. Sometimes it’s hard to get them to talk and other times you can’t shut them up. An example of the latter would be my Aunt Lucy.”
Both women laughed.
“I heard that,” Lucy chimes in.
“Lucy has shown up, by the way. Go away, Lucy. I’m a bit busy here.” Lucy for once does as Lana requests and leaves without another word. “Go ahead. She’s gone.”
“I would love to have your gift, Lana. To know the things you do. To be able to help people, both the dead and the living.”
Lana clears her throat. “You mean you would like to never be alone, hearing people telling or showing you information all the time. And this information may or may not be something you can do anything about. When you least expect it, you’ve got a crisis to take care of. It doesn’t matter that you’re having a romantic dinner with your fiancé, you’re out with friends, sound asleep, or in the middle of a shopping mall. It doesn’t matter. They are demanding your attention.”
“Oh wow! I didn’t realize you’d have no control over the when.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Probably just wedding jitters. I’m very thankful for my gift, but it can be very disrupting to my life. I like being able to help people, and I love being able to talk to those I love after they’ve passed on, especially my Aunt Lucy. However, spirits can be very impatient. Their time isn’t like ours and it all seems urgent to them for some reason, particularly those who have recently passed. Those who have been gone for a while seem to be a little more tolerant.”
“I see.” Jenny wrote on her pad. “Did I hear you correctly? I think you mentioned twice about getting married.”
“Yes, Tony and I are getting married.”
“In two short months, and I’m both excited and terrified about that.” Lana smiles and takes a sip of tea.
“I know the feeling. You met my husband, Trevor.” She laughs.
“Yes. He’s adorable. I could tell right off he’s a skeptic.”
“That’s stating it lightly. Trevor doesn’t believe in much of anything that he can’t see or touch unless he’s experienced it for himself.” She glances toward the edge of the yard but Trevor still hasn’t returned. “So, why are you so nervous? Don’t you know that your marriage is meant to be? If Tony is the one for you?”
“I do but not in the way you mean. I once caught a glimpse of our lives together.” She wrings her hands together. “But lately . . . I don’t know. I’ve not been sleeping well, and I have a strange feeling that something bad is about to happen.”
“Oh, and what’s that?”
“That’s the problem. I have no idea.” Lana stands and walks to the edge of the porch, placing one hand on the railing.
Jenny leans a little forward. “But you’re psychic. I don’t understand. Don’t you know everything?”
Lana turns to face Jenny and leans against the post. “Most people don’t understand. I only get pieces of things I need to know in order to help someone else. Sometimes those pieces are hard to interpret. Every once and a while, I’ll get a premonition or see someone’s past. Sometimes it may be for no other reason than it’s something I need to know myself. But most of the time it’s to help someone else. I rarely see anything beneficial to me personally. My one vision of my life with Tony was an exception.”
Jenny writes furiously. “Oh, and can you give me an instance of a premonition you’ve had?”
“Yes. When I was about twelve, I saw my grandfather’s death before he died. He was old and I thought I was dreaming it because he’d been under the weather for the last few days, and I was scared for him. He died within the week.”
“That must’ve been terrifying for you as a child that young.”
“It was. At the time, I didn’t believe in my own gifts. And I thought perhaps God thought my dream meant I wished it. I blamed myself.” Her eyes moisten from the memory. “I see how silly that was now. At times, I feel blessed to have this gift, and yet, cursed at others.”
“Since you didn’t believe in yourself, how did you come to terms with knowing and seeing things that no one else could see or hear?”
“Aunt Lucy and my best friend, Demi, helped me.”
“Yes. Demi Lancaster.” Jenny clears her throat. “Off the record, please?”
“Sure.” Jenny turns off the recorder.
“I don’t want to get her into trouble. Her boss knows I know things, but he doesn’t want to know about spirits.”
“Demi’s a Charleston Police Detective and a godsend to me. She helps me figure things out sometimes and gets information for me when I need it if it is a life and death situation.”
“She sounds like a good friend.”
“Back on the record, now?”
Lana nods her head.
Jenny turns the recorder back on. “But how did Demi convince you to believe in your gift?”
“Well, it was after my great aunt Lucy came to see me one night right after she died. Aunt Lucy told me to embrace my gift and stop suppressing it. That suppressing it would only make things worse.”
“I see, but how did that help you?”
“It didn’t really. Aunt Lucy told me I didn’t want to know what would happen if I didn’t accept my gift. She pretty much scared me more than anything else. Not so much her words but the look on her face when she said it.”
“What did Demi do?”
Lana sat back on the edge of her chair, turning slightly to face Jenny. “After I told her about it, she held me while I cried. She patted my back and let me get it all out. Then she said, ‘Now Lana, you know what you have to do.’ And I asked, ‘What?’ and she said, ‘You know you have to do what your aunt said. I believe in you, and you have to believe in yourself.’ She said it just as plain as that.”
“I don’t understand how that helped you.”
“You have to know Demi. She doesn’t give herself freely. She’s a very guarded person. She’s also a straight shooter. She doesn’t say anything she doesn’t mean. So, if she says it, you know it to be true. Demi has always been there for me and she’s always believed in me. She believed I had the gift. Never once did she think I’d lost hold on reality.”
“That makes sense.” Jenny jotted more notes on her pad. “So, you seem a little more relaxed.”
“I am. Jenny, you’re a natural. And you’ve made me feel at ease.”
“Thank you. Now, I want to know about some of your cases. I’m impressed with everything you’ve done.” She flipped through the pad. “You helped your Aunt Lucy and her fiancé move on, after twenty years, by helping solve their murder. Can you tell me how that happened?”
“We had a little show and tell at Tony’s house. I also had plenty of help from Tony, Aunt Lucy and Tony’s grandfather, Davide. Of course, Demi helped with that also. She and a few of her friends waited while the ghosts mostly scared a confession from the group.”
“You make it sound simple.”
“Not really. We had to do a lot of research to figure out who to invite on pretense of Davide’s new will. Getting the family in one place at the same time was a huge undertaking.”
“Tony’s family, your fiancé, correct?”
“Yes.” Lana smiles at the memory of him from that morning, not wanting to leave her here alone to face the mean reporters. He could be overprotective at times.
Jenny jotted in her notebook again. “So, and then there was the angry ghost at a home near here, and you’ve done a lot of pro bono work for those living in the Charleston area.”
“Yes. Adam turned out to be not so bad. He just had some issues he had to work through.”
“You’re being modest, Lana.”
“Not really. I always have plenty of help from the spirit guides and the ghosts themselves.” Lana stands and pours herself more tea. “Would you like more, Jenny?”
“Yes. Thank you. Okay, so how did you help Adam work out his issues?”
Lana fills Jenny’s glass and places the pitcher on the table between them. “I saw into the past lives of both Adam and Sean. Sean was the father of the occupants of the house and Adam’s business partner. Adam and Sean had fought throughout history for one reason or another. When I explained it to Adam, it helped him mellow some. When I mentioned his wife, Kara, and how she’d loved the Ramsey’s children, and the promise he’d given to her on her death bed, he finally saw himself for what he was doing to them.”
“Wow! That took a lot of seeing into his life. Way back to previous lives. You did see his life, right. He didn’t offer you the information.”
“Right. He didn’t know about his past lives. I had a dream about that, and I think Kara showed me herself on her death bed.”
Jenny taps her pencil on the pad. “That sounds like a tough case.”
Lana smiled. “At the time, it was. I was also dealing with the reality that I could be possessed by a spirit if I didn’t prepare myself.”
“What? Possessed? How do you prepare for something like that?”
“A lot of prayer and focus.” Lana replied. Lana stood, picked up the pitcher of tea and her glass and carried them into the kitchen, in hopes that Jenny would take the hint that the interview was over.
Jenny followed behind her into the kitchen. “What now?”
“What do you mean?’
“Are you working on anything else, or will you soon?”
“I don’t know. Not any ghosts right now. I guess if something comes up, I will help. I do have a couple of small jobs, mostly computer work for Tony. Background checks on new employees and things like that. But for now, I’m happy just planning our wedding.”
Trevor walks into the kitchen. “Is the interview over?”
“I think it is. Thank you, Lana. It was a pleasure meeting you finally.” Jenny smiles and holds out her arms to Lana.
The two women hug.
“Yes, thank you, Lana,” Trevor says, still a little choked up. “I appreciate everything.”
Lana nods her head knowingly and holds her arms out to Trevor. He hugs her neck.
Tony walks in and Lana introduces him to the two visitors. He shakes their hands and says, “How did it go?”
“Fine,” Lana says.
“More than fine. Is she always so modest? You have an amazing fiancée, Mr. Calabria.”
“I sure do,” he says, wraps an arm around her waist and hugs her to him. He kisses the top of her forehead.
Tony and Lana walk Trevor and Jenny to the door.
In the car, driving down the long winding road, Jenny turns to Trevor and asks, “So what do you think of Lana Malloy, now?”
“As much as I hate to admit I was wrong, she’s the real deal. What do you think?”
“You heard me back there. She’s an amazing woman.”
You can find books from both series at Amazon.
ABOUT KIM COX
Kim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.
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