Categories > Books > Mediator, The > The Crystal of Life

Building the Mystery

by CerasiJ 0 reviews

A teenage boy and his best friend have been murdered, but what does that have to do with Jesse?

Category: Mediator, The - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst, Drama, Romance - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2006-02-13 - Updated: 2006-02-13 - 5211 words

Title: The Crystal of Life: Building the Mystery
Chapter: 2/5
Series: The Crystal of Life
Author: Cerasi J.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: A teenage boy and his best friend have been murdered, but what does that have to do with Jesse?
Disclaimer: I disclaim NOTHING, Jenny Carroll!! It was YOU who forced me to write this fanfic because I'm in Mediator withdrawl because YOU won't finish the fifth book!! ... Okay, okay, fine. Suze, Jesse, and everyone else from the books belong to Jenny Carroll. ::Grumbles::


You live in a church,
Where you sleep with voodoo dolls
And you won't give up the search
For the Ghost in the halls.

-Sarah McLachlan, Building a Mystery


Dessa O'Connor admired herself in the bathroom mirror. She leaned close to the glass to get a good look at her eyes, then leaned back, and forward again.

The mirror she was looking into took up an entire wall in her large bathroom, and was framed in 14 karat gold. In the mirror, Dessa glanced at her counterpart, Jade, who was typing madly at her computer.

To any normal person who entered Dessa's bedroom, they would have said she was obsessive with things. To those who knew her, knew she wasn't obsessed, she was a collector.

She collected everything she could think of, when she was a little girl, it was Barbie dolls. Her parents traveled all over the world just to find a certain kind of Barbie.

When she went to school she began to collect other things, living things, friends.

She was the most popular girl in grade school; she had the most money, the most parties, and the most friends.

When she went to middle school it only got worse, she had even more friends, but she was beginning to collect other things, like pets, she had seven cats, five dogs, two hamsters and one genuine Colorado Prairie Dog.

High school took the cake. Prom queen, Homecoming queen and Student of the Year at RLS for two years running, Dessa had so many friends she didn't know what to do with them.

And she only wanted more.

"Dessa, how long are you gonna spend in there?"

Tossing her pretty hair over her shoulder and primping for a moment longer, she stepped back into her bedroom. Dessa's bedroom walls were covered with posters of rock stars-another one of her collections.

Jade Stone, the raven haired, violet-eyed genius of the two, sat in front of Dessa's top-of-the-line laptop computer. "Where the hell have you been?" Jade asked while she typed. "None of your business," Dessa snapped, "Did you find it?"

Jade shrugged and spun the chair she was sitting in around to face Dessa, "I hacked into the Mission Academy's records, like you asked." She added the last part bitterly. Mentally, Jade fumed. She hated doing work for Dessa; she didn't want any part of her dirty work. But, Jade supposed, it kept her heart beating.

Jade went silent and Dessa made an annoyed motion with her hands, "And?" Swinging around to face the computer again, Jade rested her combat-clad boots on Dessa's expensive desk, something that annoyed Dessa from time to time.

"The girl's name is Susannah Simon, just moved here from the Big Apple." Jade shut her mouth, if Dae wanted any more information, she'd have to get it herself. Dessa wrinkled her nose in dislike, "Susannah? What kind of name is that?"

Jade shrugged again, "Beats me."

"What about the guy?" Dessa practically drooled.

"A one Hector de Silva, dead of course, someone ran a big article on him in today's paper." Shooing a large orange cat out of a very big, also very expensive chair, Dessa sat down and raised her eyebrows, "What about him?"

Jade didn't tear her eyes away from the computer screen, "Hector de Silva was the son of a very rich ranching family way back in 1850 or so, around the time of the Gold Rush. He was murdered by his evil cousin, Maria, just so she could marry some old dude named Diego."

Dessa pouted, "Aw, the poor thing. Why did he say his name was Jesse then?"

Jade again shrugged, looking annoyed. "How should I know? I didn't know the guy. The only reason I knew it was him was because they have a picture of him in the History section of Carmel's website."

Dessa blinked at her friend, "You do this for fun/? Looking /up stuff? What ever happened to hanging out on the beach?"

Jade shot her a sidelong glance, and said sarcastically, "I don't hang around with cheerleaders, its against my religion to support organized crime." This caused Dessa to let out a sharp bark of laughter; she obviously didn't get it.

Unable to contain her excitement any longer, Dessa stood up on the chair and began to jump on it like a little girl, "So can I call him? Please?"

Jade frowned and watched Dessa jump up and down in the chair, "I dunno... that girl... Susannah, she knows something we don't. I just have a feeling about that."

Dessa rolled her eyes and jumped out of the chair, she landed on her feet with a muffled thump. "Oh c'mon, don't be such a baby, I don't care about your 'feelings'."

Turning her back to Jade, Dessa looked out the window, sighed happily, and closed her eyes.

All the while Jade was frowning, "This is going to get you killed someday, you know that, don't you?" Dessa's expression turned stormy for a moment, she went back to the task at hand. Ignoring Jade's comment she continued to smile as she thought of the young man she'd met today. Without warning, the cats hanging around in Dessa's room suddenly went running for the door.

Jade watched them, her face expressionless. "Dessa," she whispered, staring, "He's here." It always scared her when Dessa did this, it wasn't right.

Dessa opened her eyes and saw him standing in front of her, "Hi!" she said with a perky grin. The young man was obviously startled; "Who are you?" He asked.

Still grinning, Dessa stepped closer to him, "You remember me, right? We met on the corner today... before your friend so rudely ended our conversation."

Jesse blinked, "I remember you, yes, but what am I doing here?" Dessa, still, grinning, said, "Oh, you'll see."

She took the necklace off her neck and took another step closer to Jesse.

Jade shut her eyes.


When I opened my eyes, my first thought was: Where the hell is Jesse? I mean, he had been gone for three flippin' days, when was he coming back? I kinda wanted him to kiss me again. Isn't that selfish of me?

Not that I would admit that to him, mind you.

That's when I realized it was the middle of the night. Huh. I never woke myself up, usually some way-ward spirit did. I sat there blinking in the bright moonlight, wondering where Jesse was.

Well, I pondered, maybe he was just embarrassed, you know, for kissing me and all. Or maybe he knew he was falling madly in love with me and he had to stay away for fear he'd do something unthinkable. Like sweep me into his arms, kiss me passionately, and call me querida.

Yeah, right. That'd be the day.

I got out of bed and walked over to the window, kinda sad that Jesse hadn't been around. I mean, I just risked my life to go and bring him back from limbo or whatever, and he can't even drop into say hi sometime?

Men, I tell you, you can't live with them and you can't kill them. Well. Mostly because Jesse is already dead, but you know what I mean.

As I was staring out the window, standing there in my The X Generation: Trust No One t-shirt and Bugs Bunny boxer shorts, (okay, these I stole from Doc because I thought they were cute, so sue me), watching the ocean reflect the moonlight I was thinking about Jesse kissing me. (Again.)

I couldn't help but wondering... I mean, he had a million chances to do it before, why then? Was it because I risked my life to save his soul and he finally realized he couldn't live without me and I was his one true love? Or was he just trying to say thank you?

Argh! Argh! Men, I swear to God! It's amazing anyone ever gets married with the way men act!

As I was lamenting the fact that the love of my life had to be dead, a figure appeared on the other side of the room. I figured I already knew who it was, so I didn't even turn around, since I was kinda mad at him.

"Oh, sure," I said, sarcastically, "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, is that it, Jesse?" Ooh, I'd be regretting that one later, that was for sure.

The figure standing beside my daybed cleared his throat, "Uh, miss? I hate to-..." I spun around, very surprised when it wasn't Jesse standing there. I gaped at him.

The guy was about my age, dead of course; he had plain brown hair, green eyes and a medium build. He was sorta hot, I guess, but not as hot as Jesse.

"Yes?" I managed to stutter. He cleared his throat again, "Um, well, see... they-he-the, uh, gatekeeper, said I should find a Mediator."

Oh! Russell Crowe referred me, I'm so popular!

I said, in way that Jesse would have been proud of, "Okay, what's your name?" Ha! I remembered that time! Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it, de Silva! Mentally, I stuck my tongue out at Jesse.

The guy cleared his throat again, "Um, my name is Noah Logan."

I filed his name away in the back of my mind for future reference. I sat down on my window seat, "Okay, Noah, what can I do for you?" See? See? Am I really that bad of a Mediator?

"Well," Noah said nervously, he played with the hem of his gray t-shirt, "See, there's this girl...and-... well, I need you to tell someone something..."

Oh God, I hate these cases. Guy-loves-girl-but-couldn't-tell-her-and-now-he's gone-and-he-gets-the-mediator-to-do-it. Those? Yeah, I hated those kind of cases.

I heaved a sigh, "Look, what's her name, and what do you want me to tell her?"

He blinked at me, "Her name is Dae, and you can tell her she's a freakin' dog, but that's not what I'm here for."

It was my turn to blink, he didn't say actually say freakin', and he didn't say dog, if you know what I mean.

"Well," I said, recovering from my slight shock at the use of his language, "What are you here for?" Noah sat down on my daybed; "I'm here because my best friend and I were murdered."

Ooh, a scandal... So I went, "Uh huh?" He looked at his hands in his lap, "Yeah... you see, there's this girl, her name is Dae, and-... this is gonna sound out there, but I think she's a mind controller. I mean, she can tell people what to think."

Okay, this was a new one. Ghosts, no problem, I can handle 'em. Vampires, I do okay at... but a mind controller? I mean, c'mon, before these people come to me, do any of them even stop to consider my personal safety?

He then went on to explain to me that his best friend Josh Alma had been dating this girl Dae, and she was really weird, and he told Josh that this girl wasn't good for him, and he and Josh got into a fight.

He didn't talk to Josh for a week; then Josh turned up dead. The creepy thing is, Noah said, a week or so before Josh died his eyes had been empty, not full of sprit and life like they always had been.

Okay, this is waaaaayyyy too Stephen King for me.

He went on to say that he did some digging into Dae's past, but found nothing. Somehow she found out about it, and a few days later the brakes on his car didn't work and he got ran over by a semi truck on his way back from Josh's wake.

Whoa. Big time bummer for Mr. Logan.

I was starting to nod off as he told me, not because he was boring me, but because working the past three days and staying up late so I wouldn't miss Jesse had caught up to me.

You're probably wondering why I didn't just call him, right? Well, I was going to-I wanted to-but I was thinking, well, if he's all embarrassed about kissing me and stuff, I'll just give him his space, so I did. That's why I didn't call him.

Anyway, all Noah wanted was to make sure that this girl Dae didn't get away with her crimes, then he could rest in peace with his best friend.

And all I wanted was for Jesse to kiss me again, was that so much to ask? I'd settle for a peck on the cheek kinda kiss... I really would... oh; Noah's talking again.

"So, you'll find her? And turn her in?" He asked, peering at me eagerly. I yawned and waved a hand, "Uh huh, damn right I'll catch her, she sounds like one mean, uh, girl." Like I care about your dead friend and his psycho ex! Where the hell was Jesse???

Noah sighed, a smile forming on his lips, "Oh, thank you... thank you so much, uh, what was your name?" Name? Was he talking to me again? Oh God, why couldn't he just go away? I just wanted Jesse to come back so I could gloat about remembering to get the guy's name!

"Susannah Simon, you can call me Suze," I said, really starting to wonder about Jesse. I mean, was he like, okay, I have kissed a nice girl, I can move on in peace or whatever? Wait. Did Jesse ever kiss Maria? ...If he did, that kinda means... in a really roundabout way... I kissed Maria.

Um, okay, ew.

Noah smiled again; he had a nice smile, but not as nice as... "Oh, okay, thank you then, Suze." I sighed. "It's not problem, I'll get on it right away."

With another smile and a thanks to me, Noah finally-finally-disappeared. I slumped back against the window seat and yawned again.

I closed my eyes, I should probably go back to bed pretty soon, or I'll fall asleep in the window seat. Oh, but it was so comfortable right there... and ocean was so pretty... and the air smelled so nice...

I could feel myself starting to drift off, I mean, I know I should have probably gone downstairs and gotten a phone book so I could find this Dae person, but c'mon, it was two a.m.

The sound of the ocean through the open window is what I think did me in, I mean, it kinda rocked me to sleep, you know? I don't know how long I was asleep, but it was long enough for me to dream.

I dreamed that Tad Beaumont moved back to Carmel, and wanted me to marry him. Seriously. Well, the dream was so weird, it woke me up again. I opened my eyes and blinked. It was cold, the morning fog had rolled in, even though it was only like 3:30 a.m. according to my alarm clock. And the first thing I saw when I woke up was the ocean, and I was all, "What the hell?"

For some reason I thought I was in my bed, I dunno why, have you ever been really sleepy and think, Oh, I want a drink of water, and you think you get up with every intention of getting that water, but you're so tired you actually dreamed you got up I think that's what happened to me.

I blinked again and moved to get off the window seat, as I did, I noticed someone peering down at me intently, "Susannah?"

Okay, I admit it; I kinda freaked out and screamed. Well, c'mon! If you woke up from a really weird dream about some guy wanting to marry you and someone is just there, standing over you, looking all hot and sexy and manly, you'd scream too!

I clutched my chest because my heart was beating so fast, "Jesse!" I hissed, "Where have you been?" I hope I didn't sound too desperate. He stared down at me, a grin quirking at the corners of his mouth, "You were expecting me, Susannah?"

Oh, God. Now how do I get outta this one? "Well... you just haven't been around for a few days, I thought you were avoiding me." There, honest enough. Jesse sat down beside me on the seat and shrugged, "I wasn't avoiding you, Susannah, I just-..." He paused, "...-needed some time to think."

I was too tired to ask him, "Thinking about what?" so I let it lie, I mean, even dead guys gotta think, right? I yawned and nodded, "Yeah, okay, whatever." I stood up and crawled back into bed. I was pretty sure I didn't dream it that time.

Jesse got up, too, and stood at the end of my bed.

He looked like he was about to say something. What could something be? "Suze, I love you, run away with me?" And then he'd sweep me into his arms and call me /querida/? Instead, he just smiled and said, "Goodnight, Susannah." And disappeared.

My last thought before drifting off was, If he wasn't already dead, I'd kill him a second time...


When I woke up, my first thought was, Is Jesse ever going to kiss me again? Seriously. Why am I so pathetic?

I yawned and stretched, what time was it? And why was I so tired? Oh. Yeah. That Noah kid... and that girl Dare? No, Dae. What was his problem again?

Oh yeah, he was murdered. Poor guy. Kinda like...

"Suzie?" My mother poked her head in my room, "You awake?"

No, Mom. I'm sitting here with my eyes open, yawning. I must be sleepwalking. Duh.

"Yeah," I said, "I'm awake. What's up?"

"Oh," she said cheerfully, "we were just wondering how you were feeling... any better?"

Feeling better? What did she mean? Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the ghost of Felix Diego pushed me off the roof and almost killed me. That must be what she meant.

"Oh..." I paused, "Pretty good actually, can I go to the beach?"

Mom frowned, "Well, honey, I don't know, I'd still like it if you got that bruise checked out..."

"Mom," I said quickly, pushing back the bed covers and padding over to her, "Seriously, I'm fine. Really, I banged my head on one of the cupboard doors in my bathroom. I was running myself a bath, I leaned over to grab the bar of soap, and smacked my head."

My mother seemed to buy this, "Oh! Well, why didn't you say that before? It looked to me like you fell out of a watchtower or something." She laughed.

"Ha ha," I said, I wasn't amused. "Well, I think I'll get dressed-..."

"Oh Suzie," Mom interrupted, "Put on something... nice, okay? We're all going out to breakfast to celebrate David coming back from camp."

Oh great. Why me? It seems that I have all the bad luck in the world. Like I was born on a Friday, broke a mirror, walked under a ladder, and a stupid black cat crossed my path. All on the same day!

"Okay," I said, glumly. "I'll be right down."

Mom fussed over me a minute longer, then went downstairs. I turned toward my closet doors, what to wear to today? I reached to open the door when I heard, "Um, excuse me?"

I whirled around and was face to face with Dr. Clive Clemmings, Ph.D.

"Oh my God," I exclaimed, "You again?"

He blinked his frog-like eyes at me, "Apparently so, Ms., er, Ackerman."

"It's Simon," I snapped at him. Okay, you know what I really wanted? I mean more than anything in the whole world at that point?

I'll tell you what I want. I want to take a day, go to a spa, have my hair done, get a massage by some hot Swedish dude named Hans, and sit in one of those mud baths with something hot and fruity to drink. That is what I want. You know, hang with the living for a while, reaffirm life and all that good stuff.

Maybe I should take Cee Cee, too. Too bad Gina couldn't come.

"Simon?" Clive echoed, "I thought your name was Susan."

"Why can't you people ever get it right? It's Susannah Simon. Suze for short. Simon is my last name, Andy Ackerman is my stepdad."

"Oh, I see," Clive said. "And is your-..." Before he could finish his sentence I heard another voice, "Susannah?"

I turned around and thought, I want a full day's massage, at Pebble Beach, maybe they could give me a discount because I work there... it would be well worth it.

"Ah," I said sarcastically, "Jesse, hello. Clive, meet Jesse, Jesse meet Dr. Clive."

I threw open the closet doors, grabbed whatever I laid my hands on, which was a white J. Crew sundress, and stalked off in the direction of my bathroom.

Okay, I admit it, I was mad. Well, wouldn't you be mad, too? I mean, I had been awakened at two in the morning by some guy looking for revenge on his best friend's ex girlfriend, I fell asleep on my window seat, (not to mention that now I have a stiff neck because of it), made a fool of myself in front of Jesse, had a run-in with Dr. Clive, and now I have to go out to eat to welcome David home.

I showered, brushed my teeth and did my hair. When I peeked out of the door, both ghosts where gone. I sighed in relief, it's not that I didn't like Clive, no, I liked him because he gave me a lot of info on Jesse, it's just that I was so fed up with mediating and anything to do with the undead.

I snuck towards my closet, grabbed a pair of Montego Bay Club sandals, "Susannah, what's the matter?" I turned around and there stood Jesse, leaning against my bedpost looking all hot and manly. Again. "Oh," I said quietly, "Hi."

"Good morning," he said. Sometimes it drove me crazy how polite he was to me. "What happened to Dr. Clive?" I asked as I slipped my sandals on. Jesse shrugged, "He left."

Oh. That was it then, he left. And all I have to say is good riddance. I don't want to sound like a twerp here, but I am really tired of dead people. I mean, first I save the guy I love from certain doom, and then almost get killed by his murderous ex-girlfriend.

Then he treats me as if I don't exist. Well, he did he kiss me. But he acts like it never happened at all. Don't I mean more to him than that? Even a little bit more?

I nodded and crossed the room, my back to Jesse. Fine, two can play at that game. I picked up my French-style telephone and dialed the number for the Pebble Beach Resort.

After a few minutes I explained to the woman on the line that I worked there and my girlfriend and I needed a day at the spa.

She was very sympathetic to my plight and she gave me a great deal. $250.00 for me and Cee Cee to spend a day at the spa! I booked it; I couldn't pass a deal like that. I turned to leave again, without saying another word to Jesse. "Susannah, what's the matter?" He asked again. Now I kinda felt bad for being mean to Dr. Clive, I mean it wasn't his fault he died... it was Jesse's evil ex.

", it's nothing, listen Jesse, sorry I was mean before, but I'm in kind of a hurry, I have to go out to eat to celebrate David getting home-... and Mom is probably getting upset by now, so, um, yeah..." I picked up my purse, aware that I was babbling, "Seeya soon, I guess."

I started to cross the room, but Jesse's voice stopped me again, "Susannah, are you upset with something I did?" I whirled around, confused, "Mad? At you? No, Jesse, why would I be?"

He looked at his feet, "Well..."

Then it dawned on me, "You think I'm mad at you because you kissed me?"

Much to my surprise, Jesse shrugged shyly and continued staring at his feet. I couldn't help but smile, I mean, he was totally cute. And for some reason his sudden shyness put me in a better mood. "No, Jesse, I'm not mad at you at all, but listen, could we talk about this later? I really have to go now."

Jesse nodded again; he looked really cute, smiling all shyly like that... "Okay Susannah, I'll be here." I smiled back, "I lo-..." Oh my God! I almost said it! AGAIN! "Um," I amended, "I'll see you later."

I turned and bolted for the stairs. I can't believe I just did that... I almost told Jesse I loved him... it just kind of slipped out...

Why me?


"Mmm... Suze, you sure know how to spend an afternoon," Cee Cee said dreamily from her massage table. I could barely hear her, I was in total ecstasy. I felt all sleepy from my massage, so my answer was slurred, "Yeah, I guess I do."

"Ricardo," Cee Cee said, Ricardo was the name of her masseuse, "Could you go a little lower, please?"

Ricardo replied, "Si." It was apparent Ricardo didn't speak much English. I sighed, so far today I had had my hair cut and styled, (it was about three inches shorter and now rested nicely on my shoulders,) I had a manicure, a pedicure, a mud bath and now a massage.

It had relaxed me nicely and I looked much better, but I kept thinking, What did I do to Jesse? After I got back from breakfast yesterday, he wasn't there, but Dr. Clive was. So I had to help Dr. Clive.

And I hadn't seen Jesse after that. And to be honest, I was kinda starting to worry.

Cee Cee's voice interrupted my depressing thoughts, "Suze, we have got to do this more often."

"Only if you're buying next time," I replied, wishing it were Jesse giving me the massage. I felt blood rushing to my cheeks at that thought.

I shoved that nice mental image out of my head and thought, instead, of Noah Logan and his girl problem. "Hey Cee Cee," I asked, getting a sudden idea, "Do you know anyone named Dessa?"

"Dessa?" Cee Cee echoed, turning her head to look at me, "I've heard of her, yeah, what about her?"

"Who is she?"

"Only the richest girl in Carmel, that's all."

A sudden thought occurred to me, could she be the weirdo I met on the street corner the other day? And could she have something to do with Jesse being gone? "Hey, her last name wouldn't happen to be O'Connor, would it?"

"Yeah! That's the girl, her parents own like half of Atlantic Airlines or something, and they are LOADED. She goes to RLS, she was Homecoming queen two years in a row. Why?"

I hate this part, because I really hate to lie to Cee Cee, "Um, I just wondered, I read something about her in the paper the other day, and I just wondered if you knew her," I said, suddenly feeling depressed.

Was Jesse cheating on me?


When I got home I found Jesse sitting on my daybed, reading Tom Clancy's /Net Force/. "Hi," I said. I flopped down onto my bed; my body still tingled from the mud bath and massage.

I took a deep breath and sighed happily. I toed off my shoes and snuggled into my bed, mmm... Mom must have washed my blanket today, because it smelled Downy fresh.

"Where have you been?" Jesse asked me as he stood up. I closed my eyes and replied, "The spa."

"The what?"

"Never mind."

"Well, wherever you went, you look a lot better, you don't look as pale."

I sat up and yawned, "Thanks!" Well, at least Jesse had noticed that I didn't look well, that was always a plus in my book.

"Susannah," Jesse said, his tone held a hint of surprise-and something else... anger? "What happened to your hair?"

I looked into the mirror, what was wrong with it? "Oh, I had it cut... and they added some blonde highlights, do you like it?" Like he would care, anyway.

"Why?" he asked.

"Why what?" I turned to him, puzzled.

"Why did you cut your hair? I liked it the way it was before." Jesse reached out and ran his fingers through the few stands that rested on my shoulder.

This surprised me because it was very un-Jesse-like that he would comment on how good I looked and the new length of my hair. He must have read the surprise in my face; since he pulled his fingers back and said, "Sorry."

"Um," I stood up, "That's okay... I'm just, um... going to go brush my teeth... uh, and stuff... so goodnight!"

Jesse stood up, too. "Goodnight, Suze." Then he disappeared. I could only stare at the spot where he had just been standing. Suze? /Suze? Jesse called me //Suze/?

And he asked about my hair? This was kind of starting to scare me... I turned and went into my bathroom. Whoever ran his fingers through my hair wasn't the Jesse de Silva I knew and loved. That I was sure of.


On the other side of town Dessa O'Connor let herself into her bedroom carrying a pizza box and an armload of shopping bags.

She dropped the bags on her bed and opened the pizza box. "Where have you been?" asked a voice from the shadows.

Startled, Dae spun around, prepared to fight. She settled when she saw the figure in the corner. She breathed a sigh of relief as Jesse-now wearing a pair of Levi's and a blue knit shirt-stood up and walked over to her. I missed you, Dessa thought.

"I missed you," Jesse said, draping an arm around her shoulders and pulling her closer to him.

"Mm, I missed you, too, Jesse," Dessa replied, snuggling into his embrace.

Tell me you love me, Dessa commanded. Jesse leaned close to her and brushed the long, blonde hair away from her chocolate eyes, "I love you," he whispered in her ear.

Dessa smiled, "I love you, too, my dear." Now kiss me. Smiling, Jesse bent down and kissed her slowly.

Locked in a corner of his mind, Jesse fought to escape. He screamed and pounded on the mental walls that held him prisoner.

Across the room, Jade Stone watched the couple kiss, undetected in her spirit form.

To Be Continued...
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