My longtime readers should know by now that I love the mini-fiction events; a glimpse into the world, a story by a beloved side character, or an introduction to never before seen action – I love it all and can never get enough.
The Rust City Book Convention is returning to the Metro Detroit area, and to help spotlight the authors attending, I’m bringing back the exclusive mini-fiction feature – Hidden Treasures. I’ve asked the #RustCity17 authors to write a story, featuring any or all of their characters as they discover a new bit of treasure – i.e. at a flea market, up in the attic, tomb-raiding, etc.
With that in mind, let’s see what hidden treasures Stacy McKitrick’s characters from Ghostly Liaison have discovered.
Hi there! Stacy McKitrick here. When Jackie first mentioned writing a short story for Literary Escapism with a Hidden Treasures theme, it got me thinking. You see… Rob, from Ghostly Liaison, has this basement full of his late parents’ stuff that he hasn’t gone through yet. And Bridget has just moved in. I bet they could find an interesting hidden treasure.
This story takes place after Ghostly Liaison, but before Ghostly Interlude, which will be available by the end of this year (yay!). Oh, and there is more to this story: a beginning and end I’m not showing here. If you want to read the whole thing, you have to sign up for my newsletter. I’m sending the whole story out after Rust City Book Con.
And how do you sign up for my newsletter so you can read the whole thing? I’m so glad you asked! Just click on this link and fill out the form. Bingo! See how easy that was?
Now here are Rob and Bridget in my version of “Hidden Treasures.”
Rob placed the dirty plates in the sink. He’d been prepared to take Bridget out for breakfast—a back-home-from-the-honeymoon celebration—but after Kate returned Barnaby, Bridget wanted to stay in and he couldn’t argue with her. He’d missed the dog, too. Good thing they had stopped at the store on the way home from the airport last night or their pickings would have been slim. Like, dog food slim. He shuddered at the thought.
Instead, she was able to make waffles. Man, he could eat her waffles every morning.
Bridget wrapped her arms around him from behind. “Is the washer in the basement? Because I should probably get the laundry started.”
Laundry? Oh no. They were still on their honeymoon and Barnaby’s arrival had interrupted their morning fun. Fun they’d been having every morning since they’d gotten married. Rob didn’t want to break that record any time soon. He turned around and kissed her. “It’s upstairs. Next to the hall bathroom. Why don’t I take you upstairs and show you?”
And if they happened to end up in the bedroom, all the better.
She might have laughed, but desire shone in her pretty blue eyes. “I get the feeling if you go upstairs with me, I’ll never get the laundry started.”
“Who needs clean clothes?”
“I do.” She pulled away and headed for the stairs, but stopped at the basement door. “If the washer and dryer are upstairs, what’s in the basement?”
More stuff than he wanted to deal with right now. “The furnace, hot water heater, sump pump.”
“Very funny.” She turned around and opened the basement door.
“What are you doing?”
“Going to the basement. To explore.”
“But your laundry—” Before he could finish, she disappeared down the stairs. Barnaby followed. Damn it. If he didn’t go down there now, she’d think something was up. Hell, once she got a look at the mess, she’d wonder. Slowly, he descended the stairs.
“Wow. What is all this?” She pointed to the stacks of boxes lining two of the walls.
Rob shrugged. “Stuff.”
“Can you be a little more specific?”
“Why not? Don’t you trust me?”
“It’s not that. It’s just…not…mine.”
“Not…” She spun around the room, getting a better look. “Oh. You haven’t gone through your folks’ stuff yet.” It wasn’t a question because clearly, she got it.
“Never saw a need.”
“Then how’d it get all boxed up? Charlie?”
“No. Not Charlie. Nick did some of it. And…Carl.”
He couldn’t blame her for snarling. It was hard to say the man’s name without feeling ill. “Remember, I didn’t know he was a murdering embezzler. He knew I’d eventually want to go through their stuff, though, so he and Nick boxed it up and stored it down here. Not even Charlie was interested at the time.”
“So everything down here…”
“Was theirs. I guess it’s time I went through it, huh?” Actually, it was long past time. This was Bridget’s home now. She didn’t need his lack of initiative to keep her from claiming it.
“How about we do it together? After I get the laundry started?” She bent down and ruffled Barnaby’s head. “How does that sound, boy?”
He barked his approval.
Bridget looked up at Rob. “And you?”
To not have to go through the boxes alone was a dream. Words were caught in his throat and he could only nod. He didn’t think he could love her more than he did at that moment.
“Okay, then. It’s all settled. Now, don’t start without me.” She turned toward the stairs just as Barnaby wrapped around her legs. As she fell back, she reached out and planted her hand against a stack of boxes, causing them to teeter.
“Careful!” Rob pulled Bridget to safety as the top box just missed her head. It landed with a soft thump.
“That was a close one,” she said.
Too close for him. He bent over and righted the box. Written on the side in his mother’s hand were the words FOR FIRST GRANDCHILD. What the hell? He opened the box. It was stuffed with several knitted baby outfits, blankets, booties, and bibs. All those knitting projects he’d seen her working on weren’t for a friend after all.
Good thing he hadn’t gone through his parents’ stuff until now. He couldn’t imagine how torn up he’d be at the sight of all this.
“Were you involved with someone I don’t know about?” she asked.
He laughed at the absurd question. There hadn’t been anyone serious until her so Mom couldn’t have possibly made them for him. “Actually, I think these were meant for Charlie and Nick. Mom must have been…hopeful. What do you think we should do with them?”
“What do you mean? She wanted them for her grandchildren. You do want kids eventually, don’t you?”
“Well, yeah. I wouldn’t mind us having a whole brood.”
She hugged him around the neck and pulled him down for a kiss. “You sure know how to make this girl happy. I hated being an only child.”
“What are you saying? That you want to start now?” He held his breath a beat. He wouldn’t mind forgetting birth control, but she wasn’t the spontaneous type and he couldn’t imagine she’d come to this conclusion without thinking about it. A lot.
“Oh no. I kind of want you all to myself for a little while.”
“Mmmm… I like that idea.”
“Yeah, sometimes I can get a good one, huh? We should get a better box for these. Don’t want them to get ruined.” She pulled out a green and yellow striped baby blanket. “Oh wow, this is so soft. And pretty. Nice to know we already have presents from your mom when we finally do start our family.”
There was something he never thought he’d see again. Presents from Mom. All this time her little treasures were hidden down here. Going through the rest of the boxes didn’t seem like such a chore anymore. Maybe he’d find some more treasures. Maybe not. Whatever he might find, at least he knew he could survive the search. Heck, he might even enjoy it. All thanks to Bridget. And their future family.
Meet Stacy McKitrick!
Stacy McKitrick fell in love with paranormal romance, decided to write her own and found her passion in life. She used to work in accounting, now she spends her time with vampires, ghosts, and aliens. Born in California, she currently resides in Ohio with her husband. They have two grown children.
Want to purchase Stacy’s novels?
Bitten By Love
Don’t miss your chance to meet some amazing authors at Rust City Book Con next August! Come join us as we celebrate the authors who write the stories we love to read in the Motor City! Early-bird registration is open until 11:59pm EST on 3/31/2017!