Unfinished Business

Chapter Two

Kaetlyn could only blink. "What?"

The boy grinned, leaned forward, and repeated, "I can see you."

She swallowed hard, trying to keep a hold on her urge to flee. Oh god. The first person who's able to see me in days turns out to be some stranger – correction, a really cute stranger – whom I've chosen to pour my heart out to for the last two hours like some blabbering idiot. So I guess I can make a fool of myself even in death. Something bubbled up inside her and she pressed her lips together when she realized that she was tempted to fall apart with hysterical laughter. I won't be picking up any more style points there. She forced herself to speak, squeaking out,"But. Why?"

He shrugged, pursing his lips as if he was deep in thought - and then he whispered in a low drawl, "I see dead people."

Cian Blake lounged indolently, resting his cheek against his right palm. An amused smile played on his lips. Throughout all his years in his line of work - hell, in all the years of his life - he didn't think that he had ever met someone this - this funny. His lips tightened in an effort to contain his laughter. He had also never seen a ghost turn so many different shades of color. Usually, they would just stick to being a boring, pasty white. This girl here was like a mood ring, rapidly shifting from a sickly green to a lovely pink to a violent red.

She continued to stare at him. Her huge doe-like brown eyes were incredibly captivating. Okay, he had to admit it; when he first noticed her standing by the door, he wasn't exactly in "job mode". More like, he was goggling at how pretty she looked with those long raven tresses and pale creamy skin that practically radiated a soft luminous glow.

Well, of course that was the point when he realized that the ethereal glow the girl projected was in no way part of some girly skin regimen product treatment. The pretty girl was a pretty ghost.

She still wasn't speaking. Must be in shock. He brushed his hand across his lips to hide his smile. "I'm Cian Blake. What's your name?"

"Kaetlyn Worthing," the girl responded numbly.

"Do you know who I am?"

She looked befuddled. "Cian Blake?"

He chuckled. "Yeah, but to be more technical, I'm Cian Blake, specialist in the matters of paranormal activities and arbitration, hence my ability to see, talk and hear you."

She flushed hotly and then furrowed her eyebrows. "Paranormal activities and . . . arbitration?"

He folded his hands and sighed. "Um, sort of . . . an exorcist?"

She gaped at him for a minute. "You're a ghostbuster?"

He blanched. "I prefer the term 'professional supernatural mediator', but yes, I'm –" He sighed reluctantly. "- a ghostbuster."

She stiffened, mouth parting and closing. "Well. Isn't that interesting?" Nodding slowly, she spoke in a calm and even tone as she tried to edge backward without drawing attention to herself. "I'm sure you must have quite a lot to do. So I guess I'll just leave you alone to do your job now –"

She tried to turn around, but in a flash, she found herself anchored down. Panic swept over her and she trembled as she turned her head back to Cian. "Yes?"

"Where are you going?" He smiled back just as pleasantly.

"I thought I should be going now. I mean, I've bothered you long enough and I – I have to meet someone -"

"Hmm, funny," he murmured. "All your friends can see ghosts too?"

There was a long deafening pause of silence.

She chose to not answer, inquiring politely instead, "Are you planning to let me go anytime soon?"

Cian's right hand was still wrapped firmly around Kaetlyn's wrist. No matter how hard she tried to pull away, his grip was infuriatingly solid.

"No," was all he said. He actually looked away from her and took a sip from his coffee cup with his other hand.

She took a deep breath and tried to calm down. She also tried to "accidentally" swipe at him. Her hand passed through his arm like vapor. Then, she tried prodding him with her foot. More vapor-like movement. She finally gave up and stood there, staring inanely at the stupid ghostbuster. Of course, he had the nerve to smirk at her.

"This isn't fair," she said calmly.

"What isn't?"

"How come you can touch me and I can't touch you?" She hissed in frustration, flailing her other arm flopping fish style.

"You want to touch me?" He nodded as if he was contemplating the matter. "Alright, but would you still respect me in the morning?"

She flushed and her hands twitched, but then again, it's not like she'll be able to hit him anyway. "You know what I mean."

His grin came lazily to his lips. "It comes with the job. Wouldn't help me a bit if I couldn't get a hold on my targets, would it?"

Kaetlyn nodded quickly. "But I'm not a target. Am I?"

Cian sent her a roguish grin. "All ghosts are, especially cute ones."

"But – but I'm a friendly ghost! You – you know - like Casper!" She stammered.

It was apparent that the 'supernatural exorcist/arbitrator/ghostbuster/whatever you call him' wasn't paying the slightest attention to her. No, he was too busy pulling out with his free hand a nice, shiny compact disk from a backpack by his feet. She narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously, "What – what are you doing?"

"How do you feel about burning?"

"What?" An image of her roasting in flickering, fiery flames like a barbequed hot dog flitted through her mind and she suddenly felt faint. "That's how you exorcist ghosts? Are you sure there isn't some nice suction thing that sends me into a separate dimension or something?" Not that she wanted to be cast off into another world, but it sure beats becoming a nice crispy, well done slab of meat.

Of course, Cian had no intention of listening to her again. Humming softly to himself, he slowly lifted up her hand and slipped the CD onto her ring finger. She blinked and raised an eyebrow in mild amusement, trying to distract herself from her anxiety. This is probably the closest I'll ever get to getting a proposal … from … someone …

She suddenly noticed that her body felt very . . . fluffy. She felt strangely weightless, ready to drift off with the next breeze. Her eyelashes fluttered and she shook her head as her vision suddenly got blurry. A searing heat enveloped her out of no where, gradually increasing in intensity until she feared that she was about to boil. And then it was over.

She stared confusedly up at Cian and frowned. That's it? Nothing had happened. Absurdly, she felt bad for the poor guy. It was getting pretty obvious he wasn't a very good exorcist. Sure, he was still smiling at her, but she knew it was only an act to cover up his embarrassment. Without thinking, she blurted out, "There, there. It's okay. I'm sure you'll do better next –"

She paused, squinting up at him. "Wait, why are you so big? And – and how did you get up there? Wasn't I standing over you? What –" She turned around and felt faint. The café was gone and she was standing on a glossy, silver surface that glimmered weirdly. A gaping hole was just a few inches away from her and she backed away nervously. Where am I? What – She suddenly peered more carefully at the lining around the hole and she walked around carefully as she read the upside down letters that were imprinted: LH3161 FK162 0087 D3. What?

She spun back around to yell up at the man who was responsible. "CIAN! WHAT IS THIS?"

He replied calmly, "I told you. You've been burned."


"Darling, you're on my CD. Now move over so I can properly label it." He held up a black sharpie marker and uncapped it.

"Wait. What?" She started to hyperventilate. "Oh dear. Oh god. Oh sh –" She had to throw her body aside when the gigantic marker came down. The fumes wafted around her and made her dizzy. "Stop that! I'm gonna get high . . ." She shook her head quickly before clapping her hands over her nose and glaring up resentfully.

"Spell your name for me," Cian said calmly with the marker poised over the CD expectantly.

She said nasally as she pinched her nose together. "What happened to the suction thing? Why am I on the CD?"

He rolled his eyes, "Didn't you know? Everything is high tech now. Now, spell."

"K – A – E – T – L – Y – N," she rattled off, the letters slipping off her tongue with the speed of a darting rattlesnake. "Please! Just let me go! If you don't release me now, my parents will –"

"What? Call up the police because an exorcist has kidnapped their dead daughter?" He snorted, obviously amused at her plight. She also noticed that he sounded like a pig. A big, fat mean pig who likes to lounge around at a small café so he could prey on innocent, newborn ghosts like herself.

And did that sound as ridiculous as it did in her head?


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