This pretty much continues where last week left off. Lexi’s still trying to come to terms with what’s happened to her and after tucking a drunken Benedict into bed, decides to finish off the whiskey he’d been drinking. The rest is pretty much self-explanatory.
“He really does care about you, you know,” a quiet voice said from behind her.
Lexi squeaked and nearly dropped the bottle of whiskey. After putting Benedict to bed she’d returned to the lounge and the single malt whiskey still sitting on the table where she’d left it. Never one to let good whiskey go to waste, she’d just picked it up. Now she whirled around, the liquid sloshing in the bottle.
“Who—what—” The words stuck in her throat. There was a man standing by the view port, a man whose form seemed to waver in and out of focus
“Maybe you’d better set the bottle down before you drop it. I’d hate to see a good Felosian whiskey go to waste.”
The apparition smiled reassuringly at her. He was shorter than Benedict, but stockier, with shaggy black hair and a neatly trimmed beard. He was dressed in some kind of dark blue, one piece outfit, and she could see right through him.
Keeping her eyes trained on him, Lexi set the bottle carefully back on the table and sank slowly down into one of the chairs.
“On second thought, maybe you should have a drink. You look like you could use one.”
“Who are you?” she whispered.
“My name’s Rashaad, but you can call me Rash. I’m a friend of Benedict’s. I’d offer to shake your hand but . . .” He waved his hand through a chair to illustrate his point.
“Dead? Yeah, I’m afraid so.”
Lexi took a large drink. “What are you doing here?”
“I need to talk to you about Benedict.”
“Me?” Lexi took another drink. “What about Benedict?”
“He needs you Lexi, more than he realizes. And I think you need him too.”
“He doesn’t need me, he needs a woman his own age,” she scoffed.
“You two are determined to let your insecurities keep you apart, aren’t you – him with his guilt and you with your hang-ups about age.” Rash shook his head. “Age doesn’t matter, not when two people are right for each other. And besides, it’s not going to be a problem for long.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need to get him to open up,” he advised her, ignoring her question. “Get him to talk to you. And the best way to do that is to talk to him first. Tell him about your past.”
“What do you know about my past?” she asked, looking faintly alarmed.
“I know everything about you Lexi.”
“Then you must also know he’s taking me to another man.”
“Yeah, I know that too.” He looked faintly troubled. “There’s nothing either of us can do about that, but I can tell you you’ll be safe as long as Victor’s infatuation holds. He prides himself on never taking an unwilling woman and the more you resist, the more infatuated he’ll become.”
“Benedict said Victor killed you and your sister. Is this true?”
“Let’s just say he was the direct cause of our deaths. It wasn’t pretty. Trust me, you don’t want to know.”
“Okay.” Lexi sipped from the whiskey bottle again. “He also said you were working as an undercover agent . . . you’re both with some kind of law enforcement agency?”
This time he nodded. “Yeah, that much is true. I was under cover, one of the worst assignments I’ve ever had to take. Victor’s smart, and he’s paranoid. But I think Benedict will succeed where I failed, especially if he has your help.”
“My help? How can I help him? I can’t even help myself.”
“You’re going to be in a unique position to help him. You’ll figure out a way.”
“What if he refuses my help?”
“You’ll just have to convince him. You need to tell him about your past, so he’ll know where your strength comes from.”
“I never talk about my past,” she whispered.
“It’s the only way. I’m counting on you Lexi,” he said, and faded away.
Lexi sat there sipping from the bottle until the rest of the whiskey was gone. As if things weren’t already in turmoil, now she was seeing ghosts on top of everything else.
“I should have been a fantasy writer,” she muttered. “Shit like this never happens to them!”