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Chapter thirteen

Ruiz ’accusations about Noah irritated me so much that at night I got dressed and walked over to Noah’s apartment. I decided the best approach would be to come right out and confront him about his past. However, as I neared the building I saw Noah walking to the subway. I decided to follow him. The train was packed so it was easy. He eventually joined up with a group of guys and girls that headed into one of the clubs downtown. Like a hypnotized fool, I stood on the long line of party revelers - gals in tight short sparkling dresses standing on boots or spindly heels and guys in black.

The bouncer gave me the hairy eye ball as I entered solo on to a jammed dance floor where flailing bodies appeared and disappeared in flashing lights.

The music was heavy metal. In the crowd I noticed a lot of leather and punk clothing. This club didn’t seem like a place a country western guitarist went to relax. Noah said he had a wide range of taste in music. All of a sudden the DJ transitioned into a EDM song and the crowd exploded jumping up and down, screaming the lyrics. Two huge hands dug into my shoulders and turned me around. Noah stared down at me.

Yeah, I was just going to ask him why he lied to me. Now I couldn’t get a word out of my mouth. He didn’t care.

He pulled me toward him. My breast hit his huge chest in sync to the beat. Effortlessly he spun me into the crowd. With the slightest movement, he twirled me and pulled me back to him. The music was pulsating. When the song was over, he grabbed my face and thrust his tongue into my mouth. My body was shaking while the room spun around me. I pulled my hands away and yelled, “I gotta get out of here.”

He stared at me and said, “Is that what you really want, Zoe?”

I turned and pushed my way through the crowd to the street.

Walking back to the avenue to get a cab, I was so rattled that I phoned my mom. It was late, but I just had to talk to her. We had a deal – I could call her day or night if I needed her. Truthfully she often stayed up late following designers on Instagram or whatever. My mom would be terrified if she knew most of what I was involved in doing. I just told her the least possible of what was going on, but still she said, “Zoe, you are very vulnerable after all you have been through. Don’t get involved with any guy now. Do you hear me?”

“Mom, I’m not ten when you can tell me what to do.”

“Zoe, it’s time to come back to Boston. The funeral is over. Let the police handle it from here. I talked it over with your dad and he agrees. Zoe, you know you still could probably work for Rhiana Sole.”

“All I could think of was Noah. Never mind some stupid summer job with a lot of overpriced clothes that didn’t interest me in the least. My mother could never understand my attraction to a wild musician who did as he pleased.

“Mom, you know how Dad is. He hides his feelings, but I know he needs me. I’m not leaving him.” I was being dishonest. I knew my dad would be relieved if I would go back to Boston.

My mom sighed in her disappointed way but accepted the fact I wasn’t working in Rhiana’ Sole this summer. I finally got her to move the conversation back to the investigation.

“Has Dad kept you up to date on the case?”

“Yes, he told me the FBI is involved. They have got everything covered,” my mom said.

I didn’t answer. No sense bringing up the paranormal when the conversation was this tense.

“Zoe, how about you stay until mid August, then school starts and you have to come home. Promise to call me once a day.

“Okay,” I agreed.

“Keep that phone handy and answer it when I call. I need to be in touch. I love you, Zoe.”

“I love you too.”

I was in over my head with Noah and I knew it. Mere’s murderer still walked free. Her distraught spirit roamed through the streets, the subway, and the library cellar. How could I turn my back on Mere like that? Everything was such a mess. I hadn’t even decided what to do with her books.

A huge complication arouse with Mere’s books a couple of days later when Hector, Mere’s building manager, called to tell us about a break- in at my grandmother’s apartment.

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