Title: Blessed Curse
Author: Nancy Sartor
In Rugby, Tennessee, Jorie Wainright and the man she loves, Logan Mathis, grew up as two of the Rugby Six: a group of children so closely bound that they experience each other’s emotional and physical pain. And they have the power to affect others.
TO FEEL ANOTHER’S HEART
At twenty-six, tormented by a darker facet of her past, Jorie abandons love along with the desire to ever be a mother. The act plunges herself and the remaining Six into anguish, and it is all for naught. She is already pregnant with Logan’s child. When her father’s death forces her back to her hometown, she goes alone.
Logan’s love for Jorie forces him to obey her wishes. Still, for him there can be no other woman. And, like always, he can feel her pain…and her need. She waits in a rural Tennessee town on the edge of the spirit world, where a dark and sinister presence threatens all she never wanted. All that Logan knows she will never let die. All he knows they must save—together.
“It’s gone.” Logan Mathis glanced at his business partner and best friend, Greg Asbury. “Right?”
“Yes.” Greg’s face was pale. Logan knew his was too. They’d been working together that morning when Jorie’s near-hysterical terror had skittered up their spines and tried to blow out their brains.
Logan had fumbled for his cell phone, finally got it unhooked from his belt, punched in her number while her panic filled his chest. He paced as he listened to the unanswered rings. “Pick up, damn it,” he chanted over and over until the call went to voicemail. “I hear you,” he said to the voicemail. “I hear you, Jorie. I’m on my way.”
The Nashville condo she and he had shared until three weeks ago was only four miles from Matsbury, his place of business, named for himself and Greg. He threw gravel all over the parking lot as he peeled onto the road. Two traffic lights caught him, and he danced with impatience until they changed.
She was in big trouble, bigger than anything he’d ever felt from her, which was saying a lot in her case. By the time he reached their street, Greg was right behind him. Logan slid into the driveway. Greg pulled up beside him. Both trucks were still rocking on their springs when their drivers got to Jorie’s front door.
“Still got your key?”
“Yeah,” Logan said as he fumbled to get it in the lock. “Jorie? Jorie?” His call had echoed through the tastefully decorated rooms and come back to him unanswered. Even before he’d raced through all the downstairs rooms, Logan knew she wasn’t there.
Greg came back from upstairs shaking his dark head. “She’s not up there.”
“Not down here, either.”
“You call her?”
“Yes, but the way this feels, she’s got no time to call back. Let’s try her office.” Logan had barely managed to lock the door behind him, then drove like a maniac to Jorie’s real estate office. Her car wasn’t there.
He slammed through the door, let Greg catch it before it closed, and said to the receptionist, “Jorie here?”
The girl glanced up from her computer. Glitter sparkled along her eyelids and cheekbones. “She’s on vacation.”
“Vacation?” What he was feeling was no vacation. “To where?”
“She didn’t say.” The girl went back to her computer, leaving Logan hanging over the desktop like a sloth who got lost on his long, slow journey to the floor.
Logan had turned for the door. Greg held it open.
“So where the hell?” Logan asked as the door closed behind them.
“You got any direction?
“East,” Logan had said, running his hands through his hair. “East is all I’ve got. There must be…what? A couple of thousand miles to the east of Nashville?” When they “felt” one another, the feeling often came with a location. Had he and Jorie lost some of their connection? Three weeks was a long time to be apart.
“Something like that.” Greg’s pinched face grew even more pale.
Jorie’s hysteria had ratcheted itself up a notch. Logan’s heart was being sliced one sliver at a time. “I’ve fucking got to find her,” he said.
“I’m heading up I-40.”
Logan drove, pushing the truck to go faster, the road to be shorter, his innate sense of her location to come online. Their connection wouldn’t have faded after only three weeks, right? He often didn’t hear from Tim or Rebecca for weeks at a time, and their connections remained strong.
Whatever. She was in ever-increasing terror while he flailed around.
Maybe the problem wasn’t in their separation. Maybe it was in the sleepless, pain-filled weeks that had passed since. Three weeks of dealing with his own pain while hers felt like a boulder across his soul.
Time healed all wounds.
He’d run the gamut of emotions, anger, fear, helplessness, grief. Nothing helped. When he was mad at her, he felt he was eating a part of his own body. Fear kept his stomach burning because living without her meant living without the best part of life.
He was angry at her rationale. She’d decided he wanted kids, decided he’d be better off with another woman and kids than with her and none. She was wrong, wrong, wrong, but no matter how he came at it, he couldn’t make her see it.
Or hadn’t yet.
He wasn’t totally done trying.
“You okay, buddy?” Greg asked.
“Hell no. You?”
“Not even a little. I still get no sense of direction.”
“East,” Logan said pointing at the wide black ribbon of asphalt before them. “East. That’s it.”
The bowling ball in Logan’s gut lightened. He glanced at the passenger seat to see Greg staring at him. “Something’s changed,” Logan said.
“For the better.”
She was still shaky and panicked, but the sharp edge of hysteria was gone.
“You still got a sense of direction?”
Logan had shaken his head. “It’s all fading away.”
“What do we do?”
Logan had shrugged. “What can we do? I’ve left voicemail, but I doubt she’ll call.” He ran a hand through his hair again. “She broke up with me, you know.”
“Didn’t think I’d ever see the day.”
Logan had nodded. Would he stop feeling her when they’d been apart long enough? Would not feeling her leave a permanent hole in his soul? Because that’s what it felt like now. A hole that hurt like hell all day and all night.
Nancy is a Nashville born writer, a charter member and current president of Word Spinners Ink. Also, she is a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and the prestigious Quill and Dagger writing group in Nashville.
Because her favorite books always do, Nancy believes a novel should enlarge understanding, raise awareness, plead for the less fortunate, define a better way of life, provide a personal story so poignant it brings tears to every eye or in some way contributes something of substance to the reader.
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