I wrote Girl of His Dream after writing the Dream Jumper series because I wanted my readers to know Jamey and Tina's history, years before The Dream Jumper's Promise begins.
The book leaves you wanting to find out what happens to these two, I'll warn you.
It's permanently FREE on Amazon Kindle (just download the Kindle app if you don't have a Kindle and read on your phone, laptop, device).
GIRL OF HIS DREAM
James Dunn watched the small girl follow a group of boys behind the hotel pool’s waterfall, her chin just above the water’s surface. A feeling of dread overtook the thought that he needed sunscreen if he was going to sit in the Hawaiian sun any longer. James’s skin prickled.
For two reasons: The sun was stronger than a Seattle Spring day, and his clairvoyance often made his skin prickle. Actually, crawl.
Seconds later, when the boys emerged from the other side of the falls, the girl wasn’t with them. Was she waiting for the older boys to get far enough ahead so she could remain hidden? His intuition said no, and his intuition was freakishly accurate.
As he rushed to the pool’s edge, someone cried. “I just saw her a few seconds ago!”
James didn’t turn, didn’t hesitate.
A dive into the pool took him half way to the falls and a swift front crawl took him the rest of the way. He dove under the crashing water, arms spread wide, eyes open, as he felt around the pool’s bottom. Through the aerated water, he saw colors, then felt a foot—a small foot that fit in his hand. Yanking it towards him, there was no resistance from the other end. A bad sign. She’d been under maybe only twenty seconds.
He pushed off the bottom and broke through the surface with the girl in his arms, the water pummeling his head and back. He stepped clear with the girl’s lifeless body. “Wake up,” he said as he checked for a pulse.
Someone yelled “Help!” and “There she is!” Several bodies hit the water with a splash.
“I’m a cop,” James said to the approaching people after he blew four small breaths into the child’s mouth. Christ, she didn’t even have front teeth. She was young. He blew again, his intuition forgotten for now.
People yelled for the lifeguard and someone yelled an ambulance was on the way.
Blowing rhythmically into the child’s mouth, James took her to the pool’s edge where the lifeguard looked ready to take over. Someone held up her legs, another person had hands on her shoulders.
“She’s got a pulse,” James said, between breaths. “I’m a cop.”
“Keep going.” The lifeguard helped to set the girl on the pool deck’s surface.
A body moved in next to him. “Mara, don’t leave us.” The woman’s hands caressed the girl’s hair, smoothing it away from her still face. “Mara, stay with me.” She let out an anguished sob.
The child’s small nose in James’ pinch felt easily breakable. He eased up. Two more breaths and James sensed she was reviving before anything changed physically.
Mara coughed and her eyes fluttered open. The lifeguard helped to drain water from the girl’s lungs by turning her head to let her throw up pool water.
“Thank God!” The mother kissed the child’s wet hair. “You’re okay, Sweetie. Mommy’s here.”
Mara continued coughing, and as she came to, she looked disoriented and frightened. James moved away to let the mother shift into the child’s line of vision. A man knelt beside her, tears flooding his face, a grim mask of fear and relief.
The lifeguard helped Mara sit up as she began to cry.
“Doctor coming through,” someone called, as a woman rushed forward.
“She’s conscious,” another person said.
James stood back to let the doctor in, watching the parents touch their daughter like they couldn’t believe she’d survived. Guilt emanated from the father. Guilt and regret. James wished he couldn’t feel this man’s private emotions. But he could. And the mother’s, and the lifeguard’s, and the girl’s. He was cursed with this supposed gift.
The crowd that had gathered emanated a collective sigh of relief and gratitude. James picked up on shit like this, whether he wanted to or not. Someone behind him was furious, several people were moved to tears at the close call that might have resulted in death. One person was mostly glad his family vacation wasn’t ruined by witnessing this child’s death. Selfish prick.
James said a silent thank you to whoever, or whatever was out there that prevented the tragedy.
“Who pulled her from the pool?” a young man in a Hyatt uniform asked.
People nodded towards James.
He knew the drill. There’d be statements, paperwork, and explanations of how he knew the child was in trouble. As usual, he’d explain it was just a cop’s intuition, a lucky hunch, the last words being a phrase he’d been using for years to explain a gift that had no explanation.
A gift that both dictated and threatened to ruin his life.
Kristina pulled her beat-up Toyota pickup truck into a curbside parking space in the housing development of Napili Hau and stared at Kimo’s house beyond the hedge. It was just past nine a.m. and her boyfriend would be sleeping.
In a few days, she’d turn twenty-five and life would change. Her relationship with the local surfer, Kimo, was tenuous anyhow, more fun than anything else. But he wasn’t someone she wanted to keep around when changes started happening. She hadn’t revealed to Kimo what turning twenty-five meant to her and now never would.
Sliding from the driver’s seat to the hot pavement, Kristina took a deep breath. This wouldn’t be as easy as she’d originally thought. The sun beat down on the housing development of concrete and red sand-stained boxy houses, jam-packed together with no yards. Kristina walked up the three cement steps to the house Kimo shared with other surfers and stepped into the unlocked house.
When she’d first arrived on Maui, the idea of hanging out with surfers was an intoxicating novelty. After years of dating business majors at Stanford, being wooed by someone who slept in the nude and lived for big waves fit in with the frivolous year she’d promised herself after graduating college with an MBA. Kimo was handsome in a Hawaiian surfer way, drove an old Honda Civic, had no immediate plans for his life beyond surfing, and her parents vehemently disapproved of the relationship without ever having met him.
The house was humid and stuffy as she walked through the TV room and down the hall. Kimo’s door was open and hushed voices drifted out from inside the room.
Looking in, Kristina couldn’t process what she saw, at first. Her brain told her that inside Kimo’s small bedroom were two men--her boyfriend, and one of his roommates, Petey, standing over the bed. With their backs to her, they were occupied with the third person in the room. A woman. A young, naked woman who lay deathly still across Kimo’s bed, her eyes open, her face frozen still. The men wore latex gloves and were leaning over what looked like a dead body.
“What the hell?” Kristina whispered.
Kimo’s gaze shot her way, Petey’s too, and two sets of eyes widened to see Kristina standing in the doorway. “Shit, Babe. Get in here and close the door,” Kimo said.
Judging by the young woman’s gray pallor, Kristina guessed she’d been dead for a few hours. The men turned back to the body on the bed. “What’s going on?” Did she want an answer?
Petey shot a warning glance to Kimo.
“She must’ve OD’ed last night.” Kimo’s expression had panic written all over it.
“Don’t touch her, for God’s sake,” Kristina said. “Call the cops.” She looked between Petey and Kimo. “Are you crazy?”
Again, the men exchanged a look she couldn’t read. Kimo spoke. “I think she got into some X. I passed out. I was drunk and never knew she died ‘til just now.”
“We’re moving her,” Petey said defiantly.
If they had nothing to hide, why were they moving her? “You need to call the police, not touch her. She’s a dead body, there’ll be an investigation.”
Petey ignored her. “Come on, Man. Let’s get her out of here.”
When Kimo bent to grab one of the woman’s legs, Kristina spoke. “This is insane. Don’t move her.”
The men exchanged another look. Kimo nodded.
“Kimo, you and I are done, then. Don’t contact me after this.”
“Come on, Dude,” Petey said, nodding towards the door.
Kristina used her T-shirt to cover her hand and opened the bedroom door. In the hall, she wiped her previous hand prints from the door handle. Turning, she saw something in the hall that stopped her in her tracks. Her heart sank.
Kimo’s dog, a little beagle named Pele, was wagging her way down the hall. “Oh, Baby. I forgot about you.” She picked up the dog and kissed her behind her ear, the softest place on her. “I’ll miss you like crazy.” She gave Pele a quick hug, put the dog down on the rug and ran out of the house careful to walk to the car as if she’d just had a normal breakup with her boyfriend. The sidewalk was clear, and no one watched her get in her truck and pull away from Kimo’s house. Not that she could see.
All the way back to Lahaina, Kristina thought about what just happened. Could she be charged for withholding evidence if Kimo came under investigation? If someone overdosed in your bed, did the police suspect you? It wasn’t until Kristina pulled onto the main highway, that she even wondered why Kimo had a naked woman in his bed. She could imagine. They’d had a little party at the house.
At Airport Beach, she turned in and parked in the far corner. In the quiet truck, she reviewed the facts as she knew them. Kimo had a woman in his bed, who supposedly died of an overdose of ecstasy, an illegal substance. Up to that point the only illegal act was doing ecstasy.
Kristina had recognized the young woman as a new waitress from the hotel where Kimo tended bar. Had she taken the drug before coming over? Had they been intimate? Kimo said he was drunk but that didn’t always stop him from trying. The biggest issue here was the woman’s death, not Kimo cheating. Kristina had seen the body being moved. Or had she? All she heard was their intent to move it. What was her responsibility in this cluster-fuck?
Years ago, she’d considered studying law but hadn’t gone that route and now had no idea if she could be charged for withholding information. Morally she felt responsible, but she wasn’t even sure of the circumstances in Kimo’s bedroom and had to remind herself of that.
Where were they taking the body?
After twenty minutes of processing the facts and wondering if she was responsible to report this, she pulled out of the beach parking lot and headed south to Lahaina Towne, trying tried not to speculate on what was happening at Kimo’s house right now. Staying out of it was her best course of action.
Back at the Aloha Apartments in Lahaina, Kristina parked the rusty pickup she and her roommate Pepper shared and had named Myrtle. She couldn’t tell Pepper what she’d just seen and risk implicating her friend.
Her cell phone rang, and she jumped. Worried it was Kimo or the police, she looked to see the call was from her mother. She wasn’t interested in talking to her mother right now. Shit. If her parents ever found out about this… She hadn’t even considered that. It could ruin everything.
The truck door made a clunking sound when she slammed it shut, like the thing had been hit once or twice and was now out of alignment. She slung her backpack over one shoulder and followed the sidewalk to her two-floor apartment building. It was going to be hard keeping this from Pepper. The whole next week would have to be spent keeping her mouth shut and pretending she wasn’t freaking out about seeing a dead body in her ex-boyfriend’s bed. A dead, naked, female body, which was so much worse than if it had been Petey. She’d have to convince herself that she’d simply broken up with her surfer boyfriend, the one her mother said more than once, was a “no-good drifter of questionable heritage.”
Entering the ground-floor apartment, Kristina took off her flip flops at the door and saw Pepper stumbling from her bedroom, her hair a mess of strawberry blonde curls, her eyes trying to open. It was still early for someone who sang in the late-night clubs of Lahaina.
“No work?” Pepper shuffled to the kitchen and grabbed the Kona Coffee bag from the freezer.
“The dive boat’s engine broke just as we pulled out of Mala Wharf.” Kristina planted herself on one of two rattan bar stools at the kitchen counter. “And, speaking of broke, I broke up with Kimo.”
Pepper had known this was the plan. “How’d it go?”
“Weird. Short and strange,” Kristina said.
Pepper put water in the coffee carafe and after pouring it in, pushed the on button. “I’m sorry, Fins.” Pepper had given Kristina that nickname in a drunken display of friendship the night they decided to become roommates. One of them was Fins, the other Heels. “I know you weren’t totally invested in the relationship, but still.” Pepper got coffee mugs from the cupboard, the only two cups they owned. Kristina’s read I’m too Sexy for my Job, and Pepper’s, Diva.
Coffee dripped into the carafe. Kristina thinking, Pepper waking up.
“Your mother called twenty minutes ago.” Pepper finally said. “Maybe she’s psychic and knows you ditched the ‘no-good loafer’.”
“The word witch comes to mind, instead.” Kristina remembered the last phone fight with her haughty mother. “I’ll call her later. She probably just wants to stage plan B of getting me back to Seattle.” If Kristina’s parents ever found out what she’d just seen at Kimo’s house, they’d be justified in thinking their daughter wasn’t mature enough to make her own decisions to live anywhere without them.
Pepper looked over. “You look kind of shook up.” She smiled sympathetically. “I’m sorry, Fins. But remember, you wanted to end things with Kimo.”
“And I stand by that. It’s the emotion of it and then my mother calling, what I think she’s going to say,” Kristina hadn’t spoken to her mother since a fateful conversation two weeks earlier, but today she had to make contact. In two days, she’d turn twenty-five and that meant she’d either inherit a shit-load of money or it would be tied up until her parents deemed her ready.
Kristina added the usual three sugars to her coffee, then followed Pepper to their little patio lanai and slid into the Papasan chair.
“Do you really think your Dad will block your inheritance?” Pepper asked.
Tina sat crisscross in the basket chair and stared out at the street, sipping her sugary coffee. “Not sure.” She wasn’t even sure blocking an inheritance was possible, but her father was a clever attorney and well-respected by the judges in Seattle’s King County. If anyone could ruin her chances of living in Hawaii, it would be her mother for the intent and her father for the execution. “I need to prepare myself for the call.”
Pepper smiled sympathetically. “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, I guess.”
Tina turned off her cell phone and set it on the table between them. “Or hope for the improbable and prepare for the probable.”
KIM HORNSBY is the bestselling Amazon Author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, Book 1 in a Supernatural Suspense series. She lives in the Seattle area and writes stories for women about overcoming tragedy, adversity and coming out the other end.
Find her on Amazon Books.