Home > Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(2)

Harvest Web (Moonshadow Bay #4)(2)
Author: Yasmine Galenorn

“Let’s head upstairs,” he said.

I followed him up the stairs and eagerly opened the door to my new en suite. It was perfect. He had stolen some unused storage space behind my bedroom to enlarge the closet into a full walk-in. The bathroom had been refreshed, with new fixtures. The walk-in shower was larger, and now tiled with pale marble to match the countertop. He had installed new flooring and painted the walls, as well.

“I love the new closet, and the bathroom looks good,” I said. “You did a great job. I love all the changes. Thank you. Are we good to go? Can I move my furniture back in?”

Jim nodded. “Yes, it’s all done. But I found something while I was working on the gas fireplace in the library. You’d better come look.”

He led me back downstairs to the library, which had been left alone except for the new fireplace. “When we broke through the wall to install the fireplace, I found this.” He led me to one side of the new fireplace, where a section of the wall was missing. In its place was a door.

I stared at it for a moment. Had there been a door there when I lived at home? I strained my memory, trying to recall. Then, something clicked and I snapped my fingers.

“I remember now! My mother told me this was a storage closet but she never let me go in it. I think they always kept it locked. I had totally forgotten about it, so I never noticed the door was missing.”

He shook his head. “Well, for some reason your parents walled it up. I’m surprised you didn’t notice.”

“It’s been a long time since I lived here, and mostly, I’ve just been trying to sort out my new life,” I said, reaching for the door handle.

“Don’t bother. It’s locked and I don’t have a key. I didn’t want to try to bust it open without your permission.” One thing about Jim, he was as trustworthy as they came. Which was why I was comfortable with him in my house when I wasn’t here.

“I probably have the key—I have both my mother’s and father’s key rings. The key has to be on one of them.” I glanced at the door again, frowning. I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten the storage closet. Which brought up thoughts of the attic. “I forgot to ask. What about the attic?”

“We replaced the flooring and rewired the room so that you have internet access up there, and also so that you have better lighting. I beefed up the insulation to help during winter. I’m sorry that I can’t give you a permanent staircase—you’d have to lose most of your hallway space and that would be against code, but I made it easier for you to pull the ladder down.”

We headed back upstairs where he showed me how to use the new retractable ladder leading up to the attic. All I had to do was press a button and the ceiling panel retracted automatically. With the simple grabber extension, I only had to lightly tug on the ladder and it unfolded, clicking into place.

“That’s so much easier,” I said, clapping. “No more standing on a chair, trying to push open that panel. Then I just press the button again when I’m done?”

“First flip the switch on the back of the stairs and then stand back,” he said.

I found the switch and flipped it. The stairs folded inward and rose back up by themselves. Once they locked into place, I pressed the button and the now-retractable panel on the ceiling closed.

“This is perfect,” I said. “Jim, you’re a genius.” I nodded toward the stairs. “Shall we go down and I’ll write you a check for the balance?”

“Sure. In this economy, I’m just grateful for the work.” He stood back, letting me go first, and then followed me down to the kitchen, where I hopped up to sit on the counter while I wrote out his check for the balance of the work. The remodeling had eaten up a good chunk of my savings, but the house was perfect now, and I couldn’t wait to show Killian and Ari.

After Jim left, I walked around the kitchen, running my hands over the counters and marveling at the way the new footprint made everything feel so much larger. Then, eager to move my things back over, I put in a call to Killian to tell him I was ready to move back home.

 

 

So, I’m January Jaxson and I live in Moonshadow Bay, Washington. It’s a quirky little town that doesn’t care much for outsiders, unless it decides you belong to it. At that point, Moonshadow Bay beckons you in, and once it has you, it doesn’t let go. The town isn’t far from Bellingham, a university town that overlooks the Salish Sea and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A lot of peculiar folk live here, and a lot of the non-living make this their home as well.

I work for Conjure Ink, a paranormal investigations agency and website. We look into hauntings, urban legends, and all those eerie, bump-in-the-night events that are designed to scare the living and make them think twice about picnics in the graveyard and investigating old houses that have been left to rot and ruin.

Right before I turned forty-one years old back in January (yes, my parents named me for the month I was born in), I moved back to Moonshadow Bay after an acrimonious divorce from my sleazeball of an ex. He stole the business that I helped to build, he made my life hell, cheated on me, and then burned down the building our arts magazine was in.

Unfortunately, he was now living in Bellingham, not ten miles away, with his parents. Apparently, bad behavior and inadvertent arson gets you a bad rap in the elite arts community. Trouble was, he took me down with him, doing his best to destroy my reputation among our mutual friends.

Ellison couldn’t stand the fact that I was a witch—born to the magic as much as I was born to write—and even though he had known full well about my powers before we married, he had shredded my self-confidence and self-assurance. I was in the process of rebuilding my life, but I’d never forgive him.

My parents died a little over a year ago. So, though the wounds were still fresh, I had moved back to take up life in the home that had housed my childhood. My best friend Ari and I had reunited, and I had branched out and met new people. Now I had a job I loved, a house that was freshly remodeled, and a boyfriend I hadn’t expected—but whom I was grateful for. I even had two cats, and my life seemed picture-perfect in so many ways. Unfortunately, pictures only show a moment, frozen in time.

 

 

“It’s gorgeous.” I sprawled on Killian’s bed and punched the speaker button on my phone.

The headboard and footboard were made of heavy oak, the bedroom walls were olive drab, and the heavy velvet draperies blocked out the light. I loved being around him, but our tastes didn’t even begin to meet in the middle on decorating.

My bedroom was newly painted a pale silver-gray with navy trim and curtains. I wasn’t a sun bunny, I loved the gloom and clouds of the Pacific Northwest, but when I thought about it, Killian’s house felt perpetually cloaked in shadow.

Ari giggled. “I can hardly wait to see it. Do you need some help moving your furniture back in?”

“Of course,” I said, laughing. “All help is appreciated.” I had stored all my furniture in a large moving storage container, and left it sitting in my driveway. Instead of having them come truck it to a new home, I had just rented it for the month it took Jim’s company to finish all of the renovations. “Can you swing by tonight? I’d at least like to get started.”

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