Sunday, May 30, 2010
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today by Stacy Juba
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
Author web sites:
Obit writer and editorial assistant Kris Langley feels like the newsroom
slave – that is, until she stumbles across an unsolved murder while
compiling "25 Years Ago Today" items from the microfilm. Determined to
launch her reporting career, Kris investigates the cold case of Diana
Ferguson, an artistic young cocktail waitress obsessed with Greek and
She soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that
yesterday's headline is tomorrow's danger, for finding out the truth
about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris’s present,
costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life.
Her eyes snapped open, the scream ripping from her throat. She glanced
around the dark room, shapes foreign, distorted by shadows. "No. I'm
sorry Nicole. . . . "
"Kris? Kris?" Someone shook her shoulder. She gasped.
"Kris." Eric hugged her. Warm. He felt so warm. He stroked her hair,
whispering in her ear. "It's okay. Everything's gonna be okay."
Reality rushed back to her. She hadn't lasted through the movie.
She had turned off the television and slipped into unconsciousness. Eric's
face fuzzed in and out of focus.
He switched on the lamp. "Want a glass of water?"
"What were you dreaming?"
"I don't remember."
"You screamed out ‘Nicole.’ You woke me up."
"Don't be. Nicole was your cousin, right? Tell me about her." Eric
rubbed her hair again, the gentle strokes calming her.
"We were the same age," Kris said. "Our families were close. We lived
in the same neighborhood."
"That must've been fun."
"It was. Lots of fun." Tears spilled down her cheeks. Eric traced one
with his fingertip.
"My mother told me your cousin was the girl who was killed by a
neighbor,” he said in a hushed voice. “I remember hearing about it when
I was a kid. She went to a different school, but it still shook up all
my friends. It was awful.”
He wasn't wearing a shirt, just sweatpants. She must have scared the
hell out of him.
"I’d rather not discuss it,” Kris said.
“I want to help.”
Kris felt the words surging to her throat, but she couldn't tell him.
Not now. Not ever. “You are helping, just by being here. I don't want
to be alone."
She pressed her lips to Eric's, first softly then more urgent. He
responded without hesitation, crushing his mouth against hers. Kris dug
her nails into his shoulders and the smooth contoured muscles of his
chest. He gently laid her back and nibbled her ear, working a sensuous
trail down her neck.
He glided down the zipper of her hooded sweatshirt and skimmed his thumb
across her belly. She closed her eyes, arching as his hand slipped
upward with agonizing slowness. Her stomach rose and fell as his fingers
splayed over her heart. Kris's breathing quickened into a pant, every
nerve ending igniting.
His eyes moved up to her, communicating desire. "I care about you, Kris.
I was happy when you showed up tonight. I was afraid you didn't feel
the same way about me."
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes," she whispered. "Stop talking."
Kris reached behind his head and pulled him down. Her thoughts scattered
as she banished Nicole's disapproving ghost to the dim recesses of her
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today