North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty

Kate closed her eyes as the memories washed across her consciousness. The utility closet Penny lovingly referred to as her shop, was shrouded in shadows, with only the lamp sitting atop her filing cabinet casting light upon the room. Seated around psychic’s worktable, leaning heavily against the ladder-backing of the proffered chair, Kate tried to breathe normally. The smell of

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-One

Now it was Kate’s turn to look shocked, Penny’s words floating across her psyche: “Kate, are you telling me—did Phil? Did he cheat on you?” Stammering in surprise, Kate was nonetheless quick with her denial. “Cheat on me? No! No-no, Phil would never do that.” Early morning streaks of sunlight could be seen now, shining with watery rays over the

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Two

With a weary sigh, Kate opened the door to the tutoring room. It had been a week since her midnight tell-all to Penny, and her grades had taken a serious nosedive in the aftermath. She couldn’t seem to focus, her thoughts stuck on repeat; this was why she’d run away from home, so she wouldn’t have to remember, wouldn’t have

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Three

Whipping open the front doors to the LitLiber, Kate barreled inside, her face a mask of frozen fear as her feet tripped, unseeing, past a throng of shoppers. Her breath wheezing out past her parted lips, Kate quickly found herself outside Jake’s office; terrible images transposed themselves before her eyes—what would she encounter when she opened that door? Frantic, she

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Four

Hefting a heavy box in her arms, Kate shuffled a little to her right. The storage room at the back of the LitLiber was a mess. Organization had gotten away from the staff…sundry merchandise lay scattered around the cramped space, without thought to order or convenience. Kate had volunteered to stay late to help put the room to rights—a little

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Five

Shoulders racking with the force of her sobs, Kate reached blindly for her phone. She was hardly thinking straight. How could she possibly think straight after reading something like that? Dialing Penny’s number, she prayed the psychic wasn’t in the middle of a consult. “Uh…hello?” Penny answered after the third ring. If Kate hadn’t been so upset, she’d have been

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Six

“He said what?” Penny asked incredulously. “And he didn’t know you were there?” M.T. countered, over her mouthful of cheeseburger. Kate shrugged, but her nonchalant guise didn’t fool the other women. They knew better by now. Exchanging surreptitious glances with one another, they waited patiently for Kate to break. She was hurt, but her pride wouldn’t admit to it. Not

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Seven

“Kate, I’m so glad you could stop by,” Penny announced immediately after that woman had pulled aside the curtain marking the entrance to the psychic’s House of Intuition. A droll smile on her face, Kate gestured toward her phone. “I got your text message. It sounded urgent,” she admitted. Penny’s missive had been short but implicit: they needed to talk. Clearly,

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Eight

Hobbling carefully, her arms sturdy against the uncomfortable padding of her crutches, Kate made her way slowly into her kitchen. The soft click of the front door closing behind M.T.’s reluctant form ringing from the hall, Kate frowned. She was hungry. She hadn’t realized just how hungry when she’d more-or-less pushed the hovering pastor out the door; in retrospect, she

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North of Happenstance: Chapter Twenty-Nine

Absently, Kate looked around the empty gymnasium floor which, twenty minutes ago, had served as the classroom for the Dog Obedience School she’d attended that evening. The course had ended for the day, the other participants long since gone in the aftermath. All except for Kate. Kate and Ashley Burns.             “I’m not sure what happened,” Ashley wept then, her

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