He started the truck and headed for my house, without asking for directions. Before I could ask, he said “You were right. I’ve been following you.” His eyes danced. Even in the dark, his eyes gleamed and sparkled. He was really enjoying himself. He reached across the seat and captured my hand. “Damn, babe, this is just outrageous!”
I had no clue where to start, although my mind was bouncing around in six directions at one time. What question came first? How was this possible? He had to be real. Sharon saw him. I had just seen my friends all talking to him, looking right at him.
“I know, it’s confusing, Muse. Me, too.”
“Did you know? That I was real?”
“Yes and no. I was beginning to think so, but I wasn’t sure. Remember when you were in the cellar?”
I remembered too well. I nodded.
“You gave me the name of the winery, the closed one. I grabbed my laptop and started searching. Pure hunch. Long story short, I found it was a real place, in a real town, near a real beach. I found the town’s website, and I called the number listed for the local cops.”
“You called the cops?”
He glanced my way, with a grin. “Pretty smart, huh? Damn internet, babe, you can do anything.”
“You called the cops?” I was stunned. I began to consider insanity. I had wondered for over a year if I was crazy and now I was sure of it. Except that Sharon saw him, too. He was sitting here, driving the truck, taking me home.
“Yep.” He gave me another look. “Remember when I told you to hide? To wait for someone safe?”
I just nodded, not fond of those memories at all.
“I was on the phone with the dispatcher, and she was giving directions to the cops while I was talking to you. I knew they were on the way. Man, they were great! They didn’t question me, they just acted. It was really cool.”
He let go of my hand to turn into my drive, parking in my spot. Without any directions from me he had driven straight to my house. Belatedly I remembered my truck was still parked at the Gem.
He turned off the engine and turned to look at me. “Of course, once they found you, then they had questions. Lots of them.” He reached out to catch a strand of my hair, rubbing it between his fingers.
“What did you tell them? I never could get any details, about who called. All they ever told me was someone called.”
“I hung up,” he grinned. “I have internet phone service. On my laptop. Very hard to get a trace on.”
I sat and stared at him. I could not believe this was Tim. I knew the voice, like warm chocolate, familiar, like it was in my head, the exact voice I had heard all this time. He sat there looking back at me, his eyes roaming all over my face, like he, too, was having trouble believing.
This close he was even more handsome - the strong jawline, high cheekbones and those eyes.
“How did you know where I was?”
He reached out to take my hand again. “Can we go inside? I can explain. At least, part of it. Some of it I have no clue, either.”