Natural Reaction

Natural Reaction by Terri Reid Read Free Book Online

Book: Natural Reaction by Terri Reid Read Free Book Online
Authors: Terri Reid
Tags: Romance, Mystery
time. But, even if he escaped, Mary could have kicked his butt with no problem, as long as she wasn’t drugged. She’s not a victim. She’s a warrior. She just has to remember.”
    Ian nodded. “Pretty smart for a dead guy.”
    Turning to Ian, Mike grinned. “Yeah, and I don’t even have a PhD.”
    They walked down the stairs together and gathered at the kitchen table where Ian had placed a large bowl of buttered popcorn and some drinks.
    “I figured since there was no point in watching the rest of the movie, we might want to decide how we can best help Mary,” he said.
    “Well…” Bradley began.
    “Shouldn’t I be included in the conversation?”
    The three turned to see Mary standing on the staircase, wrapped in her robe and looking determined.
    “Aye, you should,” Ian agreed. “Have a seat and I’ll get you something to drink? Would you like tea?”
    She shook her head. “No, I need something stronger. Is there any cold Diet Pepsi?”
    Mike grinned. “The champ is back and she’s fighting.”
    Mary shook her head as she came down the stairs and joined the men. “No, I’m not fighting, I’m scared. But I know I can’t go on like this. So, any suggestions?”
    Ian handed Mary a can of soda and sat down next to her. “Let me hypnotize you,” he said. “I might be able to remove Jeannine’s memories. You’d still have your abduction to deal with, but I think it would lessen the trauma.”
    Shaking her head, she took a deep breath. “Can we take that off the table for now?” she asked. “I don’t think I want to be hypnotized again for a while.”
    Ian stiffened, taken aback. “I’m sorry, Mary,” he said, his voice strained. “I had no idea it would have this effect on you. I never…”
    She quickly turned to him and placed her hand on his shoulders. “That’s not what I meant,” she said. “We both did what we needed to do to solve this crime and I don’t regret it for a moment. Please don’t think I hold you responsible for any of this.”
    “But…,” he began, but stopped when he saw the plea for understanding in her eyes.
    Cocking his head to the side, he studied her for a moment. “I see,” he said slowly, staring into her eyes. “I agree we should pursue some other options.”
    “After 9/11 we got a lot of training about post-traumatic stress disorder,” Mike said. “Lots of the first responders were affected.”
    Mouthing a silent “thank you” to Ian, Mary turned to Mike. “What kinds of things were suggested?”
    “Talk to someone about your experience,” Bradley interjected.
    “Well, there aren’t too many professionals who would listen to my story without suggesting I go to a nice quiet place and rest for a long time,” she replied wryly.
    “It doesn’t have to be a psychologist,” Mike said. “You can talk to us. Get it out of your system.”
    She looked at the three strong, capable and caring men sitting at the table. She knew they’d listen and do their best to empathize with her. But they would never really be able to understand what she experienced.
    “As much as I appreciate it, I don’t think …” she tried to explained, “What happened to me…to Jeannine… ”
    “We aren’t women and we can’t understand how it feels to be raped,” Ian stated baldly.
    “Yes,” she said softly. “That’s it exactly.”
    “Well, what else?” he asked.
    “You’ve got to get busy,” Mike said. “You’ve got to get back to living your life. Don’t let the experience rule your life.”
    “Hey, she just got out of the hospital,” Bradley protested. “She needs some down time.”
    “I wasn’t suggesting she run a marathon,” Mike said. “Just start moving forward.”
    “An investigation,” Ian said, “An old case with a calm, easy-going ghost. Something I can use for one of my studies.”
    “Perfect!” Mary said. “And I have just the case. While I was at the hospital there was a ghost following Dr. Thorne. Then she told me her

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