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Officer Next Door(4)

By:Ranae Rose

“Your daily adventures in voyeurism, of course.” Sasha’s light brown eyes sparkled as she raised her eyebrows. “I want to hear every little – or not so little – detail.”

Alicia barely suppressed a groan. The week before, the fact that she’d seen her neighbor naked had just sort of slipped out during a conversation with Sasha. Since then, she’d grown to regret ever having mentioned it. “I’ve already told you he’s gorgeous – I don’t know what else there is to say.”#p#分页标题#e#

“Oh, I bet there’s plenty.” Sasha grinned and seized a fresh cucumber, waving it to punctuate her claim. “Come on… If you can’t bring yourself to say it, at least point.”

She set the cucumber down on the cutting board, then placed a sweet pepper about the size of her thumb beside it. “Which one does he most resemble?”

Alicia laughed. “Please. You’re embarrassing me, and there’s not even anyone else here to overhear.”

Sasha waggled her eyebrows. “The answer is ‘cucumber’ then.”

The answer was definitely ‘cucumber’, though Alicia still couldn’t bring herself to say it out loud. Not at work, anyway.

“And her silence confirms it,” Sasha said, apparently to herself. “So… You ready for tonight?” She flashed Alicia a big grin.

“You mean this evening?”

“Evening. Night. Whatever. You know, if you wanted you could always invite me to stay overnight. Then I could see the show your neighbor puts on for myself.”

“I bet you’d love that,” Alicia said, “which is exactly why I’d rather spend the night alone with my ghost.”

“Still receiving visitors from the Great Beyond, huh?” Sasha brought her knife down on the cucumber she’d compared to Liam just moments ago.

“Just one visitor, I think. And frankly, I’m probably imagining that.” Alicia laughed, mostly so Sasha wouldn’t think she was crazy.

“I don’t see why you think that, unless you have a history of serious delusions you didn’t tell me about.” She tapped the side of her head. “I have a very vivid imagination, and the only time I’ve ever imagined someone standing over my bed was the time I woke up from a dream about Johnny Depp. Sadly, I knew it was too good to be true, even at the time.”

A little shiver raced down Alicia’s spine as she recalled the night – early morning, really – she’d woken up to the sensation of being watched.

When she’d first opened her eyes, she’d glimpsed the glowing outline of a person standing at the foot of her bed, a pale silhouette against the pre-dawn light, the shape of a person that almost appeared to be made out of cold, white light itself. It had only lasted for a split second though, and by the time she’d finished blinking sleep from her eyes, there’d been no sign of anyone.

“Well, I’d like to think I imagined it.”

Sasha nodded and donned a sly grin. “Not so fun being watched when you think you’re alone, huh?”

“Very funny. For your information, that incident would’ve been a lot less scary if the person – or whatever it was – had been on the other side of a window instead of in my bedroom.”

“Maybe you should get a dog,” Sasha suggested. “Adopt one from the county shelter or something.”

“You know, I might just do that. It’d be nice to have a companion … someone to alert me if anyone ever actually does sneak into my house. And don’t they say that animals can sense spirits?”

“Hell if I know.” Sasha shrugged. “I was thinking that if you had a dog, you could ‘accidentally’ let him loose in your neighbor’s yard. Then you’d have an excuse to go over there, and next thing you know you’d be talking and … bam!” She snapped her fingers, sending a fleck of chopped pepper flying. “You’re in cucumber country before you know it.”

Alicia sighed. “You’re always scheming, aren’t you?”

“I know the menu here like the back of my own hand – I could make it all in my sleep. I have to occupy my mind somehow while I’m cooking.”#p#分页标题#e#

“Okay, just promise me that if you come up with anything too crazy, you won’t try it tonight when you come over. I’ve got to get back to the main house – I’m supposed to be meeting a bride-to-be any minute now.”

Sasha flashed a suspiciously quiet smile, and as Alicia left the restaurant, she thought she heard her mutter something that sounded a lot like ‘I make no promises’.