Mediator meg cabot pdf

 
    Contents
  1. The Mediator(Series) · OverDrive (Rakuten OverDrive): eBooks, audiobooks and videos for libraries
  2. Hm... Are You a Human?
  3. The Mediator #1: Shadowland
  4. The Mediator #1: Shadowland

Meg Cabot - The Mediator - 1 - Shadowland Shadowland (The Mediator, Book 1) Meg Cabot - The Princess Diaries 02 - Princess In The Spotlight. HARPERCOLLINSPUBLISHERS CONTENTS Title page Dedication Acknowledgments Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter Author: Meg Cabot. MEG CABOT remembrance. A MEDIATOR NOVEL. WILLIAM MORROW. An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers.

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Mediator Meg Cabot Pdf

Meg Cabot. Fog. .. we mediators - for lack of a better term - were, and where we' d come from, and just what, I mean, was that all mediators were capable of?. Jenny Carroll aka Meg Cabot. CHAPTER 1 "You see, as mediators, Susannah, it is our duty to help lost souls get to where they are supposed to be going. Jenny Carroll aka Meg Cabot Hebrew word meaning "intent listener," which, as a fellow mediator, you of The role of a mediator is supposed to be a.

If you own the copyright to this book and it is wrongfully on our website, we offer a simple DMCA procedure to remove your content from our site. Start by pressing the button below! It had been a typical Saturday morning in Brooklyn. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to make me suspect it was the day my life was going to change forever. Nothing at all.

To eat before the dance, I mean. She knew perfectly well. But she was going to make me say it. Kelly looked over the partition between us, her pretty face twisted with sympathy. Fake sympathy, of course. Or anyone, except herself.

Nobody asked you? Except, possibly, her not being taken by anyone at all. I turned on my tape player. Dominique immediately began to complain to Michel about herdormitoire. What had just happened, I mean. Wait a minute. Wasthat what was going on? Paul was finally getting tired of hanging around with a girl he had to blackmail into spending time with him?

Well, good. I mean, if Kelly wanted him, she could have him. Because it had felt good—his weight, his warmth—despite my fear. Really good. Right sensation. But the right guy? And warmth? The warmth thing, I mean. Still, this asking-Kelly-to-the-dance-and-not-me thing. Except that now I had a sinking feeling that Paul had just lobbed a ball into my court that I was never going to be able to hit back. What was that all about? The words floated before my eyes, scrawled on a piece of paper torn from a notebook, and were waved at me from over the top of the wooden partition separating my carrel from the one in front of it.

I pulled the piece of paper from the fingers clutching it and wrote,Paul asked Kelly to the Winter Formal , then slid the page over the partition. A few seconds later, the paper fluttered back down in front of me. I thought he was going to ask you!!! I guess not, I scribbled in response.

I mean, what about Jesse? But that was just it. Whatabout Jesse? Whatever that meant. Not just someone else, either, but Kelly Prescott, the prettiest, most popular girl in school. Yes, she knew about Jesse. But Paul? And I wanted to keep it that way. Whatever, I scrawled. How about you? Adam ask you yet? I felt, rather than saw, that a certain gaze was very much on me. I would not, however, give him the satisfaction of glancing his way. Car crash? He, um, choked.

Really, Susannah," Father Dom chided me. Poetic justice! Instead, I said, "Too bad. So how long will you be gone? This weekend the annual antique auction would be taking place. Donations had been flooding in all week and were being stashed for safekeeping in the rectory basement. The number is—" "I know the number, Father D," I reminded him. Oh, and if you would, make sure that Spike has enough food—" "Nuh-uh," I said, backing away.

It was the first time in a long time that my wrists and hands were free of angry red scratches, and I wanted to keep it that way. Anything else? All taken care of. Still, temperatures in the seventies or not, I shivered.

No, it was a cold that came from inside that was causing the goose bumps on my upper arms. Because, beautiful as the Mission gardens were, there was no denying that beneath those glorious petals lurked something dark and. It was true. The guy had the ability to cause even the brightest day to cloud over. At least, as far as I was concerned. After his somewhat rocky start to the school year, Paul had ended up not having nearly as much regular contact with the school principal as I did.

Which, given that all three of us are mediators, might seem a little strange. But both Paul and Father D seem to like it that way, each preferring to keep his distance, with me as a go-between when communication is absolutely necessary. But there it was. Obviously, Paul preferred to keep Father D in the dark about his after-school activities, knowing that the priest was hardly likely to approve of them. Take the Gutierrez incident, for instance. A ghost had come to us for help and Paul, instead of doing the right thing, had ended up stealing two thousand dollars from her.

This was not something Father Dominic would have turned a blind eye to, had he known about it. Father D, I mean. Because if I did—if I told Father Dominic anything that might make Paul seem less than the straight-A-getting jock he was pretending to be—what had happened to Mrs. Gutierrez was going to happen to my boyfriend. Or, you know, the guy who would be my boyfriend. Paul had me, all right. Right where he wanted me.

Well, maybe not exactlyright where he wanted me, but close enough. Oh, a person who acts as a liaison between the living and the dead. Hey, wait a minute. Gutierrez a decent funeral and enough money for her loved ones to pay off some of her debt. What could I do but swallow and nod? Father Dominic eyed me unhappily. Because you will have to say good-bye to him one day, Susannah. Particularly the little-known fact that mediators can bring the dead back to life.

At least, not ones willing to sacrifice the soul currently occupying them. Then he pinned me with a meaningful stare.

He walked away, shaking his head, without even bothering to reply. Well, more or less. He has an uncanny ability to discover the truth on his own. Not, of course, that it means what I tell him is the strictest truth.

It seems safer that way. And it definitely seemed safer not to let Paul know that Father Dominic was in San Francisco, with no known date of return. Last night? Succubuses, I mean. I bet Kelly only needs an hour or two of shut-eye a night, tops.

I prided myself that I was maintaining—outwardly, anyway—a supremely indifferent attitude about the whole thing.

Inside, of course, it was a whole other story. It was amazing how none of this showed, however. At least, so far as I knew. It was hard to meet his gaze sometimes, it was so penetrating, so.

His gaze on my face was unwavering. The book Paul had pulled out for our latest "mediator lesson" was so old, the pages had a tendency to crumble beneath my fingers as I turned them. The Book of the Dead was what it was called. It smelled as if a mouse or some other small creature had gotten slammed between the pages some time in the notso-distant past, left to slowly decompose there. Granted, it was only once a week, but that was more than enough, believe me. If anything, the place was as creepy as ever.

Slater—or Dr. Slaski, as the good doctor himself had confided to me he was really named—like the plague. Despite my less-than-inspired performance, however, Paul released my hand and leaned back once more, looking extremely pleased with himself.

The half smile Paul had been wearing vanished. His face was as expressionless as the wall behind him. I had no idea what he was talking about. And when I do. I just stared at him, genuinely taken aback. I had no idea where this was coming from. What was going on? Is this.

Instead, I waited, my heart in my throat, for him to reply. And letting me off the hook for the Winter Formal. And now this. I like that. I might even use it myself someday. Strange, but true. I never thought of myself as the captain-of-thetennis-team type. I want to go to the Winter Formal. It landed with a clatter in the stainless-steel sink. Or maybe he did, since his lips relaxed into a smile—the same smile that had made half the girls in school fall madly in love with him.

Slaski—or Slater, as Paul referred to him—never said hello. At least, not when anybody but me was around. His head was slumped down onto his chest, as if he were asleep. He was no more asleep than I was. Inside that battered and frail-looking exterior was a mind crackling with intelligence and vitality.

Mealtime is family time at my house. I was more than ready to go. Our ride should have been a lot more enjoyable than it was. The sun was setting, seeming to set the sky ablaze, and you could hear waves breaking rhythmically against the rocks below.

But you could have cut the tension inside that car with a knife, nonetheless. Seeing as how it had been built at the turn of the century—the nineteenth, not the twentieth—it needed a lot of refurbishing.

I was about to get out of the car without a word when Paul reached over and put a hand on my arm. What would you say to a truce? Was he kidding? And now he wanted to kiss and make up? Well, basically. Besides, what could I do to your boy Jesse? Not now, anyway. Can you blame me for wanting to take someone who. Maybe it was the way he blinked those baby blues. I, er, need it. The rich smell of burning wood filled the crisp evening air, tinged with the scent of something else.

It was tandoori chicken night. How could I have forgotten? Behind me, I heard Paul throw the car into reverse and drive away. I headed up the stairs to the front door, stepping into the squares of light thrown onto the porch from the living room windows.

Because home meant something else to me now, and had for quite a while. I looked around, worried someone might have heard. He appeared almost at once, not at the window, but by my side. They never have to worry about the stairs. Or walls. There were dark pools in the place where his eyes should have been, and the scar in his eyebrow—a dog bite wound from childhood—showed starkly white.

Still, even with the tricks the moon was playing, he was the best-looking thing I had ever seen. I heard you calling. Called him. But whatever. As usual, they were darkly liquid and full of intelligence. It was chilly enough that when I spoke, I could see my breath fog up in front of me. Because, of course, he has no breath.

Now hedefinitely looked amused. At least, not exactly. Well, notonly because I was cold. I closed my eyes, melting in his embrace as I always did, reveling in the feel of his strong arms around me, his hard chest beneath my cheek. I always seem to have that problem. Unlike some people. I did balk a little when I saw where he had led me, though.

And itwould be a lot warmer. He seized both my hands as I tried to slip them around his neck, and placed them firmly in my lap. I sighed and stared out the windshield. Big Sur, maybe. The Winter Formal, definitely. But the rectory parking lot at the Junipero Serra Mission? Not so much. When he saw my expression, however, he pulled his hand back. Him ," he said in an entirely different voice. Jesse would not have been particularly enthused had he known of the lessons.

There was no love lost between Jesse and Paul, whose relationship had been rocky from the start. Of course, their mutual disdain for each other might also have had something to do with me. Back before Jesse had come into my life, I used to sit around and fantasize about how great it would be to have two guys fighting over me.

In fact, it was completely wrong. To you. Remember Mrs. Also the thing Paul had said earlier in the day, about how his plans for Jesse were more humane than my own plans for himself. He was going to. I think he said he was going to keep you from having died in the first place. I seriously think he might be up to something. Or at least his continued presence in this dimension. The only thing that seems as if it might put the fire out is pressing myself closer to him. I felt his hand move along the waistband of my jeans as we kissed.

Our tongues entwined, and I knew it was only a matter of time until that hand slipped beneath my sweater and up toward my bra. Then, my eyes closed, I did a little exploration of my own, running my palms along the hard wall of muscles I could feel through the cotton of his shirt. It occurred to me that we would be able to do this—kiss like this, I mean—a lot more often and more conveniently if Jesse would get over the absurd idea that he has to stay with Father Dominic, now that we are, for want of a better word, an item.

Of the female variety. I mean, who knows if maybe he really has come up with some new way to. And now, with Father Dom gone for who knows how long, I. I knew that any second he was going to disappear. But there was still something else I needed to know. He had begun to dematerialize, but now he looked solid again. And truthfully?

I probably was. Why do you ask? For school? He took the bag from me. And then he was gone. Walden held up a stack of Scantron sheets and said, "Number-two pencils only, please.

Walden, this is an outrage. And, apparently, aptitude testing. Walden, our homeroom teacher and class advisor, began passing out the Scantron sheets. Just answer the questions. Walden slapped a pile of answer sheets onto my desk for me to pass down my row.

And no talking. Walden demanded, "do you people not understand? Until Mr. Now, shut up, all of you, and get to work. Miserably, I filled in the little bubbles. My fate is already laid out for me. And any other career I choose is just going to get in the way of my true calling, which is, of course, helping the undead to their final destinations. I glanced over at Paul. He was bent over his Scantron sheet, filling in the answer bubbles with a little smile on his face.

I wondered what he was putting down as fields of interest. Or felony theft. Why, I wondered, was he even bothering? We were always going to be mediators first, whatever other careers we might choose. Look at Father Dominic. Oh sure, he had managed to keep his mediator status a secret.

He really believes that his ability to see and speak to the dead is gift from God. The little blank bubbles in front of me grew decidedly blurry as my eyes filled up with tears. Oh, great. Now I was crying. But how could I help it? Here I was, my future laid out in front of me. Well, you know, pseudo-career, since we all know what myreal career was going to be.

But what about Jesse? What future didhe have? I reached up and dabbed at my eyes with the sleeve of my Miu Miu shirt. Jesse, I mean. Because I already knew all of that. Things were tough, I guess, even way back in the s. It was different then, Susannah. I was different. I did think. It made perfect sense—at least to me. Just because of your dad? I could barely be spared from the ranch for a few days, let alone the years medical school would have taken.

But I would have liked that, I think. Medical school. It would be more exciting to work in the sciences now, I think. But rather than clinging stubbornly to the past, as some would have, Jesse had followed along excitedly, reading whatever he could get his hands on, from paperback novels to encyclopedias. Poor Mrs.

The Mediator(Series) · OverDrive (Rakuten OverDrive): eBooks, audiobooks and videos for libraries

She had definitely put her trust the wrong mediator. Oh, no. But like a fool, I stood there in the middle of her backyard and called her name just in case, as loudly as I dared. Are you there?

I knew, of course, that he could make the undead disappear. I should have known better. A cold wind kicked up from the sea as I turned to face him. It tossed some of my long dark hair around my face until the strands finally ended up sticking to my lip gloss. But I had more important things to worry about.

Maybe if I reason with him, I thought. Maybe if I explain. Two thousand dollars is nothing to you, but to Mrs. It was hard enough just to breathe. All I could think about was Mrs. How could someone who smelled so good—the sharp clean scent of his cologne filled my senses—or from whom such warmth radiated—especially welcome, given the chill in the air and the relative thinness of my windbreaker—be so.

Well, evil? I could feel his deep voice reverberating through him as he spoke, he was holding me that close. A grand for each of us. You can do whatever you want with your half. Mail it back to the Gutierrezes, for all I care. The moon appeared momentarily from behind the blanket of clouds overhead, just long enough for me to see that his lips were twisted into a lopsided grin.

Was he serious? The moon had disappeared again, but I could tell from his voice that he was amused. You and Father Dom. I thought you were taking French, not Spanish. Before I could think of a lie, however, he figured it out on his own. Stupid of me. See you around, Simon. Just like that, he turned to go.

I knew what I had to do, of course. But what choice did I have? I told myself I had a pretty good chance at succeeding, too. Paul had the box tucked into the inside pocket of his jacket. All I had to do was distract him somehow—a good blow to the solar plexus would probably do the job—then grab the box and chuck it through the closest window.

I called his name. He turned. The moon chose that moment to slip out from behind the thick veil of clouds overhead, and I could see by its pale light that Paul wore an absurdly hopeful expression. The hopefulness increased as I slowly crossed the grass between us.

Found my weakness. Successfully lured me to the dark side. And all for the low, low price of a thousand bucks. The hopeful look left his face, though, the second he noticed my fist. I even thought that, just for a moment, I caught a look of hurt in his blue eyes, pale as the moonlight around us. Then the moon moved back behind the clouds, and we were once again plunged into darkness.

The next thing I knew, Paul, moving more quickly than I would have thought possible, had seized my wrists in a grip that hurt and kicked my feet out from under me. A second later, I was pinned to the wet grass by the weight of his body and his face just inches from mine. Still, I tried to hide my fear from him. You really hurt my feelings, you know that, Suze? His voice, hissing down at me, was deadly serious. Weakness only seems to trigger cruelty, not compassion, from people like Paul.

He leaned down and kissed me lightly on my frozen lips. It took me a minute to realize I was free. Cool air rushed in to all the places where his body had been touching mine. Still, I had enough strength left to call out, "Paul! The backyard lit up bright as an airport runway.

I heard a window open and someone shout, "Hey, you! What are you doing there? I hopped into it and started my long journey home, cursing a certain fellow mediator—and the grass stains on my new jeans—the whole way. I had no idea that night how bad things were going to get between Paul and me. But I was about to find out. Still, the blow, when it came, seemed to strike like a bolt out of the clear blue.

In Big Sur? Like, how you can be saying one thing and thinking something entirely different? Not even close. My first thought was more along the lines ofWhat? Kelly Prescott? I mean, considering that Paul himself was sitting just a few study carrels away, futzing with the sound on his tape player.

It was bad enough that he noticed I was even looking in his direction, let alone talking about him. He raised his eyebrows all questioningly, as if to say, "May I be of service? She flipped her honey-blonde hair back so she could slip on her headphones. To eat before the dance, I mean. She knew perfectly well. But she was going to make me say it. Kelly looked over the partition between us, her pretty face twisted with sympathy. Fake sympathy, of course.

Or anyone, except herself. Nobody asked you? Except, possibly, her not being taken by anyone at all. I turned on my tape player.

Dominique immediately began to complain to Michel about herdormitoire. What had just happened, I mean. Wait a minute. Wasthat what was going on?

Paul was finally getting tired of hanging around with a girl he had to blackmail into spending time with him? Well, good. I mean, if Kelly wanted him, she could have him.

Because it had felt good—his weight, his warmth—despite my fear. Really good. Right sensation. But the right guy? And warmth? The warmth thing, I mean. Still, this asking-Kelly-to-the-dance-and-not-me thing. Except that now I had a sinking feeling that Paul had just lobbed a ball into my court that I was never going to be able to hit back.

What was that all about? The words floated before my eyes, scrawled on a piece of paper torn from a notebook, and were waved at me from over the top of the wooden partition separating my carrel from the one in front of it. I pulled the piece of paper from the fingers clutching it and wrote,Paul asked Kelly to the Winter Formal , then slid the page over the partition. A few seconds later, the paper fluttered back down in front of me. I thought he was going to ask you!!! I guess not, I scribbled in response.

I mean, what about Jesse? But that was just it. Whatabout Jesse? Whatever that meant. Not just someone else, either, but Kelly Prescott, the prettiest, most popular girl in school. Yes, she knew about Jesse.

But Paul? And I wanted to keep it that way. Whatever, I scrawled. How about you? Adam ask you yet? I felt, rather than saw, that a certain gaze was very much on me. I would not, however, give him the satisfaction of glancing his way.

Car crash? He, um, choked. Really, Susannah," Father Dom chided me. Poetic justice! Instead, I said, "Too bad. So how long will you be gone? This weekend the annual antique auction would be taking place. Donations had been flooding in all week and were being stashed for safekeeping in the rectory basement.

The number is—" "I know the number, Father D," I reminded him. Oh, and if you would, make sure that Spike has enough food—" "Nuh-uh," I said, backing away. It was the first time in a long time that my wrists and hands were free of angry red scratches, and I wanted to keep it that way. Anything else? All taken care of. Still, temperatures in the seventies or not, I shivered.

No, it was a cold that came from inside that was causing the goose bumps on my upper arms. Because, beautiful as the Mission gardens were, there was no denying that beneath those glorious petals lurked something dark and. It was true. The guy had the ability to cause even the brightest day to cloud over. At least, as far as I was concerned. After his somewhat rocky start to the school year, Paul had ended up not having nearly as much regular contact with the school principal as I did.

Which, given that all three of us are mediators, might seem a little strange. But both Paul and Father D seem to like it that way, each preferring to keep his distance, with me as a go-between when communication is absolutely necessary. But there it was. Obviously, Paul preferred to keep Father D in the dark about his after-school activities, knowing that the priest was hardly likely to approve of them.

Take the Gutierrez incident, for instance. A ghost had come to us for help and Paul, instead of doing the right thing, had ended up stealing two thousand dollars from her. This was not something Father Dominic would have turned a blind eye to, had he known about it. Father D, I mean. Because if I did—if I told Father Dominic anything that might make Paul seem less than the straight-A-getting jock he was pretending to be—what had happened to Mrs.

Gutierrez was going to happen to my boyfriend. Or, you know, the guy who would be my boyfriend. Paul had me, all right. Right where he wanted me. Well, maybe not exactlyright where he wanted me, but close enough. Oh, a person who acts as a liaison between the living and the dead. Hey, wait a minute. Gutierrez a decent funeral and enough money for her loved ones to pay off some of her debt. What could I do but swallow and nod? Father Dominic eyed me unhappily. Because you will have to say good-bye to him one day, Susannah.

Particularly the little-known fact that mediators can bring the dead back to life. There was just one little fly in the ointment: At least, not ones willing to sacrifice the soul currently occupying them. Then he pinned me with a meaningful stare. He walked away, shaking his head, without even bothering to reply.

Well, more or less. He has an uncanny ability to discover the truth on his own. Not, of course, that it means what I tell him is the strictest truth.

It seems safer that way. And it definitely seemed safer not to let Paul know that Father Dominic was in San Francisco, with no known date of return. Last night? Succubuses, I mean.

I bet Kelly only needs an hour or two of shut-eye a night, tops. I prided myself that I was maintaining—outwardly, anyway—a supremely indifferent attitude about the whole thing. Inside, of course, it was a whole other story.

It was amazing how none of this showed, however. At least, so far as I knew.

Hm... Are You a Human?

It was hard to meet his gaze sometimes, it was so penetrating, so. His gaze on my face was unwavering. The book Paul had pulled out for our latest "mediator lesson" was so old, the pages had a tendency to crumble beneath my fingers as I turned them. The Book of the Dead was what it was called.

It smelled as if a mouse or some other small creature had gotten slammed between the pages some time in the notso-distant past, left to slowly decompose there. Granted, it was only once a week, but that was more than enough, believe me. If anything, the place was as creepy as ever. Slater—or Dr. Slaski, as the good doctor himself had confided to me he was really named—like the plague.

Despite my less-than-inspired performance, however, Paul released my hand and leaned back once more, looking extremely pleased with himself. The half smile Paul had been wearing vanished. His face was as expressionless as the wall behind him. I had no idea what he was talking about. And when I do. I just stared at him, genuinely taken aback.

I had no idea where this was coming from. What was going on? Is this. Instead, I waited, my heart in my throat, for him to reply. And letting me off the hook for the Winter Formal. And now this. I like that. I might even use it myself someday. Strange, but true. I never thought of myself as the captain-of-thetennis-team type. I want to go to the Winter Formal. It landed with a clatter in the stainless-steel sink.

If anything happens to him," I hissed, not much louder than the soda fizzing from the can in the sink, but with a lot more force, "anything at all, I will make you regret the day you were born. Or maybe he did, since his lips relaxed into a smile—the same smile that had made half the girls in school fall madly in love with him. Slaski—or Slater, as Paul referred to him—never said hello. At least, not when anybody but me was around.

His head was slumped down onto his chest, as if he were asleep. He was no more asleep than I was. Inside that battered and frail-looking exterior was a mind crackling with intelligence and vitality. Mealtime is family time at my house. I was more than ready to go. Our ride should have been a lot more enjoyable than it was. The sun was setting, seeming to set the sky ablaze, and you could hear waves breaking rhythmically against the rocks below.

But you could have cut the tension inside that car with a knife, nonetheless. Seeing as how it had been built at the turn of the century—the nineteenth, not the twentieth—it needed a lot of refurbishing. I was about to get out of the car without a word when Paul reached over and put a hand on my arm. What would you say to a truce? Was he kidding?

The Mediator #1: Shadowland

And now he wanted to kiss and make up? Well, basically. Besides, what could I do to your boy Jesse? Not now, anyway. Can you blame me for wanting to take someone who. Maybe it was the way he blinked those baby blues. I, er, need it. The rich smell of burning wood filled the crisp evening air, tinged with the scent of something else.

It was tandoori chicken night. How could I have forgotten? Behind me, I heard Paul throw the car into reverse and drive away. I headed up the stairs to the front door, stepping into the squares of light thrown onto the porch from the living room windows. Because home meant something else to me now, and had for quite a while. I looked around, worried someone might have heard.

He appeared almost at once, not at the window, but by my side. They never have to worry about the stairs. Or walls. There were dark pools in the place where his eyes should have been, and the scar in his eyebrow—a dog bite wound from childhood—showed starkly white.

Still, even with the tricks the moon was playing, he was the best-looking thing I had ever seen. I heard you calling. Called him. But whatever. As usual, they were darkly liquid and full of intelligence. It was chilly enough that when I spoke, I could see my breath fog up in front of me. Because, of course, he has no breath. Now hedefinitely looked amused. At least, not exactly. Well, notonly because I was cold. I closed my eyes, melting in his embrace as I always did, reveling in the feel of his strong arms around me, his hard chest beneath my cheek.

I always seem to have that problem. Unlike some people. I did balk a little when I saw where he had led me, though. And itwould be a lot warmer. He seized both my hands as I tried to slip them around his neck, and placed them firmly in my lap. I sighed and stared out the windshield. Big Sur, maybe.

The Winter Formal, definitely. But the rectory parking lot at the Junipero Serra Mission? Not so much. When he saw my expression, however, he pulled his hand back. Him ," he said in an entirely different voice.

My agreement with Paul, for instance: Jesse would not have been particularly enthused had he known of the lessons. There was no love lost between Jesse and Paul, whose relationship had been rocky from the start. Of course, their mutual disdain for each other might also have had something to do with me. Back before Jesse had come into my life, I used to sit around and fantasize about how great it would be to have two guys fighting over me.

In fact, it was completely wrong. To you. Remember Mrs. Also the thing Paul had said earlier in the day, about how his plans for Jesse were more humane than my own plans for himself. He was going to. I think he said he was going to keep you from having died in the first place. I seriously think he might be up to something. Or at least his continued presence in this dimension.

The only thing that seems as if it might put the fire out is pressing myself closer to him. I felt his hand move along the waistband of my jeans as we kissed.

Our tongues entwined, and I knew it was only a matter of time until that hand slipped beneath my sweater and up toward my bra. Then, my eyes closed, I did a little exploration of my own, running my palms along the hard wall of muscles I could feel through the cotton of his shirt. It occurred to me that we would be able to do this—kiss like this, I mean—a lot more often and more conveniently if Jesse would get over the absurd idea that he has to stay with Father Dominic, now that we are, for want of a better word, an item.

Of the female variety. I mean, who knows if maybe he really has come up with some new way to. And now, with Father Dom gone for who knows how long, I.

I knew that any second he was going to disappear. But there was still something else I needed to know. He had begun to dematerialize, but now he looked solid again. And truthfully? I probably was. Why do you ask? For school? He took the bag from me.

And then he was gone. Walden held up a stack of Scantron sheets and said, "Number-two pencils only, please. Walden, this is an outrage. And, apparently, aptitude testing. Walden, our homeroom teacher and class advisor, began passing out the Scantron sheets.

Just answer the questions. Walden slapped a pile of answer sheets onto my desk for me to pass down my row. And no talking. Walden demanded, "do you people not understand? Until Mr. Now, shut up, all of you, and get to work. Miserably, I filled in the little bubbles. My fate is already laid out for me.

And any other career I choose is just going to get in the way of my true calling, which is, of course, helping the undead to their final destinations. I glanced over at Paul. He was bent over his Scantron sheet, filling in the answer bubbles with a little smile on his face.

I wondered what he was putting down as fields of interest. Or felony theft. Why, I wondered, was he even bothering? We were always going to be mediators first, whatever other careers we might choose. Look at Father Dominic. Oh sure, he had managed to keep his mediator status a secret.

He really believes that his ability to see and speak to the dead is gift from God. The little blank bubbles in front of me grew decidedly blurry as my eyes filled up with tears. Oh, great. Now I was crying. But how could I help it? Here I was, my future laid out in front of me. Well, you know, pseudo-career, since we all know what myreal career was going to be.

But what about Jesse? What future didhe have? I reached up and dabbed at my eyes with the sleeve of my Miu Miu shirt. Jesse, I mean. Because I already knew all of that. Things were tough, I guess, even way back in the s. It was different then, Susannah. I was different. I did think. It made perfect sense—at least to me.

Just because of your dad? I could barely be spared from the ranch for a few days, let alone the years medical school would have taken. But I would have liked that, I think. Medical school. It would be more exciting to work in the sciences now, I think. But rather than clinging stubbornly to the past, as some would have, Jesse had followed along excitedly, reading whatever he could get his hands on, from paperback novels to encyclopedias.

He said he had a lot to catch up on. My stepdad, on the other hand, is more the cookbook type. But you get my drift. To Jesse, stuff that seems dry and uninteresting to me is vitally exciting. Sighing, I looked down at the hundreds of career options in front of me. And here I was, with every advantage in the world, and all I could think that I wanted to be when I grew up was. Well, with Jesse.

It was a constant source of wonder and interest to me. Only unlike Jesse, I actually had a chance todo something with my interest. Walden announced, startling me again. Ten more minutes. I looked down at my answer sheet, which was half empty. At the same time, I noticed CeeCee shooting me an anxious look from her desk beside mine.

She nodded to the sheet. Get to work , her violet eyes urged me. I picked up my pencil and began to haphazardly fill in bubbles. Without Jesse, Ihad no future. Of course, with him, I had no future, either. What was he going to do, anyway? Follow me to college? To my first job? My first apartment? Paul was right. Stupid to have fallen in love with a ghost.

Stupid to think we had any kind of future together. Walden pulled his feet from the top of his desk. Then pass your answer sheets to the front.

Walden had dismissed us for lunch. Because my dad was everything that was good. And Paul is everything that. So long as you can find a precedent. I could easily see Paul as a lawyer. I was thinking more along the lines of a social worker.

Or a therapist. It was the reason I was so bleary-eyed and tired today. Not about Paul, but about what Paul had made me read aloud earlier that day: The fourth dimension. The very word caused the hairs on my arms to stand up, even though it was another typically beautiful autumn day in Carmel and not cold at all. Could it really be true? Was such a thing even possible? Could mediators—or shifters, as Paul and his grandfather insisted on calling us— travel through time as well as between the realms of the living and the dead?

And if—a big if—itwere true, what on earth did itmean? More important, why had Paul been so intent on making sure I knew about it? Trouble sleeping? Suddenly, I was just very tired of Paul and his games. And I decided to call him on the latest one. Took you long enough. We were standing in the shade of the breezeway, it was true, but just a few feet away in the Mission courtyard, the sun was blazing down.

Hummingbirds flitted from hibiscus blossom to hibiscus blossom. Tourists snapped away with their digital cameras. So what was up with the goose bumps? You act like it was two million. Kelly, though stung, nevertheless pulled herself together enough to send me a withering glance before heading for the yard where we dined daily, al fresco. Big deal. Gutierrez and her two thousand dollars? Even in some small way?

And you know what? I think this time, your boy Jesse is going to agree. With me. Please please please please. In any case, Dr. Sort of. Except that he had. And it had only been a few months ago.

I wasthat desperate. Desperate for answers that I knew only one person on earth could give me. And that person was just right upstairs. I guess. Itwas lunchtime. Narc on me, doubtlessly. It seemed to be his one joy in life. Sadly, I never seem able to return the favor, thanks to Brad generally having some kind of goods on me. As usual, the Game Show Network was on.

The Mediator #1: Shadowland

The attendant had parked Dr. Slaski himself, however, appeared to be paying no attention whatsoever to Bob Barker. Instead, he was staring fixedly at a spot in the center of the highly polished tile floor. I need to talk to you for a minute.

Unless you call drooling a response. Slaski," I said, pulling up a chair so that I could sit closer to his ear. About, er, mediators. He straightened up in his chair, lifting his head so he could fix me with a rheumy-eyed stare. The drooling stopped right away.

But I decided to let that slide. Slaski," I said. About Paul. Slaski and his grandson. At least, so far as I can tell. Slaski asked. Family Feud comes on in five minutes. Was I, I wondered, going to end up wheelchair bound and addicted to game shows when I was Dr.

Because Dr. Slaski—or Mr. Problem is, nobody believed him. Not about the existence of a race of people whose sole duty it was to guide the spirits of the dead to their ultimate destinations, and certainly not that he, Dr.

Slaski, was one of them. Worse, Dr. And what had Dr. Slaski gotten for all his efforts? A terminal illness and his grandson, Paul, for company. The illness, or so Dr. Slaski claimed, had been brought on by spending too much time in the "shadowland"—that way station between this world and the next. And Paul? Well, he had brought Paul on all by himself. I guess he had a reason to feel bitterly toward the human race.

But why he felt that way toward Paul, I was only just learning. Slaski insisted people like him and Paul and me are more properly called shifters, for our in my case, newly discovered ability to shift between the dimensions of the living and the dead. Slaski said. Slaski said acidly. Slaski looked at me very sarcastically.

I sat there like a lump staring at him. All this time. But what would I have ever needed the ability to time travel for, anyway? Then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me. My dad. I could go back through time and save my dad. Because if it could. Then everything would be different. Slaski coughed, hard. I shook myself and touched his shoulder.

Are you all right? Slaski demanded, not very graciously. Maybe less, if those damned doctors have their way and keep bleeding the life out of me.

I needed to know more about this new power he—and possibly I—had. Travel through time, I mean. Slaski glanced at the TV. Fortunately the credits forThe Price Is Right were still rolling. Family Feud was going to start at any second. To anchor you to it. Slaski said, though he looked skeptical.

And you need to pick a spot you can get back to without shifting onto some innocent bystander. Not just—" "Your soul? Slaski snorted. No, when you go, yougo. Not if you want to keep your guts from spilling out. Slaski looked back at the television, bored by the whole conversation. Slaski said, his gaze glued to the TV screen. Must be the link. Slaski trailed off, lost in research done decades before. Slaski drawled, turning his gaze back toward the television. Because ghosts? Ghosts I can deal with.

Ghosts like. And I had plenty of stuff that once belonged to Dad. She surely would have found it when she was making my bed or playing tooth fairy.

But she had never said anything. But I had some babysitting money saved up. Maybe even enough for a plane ticket. I could do it.

I could totally keep my dad from dying. Slaski, with a glance at the TV. A commercial, thank God. What do you do then? Slaski looked annoyed. Then you picture the person. And then you go.

Easy as pie. Slaski nodded at the TV. Just like that, I could go back through time and keep someone I loved from dying. You have to weigh the consequences of your actions very carefully. What possible consequences could my saving my dad have? Except that my mom, instead of crying into her pillow every night for years after he died—right up until she met Andy, actually—would be happy? ThatI would be happy? Then it hit me. If my dad had lived, my mother would never have met Andy.

Or rather, she might have met him, but she would never have married him. And then we would never have moved to California. And I would never have met Jesse. Suddenly, the full impact of what Dr. Slaski had said sunk in. And keep in mind the fact that the longer you stay in a time not your own, the longer your recovery time when you do get back to the present," Dr. Slaski added not very pleasantly.

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