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Excerpt From The Touch

The Touch - Lisa Olsen

Here is a little excerpt from my new book The Touch.  The scene is between my two main characters, artist Lexi Morgan and Detective Gabriel Ryan, in her kitchen after doing a little sleuthing together into her brother in law’s disppearance.

***

“Okay seriously, this has been bugging me all day; do you always wear the gloves?”

“Uh yeah, pretty much, unless I’m in my room.”

“Are you a germophobe or…”

“No, not exactly.  I told you, I wear them for protection.”  Lexi turned away to pour out the coffee, using the simple act as a way to buy her some time.  This was what she’d been hoping she could avoid at least a while longer until he had a chance to know her a little better.  But then again, there was a good chance she wouldn’t see him again, wasn’t there?

“Protection from what?”

Setting the mugs down on the counter, she went back for the milk and sugar, avoiding his eyes for the moment.  “I get… impressions from things I touch.  The gloves keep me from constantly picking up distractions every time I touch something, so I can function,” she said simply.

“Impressions,” he repeated.

In for a penny, in for a pound.  “I can see things when I touch them.  Sometimes it’s brief images; sometimes quite a bit more depending on how much they’ve been handled and if there was a particular association with them.  It’s just something I’ve always been able to do and it’s more of a nuisance than anything else, trust me there are things you don’t want to know about how your food has been prepared,” she went for a smile, “hence the gloves.”

Gabriel stood there, the mug frozen halfway between the counter and his mouth.  “You see things… like visions?”

She could tell from the way he looked at her that he was skeptical at best and seriously doubting her sanity at worst and Lexi struggled to explain it in a way that didn’t make her sound completely whacko.  “It’s like… I get images of things, places the object has been, who’s been handling it, what they were thinking at the time.  If it’s something they’ve held for a long time I can sometimes even see the person and what they’re doing now.”  Was she just digging herself a deeper hole?  “There are layers to it; once you figure out how to peel them away, then you can look farther and farther back into its history.  I’ll tell you what, give me something of yours and you’ll see if I can really do what I say I can or if I’m just a little balmy in the brainpan.”  Sometimes that was on the only way, to give an actual demonstration.  Even then, some people assumed it was a parlor trick.

“Okay,” he seemed willing to play along at least.  Pulling out his wallet, he fished out a business card and handed it over.

Accepting it with her left hand, she pulled off the right glove with her teeth revealing her pale, smooth hand.  Drawing in a long, calming breath before she touched it with bare skin, Lexi let the images wash over her for a good few minutes, taking it back as far as she could before her eyes popped open.  “So when I touched it, I could see the last time you pulled out the card next to it to give to Monica.” Not that it would prove anything to him since she’d been standing right there when it happened.  “Before that, I saw when you put it in your wallet to begin with and beyond that I could see where the card was shipped from, stuff like that.  Nothing too interesting, but if you gave me something more personal I could probably pick up more.”

Gabriel’s head canted to one side as he studied her, obviously trying to decide if he could take her at her word.  “Where was I when I put it the card in my wallet in the first place?”

“In your bedroom, I think.  There’s a blue comforter on the bed and a big brown chair in the corner of the room with a bunch of clothes hanging on the back of it.  The blinds were open, but I couldn’t see much of what was out the window because you were looking at your wallet.  Oh and the bedside table, it has…two drawers and it’s a dark brown, I think they call it espresso, with silver handles.  ” Lexi struggled to recall every detail she could about the room.

His eyebrows climbed skyward and she could tell she’d been accurate in her description of the room.  “So you get these visions from everything you touch?  What would happen if you touched me?”  Gabriel extended his hand, palm up towards her.

Lexi withdrew her hand instinctively, cradling it to her body and then away with a little gasp as she picked up something from her jeans without being prepared for it.  “I don’t…” she paused to take a calming breath, giving him an apologetic smile.  “I’m sorry, I don’t touch people,” she tried to explain, reaching for the coffee mug with her gloved hand before realizing that she hadn’t added milk or sugar yet.  Instead she hurried to replace the cotton glove, instantly feeling more at ease once it was covered again.

“Ever?” he blinked.

“No, not for a long, long time,” she replied in a subdued voice.

“Why, what happens when you touch a person?”  Gabriel frowned, dropping his own hand back to the counter again.

***

The Touch is available now through amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com


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