Abby set the vase of fresh red roses on the nightstand. Sweeping her gaze over the room, she noticed a crease across the burgundy bedspread and bent to smooth it out with her hand. The bride and groom would arrive soon, and everything had to be perfect.
Abby hadn’t seen her niece Samantha in years, and could hardly believe the shy, bookish teen she’d known was now grown and married. Since Abby couldn’t make the trip to the wedding, she was thrilled that Sam and Greg had chosen Niagara-on-the-Lake for their honeymoon and Abby’s inn, The Roses, for their accommodation. Proud of the effort she’d put into restoring the historic inn, Abby couldn’t wait for Sam to see it. She was just as eager to meet Greg, and to introduce them both to Jason.
Thoughts of Jason warmed Abby and brought a smile to her lips. Could she refer to him as her boyfriend after only a few dates? She hadn’t called anyone her boyfriend in over twenty years, and since her husband’s death had settled into a comfortable single life; but whenever Jason kissed her or twined his fingers through hers, she felt like she was twenty again and beginning a new life full of fresh possibilities.
The vase of roses would look better by the window, she decided—right beside the bottle of sparkling wine from Jason’s winery that she had chilling downstairs and would present once the couple arrived. She carried the vase to the dresser and set it to the side, just beyond the pool of bright sunshine spilling in through the open curtains.
Turning to the window, Abby glanced at the street below, and a shiver bolted down her spine. She realized she was standing on the spot where, as she drove by the inn last weekend, she’d spotted a mysterious young woman peering out of the room. Wearing a billowy dress with her long hair loose, the woman had looked out of place, oddly pale and somehow … transparent. Abby had persuaded herself it was a trick of her imagination, brought on by the stories that had been circulating among staff and guests at the inn—tales of disembodied footsteps, a woman heard weeping late at night, a rocking chair swaying by itself. These strange events were attributed to Rebecca Norris, who had died at the inn two hundred years ago, and whose spirit many believed still haunted the place.
But those were just stories.
Read more about Abby, Jason and the ghost of Rebecca Norris in Wine & Roses.