James followed Taliana back into the foyer. She moved quickly, almost jogging, the click of her heels echoing through the space. She seemed to hold her hands slightly above her, working her fingers like she was working out knots, but there was nothing there.
He’d heard of these old mansions harboring ghosts. Maybe a few of those tales were true.
Taliana slowed as she approached a red door, but James kept his distance, not wanting her to know he’d followed her. He’d already embarrassed himself when he laughed at Rose instead of kissing her hand. He didn’t need Taliana to think he was stalking her.
She worked the invisible threads all the way to the closed door. “Green, green,” she kept repeating.
James furrowed his brow. What had been a curiosity was quickly becoming bizarre. Still, he stared, captivated both by her beauty and by her strange behavior.
Putting a hand on the knob, she slowly opened the door, as if she was afraid something would jump out at her. Instead, a force pulled her inside. She yelped before the door closed behind her.
“Taliana!” James rushed to the door and tried the knob. It was locked. He waved his hands in the air, trying to feel for the invisible threads. Maybe he needed to connect to those before he could get in. Failing that, he kicked the door near the knob.
The first kick yielded only a loud bang. The second splintered the wood.
On the third kick, the door swung open.
James looked into the empty library.
“Taliana!” he called again. He wandered into the dark room, wishing he’d grabbed a candle from one of the wall sconces. He could barely make out the chairs and many shelves of books, and he certainly couldn’t see what pulled Taliana into the room or Taliana herself.
He dropped his arms to his sides as he stared into the vacant space.
Where on earth was she?