Suze has gotten used to ghosts. They wake her up in the middle of the night. They haunt her locker at school. She's even spotted a few down at Carmel Beach. Suze is a mediator, after all, and communicating with the dead is all in a day's work for her. The last thing she ever expected was to fall in love with one: Jesse, a nineteenth-century hottie.
But when she and Paul Slater, himself a mediator of undeniable power (and dubious intent), discover that the powers they share aren't limited to helping ghosts resolve their earthly woes, but can also be used to determine whether or not they become ghosts in the first place, Suze can't help but freak. Not because she suddenly knows how to alter the course of history, but because Paul can, too.
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December 28, 2004
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Excerpt from Mediator 6: The Twilight by Meg Cabot
I found the stone exactly where Mrs. Gutierrez had said it would be, beneath the drooping branches of the overgrown hibiscus in her backyard. I shut off the flashlight. Even though there was supposed to have been a full moon that night, by midnight a thick layer of clouds had blown in from the sea, and a dank mist had reduced visibility to nil.
But I didn't need light to see by anymore. I just needed to dig. I sunk my fingers into the wet soft earth and pried the stone from its resting spot. It moved easily and wasn't heavy. Soon I was feeling beneath it for the tin box Mrs. Gutierrez had assured me would be there. . . .
Except that it wasn't. There was nothing beneath my fingers except damp soil.
That's when I heard it?a twig snapping beneath the weight of someone nearby.
I froze. I was trespassing, after all; the last thing I needed was to be dragged home by the Carmel, California, cops.
Then, with my pulse beating frantically as I tried to figure out how on earth I was going to explain my way out of this one, I recognized the lean shadow?darker than all the others?standing a few feet away. My heart continued to pound in my ears, but now for an entirely different reason.
"You," I said, climbing slowly, shakily, to my feet.
"Hello, Suze." His voice, floating toward me through the mist, was deep, and not at all unsteady . . . unlike my own voice, which had an unnerving tendency to shake when he was around.
It wasn't the only part of me that shook when he was around, either.
But I was determined not to let him know that.
"Give it back," I said, holding out my hand.
He threw back his head and laughed.
"Are you nuts?" he wanted to know.
"I mean it, Paul," I said, my voice steady, but my confidence already beginning to seep away, like sand beneath my feet.
"It's two thousand dollars, Suze," he said, as if I might be unaware of that fact. "Two thousand."
"And it belongs to Julio Gutierrez." I sounded sure of myself, even if I wasn't exactly feeling that way. "Not you."
"Oh, right," Paul said, his deep voice dripping with sarcasm. "And what's Gutierrez gonna do, call the cops? He doesn't know it's missing, Suze. He never even knew it was there."
"Because his grandmother died before she had a chance to tell him," I reminded him.