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Being married to a cop is hard, being the widow of one is harder. After Brynn Austin’s husband, Nate, was murdered in an undercover operation, there wasn’t enough evidence to convict the gang leader who killed him. Brynn refuses to let him kill their dream to renovate an old Connecticut castle. But her plan is hampered by a ghost who’s not ready to give up his home.
Contractor Jaxson Maddox signs on to renovate the old castle that’s sat empty for years. He didn’t believe the rumors about the place being haunted. But that was before he met the resident ghost. What Jax didn’t sign on for was trouble in the form of falling for the beautiful widow, dealing with a pesky ghost, and risking his life when a threat from Brynn’s past surfaces. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, even if it means becoming a ghost himself.
Page Count: 244
Word Count: 55745
The first thing on her list was the attic. She wanted another look at that trunk. It was locked for a reason, and she wanted to know why. She grabbed a screwdriver from the table in the rotunda and headed for the second floor. Her heart pounded a little harder with each step, but she refused to allow her imagination to get the best of her. This was her home now.
She reached the attic door and climbed with purpose, not as a victim, but a person with confidence. Something Nate had taught her. Never show weakness. If you walked like a victim, your mind would believe it…along with everyone else.
Light shone in through the windows, but the space wasn’t any less creepy. Old cobwebs hung from the rafters, and dust particles danced in the sunlight. She hoped there wasn’t a family of raccoons, or worse, living here. Brynn pushed those thoughts from her mind and kneeled in front of the trunk with the screwdriver. She’d never tried to pick a lock before, but there was a first time for everything.
“If you’re set on nosing around, I would rather you used the key. It’s under that pile of books.”
Brynn jumped to her feet and swung around to face the voice. She gripped tightly to her only weapon, the screwdriver.
There he stood, the same man she saw the other day. “Who are you?” She backed toward the wall, holding the screwdriver in front of her. “You’re trespassing.”
“No, my dear, you’re trespassing. This is my castle. I should be asking you the questions.”
Brynn’s eyes bugged out as she really took a look at him. His image was fading in and out. “No,” she said aloud, “it can’t be.”
“My dear, you don’t look well.”
“You’re a…” She patted her face.
“A what? I’m a what?” His face faded and returned.
“You’re a ghost!” Brynn sat on the trunk. The room spun in every direction.
“That’s preposterous! My name is Sebastian Morgan, and I’m the owner of this castle.”
She rubbed her hands up and down her arms. No, she wasn’t dreaming this. “Sebastian Morgan died in 1934. It’s 2016.”
“That’s poppycock,” he harrumphed. “I am a flesh and blood human being.” He pinched himself. And again. “This is not possible.”
“I saw you. Yesterday, in the dining room.”
“I attempted to scare you off. Apparently, I failed.” He held his arms in front of him, studying them. His head raised. The look of doubt was quickly replaced with an authoritative voice. “You cannot stay. This is my home, and it’s becoming quite noisy since your arrival.”
“It belongs to me.” Was she really arguing with a ghost? No. There had to be an explanation. An elaborate hoax? She glanced toward the steps. Should she scream?
“It seems we have come to an impasse. I cannot allow you to stay.” He raised his chin stubbornly. “And may I ask, why you’re rooting around my attic?”
“I’m looking for blueprints of the mansion. I thought if I could find the secret passages that must exist, I could find the person who’s been sneaking around here.”
“Who’s sneaking around?” He cocked his head.
“Me? Why in the devil would I sneak around my own home?” The more worked up he became, the more his image faded in and out.
“How do I put this?” Brynn’s fear subsided. Real or imagined, it didn’t appear he intended to hurt her. The only fear now was the distinct possibility she’d lost her mind.
An impatient ghost…great.
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