What’s hidden in this spooky place? A love story that will haunt you.
Available to read free with Kindle Unlimited
The Old Star
She was looking for new office space...but it found her…what’s hidden in this spooky place?
When Cathy Faraday goes out from her office to buy morning tea, a set of circumstances send her on a different route from the one she would normally take. Waiting on a street unknown to her is a house. Old and left to fade away the house looks shabby against its neighbors. The whole row of houses are now offices and Cathy sees a ‘for let sign’ outside the place. Something draws her to the house. Someone watches from the third floor window.
Cathy applies to rent the building to expand her dating agency business. As she begins to make it ready, the house reveals its secrets.
Erotic paranormal romance, set in contemporary England this story will haunt you.
Read the teaser excerpt
Cathy was driving back to her office, when halfway there, she decided to go and see the building she had just rented.
She knew the route now and was soon parking in the opulent car park. A sense of anticipation gave her butterflies in her stomach as she walked toward the building with the key in her hand.
The front door was ajar again and Cathy frowned. She inspected the lock. It seemed okay, but she decided it must be faulty. She’d seen locks like this before that appeared to lock, but then somehow the mechanism shifted and even a slight wind would blow the door open.
She didn’t think it likely anyone would have gone into the place because the square spoke of a quiet business environment. Cathy went in there happily. She walked around all the rooms and pulled the coverings off the windows leaving a small stack of newspapers in the corner of each room. The sun streamed in and cheered the place immediately. Cathy set about opening windows and was incredibly pleased to find they opened easily. The locks slid easily and the sash lifted smoothly. Soon the place was filling with fresh air.
Cathy went up to the second floor and did the same in the rooms there. After twenty minutes of activity, she stood still and silently at the bottom of the stairs leading to the top floor. She looked up there and then around her as if someone might see her. Cathy decided to creep up the stairs, and try the door.
She expected the stairs to creek eerily, but they didn’t and were just as solid as the lower staircases. At the top was a landing, only a square of floor space, and one door. The door had a beautiful bone handle. It was an ivory white, and carved with flowers, stars, and leaves. Cathy reached out her hand and took hold of the handle, to her shock, as it turned the hair on the back of her neck prickled up. A shudder of fear went through her as she pushed the door open.
The room she could see through the opening was huge. Sunlight filled it, and as Cathy walked in, she realized the room took up the whole of the top floor. There were big windows on each side and these weren’t covered with newspaper, or the brown paper. Cathy shook her head clearing her thoughts. She felt sure she’d seen paper at these windows when she was standing in the back garden looking up.
Suddenly, she realized someone was there at the far end. It was a man in jeans and a t-shirt, and he was painting the window frame. Cathy froze. She wasn’t supposed to come up here, but surely she ought to be informed if anyone was in the building. When she moved in, her client information would need the strictest privacy and security.
The man turned around and Cathy’s heart flipped. He was quite simply the most attractive man she’d ever seen.
He walked halfway down the room and stopped.
“Who are you?” His voice was low, husky, and as attractive as he was.
Cathy’s mouth went dry with fear and her instant reaction to this man.
“I’ve just rented the place. I’m sorry, I know this floor is off limits, but the front door was open and I thought…” She improvised what was a lie in reality.
The man approached her and her words trailed away as she took in the sight of him.
He was tall and muscular. His t-shirt wasn’t tight but showed his body to be hard, and Cathy had the most astonishing urge to go to him, and run her hands up underneath it to feel his skin. His hair spiked around his ears dark and untidy in a way that was endearing for her. His eyes were a shade of dark blue she hadn’t seen before. Calling him handsome wouldn’t do him justice. He was strikingly attractive. The shape of his face, jaw, nose, all added up to make a sight Cathy registered as dreamy. He was a hunk, gorgeous, sexy, and desirable.
He stood at arm’s length with the paintbrush in his hand.
Cathy gazed at him and he smiled. It was a lovely smile and disarmed Cathy even further. She began to back away.
The man shook his head.
“It’s okay. You haven’t done anything wrong. I’m surprised to see you, but this is good. I didn’t know the place had been rented out.” His eyes held a curious expression. Cathy instinctively knew something in what he said wasn’t true, but he wasn’t angry, and he smiled again.
Cathy returned the smile.
“Cathy Faraday, and you are?” ‘He’s probably some tradesman the owner has employed and neglected to tell Alfred about.’
“Owen Sheringham.” He gave her a look that said this was all he was telling her. The look had authority, and Cathy suddenly thought he could be the owner of the building.
She nodded and backed away a little. Glancing behind her, she gestured to the door she’d entered and noticed that there were three doors. They were at intervals in the same wall and Cathy stared at them.
Owen followed her gaze and waited.
Cathy became aware of his waiting. It was tangible. She gestured again at the door she felt sure she’d entered by because it was at the end of the room near the big back windows.
“I’ll get going and let you go back to work. I only dropped by, and need to go back to my office.” She heard her voice waver, and it was all she could do to keep herself from turning and running. She reached the door and yanked it open, not realizing it had closed behind her.
Owen called out. “Come and see me tomorrow?”
Cathy only glimpsed his face as she fled through the door. He looked vulnerable and sad.
She let go of the carved bone handle and saw that she’d closed the door. For two minutes she stood there shaking, and searching the wall for any evidence of the doors that were on the other side of it. The landing wasn’t long enough to have the three doors lead out to it. ‘Perhaps they’re decoration.’
Cathy shook herself and quietly went down the stairs. Apart from finding Owen Sheringham devastatingly attractive, to the point where she felt sad that he wasn’t hers, there was something spooky about what had just happened.
She drove back to her office still feeling shaken and once there made herself black tea to shore up her nerves.
Copyright Elodie Parkes, Hot Ink Press, and imprint of Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing