This week's #midweektease is from
A dark fantasy erotic romance
Claudie loves living in the countryside and close to the forests. She’s a filmmaker and works for the wildlife trust. One night she steps onto her patio and sees a man sheltering there. She confronts him and he runs away.
Jasper has watched Claudie for a year. He fell in love with her, but he has a secret, one that might mean he can never approach her.
Will love and fate find a way?
What secret must Jasper hide and what’s the strange blue dust that turns up on Claudie’s patio?
Read the teaser
When she arrived home, he was in his usual place on the patio. It was an exceptionally dark night. Dense cloud covered the moon. Rain fell in huge drops. He heard the Land Rover long before she pulled into her drive and parked. Jasper enjoyed Claudie’s humming, as she went through her front door. If she had been to a hide somewhere other than in the local area, she was home early. Maybe because of the weather. He listened to the sound of her making a hot drink in her kitchen. He smiled. He couldn’t stop smiling. The sound of her voice flowed over him. It trickled into his mind and heart, lifting his spirits, and giving him hope.
Jasper stood silently by the holly tree and close to the biggest potted trees, near one of them clipped into a ball shape. He liked that. When the conservatory door opened and Claudie stepped out, he froze in the darkness and the shadow of the holly. The house security lights had recently failed on that side of the wall, but she was silhouetted in the glow from the working lights on the other side of the door.
Jasper watched her sniff the night air. Her expression worried him. She looked puzzled. Then she was walking toward him. He tried to melt further into the shadows.
She picked up a garden fork that leaned against the house wall and held it out in front of her. The row of metal prongs looked lethal.
“I can see you. Who are you? What do you want? You have ten seconds to beat it, buddy, and then I scream for my husband.”
Jasper’s surprise pinned him to the spot. She can see me. How is that possible? Unless, unless, she is the one.
He saw her hesitate. He knew there was no husband, and now she must be deciding he’d called her bluff. If she could see him, then maybe she’d be able to hear him too.
“I’m sorry. I was only taking shelter from the rain for a few minutes. I don’t mean any harm.” He held out his hands by his sides in a gesture meant to convey that he was harmless.
She raised the garden fork a little as if his movement scared her.
He bent his head and his shoulders drooped. “I’m really no threat. I’ll leave, if you let me pass.”
She put down the garden fork. “What are you doing out here? There’s nothing around for miles. The road leads nowhere.”
Jasper edged sideways to leave. His thoughts tumbled in his head. A weight of sadness threatened to force tears from his eyes. He could only just bear the thought that she was afraid of him. He stuttered. “I … I’m lost.”
Claudie looked at him intently. A frown creased her forehead.
“I can call you a cab. Where are you going?”
He shook his head. “No. I’ll walk back along the lane to the road.” Jasper moved, this time more quickly.
Claudie stepped back, but called. “Wait. You’re drenched. I can’t see anyone just wander off into the night like that.”
Jasper’s heart contracted. He wished he’d met her in the day, on the road, or somewhere she wouldn’t decide he was a threat. She could be the one and he loved her. His stomach ached with sorrow. He turned and in a burst of speed, he fled.
A mist of spruce perfume hit Claudie and she stared after him.
He stopped at the bottom of the garden and looked back. She was inside, locking the door and he could see she still held the garden fork leaning it against her hip in readiness. She’d taken it in for a weapon. He shook his head. How strange, he’d watched her all summer, and she’d shown no sign of knowing he was there. What alerted her to my presence this night? He felt desolate. He leapt the box that hedged the back of her garden and ran the length of the field.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2017 Hot Ink Press
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