Eighteen years of solitude have annihilated Sebastian Bradley’s social skills. Not that he needs them. He’s resigned himself to a life of complete seclusion until trouble decides to pitch a tent on his lawn and entice him with wide, curious blue eyes.
Now there are people under Sebastian’s roof, invading his privacy, using his home as a locale for a fancy society Halloween bash. One woman’s to blame. A woman who in one short week has managed to turn Sebastian’s entire world on its axis and awaken hungry, desperate desires that even a ghost can’t ignore.
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A warm gust of air brushed across Celeste’s lips and she jerked her head up. Heat flared in her cheeks. The warmth returned, imbuing the air with the scent of cinnamon and mint. That’s when she realized it hadn’t been a gust of wind at all but someone’s breath.
Soft, warm breath. It made her own respiration catch in her throat. She froze, listening to her heartbeat pound incessantly against her rib cage. And then the warmth intensified, followed by the tender pressure of lips against her own.
The journal fell out of her hands. It dropped to the ground with a thud, but the mouth demanding hers never faltered. It brushed across her lips, back and forth, slowly yet with a determination that sent a jolt of heat to swirl low in her belly.
She blinked rapidly, trying to discern a shape, a sound—anything—that would tell her she wasn’t alone. Everything she felt screamed that there was someone else in the room with her, but everything she saw argued otherwise.
Still, she couldn’t ignore the prickly stubble of a man’s beard as it scraped across her chin nor the moist tip of a tongue as it slipped between her parted lips. A sigh escaped her throat only to drown and fade before ever making the slightest sound.
Fear mingled with excitement and throbbed low in her pussy. The scent of incense and male musk filled her nostrils. What was in that stuff? Was it messing with her mind? Making her hallucinate things that couldn’t possibly be happening?
The kiss intensified, leaving her breathless. She thought about resisting but the entire situation seemed so absurd that she felt foolish running away from it. She was being ravished by her own imagination—nothing more. It had been too long since she’d been with a man—a real, flesh-and-blood man.
But this…this was different than anything she’d ever experienced. The kiss wasn’t filled with arrogance or self-assurance. Her fantasy lover wasn’t forcing himself upon her like so many other men who took what they needed without a second thought as to what she craved.
Which only served to reinforce her belief that whatever was happening was born of her own desperate need and the mysterious, eerie atmosphere in the Bradley mansion.
A finger stroked from the curve of her chin down the column of her throat. Her eyes drifted closed. The lips released hers and glided across her jawline, down into the valley between her breasts, trailing featherlight kisses all the way.
Broad palms slipped across her shoulders and down her arms. Fingers curled around hers, tugging her gently in the direction of the bed. She followed on an awkward stumble, her feet feeling weighed down with lead.
She collapsed upon the bed gratefully and rolled onto her back then held her breath as she waited for the fantasy to dissipate entirely. Reality had to come crashing back any moment now. There was no way she was making out with a ghost.
The bed dipped beside her, indicating another presence. Her eyes widened and she gazed into the empty space beside her. Despite everything her logical mind knew to be true, there was still no one there. She couldn’t even hear the slightest sound aside from the fizzle of the lantern and the soft buzz of the firefly banging against the glass jar.
This is insane. I’m going insane.
As though to affirm that belief, something pinched her nipple. She groaned and glanced down where the tender bud had stiffened and tented the cotton cheerleader’s shirt she wore. Teeth dug into her nipple, nipping at her, drawing the taut nub farther up.
As she watched, a stain began to darken the red material of her shirt. Her head spun with the implications. A broad palm cupped her cheek and a thumb traced the curve of her lower lip. She flicked her tongue out tentatively, sucking in a deep breath when she made contact with warm skin.
He tasted slightly salty yet not unpleasant. She tried to speak but the word came out as a hesitant croak instead.
She cleared her throat and tried again. “Sebastian?”
The lightest touch of a finger brushed against her clit through her silk panties. Her breathing quickened with anticipation and her voice broke when she uttered his name again…and again.
It had to be him. God, was he really dead? Had he haunted the mansion all this time? Had he watched her as she slept in one of the guest bedrooms? Followed her into the shower when she’d bathed?
A shiver arced through her. Fear and arousal gathered low in her belly and pulsed with a needy, growing throb.
None of this made any sense.