Today's excerpt is from Garden of Shadows by Michelle Ziegler, part of the Spooktacular Seductions anthology.
We hope you enjoy today's tease!
“You look beautiful. Then again, you always do.”
Her heart fluttered. “Thanks. You don’t look too bad, yourself. You know for someone who’s dead.” She smiled and flicked the light off in her bedroom.
The early harvest moon streamed in through the over indulgent French doors she’d installed. Someday she’d repair the balcony behind them. “I like you in this lighting.”
He came to her swiftly, just a whisper over the floorboards and stopped in front of her.
“You look almost human.” Miranda’s fingers traced his face. “I can feel you. I can feel the stubble. It’s not quite right, but it’s still you I feel.”
“It’s magic,” he teased.
Her fingertips explored his lips, and his eyes fluttered shut.
“One more night,” he said, his voice just above a whisper.
“You keep saying that.” Her hand dropped to his chest. The muscles she’d admired pressed against her hand. Firm, but there was a cold, almost misty quality to him.
“Can I try one thing before you go on this…date.” He almost growled the last word.
“Of course. Whatever you need.”
His left hand brushed aside a strand of hair. It slowly trailed the length of her face, caressing her ear, and tickling her jaw line.
Their gazes locked. Her breathing hitched. She willed him to kiss her, her eyes pleading with him. Her body ached and she pressed against him. The chill began seeping into her bones. She was about to pull away when his lips met hers.
The cold disappeared. Warmth wrapped its magic around her body and her lips were on fire. The moment was brief.
Thomas pulled away, his boyish grin firmly in place.
“I can’t make it too easy on him.”
A moment later the doorbell rang and Thomas was gone again.
* * * *
“You seem quiet,” Sean said from across our semi private booth at the upscale restaurant he’d taken me to.
“Um. I’m just admiring the place. It’s nice.”
“Glad you like it. Have you never been here?”
She smiled. “I’ve never been anywhere in town. I spent the first few months making my house a home, redoing it as best I could with little help. It was hard to find contractors for what I could pay. That and finding someone who would work in a haunted house.” She let out a nervous laugh.
Moving there had been purely accidental. A random news story about her carriage house being torn down after years of vacancy. She couldn’t have said why, but Miranda was compelled to save it. She’d packed up her meager life, gathered the small inheritance she’d been left and left.
“Well I am glad I finally get to take the mystery girl out.” Sean took a sip from his draft beer.
He frowned. “Well. Beth named you that when she first met you at the coffee shop. She said you barely talked to anyone.” He shrugged. “I think it’s intriguing.”
A nervous grin touched her lips. She twisted her napkin, wringing it between her hands.
So, I’m not normal. What’s new there?
[rh1] Sean’s lips were mesmerizing. She studied him. He was handsome. She should be pretty happy that a guy like him overlooked her social awkwardness. The fact he’d hung around surprised her. Their previous interactions had seemed rather high school.
Rolls filled a small basket. Abandoning her tortured napkin, Miranda gently plucked one up and started to pinch at it, slowly tearing at its meat.
Her gaze returned to Sean’s lips to find a plate obstructed her view.
What had she ordered? She was all nerves. She loved Thomas.
Why am I even here?
Miranda was ashamed to admit the physical feelings ignited with each touch from Sean might have been why she finally gave into Thomas’s pleas. A shiver jarred her body. Anticipation, or dread of the reality? She didn’t know.
“Miranda?” Sean’s brows knit together.
“Oh. Sorry. What were you saying?”
“I, uh, well, I wanted to know what you were going as, you know for the Halloween party?” He quirked a brow. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Just um…” Her gaze fell to her plate. “I was enjoying the smell. The spaghetti smells amazing.” Fire crept up her neck.
I’m an idiot.
Sean’s right eye narrowed a bit and the corner of his mouth twitched. He seemed thoroughly unconvinced.
“Um. Halloween. Right. Beth picked out my costume. It’s an angel.”
He smiled. “How appropriate.”