Read The Second Chapter Of Haunted
Good afternoon, lovelies.
As most of you know, I’ve been working on writing more of my Paranormal Romance novel titled Haunted. I thought I’d offer you all a gander at chapter 2 of the story. You can find the first chapter here and if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out the introduction short story to this novel, Compromise to the Soul, before you continue reading. It will give you an idea of what is to come within this novel.
I hope that you all enjoy what I’ve been sharing with you all.
Have a lovely read. As always, I’d love to know what you all think.
Thank you kindly in advance. :)
Sliding into the leather chair in front Dorian’s desk, Celia set her briefcase down and gave his office a cursory glance. “Robert’s not coming, is he?” she asked, moments later.
Dorian sat down behind his desk and pulled one of the desk’s drawers open. Pulling out a bottle of brandy and small shot glass, he poured her a drink and carefully slid the decanter across the desk. “Have a drink,” he said softly.
Her eyes narrowed as she stared at the glass. “I don’t want it.”
He settled back into his chair, regarding her with interest. “I seem to remember you enjoyed drinking the stuff in the past.”
Her chin rose with determination. “For someone I’ve never met before, you sure as hell know a lot about me.”
The corner of his mouth quirked with amusement. “You met me a long time ago, Celia. You just don’t remember it.”
“I think I’d remember meeting you,” she admitted. “You’re way too imposing.”
Unable to help himself, he threw his head back and laughed heartily. “My, my. You’ve barely changed.”
“Who are you?”
“Dorian Ashcombe, vice-president of Hollister Magazine.”
A slew of images rose to the surface at the mention of his name. Celia sucked in her breath as she tried to make sense of what she was seeing. Yet as quickly as the images had come, they disappeared within the blink of an eye, leaving her flabbergasted. There was something about him that drew her attention. She just couldn’t put a finger on what it was. Not yet, anyway.
“What do you want from me?” she asked abruptly, absently rubbing her left temple to keep the sudden rise of pain from overcoming her.
He leaned forward within his chair, settling his chin against his intertwined fingers to keep himself from reaching out for her. “That, my dear, is a loaded question. One, unfortunately, I cannot answer right now.”
“Then what can you tell me? Why is Mr. Ludwidsky taking so long?”
“He’s tying up some loose ends. It shouldn’t take him much longer.”
“Are you new to the team?” she wondered. “Is that why no one has ever seen you till now?”
He chuckled softly, taking in the way she held herself erect within her chair. “No,” he admitted, “I’m not new. I’ve been a partner for years. I tend to work the graveyard shift, is all. Robert takes care of things during the day.”
Her gaze unexpectedly settled upon the curve of his lips. She yearned to sample them. Tamping down the urge, she cleared her throat and nervously fidgeted within her chair. “You prefer that, do you?”
“It suits me. I’m more of a night owl than a morning person.”
Something about his admission tugged at the recesses of her memory. She tried to hold on to the fleeting thought, but her mind refused to obey. She sighed with exasperation, hating the fact that the mere sight of him was wreaking havoc with her libido. “I see.”
“Tell me something, Miss Waters.”
“Why have you come here?”
Her eyes widened with surprise as she was taken aback by his question. “This is quite a reputable magazine, Mr. Ashcombe. Anyone would —”
“Dorian,” he cut in smoothly.
“I’d rather you called me Dorian.”
She hissed with agitation, gripping the chair’s armrest’s tightly. “Next, you’ll be telling me you’d like a cup of coffee, I gather?”
He smiled broadly, delighting in her show of temper. “Not really, but I thank you for the idea. Goodness,” he mused, “I’ve missed this so very much.”
She frowned, confused. “You speak as if you know me.”
A swift knock upon the door broke their conversation before he had a chance to explain. Rising, he strode over to the door and yanked it open to find a perplexed Robert standing before him. Celia swung about within her chair to stare at the two of them as they engaged in a silent battle of wills. She cleared her throat when neither made the effort to speak.
Robert stared in her direction, his face flushed with color. “Forgive the intrusion,” he said. “I believe we’ve an appointment?”
She nodded, relieved. “Yes.”
“Would you like to accompany me to my office?”
“Yes,” she replied, picking up her attaché. “I’d like that.”
Dorian watched the exchange, his mouth thinning to a tight line. “It’s been a pleasure, Miss Waters.”
Her mouth opened to reply, but no words came out. She tilted her head in acknowledgment instead and followed Robert down the hall. Her heart hammered within her chest as she felt Dorian’s eyes trained upon her. Something told her that her conversation with him was far from finished. Part of her was excited about the prospect. Another part of her wanted nothing more to do with him. The woman in her, on the hand, craved to know every inch of him. That aspect frightened her all the more.