Read The First Chapter Of Haunted
Hiya, peeps. It’s me again. I hope that I’m not boring any of you, just yet.
This time I’m back to offer you a sneak peek at the first chapter of my Paranormal Romance novel titled Haunted. 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.
You can also find the cover for the short story, HERE.
All in all, 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. :)
Drumming her fingers with impatience against the front of her briefcase, Celia Waters found herself unable to sit still. She’d been waiting for several hours to see Robert Ludwidsky, the editor-in-charge at Hollister Magazine, hoping he’d consider hiring her as a writer for one of their columns. Deep inside, she prayed that things would soon fall into her favor. The time for her appointment with him had gone by two hours ago and he had yet to make his appearance.
Curling her fingers about the handle of her attaché, she stood up and marched across the lobby towards the receptionist’s desk. The woman tugged the headset she’d been wearing from her ear and gave Celia a look of profound disgust.
“What is it now?” she inquired, intertwining her fingers and settling the curve of her chin against them.
Celia’s eyes narrowed as she stared back at the young lady, her lips drawn to a tight line. “I had an appointment with Mr. Ludwidsky two hours ago. He has yet to see me and I would like to know why,” she said, her voice cold and unrelenting.
Blowing a pink bubble from the gum she was chewing, the receptionist popped it with gusto as she reached down to grasp the edge of her appointment book and drew it forward. She pretended to flip through it in search of Celia’s name, knowing full well that Robert had left specific instructions stating that she was to detain the beautiful woman now standing before her a little longer. Tapping the date and time in question, she raised her head to answer her query.
Before she could reply, the double doors leading into the lobby swung open. Emery’s mouth hung open as she watched the magazine’s vice-president walk toward her desk. A deep scowl marred the contours of his face as he came to stand beside Celia.
Ignoring the beautiful redhead as she glared up at him with distaste, he looked into Emery’s blue eyes and said, “Have there been any messages for me?”
Closing her mouth with a loud report, she shook her head. “No, sir. None at all.”
Dorian Ashcombe raised a questioning brow at her, unable to curb the quick rise of annoyance surging within him. “I see. Nothing from Robert, either?”
Emery shook her head, her golden curls falling across her forehead. “N – No, sir. He’s also late for an appointment.”
“With whom?” he asked as he felt the soft vibration of the cell phone sitting within his pocket as it began to ring.
“With me,” Celia replied as she assessed him from head to toe.
Ignoring the phone, Dorian turned about, his eyes widening with surprise as he gazed down at her. Out of all the places he’d expected to meet her, the lobby of Hollister Magazine was not one of them. Regaining his composure, his face was devoid of any emotion as he addressed her with a curt nod of his head.
“And you are?”
His pulse raced as the sound of her voice evoked feelings within him he’d thought long buried. “I see. What business do you have with Robert?”
Celia stared back at him with disbelief. Surely, he is not intending to shrug me off just as the others have done, she thought as she searched the depths of his crystal-clear blue eyes. “I’ve an appointment with him,” she snapped, keeping her fingers wrapped tightly about her briefcase’s handle in order to keep herself from losing her composure.
His mouth curled into a slight smirk as he recalled the frequent shows of temper she’d exhibited centuries ago whenever something was not to her liking. “What sort of business?”
Her nostrils flared outward as she sought to control the sudden rise of her anger. “I don’t see how telling you that would concern you.”
Unable to curb his amusement, he laughed. “Don’t you know who I am?”
Tilting her head at him, she allowed herself a moment to slide her gaze over his tall frame. Standing at a mere six-foot-one, he towered over her in a way no other man ever had. The corner of his mouth twisted upward as she slid her eyes toward his face. They darkened with desire as their gazes clashed. The memory of a dream she’d had not too long ago rose unbidden as she kept her sight trained upon him.
“Dorian . . .” she breathed, her arms lifting as she reached out to him.
“My Love,” he said as he bent down to brush his lips against hers.
Accepting his kiss, she curled herself against him as he slid his tall frame against hers. She wrapped her left leg around his hip and pulled him closer, a shiver of delight coursing down her spine as he pressed hungry kisses along the curve of her neck. He chuckled softly as she clung to him, the tips of his fangs grazing the soft skin of her shoulder.
Pulling his head up so that he could stare down at her, a shock of delight rippled through him as she wrapped her hand around the back of his head. “My dearest, Celia. I’ve missed you so.”
“And I, you, my darling. Promise me you won’t ever leave me again?”
The light of desire soon vanished from his eyes at her request. Pushing himself off of her, he rolled off of the bed and ran an unsteady hand through his hair. She had no idea as to what he truly was, and no matter how much he craved to do so, he knew he could never tell her.
“Celia . . .”
He turned to face her, a sad smile upon his lips. “Forgive me.”
“For what?” she asked, clutching the edge of the bed sheet within her fingers as a wave of trepidation overcame her.
“I can’t do what you ask of me. ‘Tis death if I remain here with you.”
Holding the duvet close, she pushed herself off of the bed and crept closer to him. “Death?” she queried. “How? You’ve done nothing wrong!”
Holding back the tears that swam to the surface, he shook his head to clear it. “Celia . . . you know not what I am. That very knowledge can kill you!”
She frowned. “I refuse to believe that. You’re the very epitome of goodness, my Love. You can trust me with your secrets.”
He shook his head, refusing to give in to her pleas. “I . . . I can’t!”
The sound of someone clearing their throat loudly broke through the fog of her memories. Her eyes widened with horror as she realized she’d been staring at him with a vacant expression for several minutes. Her cheeks flushed color as his mouth curved into a wide, knowing grin.
“Emery tells me your name is Celia Waters.”
She nodded, lowering her head to stare at her shoes. “Yes.”
Reaching out to curl a hand beneath her chin, he gently pulled her head up so that he could look into her emerald-green eyes. “You’ve nothing to be embarrassed about,” he said.
Blinking rapidly, she extricated herself from his grasp and did her best to compose herself. “Where’s Mr. Ludwidsky? I demand to see him.”
Amused by the sudden turn of her emotions, Dorian made up his mind and decided to postpone her appointment a little longer. “He should be here any moment now. Would you like to follow me towards my office? You can wait there, if you’d like.”
She snuck a glance at the dainty silver watch strapped to her wrist and shook her head. “I don’t think so. Perhaps, I shall reschedule. God knows, I’ve been here long enough.”
Refusing to let her go, he summoned forth a strong burst of compulsion and said, “Please, stay awhile. Come with me to my office and wait for Robert there. I’m sure we can find something of interest to discuss.”
Unblinking, she nodded. “All right.”
A broad grin spread across his lips as he drank in the sight of her standing before him. Sliding his left hand across the small of her back, he strengthened his coercion and bid his receptionist a good-bye as he led Celia towards his office.