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One hot werewolf. One determined ghost. And a woman with a choice…
Cole is secretly a werewolf… will Cassie be able to handle the truth? Or will the fact that he turns furry turn her off…
More importantly, will Cole be able to handle Cassie’s psychic abilities? With ghosts popping up here and there, will they have a shot at a real romance?
Cassie has a choice to make. Will she choose the hottest werewolf of all, or the ghost of her dreams?
Cassie woke up in a cold sweat, heart pounding and gasping for breath. The sheets were tangled around her legs and twisted in her sweat slicked palms. She’d been gifted with the sight—able to see ghosts, and occasionally she would get premonitions through her dreams. This one had scared her more than most. She blinked the moisture out of her eyes as her vision adjusted to the darkness of the room around her.
“Shhh, it’s okay. You just had a bad dream,” a deep masculine voice soothed, strong arms wrapping around her body.
Cassie looked up into Matt’s ruggedly handsome face. How many nights had he helped her through horrifying dreams? How many times had he been there for her when no one else was? Matt had been her rock ever since they met, and his presence always soothed her. He was her best friend and she wasn’t sure what she would have done without him.
“It seemed so real,” she whispered, resting her head on his shoulder, enjoying the comfort his strength lent her. It wasn’t often he held her like this, but when it happened she melted into his embrace.
“I’m sure it did, but you’re safe and sound in your bed at home. Nothing is going to harm you,” he assured her, stroking her hair softly.
Cassie nodded her head, but wasn’t quite ready to go back to sleep, worried the dream would return. Flickers of the gruesome scenes tormented her. A crime not yet committed, and one she wouldn’t be able to stop, just like all the others. Why was she plagued with the horrific visions if she couldn’t help? The people involved were often faceless entities. Sometimes she felt the helplessness of the victims and other times the surge of anger or lust from the perpetrator.
“Thank you for being here,” she murmured.
Matt chuckled softly in her ear. “Where else would I go? I can think of no one else I’d rather haunt.”
Closing her eyes, Cassie laid back down with a slight smile on her face. She was never quite sure if Matt preferred to haunt her over anyone else because she could see him, or if he truly enjoyed her company. Opening her eyes, she realized Matt had disappeared. Sighing, she rolled to her side and tried to go back to sleep, ignoring the ache she felt inside whenever he was near.
Being in love with a ghost sucked.
Cassie woke the next morning to sunlight streaming through the window, the warm rays caressing her face. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful autumn day, the orange and red leaves outside rustling in the breeze. She stretched and glanced at the clock, a gasp escaping her lips as she noticed the time. She’d overslept and was going to be late. Jumping out of the bed, she ran into the bathroom, flicking the light on as she shut the door.
Cassie turned on the shower, letting the water warm while she brushed her teeth and untangled her hair. When she stepped into the watery paradise, she shut the shower curtain and just stood under the stream for a few minutes, letting the heat soak into her. She picked up her strawberry shampoo, squeezing a generous amount into her palm before working it through her long locks. As the suds washed down the drain, she thought about the day ahead.
Today was the beginning of an adventure. She was going out of town with two of her best friends. Whispering Lake, North Carolina seemed like the perfect get away vacation. A girls’ only trip that Cassie hoped would include a hot guy or two. Preferably of the living variety. She might love Matt, but there could never be anything between them, nothing more than friendship.
Snatching her loofah off the hook on the wall, she poured her favorite body wash on it and began scrubbing herself from head to toe. When she was finished, she took a moment to shave before shutting off the water and getting out. The air was cool and goose bumps erupted across her skin as she wrapped her towel around her body. She grabbed another towel out from under the sink and wrapped it around her hair, squeezing the moisture from the tresses.
The mirror had fogged over and she swiped her hand across the surface, clearing a swatch of glass so that she could see herself. She smoothed moisturizer on her face, then picked up her body lotion and slathered the cream on her arms and legs. When she opened the bathroom door, a puff of steam billowed out into her bedroom. She dried off in a hurry and pulled on her favorite blue sweater and most comfortable pair of low-rise jeans. Slipping on a pair of low-heeled boots, she pulled her suitcase out from under the bed, tossing clothes in as she pulled them out of drawers and off of hangers.
Grabbing a small bag out of her closet, she gathered her bathroom essentials, cramming them in the case. With her hands on her hips, she surveyed the room. Had she forgotten anything? Toothbrush? Check. Socks and undies? Check. Cassie nibbled her lower lip as she looked around, feeling as if something was missing, yet not able to find anything amiss.
Cassie caught her reflection in the mirror across the room and walked over to it. Her hair was still soaked and she groaned as she realized she was going to be even later. Hurrying into the bathroom, she clicked on the hairdryer and began drying the long, chestnut tresses that hung nearly to her waist. With her green gaze fastened on her reflection, she made quick work of taming her wild hair. She turned off the hairdryer and ran a brush through the length, untangling the mass. When she was finished, she tossed her hairbrush into the small case on the bed and zipped it up.
Picking up both cases, she turned around and headed toward the bedroom door, pausing when she felt a chill in the air. She turned and smiled when she saw Matt sitting on the edge of her bed, gorgeous as always. Frozen forever at the age of twenty-seven, he would always look youthful and far too sexy for his own good. Or hers. It had been fifty years since he’d been murdered, but his arms still bulged with muscles, his waist was just as tapered as it had been the day he’d breathed his last. His sandy hair fell over his forehead, his blue eyes looked troubled.
“Leaving without saying goodbye?”
Cassie smiled. “It’s easier to say goodbye when you’re here. I thought you had forgotten that I was leaving today.”
She put her bags down and walked over to Matt. Sitting on his lap, she threw her arms around him in a big bear hug. This was one of the times Cassie didn’t mind her gift so much. While she had trouble speaking with most living guys, she was able to be herself with Matt and could talk to him about anything. They had been best friends since the day they met six years before.
“I didn’t forget, but I had hoped you would change your mind. I don’t like the idea of you being gone for a week,” Matt told her with a worried expression. “Anything could happen to you and I wouldn’t be able to stop it.”
“You’re just afraid that you’ll miss me and be lonely.” Cassie looked at him and grinned.
“I already know that I’ll miss you, but that isn’t why I wish you would stay here. I just have a bad feeling about this trip of yours.” Matt sighed and buried his face in her neck. “I wish that I could go with you, watch over you. Something feels off, like something bad is coming.”
Cassie sighed and snuggled closer to him. She would love nothing more than to have Matt with her over the next week, but they had both researched the matter extensively and hadn’t found a way for him to leave Ashton Grove. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. Cassie knew that she could bind Matt to her with magick, but she didn’t want to take away his free will. What Cassie couldn’t figure out was what kept Matt in Ashton Grove. He had told her on more than one occasion that he wasn’t from Ashton Grove and he hadn’t died in her small hometown. If he had been able to leave the place of his death, why was he stuck in Ashton Grove now? It didn’t make any sense.
“I wish you could come with me too, but we haven’t been able to find anything on the subject of ghosts traveling from one place to another. I know there has to be a way, but we’re out of time. My friends are leaving in less than two hours.” Cassie kissed Matt on the cheek and stood up. “I have to go. I’ll miss you!”
“I’ll miss you, too. If I find a way out of Ashton Grove, I’ll come and find you.”
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