Storm Swept

Storm Swept

Linda Palmer

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When Jenny Jefferson agrees to help her sister open a B&B, she doesn't know that Jase Edwards will be working there, too. Jenny and Jase have history--an angry encounter at her sister's wedding four years ago. This time around their chemistry is as intense and supercharged as the lightning snaking down from the storm clouds overhead. Not even a mischievous house ghost can distract them from each other. But something far more sinister lurks in the shadows, and its eye is on Jenny. Can she and Jase unravel the mystery of the house's tragic past before history repeats itself?

 
PUBLISHED BY: Wild Horse Press
ISBN: 1449588352
PUBLICATION DATE: 2009
WORD COUNT: 52000
SEXUAL CONTENT RATING: 1
EBOOK READER RATING:
CATEGORIES: Romantic Fiction, Contemporary, Paranormal
KEYWORDS: ghosts, haunting, haunted B&B, teen romance, YA romance, paranormal romance
 

EBOOKS BY Wild Horse Press

EBOOKS BY Linda Palmer

 
EXCERPT
COPYRIGHT Linda Palmer/2009

"What the--!" Jase crashed his way back, stumbling heavily into me. He groped my face and shoulders. "What's wrong?"

I couldn't even talk.

He tightened his grip on me. "Jenny?"

"Out!" I managed to gasp. "Now!"

Jase slid his left hand down my arm until he grasped my hand. Turning, he started forward. Somehow we made it to the attic entrance without walking into anything else. Jase opened the door, then stepped aside to let me go first. I flew down those stairs, landing in a heap when my bare foot slipped off the last one. He pulled me up, then held onto my upper arms as if he thought I might faint or something. Stooping a little, he looked me in the eyes.

"You okay?"

I shook my head and tried to catch my breath.

"What was that all about, Jenny?"

I tried to tell him, but wound up just shaking my head again. In the bright blue hallway, surrounded by family photos, what just happened seemed like a bad dream or my imagination. I still trembled from head to toe and had a little trouble catching my breath, something Jase finally noticed. He marched me to my bedroom, where he pulled a blanket from the closet and wrapped it around me. My teeth actually chattered. I was that shell shocked.

When the blanket didn't do the trick right away, Jase pulled my body close and wrapped his arms around me. His chin rested on the top of my head. I felt better almost immediately, but still couldn't breathe. I didn't say anything, though. I didn't want him to let go.

"Better?" he finally asked long minutes later.

"I need...my inhaler."

Frowning in concern, he released me. I dug into the pocket of the capris I'd worn that day and found what I needed. I gave myself a couple of puffs.

Jase watched, his expression quite serious. "Asthma?"

"Yeah. Stress just makes it worse."

He waited a few seconds before he spoke again. "Can you talk now?"

I nodded.

"Then what the hell happened?"

"Something spooked me."

"Ya think?"

I sat on the edge of my bed. "It was just so dark. How could it have been so dark?"

"Easily. You shut the door when you got the wastebaskets."

"I did not."

"But it was closed."

Was it? I thought back. "I don't remember closing it."

"Well, you must've." He squatted right in front of me, his gaze anxiously sweeping my face. "Did you see something, hear something...?"

Not that I wanted to talk about. I suddenly felt like an idiot. "No. Honestly, I'm okay now."

He sighed and patted his bare chest, just where a shirt pocket would be. I knew he wished for his notepad and pen, which told me he'd seen through my lie.

I felt bad for not telling him everything. "Sorry if I scared you."

"It's all good." He stood up. "Guess I'd better do something about my bed."

"Is it very wet?" I asked, also standing. My voice shook a little. I slipped past him and went to check out the water damage. It wasn't so bad, but the ceiling still dripped. "I'll get a bowl or a pan or something."

"No, I will," Jase said, cautiously eyeing me. "You stay put."

Though I did as requested, I made myself useful by stripping the wet bedding. Fortunately Lucy had protected the mattress with a moisture-proof pad. I found clean linens on a shelf in the closet. Jase got back just as I shook out the fitted sheet. He helped me make up the bed, an oddly intimate experience that flustered me beyond imagination.

Had sensible Jenny totally lost it? First, an attic encounter with a ghoul or something equally disgusting when I didn't believe in them. Second, a closed door that had been left open. Third, a vivid fantasy of Jase and me on his bed when I'd never had sex before. Not that Chris hadn't tried, especially right before I found out about the cheating. He was a guy, after all. But I'd never gone for it. I'd wondered why more than once and decided my Mom must be right--I really was too levelheaded to risk it.

Now I knew better. The sex wasn't the problem. The guy was. Chris could beg all night and never have me. Jase, however, just had to be willing, and I'd be all over him. Was that what Lucy meant by chemistry?

"Looks like you're good to go," I said when we smoothed out the last wrinkle.

"Thanks."

I stood for a second, then headed to the door. Jase followed me.

"See ya tomorrow," I said, turning to cross the hall.

He grabbed my wrist to stop me. "You're okay now?"

"I'm perfect."

He made a sound that was half laugh, half snort.

"What?" I asked, baffled.

He just shook his head. "Sweet dreams, Jenny."

"Right back atcha." I went to my room.

 
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