Julian Ridgley is buying a house, known as Dexter’s Manor, on a hill in a seaside community. The original owner, Dexter Larabee, is widely rumored to haunt it, but Julian dismisses such fanciful rumors.
His plan is to renovate the old mansion so he and his lover can live there, with the goal of creating their own seaside shop. After moving in, Julian experiences strange happenings, including the appearance of the gorgeous Dexter himself. Dexter calls Julian another name, Owen, and insists that Julian is his reincarnated love.
Seduced by Dexter, Julian has a passionate affair with the spirit, prompting him to end things with his boyfriend. When Julian realizes Dex is trapped, waiting endlessly for Owen, he knows the right thing to do is to set Dex free. But he’s fallen in love with Dexter. How will he ever be able to let go?
“How did Dexter Larabee die? Do you know?”
“I think it was cancer,” she replied, looking very sincere. “Anyway, it was some sort of illness, I’ve been told.”
Satisfied, I continued onto the staircase and up the steps to the second floor. There were four bedrooms up here and three bathrooms. Two of the rooms shared a Jack and Jill type bathroom. From my understanding most of the bedrooms were seldom used in Dexter’s days, except for the occasional guest. Basil’s children had moved into them when Basil owned the house.
I didn’t pay attention, for the moment anyway, to those other three bedrooms, and instead headed down the hallway toward what would be the master bedroom and bath. Where Dexter would have lived.
While not exactly drawn there, I had no interest in any other room. The door was closed, so I turned the handle, pushed open the door, and stepped inside.
Standing by the window was a very tall, dark haired man with his back to me. He worse a suit and his attention was on whatever he looked at outside.
“Hello? I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyone was --”
The man turned then and my breath caught and the words stilled in my throat.
He was absolutely stunning. Dark, beautifully swept hair, chocolate brown eyes, a light dusting of stubble across his jaw, high cheekbones, and full sensuous lips.
And he was crazily familiar.
He cocked his head, his lips curled upward just a fraction.
I shook my head and rubbed by eyes and when I lowered by hands from my vision, he was gone, and the room was empty save myself.
My heart pounded but instead of fleeing the room I walked further into it and over to the window where the apparition had been. I looked out the window and saw that it had a magnificent view of the beach and ocean across the bay. And I could swear I smelled the barest hint of men’s cologne.
I turned to survey the room, all done in dark paneling and dark wood floors. The paneling was cracked and faded in spots, and the floorboards a little warped. I realized too the window was old, rather murky, and thinning in places too. It would need to be replaced.
The bathroom had one of those old fashioned footed tubs, which was cracked, next to a tiny standing shower. Mace would never accept that as our bathroom, so that would definitely need to be redone as well.
I turned around quickly to see who had spoken, but there was no one. Only me.
Leaving the master bedroom, I briefly looked into the other rooms and bathroom to see what shape they were in and what kind of work would need to be done.
All in all not really as much work as I’d thought, but still something I could tinker with. And I could envision changing up a few things too.
I walked back to the top of the stair and glanced back toward the master bedroom. I absolutely did not believe in ghosts but I could have sworn I’d seen a man by the window who looked exactly like Dexter Larabee from the pictures I had seen of him. I should be scared enough to go running down the stairs and out of the house.
But I was not. I was ... intrigued.