In the cold winter nights, two desire to keep her warm.
Natalie Bear found a quaint old farmhouse that needed some TLC. Upon moving in, she discovered that she wasn’t alone in the house. Her resident ghost happens to be a hunky cowboy that she can’t keep her mind off of. Not to mention, one of her handymen has a certain appeal too. Trying to overcome her dark past, she finds love in the cowboy who can also soothe her raging desire. Drawn between two men, each with their own hidden secrets, Natalie must choose who she wants more.
As the Winter Solstice draws near, the veil between the living and the dead grows thinner. Before claiming which man she wants, the evil spirits in the house come out to play. Along with her ex husband who wants nothing more than her blood.
She turned from the window and saw Dustin standing in the doorway. He was dashing in his duster, hugging jeans, his open shirt, and the hat. “Is everything okay?”
“I’ve been a fool.”
Natalie wasn’t sure what he meant, but when he walked over to her, cupped her face, and drew her to his lips, it didn’t matter anymore. He kissed her softly. Everything in her froze once his lips touched hers. She responded to him slowly and pressed against him, trying to feel the contours of his body. The longer she was around him, the more the craving to be in his arms took hold of her. He broke the kiss and then trailed his finger down her neck.
“I wanted to apologize to you. I didn’t mean to be so cross. I was angered when I saw you with him, but I didn’t have the right to do anything. You have the privilege to choose whatever man you wish. These two weeks, I have watched you from the shadows and heard you sobbing. It hurt my soul seeing you crying. Your fingers brushing the spot on your bed where I had lain next to you. I brought that pain upon you, and that was never my intention.”
She touched his face. “What would you do if I chose each of you to be in bed with me? If I needed the both of you for a relationship?”
He winced at the comment. “I’d have to think about it. I would have to meet the other man. It is not in my nature to share the woman I care for.”
“You care for me?”
“For the longest time, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to love another again. But with you, my heart has reignited. That was the reason I returned to this place from the West. I was betrothed, but she died of the pox. By the time I got back, I found my father had killed the family. The barn was ablaze.
“After we fought, I tried to put the fire out. The horses were screaming. The spirit balls surrounded me, and I felt light. I couldn’t describe it. The next thing I knew I was here and yet not here, trapped on the land. I could interact with my little sister and the others, but I could also manifest with practice.
“Soon I was able to be flesh. You were the first one I was able to trust with showing myself. Besides you moving into the house, I saw your spark on the other side. You burn so bright I had to see what you were all about. And then I heard the hurt in your soul. I watched you and my heart warmed. When you were gone that night, it made me realize I hadn’t felt that way about anyone since I was alive. I wanted you. That was why I lashed out. I’m sorry.” He kissed her and trailed his fingers down her throat, causing her to shiver.
“I’m sorry to hear about your fiancée. I —” She couldn’t form words from the thoughts floating through her mind. He said he loved her. She didn’t think that anyone would ever truly love her. Michael never had. He wanted her for arm candy to show off at his business meetings, to parade around that he had this beautiful thing and no one else could touch it.
Natalie tried to smile, but everything in her still ached from her thinking he might evaporate. “Must be the chill in the air. It’s going to be winter soon.”
Dustin inched nearer until his body almost touched hers. “The weather in these mountains can be unpredictable. It’ll be beautiful one moment and horrid the next, with snow flying everywhere. I can start a fire for you or keep you warm myself.”
He stole her breath. Staring at his lips again, the faint lines in them enticed her along with their shape. The small scar he had at the top of his upper lip enhanced his ruggedness. She tried to stay calm, but her heart thundered against her ribcage. Natalie placed her hand on his chest, grasping for something solid to hold onto and remind her that this was all real.
“I think you already have. I want you, Dustin. Will you make love to me?”
He studied her eyes. His cooler skin grew a little warmer. “Is that what you wish? To have me for a lover?”
“You said the other night you wanted to be sure if I was ready.”
“Yes. And you would choose me over the other man?”