A little teaser from Her Demon Lover. Please note this excerpt has not been edited as of yet. What you’re getting here is the raw, unfiltered excerpt directly from the pre-edited MS. Her Demon Lover has been released! This preview is approved for all audiences, but please know that this is a bdsm paranormal erotic romance written for an adult audience.
He held out his hand and said in the most beautiful, deep accent she’d ever heard, “I’m Michael O’Siad. I live in Castle Sedgebrook.”
She reached out her hand to take his, surprised when he lifted it to his lips and kissed it. That was certainly old-fashioned. She gently pulled her hand back and gave him a nervous smile. “Nice to meet you, Mr. O’Siad. I’m Lori Penhall.”
“When Jack O’Mally told me I’d have a new landlord I was looking forward to meeting you. I saw the lights…”
She nodded, “Yeah, just settling in.”
“I am sorry to hear about your uncle. It was a difficult loss for me, too. I considered him a friend. I’d sometimes come up and play chess with him. He was a good man.” His eyes traveled over her.
Feeling small under his gaze, she was beginning to wish she’d changed into something less – common. But then she didn’t have anything uncommon in her wardrobe. In her off hours she was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. The only reason she was wearing khakis and a white blouse now was because she was always told in her business classes at college that one dressed business casual to travel. “Yes, it was sad, but he was older. These things happen, unfortunately.”
The light in his eyes showed amusement. “Very pragmatic. Were you able to find everything okay?”
“Yes, thank you.” In the back of the house the tea pot began to whistle. “Oh, my tea…”
He gave her an expectant look.
Crap. Was he expecting an invitation? It wasn’t that she didn’t want to be hospitable, but really she’d just arrived and wanted time to sort through everything – alone. Finally, she gave him a smile and relented. “Would you like a cup of tea, Michael?”
“I would love some.”
She fought back a groan, stepped back into the house and opened the door so he could enter. Once he was inside, she closed the door behind him and motioned him to follow. “Come back to the kitchen.”
As he followed her back she found herself increasingly annoyed that he’d expected an invitation in the first place. Then annoyed at herself that she felt guilty enough to invite him in. Reaching the kitchen before him, she turned off the stove and took the kettle off the burner. Pulling a second cup from the cupboard, she placed a teabag in each cup, then poured the boiling water over each. Finally, she covered each cup with a saucer.
She heard a deep chuckle behind her.
Turning to him she asked, “Is something funny?”
“I always thought the saucer went under the cup.” He gave her, what she surmised, was an arrogant smile.
Despite that, she couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous he was. For some reason that annoyed her even more. Good looking men always thought they could charm any woman they set their sights on. If he was trying to be funny, she wasn’t amused. “It keeps the water hot while the tea steeps,” she explained, feigning a smile.
“Ah, I see. That makes sense. I apologize for laughing,” he said, still obviously amused.
She could tell the apology wasn’t genuine, and decided to change the subject. In the very least she could try to be a gracious hostess. “Feel free to have a seat.” She motioned to the kitchen table. It was probably good to at least get to know her tenant a little. “So how long have you lived in the castle?”
He sat down, his eyes again traveling over her and through her. “Four years. I have an apartment in Dublin, but only use it when I’m there on business. I much prefer the castle.”
Checking the tea, she decided it was dark enough and set a saucer and cup in front of him. “I don’t have any cream, I’m sorry. But I think I saw some sugar cubes in the cupboard…”
“No need, I take it plain.” He examined her some more and took a sip of the tea and wrinkled his nose a little.
“You know, you keep looking at me. Do I have hanging threads or a stain or something?” Looking down at herself, she smoothed her blouse.
“Do I keep looking at you strangely?”
“Yes, and you also just wrinkled your nose at my tea.” It was just like her to be blunt. As a girl, her father was always telling her that there were some things she should keep to herself because being honest and up front was offensive to a lot of sensitive people. She never listened, or learned.
He chucked again. “The tea is fine, just strong. And I wasn’t aware I was looking at you in a way that might be uncomfortable for you.”
“Oh.” What she really wanted to do was tell him his time was up and send him back to his castle.
“So when does your husband join you?” he asked.
A vision of Dave jumped into her head and she shoved it aside. “I’m not married.”
“Happily unattached to any male.” She changed the subject yet again. For whatever reason, Michael O’Siad was getting on her last nerve. He was presumptuous and nosy. “So I’ll come by to inspect the castle later this week. Maybe in the morning even?”
“Very good. All business.” He studied her some more. “You’re not a lesbian are you?”
“Excuse me?” The question left her aghast.
“Well you don’t have a boyfriend or husband. You are happily without a male, specifically, you made that very clear. So I’m wondering how a beautiful woman like you is single at your age.”
“No. I’m not a lesbian,” she said. “As I was saying, I want to just take an inventory of the property and see if anything needs to be fixed. Anything my uncle didn’t get to. So please make a list of any maintenance issues…”
“James usually gets to my maintenance issues quite quickly. I have no problems. I’ll be in all week. So I stand corrected. You’re just coming out of a bad relationship.” He took another sip from the tea cup though she was sure it was out of politeness rather than enjoyment.
“Mr. O’Siad, my personal life is none of your business. Now who is James?”
His grin widened. “Call me Michael, please. James is your maintenance man. It appears I’ve offended you. I apologize. I just find you curious. Since we’re neighbors I thought it might be nice to get to know one another.”
She bit her lower lip. Curious how? What the hell did that mean? “Well, let’s keep things… business, shall we?”
“Ah, yes. I see I’ve pushed a button and for that I apologize. I didn’t mean to pry.”
A surge of annoyance overwhelmed her. “Of course you meant to pry, otherwise you wouldn’t have.”
He shrugged. “Perhaps later this week you’ll let me show you around town. Let me take you to dinner.”
“Are you picking up on me?” The more annoyed she got, the more he seemed amused.
“I just wanted to offer to show you around.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“I’d like to get to know you.”
She was at a loss for words at first, but quickly recovered. “I’m not interested.”
“On the contrary, I think you’re very interested, you’re simply afraid.” He narrowed his eyes. “But of what? Was it a divorce?”
“I think maybe you should go.” Her hands started shaking and she realized she was trembling a little.
“He left you for someone else?” His blue, piercing eyes grew narrower.
Her heart began pounding in her chest. Who did this arrogant prick think he was? “It’s late and I’m tired.”
He stood. “I suppose I’ve imposed enough.”
“Yes, you have,” she whispered under her breath. She started toward the front door, very aware that he was right behind her. She opened the door.
“It was nice to meet you Ms. Penhall. I look forward to your visit. Goodnight.” He turned and made his way down the stairs.
She closed the door and locked it behind him. “What a jackass,” she said.