by Kate Hill
Ben wants Laura to reconsider staying overnight at Demon’s Grotto, and he has information about the club’s history that should convince her. He tells her three creepy love stories, hoping she will change her mind.
Rise of the Creature: When a mad doctor brings a dead man back to life, only his beautiful assistant can make that life worth living.
The Demon Within: A man on the run stops to rest at a rooming house, not knowing that it’s the hunting ground of a gorgeous succubus bent on devouring handsome guests.
Don’t Cry, Wolf: An ad for a maintenance man at a bed and breakfast is answered by a former soldier who’s harboring a hairy secret. The business’s lovely co-owner becomes involved with this sullen hunk who’s more than she imagined possible.
After hearing these stories of love and murder, will Laura decide to spend the night at Demon’s Grotto?
In the morning, Holly woke early to cook for her family and the guests since Gabby was hung over. It was better for everyone if Gabby just slept in. Holly was surprised when Declan and his legendary appetite didn’t join them for breakfast. When he returned from his run, he went directly upstairs.
With the breakfast dishes washed, her family and friends gone, and Gabby finally awake enough to work, Holly changed clothes and went to join Declan on the third floor.
She found him checking out the oversized refrigeration unit toward the end of the hall. “Hey, you’re not hungry this morning?” Holly asked as she approached him.
“I grabbed something at the cafe down the street. Isn’t this a weird place for a freezer?”
“Yeah. I thought so, too, but I guess it’s been here forever. It’s been upgraded lots of times, but it was one of the first in-home refrigerators ever used. The original owner of the house was a scientist or doctor or something like that. I guess he had it installed to keep supplies cool for his experiments. Gabby and I have always joked that he might have been a mad scientist and stored body parts. We’re having it upgraded again and plan to use it for frozen food storage.”
Declan turned from the refrigerator and said, “I’m going to finish sanding the walls in the last suite.”
“Sure.” She studied him carefully.
He was acting cool again — distant. Maybe he was embarrassed about last night, but he shouldn’t have been. If anyone was entitled to have an anxiety attack, it was Declan, after all he’d been through.
Declan left and Holly set to work changing burnt out light bulbs in one of the bathrooms. She climbed up the ladder and realized she had grabbed the wrong screwdriver.
“Hey, Declan! Can you bring my toolbox in here?”
A moment later, he appeared with the toolbox and placed it on the toilet.
“Thanks. I forgot the — ah!” Her foot slipped on the ladder and she thought for sure she was going to hit the floor.
Declan caught her. Snug in his arms, Holly locked her gaze with his. He held her close to his big, hard body, and a spark ignited in his dark eyes. She felt his breath against her face, and again it smelled of toothpaste instead of cigarettes.
“Declan,” she said softly.
His mouth covered hers, and Holly melted against him. Her arms tightened around his neck and her breasts pressed against his hard chest. She knew she should pull away, but she didn’t want to. If only his kiss could last forever.
Declan broke the kiss, though his lips hovered over hers. “I should apologize, but I don’t want to,” he said.
“Oh, Declan, I really — I can’t do this. It’s not right. I can’t start a relationship with an employee.”
Disappointment washed over her. “You do?”
“Yeah. I quit,” he said and kissed her again.
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