Authors: Sofia Grey
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Erotica, #Paranormal, #Romantic Erotica
By Sofia Grey
Thanks to my co-mods at Goodreads for inspiring this short
story in the first place, and to Lillian and Sotia, for critiquing and editing.
You guys rock
hell are you…?
concentrated hard. Her right hand sat loose and relaxed in Becky's, but her
left was being squeezed so tight, she'd lost the feeling in her fingertips.
Alice had never been to a séance before and, judging by how nervous she looked,
Summer guessed this would be a one-time thing. With an effort, she tried to
ignore Alice and focused again.
candles flickered on the table in front of her. She blinked. No draughts, no
window left open. Letting her eyelids droop, she stared at the nearest candle,
her gaze intent on the tiny flame until the light blurred and separated. Her
breathing slowed, heart following suit, and she forced her entire body to relax
from the shoulders down.
Any minute now…
It was as though
she'd been split into two people: Summer-at-the-table, head down, silent and
empty – a shell – and
Summer-on-the-psychic-plane, where she felt at home. Her mind soared,
tendrils of her consciousness roaming far and wide, rippling out in waves. She
knew a spirit was close by, lurking just out of reach.
spoke in low, measured tones. “I want to talk to Arthur Milton.” A pause.
“Arthur, your wife and daughter are here with me. They’d like to speak to you.”
Beside her at
the small round table, Alice shivered, the tremor running up Summer's arm.
“It's cold in here,” Alice muttered. “Why is it so cold?”
slowly and ignored the question. Another deep breath. “Arthur, can you hear me?
Come to me.” It wasn't cold in the room—not really. The sun had been relentless
this afternoon, a beautiful late spring day, and it still felt hot outside. The
chill in the room was due to the spirit that
refused to show
himself. Summer gritted her teeth and probed deeper.
Come on, Arthur.
brushed up against her mind. Hard, warm and confident, this spirit was strong
and proud, and somehow
than she’d expected of the late Arthur
Milton. The photograph she'd seen portrayed a nervous looking gentleman and, by
all accounts, he'd been henpecked throughout forty years of marriage. Summer
wondered if by dying he'd finally achieved some peace and quiet. She sat
perfectly still and waited for the spirit to approach again.
“Come to me.”
Her voice was gentle.
Chapter 2 – Who are you?
drifted into the room. Freshly cut grass? No, more dusty…
It smelled like bales of hay. Beside her, Summer heard Alice
sniff, then Becky too. A soft jingling noise grabbed her attention, and she
followed the sound.
Standing in the
corner of Alice's parlour, looking so absurdly out of place that Summer wanted
to laugh aloud, was a cowboy. His frame tall and well built, his over-long inky
black hair fell forwards onto a tanned face, jaw grazed with dark stubble. Deep
blue eyes looked mischievous, his gaze flashing over Summer while the corners
of his mouth tugged upwards in amusement.
and tried to order her thoughts but could only stare.
chaps over faded denim, boots with spurs – that explained the jingle – long
coat and a hat clutched in his right hand. Yep, he looked the part.
her hand even tighter, and Becky shifted in her seat. She could practically
smell their nervousness. While it was normal for Summer to see spirits
manifesting like this, poor Alice was probably freaking out.
voice, Summer strove for calm. “Are you Arthur?”
cowboy raised one eyebrow. “I've been called many names, darlin’, but never
Arthur.” His voice washed over her, smooth and seductive, and sweet as a bowl
of melted chocolate. Summer felt an inexplicable urge to ask him to say
something else. Her name, perhaps.
Get a grip, Summer
She blinked and
spoke again, slightly more controlled. “We're looking for Arthur Milton. Are
you his spirit guide?”
That drew a
short laugh. “The only Arthur I know is my brother's dog. Damn fool name for a
hound. I'm guessing you're not looking for him?” He stepped closer and banged
the hat gently against his thigh. Summer watched, transfixed, as a cloud of
dust drifted to the floor. This apparition looked real enough to touch. She
felt Alice and Becky shrinking back.
“Keep your hands
linked,” she whispered, her eyes never leaving his face. With those high,
Slavic cheekbones, he could have walked straight out of a Tolstoy novel, but
that accent…like molasses, she decided. “If you're not Arthur, who
Jack. Jack McKane. Are you gonna tell me your name, Sugar?”
He pronounced it
Summer blinked. Not quite her name, but close enough. “I’m Summer Mead-” She
didn’t get a chance to finish; Alice interrupted.
“What kind of
trick is this? Who is this man? And how dare you let him into my house?” Her
voice rose, fear underpinning every word. The cowboy paused and frowned at her.
Now Becky joined
in. “Mum, I don’t like this.” She started to tug her hand free from Summer and,
just like that, the séance began to fall apart. Summer could feel his gaze upon
her – she wanted to talk to him – but she needed to calm the two frightened women
first. She started by squeezing their fingers.
“He’s a spirit,
Alice. I’m hoping he can find Arthur for you.”
“Yes, we can all see him.”
“You didn’t say
anything about strange men coming in my house. I’m not happy about this,
Summer. I think I want my money back.”
The cowboy –
Jack – stood there, gently tapping his hat against his leg. “Do we have a
“We weren’t expecting to see you, Mr McKane.” Summer had a dilemma.
Keep this rather delicious guy talking a little longer or politely ask him to
leave and try again to call up Arthur? There was no contest. Yummy-Jack won by
a mile. Mentally waving her fees aside, she gave Alice an encouraging smile and
then looked back at him.
“No problem. Where
are you from, Mr McKane?”
widened, and Summer saw a flash of dimple in one sculpted cheek. “Please, call
me Jack. I’m from the Silver Creek Ranch, west of San Antonio.” He broke off
and gazed around the room, the dimple vanishing and his eyes narrowing. “Where
in the hell am I? This sure ain’t Texas.”
The stubbled jaw
tightened, and he cocked his head. “
?” She might as well have
said Mars. “I ain’t never been to England.” The drawl lengthened, making Summer
giddy with delight. She hurried to ask him another question—anything to keep
“When did you die, Jack? What year was it?”
eyebrows shot up and disappeared behind an enticing lock of hair. She longed to
sweep it back with her fingers, wondering if it felt as silky as it looked.
“What do you mean,
?” One hand rose to slip inside his shirt. “Nope,
still beating. This is just a dream. I’ve eaten too many ribs for supper.” When
he pulled his hand free, his shirt lifted to show a flash of hard, golden
stomach. Summer licked her lips, her mouth unaccountably dry.
“It sure was
nice making your acquaintance, Sum-mah Meadows.” The dimple returned, and Jack
took another step forward, extending his hand towards her. Forgetting this was
a séance, forgetting that Jack was a spirit, she released Becky’s fingers and
held out her own hand.
yelps from the two women, Summer groaned at her stupid mistake. Life sucked
sometimes. The first man to come along who made her forget about her ex, and he
was dead. Not only that, but Arthur finally decided to make an appearance, and
now the chance of calling her yummy-cowboy back bordered on nil.
Rob snuck back
into her thoughts at bedtime. A year ago, they’d been engaged. Six months ago,
they’d been knee-deep in seating plans and colour schemes for the wedding.
Three months ago, he’d run away and joined the Army. She could only deduce that
living in a desert battle zone was preferable to marrying her. It hurt. She’d
been through anger, grief and revenge; surely she was inching closer to
As she turned
her pillow over, again, she concluded that no, she wasn’t over him yet. It
didn’t help that Rob had been the best lover she’d had and, as such, was doubly
difficult to replace.
her eyes, pretending once more that he lay behind her, spooned against her.
Sleep lurked, waiting on the fringes to move in. A gentle hand curled around
her breast, and she sighed, relaxing, softening under the touch. It felt so
real. She could pretend she was no longer alone in bed. Hot breath on the back
of her neck soothed her. Warm, soft lips nuzzled the tender spot behind her
ear, and she was lost.
this morning. Was it a good séance last night?”
Summer paused as
she worked and glanced up at her friend and business associate, Lisa.
to yourself.” Lisa slipped one arm around Summer’s shoulders in a quick hug.
“It's nice to see you getting over that jerk.”
Had she been singing?
She did feel more cheerful though and she smiled at her friend. “The séance was
long, but the guy came through eventually.” An image of inky black hair and
dark blue eyes tugged at her memory. “Would you believe, this cowboy appeared
too? I mean, really appeared. We all saw him.” His voice reminded her of the
pan of chocolate melting on the stove, and she stirred the mixture, examining
“A cowboy? In
backstreet Manchester? Was he going to a fancy dress party or something when he
died? Poor sod.”
Lisa giggled as
she went to serve a customer, leaving Summer to her work. Creating quality
handmade confectionary had been her dream job for years, but until her little
shop became established, the séances were a lucrative sideline. Last night had
been a success for Alice and would hopefully generate some more appointments.
Snapping back to
the job at hand, she lifted the spoon and watched as the drips splashed back
into the vat. The words ‘poor sod’ in no way described the rather luscious Jack
McKane. She wondered if he'd liked chocolate when he was alive. How would it
feel to smear melted ganache across those fine lips and then kiss it off again?
Her nipples tingled at the image. She swiped her index finger across the back of
the spoon and raised it to her mouth.
Dark, sultry and
sweet. Just like her cowboy.
Summer lay in
bed with her eyes closed, waiting for the moment when she'd tumble over the
edge. And there it was. The instant she felt a hard, warm body snuggled against
her back, she knew she was sleeping. One large, slightly calloused hand splayed
across her bare stomach, and she trembled with anticipation. Hot breath
feathered along her neck. She couldn't hold back a whimper. A deep male chuckle
rumbled against her back. Dream-Rob was even better than Real-Rob.
She felt her
hair being moved, the heavy curtain lifted and soft lips pressing a series of
tiny kisses on the delicate skin beneath. Fingers brushed across her hip bone,
smoothed down the cheek of her ass and skirted along the inside of her thigh,
teasing all the way. She groaned and squirmed, pushing back and thrilling at
the sensation of his cock digging into butt cheek. She was ready, but he still
wanted to play. Rob never used to be such a tease.
whispered. He ignored her. She grabbed his wandering hand and placed it
directly over her pussy, groaning at the touch and half mad with desire. In a
heartbeat, he flipped their hands the other way round so that it was her
fingers underneath, and his in charge. He trapped her hand, holding it still a
moment longer, then guided them both lower, to glide across her slit. Her
fingers were drenched. She swallowed hard and then bucked as he pushed her
deeper, surging inside.
In and out; her hand
was no longer her own. He drove her on, plunging and pounding, before allowing
her a fleeting caress over her clit. She trembled under his touch. It felt as
though her bones were melting, as though she’d dissolve under his fingers. His
mouth roamed across her neck, her shoulders. A nibble here, a lick there. A
bite on the tender skin at the crook of her neck. The breath caught in her
Oh God, please do that again.
She felt him fisting his free hand
in her hair, while his teeth dug into her. She was impaled, immobilised and on
fire for him. Another brush against her hard bud – his thumb? – and she cried
out as she gave herself to a quivering, sobbing climax. He licked away the
sting from his bite and soothed her with another kiss, his mouth trailing down