Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spellbound by Jessie Verino

The old mansion took on a life of its own after dark. Solange stopped in the hallway, only halfway through her first security check of the new job, and wondered why she felt reluctant to continue. She tried to shake off the feeling, but this house had a presence. It called to her, making her hot and edgy, distracted with an unexplainable need to find him.

Him?

She should be accustomed to it now, the strange energies and imaginings she felt from a home once the owner left and she remained alone. The feelings had never been anything more than a vague shadow on her thoughts, but tonight they felt more intense, more alive. Her whole body hummed with an erotic energy her cool logic couldn't explain.

Taking a deep breath, she laughed at her thoughts. She hadn't had a relationship in so long, even imagined ghosts started to turn her on.

Feeling better, she finished the walk-through, making sure all the doors were locked and the windows secured before she retired to the guest bedroom her employer provided for her stay.

The unfamiliar creaks and moans unsettled her as she lay in the antique four-poster bed. Thinking she should have brought a sound machine to help her sleep, she wished for the soothing sounds of a rainforest, or an ocean, or…piano music?

The shock of hearing the music had her bolting out of the bed as the final strains of something Mozarty floated through the room. The owner had assured her she would be alone in the house for the entire summer while he toured Europe. The baby grand in the music room wasn't playing itself.

She didn't bother to change from her boxer shorts and tank top to something more modest, knowing if she needed to defend herself the minimal amount of clothing wouldn't restrict her movements.

She padded barefoot downstairs and opened the French doors leading to the music room, trying to make as little noise as possible.

It didn't matter, her uninvited guest played with such an intensity the mere squeak of a door hinge couldn't have been heard.

The scene before her caught her off guard and held her immobile. Moonlight filtered into the room through the windows and bathed the man in soft light. His long, tanned fingers stroked shimmering emotion from the keys. He sat casually on the piano bench, his eyes almost closed, lost in the music. A strong jaw accentuated his profile, and silky black hair curled at the top of his collar.

Her pulse raced and her body heated at the sight of him—something primal in her recognizing him as the presence she had felt earlier. She absorbed the feeling, letting it move through her like the music he played. His presence touched her so intimately she swayed slightly from the sheer desire sweeping over her.

The haunting melody pulled her into the room. Each perfect note played over her skin, and she imagined his fingers skillfully stroking her fevered body to climax.

Disoriented, she steeled herself and fought her way through the sensual, hypnotic web of the music before she made a fool of herself and approached the intruder. She took a few steps back, switched on the lights, and slammed the door shut behind her.

The man didn't flinch or miss a note.