Can ghosts influence the living? Can they make a man fall in love? Help him see things in different lights? William Maltese, AM Riley and Lex Valentine weave four tales that pose these questions and answer the question, LOVE ME DEAD?
Blurb - Rousing Caine by Lex Valentine:
Jason Rockham has lost faith in others and himself. He no longer trusts and doesn’t believe in love. When he escapes to his cliffside home in Northern California, he meets a ghost who is the antithesis of everything he’s come to believe about people. Caine Carruthers fell in love with the laugh of a man he didn’t know. After his unexpected death, he sought out the man and found him bitter and disillusioned with life. With love in his heart, Caine sets out to show Jason that life is worthwhile and love is possible. Two incomparable heroes – a man who has lost hope and a ghost who believes love conquers all, including death. This story will make you laugh and cry and most of all... believe.
The sound of water splashing in the bathroom sink pulled Jason from a deep sleep. Rolling over, he hugged his pillow and tried to ignore the sound. Chris would come back to bed soon and the annoying sound would stop. He sank into the pillow, willing deep sleep to return, but something nagged at the edges of his consciousness. Why the hell was the water running? Why didn’t Chris get his ass back to bed?
Shock flicked Jason’s eyes open as reality slammed into him. His heart raced and adrenaline shot through his body. Chris had dumped him a week ago, making off with his prize painting and several thousand dollars from the wall safe. That morning, Jason had come to his family’s rustic cliff house on 17 Mile Drive in Pebble Beach. Alone. No Chris. No anyone. Yet, he distinctly heard water running in the sink of the master bath.
He lay perfectly still, almost afraid to breathe, thinking there must be a burglar in the house. Although, he couldn’t fathom why a burglar would wash his hands for ten minutes in the master bathroom. Didn’t they just rob the place and leave? Jason shut his eyes tightly and buried his face in the pillow.
One one thousand. Two one thousand. Three one thousand.
What the fuck? Why didn’t the guy just take what he’d come for and leave? Jason thought as panic rose within him. He didn’t know how much longer he could lie still and pretend to sleep.
The bathroom door creaked slightly as it opened. The covers lifted. Jason stopped breathing. The far side of the bed dipped. The sound of a pillow being plumped echoed loudly in the dark bedroom. The solid weight of a body settled in next to him and it was all Jason could do not to jump up and scramble out the other side of the bed. A contented sigh rent the silence.
Four one thousand. Five one thousand. Six one thousand.
Jason wondered how long he would have to lie there beside the burglar. He didn’t want to be attacked and left dead or dying, which left him no choice but to play possum. A hand touched his naked thigh and he froze, a scream caught in his throat.
“I’m not going to hurt you, so just relax.”
The warm hand stroked his thigh from knee to hip. The fingers caressed his skin with an expertise Jason had rarely experienced. He swallowed hard as the warmth of those talented fingers brushed his cock. It twitched and Jason cursed it silently. The traitorous organ was aroused by a total stranger! A fucking burglar!
“I’m not a burglar and I’m not going to hurt you. I want to help you.”
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