halloween at the graff

Starting over at thirty-two is never fun, especially in a town the size of a postage stamp. Chasing that with having to beg for a job she’s wildly over-qualified for and Walker Wilder’s pride is really burned. But now that she’s the new events director for the historic Montana Graff Hotel, she’s tasked with creating buzz and traditions to fill rooms during the off-season. Halloween may not scream touristy, but hiring a spirit-hunting TV crew will definitely grab some headlines… But when the sexy spirit hunter shows up, he haunts more than her dreams.

Calum Quest is done. He’s created an entertainment empire by chasing something he’s never seen and is tired of asking questions with no answers. His life has been defined by ghosts he needs to exorcise, yet, when a red-haired, grey-eyed beauty with a body that melts his mind pours him a double shot of Laphroaig whiskey and challenges him to one more round, how can he say no?

Calum Quest entered the lobby of the historic Graff Hotel in Marietta and for the first time in the nearly ten years of his professional life, he didn’t look around, note the rich paneled wood, marble, gleaming light fixtures and restrained vintage elegance of the lobby. He had done advanced research. He didn’t have questions prepared. No. He went straight to the bar.

He didn’t want to hear another ghost story. Not one more. And hotels always had ghost stories, especially the old ones, the destroyed ones rising from the ashes of so many "what might have beens."

Calum perched on a bar stool, and took a moment to look around. He loved the horse shoe shape of the bar---the gleaming dark wood. The liquor rising up in tiers from the middle so the stools ringed around the actual pouring stations. If it were lit from underneath the sheen of colors---amber whiskeys and the brighter hues of liquors would look like a rainbow waterfall splashing down.

Early for a drink. But what the heck, he was off the clock and feeling a little reckless with the renegade thought that had been rattling around his head this season. Walk away. Freedom. Could someone like him----restless, questions burning, regrets---ever be free? No. He’d thought that for so many years. Lived his life like that. But lately he’d wanted to hear, yes. Could he?

Call it instinct or…who knew? But his gaze slanted from appreciation of the layout and vibe of the bar towards the hotel lobby. He caught his breath.

Yes. Holy. Heck. Yes.

A woman walked across the open air lobby towards the tucked away bar area. And when he used the word walked, that was the biggest understatement he could remember---not that he had even been accused of making any. Still. The woman glided. She flowed over the floor. Oozed into the bar. Hot lava that would engulf him and sear him white hot clean to the bone. And did he ever want to burn.

She had hips that would cradle him. Hips he could grip. They flared out from her breath-snaggingly small waist that begged to be spanned.  Caressed. His fingers, splayed on his thighs, reflexively flexed, anticipating her warm, satin flesh beneath them.

He was so riveted by her walk, the even click, click of her heels across the floor and the rhythmic sway of her hips that lit up and released his libido that had been tightly leashed this past year, that it took him an embarrassingly long time to realize she was headed towards him. He shouldn’t be this out of practice.

 “That’s new,” the hips had a voice deserving of their power. Deep and husky with enough music in it that he wanted to hum. “Usually men ogle a little more north, but not north enough if they’re masquerading as polite.”
The amusement coupled with the bite in her voice told him all he needed to know. She knew her power. She embraced it. And she’d play if she were in the mood. And he wanted to get her in the mood. Whatever it took. However long it took. He was about to have nothing but time.