The Grave Robber, an all-new steamy paranormal novella set in the Charley Davidson world from New York Times bestselling author
Darynda Jones, is available now!
Done with ghosts. Done with hellhounds. And definitely done with asshole demons, mostly because he’d been possessed by one. Even now, five years later, the rage he absorbed from the creature has yet to wane, so he decides a road trip is in order. Surely some cool air, great scenery, and a case of Dos Equis will shake things loose. Unfortunately, supernatural events happen everywhere. When he meets up with a friend whose partner’s daughter needs help with a pest problem—aka, a ghost—Eric takes that as his cue to leave.
Until he sees her.
He can tell Halle’s house isn’t the only thing that is haunted. The hopelessness behind her eyes tugs at something deep inside him. Something all too familiar. The fact that she’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen has nothing to do with his change of heart. And he vows to leave her in his rearview the minute he takes care of the poltergeist. Then again, vows were never his strong suit.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.*
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“What do the notes say?”
She pulled her lower lip between her teeth, stalling. She stalled some more when she said, “I can’t always read them.”
“Halle,” I warned.
Her shoulders deflated as she released a surrendering sigh. “At first, they were just numbers. They started right after my mom died. The number twelve kept popping up. But a month later, it changed to an eleven. Then a ten. Then a nine.”
“Yes. Every month for the last year, he’s been counting down. And now we’re at number two.” She leveled an accusing gaze on me. “And you’ve known since the first time you laid eyes on me.”
“Not the first time,” I said, slightly offended. “What makes you think they’re death threats? They could mean anything.”
“Because the other note he leaves is pretty explicit. It’s just one word. Payback.”
Ah. Now we were getting somewhere. “Halle, what happened seventeen years ago? What changed your life so dramatically? And who wants payback?”
She shook her head and looked away, tears shimmering in her eyes.
I leaned onto my elbows and put a hand over hers. “Halle, I know this is hard, but please trust me.”
“It’s not that. It’s not that I don’t trust you. You’ve earned that and then some. But if I tell you what happened, what I did, you won’t want to have sex with me anymore.”
I almost snorted. Clearly, she didn’t understand the male thought process.
But I needed to chill. I was pushing her too hard. I wanted her to bend. Not break.
The furball started whimpering at her feet. Halle picked her up, nuzzled her, then set her in the box she’d brought along with a dry towel from the bathroom. With a full belly, the furball settled immediately and went to sleep.
Halle straightened and walked over to stand in front of me. “Is that a yes?”
“No,” I said, taking in every curve she had to offer. She smelled sweet, like jasmine. “It’s a hell yes.” I put a hand on her hip, the heat from her body soaking into my skin as she straddled me.
With hesitant fingers, she tested the abrasion on my jaw. “Are you sure this is okay? You were hit by a truck yesterday.”
“I was sideswiped by a truck. Huge difference.”
She nodded and grew thoughtful as though making calculations in her head. Now was not the time for math.
“I’m pretty sure you’re a supernatural being,” she said, completely serious. “That you’re not real and will disappear as soon as all of this is over.”
“I have several friends who are supernaturally inclined. I am not one of them. And I’m not going anywhere.”
She buried her fingers in my hair and covered my mouth with hers. I’d never welcomed a kiss more in my life.
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