Home > Penmort Castle (Ghosts and Reincarnation #1)

Penmort Castle (Ghosts and Reincarnation #1)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Chapter One


Cash Fraser sat in the back corner of the pub. A small cranberry red bottle of sparkling water was on the table in front of him, a glass of ice beside it.

He hadn’t yet bothered to pour.

He was considering leaving.

His being there he knew was a ridiculous idea. How he’d let James talk him into it, he couldn’t fathom.

But he had.

And now he was there.

And she was late.

Cash didn’t have a great deal of patience for anything including, and perhaps especially, waiting.

He’d made the decision to leave when the door opened but he hesitated at what he saw. He knew it was her the minute his eyes hit her. He knew this because James had exquisite taste.

And she was definitely exquisite.

She was wearing winter white. A loosely-knitted, woollen, white beret was pulled down low over her head covering her ears. She was wrapped in a white, well-tailored, wool overcoat that was nipped in at the waist. You could see the winter white turtleneck hugging her throat through the soft, white pashmina tucked stylishly in the lapel of her coat. She was wearing a chic pair of very high, dangerously thin spike-heeled, snakeskin boots and on her hands were grey leather gloves. The strap of a slim, sleek, expensive bag in matching snakeskin was on her shoulder, the bag tucked under her arm.

From his distance Cash could see that even without the heels she was quite tall. She had thick, long, blonde hair bursting out from under the beret, flawless skin and her rounded cheekbones had been made rosy from the bitter cold outside.

Cash took in her elegant clothing and good looks distractedly.

It was her presence that captured his attention.

She was not the kind of woman you looked at twice.

No, she was the kind of woman who, when she caught your attention, it didn’t move away.

And she was also the kind of woman who knew this as fact.

She tugged off her gloves as her eyes scanned the patrons. They stopped when they found him.

He watched her body go still and even though her face remained bland he thought for a moment she was going to turn around and leave.

Instead, she moved both gloves to one hand and pulled the beret off her head, her long, shining hair exposed dramatically with the movement. She walked toward him, her fingers plunging into her hair at her forehead and pulling it back. She lifted it at the back of her head, grasping it in a fist, flicking it out and dropping her hand, her hair settling to frame her face magnificently.

It was an effective show, drawing your attention to her extraordinary face, her glorious hair as well as the long length of her body.

And she had Cash’s attention as well as every man’s in the room.

She walked with a natural grace even in those absurdly high heels and he stood as any gentleman would when she made her final approach.

She stopped a foot away and tilted her head back to look at him.

Her eyes, Cash noted, were a warm hazel.

He found this warmth surprised him. She was the physical definition of cool.

“Cash,” she said softly, warmth also in her voice.

“Abigail,” he returned.

Her full, glossed lips tipped up slightly at the ends, not a smile, not even a grin, just a nonverbal affirmation.

That’s when she leaned into him. Her fingers curled around his upper arm and he felt one of her br**sts press lightly against his chest as she tilted her head back further to touch her cheek against his.

Her perfume, he noted, was complicated and sophisticated, musky, yet vaguely floral.

The scent suited her.

When she moved away she murmured, “Abby.”

“I’m sorry?” he queried.

Her eyes met his. “Call me Abby.”

He didn’t respond verbally but lifted his chin.

She didn’t look like a woman who had an uncomplicated name such as “Abby”. “Abigail” also didn’t fit her and he wondered if this was her real name.

“Drink?” he asked.

“Red wine. A glass of pinot noir if they have it,” she replied and Cash realised she was an American.

James hadn’t told him that.

He also noted she was an alto, her accented voice pitched low and soft.

“Certainly,” he replied to her request and stepped away to go to the bar.

He watched her as he ordered the wine. She took off her coat and scarf and he saw that she wore a snug-fitting, thin, winter white turtleneck and a matching body-hugging skirt that ended just above her knees and clung to her thighs, h*ps and bottom. She had a pair of pearl studs in her ears and a gold watch at her wrist, no other jewellery.

Again, he noted her attire absent-mindedly.

What held Cash’s attention were her curves. She had full br**sts, a tiny waist, rounded h*ps and a rather generous backside, all of this with those long legs and, he observed, superb posture.

She sat with her side toward him and crossed her legs, her head bent to her bag which was in her lap. She pulled out her mobile and he saw in profile her expression change when she slid it open, hit a button and looked at the display. At first he thought she was annoyed. Then a line of white teeth were exposed when she bit the side of her lower lip as if she was undecided about something.

Cash felt another small hint of surprise mainly because the minute her teeth caught her lip he thought she looked rather adorable.

He watched her make her decision, she released her lip, the tip of her tongue slid out to wet the upper one as she pressed and held a button on her phone. Once it was turned off, she thrust the mobile back in her bag, tossing it on the chair with her coat.

At that instant the bartender gave him her wine, Cash paid for it and walked back to the table.

When he came close, she looked up at him over her shoulder, her shining hair gliding along her back, her graceful jaw jutting out, her full lips slightly parted, her warm, hazel eyes locked on his.

She’ll do, he thought as he set the wine in front of her.

“Thank you,” she muttered politely.

He sat opposite her and as she looked at him he noticed there was something in her eyes, something he couldn’t exactly read. It was something deep and intriguing, something she meant to hide but was not quite successful in doing it. Something that, Cash thought as he kept his eyes on her, looked an awful lot like pain.

Nevertheless, his decision was made and as usual he didn’t waste any time.

She was taking a sip of her wine when he asked, “How much?”

His bluntness startled her and it looked like she had difficulty swallowing as she blinked at him.

“I beg your pardon?” she enquired.

“James explained things to you?”

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