Home > Sommersgate House (Ghosts and Reincarnation #2)

Sommersgate House (Ghosts and Reincarnation #2)
Author: Kristen Ashley


Sommersgate House

Everyone knew that Sommersgate House was built for love.

Its creator, Lord Archibald Ashton, Baron Blackbourne, spared no expense. Every piece of stone, every stick of timber, every pane of glass (and so on) were the best of the very best. He located the finest carpets; commissioned the most extraordinary fireplaces; purchased the most exceptional pieces of furniture; demanded the most magnificent chandeliers.

Every inch had to be resplendent. It was to be a testimony to devotion.

Sommersgate House was built for his wife, the love of his life, the beautiful Lady Ruby.

It was tragic, then, that they both died within months of its completion.

Everyone thought that was enough reason for the curse to settle on the house. After all that trouble, all that expense, all that dedication to an act of love, to have it all, so quickly, turn catastrophic in only a few months time was enough for any house to be cursed.

And cursed it was, Sommersgate, once beautiful (if a bit ostentatiously so), during one dark day and one frantic, devastating evening, turned wicked, frightful and monstrous.

As the decades went by, the curse became local lore. People could feel it, just walking, riding or eventually driving by the Gate House of the great property. Its malevolence permeated the very air. For those who went to the house, they felt it, even though they didn’t see it.

Sommersgate House was a most unhappy place indeed.

And that didn’t even take into account the hauntings.

Chapter One


That morning Mrs. Kilpatrick had a case of nerves. Mrs. K knew that there was still the possibility that this morning’s imminent arrival would get cold feet. That Julia Fairfax would decide, at the last minute, not to leave her family, her friends, her home, everything she knew, to spend the next thirteen years of her life at Sommersgate House.

Yes, that morning Mrs. Kilpatrick was tense. Her daily girl Veronika was tense. And before he left, Carter, the chauffer, was tense.

Worst of all, the house was tense and make no mistake about it, even though it was simply mortar and stone (albeit grand mortar and stone), Sommersgate could most definitely be tense.

Mrs. Kilpatrick had been working at Sommersgate for the last thirty-seven years, since she was seventeen years old, and she was proud of it. She’d worked her way up from a daily girl to the lofty position of Housekeeper. She knew every nook and cranny of the house, every noise, every creaky floorboard. She knew that house like she knew her own husband, through and through.

She turned and watched as Ruby sat at the massive kitchen table, her blonde curls bobbing while she coloured in her book. Per usual, the child made no attempt to colour in the lines or utilise a flesh-like tone for skin (in this instance, Mrs. Kilpatrick saw, skin was kelly green) or any other colour that would be appropriate (the sky was silver and the grass was purple).

From the moment four years ago when Ruby was placed in Mrs. Kilpatrick’s arms as a babe of no more than a few days, Mrs. Kilpatrick knew there was something unusual about the child. Ruby had spent the next four years proving her right.

As she watched Ruby, Mrs. K heard a car on the drive.

Ruby didn’t hesitate in colouring because she hadn’t lived in Sommersgate long enough to know how to distinguish the various sounds but Mrs. Kilpatrick knew that Carter was home.

She took a deep breath and sighed in relief. If something had gone wrong during the journey from Heathrow, Carter would have called. They were now home and Mrs. K hoped that, with the treasured cargo Carter was delivering today, months of sadness and despair would begin healing.

Maybe even a century of it.

She put a hand to her hair, testing the bounce of her fashionable bob, the old blonde now having streaks of white. She smoothed the front of her skirt down, trying, as ever, to ignore her somewhat protruding belly, flipped on the electric kettle and shot a prayer to heaven that Ms. Julia Fairfax was indeed the answer to all Mrs. Kilpatrick’s prayers. Or, more to the point, Mrs. Kilpatrick’s prayers for little Ruby, Ruby’s older brother William and sister Elizabeth and perhaps, just perhaps, their Uncle Douglas but most especially, Sommersgate House.

“Come along, luv, your Aunt Julia is here.”

At this announcement, Ruby’s head shot up and she ceased colouring immediately. Squealing with delight (a sound so foreign in Sommersgate that it startled Mrs. K), she jumped off the bench and ran out of the kitchen at top speed. She was at the front door, struggling to shift its massive weight when Mrs. Kilpatrick arrived.

“Patience, child. She’s right outside the door. You’ll see her soon enough.”

“Auntie Jewel, I’m in here!” Ruby shouted through the door unnecessarily but Mrs. Kilpatrick doubted the ancient, studded wood with its heavy, black-scrolled, iron hinges would do anything but mute the child’s call.

She unlatched the door and using all her might, pulled it open. Ruby shot out like lightning, ran across the distance and threw herself at the tall woman standing on the gravel drive next to a shining burgundy Bentley.

“My gorgeous baby!” Julia Fairfax cried. Wrapping her arms around the child, she lifted her up and swung her around in a full circle.

Mrs. Kilpatrick took in the scene. Carter had moved to the boot of the Bentley and was watching it too. It was hard not to smile with relief and Mrs. K felt the easing sigh tremble through the very air around Sommersgate.

* * * * *

Mrs. Margaret Kilpatrick had known Julia Elizabeth Fairfax for fifteen years. She’d watched her grow from a young, naive, headstrong girl of twenty-one to a beautiful, sophisticated, even more headstrong woman (so headstrong as to be described as stubborn).

Julia stood in the drive by the gleaming Bentley, which sat next to a glamorous circular fountain. She was swinging her niece, smiling and laughing, looking like she’d been born to stand in the drive of a palatial estate, even though she most definitely had not.

She was very tall, slim but rounded in all the right places. Julia wore an elegant suit of chocolate brown with a fitted pencil skirt and a feminine jacket nipped in at the waist. Her blonde hair was swept up in a chic twist. She was wearing a pair of leopard print, spike heeled pumps and a tawny pashmina dripped casually from her elbows. She didn’t look like she’d spent the last fourteen hours travelling through crowded airports, stuffy airplanes and close cars. She looked fresh and rested, as if she was just headed out to lunch.

“I’m not a baby,” Ruby exclaimed through her giggling struggles.

“You’re my baby, always were, always will be,” Julia stated and kissed the child loudly on her cheek.

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