Home > Lucky Stars (Ghosts and Reincarnation #5)

Lucky Stars (Ghosts and Reincarnation #5)
Author: Kristen Ashley

Chapter One

Expectations and Disaster


There came a knock at the door.

Belle Abbot jumped like a frightened cat and whirled away from her reflection in the mirror.

She knew who was there.

She stared at the door thinking not for the first time she did not have a good feeling about that night.

She felt both a strange, thrilling expectation and a not so strange fear of disaster.

This combination of feelings was very weird.

The former, she had no idea its cause.

The latter, she knew was Miles.

She should have never agreed to come there.

She knew it, she just knew it. She should have never let him talk her into it.

It was too soon.

They’d only been dating a month which was way too soon for her to meet his mother.

And it was definitely way too soon for her to spend the weekend at the family’s ancestral castle in order to attend his mother’s posh annual birthday bash which would be a veritable crush of the rich and famous.

Belle was not comfortable in a crush of people. She’d definitely not be comfortable in a crush of the rich and famous.

She walked on leaded feet across the huge expanse of her richly appointed bedroom to the door. She was forty-five minutes late to join the party downstairs and she wondered what Miles’s reaction would be to her tardiness.

She was late partially because it took her forever to do her hair.

She was also late because she was purposefully dillydallying in an effort to delay her arrival at the festivities and hysterically considering feigning a headache, or a fast-acting and incapacitating stomach flu.

She pulled open the heavy door.

She was right. There stood Miles Bennett.

He looked, she noticed instantly, very good in his formal attire.

This wasn’t the first time she realised how good he looked. Indeed, it wasn’t something you could miss.

However, she’d thought he’d looked good before she’d ever met him, considering he was famous because he and his family were extortionately wealthy.

She’d seen his pictures in magazines since she was a young, romantically-minded girl and he was a teen. She (and undoubtedly many other girls around the globe) watched him growing up tall, strong, lean and handsome, living a jet-set lifestyle. The kind of lifestyle that always captivated the press and young, romantically-minded girls. Therefore, the press covered his life regularly and with a great deal of devoted attention. The same devotion that young girls who grew to be young women who grew to be just women without the young attached followed it.

He was blond, blue-eyed, broad-shouldered and had a slim but muscled body that he held with an attractive ease.

Though there was something in his eyes that worried Belle. Something she couldn’t quite put her finger on. Something she didn’t think she liked.

Those eyes did a sweep of her and she watched as they grew hungry not in an entirely good way. In what Belle thought was a somewhat greedy way, a way that put her on edge.

Then he muttered, “Jesus.”

Belle wasn’t certain about his odd response.

She looked down at herself anxiously and asked, “Do I look okay?” before her eyes lifted back to his.

His gaze moved from her chest to her face and he grinned. That look that made her uncomfortable left his face. Another look, a look that made her think maybe she was being a bit crazy, a look filled with warmth and affection, replaced it.

His hand came out and he teasingly flicked the ruffle at her neck.

“Is it one of yours?” he asked.

He meant her dress and he didn’t mean to ask if she owned it because, obviously, she did.

She had a small shop in St. Ives which sold, almost exclusively, a line of clothing creations that she designed and made. She also sold a few friends’ jewellery collections and other bits and bobs when the mood struck her, which was often.

The shop had been somewhat hand-to-mouth until the recent extraordinary events that rocked her life. Now, she had to employ two seamstresses to help her keep on top of stock, and her used-to-be very unusual, personalised orders had quadrupled.

“Yes,” she replied to Miles.

Her dress was knee length and form-fitting. It was a beautiful crêpe de chine she’d found that she’d fallen in love with instantly and bought yards of it even though the cost was astronomical. It was the colour of blush, that was neither peach nor pink nor cream but an elegant mixture of the three. The back was high. It was sleeveless but there was a deep slash from the throat to the empire waist at her midriff. This was made demure by a delicate, two-inch, complementary blush-coloured chiffon ruffle running the length of the slash and around her neck. Nevertheless, it showed the skin of her chest provocatively. She’d paired it with high-heeled pumps that were about three shades darker than the dress (on the pink side). The shoes had peek-a-boo toes that had a small rosette which flattered the shoes and drew attention to her French-pedicured toenails.

“Gorgeous,” Miles murmured and Belle had to steel herself against that word which he used often in regards to her, even calling her that as an endearment.

She considered any endearments in a month long relationship way too early but she never said anything, but she had to admit it kind of gave her the creeps.

It was a word her ex-husband, Calvin, had used to describe her and, just as Miles, Calvin had used it as a sweet nothing. Sometimes even saying it when he felt repentant, wiping away the blood from her lip, pressing the ice to her eye after he’d use his fists on her.

“We should join the party, Belle. Mum’s asking after you,” Miles told her, pulling her out of her thoughts and taking her elbow, forcing her forward, closing the door to her room behind them.

Belle had met Joy Bennett, Miles’s mother, that afternoon when they’d arrived at the family castle, called Chy An Als Point. An imposing, rambling, stone structure with an uneven roofline, some of it built hundreds upon hundreds of years before on a jagged Cornish cliff. The winds blew the waters of the sea so they smashed against the rocks at the castle’s base, giving the already daunting castle a strangely unsettling atmosphere.

You couldn’t say the castle was beautiful. The many different styles of its construction, as it was added onto century after century, clashed weirdly at the same time they managed to mingle.

You could say it was spectacular, almost like a living entity, powerful, magnificent and impenetrable, perched for centuries on its cliff.

Regardless of the fact that it was slightly spooky, Belle loved it.

Upon meeting Miles’s Mum, Joy, Belle liked her without reservation. She was a lovely woman, tall and svelte, sharing the colouring of Miles. She was open, friendly, welcoming and kind, if a bit dramatic but, considering Belle’s mother and grandmother, Belle was used to more than a bit of drama.

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