When William Stamson falls in love with a dilapidated mansion, he has no idea he’ll attract the attention of Cassius Grant…and disturb some magic better left alone.
Born a void, someone who cannot perform magic, William Stamson moves away in order to live on his own, away from his matchmaking family. While house-hunting, he falls for an old mansion that calls to him…and is situated on a vortex of magic almost limitless in power.
Cassius Grant, Cash to his family, is charged with getting rid of the house’s new resident. Determined to evict the interloper, he is taken aback by the beautiful, wilful man who refuses to abandon his new house under any circumstances. Cassius realises the best way to deal with the man is to keep a close eye on him…and what better place than from William’s bed?
Reader Advisory: This book was previously released at another publisher. It has been revised and re-edited for release by Totally Bound.
William Stamson never thought he’d fall in love with a lady. After being a gay man for the first twenty-five years of his life, he met a tattered painted lady with three broken windows and a gap-toothed fence, and fell illogically, irrevocably in love.
“I’ll take the house,” he told the realtor who stood waiting patiently for him to finish examining the front of the mansion.
“B—but you haven’t seen the inside. The house needs a lot of work,” she sputtered. “There are several in much better shape if you like this neighbourhood.”
He watched her wrestling between wanting an easy sale and her moral obligation not to sell a decrepit house to a client. He wondered if her reluctance stemmed from the magic pulsing through the property like a beating drum, pounding out a complicated rhythm. Hearing the underlying music wasn’t an ability everyone had. Most days Will wished he were one of those talentless people. Although he could hear the power thrumming through the air, his strange immunity kept him from using the magic. He wasn’t surprised no one could live in the house. The mansion all but seethed with energy, an uncomfortable experience for magic wielders, while giving non-magical people the eerie sensation of a haunted house. Electricity crackled in the air, arcs of energy dancing around him. The house’s magic reached out to him, invisible fingers ruffling his hair, like a human petting a favoured child.
Closing his eyes, he opened his senses to the entity.
A soft gasp, a pleased hum, then the pounding rhythm smoothed to a quiet whisper. A hush filled the air like the silence after a tornado or maybe the eye of a storm.
The sensation sank into his bones, warm and loving like a mother’s hug. Well, maybe other people’s mothers. His didn’t give actual hugs. Physical contact might wrinkle her designer clothes.
“Are you sure you want to put in an offer?” The realtor’s anxious voice broke up the moment, the magic dissolving. Her tone wavered between hope and desperation. For the first time he noticed the worn cuffs on her green suit and the faded colour of the shirt tucked underneath.
“Yes,” Will insisted. Despite the building’s odd power, the place made him feel as if he were home. Besides, writing scary detective stories could only be easier living in a spooky mansion. He smiled when he thought about his relatives’ future reactions.
Will was the dreamer, the only exception in a family known for controlling powerful people across the globe. As a result of his carefree approach to life, everyone thought he needed someone to take care of him. Not a relation on either side of his family had forgotten to leave him a small inheritance when they died.
In Will’s family ‘a small inheritance’ was a minimum of two million dollars. His Great-uncle Frederick had been particularly generous, even as he’d addressed Will as his ‘idiot nephew’. Will had willingly overlooked the condemnation for the cool one hundred million his uncle had left in his account.
However, as much as Will loved them and appreciated their acceptance of his gay lifestyle, if he didn’t move out of town soon, he was going to go to jail for fratri-patri-matricide. Will longed to settle down with the Mr Average of his dreams. None of the doctors, stockbrokers or lawyers paraded in front of him by his hopeful mother and calculating father met his needs—after fucking them, they really served no purpose.
He knew his behaviour made him a slut. But hell, he didn’t golf, and after humiliating his snobbish dates by comparing stock portfolios, there wasn’t anything left to talk about. His dates all ended with him cutting them loose and ignoring them when they called.
After having gone through most of the successful gay men in Seattle, Will had decided maybe he should try something different. Besides, the zombies were starting to creep him out. All cities had at least a few necromancers that could raise the undead, but Seattle was starting to get more than its share. Will needed to leave before someone got the bright idea to drain his blood as a form of zombie pest control.