Here’s another selection from The Wild Rose Press’s Haunting In the Garden series.
Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean
A year after her husband’s death, Emily Tillman is ready to start dating again, and hopefully, find what she’s always wanted—marriage and children. But the man who broke her heart five years ago is back. And he’s anything but the marrying kind. Confirmed bachelor Reese Caster is perfectly content with his life—and he’s finally over Emily, the one woman who almost made him commit. Now, his world is rocked when her dead husband shows up, demanding that Reese pursue Emily to keep her out of the clutches of her latest suitor—a jerk who is only after her money. Being around Emily again has made Reese reconsider his bachelor life style. But now that the threat of the other man is gone, the pesky ghost wants Reese to break things off. Can he and Emily find the love they were denied, or will the ghost of her dead husband destroy their chances?
“Emily is the kind of woman you have to take things slowly with.”
“Sure, if this was real. But you have to step it up, turn on the charm. You need to show you care, that you know her, buy her things that she loves. Her favorite flowers are white roses, she loves dark chocolate, and her favorite wine is Merlot. You need to move in on her, hard.”
Caster gave a humorless laugh and shook his head. “Do you hear yourself? You were her husband, for God’s sake. Have some respect.”
Joey’s face flushed. “I do respect her. That’s why I don’t want this asshole putting one over on her. She deserves to find someone who will truly love her and give her the things I couldn’t.”
A note of pain in his voice almost made Caster feel sorry for him. But not as sorry as he felt for the family who lost a loved one less than half an hour ago. “Listen, I’ve performed back to back surgeries today, and had my night capped off by an emergency surgery that ended with a young girl’s death. So, you’ll understand why I’m not in the mood for this right now.”
“I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do about that. My concern is with Emily. And I need you to follow through with your end of the deal.”
“Deal, my ass. You blackmailed me into going along with this bullshit. Well, I’m out. I’ll finish the haunted forest thing, but no more of this romancing Emily crap. I can’t use her like that, I can’t break her heart again.”
“Break her heart? You sound pretty sure she’ll fall for you. My, my. Someone’s full of himself.”
Caster stood and stalked to the door. “Look, I don’t know if she will or not, I just know I can’t do this any longer. You can destroy everything I own, keep me up every night for the rest of my life, but I’m done.”
He put his hand on the door, but Joey’s voice stopped him. “I’ll tell her.”
Caster paused and turned to face him. “You’ll what?”
“Not only will I continue to screw with you, even on the job, but I’ll appear to Emily, tell her about our little scheme. What do you think she’ll think of you then?”
“You’re bluffing. You wouldn’t hurt her like that.”
Joey shook his head and closed his eyes. When he opened them, they were suspiciously damp. “I don’t want to. But I’ll do anything to keep her from making the biggest mistake of her life.”
Caster let out a resigned sigh and shook his head. “Nah, getting mixed up with the two of us was the biggest mistake of her life.”
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One thought on “Caster’s Unfriendly Ghost by Alicia Dean”
Sorry I’m so late to my own guest spot. 🙂 Thank you for sharing my newest short story. I love Halloween and this was a blast to write!