by Danita Minnis
Adrenaline pumping through her veins made her rigid. She held the tray out before her stiffly as she crept towards the bedroom door. The wall sconce at the center of the hall was still on. She could see clear across to the staircase landing, but the opposite side of the hall leading to the other wing was in darkness.
Stepping out of her room, she was hit with a blast of cold air that whistled around the empty corridors. She didn’t have her slippers on and hopped from one foot to the next. It was forty degrees tonight and it felt like she was standing on an ice block. Belatedly, she realized she was making so much noise in her agitation that whoever was in the house could certainly hear her fumbling around. She returned to her room for the slippers.
Back in the hall, she stood quietly listening. But it wasn’t so much what she could hear as it was what she could feel. The hair on the back of her neck prickled. There was an expectant energy in the air, and she waited.
The words wafted on the breeze, swept through the corridor and curled past her ear in an intimate caress. They were seductive, hypnotic and somehow calmed her fears. Lowering the tray, she closed her eyes and leaned toward the caress.
Startled by her reaction to this phenomenon, she blinked her eyes open. She couldn’t let her guard down, no matter who he was. She didn’t know him.
Didn’t know who?
She shook sense into her head. She didn’t know anyone in Wynter Hollow, much less a ‘him.’ Realizing the ridiculous direction of her thoughts was no comfort. As she stood there, the feeling that someone was with her grew stronger.
“Where are you?” Her voice was shaking with a strange anticipation and she stepped forward.
He wasn’t upstairs. She could feel him – feel something – downstairs.
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