He has twelve nights to gain her love. She has twelve nights to save his soul. Here is an excerpt from a ghostly holiday novella...
“You came. I hoped. Prayed.” Cael reached forward to clasp both of Ashley’s hands, forgetting he had no substance and slipped through. He felt something. A tingling, but not the smooth sensation of skin stroking skin he so desired.
Her eyes widened. “Your hands went right through mine.”
“I am sorry. I did not mean to frighten you.”
“You didn’t. It’s just…I thought.” She frowned. “Well, I don’t know what I thought. You’re still a ghost. I had hoped, perhaps, you might be more real now. More solid. You claimed to be my destiny.”
“I don’t see how.” A carved stone bench appeared at the base of the oak tree. Ashley gave a yelp and jumped back; fingers fluttered near her throat. “Did you do that?”
“Nae. I dinnae have the ability to wield magic.” He scraped a hand over his head, frustrated with the awkwardness between them. “The garden is enchanted. You ken?”
“Well, yeah, I’ve witnessed the maze appear out of thin air.” She tossed her head, dark brown hair flowing over a slender shoulder.
He lifted a hand to touch the lustrous tresses. Remembering he wouldn’t be able to feel their fine texture, he pulled back. “Perhaps you would like to sit with me?”
She dropped to the bench, and he joined her. Though their thighs appeared to touch, he felt no mass against him. How could they possibly have a shared destiny?
He sensed her nervousness. What should he say to put her at ease? “I feared you would not come,” he blurted.
She smiled and the sun shined upon him. “We pinky swore.”
“Aye, that we did.”
“So now that I’m here…”
“Explain how you are my destiny.”
He hesitated a moment too long, and she sighed heavily.
“Listen. I came because I promised. I came because you claimed to be my destiny. Actually, I came because…I want to be with you.” She twisted her body to face him and attempted to touch his cheek. Failing, she frowned and folded her hands in her lap. “To be honest, I don’t understand how we could ever be together. Am I missing something?”
“I have nae explanation.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. “Durrell, the Druid gatekeeper, told me our destinies are entwined, but nae more.”
“Wait a minute. The caretaker at the manor house is named Durrell. Perhaps he’s playing a cruel joke on both of us.”
“I dinnae think so. He came to me when you were a wee bairn. Did Aileen not explain more to you?”
“Aileen? You know of her?”
“I have watched you and her from the other side of the veil. She is a Druid light-bearer—your guide.”
“She hasn’t told me anything about you, except…” Ashley blushed. “Never mind about that. I want to know more about this destiny thing.”
“I wish I had the answers you seek.”
“What would you like to know?” Aileen had arrived in her quiet way. A holly wreath adorned her silver head in the way of Druid women and she wore a white linen gown cinched at the waist with silver braid. Her silver eyes pierced him.
Caelan rose at her approach and inclined his head in respect. Ashley jumped up beside him.
“Durrell has spoken with you, Caelan Innes?” the light-bearer asked.
“He informed me of Ashley and my entwined destinies. Aye. But how can that be as I am a ghost and a living heart beats beneath her breast? There is no way for us to be together.”
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Twelvetide: Twelve Nights of Highland Magic, an Enchanted Highlands Holiday Novella.