Hauntings in the Garden
from The Wild Rose Press
Unexpectedly, Leslie Harrison inherits a sprawling horse farm in Florida from a distant relative. She packs up her life and relocates to the Sunshine State with no idea what awaits her. Upon her arrival, she meets the farm manager, Preston McClay and, to her chagrin, he isn’t happy to see her. Quickly the cantankerous, but rather good looking, farm manager becomes the least of her worries when things start to go bump in the night. Will the sinister activity in the house chase Leslie away, or will she prevail in the struggle between good and evil?
Page Count: 55
Page Count: 55
“Well, hello there.” I crouched down and petted the cat as it continued to wind around me. “What’s your name?” I asked, knowing I wouldn’t get a response.
“Callie,” said a deep voice behind me.
I jumped up and whirled around.
A tall, lean-muscled man stood behind me. Dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved plaid shirt, he put me in mind of a lumberjack, just not as muscle-bound. His blue eyes sparkled even while his expression didn’t convey friendliness. He studied me as I studied him.
“I’m Leslie Harrison,” I said, breaking the awkward silence and offered my hand.
Hesitantly, he took my hand and gave it a half-hearted shake. “Preston.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said, though I had the distinct feeling Preston didn’t feel the same way.
“You must be the new owner,” he growled.
“Ummm…yes, Aunt Victoria left the estate to me. So here I am. Do you work on the property or…”
“I’m the farm manager. Do you know anything about horses, Mrs. Harrison?”
“Yes, I used to ride at boarding school, and its miss, I’m not married.”
I think he did his best not to roll his eyes but failed. “Great,” he said, the tone of his voice flat.
“What does that mean?” His prickly nature stirred my ire.
“Nothing.” Apparently, he had no use for me.
“I assure you, Preston… I’m sorry, what’s your last name?”
“I assure you, Mr. McClay.” I emphasized his last name. “As the new owner of the estate, I am very interested in a successful farm and hope to find a way for us to work together.”
He raised an eyebrow but said nothing.
“Now, I’ve got a house to put together so what time do you start in the morning?” Spur of the moment, I decided I would shadow Mr. McClay in the mornings and spend the afternoons putting the house together. I knew it would look like I had to prove myself to him, but honestly I needed to prove myself to me. I needed to prove I could handle everything I’d been given. I wouldn’t have someone say I didn’t try or was ungrateful for such a gift.
“About 5:00 a.m.”
“You arrive at 5:00 a.m?”
“I live here,” he said flatly.
“Where?” I looked around.
“There’s an apartment upstairs.” He pointed above our heads. “Victoria wanted someone on premise to manage the farm.”
“Oh, okay. I’ll be right here, in this spot, tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m. Thank you, Mr. McClay.” I walked away without waiting for a reply.
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