Read an Excerpt
“This one really has nice kerb appeal. Beautiful landscaping, and it looks like the owner really enjoys gardening. Let’s see here.” The garish, loud real estate agent consulted the sheet on her clipboard as she minced her way up the front walkway. Seth trailed unenthused in her wake, wishing he had broken away to stop for a latte. All her inane yammering was giving him a headache, and missing his regular mid-afternoon caffeine fix probably wasn’t helping.
Rubbing his hand over his tired eyes, Seth tuned back in to what the agent was saying about their eighth house that day.
“...just two years ago, so you wouldn’t have to worry about a new roof for a long time. And I love the colours, don’t you? Such a classic combination, with the black shutters and the red front door. Now where did they stick that lockbox?”
Seth remained where he had frozen stockstill at the mention of the red front door. Fuck. Figures. Just when I hit full power again.
He resumed walking towards the front of the house, which did seem like a lovely house, even as he tried to avoid looking at the front door. He kept his eyes averted as the agent held her cell phone up to the lockbox until it opened, using the time for a silent pep talk.
Okay, now remember. You can do this. The owner said it was okay to come inside when they agreed to the showing. So technically, that’s like being invited in. Right?
Why don’t we just skip this house?
But it’s in a great neighbourhood.
Oh, shut up!
Wishing he felt more certain about the loophole, knowing that entering this house was going to leach a ton of power either way, Seth braced himself as he mounted the front step. Silently chanting a protective cadence to bolster his shields, he took a deep breath and followed the agent gingerly across the threshold.
As if walking through an electrical field, shocking pain flashed like a current through Seth’s body, but dissipated as quickly as it hit. Huh. Weird. That wasn’t nearly as bad as it should have been.
Not bad? After that, this had better be a fucking amazing house.
And it was.
Seth glanced dispiritedly around the last house in today’s excursion, expecting more of what he had been seeing during the past month of interminable house-hunting—a cookie cutter house with no personality that he wouldn’t be caught dead living in, or something with ‘potential’ that idiotic owners had beaten the crap out of...that he wouldn’t be caught dead living in.
He’d been surprised to find something in this neighbourhood in his price range and probably the only reason he was even able to think about affording a house here was because this house was small. He looked down at the info sheet in his hand. Very small. Only two bedrooms and an office. Seth shrugged. Fine for him since he lived alone, but he supposed for most people bigger was better.
The scent hit him first and the vice that was his headache immediately eased. It was a spicy combination, like nuts and cinnamon. Or maybe cardamom? He inhaled deeply and his mind cleared completely, making everything suddenly seem brighter, more vivid.
He finally began to really look around at the place. The vaulted foyer was bright and open, flanked on one side by French doors leading to the office and on the other a half-wall with glassed cabinets delineating the dining room. The white baseboards and crown moulding set off the rich earth tones of the walls and Brazilian cherry floors.
With rising excitement, Seth tuned out the nattering agent as he strode forward past her into the great room at rear of the house. The kitchen was a cook’s dream and spotless. Through the floor to ceiling bank of windows on the back wall of the family room, Seth could see a stone patio, a multilevel deck with what looked like a hot tub, and a view of nothing but green space. Privacy, ahhh.