Due out January 31, 2017!
Copyright 2017, Yasmine Galenorn
“But why won’t you paint it pink?”
Franny was standing in the middle of the kitchen. She also happened to be standing in the middle of the kitchen island, which gave the effect that she was cut off at the waist. Disconcerting to say the least, but I had quickly learned to keep my complaints about her displacement to myself. She took criticism hard, and I wasn’t up to the fallout, which included full-scale whining and moaning à la Jacob Marley. There’s nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to see a weeping ghost by your bed, staring at you with accusing eyes, which is why I had banned her from my bedroom.
“We’ve been over this at least a half-dozen times. I hate pink, unless it’s fuchsia or magenta. I am not painting the kitchen pink just because you like it.” Hands on my hips, I stared at my uninvited roommate. I might have to live with her, but no way would she be allowed to call the shots. I had paid for the mansion. She just happened to be an added bonus, although I used the word ‘bonus’ loosely.
“How do you think I feel? I can’t leave this house. You changed my favorite parlor into a media room and put that horrible monster you call a television in there. You chased me out of your bedroom. And you’re letting that…that…vampire…live here.” She spat out the word so vehemently that I was grateful that she wasn’t corporeal, or I would have been hit with a mouthful of spit.
“That vampire is my boyfriend, who also happens to be one of the sweetest men around. You know perfectly well that Aegis doesn’t harm his…”
I stopped. Technically, victim really would be the appropriate choice of words, but I felt like a traitor using it. Technically, Aegis didn’t hurt anybody he drank from. Not unless they tried to stake him, that is. And he never chose anybody who was anemic or diabetic. Vampires had the ability to tell when someone was low on their favorite flavor of fruit punch or when that said punch had a little too much sugar in it.
But Franny refused to see it my way.
I was tired of the argument. Every time she wanted me to change something, she brought up the same old saw. “You let that…vampire…live here.” I had heard it so many times the past month that it made my head spin.
“Franny, get this through your misty mind. Deal. With. It. Aegis lives here, he sleeps with me. Well, technically we have sex in my bedroom. He sleeps in his coffin. But whatever the case, this is my house and I’ll let whoever I want to live here.” I straightened my shoulders. “Count yourself lucky that I haven’t hired an exorcist to deal with you.”
“I wish you would! I hate being trapped.” But Franny didn’t sound like she meant it.
“I could evict you myself. I could banish you. Bingo! One easy spell and boom, you’d be out on your ass, wandering the highway like some lost mournful spirit. But did I do that when I found out you were haunting my home? Nope. I did not.” I paused, not really meaning what I said, either. Oh, I tried to sound intimidating. But considering that I was holding a stuffed unicorn under my left arm, and a tray of cookies in my right hand, the threat didn’t come out quite as forceful as I wanted.
Franny huffed, then turned and flounced off, the long skirts of her muslin gown sweeping the floor with a ghostly swish as she vanished through the wall