Table of Contents

Book Info

Cover Artist:
Hurri Cosmo
2 November 2021
Book Type


Mark has always been a Dominant. The Top in every relationship. Just ask Leon, his very ex-boyfriend, because that’s what he told Mark he was.

Okay, Mark’s only had the one relationship so the ‘always’ was a reach, but it didn’t matter. It was more than over with now, and Leon was long gone. That is until Leon felt it necessary to show off his new boyfriend, a gorgeous mountain called Rogan, by evidently telling him that Mark was stalking, bullying, badgering, harassing and get this, abusing him.

“He’ll kill you, Mark, because he loves me and wants to protect me.”

From whom? Skinny little Mark? What a joke. Because all Mark has ever done was exactly what Leon told him to do and that now included staying as far away from Leon as he could get. But how can he do that when Leon is hell-bent on proving all the lies he’s told Rogan about Mark were true, and by any means possible except the actual truth? Thankfully, it seems Rogan’s not quite as clueless about Leon’s wild imagination as Mark has always been. In fact, the big, beautiful man has come to Mark’s rescue a couple of times and has made it clear, Leon and he are not a thing. At least, not anymore.

Which is good since Mark is going to need Rogan’s help. Mainly because something else is out to get Mark. Something not Leon.

This something isn’t even human…

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They took the elevator to the sixth floor and headed cautiously down a deserted hall. Okay, maybe it was only Mark who walked warily. Rogan marched slightly ahead of him and seemed to barge down the hall with his chest puffed out like some storybook bodyguard protecting the prince. However, no apparitions flew out at them this time, no lights exploded trying to kill them. When they got to Mark’s apartment, Rogan snatched the set of keys Mark dug out of his pocket and opened the door of 612 and attempted to turn on the light.

“It doesn’t work,” Mark remarked. “It never has.”

As if that might have been important in the whole scheme of things, Rogan turned to him. “Really? Why?”

“I have no idea. They have never been able to fix it, either.”

Rogan grumbled a string of profanities against landlords as he pulled out his phone. “Hey Raptor. Flashlight.” The phone shot out a bright beam and Rogan shined it into the apartment. “Where is a switch that does work?”

“Right here.” Mark glanced around the apartment before he tiptoed over to the switch in the kitchen and turned it on. The apartment lit up enough to see that everything was normal―so to speak. The destroyed TV was right where it had been when they left, debris still everywhere. Not the chaos Mark had walked into with Leon, but shivers of that time chased through him as well. “What I don’t get is why you don’t even have a scratch on you.”

“That is a mystery,” Rogan murmured. “What’s even more an unknown is why you were basically sliced in the first place. Cut, I would understand. But sliced?” He walked over to the large, jagged piece laying against the wall, the piece that had been laced with blood but no longer appeared to be and picked it up. “This should never have been sharp enough to do that.” He brought it over for Mark to see.

“Fuck,” Mark whispered as he gazed at the piece of plastic. “It’s… like a knife.” And it was. The six-inch, razor-edged side appeared paper thin, to the point of it being see-through. As if someone had purposely honed it down to that sharpness. “But… didn’t it have blood on it?”

Rogan narrowed his eyes and glared back at the plastic as if it had just lied to him. “You’re right. It did. Exactly my point.”

“Which is?”

Rogan glanced briefly at Mark. “This isn’t right. I mean, how does something like this even happen?” Rogan’s lips pursed together.

“So, what are you saying?”

“I’m not sure.” Rogan gazed down at Mark. “And I don’t like not knowing. I will find some answers. That I promise.” He sighed. “Now what do we need to take with us so we can get out of here?”

Mark packed a backpack while Rogan kept watch. Mark would have thought it laughable if he wasn’t so panicked. It was one thing to be bullied by Leon. Quite another by a ghost.

“The extra apartment key is in the kitchen drawer,” Mark told Rogan as he threw the backpack over his shoulder.

Rogan immediately reached over and grabbed the backpack. “Go get it. I got this.”

Heat climbing Mark’s face he walked quickly to the drawer. “I can carry it. I’m not a princess.”

Rogan smirked but remained silent as he adjusted the backpack and held out a hand to accept the key. “Thanks,” he said, winking at Mark when he dropped the key in his hand.

“I don’t know what you plan on doing but have at it.”

Rogan grimaced as if he were guilty of something and shook his head.

When they arrived at Mark’s dad’s house, Rogan insisted on walking Mark in. “I didn’t keep you safe like I promised. He deserves an explanation.”

“Are you kidding me? I’m not some fragile teenager on a date. Besides, I can take care of myself.”

“I know that. But security is my job, and I should have…”

“Should have what?”

“Known.” He knocked on the door.

“Known? How? Why?”

But Rogan remained silent. Except it was clear he was battling something in his head.

“Whatever,” Mark mumbled. “Just… I can take care of myself.” Mark went to knock as well but the door flew open in front of him, Mark’s dad standing on the other side.

“What the fuck is going on out here?” Rob snarled, startling both Mark and Rogan.

“Sir!” Rogan nearly shouted back, gaining the older man’s attention. Then he lowered his voice probably realizing how loud he was being. “Mr. Corda. Sorry to wake you…”

“What the hell happened to you?” Rob grabbed Mark and pulled him into the house. “Why the bandages?” He turned his attention back to Rogan. “Why is my son covered in bandages?”

Mark took immediate offence. “Dad, I’m standing right here! Ask me!”

“Um… sir…” Rogan interrupted. “it’s a long story.”


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“Holy shit!” Mark shouted from behind.

Rogan snapped his attention back to Mark who had his arms up in a defensive stance and had fallen back even farther. “What’s wrong?

He glanced up from his raised arms. “I… I saw… oh God.” He gulped lowering his arms as he glanced at Rogan. “I saw… someone standing behind you.”

Rogan jerked around to see behind himself. But there was nothing. “Are you kidding me?”

Mark darted his gaze around the hallway, terror evident in his eyes. “It’s gone. Shit! It disappeared. I swear. I… I know it sounds crazy, but I saw it.” He peered up at Rogan. “A… a ghost… Fuck! I don’t know,” he stressed as he gazed down the hallway again, shuffling his feet and hugging himself. “But I saw… oh God, something…”

Ghost? There had been that shimmer… “Where did it go?”

Mark jerked his head up to gape at Rogan. “You believe me?”

“Yes. I do. Where did it go?” Rogan stressed a little louder.

Mark shook his head. “I don’t know. Like I said, he disappeared.”


“I…” Mark narrowed his eyes. “I think so.” Mark was shaking. “Like a ghost.”

“What do you mean?”

“It was kind of a whitish gray. Foggy, I guess. Just the way they always say ghosts look like.” Mark took a ragged breath, turning as white as a ghost himself.

“Go on,” Rogan encouraged as he pulled the smaller man into his arms. Just as he figured, wrapping his arms around Mark seemed to calm him.

Mark sighed. “It had a head and shoulders like a man. The rest of it a swirl of smoke…”


“It had… it had sharp teeth and claws,” he whispered.

Rogan grabbed Mark’s shoulders and pushed him back enough to peer into his face. “Say that again?”

“It had sharp teeth and claws! I swear it. And it didn’t have any eyes! It lunged at me, and I think it was going to… going to…”

“What was it going to do, Mark?”

Kill me! It was angry… I think.”

Rogan pulled Mark back into a hug, his own heart hammering, as he rubbed Mark’s back. He hadn’t dealt with this kind of negative energy in a long time. “It’s okay. It couldn’t have hurt you.” But could it have? Was that why Rogan’s hackles rose? “What happened then.”

“I looked at it… him. He… I swear he snarled at me before it lunged… then disappeared.”

“Can you tell me what he looked like? He obviously had a face to make you think it was a man.”

“Yeah, I guess, but… oh God, black holes where the eyes should have been.” Mark pushed out of Mark’s arms. “Let’s get out of this hallway. It’s giving me the creeps.”

“Yes. Good idea.” Rogan quickly picked up one end of the TV and Mark picked up the other and they hauled it inside. “Let’s leave it here against the wall and go get the food. I want you with me. Okay?”


But there was no other incident. Even so they hurried into the apartment after retrieving the food bags, Mark shutting and locking the door as if that would keep a ghost out. Or anything else, for that matter. Rogan would have to fix that flimsy door somehow. Mark’s security here sucked. He set the bags down on Mark’s tiny plastic table and began to unpack all the containers, while Mark went to his cupboard for plates.

“So, tell me more about what the ghost looked like.” Rogan was beginning to form a theory, a very bad theory, but he needed more information.

Mark stiffened behind him. “I… I don’t know. I really didn’t see any features other than the no eyes thing. I just saw― you know― teeth and that it glared at me.”

“Glared at you? Without eyes?”

“Yeah! Glared! I felt it. Like it… hated me.”

“Hated you? What makes you think that?”

Mark turned to Rogan, a frantic but exasperated expression on his face. “I don’t know, maybe because it hissed at me and was going to fucking bite me! Why are we talking about this like it’s an everyday occurrence for you? I am freaking out and you’re acting like it’s as normal as traffic and taxes. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad you believe me. Personally, I wouldn’t if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.”

“Well…” Rogan began, then he sighed. “I just happen to believe in the paranormal.”

“Paranormal? Like in all those stupid movies?”

Rogan tipped his head to the side and shrugged. “Kind of. Paranormal is just a generic word that’s used for anything that isn’t considered normal with what science knows today. Listen. Ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, paranormal energy, it all exists. To tell you the truth, I felt ― a jolt of some kind, right before you saw the apparition. That’s why it’s easy to believe you.”

“What do you mean a jolt?”

“Like electric energy running through me. Maybe through the hallway itself. It made me know something was there.”

“You said it wouldn’t hurt me? How do you know?”

“I ― I guess I don’t really know.” In his experience, random bundles of energy had no real agenda or ability to conduct organized activity. Like an attack. But it was rare that such a thing took on a recognizable shape for most people, either. Normally it was simply a nuisance that knocked things over or mist that seemed to take the form of a human. But that could usually be explained as a trick of the brain making sense of chaos. However, Mark had been pretty specific about this particular ghost’s features. Just like five years ago which sent a tremor through Rogan. Could he be facing another showdown?

Impossible. That energy had been bound to the warehouse. Right?

“From what I understand,” Rogan continued. “Paranormal activity is usually harmless. Scares us more than anything else.”

“Well, it accomplished the fuck out of that.”

“I totally understand.” Five years ago, it scared the fuck out of him and Anna.

“You still seem too calm. But then you didn’t see the damn thing.”

“I’ve seen my share of things that go bump in the night, believe me. I’ll tell you all about it someday. But honestly, I don’t think it’s anything to be worried about. Old buildings like this have tons of pent-up energy and occasionally it overflows into something some of us are able to see or hear.” Yes. That had to be it. Old building. Very old building.

“You mean that was just some pissed off dead tenant thinking I might be the landlord coming to collect the overdue rent?” Mark chuckled. It was good to see him relaxing again which seemed to generate something calming in Rogan too.

“Maybe.” Rogan gently ruffled Mark’s hair. “But that’s enough of that for now.” He was going to need to discuss this with Anna. Let her know what Mark saw. Maybe she would have some answers. “We’ll talk about it later. I promise. Come. Let’s eat.”




Hurri is giving away

an Amazon gift card with this tour


Hi, my name is Hurri Cosmo and I am a happy ending junkie. I always have been. You can be pretty rest assured everything I write will have one. I am not big on angst. I believe we get enough of that in real life so when I go to read something, to make the real world go away for awhile, I will most likely not chose something that will make me cry. So I write for those people who, at least occasionally, feel the same way. I’m okay with the fact I will probably never write anything “important” but I guess I will have to see where my imagination takes me. I would love it if you would come along.

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