BLURB – Garden of Silence
Oliver Hull is a fifth generation gardener who works at the elite Haver House for Nathan Haver, a poised man who collects rare flowers and plants and appreciates the beauty in nature. When Nathan dies, his son Charles inherits everything, including Oliver.
But Charles is an infamous playboy, known for using people and discarding them. Charles and Oliver had been friends growing up, but as they got older, the divide between their social classes pushed them apart. Determined to stay at the Haver House as generations did before him, Oliver sets out to show Charles the beauty of the garden. But when Charles seems more interested in making Oliver his than inheriting an old estate and garden, Oliver has to choose between falling for his first crush or staying on with the new buyers of Haver House.
BUY LINK: Changeling Press
EXCERPT – Garden of Silence
The funeral was silent, which was startling considering how many people had come to celebrate his life. After a while, I gave up on trying to distinguish between those who were genuinely there to say good-bye apart from those who were biding their time until the will was ready afterwards.
Amongst the throngs of people, Charles sat at the front to thank people for coming. He was surrounded by a myriad of other young men with neatly combed hair and young women with plastered smiles and dyed hair.
Just to make sure I wouldn’t have to overhear any of his conversation, I sat towards the back. I could make out the shape of Master Nathan’s hands from where I was, but his presence was everywhere.
Charles had always been good at creating illusions, but I wasn’t sure which one he was trying to pass off. Either he genuinely didn’t care about his father’s death, or the depths of his grief made it too hard for him to come to acceptance.
There was a cemetery a few miles down the road where Master Nathan was laid to rest amongst his deceased family members, including Charles’s mother. After the rainy procession, most of the guests went home, but some lingered on the grounds. When a man I recognized as Nathan’s lawyer appeared, I knew the guests had stayed to hear the reading of his will.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
I halted mid-step and reluctantly looked back. Out of respect, I’d come back into the house with the other guests, but now that the numbers were thinning, I knew when I didn’t belong here anymore. “Back to my house,” I muttered, “While it’s still mine.”Charles made a strange face, like he was so disgusted with me living within close proximity of him that he couldn’t contain his facial expressions. The other guests had gone into the library upstairs, so we were alone on the main floor.
“Aren’t you going to stay to hear his will?” Charles casually leaned against the oak barrister, looking every bit like an image from one of the old paintings hanging on the wall. “He probably left his boy toy something.”
I couldn’t stop the grimace from forming on my face. “You know that’s just sick, right? He was nothing but kind to me.”
Charles snorted and crossed his arms. I was so close to him I could see his long lashes beating angrily against his cheeks. Like he wanted to mar his beautiful features, but was unable. “Come with me.”
“Where?” I asked hesitantly.
“Does it matter?”
Fear coiled like a snake up my back, but I couldn’t determine if I was afraid for my safety or my sanity. Being alone with him in my cottage earlier had been dangerous enough.
“Yes,” I closed my eyes. “It matters.”
I felt his hand wrap around my wrist and tighten like a rope. When I realized Charles wasn’t going to relent, I opened my eyes and was startled to find we weren’t going upstairs to join the others.
“Where are you taking me?”
“Can’t you just be quiet,” he said, frustration laced in his words. “I’m the master of the house and of you.”
A tiny shiver vibrated through my body and rocked what sense I had left out of my skull. My… master. I knew he hadn’t realized what his words would mean to me, but then again, I doubted he cared.
Although much smaller than him, I could’ve pulled free but I convinced myself I didn’t out of embarrassment. I didn’t want to alert anyone because they would see the heat clouded on my cheeks.
Charles’s tall frame pulled me into a closet near the stairs to the basement. I caught the scent of shoe polish.
“Shit, where’s that light?”
The closet was suffocating, my back pressed against the wall with Charles mere inches away. I could smell the alcohol on his breath, the cologne at the base of his throat and I wanted nothing more than to taste him. Wanted nothing more than to fall to my knees and make him see just how right I was for him.
“There it is.”
I squinted as the light flickered to life above us. Apart from the few coats hanging and the gleaming shoes on the floor, there was nothing to divert my attention from Charles.
Up close, I could see that he’d lost his boyish features and had evolved into someone so sexy it was criminal. His blue eyes blinked as he adjusted, but he recovered more quickly than me and took both my wrists in one hand and held my arms above my head.
“Stop fucking around.” I meant to sound angry, but my arousal gave me away and my voice was small. “You brought me to a closet. What for?”
Charles bit his lower lip and raked his gaze over my face and body. He was only twenty-four, but his eyes belonged to someone years older. I found myself shivering in spite of myself. He was only two years older than me and yet I would’ve collapsed to my knees if he hadn’t been holding me up.
“Knock it off.”
“Just wanted to check,” he muttered.
“If you still belong to me…”
AUTHOR BIO – Ana Raine
Ana is still figuring out what she wants to do with her life, although social work seems to be the most likely. Her best friends are a box of chocolate and her kitten who always sit beside her while she writes. When Ana was in high school, she often wrote about the LGBT community, but now her work is less…innocent. Ana enjoys writing anything and everything, including BDSM, dragons, shifters, magic, and more.
If you’d like to follow her, here is her blog site: http://anarainebooks.blogspot.com.