Beast's Castle Page 2

“I can’t risk it. Either way I need to be ready for whatever it is she does.”

“Okay, now remember you can’t make eye contact with the beast. You’ll turn to stone.” I snorted a laugh. She’s being ridiculous. She always gets caught up in these little town stories.

“Isn't that Medusa?”

“I don’t know.” Eden leans up against the car next to me. “Heard so many stories over the years about that place. It’s haunted.” I roll my eyes.

“Then it’s the most beautiful haunted house I’ve ever seen. I’ve always wanted to see inside of it.” The place looks like a castle.

“That’s right. You’re into the rustic hippie thing.” I nudge her with my elbow. “It’s true.” She looks me up and down. “Your name is Summer. It was bound to happen.” Maybe it was. She’s right, though. My hair is down with a small flowered headband in it. It matches the flowers on my flowy dress.

She wraps an arm around me. “Don’t be a stranger.”

“Don’t act like you're not going to be blowing up my phone.”

“Oh, it’s happening. I’m sneaking in that place.”

“You’re not getting me fired.”

“Yeah. Kale is an asshole or so I hear.”

“From who?”


“Well I don’t think Tina would be sending me out there if there was something to really worry about. I’ll stay out of his way and I’m sure he’ll stay out of mine.” Eden tugs on the end of my hair.

“Yeah, I’m sure. The boys always stay out of your way.”

I roll my eyes. “Not in the market for a boy.”

“A man?”

“That sounds better, but still no.”

“Colby come over here and gave me hugs,” Eden says.

I head back up to the porch, checking the locks before I put the key under the rock. I have no idea if or when my mom will be back. Rent’s due in a few weeks and I won’t be paying it. I already let the landlord; Samson know. Today starts a new life for Colby and me.

“You ready?”

“We’re going to live in a castle,” he informs Eden.

“Does that make you a prince?”

He scrunches his little nose, looking to me for the answer.

“Of course.” I open the back door for him.

“Princes get horses.” He’s become obsessed with horses over the past few months. I haven’t told him that there are some on the property where we are going. I want him to be surprised.

“We’ll have to see about that.” I smile, just happy he's on board with this.

“Call me when you get there.” Eden pulls me in for another hug.

“It’s not that far. I’ll be back.” I laugh. She kisses me on the cheek. I toss my purse into the passenger seat on top of one of the boxes. I can’t believe everything Colby and I own fit in the car. Tina said our living area would be furnished. All we really needed were the essentials, clothes and a few boxes of toys for Colby. I didn't want my mom saying I’d stolen from her or something crazy. When she runs out of money she’ll come back.

I look in the rearview mirror and watch Colby slide his sunglasses on. I grab my matching pair off the dashboard and put them on too.

“All right, autobots.” I look back at Colby.

“Roll out,” he says as I put the car into drive—hoping this road in front of us is a whole lot easier than the last.









A kid? Am I seeing that right? I rub my eyes and readjust the binoculars, but no matter how fuzzy or how clear the image, it is still a kid. I didn’t see the snot-nosed terror in the store, but I guess that makes sense since I only really saw the woman from the waist up. The checkout counter was blocking the rest of it—and the kid.

I toss the binoculars onto the bed and pick up my phone. Tina’s not going to answer when she sees it's me, so I vent my frustration in a text.

Me: theres a mtrfcking kid in my driveway

Tina: carport! how many times do I have to tell you it’s carport. Old Man Winchester’s place is wasted on you. It’s so nice and grand and you live in a tiny wing shut up in the corner of the house.



Clearly, texting my sister is a mistake. I throw down the phone and grab the binoculars again. The woman has a box in her arms and is marching toward the side door. When she gets to the door, she realizes she can’t ring the doorbell and hold the box at the same time. She jerks her head toward the sunglasses-wearing kid. They appear to be talking. I turn the audio on.

“Colby honey, can you come and ring the doorbell?”

“Where is it?”

“Should be a button next to the door.”

“I don’t see anything. Wait. There’s a black pad here. Do you think that is it?”

“Could be. Why don’t you try it?”

Colby presses a hand against the panel.

“There’s an intruder at the door,” intones the security system in the sickly sweet voice of Catriona, as it likes to be called.

“Gee, really, I can’t tell,” I bite out. One of these days, I’m going to get rid of that voice and get a robotic one like it should be. That’s the natural order of things. Robots should sound like robots and humans should sound like humans.

“There’s an intruder at the door,” the stupid thing repeats.

I open my phone app and turn off the alarm notifications. I can see what’s going on. I don’t need the robot to narrate this for me.

“It’s not working, Summer,” the boy says.

Summer. I can’t believe that’s her name and that she’s wearing a ridiculous floral dress that reveals more than it conceals. It clings to her frame in a way that should be illegal, showing off her voluptuous, curvy body. Who in the hell decided that it was okay to sell a dress like this? Someone who is a sadist obviously because that dress is designed to drive a man out of his fucking mind.

My cock jumps excitedly. “You dumb fuck, stay down,” I order. “You aren’t getting any action except from my hand so you might as well deflate. That woman isn’t coming near us.”

If she was uglier, maybe I’d be able to pay her enough to ride my cock.

A housekeeper can’t be running around in floaty dresses and floral headbands. I make a note to order a uniform—gray and drab with the thick white nursing shoes to match because those are ugly as sin. I should make her wear a cap, too. One of those white mushroom shaped caps that old women in movies wear. I wonder if I could make her wear a gray wig, too.

“Maybe it’s on the other side?” Summer shifts and the box slips.

I slam my hand down on the speaker and bark out a command. “Put that damn thing down before you drop it.”

She jumps. Colby ducks behind her.

“W-who is there?” she stammers out, craning her neck to see the person behind the disembodied voice.

“Put. The. Box. Down.” I snap out each word with careful precision so there is no misunderstanding. The infernal woman is going to break her toe or the contents of the box or both.

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