You cannot explain the draw you feel for the skull. Carefully, you cup one hand under the jaw and the other behind its smooth head. As you pick the skull from the leaf-scattered ground, the flames blink out. Smoke whips around you, wind rising from inside the mausoleum.
A low growl falls from Dominic. The hair on his head stands at attention, his green eyes piercing to the graveyard behind. You rise to find the silhouette of a man standing on the precipice of the stairs. Only the shape of him is visible, every feature rendered flat and lost to darkness. It raises a hand, the finger pointed directly at you.
No. Not you. To the skull in your hand.
You know what to do. Walking backward, your eyes burning into the black shadow on the threshold, you bump into the coffin. The haunting incense of a church preparing for a funeral twists through the air. It punctures into your nose and down your lungs, leaving you lightheaded.
The bones in your palms shift, causing your finger to slip into the hole where the spine once was. It shakes you to the marrow and you turn to the skeleton. An unearthly light shines from every bone, the entire body lit up in a haunting blue.
Bending over, you carefully place the skull at the top. For a moment, nothing happens. You glance back to the shadow, fearing it will advance, when light rises to envelop the last of the bones.
The skull rolls on its own, falling into place on the top vertebra. Every single bone shivers, the light snapping to form bonds to keep them together. A pair of skeleton hands rise from the coffin and grip to the sides. You jump away, leaping into the comforting arms of a werewolf. Dominic cinches his hands around your chest like a safety belt. His unending growl rumbles down your back like an assuring earthquake.
Not caring about you, the bones rise from the coffin. The sound of branches clacking high in the trees echoes off the marble pillars. With a determined step, the skeleton walks forward into the waiting embrace of the shadow. As they touch, the skeleton and shadow merge—bones fading and darkness evading to become one.
You blink and rub your eyes, shocked to find a handsome man standing before you. He’s dressed in Victorian garb, a scarlet cravat at his neck, a waistcoat of black velvet with tails cinched to his chest, and pants of a sharp pinstripe leading down his legs. He pulls off a hard part in his hair down the center, highlighting the perfect symmetry of his face. The longer tips of his hair curls into adorable ringlets that shift to a honey brown.
Raising the top hat in his hand higher, he tips it you. “My dear, there is no gratitude in this world worthy of you. Well…” His voice drifts to a snicker, the sculpted lips lifting to show off his perfect smile. “If we had a few hours, a soft blanket, and this cemetery wasn’t so disappointingly drafty. Ah, Dominic. I see you’ve regained your mortal form. Though trousers remain a challenge.”
“Ha.” Dominic reaches over to slug the stranger on the arm. His hand partially sinks in, sending the edge of the Victorian coat wafting away into smoke. “Always the funny one, you were. Are.”
“Always the chum with wits dimmer than a waterlogged fireplace. You are aware that you’ve been parading your bare loins about in front of delicate company? And without the procurement of a proposal, or at least a strong wine. A thousand pardons.” The man doffs his hat and bows deep. With his eyes directly lined up with your chest, he stares openly and says, “Unless you are of a mind to punish me for my sins.”
“Who…” You shake your head, your cheeks flush from the man’s obvious overtures. “What are you?”
Placing his hat on his head, then tipping it to the side, he says, “I am Lord Claremont…deceased. But do not concern yourself over such trifles. The dead can provide an otherworldly experience to a warm body. At least we can when our skull is returned to us. Thank you endlessly, Madam…”
You tell him your name, his gray eyes sweeping down the entirety of your body as you do.
“May I call you my lady instead? It feels more proper, at least in the streets. What you wish to be referred to in the bedroom is entirely at your discretion.”
“Yeah…yes,” you nod. It seems unwise to challenge ghosts, even if they are incredibly flirty and devilishly handsome.
“I assume it is you that got our dear Dominic off of his four legs. Or did you put her back there, you cad?”
The werewolf’s vast shoulders raise in a shrug more reminiscent of a tectonic shift. “Why would I do that?”
Claremont digs into his forehead and mutters, “I do not know if you’re in an endless jape at my expense, or your mind is as pure as mountain snow.”
“He’s hilarious,” Dominic says to you, his smile widening until you feel yours joining him. “It’s why I brought you here.”
“To return my skull to my body?” Claremont asks.
“To make her laugh! I could watch her smile all night long.” Dominic beams, his hands tugging on his hair as if has no idea what to do with them. It causes you to twist your foot around, your face flushing and stomach roiling.
“I’d prefer more primal sounds from her lips.” Running a finger along the strip of a mustache, Claremont boldly darts his gaze from your face to your bosom and back up. He smiles wider and extends a hand to you. “My lady, if I may make a suggestion, this cemetery has seen its fill of me and I of it. Shall we adjourn to somewhere warmer…then debate the merits of so much clothing coming between our skin?”
A silly laugh rises in your throat and you take his arm. There is no chill off his body, but he is not warm either. Instead, a buzz vibrates up your arm. It lifts the hairs across your skin, arcing through your entire being until pooling in your thighs. What would it be to feel his touch…anywhere else?
Chuckling, Claremont brushes the soft skin of his cheek against yours as he whispers in your ear. “Tell me, my lady, would you consider it bold of me to kiss your perfect lips?”
A giggle rises and you shake your head. Taking his cheek in your palm, the tingles spreading over the fullness of your arm, you pull him to your mouth. The rich incense of myrrh curls against your tongue as Claremont rolls his over yours. He presses the full of himself against you, holding the small of your back until you are under his control.
The kiss breaks, but he doesn’t slip from you. With his bottom lip brushing against the top of yours Claremont says, “Exquisite, though those weren’t the lips I meant.”
Oh my! Your cheeks burn hot even as the Victorian ghost releases you save a light hold of your arm. “Shall we?”
The back of a hand brushes over your cheek, curling your fallen mess of hair back behind your ears. Dominic keeps trailing his fingers down the side of your neck, across your shoulder, over the run of your arm, and down to your fingers. You twist your hand to cup his, when he tugs your palm to sit right at the top of his ass.
Reaching over, Dominic wraps the whole of his arm over your shoulder leaving your hand resting so you can feel every shift of his swerving bottom. The werewolf smiles in glee at the ghost, seeming to be eternally entertained with life.
Instead of releasing you, Claremont steps closer, the edge of his hip brushing against yours. He taps the bottom of his cane to the stones, relighting every candle across the graveyard. Blue light burns on the grave markers, revealing the names and dates of all who died. The skeletons that’d been watching your run to the mausoleum all begin to dance. Bones catch bones, feet and legs rise in the air, hands twirl. It’s intoxicating.
But it’s to the manor towering above you that Claremont turns the whole group.
“The estate can be ever so drafty in late fall, but I daresay it’s an easy enough problem to solve. Would you prefer to sip wine in the parlor next to the roaring fireplace, or traverse the winding and private reserves of the basement?”
Staring up at the manor you have two choices before you.
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I found the himbo werewolf and charming ghost in Ellen Mint’s Choose Your Own Reverse Harem Halloween Adventure. How far can you get? https://ellenmint.blog/ellen-mints-halloween-harem-adventure/Tweet
Brought to you by Ink, A steamy new Reverse Harem series with a devilishly charismatic incubus.