After the two learn of several disappearances from the Folly, they spot someone trying to break in and wonder if the person is responsible for the Folly’s troubles. Deciding they must find out exactly what is happening, the pair begin to delve into the house’s history to uncover the truth before they too disappear.
Will the arrival of two strange males offering their help to Thane and Ian lead to revelations about the disappearances… or to Thane and Ian’s untimely deaths?
Every nerve suddenly tense, Thane tried to figure out what had awakened him. The bedroom was dark; there wasn’t even any light coming in between the open drapes on the windows. Dark and silent. He wondered if that was the problem. It was so totally the opposite of the city, where there was always light from the street and the noise of traffic, sirens, people.
“What’s wrong?” Ian’s whisper was so low Thane barely heard him.
“It’s… too quiet.”
Ian chuckled. “If this were a bad movie, there would now be a loud scream of terror.”
“Probably.” Thane nodded, wrapping his arm around Ian. “Still…”
“Shush.” Now Ian tensed.
Thane heard it at the same time, a moan coming from somewhere outside the house. He sprang out of bed, quickly going to the window to peer out, trying to see the ground through the thickly falling snow.
Ian joined him, also searching for the source of the sound. “I can’t see a damned thing.”
“There!” Thane pointed to a dark form that appeared for a brief second at the bottom of the steps leading up to the veranda—before the snow hid it again. “Someone is out there. Maybe someone whose car broke down… or something.”
He spun around to turn on the lamp sitting on the table in the alcove, then looked for where he’d left his clothes. He found them, pulling on his jeans and shirt. Ian was dressed almost as quickly. Then they raced down to the ground floor and into the formal living room, which faced the veranda.
Thane stopped short in the center of the room, scanning what he could see of the veranda through each window, before going to the double-doors that opened on to it. He took a cautious step outside, instantly realizing he was barefooted when he stepped ankle-deep into a drift of snow. He shivered but didn’t move as he searched for any sign of the figure they’d seen only minutes before.
“Someone was here, but they’re gone.”
Thane nodded at Ian’s words. The snow was disturbed from the top of the steps to one window and then back again. From where he stood, he could see a very faint trail indicating whoever had been there had retreated toward the back of the mansion. As he watched, the falling snow virtually eliminated even that indication of the stranger's visit.
“Very weird,” Thane muttered as he went back into the living room, closing the door behind him. “Why, in this weather, didn’t they do something more than just try to see inside?”
“I don’t know, but it’s giving me the shivers.” Ian actually did shiver then.
Thane shrugged. “I wish it wasn’t snowing right now so we could follow their trail.”
“The intrepid ghost hunter speaks.” Ian laughed, but there was an undertone of fear beneath it.
“I don’t think ghosts make footprints. They sort of hover over things. Besides, whoever heard of a ghost hanging around outside of a house and not coming in? If you believe in them, then you know they can pass through walls and stuff.”
“And stuff.” Ian grinned, patting Thane’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s get back to bed. Twenty-to-one it was some kid playing games. I bet the guy who delivered the pizzas told his friends we’re here, and one of them decided to check it out.”
“At one in the morning, in a raging snowstorm? And why moan?”
“They were trying to scare us? Hell, I don’t know. Come on.” Ian tugged Thane’s arm to get him moving.
With one last look at the veranda, Thane followed him. When they were finally back in bed again, he lay for long minutes staring up into the darkness, smiling slightly when Ian snuggled against him with his head on his shoulder.
“Whoever it was, I hope they freeze their ass off,” he eventually grumbled. When Ian didn’t reply, Thane realized he was already sleeping again. It took a few more minutes before Thane fell asleep too, and as he drifted off, he wondered if maybe they did have a ghost.