Courting Carlie

Paranormal investigator Carlie Barnes is no stranger to ghosts and spirits. She finds it’s the living that cause the most trouble. Like the guy in the condo upstairs, who’d rather walk on glass than admit she might be right. She’d like to cross him off her list as just another uptight yuppie, but she can’t. He’s hired her to investigate an old federal bunker. Try as she might, she simply can’t ignore his sexy blue eyes that threaten to send her libido into a tailspin and her panties into a bunch. 

Michael Denton is a scientist. He believes in what he can see, touch, and feel. And he doesn’t want to feel anything about Carlie Barnes. As far as he’s concerned, she’s a con artist who preys on people's fears and bilks them out of their hard earned money to satisfy those fears. So why does she makes his pulse race and his palms sweat by just being in the same room? 

Science dictates that opposites attract, and when they do, fighting the inevitable is just as difficult as believing in ghosts and hotter than a beaker above a Bunsen burner.

Read An Excerpt

It was early, she was in her underwear and Michael-Bloody-Denton stood there, coffee mug in hand, and his mouth hanging open.
“What do you want that is so all-fired important that you had to wake me up at—” She squinted at the clock on her tv stand. “—seven o’clock in the damn morning?”
Michael’s eyes traveled down to her bare feet and up again, pausing on the hem of her night shirt. He blinked, closed his mouth, and pushed past her, adjusting his glasses at the same time.
“Yes, please. Come on in.” Carlie waved her arm toward her kitchen. “Don’t let the fact that you’ve woken me and I am still in my pajamas deter you.”
“We had another incident at the bunker.” He dropped his brief case on her kitchen table and turned to face her. “You call what you’re wearing pajamas?”
“Not that it’s any of your business, but it’s comfortable.” She followed him into her kitchen as she scratched the back of her head. Reaching into the cupboard closest to the coffee maker, she took out a bundle of coffee filters. “What kind of incident?”
Keeping her back to the annoying scientist, she fumbled with the filters, tearing the first two in her haste to separate them and get the precious coffee brewing. She dropped the bundle on the counter, clenched her jaw tightly to prevent an unladylike curse from sneaking through her lips and fisted her hands at her sides. Her head tipped backward as she groaned loudly before picking up the batch of filters yet again.
Michael sighed and took the filters from her after her third futile attempt at separating one from the pack. As he talked, he put the filter into the coffee maker, added coffee, filled the reservoir with water, and pushed the button to start. “Last night. A bunch of kids got around the security guard and went inside.”
“Great security.”
“Yes, well that’s a whole other issue.” He turned and paused, eyeing her disheveled appearance. He twirled a finger in the air in the direction of her head. “You might want to run a brush through that mess. Anyway, everything was quiet, the guard had no idea they were even there until the kids came charging out of there, screaming blue murder about an invisible man. Or something to that effect. They are at the Institute, waiting to be interviewed.”
“Let me throw on some pants. And maybe a bra.” She turned away but then paused to call over her shoulder, “And maybe I’ll even run a brush through this mess.”
Thankfully, she entered her bedroom, although Michael would have been happier if she’d closed her door tightly. He could hear her rummaging around in her room, opening bureau drawers and pulling out unmentionables. He took a deep breath. The mere thought of her in nothing but a t-shirt was enough to send his libido into overdrive.
He leaned forward, resting both fists on the kitchen table. A couple of deep breaths while he wiped the idea of Carlie’s naked breasts out of his mind and he was almost ready to discuss things rationally. He eyed the freshly brewed coffee and pulled out a mug, filling it with the steaming brew, then topped up his own mug. Glancing at the bedroom door, he decided that she probably was a cream and sugar chick, so he fixed Carlie’s mug, and kept his own coffee black.
Michael’s eyes were drawn to the bedroom door as Carlie emerged, wearing jeans, and a fresh t-shirt. Her hair, which had been an unruly mess of curls just minutes ago, was pulled back into a smooth red pony tail. She crossed the room quickly, zeroing in on the coffee mug on the table.
“Oh, God, this is wonderful,” she said after a quick sip.
“I... uh... wasn’t sure what you took in it, so I made an educated guess.”
“You educated right.” She took another sip and closed her eyes. “This is perfect. So, what else can you tell me about the events of last evening?”
“That’s about it. Kids broke in, freaked out, and ran screaming from the joint.” Michael shrugged. “Took three security guards to round them all up and transport them to the Institute. Had to promise we wouldn’t press charges and the whole bit, although they are just kids, hard to charge ‘em with anything except trespassing. Too much paperwork involved with that.”
“So, they are all waiting for me. In separate rooms, I hope?” She took one last gulp of her coffee, and dumped the dregs down the sink, then turned to do the same of Michael’s mug. “The last thing we want is them to be getting their statements all in sync. I need their unbiased, unrehearsed account of what they think they saw.”
“I’m not entirely stupid, Miss Barnes. I do know how to conduct an interrogation.”
“Yeah, well you’re not conducting this interview, Dr. Denton. I don’t need you there, sneering in all your glorious disbelief. Now, shall we go? Or are you enjoying my company so much that you’d like to drag this out a bit more?”
He felt a vein pulse in his temple and reached up to rub it. She was going to give him an aneurysm. “After you.”
“Oh, I see.” She grinned and strode towards the door with an exaggerated swing of her hips. “You just want to watch my butt.”

His left eye twitched. Yep, that aneurysm was growing by the second.

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