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The Haunting of St. Xavier

The Haunting of St. Xavierwriting together w/ TA Chase
Pride Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0-85715-417-0
ISBN eBook: 978-0-85715-480-4
Genre: Gay MM/ Horror
Book Length: Novel
Release Date: February 21, 2011 (ebook)/April 11, 2011 (Trade Paperback)

Read an Excerpt | Order eBook at Pride Publishing | Order Trade Paperback

Justice comes to all in time.

Although empty for over fifty years, St. Xavier Monastery was still an awe inspiring structure and Jason Bentley thought he’d found the perfect location for his newest resort. Yet once construction begins to bring the magnificent building back to its former glory, odd events begin to occur. While the death of a stonemason shakes Jason, he decides to continue anyway. Everything changes the night Jason’s confronted by a nun covered in blood on the fourth floor. Staring into the haunting eyes of a ghost rocks Jason’s emotions. Unsure of where to turn, Jason seeks the advice of the local Catholic Church.

Deacon Ryan Christopher has decisions to make. While his mentor, Bishop Adler, presses him to commit fully to the church, Ryan has reservations. For years he’s resisted his desire for male companionship and he can’t take his vows until he makes a decision. Though struggling with personal issues, Ryan has also followed the events at St. Xavier in the papers. No stranger to things that go bump in the night, Ryan believes Jason and agrees to help him investigate the monastery.

The spirits that haunt St. Xavier have waited decades for justice and revenge, but who will be the recipients of their hatred?

Excerpt

Note for Readers: You must be over eighteen to read this excerpt.

Signing his name with a flourish, Jason fought the surge of happiness threatening to overwhelm him. After six months of negotiations, he finally had his hands on what could be the biggest venture of his life.

“Here are the keys to the doors and to the gate.” The real estate agent’s tight smile spoke of relief more than happiness over the huge commission she’d just made.

“Thanks. I appreciate all the work you did to help me get this.” Jason took the keys and shook the lady’s hand.

“Well, you were very determined, and the building’s just been standing empty since the sixties.” She shrugged. “To be honest, I never thought I’d find a buyer.”

“Why?” He turned to study the large stone building standing rather forlornly behind the wrought iron gate. “It’s gorgeous and absolutely perfect for what I’m planning.”

“The problem isn’t how the place looks. I think it has more to do with what it was used for, the tragedy that took place here and all the rumours surrounding it.”

Frowning, he shot a glance over at her. “Rumours? About what?”

She waved her hand dismissively. “All the usual ones about it being haunted by the nuns who were murdered. Strange screams being heard when there’s no one around. I’m not sure anyone has actually spent any time on the property, except for the man you sent over to appraise it.”

Jason doubted any of the reports were true. Abandoned buildings, especially ones with twisted pasts, tended to get a creepy reputation after a while. He didn’t believe in spirits or ghosts. Hell, he didn’t want to think about hanging around this world after he died.

His real estate agent seemed to shake off her melancholy thoughts. “You never did say what you were going to use the property for.”

The woman must not have done her homework. The Bentley Corporation, of which Jason was CEO and founder, was the premier builder of gay resorts, but this venture was all about sex. He planned on creating the world’s foremost gay erotic resort.

“I’m going to open a resort. The original building is big enough to offer a bunch of rooms, plus I plan on building smaller, more private bungalows around the grounds. I love the English garden, and I’ll bring in landscapers to work on getting it back into shape.”

“Oh good.” She checked her watch. “Well, I need to be going if I’m to get these forms filed with the county clerk’s office in time.”

Jason hid his smile. He could get carried away with his visions, and not everyone saw them as clearly as he did.

“Thank you again. I’ll keep your office in mind if I’m looking to pick up more land in the area.”

He watched her drive away, barely managing to contain his excitement and eagerness to tour the property on his own. He waited until her car disappeared from sight before strolling up to the huge iron gate. He studied it for a second, tracing the scroll work with his gaze. ‘St. Xavier’ was spelt out in iron as well in the arch over the moving part of the gate. He would keep that, though the rust needed to be removed and the scroll work repainted. He liked the old-fashioned feeling it gave to the grounds.

Inserting the key into the lock, he paused and it was like the entire world froze with him. Almost like every living creature held its breath, hesitating while he thought about opening the lock. The strangest sensation washed over him and his hands trembled. Owning the monastery and stepping onto the grounds at this moment seemed like the most important thing he’d ever done. His life was going to change, Jason could feel that, but he didn’t know if it would be a good change or bad.

The sound of a car passing by on the road broke the spell and he laughed at himself. Foolish thoughts. It was just the joy of taking this next step in reaching for that elusive thing called happiness. If he achieved his goal of creating the world’s most exclusive gay resort, then maybe he could silence all those voices in his head telling him he wasn’t good enough.

The key turned in the lock, and he shoved the gate open. The metal hinges screeched like a woman being attacked. Jason cringed and frowned. The agent had sworn all the locks, hinges, and doors were in working condition, as had the appraiser Jason had hired to look at the property. He’d ask the contractors to take a look at the hinges. He would replace them if it looked like they would be more work than he’d thought.

He considered getting his car and driving up to the imposing structure, but he wanted to soak in the overall ambience of the place. The trees hung over the driveway, creating an oppressive feeling of being trapped as Jason wandered along. Those would have to be cut back. He pulled out his notebook and jotted it down. The driveway itself was in good condition, though the grass seemed to have taken over. Made sense considering there hadn’t been many visitors since the monastery closed down suddenly all those years ago.