|Enchanted by Mia Petrova|
I hated to do this, but it was a necessary evil.
Living with my parents in a small town over my twenty-seven years was a blessing. However, right now, I desperately needed a change. Boredom was taking over my life, so moving to crowded New York City seemed like the perfect idea for what I had in mind. With the money I had saved up, I was able to buy an old house. The house in question was a bargain, but she had a story.
It was said to be haunted.
The house was always on the market, since the buyers, after only a few days, would simply leave and never look back. No one knew exactly how long this had been going on, but some say forever. The stories didn’t scare me, because I didn’t believe in the supernatural. I didn’t believe in anything besides the basics of human life. I believed in love, friendship, and so on.
When I arrived at my new home with only a few bags under my arms, I was bursting with happiness.
“Good luck!” the taxi driver yelled while leaving as fast as he could, as if something bad would chase him.
I stood there, contemplating the new chapter of my life. I’d never been on my own before, so this would certainly be a sharp challenge for me. Sighing happily, I took my first steps toward my new beginning. The smile on my face seemed as permanent as the feelings of joy I embraced.
The house was white and small, but it had everything I ever wanted, including a porch. I opened the door and sunlight poured in, revealing the interior. I dropped my bags with a loud thump and my smile grew even wider. Breathless, I took a moment to let the feelings of joy overwhelm me.
The house was entirely furnished. Everything looked ancient, as though I’d walked into the early 1500s. I didn’t mind, though. I always had a thing about history. It looked and felt like a museum, and I loved it!
I took a small step forward, and another one and another one. The living room was on my left, the kitchen on my right, and in the middle were stairs leading to the second floor and the bedrooms.
My excitement threatened to overpower me, but this feeling was nothing compared to what I found on the living room wall--a black and white photograph.
It seemed like a family portrait. Seven people stared at me--five women and two men. The moment my gaze rested on the younger man, who seemed to be thirty-something, a shiver ran down my spine.
I went numb. A sense of the darkest dread weighed on my shoulders, but I couldn’t look away from him.
The man had a greatness about him that made me want to know every bit of his existence. He seemed tall, but I couldn’t know for sure. He wore a suit that fit him perfectly, revealing that he had a very nice build beneath all that clothing. He oozed sexiness, but it was his eyes that really held me. From the black and white photo, I couldn’t know if they were blue or green or hazel, but they were bright. He held a mystery, and I craved to discover everything I could about him. His face was smooth and his jaw was sharp, as if made by God himself. His hair was short and dark, and I was annoyed by all the things I couldn’t tell from a monochrome picture.
A soft creaking made me jump from my reverie. A sound of footsteps over the hardwood floor.
“H-hello?” I asked, trying to hide uneasiness but failing.
I searched the house for unwanted visitors but found nothing. When I returned to the living room, my gaze caught sight of that man in the picture again, but this time all I felt was sorrow.
I would never meet him.
I picked the frame from the wall, pulled the photograph from the glass, and held it on my trembling hands. I turned it over, and there I saw names.
The McCormick family, it said. Emily, Ava, Amelia, Christina, Sarah, Mason and Harper.
My heart jumped.
“Harper,” I whispered.
A cold breeze hit me, ruffling my hair, while yet another shiver ran through me. I searched the room for a source of the wind, but no windows stood open.
Swallowing hard, I moved across the living room to a desk near the hearth and slipped the photograph facedown into the top drawer. I couldn’t bear to look at him. Not when the sight of him caused my skin to tingle and my heart to hurt.
How could a simple photograph awaken feelings of desire buried so deep within me?
In a fleeting moment of realization, I imagined if I could see him and touch him, I would expire from pleasure.