I Kissed A Ghoul by Kat Baxter

Chapter 1


Six months ago…

I’ve just barely walked into my condo and hung my keys up when my phone rings. I juggle my purse to pull out my phone while toeing off my uncomfortable shoes.


“Heya, Peach,” Reid’s sexy voice comes from over the phone. “Why are you so out of breath? Did I catch you doing something naughty?”

I roll my eyes. “You’re such a child.” But I’m smiling. Because no matter what Reid always makes me smile.

And, for the record, when I describe his voice as sexy, I do not mean to imply that I find it or him sexy. Merely that his voice is deep and gravely. Very manly. And therefore, demonstrably, undeniably, inarguably sexy.

Not to me personally. That would be inappropriate since he’s my brother’s best friend and—in the year since we discovered our mutual love of all things horror—he and I have become good friends as well.

“Damn, I was hoping you were doing something naughty.”

I know better than to take his flirtatious behavior seriously. Reid is not actually flirting. This is just what he’s like. Besides, I know, without a doubt that Reid is not interested in me. I know this because:

  1. He is a super-hot, professional football player and all around hunka-hunka-burning love,
  2. I am and forever will be, the aforementioned little sister of his best friend, and furthermore,
  3. I am a dorky, curvy girl who barely knows the difference between a baseball and a football.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with my curves. My head space is officially free of all body-shaming. Mostly due to a lot of therapy.

My mother, God love her, is not from a time or social class that embraced body positivity. Which means I grew up hearing bullshit like, “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips,” and “Dear, do you really want that donut? You know, shape wear can only do so much.”

So, yeah, it’s taken years of therapy to get that shit out of my head. And while I think I’ve done a fantastic job learning to love my curves, I also know that men like Reid—professional athletes with bodies so hot they are actually magazine worthy (as in million-dollar contracts modeling underwear, magazine worthy)—do not usually go for girls who have to double up on the shape wear.

Despite my mom’s skepticism, that donut is always worth it, and there aren’t many sins that a second layer of shape wear can’t hide.

But all of this means, I don’t take Reid’s comments about naughty behavior very seriously.

So I say, “I was about to pop open a pint of Chubby Hubby.”

Chubby Hubby?” he asks. “It should take more than Chubby to get you off, but if it works for you.”

“Gross,” I say, even though I’m unable to hide my laughter. “Chubby Hubby is ice cream. Stop making it dirty.”

“Hey, the joke was right there. And I did just openly admit to hoping you were doing something naughty.”

I snort. “Like what?”

“I dunno. Touching yourself.”

My entire body heats. “Reid!”

“What? A guy can have his fantasies.”

I ignore his statement because he’s a ridiculous flirt and I know he doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s a player. Literally because he’s a professional football player, but also with the ladies. I mean, I guess I don’t actually know that, but I’ve seen pictures of him with pretty model-types on gossip sites.

“Do you want me to call you back after I get my TV set up? Because I literally just walked in the door and I want to change clothes and make some tea,” I say.

“Nah. I’m already settled in my bed and have everything queued up and ready.”

“Fine. I’ll put you on speaker and you can tell me about your day while I get everything ready.”

“If you’re changing clothes, I’d prefer a video chat,” he says.

“Hilarious. Truly. Now how was practice?”

While I change, he rattles on about the team and how he still wishes he could leave Chicago and come back to Texas.

Once I’m in my yoga pants and sloppy tee, I pick the phone back up and burrow onto the sofa to log onto to Discord, the software we use to jointly watch our favorite show. “You are just being a pussy, because you don’t like the cold,” I chide him. “You just want to come back to Texas because of the sun, the beaches, and the tacos.”

He gives a sigh that sounds overly dramatic. “It’s my curse in life that you always misunderstand me.”

I roll my eyes, even though he can’t see me. “Speaking of curses… What do we think about the creepy old lady? Is she really a witch or just a red herring?”

I grab the chance to steer the conversation back to The Hotel of Horrors, the six-episode show, based on the book by Colton Briggs, that’s we’re currently watching.

Ever since discovering our mutual love of scary-as-fuck tv shows, we’ve been hooking up on Discord a couple of times a week to watch together.

No. Not hooking up. That implies something completely different.

Meeting up.

We’ve been meeting up.

On line.

In a purely, innocent way.

And by “purely innocent,” I mean completely asexual, meeting up between two friends … who enjoy watching demons (both human and supernatural) bathe in the blood of the innocent.

Thank God, Reid lets me steer the conversation back to The Hotel of Horrors, because I can only take so much of his faux sexual banter. And I think I’m actually getting turned on by my Chubby Hubby. Maybe that’s not a bad thing, since it’s not like I have any actual chubbies in my life to satisfy me.

But in terms of tempting me to think naughty thoughts about one of my best friends, it is a very, very bad thing.