This story is rated 3 flames. Stories will have sensual, yet more explicit love scenes, and the language used to describe them may be more graphic and direct.
Tara was dead-dead for cripes’ sake! Okay, sure, she’d seen it coming. Death had pursued her like a creepy stalker her whole life. Bad liver. Long waitlist. But what she hadn’t expected was becoming a ghost. She didn’t even believe in ghosts.
“Why am I still here?” she yelled, shaking her fist like a maniac.
No answer. Worse, someone had cleared out her pretty stuff and turned her apartment into a-shudder-bachelor pad.
A key sounded in the lock at the front door. Tara flew into the living room in time to watch her new roommate walk in. A six-foot-two, raven-haired god. Everything she’d fantasized about having while waiting for her life to begin with a new liver or her existence to end still a virgin.
If Tara had salivary glands, she would have drooled on him.
For the next several weeks she learned all about her roomie, William. Quiet and serious about school, he didn’t have any friends, let alone a girlfriend. He read aloud, hummed MCR in the shower-swear to God she didn’t watch…much-and ate a lot of peanut butter and maple syrup sandwiches. When he grabbed his backpack full of textbooks and left for college classes, she missed him. When he slept, she listened to his soft snore.
After months of haunting him, Tara couldn’t keep her hands to herself any more. Giggling like a mental patient, she slipped beneath the covers and cuddled up against William’s broad back. His body heat warmed her. She felt like steam wafting off a hot body. He murmured something soft and incomprehensible but didn’t wake. Relaxing, she closed her eyes and, for the first time since she died, fell asleep.
Like the dead, that’s how she slept.
Guess that’s where the saying came from, she thought as she awoke spread over William’s chest like a thin sheet. She looked down at him. His eyes opened, bleary from sleep, then rounded with alarm.
Does he…see me?
He blinked, shook his head, and sighed in obvious relief. “Weird dream.”
Tara gasped, thinking for one blonde moment that he was talking to her. But of course, he wasn’t. As insubstantial as dust, she slid off him. He pushed away the covers and ran his fingers through his silky hair.
She waved her hands in front of his sleepy face.
She brushed her fingertips down his square jaw and he shivered. His reaction was something, she consoled herself. Still, to be seen by him would be heaven. But she was in purgatory, awaiting her sentencing or maybe just overlooked-that thought frightened her more than it should. She’d spent her life forgotten. By family. By friends. By doctors and nurses. Why would her afterlife be any different?
William sat up and Tara sat next to him, comforted by his vitality, the sound of his strong heartbeat. Healthy as a horse, this one. So why wasn’t he living? Why simply exist?
When he left for school, she searched his crap for an answer. Under his bed, buried beneath a stiff sock and a dysfunctional family of dust bunnies she found a battered lock box. No key anywhere, she tried a paperclip. After an hour, she gave up and just stared at the metal box, imagining what was inside.
Turns out imagination is magical. Without warning, the lockbox popped open like a jack-in-the-box and spilled its secrets to her as if they were bffs.
Spreading out the newspaper articles and love letters on the bed, she pieced together the puzzle of William the Loner. His girlfriend, Elizabeth Sharon Dillon, a high school soccer star and all-American-girl had died at seventeen in a car accident. William had been driving.
He probably blamed himself, was punishing himself. What an idiot. They’d been hit by a drunk driver. Not his fault.
Tara hated drunks-how dare they drown their livers in poison when she never had a good one to begin with-and this drunk in particular because he’d stolen love from William.
“How to help him?” She tapped her transparent chin, developing an evil-genius-plan.
When William arrived home that night, love letters from Elizabeth lay on his pillow. He collapsed on his bed and held the letters to his chest. “Betty?”
Tara wrapped her arms around him, hoping he’d feel her. “I’m here.”
He shuddered, not a slight tremor, a full-on earthquake. She held on. For a long time they stayed like that until, at last, William pulled off his clothes and climbed under the covers, the letters next to his head.
Tara cuddled next to him, waiting for him to fall asleep, but he didn’t. A soft rustling and the rhythmic movements of a man comforting himself in the most basic of ways sounded. “I love you.” His fist pumped up and down his shaft. “I love you.”
She wrapped her ethereal hand around his to help. William stilled, looked straight at her, his breath caught in his chest. “Betty?”
“Yes.” She stroked him, using the same pressure and rhythm he had used, sliding her thumb over the slit on the thick head, using her other hand to gently massage his balls.
His eyes closed but failed to trap the tears that welled in his eyes. “God, I’m sorry.”
“Shhh.” His substance-giving energy coalesced around her. Her wavering form became more solid. Tara straddled him, impaling herself on his gorgeous cock, gripping him tightly. “It wasn’t your fault. I’m happy and I want you to be happy, too.”
She rode him, kissed his soft lips and firm chest, reveling at the feel of his harsh puffs of breaths against her insubstantial face. She had little idea of what she was doing or if she was doing it right. But he seemed to enjoy her awkward attempt at lovemaking.
He gripped her hips, urging her to move faster. She stiffened in surprise. He was touching her and his hot hands felt so good, burning through her, his searing sex driving up into her. This was real. She was real-if just to him.
The muscles in his neck strained, his lips parted as his hips arched away from the mattress. He was so far inside her, rubbing against some miraculous spot that made her throw her head back and yell his name.
They came together, holding each other tight. Moaning, his cum shot into her, sending streaks of lightning through her cold, cold form. Setting her ablaze. Setting her free.
She literally came apart in William’s arms. Tiny pieces of her soul, all the moments of her life, twinkled like minute stars flickering, pulsing, separating and rising toward the ceiling. Up and up. Higher and higher. She looked down, felt herself smile at her roomie. Her friend. Her lover.
“Live!” she called down to him.
He blinked up at her, as if dazed. “I will,” he said through choking tears. “Love you.”
Each tiny particle of Tara pulsed and shined. She would find Elizabeth. Relay William’s message. But right now, for this one brief moment, his love carried her, propelled her high into the heavens. “I love you, too.”
Ellora’s Cave premier author, Jocelyn Modo listens to the voices in her head. Living by the motto, one woman’s mental illness is another’s profession, she frees her imaginary friends as characters in her stories. Her pervious works include I Wish I Might, Neck of the Foot, and Wink Wink.
I Wish I Might, Eternal Press
Neck of the Foot, Create Space
Wink Wink, Secret Attic
First Heat, Ellora’s Cave
On Vixen, Ellora’s Cave
Paradise Moon, Ellora’s Cave
Books by Jocelyn Modo
Filed Under: Free Reads