"Mmphhh sssnnnrr ….. ppprrrttth…."
The muffled sound filtered down from the upper floor of the house, ending up as a low-pitched mumble in the kitchen below. Jacey couldn't help but smile. The television had been going nearly non-stop since Halloween. That meant soap operas. All day. Every day. For three straight months.
"Nooooo….. Cameron…don't leaveeee meeeee!!!"
Hah! Someone was dying... or the ship was going down. Grinning and shaking her head, Jacey resumed eating her breakfast, scooping up a spoonful of Fruit Loops. She munched the food slowly thinking how much had changed in her life since that fateful weekend over Halloween. And then that big Christmas surprise. It was all painful to the extreme and exhilarating. Now? Not in her wildest daydreams had she thought she would be in this position a year ago. Seven weeks. It had been seven weeks since her life turned around and now here she was living with her boss, corporate executive Priory McAllister.
Things had definitely improved at work since the Christmas party edict that employees' personal lives and relationships were now no longer on the agenda for instant dismissal. Both she and Priory had relaxed, substantially easing the tension in the office. Work was now work and home was now a place for some serious lovin'.
Hey there, Jacey. How goes it?
She still had to get used to their two houseguests literally popping in an out of their presence, but despite that she had a soft spot for these two lost souls.
"Good morning, Dylan. What's happening on the soap opera front?" The young woman smiled at the momentary frown of the apparition. It was always a sore point with the tall ghost. Ever since they had introduced the television to them at Halloween Dylan had barely spent any time with her partner. Rhea was hooked on the soaps bad… real bad.
They started making coffee before Christmas. Seven weeks later they're drinking that same damn cup of coffee. Are these things always so slow?
"Oh yeah. Sometimes a pregnancy on those shows could last eighteen months and at other times it could be a week and a half. Any sense of reality goes right out the window with soaps." Studying the ghost, she continued. "You look a little out of it this morning."
I get a little bummed out around this time.
"Around this time? Oh… sorry." Of course… Valentine's Day. "You don't celebrate it?'
Oh, come on woman! What can we do, huh? We're dead, remember?
"I could always give you a hand. How about a bouquet of flowers?"
Would… you'd do that for me?
"Sure. You sure saved our butts at Christmas, it's the least I can do." Jacey paused. "Dylan... is it hard?"
Is what hard?
"Living… ahhh... existing like this?" Jacey berated herself for asking. Dylan didn't reply immediately and her answer was hardly above a whisper.
It was a very personal question and Dylan didn't strike her as the chatty sort. But she wanted to know what eternal love was like. Would she ever know that kind of love?
Just after we… you know… I thanked God every day for the opportunity to still be with her. But lately… especially with the two of you around.... Do you have ANY idea how HARD it is to see her every day and not be able to just touch her?
No! You won't! And you probably never will!
The dark haired apparition faded rapidly, leaving behind a feeling of anger and frustration.
"Wooow! Remind me never to piss her off…" Jacey looked down at her coffee before drinking it thoughtfully. What would it be like to live for eternity with the woman you love and never be able to touch her? An almost ridiculous idea popped into her head, but it would be a real hard sell to her boss. Would Priory go for it?
"You're home." Jacey had watched the Chrysler sedan pull into the driveway behind her SUV. A two-car family. How cute, and a hell of a lot easier. She had been chauffeur to her boss for a few weeks while the car was in for repairs and didn't realize how much of a chore that was. "Did you pick them up?"
"Yep. What do you want to do?"
"I'll distract them and you get the surprise up to the attic. Good for you?"
"Fine. How are they?" Priory got an earful of Dylan's angst last night, glad when the ghost finally took the hint to let her sleep. This morning even the toilet had something to say, burping and bubbling constantly as she applied her makeup for work.
"Up and down. Sad, edgy and anxious, all rolled into one. They've got it bad."
"I've got an idea…" Jacey proceeded to tell her what she had in mind.
"Are you nuts? No, I take that back. You ARE nuts."
"After what Dylan did for you, are you going to deny her this?"
"Ask me anything else, hon, please. That… that's… ewwww!"
"Alright, let me ask you this. Put yourself in her situation. How long could you go not touching the one you want to spend your life… and death… with? Think about that." Jacey spun on her heels and went back into the house, not once looking back. "Of all the stubborn, mule-headed, stingy…." She muttered as she closed the door, not aware of the smaller apparition floating beside her. "Oh… hi. Soaps finished?"
What has Priory done now?
"Priory? What makes you think I'm talking about Priory?" Rhea just stared at her. "Yeah. Well. Priory is just being Priory."
Anything I can help you with?
"No! I mean no, everything is just fine… really." But the ghost was not leaving. "We just had a disagreement about how to celebrate Valentine's, that's all."
Oh… yeah… that.
A deep sadness hung in the air, nearly breaking the young woman's heart.
"I'm so sorry, honey."
Nothing you can do. It's just one more year in a long line of years. Still, it will be nice to actually have someone in the house this year.
"Always trying to see the sunny side. huh? Yes, we'll be here. I was trying to talk her into having dinner here instead of going out."
That is all you're fighting about? Honey, save the anger for the fights that really matter.
"You're right. She can be so stubborn sometimes." Oh believe me, this one matters.
Dylan's the same, but it's worth it in the long run.
"I dunno. Dylan can get a little grumpy."
That's her tough side, Jacey. She's a cream puff inside.
I heard that!
You're eavesdropping on me?
Sounds like with good reason, too!
The tall woman came into focus, standing over her smaller counterpart, trying to give Rhea her best menacing glare.
That won't work, sweetheart.
You really are trying to ruin my reputation, aren't ya?
I don't need to, hon. You seem to do that quite well all by yourself.
Rhea smiled sweetly. Jacey watched as the tall specter's resolve melted under the loving attention of her partner.
"Can I ask you two something?"
Errrr… yeah. It's personal, isn't it?
"Come on let's go sit… or whatever... in the kitchen."
Damn long and personal…
Jacey pulled out a chair and sat down, watching as the two apparitions hovered in place. It was so disconcerting to see the two of them sitting IN the table, their torsos sticking out through the wood. "Hang on…" she muttered, standing up and pulling out the offending seats. "Better."
It doesn't bother us.
"No, but it was bothering me."
So, whadda ya wanna know?
"How did you two meet?"
Rhea was this guy's girlfriend and I worked for him.
"That's it? You might as well have said 'I was born, I lived and I died'. Geez, Dylan you need to work on your communication skills."
The brunette looked at her companion.
Did she just speak English?
"There's got to be more to this story. You gonna tell me or not?"
Well, ya know, I ain't much of a lady…
I was pretty good with my fists though! You know all the boy stuff. I was lookin' for excitement. A lot of people laughed at me before Rocco offered me a job.
Rocco Rizzoli. He's the ahhhh.... guy... I worked for.
"No 'Rocko the Reckless' or 'Spats Rizzoli'?"
He wasn't known well enough for a nifty name like that. He was small enough to not get in the way of the big guys, a bottom feeder who took the scraps left over. You know what I mean?
"So that explains the suit then."
He didn't want to be seen with no broad drivin' for him. People would laugh.
"So you are a real bad girl, huh?"
Only behind closed doors, Jacey.
Oh great. Give her an invitation why doncha?
"Awww, come on guys. Even a dope like me can see you two are very much in love."
Yeah, well… anyways, Rocco, he thought it was a safe move to have me 'babysit' his girl while he was away on 'business'.
"Oooh, not smart."
He didn't know that. I didn't know it either.
"So, was it love at first sight?"
Nah, it was business, you know? I didn't want to end up….
Vacant eyes looked at the floor.
It happened anyway.
"Some things are just meant to happen, Dylan. All the denial in the world won't change that."
Yeah, you're right. She was just so damned cute…
Dylan smiled benevolently at Rhea, her smile widening as the blonde returned the loving look.
Anyways, I was spending more time with her than I was with Rocco. It just happened, that's all.
"I'm sure Rhea didn't think of it that way." Jacey looked at Rhea as she reminisced.
She just took my breath away. It wasn't that she was beautiful or a woman or anything like that. It was… it was like my soul was waiting for her, you know? Everything that had happened in my life had led up to that one moment.
Yeah. Until Rocco found out.
He wanted it to be kept real quiet. He didn't want to be found with the... well, anyway. This place had belonged to his grandmother or something. It was empty. They didn't shoot us because of the noise. It would be hard to cover up so....it was done real quiet like.
Dylan quickly shifted control of the conversation.
So we ended up here. End of story.
There was a thump upstairs, signaling to Jacey that the surprise was in place. "Okay, I won't pry any more. But if you ever want to talk about stuff you know I'm here."
A Dear Abbey for spooks? Lookin' at changing jobs Miss 'whateveryoucallit'?
"Ms Executive Assistant, thank you very much!" She laughed as the two ghosts began to fade, awaiting the arrival of her co-conspirator. Ten seconds later there was the sound of crying echoing through the house. "What in the world…" Jacey moved as fast as her legs would carry her, wincing as the muscles strained to allow her to climb the stairs two at a time. She didn't bother to stop and headed straight for the staircase leading to the attic.
The tableau before her stopped Jacey in her tracks. Rhea was encased in Dylan's arms, as well as she could be anyway, moanful sobbing filling the room. Priory had arrived seconds before the blonde. "I didn't do anything," she whispered.
Rhee-Rhee, baby, please don't cry.
But… but… I'm… so… happy…
Each word was emphasized by a sob.
Oh… that's okay then… I think.
Dylan's eyes drifted to the two humans standing at the door.
Happy Valentine's baby.
She watched as Priory silently left the room. Jacey smiled at her and nodded gently before leaving also.
At the bottom of the stairs Priory turned to her lover. "I'll do it," she muttered before leaving without another word.
Jacey hadn't approached the ghosts about her plan, instead wanting to just spring it on them. Less time for objections. She was at a complete loss as to what to prepare for their dinner so she asked Priory, finding out her likes, dislikes and allergies. It seemed her girlfriend had a lot to complain about.
On Valentine's day afternoon Jacey was hard at work in the kitchen. She was not a gourmet cook by any means, but she could throw a meal together when she had to. This was a 'had to' time. Somehow the ghosts' plight had become her mission.
So you finally talked her into eating at home, huh?
"Ahhh, yeah." Jacey had nearly forgotten the conversation of yesterday. "I beat her into submission."
Anything I can do to help?
The blonde looked astonishingly at the hovering poltergeist.
Okkayyy, how about some company then?
"Yeah, that'd be nice." She chuckled.
What's so funny?
"I was just trying to imagine you cooking… covered in flour or something."
Only if I allowed it to.
"Oh." Jacey went back to her preparations, pulling out the oysters from the refrigerator.
I'll have you know that Dylan is CRAZY about those things.
"I just knew it! I figured if Priory hated them, Dylan would love them. And it seems I was correct."
"If one said it was day, the other would argue it was night if, for nothing else, to irritate the other. It wasn't that hard to figure out."
Then why are you giving them to Priory?
Oops…. "Errr… ahhh…." Jacey could feel her face begin to burn. She was busted.
Jacey. What's going on?
Jacey sighed. Damn… "It was supposed to be a surprise."
"You don't want a surprise?"
At this particular moment? No. What are you up to?
"I had decided....We had decided…to make your Valentine's dream... come true."
Okay, so now you have my attention.
"We were going to… to… " Jacey looked shyly up at Rhea, hoping for a positive reaction. "…let you use our bodies for the night."
Use your bod…
Transparent eyebrows knitted together.
Do you mean what I think you mean?
"I wanted you to experience Dylan one more time. Well, it will be Priory's body but it will be Dylan's soul."
Is it possible?
"I dunno. We can only try."
And you'd do that… for us? Why?
"Why? I've been asking myself that for the last day. I guess it comes down to seeing you happy. You haven't had much of that in quite a while. You two were so sad about Valentine's approaching I just had to do something about it."
I… I…don't know what... thank you.
If Rhea could have burst into tears they would have been swimming.
"Don't thank me yet. We've still got to convince Dylan."
Oh… hmmm. How did Priory take it?
"She needed a little convincing at first but she came around to my way of thinking."
Do you know what you are doing? Priory AND Dylan in ONE body? The poor woman could dislocate something.
There was silence for a second.
So what does this arrangement… entail?
You know…stuff. Do stuff. Doing stuff.
"Stuff? Do what?"
What....stuff, things, you know, we can do...or NOT do. Please say you catch my drift.
"Oh...OHHHH... yeah… that! That stuff! Well that was the point of it. There's dinner, of course, with romantic candlelight and roses. Then the rest of the night is yours to rediscover Dylan and that 'glib tongue' of hers. No hanging from the ceiling fan though, okay?"
Jacey laughed as Rhea shifted uncomfortably.
I shouldn't have told you that. Now you'll never let me live it down.
"We all live together, Rhea. Secrets are going to come out sooner or later. And with this particular exercise we're probably gonna find out a lot more than we want to. So it's up to you. Do you want this?" It was probably a little late to be asking that question, especially since she was in the middle of preparing the meal, but now was the time to call a halt to the arrangement if they didn't care for it.
Do I want this? You're pulling my leg, right? A chance to love my honey bunny? I'd rather die first… heh, oops too late. Ahh, but seriously... I can't thank you enough for this Jacey. It's... wow... a gift that I don't know how to repay.
"Don't thank me yet. With Groucho, Chico and Harpo in her head anything could happen."
"How about Larry, Curly, and Moe?"
Ahh...I get it. Yeah, I know. This might not be such a smart move.
"I think she's prepared to take that chance." As the words slipped from her mouth, a shift of air announced the arrival of Dylan.
"Who? Who… hmmmm. Good question." Jacey was treading water here, not sure whether Rhea wanted her partner to know just quite yet.
What's she done now?
"What makes you think Priory has done something wrong?"
Usually when Priory's name is mentioned, she's on her way to the dog house.
"Usually. But not at this time though." Green eyes pleaded with the smaller ghost to save her.
In fact she's gonna do you a favor.
A favor? Me?
Yeah. Us. A HUGE favor.
Huge huh? What's going on? Someone want to fill me in?
It's just a little Valentine's surprise Lany.
Rhea moved next to her partner, hoping to distract her by her closeness. She was torn. Does she tell her now and get all the ranting and raving over and done with or does she wait to Priory to be present for the grand unveiling?
Spill the beans, Rhee. What are you hemming and hawing about?
We get to spend tonight together hon.
We spend every night together Rhee. What's so special about tonight? Huh? Besides it being Valentine's.
No, to-geth-er. Like Priory and Jacey.
You're ragging me, aren't ya? I know you think the light's on and no one's home, but don't tease me about this.
You are not listening Dylan. In the flesh, so to speak. Priory and Jacey are lending us their bodies for the night.
Dylan just floated there, saying nothing. Time passed by with only the sound of the wall clock ticking off the seconds. "Will someone say something? The suspense is killing me here."
And whose body am I in? Oh no… no, don't tell me. Let me guess. It's her, isn't it?
"Well, yeah. You sort of sound like you don't want to do it."
So she's gonna be yakking in my ear all night? Just what I need… my mother looking over my shoulder while we make love.......We ARE allowed to do that, aren't we?
"Welllllll.... That was kind of the point. Just none of the fancy moves, you hear me Studly?"
Awwww. Come on! I saw these dirty pictures once and they had a position or two I've been wantin' to try.
"If you throw her back out she ain't gonna be happy. And you know when she gets a bug up her ass it stays there for a very.... long..... time."
Okay. Okay. I get it already. So when does this nutty idea take place?
"Dinner time! If you want to that is… I just thought it would be a...." Jacey felt a little deflated. Dylan almost made it sound like a chore.
Rhea shifted her arm, swatting the floating apparition through the middle.
Show some respect here. It is a very generous offer and you're sounding like you're going to the dentist!
Dark eyes looked straight at Jacey, pinning her with their intensity.
I am truly sorry to make fun of this. It… it… no one has ever done anything like this for me. You're not an angel are you?
"There is nothing remotely angelic about me."
Yeah, but you've spent some time in a Convent. But seriously… thank you.
How long do we have?
"Well… I hadn't thought about that. I guess, like Cinderella, you have until midnight."
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think it would be possible…
"Where did she go? Did I say something wrong?"
No, honey. You said everything right.
Jacey and Priory dressed in silence, facing away from each other. Trepidation and a certain amount of curiosity sat in the air between them. This had to be the craziest idea the blonde ever had, including the suggestion of making friends with the toilet. Priory perched herself on the edge of the bed.
"What's wrong honey?"
"I... I just don't know if I can do this."
"Abbey, honey, you can't back out now. They'd be heartbroken. It would be cruel."
"Yeah, yeah, I know." Azure eyes rose to meet the woman standing in front of her. "It's just weird, you know?"
"Tell me about it."
"How am I gonna stop myself from making inane comments?" Her mate chuckled at her admission. "What?"
The small woman reached out and grabbed her partner's hand. "You know you make inane comments?" Priory clicked her tongue in disgust. "Okay, okay. How about reading a pretend book or something? Mavis? Missy? LJ? Who do you like to read?"
"Wonder woman…" The voice was smothered by a hand rubbing over her mouth.
"Sorry? I didn't catch that."
"I… said… Wonder… Woman." Priory ground out through clenched teeth. It was a mistake to say it, she just knew it.
"Wond…" Jacey had to try very, very hard not to crack a grin, schooling her face to a smile of gentle entreaty. "Okay then, you grab your comics and go and sit in the corner of your mind. And no peeking!"
"No peeking? You're kidding, right? How can I not look? It's like picking up one of those garage calendars and not flipping through the pages. I want to at least take notes. I have a feeling that Dylan is very… inventive."
Oh Lord… I am in deep, deep trouble. "Maybe I should give Rhea some hints about your ass."
"Awwww… no, no, no, no. That's yours and yours alone. Maybe I should get a tattoo. 'Property of Jacey Ryder.' How about that?"
"Don't you dare! You know very well that I love it just the way it is… damn it!"
"Your little fetish is just so damned cute, Jace."
"It is not a fetish! It's a... a... crap." Jacey turned away embarrassed. She fiddled with the knick-knacks on the top of the dresser, trying to hide an ever deepening blush.
"Hey, come here. Don't get upset." Priory stood and stepped up behind her, wrapping her arms around the blonde's middle and softening her voice. "Hey… hey. It's okay… really. I'm just kidding."
"I know, but it's… am I weird or something?"
"Weird? Nooooo! It's not like it's everyone's butt. You can play with my ass any time you want, you know that. It's kinda… I dunno… forbidden… in a sexy kind of way." One hand slowly caressed the flat stomach enticingly, sending a warmth through the skin under the material.
"What are you doing?' Jacey's voice shook with emotion.
"Just kick-starting the evening, honey. Why should they have all the fun?"
"Because it's their night, Abbey."
"Alright. You're a party-pooper, you know that?"
"Yep, that's me. Now come on before they come looking for us."
"Just give me a moment to freshen up."
Jacey fiddled around in the bedroom, reaching for some perfume to dab on. "Come on…" she muttered impatiently. Finally she sauntered out of the room to stand by the bathroom door, unable to ignore the 'conversation' going on inside. Now, three months ago this would have seemed just a trifle… weird. But... well, things change.
"So what do you think?" Priory looked in the mirror as she reached for her toothbrush. The toilet popped. "Really? You know you're right. It's all gonna come off later anyway." The toothpaste lathered up in her mouth as the bristles scraped along the enamel. "Hmmm… hrpph aarrgghhttt ooopp oooowwwwwwgghhh…." Priory spit out the toothpaste, reaching for her glass of water.
Burp… grind… sssccrrreeeeeeeecccchhhh…
"Ain't that the truth. Hope it goes okay tonight." Water swirled around her mouth, finding all the crevices and indentations.
Jacey leaned against the door jamb listening to her girlfriend. Her eyes swiveled from the woman to the toilet as the conversation continued. It was one of the damnest things she's ever seen. She wasn't sure who was crazier… Priory or the house. As if the house had a personality. Well, the toilet had one, why not the house? She also wondered why she was living with someone who was obviously unhinged in the first damn place. She watched as the woman began to gargle which was closely followed by the aging pipework, lending its own brand of gargling to the sound until it was mixing into a strange sort of musical harmony. She took it back… the house won the insane race by a toilet seat.
Clunk… clunk… pop…
"Well how could I not? They looked so damned sad." Priory had her lipstick in her hand.
"Hey! A girl's gotta have something on!" She waved the small cylinder in the air, looking at the reflection of the toilet in the mirror. "I won't put on anything else…. promise."
Bubbles… bubbles… bubbles.
"Well, I'm glad you're happy about it." As a final touch, Priory gave her hair a brisk brush, stepping back to look at herself. "What do you think?"
"Why thank you." It was at that moment she turned around to see Jacey standing in the doorway. "Hi!" she said brightly.
"And... ah... you... understand... what the toilet says?"
"Yeah. Sure. Bova was just filling me in."
"Sure. She's our friendly pesky demon. They threw her out of Hell for being a quasi-demon. She was a little too jovial for their liking."
"What is it about this place!? Is it a retirement home for the supernatural or what? Is there some notice on their infernal message board? 'Getting thrown out of Hell? Move into 43 Victory Avenue for fun, laughter, and free board.'"
"Now that was just plain stupid, Jace."
'You're having intelligent conversations with a jovial pesky toilet demon and you call me stupid?' Jacey so wanted to say that out loud but her request was riding on thin ice as it was. "Come on. Just relax and enjoy the night, okay?"
Priory watched nervously from the chair as Dylan approached. "Don't break anything... or...or... mess with stuff! You got me?"
Yeah. Yeah. What do you think I'm gonna do? Play kick-the-can with your head?
"Okay. Now I'm worried…"
Dylan slowly sat down over Priory, allowing her essence to fill the flesh occupying the seat. At first Dylan felt nothing as the ghost acquainted herself with the new surroundings. Slowly sensation came as the spirit filled the void, searching out every nerve ending in order to feel.
"You okay?" The voice of Jacey took on a slightly different timbre as Rhea took hold.
"Kinda like sitting inside a balloon."
Hey, that's my body you're talking about…
Dylan closed her eyes, feeling the air flow through Priory's lungs. She was alive… alive. A hand touched hers and she jumped. "This is… something else." Dylan murmured.
"It sure is…" Rhea breathed. She actually breathed.
The whispered voice of Jacey in her head made the whole experience even more surreal. Their positions had changed and the feeling was… was… way past exciting to exhilarating… liberating… magic.
Rhea watched her partner revel in her new playground, experimentally flexing limbs as life returned to a long-dead spirit. This would be something she would never forget. The day that their friends gave them freedom. Unsteadily she rose from the table, trying to gain a hold on mobility. The walking was rather stilted at first until Rhea understood the dynamics to make Jacey's legs work. It was weird. They were not her legs and yet she could move them, but it was a sensation that she greedily absorbed. Moments later Rhea returned with a plate of oysters in hand.
"What is that?" Priory wrested control of her voice and one arm, her finger jabbing the air at the dead seafood lying in its bed.
Oooooo, they're oysters! Stop butting in, Convent!
"Jacey! I thought I told you I can't stand oysters!"
"Are you allergic to them?"
"Hell if I know. The very thought of them completely disgusts me. I would never allow them in my mouth!"
"Then be quiet honey. They're not for you." Jacey was becoming impatient with her partner. This was not going as planned. But, then again, it was Priory they were talking about.
"It's my mouth and my digestive system."
"But it's Dylan's taste buds, at least for now. Let them be."
"I have two words for you, boss. Wonder Woman… get at it... now, behave, will you!"
"But Casper here…"
"You promised me, Abbey."
Priory withdrew into herself, sulkily taking a mental seat in the corner, muttering all the while. I just knew… why did I agree… this is so stupid. And weird. Stupid and weird.
Dylan was wondering whether this was a good idea or not. Priory was acting up. She only wished she had made a bet on it. Nah, no one would cover it. As she reached for an appetizer a whisper echoed through her head
You put that THING anywhere NEAR my mouth and so help me God...
Dylan hesitated for a moment, her hand stopped then started again on her way to her mouth.
No, no, no, no, no... don't… don't do it… I swear… I'll get your ass Ghost Busted!
Then Dylan's left hand shot up, grabbing ahold of her right wrist to stop the progression of the food to her taste buds.
Rhea couldn't help but ask, "Sweetie, what are you doing?" earning a harried look from her partner across the table.
"I'm teasing myself… What do you think I'm doing? Convent keeps threatening me." Both women watched in fascination as the hand gripping Dylan's wrist finally shook the oyster shell out of her hand, causing the soft flesh to fly out and hit the floor with a wet slap. Her left hand let go, coming up to point an agitated finger in her face.
No oyster is going to pass those lips you heathen!
"Priory!" The bark cracked through the air, stopping the internal struggle for dominance. "Let her go… now!"
Awwww but... crap…
"He he. I don't want to be in your shoes right now."
Ha! You are… so, watch it, bucko!
Dylan tentatively reached for another oyster, her hand moving steadily towards her mouth. She waited for a response and got none. The shellfish slid down her throat and she expressed her joy. "Hmmmmm… that was… delicious."
Ewwwww… grosssffttth... It tasted like the ocean at low tide…
"And what did she say?"
"How did you know?" Rhea tilted her head. "She was not amused." Her eyebrows knitted together for a moment.
"Now what?" Rhea watched as a range of emotions reflected across her partner's face.
"She's thinking about some hotsy-totsy with this long dark hair runnin' in her underwear. Her underwear is made out of an American flag. Aw, that is not right! That's un-patriotic, Convent! Desecratin' the flag like that!" A grin crossed Dylan's face. "That broad is gonna give herself two black eyes if she keeps that up though."
"Uh huh. And…?"
"I had a herd of buffalo stampede over her. That got rid of her pretty quick. Teach her to be un-patriotic!" A second oyster followed the first one, this time Dylan took the time to swirl it around in her mouth before swallowing it. She laughed out loud. "Now there's an "Out to Lunch' sign in my head and something about a garage calendar and crayons."
Dinner proceeded smoothly from there on. Priory had retired to her corner to color in the busty models spread over cars and motor bikes. Candlelight and soft Benny Goodman in the background set the mood, transporting the two ghosts back to the Thirties when they were alive. It was like… home. The smell of roses filled the air, along with the elegantly cooked meal that Jacey had prepared with great care and a fine white wine to complement the food.
Dylan stood, pushing the chair away from the table. Extending her hand, she whispered "May I have this dance, my love?" Rhea's eyes glistened with unshed tears. It was a pretty emotional time for both of them. "I just want to hold you, baby."
And so she did, their dancing no more energetic than a gentle sway. Rhea's head perched on Dylan's shoulder while the taller woman's hands glided over the back of the woman she was holding. Several songs passed before either of them moved, content to just absorb the sensations that were so long forgotten.
Dylan leaned back, her finger tipping Rhea's face upwards. "I love you, baby." Her lips slowly descended, touching briefly before returning to experience full contact. So long… So long she had dreamed of this, begging anyone who would listen to end her agony. Now her prayers had been answered by the most unlikely of allies.
"Come on, time's a' wastin'." Dylan took Rhea's hand, guiding her gently to the staircase. "As much as I would like to hold you all night, our time is short."
"You make it sound so…"
"Business? Hurried?" Dylan continued on, climbing the stairs slowly. "Yeah, but Hell be damned if I am stopped from having you."
"Heaven, Hell, I don't care. If I have one chance to love you, I'm not gonna waste a single second of it."
"That is so… well, it's not quite poetry … but for you honey, that is one hell of a romantic declaration."
"You betcha. So get your butt in gear, Rhee. Think of all the kisses we've missed yakkin' here."
Despite Dylan's claims they took their time undressing one another, allowing the borrowed senses to enjoy their new discovery. As the brunette's hands slid sensuously over the smaller woman's uncovered arms, Rhea closed her eyes.
"What are you doing?"
"Just… oh… just keep doing that. I can see… hmmmm… I can see you doing this to me. I feel it, I smell it…" Rhea's lips moved towards her lover's chest, a tongue emerging to taste the offered skin. "…and I can taste it." Emerald eyes looked up into darkening azure ones. "I open my eyes and I see Priory, but closed it is you. I want only you here in my arms, Lany. Only you…"
"Yeah… " Dylan moved backwards to the bed until she was seated on the drawn covers. Rhea moved with her, standing between the spread legs of the seated woman. Her hands ruffled the dark hair before her, the dark tendrils slipping through her fingers. It was these simple things that were so special. An intimacy that had long been given up as lost.
Dylan's hands rose to encircle Rhea's waist. "What's wrong baby? You… you don't want to? It's alright you know…" A gentle finger came up to her lips, stopping the words tumbling out of her mouth.
"Of course I do, Lany. I was just appreciating the moment. How much is touch taken for granted, huh? I was just feeling your… Priory's… hair. It's such a simple act, you know? One that I wouldn't have given much thought to when we were alive."
"I know. Oh Lord, I know." Dylan raised her hand to touch the silken skin of Jacey's cheek. She looked into those eyes and found the other half of her soul. Rhea was there in those emerald pools, lovingly watching her for those subtle signals. "C'mere."
As Rhea lowered herself towards her lover Dylan pulled her the rest of the way, rolling her over onto the cool crisp sheet. Lips finally met in more than an initial greeting, greedily seeking that deeper contact. Eager fingers slipped over soft skin, absorbing everything. Nothing was lost to them. Not the passing of a breath, the beat of an elevated heart or the perspiration that dotted their skin. Never would they take these things for granted ever again.
Dylan slowly slid down the compact body underneath her, her tongue blazing a fiery path through hills and valleys until she reached her goal. "You remember honey?" she whispered seductively.
"Oh yeah. You and your glib tongue."
"You better believe it." And so she proceeded to refresh Rhea's memory, using her own recollection to guide her hand, her mouth, her tongue and her libido. It was not Rhea's body, she logically knew that, but the voice that expressed her pleasure in breathless sighs and excitable whimpers fed her like life-giving manna from heaven. Her glib tongue drew a delighted cry from the young woman's throat on more than one occasion.
"Oh God, no more Lany."
"This has gotta last for eternity, Rhee."
"It already has, hon. I love you beyond all else. You know that."
"Yeah, I do. Just as you know how I feel about you. I will love you forever." Dylan was trying to be romantic and sincere but a wayward hand came up and cupped her breast. "What are you doing?"
"Seventy years ago you wouldn't have asked that question, hon."
"I'm not asking now. It's a… a… rye… wee… roe. You know, when a question isn't a question."
"Yeah, what you said." She eyed her partner and saw the amorous glint in those eyes. "You want something?"
"Is that another rhetorical question Lany?"
"You can answer it if you want…" Dylan took hold of the hand on her breast and led it to where she wanted it. "… but I think this sort of says it all, don't you think?" As the hand began to move any further words dried up in her mouth.
"My, my, lost for words, hon?" Rhea smiled as her gave her partner some serious attention, her fingers at first idly caressing the soft skin in gentle exploration. Priory's body twitched in response and Rhea concentrated her ministrations to that point. With great care and dexterity Rhea brought her big, tough, no-nonsense partner to a glorious climax, holding her compassionately as the woman cried. "Don't ever doubt my love for you, Lany."
The faint chime from the wall clock signaled midnight. Silently the two ghosts clasped hands and ever so slowly detached themselves from their hosts, leaving them entwined in their sleep. Whispers could be heard as they ascended through the roof to the attic.
It wasn't long enough.
Eternity would never be enough, my sweet, sweet love.
Priory felt an intense burning heat rising from her face as it slowly brought her out of her sleep. Her hand reached to touch the swollen, fevered skin.
"Mmmmmm…"Jacey stretched from her position tucked under Priory's arm. "What is it, honey?" The darkness covered whatever calamity Priory was about expose.
"I dunno. It's so hot. I don't feel so good. I feel kinda of… funny. Thomething's wong wisth my faaaacce." Each word became harder and harder to enunciate until the last word was nothing more than a groan.
"Okay, hold on, baby. Let me get the light…"
This evening, it was something pretty special, wasn't it, baby?
I will treasure it in my heart until the end of time, my love.
Do you think we can borrow them again for my birthday?
You're such a cad. An incredibly deliciously sexy cad... but still...
Sweet words of love... and making love... were suddenly interrupted. A loud bellow shattered the silence of the night.
"Oh… My… God!!!!"
That might be a no, honey-bunny.
THE END…. FOR NOW