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In keeping with my 6 books in 6 days theme, today my post is from my homage to Agatha Christie. This Victorian ghost story is a reader's puzzle to be figured out or not. I've peppered every chapter with clues to a story within a story running behind the scenes. I give you Dreamscape.
Setting the Stage: Lanie returns from a blind date but has no idea a ghost has been pacing the halls waiting on her return. Wanting to know how she would react to a ghost in the house, he disrupts the TV, knocks a spoon to the floor, and opens a cabinet door. And getting only her curious reaction, he follows her upstairs where after reveling in her living warmth, he falls into her dream and into the life he once lived.
Taking a seat in the chair across from her as she scribbled small pictures onto her notepad, flowers mostly, daisies and lily-of-the-valley, he read the messages she wrote to herself regarding what needed to be done the following morning. This list was the shortest yet. Occasionally she’d look at the cabinet door to see if it would actually move again. He was tempted, but a part of him was too afraid she’d leave, never to return. Then the moment he had waited the entire day for happened. She yawned.
“You’re tired, you should rest,” he whispered. He could see the suggestion taking root in her mind. Putting her nearly full cup in the sink, she headed to bed.
Watching her sleep, Jason sat beside her a long while thinking on how lovely she looked tonight. He would have loved to have been the man to take her out on the town, to the theater perhaps. Out for dinner, certainly. If his own kisses had swelled those luscious lips, he would have ventured from her sweet mouth to the tops of those exquisite breasts so tantalizingly displayed in the décolleté of her neckline. His entire being desired to lose himself in the living heat of her. There was simply no stopping himself from caressing her, having lost that particular battle of conscience the first night she lay in his bed. He’d convinced himself that as long as he kept his baser needs to himself, touching her while she was completely unaware was a harmless compulsion.
Materializing just under the linens, his glowing form lit the sheet like a Japanese lantern. He whispered to her unconscious mind as she lay curled on her side, “Lay back for me, sweetheart, let me look at you fully while I feel how warm you are.”
Unconsciously responding to his suggestion, she rolled on her back, one arm tossed casually over her pillow.
Once more marveling that he was able to touch her at all, he swept her raven hair back from her lovely face, his thumb lightly tracing the delicate arch of her eyebrow. Touching her skin was like touching a rose petal in his garden, a warm sun-kissed rose petal. Gliding his hands over her warmth, he caressed her trim belly and arms all the while carefully avoiding the dove-soft breasts as any gentleman might unless given leave. Though it was true she hadn’t granted leave for any touching, the fragment of his gentlemanly comportment quickly faded as her living heat seeped into him.
He imagined her then as he saw her in her dream—imagined he was alive and he’d taken her out for the evening. And in his musings he’d kiss her rose-tinted lips for the longest time and she’d come to his bed without hesitation. Maidenly airs aside, she’d want him as he wanted her. He’d leisurely undress her himself, slowly unlacing the corset she didn’t need to wear. He’d kneel at her feet to roll stockings down those beautiful smooth legs. He imagined he could smell the heated scent of her arousal because he was a flesh-and-blood man again. And while his imaginative yearnings delighted his fancy, his respectful touch had unconsciously grown bolder. Locked in his lustful musings, Jason hadn’t realized his glowing fingers moved of their own volition to sweep back and forth over her mound. For the second time since she’d come to his house, his fingertips lingered on those velvet lips and the extra warmth just between.
Lanie moaned softly in her sleep but didn’t wake, lost as she was in a most erotic dream. Bending her knees slightly, she opened her thighs and unconsciously rose to meet the unseen hand. She mumbled something unintelligible.
Jason couldn’t quite make out her words but it sounded like she murmured his name.
You want me. A wash of desire seized him. His gaze burned a swath from her beautiful face to the tantalizing view she offered in her sleep. Unable to help himself, he moved to her breast and for the first time smelled the scent of her sweet, flowery perfume overlaid by the warmed by her skin. Closing his lips around the sleep-soft nipple, he suckled her gently while he caressed her other breast. Her back unconsciously arching, she made a soft sound and her knees widened to his sweeping fingers. Beside himself with the wonder of it, he whispered “Yes, sweetheart, you want more.” God help him, so did he.
Without hesitation he kissed a path over her heart and down her belly, settling at last between those warm satin thighs that now lay wide against his shoulders. Her beckoning charms lay open lit by the glow of his ethereal self, and he touched her there, exploring her hot moist lips. Desiring to taste the heaven before him, his face drew close while both hands gently spread her. He touched a tentative tongue to her sex and found it more than he could bear, for as impossible as it was, her heavenly taste and scent assailed him. Finding his senses working, he licked and sucked and feasted like he’d been starved. And he had been starved as a man.
Lanie made a small moan in the back of her throat.
Emboldened, Jason slid his finger inside her hot depths and slowly moved it in and out before adding another, his mind once more lost in the wonder that he could feel the slippery ridged heat of her. Good God love, you’re so tight, so hot. He freed the cock straining in his trousers.
Jason’s mouth and fingers worked their ghostly magic on her nerve endings and started the tremor of her impending release. But as tired as Lanie was from working all day, the wine at dinner, and her overlong evening, she dreamed her climax rather than woke to it. Her muscles contracted around his fingers as she found her release in her dream.
The small helpless whimpers were his undoing. Stroking hard and fast with the scent and taste of her fueling his pace, he emptied his balls for the first time in more than one hundred and twenty years. And the draining was glorious. He heard her softly moan. Apparently he wasn’t alone in that assessment.
Passing right through him, she rolled over on her side and hugged her pillow. Breathing the perfume behind her ear, he lightly spooned against her. His glowing blue arm wrapped possessively around her waist, and his hand filled with the soft weight of her breast. Lying there, Jason’s mind was awhirl. He hadn’t felt this way about a woman before, not once while he lived, and certainly not once since he’d died.
Thoughts of his duplicitous wife came unbidden. Under the guise of shyness, Cathy had shunned such intimate attempts to bring her pleasure. Even his innocent kisses. Terrified tears met his advances on their wedding night, and in the four months of marriage he’d lived as a monk waiting for her “comfort to grow.” Of course, it never did, in fact they hadn’t yet consummated their marriage. She’d managed to kill him off before her avowed shyness was tested.
The little Cathy did suffer his affections, his kiss upon her cheek, his caress as she passed, were simply a part of the ruse that gigged him like a frog. Blinded with desire for his beautiful wife, he didn’t immediately see the changes in her when he’d brought her home. Having time to think like he had, he recognized Cathy was indeed cold as a woman, selfish to his calling as a physician, and disdaining to his friends and the people in his employ, some of whom had been with his family longer than he had lived. At the time he attributed those changes in her demeanor to her missing her dear friends in Atlanta. He knew her father had died in the war, her mother shortly after. Knew too she was raised by a distant fourth cousin who had children of her own. Cathy was extremely close to those cousins. He frowned at the thought.
The preposterous lie she’d told him on their wedding night as she cried and begged her shy sensibilities to keep his attentions at bay all but melted away after his death. He pushed the image from his mind. His merry widow’s thighs straddling her lover’s head. That beautiful lying mouth licking and sucking on the man’s cock while he treated her sex the same. He’d lived as a monk with his shy wife, while she enjoyed her carnal feast with such abandon that no one could doubt the act had happened many times before.
Confused as to how he could have been so blind, he’d studied the pair, looking for the shy, delicate angel his wife pretended to be and finding instead the practiced whore. The whole thing, their lies and his ignorance, sickened him. Unable to stomach more, he hid himself away in the cupola for one hundred years of solitude and stayed there until one night when he’d heard lonely Margaret cry.
Lanie shifted positions, her movement redirecting his dark thoughts. This kind and gentle creature in his arms, this beauty with her hot blood coursing through her veins, was as different from Cathy as night was from day. With her in his arms he almost felt like a flesh-and-blood man again. Breathing the mingled scent of perfume and soap and a woman’s arousal, he whispered at her ear as his essence plied her synapse, “Dream, sweetheart, dream of me again.”
And she did, right where the last had left off.
>۞<:) Want more? Find an excerpt inside the cover on Amazon's Look Inside feature.
Tomorrow my break-out novel -- Hermes Online
Love Waits in Unexpected Places
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