“Holy hell you’ve got lungs.” Giving his ears a rub, C.J. glanced at Jessica, clad in a very skimpy set of undies. He’d been heading to the washroom when he’d heard the commotion coming from her room. Seeing her half naked reminded him he wasn’t wearing much more. “What’s the matter?”
“There’s…there’s bugs…bugs in my bed.” Practically standing on tip toes, she pointed frantically to the bed behind her.
Frowning, C.J. walked to the bed; lifting the covers he examined the linens. “I don’t see any bugs here.”
“Well there were, maybe they crawled on the floor.”
Letting out a deep sigh, C.J. got down on all fours and checked the floor. “There are no bugs here, Jessica.” He stood, turned to her. “Tell me exactly what you felt?”
“A bug, or bugs, crawling up my thigh, along my stomach. One even bit me.”
“Show me.” He stepped towards her and drew a curious glance when her arms came up protectively over her breasts.
“No, I can’t. It bit me, just trust me.”
“Well, no offence intended, darling, but if I were a bug I wouldn’t mind taking a casual walk over something as fine as that display.” His eyes shifted from hers to slide seductively over the fine curves on her body.
Stop drooling, Dowling.” Grabbing the blanket, she covered herself. “What the hell are you doing in my room anyway, and half naked at that?”
It was a shame she was covering up that luscious body. “I heard some commotion in your room and thought maybe you were in trouble . The gentleman in me had to make sure you were okay.”
“If you truly were a gentleman, you would have put something on over your boxers. I’m fine, so you can go now.”
She was a stunning beauty, even more so with no make-up and her hair disheveled. “It’s rather chilly in here, mind if I check the temperature?”
“Yes. I like it chilly. Good night, Dowling.” She made a dramatic gesture with her hand indicating he should leave.
He wished she would reconsider because he could feel the presence and he knew if he took a thermal reading it would show several degrees below the actual room temperature. Oh well, what could he do if she wouldn’t allow him? “Don’t let the bed bugs bite,” he said in closing, a slight smirk on his lips.
“Jerk,” she called out through the closed door. He knew it was mean, but he just couldn’t resist. Yanking her door open, he yelled, “Boo.”
She jumped, the blanket flying out of her hands. The look she gave him only added to his amusement. “Jesus, Dowling. That’s not funny.”
He shrugged arrogantly. “Was for me.”
“Get out.” Grabbing a pillow, she tossed it at the door, just as he closed it.
He really shouldn’t have scared her.
Laughing, he closed his door and went to bed.
Morning came with all the glorious benefits of summer. The sun was shining, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it looked to be yet another balmy day. Whistling a ditty, C.J. beat half a dozen eggs in a bowl while watching the tapes from the night before on his mini TV/DVD combo. He’d had an interesting night with dreams of fire, terror, and death, and when he’d awoken, he’d felt as if he had actually been in the dream. It wasn’t often that he had those sorts of dreams, but when he did, they were usually jumbled and hard for him to decipher. He’d written it down in his own journal and decided to try and figure it out later.
Despite the odd night he’d had, he felt rather upbeat.
Jessica, on the other hand, did not.
The instant she entered the room, he could tell she wasn’t in a chipper mood. Without so much as a glance his way, she marched to the coffee pot, grabbing a mug from the coffee tree and helped herself to the rich dark brew.
“Oh yeah, that hits the spot.”
“Rough night, Jessica?” he said without turning to face her.
“Apparently you slept well. Lucky me, I got the room with the bugs.”
C.J. noticed that she had showered, but had refrained from applying any make-up. Her eyes were oval and large and even without mascara to enhance them, her lashes were full and dark. She looked incredibly young without the make-up and even more alluring. “You found them?”
“No, the little bastards were cunning. Even after I changed the bedding, they still pestered me all night.”
“Then what makes you think they were bugs?” He poured the eggs into the hot skillet, the contents sizzling as they met the hot iron.
“What else could it have been?” Taking a chair, she sat with her cup, yawning into her cup.
Grabbing a spoon, he began to stir the eggs, commenting lightly. “An entity.” He ignored her snort in response and continued. “My readings overnight were quite interesting. There was a spike on the EMF and the temperature dropped several degrees just outside your room. And, I picked up a faint sound on the recorder as well.” It hadn’t been loud, but he could have sworn it had picked up the words, stop it.
“Did it ever occur to you that this place has power surges and that’s what spiking your EMF? And the drop in temperature is probably due to the air-conditioner kicking in?”
Setting the spoon on the cute ducky placemat on the stove, he put two slices of toast in the toaster while replying calmly, “This place doesn’t have central air and has never reported any power surges according to the power company.”
“You checked? And what do you mean there is no central air? I felt it last night.”
He turned to her, a faint smile on his lips. “I know, but it wasn’t from the air-conditioning.”
She rolled her eyes. “Then what else could it have been?”
“An entity.” She snorted again; he simply stirred the eggs. “Humor me, Jessica. Think outside your box. If it wasn’t bugs that were crawling over your skin, what else might it have felt like?”
Setting her coffee cup down, she let out a long breath. “Okay, if it wasn’t bugs…let me think.” She tapped the table as she thought. “I don’t know, bugs keep coming to mind.”
“Close your eyes.”
“Why?” she eyed him suspiciously.
“Just trust me for one moment.” He waited, then with a roll of her pretty green eyes, she finally closed them. Lifting his hand, being as gentle as possible, he slid a finger along her bare shoulder. She had incredibly smooth skin and he almost regretted having touched it. He’d kissed her and now he knew what her skin felt like. He wanted more. “Close?”
Her brow furrowed. “Maybe.”
“A close maybe?”
“Yeah, I guess. What’s your point, Dowling?”
“Since you didn’t do any research on this house before coming here, I’ll fill you in.” He went back to his eggs and toast. “It was built by a local doctor back in 1905. At the time he and his wife had one child, a female, two years old. His wife must have been pregnant at the time because another female was born shortly after they moved in. They had another daughter two years later, then finally a son two years after that.”
“Busy beavers.” She chuckled as she lifted her coffee cup.
“Indeed he was. There were a few newspaper clippings reporting his outstanding medical work, as well as a few rumors of… infidelity.” He scooped eggs into two plates, laying a piece of toast beside the eggs.
“A fascinating story.” She rolled her eyes, then sighed when he set the eggs before her.
“Several reports from previous women who have lived here have stated feeling someone, or something, touching them at night.”
“Uh huh.” She forked up the eggs, sliding it into her mouth.
“Or maybe it was bugs.” That caught her attention, as he had intended. “Sound familiar?”
She swallowed what was in her mouth before responding. “Are you implying some perverted ghost was in my room last night, touching me?”
“You tell me.”
Snorting again, she picked at her eggs. “They were bugs, plain and simple. Entities,” she snorted again, then continued eating.
“My equipment read something last night at about , right around the time I entered your room.”
“The temperature drop, the spike, the faint mumbling sounds my recorder picked up as well as distortion on my cameras all lead to the fact that there was a spirit active in the house last night.”
“Believe what you like, Dowling, but I was not touched by a ghost. Do ghosts bite, or pinch? I highly doubt it.”
“Some have been known to inflict a great deal of pain on a person. Did it leave a mark?”
Her eyes darted to her left breast. “No.”
“It bit your breast.”
“No,” she said quickly, her eyes flicking to his. “No, it was more like a pinch.” She laughed it off.
He smirked. “Hmmm, it roams your body, yet the only place it chooses to nibble on—or pinch—is your breast. Interesting.”
“You’re making it sound perverted and it wasn’t. Thanks for the grub.” She pushed from the table, taking her cup with her.
Smiling, C.J. leaned back in his chair and lit a cigarette. He had to give the spook credit, he knew a fine woman when he saw one.