Chilled, Jessie began to disrobe from her damp clothing the instant she closed herself off in the washroom. The nerve of him, pulling such a stunt. Tossing her soggy clothes onto the vanity, she slipped into the shower.
He was so immature, pulling her into the water just to get a thrill. He really had a warped mind if such things amused him. Grabbing the towel hanging on the rack, she began to dry herself off. She’d even been kind enough to bring him a damn towel.
As if she would strip down to nothing and swim in the pool with him. There were neighbors on either side of the house. She had no intentions of giving them a peep show.
The guy was so full of himself.
She closed her eyes, remembering his body as he had stripped down to nothing. His skin had been bronze, the evening setting sun making it glow. There were muscles there, not bulging rippling muscles, but enough to show he took care of his body. And his ass had been firm, round and just as tanned as the rest of him.
Running the towel over her body, feeling heated up, thinking of C.J. naked, she let her imagination get the best of her.
His hand slipped around her body to cup her aching breasts. He teased them, making them throb even more.
She tilted her head back, allowing him easier access to stimulate her. While one hand continued to massage her breast, the other slid over her belly, making it quiver.
But it was when it dipped lower that her eyes opened.
Jerking away, she spun around, nearly losing her balance, and she could have sworn she saw someone standing behind her. A man, with graying hair, a mustache that curled at the ends, a wicked grin on his face.
Shaken, she backed up, bumping into the door; and screamed.
He’d really enjoyed his quick dip in the pool, and even more so he’d enjoyed catching a glimpse of a very wet Jessica. Sure, it had been dirty to yank her into the pool, but hell, he was a man, after all, and what good was a man if he didn’t play dirty once and a while? Besides, she looked like she needed to cool down.
The added bonus of seeing her chilled nipples beneath her tank top was well worth the anger he was sure she was feeling towards him. Sides, how mad could she be with him?
Hearing her screams, C.J. took the stairs by twos, his hair dripping in his face. Rushing towards the sound, he grabbed the door knob and found it locked. “Jessica? Jess, what’s wrong?” When she didn’t answer, his worry grew.
“Jessica, answer me. Are you okay?”
“What happened? Why did you scream?”
“It was…the water, it got really cold fast,”
Looking over at his instruments, C.J. doubted very much that it was only the cold water. Leaving her with her lie, he grabbed a towel and headed to his own shower.
It didn’t seem to matter what she did, she couldn’t get the chill from her bones. If C.J.’s childish trick had caused her to catch a cold, she was going to make damn sure he paid for it. Curling up in the blankets, Jessie’s teeth chattered. She couldn’t understand why she was so cold.
Sure, the pool had been cool, but it was plenty warm in the house. Yet she still felt the chill.
Curled in a ball, cocooned in the blankets, the night shirt she wore not at all warm enough, she tried to fall asleep. First thing in the morning she was going to pack her bag and get the hell out of here. The hours couldn’t pass fast enough for her. Drifting off, she began to dream.
He came to her with open arms and as he pulled her against him, she felt the heat. He wanted her; she could feel it as he kissed her so tenderly on the lips. And as his hands slid over her back, she felt tiny shivers tickle her skin.
Dozing on the sofa, C.J. woke to the sounds of his equipment chiming an alert. Shaking the dregs of sleep away, he pulled himself up to check them out.
He felt it before he even glanced at the reading, and turned. There she stood, looking as alive as he did, but he knew better. Since his last encounter, he had done some more digging into his research and he was sure he had a name to go with the face now. “Andrea?”
Her tiny face was solemn as she nodded.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is C.J.” When she didn’t respond, he proceeded. “Why are you still here, Andrea? What's keeping you here?”
Lifting her arm, her hand held out, she pointed directly at C.J.
“I’m keeping you here?” When she nodded, he pursed his lips. “How am I keeping you here?”
Pulling her hand back, she placed it over her heart.
“I don’t understand.” How could he be the one keeping her here when he had only just learned about her?
Once again she pointed to him, then placed her hand over her heart.
“You’ve lost me I’m afraid. Can’t you talk to me, tell me what you mean?”
Shaking her head no, her fall of sandy hair sliding over tiny shoulders, she opened her mouth, pointed to her tongue, then made a slashing gesture.
“Was your tongue cut out?”
She nodded and he felt a sickening sensation fill his gut. “How horrible for you. Okay, we need to figure this out. We need to find some way for us to communicate.”
He rubbed his chin in thought. “Are you the only entity here?” Once again she shook her head. “How many others?”
She held up her hand, lifting her index finger.
“Only one other. Is it your father?”
She nodded, verifying what he had thought all along.
“He’s the one making contact with Jessica isn’t he?”
“She doesn’t believe.”
Again Andrea nodded.
“Okay, we have to figure out how to communicate.
What?” he asked quickly when her head flew to the stairs.
Before he could respond again, she vanished. “Damn it.”
Pursing his lips, C.J. went to his camera to check if she had shown up this time. How the hell was he supposed to communicate with a mute ghost?
In her sleep, Jessie shivered, wrapping the blankets tighter around her chilled body. She tossed and turned, fretful in her sleep. She dreamt of C.J., his hands caressing her, stirring needs buried deep inside. She wanted as she had never wanted before and was willing to give everything. When his fingers skimmed over her face, she looked up and saw the mutilated flesh before her.
Gasping, Jessie sat straight up in bed, panting heavily.
It took several moments for her to realize where she was.
Taking a deep breath, she swallowed and tried to reason with her mind. She had been dreaming of C.J., making love to him, but it hadn’t been C.J. who she had seen.
She shuddered, remembering the face. It had been decayed and smelled rotten. His eyes had been brown, glazed over and milky; his hair looked singed and matted.
His smile had been wicked and snarled. Feeling sick, she slid from the covers and rushed to the washroom.
Expelling what was in her stomach, she drank down some water, then walked back to her room. Climbing under the covers she realized she wasn’t as chilled as she had been earlier.
Kicking the blankets free, she tried her best to fall asleep. It took her over an hour before she drifted off again. And while she slept, he crept in beside her and placed his head on her chest.
As she slept, the spirit smiled.