You want it, don’t you – I do – “it” is all about seduction, have I got your attention yet, that’s what great writers do, they seduce you, seduce you with words, perhaps by seducing you with the same sexy syllables that remind you of the past, sex, sex and Becket, repetition, memories, ahh, those memories, those obsessions, that feeling, the feeling of anticipation, like foreplay, it’s a physical sensation with me when I write, and sometimes when I read a real page-turner, but writing is where it always seduces me, I can feel it, right there between my legs, I feel it now, you will, too, hopefully – think about it – yes, you do, that’s it, I’ve got you now – I want to be seduced, no, I want to be possessed by what I read, and want to seduce you, dear reader, no, it’s more than that, I want to possess, possess you with my words, my thoughts, you can’t leave me, you can’t look away, I’ve got you, and I’m looking at you with my large hazel eyes, and they have that glint, the leer of a woman possessed, a dominatrix, I’ve got that feeling, there, yes, between my legs, I’m even salivating now, that’s what I do when I write, I’m at my best then, and my weakest right after, yes, if you want to have me, find me AFTER I’ve just finished a session of writing, I’ll be up for it, but not during, the words are more important than you are, and you’ll probably get slapped, you must feel it now, it’s in the air, you might even be sweating a little, I like the smell of a light sweat, it’s so – visceral, so – alive, that’s what I hate about my job, trying to make other people’s words sexy without changing their style, without making them sound like me, they deserve their own words, if they aren’t sexy that’s their problem, and their readers, I’d rather concentrate on touching my own readers, yes, touching them, seducing, possessing and touching their lives – have I touched you – I want to, and I’m running out of time, do you remember time, do you remember the past, maybe the last time you were seduced, do, but I’m seducing you now, and next time you will remember me, because I want you to, because I possess you, and because I’ve touched you – there, yes, you know where, you’ve been thinking about it ever since I mentioned it, I’m almost there now, too, so get ready world, Anne’s on the loose and she wants it, she wants you
I arrived at the station almost half an hour early for Arlen’s train. Having not slept all night, I decided to just go when I was ready and wait there in the café. After all that to-ing and fro-ing about what to wear, I realised that I was dressed exactly the same as when we first met: no excess skin, no deep cleavage, and nothing from his fantasies. If he could have found his way to the castle on his own, I might have answered the door nude, but that would have been playing my hand too soon.
We were going to have sex, and he was going to make the first move.
After a peck on the cheek and a brief embrace, we took the long walk up the drive to the castle. This wasn’t its most imposing aspect, but with the thaw, the woods were soggy and the burn had overflowed its banks. The silence was awkward. I was certain he wanted to discuss his music, while I had only one thing on my mind.
“I hope you didn’t mind that Amelia is coming tomorrow. The flights were all booked up for the weekend. I just thought that with all your spare rooms, she could join us.”
“It’s not a problem,” I’d repeated for the n-th time. It meant that we would have little time alone together, and it also forced my hand. Tonight had to be the night. I hadn’t ovulated yet, and hoped it would come soon. I wasn’t sure I would have the opportunity to take my temperature later.
“This is quite a place you have!” he exclaimed as the castle came into view.
“It’s a bit of a noose, but I’d never leave it.”
“What do you mean by a noose.”
“It’s expensive to keep up. The profits from the visitors centre and rent on the leaseholds only just covers its upkeep. We have a Celtic festival and a few concerts on the grounds during the summer. I do my best to stay at the university when people are around.”
“Don’t you get lonely?”
“I’ve got the ghosts to keep me company, and if I’m not practising, I’m online chatting or …” I almost admitted to having a twitter account.
“Emailing someone.” That was safe.
“So how many rooms are there?” he asked as we walked closer. The weather was unseasonably warm for January, so he unbuttoned his coat.
“116 altogether,” I replied, “but a number are old servants’ rooms or part of the ruin. Don’t open any doors that have heavy iron handles or are cold.”
“I wasn’t planning on exploring without your permission.”
“Visitors often can’t sleep at night because of the ghosts, so they roam around. I think Nicole wandered around almost every night, ending up sleeping on the couch in my room a few times until the ghosts accepted her.”
Arlen shifted his luggage to his other hand, having refused to let me help him. “What if your ghosts don’t accept me?”
“They won’t haunt you, if that is what you are thinking. They’ll go about their business, but sometimes they make noises – doors closing, occasionally shrieks and other noises, like lovemaking.” I had to slip that in.
“Yes, you might hear them in the hallway.” We entered through the tradesman’s entrance. It was the closest to the drive, and I didn’t want Arlen to become too exhausted. We climbed upstairs through the servants corridors, emerging almost magically into his bedroom. “This is your room. Mine’s the next one along. Remember to keep adding coal to the fire. We lose a lot of heat through the chimneys, and I wouldn’t want you to get cold at night.”
“This is quite a room!”
“It was mine when I was young. My mother liked to keep me close at night in case I woke up. If the truth be told, she spent more nights awake than I did. She used to sneak in and sit by my fire as I slept. There’s a secret door directly through to my room in the bookcase on that wall.” I stepped over to it. “Pushing that book releases the catch.” I demonstrated.
With a noisy clank, the door opened. “Not very subtle,” he remarked. “I’m surprised she didn’t wake you.”
“The mechanism has been out of alignment as long as I can remember. If you want to be silent, you need to enter from the servants’ door, I showed you in the hallway.”
“I wasn’t planning on accosting you during the night,” he chuckled.
I shrugged, not expecting him to have said anything else. “Do you want to settle in, or should I show you around? Are you hungry? Did you have lunch on the train?”
“Let’s look around, and if there is time, I’d like to hear you play my pieces.”
“There’s plenty of time. We’ve got the whole evening together. Nicole showed me how to cook something for your dinner, which I’ve planned for seven.”
“That’s sounds just fine.”
Leaving the door open between our rooms, I showed him into the main hallway. “My door is there, of course,” I said. pointing to the door at the end of the hallway. “If you need anything, just come in. I can’t always hear a knock.” He’d get a free show, too! He knew I slept naked.
“There are six more bedrooms this way,” I said, leading him back towards the main staircase, “and more upstairs, but we don’t heat them. You can also reach them by the back stairs. Above them are servants’ quarters.”
“How many servants do you have?” he asked.
“None now. I had a nanny when I was young, but she slept on this floor, and there was also a cook and housekeeper. They slept on the floor above. A century ago, the family had a staff of thirty. Now much of the work around this place is taken care of by the estate. We shouldn’t see much of them until Easter.”
We turned and walked downstairs. “This, of course, is the main foyer. This floor has ten public rooms. The parlour on the left has the best view of the gardens. I spend most of my time there during the day. Next to it is the library, but I don’t use it much. If I need to study, I’ll usually do it in my bedroom. It also has a nice view of the gardens. On the right, there is the old parlour, which leads to the old wing and through there to the old keep and state rooms. Those are unheated, so I wouldn’t advise going there at night. If it is warm tomorrow, we can take the visitors tour before we go meet Amelia’s train.”
I directed him through to the main state room. “This is amazing. Is all that land yours?” He couldn’t resist staring at the vista, rather than the room itself.
“As far as you can see,” I replied, exaggerating, “well, as far as the river.”
“That’s still quite a holding.”
“My family is one of Scotland’s oldest.”
“But you aren’t part of the main Johnstone clan?”
“There was a major split in the 15th century, when we were on two sides of a rebellion. Ours lost, but remarkably we were able to hold on to our land. The feud came later. I don’t know all the history. The estate stewards take care of all that. I just live here and play my piano.”
“Speaking of which …”
“The next room on the right is the music room. It has an old pipe organ at one end, but it’s out of use.” The opposite end featured my Steinway.
“This is like a concert hall!”
“We can seat 150. My mother used to invite people around to show off my talents. I still play an open concert during the summer, and chamber music groups often hire the hall for concerts in season. I think we have four booked this summer. Would you like me to play for you now? I can show you the kitchen and dining areas later if you wish, although we’ll probably eat in the parlour by the fire. The dining hall is too large for two people.”
I spent the next two hours playing through his piece for him, adjusting tempos and dynamics, but mostly he was happy with my work. I left him alone while I cooked dinner, lasagne, which was a long way from battered fish and chips. Nicole said it was one of his favourites.
After eating, I joined him on the couch in the parlour by the fire. “Tell me about Amelia,” I said, trying to get conversation moving.
“What’s there to say? She studied with me right when I began teaching. We became very close, and was hurt when I chose to marry Aoife.”
“I don’t know. She was dating someone from London at the time.”
“I heard she was pregnant when you married.”
He flushed. I’d struck a nerve. “She was.”
“Everyone thinks he’s your son.”
“Your harem.” I might as well let everything out in the open. “I have to admit that the pictures I’ve seen don’t lead me to believe otherwise.”
He stared down at his hands. “Yes, he is my son.”
“I thought you never slept with your students.”
“Not while they studied with me.”
“Did Aoife know?”
“Yes, we had an arrangement.”
This was getting interesting. “What kind of an arrangement?”
“Aoife needed a husband for family reasons. She’s Catholic.”
“What does that have to do with it?” I asked. “So am I, technically.”
“She’s a lesbian, but her family doesn’t know. They were trying to marry her to a local boy, but she had a girlfriend.”
“Where’s this girlfriend?”
“Long gone. I was too much in the way.”
“Is that why you don’t have any children?”
He chuckled to himself, opened his mouth to speak, then stopped.
“How many children do you have?” I asked, making the obvious leap.
“Twelve, soon to be thirteen. Laura Liu is pregnant.”
“How many of your students have you slept with?”
“As I said, none while they were my students, but most of the ones you know. Both Amelia’s children are mine.”
“You still sleep with her, don’t you?” I accused. “You are going to rendezvous with her while you are here.”
“That was the plan,” he admitted, folding his hands across his chest.
“And Aoife doesn’t mind?”
“It gets me out of the house.”
“So she can sleep with Sandra?”
Arlen shot me a look. He didn’t know. “Aoife offered her our spare room. She stays with us as often as three times a week, but plans to move in during the summer. She isn’t getting along with her parents. I don’t think they are happy about her being gay.”
“I’m not sure she is. Gay as a fancy, maybe, but she is moving in for the kill on you. She wants you.”
“How do you know that?”
“We all do.” There, I put in on the table. “I don’t know why, but every one of us is very possessive of you.”
“Everyone wants something,” he shrugged.
“They think that they can sleep their way to a career through me.”
“They do it through their own talent.”
“But you do nothing to dissuade them?”
“I’m just … I’ve …” he stopped, playing with his wedding ring. “I have needs that Aoife is unwilling to provide.”
“And your students just conveniently fall in love with you?”
“Do you realise that Nicole is in love with you?” he asked, attempting to retake the offensive.
“What makes you think that?”
“Haven’t you been following her on Twitter?”
“No.” It hadn’t come up, and I hadn’t thought of searching for her. Twitter. Arlen was on Twitter. Did he follow me?
“I suggest you take a look. She is head-over-heels-forever-and-ever-amen in love with you. I’ll never forgive you if you hurt her.”
“I think she’s in love with you, too.”
“Maybe, but it isn’t the same. She wants to spend the rest of her life with you. You should have read her tweets from the train after she left here. That kiss sealed the deal.”
“But she knows I’m not gay,” I objected.
“She doesn’t care. She even said it: you don’t need to have sex with her.”
I needed to dump that subject. I liked Nips a lot, but not in that way. I could live with her, though. We were good together, very good. “You’ve been spying on me. What else do you know?”
“I’ve read your tweets, too. You want to have sex with me tonight. You want me to get you pregnant. So does Charlotte. So does Nicole. Surprisingly, they also want me to get you pregnant. I don’t understand why.”
“She isn’t quite so vocal online, but as you observed, she’s moving in for the kill. That’s why everyone hates her. As you now know, she’s actually a very nice person.”
“She is, but are you resigned to making that commitment? If you had to pick only one of us, would she be that one? I can’t believe you are going to be able to continue sleeping around after she moves in.”
“Amelia is the only one I have continued sleeping with. The others were just a couple of times, until they left Leeds for new pastures.”
“So you aren’t very good in bed. They all dumped you after the sex? That’s disappointing.”
“They never actually dump me. I just cease to become useful to them. I don’t have much self-control, so if they came back wanting more, I’d probably give it to them.”
This was my chance! “So if someone did this to you,” I said, dragging a finger up his thigh, “you’d leap into their bed with them.”
“It depends on who it was,” he replied, struggling to remain calm.
“It would probably take more.”
“So if Nicole unbuttoned your shirt …” I started at the top.
“If Nicole breathed on me …” he gasped. His lust for her was plain. Arlen was like a coiled spring, and mentioning Nicole had started his juices flowing.
I straddled him, finding him already firm between my legs. I untucked his shirt and stroked his chest. “… and if Charlie …”
“I’m going to break my rule with the horny redhead,” he grumbled. “As soon as she is ready.”
“I was already following you on Twitter before I met you. I’ve wanted you forever, even before I met you.”
“Why?” I asked, tracing his lips with my finger. He’d been stalking me.
“I’d heard you play in London.”
He’d been stalking me for almost two years before I met him. “So it is just my talent that attracts you?” I leaned back and unbuckled his belt.
“That made me notice you,” he gulped. “I found you on Twitter by accident.”
“So it wasn’t a blind attraction?”
“You just want to fuck me?” I said, fondling his zipper.
“I want to give you whatever you want? I assume that one thing you want. You aren’t going to have my children any other way.”
“If I asked you to give up Amelia, would you?”
“No. Amelia is different.”
“You are in love with her,” I accused, finally popping the button that held his bulging trousers closed.
“That’s why Aoife hates her.”
“And why Amelia’s husband hates me.”
“So Sandra is Aiofe’s revenge?” I slid off him, so I could remove his trousers.
“I guess so.”
“Why haven’t you touched me yet?” I asked. He was almost naked, but I, unusually, was fully clothed.
“In my fantasy, you undress yourself for me.”
“So it always goes according to your fantasies?” I replied, straddling him again.
“Yes,” he chuckled.
I lifted my blouse over my head. “Did I do this?” I asked.
“With this blouse?”
“You were dressed exactly like this in my fantasy.”
“What did I do next?”
“Do it, and I’ll tell you.”
I reached down and sucked hard on his right nipple, rolling my tongue around it. “Did I guess right?”
I unhooked by bra and slipped it off my shoulders. “This next?”
“Maybe I want you to remove my trousers.”
“It’s in my fantasy.” He unbuttoned them and slipped his hands down my bum inside my panties.
I shifted to the side so he could pull them off. “Don’t forget the socks!” I teased, kneeing before him to remove his.
“I haven’t! I’ve got a plan,” he smiled, sliding down to the floor, grabbing my calf and slipping my sock off. He took my big toe in his mouth, sucked on it, and licked the bottom of my foot. In ecstasy, I leaned back onto the rug, as he did the same to my other foot, before licking the insides of my thighs.
I was in heaven, and he had hardly touched me, but I gushed when he fondled my bush, caressing as I convulsed under his touch. I reached for him, as wet as I was.
The others didn’t leave him because he was bad in bed, but because he was mind-blowing. Once you let him have his way, no one else would ever be good enough. That’s why his harem could never stay with their husbands.
The ghosts watched us, silently approving.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle,” he whispered, lowering himself on top of me. He knew I was a virgin, of course. Fitting him in was a stretch, but feeling his weight on my chest, I clasped my legs around him, throbbing, thrusting, crescendoing to a climax.
I screamed with delight as I felt his warm flow fill me.
“You screamed in my fantasy, too,” he whispered as we relaxed.
“Just follow my lead,” I said. Nip’s train was due only a quarter of an hour after Sandra’s, so we decided to make it all a single trip. She betrayed no desire to see Sandra, but was resigned to the fact that the rendezvous would last only a short time. I wanted to see how they regarded each other, to determine whether it was hate or jealousy, or as Charlie put it, disdain.
As Sandra bounced off the train with her cello, I realized she was the opposite of Nips, bouncy, vibrant and flamboyant. My gaydar remained completely silent, whereas with Nips it sung a low hum. Their embrace was cordial – no hate or jealousy evident – but it didn’t last long, as though neither wanted to be seen with the other. Despite my warning, Sandra was under-dressed for the weather, which had again turned cold. Before she could settle in, though, we rushed to the opposite platform just in time to meet Nip’s train.
It was time to play with Sandra’s head. Nips and I embraced, and I leaned in for a kiss – a real one, full on, tongues. I hadn’t planned that last part, but it just seemed natural, a la Britney and Madonna. Nips wanted it, abandoning herself, pulling away just in time to board her train.
How did I feel about it? I was sorry to see her go, very sorry, but kissing a woman like that? I don’t know. My heart fluttered, but my head said, “Hold on.”
“Are you two … ?” asked Sandra as the train rolled out.
I just shrugged, leaving it ambivalent to make her wonder. After a frigid walk back to the castle, I set her up in a guest room. It was slightly larger than Nip’s room, and not as welcoming. It also had more ghosts, including some spirits that even I found disturbing. She saw it right away.
“This place certainly has a history,” she exclaimed, pulling off her coat – floppy dress, Docs, commando, as far as I could guess. It would be true to type.
“The castle has been around a long time,” I replied. “It’s bound to. We were right on the front line of the wars with the English, too.”
“I don’t think I’ve been in a place with so many ghosts.”
“You can see them?”
“No, but I can sense them. They don’t bother you?”
“They’re family, and I’m their living royalty. I’m one of them.”
“I could get rid of them for you,” she offered.
“I’d get lonely without them.” I couldn’t imagine the place completely empty like that.
“You know, you should be careful with Nicole,” she spat out bluntly.
“What do you mean?”
“Did she do the staring thing?”
“Yes, but …”
“The ghosts intervened. They distracted me before I opened myself to her.”
“Those eyes are difficult to resist. I couldn’t.”
“What happened between you?”
“We just fell out of love. There wasn’t even an argument. That’s the way she is. She knows exactly what she wants, and as soon as you don’t fit, she drops you. She will, you know.”
“What about you?”
“I’m not sure it was ever love, just infatuation. Say, are you interested in a Tarot reading? I’d like to learn more about the ghosts.”
Again, true to type, but what could it hurt? These parts were full of magic, soothsayers, witches – I probably would have been one if my mother had allowed it. “Why not?”
“Um …” she stuttered. “I prefer to do them nude. It gives me more contact with the spirit world. It would be better if you were, too.”
“That didn’t take you long,” I laughed.
“They warned me about your tarot readings.”
“What do mean by that?”
“All the women that surround Arlen. You know who they are. They’re all your friends on Facebook. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s hard not to listen. I’m sure they all contacted you as soon as you began your studies with him.”
“What would they know about the tarot anyway? It’s something I do often, with many people. I’m not seducing anybody with it.”
“What about Nicole?”
She chuckled. “She seduced me. Ask her, but I’m not sure she even knew she did it. I don’t think she turns on those moon eyes on purpose.”
This wasn’t starting well. I wished she wasn’t so fake or conniving. In normal clothes she would be pretty, if not beautiful, and there was nothing gay about her. “Do you really expect me to believe that?”
“If you ask Nicole, she’ll tell you. I’ve got nothing to hide. I don’t understand why nobody likes me. I don’t want anything more than anyone else has – someone to love and cherish, someone who fulfils me and inspires me.”
“Aoife fulfils you?”
“She inspires me,” she scowled. “She’s a brilliant poet.”
“Arlen does, too?”
“Arlen inspires all his students.”
“Especially the women.”
She shrugged. “His female students have been more successful than the males. Amelia is amazing, and Laura Liu. We overlapped a few years.”
“She might be the best of all of us. I freely admit that, but she doesn’t promote herself well.”
“Not like you.”
“People think there is a rivalry between us. I win the prizes she doesn’t enter, but she doesn’t enter many, so it looks like I’m winning them all. We had a relationship. It ended. It was sad. The world turns. My feet are firmly planted on the ground. Nicole’s head is in the clouds.”
She was right about that. Despite moments of lucidity, Nipple’s thoughts were always elsewhere, deep in whatever she was writing, soaring the heavens, talking to ghosts, or contemplating the universe. That’s what I found so endearing about her.
After dinner we sat down on the floor in my bedroom. Sandra said she felt more comfortable there, as the ghosts seemed more cordial. “Have you ever had a tarot reading before, she asked, slipping out of her dress, no underwear, as expected. Her body was magnificent, statuesque, what every man dreamt of, and without the façade, she seemed more human. Her ankles weren’t half as “English” as Arlen had implied.
“Why do you do that?” I asked, ignoring her question.
“People never forget me, and it’s comfortable.”
“There are other ways to achieve that,” I said, unbuttoning my blouse.
“I got sick of being a pretty face. People remembered how beautiful I was. Did Nicole tell you I was Miss Devon and runner up for Miss England?”
“No, she didn’t.”
“I was only a couple of votes away from going to Miss World, and I did it all for my parents. After it was over, I didn’t want any of it. This was my way to get people to look at me, not my body. I want people to hear my music, not fantasize about my breasts.” She shuffled her cards.
“I’m not sure this accomplishes the latter. Enough hangs out to get Arlen’s juices flowing, and I can’t see anyone else being any different.”
“What did he tell you?”
“He has fantasies about your breasts, and still insists he’s not a breast man.”
“When did he tell you?”
“We correspond regularly.”
“He confides in you?”
“We share fantasies.” Nothing wrong with being honest.
“He’s never told me anything.” She sounded hurt.
“You are a student. I’m nobody.”
“I wouldn’t say that. He talks about you at every opportunity. He’s in awe of your talent. I think he might be writing a piece for you. He’s certainly encouraging all of us to do the same.”
“It’s because I play new music,” I replied, stepping out of my panties. “That’s not uncommon. Everyone here wants to write for me, too.” After nearly a month with Nipples, I had lost what few inhibitions I had left.
“I think it’s more than that.”
“Whatever. Let’s get started.”
Sandra pulled out a card to represent me, the Princess of Disks. “You seem grounded, but spiritual,” she said, “and quietly beautiful, in possession of hidden knowledge.”
I tried not to react, as she shuffled the deck again and set it down for me to cut.
“Do you have a question, or should we just get a general sense?”
“General.” I wanted to know about Arlen, but couldn’t admit it.
She laid the first card on top of the Princess – the Magician. “I’m not all that surprised. You ooze art and talent. The Magician is an alchemist, fashioning a gold from iron. Many great musicians get it in their readings. She laid the next card across it: The Fool. Here is something working against you, either someone you can’t control through your gifts, or your own failings. The fool may be one who possesses that talent, yet has no knowledge of how they came by it or how to use it.
She set down the next four cards. Lust below, Love behind, The Lovers above, and the Princess of
Cups ahead. “This is a powerful reading,” she mused. “It looks like you are leaving love behind to satisfy your lust, only to find love again, and this woman may be the one who facilitates it, or maybe you will fall in love with her.”
“I’m not like that.”
“Whatever. If there is love, there is love. She’s one who has her head in the clouds, like Nicole, maybe. She lets her heart move her.”
Four more cards, three more women and the King of Wands.
“This is weird,” she remarked. You’ve got a man and a load of possessive, creative women. “I’ve never seen anything like this. Women for you, against you.” She laid down a few more cards. “Hmm, I can’t read this. Maybe it’s the ghosts. How about tea leaves or coins?”
“Coins?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I feel like I need to do something.” Something about that reading frustrated her.
“How about alcohol? That sometimes works.”
“I don’t drink,” she replied.
“No meat, no drink, sleep around. Strange combination.”
“I don’t really sleep around. Everyone wants to say they’ve slept with me. I’m not a virgin, but …”
I picked up my camera and snapped a picture.
“Hey! Why did you do that?”
“I take nude photos of all my visitors.” I laughed, snapping another as she reached for my camera.
“Take one of me!” I said, handing her the camera.
She looked at the two that I had taken. “You can’t use them for anything. I have a contract with the Miss Devon competition. No nude portraits. I could end up in the tabloids, and that’s the last thing I want.”
“I’ll be careful. You can take as many of me as you want. Nobody’s likely to do much with them.”
She shrugged, took a picture, examined it, and handed the camera back to me. “Arlen thinks I should write you a piece. Why should I?”
It was my turn to shrug. “I’ll play it?”
“He says you can play anything.”
“He says you write what you want, and it doesn’t matter if a pianist can play it. He wants me to show you what can’t be played.”
“Fair enough. We’ll play through some stuff tomorrow.”
Sandra decided to make it an early night, so I sat down with my computer, first sending one of the pictures of Sandra to Arlen, with the strict admonishment not to show it to anyone else. Next, I poked Charlie. I couldn’t explain why I was horny, but I found the tarot reading terribly unsatisfying, especially with the beautiful Sandra sitting cross-legged across from me.
Charlotte Weeks: Hey!
She used the normal text chat mode. I wondered if she did that when there were others around.
Eirica Johnstone: Sandra just went to bed, and I’m incredibly horny. She’s fucking beautiful with her clothes off, almost enough to make me consider …
I didn’t really want to finish that. It wasn’t something I wanted to consider.
Charlotte Weeks: Pity about her personality.
Eirica Johnstone: She isn’t so bad, maybe a little stuck on herself. If I was a guy, I would have been all over her.
Charlotte Weeks: You could have been. She swings both ways.
Eirica Johnstone: She doesn’t have the required appendage.
Charlotte Weeks: A dildo can be a wonderful thing.
Eirica Johnstone: I’ve never used one. Are you alone?
Charlotte Weeks: No. My BF’s here studying. He has a tutorial tomorrow.
Eirica Johnstone: I guess sex is out of the question.
Charlotte Weeks: I think we might have some later. It doesn’t take much to get him going.
Eirica Johnstone: I meant US!
Charlotte Weeks: I’m not sure he’d understand.
Eirica Johnstone: I guess not. I’m still not sure I do either. What are you doing now?
Charlotte Weeks: Composing. I’m writing a sexy piano piece for you.
Eirica Johnstone: Sexy?
Charlotte Weeks: It’s all I think about when I think of you. I’m wearing BF out.
Eirica Johnstone: Glad I’m good for something, at least.
I wasn’t going to get anything, and I was quickly losing interest.
Charlotte Weeks: I love what you do to me.
She didn’t say she loved me. That would have been too much.
Eirica Johnstone: I’m glad I …
A piercing scream interrupted me.
Eirica Johnstone: BRB!
I slapped my laptop shut and hopped out of bed. In seconds Sandra came sprinting through my bedroom door in tears, wearing a white cotton nightdress. She threw herself up against me, crying, not caring that I wasn’t dressed.
“What happened?” I asked, holding her in my arms and stroking her hair.
“He touched me,” she cried.
“I don’t know.”
“It was probably just a ghost. They’re harmless.”
“It hurt! His hand was like ice, and he touched me …” she broke off pointing between her legs. “… and he grabbed …” She put a hand on her breast. “He hurt me.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing, just …”
“I burned a candle,” she sobbed.
“An ordinary candle?”
“It was a simple spell for clarity. Nothing really. Just a white candle spell. He might have raped me!”
“He probably wouldn’t have gotten that far,” I reassured her. “They only repeat things from the end of their lives. I suspect he’d died before he re-enacted anything that would damage you. That’s usually how it happens. You’re safe in here.”
“How do you know that?” she sniffled.
“I’ve slept in every room on this floor and some upstairs. I know most of the ghosts intimately. Your spell must have irritated one of them. I’ve never had one become physically violent. Sometimes they might invade my dreams, and that can get sordid, but I know how to cut them off. Make friends with the other ghosts, and they will defend you.”
“How do I do that?”
“I do it through sexual fantasies. It worked with Nicole, too, but all you need to do is open yourself up to them completely. One most compatible with you will tell you their story.”
“They’ll talk to me?”
“It’s more visceral than that,” I explained. “They’ll let you see their memories. They can’t consciously do anything outside of re-enacting their death or significant events, but they can allow an intimate view of their lives.”
“Then he could have raped me!”
“The worse thing they can do is scare you or show you gruesome images. If he touched you, it would have taken extraordinary strength on his part. Few ghosts are that strong. He couldn’t do much more that what he did.”
“Why do you use sexual fantasies?”
“It attracts the gentler ghosts, the ones who attended my conception, the ones …”
“Attended your conception?”
“Mother said the room was full of them, quietly egging on my father, who wasn’t sensitive to them. He died when I was very young, so I don’t know if that ever changed. Those ghosts touch me as they touched their lovers, usually sparing me the last part of their re-enactment – their death.”
“Tell me about them,” she said, her eyes widening with wonder.
“There is one who caresses me with her hair. I can’t see her, but her touch is intimate. A man makes love to me, but stops just after climax, because that was when he died. Another comes as a flicker of light in the corner. I think she burned to death in the fire. She’s a curious one, wanting to watch. She’s a voyeur, and she was probably spying on her parents when her nightdress caught fire. She’s here now.” I pointed to the corner beside the fire.
Sandra searched, but I couldn’t see recognition in her eyes.
“She’s probably curious about you,” I added, “and about what you and I might do, since I’m standing here naked, and you have a history with other women. She’s probably hoping you will share my bed tonight, just to see what it is like. I don’t think she has watched two women before.”
“You are putting me on.”
“It’s just a guess. She was very interested when Nicole was here, although we didn’t do anything. Maybe she had some unnatural urges when she was alive.”
“It’s not unnatural!” Sandra objected. “It’s purely natural, and only vaguely mentioned by one writer in the bible. It’s only love!”
“Even so, it probably wasn’t discussed openly while she was alive. She couldn’t have been more than fourteen when she died, and as far as I can tell that was about a century ago.”
Sandra looked again. “Is she still there? I don’t see her.”
“She is. These ghosts are very particular about who sees, hears or feels what. I can call some of them just by thinking certain things, but they will only reveal themselves to you if they want to, and if you open yourself to them.”
“Unless they decide to terrorize me,” she grumbled.
“You terrorized him first. That sacred candle probably struck a chord with him. Perhaps a loved one died in a fire, or maybe he was exorcised. You’ve got to be careful with candle magick in places this old. I wouldn’t even attempt it here, if I had studied the old ways.”
“You should have warned me.”
“All I knew about was the tarot. If you were Wiccan, I would have expected you to know better how to interact with ghosts.”
“I’m not, really, it was a spell a friend cast for me.”
“But you are sensitive to ghosts.”
“Not as sensitive as you are, apparently.”
“I’ve lived with them all my life. I would be lonely without them. If I came to your home, I don’t know what I would see, although I’m familiar with the ghosts at Uni.”
She sat on the side of my bed. “Do you mind if I stay in here tonight? I’m not sure I can face my room again in the dark. I’ll sleep on the sofa.”
“You can join me in my bed if you want. There is plenty of room.” I missed having Nipples purring next to me already. I slept deeper with her there.
“I won’t do anything,” Sandra promised.
“That’s settled then.”
For a short time, I worried about having cut Charlie off so abruptly. She had her boyfriend there, a boyfriend whose existence had been barely mentioned. She didn’t need me.
Although we fell asleep on opposite edges of the bed, we awoke entwined. “You snore,” she murmured, pulling me closer. Again, I was glad that she wore a nightdress. There was too much beautiful skin pressed against me for my weak sensibilities. Was that what Aoife saw in her? Or Nipples? Was I that shallow, or was there something deeper in this woman?
I could feel my ghost caressing me with her hair. “No!” I whispered.
“What?” Sandra asked, opening her eyes.
“Just talking to a ghost,” I replied. I was saving myself for a man – a certain man.
We lounged about for another hour, and then rose for breakfast, which was my responsibility. Sandra couldn’t cook to save her life, and ate out most meals at Uni. We spent the morning struggling through her cello sonata. Arlen was right. She made the pianist’s task needlessly tiresome. Her music was much more difficult than it sounded, and we discussed several ideas about easing the pianist’s burden. As a cellist, she was quite good, perhaps a better performer than Nipples.
We walked into town for lunch, planning to finish in time to meet her train. “Would you mind terribly if I stayed another night?” she asked.
“Is there a problem?”
“I just wanted to get a better handle on you.”
“A handle on me? What do you mean?”
“Everyone is talking about you, and I want to know why.”
“Who is talking about me?”
“Arlen’s harem, as you called it. They either love you or fear you.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked. I hadn’t noticed that much discussion of me on Facebook. It must have been in private.
“You don’t carry the taboos that we do,” she added. “Arlen is obviously enthralled with you, but none of us can see why, other than you can play rings around any pianist in the country.”
“I don’t know about that. It isn’t a competition. Besides, you know Arlen. He has his limits, no students, and he’s married.”
“I’m not sure how meaningful that is, but yes, he is. You, however, aren’t his student. Besides, you must have heard the rumours by now, that Amelia’s son is his.”
“I’m not sure that’s relevant to me.”
“Still, nobody knows what he sees in you. You aren’t particularly beautiful. You speak your mind, perhaps a little too much. You can’t cook …”
“Better than you, missy, that’s not why he’s interested in you, besides your muffins.”
“Your breasts. I think he’s got a breast fixation, and with you he has a paradigm.”
Sandra blushed. “I still can’t believe he told you that!”
“He tells me lots of things, but he’s completely silent on certain subjects.”
“What he is actually thinking … what he thinks of me. He won’t tell me if he has fantasies about me, in spite of the fact that he’ll tell me in detail about ones of the rest of you. He also won’t say anything about his wife.”
“I think we have every right to fear you,” she said, resting her chin on her palm. “He doesn’t open up like that to anyone else, except maybe Amelia. It’s hard to tell with her. She’s very private. I think Arlen still holds a torch for her.”
“You’re probably right about that. He still has fantasies about her, and they are in regular contact.”
“He is in regular contact with all his former students, regardless of whether they are in the harem. He’s good in that way. He looks after all of us. He may even look after you, if you play your cards right.”
“He’s either a rake, a polygamist, or … a pervert … or just very naïve.” That didn’t change how I felt about him.
“But that’s why we all look after him, too. We, or at least his former students, try to keep him from getting into trouble. His current students don’t really have the opportunity, or the experience, except the postgrads, Nicole and myself. I’m not sure how active Nicole will be in that respect, but I know she cares about him. The others, Charlotte, Dana, and Peri, don’t really know how deep this runs. Since we don’t know you, we can’t gauge your loyalty.”
She paused for a moment, and sat back in her chair. “If you hurt him, we will destroy you.” That was more than a threat. It was a promise.
It was my turn to pause. I took a sip of tea as I tried to figure out how to react. If I seduced him, would that hurt him, or is it what he wanted? Would having his child bring on the jealous wrath of the others or just Amelia. Would he want to leave Aoife? I wouldn’t let him do that. “I think you made your point,” I replied coldly. “I suppose someone had to.” I should have tried to reassure her, but I wouldn’t stoop to that. I had no plans on hurting him, as long as he gave me what I wanted.
Which I knew he would.
“So what did you want to do this afternoon?” I asked, not wanting to continue the interrogation.
“Walk for a while, explore the village, the castle grounds … and maybe the ruins, if you’ll let me.”
“Of course. The grounds are pretty boggy right now. We’ll have to stay on the paved footpaths.”
“That’s fine. I think I’d also like to compose a little later on. I feel the urge.”
“Whatever you want. There’s another piano in the library if you need it. I was hoping to practise some myself on the Steinway. I’ve got a recital to play in a couple of weeks.”
“Do you mind if I come?” she asked. “I’ll come up on the day and leave the following morning.”
“Yeah, but you might have to find yourself a place to stay. Nicole might be sleeping on the floor of the digs, and it will be too late for a train back here.”
“I’ll figure something out.”
I wondered how many more of the harem would choose to come. It didn’t take long to find out. Amelia was the first ask by email later that afternoon, and she wanted to come on Saturday and stay with me in Dunrig. That was the night after Arlen arrived. We wouldn’t have much time alone together. Would she be upset if he slept in my room? Of course, she would. So would the rest of them.
Liz Lamm was coming over from Boston, but Laura was too close to delivery to fly in. I already knew Charlie would come, but I was surprised to hear that Dana and Peri would join her on the train and share a room at McFadden’s (a local guest-house) with her.
“I took your advice,” Sandra announced the next morning, having slept in her own room.
“Did it work?”
“Yes, to a point.”
She smiled. “I got to know one of your ghosts … rather intimately. He captained a ship and came here when he was on-shore. He was quite a man.”
“Did he … you know …?”
Confused, her wheels were turning. “Oh! No!” she laughed as my meaning clicked. “He was in love with a servant girl here. They eventually married. He was a dream though.”
“You could see him?”
“I could feel him inside of me as if we were one. That was quite … um … stimulating. He shared his memories with me … all of them.” She giggled again.
“I’m glad you enjoyed them.”
“I did have an unsettling dream later on, though.”
“That might have been last night’s ghost getting revenge. What happened?”
“I was wandering through a church, maybe a cathedral, looking for you. Some bishop was leading me around. I would pass something, and it would burst into flames. Anything fabric or wood. It was weird.”
“Did you find me?”
“No, but Arlen was there, and Nicole, a few others that I knew … lot’s of people I didn’t know. I wonder what it meant.”
“It was probably just the ghost planting a little fear in you. It’s probably harmless.” I didn’t dare tell her what I thought it mean. I’m glad she didn’t find me in it. I would be one more thing she ruined. She had already hurt Nicole, but how would she hurt Arlen? Coming between him and Aoife? It wasn’t always that obvious. What it did mean was that she hadn’t a clue how many lives she would destroy.
It made me feel sorry for her. She wasn’t really a bad person, just socially clumsy, and unaware what her beauty did to people. People like Aoife, Arlen or Nicole. I was glad to finally put her on the train, so I could get back to Uni. I had a lesson and a couple of seminars during the week before I went back home to prepare for Arlen’s visit.
During all the weeks of becoming intimate with him online, I still didn’t know what I would do when he arrived. Dare I try to mimic one of his fantasies? I didn’t know what he craved about me, or how he pictured me. Naked? I could send him a picture. I certainly had plenty now. That didn’t seem right. Where was the mystery?
Had I destroyed Nicole’s mystery, or Sandra’s? I had to. They were in the way. Amelia was in the way now. How could I have allowed her to come visit while he was here? Changing my mind would be suspicious, and it might make Arlen decide to stay in the city. That would ruin everything.
I awoke in the morning with my laptop closed between my legs. I hadn’t even been able to close things down before falling asleep.
Charlie sent me an email with her twitter handle. @hornyredhead91
I clicked to follow her.
@hornyredhead91: has discovered a cure for insomnia. Thanks Eirica. Luv ya! @ClanGoddess87: can't wait for an encore.
She could discover my true feelings about Arlen now, but I didn’t care. I suspected she already knew them and shared them. It was time to push Arlen further, so I emailed him a nude photo of Nipples, who knocked on the door just as I clicked send.
“Did you hear all the ghosts last night?” she asked, still wearing her nightdress. “They were rather noisy.”
“Were you doing anything?” I asked. “Were they interested in you?”
“I think all the commotion was in the hallway. Didn’t you hear it?”
“I must have slept through it,” I lied. “What do you want to do today? We could put up a Christmas tree. There are some for sale in the village.”
“That’s a great idea! I forgot that Christmas was on Saturday.”
“I don’t usually bother when I’m on my own.”
Finding a suitable tree in the village took a short time, during which I obsessed about Arlen. I couldn’t wait for him to say something about Nip’s picture. It might be the closest I could get to talking dirty with him. My mailbox was empty when we arrived home, and again after dinner.
@ClanGoddess87: Why doesn't he say something about her picture?
My following was quick to respond. Several said that I should give him more time. Some said I’d gone too far, and the smart-alecs wanted me to post the picture for them to decide.
@hornyredhead91: Maybe he would rather see you! I would.
Her reply filled me with dread, not for what she said, but because she said it. Should I tone down my tweeting until after I achieved my objective? I couldn’t. That was part of the fun. It was part of my exhibitionist nature: the buzz of the risk.
During my Facebook crawl, I discovered Charlie was online. I desperately wanted a repeat, but I withheld my approach. She didn’t, not entirely.
Charlotte Weeks: You there?”
She didn’t request a video chat.
Eirica Johnstone: Just going to bed. I'm not sure I have the energy to stay up late tonight. Charlotte Weeks: Me, too. I've been thinking of you all day. Eirica Johnstone: I've been doing the same. Charlotte Weeks: You've been thinking of Arlen. Eirica Johnstone: Are you jealous?
I was. As his student, she saw him regularly. My access was limited to his intermittent emails.
Charlotte Weeks: No. Last night scared me a little. I don't know what got into me. Eirica Johnstone: Do you regret it? Charlotte Weeks: Not in the least. Do you? Eirica Johnstone: No. What scares you about it? Charlotte Weeks: How much I want to do it again. I'm definitely a het, but this was so exciting. Eirica Johnstone: You were right, though. I needed it. Charlotte Weeks: I don't think Arlen is going to reply to your email this morning. That's not like him. He's never that overt. Eirica Johnstone: What will he do? Charlotte Weeks: Nothing. He will go on as if it never happened.
Charlie was right. I heard nothing from him until the next night, although another gaggle of his former students sent friend requests. These were mostly British, but much like the previous crowd. Most were successful musicians or composers, and had one or two children and an apparently absent husband. Did Arlen break up marriages?
As I checked them out, his email came in.
Arlen Stewart: Dear Eirica, I have another fantasy for you. I know you want something more explicit, but this is all I can muster. It is another that began as a dream and is structured like one, repetitive, as usual. I am teaching a class, but only four students show up, all former ones of mine, but one current undergraduate. I won't say their names, as they will be meaningless to you. All are nude except one, who is wearing only a man's unbuttoned dress shirt – one of mine. “Are you good in bed?” she asks. “I don't know,” I replied, as if such discussion is normal in a music class. “I'm not sure I am qualified to answer.” “We could find out,” replied another, who stands and lays down on the table in front of me. It is only then that I realize that I, too, am nude. I decline the offer, but the first student insists. The student prostrating herself on my table is like a tiny china doll, and I am afraid to hurt her. “We just need to get you started,” suggests a third woman, possibly the least attractive of the three, although I might be most attracted to her. I've never known why. She, too, stands and accosts me, dragging her hand down my chest to find my sex standing at attention. “I think we need a survey,” the fourth comments. “Yes, we must be scientific about it,” says the first. “You fuck the four of us, and then we vote on whether you're a good lay.” The second woman squeezes me and insists on being first, requiring me to say what I'm doing as I do it. It happens quickly, and I take her roughly, standing against the wall. Meanwhile, the second woman waits patiently on the table. She wants me on top. “It's more traditional,” she explains. She is from a conservative Chinese family. She kneads my buttocks, as I squeeze myself into her. A very tight fit, I doesn't take long to climax, and I can't take much more. The fourth woman pries me off her and drags me to the floor before climbing on me. I find her more satisfying as she rides me hard. The first woman was the youngest, and has a filthy mouth, yet she was the most cunning. As I roll out from under the fourth, she sits in her chair and waits … and waits. Meanwhile, I sit on the floor shivering. At first, I just want her to get it over with, and I become impatient as she plays with the button on her shirt – my shirt. She buttons it up to her breasts, which are small but fine, yet their enclosure balloons them within my mind. All I can think of is burying my face between them. “What are you waiting for?” I asked. “I haven't seen anything worth getting excited about yet. I might as well not bother.” “Please?” I beg. I needed her. “Why should I,” she asks, tossing her ruby-red ponytail over her shoulder and un-crossing her legs just wide enough for me to see her ...” I can't say that. It is also a deep red. “It's my pussy,” she says as though reading my embarrassed mind. “It isn't so bad if you say it aloud. Fucking is another word. It's just a bodily function. She swears a lot, and I try not to look at … it.” “Say it!” she insists. “I can't.” “You won't know what you are missing if you don't speak to her.” “Speak to her?” “Come closer,” she bids, spreading her legs wider, but the shirt-tail covers it. “Say, come out to play little pussy.” “Come out to play little pussy,” I oblige. “She's a little deaf,” the woman says. “Come as close as you can.” I say it again, only a few inches away. I can smell her musky fragrance. “Why don't you release the lowest button so she can see you? But don't touch. You'll frighten her.” I do it. Meanwhile, I ooze a drop of semen, which slops slowly to the floor. “Blow on her. You might get her attention.” At the touch of my breath, the little pussy convulses. The woman's legs spread wider. “Taste her,” the woman bids. She leans back on her chair to let me closer. I taste. It is bitter at first, but then I try deeper where it is sweeter. Her thighs close around my head. My greedy member drips more, leaving a dark wet spot on the floor. I can't see it, but I know it is there. She clasps her legs around me, pulling me deeper into her. I can barely breath. The spot on the floor expands. I'm kneeling in its slippery pool. The whole floor is covered an inch deep with my semen. Finally, she releases me, inviting me to unbutton the rest of the shirt with my teeth, tasting her, as I go. The chair is gone and she is laying in the pool, my shirt, soaked, clinging to her torso. She rolls me over, so that both of us are gleaming with semen. I can't wait any longer, but I ease myself into her. She accepts me with a moan, whispering my name quietly in my ear. I glide in and out easily, faster and deeper, deeper than I have ever been into a woman. Her hair has come loose and floats freely in the pool, now three inches deep. Again, she locks her legs around me. I clench and then release as we float freely in the buoyant pool of semen. Suddenly, all is dry, and she is laying on top of me, playing with the hair on my chest. “You get my vote,” she whispers, then I wake up. I'm sorry that is so crude, but I couldn't describe it any other way. That took a lot out of me. I'm not sure I can give you any more of my fantasies. It does my head in. Charlotte told me she wants to play my trumpet sonata with you. Is that OK? She wants to write one for you, too. She's very good, and writes well for her own instrument. You might want to coach her on writing for piano, though. She writes difficult music at the best of times. Knowing you are a virtuoso might tip her off into oblivion. I can't stick around tonight. Sandra is over for a late dinner, and I must be social. I've spent too long here as it is. All has gone ominously quiet in the other room. She is staying for Christmas, and I'll have lots of duties, so I won't be around until Monday or Tuesday. As they say, don't wait up. Enjoy your Christmas with Nicole. Happy Christmas, Arlen
Damn! It was just getting me going. Why did he have to fade to grey at the end? And why did it have to be about Charlie? That must have been about her, but what could I do? She was there and I wasn’t. No more messages until Boxing Day either. How could I change his mind? Another fantasy? And Sandra was there! Now I was seriously jealous.
Charlie was still online.
I clicked on her link and typed,
Eirica Johnstone: Fuck me, please. Charlotte Weeks: Why so sudden, sweety? Eirica Johnstone: Arlen fantasizes about you and I am very jealous. Fuck me hard up against the wall. Be as dirty as you want.
I waited. No reply.
Eirica Johnstone: Please? Charlotte Weeks: How do you know he fantasizes about me? Eirica Johnstone: We send each other fantasies, The one he sent me must be about you: 'a current student with ruby-red hair' and a foul mouth. Speak dirty to me. Charlotte Weeks: May I see it? Eirica Johnstone: If you promise not to get him in trouble. I still need him. Charlotte Weeks: I promise. Need him? Eirica Johnstone: I plan on seducing him.
Could I have been more blunt?
Another silence. I took the opportunity to excerpt the fantasy portion of the email and forward it to her. I waited as she read … and waited. I was about to give up and log off, but she stopped me by replying.
Charlotte Weeks: Interesting. Can I see you? Are you naked?” Eirica Johnstone: Of course.
I positioned my computer so she could see all of me before opening the video link. When her picture came up, she was touching herself. I watched until she swooned, flopping back onto her pillow, leaving me a close view of her soggy bush. “I thought you were going to fuck me,” I pleaded, lightly aroused by her demonstration.
“That was your punishment,” she said.
“I didn’t want to know that he fantasizes about me, although I hoped he did, and I wouldn’t have wanted you to know. It’s your turn, and you must let me watch.”
Suddenly, I felt self-conscious that she was watching. I massaged myself lightly. I was already damp, but I waited. “Tell me why we all want to seduce him,” I said, sighing. I was going too slowly, yet slower hurt so good, not in a painful way, but through self denial.
“There is something we all get from him,” she replied, shrugging. “Favouritism, I guess. Maybe professional approval. His students win all the contests, and he puts us up for performances. He has a reputation.”
“A … reputation?” I wheezed.
“The boys have to earn it, but each year, a new person catches his eye. He does nothing, but we always know when it happens.”
“How … do … you … know?” I gasped, searching for that spot, flinching when I found it. I couldn’t hold off much longer.
“I think it is different with each of us. I knew when … keep going …”
Keep going? I couldn’t stop.
“Well,” she continued, “we run together sometimes. If I wear lycra, he gets at erection before we start. If he wears cotton shorts, and I wait long enough, he’ll have a spot, sort of like in his dream.”
“Don’t you …” I sighed, inserting another finger. “Don’t you just think he’s a perv?”
“He’s a straight as you can imagine. He’d never touch me, unless I touched him.”
“Sex … ual … ly?” Not long now.
“No, just normal touch. I don’t think he does sex. He’s asexual.”
“His fantasies …” I couldn’t continue, tensing, panting, moaning, groaning, tensing, wound tight like like a clock. My vision blurred as though I was losing consciousness, then I felt it, an intense warmth at my core, then the spring broke, and I convulsed in ecstasy, not as good as the previous night, but good enough for now. “… aren’t.”
She giggled. “I didn’t tell you I was a voyeur, too.”
“I thought you said you’d never had cybersex before,” I groaned, relaxing on my back, hands still working, trying to prolong my orgasm.
“Not over the Internet.”
“You mean … in person?”
“I have a room-mate, and she fucks her boyfriend at least twice a week. It doesn’t matter if I’m in sleeping in the room or not. Once they start, it’s as if I wasn’t there.”
“Is she there now?” I asked, finally stopping.
“No, I’m at my parents. They’re asleep.”
“What’s it matter? I’m locked in my room now. They don’t know what I get up to. I’m not sure they care that much. Do you want to fuck on Christmas day?”
“It depends if I can get away from Nipples. She’s still here.”
“Maybe we could make it a threesome.”
“I’d feel uncomfortable.”
“You mean her seeing you naked?”
“She already has.”
“Really? Have you had sex?”
“Not with each other … with the ghosts, but not at the same time.”
“The ghosts touch her, too?”
“They do now. I taught her how to open herself to them. She’s not afraid of them any more.”
“I want to come visit you. This sounds exciting.”
“Not while she is here. She’s very insecure, I think.”
“Maybe,” Charlie shrugged. “When, then?”
“I don’t know. Sandra is staying a few days when she leaves. After that, your term starts again.”
“How about for your concert?”
“I’m hoping Arlen will be here.”
“I’ll stay out of the way.”
“I want at least one night alone with him,” I stipulated, “but I may need more.”
“I’ll only be able to stay the night of the concert anyway. I have a seminar the next day. I’ll have to drive back early in the morning.”
“How do you know the date?”
“Arlen’s posted it outside his office. We may need to hire a bus.”
“I have plenty of room, but I won’t have the time to take care of everyone. Besides, I will probably stay on campus that night.”
“Arlen can’t stay there anyway. I can bring a sleeping bag.”
“We’ll see, once it gets closer to time.”
“Please? Just the two of us? Separate beds, no physical contact?”
“Maybe, but let me just see about my schedule. Nipples may want to stay with me, too.”
“Fair enough. I’d better get to bed. We have family arriving early tomorrow, and we are going to a carol service in the evening, so I won’t be on until late.”
I closed up and shut down. The ghosts were restless during the night, perhaps jealous that I didn’t need them. I fell asleep reminding myself that I was not Charlie’s lover, nor was she mine.