“Bernard? Are you there?” Marguerite whispered. There was no answer.
The dusk was filled with crickets chirping. She looked out into the shadowed garden and clutched her shawl more tightly about her shoulders. She crossed the wide porch, walking around one of the tall Ionic columns that lined the edge, stretching twenty feet to the roof above her head.
Her feet crunched the gravel as she stepped down from the porch. She froze at the sound. Her hands trembled, holding the edges of the shawl.
“Darling?” she called louder. She desperately hoped that Bernard was there.
A rustling in the bushes sent her scurrying back onto the porch, but it was only a large black cat, hunting in the bushes. It darted across the lawn and disappeared from view.
Marguerite decided to wait for Bernard on the porch. She looked around for somewhere to sit, but the elegant wicker furniture which usually graced the wide boards was nowhere in sight. Sighing, she sat down on the steps, pulling the long skirt of her dress aside. She adjusted the folds around her and stared down at her shoes. They were pale silver in the deepening gloom.
She raised her head at a new sound. Faintly at first, but growing louder, came a cheerful whistling. She could see him now, walking down the lane through the garden, his cane swinging through the air, kicking up bits of gravel as he came. She leapt to her feet and dashed out to meet him.
“Oh, Bernard, you’re here!”
He opened his arms to gather her up as she flew up to him. Their kiss lasted longer than was seemly, but Marguerite didn’t care.
“Hello, my dear. Isn’t it a lovely evening?” Bernard swept one arm around, including the garden, the flowering trees, the rising moon, the soft breeze and the dark house in his assessment.
“Yes, Bernard. It is lovely. But is it really true? Are we here…together?”
“It would seem so.” He drew her under his arm and turned toward the house. “Let’s go settle in and discuss it.”
They walked slowly up the path and climbed the broad steps. At the door, Bernard reached out to grasp the doorknob, but his hand slipped off it. Marguerite watched him try a second time and gasped when he was unable to take hold of the gleaming brass.
“Whatever do you think is wrong?” The possibilities frightened her. Bernard rubbed his face and stared at the door. Then she saw his face brighten.
“I wonder…” his voice trailed off and he grabbed her hand. Without any explanation, he pulled her after him, straight at the door. Marguerite expected to slam into the mahogany but instead, they slipped right through and stood in the hall.
“What…what happened?” She stood gripping his hand, trying to catch her breath.
“I do believe we can walk through walls now, my dear.”
“Yes. We’re ghosts.”
A small sigh escaped Marguerite’s throat as she sank to the floor in a dead faint. When she came to her senses, Bernard was holding her and stroking her brow.
“Are you alright, darling? I know this must be quite a shock.” He helped her to her feet and led her to a pair of dark leather chairs in the corner. “I think we’ve done it. Just what Mrs. Cole promised. We’ve awakened in another sphere.”
“But this is our house.”
“I know, but I think we’ve come back to somehow guide the present.”
“Then we have to find Mrs. Cole, so she can hold a sŽance. Do you think we’ll be able to contact Virginia?”
“I have no idea, dear, but we have to try.” Bernard patted her hand. “Gather yourself, sweetheart. Our daughter is a strong woman and I know we prepared her for the possibility that we would be able to communicate after our deaths. This is a new and exciting challenge for us, but I’m sure we shall be up to the task.”
Suddenly, a door at the end of the hall opened and a woman came toward them.
“Virginia?” Marguerite whispered, barely daring to hope that she might catch sight of her daughter, so soon after awakening in this new condition. When she’d last seen her, it was bending over their bed as the fever had consumed them.
But this woman didn’t even glance at them as she walked past and opened the door. It certainly wasn’t Virginia. She was wearing a short slip of a dress, made of some shiny material and her dark hair hung down her back. Marguerite was shocked that anyone would be seen outside her rooms in such attire and glanced at Bernard to see what he thought. But it was obvious from the look of delight on his face that he wasn’t troubled by her clothing and was, in fact, charmed. Marguerite looked away.
The door opened and she glanced toward it. The young woman was greeting an older man in a dark suit. He wasn’t wearing a hat or even an overcoat, which surprised Marguerite again. What was going on here? Where was Rupert, their butler, and who were these people?
With just a few quiet words, which Marguerite couldn’t catch, the couple ascended the staircase.
“Let’s follow them, my dear.” Bernard was already on his feet and offering her his hand.
“But…what if they see us? I have no idea who they are or why they are in our house.”
“I don’t think they can see us. Mrs. Cole was often able to hear her spirit guides but I never saw any of them. I believe we are invisible to them.”
Marguerite took his hand and let him lead her up the stairs. They saw the couple entering Virginia’s bedroom at the back of the hall, overlooking the garden. It was one of Marguerite’s favorite rooms, papered in a delicate yellow and filled with very feminine furniture as befitted a young woman of Virginia’s age and status.
Bernard walked confidently to the door and continued straight through it. If Marguerite hadn’t been drawn along with him, she would have balked. It felt so strange to move right through the solid door. But she barely had time to consider it.
The room had been redone. Some sort of dark paper covered the walls. The bed was now an enormous metal contraption with gauzy draperies. The man in the suit was sitting at the end of the bed as his companion stood before him. She was removing her shift as they came through the door. Now she stood before them in her undergarments, which were quite abbreviated. Marguerite had never seen anything quite like it.
Bending over the man in the suit, the young woman began to undress him.
“Oh, my.” Marguerite gasped and her hand flew to cover her mouth. What if she could be heard?
The young woman didn’t seem to notice. She helped the man off with his jacket and tie, laying them aside on the bed. Then she bent and removed his shoes. The man caressed her back and hip as she did so.
They were obviously married, but why were they in this house? This was Marguerite and Bernard’s house. Or at least, now that they were deceased, it belonged to Virginia. Marguerite wanted to leave and look for her daughter. She turned to go, but Bernard stopped her.
“Wait, dear. Let’s see if we can determine who these people may be.”
She didn’t fully believe him. He just wanted to stay and gape at their nakedness. Bernard always did have a definite lewdness about him. Why, he had required her to make love with the lamps lit, even if she never was fully undressed. She couldn’t bear to expose her body that way. He said that he liked to see her while they…she shuddered at the thought. But she stayed. There was something about the scene that drew her closer.
The man was now naked except for his underwear and socks. Marguerite could see the outline of his male parts through the fabric. He was quite excited. She looked away, but couldn’t avoid hearing the sounds they made. When she glanced back, she was startled to see the woman’s mouth swallowing his member. Bernard moved closer until he was near enough to touch the woman.
“Bernard,” she whispered, “come away from there. They will discover you.”
“No, no. They can’t see me.” He waved a hand in front of the woman’s face and she ignored it, continuing to suck. Her husband had his hands in her hair and was forcing her down onto him. She began to gag. Marguerite thought she would faint at the sound. She turned and ran, through the door and down the hall. Instinctively she ran to her own room.
The curtains were drawn. Marguerite walked over to the bed, barely visible in the darkness and sank down. Almost immediately she was asleep.
* * * * *
A strange sound woke her. Marguerite looked up at the ceiling with it’s familiar plaster work and familiar shadows. She was in her room, in her bed, but something wasn’t right. She sat up, as her eyes adjusted to the darkness.
A man was standing beside the bed, his hands at his waist, moving. Marguerite suddenly realized that he was holding his penis, and stroking it. She pushed herself back against the headboard and then remembered that he couldn’t see her. He was gazing at the person who shared Marguerite’s bed.
Unseen earlier in her flight from Virginia’s room, Marguerite realized she was not alone in the bed. Beside her lay another young woman, naked, twisted in the sheets in her sleep. The man beside the bed watched the dark skin of her breasts rise and fall with her breath as he stroked himself.
Marguerite was trapped between these two people. Despite knowing she was invisible, she was afraid of being discovered. But the silent motion of the man’s hand was enthralling. She had never seen a man touch himself, although she’d overheard gossip about it from the maids. They’d watched the stable boy while he thought he was alone.
This man’s member was rigid and glistening in his fist, the head revealed with each stroke of his hand. Marguerite licked her lips. Despite her own dislike of being naked, she found the male form enticing. Watching him stirred a feeling in her center that she hadn’t experienced in a long time. Not since she was first married and Bernard would crush her in his arms as he kissed her, pressing her body against him. Virginia’s birth had been difficult and Bernard had taken care not to seek her attentions in that way again. He’d said he wanted to protect her, but it had saddened her, as well. Now, as she watched the young man before her, she regretted all the years that she and Bernard had slept apart. She wondered what it would taste like to have his member in her mouth, like the girl in the other room.
The sleeping girl beside her never stirred. With eyes half-closed, the man tortured his flesh harder and faster. Marguerite leaned closer, her face nearly level with his hand, to see every nuance of his motion. Without any warning, he stiffened and a stream of fluid jetted out from under his fingers. Marguerite was completely startled as it hit her in the face. It was warm and dripped down her cheek. Another burst fell on her breast, running into the neckline of her gown. She reached up to wipe it away.
“Shit!” The man’s eyes flew open and he stared at her. He staggered back and ran for the door.
“Wait,” Marguerite called. He could see her. What had happened? She had to find out, but he was disappearing down the stairs as she reached the door.
“Who the hell are you?” The woman in the bed had woken up in the excitement and sat upright, staring at Marguerite. She made no move to cover her bare breasts. Marguerite walked back to the bed and sat down.
“My name is Marguerite Reston and this is my house.”
“The hell it is. This place belongs to Sandra Jackson. I know she sure ain’t sold the best thing that she got going.”
“What do you mean?”
“Lady, this is a first class establishment. We’re the most successful cat-house in town. Now what the hell are you doin’ in my room?”
Marguerite sighed and wondered where to begin. “May I ask you a question first, and then I’ll explain?”
“What year is this?”
Marguerite gasped. It couldn’t be. One hundred and twenty-five years. She had been dead for a very long time. Virginia must be gone. She wondered if there had been a husband, any children? What had happened? She took a deep breath and looked at the girl in the bed.
“I should start at the beginning. I’ve already told you my name. My husband, Bernard Reston, and I lived in this house. He built it, in fact. One hundred and fifty years ago.
“We had been seeing a medium, a spiritualist by the name of Mrs. Ada Cole. She was teaching us about the spirit realm, contacting family who had passed over, you know.”
The girl looked skeptical but didn’t interrupt.
“Then we suddenly contracted a fever. I believe Bernard brought it back from India during his travels. We were both very, very ill. Mrs. Cole performed an intercession for us, to allow us to come back after we passed over. But I had no idea it would take this long.”
“Huh? You a ghost?”
“Yes, I believe so.”
“What surprises me is that you can see me. When Bernard and I arrived this evening, we could walk through walls and no one could see us. Now you can. And that man who was here evidently saw me as well.”
“What man?” The girl finally pulled the sheet over her body, as if afraid.
“Well, I fell asleep here, not knowing you were in the bed. When I awoke, there was a young man standing next to the bed.”
“What did he look like?”
“He was average-looking. Dark hair, pale skin. And he was touching himself.”
“He had his cock out? In here?”
“Yes, he was stroking his member and watching you sleep.”
“Shit, that must be Larry. He likes to watch girls sleep. It gets him off. Bet he freaked when he saw you, though. He’s not used to doubles. And you’re a bit old for him, no offense.” The girl broke into laughter at the thought.
Marguerite smiled. She certainly was a bit old, having been born over a century and a half ago.
“So if you were invisible before, how come he could see you and so can I?”
“I’m not sure, but I think it had something to do with his fluids. You see, he sprayed me with them. And then he could see me.”
“He came all over you?” She started laughing even harder. “What a hoot. Serves him right. Nasty little freak.”
“May I ask your name?”
“LaTonya, LaTonya Jones.”
“Well, Miss Jones, if you will excuse me, I want to try and find my husband.”
“Here, let me throw on somethin’ and I’ll go with ya.”
Marguerite waited while LaTonya pulled on a short shift and a dressing gown. Together, they walked down the hall to Virginia’s room.
“He’s in here?”
“Well, that’s where he was when I left, but that was some time ago.”
LaTonya knocked once and quietly opened the door. There was a small lamp lit beside the bed. Marguerite could see that the girl was asleep in the bed, alone, and Bernard was slumped in a chair by the fireplace.
“Bernard.” She woke him gently with a hand on his shoulder. He sat up and looked around.
“There you are, darling. Where did you go? I was worried.”
Not enough to come looking for her, she thought. “I’m fine. I’ve met someone who lives here now. And she can see me.” Bernard looked worried.
“It’s alright, Bernard. I will explain everything. But first, I need to see if you are visible.” Marguerite called out to LaTonya who was standing beside the bed. “LaTonya, come here please.”
She came and stood next to Bernard’s chair, looking at Marguerite closely.
“Can you see my husband sitting here?”
“There, in the chair? Nah.” Her eyes swept over the seat, without recognition.
“Well, he is there, I assure you.” She turned to face him. “Let me explain. When I left, I went to my old room and fell asleep. When I awoke, I discovered a young man watching LaTonya sleep beside me.” She paused, unsure how to explain the next part. Intimate relations were not something they ever discussed. “He was touching himself and when he finished, his fluids fell on me.”
“Yeah, he jerked off all over her,” LaTonya added, laughing.
“Somehow that made me visible.”
“Where is he now?” Bernard was agitated.
“He ran away when he saw me. LaTonya and I have been discussing our situation. Our house is apparently now a brothel. These young women live and work here.”
“But what shall we do?”
“Do? In what regard?”
“Do about me. If you can be visible, I need to be visible, too.”
Marguerite looked at her husband for a long moment. He seemed ready to rush off in search of this Larry person and extract his fluids by force, if necessary.She almost laughed at the absurdity of the situation, but refrained. Bernard would not understand.
She looked from LaTonya to the woman sleeping in the bed. There must be something they could do to help. “Perhaps…” she paused to think through her idea. “Perhaps we might request the help of these young women. If a man’s fluid made me visible, perhaps their fluids might make you visible. LaTonya, what is your friend’s name?” She indicated the woman in the bed.
At the sound of her name, Jessica stirred. She didn’t seem very surprised to see people in her room, even though she’d never seen Marguerite before. Marguerite wondered briefly about the sort of life these young women led. She walked over to the bed.
“Jessica, my name is Marguerite Reston. I don’t want to shock you, but I seem to be a ghost.”
“LaTonya, what is she talking about?”
“It’s true, Jess. She showed up in my room just now. Larry was jerking off over my bed and hit her with his come and now she’s visible. Ain’t that something?! And it seems like her husband is here, too, but we can’t see him, right?.” The last remark was directed toward the fireplace, even though she couldn’t see Bernard sitting there.
“Yes, that’s true.”
“Now what were you and him talkin’ about?”
“LaTonya, would you and Jessica be willing to help us? We need to try and make my husband visible and I think that your fluids might effect that change, as I was changed earlier.”
Marguerite looked from the girls, to Bernard, who suddenly smiled at the thought of lying with the two women. But then his face fell. “But how would that be possible? They cannot see me or feel me.”
She considered the problem for a moment. It would be difficult for them to include Bernard if they couldn’t see him or feel him. She was the only one who could see both. “LaTonya, my husband has brought up the issue that you cannot see him or feel him. He’s not sure how he might place himself in the right position when the time comes.”
“That’s okay. We can get it on and he can join us when everything is juicy, right Jess?”
“Just one thing, though.” LaTonya had a wicked look on her face that made Marguerite very uncomfortable. Like being undressed. “Won’t do it without you, Marguerite.”
“Oh, I couldn’t possibly do that.”
“Even for me?” Bernard seemed hurt. “How else will I be able to be fully visible?”
“I don’t know, Bernard. But how can you ask that of me?”
“I know you love me, my dear. And I love you. That’s how I can bear to ask.”
Marguerite looked into her husband’s eyes and saw that he was serious. He wasn’t mocking her at all. She looked from LaTonya to Jessica. They were lovely young women and they wanted to help. She couldn’t turn them down.
She bent her head and whispered, “I will participate.”
LaTonya smiled and now her expression was much more gentle and teasing. She drew Marguerite into the curve of her arm and kissed her on the cheek. The next kiss was on the edge of her mouth. Marguerite marveled at how soft her wide lips were.
Jessica came and stood next to them, caressing LaTonya’s arm and also Marguerite’s. Still holding Marguerite in her arms, LaTonya bent and kissed Jessica on the mouth. This kiss was deep and long and Marguerite watched it from close up. She suddenly wanted to be kissed that way. A small noise escaped her throat and both women turned toward her.
“Don’t worry, we won’t leave you out,” Jessica whispered, running her hand into Marguerite’s curls and loosening the pins. Soon, the younger women led her over toward the bed and began to undress her. Four hands worked on the many buttons which ran up the front of Marguerite’s dress; four hands unlaced her stays and removed the bustle, finally tugging at her chemise. Marguerite swayed, as if in a trance. She reached out to touch LaTonya’s arm. The dressing gown and shift had been shed during her undressing and she was fascinated by the deep mahogany color of LaTonya’s skin. The women pulled her onto the bed, as Jessica shed her own clothing. Marguerite had a glimpse of Bernard standing over the three women, smiling, before she was distracted by hands pulling her down.
Jessica and LaTonya showed no reluctance in touching each other or Marguerite; they seemed to revel in it. They lay on either side of her, legs entwined and hands reaching out to touch each other. Marguerite could feel LaTonya’s large, soft breasts pressing into her on one side and Jessica’s smaller ones on the other. She lay still, afraid to move. She hadn’t been touched by another woman since her mother had cared for her as a child. Even when sharing a room with her sisters, they had been careful about each other’s privacy.
Jessica bent to kiss her, running her tongue over Marguerite’s lips and playing over her own tongue. Her kisses were more demanding than LaTonya’s had been. Marguerite closed her eyes and thought briefly about Bernard. She was doing this for him. She surrendered to Jessica’s insistent tongue, opening her mouth and responding with her own kisses.
LaTonya’s hands were on her breasts, teasing the nipples until they were hard. She pinched one and Marguerite cried out. She’d never felt such delicious pain before. She wanted LaTonya to continue, but was afraid to say a word. Instead, she reached out, tentatively, and cupped LaTonya’s full breast, much larger than her own. It was like holding a piece of ripe fruit. Her thumb caressed the rosy nipple and she felt it tighten. The response made her want to continue and without thinking too much about it, she pinched it between finger and thumb. LaTonya responded with a groan of pleasure and Marguerite blushed, feeling the heat rising in her body.
With her other hand, she reached for Jessica’s breasts, to compare the differences. Jessica’s were firm and small, with pointed nipples. She pinched one as well and Jessica kissed her more fiercely.
Soon the hands moved on to caress Marguerite’s belly. She tried to brush them away, but her shyness about being touched in this way was ignored. Insistent fingers found her curls and began teasing her lower lips. Marguerite whimpered and gave in to their ministrations. Looking down the bed, she realized that Bernard was kneeling at her feet, his own clothes removed. She could see his erection rising between his thighs. The look of excitement on his face was reassuring.
Her view was obscured when Jessica moved to lie on top of her. Marguerite had no idea what she intended. She had no member with which to impale Marguerite. And yet, the feel of breasts pressing against breasts and hips grinding together was intensely arousing. Marguerite could feel the wetness between her own legs growing and wondered if the two women felt the same.
LaTonya was not left out in this arrangement. Her hands roamed over both women and she shared kisses with each in turn. As Jessica reached down between their bodies to touch her quim, Marguerite was emboldened to search for LaTonya’s curls. To her surprise, she found bare skin. She had not noticed that LaTonya’s body was bare in that place. When she reached to touch Jessica, she found the same. It must be some aspect of their employment, which she could not fathom. But the warm, soft skin was too entrancing to let her wonder for long.
Soon, Jessica slipped off and LaTonya pulled Marguerite closer to her. She looked into LaTonya’s brown eyes and gave herself over to the pleasure of their bodies. Jessica shimmied down until she lay between their legs and to Marguerite’s surprise, she lowered her mouth to her quim. The first touch of tongue to skin was electric, jolting Marguerite to a higher awareness. The heat in her belly grew to a raging fire and she spread her legs with abandon as Jessica plied her with mouth and fingers. Soon, she was barely able to catch her breath, as the electricity shot to her brain and overwhelmed her.
Lying panting against the pillows, Marguerite watched as Jessica lifted her wet face and grinned. She turned her attentions to LaTonya, who lay entwined with Marguerite. LaTonya was much less reluctant for Jessica’s attentions and opened her legs wide, pulling Jessica’s head into position. Marguerite slid down and rested her head on LaTonya’s stomach to watch Jessica’s ministrations. She would never have thought in a hundred years that she would be watching two different people engaged in sexual activity. The thought made her laugh; it was more than one hundred years, of course, so it was all right.
Under her cheek, she could feel LaTonya’s tension growing as Jessica lapped at her quim. Marguerite was amazed to see the fingers pressing into LaTonya’s moist center with such force, but it was clear that Jessica was giving her pleasure. Then, LaTonya erupted, nearly bouncing Marguerite clear in her frenzy. Jessica cupped her hand and brought up LaTonya’s juices and Marguerite suddenly remembered what all this industry was intended to accomplish. She reached out and pulled Bernard toward them with one hand while she grabbed Jessica’s hand with the other. Knowing that Jessica could not see where Bernard lay, she brought them together; Jessica dripped LaTonya’s juices onto Bernard’s chest and even near his erect member.
“Damn.” The gasp from LaTonya told her that they had done it. Bernard was now visible. Marguerite hugged him to her breast as Jessica slipped up to lie entwined with LaTonya.
“Well, ladies, I cannot thank you enough for your kind ministrations.”
“Our pleasure.” LaTonya laughed and hugged Jessica.
“Yes, it does seem to have been very pleasurable. I just wish that I could repay your kindness.”
“Well, Jessica here has been doing all the work. She might enjoy a little of your attention.”
“Oh, that would be my pleasure.” Bernard looked happy to oblige.
“I think it would be our pleasure, dear,” Marguerite whispered, sliding into place beside Jessica and cupping her breast. She leaned down to kiss her as Bernard knelt between her legs. LaTonya moved back against the pillows, content to watch.
* * * * *
After everyone had enjoyed their pleasure and even slept, tangled together in the huge bed, Marguerite slipped out to stand beside the window. Bernard awoke and joined her, pulling her into his arms.
“I can’t believe we are really here, darling.” Marguerite turned to look at her husband. “What will happen now? I can’t imagine what it will be like to be visible as a ghost. And our home is still not our own.”
“Well, my dear, Mrs. Cole called them her spirit guides. I can think of some guiding we might do here.” His eyes twinkled as he kissed her.
“Perhaps you’re right, Bernard.” She turned back to watch the light of dawn coming through the window.
© 2007 Nan Andrews. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission from the author.