Chapter 5: Intruder
I pulled my gun from its holster inside my jacket and slowly nudged the door open with my foot. It was silent on its hinges. The whole house was quiet, but I knew someone was there. I wouldn’t have left my door standing open. Maybe they’d come and gone, but at some point I’d had an intruder. I stepped cautiously into the foyer and moved step by step down the hallway. I could see a light on in the kitchen. Still there was no sound. If someone was in there they were being pretty quiet. I came around the corner, gun up, and stepped into the kitchen. A woman stood there, leaning over a counter, her back to me. Her long dark hair hung down her back. And when she turned around, I was so surprised I nearly pulled the trigger.
“Oh Jesus!” I cried out. She didn’t even jump. But she did smile, and in that instant I wanted to slap the hell out of her. “Lacey, what are you doing here?”
My estranged wife grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “Well, you know how I like the house.”
“Don’t tell me you are filing for divorce now.”
She laughed. “Now that would be a feat, wouldn’t it?”
I put my gun back in its holster.
“I thought you were going to shoot me,” she said.
“Like that would do any good,” I replied. Then I smiled. “It is good to see you though, Lace.”
She grinned at my use of her nickname. “I like seeing you too, Cole.”
“So…what ARE you doing here?”
“I just wanted to see you.”
I rolled my eyes. I didn’t believe that one at all.
“Okay, I was worried,” she relented.
“Worried? About what?”
“Well…word has it that you have a new client. A pretty one I might add.”
“Damn. News sure does travel fast.”
She nodded and flipped her hair out of her eyes. “I just thought you might be heading for girl trouble again. You know what happened last time with that ghost in the closet.” The way she said ‘ghost’ you’d think she hated the term.
“That wasn’t my fault,” I argued. “How did I know she’d figure out how to make a conjuring circle out of her own ectoplasm?”
“You about never got that demon out of the house.”
“Should have made you do it,” I said. “You had more in common with her anyway.”
She laughed. “The demon or the ghost?”
“I plead the fifth,” I grinned.
“Hey, I know I was a bitch then, Cole.”
I didn’t know how to reply to that one. After all, she was right.
“Now I’m just a dead one,” she added.
“I’m sorry,” I said, not wanting to look into her dark eyes. She might see that I wanted to cry over her again.
“Cole, I shouldn’t have said that. You know me and my mouth.”
“I should have been there for you, Lace.”
“We were separated. You weren’t supposed to be there for me anymore.”
“You know, it’s kind of funny when I think about our wedding vows,” I told her. “Til death do us part.”
“Not bloody likely, you said at the rehearsal,” she remembered. “That was hilarious.”
“And prophetic,” I added. “So…you staying the night?”
“If you want me to.”
“Yeah, I think I would like that.” If I could, I would have kissed her right then. I don’t think I’d missed her so much before. There’s this old saying, you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. I think it should be changed: you don’t know what you got until it’s gone and comes back as a ghost.
If you’ve ever lain in bed with a ghost it’s a very weird thing. Some ghosts have been here awhile and can command objects better than others. Other ghosts couldn’t even lay on a bed without falling through it. Lacey could not only lie on it, but she could curl up against me as well. I couldn’t really feel her touch, as in the physical, but there was a certain vibe in the air, like a romantic dream you have just woken from. She rested her head on my bare chest, and though I couldn’t feel her hair splayed across my skin, I could imagine. I could close my eyes and remember what it had been like for us once. I don’t usually recommend such close proximities to ghosts, because it can drive you mad if you’re not careful, knowing someone is there, but being unable to truly touch them. No matter what Lacey and I had been through in our life, I still missed those nights that we lay together just listening to the night.
“Do you ever wish you could go back and start over?” she sighed.
“All the time.”
When sleep finally came, I didn’t dream of my client’s tragic end or of stolen corpses. I dreamed of Lacey.