October was supposed to consist of fall leaves, pumpkin donuts, and apple cider. Instead, Maya looked out the window of her apartment and saw nothing but the green grass and sunshine of Savannah’s most famous park. Heavy oak trees dotted the landscape surrounded by happy people and wandering children, but not one of them demonstrated a homesickness for a true fall experience.
Despite a lack of seasons, Georgia was her personal choice. Tired of the harsh northeastern winters, the Peach State was supposed to inspire the grownup world of responsibility and a primary commitment to her happiness, but ten months of never ending green landscape exhausted her patience. She sighed heavily and turned her attention to Facebook pictures of her parents’ crisp Massachusetts backyard.
A heavy southern accent broke into her thoughts. “Look at all those damn leaves! How long does it take to clean that mess up?”
Maya shot a scowl toward her stunning roommate. “It’s not a mess. You have no idea how much fun a pile of leaves can be. You can jump in them and play in them and throw them at people. It’s a blast.”
The sculpted mass of human was probably the best looking guy she’d ever met, but his girlfriend thought so too and Maya’s relationship with Jared was strictly courtesy of Craigslist and shared expenses for the two bedroom, nineteenth-century rental. The premier location across from Forsyth Park was ideal for a young professional even if her personal life was as dismal as the mucky backwaters on the edge of town.
Jared shrugged. “Looks like a mess to me. I’ll take the beach in October any day.”
He headed out the door with a shouted, “See you in a week, Maya. Cindy and I are staying at my parents’ to watch the dog while they are in Europe.”
The slightest part of her heart followed Jared out the door. She wasn’t infatuated or anything stalker-like, but he clearly represented her closest relationship since she moved to Savannah. The fact he didn’t remember her birthday last August was an accurate summary of her dismal new life.
Finding the job had been easy. Her credentials were excellent and the purchasing job at a mid-sized manufacturing plant paid well. She could have afforded her own place in a more traditional location, but the original wood floors, intricate trim, and classic hardware located in the heart of the historical district was different from anything back home. Her history major heart had to have it.
When the well-built Jared answered her advertisement to share expenses, she couldn’t refuse. He would be the perfect man to disprove all the skeptics in her life and validate her decision to move a thousand miles away from everything familiar. Instead of a hot lover, or even a simple friend, however, she received an absentee roommate who paid rent to convince his girlfriend’s conservative family they weren’t really living together.
Friendships were hard to find when most of the people she worked with were either married or as old as her parents. Neither characteristic appealed to her, even if her aching sexual needs were filled with the simple plastic of her electric fuck toy. Miserable experiences followed social media sites, bars, and the worst of all, a class she took at a local community college where the middle aged, female professor tried to take her home. Telling her she didn’t play that way was a tremendous embarrassment for both of them.
With no other options, the next two days would follow all the other weekends of her new world: hunkered down with a sleazy romance novel and half a bottle of wine. Her new habit of long conversations with herself would categorize as creepy on anybody’s list, and she briefly considered calling her professor friend for a drink before the ludicrous idea was discarded for a large pour of merlot.
Her computer was still opened to the crisp colors of a New England autumn, and Maya thought about connecting to her friends and family back home before she took a deep breath. She spoke sternly to herself. “Get a grip, girlfriend. You chose this whole new life, now go out and live it.”
Before she could move, the eerie sounds of silence in the small apartment began to dominate her thoughts. Silence was a noise all in itself, and her brain struggled to interpret the lack of stimulus. Seconds turned into minutes as her mind grew mellow, and she focused on her surroundings with an intensity that was almost painful. The nicks and scratches of the hardwood floors, the worn spots on the ornate trim, and even the brass door knobs drew closer to her reality until she was part of the house itself. The feeling was frightening, but a small hint of security began to twist into her thoughts when a bang at the window erased her daydream.
A large orange cat sat on her sill and she smirked at her own jumpy reaction. She loved cats, but the owner of the building lived on the second floor and her no pet clause was firm. Maya moved to the kitchen to gather the ingredients for her dinner, but the cat remained persistent. He howled and threw his huge body against her screen until she was forced to admit he could no longer be ignored.
“Fine, you can come in for a minute, but if the landlord catches you, you are on your own buddy.”
The huge cat wandered the room happily. He purred and rubbed against her legs until Maya caressed his soft side. He expressed his gratitude with copious purring, and her lonely heart was quickly lost. “I bet I can find some chicken or something. Are you hungry?”
The cat shot her a haughty look and wandered to her roommate’s bed where he sprawled out with full authority. Moving her hand over his warm smoothness, she left large amounts of cat hair behind and made a mental note to shake out Jared’s bedspread before he returned.
The cat was clearly too comfortable to rouse, so she left him to continue her quest for dinner. A few bits of lettuce and the chicken she had promised made a decent meal, and she topped off her wine glass. Cuddled in her flannel pjs and pink slipper socks, she had just turned on a gameshow when the reality of her thirty-one-year-old life hit her. My God, she had turned into her grandmother.
Muttering to herself, she googled a site on weekend events and settled on Halloween in Savannah. With no small children and no social life, she had forgotten the next day was Halloween, and a city as old as Savannah had its share of spooky fun for people willing to leave the house and go look for it. A guided tour of Colonial Park Cemetery started at dusk. Under the right tour guide, the history of the city could come alive on a spooky Halloween Eve. If she added make-up and decent clothes, she might even meet a friend. If not, she would at least have a fun story to tell her parents during their weekly phone call.
First, she had to lose her new cat. She couldn’t leave her window open and there was no litter box, so Mr. Kitty clearly had to go. She walked to the bedroom calling his fictitious name, but the damn cat had mysteriously disappeared. Twenty-five minutes later, he still hadn’t been located. Most of the doors were shut and there were very few places he could hide. A last minute look at her watch, and she knew she had to leave. Hopefully he wouldn’t pee in her house because she had no idea how to explain that to her roommate or her landlord.
Colonial Park Cemetery offered a beautiful parallel to the history of Savannah. The massive stone arch transported her to a different era, and dusk arrived that much faster under the twisting and winding of the heavy trees. Eerie landscaping brought images of spooky finality as the souls of thousands of Savannah’s early citizens rested beneath her feet.
She left her car to join the small tour, but within a few seconds the second strange trance in as many hours tied her mind into the very soul of the Spanish moss that hung from the branches. Her body became one with the coolness of the marble and granite tombstones, and the sounds of the people around her became distant. A cherubic angel stood in the shadows, and her eyes worked to take in every detail as her fingertips registered the touch of the marble and the small pits where wind and rain had worn the inscriptions to a faded memory.
She worked to pull herself out of her reverie, but this time focus and reality were even harder to find, and it wasn’t until a warm hand touched her shoulder that she jumped. An elderly man in a suit looked at her suspiciously. “Are you okay, miss? If you are here for the tour, it has already started.”
Everyone stared at her with judgmental intensity, and she turned briefly away from their thoughts. The realization she was the youngest person by two or three decades made her question the decision to leave the comfort of her fuzzy slippers, but with all eyes on her, she had no choice but to smile weakly and say, “I’m fine.”
The tour guide was a geeky looking thirty-something with thick glasses and hay fever to accompany his southern accent. With a clearly skeptical glance at her pale insecurity, he began to share his wealth of knowledge. “Most of our citizens in Savannah were buried here in the first half of the nineteenth century. Over seven hundred yellow fever victims rest in a mass grave from the 1820 epidemic. The cemetery was also the location for many duels, and all are said to be resting poorly. The Yankees desecrated and looted many of the graves during the war, causing more souls to wander. They earn us the distinction of being one of the most haunted places in America.”
As the man continued his tour, Maya’s mind wandered for the third time. Embarrassment threatened to consume her before she lost her focus, but nothing could stop the path to a different plane. Her mind returned to the angelic monument, and the elderly population of her tour group was replaced by a crowd who wore clothing from a different era. The trees were smaller and the sky was brighter as a result, and there were fewer tombstones dotting her horizon.
A young woman wore a somber black dress and delicate lace bonnet. She cried with gut wrenching sincerity as a miserable man patted her back with a bored glance. The grave had yet to be closed, and the dark mahogany of the coffin caught Maya’s eye. She could feel the glazy smoothness hidden beneath the subtle grains of the wood. The brass trim was cool to her touch, and her hand refused to leave the comfort of the coffin.
A tingle of fear formed deep in Maya’s soul, and slowly radiated throughout her entire body. When she shuddered, a warm hand rested on her shoulder, and she took the comfort offered while her fear began to subside.
When the emotion passed, she was left with a dangerous ache between her legs. Her pussy shivered as tiny nerve endings responded to a stimuli she couldn’t understand, but her mind still couldn’t leave its focus on the dark mahogany of the coffin. The two emotions became one as her unfilled need consumed her from the inside, and she moaned softly. Without a warning the world went dark as her reality and her fantasy were both lost to her sight.
A second gentle hand rested on her shoulder, and the elderly crowd was at her side. The dark coffin was gone, and the young crowd in antebellum clothing had disappeared. Several worried looks supported her side while one man mumbled “drunk” before he turned away. The ache between her legs, however, was a strong as ever, and the tiniest bits of wetness pooled against her panties.
The geeky tour guide pulled out his phone. “I’ll call an ambulance.”
Maya cringed. “Please, I’m fine. It’s just low blood sugar or something. I feel fine.” She rested her hand on the angel tombstone to help herself up and a searing heat bit into her skin. She gasped, but there was no mark, and the pain was gone almost instantly.
The tour guide held out her purse with an intense gaze, and she wondered if perhaps the ambulance was a good idea, when he laughed. “You picked a good stone to collapse on. This is the resting place of Nathaniel Holmes. He was a cotton factor in Savannah in the mid-1800’s, plus he owned his own prosperous plantation on Skidaway Island. He died in a duel right here in the cemetery after somebody insulted his sister.”
Maya stopped listening to fight the images of her daydream. She waited a few polite minutes before she left the group and snuck to the car. Her quiet bed and fuzzy warm pjs sounded like the perfect night after all, and her little bunny vibrator should take care of the need which burned inside her core.
By the time she reached home, her sexual edge had left her agitated. Decisions became harder, and her breath grew shallow in anticipation of her release. She hoped another extra-large glass of merlot would cancel the strangeness of her evening. She looked to rid herself of the cat before collapsing with her toy, but he was simply gone. Confusion became more important than the wine when a glance at Jared’s bed showed the smoothness of his spread and not a single cat hair. Her hand touched the spot where the cat had slept, but the action cost Maya her connection with the rest of the room.
Her eyes closed tightly but her mind refused to focus on the mystery and shifted further away from the gold and maroon of Jared’s décor. The design details of the room grew distant until they disappeared for good, and she visualized only the skeleton of the doors and windows that represented the foundation of the house.
The room remained empty for the most frightening of moments as Maya willed her body to scream or run or do anything besides stand in the void of space, but control over her reactions was gone. She simply stood in stunned silence while her body trembled.
Slowly the space refilled with heavy aged-oak furniture of beautiful design. A suit rack appeared in the corner of the room with a black frock and thick leather boots. A beaver skinned top hat rested on a small writing desk, and a large wardrobe stood half open to display shirts with ancient French cuffs.
At the heart of the room lay a solid sleigh bed with a fluffy mattress and crisp white sheets. Weakness caused her to lean against the comfort of the bed, and the touch of the white cotton spread opened her heart and mind further to the fuzzy dream. She became a willing part of her vision, seeking, desperate to find the connection that was missing between the present and her reality.
The bed grounded her thoughts, and its connection removed her last vestige of fear. The world remained fuzzy, but the touch of the furniture and the feel of her feet on the floor was real. The urge between her legs grew as wetness threatened to drip down her thigh, and her hand instinctively moved to her clit for release.
The feeling reached her first. The unseen worked across the sensitive nerves of her stomach, tickling and taunting her skin with a gentle touch. Slowly it moved to the edges of her bra before it worked under the elastic. She wiggled in response, but it did not stop. With a shudder, she felt the release of the binding to give her breasts the freedom she wanted.
Reason told her to fight, but emotion forced her relaxation. The touch rewarded her complicity by moving to the ache in her breasts, and an invisible line connected to the nerves in her pussy. Slowly, the feeling extended down the front of her pants, toying gently with the soft curls that rested out of sight. It slipped to the apex of her sex and taunted the tiny bundle of nerves that represented the greatest of all rewards. She moaned softly and attempted to fuck the mystery, but failed to connect with anything solid.
Her shirt was carefully lifted over her head and her bra removed. Her pants and panties were discarded to the floor as well, and her naked body was exposed to the unseen. A firm nudge pushed her to the bed, and she did as she was bidden. After a moment, she relaxed enough to rest her head on the soft pillow.
Instead of fear or mortification, she felt alive. She ran her hand through her chestnut hair and allowed the tingle of her scalp to connect to the rest of her body. The air surrounding her skin was cool and crisp, and she welcomed the freedom behind the breeze. The ache between her legs consumed the last of her focus, but her hand failed to leave the pillow. She could see no restraints, but her wrists were held to the bed as certainly as if she were cuffed.
With a desperate attempt to end her ache, she tried to move her thighs together but found the same invisible bonds applied to her legs. She was open to the world, and she waited for the longest of seconds with the certainty someone watched her. The swelling of her pussy revealed her readiness, and she wiggled and whimpered her frustration, but she knew the touch would return. She trusted him.
Instead of being frightened, she remained calm against the comfort of the antique bed. Gentle touches to the insides of her thighs brought movement to her legs, but only to spread them wider and expose her wet need further to the room. She lost track of all tangible objects and turned her mind to the demands of her body. Her clit throbbed with its need to be touched but the unseen restraints kept her prisoner to his whims. The soft folds of her labia dripped moisture to encourage exploration, and her vaginal wall constricted slightly with each breath in a desperate attempt to pull something, anything into her soul.
As her mind continued its futile attempt to connect each and every emotion, his image began to emerge from the shadows of the room. Bits and pieces twirled dangerously, in and out of her vision, but she wanted to see him. She needed to see him and she unsuccessfully fought her restraints with a growl. She turned every available part of her brain to form his human shape, and finally a shadow of the man stood before her.
His powerful appearance reflected the historical period of the bedroom. Open to the neck, his shirt gave hints of a muscled body, and his pants fit snuggly around his ass. Long, golden curls rested in a disheveled manner on his shoulders, and the hair in the spot where his top hat would have sat lay flat against his head. His tanned skin rippled over powerful muscles to reflect the integrity of the working man, and the strength of his hands was apparent.
He remained fuzzy, but Maya didn’t care. She belonged to him, at least at that place and at that time. She stopped fighting her bonds and returned her head to the soft comfort of the pillow. Her legs remained spread wide in anticipation, and she waited for him to reward her.
A smile appeared on his face as he freed his cock from the tight confines of his pants. The lack of a zipper meant that the process took time, but Maya’s gaze relished every moment as though she watched a gift being opened. His hardened readiness begged to be touched, but she could not move her hands. She could only whimper and lick her lips, but words weren’t necessary. He knew what she wanted, and his hardness came to rest against her cheek where she could take him in her mouth.
The power of the connection was immediate, and her body jolted at the first touch. Electricity ran deep through her system, and she felt her wetness dripping down her thighs, but his hand comforted her with the same touch she had felt earlier. Soft touches from gentle, swirling hands gave her a foundation to service him without losing her mind. His taste was real, the touch of his skin tantalizing, yet the full image of the man remained a mystery.
She understood the message of his every movement, but when he pulled away, she cried over her loss. With a comforting smile, he climbed on the bed to kneel between her legs. The rough feel of his skin against her sensitive inner thighs caused her body to quiver, and her eyes teared in anticipation.
Slow gentle fingers found her need, and he played with her swollen sex. His touch settled on her clit with an intoxicating vibration as he moved up and down her channel, soaking in the gift of her wetness. Soft moans were the only release allowed under her physical restraint, and she increased their intensity until they bordered on whimpers.
She gasped as his fingers moved deep into her pussy, but his hand was quick to withdraw. He didn’t want her to come yet, and would control her release to the smallest detail. Frustration took over, and she cursed him loudly. His smile disappeared and several stinging smacks landed on her ass. Her body failed to wiggle away from his punishment, and as her sore bottom settled back on the sheet she felt the imprint of his shadowy hand. He was not to be challenged.
The tingling skin ignited her internal fire with more wetness, and she could no longer stand it. Finally, his cock tickled the outsides of her labia. Soft gentle touches frustrated her beyond words as she struggled to imagine his length deep inside her. Despite the threat from his hand, she swore loudly, “Fuck me… shit… just fuck me, already.”
The evil laughter was the first sound he made. He clearly enjoyed his power over her body and taunted her with a touch that kept her at the edge of sanity. She was his plaything, his to enjoy. He would do with her what he pleased, and she would accept it willing. Choice had left her a long while ago, and she could only wiggle her bottom in anticipation.
When his huge hands moved to her breasts, she shuddered openly with a need she had neglected. He pulled and kneaded until she stopped whimpering and simply focused on breathing. Each tiny pink nipple was taken with hard, punishing twists and the pain awoke the nerves in her breasts. The ache between her legs grew further until her whole body was ready to explode…she simply waited for the one igniting event.
His cock pushed into her without warning, and she cried her acceptance as the release and his touch blended as one. Before her pussy finished its spasms, he moved slowly with long, delicious thrusts in and out of her wetness to rebuild her tension. The slick sounds of his actions filled the room, and the scent of her arousal was apparent. His eyes held her gaze while he pushed deeper into her soul with hard punishing thrusts.
Her second trip to the edge threatened an unfamiliar intensity, and she became frightened. Whimpers turned to cries that helped catalog her emotion. Half of her wanted him to stop for fear she would not survive the release, and the other half fought to meet his demand, so she begged him to stop and begged him to fuck her harder in the same breath.
Her words had no bearing on the outcome. He held control over her mind and her body, and she would take what he gave, but the lack of control didn’t frighten her. To be his prisoner intoxicated her, and she submitted completely to his desires. He continued his thrusts until she approached the end. Her body begged for him to finish her and remove the angst in her mind.
Finally, their gaze met for a long second before he grinned. With one final push, his cock ignited her body, and she lost what was left of her reality as billions of nerve endings united in a cataclysmic eruption. She screamed her approval as strange waves of pleasure and pain connected her body, and she lost connection to everything except her release.
She could do no more and she struggled to find her breath, but he held her for a long while as the room stopped spinning and her endorphin levels returned to normalcy. Her nipples and pussy remained delightfully abused, but he rubbed her gently until they regained their appropriate connection to her mind.
With a grin, he leaned in for a kiss. His lips touched hers with an intensity that almost matched his cock entering her, but instead of filling a sexual void, he joined her soul with a long and passionate alliance. For the briefest of seconds, they were one as she was enveloped into his existence. With a final grin, he moved his hands to close her eyes, and the last of his touch left her cheek. When she opened her eyes, he was gone.
She rested in Jared’s modern bed, surrounded by her roommate’s twenty-first-century possessions. The deafening sound of silence was replaced by the busy warmth of the October evening as people moved about the city. She was alone, but very satisfied. Her pussy was sore from the fucking she had received and she had a slight red mark from his spanking, the only physical reminders that her experience had been real. Signs of his existence were irrelevant. Maya knew he had come to her, and she began to process the meaning of his visit.
The doorbell interrupted her thoughts. With the chain firmly attached, she saw her nerdy tour guide from the cemetery. Fearful of a stalker, his appearance caused concern, but he rushed to calm her. “Don’t be afraid, Maya. I know you think I’m creepy, but I slipped your license out of your purse when you were out. I wanted to return it and check on you. I’ll stay in the hallway if I am scaring you. Just give me a minute of your time.”
Maya remained suspicious. “You have sixty seconds. Talk or I’m calling the cops.”
He took a breath. “I’m Samuel Talley. I’m descended from Nathaniel Holmes’s family… the guy from the cemetery that you collapsed on. He’s come to visit you, hasn’t he?”
The room spun slightly as she briefly lost her weak connection to reality. He took a deep breath. “I’ve seen it before, Maya. I knew he was looking for somebody. His last partner broke it off, but they lasted almost fifteen years.”
Opening the door was clearly her only option. He sat on her couch while she tried to act normally and made them tea, but words were hard. Samuel left her alone and simply waited until she sat.
Then he handed her a daguerreotype. Despite the fuzziness of her experience, she knew the man who had come to see her was the man in the image. The cat by his side was difficult to identify in the black and white photograph, but she recognized him as well.
Samuel spoke softly, “Nathaniel was murdered shortly after that was taken.”
Maya looked for some consistency. “You said he died in a duel over his sister.”
Samuel lowered his eyes to the ground. “That’s what the paper reported, but it wasn’t true. His sister and Gerard Talley planned to marry, but Nathaniel distrusted the man and refused to allow it. Under Talley’s influence, Clarissa lied to Nathaniel to encourage the duel, but her lover cheated and shot him before there was an appropriate count. Clarissa inherited all of Nathaniel’s money, and they paid off the rest of the witnesses.”
Maya spoke with certainty. “There’s more.”
“Clarissa’s guilt killed her within a few years, but Nathaniel never left this world. His soul stayed in Savannah, and he has controlled their descendants ever since. He’s forced a trust for most of the money so it wasn’t misspent, and he’s actually helped with the investments so it grew even larger. I… I am his sister’s descendent, Maya. My job is to care for the money that has been left in trust and take care of Nathaniel’s mistresses. My family has had this responsibility for almost one hundred and seventy years, and you are his twelfth lover.”
“What the hell do you mean, ‘take care of’?”
“My wife and I will protect you. If you want a child, I’ll even provide what you need to carry what is left of Nathaniel’s bloodline. You wouldn’t be the first to bear a child with the seed of a Talley descendent. The longer you know him, the clearer he will become to you, and the more time you can spend together.”
She struggled to comprehend his words. “What do you get out of this?”
For the first time he met her gaze. “I’ve been raised to this responsibility since I was born as my son will be after me. My father and ancestors did the same. But honestly, I would be terrified to defy Nathaniel. He was powerful in life, but his power in death is more than you can imagine. He had his revenge on Talley, and the witnesses who betrayed his trust at the duel.”
“But why me? Why did he pick me?”
“I am guessing he has some tie to this house, or some other location where you spend time. I’m guessing you had contact with his cat as well. Nathaniel will share his reasons when you reach the point where you can converse easily. He wouldn’t want you to stay here, though. He’ll feel safer if you move in with us. The trust owns his original mansion in town, and I live in it with my family as the trustee. We still have the house on Skidaway, too.”
In a move toward sanity she spoke. “This is seriously fucked up. You need to leave, now.”
Samuel spoke softly, “I can leave, Maya, but it won’t change anything. You have a strong desire to be with Nathaniel, and you need me to do that.”
“I can handle my own life, Samuel. That’s why I moved to Georgia.”
“It’s Halloween night, Maya. You were with him for over twenty four hours and don’t remember half of it. When you are under his control, your physical self is vulnerable. You do need me.”
Her mouth hung open in disbelief, but the window revealed happy children in elaborate costumes running alongside their parents. She had no memory of anything since Friday night, but her stomach chose that moment to grumble its empty need.
“Here is my card, Maya. Nathaniel can provide everything you ever wanted in a relationship: sex, companionship, and even a child if you desire. I can arrange to have your things moved to the mansion tomorrow. My attorney will take care of your lease. Just call me.”
He left her with his promise to return, and she sat in stunned silence for almost half an hour. Her body shook with subtle fear, but Nathaniel’s touch returned her to his brief control. She closed her eyes to his familiar comfort, and leaned slowly toward his hidden self. He released her again, clearly giving her the option to choose for herself.
Common sense and educated reason attempted control. His ghostly connection should reduce her to screams. She should run to her parents in Massachusetts and never look back at Savannah while she burned Samuel’s card to destroy all physical evidence of the encounter.
Instead, she called her roommate. “Jared, I’m going to sublet my part of the apartment next week. Why don’t you and Cindy just drop the whole illusion and fucking move in here together?”
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