TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Ghost reached up to pull Steve close for a kiss, but suddenly put his hand over his eye and rubbed it.
"Damn it!" he whispered.
"What's going on? Is something in your eye? Why is it jumping like that?"
"It's nothing, Steve, just something that started happening. Mostly if I'm tired or stressed, or..."
"Bullshit, Ghost! You're not telling me everything." Steve pulled Ghost's hand away from his eye. It was red rimmed from crying, the same as the other one. It made his blue eyes stand out even more. But, Ghost was squinching that one up, like it hurt, or the light bothered him or something.
"Don't keep secrets from me, Ghost," he said. "Does it hurt you?"
Ghost nodded, "Sometimes."
"When did it start?" Steve asked.
When Ghost wouldn't answer, Steve realized it must have been after that night, that awful night. He'd hit Ghost so hard in his face and head...more than once.
"Oh, God! No!" he cried. "It was me that did that to you."
Ghost just nodded, and more tears fell. "Steve," he said, softly, "that's not all."
Steve had a pained look in his own eyes, as he heard what Ghost said next.
"Sometimes, sometimes...not all the time, just once in awhile, Steve...I can't even see out of it!"
Steve was breathing hard, feeling faint, or that he might throw up, maybe both, at the horrible thing he'd done. He'd ruined Ghost's eye, and probably his brain, too. Ghost had had a crack in his skull, the woman on the mountain had told him. Then he knew he must have been the one to have broken Ghost's tooth.
Steve lurched around the room, pacing and yelling. "Ghost, you have to get away from me. You can't keep getting hurt by me. I don't deserve to have anyone as good as you anywhere near me. I don't know how you can ever trust me again. Hell, I can't even trust myself! Here..." he said, picking up a pencil from the nearby table. "Go on, just poke out my eye, then we'll be even. Do it, Ghost! That's the least you can do...and it's still not enough!"
He kept pacing and ranting around the room. Then, he saw Ghost, cowering on the bed, as far back away from him as he could get. He was pulling at his hair and screaming something at him. He stopped his own noise. He'd been so loud, he'd not even heard Ghost.
Ghost was screaming over and over, "Stop it...stop it...stop it!" He looked out of his head, with fright.
"I've done it again," Steve thought. He fell down on his knees and cried. It seemed forever he stayed there. Dimly, he was aware of Ghost's screams growing quieter, until they stopped altogether. This was too much. He didn't know how they could work this out, didn't know if they could even survive each other. They were killing each other emotionally, just as much as physically. Maybe this would be the end...maybe it should be the end.
But, how could he go on without Ghost? He knew he couldn't...he couldn't. Steve's thoughts broke through to Ghost's mind...and he ached for Steve, for himself, but he knew it would not be the end. It would never be the end. He had to do something to convince Steve of this. He knew Steve was skeptical of his innate knowledge. He always needed proof that the things he told him were real, even if he couldn't see it.
Ghost slowly eased off the bed, and went to Steve. He gently helped him over to the bed, sitting on his knees in front of him, on the floor. He looked up into Steve's tear streaked face.
"I love you, Steve. Don't ever ask me to hurt you again. I need you to always be here, with me...and I know...look at me, Steve! I know we are supposed to be together. We have been in the past, in the present, and will be in the future. I've known this since I first saw you.
I recognized you as my forever soul mate. Don't think this is just some crazy talk from your weird friend, Steve. It's real. It's so real..." and Ghost searched Steve's eyes to see if he understood, that he'd somehow gotten through to him.
Somehow, Steve did believe him. They knew it in their hearts, that even through their ups and downs, their misunderstandings, their fights, and there would be some, that ultimately their very souls were to be together for eternity.
Ghost sighed, and said simply..."I need you, Steve. Please say you need me, too. Right now, Steve. I need you so much."
Steve grabbed him in a fierce hug, and mumbled into his soft hair, "I need you to...oh, Ghost, I need you, too."
Steve raised Ghost's head, kissing him deeply. He took Ghost's hands, pulling him up from the floor, then removing the soft shirt he wore. Ghost shivered at Steve's touch. Steve began kissing Ghost's shoulder, then worked his way down his left arm, the inside of his elbow, his wrist...and then he saw for the first time, his own name tattooed there. He looked at Ghost questioningly. "What? When?"
Ghost smiled and said, "I wanted one to go with yours."
Steve kissed Ghost's wrist again and murmured, "You're so crazy, and I adore you."
He kissed Ghost's palm, letting his tongue trace circles on it, then took Ghost's fingers into his mouth and sucked each in turn. Ghost was breathing heavily, his eyes closed, letting Steve do whatever he wanted...loving whatever Steve did to him.
As Steve took Ghost's ring finger into his mouth, he kept bringing it in and out in slow motion, deeper and wetter with each movement. Almost breaking the spell they were under, Steve began to ask Ghost about the silver ring he wore. He'd not had it before, and Steve knew it must have come from someone else.
"Did your lover give you this ring, Ghost? Who was he? Was it that guy that you sang with out in L. A.?"
Ghost didn't say anything, but tensed up.
"It's ok, Ghost," Steve continued, still speaking softly, not sounding mad. "I know you whored around out there. You had to do whatever it took to survive. How many more did you have to...? Was this one special? Did he love you, did you love him?
I don't care, Ghost. I fell in love with you the minute I saw you. I'm sure others do, too. I don't blame you for getting whatever you needed from him. I'm just glad you came back to me."
He continued to wet Ghost's finger, until he had the ring in his mouth. He looked at for a second, then threw it across the room, where it pinged off the window, a shiny ray of silver, as it caught the sunlight.
"You won't need it anymore, Ghost. I'll get you a better one."
He looked at the silver necklace Ghost was wearing, the one with the little key. Taking hold of the chain, Steve yanked hard, breaking it, and leaving a red mark on Ghost's neck. "You won't need this either."
Then, Steve thought to himself, "Oh, no. What am I doing? I can never shut up." He looked into Ghost's face, hoping he wouldn't see anger.
Ghost was trembling, there in Steve's arms, his eyes still closed. He breathed in small gasps of the sage scented air. He had the weird feeling that he was in the present with Steve, and the feeling he was in some place wonderful...some place called ecstasy...if there was such a place. He felt free, soaring on Steve's love for him, and his love for Steve.
Tears fell from his eyes now, as he whispered in Steve's ear, "Steve...I need you. I need you right now. I am yours. I'll always be yours. Please, Steve, please. Take me now!"
And they lay together again in each other's arms, bodies, and souls.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing