Inside the restaurant, they ordered their usual big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and hot coffee. Ghost had molasses on his, and was oblivious to anything else, as he ate. As Steve finished his, and sipped a second cup of coffee, he watched Ghost.
Ghost kept getting dribbles of the sticky syrup on his fingers, then licking them off. He'd flip his hair back out of the way, then go in for more. Steve was entranced... flip hair, lick fingers, eyes closed, flip hair, lick fingers, eyes closed... The more Steve saw of this, the more turned on he got. "This is not the time or place for this, but...oh, my God..." Steve was breathing hard now. He reached over the table and grabbed Ghost's arm.
"Stop that! I can't take anymore, Ghost."
Startled, Ghost jumped. "What? Stop what?"
"Stop turning me on with all that licking and flipping, or I'm gonna have to take you down right here," Steve groaned.
Ghost grinned, "Like this?" He did it again.
"Yeah," Steve barely whispered, and licked his lips, "like that." Then he shook himself. "I need some air. It's time to go, c'mon." He got up and went to the door. Ghost took one more bite, then followed Steve outside.
As he came out the door, Steve grabbed him, giving him a big, sloppy tongue kiss, tasting the sweet, rich molasses, still on Ghost's lips.
He breathed into Ghost's ear, through his long strands of hair, "I have to have you now, Ghost."
"Ghost nodded, took Steve's hand and led him back to their room. They began tearing each other's clothes off as soon as they'd closed the door. Flinging themselves across the bed, they touched each other in all the right places.
Ghost was being the more aggressive this time, and as he leaned over Steve's bare skin, his long, silky hair draped over Steve, like a waterfall, Steve felt like he was falling off the edge, into total abandon.
Afterwards, as both were sated, they lay entwined in each other's arms, listening to their breathing slow, falling asleep.
As the afternoon grew later, the sun slanted across them, through the window, and they slowly awakened. "We should get going, again," Steve said. "There's still a lot of driving to do." He got up, pulling Ghost up, too. They gathered their things, both smiling and relaxed, now.
Driving down the twisty mountain road, they sang songs to each other. Then, Steve asked, "Ya want to stay at the haunted house again?"
"No way, just keep going," Ghost said, and shuddered, as they passed by.
They kept singing whatever songs they could think of, along the way, to pass the time.
"Uh, Ghost?" Steve asked.
Ghost looked over, but he could barely make out Steve, it was so dark out. Only the dashboard light lent a blue glow, inside the car.
"What is it, Steve?" Ghost asked, a little concerned at Steve's more serious tone.
"Um, the other night, when I couldn't sleep, I kinda thought of a new song. It just kinda came to me, and how I could play it, too."
"Cool, sing it for me," Ghost said.
"Well, it's kinda about how I feel about me and you, and it's kinda mushy, ya know...so...it's like I want to do it, but maybe it's too...ya know...?"
"Did ya write it down?"
"Yeah, here...but, don't laugh if ya think it's dumb, ok?"
Ghost reached for the paper Steve handed him, from his pocket. It was crinkled up, but readable. Before he read it, Ghost asked Steve how the music went, so Steve hummed how he heard it, in his head. Ghost began to read the lyrics. Steve kept darting his eyes over to see Ghost's reaction.
It was hard to tell, though. Ghost had turned on a tiny flashlight, and page was lit up, and the car was making everything jiggle around. Ghost's face was in darkness. It was taking him a long time to read it, Steve thought.
"Guess you don't like it, huh? Just say it..."
"It's beautiful, Steve," Ghost said, through his falling tears. "It's so real...it's about us." He sniffled and wiped his face on his sleeve. "It could be both of us. Thank you for writing this."
"Ghost, it's just what I feel." Steve said, happy that Ghost liked it, after all.
"Sing it to me, now, would you?" Ghost asked. "I'll try to follow along."
Steve had named the song, *"Perfect", and they sang it together, only a few times, not wanting to jinx the magic they both felt.
And so, they drove on through the night, getting closer to home. Ghost watched the stars, as the Earth revolved on toward dawn. They pulled into their gravel drive, just as the sun sent pink streaks into the sky. They got out and stretched their cramped limbs, and just stared at the old familiar house. It was good to be home, again.
"Don't see Terry's car here. Guess he didn't stay here last night," Steve said.
Ghost was already opening the front door. Standing on the threshold, he stopped first, to sense what the house held. Steve waited for the ritual, before entering. Ghost would smell, listen, and push his mind into all the rooms, and be aware of everything that had happened...good or bad...in there, since they'd been gone. Satisfied, Ghost called it ok to go in.
They could see right away, that Terry wasn't much of a housekeeper, as there were unwashed dishes in the kitchen, and clothes strewn around the house. An ashtray was overflowing with cigarette butts, and ends of joints, too small for the roach clip, laying nearby. Beer cans were left on the coffee table, along with CDs, and car magazines.
"Well, he wasn't expecting us," Ghost's voice trailing off, as he looked around.
"That asshole...he's gonna clean this shit up! Don't touch anything, Ghost. We didn't come all the way home, just to clean up Terry's mess."
"But, Steve, it's a mess."
"Yeah, and we're gonna go find him right now, and drag him back here...c'mon." Steve headed for the car, with Ghost following, but looking back as he closed the door.
Terry's real home was behind the Whirling Disc record shop that he owned. So, that's where Steve went, driving around to the back parking lot. He and Ghost went up to the door, and Steve began banging on it.
"Terry, get out here, now!" He kept pounding and yelling, until a bleary-eyed, hung-over Terry opened the door a crack.
"Hey, hey, hey, stop all that racket. Why y'all here?"
"We're here 'cause we came home, but we couldn't hardly get in for all the crap you left all over the place. We're here to drag you over there to clean up your shit, man," Steve said.
"What, what? I can't go anywhere right now. I can barely stand up. Maybe later, Dude," Terry said, as he tried to close the door.
Steve pushed the door fully open, then, and pulled Terry out. "Naw, you're going with us now. You don't go trashin' Ghost's house, then get to say later."
"Fine, let me get my shoes, and I'll follow y'all out there," Terry mumbled.
"Hurry up, then," Steve yelled at Terry's back.
Ghost was peering into Terry's front room, his nose wrinkled up. "This house smells bad. It's got scary old crap in there," he said.
"Yeah, I know. Don't go in, Ghost, you might not ever come out."
Ghost backed up and headed for the car. Finally, Terry came out, with his keys in his hand, and gave Steve a put-upon look. "Well, let's get this over with, then."
They headed for their cars, and drove out to Burnt Church Road. As they entered the house, they all just stared. It looked worse, this time around.
"Dude, what the hell went on here?" Steve asked. "I ain't never seen such a mess. What'd ya do, invite the whole town over to party?"
Terry shrugged. "No, man, not the whole town, just some of the guys...just partied a little." He looked around, not even knowing where to start.
"Well, that's the last time I ask you to look after the house," Steve said.
"Yeah, sorry, man...I was gonna clean it up, before you got home, but you didn't give me no warning," Terry explained.
"Fine, whatever...guess I'll help ya," Steve said, as he went to get garbage bags.
Ghost had disappeared into his bedroom, checking to see if there was a big mess in there. He saw that the bed had been slept in, but not much else had been wrecked. He came back through, and saw Terry and Steve picking up stuff, and kept on walking.
"Gonna get my things from the car," he mentioned, on his way out. He took his time.
*Fuckin' Perfect" , by Pink, released December 14, 2010, Woodshed Recording, on the label La Face RCA, on the album "Greatest Hits So Far", written by Pink - Max Martin - Shellback.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing