TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve thought a minute. "Well, if that woman Kinsey talked to is my sister, and she contacts us, I guess I'll meet her somewhere. I'd really like to, ya know, since it's been so long. But, until it actually happens, I'm gonna just do what I always do around here. Nothing's changed," he said.
"Ok, Steve," Ghost said, "but, if you ever want to talk more ab0ut things like this, just let me know, ok?"
Steve nodded. "Yeah, I don't like remembering bad things, but I guess I should talk it out some times." He sighed, then shrugged it off. "Well, now that we've checked out Terry and Kinsey's place, I'm ready to go."
They locked up the club, and went out to the car. "Anywhere else you have in mind to go?" Steve asked.
"No, but I'm still bored. I can't get my mind on anything long enough to get interested in it," Ghost said.
"I know what you mean. This town is kind of boring, and with the club closed, even less. But, I hate to drive over to Raleigh all the time," Steve said.
"Well, why don't we just drive around...maybe go check out the lake. We haven't been out there in awhile," Ghost said.
A short time later, they were there, and got out to walk around. There were a couple of groups of people...some fishing, and some teens throwing a Frisbee around. The day had begun to warm up, after the past few days of snow.
"We gotta get a Christmas tree, Steve," Ghost said. "I got that ornament at the thrift store a long time ago, so I need to hang it up."
"Oh, yeah, sure...good idea," Steve said. "Are we going to cut one down, or just buy one at the store?"
"Let's buy an already cut down one, ok? I don't want to kill a tree," Ghost said.
Steve gave him a look. "Ya know, those are killed ones too, don't 'cha?"
"Yeah, but somebody else did it, and we have to rescue one, and make it all pretty so it won't be all sad."
"Well, when you put it that way," Steve said, and smiled at Ghost's reasoning. "I get it. We'll go get one soon."
They got up from where they'd been sitting. "Damn, shouldn't have sat on that damp grass. Now, I'm all wet," Steve said, brushing off his pants. "You ready to go home?"
"Yeah, I'm getting cold, and I might need a nap."
Just as the reached the car, a flock of geese flew overhead. They watched a few minutes. "Which way are they going?" Ghost asked.
"South, where it's warmer...well warmer than here. They'll be back in the Spring," Steve said.
They were just opening their front door, when Steve's phone rang. It was Trevor. "Hey, how's it going?" Steve asked.
"Everything is good here," Trevor said. "Just wanted to say thanks for coming over for dinner...and to check on Ghost. Did he survive the night?"
"Yeah, barely...he was a mess, though, and this morning was pretty rough, but he's fine, now. We just checked on the shop and the club. All is good there, too," Steve said. "We're just chillin' at the house for awhile." They said their good-byes, and ended the call.
"They wanted to know how you're feeling, today, Ghost," Steve laughed. "How are you feeling, now?"
"I'm over it. I'm just tired and sleepy. I didn't sleep much lately."
"Well, go on then, take a nap, I'm gonna read awhile," Steve said.
"What 'cha reading?"
"Oh, this one here," Steve said, showing Ghost the paperback. "It's a spy novel, you know...good guys chasing bad guys, and some kind of government conspiracy. It's pretty good."
"Oh, that kind..." Ghost said.
"Yeah, I can find you a good one to start on, if you want."
"Oh, that's ok, Steve...I think I'll find something else."
"Ok, then...I know you like history and sci-fy kinds. There should be some over there."
Ghost went to the overstuffed bookcase. After a few minutes, he said, "We need some new books, Steve. I already read these ones. We should go to the used bookstore."
"We could do that...maybe tomorrow," Steve said. He settled down on the couch again, with his book.
Ghost went to his bedroom. He couldn't get his mind to relax. He kept going over the situation of Steve's maybe sister. Then he started thinking about Christmas trees, and what he could do about a present for Steve...and how to go off by himself to get it, when he didn't like to drive, and Steve wouldn't let him drive his car any more anyway. He figured it would sound stupid, to ask Steve to drive him somewhere to buy him a present. He sighed. "There's gotta be a way..." he said to himself.
Steve was having trouble concentrating on his book. He kept thinking about his sisters, and whatever became of them. Then, he let himself think of his plans for Ghost's Christmas present, from him. It had been hard trying not to think of it for so long, in case Ghost was picking up his thoughts. But now, he figured Ghost was asleep...so, he'd think of it now.
He needed to get a measurement somehow, without Ghost knowing he was doing it, and how to do that would be weird. And then, he'd have to go off shopping by himself, leaving Ghost alone here, when he knew Ghost hated to be alone, most of the time.
He listened for any sounds coming from Ghost's bedroom. He didn't hear anything, so thought it would be a good time to do the measuring. It would be awkward, but necessary. Quietly, he went into the bedroom. He smiled as he watched Ghost sleep. Perfect. He didn't have a tape measure, so he'd brought a length of string to use. Sneaking over to the bed, he carefully leaned over Ghost. Reaching for Ghost's hand, he took the measurement. Then, he couldn't resist...he kissed the palm of Ghost's hand. The same hand he'd smashed and broken, the day of the hurricane. He knew it still pained Ghost, sometimes...he'd see him flexing and massaging it, and the scar was still visible.
Ghost stirred, and whispered, "Steve?"
"It's ok, Ghost...I'm just loving on you a little bit. You can go back to sleep. I'm going to sleep too." But he was feeling wide awake, now...his breath coming faster, as he watched Ghost's sleepy face. He was hoping Ghost would wake up some more.
"Steve? Come be with me," Ghost whispered in his ear.
Smiling, Steve hugged Ghost, then undressed them both. Ghost had not opened his eyes, but had a sleepy smile, letting Steve do what he wanted. And, Steve wanted to kiss that face, and more. Ghost was so warm, there in the blankets, and he gave Steve warm kisses back, and more, that lazy afternoon.
Ghost woke early the next morning, before dawn. Having slept through most of the afternoon before, and all night, he'd had enough for awhile. He made the coffee, fed Spirit, and went out on the front porch. It was chilly, so he was wrapped in a blanket, he'd pulled off the bed. Outside, it was barely light enough to see, as the sky was just turning a rosy pink. The morning star was still shining in the east. This was Ghost's favorite time of day. He always felt peaceful greeting the mornings.
Raising his coffee mug, he toasted the heavens...giving thanks for having Steve and Spirit in his life. He could hear Steve moving around inside, getting his own coffee, then the squeak of the old screen door, as he came out.
Steve had heard Ghost's prayer of thanks, and he now came up behind him, giving him a hug. "That was beautiful, Ghost. Last night was beautiful, and you are beautiful...and I give thanks that you are in my life, too. I just love you, Ghost...it's that simple," he said, and kissed the back of Ghost's head.
Ghost leaned back against Steve. "We're soulmates, Steve...always and forever...forever more."
"Yes," Steve whispered.
The sun's first rays beamed through the pines, just then, dazzling their eyes.
"Wow...it's like a sign...a sign that we're in the right place, right here together, Steve," Ghost said.
Steve couldn't say anything...his eyes were stinging, and a lump was in his throat.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing