Hi Ya’ll. Since I love October and Autumn so much I thought I would celebrate. For the next three weeks, I am going to share my first complete novelette with you.
Till Death Do Us Part is a short, sweet romance about a Ghost husband that can’t let go of his wife. So if you like a sweet story about true love check this out. If you like it and have friends you think will lie it, feel free to invite them to read as well. Also any shares, tweets etc is much appreciated. I would love to hear what you think even if it’s constructive criticism in the comments. SO without further ado, here is part 1 of Till Death Do Us Part
Till Death Do Us Part
Copyright © 2015 <Cathy Brockman>
All rights reserved
Edited By Ellie Mack
Proofread by Vicki Locey
Novelette: 17,121 words (63pages)
Genre: Male/Female -Supernatural, Contemporary
Heat rating: 2
What happens when we die? I’m not sure about everyone else, but for me, Bill Parker, I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my wife Mandi and my kids alone. So, I stayed behind, attached to my wife… I mean my widow.
Currently she’s seeing this new guy. I don’t trust him for one second. He has an air of danger about him. It’s my job to protect her and my family, but how do I protect them when the only contact I have with her is in Mandi’s dreams?
Till Death Do Us Part
Not all spirits come in a bottle
Mandi, Mandi, Mandi. What on earth have you gotten yourself into now? I looked down at my wife–perhaps I should say widow. I couldn’t suppress a chuckle as she dumped her drink in the lap of a big, burly man–her new, now apparently, ex-boyfriend. It’s a good thing no one can see or hear me. I knew she had been seeing him off and on for a month or so now and was mad at him earlier. I sat on the bed beside her as she argued with him on the phone. Evidently, he couldn’t get out of work to pick her up and take her out, but would come to her house after he got off. She wasn’t happy because he never took her out but always met her at the bar, or came by her house late at night for a booty call. I can’t blame her for being angry with him, she deserves much better than that. I wish I had been more attentive to her. Perhaps taken her out more and brought her more flowers and small tokens of my affection.
I can’t blame the man for wanting her, even if only for a piece of ass. She has a mighty fine ass if I say so myself. I should know. We were married six years and she was the love of my life.
I’d follow him and see what his intentions are, but I can’t. My spirit is attached to her, so I can only go where she goes. I can see or move around freely as long as we’re in the same vicinity. ‘Attached at the hip’ now has a new meaning for me. I’m not physically attached to her hip, but I am attached to her soul. Anyhow, that’s how we wound up in this nightclub… if that’s what you want to call it. I call it a dive. I never took her to these kind of places and never understood why she would go here. I guess she is just lonely. She always did like to be shown attention.
She went with her friend Janie, whom I truly wish she’d quit hanging around with. I can’t interfere. All I can do is watch and guide her. I can’t even speak to her. Not in person that is. She never listened to me when I was alive, so she surely won’t now.
The man took getting a cold beer in his lap better than I figured. He cursed loudly, balling his fists, but never hit her. I couldn’t help but laugh when she told him to ‘Go fuck a goat!’ just before she dumped the drink. He said he wasn’t able to get off to take her out, but went to the bar for his friend’s birthday party, thinking she was sitting at home, waiting for him to come by later. I never left her sitting at home alone. Well, except that one night we argued and I never came back.
Of course, after she showed up he wanted to be with her, but didn’t invite her to the party table. He didn’t want her to accept drinks or dance with other men. If he knew Mandi, as I do, he’d know better than to tell her what to do. Of course, she’d do the opposite. After she dumped the drink, she headed straight to the bouncer at the door. She knew he had an eye for her and was playing it for all she could. I think he is more trouble than the one she just dumped, but I can’t do a damn thing about it.
She would’ve been better off with the correctional officer, even if he does have a wife he is hiding. I knew this from listening to his conversations in the bar with his friends whenever we were there. I also knew he loved Mandi and wanted to leave his wife, but Mandi wouldn’t go for that if she found out. I wouldn’t have told her he loved her even if I could. Maybe I should’ve. Then she wouldn’t be jumping out of the frying pan into that very big fire. Tonight will be the start of a long, hard journey for me to keep her safe. Besides, this is just the beginning.
I wish I were able to grab her and stop her from making this mistake. Even if I could, she wouldn’t believe me. All I can do is keep an eye on her. I can’t do anything to change the future, but I can try to keep her safe. That’s why I chose to stay here with her so I can at least make things easier for her. You might think I’m her guardian angel. In a way I am. She’s my soul mate and I’ve been given the choice to be her guardian or move on, out of this realm. I couldn’t leave her.
It breaks my heart to watch her fawn all over this man. I step back and watch while he smiles at her. His eyes hungrily roam her scantily clad body as she provocatively saunters back to her friends. Stepping over to the owner’s table, he asks if it’s time to leave the door. If you ask me he is too scrawny to be a bouncer. They agree to let him mingle with the crowds now, keeping the peace. He taps the man beside her and takes that chair. Soon they’re on the dance floor bumping and grinding against each other. Her boyfriend (well ex) comes out of the restroom and stands at the edge of the dance-floor. When the song ends, he grabs her by the arm and whispers in her ear. She slaps him, jerking her arm away from him. The bouncer steps forward. I expect things to get ugly. Her recent ex is huge man, and though the bouncer’s tall, he’s thin. The other man would make two of him, or more, width wise. He has a lot of muscles where the bouncer doesn’t. The larger man glares and then looks longingly at Mandi, my tiny little kitten at barely five feet and one hundred pounds, who’s angry gaze burns into him. He throws up his hands and exclaims, “She’s all yours. She’s too much of a pain in the ass for me. Good luck.” My kitten turns into a tiger, lunging after him. The bouncer grasps her by the waist, pulling her into the air, holding her tightly, her feet kicking. He’ll have bruises tomorrow. Good.
I can’t hear what he’s whispering to her, but she finally calms down, then sits back into her chair. The bouncer goes to the bar and comes back with a beer and a tall frozen pink drink for her. Mandi looks at it before she takes a sip. She gazes back at the door as if she’s hoping the other man will return, and then reluctantly scoots her chair closer to the bouncer. His name’s Mark Wallace, by the way. I guess you’re wondering who I am, too. My name’s William Steven Parker, but you can call me Bill. It’s nice to meet you.
I’m not the only uninvited guest
When we get home, I head to the guest room. The downside of staying here with her is I have to watch another man paw and ravish my wife’s body. It tears at my soul every time she brings a man into our home. At least I have the option to go anywhere in the house and don’t have to stay in the same room she is in. I lay on the bed. I don’t have to lie down or sleep, but I like to. It makes me feel as if I’m still human. I got lucky that she was so drunk, and she didn’t last long though the minutes seemed like hours before the moaning, groaning and shouting stopped seeping through the walls like an unwanted specter.
I was happy when he left. I lay down in my usual place by Mandi, with my arms wrapped protectively around her. She seems to snuggle right into my arms like old times. A slight smile lights her face as if she can feel me.
A few hours later, I heard the door open, so I went to check it out. There was Mark carrying boxes! He placed the first armload on the sofa. I locked the door as he went back out. He came in with another armload, placed it beside the first, and then went back out. I locked it again, hoping eventually he would take the hint, and I even took a pair of his shoes and set them about halfway to the couch. I laughed as he stumbled over them, spilling some clothing he had piled in his arms. He looked around scowling and picked up the clothing and shoes to put them back on the sofa.
This time, he propped the door open with a box. I moved the box out on the porch, shut, and locked the door. This was the most fun I’ve had in ages. I heard cussing outside the door and then he appeared again with a rather pissed look on his face. He looked into Mandi’s room and then looked back at the pile of boxes that had mysteriously fallen off the couch–with my help. I did it all very quietly, so as not to wake Mandi up. I thought maybe he would freak out, or at least get the hint he wasn’t wanted and pack up to go back to wherever he came. No such luck. He came back in and straightened the mess a bit. He put Mandi’s keys back on the table by the bed before he crawled back in beside her. I debated throwing the stuff out the door but decided I’d let Mandi deal with him in the morning. I did rummage through it leaving it tossed around instead of neatly packed. Mandi hates messes This should be good.
Saved by the Yell
Morning brings another comic scene. A blood-curdling scream jolts me from my bed. I run into Mandi’s room and find her sitting up wrapped in sheets. Pure terror mars her lovely face. Mark is standing beside the bed, furiously tugging his pants up his long boney legs. He is the polar opposite of her last boyfriend. This one is over six foot tall and nothing but skin and bones. He’s also a good 10-12 years her senior. She always has had a thing for tall, older men. He finally calms her down somewhat. I can hardly wait until they venture into the living room and she sees the boxes.
After dressing, he heads to the kitchen while Mandi is in the bathroom. I can’t help but reach out and wrap my arms around her as she leans against the sink gazing into the mirror. I can practically feel her confusion. As I stand behind her cradling her in my arms, my hands resting on her soft abdomen and chin resting on her head, I swear I feel her relax into my body.
“Oh, Bill! What have I gotten myself into now?” she sighs, as she lets the sheet slip off her small but curvy body and steps into the shower.
Can she see me? Surely not. She wasn’t looking at me or screaming at the top of her lungs. I’m sure that would be most people’s reaction to seeing a ghost for the first time. She’s nothing like most people, but I’m pretty sure she would’ve either screamed or slapped the crap out of me for being so stupid and getting in that car after drinking so much. Heaven knows she berated me for days after the funeral.
I leave her to her shower, so that I can go see what this idiot is up to now.
I hope he’s loading the boxes back into his car. I’d help him if I could without causing a commotion. I doubt boxes floating through the air would go unnoticed. I’m disappointed as I walk through the living room, still stacked with boxes, and find Tall-Dark-and Dangerous in the kitchen making breakfast. He opens the French doors and gazes out on her patio, looking over her beautiful backyard oasis.
My Mandi loves her gardens and mini orchard. She planted two of each kind of fruit trees and unbelievably they all produce plenty of fruit every year. Mandi has more than a green thumb. She works magic with any sort of plant.
Tomcat slinks up to the door from his hidden spot. He looks up at the stranger with his back arched, hair standing on end, to hiss fiercely, before he darts off the porch. Odd! I’ve been sitting on the deck and he has never reacted to me like that before.
I slip up behind the man and shove him as he opens the screen. He stumbles slightly. I’m not sure who is shocked more, him or me.
“Babe, please give me a chance to explain. Let’s have breakfast on your beautiful porch.” He looks around the kitchen. His eyes narrow slightly in my direction. I don’t think he sees me as he continues to search around the room cautiously. Each time his gaze reaches mine, he hesitates before moving on. The third time around the room he stares straight at me, squinting. “Who’s here?”
“What the hell?” A loud, angry shriek comes from the living room.
Phew. Saved by the yell.
I take a seat to watch the battle, but am disappointed when Mandi folds so easily. This guy is smooth. He manages to convince her to let him move in by offering to pay all utilities and help with groceries and other necessities
After considerable deliberation, she gives him two months to see how he will get along with the kids.
I know she is struggling to make ends meet, but I really figured the Social Security check, she was getting for the kids since I died, would be enough. I didn’t realize just how hard being a single mother with two teenage kids would be. Willy now prefers to be called Will, and didn’t let up until Mandi broke down and bought him a car. His check makes the payment and pays the insurance for that, leaving very little to put into the household funds. Kelly’s check goes towards Mandi’s car payment and insurance, since in a few years that car will more than likely go to Kelly. Mandi makes a little over minimum wage as a cashier at the local grocery store, so I can see how his offer would be hard to refuse.
I suppose you could say he is handsome, and Mandi is definitely pretty, plus her sweet naiveté is hard to resist by any warm-blooded man. By the sounds she made last night, not being bad in bed clenched the deal.
After breakfast, Mandi offers to help Mark unpack. She sends him to get a shower first. I think she needed a moment to ponder how she always gets herself into these awkward predicaments. I watch as she walks slowly back into the living room to glare at the boxes cluttered about.
I step behind her, wrapping my arms around her tightly. “I’m so sorry babe. I should’ve worked harder to win you back instead of drowning my sorrows in alcohol.”
Can you feel me now?
It’s no surprise to me that after the two-month period Mandi lets him stay.
I could do nothing but watch as Mark went out of his way to win over the kids. When the alternator went out on Will’s car, Mark showed him how to fix it himself instead of taking it to a repair shop. Since it was my son’s car, I didn’t sabotage the job, but I did drop a wrench on Mark’s head once and hid a few of the tools and parts. I was hoping, after buying a couple wrenches and pieces of the parts a few times, he would give up. No. This man is relentless.
Mark even talked Will into playing ball again and practiced with him every day. Will hated baseball, but Mark convinced him he just hadn’t had the proper support. I swear he grinned at me once when he said that.
I would knock the ball out of the air or toss it into Mark’s face. Will thought it was hilarious. I could tell that Mark was pissed every time Will laughed at him, but he put on a fake smile and kept on.
Kelly decided to go to the Prom with a boy that’s a year older. I wanted to scream no. Mandi tried to talk her out of it by telling her they couldn’t afford a dress, shoes, hairdo and makeup.. Mark interfered by saying he would take Kelly and her mom shopping. He went all out on buying a new boutique dress, jewelry and shoes to match. He even went as far as purchasing gift cards from a salon for the day of the prom. Mani/pedis for both of them, and a massage for Mandi while Kelly was getting her hair done. Kelly was so happy, she actually flung herself into his arms. I guess girls are easily bought! Will doesn’t seem to care one way or another if he was around.
One evening, after an infuriating ball practice with Will and getting hit in the face twice by the ball, Mark was alone in the bathroom. He looked into the mirror and snarled. “I’m not sure who you are, but I’m guessing you are Mandi’s ex-husband. Oh right. You’re not just ex, but dead. So move on, friend, I’m taking your place. You won’t discourage me, no matter what you do, only make me more determined to take her from you.” I replied by spraying shaving cream in his face and slamming the door as I left him alone. I’d bump his arm to slice his damn throat shaving, but those cheap razors he uses would barely cause a nick. Besides a dead man with a slit throat in my wife’s bathroom would not only be traumatic for her and the kids, but look suspicious to the police. No, I’ll bide my time and find a way to get Mandi to get rid of this creep.
On the weekends, he took them all out for picnics, to the zoo, and other things that they could get done during the day since at weekends he worked nights at the club. I cherished those weekend nights, when he was at work, to get to cuddle with Mandi on the sofa or lay in bed with her until he came home. It was on one of these nights that I discover a newfound ability. I could actually visit her in her dreams.
Only in her dreams
I’ve had a very bad day with Mark and I’m so happy when he goes to work. Mandi didn’t seem too happy with Mark either as she sighs in relief upon his departure. She must have had a rough day as well. She took a long hot bath after Kelly went to bed. Will’s out, as usual on the weekends, staying with a friend, which I noticed has been a new habit since Mark moved in. I don’t think Will likes him much either. Both kids always have friends over a lot on weekends, but Mandi rarely lets them stay at other people’s houses, unless she knows the parents very well.
I sit on the bed and wait for her to return. I know she will grab a glass of wine, her Kindle and read a while before she goes to sleep. She turns over on her side, closes her eyes and I take her into my arms. We do this often, just not as often as I’d like, since the leech moved in. I know he spends a lot of money on her and the kids. He works two jobs, but doesn’t pay much on the bills, unless Mandi complains she can’t pay one. So yeah, he’s a leech.
Anyhow, I wrap my arms around her and hold her as her breathing slows and she dozes off.
“Why did you have to leave me?” She sighs.
“I never meant to. I just couldn’t deal with not being with you and seeing you with other men.” I find myself answering her. Then she turns to me, and I realize something is different. She is standing, facing me, wearing a cute sundress not the gown she has on as she lies snuggled in my arms.
“I’m so sorry sweetheart. I was young and impetuous. I guess I should’ve listened to Mom when she said not to rush into things. You were so sweet and fun to be around. I knew my parents couldn’t pay for college and I messed up on getting scholarships. I felt marriage was the way to go. You were my best friend and rock. You know that, right?” She says softly as she reaches up, timidly touching my face.
She cradles my face in her hands, and I can feel them. Damn, her mouth feels like heaven to feel her touch! I would give anything if this wasn’t only a dream.
“Yes, I know baby-doll. I never blamed you. It’s as much my fault as yours. I should’ve moved on when you wanted a divorce and never let you run around with Janie and that group. I knew they were a bad influence. I just couldn’t let you go.
“I should have tried harder to be what you needed. Both your family and mine warned me but I didn’t listen. Instead, I got more jealous and hurt and let it build up inside of me. I wallowed in my self-pity and drowned myself in alcohol.
“I shouldn’t have contested the divorce and put you through so much turmoil. We should have seen a marriage counselor. There are so many what ifs and should haves, but it’s too late to worry about all that. I promised I would never leave you, and I’m keeping that promise.” The sorrowful look in her eyes made the tear in my heart for her that bit wider.
“Are you truly here with me or am I just imagining things? There are times I’m so sure I can feel you near me. At night, I cherish the thought that you are holding me, comforting me when I feel so lost. Please tell me I’m not crazy and somehow you found a way to stay?”
I reach with my thumb to wipe a tear that slides down her face.
“Yes, I’m here with you. I don’t know how it happened, but I am. I made you a promise that I intend to keep.” I run my fingers through her long red waves. Oh! How soft they feel.
“I love how you always play with my hair. Do you like the new color?”
“You’re always beautiful to me, baby-doll. The red does suit your complexion and brings out the green flecks in your eyes. I’m glad you’re out of that black phase though.” I lean closer and pull the silky strands in my hands to my nose. I take in the fresh, clean smell of her shampoo—not flowery or fruity—just fresh and clean.
“I was supporting Kelly, and I kind of liked the dark look. But yeah, I’m glad that didn’t last too long.” Her soft chuckle is like music to my ears.
“You’re a good mother. I didn’t like the fact our daughter was reading books on Wicca and dressing all dark and witchy-like. I thought you were out of your mind when you told her to bring you the books and let you read them. You were right, though, to let her go through her phase. Knowing what she is reading and doing was smart.”
“I knew that if we protested, she’d just do it anyway. I would have, in her place.” She chuckles again. Her hand reaches to the back of my head and strums her fingers through my hair. Chills run down my spine with every touch, causing my blood to heat and my body to react. Even though I’m dead, this woman still arouses me. I let my hand slide down the length of her hair, caressing her back but stop just below the curve of her hip. Then, I pull her closer to me. I can’t believe this is happening. I wish she would never have to wake up and we could stay this way forever.
Her eyes widen as she feels my erection pressing into her stomach.
“Why can I see you now? I thought I could feel you near me during the day, but I never see you. Why now?” Her breath is so sweet: like orange, mint and chocolate.
“I don’t know. I had no idea you would be able to feel me at all. Maybe it has to do with the times you said you felt your grandmother’s presence. Also, you have mentioned your mother said she could see or feel spirits, even talk to them in dreams. Whatever it is I am glad.”
“I never thought of that. I’m glad you’re still here.” She kisses me.
Her soft lips meet mine. First with a light brush—it’s like magic rushes through me. My lips part for her, begging her to enter and explore. The tip of her tongue traces my mouth, top to bottom and her teeth gently nip. Then she delves inside. Our tongues intertwine, dance and tangle.
And then the door opens.
Mandi moves in my arms in the bed. She wakes up suddenly. I feel like my body tears away. Part of me feels like its missing. Mark tosses his clothes onto the floor—not even bothering to go shower. The smell of smoke and alcohol is so strong that it nearly makes me sick. I don’t know how Mandi can stand it.
“Babe, why don’t you grab a quick shower. You know I hate the smell of smoke. It sets off my asthma.” She pushes him away when he tries to kiss her. “At least go brush your teeth.”
He grunts as he rolls off the bed and stalks into the bathroom. I hear the water run and him spitting in the sink. Soon he’s back, jerking her into his arms. She lays limp as he nuzzles her neck.
I want to grab him and pull him off, but I’m not sure I can. I haven’t been able to touch anyone but Mandi. Have I even tried? I refrain for now. She chooses to let him live with her, but I’m hoping that changes soon.
He keeps nuzzling and groping her, but she just lays there. Has she gone back to sleep? Finally, frustrated he lets her go—muttering to himself, as he takes matters into his own hands. I see Mandi let out a sigh of relief, and her hand releases the sheet she had grasped. I slip out of the room and head back to what I now call ‘my room’ for the rest of the night. I have no desire to watch the leech pleasure himself.