I’m honestly not sure where my muse is going to take me after this point! I guess we’ll have to find together 🙂
* * * *
“Sorry.” The ghost gave him an apologetic smile. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
“I-I’m not used to ghosts.”
“Oddly enough even after all this time I’m not used to being one either.”
Trent laughed. He could see what Lee meant. Antonio was a charming man. The ghost flashed a pair of sexy dimples at Trent. “What do you think of my Lee?”
The chief sized up his competition. “I would say he’s not really your Lee any more. Unfortunately, I think he’s still hung up on you.”
Pulling a cigar out of the air, the ghost lit it with a translucent flame. Trent watched with fascination as rings of almost invisible smoke filled the air.
“Lee never liked it when I smoked in the house.” Antonio said with a confiding air and a sparkle of mischief in his eyes. Amusement quickly faded until Trent was pinned with a steely glare. “Let’s get something straight Mr. Chief of Police.” Antonio said pointing his cigar to emphasize his speech, “I might be dead but Lee will always be mine. The fact I want him to be happy is the only reason I’m tolerating you near him. He needs to move on and find someone to live out his life with. So far you’re on the short list.”
Trent looked into the serious eyes of the ghost and felt a shiver run up his back. He’d seen a lot of predators in his life but this one was the most dangerous. Behind that genial smile and friendly charm was a man who would do anything to protect the man he loved. Lee got it right when he said Antonio never forgot a slight. The ghost standing before him would remember if Trent didn’t treat Lee right. The unspoken words that hung between them told Trent that if he hurt Lee he’d best find a new town to live in because this one would quickly be an uncomfortable place to be in.
“I like Lee a lot.” Trent burst out. “I want him to find happiness.”
“Good. Then we have the same goal.” With another puff of his cigar, Antonio vanished.
Lee walked into the room carrying a tray of cut vegetables and dip. “I thought we’d start with something fresh.” He said. Halfway to the coffee table he stopped, his nose twitching madly. “Did you smoke a cigar?” He asked in bemusement.
Lee sat down on the couch as his knees buckled beneath him.
The room smelled like his husband.
For a moment memories of curling up next to Antonio and watching the evening news or the latest disaster flick ran through Lee’s mind. With effort he shook it off and turned to Trent.
“How do you feel about disaster movies?”
Trent shrugged. “I’m not a huge movie buff.”
“Oh.” Lee gave him an awkward smile. What did they really have in common?
As if reading his mind Trent asked. “What do you do in your free time?”
“I like to play with the dogs, garden, watch movies. What do you like?”
“I like to exercise so I can stay in shape for my job. I read.”
“Ooh what do you like to read?” Relief washed through Lee.
“Mostly non-fiction true crime. What do you like to read?”
Lee shrugged. “Science fiction.”
“Well we don’t have that in common.”
“I like to take pictures.” Lee offered.
Trent smiled. “I like photography too. I sometimes take my motorcycle out and take nature pictures.”
“You have a bike.”
“Yeah, an old Harley. What about you?”
Lee nodded. “I kept both mine and Antonio’s bikes. I couldn’t bear to part with them even if they make my mother nervous. We used to go on rides almost every weekend. We’d have picnics and I’d take pictures. Sometimes we’d fish.”
“You like to fish?”
“I’m not a die hard fisherman or anything but we used to go out on a rowboat on the lakes and do some fishing. I always found it calming.” Those lazy afternoons with Antonio had been some of their best times. Just the two of them together without the distractions of the outside world.
“I’ve heard there’s some good fishing around here. Have you tried any of them out?”
Lee shook his head. “Not recently. I haven’t been fishing since Antonio died.” He gave Trent a shy smile. “I’d be happy to go with you sometime though.”
Lee felt like an idiot. This was so awkward but Trent was trying really hard not to make him feel like a dork. It wasn’t working of course but it was sweet of Trent to try. Maybe they could at least take a ride together.
It would be good to have a male friend.