Sofia and Jean rested on the bed with Bill between them. He drifted into a guilt free sleep and dreamed of women, money and sex. It was his life, all he thought about. Sofia caressed his upper thigh and watched him grow. Jean breathed into his ear. He smiled in his sleep. In his dream his was back in the hotel, straddled by his now dead mistress, enjoying her attention, her body, her money. His dream felt real.
The door opened and his dead wife stood there, naked, pale, beautiful. Jean had been a good-looking woman. He beckoned her. She joined Sophia on the bed. Bill watched them kiss and caress each over. Two naked beautiful naked women. Overcome by lust, he pulled them down beside him.
“Shhh, wait, don’t rush it.”
Sophia opened the drawer where the pendant lay, the gift he’d chosen to lure his next mistress. She slipped it over her head it sat between her perfect breasts as she mounted him again. Bill closed his eyes and drifted into ecstasy, the like of which he’d never experienced before…nor would again.
When Bill didn’t show up for work his colleges assumed he was grieving. Jean’s parents were lost in their own grief and days slipped by. Days turned into weeks.
Three weeks after the hotel fire a young police detective called Maria, knocked on the front door of Bill’s home. When there was no answer, she assumed he was at work. As she turned to leave a neighbor approached.
“I think he’s home, I saw him come back on the day of the funeral. I haven’t seen him leave.”
“The funeral was two weeks ago wasn’t it?”
Maria knocked again. The house was silent.
“He was driving a different car, fancy Italian, my husband said it was an Alfa Romeo.”
“Was he alone?” Maria asked
“I think so, but there was a lot of noise in his house that night,” she lowered her eyes, “It came from his bedroom.”
“What sort of noise.”
The neighbor’s face turned bright red, “You know, bedroom noise. Not the sort of noise you wouldn’t expect to hear after a funeral. I never liked him. I saw him once, in a restaurant, a woman draped all over him. It wasn’t Jean! I have a key if you want to go inside. Jean gave it to me so I could water the plants when they were away. Sweet heart she was. Can’t understand why she’d take her own life.”
Maria waited while the nosy, but helpful neighbor to fetch the key. Something wasn’t right. It wouldn’t hurt to take a peek inside.
The smell hit them as soon as Maria opened the front door. Lou, the neighbor took a couple of steps back. “Oh my!”
“Stay here,” Maria hissed. She walked quickly through the clean, tidy house and then returned to the front door to get a mouthful of fresh air. Slowly she walked up the stairs. The first door on the landing stood ajar. Maria didn’t make it past the doorway.
The bedroom was warm and steamy, as though someone had just stepped out of the shower. The stench of decay was overwhelming. The naked corpse lay tied to the bed, eyes bulging in terror. Expensive jewelry adorned the dead man’s purple bruised neck. He’d been strangled.
Something moved in the bathroom. Did Maria hear a voice? Did someone moan in pleasure? Was that the sound of gentle laughter?
She fled downstairs, and called for backup.
Two spirits hovered in the bedroom for a little while, and faded into the atmosphere. Their work was done.