The Halloween Bet
By Kara Kelley
I squeeze the edge of the mattress with one hand while my other grips Nick’s forearm. Straining, I listen hard.
The groaning/creaking noise I’d heard has my heart nearly beating out of my chest. And I can’t be sure, but I think the bedroom door moving was the cause.
“Molly?” Nick’s voice is gentle and heavily gravelled with sleep. “Princess? You have a nightmare?”
“Hm,” I reply, unsure if I want to wake him. Maybe the sound that woke me was from a nightmare.
I had been having nightmares regularly since our corn maze walk two months ago where Nick, my amazing Nick, had proposed.
The nightmare inducing part being that I’d said no.
Uh huh, yep, you read that correctly. I’d said no. Capital N. O.
I give myself a mental facepalm cause I’m an absolute forking idiot. I’m in disbelief every time I think about it.
Who says no to their soulmate? To the best man in the whole world, probably the universe? Molly, the moron, that’s who. Ugh.
Anyway, while that has indeed been haunting me, day and night I might add, that was not what woke me up tonight.
There’s no room in my fear-filled chest to further respond, I’m too scared. So scared my teeth are clenched impossibly tight and my eyes are glued to the door which just creaked three inches open as he spoke.
On. Its. Own.
I release the mattress to swipe at my nightstand, finding my glasses and shoving them on my face haphazardly.
Maybe it was a trick of the eye? The moonlight in the room? The new mattress squeaking? Or maybe the scary movie marathon we’d had earlier has amped up my imagination in the predawn hours of Halloween - the witching hour (3am for those of you wondering).
Can a person manifest a ghost because they’re so freaked out by a scary movie? I chew my lip. Or does our new-to-us house have a ghost?
The house, so beautiful with all its wood, stained glass and early nineteenth century charm, was antique enough to have seen many former inhabitants pass on.
A shiver erupts as my too-vivid imagination pictures a Victorian era ghost dressed in a corset and gown standing on the other side of the door, shoving it with her ghostly finger, her alabaster face smiling as she watches me getting more and more anxious.
Anxious? No, I’m forking freaking the hell out!
I yelp, startled as Nick rolls, reaching for me with his free arm--the one not clenched in my deathgrip--and he yanks me closer.
“It’s okay, Princess,” he says, his eyes still closed. “I’m here.”
My fear eases ever-so-slightly at his words until the door groans again.
This is all my fault.
No, not that the ghost hadn’t moved on after all these years, or that she had to wear a corset in the afterlife, that would be weird. I had no control over ghosts or anything. I am no necromancer or medium or whatever.
No, this is my fault because Nick loved charming old houses.
Sigh. I sound like a lunatic. What I mean is, I suggested we buy a house when I rejected his proposal (like that would prove my commitment or something). And then, I agreed to this house (the one he insta-loved) because while Nick is my one and only and I would do anything, anything else for him, I don’t believe in marriage.
Er... Except, with all the regret of my rejection, maybe I kinda sorta do now.
But it’s too late, right?
I blink at his handsome, sleep-lined face, letting go of the mattress to smooth my palm down his tidy beard. The door spirit momentarily forgotten, my heart-rate slows to a normal, happy, glug, glug, glug, and I love-sigh aloud.
Nick’s parents were the picture of happiness. Like the movie Titanic without the boat sinking and a happy ever after, but my parents? Um, they were more the part where Jack and Rose are freezing in the icy waters but in their version they’re trying to knock each other off the wooden life preserver.
I couldn’t risk what Nick and I had by getting married, could I? We’re not our parents, but...
A stomach quivering scritch, scritch, scritch sound yanks my mind from its tangent and I bite my lip a little harder, drawing a coppery taste from it.
Creaks, groans, and scratching were noises I’d easily blamed on old architectural bones and critters looking for places to hole up for the winter until tonight. But a moving door, one that hadn’t moved before? Not even my imagination can find a reasonable explanation for that.
We’d been in the house less than a week, yes, but I knew which doors needed oiling, and which needed propping already. I’d put an old statue of Einstein that I’d sculpted in the eighth grade in front of the den door since it refused to stay open and the door in the kitchen actually had an eye hook latch to keep it from opening by itself. But this door, our bedroom door, doesn't have those issues.
The door moves again and this time I shake Nick.
It’s a ghost. I’m positive. And it’s just there out of sight watching us.
I shiver again. Then with one last hopeful thought, I look over my shoulder at the curtains. Maybe, just maybe, Nick left the window open a crack and between that and the drafty house, a suction effect is causing the door to gently open and close.
The curtains, a gauzy white set we’d picked out together, are as still as still can be while the tree branches outside sway in the autumn wind, debunking my idea.
I ignore Nick’s voice, a little more awake now, because the moving door is now gently opening and closing the three or four inches like the house is breathing!
Jeezus effing candy corn! Our house breathes!
I release my grip on Nick’s forearm but only so I can squeeze it again. Code for I’m listening but can’t answer. And maybe a bit code for shut-the-hell-up-there’s-a-ghost! But you know, I gotta be careful with those things now that Nick is no longer just my unrequited love interest, best friend and roommate. Now he’s my daddy-dom as well as best friend and roomie and co-owner of this old-ass haunted house. (Just not my fiancé.)
I whimper with the whine of the unoiled hinges as the door shoots open a full halfway now.
“Molly!” Nick’s shout has me yanking all of the covers up from their nicely tucked position at the bottom of our bed and pulling them up over my head.
“Shh! It’ll know we’re here.”
He sits up like a bolt and I peek at him, the covers still tight up to the top of my nose.
“Intruder?” He reaches for the bat under the bed. “What did you hear? Breaking glass? A thump? Where from?
Wait, did you say it’ll know we’re here?”
I lower the blanket just enough so I can mouth the words, “Shhh! It’s a ghost!”
“Ghost?” Nick does not mouth the words, in fact, he says them rather loudly.
“For Frankenstein’s sake! Shush! You’re telling the ghost exactly where we are!”
If one can hear an eye roll, then I hear it… or maybe I just sense it, like I sense the ghost, and the trouble I’m about to get into.
“For Frankenstein’s sake?”
I think I hear a muffled laugh but I can’t be sure.
“I warned you, didn’t I? When you suggested we stay home and watch scary movies instead of going to Chad’s Halloween party, I said you’d be scared, didn’t I? But you insisted and promised you could handle it, didn’t you?”
“Daddy, no scary movie could make me imagine this.”
“Ghosts aren’t real, Molly.” He yanks the blanket down making my crooked bangs fly up and flop back down across my forehead.
My eyes wide, I turn fully to him. “Then what just opened and closed the door, huh? Huh?” I poke a finger at the door, shaking my head in disbelief. I know my tone is big, the kind that will get me in a lot of trouble but I don't care. Not when there’s a ghost about to…
What? Eat us? That’s ridiculous. I blow out, my bangs fluttering again.
But still, ghosts could harm us, couldn’t they? Especially the kind that could move doors, right?
I shiver as I recall the scene in the movie Poltergeist where the main character swims in a pool full of skeletons, which I watched through my fingers a mere four hours ago - they could mess with our minds! Trick us into hurting ourselves! Another shiver, only this time it doesn’t stop; it turns into full on trembling.
It’s dark, but the moon is full in a cloudless sky so I can see his face bathed in yellowish light. And wouldn’t you know it, he’s smirking.
“It’s an old house, Princess, three of the cupboards in the kitchen refuse to stay closed and you even propped the door to the den open. And don’t get me started on the kitchen door.” He chuckles. And when he leans over to click on the bedside lamp, I still see the humour in his expression. It flares annoyance in me.
“It’s not funny, you jerk!” I go to swat him, but he catches my hand. His brow quirks up, and he assesses my face. Then, as if he’s made some sort of decision, he presses his lips in that way that makes my tummy flip.
“Jerk, huh? And what happens when you hit daddy?” His brow is arched sharply over one eye… like it does when he’s been pushed too far. My stomach flips as I focus on his firm mouth. It twitches slightly while he waits for my answer. I swallow hard and look down, mumbling.
Kissing my hand - the one he's been holding, he says, “Louder, little one.”
I huff before blurting, “I get spanked!” I finish the words with a growl.
He takes a moment, looking sternly at me, his gaze bouncing between my eyes setting my insides on fire. It’s another assessment. I know he’s thinking about what’s best for me at this moment. It’s one of the many things I love about him.
Nerves spark further to life inside my belly and I squirm a little under the covers. It only takes a few seconds for his eyes to flare giving away his decision.
“I sure hope that ghost isn’t real because if it is, it’s going to be watching your bum turn red for pulling attitude.”
With that, my sweet, stern Nick yanks me to him, and I fall across his still blanketed lap.
“No, I’m sorry!” The covers get flung to the side and Nick grabs my nightie, swishing it up to expose my naked backside. Why, oh, why didn't I wear panties to bed?
My skin breaks out in gooseflesh at the autumn night chill. Another joy of older homes, the heat is inconsistent.
“Daddy! It’s cold!” I grab at my nightgown and tug it down, but he only growls and swats my still naked thighs. And hard too! “Ow!” I release my gown to cover my burning thigh with a hand but he only grabs my wrist and pins it to my back. I don’t have time to complain before he’s plastering stinging swats to my bottom.
It’s not all that hard as far as spankings go, and as soon as I’m warmed up, I’m squirmy and slick from arousal. The lump under the blanket tells me I’m not the only one either.
“Has my princess lost her ‘tude yet?”
I hesitate, smiling into the coverlet. “Maybe,” I say, elongating the word, relishing in the warmth pooling in my centre.
“Let’s make sure then.” He rises, rolling me gently off of his lap. His Adonis body shimmers in the moonlight making me a little lightheaded. I still can’t believe he’s finally mine.
“Maybe the ghost wants to take a few swings,” he says, as he pulls me by the ankles to his side of the bed so I’m draped over it, bottom on display. “Do you want a turn, Mr. Ghosty?”
“Don’t joke, daddy! Things get worse when you acknowledge the presence.”
“Is that so?” He rubs his hand up the back of my leg, his fingers dragging up my inner thigh until they find my wetness.
“Well, what do we have here?” He takes a minute to stroke between my legs, making me moan and chew my lip.
“Ohhhhh,” I groan.
“You sound a little like a ghost right now, Princess.”
I don’t retort, just sort of grind shamelessly against his hand. He chuckles, removes his hand and slaps my bottom, his wet fingers stinging my tender sit spot.
He continues his slow but intense attention to both my greedy pussy and my ass and I’m practically a ball of fiery need when I hear his nightstand drawer open and a condom wrapper tear.
“Hands above your head, close your eyes, and no coming until I say, yeah?”
I nod, earning myself a sharp stinging swat.
“Yes, Daddy!” I gasp, reaching back to rub the sting. Which only earns me another, so I do as I’m told with no more disobedience than a little under-my-breath harumph.
“That’s my good girl.”
I practically purr at his praise.
Eyes closed, I wait. He doesn’t plunge into me like I expect though, instead I feel his tongue at the base of my spine. Tingles scatter across my skin.
He nips and nibbles lower until…
Oh my God! His tongue swirls around my bottom hole and I squirm. It feels so… um, naughty and wrong but… gahh, so good.
“Daddy,” I call out, feeling my face heat, not sure if I’m about to ask him to stop or go on. He knows how I feel about buttstuff but we’ve agreed to try some things - but slowly.
I gasp as his hand finds my clit and the two feelings join into one intense delicious one, and my mind can no longer form higher thought.
Just as I’m sinking into the bliss his fingers and tongue are creating, he shoves my ass up until I’m on tiptoes and then knees on the bed. My ass is up, my pussy and bottom hole exposed, my need evident by the slickness of my center and inner thighs.
I open my knees wider and lower my chest to the mattress. His thumb replaces his tongue at my hole and he purrs the words ‘good girl’ before his mouth covers my pussy. He tastes me, humming his enjoyment as if I’m a gourmet appetizer at a fancy restaurant.
I swear my eyes roll back in my head as he gently sucks me and then I gasp as his thumb enters my bottom.
How can something so… so… taboo feel so damn glorious!
I pant, my legs trembling as two fingers enter my dripping center. I’m trying not to grind too hard, too needy, against his face and fingers when he stops.
“I better slow down, yeah princess?” He rises behind me and lifts my hip just that little bit more and an evil sounding chuckle vibrates against my back as he leans to my ear.
“Such a good girl for daddy, yeah?”
One slap against my right cheek and then, oh god, then, he slides inside me. I groan in pure pleasure as his cock brings me the fullness I desire - no, need.
Stroke after slow stroke, Nick builds me up, driving me to the precipice of release, but not letting me go over. I beg for more, for a faster pace, for a slower one, for him to let me come, but as usual Nick is in charge, knows what I need, and my release will only come when he allows it. When he knows it will bring me the fiercest, most fulfilling orgasm.
Time, non-existent in the equation, is imperceptible as he works me further and further to the edge--to the very spot I think I might not be able to wait for his permission, and beyond. And then he stops. His cock is still hard, thick and throbbing inside me, he scrapes his teeth up my neck to whisper in my ear.
“Yes, daddy?” I reply on a whimper.
And he drives us both over into a pool of panting, pulsing, pleasure. I call out a howl to the gods of hedonism, his oath of release entwined with mine.
He pulls my limp body up against him and guides us into the bed where he tucks the blankets around us.
I’m nothing but a languid, blissed-out lump when he kisses my forehead and says he’s going to get me water.
“Don’t leave me, Daddy.” The words are soft, not much more than a whisper, as my eyes drift closed.
I don’t know if it's seconds, minutes or hours that pass but suddenly I’m ripped from my languorous state.
The door. My lids snap open, my heart pounding. It’s moving and creaking again, the groan of old wood and then a light tinkle, like a... bell?
Nick’s downstairs in the kitchen. I hear him whistling. But the bedroom door, which he left wide open, suddenly sways closed almost all the way. Right before my eyes.
Scratching sounds have me holding my breath, clutching the covers to my chin again.
I’m smiling as I arrange crackers and cheese on a plate for Molly. Smirking actually because I can’t wait to tell her what had her so frightened, but before I can consider how I might play this to my advantage, I hear a scream.
It’s blood curdling, so I drop the glass of water and cheese plate I’m holding onto the floor.
The glass smashes, sending shards of glass skittering around my feet, and the plate thuds against my baby toe, but I ignore the pain, running for the stairs.
Had she actually heard an intruder earlier and I’d chalked it up to her imagination?
When I slide into our room, I notice two things. The first is Molly trembling and pale, the second how slippery my feet feel.
Blood smears on the floor make my heart beat at an impossible pace. For that split second I think it’s Molly’s blood and everything slows while my senses sharpen. My head feels both light and heavy simultaneously but so clear I’ve mapped out the entire room for escape, and weapons. My chest constricts, air trapped somewhere between in and out but I have no need for it. And I know in that split second that I’ll tear anything to shreds that’s harmed or will harm my baby girl. Also? I’ll be happy to give up my life in place of hers.
“You’re bleeding!” Molly’s fear filled voice penetrates whatever adrenaline fueled super powered moment I’m in, and time snaps back to its regular speed.
“Did you see it? Did you see the ghost?” She says this as she stumbles out of her burrito of blankets and slides across the floor on her knees with the squeak of skin against hardwood.
“Molly.” I check the hint of irritation I feel at the fear she’s inflicted unnecessarily. It’s not her fault she has an irrational fear of ghosts. It comes with that vivid imagination. But I thought I’d distracted her, worn her out enough with that stern but playful little session. Apparently not.
Did she need more? Hmm? No, but I also couldn’t feed her fantasy by coddling her.
“Christ, Molly. I almost had a heart attack. Over an imaginary ghost?”
She looks up from her place on the floor, her eyes going wide. “Your foot is bleeding badly!”
I frown down at her grumpily, noticing the cut on the side of my foot.
“An injury not caused by a ghost, Molly! And it’s fine.”
She reaches back grabbing the sheet from the end of our bed and shoves it against my foot.
“I said I’m fine,” I bark, reaching down to pull her up. “But you caused a helluva mess, young lady. What’s all this about?”
Her brow furrows and her eyes well. “Ghosts are real!”
I sigh exaggeratedly.
She cuts me off, “I’ll prove it.”
My brow quirks. “Oh really.”
Both my brows rise.
I’ll set up cameras and you’ll see.” She crosses her arm, her lip jutting out in a determined pout.
“I’ll even put my money where my mouth is. If I win, you stop pushing the marriage thing. If you win, we get married.”
I cross my arms. “Is that so?”
“I’m that sure.”
I consider telling her what I know because I totally understand her hesitation on marriage, but I’m also sure that’s another irrational fear of hers. And I plan to prove it by being the best damn non-husband to ever exist.
But still, I don’t want her marrying me over a bet either…
She grabs my hand and shakes it with hers. “Deal’s a deal!”
I sigh in exasperation. “Just remember you forced my hand on this one, Princess.”
“Uh huh, and you forced mine.”
I grab the cat from behind the door and hold her up. “This is your ghost, baby.”
Her brow knits, then rises and finally her eyes widen.
“Did you forget we had Lola because of Chad’s Halloween party?”
Chagrin forms on her face, and she bites her lip.
I grab her chin, cupping it gently. “Princess, it’s okay. I won’t hold you to the bet.”
Her eyes start to well.
“Don’t cry.” I feel a bit of panic at her teary eyes. I hate when she’s sad, so I start rambling. “If you’re worried we have ghosts, we’ll call some ghost hunters, Ghost Brothers or the Ghost Adventure dudes or something.”
She gives me a small - too small in my opinion - watery smile.
“I shouldn’t have made you feel silly for being afraid. But I’m sure we can blame this furball for tonight’s shenanigans, yeah?”
“Hold me to the bet.”
I blink. “What?”
“Please, hold me to the bet.”
I swallow, wondering if I’m remembering the bet correctly.
“You want to marry me?”
“Well, the last bet worked out, didn’t it?”
I laugh. I can’t help it.
“You’ll marry me?” I break out in a wide grin.
“I’ll marry you, alright. I’ll marry you so hard we’ll haunt this house together because that’s how long our marriage will last.”
“You’re nuts, you know that, right?”
She bobs her head, beaming. “Nuts about you.”
First, I pop a kiss to the top of Lola’s furry head and then I kiss Molly. Really kiss her. And I continue kissing her, among other kissing-type things, until the first trick-or-treaters force us out of our bed.