He pressed her tighter and tighter and the pleasure deepened with every thrust until she could bare no more. The orgasm washed over her like madness, radiating from every cell in her body, but centered on where their bodies met. She cried out, wailing with it, and felt him lift her slightly.
Cillian slammed his hips into hers, hard and fast, his cock reaching deep. The orgasm continued, impossibly long, and then he jumped into the abyss with her, his shout shaking the room. She felt him fill her, pumping still, and their tongues danced.
When it passed she collapsed on him fully, loathe to separate their bodies. The lust was leaving her, but slowly. "I want a cigarette."
"I don't have any."
"Neither do I. I haven't smoked since-"
He moved his head aside to better see her. "Since?"
"I'm sorry, it's been so long since I- er, did...this with a stranger. It's probably best we don't talk much about our lives."
"I want to know everything about you."
Reluctantly she moved to dismount and he let her, though he hauled her to his side and wrapped and arm around her. "I would tell you about my...existence, but you may think I am crazy."
She tailed her fingers over his face. "I've dreamed about you for years. Almost as long as I can remember. Just your face when I was young, and then...of this when I got older."
He grabbed her fingers and kissed them. "I have had you in my thoughts before you were born."
"What do you mean?"
"Do you believe in things you canna see? Cana know?" His accent thickened.
She snorted. "I'm an Atheist."
He raised a brow. "Be that as it may, do you believe there could possibly be things such as ghosts, spirits?"
"I'm not saying I know for sure nothing exists, just that I have yet to see any proof. Ghosts...I don't know. They seem to be used to sell tourists on booking at an awful lot of hotels."
"What if I told you I am a ghost?"
Her hand trailed down his stomach to brush against his cock. "You feel very real to me."
He grabbed her hand. "What about reincarnation. Do you think it's possible you were here before?"
"What do you mean? Which are you? A ghost or a really old soul? I know it's Halloween, but this is silly."
"Yet dreaming of me all your life, and I here I am...that's not silly?"
"I don't know. Look, my life has been a very strange one. I believe in curses and now I don't know what to believe."
"Curses? What do you believe about curses?"
"Well, for starters, I'm probably going to die tonight."
He laughed and held her closer. "I won't let anything harm you. I've been seeking you for a long, long time, you have no idea how long."
"It's not that simple. It's a family thing." He stilled at that, and with a sigh, she continued. "In every generation, for hundreds of years, on Halloween, in our thirtieth year, the only or eldest child dies. Only my father survived."
His body went cold. "Your...family? Don't you mean your husband's family?"
"I'm not married. Would I have slept with you if I was?" She sat up, indignant. "I was married, we were young, and he...he's gone now."
"But you kept his name?" He asked with dire hope.
"I never took it. I'm a Quinn, born and raised."
The look he gave her was stark fear. Before she could move he was off the bed, grabbing the trash can. From it he took an envelope, the kind her invitation had arrived in. Unfurling it he read the name and sagged to the floor, gasping.
"What? What the heck is it?" She scrambled off the bed to reach him, but he shrank back in horror and made a mournful howling sound. "What!?! What is it!?!" She shook him until he stooped the keening, but still he flinched, tears falling now.
"It's me...I'm," he stumbled over the words. "I'm your curse."
The look she had given him at that pronouncement was disbelief, pure and simple. The tale spilled out of him; the story of his birth, life, and death. The tale of the bargain struck with the Morrigan to kill her ancestor. The tale of how it was done, a fight to the death, and how no peace had found him.
When he spoke of another fourteen years of waiting, she trembled. Back on the bed and still naked, she drew her legs to her chest and held them, listening. At his tale of love she too had cried. At his tale of first vengeance she'd trembled.
Now she gazed at him with anger.
"So you killed his son. And thirty years later his son. And every time one of us reached thirty, you came on this night and killed us, a vengeful ghost with blood on the mind. How could you seduce me!?! What did you do to me!?!"
He stood, hand out. "I did nothing. And it's not what you think."
"It's not? Oh so you killed what, thirty of my ancestors? Forty? Fifty?" She too rose to her feet, fists balled, blue eyes flashing with rage as they scanned the room and lit on her rapier.
"You killed- what did you say?" That stopped her from reaching for the weapon.
"Five. I killed the first five I found, and I'd do it again. Your people were lords in those days, treacherous and evil. The British were never very kind to my people. After that I lost a taste for it, but I still had to come back."
"The Morrigan is the goddess of women, war...blood. I had to spill blood. I could come back but only to the area where the Quinn I sought was. Once blood was spilled I was released and I had until sunrise to find you. Your soul has been here, again and again, and I've never found you until now."
"But they died! They all died, all but my father!"
He nodded. "After five generations the fear and superstition grew. I cannot tell you how many had heart attacks, slew themselves, or ran straight off a cliff or bridge in fear of me. I did not want them to die, I grew tired of it long ago. All I wanted was to find you."
"Why not my father? Why not him?"
"He spoke to me. He's a reasonable man. We spoke, and he let me cut his finger, only a drop of blood. I made him swear to tell his son that I would come, and he promised."
"Surprise!" She threw her hands up. "All my parents got was me and I had to grow up hearing about The Curse from my uncle Ben. If I ever asked about it, my parents swore it was broken."
"And it is! Tonight is the night. I know you won't believe me but I was given a choice. Vengeance...or you. I chose you. I chose to be with you."
She sat down on the bed, looking confused. Cillian found himself hoping, praying she believed him. Hoping Áine would appear at that moment and make it all better.
The knowledge she had given him had shown him so much of who Kelly was. He loved Siobhan, he loved her soul, but Kelly was a strong, intelligent, confident woman. No shrinking virgin she had pleasured him more than any woman he could remember from centuries ago. Truthfully, she pleased him more than even his sweet, innocent Siobhan had.
He had to find a way to show her what she meant to him. He was risking eternal punishment by refusing his quest of vengeance. He had chosen to show her love rather than hurt her in any selfish bid for freedom.
"Tell me," she said at last, "tell me about the other four you killed. Tell my why you stopped."
Grasping at the hope he heard in her patient voice, he rose to sit in the armchair, and began his ghost story.
There was nothing real about this night. She had always feared Halloween, and yes, part of it had been The Curse- Cillian, she amended, but more than that. She had died a violent death on this day centuries ago. She could sense the magic, for in her English veins and American mind was an Irish soul.
He told her of abuses, atrocious by modern standards, barbaric in his day, and long-tolerated under Mary and later Elizabeth, queens bent on Irish conquest. She heard stories of rape and murder by a Quinn he had happened upon. She shook, wanting to defend her ancestors instinctually, something in his deep brown eyes told her his earnestness was also honesty.
Then came the tale of Donovan Quinn. Bastard born, upon his father's death he had taken up his seat and assumed his titles. Donovan had been raised in an Irish tavern with an Irish mother, and held native sympathies. He had been a smart lad, could read, and was fair. He too, like her father, had struck a bargain and chosen a knife from his table for Cillian to use to draw blood. It was an unfortunate accident (and spoke of hygiene in the day, she thought) that his blood had caught something and sepsis had killed him quickly.
With no one to pass on the tale foolish accidents had happened, heart attacks, some suicides. All the way to her father, an Atheist who professed logic along with history at NYU. For all his intelligence, Michael Quinn had not grasped that it was the eldest Quinn child, not just the males, who would be visited.
Cillian came to a miraculous story of the woman who had visited them on the dance floor. A goddess...this was all a bit much for her to grasp. Cillian was a ghost...she was a reincarnated witch...and the gods were playing them like chess pieces.
"I need a drink." She stopped him and looked at the clock. Just after two. "Let me order something, Richard is paying for it."
"Is he your lover?"
She glanced back at him as she grabbed the room service menu. "He's like a second father. Or third if you count Uncle Ben. He's my friend and investor. It's because of him I have a job and can provide a stable home."
Feeling churlish she ordered for him, getting three sandwiches, fries, crab cakes, chocolate cake, champagne, soda pop, coffee, and orange juice. It was a bit much but one thing had stood out to her: all those years he'd only been allowed one night in a solid body, one night to find a Quinn, settle their hysterics, get some blood, and then look for her soul which could be thousands of miles away.
Maybe it was because she was a mother, but he activated her instincts to nurture. At least tonight, if this was to be his only night, she would let him try as much food as he liked. On that thought she called back and added steak, lobster, and ham with vegetables and potatoes. He was Irish, potatoes had to be a staple of his diet. She added whiskey and hung up, thinking of Holly.
"There's something I have to tell you."
She took a deep breath and sat back on the bed, entirely casual about her nudity. "I have a daughter. She's five. Now if for some reason this Awny-"
"Áine, doesn't come through, you'll be back in twenty-five years. If I'm not here you have to know this: her father was Japanese. She looks almost nothing like me save for her height and build. She has dark hair, brown eyes, slightly Asian. She's a real beauty. If you go away in the sunlight I swear I'll tell her everything."
"So you understand?"
"No. I accept. It's the most I can do."
"Thank you. I believe that's all I can ask for."
She looked out the window, at the lights of the huge park shining through the autumn trees. "What if you stay? What then?"
"I have no idea."
They lapsed into silence for a time and then she showed him television. He took to ESPN like a 21st century man, and was well into another boring hour of soccer coverage when the food came.
It took two carts to hold it all and she signed a generous tip, planning to apologize to Richard later. Patiently he let her uncover every dish and sniffed the air. Then he dug in, taking a single bite of everything including the chocolate cake.
There were tears in his eyes as he sampled it all. The orange juice perplexed and excited him, the champagne made him sneeze, the coffee he nearly spit out until she put cream and sugar in, and the soda pop confused him. The whiskey made him melt.
"It's not the same as when I was a man, real and true, but it's good enough I don' care."
It also brought his accent back.
They began to eat; she grabbed a ham sandwich and he chose the steak to focus on, but still snuck bites of everything. He tried mixing drinks, creating several vile concoctions they had to put aside.
When the main meal was over he sat back as did she. "I fear if I eat anymore I may burst."
She started laughing, and kept going.
"What? What is it?"
"If I didn't believe you before, I would now," she replied, still laughing.
His eyes softened. "I don' care if it's me you're laughin' at," his accent had grown heavier with each pull of Jameson, "so long as I make you smile."
She stopped then. Over the meal she had spoken about her life. He'd laughed at the nudist camps of her childhood, had never scorned her when she spoke of drug use in college, and never showed jealousy when spoke of meeting Hatori and falling in love. When she told him of his death he'd held her hand, and when she spoke of Holly he'd asked as many questions as possible.
She knew so little about him but there was something there. Hope. Being with him felt disturbingly natural. He was so lonely, so hollow, he'd been through so much and still there was hope burning inside him.
She rose and pushed his chair back. Leaning over him he didn't move as she drew two fingers through the frosting of the cake and then over his lip. Bending down she licked it and pulled back, smiling.
"If Áine brought us together because of a spell, that's all well and good, but this time...you need to know it's me who wants you."
She wished she could have had the patience to well and truly make love to him, but the need was too great. He rose from the chair and grabbed her, and they crashed to the floor, almost knocking a cart over. They rolled together until she was on the bottom and he entered her.
Then they moved slowly together, kissing, touching, memorizing one another. All the while their hips moved in consort, luxuriating in the feel of each other. Their peaks nearly came together, but close enough for each to enjoy the other.
They ate some of the cake and talked. She told him more tales of her life, laughing together at her old memories. He spoke of his life before his death. She listened as he described his love, and learned Chevon was her American interpretation of the name Siobhan.
They made love again, then ate the lobster, and loved again. Morning approached rapidly and she began to feel dread grow. He spoke of her lifetimes, what he'd been shown in memory, and with each tale more and more came back.
Just before six, they were making love slowly, exhausted. In the middle, it came to her. She remembered him, alive, a shining young man. She was a bedraggled young woman from a strange family, mistrusted by all except in the dark of night. They came to her mother and then her for potions to cure aches, possets to soothe pregnancy worries, and tinctures for their wounds.
Cillian was the only one who would call out to her in town in the daylight. He'd walk beside her, keep everyone else at bay. They would take walks, and soon they found love. She had been shy, afraid that if word got out about them, she might be fair game for the rest of them. And so she had squandered their time.
Snapping back to the present all Kelly could think was what a damn fool Siobhan had been. She had found the love her life and didn't fight for him. Instead she had made him hide away, and it had gotten them killed.
She opened her eyes to see him beneath her again. They bore bite and scratch marks from heartier sessions, and she smiled, tracing them with her fingertips. "I won't be foolish this time," she said, determined. Foolish or no, this night had been pure magic, he was pure magic, and if this goddess had any heart to speak of, Kelly had some magic of her own. She was going to keep him.
She pinned his hands down and Cillian was so tired he let her. Bracing her knees on the carpet she bent over, letting her hair trail on his chest, and began to fuck him, as hard as she could. Sweat slicked them both and her breasts bounced with the rhythm. His muscles strained at her but she kept him pinned down, riding his hard cock for all she was worth.
Deeper and deeper she took him, letting out the pleasure with grunts and moans to match his. He swelled, filling her, and she climbed higher and higher until the shimmering wave crashed once more impossibly over her.
Cillian broke with her, crying out her name, HER name, and spilled into her. Just that moment, the sun began to peak over the horizon through the window.
"We did it. We did it!"
"Kelly!" His eyes widened.
She sank lower, as if through him, and scrambled off."No, Cillian, you can't!"
"I love you, Kelly. I love you; I love your soul, I love you strength, I love you."
Still, he faded in and out, wavering.
"No, you can't leave!" She dove for him, cradling his face, kissing him but touching air at first, then the gentle press of his lips. "Cillian I- I love you!"
He began to fade steadily as the natural light bloomed. "Nooooo!!!" she cried. "Holly, I'll tell Holly. You'll come back- wait!"
She reached around and found her rapier. "Morrigan, you bitch, you can't have him!" She sliced her palm and dripped the blood onto his translucent form. "My blood, you have my blood! Let him stay!"
Then he was gone. Sobbing she slammed her palms on the carpet, feeling around, but he was gone, and she was getting blood everywhere. "Nooooooooo!"
She waited all morning for him to appear, leaving cuts all over her hands. She left once, only once, clad in the bathrobe, to let her blood fall to the Earth directly. Nothing. Back in the room she closed the curtains against the hated sunlight and wept.
She fell asleep crying, and woke to a woman standing over her. She was tall, pale, with long dark hair. "Morrigan?"
"What? Sweetie, are you okay? You're alive at least. Checkout's in an hour. I would have checked on you sooner but Jonathon...well, I have stories for you. Why is it so dark?" Catherine opened the curtains and turned back.
"Jesus, what's with all the food? And the furniture is wrecked. Sweetie, did you have a wild party and forget to invite me?"
Kelly sat up and rubbed her eyes.
"Oh my god! Your hands! What the hell happened?" Catherine sat with her and the story spilled out. She nodded patiently and Kelly couldn't tell if she believed her or not, and she didn't care.
When it was done Catherine got towels and tissues from the bathroom and started to clean her up.
"If he's a ghost...he'll never come back and I'll keep being born over and over. I want to be with him. What if I-"
"No!" Catherine left her and went to Kelly's purse, which she'd brought in with her clothes from her room. She found her wallet, opened it up, and flipped to Holly's picture. "If you ever entertain that kind of thought again I want you to look at this picture. Do you think Cillian would want you to abandon her? If he really loves you, it won't matter if you're a hot thirty year old ghost or a wrinkly old ninety year old one. Tell me I'm wrong!"
"I just...it hurts. Everything's changed."
Catherine sat once more and hugged her. "We'll get though this together."
"I never knew that was what love was."
"You'll know it again."
"No. That was it."
"Oh, sweetie." Catherine held her as she began to weep again.
After six months, Kelly could function again, smile again, but he was still on her mind. She'd researched Áine and Morrigan, talked with "experts," seen some kooky rituals, but nothing helped.
Holly was her bright spot. Not that she wasn't happy for Jonathon and Catherine, but their happiness only reminded her of how lonely she was.
"Hey kiddo!" She called to her daughter as she came running out of the school. Afternoon kindergarten was agreeing with Holly, naturally as boisterous and sociable as her father.
Kelly picked her up and swung her around. She never noticed people looking, they always did at how disparate they looked, but she did noticed more a pair of women, teachers by their look, who didn't notice. The redhead looked familiar but she couldn't place the brunette.