The House Ch. 09bykalamazoo707©
Aaron looked at the unconscious form of Minerva and smiled, some things just didn't change no matter the era. He was sure that he looked quite the sight with his long hair and the same clothing that he had been buried in almost one hundred and fifty years ago. He wondered what they did in this day and age when women swooned like Minerva just did, probably the same thing they did back then, smelling salts.
He approached the couch cautiously just in case she came to and panicked. As far as he was concerned, the real test was whether he could touch her or not, he didn't care about being a solid form if he could touch her. Slowly, Aaron reached down and stroked Minerva's cheek pulling back when she stirred. He waited for another minute and touched her again, this time tracing the outline of her full lips with a fingertip.
"I care for you Minerva." Aaron murmured and faded away.
Minerva opened her eyes a few minutes later and looked around. When she saw no one, she looked at the picture of Aaron and Clara and laughed at herself.
"Too much excitement." She muttered to herself. "Aaron Richards was not just in my living room." she added but she wasn't entirely convinced that it hadn't happened either.
Aaron stood in a corner and watched Minerva argue with herself about what she had just seen, she wasn't totally convinced that she hadn't seen him but she wasn't convinced that she had either. Touching her had been a tease and he wanted more, admitting that he cared for her to himself was part of what he needed to do to claim her, her believing that he existed was the other part. Making love together would bind them together for all of time and would secure the house and the woods. The trick was going to be getting to that point.
Minerva struggled off of the couch and thought about sleeping there but the problem was that there was no bedding and her pajamas were upstairs. She limped to the kitchen, grabbed a bottle of water and her cell phone that Dwight had left plugged in on the counter and slowly made her way up the stairs careful not to lose her balance.
Once in her room, she ran the bath and removed the ace wrap bandage from her ankle before slowly getting into the tub, once she was in, it occurred to her that being in the tub and not having anyone around probably wasn't a good idea. Minerva leaned back and decided to enjoy the hot water soothing her tired muscles, making sure that her wrist with the cast on it was out of the water. When she soaked for as long as she wanted, she let the water out and began the tedious task of getting out of the tub. Twice she almost slipped but the second time she could have sworn she felt hands holding her steady as she climbed out, she turned to look behind her but there was no one there
The vision of Aaron in the living room popped into Minerva's head but she pushed it away, she did not see Aaron Richards in her living room, the past few days were the cause of an over active imagination and stress weren't they? The more that she tried to convince herself that the events of the past few days didn't happen, the more she came to believe that they did. Her house was haunted by a ghost who had died just after the civil war, the same ghost had saved both her and Dwight from someone named Sebastian Preston whoever in the hell that was.
No longer sleepy, Minerva contemplated going back downstairs but thought better of it. What she really wanted was her laptop, she was more than a little curious about Sebastian Preston and why he thought that he owned the house and the woods. She also got the impression that he was surprised when she claimed it for herself, "what the fuck is going on here?" she muttered as she decided that she was going back downstairs.
She changed into a pair of sweats, tossed a pillow and then a blanket down the stairs. She looked around checking to be sure that there wasn't anything else that she might need. After thinking about it, she grabbed another pair of sweats, underclothes, a few toiletries and put them in a pillowcase and tossed them down the stairs adding to the small pile already there. When she was convinced that had everything that she needed, Minerva half hopped and half limped down the stairs. When she reached the bottom step, she carefully bent over, picked up the things on the floor and carried them into the spare bathroom and sat them on the floor. Carefully, she hopped to the kitchen carrying the pillow, blanket and her cell phone and put them on the table.
Then she had another problem, trying to carry the laptop plus the plugs and everything else into the living room. She also wanted a bottle of water and her pain pills even though she was fairly certain that she wouldn't take them. She wasn't absolutely positive that the pain medication wasn't responsible for her hearing the voices. But Dwight had heard them too and he hadn't taken medication of any kind.
Minerva began to realize that she had become part of some weird triangle between two spirits but only it wasn't a love triangle. The one spirit, Sebastian had been a very angry man in life and was equally if not more angry in death. Aaron had some anger but it had to do with something or someone else and she suspected that it was his second wife Clara and her lover.
Her next thought was whether she should call one of the paranormal investigators on television that she had always laughed at. What would she tell them? And what would she want them to do? An exorcism or whatever it was they did to get rid of ghosts? And then what? Where would Aaron's spirit go if she did that? The house after all was his before she bought it and he had lived here all of this time. Could she in good conscience kick him out? And besides, they wouldn't show up at her doorstep tonight or any time soon.
Aaron stood by the laundry room watching Minerva as she tried to figure out what she was going to do. He could tell that she was beginning to believe that he existed; his dilemma became how to get her to totally believe. He didn't dare appear to her again at least not yet but maybe he could help her in some way. He turned around and saw her small laundry basket on wheels and got an idea.
Minerva was about to sit at the table when she heard a noise coming from the laundry room.
"Whose there?" she called out even though she knew that she was alone.
When there was no response, she stood up, took her cell phone out of her pocket and got ready to call Dwight. Just as she was going to hit the send button, the little metal laundry cart rolled out of the laundry room and stopped a foot or so away from the table. Minerva was so startled that she almost lost her balance and dropped the cell phone.
"Oh fuck me." she whispered.
"I would love to" Aaron replied.
"Oh my god, oh my god!" Minerva said in shock as she plopped back down into the chair.
"Shit!" Aaron swore when Minerva almost lost her balance. When she said "Oh fuck me." he couldn't help himself, he had to respond and was grateful that there was a chair nearby for her to sit in or else she would have ended up on the floor. He got ready to solidify in case she fainted again and was relieved as Minerva began to come to grips with what she already knew.
Minerva sat glued to her chair not sure of what she should do next, she looked toward the laundry room and didn't see anything or anyone. She wasn't scared exactly but she was definitely nervous as she glanced at the laundry cart and then the cell phone lying on the floor.
Dwight channel surfed throwing the remote on the couch when he couldn't find anything on that suited him. He was seriously rethinking his decision to give Minerva up but could see no way to having all that he wanted, her and his kids. If he resumed a relationship with Minerva, he wouldn't be allowed to see the kids, Beth made that clear during their heated discussion about Minerva but damn it! What was he supposed to do? The fact of the matter was that no matter whom he found, Beth wouldn't be happy with her, she would hold not being able to see the kids over his head to force his compliance. She didn't want him or love him but she didn't want anyone else to have him either, she wanted him to be as miserable and lonely as she was.
He looked at the phone, picked it up and sat it back down again. He had to think about this, Minerva wouldn't want him to put her before his children and if he chose her over his children, how long would it be before he regretted his decision? He missed her and her straightforwardness and her courage, there weren't many women that could have gone through what she did and remained sane. It wasn't even about the sex as phenomenal as it had been; it was about Minerva the woman, the whole package.
"I can help you." A voice said in Dwight's head.
"I am not calling Dwight." Minerva said out loud. She knew that he would come without asking questions but that wasn't the point. She had gotten along alone before and it was much too soon after their.... Whatever in the hell that was to be calling him for help. Minerva picked up the phone almost dropping it again when it rang. She looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Diana, her sister. For once, Minerva was glad to hear from her, it was the sound of the familiar overdramatic Diana that grounded her.
"I know that I haven't called, I've been busy." Minerva said patiently, "Lots of things like exploring the woods around the house.... No, don't come just yet, wait until the spring. Of course I want you to come but I'm not settled in yet and...."
Minerva's sense of relief was short lived, it wasn't long before Diana was driving her batty and the thought of dealing with a ghost became preferable to continuing the conversation with her sister.
"Di, I have to go, I'll call you later." Minerva said hanging up.
Minerva stood up and loaded the laundry cart with the laptop and whatever else she thought that she might need and made her way to the living room with Aaron following her unseen, eyes glued to her ass. He totally agreed with Dwight, Minerva was one hell of a woman and he could hardly wait to get his hands on her. The thought reminded that he had to thank both Henry and Sadie for their help; he never would have figured any of this out on his own and even if he had, it would have been much too late.
Minerva set up the laptop, turned on the television and began her research into Sebastian Preston. Sebastian, she discovered was the oldest of five brothers all of whom Sebastian included, had died from something related to the war. Sebastian died of a gunshot wound that became infected, his youngest two brothers died in Northern POW camps and the other two died on the battlefield. Prior to Aaron's family, the Preston's owned the house and the woods but sold it because of financial problems, apparently the elder Preston made some bad investments. "Well," Minerva said, "That explains that." she commented as she scrolled down the page. None of the brothers had been married at the time of their deaths but the house was to have gone to Sebastian which explained the comment "I am lord and master of the house and woods."
The comment bothered her then and it bothered her now, it took Minerva a minute to realize why, it was the use of the word master. Somehow, coming from Sebastian it gave her the willies and she soon found out why. The Preston family had been slave owners just as Aaron's family had been but with a difference, by all accounts Aaron and his family had treated their slaves well and had been among the first to free them when the war broke out. Aaron allowed whoever wanted to stay, stay and paid them fair wages for working the small plantation even going so far as to hire a teacher for those who wanted to learn. "Well isn't that just special?" Minerva muttered. The Preston's on the other hand were considered to be amongst the cruelest families in the area which begged a question, why then did Sebastian want her?
There was still a piece of the puzzle missing and once again she was the missing piece, claiming ownership of the house and woods had been part of it but what else was there? She wondered as she continued to read.
After he had been banished from the woods, Sebastian wandered around the edges of the woods unable to go into them without suffering tremendous pain. He sat by the edge of the road looking alternately between the house and the woods both of which should have been his. He meant it when he told Aaron that he and his bitch hadn't seen the last of him and he really did think that it would be years before he could come back and try to reclaim what was rightfully his but then he remembered something, he didn't need to physically fuck Minerva himself, he could do it through the human male.
Minerva knew and trusted the male so it would be easy and once that it was done, he would send Aaron to the depths of hell as Aaron should have done to him. The male's mind had been so easy to invade, he was exhausted and he missed the woman. But as easy as it was to invade the man's mind, Sebastian couldn't sway the man his way, he loved the woman and the urge to protect her strengthened his mind against Sebastian's influence but still, he would keep trying.
Dwight shook his head trying to clear it of the deep voice inside of it. He thought that the nightmare of the woods was over but here it was, this voice trying to convince him that he could have everything that he wanted if he would only help him get back what was his.
The problem was, that Dwight knew that whoever the voice belonged to was evil and that things were not all that they seemed. The owner of the voice planned to use him to hurt Minerva and it just wasn't going to happen if he could help it.
He thought about calling Minerva to warn her, picked up the phone, put it back and picked it up again. He dialed her number before he could change his mind.
"Minerva? Are you alright? Do you need anything?" he asked.
"I'm fine." Minerva replied.
"Minerva look, I meant what I said about calling me for anything." Dwight said.
"I know and I appreciate it. I never did thank you for coming to the woods to save me yet another time." Minerva said."
"You don't need to thank me, I'm just glad that you're alright." Dwight replied and then hesitated.
"Dwight? Are you alright?" Minerva asked.
"Yes... no I'm not" Dwight said. "Minerva, have you heard any voices since we left the woods?"
"No. Why?" she asked not about to tell him that she thought that she saw the ghost of Aaron Richards in her living room.
"I heard a voice tonight and Minerva, I think that it wants to hurt you by using me." Dwight said.
Minerva couldn't breathe. Would this ever be over? Part of her wished that she had never seen this house but the other part of her felt like this house was the missing part of her, that she belonged here. She also began to wonder if she wasn't supposed to find this house and after all that had happened; it wasn't out of the realm of possibility.
"Minerva? You still there?" Dwight asked.
"I'm here, I was just thinking. What do you suppose it wants with me?" she asked.
"Nothing good I'm sure." Dwight replied. "Minerva, if I call you and ask you to meet me somewhere or if I'm not acting like myself, stay away from me, As a matter of fact, if you see me go the other way, I'm just not sure that I can keep this thing from controlling me."
"No, I'm serious." Dwight interrupted. " I also think that you're right about the house being a safe place so stay put no matter what I tell or ask you to do."
"Maybe you should come here." Minerva suggested.
Dwight gave it some consideration before declining, "I don't think that would be a good idea, for all I know that's what he wants me to do and I'm not going to lie, if I came over there, I'd have you naked as soon as I was through the door."
Aaron stood behind Minerva listening to the conversation, furious with himself. He should have just gotten rid of Sebastian when he had the chance and now he was threatening Minerva and planning to use Dwight to do it. This had to end and quickly but the only way to end it decisively was to make love with Minerva but it was much too soon for that, she hadn't even unequivocally admitted that he existed. Dwight had given her sound advice when he told her to stay away from him and to stay in the house but would she do it?
He also owed Dwight a debt, he had protected and helped Minerva in a way that he hadn't been able to but he didn't want him in the house with her. Dwight meant what he said about not being able to keep his hands off of Minerva and for them to fuck again was simply unacceptable. But still he owed the man a debt; he had to protect him somehow.
Sebastian fumed, he had seriously underestimated Dwight and the feelings that he had for the woman. He hadn't planned on him using whatever that thing that he talked into to warn her and that meant that the element of surprise was gone. He had no doubt that Aaron was close to the woman, what was her name? Minerva, and that his guard would be up. The one thing that he was certain of was that Aaron hadn't fucked her yet, he would have known and he wondered what he was waiting for. If it had been him, the bitch would have been royally fucked with or without her consent and this shit would have been over by now. But he knew Aaron's family, they were a relatively gentle bunch but when pushed or threatened, they were very dangerous. They were even protective of their darkies which was something that Sebastian had never understood. While the woman Minerva was attractive and he could see the appeal that she held for Aaron, she was still a darkie and Aaron would protect her even if it meant giving up the house and woods. That would be all fine and dandy except for one thing, Sebastian would still need Minerva to have complete control of both the house and the woods; there was no way around that.
Sebastian found himself remembering an incident that occurred a year before the war started. He and his brother Malcolm had been out in the woods hunting when they came across one of the Richard's slaves gathering wild mushrooms and berries. It didn't matter that the land no longer belonged to the Preston's but the two of them decided to torment the woman. None of them wanted to fuck her, she was too old for that but she was fun to tease as she tried to run away from them. They started by throwing small rocks at her and calling her names and progressed to pulling at her clothes until they were ripped, her blouse hanging off of her shoulders.
They were having so much fun that they didn't notice the woman's six year old grandson hiding behind the bushes. As soon as he saw what was happening, he ran off in search of help, by the time he returned with help which came in the form of Nathaniel and Jake Richards, brothers to Aaron; the woman was almost naked and bleeding from various cuts and scratches on her body.
Without a word, the brothers jumped from their horses and stepped between the woman, Sebastian and Malcolm.
"What in the fuck do you think you're doing?" Nathaniel asked while Jake looked the woman over and then sent her and the boy on their way.
"We thought she was a runner." Sebastian said grinning.
"Runner huh?" Jake asked. "She's on our property and you know damned well she wasn't a runner. Now if she was one of yours, I could see why she'd run." he added.
Before Sebastian could stop him, Malcolm charged Jake which was the wrong thing to do. In no time flat, both he and Malcolm were sitting on their asses with bloodied noses and mouths.
"You ever touch one of ours again; I'll string you up and put the whip to you!" Nathaniel hissed before walking away. Jake stood a minute longer and looked at them before adding his own piece.