Almost ten. Was that too late to call someone? Would it be rude?
Dave did it anyway. "Hey Eddie. Can I talk to your wife? ... I'm sorry, I know it's late, but... Great, thank you. What? ... No, I'm not going to have a house warming party for my ghost. Keep that up and I won't invite you."
Petra came to the phone. "Hello?"
"Hi Petra, it's Dave. I have a question about my ghost problem I was hoping you could answer."
"I can sure try."
"Could a person serve as that belonging of Nicky's you were referring to? Because - "
Petra hissed through her teeth, as if the mere thought of what he was suggesting was painful. "Oh, no, Dave, that would never work."
"Dave, you have to burn it," she explained. "At the conclusion of the spell, you have to burn Nicky's belonging to ashes."
Well, that settled that. "Damn. Back to the drawing board, then."
Petra spoke to him in a soothing tone, almost like patting his head from down the block. "You'll figure it out. Don't try so hard to force it. It will come to you."
"Okay." He sighed. "Thanks, Petra."
His phone rang almost as soon as he hung it up. Caller ID: Cara. Chris's wife. Yippee, this is exactly what he needed to finish off his night just right! Dave put his head in his free hand and answered the call. "Hey Cara."
"Uh, hi Dave. Can we talk for a few minutes?"
"Sure. I take it Chris got there okay?"
Clearing her throat, Cara replied, "Yeah, he got here. But there's something really, really wrong."
Dave rubbed his eyes with his thumb and first finger. "Really? What makes you think that?"
"Because when we met him at the airport, he scooped up as many of our kids as he could fit in his arms and burst into tears."
There was a long pause as Dave tried to gather himself before he burst into something himself, but for him, it was hysterical giggles. This story had been hard enough to tell the first time. "Really? Is he okay?"
"I was hoping you could tell me."
Dave desperately wanted to snap at her, bite her head off, Get on with it so I can collapse into bed! But she had no idea what had happened, the crazy things that had happened... "What did he say to you?"
"Chris said something had happened at your house and he wasn't ready to talk about it, but he was just so glad to be alive. Dave, he's a wreck. Everybody's worried about him. Does this have anything to do with Taylor falling down the stairs?" Cara asked.
That fucking mad laughter again. Dave deliberately bit the inside of his mouth to stifle it. "Ow. Yeah. Yeah, it does."
"So? And why did you say ow?"
"Because I bit the inside of my mouth."
Cara took her turn to pause, then started to ask, "Why did you - "
Interrupting her, he said, "Cara, it's not my place to tell you what happened. Chris would want to be the one to tell you, in his own words."
"Come on, Dave, you can at least tell me something."
"It's a really long, involved story. Not the kind of thing I can tell you over the phone, trust me."
"Did you fire him?"
Dave closed his eyes, willing himself not to get angry. "No, I did not fire him. I'm very happy with Chris's work. Cara, please, just let things lie for now. Chris will tell you in his own time."
She could not let it lie. "Dave, my husband spent the day with us, thanking God over and over that he was alive to be with his family, and bursting into tears several times. It's scaring our children. 'Mommy, what's wrong with Daddy?' The last time he started crying, I made him lie down, and he begged me to hold him. He's now napping all curled up in a ball." Huffing, Cara demanded, "Whatever you know, you need to tell me, now!"
At that, the resolve that had been holding Dave together crumbled enough to let in a little of the madness he had been fighting. "You wanna push the issue, Cara? Okay. I'm telling you, it's a crazy story, but just try to keep up. Taylor and I used a Ouija board to make contact with the ghost in my house. But see, you have to read a prayer before you do it or someone could get possessed."
"Yeah, by the ghost. Pay attention, Cara. Anyway, I didn't believe in the stupid prayer and whadda you know, the ghost possessed Taylor. You wouldn't believe who the ghost turned out to be, either. Austin Nicholas Kelly. Does that name mean anything to you?"
".....What? Dave, what are you talking about?"
"What happened at my house. That's what you asked, right?"
"Uh... I guess." Cara wasn't sure what was happening. Ghosts? Possession?
"Okay then. The ghost used Taylor's body to chain me down to a piece of furniture and proceed to tell me that he was obsessed with me in life. See, that statue Jordyn and I bought had a spell put on it by a witch, and the ghost used it to put Taylor's soul to sleep so he would have total control of his body. The ghost planned to take me away and make me his sex slave. This is what your husband walked into on Sunday afternoon." Now that he had gotten going, Dave was a runaway locomotive. He could not stop. "Did I mention that he found my gun and threatened everybody with it?"
He could hear Cara swallow. "Chris?"
"No, the ghost. He said if anybody got out of line, he would shoot Taylor in the head and possess Chris instead. But he was lying. We didn't know that at the time, though. Your hubby came over to check on us like you asked him to - remember, Taylor was acting weird on the phone? He was possessed then. And Nicky got the jump on him and bashed him over the head with a beer bottle. Nicky is the ghost."
"Oh. Uh huh."
"That's how Chris got the cut on his forehead. You did notice that, didn't you?" Dave asked, as if this conversation was totally normal.
"Uh, yeah, I saw that. Dave, do you feel alright?" Cara said.
"Not really," he replied, laughing a little. "So anyway, Nicky got the jump on Chris and threw him down the stairs. While he was all disoriented, Nicky chained him up too. Then he spent another night threatening and terrorizing us and fucking with our heads until he decided that none of this was going to work and he would just have to kill us all. That's why Taylor stabbed himself, to drive the ghost out and back into the statue, so he couldn't kill us. That whole story about Taylor and the wheel of cheese was a cover. I mean, now that you've heard the whole fucked up story, don't you agree that the cheese story is a little better?"
Again, Cara paused a long time before answering. "Yes, I guess it is. How is Taylor anyway?"
"He'll be alright. There was some internal bleeding, but they took care of it." Dave realized he wasn't done. "You think I'm crazy, don't you?"
"Dave, I... I don't know what to think."
"When Chris wakes up, you ask him. I guarantee you, Chris believes it. If you were here, I could take you right to Nicky and you could see he exists." Dave snapped and knocked himself in the forehead with his open palm. "I totally forgot to tell you about Kurt's ghost being here too!"
He looked up. Jordyn stood there, a worried, stricken look on her face. How long had she been standing there, listening?
Dave said, "Jordyn's here. Talk to her for a while," into the phone, then tossed it on the couch and headed for their bedroom.
Even though he put the pillow over his head, Dave could still hear a little of what Jordyn was saying on her end of the conversation. For what he could tell, she was backing up his story. Dave didn't want to talk about it anymore, didn't want to tell this story anymore. He just wanted to sleep. Sleep in his own bed.
But now, not even his bed was safe. His bed held memories that made him feel conflicted.
Your fear is even sexier than your anger.
Taylor's tongue, moving over sensitive skin...
Dave shivered. He wanted the hard part to be over. All this talking, all this discussion... Couldn't he just have Taylor in his arms again?
He felt Jordyn sit on her side of the bed and put a hand on his shoulder. "Are you okay?"
Without removing the pillow from his head, Dave answered, "The whole world is tilted on its axis."
"I know the feeling." She laid down and turned over on her side, facing her husband with a pillow for a head. "Will you come out of your pillow fort? I wanna talk to you."
"Oh Jordyn, I have had too much talking today. And there will be so much more tomorrow. Just let me rest."
"I only want to ask you some questions. I only want honest answers."
"Fine." Dave took the pillow and put it under his head. "You answer one for me first."
"What did you and Kurt talk about?"
Jordyn shrugged. "I told him he broke your heart."
"Because I knew you wouldn't."
Letting out a long sigh, Dave turned over on his back and studied the ceiling. "I wasn't the most hurt by what he did. Frances and Courtney, they were the closest to him."
"That doesn't mean you weren't affected. Dave, do you think I don't understand who you are? Do you think I haven't been listening?"
He looked over at her in the dim light. The light from the bathroom through the partially open door was the only light in the room. Dave could see her face, but he couldn't read it. "What do you mean?"
"I married you knowing that you've been with as many men as you have women. I know you're bisexual. You can pretend you don't care, but I know how you felt about Kurt and how it hurt you when he killed himself, and that you wanted to grieve with the world not just as his bandmate, but as his lover. But you couldn't tell anyone. A secret like that..."
"...it's too explosive," Dave finished. "Few would have understood. Especially with Courtney ripping me apart in the press. Playing the victim. 'Kurt was my husband, and that slut Dave tried to steal him away.' I didn't want any of that."
"That doesn't mean you can't talk about it in private."
A small laugh escaped him. "You know how I am about feelings sometimes."
"Yeah, I know. But I also know that before we got married, you told me that you had feelings for Taylor. Beyond friendship feelings. You wanted to make sure that I could deal with it in case he ever returned those feelings, because you would want to be able to act on them. You wanted me to share you." Jordyn shook her head at the memory, smiling a little. "At the time, I thought it sounded crazy, an open marriage where a wife shares her husband with his boyfriend. But then I realized that I love you for everything you are. I don't want to suffocate you by asking you to repress your natural feelings. I married you knowing that this could happen someday."
Dave listened, already beginning to feel guilty for how understanding she was being.
"So many years passed that I was starting to think that nothing was ever going to happen between you two... and then we both find out that you've already had sex with Taylor." Jordyn took a deep breath and let it out. "I have to admit, it was a shock."
"Tell me about it."
"This brings me to my major question... when you were talking to Cara over the phone - "
"More like ranting at her," Dave mumbled.
"Alright, ranting at her, you said Nicky wanted to take you away and make you his sex slave."
He thought he knew where this was going. Dave visibly tensed up.
Jordyn finished, "Did he do anything to you through Taylor's body?"
The silence that followed told Jordyn everything she needed to know, but she still wanted him to say it. He kept too many things bottled inside. Dave draped an arm over his eyes. "Jordyn, I would rather talk about this with Taylor and Alison present."
"Dave, if I'm going in there to talk about something this huge, then I want to be prepared for it. Did he... did he rape you?"
Even Dave was surprised with how fast the tears came. "Almost."
"Oh God, Dave." Jordyn reached for him, and he went willingly into her arms. He let himself cry for a little while because he knew how it would have altered everything if Nicky had been successful in raping him through Taylor's body. The crying jag only lasted a few minutes, then he pulled away, sniffling and reaching for the tissues on the nightstand. "You alright?" she asked.
"As alright as I can be. Jordyn, there's more. We're already talking about this and you want to be ready for tomorrow, so I might as well tell you now. Nicky's attempted rape wasn't all that happened." It kind of seemed like she was already expecting this, but it still filled Dave with dread to tell her.
"What do you mean?"
He fiddled with the sheets, kicking them off his feet. "His eyes changed color," Dave said.
"You told us that."
"No, I mean they rapidly changed color."
"I don't get it," Jordyn said.
This was even harder to explain than he anticipated. "Nicky was really aggressive. He wanted... he wanted sex any way he could get it. Sex with me. But I didn't want to because Taylor couldn't consent to using his body that way. I had no desire to do anything with a ghost who was trying to steal my friend's body." Dave stopped talking for a long time, having trouble saying the "But..."
Jordyn took his cue. "But you did want to do things with Taylor."
Nodding, he said, "Yeah. And then Nicky said he could let Taylor out a little, but still keep control of his body. To prove it, his eyes started changing color from blue to brown, rapidly. It wasn't the way I wanted any of this to happen, but if I resisted... if I didn't keep him busy... and there are still three people we can't account for. I tried to keep Nicky within my sight."
Jordyn touched his hair near the temple, running her fingers through it. "Don't think about that now. Okay? Just... are you saying you and Taylor had sex again?"
He nodded. "And I wanted him. I wanted Taylor so bad."
She swallowed hard. "Are you going to leave me?"
Dave finally looked at her, then took her in his arms. "No. No, Jordyn, you're the mother of my kids and I love you. We have a beautiful life together. I'm asking you to... Why does saying this make me feel like a total asshole?"
"Because marriages aren't usually like this." She sighed. "It's like we talked about all those years ago. You want me to share you."
He also ran his fingers through her hair. "Is that wrong?"
Jordyn thought about it. "No. I knew this when I married you. I knew you may not be done with men. I agreed to accept that this is part of who you are. To love every part of you, not just the easy parts." She kissed him, closing her eyes. "It's just, I think the thought of you out there, doing things with him that I can't be a part of... I might get jealous."
"But who says you can't be a part of it sometimes?"
Despite herself, Jordyn smiled a bit, then pulled it back. "What do you mean, Dave?"
He grinned with mischief in his eyes. "Taylor and I briefly discussed the possibility of foursomes." Touching her cheek, Dave asked, "Is that something you'd be interested in trying?"
A little too enthusiastically, telling him more than he'd asked, Jordyn said, "So Alison and I could fool around?"
Dave's eyes widened. "You want to be with Alison?"
Jordyn, stifling a giggle, rolled her eyes. "I, um... yeah, I could be persuaded to try it."
"Jordyn... are you telling me we're the premier bisexual rock n' roll power couple?" he laughed.
She shook her head, then again rolled her eyes. "Yes, no, I mean, I don't know, I'd say it's more bicurious at this point. That is a thing, isn't it?"
"Yeah, that's a thing." They both giggled. This was more than he could have hoped for. "What brought this on, baby?"
"A few too many glasses of wine, last year in Hawaii." Another giggle. "Alison told me about her sexual escapades with Taylor, how she dominates him with, a... did Taylor tell you anything?"
Dave played dumb. He wanted to hear her describe it. "Something about a fuzzy paddle?"
"Oh, the spankings are only the tip of the iceberg. I guess Taylor isn't done with men either, because - wait, we know that's definite." Jordyn cringed a little. Dave frowned. She tried to hide her reaction behind a smile. "I guess Taylor likes anal sex a lot, because he asked Alison to fuck him with a dildo. It's called pegging."
"Jordyn, are you sure you're going to be okay with this?"
Nibbling at her bottom lip, she shrugged. "I'm sure there will be times that I feel jealous and hurt over it. Something like this is never going to run like clockwork. But we can work at it, can't we?"
"Yeah. We can." Dave hugged her to him. "Finish your story."
"Well, Alison described some of her sexy outfits and I couldn't stop picturing her in them, with those lovely long legs... she was out by the pool that day in a bikini and that was the first time I felt... the first time... I wanted her." They giggled together; this was becoming a habit. "We talked about a foursome so I could see her in her bustier, and, well, we were both really tipsy and... we... shared a kiss."
Grinning, Dave purred in appreciation of the mental picture.
"Ever since then, I've wanted to take things further, but I... I didn't know how to bring it up."
"I'm sorry you didn't feel comfortable bringing it up to me."
"It wasn't just you, it was all of us. There are four people involved here. Not to mention we have kids." Sighing, she finished, "Do parents really do these kinds of things?"
"Do parents play in rock bands? Do parents appear in magazines? Some do," Dave assured her. "Do you think Alison will be open to it?"
"I think so. There were vibes. And that kiss." Her hand ran up and down Dave's chest. "It's worth a shot."
He glanced down at her hand. It had been a long, terrifying day. Dave didn't want to talk anymore. His nerves were still wound up and he needed something to release all the built-up tension. And those mental pictures she had conjured up with her tantalizing story... "Taylor and I can watch, right? You know men." Dave kissed her then, the kind of kiss she knew well.
"Of course you can watch. That's why it's a foursome, right?" Jordyn kissed him back. Within seconds, she was pulling his T-shirt off over his head, careful not to disturb the bandage he'd put over the word carved into his chest. Jordyn kissed it. "My poor baby. Are you sure you're in the mood for this?"
"After the day I've had, I need exactly this." Dave shared several deep, aroused kisses with his wife, pressed tight against her. "Would you describe to me what you'd like to wear the first time we share our bed with Taylor and Alison?"
"Hmm..." she purred. "How about that slinky red number with the beaded top?"
Growling, Dave positioned himself between her legs and rubbed himself against her body. "I can't wait."