American Horror Affair by PriscillaPal
Summary:

Christian and Michelle Troy/Ben Harmon

Christian and Michelle Troy's marriage is already in deep trouble by the time they move into the 'American Horror' murder house. And unfortunately for Christian, Dr. Ben Harmon has taken a liking to Michelle-professionally and personally.


Categories: Primetime Television Characters: Michelle Landau
Classification: Crossover
Genre: Drama
Story Status: None
Pairings: Michelle/Christian (Nip/Tuck)
Warnings: Strong Sexual Content
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 11 Completed: Yes Word count: 43177 Read: 16845 Published: 25/11/11 Updated: 27/12/11
Story Notes:

American Horror Story is one of my favorite 'guilty pleasure' shows. And I think Dylan McDermott is quite hot!

1. Chapter 1 by PriscillaPal

2. Chapter 2 by PriscillaPal

3. Chapter 3 by PriscillaPal

4. Chapter 4 by PriscillaPal

5. Chapter 5 by PriscillaPal

6. Chapter 6 by PriscillaPal

7. Chapter 7 by PriscillaPal

8. Chapter 8 by PriscillaPal

9. Chapter 9 by PriscillaPal

10. Chapter 10 by PriscillaPal

11. Chapter 11 by PriscillaPal

Chapter 1 by PriscillaPal

Disclaimer: The characters in this story do not belong to me. No copyright infringement is intended.


BACKSTORY: Michelle Landau and Christian Troy have chosen to make a go of it, again, after Michelle moves to L.A. and the two run into each other once more. They marry and become parents to little Wilbur, but trouble hits almost immediately, when Christian sleeps with Julia and Michelle catches them red handed.

Six months later, Christian wants a baby and Michelle doesn’t think it’s a very good idea, since she is still ambivilant about how she feels about him. Christian decides that buying a house might spur Michelle into wanting a family...and save their marriage.

Unfortunately, the ‘murder house’ that Ben and Vivien Harmon lived in has had another tragedy. On Halloween night, Hayden, Ben’s little teeny bopper mistress, did indeed kill Vivien. And Ben was too late in saving her, since he was overcome by fumes in a slight fire. Daughter Violet survived(since she was out with Tate) and moved back to the East Coast.

And now the house is back on the market...this time at a cost of 90% less than any of the other homes in the community. Christian, who doesn’t believe in ghosts, thinks it’s a find. Michelle is not so sure, but agrees to go along with it, just to make it appear as if she’s trying in her new marriage.

As the story opens, Michelle is home alone, since Christian is at his and Sean McNamara’s plastic surgery firm. The couple is unaware of the former residents names or what they look like...

                                                                 ****

    Michelle flinched every time she looked at that crazy looking mural! Who the hell would paint something like that anyway? Pigs sitting around eating dinner? Why? Was the artist high or something?

    She dragged her eyes away from the atrocity, thinking about what kind of paint would be strong enough to cover it up, when her doorbell rang. Michelle looked wistfully at all the unpacking she had yet to do, before walking to the door and opening it.

    A woman with long, feathered hair stood there, holding out a plate of chocolate chip cookies.

    “Hello. I’m your neighbor from across the street and down aways.” the woman said, pointing towards no house in particular. “I’m Vivien Harmon.”

    “Oh...hello, come in. I’m Michelle Troy.” Michelle said, moving aside so that Vivien could walk in. Michelle closed the door and when she turned to face Vivien, she noted the woman looked fascinated by the house.

    “I take it you knew the other people that lived here?” Michelle asked. Vivien tore her eyes off a spot on the wall and looked at her.

    “A little. What did the realtor tell you?”

    “Not much. Just that it was some kind of drama. A cheating husband and his mistress sort of thing.”

    “So the realtor didn’t discuss names or anything like that?” Vivien asked carefully.

    “No.  Actually, the realtor was a client of my husband’s. He’s a plastic surgeon. For a breast augmentation, tummy tuck and chin lift, she gave him 90% off of this house.”

    “Wow!” Vivien exclaimed, thinking that if she herself got her hands on that bitch realtor, Marcie...

    Michelle reached out and took the plate of cookies from Vivien, thanking her. Vivien followed her towards the kitchen.

    “Have you met any of the other neigbors?” Vivien asked, settling into a chair.

    “No. You’re the first.” Michelle said. Vivien tilted her head.

    “How long have your husband and you been married?”

    “A little over six months.” Michelle said quietly, turning to look in the refrigerator. There was  milk here somewhere.

    “Wow,” Vivien said again, “my husband and I lived in an apartment for a good number of years, before buying our first house back out East.”

    Michelle poured Vivien a glass of milk and handed it to her.

    “Well, let’s just say that this house is not all about just owning a home.”

    Vivien paused before sipping her milk. Michelle sat down and began talking.

    “So tell me about some of the neighbors? Who lives over on the right?”

    “Oh that’s Constance. Constance Langdon. She’s nosy so I’m sure you’ll be seeing her by the end of the day.” Vivien said.

    “A nosy neighbor. Just what I  need.” Michelle sighed. Vivien peered at her.

    “Michelle, I’m sorry, if I’m interrupting something...”

    “No! No, what I mean is that I’m sure ‘Contance’ will be finding out soon enough that Christian and I have our problems.”

    “Christian is your husband?”

    “Yes.” Michelle said, picking up another cookie. “I shouldn’t be eating this. If all goes as planned, I’ll be fat soon enough.”

    Vivien was quiet for a moment before speaking.

    “Michelle, I know you don’t know me. But I have to say this: I get the impression that this house is not just a place to live for you. I get the feeling it’s also, hopefully, going to help your marriage? If I’m out of line just tell me.”

    Michelle stared at her.

    “No, you’re not wrong. Am I that obvious?”

    “No but I’ve been there. And I have to say if you’re hoping this house will help the things going wrong in your marriage, don’t. It will never help. If anything it will make things worse.”

    Michelle was about to say something, when Vivien stood up.

    “I’ve said too much already. Listen, Michelle,  my husband is a psychiatrist. He works out of our home. If you or Christian ever need to talk, I’ll send him over.”

    Michelle just nodded, then watched as Vivien left the kitchen and walked out the house. Good God! She would have to learn to adopt a better poker face! It was almost as if Vivien could read exactly what was wrong with her and Christian.

    Not that Christian thought anything was wrong.  He just thought she needed time to forgive him for Julia. With that thought, Michelle covered the cookies in foil and left the kitchen to resume unpacking.

    About twenty minutes later, the doorbell rang again. Michelle had just unwrapped a porcelin bird to put on the fireplace mantle, when she heard it. Yawning briefly, she walked down the hallway, to the door and opened it.

    A dark haired man, wearing a black shirt and slacks stood there.

    “Yes?” Michelle asked.

    “Michelle Troy? I’m Ben Harmon. Vivien’s husband. She said you might be in need of my services.”

    Michelle didn’t know whether to cuss him out, or wait until she saw Vivien again and cuss HER out!

    “Uh...no, Dr. Harmon, I’m afraid your wife may have gotten the wrong idea. Everything is fine. Really.”

    “Mrs. Troy, I know what my wife did was a bit off putting, but she meant well. I’m not trolling for clients. I’m just letting you know that if you ever need to talk, I’m here.”

    Michelle still didn’t especially like his offer or how it came about. But she nodded.

    “Okay. Well thank you.” she said and closed the door. Oh God! She could not have the neighbors thinking that she or Christian needed psychological help already!

    It was just as she closed the door, that a loud noise startled her! Frowning, Michelle thought she had imagined it, when she heard it again! And this time, it was coming from the basement.

    Michelle clenched her teeth, walked over to the basement door, opened it and slowly descended the stairs, hoping she had been wrong about hearing anything. But the sound became more pronounced and soon, Michelle realized she was hearing the noise from a washer--something she herself had  not gotten around to using.

    She rounded a corner and stopped short. A red-headed, older woman, with a cloudy eye, was folding  clothes--Wilbur’s clothes.

    “Uh...excuse me?” was all Michelle could think to ask. The woman smiled patiently at her.

    “I’m Moira O’Hara. I am the housekeeper.”

    “Uh, a housekeeper comes with this home?”

    “I was the housekeeper for the last five families that lived here.”

    Michelle looked her over, not quite understanding the conversation. Where in the hell had this woman come from? She had not used the front door, that was for damned sure! And when had she collected her son’s clothing and brought it down here?

    “Okay, Moira, you have to go.”

    Michelle’s eyes widened, as ‘Moira’(if that was indeed her real  name) threw down the laundry basket!

    “Did you hear me? I have worked for the last five families! I would work for free!”

    “Why?” Michelle asked, just as someone else’s voice scared the shit out of her!

    “Moira, dear, she doesn’t need a housekeeper. You should go.”

    Michelle jumped and turned to face an older woman with blonde hair. She had a ‘Blanche Dubois’ quality about her. Or at least that was Michelle’s impression of her. The woman walked past Michelle and over to Moira.

    “I’m Constance Langdon  I live next door. Moira actually worked for me as well at one point. The poor thing keeps losing her job...you know, because everyone keeps getting killed.” Constance said, grinning at Michelle like a mad clown. 

    Michelle didn’t like Moira, or Constance, who had just walked into her house! She didn’t like Vivien’s shrink husband coming over to analyze her because of his wife’s big mouth! And she had just decided that she, Christan and Wilbur, were not going to be staying here.

    “I want you BOTH to leave! Now! Go!”

    Constance was still grinning at her.

    “Now that is so unneighborly. You act as if I just ‘walked’ into your house. You left the door open when you spoke to Dr. Harmon. I didn’t realize someone in this house was in need of psychiatric help?”

    “Bitch, I’m just going to say this ONCE MORE: LEAVE!”

    “Michelle?”

    That was Christian’s voice. Michelle turned and hurried back up the stairs and into her husband’s arms!

    “Michelle, what is it? Wilbur was supposed to be picked up an hour ago. The school called me.”

    Michelle frowned, then looked at her watch. No. It was not possible.

    “Michelle?” Christian asked again.

    “Christian, it was like 1:00 in the afternoon when I went down in that basement. Now it says...”

    “It’s almost four. Are you feeling alright?” Christian asked, touching her face for signs of a fever. But Michelle shook him off.

    “I’m fine. Really. Is Wilbur upstairs?”

    “He’s in the kitchen. I’m going to assume those cookies you baked are the reason you forgot about him?” Christian said in a teasing tone.

    Michelle peeked into the kitchen and saw Wilbur eating Viviene’s cookies. She then pulled Christian into the hallway.

    “Christian, there is a crazy woman in the basement, that claims she wants to be our maid! I don’t know how she got in here! Worse yet, some bitch that claims she lives next door, joined us down there, saying I left the front door open when I did not! They’re still down there!”

    “Okay! Okay! Calm down! First of all, the door was open when Wilbur and I came in.”

    “Probably because the neighbor left it open! I did not leave the front door open!”

    “Maybe the wind blew it open. Now who are these women you’re talking about?”

    “One is dressed in a housekeeper’s uniform and the other is a blonde woman, that sounds kind of southern. Christian, just get them out of here!”

    “Okay, okay. I’ll be right back.” Christian soothed her, kissing her quickly before heading towards the basement. Privately, he was worried. He didn’t really expect to find anyone down in this basement. What he thought was that someone had come by here, filled her in on some of the past murders and now his wife was spooked. That was all.

    But Christian was the one surprised, when he found a hot looking, twenty something red headed maid, and an older woman standing by the washer and dryer. Constance looked him over appreciatively--as did the maid.

    “Mr. Troy? I’m Constance Langdon, your  next door neighbor. I’m sorry if I scared your wife. I was just trying to tell her that Moira here, used to work for me and is an EXCELLENT  housekeeper.”

    Moira smiled seductively at Christian, then raised her dress uniform to reveal a lack of underwear. Constance sighed, looking Christian over again, before walking past him towards the stairs.

    “I’ll apologize to your wife. You two have at it.” she said in a sing song voice. Christian half looked back at Constance, before focusing in on Moira. He walked up to her.

    “You’re the maid?” he asked, closing the space between them.

    “I am now.” she answered in a low voice.

                                                                  ****

    Michelle never saw Constance come up from the basement, as she was busy asking Wilbur about his day at school.

    “It was alright,” Wilbur answered carefully, “but I don’t like my math teacher. And I don’t like math.”

    “Well, why don’t you give him...”

    “It’s a lady, Mom.”

    “I’m sorry. Why don’t you give her a chance, okay?”

    Wilbur nodded and bit into another cookie. Michelle was about to limit his intake, when she heard a loud noise coming from the basement! She walked away from her son and towards the basement door. She knew she shouldn’t have left Christian alone with those two crazy bitches...

    “Christian?” Michelle asked from the top of the stairs. “Is everything okay? Are they gone?”

    Christian tried to keep his voice level, as he pounded into Moira, who saw on top of the washing machine. Her legs were wrapped around his waist.

    “Everything. Is. Fine. Let’s. Give. Moira. A. Try!” Christian almost growled, as he contonued to gyrate around inside the hot maid.

    What? Michelle was about to walk down the stairs, when she realized Wilbur was speaking to someone. She turned and walked back into the kitchen, to find Constance sitting with Wilbur. Michelle looked back towards the basement door. Wasn’t she down there with Christian and Moira?

    “Your son is just so handsome. I never got your name?” Constance said, twirling her pearl necklace.

    Michelle looked back towards the basement once more, then spoke.

    “It’s Michelle. Michelle Troy.”

                                                         ****

    Christian and Moira straightened their clothes afterwards. Moira smoothed the front of her dress.

    “I think we should discuss pay.”

    “I think you should fuck off!” Christian replied. “You offered to work for my wife for free. That’s your pay. And fucking me whenever I want. Are we clear?”

    Moira gave him a dirty look.

    “Crystal.”

    “Good. Now I have to convince my wife that you’re worth keeping. Somehow I don’t think the same method of ‘persuasion’ you used on me is going to work on her.” Christian said. He then turned and walked away from her and up the basement steps.

    Moments later, Vivien appeared in the basement with Moira.

    “You should  be ashamed of yourself!”

    Moira, who still looked old to Vivien, began to cry!

    “Don’t you see I’m trapped?! We’re all trapped!  It’s this house!”

    “The house makes you act like a slut? My husband wasn’t crazy, was he?”

    Moira gave her a hard look.

    “No. He wasn’t. The house  makes  me act like a slut. Just like it makes you act like a sanctimonious bitch. Now if you’ll excuse me: I have a real reason to be seen here. You don’t.”

    And with that, Moira picked up the laundry basket of clothes and headed up the stairs. As soon as the door closed, Ben appeared. He could see his wife was upset.

    “Nice husband Michelle has! They won’t make it here. We can’t let what happened to us, happen to them.”

    Ben reached out to touch his wife’s shoulder, but she flinched and moved away. Even in death, Vivien was still angry with him.

    “What’s happening to Michelle and Christian is not the same situation, Viv. He’s...he clearly isn’t committed to being married.”

    Viviene looked at him as if he were crazy!

    “Which makes him different from you, how?”

    “I made a mistake. One that you couldn’t forgive me for.  I can see that Christian Troy, and mistakes, go hand in hand. And frankly, I resent your comparing me to him.”

    “He screws anything that walks.”

    “And I do too?”

    “We’re playing roles in this stupid house as ghosts, Ben! I’m the bitter wife and yes, you’ll probably end up sleeping with Moira, Constance or someone, even now.”

    Ben couldn’t believe she would say that to him. He stared after her even as she left him. He turned away and stared at the telltale washer and dryer. Michelle Troy had not been open to his offier of therapy. Ben knew it had not been presented in the best light, and before he had watched Christian and Moira have sex down here, he would’ve assumed that Michelle wouldn’t be taking him up on his offer.

    But he could see the Troy marriage was failing fast. And he had no doubt he would be back in his chair,  listening to Mrs. Troy explain just what was going on between her husband and herself.

                                                                  ****

    Christian kissed Wilbur, before putting his blankets on him, and leaving him in his room for the night. Dressed in a black silk robe, that he discarded as soon as he entered his and Michelle’s room, he idly wondered how in the hell Moira could’ve really worked for the last ‘five families’ that lived in this house, when she couldn’t be any older than 25?

    She probably hadn’t.

    Michelle sat in front of her vanity and applied shea butter to her legs. She had reluctantly agreed to keep Moira, since she wanted work for free. Why? Who WANTS to work for free? Especially as a maid? It was a shame she couldn’t get some references...

    Hadn’t Constance said Moira worked for her at one time? Then again, Michelle didn’t consider her a good source of information. She still thoiught that Constance just walked up in here! And seeing her near Wilbur like that, gave her the creeps. Not to mention when Christian and Moira came up from the basement, Constance was all over Christian, as if she hadn’t had a man of her own in decades.

    Maybe she should ask Vivien? Then again, Vivien blabbed the little she had gotten out of her, to her shrink husband. No. With the internet these days, Michelle was sure she could find out something on her own.

    She looked over at Christian, who was now lying naked on their bed, staring at her expectantly. Michelle looked away. She wasn’t in the mood. The whole sequence of events today had rattled her.

    “You know,” Michelle said, “I think I’m going to read a little. I’ll go downstairs so that I don’t disturb you.”

    “Read? Come on, Michelle! That’s your worst excuse yet for putting me off.”

    Michelle stood up, tightening her robe.

    “I’m sorry. I’m just not up to anything tonight.”

    “Why?”

    Michelle gave him a look thick with disbelief!

    “I’m sorry, did you not see how upset I was today? A crazy assed woman shows up already doing our son’s laundry, in our basement! She broke in and you hire her on anyway! Then that steel magnolia from next door breaks in here...not to mention...”

    Christian stood up and walked over to her. He rested his hands on her shoulders.

    “Is there something you’re not telling me?”

    Michelle bit her lip, then spoke.

    “There were two other neighbors. A married couple. They were also kind of nosy. I just think we should sell this house and leave.”

    “Michelle! We’ve been here like one day! Look, how about we throw a party for these ‘nosy neighbors’? A housewarming, so to speak. I’ll invite Sean and Julia and they can access what’s going on.”

    Michelle moved away from him.

    “So you’d believe them but not me?”

    “Michelle...”

    “I don’t want to see Julia’s face in this house, ever, in my lifetime. And Sean hates me.”

    “Sean does not hate you! But he does think that we rushed into things here. Look, honey, Julia and I have history and we’re Matt’s parents. I made a mistake.  Julia had just come from visiting Matt in prison after he had been raped in there. We just lost it....I love you. I love Wilbur. Giving up on this house is like giving up on us. Are you giving up on us, Michelle?”

    Michelle shook her head, and in that moment, she suddenly felt more in love with her husband, than she ever had been before. Christian kissed her tenatively, then deepened the kiss, while removing her robe and pulling her towards the bed.  Michelle did not know if this house did have some kind of strange power. All she knew was that for the first time since she had caught Christian and Julia in their bed, in their old apartment, Michelle was taking an ardent interest in making love with her husband. She slid slowly up and down his rigid flesh, then changed her rhythm to a vigorous to and fro movement, until they were both left in wonder of heir passion.

    Christian had known this house was the key to repairing his broken relationship with his wife. It was broken no longer. Michelle had come back to him, giving herself to him and this marriage. He secretly hoped that they had created a child tonight.

                                                           ****

    It was 2 a.m. when something awoke Michelle. She didn’t know what it was, nor would she remember it in the morning, as she moved out of Christian’s embrace and got up naked, from their bed. She left their room in a trance.

    She slowly walked down the stairs and into the living room, where an equally naked, Ben Harmon waited for her. He moved toward her, pulled her into his arms and kissed her gently, before letting her go.

    “We’re going to talk, here, tomorrow.” was all he said to her. But what he had kept to himself when he had argued with Vivien earlier, was how connected he had felt to Michelle Troy, from the moment he had laid eyes on her. It would be impossible for him to keep from making love to her. This, he was sure of.

Chapter 2 by PriscillaPal

    Christian smiled at Wilbur, as he ate a piece of bacon the next morning. Wilbur smiled back as well. His parents had seemed sad for awhile, but ever since they moved into this house, everyone seemed happy. He was happy himself. A nice lady had helped him do his math the other night...

    Michelle smiled at Christian, her eyes falling on Moira, as she put a few more eggs on Wilbur’s plate. He said ‘thank you’ and Moira’s smile lit up the room. Maybe she was good for this family. Maybe she was good for Wilbur, Michelle thought.

    She looked at her husband.

    “Could you take Wilbur to school today? I want to  make  nice with the neighbors. I think I really messed up yesterday.” she said. Christian nodded.

    “I think that’s an excellent idea. I also think that my idea from the other night, would fit right in.”

    Moira noted that Michelle briefly scowled at his words. What was that about?

    “I told you, I’m not interested in seeing you-know-who in this house.” Michelle responded.

    “Who’s ‘you know who’?” Wilbur asked innocently.

    “Your Aunt Julia.” Christian responded. Michelle’s mouth dropped open! How could he tell their son that?!

    “Why don’t you want to see Aunt Julia, Mommy?” Wilbur asked. Moira feigned disinterest but her ears were perked.

    “It’s a grown up thing.” Christian told his son. “Now go and get your books, okay?”

    “Okay.” Wilbur said, forgetting about Aunt Julia. He had time to get his books and say goodbye to his other new friend.

    His friend Tate.

    Michelle folded her arms.

    “Nice!” she snapped.

    “What? You can explain why he can’t ever see Julia in his own home.”

    “Oh, do you really want me to?” Michelle countered, just as the kitchen door opened and Constance walked in. Michelle’s lips tightened. She was now 100% sure that this bitch had just walked into the house yesterday!

    “I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Constance cooed, “but I dropped a ring in the basement yesterday. I was hoping to find it.”

    Michelle turned and walked out of the kitchen. She opened the front door, slammed it behind her and began walking down the front walk. A nice stroll is what she needed right now...

    Suddenly, Vivien Harmon was walking towards her.

    “Hi, Michelle. Listen, I want to apologize for yesterday. Ben had no right to rush over here like that.  I shouldn’t have said anything.”

    Michelle waved a hand dismissively.

    “It’s alright. Really.”

    Vivien tilted her head.

    “No. No it isn’t. You look like you’re about to blow.”

    Suddenly, Christian and Wilbur came out of the house. Christian told Wilbur to wait for him in the car, then joined Michelle and Vivien out on the sidewalk. He eyed Vivien. She was cute.

    “Michelle, who do we have here?”

    Michelle half looked at Christian, before making the introduction.

    “Christian, this is Vivien Harmon. Vivien, this is my husband, Christian.”

    Vivien shook his hand. She had to admit, while she thought he was scum, he was very attractive scum!

    “Vivien’s husband is a psychiatrist.” Michelle added.

    “You know, now we HAVE to have a get together. Vivian, her husband, Constance and some friends of ours...”

    “Yours. I have to get back inside. Constance is lurking around in the basement.” Michelle said snidely, turning to walk off. Christian stared after her for a moment, then turned back to Vivien.

    “So...where is your home?”

    “Oh across the street and over aways. You’d better get your son off to school. It looks like he’s waiting.” Vivien said. “It was nice meeting you.”

    “Same here.” Christian replied, then watched as Vivien Harmon power walked off down the sidewalk. He then dragged his eyes off of her ass and looked at the house again. He should not leave things between himself and Michelle, this way. Not after they connected again the other night.

    But he looked at his watch. He was already running late and he and Sean had a tummy tuck in an hour. Soothing his wife’s hurt feelings would  have to wait.

                                                         ****

    When Michelle returned to the house and went to the basement, she no hide nor hair of Constance. Shaking her head angrily, she stomped back up the stairs and was about to walk into the living room when....

    Ben Harmon was standing by the fireplace. He had a notebook in his hand.

    “Uh...”

    “Moira let me in. We had an appointment, remember?” he asked carefully. Michelle blinked. That was right! When he came to the door the other day, they had made an appointment.

    “Uh yes, sort of. I thought it was for later though? I have to do some shopping.”

    “Oh, I’ll do it!” Constance called out. Michelle’s mouth dropped open! This bitch was STILL  in her house???

    “Did you find your ring?” Michelle asked coolly.

    “No. I hate to say this, but your new housekeeper must have stolen it. Ben, didn’t Moira work for you at one time? I seem to recall she was trouble.” Constance said coyly.

    Michelle looked at Ben and noted that he was giving Constance quite the dirty look! Michelle cleared her throat.

    “I’ll ask Moira if she’s seen your ring. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment.”

    “With Dr. Harmon here? He is a wonderful psychiatrist. He helped my son Tate.”

    Michelle lifted a brow, looking at Ben again.

    “Really?” she asked. Ben folded his arms.

    “Actually, Tate was beyond help.”

    Constance scowled and Michelle sensed there was much more to this story than she was hearing. Ben grabbed Constance’s arm.

    “I think you should go back over to YOUR house, Constance. Now!”

    Constance shook him off, still grinning like a mad clown. She then looked at Michelle.

    “I’m glad you’re getting help now, before it’s too late.”

    Michelle was tempted to answer that so many ways, most of them impolite. But she watched as Ben practically pushed Constance out of the door, closed it, then returned to the living room.

    “Alone. At last. Why don’t I sit here and you sit over there.” he suggested, making himself at home in a chair. Michelle reluctantly did as he said and sat in her assigned chair.

    “Now, Michelle, why don’t we begin with your telling me something about yourself?”

    Michelle just stared at Ben for a long moment. He smiled teasingly.

    “I’ve stunned you with this question?”

    “Well...there isn’t much to tell.”

    “Well of course there is. I mean it’s not like you were born, you grew up and here you are, right? There’s a lot in between.”

    Michelle could not help but smile at that assessment.

    “I’m from Florida. I had plans to be a doctor and actually went to medical school. But then my father died and my mother couldn’t afford to foot the bill. So...I became an escort to pay for my education but ended up dropping out anyway.”

    Ben’s eyes widened and he began writing.

    “Really?”

    “Oh yes. I worked under a Madam who actually fell in love with me, and kind of killed herself because we couldn’t be together.”

    Ben would’ve NEVER guessed this much!

    “So, you were a lesbian?”

    “No, she was. Her feelings weren’t reciprocated. I got out of hooking when I married a much older man named Burt Landau.”

    Ben nodded.

    “Burt and I had sexual problems, because of his age and a penile implant he had put in. That was how I met Christian. He was the doctor that worked on Burt. I had an affair with him...” Michelle trailed off. Ben peered at her.

    “I take it Burt died? I mean otherwise you wouldn’t be with Christian now.”

    “Yes,” Michelle lied, “he died. Christian and I got together and it didn’t work out. I was left to run his plastic surgery firm when he moved here.”

    “Okay, go back. I’m confused. You ran Christian’s plastic surgery business...so you went back to medical school?”

    “No, I’m sorry! I have to fill in some blanks. Burt got the idea to buy the firm after his surgery. I ran it. I did nothing medical, just administration. Christian and his partner, Sean, ended up working for me.”

    “Then Christian broke up with you and left?”

    “Christian and Sean left. So did their anesthesiologist. The three of them are inseparable.”

    “And that bothers you?” Ben noted. Michelle shrugged.

    “Christian broke up with me because he said he couldn’t trust me. That I had too many secrets. But I could never shake the feeling that the three of them knew things that they’d never share with me. Julia is probably in the know as well.”

    “Julia?” Ben asked.

    “Sean’s wife and the mother of Christian’s son, Matt.” Michelle explained.

    “So Christian was married to Julia before Sean?”

    “No. They were never married and for the longest time, Sean thought that Matt was HIS son.”

    “Okay, I understand. You’ve left out Wilbur. He’s about seven or eight?”

    “Wilbur is eight and he isn’t Christian’s biological child. His birth mother died. His birth father and his wife died as well. Christian adopted Wilbur and I did as well, later on.”

    “How did Christian come to adopt a child?”

    “Uh...I  believe he told me that he thought Wilbur was his, until he was born. Then he realized Gina, Wilbur’s mother, had tricked him. But Christian didn’t care. He loves Wilbur. That’s one thing about him that’s very sincere.”

    “And Christian’s love for you?” Ben probed.

    Michelle sighed.

    “I think Christian does the best he can. I think he loves me the only way he knows how. I think I thought I could change him. I also think I thought HE would change me. This house...this life here...it’s our last chance. If we can’t make a go of it here, in the suburbs, we probably never will.”

    “Michelle, your life with your husband is NOT dependent on a house. Especially not this one.”

    Michelle lifted a brow.

    “You say that because of all the murders that happened here, right? Did you know any of the owners?”

    Ben closed his notebook.

    “I think our time is up today. I’d like to see you tomorrow, same time?”

    Michelle stared at him for a moment, then shook her head.

    “I don’t think so. I mean I can’t see how this could possibly help.” she said, standing up. Ben made it a point to stand up at the same time she did.

    “Do you feel better than you did this morning?”

    Michelle shrugged.

    “A little, I guess.”

    “Then it did help. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Ben repeated. Michelle shook her head.

    “Dr. Harmon...”

    “Ben. We’re neighbors.”

    Michelle smiled at him.

    “Fine. Ben, you must have other patients that need you more than I. Really, I’m fine. Christian and I just need to learn how to  communicate better, that’s all.”

    Ben decided not to push. He would return tonight and lull her into another appointment.

    “If you’re sure?”

    “I am, Ben. But thanks for listening to me today.”

    Ben nodded and Michelle walked him out. Once the door closed, Michelle found herself thinking about Ben and Vivien. She realized that one of the reasons she didn’t want to see Dr. Ben Harmon again, was because she wasn’t completely convinced that he knew of what he spoke. Michelle had had the distinct impression, from Vivien, that all was not well between the psychiatrist and his wife. And until she knew for certain that Dr. Harmon himself, was not the reason for that rift, she felt it would be best if she didn’t see him professionally again.

                                                          ****

    “What do you mean, ‘you fucked the maid’?” Sean McNamara asked in disbelief. Him and Christian were sitting in their breakroom. Christian was spooning yogurt in his mouth.

    “You heard me! I mean you should see the hot little bitch! She just looks at me like she wants to devour me or something! And Michelle of course didn’t want her there, for good reason. But the house IS big. There’s no way Michelle will be able to care for it on her own.”

    Sean was quiet for a moment before speaking.

    “So are you ever going to tell me what prompted this big move? I mean one moment Michelle and you were happy with Wilbur in an apartment, then you just up and move.”

    There was no way in the hell Christian was going to admit that he fucked Julia, got caught by Michelle and now needed desperately to do something to keep Michelle. He had thought a big house, with renovation possibilities, was the key. But Michelle was still resentful of Julia, not that she didn’t have a right to be. But at the same time, Julia wanted to make things work with Sean. Meaning, she didn’t want him to know about her indiscretion. And if Julia and Michelle couldn’t get along. eventually Sean was going to wonder why.

    “I thought with Wilbur getting older, it was about time. He needs to live in a house. Plus, Michelle and I are trying to start a family.”

    Sean’s eyes widened!

    “Jesus, Christian! You’re fucking the maid! Don’t bring a baby into this shit!”

    “What shit? I told you the slut greets me with her legs open! It’s not my fault she’s some kind of sex maniac. You know she’s been running around saying she worked for the last five families, which mathematically, couldn’t be possible. But now I wonder if maybe she worked for like the last one and was fired?”

    “For being a sex maniac?” Sean asked skeptically. He stood up and walked over to the counter to pour himself a cup of coffee. He sipped it, then spoke again.

    “What is the story behind that house? I looked it up online. The back stories are really messed up.”

    Christian shrugged.

    “Who knows? I mean from what I could tell, crazy people ended up buying it and killing one another in it. Michelle and I are going to buck tradition.”

    “Not if you keep having sex with the maid.” Sean said wryly. Christian stood up.

    “You have to see her, Sean. I want to put together a housewarming party for tomorrow night. Julia and you should come. You can meet some of the neighbors.”

    Sean spoke carefully.

    “And Michelle wants Julia and I there?”

    “Yes...why are you asking?”

    “Look, I made it clear when you two were together in Florida, that I didn’t like  her. I mean she was part of that kidney ring that messed up Liz.  I just didn’t think you could trust her.  But I see the two of you are trying to make a go of it with Wilbur, so I want to get along with her. But....”

    “Michelle doesn’t seem very open to it?” Christian asked. Sean nodded.
   
    “She’ll come around. But right now the house and the neighbors, some which are a bit eccentric, are stressing her out. I think she’d feel better seeing some familiar faces.”

    Sean shrugged.

    “Okay. I’ll talk to Julia and see what we have planned for tomorrow night.”

    “If you have anything planned, cancel it! I need the two of you to be my eyes and ears to sum up the neighbors.” Christian told him.

                                                            ****

    Michelle decided to do some baking of her own, which was uncharacteristic of her. But she felt bad that Vivien had brought those cookies over and offered her own husband as a sounding board. And there was Constance. If she had to live next door to the woman, she might as well try and get along with her.

    Realizing that she only knew where Constance lived for sure, Michelle picked up the plate of chocolate chip cookies she had baked, and was about to leave via the kitchen door, when the front doorbell rang.  Sighing, Michelle set down the plate, her eyes on the lookout for Moira--who should have answered the damned door in the first place!

    Michelle opened the door without looking out, to find a young girl outside, swaying on the porch! Blood was running down her legs!

    “Help me!” she croaked, falling into the house. Michelle half caught her and began to scream for Moira! Moira appeared and frowned.

    “Moira, call 911! I’ll get her over to the couch!”

    “Don’t touch her, Mrs. Troy! She’s nothing but trouble!”

    Michelle half glanced at the girl, who she had helped to a living room couch. She then hurried back out into the hallway!

    “What are you talking about?!  Can’t you see something is wrong with her? She needs medical attention!”

    Moira folded her arms.

    “Mrs. Troy, the little slut is a troublemaker. I believe the young woman’s name is Hayden and she tried to come between Ben and Vivien Harmon.”

    Michelle gasped inadvertently! She then slowly backed away and walked back into the living room to find it empty! No one was there! And there was no blood anywhere around, even though ‘Hayden’ had been bleeding profusely. The blood had been running down her legs...like she had been miscarrying...

    Moira slowly walked in and smirked with satisfaction.

    “Home wrecking whore is gone. If you see Mrs. Harmon, I wouldn’t mention this to her. The very sight of Hayden still upsets her.”

    Michelle said nothing as Moira left the living room. Michelle looked around, unable to figure out how Hayden could’ve left the house without her being seen. She took two deep breaths, went back into the kitchen and picked up the plate of cookies. She had the feeling that Constance Langdon would be the person to go to, to find out about the strange goings ons in their neighborhood.

                                                           ****

    “Cookies! You shouldn’t have, Michelle. I must watch my figure. But do come in.” Constance said graciously. Michelle smiled wanly and stepped inside. She sat down at the kitchen table, uninvited. Constance peered down at her.

    “What is it? Is it Moira? The woman is a disgrace. I fired her.”

    Hmmm, Michelle thought. She HAD been looking for references on Moira, and had been reluctant to ask Constance. But this sealed it. She was going to make Christian fire the woman.

    “I’m glad you told me that. Maybe now Christian will listen to me and get rid of her.” Michelle groused. “I have to ask you something though: a woman was just in my house, in need of medical attention. Moira said that the woman’s name was ‘Hayden’ and that Dr. Harmon had an affair with her. Is that true?”

    Constance raised a brow.

    “What you really want to know is can a man who cheated on his wife, really be a good listener?”

    Michelle didn’t answer that. When she thought about it, she had liked talking with Ben. Maybe she should’ve considered therapy years ago.

    Or was it that she just liked talking to Ben?

    “Michelle?”

    Michelle pulled herself out of her thoughts and focused on Constance.

    “Ben and Vivien just seem nice, that’s all. I hope they can work things out. And some wild teenager, running around miscarrying isn’t going to help things. I wonder if she went to someone else’s house? Or got herself to the ER? You know, I should warn Vivien. Where is her house exactly?”

    Before Constance was forced to answer, Michelle’s cellphone rang. Michelle pulled it out of her pocket and looked at the Caller I.D..

    Julia McNamara. God why?

    Michelle sent the call to voicemail and stood up.

    “I’ve taken up too much of your time. I just wanted to apologize for how I’ve been acting--hence the cookies.”

    “You’re under strain. It can’t be easy being married to a man like Christian. He reminds me a lot of my late husband. He was a lot like him.” Constance said faintly.

    “Like him in looks?”

    “No dear. Demeanor. His eyes always wandered...strayed...”

    Michelle didn’t respond to that. Probably because Constance’s assessment of Christian had more than a tinge of truth to it.

    “Well, I should get going.” Michelle said and saw herself out of Constance’s house.  Once outside, she pulled out her phone and listened to her voicemail from Julia.

    “Michelle, it’s Julia McNamara. Sean told me about the housewarming party. Sean and I will come as long as you understand that Sean knows nothing about what happened between Christian and I. And it has to stay that way. So...”

    Michelle stopped listening to the message. Clearly, Christian had already made plans without consulting her. She took a deep breath and told herself she could get through one night of looking at Julia McNamara’s face.

Chapter 3 by PriscillaPal

    The day would not get much better for Michelle.

    It went even further downhill, when she picked up Wilbur and found that his math teacher, a Ms. Webster, wanted to see her. Wilbur delivered this news, solemn faced.

    “Now? I can’t call her back and make an appointment?”

    Wilbur’s eyes filled with fresh tears.

    “She said I cheated on my homework, Mom! I didn’t! I got help and I did the problems myself.”

    “Of course you did, baby! You stay here in the car. I’ll find out what this is all about.” Michelle told him, touching his face and getting out of the car. She went inside of the school and to the school office. She was given directions to Ms. Webster’s room and once she arrived, it did indeed appear that the woman was waiting for her.

    Ms. Webster was a small woman, with a pageboy hairdo. She stood up and shook Michelle’s hand.

    “Mrs. Troy? Thank you for stopping by on such short notice.”

    Michelle kept cool.

    “I didn’t really have much choice. Wilbur told me you wanted to see me, just as I was picking him up.”

    “I’m sorry for delaying you, but I thought it was urgent.”

    Michelle sat down in front of her desk.

    “Okay...Wilbur said something about your accusing him of cheating?”

    Ms. Webster pursed her lips.

    “Mrs. Troy, Wilbur did not do the assignment he turned in today. That I am convinced of.”

    “You’re convinced, hey?”

    “The handwriting is not the same,” Ms. Webster said calmly, “and I am very familiar with Wilbur’s level of work. He is just not capable of turning in a 100% homework assignment.”

    Michelle stood up.
   
    “Wilbur told me that his father helped him with that homework! Helped him, meaning he didn’t do it for him.”

    Ms. Webster stood up.

    “There is a way to prove your son’s innocence. I could put some problems up on the blackboard--now, and see if he can do them.”

    “What?! You’ve got a hell of a lot of nerve! Wilbur already did the homework assignment, he doesn’t need to do the problems again! Either you’re going to believe that or you won’t.”

    “Then I don’t,”  Ms. Webster said flatly, “and he’s getting a zero.”

    “And this this isn’t the end of this. But before I’m through, it will be then end of you.” Michelle said coldly, picking up her purse and skulking from the room! She was going to tell Christian about this and they would see the principal, the school board, whomever was necessary.

                                                               ****

    By the time Christian did get home, Michelle was still worked up by Ms. Webster and her bullshit! She was telling Moira about it, as she fixed dinner.

    “And this teacher said that the handwriting looked different?” Moira asked.

    “Yes! I mean I will admit, it’s possible Christian did a few problems for Wilbur. But he wouldn’t do the whole thing! Wilbur is weak in math,  but both of us have always made it a point to make sure he understands what he’s learning.”

    “And this woman didn’t even try and pretend to believe that Wilbur could’ve done the work?” Moira asked. Michelle shook her head.

    “See, that’s what’s really bothering me! She acted as if Wilbur was just TOO stupid to have even attempted any of those problems.”

    Christian appeared in the doorway and smiled at Moira, who looked hotter than ever. He then walked over to Michelle and planted a firm kiss on her mouth.

    “Am I forgiven for this morning?”

    Michelle grabbed his hand and pulled him out into the hallway.

    “Wilbur’s math teacher is accusing him of cheating on his homework. He’s getting a zero for what he turned in today. Wilbur said you helped him. Just tell me you helped and didn’t do the work for him?”

    Christian blinked.

    “Honey, I didn’t help Wilbur with his homework last night. I asked him about it and he said it was done.”

    Michelle’s mouth dropped open!

    “I didn’t help him! Do you think it was Moira?”

    The doorbell rang.

    “I’ll answer that,” Michelle said, “you ask Moira. I just spoke to her about this and she seemed just as perplexed as we are.”

    Christian said nothing as his wife walked away to answer the door. He stepped back into the kitchen and found that Moira was now naked, holding a spatula. She gently flipped a chicken breast over.

    “Are you out of your mind?!” Christian hissed.

    “It’s hot.”

    “I don’t give a fuck! Get that uniform back on! Now!”

    Meanwhile, Ben and Vivien were at the door, holding a bottle of champagne.

    “We thought we’d welcome you to the neighborhood.” Vivien said, stepping in uninvited. Michelle moved aside as Ben smiled wanly at her, handing her the bottle.  Michelle scarcely noticed when Vivien headed straight for the kitchen...

    Ben closed the door.

    “We’ve come at a bad time, haven’t we? You look upset.” he noted.

    Michelle set the champagne down on a nearby table, then looked around for Vivien, whom she did not see.

    “Dr. Harmon...”

    “Michelle, I thought we agreed that you’d call me Ben.”

    “That was before I met Hayden.”

    Ben looked uneasy.

    “You met Hayden?”

    Michelle looked around for Vivien again.

    “Yes!” she hissed. “I mean I hope someone got her to a hospital because she was miscarrying a baby that from what I heard, was probably yours.”

    “I can explain...”

    “You don’t owe me any explanations, ‘doctor’. But I can’t make nice with you or your wife, knowing what  I know now. I mean I’m sure poor Vivien doesn’t even know about this pregnancy, does she?”

    “She does, yes.” Ben told her. Michelle sighed.

    “It doesn’t matter. It’s none of my business and I just can’t deal with anyone else’s problems tonight.”

    Ben gently reached out to touch her shoulders.

    “Tell me what’s wrong.”

    Meanwhile, Christian sighed as Vivien Harmon stood in the kitchen doorway, shaking her head. Moira was still naked.

    “Jesus, Christian! Your wife is in the hallway!” Vivien snapped.

    “Hey! She’s crazy! I didn’t take her clothes off of her!” Christian countered.

    “Oh like how you didn’t fuck her on the washer the other day either, hey?”

    Christian squinted at her. How in the hell had she known about that?! Christian looked over at Moira. This big mouthed bitch must have said something! He pointed at her.

    “You’re fired! Get out!” he snapped. He then looked at Vivien.

    “I don’t know what you’re doing here, but you  get out too.”

    “I think I’m going to mention what I saw in here to Michelle.” Vivien threatened. Christian walked up to her.

    “And I’ll just say that you’re hot for me. Michelle is already uneasy by all of the crazy ass neighbors around here. She will never believe you over me. So get the fuck out!” he snapped.

    Meanwhile, Michelle was about to break down and tell Ben about Wilbur, when she heard the raised voices from the kitchen! What the hell?! Michelle headed towards the kitchen, when Vivien suddenly came storming out!

    “Ben, we’re leaving! Michelle, I hope YOU enjoy the wine!” Vivien said, flinging open the front door. She didn’t bother to wait for Ben. Christian walked over to Ben and shook his hand.

    “It’s nice to meet you, Dr. Harmon. We should do lunch sometime. I can also maybe do something about those crow’s feet around your eyes.”

    Ben gave Christian a look, but returned the handshake.

    “Thanks, I think. Michelle, we’ll talk tomorrow.”

    Michelle shook her head and mouthed ‘no’. Christian frowned but said nothing until Ben had left, closing the door behind him.

    “You’ll ‘talk’ tomorrow? What is all that about?”

    Michelle folded her arms.

    “Well, Ben is a psychiatrist. And he offered his services.”

    Christian gave her a confused look.

    “Why?”

    “Oh Christian! Stop pretending as if all I have to do is just wipe my mind clean! I took a chance to come out here and make a life with you! You welched on our wedding vows within six months. Now you want me to look at Julia on a regular basis and lie to Sean’s face. This house, this neighborhood is really messed up! And now with Wilbur’s problems...maybe I need someone to talk to.”

    “And who am I?! You’ve just told a stranger about all of our problems?”

    “I didn’t just ‘tell’ anyone. It’s almost like everyone knows already. I don’t know how to explain it...”

    “I do! You’ve told everyone! No wonder the neighbors don’t like us! I’m going upstairs to help Wilbur with his homework...for real. I fired Moira. I caught her stealing some of your jewelry.” Christian lied and turned to leave. Michelle squinted at his back. Moira stole some of her jewelry? While she was cooking in the kitchen?

    Suddenly, she remembered Vivien’s demeanor tonight. Did she see something in the kitchen? Michelle walked into the kitchen and found Moira, calmly cooking--and dressed.

    “Moira? My husband said he fired you?”

    “It was a misunderstanding. I’m sure he’ll calm down in the morning.”

    “Uh, I don’t think so. I mean he said he caught you with some of my jewelry.”

    Moira stopped stirring something in a pot and looked at her. Her faded eye began to fill with tears.

    “Do you really think I’d do something like that, Mrs. Troy?”

    Michelle half looked her over. The woman wasn’t very good looking...though she might have been in her youth. But no, Michelle’s sense was that Moira would not steal from her. Then what had been all that fuss earlier?

    Vivien would know. Michelle shook her head at Moira, then left the kitchen. She glanced up the staircase, before picking up her purse and leaving the house. She would go over to the Harmon’s house to find out what happened.  It was as she closed the door behind her, that she realized that she STILL, did not know where the couple lived! Michelle looked over at Contance’s home and headed over in that direction. She had meant to ask the eccentric woman where they lived before, but Julia’s call had gotten her flustered.

    Before she could take another step, Vivien appeared before her!

    “Vivien! What are you doing out here in the dark?”

    “I couldn’t rest. I walk when I’m troubled.”

    Michelle put a hand on her arm.

    “What happened in my kitchen? You didn’t see Moira stealing my jewelry, did you?”

    Vivien shook her head.

    “No. Michelle, Moira is not quite what she appears to be. She’s nice enough but she’s troubled.”

    “Meaning?” Michelle asked, confused.

    “I know for a fact that she and Christian have slept together.”

    Michelle’s eyes widened. She was then silent. She then burst out laughing!

    “Oh, Vivien! Oh my God, you just made my day!”

    Vivien tilted her head.

    “You don’t believe me?”

    “No...well...come on! She’s hardly Christian’s type. But you’re saying that Moira has hit on him, right?” Michelle asked. She now understood why Christian lied about the jewelry. She supposed it was embarrassing to admit that someone like that, was putting the moves on you.

    “I mean, Michelle, that Moira has been hitting on him and that Christian has been very open to her advances. I know for a fact that they had sex in your basement. On your washing machine.”

    Michelle eyed her, just as Ben walked up and began to steer Vivien away.

    “I’m sorry, Michelle, Vivien can be...”

    Vivien jerked away from him! She then pointed at Michelle.

    “Michelle, just get in your car and go! Like right now!”

    “What?! I couldn’t just leave Wilbur and Christian! Vivien, tell me what you saw in that kitchen--exactly!”

    But Ben pulled Vivien away down the sidewalk, mouthing to her ‘we’ll talk to tomorrow’. Michelle looked away. The fact that he insisted on having her for a patient now, was beginning to get on her nerves. Michelle looked around, then went back inside.

                                                           ****

    Michelle skipped dinner. She didn’t feel like looking at Moira, since she didn’t know what to think of her. And Christian had lied about what happened, but she just was unsure of why? It wasn’t as if she would’ve believed that Christian had any interest in Moira. The woman looked about late 60’s or early 70’s.

    She was also beginning to think that Christian had done Wilbur’s homework! That meant Wilbur had lied as well, when he said he had gotten help, but did it himself.  At that moment, Michelle decided that Christian could handle Wilbur’s teacher and that failed homework assignment!

    Meanwhile, in another bedroom, Vivien was sitting on a bed and watching Ben, as he went over his notes with his session with Michelle.

    “Why aren’t you telling her to leave, Ben?”

    Ben looked up.

    “What do you mean?”

    “You know what I mean! We know what this house is. By the way, I ran into psycho Hayden. Nice of her to show up here, probably scaring Michelle half to death with her miscarriage trick.”

    Ben closed his notebook.

    “Michelle mentioned her. She’s also not so open to therapy anymore.”

    “Of course not! Ben, tell her to go! Tell her to grab Wilbur and get the hell out of here!”

    Ben eyed her.

    “You’ve been helping Wilbur with his homework, haven’t you?”

    Vivien looked down.

    “Kids are nice at that age, aren’t they? I saw he hadn’t done it. And I don’t think he knew how to. He woke up and I tried to show  him some problems, but he wasn’t getting it. I didn’t want him to fail.”

    Ben smiled softly at her.

    “That’s nice.”

    Vivien didn’t return the smile.

    “You know who I saw here at a neighbor’s house? Luke. God, don’t I wish I could’ve given him a chance before you got us all killed.” Vivien said in a whispering hiss, before getting up and leaving the room. Ben sighed. Yes, Luke, the alarm guy. He sighed again. Ben knew Vivien would probably sit by the Wilbur’s bedside tonight.

    It wasn’t fair, their being trapped in this house with the other murder victims of this home. And he accepted his part in it.  If he had never went near Hayden. Or maybe if he had told Vivien the truth about the extent of his relationship with her.

    But it was over, unfortunately. He was dead. Vivien was dead, Hayden....and both of his unborn children with his wife and mistress were dead. He had made a mistake and yet no one cared how he felt. How the guilt ate at him. How if he had to spend eternity in this house that ruined his life, he would like for it to be with a woman that didn’t scream her hatred for him, everytime he came near her.

    Ben put down the notebook when he heard the sound of water running.

                                                                ****

    Michelle gingerly stepped into the piping hot water and ignored the sting of the temperature. It made her forget her troubles.

    Christian had had supper with Wilbur alone, and didn’t feel much like telling Moira to get the fuck out--again, as she served their dinner. The meal was good so he guessed he’d let the little whore stay.

    Now Wilbur was in bed, homework completed in his own hand. Christian bit his lip and peered through the crack of the bathroom. Michelle was sitting with her back to him in the tub. Her hair was pinned up.

    He stealthily eased into the bathroom, closing the door behind him, then walked over and caressed her bare shoulder.

    “Is there room for me in there?”

    “No.” Michelle replied, her eyes closed.

    “Don’t be like this.”

    “Don’t accuse me of blabbing our private business all over the neighborhood. Don’t accuse me of being mean for not wanting that whore Julia, in this house. If you really plan to have a party tomorrow night, then you plan it. Oh, and I won’t be there.”

    “Damnit, Michelle! It’s not like you’ve never done anything wrong yourself!”

    Michelle sat up and slowly turned to face him. Christian swallowed at the sight of her wet, large, chocolate breasts.

    “I didn’t say I hadn’t. I’ve never cheated on you, Christian. You can’t say the same. I’m sorry about what happened to Matt. Truly, I am. But all that called for, was a long hug from Julia. You didn’t have to sleep with her.”

    And with that, Michelle turned her back on him.

    “So, what are you saying, Michelle? That I’m going to have to beg whenever I want to be with you?”

    Michelle exhaled.

    “I just need time, Christian. Everything was so good last night. Then you brought up Julia this morning and it just ruined everything.”

    “Michelle, you’re ruining everything. I’ve told you I don’t love her. I’ve told you I want a life with Wilbur and you. But instead you’re running around, telling strange men what a monster I am, hey?”

    Michelle said nothing to that. Christian turned and left the bathroom. He tightened the belt on his robe and left the bedroom. A few moments later, Ben appeared, dressed in his own, silk robe. He stared after Christian as he walked down the hallway, then eased into his and Michelle’s bedroom.

                                                               ****

    For the first time since they moved into this house, Christian began to wonder if Michelle wasn’t on to something.

    Frustrated and angry, he walked over to the bar to pour himself a drink. He almost jumped out of his skin, when Constance Langdon asked for one herself!

    “Constance. How in the hell did you get in here?”

    Constance walked over to him and touched his chin.

    “Nothing could keep me away from a hungry cock. And yours is always hungry, isn’t it, precious?” she asked, lowering her hand to reach through his robe. Christian didn’t fight her, but set down the drink.

    “You should go.”

    “Why? Because Moira is all you can handle?”

    “Because it’s late.”

    “But not because this is wrong.” Constance said softly, getting down on her knees and taking his length between her lips. Christian closed his eyes and clutched the end of the bar. There was a part of him that thought this house was the best thing that had ever happened to him.  The maid constantly wanted to fuck him, and the next door neighbor gave a blow job like no else’s business.

    Then there was Michelle. And Wilbur. They were a family now. HE would see Wilbur’s teacher tomorrow and straighten out this misunderstanding. And Michelle...

    Maybe Julia could talk to her, herself? Maybe it wasn’t enough for Michelle to hear from him, that there was nothing between himself and her.  Yes, that was it! He would tell Julia to talk to Michelle and convince her that there was nothing to be threatened by. That should do the trick.

    Meanwhile, upstairs, Ben discarded his robe and entered the bathroom, closing the door behind him. It was steamy but he could still see the back of Michelle’s beautiful neck. Unable to help himself, he pressed a gentle kiss there.

    Michelle’s eyes opened and she only half turned.

    “I’m sorry,” she said, “the whole thing with Wilbur just threw me off my game today. I’ll help you with the party tomorrow night. And I’ll even tolerate Julia for a few hours, okay?” she asked, getting up a little to make room for him, without looking behind her.

    Ben recognized the invitation and got into the tub behind her. Michelle slowly began to sit down, but Ben could not resist grabbing her by the waist and forcing her down onto his member!

    “Christian!” Michelle cried out with a giggle. In the back of her mind, something seemed different, but she soon began to relax as ‘Christian’ picked up a washcloth and reached around her to begin rubbing her breasts with it.

    Michelle closed her eyes and leaned back into him.

    “That’s nice.” she murmured. Ben had to agree, as he set down the cloth and wrapped his arms around her.  Yes, this was nice.

Chapter 4 by PriscillaPal

Christian was more than a bit surprised, when Michelle’s mood seemed much improved the next day. He had gotten to bed late last night, after Constance’s blow job. When he had returned to their room, he found Michelle already asleep in bed.

    He hadn’t expected to find her in any better mood than when he had left her in the bathtub the previous evening. But when she awoke, smiling and planted a generous kiss on his mouth, he knew something was different.

    “Good morning to you too.” Christian said, brow raised. Michelle smiled and got out of bed, naked, walking over to a chair to put on her robe. Christian jumped out of bed,  naked as well and walked over to her. He wrapped his arms around her.

    “So all is forgiven?” he asked carefully.

    Michelle looked up at him in confusion.

    “You know it is. Christian, last night was nice. We spent quiet time with one another just being together.”

    Christian tried to hide his confusion.

    “We fought in the bathroom.”

    “Then we made up.” Michelle said, kissing him quickly. She started to reach for her robe in the chair, but Christian’s hands stopped her. He didn’t quite know what was going on, but he would make the most out of whatever good mood she was in right now. This time he kissed her with a hungry passion that he could never hold in reserve when it came to her.  His hands moved down to her buttocks and Michelle lifted one of her legs, so that her foot rested on one of the chair arm rests. She impaled herself on her husband’s shaft and the two of them stirred against one another in a swift, fluid motion. Michelle’s breasts heaved  up and down against Christian’s chest frantically, while he buried his lips in the crook of her neck and his tongue tasted her skin.

    Christian’s hands now gripped Michelle’s buttocks as they continued making love in this repetitive motion until finally, his own buttocks clenched and unclenched repeatedly, as he filled his wife with his own hot seed, growling into her ear about how they belonged together. Michelle didn’t dispute that, since it took several moments before they could cease shuddering.

    After, Michelle went to turn on the shower, which they had planned to take together, when Christian’s cellphone rang. He picked it up and looked at the Caller I.D..

    Julia.

    Christian carefully looked towards the bathroom door, which was half closed.

    “Hello?”

    “Christian, it’s Julia. I have some news: Matt should be getting out of prison today.”

    “What? How?”

    “An early release program. I am just so grateful that he’ll be out of that environment. I think we need to get him some counseling as well. But what I’m really calling about is two things: one, I really would like your housewarming party tonight, to be more of a ‘Welcome Home’ for Matt.”

    “I don’t see where that would be a problem.” Christian replied. “What’s the second thing?”

    “Matt needs a place to stay.”

    “So? Sean and you have plenty of room.”

    “Christian...”

    “I love Matt! You know that. But I don’t see Michelle going for this.”

    “If Michelle really wants to be part of this family, then she’ll have to realize that sacrifice is called for.  We don’t really have the room here, Christian.  I mean we could but it would be tight.”

    Christian took a deep breath.

    “I’ll talk to Michelle and I’ll let Sean know when I see him.”

    “Thank you, Christian.”

    “Hey, I told you I have to talk to Michelle.”

    “You can be very persuasive.” Julia said knowingly. “Goodbye. We’ll see you tonight.”

    Julia hung up and Christian felt like he’s been handed a pile of shit to deal with. Michelle came out of the bathroom in her robe.

    “Christian? What’s going on?”

    Christian set down his phone and faced her.

    “That was Julia.”

    Michelle frowned.

    “Okay,” she said drawing out the word, “what did she want?”

    “Matt is getting out prison. Today.”

    “What? I thought he had to do at least three more years?”

    “Julia didn’t explain it. She just said he’s getting out. She also asked if maybe the housewarming party could be more of a ‘welcome home’ event?”

    Michelle, in that instant, had to decide if it really paid to be petty. She still hadn’t approved of having a party. But Matt was getting out of prison. That was something.

    “Okay. Fine. I mean, that sounds better than a housewarming party anyway. Now, get in the shower with me...”

    “Uh, there’s something else,” Christian said sheepishly, “Julia and Sean don’t have a lot of room at their place for Matt. They were wondering if we could put him up?”

    Michelle said nothing at first. She didn’t even know Matt, the truth be told. Christian closed the space between them.

    “I know you don’t know Matt. I know that the idea of having someone that has just gotten out of prison, in our house, could be unsettling. But Matt isn’t violent or dangerous. Please, this would mean a lot to me. I always felt as if I failed to help get him on the right path.”

    “Christian, there is more than just him living here to consider. Isn’t Julia and Sean taking care of his daughter?”

    “They have custody, yes.”

    “Then he should be where she is!”

    “It’s only temporary.”

    “I get that, but it’s almost as if Julia and Sean are saying that Matt shouldn’t be near his own daughter. And if he shouldn’t be near his daughter then maybe he shouldn’t be near Wilbur.”

    “Michelle,” Christian said in a tired voice, “I’m going to tell Sean and Julia that it’s fine for Matt to stay with us. So you can get with the program or...”

    “Why did you even ask me if you were just going to go ahead and do it anyway? You know what? Fine. Whatever. And I’ll be showering alone!” Michelle snapped, going into the bathroom, closing the door and locking it. The nerve of him! And this reeked of Julia and Julia alone. How the hell was the going to get through a party, which SHE was supposed to throw for them, this evening? How?

                                                               ****

    Breakfast was silent, something Wilbur and Moira noted. Michelle took Wilbur to school, apologized to Ms. Webster, telling the math teacher that she was sure someone else had indeed done Wilbur’s work, then asked if there was a make assignment he could do, that would cancel out the zero.

    Ms. Webster seemed surprised that Michelle would admit such a thing. She confided that most parents didn’t. Michelle wasn’t in the mood for kudos or any other bullshit. The facts were that Moira or even Christian, did Wilbur’s homework and tried to lie about it.

    Michelle then went shopping for party things and by the time she arrived home, Constance was waiting.

    “Well, well! It looks like someone’s throwing a party?”

    Michelle shook her head and Constance took one of the bags, as Michelle unlocked the door and let them into the house. Moira appeared and Constance made a point of slamming the bag she was carrying, into Moira’s arms.

    “Be a dear and take that, won’t you?” Constance said in a phony voice. Michelle followed Moira into the kitchen with her bag. Constance came along as well.

    “Mr. Troy said I should prepare a room for a guest?” Moira asked, as she began taking things out of the bags.

    “Yes,” Michelle said in a tight voice, “Mr. Troy’s son will be staying with us.”

    “Oh,” Constance said, “I didn’t realize Christian had other children?”

    “Yes, well, Matt has had some problems that he’s put behind him now. He’s looking to make a fresh start.”

    Moira looked at Constance, then at Michelle.

    “What does that mean? You talk as if he’s been in jail or something?”

    Constance grinned!

    “He has, hasn’t he?”

    How in the hell did they guess that??? Michelle blinked.

    “Yes, but he did his time. He’s looking to put his life back together.”

    “And this party you’re getting ready for, is for him? This Matt? Am I invited?” Constance asked coyly.

    Michelle gave her an odd look.

    “You’d want to?”

    “Why yes! I feel as if Christian and yourself, are the neighbors I should’ve always had. Does Matt look like Christian?”

    Michelle shrugged.

    “Not really. At least not to me. But maybe you’ll see more of him in Christian than I do.”

    Moira still looked uneasy.

    “Madam, if I may speak plainly: I think this is a bad idea. Wilbur could be influenced by his brother’s ways.”

    Michelle folded her arms.

    “You know, I feel that way too and I tried to tell Christian that...but Matt’s mother is insistent that he stays here.”

    Constance and Moira exchanged another look.

    “And we’ll meet Matt’s mother tonight?” Constance asked.

    “Yes, unfortunately.” Michelle said, just as the doorbell rang. She decided she would answer it. When she left the kitchen, Constance glared at Moira!

    “What was that all about? The idea of young flesh around here thrills me to no end.”

    “Of course it would,” Moira said sarcastically, “considering the fact that you’re a nympho.”

    “Oh please! Look who’s talking!”

    “Look, another houseguest is just more trouble for us all.”

    “You mean more work for you. You always were a trifle bit lazy.” Constance smiled. just as Michelle returned with Ben.

    “Why Dr. Harmon, what brings you by?” Constance asked in a flirtatious tone. Ben  ignored Constance and looked at Michelle.

    “We had another session planned, remember?” he asked, jogging her memory from the other night. He had whispered the suggestion of another session, as she had sat stuffed on his cock, the other night in the bathtub. The experience had been sensual and erotic for him. And he suspected that even through Michelle had thought she had been with Christian, she felt the same way.

    “Oh yes, I remember now. Constance, I’ll see you tonight, okay?”

    Constance gave Ben a pointed look.

    “Say hello to Vivien for me.” she cooed, before leaving by the kitchen door. Moira gave Ben a cold look before watching him exit the kitchen with Michelle, and lead her to the living room to begin their ‘session’.

                                                             ****

    “The other day we left off with your feelings on how you thought this house would bring Christian and yourself, closer together. And yet I get the feeling that other things have happened that you would like to discuss instead?”

    Michelle thought about how much Christian didn’t like her talking to Ben about their lives. But if she didn’t talk to someone, who could be objective, she was going to explode!

    “Last night was really good between Christian and I.”

    “Tell me about it.” Ben said and began writing in his notebook.

    “We spent a quiet moment together that was just really nice. Maybe it was because we weren’t fighting. Or maybe it was because I could feel Christian’s tenderness towards me. I don’t know how to quite explain it.”

    “And this took place where?” Ben asked, but he already knew.

    “Oh. Believe it or not, it was in the bathtub, of all places.”

    “Hmmm. Tell me more.”

    “There’s nothing really to tell, Dr...Ben. I mean it was a moment where I found myself really thinking this marriage was worth saving. Then Christian ruined everything this morning.”

    “How did he do that?”

    “He announced that his son will be living with us.”

    “His son?” Ben asked. “You mean the one he has by that woman named Julia, correct?”

    “Yes. Julia. I have no doubt it was her idea. I don’t know Matt very well. I just don’t like the idea of someone that was recently released from prison, being here with Wilbur. I don’t know, maybe I’m overreacting.  I mean I’m certainly not one to judge.”

    “Let’s go back to this thing about Matt being in prison. What for?”

    “Armed robbery. He robbed people dressed as a mime.”

    Ben stared at her for a short moment, before bursting out into laughter! Michelle could not help but smile as well.

    “You’re kidding, right?” he asked.

    “No. I am not. It happened when Christian was here and I was still in Florida. I’ve only met Matt once and he seemed like a decent enough boy. But what bothers me is that he has a daughter, who is Christian’s granddaughter. She lives with Julia and Sean. One would think that Matt belonged there with them, so he could be near his child. I just feel like I’m being railroaded here. Like some part of this story has been left out and I’m the only one that doesn’t know the real deal here.”

    “And you told Christian this?”

    “No, not that part. He asked me how I felt and when I had reservations, he made it clear that it wouldn’t matter how I felt, Matt was coming to live with us. Oh, and there will be a party thrown by him, courtesy of Christian and I, tonight.”

    Ben closed his notebook.

    “Constance is coming to this party? I heard you make reference to ‘tonight’ when you said goodbye to her.”

    “She invited herself, but yes, she’ll be there.”

    “Then why don’t you let Vivien and I come? I can read people pretty well, access situations. If I think there is something wrong with what’s about to  happen, I will tell you--and Christian.”

    Michelle stared at him.

    “You would really do that?”

    “Michelle, it sounds as if you need someone in YOUR corner. If what you suspect is true--that Christian, Julia and Sean know something about Matt that they’re not telling you.”

    “I can’t lie, I would feel a lot better knowing that you were there. Both Vivien and you.”

    “Good. Well, let’s cut this short since I know you have to get ready.” he said standing up. Michelle impulsively walked over and gave him a hug, an embrace that Ben let go on longer than normal. Michelle pulled back but Ben’s arms were still around her.

    “Thank you, Ben. I know with Vivien and your help...maybe even Constance’s, I’ll get through this.”

    Moira walked in at that moment, and Michelle pulled out of Ben’s embrace.

    “Sorry to interrupt,” Moira said in a tone that indicated otherwise, “but I was wondering if the room closest to the stairs would do for your step-son?”

    Michelle nodded.

    “It will be fine. Thank you, Moira.” she said, then looked at her watch. It was time to pick up Wilbur from school! She excused herself and Ben told her he would see himself out. Once Michelle left, Moira shook her head with disgust.

    “What do you plan to accomplish by being at this party? The more Mrs. Harmon and yourself are seen, the more you risk being recognized as the former, DEAD owners of this home.”

    “The point is to make sure that Michelle doesn’t end up like Vivien and myself.” Ben said shortly.

    “Michelle? But not Mr. Troy? Or even Wilbur?”

    “I have to go. Vivien and I have to get ready for tonight.” Ben said, then disappeared. Moira folded her arms, wondering if Christian and Michelle’s story, would end as sorrily as her own, or even the Harmon’s.

                                                            ****

    Vivien had told him in a frosty tone, that she would be at the party, but once again, reminded her husband that they should be doing everything they could, to convince Michelle to leave this house with Wilbur.

    Ben found himself alone, getting ready for the night’s events, when psycho teen Tate, appeared before him.

    “What?” Ben asked, checking himself over in a mirror.

    “I disagree with your wife. What you need to be doing in your sessions with the lady of this house, is pushing her to have a baby.”

    Ben looked away from the mirror and gave Tate a hard look.

    “Why? So that Nora can have the baby she’s always crying about? Forget it.  The last thing Michelle needs, is to stay in this marriage.”

    Tate folded his arms.

    “Mrs. Montgomery, REALLY wants a baby. I don’t want to get violent, but if that doesn’t work out, this family will have to be sacrificed.”

    Ben said nothing to that. He had no intention of letting Tate kill Michelle or Wilbur.

    “I can see that you like her. Dr. Harmon.  What I’m telling you is that YOU can make sure that Mrs. Troy ends up pregnant. Like I did your...”

    Ben grabbed Tate by the neck and threw him across the room! Tate gasped and jumped up! Ben pointed at him.

    “Don’t you DARE bring up what you did to my wife! I can’t tell you how glad I am that Violet got away from you! Now keep out of my sight. and my way, tonight, are we clear?”

    Tate smiled.

    “Fine. I’ll be in the basement.”

                                                             ****

    Michelle kept up a civil facade towards Christian, in front of Wilbur, when Christian opened the door to Sean, Julia and Matt.  Matt, surprisingly, looked as fresh as a daisy, despite his harrowing prison experience.

    “Matty!” Christian cried out, hugging his first born son. Matt let go of him and smiled shyly at Michelle.

    “Hello, Michelle. Thank you for your kindness.”

    Michelle couldn’t be mad after such a sincere ‘thank you’. She walked up to him and hugged him tight.

    “You’re home now. It’s going to be alright.” she said softly, before looking down at Wilbur.

    “Honey, this is your big brother, Matt. He’s going to be staying with us.” Michelle told her son. Wilbur smiled up at Matt.

    “Are you good in math?” he asked.

    “Not that I especially remember.” Sean noted. Matt swatted Sean, then addressed Wilbur.

    “I’m okay with it. Are you having some trouble?”

    “It’s hard.”

    “I know. Let’s go in and talk about...” Matt trailed off when he got a look at Moira, who sashayed up to the group.

    “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes,” she said, looking at Matt, then turning to address Michelle.

    “Thank you, Moira.” Michelle said, then noted that Sean and Matt’s mouths were open. They walked off with Christian, who had Wilbur by the hand. Julia looked at Michelle.

    “I can’t believe you let a woman like that work here?”

    Michelle, who had had every intention of saying little to nothing to this bitch, looked at her.

    “Excuse me?”

    “Well come on! I mean no woman in their right mind lets someone that looks like that, work in their home or take care of their kids! It’s a recipe for trouble.”

    “Looks like what, Julia?” Michelle asked blithely. But she suspected this was Julia’s idiotic comment about poor Moira’s eye.

    “Come on, Michelle! You don’t see it? She had to be...”

    “Blind in one eye? You think she shouldn’t be hired because of that?” Michelle asked, a little appalled at this woman’s ignorance. Yes, Julia was a slut but she was also well educated. What the hell was wrong with her?

    “I had no idea she was blind in one eye, Michelle.”

    “I’d think it’s rather obvious.”

    “It’s not.”

    “Whatever!” Michelle said and was about to walk off, when the doorbell rang again. She opened it to Constance, Vivien and Ben. Michelle was never so relieved to see nosy neighbors before in her life!

    “Constance, Vivien, Ben, come in!” Michelle cooed. Constance bussed her cheek and Michelle looked at Julia.

    “Julia McNamara, meet my neighbors, Constance Langdon and Dr. Ben Harmon and his wife, Vivien Harmon.”

    “Nice to meet all of you.” Julia said, wondering if these were the nosy neighbors that Sean said Michelle didn’t especially like?

    “It’s nice to meet you, Julia,” Constance said, eyeing a necklace Julia had on, “now where is that handsome son of yours? You must introduce me.”

    “Right this way.” Julia said, leading Constance into the living room. Wilbur came running out and up to Vivien.

    “Mom, can I show my friend my school work?”

    Michelle thought that was an odd thing to ask. Or maybe it was the way it was phrased.

    “Uh, Vivien, if you don’t mind...”

    “Of course I don’t mind! Let’s see that math homework!” she said and allowed Wilbur to pull her up the stairs. Michelle stared after them. Math homework?

    Ben reached out and turned Michelle’s chin so that it was facing him.

    “Let’s go in there and see if this arrangement will be trouble, okay?”

    Michelle smiled wanly at Ben, forgetting about Vivien and Wilbur for the moment. They joined the others in the living room. Matt, however, could not take his eyes off of the hot maid Christian and Michelle had working for them! He was sure he had just found his future wife.

End Notes:

As many fans of 'American Horror Story' may have noticed, in this latest chapter is was revealed that a woman, this time, did not see Moira the Maid's true appearance.

Chapter 5 by PriscillaPal

   Someone would die in that house on this evening. And that unfortunate occurrence, would cause an irreparable tear in the Troy marriage.

    Michelle felt protected at the gathering, with Ben at her side, asking thoughtful, probing questions of Julia and Sean. Julia, Michelle could tell, was attracted to Ben--being the whore that she was. But Sean seemed to be just as suspicious of Ben, though Michelle could not fathom why. Maybe he could see that his wife was hot for Ben as well.

    Christian noticed none of this, since Constance was all over his son! That and he was disturbed at how much Matt kept peering at Moira when she came into the room with a tray. He and Matt had been down that road before, sticking their dicks into the same woman--a la Kimber. He didn’t want to go down that road with Matty again.

    He looked around for Vivien, since God help him, it almost seemed as if Ben were Michelle’s date for the night! Christian decided to break that up right now. He walked over and put an arm around his wife.

    “So, Dr. Harmon. My wife says she’s been using you as a sounding board. I was thinking maybe I could be included in one of these sessions?”

    “I think I’m going to go and find Vivien. Wilbur is taking up way too much of her time.” she said, pulling away from her husband, then excusing herself and walking out of the room. That left Ben and Christian to face off.

    “So tell me, Dr. Harmon. Just what do you and my wife talk about when she sits in your office?”

    Ben smiled thinly.

    “Michelle doesn’t come to my office. I come over here. I work out of my home.”

    “Really? You actually let mental cases into your home?”

    “I wouldn’t characterize them in that way, Dr. Troy.”

    “Of course not! Otherwise you wouldn’t let them near your family! Do you have children?”

    “A daughter.” Ben said with some discomfort. Christian realized that Constance had stopped talking to Matt and had come over to join them. Almost as if she wanted to change the subject.

    “Now what are you two handsome men discussing over here?” Constance asked, linking arms with Christian.

    “Christian,” Ben began, “was just asking about my daughter, Violet.”

    “Yes, Violet. She’s away at college, right?” Constance asked. Meanwhile, Julia realized that Sean was very interested in what the threesome was discussing.

    “Sean? What is it?”

    “I don’t know. I just feel as if I’ve seen Ben Harmon someplace before. But I can’t think of where.”

    “Really?” Julia asked, looking around for Michelle. “I wonder where Michelle went off to?”

    “Does it really matter?”

    “Sean!”

    “Oh come on! She hates us both! I personally don’t trust her. But Christian doesn’t seem to be making things any better.”

    Julia raised a brow.

    “What does that mean?” she asked. Sean suddenly became tight lipped.

    “Nothing.”

    “Has Christian said something?”

    Sean sighed softly, then glanced over at Christian, Ben and Constance, before speaking.

    “Christian is sleeping with the maid.”

    Julia closed her eyes briefly, before opening them and shaking her head.

    “Of course he is. I asked Michelle why she’d hire a woman that looked like that! I mean she has to be a constant source of temptation for Christian.”

    Sean gave her a skeptical look.

    “Maybe. But if we had someone working for us that looked like that, I can assure you, I would control myself. I’d never let anyone else come between us again.”

    Julia swallowed her guilt and put her arms around Sean. He couldn’t find out about her slip up with Christian. And Michelle was the key. She let go of her husband.

    “I think I’m going to go and look for Michelle. You know with Matt living here, it’s time we all started to act like a family.”

                                                                   ****

    Michelle found Vivien in Wilbur’s room, reading him a bed time story.  This was an image she should’ve found sweet, but for some reason, it made her uncomfortable.

    “Vivien? Ben is looking for you downstairs.” Michelle said, eyeing Wilbur, who was now being tucked in. His eyes grew heavy with sleep. Vivien turned to look at her.

    “I was just making sure Wilbur got off to dream land.” Vivien said. She picked up one of his toys but didn’t seem especially eager to leave. Michelle put a hand on her arm.

    “Are you alright?”

    “Yeah,” Vivien said hollowly, “why wouldn’t I be?”

    Michelle looked over at Wilbur, then lowered her voice.

    “I know about Hayden. I can pretty much imagine what you’re going through.”

    “Because of Christian and Moira, right?” Vivien asked. Michelle wasn’t ready to acknowledge that bit of ridiculousness. But Vivien was clearly distraught.

    “How does Ben know her? This Hayden? Was she a patient?”

    “Michelle, leave this house.”

    “Vivien, honey, you keep saying that but I don’t understand what you mean.”

    Vivien looked her dead in the eye.

    “Ben and I used to live here.”

    Michelle frowned.

    “Live where?”

    “In this house?”

    “What?!”

    Vivien nodded and began to walk towards a window, staring out.

    “Ben and I and our daughter, Violet. Violet managed to get away.”

    Michelle was confused.

    “Vivien, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Are you saying that you moved from this house to another one in the neighborhood?”

    Vivien looked over at her.

    “Something like that. Constance used to live in this house as well.”

    Michelle blinked.

    “And then she moved next door?!”

    Vivien nodded. Michelle was about to question her further, when Julia appeared.

    “Michelle? Vivien? Everyone is beginning to wonder where you all are.” Julia said lamely. Vivien could see that Julia was not one of Michelle’s favorite people. Michelle kept a civil tone.

    “We’re fine. Did you need something?” Michelle asked. Vivien excused herself and walked out of Wilbur’s room, still holding the toy and past Julia. Julia stared after Vivien for several moments as Michelle joined her out in the hallway, pulling Wilbur’s door closed.

    “Julia? Did you need something?” Michelle repeated. Julia looked from Vivien’s retreating back, over to Michelle.

    “What we need is a truce. Sean is beginning to wonder.”

    “That’s your problem, isn’t it?”

    “Michelle, please. We all just want a fresh start.”

    “Which got messed up when you fucked my husband.” Michelle countered. “Look, I have no intention of telling Sean. But I’m not going to help you cover. If Christian and yourself can’t act normal enough to fool Sean...”

    “It’s not us! It’s you! Sean senses something else is wrong! Look, it’s one thing if you don’t like him. But I think he can see that you don’t like me either and he’s suspicious.”

    “Like I said, I won’t tell him a thing. If he manages to figure out something, good for him!” Michelle snapped and began to walk away, when Ben appeared--seemingly out of nowhere.

    “Michelle? Julia, Sean is  looking for you.” he said quietly. Julia gave Michelle a final pleading look, before tossing Ben a phony smile and walking off towards the stair landing. Michelle turned and took deep breaths to calm herself!

    “Calm down.” Ben told her.

    “How am I supposed to keep calm?! The woman is priceless! She has an affair and...”

    Michelle suddenly clammed up. Ben tilted his head.

    “Julia has been unfaithful to Sean?” Ben asked.

    “Forget I said anything. I need to get back to the party.”

    “You need time to yourself,” Ben told her, “let’s just walk around the upper floors a bit until you calm down.”

    But Michelle gave him a hard look.

    “Forget what I need, Ben. Vivien is in trouble. She told me that the two of you used to live here. Is that true?”

    Ben looked down for a moment, then stared into her eyes.

    “Yes.”

    Michelle began shaking her head.

    “Something was wrong with this house, wasn’t there? Did you know the people that died here?”

    “Michelle, I don’t know what to tell  you. Vivien and I just saw another house down the street that we liked better. That’s all.”

    That’s bullshit, Michelle thought, but didn’t voice that opinion.

    She offered another one instead.

    “I think you should leave. I think Vivien and you need some quiet time alone. She’s hurting over this Hayden business. The last thing the both of you need is to be in the middle of my probl...”

    A loud, piercing cry, interrupted them! Michelle and Ben ran down the hallway and hurried down the stairs! Michelle couldn’t find anyone, until she saw Moira standing at the top of the basement steps.

    “Moira?! What is it?” Michelle asked.

    She then looked down the stairs.

    Matt was naked in a chair, dead! He had clearly been stabbed to death. Michelle heard nothing as she slowly walked down the stairs  in disbelief. What the living hell had happened???

    Ben, however, looked over at Hayden, who was naked and still carrying the knife she had used to slay Matt McNamara with. She had suddenly appeared in the kitchen with him and Moira. She lied, saying she was a friend of Michelle’s, then made it clear she’d like to fuck Matt in the basement.

    The rest was self explanatory...

    But not to Christian, who pointed up the stairs at Moira!

    “FUCKING BITCH!” he screamed.

    Julia had pulled Matt out of the chair and was rocking with him back and forth, while Sean got off the phone with the paramedics.  Michelle came to herself, just as Christian rushed past her, up the stairs and flew at Moira, grabbing her by the throat!

    “YOU DID THIS! YOU FUCKED MY SON THEN KILLED HIM!!!” Christian screamed. Ben and Sean wrenched Christian off of the woman/ghost, while Julia sneered at  Michelle!

    “You should have NEVER let Christian hire her! Never!”

    Michelle ignored Julia and hurried up the stairs towards a recovering Moira. Ben joined them.

    “Please, Mrs. Troy! I didn’t do this! I would not do this!” she pleased. Michelle suddenly looked around.

    “Where is Constance?” she asked.

    “She left as soon as the boy began screaming from the basement.” Moira told her. “Please, you have to believe me, I didn’t do this!”

    Michelle looked her over.

    “I do believe you. Besides, you don’t have any blood on you. And you’re wearing the same uniform as always.”

    Moira looked at Ben.

    “Your girlfriend was here. I saw the two of them together.”

    Michelle gasped, then looked at Ben, before focusing on Moira again.

    “Hayden was here? How did she get in?” Michelle asked.

    “Hayden went down in the basement with Matt.” Moira said, still only looking at Ben, which is something Michelle now noticed. The doorbell rang, and Michelle rushed to answer it. It was the paramedics and the police.

                                                                         ****

    An odd thing happened when the police began to take everyone’s statements.

    Ben and Vivien disappeared. Michelle didn’t see them leave and she didn’t like it worth shit! They were up to their neck in this as well.

    Christian and Julia’s rage refocused itself, as Moira told them about Hayden and Ben’s affair. But Michelle noticed that Sean suddenly looked odd. As did one of the detectives. The M.E. had finished up and Matt’s body was taken away already.

    “Ms. O’Hara, you mentioned a Dr. Harmon,” Detective Stanton asked, “Ben Harmon? The previous owner of this house?”

    Christian and Julia gasped! Sean began shouting!

    “That’s it! I knew it! Christian, when you began talking about this  ‘murder house’, I looked it up online. Ben and Vivien Harmon were killed in this house! Apparently his mistress showed up, killed Mrs. Harmon and Mr. Harmon, who had been tied up in the basement somewhere, died when that part of the house was set on fire.”

    Michelle backed back. That couldn’t be. The basement, for one, didn’t look like it had ever been in a fire! But even worse, what Sean was implying...

    “No,” Michelle spoke up, “you’re wrong, Sean. Ben and Vivien admitted they used to live here, yes. But they found a house down the street that they liked more and moved out.”

    Christian stood up.

    “Where the fuck are they anyway? Your shrink’s mistress breaks into this house and kills my son?! He and that bitch he’s married to, need to be here answering questions!”

    Julia stood up as well, wiping tears from her eyes.

    “Let’s just keep calm. Michelle, where do they live? We’ll let the police handle this.”

    “I don’t know where they live. I’ve never been to their house. I know Constance knows. She lives next door.”

    “Where the fuck did she go?!” Christian snapped, looking around. But Moira spoke again, realizing she may have said too much.

    “The Harmon’s haven’t been especially forthright.”

    “No shit!” Christian snapped again.

    “They lost this house and moved in with Mrs. Langdon, next door.”

    Michelle’s mouth dropped open!

    “Ben and Vivien LIVE with Constance? They don’t own their own house?”

    “No. It was the mistress, Hayden something or another, that ruined everything. I think when we saw her the other day, Mrs. Troy, it was her way of trying to come back and...”

    Julia gasped, then confronted Michelle.

    “You saw this murdering bitch, the other day?”

    Michelle could smell trouble and blame, wafting her way! She pursed her lips briefly, then spoke. Detective Stanton was looking at her. Sean, however, eased from the room, went into a study of sorts and powered up the laptop he had seen on a desk. Ben and Vivien Harmon were not living across the street or with the next door neighbor. They weren’t living at all! And he needed to prove that by finding pictures of what they had looked like!

    Meanwhile, Michelle was talking in the other room.

    “I opened the door to a young woman that seemed to be in medical trouble.”

    “What kind of trouble?” Detective Stanton asked.

    “There was blood running down her legs. I think she was having a miscarriage. Anyway, I helped her inside and at one point, I left her to speak with Moira about her. When I returned she was gone. I later found out from Mrs. Langdon next door who Hayden really was.”

    Sean came back in the room.

    “I have a site up that shows PICTURES  of Ben and Vivien Harmon! They ARE dead! Dead! I don’t know what the hell is going on with this house, Christian, but somehow you managed to drag Matty into it!”

    Detective Stanton, Julia, Sean and Christian, left the room to go look at the laptop. The other detective was slyly looking at Moira. Michelle folded her arms, unable to believe any of this. That was when the doorbell rang again.

    Michelle decided she would answer it. She walked to the door and opened it to a man that identified himself as an FBI agent.

    “I’m Agent Sloan. And you are?”

    “Michelle Troy.” she answered, confused as to why Matt’s murder warranted a visit from the FBI.

    Michelle invited him in and closed the door. Agent Sloan turned to her.

    “I’m sorry this happened. Thank you for taking Mr. McNamara in. He needed a safe place to be before testifying. It’s just a damned shame this happened. I was told that some girl killed Mr. McNamara. I need to know that that’s true and that it wasn’t...”

    Michelle squinted at Agent Sloan.

    “I’m sorry, Agent Sloan, but what the hell are you talking about? As far as I know,  Matt was released from prison and just needed a place to stay until he got on his feet.”

    Christian appeared in the hallway and swallowed. Agent Sloan turned to look at him, his face a mass of confusion.

    “Mr. Troy, I apologize. I didn’t realize your wife didn’t know.”

    “Know what?!” Michelle now snapped. She had always known something about this whole damned thing had reeked! She had never understood why Matt couldn’t stay with the people that had raised him!

    “Agent Sloan, the others are in there. They can fill you in. I need to talk to my wife.” Christian said. Michelle stared at her husband as Agent Sloan walked off. Christian walked up to her.

    “Matt was not just let out of prison. He witnessed a mob murder in there. He was offered his freedom if he testified against a criminal named Sal Riccatta. The FBI wants to put him away badly. Matt needed a safe place to be. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you more.”

    Michelle said nothing for a long moment, then spoke.

    “So there was always the chance that Matt could’ve been killed, in this house, by some hitman?”

    “That would not have happened!”

    “And Wilbur and I wouldn’t been in danger as well?”

    “You were never in any danger! Michelle, I lost my son can’t you just try and understand? I mean it looks like two weirdos that look like the Harmons, are running loose around here! You’ve told this fake Ben everything about us. Worse yet...”

    Michelle suddenly slapped him hard!

    “Don’t blame this on me! Don’t! And lost son or not, you can get the fuck out! Tonight!”

    “Are you kidding?!”

    “No! I’m not. Because you know what? Hayden is NO WHERE AROUND! And you know what that makes me think? That some killer  looking for Matt, murdered him and probably kidnapped Hayden.  I think this bastard didn’t kill us as well, because thank God, we had company! Oh and by the way, since we’re just admitting things, did you at anytime at all, have sex with Moira? Vivien seems so sure of....”

    “You make FAKE VIVIEN?” Christian retorted with a snort.

    Detective Stanton, his partner and Agent Sloan walked towards the door. Christian turned to face them.

    “What’s going on?” he asked.

    “We need to talk to this Mrs. Langdon next door. If she’s harboring these people, who are clearly posing as the former residents of this house, then we need to speak to her.” Detective Stanton said.

    But Agent Sloan added something else.

    “In all honestly though, I think this was a hit made to look like someone else. I misjudged the security of this home for my witness. The hitman probably got in here, followed Mr. McNamara and this young woman downstairs and took the opportunity to make it seem as if the woman did it. He must have taken her as a hostage and chances are she’s probably dead by now.”

    Christian closed his eyes, unable to believe any of this. Any of it at all. He still thought that the Fake Harmons were involved in this thing somehow.

    “I’m coming next door with you.” Christian said, following them out without so much as a glance back at his wife. Once the door closed, Sean and Julia appeared with their arms around one another.

    “I’m sorry this happened.” Michelle said.

    “This is my fault,” Sean said in a grave voice, “because we should have just let Matt come home with us. And his daughter. Christian and you are not capable of building any kind of life for yourselves together. I trusted that you could be responsible, but I was wrong.”

    “Really, Sean? You trusted that I could be responsible for your grown ass son, who  had just gotten out of prison because he was about to testify against some mobster? Oh, yeah, you didn’t think I had any right to know that, right? You didn’t care that Wilbur or I could’ve been in any danger, right?”

    Julia sniffed.

    “Let’s just go, Sean.”

    “I just bet you want to go, Julia! I don’t want to see your fucking faces here, ever again.”

    “Don’t worry about that...” Sean began but Michelle wasn’t finished!

    “I don’t want to spend Christmas or any holidays with you. I don’t want to buy gifts for any occasions for either of your trifling asses. If something good happens with either one of you, I don’t want to hear about it! Because, see, that FBI agent that I didn’t know about, thinks that this was a hit and that Hayden is now a victim as well. So this isn’t even remotely my fault. It’s yours. So go. Get out. Goodbye.”

    Sean and Julia tore their eyes away from Michelle’s angry ones, walked past her and left. Michelle looked up and around. How had a fucking homecoming party end up in murder? How?

                                                                            ****

    Constance’s lying ass, told the authorities that Ben and Vivien had not returned to her home. They searched it and found nothing. Oddly, they also found no signs that anyone else lived there but Constance.

    Christian left the same night to stay with Sean and Julia, yelling at Michelle that they were ‘real family’. He kissed a sleeping Wilbur and walked out of the house. Michelle knew she should’ve woke Wilbur up and stayed at a hotel, but something would not let her leave.

    What she did not realize, was that that ‘something’ was the suggestion Ben had put in her head earlier.

    Vivien was LIVID!

    “We should’ve made Michelle and Wilbur leave, Ben! Now look what’s happened? An innocent man is dead because of your whore mistress! Well, I’m not going to let Hayden or anyone else, get their hands on Wilbur!”

    Ben knew that Vivien was going up to Wilbur’s room to sleep there, as she did most nights. He walked into the study that used to belong to him. He watched as Tate, who was dressed in the menacing telltale rubber suit, began lighting candles that had been set up in the room. Hayden was keeping a low, yet jealous, profile someplace else.

    “Nora wants that baby, Dr. Harmon. Dr. Troy is gone.”

    Ben said nothing as he began removing his clothes. Michelle would be down soon. And what he was about to do, was the only way to save Michelle and Wilbur from Tate...or any other ghosts who had it in for them.

                                                                      ****

    Oddly, Michelle had begun sleeping quite peacefully, before something awakened her. Maybe it was the fact that she had finally told Sean and Julia what she thought of them, that had seemingly let her get some rest.

    But now she was awake, in a trance like state and naked. She slowly walked to her bedroom door and opened it. She then walked out into the hallway and headed for the stairs.

    Hayden watched with a scowl! This was bullshit! This woman was going to carry Ben’s baby? Her Ben, who now wouldn’t even look at her, even though they were both ghosts. Tate smiled as Michelle walked past, unseeing.

    “Nora and you can raise this child.” Tate said, putting a soothing arm around Hayden. But she wrenched away and pulled down the ceiling door to the attic. She would sulk up there with Constance’s other, ghost child.

    Meanwhile, Michelle slowly made her way to the bottom of the stairs and walked into the study, where a naked Ben Harmon was waiting for her. He slowly sat down on the couch in there, and gently pulled Michelle down on him. She gasped slightly, as she impaled herself on his member. Then, straddling Ben’s hips, Michelle began rocking back and forth at a pace that was not too fast, nor too slow. Her heavy breasts bounced lightly on her chest and her nipples were soon pebble hard.

    Ben moaned with pleasure, his hands playing with her soft flesh, kneading her buttocks before running his hands up and down her back, then settling them on her waist. Ben buried his head between her swinging breasts, that jiggled and bobbed against his cheeks like ripe fruit.

    It was as they made love in this fashion, that Ben whispered a final suggestion to her. That the next day, at 3:00 P.M. in the afternoon, she would remember their encounter, here in the study. And he planned to be ready and waiting to answer for what they had done, with the high hopes that it would be the last time he would have to hypnotize Michelle Troy, in order to make love to her.

Chapter 6 by PriscillaPal

   The next day, Michelle awoke feeling strange. Meaning, she felt as if she were coming down with a cold!

    Also, she could’ve sworn she hadn’t had anything on, when she went to bed the previous evening. But now she was wearing an off white lace nightie that she hardly ever put on. Maybe she had gotten cold in the middle of the night or something?

    All thoughts of her night apparel disappeared from her mind, as she sneezed three times, then thought of the previous night’s events, and how her life had suddenly fallen apart.

    Meanwhile, Vivien was in Wilbur’s room, helping him get ready for school. Ben walked in and said hello to the child, before pulling Vivien away from him a bit.

    “You locked me out of our room last night.” he said quietly. Vivien gave him a filthy, dirty look!

    ‘That’s a joke, right?”

    “Vivien, you know why I did what i did with Michelle. Half the spirits in this house want a baby! They would’ve wanted our baby if...”

    “If Hayden hadn’t killed me? Oh and by the way, you didn’t do anything ‘with’ Michelle. You did something TO her. You hypnotized her into having sex with you.”

    “I also hypnotized her to remember today.” Ben reminded her quietly, eyeing Wilbur, who was putting colored pencils in his backpack.

    Vivien squinted at him.

    “You’re hoping for something out of this, aren’t you? You’re hoping that when Michelle does remember, she’ll be happy about it or something, aren’t you?”

    “I did what I did to save Michelle and Wilbur. Every damned ghost in this house wants a baby so badly! Christian is gone. Michelle and Wilbur are vulnerable.”

    “Or,” Vivien said sarcastically, “you could’ve followed my lead and told Michelle to take Wilbur and leave. But you didn’t back me up. Michelle thought I was crazy. Now that Matt is dead, I’m sure she doesn’t think that any longer.”

    Matt suddenly walked into the room! Wilbur smiled and ran over to him. Matt reached down and picked him up.

    “Hey, buddy! Ready for school?”

    “No, not really. But I guess I have to go.” Wilbur said glumly.

    “Well why don’t you go downstairs and see what Moira made for us for breakfast. I’ll be right there.” Matt promised, setting him down. Wilbur waved a goodbye to Ben and Vivien, before running from the room with his backpack.

    Ben shook his head.

    “That was really stupid. What if Wilbur tells Michelle that you’re joining them?”

    “Michelle, from the sound of things, has a cold. So if Wilbur tells her something, chances are she’ll think she was so out of it, that she misunderstood. I guess my step-mother caught a chill, running around bare assed last night with you.” Matt said snidely.

    “I’ll have Moira make her some soup.” Ben said curtly, leaving the room. Matt watched him leave, then looked at Vivien, who was now making Wilbur’s bed.

    “It doesn’t bother you to watch him pant after Michelle like this?”

    Vivien shrugged.

    “I became disenchanted with Ben, long ago. And I suspect that if Michelle does have any interest in him, once she gets to know him, she’ll feel the same way about him that I do.” Vivien said casually, fluffing the pillows.

    “Your husband seems to forget that Michelle already has a husband.” Matt reminded her.

    Vivien turned to face him.

    “And where is he? Huh? You were here last night, watching the pandemonium around here. Christian blamed Michelle for your murder, then left her and Wilbur, for God knows how long. He may never come back.  Ben will have every opportunity now to do what he wants. We all will.”

    Matt folded his arms.

    “What I want is to find the bitch that killed me.”

    Vivien gave him a look.

    “I think we have a lot more in common than just being dead, Matt. Your murderer is named Hayden--the same psycho bitch that killed me. Oh and she’s around here somewhere. Let me finish straightening up Wilbur’s room here, and I’ll help you hunt her down.”

                                                                ****

    Michelle made her way down to the kitchen, where Moira made her a messed up concoction of something, that tasted like spit and ass!

    “Just drink it, Mrs. Troy. Your cold will disappear within minutes.” Moira promised. Michelle eyed the juicer.

    “What is this slop?”

    “It’s an old family recipe.”

    “So I smell! What is it?” Michelle asked suspiciously again, then looked over at Wilbur, who was eating a waffle.

    “Matt’s coming down soon.  Where is Daddy?” he asked.

    Michelle eyed him. Christian had left after Wilbur was asleep. And the other...

    “Honey, we have to talk about Matt. He isn’t going to be living with us.” she said, thinking maybe Christian and her should tell Wilbur together about Matt’s death.

    Wilbur looked confused.

    “Why?”

    “Uh, he left last night.”

    Wilbur furrowed a brow.

    “No he didn’t! He’s in his room! I saw him! And where is Daddy?”

    Michelle was stunned and concerned by Wilbur’s words. But she didn’t have time to even question her son further, because the kitchen door opened, and Constance sashayed in!

    “Good morning! Good morning! Isn’t it a beautiful day?”

    “Wilbur,” Michelle said in a low voice, “go get your books and wait for me in the living room.”

    “I haven’t finished eating! Daddy hasn’t had any breakfast and Matt...”

    “That’s okay, Wilbur,” Moira interrupted, “we’ll take your plate out there.”

    Michelle gave Moira a grateful look, before taking a gulp of Moira’s ass tasting concoction. She gulped, forced herself to swallow, then stood up.

    Constance peered down into the large cup Michelle had set down.

    “What in the hell is that?! it smells like...”

    “Never mind what I’m drinking, Constance! Where the hell did you go last night? Why did you leave after the murder?”

    “I wasn’t about to stick around!”

    “Moira told the police that fake Ben and Vivien live with you! How could you let them stay with you?”

    Constance tried to keep her expression neutral.

    “Fake Ben and Vivien?”

    “We know that the REAL Ben and Vivien Harmon, were killed in this house! They lived here before we did! Worse yet, Hayden killed the real Vivien and is still running loose...or dead herself by now.”

    Constance raised a brow.

    “Why do you think she’s dead?”

    “Because it looks like Matt was involved in some kind of mobster stuff. He was going to testify against some big whig and that may have been the reason he was killed. No one can find Hayden so she was probably kidnapped and killed by this hitman.”

    “Oh.” Constance said. She couldn’t have made up a better story herself! But Michelle wasn’t through with her!

    “Well? Who the hell are these Ben and Vivien wannabes?”

    “Michelle, just calm down. Stress like this can’t be good for...for the body.”

    Michelle took a deep breath, then spoke.

    “Constance, you have to try and understand my position. If these people are fake, then I have sat in THIS house, and told some creep all of my personal business! Hell, I even confided in fake Vivien...who by the way, I think is obsessed with my son.  You need to tell the police where they are.”

    Ben suddenly walked into the room! Michelle gasped!

    “Where did you come from?”

    “Moira let me in.” Ben lied.

    “WHY? She’s the one that told us all about you and your con artist wife! Look, I’m going to give you some time to get a running head start, but I have to call the police. I’m sorry, Ben, but it looks like Hayden was hanging around here, thinking that your wife, girlfriend or whatever that woman calls herself, that you SAY is your wife, was still alive. My step son died because of this.”

    “I thought you said a mobster was after him?” Constance asked, now helping herself to some off the ass drink that Moira had fixed for Michelle. She took out a flask and poured some liquor into it.

    “I  need to speak to Michelle--alone.” Ben said, giving Constance a look. Constance grinned madly again, then walked out of the kitchen. Michelle peered after her. She hadn’t left by way of the kitchen door, so that meant she was wandering about in the house. Why?

    Ben walked up to Michelle.

    “Michelle, you need to be aware of what’s going on here. Vivien and I weren’t until it was too late.”

    Michelle realized that she DID feel better, no thanks to that nasty drink Moira gave her.

    “I don’t know what to even call you. I can’t call you ‘Ben’ and you for damned sure aren’t a doctor.”

    “My name is Ben. And I was a psychiatrist.”

    “Was?”

    “I lost my license. I lost it when I died.” Ben said quietly. Michelle stared at him for several long moments, before speaking.

    “Say that again?”

    “I lost my license when I died.”

    “I heard you I just don’t understand.” Michelle said weakly. Her eyes began to search for a weapon.

    “Michelle, there is a tour of famous houses, that comes down this street, once a week. Today. Take that tour and then maybe you’ll begin to understand what’s going on.”

    “Why don’t you just tell me?”

    Ben reached out and touched her face.

    “Because I don’t think you’re ready to believe me. And you NEED to believe me. It’s imperative to Wilbur and your survival.”

    “Our survival?! Tell me what’s going on right now!” Michelle snapped.

    Suddenly, Constance reappeared with a now empty cup. Michelle looked from Ben to Constance.

    “You used to own this house? What happened? Why did you leave it to move next door?”

    “My husband ran off with another woman. I couldn’t afford it. Simple as that.” Constance shrugged, looking now at Ben. Michelle folded her arms.

    “Ben has hinted that he’s not really alive. That means you’re some kind of ghost? I’m supposed to believe that?” Michelle asked, just as her eyes left Ben’s and moved to someone else’s. Someone else that had walked into the kitchen.

    Matt.

    “It’s true, Michelle and...” Matt began.

    Michelle slipped to the floor in a dead faint.

                                                                          ****

    Christian got the call that Constance Langdon had dropped Wilbur off at school that morning. He had received the notification from a teacher that had taught Constance’s, deceased son, Tate, and had never liked her. So when this teacher saw the woman with Wilbur, she figured someone should know.

    Christian had chosen to sleep at the practice, instead of at Sean and Julia’s. Sean was angry with him and didn’t want him around their granddaughter, Jenna. Christian could understand it, but he had not intention of being kept from Jenna.

    Now Michelle was fucking up with Wilbur! Great!

    Since Wilbur seemed to be safely in school, Christian drove to the house, got out and hurried inside, slamming the door behind him!

    “Michelle!” he yelled. He soon laid eyes on Moira, who was coming down the stairs with a tray. He frowned.

    “What’s going on? Where’s my wife?”

    “Unwell, Dr. Troy,” the sexy maid purred, “we got her upstairs and she’s in bed.”

    “We? Would that be cock sucking Constance and yourself?”

    Moira smiled.

    “No. That would be Dr. Harmon. He really likes your wife.” she said, before sauntering off to the kitchen. Christian blinked! Fake Ben Harmon???

    Christian hurried up the stairs and burst into the bedroom he shared with Michelle. He found no one there but her, but he could see that she was very sick. He hurried over to her side of the bed and touched her forehead. She was riddled with fever!

    “Good God!” Christian hissed. Moira hadn’t noticed how bad off she was?! Michelle was just barely conscious! He pulled out his cellphone and was about to call 911, when Tate, dressed in his rubber suit, came up behind him and put him in a chokehold that deprived him of air! Christian slumped to the ground, passed out.

    Tate looked around to find something to finish him off with, when Matt entered the room.

    “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Matt asked frostily. Vivien appeared and sighed.

    “Tate, have you seen Hayden? We’ve been looking for her.”

    “I think she’s out by the gazebo.” Tate replied coolly, staring down Matt. “She’s been avoiding the two of you all day.”

    “The bitch has been avoiding me since she killed me.” Vivien corrected him, then eyed Christian and Michelle. “What are you planning on doing to Christian?”

    “Nothing!” Matt snapped. “Because I’m not going to let him.”

    Ben came into the room and saw Christian on the floor. He stepped over him and sat down on the edge of the bed, feeling Michelle’s forehead.

    “She’s getting worse. I would call that psycho doctor...”

    “Nora’s husband?” Vivien asked with concern. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

    “Why?” Matt asked. Vivien gave him a look.

    “You don’t want to know.” was all she said, walking over to the window. She could see Hayden in the gazebo and motioned for Matt to join her. He saw her and nodded to himself. Ben looked over at them.

    “I’ll make sure Tate doesn’t hurt Christian.” he said, understanding that they both needed to confront Hayden. Tate disappeared as well. Ben scarcely noticed when they all left the room.  He got up and went into the bathroom. He ran a cloth under ice cold water and began the grueling task of getting Michelle well. He gently patted her face with the cloth, before half turning to Moira, who had entered the room.

    “What the hell did you put in that drink? Constance had some of it as well.”

    Moira smirked!

    “Constance added a half a tub of liquor to it! It won’t have any effect on her at all.”

    Ben glanced up Moira.

    “And Michelle?”

    “You’re right, Dr. Harmon. Mrs. Troy needs to know what’s going on. What I put in that drink, will make her ‘see’ what’s going on, very clearly.”

                                                           ****

    Michelle suddenly found herself standing in her bedroom, looking over at Ben and Moira. Or was that Moira? It had to be a different woman. A woman that looked young and sexy. A woman she would’ve never hired.

    Michelle peered at the ‘maid’ again. Yes, this was the type of woman Christian would fuck, that was for sure. Her mind went from that, to Christian, lying on the floor. What was he doing here? What had happened?

    Michelle walked over and bent down to see to Christian, when she heard Ben say something and looked up.

    “Michelle would’ve understood everything once three o’clock had come and gone.”

    “She would’ve understood that she had sex with you while she was in a trance...oh and let’s not forget the bathtub incident.” Moira said sarcastically. Michelle shook her head. Bathtub incident? Sex with Ben? Fake Ben? Was he Fake Ben or Dead Ben?

    Dead Ben. Dead Matt! Michelle had fainted earlier because she had seen Matt! Something made her walk over to the window and look out. Matt and Vivien had trapped HAYDEN in the gazebo! Everytime she wanted to step out, either Matt or Vivien blocked her way! Matt....why was he doing this? How could he be alive?

    Michelle looked down on the floor at her inert husband. Christian had lied...again! Matt wasn’t dead but was in witness protection or something? She left the room, ran down the stairs and went out to the back, where she could hear the screams coming from the trio!

    “YOU KILLED ME. BITCH!” Matt screamed.

    “YOU KILLED ME TOO, WHORE!” Vivien yelled. “AND MY BABY! SO EVEN IF YOU RECOVER FROM WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO TO YOU, WE’RE BOTH GOING TO KEEP DOING IT, OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN!”

    “VIVIEN,” Hayden yelled, “I SAVED YOU! DID YOU REALLY WANT TO GIVE BIRTH TO TATE’S BABY?”

    “SHUT UP!” Vivien screamed and leaped into the gazebo, stabbing a piece of glass into Hayden’s neck! Matt ran in with a knife and stabbed her in the back! Michelle gasped and backed back!

    Then, she watched as Hayden slowly removed the glass, and the knife from her body, shoved against Vivien and ran past Michelle and into the house. Matt and Vivien chased after her.

    None of them saw Michelle.

    Michelle slowly sank to the ground. Vivien, Matt and Hayden were dead. Vivien and Hayden for as long as she had known them and...

    Ben was telling the truth. Moira had to be a ghost and Constance too? Suddenly,  Michelle’s head began to pound, as the events of last night rushed in to her head! Walking down the stairs and willingly making love to Ben Harmon while...

    There had been others watching! Someone wearing a  latex suit of some kind! What was happening to her? What was happening?!

                                                                         ****

    The same police detective that was working on Matt’s murder, was outside of Michelle’s hospital room talking to Christian. Detective Stanton questioned Dr. Troy in the waiting area. Sean arrived at the hospital, while Julia took Wilbur to their home.

    “Your maid didn’t see anyone in the house, Dr. Troy. But it is clear you didn’t put yourself in that chokehold. And your wife was poisoned. Though the doctor’s said that the toxin had somehow passed through her system with little damage.”

    “Jesus!” Sean hissed. “Do you think it was the work of this hitman?”

    “I’m going to be honest, Dr. McNamara. The type of hits we’re used to seeing in the crime underworld, basically consist of execution style wounds. The things that have been happening to Mr. and Mrs. Troy are a little...dramatic. I now have to wonder if it isn’t this young woman, this Hayden McClaine we’re looking for. And her alone.”  Detective Stanton said.

    “Which means this is still Fake Harmon’s fault!” Christian hissed. “I mean this psycho bitch is probably freaked out seeing two look alikes of her murder victims.”

    “What’s being done to find those two?” Sean asked.

    “Everything. We actually have Mrs. Langdon down at the station. She knows where they are and we plan to get it out of her.” Detective Stanton said.

    “Good!” Christian snapped. “I’m going to talk to the doctor and see if I can see Michelle.”

    Sean nodded and both he and Detective Stanton watched as Christian walked off. Sean looked at the detective.

    “Do you think that these ‘Fake Harmons’ could be harboring the woman that killed my son? Could they have all been in this together?”

    “Anything is possible.” Detective Stanton answered grimly.

                                                                     ****

    Michelle didn’t protest when Christian insisted on driving her back to the house.

    She did protest when he insisted on staying!

    ‘Christian, I’m fine.”

    “How the hell can you say that? Someone fucking poisoned you and tried to choke me! Really, we should stay at a hotel. Thank God Wilbur is safe.”

    Michelle couldn’t disagree.

    “I think Wilbur should stay with Sean and Julia until we know what’s going on.” Michelle said quietly. Christian raised a brow.

    “Really? I know you hate Julia...”

    “I just want Wilbur to be safe is all.” Michelle said, just as Moira appeared, looking old to her. But Michelle had had a lot of time to think. Julia’s words from the other night kept coming back to her. What she had seen in her dream, or whatever it was, was Moira’s true appearance. Why she pretended to be ugly and old, was anyone’s guess.

    “You! You’re fired!” Christian snapped.

    Moira glanced at Michelle, then focused on Christian.

    “Why?”

    “You know why! And don’t tell me you didn’t see someone come in here and attack me and poison my wife!”

    “I didn’t.” Moira answered simply.

    “Right! Get your stuff and leave!”

    “Christian,” Michelle interrupted, “Moira looks after Wilbur and she’s a good cook. We’re not going to be staying much longer so just let her finish out her time, okay?”

    Christian looked at her like she was crazy!

    “Why?!”

    Michelle moved towards Christian and kissed him in a rather sensuous manner. She then pulled back.

    “We won’t be here much longer. Just let it be. I’ll be up soon, okay?”

    Christian took that for the hint that he never thought he’d get again! He nodded, stunned that Michelle would want to be with him, after what they had been through the past few days.

    “You know it killed me to think that I left Wilbur and you alone here for someone to hurt you.” he whispered, pulling her towards him again. But Michelle gently put him off.

    “Just go upstairs. I’m fine. Wilbur is safe.” she said, kissing him again. Michelle and Moira watched as Christian walked upstairs, before Michelle turned to her.

    “How many of you are dead?”

    “Everyone but Constance.”

    “Figures.” Michelle sighed.

    ‘The basement,” Moira offered, “offers the most danger.”

    Michelle eyed the basement door, but did not respond to that.

    “Where is Dr. Harmon?”

    “In the kitchen, waiting for you.” Moira said. She then turned and walked off. Michelle slowly walked into the kitchen, where Ben was indeed waiting for her. He had poured a glass of wine for her.

    “I thought you might need this. Moira told me what she did. You understand things now.” Ben said, peering at her.

    “You were in the bathtub with me, weren’t you?”

    Ben nodded.

    “Why? Why did you hypnotize me into  making love to you? Why are you even here? Why?”

    “Every person that has been in this house, has failed to produce a child. Each ghost lives with that disappointment and clamors for the next occupant to produce one. When they don’t, they are killed. I saw that Christian and you were having problems...”

    But Michelle reached for his chin and held it.

    “Why, Ben?”

    Ben blinked.

    “Because I love you. Because despite my best attempts with Vivien, she doesn’t look at me the same way anymore. She can’t and I don’t blame her. Then I meet you and you have this asshole husband who doesn’t appreciate you, cheats on you and...”

    “You saw how badly you treated Vivien, hey? You saw yourself?” Michelle asked wryly. “It’s not too late. I can sense love between Vivien and yourself--still.”

    “And she can sense my longing for you--now.” Ben said, abruptly ending the conversation with a kiss. A kiss that Michelle didn’t end right away. But the sound of Christian calling her name, put a halt to it.  She smiled.

    “For a ghost, you kiss pretty well.” Michelle said, turning and walking out of the kitchen. For a ghost he fucked pretty well too. But none of that could ever happen again. And if they were in the danger that Michelle now believed they were in, then they would  need Ben’s help in getting out of this house alive--and without producing a child.

    Ben stared after Michelle, just as Tate stood by his side.

    “She’s going upstairs to fuck him, you know that, don’t you? You should have let me kill him when I had the chance.”

    Ben turned to look Tate in the eye.

    “She’s only going to be with him to distract him. Michelle is one of us now.” Ben said, walking off.  He sat down in the study that used to belong to him. He didn’t need to protect her any longer, for he sensed she was already carrying the child everyone desired, only after one day.

Chapter 7 by PriscillaPal

    Christian was in a better mood than he should have been, considering the fact that his son was dead.

    Maybe it was because he was back at home, with his wife and things were better than ever. He hated thinking that something good might have come out of Matt’s murder, but Christian saw no other explanation for how well things were going at home.

    Well, almost well. Christian didn’t quite understand, why Michelle didn’t seem to want Wilbur to come back to live with them. And, unfortunately, Marcie, the realtor he’d performed plastic surgery on, in exchange for the good deal on the house, had told him that this house might be difficult to sell. Especially with Matt dying in the house and all.

    Christian refused to believe that! He did some research and found that there was a lot of interest in their ‘Murder House’. A Historical Society of sorts, had shown some interest when he contacted them, as well as a developer, who was looking to tear down the house and buy the empty land on the other side of the home, in order to build some kind of group home for wayward teens.

    It was now the day of Matt’s funeral and the idea of where Wilbur was going to live, was getting to be a sore point with Christian. It wasn’t right to have Julia and Sean shuttle him to his school, all the way from where they lived. Plus, Julia expressed some concern about the way Wilbur reacted to Matt’s death. He just didn’t seem to believe it was true, for whatever reason.

    So Wilbur was coming home today, before the services. Christian and Michelle were going over to Julia and Sean’s to pick him up, bring him back here, where Moira would look after him, before then leaving for the cemetery. It was decided that maybe this funeral would be a bit much for the youngster.

    While Christian worked on his tie, via a mirror, Michelle was downstairs, talking to Moira and Marcie.

    “Christian seems to think that some historical group might want this house.” Michelle said matter-of-factly. “So it’s not like unloading this place would be impossible.”

    “Michelle,” Marcie said in a low tone, “their offer is crap. Let’s wait and see what the developer says. I have to get going. I’ll give you a call if I hear anything. Sorry for your loss.” Marcie said, referring to Matt.

    Michelle just nodded, then watched as Marcie left the kitchen. Moira flipped a pancake just as Christian walked in.

    “Was that Marcie that just left? I wanted to tell her that maybe we could get the military to buy this place.”

    Michelle eyed him.

    “The military? Uh, I don’t think we’ll have to go that far. I mean that historical society really sounded interested.”

    “Yeah, but I think we’ll get a lot more from that developer.” Christian said, helping himself to some coffee that Moira had fixed.  “The point is, just because normal people don’t want to live here, doesn’t mean we can’t unload this house on someone.”

    Christian then pulled out his phone and began looking on it. Moira and Michelle exchanged a look, before Christian looked up again.

    “There’s a text from Detective Stanton.  No leads on those fake Harmon bastards. But I do plan to tell him that I think Constance could’ve been the one that poisoned you.”

    Michelle and Moira exchanged looks again and Michelle stood up! She glanced over into the study and saw Ben sitting on the couch, as if he were waiting for her. Michelle looked at Christian again.

    “Why would you think that? I mean she saw something was wrong and picked up Wilbur.”

    “Michelle, no one called her to pick up our son. She just did it. Like she knew you wouldn’t be well enough to do it.  Plus I didn’t like the way she disappeared from here the other night when Matty was killed.”

    Moira coughed! Christian eyed her.

    “Yes?” he asked snippily. He was still not convinced keeping her on was the right idea.

    “I think you may have a point, sir. If I may be frank, I’ve noticed that she’s rather attached to you, Mr. Troy. I don’t know if you knew this, but the police never thought her husband just left with another woman. They think Mrs. Landgon killed her husband and this woman--who was a maid that I knew. I just don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility, that she could’ve been involved.”

    Christian shook his head!

    “Is everyone on this block batshit crazy?! So they never could prove anything on Constance?” Christian asked, now unsettled by the idea that he’d let that woman give him a blow job!

    But something about the story didn’t sound right--coming from Moira, Michelle thought.  Especially since she had seen how young and desirable she had looked, in her ‘dream’.

    “This maid was a friend of yours, Moira?” Michelle asked.

    Moira nodded.

    “Mrs. Langdon’s husband used to chase her around and she fell into an affair with him. This woman confided in me that she wanted out of the affair, but that Constance’s husband wouldn’t let her. I just always believed that Constance found out  and got rid of them both.”

    Christian looked away from Moira to answer another text from Detective Stanton. He then looked up.

    “Moira, you may be right. Detective Stanton just texted me and says that ‘because of past facts concerning Mrs. Langdon, she is now someone they are looking at’. Damnit, I can’t believe we let her in this house.”

    “Well, you know, Dr. Troy, the woman manages to just find her way in here. After all, she did used to own the house.” Moira revealed. Michelle sighed. Uh oh...

    “What?!” Christian snapped. He then looked at Michelle.

    “Did you know that?”

    “I found out the night Matt was killed.  From Vivien. Ben confirmed...”

    “Fake Vivien and Ben! Constance used to live here and...” Christian suddenly looked at Moira again.

    “Do the police think that Constance killed her maid and husband in this house?”

    “Yes. And I do too.” Moira told him.

    “Nice! You know what? First thing I’m going to do is rip those implants out of Marcie’s fucking chest! No wonder Constance acts so at home in here!” Christian hissed, as his phone rang again. He saw it was Sean and left the kitchen to answer it.

    Meanwhile, Michelle folded her arms and glared at Moira.

    “Is ANY of that true?”

    “You heard your husband, Mrs. Troy. The police have it on record.”

    “Yes, but YOU said you worked for the last five families that lived here. if that’s true, than YOU were that maid Constance killed, weren’t you?” Michelle asked suspiciously.

    Moira turned away and began wiping off the counter, just as Ben stood up from the couch in the study and walk into the kitchen.

    “Moira?” Ben said gently, “I think Michelle deserves to know the truth.”

    Moira stopped wiping the counter and faced Michelle.

    “Yes. It’s true. I was the maid.”

    “Oh. My. God.” Michelle said, looking her up and down. “Well why do you altar your appearance in that way? I mean I saw your true appearance when I was poisoned.”

    “Moira drugged you.” Ben revealed. “She wanted you to see what was going on here. We all did, so that you could defend yourself. Sending Wilbur away was a good, first step.”

    Michelle could still hear Christian talking. She glanced in his direction before speaking.

    “Yeah, but I don’t know how much longer that’s going to last. Christian doesn’t see why Wilbur can’t stay with us until we sell the house.”

    “It doesn’t matter,” Moira said, “as long as YOU understand that there are ghosts here that will not let you leave this home alive, much less sell it.”

    Michelle looked from Moira to Ben.

    “Okay, but what am I supposed to tell Christian? That there are ghosts that are going to kill us if we don’t make a baby and...” Michelle trailed off.

    “What?” Ben asked, placing a hand on her shoulder.

    “These ghosts would expect me to LEAVE a baby here? Have they lost their minds? You know what? I want to meet every, damned ghost that wants a baby so badly!” Michelle huffed.

    “Michelle, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Ben warned.

    “Why?”

    “Because you’ll be leading them on. Making them think that this is going to happen.” Ben said.

    “Well why not? I think I should know just what type of ‘personalities’ my family is dealing with. Look at Constance: she comes and goes in this house and could seemingly care less about what ghosts she runs into here. This is my house and I won’t cower in fear. Ben, Moira, will you help me with this?” Michelle asked. They nodded and Ben disappeared, just as Christian came back into the room.

    “That was Sean. He’s just telling me about some problem with Wilbur, when Julia picked him up from school the other day.”

    “What?” Michelle asked.

    “Someone had written ‘fuck you teacher’, all over his math homework. I know damned well, Wilbur didn’t do it.”

    “His homework from when he did it here?” Michelle asked. Christian nodded.

    “I guess. Look, this funeral is going to be hard enough for our son to understand. I don’t want to bother him with this homework thing. Obviously some kid did it when he left it on his desk or something. Let’s just try and get through this day.”

    Michelle nodded and kissed him, before watching him leave the kitchen and head back upstairs. She then looked at Moira.

    “Which ghost would’ve done that?”

    “I’m thinking of a particularly nasty pair of red headed twins.” was her answer. Michelle threw up her hands and began to leave the kitchen as well, when Moira called out to her.

    “Mrs. Troy? You hardly touched your breakfast.”

    Michelle touched her stomach gently.

    “My stomach is a little queasy this morning. Funerals do that to me, I guess.” she said and left the room.  Ben reappeared and Moira gave him a look.

    “Pregnancy will do that as well. I wonder what Mrs. Harmon is going to say about this? Chances are she’ll want the baby for herself as well. Especially since you’re probably the father.”

    Ben said nothing to that, for he suspected Moira was right.

                                                                        ****   

    Michelle’s queasy stomach slowly descended into barely restrained nausea, when she and Christian arrived at Sean and Julia’s to pick up Wilbur. Good God! Michelle could’ve sworn she began to feel even sicker, once they left the house!

    Christian could see she was ill, even before she ran into Sean and Julia’s bathroom to puke her guts out! Julia thought it was stress, Sean agreed but Christian suspected something else, but kept it to himself until they could confirm what he hoped would be wonderful news.

    Michelle struggled to pull herself together to greet Wilbur, then get back into Christian’s car. Michelle closed her eyes and listened to Wilbur go on and on about playing with Jenna, school and how fun it was being with Sean and Julia.  But as soon as Christian turned into the drive of their home, Michelle felt much better, with only her stomach remaining queasy.

    Wilbur hurried up to the front door, just as Moira opened it and reached down to give the boy a big hug! She then stared out with concern at Christian, who had his arms around Michelle.

    “Do you think you’re pregnant?” Christian whispered to her, as they neared the door. Michelle’s eyes widened.

    “Hell no!”

    “You don’t have to say it like that!”

    “Christian, I didn’t mean anything, it’s just that I’m usually pretty careful. And we really weren’t together much at the apartment.” she said slowly. She had been so angry after catching Christian with Julia, she hadn’t let him touch her. Really, maybe there was one time...but most sex had taken place in the short time they had lived in this house.

    So no, Michelle didn’t think she was pregnant. She thought she was stressed out from finding out that she was living with ghosts, and that one of them had fucked her twice, plus someone died recently in her home.

    Yes, it was stress. Not pregnancy.

    Constance suddenly appeared in the doorway next to Moira, holding a pregnancy kit!  Jesus!

    “I hope you two don’t mind,” Constance drawled, as they reached the doorway, “but Moira said you were unwell and I can just sense when a baby is coming. I took it upon myself to get you a nice kit here.”

    Christian smiled gratefully at the woman, that he still thought was demented and a poisoner! But at least now, he wouldn’t have to run out before Matt’s funeral to find out if he and Michelle were going to be parents again.

    Michelle, however, thought Constance had a hell of alot of nerve! But she said nothing as they actually got inside the house. Suddenly, Michelle felt stronger than ever.

    “I feel much better,” she told everyone, “so I really don’t think this is necessary.”

    “Nonsense,” Constance said, shoving the kit at her, “we’ll all just wait down here for you. Wilbur is in the kitchen eating some cookies.”

    Christian smiled encouragingly at her and Michelle realized she really would have to take this damned test to get everyone off of her back! She held the kit, then turned and walked upstairs. Christian looked at Moira.

    “I think I’ll have some of those cookies as well. Constance, get out!”

    “Why Dr. Troy...”

    “Look, I’ve been in contact with Detective Stanton. Did he clear you?”

    “Clear me?”

    “I think you poisoned Michelle.”

    “Oh that. Yes, that nice Detective did question me. But he couldn’t prove a thing. And I did not poison your lovely wife. But he thinks maybe the ‘Fake Harmons’ did it.”

    Christian pulled out his phone and dialed Detective Stanton’s number, while mouthing the word ‘out’ to Constance. He left the room and Constance, instead of leaving, settled into a chair. She wasn’t going anywhere until she had confirmation that a new baby would be joining their little family here.

                                                                     ****

    “Oh God...” Michelle moaned as she looked at positive result on the test strip. She then jumped, when she saw Vivien’s reflection behind her in the bathroom mirror!

    “This baby is Ben’s, isn’t it?” Vivien asked quietly. Michelle shook her head wildly!

    “This test is wrong! It’s a mistake! I’ll take it again.”

    “And it will come up the same again.” Vivien told her. “We have to decide what we’re going to do.”

    Michelle put down the test strip and faced Vivien.

    “If I’m really pregnant, then there is no ‘we’ Vivien. This  baby is Christian’s. There is no plausible way this child could be Ben’s in so short a time.”

    “Ben’s a ghost. I’d say the word ‘plausible’ goes right the hell out of the window, Michelle. Listen to me: you can’t afford to have Christian discover that this baby might not be his. Have it, then leave it with Ben and I. We’ll raise it...”

    “You’re ghosts! Ghosts that can’t even leave this house, so how are  you going to ‘raise’ my child? And this baby IS Christian’s!” Michelle yelled, her voice now shaking.

    “I know this is a lot for you to take in. I’ll leave you so that you can sort it out. But other ghosts are going to lay claim to this child as well. You won’t have much time.”

    “I have nine months!”

    Vivien smiled sadly.

    “Probably not. Which is why Christian will eventually become suspicious.”

    Now THAT scared Michelle! And worse yet, Vivien disappeared after throwing out such a damning statement. What the hell did that mean? When would she be giving birth if the baby was...

    It wasn’t. It was Christian’s and that was that. Michelle closed her eyes, wondering if she could find out something about what to do, on the internet. Were there any sites about women getting pregnant by sexy looking ghosts?

    Then again, she could ask Constance. For all Michelle knew, she’d had a couple of ghost babies herself!

    When Michelle opened her eyes, Ben was in the bathroom with her.

    “I know you’re scared....”

    “Scared?! Vivien has just told me that this baby might come before nine months! Tell me she means seven or...”

    “Five.” Ben said quietly.

    “Oh my God! Well...well...that’s if it’s yours, but it’s Christian’s! It has to be!”

    “Why?”

    “What do you mean, why?”

    “Why does it have to be his? Because you love him? Or because you don’t want him to find out that you had sex with a ghost?”

    “Both.” Michelle said firmly.

    Ben slowly walked over to her and closed the space between them.

    “I would never let anything here harm Wilbur, yourself or our baby. But this is my child and you are going to have to accept that.”

    Michelle wrenched away from him!

    “You are a ghost! You can’t make children! So stop playing around here! Go to Vivien and work out your problems and stop dragging me into them! We’re leaving this place so don’t get too attached to...”

    Suddenly, Michelle screamed! A man dressed in a rubber suit appeared behind Ben! Ben got in front of her!

    “Go! She doesn’t mean any of it!”

    The rubbersuit guy/Tate said nothing, but tilted his head, staring at Michelle, before slowly disappearing. Suddenly, there was pounding on the bathroom door!

    “Michelle!” Christian yelled. “What’s wrong?! Michelle?!”

    Ben grabbed Michelle’s shoulders and shook her slightly!

    “Answer him! Tell him it was the shock of finding out you’re pregnant! Say it!”

    Michelle found her voice.

    “I’m fine. It was just the shock of finding out that I’m pregnant...that’s all.”

    “I knew it! Open the door! Let me in!” Christian yelled urgently.

    “I have to let him in.” Michelle whispered. Ben rested his forehead against hers.

    “Tell me you don’t hate the idea of having my child.” he whispered.

    “Michelle!” Christian continued pounding. “Michelle, if you don’t open this door I will kick it in!”

    “Say it!” Ben continued to whisper, his lips now kissing a trail down her neck. Michelle began to close her eyes and give in to the feel of his lips burning into her skin.

    “I want you to come to me tonight. Please?” Ben begged softly.

    The door suddenly swung open and Michelle jumped, her eyes now open! Christian looked around, as if he had expected to find someone else in there with her, then pulled her into his arms.

    “I know this isn’t what you wanted for us right now. I know we have problems to work through. Just tell me you don’t hate this?” he moaned against her.

    “I don’t hate it.” Michelle finally said, but her eyes were connecting with Ben’s. He had reappeared and was standing behind Christian, in the bathroom doorway. Michelle closed her eyes and leaned into Christian, only to open them again and find Ben gone--for now. She had told him she didn’t hate the idea of carrying his child. Whether she could fulfill his other request of her, would have to remain to be seen.
   

Chapter 8 by PriscillaPal

    Christian ended up attending Matt’s funeral by himself, wanting Michelle to rest. They also decided to explain Matt’s death properly to Wilbur, when he returned. There was some sort post funeral spread at Sean and Julia’s afterward.

    Michelle wandered into Wilbur’s room, to find Matt and Vivien in there with him, helping him with his homework assignments.  Damnit! Matt couldn’t be showing himself all the time around here! Wilbur just wasn’t going to understand this! And Christian would probably have heart palpitations if he saw Matt hanging around like this!

    Michelle stared at the three of them, and noticed something else...

    Matt and Vivien were giving one another sneaky looks. Michelle didn’t quite know what to make of it, but they stared at one another over Wilbur’s head. Had the two of them become closer after whipping Hayden’s ass? Michelle was about to make her presence known, when shuffling from the hallway behind her distracted her. Michelle peered out the door and found Hayden, with a knife jutting out of one of her breasts, slithering about. Michelle gently closed Wilbur’s bedroom door and confronted her.

    “Hey!” Hayden said in a chipper tone, pulling the knife out of her breast and tossing it to the floor. “I’m Hayden.”

    Michelle eyed the knife on the floor.

    “If you’re going to haunt my home, try not to litter. Get rid of that knife.”

    “Why don’t you ask Vivien and Matt to pick it up? They’re the ones that keep sticking me with it.” Hayden responded coyly.

    “Why am I even seeing you?”

    Hayden cleared her throat and Michelle watched as her breast wound disappeared suddenly.

    “I think you’ll be seeing everyone that’s here, soon. Especially now with you expecting a baby.  Some of us will want to congratulate you. Some will want to offer baby-sitting services. And some may just want to raise the baby themselves.” Hayden smirked.

    But Michelle didn’t bat any eyelash.

    “So I’ve been told.”

    “By Ben?”

    Michelle folded her arms.

    “Is this why you’re here? To give me shit about the fact that this could be Ben’s baby? Because I don’t think it is.”

    Hayden shrugged.

    “I don’t know. I mean I’ve watched the way you fuck your husband, versus the way you fuck Ben. I remember fucking Ben. It was always....grrrrr.” she purred.

    “What is your point, ghost whore?” Michelle asked impatiently. She glanced at her watch. Matt’s funeral had probably ended already.

    “I just think that you just had to have made a baby with Ben, from the way you two went at it...ooops! Sorry! You probably don’t remember it? Or do you?”

    Michelle just stared at her. Hayden finally came to the point.

    “Okay. No more bullshit. I was thinking we could  make a deal.”

    “I’m not giving you my baby.” Michelle replied.

    “No. I’m not interested in your baby. Especially one with Ben. No...uh...you’re husband is FUCKING HOT!”

    Michelle lifted a brow.

    “Your point?”

    “Meaning hire me on here somehow. Get Christian used to seeing me around. Then I’ll take care of the rest.”

    Michelle looked her up and down!

    “Are you asking me to pretend you’re someone to me, to my husband, so that you can fuck him?”

    Hayden rolled her eyes!

    “Oh please! I could keep Christian busy while you spend time with Ben. I thought you would be able to see how much help I could be to you two lovebirds.” Hayden grinned.

    “Ben and I are not ‘lovebirds’. He’s married to Vivien, something you should’ve respected before you ran after him.”

    “Is that what that bastard told you? That ‘I ran after him’? That’s a crock of shit, Michelle!”

    “That’s Mrs. Troy to you, whore,” Constance interrupted, “now go away! Go!”

    Hayden suddenly disappeared. Michelle blinked, then turned to face Constance.

    “What did you do?”

    Constance waved a hand nonchalantly.

    “All you have to do is to tell them to ‘go away’, and you’ll have no problems.” Constance informed her. “Now, I just wanted to congratulate you on the baby.”

    “Hmmm. Thanks.”

    “You don’t seem happy?” Constance noted.

    “Why would I be?! Jesus, every ghost thinks this baby is Ben’s! And God help me if it is!”

    “Why? Dr. Harmon is attractive.”

    “That’s not the point!” Michelle snapped. “You know, Christian and I moved here to save our marriage! My delivering a baby in possibly five months...”

    “Five months? Honey, who told you that? It will probably me more like three or at the most four.”

    Michelle staggered backwards, then found her voice.

    “That’s IF it’s Ben’s. I still think it’s my husband’s.”

    Constance shrugged.

    “Well, either way, the baby will be welcome and wanted.”

    Michelle realized that that was Constance’s way of telling her, that the ghosts in this house wanted a baby--period! It wouldn’t matter who the father was.  Constance could see her unease and moved to touch her shoulder.

    “Michelle, just relax and let us help you through this. Everyone could live happily ever after here. I think that Christian, Wilbur and yourself are the perfect family for this house. And this home NEEDS a family.”

    “It needs an owner to live, you mean.” Michelle said darkly. “And if you really want to help me, then I want you to tell me how to live in this house without my family, or myself, getting killed.”

    Constance smiled her telltale mad clown grin.

    “Why honey, that’s easy. I’ll introduce you to each ghost. At least the ones I know of. You can learn their personalities...their quirks.”

    “Get to know the ghosts?” Michelle repeated slowly.

    “Well there’s nothing wrong with that, dear. I mean you already know that tramp, Moira, Dr. Harmon and his wife Vivien. Your step-son, Matt.  Whore Hayden, oh and two of my children are here....I don’t think you’ve met the owners that were here before the Harmons. A gay couple.”

    Michelle pursed her lips briefly, before deviating away from the subject a bit.

    “First, did you kill Moira and your husband? And secondly...why in the living hell would TWO of your children be ghosts in this house? Huh?”

    “Oh. Well, dear, first of all, no, I did not kill anyone. Yes, I fibbed a bit about my husband running off. He died of a heart attack while he was fucking Moira. Then Moira died of natural causes after he died.”

    Moira suddenly appeared!

    “That is bullspit! You shot us both, then you ground up your husband’s remains and fed him to the dogs! I’m buried on the property somewhere! God, you are an evil bitch!”

    Constance grinned at Moira’s fury.

    “Yes, well, dear, Mrs. Troy and I could use some tea. Please.”

    Michelle gave Constance a look. Constance shrugged.

    “I said ‘please’.”

    Michelle looked at Moira.

    “We don’t need any tea, Moira, but I would appreciate you checking up on Wilbur.”

    Moira nodded, before giving Constance the evil eye and leaving them. Michelle shook her head.

    “Why do you rub her face in it? You killed the woman in this house, trapping her here and then you come over here all the time, grinning in her face. Why?”

    “Now, now, Michelle. Talk like that will just upset you and the baby. Have you made a doctor’s appointment?” Constance asked. Michelle decided not to press the woman about her ghost children, and just answer her question.

    “Yes. I managed to get in tomorrow. Now I want to meet these...shhhh!” Michelle hissed as the sound of the front door opening, then closing, ended their conversation. Christian appeared, glaring at Constance, while kissing Michelle on the cheek.

    “Constance,” Christian said between clenched teeth, “have you been cleared yet?”

    “Why Dr. Troy, why do you keep asking me that?”

    “Because I don’t want to see you in this house until Detective Stanton DOES clear you. So get out!”

    Constance sighed loudly, then looked at Michelle.

    “I’ll see you later.”

    “Not until you’re cleared!” Christian said in a sing-song voice.  Michelle watched as Constance left by way of the kitchen, before turning to her husband.

    “Was that really necessary?”

    “Michelle! The police think she poisoned you and assaulted me! Or even worse she had an accomplice. How else would she have known that Wilbur needed to be picked up? Worse yet those Fake Harmons could’ve been in on it. Detective Stanton STILL can’t find them and I don’t believe that Constance doesn’t know where they are.” Christian groused. Michelle touched his face.

    “How were things?” she asked softly.

    Christian sighed.

    “Sean still blames me for this whole thing somehow...you know what? Forget it. We’re having a baby. I’ll go with you tomorrow for your appointment, we’ll get Wilbur’s school troubles taken care of. Oh...and I think it was a good idea for you to call Burt’s granddaughter. She could be a big help with Wilbur and the baby.”

    Michelle blinked.

    “Burt’s granddaughter? Christian, what are you talking about?”

    Christian began looking through some mail while talking.

    “Holly? I found her waiting outside with her suitcase. She was just about to come in. You called her, remember? I didn’t think you were close with any of Burt’s relatives?”

    That’s because Burt didn’t have any! Michelle peered around Christian and saw Hayden standing there, carrying one of Michelle’s suitcases, like it was her own! Michelle gaped at her, then looked over at Christian, who was still looking through the mail. The police had shown them pictures of what Hayden McLaine looked like, and yet Christian didn’t appear to recognize her as the woman that had murdered Matt in the basement.

    He thought she was her dead, first husband’s granddaughter.

    “I didn’t call her and she’s not staying.” Michelle said coldly. Christian looked over at the two of them and set down the mail.

    “Okay, what’s going on here?” he asked. But Hayden knew more than she let on, from peering at Ben’s session notes with Michelle. She had looked up ‘Burt Landau’ online and deduced some things...

    “It’s alright, Christian. Michelle has every right to be sore at me. I did accuse her of killing my grandfather for his money, didn’t I?” Hayden said, looking right into Michelle’s eyes.

    Michelle rolled her tongue around in her mouth. She couldn’t just call this little bitch out as being Hayden, the woman that killed Matt. She could do anything to Christian at this moment, or worse yet, Christian could discover that she was ghost in some freak way. And with all he had been through today, Michelle didn’t think her husband was ready to learn that.

    But at the same time, she couldn’t go for this shit!

    “Get out!” Michelle snapped.

    “Oh come on, ‘Grandmother’...”

    “Hey!” Christian suddenly yelled, “you heard my wife! And you lied about her calling you here!” He was not in the mood for anymore surprises. Not today.

    But one would come. In just a few moments.

    Hayden turned, still clutching Michelle’s suitcase, opened the front door and appeared to leave. Christian eyed Michelle.

    “You never told me anyone from Burt’s family accused you of killing him?”

    Michelle shrugged.

    “Well, that was a play to get money. The accusation only came up after Burt left me everything.” she lied, not wanting to think about how she had withheld his medication out of anger at him for his pervy ways.

    Christian walked over to the door and peered outside. He didn’t see the Landau relative anywhere. He turned and pulled Michelle into his arms.

    “Are you up to talking to Wilbur right now?” he asked. Michelle nodded, pulling back a bit.

    “I think that’s a good idea.” Michelle said, not really looking forward to it. Wilbur would undoubtedly swear up and down that Matt had helped him with his homework today. Worse yet, once he mentioned Vivien, Christian would freak!

    But Michelle turned and began to walk up the stairs. Christian was about to follow, when some movement in his peripheral vision, caught his eye.

    It was ‘Holly Landau’. Somehow she had gotten back into the house.

    She was still carrying her suitcase.

    Oh, and she was naked.

    Christian took a deep breath.

    “Go on up. I see Moira out in the kitchen and I need to tell her something.”

    Michelle nodded and walked upstairs. When she rounded the corner towards Wilbur’s room, she passed what was supposed to be an empty, spare bedroom.

    But Ben was standing inside.

    He was naked as well.

    Michelle looked around, then hurried into the bedroom, closing the door!

    “Ben! What are you doing?!”

    Ben slowly walked over to her, then reached down to clasp her hands within his own.

    “I don’t want to wait until tonight.”

    “Uh, yes, so I see! Look, Christian and I are about to talk to Wilbur about Matt. Now it hasn’t helped matters that he’s walking around looking like he’s alive.”

    Ben stared into her eyes.

    “Where is he?”

    “Who?”

    “Christian.”

    “He’s talking to Moira about something.” Michelle answered.

    Suddenly, Ben yanked her hand, opened the door and pulled her towards Wilbur’s door! He then gently opened it.

    Moira was sitting with Wilbur, talking to him. Wilbur’s back was to the door and he didn’t see his mother or Ben. Ben then quietly closed the door.

    “Go downstairs, Michelle. Then tell me that you want to continue this sham of a marriage you’re in.” Ben said quietly. Michelle stared at him wordlessly for a moment, then turned to head towards the stairs.

    Tate appeared next to be and watched as Michelle rounded a corner.

    “Wouldn’t it just be easier to kill her husband?” he asked. Ben looked him in the eye.

    “It might be easier, Tate, but it wouldn’t be right.” he said, turning to walk back to the bedroom he had been waiting for Michelle in.

    Meanwhile, Michelle was walking down the stairs, when she heard noises. Frowning, she cleared the stairs and began looking around...

    Christian had a naked Hayden bent over a desk and was pounding furiously into her!  Michelle took a step backwards and looked around, then picked up a vase. She then quietly walked up behind the couple and bashed Christian over the head!

    Hayden disappeared, something Christian noticed in his pain and surprise, as he turned to face his wife!

    “Michelle, it’s not what you think...where’d she go?! Where’d...”

    “Where did your son’s killer go?! She’s a fucking ghost, Christian! She’s not anywhere!” Michelle hissed, just as a searing pain suddenly swam through her belly. She crumpled to the floor and Christian recovered enough to help her up, while dialing 911 on his cellphone.

                                                                          ****

    Sean came to the hospital alone and found Christian getting stitched up behind a curtain. The doctor finished and left them alone.

    “Christian? What now? What the hell happened?”

    Christian looked around, then spoke.

    “Sean...Michelle lied to me.”

    “What’s new about that? And why are you both here?”

    “Could you stop being such a smart ass and listen to me?” Christian countered. But Sean had choice words for him.

    “We just buried Matt today! Matt! And on this day--night, you can’t keep out of trouble. Julia and I needed to be alone tonight. What is going on?”

    Christian took a deep breath.

    “Okay. I deserve that.”

    “You do.”

    “Okay, Sean! You don’t think I’m suffering too?”

    Sean closed his eyes, then opened them.

    “Alright. I’ll lay off. Tell me what’s going on?”

    “When I returned from your place today, a young woman was waiting on the doorstep carrying a suitcase. She said she was Burt Landau’s granddaughter and that Michelle had called her.”

    Sean folded his arms.

    “I didn’t realize ole Burt had had any other relatives?”

    “Neither did I. Anyway, she says her name is ‘Holly’. I let her in and Michelle doesn’t want to see her. Apparently this Holly accused her of murdering Burt for his money.”

    “Did she?” Sean asked suspiciously.

    “Oh for Christ’s sakes, Sean! My wife is not a killer, okay? But here’s the thing: I threw her out and she managed to get back in the house anyway. Without a stitch of clothing on. Michelle was upstairs so...”

    Sean’s mouth dropped open!

    “Tell me you didn’t?”

    “I did. But here is the really fucked up part: Michelle bashes me over the head, the hot little bitch disappears mid-fuck and Michelle is screaming that this girl is Hayden, not some chick named Holly! Michelle lied when she saw her before! She knew damned well who she was!”

    Sean backed back!

    “And YOU didn’t? You didn’t recognize the woman that killed our son?”

    “But MICHELLE did! And she lied and said she was a relative of Burt’s! Why?”

    Sean threw up his hands!

    “Ask her yourself! But after we talk to the police! You’re going to fucking tell them everything, including the fact that you let Matt’s killer get away--again!”

    “She DISAPPEARED from around my dick, Sean! I didn’t let her get away!”

    “Well however you need to explain it.” Sean countered.

    “Michelle is in with the doctor. I need to make sure the babies are alright.”

    Sean eyed him.

    “Babies?”

    “Yes,” Christian said quietly, “once her doctor stabilized her, he told us we were having twins.”

                                                                         ****

    While Sean and Christian spoke with Detective Stanton, who had come to the hospital, Michelle called Constance, who unbeknownst to the three men, took Michelle home, once she was given the go ahead to leave.

    Constance followed her to the front porch, then Michelle turned around and looked at her.

    “I’m fine. Thank you for coming for me.”

    Constance gave her a hard look.

    “I did kill my husband, Michelle. I wouldn’t put up with the foolishness that Christian is dishing out to you. And somehow I sense we’re not that much different. Either you put him out or he’ll end up as a ghost in this house. By your hand. I guarantee it.”

    Michelle watched as Constance walked down the porch steps and over to her property. She then opened the door, stepped in and closed it behind her. Michelle looked around, then walked upstairs....

    Wilbur was asleep. Vivien and Matt were now both sleeping near him. Michelle closed the door, walked down the hall to the room where Ben had been waiting for her and opened the door.

    Ben was still there, without clothes, waiting for her. He had been sitting on the bed but he now stood up and held out his hand to her. Michelle said nothing as she took his hand and let him pull her towards the bed.

    “I shouldn’t be doing this,” Michelle whispered, “I should take Wilbur and leave.”

    Ben slowly removed the dress she had been wearing, then pulled her tightly in is arms as his mouth hungrily sought hers. Michelle wrapped her arms around him.

    “Everything is going to be alright now, Michelle,” Ben whispered between kisses, “you’re going to make it in this house. But not with Christian. With me. And our babies.”

    How had he known she was carrying twins, Michelle thought, as he pulled her down onto the bed--their bed.

Chapter 9 by PriscillaPal

    Michelle suddenly pulled out of Ben’s embrace, jumped up and began putting on her clothes. Ben slowly stood up as well.

    “I can’t do this, Ben! I’m sorry. It isn’t right. Christian isn’t right either, but I think the best bet is to just leave.”

    Ben had now put on a robe but was not doing anything to stop her, something that puzzled Michelle. She finished putting on her shoes when she decided she couldn’t take his intense stare any longer.

    “What?”

    “Nothing.”

    “What do you mean ‘nothing’? You’re staring at me as if I have two heads.”

    Ben was silent for a moment, then he spoke.

    “I was just thinking how beautiful you are. Right now. Running from me and what we have.”

    Michelle slowly finished putting on her shoe and rose to her full height.

    “Ben, what do you want me to do? I mean if these are your babies, what do you expect me to do?”

    “Stay in this house and raise them--with me.”

    “And the other crazy assed ghosts that live here?”

    “I would spend eternity making sure nothing happened to you, our children or Wilbur.”

    “I don’t hear Christian’s name in that promise.”

    Ben smiled sadly.

    “I think Christian can take care of himself, wherever he lands.”

    “That’s your way of telling me my marriage is over, isn’t it?”

    “It is over, Michelle. He has had sex with at least three women since you’ve moved in.”

    “Three?” Michelle asked, not really wanting to know the answer.

    “Moira, Constance and Hay...”

    “Constance?!”

    “It was a blow job, Michelle. Listen to me: he’s going to return here once he realizes you left the hospital.  How are you going to live with him? How? What kind of marriage do you have to nurture a child...children, in?

    Michelle took a deep breath.

    “And if these babies are Christian’s?”

    Ben closed the space between them and reached out to touch her stomach.

    “They’re not.” he said softly, moving his head forward to capture her lips in a kiss. But the sudden sound of the front door slamming downstairs, stopped them.

    “MICHELLE!”

    Michelle pulled away from Ben, opened the door and walked out of the room. Soon she was downstairs facing both Christian and Sean.

    “Why did you leave? Constance came and got you? And you left with her after what she did?”

    Suddenly, Michelle was tired. Tired of lying about everything.

    “Constance didn’t poison me.”

    “Oh you believe that?” Christian asked with disbelief riddled with contempt. Sean put a hand on Christian’s shoulder.

    “Calm down! Michelle, you scared us when you just left like that.”

    “I doubt very much anything about my welfare concerns you, Sean. You can leave now.” Michelle said coldly.

    “Now wait a minute...” Christian began.

    “And YOU can leave as well. I can’t live with you anymore. When the babies are born, you can see them whenever. Along with Wilbur. But you need to leave. You and your sanctimonious friend.”

    Sean smirked.

    “And what will you do to amuse yourself while Christian is gone? Besides cutting organs out of people that are still alive.”

    That, of course, was a crude reference to what Michelle was forced to do for her former pimp/pimpette. And Sean never let her forget it, especially since one of her victims was his and Christian’s anesthesiologist, Liz.

    “I don’t know, Sean. Maybe I’ll find a friend’s WIFE to fuck! You’d know all about that, wouldn’t you, Christian?”

    Sean peered at Michelle, then looked at Christian, then looked at Michelle again before settling on his friend.

    “What is she saying? What is she saying, Christian?”

    “What I’m saying, Sean, “ Michelle said in a shaky, angry voice, “is that my marriage to Christian was over the moment I came home and found him fucking Julia! I thought this house would save my marriage, for whatever reason, but it was already broken! Now get the hell out of here and take my husband with you! I’m sure JULIA will be happy to see him tonight.”

    And with that, Michelle walked past both of them and into the kitchen to get some milk. Christian slowly turned to face Sean, who shoved at him!

    “How could you?! HOW?! Julia and I just found one another again! How?! How?!”

    “STOP IT!! STOP IT! STOP IT!” Matt suddenly screamed as he ran down the stairs to confront both of his fathers! Sean’s mouth dropped open and Christian backed away, just as Michelle heard the commotion and mouthed the phrase ‘oh no’. She then hurried out of the kitchen.

    Sean slowly backed back in one direction, while Christian backed back in another, leaving a wide berth around Matt.

    “Matty?” Christian asked in a hollow sounding voice.

    “How? Why?” Sean uttered.

    “I’m in a special government protection program. I had to fake my death so that Sal Riccata wouldn’t come looking for me at all. Until they can move me elsewhere, I’m holed up here.” Matt said, looking directly at Michelle. Christian and Sean suddenly turned to look at her.

    “Michelle? You knew Matt was alive and living here?” Christian asked hoarsely. Matt answered.

    “Agent Sloan asked for her help after she put  you out and Mom and Dad left the night of my...my ‘faked death’.”

    Sean walked over and hugged Matt--hard! He then let go of him.

    “I have to tell your mother.”

    “No, Dad! I’m going to be moved somewhere else and I’ll have a new name and everything! It’s best to make a clean break now!” Matt continued to lie.

    “Are you fucking kidding me? I think your mother would rather know that you’re alive and living a life someplace than dead! I’m leaving to tell her now!” Sean promised, hugging Matt again. He then let go of him and walked up to Michelle.

    “Thank you for protecting my son.” he said. Michelle just nodded. Sean then turned and walked out of the house. But Christian had a few more questions...

    “Wait just a fucking minute! Then just who is this Hayden bitch? And you’re going to tell me that Detective Stanton didn’t know you were dead? I mean he’s been looking for that girl that everyone said killed you? And even if you needed to fake your own death, why do it that way?”

    “Christian,” Michelle interrupted, “that doesn’t change what’s happened between us. I want you to leave.”

    Christian turned to look at her.

    “Sweetie, I’m not going ANYWHERE! Do you hear me? Because something about this whole thing reeks! Clearly, Wilbur saw Matt here, didn’t he? That’s why he had so much trouble accepting your death! And we had a closed casket service so did we bury rocks or what?”

    “Christian, just let it go.” Matt said.  “Your asking questions is going to make others ask questions.”

    Christian turned back to Matt.

    “Asking questions in my own house, isn’t going to blow your cover! There are too many questions unanswered here! And I think Michelle and you had better start answering them. And if you can’t, then you can BOTH leave here!”

    Michelle gasped and moved so that Christian was looking at her!

    “You would throw your son out like that? He told you what was...”

    “It smells like horseshit! And you knew who this Hayden was the moment you laid eyes on her earlier! Then you’re going to guilt me because I fucked a woman that apparently DID not kill my son!”

    Michelle folded her arms.

    “You’re missing the point that you fucked another woman in our house.”

    But Christian sensed he had the upper hand here. Something was off. And he began to suspect something even more sinister here. He looked from Matt to Michelle.

    “Have you two been sleeping together? Are those babies even mine?”

    Michelle gasped and stepped back. Matt threw up his hands in disgust!

    “Christian! Just let it go!” Matt yelled.

    “I would’ve had to have conceived ‘Matt’s’ babies while he was still in prison, you do realize that, don’t you?” Michelle asked sarcastically.

    But Christian didn’t bat an eyelash.

    “Like I said, I’m going upstairs to check on Wilbur, then I’m coming back down here to give the two of you a chance to explain. And I doubt very much when Sean and Julia get back over here and listen to your BS, they’ll buy any of this either. Oh, and why don’t we call Agent Sloan and find out what he knows about this.” Christian threatened, before turning away from both of them and walking up the stairs. Matt watched as Christian disappeared from view, then grabbed Michelle’s wrists!

    “Michelle, he’s probably not going to come back down!”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Oh come on! Dr. Harmon wants you to stay in this house with him! And he’s not going to care whether those babies are his or Christian’s!”

    “You’re telling me he’d harm Christian to make that happen?”

    “No. Not him. But there are plenty of ghosts that want those babies. And they’re especially excited to find out there is going to be more than one.”

    Michelle pulled away from Matt and hurried up the stairs, with Matt close on her heels. Moira appeared in the kitchen and shook her head at the oncoming tragedy.

                                                                      ****


    Christian didn’t see Vivien sitting in a nearby chair, staring at him with disgust, as he kissed Wilbur’s forehead and adjusted his blankets, before leaving the room. Once Christian was in the hallway, he closed his son’s bedroom door quietly and began walking back down the hallway towards the stairs.

    But something made him stop in Michelle and his room first. He walked in, opened up a closet and pulled out her suitcase. He then began pulling her clothes out of the closet! Michelle had known his son wasn’t dead and didn’t say anything? She didn’t feel the need to say anything to him at all about it? Witness protection or not, she should’ve told him!

    And while Christian would acknowledge that the house was big, he couldn’t believe he didn’t know Matt had been here! Something else was going on here. Something else that Matt and Michelle were hiding from him.

    The answer to that, came into his peripheral vision, as the door to the room closed and Christian realized he was staring at Dr. Ben Harmon. Or Fake Ben Harmon. It just couldn’t be a coincidence that this man had just walked into his and Michelle’s bedroom as if HE lived here!

    “What. The. Fuck. Are. You. Doing. Here?” Christian said with slow deliberance. Then something else came to into his mind. The Fake Harmons had to be part of this whole thing somehow. Because if this Hayden girl hadn’t killed Matt, then why did they leave the party that night in such an all fire hurry?

    Ben was dressed in black slacks and a shirt. He took a deep breath.

    “I want you to put Michelle’s clothes back. She’s not going anywhere. You are.”

    Christian slowly put a dress down of Michelle’s, then walked halfway over to Ben.

    “Answer my question: what are you doing in my house? Did Michelle let you in here?”

    “Michelle let me in. And I don’t mean into this house.”

    Christian peered at him.

    “What the hell does that mean?”

    Ben walked up to him.

    “I love Michelle. And the babies she’s carrying are mine. I want you to leave this house. Don’t come back here because neither Michelle or Wilbur will need you.”

    Christian looked him up and down, then shoved him hard, so that he went crashing back against a wall!

    “You’re out of your fucking mind! I’m calling the police, is what I’m doing and YOU’RE getting the fuck out! Is your goddamned wife around here too?” Christian snapped, pulling his phone out of his pants pocket! This was bullshit! Something more was going on here and he didn’t know if he needed to just grab Wilbur, or Wilbur, Michelle and Matt!

    Meanwhile, the bathroom door opened and Tate, dressed in the rubber suit came out carrying an axe. Christian did not see him as he began to punch 911 on his phone. Ben did and he told himself that he had done all he could do, to protect this family. To keep it in tact. He had asked Michelle to tell Christian to get out.

    Then he found the bastard trying to put Michelle out. The mother of his twins. The woman he loved. Now, the inevitable was about to take place.

    The door to the room suddenly flew open, and Michelle, seeing Tate behind Christian, screamed for him to duck! Ben grabbed Michelle from behind and dragged her from the room, while Matt took the axe blow meant for Christian!

    Christian jumped in to help his son, beat down the weirdo in the rubber suit, while Ben dragged Michelle to another room, then closed and locked the door. By now, Michelle was sobbing with fear!

    “Oh my God! Oh my God!” she kept crying. “Who is that? He was in the bathroom with us before! Who is that?”

    “He’s the danger I’ve been talking about. One of the many in this house!”

    Vivien appeared.

    “Ben, it’s time to let go. Let Michelle, Christian and Wilbur leave while Matt has Tate distracted! Michelle, I’ll wake Wilbur up and get him ready! Just get Christian and go!”

    Michelle gave Ben a look, then nodded to Vivien, leaving the room. Ben clenched his jaw but said nothing as Michelle flew from the room. Vivien folded her arms and faced Ben.

    “Really? How did you think anything was going to work out with her? How?”

    Ben looked at his wife.

    “I love you. I always will. But I won’t spend eternity in this house with a woman that can’t forgive me. This house was supposed to be our second chance. I messed that up. Hayden messed that up. We can never see Violet again.”

    “What’s your point, Ben?”

    Ben looked into her eyes.

    “That this house is MY second chance. Michelle knows what a sacrifice it would be, to let go of Christian and continue to live here with our babies. And she’s not about to leave them here with ghosts.”

    Vivien frowned.

    “I don’t understand what you’re saying?”

    “I’m saying that Michelle will be back. Just herself and our twins. That’s how powerful our connection is.” Ben said and left the room.  Hayden appeared.

    “So is that Ben’s way of saying that he’s ‘not going to sweat the small stuff’? That his girlfriend will probably come  back here to be with him? Or maybe she’ll carry on...”

    Vivien, who always kept a butcher knife handy in her sleeve, in case she did run into Hayden, stabbed her again, then walked off. And Hayden wasn’t completely wrong. But what bothered Vivien was the decision Michelle would have to make about the babies, and who indeed would be their father. Ben or Christian. And if she decided that Christian would raise Ben’s children, she didn’t know what fate Tate would have in store for her.

    So, Michelle could NOT come back here. And Vivien would pray that she didn’t.

                                                                           ****

    Christian did not feel right letting Matt handle calling the police or the FBI, since all of this violence had taken place in his home--yet again. But he was now convinced that Matt and Michelle had been telling the truth. That rubber suit fucker had to have been there to kill Matt and anyone else that got in the way.

    Besides, he didn’t want to call Detective Stanton, yet again, and tell him some fucked up tale of violence that had occurred. And that’s what bothered him, as he sat on the bed in the hotel he, Michelle and Wilbur had checked into. That house had brought so much violence into their lives, the short time they had lived there.

    Apparently, Michelle had managed to fight off that wack job, Fake Dr. Harmon and he got away--for now. But the man was a clear threat. And what was that shit about the babies being HIS? What a weirdo!

    Wilbur was now asleep in the adjoining suite. Michelle had finally gotten him back to dreamland, after telling him a lie about a poison gas in the house, and how they had to get out. It was a stupid sounding lie to anyone that wasn’t a child.

    Now Michelle walked back into their suite and closed the adjoining door behind her. Christian looked at her, then held out his hand for her to join him. Michelle slowly walked over and put her hand in his.

    “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for the accusations. I’m sorry for everything. That house is poison to us, Michelle. I know I thought it would fix us. But it almost tore us apart.  I swear, what happened between that girl Hayden will never happen again. What happened with Julia, will never happen again.” Christian said, tearing up and kissing her hand.

    Michelle stroked the top of his hair, then spoke.

    “And Moira?”

    Christian blinked back his tears.

    “Moira?” he asked in a hollow voice.

    “Moira, Christian. There was Moira AND Constance. Oh, God, this isn’t going to work, is it?” she said sadly, pulling her hand from his hair.

    “Of course it will! We have a family on the way! I’ll make it work! We’ll sell the house and find another place to live. In another town.”

    Michelle just stared down at him for a moment, then spoke.

    “You’d better call Sean and Julia and tell them not to go to the house. After what’s happened, it’s too dangerous. I’m going for a walk. I need some air.”

    Christian just stared at her, as Michelle picked up her purse and walked out of the suite. He was frightened and yet he was unsure as to why. Maybe it was the look in her eyes. Christian took a deep breath. He needed help. He needed help if he was going to save his family. Maybe therapy of some sort? Maybe if he told Michelle he’d get help, he could save what they had?

    He pulled out his cellphone and dialed Sean’s number. It was then that he realized that Matt’s axe wound had barely felled him. Had he just imagined that the rubber suit guy had buried that weapon deep into Matt’s shoulder?

    Christian shook his head again. Matt hadn’t had a scratch on him. He had indeed imagined it.

                                                               ****

    Michelle didn’t take a walk.

    She took the car Christian, herself and Wilbur had went to the hotel in, and drove back to the house. She then got out and looked around.

    Ben was over by the gazebo. Michelle slowly walked over to him and he held out his hand. She took it.

    “You came back.” he noted. Michelle stroked his face, then pulled him to her for a kiss, that blended into another, until she broke it off and their eyes locked onto one another. Suddenly, Ben backed her against one of the gazebo posts and welded Michelle’s body to his!  Almost at the same time, Michelle yanked up her dress hurriedly, while Ben quickly divested himself of his pants. Then, with one massive lunge, Ben sank his cock into Michelle’s enfolding flesh.

    A torturous moan escaped Michelle’s lips and Ben clamped his mouth over hers in a brief, sensuous kiss, before almost raising her off of her feet with his first thrust. Ben then proceeded to make furious love to Michelle, his tempo rivaling that of a washing machine.

    Soon, Michelle was too dizzy from excitement and lust, to notice that someone else was watching their display.
   
    Julia McNamara.

    Sean had went running into the house, looking for Matt, after getting Christian’s call. They hadn’t cared about what had happened there tonight! If anything, this latest attempt on Matt’s life made them all the more determined to protect him! Julia had been about to follow, when she realized that Christian and Michelle’s cars were still there.

    Then the sound of loud moans, tore her away from the front door and around to the side of the house, towards the backyard...

    Michelle was fucking that fake Ben Harmon guy in the gazebo! Oh. God. Christian didn’t deserve this! They had no idea if those fake Harmons were hired by the mobster that wanted to kill Matt or what! What was Michelle even doing here? Why wasn’t she with Christian and Wilbur?

    Constance Langdon stood outside of the house, under the pretense of walking her dog, and spied Julia watching Ben and Michelle. Mrs. McNamara would have to be dealt with. She looked down at her precious pup. A nice batch of her ‘special’ cupcakes, should take care of that nosy woman.

Chapter 10 by PriscillaPal


    Matt had told Sean and Julia the same bullshit he had told Christian. He also  made them believe that Agent Sloan and a few other feds, had taken away ‘rubbersuit’  man, and that all was good in the world.

    He told his parents he was waiting for two agents to arrive to move him.

    The McNamara’s believed that, when Chad and Patrick, the couple killed in the house before the Harmon’s, rang the bell, flashed fake badges and told Sean and Julia that they were there to ‘debrief’ Matt before taking him to an ‘undisclosed location’.

    Chad suggested the McNamara’s say their goodbyes to Matt now, while eyeing Patrick. He liked Matt well enough, but it had been Patrick who talked Chad into helping Matt with this. And Chad suspected the reason for that, was because Patrick was hot for Matt!

    Julia hugged Matt, feeling oddly calm. Sean was tore up about the idea of not seeing Matt again, possibly forever. But Julia sensed something was wrong. She just didn’t know what it was. And that something was telling her that she would see her son again, because he wasn’t telling them everything.

    Or maybe it was the fact that Michelle had supposedly known about this the whole time. Considering what a selfish bitch she was, Julia just couldn’t see that part of it. Her putting herself in danger for Matt. But then again, the FBI agents were here, ready to take good care of her son. So there was nothing else to be said.

    Once they left the house, Julia resisted the urge to see if Michelle was still fucking that fake Ben Harmon guy. What was that all about? Clearly, the fake Harmons had had nothing to do with any of this? Or had they?

    Once they were on their way, Julia spoke.

    “Something about this whole thing isn’t right.”

    Sean, who now felt oddly at peace over the revelations of this evening, decided that now was the time to confront his wife over what he had  learned, before he discovered Matt was still alive.

    “Something isn’t right, alright. Before I found out Matt was alive, Michelle told me about Christian and you. In a perfect world, I’d put you out in the street right now.”

    Julia quietly gasped!

    “Michelle told you what?”

    “Stop, Julia! Just stop. Christian looked guiltier than hell! And whatever I think of Michelle, clearly THAT particular affair of Christian’s, is the one she can’t forgive.”

    Julia looked out of the window and began talking.

    “It was after we found out Matt had been raped in prison. It was one time. One moment. But Michelle came home and found us. Now she’s been holding it over both of our heads this whole time.”

    Sean said nothing. Julia looked over at him.

    “You don’t want to know how?”

    “I don’t care. She’s his wife. I’m your husband. We have a right to be upset. Now this explains her shit behavior towards us. It really was more towards you, wasn’t it?”

    “You’re taking her side?”

    “I’m taking my side. We’ve both been wronged.”

    “Sean, did you notice that Christian and Michelle’s cars were still in the drive?”

    “Why are you changing the subject? I don’t care about that! I want to know how we’re going to keep from getting divorced a second time!” Sean snapped.

    Julia now glared at Sean!

    “I saw Michelle before going in to that house! I saw her in the backyard, fucking that fake Dr. Harmon in the gazebo! So she’s not as innocent as she would have you believe.”

    Sean smirked!

    “Good. For. Her. You know what? You owe me a freebie.”

    Julia blinked.

    “A freebie?” she repeated.

    “Someone I can fuck that isn’t you!”

    “Sean, this is not just about Michelle sleeping with another man! We don’t know that those fake Harmons weren’t part of what happened to Matt!”

    “Michelle hid Matt in her home, at a great cost to her own safety and to her marriage. Jesus, Julia, that explains why she didn’t want Wilbur back at the house! So I would suggest you show a little more gratitude here!”

    Julia couldn’t believe what she was hearing!

    “So you’re saying what?” she asked slowly.

    “That one, Michelle put herself out there, so I doubt she’d fuck fake Ben Harmon, if he had had anything to do with any of this! Second, I’m telling you not to tell Christian anything about it!”

    “Oh my God! You’re joking, aren’t you?”

    Sean pulled the car over to the side of the road and faced her.

    “No. No I’m not. We’re going to stay out of Christian’s life for good. That is the only way for our marriage to survive.”

    “I’m not convinced that the fake Harmons aren’t involved in this thing somehow. I think Christian has a right to know everything.”

    “But neither of you thought I had a right to know squat, right?”

    “That’s not true! Sean, it was a mistake, it meant nothing!”

    “If it meant nothing then it shouldn’t have happened, should it?”

    “Sean....”

    But Sean couldn’t take anymore of her lying voice any longer. He took the keys out of the car and threw them at Julia!

    “You drive home--ALONE!”

    He then got out of the car and began walking in the direction from which they came! Julia jumped out of the car and yelled after him, but Sean refused to acknowledge her and kept walking--back towards the murder house.

                                                     ****

    The next morning would truly be a ‘new day’ for all concerned.

    Michelle had returned to the hotel late, looked in on Wilbur, then slipped into bed with Christian, who had only pretended to be sleeping. He had been too scared about his crumbling family to sleep, or notice just how long Michelle’s ‘walk’ had taken.

    Now she was getting Wilbur ready for school, while Christian was going about getting ready for a tummy tuck that morning. Michelle glanced over at him, while making sure Wilbur’s backpack was secure.

    “I’m going to be talking to Wilbur’s teacher about that ‘incident’, seeing my doctor, then I thought I’d go about renting us a house near Wilbur’s school. What do you think?”

    What Christian thought, was that Michelle sounded chipper and forgiving. Maybe a good night’s rest had cleared her head? Or maybe her walk had. But she certainly didn’t sound as if she were about to throw away their family.

    “I think I’d like to come with you to see the doctor and rent the house. I have a surgery scheduled this morning, then I’ll clear my calendar for the rest of the day.”

    The last thing Michelle wanted, was Christian with her today when she went to the doctor, since she planned on telling her husband, that the doctor had decided that sex was forbidden during her pregnancy. Some BS about it being high risk.

    But now he would hear everything. Michelle quickly decided she’d just have to fend Christian off some other way.

    “That sounds good.” Michelle smiled, just as her cellphone rang. She straightened Wilbur’s shirt and he walked over to Christian for inspection. Michelle rummaged through her purse and pulled out her phone, looking at the Caller I.D..

    It was Julia.

    Michelle answered.

    “Hello?”

    “Michelle? Put Sean on the phone.”

    Michelle turned away from Christian and Wilbur and casually walked over to Wilbur’s room via the connecting door, whispering to Christian that she was going to make sure that Wilbur hadn’t forgotten anything. Once in his room, she closed the door slightly and spoke.

    “What the hell are you talking about, Julia?”

    “I know you told Sean everything! Nice! Your life is falling apart so you’re going to fuck up mine too, hey?”

    “Sean’s not here.”

    “I know you’re with him in that haunted house of yours! Put him on! I guess you were his revenge fuck!”

    Michelle peered through the doorway to see Christian looking towards the door questioningly. It wouldn’t be long before he wondered who she was talking to.

    “Sean went back to the house when?”

    “Last night! Actually we were both there at first. We saw Matt off when the agents came to take him away. I also managed to spot you screwing your head off with that fake doctor!”

    Michelle blinked slowly.

    “You went back to the house and saw men take Matt away?”

    “Oh please! Stop pretending is if THAT’S the most important thing I’ve told you.”

    But it was. Because Matt couldn’t have gone anywhere and no men were arriving to take him away. The only thing she could think of, was that Matt got some other ghosts to cover for him or something!

    “I wasn’t at the house last night, Julia. So if you saw the fake Dr. Harmon having sex with someone, it wasn’t me.”

    “She was Black!”

    “Bitch, what the hell does that mean?! Just because you saw some Black woman fucking this man, it HAD to be me! Watch yourself, whore! I’m hanging up.”

    “Stop playing games with me, Michelle or I’ll call Christian and tell him what I saw! Now Sean and I left, then he left me in the car to go back to the house! I know it! And you were there so you must have seen him!”

    Michelle hung up, then went out to the other room.

    “Wilbur, don’t forget your colored pencils. I saw them on the table in there.” Michelle lied. Wilbur frowned, but went into the other room. He thought he had packed his pencils. Once he disappeared through the door, Michelle turned to Christian.

    “That was Julia. She called to bitch me out about Sean. He didn’t come home last night and she thinks he was with me.”

    “What?!” Christian yelled, pulling out his cellphone. But Michelle touched his arm.

    “There’s more.  Julia said some crazy stuff about seeing fake Dr. Harmon having sex with some Black woman outside of the house. And in the same breath she admitted that she and Sean were there when the FBI men came to take Matt to the safe house. Apparently, THEY did not see anything so...” Michelle trailed off, muddying the lie.

    “That crazy bastard kept saying you were carrying his children. It’s possible he found someone who reminded him of you, to have sex with and that’s what Julia saw...but I don’t understand her thinking Sean was with you?”

    “Sean confronted her about the two of you, got out of the car and returned to the house, for whatever reason.”

    “Okay, I’ll go over there and see if he’s there.”

    “Christian! You have a surgery scheduled. I will go over there.”

    “No! Now if Julia did see fake Harmon than he could still be wandering around.”

    “I’ll be careful. Really. Besides, I should apologize to Sean AND Julia for blurting out what I did. Maybe Sean and I can come to a truce if we have some alone time to work things out. After all, he’s probably going to be the god father to our babies, right?” Michelle smiled.

    Christian still didn’t like it.

    “If Sean didn’t come home last night, it was because of Julia and I.  Julia and I are the ones that need to handle it.  But it means I might have to miss your doctor’s appointment.” he said with disappointment. Michelle pulled on the lapel of his suit jacket.

    “I’ll live. Really. Go and take care of Sean with Julia.” Michelle said with a calm that she did not feel.

    Christian pulled her to him for a quick kiss, then let her go.

    “Call me after your doctor’s appointment.”

    “Call me when you find Sean.” she answered, her mouth forming a smile she didn’t feel. Would Christian listen to Julia about seeing herself and Ben last night? And if he did, would that really be so bad? After all, in her heart of hearts, Michelle knew she would not have gone to Ben last night, if she hadn’t truly believed her marriage to Christian was over.

    Then again, in her heart of hearts, Michelle didn’t really believe she had conceived twins with a ghost. The doctor’s visit today, would be the deciding factor on how she planned to live the rest of her life.

                                                                         ****

    Christian found Julia waiting by her car, when he pulled up to the house. He got out and walked over to her.

    “Did you see him yet?” he asked her.

    “He’s not answering. Your maid isn’t inside either.”

    “Or she’s being a smart ass and not opening the door.” Christian suggested, pulling out his keys. “Let’s go. If Sean is in there we’ll find out.”

    Julia nodded and she followed him up to the door. Christian put the key in, unlocked the door and stepped inside.
   
    “Moira!” Christian called out. Moira appeared in two seconds.

    “Yes, Dr. Troy?” she asked seductively.

    “Jesus! Mrs. McNamara rang the doorbell before and no one answered! Why?”

    “I was dealing with a problem.” Moira answered simply, looking at Julia.

    “Something to do with my husband?” Julia guessed.

    “He came by drunk last night. I figured it was best if he just slept it off. He’s upstairs in one of the spare rooms.” Moira told her. Christian frowned.

    “You got a drunk guy all the way up those stairs?” he asked.

    “He wasn’t rip-roaring, if that’s what you mean. But it was clear he shouldn’t drive.” Moira said primly. Julia looked at Christian.

    “You go to Michelle and see what the doctor says. If he’s been drunk, then I should handle this alone.”

    “Julia, we agreed to talk to Sean together.” he reminded her.

    “Yes, but I want my husband clear headed when we explain about our mistake. We both know Sean, liquor and hangovers. So go. I’ll be fine.” Julia assured him.  Christian touched Julia’s arm, then focused on Moira.

    “Michelle and I are selling this house. Matt left last night, so you can leave now.” Christian told her, before turning to walk out of the door. Julia noted that Moira didn’t look like she was upset, or in that big a hurry to go anywhere.

    “Your husband is in the third room on the left.” was all Moira said as she walked off. Julia shook her head in wonder, staring after the attractive maid,  before walking up the stairs to find her husband.

    When she ventured down the hallway, Julia  heard the distinct sounds of moaning and cries. And not cries of distress. Her breath caught in her throat, as she saw that two rooms, directly opposite of one another on each side of the hall, were the only ones with doors wide open.

    Julia slowly walked down the hall, stopped, and looked into the room on the right...

    Sean was lying on bed with his throat cut! Julia screamed and ran into the room to him!

    “OH MY GOD, NO! NO! SEAN! SEAN!” was all she could scream, since he was dead and had clearly been so for some time! Moira had said he was passed out up here but that couldn’t be! That woman had known her husband was dead...

    Suddenly, Julia turned to look behind her. There was a couple having sex in the room directly across from the one she was in. A man was pounding wildly into a woman from behind. A young woman with some sort of flower in her hair...

    “Se....Sea...Sean?! Wh...wh...” Julia stammered, looking from ‘Dead Sean’, and over towards the man that looked like her husband, fucking some twenty year old that looked vaguely familiar, for some reason.

    Sean stopped what he was doing. He had heard Julia’s screams, but even in his current, undead state, he was still angry. Angry at her and Christian. He had wanted his wife to see him fucking someone else!

    Sean walked over to her in the room and stared at his body. Matt and Vivien had heard Julia’s cries and came running as well.  Ben hung back, glancing in the room where the ‘Black Dahlia’ ghost was. She was getting up from the bed and putting on her clothes.

    “Sean...wh...Matt? Why aren’t you gone?” Julia asked in a shocked whisper.

    Chad and Patrick appeared and Julia recognized them as the FBI agents that were supposed to take Matt to safety.

    “Tell me what’s going on? Tell me now! Matt? Sean?”

    Matt touched her shoulders.

    “Dad is gone. Someone killed him. You have to leave and forget what you’ve seen...”

    “ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND??? I’M NOT LEAVING HERE! MATT, THE GANGSTER...HE KILLED YOUR FATHER....” Julia trailed off looking at Chad and Patrick. What was this? If that mobster had killed Sean then why were these two here? Why was her son still here?

    Vivien stepped forward.

    “Julia, stay calm. Please. We can explain. Sean IS dead but we’re all...”

    “Ghosts.” Ben interrupted, stepping into the room as well. Julia glared at him.

    “I saw Michelle with you last night and she denied it! But I did see you with her, didn’t I?”

    Ben half looked at Vivien, before nodding. Matt put an arm around Vivien, which Julia now noticed.

    “I have to get out of here. You tell your father to stop playing jokes and meet me outside!” she snapped, addressing Matt. She muscled her way out of the growing ghost crowd and was about turn back to say something, when she looked at naked Sean Ghost.

    His throat now looked like his dead counterpart’s! Julia put her hands up to her mouth, screamed and turned to run. And she was doing a good job of getting away until Hayden, who appeared out of nowhere, stuck her foot out tripping Julia McNamara, so that she went tumbling down the stairs head first. She broke her neck on the second to last stair.

    Ben was the first to get to her! He glowered up at Hayden, who shrugged.

    “It was an accident.”

    Matt and Vivien grabbed Hayden and dragged her off, while Sean, who put on one of Christian’s robes that was still in the house, knelt with Ben over Julia’s body. It was not long before Julia herself appeared.

    “Is that me? Sean, oh God, I’m sorry about Christian! Look what’s happened to us!” she moaned.

    Ben slowly stood up. He had come to a decision. It would be selfish to ask Michelle to stay in this house and raise their babies. There was too much violence and murder here. It wasn’t right or safe. He knew this. He had always known this. And yet for some reason he had hoped he could make things different. But the ghosts in this house didn’t change and this house itself didn’t change. It just kept claiming lives.

    “Christian and Michelle will be coming back here today,” Ben said, “and when they do, you two have to convince them somehow not to come back. Not even to get their things.”

    Julia squinted at Ben.

    “What about US? How are we going to get out of here?”

    Sean’s jaw clenched.

    “Honey, Ben has just told us that we aren’t getting out of here. When Christian and Michelle get here, we have to make sure it’s understood that they will need to care for our children as well.”

    Julia shook her head!

    “I am NOT dead! I’m just unconscious or something. And there’s no way that Michelle is raising my children or my granddaughter!”

    Sean grabbed Julia’s shoulders and steered her away from Ben, and the sight of her crumpled corpse. Ben looked towards the front door. Michelle was coming here to tell him about her doctor’s appointment. He would tell her then, that he never wanted to see her again. And he would need Vivien’s help on how to accomplish that.

                                                            ****

    Michelle knew something was wrong, when it took too damned long for the doctor to come back to the office with some x-rays. Then her suspicions were heightened, when he wanted to perform more tests.

    They were confirmed, when during one of the doctor’s abscences from the exam room, Michelle heard her gynecologist talking to his secretary about asking her permission to publish something in a medical journal about her pregnancy.

    Uh...WHY?

    Dr. Henry Salvo returned and found his patient dressed, which surprised him, since he was about to tell her that he wanted her to get checked into a hospital. Christian appeared and Michelle had to admit that she was grateful for the use of his hand to squeeze to death!

    Dr. Salvo was glad to see his patient’s husband as well.

    “First of all, Michelle, I believe you when you say that you just found out you were pregnant. I saw your records from your hospital visit from the other night. The babies looked to be about six weeks.”

    “But?” Christian asked, looking confused. What was going on here?

    “The babies now look, after one day to be about five months along. Michelle, you’re belly isn’t even distended! And worse yet...”

    “There’s more?” Michelle asked gravely. Damnit, Ben had said these babies were his but she never really believed that in her heart. With all that was wrong, these twins had to be his.

    “Apparently, one of the twins has his hands around the other’s throat in your womb. I’m going to check you into the hospital immediately. We need to perform a c-section.”

    “At five months?!” Christian almost howled. “What the hell is going on? Why would these babies have grown so fast?! And one is choking the other? Jesus!”

    “I would like your permission to write about your case in a medical journal. I think this happens in third world countries...”

    Michelle doubted that! Christian wasn’t going for it!

    “No! I won’t have anyone publicizing our tragedy here!”

    “Your names would not be used, of course!” Dr. Salvo insisted, looking desperate, eager and inappropriately curious about this fucked up situation. Michelle pulled her hands from Christian’s.

    “What are the babies chances at five months?” she asked quietly.

    “We’ll put them in incubators, of course. But honestly, if one of the twins is choking the other, at least that one has a fighting chance.”

    “And the other one?” Christian asked.

    “We won’t know until the procedure is done. But you might have to choose.” Dr. Salvo said.

    “Choose?” Michelle asked.

    “We might find that in order for one of the babies to live, the other will have to die.”

    Suddenly, these babies were very real to Michelle. And she didn’t want to choose. She wanted them both.

    “Dr. Salvo, could Michelle and I have a moment alone?” Christian asked. Dr. Salvo nodded and left the office, closing the door. Christian then looked at his wife.

    “Michelle, I’m going to ask you this once, and then we’ll never speak of this again: are these babies mine? Did you fuck someone after you caught Julia and I together? I mean I just don’t think that I would have a hand in producing such a fucked up situation.”

    Michelle stood up and thought about slapping his face. She then decided he wasn’t worth it. She turned and walked towards the door, opening it, then slamming it  behind her. She wasn’t going to the damned hospital! She was going to see Ben. She had to tell him what was happening. She had to ask him what she should do? Which baby should she choose? Which...

    No. She had to go to the hospital and make sure that one of these babies didn’t get choked to death. Ben would have to wait.

    But Michelle Troy left her doctor’s office, got in her car and drove home--to the murder house.

                                                                          ****

    When she arrived at the house, she noticed Julia’s car there and sighed. She didn’t have the time to spar with her AND try and see Ben. Suddenly, Michelle felt tired.

    Moira appeared.

    “Mrs. Troy? What’s wrong?”

    “Where is Dr. Harmon? I need to see him.” she asked weakly.

    “He’s upstairs. He’s expecting you in ‘your’ room, whatever that means.” Moira said, but she knew. The whole house knew. Michelle nodded her thanks and walked up the stairs. Time was of the essence. She couldn’t have surgery like this without telling the father of her babies what was going on.

    Her cellphone rang in her purse and Michelle knew it was Christian. She didn’t want to talk to him right now. She had to see Ben.

    Michelle walked to the door of the room that she and Ben had almost made love in, that one time. She closed her hand around the knob, turned it and...

    Ben and Vivien were lying naked in bed. The bed that was supposed to be theirs. Ben slowly removed his arms from around Vivien and stood up.

    “Michelle.” he said quietly. Vivien stood up as well. Michelle blinked.

    “Michelle, you were right about love still being between us, “ Vivien said, “really, you brought us back together.”

    Michelle dragged her eyes off of Vivien’s naked body, and back over to Ben.

    “After we were together the other night, all I could think about was about much I loved Vivien and what a mistake I had made with you.” Ben lied. “I’m sorry. But Christian can be a better father to the babies than I can. He can actually leave the property.”

    Michelle just stared at him for a long moment, then spoke.

    “One of the babies is choking the other. I am going to hospital to get a c-section. One probably won’t survive. I thought you should know that. I won’t be coming back.” Michelle said, then turned to leave the room. Ben and Vivien looked at one another, before Ben hurried after Michelle!

    “Michelle! Michelle, wait!”

    Downstairs, Christian slammed into the house! Damnit to hell! He KNEW Michelle had come here! When she left the hospital the other night with Constance, THIS is where she had come! Why the hell would she not go to the hospital? Why would she come here?

    “MICHELLE?! MICHELLE, ANSWER ME! YOUR CAR IS OUT THERE!”

    A noise from down the hall caught Christian’s attention. He frowned and walked in that direction, eventually getting to the basement door. He opened it, saw a light on and a shadow moving.

    “Damnit, Michelle! What are you doing down there?! I have a right to know if those babies are mine!” Christian snapped, running down into the basement.

    But he didn’t find Michelle down there.

    Fucked up Baby Thaddeus, dressed in his telltale old woman dress, leaped up at Christian’s throat, tearing it out! Christian screamed loud enough for Michelle and Ben to hear him! They hurried downstairs to the first floor, then down to the basement!

    Thaddeus was still sucking on the very dead Christian’s throat when they found him.

    “THADDEUS, GO AWAY!” Ben yelled. Thaddeus disappeared, but Christian’s dead body still lay before them. Ben turned to Michelle and wrapped his arms around her.

    “Michelle, go to the hospital. We’ll take care of this. There is nothing you can do now.”

    But Michelle crumpled in his arms!  Ben moved some of her hair away from her face.

    “Michelle? Michelle what is it?”

    “I don’t know! I don’t know! It hurts! I can’t drive! What was that thing? Christian...”

    Ben managed to get her up the stairs and scream for Vivien and Moira, who came running...as did Sean. They helped her to the living room couch, laying her on it. And there was no time for modesty, as Sean yanked up Michelle’s dress and pulled down her panties.

    “There’s a head coming out!” Sean yelled. “Michelle, you’re in labor!”

    “No, no, no!” Michelle gasped. “I’m only five months and I don’t even know how that happened!”

    Tate and Nora watched from the hallway, looking quite pleased. Soon, there would be two new additions to this house.

    Meanwhile, Julia slowly walked down to the basement and found new ghost Christian, staring in shock over his dead body. He frowned when he saw Julia.

    “Julia? What’s happening?”

    “What’s happening is that we’re dead and can’t get out of this house. And if I can’t get out, your wife for damned sure isn’t.” Julia vowed.

Chapter 11 by PriscillaPal

     “What do you mean, ‘I’m dead’?” Christian asked in disbelief.

    “Just what I said! You’re dead and Sean and I are dead! And when you die in this house you can’t leave! We’re dead and trapped in a nightmare!” Julia almost cried. She’d only had hours to adjust to her new undead status and the ramifications of it.

    “What the hell was that thing that attacked me?” Christian asked, his voice hollow. He had now stooped down and was looking over his own body.

    “I don’t know! But we’ll have plenty of time to find out now, won’t we?”

    Christian raised himself up to his full height and grabbed Julia’s shoulders!

    “I came here looking for Michelle! Where is she?”

    Julia’s eyes grew huge!

    “Who CARES???”

    Suddenly, loud screams could be heard! Christian looked towards the stairs.

    “That sounds like Michelle!”

    “Before I came down here, it looked like she was in labor!” Julia said dismissively.

    “Labor?! She’s only five months pregnant!”

    Julia grabbed Christian’s face!

    “Christian, those babies are not yours! That’s why they’re coming after Michelle found out she was pregnant like days ago! And that is why, if you go upstairs into that living room, you will find Dr. Ben Harmon, who IS a ghost, hovering over her like he’s her husband!” Julia snapped.

    “Julia, I can’t think right now! Everything is happening so fast! I mean how did you die?”

    “After you left me here to go to that doctor’s appointment, I found Sean’s dead body in one room, while his ghost was fucking the Black Dahlia in another!”

    “Holy shit! The Black Dahlia is in this house?” Christian asked, his eyes glittering.

    Julia looked him up and down.

    “Could you sound more excited?”

    “Where is Sean?” Christian asked instead.

    “Probably helping with your wife. Christian, that crazy looking neighbor of yours came into the house with some very badly burned guy, and took my body and Sean’s away.”

    “Constance? And some burned guy?”

    “Yes, Christian! And Matt is dead too.”

    Christian backed away from her.

    “What?” he whispered.

    “We weren’t crazy. He died when we saw him die. There was never any FBI Protection thing! He died in this house and his ghost is trapped here, just like ours. And right now Michelle is the only living person in this house at the moment. Sean and I have a daughter and a granddaughter that is never going to see us again!” Julia began to cry, her voice shaking with emotion. Christian pulled her into his arms.

    “It will be alright. I promise. Once Michele gives birth, we’ll figure something out.” he whispered. Julia pulled away.

    “You know what’s fair, don’t you?”

    “Fair?”

    “We let Michelle get word to our loved ones, then we make sure that she doesn’t leave this house either. It’s only right.” Julia sniffed.

    “Julia, Michelle didn’t kill you! And she didn’t kill Sean.”

    “Hayden killed me. She killed Matt and probably Sean as well. The only reason she’s acting this crazy is because she’s jealous of Michelle’s relationship with Ben. If she hadn’t been fucking a ghost, then a ghost wouldn’t have killed my family! Christian, Michelle knew what this house was and what it could do to people--living people, and she never warned any of us! This house is the reason she didn’t want Wilbur here. She didn’t have to worry about herself because ‘boyfriend Ben’ would protect her. But she didn’t give a damn about you. Look, you’re dead!”

    “I have to give my wife a chance to explain.” was all Christian said to Julia’s speech. He ran up the stairs, towards the sounds of Michelle’s labor pained cries. Julia folded her arms and walked towards the washer and dryer.

    “Hello.”

    If Julia had been still alive, maybe she would’ve been more startled. But in her ghostly state, she was only mildly surprised. The male voice that that ‘hello’ came from, was a rather nice looking man, maybe in his early forties, with light colored hair. He walked up to Julia and took her hand in his.

    “I’m Hugo. Hugo Langdon.”

    Julia smiled wanly.

    “I’m Julia.”

    “Julia...Julia...listen, ‘Julia’, do you want to do math?”

    Julia blinked.

    “Pardon me?”

    “Math,” he cooed, running his fingers up her arm, “let’s add a bed, subtract your clothes, divide your legs and multiply! What do you say?”

    Julia closed her eyes and muttered ‘go away’. When she opened them, cheesy pick- up- line artist, Hugo Langdon, was gone. And she herself wanted to be gone, either to heaven or hell!

                                                                           ****

    Michelle felt as if she were in a nightmare herself.

    Some doctor from God knows where, suddenly appeared with white scrubs on! And at that point, she didn’t much care if he were a ghost or not, as long as he knew what he was doing!

    She was squeezing Ben’s hand hard, while Vivien sat by the doctor along with two nurses that appeared as well, encouraging her. But the doctor, was none other than the original owner of this ‘murder house’--Dr. Charles Montgomery.

    “There is something wrong. It’s like something is attached to one of the babies.” Charles said.

    Ben looked at him briefly, while allowing Michelle to squeeze the hell out of his hand.

    “She said her doctor said that one baby is choking the other. What does that mean?” Be asked him.

    “It means I’m going to have to unwrap the one child’s fist from around the other’s throat.” Dr. Montgomery answered somberly.

    “OH GOD!” Michelle screamed, not only from pain, but just that sentence! Attempting to do something like that just SOUNDED like it was going to hurt even worse!

    Meanwhile, Vivien was peering really hard into the birth canal, as if she were trying to see if that statement were true! Michelle glared at her.

    “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GET A FLASHLIGHT!

    Vivien held up her hands in surrender.

    “I’m sorry, Michelle! It just that a head is coming out here and I’m trying to see if I can see a fist around it’s throat. Or maybe it’s this baby that’s doing the choking.”

    Dr. Montgomery glanced at Ben.

    “You have produced some rather violent children.”

    Sean looked at Michelle and Ben, but said nothing else. He touched Vivien on the shoulder and they moved away from the scene.

    “Who are those two over there?” he asked. Vivien spied Tate and Nora.

    “Nora is the doctor’s wife. Tate is Constance’s son.”

    “Constance?”

    “The eccentric woman that was here the night Matt was killed.” Vivien replied.

    “Oh.” Sean said, realizing that that was the same woman that had come and taken his and Julia’s bodies away, with the help of a burned guy. He was about to say something else, when Christian hurried in!

    Meanwhile, Ben whispered to Michelle.

    “Vivien and I just took off our clothes and waited for you. I wanted you to think we were back together for the sake of our babies! I...I don’t want you to leave! I love you, raise our children here, please! Please!”

    Michelle barely nodded as she was hit with another wave of pain! Good God, half of the damned doctor’s arm was inside of her! Meanwhile, Sean was talking to Christian.

    “Christian, the doctor is doing all he can!” Sean said, trying to keep him calm. Christian dragged his eyes from Michelle, who’s legs were now splayed wide open. Dr. Montgomery damned near had his fist in her!

    “Wh...who...Sean, we’re dead. Can you believe that? We’re dead.”

    Sean clapped his hand on Christian’s shoulder.

    “Julia and my bodies have been moved. Someone will find us and our loved ones will know that we’re dead. But Christian, decisions have to be made here. Those babies can’t live in a house full of dead people! None of us can leave the property.”

    Christian said nothing and moved slowly, so that he was sitting next to Ben. He took Michelle’s hand from Ben. Michelle blinked weakly.

    “Christian...I’m sorry...I never meant for any of this to happen...”

    “It’s the house, Michelle. It wasn’t you. Just relax and let the doctor...”

    Suddenly, Dr. Montgomery literally dragged one baby out of Michelle, who’’s fist was wound around the other twin’s throat! The more violent baby, a boy, almost hissed, when Dr. Montgomery, Christian, Ben AND Sean, had to work to unclamp it’s hand from around the other’s, a girl’s, throat! The girl gave a faint cry.

    The crazy boy baby never cried, but continued to hiss and growl. Michelle began moving her head from side to side!

    “Hell no! No! That baby is growling! Get it away from here!”

    Tate and Nora hurried into the room! Nora took the hissing baby and she and Tate hurried off. Ben began to walk after them, then turned to look at Michelle in disbelief!

    “How could you give our baby to those two! How? He won’t survive...”

    “Please!” Michelle snapped. “I get the feeling THAT baby will survive just fine! Give me the other one.”

    But Ben snatched the girl up in his arms and skulked off! Michelle began screaming and Christian pulled her close.

    “It’s fine! Everything will be fine! I’ll get the twins back then you leave here!”

    Michelle began sobbing so hard, that she suddenly felt exhausted. Sleep overtook her quickly.

                                                                                 ****

    “Foolish woman! What have you done?”

    Michelle slowly awoke to find herself in her and Christian’s bed, the covers tucked in around her. She knew she needed to go to a hospital after what happened.

    “Constance, I need to go to the hospital.” she said weakly.

    “What you need to do is stop this war that’s erupted in this house! One faction of ghosts has one of your babies, the other has the really cute one.”

    “Wh....wh...they aren’t both cute?

    “No.” Constance said pointedly. “They sure in the hell are not. And it’s the one that looks completely Black that’s the cuter one. The girl.”

    Michelle found some inner strength to pull herself up in bed and find out just what in the hell was going on!

    “The completely Black one? Ben is White. Why would the baby look completely Black? I guess my genes can be kind of overpowering...”

    “Dr. Harmon is a ghost! He can give you a baby but not many of his traits would be in it. The baby would look more like you...though she does have Dr. Harmon’s eyes.”

    “Oh. Well what about the snarling one?”

    “Hmmm. Yes. The boy. That one looks like Christian and I don’’t know why he wouldn’t be better looking because of that. But he isn’t.” Constance sniffed.

    “What the fuck???”

    Constance stood up.

    “That’s what I said too, dear. Anyway, my son and Mrs. Montgomery have grown quite attached to him. You know who else has? That crazy fucker in the basement that killed your husband!”

    Michelle began to pull the covers back.

    “I don’t have time to go to the hospital. I have to get my babies.”

    Suddenly, Chad and Patrick hurried in, shooed Constance out of the room and helped Michelle back into bed.

    “Now, now. Where are you going after having two babies and a fist inside of you.” Chad tsked. Patrick grinned at her. Michelle eyed them. They clearly were a couple.

    “You two are?” she asked weakly.

    “The couple that had the house before the Harmons. I’m Chad and he’s Patrick. And we want you in tip top shape if you’re going to be living here.”

    Michelle stared at both men. It had not occurred to her where she was going to live, now that Christian was gone. She then sat up. Wilbur!

    “My son! Oh my God...”

    “Yes, well the births were days ago and Constance and Burned Larry picked up Wilbur.” Chad said in a snide tone.

    “Burned Larry? Who the hell is that?” Michelle asked. Patrick answered.

    “A poor slob that’s in love with Constance for God knows what reason.”

    “And he’s burned?”

    Chad snorted.

    “The fucker that killed us, burned him as well. He’s Constance’s son, Tate.”

    “Yes,” Michelle said slowly, “i’ve heard about him but have yet to meet him.”

    “Be glad.” Patrick said sarcastically.

    “Okay, well where is Wilbur? I don’t want him seeing Christian and getting all the more confused. I need to see Christian and I need to...”

    Chad slowly sat down on the end of her bed.

    “Wilbur is with Constance. That alone should be reason enough for you to climb out of this bed. But Patrick and I have pressing business with you.”

    Michelle looked at them for a long moment, before sighing resignedly.

    “Okay. What is it?”

    Patrick sat down.

    “You’ve got skills when it comes to bringing nice looking men into this house.” he grinned. “You don’t know what hell it has been, being here and having nothing to look at.”

    Chad gave him a filthy, dirty look! Michelle swallowed.

    “Uh, Patrick, you do have Chad here.”

    “Oh yeah, I didn’t mean that.” Patrick faltered. But Chad slowly stood up. He continued to glower at Patrick but address Michelle.

    “Yes he did, Michelle. But that’s alright. And it’s more than alright because the quality of men is this house has improved--through you. I think Patrick would agree that Matt is pretty nice. Nice ass.”

    Patrick looked away from Chad’s intense stare. Michelle shook her head slightly.

    “Okay, but from the little I’ve seen of your ‘ghost world’, Matt and Vivien are close, aren’t they?”

    Patrick now sat down on the edge of the bed.

    “Not anymore. And that’s due to Sean...another nice...grrr!” Patrick growled.

    “What Patrick means is,” Chad explained, “Is that Sean seems to have developed a fondness for Vivien. Once she chooses, SOMEONE will be available.”

    Michelle could not help but smile a little.

    “Sean likes Vivien as well? So what does Julia think about that?” she asked.

    Chad now grinned!

    “You mean Sean’s heifer wife? She’s not taking it well. And I’d be careful of her. She’s been trying to get a rogue group together to have you killed in the house.” he warned her.

    “So everyone knows about Sean and Julia at least?”

    “Yes,” Chad continued, “Burned Larry drove Julia’s car and Constance followed. The car was driven off a pier with their bodies in it. BUT...an autopsy was done and Sean’s slit throat and Julia’s broken neck, don’t quite fit with drowning. The lesbian nurse of your husband’s is looking for the both of you.”

    “Liz! Okay, well Constance is going to take me to the hospital so...” Michelle said and painfully tried to get out of bed.

    But Chad and Patrick cleared their throats in unison! Michelle glanced at them.

    “What?” she asked.

    “Your husband, Dr. Troy is quite hot as well.” Patrick noted. “We’re offering our services. Once everything clears up, DON’T sell the house.”

    Michelle shook her head slightly.

    “Why?”

    Chad snorted!

    “You’ll want to date again--a lot! Surely you’ll be bringing some of these guys back here...”

    “So you can kill them?!”

    “Fuck them was more along the lines of what we were thinking.” Patrick admitted. Michelle limped over to her closet and opened the doors.

    “Don’t you think the men you’ve already mentioned will be enough?” Michelle asked.

    Chad raised a brow.

    “You have no objections?”

    “What can I do about it? But I can’t stay here. Wilbur and the twins would be in danger.”

    “That’s what we’re saying, Michelle,” Patrick reminded her, “we would keep anything from happening to all of you.”

    “As long as I lured men back here for the two of you.” Michelle said, mindful of the fact that these two ghosts could do anything to herself, Wilbur or the twins. And that was why she said--

    “We’ll see.”

    Chad and Patrick disappeared and Michelle fought back a sudden bout with nausea. She had to find out just which ghosts were with which babies.

                                                                             ****

    HOURS LATER

    No ghost appeared to her, as she left the house with Constance. Neither did the babies, which was distressing. But when Michelle began bleeding again, Constance hurriedly got her into her car and took her to the nearest hospital. Once there, a doctor looked her over,  then checked Michelle into the hospital after they found evidence of what had to be a violent birth. Dr. Henry Salvo had privileges at the hospital Michelle was at, and hurried over after hearing Michelle’s story about what happened. And that story was the following:

    After Michelle left Dr. Salvo’s office days ago, Christian caught up with her in the parking lot. They had driven together, planning to go back to their home, where Michelle was going to pack a bag for hospital, so she could get the suggested C-section.

    But Christian and herself never made it home. Michelle told Dr. Salvo that she and Christian were forced out of their car and robbed at gunpoint in an alley! The robbers killed Christian and Michelle tried to run, but the stress of the event caused her to give birth prematurely in an old warehouse, where in which she fell unconscious while the babies somehow survived.

    “I found her,” Constance interrupted, “the poor dear had tried to call me for help but passed out. I followed the GPS signal but I’m not good at that sort of thing so it took a couple of days.”

    Dr. Salvo just stared at the two women, who’s bullshit story reeked to high hell and back! And he was further distressed to discover that the babies had not been brought in, along with Michelle, for a check-up!

    Dr. Salvo, promptly called the police.

                                                                        ****

    Detective Granger, was hardly surprised to see that Constance Langdon involved with this shit! They had found the body of Dr. Christian Troy, in an alley covered with trash. They had found evidence of a birth in a nearby warehouse and yet...

    It seemed funny that this happened, apparently only a few hours AFTER Dr. Troy’s partner, Dr. Sean McNamera and his wife, Julia, were killed when their car went off of a pier.

    Well, correction, when their car was DRIVEN  off of a pier. The McNamera’s, as it turns out, were already dead before their car went off of that structure.

    He had looked into Michelle Troy, formerly, Michelle Landau’s, background. Former call girl who married the very rich and much, much older, Burt Landau. He conveniently died and left Michelle his millions.

    Now this. And Detective Granger might have made more allowances for Mrs. Troy’s story, if Mrs. Landgon and her nauseating perfume, weren’t involved in murder again!

    And it bothered Detective Granger that once again, someone that had lived in the house next door to Mrs. Langdon, had perished.

    “Mrs. Troy, I’d like to speak to you alone.” he said in a no-nonsense tone.

    “Now don’t be silly, Detective Grangy, Mrs. Troy and I go way back.”

    Michelle eyed Constance. Detective Granger gave her a cool look.

    “It’s ‘Granger’. As you well know. You see, Mrs. Troy, Mrs. Langdon and I are very familiar with one another. Everytime someone that’s lived in your home, has died or disappeared, Mrs. Langdon is brought in for questioning. I believe one of my colleagues, a Detective Stanton, has dealt with Mrs. Langdon recently as well.” he said, then turned his focus on Michelle.

    “Tell her to leave.” he ordered her. Michelle realized the man knew plenty about Constance and was surly about not being able to prove it. She cleared her throat.

    “I’m fine, Constance, really.”

    Constance’s return look, indicated otherwise, but she wisely stood up, smiling her mad clown smile at Detective Granger, before leaving the hospital room. Michelle sat up in bed while Detective Granger helped himself to a chair and opened up a small note pad.

    “Mrs. Troy, I’m really here because this crime took a little too damned long for you to report.”

    “Hmmm. You skip the pleasantries, don’t you?”

    Detective Granger glanced towards the door before looking at Michelle again.

    “I know Constance Langdon is one of the shadiest bitches around. I know that we could never prove that she killed her husband and her maid. I know her teenage son was a psychopath that killed innocent students in a ‘Columbine Bloodbath’ tragedy. I know that her  other son conveniently ‘died’ when the state threatened to take him away. A son who was horribly disabled.”

    Michelle said nothing. If she had known Constance’s rep was THAT bad, then she would’ve never signed on with this story, which apparently no one believed anyway.

    “Then there is you. A former prostitute, who marries a man twice her age....hell...maybe three times, has an affair with a plastic surgeon while married...”

    Michelle’s jaw clenched.

    “How did you know about that?”

    “That you were sleeping with your now deceased husband, while you were married to Burt Landau? Believe it or not, your first late husband was seeing a therapist.”

    Michelle just stared at Detective Granger.

    “What?” she finally said. “Burt? Burt was seeing a therapist?”

    Detective Granger could tell that that news had been a bit of a surprise.

    “Yes. And this therapist said that Mr. Landau practically had a nervous breakdown over your infidelity. Then he suddenly can’t get to his medication to save himself. You were in the house that night, weren’t you? The night he died?”

    Michelle almost jumped out of bed!

    “What the living hell?! My husband was KILLED in an alley like some animal! I had to give birth alone...”

    “Yes, see, Dr. Salvo didn’t see how that was possible. He thinks someone would’ve had to pull your twins out, since one baby had it’s hand wrapped around the other’s throat.”

    “Dr. Salvo is just angry with  me, because I refused to let him publish that medical mystery in some journal. And he has no business telling you that! I delivered my babies alone and was in and out of consciousness for days. I could hear their cries.”

    “Yes and it took Mrs. Langdon ‘days’ to find you, even with a GPS system?”

    “Mrs. Langdon still uses a typewriter! She wouldn’t know how to use a GPS, which is why it took her so long to get to me. Look, I don’t like your tone.”

    “And I don’t like your story, Mrs. Troy. Dr. Salvo said that you left his office in a tizzy. A nurse saw you leave alone, not with your husband. He left like ten minutes later. Now I just need to figure out how the McNamara’s deaths fit into this.”

    Constance returned almost on cue.

    “Michelle, the doctor has your discharge papers ready. Then we’ll go home to those precious twins.”

    Detective Granger looked between the two women.

    “Yes, I think I’ll want to see those twins as well. I’m sure you’ll want them looked over be a medical professional as well, Mrs. Troy.”

    But Michelle was looking at Constance. She nodded. There was no other choice.

    “Of course, Detective Granger. Follow me to my home. You can see that my babies are alive and well.” Michelle said quietly, knowing she had agreed to help seal Detective Granger’s fate.

                                                                         ****

    Detective Granger didn’t like the looks of this shit, even as he pulled up behind Constance and Michelle in the drive. Who was taking care of the babies while Michelle had been in the hospital? And he had been informed that the Troy’s had a son named Wilbur, who had not been to school in days. Where was he? And this person that was taking care of the babies, why hadn’t they brought the twins to the hospital as well?

    By the time he got out of the car, Constance had walked into the house first, with Michelle waiting by the open door for Detective Granger to come up on the porch.

    “Mrs. Troy, I can already say you have a lot of explaining to do.” he said stoutly, before stepping inside.

    The door closed quickly and Burned Larry, who had been behind the door, brought out a piece of robe, got it around Detective Granger’s neck and began choking the life out of him! Constance watched, puffing on her cigarette while Michelle looked away. She then looked around. Where was ‘everybody’?

    She then heard a baby’s cry from upstairs. Michelle began running up the stairs, just as the now dead Detective Granger, dropped to the floor with a thud and seconds later, appeared as a ghost.

    “What the fuck?!” Granger snapped, staring at his dead body on the ground. Chad shook his head and gave Patrick a look of disbelief from the kitchen. THIS was not what they meant when they submitted their request to Michelle!

    Meanwhile, Michelle found Ben in a baby’s room that she had never seen before, sitting in a rocking chair. Michelle peered at the baby in Ben’s arms. That fucking Constance didn’t know what the hell she was talking about! The baby looked the complexion of a lot of mix-raced children. Then, keeping in mind what she had always suspected about Constance and her racial attitudes, Michelle realized that anyone darker than the shade ‘off white’ might be considered ‘black looking’ to her.

    Ben turned in the chair and stood up, holding their daughter in his arms.

    “I named her Violet.”

    “You named her?”

    “Michelle, I know I acted horribly after the birth. I was just so shocked at the way you talked about our son.”

    “I was in labor and a lot of pain! You’re going to tell me that Vivien didn’t say things during her labor that she didn’t mean!”

    “Not about Violet, no.”

    “What?” Michelle asked, confused.

    “Our daughter. The one that got out of the house. Her name is Violet.”

    Michelle pursed her lips.

    “And now you want to name this baby after your daughter?”

    Ben nodded, tearing his eyes off of Michelle and locking them onto the baby’s again.

    “Ben, the police and my doctor know that something is wrong. I need to take the babies to the hospital to get examined. So I won’t go to jail and they don’t end up in foster care. So, give her over to me?” Michelle requested patiently, holding out her arms.

    Ben dragged his eyes off of his daughter and looked at Michelle.

    “You’re not coming back, are you?”

    “Why would you think that? Ben, I told you, the police didn’t believe my story. I should’ve taken the babies with me when I went to the hospital. Now they think something is wrong. So please hand me the baby, before I get arrested or something?”

    “Her name is Violet. You don’t like the name, do you?”

    “I didn’t say that.”

    “But you won’t say it. You’re different.”

    “Ben, I just had twins. So, can I have her?”

    “You’re scared.” Ben said resignedly and placed baby ‘Violet’ in her arms. Michelle took her daughter but was a little surprised by Ben’s words. And yet, he was right. She didn’t know when things had changed. Maybe it was her brief time getting well here. Ben had not come to see her and kept this baby from her. It had given her time to think. It wouldn’t do to pine for a lost love that was a ghost. These babies were real and they needed a mother.

    Michelle did not acknowledge his statement and turned to walk out. But Ben’s voice stopped her again.

    “I can see that the boy is Christian’s. He has him. I don’t know that he’ll be as generous as I.”

    Michelle turned to look at Ben briefly, before walking out of the room. She walked down the hallway, down the stairs and handed the baby to Burned Larry, who she said hello to, before looking at Constance.

    “Have you seen Christian?”

    Moira appeared.

    “He’s in the kitchen with Sean, Julia and Christian Jr..” she replied, while dusting a Tiffany lamp. Michelle took a deep breath. So, her other baby had been named in her absence as well, hey?

    “Thank you, Moira.” Michelle said.

    “Be careful.” Constance told her. Detective Granger came out of the living room.

    “This is bullshit! I knew something wasn’t right about all of you!”

    “And doesn’t it feel good to be right, ‘Detective’?” Constance grinned madly. Michelle ignored him and walked into the kitchen, where Julia was running the baby’s bottle under hot water from the sink.

    “Julia. Sean. Christian. Christian, I need to take the baby to the hospital.”

    Christian was sitting at the table, holding the child’s little finger. Christian Jr. didn’t growl anymore. Sean sat down.

    “You know, Michelle, we really had to battle to get Christian’s son away from Tate and Mrs. Montgomery. A ‘thank you’ would suffice.” he said. Michelle raised a brow. Why had she thought that Sean’s being a ghost might make him more civil?

    “I appreciate that. But the police...”

    “Oh,” Julia interrupted, “you mean the police detective your ‘living friends’ just killed? Are we supposed to believe that he called for back-up and more are coming?”

    “No, Julia, what I’m saying is that when I showed up at the hospital without the babies, I aroused suspicion. I need to prove that the babies are alright.”

    “And then what, Michelle?” Christian asked, now standing up. “Then you come back here with my son and Ben’s daughter?”

    “Yes.” Michelle lied.

    “I just bet. Why don’t you get a doctor over here. I mean I’m sure they would agree to that, since there is so much concern about whether you’ve mistreated the babies.” Christian countered.

    “Christian, I get the feeling they don’t think they’re ALIVE! Now give my son! Now!”

    Christian stared at her for a moment, then picked Christian Jr. up and placed her in her arms.

    “I would say goodbye. But I know you’ll be back.” he said somberly. Michelle turned and walked out of the kitchen with her son. There was no point in any long, drawn out goodbyes. Burned Larry and Constance were waiting by the front door. Constance opened the door as Burned Larry and Michelle each carried a baby out of the house.

    “Let’s go over to my house and introduce Wilbur to his little brother and sister.” Constance said, smiling a genuine smile.

    Then, the damnedest, most horrible thing happened.

    As soon as they reached the gate to leave the property, each baby disappeared!

    Michelle looked stunned! Constance slapped Burned Larry-hard!

    “YOU STUPID BASTARD! I TOLD YOU TO WATCH THINGS!!!

    “Constance, I thought everything was...I mean...everything looked fine!” Burned Larry cried. But Michelle was shaking her head wildly!

    “What does this mean?! What does this mean?! Where are...”

    Michelle looked back towards the house and saw Christian and Julia with Christian Jr., waving out of a downstairs window. Ben was holding her daughter in an upstairs window. He kissed the baby and moved away from view.

    “They...they...they were killed? How could Ben...how could Christian...”

    Constance suddenly shook her!

    “You listen now! There’s nothing you can do to bring them back! You get Wilbur and go! Because when Detective Granger does not check in AND you can’t produce those babies, the police are going to be taking a hard look a you! You take that money Burt Landau left you and run! Run, you here? RUN!”

    Michelle nodded dumbly, but raised her eyes to stare at the house. Oh, she’d run, for now. But she owed these ghosts something. Some kind of payback. And she was going to make damned sure that they got it.

                                                                           ****

    THREE YEARS LATER

    Detective Stanton would’ve never thought that the unsolved murders of Dr. Christian Troy, his partner, Sean McNamera and his wife, Julia McNamera, the disappearance of his colleague, Detective Granger and the recent ‘mauling’, of a man named Frank Stevens, who used to be the Head of Security for a family called ‘The Graysons’, would all be connected. The Graysons lived in the Hamptons.

    But the whole mess of what happened to all of those people, went back to the tell tale ‘Murder House’, the weirdo neighbors Constance Langdon, who was now married to a burned guy named Larry Harvey, but for whatever reason, didn’t take his last name(she also didn’t treat him very well either. Detective Stanton was very uncomfortable with the number of times she put the poor man down, when he interviewed them).

    And Detective Stanton could not let go of the fact, that Michelle Troy and her son, Wilbur, seemed in tip top shape, and that Michelle’s current husband, Conrad Grayson, who had been an old friend of her first husband, Burt Landau, used a top legal team to get Michelle out of trouble, when the authorities accused her of killing her babies.

    Michelle had claimed that she left them with a sitter, and when she left the hospital with Detective Granger to come back home to show them to him, she found they had been kidnapped!

    Larry Harvey had been the sitter and he supposedly had been beside himself with guilt. Of course, Detective Granger’s thoughts on the matter were unknown, since he was never seen again after leaving the hospital with her and Constance.

    Detective Stanton got out of his car and a valet took his keys. Nice set up. Mrs. Troy gets out of murder charges and marries Conrad Grayson. Grayson adopts Wilbur as his own and all would seem right in the world, correct?

    But not if Grayson’s vengeful ex-wife Victoria has anything to say about it. She’s the one that asked this Stevens to look into Michelle’s past. Victoria was the one that wasn’t buying Michelle’s bullshit about her babies being kidnapped and a lot of other crap.

    Frank Stevens goes to the old house that Michelle and Christian Troy lived in for a brief time. Since then, two other families unsuccessfully tried to make a go of it there. And both families looked as if they had been eaten by some animal, when their bodies were found.

    The place was like a haunted house now.

    Anyway, Frank goes to investigate and is mauled. Stanton questions Larry and Constance and they don’t know shit about anything. Larry musters up some crocodile tears under his burns, claiming he still mourns the loss of the kidnapped Troy babies.

    Detective Stanton pulled himself into reality and walked into a party that was already in full swing at the Grayson mansion. And the hostess was the current Mrs. Grayson--formerly Michelle Troy.

    Stanton saw her standing with Conrad, his arm wrapped firmly around her upper waist, as she charmed a couple by saying something that had apparently been funny. Stanton flashed his badge at someone, requesting that he speak to Michelle Grayson alone.

    Conrad didn’t like the sound of this at all, but Michelle pacified him, telling him she was sure it was something involving Victoria ‘yet again’. She kissed him quickly, then gestured for Stanton to join her in the study.

    Once the doors closed, Michelle leaned against a desk and waited for the police detective to say whatever it is, he wanted to say.

    “Mrs. Grayson, I know you know about Frank Stevens, what he’s doing for your husband’s ex-wife and the battle you all have been embroiled in for years. I’m not here because of that. I want to know what the hell damned near ate off the man’s arm, when he went into your former place of residence.”

    Michelle raised a brow.

    “And you’re asking me? Why don’t you ask the current owners?”

    “There are no ‘current owners’ at this time, Mrs. Grayson. To be honest, that place will probably be demolished if someone doesn’t move in soon.”

    “Okay,” Michelle said slowly, “was I the only past owner?”

    “Mrs. Grayson, all of the past owners were killed by something. Half gnawed on.”

    “And? I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic, but call animal control! That’s what Frank Stevens should have done when this mauling or whatever happened! I mean it sounds like some animal is still in there or has taken up residence and Frank disturbed it.”

    “Did the other two families disturb it?”

    “I don’t know what to tell you.” Michelle said quietly.

    Detective Stanton moved closer to her.

    “I spoke to Wilbur.”

    Michelle’s eyes widened!

    “Wilbur is at boarding school.”

    “I know. And I didn’t learn much...”

    “Are you out of your mind?! You can’t talk to him without Conrad or I being present! This talk is over!” Michelle snapped.

    “Mrs. Grayson, your son had a friend who remembers being with Wilbur one year after Wilbur’s father, Christian Troy was killed. He said Wilbur and you were visiting the Harvey’s that summer and one day, Larry Harvey pulled into your former residence’s driveway with some animal trailer. This boy then said that he and Wilbur snuck over to the house, peered into a window and saw Larry Harvey shoot and kill a lion in the hallway, before hurrying out of the house. Now...”

    “Oh please!” Michelle snapped. “I’m getting my husband!”

    “The Harvey’s were paid over five million dollars after this incident.”

    “That never happened. And that money was a wedding gift to the two of them. I’ll tell you what? Feed this garbage to Victoria. I’m sure she’ll be pleased to hear it. Good night.” Michelle said frostily. Detective Stanton walked out of the study, thinking that that might not be a bad idea at all.

    Michelle sighed. None of this would be happening if Victoria could just get a life or move on. She smoothed her evening dress and rejoined the party.

                                                                ****

    Later that evening, Michelle stood out on the balcony of her bedroom. Conrad was getting undressed and talking about the night’s events.

    Michelle was busy looking down at the beach house that Victoria had purchased from her step-son, Daniel’s wife, Emily.  She knew Victoria was watching her out on this balcony, plotting how to get rid of her.

    Michelle turned away. Let her. Because in the end, in order to find out the truth, she and anyone else Victoria sent searching for the truth, would have to set foot in that house. And chances are they wouldn’t survive.

    Her mind focused on Victoria’s ‘bitch’, Frank Stevens. It just had to have been a shock, when he ran into the ‘Ghost Lion’, that Michelle had paid Larry to shoot and kill in the house, years ago. The ghosts there had to be terrified of being gnawed on, though the lion wouldn’t ‘kill them’.

    And she hoped that Christian and Ben were protecting her ghost babies. The babies that shouldn’t be ghosts. The ones that should be with her now. Was it cruel to purposely kill an animal in that haunted house, then sicc his ghost on everyone? Even innocent children?

    The babies were gone. And Michelle wondered if they had ever really belonged to her. She had no doubts that Ben and Christian were probably letting the wild animal eat on them, before letting it touch the babies.

    It was a fitting punishment, since both men had betrayed her by killing her children. Babies that had been very human and alive at one time.

    Michelle didn’t like to think about Ben Harmon, and how he had made her feel. He had fooled her into thinking everything would be alright for them. Then he stood by and either watched, or participated in the death of their baby girl. Violet.

    Then there was Christian. He was probably egged on by Julia to commit murder of an infant. Michelle prayed the damn lion ate on her every chance it got.

    Meanwhile, Victoria Grayson went into the house after watching that bitch parade around on HER balcony, before listening intently to Detective Stanton. She made a decision.

    “You know the saying, detective. If you want something done right, then you do it yourself.”

    “Meaning?” Detective Stanton asked.

    “Meaning the key to Michelle’s past is that house. That house is going to reveal that that woman killed her own babies. That house will reveal that she killed her husband, his partner and his partner’s wife. That house might even tell us that Michelle killed Burt Landau.”

    “What are you saying?” Detective Stanton asked. But God help him, he knew. Victoria Grayson smiled at him coldly.

    “Why, detective, I’m going to buy this fabled ‘murder house’ and live in it for a short time. By the time I get back here, I’ll have enough ammunition to send Michelle Troy packing.” Victoria Grayson promised, never realizing that that was one promise, she would not be able to keep.


THE END

End Notes:

As readers can see, second to 'American Horror Story', I love the show 'Revenge'. More than a few of those characters should spend some time in the 'Murder House'.

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