Monday, November 10, 2014

Loverman, Oh Where Can You Be?

A lonely girl finds that a mystery exists in her new apartment.

A short, erotic paranormal romance with a strange HEA. This story first appeared as a free read on and uses the music and lyrics of Billie Holiday.


Che wasn’t even half finished moving into her apartment before she had the stereo set up and was playing her Billie Holiday CD. Even though she was only twenty-one she seldom listened to anything but Jazz and maybe some blues and oldies.  Che was an old soul and an introvert.  She rarely had a boyfriend or any close friends to speak of.  She would attribute it to the fact that she was just a bit too heavy, or that she was boring.  But the truth was that she was just shy.  Her life was books, music and loneliness.
Moving into her first apartment was the most excitement she’d ever had.  The movers made flirtatious come-ons that she was totally oblivious to. They saw the truth, which was an attractive Puerto Rican woman, with an unruly afro, wide slanted black eyes, a pudge of a nose, clear skin and a body that was voluptuous and curvaceous. 
As soon as the movers left she poured herself a glass of wine and began to sing along with Lady Day.  Che had an amazing voice … but had always been too afraid to sing even in the church choir.  As a matter of fact, she mumbled when she had to speak to people and stuttered if one of those people happened to be a good-looking guy.
‘Love will make you drink and gamble…make you stay out all night long.’
She shimmied and shook as she put the books on her bookshelf.  None of the people that she knew in passing would recognize this version of Che.  By her third glass of wine she was a bit tipsy and had stripped down to her bra and panties—but at least her living room was completely unpacked and in order.
She was too tired to do much more then to make up her bed, which she did in expensive sheets and comforter.  Che loved being in bed.  She loved to feel like a Princess.  She decided to end her day and take a long hot shower.
‘… some say Billy, baby you’re built for speed.  Now if you put that all together … makes me everything a good man need …’
Che crooned sounding exactly like her idol.  She sponged silky bubbles down her naked body becoming aroused, and then she let the shower spray sting her sensitive nipples.  Not as good as the showerhead at her old place.  Being too shy for boyfriends, but not too shy to self-pleasure, Che had really gotten into water sex.  It had been so long since she’d had sex with another individual, she’d begun preferring sex alone; at least there wasn’t the eventual disappointment when they left--usually due to the fact that she was too clingy…
She pushed back the memory of her last boyfriend. 
‘Che, you’re sweet but you never want to do anything!  You won’t go out to parties, you won’t talk to anybody, you just hang onto me … look, I’m sorry.’
With a sigh she stepped out of the tub.  First thing tomorrow she was going to replace the old showerhead with a hand held massaging head.
Drying carefully she rubbed her skin with perfumed lotion plucking at her hardened nipples in the process.  She finished off the bottle of wine knowing she was more then a bit tipsy and climbed into the newly made up bed. 
The acoustics were wonderful in this apartment.  She could lie in her bed and hear the music drifting in from the other room.  The building was an old Brownstone, more then one hundred years old.  The ceilings were high as were the windows.  The floors were beautiful hard wood that creaked in several places.  There was a fireplace with real rookwood and best of all the place had been dirt cheap.  Maybe because it was so old; the pipes sang, the windows were drafty … and she absolutely fell in love with it.  It felt like home to her from the very first moment she stepped foot into the place.
‘I don’t know why, but I’m feeling so sad.  I long to try something I’ve never had.  Never had no kissing … oh what I’ve been missing, lover man oh where can you be?  The night is cold and I’m soo allll alone.  I’d give my soul just to call you my own.  I gotta moon above me but no one to love me … lover man oh where can you be?’
Che felt a tear slip down her cheek as she softly sang along. 
‘I go to bed, with the prayer you’ll make love to me—strange as it seems.  Someday we’ll meet, then you’ll dry all my tears, then whisper sweet little things in my ears; hugging and a kissing--oh what have we been missing, lover man … where can you be?...’
With lonely tears still wet on her cheeks, Che fell into a restless sleep.  In her dream her lover was stroked her breasts intimately.  His lips trailed wet kisses down her belly to her curly mound. She felt him part her with his fingers, and then with his tongue, softly stroke her swelling clitoris.  Che brought her knees together and woke up at the empty space between her thighs.
She sat up on her elbows.  Her blankets had been pushed aside leaving her exposed.  Che was alarmed as she never slept with her covers pushed off of her.  She loved snuggling under her heavy comforter … even in summer so it was unlike her to kick off her blankets.
She felt a cool draft on her nipple and upon absently touching it with her fingertips discovered that it was wet. 
Che’s heartbeat quickened.  “What the--?”  Now she was full awake.  Like a phantom itch, she could still feel the remnants of a touch trailing down from her breasts, over her belly and leading even further down.  Not quite frightened but very wary, Che quickly pulled the covers up over her body and buried herself into its depths. 
Sleep was slow in coming and troubled.


The next morning was bright.  Che was happy that it was Sunday and she could spend the day making her apartment livable.  She completely forgot about the events of the night before.
Dressing in sweats, Che ran out for coffee and treated herself to a danish.  Her life was filled with dieting but today felt like a special day.  Hurrying back home after breakfast she relished putting away her old things into their new places and walking bare foot across her hardwood floors hanging blinds and curtains.  The last thing she decided to do for the day was go to the grocery store and maybe she’d stop at the Home Dept for the showerhead.
Returning home after running all of her errands, she found her home in total darkness. She’d forgotten to put on lights.  Instead of putting down her packages to search for the switch, she made her way to her new kitchen by memory.  However, before she reached the kitchen, Che caught a fleeting light from the corner of her eye.  She turned, squinting but now that she was looking at it straight on, she couldn’t see anything; there was nothing there.
Dismissing it to her eyeglasses catching the glint of a passing car Che shrugged and went to the kitchen.  She flipped on the light and her kitchen was flooded in brightness.  She called her Mom and chatted briefly while she made herself a quick salad for dinner.  Then she sat down on her oversized couch with a novel she’d been reading.  She tucked an afghan under her legs and got lost in the book.
It was a really good book and Che tried to force herself to stay awake longer then she normally would in order to finish off the chapter, but soon all the work of the day wore down on her and she had dropped off to sleep.
Lips lightly brushed hers.  Che reflexively raised her hand to scratch her face, never wakening.  The tip of a tongue lightly traced the outline of her parted lips.  Tentatively the tongue entered her mouth and the kiss became deep and sensuous.  Che unconsciously returned it.  The kisser caught her bottom lip, lightly sucking it.
Che moaned, reflexively awakening her. Her eyes popped open wide.  She jumped to her feet.  There was no one there!  But she could still feel the memory of the kiss … no not a dream!  Heart thumping in her chest as she rationalized what had happened.  She’d been asleep, reading a good sexy book … and then dreamed of being kissed.  Yes, it had felt real, but it was just the book... 
Che let out a long breath that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.  What the hell was she thinking?  Was she really thinking about ghosts?  She almost laughed.  She must be really tired and horny. 
She brushed her teeth and pulled on a nightshirt then climbed into her luxurious bed--but not before turning on some Nina Simone to lull her to sleep.
Wired from the earlier jolt, Che hummed along with the sultry crooning of the music.  Her muscles finally relaxed and she allowed her fingers to absently caress her nipples to erect peaks.  She was already quivering between her legs.  Under the blankets she slowly stroked herself.  Her shirt slid across her nipples in a strange but tantalizing way.  Che groaned aloud and then her shirt moved against her other nipple.  Part of her wondered why her shirt was moving, the other part was lost in the sensation and being moved closer to a climax.
Then a hand rested on each knee.
Che shot up in bed, eyes opening wide.  That was unmistakable.  A hand had been on her knee and she hadn’t been dreaming, she hadn’t even been asleep!
Che eased out of the bed, sweat pouring down her body in sudden fear.  She expected to see something, anything, but saw nothing.  She backed to the kitchen and grabbed a knife.  She felt marginally safer then.
“Who’s there?”  She called bravely.
There was no answer.
She felt stupid.  Why would someone answer?  Che spent the next half an hour checking every nook and cranny of her apartment, but not one thing was out of place.  Every door and window was tightly locked.  She finally climbed back into bed but it was a long long time before she drifted off into a restless sleep.
In the light of day Che laughed at herself for her antics.  She had a heavy comforter … it just felt like someone had touched her, that’s all.  She noticed nothing strange that night and not for the next couple of weeks.  She loved her apartment more then ever and invited her parents over for dinner when everything was perfect.  They fell in love with the place too, feeling at home in no time.  They stayed well into the night and finished off two bottles of wine, laughing and listening to music.  To Che, it felt like the good old days back when she was a kid with none of the worries of adult life.
After they left she cleaned up the dishes and took a hot shower.  She had long ago replaced the showerhead with the hand held massager and since she was currently between lovers she had also broken it in many many times.  After the relaxing shower and massage Che went to bed and slipped into a contented sleep.
She dreamed that she was in her apartment, but it wasn’t her apartment.  It was decorated differently, with big mahogany furniture and colorful throw rugs.  It was very seventies but she loved it.
A man was leaning against the wall watching her casually, arms folded across his nude chest.  He wore only jeans, no shoes, no socks.  His hair was dark and curly running long past his shoulders.  She assumed he was Hispanic because of his dark eyes and skin.
“Hey.”  She said curiously and strangely unafraid.  “What are you doing here?”
“I live here.”  His voice was amused.  He straightened and walked towards her.  “I’m happy you finally came to visit.”  He reached for her hand and led her to an oversized couch where they both sat.
“Visit?”  She asked confused.  “But I live here … ”
He was shaking his head.  “Not here, but someplace very close.”
“Oh my God!  I’m so embarrassed.  I must be in the wrong apartment-” But before she could come to her feet, the man’s expression put a stop to her movements.
He watched her expectantly.  “Che, don’t you know me?” he finally asked.
The way he said her name was like family … correctly accenting it the way English speaking Americans seldom did.
“You know me?”  She looked at him closely.  He was damn good looking and if she had ever seen him before she would have certainly remembered.  Though … there was something familiar about him.  Could he be a cousin on her Mama’s side?  Maybe someone from out of state?
“Let me remind you.”  He leaned in to her and kissed her lips.  She sucked in a stunned breath as his tongue slipped into her mouth.  Immediately she got lost in the kiss but when he sucked her lower lip she suddenly remembered that this was a sensation she’d just recently experienced … weeks ago, on her couch, while she slept.  Someone had kissed her just like this.
She moved back and looked at him.  “It was you in my apartment-”
“Only when you invited me.”  He interjected and then kissed her again.
Che closed her eyes.  “You touched me … ”  she said this breathlessly.
“…And tasted you…” he added.  “I’ve missed you, Che.  You haven’t invited me back for so long ... ”
She caught her breath.  So very long since someone had told her that they’d missed her …
He stood.  Watching her, he undid his jeans and pulled them off.  Che followed the dark line of hair that trailed from his belly to the thick bobbing erection at his pelvis.
She bit her lip lightly. He was delectable and she wanted to taste him, to pull him between her lips and to allow her tongue to explore the satiny skin and the hard vein on its underside.  She had to close her eyes at the suddenness of her desire.
“Che…” she looked at him again.  His hair had fallen into his face as he looked down at her.  Lightly he stroked himself and she came down on her knees in front of him, almost beyond her control.  This was her dream, and she could enjoy him as much as she pleased.
She took him in her hands.  He was so hard, as if he hadn’t been touched in a long time himself.  She kissed the tip of him and he cried out.  Her tongue flicked him and he caught his breath.  She licked him like an ice cream cone and he shouted out something in Spanish.  He gripped her head and moved in and out of her mouth.  She felt her juices flowing down her inner thighs.  Tentatively she reached down and worked her fingertips against the moist heat between her legs.
“Ahh!”  Che cried out as she violently climaxed. 
Her eyes popped open and she was in her own bed, her fingers still clasped between her thighs.
Che was covered in sweat and she was panting.  Where was he?!  She pushed her covers away and leaped out of bed, hurrying into the livingroom.  Empty.
“Dreaming … she rubbed her face; not real.  He wasn’t real.  Her eyes stung.  Damnit!  She was losing her mind!


The next day at work Che was preoccupied with thoughts of her dream.  It was crazy—insane even.  But Che was no longer convinced that the events she’d experienced since moving into her apartment were just random occurrences.  She’d come to a decision.  She was going to get to the bottom of this once and for all.
On her lunch break Che called the landlord, a little old lady that was so sweet Che never felt her familiar shyness when dealing with her.  Mrs. Hanson loved to talk and Che didn’t have to probe much to find out the history of her apartment or every tenant that had ever lived there, or of Mrs. Hanson herself, for that matter. 
Evidently there had only been three tenants to live there before her.  A Jewish couple had lived there when it was first built and had lived in the lovely apartment for nearly forty years before being moved to the home of one of their children.  Afterwards a young musician had moved in, though he had died at a young age in an auto accident.  After that was Old Mrs. Runyon who had just recently passed on and now Che. 
Che asked questions about the young musician and Mrs. Hanson remembered him well because he had been so good looking; Spanish, she thought or maybe Puerto Rican.  He had been quiet and kept mostly to himself and his death had affected everyone in the building very strongly as everyone had felt for certain that he was destined to be a great guitarist and singer. 
That evening when she got home she stood in the middle of the livingroom.
“O-okay.”  She licked her lips nervously.  “Whoever you are, show yourself.  You said that I haven’t invited you back … well, I’m inviting you now.”  She looked around but nothing moved.  “Are you there?”  She felt stupid.  There was nothing here. 
Instead of relief she felt disappointment.  Che went to the kitchen and put on water to boil for pasta and she cut some vegetables for a salad.  Somewhere between stirring the fettuccini and heating the french bread, tears started running down Che’s cheeks.  Angrily she brushed them away.
“So stupid…”  she whispered.  “I’m so stupid!”  Then she started sobbing.  Her loneliness was like a stab in her heart.  When was it going to be her time?  When was she going to find her true love?
She didn’t want dinner.  Preoccupied she left everything where it was and cut off the oven and stove, then she went to her bedroom where she lay on top of her covers.  She wept in sorrow and self-pity, for once allowing herself to give in to her loneliness. 
She was so lonely.
She cried herself to sleep in a way that she hadn’t done since she was a child.
She felt kisses on her cheeks.
“Sweet Che.  Don’t cry. I’m here.”  She sat up suddenly, but it wasn’t her bed she was in.  It sat high and had tons of satin colorful pillows and blankets and coverings; reminiscent of south of the border.  It was wonderfully comfortable.
She threw her arms around his neck.  “I thought you weren’t real; that maybe I was crazy.”
He pulled back enough to kiss her.  “I’m real.”  He kissed again.  “See.” He touched her cheek with gentle hands.
“You are.”  She said amazed.
He held her face in his hands and became serious.  “Che.  You need to wake up.”

   She blinked.  “What …? But everytime I wake up, you go away … ”

“I thought we would know each other a long time and whenever you needed me I’d come and whenever I needed you, you’d come to me-”
“I’d like that.”  She smiled.
He gave her a sad look.  “I thought I wouldn’t be asking you this for several years.  But if you like, you can stay with me here.”  He looked to the window where the sun shown bright and cheery.  The sound of activity could be heard; kids playing, cars driving past, distant music.
“There’s a Mexican restaurant down the street that sell the best chicken enchiladas you’ve ever had and sweet empanadas.  And on Saturdays the park around the corner has free jazz.”  He looked at her again.  “And I’d take care of you, Che.  You’d never be lonely again … and neither would I.  I’ve been so lonely for so long. I know you don’t know me very well, but I’ve always loved you and I’ve always been here waiting just for you.”
Che smiled.  He watched her so intently but so seriously.  “You look sad.  Is something wrong?” Why was he sad? His words were like poetry to her ears.
He inhaled.  “If you are going to say no to this then you need to wake up now!” 
“No.”  She placed her hands gently over his.  “I’m staying.”  Then she kissed him.  He smiled but there was still sorrow in his eyes.  Her familiar insecurity piqued.
“D-do you want me to leave?”
He moaned.  “Oh no.”  He kissed her urgently.  “I want you.  I want you badly.”  His accent was thicker now.  “You’ll never be lonely again.”  His eyes closed and he kissed her with a desperate passion.”
“I’m not going anywhere, my love.”  She said between kisses.   “I’ve been waiting for you all of my life too, I think.”
His responsive smile was genuine and genuine joy touched his eyes.  She laughed.  “My love…”  she repeated the words.
“Mi amore…” he echoed.  “I will teach you Spanish so when we make love we can speak the language of our passion.”
“Show me.”  She whispered.
Slowly he removed her clothes, kissing a path across her shoulder and arms.  When she lay nude upon his bed he stood and removed his drawstring pajama bottoms.  Naked, he was a sculpture of perfection.  She reached out and touched his erect penis.  He groaned, and then covered her with his body.
Poetic words left his mouth.  He drew first one then her other nipple into his mouth.  He released it and spoke again.  Although she didn’t understand the words, she knew the meaning behind them.  He was telling her how much he loved and wanted her.  She put her legs around his waist and drew him to her.  He allowed himself to glide inside her already wet body.
Che threw her head back in ecstasy.  He was so hard!  He filled her completely.  He watched her every move, thrusting and rolling his hips, learning from her cries of passion what she wanted.  Breathlessly he whispered his love in Spanish as he rapidly pumped into her.
Soon her body tightened in orgasm.
“No!  Not yet!”  She groaned.
But suddenly he cried out with his own release.  He screamed, not yelled, but screamed her name.
“I love you, Che.  I love you!”  He panted before collapsing on top of her.
She stroked his wet curls.  Tears ran down the side of her face. 
“Thank you.  Thank you, Lord.”


“That poor, poor girl.”  The paramedic zipped the body bag.
“She was long dead before the fire ever got to her; gas asphyxiation, thank goodness.  At least she didn’t suffer; probably slept through the entire thing.”
“Fire investigator said that it would be days before the investigation was conclusive but the stove burners were still on.  She’d gone to bed while cooking, evidently.”
The other paramedic shook his head with a sigh.  “Sad.   Poor poor girl.”


  1. Wow this was great...exciting and bone chilling! ! Loved it:)

  2. Wow! I loved it. Today is my birthday and I can't think of a more perfect gift than a Pepper Pace story. Always gut wrenching depths of emotion like love, loneliness and the power of good music. I just cannot express enough how much I love your books. You are my favorite author and I wish someone would make your books into full-length movies...I'd be first in line at the ticket counter! Thanks so much for sharing your writing w/ is indeed a privilege.


Holiday Shopping at Amazon