“Grab a drink with me?”
Lil looks up, blinking wildly as her brain tries to connect the question with the person asking. “Um.” Her lips curl up, her cheeks burning. “Tonight?”
Alex is pulling on her coat, a beanie already covering her shaved head. “Yeah, tonight. You free?”
Of course she’d ask tonight.
Lil’s been crushing on Alex ever since they started working night shifts together, and even if it’s not a date-date it’s still… something. But they’ve both already worked overtime getting the shop clean for tomorrow’s health inspection and Lil’s feet are throbbing in her shoes and she already has… plans.
“I can’t,” she says.
Alex’s face falls for a second before she zips up her coat. “Hey, no worries,” she says, her sigh drawn out. “I should probably go to bed on time, anyway.”
“Next time,” Lil says. “Definitely. Promise.”
Alex taps a cigarette out of a pack and nods. “Hold you to it.”
Lil replays the interaction the whole bus ride home, mentally kicking herself. Tonight of all fucking nights. Once she’s home, she pours wine into a plastic tumbler and carries it into the corner deemed her living room.
She can’t stop thinking about Alex’s face when she’d shot her down. God, she’s going to buy her so many drinks next time. Fuck, there better be a next time. She’s just had this feeling that Alex is exactly what she needs, even though she probably shouldn’t be dating someone from work.
Maybe they don’t have to date? Maybe it can just be a… casual thing. Lil’s had plenty of those. Because Alex very much looks like she has the softest lips, and Lil’s caught her tattoos in the breakroom when they’ve changed out (before she politely averts her eyes, of course). Alex is confident, seemingly comfortable with her place in life.
Stability, Lil tells herself. That’s what she needs more than anything. Someone who knows what they’re doing in more ways than just responsibility and good life choices.
She checks the time on her phone. Maybe she can settle these thoughts before her scheduled “plans”.
She eases down the couch, flat on her back, and slips a hand into her sleep shorts, running her fingers through the curls between her legs. She stitches together false memories—what a real date with Alex would look like. Maybe a quiet dinner somewhere. Fancy, tart cocktails. Surf and turf. Or maybe Alex likes hibachi and that thought makes Lil smile because she can definitely see that.
She drags a finger along her slit and yep—she’s a little wet already; could be sweat, could be the way Alex sucks on her lip ring when she’s thinking. Definitely that.
Lil bends her knees, spreading herself as she thinks about Alex coming over, watching a movie, sitting close because Lil’s couch is so small they’d have no choice. Alex would make the first move, Lil is sure of it—a hand on her leg, perhaps, or an arm draped around her shoulders with finesse.
She brushes a finger over her clit, thinking about Alex undressing her slowly, kissing her like the expert she probably is with firm lips and an agile tongue. Alex would unhook her bra with minimal trouble but Lil wouldn’t even say anything. Then Alex would kiss her chest, she’d feel the lip ring on her nipples—
The single lamp in Lil’s living room flickers and cuts out, and with darkness comes a sudden chill. Lil wrenches her hand out of her shorts as she rolls up on her knees. The streetlamps outside dot her apartment in orange, but she knows what slinks from the shadows and skims the wall over her TV.
“You’re late,” she mutters. She honestly has no idea what time it is but she hates being interrupted.
The cushion next to her shifts as a figure takes shape. We are never late.
Lil huffs and reaches for her phone. “What movie this time?”
It’s your turn to choose.
Lil scrolls through the options, landing on a campy B-movie. She cradles her tumbler of wine and pulls her feet up on the edge of the couch as the opening credits roll.
She doesn’t know much about her visitor—just that they were here when she moved in and that their presence certainly explained the “good deal” she thought she was getting on rent. But the presence kept to themself so long as Lil fulfilled the promise she made. She’d discovered her spectral guest was lonely, with which Lil could wholly sympathize, so once a week they watched a few movies until Lil’s eyes grew heavy.
It’s why having anyone over—especially someone like Alex—would remain a fantasy. Too much to explain, and even if Lil could put it into words, who in their right mind wouldn’t be terrified?
When the movie ends, she gets up to refill her wine. The room is still dark and the ghost is usually near-invisible but tonight they’re—darker, more solid, and Lil wonders if she’d feel something if she reached out. It also feels like they’ve been looking right at her, but she keeps her eyes down as she sits.
“Another?” she asks.
The ghost doesn’t respond at first, just shimmers against the pale glow of the television.
When we arrived, they finally say, you were pleasuring yourself.
Lil hides her blush behind her tumbler. “Um, yeah?”
We’ve seen you do it before.
“No shit,” Lil mutters. It had taken her weeks to get over the sense that the ghost could be watching at any time, until desperation eventually gave way to necessity.
Something flickers in the corner of her eye—not light, exactly, but the air shifts and suddenly a very visible Alex is sitting on the other side of Lil’s couch, at least her face and body and even the outfit she’d been wearing at work that night.
“What the fuck,” Lil whispers, her back pressing against the armrest.
Who is this?
Lil’s throat tightens because, fuck, now they even sound like Alex, like she’s sitting right there on Lil’s tiny sofa. “Someone from work,” she utters. “I mean, fuck, it’s private.”
But we know you, says Not-Alex, smiling in a way that looks wrong on her face—too devious, too cruel. You were thinking of her, weren’t you?
Lil doesn’t deny it, doesn’t push away as the specter calmly crawls forward and slips into her lap, very much corporeal.
Does she not want you?
Lil swallows. That’s the million-dollar fucking question, isn’t it? “I don’t know,” she bites out.
But you want her.
Not-Alex smiles that wrong smile again, sliding a hand along Lil’s thigh. The touch is real, tactile and firm, and Lil closes her eyes hoping the room won’t be the same when she opens them.
But when Not-Alex’s knuckles brush the hem of her shorts, she edges down against the cushions and parts her legs.
Would she touch you like this?
The ghost palms Lil through her shorts—too gentle, she thinks, and shakes her head. “No, she’d—she’d know what she was doing.”
The ghost makes an airy sound like laughter, and suddenly Lil’s shorts are pulled off and flung across the room. With the material stripped away, the ghost pushes her legs apart and she feels just how wet she is.
She’d want to make you hers.
“Yeah, something like that,” Lil mumbles, then arches as the ghost touches her there, exploring the line of her cunt with slim fingers.
Pretty girl, says the ghost, and Lil sucks in a breath because—yeah, she could definitely imagine Alex saying that, dropping little compliments while she plays with her pussy. The ghost drags circles around her clit, pressing against all the right nerves that make Lil lift her hips and grind into it.
“Ahh—yeah, right there,” she says with a sigh, eyes flicking up into Not-Alex’s face, finding the expression more settled, more real. Fuck, is it learning from her thoughts?
We know you, the ghost reminds her. You’ve even thought about her face between your thighs, haven’t you?
“Y-yeah,” Lil says.
Not-Alex grins and slides to the floor, dragging Lil with them until her ass hangs on the edge of the couch. The ghost traces her slit with strong fingers before spreading her wide. Lil catches a smirk on Not-Alex’s face before a tongue flicks over her clit.
That’s it, the ghost says. Spread your legs more. Good girl.
God, it’s too accurate, too perfect, like they see right into Lil’s head—all the little moments where Alex smiled at her or said something flirty and they just know what she’d be like.
Come for us, the ghost says in her mind, sucking her clit with a tight seal that makes Lil’s toes curl, head dropping back on the couch cushions. Warmth coils in her calves as her body obeys the command. By the time her only lamp flickers back on, she’s once again alone in her apartment.