"Not likely, although I do admit I love it when you talk dirty to me," David said drily, rolling his eyes. "Come on, Hunter. You know you owe me."
"I don't know anything of the sort. What I do
know is that you’re a jackass with more dick than brains. Oh wait. You don’t have either one, do you?" Hunter said snidely.
"In case you haven’t noticed, you seem to be lacking one of those too. Amazing how you can spew so much shit without one, though."
"Oh now that was just hurtful, Hunter. My body may be insubstantial, but I'm every bit as aesthetically pleasing as I was before," David huffed, turning his back in a snit. "All parts are present and accounted for, and you know it." It really irritated him when Hunter made him beg. It wasn’t as if David had any other option, and Hunter damn well knew it. David had earned
the right to hitchhike on occasion -- that was the deal they’d made after all. David had held up his end of the bargain, and he wished Hunter would stop trying to renege.
Okay, so maybe Hunter hadn’t actually agreed
to it, but he’d accepted David’s help in the past, and that amounted to the same thing, didn’t it? He would have thought that as a cop, Hunter would be above petty thievery. As far as David was concerned, it was no different from downloading unlicensed music and books from the Internet. Hunter was pirating David’s assistance without paying for it, and that was just plain wrong.
"Come on, Hunter. It’s been forever
..." David cringed at the whiny sound of his own voice. Damn it! He hated
to beg, but it had been months since the last time, and he was getting desperate. Never mind “getting”...he was past desperate and halfway to frantic. If he’d had
actual balls, they’d be blue by now. When Hunter didn’t respond, David gave him his back again.
"Sulk all you want," Hunter said, shrugging into his jacket. "I’m not going to tell you again, David. Stay out of my head."
"Which head -- the big fat one on the end of your neck, or the tiny one three feet lower?"
"Both," Hunter snapped. "Oh, and if the lower one was tiny
, I’ll bet you wouldn't be hounding me all the time!" The door slammed shut behind him like an exclamation point on the end of their conversation as he stalked out of the apartment.
David stared at the closed door for a long moment. Hunter could be an arrogant prick, hard-boiled, callous, and totally unsympathetic at times to David’s plight, but underneath it all, David knew Hunter was a warm heart and a compassionate soul.
Maybe not compassionate
per se, David thought. More like tolerant. Sometimes. Once in a while. On occasion.
A slow smile spread across David’s face as he slipped out of the apartment, out into the street. Tonight is going to be one of those occasions, whether Hunter thinks it will or not.
His grin grew wider and lecherous. He’s going to get laid. I can smell it. He just doesn’t know it yet.
There were damn few advantages to not having a pulse, but the ability to manipulate space was one of the most useful. David had come to realize over time that space was like a blanket. Spread out evenly, it created a large area that took time and effort to traverse. Folded up tightly, it took up a lot less room, and David, as one of the dearly departed, had the ability to press it into accordion pleats, if he so desired. He could travel from one end of the city to the other in practically no time. It'd taken years of practice to master the skill. David had suffered through many mishaps along the way -- reappearing halfway between walls, floors, and on one memorable occasion, on a set of railroad tracks just before the eight o'clock commuter train rocketed by -- but it'd all been worth it for the ability to pop in and out of anywhere at will.
Sometimes being a ghost had its merits.
Truthfully, David hated the term "ghost." It reminded him of himself as a kid, running around draped in his mother’s crisp, white linen sheets on Halloween, eyeholes cut out crookedly, the toes of his Keds peeking out from underneath. And that
reminded him of the smell of tart apples and cinnamon, and the taste of chocolate, and a myriad of other half-remembered pleasures that had become merely ghosts themselves.
Sex being chief among them.
God, he missed sex most of all. Missed it more than a frosty beer fresh from the tap, even more than a hand-rolled Cuban, or a thick, rare hamburger swimming in fried onions and grease...hell, he missed sex more than he missed breathing.
Luckily, David had discovered a secret that few -- if any -- of the Incorporeal Club, as he often thought of the others who shared his deceased status, knew existed. Or if they did, they kept it as closely guarded a secret as he did. Given the right person, a psychic or someone with a strong sense of empathy, a ghost could live vicariously through them for a short time, feeling emotions and physical sensations just as sharply and powerfully as when he'd been alive.
David had found that person in Hunter, who possessed a strong empathic streak, although Hunter would never admit to it. They also shared another connection that went bone deep, one that was profound enough to bridge the gap between the living and the dead, and helped ease the way for David to tap into Hunter's emotions. The bond had been formed when David had been alive -- they’d been partners and close friends for eleven years. That was back when they were Detectives David Brown and Hunter Vance of the Third Precinct, before David was gunned down in the line of duty. They'd been closer than brothers. Hunter had mourned David’s death for a full year.
David wasn’t sure why their connection enabled Hunter to see and hear David when no other living person he’d come across -- so far, at least -- could, and as far as David knew, Hunter couldn’t see any other ghosts...just David. He figured it was because of their close bond during life, but quite frankly, he didn’t care. Nobody really cared why or how television worked; only that it did
, and you didn’t miss the latest episode of your favorite show.
Nowadays, Hunter spent most of their time together trying to get rid
of David, not that David would ever considering leaving. The only alternative to living -- for lack of a better term -- a half life with
Hunter was enduring none at all without
him. It was no option, as far as David was concerned.
Christening his discovery "hitchhiking," David indulged himself in it fully and at every possible opportunity. Sadly, such times were few and far between with Hunter, especially when it came to sex.
The man was an absolute control freak when it came to his feelings. Hunter rarely let loose, or allowed himself to feel passionate enough about something for David to tap into his emotions, and worse, he barely ever
got laid. David knew Hunter was never one to hang out at clubs, and he couldn’t recall Hunter ever having had a relationship lasting more than a few months at most, but he didn’t remember him being exactly virginal, either. It seemed to David that Hunter’s sex life had gone from spotty to scarce to nearly nonexistent after David’s death.
It wasn’t his looks. Hunter would be virtually stunning if he ever lost the boxy, off-the-rack, hopelessly outdated, rumpled suits he wore and discovered hair care products. Topping six feet two, Hunter kept his body in great shape, working out as frequently as his schedule allowed. He was thirty-seven years old but was aging incredibly well. The combination of his broad shoulders, trim waist, and an ass that men ten years younger would kill to possess made for an incredibly attractive hunk of man. His eyes were the most piercing green David could ever remember seeing, clear and expressive, set in a face that was almost movie-star handsome. Hunter’s only flaws were a slightly crooked nose that’d been broken one time too many, and a disposition that could curdle milk.
The former added character to Hunter’s face, in David’s opinion. The latter was what kept his bed empty and cold most of the time, which in turn, resulted in the rarity of David’s sexual hitchhiking opportunities.
Not tonight. David had gleaned a nugget of information from Hunter’s brain that was very encouraging. Hunter was going to Feathers, a bar not far from the precinct. There was only one reason for him to go to one of the most notorious gay bars in the city, and it had nothing
to do with the two-for-one drink specials and everything
to do with the thick piece of meat hanging between Hunter’s thighs.
Hunter was going cruising, even if he wouldn’t admit it to himself, and he was going to have a hitchhiker with him whether he wanted one or not.
David was still smiling as he slipped through the outer wall of Hunter’s apartment. He was immediately enveloped in what felt like thick cotton candy, the oddly soft sensation caused by folding space. He emerged on the sidewalk outside the apartment building a second or two later. There was Hunter’s green piece-of-shit Dodge, just pulling away from the curb. David arched an eyebrow and sighed. He needed to have a serious talk with Hunter about getting a better ride. Most people wouldn’t be caught dead in that ugly tin-can-on-wheels. As with everything else about his appearance, Hunter simply didn’t seem to give a shit.
Another quick burst of energy, and David found himself riding shotgun.