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  1. #1
    Haunted house, haunted lives (with Sojourn)

    Haunted house, haunted lives (with Sojourn)


    Los Angeles, California

    The house seemed like a dream, the woman had to admit. If she were to admit, though, everything seemed like a dream. Meeting Shane had been a very happy accident in her life. She had talked to him at a book signing, and had never honestly expected him to even give her a second thought once he moved on from Texas. And yet, he had kept in touch, and what had begun as a friendship had turned into a romance, and now marriage. Sissy felt incredibly lucky. Of all the women in the world - many of them prettier and more interesting - he had picked her.

    When Shane had proposed to her, Sissy had taken a moment to believe that was actually happened. And then, she had said yes, of course. And promised him she would be the best wife in the world. She wasn’t kidding, either. Sissy felt an immense need to please Shane. She wanted to cook his favorite dishes, make his house look nice, and keep him company during his nightmares and night terrors. Waking up in the middle of the night to comfort him didn’t bother Sissy at all, and she was incredibly patient with him.

    Now that they had found the new home - a God send, and right within their budget -, Sissy felt that things would be better. A fresh start for them.

    “We’re gonna be happy here, baby”, Sissy stated, in her sweet voice with that thick Southern accent. After this statement, she turned to Shane and wrapped her arms around him. Sissy was a very loving person, and loved hugs and kisses. Her mother - whom Shane had met shortly before the wedding - had compared her daughter to a house cat, always looking for affection. It was true. Sissy had never been the girl who got a lot of attention. Even her sister, albeit younger, had gotten male attention much sooner than her. She was short, with a round face and bright eyes, but that didn’t seem to be enough for the boys in her town, a short drive away from Austin.

    Shane had actually seen her, though, and she loved him for that. “This place is perfect. We can have rooms for all the babies, and from what I can see, we have a pretty good backyard space that you can even work out of it, if you want to”, she continued.

    After a pause to kiss Shane’s chin - it was as far as she could reach without help -, she added, in her usual loving intonation. “And I’ll take good care of you, baby. You don’t need to worry about anything, ever again”.
    Last edited by Sojourn; 01-16-2017 at 04:58 PM.

  2. #2

    It did feel like a dream. Shane Malone had came a long way since Paris. After what happened in the hotel, he never thought he'd be happy again. And he was happy. He smiled at his wife. Sissy was an amazing person. So kind and patient with him. After Paris, Shane knew he was never going to be the same. Time healed wounds but some things he'd never forget or truly be healed from. During the day, it was easy. He could distract himself from what happened. He had Sissy, he could write, he could do his day job and work on cars. But at night...It was very different. He often woke up in the middle of the night from his night terrors.

    Dear, sweet Sissy. He woke her up all the time and she never complained. She would hold him, remind him he was safe. That he wasn't in Paris. That he was home, with her. He often felt guilty dumping it all on her. Especially since his night terrors often had to do with Diane, his ex girlfriend. While Sissy had his heart now, he still wished he had done things differently in Paris. Maybe if he had, Diane wouldn't be dead. Although he hadn't killed her, it often felt like her blood was on his hands.

    Diane would want him to be happy, Shane thought. She had told him as much, one of the last times they had talked. Sissy did make him happy, happier then he thought he deserved. He was glad she had showed up at that book signing. Although she didn't have to work hard to please him. Just being herself did that.

    Shane held her close to him and returned her kisses. Her mother had warned Shane she was a very affectionate. Not Shane minded at all. Sissy's need to show affection helped him greatly. It reminded him he was worthy of being loved and that he was loved.

    The house was beautiful. He was almost surprised that they could afford it. He had his friend Paul and Paul's cousin, a general contractor, come check it out before he had bought the house. Shane had wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong with the house, especially when the last owners seemed very, very eager to sell it. At a much lower price then what it was valued at. Paul's cousin found nothing structurally wrong with the house. Saying if Shane and Sissy didn't take it, they'd be fools. They'd never find another deal like this house in a million years.

    "Yes, we will be."

    Shane replied with a grin.

    "We'll have to get right to work on filling our new house up with some babies."

    Shane told her with a wink. The backyard would was a good size. Lots of room for future kids to play and for him to still work out of. He liked working with his hands. He'd have room to work on cars or even build stuff for their future kids.

    Shane kissed her forehead when she kissed his chin.

    "Baby, I'm not worried at all. You just being you makes me happy."

    Shane assured Sissy. He didn't want her to be anyone but herself. He hadn't wanted to marry her to replace Diane. He had fallen in love with Sissy because of what an amazing person she was.

    "After we get unpacked and settled in, we should have some people over for dinner. You know, our families and Paul."

    Of course, he wanted to invite Paul Westin. Paul had survived what happened in Paris too and was now his best friend. They had barely known each other before the hotel, but now, two years later, they were bonded for life.

  3. #3

    Sissy’s smile grew wider when Shane agreed that they would be happy there. It warmed her heart to know that her husband was happy with her, and maybe starting life in a new house would make him better. At least she hoped.

    Living with Shane in his parents’ house for a while hadn’t been the ideal situation, but Sissy had been happy there for a while. Mr. and Mrs. Malone were kind people, and Sissy had gotten along with them easily. Then again, it was very hard not to get along with Sissy, as she was a people pleaser and always did her best to make those around her happy. She had taken easily to calling them Mom and Dad, and had assured them several times that she would take good care of their son.

    Having their own home, though, was something Sissy had been dreaming about. She had never thought that they would have such a large and amazing house. It seemed like it had been built for really wealthy people, something they were not. Sure, Shane had made a nice sum with the book, but it was far from making them millionaires. He still kept working as a mechanic, and she had worked for a while at a care center for small children, but it was settled that she wouldn’t go back to working for now. Of course, Sissy was more than willing to go back if it ever became a need. She wasn’t one to be idle, and eventually taking care of the house might get boring, but they would see about that. If the children started coming soon, she wouldn’t have time to be bored, after all. And if she happened to be like her mother, and Shane happened to want a large family, she could see them having a pretty big brood to look after.

    Despite the fact that they were married, Sissy couldn’t help but blush when Shane said they should work in filling the house with babies. “Stop it!”, she replied with a giggle. “We have plenty of time to think about that”, Sissy completed, her cheeks still flushed.

    As soon as he said they should have people in after getting settled, Sissy nodded. She loved company, and it wouldn’t be a problem at all to feed and host everyone they could want to have there. “Great idea, baby. I’m looking forward to getting to know Paul better, and we can definitely host both families here for something nice”.

    Taking a few steps around the empty room they were in, Sissy sighed and smiled, happy to be in their own home. “We don’t have a lot anyway, so it shouldn’t take too long to get everything settled. Speaking of which, he should start defining what goes where before the movers come around, don’t you think, honey? I would like to have at least the kitchen done today, so I can bake some cookies for our closest neighbors in the morning”.

    Nibbling on her lower lip, she wondered if she even should. They were at a really fancy part of the city, and she wasn’t sure how to navigate the new neighborhood. “Do you think I should, or will they think I’m just some dumb South girl?”, she asked, deciding to allow Shane to help her make up her mind.

  4. #4

    Shane would never hundred perfect be better. After what happened in Paris and the things he saw...A part of him had remained back there. He had a hard time trusting people he didn't know. Questioning their motives, especially sweet looking old ladies. Although, he was getting better. When he first came home, he couldn't close his eyes without seeing the blood. He had felt like a small boy again, as much as he had needed his mother to comfort him.

    There was no way Shane could have lived alone, although he had his own apartment before going to Paris. He needed people with him, to remind him that Paris was in his past. As time had passed, Shane didn't think about Paris as much. The hotel didn't consume his every thought. Not like it had at first. Being with Sissy helped. This new house would help too. He could focus on his future with her, instead of his past.

    Shane's parents adored Sissy. They were very happy he had met her. Especially when they realized he wasn't trying to use her to replace Diane. Diane had been a big part of Shane's life, but she was gone. He missed her but he wasn't in love with her anymore. His heart belonged to Sissy now.

    Shane grinned seeing Sissy blush.

    "That's true, but it'll be fun trying."

    He told her with a wink. She was very adorable to Shane when she was blushing. Shane was glad she approved of his idea of inviting their families and Paul over. He wanted her to get to know Paul better. He'd like his wife and best friend to be good friends themselves.

    It was hard to believe this place was all theirs. A house like this, one would think you'd need to be wealthy, very wealthy. Like the actor, Martin Hayes, or his agent, Rich Porter, had been. He made a face when those two names hit him. Both men were gone, just like Diane was. He didn't like thinking of either man. Because of them, Diane had been at the hotel. Although, he had to remember what Doctor Monroe had said. She had made her choice. She had chosen to marry Martin and stay by his side. That was not Shane's fault. Although sometimes he thought it was, like if he had fought her harder about it, she would have left Martin and she'd still be alive.

    Diane, Martin, and Rich were gone, Shane told himself. They were in the past and this house and Sissy was his future. It was better to focus on the future. Sissy was right, it wouldn't take long to get settled in. The house was almost too big for all their things.

    "I'll do that, while you get your kitchen ready."

    Shane suggested to his wife about the movers. He knew she liked to cook. He enjoyed her cooking a lot. He saw her insecurity about baking cookies for the neighbors. It was a fancy part of town. If the neighbors were liked Rich, then they would look down at her for it. But Shane didn't care what the neighbors thought. He touched her cheek.

    "I think you should. If they don't like the gesture, then we know not to talk to them."

    Shane replied to Sissy.

  5. #5

    Sissy was still giggling a little about Shane’s comment on making babies. It was true that she was not in a hurry, and it was also true that she would love to be a mother. And she felt Shane would be a good father. And the kids would definitely help make their lives more solid and fill Shane’s mind. For all these reasons, Sissy would welcome their children as soon as they started coming. They had a beautiful house, and a beautiful future ahead. Sissy was sure that with the therapy, her help and a new life, Shane would get a lot better.

    Another thing Sissy wanted to make sure of was that they had company whenever she felt Shane needed it. Her parents and siblings lived back in Texas, so they couldn’t come often, but there were Shane’s parents and Paul, and they would definitely be invited whenever possible. With such a big house, hosting people wouldn’t be a problem at all.

    Hearing that Shane would take care of defining places for the other items while she took care of the kitchen pleased Sissy. “Damn right it’s my kitchen”, she joked. “And you better never forget about this”, Sissy completed, laughing softly.

    When Shane answered her question about the cookies, Sissy nodded. She knew that it would hurt her feelings to know that she had taken the trouble of baking cookies for the neighbors for them to look down on her. But she also felt that she could not keep herself from doing something nice for others because some of them might not appreciate it.

    “You’re right honey”, she agreed. “I will get the kitchen ready, and wake up early in the morning to bake fresh cookies”. Sissy smiled and pinched Shane’s arm gently. “I bet you hope some of the neighbors will reject my cookies so you can eat them yourself”, she joked with a gentle laughter.

    After this quip, she took a peek at the backyard they could see through the kitchen’s door. “What do you think we have a barbecue for everyone?”, she suggested. “We have enough backyard space even to put a table out there”.

  6. #6

    Shane thought Sissy would make a great mother. She was so patient and nurturing, he thought any kid would be lucky to call her mom. Shane also would like to be a father. When he was a kid, one of the things he said he wanted to be when he grew up was a father. He and Diane had never really talked about kids, though. He had seriously considered proposing to her but then she dumped him for Martin Hayes. A decision that had cost her her life in the end.

    Shane often had to remind himself that he had to focus on the present and the future and not his past. When someone you had loved violently lost her life, it was hard, though. Doctor Monroe called it survivor's guilt and that the best thing Shane could do for it was to focus on what made him happy. And Sissy made him very happy.

    Shane was glad that Sissy agreed they should have company over. Company helped keep his mind on the present, plus it would be nice for Sissy. Her family was back in Texas. Luckily his family had welcomed her with open arms. Once they realized how good she was for him, Sissy was quickly accepted into the Malone family.

    Shane laughed at Sissy's joke.

    "Yes, ma'am. I won't forget. Unless you plan on spanking me, which then I might forget."

    Shane told her with a wink. It felt good to joke around. It made him feel like how he did before Paris.

    He did know that Sissy would be upset if the neighbors judged her about the cookies. From working at the shop and fixing cars, ones that he could never afford in his lifetime, he had gotten used people looking down at him. He learned to not care or get in his own secret revenge on them. Like the time he and Diane had had sex in Rich's office one night when Rich had forced her to work late. Not that Shane would ever tell his wife that. He didn't think she'd appreciate him sharing that story with her. Out of respect for Sissy, he tried to not talk about his past with Diane too much.


    Shane said, purposely overreacting and pretended to be hurt from her pinch. He put his arm around her shoulders.

    "Well, you do know me well. I love your cookies and I'll happily eat them all if our new neighbors don't want them."

    Shane followed her to look at the backyard. It was a nice size, especially for this area. It would be good for hosting a party or for lots of kids to play around at. He hoped someday that he and Sissy would have lots of kids running around. Kids would definitely help keep his mind on the present and future and not the past that he couldn't change. Plus, he couldn't think of a better woman to be the future mother of his children.

    "I think that's a great idea."

    He replied to her about the barbecue idea.

    "You know, Sissy Malone, I love you very much."

    Shane told her with a smile.

  7. #7

    Sissy was sure that she and Shane would be good parents. She was a kindly person an extremely patient. Shane was a hard worker and would definitely raised the children well and with a strong work ethic. They would have to talk about discipline, of course, as Sissy knew that many parents felt that physical punishment was acceptable, and she disagreed. But that could wait for when the children started coming. For now, Sissy was happy enough just enjoying her husband and her new home.

    When Shane said he wouldn’t forget that it was her kitchen, unless she planned on spanking him, SIssy blushed again and laughed. “What is happening to you?”, she joked. “You used to behave so nicely back at your parents’ home!”, Sissy exclaimed, laughing and hiding her face in her hands for a few seconds.

    After she turned a little less red, Sissy dropped her hands and smiled, shaking her head. It was clear that she was happy to see Shane in a good mood. The new house was obviously already making him feel more comfortable.

    Sissy laughed one more time when Shane pretended her soft pinching had hurt him. She couldn’t help but laugh with her husband. It was so good to see him laugh and be playful.

    “Fine”, she replied to his comment about her cookies. “I will bake an extra tray for you, Mr. Sweet Tooth”, Sissy completed, happy to please her husband.

    After this comment, Sissy walked with Shane to a point where they could see the whole backyard area. She had grown up at a home with a large backyard herself, and her father had always loved to gather the family for barbecues in summer. She hoped they could do that as well, at least while the space wasn’t being used for anything else.

    Hearing Shane say he loved her made Sissy’s heart melt. She looked at him with that expression she always had when he said something sweet. “I know. I love you very much as well, Shane Malone”, she replied, tearing up a little. “You… you have noticed me, even when there wasn’t much to notice at all, and… you are just so amazing. I will love you forever, even when we are so old we can barely remember if we have had breakfast. I promise”.

    Finishing her words, Sissy embraced Shane and hid her face against his chest, too happy to say anything else.

  8. #8

    "But, darling, I had to behave. I didn't want to embarrass my mom too much."

    Shane told Sissy with a grin. It felt good to joke around. It made him feel normal. Like he had been before he made that bad choice of going to Paris to try to get Diane back. Although, maybe in the end, it hadn't been totally a bad choice. While he certainly wished Diane hadn't died, that decision eventually had led him to meeting Sissy. He hated his night terrors and sometimes it made him feel like a weak man having to go therapy twice a week, he didn't regret meeting Sissy. He wouldn't trade her for anything in the world.

    Shane grinned when his wife said she'd make an extra tray of cookies for him.

    "Thank you, sweetie. You are such a good wife. You know the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

    Shane said with a wink and patted his stomach as he said it. He truly thought Sissy was a good cook and enjoyed whatever she made. Shane smiled at her when replied that she loved him back. He wrapped his arms around her when she embraced him and kissed the top of her head.

    "You know, you're wrong about yourself. There's lots to notice about you. The ones who didn't notice you before, they were fools. You are the one who's amazing in this marriage. You are so sweet, so kind, so patient with me. Even though I wake you up every night, you never complain. I'm so lucky to have found you. I'd be lost without you."

    Shane told her seriously. He would be lost without Sissy. She had brought him back to the present, helped him realize he could have a future. He couldn't change what happened in Paris or what happened to Diane, but he didn't have to let that past haunt him for the rest of his life. That is was okay to move forward with his life. That he was allowed to be happy and find love again.

  9. #9

    Sissy laughed when Shane said he had to behave, because he didn’t want to embarrass his mother too much. “I see. Yet, embarrassing me is perfectly okay, I see”, she joked, not even trying to pretend she was being serious. Despite trying to scold her husband playfully, Sissy was happy to see him make jokes, even if those jokes were at the expense of making her blush and giggle like a schoolgirl. Not that it bothered her at all. Sissy knew that she had been on the shy side, but by this point, she had matured enough to accept that it was a part of her personality. And it was clear that the people she loved the most - her family, Shane and his parents - didn’t mind that she was shy.

    When Shane thanked her and made that comment about her knowing that the path to a man’s heart being through his stomach, Sissy had to laugh again. “My mama taught me well”, she joked, shaking her head. It was always fun to cook for Shane, as he would eat nearly anything, and Sissy was glad he led an active life. This way she could feed him without feeling guilty.

    Feeling Shane’s arms around her made Sissy let out a happy sigh. It was so delightful to feel his warmth she would love to stay in there forever, she thought while wrapping her arms around her husband in a more comfortable position. While he spoke, Sissy rubbed his back gently. It was something she had taken to doing since they had started dating, and something she always did when he woke up in the middle of the night.

    Sissy’s heart raced when Shane said the men who hadn’t noticed her were fools. She didn’t really agree with him, but it was nice to hear anyway. “Maybe fate was saving me for you”, the young woman replied softly. “And if that’s so, I’m very happy it was, as I couldn’t want someone better than you as a husband”, she completed with a big smile, the smile she had only for him. “As for waking me up at night, I don’t mind, love. I would feel terrible if you were going through those night terrors and I could not be there for you”.

    Those words were the perfect expression of truth. Sissy was more than happy to get up with Shane and stay up with him until he calmed down enough to fall back asleep. She had married him for better or for worse, after all. Maybe now, with a new home, he would start feeling better and his situation would be made easier. Having talked to Shane’s therapist, Sissy knew that the situation was complicated, but she also knew that the more he focused on the future, the less his past would consume him, and she hoped that the new house, establishing a routine of having company often, and in the future their children, would little by little help him detach himself from the past until the point where he would no longer suffer so much with the night terrors and the anxiety that had been pestering him since the hotel, every time he was idle or even when he met some nice older lady.

    Sissy was about to say something more, but the sound of a truck stopping at the front made her focus on the matters at hand. “Looks like the movers are finally in”, she commented. “I think we should go up to the front and start bringing the boxes in so we can start working”, the woman completed, excited to start giving the house a homely feel by placing what little they had in the rooms.

  10. #10

    'Well, you are very cute when you're embarrassed."

    Shane told Sissy with a grin and gave her a kiss. He would never actually embarrass her, just tease her a little. It felt good to joke around. She brought that side of him out. Before Shane had met Sissy, he hadn't found much to joke about. He also thought the shy side of her was very adorable and made him more attracted to her.

    "Yes, she did."

    Shane agreed when Sissy said her mother had taught her well. Shane wasn't very picky about food. She was a much better cook then Diane had been. Diane used to burn food all the time, probably because she never could relax much thanks to Rich and all his 'errands'. Although he did try to stay fit. After what happened in Paris, Shane had taken up running. Running helped keep his mind off of Paris a little and he'd run until he was exhausted. Being exhausted helped him go to sleep easier. Good thing for the running, if not, he'd probably be overweight from all the good things Sissy made for him.

    Shane liked Sissy rubbed his back, it always made him feel safe.

    "Maybe and I'm glad it was."

    Shane replied to her with loving smile. He did think that Sissy was far more beautiful and amazing then she thought she was. She might not see herself as much, but to him, she was everything. He knew she didn't mind him waking her up at night, he just wished he didn't. He hadn't a decent night's sleep in a long, long time. He lived his life like he already had a newborn, sleeping only a few hours at a time. Maybe, in the new house, things could get better. That he'd be able to focus more on the future, like Doctor Monroe told him to do. Although he doubted he'd ever trust a sweet looking old lady ever again.

    Shane heard the truck pull up and nodded his head.

    "Sounds good to me."

    Shane took a hold of Sissy's hand to go meet the movers. He planned to direct them where to put things, so Sissy could focus on setting up the kitchen. He was pretty excited himself. Now that their things were here, it was starting to feel like this house was truly their house.

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