I mute my phone and shove it into my pocket, next to my lipstick and the extra pencils I keep to hold my blond, messy bun in place.

“Rebecca?” He’s early, and he materializes so quickly that I fall through the dusty brown brick wall behind me. “Oh, sorry! I’m still getting the hang of this!” He reaches across the air to steady me with muscular arms and alarmed green eyes.

“It’s okay. I wasn’t paying enough attention. Nice to meet you, Jonah.”

His smile is so damn innocent that it almost rivets my eyes away from his broad chest and slim waist. Almost. I can’t help but bite my lip as my eyes travel to the tight, red Speedos that barely cover him. An involuntary hmm escapes me, and I’m flat out staring at his bulge until he clears his throat.

“You must have been one hell of a diver.” My grin is anything but innocent. I’ve played this game before; we only have a little time, and I didn’t make the best first impression.

“Yeah, until my ankle gave out and left me with this.” He points at the bloodied gash just above his left ear.

“Ouch,” I grimace, but I stroke his cheek, “that’s one good thing about an overdose: I don’t have any visible wounds.”

“True. But you’re a sexy catholic librarian for eternity so…” He lets the sentence hang and ogles my cleavage through my low-cut white button blouse. I like this guy.

“Touche. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Risque Halloween costume, candy corn laced with drugs, what could go wrong?” I unnecessarily smooth out the plaid skirt that barely covers my rear and toe the ground with my Mary Jane heels. “Now I’m stuck in knee-high socks.”

“I like it.” He hooks his finger in the front of my black lace bra and pulls me one step closer.

“You’ve done that before.” I murmur as he dips his head toward mine. He’s still recent enough that the subtle cologne of death still clouds him. I don’t mind it, I miss the sweetness of decay. Mine faded ages ago.

He doesn’t answer, just touches his lips to mine and runs his hand in a slow path from my low back to my neck. I angle my head and nip at his bottom lip while his fingers toy with the clasp of my onyx necklace.

We can’t remove our clothes, but our imaginations match so my hands are through that tiny bathing suit of his in no time, and I’m cupping and stroking him as his hips move. He presses his body to mine, lifting my leg and letting his fingers roam inside me. His lips and hands are everywhere at once, as our mine. I’m overwhelmed with the heat of touching and tasting and rubbing. We finish together, panting and laughing.

“You have your phone?” He pulls his from a pouch on his arm. I’m still trembling, so I nod and remove it from my purse. “Who’s Nora?” He asks, pointing at the screen.

“My Mom. We text before each meet.” I shrug a little. “It’s superstition.”

He chuckles. “Sure. You don’t want to jinx your one night. Unless it could be more?” He raises one eyebrow and his phone at the same time. I raise mine.

Our Soul Mates apps are on screen. We both know the drill. If we press the green button, then our one night becomes one afterlife. If either of us presses red, then we are fun and done. Maybe it’s cruel to make us choose so quickly, but at least we get to play first.

“You really like the costume?” I ask. Funny, I’ve never been nervous before.

“You really don’t mind the head wound?” His eyes grow dark, like he’s nervous too.

“On three.” I smile. “One.”


“Three.” We both say, entering our votes.

Our apps play a cheerful tune I’ve never heard before. We put our phones away, clasp hands, and disappear together.