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American Horror Story: Cartel

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October 31st 2014, to most people this is merely Halloween; a day to dress up in fun and scary costumes, go trick or treating, visit haunted houses and have parties. To those who are knowledgeable in the paranormal, they are well aware of the darker side to All Hallow's Eve. The dead can walk freely among us. Freed from the shackles of their place of death for just one night.

And at the Hotel Cortez in Los Angeles, California; what is known as Devil's Night is especially diabolical. The ghosts of some of North America's most infamous killers gather for a murderous dinner party. This year, however, there was a surprise waiting for everyone.

The sound of glass shattering fell on sadly deaf ears, the body of a young woman plummeting five stories to the cold, hard ground below. Just as the light of life was leaving her eyes, she felt...something. a heavy pressure that felt as if a lead blanket covered her whole body. A heavy but somehow comforting presence. She then felt lips? It had to be. A kiss? At the brink of life and death, she felt energy returning to her. Her vision, now not as blurry as it previously was, she could only see a mass of shadow. And eyes that could be described as the perfect sunset. A sultry and dark voice cooed in her head. 'You will not perish, Olivia. I will watch over you.'

Warmth slowly returned to her body and Olivia felt compelled to move, hurting but not as much as she thought. Her movements were still that of a shambling ditz. The voice led her and she obeyed. There was little she could do and she felt that it was her only hope. 'There is a place you can rest. Even just a day and you will be free of pain.' No one dared touch her. She seemed like any other drug addled junkie you'd see in Los Angeles.

 

Outside the Hotel Cortez, a woman with short blond hair stood at its steps. This woman; one Hypodermic Sally, was on the prowl for her protection sacrifice. She had to do it every year to be left alone. Not that she was complaining. It was them or her. The answer was obvious. And anyone stupid enough to fall for her scheme deserved it. She growled as she grinded her teeth, half-smoked cigarette between her fingers. So far, no one had been standing out as a easy to fool schlub. There wasn't much time before Devil's Night was over, and her impatience was showing. "March is gonna have my head if some idiot doesn't show up. Parties are ending so, maybe some idiot will wander by..." as Sally took a long drag from the cigarette, a woman stumbled from her left, clinging to the wall as her sole support. Her clothes showed she had money. a red and black diamond low cut mini dress with black leggings were torn and she was covered in blood. Ginger red hair hung from a fancy bun. Sally narrowed her eyes as the woman dropped to her knees just a few feet away from her, head lolled downwards before weakly gazing at the woman in the cheetah print coat, her eyes; the left being green and the right brown, looked glassed over.

Sally found her sacrificial lamb. Putting on a smile of fake friendliness, she knelt down to the injured girl. "Hey, honey, You need some help there?"

The voice that answered her was cracked and soft. As if it took what little energy she had to respond. "Rest. A place to rest...please..." Now that she was not moving, she could feel her body swaying side to side.

Sally's smile grew to a grin as she slung the girl's left arm over her shoulder, helping her to her feet and dragging her inside, "You'll get some good rest here. Promise you that."

 

In Room 78, the annual Devil's Night was beginning to die down. James was sitting in his place at the dinner table, his ire flaring from the impatience of his rather rowdy party guests. He could only give them so much absinthe. As he was about to speak up, Sally came in, an obviously injured woman with her letting her fall to a love seat near the table.

Ms. Evers observed the scene with slight irritation. "Honestly, Sally. You couldn't set her anywhere else?! That stain will not come out easily."

Aileen was the first to speak up amongst the party guests. "This is the best you could get? For fuck's sake, Sally! The bitch is knockin' on Death's door!"

"Oh please, I've brought up worse. It's not my fault that no one has stopped by that's stupid enough to take the bait." Sally spat back.

Richard Ramirez just shrugged, "She's right. Besides, its better than having NO dessert, right, master?" everyone turned to the man in the suit who had yet to say a word. Dark brown eyes considering the woman that was on the verge of death.

"Actually. There's something quite peculiar about this woman. She will not be killed." he stated, matter of factly.

Sally was furious. "What about my protection, Gomez?!" she screamed, hands tight on her hips, eyes glaring fiercely at March.

"Oh quiet yourself, Sally. You found a very interesting person. You're free for the year." James snapped his fingers and Ms. Evers was at his side in an instant. "See to it this woman is comfortable. She will need a meal when she wakes. Take her to Room 64."

"Of course, Mr. March." Ms. Evers, with Sally's assistance, took the girl to Room 64, leaving her on the bed. Olivia was barely conscious. Unaware how close she came to death. The presence was back, giving more energy to her as she was now able to rest.

She was roused by bright light filtering through the curtains. She felt stiff and grimy. But very much alive. The curtains were suddenly flung open and Olivia jolted up, seeing a middle aged red haired woman in a maid's uniform. "Up and at them, young lady!" the woman was soon by her bedside. "You've slept well into the afternoon. Mr. March is getting impatient." before she could interject, the maid had tugged her out of bed and was pushing her into the bathroom. "I repaired and laundered your clothes. Take a shower at once. I will return with your lunch."

The maid was gone just as quick as she had come. Olivia sat on the toilet, only now realizing she was only in a simple robe. Her head was spinning but she welcomed the chance to shower. She turned the shower on, letting it warm up. She let the robe drop to the blue tiled floor and looked at herself in the mirror. "Jesus...I look like death." she observed her ruined makeup. "I should be dead however, so...I'm not gonna complain." She backed up and did some turns, noting bruises along her torso and legs before getting in and sighing in contentment, body growing lax at the wonderfully warm water.

 

James was sitting in his room, his favorite jazz music playing on his record player. Ms. Evers brought him a newspaper, a new joy he found and it helped him keep in touch of what was happening beyond his extravagant prison. She had told him that the girl was on her way. He took a deep breath as he read through the business section. A knock at his door broke his focus on reading, folding the paper as he made his way to the door, opening it to see the woman from last night, with surprisingly more life in her mismatched eyes than he saw last night. "Good afternoon, dear girl. Please do come in." He allowed her to enter, closing the door behind her and leading her to two seats.

The woman eyes were wide as she looked the strange man up and down. James was used to such stares, his attire being 'out of date'. "Introductions are in order, my dear." his voice catching her attention.

"Yes!" she cleared her throat before speaking again. "My name is Olivia Masters. It's wonderful to meet you Mr..."

"March! James Patrick March as it were. I do hope you enjoyed the room. I built this beautiful hotel myself."

Olivia's eyes carefully took this March man in, eyes widening for a second. "I see. It was long ago. I knew there was something strange."

James' eyes narrowed, giving Olivia a questioning look. "Amazing. I've never met a ghost like you before."

Had James been drinking, he surely would have choked on it. "Excuse me? And how would you know this?"

"Well, I can see ghosts. I'm a psychic. When I see ghosts you're...transparent. Hollow. When touched by one, its a fuzzy feeling. Similar to if a limb was asleep."

Olivia stretched and yawned. "The room was lovely. As was the lasagna I was given. That maid is a terrific cook. I do have a question for you, if I may, Mr. March." the ghost gave her an approving nod to let her continue. "While she escorted me here, Ms. Evers told me I was nearly killed last night. I am not ungrateful but, what made you spare me?"

Lighting a cigarette, James grinned, blowing out smoke as he answered. "Its very simple, Ms. Masters. Your aura." tired of standing, James stood and began to walk back and forth, "There was a guest who visited years back. He taught me about auras. I can see one's aura the moment I see them. Yours is a very curious one. A plum purple. Any color purple implies a mystic nature. The darker, the more curious I get. The most interesting bit about your aura is it's encompassed by black. Almost like a shadowy embrace."

"Is that strange for an aura?" she asked curiously.

"It is no doubt rare. I believe it means, something is protecting you. In the case of the protector being dark I can only guess from the color."

Olivia gave a soft laugh, "With my aura being mystical, that's no surprise to me. I am a witch after all."

James' face brightened, rushing to her side. "How fortuitous, to have such an interesting person dump herself right on my doorstep. I've not been able to talk to many witches. None that were so forthcoming anyway."

"Well, many of use do feel a bit more brave with that coven down in New Orleans. I've considered going but, I'm not sure they'll accept someone like me..."

"My dear Olivia, you were barely alive when I last saw you. Tell me, how did you come to the Cortez in such a state?"

Olivia's face paled and her eyes darkened. She bit her lip as she collected her thoughts. "My...My fiance tried killing me..."

Chapter Text

The phrase repeated itself in James' head. 'My fiance tried killing me.' Did she think he wouldn't press for more? For as many details as she could give? "He tried to kill you?" there was a fire in his dark brown eyes and a grin on his lips. "That is fascinating, dear girl. But, now, I must know more. That must be quite the tale."

Olivia jumped a bit at his enthusiasm, but understanding that he would want to hear more. Wouldn't most people after hearing that right out the gate? "I suppose...since you did spare me, I could tell you. I am-or, well, was a member of the Mendez cartel out in Las Vegas, Nevada. An enforcer; their muscle and even a confidant to the founders; Patron Juan and Matron Alejandra Mendez. I was...very close to their son, Oscar. We grew up together. My family abandoned me and Juan and Alejandra took me in."

Olivia took a break to take a drink of water before continuing. "Oscar and I grew close. We dated starting in high school. We've been dating for...five years now. Since I was 15. He's 23 now. But, given the success of the Cartel in Nevada, Patron naturally wanted to expand the family business and he felt Las Angeles would be a great place to start. So, he sent Oscar and myself, along with a handful of footmen to stake a claim here and start building. Oscar had no team building skills. I was the backbone of his operation; scouting and recruiting with the trusted men we brought and charged to build loyalty with any new members."

Olivia took a moment to readjust herself in her seat, fingers messing with her slightly damp red hair. "Truth be told, this hotel was almost considered as a starting point.But, I was clear with Oscar that we wouldn't succeed being here. He never believed me about ghosts. But, I did tell him, there was a darkness here that would stand in the way of our plans. I suppose you may have been what I was sensing." James gave a smug grin at her admission but did not interrupt her. "We bought a small house, somewhere that most people would avoid unless they went looking. It's not hard to find people. Plenty are looking for money and we paid well and offered protection. I could go on all day about how many rival gangs I've beat down."

"Oh, please do. I imagine it was quite bloody." James sat back down, fingers intertwined, eyes still aflame, knuckles white at the prospect of a good story with some lovely brutality.

"Well...that does go without saying. A bat to the skull causes a good bit of damage." she noticed James visibly shiver and just ignored it. "Continuing on; it was actually easy enough to gain momentum here. We had Juan's resources, mainly cash and some of the best weed and crack in Nevada ready for a willing clientele. We-I anyway. convinced the dealers in the area to join us, it was easy enough when the cartel promised them much more than they made, and the offered protection made the offer so much more tempting. It sometimes escalated to violence, even death a time or two."

"I hate to interrupt again, my dear. You've killed? Well, given that you said you were an enforcer. You must be accustomed to a bit of viscera. Sounds exciting."

Noting his interjection, Olivia took another drink, "We've only been here a year and already the Mendez cartel is growing faster than any of us could have predicted. Oscar and I were getting along, he was still...rough." James noticed a look of uncertainty on her face for a second and her body shuddered just enough for his keen eyes to take note. "But, I'm plenty tough. I've been shot and stabbed but still here in one piece. Not too long ago...he actually proposed to me." a sad smile graced her lips as she presented the ring. "Said to be his grandmother's. Who knows if that true anymore? We had a penthouse and life was sweet. But..." the light drained from her eyes and she drew her knees as close as she could, pulling a cushion close and gripping it tightly. "That all changed last night. I came home from a meeting with our dealer and suppliers and heard noises from our bedroom."

Her eyes narrowed angrily, "I'm sure you can guess what I found...Oscar in OUR bed with some nobody! I don't even know where he met her! He could've been seeing her this whole time!" Olivia's teeth were gritted, and she fisted the cushion harshly. "After everything I've done and have been through for this cartel, this family, I wasn't gonna let him make a fool of me. I went to kick his ass, I was on autopilot. The hussy ran and he grabbed me, I fought back as he moved me. Nothing I did was affecting him. Probably couldn't think straight in my rage. We ended up to the window and he...he just shoved me. Damn near threw me through the glass." all of her reminiscing reduced Olivia to nuzzling the pillow.

James took a seat beside her and offered her his handkerchief which she politely refused. "No thank you. There's no tears right now. Just...disappointment. Betrayal. What did he tell his parents? This has been my whole life. Will they miss me? I know I can't go back." she rubbed her arms, muttering about still feeling some pain. "I need more rest it seems. That fall was pretty bad."

"Speaking of." James lit another cigarette and took a deep inhale, exhaling slowly, enjoying the flavor and feeling of the tobacco. "Such a fall surely would have killed you, dear."

"It should have. It would have if..."

James quirked an eyebrow, why was she hesitating now? "You can tell me, Olivia. It's just you and I here." he reassured her, solely for his curiosity.

"It's something unbelievable. But, I'm speaking with a ghost in a heavily haunted hotel. So, perhaps it's not so crazy." she cleared her throat and straightened back up, eyebrows furrowed as she recalled the only thing she could about whatever it was that rescued her. "As I felt the cold grip of death take over, I suddenly felt warmth. Life was returning to me. Then something was on top of me. Maybe a person. It didn't feel solid like a human. But not...hollow like a ghost. something in between maybe. But it was heavy. A voice spoke inside my mind; 'You're not dying.' it said. Voice like velvet. Dark but warm. And I swear I felt lips on mine. A passionate kiss gave me energy and I could see its eyes; the color of the sunset; orange and purple. The voice pushed me to find somewhere to rest. I followed the voice and it led me here. Whenever I sleep, I feel more life returning to me."

James gave her a few claps, amused grin on his face. "What a tale! Thank you, Olivia! Surely, you must have the Devil's own luck."

As James began to tell her she can come and talk to him anytime, there was a knock at the door. It was Ms. Evers, wheeling in a cart. "I am sorry to interrupt your story time, Mr. March. But your dinner with the Countess is approaching fast."

"A delightfully brutal story and dinner with my beloved? What a wondrous day indeed!" he smiled, standing and offering his hand to Olivia.

"The Countess?"

"Yes, my wife. Well, ex-wife I suppose as death has sadly parted us. But I am still devoted to her. She is a very busy woman, I only get to have dinner with her once a month." he explained as he escorted his new friend to the door. "But, do not hesitate to knock or even call should you have more stories to tell, Olivia."

Olivia smiled a bit as she stepped out of the room, "I may take you up on that, Mr. March."

The ghost gave a charming smile, "Please, call me James."

"If you insist. It's been a pleasure, James. I hope you enjoy your dinner." she dismissed herself and started walking towards the elevator. She only waited a minute when the doors opened, revealing a blond woman with ethereal beauty, stunning to say the least. This woman only paid the new girl with a passing glance as she made her way down the way she had just came. "I suppose that's her." Olivia stepped into the elevator, pressing the button for her floor. "I could feel power from her. But...she doesn't feel like anything I've come across. What is she...?"

Chapter Text

The elevator dinged as Olivia was taken down floor by floor. "I'm not too sure what to do now." she began, speaking her thoughts out loud. "I can't go back. I won't. I do have money but it's out of my reach and I now have no job and I'm homeless..." to say things looked dark would be a grave understatement. As the door opened, Olivia wandered the lobby, lost in thoughts about what her next move could be. While money may not buy happiness, it does buy security for damn sure.

Two older women watched as she meandered, one with glasses and another bald. The bespectacled woman looked up every so often from a book of miscellaneous puzzles, just to be sure she wasn't causing trouble. The taller bald woman kept her sharp eyes on the girl, regarding her with interest. They knew who she was, not by name, but by what was supposed to happen to her the night before. The woman with Cleopatra inspired makeup rang the bell and snapped Olivia back to reality, looking at the pair with curiosity. "Yes?" she asked, wondering if she was doing something wrong.

The tall woman spoke up first, being far more sociable than her shorter coworker. "Is something wrong, hon?" Olivia made her way over to the reception desk.

"I'm fine? Physically anyway. Can I not sort through my thoughts here?"

The shorter woman rolled her eyes and broke her gaze from her puzzles, ready to speak up before Sally cut in, "You're supposed to be dead." heavily made up eyes glared at Olivia who jumped slightly from the sudden outburst. "Even if they did decide to spare you, how the hell are you still alive? You were barely breathing."

Olivia, just as confused as to why she managed to survive, just shrugged her shoulders. "A demon did it? Hell if I know. Whenever I sleep, I just feel strength come to me. That's the only way I can describe it."

Cleopatra tapped Olivia's arm, "Follow me up to the Lounge, sweety. I'll give you a freebie for your rough night. And we can get properly acquainted!" Olivia nodded and just followed the older woman upstairs to a very nice lounge.

Olivia whistled as she took a seat at the bar, "Very nice. I love the aesthetic of this place!"

"Well, I'm sure the owner would love to hear someone say such. Now, introductions. I am Liz Taylor. And you are?"

"Olivia Masters." Olivia reached out and shook Liz's hand, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Liz." she said with a polite smile.

"Such manners. What a pleasant surprise."

"In a lot of my work, a nice word and lovely smile can mean everything."

Liz began making Olivia a drink, "What's your poison, dear?" she asked.

After a moment of consideration, Olivia made her choice, "A Piña Coloda please!"

She soon had her drink and sighed blissfully. "This is fucking amazing! You've got an awesome skill, Liz."

Liz thanked her and asked what had been gnawing at her curiosity since she saw Olivia wander out from the elevator. "I'm sorry to bring up such a heavy topic but, I simply must know; what made Mr. March spare you? He is not a creature of mercy."

After taking another sip from her sweet drink, Olivia didn't see the harm in explaining, "He said it was my aura. It was dark and said it enthralled him. After explaining some things to him he practically demanded to hear my story."

Liz chuckled deeply, "That is our James. Once he's worked up, nothing can relax him."

Sally sat near the two, interested as well. Why wouldn't she be? Nothing ever happens and she's trapped so you take your fun where you can. "Surprised you're not trying to kill me for using you as my scapegoat." Sally lit her cigarette, eyes narrowed at Olivia.

"Well, I kind of heard your conversation with James. It was for protection of some type right? You do what you have to do to survive." she answered before taking a long swig of her drink. "Besides, I'm still alive."

Olivia looked down to see the maid, Ms. Evers and hopped off her chair, making her way down the stairs, "Ms. Evers!" she called out, the woman looking to whoever called her name.

"Oh, hello, miss. Is something wrong with your room?" she asked as Olivia came up to her.

"Room? Oh. Oh no. I just wanted to thank you for cleaning my clothes and for the food. That was some amazing lasagna."

Hazel gave a genuine smile, "It was nothing. Your stains were a cinch to launder." her smile soon grew fake when she saw the elevator open to reveal the one who stole the love of her life. Olivia turned to see the same blonde woman from before.

"That's James' ex-wife I assume?" she whispered to the maid who simply nodded.

"Yes. The Countess. If you'll excuse me, I have linens to launder." she left fairly quickly as the Countess strolled up to Olivia.

"You must be the girl that's gotten James so riled up." she began with a confident grin on her face. "I am the Countess. It is a pleasure to meet you, Olivia. I would love to talk privately with me. Would you join me?" she asked, Olivia accepting, curious about the woman before her.

The Countess eyed the girl as the elevator ascended, ending up at a penthouse. The interior decidedly more modern than the rest of the art deco Cortez. The Countess escorted Olivia to an opulent sitting area, neon signs on the wall. The Countess sat on the sofa after pouring two drinks, offering a seat and glass to her guest. "Please sit. I don't bite. Unless you want me to." she finished, a flirty quirk to her eyebrow and a grin to match.

"I'll gladly take another free drink. But...don't think I'm up for any of that just yet." Olivia sat beside the Countess and took a sip of the drink. "Mmm this goes down like honey!"

The Countess settled herself, relatively eager for a new conversation partner after what she had heard from James. "While I go by Countess, you may call me Elizabeth. James seems rather taken with you. He normally has nothing to talk about during our dinners. Usually asking about the outside and any recent conquests of mine. Pardon the pun but, he was positively spirited tonight. A cartel enforcer? That's a juicy story just pleading to be told."

"It was my life since I was a teenager. It's all I've known. Been only six years almost but that's still a fair bit of time."

"Living such a dark life at such a young age. I can sense much suffering from you, Olivia."

"Well...that's to be expected right? Trafficking drugs and gang wars. That's nothing for the faint of heart."

"True. But there's more. You and Oscar. You left the state of your relationship out of your conversation with James. You knew he wouldn't care for those details."

Olivia shifted under Elizabeth's knowing gaze. "Y-yes...it wasn't all peaches and cream. He was rough." her hands went to her arms, feeling vulnerable. "How the hell do you know this anyway? Like you said, I told James nothing!"

"Your emotions. I can...taste them. Each feeling has a distinct flavor. Suffering, specifically from heartache has the taste of the sting of whiskey when you expect apple juice. An unpleasant surprise. You expected true love but gained only pain."

Olivia finds herself speechless. Tasting emotions? "How...I knew you didn't feel human. What are you?'"

The Countess re situated herself before speaking again. "I do suppose that, given everything James told me about you, it's only fair I tell you a secret of mine. I have been around just as long as James. But, I am no ghost. I was given an ancient blood curse by my lovers decades ago. I do not age. But, I must feed on the blood of others to live." she explained

Olivia sighed, "I'm such an idiot. I was too into what my life was like. I was in danger every minute of every day. It all seemed normal...commonplace. But, last night truly put everything into perspective for me. Oscar probably never loved me. I was a fool to think so. I'd tell myself to run while I could. His parents loved me though. They may never know what really happened to me. Or that I'm alive..."

Elizabeth rested a hand on Olivia's arm, "You're no fool. Learn from this. You will become stronger. While death surrounds this place, it is also a place of rebirth. But, seeing your eyes, we have met before. Were you more then an enforcer?" she asked curiously.

Olivia brightened slightly at the change of topic, "Whenever I was off duty, I was a singer at the big club the cartel owned. I helped bring in a lot of clients. It was a lot of fun honestly."

The Countess smiled as it clicked in her head, "Yes! That was it! Donovan and I visit Vegas often and your shows have always been a highlight of our trips!"

"Really? That's a wonderful compliment! I truly loved singing. I'm going to miss it." she sighed again, recalling her now jobless and homeless titles.

"Olivia. I understand your plight. Losing your life and having to start anew. I feel a kinship with you that I have not in many years. I have a proposal for you. I will let you live here in the hotel free of charge. In return, you will become the new singer of the Blue Parrot Lounge."

Olivia couldn't begin to describe the feeling of relief and joy that she felt. She sunk into the sofa, gripping the Countess' hand. "Oh my spirits. You're serious? I can't even begin to thank you!When do i start?"

"Tomorrow night. After we take you shopping of course." she answered, enjoying now tasting strawberries from her new friend.

Chapter Text

`Shortly after The Countess gave Olivia her new job, she was being virtually dragged out by the older woman and into a limo that was already parked outside. Almost as if it had all been planned. "So, where are we going, Lizzie?" she asked curiously, settling into the leather seat and putting her seat belt on as Elizabeth did the same.

"You have lost everything, dear. I am going to help you get a sliver back. New clothes to start with. Afterwards any toiletries you need." sensing what anyone would ask after being helped so much, Elizabeth grinned confidently, "What are friends for after all?"

The ride down the boulevard was relaxing, filled with small talk and Olivia even singing whenever a song she knew came on. "You will help bring in quite a bit of business to the Cortez, Olivia. I am very excited for your debut tonight."

Olivia was as excited well, but, something in her mind was making her feel hesitant. "Elizabeth. How exactly are you advertising this?"

The Countess quirked an eyebrow at her question. "As much as I can. We need a high turnout and to bring money in. You have concerns?"

Olivia nodded briskly "Oscar is in this city! He's an idiot but even he will take notice if you have pictures or anything circulating!" While she was getting over Oscar, her mind and body still feared a repeat of her near death experience.

"I see. I will forbid any photography in the show. Cell phones will be turned off. I want you to feel safe here, Olivia. I will change our marketing strategy with this in mind." she made a mental note to have cameras and cell phones turned in before the show. Olivia was strong no doubt. But, after such a traumatic experience, the fear would remain for some time. "Now, onto a much more pleasant topic. With your red hair and those eyes, I am certain you would look ravishing in green. Especially dark green."

"I can see that. Green is a cool yet powerful color. I'll be happy with jeans or yoga pants with comfy shirts. Though, given I'll be a lounge singer, I'll need some fancy clothes as well. Need to make The Cortez look good."

The limo pulled up to a high end boutique and both women got out and headed in, a young woman with brown hair greeting them enthusiastically; "Welcome back, Countess!" the girl's smile faltered ever so slightly, "Oh. You have a friend with you. Who is she?" she asked, noticing the redhead.

"Tiffany, this is Olivia. She's a new friend of mine. She's had a run of some bad luck and lost everything. I'm going to help her start with a new wardrobe." Elizabeth explained as the two began looking through the store. True to what she said, Olivia picked out some simple jeans and yoga pants. "You can choose nicer pants, Olivia."

"I'm happy enough with these. Besides, I have kinda thick thighs from just doing so much work for the cartel so, it's best I don't grow attached to a pair. Makes things easier as a whole. I kill a pair a yoga pants. Tight pants in general actually. Wear what you know you slay." Olivia scanned the racks for shirts that stuck out. Yes she loved the glitzy outfits she had back from her old life. But, this was the perfect time to change. And, after singing in the lounge, it would be great to have clothes to relax in. She was constantly on the move. Maybe she would have time to actually breathe now.

"Olivia, darling. You do realize you need a little black dress?" The Countess smirked at her friend's look of intrigue. "It's every woman's secret weapon. To light the fire of whomever you may be hunting." she continued as she followed Olivia to the changing room.

"Ooh. I really like this one, Lizzie!" Olivia came out to show off the black dress she had chosen. I was mainly a black slip dress. The sleeves it had were beautiful and sheer, going to her middle fingers, forming gloves. "I think the sheer is better than lace in this case."

Elizabeth looked her up and down. The dress clung to her hips and waist deliciously. "A true goddess, my friend. That has to have been made for you, we're buying it! Don't forget a few bras, Olivia." as the two looked through the clothes she currently had picked out. As they made their way to the checkout, The Countess noticed a dress that she knew Olivia needed. Grabbing the clothes, She gave Olivia a slight nudge. "You go wait in the car. There's something I need real quick. I'll be but a moment."

"Ok...I'll be waiting then." Olivia thought nothing of what her new friend told her. She was getting brand new clothes at no cost to her. She had no room to complain.

Elizabeth came out to the limo, more bags then she thought they picked out but ignored it as they made their way back to the Cortez and to her room; Olivia moving quickly to put everything they just bought away. "You have your set list ready I hope?" the Countess asked curiously as she watched Olivia move swiftly.

"I have a few songs already queued up for the show. I think they fit the Cortez's aesthetic perfectly. I'm sure you'll love them." Olivia proclaimed proudly, plugging in a curling iron.

Elizabeth stood from the bed and approached her new friend, a bagged garment in hand. "I saw this and knew you had to wear it. Please do so for the show tonight." she set the bag back on the bed before embracing Olivia. "I'll leave you to prepare. I can't wait to see you shine, my dear."

Olivia returned her hug and did a slight bounce, an eager smile on her face. "I'm so excited! I won't let you down, Lizzie!" the two women exchanged temporary goodbyes and The Countess left, knowing where she had to go next.

James heard a knock at his door and tilted his head in intrigue as he got up and walked to the door, heart swelling as he saw Elizabeth. "Dearest." he cooed with a suave smile as he ushered her in, shutting the door behind her as she sat in a lounge seat. "And who must I thank for having you grace my presence today, my dear?" he asked, sitting across from her.

Elizabeth declined his drink with a small wave of her hand. "I wanted to invite you to a show, James." James almost leapt from his seat but could not keep the joyful grin from his face.

"A show, darling? I was not aware we had any scheduled here." he asked in realization. They never really did hold shows at the hotel. Only for big events and that was when he was still alive.

Elizabeth gave a knowing grin as she answered his question. "Let's just say I found a promising prospect to help boost the hotel's business. I do hope you'll come, James. I know you will love it."

James stood from his chair and knelt beside her, hand on her thigh, "Anything you wish, dearest. You need but only ask. Where is the show taking place?" he asked, standing to prepare himself a drink.

"The Blue Parrot Lounge. Its received some slight renovations to accommodate more patrons. With the shows taking place there, drink sales will also go up. This place needs some new blood." she explained as she moved off the seat and onto her feet. "The show begins in an hour. I have two chairs reserved for us, James." she excused herself shortly afterward and left James rather curious about what sort of show was planned. Just who would perform here?

He met with his beloved, both dressed up for the event, James' attire rather normal in his eyes. They headed for the lounge, a small stage added in the corner, a burgundy curtain creating a small backstage area for the performer. "Dearest." he began, grabbing The Countess' attention, "if this does indeed go well, we do have an unused ballroom. You have a great idea about holding shows and that space would be perfect." as he was expecting her answer, Elizabeth tapped his shoulder to shush him, which he followed as the lights dimmed, a spotlight falling on the small stage.

"You had plenty money in 1922..." a feminine voice sang out softly, before string instruments began playing and the curtain parted to reveal a woman with warm tanned skin in a floor length dark green sparkle dress, a slit up her left thigh and a velvet black choker around her neck. Red hair curled in homage to the early twenties with her bangs slightly covering her left eye. "You let other women make a fool of you. Why don't you do right, like some other men do?" the woman continued, voice sultry and warm. the band making James feel as if he back in the 20's; his hotel's heyday with an ethereal siren serenading him.

She easily continued her lyrics, everyone's gaze glued to her, "Get out of here, get me some money too." Olivia gingerly took the microphone and began walking over the stage, movements matching the song, smoky eyes surveying the crowd. She easily spotted Elizabeth and, surprising to her, James. Liz Taylor even had her jaw dropped for a moment before she delivered drinks to the new customers. "You're sittin' down wondering what it's all about. If you ain't got no money they will, put you out. Why don't you do right, like some other men do?"

Elizabeth had a proud smile on her face as she saw the crowd's silence and awe of her friend. 'This is where she belongs. But, James is right. A bigger stage is needed. This won't hold her for long.' she thought to herself. Olivia was a natural, and she showed it well. Looking over, she saw her ex-husband; intense eyes transfixed and following her every move. 'She will be very good for business. And perhaps keep James busy.'

"Get out of here, get me some money too." she cooed, stepping off the stage and walking amongst the crowd, giving slight touches to shoulders. She was taught early on how to work a crowd. She would get crazy tips sometimes. Feeling the finale of the song coming, she decided to go with her gut, James would be the focus. Making a room feel like this made her feel so powerful. "Now if you had prepared 20 years ago..." she slowly made her way back, James' back facing her. "You wouldn't be a wandering now from door to door." reaching her target, she let her green painted nails drag along his shoulder, able to see him shudder ever so slightly. She fought back her grin as she was staying in character to focus on her new job. "Why don't you do right..." she left her hand on his shoulder as she moved in front of him, eyes locked and leaning down so they were level, she knew the look in his eyes. Having caused it in many of her shows. She had his complete and total attention. It was utterly addictive. "Like some other men" she leaned in even closer, James' eyes drifting to her pink stained lips. "Do...?" she had a confident grin on her face as she slowly backed away, moving towards the stage, James, leaning forward still as his hands gripped onto the rests of his seat. She never broke eye contact until the curtain closed.

James was enraptured. Not since Elizabeth had a woman approached him in such a way. Even with Elizabeth, he had done the entire courting. And he was painfully aware that she held no love for him. He did not care at the time. But, now here he was. Near a century later and alone. His beloved still able to walk anywhere she pleased. It was a cold existence. But, now, here was a beautiful siren and she could be wooed. To hear that voice utter his name in bliss was his new goal. His shoulders shuddered a bit, feeling worked up from Olivia's performance. "Dearest, that was truly Olivia?: he uttered almost breathlessly.

He noticed her proud grin, "Yes, Jimmy. She used to sing at the Cartel's casino. I've seen her plenty of times. With her, business will boom, don't you agree?" she asked as Olivia's next song began.

James felt a shiver go up his spine when he heard her voice again. Not even focusing on the lyrics anymore, just her voice. Everything about her. As the show ended, James disappeared back to his room. Pacing with thoughts in head. Thoughts of truly pursing this wondrous creature. "My siren. That is the only word worthy of her." shoulders going lax after taking a deep breath, he made up his mind. "I must congratulate her at the very least."

In her new room, Olivia was currently celebrating with Liz Taylor and the Countess. Liz toasted her before taking another drink of special win the Countess broke open just for their small party. Olivia was now wearing a white slip, hair still styled and eye makeup still on. "Honey, you killed it. I have to put in a new order for more booze. Cheers to you. She's quite the fortuitous find, Countess."

Elizabeth was all smiles with her friends as they kept clinking the glasses together. "Most fortuitous indeed, dear Liz. Olivia, I loved watching you control the crowd with such ease."

"Ooh! Especially, Mr. March! That's no easy feat to make him turn to putty." Liz Taylor cut in before the Countess continued.

"Yes. Most amusing. But, James and I both agree, that small stage is undeserving of you. We wish to turn the unused ballroom into a showroom. An extension of the Blue Parrot Lounge perhaps. But, more shows, even other shows. I'm sure you'd agree to more room."

Olivia felt almost sober again. "From that one show? Wow...that's really humbling. Mmm, I don't see why not. But, I'll give you a better answer when I'm of more sound mind." she snorted after drinking more of the wine. "Don't remember the last time I had a get together like this. So much fun." she admitted, head lulling to the side slightly as she smiled at the two women.

"Well," Liz Taylor began, gathering the now empty glasses and the near empty wine bottle before standing, "We've kept our new star long enough. It's time for you to sleep, little missy." she said as she made her way to the door.

Elizabeth gave her new friend a soft hug before joining Liz Taylor. "I hope you sleep well, Olivia." she told her as they left.

As she was going to have a quick shower, she heard a knock at her door. Approaching the door, she checked the peephole and saw James. She opened the door and let him in. "Evening, James." she greeted, stretching as he entered the room. "Can I help you with anything?"

James gave a slight shake of his head, "No, Olivia. I merely wanted to congratulate you. Your singing was spellbinding. I do hope you'll continue to sing here for us all." he told her, soon seeing her glossed over eyes. He had been hoping she was sober. But, celebrations were in order. So he could not blame her.

"Oh. Oh! Totally! I had a blast! Elizabeth mentioned turning the ballroom into a showroom for higher turnouts. I think it's a good idea." she said, fingers combing through her hair.

James decided to cut to the chase. It was late and she would surely wish to sleep soon. "I must be frank, my dear. Your singing was beyond words. If I may..." he took a deep breath, a moment to put his thoughts into words. "My heart hasn't beat in over eighty years. I presumed it never would again. But you darling. You and your performance have set my heart positively ablaze."

Glossy eyes widened and her shoulders slumped. She really made him fall from such a simple thing? But, to hear such a compliment. "Wow...that's just. Wow. I've never heard such words from someone. I don't know what to say, James." he left her at a loss of words. He could feel his pride swell in his chest.

"I do have a very simple request if you would-" she looked up, curious as to what he cold request of her. "Join me for dinner tomorrow?" he asked, taking her hand gingerly and helping her up to her feet.

Olivia let him lead her to her bed, sitting down, sleep coming over her. "I don't see why not. Dinner sounds perfect, James. I'd love to join you." she answered with a smile, noticing he still had her hand/

James could not help the relief come over him. It has been ages since he's courted a woman after all. Her eagerness and that lovely smile igniting his ego. :Very well, I shall see to it that you have an excellent feast, my dear. Until then-" he pressed a soft kiss to her knuckles before backing away. "sleep well, my siren."

James shut the screen partition that had been installed in some of the employee rooms. As he walked to the door, his proud face soon dropped, one of confusion taking its place. The room suddenly felt heavy and significantly darker. Had he been alive, surely he'd be unable to breathe. His steps towards the door froze, natural curiosity biting at him. What if his demon were terrorizing her? No. He'd hear her screams for sure. While he was curious, something in him told him to leave it be. If Olivia were in danger, surely she'd vocalize any stress. He would be sure to check on her in the morning. For now, she needed rest.

Chapter Text

Olivia knew she had to be dreaming. Here she was, in a large bed in a house she had never seen in her life. But, she felt like she belonged there. She felt cool lips pucker against her flesh, teeth nip at her nape. She cooed from the passionate embrace she found herself in. Her fingers tangled in and tugged dirty blonde curls to bring this being's lips to her own, deep and intense dark brown eyes were half-lidded and clouded with lust and ardor bore into her's. She pulled this unknown male close to her body as she could, claiming his lips in a deep kiss, moans intermingling with soft tongue caresses, his hands ghosting down her sides and to her hips. Olivia bent her legs after spreading them, allowing her partner to settle between them, biting his lip in anticipation, she couldn't remember when sex felt this intimate. It was always quick with Oscar. And largely unfulfilling.

He chuckled against her lips as he grinded his hips to hers, savoring the moment. "Been awhile for both of us...you feel so damn good, Liv." he groaned deeply as his hips thrust forward, finally giving Olivia exactly what she wanted, nails digging into his pale shoulders and her head against his shoulder, biting along his collarbone as her hips met his eagerly, his growling moans driving her and her coos fueling his fire. His thrusts grew faster and rougher, hitting her perfectly deep and he nipped her ear, one had gripping her hip, arm resting beside her head, long fingers curling her red hair around its tips. "Come on...mmnn. Shit-say my name, Liv." he ordered with a deep voice.

Her alarm sounded and Olivia's shot open. "FUCK!" she swore angrily, doing her damnedest to not throw the clock against a wall. "I was right there for fuck's sake!" she sat up with a huff, irritated but getting over it. She's been having sexual dreams more frequently after her accident. Maybe the Cortez had something to do with it? Hell if she knew but, her dreams had never felt so vivid. And she wasn't one to have lucid dreams.

Getting up, Olivia remembered her conversation with James the night before. "He really wanted to invite me to dinner. I'll be sure to let him know when I see him today." she felt a soft smile tug at her cheeks as she walked into her small bathroom. "It's been a long time since I've been treated like this. Guess I'm too accustomed to that life. But, Juan always treated Alejandra like a queen." she let herself think for a moment, locking the bathroom door behind her. "Maybe Oscar is just a shithead. Yeah. That sounds about right." she cackled to herself as she hopped into the shower.

After drying off and getting dressed in black jeans and a green, off the shoulder shirt, Olivia left her room and head down in the elevator to the lobby, the kitchen in her sights for some breakfast. There were a fair few guests loitering about. Perhaps returning their keys to check out. A young woman with her hair up in a ponytail patted her friend's shoulder. "Oh my god! Its her!" three girls and two men came up to her, introducing themselves and shaking her hand. They had all been at her Cortez debut each of them praising her performance and hoping to see her again the next time they came to the hotel. As she began to thank the small crowd, an eerily familiar voice caught her attention. "A marvelous show. But, I'd expect nothing less, Olivia."

The ex-enforcer felt her heart stop and she turned to face the voice. "No way..." she muttered under her breath.

James was watching from the Blue Parrot Lounge as Olivia met a few admirers. "Just after one show and they already wish to return!" he grinned, happy that this would bring more business to his hotel. James' eyebrows soon knitted together as he noticed his siren freeze. He followed her gaze to a middle aged woman. His concern grew as the mysterious woman approached Olivia. Feeling he should step in, James swiftly made his way down to her, soon in between the two women. The new woman's hair, black with many silver hairs, in a professional bun and sharp green eyes. James was taken aback for a moment, this woman had an aura of icy blue hue. He shook himself from this beauty to introduce himself properly. "Good morning, madam. James March, owner of this hotel. May I ask who are you?"

The woman nodded, "Forgive my manners. I have just missed Olivia. I am Alejandra Mendez, a very good acquaintance of Olivia's." James quirked an eyebrow and turned to check on Olivia. She looked a bit more at ease than a few moments ago. Was this the matron she had told him about a few nights ago?

"I do believe we should go somewhere more private. My quarters should do quite nicely. Please follow me." he instructed, leading to two to the elevator and allowing them to enter first. After he pressed the button to take them to his suite, he stood between the two. As they disembarked from the elevator, he took his key from his lapel and opening the door for them, following after them and closing the door. "Would you care for a drink, Ms. Mendez?" he asked, wanting to lighten the situation.

"Mrs. Mendez. And I am fine. Thank you, Mr. March." Alejandra cleared her throat and took a calming breath. "Olivia, darling. Oscar announced that you had died. What happened? Please tell me." her green eyes softened considerably.

Olivia sighed, growing rather tired of telling the story. "I almost did, ma'am..." she began, shoulders slumping as she took the shot glass from James and swigged it all. She never thought she would be found. Not this quickly anyway. "After our meeting, I went to the penthouse to pick up Oscar so we could go to the Halloween party. When I came to our room...I-I found Oscar fucking some woman in our bed." Olivia kept taking deep breaths to try keeping calm. "I attacked him. We fought, backing me up to the large window and he threw me against it. He probably meant for it to leave me winded but, the window shattered and I fell to the alley below." there was a pit in her stomach as she recalled the fall and then the impact and what it did to her body. "I have no idea how I survived but, something drew me to the Cortez. James and everyone here took me in." Olivia decided to leave out the bit where James damn near killed her for a dinner party.

Alejandra clenched her jaw, nostrils flaring noticeably. "Oscar. MY son. He did such a thing?" her eyes alight with fury. Olivia's jaw dropped as the woman broke off into a string of Mexican curses. After a few moments, Alejandra recomposed herself. "Please forgive me. Olivia knows I very rarely act that way. I am disappointed and livid with my boy." Alejandra stormed over to Olivia, eyes storming with emotions as she took her hands in her own. "Why did you not come to Juan and I?! You're like a daughter to us! You know we would have listened to you!" Olivia felt her heart break at Alejandra's tears.

Before she could speak up, the door to James' suite opened to reveal The Countess. "Olivia has been given sanctuary here at The Cortez, Mrs. Mendez." she shook her hand with a charming smile on her face. "I am the Countess, I'm a new friend of Olivia's. She has been recovering here. We have given her a home and, as you saw last night, a job."

"Speaking of my job; how did you find me, Alejandra?" Olivia asked, curiosity demanding an answer.

"Well...I had some suspicions." she began, fingers intertwining as she spoke, "You've survived so much through your years with us. You wouldn't die easily. So, I tasked only the men I knew I could trust to report only to me to look around Los Angeles for you. Any sign. I needed proof. Raoul visited this hotel last night and managed to record the video with a hidden camera. I am the only one aside from hism that knows you're alive and here. I knew you would have your reasons for not reaching out to us. I just wanted to be sure, dear."

"I know...you and Juan have always been there for me. I would have been dead if not for you both taking me in and I cannot thank you enough." Olivia took her mentor's hands in her's, a comforting smile on her face. "It's only been a few days but, I'm happy here. Looking back...my relationship with Oscar was never great. This is a brand new start for me and I'm so excited about it, Alejandra."

Alejandra looked over Olivia, seeing truth in her eyes. "If this is what you wish, my dear. I do hope you won't mind me informing Juan? He's been consumed with grief." Alejandra smiled at the nod of approval from Olivia and hugged the young woman close. "I am going to wire all your money to a new account. I can also bring you your old belongings. This is the least I can do for you, Olivia."

"That...that would be fantastic, Alejandra! I will find someway to keep in contact with you and Juan. I promise." the two women embrace one final time and Alejandra departs, thanking James and Elizabeth for helping her daughter so much. "By the way, Lizzie." she began, grabbing the Countess' attention. "How did you know about all this? Where we were and who was with us?" she asked.

"Quite simple, Liz Taylor informed me. I believed you would need some assistance. Thankfully, your matron is a very understanding woman."

James grinned as he came to the ladies' sides, cigar between his fingers. "I do wonder what will come of Oscar. I can tell that that woman is not one you'd wish to anger."

"More true than you realize. That woman did teach me everything I know." she sighed and patted both of their shoulders before moving to the door. "I appreciate all of your help, James and Elizabeth, but the human really needs to get some breakfast." she bid her friends farewell and made her way out of the room, heading back to her original goal; getting breakfast.

Chapter Text

Olivia was in the middle of unpacking a few of the things Alejandra managed to sneak out here and there. Many of her old belongings were hers again. There were clothes still in boxes as she did not have room for them and boxes of books, many on witchcraft and plant life around the world. The two things she looked forward to the most were her personalized weapons; Lovetap, a baseball bat made of rock maple wood and Trauma a Desert Eagle, customized with an extended clip. The bat was on a display stand above her dresser and her pistol in a case, locked with a fingerprint scan under her bed.

Lovetap was painted dark blue, purple, gold and silver runic markings along the shaft, rubber around the grip with a nasty surprise; small pins that dig into anyone's hands but hers.

Trauma has a metallic purple finish with gold accents, a gold rune dangling off the butt of the gun. And, the finishing touch, her cartel name 'La Bruja' was emblazoned on the grip in gold cursive.

She hummed and sang to herself as she changed the hotel's bed to have her blankets and lit a candle. A thought suddenly popped into her head and she checked the calendar. "Oh shit! Valentine's Day is just two days away! Gotta plan my show." She chose songs she knew would fit the holiday. The setlist never really was hard for her to choose, her outfit was. She made sure to switch things up whenever she could. Olivia let her body drop onto the bed, glaring at the ceiling in concentration. Something saucy? No. That's predictable. Definitely red, cliche but it's always dependable. Sitting up she considered the Cortez itself. Maybe she should draw inspiration from the Cortez. Its bold, and beautiful. A somewhat hidden history of bloodshed. Red most definitely suited the show. But gold as well. The idea came to her. "Perhaps a flapper dress? I've wanted to do it for awhile now. This could be perfect! Guess I need to go shopping!" she grabbed her purse and dashed out the door and out of the hotel.

James, meanwhile, was fuming in his room, pacing by the dinner table. Once again, like every year before, he attempted to invite his beloved to a special dinner for Valentine's Day, and, just like all the years before, she turned him down immediately. She claimed to be busy with Donovan. They were married! When he was alive anyway. Surely she could spare just one year with him! As he passed by his door to turn on his record player, his ears picked up on a couple chatting.

"Did you hear? There's going to be a special concert on Valentine's Day!"

"Really? With that new singer, right?"

"Yes! Guests get a bit of a discount I believe!"

He drowned them out after that, a new idea in his mind. "How could I forget about my songbird?! Perhaps she would like to join me?" he wasted no time in almost flying through his door and down to Olivia's room.

Olivia arrived back to the hotel a few hours later after her shopping and even treating herself to a manicure and pedicure, dress in a bag and a delivery coming soon. She had to buy a dress from a costume shop, but it was great quality and it had been rather short notice. As she stepped off the elevator she saw a certain ghost standing outside her door. "James?" she asked, getting his attention. "What are you doing here?"

James beamed when he saw her. "Afternoon darling! I was wondering where you had gone." he looked down and eyed her bag. "Would that be for your upcoming show?"

"Oh, yeah. Had to rent this for a few days. I only just remembered the show today. Let me unlock this and you can come in." she grabbed her key and unlocked the door, James letting her enter first and he followed her in soon after, taking in the currently messy surroundings. "Forgive the mess. Alejandra brought a lot of my stuff over. I don't have room for it all sadly."

James brushed it off and sat at the sofa while she laid the bag across her bed carefully. "I know you're busy preparing, so I shall be quick. Are you busy on Valentine's Day? After your show that is."

"Hmm...Not really. Mainly eating candy and watching cheesy movies maybe. Why do you ask?"

"Well, I would be honored if you would join me for dinner." James asked, a hopeful look in his eyes accompanying his confident grin.

Olivia's eyes grew wide, clearly surprised by the sudden question; she had assumed he would be doing something with Elizabeth. But, even Olivia knew that she could barely stand being with James long. She gave the idea a thought. Oscar never really did such things with her. They were constantly busy and he was NOT the romantic type. Nor affectionate type. 'Thinking with his dick' you could say. Dinner with James sounded like the perfect end to the night. She gave him a nod, "Dinner sounds great, James. I'd love to join you." she ended with a warm smile.

James' shoulders relaxed ever so slightly, grin becoming a smile and he hopped to his feet, "Excellent! I'll leave you to get ready and begin the preparations." he took her hand in his delicately and pressed a soft kiss to her knuckle. "I eagerly await you show tonight, darling. I am certain you shall dazzle us all." he told her, leaving with a grin still on his face as he closed the door behind him. He walked back to his suite with an obvious pep to his step, enthused that he had something to look forward to, two things in fact.

After James left, Olivia unzipped the dress bag and pulled the elegant red dress out, gold beads and embellishments adorned the fabric. She smiled, knowing how she would look and that the crowd would love it. "Everyone loves period wear from time to time." she thought out loud as she made her way to her bathroom to take a quick shower, her phone blaring Ke$ha from her 'dress up' playlist.

James found Ms. Evers to begin preparing dinner, she first assumed that the Countess agreed for once to join her ex-husband for dinner. But, once her told her it was for 'his siren', she gave an internal sigh of relief, she could tolerate Olivia much more the Elizabeth. She stepped off the elevator and walked through the hotel lobby, quirking an eyebrow as she saw a man drop a box off at the reception desk; something about soil and ceramic plant pots being delivered. She didn't dwell on it for too long as she had to get dinner started.

As Olivia was drying her hair, wearing a dark green robe, she heard a knock at her door. After pausing her phone, she moved up to the door, she looked through the peep hole to see Iris was waiting with a deliveryman. She quickly opened the door, letting the two in. "Afternoon Iris. Hello, sir." she greeted to guests politely. She hadn't interacted much with the drab woman but, she always tried to be cordial with most people.

"Delivery for Olivia Masters." the man said, showing her the delivery manifest; ceramic pots, soil and some seeds.

"This looks like everything." she signed the document and gave the man a smile and a tip. "Thank you very much, have a wonderful day." the deliveryman tipped his hat to her and left, Iris helping her unpack the delivery.

"Pots and soil? What are you planning to do with this?" she asked, setting the three bags of soil to the side.

"I'm not ashamed to tell anyone anymore; I'm a witch. One of my...abilities I suppose is control over plant life. I'm gonna see just how much I can control; growing these into flowers and giving them to you and the others here. Little gifts as thanks for all the help you've given me." she began filling the pots with the amount of soil needed and pressed a seed into each of them. Pressing her fingers into the soil, Olivia concentrated, channeling her magic into the minuscule seed.

Iris watched in slight confusion as to what the young woman was doing, keeping her eyes on the dirt when Olivia moved her fingers away and in mere seconds, a small bud sprouted, while it was still growing slowly to the human eye, its growth was much faster than natural. "Holy shit. How'd you do that?"

"I just poured some of my magic into the seed." Olivia stated like it was such a simple thing. To be fair, it was easy, to a witch. "Pretty much, I just concentrated my energy into the seed to help it grow quicker. I mainly grew poisonous plants or herbs for the cartel. Things to kill any opposition or heal our people. I can grow some pretty strong weed too." she added with a chuckle. She noticed Iris was transfixed as the bud began to blossom and spoke up, "Would you like to have this one, Iris?" she offered, handing the pot to her.

Iris gazed at Olivia before taking the pot, "I'd like that. Thank you, Olivia." Iris watched they bloomed, daisies sprouting happily, each one a different color. "You know...I don't remember the last time I was given something, let alone on Valentines Day." Iris rested her hand on Olivia's and gave her a small smile. "Thanks. I'll set these by my window and take good care of em." Iris climbed to her feet and Olivia handed her the pot, "Good luck with your show tonight. You sold the whole house out again." with those parting words, Iris left.

Olivia stood up and restarted her playlist, 'Call Me" by Blondie playing in the background as she sat at on the floor, make up on the coffee table. "Maybe I should find my own place? This room is rather cramped..." she thought to herself as she began applying her makeup. "After this, do the other pots and then get dressed. Oh! I can't wait!" she squealed.

James was tapping his foot rather impatiently and lit his cigarette. He took a deep breath before checking his pocket watch. Liz came up to his table, now reserved for him whenever Olivia performed and set down a glass of Armangac. "There's only a few more minutes, James. And I think Olivia will have a surprise for you. She's given us all flowers. I got Forget Me Nots, Iris has some lovely daisies, she gave the Countess Baby's Breath. Even Ms. Evers has a pot of beautiful bluebells."

James figured she bought the flowers for everyone. Perhaps she had some for him? His thoughts stopped as he noticed the tables around him were now filled with couples, exchanging gifts and drinking. The renovations to the unused ballroom helped sell more tickets and the shows were sold out every night. The lights dimmed, spot lights aimed at the stage, decorated in vintage Valentines style. Red and gold, colors James wholeheartedly approved of.

The crowd fell to a hush when the deep red curtain unveiled the Siren of the Cortez. If James had been alive, his heart would have undoubtedly stopped. She looked as if she had been plucked right from the 20's; a rather form fitting red and gold flapper dress with red gloves that went to her biceps, gold beads around her neck and passed her chest, gold bangles around her left wrist. Her makeup was a smoldering ruby, mismatched eyes and lips standing out. Hair in luscious waves. "My Siren. My Olivia..." James uttered breathlessly.

Olivia smiled to the crowd as she grabbed the microphone, noticing James easily but also the Countess and Donovan at a back table. Others she had given flowers to were there as well and it made her feel so happy they all were attending. Even Ms. Evers able to sit and hopefully enjoy herself. "Good evening everyone. I want to take a moment to thank you all for coming on this beautiful day of love. Whether its with family, friends or the love of your life, please, enjoy yourselves."

James noticed Olivia take a few breaths to center herself as the show began. The current song did not catch his fancy, but her voice always captivated, as did her movements. Siren of the Cortez was a well deserved moniker for her. He would confess his desires to her over dinner. She ignited his being in ways he has not felt in decades. He ensured everything would be perfect for their meal and he was impatiently keen. But, for now, he quieted those thoughts to enjoy the show. As her third song winded down, she announced her this would be her final song for the night. Now this tune caught his ear. A soft jazz number, similar to her first show.

She had noticed James was not too into the previous songs and hoped this one would get some sort of reaction. The crowd was happy with everything so far. She swayed her hips softly to the gentle piano at the start. "Come and share, this painting with me. Unveiling of me, the magician that never failed." a band she loved singing for was Nightwish and this song; Slow, Love, Slow was perfect for this show and for The Cortez.

"This deep sigh, Coiled around my chest, Intoxicated by a major chord..." she curled the cord of the microphone around her fingers, eyes heavily lidded as she gazed over the crowd, I wonder do I love you? Or the though of you? Slow, love, slow. Only the weak, are not lonely." the band with her was always on point, the song picking up to now sounding as if it would be heard in a high end speakeasy club, "Southern blue, morning dew. Let down your guards, I love you's, Ice cream castles, Lips to ear rhymes, A slumber deeper than time...Slow, love, slow...Only the weak...Are not lonely."

James took a deep breath, falling for his Siren and her song with almost terrifying ease. The band picked up, Olivia now repeating the chorus with bold passion. "Slow, slow, love, slow Slow, slow, slow, slow." the melody slowly died to the ticking of a clock and Olivia disappeared behind the closing curtain after a rapturous applause from everyone in the audience.

James stood and went to Liz, pulling her to the side so no one would bother them, "I left a gift for our Siren. Please see it delivered to her room. I left a note for her."

"Of course, Mr. March. I hope you enjoy your dinner." Liz cast him a knowing smile before the ghost rushed off to double check all the preparations.

Olivia was now back in her room, touching up her makeup for her dinner, wearing red lipstain now. There was a knock at her door, another delivery it turned out. A vase filled with beautiful red roses, a card with it. She opened the card, elegant cursive scrawled onto the paper and she read it out loud, "My dear Siren, I eagerly await your arrival to dinner. I do hope the roses are to your liking, they barely match the beauty of your performance tonight. See you soon, James." she smiled at the pretty words. James knew how to woo a girl. That much was certain. Her smile grew as she looked to the black pot she got for James, his special surprise having finished growing during her show. Wrapping the plant carefully, she picked it up and walked out the room and made her way to James' suite.

James checked over everything, the music was playing, wine on ice and food already delivered. As he was beginning to light a cigar, a soft knock making him dash to the door, answering it after smoothing out his lapel, wearing a proper tuxedo. Beyond the door was his siren, still in her flapper dress and he had no complaints. "Good evening, Dearest." He was sure to present his most charming smile as he held the door open for her, eyeing the gold bag in her hands.

"Good evening James." she greeted, returning his smile. She felt her heart flutter as she saw his smile and just how dressed up he was for their dinner. "You're quite dapper tonight." she began, setting the bag on an end table. "Even more so than usual."

James pulled out her chair as she went to sit down, pushing it in once she sat and standing by her side, her perfume wafting to his nostrils. "Why thank you, darling. And you are positively radiant this evening. Your show was spectacular." he stated, uncovering their dishes, filet mignon and a side salad.

Her smile grew, "Thank you, James. Ms. Evers made this? It looks delicious as always." she set the napkin that was wrapping her silverware on her lap. "The flowers are beautiful, James. I actually made you something." she told him, gesturing to the bag.

James set the chilled bottle of wine on the dining table and moved to the table the bag was on, tugging of the black bow and uncovering a black vase with flowers that made his eyes widen. "Are these...golden roses?" he asked, looking to her to see a grin. "How did you find these, darling?" he picked up the vase and set it on the dining table, the roses now the center piece.

"I made them." he looked to her in amazement. "Witch remember? Plants are one thing I can control. Perhaps I could show off my abilities some time if you'd like."

"You made these? That is marvelous, darling! I would love to see you work your magic. But, now is our time." He grinned as he picked up the wine bottle an tore the wrapper off, popping the cork out with a loud laugh. "This is a bottle of Pinot Noir. Chosen specifically for this meal." he described the flavor of the wine as he poured them each a glass. He sat opposite her and they gave a toast, "Cheers, to my breathtaking Siren."

"And cheers to Mr. James Patrick March, for my life and new prosperity." they each took a drink after they raised their glasses, silverware clinking on the plates, chatting about her shows, and even each other's kills.

"Tell me, Olivia. Did the cartel ever take advantage of your magic? It must have been quite a boon." he queried, chewing on the scrumptious meat.

"Of course. It was one of the reasons Alejandra and Juan took me in. I was also friends with Oscar at the time. I used to grow poisons such as nightshade, healing herbs to help our foot soldiers. And my fire naturally had plenty of use." as she cut into her filet, she noticed James wide and curious gaze. "Yes. I can control fire as well. They called me 'La Bruja', The Witch. Not very creative but, whenever i came onto the scene, our enemies trembled." she explained. "All the men I've given heart attacks just by teleporting."

James could feel his excitement rising. "It is quite interesting. Creating life through your plants and then taking it away with fire. What a wondrous creature you are, Olivia." he took another sip of his Pinot Noir and cleared his throat as she finished her glass. He could feel a darkness in her, much alike his own. He stood and poured her another glass. "I must confess...I find myself inexplicably drawn to you, my Siren. Like a moth to the fire, you have inflamed my soul and planted yourself deep into my very core."

'How does one even respond to that?!' that thought raced through Olivia's mind as she paused, wine glass against her lips. "Mr. March. J-James. Wow." her mind was blank. "That has to be one of the most amazing confessions ever." she took a breath to gather her thoughts, knowing they would pale in comparison to his. But then...actions speak just as loud right? "I'm nowhere near as good a wordsmith as you but..." she stood, eyes gazing into his and softly biting her stained lip. "Here is my rebuttal."

Within milliseconds, Olivia claimed James' lips in a deep and passionate kiss. He groaned into the kiss, hands on her in seconds, left on her hip and the other gripping her hair. "Olivia, darling..." he paused, seeing the love and desire in her eyes.

This kiss and that look...not even the Countess had ever looked at him like that. He pulled her body flush against his own, her arms snaked around his torso, hands under his tuxedo jacket and fingers clenching around his dress shirt as he nipped down her neck, sweet and whimpering voice pure music to his ears. "James...please..." she began, husky voice sending shivers down his spine, the kiss and bite to his jaw giving him goosebumps. "I need your touch...your voice."

James cooed deeply, kissing her ear and blowing cool air against it, her body shivering visibly. "With such a beautiful creature begging for me, who am I to refuse?" he pulled her easily into his arms and moved to his room...

Chapter Text

Olivia found herself back in the same dream; much less sexual but the house and boy were the same. He led her through the house, large hand gently holding hers. She couldn’t completely make out furniture or decor of the house but, it was rather large and old; beautiful wood and stained glass in every window.

“Liv, I could show you the basement. There’s some cool things down there. Then maybe we can check your garden?” the conversation was normal. Welcoming considering her life until this unknown point in her life. Like all of her recent dreams, this one felt so real. It left her wondering why the hand holding hers was slightly chilled.

As they approached the basement door, Olivia felt…something. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She just knew it was dark, unnatural and very angry. It was enough for her dream self to pause. “Just what’s down there, ___?” one thing that constantly bugged Olivia was that she never once heard his name. It was always muffled. Like the house. She could make out some details like his curly dirty blond hair and intense dark brown eyes. Almost like James’ eyes she often mused to herself.

As her companion was about to open the door to the basement, Olivia felt a familiar force tackle her, the surroundings now the all too familiar penthouse and she saw the shaved head of her ex-lover, Oscar as she collided with the large window. Olivia felt her heart stop and breath catch.

‘Why this?’

‘Why now?’

All these thoughts bombarded her mind, body shaking as she even felt the wind as she fell.

‘Why does this feel so real?!’

She fell for what felt like forever to her. Soon unable to see Oscar, just darkness. An all developing darkness close around her. She could not tell if this darkness was protecting her or meaning her harm. It just felt all to similar to that night.

 

James was reading in his room, not far away from Olivia. The latter had moved into his room. Their night of passion a few weeks ago on Valentine’s Day blossoming to a relationship. He felt just a bit more complete with her there. She was no Countess but, he welcomed her companionship all the same.

He sipped his coffee as he flipped through the newspaper Ms. Evers brings him daily, a simple but pleasant morning ritual. He loved the feel of the paper against his fingers. He went to turn to the business section, setting the comics aside for his lady when his keen ears picked up new sounds.

Olivia’s breathing hitched and he heard her whimper, that he knew was one of terror, having been the cause of many such sounds himself. He kept reading, making sure to keep an ear out for her. Her breathing stopped, him no longer able to hear the soft and breathy hums.

He stopped focusing on his paper, curious and slightly concerned. She was always calm during her sleep he came to discover after she moved in. His thoughts had turned; if she died in the hotel, she’d be his forever. That would be an arrangement he’d be more than happy with. He jumped from his seat as he heard her scream shrilly as if she’d been attacked, his paper falling to the floor as he dashed to the bedroom just a few feet from where he had been.

By the time he was in the bedroom, Olivia had bolted up from sleep, eyes wide with fear, shoulders and chest heaving with her frantic breathing. Not fully aware of her surroundings, She pulled the pillow that was beside hers and hugged it tightly to her body, fingers having a death grip on the soft cushion.

To say James’ curiosity had been peaked would be an understatement. “Olivia, dearest?” he questioned, attempting to carefully attract her attention. He took a seat beside her, a cool hand now resting upon her shoulder. “Olivia. Talk to me, dearest.”

Her breathing began to calm, shoulders no longer shaking. “Thank…thank you, James.” Her eyes were red and she heaved a sigh as she leaned into the ghost. “Just a nightmare…” her voice was slightly rough from that whining and screaming she let out during her dream.

James rubbed her shoulder which he noticed was most certainly helping her come back from her terror. “Now, shall I have Ms. Evers prepare some breakfast for you? You can tell me all about what horror was menacing your dream.” She gave him a faint nod, feeling some security on his shoulder. “Good.” He started, standing from the bed and stroking her, tousled from her rest, “Dry your eyes, darling. Whatever happened in your dream, it is gone.” He reassured her, leaving her to take care of herself and to alert Ms. Evers to prepare something for breakfast.

Olivia swung her legs to now dangle over the edge of the bed, toes fidgeting in the carpet of the floor, fingers gripping the blanket, helping her realize that she was awake. But, she was also confused, what suddenly had her reliving that night? ‘More than likely nothing but fear,’ she rationalized as she walked into the bathroom, a shower would more than help her wash all this unpleasantness away.

James heard the shower running, having returned to his paper. Not too long after, there was a knock at the door of his suite. Ms. Evers came in with a cart and began setting the table. “Good morning, Mr. March. You said something happened with Ms. Masters?” she asked, patting her hands on her apron.

“Yes. It seems Olivia had a rather violent nightmare. I am going to see if she will tell me over breakfast. She’s bathing at the moment. I do thank you for such a prompt response, Ms. Evers.”

Ms. Evers smiled, truly happy to hear praise from James. “This is nothing. But thank you, Mr. March.” She went to leave but then recalled something. “Mr. March, I also meant to inform you that Mr. Lowe is in the Lounge.”

James’ face twisted in confusion. “I don’t recall when he’s been here so early. I welcome him regardless! Talks with John are always invigorating. Thank you. You may leave, Ms. Evers.” The loyal maid nodded and left shutting the door behind her.

James heard the water stop as his lady began to dry herself, soon coming out in her silken red robe, “You look much better, Olivia.” He told her as she sat at the table, eyes catching her bare legs, the robe stopping to her thighs. He took a deep breath to keep himself in the right frame of mind. “As you can see, breakfast is ready. Do you feel any better?” he asked her, joining her at the table.

“Yes.” She answered with a nod. “The shower helped a lot. My mind is more at ease now.” Olivia took the metal lid off her plate, a fluffy waffle with strawberries on top with a side of scrambled eggs and bacon greeting her which she answered with a smile. “I will thank Hazel the next time I see her.” She started cutting the waffle and poured syrup on it.

James cleared his throat. “Now, Olivia. Would you care to tell me what occurred in your dream? You gave quite a scream.”

After a few bites of her meal, Olivia decided she’d tell him. “All my dreams lately have been so vivid, maybe even lucid dreaming. But, I can’t control them, everything feels so real though. I’ve found myself in this house.” She took a drink of the orange juice Ms. Evers left her as she gathered her thoughts. “It’s old, like the Cortez. It’s not a ramshackle place, lots of history. Strong wood and beautiful stained glass. I can feel others there just like here. But, I’ve only seen one person; a boy maybe a bit younger than me. Dirty blond and curly hair and I swear you two have the same eyes.” Upon hearing the mention of another, James gripped his chair a bit harder.

This went unnoticed by Olivia as she continued to eat. “He’s been in my dreams fairly often. I’ve never met this boy nor have I seen this house.” James’ grip was now firm, knuckles growing paler. She was dreaming of another?! He decided to continue to hear her out. “In this dream, he was showing me around the house. He brought up going to the basement then checking on my garden. So, it’s as if I owned the place. But, I felt nothing good from the basement. Something similar to you but…so much anger. Whatever is down in that basement is not natural.”

“That’s all intriguing, dearest but, what made you scream?” he questioned, wanting talk of the mystery man to end. James could grow jealous very easily. And it was not easy to control.

“Right. Well, as I approached the door, a force crashed into me and I felt my body hit and crash through a window. I looked, everything slowed to a snail’s pace and saw Oscar. I wasn’t in that house anymore. It was our penthouse and I felt everything from that night; the wind as I fell, the air leaving my lungs and my heart stopping.” James remembered hearing the pitches in her breathing before the scream.

“I fell for so long. As I did, I felt and saw a blackness surround me, I saw nothing but that darkness. And I just screamed. I didn’t know how to feel about that darkness.” Olivia prodded some of the scrambled egg as she let everything settle. “Maybe it’s just fear from how I almost died that night?” she pondered out loud.

James had what she told him process and, jealousy aside, he was curious as well. “That could very well be. That sort of event would traumatize most anyone I believe.” He let her continue to eat, thoughts still on this man she described. He was not going to let Olivia slip through his fingers.

Shortly after eating, Olivia told James that she had to begin getting ready for her show later that night. He was still able to pay attention to John when they were having their discussion. He instructed Ms. Evers to prepare dinner to be ready after the show. “Now, John. Come with me. I wish to show you something.” The man followed James to the new lounge and shared his table with his friend.

“The Cortez expanded the bar? A burst in business, James?” John asked, downing his glass as Liz set it on the table.

“Yes. Quite right. We have a very nice draw now. As you will soon see.” James always looked forward to Olivia’s shows.

The curtain came up, Olivia in her green sequin dress and singing the song that first captured James’ affection. James noticed John enjoying the performance and felt a bit of pride. She managed to ensnare everyone when she sang.

He soon also noticed a man stumble up to the stage. That already annoyed him but, what made him jump to burning rage and jealousy was the man’s appearance; curly blond hair. He kept an eye on the man, eye twitching at him fooling around far too close to HIS siren.

“John, I am sorry, but, our conversation will have to continue tomorrow. I have dinner with my siren right after.”

John excused himself to the room James had set aside for him and walked up to the man. “Good evening.” He greeted, putting on a welcoming host personality. The man turned to face him, giving a curious once over due to his attire. “I see you enjoyed the Siren of the Cortez.”

The blond haired man nodded with a grin. “Oh yeah. She’s *hic* she’s really somethin’.” He seemed harmless enough, but James could not leave this alone. “My name’s Thomas.” He offered his hand to James, shaking the ghost’s hand enthusiastically. “I just turned 21 and heard so much about this place. Was curious.”

“Ahh! Welcome to adulthood, Thomas! I am James Patrick March, I own this hotel. If you’d like, you may join me in my suit. I have the finest libations to offer.” He just had to get this naive fool alone.

Thomas’ narrowed his eyes in confusion, “Libations? You mean more booze? I’m up for some more! Let’s go, James!” this was too easy.

James led Thomas to his suite, narrating the history of his marvelous creation. “And here we are. The master suite.” He allowed the birthday boy enter first, locking the door behind him. “Make yourself comfortable, my boy. I have something very special for you.”

Thomas meandered around the suite before taking a seat. “Oh…you’re about to have dinner. I don’t wanna interrupt if you have plans.” His words were slurred but he had manners. Too bad that wouldn’t save him.

“Oh there is time for a quick drink before you retire, Thomas.” He told the man, pouring a small glass of absinthe, this mixed with whatever else he imbibed would leave him totally at James’ mercy. “This is very special. Absinthe. Drink up, dear boy.”

The young man shrugged his shoulders and took the shot quickly. He heaved a sigh and shuddered from the taste. “Whoa…that’s strong.” He smiled, feeling dizzy and floating in numb bliss.

James noticed the boy’s glazed over eyes and grabbed his cane, pulling the handle to reveal the hidden knife and approached Thomas, the poor guy not even aware of what was about to happen. He felt cold breath by his ear and the voice of death. “She’s MY Siren!” The dagger slit his throat, blood spilling down his chest. His hands clumsily went to his throat, trying to slow the crimson life force and fell to the floor. “This is your punishment for eying my Olivia. You brought this upon yourself, Thomas.” his body shivered, the high from the kill coursing through his being.

Olivia unlocked the door to their shared suite; “Sorry if I’m late, James. Liz wanted to chat-” she was met with James drinking over the corpse of a young man, blood all over the carpet. “Really James?” her tone was seemingly pointed to the mess of blood that would no doubt cause Ms. Evers unnecessary trouble.

The thrill of the kill and his jealousy fueled his actions as he closed the space between Olivia and himself, his body upon hers in an instant, lips claiming hers passionately. One hand caressed her cheek before gripping her hair and the other on her her thigh, pulling on leg up to hook onto his hip, groans and moans melding together as he moved her to the bedroom, exclaiming as Olivia took charge and pushed him onto the bed, finding her place straddling his lap before nipping his neck and up to his ear, “Gotta know, what brought all this on?” she asked, nipping kisses trailing along his collarbone.

James grinned at her eagerness, one hand slapping her ass, earning a yelp and moan from his lover. “That fool dared to make eyes at you, dearest.” He spanked her again then groped her ass before taking control again and pinned her to the bed. He was thankful for the slit the dress had as his hand slipped under and he cooed with a grin. “Going bare, my dear?”

“Mmm…it’s easier to perform like this. Ooh!” her words were lost as he began biting her neck and his fingers began teasing her, soft and whimpering moans of praise reaching his ears. He quickly discovered that his love was just as playful in bed, willing to experiment and, most importantly, a masochist. And he made sure to exploit these as much as he could.

Their kisses quickly grew heated, she bit his lip and raked her nails up and down her back as his rough thrusts pushed her closer and closer to that high. His gruff grunts right at her ear made her shiver and the coos of delight fueled him. “Ja-James…!” he felt her begin to grip him tightly, eyes barely open and her legs wrapped around him as she met his thrusts. He wrapped his fingers around her throat, squeezing perfectly and his hips moved at an inhuman pace, her strangled moans driving him further.

Her eyes were watering as they both felt their orgasms nearing, his name barely left her mouth and James finally hit that sweet spot, she clenched tightly, a trapped cry as the coiling pleasure unleashed itself, quivering as James gave sloppy yet rough thrusts before he emptied himself deep inside her, collapsing beside her, both panting and feeling the afterglow. “Mmm Olivia, dearest.” James cooed with a lazy grin, letting her cuddle close, her body still sensitive. And combing his fingers through her hair. “You are truly divine.”

She rested her head against his shoulder, eyes tracing the wound on his throat from when he killed himself. “This is always mind blowing.” She stretched before cuddling him again. This was the only time he let her stay close. She looked towards the corpse of the unknown boy, killed solely for jealousy. She could already feel his ghost taking form and she had an idea. “James. I have an idea. Mind if I run some tests on his ghost?”

Chapter Text

Olivia was sitting at her usual place after a show; a seat at James’ dinner table. They were waiting for their meal as they chatted, a knock to the suite’s door breaking the conversation. “Ah! That must be Ms. Evers with our meal now.” James hopped up from his chair and went to the door, a gasp catching Olivia’s attention. “Dearest? To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Olivia stood and walked to the entryway; eyes narrowing as she saw the Countess who smiled at James. “Good evening James. May I come in?” James nodded then stepped aside for the blond woman to enter. Olivia recognized this already. She has been asking for more dinners with James lately. But, Olivia had no idea why. Last she checked, Elizabeth could barely stand the one meal a month with him. “I know this is last minute but, would you mind if I joined you for dinner? I have been enjoying them immensely lately.”

Both women could see James’ eyes light up. “But of course! Dinner should arrive shortly.” James then made a beeline back to Olivia, grabbing her arm forcefully and bringing her to the doorway. “Olivia, I’m afraid there is a change of plans, my dear.”

Olivia’s eyes glared and she yanked her arm from his grasp. “Excuse me?! This is the third time this month James!”

James’ eye went wide from Olivia’s outburst, “I’m sorry? I do not follow. Am I not allowed to enjoy a dinner with my wife?”

“Oh bullshit! Your marriage was voided when you slit your throat. I get it, she’s important to you. That’s why I don’t bat an eye at your monthly dinner with her. Or maybe scheduling one with her. But-” She crossed her arms, green and brown eyes glaring daggers at James. “When multiple of our dinners, our time as you know a couple are just thrown away with little thought, I get angry. As if I don’t even matter to you!” Olivia was fuming, Elizabeth taking in the situation as James was utterly shocked.

Olivia could feel that this would get her nowhere and brushed him off, storming out of the suite. “Enjoy your dinner, Mr. and Mrs. March.” She ended up back at her old room, happy she didn’t give the key back. It was the only place she had whenever James spent time with Elizabeth. To be clear, she wasn’t completely upset with the Countess, it was James. James could have turned her down but he never did. She unlocked the door to her room and saw her new friend, Thomas the young man James killed about a month ago. They were the same age so Olivia let him stay in her room.

After she saw his dirty blond curls, she understood why James killed him. Thomas perked at hearing the door open, peeking out from the bedroom. “Hey Olivia!” his smile faded as he saw the scowl on her face. “He threw you out again huh…?”

She flopped onto the sofa, the ghost sitting on the arm chair beside her. “Kind of. I stormed out before he could actually do it this time.” Thomas frowned, blue eyes sad at how she was being treated.

He spoke up as Olivia sighed deeply. “You’re too good a person for how he’s treating you…”

He didn’t expect the dark chuckle that came from Olivia as she stood and moved to the armoire so she could change from her dinner attire. “Oh Thomas, I am not a good person. The less you know, the better. Trust me.” She told him as she grabbed a black cotton bandeau and hot pink night shorts before locking herself in the bathroom for a shower.

After her shower, she sat on the floor, numerous magical items surrounding her as she had her eyes glued on a thick book. “Olivia? What are you reading?” Thomas asked curiously.

“You may remember I asked James if I could experiment on you?” she noticed the color drain from his tan face. “Relax, it shouldn’t hurt you. Too much.” She turned the page with a swift flick. “It’s a magic tome. I’m a witch.”

“Witches are real?!” his jaw dropped but then he thought his situation over. “Well…I’m a ghost now. Ghosts are real. Witches could be too. Can I ask what you are studying?”

“Well, I’ve always wondered if ghosts would be able to change their haunting space. You can leave and go wherever you wish on Halloween. Any other day and you’re pulled right back.” She explained, setting the book down and beginning to mix ingredients into a mortar with a pestle. “So, I’m theorizing that, with the correct concoction, that I can help ghosts move around. Maybe change where they’re stuck, like having you maybe staying back home. Or even passing on. Eternity on earth? Stuck in one place? That’s a hell in itself.” She explained, the ingredients now looking like purple paint. “I had your possessions brought here.” She rambled as she read further, a brush near the mortar. “Is there anything that you find important? Preferably small enough to carry?” she asked, eyes still on the book.

Thomas gave it some thought and went to the bag that she let him keep. “It’s not much but” he dug through it and came back with a simple silver watch. “My grandparents gave me this when I graduated. It has my name on the back. This and a check were a present as I’ve been doing really well in college.” He told her, handing the watch over to her. “So, if you what, enchant my watch, I could leave?” he asked as he took into account everything he was told.

“Well, I think the item has to be on my person? I don’t know. Not many have done this sort of magic. It’s considered taboo to practice on the dead; whether they be corpse or ghost. Did you know ghosts can bleed?” Thomas shook his head. “I’m gonna need some blood, sugar.”

Thomas paled. “My blood? How can a ghost even bleed?” Olivia only held her hand out, a small needle ready to take what she needed. With a shaky hand, he hesitantly set his hand in hers. She smiled and quickly pricked his thumb, the ghost giving out a yelp as a couple drops seeped into the magical mix.

Thomas put the digit to his lips as Olivia mixed his blood in. “Oh this already feels powerful. The blood makes this soul binding spell exclusively for you.” She took his watch and set it in the mortar. “O Blood of the restless wanderer, seek refuge in this totem a let it carry you to places new.” She chanted and the watch began to glow.

This chant and the glowing continued for a few minutes, the purple glow dimming until the watch was normal again. “I’m excited to test this but, I’ll have to sleep first. Think I might go house hunting. Have my own place for once.” She said, setting the watch onto the bedside table as she got under the covers.

Thomas left her alone as he gazed at the watch. He felt different. Looking at the trinket made him feel…fuzzy? He wasn’t too sure. There were knocks at the door that snapped both of them to attention. “Olivia, dearest!” Thomas could feel the irritation coming from Olivia as she tried ignoring the knocks. “Dearest? I know you’re here, answer the door!”

Olivia threw the blankets off and threw flung the door open, not letting it go so it wouldn’t bang into the wall. “What, James?” her tone was controlled so she wouldn’t wake anyone but it did not hide her anger towards the ancient ghost.

“Dinner ended. You’ll come back to our room to sleep won’t you?” James asked innocently.

Olivia’s eyebrow twitched as the gall of this man. “So…NOW it’s ‘our’ room.” She didn’t bother hiding her negative mood. “Yeah, nah. I’m good here. You don’t need sleep as a ghost and I figure you’re plenty used to having an empty bed every night.” Hand gripping the door, she gave a cold smile, “One more won’t kill ya. Will it?” her words emphasized ‘kill ya’ as she kept a phony friendly tone and, without hearing anything more from James, Olivia slammed the door shut and locked it then went back to bed.

Waking back up and breakfast had been uneventful. Olivia was thankful that James hadn’t approached her. “I saw him with that police officer. John’s his name.” Liz explained as Olivia was finishing her waffle with Thomas by her side, holding his watch as he was anticipating the experiment. While Olivia would look at houses, she would wear the watch to see how her spell worked.

“Odd for him to be friendly with a cop. Whatever.” She sighed with a shrug of her shoulders, downing the rest of her coffee. “Well, I’m gonna be house hunting. He’s coming with me.” She pointed to Thomas who smiled at the bartender.

Liz’s eye’s shifted between the two, “There’s a LOT of questions here, Liv. Why are you suddenly house hunting? And how can this rosy cheeked cherub just leave with you?” she asked, a hand to her hip, expecting some answers.

“As to the house hunt, I’m already tired of James just throwing me out for his dinners then expecting me to just come back with a smile on my face. And Thomas here is helping me with an experiment.” Thomas handed Olivia the watch and she slipped it onto her wrist, barely able to stay on. “Alright Thomas.” She began, getting his attention, “Once I walk out, you follow me. If this works, you should be able to pass the steps of the Cortez.” Olivia stood and grabbed her purse, heading out for the exit.

Thomas could feel like his being was stretching. That’s all he could use to describe this sensation. After Olivia walked through the grand doors, he stood and followed her steps. He took a deep breath and pushed the doors open, eyes squinting from the sun. Olivia watched him take hesitant steps down as she put on large sunglasses. He moved to where she stood, just outside the limits where ghosts could tread before being pulled back then took a step onto the sidewalk. He didn’t feel the tug of the hotel and smiled wide at her. “It worked!” he cheered and followed her to her car. “I can’t believe it worked! This is awesome, Olivia!”

The two put their seatbelts on and she pulled out, she was happy that her spell worked but felt like she was being pulled somewhere. “I’m not too sure where, we’re going but, I have a feeling I’ll see something amazing.” Thomas couldn’t care less as he rowed the window in the purple car down and took in more of the sights that he’s missed for a month.

Olivia followed her gut, being led to somewhere west of the Cortez. The feeling stopped as she came in front of a large Victorian style house. As he set eyes on the house, Thomas went pale and felt a lump in his throat. “You were pulled here of all places?”

Olivia turned off her car and stepped out, keys in her hand as she traced the house. “Yeah. I had this feeling in my stomach and followed it.” She moved closer to the locked gate, fingers curling around the warm metal. “I can feel so many spirits inside.”

Thomas drifted through the car, keeping himself invisible. “Not surprising.” He told her as her eyes caught the For Sale sign with a rack of brochures giving information on the house. “It’s pretty infamous here. It called Murder House; virtually everyone who’s lived here died here in gruesome ways.” He explained, his own eyes looking over the house. “Heard of of the ones killed was a school shooter.” He disclosed.

Olivia could see some spirits meandering at the edges of windows, a teenage girl being one. She couldn’t be more than maybe sixteen if Olivia had to guess. She grabbed a brochure and glanced over the number off rooms and such the house had to offer. She could feel the death and darkness in the house and felt welcome. As she was going to leave, she spared one last glance to the Murder House and her grip of the paper tightened, crinkling it as her eyes went wide, thankfully hidden by the sunglasses. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing, standing in full view was the same blond boy from her dreams.

Chapter Text

Olivia was now back to pacing in her room, still stunned over what, or more over, WHO she had just seen. Thomas’ eyes followed her with slight worry. “Are you okay, Olivia? You’ve been really quiet ever since we left Murder House.”

Hearing his query, Olivia came to a stand still and turned on her heel to face him. “Do you know why James killed you, Tommy?” she asked pointedly, palms together as she focused her thoughts.

“W-well…he got pissed because I was gawking at you while you performed. He brought me up to his room with the promise of more drinks and killed me after I drank some absinthe. Felt numb. Prick…” he muttered after answering her question.

Her shoulders went lax, “He really is.” She sat beside him on the sofa and began speaking once again, “Well, James is very possessive and as you saw, easily jealous. But, that day, I had a nightmare and opened up to James. I had been having these dreams about a house and a boy. The house was made of beautiful wood and spectacular stained glass windows.”

“A lot like Murder House…” Thomas put together but let her continue.

“Yeah. And the boy had these stunning and deep brown eyes. A gal could drown in them. He’s pale and has dirty blond curly hair. A lot like another ghost hmm?”

“He killed me cause I looked kind of like this guy?! I don’t even have brown eyes!” Thomas growled, rushing to his feet and reaching for the doorknob.

“What are you planning to do? Try and set him straight?” Olivia asked, a soft and warm hand resting on his to stop him. “He’s been killing for almost a century, Thomas. It’s an addiction to him. He even almost killed me last year.” She spoke calmly, trying to calm him down. “He can still hurt you even now. But, you’re safe in here. I enchanted it so no one can enter without my permission.”

Thomas gripped the knob in his frustration and he turned his gaze on her, “He tried killing you? And you’re still dating and even screwing him? Why?!” He couldn’t wrap his mind around any of this. His life was simple, normal by most people.

 

Olivia gave a huge sigh and pulled him from the door, leading him to sit beside her on the bed. “I’m not a good person. I’ve done terrible things, Tommy. I’m not ashamed of the things I’ve done as I would have died otherwise. Last year on Halloween, my ex threw me out the window of our penthouse. My body crashed into the pavement, my skull cracking, organs knocked loose and spine no doubt fractured along with many other bones. But, I somehow survived.” Thomas’ eyebrows creased in sadness and he squeezed her hand, not interrupting her however. “Something led me here. I was brought in by Sally. You see, every year James this bloody dinner party called Devil’s Night. He invites this country’s most infamous killers and their ghosts check in for the night. The ending of their feast is a human sacrifice; it’s how Sally is protected from a great evil born within this hotel; a Desire Demon. Last year I was meant to be that sacrifice. But, James was intrigued by my aura and let me live.”

“This…this is a lot to take in. I barely ever believed in ghosts when I was living. But, there’s this whole world of the supernatural that I never knew existed. A Desire Demon? What even is that?” Thomas just had so many questions from the story she just told him.

“A dark being born from the desires of humans. In this case, the drug addicts and all the one night stands that happened just created this thing. James seems to have control over it. I thankfully, haven’t seen it. But, Sally has described it and it sounds monstrous. So, please, don’t anger James to where he might send it on you.”

Thomas looked down, not understanding why she would be with a man who tried to kill her. “Just, be careful. Regardless if you’re a good person or not, you don’t deserve to be ignored or tossed aside.” He told her, still holding her hand.

Olivia smiled and opened her mouth to speak before a knock to her door made her shift her attention from the ghost beside her. With as sigh, she stood and drug herself to the door, having a good idea of who the knocker was. Opening the door, she put a fake smile on her face, “Oh good afternoon, James. Lovely day isn’t it?” she asked, voice overly sweet.

The man cocked an eyebrow and ignored her tone. “Afternoon darling. I was hoping you would join me for dinner tonight? I missed having you in my room las night.”

Olivia leaned against the door, an eyebrow cocked as she crossed her arms. But, then she thought of what she had done and smiled. “Why of course James, unless you plan to throw me aside for Elizabeth again.” She kept her fake smile on and pushed herself off the door, “I’ll join you tonight. I’ve got some news for you anyway. I’ll see you then.” She then shut the door without waiting for him to answer.

“You’re REALLY gonna have dinner with him again already?” Thomas sighed, a confused yet exasperated look to his friend.

“Oh relax, Tommy. I’ve gotta let him know about me moving out.” She grinned as she picked up the phone, planning to stick it to James.

James anxiously eyed the door to his suite, awaiting Olivia as Ms. Evers set the table. He knew she was still cross with him even though in his mind, he thought she was taking things too far. He only had one dinner with his beloved each month. What harm was there to him having a few more?

He visibly perked when there were very familiar knocks on the door, him snapping to his feet, he smoothed his hair, smiling as he envisioned his dolled up siren. He opened the door, his smile faltering slightly as he saw her in dark gray jeans and a lowcut red shirt with jeweled fringes from the hem and red pumps with black eyeshadow and red lipstick. Her hair was in its naturally curled and wavy state, going down to between her shoulders. “A tad under dressed, darling?” he shook his head and welcomed her in. “You look beautiful regardless.” He helped her to her seat and sat across from her. “I am delighted to see you at this table again, Olivia. You truly do belong here.”

“I do enjoy our times together, James. And Hazel’s cooking of course.” James could sense something cunning behind that smile and that glint in her eyes did not help the feeling he got.

He still returned her smile but noticed she had not touched her food “Are you not hungry, dearest?” he asked, furrowing his brows as she pushed the plate away from herself.

“Yes but, I have to tell you my news! You’ll love it, darling.” She took a small sip of wine that James poured for her. “I found a place of my very own! The house I’ve been dreaming about! Went for a drive and found this gorgeous Los Angeles Victorian. I actually scheduled the a house tour before coming here.”

James’ blood was boiling as he scowled at the redhead before him. “Absolutely not! I forbid it!” James screamed, slamming his hand on the table as if that would end the discussion.

Olivia gave him a knowing grin, not threatened by his anger, “You forbid it? Oh you would have loved its history. But, there’s nothing you can do to stop me from leaving. You wouldn’t be paying for anything. It is MY money that’s buying this house if I so choose it.” Her tone was strong as her eyes never left his.

James stood to his feet, face slightly red and forehead creased from anger, “You have no need to live elsewhere! You have this suite and me every night!”

Olivia’s grin shifted into a glare as she stood, grimacing now. “I have this suite yes. And a man who I am not enough for. A man who happily tosses me aside for a love that doesn’t want him! I understand you still love her James. But, she’s never getting back together with you! Accept it and move on! We could be happy together!” she shot back at him. “But, on those nights you choose me over her, I want a place to call my own. Something I’ve never had; a real home!”

James growled, working on keeping his voice calm now, “Your home is here, Olivia. I won’t hear any more of you moving. There’s no realistic reason for you to leave.” He sat back down and noticed she did not join him.

She scowled at him and moved to his side as there were a few knocks at the door. She gave a knowing yet cocky smile, “You don’t control me James. Don’t ever amuse the thought that you do.” She strolled confidently over to the door and James saw Iris, Liz Taylor and even Elizabeth all dressed up for what might be a slightly fancy to do.

“Olivia…? What about dinner?” he asked, confused, but some part of him knowing what was happening.

“Oh, I didn’t tell you, I made plans with these lovely ladies. A new Chinese place opened and we’ve been dying for a Ladies’ Night.” Olivia was eating up the sadness that was now on his face. “Plans change. I’m sure you understand. Don’t wait up for me darling~!” with that, she left with the others to have a much friendlier dinner.

The group returned a few fours later, each full and in good cheer, Olivia hugging each of them after they pressed the buttons to the floors their rooms were on, “Oh I love you ladies. I haven’t had such a nice time ever really.” She hugged Liz tight as her and Iris got off, leaving her alone with the Countess. “Thanks for going along with this Elizabeth.”

“Think nothing of it, that look on his face was worth everything.” She smiled to her friend, “And dinner was delicious. I will have to go again sometime. Perhaps with Donovan. If you do get lonely, there is that cute little ghoul that’s taken sanctuary in your room.” Elizabeth told her with a wink.

Olivia gaped at her friend, a soft laugh soon heard, “I don’t think so. He’s cute and sweet. But, I don’t know if it would fully work. I’m too dark I suppose.”

“You can easily corrupt him. Could even be fun.” She suggested, raising her eyebrows while still grinning.

“He doesn’t deserve that. He didn’t deserve his death.” She explained, exiting the elevator and going to her bedroom sparing a good night to Thomas after a quick shower and going to bed, excited for the house tour tomorrow. ‘James thinks he can control me. No one will ever control me.’

 

Around noon the next day, Olivia met with the realtor Marcy. “Good afternoon, Ms. Masters. I’m your realtor!” Marcy couldn’t help the look that appeared on her face as she shook the young lady’s hand. “Are you the sole buyer? No boyfriend? Parents?”

“Nope. Just me!” she smiled as Marcy led her inside. “These windows are gorgeous!”

“They are aren’t they? Tiffany glass. Everything you see was restored by a gay couple years ago. Those boys went to great pains making this house be reborn. But, it was worth it as you can see.”

As Marcy showed her around the house, Olivia could see all the spirits that had perished in this house. The blond boy followed quietly behind them. She paid them no real mind as she was used to ghosts by this point. Marcy spoke again as the two returned to the kitchen. “Now, I do need to share some history with you. Full disclosure and all that. The only incident that happened in the last three years was a Hispanic family fled the first night claiming to have seen ghosts that threatened them.”

‘Yeah, no shit. There’s a couple eavesdropping on us now.’ Olivia thought to herself, still seeing the blond boy and an older redheaded maid. “I do appreciate your honesty. But, I’ve done a fair bit of research on this place myself. The original owners were rich of course. Every family almost that’s lived here has died. Only an idiot would not do some level of research before buying such a thing.”

Marcy’s eyes widened slightly “Well, I am happy someone did their research. So, what do you think of this place? Even with such a history.” she asked, arms resting on the counter.

“I am just in love. I can feel and see the history of this place. It’s beautiful.” Olivia answered with a smile. “Love this kitchen. Can finally cook. I live out of a hotel right now. So I can’t really cook much. Having my own kitchen is wonderful.”

Marcy scrunched her nose at hearing hotel. “You work in the hotel I assume?” Marcy immediately assuming she was a prostitute.

“Yes. As the lounge singer.” Olivia answered, a deadpan look on her face, knowing what Marcy was suggesting. “It pays very well. And so long as the check clears, that’s all that matters right?”

“Oh, I wasn’t insinuating anything, ma’am.” Marcy tried covering her ass, receiving an unconvinced ‘mmhmm’ from her potential client. “I am just a little stunned. You’re the youngest potential buyer I’ve had. I need to be sure you’re serious is all.”

“Believe me, Marcy. I would not be here if I wasn’t completely serious. I want my own place to call home and I felt a pull to this property.” The two walked out to the main room. “I’ll call you very soon with an offer, Marcy.” As they left, Olivia saw the dream boy at the top of the stairs. She smiled and winked at him, barely seeing his shocked expression before turning to leave.

The ghosts were chatting about the house tour, Tate outside the room, knowing he wasn’t fully welcome. He understood why though. “I’m not sure what to make of that girl.” Vivien stated, holding a swaddled Jeffrey close to her. “She barely seems old enough to buy property and her first pick is a place like this? It’s just odd.”

Chad couldn’t help but chuckle, “I did enjoy her not taking any of Marcy’s bullshit. She’s young, but the gal’s got moxy. This house could use some fresh blood.”

Tate was shook to his core. He had to tell them. He stepped into the room, already getting a few dirty looks. “And what the hell are you doing here, Casper?” Patrick asked with a stiff jaw.

“I don’t think that girl’s normal.”

“Well, no shit Tate.” Violet rolled her eyes, “No random person that is probably 21 years old could buy a house this big.” She added, not paying him much attention.

“Not that. She saw me. She may have seen all of us.” Tate told them, heads finally turning to face him.

“What do you mean she saw you, Tate?” Ben inquired, eyebrows knitted and eyes narrowed curiously.

“I had a feeling she kept noticing me as I followed her and Marcy on the house tour. But, she could’ve just been taking the house in.” He licked his lips before continuing. “But, when they left, that girl left last, she turned, smiled and winked right at me. There was no one else near me. She’s not just some normal person.” The ghosts all sat in thought, curious as to who exactly this new potential homeowner was.

Chapter Text

It’s been about a month since Olivia had her fight with James and she has been ignoring him ever since, focusing on buying things for her new house. The money went through of course. She already found the dinner ware she liked; Autumn was her favorite season as were the colors that represented it. So there were many reds, browns oranges and purples for her decorating. She wasn’t going to redesign the house, oh no. It was a gorgeous work of art with true history in each floorboard. A bloody history that made her feel truly at home. She would be able to handle all the spirits she was sure. There was, however, a female spirit she already didn’t like. A Hayden, she picked up her name.

But, Olivia cleared the thoughts of her new home from her head as she prepared herself for the new show. This one was to be different, reflecting how she felt in her current relationship. She applied dark green lipstick as a knock to her dressing room. “It’s open.” She called out and saw The Countess reflected in her mirror. “Elizabeth? What brings you here?” she wondered, turning to face her friend.

The Countess closed the door behind her, a beautiful and stylish silver dress covering her body. “Good Evening, Olivia. I wanted to catch you before your show. There is something I must confess to you.” Olivia motioned for her to sit after she applied the black mascara and stood to grab her dress; a rather simple dark green glittery dress that hung off her shoulders that ended at her thighs. Elizabeth spoke as her friend put on matching heels that could easily kill a person. “You see, I truly value you as a friend and I believe all my friends deserve the best. I do not think James is the one for you.”

Olivia scoffed as she sat down and sprayed perfume on her neck and wrists and painting her nails dark green. “You don’t say? He keeps choosing another over the one he claims to love. You’re a great woman but, it’s honestly insulting after how much he thirsted after me during my shows.” She began to blow on her nails so they could dry. “Do you have a point, Elizabeth?” she asked, controlling her rising irritation towards this particular topic.

The Countess took a breath. “I wanted to test James. To verify that he would love you fully. So, the only way I could test him was to have those extra dinners and-”

“You what?” Olivia cut in, eyes glaring at her reflection. “You were doing this to test him?! You couldn’t tell me?!” to say that she was furious would be an understatement, the Countess could taste the stinging flavor of betrayal stirring with anger and even resentment. Perhaps towards both her and James.

“Olivia. Understand that while I do enjoy seeing James suffer, I only wanted to ensure he was serious with you.” She could see tears pricking Olivia’s eyes and frowned slightly, “If the one you love cannot put you first, they are unworthy of your love.” She explained, Olivia knowing that her friend was not wrong. But, that did little to quell the horrible feelings that now churned in her chest.

“Elizabeth. Get out.” She growled, controlling her emotions so they would not affect her show. “I have a job to do. Just-just go.” Elizabeth did not fight her friend, fully understanding her anger. The vampire simply nodded and left, meeting Donovan outside.

“How’d Olivia take it? It was quieter than I was expecting.” He asked, letting her take his arm.

“She is a mix of negative emotions. Keeping them hidden for now so her work will not be affected. I did what I thought was best. I still think James does not deserve her. I just hope we can still be friends after this. I plan to ask James for one more dinner. If he says yes, I’ll stop.” She explained as they made their way to the Blue Parrot Lounge and took their place at their reserved table.

Donovan noticed James sitting at his usual table with a drink by his side and eyes on his pocket watch. “You’re right. He can’t let go and it’s gonna bite him on the ass. Hard, if Olivia’s personality and powers are any judge.” He commented, ordering a drink. “Go make your move. I’ll be here.”

The Countess stood and ghosted up to her ex-husband’s table and took a seat beside him, “Good evening, James.” She greeted, a smile on her painted lips.

James’ eyes widened as he set eyes on his beloved, taking her hand to kiss her knuckles and grinning wide at her, “Why good evening, dearest! I am jubilant as always to behold you beauty.” As always, his words were laced with beautiful words.

She withdrew her hand as Liz Taylor delivered her drink, the blond nodding in appreciation to her fondest creation. “I noticed you were alone James. Is Olivia still ignoring you?” she asked before taking a sip of the colorful drink.

“Sadly yes.” James began with a sigh. “I believe this crusade of hers, taking lodging in her old suite and talking absolute nonsense about moving out of the Cortez is being overly dramatic.” He took a swig before continuing, “We only see each other for that one dinner every month. There’s no harm in you joining me for a few should you request it.”

Elizabeth couldn’t help but feel some pity for Olivia, he couldn’t even acknowledge her emotions at all. But, with a man with an ego and pride such as James March, it is unsurprising. “On the matter of dinner, Jimmy. I was thinking we could enjoy each other’s company tonight?” she posed, keen eyes locked onto the ghost.

His dark brown eyes dilated slightly, most would not notice she also saw him straighten in his chair, as if trying to keep himself composed. “I would be happy to have you at my table every night if possible, darling. You know this. But, I have a very special surprise in store for Olivia and myself. Hopefully to get back into her good graces.” He explained as he turned his gaze to the velvet curtain that hid the majority of the stage.

Elizabeth hid a smile as she dismissed herself back to Donovan. “So? What his answer?” he asked, now on his second drink.

“He declined. But, I have an odd feeling. I’ll talk to her after the show hopefully.” She gripped his hand, hoping this was just a feeling. But, surprises with James rarely turn out well for the recipient.

The curtain rose and Olivia was already standing center stage, make up left running from her emotions getting the better of her. Many of the guests were confused as to her appearance, Olivia had always kept an air of professionalism during her shows. “I do apologize about the makeup, but, I believe the look does suit tonight’s performance! Drink up and enjoy.” She told the crowd and cleared her throat

Her songs were noticeably more somber. The theme seeming to be about bitterness near the end of an unfulfilling relationship, even feeling as if the emotions were one sided.

Elizabeth noticed Ms. Evers approach James during a song and whisper into his ear. She quietly alerted Donovan and he squinted slightly at the sight. She NEVER came to him in such a way. It was always private or in the shadows.

Shortly after the maid left, Olivia announced her final song of the night, “This is dedicated to a special person.
You should know who you are.” Her eyes glanced over at the dapper ghost barely ten feet from the stage.

The music began as the lights dimmed slightly, “ Sometimes I feel I got to, run away, I got to get away from the pain you drive into the heart of me. The love we share seems to go nowhere, and I’ve lost my light, for I toss and turn, I can’t sleep at night.” Her eyes drifted towards James again, gazes locked as she hoped he would connect the dots.

“Once I ran to you, now I’ll run from you. This tainted love you’ve given, I give you all a girl could give you-” James felt that his heart would have stopped if his still beat as he listened to the lyrics. She truly meant to leave him. To abandon everything they had shared over the past few months. As the show ended and James hurried to her dressing room to catch Olivia as soon as he could.

The sound of knuckles wrapping on her door made her jump in her chair. She stood and looked through the peephole and groaned at the mustachioed man behind the small circular glass. Bracing herself, she opened the door, shoulders slumping and eyes heavy. “What is it, James? I’m tired and hungry. Please make it fast.”

James offered his hand to his lady, “Your show was another success. No surprise with my songbird.” She reluctantly gave him her hand, just wanting to rest before going shopping for more furniture tomorrow. He feathered several kisses across the top of her palm. “Please, give me another chance. I declined dinner with the Countess. I want you, Olivia. So, please join me for dinner tonight.” He asked, deep and dark eyes pleading with her to be with him.

A breathy sigh passed through her lips as she rolled her eyes, “You finally turned her down?” he gave her a soft nod, his other hand now resting on top of hers. “I suppose I could join you.”

James let out a sigh of relief, his shoulders lax now as he gripped her hand, “Thank you dearest. Dinner is ready, please come with me.” He took her with him, not caring about her, in his eyes, disheveled appearance.

Elizabeth knocked on the door of Olivia’s dressing room, letting herself in after she received no response. There were two possibilities; Olivia went back to her room already and was turning in for the night or, she was with James. “I’ll stop by her room later to check up on her.” She resigned herself to her room for a few hours.

Meanwhile, in James’ suite, he was enjoying his first meal with Olivia in well over a week. “Oh, Olivia dearest, I have missed our evenings together. Hopefully we may now continue to spend time together again. These past few months…they have meant the world to me, Olivia.” He told her, toasting his glass to her, “Truly a deliverance in the emptiness of eternity.”

Olivia didn’t really care for his pretty words in this moment. The rather emotional performance left her feeling more drained than usual. “I can see you are rather worn out from the show tonight. You may stay here and get your rest. We can talk more tomorrow.” He put his hand into his pocket, a special ring in it’s depths.

“I’m not staying tonight, James.” The smile that had been on his face was now a slight frown. “Whatever it is between us isn’t just miraculously fixed. All you had to do was ASK me; ‘Olivia, Elizabeth wishes to join me for dinner. Is that quite alright as we do not see each other often?’ I would have said yes. I just want to be treated with respect as an equal James! Besides, I have plans tomorrow.” She told him, downing her glass of wine, back to being a mix of frustration and indifferent.

“Plans? I see. May I ask what exactly, darling?” his fingers grasped the ring as he watched her guzzle the wine down. He wanted to give her something for a while now but couldn’t find the perfect piece.

“Furniture shopping. I’ve closed the deal on the house and need my own furniture.” She looked up and saw the shock in his eyes. “You think I’m just gonna stop now? I want my own place James. You’re gonna have to accept that.” She explained, officially fed up with this man.

James took a deep breath and calmed himself as he stood, “Fine, dearest. So long as you promise to not abandon me.” The change in James’ opinion of her moving caught her off guard and made her feel tense as he moved closer. “I want to give you something. I know it is not near our anniversary just yet, but a little trinket just for my darling.” He pulled out the ring and knelt onto one knee. This was not an engagement ring. It was much too soon for such things. It was rose gold with a beautiful diamond inset.

“You…you got me a ring?” she gasped softly taking it from him. “Its beautiful, James. I’ll try it on later.” Her mouth drew into a tight line as she clutched her stomach. “I’m sorry but I have to cut this short. I’m not feeling good and I’m very tired.”

She stood and made her way to the door, James dashing after her. “If you’re truly exhausted, please stay here, dearest. I could keep an eye on you.” Olivia shook her head and left the room, a pain soon mounting in her gut.

Thomas was reading one of Olivia’s spellbooks, able to grasp a few things and put it down when he heard the door unlock, smiling at first when he saw the redhead but soon frowned when he saw the pained and weathered expression on her face, usually tanned skin a sickening pale. “Olivia!” he rushed to her side and pulled her into his arms, “What’s wrong?” he pleaded, eyebrows knitting together in immense concern.

“Stomach…! B-burning…!”she whined loudly, “Toilet, now!” she demanded as her free hand damn near clawed at her stomach. Thomas nodded and moved quickly as he could and set her carefully onto the cool tile floor of her bathroom.

Her smaller body lunged forward after he gave her a ponytail holder, violently throwing up into the toilet, tears in her eyes as she quickly put her hair into a ponytail so she would not vomit in it.

He could feel himself break sadly at seeing how she was now. He went to rub her back and screamed as he saw blood mix with the bile. “Fucking hell!” he fell back and ran for the phone, he yelled when it was answered. “Liz? Is this you? Oh god…” he took a quick second to try collecting himself, “It’s Olivia! She-she came back from her dinner and immediately started throwing up! No she’s not drunk! There’s blood, Liz! Please help! Call 911 or something!” he hung up the phone and in no time, Liz Taylor was at the door and he let her in.

“Alright, I’ve called the Countess, we’re to meet her in the lobby, help me move her. The paramedics will be waiting there.” Thomas grabbed the watch that Olivia bewitched and slipped it onto her wrist as he brought her out, Liz frowned and put out her cigarette as she saw her friend. “Oh, Olivia honey…c’mon. Tommy and I have you.” They slung an arm across their shoulders and easily took her through the floor, to the elevator and finally the lobby.

Elizabeth ran to the three as the elevator door opened, “Oliva! Oh my god!” there was a pile of bloody bile at Olivia’s feet and down her dress. Elizabeth lifted her feet as they set her on once of the couches while they waited for the paramedics. “Olivia, talk to us! What happened?!” she demanded as Liz brought up a trash can for her.

“H-had dinner…didn’t eat. Only had-bleargh!” she heaved painfully, more into the bin. Tears finally slid down her cheeks “Feels like my insides are being blended and burned…” she cried and panted, Elizabeth holding her ponytail, Liz Taylor rubbing her back and Thomas holding her hand. “I-I only had one glass of wine.” She rested her head against Liz’s more broad shoulder, “It hurts. Burning and stinging.”

Paramedics arrived and only the women could join her, “Donovan, you can follow if you want. But I’ll call you later.” Donovan nodded, casting a worried look to the young woman on the gurney, Thomas beside him looking positively distraught. He pat the ghost on the back as the ambulance left. Thomas tried joining her but the connection between Olivia and the watch felt like a blurry and burning sensation. He sadly figured, she was too sick to allow the journey of his spectral form and joined Donovan for a drink at the lounge. He laughed inside at his thought, a ghost, praying to God to save a criminal witch. But, it was all her could do for her at this point.

Chapter Text

The Countess and Liz Taylor were sitting beside a hospital bed, Liz holding Olivia’s hand. Olivia was barely conscious, the only indicator that she was still alive was the heart monitor giving its ‘beeps’ for her heartbeats. A woman doctor came in, blond hair in a messy bun and eyes looking heavy from a long shift. She looked over the clipboard on Olivia’s bed and introduced herself, “Good evening, I am Dr. Alex Lowe. I’ll be taking care of you, Ms. Masters.” Alex began looking over her vitals, “You both said she was vomiting excessively? And that there was blood in her bile?” she asked the two women beside her patient.

They nodded. “Yes, ma’am. She had wine with a friend and went back to her hotel room and just starting throwing up.” Liz explained, frowning heavily while squeezing Olivia’s hand as the young woman hurled into the bin that was given to her.

The Countess stayed quiet, stewing in her thoughts. She KNEW this was James’ doing. If not directly him, it had to have been a machination of his. No way she would suddenly start throwing up blood.

Alex wrote down everything Liz told her and drew some blood. “Judging from what you’ve told me, it’s likely that your friend has been poisoned. I’ll send this down to be tested so we can see exactly what is in her system. A nurse will be here in a few minutes to administer a shot to help her system start fighting back.” Alex excused herself to get the blood sample to be tested and sure enough a nurse showed up and gave the injection into Olivia’s IV tube.

After her vomiting spell died down, Olivia started crying. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” She sobbed, emotionally and mentally tired of everything at this point.

Elizabeth broke herself from her thoughts as she heard her friend’s apologies. “What are you apologizing for, Olivia? You’ve done nothing wrong.” She moved close to Olivia.

“I shouldn’t have gotten mad at you. You were only looking out for me.” Tears sliding down her cheeks and dripping from her chin to the barf bin in her lap.

Elizabeth cupped her friend’s chin and gently wiped her tears away, shushing her calmly. “You do not need to apologize, dear. Your rage was more than justifiable. But, I’m afraid I have unpleasant news.” The other women turning their attention to the Countess. “I am certain that James is the cause of this.”

“Really, Elizabeth? What makes you believe that? Though, I can’t blame you. She was with him last so he WOULD be the prime suspect.” Liz Taylor stated, not finding The Countess’ suspicion too far-fetched.

“Before Olivia’s show, I requested another dinner with James. He finally turned me down saying he had something ‘special’ planned for him and Olivia. That alone gave me a sickening feeling in my stomach and I was hoping to catch you after your show. But, another oddity occurred during the show; Ms. Evers came to his side, the two exchanging whispers before the maid slinked back off. Donovan even saw them” she explained as she took her seat again next to Liz.

“That is odd. Hazel usually knows to not interrupt him unless it’s important.” Liz thought out loud, crossing her arms, not liking the fact that such a dear friend was almost killed. “That son of a bitch. Why? What would make him suddenly try hurting you?” Liz did her best to keep her voice down.

Olivia spoke up, voice raw and cracking from the acid from the bile, “Because I’m moving. He said he didn’t want me to abandon him during dinner and he didn’t fight me when I told him I closed the deal on the house. He even smiled about it. I’m guessing he planned this…” she theorized. It just all fit too well for it to NOT be James.

Elizabeth was now livid. He planned to keep Olivia caged in the hotel. “That son of a bitch!” she shouted with a stamp of her foot. She took deep breaths and calmed herself. “I have an idea. We’re going to act as if Olivia died. Let that fucker go mad waiting for her nonexistent ghost to show up. Then, when you’re ready Olivia, you can take my place during a dinner and fry him.” She explained, “Also, do not worry about your job. You’ll be given paid leave.”

“That sounds pretty petty. I approve.” The redhead interjected before throwing up again. “Perfect chance for my extra ass to take some revenge. And thanks a lot, Elizabeth.”

Liz offered her a cup of cool water which she happily took. “I would kill for some crackers. Blegh. Anything to get this disgusting taste from my mouth.” She poked her tongue out dramatically after emptying the cup. “Maybe because this is another brush with death but can I open up to you two? I haven’t had many friends at all and I like to think we’re good.” Her tone was uncertain, one the women haven’t really heard from her before.

“Of course dear. You can tell us anything.” Liz Taylor told her, holding her hand again. “I just…suddenly recalled how I ended up being taken in by the Mendezes.” Her heterochromic eyes felt heavy, irises filled with sadness. “I’m not sure how much you know about witches but, our powers can show in our mid teenage years. My fire and plant powers revealed themselves just before my fifteenth birthday.” Olivia gave a slight laugh, “The plants in my, I use these parental terms VERY loosely, mother’s garden were growing faster than normal. But, it wasn’t until I accidentally set the kitchen on fire.”

Olivia sighed, shoulders slumping and she squeezed Liz’s hand before continuing, “My parents were so pissed. ‘A witch?!’ ‘There’s no way a filthy witch is living under this roof!’ they threw me out instantly. It was late October 2008, Nevada days are still hot and the nights frigid.”

Liz’s eyebrows knitted together in worry, “You were homeless? They just disowned you like that?” The Countess had a frown on her face. There was no reason to throw out one’s child. She could never do that to any of her children. They needed her. To say that Elizabeth already hated these people would be an understatement.

“Yes. I managed to stay in a few shelters and get food from soup kitchens. School was rough as I didn’t really have any clothes. Almost a month later, my friend Oscar Mendez finally demanded to know what was going on. I admit, I didn’t look my best then. Showering once every few days, barely sleeping. I explained that I was kicked out and he called his parents; Alejandra and Juan. They picked us both up after school and brought me to their penthouse in their casino where they also ran the cartel. I fully explained, knowing I didn’t have much else to lose. Alejandra was livid and insisted that I live with them as I was friends with Oscar for years and neither her nor her husband would take no for an answer.”

“That would explain why she is angry at what Oscar did to you last year. You’re like a daughter to her.” Liz Taylor said, hands on her knee as they let Olivia continue at her own pace.

“Yeah. They gave me a room in the casino and bought me brand new everything. Even threw me a late birthday party. Alejandra even offered to fly me down to the coven down in New Orleans but, I just didn’t get a good feeling from it. Good thing I said no. There was a mass of witch deaths in 2013; the voodoo coven and the witch coven never could get along and everything boiled over on top of looking for the new Supreme. I might have been one of the girls thrown away to find the next leader.” Olivia took another drink of water, happy that her stomach was mainly settled. The vomiting stopped at least, but her insides still felt like they were being shredded and burned.

“I was taught to defend myself properly and Oscar and I began dating. At age 16 I was employed as a lounge singer. I didn’t sing every night.” She wanted to tell them the things she did in the cartel. She was certain that they would not judge her, but, a part of her withheld. “I did work with the cartel as well, of course. Oscar once had the nerve to suggest I prostitute myself off to make extra money for the family.”

“Oh my god, no he didn’t!” Liz Taylor exclaimed, mouth ajar.

“What did you do?” The Countess asked curiously.

“Bit the fucker’s left pinky off. He’s left handed.” The two women exchanged looks of shock but smiled that she didn’t let someone force her to do such a thing. “The best part? His parents were mad at him! They weren’t really involved with prostitution and made more than enough with the casino and the drugs. So it was entirely unneeded.” Olivia chuckled with a grin. It served him right in her mind.

Their conversation was interrupted by the intercom cutting in, “It is now nine o’clock, visiting hours are over. All visitors please leave promptly so the patients may get their rest.”

Liz stood with a sigh, Elizabeth following her, “Sadly our time is cut short. Don’t worry honey, I’ll visit you tomorrow. Promise.”

“I will visit as soon as I can as well. I plan to test James as soon as possible. There’s not much we can do sadly. But, we can make him suffer in our own ways.” She told Olivia before they both left.

On their way out the women spotted the doctor that was watching over Olivia and Liz flagged her down. “Dr. Lowe, I want to thank you for looking after our girl. She’s stopped vomiting so, whatever you gave her has already helped a lot.” Liz explained, shaking the doctor’s hand.

“You’re welcome but, what we gave her wasn’t an antidote. They’re still trying to identify what poison is in her system.” The doctor had a perplexed look on her face as she was brainstorming ideas of what could be causing the patient to already recover. “No matter, she’s getting better and that’s great. We’ll keep a close eye on her and let you know of any changes.”

As the small meeting went down in the lobby, Olivia was now asleep, completely unaware of the massive black and billowy mass that covered her like a blanket. “No one will take you away from me…” A voice of seductive velvet cooed against the shell of her ear.

Chapter Text

Elizabeth had just knocked on the door that led to James’ suite, clad in a floor length and form fitting black dress, hair and makeup fully done up even though she did not intend to be here for long. She took this surprise dinner for Olivia’s sake. She was certain the man was to blame for her friend’s hospitalization, but she needed to see something for herself. And to sow the seeds of Olivia’s impending vengeance. The thought of James getting some sort of comeuppance brought a genuine smile to her red lips.

James answered the door, looking the same as the day he died and he offered her his hand, “Good evening, dearest. I was rather surprised at your sudden invitation. But, I could never turn down such a divine creature.” He greeted, always with the pretty words. The Countess ignored the gesture and walked past him and into the dining area of the suite.

“I must apologize James, I hope I did not set back any plans you had with Olivia?” she questioned as he got her seat for her, taking her place at his table as James poured them both wine.

“We had nothing planned tonight, my dear. I have not seen dear Olivia since she left our meal last night.” He handed her the glass of wine and sighed as he sat across from her. “She mentioned feeling exhausted from her performance and I believe everything with her impending move.” He explained as he took a sip of the red alcohol. “Have you seen her at all since last night? I do hope she’s alright.” He asked as Miss Evers uncovered their meal.

Elizabeth paid no real mind to the meal as she drank some more, deciding to start commence with the game. “I do have some terrible news James. About Olivia.” She began, taking a moment to choose her words carefully. James had to believe that Olivia died while on Cortez property. “Last night, while checking the rooms for turndown service, one of the maids discovered a grisly scene.” Drawing back on her days as an actress, her breath grew slightly shaky. She knew not to overact, James would high likely see through that. She let her eyes water ever so slightly. “Olivia appeared to be unconscious, her body limp in a puddle of her own bloody bile.” She spared a glance towards James, his expression was confused and slightly upset, but his eyes did not show the same emotions.

“What are you saying, dearest? Has Olivia fallen ill?” he asked in a worried tone.

“She was taken away in an emergency vehicle. And it was pronounced that Olivia had died not even an hour before she had been discovered.” She gazed up at him with sadness in her eyes. “Olivia is dead, James.” She told him bluntly, dabbing her eyes gently.

“Olivia…my Olivia. She is truly gone?” He asked, his voice soft. “How did she die? She must have felt so lonely. I asked her to stay, you know. Perhaps she would have had a more…relaxed fall into death’s arms.”

 

Elizabeth could taste the lies. He asked her to stay? Then it was a good thing that Olivia turned him down, she may have died for real if she hadn’t. “They are unsure right now. But, I was told that the hospital would call me once they discovered anything. Perhaps you can ask her yourself whenever her ghost appears.” After she said this, her phone rang, she grabbed it and saw Liz Taylor on the screen. “I’m afraid I must end this here tonight, James. I’m trying to accept Olivia’s passing.” She told him as she stood.

“That is understandable, dearest.” He took her arm, leading her to the door. “I too must properly mourn. She was far too young. I hope her ghost turns up soon. She will need me to help her adjust. Please, do take care, darling. I shall be here should you need me.” He told her as he saw his ex-wife out, sadness never fully reaching those deep and intense eyes.

As Elizabeth arrived in the lobby, a downtrodden Thomas still sat at the sofa that Olivia had been at the night before, and called Liz back, rubbing the sweet ghost’s shoulder. “Hello Liz. I missed your call?”

“Yes. Olivia is already stabilized. The doctor says she hasn’t thrown up since last night!”

Elizabeth slightly squeezed Thomas’ shoulder, getting his attention, “That’s wonderful news! They were able to find the antidote?” she asked, lips spreading into a smile of pure relief and elation. Thomas gave her a look asking ‘what was going on’ to which she responded “Olivia is stable dear.”

Liz spoke to answer her question, “That’s the strange thing, hon. They never gave her an antidote. The only injection that she was given was the one that Dr. Alex gave her when we were here. She somehow recovered without anything else. Our girl’s tough as hell.”

“That goes without saying. She did somehow survive that fall almost a year ago. I’m coming. Have some news for you both.” Elizabeth whispered as she walked out of the Cortez and to her car.

After the blond woman left, Thomas decided to try focusing on trying to appear to Olivia but felt no different. “Perhaps she had to have it taken off.” He sighed feeling helpless to her. “I hope she puts it on soon…”

Elizabeth arrived to the hospital to see Liz sitting beside Olivia’s bed and Olivia herself sitting up, appearing well rested and her skin no long pale nor clammy. “Olivia…” she gasped as she walked in, Dr. Alex marking down her vitals and comparing them to last night. “You look remarkable!” she hugged her friend gently.

“Ah, welcome ma’am. I am just checking over Ms. Masters. With her astonishing recovery, she can more than likely good to leave today.” Alex explained as she took Olivia’s temperature. “I still recommend you start eating light. Just in case you do start throwing up again. Just for a few days.” She said this to Olivia who nodded as she felt a wooden stick hold her tongue down, a small light shining into her mouth. “And just drink water as well. Tea with honey will help too; you’re throat’s raw from last night.” Alex scribbled down a few more notes and smiled at Olivia. “I’m not sure how you recovered so quickly but, I’m happy you did. You’re free to leave whenever you wish. Have a nice say, Ms. Masters.” Alex dismissed herself, leaving Olivia to change.

“Well, I’m just peachy knowing you’ll be able to leave, hon. Is everything good with the house so far?” Liz asked as Olivia came out of the bathroom and in a pair of loose gray pants and a purple tank top, long red hair in a messy bun.

“I was told everything has been delivered. I will have Thomas move in with me. Maybe he’ll make friends there. The place is bursting at the seems with ghosts. One of them is also the boy from those dreams I’ve been having lately. Maybe it’s a sign.” Olivia explained as she gathered her belongings, slipping Thomas’ watch around her wrist and smiling as she could already feel his warm spirit.

“Before we leave…” Elizabeth began as she shut and locked the door leading into the room. “I had that talk with James. There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mind that he is the cause.” She said, sitting beside Olivia. “Sadness and sorrow he claimed to feel never reached his eyes. I told him you were declared dead at the Cortez and he told me you turned down his offer to stay in his suite; saying you would have had a calmer death in his embrace, not the lonely one I fabricated. And how he believes your ghost will need him to adjust to the new life.” She stated, lips pursed in rage. None of them could be surprised however. James Patrick March is known for his possessive, controlling and manipulative nature.

Liz Taylor had a hand to her chest, “Well, it’s a good thing you left when you did. Any later and you might have actually died!” she gasped, a hand coming to Olivia’s back. “I’m taking a few days off to make sure you settle into the house and that you are back to normal. I’m here for you, Liv.”

Olivia sat in thought as she sat in the passenger seat of Liz’s car, they were picking up some groceries to start filling up her kitchen, just the essentials for now as Olivia still needed to recover. Last night while she slept, she felt the same presence as the night Oscar pushed her to a supposed death. The subsequent nights at the Cortez had her feeling this heavy force all over her body. It was heavy to where she couldn’t move, even her head unable to budge. She could barely breath. But, he body didn’t panic really. She would just drift to sleep and could feel something enter her body, healing her of the trauma her body suffered in these two events. Normal humans don’t really survive these sorts of things, regardless if they’re a witch or not. Unless she had the power of resurgence? But she highly doubted that.

Liz noticed Olivia seemed far off in her thoughts. She couldn’t blame the young girl; she had survived near death from an old poison.So, she let her friend be, keeping an eye on her physical wellbeing; almost considering putting the girl in the cart so she wouldn’t wander into another shopper. Or another pole…

At Murder House; two ghosts were observing the mountains of boxes; virtually all the furniture was brand new. An older woman in a maid’s uniform was joined with the boy that haunted Olivia’s dreams. “It’s rather peculiar, isn’t it. Everything is new. As if she never had a home before.” The maid observed, red hair in a messy bun.

“Yeah. Why would she choose a house like this as her first place? Most people start with an apartment or something these days, right?” Tate said as he poked his head into a large box of books in the study with a grin. He loved books and was curious as to what this girl liked. “Advanced Alchemy? Enhanced Study of Runes? Magic with Familiars?” he began prattling off the strange titles. “What kind of books are these? Think she’s crazy.”

Moira tapped his shoulder, “Put those back, Tate. That is very rude. Cruel and vile as she is, I know your mother taught you manners.” She chided, receiving a glare from the teenage boy. She looked at the things lining the study. Yes, there were books of all sorts of subjects, but there were a few board games, a tea set near a child’s sized table and, curiously, enough two chairs set up in a corner already. “I will play the part of the maid again. We’ve never had an owner so young. I am curious as to the kind of person she is.” Moira decided, sitting on the comfy brown armchair and relaxing. “It’s been too long since this house has felt life.”

Tate flopped down onto the sofa next to Moira’s chair; almost looking as if she were a therapist observing her patient. “She saw me though. So, what if she knows we’re all ghosts?” he asked, still unnerved about the last time he saw her. He never would have guessed that a human would scare him, but even the afterlife has its surprises it seems.

Moira sat in contemplation for a little bit, “If she approaches any of us about it, we won’t deny that we are dead. I think it would be a refreshing change of pace, wouldn’t you agree?” she asked, both of them turning their heads to the sound of car doors opening and closing, footsteps approaching the kitchen entrance. “For now, we keep our distance. I shall approach her tomorrow. You do whatever, just keep your hands to yourself.” She told Tate as he shrugged like a child who was planning to ignore what their parent had just told them to do.

Both stood and peaked into the kitchen, the new owner arrived along with a strange looking bald person came in, arms full of groceries and they began putting the food away, a couple other ghosts slipping closer to hear their conversation, too used to the deafening silence. “So, like I said, I’ll be staying here with you a few days.” Liz began, setting some fruit into a decorative bowl on the counter, “Tomorrow I’ll go pick up some clothes, The Countess will say it’s for grieving your passing. There’s another bed right?” she asked, lighting a cigarette and opening a window. The ghosts raised an eyebrow at this exchange. Her passing? Is she performing some kind of fraud scheme? If so, then she’s an idiot for buying an expensive house.

“Yeah it’s in the room with the turquoise wallpaper. We can easily find some blankets and pillows to get through tonight.” Olivia explained, putting away a few frozen goods then shelving almond milk and normal milk in the fridge with standard condiments, lunch meat and eggs. “Thanks a lot, Liz. I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you’re here.” She smiled at her friend.

“Oh think nothing of it Liv. I could use a little vacation. You need the help. I want to also make sure you really are back to health.” She said, hugging the younger girl after setting the bread on top of the refrigerator and hugging her. “Besides, if I may be honest? A part of me is beginning to see you like the daughter I never had.” Liz explained, happy to finally admit this secret.

Olivia smiled warmly and returned the embrace, feeling no need for words. They soon parted ways and looked through the boxes upstairs to find things for bed. “Liv, I must say, you have fine tastes in housing. This place is beautiful!” Liz exclaimed as they helped make each other’s beds. “How did you find this place?” she asked, fluffing the pillows.

“I saw bits of it in dreams for months. The stained glass especially stuck out. So, when I went house hunting, I just followed my but and it led me here. I love the feel of this place.” She explained as she laid down a dark purple comforter blanket and a black throw blanket on top, the design inspired by the Starry Night painting.

After she plugged in her fan and phone charger, Liz hugged her tight. “Sleep well, Liv. And leave your door unlocked in case you need to call for me, okay?”

Olivia smiled with a playful roll of her eyes, “Yes, mom. Sweet dreams to you too. And that bed is always open to you should you need it.” Liz smiled with some exhaustion in her eyes and shut the door as she left, Olivia changing into her nightwear of a red bandeau and black short shorts. She turned on her fan and got into her new queen sized pillow top bed, playing soft music on low. She smiled as she rested her head on the pillow. “My home. I can’t believe I can finally say that.” She yawned and her eyes fluttered shut as she slowly fell asleep.

Tate came out of the master bathroom and looked over at the young redhead who was deep in sleep. His deep brown eyes smiled at the painting inspired throw blanket covering her, the night not being hot enough for both blankets. She rolled onto her side, back facing the fan on the opposite side of the bed, breathing softly. Tate knelt down in front of her, observing her sleeping face. She was indeed beautiful, but he smiled, a pale knuckle caressing her cheek before ghosting over her soft hair, loving how silky and red it was. “I can’t explain how but, I know; you’re dark. Just like me.” He sparred a soft smile to the sleeping figure in front of him before leaving the room, curious of the other things she had stashed away in boxes. Two female figures; no doubt related by their strawberry hair watching the boy with worried expressions before they decided to vanish.

Chapter Text

About a month has passed since Olivia moved into the beautiful home known infamously, and fittingly ‘Murder House’. She has not pushed her presence onto her spectral housemates, she had plenty to keep herself busy. All of her new furniture had been assembled by Liz, Thomas and herself.

Thomas kept to himself, never really leaving her room as he was nervous about the other ghosts in the house. He was aware that the others knew he was there. And that he wasn’t from this house. Thankfully, Olivia wore his soulbound watch whenever she went out, allowing him to follow her and not be cooped up in those uncertain surroundings. Even if he stayed invisible, he was near a friend and he was fine with that.

Olivia was sitting in the kitchen, enjoying a cup of honey tea and expecting a friend to be by any moment. She smiled to the red haired older woman who was partaking in the tea with her, the maid named Moira. Olivia knew she was a ghost, one that was younger in appearance than what her current form showed. She also knew how this poor woman died. But, Moira approached her saying that her position of maid comes with the house. Olivia couldn’t turn her down and wanted to get on the ghosts’ good sides. They were all to be sharing the house after all.

There was a knock at the front door and Moira set her hand on Olivia’s arm, stopping the young woman from standing. “Don’t worry yourself, miss. I’ll answer that.” She said before getting up and leaving the kitchen to answer the door. She returned with Elizabeth following close behind. “I shall leave you with your guest, Ms. Masters.” Moira left, leaving herself invisible to the other two women and stayed within earshot.

“Welcome Elizabeth! Isn’t my home beautiful?” Olivia asked as the vampire sat herself across from her, an ecstatic smile on her face. “Want some tea? It’s fresh.”

“I will take some tea, thank you Olivia. I can’t believe this is the house you’ve been dreaming of.” Elizabeth mentioned, looking around the kitchen and remembering the time she spent here so long ago.

“Is something wrong?” Olivia asked curiously as she poured tea into a cup for her friend and set it in front of her.

“Nothing, I’ve been here before. When the original owners lived here. But, that’s not what we are discussing.” Elizabeth took a sip after mixing in some sugar. “James has grown rather impatient waiting for your ghost to appear. It’s entertaining I must say. But, I think we should start delivering the final blow so you can be free of that man once and for all.”

A few ghosts, including Tate joined Moira in loitering near the kitchen curious as to what was being said. “You’re right. But, now the fun part begins! I do have a pretty good idea on how everything is gonna play out. I’ll show up to his suite, overjoyed at being reunited with him and tell him that I will put on a special show tonight. You cancel the dinner you two had planned tonight and I’ll go up after the show and lay into him, ending our relationship for good.” She explained with a deceptive and overly sweet smile on her face.

Elizabeth quirked an eyebrow and smiled. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. I am impressed. I cannot wait to see your performance tonight, Songbird of the Cortez.”

As Olivia got ready and packed a dress with the makeup needed for her show tonight, the two women that were watching over Olivia sat in the new living room, the space feeling warm and inviting with dark Autumn colors. The two sat on the plush plum L shaped sofa in front of a large fifty inch flatscreen television, the older woman holding a swaddled and snoozing baby. “She looks like a normal 20 something girl. Flashy but normal.”

“But she’s definitely hiding a lot, mom. Like, she feels a lot like Tate does.” The teenage ghost rested her head on her mother’s shoulder, watching her little brother Jeffrey sleeping soundly.

“Now Vi that might be going a tad far. Don’t think someone could be worse than Tate.” Vivien sighed and kissed the top of her daughter’s head.

“I don’t care who the bitch reminds you of. I don’t like her.” A woman that was around Olivia’s age appeared to the two Harmon women.

“Hayden…” Violet rolled her eyes, deciding to just ignore the woman who inadvertently led to the death of her whole family. They would not have had to move if not for this woman and her husband’s infidelity.

“Well it’s a good thing no one asked you, homewrecker.” Violet spat, glaring at the woman.

“The others like her well enough, Hayden. Just back off. You don’t have any say in who lives here anyway.” Ben cut in, moving to his family’s side. He was thankful that death at least helped them become a bit more like the family they were before he cheated.

“I can get rid of her if I want. No one can stop me. Not like a can die.” Hayden told them before disappearing.

“Should we warn her?” Violet asked, “She’s the only actual cool owner we’ve had.”

Outside the master bedroom, Tate knocked on the door and Olivia answered. “Oh, Tate. Creeping around to hide from your mom again?” she asked, letting him in. He could tell she was in the middle of putting on makeup and her hair was up in a ponytail. He was bored already after watching her for about a week and appeared to her under the guise of always being around to avoid his mother. Thankfully it worked. Now, he wasn’t so lonely.

He had to admit, he loved her taste, dark colors were everywhere, blues and purples seemingly her favorite. The study was now a dark green now, being more earthy in color and welcoming. “Pretty much. Like always. Hag never leaves me alone. You’re getting ready for something?” he asked, sitting cross legged on her bed. He liked laying on her bed, he sunk in so comfortably. “Is it work?” he knew that she was a singer and he always enjoyed hearing her sing, something she would do when she cleaned or did some type of house work.

“Kind of. I do have a show tonight.” She grabbed her dark green lipstick and applied it, Tate watching intently. “Someone tried fucking with me. So, tonight is all about payback. Gonna steal some souls tonight. It’s gonna be fun!” she told him, picking up her matching nail polish and sitting across from him. “Think you could help me with my nails?” she asked, smiling hopefully.

“Sure. Don’t really have anything else to do.” She let him play a CD of Nirvana she had stashed in her collection, which helped him break the ice with her. He took her hand in his, carefully painting her perfect nails dark green. “So, what did this guy do? Why bother letting him bother you?” he asked curiously.

“This man is-well he was my boyfriend. But, he threw that title away when he poisoned me.” Tate’s eyes went wide and he almost got the polish on her finger. “You’re really good at this, by the way.” She said, admiring the already dried hand.

“Thanks. But, shit. That’s-what made him do it? And I can’t believe you survived.”

“It wasn’t pleasant. Felt like my insides were being shredded and on fire. But this man is very possessive. I mentioned my move here and he was having none of it. The day before everything was being moved in, he poisoned some wine at dinner and I was hospitalized.” She explained, uncaring of how much he believed.

“Oh…that’s fucked. If you love someone, you shouldn’t hurt them. You weren’t abandoning him though right? Doesn’t sound like it.”

“No! I just wanted my own place. I’ve never had that. But no. He wanted me to stay in that place against my will even!” her brows were knitted tight and her mouth in a snarl but she took a deep breath and grinned, “But, that’s all changing tonight. I’m leaving and nothing is stopping me.” She looked at her now dry nails and gave Tate a smile, “Thanks, Tate!” she stood and began to work on her eyes, dark and smoky eyes with winged eyeliner. He could hear hear sort of talking to herself as she applied natural color blush. “Gonna leech the life from this fragile man~!”

He was unsure of what to make of Olivia. He found her attractive and she had a nice voice. That was all fine. And he could still feel that she, unlike Violet, was in the same darkness as him. Nevertheless, he was fascinated by her. When he broke from his thoughts, she was gone, him hearing some ruckus in the bathroom. He turned his head, sliding to the edge of the mattress.

Olivia came out in a dark green dress that went to her ankles and had two slits to show off her thighs that were covered in black pantyhose. The sleeves ended at her wrists with black cuffs, the sleeves being a dark green and sheer material ended at the tops of her breasts and her neck, a black choker with an emerald dangling from it. And a black corset helped add the final touch and some extra flair as she put of emerald earrings to finish her look, spritzing darkly sweet perfume around her shoulders and wrists, curling her hair finally and slipping on dark green heels. “And the look is complete.”

“If looks could kill…” Tate muttered to himself as he took in her appearance. He could easily write poetry about her. She looked intoxicatingly gorgeous.

He followed her downstairs and she grabbed a black faux fur coat and grabbed her bag. “You can hide here if you really want to. Anyone breaks in, kick their ass for me, hon.” She hugged Tate firmly.

“Will do, Liv. No one can get passed me.” He told her.

She opened the door and raised her eyebrows at Hayden being right on her doorstep. “Ah Hayden. To what do I owe this pleasure?” she asked, clearly sarcastic.

“Don’t take that tone with me, bitch. Thinking you’re better than me-”

“Cause I am. Just a fact. But please, do continue, homewrecker.” Olivia cut in, a huge fake smile on her face.

“Excuse me?!” Hayden hollered, glaring at the dressed up woman.

“Look, I have some fun plans tonight, I’m not letting you ruin it so you have a minute tops, Hayden.”

“God I can’t stand you. Watch your back. You’re not as untouchable as you seem to think you are.” Hayden told her, tone clearly threatening.

“People of actual significance and power have tried and failed.” Olivia explained as she rolled her eyes and pushed passed Hayden. “You’re nothing in life and in death, dear. Get used to it and don’t push your luck.” Tate couldn’t help the grin that spread across his lips as he watched Olivia walk away and get into her car, phone to her ear.

 

James was looking a mess, his hair disheveled was enough to tell he was out of sorts. He had been tearing the Cortez apart for the last month attempting to find Olivia’s ghost. He had no worries about anyone knowing he had Ms. Evers poison her wine. As he sat, steaming in his favorite chair, a knock was heard at his door. He stood and walked to it, looking down to see a card slip under the door.

He leaned down and picked the envelope up, a dark green kiss mark sealing the back. His eyes widened and he tore it open, smelling the oh so familiar perfume Olivia would wear. He inhaled it, feeling himself grow at ease then read the note. “James, my love, I have finally found my way back. It was so dark and cold. Lonesome and bleak without you. I know we didn’t part on good terms but, please, come to me. I’ll be waiting on my stage to sing for you once more. Love, your Siren.” His chest swelled. She was truly back! “My Siren returns!” he rushed to put himself together and dashed to the Blue Parrot Lounge was filled again with patrons and Liz was filling many drinks. All was as it should be again.

“Good evening everyone.” Liz Taylor greeted the crowd, chattering swiftly coming to a halt. “Thank you for joining us tonight for a small yet special show. A familiar face has returned to us after a long rest. Please enjoy.” She gave a slight bow and stepped off stage. He felt contentment as he settled into his seat, not caring to see Liz soon sit with The Countess and Donovan. He drank his absinthe to help calm himself. He didn’t want to startle his Siren lest she flee.

The lights went down in the lounge and the curtains parted, a no doubt feminine figure cloaked in a faux fur hooded coat walked up to the microphone stand, a dark keyboard and drums kicking off the song of the night.

The figure took hold of the microphone and began to sing, “Your unfeeling heart, imprisons me. Careless eyes, too blind to see.” The coat was dropped to the stage as Olivia finally revealed herself. “Empty words, an iron cage. Broken heart, bleeding rage.” Her voice echoed off the walls of the lounge and her sharp eyes honed in on James, making damn sure he got the message.

“Can’t wait for you and me. It’s time I break free” she moved about the stage, putting her emotion into each lyric.

“Trap of love! Snared by desire! Trap of love! Burned by your fire. Trap of love, snared by desire. Trap of love! Beware the trap of love…” James could easily make out all the lyrics and felt uncertainty in his being. Was she not happy to be with him forever? Or…did she somehow know he was the cause of her death?

“Let me be, it’s time we part. Set me free, uncage my heart. Can’t wait for you and me, it’s time for you to see.” Olivia glared at James as she moved back to the microphone stand, the stage light following her.

“Trap of love, snared by desire. Trap of love, burned by your fire. Trap of love, snared by desire! Trap of love!” the song began to wind down as she knelt and picked up her coat “Beware the trap of love…” the tune completely faded out as the curtain dropped and James felt a weight upon his shoulders.

Liz and Elizabeth watched James slowly leave with grins. “That’s our girl. Never thought I’d see James look disturbed.” Liz laughed as she got up to clear drinks from the tables.

James stormed into his room, determined to sort his thoughts out before Olivia arrived. He heaved a great sigh, “Oh, evening James!” he jumped just slightly and turned to see Olivia sitting in his chair at the dining table.

“Olivia! My siren!” they exchanged smiles, James soon collecting himself. “You got here rather fast, darling.” He pointed out, sitting opposite her.

“It’s not uncommon for witches to be able to teleport. I merely wanted to surprise you.” She explained.

“So, you’ve kept your powers even in death? Fascinating!” while her smile never left, he noticed her eyes darken and even shone red for a split second.

“I know this is last minute but, I would like to have dinner with you. Or at least chat while I eat. We have a lot of catching up to do, James.” She stretched as she made her suggestion.

“I am delighted to have you back at my table. Let me see if Ms. Evers can-” he was cut off by a knock to the suite.

“Oh! That must be for me!” Olivia got up and quickly moved to the door, coming back with a brown takeout bag and a giant Styrofoam cup of soda. “I haven’t eaten in hours!” she sat back down and James looked utterly confused.

“Darling? Ms. Evers could have made a you a fine meal.”

“Yes. But, I don’t think I could stomach anything you offer me anymore. It just doesn’t sit well.” She told him, eyes never leaving his as she took a giant sip from the cup. “This is strawberry chicken from this Chinese place I went to with the Countess and Liz! So good!” she broke the chopsticks and began to eat. “At least I won’t vomit this up.” She spoke, just loud enough for James to hear.

James felt a stone in his gut, “You ate something bad, dearest?” he asked, still hoping she did not know about the poison. He watched her cautiously as she ate.

“Right now, there’s a poisonous taste of betrayal. I trusted someone I should not have.” Again her eyes glared into his. With that phrasing, she had to have known.

“Dearest. I am sorry for your death. Truly. But, we can begin again. I am here for you.” He got up and moved to rest his hand on hers but she moved it and stood after finishing her meal.

“You’re apologizing. Interesting. So, you are going to take the blame of attempting to poison me?” she asked, her back to him and looking over her shoulder with glowering eyes.

“I only did it so you would not leave me! You are all I have in this gilded cage, Olivia!” he admitted loudly, after his admittance, he took a moment to think back to her words. “Attempted? You died in your room, did you not?” he inquired, just wanting to hold her again.

Olivia turned, an overly sweet smile on her lips and she embraced him, James almost instantly embraced her. But, something felt off. “Dearest…you’re warm?” in his experience, ghosts were cold as the grave. His eyes widened. “No.”

She kissed his neck, letting the cravat fall loose. “Surprise, James.” He suddenly felt a cold blade slide across his neck then a stab to his chest, his ‘body’ kicked to the floor as blood seeped from his wounds. “I lived, bitch.” Her smiled turned to a dark grin as she sheathed a small dagger back onto her thigh.

“It wasn’t a bad attempt. Too bad for you, I’m unnaturally stubborn as hell.” She grabbed her drink and purse. “I know this won’t kill you but, it’s cathartic really. You see, I WAS poisoned. But, I was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. And, as you can see, I’ve made a miraculous recovery.” She slowly made her way to the door, no sense of worry on her face as he slowly recovered from the slash and stab.

“As you can guess, my move was successful, Murder House is just beautiful. I am still employed here, just love my job. And this is the last night you will EVER see me at your table, in this suite ever again.” She began rummaging through her purse, “We’re through James. I’m moving on.” She moved back to him and knelt down, a sick smile on her face. “And you only have yourself to blame.” She threw a ring at his face, bouncing off his cheek and he immediately recognized it as the one he gave her. “I could’ve easily pawned that trinket off. But, it’s not even worth the money to me.” She explained as she made her way to the door, turning back to face him one last time, “Good bye, James. Enjoy your lonely afterlife.”

She slammed the door behind her and quickly moved to the elevator, wanting a head start on James, who is no doubt pissed off. The door closed and she pushed the button for the lobby. She stepped out and saw Ms. Evers. “Oh, hello Hazel! I must warn you, that James and I made quite the mess. Just a friendly warning, hon.” She then left the hotel, a confident smile on her face at having severed her relationship with James.

Chapter Text

Olivia was now on her way back to her home after her break up with James. It had been a long time coming, but now it was official and she was over the moon. There was a smile a mile wide on her lips as she pulled into the driveway, taking a moment to actually observe Murder House; HER home. She couldn’t believe she finally had a place to call her own. “I really need to invite Juan and Alejandra over for dinner. I’m only here because of them after all.” She thought to herself as she got out and locked her car, noticing Tate looking out at her. She entertained his excuse of him hiding from his mom to stay here. Maybe she’d let them all know the day before Halloween? That she knew they were all ghosts that is.

She unlocked the door and immediately headed up to her bathroom in the master bedroom. She decided to use a bath bomb to cap off this day of wondrous and petty closure. She dropped an oatmeal, milk and honey bomb into the warm water then hummed as she waited for it to disintegrate. As she soaked in the bath, already having washed the makeup off her face, she sang along to the playlist she had playing from a small MP3 player on her sink.

Tate was waiting in her bedroom, sitting on her bed. Most days he hung around her room or the study. There were so many different books that caught his interest. Even the odd books that talked about witchcraft, though he doubted witches were real. Even though he was already very attached to Olivia, he would still kind of shiver when he thought about her seeing him back at the house tour. “Maybe she’s like that Billie lady Constance brought over before?” he wondered under his breath.

His thoughts snapped back to reality when he heard the bathroom door open and Olivia came out in an oversized black shirt with the logo of a band he didn’t recognize. “Evening, Tate.” She greeted with a yawn as she dried her hair.

Tate smiled at her as he sat up, “Hey. Did everything go like you planned? You look real happy.” He pointed out, watching her every movement.

“Oh yeah.” She chuckled and threw the towel into the hamper the was sitting next to the door leading to the bathroom. “Oh, Tate the look on that prick’s face. Wish I took a picture!” she grinned wide as she plopped beside him, laying back on her large bed. “And knowing I don’t even need to sleep in the same building as him is an amazing feeling.” She explained, turning onto her side and getting cozy. Mentally she bemoaned that ghosts don’t appear in photos normally. “So, anyone give you any trouble? “

Tate knew who she meant and shook his head, fingers picking at a hole in the knee of his jeans. “Not really. Cocksucking mom was creeping around not too long ago. I made sure all the doors were locked.”

They chatted for a bit longer before she told Tate she was going to sleep. He spared one last glimpse at her before closing her door, unknown to them of the figure creeping out from the bathroom, a knife in hand and waiting for the perfect time to strike.

In her dream, Olivia was again in bed with Tate. Their bodies bare and tangled together. Ever since she left James when she was rushed to the hospital, the lucid sex dreams returned. They were welcome dreams but, she wished she knew what caused so many. Her rather pleasant dream was cut off by the feeling of something cold sliding across her throat. Her eyes snapped open and hands flying to her throat. She felt the hot blood soon covering her hands and overflowing to soak her hair and bedding.

Her eyes darted to the figure over her, voice gurgling, “Hay-Hayden…you cunt…” was all that she could get out as she applied pressure to slow the bleeding. She oddly didn’t feel fear. Only absolute anger.

The ghost was grinning wildly, fingertip pressed softly against the bloody blade “Not bad for some ‘nobody’ right, bitch? Don’t worry, I’ll throw your body over the property line so you don’t bother me ever again. I AM somebody! I matter!” The murderous woman chuckled as she left the room, leaving the current owner for dead.

The Harmons and Chad and Patrick were in the living room, watching the news. Tate was not far off and Moira was cradling Jeffrey, giving Vivien a deserved break. Chad saw her approach, “And just what has you grinning like you got away with murder?” he asked, knowing nothing ever made this girl smile except the suffering of others.

“Because I did. Killed the bitch.” Hayden told them, feeling alive again. “Slit her throat like butter. She’s bleeding out right now.” She boasted, bringing the knife into view, a few drops of blood dripping onto the floor.

Tate’s eyes went wide and Patrick sighed, “Do you HAVE to keep making messes? Moira’s the one having to clean up after your sorry ass!”

As Tate moved to dart up the stairs, a loud and guttural roar ripped through the house causing all the ghosts to go still, many of them wide eyed and their gazes to the only place the downright demonic sound could have come from; the master bedroom. “What the fuck was that?” Violet whispered, voice quivering. She’s seen some shit, but that sound must have been straight from hell itself.

“I don’t know baby…” Vivien answered, holding her daughter close and Moira tightened her hold on the baby.

There was a series of stomps then quiet until they heard footsteps at the top of the stairs. They all looked to Tate who took a step back, eyes glued to the figure descending the stairs with slow movements.

Tate saw Olivia, throat, hair and body covered in blood, her feet leaving bloody prints behind her. Her face was a disturbing mixture of calm and furious.

As Olivia moved, she only heard one thing; a voice in her head that spoke with venomous loathing. ‘Find her! Make her suffer!’ and she planned to.

She could see Tate, and the others looked just as terrified. Though, with the sound that somehow came from her body, she couldn’t blame them. She heaved a great sigh, her face now one filled with irritation, “Ya know…I”m beginning to get real fucking tired of people trying to kill me.” Her eyes glared right at Hayden and the knife that was supposed to end her life.

She suddenly smirked, Hayden quickly noticing that the slit in her throat was gone, a red line in it’s place. She healed and survived. “I told you, greater people, people with actual power tried and have failed.” Olivia thought on the gazebo in the backyard and chuckled darkly, “And you’re not as untouchable as you think you are, little nobody.” Her voice had a strange rumble to it as she walked away, through the kitchen.

Tate, Hayden and the others followed her out of a curiosity of what she was planning. Olivia picked up a marker and unlocked her back door, the security light out back turning on to illuminate the darkness. The ghosts, except for Tate watched from the windows, Tate actually stepping outside with her while Hayden stood in the doorway.

They were all confused as to what she was doing, she marked the fence posts with a strange marking and used the blood on her body to leave a mark over the unknown character. What they did not know was that it was a rune to trick anyone looking from afar as to what was going to happen in her backyard. Unless they were against the fence. Her blood completed the rune’s ability.

She dropped the marker and made her way back to the gazebo, knowing full well just what was beneath it. She set her hands upon the structure and looked back as she let her magic set it ablaze, the ghosts jumping from outright shock. With the fire being completely magical in nature, it spread swiftly, only burning the gazebo of lies. The wood burned away with ease, leaving nothing but ash within mere minutes. And the roaring fire sizzled out.

“What the hell are you doing?!” Hayden demanded as Olivia knelt down and dug her fingers into the ashes just above the dirt and concrete. A big part of her was scared, not knowing what was going to happen. Especially with someone that close to her remains.

“You think I don’t know what’s buried here? You all know the walls of this house talk.” Olivia closed her eyes, focusing on the roots beneath the concrete, the stone soon cracking and shattering with the empowered nature forcing itself free. “Tate, be a good boy and fetc me two boxes. One nice one if you could please.” Tate just nodded as Olivia jumped into the hole, coming up with her hands with two skulls!

Tate gave her the boxes, watching in awe from what he just saw her do. In minutes, that gazebo was gone! She was examining the bones, somehow differentiating which bones belonged to which skeleton. Both Hayden and Moira feeling vulnerable and scared.

Olivia grabbed the marker and wrote ‘Moira’ on the nicer box and sealed it, dumping the rest of the bones into the bland cardboard box. She made Tate carry the Moira box and she sprinkled some strange concoction onto Hayden’s bones, the ghost dropping to her knees, “The shit?! I can’t move!” panic was painfully evident in her tone as she continued to try moving.

“Cause I binded you.” Olivia stated plainly, grabbing a spellbook from the study. “You shouldn’t have pissed off a witch, Hayden. Let alone one who has no qualms practicing necromancy.” She explained, laying down a large sheet of paper and drawing a large circle with mystical shapes and runes on it.

“There’s no way witches are real.” Tate stated, still holding Moira’s box.

Olivia casted a deadpan expression to him. “Then what the fuck did I just do, Tate?” she didn’t expect nor receive an answer as she set Hayden’s box in the center of the spell circle. She cracked her knuckles “Keep in mind, I didn’t want things to go down this way. This bitch of a ghost brought this upon herself. After this, let’s just get back to getting along. I want this place to be a home.”

Olivia began chanting, the ghosts could feel a wind whipping up and the apex was coming from Hayden. The bound ghost able to feel a painful tugging of her entire being. “I’ve been dying to try this spell out for a while now. It’s a banishment spell, and as this IS against your will, I have no doubt this will hurt. Probably a lot.” Olivia gave out a small chuckle and looked to the captive spirit, “I hope that pitiful attempt was worth it.

Thomas watched from the shadows, now tragically aware of what Olivia meant when she said that she was not a good person. He saw a fellow ghost disintegrate in front of him, hearing the woman’s cries of agony as she faded into nothingness. In Olivia’s defense, she did have it coming. He hadn’t seen her powers in such a way and it was haunting. The roar he heard only minutes ago was still echoing in his ears. He’s heard her mention how she’s felt different after the fall. But, what could have caused that sound? Thomas sighed and decided to fade away, he wanted to be away for awhile. So, he let his spirit go back to the Cortez.

After the ritual, the ghosts quickly disappeared, except for Moira and Tate who stood back, far away and just taking in what just happened. This woman forced a ghost to move on. How was that possible?

Moira felt herself jump slightly when Olivia called her name, “Yes, ma’am?” she asked, voice nervous as they worked on cleaning up the blood.

“I just want you to know, that box has your skeleton in it. It’s sealed and safe. Your bones are there and ready for whenever you wish to move on.”

Moira stopped her scrubbing, feeling her eyes water. “I can? Whenever I wish?”

“Yeah. Well, not immediately. I like you and I know what you’ve been through. I want to make your passing as pleasant as I am able.” She explained, not an ounce of lie in her words.

“Thank…Thank you, Olivia. That is kind of you. I would like to see my mother again.” The maid admitted, now letting herself feel hope that she would be able to move on in the future.

Meanwhile, across the street in the Langdon home. The Langdon matriarch was sat at her dining room table, a cigarette in her trembling fingers as she stared at her picture of Tate and Adelaide, back when both were alive. She could remember what she saw perfectly; a woman, a witch burning the gazebo Ben Harmon had built and using magic to unearth one of her darkest secrets.

Chapter Text

It has been a few days since Hayden’s banishment from the house and Olivia knew her supernatural housemates felt threatened and even scared. She also sensed unease at some similar fate befalling their spirits. She couldn’t blame them if she was being honest. Nothing can really harm a ghost; they almost instantly heal from any injury they receive. She guessed it was probably similar to a person coming to terms with their own mortality.

Another thing that anyone; not just a medium or psychic could sense from this house is the misery. Suffering of near a century of inhabitants was crammed into this house. As she walked through the halls of the upper floor, she considered the spirits that were trapped here. They were a mixed bag of benign, malicious and a few that were genuinely friendly such as the Harmons, Moira and two child spirits with their mother and a a charming man that’s a bit older than her, they mainly stayed in the basement. A place Olivia refused to go out of fear of what she sensed coming from beyond the door. She even considered bricking the door up.

She was meandering through the hall outside the bathroom and heard something rolling above her and the clanking of what she assumed was chains. Focusing her mind, Olivia could easily sense a kind soul in the attic above her. She pulled the cord down, stairs leading to the attic now at her feet and carefully ascended after lighting a candle.

The attic, as you would assume of such a place, was dusty and the air was thick, making one’s throat itch. Olivia covered her mouth and moved through the stacked boxes and furniture, long abandoned by previous owners, covered by sheets. She heard slight movement, the clanking continuing. She halted her steps when she heard the rolling sound again and looked down to see a small red ball roll to her feet.

Olivia bent down and picked the ball up, smiling as she felt the ghost nearby. “Hey there. You can come out. I won’t hurt you.” She spoke in a reassuring tone. She heard slight movement, whoever it was, they kept low to the floor and the rattling of chains even louder. “I just moved in and would love to meet you.” The movement stopped and she looked down at the ball in her hand and a smile stretched her lips at the idea that formed in her head. “Is this your ball? Would you like to play?” she asked, kneeling down and sitting cross legged, hoping to help the spirit feel more at ease.

Tate saw the the ladder leading up to the attic was now down and he felt slight panic. How would Olivia react when she saw his brother? Would she banish him as she did to Hayden? Tate heard a rolling sound and cautiously crept up the ladder, deciding to stick to the shadows to see how the situation would unfold. He would act to protect his brother. He suffered so much in life and death, the least he could do was keep him safe and happy in the afterlife.

He settled himself in a corner and saw Beauregard slowly come out as they rolled the ball back and forth, an open mouthed smile on his face. He heard a gasp from Olivia but that was it. He heard no judgment from her. “You must get lonely up here. Do you mind me being here?” she asked, receiving a shaking head from the deformed boy. “I could come up here more often and keep you company. We can even do more than play ball. I could read to you if you like.”

“Books!” Beauregard clapped with glee, after he rolled the ball back.

“Yeah! Books. I can find fun ones.” Olivia held onto the ball and looked around the musty and dreary attic with a look of sadness on her face before her gaze settled upon the shackle around the ghost’s ankle. Tate saw a heavy frown on her as she moved closer to his brother.

She maintained a foot away from the boy, giving the ball back to him after sitting back down. “You’ve been up here a long time?” she asked, eyes still on the chains.

“Yeah. Mama say safe.” He told her, rolling the ball back between his hands.

“Safe? Right.” She rested her hand on the cuff around his ankle. “It looks heavy. Would you like it off?”

“Off?” Beau looked down to see where her hand was and nodded. “It heavy. Cold. Don’t like.” He explained, poking and prodding the ball absentmindedly.

There was now a smile on Olivia’s face. “That’s all I need to hear. This may hurt, but it will be gone forever.” She pressed two fingers to the small padlock that kept the cuff in place and melted part of it, letting the shackle come loose and clang to the floor. “There you go. You can move more freely now.”

Beau hopped up with a grin and moved around the attic. He chuckled as he saw his brother in the shadows and rushed him, hugging him tight. “Whoa, Beau!” Tate exclaimed as he was dragged out from his hiding place, Olivia looking at the two, arms crossed and a grin on her face.

“Didn’t see you skulking over there.” She chuckled, moving closer to the boys.

“It’s nice of you to get rid of his chains.” Tate said as Beau went back to playing with his ball. “What made you want to help him?” he asked curiously.

“Well, I sensed you ghosts from the moment I came here. From that day I drove here on a whim. Even saw you in the window.” Olivia explained and had her shoe kick up some dust, softly stomping out some cobwebs. “I could also easily sense the tragedy and pain that is just part of the foundation. I guess I wanted to try to help? Not sure.” Dusting off a box, Olivia sat on it before continuing her explanation, leaving out the part of seeing not only this house in dreams, but him as well. “I haven’t had a home in years. I want to make this place that. For everyone. Not just me.”

Tate stuck his hands in the pockets of his jean pants, “Pretty sure you’ve got your work cut out for you here.” He scoffed slightly, at least this owner was amusing. “So…you getting rid of Hayden was part of your plan then?”

Olivia shrugged. “Not exactly. Bitch tried killing me. She showed then that she couldn’t coexist so I kicked her ass out. I didn’t buy this place just for yet another attempt on my life.”

Tate’s eyebrows furrowed together in confusion, “The place IS called Murder House. Kind of a given, Olivia.” She could hear some playful condescension in his tone. “How did you even get the means to buy this place? Even with how real estate is now, it’s not common for a twenty something to just buy something like this out of the blue.”

“Someone sure is curious about me.” She cooed teasingly, a smirk on her lips. “I’m loaded, no other way to put it. Besides, this place wasn’t that much. And to further add to the why; I’m drawn in by this place. That darkness is welcoming to me like a warm fire to a weary traveler.” She stood and moved close to the boy, careful not to lose herself in those deep and intense brown eyes.

Tate’s eyes were locked on her eyes, loving the mismatched colors and just how lively they looked; a playful twinkle that just drew him in. His attention soon drifted down to her lips. “A darkness I can feel inside you as well.” Olivia averted her gaze and took a calming breath. Something inside her wanted, no, was demanding she get Tate in bed. And she could feel what he had done in his time on this earth; both in his life and afterlife. It was no wonder she felt so drawn to him. They were both evil there was no doubt. “You may believe this if you wish but, I also dreamed of this home.” She heard a laugh from the ghost in front of her, and probably an eyeroll. “It’s the truth! I was led through this place by a boy, the stained glass and chandeliers sticking with me the most. Small details were blurry however.”

The two decided to leave the attic and they moved to the study, Tate looking through the books and Olivia setting up the child size chairs and table. “So you want to make this place more…inviting or something?” he asked, taking a book on different bird species and sitting on the cozy sofa.

“Pretty much I guess. I figure that if the surroundings are welcoming and tranquil, maybe spirits will settle and be able to co-inhabit with the living. It’s my theory anyway.” She told him, setting some drawing supplies out on the table and a tray with a pretty, pastel tea set. “It should be a nice experiment.”

Tate turned his attention to her and saw the kid’s table and what was on it and narrowed his eyes curiously. “So, who’s that set up for?”

“I feel two little girls. Think they’re in the basement with an adult male spirit. I refuse to go down there. Maybe they’ll like this. There’s board games and some new dolls as well.” Olivia told him and stretched. “That boy in the attic. What’s his name?”

“Beauregard.” Tate answered simply, opening the book. “What are you planning with him? Going to banish him too?” he asked, not realizing how he came across.

“Oh. You sound rather protective of him.” Olivia pointed out, plopping down beside Tate, her gaze to the ceiling. “Nah. He’s the nicest spirit out of them all.” She sighed, her head landing on Tate’s shoulder with a soft thud, the ghost looking out of the corner of his eye to check on her. “I can just tell he suffered a lot. I wanted to meet him and now, I just want to make that space nice for him. Cleaning it up, painting the walls, a nice floor rug cause there’s gotta be a big chance for splinters. Just a complete renovation. What do you think?” she asked, now looking at him.

“Well…” Tate wet his lips with his tongue, deciding that Beau would be fine, “He’s my brother. He was killed in that attic. I’m sure he’d really like that.” His fingers flicked the pages as he talked, one of his tics he would do on top of bouncing his knees or picking at his jeans.

“What sort of things does he like? Any favorite colors or anything?” she prodded so she could make the space feel right for Beauregard.

Tate felt pleasantly light hearing someone talk about what Beau wanted, not what they thought he would. Even the taciturn spirit couldn’t hide a smile. “Well, he liked blues and greens. It’s kind of hard to remember everything. Been so long, you know? And he was kept up there so long. Think he liked bears? He might like to be able to draw. Maybe a TV with fun movies.” The smile melted to a frown, “I wanted to get him out from her. Him and Addie. Somewhere better.” He closed the book and turned on the couch to face her, his face serious. “If you really mean to make that prison something happy, I wanna help.” He told her.

“Awesome! This will help a lot.” She cheered, hopping to her feet and getting lost in thought, “Maybe Violet can help keep him occupied in other areas of the house while the renovations are going on? Would love to surprise him. This could take a week or so but, I know it will be worth it!” she turned to Tate, “Hey, why do I REALLY wanna give him a race car bed? Think he’d like one?”

Violet and other spirits agreed to keep Beau busy and a few happily offered to help with the remodel. Olivia bought a brand new bed, a bookcase, a table and two chairs and some nice bedding with fluffy pillows. She didn’t want his room to seem insultingly or overly childish; so they matched the walls; a soft seafoam green. There were toys that he could play with, cars and such that they chose with Tate’s help.

The attic looked so much more welcoming; Beau had about half that was calming green with a big, blue floor carpet just made it feel all the more homey. The window now had a blackout drape for the overly bright mornings that was blue as well. Beau’s old bed that would be more at home in a prison was now a comfy mattress with a few blankets that would keep him warm and the bedframe was a fun racecar just to let there be more fun in his space.

In front of his bed, on a new stand was a television with a DVD player, a big bean bag chair off to the side. She also bought some DVDs from a used video store to start a collection for Beau.

“God this looks so much better. He should really like this.” Ben said, wiping his brow with the back of his hand. “This was a really nice idea, Olivia. Beau really does deserve better than that old attic.”

Patrick finished up the final touches on the big surprise and leaned back, popping his back. “This was a nice change of pace too. I like home projects. I think everything I ready.” He said as he sat in one of the chairs beside the table.

Olivia grinned and leapt down the ladder to fetch Violet and Beau, Tate waiting in the shadows with a gift of his own. He heard Olivia return, Beau following behind her. “Come on up, Beau! We’ve got a big surprise for you, hon.”

Beau came up the ladder and he gasped with a large smile and clapped his hands. His musty old attic looked bright and wonderful, string lights lined the walls with a lamp on the nightstand illuminating the redecorated space. Ben and Patrick chuckled with grins at Beau’s reaction, the boy happily dropping onto the brand new bed and nuzzling the pillows. “Soft!” he was soon wrapped up in the blankets like a burrito.

Olivia went to his side and poked his shoulder, “Comfy right? Hey, Tate has a surprise for you.” She told him, Beau soon seeing his brother appear before him, a cute, big stuffed black bear in his arms.

“Hey, Beau.” He greeted with a smile, kneeling down, “You like your new room? It’s nice right?” he asked, his smile growing wide at the nods he received. “I got this for you. Olivia helped but, I wanted you to have it.” He handed the plush bear over to his brother who hugged it tight and close. “There’s a lot of nice things here for you now. There’s books, you can draw and other toys for you. Even some movies that Olivia found for you. And there’s something really cool.” He lead Beau to a portion of his wall that had a big, black rectangle painted, a large box filled with a rainbow of chalk beside it. “It’s a chalkboard. Fun right?” Tate asked as he picked up a bit of blue chalk and drew a bird.

Ben and Patrick left after Olivia thanked them for the help, the two of them feeling better about Olivia seeing that she did want to help the house. She smiled at the brothers now drawing together. Deciding it was her time to leave them be, she turned to start down the ladder but stopped, feeling a large and cold hand grip hers.

She looked back and saw Tate, “Something wrong, Tate?” she asked, wondering why he was at her side instead of staying with his brother.

“Thank you, Olivia. I can’t say how much this means to me and to Beau. This is what he’s deserved his whole life. I’m happy someone was finally able to give it to him.” He explained, his grip loosening but not relinquishing her hand. “Something my bitch mother never cared for.”

Olivia stepped back up, once again on even ground with Tate. She felt her heart flutter as her eyes were glued to his, deep brown eyes filled with thanks and even slight adoration. “Well, it was fun and totally worth it seeing how happy he is.” She told him with a genuine smile on her face. “It felt kind of nice helping someone.”

Tate gave in a wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close into a tight hug, his nose pressing into her hair. “You’re the best thing that’s ever happened to this house…”

Chapter Text

Olivia was standing at her stove top, a green kettle boiling water for her two uninvited guests. They were both older white women with blond hair. The one with long hair looked friendly enough. She had the appearance of a television star; ‘natural’ makeup, manicured nails and her hair ending in soft and parted curls. Olivia looked her over, getting a feeling that she had some sort of power.

The other woman on the other hand was older with much shorter hair. You could describe her as an aged southern belle. ‘Makes herself look prim and proper, but I can tell she’s bitchy. Just like Violet warned.’ Olivia thought to herself as she continued brewing the tea for her guests.

Olivia had come home to find Violet outside waiting for her. “I’m just warning you, someone broke in. Doubt she could hurt you but, she’s a mega bitch. Don’t worry, she hasn’t been in long enough to steal anything. Yet.” The teenage girl then vanished and, true enough, there was a woman meandering around the first floor of the house as if she owned the place.

It took Olivia calling her out rather loudly to get the woman’s attention who introduced herself as Constance Langdon. After she showed up, Olivia noted that Tate was nowhere in sight. She found that rather odd as the ghost has been stuck to her side like gum on a shoe ever since Beau’s attic was renovated.

Olivia could feel something akin to judgment as she poured the tea into matching green mugs and set them on the island table where the two women were sitting. “It is nice to finally meet a few of my neighbors, Ms. Langdon.” She said, putting on a smile for the time being, hiding her utter distaste at this woman forcibly entering her home.

“I do try and introduce myself to neighbors. It is a courtesy and I believe in a tight knit community.” She explained, the other woman mixing some sugar into her tea. “I do not recall getting your name, young lady.”

“Oh, you didn’t. You haven’t asked.” Olivia took a sip before properly introducing herself. “I am Olivia Masters. I do wish you would have waited until I was actually home so we could have a more appropriate meeting. And your friend is…?”

“My name is Billie Dean. A psychic and medium to the stars you may say.” She offered Olivia her hand after she set tea cups down onto the counter, Olivia accepting and exchanging a gentle handshake.

“Billie actually has a show on television where she investigates haunted places or interest. It’s taken off rather quickly.” Constance explained then took a sip herself, pleasantly surprised. “This is a rather high quality blend you’ve used.”

“Thank you. I’ve been drinking only water and tea. Was recently in the hospital and my throat was rough like sandpaper. So, honey tea has been a dear friend. And where exactly do you both live?”

“Well, Billie doesn’t reside in this neighborhood. She’s just a very good friend. I live directly across the street from you.” Constance answered and pulled a cigarette and lighter from her bag, preparing to light it. Olivia narrowed her eyes, insulted the woman couldn’t be bothered to ask first. Constance muttered slight curses as the lighter refused to hold its flame; thanks to Olivia’s pyrokinesis. “Blasted thing. Oh well.” She put the two offending items away.

Olivia didn’t notice Billie’s expression; her psychic abilities sensing what she did and what she was. “You said you live across the street? Are you by yourself? That’s a pretty big place.”

“Oh, I’m not alone. I have little Michael; my son. One of the most beautiful boys I’ve ever seen.”

‘She seems too old for her to have a son. Unless he’s an adult and lives at home…’ Olivia did not voice her thoughts, still hoping to maybe be on decent terms with her neighbor.

They exchanged words for around an hour at most before Olivia faked having things to do, letting the women excuse themselves out. Olivia watched the two closely through a second story window, noticing them muttering to each other as they walked to Constance’s house. Constance already left a bad taste in her mouth for breaking into her home. “As if that bitch owns the place.” She muttered, not noticing Tate behind her.

Constance, finally able to light her cigarette now that she was back home, sat on her sofa, Michael upstairs playing. The boy growing fast and his hair now reflecting his mother’s strawberry hair. With short hair, Constance could see her Tate in his face and while he did not have his father’s eye color, there was an intensity that was very much like her dead son. She flicked her cigarette into an ashtray. “So, what’s your reading on that girl, Billie?” she asked as she took a long drag on the cigarette.

Neither woman heard Michael linger near the top of the staircase, curious as to what was being said. “You are correct, that girl is indeed a witch. She messed with your lighter earlier. She may be able to control fire.”

“I do not appreciate a woman like THAT living in MY house.” Constance hissed, glaring at the house through the window in the living room.

“Constance, her being a witch may be the least of your concerns.”

“And what could be worse than her being a filthy spell slinger?”

“All throughout our conversation, I had this horrible and heavy feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. There’s this dark aura about her, maybe even demonic energy. The troubling part is I don’t think even she knows about it.” Billie explained further, the feeling of dread still hadn’t left her.

 

A week and a half had gone by since Olivia met Constance and Billie Dean, nothing more really coming from the altercation and Olivia was fine with it. She didn’t really care for either woman, most of her disdain was directed towards Constance.

Meanwhile, Tate felt more and more drawn to Olivia. He spent as much time with her as possible, happy to have the company and that she seemed to enjoy being with him. He even felt a sense of longing for the witch. He knew he wasn’t desperate, he never tried reaching when it came to love or forcing romance. He liked how she wouldn’t mind helping others like his brother while also taking no one’s bullshit; the incident with Hayden still in his mind.

Tate was sitting on her bed, it was a tad after ten at night and he was reading one of her spellbooks as she was showering. Tate was intrigued by the contents of these books. He was even curious as to whether or not her would have had some affinity for magic when he was alive. He recalled she explained most magic users had some sort of incident when they reached their teenage years so he doubted he ever could have experienced magic personally.

He heard the water and he could hear the music she had playing in the bathroom; Olivia would play music during almost anything, even as she slept he learned when she began living in Murder House. He also heard her sing along to it as she was no doubt drying off. “I’ve been hellbent, baby. Hellbent on loving you all day long. Hellbent on drugs cause they turn you on. Don’t know what else to do~.”

Ruminating over his thoughts about Olivia, he had no hesitance to accept that he harbored strong feelings for her. His only real dilemma was if he should just come out and tell her without testing the waters first so to speak. He abandoned his thoughts for now when he noticed the object of his affections come out of the master bathroom, wearing black shorts and a pink leopard print tank top and her red hair in an over the shoulder ponytail.

Olivia let her body flop onto her bed, beside Tate. “Whatcha reading, Tater Tot?” she asked, peeking over at the ghost. Tate gave a look of sheer confusion at the nickname but decided to ignore it for now.

“Just one of your spellbooks. I think this one is about plants?”

“Oh alchemy? I’m pretty good at that. Whether it be poisons or even to help rejuvenate someone. Huh, you and Thomas have both shown interests in my books.”

“Wait. Who’s Thomas?” Tate asked quickly, his hold on the book tightening.

“Dude, chill. Thomas is a friend from the Cortez. My ex killed him out of jealousy. Poor kid. I’ve been able to practice some magic on him that deals with ghosts.” Olivia explained, eyes now to the ceiling of her bedroom.

“Wait which ex? The one who threw you out the window or the one that poisoned you?”

“James, the poisoner. Oscar is the one who threw me out the window.”

Tate shook his head, “That’s fucked up. So from what? A year ago you’ve been almost been killed three times?”

“Yup.” Olivia shrugged as if this wasn’t a big deal. “Shit happens. I’m still alive so that’s all that matters right?” While the amount of near fatal occurrences was concerning to say the least, there’s nothing she can do and freaking out wouldn’t help anything.

Tate licked his lips before he spoke again. “Is there anyone you’re interested in?” he asked curiously. Sure his timing may have been awkward but he had to know.

“I’m sorry, what-?” her sentence was cut off by a loud slam from downstairs. Olivia shot up from her bed. She knew the ghosts weren’t terribly rambunctious so she felt paranoia creep up and down her spine. “Tate. Go invisible and see what’s up.” She instructed, grabbing Lovetap; her custom baseball bat. She had to act quickly, she figured she didn’t have time to grab Trauma. Tate nodded and disappeared, Olivia keeping quiet and locking her bedroom door. Olivia felt no need to call the cops, certain of her own strength. Her magic in particular.

Tate reappeared beside her and whispered. “Three men broke in by the back door. They’re moving into the main room. I think only one is armed. I can help get rid of them, Liv.” He told her, grabbing her hand protectively.

“If it comes to it, you’re more than welcome to do what needs to be done. You think people would choose better houses to break into. Murder House of all places?”

“Maybe it’s cause you live alone?” Tate wondered, having a decent point.

“Maybe. But, they probably aren’t expecting a witch.” Olivia concentrated and teleported to the kitchen, seeing the door there had indeed been busted open. She held her bat close.

She saw a man enter the kitchen and her grip loosened on Lovetap. “Raoul?” she whispered just enough for him to hear her and beckoned him over, the two heading outside. “Raoul what are you doing breaking into my home?” she asked, keeping her voice down.

“It’s just a side job, ma’am. I didn’t think you of all people lived here. Some old lady wanted a few people to break in and scare the chick that lived here. I’d never have accepted if I knew it was you.” He explained.

“Don’t worry, I believe you. This woman. Is she a neighbor of mine? Got the aura of a self-important starlet?”

“Kind of yeah. She lives right across the street. You want me to off her?” he asked, the two now ducking outside so his cohorts wouldn’t see them. “And just to let you know, those two in there aren’t friends of mine or the family.”

“Good to know. I’ll take care of them. You go tell Constance whatever you like. Get out and go ahead and tell Juan and Alejandra where I live. I’ve been meaning to call.” She instructed, receiving a nod from the man before he snuck away and Olivia went back inside to deal with the other two.

Constance heard a flurry of knocks at her backdoor and answered it after lighting a cigarette. It was one of the men she hired to get rid of her magic pest problem. “What are you doing here? Did you scare the rat off?” she asked, exhaling a cloud of smoke.

“No.” Raoul stated simply, before throwing the money back at the woman. “This job is suicidal. You have no idea who you’ll piss off if that lady gets hurt.I recommend you stay on your side of the street and away from her.” Raoul left a confused Constance. He gave her a warning. Which, in his opinion, was more than she deserved.

Tate was still in Olivia’s room, the song Hellbent still playing on repeat. He couldn’t help but hate the timing of the intruders. He noticed one guy dart across the street to his mother’s place and felt his blood boil. If Olivia gets hurt and she’s the cause? He knew he’d do something bad again. But, it would be to protect her so that would be fine right?

He was unable to hear the commotion over the lyrics, “I’ve been hellbent, baby. Since too long, baby. My eyes wide shut. I’ll prove you wrong. Oh, I’ll turn you on. You make me strong.” As the lyrics echoed, he finally heard something, a sound he was quite familiar with. The loud BANG of a gun. “All I need is, All I need is you.” His eyes widened and he rushed from her room, fearing the worst.

The two intruders, one holding a gun and following the stockier man as he drug Olivia’s body down the stairs to the basement. “Oh my fucking god bro. I just…I-” his pulse had skyrocketed and he couldn’t think straight.

“Just stop and breathe! Jesus Christ, man.” The larger man dropped the body by the foot of the stairs, unaware of the ghost that was stalking them.

“She was right. I’ve never hurt anyone. I just SHOT her, Lou!” he threw the gun against the wall and cradled his head, trying to steady his breathing.

“She WAS egging you on. Not sure what she thought would happen.” Lou rubbed the back of his head. “Bitch clocked me pretty good with that bat though. She’s stronger than she looks.”

“What do we do? Just leave her here? I’ve heard the stories of this place. Some sort of monster lives here.”

“Yeah. Bodies have been found here dozens of times. Another corpse to the pile won’t change anything.” Lou and his friend shifted uncomfortably. “Jan. Does the air down here feel different? Not stuffy but…heavy?” Lou asked, coughing slightly, wanting to leave as soon as possible.

“Yeah. And sort of dark? I don’t know. I just wanna leave, man. Let’s go get our money and just go home.” Jan gulped as they heard a shuffling motion then a series of small, metallic clinking sounds. They looked down to see a bloody bullet roll between them. “L-Lou…” the two men, feeling chills creep up and down their spines knew they would have to turn around if they hoped to leave. Fear kept their feet planted to the cold concrete.

Lou turned first and his breath left him. The corpse of their victim was sitting up, a cloud of pitch darkness surrounding her. Jan finally turned to look and he started panicking again, her head lulled to the side then lifted up, only glowing red eyes visible. “What the fuck is she…?!”