GENRE: Gay Mystery Paranormal Romance
LENGTH: 26,250 words
Sequel to Ghostly Investigations
My name is Tonio, and I'm a ghost. I want to, need to, find out who killed me so I can move on. The problem is, I have no idea how to do so. Or I didn't, until Brody and Jon showed up. They're ghosts, too, and they know Mike, a police detective, and Sage, a medium who can speak with the dead.
With their help, and mine, will it be possible for Mike to find out who pushed me off the lighting bridge at the theater where I worked? At the same time, can I come to grips with the fact that, in death, I've lost David, an actor at the theater and the one man I ever loved?
"I think he could use our help."
The words penetrated my foggy mind. I opened my eyes to early morning sunshine and knew I must have slept, which surprised me. What surprised me even more were the two men I saw a few feet away, looking directly at me. Okay, not precisely men, I realized. I could see the roof through them, hazy but there.
"You ... you're ghosts, too?" I asked, afraid they were, at the same time I was praying they were.
"Yep," the older one replied. He was wearing worn jeans and a muscle shirt. The younger one had on jeans, too, but a nicer pair, plus a T-shirt under a plain blue work shirt. "Name's Brody," the older on said. "This is Jon." He put his arm around the shoulders of the younger ghost.
"I'm Tonio," I told them, getting to my feet.
"How long dead?" Brody asked.
"Two and a half days or so, since today's the fourteenth, I think."
Brody studied me. "How did you get up here?"
"On the roof? I sort of floated up. Why?"
Brody glanced at Jon then back at me. "Interesting. Just like that?"
Jon chuckled. "Brody had to teach me how to go through walls and floors -- by example, since I didn't think I could."
"I got the idea I could when I came to, I guess you could call it, floating a couple of feet above where I died. I went down, started to go through the floor and managed to stop before I was in the basement. When I tried to leave the stage by one of the doors in the wings and couldn't open it, I figured maybe I could go through it. It worked." I studied them before asking, "Why are you here? Did you die in the theater, sometime in the past?"
Brody snorted. "Not even close. I was killed on the streets, by a drug dealer, almost six years ago while I was working undercover. It took five years to find out it was him and prove it."
I frowned. "Then why are you still around, if you know who did it?"
"Because Jon is. We've never discovered who killed him. We have our suspicions, but in his case, no proof one way or the other."
"You mean we have a choice whether to move on or not?"
"Once ghosts know why they died, who caused it, and, as I said, the proof they need, then most of them want to get out of this world and on to wherever they're supposed to end up."
"And then there's Brody," Jon said, smiling at him.
"Are you two a couple?" I asked.
Brody replied, "Not the way you probably mean it. Sex is not an option for ghosts, for whatever reason. My guess is, it takes blood flow to get it up, and since we don't have blood ..." He shrugged.
"We're a couple in every other way, though," Jon added.
"At least you've got each other," I replied morosely. "Wait a second. If neither of you were killed here, how come you are here? I thought ghosts had to stay where they died. Like they're stuck there. I know I can't leave the theater grounds. I tried, and ended up back where they found my body."
"Really? Hmm." Brody seemed puzzled. "I have no clue why that happened. Jon had no problem leaving the area where he was killed. Neither did I."
"I wonder." Jon looked pensive. "We were both killed outside, Brody. From what Tonio said, he was in the theater when he died. Could that be it?"
"God, I hope not," I said angrily. "I don't want to spend the rest of my existence here, if I can't figure out who pushed me off the bridge."
Jon cocked his head. "The bridge?"
"It's the walkway above the stage where the lights are hung for shows. Think of a catwalk, if you want a visual."
Brody smirked. "My visual of a catwalk involves sexy models strutting their stuff at a fashion show."
"He's bi," Jon whispered to me, "so women do it for him as much as men."
"Not me," I murmured, thinking of David. Damn, I missed him.
"How about we get back on topic," Brody suggested. "Let's go inside so you can show us where it happened."
"Follow me," I replied, sinking down through the roof. I didn't realize until we had that we'd been standing above the costume shop area.