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There it was again. That chesty cough, dying into a drowning gurgle, very close. As if whoever was coughing was in the bedroom with them. Right at the foot of their bed.

“He’s here again” Lisa turned to her lover, her eyes wide open. Mo nodded and stroked her soft hair. “I know sweetheart. Let him be. Just enjoy yourself”

Lisa sat up. “I can’t!” She turned to the darkness beyond their bed. “Go away you pervert! Fuck off!”

It was too much. After all, they had been through, the pandemic anxieties, isolations, job losses, fear of homelessness, and now this. Mo cradled her, trying to console her.

There was nothing they could do. In this abysmal housing market, they had been lucky to get this place. Lisa filled it with knick-knacks, covering walls with photos and posters, and Mo cooked, permeating the space with the scent of caramelized onion turning gold.

But cooking aromas, as wonderful as they can be, are not known for their exorcist qualities. Lisa and Mo soon accepted that they were being watched. It didn’t deter Mo, the biological urge took over and he pumped away like a stallion. But Lisa couldn’t take pleasure when she knew a ghost was staring at them. Never fast to come, she took even longer, and orgasming became more and more difficult.

Especially after she learned from the building superintendent the ghost was that of the previous tenant who had died of COVID, a vocal anti-vaxxer who had died denying COVID even as he was being intubated.

“Why doesn’t he haunt the hospital?” she muttered, pulling up the sheets covering her breasts.

“Stop that! I wanna see them out!” Mo tugged the sheet away. Before, she would have turned to him eagerly, lifting her breasts up to better receive his delightful attention. Their love, flourishing under the pandemic restrictions, had been the one bright spot of the past months. But now, this COVID ghost was taking that away.

Mo lovingly but firmly pulled Lisa into him, caressing her all over and deep inside, and she whimpered with delight. Then the soft wet cough happened again, loud and clear right by her ears as if he was leaning in to get a better view. Lisa shrieked, pushed off Mo, wildly flailing her arms around, before collapsing into sobs. Mo didn’t try to console her this time. He lay back, staring at the ceiling. He was a man of action and needed a plan to save his love.

***

Getting his hands on a vial of the vaccine wasn’t easy, he had risked his job and pulled in a few favors, but worth it. After that, it was pretty satisfying. Sprinkling vaccine around their bed, adding masks, and squeezing out hand sanitizers for extra oomph. It had gone exactly as he had known it would. The ghost had flickered into view as it dissolved into oblivion: a dumpy reddish-white dude, howling with an unholy fury.

Then silence.

***

That night, Lisa orgasmed multiple times

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