A/N: I’m sorry but the new episode with James made me sad. Oh, also this story will have some flashbacks, and you’ll be able to distinguish them with the “-” just btw.
You hated this blasted hotel. You’ve been here for at least three years. When you’re trapped for eternity, time stands still. You’d been murdered by your husband, who’d taken you here for a “date night” which ended up with him claiming your insurance money and you trapped with hundreds of other souls in this building.
To be fair, most of them were tolerable. Liz was lovely, and her family was adorable. Iris was kind to you and helped you keep up with your family online. Queenie was new, but you loved her presence. Despite being dead, she had a presence of life that just gave you a spark. However, there was only one soul that you could not stand.
James Patrick March.
He was the “owner” of the Cortez and he was revolting. He had been a serial killer when he was alive, but kept up the practice even in death. He’d originally ignored you when you first died. But when he heard of how you’d died, he became obsessed.
You were exploring the hotel after your first week here.
You had spent your first days here repeatedly walking through the front door. Nothing. All you could do was stare out the window. But, you refused to be broken and instead decided to spend your time going through the hotel rooms. You knocked on every door, but if there was no response you went to the next one. Door 64 was next.
“Come in.” You were shocked at the response. You couldn’t deny the giddy feeling at trying to meet someone new. Unfortunately, when you opened the door, you were met with the spirit of James March.
“You’re not Ms. Evers.” Your heart was caught in your throat as you drunk the man in. His attire and moustache resembled that of any movie about the “Roarin’ Twenties.” He was surrounded by a cloud of smoke and held a confused look that enchanted you. You nervously shook your head and replied,
“No. I’m (Y/n) (L/n). I just died week ago. I’m just exploring the hotel.” You held out your hand for him to shake. He suspiciously glanced down at it before turning back around, clearly uninterested.
“I do not associate with the spirits trapped here unless I’m the reason that they’re here.” You bit back your disappointment and turned to leave.
“But, out of curiosity,” Oh. “How did you die?” You swallowed thickly as you remembered your husband’s betrayal. You didn’t want to indulge in this man’s sick interest in it.
What the heck, you were dead.
“Murder. My husband killed me.” You moved to open the door when his grip landed on your wrist. You turned around to see his dark eyes wide with fascination and intensity. You were suddenly assaulted with vile questions.
“What did it feel like?”
“How dull was the blade?”
“Where did he dump the body?”
It was absolutely repulsive.
You jerked your hand free and sprinted from the room. You never returned to that floor.
After that incident, you tried your best to avoid him, but he always managed to find a way into your afterlife. For instance, he once “coincidentally” found you at the bar when you were speaking to Liz. Or, he “accidentally” walked into the wrong room when you were watching T.V.
Although, you must admit that sometimes his company was comforting.
You wandered the halls of the hotel, for the thousandth time.
You felt completely numb. You had only found a few spirits that were communicative (in a non-violent way) and even if they were, they didn’t make good conversation. You hadn’t spoken a word in days.
You missed your family, your home, and of course your life.
You’d lost count of the days you’d spent here. You couldn’t even remember the day that you’d died.
You felt tears well up in your eyes. When you reached the end of the hallway, you broke down in tears.
You fell down to your knees and buried your face in your hands. The brittle carpet scraped against your knees and the smell of old wallpaper was pungent in your nose.
“Come, my dear. A lady mustn’t cry in public.” You didn’t even turn to face him.
“Go away.” Your voice was cracked and dry as you spoke. Instead of responding, James placed one hand on your shoulder and another on your waist.
“Come along, darling,” he gently lifted you off of the ground, “You are much too beautiful to be crying so harshly.” You didn’t respond as he walked you to his room.
He opened the door and addressed Ms. Evers,
“Ms. Evers, please cook something up for Ms. (L/n). Immediately.” She nodded fervently and then moved to leave. James sat you down on the couch as you continued to cry.
“What are you -sniff- doing?” you asked, your eyes still covered with your hands.
“Simply accommodating my guest.” You dropped your hands and shot him a glare.
“You know that I’m not a guest, here.” James smirked and pulled out a handkerchief.
“Of course, my dear.” You moved to take the cloth but he pulled it back. “Not happening, sweetheart.” You huffed and begrudgingly allowed him to wipe at your tears.
“Why are you doing this? I’m not going to tell you how I died.” James scoffed and dabbed at your right cheek.
“Is that how little you think of me?” You didn’t respond.
However, when Queenie arrived, he found a new companion. And you were grateful for it. Albeit, slightly annoyed at his constant attention on her.
“Hey, Queenie, wanna-”
“Oh, I’m sorry, dear. Queenie is a bit preoccupied at the moment.” You huffed as you walked into her room to find James still sitting there.
Just like yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before that.
“Again, James? Don’t you have hookers to murder?” He pursed his lips, but didn’t reply. Queenie looked between the two of you. She specifically gave a hard look at James.
“March you better say somethin’ or I’m gonna-”
“Well, my dear, it seems that you and Queenie have some catching up to do. Good evening.” He was out of there in a second. You rolled your eyes and tossed yourself onto the mattress.
“He’s so annoying,” you muttered and Queenie snorted. “What?” you demanded.
“Nothin.’ The two of you are just the most sexually tense people that I’ve ever met.” You scoffed and got up to sit down in front of Queenie.
“So, teach me how to play gin.”
The day that Queenie was rescued from the Cortez, you were with her, as was James. You were sitting on the mattress, reading, while the two of them played cards, per usual.
“You know, darling, you could join us. Threesomes are more fun, after all.” You rolled your eyes as Queenie snorted.
That’s when he walked in.
Your body had a physical reaction to him; the hairs on your arm stood on end, your throat felt weak, and you felt a pit of fear grow rapidly. You swallowed nervously as he offered to bring Queenie back.
“No. If Cordelia couldn’t do it, than no one can.” You begged to disagree.
“Queenie, I think that you should do it,” you whispered, prompting the man to glance toward you.
“Would you like to join her?” By instinct, you looked to James. His expression gave no indication of how he felt.
But then his eyes met yours.
You looked back to the thing that had walked in.
“No thank you.” With that, Queenie, left the two of you. Alone.
“I think I’ll quite miss Queenie. She was quite a good gin partner.” You put down your book and sat across from James.
“I think I can take her place.” James’ lips turned up into a smirk.
“Let’s play.” The two of you played for a few days straight. And talked. While you had been at the Cortez, you’d never talked with James before.
“My dear, may I ask you something?” You hummed in response. “Why did you choose to stay?” You chuckled and shuffled the deck, once more.
“I think you know, James.” He cocked his head to the side and stood up, walking over to you. You didn’t look up.
“Why don’t you explain it to me? Hm?” He stood behind you and you felt a pair of hands on your shoulder. You took in a calming breath and continued to shuffle.
“Fine. I stayed because of you, are you happy?” His hands reached down and wrapped around you.
“Immensely.” His breath was right beside your ear.
Screw it, you thought, I’m dead. You turned and brought your lips to his. You felt him growl from his throat as you stood up. You moved your arms to his neck and he moved his own to your waist.
The two of you broke apart, and you saw James grinning wildly.
“That was obscene.” You licked your lips and pressed your body up to his and whispered,