This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.


by Jeff Morris

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten



“Dr. Spengler? You still in there?”

Startled, Egon Spengler peered up from his work and turned toward the door, where a short, owlish woman with dark curly hair stood watching him. “Is there a problem, Annie?” he asked, blinking to force his eyes back into focus.

The young woman laughed merrily and shrugged. “Hey, you wanna work till all hours, that’s your business,” she said in her drawling southern way. “But if I recall correctly, you have a date tonight, don’t you?”

“Yes...” Egon gazed at the clock on his workbench. His eyes widened as the digital device flashed “6:30” repeatedly. But it seemed only minutes ago that he’d sat down to tinker with a few odds and ends. Where had the time gone? Why hadn’t someone come in and told him how late it was getting?

As his right hand automatically shoved his glasses back up to their accustomed perch, he permitted a small, amused “hmmph” to escape. Perhaps someone had come in. And after five or six futile attempts to gain Spengler’s attention, had shrugged his or her shoulders and left. He remembered the sign Peter bad once put on the door to his lab: “MAD SCIENTIST AT WORK—DO NOT DISTURB!” and smiled.

Egon couldn’t help it. It simply seemed so natural, so right to leave the mundane world behind and wander through a universe of perfect order and precision, where everything fit precisely and where “A” always resulted in “B” unless there was a loose connection somewhere. Where actions always led to consequences, and vice versa.

Suddenly remembering that he wasn’t alone in his lab, he returned his attention to the woman standing in the doorway. “You’re quite right, Annie. Thank you for dropping by and reminding me.”

“No problem, Dr. Spengler. By the way, I should have your terminal hooked up to the Internet tomorrow. If you want, I’ll drop by and give you a quick lesson on how to access everything. Well, good night—and have fun!”

“Good night, Annie. Thanks again.” She waved farewell and headed off, the sound of her sneakers slapping rhythmically against the tiled floor. Bemused, Egon idly picked up the small gadget he’d been working on. Rolling it through his hands in careful examination, he wondered just what it would do. Would it flare into an explosion of light and sound? Would it provide some clue into the zany experiments he was currently running? Or would it perhaps make a really neat zap? He made a mental note to have someone begin beta testing on it tomorrow; he had other things to do before dinner.

Egon rose to his feet and stretched his lanky body to the ceiling, easing protesting muscles back into line. As he headed for his office desk, his left hand plunged into a pants pocket and retrieved a large ring of keys in various shapes and sizes. He carefully selected the one that would open the bottom left drawer of his desk and slipped it into the lock. A quick turn of the wrist, and the drawer was released.

Cause and effect.

Reaching inside, he pulled out a grimy, battered PKE meter and switched it on. The lights flickered dimly; the indicator needle hovered at the bottom left side of the gauge. Nodding to himself, Egon turned around and opened a window, allowing the crisp late‑September air to slip around his body. He then thrust the meter outside and held it there for three minutes. The needle stayed right where it was.

From his lab, he could see the buildings of Manhattan glittering in the night. So many lights, flickering and twinkling like a swarm of fireflies in the darkness. And the sounds ... cars, people, planes, trains ... a symphony of everyday life that surrounded him and threatened at times to overwhelm him.

Everyday, mundane life. Nothing abnormal. Nothing paranormal.

He brought the meter inside, shut the window, and let his thoughts drift back to when their lives changed forever...


* * * * *


Spring was in the air; you could feel it everywhere. The sun was shining, glittering in the reflection of a million rain‑puddles on the grimy New York streets. Birds flitted wildly about in the air and sang joyously of the return to more bearable weather. People actually smiled to each other as they passed in the crowded Manhattan streets.

All of which was lost to four soundly‑sleeping Ghostbusters. Three midnight calls rendered them utterly oblivious to the world outside. Nothing in creation could rouse them from their well‑earned slumber—with the exception of the containment unit’s overload alarm, which went off at ten minutes after nine.

Egon lunged for his glasses, leaped out of bed and was already sliding down the fire pole before any of the others had time to move. Ray quickly followed his partner downstairs, with Winston and Peter hard on his heels.

Janine stood at the basement staircase, white with horror as she watched Egon racing towards her—though she did appreciate the fact that he was clad only in his nightshirt. “I don’t know what happened!” she cried as he rushed past. “I was entering some billings—I never even went downstairs!”

“Containment overload?” called Ray as he sailed down the stairs.

“I’m afraid so, Ray.” Even shouting, Egon’s voice took on that calm, dispassionate tone that had become his trademark. He studied the readings on the control panel carefully, his frown deepening as his worst fears were confirmed.

“What caused it?” Ray yelled over the din.

“I’m not sure. That can wait until after we’ve gotten things back under control. I estimate that unless we do something to relieve the pressure, the containment will explode in two minutes forty‑five seconds.”

“What do we do?” bellowed Winston over the alarm. He and Peter stood in the upstairs doorway, knowing that their assistance downstairs would be marginal at best.

“Grab the proton packs and as many clean traps as you can find!” Ray bellowed at the top of his lungs. “Egon, can we release some PKE to relieve the pressure but still keep the containment active?”

“It’d be dangerous,” Spengler replied. “It would require precise timing to release just enough ectoplasmic energy to stop the overload, but at the same time keep the remaining portion within. And there’s no guarantee that we can shut the containment once more.”

“Well, it sure beats blowing another hole in the ceiling,” Peter called out as he stumbled down the stairs. Both he and Winston were wearing the tools of their unique trade and carrying extra packs as well. “Go ahead and let some go, Egon. We’ll catch ‘em and figure out what to do afterwards.”

“Very well,” Spengler replied uneasily. His long fingers raced across the computer controls; though his glasses continued to slip down his nose, he spared not even an instant to return them to their proper place. “Overload in forty‑five seconds ... forty ... releasing excess PKE—NOW!”

An unearthly, eerie wail accompanied the roar of multicolored energy that exploded from the containment; the sheer surge of power sent Egon flying backwards into the opposite wall, where he hit with a sickening thud. “Oh no!” Ray cried.

“EGON!” screamed Peter.

“Ray! What’s going on?” cried Winston.


Janine stormed through the stunned contingent of Ghostbusters; none of them noticed that she too was wearing a proton pack. Ignoring the increasing cacophony, she rushed over to where Egon lay and gently slapped his face. “Egon? Egon? Can you hear me?”

“Janine...” He blinked rapidly, then felt around instinctively for his glasses, which had fallen off when he’d gone flying. As he moved, something sharp poked him from underneath; with a sinking heart he reached under where he sat and pulled out the crumpled remains of his eyewear. “Rats.”

The others had recovered from their momentary paralysis and had moved to join him. “The containment’s completely blown,” Ray said gloomily. “The circuits are literally fused together.”

“Any suggestions, Egon?” Peter said with a note of wariness. He ducked to avoid the lunge of a class five that took exception to him.

“As a matter of fact, I do have one.” He squinted at the faces surrounding him. “Peter, Winston, Janine—start trapping whatever you can. Keep the entities busy. Ray—that experiment we were working on...”

Stantz’s eyes widened. “That one? But Egon ... we’ve never had a successful test...”

Spengler shook his head. “We’ll just have to hope that the most recent enhancements we made will work. I’ll need my spare set of glasses...” He turned to squint at Janine.

“Top right drawer,” she informed him. “Egon ... be careful.” He nodded at her blurry figure, then let Ray guide him upstairs as Winston and Peter commenced firing at the swirling entities that raged around them. Janine waited until she was sure that they’d reached the main floor safely before firing her thrower.

“Ah, much better,” Egon commented as his vision snapped back into sharp focus. “Let’s get up to the lab, Ray. We don’t have much time. “

“I don’t get it,” Ray panted as they raced up the narrow staircase. “I checked the containment last night. The readings were high, but well within the limits we established when we built the new unit. Why did it go wild all of a sudden?”

“No way of knowing, “ Egon gasped as they passed the second floor and continued ascending. “And it’s not important. Just get to the lab ... look out!” Ray barely had time to register the oncoming attack of a class four repeater before Egon fired a tight beam at the entity. The specter screamed as it tumbled to the ground floor.

“Definitely running out of time,” Ray wheezed as they reached the third floor. “But we made it.”

“That was the easy part,” Egon shook his head grimly. “Now comes the hard part.”


* * * * *


“TRAPS OPEN!” Peter, Janine and Winston hopped onto three pedals, which signaled the miniature containment units to flare into life. The devices unleashed their bright halos of light, snaring whatever fell into their beams and dragging them inexorably downward.

“Well, dozens down and a million to go,” Peter said, taking aim at a new target.

“Yeah,” agreed Winston, “too bad we’re running out of traps, isn’t it?”

“We could try and switch the containment back on,” Janine yelled. “At least keep things from getting worse.”

“Too late,” Zeddemore shook his head. “Take a look—the readings are at dead zero.”

“Oh, great,” the redhead receptionist groaned. “Spook Central all over again.” She screamed in outrage as a class six smashed into her, covering her body in ectoplasm. “Egon, Ray, you guys had better not be fooling around up there!”


* * * * *


“Well?” Egon asked, slamming his bare foot down on an activator pedal and snagging a free‑roaming vapor that had been pestering them.

“Just about finished,” Stantz called, his attention focused on soldering a series of connections. “Egon, are you sure this thing will work?”

Spengler glanced at the bizarre construct he and Ray had been working on for the past year. “In theory, it should perform exactly as we designed it,” he said. “In practice ... I don’t know, Ray.”

“Well,” Stantz replied with a forced cheeriness, “only one way to find out.” He reached over and flicked a large red switch to the right. Nearby, a large oval screen flickered into sleepy life. “Well, so far, so good.”

“We need a test subject.” Egon glanced down at the smoking trap by his feet, then smacked the pedal a second time, opening the trap and releasing the just‑captured repeater. It soared angrily into the air, shrieking at its captors...

... then with an anguished wail broke up into strands of energy, which in turn slammed into the oval screen and dissipated. “Son of a gun,” declared Ray. “It works!”

“It’s still too early to tell,” Egon warned. “We’re dealing with a high degree of ectoplasmic energy. Who knows if this device can safely absorb and transmit the amassed PKE energy from downstairs back to the netherworld?”

“Well, we’re about to find out,” Ray replied, looking over Egon’s shoulder at a huge mass of ectoplasm coming right at them. “DUCK!”

* * * * *

The screaming was increasing in intensity, but the attack of the enraged ghosts had abruptly ceased. Instead, the entities hovered near the ceiling, slowly breaking apart and ascending heavenward in snakelike tendrils.

“What’s going on?” cried Janine.

“I think the homeboys have pulled our fat out of the fire again!” cheered Winston. “Way to go, guys!”

“Not a moment too soon, either,” Peter said with a sigh. “This was our last trap... “ He glanced over at the pile of flickering devices, and frowned. “That’s odd. Winston, are those things shaking?”

Zeddemore peered at the traps. “Sure are. What...

He never had a chance to finish his question; with a sudden surge of sound and light, the traps simultaneously exploded, releasing their captives. But instead of attacking, the spirits screamed and joined their comrades in breaking up and heading skyward.

Silence fell within moments; Peter blinked away the momentary dazzle that came from the bright lights of the traps and helped Janine to her feet. “You okay?”

“Yeah, “ she nodded weakly, then gazed at the ceiling. “Come on—they may need our help.”


* * * * *


“It’s working!” Ray exulted. He and Egon watched as elongated strands of ectoplasmic energy were sucked through the brightly‑gloving portal. “Egon, we did it! “

Spengler, however, did not share his partner’s excitement. His eyes were riveted on his PKE meter. “Something’s wrong,” he murmured quietly as he set the device aside and consulted the main control panel of the gateway. “Ray, I think we may have a problem.”

“What’s wrong?” Stantz was there instantly; he glanced over the indicator readings and gasped in shock. “Egon—if these readings are correct...”

“We’re not just absorbing PKE from the containment,” Egon nodded. “We’re soaking up every erg of paranormal energy in New York ... possibly beyond.” He peered over his glasses at his partner. “I don’t think the portal can handle that level of power.”

“Maybe we’d better turn it off.”

Spengler sighed glumly. “Already tried.” Puzzled, Stantz swatted the activator button ... then, when nothing happened, tried again, and again, and again. “Oops,” he squeaked. “Must have missed a connection somewhere.”

“Hey, get a load of the light show!” called Peter, heralding the entrance of the remainder of the team. Ectoplasmic energy was pouring through the windows, the ceiling, the floor, the walls, accompanied by an awful high pitched keening. “So,” Venkman continued breezily, “is this the doodad that saved our bacon this time?”

“Not now, Peter,” Egon said, a slight tremor in his voice the only indication that all was not well. “We’re rather busy at the moment.”

“Uh‑oh,” said Janine.

“Concentration of PKE just doubled,” Ray informed Egon.

“What’s wrong?” asked Winston.

“Tripled,” Ray corrected.

“Do we really want to know?” Peter asked no one in particular.

“No, but you might want to head to the basement for safety,” Egon told him. “Just in the event that the portal explodes. It will probably take the entire third floor with it.”

“Oh, mercy,” Winston rolled his eyes heavenward.

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Janine demanded. She grabbed Egon’s arm and dragged the startled scientist away from the control panel. “C’mon, guys, let’s get the blue blazes out of here!”

“Good idea, Janine,” Peter declared, pulling Ray away. “Shows a definite flair for decisive action. I like that in a woman.”

“Flirt later,” she sniffed, struggling with a reluctant Egon. “Survive first.”

“Someone should really stay and monitor those readings,” Spengler said uncertainly. Janine would have liked to swat him upside the head, but chalked his comment up to scientific curiosity and let it go as she dragged him to the fire pole. One by one the Ghostbusters slid down to the ground floor; Ray was the last to leave, and he stole a final, regretful glance at the brightly‑shining portal before fleeing. “Gee,” he sighed. “It was really working for awhile, too.”

Five minutes after they’d sequestered themselves in a safe corner of the basement, a violent explosion rocked the firehouse. Miraculously, the reinforced building remained intact, save for the instantly‑vaporized third floor. But all the same, it was a long time before any of the Ghostbusters were willing to leave their haven and head upstairs.

The garage and main offices were in shambles. ECTO‑1 was buried in plaster and debris; Janine’s desk was lying on its side, papers drifting lazily to the ground in the dusty, hazy air. Egon absently handed a handkerchief to a sneezing Janine as the others crept carefully around the remains of their base.

“Some party,” Peter finally said, a touch of awe in his voice. “Almost as wild as the one with Gozer.” He poked at the remains of Janine’s PC with a wary toe. “Hey Janine—did you remember to back up the customer accounts receivable files before all this happened?”

“Gimme a break.”

“Well, we did save two of three floors,” Winston commented, peering up the fire pole. “Though the ceiling to the second floor is missing.”

“There go all my Dopey Dog and Captain Steel bed sheets,” Ray sighed.

“There go all my experiments, and my spore and mold collections,” Egon said despondently.

“There go all our clothes,” Winston reminded them, then smiled. “Except for our dirty clothes downstairs. Good thing we had Pete on laundry detail, huh?”

Venkman cringed. “Uh, guys...”

Winston turned around in shock. “Pete, no. You didn’t.”

“Well, I didn’t have anything to do yesterday between calls...”

“You did the laundry,” Ray groaned.

“And you put it all away,” rejoined Winston. “Great timing, Pete.”

“Well, you’ve still got your coveralls,” Janine briskly reminded them. “And you’re going to catch your death of cold if you don’t get into them, pronto. I’ll go downstairs until you’re dressed.”


* * * * *


A short time later, Egon headed to the front door, which fell forward instead of sideways at his touch. He stared at the offending piece of wood for a moment, then stepped outside and activated his PKE meter.

“Well?” Janine asked, picking her way through the debris to join him. She peered over his shoulder and frowned. “Egon? Aren’t you going to turn it on?”

“It is on,” he replied, a curious tone in his voice.

“Then why isn’t it doing anything? It has to be picking up something! New York is Spook Central, from what you’ve told me.”

“Fascinating,” he murmured.

Ray jumped through the doorway and looked around, then activated his own PKE meter and gulped. “Holy cow!”

“What’s going on?” Winston asked.

“PKE levels are at zero,” Egon informed him.

“He’s right,” Ray nodded, looking a bit pale. “I can’t pick up any emanations, either.”

Zeddemore’s face crinkled into a deep frown. “C’mon, Egon. You told me that no matter where you stand, you’d always pick up some trace of PKE with that meter. It can’t be zero.”

Peter had joined the others just then; he studied their expressions, then glanced up at the sky and shook his head.

“Let me guess,” he sighed. “We just put ourselves out of business.”


* * * * *


Out of business.

Egon and Ray went to the World Trade Center. They dug out ECTO‑1 and hit every borough, taking readings from various sites. They flew over New Jersey and Pennsylvania in ECTO‑2. They boarded TWA and traveled to Boston, to Chicago, to Dallas, to Denver, to Los Angeles. And everywhere they went, they found the same result. The PKE meters, calibrated to perfection, detected no ectoplasmic energy traces whatsoever. No residue, no slime—nothing.

Temporary living arrangements were hastily made: Winston moved back in with his parents, Peter took temporary lodgings at Mrs. Faversham’s, and Ray’s Aunt Lois persuaded Egon to join her nephew at her place. The calls to Ghostbuster Central (undergoing emergency renovations) trickled down to a few crank calls per week. Janine busied herself by sending out overdue notices and typing up the occasional letter from Peter that crossed her desk. Winston supervised the clean‑up and rebuilding of the third floor, while Ray and Egon helped raise some petty cash by hitting the college lecture circuit.

Peter for his part sat behind his desk, either talking on the phone in tones too low for Janine to properly overhear, or carefully reading the large pile of mail that arrived every day. From time to time he would slip on a suit and tie, then tell Janine that he’d be out the rest of the day and to just take messages. The people who did phone during these absences always used names, never titles or corporate identities, which only served to drive her even crazier with curiosity.

Of course she never stooped to reading his mail. That would be far too easy.

Peter called a meeting six weeks after the explosion.

They sat in the newly‑repaired second floor rec room: Janine just close enough to Egon to be happy without spooking him, Ray directly in front of the television set, and Winston leaning back in his favorite battered recliner. Peter smiled at all of them and cleared his throat. “I imagine you’re wondering why I called you here,” he began.

“Yeah, and you better make it quick,” Winston grimed. “I got tickets to the Knicks for tonight.”

“And I’m missing a lecture at Columbia University regarding a rare fungus found recently in the Amazon rainforest,” Egon said.

“I better be getting overtime for this,” Janine frumped.

“Take it easy, this won’t be long,” Venkman coolly assured them. “First off, we had better face facts. It would seem that our two mad scientists have, in saving our necks, killed our business.”

“That isn’t fair!” Ray protested, leaning forward; he had taken the incident hardest of the four. Life without the prospect of ghostbusting seemed pretty boring at best and bleak at worst.

“I wasn’t blaming anyone, Ray. Merely pointing out that our income has been utter crap lately. If it hadn’t been for Janine collecting on all our overdue accounts, and the insurance company agreeing to finance the renovation work, we would really be up the creek.

“Well, I kind of foresaw this as a possibility, so for the past few years I’ve been putting together a contingency package of sorts. What I’ve done is set up a shell corporation, called Ghostbusters, International, with all of us as partners ... yeah, you too, Janine, though I don’t know what possessed me to do it,” he winked at the stunned secretary, “which will serve to finance and market the next phase of our activities‑“

“What activities?” Winston demanded. “Ghostbusters is finished!”

“As an active concern, yes,” Peter agreed. “As a cartoon show and toy line, though, it’s just beginning.”

“WHAT?” demanded four voices.

“I set up a deal with an animation company to do adaptations of our adventures, based on Ray’s case studies,” Venkman smiled triumphantly. “And a toy company has agreed to come out with an entire line of ‘Ghostbuster’ toys. I’m in the middle of negotiations with three comic book companies for publication rights. And what’s best is, at this moment, my friends, we are very, very wealthy. You wouldn’t believe how much they were willing to pay.”

“WHAT?” the four voices repeated.

“And with that seed money, we can invest it in safe, growing stocks and bonds,” Peter continued. “I’ve set up accounts with a very reputable brokerage that was more than happy to take us on as clients.” He looked around at the four stunned expressions surrounding him and grimed. “Don’t you get it? We’re rich, guys. We can do whatever we want now. It’s a whole new ballgame!”

Janine finally broke the silence that followed. “Wow,” she breathed.

Winston looked ecstatic, Egon thoughtful. Ray’s face, however, fell into a slightly mournful pout. “I just wish we could still go ghostbusting,” he sighed. “It was kinda fun, when you think about it.”

“But you can do anything you want, now!” Janine declared brightly. “You could adapt all the stuff you and Egon invented, make it into things that can help people! Egon, you could open up that research facility you’d always talked about starting, and work in the lab as little or as much as you wanted! It’s a dream come true!”

“There were some potential benefits regarding adaptations to the proton packs and throwers,” Egon abruptly noted. “We always meant to look into that, but never had the time before‑“

“And now you do!” Janine laughed delightedly, grabbing Egon’s arm and hugging it tightly. “And now you can go out and do things for fun, like go for walks, dinner, dancing, the opera! It’s great, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” Spengler replied, a curiously gentle smile on his lips as he regarded her. “Perhaps it is time to do a number of things I always wanted to do.”

“Ahh, forget the game!” Winston laughed. “Let’s go out and celebrate!”

“And we’ll put the tab on Ghostbusters, International!” Peter yelled.


* * * * *


That had been six months ago.

Since that night, time had rushed past Egon and the others like a whirlwind. Peter had set up a small research and development company for him, a place where administrators took care of the paperwork and left him to putter around in his lab. He was quickly joined by Annie, the brash young woman who could make computers dance to her tune, Joseph, the quiet electronics wizard who listened to heavy metal rock and roll while he worked, Paula, the cheerful, chirpy researcher who took all of Egon’s inventions and tested them thoroughly, and dozens of other young, quirky scientists who left the staid, conventional scientific community behind and came here to work.

Ray dropped by occasionally and pitched in on a few joint experiments with Egon, but seemed to be content in his position as professor of parapsychology at Columbia University. The sizeable donations that Ghostbusters, International had made to Columbia’s science department, added to Peter’s natural charm and amiability, had led to Yaeger’s early “retirement” and paved the way for Stantz’s return to academia. His classes on the world of the supernatural had a three‑term waiting list—and his close friendship with the new dean of the department, one Dr. Sheila Brown, showed signs of growing decidedly closer.

Peter was revelling in his position as CEO of Ghostbusters, International. From his office he coordinated a thousand different deals in a hundred different cities, cajoling here, teasing there, ordering elsewhere. His business acumen and instincts with people were critical in GBI’s continued growth and standing in the business world. It also helped that he’d been having similar success in his personal life, having patched up his relationship with Dana Barrett once again.

Winston had stayed with Ray at the firehouse for a few months, poring over the considerable pile of case studies they’d accumulated over the years and hammering at the keys of Janine’s old word processor well into the night. About two weeks ago a delivery man had brought Egon a package containing the new book by Winston Zeddemore, entitled WHO YOU GONNA CALL: A History of the Ghostbusters. It was doing fairly well at the bookstores, Egon had heard—he hadn’t read it yet, having been tied up with work and…

Janine. Egon felt the smile that always appeared when he thought of her slide across his face. Janine had become Peter’s vice‑president of GBI, coordinating the details of his projects and playing the tough negotiator to Venkman’s smooth operator. They made a formidable team, one that was respected (and slightly feared) among the business world. Only two weeks ago, Janine and Peter had appeared on the cover of Business Week, listed as two of the hottest executives in America....

Life was good, Egon mused as he slipped the meter back into the desk drawer, slid the drawer shut and locked it up. It was incredible, their run of good fortune. Everything they’d ever wanted, they had.

If it weren’t for the dream, things would be perfect.

Egon closed his eyes and rubbed them with his right hand, as if to wipe away the images that danced just out of reach. It had haunted him every few nights for the past two weeks, causing him to wake up with the echoes of a scream locked inside his throat. He’d read up on dream research, tried to dismiss it as a consequence of the rapid changes in his life, but no matter how hard he tried to ignore it, the dream remained in some cobwebbed corner of his subconscious, waiting ... patiently waiting...

“Egon?” Startled, he glanced up and saw Janine standing in the doorway, looking at him with a mixture of curiosity and concern in her eyes. As he looked back at her, the silly grin that always popped up in her presence started emerging on his face once more. He couldn’t help it; he didn’t really mind it.

“You okay?” she asked, hurrying over to the desk. “You had the oddest look on your face just now...”

“I’m fine, really.” Egon took her in his arms and held her tightly, savoring the warmth of her body against his. “Just thinking about something, that’s all. It wasn’t even really worth dwelling on.” Bending down slightly, he lifted her face to his and kissed her long and tenderly.

“Mmm,” she purred happily. “Peter told me to take off early, so I went shopping.” She took a step back and let him examine the new dress she wore. “What do you think?”

“I think you’re wonderful,” he smiled, pulling her back into his embrace.

“I think I’m very glad you said those things that night, when you took me home after that party,” Janine sighed. “You’ve made me so happy, Egon. I love you so much.”

“I love you too,” he murmured into her hair. “I love you too.”

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten