This is the second of the Saint Clair series, after Soldier Girl, so you should probably read that one first. I had no idea this one would turn out like it did, so in the interest of fair warning, I will mention that this turned into a sort of rural Crime Noir tale. I typically don’t write graphic sex into this story line and that remains true here. I originally uploaded Soldier Girl for Romance, but it ended up placed in Lesbian, to keep the series together as much as possible, that is where I am placing this one. Special thanks to Sbrooks and Crkcppr for extensive editing and beta reading it for me. Any remaining errors are entirely mine -- probably added after their assistance. And thanks to everyone for the encouragement and support.
WITCH The silently screaming man stared up at her glassy eyed, unblinking. She stared down at him, idly wondering if he’d really believed that she would stop, or if he believed that someone would magically arrive to stop her.
People could be so naïve.
She held her full hands up to the cloudy sky and felt his hot blood running down her arms, cooling to only warm, turning tacky and slow as it ran down her shoulders, her collar bone and between her breasts.
She shivered in that warmth, in the anticipation. This, this feeling of power, was the best part of the ritual. She lowered her hands ever so slowly. Breathing evenly, breathing almost glacially.
Stretch this feeling out as long as possible. Her eyes flicked down to the jagged dark hole in his breast as she gently laid the oddly fragile knife on his chest then brought his still-warm heart to her mouth with both hands...
“I want to take TJ with me to pick up Elvis.”
Sheriff Shannon looked over at the big blonde deputy. Who tried desperately not to make eye contact while trying to hide the fact that he was shaking with suppressed laughter.
TJ watched the exchange from her desk. Already knowing where this was going.
“Swede, why do ya have to do that to Elvis?”
“Cause the little weasel is gonna run. I hate chasing his skinny ass. She blocks the back door, he can’t run.” He tried to suppress a snicker. “And it’s funny. She scares the living shit outta him.”
The snicker broke through. Shannon covered his eyes as he tried not to laugh. And failed.
TJ started to tighten her gear down. She knew Elvis, a skinny, doped out, paranoid small-time thief who brought a new meaning to the word “petty.”
Who the fuck steals post it notes?
The damn things cost fifty-nine cents a pack. Hell, judging by her time in the Army, post-it notes spawned spontaneously at times. Something, she noted suspiciously, that seemed to happen in the Sheriff’s department too.
The first time she’d met Elvis, he’d been running from Ray, the oldest deputy on the force. She’d responded to a call for assistance. Elvis had – as usual – ducked out the back door of his ratty dump of a trailer and bolted into the woods. He’d figured if he could dodge them long enough, they’d lose interest.
No matter how dedicated you are, there’s a time limit on how long you’ll chase someone in the tick-and-chigger infested woods of the Ozarks over a pack of post-it notes.
But TJ had spent her early years running in those same woods, playing, then hunting and fishing with her dad. And besides, there are a lot of different colors in the autumn woods, but chartreuse, the color of his t-shirt wasn’t normally one of them. So Elvis wasn’t hiding as well as he thought. Hell, he was visible from the trailer.
His ratcheting meth-hyped nerves had him jumping at every squirrel induced leaf rustle. So when TJ walked up the rocky, leaf-free dry creek bed behind him, he was too distracted to notice her until she addressed him.
“That’s enough, let’s just head back up now.”
And that should have been enough. Except that Elvis had shared a cell with Tammi’s ex-boyfriend Andy before he pled to assault and battery and possession with intent and headed up state.
Andy had looked like he had been hit by a car, and in classic jailhouse bullshit style, he’d described TJ as a man-hating psychopath whose sole purpose in life was to extinguish the life of every real man on earth.
Real men, like him and Elvis.
And that was before some kind of horrible Army laboratory experiment that had gone wrong, producing a crazed, unstoppable, half-human, half-machine hybrid. He claimed he’d just barely survived her maniacal onslaught before she was finally pinned down by the entire force of deputies. After she was tasered over and over. Tasered so often, Andy whispered, that he could smell her burning flesh. The sheriff was obviously being forced by the Army to cover for her so she could continue her evil mission.
And Elvis had bought the whole story.
So when he was confronted by the black-clad, eye-patch-wearing deputy, he did what Elvis usually did best. He sprinted, picking up amazing speed in just a couple steps. Making it all of five feet before slamming into the unyielding trunk of 150 year old white oak and knocking himself out cold.
TJ checked his vitals, and dragged him from the woods to where Ray was standing.
“Found something of yours.”
Ray stared down at Elvis.
“What’s that smell?”
TJ sniffed. A foul stench was starting to build, and the stains on Elvis’ pants were obviously expanding.
Ray looked at her. “The Beast has the full vinyl seat covers and floor lining.”
TJ stared at him. “Seriously? You’re gonna do this to me?”
“Hey, the seats in my cruiser are vinyl, but the floorboard is cloth. That smell will never come out.”
It was a very long 25 minutes back to the station. With the front windows of the crew cab F250 all the way down.
And as they were putting Elvis into the holding cell, he threw up all over TJ and Ray. TJ wasn’t sure what he’d eaten; she actually decided she really never wanted to know. Whatever it was, it was bad enough that a laughing Tammi wouldn’t let her into the cabin until she’d stripped down on the porch and rinsed off.
She almost burned the uniform and, after months, there were times when she was still sure she could detect a whiff.
The whole incident convinced Elvis that Andy had spoken God’s Truth about TJ. Before “They” shipped the poor benighted Andy off to torture him for revealing Secret Government Plans, of course.
Still. It was really funny and even before a chuckling Shannon waved her over to help Swede, TJ was on her feet, shaking her head with a rueful smile.
“I can’t believe you’re dragging me into this.”
Swede grinned “Well, TJ. You know what they say.”
His smile broadened even further.
¬TJ stood easily at the bottom of the aluminum trailer stairs. If Elvis came out the back, he’d have to either go over the handrail or on down the stairs. Either way, he’d pass within arm’s reach of her.
The remains of a wind chime hung off the torn, faded green awning making soft but discordant chimes, while she listened to Swede trying to talk Elvis into coming along peacefully.
“Elvis, just come along, we have your usual cell set up. Just like home. And it’s Salisbury steak night, you love that, so if we get you processed early, it’ll be great. All the guys miss you anyway.”
“Swede, they got you buffaloed. There’s things that look human but ain’t. They in-fil-trated a monster and one of them cyber-kinetic orgasms on you guys.”
“TJ isn’t a robot, Elvis. She’s just a soldier who got injured.”
“Yeah, a cyborg feministic soldier to further that Lebanese agenda. Like Andy said.”
Despite herself, TJ couldn’t stop an amused smile. Lord knew, she should have been offended, but damn it was funny.
Elvis was almost too stupid to live. How the hell did he even remember to breathe in AND out?
“Come on Elvis, you really don’t want to do that. You know I hate to run.”
“I’m ... I’m...”
“RABBIT! RABBIT!” Swede shouted the informal warning.
The back door slammed open and Elvis flashed out. He had one leg over the railing before he saw her.
TJ almost got whiplash just watching his amazing sixty to zero stop. He stood wide-eyed as the wind chime drummed against his head.
She slowly shook her head at him, stifling her smile. “Elvis. I’m disappointed in you. Telling all my secrets like that.”
Elvis slowly pulled his leg back over the railing and turned slowly, woodenly, around to face Swede.
“I like Salisbury steak.”
TJ stayed clear as Swede walked the handcuffed little man to his cruiser, one huge gentle hand on his shoulder, guiding him.
Elvis tried to keep a least one wary – near panicky - eye on TJ as they went.
Swede put him in the back of his cruiser and looked over at her. “You want a lift back to the Beast?”
She’d parked down the road a ways so as not to panic Elvis.
“Really think that’d be a good idea? You’d have to sanitize your cruiser.”
“I suppose not. But I had to ask.”
“No problem – I’ll walk back to the Beast. Shannon asked me to loop back along Route W and check the bridge over Big Bramble. Somebody was supposedly screwing around down there. Water is really low for some reason, so he didn’t think anyone would be fishing.”
Swede looked up to the east where W crossed the creek-riddled lowland.
“Seems like we’re hearing more of those recently.”
.... There is more of this story ...