Inside the car, Jane inhaled his male scent as she cuddled affectionately in the warm arms of her lover; her glassy eyes gazed at his handsome face. She replayed in her dreamlike state of mind how her life had changed. It was about a month ago, she was a happy-go-lucky Sheriff's Deputy, counting her days in a small town she called home.
A month ago...
David Cunningham and Linda Vanier Cunningham departed Cancun, Mexico on Continental Flight 765/47 at 3.15pm. They were coming back from their week long, blissful honeymoon. After the brief stopover in Houston, Texas, seated beside him, in the First Class section, she firmly held his arm, her head lay softly next to his and whispered, "Darling, I've something to tell you." She had the blissful look of love on her face. Her dreamy eyes looked up at his face and her heart skipped a beat, impatiently waiting for his expected query.
Turning his head, he gazed at her smiling face and spoke softly, "since you were whispering, it must be great news. Go on, tell me."
"I'm pregnant!" she gleefully told him, holding his arm ever tighter.
"I was hoping you'd say that. At least my 'bullets' didn't go to waste!" he chuckled.
She gave him a playful punch on his shoulder, kissed his cheek and cuddled next to him.
David gently stroked her belly, tacitly letting her know he wanted a child. He smiled at her, rested his head back on the broad and comfortable airline seat, closed his eyes and began to dream of the time he would spend playing with his kid.
Two days later...
They were walking past an armoured van on their way to lunch. She started to fall, as though she was tripping over a step. He caught her with his strong arms before she could hit the ground. He saw a small hole, behind her head, spurting blood, coating her dark brown hair, and thought nothing more - that someone had threw a stone at her. He was horrified when he turned her around and saw that half her face wasn't there anymore. A hollowed bullet had forced its way thought her skull from behind and exited, taking part of her face.
Ten feet behind them, a police officer took a hit on his shoulder and fell onto the ground, groaning. Blood spurted from the wound, and the dark red wet spot on the ground grew bigger with time. Five feet from the wounded officer, another officer was crouching behind a pillar, hiding from the robbers, fear painted on his face. He had an automatic pistol in his shivering right hand and his other hand was pressed against the pillar.
The robbers made a quick getaway. The time it took for the first shot to crack in the air to the time they disappeared from view was only 20 seconds. During those few seconds, two lives were extinguished: David's wife and her unborn child.
Three days later, Linda was buried.
David was shattered! Unable to understand why he was cursed, he stayed in his room most of the time after the funeral, and only came out to eat sandwiches and milk. His parents came and stayed with him in his moment of grief. Most of his meals were prepared by his mother. He didn't even bother to shave or take a bath. His friends and close family members came to visit him and advised him to either go for a vacation, or, go back to work. He took the first option because he didn't want to see the sympathy glances on the faces of his colleagues.
Current period, around 7.30pm, somewhere in Oregon...
David was having a hard time driving along the unfamiliar, winding, unpaved road. The headlights from his Cherokee eerily illuminated the woods lining the path. He strained his eyes, trying to steer the vehicle on course. He was on his way to the cabin he booked for his getaway and almost got lost. He really wanted to be isolated in the woods where he could spend time alone, pondering what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
He finally reached his destination and parked the car on a clearing in front of the cabin. Without switching off the car's headlights, he got out and walked to the door. He fished out a bunch of keys passed to him by the broker from his trouser pocket and unlocked the heavy wooden door. He fumbled around for the light switch, found it and clicked it. He surveyed the interior and was satisfied that it had all the comforts needed for his one week's stay. He unpacked and began to settle in.
The following day, he took a leisurely walk around the woods surrounding the cabin. After an hour of strolling, he went back to the cabin and inspected the elaborate solar panel arrays on the cabin roof and the mini-wind-driven generator, both providing the electricity for the cabin. He also inspected the water collection system and the sewage system. 'The owner must be a very Environmental Friendly person, ' he mused.
He sat down on the big bumper of the Cherokee, leaned against the radiator grill and closed his eyes. His mind was still unclear of his future. Wanting to do something to get his mind away from the loss of his wife, he decided check out the small town of Junkerville. The broker had mentioned the nearest town to him when he booked the place.
Junkerville only had one road: the main road. Ten small buildings lined each side of the road. Junkerville catered to the lumber industry that surrounded it. David saw a diner and went in. Inside, only two of the dozen tables were occupied. The patrons and the two waitresses became silent and stared at him when he walked in. He looked like a bum. His hair was uncombed, his face unshaved for more than two weeks and his shirt hung over his pants.
David sat at a table at the end of the hall. He didn't want company and neither did he want attention.
A dark hair waitress came to take his order. She didn't smile. Instead she had a look of revulsion on her face. Not looking up at her face, he ordered a beer. When his beer came, he gave her a Benjamin Franklin and told her to keep a running tab. Surprised he had the money, she took it and slipped it into the big pocket on her apron.
By 7pm, more than four dozen beer bottles lined his table. With no solid food in his stomach, he was totally drunk! No one talked to him nor approached him except the Sheriff and two big men who looked like WWF wrestlers.
When he woke up, he was dizzy and his head felt heavy. He saw that he was in a cell with black metal bars running vertically and horizontally around two sides and the other two sides were red brick walls. He was in the local jail.
Through hazy eyes, he saw a pretty face staring at him. He thought he saw his wife, Linda, and called out to her. She didn't answer. She faded from his view as he slipped back to sleep.
The Sheriff had gone through his pocket and found that he had more than $1000 in his wallet. Suspecting something amiss, he checked David out through the Police Net and he got the information he wanted.
Act of Pity or Was It Lust?
David came out from his drunken slumber a couple of times during the day. At 3pm, Sheriff McCalister had enough of David and asked the two big guys to take him to the bath room and hosed him down. They held him down while his Deputy, Jane, scrubbed him with a brush and soap. Next, they strapped him on a chair; one of them held his head and the local barber carefully shaved away his beard, exposing a handsome face.
The Sheriff scrutinized him and looked at the picture on the driving license. Satisfied that the driving license belonged to him, he threw him back into jail. The two big guys and the barber left the premises.
David went in and out of consciousness as the alcohol level in his body slowly diminished. It was 8pm when David could see and think clearly. He stood up but felt a bit wobbly. He could hear the rain pouring heavily outside the jail. Bright flashes of lightning and heavy sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. He saw a female officer by a desk staring at him. He staggered to the grilled metal door.
"I WANT TO KNOW WHY I'M IN HERE," David shouted.
Deputy Jane walked to him, stopping six feet from him. She smirked and crossed her arms. "You were drunk! When you are sober enough, I'll let you out."
"In that case you can let me out. I'm OK now." David mumbled as he combed his hair with his fingers.
"I think you better eat first. I'll get you something. In the meantime, you sit in your bunk and be a good boy."
She went to the fridge and took out a pile of sandwiches. From a coffee percolator, she poured the contents of the pot into a metal cup. A moment later, she passed the food and coffee through a rectangular hole on the door to his cell.
He greedily took it. Realizing that this was his only solid food since he left the cabin yesterday, he ravenously finished the sandwiches and coffee.
"Where do you want me to put this plate and cup?" David extended his arm, holding the empty metal plate and cup through the metal bars.
Swaying her hips as she walked to him, she quickly snatched them.
"By the way, you are handsome and have quite a big pecker." She stared at him, giggled and walked away.
He was stunned! He became aware that he had lost his beard and was not wearing the clothes he wore when he came into the town. He looked at her, admiring her shapely body under the police uniform.
She was a natural red-head with green eyes, a sweet face, slim body, and was about 5' 4" tall with probably a size 31C bra. He guessed she was around 25 years old at the most.
Jane felt he was staring at her as she walked away from him. She turned and saw him admiring her.
Quickly, he turned away and sat on the bunk.
.... There is more of this story ...