Coming Home: Book 1
Chapter 7: Facing the demons

Copyright© 2007 by Brendan Buckley

Action/Adventure Sex Story: Chapter 7: Facing the demons - A man returns to the town he left 20 years before to find that sometimes time doesn't heal all wounds. His old friends have new lives and the people he left behind aren't the same as he hoped to find. Can he enjoy a rebirth in the town where he was born?

Caution: This Action/Adventure Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa  

The sergeant saw his career aspirations going out the window during his first conversation with Sheriff Allison Cummings. He couldn't allow that to happen. Her story was simply unbelievable. Then he made the leap to another conclusion — collusion.

It was simply too fantastic a story that Robert Wilmont had been the catalyst for the carnage. Robert was a pillar of the community. His family had owned the factory and provided jobs in this area for decades.

The three women must have set Wilmont up. That was the only explanation. They lured Wilmont out to the house with the intent to murder him. The sergeant figured the wife played the largest part — she probably used her wiles to convince Wilmont to come out for a make-up quickie.

It all made sense, especially when the wife and daughter stood to gain so much money in the deal — money she probably wouldn't have received in a divorce settlement. The fact the Sheriff had practically smuggled the little girl out of the house right under his trooper's nose made things even clearer to him. Why else would she insist the girl leave the crime scene so quickly and in such a manner?

Only Tpr. Paul McClung's steadfast belief in Allison's character slowed the sergeant down. Shortly after Sgt. Baxter met with Allison, her sister and her niece, Baxter went to the prosecuting attorney to secure a search warrant for Allison's vehicle and home. When McClung found out, he went behind the sergeant's back and secured a similar warrant for Wilmont's office, home, and his vehicle, which he found a few hundreds yards from the Cumming's home.

Inside the car was a veritable treasure trove of narcotics and regulated drugs. It would take months for the lab to get the results back of what was actually inventoried, but for now their very presence was enough.

What he found in Wilmont's household was disturbing, but the effects in his office were disgusting. McClung found hundreds of videos of his wife and daughter undressing and dressing; tapes of children in varying sexual situations and more of the drugs he'd found in the man's car.

When he entered the judge's chambers that morning, McClung realized his career probably was at an end. But at least he had enough evidence now to make sure Allison and her family were safe.

Steve regained consciousness slowly. His eyes felt as if they'd been glued shut and the sickening feeling in his chest — the fact he'd lost Janey and Allie again, and now Stephanie, too — made coming back to reality even more difficult.

His groggy mind brought forth images that had replayed in his mind for the last 16 hours, images of his new and old friends laughing and pictures of the three people he felt closest to in the world lying dead in the Reynolds' house.

"As God is my witness, I'll break every bone in that man's body before I kill him," Steve vowed silently. Yet he was surprised to hear the words echoing in ears, as well as his mind.

"You won't have to," he heard a voice say, and finally he willed himself to force his eyes open.

The lights blinded him momentarily but he was certain he could see Stephanie, Allison and Jane standing by his bed before he slipped back to sleep.

Minutes, maybe even hours or days later, he wasn't sure, he awoke again. His mind was sharper now and he was certain he could hear someone else breathing in the room. It was darker now. He was sure of that because he no longer saw the pinkness of daylight through his closed eyelids.

He tried to lift his head but he didn't have the strength. Hell, opening his eyes took almost the energy he could muster. He'd never felt so drained in his life. But he was surprised to feel warmth on his hand. Could the fleeting visages of his friends that he swore was a mirage be real?

He flexed his left hand and pain shot though his body. What the fuck had happened to him? The woman sleeping to his left didn't awaken when he tried to squeeze the hand that had held his for almost five hours, but his grunt of pain of frustration did the trick. Steve felt the woman release his hand and saw her standing beside him.

He tried to return the smile he saw on her face, but the look in her eyes scared him half to death.

It was four days after the shooting before Steve got a slightly clearer picture of what had transpired that awful night. The look in Stephanie's eyes when awoke fully for the first time haunted his dreams nightly. The girl, almost sprite-like in her enthusiasm the afternoon of the mayhem, put on a good façade. But Steve, alone among those closest to her, knew first-hand what she was experiencing.

And yet, his brain addled by pain-reducing drugs, he couldn't reach out to her like he wanted. Try as he might, his parched throat and dry mouth couldn't produce the words he wanted to tell her — the words she needed to hear — to make everything all right.

Because those words simply didn't exist.

Steve remembered vividly the first time he'd taken another human life. He was in his mid-20s at the time, certainly more mature than this girl whose expression alternated between frightened, resigned and lost.

To make matters worse, Steve routinely fell asleep in the middle of conversations with the girl, after-effects of the medicine coursing through his veins and the near-exhaustion that he couldn't seem to shake due to the loss of blood he'd suffered. He felt as if he was letting her down all over again.

The relief that washed over him when he realized that Jane, Allison and Stephanie were unharmed physically was almost euphoric. He had been certain his stupidity had cost them their lives. Now, in the middle of the night, he found himself wide awake for once. He felt himself cognizant for the first time in what felt like weeks. And there wasn't a soul around for him to visit.

The doctors told him it would take time for the wounds to heal, but eventually his would. He wondered about the pain that haunted the eyes of the three women he cared most about.

Robert Wilmont's death had a ripple effect felt far beyond the small towns of Buckley and Clarkston. The evidence unearthed by Tpr. McClung and the State Police computer forensic team opened up a can of worms no one could have expected.

Years of bribes and graft came to light, deals involving some of the highest-ranking officials in county and state government. The fallout from Wilmont's obsession brought down three sitting judges and a state senator — not to mention an overzealous State Police sergeant.

But other things found were kept quiet for the time being, despite the urging of the district attorney who wanted full disclosure to bolster his re-election campaign. The images of Wilmont's wife and daughter in varying states of undress had been sent to literally thousands of e-mail and news group accounts in a host of countries.

The videos of his comatose wife's rapes at the hands of some of the state's top lawmakers and businessmen — some dating back almost 18 years — were guarded closely by FBI agents in an attempt to back-track the attacks and foster indictments on sexual abuse and conspiracy charges. There was no doubt in the lead agent's mind that a vast portion of Wilmont's wealth and power came from the fact he had these tapes and had threatened to reveal them.

But the major find among Wilmont's possessions was a laundry list of locations for what could possibly turn out to be the largest child trafficking ring in the world — a group that Wilmont had already agreed to sell his teenaged daughter into. No one outside of the core group of investigators knew anything about what Tpr. McClung had found — and even the trooper was sworn to absolute secrecy.

It was a week after the shooting that the four were grouped together in Steve's hospital room. Although he was still in intensive care, the hospital administrators had decided to keep him pretty well segregated from the rest of the ICU patients.

The laughter and jokes that prevailed during almost every get-together were gone. In their place was a silence and sadness that seemed to pervade the room.

"I'm sorry I put you all in that spot," Steve said. "I just walked in there and let him shoot me."

Jane shook her head slowly.

"He put us in that spot, Steve," she told him, her hand in his as it had been almost daily since the shooting. "Jesus Christ, I was so scared. When I saw you on the floor, I panicked."

"Steve and I are trained to deal with that sort of stuff," Allison told the others. "We all panicked. When I came into that room and saw what happened, I just dropped my gun and stood there like an idiot. If Stephanie hadn't helped us, he might have killed us all."

Stephanie just sat glumly, as she had for most of the week. She couldn't shake the rage she felt at her father — a rage that manifested itself in a dozen swings of a heavy brass-based lamp.

She saw her father's face, battered and bloody, every time she fell asleep. She couldn't shake the horror of knowing what she was capable of. Allison had seen the effects of post-traumatic stress before, as had Steve. Each was trying to do their best to bolster the girl's spirit until the counseling could begin to help.

"It is extremely lucky for us all that one of us kept our wits," Steve said, even though the long sentence left him winded. "Steph, I'm not supposed to say this, but I've been where you are, sweetie. It takes a while, but it will get better.

"You trusted me that night and I let you down. I forced you into a situation you weren't ready to handle because I made a mistake. But you didn't let me down. You didn't let your mom or your aunt down.

"We're supposed to protect you. I promise to do my best to help you through this."

Stephanie stared for a moment. This sounded almost like a confession to her. She had trusted Steve that night, but she still trusted him. She hadn't thought for a minute that anyone had failed — except her. She was the one who couldn't stop lifting the lamp. She was the one who kept screaming, "I loved him, God damn it, and you killed him," each time she battered her father.

Her mother and aunt promised her they would leave that part out even when they told Steve what happened. She wasn't ashamed at what she'd done to her father. She didn't remember enough of the incident to be ashamed of it. But she was ashamed that her mother and aunt had heard her yelling her feelings for Steve at the top of her lungs.

But now he was showing her exactly why she loved him.

"I'll be OK," she said finally. "Aunt Allison told me you might be willing to talk to me about it later. I guess I finally know what your secrets are."

The quartet sat silently for many minutes.

"You got a call earlier in the week from one of your old friends," Allison told Steve. "He wanted you to know that he was headed back stateside before he retired."

"Beau?" Steve asked and Allison nodded.

"That's what he said his name was," she replied. "He said he has six months in D.C. before he's finished. He said you'd understand."

She had expected the news to make Steve more cheerful, instead a deep melancholy overtook him.

"Things must have really gone to shit," he said sadly. "That's the only way they'd get Beau out of there."

Jane seemed to understand more clearly that Allison.

"Maybe he'll come to stay with us for a while," she said simply. "If he's anything like you, it might be the best place for him and for us."

Steve smiled for the first time in days — and it seemed to spread throughout the room. Beau Whitley in Buckley would cause quite a stir. He hoped he was up and around by that point.

"Ladies, if Gen. Whitley comes to town, I promise you the two of us will take you three out for a night on the town this county will never forget," he said with a laugh.

The other three laughed too, but they truly failed to see the humor. Steve noticed quickly. If Allison was pissed about the way Pig and his buddy got lit up, wait until the first time one of these chicken-fuckers called Beau Whitley the N-word. The ass-whippings that would ensue would last for months.

"Beau Whitley is about 6-foot-5-inches tall and 270 pounds of the meanest, toughest, blackest sumbitch you're ever gonna see," Steve said. "He kicks ass, takes names, and he doesn't put up with crap from anyone, let alone some corn-fed hillbilly.

"I can't wait."

Allison was pretty happy that she'd resigned her job earlier in the week.

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