Louisiana Heat Ch. 04byshandal©
This is a ten chapter romantic Crime thriller with consenting erotic and romantic sex, male on male violence and a lot of exciting cliff hangers at the endings of each chapter.
As is usual in my stories there are a large selection of colourful characters and not all of the people in my stories have happy endings.
You have been warned -- so if you like the kind of story that combines sex, violence, complicated and interweaving story lines, and that you can sit back each day and read a new chapter -- read on.
Jake woke up, every muscle in his body screaming. The pain in his side was like a hot burning as if a poker was being jabbed into him where the bullet had grazed him, and his head pounded, making thinking difficult.
It was dawn and the beginning of the suns hot rays were penetrating the heavy foliage overhead lighting up the area where he lay wedged in the branches of the tree he had managed to drag himself up into last night to sleep.
Easing out of the tree and dropping down to the ground Jake stood leaning against the bark, his stomach rumbling with hunger, his mouth dry.
Kneeling down he scooped some water from the small Bayou nearby and washed his wound, drank and then splashed his face and shoulders to cool down and looked around trying to get his bearings. He'd forgotten from which direction he had come from, or to which direction he was headed last night before he climbed the tree to sleep.
Turning on the spot he looked around and then made the decision to follow the running water to where it led. Slowly he made his way deeper into the swamp, the earth under his feet getting softer so that each step he carefully tested before he put his weight down on it. He knew that this area could become dangerous so quickly with its moss covered water that looked like land, but was deep and dangerous marsh land that could suck a man under, or hide the alligators waiting for their unsuspecting prey to stumble into their paths, and areas of quicksand so lethal that to step on one would mean certain death.
Insects were biting at him and he slapped at his skin as they landed to suck at his sweat covered flesh, and he watched his feet so that he didn't trip up over the tangle of Cypress tree roots that covered the area, or step onto a snake that might be curled up between the creeping tangled roots.
Gradually and slowly he made his way forward, the infection in his body building up, slowing his progress, as he trudged his way to what he hoped was freedom.
The four guards and the two bloodhounds stood in the clearing, Jakes prison jacket in one of the guard's hands, the discarded leg irons lay around on the dirt by their feet. Holding the jacket out to one of the dogs so that it got the scent, a guard told Broussard, "They couldn't have gotten too far by foot in this area. There's no sign of life for miles around to get help, and they'll be hungry and weak soon under this heat. We'll get them."
The other dog was sniffing at the leg irons and then with his nose to the ground started to pull his handler towards the trees, whilst the bloodhound that had sniffed the jacket pulled in the opposite direction.
"Looks like the bastards split up. Broussard and I'll take this direction.....you two go the other way and follow the other dog.....be careful, they're armed and dangerous....shoot to kill."
Broussard had other ideas. He wanted to capture them and have some fun. Back at the stockade there were many ways you could punish a man. Long protracted and painful ways and he wanted to get the men, especially Jake Bailey who had hit him when escaping, and then watch him suffer.
The four men split up, two going towards the trees where the four convicts had run to, and Broussard and another man who held the Bloodhounds long leash in his hand going towards where Jake had disappeared into the trees and was even now making his slow way through the bog like area.
Abigail stretched like a cat and smiled to herself, content and well relaxed after the long and hot early morning sex she and Rory had just had and she felt on top of the world. During the small talk in the small hours of the night, after they had both reached that part where the body no longer can get up the energy for more orgasmic highs, and limbs feel like they are unable to move, she had quietly led him to discuss the hidden information on the conspiracy and in what form it was.
Rory had smiled and told her that it was hidden, but not where, and that it involved accounts, letters, notes of times, places, monies that changed hands and whose hands the money had ended up in.
When she asked him why he had kept it he had kissed her nose and told her, "To protect us honey.....the men we've been doing the deals with....the very people who screwed the farmers and Jake wouldn't think twice about screwing us.....this stuff protects us....as long as I have it kept safe, they'll think twice about doing anything to us."
"Where have you hidden it?"
Kissing her nose again he told her, "Don't worry about that my little kitten....It's hidden and that's all you need to know."
"But Rory who else knows where it is apart from you.....what if something happens to you and they go after me....shouldn't I know where it is?"
Turning onto his back he smiled into the dark, "nothing's going to happen to me.....nothing at all."
And he drifted into a contented and sexually exhausted deep sleep, Abigail lying next to him biting her lip and wondering how she was going to get the hiding place out of him.
Jake stumbled along, an inner heat of infection burning him up, weaving sometimes to the East, sometimes to the West, sometimes going South.
Every so often he would take a rest, scoop up water to clean his wound, drink his fill and sluice himself off. After a while the Bayou seemed to deepen and widen and he jumped in and sat down in the water, carefully looking out for wild animals and Alligators, letting the water swirl around him, bathing him and cooling him.
He looked at his hands and noticed that they were shaking. Fatigue and infection were sapping away his strength and he realised that he might die in this God Forsaken swamp. And no one would ever know.
Climbing out of the stream with difficulty he carried on, following the water as it meandered its way deeper and deeper into the tangled trees, past the hanging moss on the Cypress trees, through the waist high marsh grass that grew in abundance, and carefully avoiding the odd snapping turtle sitting on rocks by the running water, as they sat sunning themselves.
Suddenly he heard the sound of a barking dog behind him and the accompanying sounds of men, and picking up his pace ran at a lumbering, stumbling gait deeper into the trees, away from the water.
After about five minutes he came into a clearing and there in front of him, about fifty yards away, was an old tumbling down and rotting house. A large expanse of water on the other side of it, and what looked like a Pirogue moored up against a protruding pole at the end of a rotting jetty in the water.
Taking a step towards the wooden structure he felt his foot sink into the ground. Throwing himself back he fell with a hard bump, bruising his buttocks and twisting his leg. Twisting behind him he grabbed with one hand at a tangled root and with the other he held onto his own thigh and he pulled and pulled to release his foot and the bottom part of his leg from the sucking ground of quicksand.
He could hear the sound of the men and dog getting closer and panicking he pulled and pulled, until slowly the cloying soft ground gave way and released his foot with a loud slurping plop.
Crawling onto harder ground he stood up, a pain now shooting up his knee where it had twisted and he limped carefully around the area, testing in front of himself each step with a fallen piece of branch from a tree, using it as much as a crutch as a test for firm ground. When he found a piece of ground seemed unsafe he moved sideways until he found definite safe ground and he could make his way around the quicksand and over to the comparative safety of the overgrown area around the wooden house.
The sound of the men and dogs seemed so close now as Jake limped over to the Pirogue and untied the fraying rope that held it to the wooden pole, and he climbed into the low sided boat, pushing off against the side of the bank with the oar just as a bullet whizzed past his head and a loud voice shouted out. "PRISONER STOP, OR THE NEXT BULLET WILL GET YOU."
Raising his hands above his head he realised escape was now impossible and he watched as Broussard and another guard made their way forward towards him, a bloodhound at their side, rifles raised pointing towards him.
He watched as the dog started barking and held back, the two men moving forward, the dog straining at its leash, the guard holding it pulling at it with one hand, the other hand holding the rifle pointed at him. Broussard had an evil smile on his face, his rifle held up with both hands pointed straight at his head.
Both men's focus was on Jake, and they didn't notice where they were walking, and Jake watched as they made their way towards him, step by step moving closer, his heart beating hard in his chest, the feeling of defeat washing over him.
Suddenly he saw the two men waver, the rifles in their hands drop as they lost footing and tried to steady themselves. Without watching where they were going they had walked straight into the quicksand, both feet of each man sinking down, sucked by the cloying and deadly shifting ground.
The dog pranced back and forth barking and then took off disappearing into the trees as the two screaming men started to slowly sink deeper. Yells imploring Jake to help them reached him, and he knelt in the boat watching the guards sink deeper, noticing that they were now up to their thighs in the deadly quicksand.
Broussard's voice changed from one of pleads for help to curses and vitriolic swearing and Jake sat back down in the low long Pirogue as it bobbed on the water and watched as the two bodies stuck in the sucking earth sunk slowly down to their grisly deaths, inch by macabre and chilling inch.
The last screams he heard from Broussard's mouth before it disappeared under and out of sight were, "Rot 'n hell Bailey, you fuckin' bastard." And then there was a silence, and Jake lay back exhausted in the boat, taking some time to catch his breath and rest his mind against what he had just witnessed.
After a while he sat back up and taking the oar in hand paddled himself away from the house, the quicksand, the memory of the two drowning men, and towards safety and escape.
* The Mayor stood in his office, Sheriff John Millet standing in front of him, holding his hat in both his hands. "So is she going to sell up or what?"
John looked the other man in the eyes and told him, "I told you I would sort it out.....but I need a little more time.....give me a week."
The Mayor moved around behind his desk and sat down, lent back, and stared at the man before him who stood patiently waiting for an answer. He knew he needed the Sheriff to do his dirty work, knew the man was tangled up in the conspiracy up to his chiselled chin, but didn't trust him. Not one inch. During the last few years that he himself had been planning, then putting pressure and forcing the sell up of the small farms and then selling on the land at a good profit, he had used the Sheriff to be the one to put the pressure subtly on the farmers. But all through those years the man had managed to avoid pushing Hannah Campbell to sell up and now he was holding back again for some reason.
After the long pause the Mayor told John, "Seventy two hours......then you get real tough....you burn the bitch out.....and if you don't do it.....I'll get someone else who will."
John swatted his hat against his right thigh, squinted his eyes at the Mayor and placing his hat on his head told the fat man, "You keep away from her.....I'll deal with it." then turned and left, slamming the door behind him.
Mayor Gaudet smiled to himself and settled further back, taking out a fat cigar and muttered to himself, "Well, well. So that's how the land lies. The man's in love."
After an hour under the overhead hot sun, his body, being run with an infection that was seeping at his strength, Jake paddled as best he could, occasionally scooping up water from beside the boat and trying to cool himself down. Each side of him the trees, hanging with moss and the entangled overgrowth of the swamp was opening up making the water wider and wider, and the sounds of the animals that lived in the swamp quietened as they grew farther away. Occasionally he saw the odd Alligator, swimming or floating close to the swamp edge and without realising it he lay back in the boat to rest and then floated away into unconsciousness. The Pirogue floated slowly along, pulled by the currents, down the River then past the new Levees that blocked the tributary Bayous that in the past had flooded the area and helped irrigate the now dried up rice fields that were the life blood of the small farms of the area.
Rory's wife had hidden and watched her husband leave his mistresses house after he had stayed the night. She watched as they kissed on the front porch as if he had all the right to do so and wasn't married with a young baby and then watched as he got in the car and drove away. Her heart broke, tears ran down her face, and the pounding in her head intensified.
What was she to do?
Divorce was not an option.
She had no money of her own.
What was going to happen to her?
It was all out of her own control. Her husband now treated her as if she didn't exist, did want her. He spent all his free time with that woman and not with her and their child. She worried that everyone knew and stared at her. That the town was laughing at her.
Turning around, her child in its buggy, she walked back from where she had hidden, back into town, back to the house she once carefully looked after but now neglected in her sorrow and depression.
In his office, his jacket removed, shirt sleeves rolled up, Rory sat at his desk, working on the local tax claim on Hannah's farm. Over the last two years of the depression local tax had been increased considerably illegally making it easy to close out small farmers and take their valuable land when they became delinquent in paying their taxes.
Increasing the amount she was to pay from the real amount would ensure she would be unable to pay it.
He knew the Mayor was in a hurry to take this last bit of land and sell it on, and this tax claim would put the extra pressure on her to sell up.
Once she sold up and he, Rory, had his cut he intended to ask Abigail to move away with him. Away from this God forsaken town in Louisiana and go to New York where a man with his skills could get really rich. Where real excitement lay, night life, famous restaurants, the tall skyscrapers that were currently being built, Broadway and famous shows, a way of life Rory craved and wanted.
Not this backwater where the heat was constant, small minds and small lives droned on each day.
The only bright part was Abigail and her body and the bright steamy sex like last night, the sound of her laughter, deep and throaty that warmed him as they had rolled around in her bed last night. The memory of her laying back in the bath, the smell of the bubble froth and the sight of her body sunk into the white foam as he washed her body, his hands swirling the bubbles over her breasts, her belly....her sex.
Abigail was his obsession and even now as he prepared the tax account to bring down one woman, his thoughts were of the other and what they had done last night and early this morning.
His own wife, sitting at home, isolated and alone never entered his mind once.
The Pirogue floated in the heat on the shimmering water, tall trees and tangled earth each side of him, whilst Blue Herons watched with interest as it moved slowly past. Closer and closer the boat floated with the current to where the stream would meet another small Bayou before they joined and ran into the town miles away.
Jake lay unconscious in the boat, unaware of where he was going, exhaustion, lack of food and the infection draining him of any strength.
Hannah and her farm hand Frank worked the vegetable fields with its Okra, Peas and Lima Beans, back breaking work under the hot sun. Hannah's hands were strong and she dug and turned over soil, an old watering can half full of water next to her, both for the plants and for herself.
Once this field had been more than ten times the size it was with other farm helpers harvesting and tending the produce, but now it was at a size that she and Frank could manage. The produce just about bringing in enough money to help them to exist.
Straightening up Frank asked her, "Miss Hannah, be a'right if'n I go over to the creek and check the Crawfish traps? Have us a good meal tonight if'n we got us a good catch, sell some in town."
"Sure Frank.....take the truck......go sell some in town and bring back supper." And she watched as he left the field and walk over to the barn to pick up some more bait to put in the traps and then climb up into the truck and drive away. After about an hour she heard the sound of a vehicle in the distance and straightening up from where she tended a line of Lima Beans she watched as the Sheriffs car pulled up near the house, and then as the Sheriff climbed out.
John Millet looked around and saw Hannah as she stood in the field watching him, and settling his hat on his head walked across the carefully tended area around the house and over to the field, and towards the woman who watched him approach with a careful stillness.
She stood there a big old battered straw hat on her head, baggy overalls over a white cotton blouse and a scowl on her face, and John never thought he had seen such a beautiful and sexy sight. His heart took a leap as he got closer and he felt himself blush as he strode up to stand a few feet away from her.
"Sheriff.....what can I do for you?"
Looking around him at the fields, many dry and empty he shrugged and looked at her, "Looks like you're having trouble here. Notice fields are mostly barren. Looks like you sure are struggling Miss Hannah."
"Woman like you shouldn't be working out here in the fields under the hot sun. Should be in town, dressed in finery......looked after by a good man....."
"Like I said, we're managing."
Clearing his throat John looked down at his feet and quietly told her, "Miss Hannah......think about selling up.....think real hard.....there are people who want to buy....the offer you were given would make your life much better.....you wouldn't have to work like a common field hand in the fields.....I've admired you a long time Miss Hannah....I care for you....don't hold out...don't make them angry by holding out."
"You threatening me John?"
"No Miss Hannah." And he looked her in the eye and said, "I'm giving you advice.....accept the offer.....move into town....let me make sure you're alright."
"I have no intention of selling my home to those developers, so that they can make a profit from my family's home. You tell them I'm not selling. You tell them this is my home and I'm not going."
"Please Miss Hannah...."
Turning around and continuing to tend to the plants she repeated to the man standing behind her, "You tell them Sheriff......I'm here to stay."
John stood there for a few more moments, a part of him admiring her spirit, but for the most part worrying about her and what would happen if she didn't sell up. He then turned around and went back to the car, driving off as she continued to work, unaware of the tears that had formed in her eyes as she bent over working with the plants that were now her main income.