Vision of the Spirit Ch. 09bywilderness©
A police barricade blocked the road ahead. Hannah spotted the red strobes of emergency vehicles parked in front of the Midway Motel and her stomach tied itself into a noose. Afraid that something terrible had happened to Tom, she jumped out of the truck and sprinted past the row of hissing flares.
"Hey, Lady, stop!" The sheriff, standing guard, was too fat and too slow to do anything except shoot her in the back or radio to the officers ahead. Fortunately, he chose the latter.
Police chief 'Big Willie' Morris marched out to meet her at the double yellow, no passing stripe. "Agnes Grundlemire?"
The sound of her real name stilled her feet and chilled her heart. The noose tightened. Truth had finally caught up. She wanted to deny it, but the lie wouldn't come. Instead, she scanned the confusion ahead, searching for a glimpse of Tom.
Chief Willie grabbed her firmly by the elbow and forced her back the way she came. "Where were you tonight, Agnes?"
"Don't call me that. I go by Hannah, now."
Chief Willie stopped and spun her, face to face. "Okay, Hannah, where were you?"
"At the mall." She tried to twist away. "Let go!"
"The mall? Everything closed at 9 o'clock."
His smug look of triumph and his iron grip made her angry. Retaliation seemed like the best defense. She stopped struggling and returned his glare. "I met someone."
"I bet you did. What was his name, and how much did you charge him for a blow job?"
Cops were all alike. They just loved to rub her nose in her arrest record. Contempt for his self-righteous attitude bubbled to the surface. Well, tonight Hannah had payback. She'd rubbed her nose in his wife's pussy, and now she wanted to rub his nose in his disgrace. "I met a woman. Her name was Annie, a very cute pregnant lady, who needed my help. I spent the evening at her place."
Anger spread across his shadowy face and then melted into suspicion. "Shut the fuck up," he said, snapping handcuffs onto her wrists. He yelled over her shoulder, "Hank, put her in my car, and watch her." Then he spun on his heels and stalked back toward the motel, while flipping open a cell phone.
Hannah yelled at Chief Willie's back, "Where's Tom!"
He turned halfway, and indifferently answered, "He's dead!"
Fat Hank yanked the chain between the handcuffs and pulled her like a bitch on a leash. "Come on. Let's go."
All the strength drained from her body. She stumbled and fell to her knees. The flabby, wheezing officer tugged on her arms, trying to make her stand. Her skin broke out in a cold sweat and she retched until there was nothing left. When some strength returned, enough to stagger back to the car, Hannah curled up on the backseat and fell into a bottomless despair. The bond she'd made with Tom suddenly vanished, along with any hope of redemption. She had no future.
Voices mumbled outside. Eventually, the front door opened, someone got in and drove off. The only sounds were squawks from the police radio and the rumble of the V8 engine. Hanna remained curled up, her wet cheek slippery against the vinyl.
A few minutes later, they stopped. The driver got out and opened the back door. Big Willie's flatfoot tone, growled, "Get out."
Hannah looked around and began to tremble. "Why are we here?"
"Shut up." Willie dragged her in the front door, through the dark living room, and down the hall. His head jerked in a double take, and they halted at the open door of the spare bedroom. Reaching in, he flicked on the light. The bedcovers were still rumpled from Annie and Hannah's recent tryst.
Willie forced her into the room. "Sit... right there," he said, pointing at the corner.
Hannah squatted and watched, while he methodically searched the quilt, his face just inches from the surface.
When he found what he wanted, Willie strode over and placed his open palm under her nose. "Explain this."
The tangle of red and black hairs, evidence of climactic proportions, didn't require an explanation as far as Hannah was concerned. "You figure it out, Sherlock."
"Get up." When she stood, he grabbed her by the wrist and sniffed her fingers. Hannah hadn't washed her hands. The grimace on his face said, 'I smell pussy.'
"Honey, what's going on?" Sleepy Annie waddled naked into the room. When she spied Hannah, her eyes grew large, caution stiffened her spine, and her hands protectively cradled her belly.
A pregnant silence filled the room. Hannah felt an emotion she'd thought was forever erased from her psyche -- guilt. An inverted Midas touch controlled her life. Everything she touched turned to shit. The rug between her feet became blurry, as tears welled up and spilled over.
Annie broke first. "William, why is Hannah in handcuffs?"
Hannah looked up. The Chief stood motionless, staring at his wife. "Tell her! Go ahead! Tell her I'm a whore! Tell her I'm a murder suspect! Ask her if I was here tonight! What kind of fucking cop are you!"
Silence returned, as everyone exchanged fearful glances.
"Annie..." he faltered, now unable to keep his eyes focused on his wife. "Was she here, around 10:00 pm?"
Annie swallowed hard, glanced at Hannah with something that looked like a plea for mercy, and said, "Yes, I was out, buying groceries, and she helped me with the bags. She had all those scratches. She looked like she was in trouble, so I asked her to help me unload. It was around eleven when she left."
Willie frowned at Hannah.
Tears streamed down her face, as she smiled at Annie and said a silent 'thank you'.
"Annie, go put some clothes on."
"Sorry," Annie quickly left the room.
Grabbing Hannah's arm, he said, "Let's go," and led her outside to the car.
Once she was secured in the back and they were on the road, Chief Willie, barely audible, declared, "If you disappeared today, no one would miss you." It was a statement of fact, not a question, like he was working things out, making plans. The threat hung in the air like a fog, her future indiscernible. "I want a blood sample. If you give me that, I might let you go."
The finality of death suddenly had a strange appeal to Hannah. She'd been so close to it these past few days it seemed unavoidable. Everything she lived for was destroyed. What good was her life, anyway?
"Please, tell me what happened at the motel. Tell me what happened to Tom."
The Chief met her eyes in the rear view mirror. "Why do you care?"
Hannah looked out the side window a moment, and then turned back to the mirror. "He saved my life. I loved him."
They drove on a few miles, before he began, "Mr. Wentworth, the motel owner, had been having a problem with thefts. Some of the guests had their cars broken into and their rooms ransacked. Tonight, the guy picked the wrong people to mess with. He broke into a truck that belonged to drug dealers, and they came out shooting. Wentworth stormed out with his shotgun -- the old coot's got more balls than brains. They took a shot at him too. Then your friend Tom jumped in. One of the other guests called the police. The rest is under investigation. Is there anything you want to add?"
Hannah covered her face and sobbed. "Oh my god..." She was tired of hiding, living lies. The weight of grief compelled her to confess everything. She began with the seaplane flight to pick up drugs and ended with meeting Annie. Sex with Annie remained a secret. There was no need to ruin anyone else's life, although she knew Willie suspected something physical happened between them. Let them work it out.
Afterward, the ride was silent.
They pulled into the emergency room parking lot of a country hospital no bigger than a motel. It was busy. Several ambulances idled nearby.
"Hold out your hands." Chief Willie removed the handcuffs. "Don't run unless you want to get shot." He led her by the elbow to a door that opened into a boiler room. He cuffed her to a steel pipe, and grinned without humor. "Don't go away."
The wait was short. A scowling nurse came back with Willie. She drew several vials of Hannah's blood and left without any chitchat. The Chief unlocked Hannah, and said, "I'll take you back to the motel."
"No. I'll find a ride."
He gave her a hard look. "What's the matter? Don't you trust me?"
He knew damn well why. But then, nothing mattered anymore, did it. If he took her out in a field and put a bullet in her head she'd be grateful. It would be an end to a lot of misery. "Let's go."
The return route took them down winding desolate roads. Chief Willie made a radio call filled with police gibberish she didn't understand. It might have been secret code for 'I'm going to cap a whore, don't bother me for a while. Over and out.' She didn't care. Any form of sleep, at this point, would be a pleasant release.
Only one police cruiser remained outside the Midway Motel. She'd left the keys in Tom's truck; now it was parked back where it started, out front of cabin number nine. The cabin windows were dark. Overwhelming grief squeezed Hannah's heart once again.
They parked next to the other police car and Chief Willie rolled down his window to talk to the officer. "Anything new?"
"Nope. Doc say's if Wentworth makes it through the night he might live."
"How 'bout the other guy?"
"He's okay. They checked him out. He's pretty cool about the whole thing. Just banged up."
"Go home, Sam. Nothing more to do here."
When the other car pulled away Chief Willie parked next to Tom's truck. After long seconds, he muttered sadly, "Annie's head is mixed up right now. Having this baby... she's scared, feels trapped..."
"I'm sorry. But she's a good woman. She'll be fine, once the baby comes and things settle down." She prayed it was the truth.
"Whatever happened between you two, no one would believe it. So don't think--"
"I don't want to make any trouble, Chief. Just let me see Tom one more time, and then I'll go. Would you let me see his body, please?"
He turned and stared hard at her. "Tom did a brave thing tonight. He tried to save Wentworth's life. He's another guy with more balls than brains." Chief Willie got out and opened the back door. "Go on. I'll be in touch."
Hannah waited until his taillights disappear around the bend before entering the cabin. The bathroom light glowed beneath the closed door and the shower was running. Her heart began to pound with impossible hope. She ran into the cramped room and tore back the yellow curtain.
"Hey! Geeze, are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"Tom!" She squealed with joy, and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "You're not dead!"
"Uh, no. But you're killing my arm."
"Oh no! Baby." She released her grip and inspected the bandage on his shoulder. "Are you all right?"
"Yeah, it's just a scratch."
She stepped into the spray and hugged him tight. "I was so scared. I don't know what I'd do without you." She rubbed cheek against his chest and ran her hands down over his bottom. The twin globes were firm and slippery. "You're mine. We're bonded. You know that."
Tom wrapped her in his arms and kissed her hair. "I know." After a long hug, he added, "Mr. Wentworth is in the hospital. I don't know if he'll make it."
The water lubricated her fingers, as they slipped up his spine and tangled in his long hair. "The police just said the doctor thinks if he makes it through the night he has a good chance."
"I need to get some sleep. I'm going to keep the place running until he comes back or..." Tom didn't finish the thought. Unwrapping from her, he stepped out and toweled dry.
Hannah stripped off her clothes and washed away any residue that would remind her of Annie. After hanging her wet clothes over the curtain rod and brushing her teeth, she cautiously made her way through the dark room to the bed. The sheets were cool, but Tom's heat radiated from the other side. His gentle snoring made her smile.
When Hannah rubbed her leg against his, he rolled over and pulled her close. An erection poked her thigh and she wondered what he might be dreaming. The memory of sex in the hayloft came to mind. Tom hadn't come.
Her fingers explored between their bodies until they found what they wanted, and lightly traced his cock down to his balls. The two cream filled eggs were nestled tight in their wrinkled nest.
There were no complaints, when she gently rested her leg on his thigh and placed his cock between her folds. A few hip grinds later, she slowly pushed down.
His breathing caught a moment, and then resumed with a long sigh.
Hannah said nothing. She communicated internally with squeeze and stroke Morris code.
Tom groaned, cupped her ass and pressed himself deep. His lips found her neck and she surrendered to the affection. It never felt this good with anyone else. She believed it. She believed in their spiritual bond. That's what made the difference.
Pushing his shoulders flat, she straddled his waist and rode him gently from tip to base, the silky friction agonizing. Out of the dark, fingers caressed her, fondled her breasts. She felt him suddenly stiffen inside. "Come," she said, and bounced a little faster. His hands grabbed her hips for leverage. He made a bridge with his back, groaned, and then relaxed.
There was a new wetness between her legs. Hannah hugged him and kissed him back to sleep.