Louisiana Heat Ch. 02byshandal©
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.
The guards were opening the iron box early the next morning where the prisoner called Brandon had been thrown in the night before. Jake and the other prisoners watched as they lined up ready for work detail under the blazing morning sun as the limp form of the black man was hauled out of the box where it was recessed into the ground. Last night the temperature had stayed hovering in the late eighties and inside the box it would have risen well past a hundred.
The men in the hut had heard the screams and begging to be let out by Brandon for hours until his noise had stopped sometime in the night, and then the terrible silence from outside had echoed through all the men's heads as they thanked God that they were not in the box that night instead of him.
Jake stood in line and kept his eyes on the figure lying on the ground where the guards had dropped it, still and soaked with the wet of his own sweat. One of the guards gave the prone man a kick, and getting no response bent down and placed his fingers at the prisoners throat looking for a pulse. Looking up at the other guard who stood there, the kneeling man shook his head, and they dragged the dead figure away and out of sight.
"Bastards, Brandon was only a kid," Jake heard a male voice growl behind him, "ended up here after stealing some food from a local store to feed his family, Got a young wife and two small kids."
Another voice added, "If I wasn't in these damn leg irons I'd like to get my hands on just one of those fucking bastards. Kill him; show him what it feels like to have real pain."
"You'd get shot as you ......"
"Be worth it to kill one, and dying don't scare me.....living like this for the next twenty years do."
Shuffling off in his line, chained to the five other men, Jake tried to shut down his feelings and concentrated on walking the five miles to the work station. The mood in the chain was one of anger mixed with sadness for the loss of one of their own, with an overriding feeling of helplessness.
Sheriff John Millet sat in the chair in front of the wooden desk of Mayor Gaudet and watched as the well padded man took his time lighting the cigar in his hand. Claude Gaudet always made a long ritual out of lighting the fat cigars he smoked, cutting the end with a silver antique cigar cutter, then smelling the cigar by passing it a number of times under his red veined nose, rolling the damn thing over the flame of the gold lighter he kept in the pocket of his suit vest, puffing and pulling on the cigar until the end started to glow, and then sitting back sighing as if he had just had an orgasm.
During the ritual John knew not to interrupt, but just sit there, patiently, until the Mayor decided he had finished and would address him.
"So Sheriff.....you went and made another offer to the girl? She biting?"
"She'll bite.....she's just holding out for pride.....she'll come 'round."
"Make it sooner than later......I need to sell off that last bit of land to allow for the road to go through. Promised them they would have it by next month. Nudge her harder to agree."
"I told you she'll sell.....water table is low and getting lower as the levees are biting in."
The Mayor sat forward, the smoke from the cigar swirling up towards the ceiling where a wooden fan turned, moving the hot humid air around the room. "I ain't asking......I'm telling you. Put some pressure on her....get her to agree.....maybe a little fire....burn down her crops....pull the rug from under her feet....she don't have crops to sell, she starves......she'll agree."
John felt the bile raise up in his stomach. "I'd rather try other ways, I don't think......"
"I don't pay you to think John........just do." The fat man interrupted, jabbing his cigar towards the Sheriff. "And do it soon....my patience is wearing thin."
John got up, hat in hand and looked down at the man in whose pocket he was deep in, nodded and said. "Sir." and walked out of the office, down the corridor and out of the building. Stopping on the sidewalk he placed his hat back on his head and ground his teeth. He wasn't happy about doing what the Mayor had suggested. He had feelings for Hannah and last night he realised he had handled her in a stupid and clumsy way, but damn it she made him feel like a schoolboy whenever he saw her.
She rarely came into town, even less now that her parents had died, sending instead her farm worker that had lived and worked on the farm for years. But every time she had come into the town he had watched her, yearned to ask her out, but she treated him with distain and he just always seemed to say the wrong things, did the wrong things around her. It had been like that for years and now the Mayor was asking him to do things against her, things that would hurt her and he was caught between a rock and a hard place. Knowing he couldn't do what he was being told to do, set fire to her crops and starve her out, nor could he let her stay there in the old place. It was prime land now, needed for the road building that would join up the towns in the area, and would put money in the pocket of the suit vest that was stretched tight across the big belly of the Mayor, and thus ultimately put money in his own pocket.
Striding down the street he walked towards his own office, trying to think of another way he could put the pressure on her to take the money and sell up without it getting out of hand.
Sitting at his desk in the office he once shared with Jake, Rory went over the accounts he was preparing for the towns only Pharmacist and noted that even in this difficult time of Great Depression they were doing alright. Later on he thought to himself would walk over and maybe buy Abigail some fancy female doodah that smelt good. Maybe some soap, or perfume, or maybe some of that bubble bath stuff that he had seen either Jean Harlow or Claudette Colbert bathe in, in some movie at the Movie Theatre a few months ago. He would love to see Abigail sunk up to those beautiful breasts of hers in white frothy bubbles, even better he would like to join her in those white frothy bubbles and make love to her in the big claw footed large bath that was in her house just on the outskirts of town.
Wiping his brow he sat back in the chair. It was hot, even though it was only mid morning, and getting hotter. Deciding to grab a cold drink at the small café over the road from his office he got up and grabbed his jacket from where it hung over the back of his chair and left, locking up the office to step out onto the street. Sheriff John Millet was just passing when he left, and the two men nodded at each other, aware that each held the secrets of the other when it came to the framing of Jake Bailey and the forcing out and selling on of the small farmers land to the state for the development of the new road.
John strode on past the other man, the tightness in his stomach a hard ball, the bad taste in his mouth at what he and Rory Kendal had done and what was now expected of him to do to Hannah.
Bending over in the back field Hannah picked the Blueberries from the bushes, placing them in the rapidly filling up old tin bucket next to her. Further up the field Frank her farm hand, his muscled body also bent over was also picking the fruit. She wore a large tattered straw hat to protect her fair skin from the blazing sun up in the sky, and rivulets of sweat trickled down her back and between the valley of her breasts as she worked. It was back breaking work, and something she wouldn't have been doing in the past. Back then, before the big financial crash, before the levees started to dry up the rice fields, back when her parents were alive, they could afford to hire men to do the harvesting. But that was all behind her now. Now to survive, the rice fields were gone, but the vegetables, fruit and her hens were left and she and Frank harvested the produce and then sold it off in town to local shops and restaurants for the small pittance to help them survive.
Frank would drive into town with the produce in the big old truck that had seen better days, and every so often she would go on in, buy what she needed and come back home, the feelings of loneliness assaulting her after each visit.
But still she held out against selling up.
This had been her parent's home, and her grandparent's home before them. It was where she had lived all her life. But without realising it she had made it a prison of her own making. And as the Depression bit down on the country, and as the falling water table dried up the fields, so was her life drying up.
Straightening up to stretch her aching back she looked out across the land and sighed. To be able to pick enough fruit to sell in town to pay for the taxes her and Frank would be picking fruit until late and it would be too dark to see. What she really needed was some more workers, but there wasn't any spare cash to pay them, even the odd out of work hungry men who came looking for work, those transient workers who had the look of utter desperation on their faces, those she would share a meal, give some of her father's clothes to, and let sleep in the old barn for a night before they went on their way in search of work.
There wasn't much around.
There wasn't much of anything anymore.
Bending over she resumed picking the fruit from the bushes. Back breaking work but at least it put some food on the table and brought in some money.
The sun was at its height in the sky and the six men on Jakes chain were digging dirt to clear the way, the back breaking work in the heat and humidity making even the strongest men feel as if they were going to drop. The two guards, including the evil Broussard, sat in the shade of the trees, guns and whips balanced on their laps, water bottles by their side, watching the men as they worked.
Chained in pairs they worked, and the chain between each pair was approximately four feet, letting each pair move forward enough to scoop up the earth and shovel it to the side of the area in large piles.
Jake was paired with a big burly black called Chesney with a mean look about him, a scar of about three inches running down the side of his face and supposedly in for the murder of some man who dared to be rude to his woman one night in a bar. Chesney had a hair trigger temper, and was burning up about the death of the young man who had died overnight in the box. All morning he had been muttering about what he would do if he got his hands on Broussard and the other guards, but Jake just ignored him, living inside his own head, plotting and planning his own revenge on those who had framed him.
Suddenly he heard the shouts of the guards as they rose from where they sat in the shade and squinting his eyes against the sun looked further down the area that they were clearing to where another couple of the chain gang were working, one of the pair, old man Granger was bent down on his knees, his white haired head bent in exhaustion, skinny arms hanging down useless from the continual hard work and heat. Straightening up Jake watched as the two guards rushed over and lifting their whips brought them down on Granger, screaming at him to get up and keep working.
The whips rained down on the old man, the bastards screaming at him as he fell forward, covering his head, curling his body up to protect it as much as he could from the vicious lashes.
"Get up you lazy fucker......."
"Move your'n ass.....get goin'"
Jake felt the chain on his leg pull as Chesney moved forward, the shovel in the black mans hands raised like a weapon. "Here's our chance...." He hissed at Jake, "They ain' watchin' us.......they ain't watchin' any of us....they goin' to kill the old man." And he jerked his leg, the one attached to Jake, making Jake almost fall over. Moving forward to keep up with the hurrying Chesney so that he didn't fall over, Jake raised his shovel, and out of the corner of his eye saw the third pair of chained men move forward also towards the guards as they carried on raining blows on Granger.
Chesney brought down the shovel hard one of the guards head, and then raised it again bringing it down hard a second time as the man fell across Granger, splitting the mans head so that blood spurted out and he lay still.
Broussard turned around at the first hit, and fumbled to raise the rifle tucked under his arm, but Jake and Chesney were too close for him to be able to get the rifle fully up. Jake swiped his shovel up and across Broussard's face just as Chesney brought his down the second time on the other guard, and Broussard fell backwards, the rifle falling out of his hands and the stock hitting the hard ground.
There was a loud bang and Jake felt a piercing hot pain in his side as the bullet, caused by the falling gun hitting the ground, fired, and skimmed through his side, biting out a chunk of flesh. Chesney rose up his shovel and brought it down on Broussard's head, knocking him completely out, and then bent and pulled the keys from the unconscious mans belt, bent and undid his leg chain. Throwing the key to Jake, who fumbled and dropped it as he held the wound on his side, he told him, "Run......fucking run as fast as you fucking can......" and then turned and was gone, running towards the trees, disappearing with Broussard's gun in his hand.
The two other convicts standing nearby grabbed the fallen key from the dirt and undid their leg irons, as did the convict connected to Granger, and then one of them grabbed the other fallen guards rifle and Jake, who was trying to pull the unconscious man off off Granger as he lay still and quiet asked the other men to help him get the sprawled heavy guard off the old man.
"Fuck you man.....its everyman for himself." And the three convicts ran for the trees and disappeared from sight.
Grunting and straining to move the unconscious guard from off of Granger, his side burning where the bullet had stripped the furrow from his flesh, Jake slowly managed to move the dead weight of the overweight man from the still body of the old man. Turning Granger over, careful not to touch his back where the lashes had hit him, he bent over the man, "Granger.....Granger......" Holding the man's head in his arms he watched as the old mans eyes flickered open, a low groan of pain emanating from the depths of the old mans throat.
A gnarled hand weakly grabbed at Jakes arm, "Calvary.......boy I'm dying.....money......Calvary......meadow behind......in hollow tree......money is in Calvary....."
Jake tried to get the man up, "Come on old man.....we need to get out of here....."
The hand tightened on his arm, "Listen.......Calvary.....the meadow behind in a hollow tree.....the money from the train.....I hid it there......Calvary." Reaching behind him Jake scrabbled around in the dirt looking for the key to unlock the leg irons on him and Granger, but the old man gave a gasp and with a death rattle died.
Hanging his head in sorrow for a moment, Jake took the time to mourn the passing of the old man, and then as the pain in his side seemed to bring him to his senses, he continued to look for the missing keys, found them and unlocked the leg iron from his ankle. Looking around at the area he was in he tried to work out the best direction to run to, glancing back behind him to the where the other men had run into the trees he decided to run in the opposite direction and giving a last glance down at the dead Granger and the two guards he staggered to his feet, and lurched off towards the thick woods to his right, and into the shade, and out of the burning sun.
Abigail sashayed down Main Street, a smile on her face. Things were going just as she wanted them to. Rory was twisted around her little finger, thinking with his prick. She now had some money in the bank and her standing in the community was on the rise.
She knew that her looks were those of a sweet gentle female, demure looking and mild, but inside was a calculating volcano, self serving and manipulating. Selfish and hungry for more money, she wanted a great deal more than this Louisiana backwater town and this quiet boring life. She wanted so much more, and she knew her plans were going to soon come to fruition.
Plans that had started over two years ago.
Plans to get her out of here with plenty of money to back her up when she made her move to Hollywood and her dream of fame in the movies.
Dreams where she would be on the silver screen and living the life of luxury and fame like those of the stars she read about in the magazines she bought each month and watched up on the screen in the Movie Theatre.
Dreams where the likes of Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, and William Powell would fall in love with her. Where she would have wonderful clothes, and live in a large home with a tennis court, and a swimming pool like she had seen in the magazines.
And her face would be the one on those very magazines, smiling out with millions of fans swooning over her.
Nodding to the good ladies from the Church as they stood chatting on the sidewalk outside of the hat store she carried on making her way towards the Mayors office and the next part of her plan that would get her to California, Hollywood, and away from this small hick town in the backwaters of Louisiana.
Over the road watching the young woman as she made her way towards the Municipal offices, Rory's wife stood, baby buggy in front of her, hands squeezing tight on the buggy's push bar, her heart breaking. She watched as Abigail walked, dressed in a white fitted blouse with a thin yellow cardigan over her shoulders, pearls and a fashionable grey skirt on the other side of the street, and then enter the large doors of the Mayors offices to disappear out of sight.
Her life was falling apart and she didn't know what to do.
Rory hardly talked to her, looked at her, or touched her anymore. All his focus was now on the woman who had just disappeared through the door into the Mayor, and the man she had been in love with since she was eighteen years old, since she had watched him on the college football field, who was her whole life, was slipping away from her, and she didn't know what to do.
Walking away, tears dripping down her cheeks from her soft grey eyes, Rory's wife made her way to the General Store, her shoulders hunched and head down. Her soft mousy brown hair tied back and her black Cloche hat emphasising her tightly drawn and fragile features.
Inside the store she felt that people were watching her, judging her, talking between each other about her. Her shoulders hunched even more, shame layered upon her misery, she shopped as quickly as she could and then made her way home and out of sight as fast as she could, and into the lonely confines of the home she once shared with happiness with her husband, but now felt like a confining cloying and self made prison.
Jake ran through the trees, the pain in his side where the bullet had grazed him throbbing, his lungs bursting as he kept on going, trying to put as much distance between him and the clearing where the body of Granger and the two guards lay.
At first the trees gave space to run through, the ground underfoot easy to run over, but as he ran deeper and deeper into the woods the trees grew closer together, bushes and undergrowth slowed and pulled at the cloth on his legs, twigs scratched at his naked torso, making him wish he had taken time to grab the prison jacket that he had left behind.