Louisiana Heat Ch. 10byshandal©
This is the last chapter of this romantic Crime thriller, and I hope you enjoyed it.
If you are looking for your own romantic other for your life, I hope you find them, or if you are already with the one you love, I wish you a long and sensuous life
So read on to find out what happens to Jake and Hannah, and the rest of the people in this story.
Frank drove up to the farm in the truck and slowly parked behind the car that was parked in front of the house. He sat in the truck wondering what to do. He didn't recognise the car and couldn't see Miss Hannah or Jake Bailey anywhere in sight. Getting out of the truck slowly he walked over to the house, removing his battered old hat and knocked on the door.
Inside Hannah and Jake jumped, the Mayor lying at their feet, arms tied in front of him, ankles tied together, groaning.
"Sweet Jesus Jake, who is that? What if it's the Sheriff?" Hannah hissed.
Walking over to the window Jake peered carefully out, the gun in his hand ready just in case it was the Sheriff come to take him in. "It's just Frank.....your field hand....."
Hannah ran to the door and opened it pulling a bewildered Frank in, "You alright Miss Hannah.......there's a car outside......" And then he stopped mid sentence when he saw the trussed up and groaning man on the floor, "Gawd almighty Miss Hannah....."
"The Mayor, he came pointing a gun at me......we don't know why. Maybe he knew Jake was here and he's tipped off the Sheriff......or he's trying to force me to sell up," turning back to Jake, "you have to go.....get away before the Sheriff arrives.....Frank is here with me.....go."
Jake stood looking at her torn, "Please come with me...."
"I'd slow you down....go....quick." and she put her arms around his neck and kissed him, "I love you.....but you have to go and save yourself....I'll be here waiting for you when you manage to clear your name.......now go."
He handed her the gun and with one last hot look Jake went out the door and using the car keys he took from Claude's pocket he got into the car and drove off, turning off the main road and weaving his way over the barren field to the west, and picking up a small almost undetectable road headed north.
Sheriff John Millet drove towards Hannah's place. It had been a long and hot sweaty afternoon and now the sun was starting to sink low behind the trees. When he arrived at the farm he pulled up and walked up the porch stairs about to knock on the door, but it opened before he had a chance to knock by a frantic looking Hannah.
Grabbing her arms he asked her, "You alright, what's wrong?"
"Sheriff, it's the Mayor, he came in waving this gun....Frank overpowered him. We don't know what he wanted....." John took out his gun and carefully walked into the house before stopping in shock.
"Miss Hannah you sure caught yourself the Mayor......Claude, I'm taking you back to town, I'm arresting you for the murder of Rory Kendal." And he bent down to replace the rope on the struggling mans wrists with handcuffs, and undid the man's feet, and then pulled him up to standing.
Hannah gasped and held her hand to her throat, "Murder....he's wanted for murder?"
"I'm innocent....I'm the Mayor....you'll never make it stick....I've got the goods on you Millet....you go down with me. Let me go." The fat man spluttered all the way to the police car where John pushed him in the back and turned around to face a shocked pair, "I'll be back tomorrow to take your statement." and getting into the car drove away towards town.
Hannah entered back into the house, sat down and burst into tears.
Frank stood in the doorway unsure what to do, and after a long lengthy silence told the weeping woman, "He'll be back Miss Hannah, I just knows Jake'll be back....all you's got to do is wait."
Jake drove through the woods, the car jolting over unmade dirt tracks until he came to a slightly better and bigger track. Following that he drove past an old run down entrance to an abandoned farm, and kept driving past barren fields with weeds growing taking over the once fertile land, and continuing driving he made his way further and further away from Hannah, and also the town where he had lived most of his life. His heart was breaking and all he could see as he drove was the tearful face of the woman he loved, and leaving her was like a knife in his guts. But he knew there was no alternative. He had to run. Run away and try to clear his name from somewhere far away so that he was safe.
Louisiana was to hot for him to stay in now.
Eventually the car started to slow down and stop. He had run out of gas.
Getting out and leaving the car abandoned he started to trudge slowly, keeping close to the edge of the woods and fields that lined the road, just in case another car might come along. Walking for a while he could see the signs of an old wooden shanty town up ahead.
It was where the local black population lived, away from town, but close enough to where they had used to work, on the farms as farm hands, and in town in menial jobs, just like Frank, Hannah's field hand.
Slipping into the wood at the side of the road, he found somewhere to hide and waited until the darkness of night would fall. No way was he going to take any chances. He would move in the dark, making his way when everyone was asleep, heading north and freedom.
Halfway back from Hannah's John stopped the car. All the way back Claude had screamed at him, telling him he would bring him down if he didn't let him go, and that he the Mayor would make sure that if he was put on trial for murder he would implicate the Sheriff in the conspiracy, and make sure he was put away as well.
Turning around in his seat to look at the Mayor, John asked him, "So you want me to let you go?"
"You let me go....blame the killing on Bailey....he's still out there....he was at the farm....I saw him....he's the one who hit me.....we can blame the killing on him....you can say I was trying to arrest him when he hit me and got away...."
"You want me to let you go and blame the killing on Bailey."
"Exactly.....who's going to question it Sheriff. He's already a dangerous and escaped killer....everyone is going to believe us...."
John slowly got out of the car and opened the door to take out the still handcuffed Mayor. "And then we're both safe? Kendal's dead.....no one left to tie me and you into the fraud."
"Yes...no one left....excepting the woman....Rory's woman....but she won't say anything if we threaten her.....she'll be too frightened to say anything now Kendal is dead."
Taking the keys to the handcuffs out of his pocket John reached over and undid the metal cuffs holding Claude's hands captive. "You think I can trust a snake like you Claude?" and he threw the cuffs into car onto the front passenger seat, "I don't think I can trust you as far as I can fucking throw you......start running."
The Mayor spluttered, rubbing his wrist with his other hand, "What?....What do you mean?"
"Start running fat man.....I'm going to count to ten and if you're still here when I've finished then I'm going to shoot you." and he pulled his gun out of the holster and pointed it at the Mayor, cocking the trigger. "One.....two.....three..."
"What do you mean run..." looking frantically around him at the bayou running down the side of the road and the dense swamp, moss covered trees hiding the thick woods behind. "Where am I supposed to go?"
"Wait.....just wait." and his arms came up pleading, "Just think....lets do a deal...you want money John?.....we can do a deal."
The Mayor turned and started to run towards the water on his fat podgy legs, breathing hard with fear, and made for the cover of the swamp on the other side.
The shot rung out making birds that had been in the trees to fly up out of the top of the swamp in a flapping and squawking noise, and John watched as the fat man fell forward, the red spreading over his back where the bullet had hit him.
Looking around for a large heavy stick on the ground he took a deep breath and then hit himself over the side of his head hard enough to leave a deep bruise and cut the flesh. His head rang with pain and he staggered to his knees before he managed to take a deep breath to try to clear his head and do what he had to do.
Throwing the stick into the car next to the handcuffs he walked over to the dead man and with a lot of pulling and exertion managed to pull him to the open back door of the car and got him in. Climbing back into the car he drove carefully towards town, rehearsing his story about how Claude tried to escape after he had requested a chance to take a pee, hitting him on his head with the stick, knocking him, the Sheriff, to his knees, swiping the keys to the handcuffs from him, undoing them and making a run towards the swamp and almost certain freedom, when he, Sheriff John Millet, had shot him.
It would be a certain case of the prisoner being killed trying to escape justice.
The killer of Rory Kendal now killed himself.
And Sheriff John Millet in the clear.
Night fell and the velvet dark swirled around Jake where he hid out in the woods, the heat only falling a few degrees, making him hot and thirsty. Creeping out of his hiding space he carefully crept towards the first wooden cabin, and into the back where a small area was given over to growing some straggly vegetables and an old metal tank held water. Bending over the tank he drank his fill and then scooped up the tepid water to sluice it over his head, neck and chest to cool himself down.
Bending he pulled out a couple of carrots and washing them in the water he took a bite as he walked in the shadows behind the cabins, sometimes hearing laughter and singing in the distance. The night rung with the noise of insects and small animals, and the sound of his own heart beating in his ears as he kept to the shadows of the run down old wooden homes, flattening his body in the nooks and cranny's, or bending down to hide whenever someone seemed to be close by.
After passing a few cabins, and taking more raw vegetables which he ate, he came to what looked like a bigger cabin, a big cross nailed to the top. Laid out around it graves with more crooked wooden crosses marking their dead, and a large hollow tree on a slight hill looked down over the sad scene, a meadow spread out behind it surrounded by woods.
He was about to go past the back of the church when he noticed a painted sign, and for some reason was pulled by forces unknown or that he understood, to walk towards it.
He looked at the sign, the hand painted black letters spread across the white background proclaiming 'Church of the Calvary'
Old man Granger's dying words came back to him. Had he found where the old convict had hidden the stolen payroll?
Jake lay on his belly and burrowed his hand and arm deep into the hollow of the tree behind the church, feeling around, pulling out dirt, old leaves, twigs, until he felt deep in the tree the metal edge of a box. Pushing his body as close to the tree as he could so that his shoulder was inside the hollow opening, he managed to get purchase on the box and pulled it towards him from the depth of the tree.
When he had gotten it out he looked a the one foot by one and a half foot, by six inches deep metal box. Trying to open it he looked at the flat lock, the keyhole full of mud and dirt and tucked it under his arm, got up and crept his way through the cover of the night, away.
Two days later
Frederick O'Malley, Attorney at Law sat at his desk in his office shaking his head in sorrow. He was reading the local paper and the account of the murder of his old college friend Rory Kendal by Mayor Claude Gaudet, and the subsequent killing of his killer when trying to escape arrest.
Rory and he had known each other back when they were young, and though they had drifted apart, especially when he had moved away to start his practice in a large town not far from Lafayette, he had occasionally met up with Rory when he went back to visit his own folks.
Putting down the paper he picked up his post that his secretary had placed on the desk only minutes before. Shuffling through the post he prioritised the letters opening some official letters and settling back to read them. Working his way through the pile of post he eventually came to the package that someone had appeared to have sent him and opening it up read the letter that sat on top of the pile of account book, official letters and copies of bank details wrapped up in string.
The letter was signed by his murdered old friend Rory Kendal.
Getting up he called out to his secretary, "Cancel all my appointments, I'll be out for the rest of the day." and scooping up the contents of the package rushed out of his office and over to the office of the Sheriff of the town he now called home.
Six months later
Hannah stood out the back of her home looking over the field that once had been almost empty of crops and now was full with temporary workers tending the new plants that she was able to buy with the money left over from the sale of part of the land direct to the county, just as Jake had suggested.
She had heard that the new road and the railway lines were well underway further up North, and the workers would soon be coming down to work on the land to the west of her farm that she had sold off. Things were looking up; she now made more trips into town and beyond, setting up more deals to sell her produce, bringing in a steady, but not enormous profit. On those visits she had heard about the Sheriff John Millet being arrested for part of the fraud that he, Rory Kendal and the Mayor had perpetrated on the farmers, and the framing of Jake as proved by the paperwork that came to the attention of the authorities.
At the Sheriffs trial it came out that Jake was innocent and had been set up to take the fall and the heat off of the real people involved.
But no one knew where he was. He hadn't been captured, and a complete pardon on the fraud had been given to the absent Jake by the Governor. However gossip was that he was still wanted on the possible murder charges of the Guards when he escaped.
Every night since he had left Hannah had gone to bed alone, and dreamt of the wonderful few days she and Jake had spent together, imagining his hands roaming over her body, loving her and making her lonely life no longer lonely.
She hoped he was safe and that he had found his haven by the sea, as she could live alone knowing he was happy and free.
Turning around and walking back to the house over the tracks in the field between rows of beans, she suddenly stopped, her heart beating hard in her chest, a flush of shock at seeing the man that stood there at the edge of the field. The man she dreamed about each night, dreams that left her hot and wanting.
She watched him walk towards her, and then he was standing in front of her, taking her face in his hands, cupping it gently and lowering his face to hers to kiss her sweetly, just like in her dreams.. "Hannah...."
Her arms snaked around his neck, one hand rising up into his hair as the kiss deepened, and then they ended the kiss, "You came back."
He looked up at the workers in the field, the plants filling it and smiled, "You sold off some land?"
"Yes...did you get to the sea....get work on a fishing boat.....make a new life?"
"Yes I got to the sea....I bought a boat.....started to make a new life....then realised something was missing.....you."
It's still dangerous for you here....you're wanted for the murder of the guards....."
"No Hannah, its not dangerous anymore.....for the last month I've been over in Baton Rouge speaking to the Governor.....I gave myself up and made a statement explaining what happened in the swamp and on the chain gang....I've been given a full pardon. I'm a free man.....and I've come back here where my heart is."
He bent his head down and kissed her again, "If you'll have me."
"I love you Jake.....what's mine is yours.
Walking hand in hand they made their way to the house to start the rest of their lives together in the best way they knew how.
He watched his own hand as it skimmed slowly down from her fragile neck, the skin covered in a fine dewy perspiration and onto the gentle expanse of skin below. Moving his other hand up he undid the buttons of her blouse, slowly revealing the plain cotton of her brassiere. Using his palms he moved the material of her blouse over her shoulders, running his work worn palms over the firm skin of her shoulders and carried on down her arms until the white material had fallen to the floor.
Bending his head down he kissed her mouth as his hands worked at removing that which hid her breasts from his sight, and as the bra fell to join the blouse on the ground his head drew back and his eyes dropped down to admire the small high breasts, topped with the dark pink nipples, the small freckles decorating the skin.
"I dreamt of this....of you....of your softness....the smell of your skin....the feel of your body...the warmth that lives within you...." and looking into her eyes, deeply and with emotion he told her, "Whatever happens, whether this country ever gets back on its feet, through good and bad, we were meant to be together.....make love with me."
The depression that held the country in its grip and ruined so many lives no longer touched this small farm in the South of Louisiana as together they built an oasis where love, work and support kept them happy.
On the street corner in a run down part of Los Angeles stood a woman whose dreams had turned to dust around her. Broke, and one of hundreds of woman who came flooding each month with dreams of making it big and becoming famous from the small towns around the land, she was reduced to selling herself to live.
Louisiana seemed a life time away even after a short six months.