Redwood Nine: Season 02 Ch. 02byRoyceConnors©
Chapter 2: Men of Mayhem
JT waited until the light of day, to look at the envelopes and papers Tom took from the room. He sat on the end of the bed smoking a cigarette, looking at the papers beside him. He picked up a hand written letter and began reading it, realizing it was from Jake to Marlene. He read the words coming from Jake's heart, about how he felt about Marlene and his reluctance to ever let her go. He was apologizing for his actions, which JT assumed to be about the fight he was in, that landed him in jail, then put the letter aside, not wanting to read about his affairs of the heart, but to know where his killer lived.
He found an envelope addressed to Jake that was unopened and looked at the back for the return address. A smile grew on his face, one inspired by the knowledge that vengeance was now closer to a certainty, than at any time before this. 2830 Southridge Drive, in Palm Springs, became an address of deliverance, a destination of bloody revenge.
He looked at the address and the name Brock, the two synonymous with the same feeling in him. He looked over at Piney beginning to wake up and Mary refusing to be disturbed from her dreams and rolling over towards him. Despite his feelings to observe privacy issues, his eyes couldn't help but continue looking at Mary's abundant breasts exposed to him. He was so transfixed on them, he didn't see Piney sitting up slightly to look at him.
Piney's eyes followed the direction JT was fixed on and knew they were trained on Mary's exposure.
"Pretty nice, aren't they?"
Piney whispered words stunned JT and he blushed rapidly to a colourful, beet red. Piney quietly chuckled as he pulled the sheets over Mary, then got out of bed in his boxers and strolled into the bathroom to relieve himself. He came back out and saw JT had gotten over his embarrassing moment and wanted him to go outside with him. He pulled on his pants and grabbed his pack of cigarettes off the nightstand, heading outside with JT.
Piney lit up a cigarette and looked at JT through the plume of rising smoke, as he spoke.
"I found him, Piney. I know where the son of a bitch lives."
Despite his whispered words, the impact of them brought a dawning realization to the day. Words were going to become actions and whether he was for or against pulling the trigger, he had committed himself to the task and accepted the consequences as they came.
"Where is he, JT?"
"Palm Springs. Lives on Southridge Drive. Once we go today and have our gun practice, I say we make plans to take a little trip south and do some sightseeing and find out exactly where this guy lives and get some background on him. We're going to need to know what he does and where he goes, so we can figure out a place to take him down."
Piney could see the set in JT's eyes, how focused and determined he was on this one issue. He knew nothing would dissuade, or deter him from succeeding in carrying it out, the mission he had set his heart to, one it needed to accomplish, to be whole again. He couldn't deny his own feelings toward Clive Brock weren't honourable, wanting justice to be done for Jake's death, but carrying out the roles of Judge, jury and executioner, pushed his limits of reasoning.
Doors started opening and more guys came over and joined them, brushing hair with fingers and lighting smokes, stretching arms and backs to work out the kinks. Faces turned to the morning sun and let it wash over their faces, basking in the warm glow of a September morning. The normalcy of JT's demeanour, put the guys at ease, that he hadn't faltered and regressed back into his former state.
Keith opened his door and began stepping outside, when he was halted by a hand pulling him back. The guys noticed it and watched, then saw a semi-naked Gloria kissing him passionately. Keith accepted it and responded to it with his own passion and held her tightly to him. Gloria put her hands around the back of his neck and the sheet slid away, exposing her completely. The embracing couple didn't notice, or didn't care, as they continued the loving display for all to see.
The whistles, claps and cheers, had them disengage their hungry mouths and take stock of themselves. Gloria realized her exposure then and dashed back inside. That brought a greater round of applause from them and Keith smiled broadly at them, taking a small bow and limped over to them.
"Aye, now that's the way to start the morning, is it not, lads?"
"Good on you, Keith. How's the leg now?"
"It's no bad, JT. Healing well, just the bone aches if I use it too much."
Keith lit up a cigarette and inhaled the smoke, along with the fresh air.
"Grand place this. Warm sunshine, clean air, fresh water and absolutely, lovely women, who make a man feel good to be alive."
All the noise and loud voices, had the rest of them awaking and getting out of bed. One by one, doors opened and bodies made their way outside. Some of the girls did a fast scoot in night shirts and skimpy sleepwear to Lorraine's room and disappeared inside, after kisses were blown at the guys and some flashes of bare skin shown.
Lenny laughed to himself, as he saw them go in and shut the door to him, ending his view of them. He lit up his cigarette and blew out the smoke, then looked at the guys.
"Anyone else get a little speech from their old lady, last night?"
The guys all said no, that they had nothing in the way of a speech, or a request of any kind.
"Figures. It's always my old lady that has to do this and I end up having to deal with it, shit."
"What's that, Lenny?"
"Here's what I got, JT. Seems the girls have been doing a lot of talking, not about the fucking thing again, something different. Since the murder, they've been told to stay here and not go anywhere by the cops. They've done their investigation and they don't need the girls for anything anymore. So, they want to know if there's anywhere else they can go and stay, instead of here. I kinda don't blame them, really. Must be really fucked up, having to hang out in a place where people died like that."
The guys thought about it and understood quite easily, how unnerving it must be to have this constantly in their faces, every hour of the day. JT could see the consensus among them, that changing locales might be in everyone's best interest. The clubhouse was mentioned and shut down instantly, JT reminding them that club business and personal business never mixed together. There was only one place that everyone could think of, that would suffice in their needs, Calaveras.
With no phone, or way to contact them, it was decided to take the risk and impose on them, the hopes their friendship could handle such an imposition. Lenny said he'd get Lorraine to go shopping and buy lots of food and stuff for everyone, so they didn't come empty handed. JT said he'd take some cash from the club money and use that. Wally went in and got dressed, a hopeful smile on his face, as he wondered about Azure and if she was still willing to share some free loving with him.
The girls were informed of the decision and they couldn't have shown their happiness any more than they did. Happily, they were back inside and packing their things. JT got dressed and rode down to the clubhouse and was back in fifteen minutes with the money. Lorraine took the money and tucked it between her breasts, then laughed and took it out and put it in her pocket.
"A girl can dream, can't she?"
"Sure you can, Lorraine, just not with our money, unless you want to earn it?"
The mood took an upswing with the humour and the desire to be with friendly faces and peaceful environments. Wally took off with Lorraine and Cindy to do the shopping, while the others stood around outside, enjoying the beauty of the late summer day. The door to the office opened and the officer came out and looked down at them and then went to his car. He used the radio and made a call, then came back out. He looked around, seemingly trying to figure something out, then headed towards them.
The guys became slightly nervous, knowing it most likely had something to do with last night's mission. They didn't recognize the officer, someone from out of town most likely and waited for him to say something.
"Did any of you guys happen to hear anything last night?"
"Like what, officer?"
"Noises of any kind. Anything out of the ordinary?" The guys looked puzzled by his questions on purpose, feigning any knowledge of what they knew.
"Not sure what you mean. Out of the ordinary? What noises would they be?"
"Like someone walking around outside, late at night, windows opening and closing. Those kinds of noises."
"Those aren't out of the ordinary. Lots of people go for walks around here late at night, at least they used to. Windows are always being opened and closed, unless you're talking something like my window, now that makes a helluva noise when you open and close it. Anything wrong?"
"Yeah, some evidence in the bedroom is missing. I'm supposed to collect it and bring it in for examination, but it's not there. I just called Officer Unser and asked him and he said it was there last night, when he did his walk through. It's not there now and I have to find out if you might know anything that will help me."
"I have no idea. I was sitting with Wayne..., Officer Unser, in his car for like almost two hours, shooting the shit about the old days and stuff. We used to go to school together and then we lost touch when we went over to 'Nam. Just catching up on things, but neither of us heard anything, at least while I was out there with him."
"How long was that?"
"I don't know, maybe two hours, like I said. It was close to midnight, I remember that, when I went out to him. Everyone was asleep, or in bed, by that time and we finished talking around two, two thirty, something like that."
"Okay, thanks. What's your name?"
"JT, sorry, John Teller."
"Thanks John. I'll call Unser back to confirm, not that I don't believe you, just have to dot all the I's and cross the T's. I'm not taking the shit for this stuff missing, no way. Anyway, said too much already, thanks."
The officer went back to his car and radioed in. The guys and girls stood and watched the animated conversation, imaging what they must be saying to one another. The officer slammed his door and started it up, then roared out of the lot and back to the station.
Mary looked at Piney, a wonderment on her face.
"What was he talking about? What stuff is missing?"
"No idea, sweet cheeks. Looks like he was supposed to pick something up and it ain't there."
Mary shrugged her shoulders, unable to make sense out of it, neither could the other girls, but the guys were breathing easier, realizing they were out of the woods and not suspect in it. JT had a small thought about Wayne Unser and felt he should repay him for the kindness of their talk, but more importantly, the perfect alibi to throw the trail off them. With the motel to themselves, everyone headed into their perspective rooms and spent some time with their partners, some just sharing a quiet moment together, helping each other through it all, while others found the relief through passionate loving, the connection to life again, coming back to them. One couple sat holding hands, praying together for an end to troubles and a needed presence of peace to reign over them.
Marietta had faced enough with the beating and rape, then carried the secret of Chico's murder of the guilty ones. Her life had been uprooted and put in chaos, unsure of what the next day would bring. Just when the light of hope was beginning to shine upon her, the blackness of despair covered it and blocked it from her world. Jake and Marlene had presented a new start for her and now it was thrust backwards to a point, further than where she had been. All the kindness Marlene had done for her, was being felt in sadness for her, knowing she was now clinging for her life, after she had done so much to help her with her own.
She had come from her room, just the day before, after letting Marlene look inside her and remembered how happy she was, to know the tearing had healed and she could make love with Chico and not worry. Her own mother would have never cared for that way, instead, shunning her for getting pregnant and blame her, for asking for it. Love for her, was a rare commodity to have and she treasured each feeling of it she felt.
Hearing now, of the place they were going to, Marietta was sceptical about it being a place of peace and quiet, the people there, filled with love. The idea sounded more than strange to her, but Chico assured her, that the guys wouldn't have chosen this location, if it wasn't somewhere safe. That seemed to ease Marietta's mind, as she once again filled her suitcase and bag with all her belongings. She couldn't help but feel the disappointment of being so close to Berkeley, the one place her heart cried out to be in and now she was moving away from it again.
Wally's car pulling in, had whatever activities the others were engaged in stop and they were coming back outside. The girls all brought their suitcases and bags out with them and they were loaded into the trunk. Wally closed it and smiled, happy it held everything. They stood together, as couples and as a group, looking at the place they had called home for only several weeks. For the short time they were there, so much had happened, so much life had been lived. It had changed them all from who they were at the beginning, just over a month earlier.
Wally got in his car, then one by one, the girls got in and prepared themselves to begin living a hippie lifestyle. None of them had a clue what to expect, the new subculture still in its infancy stage. It didn't seem to be anything to be frightened about, but the change in the way things were done, was a new experience they were uncertain about. Free love still sounded like another way to put out for guys easier, more than anything else.
The drive put everyone in a better mood, feeling more like a weekend ride, than a move to a new locale. The hour long cruise, finally came to an end, as the rusted gate came into view and the procession passed it and drove to the house. One after the other, naked men and women came out to greet them and the faces on the women took a different take on things. Moon, Star and Phoenix stood on the porch, while the girls, with Azure and Suzy leading the way, surrounded the car and welcomed the girls.
Despite the naked welcome, the girls seemed happy to be there, knowing anywhere else than the motel, would provide some much needed peace of mind. JT got off his bike and went to Moon and despite his nudity, JT hugged him close. He finished and Suzy was waiting for him, her own need for bonding with him, something he felt a need for too. None of the other guys had the inclination to approach the nude men and greet them the way JT did, but, they said hello without prejudice. The naked girls coming over to greet them, had smiles peeled back on their faces, to show how appreciative their enjoyment of them was.
Their own girlfriends, became jealous, seeing the enjoyment their men were having, with firm, naked bodies pressed against them. Moon saw the animosity forming and called everyone inside, ending the conflict, before it progressed any farther. The girls took their bags and suitcases from the trunk, while the guys picked up all the bags of groceries that they bought. Wally looked at Azure, his heart ready to be crushed if she spurned him, but he saw her smile as she came to him, then felt her arms around him. He waited for her to make the first move and she knew he was giving her that opportunity. She put a hand behind his head and pulled his face to hers.
"Hi Wally, I missed you."
She pulled him closer and pressed her lips to his. Wally felt the rush of pleasure hit him and he returned his own feelings of separation with her. Once they were happy with the results of getting reacquainted, they walked in together, Wally's hand sliding down from her shoulders, to happily come to rest on her ass.
Moon stayed outside with JT, while the guys and girls mingled nervously with one another. Moon waited until no one was near them and looked at JT, his face asking him, without words spoken.
"Moon, I know we've imposed on you already, way more than I could ever think of asking, but I really need your help, at least for a week, maybe more."
Moon smiled warmly, as if knowing already what was asked of him.
"This is because of what happened, back in Charming?"
JT nodded and looked at the ground, while he thought on his words.
"They can't stay at the motel all day, not knowing what happened there. Everyone else is gone and I know we're going to get booted out ourselves. No one is there to take care of the motel, so it's just a matter of time, right?"
Moon could understand JT's situation and wanted more than anything, to relieve him of the burden.
"JT, the girls are very welcome to join us, you should know that. You and the others are like family to us. You took us in and helped us every way you could and befriended us, when others turned us away. We could never do that to you, no matter how many times you came to me for help. There is no score that's tallied, that me, or anyone else looks at, to say we're even and paid back for favours done. You will have help, whenever you, or the others need it, always."
JT looked at Moon and felt his heart ease, the strain it was under, causing him some pain with every beat it took. Moon could see the release in him and smiled, knowing at least one more burden had been relieved from his friend, as he felt the hug in gratitude.
"How are you, John? Has your heart let go of the pain?"
"Not completely, Moon. I don't think it'll ever ease up, not until that guy has had justice served on him."
"I can understand that, John. The law will make sure he is punished for what he has done."
JT never let on that he was considering himself the law in this matter. He felt justified in carrying out the punishment warranted for the crime committed and wouldn't be deterred from carrying it out. Moon could read the feelings coming from JT, but didn't voice his concerns. Whatever was keeping his friend in the here and now and helping him get through this, was all he could hope for him. He could feel his own sadness in himself, knowing a blackness had formed inside JT and was growing steadily.
He clapped his hand on JT's shoulder and beckoned him to come inside and enjoy the time spent together with friends. JT let his thoughts go with the breeze, as he knew they'd be there, the moment he walked back outside again.
The girls came back downstairs, after they were shown where to put their things and the immediate issue of bedding came up. There was barely enough for the ones there, some sharing a bed already. Tom, in his ever present mind of finding items needed, came up with an idea that made all the sense in the world to him.
"Guys, why don't we just take some beds from the motel? Not like they're going to be used much anymore. Once they decide to do something with it, we can put the shit back."
The thought began sinking in, to how it solved all their problems and made the situation they had, seem resolved and it was only borrowing, not stealing. The next thing to figure out, was how to get the beds there and not get caught. They knew the twenty four hour watch was over, but the sight of numerous rooms being emptied of beds and some furniture, might cause some to question their actions. Once again, a late night trip to the motel was planned and Clay would get his grandfather's pick up and Moon would use the VW bus to take whatever he could carry.
For tonight at least, the girls would have to share whatever bed space was available and make do, until everything could be arranged for them. Looks were passed between them, as they imagined the sleeping arrangements. As much as the guys wanted to stay and enjoy the pleasurable interlude with their women, JT had them back out and on the bikes, ready to take care of more pressing issues.