tagRomanceTerror in the Snowstorm Ch. 04

Terror in the Snowstorm Ch. 04


This is the final chapter in the story of beautiful blond heiress Tara Hawthorne, and the poor man she came to love, me, Seth Johnson. To understand the background and growth of our relationship, you will have to read the first three parts of this series. As with the other chapters, this is not so much a sex story as it is a life story. Also, it is rather long. If you need a quick thrill, check out the works of some of the other authors who submit their work to this site. Please post constructive criticisms, so my future work will be more pleasing to you.


I had showered, dressed, and gone to the base of the stairwell to Tara's rooms before breakfast. There were enough paintings, sculptures, and antiques to look at that I could hang out there and not look suspicious, but I was worried. I needed to talk to Tara before we met up with her parents.

About fifteen minutes before breakfast was to be served, Tara came down the steps. I motioned her to follow me as I headed for the recreation area.

As soon as we were out of range of the servants who were beginning their daily duties, Tara grabbed me and kissed me passionately, smashing her wonderful breasts into my chest and clutching my ass to grind her mound against me. She almost made me forget what I had to say.

"Tara, are we going to be in trouble for last night?"

"What do you mean, Seth? I've been on the pill for over a year. I won't get pregnant."

"That's a relief," I said, "but that's not what I'm worried about. You don't do your own laundry, and as a houseguest, I don't do mine. Whoever is tending to our things, especially your bedding, will have a pretty good idea of what we've been doing! Your folks are going to kill me."

"Oh, Seth, is that why you look so nervous?" Tara giggled. "Don't worry. Suzette and Lawrence are taking personal care of all our things. Suzette and I are very close. When I came out of the bathroom this morning, she was stripping my bed. She gave me a knowing smile, and said, "I would have to make love to him too, if I were in your position. He's very handsome, and with the way you two seem to worship the ground each other walks on, Lawrence and I knew you were going to use that old hallway to get to each other. Don't worry, your secrets have always been safe with me. As you know by now, Lawrence's middle name is discretion, so no worries there. We're just happy for you, honey."

"Well, that's a relief," I sighed. "Now all we have to do is try to look innocent in front of your Mom and Dad."

Tara gave my crotch a little squeeze and said, "Polish up your halo, big boy, because it's time to meet the parents for breakfast."

I was really glad that I had chosen to wear blue jeans and a polo shirt with the tail un-tucked this morning. I hoped they would make my lower half look as innocent as my face was struggling to be.

After the usual warm greetings, Tara's Dad, Joshua, began to speak. "Seth, I need your help. Lawrence and Suzette were at your house last night. They think my wife and I may have made your folks a little uncomfortable with this Christmas celebration tomorrow. Your Mom and Dad were very nice and warm, but Lawrence and Suzette have the impression that your folks think my wife and I are trying to buy their friendship. Do you think that's possible?"

I thought for a moment. "Joshua, my Mom and Dad have always worked very hard to provide for me. My Mom's a waitress who works long shifts, and takes any overtime that's available to her. Dad is a welder. He works long hours, too. We've always had a warm home and wholesome food, but not a lot of frills. They've taught me by example to be a hard worker, too. Maybe they think you're giving them a handout that they don't deserve.

"They don't like to see people who look for handouts, if they think those people could make their own way if they were willing to work hard for what they get. At the same time, though, they give any extra money they have, and a fair amount of time, to charities they believe are worthwhile."

Joshua thought a moment, and then said, "That's what Lawrence felt they were thinking. He told them his own story, and said he thought they felt a little better. Would you call them for me today, and see what you can learn?"

"I'd be happy to, Joshua," I said.

Amanda said, "Tara, Suzette told me that Seth's father is a very good looking man, and Lawrence thinks his mother is beautiful. Do you think that's why this young man sitting here is so handsome?"

"Could be, Mom," Tara replied. "When Seth was talking to his Dad yesterday, he mentioned that his Mom is the most beautiful woman he knows."

"Dad and I tell her that all the time," I said, "but she just blushes and tells us to hush. But I'm being sincere when I tell her that, and my Dad's face lights up every time he looks at her, so I know he thinks that too. I just hope you'll like them."

"Son," Joshua said, "they sound like our kind of people. I'm willing to bet that your Mom and Dad are more like Amanda and me than they are different. It sounds like we all have the same basic values. A person's values are what show their measure, not their bank balance. I only hope we can make them comfortable enough that we can cut through the social strata nonsense and show them who we really are.

"Now, if we're all done with breakfast, I'd like to talk to you, Seth, about this client of mine we discussed yesterday. If you're interested in meeting with him, you'll have to call him at 11am."

"I'm anxious to speak with him," I said.

"Good. I should give you some more information about him and his business so you can sound your best on the phone. What do you say we talk about this over a couple of games of pool?"

"I'd like to play you, Joshua," I said.

"I'm taking on the winner!" Tara exclaimed.

"No, young lady, you're not. You're not even going to watch. This is going to be guy time. Seth and I need to talk, and you're not going to sit there distracting him by looking all cute and lovely, and you're not going to distract me by teasing me about the shots I miss. Go find something else to do," Joshua said, firmly.

Tara put on her best fake pout and said, "Fine, you two boys go play your amateur-style game and do your male-bonding thing. After lunch, I'll take on the loser, and then I'll take on the winner, and I'll teach you both how the game is played." Still trying to look miffed, she winked at her mother and flounced out of the room.

Amanda sighed. "Now look what you've done. If she doesn't beat you both this afternoon, she'll stay up all night practicing so she can squash you both the next time you play."

"Let her," Joshua laughed. "She's good, and she knows it, but I'm the one who taught her how to play. What I didn't teach her is how to cheat."

"Josh, you wouldn't!" Amanda laughed.

"You're right, I wouldn't, because she'd probably catch me. But I do know her weak spots. Seth, let's go. I need to clue you in on how to put her off guard so you can beat her."

The pool games went well. Josh and I won a game each, and neither of us made it easy for the other. He shared a lot of information about his daughter, not only about her pool-playing skills, but about his relationship with her. It was obvious that he loved her very much. He also coached me about the phone call I was going to make to his client who owned the race car team. By the time 11 o'clock rolled around, I felt I was ready for my phone interview. Josh took me to his office and placed the call for me. He then gave me a thumbs-up and left the room, closing the door behind him.

When I went to the dining room for lunch, the Hawthorne's were already there. Amanda saw me first. She took one look at my face and bolted out of her chair. She wrapped me in the same kind of embrace my mother gave me when I was made co-captain of the football team in high school. "Oh, Seth, he liked you, didn't he?" she squealed.

"I guess he did. We were on the phone for over an hour. We asked each other a lot of questions, and we got pretty deep into some electronics tech areas that they know are weak spots for them. I'm meeting him at the shop the day before New Year's Eve. I didn't realize it, but it's only about an hour from campus, which is great. He's going to have the entire shop and office crew there to meet me. He said that, technically, he has to interview me in person, but I have the job."

Joshua came around the table and shook my hand enthusiastically. "I knew you could do it, son!"

Tara was beaming. She came to me, looked me deep in the eyes, and then, right in front of her parents, embraced me and gave me a big kiss on the lips. "Congratulations, Seth. I'm so proud of you. This is going to be a great Christmas."

After lunch, Joshua invited me to play pool with him again. This time, Tara was allowed to come along. Amanda decided to join us. Joshua and I played first. We each played aggressively and well. I beat him, mainly because he missed a fairly easy shot. When Amanda laughed at him, Tara scolded her. Amanda said, "Oh honey, your Dad takes his game so seriously, just like everything else he does. He sometimes needs me to help him lighten up."

Joshua said, "Your Mom's right, sweetheart, sometimes I do get too full of myself, but I figure if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. But it's nice of you to defend me. I almost want to let you win when we play."

"Let's play right now, Daddy. Of course, I'll beat you, but if I can tell you let me win, I will make your life miserable," she said with mock seriousness.

Amanda and I sat next to each other to watch. Halfway through the game, Lawrence knocked politely on the open door. "Please forgive my interruption, but there is a phone call for Mr. Johnson," he said. "Sir, your father is calling for you." He handed me a phone, gave us all the hint of a bow, and backed out of the room.

"Hi, Dad," I said into the phone. "What's up?"

"Merry almost-Christmas, son," my Dad replied. "Your Mom and I just wanted to talk to you. Lawrence and Suzette were here earlier and brought the clothes they measured us for last night. I've gotta tell you, son, your Mom looks so good in her new outfit, I think I'll keep her!" I could hear my Mom laughing in the background, then I could tell they were wrestling for the phone.

"Seth, it's Mom. Your father is as insufferable as always. I certainly hope he can behave himself tomorrow. Seriously, though, I like the way I look in this dress. And the accessories! That Suzette certainly knows how to pick clothing. And Lawrence managed to make your Dad look even more handsome than he was the day he proposed to me, and that's saying a lot. Is Dr. Hawthorne anywhere nearby? I'd like to talk to her."

"Sure, Mom, she's sitting right here next to me. We're watching Tara slaughter her Dad at a game of pool."

"She's not slaughtering me, she's just lucky!" Joshua said, loud enough for my Mom to hear.

Amanda took the phone from me. "Don't mind my husband. His fragile ego is getting bruised by having his little girl beat him at his favorite game."

"Dr. Hawthorne," my Mom said. "Do you have a minute?"

Amanda answered, "Of course. But please, call me Amanda. I hear 'Dr. Hawthorne' all day at work, and sometimes it's nice to be just plain, old Amanda."

"OK," my Mom said, "and I'm Debbie. I wanted to call you to thank you for the wonderful clothes your employees brought for my husband and me. I've never felt so pampered, and my husband looks fantastic. We don't know how to thank you enough."

"Just come and have Christmas with us and let us get to know you. That's all my husband and I ask. You both must be wonderful people, considering the son you've raised. Joshua and I just adore him."

My Mom said, "We're pretty proud of him, and we love him more than we can describe, Amanda. And we really want to see him. Do you folks have plans for him tonight, or would he and Tara be able to come over here for the evening? We'd really like to meet her, and we're dying to see him. We haven't seen our little boy since Thanksgiving."

"Hang on, Debbie," Amanda said. She covered the phone and held it out to me. "Your Mom and Dad would like you to come home for a visit tonight. They really want to see you. They want you to bring Tara, too."

"Mom," I said, taking the phone. "What time do you want us there?"

"Can you and Tara come for dinner? We could eat around 5:30."

Tara had heard enough of the conversation to have an idea of what we were saying. She called out, "Ask your Mom what I should bring."

Mom said, "Tell Tara just to bring herself."

I said to Tara, "She doesn't want us to bring anything. She just said we should come for dinner at 5:30."

Tara said, "Tell her we'll be there at 4:30 so I can help her in the kitchen."

My Mom heard her and said, "She doesn't need to help me. She's our guest. But come whenever you can. Your Dad and I really want to meet her."

"OK, Mom. We'll be there at 4:30. I love you, Mom." I hung up the phone.

"Seth," Joshua said, "your truck hasn't arrived yet, so you're going to have to take my car. The roads are cleared, so you'll be fine."

"Joshua," I said, "I wouldn't want to drive your car. Tara can drive."

"Bad idea, Seth," Josh laughed. "I taught Tara to drive. That's when my hair started going gray. Besides, we all know what happened the last time she drove. Don't you let her near my car keys!"

"Very funny, Dad," Tara said, giving him a withering stare. "Just for that, watch this." She sank an incredible shot, landing her last two balls and the 8-ball in succession, winning the game.

"I still say you're just lucky," Joshua grumbled. Then he grabbed Tara and hugged her, kissing her on the cheek. "Of course, you had a hell of a teacher."

On the way to my house, Tara was strangely quiet.

"What's wrong, baby," I asked. "You seem nervous."

"Seth, what if they don't like me?"

"What's not to like? You're beautiful, smart, a good talker, lots of fun to be with, and now that you've dropped your rich bitch routine, a very nice person," I replied.

"Are you ever going to forgive me for the way I treated you?" Sara asked, shyly.

"Honey, I already told you that I have forgiven you completely for everything. We all have to go through phases in our development to becoming who we really want to be. That was a phase I know you've given up. We love each other now, so that's all that matters."

As we pulled up to my house, she muttered softly, "I just hope they can come to love me."

As I knew they would be, my parents were enchanted by Tara. My Dad had a little trouble trying not to stare at her too hard, since she looked great in jeans and a sweater. She had chosen clothes that fit her well, but not too tightly, trying to look casual and attractive, but trying not too show her curves too clearly, out of respect. My Dad is a lot like me, though. His imagination let him guess what she could really look like, and he was damned impressed. At one point, while my Mom and Tara were chatting animatedly about college, I caught him undressing her with his eyes. I grinned at him, shook my head subtly, "No," pointed at myself, and mouthed the word, "Mine." He coughed and looked away to hide his laughter.

We moved into the kitchen so Mom could work on dinner, and Tara insisted on helping her. Dad and I sat at the table and watched them in silence for a few minutes. Then he motioned me back into the living room. "Seth, he said, how do you really feel about this girl?"

"What do you mean, Dad?"

"Well, it seems kind of sudden to me. We talked on the phone every week when you were at school, and you never mentioned her. How could you hold out on your old man about landing a catch like this? She's wonderful! She reminds me a lot of your Mom when she was that age. Same long legs, same great figure, same beautiful face, same penetrating, honest, and if I can get away with saying it, sexy eyes. If she were a brunette, I'd say she could pass as your Mom's twin when Debbie was nineteen. The personality, too. God, she has it all. If it weren't for your Mom, I'd make a play for her myself!"

"Dad, you'd have to go through me first, and I'm sure not just stepping aside," I said.

"That's OK, son, I'm just thinking out loud. I love your mother more than life itself, but I'm not so old that I can't look. If you get really serious about this girl, I only hope she ages as well as your mother has."

"Wait until you meet Amanda, Tara's mother, tomorrow. She has to be about fifty, but she's still an extremely attractive woman. Even if her appearance doesn't impress you, and I can't imagine why it wouldn't, her warmth and loving personality will make you wish you had known her all your life. Her Dad's the same way. They could only have one child, Tara, but they always wanted a son, too. I think that may be part of why they've warmed up to me so fast. Although, actually, I think they're just really warm people. You and Mom will like them, I'm sure. They know a little about you, and they're really anxious to get to know you."

"Dinner's ready, boys," Mom called from the kitchen.

I've always loved my Mom's cooking, and the sight and smells of her table always makes me really hungry, but Tara dug in like she was starving to death. After a few minutes of eating in relative silence, my Mom said, "Seth, tell us more about your trip home from school in that storm. I know the roads were really bad, but it seemed like it took you an awfully long time. I saw that you didn't drive your truck here tonight. Did something happen to it that you're embarrassed to tell us about?"

I looked at Tara and she looked back at me, nodding slightly.

"Something did happen on our trip home. I knew you could tell that I wasn't telling you the whole story, but I wasn't going to try to explain everything to you on the phone. But now that we're here together, I'll tell you everything. Please don't interrupt me, and please hold your judgment until I'm done. OK?"

My parents both nodded, looking grim, but kept silent as I told them every detail about what happened. I explained how I found Tara in her wrecked car, how we got kidnapped by Zeke and Merle, and about how they tied us up in their cabin. I gave them the whole account of Zeke getting drunk, talking about raping Tara, and holding me at gunpoint while forcing Tara to strip. I told them that, when Zeke was starting to rape Tara, his brother fought with him to stop him. I explained that Merle and Zeke fought while Tara untied me, and told them how Zeke laughed as he stabbed his brother to death with a fireplace poker. My Mom was trying not to cry, and my Dad had a look of rage on his face that I had never seen before. I told them how I shot Zeke twice when he lunged at Tara and me with the poker.

At that point, Tara took over. Her face was streaming with silent tears. "Zeke fell over when Seth shot him in the leg, but he was still raging about how he was going to hunt us down and kill us. I was standing there naked, looking at the man who had tried to rape me and who had just seemed to enjoy murdering his own brother, and I knew that, somehow, he would kill Seth and me if we all survived the night. While I was getting dressed, I knew what I had to do. I threw that jug of moonshine at him, and it smashed right between his legs. Then I grabbed a kerosene lamp and dumped it all over him. I made Seth go out and start Zeke's Jeep, while I watched the flammable liquid ooze across the floor toward the fireplace. I knew what was going to happen, and I felt in my heart that it was just. I cursed Zeke to the fires of Hell, and walked out the door. As we drove away, the cabin burst into flames."

No one moved or spoke for a while. Then my Mom got out of her chair and hugged Tara. They cried on each other's shoulders for a time. Finally, in a very quiet and gentle voice, my Dad said, "Kids, there was nothing else you could do. You had to save your own lives. I'm just glad you had the strength and the grace of God to survive that so you could be here today."

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