Louisiana Heat Ch. 02byshandal©
He felt he had been running for hours when he decided to take a rest and sitting down on a fallen tree he bent over and panted, getting his breath back. His throat hurt as thirst burnt it, and the pain in his side was now on fire, a continual ache. The sun barely made it through the foliage above him, making the air dark and thick, and he could hear noises around him, animal noises, but no sound of men following him, hunting him.
Getting back up he started off, moving deeper into the trees, unaware of what was ahead of him, or where he was going.
Abigail entered the Mayors office, the smell of cigar smoke assaulting her nostrils and smiled at the portly man who stood as she came in.
"Missy.....good to see you......sit down here." And the Mayor walked around his desk to hold the visitor chair out for her to sit in. "What can I do for you Miss Abigail?"
Smiling over at the Mayor as he settled into his own chair she crossed her legs, letting her skirt ride up to show her knees, and slipped the thin little cardigan off her shoulders leaning forward so that the gentle swell of her breasts showed in the scoop of the thin blouse, before smoothing her hair in an intimate and provocative manner "It sure is hot Mayor today....."
Clearing his throat the Mayor, eyeing her knees and the slim legs on display asked her "May I get you a drink Miss Abigail......maybe a glass of water or lemonade?"
"Why Mayor that's so kind of you if it's not too much trouble."
"No trouble." And he got up to pour a glass of fresh lemonade from the shiny polished wood cabinet to the side of the office, "and no need to call me Mayor......call me Claude.....after all we're friends Miss Abigail......call me Claude."
Flashing a big smile she accepted the glass of lemonade he handed her, her fingers touching his for a second, and murmured, "Claude....thank you." before taking a delicate sip of the tart liquid, flashing a veiled look with her eyes over the edge of the glass to the man as he sat back down.
"Claude.....I was wondering.....I know it sounds a little forward of me.....and I wouldn't ask but......"
"What seems to be troublin' you Miss Abigail?"
"Well it's a little difficult.....and I wouldn't come over and worry you.....I feel a little silly here Claude...." And she put down the glass on the desk in front of her and started to get up, "Maybe I shouldn't have come here....."
"Please sit down and tell ol' Claude what's on your mind....."
Looking around behind her she whispered, "Maybe not here Claude.....walls have ears....could you come over to my place.....I would feel safer to talk to you there.....say about three this afternoon....I have some information that I think you would be interested in.....but its private and I don't want anyone else to hear.....its about the road.....the money and.....well to be frank....I'm worried about others....three o'clock my place....you will come Claude?" and she picked up her cardigan and walked to the door, looking down at the fat man as he sat intrigued behind his desk, "I've always respected you Claude and feel I can trust you.....three o'clock." And then she was gone.
Rory smelt the bubble bath bottles in the Pharmacy, the smell of rose tickling his nostril, the fantasy of Abigail naked, and sunk deep in the sweet smelling bubbles in the big white bath filling his mind. Turning towards the counter, the bottle in one hand, he fished for the money with the other in the pocket of his trousers.
The skinny Pharmacist took the bottle and money from Rory with his bony hands and told him, "Good choice, your wife will love this.......birthday present is it?"
"What!.....no just a small gift."
"It will make a sweet present for such a sweet lady....."
Taking the now bagged bottle Rory just looked at the nosy man and told him, "Sweet lady......yes.....very sweet." and left the store, aware that the present wasn't for his wife but for his mistress.
The pharmacist watched as Rory walked out of his shop. Shaking his head he smiled. He, like many others in the town had heard the rumours about the Accountant and the young Miss Abigail who used to be Rory's business partners girlfriend, and he made a good guess that the present wasn't for the young wife and mother of his baby at home, but for the woman that his wife and her friends were gossiping about only the other night.
Seemed to him that later tonight after he had closed up the shop and got home he would have a nice juicy little bit of gossip himself to tell his wife.
In the clearing Broussard sat up, his head throbbing, a trickle of blood on his hand when he wiped it across his forehead. He could feel a big lump there, and it took him a while for his vision to clear.
Sitting on his haunches he looked around and saw the other guard laying next to the still body of Granger who lay there on his back, eyes open in obvious death. Looking fearfully around he saw there was no sight of the six prisoners, and he could see the chains and leg irons lying about on the dirt around him. Scrambling around he looked for the two rifles but they were gone, and then he crawled over to the other guard, rolled him over and seeing the blood on the ground and on his skull bent over to see if he was breathing.
Realising the man was dead, Broussard sat back shocked. A quick flash of fear ran into him that the escaped prisoners may be about, armed and ready to kill him, and then he made his mind up to hurry back to the stockade and get help, for the men were probably as far away as they could get, and he needed help to both find them and retrieve the bodies laying next to him.
Standing up unsteadily he started the long trudge back to the stockade, leaving the body of Granger and the other guard laying there in the clearing under the hot bright afternoon sun.