Vision of the Spirit Ch. 12bywilderness©
Thursday morning, Chief Morris sat at his desk and stared blankly at the police reports spread across his blotter. They listed the usual tourist crimes -- a stolen camera, drunken brawls, and loud parties. But the vision that replayed in his head came from yesterday -- his wife, Annie, in the arms of another woman. A knock on the door interrupted his daydream.
"Chief, someone's here to see you."
"Who is it?"
"She wouldn't say, said it was confidential."
"Okay, send her in." Glad for the distraction, he scooped the documents into a neat pile and put them in the 'to do' basket.
The deputy returned moments later and stuck his head in. "Here she is, Chief."
Hannah entered the office and the deputy closed the door behind him. Her scent floated around the cramped room. He remembered the fragrance from the day before and it made his cock twitch. Even in an old baggy tee shirt and jeans her sex appeal was formidable, or maybe it was just the fact that he'd seen what was underneath, or maybe because he'd seen her suck his wife's tit.
She didn't waste time with pleasantries. "I need money. You owe me, for taking care of your wife's dirty… laundry, and I want to get paid now."
Immediately, he became defensive. The word 'blackmail' sprang to mind. "You think I owe you after just one day, one… load? I think you still owe ME. You're lucky to be walking around free." The Chief stood, circled around his desk and stood over her. "Maybe I'd like you to take care of another load, right now."
She backed off and turned away. "Listen, all I want is enough money for a bus ticket -- $80 bucks. Pay me and I'll get out of your life."
Chief Morris returned to his seat and eased the tension. He wasn't sure if he liked this turn of events. "Why? I thought you and Tom had something going."
She remained standing with her back to him. A hand rose to her face -- to wipe a tear? "It's over. I need to get back to Vegas."
"Tom doesn't have the money?"
"I've taken enough from him already."
"Does he know you're leaving?"
She didn't answer for a while. "No. I didn't want to fight about it."
The Chief opened a drawer and withdrew an envelope. "Here." He counted out five twenties and laid them on the edge of the desk. "Take a hundred. I appreciate what you've done… for Annie."
Hannah turned around, picked up the money, and laid down a set of keys. "I borrowed his truck. Please, give them back." She marched through the door. A faint, "Thanks," returned.
He sat there awhile, wondering if he should stop her. After all, she was part of an ongoing federal investigation, although no one else knew about her involvement, except Tom. The Chief's slow and steady life had switched to the fast lane in less than a week. Letting her leave simplified matters by one less complication.
It was three o'clock, before Chief Morris found time to drive out to the Midway Motel. Six parked cars indicated the recent violence hadn't hurt the motel's business. Good for Wentworth if he survived, and good for Tom. Young Thomas DuBois seemed liked a genuinely nice guy. The whore was right to leave. He deserved better. Maybe things would finally go his way.
There was no one in the motel office. The Chief began a search that led him to the barn. Inside, he found Tom standing next to a horse, adjusting a saddle cinch.
"Chief Morris, how's it goin'?"
"Good Tom. How 'bout you?"
"Great! Mrs. Skinner taught me how to saddle a horse. Now I can give these nags some exercise."
The name 'Mrs. Skinner' didn't register at first.
"William? Willie Morris, is that you?"
He spun in the direction of the hushed feminine voice. His chest tightened at the sight of his first love, Penny Wentworth. She patted the back of an infant as she walked. Her face was as lovely as he'd remembered, just a little thinner and a few more lines that deepened when she smiled.
She hugged him with her free arm and kissed his cheek. "You look great. It's so good to see you!" The baby powder aroma lingered when they separated. A clatter of hoof beats broke his self-indulgent thoughts.
Tom waved. "I'll leave you two to catch up. Thanks again, Mrs. Skinner."
"You're welcome. And call me Penny."
They watched him ride out the back door.
A childish thrill tingled through the Chief. It felt like 20 years ago, all over again. While her eyes stayed fixed on the horse and Tom, he scanned her.
Her cheeks blushed. "Why are you staring?"
"You haven't changed, Penny."
She turned and met his gaze. "Yes, I have. You just don't want to see it." Sadness softened the sky blue eyes.
"I'm a cop. I know what's real and what's not."
She quickly looked away. The reaction told him they still shared some affection.
Penny lowered the infant from her shoulder. "William, meet Freddie."
The boy was asleep. Blonde curls framed his pink face.
"He looks like you."
Stroking Freddie's cheek with her index finger, Penny whispered, "He has his daddy's chin and eyes."
The mention of a husband cooled Willie's youthful reminiscing. "How is Mr. Skinner, anyway?"
She began to walk toward the front of the barn. "Pete's good." The tone of voice and body language told a different story.
"How long will you be in town?"
"Only long enough to pack up Dad's clothes and make arrangements to take him home with me. The doctor said he needs to be taken care of when he gets out of the hospital and there's no one around here to do it."
They continued in silence, until they reached the parking lot.
"Willie, I want your opinion. Tom told me he'd like to run the motel. He has an impressive resume -- college and experience. He's kept superb records and receipts for the past week. Do you think he can do it, or should I close the place up?" She searched his face and added. "I shouldn't call you Willie anymore, should I. You are the Chief of Police, now." She smiled. "Oh, I'm so proud of you."
"Thanks." It was his turn to feel his face redden. "I really don't know Tom very well. He's only been in town a week. But he seems knowledgeable and a hard worker. I ran a background check on him and he's clean." Then he remembered Tom's truck keys in his pocket and pulled them out. "He may not want to stay. His girlfriend just went back to Vegas without him."
"Oh, that's sad. Relationships are never easy -- always changing." The baby stirred and Penny hummed softly until he settled down. "Why did you run a background check on him?"
"He's a witness in an ongoing investigation. Just covering all the bases." He let her assume it had to do with her father's assault.
They stood uncomfortably quiet for a time.
"Chief, can you recommend another motel? I can't stay here. You understand--"
"Sure, I… understand." He felt bile rise up into his throat. After all this time, the memory of that night still sickened him. "How about staying at my place. We have a lot of room. You could meet Annie."
"No, I don't want to impose--"
"You wouldn't. It'd be great. To be honest, I'd love to have Annie and you become friends. She's pregnant and scared to death. Maybe you could ease her mind."
Penny smiled warmly. "Aw, you're going to be a daddy? Will, that's so great, you'll be a wonderful father." She rubbed his arm. "I'd love to meet Annie. Why don't you call her first, just in case she's not up to it. I've got some more packing to do."
The Chief watched her walk away. Sweet memories, and thoughts of what might have been, spun in his head. The childhood infatuation still burned hot. Once Penny disappeared inside the motel office, he returned to the barn, dreading his next obligation. Tom had returned and was saddling a second horse.
He saw the Chief coming. "Is Hannah back? I thought we'd take a ride."
The best thing to do was just be blunt. "Tom… Hannah's not coming back."
Tom's brow wrinkled with confusion. "What are you talking about?"
Chief Willie held out Tom's truck keys. "She said to tell you she was going home and to give you your keys."
Tom froze and stared at the keys as if they were poison. Suddenly, he snapped. "Take me to town! Maybe I can catch her!"
"She left this morning. The bus is long gone." He put his arm around the young man. "Come on. I'll give you a ride to town."
The ride was long and silent. When he dropped Tom off he tried to encourage him. "You're doing a great job at the 'Midway'. I'll give you a good recommendation to Mrs. Skinner."
Tom got out, and mumbled, "Thanks, Chief."
On the way back to the Midway Motel, Chief Willie phoned home.
"Hi, Baby. How are you feeling?"
There was a hint of suspicion in her voice when she answered, "Fine. Why?"
"Would you feel up to a having a house guest?"
"Who is it?"
"Penny Skinner, Tobias Wentworth's daughter. She's in town for a couple of days to get her dad's affairs in order. She doesn't want to stay at the motel, so I thought we might be able to put her up. She has her baby, Freddie, with her. Maybe you two would hit it off, talk about mothering and… stuff."
"Yeah, woman stuff. That's all."
"Let me get this straight. We're talking about THE Penny, YOUR Penny?"
"Honey, that was a long time ago."
There was a deafening silence. Willie checked the cell phone display to make sure they were still connected.
Finally Annie said, "Okay, bring her home. I'll get the spare room ready," and hung up.
Willie was pissed. She had no right to get huffy after the stunt she pulled with Hannah.
The motel office was empty when he returned. Violin music drifted faintly through the closed door behind the counter. After knocking softly in case Freddie was asleep, he opened the door and entered the living room. The drapes were closed. It took a few seconds for his eyes to adjust. Silhouetted against the diffused window light, he spotted Penny laying in the recliner. Freddie was nestled in the crook of her arm. His face pressed against her bare breast. They both appeared to be fast asleep.
Temptation had been flaunting itself for days. This time Willie didn't resist, and eased closer for a better look. The room was warm and stuffy. Penny had removed her blouse completely to breast-feed. The vision before him was both heartwarming and erotic. Penny's breasts were large with milk, her areolas much darker than when he saw them twenty years ago. Occasionally, Freddie's lips would work the nipple.
The Chief felt a twinge of regret. This might have been his baby if he'd done things differently. Contemplating Penny's fair skin in the dim light, he realized how much his wife Annie resembled her. Soon, he'd see his own child at his wife's breast. Life would forever change.
When his eyes wandered back to Penny's face he found her eyes open, studying him. He turned away. "I'm sorry--"
The sound of the recliner moving upright was followed by Penny strolling past him to lay Freddie in the playpen. There was no embarrassment, no hurried cover up. She leaned over and combed her son's hair with her fingers. Her breast hung tauntingly above the child. Willie pictured himself lying beneath them and began to harden. Part of him felt ashamed, but the voyeur part would not turn away from his first love. She lingered there, as if she were alone in the room. The maternal scene only fanned Willie's desire.
After what felt like minutes, Penny walked back to him. He kept eye contact, but reveled in his peripheral vision.
Penny smiled, and said, "The girls have changed since you last saw them."
She frowned and shook her head in disappointment. "I thought cops were supposed to be astute." Lifting her boobs, she said, "The girls."
Willie laughed softly and accepted the invitation to study her openly. Blue veins crisscrossed under her ivory skin. The nipples were dark and extended. He still remembered how they felt and how they tasted. He remembered how sensitive they were and how she had her first orgasm, just from his caress. The first time would always be special. "They look delicious to me, Penny."
They stood silent, grinning like teenagers.
Finally, it dawned on him she might desire more than a visual comparison. Just when he was about to give in and touch her, she walked over the chair and picked up her bra. "You're still a sweetheart. I'm glad some people never change."
The comment felt like an insult. He wasn't a sweetheart. If she knew the lechery in his heart she'd be afraid.
Burying the lust, he asked, "Is there anything I can help you with?"
Penny looked around the room as she buttoned her blouse. "I think the only thing I need to take is the playpen." She picked up Freddie and brought him to Willie. "Here, hold him while I fold it up."
Taking custody of criminals he was trained for, holding infants he was not.
"He's not evidence. Don't be afraid to leave fingerprints." Penny positioned Freddie against his shoulder. "There, like that." She gave him a crooked smile. "You'd better get used to it."
The baby felt as light as a helium balloon. Willie stood motionless; afraid any movement might pop him or wake him. Penny finished packing up the playpen. Periodically she'd glance at them, shake her head and smirk. "Okay, Chief. I'll take the delinquent. You take the playpen."
Penny followed the Chief home. His anxiety level rose with every mile. Maybe putting the two loves of his life under the same roof was a mistake.
When they pulled into the driveway, Annie came outside to greet them. "Hi, Penny. It's so nice to finally meet you. I'm just sorry it's under these tragic circumstances. How's your dad doing?"
"Not too bad, considering his age. The old soldier has fought his last battle. No more shotgun patrols for him."
Annie spotted Freddie in the car seat. She leaned and tickled his foot. "Who's this handsome dude?"
Freddie gurgled and drooled in response -- legs and arms kicking and waving.
Penny smiled proudly. "That's my Freddie."
"Can I pick him up?"
The women strolled inside, happily chatting and getting acquainted. Willie lugged in the playpen and then made a second trip for luggage. When everything was stowed in the spare room he joined them in the kitchen.
Penny had both hands on Annie's bare stomach. "Wow, that's an active kid. Do you know if it's a boy or girl?"
"No. We don't want to know. But Willie wants a girl and I want a little Willie, because I've already got a big Willie, right Hon?" Annie grinned at her husband.
Chief Morris just smiled sheepishly.
Penny added to his consternation by saying, "I remember. You're a lucky woman, Annie."
Annie laughed at their guest's candor. "You and Willie were… intimate?"
The conversation took a turn down a road best left untraveled. Willie spoke up. "No, Annie. We weren't. We just did some necking."
Penny didn't let it drop. "He was my first sexual experience and I was his. It was all very sweet."
"Well, why didn't you go all the way?"
"Annie!" Willie couldn't believe she asked such personal questions.
"It's all right Will. I can talk about it now." Penny picked Freddie up from the blanket on the floor. "We would have, Annie. We had the whole event planned. But… I was raped in one of the motel cabins the night before our date. They never caught the guy. I became a basket case, totally traumatized. I left town to live with my Aunt Sally. And that was the end of our relationship."
Annie glanced back and forth between Penny and Will. "That's terrible. I'm so sorry…"
Will stared at the floor between his feet.
Penny sat down in a chair and unbuttoned her blouse halfway. "Ancient history." She placed Freddie at her chest and laid a blanket over his head. After some out of sight maneuvers, the pleasant sound of suckling filled the quiet room.
Curious, Annie moved closer. "Would you mind if I take a peek?"
Discreetly, Penny lifted the corner of the blanket.
"How does that feel?"
"At Freddie's age, it feels very nice. My nipples have always been sensitive. I've had a few orgasms while feeding. It's not uncommon."
Once again, Willie was reminded of their youthful experimentation and how he made her orgasm for the first time. The vision of breast-feeding suddenly made him uncomfortably aroused. "I'll get the grill started," he said, and left for the garage.
"When you were pregnant…" Annie went to the counter and poured fresh pea pods, into a bowl, "were you ever extra horny?"
"Oh, yeah. In the second trimester my hormones went crazy."
Annie sighed. "That's a relief. I thought it was just me."
Freddie finished his meal. Penny got up and paced, while patting his back. "Well, get all you can now. Keep Willie satisfied, because soon you won't want anything to do with sex."
"I'm serious! Men feel neglected after the baby's born and some of them have affairs because of it. I know from experience."
The clank of dishes stopped. Annie frowned, and said, "Your husband--"
"Yes, Pete cheated, but we're working it out. I think he regrets its. All in all, we have a good life together."
"I don't think Willie would ever cheat on me."
"Why? He's a man and he's got needs. That's all it takes."
Annie stayed silent.
"Oh my, that must've felt good." Penny wandered toward the door. "I'm going to lay him down in the spare room."
She stopped at the kitchen door to make one more statement. "I met Hannah this morning, before she left for Vegas. Wow, now there's a girl with a sullied past and a lot of secrets. But I think she'll turn her life around if people give her a chance."