LLess Than Desirable
First Serial Rights copyright 1992
This is my first to be published in a long time. Its not some quickie hard-on crap. Brothers and Sisters who've been on the road before might recognize the circumstances better than most…
LESS THAN DESIRABLE
The new white Thunderbird sedan fish-tailed toward the right snowbank.
"Great," Dicky said out loud. He quickly glanced in the rearview mirror and mumbled, "Me with ninety-eight pounds of Columbian in the trunk, and I'm gonna slide off into a snowbank alongside an Interstate.
Muleing from Phoenix to Cincinnati, wired on drop-speed after two days on the road, wheeling a drive-through big enough to be a tank, stuck in a freak snowstorm south of St. Louis, Missouri on I-44, wasn't Dicky Cole's way of having a good time. This was no place for a lover of the game: muscle cars, custom leather jackets with initialed silver buttons, starched and pressed faded Levis, t-shirts emblazoned with logos from hot rock groups, shined, endangered-species-skin boots. A well-stretched honey, long legs striding slightly ahead, guiding her gently with his hand on the small of her back. Her sitting beside him with her hand inside his jeans, gently massaging his cock.
Dicky knew how to pay for it all: Flight out of Sky Harbor Monday morning, meet with the buyer Monday night. Buyer tests the sample and admires the pretty blue color, then stashes it for comparison on delivery. Dicky pre-counts the cash, making certain the bills aren't consecutive, scatters his mark throughout–remembering where, for an easy spot at the drop–and randomly pockets a few bills for a bogus check when he gets back. Then let the mules do the shit work, the delivery, in the next seven days.
Now it was back to basics. Jules Lamar, the connection, down. Jules Lamar, the man, the mentor, twenty years as a pharmaceutical rep, with international connections. Shipments of paste, ready for ether when you opened the bags, just one step away from product. Jules even had the chemist at the state crime lab doing the final step. Then the fatal flaw: EGO. Jules saying, "My boy, it’s the biggest buy so far. Thirty keys of pure. I'll have to do this one myself." Two days later, at 3:30 am, the phone call: "J. L. is down. Feds." Click.
Man, they move fast, he thought, checking the rear and side mirrors again.
Federal court orders arrived overnight. They seized all of Jules accounts and investments, plus the money Dicky had invested on Jules' advice. The next morning, he took the chance and was first in line at Valley National, cleaning out his checking account. Now, the only cash he had was five grand strapped to his waist in a cloth money belt under his shirt, and a little under three hundred in his pocket. He knew he shouldn't use credit cards. They were too easily traced.
He'd immediately severed contact with Jules' people, crashing for a couple nights with a local music group he'd been financing. The drummer, Lyle, introduced him to one of their friends, Roger, on vacation from Cincinnati. Roger had the problem of how to get some choice Columbian buds back home. Dicky had the solution and the motivation. He agreed to mule the buy back to Ohio for five bills and expenses.
At the moment he was having a vision of a Gary-Cooper-looking state trooper pulling up to be helpful–after he'd slid off into the snowbank–saying, "Sir, let's open the trunk so we can add some more weight for traction He'd assumed the position before. The memory made him paranoid. "Careful. Take it easy," he said, talking out-loud again.
The DJ came on after the final note from the Beatles, I Want to Hold Your Hand, "Hand holdin' weather tonight guys and gals. And, make sure you got plenty to hold you over for the next few, we got the arctic mass swooping in from the north, rocky mountain high winds from the west, and a warm front up from the gulf. Worst its been in twenty years. Now this from John Deere, tractors that go anywhere, anytime
The rear end fished gently to the right, and Dicky could hear the whir and whine from the tires through the slightly lowered window. The T-bird finally caught with a slight jerk and eased forward, crawling like a tank past the giant walls of fresh snow spewing up by the lumbering snowplow somewhere ahead of the long line of cars.
He slowly slid to a stop by the sign, BOURBON NEXT EXIT. Then he saw the Missouri State Trooper walk out of the swirling snow up to the driver's side of the car ahead and say something. Now, he was heading for the T-bird.
He snubbed out his cigarette in the already overflowing ashtray, pressing the button and the window slowly humming down. "What's up officer…Holden?" he said, hoping he wasn't being too smooth by reading the name tag sewn under the giant cloth badge on the big parka.
"TROOPER, Sir. Sir, this line is going to have to exit at Bourbon. All roads are being closed except for emergency traffic."
"But I've got to get this car to…"
"Unless it’s a life emergency, no one travels on these roads tonight, Sir. Governor's orders. Exit ahead at the ramp where you see my unit parked." The trooper abruptly started toward the next car in line.
"Shit. Shit. Mother-fucker!" Dicky screamed, after the window rolled back up. He wrenched at the steering wheel like a child in a tantrum. Hands trembled and clothes soaked with cold sweat, he shook his head from side to side muttering, "Calm down. Control. Control!" He reached under the new blue sweater he'd bought in Sapulpa when it began getting cold, fishing out a plastic packet of white ten-mg tablets from his shirt pocket. He shook three into his hand, reached behind the front seat and found a warm beer under his blue sport coat, opened it and washed the tabs down.
BLAM, BLAM! came the sound of someone hitting the car trunk. Twisting around, he saw the trooper gesture impatiently to move forward. With a quick glance ahead he saw the other cars had disappearing into the swirling snow. He almost dropped the beer getting his hands back on the wheel, and gently pressed down on the accelerator.
Trooper Bob Holden watched the T-bird slide forward and narrowed his eyes. He walked forward, keeping pace with the big white car, and almost caught up to the driver's side door. Then the car started moving better and he stepped aside toward the median, but reached into his pocket, took out a small notebook and wrote the license plate number down. Watching the T-bird disappear, he thought, Fool, if he'd just add some weight, and let some air out of those tires, he'd be OK.
"Whatta you mean there's no rooms! I'm stranded!" Dicky glared at the skinny man across the registration desk at the Holiday Inn.
Marty Fishbine, the desk clerk, had been taking abuse for over eighteen hours. "Sorry, sir. You can try the Bourbon Inn or the Armory where they've put up stranded travelers. All our beds are occupied," he smirked. He was enjoying burning down, what he thought was, one more rude, irate, asshole traveling salesman.
And so it went. No room at the woodsy-looking Bourbon Inn. The gas station was closed, and the T-bird gauge read quarter tank. The town looked dry, so no more beer. He couldn't find the Armory. Finally, after rounding the massive oak tree in the town square for the third time, he slid toward a side street and found he had to go down it looking for another street or driveway to turn around in so he could drive back.
When he finally saw a wide space to his right that looked like a road, it sloped downward. The big car slid to a stop just past the side road, and he looked down the grade. "I'll be damned. A little motel." THE RETREAT, the dark sign read at the bottom of the slope. Dicky tried to back up so he could nose the big car down the slope into the drive and promptly fishtailed backwards and to the right. The T-bird slid, wheels spinning, down the slope and into the tiny parking lot. "What the fuck." He quickly threw it into reverse and backed up to the office doorway.
When Lori Peters heard the banging on the downstairs office door her first thought was, Another chance to smoke a cigarette.
"Lori Jean, I'll be a gettin' that," her father said. He staggered up from the old Lazy-Boy recliner, bumped into the back of the chair, steadied himself and said, "Where you at, Little Girl?"
The two year-old child with blonde hair looked up and said, "Here, Papa Ray." She pronounced it Paw-Paw. "I get my books outta way." She knew he'd walk over her coloring books if she didn't quickly gather them up.
"Papa, let me do it. You might fall again on the stairs," Lori said. She grabbed her cigarettes, got up from the couch and turned the black and white TV off.
The banging got louder and Ray Peters shuffled toward the stairs and the noise. "If'n a man can't answer his own door then thay might as well shoot him." The old man plodded down the stairs, trailed by Lori and Little Girl.
Looking past her father, Lori could see over the counter, and through the front windows. A tall, good-looking young man with blond hair in a blue sport coat and tan slacks was standing outside with his hands in his pockets. Probably playin' pocket pool, she thought, and grinned.
"Must be young, or he wouldn't be bangin' so much," Ray Peters said opening the door and standing in the way. "Whatta you want?"
"Sir, its freezing cold out here. Could I come in?" Dicky said.
"Closed fer the season," Papa Ray said, and tried to push the door closed.
Dicky had his foot stuck in the doorway. "Sir, all the other motels are full up. There's no other place to go. I'll be happy to pay double rate if you'll just put me up overnight."
Papa Ray forced the door closed and left Dicky hunched up outside, turned around and said, "What's he look like, Lori Jean?"
Lori's first thought was, Delicious, but she said, "He's clean-shaved, Papa. Looks like a business man. His car's a new white Ford sedan with Arizona license on it."
The old man turned around and opened the door. "Get on in here fore we all freeze."
Dicky kept glancing up at the tall, thin woman while he wrote on the registration card. She stared back with ice-blue eyes and a slight grin, leaned against the doorway, hands stuck in the back pockets of her jeans, cigarette pack stuffed halfway into the front pocket. The long blonde, teased-out hair framed her high cheek-bones and slightly crooked nose.
"Double rate's eighty-two dollars," Papa Ray said, squinting his eyes. "An I'll need one'a them plastic cards."
Dicky looked into cataracts embedded in dough with a five-o'clock shadow. "You don't mind cash, do you, sir?"
"Nope. But I still need a se-cur-i-ty deposit. If'n you ain't got a plastic card, then I'll be a'needin' two hun'erd cash."
Dicky winced. "I'll be able to get the two hundred back when I leave?"
"If you ain't messed up nothin'."
The little blonde girl reached up and tugged on Lori's shirt sleeve. "What'cha lookin' at, Mama?"
Lori stared straight at Dicky and said, "A beautiful loser, baby."
Dicky walked behind Lori and admired what he saw. They headed toward number six, at the far end of the row of little units attached to the right side of the office. Not bad, in a country sort of way, he thought.
"Its just me and my Dad and Little Girl," she said over her shoulder. "Dad bought the place a coupla years 'fore he retired from the Missouri and Pacific. The rooms aren't very warm–that's why we're only open in Spring 'n Summer–but there's a little baseboard heater. Mostly we get old folks comin' to fish up on the lake. I turned the water back on into the units at the office, so there oughtta be hot water, but you'll have to run the lines for awhile to get the crap out." She talked with a mid-west accent, but clipped the country drawl like a metropolitan street-kid.
"I've been on the road for a couple of days. I could use a long hot shower."
"Well, don't make it too long. Daddy don't like runnin' the water or the 'lectricity bills up. What'cha gonna do 'bout that pretty T-bird? You gonna pull it over here to get your bags?" She unlocked the door and they scurried inside.
Dicky skipped the bags reference and said, "I think I'll leave that tank where it is, if that's OK. I've done enough sliding around for one day. Shit, you were right. It is cold in here."
She bent over from the waist and turned the small baseboard heater on low, glanced back and caught his obvious stare at her. She smiled and straightened up. "Here. I'll turn the electric blanket on the bed. You can crawl in under the covers while the room warms up."
Dicky grinned. "Why don't you climb in with me and I'll show you how to stay warm without a blanket."
"I already know how to do that. Got a two-year-old girl to prove it."
"I might show you something new."
"I'm sure you could, slick. Maybe later," she said, pulled her sweater around her, kissed him on the cheek and walked out the door. She could hear his groan after she closed the door. She wrapped the sweater around, hugged herself, and smiled.
Tease. Dicky stood at the foot of the bed and shivered. "That's what she is," he said outloud. He went into the tiny bathroom, rubbed his hands together for warmth, and looked at the shower stall. "Humm," he reached over and turned the hot water on. He watched the line spit, said, "Shit" when he got some line rust on his tan slacks, then grinned when the steam started rolling out into the tiny stall. He closed the door and stripped off his clothes, closed the cover on the toilet seat and sat down, lit a cigarette, and let the steam heat warm him.
He was still enjoying the steam heat half an hour later when he finally heard the banging on the unit door. He wrapped a towel around his waist, opened the bathroom door and yelled, "Who is it?"
"Mr. Clay! Turn off that hot water! That's too much hot water! Turn that water off!" the old man yelled outside the door.
Dicky remembered he'd registered under a false name, and yelled, "That's what I paid for, sir!"
"Not that damn much you didn't! Turn that hot water off now, or I'm shuttin' the line off!"
"Take it out of the deposit! I like long showers!"
"Ain't no body that dirty!"
"I've been on the road two days!"
"Turn that damn water off, now!"
"Five more minutes! Gimme five more minutes!
"Five damn minutes! No more!"
Dicky hopped into the shower, jumped back out because it was too hot, adjusted the cold water and waited for the cold line to clear, then jumped back in. He had just lathered down and the water started to turn cold.
"Shit. Shit. That old fucker," he swore, hopping around getting the soap off. He rinsed the last out of his hair in ice cold misery, jumped out cursing some more and rubbed down with the now soaked thin towel he'd left on the yellow-brown linoleum floor. He ran out into the room and sprang into bed, pulling the electric blanket up around his neck. He lay there shivering and miserable until one more misery became clear: The blanket wasn't hot. He crabbed around, looked for the switch, saw it was pushed in at the ON position and the dial was set at five. He crabbed around more, acquired more goose bumps when his feet poked out from under the blanket, and saw it wasn't plugged in. He swore again, reached over the side of the bed and got the plug, found an outlet about six inches from the right side of the bed under the night table, reached over, promptly fell out of the bed onto the floor, and cracked his head on the night table. He lay on his back, spread-eagled, blanket underneath, with tears of pain in his eyes. In a rage, he beat his fists up and down on the floor until he was exhausted.
He slowly pushed himself up and massaged the bump on his head. His pants and shirt had fallen on the bathroom floor and soaked up the remainder of the water the towel had missed. His underwear, socks and shoes were in the same condition. He dressed in the wet clothes and noted that, at least, the sweater and coat were dry. He sat on the end of the bed, turned the heater up to HIGH and stuck his feet out, realized how tired he was, and fished out the plastic bag of diet speed from his shirt pocket. He held the bag up and saw he hadn't closed it all the way the last time. Some water had gotten in and turned the 10 mg tablets to mush. He stared at the bag. "Anything else?" he said looking upward.
He glanced around the room, found a dirty plastic cup, scraped about half the mush into it and added some tap water, then swished the contents around until it dissolved. He opened his wet money belt, finally found a dry hundred dollar bill among the fifty scattered around the belt, rolled it into a tube and snorted the liquid at the bottom of the cup. Dicky Cole snapped his head back, let out a, "Wow-o-o-o!" held his nose and danced around like a tribal war dancer.
A couple of minutes later, feeling much better, he sat back down by the heater, rubbing his feet. His socks were just getting dry when the heater whirred, rattled a little, stopped and a red light came on. OVERLOAD, PLEASE TURN SWITCH OFF, the words underneath the light read.
"Ah, yes. These delightfully delicate country nights." He put on his shoes and jacket, remembered to turn the heater switch off, and headed for the office.
Lori bounded downstairs before Dicky could pound on the door twice. She lit her cigarette, opened the door, stuck her face out and smiled. "Yes-s-s? May I help you?"
"You can damn well let me in. The cheap-ass heater went out and your old man cut the hot water off. I'm wet, freezing and almost outta cigarettes. Got any more of those?" pointing to the cigarette, "and you got any food? I'm starved. At this rate you should, at least, give me a sandwich."
She grabbed his arm and pulled him inside, wrapped her arms around him, took drags on her cigarette over his shoulder and blew the smoke out through the crack in the door. "How 'bout this kinda sandwich? You like it hot and juicy?" She rubbed her left hand up and down his back, across his ass, and ground her pelvis into his crotch. Her hand slid down his left side, across his torso and between his legs. Her hand could feel his eight inch erection through his wet slacks. “Humm, feels like you’re gettin’ warmer.”
"Poor baby. Miss me?"
Dicky tried to ignore her tease. "That machine got any cigs in it?" nodding toward the old cigarette machine in the office corner.
"Yep, an' I got the key. What'cha gimme for it?"
"How 'bout eight inches of hard time back at number six?"
"O-O-Oh. Now, that was smooth. I'm impressed
"The cigarette machine
She swiveled over to the machine. "Leave the Winstons. They're mine."
Dicky took a handful of Marlboro packs and stuffed them in his pockets. "Might be a long winter. Now, how about some food."
"Hang on." She flipped the cigarette out the door, and hit the top of the T-bird. "Sorry." She smiled and ran back upstairs.
He leaned against the doorway and listened to her argue with the old man about him eating dinner with them. The old man's, "No!" raised higher and higher until the child asked, "Why you be so mad, Papa. Peeze don't get mad, Papa. I don't like when you mad, Papa."
"I ain't mad, Little Girl. Your Mama's just actin' funny."
"Don't be mad wit Mama, Papa. Peeze don't hit Mama, Papa."
"I ain't gonna hit her, Little Girl. Now you hush now and git on with your colors."
Dicky thought, Maybe the old man beats her. No wonder she's wilder'n a buck.
"OK, Lori Jean. Bring him on up, but anythin' funny happen I'll throw'm out in the snow."
Lori came to the top of the stairs, saw Dicky, raised her right hand, gave him the middle finger and motioned him upstairs, then quickly turned away.
Dicky entered the room, stopped and looked around like he might have walked into a mine field. The old man was sitting with his back to the door in the old recliner facing a big, old brown gas heater stove that sat on the fireplace hearth. The child was on the green shag-carpeted floor to the right of the chair with papers, crayons and coloring books. Just beyond the child, a big grey couch with faded red piping sat backed against the far wall, next to a door that looked like it led to a bedroom. An aluminum kitchen table with three chairs and faded formica top sat directly in front of him, jammed up against the wall to his right. Under the table was a big cardboard box with no top that looked like it had some old clothes in it. He walked cautiously toward the old man and said, "Thank you, sir. For inviting me to dinner," when he came even with the chair.
"We call it supper up here, boy. Dinner's in the middle the day."
"Supper then, sir. Thank you."
The kitchen covered the space over the top of the office, and Lori looked around and stared at him. "Have a seat on the couch. Turn the TV on if you like."
The TV was sitting on an end table under the window at the far end of the couch. Dicky turned it on. It was a small black and white, and when he turned the channel selector only one station came in.
The old man said, "That's the only station. NBC. National Broadcasting Company. Outta St. Louie up the road. Nuthin' else but it."
Dicky turned the volume down and glanced around, shaking his head.
They all sat quietly. Dicky stared at the TV and tried to read an on-screen banner across the bottom half. The banner was half-clipped off, because of the screen size, but he could read ALL STATE ROADS CLOSED. The other emergency information was lost outside the tiny screen.
Finally, the little girl got up and came over to Dicky, showing him her drawing. She looked him directly in the eyes, thrust the drawing up in his face and said, "You like it, Pa–Mister?"
Dicky realized that this was her routine with the blind old man: Shoving the drawing close to his face so he could see. "Very pretty, little girl. What's your name?"
"No honey, your name like mine is… Uh, Richard," remembering signing the register as Richard Clay.
"That my name. Little Girl."
Lori came walking into the room carrying bowls of food, placing them on the table. "That's her real name. For now. She's gonna pick her own name when she gets big enough. Ain't you sweetie? You'll pick a real pretty one too, won't you?" She picked the child up and kissed her on the cheek.
"I like Barbie, Mommy."
"That's not a real name, baby. That's a play doll's name. You're a doll, but not a play doll. You need a name like Tammy or Loretta or Jean or Lynn, or some big star name like that. Don't you think so…Mr. Richard Clay of Flagstaff, Arizona?"
Dicky caught the over-pronunciation and grinned out of the corner of his mouth. "Whatever you say, Mommy."
"See honey, the big-city man knows a good name when he hears it. Not like mommy's name. Lori. In England that's a truck used for haulin' trash. That's not a good name. You need a star's name."
"Now, Lori Jean you hush!" The old man struggled in his chair. "I tole you 'bout no funny stuff!"
She put the child down, walked by the chair and patted her father on the shoulder. "Settle down, Papa. Supper's ready. We don't need you gettin' a sick stomach." She headed for the kitchen and brought back a big grey piece of meat and some bread.
Dicky watched the old man struggle up, and started to make a move to help him but Lori held up her hand and shook her head, no. Finally, Papa Ray Peters shuffled toward the table. Then he got down on his knees and reached into the box underneath and pulled out something, put it under his arm, pulled out the chair on the end by the door and sat down with an "Uh!" Dicky wasn't sure whether the old man was holding a big rat or a little dog.
Lori looked at Dicky and shrugged her shoulders. "This here's Fancy, Daddy's chihuahua. Cute little thing, ain't she?"
The dog's big eyes were almost a smokey as the old man's. The big ears were laid back as her owner rubbed her head and scratched behind the red rhinestone studded collar. When he laid the dog on his lap Dicky could see big patches of bare, red skin. Mange. The child pulled out the chair in the center, climbed up on it and sat down next to the old man. Lori went into the bedroom and brought out a green folding chair and sat it between her and the child.
"You get here, Mr. Clay," again, over-pronouncing the name. She sat down in the end chair, patted the green metal seat, and started passing the food around.
Dicky sat down and watched Papa Ray fill his plate, then lift the little dog up and feed it every other bite with the same fork he used. First the potatoes, next the beans, then the meat. The dog would nibble at each offering and the old man would wolf down the remains. Dicky was mesmerized. Lori filled his plate up while he stared, then slid her hand down the inside of his leg and squeezed. He snapped his head around toward her, and she nodded toward his plate. He shook his head up and down, eyes bulging almost as big as the dogs and started to eat. They slowly ate in silence; all five of them. The old man finished first, pushed his plate away, kissed the dog on the top of its head and sat it down on the floor. "Do your do-do, Fancy," he said.
Dicky looked at Lori, then the child, and both just kept their heads down slowly eating. All of a sudden he felt a tugging on his pants leg followed by a gargled growl. He glanced under the table, saw the dog had urinated on his right shoe, and was now chewing on his left pants leg. He didn't know what to do. He was afraid to kick the dog for fear the old man would freak out. He tried to push the dog away and it fell over on its side still growling and gargling, its teeth caught in his pants cuff. He nudged Lori and pointed under the table.
Lori looked down. Smiling up at Dicky, she reached under the table, pulled the dog free, and tore the pants in the process. "Sorry." She put the dog back in the box.
The old man leaned dangerously back in his chair. "Boy, you ever been up this way before?"
Dicky controlled his anger and said, "No sir. Never have," thinking, Never will again, either.
"This is strange country, boy."
You're telling me.
"We been visited by aliens, up here. I seen 'em myself."
Maybe the whole town's like this, Dicky thought and asked, "How so, sir?"
"I seen their ship set down over toward the lake. I was sittin' on the pot last year, looked out the window–we're up high here on the second story–and saw a big light hangin' off out by the lake."
"Yep, ole Bourbon is on the inter-gal-act-tic map."
"Over by the lake huh?"
"Did it improve the fishing? People catch more fish?"
Lori began choking on her food.
"Can't rightly remember anythin' like that, but the water level raised a couple inches. Could be they put a big cap-sule in the lake, and that's what raised the level. Whatta you think?" the old man asked.
Lori was grinning ear to ear. She pushed her plate away, got up, excused herself, and hurried toward the bedroom. The child looked back and forth at the two men.
Dicky pushed his chair back. "Well sir, I don't know about the capsule. But the way I figure it is if the fishing improved they're friendly. If it didn't then you might be in for hard times."
The old man paused for a long time, and Lori came back in the room. She leaned on her hand against the back of Dicky's chair.
Papa Ray Peters finally said, "You know boy, you just might have somethin' there. I'll ask around come spring and see."
After she cleared the dishes, Lori carried Little Girl around on her hip, and the child kissed Papa and Dicky on their cheeks, before she went to bed. Dicky passed through the bedroom to the bathroom and noticed there was only one king-size bed. Lori had placed the child in the middle, and he figured they all slept in the same bed.
Lori looked up at him, winked and mouthed, "Just a minute."
He went in the bathroom and sat where Papa said he had sat when he saw the UFO, and contemplated the nature of the universe. He came to the conclusion that the day could best be described by looking in the toilet, and this day might be a sign to change his ways. When he came back out to the living room Lori patted beside her on the couch. He sat down and realized he was tired. He yawned.
Lori slid her hand down his leg, bent over, bit his ear and whispered, "Don't fall out now, you're almost there. He'll be asleep in less than a half-hour." She kept running her hands over him, chewing on his ear–which he hated–and, in general, doing a good job of keeping him awake. He felt uncomfortable with the old man sitting less than five feet away but she whispered, "Blind as a bat. Just don't make any noise."
He knew the little food he'd eaten had cut the effect of the speed. After one particularly good fondle from her he stifled another yawn and decided to do the remainder of the bag. He excused himself, quietly went back to the bathroom, sprinkled some water in the plastic bag and stuck his nose inside. When he came out she had her sweater on, held her finger to her lips and they tip-toed down the stairs and out the door to number six.
The speed had done its job and he was ready, but the room wasn't. He'd left the heater and the blanket off. "Sorry, I was pretty bent out when I left."
She smiled. "Dahlin', in five minutes we'll be generating enough heat to thaw out Bourbon."
They jumped in bed and got undressed under the covers, and, true to her word, in a couple of minutes he his cock was buried all way to the back of Lori’s mouth, and then she swallowed and the head of his cock slid neatly into her throat. “Ohhh shit.” Lori kept gulping until the bulbous head followed by another inch of his cock had slid deeper down her throat. Dicky felt heat radiating from his crotch toward his hands and feet; and true to her prediction he didn't feel the cold at all.
When Lori lifted her head, his cock began to slowly slide out of her throat. Slowly, slowly, slowly … and as the bulbous head cleared her throat, Dicky could swear he heard a “POP.” She didn’t stop though. Her tongue, laying as a bed on the underside of the cock, came alive and began swirling around her mouth like a snake. Curling around the shaft, the tip following the sensitive underside of the head. She let his cock slide slowly out of her mouth until she clamped down on the ridge with her lips and held him in place while she sucked so hard he thought she was going to turn his cock head inside out. As she let Dicky’s eight clear her lips he realized he was as hard as a rock
At 32 and having snorted everything from fresh high grade coke to bathtub crank for the last six plus years Dicky knew the “why?” of the hard on, and its eventual outcome; or more likely “no outcome.”
She came after him with a calculated attack that reminded him of some pros he'd known in Phoenix and she was relentless. He became aggressive and flipped her over lining up on her asshole. He literally rammed his cock up her ass in one swift movement, but, although his cock was rock hard his pelvic region gave way and he almost ruptured himself. With his cock inside Lori’s asshole, he had to stop for about ten minutes until his pain dissipated.
After it was over he was laid out on his back. She was wrapped around his right side with her head on his chest, and her stiff-sprayed hair poked him in his eye. He reached over, bent the hair away, and glanced at his watch. Eleven-thirty.
"You goin' somewhere?" she asked his chest hairs, tracing her finger down the hair line.
"I was just looking to see how long we'd been at it."
"You tryin' for a record?"
He laughed. "Over an hour is pretty good for most people."
"Dahlin', if I could stay all night you'd find that we'd set a record nobody could break. I can do this all night, every night."
"Keep thinkin' on it."
He reached for his cigarettes in the pile of clothes by the bed, and touched the money belt. He quickly tossed it under the bed.
"Getting a cigarette. Want one?"
"Sure." She sat up and ran to the bathroom, came back and wrapped the now-warm electric blanket around her, sitting down on top of him.
He opened one of the packs from the machine in the office, lit two cigarettes and started coughing. "How old are these?" he asked between gasps.
"'Bout nine months. Since last summer. Old folks don't smoke much."
"Damn. You can feel the tar coating your insides like asphalt."
"That's what I mean. Everythin' around here's too damn old."
"Pretty bad, huh?"
"Really bad. Boring." She blew the smoke away without a cough.
"You got your little girl."
"Hell, I don't even wanna talk about that. She can stay with her Papa." She got up and took their cigarettes to the bathroom and flushed them, got dressed and stood at the foot of the bed. She gave Dicky a hard look. "So, whatta you think?"
"'Bout you and me every night?"
He realized she was cold serious. Paranoia danced through his brain: Drugs in the trunk, registered under an assumed name, feds maybe looking for him, local girl, blind old man, young child. He broke into a cold sweat. He tried to cover with a slight smile and said, "Well, hey baby. Gimme a little more time than this. Its a big decision. You know, getting together, man and a woman, that means commitment. You know?"
"Hey, slow down. Don't panic. Its not like I mean forever. I just need some stud like you to gimme a ride and help me get set up in a better place. In return, I'll keep you and anyone else you want grinnin' and light. How 'bout it?"
"Gimme til morning, OK?"
"Tell me now," she demanded.
Paranoia squeezed his consciousness. "OK."
When she left his first thought was, Well, I could sell her off to some pimp down the line. He liked the idea, laid back, got another cigarette, coughed his way through it and yawned. He sat up quickly realizing he didn't have any more speed, and knew if he fell asleep he'd be out for over twenty-four hours. He got up and got dressed, reached for the old black telephone and decided to call Lyle in Phoenix.
Lori's voice came on the line. "Who you callin'? Your wife?"
"Hey no, baby. I'm just calling my message service in Phoenix to check in."
"Uh huh. Thought you were from Flagstaff. Switchboard's closed." Click.
"Fuck that bitch," he said, staring at the telephone receiver in his hand. He remembered there was a public telephone booth outside the office. He unplugged the blanket, wrapped it around and took it with him. The cord dragging through the snow behind him like a long, skinny rat tail.
Dicky couldn't get Lyle to accept a collect call after three different operators and the claim that it was life and death. Finally, he had the call billed to his phone number in Phoenix, and hoped no one checked his telephone bill anytime soon. When Lyle came on the line he could tell the drummer was stoned. "Lyle. Dicky. What's happenin' brother?"
"Wow. Dicky Cole. Ever'body's lookin' for you. Where you at?" He giggled.
"No matter where I'm at. What's up?"
"Me, man. I'm up. Good stuff."
"Right, brother. Who's been looking for me?" Dicky said slowly.
There was a long pause. "Who's this again?"
"Dicky, Lyle. Its Dicky. Who's been looking for me?"
"Hey, right, man. Dicky Cole. Hey brother, these dudes came by and said you set Jules up."
"Yeah man, they said you set that deal up that Jules went down on. You set it up. They're pissed, brother," he said in a lower voice.
"That's bullshit! I'm runnin' to stay clear of the Feds. The people that got Jules."
"Yeah, right. Hey, I said, 'No Way. Not Dicky,' but they started tearin' up my set, man. Busted my bass and my snare heads. Knocked the tip off one'a my best sticks. I had to tell 'em where you'd gone."
Dicky stood stark still and began to shiver. He knew who the guys would be. "Wha…Wha…What did you tell them?"
"Gave 'em the address in Cinncey where Roger lives. They didn't believe you were mulein', but they took the address anyway. Sorry, man."
Dicky was thinking hard. "Hey, Lyle. That's OK. I don't think I'll go there now. Thanks for lettin' me know." He stood there a moment, looked at the telephone and remembered he had Roger's number in his wallet. "No," he said outloud, and ran back to the room.
When he plugged the blanket back in, sparks flew from the wet plug and short-circuited the blanket. He yanked the plug out, before a fuse blew, and looked at the melted, charred, black plug. He sat back down on the end of the bed with his feet stuck toward the baseboard heater and stared at the floor. He looked down and saw the money belt sticking out from under the bed. One of the flaps was open and some hundred dollar bills showing.
"Shit," and it started coming back to him that Lori had stood in this same spot talking to him. She had to see the money. "Anything else?" he said, looking upward again. He decided to go, clear out, quarter tank or no quarter tank of gas. He figured he could make it back to the Holiday Inn and bribe someone to put him up until he could travel. He was a lot more calm now. Surely, someone would listen and take the money.
Dicky made a dash for the Thunderbird and pried the frozen door open with bare, bloody fingers. He started the car and waited a moment for the idle to level off.
The defroster was on full blast and he was thinking he might have to get back out and wipe the windshield off when the first 12 gauge blast hit the passenger side window, blowing glass all over him. He didn't even see the double-barreled shotgun before the next blast came through the shattered window and scored a direct hit on his right side, slamming him into the left door, his head cracking the widow. His last thought before he lost consciousness was, of course, Anything else? Only this time he didn't look upward.
"Daddy, he raped me. I couldn't let'm get away," Lori said, looking up at her father then toward the State Trooper.
"You say he raped you, Miss?"
"That's right, Officer. He got me to come back to his room to look at the heater after we'd fed him supper, then he tried to sweet-talk me into bed, and when I wouldn't do what he wanted he grabbed me and threw me on the bed and started tearin' my clothes off and…"
"That's alright, Miss. You don't have to give me the full details just now, standing out here in the cold. Your local law enforcement will be along to take your statement later. I'm just here at their request because their units are detained at the moment. And I'm called 'Trooper', not Officer, Miss…Peters, isn't it?"
"That's right, Trooper. Lori Jean Peters. We've lived right here for near five years."
Papa Ray finally spoke for the first time. "I'm goin' back inside, Lori Jean. You need me for anythin', Trooper?"
After Papa Ray Peters went inside, Lori looked at the state trooper and wondered why he stared so hard at her. She began to feel he could read her mind. That he knew what she'd done: Taken the money belt off and hid it before she called the police. She felt like screaming, Damn it, he was takin' off without me! Now, she had her big chance. She would wait a couple of weeks, then one day she'd catch the Greydog at the gas station and be gone before Papa knew anything. Gone, gone, gone.
"Hey, Holden!" one of the paramedics yelled at the trooper.
Bob Holden turned away from Lori Jean with one last hard look and yelled back, "What's up Doc?"
"Very funny, Holden. Get your ass over here, this guy's still alive. She must of used birdshot. He's cut up a lot, but his respiration and pulse says he's asleep."
On instinct Bob Holden quickly glanced back at Lori Jean Peters and saw a shocked
look sweep over her face.
"Well, its his word a'gin mine…"
"Get on over here, Holden. You gotta see this. The guy's laying here snoring and he’s got a hard on"