Quiet Lost is a story of betrayal, murder, love and lost love. It will require several chapters to tell Neil’s story.
Sunday 4:00 a.m., September 13
Neil walked down a long hall leaving the bowels of the Boulder jail and stepped into the front lobby – no announcement, no custodian, just his release papers. Samantha stood clasping the back of an ugly chair, knuckles white. The hug she returned was weak.
“Let’s get out of here. I don’t ever want to see this place again.” He tried to take hold of her hand, but she pulled it back and slipped it in her coat pocket.
“I’m driving,” she said as they walked up to the car.
“Samantha…” What could he possibly say? He was exhausted; he wanted her support and a good night’s sleep. He dropped heavily into the passenger seat.
She handed him a set of keys.
“What’s this? Brad’s keys?”
“I’m taking you by the Old Boulder Bar. You get the honor of driving Brad’s truck home. I’m going straight to bed when I get to the house. I don’t want anyone to bother me.” She looked over at him, no humor in her face. “I want to sleep for however long I can. I want you to go get Cassie when she calls.”
“Brad’s in the guest room – where do you expect me to sleep?”
“The couch was available last I checked.”
“Sam, don’t you think you’re being a little unreasonable?”
A harshness flashed in her eyes as they locked on his, “No, I don’t.”
Brad’s truck was the only vehicle in the large lot in front of the bar. It was parked a ways from the entrance, along a tree line of cottonwood and alder, far from the main lights, half hidden in shadows.
She pulled up next to the truck. Neil opened his door, “I’ll see you in few minutes.”
She sat looking straight ahead. As soon as he closed the door, she backed out and left.
A pillow and blanket were thrown over the end of the couch. He turned on the TV, sat down in his recliner and hoped he could sleep.
Soft fingers on his cheek. Lips on his forehead. He didn’t want to wake; he wanted so badly to wrap his arms around Samantha; to feel her bare skin against his, her long legs pulling him close.
“Neil, will you come to bed? I love you more than I can make myself hate you.”
He saw the longing in her eyes and more than that, forgiveness. A predawn golden light surrounded her; she was his angel descended to earth to rescue him from all his woes. A low moan of desire escaped his lips; he wondered briefly where the sound had come from, then reached out and pulled a very real Samantha to him.
“No, let’s go upstairs. Please?”
Oh, why do I have to wait that long to hold you?
He was pulling his clothes off as he followed her up the stairs. He stood in front of her afraid to touch her, afraid he was really dreaming.
With the lightest touch, he slipped the straps of her gown off her shoulders, saw the material slide to the floor. He ran his fingers down her arms as he drank in the length of her. He picked her up and gently laid her on the bed; his priceless jewel, Samantha, the center of his life.
Click on Quiet Lost: Chapter 9 to the right.