Friday, May 26, 2017

Fiction: Unwanted President. Chapter 9

First Love

By Ed Rogers

They moved quietly down the dark, cold hall. They stepped ever so lightly. The thought of confronting some Russian they might awaken wasn’t very appetizing. Expecting the toilet from hell, Tom and Mary held their breath as they stepped into the bathroom and found the light. To their surprise, it was very clean and with a nice big bathtub and small hot-water heater on the wall above the faucets.
    “If you wait here,” Tom offered, “I’ll go back and see if there are any towels.” He quietly moved back to the room.
    On the table beside the bed, Tom found towels and soap. He felt like a kid in a candy store and went back to the bathroom with a smile like a hunter returning with food for the tribe.
    He handed a towel and a bar of soap to Mary. “You go first and I’ll guard the door.”
    “Thank you! This is going to be heaven!”
    Tom sat on the floor in the cold hall with his back against the wall and listened to the water filling the tub. His eyelids became heavy – maybe he could just close his eyes for a minute….
    The bathroom door opened and woke him from a beautiful dream about him and Mary together in a hot tub of water. Surprised, and not knowing where he was for a second, Tom jumped to his feet ready to defend himself.
    Mary stepped back a little as Tom jumped up. She looked at Tom’s trousers, and smiled.
    His eyes followed hers as he looked down and saw how plainly his erection showed through his pants.
    As she walked past him, with only a towel, she whispered, “The tub is all yours. I didn’t let the water out, it takes a while to fill it.”
    Tom watched her walk down the hall, the mysterious sway of her hips evoking an incoherent groan from deep within him. Damn! He felt like a fool. A damn, horny fool! Tom stepped into the bathroom and got into the tub. He kept saying to himself that the last thing he wanted to do was make a fool of himself by trying to put the make on Cahill’s daughter-in-law, while in fact, at that very minute, that was all he wanted to do.
    Tom stayed in the tub until the water got cold. As long as he stayed in the tub, it seemed that all the problems of the world were outside, and he was safe.
    He stepped out onto the cold floor and the unrealistic notion that they were safe in the hotel awoke every sense in his body. A wretched feeling clawed at his insides as he hurriedly picked up his clothes and headed out of the bathroom.
    Mary was in the hotel room by herself. He had forgotten about the men in the black SUV. He had again stopped thinking with the big head. What if they caught up with them and someone came in while they were asleep? Maybe while he was in the tub?
    Tom hurried back to the room wearing only a towel wrapped around his waist. He pushed open the door and ran into the room holding his clothes as if they were a weapon. He failed to notice that the towel had fallen and was now lying on the floor.
    Mary began to laugh uncontrollably.
    Tom looked around to see what the joke was. Then he realized he was the joke. God, what a night! Tom began to laugh – it felt good, it had been a long time. He was just glad no one had gotten the moment on film.
    Mary turned back the covers and said, “Get in here before you freeze.”
    As Mary did this, Tom could see she wasn’t wearing anything – what a body! The exquisite curve of her thigh, the alluring dark triangle against her pale skin, her radiant breasts heaving in anticipation. He eased into bed with her and moaned, “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.”
    They kissed, and all the pent-up emotion within them both exploded. They explored each other to the deepest rim of their beings. Instead of sex, it was more of a vigorous battle to prove they were still alive. Their passions soared to the top of the mountain, hung there for but a few seconds, and then came crashing down. They fell apart exhausted, unable to even touch one another, lest their passions rise back up and strike them dead.
    Tom was the first to get his breath back, and he rolled over toward Mary. Putting his arm around her, he kissed her face, where he detected tears.
    “Mary, I’m so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I wanted to be with you, from the first time I saw you.”
    “I know that, silly. You didn’t hide your sexual needs very well. I’m not crying because I’m sad, it’s because I’m happy. You’re the first man I’ve been with since John, Jr. was killed, and you’re the first man since then I’ve wanted to be with. Tom, I’m just so happy I’ve found you. I thought the passion in me had died. I didn’t think I would ever feel desire toward anyone again.”
    Tom pulled her to him and began to kiss her. They made love again. This time it was the long, caring kind – the kind that happens when two people who have been badly hurt find peace in each other’s arms.
    With his arms around Mary, Tom was in a deep, peaceful sheep when a shrill ringing of the telephone woke him. He thought at first it was the alarm clock, and then his mind said, telephone, fool, and he jumped out of bed and danced around on the cold floor to answer it.
    The voice on the other end said, “I’m the man you have been waiting to meet. I’ll be at the cafe across from the hotel at nine in the morning. Come alone. Leave the girl in the hotel.” The line went dead.
    They must have turned the heat off because the room was ice cold. Tom slammed the telephone down, jumped back in bed, and pulled Mary close to get warm. Mary slid her hands down Tom’s body and said, “Oh, the poor little fellow got cold, and is trying to hide.” She slid under the covers and moved her warm body over his, taking away his cold. They fell asleep once more in each other’s arms.

In the morning Tom slipped out of bed and went to the bathroom to clean up and get ready for his meeting across the street. He opened the door to go back to the room, but Mary came in and started running water into the tub.
    “Mary, I’m sorry, but you can’t stay in here too long. I need for you to get dressed and go downstairs so you can see the front of the cafe across the street. If anything funny happens, I want you to run. Don’t come over to help. You go out the back of the hotel, and find a way to get out of Russia.”
    Mary turned off the water. “I think I should go with you, Tom.”
    “The man said for me to come alone. He makes the rules, not me. I just need to know you’re safe. Right now, you’re the most important thing in my life, Mary.”
    She came up to Tom and slid her hands across his chest. “That’s why I don’t think we should be apart. This man could be dangerous.”
    Tom was already gone, his mind was across the street in the cafe, and Mary’s tender touch was wasted. “If this man wanted to do me harm,” he said, “I think he would want both of us at the meeting. It would do nobody any good to kill one of us if the other was still free to go to the police. Anyway, why would he meet me, if all he wanted to do was kill me?”
    Mary gave up – Tom would go without her, so she settled into her tub. Tom bent over the tub and kissed her and ran a hand lovingly over one of her breasts.
    Mary said, “I know it sounds dumb, Tom, but I think I’m in love with you. I have been alone for so long. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Please just stay here. I’ll get dressed and we’ll disappear – no one will be able to find us.”
    “Mary, I believe I fell in love with you the first time I saw you. I hope you believe me when I say, there is nothing in the world I would like more than to walk away from this. The only good that has come out of this trip is finding you, and I want to spend the rest of my life getting to know you.
    “However, we have stepped into something that won’t go away. Whoever these people are, they kill Presidents. It would be foolish of us to think we can hide from them. We may not know anything, but that will not stop them from killing us. They think we know something and that journal is good enough reason for them to act. The best we can hope for is to find out what they believe we know. Then run like hell, keeping them a few steps behind us. The people who killed Professor Hofer and tried to kill me – they want to hide their involvement, and they think that we have found a connection to Cahill, or that we will find it.”
    Tom was no longer sure whether he was trying to convince Mary or himself. “I have very little to offer as a story right now. I need some kind of a hook, so my paper will print the damn thing. I’m praying this guy knows something about the money Benton had Wainwright steal from Iraq. Once the paper prints what little I know, they won’t have a reason to hurt us. It’ll be out there for them to see. If they still think it’s worth hurting us over, at that point anything they do to us will shine the light right on them. It would be stupid to harm us after the story hits the streets.
    “Until then, we need to stay alive. So, please do as I ask, and I’ll try not to be gone long.” Tom turned the lock on the door as he walked out and headed to the cafe. He left her sadly soaking in the tub of warm water.
[Editor’s Note: The novel from which this excerpt is taken can be ordered from Amazon, as either a paperback or a Kindle book.]

Copyright © 2017 by Ed Rogers

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