Scarlett put the phone down, stared at the wall for a moment, then burst into tears. The clock showed 3:22am — still dressed in the clothes she was wearing when she rang D.I. Blank to ask for his help.
“Sam didn’t come home. Somethings wrong.”
“I find it hard to believe that Sam never came home late before. Just relax Mrs Bennett. He’ll stagger in when he’s had enough.” D.I. Blank wasn’t exactly a friend of the Bennetts, but he did like them. They handed him a case which made the brass take notice of him for a change, so he had a soft spot for Sam which would last about as long as it took for Sam to piss him off again.
“Had enough of what?” Scarlett was shouting and D.I. Blank had never heard her shout.
“Okay, look. I’ll make a few calls and see what I can find out.”
It was well after midnight when Blank rang back. Scarlett had walked up and down in her lounge room, too frightened to sit down in case she fell asleep and missed the call. She wondered if the carpet had a groove in it. The mind does funny things when you are waiting for a call to tell you that the man you love has been murdered. She knew Sam’s life had been dangerous before he met her. She knew that there was a good chance that someone had tried to kill him with that stolen car. She lived with these thoughts and never said them out loud — to do so would be to tempt fate, and fate had been kind to them both — so why take the chance?
Her’s were tears of joy and relief. The young policeman told her that her Sam was on his way home. He had given his statement and the police surgeon said that he was bruised and battered but nothing a nights sleep and a good woman couldn’t cure. The young constable hesitated after he said the last bit. “Sorry, Mrs Bennett, I was just saying what the surgeon said. Probably should have left the last bit out.”
“No need to apologise. I will look after him and try and keep him out of trouble,” said Scarlett.
“I know the surgeon sent him home, but he is going to have a hell of a headache in the morning. I saw the bump on his head. Oh, sorry, I probably shouldn’t have said that either.”
“Not to worry. I’m just glad he is coming home, bump or no bump.”
The dogs woke from their sleep and came to Scarlett’s side. They were both sensitive to her tears. They did what they could to comfort her — they stayed by her side.
She didn’t know how long she had been asleep. The dogs were excited about something — scratching at the door. A car backed out of the driveway and Sam stepped through the front door.
“Honey, I’m home,” sang Sam.
“Don’t you honey me Sam Bennett. Have you been playing with those rough kids again? How many times have I told you to come straight home after school — no hanging out with your hoodlum friends.”
“But mum, there’s not that bad really. Except for the one who stuffed me in the boot of his car and tried to take me for a ride. Him I can do without.”
“Holy shit Sam. You’re covered in blood!”
“Relax. It’s not mine. Long story and I’ll tell you as much as I can before I fall asleep.”
Scarlett ran him a bath and included her least feminine bath salts. Sam was naked by the time she had turned on the taps. He embraced her and she hugged him back.
“I see that a bang on the head has not dulled his enthusiasm.”
Sam stepped back a step still holding his Scarlett. He looked down proudly.
“Not bad if I do say so myself. You always said he had a mind of his own.”
They held each other and Sam kept his erection. The bath was ready and Scarlett suggested that what Sam had on his mind could wait until after he had his bath.
“And no self-pleasuring. He’s mine,” Scarlett said — smiling.
Her bed was warm and inviting and her naked skin enjoyed the fine Egyptian cotton. What she yearned for was the feeling of Sam’s naked body close to hers. She knew he was in pain so she let the warm water do its healing.
She’d almost drifted off when she felt the bed move. Sam slipped in beside her. He snuggled up but did not caress any of those personal bits that signal a need for lovemaking.
“Do you feel like talking?” said Scarlett.
“What would you like to talk about? Football, the weather, knitting patterns, or my near death experience?”
“Near death experience, please.”
“Oh, that. Not much to it really. Some moronic bozo who held a family grudge. Wasn’t brave enough to face me so tried to squash me with a stolen car, then sneaked up behind me on the way home and attempted to increase my hat size — succeeded on that front.” Sam rubbed the bump on his head. There was no way he could sleep on that side of his head for a few days. The thought panicked him momentarily. Being able to roll over at will is one of those things that you take for granted.
“How did you escape?” Scarlett sounded like a little girl listening to her grandfather telling her a bedtime story.
“I used a technique that has been working for possums for centuries. I played possum. He fell for it, and in the end his scarf finished him off.”
“Damn dangerous things scarves. I’ve always said that.” Scarlett’s humour was a little bit hysterical and this was understandable.
“His mum knitted him that scarf and I held him when he died.” Sam’s voice trailed off and Scarlett waited before putting another question.
“Are you okay with that?”
“Yeah. He was an idiot, but even an idiot shouldn’t be alone when they die. It was sad, and don’t ever tell anyone I said that.”
“I won’t. It’ll be our secret.” Scarlett hugged him for being sad. She loved her tough guy Sam and she loved the Sam who knew what feeling sad meant.
Sam filled in some of the blanks and Scarlett asked a lot more questions and they both knew that when she had sated her curiosity they would make love.
Their passion had a visceral edge that comes from seeing death up close.
They made love as though it might be the last time — not wanting the intimacy to end, but of course it finally did, and they lay exhausted in each other’s arms.
“You might have a bump on your head, but you’ve still got it, big fella.”
“Thanks, kid. You’re not so bad yourself.”
They regained their breath and lay staring at the ceiling as the early morning light was slowly filling the room. First light gives a person new hope — a fresh day full of possibilities.
“Your next session with Dr Doug is going to be interesting.” Scarlett was lying uncovered on the bed and as she cooled down from their passionate encounter she moved the sheets across her stomach and legs — she left her naked breasts exposed. Sam loved her tits and he always enjoyed watching them in the wild.
“I hope the story cheers him up. He’s going to need it. Do you remember me telling you about looking for his missing secretary? Well, she turned up and when the story gets out, Dr Doug is finished. His clients are going to disappear like smoke through a keyhole.”
Scarlett didn’t completely understand why Dr Doug was in trouble. There would be time enough to find out all the details and now there was sleep — glorious sleep.
The Bennetts drifted off into a wonderful slumber and would not stir until the sun went down.
Sam and Scarlett lived in a house on a very large block of land. Imagine four average sized build lots. Despite the distance between them and their neighbours the volume of their lovemaking was such that even the neighbours needed a cigarette when they had finished.
YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS
is coming soon.
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Offer ends on May 6th.
One of my favourite stories from RUFUS is Life Goes on Until it Doesn’t.
I remember writing it and thinking how often something like this must happen in real life.
I gave the unfinished manuscript of RUFUS to the person who I hoped would become my illustrator and she said that she was nervous as she read this story because “I really wanted it to end happily.”
As you probably know from reading the book, RUFUS does save the day, but RUFUS is not always around in real life.
This morning, I was going through my news feed and I came across this story. As I read it I too wanted to view a happy ending.
I understand that people can become desperate, but abandoning the one creature in your life who loves you without question only casts doubt on your ability to understand the things that really matter in life.
A little while ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing the then Deputy Leader of the Opposition in my home state. A little while later, he became the deputy Premier after winning the election.
I was a little cheeky on the day and put a few extra questions to him about animal welfare and his party’s plans, if any, to improve the situation. He kindly answered them (we have a shared love of basketball and have both been involved in coaching juniors, so I think he cut me some slack). To his credit, and his government, they have implemented some excellent changes to the way we deal with animals. They have also boosted funding to the RSPCA, the body that oversees the protection of animals in my state.
Dogs will directly benefit as the law is introduced over the next couple of years which will only allow ‘rescued’ dogs to be sold in pet shops. There is also a strong effort being made to stamp out ‘puppy farms’.
All of these initiatives are good, but they do not eliminate the central cause of the problem — people. The world is full of idiots and the trend is threatening to continue.
As I write this, the dog next door is barking because he wants to play with his humans. My dogs are curled up on the bed waiting for me to stop writing so they can go for a walk and the Dingoes across the road are on the lookout for us because seeing us means that there is a strong chance they will be able to join us on that walk.
Rather than being angry because of the actions of others I have decided to focus on the good things in my life, particularly the small fluffy things.
The article I mentioned:
I’m always happy when one of my books makes it all the way to its publishing date. I get a little bit nervous — I want the ‘new one’ to do well in the world — to find a new home (or homes), but I try not to be too invested. After all, there are a lot of books out there and a lot of writers with similar high hopes. But, on this occasion, I cannot help myself. Rufus and I have been together for a while now. His ‘birth’ has been a long one and not without complications.
Part of the problem is that he is difficult to describe. Some folks are going to dismiss him as being a book full of stories for younger people, and it is true that his stories will appeal to them, but he was written to appeal to adults who are young at heart. There isn’t a category for this — I know because I have looked. Amazon does not have such a category neither does Apple. Smashwords is devoid of such a category so Rufus is going into the world without a suitable category (unless of course, you search tags under ‘young at heart’).
It is intolerably hot here today and the fans on my laptop are at screaming pitch as they try to keep my machine from melting. My dogs are lying in front of the fan and my wife is somewhere between here and the grandchildren who live about seven hundred kilometres away.
RUFUS can be found here:
I should have copies in my hands around about the 29th of December.
“When Eric was on duty, no one got in. He was wise to all the tricks. He could smell meat that had been laced with sleeping pills. He picked the pills out and kept the meat for later. He had a big yard to patrol and it was common for young people and thieves to make a noise on one side of the yard while their friends climbed the fence way over on the other side. Eric was wise to this tactic.
How did Eric become so wise, I hear you ask? He was well trained. When he started his job he was no more than a pup and the junkyard dog, named Killer, took him under his wing, so to speak, and taught him the business. Killer got old and one day he didn’t come when Eric barked for him. It was sad, but Killer died on the job, and what better way to go?”