The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories (6 page)

BOOK: The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories
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Bridie stood by Nathan and Nick at
the airport as the Colombian authorities took Torres into custody.  Torres
smiled and waved at them as the men took him in cuffs towards the jetway. 
Nathan looked at Nick and Bridie.  “I’m
really
going to enjoy
this.”  It was plain that his wound still bothered him as he loped to
Torres side. They heard him call out to the Columbians, who stopped. 
Nathan leaned next to Torres and whispered into his ear.  Bridie saw the
man go pale, and heard his screams of terror as the disgruntled Columbian
guards glared at Nathan’s retreating back.

“He’ll have a fun ride home,” Nathan
said cheerfully as he got back to his brother and Bridie.  “And now that
particular chore is taken care of ma’am,” he said to Bridie, “I would very much
appreciate a bit of your time.”  He slipped one hand around her waist and
held her hand with the other.”

“There
is
just one more
thing,” Nick said, pulling a small manila envelope from his pocket.  He
opened it and emptied the contents into his brother’s hand.  It was a gold
Sergeant’s shield and a Police Department I.D.  “The Chief said to tell
you that he would really appreciate it if you would take this back.”  Nick
was still gorgeous, Bridie thought, and he was not such an insufferable prick
when his hair was trimmed and he was wearing the dark uniform of a Police Captain.

Nathan stared at the badge and I.D.
in his hand.  “I’ll think about it Nick,” he promised, “But there are two
things I have to take care of first.”  Nick looked at him oddly. 
“First,” said Nathan, “I’ve got a large number of scars to account for.” 
He grinned at Bridie.

“What’s the other thing?” Nick asked
with a puzzled look.

“I’ve got to get a release from my
new boss!” The kiss he gave Bridie was long and thorough, and she knew he
remembered her selfless act of love in the hotel that night.  Bridie knew
very well that in spite of what he said, Nathan had loved Estrellita. 
There was no way to compete with the perfection of a woman long dead…she didn’t
think
anyone
would measure up to Estrellita over time.

“Go back to your job Nathan,” she
said sincerely.  “Somehow I get the feeling that police work is not so
much what you do as it is who you are.”

 

SWAMP DREAMS

 

Patricia Ames was in shock. 
The air shuttle had only contained the four of them plus the pilot, and the
flight was only supposed to take a little over two hours.  She shook when
she remembered the pilot’s calm voice when he told them the plane was going
down and the terrifying lightning strike that had finished the small charter
plane for good.  She remembered bracing for the impact as the small plane
plummeted out of the sky like a wounded bird, but it was long after the impact
before she came to her senses.

She was lying on a blanket on a dry
hummock of land surrounded by lush green vegetation and standing water. 
Insects hummed around her head and unseen things slithered ominously in the
water around her.  She looked around, but the soldier that had been the
last person on the plane was the only other person she saw.  “Where are
the others?” she asked quietly.

The soldier was tall and broad shouldered,
his brown hair cropped close, and he was bent over a pile of sticks and moss
with butane lighter.  He looked back at her solemnly and shook his
head.  “All of them?” she asked in horror.  There was no answer from
the soldier.

There was a pile of odds and ends on
the hummock, blankets, flares, a map, a first aid kit, some bottled water…it
was obvious that he had ransacked the plane for useful items.  He got the
smoky fire lit, and there was a slight lessening of the nuisance insects.

Patricia Ames was an account
executive for an advertising company.  She had been on her way home to her
husband and two small sons from a sales conference and had missed the flight in
Jacksonville.  She had not been alone in missing the flight, there were
four of them. They were all bemoaning the luck that had caused them to be late
when a pilot, a nice looking, well dressed aviator, had heard them talking and
stopped to speak with them.

“I’m headed to Atlanta, deadheading
to pick up a charter,” he said, “I can give you a lift, and I won’t even charge
full fare since I have to go there anyway.”  There was not another flight
scheduled for Atlanta until the next day, and the four of them had opted for
the air taxi rather than spend the night in a hotel. The charter should have
put them into Atlanta around seven p.m. They didn’t make it.

Brian Helms was a young Sergeant
First Class on his way to Fort Bragg.  He was due to report in there when
his leave was up after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan.  He had
been all shined up and spiffy, his uniform spotless and covered with an array
of ribbons, qualification badges, and patches.  He wore a green beret
cocked jauntily over one eye and he was both handsome and a little dangerous
looking.  Patricia had eyed him surreptitiously, allowing herself an airy
fantasy about him as the flight started.  After all, she was just married,
not dead.

 

The
Crash

 

The uniform was torn and tattered
now, soaked through and grime covered from the muck of the swamp they had
landed in.  The uniform tunic and his green beret were lying on the ground
near her blanket.  He came over to her and knelt beside her.

“It was daylight, or just about,
when I regained consciousness,” he told her.  “The pilot and the other
passengers were all dead when I came to.”  Pat could see a gash on the
right side of his forehead.  “I found you breathing and a little shocky,
so I grabbed a blanket and carried you here to this hummock…it’s the only dry
ground I could find within a couple of hundred meters.”  He had also
salvaged what he could from the wreckage, and it was not very much.  He
saw her frightened look and he grinned at her.  “It’s not as bad as it
looks,” he said, “I’ve got some stuff in my duffle bag that will help us a
little, including a couple of MRE’s.”

“What on earth are ‘MREs’?” she
asked as she watched him rummage through the heavy green bag.

“Meal, Ready to Eat,” he said
triumphantly, offering her one of the plastic wrapped packages.  It was
surprisingly good, and there was an amazing amount of food and condiments in
the package, as well as some interesting doodads that she didn’t bother to
catalog.  She watched him gather up the items she set aside.  “We
haven’t taken stock of what we have yet,” he said earnestly, “and you never
know what you’re going to need in a situation like this.”

“A situation like what?” she asked
him, dreading his answer.

“Well,” Brian said, “I’m not going
to sugar coat it.  The pilot didn’t file a flight plan, we were traveling
VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and he didn’t report any passengers to the tower on
take-off…he was probably going to pocket the fare money.  Nobody is going
to be looking for us until the fare in Atlanta tries to find him.  The
parent company doesn’t know where he was heading, and I don’t know if there is
an active transponder on the plane…I do know the radio isn’t working. 
Unless I’m sadly mistaken, we’ve gone down in the Okefenokee Swamp and no one
knows we’re out here.”  He picked up the map from the pile of things he
had recovered from the plane and spread it out on her blanket.  Pat was
dismayed as he showed her the extent of the Okefenokee.  “They still find
wreckage from World War II in here sometimes,” he said.  Pat was generally
a tough woman, smart, resourceful, and in fantastic shape. She had handled the
crises every mother handled with aplomb…but this was something completely alien
to her.  When the full impact of what Brian had told her struck, she
simply cried.  He wrapped his strong arms around her and held her until
she stopped.  In spite of the situation she found herself in, she felt
herself responding to this handsome adventurer.  She felt warm and safe in
his arms and was comforted.  Drying her tears with the backs of her hands,
she glanced at the calm young soldier.  “Thanks, I just wasn’t prepared
for all this,” she waved around her.

 

 

“You can relax ma’am,” Brian said
gallantly, “this all comes under the purview of my field of expertise.  I
happen to be an expert when it comes to survival techniques and skills.” 
He explained to her that they needed to stay near the crash site in the event
someone
did
come looking for them.   “If nobody comes after
about four days,” he said, “we’ll have to walk out.” He gave her a simple,
confident look.  “In short, we’re stuck in the middle of one hell of a big
swamp and nobody is looking for us…because they don’t know we’re here. 
We’re going to have to walk out of here, and it’s a long hard walk to get to
anywhere.”

Pat was back to ‘horrified’.

“Four days?” she asked.


If
they have a clue what
direction he was traveling,” Brian said, “but I don’t hold up much hope for
that, there’s one
hell
of a lot of small plane traffic over this area.
If I were you, I’d get my mind set for a long walk through some pretty nasty
terrain.  There are some beautiful places in here, but there’s mostly just
dirty old swamp.” Pat looked stricken, but Brian reassured her.  He asked
her if she had any more practical clothing in her baggage, and she responded
that she had some jeans and tennis shoes in her suitcase.  He asked her
for a description of her suitcase and started digging in his duffle bag again.

 

 

Brian took out the single pair of
camouflage ripstop fatigues he had rolled for reporting in to the Kennedy
Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, the home of Special Forces.  He
stripped off his tattered uniform shirt and tee shirt and then glanced up at
Pat, embarrassed.  “Uh,” he mumbled, “you might want to look the other way
ma’am, there’s no place for me to hide and change.”  Pat giggled and
covered her eyes with her hands.  She heard the sound of his trousers
sliding down and of course, she peeked.  Hard pressed not to gasp at his
physical perfection, her eyes were drawn magnetically to the bulge at the front
of his white briefs.  In spite of the horrific circumstances, and the fact
that she was a happily married woman, Pat felt a surge of unholy heat between
her thighs.  It was not a feeling she was familiar with, or comfortable
with.  It had been many years since she had been attracted to a man this
way…other than her husband, of course.  The fact that her husband hadn’t
gotten to her this badly in ages was a fact she chose to ignore.

Brian slipped on the fatigue
trousers quickly, and zipped them up.  He dipped the white tee shirt he
had been wearing in the clear dark water and wiped the mud and smears off his
upper body before putting on a dark tee shirt. Sitting down on the blanket next
to Pat, he began to slip on some heavy wool socks and some boots. A large and
wicked looking sheath knife was attached to his belt.

Pat reached for the first aid kit
and motioned for Brian to lay his head in her lap.  “We need to take care
of that before it gets infected,” she said briskly.  She had to stifle
another gasp as her breast pressed into his face as she captured the First Aid
kit and another surge of blatantly sexual heat rushed through her.  She
desperately hoped that Brian didn’t notice that her nipples were rigid inside
her bra, and she didn’t dare look down to see if they were noticeable. He
didn’t say anything, but the rising bulge in the front of his clean trousers
told her he had noticed
something
.  For a long moment she was
intensely flattered, and she had to force herself to attend to the gash on his
forehead.

He returned an hour later, lugging
her heavy suitcase back through the sometimes knee deep water, and set it down
on the hummock. The hummock itself was perhaps sixty by eighty feet, and it was
well above the surrounding water level. Brian dropped her suitcase beside her,
and she noticed he had a blue plastic tarp under his arm.

“We’ll need shelter if we’re going
to tough out the three days.  I’d love to check around for a better spot,
but we really don’t want to get too far away from the wreckage.  By the
time Pat had located her jeans and a tee shirt, Brian had a rough shelter set
up with a flat roof and a slanted back.  She walked around behind the
shelter, but there was no place she could change without Brian being able to
see her.  Blushing, she asked him to look away.  Obligingly, he
covered his face with his hands and turned away. 

Pat took her time, removing her wet
dress and deliberately removing her bra before searching slowly through the
suitcase for another.  The only one she located was one she had worn the
day before.  When she glanced up, she noticed that Brian still had his
eyes covered and was turned away from her.  Perversely, she wanted him to
look at her.

He was a handsome and virile man,
full of confidence…and if he had any doubts about their ability to survive
this, they didn’t show.  Pat, however, wasn’t sure they were going to
survive at all…and she was feeling an overpowering desire to do something life
affirming.  It had been a very long time since she had wanted a man this
way.  Sighing, she stripped off the wet panties, stretching while fully
nude and giving him one more chance to see her naked. When he failed to look,
she tugged the low rise jeans to her hips without putting on yesterday’s
panties, and then slipped on the middy tee shirt without putting on the dirty
bra.  The smoky fire was doing a tremendous job of keeping the mosquitoes
off them, so she curled up on the dry blanket with her tennis shoes beside
her.  “All done,” she sang out, lifting the hairbrush from inside her
suitcase and raising her arms above her head to unsnarl her tangled blonde wavy
hair.

BOOK: The Possibilities - Desire - A Collection of Short Stories
6.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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