Wayne Orr's Books

One agent called Wayne Orr's first book, Lonely Texas Road "An epic. An outstanding first novel."

Here are some other comments about Lonely Texas Road:

"Beginning with relatively brief episodes that are brought to life by the power of detail, Orr's well constructed novel gathers together plot threads that appear at first to have no relation. As the various story lines begin to mesh, however, the pace quickens and the element of suspense begins to carry the novel through a series of graphically rendered and unpredictable adventures."

"Sly and biting humor."

"Although some of the scenes are stylized to fit the drug-sex-violence mode of popular fiction, strong dialogue adds to the 'slice of life' flavor of the novel, and the gradual centering of action in the city of San Antonio helps create a sense of cohesion."

"In all, Orr's craft shows itself to be mature and sophisticated."

"You will never be able to anticipate what will happen next so you might as well not try. But one thing you can count on. You will laugh until your belly is sore; you will also cry."
Click here to learn more about Lonely Texas Road.

   Wayne Orr is the third of eight children. He was born twelve miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas in a little house on his maternal grandfather's farm. When he was twelve years old, his father bought a small farm in southeastern Oklahoma, and the family moved there. Wayne spent his evenings, weekends and summers taking care of the cows and pigs, working in the fields, cutting firewood and hauling hay.
   The Orrs sold their farm when Wayne was a senior in high school. As soon as he graduated, the family left Oklahoma for the oilfields of West Texas.
   Wayne worked there for a while and decided that the work was too hard and dirty. He went to Austin and enrolled in the University of Texas to study for a Bachelor of Journalism degree. While he was a student, he met and married Esther Mata which he says was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to him.
   After Wayne received his journalism degree, he went to work for the federal government writing manuals and regulations, first in San Antonio, then in Dayton, Ohio and finally in the Washington, DC area including the Pentagon. He is retired from the government and hopes to write and travel.
   The characters in his books are based on people he has known. They are believable and real.
   For your copy of Lonely Texas Road or Dust and Empty Dreams ($14.45 each) please contact Wayne at:

Dust and Empty Dreams
  • Maria is a young girl who is kidnapped by a ruthless cartel that sells Mexican seńoritas to oil-rich foreigners.
  • Cal Lovett is a callous con man who defrauds desperate cancer patients with a bogus cancer cure machine.
  • Darryl Scott is a gay preacher who is married to a beautiful woman.
  • Andy Calliope is a construction worker who meets Jesus in a remote and lonely canyon.

The Twins Explain To Lovett How He Can Tell Them Apart

“I feel foolish asking you this,” Lovett said, “but give me some kind of a clue. One of you is April and the other one’s May. How do I tell you apart?”

“Well, I’m April. But before we explain that, I would like to tell you something that I think’s funny. It’s not really a joke. Somebody told me once that it was more of an anecdote than a joke. Of course it isn’t funny to everyone. You’ve got to have a certain sense of humor to really get it,” April said.

“Yeah. I know what she’s getting ready to tell you,” May told him. “In a way it’s not funny at all, but in another way, it’s kind of cute. It’s more like an inside thing for me and April. You’ll see what I mean when you hear it.”

“You can come up with a lot of cute names for twins,” April continued. “That’s what most people try to do. Well, what about triplets? See, our mom thought we were going to be triplets so she had to come up with three names. That’s a little harder than coming up with two names for twins. Of course it turned out that we weren’t triplets after all. So we ended up named April and May. But what other name do you think our mom had decided on? That’s the cute part that I was telling you about.” She paused, and Lovett waited for her to finish her story.

Finally, when he realized she was waiting for him to say something, Lovett said, “Hell, that’s easy. If it was a girl, she would have named it June. I don’t what she would have named it if it had been a boy.”

“You know, I don’t think she ever considered that it might be a boy. At least she never said anything about that. But you’re wrong, anyway. She was going to name it March. You know, March, April, and May.”

“That doesn’t make any sense. March isn’t even a name. June is, but March isn’t,” Lovett said.

“I know. That’s what makes it so cute.”

“Hell,” Sammy said. “It’s not cute. It’s dumb.”

“Mom used to tell us that story when we were little kids,” May said. “I think she was just teasing and didn’t want us to take it seriously. I guess we still think it’s funny because we grew up hearing it from the time we were little kids.”

“Okay,” Lovett said. “When you put it that way, I can sort of understand what you’re saying. There are a lot of things that happened when we were kids that we still like to think about, but they wouldn’t mean a thing to anybody else.”

“Yes. That’s exactly what I was trying to say,” April said, “but it’s so cute because everybody picks June, and nobody picks March.”

“Okay,” May said, “I’m May. Let me try to tell you how you can tell us apart. A lot of people have trouble with that. But we’re really not that much alike when you get to know us. You can tell right away from this beauty mark on the side of my chin. April doesn’t have one. But there are other differences, too. Look at my eyes, for example, and then look at April’s. See, mine are almost the color of the sky, and hers have a little green in them like the ocean. And hers are rounder than mine.”

“Bigger, you mean,” April interrupted.

“Yeah. I guess they’re bigger, too, but not much. My hair’s longer, but I suppose that doesn’t really count because I could get it cut, or she could let hers grow out. My hair’s naturally a little lighter, but that doesn’t make any difference, either, because you can make your hair any color you want to. Her cheekbones are a little higher, but it’s hard to see the difference when we’re both wearing makeup. Her mouth is bigger, and her lips are fuller. I don’t know. What else, April?”

“I’m taller. Quite a bit taller, in fact. Stand up and he can see.” They stood up, and April was about an inch taller.

“Of course that’s not too noticeable if I’m wearing higher heels than she is,” May told him.

“I’m slimmer than she is, but my boobs and butt are about the same as hers,” April said.

“Not really. You just look slimmer because you’re taller. I think we’re about the same.”

“Well, I suppose I’ll just remember the beauty mark,” Lovett said.

“That’s the easiest way. But after you get to know us a while, you’ll see we’re really not all that much alike. Superficially, sure, but basically we’re a whole lot different.”

“Okay, but in the meantime, I’ll remember the beauty mark.”

“You’re funny,” May told him. The waiter returned with their food, and they began eating.



Lovett Quits His Job And Loses His Girlfriend

The telephone was ringing, but Lovett didn’t feel like getting up to answer it. He and May were sprawled naked across his bed. April was lying on the couch wrapped in a blanket, and Sammy was asleep in Lovett’s recliner. Lovett decided to let the phone keep ringing. Maybe whoever was calling would have enough sense to give up after a while and hang up.

Sammy woke up and yelled at Lovett, “Aren’t you going to answer that goddamned thing?”

“I’m going to jerk it out of the goddamned wall. That’s what I’m going to do,” Lovett answered.

He climbed out of bed and went across the floor. Just as he was ready to pick up the telephone, it stopped ringing. He checked his Caller ID and saw that it was Presser who had made the call.

“F**k you, Robert Presser,” he said. He turned around and started back toward the bed.

Before he got there, the telephone started ringing again.

“I thought you’d unplugged that goddamned thing,” Sammy told him.

Sh*t. I forgot.” He went to the ringing phone and picked it up.

“Hello,” he said. It was Vicki. She sounded worried.

“Sweetheart. Mr. Presser has been trying to locate you. Is anything the matter?”

“Is your father there?”

“Yes, why?”

“Would you give him a message for me?”

“Of course, baby. What do you want me to tell him.

“Tell him that Caleb Lovett told him, ‘f**k you, you dumb son of a bitch.’ And I’ve got one for you, too, sweetheart. F**k you, you ugly pig.” He hung up the phone.

“While I’m on a roll, I might as well make it three for three,” he muttered to himself. He picked up the telephone again and rang Presser’s number. As soon as Presser answered it, Lovett said, “Hi, Robert. This is Cal. Go f**k yourself, you goddamned queer.”

He unplugged the phone from the wall without bothering to hang it up, pitched it into a corner and went back to bed.

He didn’t know how long he had been asleep when somebody started pounding on the door and woke him up.

“Jesus,” May said. “This place is worse than Grand Central Station.” The banging continued.

“Whoever it is, run their asses off,” Sammy suggested.

April woke up and said, “What’s going on? What’s all that racket?” She unwrapped herself from the blanket that she had been bundled up in and stood up groggily. She was just as naked as May and Lovett were.

“Jesus. Somebody tell them to stop; they’re giving me a headache.” She headed for the bathroom.

Lovett looked through the peephole, and Vicki and Walter Carver were standing by the door.

Lovett hurried to the bathroom and opened the door. April was sitting on the toilet peeing.

“Hey,” she said. “Get out of here. Doesn’t anybody have any privacy around this place?”

“Hurry up and finish. We need you out here.”

He went back to the door and shouted, “Who is it?” He wanted them to know that he was there so they wouldn’t leave.

“Goddamn it, Lovett. Open up this door.”

“Just a minute, sir.”

Sammy was looking at Lovett like he was crazy, and May was putting on a pair of panties as fast as she could. Lovett ran over to her. “No. Stay just like you are.”

“I’m naked as a jaybird.”

“I know. That’s the way I want you.” He went near the door and yelled, “I’ll be right there.” Then he went into the bathroom, and April was sitting on the side of the tub getting ready to put on her panties. He took them out of her hands, and she looked at him like he was out of his mind.

“Come out here a minute,” he told her. She shrugged her shoulders and followed him out of the bathroom. Sammy was still sitting in the recliner watching the show.

Lovett walked to the door and motioned for the girls to come to where he was standing. “Come over here,” he whispered.

“But there’s somebody out there,” April protested.

“Yeah. I know. That’s what’s going to make it so goddamned funny.”

The pounding started again. “I don’t know what’s taking you so long,” Carver shouted.

“Open the door,” Lovett told the girls.

April giggled and swung the door open wide enough to reveal the three of them. The old man’s eyes got big, and he started opening and closing his mouth over and over. No words came out, but he was making “oh, oh, oh” sounds.

Vicki just stared for a moment and then turned and ran out of the building.

“Didn’t Vicki give you my message?” Lovett asked.

“You. You. You’re fired,” the old man sputtered. He turned away and followed his daughter outside.

Lovett closed the door, and the girls burst out laughing. “That old man was really mad,” May said. “He’s going to have a stroke.”

“Was that your girlfriend? She’s sort of fat,” April said.

Sammy, who had gotten up from the chair while all the excitement was going on, came over to join them. “Sh*t,” he said, “I’m hungry.”

“Yeah. Me, too,” Lovett told him. “But it’s got to be your treat. I imagine that my company credit card has just been canceled.”

“No sweat. It’s my turn, anyway. Let’s find something to eat and get out of this goddamned town.”

“It works for me,” Lovett said.



A Mexican Girl Is Kidnapped

In about ten minutes a battered old truck, its bed covered by a canvas tarpaulin, came rattling up and stopped about twenty yards away. Two men got out, went around to the back and opened the tailgate. One of the men, a big unshaved fellow with a large belly, crawled under the canvas covering while the other stood by the back of the truck and waited. In a few moments the big man came backing out dragging a frightened young girl by one of her arms. He got her out of the truck and onto the ground where she stood, frantically looking around, holding her right hand in front of her eyes trying to block out the harsh sunlight.

The big man was still grasping her left arm. The fellow who had been waiting seized the right one, the one she had been using to shade her eyes, and the two of them dragged her unceremoniously toward the waiting bus. Pedro met them at the door and helped them get her inside. They quickly shoved her into a seat and applied a set of chains. She sat bewildered, looking around her, making no noise except the sound of her panicked breathing.

Raul and the two who had delivered the girl went outside, and Raul gave the large man an envelope stuffed with money. The man extracted the bills, counted them and shook Raul’s hand. The other man then shook hands with Raul, and he and his partner got into the truck and left. The entire operation, from the time the truck arrived until it drove away, had taken less than ten minutes.

The new girl looked around at the others as though she was trying to figure out what was going on, then closed her eyes, bowed her head and began crying softly. Maria watched her and felt a lump of hopelessness rise to her throat. Her chest was heaving uncontrollably, and she realized that she was crying, too.


One Of The Kidnapped Girls Tries To Escape

“Ladies,” Lovett said in a very thick American accent, “I represent a very wealthy man from across the sea. Some of you will be chosen tonight to go to his country. Now, I am going to be very blunt. Those of you who pass my inspection will go. So listen closely to my words. If you are agreeable and do as you are told, you and I will get along just fine. If you do not cooperate, it will do you no good. I will make you unhappier than you can even begin to imagine, and you will still do what we have decided for you to do.”

“I am an American citizen,” Sandra interrupted. “I will not be sold like an animal. You have no right—”

As soon as she began speaking, Pedro jumped to his feet and rushed to the chair she was sitting in. He wrapped his right arm around her neck and dragged her backward across the floor. One of her shoes came off and stayed under the table. She was not able to utter a sound because Pedro’s arm was choking off all air flow making speech impossible.

“Wait,” Lovett told him. “Bring her back, but make certain that she remains in her chair.” Pedro turned and retraced his steps still dragging the helpless girl. Maria and the others watched in shock. Pedro set her down roughly and loosened his arm slightly. She began breathing again making hoarse gasping sounds. Then she began struggling and rose halfway to a standing position. Pedro tightened his hold again, grabbed her hair with his left hand and very roughly forced her back into the chair.

“Very good,” Lovett said. “Now keep her there. I have something that I want her to see, and it is just as well that the others see it, also.”

He opened the box he was holding, walked slowly to where Sandra was sitting and placed the box on the table in front of her. All of the girls were trying to see what was inside but were unable to. Lovett put his right hand into his coat pocket and took out a handkerchief. He reached down and extracted something from the box using the handkerchief to prevent his hand from coming in contact with the object. He held the item up so that everyone could see it. To Maria, it looked like a small piece of leather or a dried up piece of meat. Everyone was staring at it intently trying to see what it was.

“I will not leave you in suspense,” Lovett told them. “This is the tongue of a beautiful young girl. A girl very much like any of you. She talked too much. She did not know how to show respect.” He paused and waited for the effect of his words to sink in. “But she does not talk too much anymore. She listens respectfully and knows her place.” He was holding up the object as he talked so that all the girls could clearly see it.

“I know that you are eager to hear how this story ends. Well, the girl is living happily in a large mansion. She is in charge of the female housekeeping staff. She is well fed and content. But it could have had a happier ending. The young son of a fabulously rich family desired her greatly. He wanted to take her as his number one concubine, but of course, that was impossible. It would have been a disgrace to both him and his family for him to consort openly with someone who had been disrespectful enough to lose her tongue. So now she can enjoy his company only when he sneaks away occasionally to see her. His number one concubine spends her days shopping and riding around in beautiful automobiles.

“Now, I wish to pose a question to you lovely women. Do any of you want to lose your tongue tonight? Because if you do, we have a table set up in the other room and a gentleman waiting there to perform the surgery. And remember this. If you do choose to have him work on you, it will not exempt you from taking the journey that we have been discussing. But it will make that journey much more unpleasant.”

He continued to talk, but Maria could no longer understand what he was saying. Her mind was numb. She seemed to be watching him and the others in the room from a long distance away. His voice was a humming monotone. The words were garbled and ran together and no longer had any meaning. She was lightheaded and was afraid that she was going to faint. After a few minutes her mind began to clear again, but her legs were so weak that she knew that they would not be able to support her if she should attempt to stand up.

Maria looked at Sandra to see how she was faring. The girl was sitting with her eyes half closed and a far away expression on her face. Pedro had one hand resting heavily on her right shoulder and the other gripping her hair. She gave the impression that she hardly knew where she was and was totally unaware of Pedro’s presence.

Sandra began shifting around in her chair. It appeared that she was trying to get herself into a more comfortable position. Without taking his eyes from Lovett, Pedro relaxed his hands a bit to let Sandra get better situated. She moved her right hand as though she was trying to pick up her purse which was sitting on an empty chair next to her.

Maria listened intently to Lovett trying to understand what he was saying. Her head was becoming clearer, and his words were beginning to have meaning. She glanced back at Sandra just in time to see the girl’s hand come out of her purse gripping a long pair of scissors. Sandra brought them up with all the strength and speed her small body could muster. Their point entered Pedro’s mouth and exited through the side of his cheek. Her hand reversed its direction and snapped back as quickly as a rubber band bringing the scissors with it.

Pedro grunted, released Sandra’s shoulders and hair and brought his hands to his punctured face. Blood ran through his fingers and onto Sandra, the table and the floor. Sandra was up in an instant, stabbing at his face and chest. The scissors made a gash across his temple and another on his upper arm before he was able to react.

He struck out with his large right fist catching her squarely in the face. Her nose collapsed, and blood spurted from the shattered area where it had been. His other fist caught her jaw, fracturing it. She fell to the floor, and he grabbed a chair and began beating her.

“Enough,” shouted Raul. “Enough, little brother.”

But Pedro was so enraged that he could not hear anything except a loud roaring in his ears. He continued to pound her until the chair was so splintered that he could no longer use it effectively.

“Stop,” Raul said. “They can use her in Nuevo Laredo.” He grabbed Pedro around the waist trying to hold him, but Pedro would not be restrained. He lashed out with his foot catching the hapless girl flush in the temple. Only then was Raul able to drag him away a few steps.

“Did you not see what that whore did to me?” Pedro screamed.

“Yes, brother. And we will take care of your injuries. But now she is dead and worth nothing. We could have gotten a good price for her in Nuevo Laredo.”

Pedro held both hands to his injured cheek as the blood continued to flow.

“Look, brother. Look at my face. Can you not see what she did to me?”

Raul had released his hold on Pedro. “Yes, I see. Blanca will take care of you. Tomorrow you will see a doctor.”

Pedro stepped forward to where Sandra lay and kicked her head viciously again.

“Take that, puta. That is your payment for what you have done to me.”

The man who had greeted them when they arrived came rushing into the room to see what was going on, paused a moment and then left. A few seconds later he returned with Seńor Torres.

“How could this have happened?” Torres demanded angrily. “There was no need for this kind of stupidity.”

Pedro face flushed a dark red, and he started to reply, but Raul stopped him.

“Get the girls back to the cabins,” Torres told Raul.

Raul grasped Pedro by the arm and said, “Take the girls back. I will join you in a few minutes.”



Maria Gets Pedro's Gun

He took two or three steps before he realized that Maria had his gun. He stopped and demanded angrily, “Put the gun down, puta, before I break your neck.”

Her body was trembling violently, and she was so frightened that she almost obeyed. Her legs were so weak that she feared they might betray her and let her fall.

“Get out of my way,” she whispered weakly. “Por favor, seńor. I must leave.”

“I will show you, you treacherous whore,” he screamed. He dropped the wine glasses and rushed toward her. She braced, waiting to feel the crushing blows of his fists. He was almost upon her when she heard the gun firing again and again and felt it bucking in her hands. Pedro fell backward onto the floor. Blood was splattered on the wall behind him and flowed from beneath his body in scarlet streams.



Lovett Treats A Patient For Cancer

Lovett put several daubs of petroleum jelly on Thomas Twirling’s chest and affixed a bogus electrode to each spot. Copper wires ran from the electrodes to a black box inside the cancer cure machine. When he was finished, Lovett helped the man lie down on the pulled-out bed and slid it back inside.

“That diagnostic recorder will monitor his vital signs during the test,” he told Mrs. Twirling. “I have the timer set for thirty-seven minutes. If you wish, you can go inside the house and wait. I will call you five minutes before the treatment is over.” Lovett had changed the timing on the warning buzzer. It now sounded at five minutes before a treatment ended instead five seconds.

As Mrs. Twirling walked across the yard toward her back door, Lovett turned on the machine. The lights came on and the humming sound started. As far as Lovett was concerned, life couldn’t be any better. Then he remembered what Sammy and often told him: “As soon as you begin to get complacent, you’re in trouble. Always quit when you’re ahead.”

That was good advice the first time Sammy had said it, and it was just as good now. As soon as Thomas Twirling and Camilla Calliope died, it would probably make sense to get rid of the machine and get into another business. Lovett had made up his mind that he would do that. In a way he hated to do it because the apparatus was a gold mine. But on the other hand, just when you thought you had it made, things had a tendency to go wrong. He didn’t want to push his luck until that happened.

Before he did anything else, though, he had to get some money from the Calliopes. He knew exactly what he was going to tell them. He hoped that he hadn’t waited too long already. He would have made a move sooner if he had known how fast Mrs. Calliope’s health was going to deteriorate. As soon as he finished the treatment on Twirling, he would go to the Calliopes’ house and put his plan into motion.

He waited impatiently for the time to pass. He should have told the Twirlings that the procedure would be for twenty-seven minutes instead of thirty-seven. He forced himself to relax and be patient. He knew that ten minutes one way or the other wouldn’t make a bit of difference.

Lovett went around to the back of the van so he could see inside the machine. Tom Twirling lay quietly, a peaceful expression on his face. Lovett wondered what the man was thinking. Did he really believe that the contraption he was lying in was going to help him? He probably knew better deep in his heart. But he wanted to cling to the illusion that there was something magic about the machine that could ward off the inevitable.

The five minute warning buzzer sounded. Lovett went to the back door of the house and knocked. Mrs. Twirling came to the door. Her face was white and drawn.

“Do you think it helped?” she asked.

“He’s still got some time left. Let’s look at him then.”

They walked out to the van. After a few minutes Lovett turned off the machine and pulled out the bed and disconnected the phony electrodes.

“Already?” Twirling asked. “It seemed like only a few minutes.”

“No. It was thirty-seven minutes. We can’t go any longer than that at the level of energy that we are using. I’m going to evaluate the data from the diagnostic recorder as soon as I get back to the office. I will also transmit it electronically back to the clinic to see if they come to the same conclusions that I do. Next week we may be able to reduce the intensity and extend the time. I can’t be sure, though, until we make a thorough analysis of what we collected today.”

“Do you have time to come in for a cup of coffee?” Mrs. Twirling asked him.

“Unfortunately, no,” he told her. “I have another appointment in just a few minutes.”



Andy Meets A Stranger In A Remote and Lonely Canyon

Andy didn’t know how long he had been sleeping when something woke him up. He opened his eyes, and it was almost as bright as day. The clouds were gone, and the near-full moon lighted up the canyon. He looked at his watch; it was twelve twenty. He figured that he had gone to bed at about ten.

He heard a noise by the tent, and when he looked in that direction he saw someone sitting in his chair drinking coffee. The man had used Andy’s coffee pot to brew it in. In fact, the pot was still sitting on the Coleman stove. The fellow was sitting in the chair just like he owned it. He must have taken it out of the tent because Andy distinctly remembered that he had put it inside before he went to bed.

Andy was startled at the sight of the fellow just sitting staring at him like a big assed bird, but he wasn’t scared. The dumb son of a bitch that had invaded his campsite was the one that had better be scared. Andy found his pistol, gripped its handle firmly, untangled himself from the blankets and got out of the hammock. Pointing the gun directly at the intruder, Andy walked toward him. The stranger did not seem to be the least bit perturbed. He took a sip of coffee as he watched Andy approach.

“What the f**k are you doing here?” Andy demanded when he was a few feet from where his unwelcome visitor was sitting. “Don’t you know you could get your dumb ass blown away by sneaking into somebody’s camp in the middle of the night?”

“I mean you no harm, Andrew. I come as a friend. I have traveled a great distance to talk to you.”

“How do you know my name? How in hell did you find me?”

“You asked for my help. I’ve always known your name.”

The stranger set Andy’s cup on the table and stood up. He looked like a goddamned hippy. He was tall, about six foot four, but he was as skinny as a scarecrow and couldn’t weigh over a hundred and fifty pounds. His hair was wavy, a light reddish brown; it was parted in the middle and hung just below his shoulders. He had a moustache and beard, both of which were neatly trimmed and the color of his hair. He had large eyes. Even in the bright moonlight it was impossible to discern their color, but Andy got the impression that they were hazel.

The strangest thing about the man was the way he was dressed. He was wearing a white linen shirt with large sleeves that hung to his wrists and loose fitting pants of the same color and fabric. Over those articles of clothing, he wore a long, white, loose fitting robe that was made of some kind of material that looked like cheesecloth. It, too, had long sleeves, and it hung to within an inch of the ground. It completely covered his shirt and pants, but it was almost transparent, and Andy could easily see them through it.

Andy had seen pictures of Jesus, and the man looked almost exactly like some of those pictures. Only Jesus wasn’t so tall and skinny. Otherwise, the similarity was uncanny. He knew that people could do funny things with their appearance if they wanted to. He had seen a lot of Elvis impersonators that looked almost exactly like Elvis because of the way they dressed and wore their hair and sideburns. Some were fat, and some were skinny. Some were tall, and others were short. Hell, some were even black or Mexican or Oriental. But you still knew who they were trying to impersonate.

That was evidently what this fellow was doing. Only he was trying to look like Jesus instead of Elvis. People probably told him all the time how much he looked like Jesus. Apparently, he wanted old Andy to do the same thing. Well, Andy wasn’t about to comment on his appearance. If that was what the man was waiting for, he was going to have a long wait.

“I didn’t ask for anybody’s help, and I didn’t tell anyone my name.” Andy kept his gun trained on the man as he spoke. “But I am telling you this. I don’t want to talk to anybody, and I don’t want anybody snooping around where I’m trying to have a little privacy. Now, I recommend that you get out of my camp before I blow your ass away and throw you in the lake.”

The man sat back down. “Why don’t you join me, Andrew? We will talk a few minutes, and then I will leave. You came to this secluded spot seeking answers. I have come to give you those answers.”

“I don’t know what you want, mister,” Andy responded. “Go ahead and talk, but don’t take all night. Anything to get you out of here.” He had already decided to pack up and leave as soon as he ran the man off. He was afraid to go back to sleep. The crazy son of a bitch would likely just sneak back and cut Andy’s throat while he was sleeping.

“Just don’t try any funny moves,” Andy continued. “And give me my coffee cup. If I’m going to listen to you talk all night, I’ll need something to drink while I’m listening.”

“This is my cup. Yours is inside the tent.” Andy started to dispute him, but on closer inspection, he discovered that the cup the man was holding was not his after all.

“I’ll be back in a minute,” Andy said. He went to the hammock and got his flashlight. Then he came back to the tent.

Andy turned on the flashlight and backed through the tent’s door keeping his pistol pointed at his visitor. His cup, his whiskey and his marijuana cigarettes were on the grass inside. He picked up the cup and put it under his left arm so that he could hold the flashlight in his left hand and continue holding the pistol in his right hand. When he got outside, the stranger had not moved.

“I’ll be right back,” Andy said. He laid the flashlight on the table, carried his cup to the pool and got some water. When he got back to the table, he set the cup on it. He went into the tent and got the bottle that he had been drinking from earlier and took it outside. He laid his pistol down for a moment while he opened the bottle and poured some liquor into the cup. Then he picked his gun up again.

He wasn’t about to offer his visitor a drink. Not until he knew what the fellow was doing there. Besides, he was pissed off and about to tell the man that. Here he was standing up, and his uninvited guest was sitting in the only chair. If that wasn’t audacity, Andy didn’t know what was. Andy was ready to advise the man that he had brought the chair for his own use, but before he could do that, the man stood up.

“Why don’t you use the chair, Andrew. I am just as comfortable sitting on the ground.” The intruder walked a few steps away to a small tree and sat down and leaned against its trunk.

Andy sat down in the chair. He was still holding the gun, and that was beginning to make him feel just a little foolish. But what were you supposed to do when some long haired hippie came strolling into your camp in the middle of the night? Especially when you were a thousand miles from nowhere.

Generally you would think that if somebody stumbled across your camp it might be pure coincidence. But if he knew your name and started talking to you like he was your long lost cousin, you could bet your ass that there wasn’t any coincidence about it at all. That son of a bitch had a reason for being there and had tracked you down on purpose.

“Okay,” Andy told him, “we’ve been talking all night, and we haven’t even been introduced. You know my name, but I don’t have any idea who you are.”

“You already know, Andrew. You have already figured it out.”

“Before we go any further, I’d like to get two things off my chest. First of all, stop calling me Andrew every time you open your mouth. I know what my name is without you saying it every ten seconds. And second, don’t think that I’m drunk enough or stoned enough to fall for that phony Jesus get up that you’re wearing. You might pull it on a lot of people, but it’s not gonna work on old Andy.”

“Fair enough, my friend. As I told you before, you know who I am. So you may call me what you wish. I will leave that up to you.”

“Hell, I know at least a million names. But I don’t know what yours is.”

“Why don’t you pick one?”

Andy took a long drink. He would come up with a name, all right. But it wasn’t going to be Jesus, and it wasn’t going to be Christ.

“Okay, buddy. How does Jesse sound? Or Christian?” He hadn’t intended to say Christian. It had just slipped out. “No, forget about Christian. I don’t know what religion you are. Hell, you might be a Muslim for all I know. I’ll just call you Jesse since you’ve made it pretty clear that you’re not gonna tell me what your real name is.”

“That’s fine. It’s close enough.”

“Okay, Jesse. Would you like something else to drink? Something besides that coffee? I mean I have some pretty good bourbon whiskey if you’d like some. I’m sure that I could find a glass or cup or something in the pickup, or we could use yours.”

“No, thank you. I have come to give you some advice. I will be here for only a few minutes more. First, I want you to know that your mother is at peace. She was a good woman and will spend the rest of eternity in peace. Next, listen to your brother, and you will learn the hiding place of the one you are seeking. But remember the commandment: Thou shalt not kill.”

Andy interrupted, “Look, I’m trying to find the son of a bitch that killed my mother. You tell me that I must not kill. Why didn’t you tell that to David when he knocked Goliath on his butt with a slingshot and cut off his head? I can’t guarantee what I’ll do if I ever get my hands on that son of a bitch.”

“Just remember the commandment. Finally, you will meet a young girl who will be very dear to your brother. She will tell you an incredible story, but it will be true. Listen to her and believe. After hearing her, you will become angry, but however angry you become, do not forget the commandment.”

When the man finished talking, both men continued to sit. Andy wasn’t sure that the fellow was finished. After a few minutes Andy said, “Is that all?”

“No. There is one more thing. You should take all of those marijuana cigarettes and throw them into the lake. Or better yet, bury them. They will not do anything for you except get you into trouble. I know that you are using them because of your divorce and your mother’s death, but they are of no help whatsoever. It wouldn’t hurt to cut down on the alcohol, either. Deep in your heart you know that, and you also know that she wouldn’t approve. Now I’m done unless you have any questions.”

“Thanks for the lecture. You’re probably right about the pot. Maybe I will throw it away. Now, how are you so sure my brother will find this guy? We don’t even know his real name.”

“Your brother will have that information.”

“Why can’t you tell me now? Wouldn’t that be a lot easier?”

“Perhaps. But I have told you what you need to know. The rest is up to you.”

“Well, Jesse. I’ll tell you why you’re talking in riddles. It’s because you don’t know anything. You’re not telling me anything but bullsh*t.”

“You will see.”

Jesse crossed his arms. When he did that, his sleeves fell away from his wrists exposing them to Andy’s view. Andy could see that they were badly scarred.

The sight unnerved him. He had seen pictures of Jesus on the cross with nails driven through His hands. But later he had been told that they had actually been driven through His wrists. If they had been in His hands, they could not have supported His weight.

“Are those scars real?”

“You know they are.”

The man got up and began walking away.

“Is that all? Are you leaving?”

“Yes. That is all.” He walked toward the mouth of the canyon and behind a stand of trees that was no more than twenty yards away. Andy waited for him to emerge on the other side of the trees and into the road, but he didn’t reappear. After a few minutes Andy decided that the fellow wasn’t leaving after all. He was probably going to hide in the woods until Andy went to sleep and then come back and rob or murder him.

As far as old Andy was concerned, that wasn’t about to happen. He got into his pickup and drove to the trees where the man had disappeared. There was not a trace of the fellow. He maneuvered the truck so that its lights shone into the woods, but he could see nothing. Then, with his headlights still illuminating the area, he walked into it and searched every square inch of ground. Old Jesse had completely disappeared.

Andy got back into the pickup and drove out of the canyon and followed the access road for about a mile. There were no vehicle lights ahead of him. He turned the truck around and drove back to the canyon. There was still a lot of night left, but he didn’t feel like going back to sleep. He would go to the campsite, pack up everything and leave.

In the few minutes that it had taken him to search for Jesse, the clouds had blown back in and covered the moon and stars. It was so dark that he could not move around without using his flashlight. He knew that he would have trouble packing up his gear in the darkness so he decided that he would leave the area and return in the morning. He didn’t feel comfortable spending the rest of the night there.

He wasn’t particularly worried about leaving his things. They would be safe unless Jesse came back and stole them. Andy figured that that probably wasn’t going to happen. It certainly wouldn’t if Jesse was who Andy thought he might be. Nobody else would be able to find Andy’s campsite in a thousand years.

There was one thing he was going to do, though, before he left. He was going to get rid of the damned pot. He got his flashlight and the sandwich bag that contained the cigarettes and went to the edge of the lake. He unrolled one of the reefers and sprinkled its contents into the water. He shined his flashlight on the marijuana and watched it for a few moments as it floated on the water’s surface. Then he went to the pickup, got his shovel and dug a hole about a foot deep. He put the rest of the cigarettes into the hole and covered them up. Maybe Jesse was happy now; Andy hoped so.



A Gay Minister Wants His Wife To Help Him With His Sermon - And Nothing Else

Scott entered his apartment in a melancholy mood. Diana had left the tent a few minutes before he did and was busy preparing his dinner. She smiled at him and said, “It’ll be ready in a few minutes.” He realized that she was a very good wife. She always kept the apartment clean and prepared good meals.

“Okay,” he said. “I’ll be studying the Scriptures. I need a fresh idea for tomorrow’s sermon.” He got his Bible, opened it and began reading.

He knew that his mission was doomed unless he could write a sermon that would excite his flock enough to bring increasing numbers to his services. If he couldn’t do that, he would have to sell the church. He hoped that he wouldn’t be forced to take that step, but unless more people started attending, he had no other choice. When Diana called him for dinner about forty-five minutes later, he still had not come up with an idea for his sermon.

After dinner Scott decided to go outside for a walk. Sometimes his best ideas were revealed to him when he was out walking admiring the wonders of God’s nature. After two hours his mind was still blank. He went back into the apartment and got a pen and tablet and sat at the table. God is love, he wrote. Jesus is life. After an hour of doodling, he still had not come up with any ideas. He got up from the table and put the pen and paper away.

Diana was sitting in a recliner watching television. Scott decided that if he lay down and relaxed, he might be able to think more clearly.

“Diana,” he said. “I’m going to say my prayers and lie down. Would you join me? I just can’t think of anything at all for that sermon. Maybe you could help. You know the old saying: Two heads are better than one.”

“Okay. This show will be over in about ten minutes. I’ll be right in.”

He brushed his teeth, put on a pair of cotton pajamas, knelt down and prayed. “Oh, Jesus,” he said after he finished his regular prayer. “Please help me find a way to save my church. Please give me an idea for my sermon for tomorrow.” Then he got into bed and waited for Diana to join him.

In a few minutes she came into the room, and Darryl was shocked to see that she was stark naked under a black see-through negligee that concealed nothing. She got into bed without saying her prayers and snuggled against him.

“Diana,” he scolded, resisting her embrace, “you forgot your prayers. As soon as you finish with them, I have some ideas for tomorrow’s sermon that I’d like to discuss.”

“Can’t we just forget about my prayers and your old sermon for a little while?” She started unbuttoning his pajama top. “I promise that I’ll pray as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning. Or maybe even later tonight. I will help you with your sermon, too. But right now there are other things that I would prefer to do.”

He pushed her hands away and said sharply, “Cut that out, Diana. You’re acting like a child.”

“No,” she said angrily. “I’m acting like a woman. You’re the one who’s acting like a child.” Then her voice softened. “Sweetheart, what’s wrong with me? Please tell me what’s wrong with me.” Suddenly it seemed to Darryl that she was about to cry.

“Nothing’s wrong with you. I’m just tired, that’s all. I’m worried sick about that sermon. I need your help.”

“Honey, just hold me. Love me. We’ll both be relaxed and refreshed tomorrow morning and won’t have a bit of a trouble with that old sermon.”

Resigned that she was in no mood to help him and that it was unlikely that he could change her mind, he turned facing her and took her into his arms. She moved against him, kissing him urgently. He kissed her back but felt nothing. After a few minutes she moved away, sat up, pulled her negligee over her head and tossed it carelessly onto the floor.

“Okay. Now you,” she told him. “Let me help you with your pajamas.”

“Diana,” he admonished her, angrily, “you’re acting like a jezebel.”

She laughed and said sarcastically, “A jezebel? A jezebel? Hell, Darryl, you can’t even bring yourself to use the right word. Don’t you know how to say whore? Or harlot? Or prostitute? Or tramp? Or slut?” She got out of the bed and walked toward the door. “I’m sorry I bothered Your Majesty. I’ll leave you with your precious sermon.” Suddenly she turned, came back to the bed and knelt down beside it.

“Oh, Lord,” she said. “I have but one thing to ask of Thee. Teach Darryl how to f**k, or teach me to hate sex as much as he does.” She stood up and began to walk away. Then she returned to the bed and knelt down once more.

“I’m sorry, God, I forgot. I want to ask for one thing more. Help Darryl get his precious sermon written. We don’t want him to bomb tomorrow, now do we?” She stood up, and he called to her with anger in his voice, “Don’t blaspheme the Lord, Diana, just because you’re angry with me. Now, put some clothes on and come to bed.”

“F**k you, Brother Darryl,” she said and left the room. After an hour she had not returned so he went to check on her. She was on the sofa, either asleep or pretending to be, wrapped up in a skimpy little blanket. Her face was wet like she had been crying. He was afraid to touch her for fear it would wake her up. He couldn’t be sure, but as far as he could tell, she was still naked.



Scott Goes To A Gay Movie And Gets Into Bad Trouble

Somebody sat down in the seat directly behind him. Scott knew that it could not be by accident because at least two-thirds of the seats were empty. He figured that the man would say something to him soon and wondered how long it would be before he did.

The man leaned forward almost immediately and whispered, “God, don’t you just love his physique?”

Scott wasn’t sure which of the actors the man was referring to. Everyone on the screen was as beautiful as a Greek god. Scott didn’t answer. He felt a bit uncomfortable. Although he couldn’t see the man, he could picture him leaning forward with his lips close to Scott’s ear.

“I saw him in person one time. He gave me his autograph. I still have it somewhere.”

Scott turned his head slightly and whispered, “We shouldn’t be talking. People are trying to watch the movie.”

Scott heard movement, and it sounded like the fellow was leaving. He turned his head and could see the man working his way toward the end of the row of seats. When the man reached the aisle, he moved forward and into the row where Scott was sitting. In a moment he was at the seat beside Scott where he sat down.

“Do you mind if I sit here?” he asked. He was a nice looking fellow. He had dark curly hair and big eyes, so dark that they were almost black. He was wearing a dark blue suit and a red and blue striped tie. It seemed to Scott that the man was dressed too well. He wondered if he was an undercover policeman. He had heard of vice squad officers practically entrapping people in X-rated theaters. Scott decided that it was time for him to leave.

“No. Go ahead. I was just leaving.” He stood up.

“There’s no need for that. Would you like some company?”

“No. I have to meet somebody in five minutes.” He left the theater and headed for one of the bars that he hoped was gay.

The weather was beautiful. The moon was a tiny white crescent floating in the sky like a small silver canoe. A gentle breeze brushed Scott’s face. It would be a nice night to be walking hand in hand with someone instead of all alone. Maybe he should not have been so eager to leave the theater. He felt like going back to see if the curly haired man with the big eyes was still interested in his company. But he was afraid to. Scott still had the nagging suspicion that the man was an undercover cop.

Scott was about fifty yards from the first bar that he wanted to check out when an old green Chevrolet went around him, pulled up onto the sidewalk in front of him and stopped. Three men in their early twenties jumped out and blocked his way. All of them were dressed in dirty blue jeans, faded long sleeved work shirts and heavy, scuffed work shoes. One was wearing a baseball cap turned backward on his head.

“Going somewhere, queer boy?” one of them asked him. Scott was afraid; he felt like trying to run away but knew that it was no use.

“Hey. You’re making a mistake. I’m just going home.”

“He’s just going home,” one of the fellows told his companions. “I guess he ain’t a queer after all.”

“Yeah. I guess so,” a companion said. “He was probably just coming out of that queer show by mistake, too.” Then he said to Scott, “You went there because you was lost, right?”

“Just leave me alone,” Scott said. “I don’t even know you people.” His heart was pounding wildly and his legs were so weak he was afraid they were going to collapse beneath him. He tried to continue on his way, but the man with the baseball cap stepped forward and swung his fist. Scott tried to block the blow but was too slow. The punch caught him in the belly making him double up.

The others swarmed over him and knocked him to the pavement. One grabbed his wig and yanked. It came off in the man’s hand.

“Look here,” the fellow said holding up the hairpiece. He was laughing.

Then he pulled off Scott’s moustache.

“Why, I do declare,” he laughed. “He was trying to go incognito.”

Incog what?” a companion said.

Incog-queer-o,” the man answered and kicked Scott on the side of his head. Scott felt himself almost losing consciousness.

Then one of the men knelt down by him and began trying to work his hand into Scott’s rear pocket to get his wallet. The other two stood watching their partner’s efforts and kicking Scott from time to time.



Scott Decides To Take Drastic Action

Scott carried the items that he had retrieved from the Camry to the rental car. He pushed one end of the hose into the vehicle’s tailpipe and wrapped the connection with duct tape. He rolled down the back window slightly and inserted the other end of the hose through the opening.

He started to get into the car but decided that there was one more thing that he needed to do to make sure that his plan did not fail. He sealed the gap above the partially open back window with the tape. Then he got into the car, closed the door and started the engine.

He knew that Diana would be shocked when she found him. He hadn’t even left her a suicide note. He wondered if he should go back into the apartment and write one to replace the note that he had left on the table. He decided that he would not. He was too far along to interrupt what he was doing. If he stopped now, something would possibly come up which would prevent him from completing his mission.

He knew that he ought to pray, but he didn’t know what to say. Probably he should say the Lord’s Prayer. Nobody had ever improved on it. He would say it later, though. He still had plenty of time.

He wondered what Fred Cary would say. Scott hoped that Cary would go on with his plans for the cathedral. Cary could let Joe Alpine be the minister. Alpine would certainly be able to do a magnificent job. But maybe Diana would sell the church. There were too many possibilities for him to contemplate. He hoped that everything would work out for the best.

Scott had drunk a lot of water since he had come back from Houston, but he was still thirsty. He wondered if he should go into the apartment and get some more. The water was probably too cold, and that was why it hadn’t quenched his thirst. The next time he would know better than to use so much ice.

He started to get out of the car and go back into the apartment to get another drink, but he was too tired. It would have to wait for a while. There was plenty of time for that. He knew that there was something that he was supposed to do, but he couldn’t remember what it was. Then it came to him. He had to say the Lord’s Prayer.

He tried to think of the first line, but it eluded him. He knew that if he could just think of the first word or two, he would have no problem remembering the rest of it. While he tried to remember how it began, the windshield of the car started dissolving and floating away. He didn’t have any idea why that was happening, but it fascinated him. As he watched, the dashboard began disintegrating and turning into fog. He tried to touch it to see how it felt, but he wasn’t able to move his arm.

Harold Scott walked up to the side of the car, and Scott noticed that the window glass was no longer there. He remembered that it was rolled up when he got into the car. Maybe it had turned to fog and floated away while he was watching the windshield dissolve.

Scott’s father was trying to tell him something, but the older man was not talking loudly enough for Scott to hear what he was saying. John Archer walked up behind Harold and stood looking through the window opening at Scott. Then John said to Harold, “You’ll have to speak louder, Reverend Scott.”

Scott was surprised to see them. John lived so far away, and his father was supposed to be dead.

“You have to recite the Lord’s Prayer, son,” Harold said.

Scott tried to explain that he couldn’t remember the words.

“The Lord is my shepherd,” John said.

“I shall not want,” Harold continued.

The words sounded wrong. He shut his eyes and tried to think of the right ones, but his mind was drifting away and he felt like he was dissolving just like the car was. He opened his eyes but could see nothing. He wasn’t sure whether his father and John were still there. He hoped that they had not left him by himself, but he was afraid that they had because he couldn’t hear a sound.


Scott And The Preacher's Wife Go out Dancing

Andy finished his drink just as Diana came back into the room. She was wearing a white cowboy hat, black velvet pants, a red shirt and white cowboy boots. She had a white bandana around her neck.

“Are you ready, partner?” she said. Her hair was shimmering gold. Her eyes were bluer than sapphires. Andy’s voice caught in his throat, and he had trouble answering.

“Ready,” he finally managed to get out.

They had dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and then she said, “Okay, cowboy. You told me to pick a place. We’re going to make every joint on Sixth Street tonight. And we aren’t going home as long as any of them is open. Anyway, it’s Friday, and I plan to sleep late tomorrow.”

“It works for me,” Andy told her.

He drove to Sixth Street and parked his pickup.

“How’s this?” he asked her.

“It’ll work.” They got out and began walking along the street. They passed a place that had country and western music blaring out the front door.

“Let’s go in here,” she said.

They went inside, and the place was maybe half full. Three men dressed about like Andy was dressed were on a stage playing their guitars and singing By The Time I Get To Phoenix. Andy saw an empty table near the tiny little dance floor and led Diana to it. A waitress came over.

“Hi,” she said. “I’m Betty. Can I take your order?”

“This looks like a beer drinking kind of a place to me,” Diana said.

“Two beers,” Andy said. The trio was playing Friends In Low Places.

Diana grabbed Andy by the hand and said, “Come on” and led him out to the floor. They danced ten or fifteen minutes and then returned to their table.

The beer wasn’t cold anymore, but that didn’t matter. They drank it, anyway, and ordered two more. While they were waiting for their order, they went back onto the floor. They danced for a long time, and when they got back to the table, the beer was warm again.

After a few more beers, Diana said, “It’s time to go somewhere else.” They paid their bill, left a tip and went outside.

They walked about one hundred yards, and Diana said, “Lets try this place.”

They went inside, and a big African American fellow that looked like Louis Armstrong was singing Hello Dolly!

“This ain’t country music,” Andy said.

“Is, too! I’d know Garth Brooks anywhere.”

“Sorry. I stand corrected. I knew it was his song. It just took me a minute to recognize his face.” They found a booth and sat down. The waitress came over.

“I’ve had enough beer,” Andy said. “I’m going to switch to bourbon and water.”

“Give me something frozen and sweet. Just surprise me,” Diana told the waitress.

When the woman left, Diana said, “We’d better not get too bombed. We still have to drive home.” She was leaning toward him as she said it, a serious expression on her face.

Andy couldn’t help himself. He leaned across the table and kissed her. “God, you’re beautiful,” he said.

She kissed him back and said, “See. I told you. You’re drunk already.”

“Am not. A couple of beers never made anybody drunk.”

“Man. Where did you learn to count?”

“Yeah. You’re right. No more after this one.”

They went out onto the floor. It was so crowded that they could hardly dance. Andy didn’t care. They stood holding each other close, their bodies moving to the music.

They went back to the table. A bourbon and water and some kind of a frozen pink concoction were waiting for them. Diana tasted her drink.

“What is it?” Andy asked her.

“Tastes like a frozen strawberry daiquiri. Try it.” She handed it across the table. He took a sip.

“Not too shabby. But I’ll stick to bourbon.”

They finished their drinks. When the waitress came back, they ordered Cokes. Then they went back onto the floor for a couple of dances. When they returned to the table, Diana said, “Time to blow this joint.” They paid their bill and left.

A cool breeze touched their faces as they went outside. The streets and sidewalks were crowded with people going from place to place. Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. A young couple who were crossing Sixth Street stopped about halfway across and began kissing oblivious of the cars and spectators.

The automobiles slowed to a crawl as they drove past, some of them blowing their horns. A few of the drivers rolled down their windows and made comments or cheered them on. Pedestrians shouted and whistled. Some gave lewd advice which brought screams of approval from the onlookers.

At the next place they went to, Andy ordered a Coke. Diana started to order one, too, but he told her, “Hey. I’m the designated driver. You go ahead and drink that pink stuff if you want to.”

“But that’s not fair. If you don’t get to drink, I shouldn’t either.”

“Life ain’t fair, little lady.”

“Okay,” she said and ordered a frozen strawberry daiquiri when the waitress came.

They went to about five or six more places after that. Andy wasn’t sure exactly how many. He’d lost count. They were dancing to Stardust when the lights began going from bright to dim to bright again, and somebody’s voice cut into the music and said, “Last call for alcohol. We close in thirty minutes.”

They went back to the table, and Diana said, “I know a place that’s open all night. You wanna go?”

“Why not?”

She couldn’t finish her daiquiri so he drank it for her. Then he paid the bill and left a tip, and they went outside and started walking back toward Andy’s pickup. Andy opened the door for her, but before she got inside, he took her into his arms and kissed her. He didn’t release her for a long time, and she didn’t try to move away from his embrace. When the kiss was over, they were both trembling. Andy’s heart was pounding.

“I’ve been wanting to do that all night,” he said.

“I don’t remember a dance that we haven’t kissed,” she said. “And a couple of times on the street.”

“Yeah. They were nice. But it’s more fun when we’re not in the middle of a crowd.”

“You know that all night place I told you about? Why don’t we take a rain check on it and go to my apartment? There’s not a crowd there.”

“You sure you want to?”

“Couldn’t be no surer.”

Diana got into the pickup, and Andy closed the door. Then he walked around to his side and got inside. He pulled onto the interstate and began driving toward her apartment.

After a couple of miles, he asked, “You want to get something to eat?”

“I have everything at my apartment. I’ll fix us something there.”

When they got into the apartment, Diana closed the door and turned toward him. Without thinking, he took her into his arms. The kiss lasted a very long time. Much longer than the one by the pickup.

“Well,” he said when it was over.

“Well,” she responded. She took him by the hand and led him to the bedroom. Then she turned to face him and began unbuttoning her shirt.

“We might as well get serious,” she said. He watched her undress.

When she was naked, he said, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes, I’m sure. And don’t give me any excuses. I’m tired of excuses.” He wanted her so much that his body ached. He undressed and they embraced.

“You know what?” he said when the kiss ended. “I think I love you.”

“I think you’re drunk,” she said and kissed him again.

They lay down on the bed side by side.

“I know I love you,” he said between kisses. “I’ve loved you from the first moment I saw you.”

“Me, too,” she said. “Now show me.”

They made love, and when it was over, she said, “Don’t move. Stay right where you are.” After a while he was ready once more, and Diana said, “God, that feels good.”

They made love again, and when they were finished, they turned onto their sides facing each other. They lay that way, clinging together, until they fell asleep.

Copyright © 2002
Robert Wayne Orr
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without permission in writing from the author or publisher.