CHAPTER EIGHTEEN 5TH TUESDAY Mike is all hooked up to the trailer train by eight and on the road by half past. He drives out around the Mary Hill Bypass and hit's the freeway near the Port Mann Bridge. Across the bridge and up the valley he rolls.
As he nears Abbotsford he dials his cell phone. Marlene answers with a cheerful, "Good morning." "Hi Hon, It's me. I'm on my way just coming up on Abbotsford. I left before you were awake this morning so I thought I better give you a call. Kids off to school and Jan to keep you company. What you going to be doing today?" "I've started to put a laundry in, but I'm not too busy if you want to stop for coffee .or anything else, if you know what I mean." "If I don't will you call Jeff?" "Would you be mad if I did?" "I know he was there yesterday.
Did I act mad last night?" "Mmmmm no, you were loving last night, but no sex. You sure you don't want to stop this morning?" "I'm afraid I can't. I have to off load some goods in the Okanagan before heading on up to Calgary. They changed my load so I'm not going the Coqu to Kamloops. Then it's over to Saskatchewan and back. Likely be three days at least, maybe four. No swamper this trip." "I wish you could stop. I get tired of Jeff all the time. Take care of yourself out there on the highway.
I'll see you this weekend." "What are you going to do when they move? I see the 'For Sale' sign in their front yard this morning. I tell you what. Get yourself all ready and I'll pull in by the house in about five minutes." "Yippee. I'll be all ready, lover man." After his compassionate stop over, Mike rolls again and soon pulls in at the Husky in Sardis. He catches a thrown kiss as he comes in the door with a smile and calls, "Just coffee, Trudy." She brings it and nudges him over to sit for a moment.
He says, "Hey. Won't the boss see you? You better not get caught sitting with the customers. Even I know better than that." "I want him to see me. I want him to get a good look at you. The bastard seems to think because a girl doesn't wear panties she's fair game to run his hand up her twat. I told him off good and said you'd break his neck if you ever caught him doing that again." "He what?
What were you doing?" "He sent me for supplies and sneaked up on me in the supply room up on the ladder. Before I knew it he had my pussy in his hand. I lashed out and kicked at him as I jumped down then I told him off. Now he knows, the creep." Mike grins as he says; "I guess you took care of it then.
Is that him?" "Yeah. Glare at him and he'll know what I'm telling you." Mike glares at the man back by the coffee machine and he quickly steps into the rear office. Mike chuckles and says, "I think he got the point." "How come you're so late?
I expected you an hour ago." "Had to make a stop; everything's okay now. I figure three days tops but I told Marlene maybe four. Maybe we'll get a chance to try that bed of ours out on Thursday night. Is it comfy?" "Comfy but lonely. I'll be waiting with my fingers crossed. Hurry home, my love. I better wait on some tables. I think we've made our point and I see it's getting busy." "Right. I have to get going anyway. The sooner I go, the sooner I come back. You take care of yourself." He finishes his coffee and heads back to the truck.
As he progresses out past Laidlaw he toots the air horn at another CPX rig sitting in the truck stop. He heads up past Hope and climbs to the lodge in Manning Park, leaving a trail of black smoke most of the way. The scenery is excellent with the wild rhododendrons blooming in the wood on the way up and wild life everywhere.
He sees deer, coon and smaller creatures like squirrel and muskrats in the river bends. He even spots a beaver at work gnawing at a tree. He wishes Crystal and Janet were with him. They would love the wild life. He notices a bear near the lodge with two cubs as he begins to gear up on the level highway. Farther along near Princeton its mountain sheep and he has to slow, gearing down to ensure they don't dodge out in front of him. He checks his brakes above Princeton then goes down past the Copper Mountain mine tailings into the town.
Following the river he motors along, diesel humming and all in sync. In Keremeos he heads north and passes the truck stop without slowing.
He'll be stopping at Zellers in Penticton soon. At Zellers he backs into the dock. A warehouse foreman details two employees to get the items off the rear trailer. Mike watches them as they work and checks the items off his bills.
He get the foreman's signature and gives him his copies. Then he ducks inside the store restaurant for a hamburger and Coke. Soon he's on his way again. It's straight into Calgary for him now and he hopes to make it over the Rogers Pass before dark.
As he comes down to the Columbia the sun has set and the dusk is deepening. He crosses the river and into Golden; where he pulls into the Husky around eleven local time, ten by his watch.
Stiffly he gets down out of the rig and makes his way to the service center. He calls T.O. and reports his position. He tells them he might catch a few hours sleep here before heading into Calgary.
It's only a three-hour drive from here. Next he heads for the cafe. He looks for Jena but doesn't see her. A shapely blonde of about twenty-five greets him at his table.
"Hi Mike, remember me?" Mike grins lopsidedly and says, "I never forget a pair like those. Cathy, isn't it?" "What would you like tonight?" "A pair like those," he winks. "What time you get off work." "Come on. I have to put your order in." She nudges his shoulder with her order pad and giggles. "Have you had a chance yet to check out one of those big sleepers like mine?" He watches her with a light smile and his eyes are twinkling.
"I wouldn't tell you if I had." "Bet you never saw one quite the same as mine. It's set up roomy to accommodate two." "Are they really that big. They look awfully crowded and small to me." "Not the ones in the Kenworths.
You'll be surprised at how much space there is in there. In fact, I bet you'll like it in there. So, what have you got that's nice and light. I don't want anything too heavy on the stomach. I plan on getting some rest later." "How about a toasted Western?
That's light and they really make good ones here." "If you think that's what I should eat, I'll have one. Make mine on brown, no fries and, how about a Coke. Just enough to give me energy to climb the ladder up into that big rig but not so much as to keep me awake all night." "I'll bring it right over." She smiles and rushes towards the kitchen.
Mike chuckles and contemplates a possible roll in the hay. "Nice bod." He says to himself as she disappears into the kitchen. When she brings the sandwich she hangs around watching him eat. There are only two other tables occupied on the far side of a low partition and another waitress is waiting on them. "Where are you going in the morning, Mike?" "Into Calgary then on to Gull Lake in Saskatchewan.
After that it will be back across the Crow's Nest Pass and down three to the coast." "You're not coming back this way?" "I could. What you got in mind, gorgeous?" "I thought you might like some company. I'm off tomorrow and my boy friend and I aren't speaking. He's such a jerk. How long before we'd be back?" "Hmmmm, bout this time tomorrow night or a bit later. Before sunrise, I should think." "I'll let you know.
I'm off in an hour." She glances at her watch, "Oh, in just over half an hour." She looks at him mischievously and says, "I won't have to wake you.
You'll probably just be done eating." "I'll wait for you.
I wouldn't want you to climb up into the wrong truck." He grins broadly. She goes to wash off a nearby table and glances often to where he's watching her.
Mike finishes his sandwich and sips on the Coke. As she bends over to wipe down the seats in a booth he catches a good view of her long shapely legs.
She wiggles her bottom as she wipes the vinyl down then straightens herself as she goes to the next table. Mike feels an all too familiar stirring in his loins and drops his eyes. When next he looks up she is wiping the seats in that next booth. Fascinated, he watches her long legs and bottom wiggle back and forth then realizes she's peeking over the seat watching him. Her eyes are laughing in merriment as she ducks her head back down.
He glances at his watch. It's nearly eleven so he figures she must get off at midnight, local time. When he looks up again he can't see her. In a few minutes she comes out of the kitchen with a light jacket over her uniform and a purse under her arm. Mike gets up and meets her near the till. She waits as he pays his bill then walks ahead of him out of the center. Outside Mike catches up her hand and leads her towards the back of the center.
He has pulled into an area away from the lights so he can rest. He says, "That's my big blue rig just up ahead there.
What do you think of it?" "It's awfully big when you get up close to it. Don't I get in the other side?" "You can climb up my side and slide over. You'll see." He shows her where to put her feet and boosts her up the first few steps. "How do I open the door? Oh, I see the knob." She opens the door and slides in on the seat. She bounces up and down on the air ride as Mike joins her in the doorway. "Look at all the instruments. How do you know what they all mean?" "Oh, you soon learn which ones are important and which ones only require an odd glance.
It's just a matter of practice. If you'll slide up on the console there, I'll be able to come in, too." She stands and slides her ass gingerly onto the padded console. "I won't break anything here, will I?" "No, no. It's just a padded sheet of metal." Mike steps in and puts his knees on the seat, sliding an arm around her waist. His other hand presses on the padding as he says, "See, it's nice and padded.
Sort of comfortable, isn't it?" In this position his mouth is near her ear. "Just like the back seat in your favorite car, isn't it?" His lips brush her cheek and when they touch hers, she brings her arms around his neck. The kiss is long and sweet. Mike says in a husky voice, "Oh Cathy, you have the sweetest lips I think I have ever tasted. May I do that again?" She doesn't hesitate, "Please." No sooner has the word left her mouth than it's engaged with his again and she tries to squirm a little closer.
When they part she is breathing a little faster and Mike says, "The curtain behind you leads into the sleeper. Do you want the lights on?" "Please leave them off." She scrambles through the curtain and Mike follows her.
He guides her to sit on the bunk then sits down beside her to kiss her again. This time there is real passion in her kiss and she impatiently shrugs out of her jacket as Mike takes it from her shoulders and starts unbuttoning her uniform.
They part and she says impatiently, "Here, let me." She undoes the top section as Mike slips off his shirt and T-shirt in the dark. When next he takes her into his arms her bare breasts press into his chest. He eases her form back on the bunk and runs his hands slowly and gently over her breasts. "You have the softest skin. So smooth and silky." His lips linger, kissing her breast as his hand caresses the other. Soon he is busy running his hands all over her body, stopping to kiss and lick a spot here and a spot there.
Up, up those long tapered legs his exploration continues till she moans and reaches for him. "Oh Mike, I hardly know you." She's panting. "Please stop for a minute." She catches his advancing hand in hers and holds it against her inner thigh.
He waits. Slowly she draws it up between her legs and sighs. "Please, don't hurt me. Your very big and I'm scared." She rubs herself with his hand and moans again, moving her hips slowly.
"I'll be gentle, beautiful Cathy. You guide me along the way." He removes his clothing then lifts her hips, helping her to remove hers. He lays down beside her in the narrow bunk and she feels his stiff erection. "Oh wow! It's so much bigger than I expected. Please go slow, Mike." "You set the pace. I'll do as you say, all the way." He kisses her while he teases her breasts and pussy.
Finally she draws him to her, gasping for air and wriggling against him. Much later she murmurs, "Oh Mike, it was never like that before. I saw stars and lights and heard music pounding in my veins, over and over. What did you do to me?" "I awakened the woman in you, beautiful Cathy. You have so much to offer and you are only beginning to realize how much.
It's you who did wild and wonderful things for me." "I did? I guess I did. That must be why you were able to go on and on like that. I felt myself gushing over and over again." They whisper like this in the dark and soon Mike sets the alarm. He cradles her in his arms and suggests they get some sleep. She kisses his cheek and says, "Good night." At four, Mike's time, they enjoy a repeat performance before he goes for a shower and her to the washroom.
They have breakfast and are on the road to Calgary shortly after six. For the first miles down through the canyons of the Kicking Horse River she sits in the passenger seat and watches the scenery go by. When they get out on the level along by Field, she retires to the sleeper. When she emerges she has changed out of her uniform into jeans and a sweatshirt.
She stops to talk to him for a minute on the console and decides to stay there, near to his shoulder. "Does it bother you to have me up here beside you?" "Not at all. I rather prefer it. I don't have to shout across the cab at you." "It's so big in here. It's like a large control room on wheels. I never realized how big these trucks really are." "You really haven't been in one of these rigs before?" She grins and says, "Truthfully, I have not.
I know we truck stop waitresses get a bad name for riding around with truckers, but I have never done this before. I guess I wouldn't have done it this time if I hadn't been fighting with Bob. He's such a child, compared to you. Oh well, I suppose you have a wife and six kids at home somewhere." Mike glances at her and says, "Three." "Yeah, I might have known. This trip will be fun, anyway, and then I guess it'll be back to Bob.
We're going to get another chance to, you know, before we get back, aren't we?" "Almost anytime you say the word." Mike flashes her a toothy grin. She responds with a refreshing laugh. "You won't get much rest this trip, if that's the case." They both laugh.
In Calgary he drops the trailers and hooks onto the long box going east. He calls Central Dispatch and there are no changes. They pull out and head due east in the haze and damp showers that dot the prairies.
Mike pulls in at Brooks and buys her lunch. They make quite a team since she is almost as tall as he. As they continue down number one towards the Hat, Mike comments, "Your not wearing a bra under that sweat shirt, are you?" She pulls it up and he says, "I didn't think so. They certainly stay up there nice and firm for being so large. Not too large, mind you. Just right for your build. Let's see those again." He glances and says, "Oh gal, cover them up.
I'll never keep this rig on the road if I'm admiring those." She laughs and pulls her shirt down. He asks, "When did you get the tat?" "Just last year. I thought the butterfly would be just right. She laughs and pulls her shirt down. "Maybe we should stop if you're distracted.
Wouldn't it be dangerous to drive if you don't have your mind on the job." Mike laughs and says, "You might be right but I better keep on trucking. We have to make hay while the sun shines, you know." He chuckles as she puzzles over that one. They drive through Medicine Hat and on out to the border of Saskatchewan. Another hour sees them at Gull Lake. Mike drops the trailer in the yard, putting the bills into the pouch and looks for the one he is to take back to the coast.
He can't find it so he calls Toronto on his cell phone. The westbound truck has broken down near Swift Current. He can either wait for the load for a few hours or he can drive on through to meet the other truck. They suggest he wait and get a couple hours sleep. He agrees and bids them a good night. He glances at Cathy and sees stars dancing in her eyes. He nods and she bounces through the curtain into the sleeper. He pulls the rig to one side of the yard and goes back to join her.
After dark someone thumps on the side of the truck. Mike calls out he's awake. Cathy holds him tight and whispers, "Oh God, it's never going to be the same with Bob. What am I going to do?" "You'll be patient and teach him what you want. It'll work, you'll see." "I hope so, but I doubt it will ever be this good." He slaps her bare ass and says, "Come on, we have to get trucking.
It's still a long ways to Golden." He slides out of the bunk and says, "You can stay and get some sleep if you want." She murmurs, "Maybe for a little while." The big blue Kenworth leaves the yard in the night and starts to burn up the miles.
Soon a near full moon is peeking at him in the side window low on the horizon. He starts north from Medicine Hat and a shadow joins him at his elbow. "What a beautiful moon. It's shining just for us tonight, Mike." She whispers near his shoulder. "It's shining because it knows you are here so it can light your beauty." The roar of the engine seems muted and far away. "In the moonlight you are like an angel sent to me to claim my heart and soul. You beguile me. You tempt me to lose myself in those oh so deep eyes, like a mermaid to the sailors of long ago.
Your siren song is your beauty, your young exuberance, your honest sensuality. I could lose myself in you." "Mike, it's only me, Cathy, the truck stop waitress. I won't tempt you any more, I promise.
Do you want me to go over there?" She nods towards the passenger seat. In a husky voice Mike says, "Please stay." No words are spoken as they ride in the moonlight until Mike pulls into the truck stop at Brooks.
Now the spell is broken and they laugh together as they go in, hand in hand. Soon they are on the road again and by midnight they are approaching Calgary. Mike says, "We should be into Golden by three. Traffic is light so the going is easy." "Will you sleep in Golden again tonight?" "Think I should?" "I think so." "One last time, eh?" She doesn't say anything because nothing needs to be said.
Mike keeps the throttle even as they bound through Calgary and start into the foothills out through the Bow Valley. By three they are pulling into the yard at the Husky in Golden. By five he's kissing her good-bye. Around eight he goes for a shower and a quick breakfast. By nine he's heading into the Selkirks bound for the Rogers Pass.
He keeps the hammer down and drives straight through to Kamloops on number one. Then it's onto the Coquihalla and three hours to Hope. He's down into the Fraser Valley by dark and pulls into Chilliwack around ten. He exits by the airport and drives out Young Road. Just past Clarke Drive, he crosses the bridge over the slough and swings right.
On his right are the lights of the houses on the slough; while on his left are the hop fields. He watches the far shoulder for a wide spot then uses a lane to turn the rig around.
He's thankful he only has a long box. It would be tricky turning a train around. He comes back opposite number 14 and pulls off on the wide shoulder. He can see a soft light in Trudy's bedroom as he shuts the rig down for the night. As he climbs down he hears footsteps running and turns to see Trudy coming up the road. He catches her up in his arms and she kisses him before she says a word. Finally she breaks and says, "Welcome home, honey." He carries her still as he walks towards the corner and the bridge.
"I've got lots of surprises for you. You can let me down, now." "Nothing you've got can surprise me." He let's her down and they walk hand in hand. "Wanna bet? Number one, I quit my job. The same day you left. That bastard wouldn't keep his hands off me. I told him to shove the job up his ass. Surprised?" "I must admit that I am a bit.
What else?" "Number two, I found all the skip tracers, called ABC Security and sent the form in to them. Your money will be in next week." "Wow! All of them?" "Addresses and phone numbers on almost all of them; at least one or the other on all. Number three; you now have a Chilliwack branch, sir. I got a post office box and used my phone number.
Wait till you see your new letterhead. Mike Claymore, Security Consultant, Home office your address in Abbotsford and your phone plus cell number, Chilliwack Branch our new box number and my phone number. May be contacted through ABC Security Services in Abbotsford and their phone numbers. What do you think?" They are now approaching the house and she leads him around to the sliding glass doors.
"I want you all to myself tonight. They don't even have to know your here until morning. You didn't answer me. What do you think about the new letterhead? Here, I'll show you one. I turned them out on my computer." Mike studies the letterhead as she goes on. "Number four." She hands him another printout. He glances at it and gives a low whistle. "Is this the two vehicle owners financial reports? I see by the synopsis at the bottom that one is involved in skimming profits from his father's business and the other heavily in debt.
How accurate is the information on the first? Never mind, I see you included that in your report. You've been working miracles while I was away. You have a real knack for this sort of thing." "I have some ideas you can try on the stolen stereo case but I'll tell you more about them in the morning. First you need a shower.
When you get done with that I have more surprises." She opens the connecting door to the bathroom and goes to start the shower for him as he sheds some clothes. As he steps into the hot downpour and lets the heat play on his shoulders then lathers up, he tries to comprehend all she's done.
He thinks that she has in three short days accomplished a transformation in his lifestyle and business here in the Fraser Valley. He's not entirely sure if he approves of it all. She has done for his security business what Marlene has done for their family.
She's taken charge. The hot cascade works it's magic and soon he feels invigorated in a lazy sort of way. He turns off the shower and slides back the enclosure panel.
Trudy is waiting with two bath towels and hands him one. As he rubs his face and hair she starts in on his torso. She's in a loose fitting sheer robe now and he likes what he sees.
She dries his back and his feet while he finishes the rest. "Now, try on these slippers and robe. I think they will fit just perfect.
How do they feel?" Mike puts his arms around her and says, "They fit like they should. When did you get them? Thank you." "Don't thank me yet. They're on the expense account for the Chilliwack Branch under protective clothing." She giggles and leads him back to the bedroom where she has laid out coffee by the bedside. She has also turned back the covers on the bed. The only light she has left on is the bedside lamp and Mike can just make out the shape of the rig across the slough by the hop fields.
"Don't let your coffee get cold. I fixed it just the way you like it." He leaves the window and sits on the bed beside her. "Aren't you having any?" "I'll have a sip of yours.
I think you're so handsome in your nice new robe. By the way, do you have tennis shorts and runners? If you can get away, we have a match with Christine and her husband Sunday morning about ten.
If you can't, don't worry. I told her you might be out on the road." "Whoa now! Sunday I plan to spend with Marlene and the kids. Don't start planning my free time so quickly. Take it easy. I like most of what I see, but I only need a manager for Chilliwack, not my life." He sips his coffee and watches her reaction to what he's said.
Her lip protrudes a bit then she smiles. "Okay, boss. Whatever you say. Finish your coffee and come to bed." She climbs over to the other side and kicks off her slippers then slides under the covers.
Mike downs his coffee and reaches for the lamp. "Please leave it on, Mike, I want to see you as well as feel you tonight." Happily he leaves the lamp glowing and goes to her in the bed. Around eight in the morning Mike wakes to the trouncing of little feet on his stomach. He feels Trudy's flesh on his over one leg and along his side. Sleepily he kisses her awake and says, "Whose child is this that's sneaked in here during the night?" He frees an arm from the covers and reaches to tickle Crystal as she dances on him.
"Crystal, I told you Mommy was going to sleep in this morning. What are you doing in here?" Mike grins and says, "She's just curious, aren't you, little princess? Your just glad to see me, right?" "Mike's home, Mommy. Can he come out to play with me?" "You run along. Mommy's not finished playing with Mike. Be a good girl now." She grins at him and slides an arm over his chest, reaching with her lips for his.
"Mommy's kissing Mike! Mommy's kissing Mike!" She runs out the bedroom door leaving it wide open. Mike stretches and says, "I guess we better get up.
It looks like we won't get any peace this morning." "I suppose your right. Kiss me one more time." "No! No! You know where that leads. Come on, I'll race you to the bathroom." He throws back the covers and grabs the robe but she's through the door ahead of him. He stands in the door shaking his head as she sits on the can, "You sure can move when you want to." He goes back and closes the bedroom door.
After breakfast with the family he dons his work clothes again, goes over all the paperwork she has for him, puts some in his briefcase and kisses her good-bye. He circle checks the rig and trailer then starts the diesel clanking. Black smoke belches out and floats down along the slough, but soon it's purring in it's deep throated way and he releases the air brakes with a sharp hiss. It lurches then pulls smoothly away as he waves across the slough to Trudy standing in the bedroom doors.
She waves back as he pulls out of sight across the bridge on Young Road. Near the school he pulls briefly on the air horn to Crystal and she waves, on her way to class. He crosses town and heads west on the freeway.
As he passes Abbotsford he thinks he should call Marlene but then thinks better of it. Why disturb her morning with Jeff, although he may not be there this early. He checks his watch and notices it's near ten. He's probably there or on his way. He dials ABC Security instead. "Good morning, it's Mike Claymore. I thought I better check and see if you got those addresses and phone numbers we sent you for the skip tracing job?" "Good morning Mike.
Congratulations! We just got your flyer in the mail, and yes, the skip tracing work has gone in to the finance company already.
Great job; is what the boss said." Mike looks puzzled but says, "You got the flyer already? What did you think of it?" "It seems to be worded just right. We've got two inquiries this morning about work in the Chilliwack area. One's another skip tracing job for a Chilliwack firm. I think they're sending the work direct to your Chilliwack box. The other was just a general inquiry, but some work may come out of it in the future. Your Chilliwack secretary, is it Trudy?
I talked with her the other day and I think she said her name was Trudy. Anyway, she must be busy with phone calls this morning." "Yeah, I think she is. Which reminds me, I better check in with her. I'll see you later. Bye now." He dials Trudy's number but the line is busy. Traffic is getting heavier as he nears Vancouver so he gives up on the cell phone.
He has to slow down for traffic around the Langley exit and it is a slower grind from there to the Port Mann scale house. He sits for ten minutes in the line up for the scales then heads down the hill for the bridge. On the other side he takes the exit and swings around onto the Mary Hill By-pass. Soon he's waiting at the lights to turn left onto Kingsway and when he makes the turn it's only half a block to the CPX Terminal.
Friday morning traffic is heavy but he gets a chance and makes his turn. Diesel roaring he moves up through the gears only to brake and gear down again to swing into the yard. He pulls around into the area behind the shops and parks for a moment. He's charged up with sensual energy ever since Crystal made it impossible for him and Trudy to go back to bed, so he dials his cell phone, glancing at his watch.
He hears, "Port Coquitlam Detachment, may I help you?" "You can if you're free for a nooner." "Mike! You're back. Oh yes, I'll see you in half an hour. When did you get in?" "Just pulled into the yard. I'll change and be right over. Got to run, the spotter's signaling me. See ya." Mike waves at the spotter who signals with three fingers twice. Mike pulls ahead along side of him and hollers "Is that door six or thirty three where you want it?" The other driver grins and calls, "Thirty three." Mike swings around the terminal and notices number thirty-three is just being rolled up.
He toots his air horn and backs in to the door. Before he has the dollies cranked down he can hear the back door on the trailer being rolled up. He eases out from under the trailer and goes to the edge of the dock. To a foreman he says, "You can have the bills." He hands them up, "Seal number is on them and if they haven't lost it yet, you can check it. Please sign the bottom as received." He takes his copy, folds it and shoves it into his shirt pocket. He waves to the foreman as he pulls his rig around the terminal and out by the fence next to the parking lot.
He shuts her down then jumps down and opens the bleeder valve on the air lines. He climbs back up and goes into the sleeper. He changes into jogging pants and a clean white pull over sweatshirt. He grabs his briefcase, climbs back down and goes to the Mustang. Mike lets it idle to warm up while he puts the top down, and roars out of the lot down Kingsway. When he reaches the Detachment, she's standing by the curb looking at her watch.
He reaches across and pushes her door open for her. "Been waiting long?" "I came out early. I see you're only a couple of minutes late." She slides in and closes the door before sliding over next to him. "How was this run? You've been gone since Tuesday.
I've missed you." Caught at a light in traffic, Mike turns and kisses her. She looks flustered and glances every which way at the traffic all around them. "Oh Mike, everyone is looking." He pulls her close and kisses her again. She drops her head against his chest as he pulls ahead through the lights.
Soon her hair is blowing in the wind and they are driving down the road by the river. He pulls down into their favorite spot and all conversation ceases. As if by mutual consent their attentions turn to each other and the pleasures they can bring to the meeting. If prior meetings had not proved fertile, this one would most certainly have done so. "No period, eh?" They're catching their breath and sitting by the river on the bank. Mike's car robe is rumpled under them. She tries to tidy her hair as Mike holds her small compact mirror for her.
She smiles and shakes her head in the negative. "Guess what? I tried to call Jeff at his office on Wednesday morning. He wasn't there so I called your place. The phone rang for quite a few times before Marlene answered and she was all out of breath. I asked to speak to Jeff and the phone line was quiet for a while then he said, 'What do you want, Nina'. Just like that! He admitted that night that he goes over to her almost every morning when you're away.
I guess you were right. I don't feel guilty at all, now. So kiss me and do whatever you want, whenever you want. I don't care. Just be with me whenever you can.
Is that all right with you?" "I knew they were still meeting. It doesn't change my feelings a great deal for Marlene. I am very unfair to her by staying out on the road days at a time.
It must get awfully lonely for her and Jeff is a good man. He's a man I can trust with my life, so I guess I should trust him with my wife. He won't hurt her and will try to be discreet. I'm sorry if it troubles you that he is screwing someone else. I don't like to see any troubles come your way. I think a great deal of you, both of you and the new one, too. Have you had any bites on the house yet?" "A few but no decent offers. A house always gets a lot of attention when it first comes on the market.
I don't expect it to sell before we have to go back east." "When do you have to go?" "There's no word yet. Probably within the next two months. I think I will take the pregnancy test in about three weeks. Then I'll tell Jeff. I hope he's as happy as I am, but there's no way to tell how he'll react." She takes Mike's hand and puts it on her belly, urging him to rub her some. She lays back and smiles contentedly.
Mike glances at his watch and says they better get going. They rush around and she's a few minutes late getting back. Hurriedly she kisses him and runs up the walk. Mike heads back to CPX.
At the yard he pulls his rig around to fuel it up then parks it in the lineup. He goes upstairs and chats with dispatch for a bit.
When he returns to the parking lot he puts the top down again, checks his briefcase that it hasn't been touched and pulls into the yard by his truck. He loads up his overnight bag, laundry and garbage then heads out the gate for home. He pulls into his driveway and notices the station wagon isn't home. He unlocks the side door and takes his gear in the house. The phone is ringing so he drops his gear in the kitchen and grabs the phone. "Hello, Mike here." "Uh, hello.
Is Mrs. Claymore there, please?" It's an older female voice. "No, she's gone out. May I tell her who called?" "Just tell her Mrs. Caldwell called from the Diabetes Foundation. She'll know what it's about. Thank you." "Should I have her call you back?" Mike is too late with his query. The lady has hung up. He shrugs and picks up his laundry and briefcase. He takes them downstairs, laundry to laundry-room and briefcase to office.
He pulls out the files and starts studying them. "I thought you must be down here. I saw your car in the drive and your bag by the kitchen door. When did you get home?" "About an hour ago, dear. A Mrs. Caldwell called from the Diabetes Association.
She said you'd know what it was all about. She didn't say if you were to call back." "Oh. That's probably their annual drive to raise funds. She always calls to see if we have any clothes to donate. I'll look after it. You look all done in. Did the girls at the truck stops gang up on you?" An edge creeps into her voice. "And I was just going to ask you if that's Jeff's tie laying by the bed upstairs." She whirls around and leaves, going into the laundry room.
She comes back in a few minutes and says, "I'm sorry I was snide. I miss you a lot when you're on the road. Jeff doesn't start to take your place. No one could." She kneels beside his office chair and puts her arms around his neck. "Please forgive me." She yearns for a kiss and Mike obliges. "Why don't you put down the paperwork and come have a cup of coffee with me before the children come home?" It's a pleasant evening around the Claymore household.
After supper Mike spends some time with the kids, and later when the dishes are all done up, Marlene joins them. They put the children to bed then watch the news together. When they go to bed they sleep together like fond lovers.