More of God's Beauty...
He bobbed his head to the music, smiling in contentment as he drove toward his objective. His time had finally come. He’d waited five long years for this moment; he was going to face the woman who’d put him in jail. He grinned, rubbing his hand over his stubbled cheeks.
The catchy tune on the radio was replaced with a news statement. They’d restored electricity to most of the town and the water was back on, but with a boil alert in effect.
This just makes it better for what I have in mind. He grinned. He’d been secluded for a long time and couldn’t wait for some female attention. He felt antsy and excited. He pounded the dash of his old blue, rust-covered pick-up. “Come on old blue. Get a move on. I can almost taste what awaits me. He cackled.
He didn’t care what anyone said. That girl had asked for what he’d given her. Why else would she have passed by his open door humming one of his favorite songs? Why would she be wearing such a provocative perfume?
He’d gone out his apartment door and followed a few feet behind her in silence, sniffing her perfume and forming a plan. Her long chestnut hair streamed out behind her as she passed one of the huge fans. He’d caught his breath as her fruity scent wafted past him. His stomach growled, but he knew it was a different appetite that had been awakened. His plan to ask her out was replaced with something more sinister. Way more sinister. He grinned.
He let the episode roll past his mind, reliving the whole thing. His heart sped-up. He’d stood behind her as she’d belted out the words to the song loud and clear. He was impressed and it fueled the flames of his fire.
He watched as she ran her hands through her hair, totally oblivious to his presence. She didn’t know he was there because he was behind her, but that wouldn’t really matter because he’d passed her in the hallway on many different occasions and she hadn’t acknowledged his existence then, either.
Anger had washed through his veins at the realization. He couldn’t dispel his attraction, but he could definitely re-route it. And that’s what he’d done. As she hit the last high note he’d rushed up behind her and put his arm around her neck, covering her chest with his hand. He’d groaned at the warm, full feeling. At the feminine smell of her skin, and he’d lost sanity.
The next thing he knew she was on the ground and he was above her. The terror on her face delighted him and he’d laughed. She was screaming, so he’d pushed his arm back into her throat. “You know you want this, so shut-up before I have to kill you.”
She’d whimpered. He’d felt a moment’s guilt, then continued his assault. He remembered ever last minute of it, and he gloried in it. He’d never felt so powerful.
He pulled himself from his thoughts. He needed to concentrate on the task at hand. The past was the past. He had to make new memories now… Five years in jail had given him plenty of time to plan his next assault. This time he wouldn’t stop. He would do the unthinkable… He panted as a fleeting image pushed through his brain. He couldn’t wait.
He laughed. The sound was so maniacal it even scared him.
Jedidiah kissed Janna on the forehead. “We’ll make this work. Everything will be okay.”
She nodded. “I think so. I have faith in your ability to protect us.”
He grinned. “Don’t be so sure. Sometimes I’m not even sure how long I can restrain my… feelings.” He bent over and sat the boy in his chair, adjusting him by the bar encased in plaster before returning his gaze to her.
“What do you mean?”
He gave her a knowing look.
Her face turned red. “Oh.”
“Yeah.” He gave a rueful grin before walking to the stove and dishing up their plates.
“Am I causing that? I mean, is it my fault?”
His blue eyes pierced her amber ones. “Yes honey, you are. But it’s not your fault. It’s mine. I don’t have enough self-restraint.”
She pulled some milk from the fridge and sat it on the table. “Oh…”
He laughed. “Well, the good news is I figured out how to shut you up.”
She laughed with him. “I don’t talk that much, do I?” A niggling voice in her brain reminded her just a while ago she’d gone berserk when he’d touched her.
He sat down at the table after situating Jessie. “No, not at all, but it sounded funny in the moment.”
“Look Janna. After supper we need to talk.”
A sigh escaped her full, red lips. “I know.” She already missed the closeness of the moment they’d shared just minutes ago.
They finished their meal in silence. Jedidiah was surprised to see Jessie had finished his whole plate without making too much of a mess. He’d been taught well.
He scooted his chair back. “I’ll put him down for the night.” He picked the boy up and carried him out of the room.
Janna busied herself cleaning up the dishes. She scraped them and placed them in the dishwasher, ready to wash when there was a full load. She wiped the table down and then plopped in her chair, exhausted. She wasn’t quite over her ordeal yet, but at least she was alive.
Jedidiah returned to the kitchen and took his seat. “He’s almost asleep. I think he’s going to be a good kid. His mother did a wonderful job with him.”
Tears filled Janna’s eyes. “She did. She was an awesome mom. And it’s my fault she’s gone.” Her shoulders shook with sobs.
“No it’s not. Why would you say that?”
“She wanted to come to my house that night, but I wanted to go to hers because she had a basement. And look,” She gestured around her kitchen. “My house is still standing, and without one little spot or blemish. If I hadn’t insisted, maybe she’d still be here.”
“You don’t know that, honey.”
She took a deep breath. He needed to know how vile she was. “She told me the tornado was headed straight for her house. I didn’t care. I pushed on forward, believing we would be safer at her house. And now Jessie has to do without a mommy.” She swiped at the tears flowing down her cheeks. “I am so sorry.”
Jedidiah was at her side pulling her into his arms before she could form anymore words. “Hush. It wasn’t your fault. You couldn’t know what was going to happen.”
“But I didn’t listen to her, Jedidiah…”
He laid a finger over her lips. “It’s okay.” He squeezed her, resting his lips on top of her head. After a few minutes, he asked, “Did you really mean what you said earlier?”
“What?” She pulled back and looked up into his face.
“That you wanted to marry me.”
She remained silent for a moment, studying his eyes. They were so beautiful. So full of light and joy. “Yes. I did.”
“But you don’t even know me.”
“I know, but I will. I want that.”
He groaned. “As do I.” He captured her lips with his.
He buried his hands in her hair and pulled her face away from his just far enough to rain kisses over the soft surface.
***Outside the window, a man stood watching, his heart so full of rage he couldn’t think for a minute. Then he swore into the darkness, “He will die too… After I make him suffer for daring to take what is mine.”