Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel Chapt.7:3

ec556-moonthumbI drove to the beach again, parked where I had the night before, changed quickly then entered the ocean. Just like before, the area was deserted.

I hoped I would see something in the daylight hours that I’d missed last night. I plunged into the deep and located the spot I’d seen the sharks the night before. There were only two sharks swimming around, so I decided to check out the area. I waited until they swam father away and headed over kicking lightly.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted it; at least I thought I did. I swam by it and now had to backtrack. Slowly I circled, swimming back to the spot where I thought I saw an entrance to a cave, so did the sharks I’d seen earlier.

I checked the air in my tanks then waited, wishing the sharks would leave. I knew I was going to have to swim back up to the surface soon and could only give them 10 minutes to vacate the area. When they didn’t I swam back to the beach.

I committed the cave entrance to memory for the next time I was here while I changed clothes. I had to get in that cave; I could feel it draw me with the very fabric of my being. Since my scars weren’t burning, now seemed like the perfect time of day to do it.

I started my car and searched the area; still deserted, along with the normally busy highway. A chill ran down my spine, this place was strange.

I wondered what would happen if I brought Max back, and knew the answer as soon as I thought the question. The road would be full of vehicles, there would be people cruising up and down the beach. It didn’t matter I told myself as I drove away. The emptiness served my purpose.

Not long after I pulled onto the highway people were driving around me to and from the beach. I made a mental note to pay more attention to when people actually disappeared and/or reappeared as I came and went from this spot.

I ran my errands, picking up newspapers, and a ton of B-Vitamins on the way. I arrived home with an hour or more to spare until Max arrived.

The moment I stepped into the entrance way my cell phone rang. Setting down my bags I reached into my pocket to look at the display.

“Hey.” I said.

“Hey.” Max replied. “Something’s come up. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind meeting me at my condo tonight.”

“Not at all,” I wrote down the directions he gave me.

“Give me a couple of hours. If I’m not there when you arrive go to the front desk, they’ll have a key for you.”

“Sounds good, should I pick up some food on the way?”

“No, I’ll see you tonight.”

I closed my phone, put away the odds and ends I bought, gave Killer a fresh breath bone then walked up to my room with the papers. I would take a short nap; flip through the papers, then meet Max.

“There’s nothing in any of the papers!” I screamed beating my fists against the steering wheel of my car.

I’d been ranting and pacing for the last half hour, now I had to meet Max.

“This is so frustrating.” I took some long, deep, breaths. “Ugh. I need to calm down.”

I thumped my head on the steering wheel then turned the engine over.

“Okay, you have 25 minutes to compose yourself and put a smile on your face.” I mumbled pulling out of my drive.

**

Almost a half hour later, after having to slow down a few times so I wouldn’t get a speeding ticket, I pulled through the security gate to Max’s resort for beach front condos. I found his building, there were four separate ones, planted a smile on my face and knocked on his door.

The security guard had instructions to give me the key regardless of whether he was there. I had it tucked into my pocket.

He was there, so I waited until he answered the door. I wasn’t ready to move to the next level of our relationship by using the key.

“Didn’t you get the key?” He asked, stepping to the side so I could enter his condo.

“Yes, but you’re here.”

He shook his head. “You are a stubborn woman.”

I shrugged.

“Dinners on the table, pizza, cokes, and salad, help yourself.”

“Thanks.”

I opened the sliding glass door and stepped out on the beach, lit a smoke and glanced out at the ocean. I could see lightning in the distance, a storm was moving in, kicking up the waves, making them froth and foam.

“I won’t be able to stay for long Killer’s afraid of thunder.”

Max chuckled as he lit one of my smokes. “I love that dog. I have the information you asked for.”

“You do? That was quick.”

“I had a few extra minutes today. You’re starting to look a little thin. Get some pizza and we’ll go through it.”

I grabbed some of everything and sat down. He handed me the folder, it was thicker than I’d expected. I ate a couple of bites of pizza, set it down, and then opened the folder.

“As you can see he isn’t the most exemplary person.” Max said.

I flipped through the pages scanning them in the process. This was exactly what I was hoping for. A gust of wind blew in from the open door, a huge bolt of lightning lit up the night sky, followed by the crack of thunder.

Max hurried over to shut the sliding glass door, slamming it just as the rain hit.

“And to think there wasn’t even a cloud in the sky when I left.” I chuckled.

“At least it isn’t raining or snowing without a cloud in the sky.”

That’s a common occurrence in New Mexico.

I tucked the folder into the front of my jeans then covered the rest of it with my shirt so it wouldn’t get wet.

“I need to get back home. I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon, but Killers probably freaking out.”

“Leave your car here I’ll drive.”

“There’s no need for that Max.”

“My truck will do much better in the rain than your Challenger.”

He was, of course, right. My car would be fishtailing all over the road. The rain was now coming down in torrents. We quickly put the food away and ran to his truck.

“Care to drive?” Max asked teasingly, starting the engine.

“Yes.” I replied, remembering the time I’d taken his truck without his permission.

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