Rough Love…the conclusion draws nigh…new writing, unedited, incomplete…

Walter and Chief White drove out to the swamp, the headlights of the squad car bouncing up and down as Walter ignored the potholes and fire breaks. White held onto the rack above the door and grunted as the vehicle chassis banged against the ground.

“Tell me about Amber Rae, Walter.”

“She was my high school sweetheart. Roy took what he wanted from her, but she never recovered from it.”

“He got her pregnant?”

“No sir, she withdrew into herself. Um, the doctors say she had a psychotic break. They ran tests and drew blood. The doctors took pictures of her brain, and put her in therapy, but she never came out of her shell.”

“Why did Roy pick Amber Rae?”

“Because I loved her” Walter sighed. “Amber Rae and I loved each other, and it wasn’t the puppy dog love people mistake their temporary passion for. Roy wanted her, and she refused him. He tried to persuade her, not with a club or his fists, he tried to woo her.”

“And she denied him?”

“Yeah. He decided she needed brought low, so he taught her and me a lesson.”

“And that lesson is what?”

“Don’t screw with the Carver family. They come from old money; nothing is withheld from them. He took her out here to Widow’s Point, and…”

“It’s okay, Walter. You don’t have to re-live it.”

“No, Amber Rae deserves that much. He and several others raped her, then all of them beat her with a tire iron. They did things with it…Now, he’s got Janie. I can’t let anything happen to her.”

White slapped Walter on the back and said, “We’re gonna find her in time, Walter. She’s out here somewhere. You take Roy. It sounds as if you and he need to settle a score.”

“We do. I appreciate you riding out here with me.”

“Absolutely. I suppose I should tell you, I’m the permanent Chief of Police for Angie. Word came down from higher up. I’ll stick around for a while.”

Walter grinned and said, “That’s great news, chief. Janie will appreciate that.”

“We’ll see. I think she and Hathcock were fond of each other.”

“Yeah, but that went out the window when she found out he betrayed the town and her.”

Roy drove to Widow’s Point and pulled up beside Royce’s Toyota Tundra. He climbed out of his truck and yelled, “Y’all come help me with this.”

Two burly men, both bearded, appeared from the shadows and grabbed Janie from the floorboard. They followed Roy to a tree, and he snapped, “Throw her down right there. Lean her against it.”

One of the goons pushed Janie against the tree. Blood pooled from her head and mouth. Roy dropped a ratchet strap to the ground and looped the strap around the tree and Janie. Then, he tightened it up until she was securely fastened to the tree and unable to move.

“Wake up,” Roy snapped, as he slapped her face. “I said wake up!” Janie stirred and leaned back to avoid the next slap. “There she is,” Roy yelped with joy. “Rise and shine, cop! You’re the main event, and I brought some friends to help tame you.”

Janie glared at Roy and scowled. To his dismay, she refused to struggle against the strap, nor did her situation frustrate her, instead she leaned back and met his eyes never once speaking nor screaming.

He leaned close to her face and snarled, “I’m going to do to you what I did to Amber Rae. Did Walter ever tell you what I did to his one great love?”

Janie said nothing, and Roy blushed. “Fine,” he growled at the silent captive. “Let me show you.” He turned and walked to his truck and took out his tire iron. Janie’s eyes widened as Roy strode back toward her. She watched as Roy swung the tire iron from the side and slammed it against her right knee.

The sound of her knee breaking filled the swamp, followed by the hoots and hollers of the mob.  Behind their jeers and laughter were Janie’s sobs of pain.

“It’s going to be a long night,” Roy yelled, as he leaned in her face, his eyes wide with madness. He howled with laughter and gave the tire iron to one of his goons.

“Break something,” he said, pointing at Janie. “I want this broad toothless, blind, and dumb before we leave here. Let Walter find what’s left.”

Janie leaned back against the tree and closed her eyes as the hulking man walked toward her.

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