The conclusion of Rough Love…unedited…

Walter and Chief White stopped in the parking lot of Widow’s Point. A rotting plank walkway led deeper into the swamps, between tall cedar trees, swamp moss,  and various wildlife. Picnic tables were scattered throughout the swamp for families out enjoying their holiday jaunt. 

Memories washed over Walter’s mind. In the soft breeze he could hear Amber Rae’s sobs, and while he knew it wasn’t real, he still felt the raw emotion from the day her body was dragged from the mossy reaches of  the swamp. Big Cypress doesn’t let go of her secrets easily.

“Where would  Roy take our girl, Walter?”

“Deep within the swamp, probably where he took Amber. Roy’s a creature of habit.”

Chief White fell into step, and both men headed deeper into the swamp. Hold on Janie, help is on the way.

Janie waited for the blow to land, but it never came. Laughter broke out among the gaggle of men, and she cracked an eye open. Roy knelt down in front of her and smiled. “No closing your eyes, darling. I want you to conscious for everything I’ve planned for you. “

“Just get it over with,” Janie muttered. 

“You didn’t answer my question, cop. Did Walter tell you about Amber Rae?”

“No, I don’t remember him mentioning her.”

Roy laughed, and even his laughter reeked of anger.  He leaned close to her.  Janie turned her face from Roy and anger flooded Roy’s body, but somehow he managed to keep it under control. For now.

“Amber Rae was the prettiest girl in our school. She loved Walter, oh you should have seen it, and he loved her back. Matter of fact, they planned to wed right out of high school. Alas, I loved her too, and I just couldn’t stand the thought of Walter having her all to himself.”

“So, you killed her-like an animal.”

“No,” Roy growled. “I tried to woo her away from Walter, but she wouldn’t recognize my efforts. I come from money, but she didn’t want it. Walter grew up dirt poor, and she loved him. I could have given her the world, but she didn’t want what I offered,” Roy said, his voice rising several octaves above his normal voice. It carried throughout the swamp.  “Then, I killed her.”

Janie stayed quiet and let Roy talk. She listened to his story and prayed  Walter and the others found her before Roy succumbed to the rage within his dark heart.

“Sssh,” Walter whispered.  “Do you hear that?”

A male voice carried throughout the marsh,  and Walter beckoned for White to follow him. He drew his sidearm and rushed toward the sound. Hold on, Janie. Help is on the way.

“Tell me something, cop.  Why do you women keep trying me? Hmm? Answer me. Everyone of you whores think you can play your stupid games with me, without consequences mind you, and you expect to get away with it as well.”

“I didn’t play a game with you, Roy. I investigated you, ergo, I did my job.”

“Yes, you worked to tear down my empire. All the work of my father, my grandfather, you would have it all eradicated, and I’m not going to let you do it. Make no mistake, you will die here.”

“I don’t think so,” Garry White  said, as he aimed his weapon at the two goons standing next to Roy’s Ford Raptor. Roy drew an Old Timer hunting knife and pressed it against Janie’s throat.

“Drop the gun, “ Roy yelled. “Or I’m gonna slice this-“

Walter stepped into view behind Roy, and pressed his sidearm against Roy’s head. He thumbed the hammer back on his Taurus .357 Magnum,  and Roy flinched.  “Drop the knife, Roy.”

Roy dropped the knife to the soft earth and raised his hands. Walter him face down into the earth and handcuffed him. Chief White handcuffed the other two.  Walter loosened the strap and wrapped his arm around Janie and helped her stand. 

Chief White marched Roy and his goons out of the swamp.  Walter helped Janie limp behind them. It was over, Roy would face the charges against him, and the courts would see justice done. Amber Rae and Sue Anne could now rest peacefully.

As they made their way out of the swamp, a cool breeze swept through the swamp and sunlight glinted upon the black water, as if to say that life went on and renewal was on it’s way.

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