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Old 04-13-2010, 11:30 PM   #1
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Lost Highway - Chapter 7

Title: Lost Highway
Authors: 1screamingangel & wo_speaking
Rating: PG13

*************************

Hester was sitting at the front desk when Sam went downstairs, a cigarette hanging out of her mouth as she laughed quietly at something on her old snowy television.

“Well good morning, sweetheart! Now what did you two lovely ladies get up to last night? Long night at the Horseshoe?” she pried, snuffing out her smoke in the dirty ashtray on the desk next to her.

“Yes ... how’d you guess? It wouldn’t be that we completely missed checkout, would it?” Sam snickered.

“Oh, don’t you worry your pretty little head about that, dear. So how do you want me to write up your bill?”

“Well, that’s just it, we’d like to stay another night or two,” Sam said, hoping this wouldn’t turn in to 20 questions.

That was wishful thinking.

“Well now. I know pretty much everything and everybody in this town, and now you’ve really got me wondering why you girls would want to stay any longer in a place like this,” Hester inquired, setting down her pen with a flourish.

She wouldn’t be awarded a job as the head of the Bridgeport, California tourist board any time soon that was for sure.

“Well, we’ve just found it a nice relaxing little place to stay, and we’re thinking of checking out Bodie today,” Sam thought quickly.

“Well I’ll be. I don’t know if anyone’s ever decided to spend another night here unless they were here on business, but I’ll be more than happy to check you in for as long as you’d like,” Hester offered. “Was your room okay last night? I’ll be sure to bring you some more towels in a little while too.”

“Oh yes, the room was fine – the beds were very comfortable, regardless of the headaches we have this morning!” Sam laughed.

“Looks like Paul kept the whiskey flowing ...”

Hester looked up from her television with a big grin spread across her chubby face.

“I hope he at least was good enough to walk you ladies back. Oh ... I bet he did,” she said with a blush, “that’s not why you’re staying now, is it?”

For a back road motel clerk, Hester sure was perceptive.

“Well, my friend Melody and him got along quite well,” Sam admitted, “I suppose you could say she might be a bit smitten.”

“Oh my,” Hester laughed, “he sure is a charmer that Paul. Can’t say he’s really long term though, if that’s what she’s looking for.”

Hester put her hand on Sam’s and looked at her in all seriousness.

“I’m sorry honey, it’s none of my business. There’s just not much else to do in this town than know everyone else’s ...”

Sam laughed and stopped to think for a moment. If there was anyone who would know what her no-name cowboy’s real name was, it would be Hester.

“It’s all right, Hester. I do have a question for you though if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Anything sweetheart, shoot,” she replied, jovially.

“There’s this man we met last night at the bar, he bought me a few drinks. Wears a black hat, long black coat, dark hair, ponytail, nice eyes ...” Sam blushed, “I don’t suppose you know his name, do you?”

“Oh ... him. I think I know who you mean – always playing pool by himself, he the one?”

“Yes, that’s him,” Sam smiled, fleeting thoughts of yesterday evening entering her head.

“Never can say I actually met him, honey; I don’t know that anyone really knows his name. I do know he lives up the highway just out of town, little brick house on the right side, little white fence ...”

“Oh well, thanks anyway, Hester,” Sam answered, committing what Hester had just revealed to memory.

“I’d stay away from him if I were you,” Hester warned. “He’s always seemed a bit odd to me, regardless if you think he’s got nice eyes or not.”

Sam sighed. For people who had never actually spoken to him, they sure had a lot of opinions.

She hadn’t really spoken to him herself, but she doubted he’d broken into many rooms in town and ravished their occupants the way he did to her last night either. Sam sure hoped he didn’t because then Mel would be right – he would just be a really creepy guy.

Well, there was nothing left to do now but let Hester make them a late lunch as she’d offered, and go back up to see if Mel had stayed awake. Sam walked very slowly up the steps and down the hall because she wanted to make sure she had a positive spin on what she intended to do with what was left of the daylight. She needed Mel to go along with her.

She knew Mel would always go along with her though, if for no other reason than to watch out for her. Mel liked a good mystery too – so that was how Sam decided to present the situation.

Mel was in the shower, which gave Sam another minute or two to rehearse what she wanted to say. Sam arranged the food tray and waited.

As Mel walked out of the bathroom in a fresh sun dress and wet hair, Sam just smiled at her.

“What?” Mel knew Sam was scheming something. She could tell by the grin on her face. Mel sat down to grab a sandwich; she was famished.

“I know where my no name cowboy lives,” was Sam’s reply. She was hoping Mel wouldn’t call him creepy guy again.

“Let’s go out to his place and see what we can find out about him. Hester says she doesn’t know too much about him,” Sam continued. She conveniently left out Hester’s warning.

“So, we are not calling him creepy guy anymore, huh? Ok Sam, I will go along with that, but only temporarily. We need to talk to this guy. Last night he sat right by you and didn’t even have the manners to speak to you, let alone ...”

Sam cut Mel off.

“Please don’t say it Mel.” Sam had a hard time thinking about last night in terms of violation of her being but knew Mel thought exactly that.

“Ok, ok Sam. I will try. But we need to move forward here. So, where does creep ... er ... un-named cowboy live? I guess we are heading out to his place?” Mel went into the small bathroom to brush out her hair and put some makeup on.

“Thanks Mel.” Sam did appreciate her trying. “How about we go see if we can just return his hat, then stop at the bar to see what else might happen this evening? I know you already know what you want to happen with Paul, right?”

“It’s that obvious?” Mel starred at herself in the mirror.

“Yeah, sure is. You all dolled up for your man already?” Sam shot back.

“You all dolled up for your unknown, unnamed cowboy who creeps around in the night?” Mel responded.

Sam and Mel shut the door behind them and walked down the steps.

Hester heard them coming down the stairs and thought about asking them where they were going, but decided not to. She knew they would end up at the Broken Horseshoe – doesn’t everyone? She mumbled a ‘be careful’ but they didn’t hear her as they had already left.

Paul heard her though. He had just quietly come down the steps.

“Just missed our two out of town guests, Paul,” Hester chided, trying to engage Paul in conversation.

“Did I now? Well, Hester, what would make you think that was any of my business?” Paul smiled back at her, charismatically.

“Heard your car pull off the road from Bodie pretty early this morning ... and when I looked out the window you had company. Looked like the pretty dark haired one. Can’t hide much here you know, handsome! And Blondie said her friend was quite taken by you. Aren’t you just the ladies man?” Hester gave him right back. “And Blondie was asking about your friend down there at the bar. Why would she be asking ‘bout him Paul? He keeps to himself, doesn’t he?” Hester sure asked a lot of questions.

“He does, but was a bit taken by Sam last night,” Paul winked at Hester and walked out the door. He didn’t want to have to answer anymore of her questions.

God, she was nosey.

*****************************

Paul was headed to the bar but was now thinking he would have to go out to his friends and see what all that was about with Sam. What exactly had happened between them that Sam would be asking about him? He knew now that Mel had seen someone in the window last night.

He sighed as he gave up on the idea of seeing Mel now. He couldn’t wait to see her and figured that she and Sam had gone to the bar. He had a little room in the back and if she was willing – God he just wanted her and right now could not remember why he hadn’t jumped at the opportunity last night. He hoped Mel had wanted to see him just as badly as he had wanted to see her. He had fought the urge all day to walk down the hall to her room and drag her back to his room if he needed to. It was his intention to end the night this way.

As he walked out of the hotel, Paul heard a familiar sound coming from behind the old library. It had been closed for years but in the back of the building, some forward thinking town official had built a beautiful fountain and garden area. He heard the guitar intro to a song he knew well and went around back to find his friend.

“What the hell are ya doing mate? What if someone hears you back here?”

“Who’s around to hear me now Paul? And who would recognize what I was playin’ in this God-forsaken little town, Paul?” saying ‘Paul’ as if to remind himself of his friend’s name.

“Scared my girl last night outside the hotel. What were ya doin’ there?” Paul asked.

“Sam is just so beautiful,” he shrugged his shoulders, “and I just wanted to see her again. I had no idea what you were up to.” He smirked from under a brown Stetson.

Paul stepped back to look at him. “Where is your black hat?” he wanted to know, but thought he already did know. “You’re out here playing that song, with your old hat on, you with her last night?” Paul demanded.

“Where were you last night, mate? Heard your car leave town pretty late and you weren’t alone ...”

“Guess we both found what we were looking for then, huh?” Paul laughed. “Hester said Sam was asking about you. Hester warned Sam to keep her distance.”

“Too late for that. Besides, she has my hat, she’ll be back.”
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:48 PM   #2
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This is a mystery!!! I. love. mysteries.

They're hiding out

I get a bad feeling about Hester, too. We shall see...
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Old 12-29-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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Hehehehehehe...'Paul' asking where Edge's hat was...
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