Last Exit Before a Dead End

Even in your fantasies while you’re pumpin’ your pole, they weren’t the kind of women that would be caught dead in ‘Last Chance’. I knew they had to be mirages, leanin’ on the side of the BMW Z4 Roadster they’d driven up to my gas pumps. Too many things wrong with the picture.

They were drivin’ a car that cost more than this whole town, lookin’ like they’d just stepped out from between the pages of a stroke book, with some clothes thrown on for modesty’s sake… and they weren’t feelin’ too modest. Early twenties, tan and lean like some god somewhere had built ’em for just two things, speed and sex. They were smilin’ at me like I was a long lost runnin’ buddy come to buy ’em another gram o’ coke instead of a gas jockey in the middle o’ nowhere. And the biggest thing wrong with the picture… they were here.

There’s no reason on God’s green Earth to be in Last Chance, Texas unless you’re lost or on the run.

Round about 1967 a film company came out here, built a whole town for a movie called “Last Chance For Sienna”. Man who owned the land made it part of the deal that they left the sets, had some fool idea about makin’ it a tourist attraction.

Movie sucked and the town never attracted anythin’ but the lost, the runnin’ and more buzzards than I ever seen before in one place.

As I walked towards the two of them I was already shakin’ my head in sorrow and sympathy.

“Sorry ladies, no gas… ain’t had none in a week. Supposed to get a truck in tomorrow or the next day.” Figured the Roadster had GPS… yup, I was right. Weren’t lost, so they were runnin’.

“You’re kidding, right? No gas? How the fuck are we supposed to get out of here?”

She was blond, a neck that pulled your eyes to her tits and her voice was ‘gimme’ nails on an ‘I-want-it-now’ chalkboard. Her feet stomped the ground like a bull announcin’ it was runnin’ time.

“Allie, if there’s no gas, there’s no gas.” Brunette, walking forward to shake my hand, movin’ smooth, remindin’ me of a sidewinder slitherin’ across a dune, indirect but deadly. “I’m Renee. Please tell me there are rooms to rent around here at least?”

“Ray Hoskins, pleasure to meet ya. Sure, I got a couple of tourist cabins in back, lemme clean ’em up a bit for ya.” I got close to the Roadster and smelled meat goin’ bad.

They were runnin’ alright.

* * * * *

“You don’t even have satellite TV?” Allie whinin’ again, made me want to puncture my eardrums with an ice pick.

“Excuse her, Mr. Hoskins, her social graces stopped developing before pre-school.” Renee’s voice was like aloe on a burn, cool an’ soothin’. “We really appreciate you cleaning up these two cabins for us. What’ll we owe you?”

“Call me Ray. Don’t figure you’ll owe me anythin’ for the cabins.” I turned, felt her eyes on me like a coyote’s, starin’ from outta the dark. Felt ’em wanderin’ over my shoulders, down to my hips, my ass, checkin’ me out. Turned around and let her have a gander at the other side. “‘Course supper tonight, that’s a whole different question.”

* * * * *

“So… you… ah… grow… this all locally?” Renee was eyein’ her plate of strip steak and beans like it might rise up and bite her.

“Nope. Drive into Lamesa once a month, buy groceries. You can eat it, it’s all store-bought.” Allie’d already left in a huff, gone back to her cabin resigned to starvation. I popped the top on a cold one, handed it to Renee.

“You live all the way out here, alone, and you don’t keep a reserve of gas for yourself?”

I had to be careful. It was plain that Renee was ‘thought’, Allie ‘impulse’. First impressions can save your life. Sidewinder… sounds like rattlin’.

“Normally do, had to make a run in the tow-truck for some damn fool, thought he had enough to make it to Big Spring. Took him enough to get him there, had just enough to get back.”

“Must be lonely, living out here by yourself.”

That rattlin’ was growin’ fainter.

“Sometimes… sometimes groceries ain’t all I buy in Lamesa.”

She took a swig from the bottle, ran it over her face, around her neck, beads of water flowin’ towards Paradise. “How’d you end up out here, all alone in an empty town?”

I told her Last Chance’s history, then “I got stuck here, same as you. Old man who owned it didn’t have nobody, needed the help. I was on the way from nothin’ to nowhere. Here seemed as good a place as any. He died, no will, no family, nobody cared… ain’t really mine, not sure whose it is, but it makes me enough to live.

“What brought y’all out here?”

“Oh, just got lost on the road to L.A.” I heard the rattlin’ before I looked up from my plate to see her eyes.

Played it dumb. “Well, happens to the best of us.” Her eyes went back to her supper an’ I think she figgered I’d miss that little smile. She was good.

But I wasn’t born yesterday and I ain’t no slouch neither.

* * * * *

Bam Bam Bam! “Mr. Hoskins!” Time for the next act.

“Comin’!”

I open my door and there’s Allie, dressed like an extra from Sorority Slut Sleepover 5: Singapore Slinging. T-shirt cut so short barely hides her nipples, panties that might remember what they was made to do, but ain’t got enough o’ nothin’ to do it with.

“That fan in my room stopped and it’s way too hot to sleep!”

“Lemme get my toolbox, I’ll be right there.” Bull… direct… not too bright… impulse.

A few minutes and an obvious sabotage repair later, “Well, it’ll work just fine now, can’t imagine how that wire got loose.”

“Maybe I can.”

I turn and there she sits, pattin’ the bed, naked as the day she popped out an’ started screamin’ for what she wanted, holdin’ a quarter-empty bottle of tequila.

Ain’t a trap if you know it’s there.

I walk to the bed, put my toolbox down beside it and clothes start landin’ round my feet. It’s been a long time since my last overnight stay in Lamesa, I believe in ‘get it while you can’.

She reminds me of a candy store, every good thing waitin’ to be taken and so I take it, lickin’ the sweat from her neck down to those perfect breasts. I can smell her cunt from there and it’s a sheer act o’ will not to pin her to the bed, but there’s only room for one bull in this act an’ it ain’t me. Sure enough, my tongue on her nipples, the tang of her sweat addin’ spice, my hands strokin’ her ass an’ thighs, the bull makes its move an’ I let her throw me back, exposin’ the hard-on she could call forth from a dead man.

“Ray, where have you been hiding this monster?”

Nice honey, but I ain’t vain, I know I’m pretty regular, but I’ll play as long as you want.

“Never seen it so big before, must be your doin’.”

And then there ain’t no words as we’re kissin’ and she drops herself on me and it’s all animal now, she smells like sin and her fingernails on my back feel like they’re writin’ a confession for every man she’s fucked before while her cunt tells me I’m the only one from now till Hell freezes over, Amen and while I’m not a fool enough to believe it, my body ain’t so smart. She breaks the kiss and takes a swig and now she’s kissin’ me again, pourin’ fiery liquor down my throat, mixin’ with her sweetness an’ I’ve never tasted finer.

She leaves me no choice. We move as one an’ her insides demand that I hold back. The feel of her in my arms makes me happy to agree to anything her cunt demands o’ me. It’s another swig o’ tequila an’ she murmurs ‘Come with us, Ray’ an’ I say ‘I will’ an’ she’s buckin’ an’ moanin’ an’ it sure sounds and feels real and the throbbin’ inside her tells me it’s time and I join her. She bites my shoulder, hard and for real, and I bite her back the same. We’re locked like snappin’ turtles till finally the shakin’ stops. The fan can’t keep up so we lie together, pantin’ like dogs an’ God help me even her sweat smells like honeydew to me.

Dangerous, dancin’ with a bull.

She’s lyin’ on my shoulder, and we’re so hot where we touch it’s like fever. She whispers to me, “Let’s get out of this place. Surely you’ve got some gas somewhere?” as she’s tippin’ the tequila bottle to my lips.

I realize that bull has a horn right at my throat an’ I almost forgot it was there.

“Nope, no gas… for another day or two.”

She pouts and I want to kiss her to make her stop, kiss her to make her smile, hell, I’m about ready to do anything to make her smile and fuck me one more time.

Instead I bait the bull.

“Have you eaten anythin’ yet, Allie?”

“Where would I get food, other than that slop you tried to feed me?”

“Thought I smelled meat, like maybe some luncheon meat gone bad when I was near your car… thought maybe y’all had some snacks with ya.”

I feel it before I see it or hear it, she shifts, mattress raises and there’s a glint, just a glint, in my eye an’ ten years o’ doin’ everythin’ that needs doin’ in Last Chance pays off as I reach up, grab that beautiful head, a quick twist an’ it’s over. The knife in her hand falls to the floor an’ I know that bull come close to gorin’ me.

It’s a long walk with a heavy load to an arroyo off aways from the town, but a couple o’ months and the desert won’t leave nothin’ to find.

* * * * *

Next mornin’ I’m wastin’ time searchin’ for what’ll never be found, steerin’ Renee away from where her partner lies, food for all them damn buzzards.

“I just can’t believe she’d walk off in the middle of the night like that!”

“Seen some crazy shit since I been out here, this wouldn’t be the craziest.” She’s near enough for me to touch, near enough to have me forgettin’ that she’s the dangerous one.

“Ray, I’m scared. What if something’s happened to her?”

I don’t tell her that a woman out in the desert by herself, well, if she wasn’t already dead, somethin’ woulda happened to her by now for sure.

She turns to me in her fear and I put my arms around her. Skin so soft it’s like cotton sheets that’re good an’ worn in, the kind that caress you like your first lover did, every time you move. I’m lost in thinkin’ about her skin, forgettin’ to listen for the rattle of her tail when the cold metal end of her little .25 automatic kisses my head. Not much of a gun, but a bullet bouncin’ around inside your skull don’t have to be big.

“I’m wondering if maybe you did something to her.”

We spend the afternoon searchin’ every building in town an’ I manage to keep her away from one in particular till the very end, thinkin’ I’m getting’ away with it.

“Time for that crappy warehouse-looking one over there, Ray, the one we’ve been dancing around all afternoon.”

I flick on the lights just inside the door and the air conditioner kicks on. Place is so well-insulated it’s still cool from my last visit.

“My goodness, Ray, looks like you got yourself a little Shangri-la here!”

She sits down on a couch in front of the plasma-screen TV, grabs the remote and fires up my sound system. Oingo Boingo’s ‘Dead Man’s Party’ blasts out and she dials back the volume.

“Prophetic song, I’d say.”

“You wanna drink?” I walk to the bar, prayin’ she’s intrigued enough to want answers. Listen first, shoot later.

But she’s in love with the oasis so she ain’t worryin’ about what else might be behind the bar. I’m almost there as she says, “What’s your game, Ray? Where’d all this come from?”

“Renee, only two reasons to be here. You’re runnin’, or you’re lost. People who are lost, I take ’em to the cleaners for some gas, accommodations, home cookin’. Whaddaya want to drink?”

“Whiskey, Crown Royal if you’ve got it… neat.”

“Comin’ up.” I carry her drink to her along with a little surprise in the back o’ my pants.

“Here ya go.”

Her gun is on me as I hand her the drink, but all of a sudden she’s tryin’ to see through a glass o’ whiskey in her eyes an’ the gun in my hand damn near breaks her fingers knockin’ hers to the floor. I kick it under the bed.

“Here’s a towel.” She’s cursin’ like a sailor findin’ out a good time wasn’t all he got on shore leave as she cleans up an’ I make her another drink.

I put this one on the table in front of her. She glares at me through red eyes. A pair of Flexi-cuffs later an’ I feel safe to dig her popgun out from under the bed.

“As I was sayin’, those that are runnin’ probably don’t get no further than here.”

“What are you, some kind of frontier vigilante?” The scorn is thick in her voice an’ I laugh.

“No… maybe… I come out here runnin’ myself. If they’re really innocent, a couple o’ days here an’ I’ll know. They move on down the road. The truly guilty assholes? I just figger it’s safer to rob an’ dispose of ’em… they’re already tryin’ to hide.”

“You fuckin’ bushwhacker…”

“Guilty as charged. Now, if you wanna finish your drink, I’ll take you out to join your friend. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. I wish she hadn’t tried to kill me.”

She looks at me, flicks that tongue out to lick her lips an’ I think maybe my heart has stopped beatin’.

“Don’t you want to know what we’re running from?”

“Don’t matter, I’ll figger it out or I won’t once we’re finished an’ I’m cleanin’ out your car.”

Gotta admire her, she’s in there swingin’.

“Allie had a drug-running boyfriend. He made a run, he got paid, and she wanted the money more than she wanted him. He got dead and we got out of town, heading for L.A. We figured to get as far from Dallas as we could and dump him before he started stinking too badly. We ran low on gas here first.”

She stretches her arms above her head, stretches her legs all the way down to her crossed ankles, rubbin’ her thighs together and she smiles at me.

“You got another set of these cuffs for my ankles, Ray? Make ya feel safer.”

It means I’ll have to carry her, but it gives me a reason to get close to her. I have lots more Flexi-cuffs but it’s two sets o’ shackles I took off a murderin’ freak an’ his girlfriend that she ends up wearin’.

“Now that I’m all helpless, Ray, what are you going to do with me?”

It’s that voice again, caressing the base o’ my cock like a lover’s tongue.

“Anythin’ I want to, I reckon.”

“That’s right Ray, anything you want.”

I’ve cut off her clothes and got her laid out on the bed faster than lightning. My eyes feast on her like a starvin’ man at a buffet.

“Are you gonna look at me, or do me?”

“Both, but one thing I’ve wanted to know since I first saw you…”

I’m right. Her lips taste like cinnamon honey with a touch o’ cayenne. The tastin’ goes on a long time, ’cause I’m tastin’ everythin’, every square inch, an’ some places more than once. I spend so much time between her thighs, nose deep in her, kissin’ and lickin’ her that my tongue’s sore.

“Ray… you eat pussy… like a man possessed… what’s going on?”

“It ain’t nothin’ to slip a rubber on an’ fuck a whore, but try findin’ a lady o’ the evenin’ with a pussy good enough to eat, if such is your pleasure.”

“Their loss, my gain Ray… even if you take the shackles off… I’m not walking anywhere for a while.”

We rest an’ I’m lickin’ the sweat from the small of her back, admirin’ her tattoo, when she says, “Ray, you in the market for a partner?”

I think about it while she sucks my cock, my pistol at her kneecap the entire time. It’s how she and I develop trust. But soon I ain’t thinkin’ anymore, just feelin’ her tongue dance around my pole like a lizard on speed and she nips at me, lightly, and it’s good enough to prime the pump, but she feels it and my cock’s out of her mouth in a flash.

“Ray… eating me is all well and good… but you need to do the rest.”

Neither of us notice the pistol’s slipped outta my hand while she was blowin’ me. Neither of us care. I dunno who is whose prisoner.

The shackle chains are over my neck, holdin’ her legs up to my shoulders when I hear the gun hit the floor. I couldn’t break stride if I wanted to, she draws me in and pushes me out like my whole body’s just a tool for her to use. I look down into her eyes, glazed with lust and see myself starin’ back.

The feel of her slappin’ up against me, hangin’ from my shoulders is as close to heaven as I figger I’m likely to get and there’s a a tinglin’ charge o’ electricity that runs through my whole body when she says ‘I figure hiding here is just as good as hiding in L.A.” All the cracklin’ lines of it end up in my fingertips as I hold her around the waist, and her eyes open wide as she feels it too, an’ I’m liftin’ her and slowly slidin’ off the bed with her, endin’ up on the floor on my back.

I take off the ankle cuffs and she shifts, gettin’ comfortable, before we go again, her rakin’ those wrist cuffs across my chest like she’s plowin’ a field, snaggin’ my hairs an’ I’m okay with it ’cause from her even a kick in the balls is better than any other woman’s kiss.

I take off those cuffs too and then it’s fingernails and flesh, long scratches an’ sweat that stings, lightin’ ’em up like lines o’ fire. I’m burnin’ under her an’ she seems to like the flames just fine.

I stop for a moment, my breath fightin’ my lust all the while an’ finally the breathin’ wins. I have to catch some air or I’ll die here an’ while most o’ me’s fine with the idea, self-survival’s immune to female charms. In her eyes I see understandin’ an’ impatience, equal parts, an’ I wonder which is gonna come out on top.

My eyes follow the lines of her arm, strong and smooth, to her hand and find my .38 in it.

“We gonna have a problem, Renee?”

“Not today… as long as you… finish what you’ve started.”

“Yes’m.”

I finish, we finish, it’s like she belongs here, like maybe I put all this together just waitin’ for her. I look up at her, tits shiftin’ right an’ left as we start to clutch at each other like we’re drownin’. I’m lost in her, not hidin’ no more. I’ll give her anythin’ she wants. Hell, I reckon if she said “Let’s do a burro and a midget’ I’d be off lookin’ for a circus an’ a pettin’ zoo.

We know each other, we’re hypnotized, two of a kind, both sidewinders. At least life ain’t never gonna be borin’ for either of us, dancin’ with a snake.

* * * * *

The two of ’em pull up to the gas pumps in their Viper. I know their type, used to be one myself. “Let me go honey, you’re better with the rifle.” She saunters out, bold and brassy, dressed to attract these ol’ boys full an’ undivided attention, halter barely holdin’ her in, shorts barely there at all.

“Sorry I can’t help you boys, but we’re out of gas, won’t have any until tomorrow, maybe the next day.”

“Seein’ you honey, I don’t give a fuck about leaving here anytime soon.” He’s pullin’ a pistol from the back o’ his pants, his intent plain on his face.

My rifle cracks twice. The buzzards get fed today.

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