Bit 6 Devine Chapter 12

Officer Margaret Flannigan sits in her patrol car, watching cars and trucks drive by like she often does sometimes wondering where the people are going. Imagining big cities and out of the way places, Margaret finds peace in the passing of vehicles. Soon she decides to get back on the road, “I've come this far, might as well finish and see this to the end!” the lady trooper says to herself. She starts her police cruiser, and safely merges into the flow of traffic and soon drives past Cody Brunson’s black pickup. Cody makes his way back onto I-35 east north, careful not to follow too close.

Marvin lies in bed awake looking around the bedroom as light from the headlamps of vehicles moving around the parking lot below dance and design the bedroom ceiling. “There is serenity in the darkness,” Marvin thinks. Rita rolls over toward Marvin; she places her left hand on Marvin's chest, her hand glides over Marvin's right nipple and abdomen. She lifts her left leg, now resting on his. Marvin looks down at the left foot of his wife, the lights from outside illuminate the room well enough to see Rita's glossy black painted toenails. “What's wrong?” Rita softly inquires. “Nothing,” Marvin replies. “Why do you think something's wrong?” Rita is silent for a minute; “you don't think I know when there is something wrong with you?” “There's nothing wrong! I’m just a little tired, that's all!” Marvin tries to assure his wife. Again Rita is silent, carefully selecting her words. “So why are you so tired? You’re not usually tired when you come home? You are jumping at every noise like some criminal, and why do you have so much money all of a sudden?” Marvin in defense immediately sits up, tumbling Rita to her pillow. “So much money? What are you talking about?” The level of Marvin's voice elevates. “I thought you would be happy I got that recruitment bonus! Hell, I spent it all on you!” Rita is ready to call “bullshit!” She knows something is wrong; she just doesn't know what and wonders why Marvin isn’t being straight with her. The wife recalls the promise they made, to be honest with each other agreeing, “to just say it!” whatever it is. Rita rolls over, turning her back to her husband, realizing their relationship is not where she thought it was. It hurt; maybe that’s what hurts the most. “Thank you for my outfit,” Rita says softly. Marvin, still sitting upright looks around the room feeling like the world's biggest asshole. “Damn Baby…. Shit!” He says looking at the back of his wife. He knows she is crying. “Who fights after sex?” Marvin’s frustration could be heard. He lies back down looking at the ceiling, figuring it’s always going to be this way. He turns back to his wife. “Rita, I love you, you know that, right?” Rita remains silent, after a minute Marvin adds, “I didn’t think it would be this way either. I thought I would be making the money I was earning before we got married….” He paused, “I want you to have nice things, I want to give you the life you want to have, I’m sorry this is not working out, I am sorry you are not happy with us.” Rita turns around and sits up, “Baby, I am happy! I just want you to tell me the truth! Why can’t you tell me what’s going on with you? Is the money stolen?” “NO!” Marvin shouts. “I wouldn’t do that! I would never do that!” “Then, what is it?” Rita cries, “What’s got you so crazy all of a sudden?” Marvin works to think of something to say; he thinks maybe he should come clean and tell her the truth; maybe she could end this and save his life. Rita wipes her eyes as she waits for an answer. “Baby, you said we would always be honest, I know there is something you’re not telling me!” She begins to cry, “I am so scared that you are in some type of trouble! If something happens to you what am I suppose to do?” Rita lies back down, she cries openly, allowing Marvin to hear the pain in her heart. “I can’t tell her,” Marvin realizes, “I need to see this through, I have to fix this so I can fix us.” Marvin moves closer to Rita to take her in his strong, powerful arms. He pulls his wife into himself, hoping to console her. Rita slides toward her husband to be held tightly. “Honey,” he says with a confident, comforting tone, “What are you talking about? Nothing is going to happen to me!” She could hear his assuring smile as he spoke. Marvin wanted to find a way to bring happiness back. “Hey, there’s money left, let's go get some ice cream, and a burger. Are you hungry?” Rita remains silent with her head still buried in her husband’s chest. Marvin glides his fingers over Rita's side below her armpit where she is very ticklish. Rita's body convulses in reaction to her husband's touch. “Stop!” Rita whispers with a giggle. Marvin realizes he has his wife again. He lowers to meet Rita’s face with his and begins kissing her. Her neck and shoulders, Rita laughs with each tickling kiss and tries to push Marvin's head away from her. “I'm not gonna stop until you tell me you love me!” Marvin says before he puckers his lips to lower his head to kiss Rita's right nipple. “Okay, stop so I can say it!” Rita says with a girlish giggle. Marvin stops, giving his wife the opportunity to breathe and profess her love. Rita looks into Marvin's eyes with a devilish smile. “I love you and I want some ice cream, homemade vanilla with chocolate syrup…. and sprinkles!” Rita admits to her playful husband. “But I want some more of this first!” Rita reaches to take Marvin's semi-erect penis in her hands, opening her legs as she brings it to her wanting lips.

Cody Brunson's phone rings. Cody, while trying to keep Margaret Flannigan's police car in view reluctantly answers the phone. “Hello?” he opens. “Que Paso!” the voice addresses. “Are you near Lancaster yet?” Cody's eyes widen now hearing where he is going. “Lancaster? That's where she's going?” Cody pauses to think, then asked, “What in the hell is in Lancaster?” “The asshole that fucked me over!” The angry voice replies. “Mira, Brunson! I want my shit, and I want that asshole dead!” 50G's I will pay you, do it tonight!” the voice demands. Officer Brunson slows his truck; “Sir, I can't get my hands dirty like that! Besides, fifty grand won't sustain me, or my family. I can't live the rest of my life with that! I will get your property; someone else can do your killing!” the officer replies. The agitated voice responds, “You think you're some fucking Boys Scout? You're so dirty you puke shit! Let me tell you something “Officer Friendly,” I already own your fucking ass! One drop, one phone call, and your fucking career is over Mister Fucking Five-O Motherfucker! Get my shit and make my niece a fucking widow! Don't fuck with me Chico!” the line goes dead.

Officer Margaret Flannigan reaches the city limits of Lancaster, Texas. She turns off onto the first available exit and pulls over to the ramp's shoulder. “Margaret, what are you doing?” The officer says aloud. Cody sees the charger pull onto the ramp and decides to gamble and park under the following overpass. “This is the first exit,” He reasons, “I am fairly confident we are not at her rendezvous location. Margaret sits and tries to manipulate a plan, “It's too late to go to his house!” The officer considers the possible dangers and consequences of going into a neighborhood with a State Highway Patrol/Department of Transportation patrol car, how would she explain her reasons for being there to the local police or county sheriff. Officer Flannigan decides it would be best to wait on a ramp after driving by Marvin's residence to make certain he is home.TXD.O.T. Officer Cody Brunson, The Lion's newest “hired gun” sits under an overpass in Lancaster, Texas in his civilian clothing, waiting on Officer Margaret Flannigan to advance toward his target. Some asshole obviously down on his luck, who stupidly pissed off a cartel drug lord. Cody's heart flutters and hands sweat from his overwhelming anxiety. “I've never killed anyone before,” he reminds himself. “How am I supposed to kill this guy?”

Marvin unlocks and opens the passenger door for his wife; he looks around for movement and anything out of the ordinary. Marvin's wife Rita takes note of her husband's survey of the parking lot but, remains silent. She knows something is wrong with her husband; she wonders if it is her fault that Marvin doesn't confide in her. She wonders what's going on that has her normally easygoing husband so rattled. Marvin opens the hood of his leaning T600, the trucker uses the camera flash from his phone as a flashlight to inspect the engine and undercarriage for anything that should not be there. After a few minutes of intense examination, Marvin closes and locks his hood and opens the driver door. “Is everything alright?” Rita asks, “your inspection doesn't usually take that long.” Marvin places his key in the ignition, takes a moment to say a prayer before turning the key. Marvin turns the key to the “accessories on” position with a grimace, he listens to the truck's systems check. “We didn't blow up!” Marvin says to himself in elation. The truck driver turns the key to start the motor of his truck. “Everything's fine, just fine! “Marvin replies in effort to console his wife. “I thought I saw a puddle of fluid when we were at the check cashing place yesterday,” I wasn't sure if the truck was creating the puddle and I forgot to look for a puddle before we left the mall. Marvin waits for the air pressure to reach 100 pounds, he then releases his brakes, puts the truck in third gear and pulls out of his parking space and slowly steers toward Pleasant Run Road, Marvin still observes for unusual sounds, people, and movement around them.

Once back on the street Marvin's level of security drops. He loves driving his old, leaning Kenworth T600. With all of her problems, she is still his love. It's not long before the couple and old truck reaches TX342 north. Interstate 20 is just a few miles ahead of them; Marvin shifts into tenth gear with a smile. Officer Margaret Flannigan sits idling at the end of the merge onto I-20 west coming off of Texas 342; Sniper Cody Brunson sits behind the D.O.T. patrol cruiser far enough back to remain invisible in the darkness. Margaret, weary from the drive and self-debate, still watches for the leaning white truck, a very hungry Cody Brunson eagerly looks for Margaret to spot her target and make her move. Marvin's old truck rumbles past Margaret's cruiser as he merges into the flow of traffic, Braum’s, the old-fashioned burger place is just a mile or two further. Margaret, seeing Marvin's Kenworth T600 was like a dose of adrenaline! Margaret starts her patrol car, watches for an opening in the traffic flow and merges into the flow like a bat out of hell. Cody Brunson, starved of nutrition, doses off to sleep but is awakened when the shockwaves from a speeding car wakes him. Cody opens his eyes to see the police charger is gone. “Shit!” Cody yells as he starts his pickup, the off-duty officer accelerates down the shoulder to find an opening, he soon merges into traffic.

Officer Flannigan speeds up to the leaning Kenworth T600; she follows the truck waiting to see a marker for an upcoming exit. The Houston School Road exit comes into view; the TXD.O.T. Officer turns on the flashers and lights. Marvin sees the police lights behind him. “Shit!” Marvin yells. Marvin looks down at his speedometer, “I'm only doing 58!” He exclaims. Rita looks at Marvin. “Pull over; maybe they're trying to get around you.” Marvin takes his wife's advice and moves to the shoulder as they approach the exit. Marvin and Rita, both watch as the police car, also pulls onto the shoulder. Rita looks over at Marvin; she begins thinking about Marvin’s recent strange behavior wondering if she will now learn the reasons why. “Rita put your seatbelt on and don't say anything, please! Just let me handle this” Marvin begs, Rita sits back silently in her chair. Marvin's heart races as he imagines the possible assassin being a police officer. With the news of recent shootings involving the police Marvin believes there is a possibility. Marvin then considers he could get a roadside inspection because of his truck's leaning appearance; he remembers his air leak and the possibility of being placed out of service. Thankfully there is the $887.41 in savings; that just might be enough to fix the leak. Marvin's heart rate begins to slow knowing that he may be able to afford the repair. He watches as the driver door opens and a small figure emerges from the driver seat. Marvin can't believe his eyes! Even in darkness, he recognizes the slender hourglass frame of State Trooper, Officer Flannigan. “What the hell is she doing way up here?” Marvin thinks as she approaches the Kenworth. “Maybe she wants to return Uncle Tony's package!” “Do you see them yet?” Rita whispers. Marvin had forgotten this wife was sitting silently in the passenger seat. “I think “he” just got out of the car.” The very nervous truck driver responds. Marvin's pulse increases; he begins to feel nauseous and faint. “What am I going to do? Lord Jesus, help me!” Marvin pleads. The truck driver looks back into the door mirror. He can no longer see the figure, Marvin tries to focus, “maybe she went to her trunk to get the package,” Marvin thinks to himself. “Knock Knock!” The sound came from the passenger door.

Cody Brunson drives toward the flashing colored lights of officer Flannigan's patrol cruiser. Cody pulls over and backs his pickup reducing the possibility of the lights illuminating his truck. Cody watches as Margaret approaches the large tractor disappearing into the passenger side of the truck. “Is this the guy?” Cody wonders noticing there was no bundle in the officer's hands. He opens his glove box to remove his police-issued Glock-19. “I can't use this gun!” Cody says aloud. “This will bite me in the ass!” Cody closes the glove box and decides to simply watch.

Marvin's heart is about to leap from his chest realizing Rita is about to come face to face with the woman whom just made him have sex a few days earlier. Marvin quickly searches his mind for something to say when asked, “how do you know this woman?” “Knock Knock!” The officer knocks a second time; Rita looks fearfully at her husband as she opens the door. Rita opens the door and looks down at the petite red-haired white officer. “Hello, Mister...” Officer Flannigan stops when she sees Rita, Margaret looks into Rita's dark brown eyes, Margaret's eyes widened as if she was being pulled in. Rita looks into the officer's eyes, the light from the inside if the door reveals a field of emerald green. Rita studies Officer Flannigan's features. Her smooth, pale white skin. Her curly fiery red locks of hair and sparkling green eyes. “She is beautiful!” Rita thinks as she looks again into the officer's eyes, breathing in the officer's wonderful scent. Margaret pulls her eyes away to look at Marvin. Marvin's eyes revealed his fears, the skin around his eyes danced and twitched; Marvin's face was almost pale, like a boy in trouble. Marvin's wife, Rita also looks at her husband; she examines his face and intuition screams at her immediately that something is not right. Her heart begins to pound in her chest as she wonders what is happening. Rita's eyes now narrow as she turns back to the officer. Margaret looks regretful; this was not the meeting the D.O.T. Officer envisioned, she hoped for a replay of their last meeting with something more. Officer Flannigan changes her tone, composes herself in efforts to save Marvin from the inquisition he will more than likely be subject to by his wife once she departs. “I apologize Ma'am, I thought the driver opened the door,” Officer Flannigan replied in a professional, authoritative tone. She empathetically looks at Marvin again; she could see in Marvin's eyes that he was begging, pleading, not to be discovered. Margaret cleared her throat.

“Driver, I noticed your tractor is still leaning, you told me you would have that air leak fixed! I told you before I can shut you down! Your truck is a hazard to everyone around you!” Officer Flannigan looks again at Rita, “You know you could kill someone and maybe yourself operating with this truck in this condition, you know you have no brakes without an adequate supply of air!” Rita's eyes again widen with fear as she considers the officer's stern words, Margaret believes she has Rita sold, she considers a strong closing statement. “Since you are not pulling a trailer and on duty tonight, I cannot place you out of service, but you need to get this problem resolved before I see you again.” Officer Flannigan looked back at Rita Casey who now shares Marvin's fear, “Ms. I apologize for the intrusion. Try to have a nice evening!” Officer Flannigan looks back to Marvin; she could see the thanks in his eyes. “Driver, get that air leak resolved before you have an accident and kill someone!” Officer Margaret Flannigan looks at Rita Casey again and adds a nod before turning away. She hurries back to the safe-haven her police cruiser offers. Once inside her car, the officer wiped the water from her tired eyes and worked to stop her shaking. Margaret realized she had the opportunity to end Marvin's marriage, but that would not bring her any closer to the man she desires. “There will be another day,” the officer assures herself. Officer Flannigan soon starts her cruiser, waits for an opening, then quickly merges into traffic. “Waco is two hours away; I will stop for coffee and a cinnamon roll,” the officer plans. “Then, I will head home.

Cody Brunson watched as Margaret appeared from the passenger side of the tractor. “That didn't take long, Cody thought as he observed the officer get into her police car. Cody looks at his watch, as his stomach growls loudly. Cody looks again at Margaret's patrol car wondering what is next, Cody looks at the truck in front of the patrol car; it has not moved. It's a few minutes before he sees the brake lamps of the patrol cruiser indicating that car has been started and placed into gear. Officer Flannigan soon speeds off, but the truck is still sitting with the emergency flashers on, Cody Brunson ponders what to do.

“WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME YOU NEEDED TO GET THE TRUCK FIXED!” Rita Casey screamed. “Is this why you have been jumping at every sound you hear?” The hysterical wife questioned. Marvin sat silently as Rita ranted. “TOMORROW WE ARE TAKING EVERYTHING BACK! HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST TO GET THE TRUCK FIXED?” Rita yelled. “We're not taking anything back, besides it's not enough,” Marvin says calmly. “Rita, I will get the truck fixed, I am hoping to have the money soon,” Marvin reassures his wife. Marvin realized he would not have these troubles if he ran loads in a better-paying lane. Marvin concludes Rita is the blame for all of this. “I didn't have shit like this in my life until I married Rita!” the frustrated truck driver says to himself. “My truck is all fucked up; my shit never looked like this before Rita.” Marvin looks at his wife, Rita has taken a title, she is now “the source.”

“Where was I supposed to get the money?” Marvin asked his wife. “Wha... what are you talking about?” Rita answered. “To keep my truck up, where was I supposed to get the money?” Marvin repeated. “You drive every day, don't you?” Rita questions. “I drive to fucking Laredo, 435 miles to fucking Laredo, do you know what I am paid to drive to Laredo?” The annoyed Truck driver asked. Rita looks at her husband. Her anger has now been replaced with fear, the wife now fears where this discussion might be going. Before she could answer Marvin's question, Marvin continued. “I am paid $1 for each mile, plus twenty-one cents for fuel, right now.” That's a $1.21 to drive just over four hundred miles! And before you tell me how great that is let me finish the math! This truck gets 6.5 miles to the gallon, and the 435 miles are the loaded miles only, I am only paid for loaded miles. I am paid $526 to drive to Laredo minus the fuel; fuel is $2.39 a gallon right now; how do I know that? Because this is the shit, I have to know to be profitable!” Marvin screamed. “I need 67 gallons of fuel just to drive to Laredo that's $160, but that's just to get me to Laredo! I need fuel to go pick up my load to get back to Dallas, I also need fuel to idle so I can sleep with the air conditioner running, so I purchase 75 gallons, that's $180! So, a load to Laredo pays me $346! If I get two trips in, I clear $1134 a week if I am surprised with any charges, but I don't always get two trips in, most weeks I only get one, that's $692 plus any incentives I can get for detention, layover, running an empty to the border. On an average week I with one round trip I bring home $850!” Marvin explains. Our bills come to $3000 a month, that's without food! You want to go out on weekends, which cost money too! SO YOU TELL ME, WHERE IN HELL I AM SUPPOSE TO GET THE FUCKING MONEY FOR REPAIRS?” Rita's eyes begin to tear. Marvin looks out into the darkness watching as cars pass and drive toward them. As he looks at the traffic, he debates whether or not to go there. “There is no turning back” the troubled driver considers then concludes, “what the hell, I'm a dead man anyway!” Marvin draws a breath, “I didn't have these problems, and money wasn't a problem until now!” Marvin snarled. “How am I supposed to make this work with a 500-mile leash around my neck.” “You lay around crying about what you can't have because there is no money to do anything. There would be money if you let me go out and make some fucking money! Fuck this shit!” Marvin barks. “You are so worried about what I might be doing I have to come home every two days to keep you from going crazy! Tears ran down Rita's face as she listens to Marvin unleash his woes. She has never seen her husband so beaten and angry, blaming her and their marriage for his economic disintegration. Until now Marvin has been easy going, anything to please “his princess.” Rita sniffs before summoning the courage to speak.

Cody Brunson is still parked on the shoulder of the interstate several hundred feet behind the leaning Kenworth. He waits and questions, “What the hell is going on inside that truck, why is it still sitting?” Cody decides to drive up to the truck ask if the driver is in distress. Cody starts his pickup and drives forward, he stops and parks right behind the Kenworth T600, Marvin does not see the black truck pull up. Cody gets out of his pickup to walk to the driver's door. As he reaches the rear of the cab Cody can hear Marvin's ranting, Cody stops to listen.

“Are you ever gonna trust me, is this how it gonna be?” Marvin asks. Rita now angered sits quietly, Marvin waits for his wife's answer. “Knock! Knock!” Officer Cody Brunson knocks on the driver door. Marvin nearly jumps out of the chair almost causing Rita to scream. Marvin turns to look out of the window; there is a young white man standing alone in the darkness. “Is this guy here to kill me?” Marvin wonders as he stares blankly at the darkened figure. Marvin looks for a weapon, “maybe he's broke down and wants to borrow my phone,” the truck driver thinks. “Hello!” The stranger yells. “Who is that?” Rita asked. Marvin swallows as he tries to steady his nerves; with a shaky left hand, Marvin opens the driver door. “Yes Sir, Can I help you!” Marvin responds optimistically. The stranger looks up at the truck driver quickly memorizing the driver's features, “I saw your emergency flashers, so I stopped to make sure you folks were okay.” Marvin looked back and saw the reflection from the flashers on the dark pickup. Marvin then returns a smile to the helpful stranger. “No Sir, we are fine, in fact, we were just about to leave.” Officer Cody Brunson returned his smile, “Okay then, have a good night, drive safe!” Marvin realized he was talking to another police officer; he watched as the stranger walked to his truck and another minute he pulls onto the road to drive away. The stranger blew his horn and waved a farewell. Marvin gave a sigh and turned back to his wife. “I don't want anything,” Rita stated after she sniffed back her tears, “Just take me home.”

Bit 5 Bit 7

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