In the Service of the Wolf: Part VII

23Aug18

Part I here

“This road goes along the edge of the Stone property,” Stacy told Alice as the beat up Toyota bumped along a back track through the woods. “This is about as close as it comes,” she added and slowed down.

“So if the road doesn’t go to the ranch why are we on it?” Alice asked with a puzzled frown.

She had finally decided that walking around town in city clothes didn’t impress anyone, so she had opted for smart casual slacks and a russet brown roll-neck sweater. Her hair too was let down and hung in an auburn train over her right shoulder. Although she didn’t show it, Stacy felt a pang of envy at the rich thick locks.

Ignoring Alice’s questions Stacy pulled the car onto a dirt apron behind some trees and parked behind a pile of stacked timber.

“The rise up there through the trees overlooks the ranch compound and we can see without being seen,” she said.

“But I don’t want to sneak in, I want to see Garrick Stone,” Alice protested.

“Maybe you will, but I promise you if you just try and drive up the road to the house someone will turn you around before you get anywhere near.” Stacy shook her head as if the other woman was just being dumb.

“But if they won’t see me…?” Alice sighed in exasperation.

“I told you I would show you where the Stone ranch was at, I didn’t say I could get you in,” Stacy said cutting the other woman off with a roll of her eyes.

“What am I supposed to say just turning up like this?” Alice said angrily.

“That lady is your problem, maybe you won’t want to when you check this out. But at least you will know what you are up against,” Stacy shrugged.

Once they left the open ground where they left the car the trees quickly swallowed them up. There was no track as such and Alice was amazed that Stacy had even found this back way. It was even more surprising that she didn’t seem to be lost.

“This way,” Stacy whispered, although no one could possibly have heard them.

*

It took less than half an hour to cut through the trees, but the rise turned out to be a rocky cliff above the ranch. Even then it was hard to see anything but a high fence and a few rooftops. There was a house, a big one. The only building to rival it in size was the barn, which was slightly taller but lower down the rise on the other side of the narrow valley where the house sat.

Alice couldn’t get guess the purposes of the smaller buildings, but Stacy said one was a bunk house and another a wash house with stores and a laundry. The place was huge for a common ranch and the city lawyer was put in mind of one those communities from the news that ended in some kind of siege.

“I can get us closer,” Stacy said.

Alice eyed the 40 feet drop warily and knew there was no way she could go any further. “Are you kidding?” she gasped. No wonder no one was guarding this way in.

Stacy frowned and looked again at the rocky wall, remembering how on previous visits she had picked her way down before dropping. May be she was better at the rugged woodsy life than she knew.

“Why don’t you follow the ridge here, and make your way to the main gate from the track? They will see you, but if you get that far… who knows, maybe they will let you in.” she suggested.

Alice made to say something cutting, but what was the point? The ranch was less than half a mile away as the crow flew. It was worth a try now that she was so near.

It didn’t take long to find a path of sorts, but this time as soon as it got lower she found a high strong fence between her and the compound. How the hell did Stacy get in before? Well maybe intrepid investigators had their ways. Alice was a desk jockey and proud of it, what did she care?

The path joined another and within a few steps she was standing on the wide track to the main gate. Looking right she could see that further up the track away from gate was a parked 4×4 half shaded by the undergrowth. Stacy was right, although they couldn’t see her, she guessed, they were guarding the main way in. What was the big deal?

After a dozen determined strides she called out in case someone was on the gate too. She had visions of being shot for trespassing. “Hello?” she said loudly.

No one answered and as she got near she saw a bell push on the gate next to a sign. It just read Stone, but cleverly there was a wolf’s head incorporated into the word so that its eye formed the O and the bridge of its nose the top of the T.

“Hello,” she yelled again and reached for the bell.

In response a man swung out from nowhere on the other side of the gate and glared at her. He made no attempt to unshoulder the shotgun hanging across his back on a strap, but the presence of a firearm was unsettling nonetheless.

The man was tall and skinny. He had a beaky nose and straggles of unwashed hair framing his face which ended in a thin goatee. For a long second he looked beyond her as if expecting something else and then he nodded to something or someone behind Alice.

She half turned and saw another man up the track near the truck looking back at her. He was shaking his head.

“I came on the path through the trees. A friend dropped me off at the road but I kind of got turned around,” Alice explained. Getting no response she added, “I have business with Mr Stone.”

The man regarded her a moment more and then growled, “Do you have a name?”

“Alice, Alice Eden,” she smiled pleasantly.

Behind the gate guard were now several men watching her and picking their way through the small group were two familiar faces. Well in point of fact, one face shared by two men. “Damn,” she cursed under her breath, “All this way and I still get to deal with Prince Charming and Mr Angry.”

By the time Adam and John reached the gate the thin man had opened it but made no sign that she should enter.

“You just don’t give up do you?” Adam growled, his eyes regarded her as if she was some kind of threat and any intimidation she had felt before had been diluted compared his demeanour now.

Even his sibling seemed less than friendly this time as he took up a stance next to his brother as if he might pounce on her with fists flying.

John couldn’t believe it, how the hell did she get here past the outer watchers? He glanced sideways at Adam and feeling his boiling rage. John was beginning to think he had been a fool turned by a pretty face. Adam was right, strangers could not be trusted.

Still, looking at Alice Eden it was hard to see any guile about her. She looked confused and irritated more than threatening. But if she was so harmless, how and why had she avoided the guards on the outer perimeter?

Nonetheless, his heart did a flip at the sight of her and for a moment he was back in high school when his latest crush strolled by. All of a sudden he seemed out if place in his own skin and he had no idea what to do with his arms. He never pretended to be as tough as his brother, but now he felt a fraud. Alice was just another girl and he had only met her twice.

“Look, what is it with you people, I am a lawyer, okay, and your father is involved in the settlement of a property. I just need 30 minutes of his time and a signature,” Alice wailed.

“Write him a letter,” Adam said fiercely.

“I did, I mean my firm did, he didn’t reply, no one from this backwater town did,” Alice sighed.

“I think we told you we would see what we could do next week,” John put in. This time his voice sounded firm.

“A week, but I only need half an hour, maybe less. Is he here? Could I just see him for a moment? I am sure we could straighten all of this…” Alice hated that she sounded more pleading than assertive. But then she was being confronted with several rough looking armed men.

“Are lawyers deaf where you come from or is it just you?” Adam said sharply. “My brother already told you, we will meet you next week… if you are still around then,” he added pointedly, “Now Ms Eden you are trespassing. Go back to town.”

“I really… I mean, this is ridiculous. I am only trying to help with your father’s affairs… I am on a public road and I am not…” Alice blustered unsettled by both men she was suddenly unable to find the right tack.

“The road, Ms Eden, is part of our property. Even if it wasn’t, I am still telling you to go. Around here Stone property is what we say it is. I don’t care who you are, who you think you are, or who you want to see. I warned you once that if you cross me I will put you across my knee, bare your bottom and spank you until you won’t sit down until you reach the city. In fact maybe a lesson is just what you need…” Adam relaxed his stance as if he had decided something and took a step towards her.

Alice’s heart was racing and she flushed. He wasn’t serious? Her eyes darted from face to face as if seeking an ally as she began to drown in unreality.

“I think maybe Ms Eden has got the message,” John cut in, his hand settling on his brother’s shoulder.

Adam looked back and dared John to stop him.

His brother ignored him and said, “Ms Eden do you need a ride back to town?”

Alice caught her breath. “Eh… yes thanks.”

John nodded at the thin man who made a gesture to someone up the track. In a moment the distant 4×4 burst into life and raced up to the gate to execute a rugged turn. The door opened.

“I really think you should go,” John growled at Alice.

Alice met Adam’s eyes and saw her fate so painfully and embarrassingly written there. She looked away. “Thank you, I guess I had better.”

Alice swung herself into the vehicle next to an athletic looking woman with mid-brown shoulder length hair. She didn’t speak or acknowledge Alice but as soon as the door was closed the woman pulled off to leave her passenger fumbling with the seat belt.

“Still think she is harmless?” Adam said as the truck drove Alice away.

John frowned and exchanged a long hard look with his brother. “My gut says yes, but…” he shook his head incredulously, “But how did she get so close without being seen or heard or…?”

“Good question,” Adam agreed, “Did you smell her? She was afraid alright, but not that afraid. If she knew what she was getting into… something doesn’t add up.”

“You like her too,” John smiled.

Adam made a sour face.

“Twice now you have offered to spank her,” John shrugged.

A rare smile touched Adam’s lips and he shrugged back. “This close to the hunt I don’t like anyone,” he said.

*

All the way back to town Alice examined the tight knot in her stomach. Initially she had taken it for fear, for she had no doubt now that Adam Stone had been about carry out his threat to spank her. But now it was obvious she was going to town and the driver had no other agenda and yet she still felt the tightness in her belly. The sensation was oddly familiar but was usually associated with a successful date or those times when she was alone in bed.

She had absolutely no doubt that John had saved her from a humiliating and painful incident. She swallowed hard and suppressed the possible implications, legal and otherwise, that might have followed. She was beginning to suspect that her sense of self and her understanding of reality were under threat and she barely understood why.

Nor did she understand why she was irritated with John. It was if he had come between her and Adam in some way. And why did she care what Adam thought? The men were good looking for sure, but if she had to fancy one, why not John? He was definitely more her type, wasn’t he?

Her encounter kept her distracted all the way to her accommodation, Adam and John’s faces swapping in her mind… their words and… she gulped as her belly tightened again… that threat. She did not even consider why everyone was so wary of her and what they were all afraid of until she got to her room.

She thought about going to the diner, but she doubted that Stacy would be there yet. She needed to talk to someone and the strange writer woman seemed to know much more about what was going on that she was telling.

Instead she glanced at the full length mirror to regard her image. She turned to look at her bottom and gently touched it. What was a spanking like, she wondered? On a whim she dropped her slacks and then her panties and turned three quarters around strained over her shoulder to study her curves more intimately. Three smacks left her bottom tingling and then she blushed. What the hell was she doing?

Alice quickly repaired her clothing and pretended nothing had happened.

*

Stacy had seen the whole exchange from her place in the trees. So much security and yet no one even suspected she was there. So they weren’t taking visitors, what was going on? She bit her lip pensively and reached into her pocket.

Last time in a fit of paranoia she had left her phone in her room. She hadn’t known what she would find and wanted some deniability if they traced her sim card. But that was just crazy, she realised, how much clout did the Stones have? This time she would get some pictures, although there wasn’t exactly much to see.

From her angle low to the fence she couldn’t see much but the compound yard and the barn. It was just possible to see into the barn, which apart from a few stacks of wood and some hanging saddles, looked largely empty. But maybe she would get lucky and get a good snap of Jared or Garrick Stone. If I can match their faces to the cuttings I already have… she smiled. This time I can prove it, she thought.

to be continued



No Responses Yet to “In the Service of the Wolf: Part VII”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: