Aghast, Delyn stood for a moment in silence. No one could be this cruel! She didn’t know what to do now. She looked around but there was no other shelter, nothing to shield her from this angry storm. Delyn pounded on the door again, “please! You can’t just leave me out here like this!” She screamed over the howling wind. And as she felt panic rise once more, the door opened slowly and the tall man was once again standing there glaring at her. “I’m offering you shelter and nothing more, no talking, do you understand?” Delyn swallowed and nodded slowly. He stepped back and Delyn walked into the warm, cozy room. The man watched her as she stood just inside the door, trembling miserably, with water dripping from her heavy rain soaked clothes. True to his word he did not offer for her to sit, did not offer her a towel. He just went back and sat on the sofa across from where she stood. He picked up a glass and drank from it. Delyn could smell strong liquor. Fear edged its way up her spine like cold fingers. He was drunk! Being here with this drunken man was not a good idea, but she had no choice at the moment. The guy hung his head and mumbled from time to time, staring blindly into the glass of dark liquid. Exhausted and weary, Delyn slowly walked closer to him. “Excuse, may I use your toilet? I have clothes here in my back, if you don’t mind me changing in there”, Delyn said.
He said nothing. Did not move, just sat there with his head bobbing around. Delyn sighed and tiptoed to the toilet, she had to get out of those wet clothes. She was shaking so hard her teeth rattled. She trembled, not so much from the cold dampness, but from fear and memories of another time and another man whose loss of self control had robbed her of trust and any sense of peace in her life. Tears threatened again, and this time she lost control of her emotions and cried softly. She dried her face and vowed that she would not be a victim again! She sniffed and dried her cold damp body and hair on the towel from the rack, and changed into a white t-shirt and long denim pants. She had only the one wet of shoe that she sat by the door, but she did have some clean cotton socks. Delyn opened the bathroom door and gasped. The tall man was standing there just inches from her, glaring down at Delyn in that brooding way of his. She was terrified, thinking he was going to try to assault her, and raised her hands in defense when he made a move towards her, but he just walked around her into the bathroom and slammed the door. Delyn stood there holding her breath. She swallowed and stepped away from the door. Oh, God! When am I going to get over this?, she thought. When the stranger came out of the bathroom, Delyn was sitting on the edge of the sofa, ready to spring up at the first sign of danger, but the guy walked into the kitchen and fumbled with a coffee maker that he couldn’t seem to operate. “What is your name?”
Delyn’s head jerked at the question. Had he really spoken to her? His voice was deep and quiet, as if he was just waking from a deep sleep. “Delyn, Delyn James”, she answered. He didn’t look at her, just kept tampering with the coffee maker. He cursed softly after he couldn’t seem to find any coffee filters, then he poured coffee into the glass pot and water into the machine’s reservoir and turned it on. Delyn winced, knowing that was going to one awful pot of coffee. Taking a chance, she walked over to where he was and asked if she could do that for him. He turned and looked at her. Delyn briefly studied his face before she looked away. It was a strong face, with high cheek bones, a long straight nose, dark eyes with thick shiny brows and lashes. He had a full sensuous mouth traced by a thin mustache that ran down the sides, to his strong chin. His hair was all matted and stuck to his head. After a moment he shrugged and stepped away, letting Delyn fix the coffee. He stood so close behind Delyn that she could feel his warm breath on her neck. Her hands shook a little as she poured water into the coffee maker. Delyn inhaled the delicious smell of fresh coffee and turned to go back to the sofa, but she couldn’t move because the man was still standing there, looking down at her. He frowned and placed his hands on the sink besides her. “What the hell are you doing here? How come you’re out here in one of the worse storms of the spring, alone? Don’t you listen to the weather?” His voice was harsh. He eyed her curiously. Delyn swallowed, wishing she could move away from his quiet voice and demanding stare, but he had her trapped between the sink and his body. She tried to calm her fractured nerves.
She explained how she was on her way home and lost track of time, how she meant to get back to the B&B earlier. She noticed he was wobbly. He didn’t comment on what she told him, just shrugged and went t back to the sofa. Delyn stood by the sink until the coffee finished brewing, poured 2 cups and went back to where Damien sat. He didn’t look up when she offered him the cup, just took it and continued to hang his head. Delyn sat and studied him. Suddenly a sense of calm came over her. He was in pain. A deep, emotional pain. She felt no threat in him now, only anguish. Something bad had happened in his life, too, very recently. She looked around the cabin and saw several empty liquor bottles. He must have been there for a few days and had drunk enough liquor to intoxicate 5 people. Forgetting her own problems, Delyn’s spiritual side took over. She Tried to think of a way to start a conversation with him, so she could tell him about God’s wonderful plans to wipe our tears by ridding the earth of all ; things that cause pain and suffering, and death. Yes, even death will be no more. She watched as he sipped the hot coffee and closed his eyes, seeming to really enjoy it. “mmm, that’s good” he said softly. Such a soft spoken man, she thought. She rummaged thru her backpack, looking for appropriate literature to place before him. Sometimes it was best to just leave it for the individual to see, than to offer it by hand. Let him read on his own time, when he was ready to listen. Among the pamphlets and brochures she had, was her own book of poetry that she had written.
During the night, Delyn could hear the man moan and groan as if in pain. Then she remembered the drinking and jumped up from the sofa. Her first mind told her to mind her own business. But noooo, not her! She went into the kitchen and searched the cabinets. She found some large trashcan liners and went to the bedroom door. Delyn knocked; lightly and called out to him. He didn’t’ answer but she could hear him moaning and mumbling. Delyn opened the door and walked slowly into the dark room. Her nose was assaulted by the harsh smell of whiskey and vomit. She walked near the bed. There was a small spot of bile at the edge of the sheet, down the side. It was a sure sign that he had not eaten in awhile, only drinking that strong liquor that was now eating his liver. Delyn tucked a trash bag under the pillow, letting most of it hang to the floor, then she leaned the trashcan against the bed near his head, to he if he vomited, at least most of it would go into the can, then she placed a bag under the can and along both sides of the bed. She had had to do this for her stepfather when she was a young girl, after he’d come home from one of his drinking binges. Before Delyn could walk away from the bed, the man mumbled something and grabbed her hand. Delyn yelped and pulled away, panicking. He groaned and rolled his head from side to side. Delyn thought she heard him say “please don’t leave me!” She hesitated for a moment, her pounding so hard she could hear it drumming in her ears. Who was he pleading with?, she wondered.
She walked out of the bedroom and went back to the sofa. It was a dreary night. The rain fell steadily, with frequent bouts of thunder and lightning. Throughout the night, Delyn would awaken to hear the man moan and cry out, but she stayed away. There was nothing else she could do for him. He would have to just ride it out, and in the morning he would have to face his demons head on, if he was to get passed whatever was tearing at his soul.
April 26, 1995: Damien
Since she wasn’t going to get much sleep, Delyn got up before dawn and made a pot of coffee. She took a few sips and emptied her cup in the sink. She suddenly realized her stomach was grumbling and she felt queasy. When had she eaten last?
She grabbed her backpack. Inside she found a sleeve of saltines and a small jar of peanut butter. Yummy! Now if she could just find a banana, which would be great. She made herself a few peanut butter and cracker sandwiches, then went to the kitchen for a glass of milk. That’s when she found the pantry and gaped in awe. There was more food than she had ever seen! Everything you could possibly want to eat, shelves and shelves! And then there was the big doublewide refrigerator/freezer. That’s where she found a banana and every other kind of fruit you could name. Delyn was wowed, and hungry! Sated and sleepy, Delyn lay down again and this time she fell fast asleep. A loud cry startled her awake. Delyn sat up, with her heart thudding, she glanced at her watch: it was 9: am. She looked towards the bedroom door. There was a loud crash and more groaning and crying. Delyn didn’t know what to think. He must be sick from the alcohol. She had a flashback of her step dad, and groaned inwardly: DTs.
The man was now suffering from Delirium Tremens, a state of delusion brought on by excessive alcohol consumption. This was usually brought on during a drying out period. It was bad enough when the person was asleep, but it could be worse, even dangerous when they’re awake and hallucinating. She remembered with a shiver, how her step dad had stabbed at her one night: he thought she was Dracula and was trying to bite him! And one time he’d thrown shoes across the living room cause he saw snakes everywhere! Delyn got up and knocked on the bedroom door. No answer, just the moaning and mumbling. She opened the door and peeked in. The lamp was off and the room was very dark. The air was thick with stale alcohol and male sweat. It made her gag. Delyn found her way to the bed and switched on the lamp. He was delusional and incoherent, muttering about people bothering him, the baby being his life, snakes crawling all over him, people walking away, files needed updating, on and on. Most of what he said made nonsense, but now and then he’d mutter something about his parents and someone killing his baby. The words tore at Delyn’s heart, mirroring her own grief. There was nothing she could do for him but maybe swab his face with a cool towel, to help him regain his focus. Once the alcohol wore off, he would regain his senses and feel better. Someone killed his child?? Was that real, or was it just part of his delusions?
Delyn hoped it was the latter. She kept wetting the towel and applying it to his forehead. He tossed and turned and babbled for about an hour, then he quieted down. Sighing heavily, Delyn started to get from the bed, when the man suddenly grabbed her wrist and pulled her roughly against his chest. His breath was hot as he buried his face against her neck. “Please don’t do it, oh God! Don’t kill my baby! Please don’t do it!” he cried. Delyn gasped and struggled to free herself from his grip. Even in his weakened, delirious state, his grip was vice like, and Delyn panicked. She was pulled halfway across his hard body, dragging the sheet down, and she noticed that he was completely naked! Delyn cried out for him to let her go, but he couldn’t hear her. Then he sobbed deeply, and pressed his warm mouth against her breast. “Please don’t leave me, not now! You’re all I have. I love you, baby!” he cried out. His voice was so weak and filled with pain. Delyn struggled and pushed hard to free herself from his desperate grip. She backed away from the bed and stood, mortified, looking at the man on the bed. He was in a lot of pain, grieving for a dead child. Tears swelled in Delyn’s eyes. This was more than she could take, and she ran from the room. Delyn stood outside the bedroom door, ringing her hands and biting her bottom lip. She had to get out of here! She needed to get away from this man and his pain! What was she to do? She couldn’t help him! She didn’t know anything about him, or his problems. Dear God, didn’t she have enough problems of her own? But she did have a conscience, and it was nagging at her right now.
She couldn’t let him lay there and suffer without trying to help. That’s not how she was raised, or trained, for that matter. She was, after all, a bible student, a Christian woman. Hadn’t she been taught to “Love thy neighbor as thyself?” it wasn’t enough to just read and understand what God’s word meant: in order to be a real Christian, you had to live by what you had learned, and share what you knew to be the truth, thus becoming a footstep follower of Christ. Repeating a short prayer, Delyn walked into the kitchen. The best she could do for the man was feed him. Food would help rebuild his strength and help him become focused again. He needed something to coat his stomach, something with protein and starch. She searched the pantry, and decided on wheat toast, 2 soft boiled eggs and a glass of milk. He would want coffee, but she wasn’t giving him any until he ate something first. Once the food was on the plate, she searched her backpack and pulled out a bottle of Aleve liquid tabs. She put the Aleve in her pants pocket and picked up the and plate, and went into the bedroom again. The bedroom light was still on, but he was not on the bed, but in the bathroom. He was sitting on the floor by the toilet, breathing hard and shaking, having heaved up everything his body had held, which was probably nothing. There was no telling how long he had been drinking, and people who drank like that didn’t bother with food, it would hamper the affect of the alcohol. Delyn sat the glass and plate on the nightstand by the bed and went to help the man back to bed. She walked to the bathroom door and looked in the toilet. There was only a small amount of greenish liquid atop the water. No food, only bile. “I’ll help you back to bed”, she said, and touched his shoulder. He jerked away violently “Leave me alone, dammit! I didn’t ask for your help!” He said. His voice was weak, but she could hear the anger in his harsh words. “No, you didn’t, but I’m not going to sit here and watch you die. You can kill yourself after I leave” Delyn blandly.
As messed up as he was, she wasn’t about to take a word he said seriously. She placed her hands under his arms and lifted. Despite his argument that he didn’t want her help, he pushed up on his feet and staggered back to the bed and fell upon it. Delyn straightened his pillows and pulled the sheet up to his waist. He was still naked as the day he was born. She offered him the food and milk. “What the hell is that?” Damien frowned down at the plate, but reached for the glass. Delyn let him have the glass and he sipped slowly, moaning softly as the cool liquid spread in his stomach. “This is food, something to coat your stomach so you won’t gag anymore, and also to help your headache”. Then she pulled the liquid tabs from her pocket. “Along with these”. He reached for the tabs but Delyn pulled them back. “not until you eat first” she said with a stern look. Damien’s red puffy eyes narrowed and he raised himself on his elbows, angry. “Keep your fucking pills, lady! I don’t need a damn thing from you, or anyone! Now get the fuck out of my room, I’ll find something for my damn self!” his voice was raspy and weak. Delyn, shocked at his reaction, stood for a moment then turned and walked out. She wasn’t squeamish about such language. She’d heard it all before. Her step dad had said far worse things in front of her, and to her, when he was drunk. For some reason, it just seemed out of character for this man. Delyn laughed softly: Why did she think that, when she didn’t even know him?********
Damien groaned and grabbed his head. It felt like a bowling ball had just fell on it and now someone was banging it against his temples, over and over again. His eyes hurt. It even hurt his nose to inhale! God, what a hangover! Squinted and looked around: he was at the cabin, not his apartment. “How long have I been out here? “ He mumbled. He sat up shakily. His head hurt like crazy, but the milk the girl had brought him was clearing his thinking a little. The girl. Where the heck had she come from? “What is she doing in my house, out here in the middle of nowhere, by herself? She had tried to help him and he had yelled at her. Damien winced. That wasn’t like him. But then again, he hadn’t been like himself for quite awhile. He tried to think. He had been out of it last night, having nightmares about his dead parents and the baby. The grief had torn at his heart, when the girl had come in his room. Damien’s foggy mind cleared enough that he remembered her soft hands touching him. He also remembered, vaguely, her whispering some soothing words to encourage him to hang on. He swallowed, trying to keep the milk down. His throat burned, dry and raw from the alcohol. He frowned. Had he grabbed her? What had he said last night? Or was it this morning? He wasn’t even sure what day it was! Damien tried to walk into the bathroom and check the medicine cabinet, but he couldn’t lift his head off the pillow. It felt as if it was screwed to the bed. He would just have to swallow his pride and call the girl back. He needed those pills bad! He called but she didn’t answer. He called again. Nothing: Braving it, Damien tried to stand but his legs gave away, and he fell back on the bed, groaning and cursing loudly when the pain shot thru his head like a bullet. At the sound, the woman appeared at the door.
She stood looking at him like he was a small child who had misbehaved. That’s just how he felt at the moment. “Yes?” She asked with her brows raised. Her voice was soft, and she dragged her words, so that when she spoke, it sounded like she was singing. Musical and soft. Damien shook it off. “I need those pain pills” he said in a deadpan monotone. She stood stone faced. She hesitated, then asked: “And the food?” Damien glared at her. I’ll eat the damn food, just give me the pills!” he growled. With a smug smile on her pretty face, she walked over and pulled two blue gel tabs from the front pocket of her skirt. She waited till Damien had eaten one of the eggs and both pieces of toast before she offered the tabs. Damien looked around for something to wash the pills down with, and then noticed she was holding another glass of milk out to him. Real smug! Damien thought. He took the opportunity to get a good look at her over the glass. She was very short, about 5ft tall, and full figured, but not fat, voluptuous. With an ample amount of good stuff in all the right places. She had a small, long waist and wide curvy hips. Her legs were bowed at the calves and knees, which gave her a certain wiggle when she walked. Her breasts jutted out, at least a 38D cup! But her most attractive feature was her eyes. The moment he had opened the door, he had been struck by those eyes! They were big, but not bucked, but wide and slightly downcast at the corners: dreamy, bedroom eyes, with long thick lashes. The color was a medium brown with flecks of gold. And they sort of shimmered when she smiled. He had seen a gem stone of the same color. He couldn’t remember right now, what it was called. She must have felt his eyes on her, because she lowered hers and stepped back a bit. She cleared her throat and said: “you should try and get some more sleep. Looks like the rain will be pouring down the rest of the day; no way will we be getting out of here today. And since I am stuck here, I may as well earn my keep” a nervous little smile played at her sexy lips before she continued, “I’ll fix you something else to eat later”. Her mouth was not wide, but her lips were full, plump and soft looking. Very sensuous. Damien barely heard what she was saying. He was mostly listening to her voice with its slow Texas drawl, and wondering what it must be like to kiss the lips that housed such a voice!....
”Hello? You sleep already?” she asked. He didn’t even know he had closed his eyes, until he heard her soft voice call out to him. She had stepped closer to the bed, thinking he was sleep. Damien opened his eyes and looked up at her. There was an unexpected stirring in his loins. Those eyes and that voice! And she had touched him earlier. It surprised him that he could feel anything, with such a mean headache. He spoke quickly so as to dismiss her before she could see the sheet jumping below his waist. “Uh. Yeah. Fix whatever you want to. I don’t really care. There’s plenty of food, whatever. Just clean up after yourself. Now leave, I need some sleep”.
Delyn hurried out of the room and Damien sighed with relief, closed his eyes and tried to sleep, but those big dreamy eyes kept floating across his mind, causing that tightness in his shorts. “Damn her” he whispered. Finally he did fall asleep. ************
part Native American. She blushed. She felt ashamed, but she couldn’t help but notice that he was a beautiful man! She blushed warmly and lowered her gaze when his eyes met hers, embarrassed that he caught her staring..
“You may sleep on my sofa”, he said. “There are blankets and pillows, there in that closet”. Delyn nodded and thanked him. He turned and walked into his room and closed the door without another word.. ******************
April 25, 1995: Cries in the night
She pushed it back into the bag. It was her pride and joy, her baby! She had 200 copies printed and had given them to her friends and family. She didn’t publish to get paid, but just found joy in seeing her words on paper and receiving glowing comments and praise from those who read it. Delyn knew this kind of pride was probably not good, but that was something she would have to work on. But right now, she was going to wallow in her success! He watched her for a moment, then he stood on shaky legs and walked towards the bedroom. Delyn watched him stagger away, and thought he was going to be very sick in the morning. She heard the shower running, then a few minutes later, he walked back into the living room. His was wearing only a towel knotted at his slim waist. Water glistened on his broad, smooth chest and wide shoulders. Now that he was wet, Delyn noted that his hair fell in lush black waves just below his ears. He was not African American, not full blood, but mixed. Delyn guessed he was