From "Lost on Earth"
The illustration by Tania-S
Nobody knew that Kevin had a personal reason when he agreed to take part in the hunt for the Son of the Devil.
He started to hate Robert Noirson many years ago. Although they were of the same age, that guy had everything that Kevin desired for himself: money, power and... Yes, a beautiful, sensual wife. Judy Noirson.
Since he was a kid, Kevin had to think about every cent he spent, this was why he joined the Army. Everything was fine, but during one operation the vehicle that Kevin's friend drove, accidentally crashed, and they all got a few injuries. Honestly, the driver was drunk as a skunk, however, it was not reported and did not get into the newspapers.
Judy Noirson had visited them in the hospital. While a reporter took some pictures, she held Kevin's hand. Kevin felt her thin, refined arm. He sensed the nervous energy of that beautiful graceful lady, he recalled the reports about her deeds in the charity field. And he thought, probably for the hundredth time, why do some guys have everything in life, and others have nothing?
Judy was sensitive enough to notice his feeling. Or maybe, she was just pleased with his sincerely rapt gaze. Anyway, it was not necessary, but she petted his head, and uttered passionately: "Get well, my hero!"
Because he was afraid to become a laughing stock in front of his friends, he had never kept the reports about Judy, nevertheless, he read any and all information he was able to get his hands on.
He met her again almost a year later. His unit was to leave the country tomorrow, and Judy attended this engagement. Kevin dared to remind her about their previous meeting. And the woman, flattered by his attention, gave him an invitation to Noirson's party.
When he saw her wearing the evening dress, enraptured Kevin just stood still for a few seconds, and barely compelled himself to let go of her hand. He thought that Robert Noirson can touch and kiss this fantastic woman whenever he wishes. That thought made Kevin feel insane, and he flinched with jealousy and hate.
During the party he continually admired the woman. Beaming under the bright electric lights, Judy looked exquisitely charming. Very tall, almost as tall as her husband was, elegantly dressed Judy Noirson moved with regal grace.
"Princess, princess..." Kevin whispered with delight. He dearly wanted to talk with her. But a lot of people were around them all the time, and vexed Kevin had no chance to do that.
Kevin kept his eyes on Judy, and he was finally rewarded for his patience. He noticed Judy slip out of the hall and he followed her. But Judy went to a part of the garden closed to guests. Yet he was well-trained and despite his evening suit, he was able to get inside also.
Struggling through the shrubbery, Kevin was looking for her. Suddenly he heard voices.
"Why did you run away?" she asked.
"I'm tired of seeing and talking to people." Robert Noirson answered dismally. "And I want to smoke."
"Give me one."
Kevin finally saw them. Just snapping his fingers, Robert lit her cigarette and smiled. The Son of the Devil was proud of his abilities, and he liked to show them.
"Knock off your tricks!" Judy nervously inhaled. "You know I hate it!"
Kevin was surprised, as he did not know who Robert Noirson really was.
"As you wish, your majesty!" Robert's face became gloomy again.
"Why such sarcasm?" Judy asked with irritation in her voice. Moonlit, she looked even more beautiful than inside the building. The wind was moving the leaves and branches of the trees, and mysterious, fantastic shadows turned Judy in Kevin's mind into some kind of goddess.
"Listen, I wanted only to be alone for a while. Why did you come here?"
"Just interested to see where my hubby was hiding."
"Now you know. Could you, please, go back to the party? It's not nice to leave the guests without hosts."
"Look, today I met a guy. He remembered me from our last meeting, and it was almost a year ago!"
Kevin's heart jumped with happiness. He understood, Judy was talking about him.
"I'm glad." Noirson yawned and looked at his watch. "Oh, we really have to go back to "work". Let's go, my darling."
"Don't interrupt me, you rude fellow!"
"Sorry, honey!" Robert bowed theatrically. "I didn't know it was such an important speech!"
"Knock it off! Knock it off!! Knock it off!!! You moron!" Her ringing voice trembled and Robert frowned: "Why do you shout at me?"
He hated high shrill noises.
"Your permanent mocking," she yelled at him. "is driving me crazy!"
"Just driving? I thought, you were already mental." Robert threw aside his cigarette butt and smiled arrogantly.
Hiding behind some bushes, Kevin barely restrained himself. He desired to beat up that cocky nabob. How could that bastard mock this wonderful woman! For her, Kevin was not afraid of scandal or even jail. But he knew, that security were very close, and they would not allow him to do that. And it would be stupid to be arrested or even killed, without any chance to be with her.
"That guy remembered me, and..."
"What's your point? I remember you longer than he does!" Suddenly Noirson burst out laughing.
"Who is more crazy, you or me?" Judy scornfully looked at her husband. "You stupid jerk! Do you ever listen to me?"
"Oh, my darling! If that guy is so impressed with you, go screw him!"
Kevin's eyes opened wide. He did not expect that a respectable man was able to use such language. But Judy's next phrase was like cupid's arrow had struck his heart.
"Maybe I will..." she drawled.
"I don't care." Robert looked at his watch again. "Crap, I'll go. You can stay, if you want. You can go to Hell if you wish! You've spoilt my rest, you damn witch!"
"You spoilt my whole life, you stupid clown!"
"Oh, really? Say it to anyone but me! You greedy rat! Nobody forced you to marry me! You were not a pauper-woman!"
"If I knew, what kind of creature you were, I'd never have agreed! Even for all the treasuries on Earth!"
"Don't lie!" Robert stared at his wife. "You knew who I was and still am!"
"I mean, if I knew, how you were going to treat me..."
"How?!! What do you want?!! I'm showing respect to you!"
"Exactly! Showing. You heartless monster! I'm your wife, after all!"
"For what are you glad?! Are you listening to me?"
Without an answer, Robert turned away and slowly went to the building. Still talking, Judy followed him.
Trembling, Kevin was alone in the garden. He was so shocked, he just stood still there for a long time. But he could do nothing now. He decided to take a vacation, and somehow meet Judy again and talk to her.
He was able to get a furlough only four months later. Excited, he was packing his stuff when he saw a TV-report about her death. He realized at once it was murder... The smug faces of Robert and his fiancée were driving Kevin crazy. He resigned and swore to avenge Judy...
"Lost on Earth"
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