Immortal Desires

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Day Forty

New Hamlet found itself abuzz with vehement allegations about Travis’ wife being a werewolf, spread around by the very same group of older kids who had witnessed it firsthand. But they were immediately rebuked by their parents to leave the couple alone and stop with childish games. Jeff took matters into his hands, gathering as much of the group that was with him last night to go to the police station with him at the lead. They stormed inside, zeroing in on the sheriff’s office without much resistance, Jeff immediately told him what he saw upon entering.

“Sheriff, you’ve got to believe us, Travis’ wife is really a werewolf! She had this white fur all over, black claws, teeth, wolf head, breasts, nipples-“

“Hold up there, son! What in the bloody hell are you talking about?” Sheriff Angus Black stood up from his chair, a fat balding man whose years of eating donuts and fried food caused him numerous health problems, his weight being the worst one. Jeff slammed his fists on the cluttered desk, inadvertently smashing a donut under one of his fists.

“I TOLD YOU; we saw her reveal herself to us from underneath that Muslim clothing! She’s a werewolf, man! White fur, black claws, teeth…” he soon found himself being forcibly dragged backwards out of the sheriff’s office and then handcuffed. He noticed that his friends were handcuffed as well, being taken downstairs to lockup.

“NO, NO! WE’RE TELLING YOU THE TRUTH! JUST GO OVER TO THEIR PLACE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!” Jeff screamed at the top of his lungs, trying to get himself free from the grip of the policemen.

“Taze him!” he heard Sheriff Angus order and then with a zapping sound, he convulsed and dropped to the floor at the same time, groaning with his eyes rolling into his head before blacking out.

Fifteen minutes later, at Prospect Avenue, Hunter was dealing with Betty Hayton jabbering away through the telephone which Agatha could hear as indistinct chattering. He had a shocked expression on his face with his free hand covering the mouthpiece, having paused in relaying the latest news to his wife. What he was hearing scared and worried him at the same time: the boy Jeff was telling the truth after all, having described Travis’ wife as he had seen her twice before, and the town was getting into an uproar.

“Well? What is it?” Agatha urged him on, waving her hand impatiently. He stared at her and then hung up the phone.

“I’ll be right back,” he said and quickly moved to the front door.

“Wait, wait! What are you doing?” she demanded as she hurried after him, stopping him with a hand on his shoulder. He paused and turned to face her, his eyes searching hers. Would she believe him? He quickly decided that no, she would have a hard time accepting it.

“I’m sorry, but please stay here until I come back, okay? I love you,” he kissed her and then exited the house. He ran across the street towards house number 308, not caring if the neighbors poked their heads out to see this as he knocked on the door rapidly.

“Its Hunter, please let me in!” he called out, and looked around in the porch, noticing some of the neighbors actually looking at him from their doors and windows. When he heard the door open, he turned to see Travis at the foyer. He licked his lips and swallowed as he tried to find the right words without arousing suspicion. He was beginning to regret what he had done with his neighbor’s wife.

“Something wrong, Hunter?” Travis asked him, and he noticed there was a bruise on the left side of his head. How did…?

“Can I come in?” he finally said something and Travis regarded him with a slightly raised eyebrow before admitting him inside.

“Betty’s been telling me what happened—“ Hunter began, but he was interrupted by Travis holding up a hand. He blinked, wondering if Travis was aware of this and at odds with this event, knowing fully well about his wife’s appearance.

“Not right now, dude,” he beckoned Hunter to follow him into the parlor room, gesturing to one of the easy chairs for him to sit. Perplexed, Hunter obeyed, resting into the chair as he watched Travis stand in front of the fireplace, looking into the fire. Then he looked to him, sighing softly.

“I’ll get us some tea.”

“No, that’s okay, you don’t need to…” Hunter began, but was interrupted again by Travis’ raised hand.

“Trust me, you’re gonna be needing it,” the tone in his voice made Hunter realize that Travis was dead serious, that brooked no deviation. So he acquiesced with a nod and Travis left the parlor room at a brisk pace, making his black trench coat flow behind him like a cloak. He was now sure that Travis was ready to talk about his wife, yet needing more time to get it done.

He glanced around the parlor room nervously as he waited on his tea, his right leg jigging up and down. Soon, he heard the whistling coming from the kitchen somewhere that died down almost immediately. With a soft sigh, he tried his best to relax and recline against the easy chair, closing his eyes. How did this happen? That question surfaced in his mind and he rubbed between his eyes upon the bridge of his nose.

“Here you go, dude,” Travis’ voice made him open his eyes and saw him offering tea. He took it and set it on his lap, not quite bringing himself to drink it just yet.

“Just relax, Hunter. It’s gonna work out one way or another,” he reassured him with a smile. Hunter blinked at these words, wondering if Travis knew why he came over or not.

Then the doorbell rang.

Deputy Charles Widmore, Sheriff Angus’ second-in-command, released the doorbell button from his finger and waited. He was an average man, both in height and build with brown hair cut short and green eyes. He had a toothpick in his mouth, which he was never without, no matter the occasion.

The door opened to reveal the man in the black trench coat he recognized as Travis, which he greeted with a curt nod.

“Morning, you’re Travis, right? I’m Deputy Charles Widmore,” he introduced himself to Travis who raised an eyebrow momentarily and then smiled easily, reaching over to shake hands.

“Pleased to meet you, Deputy Widmore. Yes, I’m Travis, how may I help you?”

“Do you mind if I come in? I think it’s better if we talked in private,” he said quietly and Travis nodded.

“By all means, do come in,” he ushered the deputy inside and shut the door. Charles looked around in the entrance hall and whistled softly.

“Nothing like what the previous owners had this house looked like on the inside.”

“So we heard, we didn’t like the style and replaced it with our own,” Travis replied and led him into the parlor room, which he noticed Hunter Huntington sitting in one of the easy chairs.

“Hey there, Hunter, how did your 50th anniversary go?”

“Great,” he replied with a smile and sipped from his tea, glancing to Travis as he did this.

“You want some tea too? I just made some for Hunter, since he recently came here,” Travis offered to Charles and he shook his head.

“No thanks, I won’t be imposing myself on you for very long. Is your wife here?”

“She’s resting upstairs in our bedroom,” he replied with a frown, “I take you’re here about what happened last night?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact… but before I go ahead with my questioning, Hunter, do you mind leaving us? I don’t think you want to know about what happened,” he glanced to Hunter who blinked.

“Betty informed me, so I came over here to check on my friends to see if they’re okay,” he replied and took another sip of his tea.

“I trust Hunter, deputy,” Travis said as he stood beside Hunter, who blinked again as if surprised. Charles considered for a few moments and then nodded.

“All right, can you get your wife down here for questioning too?”

“I’m already here, officer,” a dreamy feminine voice alerted him, looking around to find Travis’ wife entering the parlor room. He saw her concealed from head to toe in that Muslim getup, never able to remember the correct terms for the head covering and body covering.

“Hello, and my apologies if I woke you up. And please, you two, call me Charles,” he addressed Travis and his wife, which they nodded in acknowledgment.

“Very well, Charles, and no, you didn’t wake me up. It was dear Hunter’s arrival that did,” she murmured as she walked over to Travis in her strange but careful way of walking. At this point, Charles thought he felt amusement within him when she replied.

“Okay, so what happened last night?” he asked the couple who sat down upon the couch which he noticed had several gashes along it. As he listened to Travis providing the account with some effort, he noted the wife hugging herself and Travis holding her to himself.

“That kid Jeff offended her and in turn offended me with his blatant disrespect, Charles. We moved here to get away from that sort of prejudice and seeing that sort of thing happening again here…” he fell silent, finishing, and set to comforting his wife who leaned against his shoulder, sobbing softly. Unbeknownst to Charles, he had deliberately left out what happened after Jeff had taken off her burqa.

“I’m sorry about what happened last night, but rest assured, Jeff and his friends will be in prison,” the deputy paused before continuing, “I don’t know if you’re already aware of this, but he and his friends have been calling you a werewolf ever since… that unfortunate event.” This got Travis’ wife to sob harder into his shoulder.

“Dude, ix-nay on that… saying, she’s sensitive, you know,” he chided Charles as he stroked his wife along her side and back.

“Sorry, but thank you for telling me what really happened last night. If it helps at all, we at the station never liked Jeff and his friends,” Charles spoke as he got up from his chair. “Let me know if you two need anything,” he said as he took out his business card to set upon one of the spindly tables.

“Thanks, Charles, we mean it,” Travis said with a small smile.

“You’re welcome. Hunter,” he inclined his head to Hunter who returned the gesture with a toast of his tea, and then exited house number 308 to his patrol car outside.

Hunter couldn’t believe it how well the couple pulled it off in putting away Jeff and his friends, his expression of muted shock. Travis held up a finger to his mouth in a “shh” gesture as his wife ceased her sobbing shortly, sitting up demurely as if it was an act. A minute passed and she nodded to them.

“He’s gone,” she said and Hunter felt a growing amusement mixed with relief in his heart coming from her. Travis chuckled, grinning.

“Man, talk about a close shave!” he laughed and she joined in. Hunter smiled uneasily, wondering what was really going on. Did they plan all this out in advance? It couldn’t be possible, he thought to himself, dismissing such a notion.

“Anyway, don’t worry about it, dude. This whole thing will blow itself out, and Hunter?”

“Yes?” he blinked.

“We already know about what Betty told you, so no need to tell us.”

“But how do you…?” he was becoming more confused. Did Betty notice the times he went over to their house whenever Travis’ wife conveniently happened to be alone?

“Think about it, Hunter, the town gossip perpetuates what she’s heard from a source to the rest of this town, so it’s common sense. Logic,” Travis smiled and gestured to Hunter’s tea, “finished?”

“Huh? Oh, yes…” he looked down to his cup of tea, finding the dregs at the bottom. He had been unaware he had finished it during the interview. Travis rose up and took the cup from him to take into the kitchen, leaving him and Travis’ wife alone.

“Thank you for your concern about me, love,” she murmured to him, surprising him. She stood up from the couch and walked over to him, taking his hand in hers to get him up onto his feet. He wondered why he was being seen out already as she guided him to the door. When she opened the door, he looked at her and noticed Travis leaning upon the stair banister with his arms crossed and a small smile on his face as he watched them.

“Uh…” he began, but she pulled him onto the porch, shutting the door as they stood together, clasping his hands in hers between them.

“When the time is right, I will let you know when we can go at it again, all right?” she murmured quietly to Hunter, forcing him to lean his head in closer to hear her better.

“S-sure, but—“ he was cut off with her covered hand upon his mouth.

“When the time is right. Good day, love,” she then slipped back inside, leaving a bewildered Hunter alone on the porch.

Agatha frowned as she watched Hunter with Travis’ wife at house number 308’s porch, while listening to Betty on the phone. When Hunter made his way back, she bade Betty farewell and hung up, thinking over the information she had just learned.

At the sound of Hunter entering, she crossed her arms and turned to face him walking into the living room.

“What was that about?” she asked him. He paused and blinked at her in confusion.

“What?”

“Don’t ‘what’ me, I saw you with her alone on that porch just now!” she pointed at their living room window, directly at house number 308.

“Uh, I honestly have no clue why she did that,” he put up his hands to try and calm her down.

“Then explain why you went over to their house when I was helping Doris move into her new house!” she abruptly turned away from him, crossing her arms as she stifled a sob. Was it really true? She wondered that and then faced Hunter again, fighting back tears as she waited on him to answer her, watching his reaction. He wore a slightly surprised look on his face.

“Betty told you that, huh? Come on, Aggie, she’s not exactly the most sensible type. She’s the town gossip for God’s sake! What nonsense did she tell you?” He sincerely hoped that would keep her off the trail he had made with himself and Travis’ wife, also regretting more about what he had done behind Agatha’s back.

“That… that you’re…” Agatha choked up, unable to say it, afraid that it would be true if she said it to his face. For once, Betty could be right, as she had house number 308 under her sights for every day from sunrise to sunset since the day the new couple moved in. Agatha looked down, wiping the tears from her eyes, not wanting to go at it any more. She then sat upon her chair, emotionally exhausted as she looked up to Hunter who seemed to be ready with a reply.

“Listen, Aggie, I only went over to chat with them, like I told you before, remember?” She noticed the lie this time as Betty pointed something out to her minutes ago.

“When Travis was out working? Both times, he was gone working when you came over to their place,” she said coldly, and felt a vindictive pleasure at seeing Hunter’s expression that of a cornered mouse’s for a moment and then he recovered by shaking his head.

“I had no clue he was out working those both times, honestly,” he replied, it was half-true as the second time, he was really hoping Travis was gone working. “Was Betty seriously watching their place like a hawk?” his brows furrowed in half-annoyance and half-confusion.

“As a matter of fact, yes!” she retorted.

“You’ve got to be kidding me…” she heard him mutter under his breath as he shook his head, and then paced around the living room. This aroused some fresh suspicion in her mind as she watched him worry like this.

“Why did you storm over there before Charles came over?” her question made him stop in his tracks as he looked at her with a wary expression.

“I wanted to make sure they were okay. His wife’s been shaken up because they were mugged by that Jeff boy and his friends. We saw him last night crying ‘werewolf’, remember?” This surprised Agatha since she didn’t know they were actually mugged, causing her to cover her mouth.

“What happened? Are they okay?” she was definitely sidetracked, as despite the recent questionable events, she came to like the couple.

“They were forced to their knees on the ground by Jeff and his friends as they wanted to see what his wife really looked like. Travis got kicked upside his head by Jeff and then his wife was… unmasked,” she saw Hunter struggle with the last word as if unsure that was the right term and then he went on, “apparently, they all ran away from them and brought that werewolf rumor that’s been going around to a new level,” he finished, frowning.

“How… horrible!” she gasped as she tried to imagine the scene and then shook her head.

“What is wrong with kids these days, Hunter?” she said after several pitying moments, looking up to him. He merely shook his head, sympathizing with her.

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