Immortal Desires

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Day Forty-Five

The next day saw New Hamlet dealing with a rather intense but short trial when Jeff and his friends were brought to court as the plaintiffs, and Travis and his wife as the defendants. Almost all of town showed up as the audience and half of them, including the Huntingtons, were the jury. Due to the town’s small size, the trials tended to be on short notice which the folk were more than happy to serve their jury duties whenever possible.

Jeff’s appearance elicited gasps and murmurs throughout the court as soon as he was escorted to the plaintiff’s table. He was confined in a straitjacket with a bronze faceplate that covered the lower half of his face, restrained by several thick leather straps that bound him to a gurney that was supported upright by a dolly. His friends on the other hand, simply wore neon-orange prison jumpsuits, shackled by the hands and feet to one another in a line, shuffling rather dolefully to end up behind Jeff.

In comparison, Travis and his wife merely wore their usual attire, he wearing his black trench coat and she wearing her navy-blue Muslim garb. Hunter could not help but notice that Travis had an arm around his wife as they walked over to the defendant’s table, his head leaning in close to hers as if whispering to her. He wondered if they were planning their next moves for the trial.

As the proceedings went on, when it was Jeff’s turn at the stand, he was given permission to have the faceplate removed so he could speak properly by an accompanying psychiatrist.

“I’m telling you the truth, when I took off her face mask thing, her head was a freakin’ wolf! Travis had her take off her clothes to show the rest of herself to us!” he answered fervently and desperately, his eyes never leaving Travis and his wife. Hunter felt a sinking feeling in his stomach at those words.

“Objection!” cried the couple’s lawyer, standing up with an outraged expression, dramatically pointing at Jeff as Travis’ wife clung to Travis, sobbing quietly and shaking her head as he did his best to comfort her.

“Overruled, please continue,” the judge said and Jeff, momentarily surprised at this, took full advantage to recount what happened next, going into full description of what Travis’ wife looked like without the clothing and then faltered, ending with a puzzled silence.

“I-I can’t remember what happened next,” he said helplessly, looking up to the judge who was now banging the gavel. The townsfolk were muttering to each other as he sought to restore order in the court. Hunter at this point was numb with shock and fear, burying his face into his hands as a knot formed in his stomach. Agatha comforted him by stroking his shoulder and arm, completely unaware of his own turmoil, thinking his reaction was just like the rest of New Hamlet’s.

“Order! Order in the court! Thank you, and may the defendant’s lawyer please rise to question the plaintiff?” The couple’s lawyer stepped out to before the bench.

“I must remind the court that Jeff and his friends has a delinquency record and troublemaking, this is proof that they lack morals and respect for others’ religious beliefs. Did you or did you not then run off screaming ‘werewolf’ into the night after exposing her?” he directed the question to Jeff who nodded after a moment’s hesitation, causing a brief murmur to ripple through the court.

“And can you tell us why you did that?” he went on, curtailing any attempt for Jeff to explain any further.

“We’ve been hearing rumors about her being a werewolf for a while from the little kids so we were curious when they were walking by us, and it’s true!” Jeff burst out at the end, his eyes briefly wide in conviction. But the court by then was ordered to stay quiet amidst fresh murmurings and headshakes this time around.

“So you decided to take that rumor to another level by this time accusing her of being a werewolf and backing it up with that description you have told us, is that correct?”

“It’s not a rumor, its true! See for yourself!” Jeff retorted, struggling against his straitjacket.

“This is proof of what my opening statement says, that Jeff and his friends are unanimously united in making the rumor worse,” the couple’s lawyer stated and as Jeff began to protest in turn, he turned his back on him, saying “thank you, no further questions.”

“May the defendant’s husband rise to the witness stand?” the judge asked and Hunter was momentarily surprised Travis’ wife was referred that way. As soon as Jeff was carted off the stand, Travis took over, straightening out his trench coat.

“How did you get that bruise on the side of your head?” his lawyer asked him, pointing.

“Jeff kicked me there while we were on our knees, saying that ‘I would get it next’,” he replied, turning his head to show the bruise to the court, it was brownish-purple, fading slowly. Several more murmurings were heard.

“And did he brandish this weapon to you and your wife?” the lawyer walked over to the evidence table, picking up a baggie with the opened butterfly knife inside.

“Yes, even went so far as to tracing it on my wife’s head and body when she was still dressed,” Travis spoke, and the reaction was profound enough the judge was forced to call for order again.

“And what was your reaction to when she was exposed?” This took Travis several moments to compose himself as he was apparently reliving what happened that night. Hunter was certain they could figure out through his expression which struggled to contain a pained look despite a fighting smile. Then Travis took his time in describing his answer, as if struggling with every other word or two.

“At first, I was surprised and then shocked, mad at Jeff for doing this and his friends not doing anything to stop him. I pleaded with him not to do it but he went ahead.”

“Thank you, no further questions. Let it be known to the court that his wife is still recovering from that event and has declined to testify, stating that it is too painful for her to even think about it,” his lawyer spoke as soon as order was restored in court and by the time Travis made his way back to the defendant’s table, Hunter was realizing that the court was being somehow swayed in the couple’s favor and the knot of fear in his stomach slowly unknotted.

“Noted, do you have any questions on the plaintiff’s behalf?” the judge asked Jeff’s lawyer who was on the verge of breaking down. He shook his head despite the stifled protests coming from Jeff, the faceplate back on the lower half of his face.

“Then a fifteen-minute recess is now in effect for the jury to convene,” the gavel banged and immediately, the rest of the court was in a hubbub, the people talking to each other and offering words of support to the couple. Jeff was trying his best to be heard to no avail, only succeeding in shaking his gurney slightly.

When the recess was over and the jury came back, Hunter held the verdict in his hands, looking at it with a relieved satisfaction.

“Has the jury reached a verdict?” the judge asked him, causing Hunter to look up at the judge as if coming out of a reverie.

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“May the bailiff please read out the verdict,” the judge directed the bailiff to step forward and took the paper from Hunter, opening it.

“The jury finds Jeff and his friends guilty,” this was met by cheers from the rest of the people, forcing the judge to call for order repeatedly until it subsided.

“And how do you plead?” the judge asked Jeff, and the psychiatrist took the faceplate off. His face was pale, but his eyes were bright, like chips of pale blue ice, as if defiant against his worsening situation.

“Not guilty,” he spoke at last after several moments of visible effort to stay composed. There was a shocked silence throughout the court, broken by scattered gasps here and there. Jeff’s lawyer was close to slamming his head upon the desk while the accompanying psychiatrist dropped the faceplate in shock, it thudding against the hardwood floor. Jeff’s friends hung their heads in defeat, their hopes of having a reduced sentence dashed.

“For attacking a couple, degrading the wife by disrespecting her Muslim religion, threatening to assault and battery on the husband, and lack of restraint on your friends’ part, I sentence you and your friends ten years in prison without bail. Case dismissed,” the judge banged his gavel to cheers.

“I’M TELLING YOU, SHE’S A WEREWOLF! JUST TAKE HER CLOTHES OFF AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!” Jeff screamed as he was carted out of the courtroom. The thick and heavy hardwood doors muffled any further screams as they closed, and by the time his friends were led out, faint screams could be heard.

Hunter and Agatha made their way to the couple amidst the throng of people who were cheering for them, finding the two in an embrace, Travis’ wife visibly sobbing into his shoulder. Hunter was amazed by how well the couple got Jeff and his friends locked away in prison, in awe of their apparent ability to plan things out in advance.

The couple were eventually led outside by the townsfolk to nearby Hyde Park, which was coincidentally the place the event happened six nights ago, for an impromptu celebration. It was apparent New Hamlet was visibly trying to make up for what happened by actively making friends with the couple. They thanked the townsfolk profusely with handshakes and hugs for about an hour until they were able to get away back to house number 308 on Prospect Avenue.

“Man, nothing like this at all, eh, Guardian?” Travis muttered with an awestruck expression on his face the moment they slipped into the security of their house, and she nodded, taking off her burqa at the same time in the entrance hall.

“If only Waterloo was that kind to us…” he began and then fell silent, looking down slightly.

“Don’t dwell in the past, love,” Guardian murmured in her dreamy voice as she lifted his chin up to look into his eyes. “Look forward to the future, for as long as we keep in mind the mistakes of the past, we will surely live here in peace and love,” she finished with a smile. He smiled slowly and nodded, reaching up to stroke along her muzzle and cheek.

“Yeah, you’re right, babe,” he replied and then grinned.

“Of course, silly,” she licked at his lips and then he kissed her passionately for a moment. As he undid her hijab slowly, she took off his trench coat in turn.

“Any plans for Hunter?” he asked her as he let the garment slide down her into a heap around her feet and then stroked her furry breasts in his hands.

“Mm, his wife’s running interference now. His…” she paused to grasp one of his hands in hers as he clutched at her breast with that hand, pressing herself against him to savor the gentle waves of pleasure through her breast from that grip before continuing. “Emotions are rather turbulent on the fear side. I believe his wife’s on the verge of finding out based on her actions.”

“Oh?” Travis raised an eyebrow at Guardian’s words, but nuzzled along her cheek with his as he then let go of her breasts to hold her in his arms, stroking along her back. “Then you must be very careful if you wish to keep going with him,” he warned her.

“Yes, of course, love. I believe one more time will do nicely for me,” she replied as she slowly took off his white T-shirt, his trench coat also in a heap around his feet earlier.

“That’s if he wants to do that, babe,” he smiled as he helped her take off his T-shirt and watched her throw it aside.

“Mm, and if worst comes to worst?” she purred at the sight of Travis’ bare torso, tracing a claw-like nail along his chest down to his stomach, any healing wounds and scars from their fierce passionate love for each other mysteriously vanished.

“Then we’ll take care of it, together,” he smirked at the feel of being traced and took that hand in his to put upon the front of his pants, which they would undo together.

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