The Thunder Rolls

This is a departure from my usual Eric and Sookie goodness. Here I wrote from Bill & Lorena’s perspectives. This was a promo piece for the Happily Never After contest I co-hosted with Scribeninja and Slacker Dee. To be honest, this is one of my favorite things I’ve written, but I think it’s just because it’s so different from everything else. Enjoy!

The Thunder Rolls

Bill rolled out of bed and began the awkward search for his clothes. Time had slipped away from him. Usually he wasn’t so careless. He’d been seeing Jessica for the last three months. She was an intern at the company he worked for. He’d first spotted her when she’d been brought to his office while taking a tour with the head of human resources on her first day. She was going to be working in the marketing department under Eric Northman. Bill had no doubt Jessica would learn a great deal working under Eric. He was very good at his job. It was also shocking he wasn’t dipping his pen in the company ink.

But then Eric had a hot blonde wife Bill would have given his eye teeth for a shot at. Sookie was a gorgeous woman. Eric Northman was a lucky bastard. Bill pulled on his briefs and then his wrinkled, tan slacks. Jessica stirred behind him when thunder boomed overhead. He turned to see her big blue eyes focus on him. She licked, then bit her lip.

“Leaving so soon, baby?” She purred, petting the mattress.

“It’s three in the morning, Jessica. I should have been home hours ago.” Bill pulled his undershirt on and reached for his button down shirt.

“You could stay. You could call your wife and tell her you got a hotel room closer to the office because of the weather.” Jessica got up on her knees and moved closer to the edge of the bed. Her hand slid down Bill’s pants and he gasped when her hand circled his dick. “I’d make it worth your while.” Her nipped at his neck.

It was tempting. Marriage had become…boring. Lorena was so focused on perfecting their home and raising their daughter it seemed like nothing else mattered to her. He was tired of feeling ignored, like just another accessory in her life. He wanted to feel needed, and not just for the paycheck he brought home every two weeks.

He might have stayed if it weren’t for his daughter’s face flashing in his mind. Such a pretty girl his daughter was. Sophie-Ann was eight. She had flawless pale skin and shiny copper hair she must have inherited from Lorena’s side of the family. Her blue-green eyes were hypnotic. He found it hard to say no to anything she might ask for when he looked into those eyes.

“Jessica, I have to go.” He hated to push her back, but he didn’t have a choice.

“Please,” she pouted up at him, stroking him roughly.

It was so unfair. He was torn and he shouldn’t have been. The gleaming of his wedding band on his finger did little to appease him or set him on a course. Jessica scraped her teeth along his neck and his body responded. He threw her back on the bed and roughly yanked his pants down just enough. Without a word he yanked her closer by her smooth thighs and buried himself inside her.

“Yes, baby, again!” She screamed as the headboard slammed against the wall.

He took her roughly, using her as a punching bag for his frustration. She liked it best when he was rough, and didn’t complain at all when he pulled out of her and turned her over. She was just barely on her hands and knees when he was inside her again, gripping her hips so hard she would have bruises the next day. She backed her ass up to meet the thrust of his hips. He grunted as he pounded against her. He watched the way her hands gripped the sheets, her back arching with pleasure.

“Fuck me, baby! Fuck me!” She screamed, moaning loudly and squeezing him from the inside.

Sex with his wife wasn’t like this. In fact, it had never been like this. It was all about ‘making love’ and connecting. Not that Lorena was terrible in bed. In fact, he had quite enjoyed making love to her in the beginning, but that’s all she ever wanted. She wanted him to make her feel like a princess and sometimes all he wanted was a quick fuck. That’s where Jessica came in. He didn’t love her and he never would. He was using her and she knew it. She understood, and if she was honest, she was using him the same way he was using her.

It was just sex.

He tugged on her hair and drove into her harder when she begged for it. It had to be fast and nasty because he really did need to get home. He could only hope Lorena would be sound asleep when he got there. He’d told her he was having a late dinner meeting with some potential new clients. Dinners sometimes lead to drinks or the occasional trip to a strip club to further discuss business. Jessica wasn’t the first woman he’d cheated with, but she was definitely the most convenient.

“Harder, Bill!” Jessica moaned, her tight core hot and wet around him as he fucked her.

He slapped her ass and she hissed. She looked over her shoulder at him, daring him to do it again. He attempted a smirk and instead of giving her what she wanted, he reached around and rubbed her already sensitive clit. Her back arched and she screamed again when she came. He emptied himself inside her a few thrusts later. He pulled out of her and went to the bathroom to clean up a wasn’t time for a shower before he left. He hoped the thunder booming overhead was indication of rain headed their way. Maybe the smell of the storm would cover up what he’d been up to.

He came out of the bathroom fully dressed to find Jessica curled on her side and touching herself. He didn’t want to leave. He wanted to strip off all his clothes and take her again, but he couldn’t do that. Maybe he could invent a business trip that would put him at Jessica’s for a few nights. There were lots of things he wanted to do with her he’d never tried before.

“So I’ll see you tomorrow?” Jessica smiled, her fingers moving expertly between her pale thighs.

“Lunch would be nice.” Bill grinned.

“You like fucking me on your desk.” Jessica moaned. “How long does your office smell like sex after I leave?”

Not long enough, he thought. He went over to the bed to kiss her goodbye. She slipped one of her fingers into his mouth and he could taste their combined fluids on her finger. He really, really didn’t want to leave.

“Tomorrow, pet.” He kissed her deeply, then headed for the door.

He rode the elevator down to the lobby. He remembered the stellar blow job she’d given him in that very same elevator car the first night he went back to her place with her. She’d toyed with him mercilessly for weeks, wiggling past his office, flirting with him and brushing against him in the copy room. She was very aware of his marital status and she just didn’t care. Their relationship had moved to the next level when they’d ended up sitting next to each other at the monthly meeting held by the C.F.O., Bruce. She’ d slowly guided his hand into her lap and under her skirt. She hadn’t been wearing panties, and she’d slowly guided his fingers to pleasure her right there in the board room. She’d had a perfectly silent orgasm, but he’d felt the tightening of her core when she came.

From that moment, it was game on. They usually met on their lunch break, sneaking off to her apartment just two blocks from the office for a quick fuck. It happened at least three times a week, and some days he would invent a project that kept him at the office late so he could take his time with her. Lorena bought it hook, line and sinker. He realized he was starting to get careless. He was taking too many risks. He didn’t want to lose his wife because he knew it meant losing his daughter as well.

Bill walked out of the apartment building to his car parked two blocks away. Fat raindrops were falling, but not heavily. He hoped the rain would wash away the scent of sex and Jessica’s perfume. He got to his car and sat behind the wheel. He took a few deep breaths and started the engine. The windshield wipers were flicked on shortly after that as the rain began to fall a little harder, thunder booming louder overhead.

The city was asleep. He could only pray Lorena would be, too, when he got back to Bon Temps.

o.O.o.O.o

Lorena paced the hardwood floor of the old plantation house with a fire blazing in the fireplace. Her eyes drifted to the phone, hoping and praying it would ring. It wasn’t like Bill to be out this late. He’d been working late a lot in the last couple of months. The company he was working for was expanding in leaps and bounds. Bill was a genius when it came to computers and the programs he’d designed for DeCastro Inc. had afforded them a very nice life together.

She’d met Bill after a series of less than nice men had come into her life. She’d met him at a point when she felt used and abused. She vowed to never again be put in that position. She would do anything to keep Bill. He was a good man, very loyal and devoted to her. She’d charmed him and did everything right. They were married two years after they met. Almost immediately, she was pregnant with Sophie-Ann. Now eight years later, she was a plucky little girl with a strong will.

Their life was a good one, she thought. She kept their house beautiful and raised their daughter as best she could. She was the perfect wife. Dinner was on the table every night promptly at six. She was always impeccably dressed. She hadn’t let herself go just because she was married and had a child. If anything, she thought those were reasons to keep up her appearance. She wanted her husband and daughter to be proud of her.

A niggling little voice in the back of her mind starting whispering something was wrong. It was too late for Bill to just be having dinner with clients. The sun would be rising soon. He was never out this late. The weather was bad. There could have been an accident. She thought of all the twists and turns on the old dirt roads that lead to their house. There were no street lights. An animal could have jumped out. What if Bill swerved to miss it? His car could be overturned on the side of the road and no one would know until morning.

Panic rose in her throat. She called his cell phone repeatedly, but the calls all went to voicemail. She thought about calling the sheriff to see if he would do a sweep of Hummingbird Lane, but that would be silly. Her imagination was just getting the better of her.

She looked at their wedding picture up on the mantel. She didn’t know what she’d do if she lost Bill. Her life would be over. Everything she worked so far for would be ruined. She knew he was what most women would consider a catch. He had a good job, made very good money and owned a lovely home in the country. Doubts in her mind told her she was replaceable. She remembered the company Christmas party nearly a year before.

Bill had introduced her to Eric Northman, the vice president of public relations. With him was his wife, Sookie. Sookie looked like the cover of a magazine come to life. She had bright blue eyes, shiny blonde hair and breasts women would pay thousands of dollars for. Only Lorena was sure it was all natural. Sookie was a fantasy girl. It hadn’t escaped her attention the way Bill looked at Sookie. She was younger and prettier. Was that what Bill wanted?

Lorena paced the house in her flannel nightgown, praying she was wrong about that. Bill hadn’t been making love to her the way he used to. There was much passion in the way he touched her. Hell, he didn’t even look at her the same anymore. There was a time when he was all over her, all the time. She told herself it was just stress. All marriages got stuck in ruts, didn’t they? Maybe they needed to get away for a while.

They could leave Sophie-Ann with Linda, their next door neighbor and mother of Sophie’s best friend. They could take a few days and go down to New Orleans, or maybe over to Jackson. They’d been married in Jackson. Maybe going back to where they’d gotten their start would give their marriage a shot in the arm.

Really, who was she without her husband and her child? Her whole world was centered around Bill and Sophie. She nibbled nervously at her thumb. She’d worked so hard to be what Bill wanted her to be. Could it really be all for nothing? She’d put her past away in the far recesses of her mind, refusing to give up a single one of the many skeletons in her metaphorical closet. What decent man would be turned on by a woman who, in her past, had enjoyed being tied to a bed while enjoying the company of several less decent men?

There was no way someone like Bill would still want her if he knew about all the wild things she had done, or the things she was still capable of. She could only imagine his the disgust he would feel if he knew how often she fantasized about him being rough with her, maybe even fucking her into unconsciousness. God, she would kill for that.

But that wasn’t the way it was with Bill. No, he was a refined gentleman. He had good manners. His mama had raised him right. He opened doors for her, pulled out her chair and kissed her goodnight. He was a good father to their daughter, equally doting on her and teaching her how to be a lady. Where had it all gone so wrong? How had they tumbled down the spiral without even knowing it was happening?

She looked at the phone once more, not realizing she was taking steps closer to it. Maybe the line was dead. Maybe Bill had tried to call, but the storm had cut the phone. What if he had tried to call for help? She picked up the receiver but before it even got half way to her ear, she heard the dial tone. The phone was just fine. Bill just wasn’t calling. Her heart hammered in her chest. Thunder boomed overhead. Lightning flashed, illuminating their front yard.

Tree branches hung like broken limbs and all she could think about was her husband’s mangled body on the side of the road somewhere, ejected from a blazing, crumpled car. What if he was dying? How could she raise Sophie alone? It wouldn’t work without Bill. She was no good.

No good alone. I’ve never been good alone.

The thought repeated itself over and over in her mind. She reached out to dial the number for the sheriff’s office. Maybe she was crazy, but she had to be sure. She was three digits into the number when headlights flashed in front of her. A car. No red and blue. Bill!

She dropped the phone and ran to the front door.

o.O.o.O.o

Bill looked at the clock on the dash and cursed himself. He was stupid. How did he let this happen? Nearly four in the morning. Surely by now Lorena realized he hadn’t come home. She would be waiting for him, of this he was certain. Hell, he’d be lucky if she hadn’t made calls to half the town to try and find him. Of course, he wouldn’t be anywhere in Bon Temps. If he’d had too much to drink at a poker game, Lorena would have been called long ago. Someone would have brought him home, or she would have come to get him. This was no good.

She would ask questions. She would demand answers. This might very well be the last night he could call Lorena his wife, and suddenly, the risks of cheating weren’t worth it anymore. The next day he would tell Jessica it was over. He couldn’t keep it up. If all that was at stake was divorcing Lorena, he might be able to justify it to himself, but there was Sophie-Ann to think about. He’d been a selfish bastard, jeopardizing her like he did.

He pulled over at the side of the road and turned his cell phone on. Shit. Voicemails. Lots of them. All from Lorena, no doubt, wanting to know where he was. He quickly turned the phone off again. He would tell her the battery died. He looked at his reflection in the rear view mirror once more. No lipstick on his face, neck or collar. He’d be in the shower before she go to check other parts of him. So far, she hadn’t suspected a thing. To her, he was still the perfect husband.

God willing, it would stay that way.

He didn’t have to work too hard to make himself look exhausted. He really was. Between the lying, the anxiety over getting caught and the hours of fucking another woman, he was genuinely tired. He put the car in gear again and got back on the road. He made the last turn onto Hummingbird Lane and drove the two miles north to where the turn was for his driveway. He slowed to make the final turn, and immediately saw the lights on in his house.

The entire house was lit up. Lorena was standing in the window with the phone to her ear looking grief stricken and unkempt. It was very unlike her not to be completely put together. She didn’t even like to kiss him in the morning without having brushed her teeth first. In fact, most mornings she was out of bed and cleaned up a bit before Bill’s alarm went off. He woke would wake to a bright eyed and minty breathed wife. She didn’t particularly enjoy making love in the morning, but she would allow it if Bill wanted it.

The car rolled to an easy stop in front of the house. He steeled himself for the onslaught of anger he was sure to be getting from her. Instead, the double doors of the house flew open and Lorena came running toward him as he exited the car. The rain had slowed down considerably, but she would still have muddy feet when she got to him. She flung her arms around him and held him close.

“Thank God you’re alright! I was so scared, Bill! I was just about to call the sheriff’s office.” She peppered his face and neck with kisses, but stopped abruptly when the wind picked up.

His arms had yet to close around her. He was stiff as a board and not at all attempting to soothe her. Lorena pulled back and looked up into his eyes. There wasn’t much of a height difference between them. In a pair of three inch heels, she would be eye to eye with him. Her hands grasped the crinkled collar of a shirt that had been perfectly pressed when he’d left the house that morning. She jerked him closer and breathed in again.

She sobbed and he was sure he was caught. She knew. She knew where he’d been. His heart leapt into his throat. When he tried to close his arms around her to comfort her, maybe offer an explanation as to where he’d been, she pushed him away.

“It’s cold out here. We should get inside where we both belong.” Her stare was intense.

“Yes, dear.” He ducked into the car and reached for his briefcase.

The car door slammed behind him and he followed Lorena into the house as lightning lit up the sky. Rain began fast and hard once again, the storm renewed.

“Bill, you’re letting the cold in.” Lorena stared at him with vacant eyes.

“Sorry, dear.” He stepped inside as the thunder rolled.


Five Years Later…

Bill got out of the limo, and reached in for his date. Dawn was his most recent in a long string of women. He’d broken things off with Jessica, having been spooked over what Lorena might do. It was one thing for him to file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences, but it was something else for her to file because of his infidelity. He’d cooled it for a while, playing the role of the perfect husband.

But ultimately, he got bored. His eyes began to wander again. They wandered to Felicia, Ginger, Selah, Isabel, Yvonne, Maudette, Denise and finally Dawn. Dawn was the crown jewel of the women he’d dated. She was sexy, smart and she called Bill out on his bullshit. She was the one who got him to see the life he was living was a lie. He deserved better than a frigid wife and fake smiles in family portraits.

Sophie-Ann was a bit of a nightmare, as it turned out. She was a perceptive little girl who manipulated both of her parents to get what she wanted. In short, she ruled the roost and got away with bloody murder as a result. At the age of ten, she’d been with her best friend Hadley at a movie in Shreveport when she witnessed Bill kissing Selah on a street corner. If it weren’t for the arguments she’d heard her parents have about Bill entertaining other women, she might have bought his story that she was simply a long lost friend who got the wrong idea.

Bill’s home life was a utter disaster. He spent more nights away than he did there. It took several months of fucking on the sly before Bill realized Dawn wasn’t like the others. She was exactly the type of woman he should have been with all along. That realization made it easy to start planning a life that didn’t include Lorena. He started making arrangements to move into Dawn’s condo just to the north of Shreveport.

He even contacted a lawyer and began to tell people at work he and Lorena had separated. The night of DeCastro, Inc.’s annual Christmas party, Dawn was his date. It was a formal affair held at a banquet hall at the fanciest hotel in town. He had his tuxedo cleaned, and just about had a heart attack when he arrived to pick up Dawn. She was stunning.

Her long, dark hair was expertly curled and styled. Her makeup was flawless and her sparkling silver dress dipped low in the front and clung to all of her curves. She was perfection. The knowledge that she wasn’t wearing panties under that second skin of a dress didn’t help matters. In fact, it took all the control he had not to ravage her in the back of the chauffeured car.

Dawn held out her hand to Bill, and he helped her out. He threaded her arm through his and lead her into the hotel. He had a room reserved for later, as a great many of his co-workers had done. They were at the bar getting drinks when Eric Northman walked up beside Bill.

“Eric.” Bill nodded politely.

“Bill.” Eric nodded in return.

Just two months before, Sookie had given birth to their second child, another son. Bill looked over his shoulder to spot Sookie standing with Pamela Ravenscroft, Eric’s trusted right hand in public relations. Bill might have thought Eric was having an affair if it weren’t for the fact that Pam was very open about her sexual preference and had a plucky brunette on her arm. Sookie looked amazing. Aside from her above average size breasts, there was next to no indication she’d recently given birth. Lorena certainly hadn’t bounced back as quickly after having Sophie-Ann.

“How’s the baby?” Bill asked.

“Very well. We’re looking forward to him sleeping through the night.” Eric smiled brightly.

Bill never had to deal with that when Sophie was a baby. If she so much as mad grunted, Lorena was out of bed to take care of her. In fact, Bill’s interaction with his daughter had been quite limited for the first year of her life. Since Lorena had insisted on breastfeeding, Sophie was often attached to her mother.

“I can imagine.” Bill smiled in return.

“Honey, your drink.” Dawn tapped his shoulder.

“Thank you, sweetheart.” Bill kissed her cheek. “Eric, this is-”

“Dawn Green.” Eric finished for him, getting Dawn’s attention.

“Eric Northman! I haven’t seen you in ages.” Dawn smirked.

“It has been a while.” Eric conceded.

“You two know each other?” Bill was visibly less than impressed.

“Honey, Eric and I…well, we dated for a spell years ago.” Dawn admitted.

“Yes, it was just after I got out of college before I started working for DeCastro. You’re a lucky man, Bill. Dawn is one of the good ones.” The wink Eric gave made Dawn blush and Bill insanely jealous.

Of course Dawn had slept with Eric. He had quite the reputation before he settled down with Sookie. Rumors had spread like wildfire about just what sort of woman Sookie must be if she got Eric to cool his jets. No one had expected him to marry her, that’s for sure, but he had. They’d been married for almost eight years, by Bill’s count.

“Congratulations on the new baby. Bill told me. I’m very happy for you. I’ve heard wonderful things about Sookie.”

“You should come meet her.” Eric invited.

While Bill dragged his heels, Dawn pulled him over to where Sookie, Pam and Pam’s date were chatting. Sookie’s smile brightened upon Eric’s return. He handed over a ginger ale to her and kissed her cheek.

“Lover,” yes, he called her that in public. Bill grimaced with distaste. “This is Dawn Green, and you remember Bill Compton?”

“Yes, of course. Nice to see you again, Bill. Dawn, Eric has told me all about you.” Sookie extended a hand.

Just how serious had things been between Eric and Dawn that he had mentioned her to his wife? Bill certainly hadn’t mentioned any of his exes to Lorena before they were married, nor had he asked about any of the men in her , from Lorena’s puritanical attitudes toward sex, he presumed she was mostly innocent when they met. He knew she wasn’t a virgin, but he couldn’t imagine Lorena in wild, sexual situations. It just wasn’t her style.

Bill learned that Eric and Dawn had dated for three years before they had parted ways mutually. He wanted to focus on his career, as did she and their feelings for each other had shifted to simple friendship. Bill did his best to maintain a poker face, but inside he was seething over this development. That is, until Dawn casually slipped her hand under the jacket of his tux and began to massage his backside.

The rest of the party went rather well. Bill would look over at Eric and Sookie from time to time, admiring how comfortable and happy they looked with each other. Eric was always touching her, whether it was a his hand on her back, she was holding his hand, or they were kissing each other, they were were very much together. Bill felt his jealousy flair more than once. It wasn’t necessarily because he wanted Sookie anymore- although he still wouldn’t kick her out of bed for eating crackers- but it was because he wanted to feel that way about someone.

Was Dawn that someone? She certainly had made an impression on him, no doubt about it. For the last week he had been trying to find the right words to say to Lorena when he announced he was moving out and filing for divorce. Enough was enough. Even if things didn’t last with Dawn, it was time to put their marriage out of misery. He was tired of being miserable.

“Are you ready to go?” Dawn purred in Bill’s ear around midnight. She rubbed her breasts against his back and slipped her hands in his pockets.

He shifted and smiled over his shoulder at her. “Lead the way, darling.”

o.O.o.O.o

Lorena stared at the credit card bill in disbelief. There was a charge to a Damon Cataliades, Esq. listed on the bill. A quick Google search informed her Bill had paid a high powered divorce attorney. The bastard was leaving her. For years she had suffered the humiliation of him running off to woman after woman. She could always tell when he found someone new.

The gifts would start arriving. He would bring her flowers and pay her more compliments to make up for the time away from home. She was no fool. He’d given up his first little whore pretty quick after she discovered what he was up to, but his new leaf didn’t stay turned. He went back to his cheating ways before too long. By her count there had been eight others after the first.

It was this most recent one that seemed to be the most trouble. There was something different about Bill when he came home now. There were stars in his eyes. He’d never looked at Lorena that way, even when they were much younger and all over each other all the time. While it had hurt to know he was off making love to other women, there had been some small amount of comfort in knowing it was just sex.

But, as Bill often did when he got comfortable with what he was doing, he got careless. He was making charges on their credit cards for flowers, gifts, hotel rooms, dinners and now lawyers. It was amazing how easy it was to call up a business and get the address of someone if you knew the right thing to say. Bill had recently purchased a very expensive bouquet of exotic flowers for his new pet. All it took was a phone call from her to the florist, pretending to be from the credit card company, and she was able to get a delivery address.

The flowers had been sent to an upscale lingerie boutique in downtown Shreveport to a woman named Dawn Green. Lorena went to the shop the next day to scope out her competition. It wasn’t the first time she’d done something like that. Although, she would admit Dawn was by far the prettiest of the lot. It was obvious she took very good care of herself. She’d pretended to be a customer. Dawn was polite, pleasant and very knowledgeable of her products.

Lorena ended up making a purchase. She couldn’t wait to see the look on Bill’s face when the bill came in the mail. No doubt he would go into one of his tailspins. Instead, it seemed, it had pushed him to go see the lawyer. Her plan had backfired. Rather than spook him out of a relationship with the shop owner, she had pushed him away. This simply wouldn’t do.

There had been too many nights of wondering if Bill would come home, too many times when he did come home that he smelled of other women. The bastard didn’t even bother to shower anymore. He would come home stinking to high heaven of cheap perfume, smoke and sex. She thought about going out and having an affair of her own, but by remaining the faithful wife, she would be entitled to more in the divorce settlement.

Only there wasn’t going to be a divorce settlement. If she went on record with Bill’s infidelity, everyone would know she had sat idly by while her husband fucked woman after woman. It was the stuff country songs were made of. She was pathetic; a doormat, to say the least. Well, it was time to take some of her power back.

Bill called from the office to tell her they needed to talk. She agreed, and sent Sophie over to Hadley’s for a sleepover. Lorena made a lovely supper and set the table as if they were going to sit down to a romantic meal together. Then she went on a rampage and trashed the house, throwing herself into doors and walls, knocking paintings off kilter and breakables to the ground. She knocked pots and pans off the stove and counters. She broke dishes and glasses. The house looked positively destroyed.

She was bruised, panting and bloody when Bill drove up to the house. Self defense. When this was all over, it would look like she had defended herself against an abusive husband. She had confronted him about his affair, and he went into a rage. She just barely was able to get the gun they kept in the living room in time. She’d shoot him at close range so it would look like he was rushing her when she got her shot off. It was perfect.

She paced the house with the lights out, waiting for Bill to drive up. Thunder and lightning bombarded her senses, bringing her back to the first night she learned Bill was cheating on her. Bastard. When Bill pulled up, she pressed herself against the wall in the living room with her finger on the trigger. Her mind was blank. There was no regret, no rage, no fear. She was calm. Too calm.

“Lorena?” Bill called out when he walked in. “Jesus, what happened in here?”

One by one, lights came on in the house as he went from room to room, calling her name. When he finally stepped into the living room, she raised the gun. It was aimed right at him when the lights turned on. He froze when he saw her standing there in her negligee, hair wild and makeup smeared on her face. She was swollen, bruised and blooded from all of her self-inflicted wounds.

“Fuck, Lorena, what happened here?”

Lorena stepped forward with her arm raised at him. “Did you ever love me, Bill?”

“What are you…Lorena, put the gun down.” He held his hands up.

“This is the last time, Bill. Never again.” The lights flickered as the storm raged on outside.

“Lorena! Lorena, don’t!”

“Goodbye, Bill.” She pulled the trigger.

The sound was deafening and the crack of the firearm echoed all around her. The first shot only grazed his shoulder. He came charging at her and she fired again, hitting him in the chest. He slumped to his knees and fell forward. He didn’t make a sound. No breath, no writhing in pain, just the sound of thunder booming overhead.

Lorena stepped forward and kicked Bill’s shoulder. No response. Bill was dead. She screamed until she was hoarse. There was no guilt or remorse. She was happy. Sublimely so. He was dead. She was free.

Police arrived a short time later, though she didn’t remember calling them. The gun was taken into evidence. She told her sad story of being a secretly battered wife for years. She told of Bill’s infidelity and how she had made a nice dinner in hopes of convincing him to give up his most recent girlfriend so they could work things out. It really was a sad story. How could anyone possibly blame her for defending herself against a man who could be so brutal.

Only the man who had ‘brutalized’ her had no offensive wounds on his hands. There were no signs whatsoever he’d caused a single one of her injuries. No swollen knuckles. No bruises on his hands. None of her blood was on him. Moreover, she had no defensive wounds. None of his skin was under her fingernails from scratching him. There was only his blood spatter on her nightgown.

Her carefully crafted story was full of holes.

“Mrs. Compton, I’m going to need you to put your hands behind your back.” Detective Andy Bellefleur motioned for her stand.

“What? Why?” Lorena rocketed off the couch.

“Because we’re going to need to take you downtown for further questioning, that’s why. Your story doesn’t make much sense.”

“That motherfucker cheated on me for years! He was going to leave me for some cheap whore, and I’m the one going to jail?”

“If we can fill in the blanks here, that won’t happen.” The detective told her.

“What blanks? There are no blanks! He attacked me. He’s stolen my life and I was just taking it back.” Lorena crumpled again.

“There are no signs he’s responsible for your injuries, Mrs. Compton. How do you explain that? If you can tell me how he beat you so severely without a shred of evidence on his person, and you still managed to shoot him in self-defense in the heat of the moment, I won’t arrest you.”

Lorena sputtered and stared at the bloodstain on the run where Bill had died not two hours before. Lightning flickered outside, fat raindrops falling slowly. She sucked in air, her face becoming redder by the second before she screamed her confession.

“Fine! I killed him. That son of a bitch used me for years. Keep my house clean. Cook my meals. Raise my daughter. Fuck me whenever I want you to. Perfection. All he wanted was perfection! He didn’t give a shit about me as long as everyone else thought we were perfect, and that bastard had the balls to go behind my back and fuck everything in a skirt! He was going to leave me for one of his whores! He was going to humiliate me and tell everyone it was my fault he left. Well he’s not leaving now, is he? I hate you, Bill Compton! I hate you!” Lorena jumped off the couch and attacked a family portrait that was hanging on the wall, stabbing Bill over and over again with a letter opener from the desk.

It took four officers and two paramedics to restrain her and strap her to a gurney. It wasn’t until she was sedated that she was calm enough to speak again. Rain poured down around them as Lorena was taken out of the house.

“Where’s Bill? I need my Bill.” She said with tears in her eyes as she was loaded into the ambulance. “Bill! Bill! I need you, Bill!”

The ambulance doors were closed and the thunder rolled.

-FIN-

One thought on “The Thunder Rolls

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