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Reflections of the Future

The Ring

By Dennis HumphreysPublished 2 years ago 48 min read

Reflections on the Future

by: Dennis R. Humphreys

No one knows how or why there are premonitoions. Why are some people more disposed to them? It has been suggested within some scientific circles, that everhything we learn is stored outside of our bodies in some kind of magnetic field very much like the aura psychics talk about but is ridiculed by the same sciences. When the information is needed the brain acts as a receiver, goes out, and retrieves the information. But what if certain people are capable of retireving this information from further away, indiscriminate of whose brain the information is associated with? Is there a way to help them do this?

Angela was twenty two years old, a highschool dropout, married for three months to a drug addict she didn't realize was, and recently widowed because of his drug overdose. She wasn't upset because she realized the first month they were married she didn't love him. It was her way of dealing with her own unhappy homelife in an attempt to escape. That she did, but the trade off was even worse. Her new husband showed his true colors just days after their wedding. He beat her senseless, ridiculed her and basically enforced the idea she was worthless and that she was lucky to have him marry her. It was a repeat of her father. Her mother died six years ago from injuries falling down a flight of stairs while cleaning. But it was her father, not the stairs and within weeks she had replaced her mother in his bedroom at fifteen.

Marrying Jeff Hardy seemed like a good idea at the time but it didn't really change anything other than get her out of her father's bedroom and into his. Maybe that was the good thing that came out of it all. Being rid of Jeff was just as good. Her depression though, was severe and after a lifetime of being told she was no good and would never amount to anything, everything she did or planned didn't seem good enough. She was a second guesser.

She hadn't turned to drugs as a further escape but she did begin drinking. Regularly at first, but then heavily. She knew why, an expert didn't have to tell her that, but the voices over the years kept whispering in her ears. It was impossible to stop that. When it came time to decisions they affected her and given a fifty-fifty chance of being wright with a choice, it seemed she always chose wrongly.

One day after having taken off from work again, she was sitting in her living room of the small apartment when she heard someone at the door. There was a mail slot there and a small bubble wrapped package slid through the small tarnished brass opening there. She stayed where she was because she didn't feel like getting up to retrieve it. She was afraid to open it like she was afraid to open regular envelopes. It was a thing she had so she let it lay there through a couple of more drinks. Finally curiosity got the best of her and she went and got it.

Falling back into the chair, she took a swallow of her drink and inspected the envelope, front and back. Nothing was on it not even a return address. It was clearly addressed to her...Angela Hardy and on the flap was a cross. Angela wasn't a religious person and never even stepped into a church so she just laughed it off. It felt like a small box inside. She frustrated herself trying to open it because of the way the envelope was made...impenetrable and untearable. She went to the kitchen area and found sissors to cut the end off the envelope. Then she emptied it into her other hand. It was a small box...a ring box from the looks of it. It must have been something Jeff bought before he died, for her, maybe the only thoughtful thing he ever did.

When she opened the box there was a silver ring with a large, smoky looking faceted stone in it...emerald cut. It was an interesting stone and looked old. Later she found out it was a thirty carat, pale smokey, rutiled quartz stone. The long thin needle like intrusions were of titanium. It fit her middle finger. Angela immediatey fell in love with the ring. She looked back in the envelope for some explanation and saw an index card inside with writting.

She pulled it out to read. The writting on it was beautiful and appeared to be a woman's script.

'Dear Angela,

You do not know who I am nor do I want to tell you. I will tell you this though, this ring is a very special piece of jewelry. It is time for me to pass it on to a deserving person and that is you. It's history goes back a few hundred years and has been passed from one person to another when the owner foresees her own death. You see this ring carries the gift of prophecy. When you look closely and concentrate on the table of this ring, into its reflections, it reveals future events. I have been very successful as a psychic because of this ring. When it foretells your own death that is the time to pass it on to someone who can use it so the ring's purpose continues.'

Angela turned the card over but the back was blank. This was all it said but it was freaky enough for her. She wasn't going to say no to a free gift even if it was strange coming like this without knowing the person who sent it. It was large but it looked like nice on her hand. The table of the ring was probably three quarters of an inch wide by and inch high. It might look better on the other hand she thought so she went to change fingers but the ring wouldn't budge.

'That's odd she thought. It went on so easily to be stuck.' She kept trying to pull it off and then went to the kitchen and poured liquid soap on it but the ring remained fast. She shrugged her shoulders, leaving it alone, and then went back to her chair. There was one swig left in her glass, but when she tried drinking it, the taste was horrible. She almost vomoited from it. She poured another drink but that tasted worse. Not understandfing her change of taste she put her glass down and turned the television on, watching a couple of shows blindly until she fell asleep on the sofa.

She dreamed of her mother, her father and her husband. They were standing in a great hole in the ground watching her. As she looked at them they seemed to receed into the distance until they became faint and then disappeared. When she turned there was a great field, colorful from all the widflowers growing and the tall wheat like grass that grew was an unbelievably bright golden color. It's color became brighter as it approached the rounded mountains that laid before her.

Angela awoke the next morning feeling really good. She wanted to go to work, and she had gotten up in time to get there on time for her shift, as a waitress at the Bluebird Dinner, a place whose customers' average age was probably sixty eight. Angela actually looked forward to going there today, even though she was getting tired of the cook's advances, trying to grab her all the time.

“Hey, you finally made it into work!” the owner, Glenda Hopper remarked after Angela had called in sick the last two days.

“I feel good today. Like I could take on anything,” Angela commented happily.

There was something definitely different about her, Glenda noticed it. She didn't look suicidal like she had these last several weeks. She was a downer on her fellow workers and to the people she waited on. That didn't stop Beans, the cook from trying to grab her all the time though. He was called Beans because that's all anyone ever saw him eat. They were the blame for his constant farting.

Angela, had just put in a couple of orders and ran to the back to pour some juice one of her tables had ordered, to help speed things along. Beans saw it as an invite to grab her as she walked back past him in front of his griddle. Quickly without thinking, when Angela felt his hand on her butt, she swung around without losing a drop of juice from the glasses on her tray, and gave him a right hook with her fist wearing the new ring. She sent him flying, staggering back with a surprised look on his face, when he hit the floor. The impression of the large stone was clearly left on bis face. Several others in the kitchen saw it and died laughing.

Angela flew out of the kitchen and served the juice, embarrassed. She had never done anything like that before.

Her shift seemed to go faster than normal and she did extremely well with her tips. Before she left, Beans actually apologized to her and said he'd never bother her again. Things were looking better suddenly.

When she got home she didn't feel the need for a drink. Angela felt good about herself today so she cooked up a pork chop for herself instead of a drink, with a sweet potato and lots of butter. After she ate, she decided to take a nice hot bath and relax in it, picking up a book she started a half dozen times in the last six months but had to start it again each time, not remembering what she had read. She was determined to keep reading it this time until it was finished. She stopped every so often to admire the ring and swore it kept getting prettier. Angela even tried to remove it again while in the tub and wet, lathering with soap, but still the ring would not come off. It did't even feel tight and she had small knuckles.

She fell asleep in the tub and when she woke up the water was cold. Angela found herself shivering and looked at her white, wrinkled finger tips. At least the book fell flat on her chest and not in the water. Rather than add more hot water to warm up she decided to get out, dry off and head to bed to spend the evening under warm covers, reading.

The following morning she was awakened by her alarm for work. At work she got nice greetings from everyone with a single yellow rose from Beans...and a big smile when she picked it up. smelled it, and immediately put it in a glass of water to take home. It was the first flower anyone had ever given her.

It was halfway through the morning as she was taking an order from an older couple when Angela noticed the old lady looking at her ring.

“I've been looking at your ring. It is beautiful and looks very old. Has it been in your family long?” she asked assuming it was a family heirloom.

“No actually. Someone sent it to me anonomously just a few days ago. I love it,” she admitted.

“You have a secret admirer?” the lady responded looking at her husband. “He was mine years ago. He kept sending me things for three weeks before he got the nerve to ask me out.”

“No...I do know it was a woman who sent it to me. I just don't know who,” Angela told her customer.

“Honey, she could still be a secret admirer,” the old woman answered in a half whisper out of the side of her mouth.

Angela hadn't thought of that on her way back to the kitchen to hang the order in front of the cook. She had a relationship with a girl when she was sixteen for a few months so she wasn't against it but there wasn't anything fulfilling there. The girl expressed her undying love for Angela and that was that. It was a temporary sex adventure for Angela, nothing permanent. Her lover's espousal was enough to end the relationship.

Later when she delivered the food to the old couple she noticed movement appearing in her ring that caught her attention as she put a plate of liver and onions in front of the woman's husband. She looked closely at it and there was an image...a white CRV getting crushed by a dumptruck at an intersection just up the road. It was the old couple eating in front of her, in the CRV. Angela felt a tingle up the back of her neck and suddenly she was chilled.

“Do you guys drive a white CRV?” Angela asked knowing what the answer would be, The old lady looked at her face and saw something was wrong.

“Yes we do. What's the matter?” asked the old man.

“When you leave here do you go through the Midland intersection up the road?” the waitress asked.

“Always. Why?” the woman asked her.

“There's going to be a bad accident. Don't go home that way or at least be extremely careful,” Angela warned The couple ate slowly and Angela checked on them a couple of times before they left. She watched from the diner window as they pulled out onto the road and moved up towards the intersection where they would be out of sight.

“It's too long to go around. I'll just go slow,” the old man told his wife.

“Just be careful. I hate this intersetion anyway.” When they got there the light was red. “This light is so long.”

The light turned red and the car in front of them started through. They followed. After just a few feet her husband slammed on the brakes instinctively to a dead stop illiciting a round of horn blowing from the impatient guy behind them immediately. The car in front just barely got through the intersection when a large, rusty dumptruck barrelled through the light. It's driver was slumped over the steering wheel. The old couple looked at each other knowing if they had proceeded they would have been hit squarely in the side by the truck going about fifty miles an hour. If they hadn't been killed there would have been some serious injury.

The next day, Angela noted the old couple were back. She was glad they were here. She liked them.

“You guys must have liked the're back!” Angela greeted them.

“We have to thank you,” the old lady told her and then relayed what had happened the day before after leaving the diner.

“Thank God you two are OK,” Angela announced feeling vindicated at the same time for her prediction. The ring did have some kind of connection to prophecy she thought, admiring it as she went to the kitchen with their order.

When the couple gave her their money for the bill there was an extra one hundred dollars there.

“You guys gave me way too much money here,” she told them.

“Don't worry about it, honey,“ the old man replied. “You saved us some serious problems yesterday. I just wish it could be more.”

“I was diagnosed a few months ago with inoperable cancer. I only have a few months to live just past Christmas. If something had happened to keep me from spending this last time together with my husband, well...we have you to thank you for giving us that time, “she spoke thankfully with sincere gratitude in her eyes. “You are a true psychic.”

“I'm sorry to hear that. I guess the time you have left is the most valuable. I don't know if I'd call myself a psychic. I just thought I saw what was going to happen in the ring and told you,” Angela answered them humbly.

“Don't doubt yourself. The gift of prophecy comes from above. Who knows how or when you'll get it. Some...never. Others develope it and others speak it the moment they can talk. What is your name anyway? I see it's Angela on you uniform,” she asked.

“Angela Hardy,” she introduced herself.

“No...your maiden name, the one you got when you were born,” the old lady inquired.

“Angela Michaels,” she told her.

“Ah, you are a messenger...the angel Michael...the archangel,” the women commented smiling. Her husband shook his head in affirmation.

Angela never had thought of it before. Maybe there was something to the old lady's observation.

“Since we're making introductions who have I been serving these last two days?”

“This is my husband Tom, Tom Jergans. I'm Gabriella,” she introduced them holding out her hand to shake Angelas. She swore she felt a slight shock as their hands met.

“What's your maiden name?” Angela found herself asking and for no apparent reason.

“It's Angelo. My parent moved here from Tuscany when I was six. I had to go back over there to visit family when I was nineteen. I met my husband there while he was in the army. Strange how things happen,” she commented.

“It's also odd your name is Gabriella Angelo...the angel Gabriel. Strange coincidence,” she told her as they stood to leave.

“There are no coincidences in life my dear. However, I will be telling all my friends about you and anyone else who will listen. I will toot your horn like the angel Gabriel,” she told her as she gave her a light kiss on the cheek and blessed her.

“Please you guys, come in again,” Angela pleaded. Somehow she sensed she might not see them again.

She glanced at her ring wondering suddenly if Gabriella had anything to do with it. When she did she saw a fire, a kitchen fire here at the restaurant exploding into something horrible.

“Beans, get away from the stove,” she yelled, attracting the attention of everyone in the diner. Beans surprised by her outburst automatically stepped back, as Angela grabbed the fire extinguisher from the wall just inside the kitchen. Everyone's attention was on her wondering what was happening when a grease fire exploded at the stove. Angela was on it right away and put it out with the extinguisher.

The place broke into applause, even those that couldn't really see. After she hung the extinguisher back up Angel's heart started pounding

The owner came back to the kitchen then, Glenda, and immediately went into overdrive.

“Damn it Beans, how many times do I have to tell you to keep that grill clean? You let it get way too greasy. Well, this is it. I'm through telling at you. This is your last day. Stop at my office before you leave today. I can't have you around here anymore. If it wasn't for Angela, who knows what may have happened,” she yelled, then started to leave. “Thanks Angela.”

“Thanks Angela,” Beans told her. “I could have been seriously hurt.”

“I guess it's you from the hospital but not your job,” Angela commented. “I think this means you get another chance to do better and at a better job. Beans looked at her and thought a moment and then he smiled shaking his head 'yes'.

People looked at Angela as she went about her job like she from another world. She felt even more different again than she did the last few days. After that day though attendance at the diner rose dramatically, even though they moved slower now without an experienced cook. Glenda, the owner filled in at the grill until she hired someone new. She did keep the grill spotless.

“Are you the psychic waitress?” people began asking while Angela took their orders. How do you answer that without seeming self effacing or claiming something you can only take credit for a couple of times? Let's not jump the gun it hasn't been a regular thing.

“I have had my moments,” is all she could say at this point.

Several days after the kitchen fire, Glenda had a new cook. Angela didn't like him at all. As touchy feely Beans had been, until recently, she like him. This guy was tall, thin and dark. Even his eyes seemed to be void of color and were two pools of black. He was fairly quiet and when he looked at you...well, he gave Angela the creeps. His name was Lucky...Lucky Darkhorse, implying he was Indian but he didn't look Indian. He typical dressed in black which made him seem even more sinister than he was. He wore no jewelry except what appeared to be a bronze sword hilt around his neck. It had strange writting on it and Angela wondered what it meant but wouldn't ask him. She didn't want to get to know him.

After just a few more days and more predictions the place filled. People actually started to stand outside to wait and they were willing to for the psychic waitress. Angela found she was giving advice on marriages, both new and old, relationships, finance, pets and about anything you could imagine. Her scores were high and her notoriety, getting higher. Glenda realized she needed to cash in on her waitress and guarantee her continuation so she started paying Angela more under the table so the others wouldn't know. Angela was grateful but she began to feel she didn't belong there anymore. She looked for answers in her ring but it didn't give her any. There was nothing showing on the table of the stone. Mindlessly staring into it one day, she heard a frail, familiar voice speak.

“Where have you guys been. I've missed you,” Angela sung as she grabbed both of them and hugged the old couple of her first prediction.

“We went on a trip to the islands. Decided to enjoy something I always wanted to do before I got too weak with all my crap going on,” she told the waitress. “This place has certainly gotten busy.”

“Everyone is coming around for readings since word is spreading about me and my abilities...the ring's abilities,” Angela corrected herself.

“I think it's the combination of the two of you,” Gariella commented as Angela led them to their table. “It's like a bannana split. How can you call it that without the bannanas and the ice cream?”

It was a strange analogy but it made the point, Angela thought. Angela told the couple what happened the last time they were in, after they left, the incident that really started the ball rolling.

“I noticed you have a new cook back there,” Gabriella confided, “there's something not quite right there. Stay away from him.”

“Don't worry. I get the same feeling but I haven't dated anyone since since before I was married or since my husband died. It's been almost a year and he's starting to look good,” she joked.

“Do not go there, dear, and do not ever welcome him into your home,” Gabriella warned.

Angela looked up at the cook. She could see him from where she stood. He was already looking at her as if he knew the conversation was about him. She caught a slight smile from him. Was that a smile? She had never seen the guy smile so it took her back.

“I felt you talking about me earlier,” Lucky, the cook mentioned to Angela as she was preparring to leave and he was busy cleaning the grill.

“My customers made the comment we had a new cook. That's all,” Angela told him as she went to pass him.

“Are you sure?” he asked as he stopped her and peered into her eyes. “I feel something here, maybe it's more than the looks I see you give me while you work. I'd like to have more than a casual acquaintence with you at work.”

“I think you're imagination is misleading you,” Angela told him as he pressed his body closer against her.

She didn't like this man and was uncomfortable around him but there was also something about him that was intensely sexual and appealing. It was like the bad guy your mom always told you to never bring home. So what does a young girl do in heat...she stays in the back seat of the car with him out on some lonely stretch of road. As he pressed against her she felt him getting hard and he was large, very large, a woman's private fantasy.

Angela began to succumb, feeling her breathing becoming deeper, like an anima,l when one of the other waitresses came into the kitchen.

“If you want to leave early, Angela, I 'll finish up the dinnerware,” she mentioned.

It broke the moment and gave Angela the excuse to leave, so she slithered passed the cook and grabbed her jacket.

“Thanks Dana, I appreciate it,” Angela told her as she went out the door.

“Sorry to have broken the moment,” Dana told the cook a little angry, “but that hard on is mine.”

She took Lucky's hand and led him to the storage room where she backed him up against a wall of boxes and ripped his shirt open.

Later, in the evening as Angela watched a movie and ate a pint of Oreo cookie ice cream she heard a knock at the door. She went to it and looked out the peep hole. It was Lucky.

“What do you want?” she shouted through the door.

“You,” he shouted back simply.

“I'm getting ready for bed,” she told him.

“Even better. We can get to know each other more. We'll have all night to discover each others' likes and dislikes,” he told her putting his face against the door.

Angela felt a twinge inside as she did back in the kitchen at work earlier, and found herself with her hand on the door knob, and the other on the deadbolt, when she heard Gabriella's warning, 'do not invite him into your home'. The memory sobbered her and she backed slightly away from the door releasing the knob.

“Come on, know you want me just as much as I want you,” he told her as he slightly hit the door.

“You're not going to get me...leave,” she told him as she began to go back to her seat.

“Please Angela. I want to devour you. I want to cover your naked body in kisses and explore every part of your body with my mouth. I'll bring ecstasic convulsions to it you've never felt before...”he was saying as she put her hands over her ears and yelled.

“Get the fuck out of here before I call the police,” she yelled back.

She heard his footsteps on the steps to leave. Then she went to her bedroom window and watched as he went to his car. Before he got in he looked up at her window. He knew she was there behind the curtains, she knew he knew. She could feel it. Then he waved and climbed into his car. It was eerie. Once again, she looked at her ring but saw nothing. She knew it was time to leave the diner for something better. Now she had more reason to. If she stayed, it was a matter of time before Lucky seduced her and there was something evil about him that she didn't want to experience. Glenda would be upset when she gave her notice but it was time to leave.

The next day Angela gave notice. As she thought, the owner wasn't happy. She wanted to work something out to keep her there. At the end of their meeting, she even offered her a partenership, a percentage of the diner. It was a tempting offer now that business was so good but it was just that...a temptation and Angela became more adamant about the time to leave. Lucky was upset too that she was leaving, but he looked more determined than ever, from his face, to bed Angela.

Angela began calling the next, her day off, to look for openings. It wasn't as difficult as she thought it might be as soon as she gave her name and where she worked. Evidently her notoriety was growing rapidly, and the managers she spoke to, were aware of her. They all wanted to talk knowing she would draw a clientele. The one place she was interested in was a restaurant and bar famous for their chicken wings. The owner was even selling his specisl sauce he had developed, into grocery stores throughout the east coast. He had three restaurants and was openning a fourth. She had heard the tips the waitresses made there were phenominal and she knew the type of customers she could draw, and with her present following she'd probably do quite well. She was already doing nicely where she was, over the last several weeks.

After just a forty minute interview with the owner, whom she really liked, she accepted a job and told him she'd start the following Monday to give her present employer time to replace her. It wouldn' be hard now with the diner's influx of people and the tip money the diner was producing, to attract someone.

The day before she was to start her new job she was painting her nails. She certainly looked a lot better than she did a couple of months ago. She hadn't had a drink and was getting plenty of sleep. She was interrupted by a knock at her door. When she looked out the peephole she saw Lucky standing there smiling with a bottle of liquor. She didn't acknowledge him and turned quietly to go back to what she ws doing.

“Angela. I know you're there. Let me in, I already miss you. At least let me in to help you celebrate your new job and wish you well,” he yelled through the door.

Yeah, sure she thought...a couple of drinks and some sweet talk and some touchy feely stuff and you're here for the night.

“At least let me show you what it could be like,” he said thinkinng she'd have to let him in for that. Gabriella's warning resounded in her ears.

Still she said nothing not wanting to confirm her presence or do anything he wanted her to. As soon as she did that there would some capitulation on her part.

“Look at your ring. I know how you use it. Look at it. Go ahead, look at it with the door closed,” he prompted her. And what was the harm?

She looked as images began to form reflected off the flat surface of the stone. It was her in bed as Lucky climbed on her and lavished her with animalistic advances using every part of his body. She was breathing heavily and moaning. It was as if she were peering at some x rated sex video in which she was a willing accomplice, being seduced by something greater than herself. Angela was actually embaressed by the scene and turned on by it. She dropped her hand trying not to look.

“Do you see that, Angela?” he moaned trying to seduce her through words now. “Do you see how I can make you feel?” You're wet and ready to accept me as much as I want to experience you...your breath...your smell...your taste. You can feel me can't you Angela? Feel my breath, my body. Feel me as I invade you to share the passion we both want to share between us. I can show you and give you things you always wanted. Things you're too ashamed to ask for. I know your inner desires...” he was saying when he was interrupted by a volatile voice from the other side of the door.

“Shut up! Shut the fuck up and get out of here. You're not stepping foot in here. I'm calling the police right now you son of a bitch. I'll tell you right now I'm getting a restrianing order to keep you away and I'm serious,” she yelled as she called 911.

When the police arrived she told them what happened. She knew how this all worked so she had to exagerrate a bit claiming she feared him and he threated to rape her at a more opportune time if she didn't let him in to fuck her that night.

“Alright miss, we'll file a report but you'll have to get to the courts and request a restraining order be issued against this Lucky Darkhorse guy. Get some pepper spray or something to use. There's no guarantee he'll respect a restraining order and when you're alone you're on your own. We've been on a lot of these kind of calls and the lawful thing to do isn't always the right thing to do...if you know what I mean,” the young officer told her and actually seemed concerned. “I'll stop back in a few days or maybe even by your place of employment, if that's alright, to see how you're doing.”

“That would be great,” Angela responded knowing he was going beyond what his job required.

Angela started the new job in a whole new surrounding. Her tips were great and many asked her if she was the psychic waitress.

“That's what they call me,” she'd answer getting tired of the question.

“Can I ask you something?” which was invariably the next thing from thier mouths.

Angela left the place at night and got into the used car she had bought to use. She felt funny leaving the restaurant alone and asked someone to walk her. There was a nagging feeling she was being watched and it made her feel uncomfortable. It could have been anyone following her if there was truth to her paranoia, but she suspected it was Lucky making her feel that way.

She had ordered pepper spray with a couple of extra cannisters. They came with UPS the next day. Two days later she went to the courts and requested a restraining order. She had called the young cop, Zane Richardson, to go with her as a witness and support. The courts issed the restraining order where he wasn't allowed to be within two hundred feet of her and things seemed good.

“I'm glad that's over,” the officer told her. “I was worried about you.”

“I got my pepper spray too, so I'm good to go,” Zane told her.

“That's good. I was worried about you,” he repeated.

“I know. You told me. Were you really worried?” Angela asked feeling a real attraction to the guy, even the other night when he answered her 911 call. It wasn't a sexual thing like she fought with Lucky, or even her initial feeling with her husband, but then she rightfully considered that a result of wanting and needing to leave her home environment.

“Yeah. You seem like such a nice person I didn't want anything happening to you,” he told her, then feeling a little embarrased he looked around them at the other people walking by the courthouse.

“You can look at me when you say something like that. I'm glad you feel that way. I haven't had anyone feel concerned about me since the day my mother died. It makes living a little lonely. You know someone doesn't alway, have to be around to not make you feel lonely. Just knowing they care is sometimes enough and I've been lonely for too long now,” she told him openly.

“Maybe we can get together sometime then, other than a 911 call,” he joked.

“I'd like that. Why don't you come in for some hot wings tomorrow and ask for my table. I'll give you some special attention,” Angela suggested and she kissed him on his cheek and ran to her car across the street. She had a parking ticket there, having run out of time on her meter. He watched as she took it and held it in the air to him shaking her head. He watched as she drove down the street.

“I'm glad to see you took me up on my offer,, say that three times quickly,” she laughed as she came over to the table with two policemen. The one was Zane, the other he introduced as his partner, Able Zimmerman. He had been there the night of the 911 call but she didn't remember his name.

“Huh, Zane and Abel, interesting combo,” she remarked as they laughed.

“Yeah...we've had that comment a couple of times. I wanted to take you up on your offer and figured I'd get here for lunch and bring my compatriot with me to meet you,” Zane told her.

“Let me put your order in and I'll come back. I should be able to take my break now so we can talk,” she told him.

“Shit, you lucky bastard. She's hot. I wish I could meet someone like that on a 911 call.” Able told his partner.

Angela came back and sat next to Zane. They exchanged pleasantries, the three of them while she was on her break. Before she left, Zane spoke up to her.

“Is it alright to come over tonight?” he asked her. “Maybe around seven?”

“Sure let me give you my wait, ah duh. You have it. You've both been there,” Angela said having a temporary lapse of memory. “I'll see you at seven then.”

That afternoon she had two people approach her about questions they had so she told them what she saw, consulting her ring. There was one who came at the end of her shift to confirm with her about a prediction she made for him.

“You told be to stay away from BMT Corporation stock last week and did. Instead, you said to put it into Gladdings, which I did. You not only saved me a lot of money, you made me a lot. I want to show you my appreciation,” as he handed her a envelope of bills. The envelope was thick but she didn't look.

“I can't take anything for that. I gave it to you the information freely when you asked,” she told him graciously.

“You take it. It's yours. You deserve it. You certainly saved my butt,” he told her.

She slipped it into her skirt pocket until later, and almost forgot about it, when she went to go home. Angela remembered and opened the sealed envelope in her car. She was shocked. There was twenty five hundred dollars in it. She had no idea he had given her that much.

On the way home she picked up some things to make snacks with, when Zane came over. She picked up a bottle of champagne too. She figured it wouldn't hurt her near collision with alchohol a few months ago since it wasn't hard stuff but thought it was time to celebrate.

Angela had several things laid out with two glasses when there was a knock at the door. The champagne was there too in a bowl of ice. She didn't have a bucket. As she went to answer it she thought she needed to get the doorbell fixed. There wasn't one, only two wires dangling from the the wall.. She looked out the peep hole and saw Zane standing there with a bottle of wine. She watched him a minute enjoying the anonymity of it all. After about twenty seconds he suddenly looked up an smiled, as if he knew she was there.

Damn, she thought does everyone know when I'm looking at them through the peep hole? I must either be noisier than I think I am, or I put out some sort of signal.

“Well there's my guard,” she said openning the door to her smiling date without the uniform finally.

“Hi there,” Zane replied stepping in an gaving he a slight kiss on the lips,”I thought we could have some wine but it looks like you already have the champagne cooling.”

They spent the evening talking and laughing listening to some music first and then watched a movie and nibbling. Zane openned the champagne and poured the glasses full.

“This is really good,” Zane said after tasting it.

“You think so? I seemed to have lost my taste for alchohol a few months back and it doesn't quite taste right,” she said staring at her glass and setting it down.

“Well, that's not a problem. Alchohol is a bad habit to get into. Drinking it with food once in a while, it's not bad,” he told her.

“Yeah, maybe if I eat some of these things I made to eat, it won't taste quite as funky,” she told him as she sat back and snuggled into his arm to continue watching the movie.”

When the movie was through, Zane stood to leave. He gave Angela a more passionate kiss this time, and longer.

“Thanks for a really enjoyable evening. Let's do this again soon. We can go out to dinner. Something like that,” he suggested.

“That would be great,” she answered as they kissed again.

She was glad he didn't try to rush things like so many men do when they felt a connection. Oftentimes they see it as an open invite to exhibit their horniness. She preferred taking things slow after her previous experiences. Those memories were still too fresh in her mind, though she seemed to be getting away from their effects.

“So are you seeing Angela again? How did your date go last night?” his partner, Abel asked when they both came on shift the next day.

“It went well. Yes, we will be hooking up again,” Zane admitted.

“She seems like a really nice woman,” his partner told him.

“Yeah...she's alright,” Zane replied smiling as they left the building.

Time passed swiftly. Angela's boss was beside himself with the volume of people coming to the restaurant. He had to hire another cook and three more waitress to keep up. If he could clone Angela, he would, to open another place nearby.

Angela even started getting calls on her cell phone.

“I never give out my number. How the heck are people getting my phone number?” she asked herself in the mirror one morning as she readied herself for work. Then they got her address, which wasn't as hard since she was listed, but envelopes with money started coming in and lots of it. When there wasn't money, there were notes not for readings but for prayers so she did say a small one right away for those notes so she wouldn't forget, nor would they accumulate.

Soon she got more letters on the results of the prayer requests...and money. Her bank account grew and she had never asked for a cent. The relationship with Zane continued to grow and there were nights he didn't leave. Angela felt her path was improving exponentially, day by day. She still had the occasional feeling she was being watched by Lucky. Angela found herself looking over her shoulders, her pepper spray in an easily accessible spot.

“I still have the feeling that Darkhorse guy is watching me,” she shared with Zane one evening he came over just to watch movies.”

“Your're just being paranoid. I think he got scared with the court order and decided you were serious. I don't think you're going to have any more problems with him,” Zane told her as he pulled her into him and kissed her deeply. Kisses like that alway turned her on.

When he left in the morning, Zane dressed quiely without waking her, though she was somewhat awake. She heard and felt his phone vibrate, though he had turned off the ringer.

“, I can't right now. It'll be soon though. I promise,” she heard him whisper to the caller from the hall where he went to take the call. She heard the front door close so she went back to sleep the last hour she had before having to get up for work.

That night Zane came back over. They began talking about things in general and the subject of sex came up.

Tonight, let's try something different. We've known each other a while now and the sex is fantastic but I'd like to explore it more with you a bit,” Zane told her.

“What kind of things?,” she asked, wondering where he was going with this. She didn't judge and was open in general. Even though her experiences were limited she wasn't a prude. She had told Zane about the relationship with another girl when she was sixteen but she hadn't even told Zane about her father. That was a secret but the experience didn't turn her off to other suggestions.

“Bondage. I'd like to tie you up and blindfold you,” he told her.

“But I like watching you. That's part of what turns me on in the bedroom with you,” she complained.

“But not being able to see limits your senses and amplifies the senses you do experience,” he explained to her.

She thought a moment.

“Yeah, I can see that. Just like blind people,” she agreed.

“Exactly. Imagine me exploring your body and you not knowing what I'm doing next, since you can't see me. You're tied to the headboard and the footboard so you can't move away from what I'm doing. It's the uncertainty and the suprise that excites you too,” he went on with her.

“Have you ever done this before with anyone?” she asked wondering how he knew what he was telling her. If he had she didn't want to say 'no'. She was as competitive as any other woman. She saw no harm in it and at the same time she didn't want to refuse him and him end up with someone else to do what he wanted to.

“There was a young woman a few years ago. In fact she was the one the openned the doors to me. I had never tried anything like it before and it excited me when she told me about it. Then when we tried it that way several times it was incredible. The sex was unbelievable,” he explained. “I think we're close enough in our relationship we can try it. I wouldn't ask anyone else.”

“OK but you have to promise to stop if I ask you to,” she forewarned him, getting excited though, as she thought about it. There was something about being held down when she was younger by her father, when he did what he did, that was a turn on, though she would never admit it.

Zane led her into the bedroom and undressed her slowly to some heavy sax music they both liked. It was an intense jazz song with the sax lead and a backdrop of stringed instruments. It was sexy music if played while it was raining...that was her undoing. He laid her down and went into her closet pulling out some rags, old linens and things she kept there for dust rags. She watched him tear them into strips. One was wider than the others and shorter...the blindfold , which he brought over and wrapped around her head, tying it and securing it over her eyes.

She heard him moving about, unsure off what he was doing. It did add to the anticipation. Then she felt him on the bed as he wrapped strips of cloth around each wrist and then stretched her out tying her to the headboard. He moved her slightly to wrap the other strips around her ankles, pulling her tight and tying her to the foot board. She felt exposed and vulnerable. When he brushed against her skin, she twitched from the strong feeling it illicited in her. She was excited no doubt and was ready for almost anything he wanted to do. When he was done, he got off the bed and left. It seemed like eternity before he returned, adding to the anticipation.

When he came back it was to brush against her with his naked body moving over her with his mouth. She had ascending orgasms as he moved and then when he entered her it was a welcome invasion that sent her spiraling into an intensity she had never experienced with feelings she never encountered before.

“Wow...I never knew sex could be like that,” she expressed as they laid in the bed in each others' arms. She felt somehow owned by him now. It had been gentle too without the roughness of her father or her husband. It was an open door to a room she was never in but was willing to stay.

“That was pretty incredible. I think I could go again in a little while,” he told her and they did. Exhausted, they fell asleep until he got up to go to work. When she got up a little while later, her legs felt weak from the satisfaction she had experienced last night.

“That's a gorgeous ring and really unusual,” Abel told her as he and Zane sat cross the table ready for a lunch of hot wings the next day. “I meant to say something to you the other day when we were in here.”

“Thanks. It's my favorite possession. I'll never let it go,” Angela told him as she put her hand on the table in front of him to give him a closer look. Besides, I got it on and it won't come off as much as I've tried,” she alerted him

“Yeah we have to take her finger,” Zane joked.

“Coming over tonighjt?” Angela asked Zane after lunch as she walked him to the door.

“Sure am. Around eight,” he told her.

“Maybe we can do a replay of last night,” she said not wanting to be specific with Abel in ear shot.

“Exactly what I have planned, babes. I'll see you tonight,” he said grabbing her ass an squeezing as he kissed her.

“Looks like it's getting serious,” Abel commented. “Every night this past week,”

“You have a problem with that?” Zane responded with agitation. “It's just we found each other's hot buttons.”

Abel was taken back by Zane's attitude and his remark. She obviously thought it was more serious than his partner. He was getting a little suspicious of his partners real feelings about the relaionship because of a couple of conversations he caught the tail end of talking on his phone. Abel really like the woman and didn't want to see her hurt but Zane seemed like he had another agenda. He was popular with the women and thought he might be still in some kind of relationship. Still, he was with him almost every day, and nights he spent with Angela, leaving little time for another woman.

Angela was addicted to their new sexual routine. Over the past three weeks she was bound to her bed and Zane tried everything he wanted with her without complaint. She would say 'no' to something, but then when he went there it only heightened the intensity of the act for him, and for Angela since she was tied.

They sat outside briefly, dressed warmly in coats since it was cold. The moon was a full one and beautiful. Angela thought she had never seen anything like it...the size and it's color. The crispness in the air and being cloudless seemed to increase the beauty of it. She kept Zane outside as long as she could before she decided to go inside because of the cold air.

They warmed up a bit inside with some hot tea she made before going to bed.

As usual she laid prostrate in her bed waiting for Zane to immobilize her between the headboard and footboard. He blindfolded her as she anticipated the incredible sex. Zane always made her wait after securing her. It added to the intensity and drama. She heard him leave the room and a door open. What was he up to? Whatever it was she was sure he had her pleasure in mind.

She thought she heard another voice and listened closely, figuring it was the television. Finally she heard multiple footsteps coming into the room. Then she heard him freely.

“You can try, but I think we'll have to cut off the finger,” he said clearly. There was no mistake, she heard him as clear as could be about 'the finger'. Was this just some joke to magnify things by frightening her? Then there was another voice. A familiar one.

“Before we do that I want a piece of that. I've been wanting it for some time,” the voice said

“Go ahead, be my guest. I'll take some after you,” Zane said.

She felt a naked body drop over her and begin an oral expedition, different than Zane. God had he invited someone for a threesome and not warned her...another man. Who? Abel?

It was when he roughly entered her, she realized who it must be...Lucky Darkhorse. She had felt him that day in the kitchen as he pressed against her, feeling how large he was, and this man who entered her was uncommonly large.

“I'm jealous of your size. Shit, if I had half your endowment I'd be doing porno instead of being a fucking cop,” Zane said wishfully.

Angela struggled to free herself but couldn't. It was emotionally painful but the feel of Lucky was worse and the feeling of betrayal was more so coming from Zane. She cried for him to stop, yelling 'no' over and over again. What was he doing with Lucky? She may have even considered a threesome with him if Zane had approached her about it. But being taken like this by someone she didn't like, was unforgiveable. It seemed forever before she heard the grunts from the man on top of her and his acceleration that she knew it was almost over. Then it was as he rolled off her.

Then Zane entered her. It didn't feel the same as before, for there was no pleasure, and she began crying.

“Oh shut the fuck up, bitch,” Zane told her which made it worse as he finished what he was doing very quickly.

She listened to them as they got dressed and spoke to each other.

They tried pulling her ring off for awhile and it hurt. Then they put soap on it, then some oil of some sort to try and loosen the ring but it remained.

“Just cut off the fucking finger,” Zane told Lucky and Lucky agreed.

“No! Don't...for God's sake don't cut my finger off. Maybe you can cut the ring off...cut the ring off, not my finger,” Angela shouted sobbing. “No don't, please don't” she added as she felt someone take her hand in theirs to begin.

About that time there was a loud sound. It was her front door being smashed in. A familiar voice cried out.

“Drop the knife or so help me God I will fire my weapon,” the voice said. It was Abel.

He must not have because the discharge of Abel's gun filled the bedroom.

“Zane stay where you are or I'll open fire,” Abel warned. She heard Zane leap to the side of the bed, the nightstand, where he always placed his gun when he was there. Then she heard Abel's gun go off again, twice, and then the last breath of Zane's.

The next thing she felt was someone untying her blindfold. When she looked it was Abel. He covered her with a robe hanging on the post and then untied her hand and feet. She immediately sat up and threw her arms around him, sobbing profusely into his shoulder.

“Abel...Abel how did you know?” she asked her lover's partner.

“Zane's been acting funny and I was suspicious the more I talked to him about you, so I started following him a few weeks ago. He was going into places the authorities were watching associated with missing children. They were places people engaged in Satanic activity. There were three of them he frequented. Then a week ago I followed him to one of them where he met up with this Lucky guy. Then I really got suspicious. The two of them went and had lunch together at some strip bar. They were real buddies like they knew each other forever. I followed the Lucky guy here tonight. Thank God I did.,” Abel told her holding her tight.

“Thank heaven Zane didn't gag me!” she mumbled into his shoulder.


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