Chapter 32

As Jenny ran, a car came up behind her.  Only the parking lights were on as it cruised beside her. It was Rawley’s voice, only this time it was not so mellow. “It’s a long walk back to the club, Jenny. Better hop in.” His laughter echoed into the night.

“Leave me alone, you creep.”

“Look, dear, if you don’t get home soon your family will worry. I don’t know who the man was with the camera, but I paid him for the film so you have nothing to worry from me.” He held the small roll of exposed film up to the light.

“I don’t believe you.” She gasped.

“I got the package I went for. I’ll give you a lift and we can part as friends. What could I possibly want with a picture of us in front of that sleazy motel?”

“How do I know you didn’t set this whole thing up?” She was still walking, out of breath and crying softly.

He stopped the car, got out and took her roughly by the arm. “Because it happened just as I told you, I only wanted to help out, but as it turns out I have made an enemy.”

“Then give me the film. I can destroy it if it was all a mistake,”

“I can’t do that, can I, after all it is evidence if you decide to be a bad girl and tell Jim about this evening.”

After a long pause, when she saw the evil grin on his face, she got in to the car. “I feel sick. Please, take me back to my car.”

He leaned toward her. “You’re shivering. There’s one of my sweaters in the back seat. I’ll put it around your shoulders.” His hands lingered and she smelled his whiskey breath on her cheek. He kissed her and she felt nothing but his cold lips on hers. She put her hands to her face and began to cry again.

The ride to the lounge parking lot was silent. She was acutely aware of  this man and the leathery smell of his car, and of his shaving lotion. The back of her neck picked from the wool sweater and she shivered again with an undefined sense of fear for herself and her world. She felt a strange attraction for Will Rawley, and at the same time a deep fear of his power and cunning. When she finally got home she would drink herself into oblivion. Jim wouldn’t be waiting up for her to ask how her new job was going. He would only expect the car keys to be on the dining room table.