Marshall and Maggie spend the day at Sanibel Island, Florida, but the day goes down hell
Maggie couldn't stop smiling. When they left Marshall's office yesterday afternoon, they took a long walk on the beach behind The Tower Hotel, their shoes left in Marshall's office. Walking through the water with it lapping at their ankles felt like heaven. Marshall held her hand and at several points pulled her in close to his body, kissing her deeply. She felt like a kid, splashing him and getting splashed back. Several people stared at them, but Maggie cared less. Let them think what they wanted. She was flying high.
After their walk they retrieved their shoes and went to dinner at T.J.'s Restaurant, a family oriented place with food to die for; the waiters all drop dead gorgeous. She heard many of them worked at the All Male Review Theater at the other end of the building from the restaurant. Maggie never went, but friends told her it was a must see event. At the moment she didn't need to stare at half naked men, not when her own touchable specimen stood within arm's length.
Since Marshall needed to attend a clients BBQ, Maggie opted to go back to her place. She needed a shower and wanted to change her clothes. She also needed a bit of down time to process everything from the past few days. Marshall was becoming so ingrained in her life she couldn't -- or didn't want to -- contemplate what it would be like to not have him around. She was old enough to admit love was racing toward her like an oncoming freight train. There was no way she was going to get out of its way. It would probably kill her, but as the saying went: What a way to go!!!
They made arrangements to go to Sanibel Island in the morning. Maggie found herself ready long before the 8:30 a.m. pick up time. It was about three and a half hours of a ride to the sparkling community of beaches, gift shops, and tourist lined streets. They planned on having lunch at the resort. Maggie looked forward to visiting the Light House. Marshall promised they'd spend time collecting shells on the beach. How many men were willing to walk and pick up pieces of shells and smile about it?
The day went just right. The walk on the beach perfect. Maggie carried a cloth bag of shells to fill up a glass lamp she purchased months ago. The light house was beautiful. Marshall took picture after picture of both of them with it in the background. He told her he wanted to frame several of the pictures. They ate at a small restaurant on the beach which specialized in Crabs and Oysters. It'd been a long time since Maggie spent time prying the Oyster shells open. She never mastered using an Oyster knife, almost cut off her thumb once, but give her a flat head screw driver and she'd go up against any expert. Those along with the Blue Crab special and an order of Maryland Crab Cakes, heaven.
After Simon passed away, Maggie decided to not worry about what others thought of how much she ate, what she wore or what she enjoyed doing or watching. The way she figured it someone would either like her, or they weren't worth being around. Marshall didn't have a problem with the way she was, or at least she hoped he didn't. Their time was finite she knew and she would enjoy every minute of it and not worry about the future.
They decided to return back North and watch the sunset from Marshall's backyard. They could be comfortable and not worry about others watching them enjoy each other.
Maggie smiled and watched the view out of the front windshield, occasionally turning her head to the side to watch Marshall drive. For most of the ride their hands stayed entwined between them on the bench seat. Life was just plain good.
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Marshall spent an excellent day with the woman sitting beside him in the truck. He couldn't remember the last time he felt so free and relaxed. Maggie made him run in the sand, walk through the serf, look for shells and visit a very interesting Light House. If he visited with anyone else he would have been bored out of his mind. She made everything new and interesting. Love's a warm feeling .... hold on where did that come from? He couldn't be in love with her, could he? They'd only known each other a few weeks. Could she love him? He was so much younger than her. They had fun together. They talked about all kinds of subjects and it felt right near her, even sitting quietly on the couch.
Marshall looked to the side. She was beautiful, not in a model sort of way but she radiated a aura about her which drew him closer. Maybe it was time for them to talk about making their situation more permanent. He was scared she would send him away, but better now than when he really got hooked. Who was he kidding he was already hooked, line and sinker. He decided to talk with her tonight when they planned to sit around the fire pit, snuggled on the extra wide chase lounge chair.
"911, What's your emergency?"
"I just pulled onto I-75. I'm behind a large black truck. I think it's a Ford. The same truck stopped at the One Place store I just left. A man staggered out of the store carrying a couple six packs of beer bottles. He's got a gun strapped to his back. He's the one driving the truck. Man, the vehicle's all over the road. Jesus, he just missed side swiping another car."
"Can you describe the truck?"
"It's black, with an extra large cab. There's a gold tow bar on the front. Oh and there's a blue sign with gold and silver letters on the tail gate. The sign says: "Bailey's Escort Services - Where you lead the way."
"Where on I-75 are you Sir?"
"We're heading North, just passed the exit to the Gulf Beaches. I'm dropping back. I'm afraid."
"Yes Sir drop back. I have the Highway Patrol on the way. What's your name Sir?" There was no reply to the operators question. The line went dead.
Marshall glanced at the side mirror and then the rear view mirror. He saw flashing red and blue lights coming toward them. As fast as they closed the distance, they were after someone. He debated between trying to make it to the next exit a mile ahead or pulling to the center lane and onto the grassy median. Best choice, the median.
"What's wrong Marshall? Why are you pulling over?"
"There's flashing lights coming toward us." As he explained another cruiser going South, made a U-turn, through the center divider and joined the first two. He saw Maggie check her side mirror. She'd gone tense and pale. They hadn't done anything wrong. The truck was legal, he was drinking non-alcoholic beer and Maggie drank sweet tea. They wore their seatbelts and he wasn't speeding. He would just get out of the way, let them pass and then continue on with their date. He gave Maggie's thigh a reassuring squeeze, pulled over and put the truck in park. Pushing the flasher button, he waited for the cruisers to pass.
He looked in the rearview mirror again. Fuck! The cruisers slowed. They pulled into a nice neat line behind his truck.
"Marshall..." Maggie's eyes grew huge and her voice quivered.
"It's okay Sunshine. We weren't doing anything wrong and the truck's totally legal."
"You in the truck, put your hands out the windows where we can see them."
Marshall laid his head on the headrest of the seat for a second. What now? He reached over and undid Maggie's seatbelt then unfastened his. Adding a smile to his face, he wasn't feeling, he put his hand on Maggie's cheek and gave her a small kiss. "You do whatever they tell you to do, Sunshine, okay?" When he received the small nod, he turned in his seat and stuck his hands out the window. Looking over his shoulder he saw Maggie doing the same thing. Her hands visibly shook.
Another glance at the side view mirror showed him two officers coming to his side of the truck and one going to Maggie's. They stopped at the rear bumper and shown lights into the rear compartment, all their hands on their holstered guns. Not good!
One officer walked to within three feet of the driver's door. "Sir, I want you to slowly open your door. Do not exit the truck until you are instructed."
Marshall reached in with one hand and opened his door, pushing it completely open with his boot. "I've a small firearm at my back. The carry permit is in my wallet." He kept his hands where the officer could see them. That statement got a definite reaction. All three officers pulled their revolvers, but kept them pointed down and behind their thighs. Their fingers hovered over the triggers.
"Very good Sir. I want you to remove your firearm and place it on the dashboard. Then I want you to get out of the truck and turn placing your palms flat on the cab."
Marshall glanced toward Maggie. The officer on her side stood at her window, tense and watching her movements. "The woman will have difficulty getting out of the truck. She's unarmed. Could someone help her please?"
"On it," Maggie's officer said, as he put his gun back in his holster. He opened the door and almost lifted her out of the cab. He started to walk her toward the back of the truck.
Marshall quickly put his palms on the side of the cab. His legs were kicked farther open. The officer, pulled his shirt out of his jeans to make sure there were no hidden weapons. "You have any other weapons I should worry about? I'm going to search your pockets. Do you have something which will make me unhappy such as knives or needles?"
"I've an eight inch blade in my right boot."
"Please put your hands behind your back, Sir." The officers friendly attitude did a 180. Marshall's wrists got zip tied. He leaned up against the truck at an angle which made it impossible for him to get his balance. He felt hands on his boot. "Now why would you carry a cancelled weapon in your boot." The question was rhetorical. "Anything else?"
Marshall moved his head and shook it. Placing his forehead on the side of the truck, he took slow breaths. Maggie would be really upset if he lost his temper. At the moment, a slight chance of her talking to him again existed. He knew she cared for him. He'd get on his knees and beg if he needed to, to keep her in his life. He loved her.
The hard pat down brought him back to the present. "I stopped you, because we received a 911 call of a large black truck weaving on the highway. The caller informed us the driver of the truck purchased alcohol and was drinking and driving. Would you know anything about that?"
The officer moved back two feet. At least, everyone put their guns away. Marshall's change, keys and wallet sat on the floorboard of the driver's side. "We did stop at a store before getting on the Interstate. We both used the restrooms. I purchased two sweet teas, two chocolate chip cookies and two six packs of non-alcoholic beer. Nothing else."
Marshall was pulled up straight by a hand on his elbow. The officer picked up his wallet and walked him to the back of the truck. "Sit on the tailgate. The other two officers are going to search your truck. Would you like to tell me anything illegal they might find?"
Marshall shook his head. He glanced to the cruiser behind the officer. Maggie sat in the back seat staring at him. He shot her a small encouraging smile, then turned back to the officer. His name badge said Muldoon. "What relation are you to the woman from your truck?"
"She's my girlfriend."