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Friday, June 13, 2014

Sue and Martin III – The journey northwards

This is the next attempt of a sequel to Sue and Martin.


Sue felt every inch of her poor bottom. She winced every time her skirt made the slightest move. But this was what she had needed and she felt at peace as a result. If her bottom had not hurt that much, she would have smiled. She looked around, to catch a few more impressions of the Irish sea, from the Scottish side. Apart from the old fishing boat that went south, only the motor boat that came quickly closer, was to be seen on the water. As they moved towards Angus' lorry, she gave Martin a hidden smile from the side "You are a real meanie sometimes, you know?!".
Sue loved it when Martin was so strict with her, because she simply enjoyed the strength and this display of assertiveness he showed then. What she could not stand, was him being seriously mad at her, though. Nevertheless, she found that she absolutely deserved an answer. “Martin, I am not a little girl. I want to know what is going on here. Please. I will be good, and do all you say, but please, tell me. I can see that this is serious, because you are so tense. You can barely speak a word. Do you think I don't notice that you are worried?” Sue was sincere. She needed this answer from him now. No fussing, no excuses, just the plain truth. And Martin pondered whether he should tell her or not. He seriously didn’t want to tell her because of the implications his news would have. She’d be hurt and devastated, if not worse. But one glance into her direction also told him that she would not be fooled. Maybe, if he had not spanked her to her senses this short time earlier, she would have let that topic rest; not now, though. In addition to that, she was right, she was involved and therefore she should know, even more so, since he couldn’t be sure that he’d always be around to keep her safe. Sue waited patiently, and Martin’s obvious worry made her nervous, in return. 
He stopped, looked at her and sighed. “Ok, I’ll tell you what’s wrong, Sue. Your actions in Belfast have caused a lot of problems. Everybody who is still holding a weapon over there thinks that you have brought offers meant to weaken those groups that have not been disarmed up to now. You know, you are the only person ever in the history of the city who has managed to bring those sworn enemies together. If only to bring you down for some stupid assumption that you, out of all women, are a serious threat to them. This is the result of your colourful display in the streets of Belfast. You went through the different quarters, wearing the wrong colours, stopping at the wrong places, looking at the wrong people. I still have no idea how you survived this stunt first of all, and if anything, I am as happy as can be that you are still alive, even if I have trouble showing this to you right now, because this whole affair drives me crazy.”
Martin halted his barrage when he saw that Sue had understood what he had told her. He took her arm and drew Sue with him. “Girl, they are hunting for you all over the British Isles and I am going to make sure they won’t get you.” Tenderly, he brushed a streak of her soft blond hair out of her face. “Come, we have no second to lose, we have been lingering around far too long.”

Sue was dumbstruck. She had not followed anything of what Martin had said after ‘hunting for you’. He was joking. It must have been a prank. Maybe it was a goodbye-joke from his military friends? No. She knew that were futile hopes. Martin had been too serious and tense lately. One look into his direction told her that he was not up to any kind of joke at all. She wanted to sit down, because she felt her legs falter. Now she understood. This was real danger and no fun trip. Unable to remain standing on her own, she felt Martin catch her, as her legs gave out. He simply took her and went on to Angus’ lorry. Martin would not have waited if she had fainted now. “We have to get away from here. Now!”

Sue saw everything that followed in a haze. She was in the lorry’s cabin. From there, she saw the sea all the time as they drove north, but she could not have said if it was five minutes or five hours. ‘I have caused such trouble? Did that mean everybody I have talked to was in danger?’ They stopped now and then, went on. She heard ‘Edinburgh is blocked’ but did not comprehend what they meant. Sue was too shocked. She couldn’t even notice Martin’s concerned face as he saw her ponder the implications of what she had learned from him.

Martin saw her drift away and couldn’t do anything against it. She retreated inside herself and her eyes lost the typical vividness that only Sue had in this intensity. Usually, her eyes would shine, sparkle, leave the impression that you could lose yourself in them. And even when she was angry, she wouldn’t lose it. On the contrary, Martin found her incredibly attractive and sexy when her eyes flared and flashed in anger. She was able to let you feel every ounce of her displeasure, just by looking at you. ‘You are more alive than anybody else I know. Don’t lose that. Don’t let me regret that I told you the truth’, he thought while he watched her. Martin felt as if he had doubled his sorrow by telling her the truth.

He took her hand, which was suddenly as cold as ice. Her vividness was gone. Martin had seen this happen to young soldiers when they had killed for the first time. Some of them broke and never recovered. How could Sue cope? She had no training to help her absorb the shock and she was one of the most peaceful beings he had ever known, maybe not suited to life-threatening conflict. He took her in his arms, held her, but felt no reaction from her side, for the first time ever. Even anger would have been welcomed. Martin tried to keep her warm, because she felt like ice in his arms. He knew that even though the lorry’s cabin was overheated, none of that reached Sue.

Although Martin had not told a word about her friends, Sue had absolutely realized that they could not have survived, ‘If the others have the means to stop us from reaching safe ground, then what will be with my friends? They lived right in the lion’s den.’ She felt her tears running as she accepted responsibility for everything that had happened. Up to this point it had only been one of her many silly escapades. But with two dead friends it had turned into the worst nightmare ever. She had no idea how she should be able to cope with this guilt. She was desperate, lost and lonely. She couldn’t look into Martin’s eyes, but was happy that he held her in his arms throughout the journey. He was the only support that meant anything to her and in this moment of utter despair, Martin was the only one who gave her enough strength to live on at all. Two had died because of her.
Beautiful as it was, Sue did not notice anything at all from the outside world any longer.

Nevertheless, Martin was there. She felt him, envisioned him, though not in a lorry. She saw him right in front of her, in a hotel room in Belfast. She remembered that moment after the spanking there. It was wonderful, because he had freed her from all that was a burden. She waited for him to free her now, but he did not react, in fact, he did not even move. She had his picture visualised, but he did not speak and he did not respond at all. She spoke to him, ‘Hold me tight’, but couldn’t hear her own voice either. Sue held him tightly at his lower arms, though she found he was less existent than she remembered. But his smell was there. His lovely smell was for real, therefore everything was real. She would find a way to talk to him. Sooner or later he would understand.

When the lorry finally reached their destination, a rather utility-like white hotel, which looked as if it had been there for ages, with some local architect adding here and there, Sue was completely unresponsive. She didn’t see the middle class comfort the hotel promised for the coming and going tourists. A construction site with an almost finished bridge loomed further back.
“We have to get to the ferry, love.” Martin took a long look at her, then shook his head. “Can we risk staying here for a while? Sue needs a break.” Angus nodded. “One night is safe, they don’t know where you want to go, but tomorrow morning you’ll have to leave again. And stay away from the road.” With that he left them. Martin and Sue went into the hotel. Sue was more or less sleep-walking and Martin led her into their room.

Martin kept looking for signs of Sue’s old self returning, but to no avail. She sat where Martin had seated her, at the corner of the bed. Her empty eyes saw the streets of Belfast again, her friends, her, walking along, looking at people, the pubs, their way across the Irish sea. She even remembered that she was in Scotland, Martin was with her and then her thoughts went back to Belfast again. She imagined explosions, gunshots, screams, dozens of possible deaths her friends might have died. She had the feeling that she’d experience the fear that her friends must have felt when they died. This pushed her over the edge. Sue felt desperate, as if she was drawn down into the deep. Her memories of the short sea voyage returned. Maybe they had been pleasant pictures, but where she had experienced blue sky, a warm breeze and Martin, who had been with her, she now only saw everything turning into darkest grey. She felt as if she’d drown in pitch black sea water. ‘Help me! Anybody!’, but she was alone and nobody heard her screams.

Martin had fed her and his grave face showed all shades of concern for her, but Sue had not noticed any of it. He had held her in his arms, tucked her in, so that she would sleep, and went downstairs into the hotel lobby. If anything, Martin knew that Sue would not move an inch for the time being. He would use this time. When he came back into the hotel room, it was as he had left it. Sue had not moved, as Martin had known, but at least she slept. Martin’s hopes were that some sleep would help her to process the events. ‘I shouldn’t have told her. I am an idiot and should have foreseen what the truth would do to her. Oh Sue, I’d do everything to protect you from harm. From now on that includes lying to you, when I am not sure about the outcome of things. I should have handled this affair differently from the start, even more so, since you are involved. You want to be tough enough, but what happened is not part of your world.’ 
Nobody saw how much his face reflected his inner turmoil and self-reproach. The others were still at their heels and would very much enjoy seeing them both perish. His hands moved up across his face and through his hair as he tried to wipe away their sorrows. His hand went to his pistol, about the hundredth time this day. 

“Sweetheart, wake up, we have some things to do”, Martin whispered with a soft and hoarse voice. He was afraid that she would not even hear him any longer. But she woke up, though her eyes were as empty as before. She was still lost in her own maze. Seeing her in such a state almost broke him, since she was the one who mattered for Martin.
If he had left her standing there, she would have stayed where she was, for hours, and then? Maybe shock therapy would help her? He rejected his idea immediately. He was no psychiatrist and shouldn’t dabble with that. And for one day he had made enough mistakes. Instead of following his gloomy thoughts, he led her to the bathroom and undressed her. He tried to bring her back by caressing her, by massaging her lightly where she liked it, but finally gave up, since she did not show any reaction at all. It was as if she was numb. She'd need time to heal. He took out the hair dye and went to work.

Finally, she was done. Instead of her wonderful golden hair, hers was dark brown now. She looked like a beautiful Spanish Flamenco dancer. Her fiery eyes would have completed this impression. But they remained empty.

He put her into the shower. Cold water gushed down on her. Sue did not even flinch and only stood there, as if she was a marble statue. But her warm body showed goose bumps all over. ‘At least one reaction’, Martin thought. He took her out and dried her. Like a sleepwalker, Sue was led back to their bed. She did not notice any of it, nor did she notice that Martin tucked her back into the cozy bed. She did not notice that he changed his clothes into the typical backpacker style, nor that he had taken the clothes she had worn in Belfast and thrown them away. It was summer, it was tourist season, so they’d look like those. He had organised a backpack and put his ammunition, clothes and what else they might need, into it. Wary as he was, he did not bother to undress for the night. He considered it wise to be ready and to keep watch till they could leave inconspicuously in the early morning hours. The ferry across would not take more than five minutes and he wanted to go as early as possible.

At sunrise, Martin had a plain breakfast and fed Sue again. He had washed and dressed her, but yesterday’s apathy was still there. She ate all he fed her, but she never showed any reaction to what he did or said. She was so vulnerable, and even though her face remained blank, he could see her wince and distort her mouth slightly in some moments. He heard her sigh repeatedly and once he thought she’d come back to reality, but she didn’t. He tied her shoes, reciting The rabbit goes around the tree and down through the hole. He remembered it from his own childhood days and hoped that she’d react, but to no avail.

His guilt lay heavy on him. ‘Oh God, what have I done to you.’ He regretted each word of the truth he had told her. Nevertheless, they had to leave. When they were ready, Martin knelt down in front of Sue, as parents do, when they want to explain their children something important. “Sue, we have to go now. We’ll go into hiding, in a safe place. Nobody will find us there.” He caressed her, waiting for any reaction, but without much hope for that to happen. He took her cold hand and led her out of the hotel, into the early morning.


  1. This is such a sad part! I can't imagine what it would be like to know that your friends deaths were caused by merely being with you, so Sue's shock is understandable.

    1. Hi River, yes, I thought that too; my fault because I had politics in the first part of the story. :-) But I don't think that there will be many of these pretty gloomy episodes, and I'd rather have some nice spankings in it again. And twists, And turns. And sex. And crime. I am not sure about the sex part, but crime, yes. I hope this is not too saddening, though.

      many feel-good hugs



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