Down , Up In Carolina

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This story and its characters are complete fiction from the mind of the author. Any similarity to actual people or events is purely coincidence.

The beginning of this story spends time with character development of my lead character. If you are expecting hot action from the get-go you will be disappointed. If you are patient I think you will enjoy the story.

* * * * *

My Name is John Manetti. I’m sitting at a bar in a small North Carolina costal community celebrating the beginning of a weekend with a beer. According to my last physical I am 30 years of age, 6 ft tall, weigh 185, and the picture of physical health. It also says that I have brown hair and green eyes. My features are regular I guess, and my infrequent female companions insist that I am not hard to look at. I look considerably younger than my years, and that can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation. Before I continue with my story I would like to describe how I came to be here.

About a year ago I left the Navy after 12 years. I left despite the pleas of friends and superiors who felt I had a career and was throwing it all away. I had been a Hospital Corpsman and also made it through SEAL training. When I completed all my training I was a lean, mean, fighting machine, as the saying goes. The rest of my time was spent with the SEAL teams, except for some advanced medical training. I have seen my share of combat through Grenada, Panama, and the Gulf War, as well as some nasty little side excursions to places I can’t talk about to do things that needed to be done.

Any combat vet who’s been in a fight for his life will tell you, “The worst thing for someone in combat is to be responsible for the death of one of his own.” Men who go into combat together develop a relationship among them that is quite unique, because they rely on one another so much for survival. You don’t pick the men that make up your unit, and some you like some you don’t. When the lead starts flying all that doesn’t mean shit. All that matters is survival. Under normal circumstances you may hate the man next to you, but in combat you would put your life on the line to save his. The last thing you want is for a comrade to dye because you made a mistake or didn’t do your job.

Well, on a mission a year before I left the Navy, one of my teammates died. In my mind I did not do everything I could to ensure his survival. The debriefing officer told the team commander, and me, that I had acted correctly and bore no responsibility for the man’s death, for the Navy and the SEALS, that’s all that mattered. To them I did my job. I wasn’t so sure, and got it into my head that I could have done something more. What made it worse is that he was a friend. I knew his wife and family. At the funeral I couldn’t even look his wife in the eye. She even told me that she new I did every thing I could, but it was no good. As far as I was concerned I let a man down in combat and he paid the ultimate price for it.

From that time on I wasn’t the same. I didn’t feel comfortable around my teammates, and felt that I couldn’t be trusted when the chips were down. My only decision, as I saw it, was to leave the teams. It also meant that I had to leave the Navy, because I didn’t want to be in the Navy unless I was with the teams. I headed back home, and my parents were ecstatic. Almost before I had unpacked they had my future all mapped out. I told them that I needed some time, and they said they understood. The second night home my dad called me into his study. He pulled a folder out of his desk and over drinks he began to tell me what he had been doing with my money. Except for a little beer and necessity money I had been sending all of my Navy pay home. My father is a financial consultant, and got me into some investments. It seems that without knowing it I had become a wealthy young man. So much so, that I didn’t have to work if I didn’t want to.

The next few weeks became a nightmare. Mom and dad wanted me to move into the life they had planned for me, and I just couldn’t do it. I still had some things to deal with before I would be able to settle down. My only solace during this time was taking my big Harley for long rides. The big Fat Bob was the only indulgence of my wealth I had taken so far, and riding along country roads alone gave me a sense freedom and allowed me to relax. One day I just kept on going. I called the folks that night from about 200 miles away, and told them I was going to travel some and not to worry. I would be in touch.

That was how my odyssey began. I would ride until I found a place that looked interesting. Then I would hang around until the urge to move on came and I would crank that big Harley engine to life, and off I’d go. This went on for several months until I ran in to Tommy Ledbedder at the VA hospital in Raleigh. He was an old buddy from the Teams. He was wounded once, and the wound left him with a disability that ended his career. I had duran izle been wounded as well, but no where near as badly. His gave him a 40% disability, mine only 10%. But every so often I had to go and be checked by the VA. We literally bumped into one another in the waiting room each waiting to be called for his exam.

We reminisced, told war stories, and sea stories. Our conversation continued over dinner, and led us to talk about current situations. Tommy asked, “What’re you up to now Doc?” Corpsmen in independent situations, like the Teams, are affectionately called Doc by their teammates.

I told him the story of my odyssey, and he listened like a good friend. He then told me that he had gone back to Carolina to the family business, boat building. They were successful at it and Tommy and his brothers were partners after their dad passed away. When we left to go our separate ways Tommy gave me his address and said the door was open if I found myself anywhere near his home. He also told me I had a job any time I wanted one. I hadn’t mentioned my financial independence in our conversation. I still felt self conscious about it.

After spending some time in Florida I began drifting north again. When I crossed into North Carolina on I95 I began to think about Tommy. I stopped at a rest area and checked a map, turned off the interstate at the next exit and headed east. Tommy and his family welcomed me, gave me a place to stay and made me feel at home. After a few days of wandering the area and meeting the people I decided to stay a while. I even accepted Tommy’s job offer to fill the time with.

That was about 3 months ago. Tonight I’m in Rudy’s the bar Tommy brought me to that first night in town. It’s one of those comfortable places. The music is not so loud you can’t hear yourself think. There are a couple of pool tables, half a dozen tables and the same number of booths. The jukebox is filled with CW music, which I have learned to enjoy, with a small dance floor in front of it. The clientele is kind of varied. There are locals from the boat works in the area, fishermen, the occasional Marine from Camp Lejeune not too far away, and the townies. They are usually an older crowd, which is fine with me. I have never been able to get in to the modern young people club scene.

The place isn’t crowded tonight as it usually is on a Friday. That’s because of the big VFW dance. Two of my co-workers are shooting pool and swapping fish stories in the corner. 3 couples are spread through the tables and booths, myself and a couple of fishermen I know are at the bar make up the business tonight. It’s about 9 PM and I’m working on my 3rd glass of MGD since arriving a little while ago. The front door opens with a jingle and 3 women walk in. I have seen each of them around town. The tall skinny one is one of the checkers at the local Piggly Wiggly market, and the short chubby one works at the beauty parlor. The 3rd one is the one that has my eye though.

She doesn’t work around town, but I have seen her going about her shopping. I have watched her from afar for some time. At first glance she looks thin, but then you notice her height, which must be about 5’7″ or 5’8″, you realize her 125 or so pounds is well distributed. While her figure is slim it has provocative swells in all the right places. Her breasts look to be a little more than a handful with enough left over to fill a man’s mouth with. The hips swell elegantly and her buns are very shapely and appear firm. There are long legs that look skinny until you study them for a while, and you notice they are well muscled and sculpted. The lady definitely takes care of herself. I have not seen her close enough before to really study her face. The dim lighting of the bar still makes it difficult, but I can see more than I could before. Her brown hair is long and styled nicely. The face is thin with a nice nose. Her eyes are well spaced, large and appear dark. Her lips are luscious, full and very kissable, and her skin is dark, but I’m not able to tell if it is natural or from constant tanning. The overall picture is enough to make a man drool in his beer, like I’m doing now.

I turn my barstool so that my back is to the bar to give me a better angle to study this lady. The next couple of hours pass nicely with conversation, beer and ogling a beautiful woman. We make eye contact once or twice. She just smiles and goes back to chatting with her friends. At about 11 the front door slams open and a large man stands in the doorway. He’s about 6’4″, weighs about 260, has a big beer belly covered by a camouflage T-shirt, and a John Deere ball cap pushed back on his head. He looks to be about 50 with a red face and mean eyes. He steps into the bar and looks from one end to the other and stops when his eyes fall on the last table next to the jukebox where the 3 women are sitting. The hairs on the back of my neck stand tall as they did when I sensed unseen eli roth presents my possessed pet izle danger in combat. I know there is gong to be trouble, but hold my ground to see what form it takes.

The big man lumbers across the floor to the table with the 3 women. He nods at skinny and chubby then glares at the object of my ogling. She looks up at him and smiles a smile that would leave most men week in the knees. I can only hear parts of the conversation over the jukebox until he starts to get loud. I can hear her say, ” Hi honey.”

He responds with, ” What the hell are you doin’ here Doreen? I been waitin’ at the house for over an hour. I told you when I got back from fishin’ I’d be hungry. Now git your sorry ass home and fix me somethin’.” My lady fair’s friends begin to cower. Everyone in the bar has turned toward the loud voices.

Beauty looked at her watch and starts to jump up saying, ‘I’m sorry Jed I” That’s as far as she gets, and she never makes it to her feet. A big meaty hand comes out of nowhere and slaps her face. The blow sends her flying into the jukebox to bounce off and land on the floor hard on those beautiful buns. She looks stunned as the big man reaches down and grabs her roughly by an arm to drag her up, his other hand rears back in a fist to throw a punch at her.

The punch is never thrown. How I get there I’ll never know. I don’t even remember leaving the barstool. By the time his arm comes all the way back I grab his wrist and apply pressure to the pressure point there. One part of my training that had fascinated me was martial arts. I became especially intrigued with the use of pressure points. Slight pressure to these areas could quickly easily and quietly incapacitate an enemy. I have become very proficient at it, and use it now. A lesser man would be on his knees in pain, but he is a strong man. All I do is get his attention, but I know that his hand will be useless for the next 20 minutes or so. His eyes register the pain I’m inflicting.

He looks at me and growls, “You ought not come ‘tween a man and his wife when they’s arguin’ boy. You might git hurt. Who made you her knight in shinin’ armor anyway.”

“You did.” I replied, “By starting it in public. Where I come from we have our family squabbles in private. We also don’t beat our women. I suggest you let go of her arm now.”

I saw a look in his eyes that said he would come at me when he let her go. With an edge to my voice I say, “Are you ready to die?” The look in my eye and the tone of my voice make him hesitate. He knows I’m very serious. I continue, “You see I am, I have nothing to lose. If you come at me you better be prepared to kill me. If you don’t I will kill you. You are too big for me to take any chances.” One of the things I learned from the veterans about combat was that to survive you have to be prepared to die physically, mentally, and emotionally. That attitude saved my life more than once because it gave me an edge. Apparently this man isn’t prepared to die for the woman he calls his wife.

He lets go of her and I let go of him. I watch him warily as he tries to rub feeling back into his hand, all the while he looks at me with hate filled eyes. I say, “Mr., you better leave now.” Over my shoulder I call to Rudy, “If he’s not out of here in 2 minutes call the police.” Rudy walks to the phone behind the bar and stands next to it watching us. The big man walks slowly past me to the door. I turn with him never taking my eyes from his.

When the door closes I turn back around. Doreen’s two friends are still sitting there with astounded looks on their faces. Doreen is still on the floor rubbing her arm where her husband had grabbed to pull her up. I get down with her and ask if she is all right. She is still stunned and can only nod her head in reply. I help her up and over to the bar to one of the stools. In the light from the bar I get a good look at her face for the first time. She is truly beautiful. She is older than I first assumed, probably in her 40’s. But the few lines on her face only add character and enhance her beauty. I also notice the mouse forming under her left eye. I turn to Rudy and say, “How about a towel with ice in it Rudy, please?”

I place the towel with ice in it on her eye. She winces a little and that seems to bring her back to reality. Her big brown eyes look in to mine and she says, “Thanks, mister. My name is Doreen Dickens.” She holds out her hand and I take it. The handshake is dry and firm. The voice is the pure Carolina drawl that I have come to enjoy hearing in the women. I am becoming more enthralled with this woman by the minute.

“Hello,” I reply, “My name is John Manetti. It’s a pleasure to meet you Doreen. Are you feeling better now?”

“Yes. And thank you for coming to my rescue. You’re that young fella I’ve seen riding around on the big motorcycle elite izle right?” She smiles that beautiful smile and I melt. I’m hooked.

“Yes ma’am. Guilty as charged.”

“Please don’t call me ma’am. It makes me feel old. Please, call me Doreen.”

“All right. Doreen it is.”

I think about recent events and say, “Does he do that often, Doreen? Hit you I mean?”

“He didn’t used to. But since he lost his job a while back he seems to get more violent all the time. I guess his ego hurts because we have to live off my salary. He’s beginning to take it out on me, and I sure don’t like that.”

The look in his eyes has me worried a little, and I tell her so. “Do you have a place to stay for tonight? I don’t think it would be a good idea for you to go home just now.”

She thinks about it for a moment. ” I think you’re right John.” She looks past my shoulder and says, “Shelly, can you put me up for the night?”

I look over my shoulder and realize that Doreen’s 2 friends are standing behind me as I talk to her. The tall skinny one says, “Sure honey. You come home with me tonight. That SOB don’t deserve you, and he just might take more out on you for what happened tonight.”

With that the tension seems to break and everybody can breathe a collective sigh. Doreen’s friends go back to their table to collect their things, and return to where we are at the bar. Her friend Shelly says, “C’mon honey. Let’s get you home to a hot bath and bed. That should make you feel some better.”

Doreen nods and reaches behind her to put the sodden towel on the bar. When she gets off the stool her knees start to buckle. If I weren’t here to catch her she would wind up on the floor again. I slide my arm around her trim waist and her arm around my shoulder to brace her. She looks up at me and smiles, “Thanks again John. You do seem to be here when I need you most.”

“Your servant ma’am.” As I begin to assist her to the door. My every sense is aware of the fact that I have my arm around a very beautiful woman. Her close proximity also allows me to get a whiff of her perfume, which is intoxicating. I become acutely aware of several other things as well. My hand around her waist has come to rest on the swell of her hip where it joins her side. I feel her warm flesh through her shirt and it’s warm soft and inviting. She is tight against my side and I can feel her breast pressed tantalizingly against my rib cage. We are walking so close together that our thighs rub with each step and the friction of her well toned and shapely thigh against mine, as well as the other delights I sense are causing a stirring in me that I haven’t felt in some time. It makes me sort of uncomfortable too. I have no right to be feeling this way. We have just met and she is another man’s wife. The fact that he is more bully than husband is no reason for me to have the feelings I’m having just now.

When we reach the parking lot Shelly goes to her car and unlocks it. I take Doreen to the rear passenger door and open it for her. She stands in front of me preparing to get in when she stops. She turns toward me and wobbles a little bit. I put my hands on her hips to steady her as she looks up in to my eyes. The look in her eyes is hard to understand. It is a cross between thank you, I think I like you a lot, and I want you to make love to me right here. Her warm hands come up to my face on either side, and she pulls my face to hers. She kisses me warmly and gently on the mouth. It is more than sisterly, but not passionate. I can sense that her passion is close to the surface and she trembles a little. She leans forward slightly and I feel her breasts touching my chest. Their warmth is thrilling and very inviting. I have all I can do to keep my hands where they are, and not enfold her in my arms and make the kiss the most passionate of all time. The kiss ends and she pulls back a little. She looks up into my eyes again and gives me that devastating smile. “Thank you John Manetti. I hope to see you again sometime.” With that she gets in the car and closes the door.

I turn to see Shelly standing there watching us. She has a bemused expression on her face like she wishes it were her I had just kissed. My medical training starts to show as I ask her if she knows the signs to look for in case Doreen has more than a mild concussion. She says no, and I proceed to give her a layman’s rundown of what to watch out for and what to do. She says, “I’ll keep a close eye on her, and do what needs doin’. Why don’t you stop by my place tomorrow and check on her yourself?”

I told her I would, but not to wait for me if any of what I had told her was seen. She assures me she won’t as she gets in the car and starts the engine. She tells me her address and says she will see me tomorrow.

When I reach the bar Rudy hands me a fresh glass of draft. I swallow about half of it gratefully. I haven’t realized how thirsty I am. Rudy is the owner as well as the night bar tender. We have become friends in the past 3 months. When I place the half-full glass on the bar he says, “Thanks for not letting that get out of hand, John.”

“You’re welcome Rudy, but it was touch and go there for a few seconds.”

“I noticed.” He replied, “I just hope you haven’t bitten off more that you can chew.”

“How so,” I asked.

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