Ordinary Angels (Part 5)
Three Weeks Later....
Smoke was rolling from the little charcoal grill set out on the rickety old front porch. "Mickey, whatcha want on your burger?! They're 'bout done now," Orleans hollered through the open door of the house to the old man kicked back in his recliner.
It'd been about three weeks since the elderly man and his grandson had scraped her off the side of interstate after the Yelley bastards ran her off the road. She'd come to long enough to extract a promise from him that he wouldn't take her to the hospital. She didn't want them to find her and finish the job. She didn't know how, and she didn't heal anywhere near like what a vampire probably could, but she was capable of healing at an accelerated rate, and had rarely had to visit an emergency room.
The old sweetheart had even gotten his grandson to go back and retrieve what was left of her motorcycle. Orleans knew she owed a great debt to this man, and intended to repay him someday. All that remained of her trip down the asphalt at little over one hundred and fifteen mph were dark bruises still marring the majority of her face.
She was hard pressed to find a single unblemished spot of golden flesh on her body. Luckily the bones mended within the first week, as had all of the lacerations. In a couple of days the black and purple bruises would fade too.
The dreams of her stranger continued on nearly every night, bringing about a sense of security that she grew to count on during the twilight hours when the reality of life threatened to overwhelm her.
She heard shuffling feet coming out on the porch seconds before she heard his gravelly Georgian accented voice. "Now girl, you know I can fix my own plate."
Orleans flashed him a hundred watt smile before turning back to the grill with the spatula in hand. "I know that, Mickey." A quick flick of her wrists and she flipped the patties over. "But while I'm here I'm gonna do it for you."
He huffed and grumbled. "You need to still be in bed young lady. Not out here traipsing around playing master chef." She grabbed the plate and piled it up with everything from the grill and waltzed over to the little table he had set up with a couple of chairs around it.
"You know you and Luke love my cookin'. You both told me so last night when y'all had my gumbo. Where is Luke anyways?" The boy could eat, she'd seen him pack away four bowls of gumbo and rice at supper last night.
So she knew he wasn't missing out on grilled burgers, and the look on Mickey's face told her that he and his grandson were up to something. "Oh.. Well, he's..er.. He'll be right along any minute now. He knows you might be leavin' real soon and he's gonna wanna eat all your cookin' he can get."
A white hot flash of anger burned at her upon being reminded of leaving here to track down the Yelleys. She intended to exact her revenge for nearly killing her and destroying her '49 Indian in the process. It had been her daddy's motorcycle when she was growing up and it hurt her worse than anything to see it twisted and mangled. Though she wasn't sure why something from the man who'd told her he didn't love her as child would mean anything at all to her.
He must've seen the hurt and anger warring in her eyes because his wrinkled hand covered hers in a comforting gesture. They waited awhile for Luke to come along, chatting like old friends. Finally his old beat up Toyota pickup truck came bouncing over the gravel drive, but he was driving slower than usual.
"Hey, Mick. What's he got in the backa his truck?" He slapped his knee and rocked forward to stand up with a chuckle on his lips. "Lets go find out, girl." They walked down the cinder block steps together, Orleans struggling to keep from trying to help the old man down. She knew it would only annoy him, and probably hurt his feelings if she'd guessed correctly.
The gangly red haired teen hopped out with a huge grin on his face. "Miss Orly! I got a surprise for ya here." She cocked a questioning eyebrow at him. "A surprise? What kinda surprise?"
She circled around the back of the truck with him and stood in shock as he pulled the bright blue tarp back. Grinning ear to ear he asked her, "How ya like that, Miss Orly?" She couldn't speak, couldn't force a single syllable past her lips.
Unbelievably he had her bike sitting in the back of his truck looking good as new. Better than new if she were honest. Taking a step forward, she admired the pristine black paint job. Her fingertips ran along the beautiful machine lightly while Luke rambled on.
"I'm real sorry that it ain't red like you had, but I figured this'd make it look good enough til you can get it painted with the right color. She runs though! Got her cranked this mornin'. Done her all myself too."
Heedless of her battered and sore body she threw her arms around him and wrapped him up in a tight bear hug. "You sweet little genius, I can't believe you got it fixed for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."
She pulled away and turned to Mickey. "You old sweetheart. You knew about this didn't you?" She hugged him close to her, beaming all the while. "I don't know how, but one of these days I'm gonna pay you both back. I swear it."