In the space of less than a week, the little town of Twin Peaks had charmed me in ways I didn’t believe were possible. From the minute I was greeted by those majestic Douglas Firs, I knew this place was something special, pristine and untouched by the monopolising clutches of modern civilisation. The trees stood tall and proud as far as the eye could see, its bracing pine needle scent blessing everything it touched.
In keeping with the rural aesthetic, the community was tight-knit yet also pleasant and accommodating. Sheriff Truman in particular surprised me as being very accepting of my leadership. In my time as a Special Agent, I had encountered many a belligerent Sheriff who did not take kindly to ‘out of towners’ encroaching on their investigations, but Harry S. Truman seemed genuinely glad for the help and I appreciated that support immensely.
And holy smokes, I could talk to the moon and back about the delicious food of Twin Peaks. The RR Diner’s cherry pie in particular was truly exceptional, and paired with a cup of strong black coffee, it made for a damn fine combination. I noted with particular dread the imminent withdrawal symptoms I’d be experiencing once I was back in Philadelphia.
I mused fondly at the many surprises this remarkable town had bestowed upon me whilst sat in front of the fire in the lobby of the Great Northern Hotel. However, the fondness didn’t quite extend to my latest offering. It involved an eighteen year old girl who was currently occupying my bed.
I studied the flames idly. I knew unreservedly that I had made the right decision in turning Audrey down; adhering to the moral values I was sworn to uphold in my vocation. But I was profoundly taken aback with how difficult that decision was to enforce in her presence.
Recalling our first meeting at breakfast only a few days prior, truthfully I was drawn to her the moment I’d set eyes on her. What man wouldn’t have been when faced with such beauty? Her appearance had an almost mythical quality, the sort of unblemished radiance you’d only read about in books.
She glided towards me, armed with a smile that could have stopped world wars in their tracks. It certainly swept the rug from under me as I relayed my breakfast order, absently falling into an innuendo regarding grapefruits. Before I knew what I was doing I had stood up, recited my full title and allowed her to sit at my table.
It didn’t take me long to realise the attraction was mutual, my suspicions first prompted by the intentional lingering of her hand on mine when she asked if I liked her ring. In truth I was mildly disconcerted at how unsubtle she became. The hasty descent from our introductory questions into apparently flirtatious non-sequiturs, accompanied by her trademark sensual stare knocked the wind right out of me. My subsequent lack of response did nothing to shake her confidence either. On the contrary, she acted as if this method of seduction had worked a hundred times before, and I had no doubt that it did, on a younger, less disciplined man. But for me, all it did was spark intrigue to find out what was under that blatant façade.
Whether she registered my subdued reaction or not, she was notably less intense when she met me again at breakfast the next morning. And to my gratification, sure enough there lied a highly intelligent girl, with a keen sense of inquisitiveness.
I soon realised that the feelings I was developing for her went beyond the physical and into something I hadn’t felt since Caroline. It worried me greatly, for a multitude of reasons. The bottom line was that I could never act on my feelings.
The comparison of Caroline and Audrey begged the question - Why did I keep finding myself attracted to women ill-advised to pursue? I am hardly the first man in history to be faced with this dilemma, but considering my position in authority I should - in theory - be better equipped to resist the temptation.
And yet I could barely look at Audrey as I spurned her advances.
As soon as she turned on the light, I knew I was in a heap of trouble in every sense of the word. I must have stared at her for a full minute, my thudding heart lodged in my throat rendering me mute. On the floor, I noticed how she had littered her clothes like a trail of temptation. It started just by my feet with a pale pink cashmere sweater, followed by her red blouse and ended with her plaid skirt peeking out from around the corner of the bed. I was relieved to be spared the sight of her undergarments.
It was hard to tell how long she had been here. The fresh white shirt I had hung up on the wall ledge opposite had moved a few inches to the left. Its starched neatness had been noticeably violated. I thought she might had initially planned to wear it before opting for my bed covers, but maybe she had only handled it, the urge to inhale my scent getting the better of her.
An irrepressible shudder passed through me as I realised how perverse that deduction sounded, knowing with some guilty unease that I would have done the same with her blouse in similar circumstances, or at least held the strong desire to. I tried so hard to suppress the feeling of elation when I noticed she was sat on my side of the bed. I secretly hoped her scent would remain on my sheets once I had my bed to myself again. I could have sworn that the dizzying aroma of her perfume had its own gravitational pull on me. On more than one occasion I felt myself almost being lured into close proximity with her, despite the high risk Audrey posed to me and my reputation.
I could have watched her forever. She looked at me with inviting eyes, still utterly breath taking without a drop of make-up on her skin and her naked body shielded by the very sheets I slept in. The scenario was so akin to something out of an erotic novel that I struggled to convince my brain otherwise. As a result, and much to my chagrin, all the forbidden thoughts I’d had about Audrey broke free. I felt a certain part of me ache to see the sheet fall from her breasts, and to leave a trail of kisses down her frame, starting with the enticing cupid’s bow of her lips I’d forced my eyes not to linger over many times before.
I coloured as I remembered how readily and instinctively my body had reacted to her, fierce and remorseless. Nevertheless, I conceded that the Laura Palmer case had been particularly intensive, requiring my attention into the early hours almost regularly. It was only logical that it necessitated a spell of self-neglect, and my strong physical and psychological reaction to this situation warned that I would have to do something to remedy this. Possibly later tonight, but definitely alone.
It wasn’t long before my initial response to Audrey was replaced by my integrity, swiftly cutting through my disreputable impulses like butter. She was crying. She was vulnerable. And most importantly of all – She was eighteen years old, almost half my age.
Her instant attraction to me could easily be attributed to the lack of a male role model in her life, therefore reduced to merely a fleeting and rebellious act against her neglectful father. As strongly as I felt for her, I couldn’t ignore that she was still emotionally naïve; the way she handled her desire for me by showing up naked in my bed spoke volumes.
As much as I wanted her, I couldn’t take advantage of her.
And as much as she clearly wanted me, I knew physical affection wasn’t what she needed right now.
She needed a friend. And I was more than happy to comply.