Tamer could hear the commotion outside and cracked the bedroom door. The combination of distraction and boozing had caused the Harpe's to have a lapse of attention and forget about Tamer. She burst from the cabin ran past Michael Harpe and straight into the brush beside the cabin. If there was one thing she understood, it was that cover was a prey animals friend, and at this moment, she was prey.
Michael glanced Tamer from the corner of his peripheral vision, and broke free from James Pruitt's dying grasp. As Pruitt fell to the ground in a lifeless heap, Michael Harpe tripped over him. He stumbled, but then recovered and ran into the brush in pursuit of Tamer. He'd heard the shots and glanced at the road. he could see his brother laying lifeless in the roadway and a girl running into the brush on the opposite side of the road.
He knew there was a sniper up there, and that he had to stick to cover lest he also be shot. He vowed to return and get the bastard that killed his brother, but first he would kill this bitch.
Tamer ran as fast as she could, twisting, turning, ducking and weaving through the brush. She was frightened and had an adrenaline dump of her own going. She couldn't afford to think about the baby.
At this point, she knew her survival was completely dependent on getting as far away from the Harpe's as she could, and she just focused her mind on creating distance. Behind her, she could occasionally hear a branch snap or a heavy footfall.
She knew the Harpe brother was behind her and not giving up.
After a time, she heard less and less noise behind her and then none. Had he given up? No matter she decided. She had to keep going.
Jesse glassed the brush with his riflescope, but it was thick and the other Harpe brother was sticking to it. He had seen him bolt into the vegetation in pursuit of the woman, but he had no shot. The Harpe was using the cover and concealment of the vegetation to thwart him, and he knew it.
Frightened for the woman, he left his position of cover and worked his way down to the road. He hustled down the road, scanning both sides of the road as he went, his rifle held at a high ready, ready to snap off a shot if the opportunity presented itself.
Jesse could neither see not hear any activity and couldn't be sure how far they had traveled. It was another warm sunny day, as had been the case since Spring had arrived. A breeze was stirring the trees and the birds were active. he was surrounded by movement and sound, and this added a layer of difficulty to the task of tracking the Harpe brother.
Jesse heard a small scuff on the ground behind him and spun, but it was too late.
Michael Harpe had back tracked and silently come out of the brush behind Jesse Wolter. As Jesse turned, Michael stepped into him, tying up his arms and preventing him from bringing the rifle to bear. At the same time, his razor sharp butcher knife slid beneath Jesse's sternum and lanced his heart.
The pain was unbelievable. It robbed him of his breath and Jesse gasped for air. As a last-ditch effort, he weakly attempted to head-butt Michael, but the Harpe brother easily dodged it.
The knife had severed Jesse's aorta and his blood had stopped circulating. He had perhaps 10 seconds of life left. Weakened, he fell to the ground. His vision darkened, and a strange desire to sleep came upon him.
Jesse's last thought was of Marla, and the child they never had.
TO BE CONTINUED....
Copyright © Manny Silva, 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.