Here’s a taste of Stolen Youth, released last night in the Kindle Store and Kindle Unlimited.

Ted sat in the passenger seat of the big black SUV, looking at his iPhone. “Should be just around that bend.”

Special Agent Simon Keith was driving. He was in his late thirties, but didn’t look it. He was robust, with thick brown hair, a handsome clean-shaven face, and eyes like a hawk.

“Look. Three dirt bikes over there, in the bushes to the right.” He parked.

“What are you doing?” Ted asked.

“Checking to see if the engines are warm,” he said, getting out. He trotted over, looked at them for a moment, felt the engines, and rushed back.

“Well?” Ted asked.

“Stone cold. A full-sized bike and two child’s bikes. Nice ones, too. They aren’t locked up. Nobody would just leave them like that if they had a choice.”

“Calling it in now,” Agent Joe Cooper said from the back. He was a rookie, with black hair, always chewing gum, his eyes shifting nervously from one thing to another.

Agent Keith drove the SUV around the bend. There was blood on the road in front of them.

“Somebody died on the road there,” Agent Keith said. “We’ll come back to it.” He kept going until they were at the driveway of the house, pulling in to make room for the second SUV.

“Hey, Simon,” Agent Cooper said. “Man and two sons reported missing a week ago. Were out for a Sunday ride.”

“Shit,” Agent Keith said.

“Yeah, shit,” Ted said. They got out of the car.

“Where are all the bodies?” Agent Cooper asked.

“Alien abduction,” Agent Keith said, shooting a sarcastic glance over at him. “Somebody cleaned up the site, obviously.”

“What the hell kind of bullets made those holes?” Agent Cooper asked.

“Looks like a BMG to me,” Agent Keith said. “Fifty caliber. You’re awful quiet, Ted.”

“I’m just here as an observer for the Serial Killer Task Force, through LAPD.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet,” he said. “Going to rush back and report to Malcolm Davis?”

Ted flashed him a look.

“Yeah, Ted, I know you two are tight,” Agent Keith said. “Don’t play us for dummies. If you know details, you’d better not hold back.”

“Come off it,” Ted said. “I’m here to help you guys. You already know that Malcolm Davis and George Franklin were involved. I told you guys, remember?”

“Yeah, so what? Looks kinda like an ambush to me.”

“They were being hunted, Keith, dammit,” Ted said. “You know it.”

“Yeah, I know it. They could have come to us for protection.”

“Hmmm, let’s think about that for a minute,” Ted said. “They come to you. You put them in witness protection. They lose all contact with their family and friends, and get to go live in some hellhole like Fargo, hoping that one of your agents doesn’t decide to put his kids through college by giving out their location. Sounds like a great deal to me.”

“Fuck you,” Agent Keith said, shaking his head. “Fuck you.”

“I’ve seen it happen before,” Ted said. “How many of your men got killed by these assholes again?”

“We were zeroing in on Sailor Boy before your friends got involved,” he spat.

“Why don’t you two zip it?” Agent Cooper asked. “You sound like assholes.”

Agent Keith glared at him.

“You’re the junior agent, so shut the hell up.”

“Baloney,” Agent Cooper said. “I’m not shedding any tears for Jason Beckler, Earl Wilson, or Sadie Evans. No way, no how. And by the way, the live scumbags involved with this mess took out a father and two kids, probably because they simply showed up at a bad time. Too bad those assholes weren’t killed by Malcolm and George too.” He was chewing his gum faster and faster.

“Look around,” Agent Keith said. “Look how many blood spots there are. There were more than three serial killers massacred here.”

The three men were on the porch now, looking in the house, the curtains blowing out the windows at them.

“Hey, Jamie,” Agent Keith yelled. A small lean man trotted over from the second SUV with a plastic case in one hand.

“Yeah,” he said.

“See if you can figure out where on the ridge these fifty-cal shots came from, and then send a couple men up there to survey the spot.”

“On it,” he said.

Agent Keith looked at Ted again. “You really think this was okay?”

“Do I think what was okay? Why are you trying to draw me into this argument? I wasn’t involved.”

“Yeah, but your buddy was,” Agent Keith said. “And the sick thing is that he’ll get away with it again, thanks to folks like you who look the other way.”

“You want to prosecute Malcolm Davis and George Franklin for what happened here?” Ted asked. “Really? Let’s hear how you’re going to convince a prosecutor to take it on.”

“Strange blast pattern by the back edge of the house,” Jamie said, walking up onto the porch.

“Oh, really?” Agent Cooper asked. “Strange how?”

“Shrapnel all around, like something blew up, but it wasn’t a grenade,” he said. “Too small for that.”

“I smell the spook,” Agent Keith said. “Any comments, Ted?”

“How would I know what caused that?” he asked.

Agent Keith shook his head.

“Damn, lots of brains on the walls,” Agent Cooper said. “I’m going to go check the back.”

Ted took one last look around the living room of the house, and then stepped into the front yard, looking around a boulder with bullet scores. He could see from the sand that somebody had been lying there. Good cover.

Agent Cooper trotted over to him. “Look what I found.” He thrust out a gloved hand, holding a crossbow arrow. He looked at Ted’s face, his mouth working the gum hard and fast.

“Better show that to your boss,” Ted said.

Agent Cooper’s eyes narrowed. “You know what he’s gonna say.”

“It’s evidence,” Ted said.

“It feeds the ambush theory,” Agent Cooper said.

“Why do you care?”

“I’ve been studying your friend for a long time, Ted. I don’t want him out of action.”

“You don’t sound like an FBI agent to me,” Ted said softly, a sly smile on his face.

“Let’s just say I don’t believe in a black and white world,” he said. “Unlike Ranger Rick over there.”

“You’re the kind of agent we need,” Ted said. “Malcolm is safe, and we don’t need your career to end over hiding evidence. Give the arrow to your boss, but make sure that all the blood samples in the house get analyzed.”

“Why?”

“Because some of the blood in there belongs to Malcolm, that’s why.”

“Ah, that doesn’t feed the ambush theory, does it?” he asked, smiling as he walked to the house. “Hey, Jamie, send one of your guys in the house. We need to take samples of each and every blood spot. I want to witness the collection.”

Ted turned back to the spot behind the boulder. The impression in the sand was large. Big man. He took a picture, and then got down into a squat and looked more closely around the brush. He saw metal, half covered by sand. Car keys. He grabbed them and felt something else. Is that a wallet? He picked it up, looking around to see if anybody saw him. Everybody was inside or in back of the house. He laid the wallet and its contents out, taking pictures with his iPhone. Most of it was the usual stuff. Credit cards with phony names. Fake driver’s license. In the bill section there was a folded piece of paper, tattered with age. He opened it up, and his eyes got wide. Nicknames, phone numbers, addresses. He took a picture of that, too. Then he quickly re-assembled it and rushed into the house.

“Hey, Agent Keith, you might be interested in this,” he said, handing the wallet and keys to him.

“Where did you find it?” he asked, eyeing him.

“See that boulder out front? Pretty sure Beckler was pinned down behind it. Go look at the sand. Looks like the impression of a large man to me. These were half buried in the sand, under that bush next to the boulder.”

Agent Keith opened the wallet and looked for the driver’s license. His eyes got big. “Jason Beckler. Bingo! Not his name, of course, but a good picture.”

Agent Cooper rushed over and took a look. “That’s one scary-looking motherfucker.”

“That alias seems familiar,” Agent Keith said.

“Forgot to look,” Ted said.

Keith looked closely at the license, reading. “Harold Robbins. That was a famous person, wasn’t it? Can’t quite place it.”

Ted and Agent Cooper looked at each other and chuckled.

 

Pick up your copy here!

 

First chapter of “Stolen Youth” – follow up to “Never A Loose End”, in editing now.

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Chapter 1 – Dusty Death

The ranch house sat in silence, front door hanging open, windows broken. The smell. Rotting flesh. Ravens circled, and vultures, coming down every so often to join the feast. Curtains fluttered in the wind.

Sound approached. Motorcycles. Coming quickly down the dusty road. They rounded the bend, and the birds took off, pieces of flesh still in their beaks. The engines slowed, and the motorcycles stopped.

“Boys!” said the Mike, the father, on the big motorcycle. “Stay here.”

He put his bike back into gear and slowly rounded the bend. There were bodies in the road in front of him, rotting, exposed skin eaten in places. He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and took pictures of the dead, then heard one of his kids put their bike into gear. He turned.

“Stop right this minute, Sean!”

“But dad, I wanna see,” he said.

“No! Stay back! I mean it. There’s death here.”

“But dad!”

“Knock it off. Go to your brother and wait. I’ll be back in a minute. Stay put, or I’ll take you’re motorcycles away for a month. Do you understand?”

“All right, dad,” the kid said, looking dejected.

Mike took a few more pictures, then put his bike into gear and rode forward. The house looked worse close up. Bullet holes pockmarked the front porch. Big bullet holes. Bigger than he’d ever seen. There was a rustle and he looked to his right, seeing a vulture fly off of a body lying in the open field twenty yards out. He shut off the bike’s engine and leaned it up against a boulder in the front yard, then noticed legs pointing his direction from behind the house. What happened here?

He climbed the steps of the porch. There was a man lying near the door with half of his head gone. Mike shuddered and peeked in the door. More bodies. Blood everywhere. Three by the window. One leaning against the doorway into the kitchen. One on the floor behind the couch. A naked woman, missing the top of her head, grinning at him, parts of her lips ripped off by the birds. He couldn’t take it anymore. He ran out on the porch and threw up over the rail. Then he heard something. A vehicle. The hair on the back of his neck stood up, and he raced towards his bike, jumping on and kicking it to life, turning it around and racing to his boys. He got to them as two pickup trucks pulled around the bend. He motioned for his boys to take off across the field, but a man jumped out of the first truck and fired a shot into the air.

“Freeze!” said the booming voice. He was a big man, with long blonde hair and an ugly pockmarked face. An Asian man got out of the driver’s side and watched, pistol in hand.

“Okay, don’t shoot,” Mike said. “Stop, boys!”

“Shut off the bike and push it over here,” the man said. Mike nodded yes and killed his engine.

“Did you guys do this?” Mike asked, so scared he was shaking now. “I won’t tell anybody. I’ll just take my boys and leave.”

The man walked up to him, past the crying boys. “Your phone.”

Mike pulled it out of his pocket and handed it over. The big man looked at it, going straight to the pictures.

“You send these pictures anywhere?”

“No,” Mike said. “They’re just on the phone. No coverage.”

“You got bars. Don’t lie to me.”

“I didn’t send them anywhere. I swear.”

The big man deleted the pictures, and handed the phone back.

“We won’t say anything. I swear,” the man pleaded.

“I didn’t do this,” the big man said.

“Sailor Boy, we need hurry,” shouted the Asian man, still standing next to the driver’s side of the first truck. “Hurry hurry. Before somebody come.”

Sailor Boy held up his hand to shut the man up, then looked back at Mike. “Most of these people were my friends.”

“We didn’t do it,” Mike said.

Sailor Boy laughed hard, his whole body shaking. “Oh, we know who did this.”

“Oh,” Mike said, looking slightly relieved.

“Can I trust you to keep your mouths shut?”

“Of course,” Mike said.

“Okay, you and your boys are free to go. Take off, and don’t come back.”

“C’mon, boys, let’s go,” he said, still looking nervous. The boys turned their bikes around, and followed their dad away.

Sailor Boy nodded to the Asian man.

“Now,” he shouted. The men in the second truck fired AK-47s at the three, sending them flying to the ground, bike engines still running. Another man ran over and used his pistol to put a bullet in each of their helmeted heads.

“I hated to do that, Joseph,” Sailor Boy said, a grim look on his face.

“I know, boss,” he replied, not looking like it bothered him one bit.

“Let’s go get the bodies,” he said. “We’ll take those three too.”

The two trucks rolled up to the house. Sailor Boy went inside, and then stopped and wept. Joseph heard him and rushed in, seeing Walt lying on the floor, right inside the door.

“I sorry, boss,” he said, putting his hand on Sailor Boy’s shoulder as he sobbed.

Sailor Boy recovered after a few minutes, his face and eyes red, wet with tears. “Okay, let’s round up the bodies and get them into the truck,” he said. He saw Sadie’s body lying behind the couch. “So that’s the bitch that started this whole thing.” He pulled out his pistol and fired about five rounds into what was left of her head, causing all of his men except Joseph to dive for cover.

“It okay,” Joseph shouted. “Just boss. Pick up bodies and let’s go.”

The trucks were loaded in a matter of minutes.

“Where’s the redhead?” Sailor Boy asked.

“Not here, boss,” Joseph said. “Maybe around yellow van we passed?”

“Let’s you and me go back there and check,” Sailor Boy said.

“Okay, boss,” Joseph said.

The truck full of bodies did a K-turn using the house’s driveway and headed back up the road. Sailor Boy and Joseph followed, but took a different fork. The road they were on became more and more rutted, and then there was a wide spot.

“That Jim’s truck?” asked Joseph.

“Looks like it. Tires shot out.”

They drove a little further, nearing the big dirt road they drove in on.

“There van,” Joseph said.

They pulled up to it and parked.

“It locked,” Joseph said. He stood next to the driver’s side window. Sailor Boy looked down and saw a good sized rock on the ground, about the size of a softball. He picked it up and carried it to the van.

“I just found the key,” he said. “Stand back.”

Joseph moved out of the way and Sailor Boy threw the rock against the side window hard. The window cracked and bowed in, but didn’t break all the way through.

“Strike one,” Joseph said, laughing. Sailor Boy grinned and picked the rock up off the round. He did a wind-up and pitched it again. This time it crashed through, leaving a large hole. Joseph reached through and unlocked the door. “Wow, boss, look at this.” He climbed between the seats to the back, and slid open the side door. Sailor boy walked around to it and looked in.

“Looks like a mobile command center,” Sailor Boy said, laughing. “Guess my sources were right about Mister Beckler.”

“We should bring back to compound,” Joseph said.

“I don’t want to get caught with it, but I do want all of the hard drives out of this sucker. There’s probably info about Malcolm and George on them.”

“Yes yes,” Joseph said. “But no redhead.”

“Yeah, I noticed, Mister Moto,” he replied, chuckling. “Let’s follow the tire tracks and see where this thing came from. Doesn’t look like it got here from the main road. Looks like it was coming from the waterfall.”

“Okay, boss,” Joseph said. He got out of the van and slid the door shut, as Sailor Boy noted the GPS coordinates. He made a call.

“Juan?”

“Yeah, Sailor Boy, what’s up?”

“We need to send a couple of guys with some tools out to the coordinates I just texted you. We found the van.”

“Why?”

“I want the hard drives from the computers.”

“Good idea,” he said. “Why don’t you just drive it here?”

“Don’t want to get caught with it. Monte phoned in that tip, remember? The cops are looking for this van after the slaughter at the motel.”

“How was the house?”

“Bad. Death. Feasting varmints. We loaded up all the bodies. We’ll burn all of them except Walt, Josh, Brian, Monte, and Jim.”

“You tell your sister about Josh and Brian yet, boss?”

“No, and I’m not looking forward to it.”

“I can imagine. I’ll take care of this right away.”

“Thanks, Juan. We’ll be back soon. We’re still looking for the redhead.”

“Be careful, boss.”

“Will do. Bye.”

He shoved his phone back into his pocket and got into the cab.

“They come?” Joseph asked.

“Yeah. Follow the road towards the waterfall, but not too fast. I need to see tire tracks.”

“Yes yes,” he said, starting the truck and driving forward.

It was slow going. Nothing but empty flat desert, but then some hills rose beside them, making a sheer wall on the left side of the road. They followed it around a bend, and suddenly there were two motor homes in front of them. Sailor Boy pulled out his pistol when he saw them.

“Stop. Let’s walk up to these,” he said.

“Okay, boss,” Joseph said. He parked and shut off the engine, then grabbed his pistol and joined Sailor Boy.

“Nobody here,” Sailor Boy said as they approached. “Way too hot to be sitting in these things without air conditioning.”

“Maybe they just turn off when they hear us,” Joseph said.

Sailor Boy walked over to the first coach and touched the generator exhaust pipe. Then he walked to the second coach and did the same. “No way, these generators haven’t run for hours.”

“What now, boss? We break in?”

“No,” he said. “Look. There’s one of our trucks, behind.”

They walked over to the old primer gray pickup truck. “It bloody mess, boss.”

“Yeah,” Sailor Boy said. He looked around. “Look at the tracks. There’s a set going off on the road to the highway there.”

“We follow?”

“No,” Sailor Boy said. “Look there, another set of tracks heading that way.” He pointed out into the wilderness.

“Nothing that way but air force range,” Joseph said.

“Yeah. Let’s follow those tracks.”

“Okay, boss.”

They got back in the truck and drove along the tracks.

“Long way back here,” Joseph said as they rode along.

“Don’t go too fast, now. I need to see those tracks at the next fork.”

They kept going for several miles. Then they saw the air force ranging targets stretching high into the sky.

“You got the binoculars in here?” Sailor Boy asked.

“Yes yes, behind seat,” Joseph said.

Sailor Boy fetched them, took off the lens covers, and looked out ahead. “Stop a minute. It’s jerking around too much.”

“Okay, boss,” Joseph said, putting on the brakes until the truck stopped. “You see something?”

“Yeah, looks like par-boiled redhead to me. Chained to the bottom of that ranging target.” He handed the binoculars to him.

“Redhead all right,” Joseph said. “Shining in sun. She alive?”

“Can’t tell from here. Let’s high tail it over there.”

Joseph hit the gas, and they took off, rear wheels spinning, throwing dust.

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 3 – Republic in Peril is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

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Here’s the series that started it all! Bug Out! Pick up your copy of book 1 for just 99 cents in the Kindle Store!

 

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

A scene from Horror – A Supernatural Thriller

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Cooper and Heather stood together, looking at the body hanging upside down from a tree branch, tied at the ankles.
“Recognize the rope?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Yeah, it’s my dad’s, from the storage compartment in the motor home,” he said.
“You okay, honey?” Heather asked, looking at him.
“I’m not going to break down again,” Cooper said. “Knew this was coming. Don’t want to look closer, if that’s okay.”
“No problem here,” Sheriff Henderson said. “Sorry for your loss, Cooper.”
“Want me to take pictures, Sheriff?” Deputy Brewer asked.
“Yeah, you do that, but don’t touch anything. Don’t forget the ground under and around it. Get good detail.”
“Will do, boss.”
“And don’t get too close to the edge,” Ranger Norman said. “I don’t want you falling in.”
“Don’t worry,” he said.
“Wonder how far that opening goes?” Cappy asked.
“I wonder too, but you know what I wonder about more?” the Sheriff asked.
“Yeah, I know,” he said. “The girl.”
“The girl or whoever did that,” he said, eyes darting around. “Look at how high that rope is. In my mind, it took more than the girl to do something like that. We might find her body somewhere around here.”
“It’s the woods,” Cappy said, sitting on a fallen tree. “Something took over. She might have been a whole lot stronger than normal when she did that.”
“She’s pregnant,” Heather said.
“What?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Sorry, they told me,” Danielle said. “On the way back. She’s barely showing.”
“Doesn’t matter,” the sheriff said.
“Okay, Sheriff, got plenty of pictures,” Deputy Brewer said. “Looks to me like he was dead long before he was strung up there.”
“Pretty obvious to me after what we saw in the motor home,” the sheriff replied. “Okay, let’s see if we can find the girl.”
“Kilroy isn’t pulling anymore,” Cooper said. “Maybe we need to get past the body. Any tracks around it?”
“No, not that I could see, but the dirt is covered with pine needles,” the deputy said. “Hard to see anything.”
“Let’s take the dog past him and see if he picks anything up,” Ranger Norman said.
“Okay,” Cooper said. “C’mon Kilroy.”
He walked the dog past the body, looking the other way. Kilroy whimpered but kept going, no longer pulling hard.
“What’s up this direction?” Heather asked. “Any structures or roads?”
“Not for several miles,” Ranger Norman said.
“I had an incident up here,” Danielle said. “A scary one.”
“Don’t go into that now,” Ranger Norman said.
“Why not? It’s relevant,” she said.
“You know why not,” he said.
“Let her talk,” Cappy said. “Or I will. This is a bad place. We all know it. Cut the crap.”
“You think we’re stupid?” Cooper said. “Something killed my friend and hung him from a tree. I saw the look on Shelby’s face when we found her out here, too. We know there’s something in the woods, so be honest.”
The group walked along silently, the tension building.
“Okay, okay,” Ranger Norman said. “Go ahead, Danielle.”
She took a deep breath. “All right. I was out here, chasing down a lost dog for an old couple who had their motor home in that same clearing. It was mid-morning. I’d been out here quite a few times by then, so I knew the area well enough to keep from getting lost.”
“How long ago was this?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“Several months ago. I’ve had other incidents since then.”
“Keep to this one,” Ranger Norman said.
“All right,” she said. “Anyway, I walked in deeper and deeper. I could hear the dog barking. It was a small yippy dog. After a while I couldn’t hear it anymore, and everything changed.”
“Changed how?” Deputy Brewer asked.
“I didn’t recognize the area anymore, and it got darker. Not completely dark. More like dusk. I got disoriented.”
“Been there,” Cappy said. “I don’t hunt out here by myself anymore.”
“I didn’t hear that,” the ranger said. “Go on, Danielle.”
“Well, that was it for a while. There’s a missing period of time. I can’t remember anything until I woke up. I was lying on the trail naked. It was late afternoon by that time.”
“Care to reenact that?” the deputy asked.
“Shut up, Brewer,” Sheriff Henderson said. “So what happened next?”
“Nothing much,” she said. “I knew where I was again. My clothes were strewn along the trail. I got dressed and went back to the RV clearing.”
“What about the dog?” Heather asked.
“Never found it,” she said. “That poor old couple was beside themselves.”
“So you were out from mid-morning to mid-afternoon,” Cooper said. “That’s several hours. Do you think you were just sleeping during that time?”
“No,” she said. “I was sore all over, and scratched up like I’d been climbing trees naked. I had sap on me a few places.”
“You weren’t abused or anything, were you?” the deputy asked.
“Not that I could tell,” she said, looking embarrassed. “Nothing wrong down there.”
“Why didn’t you report this?” Sheriff Henderson asked.
“I did. I told Ranger Norman.”
“Dammit, Norman,” the sheriff said.

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

Here’s an scene from Never a Loose End, availabe in the Kindle Store now.

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Brian was lounging on the couch, reading a gun magazine, when heard footsteps coming. “Shit,” he said. “Josh, someone’s coming.”

“Heard them,” Josh said. “I got the shotgun.”

Brian laughed.

“Stand down, it’s the guys,” Brian said.

“Guys?” asked Josh.

“From the compound, dumbass,” Brian said.

“Wonderful,” spat Sadie, sitting in the chair with her knees up against her naked body, trying to keep warm in the air conditioning. “You guys going to gang bang me now?”

“Shut up,” Brian said, pointing his gun at her. “Josh, keep a gun on the cunt while I go see what’s up.”

Josh came in from the kitchen, sat down, and leveled the shotgun at Sadie.

“Anything goes wrong, and I’ll tattoo you to that chair with buckshot, bitch,” Josh said.

“You got to call your boss first, you pussy,” Sadie said. She shut up and gave Josh the evil eye.

Brian walked out on the front porch. Six men were coming up the driveway. One of them raised his weapon, and the leader put his hand on the weapon and pushed it down.

“The bitch still tied up?” asked the lead man.

“Yeah, Jeff, she’s still tied up. Josh has a 12-gauge pointed at her right now.”

“Good,” said Jeff. He walked over to Brian and shook his hand. Jeff was a tall thin man, middle-aged, with reddish brown hair and a full beard. He turned to the men.

“Okay, here’s what we do,” said Jeff. “Matt, get up next to the water tank, and keep an eye on the road. Jerry, you get on the other side of the property, up the hill a little, and watch that side of the road. The rest of you, get on the front porch and keep your eyes open while I fill Brian and Josh in on the situation.”

Brian and Josh went into the house. When Josh saw Jeff, his face lit up.

“Hey, Jeff, how the hell are you?”

Jeff walked over and shook hands with Josh.

“I’m fine, kiddo,” said Jeff.

“Good, maybe this dude is man enough to eat my pussy,” Sadie said, arching her back to stick her breasts out.

Jeff smiled and walked over to her. Then he backhanded her in the face, hard, causing blood to run out of her nose.

“Shut the hell up, you stupid whore,” said Jeff. Sadie spit at Jeff, and he back handed her again.

Josh laughed, but it was a nervous laugh. Brian just watched coolly.

“Jeff, I suggest we bring the boys in here and let them know about this bitch,” Brian said.

“Yeah, at least the ones on the porch,” said Jeff. “Hey, guys, come in the house for a minute.”

The men came in, all staring at Sadie.

“You guys see this bitch?” Brian said. “Hands off. She’s a snake. Don’t even think about any fun time with her. Understand?”

The men looked at Jeff and nodded.

“Good,” said Jeff. “Now, I want her outside for a few minutes so I can talk to Josh and Brian. John, you and Bob take her out far enough to where she can’t hear what we’re saying. Chuck and Al, you stay in here, but I want your eyes out the window and your guns cocked, understand?”

The men nodded again. Two of them pulled Sadie out of her seat. One of them grabbed a towel sitting on the coffee table and wiped the blood off of her face, and then they walked her outside. The other two men knelt by the front windows and watched.

“Alright, what’s the deal?” asked Josh.

“Sailor Boy called us. Somebody got to Walt and picked him up, right before Monte could grab him. Monte saw the whole thing, but they made him, so he had to split.”

“Shit,” Brian said. “Who?”

“We don’t know, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a bounty hunter. We think it’s somebody who wants to find Sadie.”

“Which means they’re on their way here,” Josh said.

“You got it,” said Jeff. “Monte’s still following them as best he can without being spotted. They appear to be coming straight towards us.”

“How many?” asked Brian.

“There were two men and one woman, in an old beat-up yellow van,” said Jeff. “They grabbed Walt and some stripper he picked up in Fort Mohave.”

“Damn, when’s that boy going to learn,” Josh said.

“Who are these guys?” asked Brian. “Are they the guys that Sadie tried to kill?”

“No, description is all wrong,” said Jeff. “There’s one rather disturbing idea that one of Sailor Boy’s people came up with.”

“What’s that?” asked Josh.

“It could be the creep that Sadie hung out with about ten years ago,” said Jeff. “Most people think the guy is dead, but based on movements of his best buddy, that might not be the case. Sadie double crossed him. Badly.”

“Who?” asked Josh

“A guy named Jason Beckler,” said Jeff. “Ring a bell?”

“Fuck,” Josh said. “I’ll bet he’s got Earl Wilson with him. These guys are bad news.”

“What do you know about them?” asked Jeff.

“Josh here likes to read about serial killers and bank robbers,” Brian said. “I always thought it was a waste of time. I stand corrected.”

“Beckler is one of the most successful serial killers of the last 40 years,” Josh said. “He sets up elaborate scenarios to capture his prey, usually working with one or two others. When he gets them, he tortures them to death. Nasty stuff. He likes to capture whole families, rape the women right down to ten-year-olds, and then kill them in front of their men. Then he butchers whoever is left, including kids. He’s fucking crazy, and the cops could never get close to him. He just disappears.”

“What about the other guy you mentioned?” asked Jeff.

“Earl Wilson,” Josh said. “He’s minor compared to Beckler. I think they might be related, or at least they were childhood friends. He was involved with Red Dagg……..oh shit.”

“What?” asked Jeff.

“That ex-cop who Sadie tried to kill,” Josh said, breathing heavier now. “That was Malcolm Davis. He’s the guy who set up the ambush on the serial killer called Red Dagger. You remember that one, it was everywhere on the news. Hell, they even made a Movie of the Week on that incident.”

“Yeah, that I do remember,” said Jeff.

“Me too,” Brian said. “So that means we could have two serial killers and one crazy ass ex-cop on the way here right now. Do we have enough guys?”

“Eight heavily armed guys. That should be enough, don’t you think?” asked Jeff.

“I’d rather be someplace else,” Josh said. “Why don’t we take the bitch to the compound? We stand a better chance there.”

“Because of Walt,” Brian said.

“Yep, because of Walt,” said Jeff. He walked over to the door. “Okay, bring the bitch back in.”

The two men brought Sadie back to the chair and dumped her into it. She looked up at Josh, Brian, and Jeff.

“What’s the matter, boys?” Sadie said. “You scared of somebody? You brought lots of people. It won’t be enough.”

Jeff walked over and back-handed her across the face one more time, starting her nose bleeding again. She laughed out loud, and spit blood out on the floor.

“Fort Mohave isn’t that far away,” Brian said. “We’ll either get hit tonight or early tomorrow morning.”

“It’s gonna be a long night,” said Jeff. He sat down, deep in thought.

“Somebody’s going to get you,” sang Sadie in a sing-song, school girl voice.

“Do we have to keep her alive?” asked Jeff.

“Afraid so, Jeff,” Josh said.

Sadie giggled.

 

 

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