I pulled into the small parking lot behind the bookstore and waited for Damon to join me. I took my helmet off as his motorcycle stopped next to mine. He eyed the windows of the store then looked back over at me. “Doesn’t look like he’s here today.”
“He said he would be,” I said, but he was right. It didn’t look like Mr. Bentley had opened the store today.
Sure enough when I walked to the door, it was locked. I glanced to the other end of the lot, where the small house sat. The rusty old pickup sat in front of the garage. It looked like he was home at least. “Maybe he’s just running behind,” I said.
But, Damon stayed tense next to me even as we headed toward the house. “This doesn’t feel right, Hawk,” he said.
“Devil, I’m sure…” But, then I felt it, too. It started as a sensation at the back of my neck, the hairs standing up slightly. I’d spent too many years trusting my instincts to start ignoring them now.
I glanced around at the surrounding houses, all in good repair. Mr. Bentley’s old truck was the only thing that stood out, everything else was taken care of, kept in almost perfect shape. Mr. Bentley stood out in the neighborhood, too. But, it had never bothered him. Few moved around the sidewalk, but it was still early.
I moved closer to the front door, my hand sliding in under my vest. maybe we were both being paranoid, but I’d rather be prepared than be taken off guard. Again.
The front door stood ajar, and it had my muscles tightening. Something was definitely not right here. I hit the doorbell, but there was no sound of anyone moving around inside. “Go to the back door,” I told Damon. “I don’t like this.”
I could tell he didn’t like the idea of us splitting up, but if someone else was in there, it would be better for us to come in from different points. he did understand that, even if he didn’t like it. I waited for him to get into position before pushing the door open.
“Mr. Bentley,” I called. “It’s Hawk. Gavin,” I corrected, since he’d never called me by my road name.
Nothing seemed to be out of place as I headed into the living room. I saw Damon coming down the hallway toward me, shaking his head. He hadn’t seen anything on his way through. Then, I noticed dirt scattered over the rug and just to the right, the pot that had been overturned, a plant crushed beneath it.
I saw a footprint in the dirt and jerked my gaze up toward the window. “Get down,” I shouted at Damon, lunging to the side just before the window shattered and something thudded into the wall behind me.
“What the hell?” Damon asked, staring at the bullet in the plaster of the wall.
I wondered the same thing. Except I was afraid I knew. But, I just couldn’t understand why. I didn’t think I’d ever run into my father again after he kicked me out. Or that he’d try to kill me. And actually put effort into it this time.
“Basement,” I told Damon. “See if Mr. Bentley’s there then we need to get out of here.”
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“I’ll explain once we’re safe. First we need to find Mr. Bentley.”
As I’d suspected, he was in the basement, sitting on a wooden chair. When he saw me, he jumped up. “Oh good. I heard him trying to get in and came down here. I hoped you’d find me first.”
“It was a trap. Come on, we need to get out of here.”
He nodded and hurried for a door at the side of the room. “My truck’s ready to go. You two can hide in the backseat.”
“We don’t have to hide,” Damon said. “We’re not cowards.”
“And you’ll be a perfect target on your motorcycles. Do you want to be brave or smart, Damon?”
I squeezed Damon’s arm. “He’s right,” I said. “We’ll come back for our bikes later. Right now, getting Mr. Bentley safe is more important. If my father is that intent on killing me, I don’t want him or anyone else getting caught in the crossfire.”
“Why do you think it’s your father?” Damon asked.
“Did I ever tell you he was trained as a sniper?”
“Well, he didn’t always take jobs that were…authorized. Why not take one that would get rid of the son he’s always hated?”
Now, it was Damon who squeezed my arm. I glance d around as we came out of the garage, but I didn’t see anything. So, we got in the back seat of the truck. In a way, I hoped I was right about my father. Otherwise that meant there was someone else out there who hated me enough to kill me.
Damon’s hand pressed against my hip. And I realized it didn’t matter who it was. As long as he only came after me and not anyone else I cared about. Especially not Damon.
Losing him might be enough to kill me anyway.
Day 11 of Story a Day. This one I used some of my characters from my Riders of Justice series. I’ve just started Hawk’s story, and this fits pretty neatly into where it’s headed. Devil & Hawk are the road names Damon & Gavin go by, but Hawk often calls him by his real name, especially in his thoughts(also in more intimate moments).