“Ok, you can get up now.”
June did so, moving slowly. “Where did that come from?”
“A warning shot?”
“Not sure but I’d say we’re getting close enough to make someone nervous.”
“I’m not sure which to hope for.”
“It was one shot and no return fire,” Nigel added as if thinking out loud.
“So, it could have been meant for Roland and Jackson?”
“Unknown.” Then he added, “My men are moving in from the northeast sector. They haven’t reported seeing anyone or anything.”
“We’re the closest then.”
“Yeah, I figure we are.”
“What do I do?”
Nigel stared directly into her eyes. “Stay close, stay loose, stay calm, stay vigilant.”
“Any more vigilant and I’ll have holes in the back of my head.”
Nigel didn’t smile when she added, “That was a joke.”
“Glad you told me.” He smirked.
Shaking the incident off, straightening her clothes, June was wiping leaves and dirt from her clothes when she spotted the boot print. “Nigel! Look!”
Kneeling down to examine the area, he spotted a boot print. “It’s Roland’s.”
He pulled out his camera and snapped a picture. “You sure?”
“Yes! See that distinctive piece at the side? I’d recognize it anywhere!”
“We’re definitely on the right track and it’s good news!”June smiled broadly.
Nigel desperately wanted to hand June over to a team of his men to escort her out of harms’ way; it was the right thing to do and he figured he was probably in for a fight but he sincerely hoped she’d be reasonable and take into consideration the urgency of the situation.
The developing chaos of the past 24 hours brought home the menacing situation they now faced. Due to this dramatic turn, the escalation from lost and missing to a possible kidnapped or hostage situation was certainly something she wasn’t prepared for or even suspected – not in her wildest dreams. She was waiting for the other shoe to drop and he’d send her packing. In truth, Nigel could and certainly would move faster without her but she wasn’t prepared to leave, she desperately needed to see this thing through. Besides, two pairs of eyes working together meant they were covering ground if at a modest but efficient rate.
“Any word from your men?”
“Nothing particularly interesting. Unless you find voyeurism fun.” He smirked.
“Why who or what did they find?”
“A couple of teens making out after wandering away from parental supervision. They begged my men not to turn them in. They agreed if the two immediately headed back to their parents’ camp.”
June couldn’t help but smile at the hormonal hijinks they’d undoubtedly witnessed. “Those were the days alright.”