This serial story is posted one chapter per week on Fridays, in unedited (draft) form. It may contain adult situations that might not be suitable for children. Missed a few chapters? Email me to catch up. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
Don’t Look Away
Rattlesnake Falls, Book 1
It took every ounce of discipline Shelley had not to run to Dillon’s cabin after those shots. She forced herself to wait, pacing anxiously in front of the main building until the sheriff pulled up and parked his cruiser.
“Thank God,” she mumbled, rushing to meet him as he opened the door. “I just heard shots from the cabin – Dillon went up there to confront his ex about ten minutes ago! Maybe fifteen!”
The sheriff nodded, reaching back instinctively to lay a hand on his holster. “I’ll go check it out, but I need you to stay put, okay? Don’t go up there. It’s not safe. Just wait.”
“I…” She wanted to argue, but he was right. “I’ll stay here.” There was no time to argue. Dillon could be laying up there bleeding to death for all she knew. But one way or another, he needed help and the sheriff needed to get there now. “Do you know the way?”
He nodded and then he was gone, jogging up through the trees. Shelley paced for another two minutes before she finally gave in and followed.
Careful to stay back in the brush, Shelley approached the cabin cautiously. The Sheriff knelt beside the stalker’s body, his fingers wrapped around her wrist.
But where was Dillon? Staying hidden, Shelley peered all around the clearing, but didn’t see him. Was he hurt? Had he run off for some reason?
The cabin door opened, and she let out the breath she’d been holding as he stepped onto the front porch. He was wrapping a bandage around his forearm, but he was on his feet and not dead and she ran out from the cover of the trees, her only thought to get to him.
Then she stopped short and raised her hands when the sheriff whipped around, his gun aimed square at her chest.
“You have no idea how close you were to getting shot, young lady.” He shook his head and lowered the weapon. “I thought I told you to stay back at the main office.”
Shelley lowered her hands and shrugged. “I didn’t mean to scare you. I just wanted…” she glanced at the woman on the ground, and then at Dillon before focusing on the sheriff again. “I needed to know Dillon was okay.”
The man in question had come down from the porch and was headed her way. She went to meet him, looking pointedly at his poorly-wrapped arm. “What happened? Did she shoot you? Are you okay?”
He chuckled. “I’m okay. She grazed me a little – nothing too bad. But I could use a little help getting it wrapped up, if you don’t mind.”
“I can do that.” She reached for his arm, but he turned so it was just out of reach. Looking up, she saw mischief in his eyes, and raised an eyebrow of her own.
“First, this,” he said. Pulling her close with his uninjured arm, he bent to meet her lips with his and she leaned in gladly, holding him close, celebrating that he was alive.
The sheriff cleared his throat behind them, and she pulled back as far as Dillon would let her, her face warm and probably beet red. Dillon grinned at her before he looked at the sheriff.
“I’ve got an ambulance on the way to pick up the body. I’m not a forensics expert and they’ll have to do an autopsy, but I’m not sure how she died considering your shot hit her so high up on the shoulder. I don’t suppose anyone else at all saw this go down, that you know of?”
Dillon shook his head, his expression serious. “No, but I do have a security camera recording from the porch. I’m not sure of the angle, but that might have caught something usable.”
The sheriff nodded. “That would really help a lot. If you tell me where the files are stored, I’ll retrieve them. You’re going to want to call your lawyer. And you’ll both need to come in to the station so we can get a statement on record.”
Dillon nodded. “Anything you need, Sheriff. I really didn’t mean to kill her. I just didn’t want her killing me.”
Thanks for reading! Check back next week for Chapter 31!
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