The Signal

Reb didn’t like it. Not one little bit. But he understood perfectly. Perhaps too perfectly why it was best if Stacey were the one to stay and guard the Kerrs. Still, he could not help but worry.

He had thought their part in this whole cluster fuck was over when they came back from Mexico. Her daughter was back safe. They had found and saved the missing girl. Two cartels were destroyed. Wasn’t that enough? Couldn’t Tyler and the feds handle the rest, now that they had rooted out the traitors?

But here they were. In the middle of nowhere. No damned signal. And two injured people.

He rechecked the phone. One bar. Probably not enough for a call, but he might be able to send a text? Jack or Ryan? He did not have Tyler’s direct line, but Ryan would. And he’d have the capacity to trace their location via GPS.

Reb typed quickly before that bar disappeared too…

Wanda went after Kerr. We followed. Send help. NOW.

He pushed the send button and prayed. But those little dots just kept bouncing. “Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fuck, fuck, fuck. Can’t anything go right?”

That left the CB in the truck or standing on the roof and trying to get enough of a signal for the message to send. Assuming that Ryan wasn’t so busy fucking Stacey’s daughter that he missed the message. Yeah, perhaps not the best option, then.

Reb climbed into the bed of the truck and lifted the damned phone as far above his head as he could. Still only one bar. But enough for him to try getting another message to Jack. He knew his friend could track their location; he’d taught Jack that trick himself.

But what then? Jack did not have Tyler’s number either. His friend’s best go was to try to get ahold of Ryan, gather some men, or call 9-1-1 himself.

The thing was…

Did they dare call emergency services?

That was the reason he had been so hesitant to place the call himself. He knew that technically his phone should be able to reach emergency services even without a single bar. But those were Kerr’s men.

While Tyler had enough information to get a federal warrant for the good sheriff’s arrest, there was no evidence as to who else in his department was or was not involved. And right now, the governor still had not appointed an interim sheriff to replace the man.

If he made the wrong call with this one, he and both those women could end up dead, and Kerr would drive away. They would blame Earl for the deaths, of course, but what were three more murders when the man was looking at a life sentence or possibly even the death penalty anyway?

Shit, what was he to do? He could try the CB. But even if he got through to someone, they’d just call 9-1-1, and they’d be back in the same situation.

Even if he called for an ambulance, unless he lied about the nature of the injuries, they’d send the cops anyway. An ambulance crew would not even come up the road until the location was cleared by the police. So, he was back to the million-dollar question – could they trust the Sebida police department not to side with their corrupt former boss?

Of course, with the CB’s emergency channel, it was almost inevitable that whoever was handling the casino’s security room would hear the call. But how likely was it that Jack would be able to get here before the police?

He was not one-hundred percent sure where they were. He had just been blindly following Stacey’s directions, but if he remembered his area map right, this county road was even further from the casino than the police station.

He checked his phone yet again. Both messages read sent. That was something, at least. But was it enough? Did he dare make that other call or fire up the CB?

He did not have time to weigh that decision properly when a single shot rang out. He did not even take the time to cuss as he headed back to that shack. Running along the dirt path this time, he heard more gunfire.

He’d just have to hope and pray that either Jack or Ryan saw those messages and brought help. Otherwise, his only option was to throw them in the back of the truck and book it like hell to hospital…and hope the ride didn’t kill one or both of them.

But right now, he was more worried about Stacey. When he left, she had been the one holding the gun, but that did not mean she had fired the shot. Could either Kerr or Wanda overpower her and take it? Of course, they could. Was she hurt now too? Worse?

He had not entirely cleared the tree line when he smelled it. Smoke. No! Not now! His dream or, more accurately, worst nightmare.

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