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SIX

After working hard all day Glory sat on the porch drinking some iced tea. She’d enjoyed the boy’s company. He was so energetic it was contagious. Hard worker too. She liked sitting there, watching the sun go down slowly. The boy was in the shower, rinsing off the dirt of the busy day. She was going to go after him.

A red Mustang drove up the terrain. A handsome young man got out after it parked. He was wearing a pink polo shirt and jeans. He was tanned, his hair black. On his muscular jaw as a light beard. She recognized him.

“Robert Moreno. Long time no see,” she said to the man who walked towards her.

“A few years, yeah. Not since high school. I heard about the trouble with the cattle and I figured I’d better see if you were doing all right,” Robert said.

“I’m fine. A bit shook up, but fine,” Glory said.

“Are you sure? I heard it was a pretty brutal scene.”

“I just don’t want to talk about it, okay?”

“That’s fine. Maybe we can just catch up a little, you know?”

“Robert, I’m really tired. I just want to be left alone.”

Robert stepped right in front of her. He put his hand delicately against his cheek. “You know I care for you, Glory.”

She took his hand and gently but firmly removed it from her cheek. “I do. I know about your feelings for me, Robert. But I couldn’t reciprocate those in high school and I can’t know.”

“You just don’t know what you’re missing.”

“Just go, Robert,” Glory insisted, anger creeping into her usually so calm voice.

“Is this guy bothering you?” The boy stepped next to Glory, his hair still damp from the shower.

“Who the fuck is this kid?” Robert asked.

“I work here. Who are you?”

Robert raised a fist. “The guy who’s going to kick your ass.”

“I see,” the boy said. He didn’t even blink.

Robert cocked his head. “You seem pretty sure of yourself? You’re what, sixteen? I can punch you out with one good uppercut.”

“Probably,” the boy agreed.

Glory pushed Robert against the chest. “Leave him alone or I get my dad. You know how he likes to shoot people who trespass.”

“I’m going. Out of respect for you. Not because I’m scared of your dad or that freaky kid,” Robert said and backed down slowly.

“Whatever,” Glory said.

She watched the young man get into his Mustang and drive off. She was glad to see him go. He’d always given her the creeps.

“Who was that?” the boy asked her.

“Just some guy who thought he was in love with me back in high school.”

“Broken heart, huh?”

Glory shrugged. “I figure he just wanted to get into my pants. Oh, sorry. Language.”

The boy chuckled. “Don’t worry about the language. I have been to R-rated movies you know.”

That got a laugh out of Glory. “Of course. You weren’t lying before when you told me you don’t get scared… I was impressed by how you handled yourself back there. You didn’t even flinch when Robert threatened you. You want some iced tea as well?”

“That would be awesome.”

Glory went into the kitchen to get some iced tea. As she fixed it she wondered why Robert still got under her skin so much. He wasn’t the only one to have feelings for her back in high school.

She walked back to the porch and handed the boy his iced tea.

“Thanks,” the boy said and took a sip. “Refreshing. I was thinking… You told me earlier that your dad thought some guy who couldn’t take no for an answer was behind the cattle decapitation. Do you think Robert might be behind that?”

“Robert? No! He can be a bit of a dick but he’s not a psychopath. No way.”

“Okay, just wondering.”

Glory wasn’t so sure as she tried to sound though. She remembered Robert getting violent back in their high school days. He once broke a guy’s jaw when he was tackled during a football match. He had a temper for sure. It did sound more logical than that skinwalker story Blackcrow told them. In both cases she was afraid she wouldn’t sleep easy that night though.

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Jochem Vandersteen

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