He laughed; a wicked laugh which got louder and deeper as he walked away.
Jayce Kendall answered his home office phone. “It’s Ray. Jan’s nearly hysterical. That psychopath I told you about last week just attacked her in our garage. He threatened to kill them if I call the cops again. I’m headed home, but I’m at least thirty minutes away.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes.”
“Thank you! Bring a gun. The guy is huge and violent.”
Jayce grabbed a pistol as he ran to his car. It was already loaded.
By the time Ray arrived, Jayce had helped to calm Jan down some, but Ray was livid. When he was sure Jan and Grace were okay, he motioned for Jayce to join him in the den. “I’m going to have to track down and kill that sonuvabitch! My family won’t be safe until he’s dead!”
“That’s what he wants you to do, so he can ambush you on his turf. Then when he kills you it will be self-defense. Plus, think about your family.”
“I am thinking about them!”
“No. I mean, even if you kill him, you’ll end up in prison for murder. How will you being in prison help them?”
Ray raised balled fists over his bowed head and snarled, “What do you want me to do? Wait until he kills me and my family?”
“No. I want you all to stay with Vickie and me for a couple days. These things have a way of working themselves out.”
Ray doubted that anything would fix the mess he was in, but he agreed stay at the Kendall’s. He grabbed a couple of guns while Jan packed some clothes, and they hurried over to their friends’ home, being very careful they weren’t being followed.
Billy Burdett lived in a secluded trailer at the end of a dirt road. At 9:15 p.m., he drained his beer while watching the game and went to the fridge to get another. Burdett slammed the door when he realized it had been his last brew. He swore, kicked the offending fridge, grabbed his keys and headed the fifty feet to his yellow pickup. About half-way to it, a man stepped out of the shadows about four paces in front of him. Burdett, stopped.
“Who the hell are you and waddya you want?”
“I’m the man who’s going to help make sure you never bother Ray and Jan Johnson again.”
Burdett’s laughter came out a roar. “YOU AND WHAT ARMY?” He took a step toward the intruder, relishing the pain he was about to inflict.
“This one.” Jayce whistled. Eighteen men stepped out of the darkness, surrounding Jayce and the brute, but hanging back a few paces. “I’d like you to meet a few of our friends, relatives, and teammates.”
Shocked, Burdett stopped and looked around. He knew he could take out several of them but nowhere near all of them. As though a switch had been flipped, his tone and demeanor became friendly. “I think there must be some misunderstanding.”
“Yeah, Ray said you’d probably say that.”
Jayce turned his head to the right, and yelled toward the shadows. “Hey, Ray. Gotta minute?” Ray showed himself and walked to Jayce.
Jayce continued, “Well Burdett, you have exactly one chance to correct this ‘misunderstanding’ by quickly confessing everything you did, and apologizing to Ray for it.”
“Hell no. I’m not sayin’…”
“That was your chance!” Twenty men moved as one toward Burdett.
To be continued…