The lower level of the building turned out to be a garage. “I found this building and fixed it up, put up the fencing, all the security stuff,” Daniel explained, leading the way from where the Jeep was parked to a door. “These stairs go to the upper levels. I live on the second one, third one is empty right now, except for the extra weapons and supplies I keep up there. I’ve never had to, but it’s in a good, defensible position.”
Kyle had to take his word for it on that. “How long have you been here?” There were a series of locks that needed to be put in place after the door closed behind them. “I said I wouldn’t run, why lock all these locks?”
Daniel chuckled. “They’re not to keep you in, they’re on the inside. These are to keep unwanted visitors out. I joined up with the Freedom Militia about eight years ago, when I was your age. Before that I was in the government security force.”
Digesting that bit of information as they climbed the narrow stairs to the second floor, Kyle was shown how to operate the locks and traps at the door to their living quarters. The space was one open room with a bathroom off to one side. It was clean and orderly, though not obsessively so. The windows had bars, the doors multiple locks, and somehow the place still felt like home.
“Thank you for bringing me here.”
“You’re the first, not even Pierre’s been here.” Daniel nodded to a closet near the bathroom. “There’re extra clothes, towels, and shaving supplies in the drawers in there. Help yourself.” He pointed at the bathroom. “And the shower is in there. I’ve only got one bed, but in the morning we can round up a cot or another bed or something. I’ll sleep in the recliner tonight, you take the bed.” Turning away he took wood from a pile near a large, round stove, piled it in, and lit a fire. “It’ll warm up here in no time.”
“I’d love a shower about now.” Kyle looked between Daniel and the bed, feeling a flush start working its way up his neck. “That bed is big and I don’t want to take it from you.” He shrugged and laughed nervously. “We can share for now, I don’t mind. But if you do, I’ll sleep in the recliner.”
Daniel shrugged, but was still turned partially away from him. Kyle didn’t miss the way his lips twitched up for a few seconds before he stood and brushed his hands off. “Go get a shower, there’s plenty of hot water.”
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