“What are you going to do?”
“Time to even the odds. I’m done being hunted.” Mason slipped the coil of rope from his shoulder and laid it beside Riece. “When I call you, bring this to me. Stay down and keep out of sight no matter what happens. Make sure you get to that road.”
Mason moved away from Riece, turned back, and held his finger to his lips. Keeping as low to the ground as possible, Mason crept forward. They were at the base of one hill. Close to the top of the next hill was the youngest of the hunters. Mason kept low, maneuvering carefully as he made his way around until he was directly below the kid.
Since no one was shooting at him, it was reasonable to think he hadn’t been spotted. The kid’s back was to Mason. He appeared to be scanning the area toward the road with a spotting scope. His rifle was resting against his back, held in place by a strap slung over his shoulder. Getting him would mean going into the open and completely exposing himself to anyone watching. It might be a trap, but it was a chance Mason felt he wasn’t in a position to turn down.
Mason moved into a spot that put him behind the kid. He turned and glanced back at Riece, offering him a thumbs-up and a wink. After taking a succession of deep breaths and blowing them out, Mason sprinted up the hillside. Mason’s only real advantage in this situation was that the element of surprise was, for the moment, on his side.
Moving silently, Mason got close enough to the kid to grab him with one arm around his neck. He pulled back so the kid was off-balance and trapped against Mason. Pressing the bolt point under the kid’s jaw, Mason snarled, “Make a sound or so much as twitch unless I tell you to and I’ll gut you like a fish.” He gave the bolt a shove. “Got it?”
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