Heart of the Hunter(10)

By: Chance Carter

“Grace, it’s okay,” she said. “Those men were trying to, to do something, they grabbed me, Grace. Grabbed me and touched me, and I don’t know what else would have happened if Hunter hadn’t come back and stopped them. Call the sheriff, but not on Hunter. He’s not the bad guy, he’s the good guy.”

Well, that’s a fucking first. I had been called every name in the book, but good guy sure as shit wasn’t one of them.

Just go with this, Hunter, I told myself. Be the good guy.

“I’m so sorry, Grace. Call the sheriff and we’ll get this mess sorted out. Dennis, I don’t think I’ll be back into the shop today. I’m sorry, pal.”

“No need to apologize to me, boy. Apparently, you did a good thing here. The sheriff might not feel the same, but I’ll do my best to stand up for you. Kelly, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here. And Hunter, I’m just sorry I couldn’t have helped you out. There’s no room for dirtbags like these in Stone Peak. No room at all.”

Helped me out? You’re a shit mechanic, Dennis, and a worse fucking liar. You couldn’t have kept that fat ass of yours on the ground harder if you tried.

I kept my mouth shut.

Dennis took Grace’s arm and led her to the phone to call the sheriff. I was in deep shit here, but I didn’t know how much. I was ready for whatever storm was coming with the law. It wouldn’t be the first time I had police troubles, and it wouldn’t be the last. Besides, I had bigger troubles.

My biggest problem stood right in front of me, with curves in all the right places and a pair of green eyes that were staring up at me like I was all she needed in the world.

What the fuck had I just gotten myself into?

Chapter 6


I sat on the window ledge outside the diner and lit up a cigarette. Goddamn, it tasted good. Few things are more relaxing than a cigarette after you eat, fuck, or beat down two of the most deserving pieces of shit that ever disgraced you with their presence. Something about the combination of the nicotine rush and feeling of burning smoke in your throat and lungs is a perfect companion to satisfying a primal desire. I exhaled and watched the smoke hang in the air, briefly removing everything else from my line of vision. It was a good couple of seconds.

The sheriff had finished with his questions and ordered me to stay put while he went to answer the radio in his car. I had to laugh at him. His round, sunburnt face beading with sweat, his mail-order-cop shades, his false sense of power over me. He was a walking joke that he wasn’t in on. As he turned to walk away, all I could think about was ripping his gun out of the holster and pistol whipping his sweaty ass to a pulp with it.

Ordered me?

I chose to laugh on the inside and silently nod my head on the outside. I don’t think the townspeople would take as kindly to a stomping on their lawman as they did to two aging frat boys.

“Well, son, it’s your lucky goddamn day,” the sheriff said as he walked back toward me. “There’s been word out on the radio all day for those two clowns you damn near beat to death. Apparently, they have a habit of taking liberties with young women and left a poor little thing drugged and battered in a motel room not far from here. The make of the vehicle and description of the perps matches the ride and looks of these fellas. Well, at least what they would have looked like an hour ago.”

He continued to ramble on about whatever makes his type feel important, but my eyes couldn’t help but follow the stretcher wheeling by with my morning’s work on it. I wanted to flick my burning cigarette onto the sheet and watch the motherfuckers go up in flames. Finish what I started.

I had to laugh to myself. I looked at the man I’d destroyed.

I don’t know how you got out of this, buddy, but you should be thanking whatever God you talk to.

The sheriff droned on. “Now, we don’t condone violence in this town, son, and you better goddamn know I won’t stand for it. You may have done a good thing this morning, but I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t just a fluke. I’ll be watching you, and you better prove to me you’re worthy of my town.”

It took all my strength not to rip off the index finger he was pointing in my fucking face.

His town?

Sorry, buddy. Since I walked through the limits, you have no idea how fucking far this place is from your town. It’s mine now. I own it and everything in it, and you should be thanking your lucky fucking stars I let you keep breathing its air.

I nodded my head as if I understood and agreed with his bullshit.

“Now, Kelly. I’m so sorry, dear. I know this has been a horrible morning for you, but could you come to the car with me so I can get your statement on what happened here? Won’t take but a minute and you can be on your way.”