TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
The biker, who was talking to Steve, hadn't noticed Ghost. He kept smiling, but he gave a subtle signal to his friends. They slowly began to separate, some going behind Linda's van, and some over toward the U-Haul.
"We don't want trouble. We just are going," Steve said. He clenched his hands into fists, though, ready for anything.
"Dude...we're not bringing any...just a friendly conversation," the biker said. He took a couple of steps closer toward Steve.
Linda revved the engine...a warning. Steve turned and walked toward the U-Haul. "We're leaving. Tell your guys to back off," he said. Inside his head, though, he was sending Ghost frantic mental thoughts. Steady, Ghost, don't shoot anybody, it's ok. He saw that Ghost was in total concentration. Either that, or he was reliving the time he'd shot Nothing's head off. Oh please don't let him think this dude is a vampire ...He walked by the guy who was on the driver's side of the U-Haul, and said nothing to him. The guy just gave him a nasty look. He'd not gotten a signal to attack from his biker friend.
Opening the truck's door, Steve climbed in. ok, ok, now what? He was panicking. Ghost was still outside the passenger side door. Get in, get in, get in...He hoped Ghost would hear him think. The guy Steve had just passed, slowly walked around to the back of the truck, still on alert for the go signal. As he came around the end, he came face to face with Ghost's gun.
"Oh, Jeeze," he said, and stumbled backwards. "Don't shoot, please don't shoot. I'm backing up...oh shit, dude."
Ghost hadn't moved, or said anything, but his eyes were staring the guy down, and he was pushing hard with his mind, giving orders mentally, Get away from us...tell the others to back off...give me a reason to shoot...
"Ok, ok, I'm going, take it easy," the guy said. He turned and ran to the others. "Oh, God...there's another one of 'em, and he's got a gun. Shit, he had it right up in my face. Let's get outta here."
"What, a gun? Where?"
"Over there, look." They both turned toward Ghost.
Linda revved the engine again, and pulled forward a little. Steve had opened the passenger door of the truck, and was now standing by Ghost.
"Easy, Ghost, they're backing off. Don't shoot," Steve said.
"Can I just scare 'em a little?" Ghost asked.
"No, they could go report us or something," Steve said.
Ghost snorted. "Hah, these ones? They've got outstanding warrants on 'em. They ain't gonna tell nobody. I want to shoot my gun."
"No," Steve said.
The two bikers were now joined by their other riders, and were getting on their bikes. "One thing before we go," said the leader of the gang. "Have a nice day...see ya in hell."
That was all Ghost needed. He stepped out from the truck, and pulled the trigger. The bullet struck the ground right in front of the guy's motorcycle.
"Fucker," the guy hollered, then they all roared out of the rest area, spraying gravel and dust behind them.
"Damn, Ghost, ya had to do it, didn't ya," Steve yelled.
"Yeah, I did," Ghost said, grinning. "Felt good, too."
Steve shook his head, and let out a big breath. "Ok, they're gone, now put it away. We gotta go, too." He walked over to Linda's car. She had turned off the engine, and was comforting the waking kids.
"The shot woke them up," she said, as Steve came up to the car door. She'd given the kids a juice box to sip on, so she got out to talk to Steve.
"What the hell was all that?" she asked. She grabbed hold of Steve's arm, and he pulled her into a hug. He could feel her shaking.
"It's ok, hon, they're gone. I didn't know what was gonna happen...and then Ghost had to go shoot at them. Oh, Lord, this could have gotten serious real fast," he said.
She nodded, and brushed away a few tears. "I know, Steve, and the kids...I was so scared, but I would have run over that guy if he'd come for you. You know that?"
"Um-hmm, and I'd be glad you did."
"And, Ghost?," Linda said. "You know he's a wild card. You just never know what he's gonna do, Steve." She was calming down some.
"I know," Steve said, "but he wasn't gonna really shoot them. He said he just wanted to scare them a little. Maybe you don't know, but he knows what he's doing with a gun. He never misses what he's aiming for."
"I had no idea," Linda said. "Didn't even know he had a gun...all this time?"
"Yeah, Sis, and so do I."
"Yeah, Ghost taught me how to use it, and I'm pretty good, too."
"Good grief, I'm here with two outlaws, and I feel safe," she said, and laughed away some tension.
"Ya got that right. We'll protect you and the kids. Don't worry." He looked at his watch. "So, you ready to get back on the road?"
"Pretty much," she said, "but I want to take the kids over there to the rest room, and wash off a little. Then we'll be ready."
"Ok, we'll do the same, and then go find somewhere to eat breakfast, on down the road," Steve said. He headed off to the truck. Linda got the kids out of the van, and got them a fresh set of clothes to wear.
Back at the truck, Steve saw that Ghost had already changed, and freshened up, so he grabbed his own clean clothes, and did the same.
"Did you put it away?" he asked Ghost, when he returned.
Ghost nodded. "Yeah, back where it was. Are we going, now? I'm hungry."
"That's the plan," Steve said. They all drove out of the rest area, heading east.
"I'm glad you didn't shoot those guys, but I'm glad you had your gun. It scared them off. Linda was really scared," Steve said. "Oh, she didn't know either of us had a gun with us. I guess I never mentioned it."
"Are you mad that I shot it?" Ghost asked.
"No, not really. You weren't aiming for them, anyway," Steve said, laughing.
"I know, and if I was, I'd have hit 'em," Ghost said. He was smiling again.
Next part coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing