Low Midnight Page 35

He ought to just walk away.

Back at the Jeep, Kitty dressed as best she could, scowled at her torn shirt but managed to fit it on anyway, but held on to the blanket. Cormac kept busy retrieving the burnt-out flares and checking over the Jeep. The tires were intact, and it hadn’t acquired any new dents or scratches.

Nolan probably had a single-wide or some cabin out here or at the edge of town. Scraping by at the edges. Eddie might have been crashing at his place, might have had a dump of his own. Cormac didn’t much care. They’d be back here soon—he wouldn’t have scared them off entirely and probably didn’t have more than ten or fifteen minutes to check out the shed. But he wanted to check it out. He retrieved his gloves and flashlight out of the front of the Jeep.

“Wait here a second,” he said to Kitty.

“What? What are you doing?” she asked as he walked off.

“Just wait.”

She growled, slumping against the Jeep’s hood and crossing her arms to keep her shirt on.

What are you planning? Amelia, also checking up on him. He was getting it from both sides now. Typical.

“Those two’ll be back after us if I don’t take care of them,” Cormac said.

That doesn’t answer my question.

“You’ll see.”

Of course I will. Bloody hell.

Flashlight in hand, he went through the shed and into the mouth of the tunnel, a symmetrical opening of granite, roughhewn with nineteenth-century tools and smelling of chalk. The place hadn’t changed much. The same chain-link gate was bolted across the tunnel a few feet in. The metal NO TRESPASSING sign had been replaced with a plastic one at some point. So had the padlock, a straightforward commercial one with a key, which Cormac set about picking and had open in under a minute.

The tunnel on the other side of the door didn’t go too far back; the rest of the place had collapsed and filled in with debris years ago. It wasn’t below the water table, which meant the extant cave stayed cool and dry—not a bad place to store a weapons cache. And there it was, crates stacked up, metal gun lockers shoved against stone walls, cheap metal shelving holding boxes of ammunition. Further back he found some other survivalist gear—boxes of canned and dried food, army surplus MREs, blankets, bottled water, batteries, radios. A nice little setup. All on federal land, which was a problem if Nolan didn’t have someone in the Forest Service covering for him, the way Uncle David had back in the day. He wondered.

Part of him had an urge to strike up his lighter in here. Find a fuse, light it all up, watch it go boom. That’d piss more than a few people off.

But he didn’t see much sense in setting the whole valley on fire. He ignored the itching in his hand and walked back out. After replacing the lock on the gate, he emerged into warm sunshine.

“Well?” Kitty asked when he gotback to the Jeep.

“Well what?”

“I figured you went off to blow something up,” she said.

Was he really that predictable? “I have a better idea,” he said. “You’ll like this one.”

She seemed skeptical, studying him with a raised brow. He wrote down the GPS coordinates of the spot, then they drove down the mountain for better cell reception.

Guys like Nolan and Layne would call what he was about to do ratting out. They’d call him a snitch and a bastard with as much contempt as they knew how to muster. What Cormac figured: wasn’t much point holding to some kind of honor system where folk like Nolan and Layne were concerned. Cormac had a goal, and that was to get Nolan and his crew out of the way so he didn’t have to worry about them. If he had an easy way to do it without implicating himself in anything that might get him thrown back in prison? All the better.

Pulling over, he called information and got the number for the San Isabel National Forest district office. As he was hoping, he got a menu that let him leave a message rather than talking to someone. They’d see his phone number, but he wouldn’t have to talk to them if he didn’t want to.

He could sound like an upstanding citizen when he needed to, pitching his voice just a little higher and sounding a little bit confused. “Hi, yeah, I was hiking up south of Cotopaxi on one of the service roads and I found something weird. Didn’t look right, and I don’t know who to tell, but I figured you all would want to know. Looks like someone’s got a storage locker or something in one of the old caves up there. It’s locked up. A lot of bullet casings on the ground, stuff like that. I thought maybe it might be drugs or something; I didn’t really want to stick around, just in case. But I thought you guys would want to know. I had my GPS with me.” He listed off the coordinates and ended the call without giving his name.

Now he just had to wait and see what happened.

Kitty was staring at him. Ignoring her, he pulled back onto the road, heading for the highway and the long drive home.

“The indirect approach? You?” she said finally.

“I might as well let someone else do the work for me.”

Shaking her head, she giggled. “I am constantly in awe of how sneaky you can be.”

Wasn’t trying to be sneaky. He just had a job and wanted to get it done with as little fuss as possible.

She slept on the drive back to Denver, which told him he hadn’t let her sleep long enough back in the woods and she was still recovering from shifting. Weird, to feel so protective. Of a werewolf. He’d never get over the disconnect.

Could have been so much different if he’d been able to, when he first met her. Years ago now, but he still thought of it. Maybe it should have been different.

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