The gunshot reverberated through the cool morning air and jolted Mikela Richards to a halt. At a second ear-splitting crack she plunged through the button bushes to hide behind an old hickory tree. Breathing hard, she scanned the wooded trail but saw nothing. Who the heck was shooting in the park? She’d spent enough time on the firing range with her grandfather to know that it hadn’t been someone plinking at a tree with a twenty-two. Those reports had come from a large hand gun, probably a nine millimeter. Her heart rattled her rib cage while she listened for another blast.
She’d been coming to these woods outside Providence for the past two years and had never heard of any problem. She even felt safe enough to run alone in the quiet and solitude. Now some idiot had decided to play games with a gun?
No further shots disturbed the forest and the birds began to chirp. Mikela took a tentative step from her hiding spot. At the sound of heavy footsteps pounding toward her, she jumped back into the greenery.
A slim man in a leather jacket ran into view, headed toward the parking area. He looked somewhat familiar and her shoulders relaxed until she caught sight of his glazed, panicked expression.
And the black nine millimeter pistol in his hand.
Her heart thumped so loudly, she was surprised he didn’t hear it. But something caught his attention. He jerked to a stop and backed around in a small circle, peering into the bushes, and brought the gun up into the firing position she knew well.