Faithless…new writing…unedited…

The bomb squad parked on the asphalt and suited up. Lilly stood on the porch and waited for them to disengage the jerry-rigged shotgun. From the second floor of a ramshackle barn down the road, Jackson Titus watched the going ons. The long shadows cast by the ceiling hid him, as well did the rotten hay bales and a straw-colored tarp.
He dropped the crosshair of his scope upon the chest of Konan and flicked off the safety of his rifle. A cold smile crossed his face as his finger caressed the trigger.
“It would be so simple to kill him now,” Titus muttered.
Jackson Titus flicked the safety back on and withdrew from his sniping nest. There would be time enough to kill him later. For now, he needed to evade the authorities and complete his task.
After disengaging the booby-trapped door, the bomb technicians cleared the house. It was slow going, but they managed to clear the house with zero casualties. One walked out on the back porch and whistled. My leg had begun to ache, and my foot felt as if it weighed a hundred pounds.
“I wouldn’t drop that foot, boss man.”
“Oh yeah,” I growled at the tech. “You wanna take my spot for a while?”
“No thanks,” she responded.
“How much longer before I can get up from my knees?”
She gave me a smile and walked to the edge of the porch. A giggle escaped her, and she covered her mouth with her hand. My leg seemed to grow heavier with every passing second.
“Um, you can put your foot down.”
“What?”
“There’s nothing behind you. Put it down.”
As I eased my foot down, I closed my eyes. Whatever happened, I wanted to be oblivious to it. The technician watched me, and when nothing happened, I let out a heavy sigh. I could hear her giggling.
“You can unclench your sphincter now,” she said laughing.
It took several hours for the bomb squad to clear the back yard. After I took several minutes to compose myself, I went to help Lilly. The forensic team swept the entire house, dusting for prints, gathering evidence. Lilly watched me as I walked in. She gave me a smile and motioned for me to join her in the hallway.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, Lilly. Considering I almost became red mist, I am fine.”
“The first victim is Jackson’s father. It looks like he sealed himself in, and someone shot him.”
“I didn’t notice any broken glass.”
“Yeah. There is, you missed it because you leaned against it to push the door open.”
I walked over to the window and looked at it. The window itself was nothing special, but it was broken into squares. There were 16 individual squares, and the last square in the middle row-all the way to the right-was the only one broken.
“The forensic team thinks he approached from the left. When the old man walked into the room, the killer fired three rounds. One to break the glass, followed by two more rounds that killed him.”
“Yeah. Stand there where the old man fell. I want to check something.”
I walked out to the end of the driveway and moved to the left. As I crept up, I held my arms out like I held a weapon. At the porch, I stepped onto it. Lilly saw me, and I stopped. She frowned, her eyebrows furrowed, and she waited for me to say something.
“He saw him, Lilly.”
“How do you know that?”
“How could he not? You looked at me as soon as I stepped onto the porch.”
“Yeah, but if he did it at night…”
“When was the old man killed?”
“Um, hold on,” Lilly said flipping her notebook open. “Ashley called time of death 7.5 hours ago.”
“It’s 1430. So, he was killed after daybreak.”
“What are you saying, Konan?”
“Dad saw his killer. He recognized him, and then the killer shot him. When the techs finish with the backyard we can check the bodies back there, and we will have a complete picture then.”
“You think Jackson Titus did his whole family in? Is that what you’re thinking?”
“I don’t know.”
“That’s a cold bit of business if you think he did that to his own flesh and blood.”
“Killing is a cold business, Lilly. Bloodlines have nothing to do with it.”
Even as I said it, I knew it to be false. Sometimes blood had everything to do with it.

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