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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

of them in the uniform it was easy to make that mistake. “And that little witch of yours...
didn't see that coming.”
“Don't you dare call her a witch,” Pacian growled. “Just answer his questions or I'll
have your tongue.”
“You're not bad kid,” Fletcher smirked. “I could have used someone like you a
couple of months back. But I see through your act like glass. Leave interrogation to the
big boys.” Pace immediately ran in and smashed the hilt of his dagger across Fletcher's
face. Blood exploded from the side of his mouth and Colt quickly interceded, shoving
Pacian backwards.
“Too easy,” Fletcher chuckled macabrely.
“See, told you he was a hothead,” Colt admonished him. “Why don't you just tell us
why you and a bunch of thugs set up shop outside our quaint little town?”
“Fine. I used to work for the mayor and he ripped me off. Happy?” Fletcher grunted.
Colt glanced over at Aiden, who returned his curious look.
“O laf?” the ranger asked of Fletcher. “What the hell did you do for him?”
“O h him and me had a whole business going, you know,” Fletcher explained. “He's
in on this whole thing, getting a cut of the takings.”
“You're lying,” Pacian said coldly, stepping and punching him in the gut.
“Hey, ease up! He's no good to us dead,” Colt ordered, grabbing Pace by the
shoulders and pulling him back. “He knows more and we'll get it out of him, but you
gotta get control of yourself.”
“You can't trust a single thing that comes out of his mouth,” Pacian shouted. “Except
blood. You can always trust blood, especially when it's gushing out of someone. Permit
me to demonstrate.”
“Back off!” Colt yelled, shoving him back further. Pacian didn't look happy about it,
but he took the hint and didn't approach Fletcher again.
“O h he's a bloodthirsty one, no doubt,” the bandit observed. “Tell you what - you let
me go, and I'll tell you everything I know about O laf and all his sordid operations.”
“How do we know you're telling the truth?” Aiden asked.
“You'll just have to take my word for it,” Fletcher replied.
“We're not letting him go,” Pacian stated. “I don't care what he says, that bastard is
not going free.”
“Well well, looks like someone's got a thing for O laf,” Fletcher teased, grinning his
bloody smile. “You and him are 'good friends' eh? Don't want to hear about all his little
secrets? That's okay, I had a few of you nancy boys working for me, they made great
killers. But you and O laf, that'll just be our little secret okay?” Pacian stared at Fletcher
for a moment, then calmly walked over to him and with one quick flick of his wrist,
slashed him across the throat with his dagger.
Aiden heard Nellise gasp, and the rest of them were stunned for a moment by the
suddenness of the attack. Fletcher had a surprised look on his face that quickly turned to
horror as he started choking on his own blood. Nellise was the first to act, dashing past
Aiden and trying to stem the flow from the dying man's slashed throat.
“Nel, can you save him?” Colt cried.
“This wound is too deep to staunch with bandages,” she muttered as she tried