Chapter 9- Part 1
Indie jolted awake when the jeep turned off. She sat up and looked around blearily. “We here?” She rubbed her hand over her eyes to clear them.
“Yeah.” Ryan peered out the windshield.
“Kay, you and I will get out, make sure it's safe.” She twisted in her seat to look at Eugene and Susie. “Just stay here until we give you the all's clear.”
Eugene nodded, and Susie shrugged. Puffing out a sigh, Indie rolled her eyes and took her gun. She cautiously got out of the Jeep. The farm was quiet. Chickens, geese and ducks wandered the yard like usual. From the barn came several soft moos and a neigh. The house still looked closed up. Everything seemed normal. Ryan exchanged a glance with Indie over the Jeep, then went to the back and pulled out a rifle. Together they walked toward and then around the house. The windows were boarded up and the doors still locked. It didn't look like anyone had tried to get in. Ryan jerked his head toward the barn and Indie nodded. The doors were open. The smell of hay, animal and manure hit her as soon as they entered. Upon seeing them, the animals began to stir, cows mooed to either be fed or milked. The horses moved forward to the stall doors. One nudged Indie's arm as she walked by. Ryan peered behind the hay bales as Indie checked the stalls. Finding nothing, they moved on to the other out buildings. The shed door hung open. Indie moved forward to grab the door, holding it open so Ryan could look inside. He shook his head and Indie let out the breath she was holding. Shutting the door, she latched it. The garage and equipment shed turned up empty as well. Breathing easier, they went back to the vehicles.
Fred leaned against his truck holding his shotgun. “Anything?”
“Nope,” Indie replied. “But I'd still like to leave what we have in the vehicles in case we need to make a speedy getaway."
Fred nodded. Looking over his shoulder, he gave Earl a wave. Earl climbed out of the truck, and Ryan opened the jeep door letting Eugene and Susie know it was okay. Indie looked around the farm as they got out, then up at the sun. It was probably close to four, maybe five. They'd still have a couple hours of sunlight left.
“Susie, would you mind checking out the kitchen and making dinner?”
“I can do that, but it'd go faster with help.”
“Eugene, Earl, one of you help Susie.”
Earl glared at her, and Eugene stepped forward. “I'll do it.”
Indie nodded, ignoring Earl. He was angry with her and she didn't blame him one bit. More than likely she'd never be his favorite person. She still felt she had done the right thing. “Fred, do you think you and Earl could scope out the land around the house, make sure there aren't any roaming…well anything that'll want to eat us period?” Indie asked, recalling the bear attack with a shiver.
“You got it, little Miss.” Fred shouldered his shotgun with a grin. Grabbing Earl by his collar, he added, “Let's go, son.”
“Okay boss, what do you want me to do?” Ryan looked at her with a smile.
Indie crooked her finger at him and started toward the barn. “I want you to help me saddle Nellie.”
Drawing in a breath she knew he wasn't going to like what she was going to do. None of them would which is why she put them to work. “I'm taking her into town...”
He stopped mid-stride. “No, it's too dangerous.”
“We have no idea what it is, because we've been hiding in the woods for the last few months. We need to know what it's like before we head out of here.” She kept walking and Ryan trotted to catch up. She paused at the barn door, looking back at him, then the house. “I need to know what we up against.”
“And I'm supposed to sit here on my hands while you do all the dangerous stuff?”
Looking up at him she smirked. “So you want to be my big bad protector, now?”
He leaned in close. “I think I did a pretty damn good job with that bear.” Ryan pressed his lips against hers before she could reply. Indie pressed her hands to his chest, fisting his shirt. His tongue teased and toyed with hers. Pulling away, he looked down at her. “You're going to be careful, right?”
She nodded, collecting her thoughts. “I want you to try and see if there is any information floating around. Radio, TV, two-way, hell, even try the internet.” Indie headed into the barn. Ryan strode passed her to the far wall and got down a saddle and some other riding gear.
“You don't really expect to hear anything, though, do you?”
“I'm not getting my hopes up.” She led a black mare out of her stall. “But it's worth a try.”
Ryan shrugged, saddling the horse. “So what exactly are you expecting to accomplish?”
Indie peered over the horse’s back. “Know thy enemy, and all that jazz.”