Sam’s GPS beeped indicating they were approaching the waypoint. Sam stopped. “This is it. If you look off to your right, you’ll see a high fence.”
He didn’t see it. “All I see is greenery.”
She pointed again and he spotted it. Grapevines had spread from the trees to the fence, effectively concealing it from view. “That’s the old Ricketts Estate. It’s private property, but I saw a couple of people on the porch when I was out here investigating those drone sightings. They were having a strange conversation. At the time, I dismissed it as nothing to worry about, but now I’m not so sure.”
“What did they say?”
“Something about protecting themselves and about it being too risky.”
“Could be related.”
“Or it could be something as unrelated as a risky challenge like sky diving or bungee jumping.”
“But you don’t believe that’s the case.”
“No. I don’t.” She frowned. “It didn’t feel right at the time, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. They hadn’t said anything that was truly incriminating. And even if they had, I would’ve needed more proof, and they weren’t even in my jurisdiction. Even though it’s surrounded by state land, it’s private property. Not part of the state park.”
“Let’s find a place to watch from.”
“There’s a tree stand about fifty yards that way.” She pointed southeast.
“Is there anything you don’t know about this area?”
“Not much.” She grinned. “Hunted from that tree stand when I was a teenager.”
“I did back then. Wanted to make Uncle Richard proud.”
She led the way. The boards nailed to the tree had seen better days, but they made their way up to the tree-fort-like structure.
“We should’ve each brought a portable tree stand. They would’ve been much safer.”
“But this way we get to sit together.” He nudged her shoulder with his own.
She sighed. “About Philadelphia. That kiss—”
“What about it?” His eyes searched hers. If she didn’t want a relationship, he needed to know, but he didn’t want to know.
“I’m not going to hold you to whatever that was. It was an emotional moment, and I understand if you got caught up in it.”
“Do you think that’s all you are to me? Some kind of an emotional lapse in judgment?”
A blush colored her cheeks. “How should I know?”
He tugged her closer. “I have no regrets.” He nuzzled her nose with his. “Do you?”
“No regrets.” Her gaze dropped to his lips, and he took it for the invitation it was.
As his lips touched hers, a buzzing noise drew close. He sighed. “It’s the drone, isn’t it?”
“The worst timing ever.” He fumbled for a tracking device to attach to the machine, but it had already risen too high for him to reach. “I guess we’ll have to watch to see where it goes.”