Hunter stood and touched the door. It moved. He drew his revolver and glanced toward Lily. She was pinned to his side. He tipped his head to her, she nodded, and then he pushed open the door with the barrel of his Colt.
They moved into dark interior and Hunter stepped sideways, away from the door. From the back of the house, a chair scraped across the floor. Dim light spilled from the doorway ahead. He stood still and allowed his eyes to become accustomed to the dark front room. Senses extended, he could feel the room ahead, one man seated at a table. To the left, through the opening was another room. Susan would be there. He slid his gun into his holster.
Hunter stepped around a chair and put his back to the wall beside the opening. Wind blew the front door ajar and leaves skittered across the floor.
“Hummel?” the man in the next room called. “You back?”
The scrape of the chair again. Hunter watched the light from the doorway dim as the man stepped into the opening.
Hunter slammed his fist into the man's nose, and felt it dissolve beneath the blow. He followed the man as he stumbled into the kitchen, reaching for his gun. A quick slice across the man's windpipe, and he fell onto the table, and then slid to the floor. Hunter knelt and cleaned his blade on the man's pant-leg. He caught a glimpse of Lily's skirt as she disappeared into the adjoining room.
He rose, slid his knife into the sheath at his back and followed Lily into the room. The light from the kitchen lantern illuminated an empty cot.
“… she's gone.”