Sniper Shots: Excerpt 1

Greetings all! In anticipation of the release of my newest book, Sniper Shots, I'm going to be posting several excerpts in the next few days...just to whet your appetite. Hope you enjoy!
Sunlight winked wickedly off shiny dark wood as Joshua raised the compound bow and pulled back string and arrow. Maybe a foot of space separated the girl and Chet now, less between their faces. Not much room for error.
He sighted down the straight length of polished wood, past the razor sharp point, and selected his target. He took a shallow breath, held it, and then released his attention-getter. The arrow zinged straight across the water, slipped between the girl and Chet, and sank into a skinny tree. The feathered fletching quivered close enough to tickle Chet’s nose.
Chet stumbled back, rubbing his face. “What the—”
Joshua aimed a second arrow at the tree next to the skinny sapling, noting the girl seemed frozen in place. Was she in shock? Damn, maybe he should have pinned Chet’s boots to the ground instead. Too late now.
He set the second arrow free. All three brothers stumbled back into each other, arms flailing like a trio of drunks. By the time they untangled and turned to look across the river, Joshua had a third arrow nocked and aimed in their direction. Chet shoved away from his brothers and stomped to the rail. “Fagan! Are you crazy?”
Kyle leaned casually against a matching rail, ostensibly taking the weight off his leg, and crossed his arms. “You and your brothers leave Amy alone, Chet.” He nodded in Joshua’s direction. “Or Josh here is going to stop aiming at trees.”
Chet squinted against the late afternoon sun. “Josh Colby, is that you? Damn it, man, this ain’t right! We’re just trying to be friendly here!”
“Go be friendly somewhere else,” Joshua advised, raising his voice over the noisy flow of water.
Kyle yelled again when the brothers didn’t show any immediate signs of backing off. “Look, Chet, you’ve been warned to stay away from Amy. Now back off or I’ll call Penwell and have him arrest your asses for harassment.”
Joshua stared at Chet over the point of the arrow. The younger man’s face flushed so dark with anger he looked like he was going to explode. The possibility made Joshua curse silently. He didn’t need this kind of shit. His orders were to lay low and keep his eyes and ears open, not get arrested his first day home for putting an arrow in the local bully.
Then Chet’s expression changed, smoothing out into a smile. He held up both hands. “All right, all right, have it your way.” He propped a booted foot against the guard rail and pointed a thumb in the girl’s direction. “Though with this kind of temptation running through the woods, I don’t see how you can blame me.” He leaned over and brushed his hand against his leg as if dusting off his jeans. He was so damn easy to read it was pathetic.
Focused on his target, Joshua’s peripheral vision still took in every movement the others made—Arney’s hand rubbing against the bulge of a knife in his jeans pocket, Franklin restlessly shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Only the girl stayed still, for which Joshua was extremely grateful. She could cause problems if she took two steps in the wrong direction.
     Then she moved.

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