It was typical of Laurie, Derek thought, the girl needed some sort of self preservation installed in her.
When they had ridden into the car park the very first thing that Derek had noticed was the little building with lights streaming from very window.
From a distance it had looked like some sort of gift shop, and it would make sense if it had been; a gift shop might have kept its lights on all night to deter burglars. But as soon as they had ridden in Derek had seen that it wasn’t that simple; the building hadn’t had enough windows, and it was a little too cosy, and there were a few too many knickknacks stuck on the walls.
So he had jumped up a tree.
From his tree he had had an excellent view of the elderly caretaker walking out with torch in hand. Derek had moved further back into the branches, but had been surprised to see Laurie standing in the open without anything to protect herself.
Before he could whisper a warning though, he had seen the torchlight fall on Laurie and illuminate her where she had stood.
He watched as the caretaker had walked up and demanded to know what Laurie had been doing out at this time of night. The caretaker accused her, among other things, of being a burglar, an arsonist and a tramp, and he did it all only a few feet under where Derek was sitting in his tree.
Derek considered just letting himself fall and knocking the old man out, but he decided against it; he decided that he would like to avoid anyone getting injuring before the shooting inevitably started.
Laurie was trying to talk through the old man’s rant, and come up with some legitimate reason why she was in such an odd place after dark. Derek didn’t think she had a chance in hell. She was trying to pass herself off as a farmer’s daughter and was asking if there was any way she could have a tour of the hospital.
Derek noticed that she hadn’t mentioned him, and he was glad of that, although he wasn’t sure if the caretaker would be stupid enough to miss the fact that two horses implied two riders.
As it turned out the caretaker was. Laurie took the horses and led them away, while the caretaker stood underneath the tree and kept the light on her until she disappeared from sight down the road.
Derek sat in the darkness watching the caretaker walk back to his cottage. Stupid old man, thought Derek, and stupid Laurie for not taking cover fast enough.
Derek sat in his tree and watched as the caretaker took one last look around and shut his door, making the car park a bit darker than it had been before. ‘What do I do now’, he wondered.