Showdown At the Prickly Cactus VI

"Hey, buddy. You alright?"

Hunter’s ears were ringing, his head reeling. Some blood was trickling from his nose. He could only see Falcone’s lips moving, but couldn’t hear him. He thought he read the lips correctly. Checking himself and seeing just a few superficial cuts from flying glass, he gave Freddy the thumbs up.

Once it was clear Hunter wasn't in danger of dying Freddy pulled out some hundreds from his wallet and stuffed them into the man's pocket. "Here, for the whiskey and a little something extra for your trouble, my man. Sorry I gotta leave you here, but I've got a killer to catch."

Freddy raced over to the Prickly Cactus parking lot and hopped into his car to give chase.

The next thing Hunter knew an ambulance was pulling into the parking lot, followed by several hours police. Just when he was about to be interviewed by the sheriff, another explosion ripped into the night. The sheriff ran to investigate.

Hunter sat upon a gurney holding his head. This was a night to forget, which will be etched into his memory forever. Who were these two men? Why did they choose Jackalope Crossing and the Prickly Cactus. This couldn’t have been by chance. The man he helped, who had given him the roll of money in his pocket, spoke of intending to someone there.

Sheriff Daniels knew that this had to be some sort of Vegas issue, he had heard about Castagnacci's assassination, this must've been some sort of fallout from it. It just had to be. He went back over to Hunter and glared at the man with renewed determination.

"Alright. Tell me everything that happened..."

Hunter began to divulge what he knew, minus the money. He gave the sheriff Simon’s description, pointing toward the Cadillac. “I thought that was his car. He seemed to be trying to get into it, but he left in another car. I didn’t see it; I was laying on the ground from the car exploding.

Sawyer then described Freddy Falcone. He explained that he thought he was there on business and claimed to be meeting someone. Hunter did see the car that Freddy departed in, but didn’t divulge that information, as Falcone was the one attacked.

Hunter’s boss arrived soon after he was notified. First, he checked on his talented young manager. He heard from the EMT that tended Hunter that his manager had a possible concussion and needed to be evaluated further at an ER. He advised Hunter to take as much time as he needed to recover. The owner would assess the damage done to the bar and also notify Hunter’s family.

As the ambulance pulled off, Hunter relived the long night in his mind. Who were these men? Why did they have to do this where he worked. He hoped not to see them again, but thought that to be doubtful. The man at the bar seemed comfortable, as if he were familiar with the area.

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