God, she smelled good. Even having been laying in a hard bunk bed and roused from warm covers for an early morning walk, she smelled like lavender and honey. Brett set the blushing Shiloh to her feet, regretting not seizing his moment.
But he knew she would have run. “Watch out for those tree roots,” he said. “They’ve run a little wild.”
“I noticed.” She cleared her throat and stepped back. “So, ah… Are we going anywhere else?” A rumbling noise drew their attention to the lone road leading into town, where a semi-trailer was pulling in hauling their equipment on a flatbed truck. Brett sighed.
“Nope, guess not.”
Three hours later, the sun was trying desperately to break through the cloud cover and breathe some life into the dreary little spot the three treasure hunters were looking over. Tom was a bundle of energy, his coffee mug waving wildly through the air. More than once, Brett found himself sidestepping a stream of hot liquid. “All right, Tom,” he finally said over the mindless chatter. “Where are we starting?”
Tom closed his eyes and twirled his finger in the air randomly and plopped it onto an area on the map to the far north of them. He grabbed the highlighter and quickly shaded in a square. “Right here.”
Shiloh looked at him with an expression of disbelief. “You don’t have an excavation plan?”
“No,” Tom replied.
She closed her eyes and sighed. “Well, this should be fun.”
“You signed up for it, honey,” Brett said with a nudge to her ribcage. She stuck her tongue out at him and swung into the large machine that would dig the land up at their feet. “You sure you can handle this thing?”
“You calling me incapable?” Shiloh retorted and fired it up. The monster roared to life, sending puffs of exhaust into the air. She expertly checked all her gauges and made sure everything was as it should be before shooing him aside.
Brett watched her roll away towards the assigned spot. “Just making sure,” he muttered to himself as Tom sped up beside him.
The area they were working in was a tad on the creepy side. What used to be residential now was abandoned and in decay. Roofs sagged onto porches and windows were cracked, if not altogether missing. Wood was chipped and peeling away, rotted at the seams, and several old children’s toys were scattered throughout the area, forgotten. A tricycle turned on its side at some point in a windstorm was rusted through and one wheel spun ominously in the light breeze.
Shiloh was sitting in the excavator, staring at the tricycle wheel, when Tom and Brett pulled up. She jumped when the door of the truck slammed and looked down at them. “Are you sure we should be digging here? I mean, this is kind of… I don’t know. Eerie.”
Tom frowned. “How so, dear?” Brett glanced at his business partner. Somehow, the man was completely impervious to the air of danger that lurked all around them.
“I feel like I’m being watched,” she replied frankly, jumping down.
Brett snorted. “You believe in ghosts, Shiloh?” The look she gave him was enough to melt gold. “Listen,” he said, sobering for her sake, “this is just an abandoned old fishing town. Nothing happened here that’s significant.”
“You don’t call a mass murder significant?”
“That took place several generations before the town was abandoned,” Tom said. “Now. Let’s dig!” His tone indicated the argument was settled, but Shiloh didn’t look convinced as she climbed back in the machine and set the teeth into the ground.
With a loud rumble, the dirt began shifting and ripped up easily. Shiloh dumped it to the side and waited for further instruction, but Tom held his hand up. Something in the hole she’d made glimmered and Brett stepped forward. “Look at that,” Tom said. “An hourglass.” One of the bulbs was broken, and when he picked it up the sand drained onto the corner of a hard metal surface just showing under the dirt. Shiloh leaped out of the machine and crouched by Brett. “What is that?” “I think we’ve stumbled on a time capsule.”
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Pender Mackie (M/M)
Victoria Blisse (M/F)
Ryssa Edwards (M/M)
RJ Scott (M/M)
Pia Veleno (M/M)
Diane Adams (M/M)
LM Brown (M/M)
Lily Sawyer (M/M)
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