PT Thomas thought about what he was going to do when he found the killer as he stripped off his clothes. Naked he collapsed on his bed trying to remember the last time he’d gotten any rest. He’d slept on Thursday night before leaving to go hunt bears on the Yukon with Hugh but visions of Boone and Crockett bears had been dancing in his head and he hadn’t slept well. He didn’t sleep much on the hunt. It didn’t get dark in the interior of Alaska in late June which made the best time to hunt bears the middle of the night when the sun just dipped below the horizon in the north. Other than a few hours in a hot tent listening to Hugh snore, PT hadn’t slept the entire hunt
Had he slept since the hunt? Maybe a few hours. PT found it hard to sleep in the summer, light all night, warm temperatures. He didn’t have air conditioning in his house and the temperature in his bedroom even with the window open made it uncomfortable for him to sleep. Normally he would crash downstairs on the spare bed but all his gear from the bear hunt was still on it unpacked. He had been running on adrenaline for the last week and needed a good eight to ten hours of sleep to recharge his batteries.
He lay on his back with his arms folded behind his head staring at the ceiling feeling his body vibrate with tension. He needed something to take his mind off what was happening. He sat up, unscrewed the lid off the mason jar of moonshine Chuck had given him at the hospital. He took a long sip and felt the home made whisky slip down his throat. Damn good stuff, he would have to save the rest for some special occasion.
PT reached under his nightstand, pulled a book from the pile, and lay back down on the bed. PT always tried to read before falling asleep, it helped his mind relax, kept him from thinking about a woman, or women, or even hunting. When he was done with a book, it went into the pile under his nightstand. He didn’t read much during the summer so usually he would grab a random book from the pile and read a single chapter.
He looked at the book in his hands, Noble Outlaw by Matt Braun. PT had saved it from the university parking lot last February. It was a good book about one of the most dangerous gunmen in the Old West. PT remembered the rules the gunfighter had lived by, don’t pull your gun on somebody unless you mean to aim it at them, don’t aim a gun at someone unless you intended to shoot them, and don’t shoot someone unless you’re going to kill them. In a nutshell, don’t pull a gun on someone unless you are going to kill them. A rule to live by.
At the time, PT realized that he had broken the rule both times he had pointed a gun at someone. He had pointed a gun at China but that was to intimidate her. He had pointed a gun at Aegean but had never intended to kill him. PT had made a decision that from now on he would live by the Outlaw’s rule.
That had been in February when lack of daylight and the end of trapping season left a person’s mind free to contemplate ethics and codes. PT tossed the book across the room and heard it rattle the door on his closet. Back in February, PT had never killed a man and those rules seemed simple. Now in the last week, he had killed one man and probably another. Hugh was fighting for his life in a hospital bed and Kate had been attacked.
PT closed his eyes, forced himself to stop grinding his teeth and wiggled his toes. First, he needed some sleep, but when he woke up, he was going to find the person that had shot Hugh and attacked Kate. He planned to pull a gun, aim it and shoot until that person was dead.
The moonshine washed the tension out of his body like a wave. He closed his eyes rolling over onto his side cradling his spare pillow. The sandman fled when the phone on his nightstand rang.