Rory Moss reached the high point in the wooded mountain trail, winded from covering 5km of uneven terrain in record time, however he hardly noticed the weight of the pack on his back or burn in his legs as he glared ahead at a group of five hikers, four of whom were armed and wore camouflaged uniforms from the Moss Guide Company which he owned.
The 4-person guide team, led by his aunt, had set out on a search and rescue job into bullet riddled peaks of the Black Crystal Mountains. Three of the guides were his exceptionally skilled relatives however, due to the possible presence of guerillas along the otherwise abandoned trails, he disliked that they has taken a volunteer fourth man instead of waiting a few hours for him to get back. What’s worse, he learned about it all from a note left at the guide office only after they had gotten a generous head start.
He didn’t blame his aunt. She could handle anything. He blamed the idiot client, with whom he was well acquainted and loathed. A man named Lee Suriah. Moss marched up to Lee and collared him, angrily.
“It’s so dangerous,” Moss growled at Lee, “that when all of the sane guide companies said no and when you couldn’t find me, you thought it was okay to take my sister, my aunt, my niece and…” He met eyes with the volunteer fourth man and hesitated with surprise. “Dr. Colditz?”
Colditz, if he had been anyone else, might’ve smiled. “Ah, you made it.”
Gripping Lee’s collar with both fists, Moss shook him furiously. “YOU BROUGHT MY DENTIST?!”
Moss’ aunt warned him sharply against raising his voice, as she and her fellow guides kept a wary eye out for trouble.
“Dentist?” Being shaken like a ragdoll, Lee managed to glance aside at the unflinching odd fourth man who had been recruited on the spot back at the guide office. Lee opened his mouth to argue but stopped. “Actually, that makes things less weird.”
Moss’ grip loosened with incredulity. “How?!”
Despite the situation, Lee smiled at the enraged guide company owner who was also his ex-best friend. “He keeps telling me I have a great smile.”
[This quick little fiction is a follow up scene to One Last Run.]