Adventures In Camping
Jim knew they had to find shelter. Both of them needed to rest, especially Blair. Jim looked over at his friend, seeing the pain etched on the expressive face. Jim shook his head and looked around the area. He spotted a cave about twenty feet ahead. Jim reached out, placing his hand on Blair's shoulder to stop his forward motion.
Blair's eyes slowly lifted to look at Jim, but he didn't say anything.
"There's a cave about twenty feet ahead. We need to stop for a while. I can't detect the men that were following us. Maybe we lost them for the time being. We can take some time to rest."
Blair only nodded.
Jim took Blair's elbow, gently leading him in the direction of the cave. At the entrance, they stopped. Jim notched up his sight and piggybacked that with his hearing to make sure there were no animals or other critters inside the cave to surprise them. Blair automatically placed his hand on Jim's back to help ground him.
All was clear and Jim led them inside. He helped Blair to sit and then maneuvered himself to sit behind Blair, against the wall. They faced the entrance so Jim could track any movement.
Jim started to pull Blair back to rest against him. Blair resisted the movement.
"Don't fight it, Chief. We need to keep warm." Jim hissed slightly as he moved his leg. The pain dial was down, but it seemed his control was slipping slightly.
"You 'kay, Jim?" Blair sounded thoroughly exhausted.
"It's just my leg. The pain dial is slipping."
Blair rested his head against Jim's chest and closed his eyes. "Jus' even out your breathing, J'm. You kn-know - the - dr-ill."
Jim smiled. Even with a possible concussion, Blair was still helping him.
"Yeah, Chief. I know the drill. Just relax, okay? We'll be safe here for a while."
Jim put his arms around Blair, hoping to keep him warm. He wished he could get them to a nearby town, talk to the authorities and arrange to get back to Cascade. Both of them needed to be home.
By the time that Jim sensed the men who invaded their campsite, they had already disabled Jim's truck. Jim got him and Blair moving away from the campsite, unable to take anything with them. It was night and dark, and Jim kept them moving back and forth, trying to elude the men and throw them off their trail.
Jim had recognized the men, two brothers he put away for various crimes. He told Blair who they were and that they were most probably after Jim for revenge. It seemed, even in the forest, Jim couldn't escape his enemies.
During their trek through the forest, Blair stumbled and fell, hitting his head on a rock as he landed. Jim rushed to his side, twisting his knee and ankle when he slipped into a hole he didn't see. So, in the span of just a few minutes, both men had hurt themselves.
When Blair came to, Jim realized he had a concussion. Jim's knee and ankle were swelling. They were in great shape, but they couldn't afford to stay put, since Jim could still track the brothers on their trail. Therefore, they kept moving.
Jim noted Blair was asleep. He'd have to wake him in a few hours, to check on him. Jim allowed himself to relax - confident that they were safe for the near future. Jim evened out his breathing in sync with Blair.
Jim gently shook Blair's shoulder. "Wake up, Chief."
"Jus' went ta' sleep." Blair wasn't quite awake yet.
"What's your name?" Jim started the questions.
"Uh Chief?" Blair chuckled. "Blair Sandburg." There was a big yawn.
"Do you know what happened?"
"Two psycho brothers are after you and I'm collateral damage."
That hit too close for Jim. "I'm sorry, Chief. I messed up by not sensing them coming towards us."
"Nah, it's 'kay. I was going on and on about my class. Distracted you."
Jim didn't like the fact Blair was blaming himself for the predicament. "Let's blame the psycho brothers. You can rest again, buddy."
"I pass the test?"
"Yep. If you feel up to it later, we'll hike out of the forest, find the nearest town and report the McMaster brothers."
By the time Jim finished, Blair was asleep again. Jim gently rubbed up and down Blair's arms, trying to get him warm. At least, they still had their coats. As Jim drifted off, he vowed to get them out of this.
They sat in the same examination room, looking at each other. The sheriff had just left, letting them know that he and his men had arrested the McMaster brothers, brought Jim's truck and their belongings into town and made sure Jim and Blair were okay.
"So, what do we do now?" Blair picked at the bandage covering his scraped right hand.
"Well, we still have four days of vacation left," replied Jim as he cautiously flexed his left leg, the pain now mostly a dull ache.
"Can we spend them in the loft, Jim?"
Jim chuckled. "Great minds think alike, Chief. But we may have to share the driving." Jim gave Blair a long look.
Blair smiled at Jim. "I can handle that. For a short time."
Both men got to their feet, supporting one another. They would make it just fine.