The Third Centurion
“its one book,” he mumbled into the darkness. “What’s the big deal?
Lowering his fevered head to the frosted pane of glass, he tried to calm his pounding heart beat. Winter wind clutched at the scorched sensation emanating from his body, his breath steaming the window of the book store
For the last three days he’d gone inside, browsing, inspecting the collection, listening as she refused to sell the books.
Tonight, however, With the last car’s departure from the parking lot, he’d hunkered down amidst the oaks and pines to wait for the store to close. The wild tangle of trees and underbrush kept his car almost invisible to the owner.
“Don’t do this, son,” his father’s voice lectured him even though he hadn’t seen the old man in five years.
I can do something about it tonight.I don’t have any other choice.
Steep roof lines and a white-washed wrap-around porch formed a silhouette against the charcoal sky as he crouched on the balls of his feet to inspect the window frames. Wires and components for an alarm system hung in a jumbled mess beneath the sill. “Someone’s broken in before,” he whispered. “This will be easy.”
A slight movement stilled his body against the pale siding. He needed to disappear into the sparse foliage lining the flower boxes.The crack of whipping branches dropping pine needles onto the cedar shingles sounded like footsteps. Nothing else moved, he was still alone.Relief washed through him,but the scorching fire in his chest erupted into white hot flames