Gunfire and smoke — that was all there was. Laynee sheltered her head with her arms and shook. There was hay up her nostrils, in her mouth, her ears; diving into the haystack wasn’t the brightest idea she’d ever had but it’d kept her safe and out of the hitman’s sight.
There’d never been a hit in her village. Noelyn Downs was the smallest township in the whole fiefdom and they rarely drew the interest of the high lords much less their ire. They were farmers, after all. They spent their days breeding horses and baking bread without the slightest concern for the happenings in the capital.
And yet … someone had ordered old Len Tomlin dead.
Laynee poked a tunnel through the hay, just wide enough to catch a glimpse of the hitman in his long black coat. A wisp of smoke snaked from the barrel of the flintlock cocked over his arm.
Len Tomlin was at his feet. He bent down and searched for something inside the collar of the old farmer’s shirt. With a tug he pulled the necklace free, stepped over the corpse and carried on his way.