{Chapter} 16

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{Chapter 16}

Adam felt his adrenaline pumping with each thundering step his horse made as he chased after the man he had been seeking. He had no idea what to he was going to do with the man when he reached him, but that man was going to pay dearly for the murder he had committed.

Blondie ran up beside the man’s horse and Adam tackled the man to the ground, the both of them rolling on the rocky terrain. Adam shook off the dizziness he felt and scrambled to sit of top of the man.

“Who do you think you are?” Adam growled.

“What’s this about?” The man struggled to free himself, but Adam didn’t budge.

“You know exactly what this is about” Adam said, his own voice so full of hatred he didn’t recognize it. “Let me go, you - -” The man let out a string of curses.

“You are in no position to order me to do anything” Adam put his forearm against the man’s throat.

“Can’t… breathe” the man gasped.

“Joel was just a boy!” Adam yelled, tears stinging behind his eyes.

He let up just enough so that his captive could speak.

“Boy? That’s what you call him, deputy? He begged like a woman” The man smiled. “Yeah, I killed ‘im. He screamed like a woman, too.”

Adam didn’t even think. He gritted his teeth, pulled his gun, and fired in one fell swoop. When the dust cleared, he saw what he had done.

Katie stared at him, wide eyed. “Y-You killed him?”

Adam nodded. The devastation in her eyes made even the view from the top of the black mesa they were on look not so glorious.

“I-I’ve seen men hanged. I’ve seen them kill themselves. I’ve seen people murder others. But I’d never killed anyone until that day. Somehow I had always managed to bring them in alive. I can’t sleep at night without reliving that day. I can’t close my eyes without seeing all the blood and death I caused. All I cared about for two months was getting those other men. I’m afraid that I’ll do the exact same thing to them… I feel… I feel like a criminal. I feel like I deserve a noose. There is nothing I wouldn’t give to redo that day… I need to find those other men… I need closure on this. And Brant… Brant is the spitting image of the man I killed. I’ve never been so confused in my life” Adam admitted, blinking back the tears that threatened to spill from his eyes. “I… I hate the man for killing Joel.”

Katie moved from her place on a fallen log beside him and knelt in front of him. “Revenge isn’t going to solve anything, Adam. What’s it’s going to prove? 
“He killed my brother, Kate. I won’t rest until I bring him to justice”
“By murder?”
The determination in Adam’s eyes gave Katie little hope of changing his mind. He said nothing but stared at her as if the thought of murder was completely foreign to him.
“That’s exactly what you’ll be doing, Adam” Katie warned.
Adam’s jaw clenched and he nodded in determination. “Then so be it
“Think sense, Adam! You’re reducing yourself to their level, you said so yourself! The level of someone who doesn’t know any better than to kill and steal from innocent people. You follow through with this and you’re just as bad as them” Katie said in a demanding voice.

Adam ran his hand through his hair and groaned. “Then what am I supposed to do?”

“Forgive” Katie stated simply as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

“Forgive for murder? A person just doesn’t up and forget murder,” Adam said.

“I’m not talking about forgetting. Never forget, Adam. I’m talking about asking God to help you release this anger you have. Psalms 37:8 says, Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil

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