Part 2 - Chapter 8 - Under the Joshua Trees

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My mind reeled over the possibility that Tyrone Post was actually trying to breach the film set. "I don't get it. How would he even know Hailee is here?"

"It's a big Hollywood project," Denholm said, "and not exactly secret. I imagine it would be possible for a determined person to find out the production schedule."

Hailee started fidgeting. She played with the ends of her hair.

Denholm glanced out the window at the receding rain. "Most likely this is nothing, but I'm taking the truck to check things out."

"What about us?" I asked.

"This may seem an overreaction, but it's best if Ms. Morgan leaves the area. Take her and evacuate out the rear of tent city onto the trail I spoke of earlier."

"The one leading up to Mount Charleston?"

"Yes, you'll find it just beyond the edge of the last tent."

As much as I wanted to spend time with Hailee, I wondered if Denholm was making the right decision. "You're more experienced at protection than I am. Are you sure you don't want to swap roles?"

Hailee barely let me finish speaking before she said, "No, Sing, I want you with me."

Denholm sighed. "Ms. Morgan is more comfortable with you. Hopefully, she'll listen to you. God knows nobody listens to me anymore."

I handed a full bottle of water to Hailee and took one for myself. We exited the Walfdorf. Denholm took off in the crew cab while Hailee and I jumped into the golf cart. The rain still fell but tapered off as I drove to the trail head.

"This rain is going to wreck my hair," Hailee complained. "Gerty will kill me if we're called back to the set this afternoon."

The scant trail was barely visible as it ascended a ridge. The storm had cooled things down, and it was still overcast. In the distance I heard a persistent hissing noise, as if someone was letting air out of tires.

We picked our way through the scree on our way up the rise and soon discovered the source of the hissing noise, now a roar. A flash flood roiled down from Mount Charleston following a stream bed swollen from thunderstorm runoff. It cascaded past us sweeping along debris. The path of the torrent broke away to the other side of the ridge, so there was no chance the people below were in danger.

"We need to get to higher ground and take cover in the scrub above the stream," I shouted so Hailee could hear above the roar

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"We need to get to higher ground and take cover in the scrub above the stream," I shouted so Hailee could hear above the roar.

She made a shooing motion with her hand. "Lead the way."

We continued to climb the trail and veered among the rocks adjacent to the stream bank. A few minutes later, we found a high spot that formed an overlook down onto the tent city.

Just then, the clouds parted and the sun blasted through. It felt as if the air got twenty degrees hotter. I spotted a copse of Joshua trees. "Let's get under the shade."

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