Argeneau 12, The Renegade Hunter (Rogue Hunter 3) Page 0,1

he continued to search for his cell phone. He had to warn them inside and tell them to put a guard on the sisters and then start searching the property for the rogue that had gotten in. He'd tell them to start having the guard check under the vehicles as well. At least he would if he could find his damned phone, Nicholas thought with frustration as his search came up empty. What the hell had he done with it? It had been beeping a warning that the battery was low earlier in the evening and he'd plugged it into the car lighter with its special adapter to charge it up, and—

"Hell," Nicholas muttered, glancing back the way he'd come. He'd left the damned thing in the car. He briefly considered running back to get it, but while the rogue he was following had merely pulled over and parked at the edge of this property, Nicholas himself had parked in the woods nearer the next property to avoid being spotted. The man, Ernie Brubaker, was one of Leonius's spawn, and Nicholas hoped if he followed him long enough, Ernie would lead him to Leo's hideout. Leonius Livius was one nasty rogue who needed to be dealt with, and Nicholas had set himself the task of doing just that. However, his caution meant that his van was a good distance away… and by the time he ran back and grabbed his phone to make the call, Ernie could have grabbed one of the girls and gotten out again.

That was the only reason he could think that the fellow was here. At least that's what Nicholas had come up with when he'd realized he'd followed the man to the new enforcer house.

Nicholas sighed and swiveled back to peer at the gate and the driveway beyond again. The guard had already returned to his little shack and the van had disappeared from view. No doubt at that very minute the rogue was racing through the trees toward the house. He had to warn them, but the only way to do that without his phone was to walk up to the gate and flat-out tell the guard… and that would pretty much toast his cojones, Nicholas acknowledged. Unfortunately, he didn't have much choice. If he didn't—

Nicholas was distracted from his thoughts by the arrival of another vehicle. He turned his head to watch a van approach the gate, and felt a grim smile curve his lips as he noted the cleaning service name on the side of the vehicle stopped beside the pillar. It was blocking the camera and intercom from his view… and him from the camera's view, he realized.

Without pausing to think about how risky it was for him personally, Nicholas slid from the cover of the trees and raced across the short open expanse to the back of the van. Once there, he took hold of the handle on the back door and stepped onto the back bumper, careful not to cause unnecessary motion in the vehicle with his weight. He then held on for dear life and waited as the driver explained into the inter com that they were there to clean up after the party.

The guard repeated his invitation to "come on in," and after a short pause as the outer gate swung open, the van started forward with Nicholas clinging to the back like some bad imitation of Spider-Man. He was passing the camera on the pillar before he recalled its presence, but by then it was too late. Telling himself the guard wouldn't be inside the guardhouse to see him riding by, but had no doubt headed out to open the inner gate, Nicholas stayed on his perch until the back end of the van was even with the second open gate. He then leaped off and made a charge for the bushes by the guardhouse as he'd seen the rogue do. Nicholas prayed the whole way that the guard stuck to the routine he'd used the first time. If so, the van would block the guard's view of his mad dash for the trees. If not, he was likely to get a bullet in the back. Nicholas didn't release the breath he was holding until he reached the safety of the woods behind the guard shack without anyone shouting out or shooting at him. He then allowed himself to breathe out and suck in a fresh gust of air, but barely slowed his step as he