Kate flinched slightly at the sudden explosion of anger from the woman, smiling inwardly at the dressing down the troopers received, relived no one had noticed her sidearm. At least for now they weren't about to interrogate her. Beg her for a date? Maybe, but she doubted it'd be this night with mother hawk eying their every move.
Her attention refocused as she realized the woman was speaking to her in a tone that made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. Sweetie, the way she said it made it sound everything but. She opened her mouth to reply as the woman cut her off with a curse, seeming to dismiss her as little more then some tavern wench.
The hulking brute though, his gaze hung on her a fraction of a second too long. Was he part of them? Sent after her to make sure she remained quiet? Nope, not with him mentioning a bounty, those guys wouldn't bother with a bounty hunter, way too above board for their style.
Some type of cop a bounty hunter and some veteran soldier, just the kinds of people she should be hanging around to make her less of a target, assuming of course they didn't ask too many questions. She was already an arson suspect, and by now they'd probably turned it up a notch to include prime suspect in the murder of her former girlfriend. Still, they seemed more worried about some stiff with a museum artifact in his gut and relying on an eyewitness account from a farmer with night vision goggles?
Night vision, she remembered her (now deceased) lover Rachel used to talk about using them in the Army Reserve and all the different types there were. She said a good pair cost more then a used sport car, there was no way a hayseed farmer would have a decent set. Time to make a more favorable second impression on the queen &^%$@, especially since one of the staties looked about ready to frisk her.
She shook a tangle of auburn hair from her eyes and slowly stood up, approaching the group at the table with the measured, yet graceful walk of a trained fighter, casually folding her arms, letting her right hand rest closer to the her handgun, just in case. Looking the woman straight in the eye, her expression tired and still a little annoyed at being dismissed so off handedly, she began to speak with a quiet confidence the belied her youthful appearance.
"To answer your question I heard most of your chat, some dead guy shot in the head that swallowed some bling, and a red neck farmer who claims he saw a Mustang through night vision goggles?" Kate let her tone change lightly during the last of her statement to reflect her skepticism of about the farmer, hurrying to continue before she could be interrupted and told to clear out or be taken down town.
"I just thought I'd point out your farmer witness is full of it, unless he's selling more then potatoes there's no way he could afford 3rd or 4th gen night vision goggles, they cost close to 7 grand. Which means he'd be using a first or second gen set, and crap like that wouldn't give him a clear view of a moving object, especially not at a distance of more then a couple hundred yards."
Perhaps getting involved wasn't the wisest move, but she'd never been much of a wallflower, and the loneliness of the last few days made even this unwelcoming bunch seem appealing compared to the continued isolation of the road.