The rifle shot pulled him from sleep instantly. He had his own rifle in his hands and was running through the rain a second later. His bare feet pounding down the graveled path to the barns.
Strangely the pain had not come to him yet although he knew it had to be there. The rain was heavy, he blinked his eyes to take the sting of water running into his eyes away for a moment, and then continued to run.
The shot had come from the barn and as he ran he tried to recall who had the guard duty in that area tonight. He heard the sounds of a scuffle before he actually reached the barn. Behind him he heard Lilly's voice calling after him, and then Bob's raised in alarm.
Tom rounded the corner of the barn, feet sliding on the wet grass. The rain was so heavy that he couldn't really see what was happening as he skidded to a stop, the black shifting with patterns of light, shifting and the next second he was sitting up in bed. Heart racing, breath coming fast, screaming, and a split second later that was gone and he was staring out into the pouring rain from the overhang of the barn.
He cried out involuntarily, and then his body jerked and the back of his head slammed into the rough planks of the siding. His mouth opened to scream and he snapped it shut. His heart was slamming hard into his rib-cage, breath coming so hard it physically hurt. The rifle gripped so hard in his hands that he could not, at first, loosen it. He finally got his heart to slow and took a deep breath. The cold night air clearing his mind. He was far from sleepy now.
He heard the grit of a footstep and bought up the rifle, turning toward the sound as he did. Bob stepped around the corner of the barn and peered toward him where he stood in the gloom. Tom stepped out into the pouring rain and motioned him over.