Rene kept talking for a little bit, but Blair watched her fading. She held her breath, desperate to say something, but her throat was tight with fear.
Then it happened. Rene laid down and closed her eyes. Blair's breathing was the only sound she could hear, that and the wind, and for a moment she thought Rene had just up and died right in front of her, leaving the whole thing out of Blair's hands. But no, she could see Rene's chest bobbing up and down, slowly and faintly. "Rene?" She said, softly. No answer.
She stood up. She gathered the remains of Rene's food and water, and meticulously packed it into her own bag. She had a fair bit of food and water remaining now. Blair also gathered the medical supplies and the small cartridge of unused ammo. She left Rene the map and compass, though. Small comfort.
She slung her now somewhat heavier bag over her shoulder, and turned to look at Rene's unconscious form. She switched the safety off with her thumb, fumbling the gun slightly in the process. She could leave, she considered. Let nature take its course. Keep her hands clean.
She took a knee next to her companion, feeling like she was wrapped in a corset that was strangling her, and pointed the firearm to Rene's head.
A loud crack of thunder echoed through the gardens. Then, a soft click as Blair set the safety back on, and then silence.
It only took a minute or so before the sound of sobbing was heard. After about ten minutes, it returned to silence as Blair left the garden.
((Blair Moore continued in I Will Not Bow