Though it was pitch-black, Nat's eyesight was sharp and well-adjusted. He knew every inch of ground, every stone, fence, and broken-down piece of machinery on his land. Picking out shades of gray, he moved towards the car. Flicked off the rifle's safety and peered in through the frosted-up glass. It was like trying to see to the bottom of a riverbed in the middle of winter. He couldn't make out a damned thing.
With one finger, he lifted the handle of the driver's side door. It clicked open, but no interior light came on. Nat took a step back and peered inside, made out a bundled up figure in the back seat, curled up, unmoving.
Gripping his rifle he felt the tension crackle like static on a dry day. The fine hairs at his nape sprang up, tensile and erect.
"Drop the rifle, mister." The voice was softly feminine.
"Now why would I want to do that?" he asked.
She was silent. He could feel her apprehension; almost see her weighing her choices in the concealment of the Jeep.
His teeth locked together. "I don't think so, ma'am." He might have been raised to be polite to women, but he wasn't dumb. "Not 'til you tell me why the hell you're sneaking onto my property in the middle of the night."
She shifted slightly. He heard the rustle as she pushed aside the blankets.
"What's your name?" she asked. There was a lilt, some sort of accent in her voice that sounded both warm and aggressive at the same time. It undid some of his irritation and sparked a glimmer of curiosity.
"Well, ma'am." Pitched low, Nat's voice was steely with courteousness. "A better question would be what the hell's yours?"