Passing by one of the empty baseball fields, Alex diverted from Nathan to check it. Stopping short of running into the chain link fence, he scanned the field and saw nothing there, returning to running in the same direction as before. His breaths were coming faster now, each one sucking up a lot of cold air. Shrugging off the frosty feeling in his lungs, he kept his eyes darting around looking for what caused the noise, but with his pace now lessened.
Hearing Nathan shout a “Hey!” into the silent evening caused him to become distracted from looking around. Upon checking, the sound wasn't directed at anyone. The areas around them were still silent and empty, aside from their footfalls on the concrete and grass. Still, he knew what his friend was trying to do and decided to follow up.
“You better run.” Alex said, ended his sentence explicitly. Hoping whoever was causing the noise would bolt, he called over to Nathan. “Nothing?”
“No. You?” Nathan replied, his own pace greatly reduced.
“Slow down. Catch your breath.” Alex replied, causing his friend to stop running. He took several fast gasps, slowing his breathing each time despite how fast and hard his heart was now beating. His muscles felt tense and rich like he could still run another half mile, but his lungs were starting to sting from the sudden stop and cold air.
“It's got to be here somewhere.”
“I'll go ahead. Follow me.” Alex said, starting off again as soon as he felt less winded. He could hear Nathan's footfalls against the concrete behind him, which were still slower than before but fast enough to keep up. Looking around again as he ran alongside a gated off swimming pool, Alex still saw nothing and stopped again near to catch his breath.