Chapter 2

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Della stopped, her gaze zipping around to locate the screamer. Steve jerked her into the dark shadows. A woman suddenly appeared at the other side of the alley running like the devil was chasing her. And he might’ve been, because someone slapped the pavement right on her heels.

A male someone.

     “What are they?” Steve whispered, standing so close she could feel his words against her cheek.

     They were too far away to note the pattern in their foreheads which marked a person’s species—something all supernaturals could see—but Steve obviously trusted her sense of smell. She inhaled and tried to find the scents in the air besides the spicy male soap that filled her nose. “Humans.”

     “Good.” He took off down the alley.

The girl screamed again as the attacker tackled her. Della, plastic bag in tow, beat Steve to the scuffle. The man on top of the female shifted back and forth, using the woman as a punching bag. Della snagged the creep off the obvious victim and tossed him a good five feet in the air. Not enough to kill him, but hopefully enough to hurt when he came down.

     Blood oozed from the woman’s nose and mouth. “You okay?” Della asked and crouched beside her. When the scent of blood filled her nose, Della had to work at not letting her eyes start to glow from hunger.

     “Yeah.” The woman sobbed out the word. “He’s my husband, but he’s drunk.” She wiped blood from her lip. “He gets mean when he drinks.”

     But he wasn’t the only one drinking. Della could smell booze on the woman’s breath.

“This wasn’t your problem,” a deep voice seethed from behind Della. If she hadn’t been so intent on the woman, she’d have heard him coming.

Della glanced up. Looming over them stood the drunk husband, who she obviously hadn’t thrown nearly hard enough. Of course, that could be fixed.

He reached for Della, fury in his eyes and alcohol on his breath. “But you made it your problem now, bitch!”

     Before she could shoot up, Steve caught the man by the arm and swung him around.

     Fists started flying. Della heard what sounded like a few punches hitting bone. She could swear the jerk got a punch in on Steve. Bolting to her feet with plans to end the fight, Steve ended it first. He threw a hard right. The woman’s dear old husband took that right directly to the face and fell over cold.

     It would have been nice to savor the moment of success, but a pair of flashing blue police lights appeared at the end of the alley. Steve turned to Della. “We need to get the hell out of here.”

     Della grabbed her bag and they took off at a sprint. In the distance she heard the cops yelling for everyone to stop. They didn’t. They couldn’t.

     Burnett hadn’t been specific about them not getting arrested, but she had a feeling he’d frown upon it.

     “Police! I said stop,” the policeman yelled again. Footsteps echoed behind them, making their way down the alley.

     They cut the corner into a side alley, and Della didn’t know if they had time to get the hell out without the officers seeing their escape.

* * *

The refrigerator at the cabin didn’t have an ice machine. She supposed she should be glad it had one ice tray with five pieces of ice in it. She emptied the five tiny cubes into a new pillowcase and handed it to Steve. His eye was almost swollen shut. “Hold it against your eye,” she said.

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