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"Remember how I said I knew people who could help you with your problem?"

He watched the young Hispanic woman with a hint of suspicion in his eyes. She may have been young and beautiful, but there was something about the way she carried herself, the look in her eyes . . . she was just an inch too close to terrifying. When he'd first admitted he had a kind of problem that the official authorities couldn't possibly deal with, she had told him that she could help. That the law wouldn't be a problem.

At first, he'd felt relief. But now he was a little uncomfortable-- a little afraid.

She'd introduced herself as Estrella, but he'd heard her short, black friend call her by a different name. He couldn't quite remember what it was, but it definitely hadn't sounded normal.

Still. He had been serious. He needed help, and if she was serious . . . "I remember," he said warily. "You didn't elaborate, though."

"They're more than capable of handling your problem," Estrella said with a half-smile.

"You do remember me telling you how this problem has spread, correct? It's no longer secluded to one country."

"The ground covered isn't going to be a problem," Estrella said. "None of the concerns you could possibly raise are going to be a problem."

He hesitated for a moment then, his teeth digging into the side of his cheek. The room they were in was dark, and she was standing just outside of the shadows that covered the space behind her. It was an isolated meeting place. It made sense to him.

"Are they . . . good?" he asked then. "Are they safe?"

"Good?" a masculine voice said from behind Estrella. A tall, muscular young man emerged at her right, his handsome features conveying an unnerving amount of confidence. A smile that was both charming and terrifying claimed his lips. "No."

Beside him now stood a young woman shorter than both he and Estrella. Her hair was only slightly longer than his, and in spite of her size, she carried a presence just as weighty as he did. Her crooked smile was a little closer to devious, her amber eyes burning like fire lived within them. "Safe?" she barked a laugh, "Definitely not." Her smile vanished as she made steady eye contact with him.

"But we're what you need," he said, his smile becoming closed-lipped.

When he looked back to the short-haired woman, she gave him a roguish smile. "We're revolutionaries."



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