With a resounding click, the deadbolt slid into place. Sara dropped the keys into her bag and began to turn toward her car, but her reflection in the glass door caught her attention. Her heart gave a great thump as adrenaline spiked, setting every nerve on edge. A scream threatened, but she bit it back and shoved her hand back into the pocket of her oversized tote, fishing desperately for the tiny can of pepper spray that hung on her key ring. As her fingers grappled, her eyes studied the figure behind her.

Clad in black, the man only watched, but his body was coiled and ready to spring. No measure was taken to cover his face, so close-cropped black hair, sharp cheekbones, and a strong, square jaw were all visible. The amber lights overhead made his light eyes glow.

A painful tremble wracked Sara as she tried to decide how to proceed. If she turned, he might strike, and she was alone in the middle of town. Not a soul was around to protect her.

"You know who I am?" The man's voice was low, meant only for her ears.

She nodded and met his gaze in the reflection. A smile crept across his face, revealing straight, white teeth. One step forward had Sara scrambling for the keys again, but the man shook his head.

"You can't move quickly enough, I promise."

The lilt was unmistakable, setting every nerve and vein in her body on fire.

Ireland.

"You do know who I am." Satisfaction oozed around the words. "And you know why I'm here. I can tell by the look on your face."

"The Hunter."

"Aye."

Sara still didn't turn. He would have to attack her from behind if he wanted to kill her, but she somehow knew he wouldn't. Some strange sense of honor kept him from acting until she could fight back. Only, she couldn't fight back. Alone, with no weapon and no training, Sara would succumb quickly to whatever plan The Hunter had in store.

"Will I do it here, you think? Out in the open, where the good people of Cedar City will find you tomorrow. The favored daughter of the town. People would weep for weeks when they saw what I'd done."

Steel replaced adrenaline, straightening her spine and strengthening her resolve. Just as her fingers brushed the keys in her pocket, she let them go and turned to face the man.

"You'll have to, because I'm certainly not going to follow you somewhere darker and more private. People do live here, and they'd run if they heard me scream."

The Hunter took a forward step intended to frighten Sara further, but she held her ground and his gaze.

"You wouldn't have time for that, either." With a wicked grin, he brandished a blade that glinted in the streetlight.

Before she could register the words, he'd leapt the several feet between them to land only inches away. A gloved hand covered her mouth as his other arm pressed against her throat.

"You see now? You see that you have no options. I can kill you here, but it would be best for everyone if I didn't."

Sara swallowed convulsively around the metallic fear in her mouth, preparing to scream against the leather on her lips. Her fingers found the pepper spray at that moment, and she ripped her hands from her pockets to aim. As she pressed the button to release the chemical, her knee drove into the man's groin. Though slightly off target, she caught enough of the tender tissue to elicit a pained gasp.

He stepped away just for a moment to crush his palms into his watering eyes, but she didn't have enough room to slip away. A swift punch to his solar plexus only served to remind him she was there.

Shriek (Legend of the Bean Sidhe #1)Read this story for FREE!