CHAPTER 48

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"Kota. Are you okay?" Sean yelled, running toward me and Tom.

I glanced around. "Yeah. What's up?"

"We saw you pounding on the door to the Nickel." Sean looked at Tom. "Where have you been?"

Step away from him, Red.

"Sean, we haven't been back there." My heart slammed against my ribs. "Where's the rest of the team?"

Red. It's not Sean.

Tom's fingers curled around my bicep. I scanned the area. People crowded near the entrance of one of the bars across the street. Live music flowed into the air and a loud, pulsing bass thumped at my insides.

We stood in front of a café, which had outdoor seating, and it was busting at the seams, people probably listening to the music. I backed away. I couldn't light up with all these witnesses. Then again, he couldn't do anything to us either.

The Sean Lookalike stepped closer.

"Is it the Shadow Man?" I asked Tom.

No. Shifter.

I lunged at the Sean Imposter and curled my arms around his neck like I was giving him the biggest, most loving hug. "Sean. It's so great to see you," I shouted, then leaned toward his ear. "What do you want?"

His wicked arms, although looking very human, felt like slime as they wove around my waist, pulling me closer. "I have your precious Sean. If you want to see—"

I slid my hand down the neck of his shirt and touched bare flesh, ready to fry him if he tried anything. "Sean's not one of us. He's a traitor. You can have him. Where's your big, bad, boss who stole my memories?" I ignited a little shock, and the monster flinched.

"Well, I think you'll feel differently if we slice your friend, Briana, into little pieces."

Okay, that made me flinch. "Where?"

"Your favorite park, of course."

"She better be alive." I released my grip around Sean Impostor, but he pressed his mouth over mine. I yanked away and spit to the side. "I'll be seeing you."

I faced Tom. "Did you pull anything from him?"

"They ambushed the gang while on their way to us. I told them to stay back thirty minutes, then come to The Hill because I wanted to try and crack those blocks without an audience." Tom shook his head. "Now they have Briana and Sean."

"They can have Sean if what you say is true. It's his fault we're in this mess."

"He's partially to blame. But he sacrificed himself for you. Both at the mansion and on The Hill. Earned him a dagger each time." Tom grimaced. "You would have been killed if he hadn't knocked that Shadow Man off you at the mansion."

"He didn't kill me, just sucked three of the most important months of memories from me." I slammed my fist into the palm of my other hand. "Let's go. Joshua Park. Let's end this."

"You have no weapons, you ran out so quickly." He tugged my hand in the direction of the base. "Let's stock up, then go."

"My hands are the weapons I need. Same with yours. And you have an extra blade tucked away in there somewhere, right?" I pulled at his hand. "Let's storm it."

He nodded. "I'll code it in." He reached for his phone and followed me across the street while typing. "How far are we?"

"Few blocks. It's dark and quiet there. Just like those creeps like it."

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