Chapter 2

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Chapter 2

The man pointing a gun at me was so not a human, because the last time I checked, we didn’t have nifty abilities that enabled us to conjure guns out of thin air. I didn’t even think fae could do that.

But this man—this thing had to be a fae.

“Not cool.” I backed up, no longer bothering to hide the stake.  “Kind of tacky to bring a gun to a knife fight.”

The thing laughed, and the sound was as chilling as winters in the north.  No humor. No empathy or humanity attached to it. “Kind of stupid to let you walk up behind me and stab me like the last one just did.”

“That’s a good point.” I kept slowly moving backward as my heart pounded. I was nearing the other side of the alley. There was only one option for me. “You’re not a normal fae.”

A tight-lipped smile appeared. “And you’re not a stupid cow?”

“What are you?” I ignored the derogatory term fae called humans. Cow. Cattle. Sustenance for them. Whatever. I’d been called worse.

He opened his mouth, but that second of distraction was all I needed. Like I’d been trained a hundred times over, I centered myself and cocked back my arm. Stepping forward, I let the stake fly.

It struck true, just like I knew it would.

The pointy end embedded deep in the thing’s chest, knocking him back a step. A slow, satisfied smile split my lips. “Wait, I know what you are. A dead fae.”

He glanced down and his shoulders rose with a deep, irritated sigh. “Really?” Annoyance colored his tone as he reached up with his free hand and proceeded to pull the stake out of his chest. He tossed it aside, and my eyes widened as the iron stake clanged off the pavement. “How weak do you think I am, cow?”

Holy shit.

Fae did not do that. They couldn’t. But this one did, and this was so bad it wasn’t even funny. I did the only thing left I could do, proving I wasn’t a stupid cow. If you couldn’t be sure you could win the fight with a fae? When in doubt, get the fuck out.

I turned and ran.

That’s what we were taught when we were going down shit creek, nearing shitville, population unlucky you, without a shitty paddle. A good warrior knew when to retreat, and this was totally one of those moments.

My backpack thumped off my back as I hauled ass, picking up speed as I neared the narrow opening in the alley. Something popped behind me, and almost immediately a fiery pain exploded along the left side of my stomach, knocking the air out of my lungs.

The bastard shot me!

For a moment, I couldn’t believe it. Surely he did not shoot me with an actual bullet from an actual gun. But the pain told me he had.

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