Just a little hiccup, barely a hitch in our giddy-up.
Andy looked between them. “You got a hunt without me?”
Amber shrugged. “I heard something at that shithole restaurant. I just didn’t act on it. Figured we could do some recon. See if there’s any there there.”
They both studied the darkness between apartment buildings. The wet autumn had driven most of the denizens to warmer and drier spots. They’d paid for a hotel for the old woman they’d found here earlier in the night.
Their banter got sharper with the wine, but Chelsea bathed herself in the warm moment. Her last few months on the road had been lonely.
“Most banshees are pretty harmless since they don’t actually kill with screams. This one, however, has been credibly seen at several suspicious deaths.”
“How do we kill it?”
“My, aren’t we blood thirsty?”
She grinned at him, showing more teeth than was friendly.
“I’m not about to judge someone. Well, not unless they are actively out to kill me. Not only would the nuns have shit to say about that, but I’m the queen of bad decisions. If there’s a shit option, that’s the one I’m going to choose.”
Laughter broke through Amber’s desperation. “Not making me feel better about this.”
“Let’s get this over with.”
“I thought you said not all hedge doctors were bad?”
Chelsea glared at the building. “Who says this is one of the good ones?”
Chelsea grabbed Amber’s arm. “Stop, it’s a kid.”
Andy’s voice crackled through the earpiece. “A kid?”
Chelsea nodded to thin air. “He’s scarred and pale and weak.”
Amber glared and slammed a hand on the closing doors of the elevator. “He’s a minion.”
“The ginger is right.” There was no silk or velvet in Andy’s voice. Just pure carbon steel.
“These things are nearly as long as Bentley, if not as heavy, but it’s not their size, it’s their poison.”
Andy nodded. “These are what’s known as a scourge. Get bit and you die, or you turn into a rat.”
All extraneous thoughts leeched out of her as the hiss rolled down the damp alley. The dim lights of the city at rainy dawn gleamed off the bald head of the vampire. It slunk, cautious and deadly, along the shadows on the wall.