Tall and thin, with wavy dark hair, the stranger didn’t exactly look like Keegan. But the way she stood, all languid long limbs and a certain sense of amusement, screamed Keegan.
It wasn’t much a town. A bad Chinese buffet and a few run down fast food joints. The glass and stone turtle by the highway was the high point. Chelsea had seen it flashing in the desert sun from miles back. She assumed the town survived based on its proximity to Reno.
Are you okay?” She hadn’t meant to ask, but the question slipped out.
He shook himself. “Yeah. Just. Stuff. You know.”
“Oh, believe me, I know about “just stuff.” I’m comprised of about ninety percent “just stuff”.”
“My ride won’t be here for hours yet.”
“That’s not fair.” She wiped at her face. “It’s not enough time.”
“Time for what?” He smiled, low and gentle. “To convince me to stay? Or for me to beg you to leave with me?”
“Either.” She sucked in a breath, but her chest still felt too tight. “Both.”
The second day of the storm had Chelsea pacing the hotel room. There were five steps between walls. The only five steps she had. She’d been walking them since she woke up.
He shuffled over, eyes bright and smiling. Chelsea’s stomach bottomed out. The man had tried to lie about his name and had done so poorly. Like many new hunters did. Yet he had beheaded a fairly big monster in moments. He moved a bit like the older people she hunted with, smooth and precise. But Rick had… an edge. He was so much faster… better than anybody she’d ever seen.
Chelsea fished her glasses out of her coat. When she had secured hers, she reached into her coat again for a pair of shaded goggles. They fit Bentley perfectly, and he didn’t attempt to shake them off to her relief.
Keegan paced in front of her, long, thin legs eating up the distance between the dark headlights. The other monster hunters stood around in shifting groups of denim, flannel, and leather. Nobody talked much, and all the laughter was short and sharp in the ever-blowing prairie wind.
Taku-He turned deeper into the prairie.
Oh no you don’t!
Thought and action came at the same time. She floored her car once more; the wild bouncing briefly bringing on fear for her suspension, and overtook the monster.
“Oh my God, Keegan… I don’t like this option, but it’s the right one, so it’s what we’re doing. Let me sulk and bitch a little, let me fucking vent.”
He rubbed at his long nose. “Will you learn their names this time?”
“Yes.” She gripped the steering wheel, knuckles white.