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.
“How… do you… have a… job?”
“Why?” He didn’t smile, but he seemed pleased with himself. “Are you offering to be my sugar mama?”
“I hate you.”
He chuckled. “I think that’s a new record for your declaration on undying hatred.”
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.
Wind shook the camper. Chelsea sat up, chest heaving, panic screaming in her brain. Beside her, Jackson Hawk lay snoring. And that picture of naked relaxation did nothing to calm her.
The camper was cramped and dark, a dry cave, covered in Jackson’s clothes. The hunter hurried ahead of Chelsea, grabbing shirts and pants as he went, apologizing over his shoulder. “Have a seat. Throw shit at me if it’s in your way. I’m just getting back on my feet and I wasn’t expecting company.”
David’s calloused fingers moved her arm. “This will hurt I’m afraid, but it’ll feel better soon.
A tear slid out. “That’s what everybody says.”
The sun baked her back as Chelsea studied the town. The butte rose high above the pretty mountain municipality, giving her a great view. She squinted, peering past the houses and shops to the green postage stamps of parks that grew along the lake. “This is all really settled. Where can we fight this thing?”
Bright red strawberries of embarrassment stained the pale cream of the girl’s cheeks. “Well, um. That is my aunt and uncle in Seattle knew you from… My cousins told me you’d be out here.”
“And who the hell are you and your family?” Chelsea found her hand on her ax.
The impossible blue of the Columbia River called Chelsea, despite the reddening sky. While she knew the cold of night was coming, right that moment, it was still hot as hell.
Chelsea reached greedily for the proffered coffee cup with her uninjured arm. Hot, and somehow both bitter and smooth, she savored the drink. One of the hedge doctors had bought her one from the coffee shop downstairs when she limped in this morning. She was on her third. “I swear this almost doesn’t need sugar.”