I raised the gun, determined to put an end to Fatty once and for all.


Adam grabbed my arm. “If you miss, you might hit a pump.”

I shot him a glare. “I won’t miss.”

“Well, Miss Sharpshooter, did you think about what’ll happen if you hit him and he ignites close to four gas pumps?”

“Oh.” I lowered the gun. “So what now?”

Adam opened his mouth to answer but stopped when the back door to the Escalade opened. A hoof emerged, followed by a scaly green leg clad in too-short black sweatpants. Fatty heard the sound and cocked his head, like an animal sensing unseen danger. Giguhl emerged fully, raising his arms high above his seven-foot frame in an exaggerated stretch. His poison green Got Evil? T-shirt complemented his black horns nicely.

With a scowl, he focused on the large, groaning vampire to his right. Fatty seemed to have regained some of his sight. His eyes squinted and then widened. He moved surprisingly fast then, jerking to his feet and lumbering away.

Fatty got as far as the air and water station before he tripped. He scrambled to grab a hose and pointed it at us. A pathetic stream of water trickled out.

“What are you going to do?” Giguhl said. “Moisten us?”

Now that we were safely away from the gas pumps, it was time to end this charade. I calmly raised my gun and put my last bullet between Fatty’s eyes. Since the wooden stake had already injected the forbidden fruit into his system and removed his immortality, his girth went up in flames immediately.

“Well, that’s that, then,” Adam said. “I guess I’ll go fill up.” He walked off toward the pumps like he was taking a Sunday stroll. The only sign he’d just survived an assassin attack was the slight limp courtesy of Nick’s throwing star. How he could deal so calmly with the aftermath of such chaos escaped me.

My own body strained for action. Something to work off the residual adrenaline. My gaze strayed to Adam’s retreating form. Something to release the tension. I admired the way his sweat-dampened shirt clung to his muscled torso. Something strenuous and sweaty. I took a step forward.

“Um, Sabina?” Giguhl tugged on my arm.

“What?” I stopped, dragging my eyes from Adam. Giguhl was dancing from hoof to hoof. “What are you doing?”

“I need to see a man about a unicorn.”

And with that, all thoughts of ravaging Adam screeched to a halt. “Oh, for f**k’s sake, Giguhl.”

“It’s not my fault. You know I have a small bladder.”

“Okay, fine, little girl. Go tinkle. But make it quick.”

He ran off toward the doors on the side of the building.

With one last look at the charred mass that used to be Fatty, I turned to walk toward the car. I was almost there when a faint sound made me stop in my tracks. “Godsdammit,” I cursed under my breath. “Look alive, mancy.”

He looked over from the windshield he’d been cleaning. “What’s up?”

“Sirens.”

Adam cocked his head to listen. “I don’t hear them.”

My vampire hearing caught the sound long before human or mage ears would. “We’ve got about ten minutes. It’s time to go.”

I turned to go tell Giguhl to shake a leg, but a movement inside the store brought me up short. I’d forgotten all about the human, but the shotgun he held told me he hadn’t forgotten about us. I ran back toward the car.

Before Adam could ask why I was running, the shotgun barked. Luckily, the human had no idea how to handle such a powerful weapon. The shot went wide and took a chunk out of the tin roof over our heads.

“What the f**k was that?” Adam yelled.

“The human! I’ll take care of him.”

“Sabina, no! He’s innocent. You can’t kill him.”

Another blast, closer this time. I ducked behind the SUV next to Adam. “You’re f**king kidding me, right?”

Adam’s expression told me he’d been serious. “He can identify us and the car to the police. Unless you want to play Smokey and the Bandit all the way to New York, he’s got to go.”

I moved before he could stop me, pulling the Glock out of my waistband as I went. Behind me, Adam cursed and moved to stop me. Speeding up before he could accomplish his goal, I raised the gun just as Darrell pumped the barrel again.

But before either of us could shoot, a dark figure exploded out of the store. Nick’s second wind hit at exactly the worst moment possible. He grabbed the human, breaking his neck like it was nothing more than a matchstick.

“No!” Adam yelled behind me.

Nick grabbed the shotgun as the human fell. In Darrell’s hands, the shotgun had been troublesome. In Nick’s hands, the same gun scared the shit out of me.

In slow motion, I pivoted and ran toward the bathroom. Two reasons. One, I needed to warn Giguhl and somehow get both of us out alive. Two, the movement turned Nick’s attention away from Adam. I had a better chance at surviving a shotgun blast than the mage.

Bam! The brick wall six inches above and just ahead of me exploded. I zigzagged toward the restroom and pounded twice.

“Time to go, G!”

“Jeez, give me a minute!”

“Now!”

“Can’t a demon take a leak without being disturbed?” he grumbled. The door opened as he was pulling his pants up. “What?”

“What happens if you get shot?”

His goat eyes widened. “It hurts.”

“But you won’t die or get sent back to Irkalla, right?”

“Nope.”

“Good. Run!”

We hauled ass across the parking lot just as Nick pumped the shotgun again. Adam accelerated to meet us. Giguhl wrenched the SUV’s back door open and dove in just as another blast ripped through the air. I heard the demon yelp, but I was too busy trying to get my own door open. When the latch finally gave way, Adam was already accelerating. I jumped in and grabbed my gun from the console. A click of a button lowered the window, and I ducked through the opening to take care of Nick.

A shot hit somewhere near the rear of the SUV. The car fishtailed as Adam struggled to maintain control. Sparks and a hunk of red, twisted metal appeared in the road behind us.

“That bastard killed my Ducati!” I yelled. With steely resolve, I rested my forearms on the top of the Escalade.

I’m a good shot, but even I have trouble aiming at moving targets from a speeding car. It took three shots. The first hit the Kum-N-Go sign, which exploded in a hail of sparks. The second nicked a gas tank, which bled fuel like a wound. The third punched Nick in the chest. His body ignited instantly and fell right into the puddle of gas.

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