Two vampires bracketing a human girl left the narrow circle of light and
blended into the shadows of the alley. Quicksilver crossed the street
and broke into a run, her heart thudding in her chest.
Swerving around the corner, she didn’t stop until she caught sight of
them. They stood at the far end of the alleyway. A rusting chain-link
fence sagged behind them, creating a dead end.
Even if Kathy had realized her mistake now, she couldn’t escape. The
eight-foot fence blocked the way.
Quicksilver’s breathing grew harsh and fast as she hesitated, balanced
on the balls of her feet. The rank odor of spoiled milk and rotting meat
from the trash littering the narrow alley caught in her throat. The oily
stench seeped through the air. It saturated her clothing and hair with
the foulness trapped between the brick walls. She swallowed a cough and
quietly moved forward.
The blond vampire put his arms around Kathy. Her hands rested on his
chest as she stared into his face, mesmerized by his gaze. The second
creature stood nearby, his shoulder against the fence, waiting.
A rat skittered along the wall, disturbed by her light tread. At the
second vampire glanced her way. He chuckled and gestured to his
companion before striding forward, his steps springy with
“Kathy!” Quicksilver reached behind her back. Her fingers gripped the
cool metal handle of a whip.
“Your friend is occupied,” the dark-haired vampire replied. His eyes
flickered over her. She could feel his interest quicken along with his
stride. “Come—leave your friend to Jason.” He held out his hand. “I’m
Tyler—why don’t you and I talk—”
“Let’s not.” She flicked her whip, uncoiling it with a sharp snap. The
silver fall uncoiled and flashed in the darkness. “Kathy, come here!
These men are dangerous!”
“Who are you supposed to be? Wonder Woman?” Tyler gestured at her whip
and grinned. His loose-limbed walk closed the distance before she could
blink. His eyes glittered with a feral, crimson light in the darkness.
“I’m not interested in justice.” She glanced over his shoulder, focusing
on the girl. “Kathy, get away from him! Now!”
Kathy made no response. She gazed at Jason, so entranced that she showed
no sign of hearing the urgent warning. With eerie grace, she tilted her
head to one side and exposed her long, white neck. Blank docility
smoothed her face. Her pale pink lips curved in an uncomprehending
“Kathy!” Quicksilver’s throat tightened. She knew the pain of those
teeth…. “Please, Kathy!”
Tyler laughed. One pale hand pressed melodramatically over his heart.
“She’s found true love.”
“She doesn’t know what she’s found.”
“Give her another minute. She’ll find out.” The vampire halted just a
few yards away. His dark gaze examined her with the clinical detachment
of a butcher eyeing an unexpected, but not unwanted, delivery of beef.
An expectant hush whispered around them.
She couldn’t allow Kathy, hardly more than a child, to suffer the pain
the vampire threatened.
Fury surged upward, taking over her mind as logic vanished. She cracked
the whip above his head.
Tyler’s gaze snapped upward, following the arc of the silver lash. A
smile still curved his lips when she flicked her wrist again.
The thin coil wrapped around his neck.
“You can’t hurt me with a whip—”
“Really?” She yanked.