“Jaime!” Where the hell was he? I ran for the truck. It
didn’t provide much in the way of shelter, but it did have a shotgun.
I jerked the thankfully unlocked door open and grabbed the
weapon from the rack behind the seat. Bullets wouldn’t kill the vampire, but I
don’t think even it could walk without knees.
Double-checking the load, I snapped the gun shut and scanned
the field. The thrashing sounds grew fainter until only the whiff of the breeze
brushing the hay remained.
Even the stench was gone.
A rustle at the edge of the field spun me in place. I braced
myself, shotgun primed, and took aim.
The hay parted against black fur, dark as midnight and low
to the ground.
My brain wrestled with my vision’s report. The cat was long,
easily six feet of body clearing the hay before the tail flicked behind it.
Squat with thick muscular legs, it prowled across the green belt.
Hands tense, I laid my finger flat against the side of the
trigger. The dim light did nothing to diminish the powerful muscles rippling
along the cat’s furred body. It approached low, not quite stalking.
He yowled a low, long note, revealing a row of teeth that
made the vampire’s fangs look like toothpicks. Three feet away from the point I
knew I’d have to take the shot, the cat paused, dropping to sit on its
I lowered the gun a fraction.
The cat’s long tail twitched. A magnificent creature, his flat,
broad features tilted upward. An oversized Romeo, though I doubt either feline
would appreciate the comparison.
My palms were damp against the gun. I really didn’t want to
hurt the beast. I likely owed it my thanks, because—well, it had to be what
spooked the vampire.
Wary, I dropped the gun a fraction more. “Go on, kitty,
A wordless pulse of energy flashed through me.
Wise brown eyes gazed at me, patient and a little sad.
“Oh. I bet you want to tell me now.”