Winter Rain, part 18

“What the fuck did you do?” Conlan’s voice yells into my ear.

Tara enters the intersection. I yank back the urge to turn, and watch her reflection in the glass. She doesn’t even glance at me. She jumps into a run to avoid a car. At least, that’s the convenient excuse.

“Conlan,” she says, “they haven’t turned yet. Cut over to Bryce and get out in front. Now! They’re sure to notice me as soon as they turn!

“Tiergan,” she growls as she steps onto the far curb, “how the fuck did they make you?”

I’m safe now. I spin to look, to protest my innocence, but she’s gone.

“Tara . . . the girl recognized me! I know her from somewhere.”

“What?” Two voices simultaneously.

“Yeah! And from the look on her face, I’d say she was expecting to see me.”

Silence. Even from Conlan.

It doesn’t make any sense. Why would I know a courier for someone doing business with Rian? His family and ours . . . we don’t have a lot of business interests in common. I don’t know . . . this delivery is being made in our territory . . . maybe whoever she works for knows who the local players are. Maybe I’ve seen her around before.

But why would she react like that? She was definitely expecting to see me. Waiting, even. She sped up, for fuck’s sake.

And if I’ve seen her around town, why can’t I place her. It’s not like she’d fade into the background.

“Who is she?” Conlan demands. He’s breathing heavily. Must be running to catch up. Not that it matters much, at this point.

“I don’t know! I can’t place her. But this is starting to feel really bad.”

A dark shape, low and blurry, darts across the street from an alley just to my right. Brennan, I think, though it’s too dark to be sure with these eyes.

“They’re crossing the street at Norman!”

Fuck! Away from Conlan.

And Brennan would have been the last one monitoring our conversation. He probably changed the second I said I’d been made.

Shit. He thinks it’s according to plan!

Think, damn it!

I can see her face. The pony tail. The grin. It’s from a distance. There’s something green around her. Trees, maybe? Could I have seen her in the greenbelt? No, that’s not right. I don’t often go there in human form, and I don’t see green distinctly otherwise.

Stop grasping at it. Just let it go. Come on. Breathe.

Motion. And her face. On green.


I step into the street. A horn blares, brakes squeal—I dive out of the way.

Motion. Reddish-brown on grey. Hooves.

And I can almost taste his blood.

She was there. After.


“Guys,” I yell as I get up from the street and take off after Tara. “It’s a trap! She works for Rian!”