Part 3
Gone to the Dogs

Usual disclaimers apply.  The following might contains male-to-male sex.
If you are under age or such reading is illegal in your country,
please go elsewhere. Otherwise, please enjoy.

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A Special thank you to Brett for his editing work


The man moved among the other humans, ignoring their greetings. He was still too busy shifting through the memory of the man he was wearing to know who they were and what the proper response would be.

A deal had been made with this man early in this career because his family owned the plot of land he needed for the ceremony, but the man hadn’t cared about it so he hadn’t kept track of the paperwork for it. Before he could do anything, he needed to make sure he had ownership of the land, ownership was everything and without that, all this would be a waste of time.

* * * * *

The restaurant was something of a dive, definitely not the kind of place I’d come to without a good reason; the tables were flimsy and shaky, the chairs were uncomfortable and the service was atrocious. The waitress had spilled at least half my coffee putting the cup on my table and disappeared without leaving me any creamer.

While I waited for her to walk by again, I reached for the sugar container, which turned out to be empty. With a few curses under by breath, I actively tried to get her attention. I could manage my coffee without creamer, but there was no way I was going to forgo sugar. She saw me, I could tell both by the way her eyes glanced at me, and the way her aura spiked in my direction, but she kept on talking with one of the other customer.

I was tempted to grab hold of her mind and force her to come here, but that would have been a bit extreme. Instead, I looked around for a full sugar container, extended my hand toward it and focused. It flew over two tables and I grabbed it. My telekinesis isn’t strong; I’m lucky if I can move four pounds without raising a sweat, but a glass container filled with sugar? That I can easily do.

There was a cry of indignation from the other side of the room, which I ignored.

“Can’t you read?” someone said, stopping next to me as I finished pouring sugar in my cup. The woman was heavy set, both big boned, by the width of her shoulder, and fat, by her ample stomach. Her apron was covered with grease.

I looked at where she pointed, a sign next to a clock that read ‘no magic use allowed’. I didn’t bother disabusing her of the notion or pointing out the clock was off by forty-five minutes.

“I needed sugar,” I told her with a smile.

“You could have gotten up and walked.”

“If I had done that, I wouldn’t have had the pleasure of your visit, so I could tell you the service here is atrocious.” I handed her the empty sugar container. “I’d also like two creams, please.”

With a growl she grabbed the container and left.

My waitress came back and slammed the sugar container on the table. Her annoyance at me was radiating brighter than the sun, so I smiled back at her. The annoyance turned into anger and she flung the creamers at me before going back to her conversation.

A quick check of my watch confirmed Ralph was running late, not that I was surprised.

While I waited, I called Jen, but got her voice mail again. I was starting to worry, it had been three days since our argument and I still couldn’t get in touch with her.

“Hi Jen, It’s Jake. I’m really sorry about the way I over reacted the other day, please call me when you get this, okay?” It wasn’t really like her to not return my calls. At least Chris had confirmed he’d seen her so she hadn’t outright left.

* * * * *

Ralph showed up fifteen minutes after that. He was five five and probably nothing over a hundred pounds; he always looked like he hadn’t eaten anything in weeks. His jeans were ripped, as was his t-shirt, and his leather jacket had seen better days. Over all, he looked like he dressed from hands me down that were twenty years old, or a homeless bum, but at least he didn’t smell like one.

“Hey Jake, sorry I’m late, but there was this guy at fifth and Humber who’s doing a three card monte game and I just couldn’t pass it up.”

“Hi Honey,” the waitress said showing up form nowhere before I could comment on his gambling problem. “What can I get you?”

“I’ll have a coffee black, oh and your biggest slice of apple pie,” he looked at me, “you don’t mind covering for me, right? I’m good for it. With a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.”

“Why do you need me to cover your bill? Didn’t you make money at that card game?” Of course I was going to cover his food, a lot of the time his information was useful and he was a nice guy over all, if a bit flaky.

“Of course I did. But then I invested it on a horse race.”

“Ralph, betting on horse races isn’t investing.”

“In this case it is, I have some inside information, it’s a sure thing. If you want I can put down some money for you.”

“Thanks, I’ll pass.”

The waitress brought him his coffee, without spilling any of it, and his pie. “Enjoy,” she said putting a hand on Ralph’s shoulder.

“Thanks doll, I will.” He replied before devouring the pie.

“Jeez Ralph, doesn’t your pack feed you?”

“Of course they do,” he replied and then seemed to shrink in a little, “but you know how it is, I’m the omega, so I only get the scraps. Sure, they make sure there are scraps for me, but it’s rarely enough.”

“You could have used the money you made to buy yourself some food.”

He shook his head violently. “No, I need it for that investment. When I win at that race I’ll be able to show George that I can pull my weight. He’ll have to raise my rank.”

And there was Ralph’s problem, always looking for an easy fix to go up in rank. If he won money from that race, he’d decide it wasn’t enough to impress his alpha and bet on something else, until he lost all the money, and have to start from scratch.

“Then why don’t you go to a soup kitchen.”

“What kind of man do you think I am? I’m not some kind of bum who begs for food. I earn my keep.”

I decided not to point out he was having me pay for his food.

“Okay., fine. Why did you ask me here then?”

“I need your help with something. There’s someone with a bunch of zombies digging hole in my territory. He can’t be up to anything good. If we stop him I’ll be able to show George that I’m good at protecting the territory and it’s going to help me go up in rank.”

“No,” I stated.

“Why not? It won’t take long, they’ve been digging every night so they’ll be back again tonight. We catch them turn them over to George for judgment and it’s done.”

“So it’s just like that vampire you saw hunting humans in your territory?”

“How was I to know they were feeding him willingly?”

“Or how about that guy you thought had killed someone?”

“I saw him put the body in his trunk.”

“Yeah, a body he bought legally for the ghoul who lives in his apartment building.”

“This isn’t like those time. This is a sure thing, I’m telling you, that guy is up to no good.”

“You have to stop doing this, Ralph. There aren’t any short cuts up the ranks. You need to put in hard work that matters.” I stood. “Go back to your pack and ask your alpha what you can do to help.” I dropped forty bucks on the table. “And get yourself a real meal.”

* * * * *

On the walk back home I passed ‘Get Bend’ a popular gay bar I used to spend a lot of time at when I was younger. It wasn’t even eleven in the morning and they were already open, and by the sound of it busy. I thought about going in, just to see how the place was these days, how it had changed, the kind of guys who went there now, maybe pickup someone.

With that thought I walked faster. I didn’t need or want that. I wasn’t going to find the guy for me in a meat market like Bent. What I needed at that point was a cold shower. Seeing Jen sitting on the steps leading to my apartment in faded jeans and loose t-shirt worked just as well. Her golden skin didn’t seem as radiant as usual.

“Jen, you weren’t returning my calls, I was getting worried.”

“Sorry,” she said playing with her silver hair. “I didn’t know how to do this over the phone.”

This didn’t sound good. “How about we go in.”

To keep the uncomfortable silence form getting overbearing I mad us coffee, something far better tasting than what I’d had at that dive. Jen looked around while it percolated. The place hadn’t changed since the last time she’d come over. A small kitchen, a small living room and a larger bedroom. It wasn’t much but it served my needs. Maybe she was working up the courage to say what she wanted, or like me she felt that it would be best to have this discussion while holding something warm and comforting.

“So,” I said handing her a cup and keeping the island between us, “What did you want to tell me.” I wrapped my hands around my cup and prepared myself for the news.

“I’m sorry,” she said after looking in her cup for a moment, “You were right. I didn’t have any right to be hovering over you like I did, but I owe you so much. I keep trying to find ways to pay you back, but I just can’t.”

I was stunned, this hadn’t been what I had been expecting. It took me a few seconds to find my voice. “First off, I’m the one who should be apologizing. I had no business blowing up at you, you were just trying to look out for me. The only excuse I can offer is that being possessed by that demon at left me wrung out. My reaction to you was proof enough that I should have stayed home.

“Secondly, all you have to do to pay me back is live your life. I didn’t do what I did to get a debt over you, I did it because it was the right thing to do. Slavery is illegal in this country, no matter how your people try to justify it or rationalize it.  The fact that you wanted to be free was reason enough for me to do everything I could to make it happen.”

“Thank you,” she said wiping away tears. “I was afraid I’d chased you away.”

“I’m sorry. I wi . . .” I stopped myself form saying the word afraid it might bring back bad memories. “I’m going to be an idiot sometime. I can’t help it, I’m a guy.” That brought a smile to her face and I took her hands in mine. “Tell you what. The next time I get myself hurt you have my permission to tie me to my bed and sit on me until I’m better if that’s what it takes. How does that sound to you?”

“Sounds like you have yourself a deal.”

* * * * *

Two days later I found out Ralph was dead.

I’d been in my office, a one room thing on the first floor of an office complex in the less savory part to town. I had plans to move to a more upscale place at some point, but that took more money than I currently had.

I always leave the TV running on one of the news network so I can keep up with what’s going on in the city. You never know what random tidbit of information might be useful until you hear it, like in this case. I’d been shuffling papers, trying to calculate how long I could go without another case when I heard Ralph’s name said by a woman.

“The man, who has been identified as Ralph Monroe by the police,” was what I had heard. I quickly turned to the television, “was found early this morning by one of the city’s sanitation engineers. Other than to comment that the man appeared to have been shot, the police have not provided us with any of the details.” The image cut from the news woman to a shaking scene of the coroner examining a body. It had been recorded by a cell phone but it was clear enough that I recognized Ralph’s face.

I tried to reach Rocky to get more details, but he wasn’t available. It meant that he either was busy with a case, or he felt I’d called on him enough for a while. It was a system we had so he wouldn’t have to tell me to buzz off. If Rocky was too busy I’d have to ask someone else. Fortunately, I have a contact in the coroner’s office, but he wouldn’t take my call.

I made a stop by my local specialty book store before heading to see my contact. It cost me twenty bucks for the security guard to let me in and then it was just an elevator ride down to the autopsy floor.

I found him in the third room I looked in. He was working on a body, not Ralph fortunately. He was tall and lanky, short cropped red hair, clean shaven with an angular face. His gloved hands and lab coat were splattered with blood.

I knocked on the glass door to attract his attention before coming in. He cast me an annoyed glance before returning to his work. I stood a good five feet away to avoid getting any of the splatter on myself.

“You’re not supposed to be in here,” He said without looking up.

“I know.”

“Go away then.”

“I can’t, I need some information.”

“Damn it Jake, I’m not one of your personal informant.You can’t just barge in here and expect to ask me questions about ongoing investigations.”

“I’m not, I brought you a gift.” I took the book out of the plain paper bag.

“Is that?”

“Yep, it’s Samson and Delilah, the true story.” According to the blurb on the back the guy who wrote it had a spell that let him look back in time so he claimed to have witnessed everything he wrote about and even included photographs to prove it. I had no idea if that was true, but I knew that Martin here was a history fanatic, something I‘d learned when we’d dated years ago. He wouldn’t be able to resist.

It took him a few seconds to loose the fight. He took off his gloves and coat and had me follow him to the filing room. “What are you looking for?”

“Information on Ralph Monroe, he was found this morning.”

“There won’t be much, cause of death and some preliminary information. Tox will take at least a week”

“Give me what you have and you get the book.”

It only took him a moment to find the file and we made the exchange. He gingerly looked through the book while I quickly flipped through the half dozen pages in the file. He had been right; there was hardly anything in here, it didn’t even note Ralph was a werewolf. I didn’t know if it would show up in his blood test. Only werewolves with a criminal record had to carry identification that they were such. In this city, no pack would accept one of them in.

The cause of death was from a gunshot wound, but the interesting thing was that the bullet was silver. You could kill a werewolf with lead, it didn’t even take that much of it, but silver poisoned them. Even a minor wound, if the bullet stayed in, could kill a werewolf.

This told me that whoever had shot Ralph either knew that he was there or he was expecting werewolves to show up. This was a good start; werewolves didn’t advertise their territory in a way that most people could detect. Ralph’s killer had known he was on werewolf territory, the question was how had he known, and did it have something to do with the digging Ralph had told me about?

* * * * *

Ralph’s body had been found in a back alley on the west side, so that’s where I went.

The west side was mostly lost cost housing bordering a few industrial parks. Back in the fifties, way before my time, the west side was going to be an up and coming artistic neighborhood. It was going to be the creative center of the city; the billboards stating that it would rival New York were still up, although now they were faded and covered with gang tags. Unfortunately the artists never came, and up until twenty years ago it had be a blight on the on the city. Fortunately, unlike the wasteland, they had been able to rehabilitate it with government help.

The spot where Ralph’s body had been dumped was between two dumpsters. It wasn’t where he’d been killed; I could tell that by the lack of blood and the lack of psychic scream his death was bound to have caused.

“Fuck Ralph,” I said crouching next to where he’d been found, “I shouldn’t have dismissed you like that. I’m sorry I let you down. I doubt it means anything to you at this point, but I’m going to find who killed you and bring them to justice for it. I wish I’d listened to you long enough so you’d told me where that digging you were looking into was.”

But I hadn’t, so I was going to have to search for it. Ralph’s pack hung out among the industrial parks, I knew that from the times I’d helped Ralph, but he’d never told me when we were in their territory or out of it, and as I mentioned before, werewolves don’t mark their territories in a way outsiders can notice.

If I’d taken the time to get to know him better I might have been able to pinpoint where he’d died; that mystical ‘psychic bond’ movies like to refer to. It wasn’t anything magical, it was simply that to closer you got to someone, the more familiar you got with the way their mind resonated, and you could pick it out of the background noise generated by everyone else.

If Jen or Chris had been the ones I was looking for now all I’d have to do was focus and I’d get a sense of the direction they were in up to a couple of miles away. Unfortunately, Ralph had always been more of a contact than a friend, I don’t think I would be able to sense him if he was hiding in the dumpster next to me.

So I walked around the industrial parks asking the people I met if they knew anything about zombies digging around. None of them did, but a few of them were able to point me toward spots where someone had been digging. It was at the sixth spot that i found where Ralph was killed.

It was a field behind an abandoned textile factory. Over two dozen holes had been dug down to various depths. At the edge of it, behind a mound of broken concrete I found footprints in the dry soil with a large patch of a dark liquid which had soaked in the ground. By itself that wasn’t enough to tell me this was where Ralph had been killed, but when I touched the dried liquid I heard the gunshot loud and clear.

Ralph had been hidden behind the concrete watching them dig and someone had shot him. Ralph hadn’t known it was coming. He’d heard the gun go off and then he was dead. At least it had been quick, he hadn’t suffered.

I stayed crouched next to the pool of dried blood for a moment wishing again I’d believed Ralph before standing and looking at the field of holes; twenty one of them seemingly at random in a thirty feet area. I walked among them with my mind open for any feeling left in the area, but none of the diggers had left any mental impressions, which fit with Ralph having said they were zombies.

On one side of the digging field I got a faint impression of impatience. Someone had stood there for while watching them dig, growing more impatient as they didn’t find whatever it was they were looking for. I was standing there trying to get a sense of who it had been when the warning came.

Everyone has times when they get a feeling that something isn’t right; when the subconscious picks up on clues the conscious mind missed. With psions those moments of prescience come loud and clear and mine was screaming ‘duck’.

I threw myself to the ground, rolled and stood facing the werewolf who had taken a swipe at me. I got a sense of marbled black and brown fur, lips pulled back over sharp teeth and vicious claws before he lounged at me and I had to jump out of the way. I listened to the warnings my mind sent me and I was able to avoid his strikes and falling in the holes we were dancing around.

I saw the second werewolf before my mind warned me and I knew i had to get out of there; they weren’t interested in letting me explain, they were out for blood. I fainted left and dashed right, but they were faster than me and blocked my escape at every turn.

If I could get a few seconds to focus I might be able to jump behind one of them and run like crazy, but they weren’t giving me that either, constantly taking swipes at me and guiding me toward a third werewolf. I cursed under my breath when I saw him and started debating if it would be worth risking a few claw marks to get away from them.

I didn’t know enough about them to know if being clawed by a werewolf was enough to turn me, but I had the distinct impression that if I let them claw me I wouldn’t live long enough to find out.

“That’s enough,” someone said, “Brandon, Hardwick, stand down.” The tone was casual, but the result instant. The two werewolves stopped moving, although they kept growling at me. I took a few steps away from them before turning to see who had stopped them.

He was five two at he most, wearing a t-shirt and jeans. I could see some muscle definition under the shirt, but nothing close to the two muscled monsters who had been chasing me. His eyes were a blue so pale to be almost white and he was studying me much harder than I was him.

“Jacob Thibault, Ralph talked about you.” He walked around me and i couldn’t help feeling like I was a piece of meat he was judging.

“You must be George.”

“I am. What are you doing here?”

“I’m looking into Ralph’s murder.”


“I feel responsible for his death. He asked me to help him look into this, but I said no. I didn’t believe him.”

“A reasonable reaction, Ralph had a bad habit of crying wolf.”

I couldn’t believe he’d said that with a straight face.

“Yeah, but i should still have been here with him, I would have been able to keep him from getting killed.”

“Maybe,” George said with a shrug, “but he’s dead, so you should leave my territory.”

“No.” I replied, which got me more growling from the werewolves, but just a raised eyebrow from George.


“I want to bring his killer to justice.”

“What makes you think we haven’t already dispatched him?

He had a point, for all I knew they might already have caught him. I wasn’t going to risk reading his mind. He might look human at this moment, but he was a werewolf. I’d tried reading a dog’s mind when i was younger and it hadn’t been pleasant. Everyone think animals have simple minds, but what they really have are purer minds, more raw and I could just imagine how much more vicious a werewolf’s mind could be. Still I followed my instinct on this.

“You wouldn’t be out looking for him if you already had him.”

George gave me a small smile. “What makes you think you can find him when he’s manage to evade us?”

“He’s coming back here.”


“He hasn’t found what he’s looking for yet.”

“What makes you think that?”

“Investigator’s gut feeling.”

“Alright, when?”

“Tonight,” I replied before i could think about it, but with his mounting impatience he was probably running up against a deadline, he couldn’t afford to wait too long.

“Alright, I guess we are going to find out if you’re as good of an investigator as Ralph claimed.”

We hid at the edge of the field and waited.

Within an hour the sun went down and the werewolves started getting restless. They didn’t bolt or even move, but as our waiting progressed I could feel it radiating from them even catching images of what they were going to do to to Ralph’s killer when they caught him. Only George remained calm and focus.

Two hours after it got fully dark a pickup pulled into the field followed by a school bus. The street light didn’t reach this far off so only their headlight allowed us to watch the pickup driver move around setting up flood lights. When they were setup and the field was fully lit, the bus’ door opened and two dozen zombies shambled off it followed by the driver. The two humans leaned against the pickup while the zombies started digging.

I didn’t heard George and his three werewolves bolt toward them. One moment i could feel their presence next to me, the next I was watching them enter the light. The men reacted instantly jumping behind the pickup and ordering the zombies to stop the werewolves.

I was about to run after them when I heard the gunshots. I decided to be more discreet and went around, staying at the edge of the light. By the time I reached the bus the werewolves had ripped apart half the zombies, but the rest were giving them trouble.

Zombies weren’t fast, but they were tough. Being dead they didn’t feel pain and were only limited by how much damage their bodies could take. The fresher the dead, the tougher it was.

The humans were busy watching the fight and taking occasional potshots at the werewolves. I peeked in the pickup’s bed and quietly picked up a wrench I saw there. I heard one of the werewolves yelp in pain and almost dropped it in surprise.

Sneaking closer to the men was easy, they were too busy congratulating themselves on brining down one of the wolves, their words, not mine. I wouldn’t think of insulting something that could rip my head off with one swipe like that.

I hit one behind the head and and clocked the other as he turned to point his gun at me. A moment later George jumped over the pickup and pushed me away from them growling. He’d transformed for the fight and all that was left of his shirt were rags around his neck, his pants had completely disappeared.

At that moment, he wanted to rip me apart  for interfering with his hunt as badly as he wanted them for killing Ralph. We didn’t move for a minute and silence fell over the fields to be broken by a soft whine.

We looked over the pickup. One of the werewolves was on the ground holding his shoulder. I didn’t stop to think about what George might do as I jumped over the pickup and ran for the downed werewolf; if they’d used silver bullets again he could be their second victim. As I got closer my worries were confirmed by the bluish tint of the skin around the shoulder wound.

The other two werewolves were looking at him with worry.

“I’ve got to take the bullet out before it poisons you,” I told him and he nodded.

I knelled on his chest and started digging into the wound. I couldn’t afford to wait until I had properly sterilized tools, the silver would would spread throughout too much of his body by then. I counted on his miraculous healing ability to fight off what ever infection I might give him. He growled and whined before bucking under me.

“Someone hold him down damn it!” I saw the other two put their weight on him in my peripheral vision and I could focus on what I was doing instead of hanging on.

I closed my eyes and extended my senses, first my vision to try to see inside the wound to find the bullet, but it was too dark in there. Taste, smell and earing wouldn’t do me any good here so I went for touch next feeling around for something hard and mostly round.

It took a few moments but I found it, it felt like it was embedded in the bone and there were shard around it. I dug deeper with my finger while i used my telekinesis to gather the shards; they might have just been bone, but I couldn’t take a chance some of them might be silver. If i left even the smallest piece of silver in him it would be like I hadn’t bothered taking out the bullet.

My fingers finally wrapped around the bullet and I pulled it out. It resisted for a moment but finally came out. I telekinetically pulled the shard along, counting on the others being too busy holding him down notice anything. Once my fingers were out of him I flung the silver away.

He went limp and his breathing quieted down.

I didn’t trying healing him, poisons were too tricky. Unlike what television showed it wasn’t just a question of performing a laying on hand, that was magic. For a Psion to be able to do any good he had to know how the poison worked so he could fix the damage. I had gotten enough medical knowledge to heal small wounds and broken bones, the stuff I had to deal with most often in my job, but I’d never bothered with poisons. He’d be sick for a while but his own healing ability should be able to deal with it.

We were all quiet for a while and breathing easier. Then I noticed the look in George’s eyes as he stood up and I couldn’t help touch his mind. He was planing on ripping the men apart very slowly.

I went after him and grabbed his arm. “You can’t just kill them.” I said.

He spun, growling, and pushed me back. I back pedaled but managed to avoid falling. He took the few steps separating us. “They killed one of my pack and almost killed another.”

His voice was low and menacing, almost as inhuman as he looked, but it was the the anger he was radiating that almost forced me to back away. It took most of my will power not to do so; at that moment i wasn’t certain he wouldn’t kill me, too, if I got in his way, but i wasn’t going to back down.

“Fine, but I just saved his life, that aught to count for something.”

He moved even closer, his muzzle almost touching my nose, looking me in the eyes and I couldn’t help swallowing hard. “It does, but it won’t save their lives. This is my territory, my laws. They’ve killed without my permission, there’s only one punishment for that. If you can’t stomach, that you’d better leave.” There was no doubt here, if I tried to stop him I’d be as dead as those two would be right after.

“Okay, fine, but at least let me talk to them first.”


“I want to know what this is all about. What Ralph died for.”

“It doesn’t matter why he died, just that his killers pay.”

“It matters to me!” I projected my anger with those words; the anger I felt at myself for having dismissed Ralph so easily, at having let him down and George backed up a step.

“You try to help them escape,” he said after a moment, “ and you’ll share their fate.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t.”

George escorted me to the two men. One of them was regaining consciousness so, I grabbed him by the collar and sat him against the pickup’s wheel. The shock was enough to wake him up fully.

He looked around at George standing over the other man and then at me. “I’m not going to tell you a damn thing,” he said his features hard with determination.

He didn’t have to, he was so focused on what he wasn’t going to tell me that he was projecting it. The meeting with someone in a suit, too slick to be trusted, but promising too much to be ignored. The ten of them being handed a drawing, given coordinates and promised of riches for whoever found it. The deal to hire the zombies off a friend of his in construction. Noticing Ralph spying on them and killing him.

For a moment I almost felt good knowing he was going to suffer for that.

I patted the man down to avoid giving away I could see exactly where the paper was before taking out of the jacket’s pocket. I unfolded it and looked at the drawing of a chest with symbols on it. He didn’t know what was in it, all he cared about was the money he would get once he delivered it.

I stood up and put the paper in my pocket. “You can’t do this,” I told George, “You have to let the police handle this. They committed murder, they are going to go away for a very long time.”

“You think that’s enough?” he growled. His anger had dropped a few notches. “These things have killed one of mine. I won’t be satisfied until their screams filled the air.”

Behind the wall of anger I felt guilt. Did he also feel he’d let Ralph down? Had he also so gotten used to his schemes that it was the only thing he saw when i looked at the man?

“His death wasn’t your fault,” I said, and with a growl he pushed me against the pickup, his teeth bared and almost at my neck his anger was back up, covering the guilt.

I didn’t have time to curse, I was already seeing my life flash before me. I really shouldn’t try to play shrink with people who were more instinct than reason, it was just going to get me killed.

“Get out of here,” he whispered instead of ripping my throat out, “run away, because if you’re still here by the time I’m done with these two, I might very well come after you.” He let me go.

I didn’t run, but I did walk fast, more to avoid hearing the screams he’d promised, than for my own safety. I wasn’t fast enough. When they came, the men’s screams sent a chill down my spine.

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