“Hell,” Mitch growled as he stuffed the last bag into the bed of the truck. He had planned to leave with dark. He put the hitch onto the back of the truck feeling even more angry and frustrated. His horse trailer was at the ranch where he would get Ranger before heading north. His mind was on none of that.
“What’s wrong?” Adolph asked, letting the rabbit go, that he had only been half-heartedly chasing.
It was too hot. Maybe that was all Mitch was feeling. Except he knew it wasn’t.
“It’s that woman,” he said finally as he straightened and stared toward the city.
Adolph gave a wolf smile. “The beautiful one?”
“You know which one.” Mitch was disgusted and angry at himself. He couldn’t let it go. She was in trouble. It wasn’t his problem. She wasn’t his problem. Ever since he’d read the morning paper, seen a third woman had been killed, he’d had a bad feeling. Throughout the day, as he’d readied the house to be left, his premonition had grown.
He could feel energies building-- ugly and dark, threatening. He needed to leave Tucson, to go north where he could think more clearly and better protect himself. He had sent Buck and Sofia ahead to ready the house. It was time for him to go. Elke Hemstreet wasn’t in danger.
Except, she was. The dark elements were growing. She had already made herself a target. She didn’t have a clue what she would soon face. Swearing under his breath, he told Adolph, “Get in the truck.”
“You aren’t in a good mood. Don’t do something you’ll regret.”
“I won’t.” He headed down the driveway pushing the remote to close the gate behind him. He hoped the home would be there when he returned.
“How do you know where to find her?” Adolph asked watching as a thick lightning strike drove into the distant Tucson Mountains.
“I know.” That made him mad too, that he did know. That ever since she had come to his home he had wanted to know more about her, about what she did, where she lived. He knew and knowing infuriated him.
Driving across Tucson, the storm seemed to be staying in the Tucson Mountains. Overhead it was a clear sky filled with stars while the opposite mountains were being hammered. The blackness above was enhanced by no moonlight. Its sliver wouldn’t rise until 3 am.
Beyond downtown Tucson, he turned into the old barrio. He didn’t need to read the street signs. He knew where she was by scent. He stopped the truck in front of a two story, older home. She would be in the upper level. There were no lights on. Fine, he had no intention of knocking. “Stay with the truck,” he told Adolph as he got out. A figure walked out of the shadows and headed toward the gated entrance. At the metal grill, the male pulled a knife and began to jimmy the lock.
Mitch smiled. “Looking for something?” he asked quietly as he walked up behind the man, who turned with the knife in his hand. Mitch reached out and grabbed his wrist, twisting it hard enough to force him to drop the knife before he heard the bone snap over his knee. The man let out a yelp of pain. “Worse happens if you don’t get out of here,” Mitch warned. The man grasped his broken arm, wheeled, and sprinted out of sight. Mitch kicked the knife into the oleander.
Directing his powers toward the lock, he heard it click open and walked through. At the top of the stairs, there was a door. Again, the lock was no problem, and he walked into the silent apartment. Small kitchen to the left, living room in front of him and a door down a short hall that had to be to the bedroom. He stalked toward it angry and ready to tear something apart that he was even doing this.
As he opened the door, a flare of energy shot toward him, which he blocked with his hand, throwing it to the ground. “Now was that nice?” he asked realizing that she wasn’t quite as defenseless as he had assumed.