Walking side by side, Morgan felt the weight and warmth of Derek’s hand on the middle of her back as he walked to her left, nearest the curb. Looking up at him, she smiled and felt a jolt run through her when he smiled back at her and winked.
Turning the corner at the intersection, apprehension prickled her, a shiver running down her spine. She looked back. In the shadows of an office building, she thought she saw brief movement and slowed her steps.
Derek stopped and looked back also. “What’s wrong?”
“I thought I saw somebody. At the coffee house, I had the strangest feeling, like somebody was watching me.”
Derek frowned. “Let’s get to the cars.”
Turning, he grasped her elbow and all but pulled her forward. Not arguing, she hurried to keep up with his long strides, eager to get off the unlit street and into her car.
Mid-block, passing an abandoned building, they heard a noise. Not stopping to look, they moved faster. Morgan saw a dark form in her peripheral vision appear to separate from the side of the building to her right. It leapt at her and she screamed.
“Shit,” Derek said, yanking her behind him, placing himself between her and them man who’d jumped out. The man crashed into him, pushing him into Morgan, causing her to fall backward and to the ground, her bag sliding off her arm.
While the men scuffled, she crawled to her purse, digging through it for her gun, cursing herself for carrying such a large bag. Her fingers closed around the weapon just as she heard a groan. Simultaneously turning and pulling the gun out, she stood, catching a glimpse of Derek on the ground. Then she was grabbed from behind, the gun knocked from her hand, landing on the ground a few feet away. The attacker held her arms behind her back and leaned over her, fangs glinting in the light of the moon. Eyes widening, she struggled to get away. She heard a hiss and then felt a sharp pain in her neck. Still she struggled until her energy began to fade. Her vision got hazy and she felt lightheaded. The last thing she saw before everything went black was the ground rushing to meet her.