Damian's Assassin (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 14)

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Someone beat on the door across the hall loud enough for Bianca to hear over the TV and sporadic thunder. She rose, bored after being trapped alone the whole day in the condo, and peered through the peephole. Two large men stood in front of the door across the hall. Unease spiraled through her. She'd only seen men built like that in Dusty's organization and Talon's gang. Dusty's men would know where to find her.

The two looked up and down the hallway, then withdrew a lock pick set. One turned all the way around to ensure no one was watching. His eyes flashed red.

She gasped and stepped away, heart pounding. She tiptoed away from the door. The building swayed gently in the strong winds whipping through southern Florida, and water pelted the windows across from her. It was in the middle of the afternoon, but the skies were dark grey.

She had no phone, no way of contacting Dusty or Jenn or Darian. She hadn't been able to log onto Dusty's computer, because he kept it locked out. She had no money, no purse …

Keys. She had Dusty's car. She pulled on jeans and a sweater, hands shaking as she pulled on socks. She snatched the keys and jammed them in her pocket then peered through the peephole again.

One of the men was in plain sight in the middle of the condo opposite hers, waiting on the other. She ran to the bedroom and flipped on the TV loud then hid in the coat closet beside the front door.

Their knocking made her heart flip, and she covered her mouth at her gasp. She heard the locks slide, one by one. The door opened, and she heard the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked as they entered. She peered through the crack in the door until certain they both entered the bedroom, then opened the closet door and slid out the opened front door.

She sprinted down the hall and ducked into the doorway to the stairwell. No one followed. She opened the stairwell door and hurried down the stairs two floors then darted into a hallway to the elevator.

The descent to the garage seemed longer than the longest car ride she'd ever taken. She jumped when the door dinged finally as she reached the garage. The scent of rain and oil made her nose crinkle after so long in the condo. She clicked the buttons on the key fob until Dusty's car blinked in response, then trotted to it.

Hands shaking, she looked around the car's interior for a cell. Or a map. There was an old-school cell phone in the glove box. Anxious never, ever to run into Talon or his men again, she left the garage and drove through the streets. Water streamed through the gutters, and those cars out in the storm crawled block-to-block.

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