Her feet skidded on the icy sidewalk. She nearly lost her balance twice before she reached the entrance to the dark alley.
Where her mouth fell open.
If she’d thought Pete needed protecting, she’d been wrong. He had Busir pinned against the side of the brick building and was easily in complete control of the situation.
Blood trickled down his temple. Redness and the beginnings of what looked to be a nasty bruise were forming near his eye. But what stopped her cold was the look of pure malevolence in his eyes as he stared into the face of a killer.
This was the side of him she hadn’t known. The side that turned a blind eye to what was right, negotiated deals on the shady side and stayed one step ahead of the law along the way. It was also the side that contracted with rapists and murderers and men who would do what ever it took to get what they wanted.
She didn’t realize she’d spoken the word out loud until Pete’s head whipped her way.
Surprise and confusion raced across his bruised features. “What the hell?”
Busir used that moment to take the upper hand. He lifted his arm, and with a move Kat barely tracked, plunged a hypodermic needle into Pete’s neck.
Pete hollered, jerked his attention back to Busir. His eyes flared. He reached up, pulled the needle from his neck and stared at it. In the split second of Pete’s confusion, Busir shifted out from the wall and plowed his fist into the side of Pete’s face. Pete hit the wall, ricocheted off. Then lunged at Busir, taking them both down to the ground hard.
Kat screeched and jumped back as the two grappled. Fists flew, and bodies smacked the hard concrete. She knew she needed to do something, but she was too stunned to do more than stare, especially because Pete was handling his own and beating the crap out of Busir.
Until, that is, he threw a punch that missed its mark by a foot. And another. And another.
Oh, God. That needle had to have hit an artery or a vein. He was fading fast and losing what ever advantage he’d just gained.
Blood and sweat dripped down Busir’s face. When Pete blinked and gave his head a swift shake, Busir wriggled out from under him and pushed to his feet. Back to her, looking down at Pete who was fi ghting to stand himself, Busir let out a low chuckle. One Kat had heard years before and would never forget. It was all she needed to shock her right back to reality.
She charged before she could change her mind and hit Busir hard in the back with the stun gun. He jolted, screamed, whipped around. And she hit him again dead in the chest without even a second thought.
She gritted her teeth and held on to the stun gun. Even as his coal-black eyes focused on her. His body jerked and seized. His eyes rolled back in his head, and then he fell to his knees, finally slumping forward on the ground where he continued to twitch as electrical impulses flickered through his body.
Slick with sweat and breathing heavy, she stared down at what she’d done for the second time tonight. Not an inkling of remorse rushed through her. At that moment, she understood how men could kill. He deserved that and so much more for what he’d done to Sawil. To Shannon. To her.
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