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“Let’s just say… this isn’t my first time at theescape and hideoutrodeo,” I told her – a non-answer she’d have to accept, because there wasn’t anything more I could give.

“Well, thank you for helping us get out of there. Do you have any clue who that guy was?”

I shook my head. “Nope,” I lied.

The truth wouldn’t make her any safer.

Movement outside the window had my head back on a swivel, my hand going to the gun on my hip. Relief sank through my shoulders when I realized it was just a neighbor bringing groceries in, but still... it highlighted a very real flaw in using this place as a hideout.

There were too many people, too many eyes here.

This wasnotthe place to lay low, not for long.

“Well, I’m exhausted from all this,” May declared, with a loud ass yawn. “I’m going to lay down for a bit, and get some rest. You should do the same.”

Yeah right.

I guess it wasn’t completely surprising that she didn’t recognize the full extent of danger here, but ifIhad almost been blown up, sleep would be the last thing on my mind.

Well… I guess Ihadalmost been blown up, which would explain why sleep was the last thing on my mind.

“You go ahead,” I told her, turning my attention back to the window. “I’ll keep a look out.”

May groaned. “If you’re not going to rest, at least let me make you some tea or something. That was a long drive, and you didn’t eat when May and I did.”

I didn’t want any damn tea, but she looked so eager, so desperate to do something for me that I nodded.

“Sure. A cup of tea would be lovely, but please – remember to be mindful of the lights.”

If the people who lived here were supposed to be off in Florida, the neighbors would get suspicious if we started attracting unnecessary attention. While May was in the kitchen, I kept my eyes on the entrance to the shared parking lot and the road – the only ways to access the building.

So at least there wasonesecurity benefit.

A few minutes later, May brought me the tea, and it smelled so good that I was glad I’d chosen to be polite. I took a careful sip of the steaming liquid, making sure not to burn my tongue even as I responded immediately to flavor and sweetness.

“Mmm.This is really good. Thank you,” I told her, savoring another sip – I needed the sugar, and caffeine to help me to stay alert.

May headed off to get the rest she’d said she needed, and I went back to my task of watching the road, fighting the increasing heaviness of my eyes.

I’ddefinitelylost my touch.

At the peak of my training, just before the disbanding of theGarden, I could go forty-eight hours without sleep, and still be alert.

I’d gotten lazy now, and hadn’t been doing anything to supplement that, or keep my senses nearly as sharp as I should.

And now, I was paying for it, with an escalating inability to keep my eyes open.

I stood up, pacing the floor to try to get my blood flowing a little better to keep myself away, and… that’s when I heard it.


Frowning, I crept on light feet towards the room where May had disappeared to –notthe same room where Amelia was resting. Up close, I could tell she was speaking to someone, and she sounded… angry.

And desperate.

What is going on?

Still fighting my own exhaustion, I raised my gun and flung the door open to find May in just a tank top and jeans, a cell phone propped between her ear and shoulder. On the bed in front of her was a suitcase full of money – and there was even more taped in bundles of hundred-dollar bills around May’s waist.

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