A Darklands Novel. You can bring them in from the wild, but you can't always tame them. Fallon is a man with a bloody past, and a rough and ready way with justice. Rain is a woman on the run, and now she's under his command. She's outsmarted men before, but is she woman enough to handle him?
It hurt. Rain glanced over her shoulder, crouched on the gritty alley floor. The fall had skinned her palms and knees, and the wounds stung. But they were coming; she could hear them over the sounds of midnight traffic, though she didn’t try to peer into the glare of streetlights. She ran.
Breathless, trembling with adrenaline and exhaustion, she forced herself into a stumbling lope. Her sweat-soaked jeans and t-shirt had turned clammy, adding to the misery. She would have loved to ditch her ragged jacket and pack, but didn’t dare; they comprised all of her worldly goods, and she needed them in the chill London fog.
Scaling the chain link fence at the end of the alley was easy, evading the snarling Doberman who went for her throat was not. With no time for regret, she gave it a hearty kick, sprinted across the lawn and jumped, grabbing the top of the ornate stone fence. She swung her legs up and slipped over, barely making it before the dog sunk teeth into her.
Another empty alley.
Stink rose to assault her nostrils, and she groaned. Thanks, Fido. If she didn’t watch it, her hunters would smell her coming. To add insult to injury, she started to sneeze. Great. Wonderful time for canine allergies to strike.
Trying to catch her breath, she moved cautiously down the white-lit brick canyon, praying she’d lost them. She sneezed again, tried to muffle it. She was so tired. The next time she fell, she might not get up.
Listening, straining her preternaturally keen ears to catch any noise, she searched for sounds of pursuit. Finding none, she slowly relaxed and sank against the chilly wall, ignoring the trash at her feet. She’d made it.
Suddenly light exploded into the alley. Deafened by the shouts of men and barking dogs, blinded by the sudden glow, Rain saw death coming and despaired.
A slap accompanied the brutal voice, jerking Rain from the comfort of darkness. Moaning, she pried open her eyes and blinked at the murky cell. She didn’t remember coming there, but she did recall being jabbed with something. Cuffs bound her wrists behind her, and her rear was planted on a hard wooden chair. Did they mean to question her? The word torture flitted across her mind, and she shuddered. Please, God, no!
Her tormenter, a scarred blighter in working class clothes, took a narrow-eyed look at her and glanced at the other man in the cell, an older gentleman in a suit. What hair he had left was iron gray, perfectly matching the winter coldness in his faded blue eyes. He looked her over and smiled without humor. “Rain, is it? Daughter of Rian Miller?”
She shivered. “Who are you?”
The smile-that-wasn’t curved his lips again. “Taught you some unusual things, didn’t he? Lock picking, shooting…how to run and how to hide.”
Nervous now, she felt the cold sweat start again. Her father had been dead for a year; killed by the very people she now suspected held her, but few people had really known him, known what he was. These people were not so blissfully ignorant.