Bitter Bite(Elemental Assassin #14)(91) by Jennifer Estep
And it worked.
The guards expected me to run as far and as fast as I could, not to double back and spy on their boss. They didn’t even consider the fact that I could be hiding so close to the warehouse, and more than one man ran right by me as they moved deeper into the shipping yard.
Tucker paced back and forth for a minute, texting furiously. His phone beeped back, and a smile curved his face. I frowned. What was he up to? He should be pissed that I’d escaped, not looking as pleased as punch.
Part of me wanted to slither out of the shadows, sneak up behind him, and put a bullet through his head. But two giants were standing by his side with guns out, so there was no way I could get close enough to kill the vampire. I stayed in my hiding spot, watching and waiting.
Tucker punched a button on his phone, then held it up to his ear. “Blanco escaped,” he said. “No, she didn’t shoot Deirdre. We have no leverage. She’s not going to fall in line.”
Well, he was certainly right about that.
“She has no idea who we are,” he continued. “The meeting can still take place as scheduled next month.”
My ears perked up. What meeting? Where? I needed more info.
“I’ve already put our contingency plan in place.” He checked his watch. “In fact, it should be coming to fruition any second now—”
Ice magic blasted me in the back.
I screamed, and another blast hit me in the same spot, freezing and burning my skin at the same time. The pain was bad enough, but even worse, the force threw me out of my hiding spot and sent me tumbling to the ground in the middle of the row of containers, right where Tucker could see me. He casually waved his hand, and his two guards raced in my direction.
My lungs felt as though they were frozen solid inside my body, and I gasped for air, even as I tried to scramble across the snow to where my stolen gun and phone had landed. But Tucker’s guards reached me first. They grabbed my arms and dragged me along the cold, snowy ground, then threw me down right in front of the vamp.
Tucker gestured for someone to step forward. A few seconds later, Deirdre limped up to his side, smirking down at me, the blue-white flames of her Ice magic dancing along her fingertips. She was favoring her right leg, and blood still oozed out of the cuts that dotted her body, but her silverstone cuffs were gone, and her face was smug now instead of fearful.
“I told you that she would double back and try to spy on you,” Deirdre said. “Just like Fletcher would have done. You really need to quit being so predictable, Gin.”
I huddled on my knees and focused on forcing air in and out of my frozen lungs, even as my hands curled into the snow, searching for a rock or a piece of metal or something else—anything else—that I could use to wipe that smirk off her face.
“Deirdre convinced me to give her a chance to redeem herself,” Tucker said. “Said that she could get you before you got out of the shipping yard. Looks like she was right.”
So that’s why he’d been standing out in the open—as bait. He’d wanted me to creep close enough for Deirdre to sucker-punch me in the back with her Ice magic, and I’d fallen right into their trap. I wondered if Tucker’s call had been fake too. No way to know.
He waved his hand at the Ice elemental. “Freeze her, and then my men can drop her into the river.”
Deirdre loomed over me, the flames of her Ice magic burning cold and bright on her fingertips. “I’m going to enjoy this,” she hissed.
I reached for my Stone magic, using it to harden my skin again, but she’d already frozen part of me, and I didn’t have the strength to fend off more of her magic.
Deirdre smirked at me a final time, then drew her hands back to unload on me—
A black bullet hole appeared in the middle of Deirdre’s hand, snuffing out her Ice magic and making her scream.
Another hole appeared in her shoulder, driving her away from me.
And a final kill shot, straight through her cold, cold heart.
Finn was here.
My brother was the only one who could make those kinds of shots, especially on a snowy, moonlit night.
And he’d just killed his own mother so that I could live.
Deirdre toppled to the ground, her blood turning the snow a startling scarlet. I scrambled forward on my hands and knees and yanked her icicle-heart rune necklace from her throat. It was a foolish risk, but I wanted Finn to have it.
“Kill her!” Tucker ordered, ducking behind his own man for cover. “Kill her now!”
The other giant stepped forward and snapped up his gun. I tensed, ready to throw myself at his legs and try to spoil his shot—
Finn put a bullet in the shooter’s head, and the man dropped to the ground beside Deirdre. I snatched up his gun, scrambled to my feet, and fired off shot after shot at Tucker and his other guard. I was backpedaling toward the shipping containers the whole time, so my aim was lousy, but my wild shots had them ducking down and running in the opposite direction.
Drawn by the gunfire, other giants sprinted from the warehouse in my direction. I fired at them until my gun ran out of bullets, and I tossed the weapon aside in disgust. I darted forward, grabbed the stolen phone and the gun that I’d dropped earlier, and quickly emptied that weapon too.
The guards realized that I was out of ammo, and they quickened their pace, trying to catch me before I could disappear into the shadows.
Finn put the guards down before any of them could get close to me. I sprinted through the rows of shipping containers, looking right and left. Another giant stepped out from behind a container ten feet in front of me, already raising his weapon. I skidded to a stop and reached for my Stone magic again, wondering if I could harden my skin before he pulled the trigger—
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