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Last Call

by Lara Apps

O’Byrne’s pub was quiet that evening. David was gaunt, pale, and red-eyed. From across the room, I watched him knock back whiskey doubles all night. At last call, he raised his glass to me and drained it. He stood up and headed for the back door, weaving slightly.

I finished my lager and followed him.

He was waiting for me in the alley, slouched against a car, hands jammed in the pockets of his jeans. His silver eyes gleamed. I drew the .357 from beneath my leather jacket and held it in front of my body, muzzle pointed at the ground. I stopped several feet away from him and held up my hunter’s badge.

“I’ve been looking for you,” he said. He tilted his head, sniffing the air. “Do you always carry silver bullets?”

“A girl can’t be too careful.”

“You’re expecting me to fight.”

“The others did — or they ran.”

He gave me a mirthless smile. “For all the good it did them.”

I shrugged. The hunter squads were ruthlessly efficient.

“I’m the last one. But you must know that.”

“Yes. I’m sorry.”

He pushed himself off the car and moved closer to me. I shut my eyes against the raw grief and loneliness in his steady gaze.

“End it now,” he said softly. “Please, Michelle.”

“That’s not what I came here for.” I dropped my badge and holstered the gun. I pulled my shirt collar down to expose my neck.

“Let’s start over,” I said.

Copyright © 2005 by Lara Apps

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