Jedi stood up and left his half-finished whiskey to follow after her.
“You don’t have to come with me, you know?”
“In the mood you’re in . . . yeah, I do. There’s no telling what kind of trouble you’ll find on your own.”
She laughed at the truth of that statement. God help whoever came across her tonight. She might gut them just for the distraction.
Contract or not.
Jedi held the door open for her. “I know you don’t like working with the Tavali, but the Septs are looking for Runners.”
She grimaced at the mere thought as they left the bar for the deserted street. “They don’t pay contract help enough to make it worth our while.” Especially given the danger. If they were caught blocking League officials from the pirates, they could be executed for it.
If they were caught with Tavali cargo or gear, they’d be tortured and then executed.
Given how little the Tavali paid for that kind of risk . . .
Not worth it.
“I’d rather find a war to fight in.”
Jedi snorted. “We have plenty of those to choose from.”
Even sadder was that the pay wasn’t much better and you usually had to wait longer for it.
Damn. She had to do something to up her revenue stream.
Eve paused as she suddenly heard something off in the distance.
Instinctively, her hand went to her blaster.
What the hell was that?
She gently pulled Jedi behind her so that she could stare into the dark.
“What’s going on?” he whispered.
She gestured for him to stay put as she crept toward the alley behind them. It could just be vermin scurrying. A hobo finding a spot for a bed or a drink.
Or something much more lethal.
Since her life hung in the balance, she wanted to assess the threat before she casually dismissed it.
Making sure to cling to the shadows, she skimmed them until she was at the opening and could peer in without being seen.
At first glance, it looked empty.
Until she saw something out of place. Most would never have seen it, but most people weren’t part Andarion. They didn’t have her heightened vision or hearing that she’d inherited from her grandmother.
Indeed, humans passed off her darker complexion and tall, athletic build as Hyshian and she let them. The only hint she had of her Andarion genes was her black hair that she kept in warrior braids. But again, people just assumed it was a human color since she lacked the traditional Andarion fangs.
That was fine by her.
She liked catching others unawares.
But she didn’t want anyone sneaking up on her . . .
Slowly, carefully, she crept toward the outline of a boot, while making sure to stay attentive to the shadows around her where an accomplice might be lurking.
Eve pulled the light out of her pocket and used it to illuminate the alley.
Only trash and filth littered the forgotten area. Until the beam reached the boot. She followed that up a long, long leg that was wrapped in a black League uniform.
A uniform she’d seen not long ago . . .
“Holy fuck!” Jedi’s low, unexpected voice made her jump.
“Damn It, Jed! You scared the shit out of me! Make some noise when you move!” How anyone so tall could be so quiet, she’d never understand.
Of course, his ability to move like a ghost was exactly why she’d hired him, but at the moment . . .
It only made her want to shoot him.
“Sorry. I didn’t know what you were doing and I was worried.” He took the light from her and shined it on the face of the very man who’d saved her. “That’s an assassin, right?”
Jedi turned around and scanned the street and alley. “Is he alone?”
“Think so. Black suits usually only work solo.” That was what made them so incredibly lethal.
“Is he First Rank?”
She shook her head. She’d never seen an assassin that high-ranking, but Jinx was close. Only one rank below. “Second.”
Eve gestured at his uniform. “Third has black skull-and-dagger stitching only. First would have red stitching like our friend, but with a crown over the sword hilt. That makes this guy a Second Rank Commander.”
“Fuck me. Let’s go.”
That would be the intelligent thing to do. No doubt, anyone else wouldn’t hesitate to run.
But she wasn’t normal and most days her intelligence hid like a skittish virgin at a raunchy bachelor party.
Besides, she owed Jinx for what he’d done. She wasn’t about to pay him back by leaving him here in the gutter.
“Hold the light.”
Jedi laughed. “Hold the light? Are you out of your mind? I saw this movie. It ended badly for the idiot with the light and wasn’t any better for the one who went off into the dark.”
“Would you stop? If he was going to attack, we’d already be dead. Now let me make sure he’s still breathing.”
“We’re not that lucky and if he is dead, good. Make sure you don’t leave your prints on his body.”