Alexis stood outside of the small, weathered hotel room she’d reserved and scanned the horizon. She’d made it to Nowheresville, North Carolina without a single Hunter sighting. Granted, it had taken her three days to make it here, but that had more to do with the ridiculous amount of energy she spent to stay away from heavily populated areas, avoiding the areas that she remembered had past issues with Lycans, and trying to be mindful of her healing stomach.
She sighed and went back inside to stare at the horror-movie-ugly tropical wallpaper and depressing furniture. All of it needed to be updated. One look at the front desk clerk/owner, and Alexis had known that the man’s beaten body wasn’t capable nor did it care for things like twenty first century amenities. The room was missing a shiny new flat screen mounted on the wall or nice faux marble counter tops in the bathroom. The only TV she had to watch was a turn knob set that, when she checked, only had three channels. The bathroom was a beach-bungalow-don’t. Overall, the décor was a clusterfuck of stuff that didn’t make sense. The depressed beach atmosphere was at odds with the fact that the hotel was over a hundred miles away from any beach. Maybe it was to remind the guests of where they really wanted to be.
She collapsed on the well-worn bed and thought of her next move. She needed to turn in her rental and get a new one sometime soon. Over the next few days, she would have to make it to New York, and eventually she would make her way to Ireland. Flying to Ireland would be both cheaper and faster, but taking a cruise would give her some time to decompress.
Ireland was the perfect place to go. Very few Lycans lived there, and Hunters never stayed for long durations. Alexis was sure that Ireland was one of the few places where she would be able to relax a little until Kyran pulled together whatever he was trying to do. That was her plan, despite knowing that when the war did come to an end she wouldn’t be around to appreciate it.
She was just getting comfortable when there was a knock at her door. She drew her weapon and glanced through the peephole. It was the front desk clerk. She cracked the door as far as the slip chain would allow. It was a flimsy defense, but paranoia and overzealous defenses would keep her alive.
“Hi, ma’am. I just wanted to check and make sure you were cool enough. These old AC units don’t work as well as they should sometimes.”
“Yes, I’m fine. Thank you.”
“Well, if you need anything feel free to let me know.”
“Thanks, will do. Goodnight.”
She closed the door, slid the deadlock in place, and went over to the backpack Ronan had given her before she left. He had tried to give her his credit card, but she refused. She didn’t need a way for anyone to track her, but she also carried cash – a hundred grand –on her at all times. That paranoia and knowledge that her parents had been gunning for her death for years made carrying cash a necessity.
Fifteen minutes later, she had finished cleaning, oiling and reloading her guns when another knock sounded at the door. This time the clerk wanted to know if she had enough towels. Ten minutes later, she answered it to have him give her info on the local area. Another knock sounded and Alexis rose from the bed and stashed away any hopes that she would get a restful night’s sleep.
“Yes?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, but I wanted to warn you that the local sheriff just called to say there is a bear wandering around. He is notorious for rummaging near city limits.”
“Thanks. I think I’ll be okay.”
“Well, I don’t know if you are licensed to carry, but just remember to shoot as fast as you are accurate.”
“I’ll remember that.”
She tried to keep the shock off of her face as he told her some information on the continental breakfast she could get in the morning before he excused himself back to the front office. She closed the door on his latest interruption and began packing up her cleaning supplies.
She wasn’t staying for breakfast. If the décor was any indication, she might die from ingesting it. Not to mention the fact that there was something up with the clerk.
No hotel, at least not one this unloved, would allow its clerks to be so overly attentive. She felt like he was checking on her. Whoever he was he knew the mantra about how to shoot that Torin had taught her. Was it possible that the old man just happened to know it? Yes, but she wouldn’t take any chances.
Alexis tensed as a soft rustling brought her attention from slipping on her holster. There was a slight chance that the sound came from the room adjacent to hers, but walls weren’t that thin. Were they? She shook her head, because from what she remembered, there had only been one other car in the parking lot, and it was in front of one of the rooms towards the other end of the lot. The only logical place the sound could come from would be from the back of the hotel where a tree-lined field was located.
She rolled to the floor as silently as she could, keeping her body below the low lying window. It wouldn’t matter if whoever was outside had infrared, but she had to assume that they didn’t.
She grabbed her bag and slung the straps over her shoulders just as two shots fired.
The rounds entered low on the wall and buried themselves in Sheetrock next to her.
Shit, high powered rifles with barrel silencers. Fan-fucking-tastic.