The lust for him vanished as quickly as it had come, leaving in its wake fear and disgust. Fear usually leads to a fight-or-flight response; being a werewolf, I don’t have much flight in me. I was close enough to his throat to sink my teeth in–still sharp, even if they sort of looked human–and rip out a sizable chunk. Leave him to bleed to death on the green-and-turqoise-checked carpet below us.
Sure. Great idea. Right in front of the bartender. Even though he was at the other end of the bar, pretending not to watch, he’d be sure to see a spray of blood.
The hand on my thigh tightened painfully. The background man with the green eyes said, “You are not human.”
It felt like he was trying to crush my femur. I grabbed his wrist and applied a little superhuman pressure of my own. “Your name really Curt Connors?”
He hissed. His hand loosened. Mine didn’t.
The bartender walked slowly toward us. “Everything okay down here?”
Stupid me, I turned my head and smiled at him. “Everything’s fine,” I said, too concerned about appearances to pay full attention to Reptile Boy. When I turned back to him, he slammed his forehead into my cheek. I fell off the stool, releasing his hand at some point during my descent.
My back hit the carpet, then my head. I saw black loafers, nondescript just like their wearer, scamper out of Music Macaw’s. The side of my face throbbed. Curt Connors’s thick skull had broken my cheekbone.
“Shit, you okay?” The bartender was leaning so far over the edge of the bar I was afraid he’d fall on top of me. I rolled onto my knees. My cheekbone moved. I was careful to keep that side of my face away from the barkeeper. It was healing.
“Fine,” I said, getting to my feet. The throbbing faded away.
“Was that the guy you were looking for?”
“Yeah. I guess he’s not in love.”
I ran out of the bar after giving my Panama hat-wearing friend fifty bucks not to call the police. No sign of Connors. What sort of vehicle would a lizard man drive? Based on the rest of him, I’d guess something common, something in brown or gray. Not that it mattered. I had a pretty good idea of where he was heading.
I got out my cell phone. It rang in my hand. The number was Jennifer Malone’s.
“Get out of the house,” I said right after pressing Accept. “Get in your car and head to the nearest cop station . . . that should be on Lincoln Boulevard. Take the back way. Don’t let anyone see you–”
She screamed. I had been jogging to my Mustang. I shifted into high gear. “Jennifer?”
“I can’t . . . can’t move. It . . . something’s . . . it’s coming, oh my God–”
“What’s coming?” My hand was on my car’s door handle. “Jennifer?”
Silence from the other end. I yanked open the door, tossed the phone onto the passenger seat, and cranked the engine. The slightly modified V-8 roared to life.
I left the Oceanview Hotel’s parking lot at roughly sixty miles per hour.