strictly one-time-only caress of regret. Smooth, soft, and warm, even in the damp cold of the
morning, her skin tempted him with possibilities. But…
“No.” He couldn’t do it to
her.She shivered under his touch. Her breath caught, sounding almost panicked. As she spunaway from him with a quick, nervous smile, the sun sparked red against the brown of herhair. And when she stilled, fitting her key to the car lock, the red remained
a round, red,definite dot.
He hurled himself into her, knocking her flat on the ground with his body over hers. Eventhrough the thud and her involuntary cry, he heard the snap of the bullet hitting the tenementwall only feet away. Her eyes, huge, stunned, frightened, stared into his.She jerked under him in obvious panic, kicking and pushing against his shoulders with thehand she had free.
“Keep down,” he said urgently. A quick glance confirmed what he already knew: a long
street of teneme
nts without a turnoff. “Our only cover is the parked cars. First doorway wecan get into, take it.”
He moved off her, dragging her to her knees and then her feet, still crouched behind the car.A glance over his shoulder caught the figure balanced on the tenement roof on the other sideof Leith Walk, rifle raised for another shot.
He didn’t wait for it but bolted along MacDonald Road, dragging the girl with him. He
crashed his shoulder into the first door, shattering the security lock, and almost fell into thecommon entrance, pulling the girl with him. Something whizzed into the door as it fell closed
again behind them, but he didn’t pause to look.
He bolted past the stairs, past the curious old lady in a dressing gown at the front door of thefirst flat, and straight to the door at the back of the building that led out to the communalyard.
“What’s going on?” Nell gasped out.
“A hit,” he answered, swiftly scanning the yard before he pulled her on toward the opening
into what looked like a ca
r park beyond. “Silenced but just as deadly.”
“Someone’s trying to kill you?” she squeaked.
“And you, I’m afraid.”