necking back by the johns before she’d even left. Ohwell. That timing thing again.She crossed Decatur and headed toward theparking lot where her dented Volvo sat in the dark-ness. The main lot had been full when she arrivedafter work, forcing her into the overow boonies.She didn’t mind the walk. The breeze coming off theMississippi was cool on her arms and face, a treatafter the sticky afternoon heat.Her heels crunched on gravel as she left thepaved area of the lot. She could hear the water andthe lonesome sound of a big barge moving upriver.The muted revelry of New Orleans was behind her,but where she was headed, alone in the dark, it wassilent. Except for her footsteps and the sudden deepvibration of that strange rumble again.What
that? It sounded like the growl of some big dog.She glanced over her shoulder and quickenedher step, even though she didn’t see anything in thedeserted lot. Probably a hungry stray nosing aroundthe overowing trash cans, warning her off.She should have asked one of the girls to walkwith her. But she loved the spicy fun of the Quarter,and had never felt afraid after dark before.She let out a breath of relief when she reachedher car. Dim light from the other section of the lotcast her reection in the car window, a pretty youngwoman—with something huge, dark, and indistin-guishable rising up over her shoulder.