chapter 1
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- you eat that? -

I looked over my shoulder to see my twin sister giving me the doe eyes. With her bright pink floral dress, lace hat, golden hair, and rose cheeks, she looked completely out of place in this tavern. I wondered why I let her out tonight, we were here for a gig, not a fancy dinner.

- suit yourself – I said, not even making eye contact.

- killjoy – she muttered under her breath.

I chose to ignore her, not wanting to start another argument about what we did for a living and why we should keep a low profile; not here, not again, not tonight.

The front door swung open, revealing the reason why we were in this shithole of a tavern. I’d never met him before, and the Mercy had only given me his name and an item to look for. With a scarred face, an all-black and leather outfit, and weighing at least 290 pounds, he stood out with a fragile poppy in his jacket’s pocket. He approached me after noticing the same bright red item stuck on my baseball hat. He dropped an envelope at our table, creating a cloud of dust and making my twin sneeze.

- tomorrow. 8 am – he only said before leaving without waiting for my response.

- let’s go – I told my sister standing

- but I’m still eating... - she began to complain

- Riley...I said – I stared at her openly leaving no room for argument – let’s go -

she sighed, but stood and together we left, the envelope secured under my jacket.

We walked till the underground station and silently waited for the train to arrive. Riley was still holding a grudge, but I ignored her, we had a job to do, we needed to focus: go home, read the details and plan how to do it in about twelve hours from now. Piece of cake.

When the train arrived, we jumped aboard and sat down until our stop. A young girl sat beside me, her blue eyes fixed on mine.
I almost didn’t hear her when she said - I finally found you. -
- Excuse me? - I inquired.

She laughed loudly and walked away without saying anything. I assumed she was insane. I felt a sting on my left arm and looked over to see what it was, but there was nothing over my jacket. I noticed my sister bleeding in the same spot where I felt the sting. It was a luminescent drop of blood with a purple tint.
I didn’t even have time to look up when three guys were hovering above us and more were approaching.
Shit shit shit

- run - I yelled to Riley, who looked at me puzzled but didn’t question me and jumped to his left.

Her lovely pink gown ripped, and a black wolf hit the ground and began running at the end of the train’s cabin. Smart choice, I thought to myself as I watched her beast speed up until I couldn’t see her anymore. I noticed the same young girl from before vanish behind her, attempting to catch up relying on her human speed. She’ll never catch up to her. I shifted my gaze to the three men in front of me and smiled, the sociopath’s kind of smile.

- well well – I mocked them

- shut the fuck up Rose – one of them called out to me

I blatantly cleaned my face with the back of my hand from his saliva drops

- didn’t your mother teach you not to talk with your mouth full? -

- we’ll see how smartass you are when we take you to Roberto -

- ooooh – I said – I see. Is that what it’s all about? Does Roberto want me? Or does he intend to use me against Rocco? Which one, boys, tell me, I’m curious -

none of them answered

- well – I continued while keeping an eye on the small crowd of men that had formed behind the trio and was circling me. – tell Roberto, I am not anyone’s pet and will not fight his battle. - I stood and made a move on the left of the guy who spoke when the other two jumped on me.

- oh guys come on – I laughed – didn’t Roberto teach you any manners? -

I pivoted myself beneath them and freed my legs.

- Please allow me, gentlemen – I growled

I hit the one directly above me with my forehead then kicked him in his groins, one out two to go. Ah Roberto, I thought, you never learn. The other two charged at me at the same time, their pitiful claws aimed at my face. I span under the unconscious man over me, I barely hit him, and yet here he was, unconscious over me. Then I used his body as a shield to keep my face from getting scarred

- not the face folks – I mocked them

they snarled at me, their squared teeth showing. I laughed showing off my perfect killing set of sharp teeth

- you’re such a bad imitation – I said still laughing.

I jumped out of the train as the door to a random station opened, not wanting to draw someone’s attention in the fight. The two men left the unconscious man behind and followed me. The train door shut just in time to stop the small army of minions. I dashed up the stairwell into the dim light of the city, waiting for the despicable duo, making sure they saw where I was going so they wouldn’t get lost. Such morons.

I waved to them as they saw me and I started running in the nearest alley. I pivoted on my feet when I reached the dead end and I waited for the two stupid big gorillas to come and get me.

- it’s over Rose – one of them said

- ah – I laughed – I’m just warming up -

They charged at me, their claws extended. I knelt down and turned on my bent legs sticking out my left one to hit both of them in their shins. My trick only worked for one of them, who chaotically landed on his ass. The other one jumped just in time and landed on my outstreatched leg, bending my knee backward. That hurt like hell. I rolled onto my back to get away from the wrecking ball in front of me. Without putting any weight on my broken leg I jumped on my opponent and clawed his torso, leaving five deep marks on his chest, blood oozing out and staining his khaki jacket. What a questionable fashion choice, I thought. He flinched but quickly recovered and landed on me a solid punch in the gut. I knelt just in time to avoid a second one, my arms raised to protect my face as well. I growled once more, my teeth in display. Meanwhile, the other one had recovered and jumped on my back, biting hard in my shoulder, I could feel thick blood leaking out from the gash. I spun around and smacked him in his solar plexus with my elbow; he let go of me trying to catch his breath. I was about to kick the one in front of me when they both jumped on me, knocking me down. I wriggled and rolled away, quickly getting up and launching myself on whoever managed to stand. I bit a solid chunk of his shoulder off, licking his blood from my mouth. Bleah, he tasted rotten, wrong and messed up; oh Roberto what have you done with these two?. The second one was on me in seconds grabbing my hair pulling hard. You fucking dare to touch my hair? I wondered as I screamed in surprise. Engulfed by rage, I pivoted and kicked and punched and bit and God knows what else. They tried to attack me in pair again and I blocked every hit, ignoring pain and fatigue. Their weight was suddenly lifted from me, and I heard a deep, vibrant male voice.

- two vs. one? - the men mocked them – that’s not fair -

I only stood there to see Roberto’s minions piled up on the ground, unconscious. I focused my attention on the mysterious men who “rescued” me as if I was a mild damsel in distress. I arched one of my brows at him

- I had it all under control – I said between my teeth

- is that how you thank your savior? - he laughed at my manners

- thank you – I told him lifting my chin – and who the hell are you? -

- sassy – he smiled at me – I like it -

he turned to leave without wasting a second glare to me

- wait – I called him out.

- we’ll meet again – he said over his shoulder – try not to get in any trouble till then -

I didn’t have the time to respond because he turned the corner and walked out of the alley. Who the hell was he? I could feel a strange aura, nothing I’d ever felt before, certainly nothing human, so what is he? He seemed to recognize me, or at least what I am. Is he another one of Roberto’s guys? Maybe Rocco’s? I had no idea. I brushed off my clothes and left, my mind racing with questions about him.

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