Nothing ever happens the way you expect it to. Even the most detailed plans wind up spiraling to oblivion’s bowels if you forget that one, minor, impossible-to-see detail.
Then again, this was the first job I’d actually planned to the letter. I’m more of a wing-it-as-she-runs thief. Hasn’t always worked out for me in the past, and neither had this.
Face it, Gemma. You just have terrible luck.
“I know you’re here, girl,” the marauder below me growled, silencing my internal voice. “Come out now, and I won’t be too hard on you.” His boots creaked against the wooden floorboards as he stalked through the attic, glancing at the stacks of dusty crates and wondering which I was hidden behind. “Might even have a little party if you play nice.”
Since he wasn’t looking up, he couldn’t see that I was perched on the rafters in the corner of the shadowy attic. I rolled my eyes and shook my head, pushing chin-length, sable hair away from my face. The world had fallen apart in the most abysmal way, but pirate men still thought with their cocks. If there was a decent man left alive in Westraven, I doubted I’d ever meet him. I didn’t run with chivalrous folk. Kind of hard to do when half the people in the city were desperate or dead.
From outside, thunder growled with agitation. The storm had gotten worse in the short amount of time I’d been in the apartment. This wasn’t going to be a fun escape.
“You took something that belongs to me,” the marauder continued, his dark-haired head flicking left and right to scrutinize the crates. “I’m getting it back, and I don’t care if you’re alive or dead when I do it.”
While he rambled on about being stiffed, I looked for my exit. He’d spotted me just as I claimed my prize, but I’d managed to dodge him by being fast and tossing furniture in his path until I got into the attic. I’d climbed up the crates to get to the rafters then stuck to the shadows until he stomped up here to gripe. I hadn’t had the chance to look at my surroundings. As much as I wanted to believe he was too stupid to look up, I wasn’t taking chances.
The murky, rain-drizzled window I’d used to get inside the building was on my right. I could use it again to slip out, climb up, and run across the roofs of the collapsed apartments, but this building was old and uncared for. The window’s hinges would creak. The marauder would hear me and holler his heart out. He would be the death of me.
Not because I thought he would hurt me––I was much too fast––but because other things would hear him.
Other, savage, inhuman things.
A chill crept up my spine at the thought of the Hellions, but I needed to focus on my situation now–– escaping before the marauder shot me. Or worse.
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