step in. No one said a word. Ricki dug her nails into my arm with a sharp inhale. “Oh my freakin’ God!” I couldn’t argue. He was fierce… Grabbing Scott by the shirt and shoving him into his startled friend, Sean snarled, “Get this piece of shit out of my sight before I finish this permanently. And you, dirt bag, you might want to reconsider taking a piece of that if you want to keep your dick attached to your body.” The guy backed away, face white. Sean shot him a feral smile. “Just some friendly advice.” The whole fight had taken less than three or four minutes, and the cops hadn’t made it there yet. Aric and Kevin regarded Killian and Sean with a cross between fear and respect. They backed out of the alley as the sound of sirens closing in broke the tension. We scattered and ran to the cars. In the confusion, Sean grabbed my hand and yanked me behind another store’s fence. He swung me around and kissed me hard. My head filled with little flashing lights as the current that was Sean coursed through my blood. That was the first night I let him stay with me. I didn’t think it was a good idea, but he insisted. He must have been riding on some wave of testosterone because he was determined to stay. “Mica, I don’t trust those guys. They’re not going to give up.” He was facing me in the front seat of his car, outlining all of the reasons I should let him spend the night. I had no arguments that made sense. The truth was I was a wreck. My emotions were all over the place. I didn’t want to be alone in the dark. I didn’t want to face the nightmares that would surely come. They always did when I ran into him . I would get very little sleep once the dreams started. Sean could protect me, and I needed him tonight.
We lay on the bed, with Domino between us, talking until late in the night. We talked about everything and nothing at all. Eventually I dozed off, and the dream came back. I was running through the endless hallways again, but this time, I could clearly see Scott’s face behind me. He was carrying the hunting knife. I was screaming as usual. But this time I was screaming at him to come and get me. I stopped to face him with a gun in my hand. I was ready to fight back. “Baby, wake up. You’re dreaming.” Sean shook me awake. I snuggled against him, grateful to let the dream fade. “Can I ask you something?” He rubbed his hand down my arm, and said, “You can ask me anything.” “Okay, then. What are you doing here?” “Lying in bed with a gorgeous creature… What kind of question is that?” “No, not here, I mean here, in town. You and your friends… you aren’t like the other people around here. They’re all so country . That’s not who you are.” He pulled away from me and sat up. “That must’ve been some dream. I’m not anything special, Mica. Don’t make too much out of me.” “But what about the fight? You’ve had training, I can tell. And your accent? Come on, Killian is like this military commando guy. He probably kills people for fun. Say what you want to, but you aren’t from around here.” He didn’t respond. “Give me a break! I’m not an idiot.” He was pacing by the window until the silence stretched. Finally he sat down beside me. He told me his story. It was true they weren’t from around here originally. Their parents came from the U.K. as political refugees after a terrorist attack nearly killed them. The U.S. government agreed to grant them asylum in exchange for the research information they would provide. Sean’s father, Killian’s mother, and Dec’s father were involved in biological research in Switzerland. He wasn’t allowed to give me any details on that though. I hung on his every word. “So what are your parents doing here now? Are they still doing research?” “Yes and no. I can’t talk about that. Let’s just say they are in and out of the country a lot so the three of us stick together. We’re all