We just might die tonight, and it won’t even be monsters that kill us.
Seth Tanner hunched low over the handlebars of his black Hayabusa motorcycle and urged the roaring engine to eke out a bit more speed.
Behind him, his partner Evan Malone wrapped his arms tight around Seth’s midsection and tucked his helmet against Seth’s shoulder blades.
The rev of a truck close behind them told Seth their pursuers weren’t ready to give up. Then a shot fired, changing the whole game.
“Fuck,” Seth muttered and wove from one side of the lane to the other, desperate to keep the goons from getting a clear shot.
The gunman fired a second time and a third. Seth’s luck wasn’t going to last forever, and then one of the bullets would hit Evan, the bike, or him. Seth had a good idea who had hired the hitmen, and he doubted they showed up on a dark Ohio road just to send a warning.
A light ahead drew Seth’s attention, and he skidded into the gravel lot of a cinder block roadhouse. Neon beer signs cast a crimson glow that attracted a row of pickups and Harleys. Red paint on white walls proclaimed it to be Charley’s Place.
I’ll take my chances on a bar fight over being shot in the back.
The charcoal Ford truck chasing them never slowed, rumbling past the bar too fast for Seth to get a good look, and then it was gone, swallowed by the night.
He faced the motorcycle toward the road, sheltered between a beat-up green F-150 and a red Silverado with a gun rack in the back window. Seth felt sure that he and Evan would be no more welcome inside than they’d been with the guys who chased them, so when their attackers didn’t return, Seth hit the gas and headed back the way they came.
His heart didn’t stop pounding until he slowed at the entrance to the campground where they had parked their RV. While it wasn’t late, Seth was hyper-aware of the rumble of the motorcycle’s engine, not wanting to draw attention. When they pulled up in front of their site, he breathed a sigh of relief.
“Doesn’t look like anyone’s been here,” he said to Evan as he climbed off the bike and secured it. His body still hummed with adrenaline, and Seth scanned the area for danger as Evan followed him to the RV’s door.
Locks and security alarm aside, the fifth-wheeler and black pickup that towed it were also protected by magical wardings, courtesy of friends with supernatural abilities. The protections recognized Seth and Evan but were designed to keep out intruders.
Seth turned on the lights and gasped when he saw the blood on Evan’s jacket and realized his boyfriend was leaning heavily against the wall.
“You’re hit.” Seth helped Evan to sit at the table and went to fetch their medic kit.