Hematophagy, Pt. 17

Even before I’d stepped out the door, I realized how stupid I’d been. Manny was nothing more than a fool, and evidently a useless junkie to boot, but his uncle and the rest of the family certainly were not. Once Manny forgot his fear and worked through his pain, he’d go straight to them and then they’d come after me with everything they had.

I’d have to change my name and leave the country. Annoying.

But before I did that, I’d have to go to the observatory. Manny hadn’t been able to articulate why or what I could expect to find there, but he wasn’t clever enough to send me to a place like that on the spur of the moment. When it came to subterfuge and manipulation, he played checkers, not chess. Which meant someone else had fed him that line, which meant someone else had expected me to come calling, which meant there likely really was something going on at the observatory.

Probably a trap of some kind. But I had no other leads, and the buzzing in my head demanded that I take some kind of action to silence it.

Two of Manny’s guards ran into me in the hallway, big men, thick men shouting, “Hey! What the Hell is going on here?”

“Disagreement,” I muttered, trying to push my way past them. “Failure to communicate.”

A hand wrapped around my wrist. “You can’t just–”

I pulled forward hard, dragging my would-be captor off-balance. I spun around, slammed my knuckles into the man’s throat, pulled away the instant his grip loosened and he began to drop to the ground. “I most certainly can.”

I walked out of the club unchallenged. I could feel the eyes of the patrons, the dancers, the bouncers upon me, but I ignored them. I was very good at ignoring most things, at filtering out only the most relevant details that my senses were feeding me, and it was driving me near the point of madness that I couldn’t ignore the buzzing.

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