“They won’t have this,” he said. He spoke with an Eastern European accent, but Pixie couldn’t quite place it.
Pixie let out a yell of anger and tried to run past Dominick, who grabbed her by the arm.
“Pixie, don’t!” His grip on her arm was firm. “The air could be contaminated. You don’t know what’s in there.”
“He’s standing there breathing just fine. Let go of me!” Pixie struggled, but she was no match for a lion shifter’s strength.
The man in black didn’t seem the least bit concerned with Pixie or Dominick. “Let’s see, who shall I revive?”
There were at least a dozen shifters scattered around the room. Some were crumpled in a heap, some lay sprawled out on their backs. All of them were flushed with fever and completely still.
The man glanced around the room, then bent down over Hillary and jabbed the syringe into her leg. He swiftly capped it and shoved it in his pocket.
Hillary sat up with a gasp, her eyes huge, her chest heaving. Her hair was matted to her forehead with sweat. Her glasses had fallen onto the floor. She stared around her, eyes wild.
“What happened?” she cried out.
Dominick let out a roar of rage and rushed forward, with Pixie hot on his heels. He shoved the man backwards, and the man fell back against the reception desk, laughing.
“Who are you? What the hell have you done?” Dominick growled, his hand closing on the man’s throat. “Answer me, or I’ll rip your god damned throat out.”
“Oh, but that would be such a terrible mistake.” The man showed no sign of fear. “Because I only bought enough antidote to revive one of your friends. I have the rest stored…elsewhere. They’ve got days to live, if that. And if you want to save the rest of them, you will do exactly as I say, when I say.”
Pixie ran over to Hillary, who’d found her glasses and was staring around her with a bewildered look on her face. Her face was flushed, her face covered with a sheen of perspiration, her hair plastered to her forehead, but overall she looked all right. Pixie reached out and grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet.
Then Pixie knelt down next to Bobbi. Bobbi lay sprawled on her back on the carpeted floor. Her face was flushed, and her forehead beaded with sweat; Pixie could feel the heat radiating off her. Her chest rose and fell with each breath, and Pixie quickly found her pulse, which was slow but steady. Her eyes were closed, and when Pixie pinched her wrist hard, she didn’t respond or show a flicker of consciousness.
A wave of panic swept over Pixie, threatening to choke her.
Bobbi was the one who’d befriended Pixie when Pixie was still a thief and a hustler, living in empty tenement buildings and making her living in ways she didn’t like to remember. Bobbi had gotten her the job at Shifters Inc., and had always believed in her. She’d never patronized her, or smothered her, or tried to change her. She’d just believed that Pixie could be a better person and lead a better life.
Now she lay there like a barely breathing corpse.
“Answer me, motherfucker!” Dominick grabbed the front of the man’s collar and slammed him into the reception desk, knocking his sunglasses loose. The man threw back his head and laughed
The sirens were growing closer. Pixie looked up at the tall silver-haired man, looked right into his eyes. They were dark pools, dark like black holes which absorbed and trapped all that was light and good.
She felt an icy shiver run through her. She’d been in some pretty bad spots over the years, and she’d felt afraid before, but she’d never felt anything like this. There was a sickness in the man. Normally only witches could sense the presence of magic in other people. Pixie wasn’t a witch, but she could sense the presence of something dark and foul clinging to him.