Sammy was fully capable of landing as soft as an owl, but he chose to land this time in full drama mode.
His clawed feet hit the ground hard all at once, causing the fluff snow to fwoomp upwards in a grand display of awesome.
He looked down at the small human female.
She rose to her feet and made happy, excited sounds. Sounds he chose to disregard.
He crept forward to examine the body-shaped lump in the snow.
She leapt in his way and yattered less than thrilled sounds at him.
He exhaled a thin stream of blue-edged smoke from his nostrils, which made her all excited again. She actually clapped her hands. “Where’s Ambrose Smith?” He lowered his head so it was even with her face. “Tell me. Please.”
She opened her mouth and this time he focused on her words.
“Ambrose Smith? Never heard of him.”
“He was a former employee of Mark Caten. A vampire.”
The body on the ground moaned.
“Well. As you can see, there are no exhibits here.”
He slapped his tail on the ground.
The snow around him melted into puddles.
“I didn’t say anything about him being an exhibit.” He stretched his long neck around her to investigate the moaning body in the snow.
She rushed in front of him and pointed her switchblade into his broad face. “Back off, dragon. This one’s mine.”
He arched his neck and looked down at her. “It is unwise to anger a dragon and incredibly stupid to threaten one with so small a weapon.”
The puddles evaporated into steam.
“Back off, small human, or you will know great pain.”
“You don’t know who you’re dealing with, do you? I am no small human. I am Olessa, the vampire hunter who does research on the side.” She laid her hand on his face.
Her hand was like a speck of dust on George Washington’s Mount Rushmore face. But there was something in her touch that bothered him deeply.
He swished his tail as he backed away from her.
She smiled in triumph.
Estrella landed soft and soundless. She approached her son and spoke to him in their own language. A language of purrs, trills, and supersonic clicks. “Have you found him?”
He gave the limp body a contemplative look and considered the facts. “Yes. He’s right over there.”
“Very good. I will handle Olessa. I see she scares you.”
“She does. I will handle her. You rescue him. Take him to the rendezvous point and wait for me. If I am not back by sun’s life, take him back to Barbara. Don’t come looking for me for I will surely be dead.”
The grass around her turned hard and brittle.
“I will not be captured again.”