“More than one. Several wisps ducked past the trees, switching back and forth. That’s when she caught the glow of eyes like burning coals amidst the nebulous forms. Their focus unnerved her, and even though she hadn’t broken her stride, sweat coated her hands. After several minutes when they didn’t disappear from her peripheral, she came to the sure conclusion: they followed her.”
“Fine. We can save your puppy, but if I catch you singing to the woodland critters, I’m out.” At that, she cracked a grin. Not one of those casual tossed aside ones but a smile that lit her eyes with mischief and illuminated her whole face.
Conor made his way to the door, pausing before he stepped out onto the street. “You never told me your name.”
“And you never asked.” She outpaced him, hopping down the first couple steps. “You can call me Brenna.”
“Cold wetness landed on her nose, and Lyra looked up. Snowflakes wove down, some landing and others trickling past the boughs of pine overhead. While small patches covered the ground from the previous day’s snowfall, the fresh powder held all the wonder it had when she’d raced outside in her pink boots, bundled up under her mother’s careful supervision as she explored mounds of snow taller than she was. Though those days had long passed, a giddy twirl still danced through her chest when the first flakes descended.”
“The glass of the sliding door had been shattered, and fragments glittered across the late autumn leaves like fringes of snow. Conor reserved a thousand and one curses for the folly of idiot necromancers. They dabbled in dark magic like fingerpainters in first grade art class and then most of them were either killed by their creations or ran the other way from the nightmares they unleashed. And for his kind, tracking them down on the streets meant another day at the office.”