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“About fifteen miles outside of Fallen, we were just heading toward Houston.”
Della recalled the street signs she’d just seen. “We’re in the twenty-nine-hundred block of Howell Street.”
“Hold on,” he said, then she heard him say to someone else, “They’re close.” And then, “Della, do you know where Cooper Airport is?”
She looked at Chase and he nodded.
“Yeah. Chase knows. What’s wrong?”
“We put a man on the plane with Damian Bond. Ten minutes ago, he realized the guy sitting in that seat is only a lookalike. He confessed to our agent that Damian took an earlier flight, a smaller plane that should be arriving at Cooper airport in fifteen minutes. We’re pretty sure it’s flight ten-twenty-six on Token Airlines. We’re already in Houston. Even flying it’s going to take us twenty to get there. You might make it in ten if you ditch the car and fly. Both of you should have just gotten his mug shot on your phones.”
Della heard both of their phones ding. Chase looked around for a place to park.
“Stay away from any major streets,” Burnett continued. “It’s not quite dark enough, and I don’t want you getting spotted.”
“We won’t,” Della said.
“And don’t … do not … confront Damian. Just follow him. He carries a Glock and he likes using it. You got that?”
“Yeah,” she said.
“Do you understand, Chase?” Burnett barked.
“Yeah,” Chase answered, and he grimaced as he pulled over in a drugstore parking lot beside a patch of trees.
Perfect for taking off.
The line went dead. Della pushed a button and stared at Damian Bond’s face. Ready or not, here we come.
*   *   *
Nine minutes and thirty seconds later, they landed in a wooded lot a half block from the airport. It was the first time since being Reborn that Della had flown that fast. If she wasn’t so worried about what they were about to do, she would have really enjoyed it.
The sun had completely faded, only the corner of the western sky held a touch of color to bid the day good-bye.
They didn’t speak. No time. If the plane came in early, their last lead to finding Natasha and Liam could be gone. Her blood zinged through her body, preparing to do whatever it took to keep Damian in their sights.
She ran her hand through her winded hair as they headed out of the woods toward the one-story airport.
“Look.” She spotted the lights of a plane already on the ground and rolling in to the airport.
“That’s probably him,” Chase said. They hurried their steps, trying not to call attention to themselves as a couple of cars pulled into the airport parking lot. Walking into the building, which was mostly glass, there were about two dozen people standing around waiting for passengers.
Della noted a mom and her two red-haired kids. Burnett’s idea of just following Damian seemed like a good one, the last thing she wanted was someone innocent to get hurt.
Following Chase through the crowd, she could see the plane through the glass doors. Passengers were disembarking and waiting at the foot of the steps for their luggage. But so far, she hadn’t seen Damian.
She pulled out her phone again to study his face and then slipped it back in her pocket.
“There’s Daddy,” said the woman with two kids who’d moved up to the glass. “Wave at Daddy.”
Della glanced at Chase. “We just follow him,” she whispered. “I don’t want trouble here.”
“I know.” He glanced at the woman, obviously knowing exactly what Della was thinking.
“There,” he said and her gaze shot to the were walking out of the plane. The light on the outside of the building pointed toward the plane, giving Della a good view. Early thirties maybe, Damian wore jeans and a black jacket, probably to cover his gun. His dark hair was slicked back, reminding her of some mobster. His eyes were too far apart. His mouth too thin. A woman walked out of the plane at the same time, and their suspect, not exactly a gentleman, cut her off to make the steps first. No doubt, he was as ugly as he was mean.
“Let’s pull back,” Della said, afraid he would spot two vampires and know they were onto him. Sure he’d smell them, but if they weren’t too close he might not suspect they were here for him.
They moved behind the crowd, but Chase stayed between two groups of people so he could keep an eye on their suspect. Della shifted a little to the right behind an older lady so she too had a line of vision. The passengers started moving inside. The noise level in the mostly glass room grew as people greeted each other.
“Shit!” muttered Chase.
“What?” she asked, looking at him and realizing that he wasn’t even looking at Damian, but behind them.
Della twisted and saw exactly what had him panicking. Two police cars screeched to a halt in front of the airport. Their lights whirled around giving everything and everyone a blue cast.
“Did Burnett call the police?” Chase seethed.
“I don’t think so,” Della said as she watched four officers rush inside the building.
Della grabbed her phone to call Burnett, but before she could dial, a woman screamed. A child cried out.
Then a gunshot.
Chapter Thirty-nine
The bullet ricocheted off something metal and binged around the room.
“Police,” screamed one of the four officers behind them. “Get down!”