“You heard me tell him not to look down, didn’t you? I can’t help it if he never listens.”
“Caw, caw, caw,” said the bird, fluffing his feathers.
“It’s NOT funny.”
“Well,” said Ace, starting at Tim’s unconscious body, “maybe it’s a little funny.”
“No, I don’t know if being unconscious as often as he is will hurt him.”
“Why?” mumbled Tim, groggily.
“Why do you say things like that? Don’t look down? Really?”
“I tried to warn you,” sighed Ace.
“No,” said Ace, “there’s nothing psychologically wrong with him. At least I don’t think there is.”
“Meow?” muttered Ace, looking around.
“I couldn’t leave her behind,” said Tim, “so I shoved her into my bag.”
“Is that why you’re bleeding?”
“Yes,” he said, sarcastically, “that’s exactly why I’m bleeding.”
“Nice kitty,” laughed Ace.
“He did you a favor,” crooned Ace, petting the cat. “He was trying to save you.”
The cat unsheathed her claws.
“Yes, I know you can take care of yourself but he was worried about you.”
“You do hear the shooting and screaming, right?” asked Tim, getting to his feet, walking to the edge of the roof.
“I do, actually. Sounds as if the party has started without us.”
The fighting was in full swing by the time they reached ground level. Bodies were everywhere but she saw Leo and Ian. Ian pointed to her left and she nodded at Joseph. Smokey drifted in and made crispy critters out of a couple of guys who were trying to get behind Ace’s crew. Queenie’s army was getting up close and personal with the inner guard, trying to open a path into the warehouse.
“It’s like a war zone,” whispered Tim.
“It IS a war zone. I’m going to make a run for the doors. Watch my back. Once I’m inside, stay in front of the doors and keep everyone else out. Oh, and one of the the modifications on the Sig will let you go back in time a few minutes, so you can kill the guy shooting at you before he pulls the trigger.”
“Nice touch.” “I thought so. I wanted it to make hot chocolate but…”
“Just go,” sighed Tim. “I’m right behind you.”
The Queen’s men were keeping the path open for her. Ace focused and took off running. She didn’t look away from the doors, her spell, racing in front of her, silenced the moment she hit them like a battering ram. Once inside she rolled, stood up and moved to the wall. Then she listened and looked around. The plans for the warehouse were old but the person who gave them to her swore that no changes had been made since the building went up. The place was empty and dark with extremely high ceilings. Water was dripping somewhere and it smelled like blood and things she didn’t want to think about. She knew Tim was guarding the door, so she slowed her breathing and saw the floor plan in her mind. Something hit her leg and she froze.
“Meow?” said the cat softly.
Ace smiled, nodded at her, and using two fingers directed her across the warehouse floor. The cat nodded and sauntered over the cement meowing and chasing a dried leaf.
“How the hell did a cat get in here?” asked a man, moving out the shadows on the second floor catwalk.
“Get outta here you moldy flea bag,” he spat.
The cat smiled and ignored the insult, knowing she would get her revenge a little latter. She sat down in the only ray of light available and began to bathe.
“I don’t like cats,” said another voice. “I’m allergic to them things.”
The cat’s inner kitten purred and she wondered why bad guys never really got the whole grammar thing. No matter, she thought, flicking her tail. They’ll all be dead soon, so she concentrated on making sure that her claws were very clean and sharp.