Tasha and her furry lover are sick and tired of being rundown and run over by their hanky-wearing foes, so they turn the tables and take everyone for a spin in the final installment of the Moon Lovers serial. Mysteries arise when they confront Servino, and they learn a new werewolf is in town. Old enemies, even older friends, and a convenient bouquet of flowers leads to the wild conclusion.
We woke up the next morning, drove to town, defeated Sphinx and her gang without a scratch, and lived happily ever after. Well, I wish. There were a few more bumps along the road, and on me, than I wanted. We woke up in the late afternoon groggy but rested. After we ate our fresh food from the thirty-year old tin cans, we walked outside to a nice, sunny day. Nothing could have marred such beauty except for noise, and Greg spoke up.
"It looks like I'm feeling well enough for us to face off against Sphinx and her gang," he informed me.
My face drooped. "Goody," I mumbled.
He smiled and patted me on the back. "Don't worry, this will be over quickly."
"Just like us walking in front of a firing squad?"
"Well, not that quickly, and not the same ending."
"That's what you keep saying."
"And that's what you keep doubting," he scolded.
"Call it a woman's instinct."
"Isn't your wolf instinct telling you something else?"
Yeah, it's still hungry, and if I wanted to I could go hunt down a rabbit that passed by here last night."
"I'm sorry I asked."
"I'm sorry I answered."
Greg chuckled and turned me so we faced each other. He looked me straight in the eyes and grinned. "This'll work out, I'm sure of it."
He sounded so sure of it that I managed a queasy smile and nodded. "All right, all right, I'll believe you, but if you get me killed I swear to God I'll haunt you until your dying day."
Greg winced. "A fate worse than death," he teased.
"Yes, there's nothing worse than a spirited woman. Now when do we go commit suicide so I can get haunting?"
"Right now. It's a few miles to the city and the truck doesn't exactly glide across the road."
That was an understatement. The truck chugged along like a sick horse in need of a deathbed. The roads didn't help. I'd been so scared yesterday I hadn't had time to focus on the bumps, and now that I felt them I wished I was still scared. We bounced and bumped our way along a menagerie of Buick-sized pot holes and washboards that rattled us so hard I was afraid I'd fall apart before the truck. The trash and tools at my feet bounced and hopped up against the bottom of the dashboard. I grabbed onto the dashboard and glared at Greg over my tap-dancing teeth. "W-why are w-we taking the s-scenic r-route?" I asked him.
"Because it's the best way to avoid that Servino guy finding us. I'd rather not feel another of his silver bullets sear through my gut," he reminded me. "And stop that chattering, the road isn't that bad."
I frowned and crossed my arms over my chest. "Can't a girl be a little dramatic? It's not like there's anything going on right-" That's when we both heard a grinding of tires behind us, and we turned around in our seats to see Servino's sporty car coming up fast on us. He was eating our dust and making his own as he grinned over his stylish steering wheel.
Greg frowned and swung around to shift the truck into a faster gear. "You just had to say something, didn't you?" he teased me.
"Yes, and did you just put me through the scenic route for nothing?"
"I'm afraid so."
"I hate you."
"Love you, too, honey," he replied before he cranked the wheel in a hard left.
I slid along the seat and screamed, but that was cut off along with the rest of my air supply when my seatbelt caught me in the gut. Servino came up on my side and pointed at the ditch on the other side of us. I shook my head and shrugged, and he glared at me. I knew he wanted us to pull over, but I knew this cop didn't have a badge and was packing bullets we didn't want to try dodging.
Servino rolled down his window and pulled out his gun. He divided his attention between the road and the bottom of our truck, and that's when I realized he was literally aiming to blow out our tires. I glanced wildly around and my eyes fell on all the junk that littered the floor. I leaned down and scooped up an armful, then furiously rolled down the window just as he zoomed in on the tire beneath me. My hand fumbled for a weapon of choice, and my fingers wrapped around a rusted wrench. I grabbed his and lobbed the tool at Servino. It didn't hit him, but it made a cute little dent on the hood of his car.
His head whipped up to the front, and even with the noise of our two cars bumping along the road I heard him growl. He turned and glared at me, and this time he aimed his gun higher than the tires. The color drained from my face and I scrambled for more artillery. I lobbed everything I had at him and I must say that truck had an eclectic variety of junk. Old glass pop bottles, gum wrappers with ABC gum still inside, tobacco containers, and even a small stereo all flew out the window.
Servino didn't expect a bombardment of trash, and he swerved to avoid a few bricks I lobbed at his windshield. Unfortunately, he couldn't dodge the two-foot deep ditch on his right and his fancy low car couldn't drive over the hole. His front dove into the ditch and the radiator made the acquaintance of the dirt. His front crumpled like all the trash I'd thrown at him and white smoke plumed out from beneath his hood. Worse for him was he hadn't been wearing his seatbelt, and when car met earth he flew through the windshield and into the ditch.
Greg stopped the truck and we both got out in time to see Servino the Dust Monster arise from the ditch. His fancy suit was now brown, and he was so furious that I had to laugh at him. "Careful, your face might stick that way," I called out to him.
"You god damn monsters!" he shouted back. He patted himself looking for his gun, but it lay somewhere beneath the inches of dust in the ditch. Servino dove down and patted the ground searching for it, but Greg didn't give him time to cry eureka.
Greg stalked over to Servino, and the gang member looked up when Greg's shadow fell on him. Servino shrunk back when Greg grinned at him. "I think I owe you for that shot yesterday," Greg reminded the man.
Servino cowered in the ditch and shook his head. "I was only following orders, honest! It was all Sphinx's doing! She was the one wanting you two alive!"
Greg raised an eyebrow. "Alive? Why'd she want that?"
"I-I don't know, she didn't say. Just told me to use them silver bullets on you and bring ya back."
"Well, I guess we'll just have to go visit Sphinx and ask her." Greg knelt down beside the ditch, and Servino yelped in fear. The man huddled with his back against the side of the ditch, but he inexplicably froze. "As for you, give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you right now."
Servino's fright-filled face slipped into a sly grin. "I'll give you a whole cartridge full." Servino rolled to the side and his hand grasped a shape in the dirt. It was his lost gun, but he didn't get a chance to use it. With a speed greater than any human Greg leaned down and snatched the gun from Servino's grubby little fingers.
Greg stood up out of Servino's reach and popped out the cartridge. He snarled at the contents. "Silver bullets, so you weren't going to give me any chance?" Greg guessed. Servino was back to cowering, but now neither of us had pity on him. Greg separately pocketed the bullets and the gun, and glanced over to me. "You might not want to see this."
I stiffened and paled. "You're going to kill him?" I guessed. Servino let out a howl of fright and scrambled out the other side of the ditch.
Greg noticed Servino run, but continued to stare at me. "I gave him more chance than he gave any of his victims, and more than he was going to give to us," he pointed out. I nodded and looked away, but I could still hear. What I heard was Greg's feet pound against the dirt after Servino, and the man's scream cut short before it gurgled out to nothing. Then Greg was in front of me and he put his hands on my shoulders. "Come on, it's done. I don't like to see stupid creatures suffer." He led me to the truck and we drove out of there.