“The Master wants you dead,” a man in the middle said. He was dressed in black with a

silver hoop in his eyebrow. One man behind him wore ripped jeans while another had a

knife in his hand, grinning. All were tall except the last man who was medium build. He

had gold chains dangling from his scrawny neck.

A foul stench filled the air. “What?” Lisa asked stepping backward. She gripped her purse

in one hand and made sure her keys had the sharp edge sticking out. She had two weapons

ready. Her ears started pounding.

A man appeared in front of them blocking her path. It looked like the guy she’d met that

morning, in the shop.

“Jo—Joe?” Lisa asked, swallowing.

Joe glanced at her. A glance that told her to run, but she froze.

“This doesn’t concern you,” the guy with the earring said.

“It does now,” Joe said, with a poker face.

“Get him.”

Lisa watched in horror. It looked like a film playing out in front of her. A blade

materialized in Joe’s hand as the guy with the knife rushed him. Joe stabbed him in the


instantly killing him. The second guy with ripped jeans came charging from behind. Joe

kicked backwards, causing the guy to slam onto the ground. Joe yanked the knife out of the

man’s chest before him as he fell, spun and kicked the approaching man who wore the

chains, then turned and threw the knife into his neck.

Lisa felt her breath catch in her throat. Have I finally snapped? Then she heard Joe’s voice.

7  9