then let it out in a mighty exhale. The cloud drifted through the air. A woman on the sidewalk glared at me. She was uptight, wearing a florescent sports bra and a pair of Lycra shorts that gripped a flabby ass as she half-jogged, half-walked down the sidewalk. Her lips curled in a judgmental sneer. I smiled at her, arching my eyebrow. She scurried off with a squeak of fear, a little mouse afraid of the wolf. I laughed. Seattle, particularly downtown, was full of uptight busybodies with no idea how to relax. How to be free. They wanted to control everything. You couldn't smoke here. You couldn't park there. You couldn't lounge here. Rules, rules, rules. I hated cities. They were all bad, but Seattle was one of the worst. But damned if I wouldn't come here every day for her. Weak men strolled down the street in jeans tighter than the women wore, with their fancy vests and retro hats. They all screamed, “Look at how original I am. I dress like every other idiot in Seattle. Aren't I important?” I needed to get Raven out of this city. She needed to fly free. She would love riding on my bike again. I closed my eyes, imagining her lithe figure pressed into my back, her arms around my waist, and the excitement in her voice as I roared my Harley down the road. Her long hair would whip behind her, a trail of darkness. A trail of the night. That night, Raven had loved riding behind me despite the chill and her skimpy attire. She didn't belong in this city. She was too strong for it. Too strong to be bound by their stupid rules and petty hysterics. My back itched between my shoulder blades. Someone watched me. I glanced over my shoulder, my eyes flicking through the faces on the sidewalk. Nothing. I shifted my shoulders, trying to ignore that itch between them. I had good instincts. I trusted them. I didn't suppress them like most of the idiots in the world. Where was it coming from? I climbed off my bike. My eyes slid around the busy street. A powder-blue Seattle cop car slowly drove by me. The officer only gave me a glance as he passed. The cop wasn't the watcher. I clenched and relaxed my fists as I scanned the crowded sidewalks. Had one of the Blood Eagles followed me into Seattle? Movement flickered. I looked up at the shiny windows of a rising hotel. Was I being watched from up there? The hotel's tinted windows half-reflected back the late-spring sun. I shaded my eyes and searched for the movement. Was I imagining things? Near the top, a window washer worked. Maybe that was the movement I saw. I relaxed. I bet it was just the city making me uncomfortable. Or maybe there was some bored tourist staring down at the out-of-place biker. I sat back on my bike, my eyes still scanning. Just in case. My phone made a strange, buzzing sound, more of a chirp than a ring. I barely heard it over the roar of the cars. I frowned and fished it out of my jeans pocket. It was difficult, the edge catching on the inside of the pocket. With a grunt, I freed it and looked at the screen. I had a text message. No club members would ever text me. I didn't recognize the number. Excitement trembled through me. Was it her? I hit the large, silver button beneath the screen, opening the text message. “I get off at 3. Let's walk the night together.” My excitement exploded out of me. I let out a howling whoop, crushing the phone in my hand. The idiots scurrying on the sidewalks all jumped and walked faster, throwing looks at me. I grinned as they fled. They knew a wolf was in their midst. Painfully and slowly, I texted back, “I'll take you for a ride.” I looked around Seattle. I had two hours to kill. What was there to do in the city? Besides sit in a coffee shop and pretend I was doing something meaningful with my life like the drones that filled up the thousands of cafes in the city. There was only one coffee shop I wanted to visit, but I couldn't go back to Raven's. I needed to maintain my mystique. I needed to drive her wild.