A hideous and spine chilling laughter echoed from the darkness behind Miranda.
Miranda’s heart stopped for one brief moment. Her body froze with fear as her mind commanded her to run.
The door stood at her back, as did Gabriella.
She had only one option—she would have to face Zacke’s ex and pray for a miracle.
Miranda gently replaced Heather’s hand back on the slab before covering her once more. She willed her spine to stay straight as she eased the drawer back into the walled recess. She didn’t want Gabriella looking at or possibly inflicting more damage on Heather’s mutilated body. She closed the door after the slab clicked into place and turned around.
Gabriella sat on a metal gurney next to the door. The ruby dress she wore emphasized the death-like color of her cheeks and contrasted with her dark hair. The woman who had tried to frighten Miranda to death certainly looked the part of a killer.
Miranda hadn’t paid any attention to Gabriella’s eyes the night the witch had kissed Zacke, but she noticed them now.
They glowed a deep purple, but as she watched, they took on a red cast. Her fabricated courage faded as she glimpsed Hell’s fires.
Gabriella remained motionless.
Miranda felt like a mouse waiting for a lion to pounce. Well, she would just have to show Gabriella a mouse could roar.
“Gabriella, I assume?”
“Yes, and you are the irritating Dr. James.”
“Since I’m sure this is not a social visit, why don’t you tell me what you’re doing here?”
Gabriella’s eyes took on a deeper tinge of red. Miranda didn’t care for her hungry gaze.
“I am here to warn you once more that Zachary is mine.”
Miranda clenched and unclenched her fists but kept her eyes glued on Gabriella’s face. She wanted to be ready if Gabriella attacked—not that she could do much to protect herself against a vampire—but at least she wouldn’t die without a fight.
“We’ve had this conversation before. He isn’t a possession, Gabriella.”
“I have seen the way he kisses you.”
Miranda wasn’t sure she wanted to know how Gabriella had come by that bit of information. “From what I hear, Gabriella, you did more than kiss him. Yet you have no claim either.”
Miranda blinked twice. Had she just seen the woman fly off the gurney? As she watched, Gabriella moved toward the opposite side of the room—away from the door.
She needed something, anything to protect herself. An instrument table sat only a few feet away. Miranda shook off the paralysis threatening her legs.
She barely moved two feet before Gabriella swirled around. The woman must have eyes in the back of her head.
“Going somewhere, little mortal?”
The sarcasm dripping off her words goaded Miranda. “Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am. I have patients to see, and this pissing contest about a man neither one of us can claim is ridiculous.”
Gabriella closed her eyes, and Miranda moved a bit closer to the instrument table.
“I didn’t believe any mortal capable of your courage, Dr. James. I admire someone who can, or should I say attempt to stand up to me.”
Had the woman just paid her a backhanded compliment? Miranda didn’t know nor did she care. Only two more steps, and she could grasp the scalpel handle peeking out from under its sterile covering.
“So does that mean you’re going to leave now? Fly back to wherever you came from?”
Gabriella snarled and closed her eyes. Miranda lunged for the table. She had the sharp instrument in her hand when she heard a guttural growl. Great, she had really angered her this time.
Miranda turned to face Gabriella and wished she could close her eyes. The woman’s former beauty had disappeared. Her eyes now shone crimson and snarling lips revealed four incisors that would make a dentist cringe. Red tinged their tips, and Miranda didn’t even want to guess if the blood-colored substance had come from Heather’s poor body.
She raised her weapon a split second before Gabriella attacked.
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