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It was summer in D.C., and even though it was close to midnight, the air was heavy with heat and the stink of the streets. Kate's shirt stuck to the small of her back, and she fluffed it out with one hand in a half-hearted attempt to cool off. The streetlights at either end of the alley cast everything in a yellow glow, and she stood in the shadows, her eyes focused on the unassuming door across the alley. Jason McDaniel was inside, and she desperately needed his help. It had taken her a week to find him, and she had to speak with him tonight.
The door opened with a crack of light, and a young man stepped out and leaned against the side of the building. Kate frowned at the distraction. She had fed two nights ago, but she wouldn't say no to an easy meal. She fisted her hands, digging her nails into her palms and using the pain as a distraction from the boy's scent. Oblivious to her presence, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a lighter and a pack of cigarettes. Smoke wafted up around him as he lit up and took a deep drag. The smell drifted across to Kate, burning her newly sensitive nostrils, and she tried not to gag. She was definitely less tempted to bite him now.
The door opened again, and this time it was Jason on the move. Kate straightened and took a deep breath, wiping her palms on her thighs. Jason stopped next to the smoker, his large size all but obscuring the kid from view. She heard the rumble of a deep voice, and the smoker's answering laugh. The pair exchanged a few more words, and the human threw his cigarette to the ground, stomping it out before heading back inside. Jason shook his head, then turned and started to walk away. Showtime.
Kate stepped out of the shadows as Jason approached. If he was surprised at her sudden appearance, he didn't show it. He stopped at arm's length and looked her up and down, apparently unimpressed if the slight rise of his brow was anything to go by. "Yes?" he drawled.
"I need your help," Kate said.