IN THIS SCENE
Scarlet, Tristan and Nate have just realized that Gabriel and Heather are missing and their only lead is a wandering Ashman.
(Again, I know this doesn't fall into the final version of Avow, but whatever.)
“Shh!” Scarlet waved at Nate to stop speaking as a shadow at the far end of the alley moved through the moonlight.
Scarlet pulled her knife back, ready to throw.
“Wait,” Tristan said, motioning for her to lower the weapon. “If we follow the Ashman he might be able to lead us to Gabriel and Heather.”
“Ooh, good thinking,” Nate whispered.
The three of them crept up on the Ashman—who looked a bit disoriented and lost—and stayed hidden as they started to follow him out of the alley, across the street, and through a few neighborhoods.
Two miles later, Nate was out of breath. “I think we gave up on the dungeon/black van idea too quickly. This is a lot of walking. If I’d known we’d be trekking through the entire city, I might have suggested taking the car.”
Tristan followed behind Scarlet as she slinked through the outskirts of the parking lot. “Right. Because that wouldn’t be obvious. Driving through alleys and parks behind a dead guy.”
Nate shrugged. “I’m just saying this was poorly thought out. What if this Ash dude isn’t returning to Raven? What if he’s hoofing it to Texas to watch a bull riding competition? This could be a really long walk.”
“We’re not even to the edge of town yet. Quit complaining.” Tristan watched Nate’s labored breathing. “And maybe invest in a treadmill so the next time we have to track a bad guy by foot you’re not reduced to wheezing.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Mr. I-jog-everyday-and-shoot-arrows-in-my-free-time. We can’t all be freakishly in shape and built like gladiators.” He made a face. “And what do you mean, next time? How often do you plan on us tracking people?”
“Look,” Scarlet said, nodding to the Ashman who had just moved down a hill and into the warehouse district at the edge of town.
They followed after him and crouched at the top of the hill, watching as the Ashman entered through the backdoor of an old brick warehouse below. Three other Ashmen stood guard in front, staring blankly at the night.
Tristan glanced at Nate. “I guess we’re not going to Texas.”
“Do you think Gabriel and Heather are in there?” Scarlet frowned at the large brick building.
Tristan inhaled. “Maybe. We need to get a look inside. Stay here. I’ll be right back.” He stood and started moving down the hill.
“Stay here?” Scarlet whispered across the night with fight in her eyes. “Why do we have to stay here?”
“Because one person sneaking around is less obvious than three,” Tristan whispered back.
“I am not obvious!” Nate’s whisper was louder than the others and one of the Ashman guards looked up. He pursed his lips and quieted his next whisper. “Just kidding. Carry on.”