I heave a sigh and resist the urge to turn the radio off again. Mickey's complaining about the smell of sheep shit. We're all in Wales, now. We all hate the smell of sheep shit, but Mickey is the only one who feels the need to vocalize it.
Connor gives me a wry, understanding smile and pulls in at a petrol station.
"Only to get this over with," I mutter, getting out of the car. He nods, choosing a nozzle and unceremoniously shoving it in the car. After a moment, I change my mind and walk into the little shop, looking at the overpriced sandwiches.
Standing there looking at them chases my appetite away again, but I figure I should get something to eat anyway.
Not that hunting down a recently dead friend of mine is doing much for my hunger.
I grab a tortilla wrap and pay for it, passing Connor on the way out.
"Chin up, Jo, it'll be done with soon," he smiles encouragingly at me.
I don't feel very encouraged.
"I'm tired. Where are the goddamn vampires? I feel like shooting something," Mickey's irritable, tired voice crackles in the radio and I roll my eyes.
"Stop at a B&B if you're so tired," I mutter. Logical suggestions usually go ignored, however.
"What, while I'm in the mood to decapitate something? Maybe not, Joey," he laughs. I sigh and turn my gaze back to the surrounding fields, looking out for the vampire.
"The sun's nearly up," Connor reasons, "he'll have figured out how much the sun hurts by now. Go get some rest." Mickey grumbles inaudibly, but we hear no more from him, leaving us to assume he's gone to find somewhere to sleep.
We drive some more, quiet and slow, looking out for Alex. The radio hisses and boss's voice makes a surprisingly refreshing change from Mickey's. He tells us the name of a village that I can neither spell nor say where two guys have been beating the crap out of each other for the last twenty minutes. I reach over, thanking him as he spells it out and I tap it into the satnav. The radio goes silent again and we head off for our new destination, Connor taking care to break the speed limit as much as possible.
Mickey is less than happy about having just got to sleep and then being woken up, and he's making sure we know all about it as he drives around one half of the village, looking for the brawl, while we cover the other half: guns at the ready.
It doesn't take long to find them, Alex braving the sun slowly gathering speed through the skies in order to turn the man under his foot to a bloody pulp.
Swallowing, I force myself not to hesitate, firing at Alex the moment his face is out of sight. He shouts in pain and turns, abandoning the fight to shoot me a hurt look, one arm dangling by his side. I pull the trigger again, but the shot goes wide, my hand shaking, and Alex starts to run.
"Shit," I mutter under my breath as Connor kills the engine, practically leaping out of the car to give chase. The man Alex had been apparently determined to beat to death staggers to his feet and knocks Connor down with a pained grimace as his hand flies to the small of his back, groaning.
"Leave it," he growls, rubbing his spine a moment, "he's a problem best left to his own kind." I lift my gun and aim it at his head.
"It's my job to deal with him, not yours," I say coldly, annoyed that he's letting this task drag out more than it already has.
"Alex is way beyond your ‘help'," he spits, "if that's what you call it."
"What do you mean, ‘beyond our help'?" Connor asks cautiously, his voice thick. Carefully, he picks himself up, stumbling a little.
"Does it matter? Let's just leave it, yeah? Our aims are the same; we both want Alex gone. So don't complain, and let me go catch up to him," he snaps, shifting uncomfortably, trying to get his shirt to cover as much of his skin as possible.
"How do we know-"
"If you can trust me?" he cuts me off with a bitter laugh, "don't you think the fact that you found Alex trying to do away with me is enough? You'll have to take my word for it. I ought to be going now, or I'll catch the sun, dressed like this. Sun burn doesn't suit me," he flashes me a withering smile and moves away from us walking at a normal pace as he tries to shake out the aches in his limbs.
I glance at Connor and he shrugs and nods, calling after him; "we'll be keeping an eye on you."
"I have no doubts you'll do a very good job of it," the vampire nods in assent breaking into a jog, gathering speed away from us. We watch for a moment as he becomes a speck in the distance.
"Mickey's gonna be so pissed," Connor sighs.