Bea growled as she sat up and put her front paws on the edge of the driver's side door. She stuck her head out the half-open window. Kathryn followed the line of the dog's nose and saw Nikki coming out the far end of the truck stop.
Smart girl, going out another door to avoid those two leaches.
Problem: the leaches had seen or anticipated her move.
"Okay, Beatrice," Kathryn said.
The dog's growls silenced and she stiffened, ready for action. Kathryn opened the door, signaling Bea to move back. She got in and knelt, leaning across the seat and opened the glove compartment, pulling out two fresh canisters of pepper spray and her tazer. Finn had insisted that since she wasn't up to hand-to-hand combat anymore, she had to rely on other means of self-defense, if only to back up Bea. Kathryn preferred to not waste their brief time together in between his assignments with arguments that would go nowhere, and accepted his gift in the spirit it was given. She could guess how much it hurt Finn not to beg her to give up her life on the road and spend however much time she had left with him.
"Lord, watch over us all, please." She slid out of the truck and ran with everything she had, though she knew she would regret it in a few hours. Bea leaped through the open passenger window without a sound and hit the ground running.
Nikki shouted and turned, alerted by the sound of running footsteps. She sounded more angry than afraid when the buzz cut trucker reached out to grab her. She managed to duck in time to avoid him. His partner caught her arm and twisted it savagely behind her."Little truck stop whore thinks she's too good for us?" Buzz Cut growled. He laughed as his friend twisted harder on Nikki's arm, bringing her to her knees. His left knee came up, hitting her square on her mouth and nose. Nikki let out a muffled yelp and flung herself backwards, blood gushing.