He thought he heard the electric snick of the hotel room door. He grabbed a towel.
"Hey, you're early." The towel was only halfway around him as he stepped out of the bathroom. It wasn't anything she hadn't seen before.
But it wasn't her.
Three cloaked figures stood on the far side of the bed; two more moved from the doorway toward the desk.
There was a sweet smell in the air, a little bit like a cherry cordial.
He'd never seen them before, but he recognized them from the stories. Ice-cold dread slithered up his legs and wrapped around his chest.
He backed up slowly, up against the dresser. One hand moved behind him, searching for--
Damn. He'd left his cigarettes on the end table next to the bed. With his other hand he gestured toward them. "I don't suppose you'd let me have one last smoke."
The nearest one took a patient step toward him.
Didn't think so.
But his groping did manage to find his cell phone. He pressed buttons from memory, hoping he got them right. He knew if he looked it would be over.
"Looks like you caught me with my pants down," he said dryly. They all took a step closer.
Five. Five. Five.
They all took a step closer.
Eight. Eight. Eight.
His eyes narrowed. "You won't be so lucky against the rest of us."
Seven. Seven. Seven.
He took a deep breath. "By Winter's hand the blade is brought..."
He bolted toward the door, knowing it wouldn't matter.