The back rooms were hot from the nearby kitchen. I opened my senses and I could smell everything under the sun. The aroma’s from the kitchen alone were over powering, the hot-sauce and garlic were the predominant smells and I needed to leave before I sneezed.
Outside in the alleyway up the stretch near the street entrance stood Walker pacing back and forth. He saw me and yelled down the alley, “Where the fuck have you been? She came out way before you. Did you let her get away?”
“Her friends inside detained me. I talked my way out, otherwise it would have been a fight.” I grimaced as the smell of putrid garbage wafted my direction. But I also caught the scent of smoke lingering in the air. I walked in that direction, , andit was the same way Walker had run, which meant I , andhad our dragon’s scent.
Dragon’s smelled like smoke – like a forest fire. But some of them smelled like volcanic smoke filled with ash, you almost wanted to brush your nose from the feeling of the ash all around you.
I walked past the entrance to the alley and turned left following the scent of the dragon. Walker fell in step behind me. “What are you doing?”
“How? There is nothing to track.”
“In the City you can’t use foot prints you have to use your other senses. Smell is usually the best one. Didn’t they teach you that?” I asked out of curiosity. They hadn’t taught me that, I’d picked it up working the streets. I knew it was something you learned working in the field. Something they wanted you to figure out.
“No. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, I can’t pick out any one scent much less know what a dragon smells like.”
“You really are new to hunting in the city aren’t you?”
Walker nodded. “So tell me what I should be looking for or smelling for in this case?”
I didn’t like teaching him because he was a Venatori snob. What I taught him now could use against innocent supernaturals. But I sighed and spoke as I turned left down another street. “Dragon’s smell like smoke. Each kind having their own distinct flavor, but each dragon has their own scent too. The trick is picking out the different ones.”
Walker didn’t look like he was trying to track anything, which was for the better right now. But he asked more intrigued than before, “What do other’s smell like?”
“Vampires smell like death. All new vamps have strong death smells, the older they get the less they do. I’ve met an 800 plus vampire who could cover his smell with cologne. He liked to wear Polo Sport. Said it was all the rage at home.”
“What happened to the vamp?” Walker asked.
“He bit me and I had to kill him.”
“But you were having a conversation with him before that?”
I shook my head with a smirk, “No. I’d tracked him to a club, and I hit on him to get him outside to kick my ass. He informed of that me when I told him he smelled good. And when I continued to hit on him he did want to kick my ass, which I obliged him with by asking him to take it outside with me.” I sighed. “He got the jump on me, bit a chuck out of my arm and laughed before I took his head off with a razor sharp wire of fire and air. He fell to the ground in a heap, there wasn’t even a drop of blood spilled. An easy clean up.”
Walker frowned. “Why aren’t you dead?”
I smiled. “I’m not full Venatori. I guess that’s a plus. Venom from the Vampire bite didn’t kill me.”
“Have you been bitten by a Therian?” Walker asked as the scent moved, and it was mingling with other dragon scents. I had to concentrate a little hard to find the right one.
I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and turned with a frown. “She’s up there somewhere.”
Walker and I looked up trying to glimpse our dragon against the night sky. I could illuminate the whole block but that would give me away to her and to the humans around me. That wouldn’t be a good idea I had already been pushing it with telling Sage. It was best not to push our boundaries.
Walker asked, “Dragons can fly right? But not in human form?”
I shrugged, “I’ve never seen one fly in human form, but there is a first time for everything. Why?”
Walker nodded towards the fire escape, “That’s the only one down. If you think she went up, I think it’s the best lead we have right now if she’s not shifting into dragon form, which I don’t think she did, or we’d have a panicked mass of people here.”
“I agree. Let’s go up then.”