This novella was originally published in 2010 and has been out of print since January of this year.
Her search occupied her so much that she didn’t notice the wiry man heading through the crowd toward her, until he shoved her toward the floor.
With a gasp, Courtney put her hands out to break her fall. Her purse slipped from her shoulder. The man grabbed it and yanked. As adrenaline rushed through her, she screamed wordlessly, praying that someone would help her.
No one did.
Desperately she clutched her purse strap, straining to hold onto it though the skinny man was much stronger. She yelled until her throat hurt, but still none of the others on the platform seemed to notice.
“Shut the fuck up, bitch!” the man ordered. “Give me the fucking thing!”
He raised his hand, and Courtney cringed. Still, she held onto her purse. It contained everything important in her life.
Someone grabbed the guy’s arm. “Let her go.”
A tall man, with dark brown hair pulled back in a ponytail and no expression on his face, stood beside her. The mugger looked up, fury in his eyes. “Stay out of it, man,” he snarled.
“Let go,” the tall man repeated calmly, his voice little more than monotone. “The cops are right over there.”
The mugger turned to look, and the tall guy caught him in the jaw with his fist. Two other men, in the uniforms of MBTA police, hurried over. One grabbed the criminal. The other, the tall man. “He helped me,” Courtney protested.
“He just slugged that guy,” the cop argued.
“Yeah, because he was trying to steal her purse.” The tall man should have been angry, Courtney thought, but his tone of voice didn’t change at all. “If you guys had been doing your job, I wouldn’t have had to step in.”