she caught movement in the shadows. his head swung towards it, hand gripping her arm tighter, pulling her back as if shielding her. a cat appeared between the trash cans. it froze realizing they were staring, orange fur puffed up as it hissed. a feline furball, bright under the moonlight. as if annoyed, it tore off towards the opposite direction, paws scrabbling against the gravel. she started to say something, but saw him scanning the lot, eyes narrowed, making sure the cat was the only intruder. his grip was still on her arm, keeping her so close she could hear his uneven breathing.