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Merri’s eyes opened at the sound of the front door opening and she yawned. Propped up on her elbows, she glanced over the back of the couch, then sat up fully.
Michael walked in and locked the door behind him. She didn’t glance at the clock, but she suspected it was late. Or early, depending on one’s perspective.
She put the TV on mute and yawned again. “Hot date?”
He grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat on the edge of the couch. “Go to bed. It’s a school night.”
“No it’s not. I’m going to ask you something?”
“Of course you are. Because living here rent free entitles you to a few more favours.”
There was a time when she might have taken offence to that, but she was comfortable now. She’d lived with Michael for several months—she knew he secretly liked having the company.
“It’s about Gen.”
“When’s it not?”
Merri sighed. She shivered a little. Earlier in the day, it had seemed rather warm, but now early December winter had settled in the house and she wished she’d cranked up the heat more.
She took a deep breath. This probably wouldn’t go over well. “Christmas is coming up.”
“We’re not getting a tree.”
“I wasn’t asking for one,” she said. “You know her parents split up earlier this year.”
“That wasn’t a question—I didn’t think you knew, so I was informing you. Stop being difficult. Her parents split up, but she said they’ve been talking more, finally. They booked a vacation together to work things out, but this close to the holidays, it turns out they’re going to be gone over Christmas.”
“I expect it’ll be June by the time you get to your point.”
Jesus, he was bitchy tonight. “I want to invite her for Christmas. The last month has really sucked for her. She doesn’t know I’m asking you this...but she can’t go to Levi’s because he’s going to stay with his Dad for part of the time, and Sage would never offer. Please? Consider it a Christmas present for me?”
That seemed like a possible strategy. She chewed her lip as he seemed to debate it.
At last he nodded without looking at her. “Fine.”
It was only when she felt the rush of relief that she realized she really had worried he’d say no. “Oh, thank god. I hated the thought of her alone on Christmas, and she doesn’t really have relatives around.”
“You could go there, you know.”
“Yeah, but then I’d have to sleep on the floor. Or her parents’ bed, and that would be creepy and gross. Anyways, I’m glad you two seem to be getting along now. It’s good that you help her.”
Michael shrugged and took a sip of his beer. “That seems to be what we do around here. Help Gen.”
“Really, though. I didn’t get to actually talk to you about Halloween. I was... very worried about her, to say the least. When bad stuff happens to her, I think she gets...”
“In a nutshell. I mean, I don’t blame her, but then I don’t have the power to do something bad to people when I’m like that. I think she’s getting more responsible, but I don’t want to think about what she would have done that night if she’d been by herself.”
“That thought did occur to me when I suggested she stay.”
“Ah. Knew it wasn’t a friendly gesture. Always one step ahead, right?”
“Right. Now didn’t I tell you to go to bed?”
Merri glanced at the clock. Twelve-thirty in the morning. “Fine.” She rose. “But only ‘cause I really am tired.”
Michael rose as well, turned off the TV, and started upstairs.
I hope he’s not spending all this time at Krysta’s, she thought. Guy needed a social life, sure, but...there had to be a better way to spend his time than with her. He could take up a hobby. Like... Oh forget it, she thought. Michael wasn’t a hobby kind of person, if one excluded throwing knives at people.
Once in her room, Merri adjusted the heat to a reasonable temperature, and within moments the room started to warm. She slipped out of her clothes and into a nightgown, then drew back the covers for bed. High on the list of things that made Michael’s place preferable to her old crappy apartment was how much quieter it was. He—and now Merri herself—lived in a very nice neighbourhood. Everyone went to bed early. No cars, no kids in the streets. And no sirens all night, not to mention a lack of drug busts in this building.
She switched off the light beside her bed, snuggled into the covers, and closed her eyes.
A cool wind tickled her cheek.
She absently brushed her face and tugged the covers up further.
Her nap on the couch while waiting for Michael to return hadn’t lessened her desire to sleep at all, and soon her mind had drifted off.
Consciousness returned, briefly, as a breeze touched her forehead, rustling strands of her. The air felt like pure ice and the tip of her nose went cold.
Chills moved down her spine. Damn winter. She rolled over and mumbled a curse. She’d probably left the stupid window open a crack or something during her insanity earlier when she’d thought the place was too hot. Shivering in bed, Merri drew her body into the foetal position. She knew she should close the window. Michael wouldn’t want his heating bill to be astronomical. But...
But I don’t want to get up.
Still, she lay there awake now, and knew she wouldn’t sleep until she either got another blanket from the closet, or closed the damn window. With an angry sigh, at last Merri sat up, pulled the blankets back, and looked toward the window.
She froze in place as her gaze settled on the window across the room. Her throat went dry and she shivered.
It was already closed.
“What the...” Her words stopped as she caught sight of her breath fogging the air in front of her. She trembled now, but not because of the cold.
Merri’s hand shot out to flip on the light beside her. After fumbling wildly for a moment, at last her fingers settled on the switch. She flicked in on.
The bulb flickered for a second and went out.
Curtains fluttered along the window, as if wind blew them.
I need to get out of here, she thought. A heavy lump formed in her throat—whatever was going on...she wasn’t alone in there.
1...2...3. She bolted from bed and ran towards the door. Her hand clasped the handle and she yanked the door open.
It snapped shut immediately, and though she pulled, she couldn’t get it open.
She whirled around, pressed her back to the door, and glanced around the room.
What the fuck is going on?
Weeks—probably months—had passed since Michael had been to sleep, sober, before three in the morning. He wasn’t entirely tired yet, and wasn’t sure this night would make an exception, but he stripped off his shirt and pants, and slumped on the bed. At least he had something to do for the past month and a half. Figuring out where Dobakova aka Gardner had come from and who hired her occupied at least some of his time now. Better than sitting around being useless.
He tossed and turned for a bit.
And this is why I drink. I can’t fucking sleep otherwise.
Eyes open, he stared at the blackness of the ceiling. I wonder if there are any bars still open...
Something flew past the corner of his vision. He snapped to attention, body taut and ready.
He didn’t see it again, but felt something there. Watching. Waiting. The air grew considerably colder.
Michael sat up in bed. “Who’s there?”
He didn’t really expect an answer, and wasn’t surprised when one never came.
Without taking his gaze from the empty room, he reached between the bed and the wall, and felt around until his fingers clasped the cold handle of a knife. Weapon in hand, he pulled himself into a crouch and prepared for whoever—or whatever—might attack.
His muscles tensed as he heard his name called. It came as a whisper, and he couldn’t determine if it were male or female.
Now that was definitely female—the shout came from downstairs.
He bolted from the bed and ran down the stairs, skipping a few steps as he went. After racing across the hardwood floor, his bare shoulder hit the icy door to her room. The door didn’t budge.
“Michael!” she shouted again, from the other side of the door. “Something’s in here!”
Michael glanced around the dark, cold main room of the house. “It’s here too.” He rammed his shoulder into the door a few more times, but something kept it shut.
“Get back from the door!” He ran to the cabinet across the room and his gaze settled on a battle axe. That should do it. New weapon in hand, he returned to Merri’s room and swung the axe against the door again and again until the blade sliced through the wood.
He held back as Merri’s frightened face appeared through the hole in the door.
“What the hell is going on?” she asked.
“We’ll figure it out after we get out of here.”
She stepped out of the way again and Michael continued with the axe until there was a big enough hole for Merri to climb through. She reappeared, in the process of zipping up her jeans beneath her nightgown, and slipped through the gap.
“Where are we going?” she asked as they went for the front door.
Worry crept up on Michael as he unlocked the door and reached for the handle. It’s steel...if it doesn’t open, we’re left with the window, and the neighbours will hear that. He mentally prepared himself for the possibility of running through the window and around the side of the building in the middle of the night in his boxers, but thankfully, the door opened easily. He snatched his keys from the hook by the door before leaving.
“Get in the car,” he said as they ran out into the cool darkness. He hand the engine running before Merri had closed the passenger door.
“What the fucking hell?” she said, swinging around in her seat to stare at the house as the car sped off.
“Off hand...I’d say we’re being haunted.”
“Haunted,” Merri repeated for the fifth time that night. She sat in a chair in their motel room while Michael changed in the bathroom. “Did you know we’d be haunted? Is that why you keep spare clothes in the car?”
“You were on the run for how long, and you didn’t keep a spare bag packed?”
“But you weren’t on the run.”
He slipped his shirt on and returned to the main room. “Never knew when I might have to be.”
“Who would be haunting us?”
He took a seat across from her and gave her a skeptical look. “Us?”
“Good point. Who wouldn’t?”
“As far as I know, no one has died in that house.”
“Except for the guy I killed.”
Michael nodded his concession. “True. But that was over a year ago. If it was bound to the house...”
“It would have shown up sooner?” Merri guessed.
“Maybe. It’s hard to say. I’m not really a ghost expert.”
Merri leaned back in her chair. “So we need a ghost expert.”
“We had a ghost expert.”
Their eyes met and Michael sensed their thoughts went straight to the same place.
Attempted rapist and all around bastard. Michael’s “best” friend, if anyone he knew could really be considered as much. Finnegan O’Shea was likely their suspect.
She paled and frowned. “Oh...fuck. If we were both going to be haunted...”
“It would be by him,” Michael finished. “He said he would.”
Merri wrapped her arms around her torso and shivered as she looked around warily. “Do you think he followed us here?”
“I don’t know. Do you sense anything?”
She avoided his gaze, instead looking at the floor. “No. Temperature hasn’t changed either. Maybe he’s still at the house then...”
Or maybe he found another target.
No. He wouldn’t. Michael had killed him. If Finn were going to target anyone, it would be Michael.
But he went after Merri. She was in the car with me, after all...
Michael and Merri both made sense. But now that all was quiet at the motel, either Finn stuck around at the house, or...
“Call Gen,” he said immediately.
Merri’s eyes grew wide. “Dammit. He wouldn’t—”
“Finn would blame her. Call her now.” He started for the door.
“Where are you going?”
“To get her.”
“Stay here. I’ll bring her back.”
A low growling woke Genevieve up.
She blinked a few times and rolled onto her back. The growling continued, and she sat up with a sigh. “Pen...”
Penny sat outside her bedroom door, peering into the room. She bared her teeth and continued to growl.
“What’s your problem...” Her voice trailed off as she watched her breath cloud the air white in front of her. This isn’t a good sign.
Crisp air ran up and down her bare arms. She glanced around, but saw nothing. Still, she didn’t like this. Something was—
A force grabbed her suddenly, as if icy fingers wrapped around her neck, and she slammed against the headboard.
Genevieve reached out blindly, clawing at the cold air in front of her, but touched nothing. She searched her mind for a spell, for anything defensive, but the force grasping her neck squeezed tighter and she couldn’t force any words out. Screaming didn’t work, and she realized with a sense of dread that no one would hear her away—her dad was gone for the weekend.
She reached for her neck and felt around, praying she’d encounter fingers or something—anything—but nothing corporeal met her touch.
Footsteps thudded in the hallway and an instant later Michael burst into the room. She tried to mouth the word help, but nothing came out. Her hand stretched out and gestured toward her throat.
Michael ran to her and just as she felt her consciousness fading, his hand grasped her arm and tugged her forward. She slumped onto his shoulder, gasping for air, as the force released her at last.
“We have to get out of here.” He took her hand and pulled her off the bed after him as he ran for the hallway.
“What was that?” she managed after sucking in a few more mouthfuls of air.
Michael didn’t answer until they made it down the stairs. “It seems we’re being haunted.”
“Gee, you think?”
He’d left her front door wide open, and he firmly took her arm to push her out ahead of him. “Get in the car.”
“We have to take Penny—”
“I’ll get your dog—you get in the car.”
The winter temperatures had dropped below zero, and the moment Gen’s bare feet hit the cement, she shivered. Perhaps she should be sleeping in a parka rather than tank top and light flannel pants.
“Shoes!” she called, hoping he heard her as she hopped from one foot to the other. She waited by the passenger side door without getting in until she saw Michael come through the door at last, Penny at his side. He tossed a pair of hiking boots at her, which she slipped on immediately. The dog looked warily up at him, but then her eyes moved to Genevieve and she happily bounded to her owner. Gen got her dog in the car, and then waited while Michael locked the front door and moved toward the car.
“Didja grab my coat, maybe?” she asked.
He slipped off his coat and tossed it over the hood of the car. Gen caught it, shoved her arms in, and got in the car at last.
“Can we possible go a few months without something trying to kill me?” she asked as he pulled out of the driveway.
Merri rushed to her the moment they stepped into the motel room. “Thank god you’re okay! Why did you have your phone off?”
“Uh, it’s the middle of the night—why would I have my cell phone on?”
“Uh, in case I had to warn you that we’re being haunted? Dummy.”
Gen took a seat on the bed and Penny joined her. “So? Do we know what’s going on?”
Merri and Michael exchanged glances. Not a good sign...
“What’s going on?” she repeated.
“We’re thinking...it’s Finn,” Merri said.
Gen felt the hairs on her arm stand on end and her throat dried. “Finn?”
“We don’t know anything for sure,” Michael said as he paced past her to stand at the window.
Merri’s sharp gaze followed him. “But the leading candidate is Finn.”
“Is Sage okay?” Gen asked.
“Yeah, I called her after I couldn’t get a hold of you. She’s fine. Pissed that I woke her up, but fine. She’ll join us in the morning.”
“What do we do know?”
“The pair of you sleep,” Michael said, still staring at the window. “I’ll wake you up if the temperature suddenly drops.”
Gen started awake. “Huh?”
Sage sat on a chair opposite the bed and glared at her. “You’re snoring. It’s irritating.”
“I’m not snoring now!” She sat up and frowned. “And I don’t snore anyway. So shut up.”
“Yes you do. I just heard you.”
“Well, Janine never said I did.”
“Then Janine lied to you.”
The words stung, and Sage glanced away suddenly, as if she knew the comment had been uncalled for.
“Well,” Sage continued, “either that, or she snored too and you drowned one another out.”
The door to the room opened and closed, and Merri appeared with a tray of coffee and box from Tim Hortons. “I have breakfast.”
“Where’s Michael?” Gen asked.
“He went back to the house,” Merri said. “To check it out. See if anything is still there.”
Gen glanced down at Penny, who lay curled up at the end of the bed. “Don’t suppose anyone took her out?”
Merri handed her a cup. “Michael did this morning.”
Colour me surprised.
Gen took a sip and was glad to find the drink was hot chocolate and not coffee, which she still hadn’t developed a taste for although Merri constantly tried to get her to drink it. She glanced at Sage. “And why are you in a pissy mood today? Nothing nearly strangled you in your bed, did it?”
“No, but I was awake all night waiting for some damn ghost to come and bother me.”
“Any idea how we’re going to clear out the haunting?” Gen glanced down at her pajamas. “I’d very much like to get dressed today.”
“I’ve called Thad—he’s coming here with Raj,” Merri said.
Gen slumped back down on the bed. “I so hope we get this figured out. I don’t want Dad to come home to ghosts. Especially not murdered rapist ghosts.”
Twenty minutes later saw Michael return with Thad in tow.
“What’s the place like?” Merri asked.
Michael shook his head. “I got three feet inside and it felt like a freezer.”
“And we have a change of plans,” Thad said. “Raj is meeting us at Michael’s. With his sister.”
“Why?” Merri asked.
“Because apparently she’s a medium.”
In the bright light of day, Genevieve stood outside of Michael’s with Penny on one side, and Sage and Merri on the other. Thad and Michael stood a few feet away, but Gen couldn’t make out what they were saying.
“I feel like such a dork in my pajamas,” Gen muttered.
Merri gestured to her short nightgown with one of Michael’s sweatshirts overtop. “Uh, and I don’t look stupid in this with jeans?”
“At least you have jeans.”
Raji’s car pulled up, and the group turned to see two people get out. Gen’s gaze immediately went his sister.
And I suddenly wish I wore sexier pajamas.
She was taller than her brother, but not as tall as Gen herself. Her warm brown eyes met Gen’s and a soft smile curved her lips.
She felt a flutter in her stomach. It had been a long time since she’d looked at a girl and felt that—crying over Janine for a month had her convinced dating was evil and she’d never bother again.
And I’m rapidly changing my mind about that...
“This is my sister, Priya,” Raji said.
Priya walked around the car to join the group. “Hi. There’s really no easy way to slip into this conversation—and I know from experience—so let’s get right to it. I hear you have a ghost problem.”
Michael gestured over his shoulder. “Inside.”
She brushed back the fringe of short black hair from her eyes and looked the building up and down. “Let’s head inside then.”
Michael led the way, with Priya behind him and the others taking up the rear.
Cold air struck Gen forcibly when they stepped inside the house—just as Michael said, the place was like a walk-in freezer and even Genevieve, who didn’t feel she had any real extrasensory perception, felt something very wrong about the place.
Her gaze went immediately to Merri’s bedroom door, which was practically in pieces. “Was that Finn’s handiwork too?”
“No, mine,” Michael said.
Priya stepped forward with slow, deliberate steps. Her right hand reached out and fingertips touched the brick of the wall as she walked. “It’s strong.”
“We figured that out last night,” Merri said dryly.
“And it’s angry,” Priya continued.
“Definitely Finn,” Gem muttered.
“No.” Priya shook her head slowly as her gaze travelled around the room. She titled her head, as if listening, and her movements were smooth and fluid. “It’s not male.”
Gen glanced at the others. Michael’s gaze went to hers first, and she suspected they had the same thought.
So, someone who wants to kill me but isn’t Finn?
“You’re sure?” Michael asked.
Priya nodded. “It’s a woman. What happened here last night, exactly?”
“I went to bed,” Merri said. “Something woke me up. It got really cold. The light wouldn’t work and the door slammed on its own. We couldn’t get it open—Michael had to break it.”
Priya glanced toward Michael next. “And you?”
“It got cold, and it called me.”
She looked at him with a touch of surprise. “It called you? By name?”
“Uh, it tried to kill me,” Gen spoke up. “Isn’t that interesting too?”
Priya moved towards Genevieve, touched her shoulder, and closed her eyes. Moments later they shot open again and she looked deep into Genevieve’s eyes. “Yes, she did. And she thinks she has good reason.”
She left Genevieve standing there in confusion, and then moved towards the stairs. “Up here? She called you up here?”
“Yeah,” Michael said.
They all started to follow, though Priya froze just a few steps up the stairs.
“Pri?” Raji called. “Are you...?”
“Priya’s not home,” said a voice that sounded strangely like Priya’s, and yet not. Priya’s back straightened and her shoulders squared. She turned around to face them, her irises and pupils pure white. “Leave a message and she’ll call you back.”
“Oh...shit,” Raji muttered.
“I’m going to take a shot in the dark and guess she’s possessed,” Merri said.
“It happens,” Raji said. “She’ll get better...” His sentence trailed off as Priya walked straight for the battle axe, picked it up, and bolted for Gen.
Oh, dammit! Gen took a few steps back until she hit the wall. Just as the blade neared her, Michael’s hand caught the handle.
Gen swallowed back the lump in her throat and looked from Michael to Priya, and then back again.
Priya’s white eyes moved to Michael and she smiled. “Hello, Parris. Care to let me kill the girl now?”
Michael shook his head. “Not today, Alex.”
“Alex?” Gen said, still not taking her eyes from Not-Priya. “Alex as in...the hitwoman?”
“Who you killed,” Alex said. She licked her lips. “Let me return the favour.”
She’s a lot less hot when she’s possessed and threatening me with a battle axe.
But still a little hot.
“Let’s have a talk, instead.” Michael slid the battle axe from her grasp.
Alex backed off with a glare in Gen’s direction, then turned to Michael. “Yes, let’s.”
Michael sat on the edge of his mission rocking chair in his room, leaning forward and resting his chin on his folded hands. He watched Alex in Priya’s body pace back and forth. She walked differently now. Priya moved carefully, like a dancer. Alex’s steps were heavy and purposeful, and her hands twitched now and then as if she was ready to draw a weapon.
They’d left the others downstairs. Michael wasn’t sure he wanted them overhearing what Alex had to say—or at least not yet.
“When did you get to Newhaven?”
She stopped pacing, turned to face him, and dropped down on the bed. “When did I die?”
“Two months ago.”
“Huh.” She seemed to chew on that thought for a moment, then tapped on her forehead. “Time is a funny thing when you’re dead. Everything is all messed up. I remember my hotel room. And then I remember being really pissed off.”
“Why come to me?”
She gave him a wicked smile, stretched her arms back behind her on the bed and leaned back. “I can think of a few reasons.”
He rolled his eyes. “C’mon, Alex.”
She sighed. “Okay. So the last thing I remember is that girl down there shooting at me and the other one somehow choking me to death. So...” She shrugged. “I thought I’d pay them a visit.”
“You, I noticed when I got here. It’s so nice to see a familiar face—or, in my case, sense a familiar presence—in this awful little town. I thought you could help.”
“Well, killing the little cunts downstairs would be a start.”
“That’s not going to happen.”
“Don’t tell me they’re your friends...Michael Parris doesn’t have friends.”
“No, but he does have responsibilities.”
“Teen girls are your responsibilities? That’s a change.”
And let’s get off of this subject. “Why were you here?”
“Why do you think?” She tilted her head to the side. “Something tells me you already know.”
So she was hired to kill Cade after all. “Who hired you?”
“I didn’t get a name. You know I don’t always.”
“Who did the hiring, then?”
“It came in the mail. With cash.”
“And anyone contacting you would trust you to get it done.”
She sat up straight and smiled. “I do have a reputation to keep up.”
“Have you ever been employed by The Brethren?”
“The who?” She scrunched up her face. “Are they those guys who don’t really exist?”
“Yes, and they do exist.”
“I’ve never met one then.”
Alex can’t tell me anything. He’d never say it aloud, but for all her “reputation”, she was just a hired thug. They were back to investigating Cade, he supposed, and disappointment weighed heavily on him. He’d been hoping Alex could answer tell him something...anything...
“I guess this is the part where you go to the light, then.”
Alex pouted as she stood and wandered toward him. “But I like this body. It feels much younger than my last one. Fifteen years? Twenty?” She paced forward until she was standing over him. Her hands moved to either side of the chair’s arms and she leaned forward until her nose touched his. “I could do a lot of damage with this body.”
“Follow the fucking light or I’ll call in an exorcist.”
She stood straight and started to pace again. “Fine. It’s a little hard to hold on anyway.”
“And you’ll quit with the haunting?”
“Sure. But...” She swung her gaze around the room dramatically as she headed towards the staircase. “Have you seen everyone around here?”
Hope. It clenched his chest then. “Who?”
“Half the fucking planet, Parris. Why? Looking for someone in particular? Loudest is some Scottish guy cursing your name.”
He didn’t need to actually say anything. The truth was, he knew the answer. No reason to ask. And if Alex thought she could have something over him, she might try to use it to her advantage—maybe keep Priya’s body...
“A woman,” he said, risking it. “Dark hair. My age.” Anne.
Alex glanced around. “That’s vague, but no. They flicker in and out. Sometimes shapes and forms. Sometimes I just feel things. Like I said, the Scottish guy is the loudest. You’d better hope he doesn’t figure out what I did.”
“I’ll handle my ghosts.”
She gave him a smirk before descending the stairs. “You do that,” she called over her shoulder.
With a heavy sigh, Michael stood and followed. He watched Alex reach the bottom of the stairs, and then crumple to the ground.
There goes our only friendly lead...fuck.
Raji and Gen were the first to reach Priya and help her stand.
Gen looked up at Michael as he joined them. “What happened?”
“She went toward the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Are you okay?” Gen asked, her attention back to Priya.
“Yeah.” Priya gave her a weak smile. “Bad headache and I feel like I could sleep for a week, but that’s usually how it goes.” She looked up as Michael reached the bottom step. “And I’m sorry for hitting on you. That really, really wasn’t me.”
Gen looked as though she was about say “eww” but held off as Priya turned to her brother. “Can we go home? I’ll meet everyone tomorrow for a little debrief, but I really want to lay down.”
“Thanks!” Gen called as they walked away. As the front door closed, she turned and smacked Michael in the side with the back of her hand. “Why do cute girls have to hit on you? ”
“I’m going to shower,” Merri called as she headed for the bathroom. “Then change. Then hopefully sleep.”
“Can I go home now?” Sage asked. “Since nothing was haunting me anyway?”
“Can someone take me and Penny home?” Gen asked. “So that I can put on real pants?”
Michael nodded again. “Go wait in my car.”
Once everyone else had left, Thad started backing up. “I guess since you talked to Gardner, we don’t need to—”
“She doesn’t—didn’t—know anything. Contract came by mail. Could be anyone.”
“So you’re still investigating Cade. You need to find out about his enemies.” The car horn honked from outside. Michael rolled his eyes. “The sooner the better—once we know, I can stop worrying about keeping an eye on them.” He left Thad in the living room and went outside to find Gen and Penny in the car. She already had the car started, and he was slightly surprised she hadn’t just taken off.
“I feel like I should get you a fruit basket or something,” she said as he pulled out of the driveway.
“Saving my life twice within twelve hours. Do they make fruit baskets for that occasion? Maybe a cake.”
“How about a case of beer?”
“Maybe when I’m nineteen.”