“I’ve heard things about you guys… strange things.”
I didn’t have to look at Blake to know a smile curved his mouth. I studied the girl standing in front of us, from her tiny designer boots to her preppy clothes to the sleek blonde hair. Her cheeks were pale, her eyes a little too wide. She said her name was Alexandria.
“Yeah, what kind of things,” I said, and bit into my apple.
She glanced over her shoulder at the other high school preps mulling around Westside High during lunch break, reached into her back pocket and pulled something out.
Blake bumped me aside as he snatched it away from the girl’s hand.
I cursed as my half-eaten apple hit dirt.
“It can’t be…” he murmured.
The girl stepped back. “W-what? What is it?”
Blake moved closer, likely giving her the iced blue intensity of his gaze. I knew that look. We’d caught another case. “Where did you get this?”
She swallowed. “My boyfriend. There’s something wrong with him. He’s not the same since last week. I’ve been finding these all over. We’re supposed to go to prom in a few days. I need help. Your kind of help. Tiffany Wiser. She told me about you. How you helped her a few months back.”
Yeah, the Tiffany girl, filed under Z for Zombie. As in, the infection of her brother. We’d caught it early enough before there was no going back for the kid.
“Okay, we’ll help you,” Blake said.
“For a price,” I cut in from behind Blake. We had to eat.
“I heard. But I don’t have much money. I work at Donna’s Diner. I close Tuesday and Thursdays. I can hook you up with some hot meals.”
“Give us your contact info. We’ll be in touch,” Blake told her. With a look of relief, Alexandria handed Blake a paper with her cell number and email.
“Listen, just don’t tell anybody what you’re helping me with, okay?” Alexandria turned and jogged away.
“So,” I said, and peered over his shoulder. “What’s so interesting?”
A feather. Glistening black with silver dust.
Blake ran his fingers over the fine surface. “It’s an angel feather.”
“What? That’s impossible.”
“No. It’s angel all right.”
“A dark angel.”
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