Chapter 23~24


Chapter Twenty-three

Being the Chronicles of Abby Normal:

The Hunted

Apparently I am the Hunted, which, I want to note here, I am totally not qualified for. Here I sit, perched in the rafters (I think these things are rafters) of the Oakland Bay Bridge like a crippled night bird, waiting for doom to descend on me in the form of an ancient, undead thing, to wrench the very limbs from my delicate body. So that sucks.

Fortunately I have some sustenance until my Dark Lord and Lady rise from their diurnal slumber to kick some fucking ass. I know I should be eating bugs and spiders and stuff to facilitate my vampyrism, but as a vegetarian, I haven't developed the hunting skills, so I've started with some Gummi Bears I got at the theater. (Supposedly they are made out of beef pectin or extract of horse hooves or something, so I think they make a good transition to the nosferatu diet. And I like biting off their tiny heads.)

Here, high above the City - well, actually, we're about ten feet above some homeless people who live under the bridge - I feel like the guardian of an ancient tomb, willing to face any attacker to protect my master and mistress, who are wrapped in tarps, lying on the next beam or rafter or whatever.

OMFG, there are fucking pigeons everywhere! Sorry, one just pooped on my notebook. Never mind. Move along. I'm over it. But ewwww!

Jared has gone to his dad's house in the Noe Valley to get the lawn cart and minivan so we can transport my masters to safety. He left me his dagger, which I've only had to brandish once, against a woman who wanted to take the tarp from over my Dark Lord. Then I used it to scrape off my old nail polish, which was totally chipped and stuff from doing minion manual labor.

So, my masters like met up with us outside the Museum of Modern Art and they were all, "Are you okay? Did he hurt you?" And they were being all secretive around Jared, like he didn't know we were vampyres. And I was all, "Just chill, he's assistant minion." So they relaxed.

Then Flood pulls this bronze hand out of his bag and he's all, "Abby, do you know what this is?"

And I was all, "Why yes, Lord Flood," because I speak obvious as a second language. "It's a bronze hand, correct?"

So the Countess took the hand from him. "Abby, this is what's left of the shell of the vampyre who turned me."

So I'm all, "Begging your pardon and whatnot, Countess, but that's a statue hand."

And she's all, "That's what I'm saying." Which is not what the fuck she was saying at all.

So it turns out that the bronze statue that used to be in the loft was actually the vampyre who turned the Countess, and then the Countess turned the vampyre Flood, except he was just Flood then. So the old vampyre, whose name is Elijah, got all PMS and started fucking with the Countess by leaving dead bodies all over town with evidence pointing toward her, and threatening to kill her minion, who was Flood at the time, and it got completely out of hand, with some cops and the geeks from the Safeway blowing up Elijah's yacht and really pissing him off, and then the Countess pretending to save Elijah when in fact she was extracting his ancient vampyry secrets, and Flood bronzing them both, but letting the Countess out because she is the love of his life and whatnot. So Flood, who is not a mysterious and ancient creature of the night at all, but has been a vampyre like a week longer than I have, took the statue down to the waterfront to drop it in the Bay, so it wouldn't remind the Countess of her heart being torn asunder by the yearning for two lovers and stuff. But the sun came up and Flood left the statue on the Embarcadero, and when they went back it was gone, and it turns out that Elijah is loose and he was the crusty vampyre in the yellow tracksuit I saw shaking the huge cat guy and he is now stalking me to get back at the Countess for being a duplicitous ho.

So Jared was all, "Fuck. That's awesome."

And I was all, "You lied to me."

And the Countess was all, "Yeah, sunshine, that's why I'm telling you this now." Which was completely unnecessary sarcasm on her part.

And Jared was like, "This is the best Christmas ever."

And I was all, "Shut up, gay-bait. I've been betrayed."

And the Countess was all, "You'll get over it. We have to go see if William is okay."

And I see now that she was right, but I brooded as we went back to the loft, just to make a point, because I hate it when people take me for granted. When we got to the Countess's block, there was an ambulance there and cops all over the place, so Flood and the Countess hung back and sent me over to get the 411. I could see that the huge cat guy was on a stretcher and they were strapping oxygen on him.

And I was all, "Let me through, this man is my father."

And the EMTs were all, "No way."

And I was all, "Who called you, anyway?"

And they were like, "The guy in the building. A sculptor or something."

And then the cat guy was all, "Let her through."

So they let me through.

So I blew by the EMT to the huge cat guy, and I was all, "Are you okay?"

And he was like, "Well, my head hurts like hell, and I think my leg is broke."

And I was all, "Is there anything I can do?" Because I was under orders of the Countess to gain information and offer assistance.

And he was like, "If you could take care of Chet. He's in the stairwell. He'll be hungry."

And I was all, "You got it."

So then he like pulled the oxygen mask off and had me bend over so he could whisper, and I was all, "Yes, Dad," for the EMTs who were watching.

And he whispered like, "Before they take me away, could I see your tits."

So I kicked him in the ribs. And the EMTs went all byzerk and shit, and told me to get away, but they were totally overreacting, because I had on my red Converse All Stars, which will hardly even bruise you.

So they loaded him into the ambulance, and just as they were shutting the doors, he reached out his hand, like he was a drowning man reaching for the last spark of his mortality before the inky waves of death swept him away - so I flashed my boobs for him, just a quick lift of my bra and top at the same time, because I don't think we do enough to help the homeless, and I wanted him to die a happy man. And besides, they're small and I don't get that many requests.

So I got Chet out of the stairway of the old loft and was carrying him kid-style when I saw the two cops from before - the ones the Countess said helped blow up Elijah - so I went up to the Hispano-cop and I was all, "So, what's up, cop?"

And he was all, "You need to get home, and you have no business out at this hour, and we should take you to the station and call your parents and blah, blah, blah, threat, threat, disapproval, and fascist dogma all up in your darkly delicious grille." (I'm paraphrasing. Although I do have a delicious grille as I had to wear braces for three years when I was a kid, and now my teeth are like my most acceptable feature. I hope my fangs come in straight.)

And the big gay cop was all, "What are you doing here?"

And I was all, "I live here, bone-smoker, what are you doing here? Aren't you guys homicide cops?"

And he was all, "Let's see some ID blah, blah, bluster, bluster, Oh My God I am so full of shit."

And I was like, "I guess you wouldn't have to deal with this shit if you had properly blowed up that old vampyre when you stole his art collection."

So all of a sudden the Hispano-cop and his big gay partner were all, "Whaaa - ?"

And I'm like, "Just so we know where we stand. How long you bitches going to be here?"

And they were like, "Just a half hour or so longer, miss. We need to interview some witnesses and go clean out our boxers where we have just completely shit ourselves. Do you need a ride somewhere?" (Again paraphrasing.)

So I walked off, while they were still stunned, let Chet into the new loft down the street like it was mine, then ran around the block and reported to the Countess and Flood. Jared was just staring at them like he was hypnotized or something. I was like, "Hey, Boo," to remind him what a tard he was being and Jared snapped out. (Lily and Jared and I watched the To Kill a Mockingbird DVD like six times together and our favorite part is when Scout sees Boo Radley behind the door and goes, "Hey, Boo." It's like thanking the universe for sending you a benevolent retard to help you out, which is how I often feel about Jared.) So I was like, "Buy me a coffee." And the Countess and Flood look at each other and shake their heads. No money.

So I was like, "You guys are so fucking lame. You have piles of cash and you roll with no money. You are no longer the Dark Lord and Lady of me." Which I totally didn't mean, but I was stressed and starting to get a low-on-caffeine headache. But Jared goes, "Hey, Boo" at me, and he's holding a ten-dollar bill. And I pretended to find a snag in my fishnets so everyone would quit looking at me.

The Countess said she knew of a Chinese diner off Freemont Street that was open all night on Christmas and we could hang out there until the cops left. Jared and I had cups of coffee and an order of fries, which FYI, taste a little like shrimp in a Chinese diner. And Flood and the Countess are watching us, looking all sad. So I'm like, "What? What? What?"

And the Countess is all, "Nothing."

Which I know is totally something, because I say it all the time. And I watch her eyes follow Jared's cup as he sips his coffee and I'm all, "Oh, fucksocks, Countess, cowboy the fuck up, would you?" Then I slipped Jared's dagger out of his boot, grabbed his hand, and poked him in the thumb.

I'd like to say right here that the screaming was totally unnecessary. And whatever the Chinese guy was saying at me from behind the counter was a total overreaction and how does he expect me to understand him when he's talking that fast AND in Chinese? Anyway, after I squeezed Jared's thumb into his cup, then a little into my own and gave it to Flood, everyone calmed down, even the Chinese guy after Jared paid him for two more coffees - and the meeting of the Immortal SOMA Drama Queens officially came to order.

It seemed like we waited forever, and the Countess and Flood wouldn't answer any of my questions about the way of the nosferatu. It was like they had no idea what they were doing. Like last year I took Advanced Foods class (which is like cooking for nerds) after lunch, and so I usually took a nap. Which was fine, because I'm not even thrilled about regular foods, so, you know, what do I need with like advanced digital HD wi-fi foods and whatnot - so I took the course pass-fail and slept. But then, at the end of the semester, my mom springs this trap on me, like - "Oh, Allison, I've bought ingredients and you can prepare dinner for Ronnie and me to show what you learned in your Advanced Foods class. It'll be fun."

You can pretty much bet that anytime Mom uses the phrase "it'll be fun," she is about to drive a stake in fun's heart so that it may never rise again. Which is what happened. Artichokes? Who eats something like that? I thought it was a weapon.

So anyway, after nine eternities in the diner, we went back to the loft, where the Countess said she had my Christmas present waiting. When we got to the block, the cops and EMTs were gone and it looked like the coast was clear, but when the Countess opened the security door to the loft, there, sitting on the steps, was the old vampyre, naked.

Well, the Countess and Flood jumped about eighteen feet in the air and I'm pretty sure I peed a little. Yes, I definitely peed. Jared just started an asthma attack, not the whole attack, just the first gasp. He just stopped breathing after that.

So Elijah is all, "I needed to do some laundry."

Let me say right here, if I haven't made it clear, that I have seen as many pale, naked old-man parts in the last twenty-four hours to bruise my delicate psyche for a lifetime, so don't be surprised if you someday find me wandering the moors at midnight, a crazed look in my eye, babbling about albino Tater Tots nesting in Brillo pads and being pursued by sagging man ass, because that shit can happen when you've been traumatized.

Then Flood threw himself against the door and screamed for us to run as he bravely held the door against our ancient vampyre ancestor's assaults. I was beginning to doubt Flood's ability to fulfill his duties as my Dark Lord until he stepped up and saved us - valiant vampyre hero that he is - because I was starting to think he was just a geek with a passing knowledge of poetry.

As we ran I could hear Elijah saying, "He peed on my tracksuit," as he threw himself against the door, or I guessed he did, because I didn't turn around until we were two blocks away.

The Countess was all, "I've got to go back for him." But before she even turned around, my Dark Lord came running around the corner.

And he was all, "Go, go, go!" waving at us.

And we were all, "Where? Where? Where?"

And then as the Countess threw her arms around Flood and started to squeeze the bejeezus out of him, and Jared was all, "Gasp, get a room, gasp," her watch started beeping. Then Flood's watch was beeping, too. And they were all, "Uh-oh."

So we had like ten minutes to find someplace dark to hide them, and no one had any money for a hotel, even if we had the time to check in and whatnot. So they ran toward a big construction site under the Bay Bridge. And I was thinking, I do not want to bury my masters in the construction site. What if they got paved? It would totally freak them out to get paved.

And the Countess was all, "How did you get away?"

And the vampyre Flood was all, "The dryer buzzer went off."

And she was all, "He let you live because his laundry was done?"

And Flood goes, "Lucky, huh?" Totally not out of breath, even with the running.

So when we got to the construction site, everything was either open or would be when everyone came to work. And the Countess looked up into the rafters or whatever of the bridge and goes, "There."

So there is where we went. I grabbed some tarps that were covering this generator thing by the construction site and Jared and I climbed up into the rafters with our vampyre sires and helped tuck them in just in time for them to go out.

But as it got lighter, and we saw all the homeless people around, Jared and I realized that our masters would not be safe here when all the homeless people who lived under the bridge noticed the tarps and our delicate youth or smelled my Gummi Bears and came after us. So Jared went to get the garden cart, some trash bags and duct tape, and hopefully his stepmom's minivan so we can move our masters to a safer realm.

Oh, check it, before the Countess passed into the inky sleep of the undead, I was like, "So what did you get me for Christmas?"

And she was all, "Ten thousand dollars."

And I was like, "I didn't get you guys anything."

And she was like, "That's okay. You are our most special favorite minion and it's all good."

Which is why I love her and will guard her to the death. Then she like kissed the vampyre Flood and passed out. I'm sure their love will span the ages, if Jared and I don't fuck up and fry them during transport.

OMG! I just remembered, we forgot to feed Chet!

Chapter Twenty-four

The Half-Life of American Cheese

The Cheddar Princess of Fond du Lac was toasted. It wasn't just the bursting into flames that had crispied her up more than somewhat physically, it was that Drew's blood tasted like bong water, and she was still a little mentally baked from feeding on him. She'd made the mistake of trying to get the taste out of her mouth with some orange juice and had been rewarded with five minutes of the dry heaves.

She brushed at her arms and great black flakes of burned skin came away, revealing fresh, unscarred skin below. Drew's blood was healing her, but it appeared that the process was going to take time and, like life in general, was going to be messy.

Maybe a bath.

She padded naked into the bathroom, which was done all in slabs of granite and green glass, and ran her bath. While the tub filled, she picked the last few burned tatters of her dress away from her skin and dropped them into the toilet. There was a swath of gray dust across the black tile, the remains of the original owner, and she was tracking him all over the bathroom and bedroom suite, so she stopped to sweep him into the corner with a towel. That had sort of been a surprise (in what was turning out to be a long line of surprises) when her first victim had disintegrated in her arms two nights ago, just as she was getting the hang of blood drinking.


He had been so nice, too. Had picked her up in his Mercedes not two minutes after she'd stumbled out of Lash's apartment building wearing nothing but a leather bustier and thigh-high platform boots. It wasn't the first time she'd been on the street with her ass hanging out - that wasn't what had thrown her. It was waking up feeling like her tits were on fire to see her body rejecting the giant silicone globes she had spent so much money having implanted. Even as she tried to push them back in with her hands, the implants pushed through her skin, opening her up like they were aliens hatching out of her. She screamed as they broke through and rolled to the floor, then lay there, quivering on the carpet. As she watched, her skin mended, her breasts tightened and lifted, the pain had turned to a tingling, but now she felt a squirming in her face - her lips specifically, and she wiped her mouth and came away with two sluglike lines of silicone that had been injected years ago. It was only then, in looking at the grotesque globs of lip filler on her hand, that Blue realized she wasn't blue at all. Her palms were baby white. Her arms, her legs - she ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. An old familiar stranger looked back at her - the Cheddar Princess of Fond du Lac. She hadn't seen this person since high school; the milky-white skin, hair almost white blond, still in the severe cut of the blue call girl, but looking somewhat like a pageboy cut now. Even the tattoos she'd had done in her early days in Vegas were gone.

I'm alive, she thought. Then: And I'm going to be alive forever. Then: And I'm going to need some fucking money.

She ran to Lash's bedroom to where she'd left her makeup case. It was gone. Her money was gone!

She ran out of the apartment and down the steps like she might see a green trail of bills blowing in the wind in the direction her money had escaped, but once on the street, she headed for the only place she knew, toward the Marina Safeway. She got half a block before the Mercedes pulled up and the electric window rolled down.

"Hey, you need a ride? It's a little chilly out here for that outfit."

His name had been David, and he did something that had to do with moving money around. Whatever it was, it must have paid well. He was wearing a two-thousand-dollar suit and his penthouse apartment on Russian Hill looked out on Golden Gate Bridge and the massive dome at the Palace of Fine Arts.

He'd given her his coat to wear up in the elevator. It was in the elevator that the hunger had come upon her. Poor David. They hadn't even talked price before she'd had him bent over the green glass vanity in the bathroom, drinking his life away.

"Oops." The difference, she realized, between what had happened to her and what had happened to David had been the bloody kiss she'd taken from Tommy. But for a kiss, she, too, would be a pile of dust. There should be a song like that, she thought. At least she'd learned before she took her victims.

Now she swept the last of David into the corner, then scraped him up with a piece of cardboard from his shirt drawer and dumped him into the wastebasket. Then she slipped into the tub full of bubbles and began to scrub off her charred skin.

She wouldn't be able to stay long. David had been married or had a girlfriend. Blue had found a whole closet full of women's clothes - expensive clothes, and the woman would probably be back. Of course, this would make a great base of operations, maybe she could just wait for the wife to return and sweep her into the wastebasket with David.

Blue leaned back and closed her eyes, listened to the bubbles popping, the wires humming through the building, the traffic out on the streets, to fishing boats leaving the wharf - then a sudden intake of breath from the living room, then another, deeper gasp as the second one found life, then a long man-scream. The dead Animals she'd collected were coming back to life.

"Sit tight, boys," Blue said. "Mama's just going to get cleaned up and put on a new dress, then we'll go get you something to eat and pick up my money."

She ran a sponge over her arm and smiled. She really could be Snow White now. One dwarf at a time, she thought.

Elijah Ben Sapir had roamed the planet for eight hundred and seventeen years. In that time he had seen empires rise and fall, miracles and massacres, ages of ignorance and ages of enlightenment: the full spectrum of mankind's cruelty and kindness. He had seen all manner of freakishness, from the perversions of nature to the perversions of mind, twisted, beautiful, terrifying: he thought he had seen it all. But for all of his years, and all the acuity of perception enabled by his vampire senses, he had never seen a huge shaved cat in a red sweater, and sitting there in his newly washed yellow tracksuit, still warm from the dryer and smelling of soap and fabric softener, he smiled.

"Hey, kitty," the old vampire said.

The huge cat eyed him suspiciously from across the loft. The cat could sense that he was a predator, just as Elijah could sense that the cat had been prey to a vampire. Kitty treat.

"I'm not going to eat you, kitty. I've fed quite enough."

It was true. Elijah was feeling a little bloated from trying to keep the body count up. Perhaps he should just kill the next few, not feed. But no, the police wouldn't know it was a vampire then, and there'd be no joy in terrorizing the fledgling. He just wasn't ready to feed yet. There was someone in the stairwell right now, he could hear her breathing and smell patchouli and clove cigarette odor wafting under the door. Soon enough, he thought.

"Perhaps we'll find something for you to eat, hey, kitty?"

Elijah vaulted off the bar stool and began opening cupboards. In the third one he found pouches of Tender Vittles. He took a bowl from the cupboard that looked as if it had never been used, dumped in the meatish nuggets, and shook them around.

"Come, kitty."

Chet padded a few steps toward the kitchenette, then stopped. Elijah put the bowl down and stepped away. "I understand, kitty. I don't like to eat in front of witnesses either. But sometimes - "

The vampire heard a car pull up outside, a car that hadn't been tuned in a while. He cocked his head and listened as the doors opened and slammed. Four got out. He heard their steps on the concrete, a female voice, hissing at the other three. In an instant he was at the window looking down, and in spite of himself, he smiled again. There was no vivid life aura around the four down on the sidewalk. No healthy pink glow, no black shadow of death. The visitors below were not human.

Vampires. On one hand, an indication of an enormous problem - one that just might attract attention that he could ill afford - but on the other, exciting in a way that he hadn't felt in a hundred years.

"Four against one. Oh my, kitty, how ever will I prevail?"

The old vampire ran his tongue over his fangs. For all the rage, frustration, and discomfort he'd endured since choosing the redhead as his fledgling, he was, for the first time in decades, not bored. He was having the time of his very long life.

"Killing time, kitty," he said, slipping into a pair of Tommy's Nikes.

Jody awoke to the smell of clove cigarettes and the crunching of Cheese Newts. There was music screeching, too - a whiny guy singing about some girl named Ligeia, who apparently he missed a great deal because he was talking about dragging her worm-worn corpse from the earth and caressing her cheek on a cliff above the sea before throwing himself off, with her in his arms. The singer sounded a little down, and like he could have used a throat lozenge.

She opened her eyes and was initially blinded until she adjusted to the black light, then she yelped. Jared White Wolf was sitting on the bed about two feet away from her, shoving handfuls of crunchy Cheese Newts into his mouth. There was a brown rat on his shoulder.

"Hi." Newt crumbs sprayed and fluoresced on the black sheets and clothing.

"Hi," Jody said, turning her head to avoid the crumbs.

"This is my room. Do you like it?"

Jody looked around, for once not really that thrilled with her vampire night-vision abilities. There were disturbing stains glowing on the sheets, and almost everything else in the room was black with a patina of vibrant blacklight-enhanced dust or lint - there was even lint on the rat.

"It's swell," she said. Interesting, she thought. She was no longer afraid of gang members and street criminals, and would even throw down with an eight-hundred-year-old vampire if need be, but rodents still sort of gave her the willies. The rat's eyes were glowing silver in the black light.

"This is Lucifer Two." Jared scooped the animal off his shoulder and held him out.

Despite an attempt at self-control, Jody climbed backwards halfway up the wall, shredding a Marilyn Manson poster with her nails in the process.

"Lucifer One went on to his dark reward when I tried to dye him black."

"Sad," Jody said.

"Yeah." Jared turned the rat and rubbed noses with him. "I was hoping we could turn him to nosferatu when you bring Abby and me into the fold."

"Yeah, sure, that'll happen. Why am I in your room, Jared?"

"It was the only place we could think to bring you. It wasn't safe under the bridge. Abby had to go, so I'm in charge."

"Good for you. Where's Tommy?"

"Under the bed."

She would have known that - would have heard him breathing if the music wasn't cranked up to coffin-splitting volume.

"Could you turn the music down a little, please?"

" 'Kay," Jared said. He tucked Lucifer Two in his pocket and spidered across the bed, getting a little tangled in his black duster, then rolled to the floor and across the room in a commando-under-fire move until he got to the stereo, where he twisted the dial, putting the keening Emo singer out of his misery, or at least shutting him the fuck up.

"Where are we?" Tommy's voice from under the bed. "It smells like gym socks stuffed with ground-up hippies."

"We're in Jared's room," Jody said. She let a hand drop off the edge of the bed. Tommy took it and she pulled him out. He was still partially wrapped in duct tape and garbage bags.

"Was I a hostage again?"

"We had to cover you up to keep you from burning in the sun."

"Well, thanks."

Tommy looked at Jody, who shrugged.

"I was unwrapped when I woke up," she said.

"That's because Abby says you're the Alpha vamp. Do you guys want to play Xbox or watch a DVD? I have The Crow Special Collector's Edition."

"Gee," Jody said, "that would be great, Jared, but we'd better be going."

Tommy had already picked up the Xbox controller, but set it down with marked disapproval, as if he'd notice a little botulism there on the trigger button.

"Oh, you can't go until the 'rents go to bed." Jared giggled, high and girlish. "The door is right by where they watch TV."

"We'll go out a window," Jody said.

Jared giggled again, then snorted a little, then started to honk, then took a hit from the inhaler that hung around his neck before he went on. "There's no window. This basement is totally windowless. Like we've been walled up in here with our own grotesque despair. Isn't it sweet?"

"We could go to mist," Tommy said. "Go out under the door."

"That would be so cool," Jared said, "but my dad put rubber gaskets around the door to contain my disgusting Goth stench. That's what he calls it: my 'disgusting Goth stench. Although I don't think I'm really Goth, more like death punk. He just doesn't like cloves. Or pot. Or patchouli. Or gay people."

"Philistine," Tommy said.

"Oh, would you guys like some Cheese Newts?" Jared picked the box up off the floor and held it out. "I can open a vein on them if you need me to." He waved the thumb Abby had stabbed to prepare their coffee the night before, now wrapped in a ragged ball of gauze and medical tape the size of a racquetball.

"I'm good," Tommy said.

Jody nodded in agreement; although she would love a cup of coffee, she didn't think she should ask the kid to stab himself quite so soon.

She checked her watch. "What time do your parents go to bed?"

"Oh, around ten. You'll have plenty of time to stalk the night and whatnot. Would you like to wash up or something? There's a bathroom down here. And a washing machine. My room was the wine cellar, then my dad crashed his car and started twelve-stepping, so I got this sweet room for my own. Abby says it's dank and disgusting - and she says it like it's a bad thing! I think it's just her perky side manifesting. I love her, but she really can be perky sometimes - don't tell her I said so."

Jody shook her head, then nudged Tommy, who shook his head in agreement. "We won't tell." The kid was sort of giving her the creeps. She thought she might have lost that ability with blood drinking and the sleep of the undead and all, but nope, she was getting completely creeped out.

"Jared, when is Abby coming back?"

"Oh, she should be here any minute. She went to your loft to feed the cat."

"She went to our loft? The loft where Elijah was?"

"No, it's okay. She went during daylight so he couldn't hurt her."

"It's not daylight anymore," Jody said.

"How do you know?" Jared said "No windows, duh."

Tommy Stooge-smacked his forehead with enough force to render a mortal man unconscious. "Because we're awake, you fucking moron!"

"Oh yeah, ha," Jared said. The trilling giggle again. "That's bad, huh?"


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