Chapter 25

Go back to the beginning.

Whoever was pulling all the crap, they are not afraid of me.

What did it mean? Or was I kidding myself, trying to play detective? Maybe this shit was all random. I mean, I was a vampire. My friends were ghosts, vampires, werewolves, millionaires, ER docs. Why wouldn’t weird shit happen all of a sudden? Weird shit did happen all of a sudden. Just not to everyone, and not all at once. Usually.

I looked at my watch. Almost eleven o’clock. Too late to call Mom back. Not that I was in the mood. But the werewolves were probably still up and around.

I punched in Wyndham’s cell number, and he picked up immediately.

“Yes, Betsy?”

“How’d you know it was me?”

“Caller ID, dear. What can I do for you? Have you heard from our wayward lambs?”

“No, I was just returning your call. Wait a minute. My name wouldn’t show up on your—”

“No, but your landlady’s does. And she’s in the hospital right now, yes? Unlikely to be phoning me.” There was a pause, and then he added, “We did our research, dear.”

“You did?” I said, mildly creeped out.

“We’ve looked into a few more things since our arrival here. It simply will not do to underestimate you again.” He laughed, a rich, deep chuckle.

In the background, I could hear, “Is that Betsy? Let me talk to her.”

“Stop that, you’re married.” Then, louder, “Betsy? Are you there?”

“Of course I’m here,” I grumbled. “Where the hell else would I be?”

“As I said in my message, the trail is cold. I think you may have to prepare yourself for the worst.”

“I’ve been doing that since I woke up dead,” I lied, trying to sound tougher than I felt.

“Uh-?huh. But there is a somewhat larger problem We’ll have to deal with.”

“Fabulous. Hit me.”

“The full moon, dear. It’s in two days.”

“What?”

“The. Full. Moon. We. Will. Get. Hairy.”

“Cut that out. Sorry. The werewolf I lived— live — with doesn’t do that.”

“Right. But the rest of us will, except Jeannie, who’s human, and Lara, who’s too young.”

Dimly, I heard, “Come on! Lemmee talk to her.”

“Shut up, or I’m calling your wife. Betsy? Are you there?”

“Yes,” I said, my patience stretched almost beyond endurance. “So you’ll have to leave town?”

“Not at all. We’ll stay.”

“You think the good people of Minneapolis won’t notice werewolves running around on Nicollet Avenue?”

“Give us a little credit, Betsy. In fact, we might be able to find Antonia and her mate on all fours. Our senses are much, much keener when we run with the moon.”

“Well, do that. Run along with the moon. Have fun. Keep me posted.”

“I have a favor to ask.”

“Of course you do.”

“Would it be all right if my wife and cub stayed with you during the first night of the full moon? This is a strange city, and I prefer not to leave them unguarded while my Pack members and I go hunting.”

Dimly in the background: “I don’t need a damned babysitter, Michael!”

“Uh, maybe you better run that one by the little woman first.”

“I will pretend,” he chuckled, “you didn’t just call her that. May we impose?”

I sighed. I don’t get these people. “Sure. Be nice to have some company. But Michael?”

“Yes?”

“Tell her to leave the gun at home.”

“Well, she’ll keep it holstered,” he said, sounding almost shocked.

“When should I expect you?”

“Two days, maybe sooner. We’ll call before coming by.”

“Oh, I can’t wait. I’m all atingle,” I muttered, hanging up.

Derik was right. Definitely a cultural thing.

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