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THE SHADOWS: EP02 "HOLD MY BEER"

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“HOLD MY BEER”

 

THE MARSH

DAWN

The dream of teeth and the memory of that terrifying howl gave way to pink tinged rivers which Karen's mind slowly realized were the veins in her eyelids. She blinked and pushed herself up into a sitting position looking around her. Others were starting to wake as well. The pain and stress of changing into the wolf was forgotten and the blessing of sleep had masked what ever pain turning back did to them, one of the blessings of the change that no one ever had to go through the process in reverse unless forced to. Meave was still asleep curled into a nearby ball Dan who had been between them was already up and partially dressed, well he had his pants on at least. Others were getting up and starting to dress. Karen noticed her clothes lying beside her and Maeves beside the youngster as well. Some one had placed all the wolves clothes near them so they would have them when they awoke. Again she looked around but didn't see anyone but the ones who had run with them last night.

Dan Had woke a few of the others had woke about the same time. He slipped on his jeans and got up. The kin had brought their clothes and laid them out as usualy. His memory was foggy for a few minute he had dreamed about a white wolf with a blue flash on her side. Dan shook the dream from his head and walk around the pack make sure those who were awake were okay and taking a count. Only one was missing, Cabe. He saw that most every one was waking now and looked back at Karen who was up getting dress, Meave was sitting up rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Dan started that way and saw that Emily was coming into the clearing she looked around and spotted Dan and joined him by the girls.

“Dan Hawkins,” she gave him a quizzical appraisal. She may not have been triggered but she was perceptive and knew that he was the one to go too now. “What was that? We all heard it something came around us but nobody saw anything.Scared most half out of their wits. And what happened to Cabe?”

 

THE ANGELO ESTATE

MORNING

Colby hadn't told them everything and he wasn't going to. Cara had read it in his manner and his eyes. He wasn't afraid of them but he was afraid of whatever had made that ungodly howl. She had had to keep her brother Marco from going after the old werewolf and ripping him apart but she had and that more than anything told her how much of a toll the curse was taking on Marko. She had finally after finishing the bottle of bourbon and half of another gotten him calm enough to sleep and put him to bed. She had not gone directly to her bed after that though she had taken the bones to her private study a room she hadn't been in in almost a hundred years. There she placed them in a box that had been given to her almost five hundred years years before by the man she had thought she had loved, had thought that he had loved her . She briefly looked at the other contents of the magical jewelry box then closed and stepped up to the wall. She placed one end of the box against the wall and whispered a phrase in a language which to the uninitiated would have sounded like Latin. She felt the magic and watched as the box sank into the wall and vanished. It would be safe until she called for the box again, no one could find it there.

Vampires don't have hangovers. At least as humans experience them. Marko had drank after the werewolf had left, had drank a lot and he had selpt after as well. Now he came down stairs he was not in a good mood and while not hungover he could still feel the remnants of the strong alcohol working-through his blood. He was hungry and his throat was dry he need something to drink so he went to the kitchen to get some ice for the bourbon he was carrying. And stopped in the doorway

“Morning,” Mumbled Cheyenne around a mouthful of cereal which was making crunchy sounds as she chewed, a dribble of milk on her chin. Abigail was standing at the counter by the stove she turned and leaned her butt against the edge as she took a swallow from the oversized mug in her hands. On the counter were eggs, bacon, a loaf of bread, butter and several cooking utensils and a large frying pan. “There's coffee if you want some. Do you guys drink coffee? Or eat food?”

“Of course we eat and drink we aren't savages,” Cara said as she stepped around her brother into the kitchen and froze when she too saw what he was staring at.

Cheyenne was sitting at he table in a pair of boys boxer shorts and a t-shirt, Abigail was in a bed-robe and presumably a nightgown or pajamas's underneath, well as slippers but that wasn't what they were looking at.  Cheyenne was eating cereal with a big box of Count Chocula sitting on the table right next o her bowl. The image of the Count staring right back at the two vampires.

“What's an original?”

Both vampires shifted their gaze as one to the older girl who sipped her coffee.

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

MORNING

The Simon Magus was open 24 hours a day except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when they close for cleaning and deliveries. The club was busiest from about 10:30pm until 4:00 am, then things slacked off until midday. Last night was different.

The club had always been a go to place for witches and the occasional werewolf and vampire. It was neutral ground a neutrality enforced by the Queen and unbeknownst to all but the owners by the Ancestors. The howl had been heard by every single creature with a drop of mystical blood in the entire city of New Orleans and it's environs. And it had chilled that blood. The mortals of the city may have felt something may have slept uneasy but they hadn't heard it and so were blissfully unaware of the horror that was now stalking their city.

At the Simon Magus, the club had gotten busier and more crowded. Witches who didn't feel safe had come not in one or twos but whole covens had crowded into the venue and the streets in front. Vampires equally freaked out also cam. The club made them feel safe. And with all the supernaturals in attendance so to came the mortals. By the time the place was at and beyond capacity it was like Fat Tuesday and as the sun rose and the dawn washed the streets with a red glow the music still blared, the alcohol flowed and the people danced.

“She asked you about my grimoire? But not what she wanted with it?” Asking about a witches grimore was like asking about their sex life...not something that was done unless you were on intimate terms.

The crowd had had the two witches running back and forth working harder than they had had to work in months the clubs receipts would be equal to what they normally made in a full month, courtesy of the witches and vampires who were drinking profusely and spending in an attempt to drown their fear. Dom and Darrik had finally managed to take a moment and ducked back into their office.

“No, and that was after sitting at the bar for almost three hours. What was that last night,” asked Darrick as he put some cash into the safe.

“I don't know, it sounded like a wolf from hell.” Dominique fingered the necklace around her neck, it wasn't magical but had been given to her by her mother before...before she left. “This can't be a coincidence. Can it?”

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“What's an original?”

Cara sighed and went to the cereal box, tilting it back a little to get a closer look at the ridiculous character adorning the front.

"Not one of these," she chuckled. Such an innocent witness to such a dangerous question.

Without looking away from the box, she then said, "The only reason you know to ask that question is that you were listening to our conversation with our guest last night. Our private discussion."

Finally glancing up to meet Abigail's eyes, Cara went on, "Normally I would not reward a breach of trust with an answer...but to try to keep you from foolishly asking someone else, I will say this."

"As we are to you, an original is to us. We are old, strong, fast and hungry. They are older, stronger, faster...and vastly, rapaciously hungry. We are dangerous, they are deadly. They know nothing of kindness...of decency by any human standard...and your first, best line of defense against them is that you are not anywhere near them, and that no one knows that you've ever heard of them."

"If either of those things is no longer true, then you are in danger that even Marko or I may not be able to save you from. Do you understand?"

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THE MARSH

DAWN

 

Dan was looking for Cabe, but more than likely he left in the middle of the night.  The old Alpha didn't stick around once a new Alpha had Risen.  Still, he was family, blood even, and Dan hadn't wanted him to leave.  Hell, he hadn't wanted to challenge him but it was the only way.  With only Emily, Karen, and Maeve near enough to hear, he answered the older woman.   Normally those who weren't Changed, didn't ask much of the affairs of those who were, but he wasn't going to snub one of his only sources for more information.

"I don't know where Cabe is, more than likely he left some time after we came back here.   I know he made it, but I didn't mind what he did after that.  I probably should have."  Dan answered her.  "What that was last night, was another wolf, one like Colby, only female, with what looked like a blue flame  marking on her side.  She came to the killing field,   And goaded Cabe into nearly making a horrible decision.  Emily she was huge, easily bigger than Cabe and I combined, and then some, and there was this sort of primal fear.  Only Maeve, Cabe, Karen, and I even stood when she came near.  She never paid Cabe any mind, but focused on me.  I took the only action I could to stop it, and when Cabe snapped at me, I struck back, challenging and defeating him."

He  held Emily's gaze, and sighed.  "After that, I had Karen offer her some of the Kill, which she did accept, before loosing that Primal Howl and vanishing."    His voice which was already low enough so that only those right there could hear, dropped lower.  "She smelled of human blood when she showed up.  Considering we were on a whole herd of freshly killed deer, It's telling that I could tell that too."

He looked at her.  "Do you know of another Elder, a female one?"

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THE ANGELO ESTATE

Abigail visibly paled under Cara's gaze.

"We weren't eavesdropping, at least not on purpose," Cheyenne said taking the heat off her big sister as she pointed at the wall by the refrigerator, "someone left the intercom on."

The vampires looked at the device the girl slurping her cereal was pointing at then at each other. Cara tilted her head as if asking WTF. Marko just shook his head, "We have an intercom?"

"Uncle Jer had it installed right after we moved in before... before he passed. It was so he could call us if he needed anything."

"So you two decided to use it to listen to a private conversation?"

"No!" Abigail cried moving to stand by her sister. "I swear it was on when we got upstairs. I thought you had turned it on," she said looking at Marko keeping her eyes away from Cara, "that you wanted us to hear."

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"Well, we didn't want you to listen in, but since you have, what's done is done."  Cara looked at her little brother as if to say 'that's it?'  The old Marko would have offered up something, a threat a terror inducing anecdote, something.  He poured himself a cup of coffee and snatched up a sausage from the plate, pinching it with his fingers and he nibbled off a bite.

"Chill, sis," he shrugged and sipped his coffee with a smile.  "Look, if they're going to be care takers, they're going to have to learn this shit eventually, right?  The more they know now, the less this shit will bake their noodle later."

"Oh, man this is awesome.  This is like the Vampire game I play online.  See there are thirteen clans of vampires all descended from Caine who was cursed by god- OW!"  Cheyenne held the  side of her head where Marko had flicked her ear.

"Yeah, shut up dip shit, no one cares."  He flicked her again, making her head 'thump' and she winced in pain while giggling slightly.  "And that's for the ironic cereal."

"You're such a dick, I swear!"  She spun about and threw a sausage from the plate at him which hit him in the chest.  She looked to Cara and fumed.  "How do you tolerate him?"

Cara managed a chuckle, although still looking really serious.  "It's taken years.  Marko, you wanna tell them the news?"

"What news?"  Abigail asked, cupping her coffee mug in her hands.

Marko smirked.  The girls were apparently his responsibility since Cara was not for the idea of them staying there, she felt it was too dangerous, but her brother was vehement that they had an obligation to care for the sisters due to their promise.  Both the vampire sibling knew they would be debating this until the sisters were old and gray and it was long irreverent.  "Get dressed, girls.  We're getting you registered for school."

Cheyenne spun around on her stool and looked at Marko.  "Oh, come one, that's bullshit!  We live with vampires, you guys have been everywhere and done all kinds of stuff.  Why can't you teach us?"

Cheyenne held her ear again and Cara flicked it.  "Language.  We don't have time-"

"You have nothing but time!"  She spun about and yelled at Cara, suddenly realizing what we did and got tight lipped real quick.  She grasped her other ear as Marko flicked it.  "OW!"

"Sorry, I have no real reason for that one, it just seemed fun."  He pushed off the counter.  "Look, we're not sitting through complaints or bullshit, okay?  You're going to school whether you want to or we have to compel you to."

"But we don't have records," Cheyenne was doing her pest to put up a fight.  Abigail was smirking, admiring the fight in her sister but knowing that "It'll take weeks to get them!  Oh, darn!"

"Not a problem.  That's where compelling the staff comes in, "Marko smiled again.  "Now, get dressed.  Go."  They didn't seem motivated until the veins around his darkened and his fangs grew.  "Now."

They screamed and bolted faster than the sibling vampires using celerity and were out of the kitchen and dashing up stairs.  His sister looked at him, still not pleased with his decision to allow them to stay.  "Nice."  Cara laughed softly.  "You know it's not that I don't care, Marko, it's just," she sighed.  "It's dangerous here.  They so young, and this city is a mess."

"I know, Cara," Makro nodded as he approached his sister and wrapped an arm around her for an early morning hug.  Cara's expression was one of 'this is nice' and 'who are you and where's my bother'.  Since when had Marko hug anyone in the last... oh, century.  "If they had anywhere else to go, I'd turn them away, but they don't.  Besides, raising kids'll be fun."

"Meaning this is going to be a fiasco of Marko proportions."  She added dryly.

"Most likely." He replied with a Deadpool sweetness to his voice.

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THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

MORNING 

"Hard to say." The signs of tiredness showed in Darrik's eyes as he closed the safe door and the tumblers slid into place as he locked it shut. "Intuition says yeah, not a coincidence. But we don't know more beyond what it sounds like. And that only the supernaturals really picked up on it. Silver lining, we're raking it in." He chuckled, but it was a rather hollow one. That was the thing about neutral ground this past day. The nexus for omens of bad news, but not enough knowledge to be able to do something about it.

Darrik decided to pick a topic they could deal with. "The Regent. Her request. Your grimoire, how do you want to play this, Dominique?"

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THE MARSH

Karen pulled a knit hat out of the pocket of her outer jacket as soon as she zipped it up, breath misting in the early morning air. Ouuuf. Cold. The Californian native did not relish it and waking up in her birthday suit was not endearing the Louisiana weather to her. Hugging herself against the chill, she closed the gap to where she had stashed the cooler, popping it open and fishing out a sandwich. Salivating at the smell of human food after the half-remembered taste of raw deer and sensation of warm blood lapping down her tongue, Karen paused as her eyes took in the sorry sight of some of the pack, particularly those who had used the Juice.

The sheer misery and huddling against the sunlight of those werewolves made her glad she had passed on the noxious cocktail.

Then an unfortunately timed thought made her lower the sandwich. Damn it. The game called. She was looking forward to one of having one of those, too. 

The sandwich went back in it's baggie, and the baggie back in the cooler. She fetched out a couple water bottles and started making the rounds of the gathering, offering water to the afflicted and pointing them in the direction of her stash if they seemed mobile.   

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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

The muscle car drew stares as it pulled into the guest parking slot nearest the entrance to the school. Marko glanced at the girls in the backseat via the rear view mirror. “Now let me do the talking, and follow my lead. I know you two don't want to be here but really it's best for you and we need to blend in.”

The girls nodded agreement not happy but not totally depressed about the situation either. Marko led them inside and found the Office, after a short wait he found himself facing the overweight administrator with the hairdo right out of the nineteen fifties.

“Umm I am so sorry Mr Cain but I don't see anything at all for your girls here.” Donna Lamoin shifted her ample posterior in her chair and sat straighter wich pushed her huge bosom out just a little bit more and began shuffling through several stacks of unopened mail. "I don't see anything a'tall here"

 

 

THE SIMON MAGUS BURLESQUE AND ABSINTHE BAR

Cara stopped on the sidewalk outside the witches club and closed her eyes, how did I let myself get caught up in all of this. Her hand slipped into her handbag and reassured herself that the bones were still there wrapped and safe.

She hadn't been fond of New Orleans the last time they had lived her enthralled to the twins, and had relished her freedom when they had been sent away never to return. And now here they were. Fools of the ages.

She needed a witch and she didn't know any but if what they had said about this place and the witches that owned it then their neutrality meant that they damn well better be able to keep their confidentiality.

 

The bar was sparsely populated at this time of the morning but there were still a few patrons either stubbornly eking out the last of the nights festivities or getting an early start for this coming Fridays offerings. Several employees of the bar were also present a couple sweeping the floors and two behind the bar cleaning and stacking glasses and inventorying bottles.

Cara didn't see the pretty boy witch from the day before she hoped that he was here. She went to the bar and smiled at the young African American woman who was showing a lot of skin and polishing a shot glass. “ Hi there.”

“Can ah help yah,cher?” The black girl tilted her head and smiled with her smokey eyes.

 

LAUTOULLE'S ALLNITE DINER AND GENERAL STORE

 

Dan stepped from his truck and slammed the door as he looked at the various police vehicles with included the Parish Sheriff, as well as state police he saw Cabe's truck and his cousin talking to the sheriffs deputy of this parish. When Cabe saw him he excused himself and started toward Dan who met him half way.

“Hello cous, I wasn't expecting your call today.”

“Yeah well,” Cabe shrugged,”Dis is your problem now and not a good one. De wolf from last night she done been here and kilt half a dozen pople jus tore em apart last night. She wasn't feeding cous, she was just killin.” Cabe was talking low. “No one discovered anything till dis morning a trucker stopped for breakfast. He didn't call da sheriff he called the state police. They dispatched a car before calling Maurice. So coverin dis up already out the fucking window. Maurice called me once he saw dis mess. He knowed what it was even if he ain't blood.”

Cabe put his hand on Dan's arm and leans in close.”They gots security video cous.”

 

THE FRENCH QUARTER

NEW ORLEANS

Karen had parked the car and her an Meave weaved through the already busy street on foot. It was a lot to take in the street vendors selling souvenirs, the portrait painters the fortune tellers. It was as if everything was a bout the supernatural here.

“Don't you worry It's what the tourists expect, I was the same way when I first came here couldn't believe how open it was but most of them are just fakes maybe one out of six really has a clue.” said Meave as she led her new friend through the crowd.

Karen had decided that she needed to find a place to live on her own and after Dan had gotten a call from his cousin Meave had volunteered to take her in the city to find a room or and apartment. They had gotten a few likely addresses for rooms to rent off the internet and had set out. They had visited a couple of places that were affordable and would do but neither had clicked with Karen so they had a few addresses in the quarter to check out. Meave had told her that these places would be more expensive but Karen had just shrugged. “We can at least look.”

Karen saw a street painter painting a portrait of a young girl that reminded her of her daughter when some one passed in front of her and a flash of colors captured her eyes. She spun grasping Meave's arm.

“That jacket!” She said to the younger girl as she pointed at a group of older teenagers walking away from them all of them wearing Letterman jackets. “My dad had a jacket like that!”

 

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12 minutes ago, The Shadows ST said:

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

GENTILLY

The muscle car drew stares as it pulled into the guest parking slot nearest the entrance to the school. Marko glanced at the girls in the backseat via the rear view mirror. “Now let me do the talking, and follow my lead. I know you two don't want to be here but really it's best for you and we need to blend in.”

The girls nodded agreement not happy but not totally depressed about the situation either. Marko led them inside and found the Office, after a short wait he found himself facing the overweight administrator with the hairdo right out of the nineteen fifties.

“Umm I am so sorry Mr Cain but I don't see anything at all for your girls here.” Donna Lamoin shifted her ample posterior in her chair and sat straighter wich pushed her huge bosom out just a little bit more and began shuffling through several stacks of unopened mail. "I don't see anything a'tall here"

"I'm not surprised," Marko chuckled nervously.  He wasnt nervous in the slightest but he'd spent centuries faking the human condition for moments just like these.  "With the passing of their Great-Great, there's been a lot of paperwork in the shuffle.  Transference of custody, estate transfer, school records.  We've been sitting on a mountain of paperwork for a about a week now.  Chances are the boarding school they were at was late in sending it."

"That's sort of the conundrum we find ourselves in at that moment, by law I can't have these ladies out of school, but that same law says they can't attend without the records."  Getting the records would be no problem, but that would take time they didn't have if the girls were living at the Angelo Estate in violation of state law.  That drew attention, and with spies everywhere in New Orleans, even the minor issues like truancy and not having custody of the girls were all things that could be used as weapons against the Angelo siblings.  Thankfully, they'd been fighting this 'war' longer than most in the city.  "At the very least, if enrolling them isn't an option, Miss, please tell me it's Miss," he flirted with a charming smile. "Lamoin, then at the very least we can tell the state we at made the effort before the records got here."

"Please," Ms. Lamoin said, returning the smile.  She wasn'He ret wooed by any stretch of the imagination, but she had to credit him for the gumption.  "Call me Donna."

Cheyenne arced a brow and snottily added, "Can he call you 'Onna' for now and just give you the 'D' later?"

Eyes widened as Abigail thrust her hand in her sisters face so face there was an audible 'pop' as it covered the hole her sister was using to simulate communication.  "Oh, my, god... Ms. Lamoin I an so sorry for the both of us, she didn't... she has a... sometimes... she... uhh..."

"Outside."  Marko said calmly.  They exited the office for a moment and as he excused them he closed the door.  Lowering himself to Ceyenne's eyes level he smiled.  "Okay, first, that amazing.  Ill timed, but hilarious.  Bump it," he raised his fist and Cheyenne bumped it with an evil smirk.  "Now, I need you two-"

"Us two?"  Abigail chimed in.  "She's the one acting like a child and blowing our chances at getting into a good school,"  Marko and Cheyenne looked around the office that looked like it hadn't seen a makeover since the 50s.  They looked at her.  "Okay, fine, a school... but still."

"I need you to sit out here and let me handle this," he looked to Cheyenne.  "And quit being an ass hat.  You get in first, then you start running the place."

He walked back into her office, a bashful smile on his face.  "Wow, I am... I am so sorry for that.  She's a handful.  Been acting out a lot since she got the bad news, plus the move and the new school.  Poor girl is going through quite a bit," he offered an awkward chuckle.

"Holy shit, he's good," Cheyenna said with her pressed to the wall just outside the office.  "Abby... I think I have found my Pi Mei... I must learn his ways."

Abigail hit her sister, backhanding her as a warning to quit.  It wasn't hard, just that hit siblings give when they don't want one to get the other in trouble too.  "Great, yeah, now quit.  I swear Che, if you mess this up.  I mean, you get it right?  We don't have anywhere else to go... we have no money, no food... you're gonna make either him or Cara mad and they're gonna get tired of it and toss us out.  What then?  Hmm?"

"So here's my proposal, Ms. Lamoin," the ancient vampire smiled.  "I was hoping we could get the girls enrolled now, and since their records are three, maybe five business days out, once they arrive I will deliver them personally.  Is that something we can do?"

Spoiler

Diplomacy first... compel second.

 

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Dan grunted in acknowledgement.  "Before I address everything else, you need to go see Miss Emily, she was worried about you.  What happened last night, it happened.  It don't change that you and I are family, and always will be Cabe.  I'm sorry I didn't see another way to handle it, but I am glad we're both still alive."

His peace said about the events of the night, he looked back to the diner.  "Hell of a mess this bitch left, and I can feel it, smell it on the air, she ain't done by half."   As they spoke quietly, he looked over to the deputies who were doing their own work.   "Do we know if she at least did this in her wolf form?  I mean she couldn't be dumb enough to have gone off like this in human form, nowadays they'd have her run to ground pretty fast if she showed in a city, normally."

"So, we need to at least know what the video shows, and then we can start trying to find her, discreetly.  if that don't work, then I guess we'll have to let the Crescents know we've got another Lonewolf on the prowl."  The look on his face was quite distasteful, he wasn't looking forward to having to do that, but he'd not put it off too long.  This new wolf was a true apex predator, and the Crescents were still Werewolves too, they deserved to be kept in the loop.  The entire time he spoke with Cabe, he kept his voice low, so that no one would overhear them.
 

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Meave gave Karen a 'the hell?!' look as the older woman reined in her outburst with a blush. Between last night's hunt, the haunting or whatever, and the revelation that one in six people who operated a magic-related store in the city might be the real deal, she needed a taste of normal, inane and careless though it was. One in six? She was hoping more like one in a hundred, especially with the damned leeches taking Karen's trade as literally as one could take it atop the mix. The city felt increasingly less safe to her. 

Maybe staying with Dan wouldn't be so bad..? Let tongues wag, he was a *very* good catch if she was honest with herself, and she could always rent a motel room for business purposes if that came to that...

Still, that was tomorrow, she had to check this clue out now. "I'm guessing they go one of the local high schools, Meave?" the dark-eyed Californian asked, already plugging the search for 'New Orleans Letterman Jackets' into her phone just in case, a smile dancing on her lips in amusement at her own enthusiasm, "If so, another link to our mystery before we swing out see how Melody is doing." 

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