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Anna Dressed in Blood


Page 75





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Morning finds me and Thomas huddled down in his Tempo, parked around the corner from Will's house. We've got our heads pulled low inside of our hooded sweatshirts and our eyes are shifty. We look exactly like you'd expect someone to look if they were minutes away from committing a major crime.

Will lives in one of the wealthier, more well-preserved areas of the city. Of course he does. His parents are friends with Carmel's. That's how I have a copy of his house keys jangling around in my front pocket. But unfortunately that means there might be lots of busybody wives or housekeepers peeking out of windows to see what we're up to.

"Is it time?" Thomas asks. "What time is it?"

"It isn't time," I say, trying to sound calm, like I've done this a million times. Which I haven't. "Carmel hasn't called yet."

He calms down for a second and takes a deep breath. Then he tenses and ducks behind the steering wheel.

"I think I saw a gardener!" he hisses.

I haul him back up by his hood. "Not likely. The gardens have all gone brown by now. Maybe it was someone raking leaves. Either way, we're not sitting here in ski masks and gloves.

We're not doing anything wrong."

"Not yet."

"Well, don't act suspicious."

It's just the two of us. Between the time of the plan hatching and the time of the plan execution, we decided that Carmel would be our plant. She'd go to school and make sure that Will was there. According to her, his parents leave for work long before he leaves for school.

Carmel objected, saying we were being sexist, that she should be there in case something went wrong, because at least she'd have a reasonable excuse to be dropping by. Thomas wouldn't hear of it. He was trying to be protective, but watching him bite his lower lip and jump at every tiny movement, I think I might've been better off with Carmel. When my phone starts vibrating, he jerks like a startled cat.

"It's Carmel," I tell him as I pick up.

"He's not here," she says in a panicked whisper.

"What?"

"Neither of them are. Chase is gone too."

"What?" I ask again, but I heard what she said. Thomas is tugging on my sleeve like an eager elementary schooler. "They didn't go to school," I snap.

Thunder Bay must be cursed. Nothing goes right in this stupid town. And now I've got Carmel worrying in my ear and Thomas conjecturing in my other ear and there are just too many damn people in this car for me to think straight.


"What do we do now?" they ask at the same time.

Anna. What about Anna? Will has the athame, and if he got wind of Carmel's decoy texting trick, who knows what he might have decided to do. He's smart enough to pull a double cross; I know that he is. And, for the last few weeks at least, I've been dumb enough to fall for one. He could be laughing at us right now, picturing us ransacking his room while he walks up Anna's driveway with my knife and his blond lackey in tow.

"Drive," I growl, and hang up on Carmel. We've got to get to Anna, and fast. For all I know, I might already be too late.

"Where?" Thomas asks, but he's got the car started and is pulling around the block, toward the front of Will's house.


"Anna's."

"You don't think…" Thomas starts. "Maybe they just stayed home. Maybe they're going to school and they're just late."

He keeps on talking but my eyes notice something else as we pass by Will's house. There's something wrong with the curtains in a room on the second floor. It isn't just that they're drawn when every other window is clear and open. It's something about the way that they're drawn. They seem … messy, somehow. Like they were thrown together.

"Stop," I say. "Park the car."

"What's going on?" Thomas asks, but I keep my eyes trained on the second-floor window. He's in there, I know he is, and all of a sudden I'm mad as hell. Enough of this bullshit. I'm going in there and I'm getting my knife back and Will Rosenberg had better get out of my way.

I'm out before the car even stops. Thomas scrambles behind me, fumbling with his seatbelt. It sounds like he half falls out of the driver's side door, but his familiar clumsy footfalls catch up and he starts asking a million questions.

"What are we doing? What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to get my knife back," I reply. We haul ass up the driveway and bound up the porch steps. I shove Thomas's hand away when he goes to knock and use the key instead. I'm in a mood, and I don't want to give Will any more warning than I have to. Let him try to keep it from me. Let him just try. But Thomas grabs my hands.







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