Written in Red Page 110

The next question treaded close to danger, but he asked it anyway. “Do you need medical attention, Ms. Corbyn? Do you have any other bruises besides the one on your wrist?” He was looking at her face, but he didn’t bring up that bruise. “There’s an ambulance outside, and medical personnel. You don’t appear to need a hospital—” He hesitated when Wolfgard started growling.

Meg shook her head. “I’m feeling a little stiff, but otherwise, I’m fine.”

He had to accept her word for it.

“Is that all, Lieutenant?” she asked. “I’d like to sit down.”

“That’s all. Thank you. The information you provided will help us.” He saw something in her face. “Anything else?”

The words weren’t meant to alarm, but Simon immediately shifted to block the doorway, his amber eyes focused on Meg.

“Meg?” Simon said. “Is there something else?”

She sighed. “It’s nothing. Foolish under the circumstances.”

Human and Wolf just waited.

She sighed again. “I have this silly craving for pizza. Before this happened, I was going to call Hot Crust and order one, and now it’s hard to think of anything else.”

Hardly the expected response from someone who had just escaped an attempted abduction. Then again, the mind protected itself in all kinds of ways—including becoming focused on a treat—and maybe this was a typical way cassandra sangue reacted to frightening experiences.

“You’re hungry?” Simon asked, some of the tension leaving his body as he studied her.

Meg nodded, then added hopefully, “They’ll deliver to the Liaison’s Office.”

Not today, Monty thought. “Special circumstances. I’ll call in the order for you and send a car to pick it up.” When she started to protest, he lifted a hand. “I’ll order a couple for the squad as well. Even policemen need to eat.”

He saw a flash of something in Simon’s eyes. Feral amusement? Or did the Wolf appreciate the courtesy he was showing to the Courtyard’s Liaison?

“Pepperoni and mushrooms?” Monty asked. “Or would you prefer something else?”

“That’s fine,” Meg said. “Thank you.”

Simon stepped aside and let her slip into the other room and out of sight.

“That’s kind of you,” Simon said.

“I’m here to help.” When the Wolf didn’t respond, Monty turned to go. Then he stopped and added, “A man who is running away might drop his wallet or even just a driver’s license. Wouldn’t notice if it fell in the snow. If we found where the man lived, we might find something that could tell us if he was working for someone—or with someone.”

He didn’t want the Others looking at every human as a potential threat, but the possibility of a partner meant Meg wasn’t safe yet.

A thoughtful silence that held so much weight he could feel it settle on his shoulders.

“Something might have been dropped,” Simon said. “And we can pick up the scent of something even if it’s hidden in snow. If we find anything, I’ll let you know.”

Monty nodded. “I’ll have one of my officers bring in that pizza.”

“Better if it’s a face we already know.”

Another nod, and Monty walked out of the office. Kowalski fell into step with him.

“Anything?” Monty asked.

Kowalski shook his head. “First they were aware of trouble was when Simon Wolfgard sounded the alarm. After that, everyone went nuts.”

“Nuts meaning ‘primed for battle’?”

“That’s how I read it.”

As soon as he crossed the line that separated human land from the Courtyard, Monty stopped to assess the street. The bomb squad was gone, along with the fire truck, ambulance, and half the police cars. The intersection was still blocked, keeping traffic away from the Courtyard’s entrance.

But the arrival of the shiny black car and the man leaning against it had occurred while he’d been talking with Meg and Simon.

As he walked over to where Captain Burke waited for him, Monty spotted the officers he had sent to canvas the businesses across from the Courtyard. He stopped and waited for them. “Anything?”

“Nobody remembers anything about the vehicles that were in and out of there today,” Officer Hilborn said. “But everyone who had a window seat at the Stag and Hare saw the wolf man.”

Monty frowned. “Wolf man?”

“Half man, half wolf. Or a furry man with a wolf’s head. Until we all showed up, most thought it was a gimmick for a horror movie or some kind of stunt of the dumb and daredevil kind, being dressed like that and standing where the Others could see him. When they realized he was real, it scared the crap out of all of them.”

Those images in horror stories and movies had to come from somewhere, Monty thought. “So, nobody saw a white van leave the Courtyard?”

Hilborn shook his head. “All they remember seeing is something a lot scarier than they thought lived in the Courtyard.”

Too much fear makes people stupid.

Monty glanced at his captain. Burke was watching the Crows watch him. The man wouldn’t stay patient for long, but there would be enough time to hear from Debany and MacDonald before he had to give his own report.

“Write up your report,” he told Hilborn.

Hilborn tipped his head to indicate his partner and the other two officers who had been canvassing businesses. “Not sure how much good it will do. Everyone agreed on something that was a wolf and a man at the same time. After that . . . Well, pick your favorite scary movie.”

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