I was still holding the wad of money in my hand when I left the restaurant, which, looking back, I can see was a bad idea. I was walking out of a store, onto a busy street, holding $1200 right where everyone could see it. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when he started following me.
I was about halfway back to the pack house when I realized he was there. It just goes to show you how deep in thought I was that I didn't notice him sooner. I couldn't stop thinking about everything that D.K. was doing, and the part I was playing in it. He'd sent me on two robberies already, and I didn't even know how many he might have gone on without me. They were peaceful robberies, I'll admit, but I was still walking away with another person's money. I hated it, but I couldn't do a dadgum thing about it. I hated that even more.
Anyway, the guy was wearing clothes that were so bright, it almost hurt to look at him in direct sunlight. Firetruck red jacket with a neon orange shirt underneath. His hat was made of the same stuff as those reflective vests people wear at night. It was embarrassing, but I'm pretty sure I was the only one on the street that hadn't seen him coming a mile away. When he saw that I'd noticed him, he gave up following me and came to walk beside me.
“Hey there, how you doing?" he asked, lowering his sunglasses so that I could see his eyes. He looked to be about nineteen or twenty.
“Fine," I said. This wasn't exactly a situation I was unfamiliar with. Some of the guys at school would hit on me now and then. The key was to use as few words as possible until they got the message and left me alone. This was a little different though. I wasn't at school, where the teachers could intervene if he tried anything. I was out on the streets, with no supervision.
You're a werewolf now too, I thought, mentally kicking myself. If he gives you trouble, you can break his every bone in his pervy body.
“This is a nice day," he said, idly waving his hand around.
“Yep," I replied.
“Really freaking nice day."
“That's a nice bit of cash you got there."
I jumped a little when he said this, and finally realized that I still had the money in my hand. I tightened my grip on it.
“How much you got?" he asked, staring at it.
“None of your business, creep," I snapped. “Get lost!"
“Oh, right!" he said, snapping his fingers. “I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. My name's Roy."
“I don't care."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card. “Here's my card."
I glared at him for a second, and then reluctantly took the card. There was only one word on it, printed in big, black letters.
“What the heck does that mean?" I asked, holding it back to him.
He took it, and started twirling it between his fingers. “It's my catchphrase. My calling card, I guess you could say."
“Whatever," I said, falling back on my silence plan.
“All the great thieves have them," he said, holding his hands dramatically in front of him. The card was between two of his fingers. “They left them in place of whatever they stole to let the owners know who it was that took it."
“And, what?" I asked. “You're a master thief, yourself?"
“One of the best." He grinned. “But that's not important. I'm a little low on cash right now. Think you could help me out?"
“Screw you!" I snapped, transferring the money to my other hand to get it away from him.
“Aw, come on!" he pleaded, smirking and elbowing me in the ribs, “you've got a small fortune there. You wouldn't miss a couple hundred dollars, would you?"
I turned and gave him my scariest glare. “Get lost!"
“Okay, okay," he said, and stepped in front of me. For a second, I considered just knocking him down and walking over him, but decided against it. I still made a fist, ready to nail him if he did anything funny.
He took a deep breath, shaking his head, and said, “Look, my mom's in the hospital. She's got cancer, okay? I work at McDonald's, so I can't pay her bills. It would mean so much to me if you could help me out just a little!"
“You're lying," I said. “You're clothes are way too expensive for someone who can't pay to keep his mom in the hospital."
He froze for a second, and then burst out laughing. “Wow, is that obvious? All right, fine, you win. I'll just go."
And just like that, he turned around and ran off. I watched him go for a few seconds, hardly able to believe that he was going to quit so easily after all that effort. I shrugged. Oh well, I didn't have time to deal with him anyway. Maybe it would be a good idea to keep the money in my…
Where was the money?
I looked at my hand, and bit back a shriek when I saw it empty except for one thing: a tiny white business card with one word written on it in black ink.
NEXT TIME: Aw, crap! Roy's got her money! D.K.'s gonna be pissed. She'd better get it back before he finds out! Hey readers, don't forget to tune in tomorrow for a bonus Easter chapter!