By Jim Butcher
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He wasn’t a kid killer, but that didn’t mean he had to adopt her. He could just drop her off with the librarian in the morning, complete his contract, and go on to Vegas. Yeah, he decided. That’s what I’ll do. In the Walgreens, he bought cotton balls, sterile swabs, topical antiseptic, a tube of anesthetizing ointment, and a box of palmsized gauze bandages. Standing in the checkout line with Carmen, he rested a hand lightly on her shoulder. The clerk at the register eyed his purchases, then his face.
Perhaps to a fate worse than death. The assassin had gone to all this trouble, so he must care about children. And a professional killer would have finished the job the moment he got them into the car. Maybe she could play on his 32 • GAYLON GREER emotions and get him to make arrangements for Carmen. Given what awaited the child in Haiti, it was worth the gamble. ” “Hank,” he said after hesitating for a moment. ” “We’re here illegally, Hank. ” “She’ll get a free trip home. ” “No one will meet her when the trip ends.
She slid off the bed and looked up at Hank. ” He opened his mouth but closed it again when he realized he had no idea what to say. ” 48 • GAYLON GREER Carmen studied Hank for a moment. ” “Well, yeah. She needs . ” He shrugged and looked at the target. She was better at this than he was. ” “I want him to keep me this way, honey. So I won’t be tempted to go outside. ” Carmen looked dubious, but she let Hank take her hand and lead her outside. ” They went back inside for the stuffed clown, and Carmen apparently decided to take her big sister’s word as gospel.
Backup by Jim Butcher