Chapter 11

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"What to wear, what to wear ..." I plough through my minimal closet for something other than sweatpants and dirty jail jumpers. "Alice?!"

"Yeah?" shouts a voice from downstairs.

"Where's that leather jacket I bought last month?"

The sound of pounding footsteps comes from the hallway and as I pull on my black jeans, Alice's lanky form steps into my doorway.

"The what?"

"My leather jacket," I sigh.

"Oh, in the hamper."

"Thanks." I brush through my damp hair and shove it back into a pony tail.

Alice is still in my doorway with her arms crossed. Her silver-blond hair hangs in her eyes but I can see her mouth is set in a tight line. I pause for long enough to frown at her.

"What is it this time?"

"He's a policeman, Jess," she sighs.

"No, really? I thought that was an ice-cream van parked outside."

She rolls her eyes. "Don't you get it? He's probably only dating you so he can find a way to catch you on the job, and everyone else who's involved."

"Alice, relax. And give my friends a little credit, would you? If they see me with a cop, they're not just gonna waltz right up to us and ask me when I'm supervising the next shipment." I make my way to the door and when she doesn't move, I slap my hands against my sides and groan. "What?"

Alice seems reluctant to voice her opinion, especially after what happened in the car the other night. But I know she's just looking out for me. "Jess you know how much I hate you getting into all of these dangerous situations. But I think ... well I think this is a bad idea."

"Why, because he could turn me in? You just don't want another bail on your hands." As soon as the words come out of my mouth I scold myself. Why am I defending someone I just met over the girl who fed me, clothed me and dragged my ass out of jail more times than even my own family? I shouldn't be so hard on her. But I'm not used to having a parent and I hate being told that I'm making wrong decisions. It's my life. I've learnt to deal with my mistakes all on my own and I will continue to do so.

She exhales. "No, that's not it. It's just that I don't want to see you get hurt."

"He's a cop, Ali, I'm pretty sure the person getting hurt will be the guy at the other end of his gun."

"Not that kind of hurt, you idiot. Emotionally."

"Look, I'm a big girl. I can take care of myself and make my own decisions. Now will you please get out of my way and let me have one normal day for the first time in centuries?"

She steps aside almost mechanically and I don't have the guts to even say goodbye. Her expression leaves me feeling a deep pain inside but I push it away with more anger. How can she judge Nick like that? I may have just met him, but he doesn't seem like the type to secretly plan to throw me behind bars again. I guess the voice inside my head isn't the only one finding it hard to believe that a guy might actually like me.

Nick sits behind the wheel of the police vehicle with the windows rolled down. I don't understand that; it's freezing today. When I climb in the car, I see him fiddling with his walkie-talkie police radio thingy. It doesn't seem to be working.

I close the door and Nick turns to smile at me. "Did I tell you I had a really great time last night?"

"No, but I figured so since you're back for more," I reply with a flirty grin. The engine putters to life. "Where are we going for coffee exactly, because I'm wondering if the police car is a bit hazardous ..."

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