Chapter 6

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"... are still no developments after last week's brutal murder. A police official has stated that they are working on a new lead but a reliable source who wishes to stay anonymous claims that Woodbury's finest have hit a dead end..."

"Just what I need to be listening to before going to work," I muttered to the spokesman and turned off the TV. Putting on my white long-sleeved shirt, I headed for the bathroom and commenced my before-work routine – brushing my teeth and styling my hair. My reflection looked proper enough but it was obvious I wasn't in the most cheerful of moods. How could I be with a serial killer on the loose? I would bet my monthly salary that the Milk & Cream would be full of long faces for days to come. I should try my best to elevate our costumers' spirits but who would do that for me?

Maybe I should call Rhys, I thought as I walked out of my apartment and pushed the door handle down a few times to make sure I'd locked.

It wasn't too soon to give him a call, right? We'd exchanged phone numbers last Friday and that was four days ago... Would he pick up? We had, after all, only given each other's numbers because of Kennedy.

"He likes you, Riley. Like really likes you," the boy said, letting go of my shoulder and taking a step back. Before I had a chance to reply, his brother returned.

"That was Everett," Rhys told us, putting his mobile phone in his pocket. "He's heading this way. I guess we'll have to take a rain check on that ice cream."

"Oh, yeah, a rain check," I muttered, disappointed; I'd been looking forward to spending more time with them. Maybe it was a stroke of luck though; after what Kennedy had just told me, it might be best for me to be on my own and try to figure out if the boy meant it in the sense I hoped he did.

"We'll drop you off," Rhys informed me and nodded with his head towards the door.

"You don't have to do that..." I began to protest, but Kennedy cut me off.

"My brother wasn't asking. He wants to make sure you get home safely," the boy said simply, taking my hand in his left and Rhys' in his right and leading us towards the exit. I raised an eyebrow at our joined hands and he grinned, dazzling white teeth stunning me with their color once more. "Just to make sure you won't try to run off on your own," he explained. "Not that we won't be able to catch you," he added with a shrug.

We stepped outside and I waved my free hand in front of my face. The evening had turned stuffy and warm to the point where I almost regretted going out with a long-sleeved top. Almost, I thought as my left hand caressed the scarred spot under my sleeve and it was Kennedy's turn to raise an eyebrow, bright eyes darting from me to his brother; not that the latter could explain my gesture. A short honk came to our right and the lights of a stopped car flashed on and off to attract our attention.

We headed into that direction and Rhys held the door to the back seats of his brother's vehicle - was he leaving his own here tonight? - opened for me and Kennedy to climb in before he took the spot at the front, next to his brother.

"Hey," Everett greeted with a tired smile, reminding me of the night I first met him. Now that I was not trembling with fear, I realized that he and Rhys actually looked very similar: handsome, with a strong jaw and the same hair color; even their eyes seemed the same shade, darker and more human than those of Kennedy, the husky pup. I shook my head at the image of that boy in a husky costume complete with ears and nodded at Everett.

"Hi, I'm Riley," I introduced myself and heard the click of Kennedy's seat belt buckle. Good idea, I though, remembering how Rhys had refused to start the car before I'd buckled up and I followed the boy's example.

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