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Authors: Charlaine Harris

Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy, #Contemporary, #Urban, #Mystery & Detective, #Cozy

Night Shift (31 page)

BOOK: Night Shift
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And she smiled back.

Sylvester Ravenwing stood just outside the door of the convenience store and surveyed Midnight. The traces of the previous night were erased. He’d followed Kiki to a hotel in Davy and watched her check in. She would awake there sometime today and do whatever struck her fancy. He’d helped Quinn and Diederik to hose the salt and ash off the white circle, and as he called 911 to report the death of Harvey Whitefield before dawn the next morning, he felt a deep content. Sylvester liked this little town, and his new job, and his grandson. He thought he’d stick around for a while.

Arthur Smith didn’t spend much time thinking about the death of Harvey Whitefield. Harvey’s record contained a dismaying number of DUIs. It was kind of ironic that he hadn’t killed anyone else by driving, but he himself had died by being driven on. And there were a few questions about Harvey’s actions.

Yes, it was weird that he’d gone out without a coat on a cold and raining night. Even drunks didn’t get out much in that weather. And it was odd that he’d left his cell phone in the hotel room in his own hotel.

But the results of the autopsy were pretty cut-and-dried. Harvey had been stinking drunk. Either he’d been hit by a truck while bending over, or he’d passed out on the road. Being run over had killed him. “That’s all there is, there ain’t no more,” as the doctor said when he called Arthur after the autopsy. The doctor spared a moment to marvel that Harvey had been able to walk to the street, as drunk as he’d been.

Arthur Smith listened with half of his attention. After all, it wasn’t like Harvey had been murdered.

The next night, Mr. Snuggly sat on the back porch of his house and listened, with some disgust, to the noises coming from within. It had been a long, quiet day. “The pawnshop isn’t open,” he muttered. “Neither is Fiji’s shop. This is wrong and bad. How can she buy my food if she doesn’t make any money today?”

Fiji had explained that on slow days, she still made a little money. But if the shop was closed (reasoned Mr. Snuggly) she would not make any, and therefore he might go hungry. He padded into the little pantry and counted the cans of cat food. He would be good for a week, and in that time she would get tired of staying in bed with Bobo Winthrop and she would open the shop to sell things.

Mr. Snuggly very generously decided to let Fiji have her way today and tonight. Tomorrow, though, he would be sure she went to work.

After all, a cat had to eat.

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BOOK: Night Shift
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