hoped to do with that information, eluded her. Cops needed to be
doing this, not her. And while her night vision was a handy
enhancement, it wasn’t the best for detail work. She had an early
iteration of that bit of tech, and had escaped before the scheduled
upgrade for it and her neural interface. Something bothered her
about the girl’s skin, though, and she wished she had a flashlight
to see better. Tiny marks that appeared to be in pairs…puncture
wounds? Needle tracks? What the hell?
    Dani patted down the pockets of Kevin’s
jacket. He wasn’t a smoker, there was no hint of that odor in his
apartment. But he seemed like the kind of guy who liked to have a
lighter, in case a pretty woman needed a light. She scored in the
left inside pocket, a Zippo. The metal was cool to the touch.
    Screams in Russian. Burning flesh and the
thick copper tang of blood in the air. Smoke and flame and
    Dani regretted none of it. They were
traffickers, they deserved it. Look what they’d done to this girl,
just for escaping. Sure, technically, it could have been just about
any predator in Cabrini. There were certainly plenty of them. But
Dani was sure it was the traffickers, asserting their control over
their property, sending a message to other girls who either had
escaped that night or might consider trying. She flicked on the
lighter and leaned closer to examine the strange marks.
    Right away she knew what they were – stun gun
marks. That bastard with the stun gun, he hadn’t been in the house
with the rest of the traffickers. He’d found this girl, tortured
her with his fucking stun gun, and strangled her to death.
    Dani swore and closed the lighter. There were
three more girls out there. He’d be looking for them.
    So would she.


    Kevin searched the apartment for a note,
anything to indicate where Dani was and when she’d be back.
Nothing. He was confident she would be back, she needed the new
identity documents. But he was worried about her. She could
definitely take care of herself physically but it was obvious there
was some emotional stuff going on that might not be so easy to deal
with. Getting in the habit of worrying about her was not a good
idea. She’d be gone as soon as the ID came through, and the next
time she had another rough night full of bad dreams, he wouldn’t be
there to help her through it.
    Relief flooded him when a knock came from the
door and he rushed to open it. “Are you okay?”
    Tyler stared back at him. “I’m fine. Are
    Kevin exhaled loudly. “Yeah, yeah. I just
thought you might be someone else. What’s up?”
    Tyler waved his hands at the door. “You gonna
let me in or what?”
    Kevin hesitated. She could come back at any
time. Tyler would give him hell if Kevin didn’t let him in, though.
“Of course.”
    They settled in the living room. Tyler
started to talk but Kevin heard none of it. The tablet had been
moved. He picked it up and checked – sure enough, the Twitter app
was up. She’d been reading the #CabriniGhost column. He scrolled
through it, hoping she hadn’t gone out into the night on some
vigilante mission.
    “Hey, are you even paying attention to me?
I’m trying to talk to you, man.”
    The image of a dead body appeared in the
column. Kevin dropped the tablet. “Fuck.”
    “What’s your problem?” Tyler leaned over and
tried to pick up the device.
    Kevin beat him to it. “Nothing.”
    Holy shit. Dead girl by the river.
#CabriniGhost needs to get her ass back out here.
    So call the fucking cops instead of taking
pictures like a Goddamn ghoul, Kevin wanted to scream.
    “Look, I could really use your help with
this. I’d like to buy out my investors but cash flow is a problem
right now. So I just thought going into business with a friend
would be more fun, you know?”
    Kevin tried to piece together what Tyler was
talking about. “You want me to invest in your club?”
    “You, me, and every model in the city, at the
hottest new club in

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