In the Blood

In the Blood by Lisa Unger

Book: In the Blood by Lisa Unger Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lisa Unger
Tags: thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Adult
said, not to get catastrophic in my thinking. But I was water going down the drain, twirling, getting sucked into the void.
    “See you tomorrow!” Luke was yelling from the rolled-down window of the backseat as they pulled away. “Don’t forget about our game!”
    I turned to look at him, lifted my hand in an absentminded wave, and headed inside.

    Detective Ferrigno and I were sitting at the bistro table in the tiny suite kitchen. Ainsley, and Beck’s parents, Lynne and Frank, were outside in the living room, each of them on a cell phone, calling literally everyone Beck knew.
    There was an aura of urgency, certainly. But it hadn’t yet descended into the terror of a missing girl, mainly because Beck had run away three times before.
    As a teenager, she’d left home at sixteen because she wanted to go to Cuba to experience the burgeoning art scene. With the help of her ex-stepfather, she’d purchased a ticket to Toronto, then took a flight from there to Havana, where she was apprehended in the airport and returned to her parents. (Her ex-stepfather realized he’d screwed up and came clean pretty quickly.)
    I am the product of my parents’ misery, she claimed often. Her parents had divorced when she was eleven, each married other people and then got divorced from those people to marry each other again when Beck was fifteen. Now her parents were about to divorce for the second time. They were the kind of people who thought that they could call their toxic, shitty relationship “tempestuous” andmake it cool. They often framed their vicious, violent fights and passionate makeups as “romantic.” I don’t even know what a real marriage looks like, Beck said to me once. Do you know how much pain they’ve caused each other, and every other person unlucky enough to get involved with them? They make me sick. I could relate. She knew I could, because I’d told her some about my parents, even though she didn’t know everything. Our shared horror of our parents’ terrible marriages was what initially bonded us.
    She’d disappeared briefly during the summer between freshman and sophomore year because she didn’t want to live with her parents again. She hitchhiked across the country, dropping e-mails along the way—just to let everyone know she wasn’t dead. She ran out of money in Albuquerque, and asked me to wire her seven hundred dollars for a ticket back home, which I did. She paid me back (even though I told her she didn’t have to) in increments of twenty and fifty dollars whenever she had extra cash. I loved her for that, that she was crazy and irresponsible, but totally ethical. It was a rare quality in a person.
    “So the librarian said you two were arguing,” said Detective Ferrigno.
    “I guess,” I said. “Nothing serious.”
    “Serious enough for you to storm out.”
    “I didn’t storm out,” I said. “I wasn’t feeling well, so I was impatient with her. I didn’t want to talk about what she wanted to talk about.”
    “Which was?” He didn’t have his notebook. He was doing the we’re-cool-just-hanging-out thing. But he’d obviously been walking around campus asking a bunch of questions.
    “First, she was giving me a hard time about my new job,” I said.“I’m babysitting for a difficult kid. She thought it was a stupid thing to do.”
    If you want to babysit for the bad seed, go for it. I wondered what she would say about Luke’s poem. She would probably be really fascinated, would really dig the whole scavenger hunt thing. I couldn’t wait to tell her about it. Then I remembered and my heart sank. We wouldn’t be sharing things like that anymore. I was on my own.
    “And what else?”
    “I’m sorry?” I said.
    “You said ‘first,’ as though there was more than one topic you hadn’t wanted to discuss.”
    “Oh,” I said. I picked at a string on my sleeve to communicate my nonchalance on the topic. “She thinks I have a crush on my student adviser, and she likes to

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