Chapter 20Mature

Catherine was about to say something, but instead suggested they move closer to the trade-in desk. “What is it?” Alex gave off a sigh, signaling Catherine to say something. “Something tells me it’s something big.”

“Yeah, it is. You remember me saying that I had a really good nose now, right?”

“That, and what you said about tracking someone by scent.” Catherine said, putting her hands into her pockets as she did.

Alex didn’t delay his response to seeing that, starting with a shrug. “If this guy is only interested in animals, I don’t think he’ll bother any of us.”

“Didn’t he kill someone though?”

“I haven’t forgotten, but…” Stalling at that point, Alex couldn’t think of how to end the sentence.

“You OK?”

Alex nodded. “I’m not trying to scare you, just so you know.”

“But you did sound worried there.” Catherine said matter-of-factually.

“I am, but I’m not. If that makes any sense.”

“As many times as I’ve heard people say that, it doesn’t.”

Alex smirked a bit with a ‘Hmm’ through his nose. “I’m just wishing I had some solid info to tell you all about this guy. I know who he is from the scent but beyond that, nothing.”

“Well…I’ll keep my eyes open for anyone suspicious” Catherine offered.

“I appreciate that, but we’ve got no idea how this guy behaves.” Just then, a thought flashed through his head. Looking behind him, Alex walked over to the aisle where he found the scent before. Standing at the edge of it, he could clearly see the counter his friend worked at, but a few steps back took away that viewing angle.

“I haven’t seen anyone spend much time down that aisle in a while.” Catherine said.

Alex looked away for a second. Standing where he could recall the strongest concentration, he could barely see the counter and computer. “I caught that guy’s scent in here about a week ago though. Down this aisle.”

“Right there?”

Alex nodded again. “This was where it stopped.” Closing his eyes, Alex took a few sniffs at the air, moving his head closer to the end of the aisle every so often. The air around him was stagnant; every disturbance of it brought new scents to him. He smelled Catherine’s perfume over most of the other scents, but he was able to pick out the warm, wispy trails of computer exhaust and heat build-up. Even more so as he inched closer. “Son of a…”

“Don’t tell me.” Catherine said; her tone was more exasperation than fear.

The End

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