Chapter 25Mature

“If you don’t mind my asking, when did this come up?”

“Last week. If the demo gets enough people to come, I’ll start planning for one.”

Alex breathed a silent sigh at that. “Great. I’m looking forward to it.”

As he took a few minutes more to relax in the park, seeing that the time was just after three in the afternoon, he thought to check his friend’ places of work again. With a gut feeling that this guy had shown up in at least one place since last time, he readied himself for it.

Starting with Catherine’s work, he followed the path to the right of the store first, and then the left. He found no trace of the scent in the air, but checked near the floor to be sure. Thinking he’d found it in one location, he crouched down and took a few sniffs. The scent wasn’t there.

Nathan’s place was next. Seeing his sedan as he drove up, he felt some apprehension about checking for scents with him around. He would have texted him if he’d seen the guy. He hoped at least.

“Hey. What’s up?” Nathan was busy checking out a customer at the time.

“Not much. Just stopping by for a bit.”

Starting from the PC section, Alex began from the bottom. He could smell the new print and inks from some of the new releases, as well as a number of human scents. Even a canine among them, which made his eyebrow raise.

With a game in hand, he followed the routines near a few other sections. No trace in the air again, and none in front of the sections he chose to check. An influx of new products in certain areas made picking out scents harder in those spots.

As he continued however, he felt his ears turning red a bit. As though Nathan was watching him. Turning to look, he saw him catch a glimpse of him, confirming his suspicions. Trying to shrug it off, he kept looking.

“Hey, man. Got a second?” Nathan said as he replaced the game.

Looking over to his friend, he noticed the store had emptied. “Yeah. What’s up?”

“Marcus mentioned that you guys ran into what’s-his-face again the other day.”

“Yeah, we did.” Alex paused. “Why? Did he show up here?”

“No, but I just remembered something about him.”

“Really? What?”

“The last time I saw him, which was like over a month ago, he seemed a bit down about something.” Alex averted his eyes to think about that. “I’m not sure what. It just looked like he was upset.”

Alex didn’t reply. Angela had died and he had been bitten around that same period of time. Checking his phone and the calendar again, the most killings were around that time as well. “If that’s true…” He paused.

“What? Something up?”

“Here. Take a look.” Alex held his phone out to display the calendar. “See how more animals died around then?”

“Yeah. You think he used that as an outlet or something? Killing them.”

“Possibly. I mean, he turned me and killed Angela around that time.”

“That would get someone upset. He is human, after all.”

“I don’t know, man.” Alex said, putting the phone away. “Something’s not adding up.”

After a few more minutes of walking the store, Alex left to head for his place of work. Waving as he did, he arrived at Blue Moon to find Trevor at the front counter. When he saw his boss, a shiver ran through his bones.

“Hey, you want to work some today?” Trevor asked.

Before Alex could reply, he saw his boss start to smirk. “Everyone’s here, but nice try.”

“Fair enough. Let me know if you change your mind.”

Nodding, Alex breathed a sigh of relief and started walking the store. With Marcus off shift, he maneuvered around his coworkers as he went. Stopping near Gwen in the board games, he almost checked her scent before pulling himself away.

Like the day before, the newer scents stood out among the rest. Fresh books and bindings, papers and comics. No scents like the aerosol can were around, letting him pick up a few new human scents. None of which matched the werewolf.

For a second near the trading card counter, he thought he noticed a scent similar to it. If he had, the scents of caffeine and open trading cards were masking it. Despite that, all three locations were in the clear. He hadn’t shown.

The End

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