As Novo materialized on the rooftop of a walk-up on Sixteenth and Trade, she had a gun on her right hip, one at the small of her back, two daggers on the front of her chest, and a length of chain inside her leather jacket. Her feet were locked in a set of shitkickers, and her leathers were tight across her thighs and calves. A set of tinted goggles were strapped on her face and their purpose was twofold: keep the cold wind out of her eyes to prevent tearing, and also dim the headlights and streetlights, which could blind as they flashed across white snow or jumped into your line of sight as you engaged.
Stepping into the house, I was suddenly smacked in the face with memories of Jim. He was everywhere. And it wasn’t because Angie had photos of her family on nearly every wall. I could see him in the stairwell, chasing me up the stairs, and making me laugh in frightened delight when he caught me at the top and pretended to bite my neck like a vampire after we’d watched a stupid horror movie.I could see him at the end of the hallway, holding his mom tight because she was sad we were moving out. I remembered him telling her that we’d visit all the time and she could come see us whenever she wanted.
I can’t hear his voice anymore, I whispered.Angie’s arm circled my shoulder and she pulled me to her to kiss my temple. It’s okay, sweetheart.But it wasn’t okay. Letting everything out with Aidan had unearthed my emotions, and I wasn’t okay.
There you are. Seonaid came striding out of the kitchen. Roddy is about to eat the whole bloody chicken if you don’t get in here.Angie gave me one more squeeze and I plastered a smile on. Let him try.
Seonaid hugged me as soon as I approached. He’s being a dick. I need backup.
Her latest boy-toy, Roddy supplied as we walked into the kitchen.Roddy was far too rough around the edges to compete looks-wise with those guys, but despite his claims earlier, Roddy was never short of a girl or two. He had a brusque standoffishness that seemed to work for women. They sensed what I already knew—that beneath that rough, abrupt, cocky exterior was a very kind, loyal man. It drove them crazy and appealed to the feminine instinct to be the one woman who could bring that side of him to the surface.
Hey, babe, Seonaid stood up to hug and kiss Fergus.He settled at the table with us. Hey, all. How is everyone doing?
Fergus barely paid attention. I can’t stay long, baby, he said to Seonaid. Jack asked me to help him move today.Oh. Seonaid’s expression fell. We haven’t seen each other all week, though.