Community Garden, Evergreen Harbor
Caleb watched Akira bouncing on his toes, eyes eager and bright like they were going to a buffet and not to question the known associates of a suspect.
“Could you try to look less enthused?” Caleb grumbled.
“No, because I’m very fucking enthused. One of these assholes is going to try something, and then we are gonna fight.”
Caleb shook his head. For Akira, fighting was almost an endearment. “We need answers. Not a brawl. So take it down a notch.”
They’d gotten a tip from Mikel, a werewolf in the MIU who mentioned that Shiloh was a “drifter shifter,” a wolf that ran without a pack. If their fellow agent was to be believed, drifter shifters were a real menace and always spoiling for a fight. The MIU was tracking a dangerous one out in San Myshuno right this moment.
“Actually, take it down ten notches,” Caleb added as they made their way into the Community Garden.
It was a strange place to find werewolves, but then again, this group didn’t run with the packs of old. Elbowing Akira to keep him in line, he cleared his throat as they entered the rooftop picnic area.
The wolves took their time turning around, probably to prove a point.
“Rest assured, I’ll notch one of these fucking arrows in your neck whether or not you’re looking at me.” Akira barked.
“We’re not here to fight,” Caleb said at the same time.
“Oh?” In a green mini dress and black heels that Morgyn would have killed for, one of the werewolves leaned back on the bench. She had a wild glint in her eye that Caleb recognized. He’d seen his sister wear that look, and it never meant anything good.
“I think we should fight,” she purred, “And if you’re still standing in the end, we’ll think about answering your questions.”
San Myshuno Suburbs
“What is your problem?” Penny asked.
It had taken a few hours to track the woman down—her home address turned out to be fake—and the sun was now low in the sky.
“I’m just wondering what I’m doing here,” Bella sighed, “I can’t see how these two women might be connected, and I feel like I’m doing something stupid.”
Penny winced, and Bella rushed to reassure her. “No, I don’t mean you’re stupid. I just mean, unless these two women secretly attended the same cosplay conventions, I’m afraid that I’m tilting at windmills, and I brought you along for the ride.”
“I didn’t take offense,” she mumbled.
Bella gave her a sharp look. The two women had bonded over lunch at Burger Burger and were already at the stage of calling each other on their bullshit.
“Fine, I did take offense but mostly because I have familial trauma that I’m unwilling to work out in therapy.” Penny bent down to examine the lock on the fence, “And you’re thinking too linear. The world is weird. Sims are weird.”
“Do you believe in werewolves?” Bella joked as she did a quick search through the woman’s trash.
“Hell no. But I believe in crackpots. You said Eliza was obsessed with getting rich.”
“Yes,” Bella hesitated. She never knew how it sounded for her—a rich sim—to comment on how badly other sims wanted wealth. “Simoleons matter,” she said finally.
“Uh, duh, but look,” Penny motioned Bella over and pulled out her cellphone, “Eliza’s FaveReads list. She wasn’t just obsessed with getting rich; she had a mystical dedication to it. The Law of Wealth Attraction, Money Candles and You, How to Grow a Money Tree. She and my werewolf-spotting contact aren’t so far apart on the spectrum. Maybe one of these books told her a tooth like that would bring her good financial luck.”
Bella looked up, “You would have made an excellent detective.”
She laughed, “Maybe. But then who would pick the lock on a suspect’s fence so that you could have plausible deniability?”