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The Singer Elizabeth Hunter 2022/7/22 11:38:33

And so was the Grigori.

He sat in the dirt of the alley and stretched his back. He could feel the deep gash over his kidneys mending. He pushed up his sleeve and traced over the healing spell again, letting his fingers linger over the new marks that had bloomed as Ava sang to him in his dream.

Malachi pushed his sleeve down when he heard Leo and Phillip coming down the street. But he still sat, rubbing his knee a bit where the Grigori’s nose had left a spurt of blood. That was irritating. He didn’t have that many clothes, and he hated asking Leo for things.

The two scribes turned the corner, chuckling when they saw him sitting in the center of the alley.

“Did you get tired?” Leo asked.

“Just taking in the sights.”

Phillip glanced around. “Well, if you were looking for a scenic corner of Budapest to loiter and people watch, you did not find it.” Then he grinned and held out a hand.

Malachi grasped it and pulled himself to his feet.

“Take care of the runner?” Leo asked.

“Faster than me.” Malachi twisted his neck to the side, feeling the joints release. “Luckily, big guys get lucky sometimes.”

Phillip said, “More than luck, my friend. If you don’t remember Chicago in ’72, then I’ll remind you someday.”

“Maybe later.” He wanted a shower; he could still feel the dust on his skin. And then they needed to get on the road. He and Leo had only run out for a quick hunt when Tas decided they needed a different car. The irritable scribe had gone out to procure one from questionable sources while Leo and Malachi helped Phillip on patrol.

“Tas should be back by now, huh?” Leo asked.

Phillip shrugged. “Probably.”

“And where is this car coming from?” Malachi asked.

“It won’t be stolen,” the watcher said. “Not recently, anyway. But he’s right. If any of the Fallen have you on their radar, it’d be good to change cars occasionally. How are you doing on funds?”

“We’re all right,” Leo said. “Max left us some money.”

“He still playing cards?”

Leo smiled. “He calls it supplemental income.”

“The boy has rich tastes,” Malachi said. “Always has.”

Both of them stopped and looked at him expectantly.

“What?” Malachi said. “I remember bits and pieces. Most of it is still a blank.”

“If you say so,” Phillip said.

“Besides, Max’s taste is obvious. How many scribes do you know who wear a five-thousand-dollar watch?”

“It didn’t costme five thousand dollars, Leo.”

Leo held the phone out. Max was on speaker, calling from Berlin.

“If he bought it in a store, it would cost that,” Malachi said, eyes on the road.

“But you didn’t buy it in a store, did you, Max?”

“Where I buy my watches is no one’s business but mine. Now, can we talk about Vienna, or did you want to discuss my shoes?”

Leo bit back a laugh. “You do have a pair of grey loafers that—”

“Vienna,” Malachi barked. “Please. What have you found out about the Irina?”

“Phillip is right, there are definitely more Irina in the city, and they’re becoming more visible. One of my sources was watching an interview with Edmund’s mate—”

“British council member. He’s become very pro-compulsion.”