oldest proession, antasy piled atop antasy; it could convinceanyone that impulse was a virtue, not a vice. Just one roll o the dice, he thought, checking the numberon the warped motel door against the entry in his notebook. Just one sip, make sure to tip. Play hard, enjoy the ride, and becertain to take your secrets with you when you leave.Nicole Rockwell’s last john, however, had taken a bit more.“Help me!” she was yelling as Gri came through the door.Impressive, since she was missing her larynx. “There’s been aterrible crime!”Can’t argue that, Gri thought, gaze skimming the hem o her cheap vinyl skirt. “You Nicole Elizabeth Rockwell?”“Wh- what?” She looked rom Gri to the resh corpse onthe bed—her own—then back again. “Yes.”“Right.” He shut his notebook, returning it to his suitpocket. “Come with me.”Rockwell took one good look at his quasi-transparent ormand promptly collapsed on the bed. “Wh- who are you?”“Griin Shaw. I’m here to help.” He hesitated, then jerkedhis head at her remains. “Sorry I couldn’t get here sooner.”Her expression, blasted and constricted all at once, made his jaw twitch, but he shrugged it o. Guardian wasn’t his beat. Asa Centurion, he merely assisted the recently, and violently, de-ceased into the Everlast. Those who’d been clipped early otenhad trouble getting there on their own. As Gri well knew.He explained all o this to Nicole quickly, latly, hoping it would keep the hysterics to a minimum. Given hal a chance,emales were always either jawing or at the waterworks. Deador alive.“But I can’t just
” she protested when he was inished.“I’m going to a bonire this weekend, the irst one o the spring.