Its leaning shack had been torn down and rebuilt as a shiny new store that was painted a very questionable teal blue. At least the sign hadn’t been touched.

“Right, Dog King it is,” Eve said, and turned into the newly paved driveway. It was still an order- at- the- window kind of place, so that hadn’t changed, and she got a bag of mini- dogs and burgers and fries, sodas all around, and tossed the results at Shane and Claire to sort out as she piloted the beast of a car. Sharp turns were a thing the hearse wasn’t great at doing, but she managed not to scrape any of the oh- so- new paint on the building, or the fence.

Claire was past noticing after that, because the hot dog she grabbed was melting in her mouth with deliciousness that totally erased the not- so- great chili spaghetti experiment. Two mini- dogs for Claire later, and two burgers that Shane practically inhaled, Eve was parking the car in front of the (not surprisingly) newly refur-bished Morganville City Hall, where Chief Moses had her office.

They sat in the parking lot and munched through the rest of the food, watching the foot traffic come and go.

“You seeing what I’m seeing?” Eve asked finally, as she crum- pled up the last of the wrappers and three- pointed it into the bag that Shane held up for a basket.

“Morganville has never looked this good,” he said. “It’s like that old movie about the robot wives or the pod people or some- thing. Seriously, look at the grass. It’s actually green. And even.”

“No, moron, I mean the pins. Lots of pins on cops.” Eve pointed to an imaginary collar. “Daylight Foundation pins. If it gets any more popular, they’ll put it on the freaking flag.”

“Great,” Shane said. “Everybody got pinned. We live in a giant evil frat house now.”

The massive Gothic front of the building looked old, but it had been rebuilt fairly recently; the aging of the stone was done with sandblasting. Still, it looked broody and impressive, looming over them as they walked up to the big, heavy doors. Two cops lingering by the entrance gave the three of them cool, blank looks that were, well, pretty normal, actually. The police in town had never been friendly, especially toward Shane and Eve. One shrugged, though, and opened the door for them as they approached.

Both, Claire noticed, wore pins.


Inside, it was business as usual in Morganville— clerks bus- tling around, phones ringing, people standing in line for permits or tickets or whatever. But there was a difference, somehow; it was intangible, but there. Claire couldn’t quite put her finger on how it felt wrong, or at least strange, but it had something to do with the overly friendly smiles, the happy tones of their voices.

“Someone’s been spiking the Cheery Kool- Aid,” Eve said.

“Think you mean cherry, slick.”

“I meant che ry, dumbass. Try to keep up,” Eve said, and gave Shane a shove on his shoulder. “Enough sightseeing. This is your show. Get it on the road.”

He trudged up the steps leading to the second floor, went down the hall, and opened the door that led to Hannah Moses’s office.

Not the office she had once, briefly, occupied as mayor; this one had a harassed- looking female cop sitting behind a desk working a multi- button phone. She shot them an irritated glance as the three of them stepped in. She hit the hold button and said, “Chief Mo- ses isn’t seeing anyone today. She’s in meetings.”

“Can you tell her it’s Shane Collins?”

“I don’t care who you are. She’s busy. ”

Shane leaned both hands on the officer’s desk. “Tell her it’s about my dog bite. I think I might be rabid.”

There was something in his face that convinced the woman.

She frowned, stared him down for a few seconds, then hit another button on her phone and said, “Yes, I need you in the office, please.

Thank you.”

“Excellent,” Shane said. “We’ll be right over here.” He walked to a small line of guest chairs. Claire took one, with Eve beside her, while Shane flipped through an assortment of ragged magazines . . .

and then the door opened.

It wasn’t Chief Moses. It was, instead, the biggest, most muscle- bound policeman Claire had ever seen. Broader and taller than Shane.

His gaze fixed immediately on the officer behind the desk.

“You got some kind of trouble here?” he asked. She merely pointed over her shoulder at Shane and kept talking to whatever constitu- ent was on the phone at the moment.

“Crap,” Eve said. “Um . . . guys?”

It was too late. The officer was lumbering over, and Shane was standing up, fast, dropping his magazine to the floor. “I think there’s some misunderstanding,” he said. “Because I didn’t ask for Officer Friendly. I asked for—”

That was as far as he got before the cop grabbed his shoulder, spun him around, and pressed him flat against the wall, rattling the bland artwork hanging there. “Shut up,” he said, and reached for handcuffs.

“You mean, I have a right to be silent? How about my right to an attorney, do I have that? Ouch. Look, you haven’t done this be- fore, have you? Let me help you out—”

“Shut up, smart- ass. You’re creating a disturbance.”

“I just want to see Chief Moses!”

“Chief Moses is busy. You get to see me instead.”

“Should we be doing something?” Eve asked Claire, who was still sitting frozen in her chair. “Because I’m kinda used to Shane being arrested, but this seems wrong. And weren’t you going to ask the questions?”

Claire snapped herself out of the feeling of unreality that had settled over her, and stood up. Officer Friendly’s (the name really did fit him) eyes flicked over to scan her, then dismissed her.

She tried anyway. “Sir, we know Hannah Moses. She wouldn’t want you to do this. We only need to ask her some questions. Im- portant questions.”

The lady on the phone, who had just finished her call and fi- nally replaced the receiver, rolled her eyes. “Yeah. About a dog bite.”

Oddly enough, that stopped Officer Friendly for a couple of seconds, and then he grabbed Shane by the shoulder, turned him around to face him, and said, “You got bit by a dog?” It was said with both concern and eagerness, such a weird combination that Claire couldn’t quite wrap her head around it. Neither could Shane, by his expression. “When?”

Shane managed to shrug, despite the handcuffs and the grip on his shoulder. “A while back.”

The cop turned Claire’s boyfriend back around, skinned up one of Shane’s sleeves, got nothing, and tried the other. He stared at the ruddy scar for a second, then took out his keys and unlocked the handcuffs. “Sorry, kid,” he said. “I’ll get the chief.

Have a seat.”

Just like that, he left. All of them— even the officer/ receptionist— looked silently confused, and it lasted for a full minute until the frosted- glass door opened again to admit Han- nah Moses.

“Sorry,” the lady behind the desk said, “but this young man was very insistent—”

Hannah ignored her. She walked to Shane, grabbed his arm— the correct one— and looked at the scar. “Dammit,” she said.

“Come with me, all of you.”

She led them into her office, where she slammed and locked the door behind them.

“I just—,” Shane began, but then she held up one finger to stop him, went behind her desk, and opened a drawer. She flipped some kind of switch, then nodded. “What is that, spy crap?” Shane asked.

“Spy crap,” she affirmed, and sat down in the wheeled office chair. “I knew you’d been bitten, but in the press of everything else, it slipped my mind. I’m sorry. What kind of aftereffects are you feeling?”

“Hang on a minute. Who the hell is trying to listen in on you? All the vamps are back there not shopping at the mall,” Eve said.

“Unless . . . you don’t trust your shiny new boss. I think he is your new boss, right? Fallon the Fanatic?”

Hannah didn’t answer that. She just fixed Shane with that steady look and waited until he said, “The bite’s feeling pretty weird, actually. Not so bad when I left Morganville, but it flared up on the road, and got worse when I came home. It started small, sort of like an ache in my arm, but then I started feeling this . . . urge.”

“An urge to hunt vampires. Fight them. Kill them,” Hannah said. “Which is why you left the mall so suddenly. You couldn’t control it anymore.”

“Yeah,” he said. “It felt like something was taking me over, and I didn’t like it. Still don’t. Look, I’m not saying I’m some vampire groupie or anything, but I don’t hate hate them, not like I used to do. Not like my dad did.” It was unusual, Claire thought, for Shane to look like this— helpless. Lost. “I just don’t know what I’m doing. I only know I don’t want to.”

“Hannah . . .” Claire sank down in one of the visitor chairs and leaned forward, staring at the chief. “Please tell us what’s going on.

Please. We need to know.”

Hannah looked away, as if she was composing herself for a moment, and then she nodded. “The Daylight Foundation has been conducting research for a long time,” she said. “It’s an old organization, very old, though they’ve only recently come out of hiding. They conducted cutting- edge genetics experiments; some worked, some didn’t. Some ended up creating things they found useful.”

“Like the devil dogs,” Shane said. “Like the one that bit me that night.”

“The dogs were part of Fallon’s advance team,” Hannah said.

“He’d seen an opening, with Oliver’s exile from Morganville. He thought there was enough unrest, given what had just happened, to depose Amelie from her position. And he was right, damn him.

He was dead right.”

“But— I thought you were—” Eve pointed to the Daylighters pin on Hannah’s collar.

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