February 27

Third, Lucas Reynolds, who may or may not exist, is mixed up in this somehow.
That’s an interesting thought. He gave me a bogus number on his card. How do I go from that to “he doesn’t exist”? It’s hard to make that kind of a logical leap, except that to get a business card printed up with a number that isn’t yours is a bit far to go for a hoax.
“Penny for your thoughts,” a voice says behind me. I turn, and am greeted by Reynolds, wearing the same dumpy brown trenchcoat and a huge grin.
“You gave me eight thousand of them already,” I growl, turning my attention back to the menu.
“I think that means I’m entitled to your thoughts, then,” he says, his voice still smooth. “You’re a bit later than I expected. Didn’t go back on our deal, did you?”
“Of course not,” I scoff. “And even if I did, what are you doing here checking up on me?”
“Making sure I made a wise investment,” he says. “Listen, if this goes well, I may have another favor to ask of you in the future. It would pay much more handsomely than this one.”
“Define handsomely,” I say, “and don’t use you as a reference, ’cause you ain’t.” It’s a lie, of course, but I’m not going to butter up a stalker. What do you take me for?

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