When they arrive at school, they find a car in Jordan’s parking space. It turns out to be the car of the Fēng’s housekeeper. Though, the way she acts, Brian and Jordan are pretty sure that she’s much more than she tries to appear.
Brian strolled to the car, laying one hand on the roof, not far from her head. “I’m moving, not because you told me to, but because I choose to. I don’t know who or what you are—yet, but be assured, I will. There’s an other worldy stench about you, lady.”
She glared up at him, narrow chin defiant. Brian brushed her shoulder with his hand.
“You have a lovely day.” Backing up, he let her go. They watched her drive away, obviously upset. “Got another plastic bag?”
Brian held up a hair. “We never did show our folks that note I found. I think we need to do some sleuthing.”
“Couldn’t agree more. You feel like taking the day off?”
“Unfortunately, I can’t. If got a test in chemestry and have to work on a group project in English.”
“Okay. Then right after school. Good thing we don’t have practice.”
“Yes. I’d say so. You be careful today.” He touched her cheek, running his thumb over her lips. “That was a very disturbing woman.”
Jordan frowned. Brian kissed her softly.
“She’s very strong, Jordan. It was all I could do to shake her off. Whatever we’re up against, if it’s anything like her….” He didn’t finish the sentence, merely shivered. “Let’s get your car moved.”
As they walked into the school, they saw Lien on the phone, chattering rapidly in Mandarin. How either of them knew what language she was speaking, they didn’t know, but were certain. Listening closely, Jordan got the gyst of what she was saying, though she’d never heard the words before.
“It won’t be much longer. Just go home and be careful. They aren’t smart enough to— You worry too much, Su. I have to go. One of us has to keep up our cover.” She hung up and scurried into the building as the first bell rang.
Jordan and Lien had their first class of the day together. Fortunately, Marissa was there too. Jordan wasn’t able to talk to Marissa before class started, but passed her a note as they went to their next class. As they went into their second class, Marissa walked up to Jordan, pinching her arm silently. She tugged urgently on Jordan’s elbow.
“Mrs. Harvey, may I go to the restroom?” Jordan asked.
“Didn’t you have time between classes?”
“May I go, too?” Marissa said. “I feel a little queasy.”
The teacher sighed. “Really?” There was distinct disbelief in her tone.
“I think the sushi I had for supper must have been off. I really need….” Marissa faked a gag.
“Go.” She handed them a hall pass and shooed them out before anyone else got the idea that they had to leave too.
“What?” Jordan whispered as soon as they had checked the stalls.
“I saw that woman last night. She was on the street near my house, walking along. For no reason. The Fēng house is on the other side of town. Why would she be on my street?”
“No idea, but that makes me very nervous. Okay, inseparable today. Do you need to pee?”
“Yeah, I do now. I’m so scared, I’m about ready to wet myself.”
They used the bathroom and washed their hands as the bell rang. Scurrying back to class, they got in before the teacher closed the door.
“Not again,” Mrs. Harvey reprimanded.
“Sorry,” Jordan whispered. “Lady’s time.”
Nodding, the older woman pressed her lips together. “Plan better.”
The rest of the day passed in a fairly quiet fashion, but they kept a surreptitious eye on Lien all day. Chase was the only one to see anything odd in her behavior. He reported at lunch how she’d acted in class.
“She was really squirrely. Couldn’t sit still. And the guys she usually flirts with, she snapped at them all, nearly took Bobby Farnen’s head off. Poor guy. She’s been leading him around by his pecker for days and all of a sudden, she snarled at him.”
“Really snarled?” Marissa gasped.
“Teeth bared like an animal. And she sort of growled and snapped. Scared the piss out of me, if I’m honest.”
“What are we dealing with?” Brian asked himself, more than the others.
“I don’t know, but we’ve got to find out, and quickly,” Marissa said. “I don’t like this and I think we’re up against something really dangerous.”
“Mr. D isn’t dangerous?” Chase scoffed. “Opal wasn’t creepy enough for you?”
“Stop it,” Jordan commanded. “You’re not helping. I agree with Marissa. And I think I know how Scott can help. He’s got a weird combination of skills. He’s a PhD zoologist by profession, but his masters was in mythology—particularly of the Far East. You know, Japan, Korea—China.”
“You think he can help us?” Marissa asked.
“Only one way to find out,” Jordan said. She whipped out her phone and sent her brother a text.
Seconds later, her phone rang. Since they were outside, Jordan didn’t feel she had to be quite so careful with her call, but she was still cautious of who might overhear her. The others watched while she answered.
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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