Dog with a Bone
closed on his heels. Pounding on the door caught me with my sleep shirt halfway over my head. “What was that?” I cranked up the hot water until the shower became a dull roar and grinned evilly. “I can’t hear over the water.”
    My pulse sprinted as I ducked under the steam. Not even a sneak peek of Shaw’s abs had given me this sort of rush. A shiver wracked me. I was in serious danger of falling in love with my job.
    ––––––––
    M rs. Richardson’s apartment was located on the eighteenth floor of a skyscraper in downtown. A man with nondescript features wearing a sedate gray uniform held the door open for us on the street. I was mildly surprised he let us pass until I caught a whiff of spice on the air. The scent tightened my gut, but it also kept the doorman smiling. When the uniformed man behind a desk in the lobby noticed us, he jumped from his chair and chased us to the bank of elevators. Shaw dialed up his lure, hooking the poor guy so hard he shuffled back to his seat with a dopey grin on his face. He was waving his pinky at us as the elevator doors closed.
    “Don’t say it,” Shaw muttered under his breath.
    I fanned the residual fragrance away from my face. “Say what?”
    He leaned against the wall, letting his head hit it with a thump. “Whatever it is you’re thinking.”
    “Other than hoping we don’t plummet to our deaths in a freak accident, my mind is blank.”
    “That’s comforting.” He straightened as a chime indicated we had reached our floor. “Ready?”
    I gripped my satchel’s strap. “Yep.”
    We had exited the lift together and paused to gain our bearings when it hit me. A sickly sweet scent. Decay. “There’s a body.” I inhaled again. “Definitely fae. Recent too. Coming from this way.”
    I put my nose to use and followed the pungent aroma to apartment three-twenty-two.
    “That’s the Richardsons’ apartment,” Shaw confirmed. “Stand back.”
    He dug in his pocket until he produced a weathered brass skeleton key.
    It had a vaguely familiar look, like I had seen one in a picture once. “Where did you get that?”
    His smugness level shot off the charts. “From a certain bean-tighe who no longer needed her all-key.”
    “That’s Mable’s all-key?” Each bean-tighe was sent out in the world with one. A key that could open any door. So when they found their true home, they could enter without violating the building.
    Shaw focused on the lock. “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”
    “I thought it was a one-time-use deal?”
    “It is, for them.” He lined the bulky key up to the sleek lock. “I’m not a bean-tighe. The key will work for me until I vow to remain inside the four walls of a building for life, which ain’t happening.”
    “I’ll be sure to add one of those to my Christmas list.”
    “Aren’t you a little old to believe in Santa Claus?”
    “Have you seen Mable?”
    “Point taken.”
    Hovering at Shaw’s shoulder, I watched him press his elongated key into the slit on the knob. It shouldn’t have fit. Metal should have hit metal and called it a day. Instead, the lock gaped like one of those cartoon mouths and devoured the key. Shaw turned it, opened the door and then stood there for a good thirty seconds uttering threats involving hammers at the doorknob if it didn’t return his key.
    Ptui . The lock spat out the key and its thin lips puckered into its previous shape.
    “This is all very Alice in Wonderland .” I trailed him into the white-on-white living space. “Well, if she skinned the White Rabbit for her couch.” There were matching ivory chairs too. “I guess those were his cousins?”
    Shaw locked the door behind us. “According to their website, all one-bedroom floor plans have a home office or office nook.”
    “You take the office.” I sniffed out the foul scent trail. “I’ll take the bedroom and work my way out.”
    “Wear these.” He tossed me latex gloves. “We don’t know what we’re dealing

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