Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green Read Free Book Online

Book: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green Read Free Book Online
Authors: S.E. Green
“Hey, Reg? Can you dig some info up on the Decapitator? He’s a serial killer, and he’s actually in our area right now. Mom’s working the case.”
    “You do know your fascination with killers is creepy, right?”
    I know she’s joking, but it still tweaks a nerve. “Never mind.”
    “No! Of course I’ll dig some stuff up.”
    “My mom’s just as fascinated,” I defend myself. “She does it for a living.”
    “I know. It’s okay. I’m sorry.”
    Neither one of us says anything for a few seconds, and I sign off first. “Bell’s about to ring. Catch you later.”
    “Lane—”
    I hang up on her. I know she’s sorry she said it. But all day long her comment is all I can think about. Creepy . It’s the same word Daisy used. Reggie’s always been the one person I’ve been most honest with. The one person I’ve been most myself with. Maybe we’re at the point in our friendship where that can’t be anymore. Maybe we’re at the stage where we start becoming more ourselves and less dependent on each other’s emotional support.
    Maybe . . . but hopefully not. I can’t imagine not having Reggie. The truth is I probably won’t have Reggie anymore if she finds out my true self.
    • • •
    After school I drop my brother and sister back home and head straight to the Patch and Paw clinic.
    “What are you doing here?” Dr. Issa asks. “You’re not on the schedule.”
    “Is Corn Chip around?”
    Dr. Issa smiles, and my cardiac muscle experiences that massage. It’s interesting; most days my heart simply fills a voided chest cavity. Logically I know it’s in there, but when he smiles I know it’s in there. It’s very simple, this attraction I have for him—he’s a vet, he’s smart, he’s nice to me, and he’s hot. Also, we click in this interesting way I’ve never really experienced before. Like there’s this magnetism between us that carries the possibility for a powerful explosion.
    “Yes,” Dr. Issa says. “He’s in his usual space.”
    When I walk into the boarding facility, Corn Chip’s gray eyebrows come down over his dark eyes like he’s pissed I’ve let so many days go by since our last visit.
    “I’m sorry, C-squared,” I apologize as I unlock his cage.
    He tries to act indifferent but within seconds gives in to the excitement of seeing me.
    This is why I prefer dogs to humans. You’re good to them; they’re good to you. You’re shitty to them, and they’ll get you back sooner or later. Most important, they don’t hold a grudge.
    I lead Corn Chip into the side yard and toss the ball with him a couple times. I think he can tell I’m just not into it today. He sniffs around my feet and then sits and focuses his dark eyes up at me.
    I squat down and give him a rub on the tips of his ears where I know he likes it the most. Closing his eyes in bliss, he leans in to me. I inhale his wonderful scent: dryer sheets mixed with a big bag of corn chips. His mom picked a great name for him, that’s for sure.
    I don’t normally talk to dogs. For that matter I don’t normally talk to humans.
    But Corn Chip’s unconditional love and the fact we’re alone in the yard causes me to say, “I don’t know what to do with myself.” Even Reggie thinks I’m creepy.
    Corn Chip stops leaning in to me and looks up like he’s surprised I spoke.
    I know it’s not normal that I’d rather be researching the Decapitator than going out on a date. Should I force myself into a more typical mold just to blend in?
    “Should I get sex over with like Reggie did?”
    The tip of Corn Chip’s scraggly tail vibrates.
    I mean, I’ve always understood it in terms of procreation, but other than that, I really don’t care. Frankly, it’s too messy an act. I’d rather keep my bodily fluids to myself.
    Corn Chip looks beyond me. I stand and turn to see Dr. Issa behind me. Should I get sex over with like Reggie did?
    Oh no. He heard me say that.
    He starts to move back—“Sorry”—and I step right

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