Surviving the Dead (Book 7): The Killing Line

Surviving the Dead (Book 7): The Killing Line by James N. Cook Read Free Book Online

Book: Surviving the Dead (Book 7): The Killing Line by James N. Cook Read Free Book Online
Authors: James N. Cook
Tags: Zombie Apocalypse
speak with. She says her name is Sabrina Garrett. She’s about five-foot-ten, black-”
    “I know who you’re talking about,” Elena interrupted. “Normally I don’t give out information about guests, but knowing how close you and Gabe are, I’ll make an exception. Come on in, but keep your voice down.”
    I followed the little woman inside. She led me through the lobby, down a hallway to our right, and into her office. The room faced a back garden with a large French door which, during the spring, offered a spectacular view of flower beds, hedges, large green plants I could not identify, towering oak trees, and a small, gravity-fed fountain. Now, in late autumn, the garden was mostly brown.
    “What business do you think this girl has with Gabriel?”
    I sat down in one of the plush leather chairs in front of her desk. Elena did business with Gabe and me on a regular basis, and anything that might affect us could potentially affect her. “I don’t know,” I said. “That’s why I need to speak with her. Don’t want Gabe getting blindsided. By the way, is she still here?”
    “Yes. She just finished bathing a little while ago. Her clothes are being laundered as we speak, and judging by how they smelled, I’d say she’s been on the road for quite some time.”
    “She come here alone?”
    “Near as I could tell, yes.”
    I wrapped my fingers around my chin and pondered. What were the odds that Gabriel had a daughter he never knew about who survived the Outbreak despite the fact she would have been no older than eleven at the time and somehow managed to stay alive, searched for her father, found out where he lives, and came all the way here to see him? Not very strong, in my opinion. But then again, the odds of anyone surviving the Outbreak were pretty slim. And if the Blackmire incident had taught us anything, it was Gabe’s name was known far and wide, and that was not necessarily a good thing. The girl could have heard about him from any number of people between here and Colorado. Hell, there were probably people in the Nevada outposts who had heard of him. Maybe the chances weren’t so slim after all.
    “Is there any chance you could ask her to meet me in the lobby?”
    “I can ask. But I’ll warn you, she’s a suspicious soul. Expect her to be armed.”
    “Duly noted.”
    Elena stood up from her chair. “Go wait in the lobby. I’ll send her down.”
    “What are you going to tell her?”
    “Your name, affiliation, and the fact that you have information about her father.”
    I nodded. “That should do it.”
    Elena went upstairs while I waited in the lobby. The only weapon I carried was a nine-millimeter Beretta pistol, which I moved from my hip to the small of my back and concealed beneath my shirt. Better not to appear threatening.
    A minute or two later, Sabrina walked down the stairs to meet me. Her pace was quick and graceful with just a slight hint of teenage awkwardness. She wore an ankle length terry-cloth robe and slippers, both provided by the inn. Her hair was still wet from her bath, long and dark black just like Gabriel’s. By the angles of her hands as she held them in her pockets, I could tell she was carrying a pair of knives up her sleeves. Cautious indeed. Finally, my eyes moved to her face.
    I could not speak for several seconds. I could only stare.
    Caleb had not been kidding. If Gabe had been born female, I was pretty sure I was looking at his visage at age fourteen. The lines of the girl’s face were hauntingly similar, albeit softened and distinctly feminine. She was not pretty, but neither was she ugly. The mouth was wide, the lips thin, the cheekbones high and sharp, the jaw broad and softly curved. A familiar shallow line bisected her chin. The resemblance alone would have been enough to convince me, but what really struck me were the eyes. Slightly almond shaped, set wide apart, deeply sunken, and the exact same wolf-gray as Gabriel’s.
    No paternity test necessary.

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