55 Proof by JA Konrath

By JA Konrath

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You could have killed me, kept it all. ” She didn’t get it, but that was okay. Most people went through their whole lives without ever realizing how precious life was. Jasmine didn’t understand that. But someday she might. “I don’t kill people for money,” I told her instead. Then I left. All things considered, I did pretty good. The blood, latex scars, and fake knife cost less than a hundred bucks. Pizza and beer for Jack came out to fifty. The money I gave to Ajax wasn’t mine in the first place, and I already owned the master keys, the badge, and the Polaroid camera.

I thought. Julia had her nose in the garbage can, sniffing Thorpe’s sock. If I could only switch dogs somehow. That was it. 25 “I’ll switch dogs somehow,” I said. ” “Like a hostage trade. I’ll call up Ms. ” I picked up the phone. “Ms. Cummings? ” “I know. ” For someone who looked like a mime, she was sure full of comments. ” “Is my little Poopsie okay? ” “She’s fine. ” “Does Miss Julia still have the trots? ” I stared at the land mines dotting my floor. “Yeah. ” “Make sure she eats well. ” Julia was currently snacking on a tuna sandwich I’d dropped under the desk sometime last week.

But I had a key. It was another online purchase. There were thirty-four major lock companies in the US, and they made ninety-five percent of all the locks in America. These lock companies each had a few dozen models, and each of the models had a master key that opened up every lock in the series. Locksmiths could buy these master keys. So could anyone with a credit card who knew the right website. 40 The lock on Buster’s apartment was a Schlage. I took a large key ring from my duffel bag and got the door open on the third try.

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