I had a crazy St. Patrick's Day and spent most of Sunday recuperating, so I missed having a Sunday snippet this past week. So instead, I've decided to intersperse my blog tour with a bit from later in Flow. Ergo ... meet Hadrian, as the girls are trying to find a source for a fake ID for Kit - who can't yet legally drive ...
Sigvard Repair was north of the city near Norwood. It sat sandwiched between a secondhand record shop and an all-night grocery. There was no closed sign, but the darkened windows said it all. Not for Kit. She caught the handle and braced. The door jerked open into stale darkness. Dimly, she sensed the saurian shadows of metalwork and machinery, some with guts splayed all over the room's low tables. An anemic strand of light escaped from underneath the door to the next room.
So fast she couldn't track the movements, someone caught them both around the shoulders, opened the door, and ushered them through it. His hand was deft on her right shoulder as he pulled them into the back hall and turned the light up.
"So," that unmistakable baritone said, dropping a few lazy syllables into the bass range as he continued, "what can I do for you ladies?"
Kit blinked as she got a good look at him. Tall and attenuated, he was thin almost to the point of the macabre, nothing helped by arched cheekbones and a high-bridged nose. His skin was ghoulishly pale - she felt as if she was staring at a ghost. His intensity was overwhelming, pulsing out of him in waves she could almost touch.
"Uh, a friend of mine said you could help with something unusual," she said.
Of course he was still in business, why else would he be so calm with two women in his backroom at this hour - but she had to be careful.
"We are looking for false identities," Chailyn said brightly.
Or not. "Something like that," she said, trying not to grimace.
He grinned, an expression that made him look more human, glacial dark eyes catching a spark of warmth.
"Have no fear; I've completely forgotten what numbers to dial for the police," he said. "Hadrian Sigvard, at your service."
He looked severe, even priestly with the hard angles and the way his hair was pulled back - and it was faintly blue in this light, deeper than black - but the lingering, sardonic mode of his words made it easy to forget that image. There was something off about him, but Kit couldn't put her finger on it.