It was early afternoon when the boat reached the dock. Grimoire and Sally stepped out onto the hard planks. It felt good to be back in civilization after a long harrowing night.
Grimoire looked back at the water and sighed. “I sure am glad to see normal water again.”
“Ditto,” agreed Sally.
“A shame Penny managed to escape, and in our boat too.”
“I’m sure Penny won’t get far, wherever she is. Let’s go tell Sergeant James what happened.”
James was stunned when they told him what happened at Tangle Tower. He quickly put out an APB on Penelope Pointer and gave them special access to the prison where Echo was located.
The cab ride was quiet. Grimoire noticed Sally glancing out the window nervously, though she tried to hide it under a reassuring face.
“It’s been a rough few weeks, huh?” Sally joked.
Grimoire answered with a tiny smile.
They entered his office and Sally promptly collapsed into a chair, breathing heavily. Grimoire hurried to check on her.
“Sally? You ok?”
The young woman shook her head. “I still can’t believe we almost died.”
Her voice was quiet, devoid of its usual snarkiness. Despite the energy and enthusiasm of youth, some surreal experiences like being almost killed by a murderer obsessed with finding her place in the world were enough to make you lose your cool and confidence, and Grimoire understood this.
He fetched her a cup of water.
“Do you wanna stay over at my place tonight? I can order us a pizza.”
Sally slowly drank and her eyes looked up at Grimoire’s. “Pepperoni, mushroom and Italian sausage?”
The old black and white movie started playing on the TV.
“‘Howl of the Werewolf.’” Sally chuckled. “Haven’t seen this in a while. You know, after what we saw yesterday, I’m ready to believe just about anything.”
Grimoire smiled and took another bite of pizza. “Now, now, there must still be a healthy amount of skepticism.”
“What about Boggy’s Bog?”
“That was different.” Grimoire drank some beer from a can. “I had not been exposed to the deeper wonders of the world yet. I was still a man in his prime.”
Sally grinned and plucked a slice of pepperoni off her pizza. “Well someone’s quite profound tonight.”
“Plus I hadn’t met my future partner yet,” Grimoire added with a hint of fondness.
Sally could feel a tiny tinge of red start to grow on her face. She thought about the past three years working alongside the brilliant but sometimes silly detective. After Richard Remington’s murder, his tourist attraction had been shut down. Grimoire had offered her a chance to work with him on solving cases and she had eagerly accepted. He wore his hat the first few months but soon ditched it after she continued to tell him he looked better without it.
Sally smiled as the memories danced through her head. She leaned in closer to Grimoire, resting her shoulder against his, and they continued watching the movie.
For a moment Sally thought she saw Grimoire’s eyes glance toward their touching shoulders but abandoned that idea to focus on the screen.
Grimoire smiled, enjoying Sally’s contact.