Malachi Gregory – Case Number Fourteen: Bad News

I wake up in a cold sweat. This is bad! It’s so bad! Bailey and I have been here for a week and this is the first time I’ve sensed something wrong. She is not going to be happy to hear this, but I have to tell her. Of course, I have to tell her.
With a heart full of dread, I get out of bed and open my door to our bathroom. I creep through and slowly open her door. Under the light shining from the bathroom, I can see her sleeping; she looks so peaceful and I’m about to ruin that.
“Psst,” I call out in a whisper. “Bailey!”
No answer. Of course not. She sleeps like a rock.
“Bailey,” I say louder as I move toward her. “Wake up!” I shake her.
Groggily, she asks, “What’s wrong?”
I pinch my lips together, unsure of how to tell her.
More alert she sits up and asks, “What’s wrong?”
I take a deep breath. “Do you remember how we became friends?”
Slowly, she answers, “Yes…”
Cautiously, I ask, “Do you remember why we become friends?”
A look of pure terror crosses her face as she realizes what I’m getting at. “No!”
I nod my head solemnly. “We need to get the others. This is serious.”
“Of course,” she urges me. “Go get them and I’ll meet you in the conference room.”
I nod my head and turn to go, but before I open the door, I look back at her and ask, “Hey, you okay?”
“Just go get the others,” she answers.
I try to assure her, “It’ll be okay,” and she tries to smile.
Xane’s room is across from my and Bailey’s rooms, so I go there first. Overcome by the emotions that come with any case and the added emotions of a case related to the past, I frantically pound on his bedroom door. Surprised he says, “Mal,” when he finally answers the door. “What’s wrong?”
For a moment, I’m thrown off by the sight of him in athletic shorts and no shirt. Why do guys always sleep shirtless? Maybe it has something to do with them being naturally warmer than girls? What am I doing! That so doesn’t matter right now! “Um, we need to get everyone to the conference room like yesterday!”
“Do you have your phone with you,” he asks quickly.
Confused, I ask, “What, why?”
Gently, he reminds me, “So, we can send out a red alert.” I bite my lip and he takes that as a no. “It’s okay, I’ve got mine right here.” He presses the alert button while studying me.
“Are you okay,” he asks with a face and tone drenched in concern.
“This one’s bad, Xane,” I worry. “Maybe the worst I’ve had.”
“Hey,” he says. “Everything’ll be okay.”
I shake my head. “You don’t know this guy, Xane,” I tell him. “He’s bad news.”
More concerned than before, “This is someone you know?”
I nod my head, “And he makes the guy with the knife look like a saint.”
“So, we’re gonna need Andrea, Andrew, and Courtney for this one, huh,” he asks.
“We’re gonna need a real angel help us be the L. Angels this time,” I correct.
He grabs a shirt and quickly pulls it on with urgency. “Let’s go.”


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