First Meet – Inferno

Facing his Pops again, he lifted one eyebrow. “Really? You befriended a young black woman?”

“Why shocked? I no racist.”

“Because you’re an old crotchety ass.”

His lips thinned below his mustache. “Go talk. Her name, Jazz.”

Bastian finished his drink and pushed to his feet. Suspicious? Definitely. His Pops used to speak English well. I’m going to regret this. He slowed on his way to the door, pausing once to glance over his shoulder. The old man shooed him along with an impatient gesture. Back outside, Bastian maneuvered behind her. The phone was back to her ear.

“Because I’m not happy, Regina. I’m not even sure what his grandson looks like. I’m surrounded by hillbillies.”

He cleared his throat. She turned slowly before her eyes widened as she gazed him over.

“I have to go,” she muttered, then returned the phone to her pocket. “Can I help you?”

Her voice was husky with an accent that was familiar, but he couldn’t quite place, at the moment.

He almost smiled. “I believe I’m the hillbilly supposed to help you.”


Sometimes the flames aren’t meant to be put out.


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