For Rion’s prompt.
“You have a thing for runaways, don’t you?” Roberts leaned back against the wall of the van and smirked.
“I don’t know what you mean.” Reggie tried for prim innocence, but didn’t manage to pull it off, ending up grinning instead. Prim really wasn’t her thing. “I haven’t picked up more than six or seven of them this month.”
“Nine, counting the red-head.”
“The redhead was a special case.”
“There’s always special cases, Reggie.”
“This one is…”
“If you say he’s different, I’m going to hit you.”
“If you hit me, I’m going to break your arm. No. Well. I suppose.” She looked down at the unconscious boy, draped across the floor, arms bound, feet bound. She hadn’t hooded him; there was no need. Identifying her would do him no good at all. “He’s interesting.”
“That’s just a fancy way of saying different.”
“Would you two shut up?” In the front seat, Sirocco was getting cranky. “Yay, you picked up your load. Now can we get home without your bickering? Because otherwise I’m going to pull over and break all of your arms.”
They fell quiet; Roc could do it, and would. Reggie looked down at the boy, and at the other three in the van, all unconscious. The blond runner Roberts had taken was blindfolded; she would make good ransom money, and ransoming off every third or fourth kidnapee confused the authorities. The American authorities, at least. The Californian ones probably knew what they were up to.
The other two were hooded and bound out of normal expediency – a junkie and a skater-boy, neither of them weighing more than a hundred pounds. Reggie found her gaze settling again on the runaway. Runaways were fun because they tended to run again, among other reasons.
“Different.” She mouthed the word, rather than saying it out loud. There was something different about this one, no matter how many times she’d said this.
Reggie reached down and stroked this one’s cheek, ignoring the mock-gagging expression on Roberts’ face. This one was going to be different.
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