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Mina

A thud, and a sudden knife in the corkboard, and a cool voice behind her: “What have I told you about showing up here?”

The rat-eating man hisses, then bounds out the open window.

“If I look down onto the street,” asks Mina carefully, “I won’t see anything, will I?”

“You’re quick,” says the newcomer, and ambles up to retrieve his knife. “Next time I may not chase him off. He knows more than he ought to…”

“I don’t believe we were ever introduced,” says Mina.

“Quincey Morris,” says Dracula’s receptionist, “and Miss Murray, I think I need your help.”

Mina

“Hello?” she says, derailed.

“Don’t worry!” hiccups the man. His voice is deeper than his giggle: almost a baritone, with the occasional squeak. “It’s not one of his!”

“His?” Mina wonders if she should call the police. For a detective? “His what?”

“His meaner things. His rat. His bat. His owl, moth, fox, wolf. I caught this one myself, downstairs, I only brought it for a snack in case I had to wait which I did, you see?”

Mina tries to determine whether it’s anti-feminist to faint now.

“If you’re waiting too,” he says reasonably, “the line starts behind me.”

Mina

But Dracula doesn’t contact her by midnight, or the midnight after that. Mina scowls at the flimsiness of honor for hire and goes about life as she has for weeks now: working, making tea, missing Lucy. Wondering.

Who’d kidnap her, and why? No ransom. No evidence. Resources to hire disappearing twins and turn her apartment upside down. Long arms, she thinks.

Resources. Long arms. Conspiracy.

She bursts into Dracula’s office the second time with a wild eye, not sure whether to accuse him or save him, but he’s not there: only a ragged man, giggling, eating a rat on his desk.

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