The security line was a couple hundred feet long, moving like a drunk caterpillar’s legs. I felt naked, too. My gun, my bullets, my knife, and even my flask were all at home. I couldn’t take them on the plane. If any of the supernatural types wanted to off me, airport security was the perfect place. But I didn’t have a choice. I couldn’t very well drive to Florida. There wasn’t time before Christmas and I didn’t think my Taurus would handle the trip.
In front of and behind me, holiday travelers talked and texted away on their phones when they didn’t have to wrangle their children into shape. I was the oddball with physical paperback books.
“Let me guess,” Nikki interrupted. “Your precious pulp detective books?”
“you know, you gave me grief for interrupting the story last time. I was on a roll. But, yes, I had a couple of Chandler’s best Marlowe novels. I also had some other stuff, work related.”
“Oh? Some ancient codex of ancient mythology revealing the secrets of the universe to you?”
“Not exactly. I had a book of fairy tales for Cassie.”
Nikki cocked her head with a wry smile. “Isn’t she a little old for such stories?”
“Oh, these weren’t the watered-down versions in animated movies. These were the real deal. If my Ma knew what was really in those stories, she’d freak out.”
Nikki let out a long laugh. “Corrupting your niece. Not exactly the Christmas spirit.”
“I know! It’s why I can’t understand Nick’s gift. Anyway, where was I?”
“Right. So, I don’t enjoy being ‘randomly’ selected to be patted down, but it happens all the time. . . .”