"You found her?"
"Just like in the photo."
The man behind the desk shoved a manila folder at him and exhaled smoke on a deep sigh, looking uncomfortable. He gazed around his tiny office, looking anywhere but at his too-silent client.
"Look, what do you want with a girl like that anyway?"
"That's my business."
"She's nobody. Just some chick living in a nothing aparment paying the bills with a nowhere job. Same as everybody. Why did you want to find her so bad?"
"I assure you she's more than you know." The amused look in his client's eyes was unsettling. "She's more than even she knows."
"Look, I don't wanna get involved in any kinda freaky-- I mean if you're some kinda-- "
His client chuckled again, softly. "Your concern is touching. I'm sure you care for all your... targets... as if they were your own." He raised an eyebrow. "Or perhaps it's just one of the added perks that I get for paying your... shall we say... special rates?"
The man behind the desk couldn't meet his eyes. "I just don't wanna be part of anything funny."
He rose, taking the file, still chuckling, still grinning that not-quite-human grin. "I assure you," he said again, "there's nothing... funny." He turned with his hand on the door, fixing the man behind the desk with that neck-prickling stare.
"There's nothing funny about her at all."
He walked slowly along the sidewalk, studying the file. He hadn't really needed the private detective, but the busybodies of this world were so much better suited to the tedious work. Might as well use them.
He came to the clipping and stopped in his tracks, laughing aloud, oblivous of curious stares and jostling elbows and car exhaust. She'd made it so easy! He threw back his head and stood laughing in the sun's face.
Suddenly the world was a skid and a slam and a paperstorm and a warm body at an impossible angle.
He gazed down with polite curiosity at the woman blinking up at him, bent backward in a deep tango dip.
"It's alright, Miss. I've got you."
"You've got me?" she gasped in a breathless alto. "Who's got you?"