"You shouldn't have come."
George arched an eyebrow. "Rube sent me. Believe me, I drew the short straw." She held out her hand; she'd brought the straw to prove it.
Mason shuffled to his feet, deliberately dragging them as though he wanted to be left in jail. As the officer who'd released him had him sign for his belongings - a broken wristwatch, an empty wallet, and inexplicably, a tube of cinnamon toothpaste - he had George sign a few forms. Mason had not laughed when she made him promise he wasn't going to jump bail.
They were almost to the Gas Works before he spoke again. He sounded neither contrite nor his usual cheerful self. "Aren't you going to ask why I was arrested?"
George was searching for their turn off - she'd never driven this way before, but Mason assured her it was the quickest - so she made a noncommittal grunt in answer. It had been all over his release paperwork anyway. Possession. That word almost made her laugh when she saw it. For some reason, she imagined Mason playing puppet master to some poor soulless body. And anyway, it was no secret Mason usually carried around one variety of pill or another. Rube warned her at the outset never to ask him for Tylenol.
"Turn here," he instructed abruptly, grabbing the wheel and making her rumble unceremoniously onto the shoulder.
"Jesus fucking Christ, Mason!" She glared at him as soon as she was certain she was still alive. Well, relatively speaking. Her heart was racing, and adrenaline was making her grip the steering wheel until her knuckles were white.
The next time she was alone with Mason wasn't for three weeks. They were sitting side by side under a tree in Myrtle Edwards Park at Hempfest of all things. Rube wanted George to witness the job Mason was assigned to - three souls in less than a minute, if the Post-it was to be believed. Everyone, Mason included, saw that as a thin excuse to send someone to keep an eye on him.
George pointed out a young, white Rastafarian with gnarly dreadlocks. He was sitting beside a stone fountain, looking spaced out of his mind. "That guy stands up, bumps into the the guy laying wire behind that stage, knocks him into the fountain, and zzzzt!" She mimed electrocution and grinned at Mason - he was the only one who would ever play this game to pass the time. Everyone else took it a bit more seriously, or ignored it completely, and today, George wasn't in the mood for serious.
He shook his head. "You're making it too complicated, Georgie, you always do." He nodded toward a group circling a crane from which a some rigging for a temporary stage was hanging. They were holding hands and singing something - George guessed "Kumbaya," Mason thought it was "Nights in White Satin" - swaying in a circle. Mason pointedly looked all the way up the rigging. "Professor Mustard, crowbar, greenhouse."
George snickered, loving the chance to correct him. "Colonel Mustard, lead pipe, conservatory. God, Mason, how old are you again?"
He waggled her his eyebrows at her. "Old enough. How old are you, Georgie Porgie Puddin' an' Pie?"
She wondered what he'd taken before she picked him up, then quickly decided she didn't care. She opened her mouth to answer, but was interrupted by someone screaming and a very loud gunshot. Mason jumped to his feet, catching her hand and pulling her up. "That's our cue."
They raced to the scene. A woman was brandishing a shot gun in the middle of an ever widening crowd. One unfortunate victim was already on the ground, and the smell of charred flesh was heavy in the air. The shooter whirled around and advanced on a couple to Mason's left.
"Fucking bastard," she howled, taking aim. "You said you loved me!"
The girl with the bastard in question was crying and seemed to be pleading for something, her life maybe - probably. Before George could move, the woman turned the gun on herself, shoved it into her mouth, and pulled the trigger.
Mason went to both victims quickly. George caught up to him just before the souls met him. "But the note said three."
He handed the Post-it over and walked away to do his job. She opened the folded note. The third name on the list, above the address, was T.B.A. Adams.
George let him put the tiny white pill under her tongue. "Now what?" she asked, except it sounded like, "Dow rat?" because she was holding her tongue a good inch away from the intrusion.
"You wait." Mason was resolute. He'd made her promise she wouldn't try to make him leave, that they'd stay in the house until morning. This was all her idea; he'd said it over and over again. Her idea.
They had plenty of provisions - sugary snacks, water, bread, ipecac. The door was locked. Daisy was "busy" elsewhere. He'd even tidied up a bit, acting more like a nervous mother than a drug dealer.
"What's it like?" George asked. ("Uts et ike?")
He shook his head, looking as serious as she'd ever seen him. "'S different for everyone."
She swallowed and searched for the pill in her mouth with her tongue - it had dissolved, leaving only a dry spot behind. So far, she felt nothing. "What's it like for you?"
"You ask a lot of questions, you know that?" He scrubbed a hand through his hair and leaned back, sprawling inelegantly on her sofa. George thought that was going to be her answer, but he spoke again, addressing some point between the wall and ceiling.
"First, I feel like my chest is two sizes too small, and then I begin to shiver. Sometimes my jaw clenches so tight, I have to remind myself how to move it properly."
George closed her eyes, listening to him. So far... nothing, but he'd told her to wait, and it wasn't like she was going anywhere.
"And then..." He paused for so long, George opened her eyes to peek at him to be sure he was still there. He was, and she couldn't help grinning at him. Mason hadn't gone and left her, and he was right there beside her on the sofa. Mason. She laughed. Hadn't he been saying something?
He laughed. "And then, that."
It was something they didn't plan. Sometimes they'd just end up together, after breakfast or on the way back from a job. Sometimes he'd just come and knock on her door in the wee hours, drunk as a sailor (not that George knew any sailors - she just liked the implication they used their shore leave to have fun). One memorable evening, he'd thrown stones up at her window. George's tummy had flipped over, but she reminded herself it was nothing - they were friends, best of.
He talked to her about scoring women and drugs, and she listened because Mason was a better resource than anyone else had been. He actually told George the truth - at least, the truth as he saw it. He tried to charm her in a half-assed sort of way just because he thought he could, but she wouldn't let herself be impressed by his counterfeit worldliness.
One night, he'd come to her so late it was early. He half fell into the foyer, and it was clear he'd been crying.
George used every remedy he'd ever taught her, and he was finally curled up beside her on the peeling linoleum of the bathroom floor. He wasn't shaking anymore, but he was shivering. She could tell his trip was behind him, but he wasn't all Mason either.
"Why do you let me do this?" he asked, not looking at her. She found he never met her eyes when he was asking a serious question or telling her the truth.
She snorted, turning it into a joke with practiced ease. "There are four people I can talk to about my real life. You think I'm gonna cut someone out? Hell, I put up with Daisy's bullshit daily."
George expected him to ask where Daisy was - she even prepared an eyeroll just for the occasion, but he just looked up at her. "Do you know why I come here?"
George thought he might still be just a little less than sober because he never asked questions like that. She wasn't even sure she wanted to know the answer, but she wasn't about to let the opportunity pass. "I dunno. Why?"
But Mason was already snoring.
For all the time they'd spent not saying things when they were on their own together or completely fucked up, it struck George funny - only later, much later - that Mason chose a breakfast meeting while he was as sober as a judge (again, George wasn't sure just how sober judges were, but she hoped they didn't make a habit of drinking on the job) to be completely honest. Well, completely honest for Mason, at least.
"Here you go, Peanut."
Rube stuck a note beside George's eggs, and she gave it a cursory glance. "Three hours to get to a soul a block away? Sweet." She concentrated on smearing marmalade on her English muffin.
"So glad you approve," he quipped. After a beat, he said, "So." It sounded conversational enough, but when he didn't follow through, George looked up from her breakfast. Roxy, Daisy, and Mason were also on the edge of their seats - quite literally, as they were rather smashed into a booth.
Rube gave George a level look, and she felt the cottage cheese she'd taken as a first course from Mason's plate turn over. He then aimed that very same look at Mason, and George felt him tense beside her. But so far, she was unsure of what either of them had done.
"You two have been spending a lot of time together." It wasn't a question - more an accusation, really.
George saw Daisy look down and just about bury her nose in her egg white omelette, and Roxy cleared her throat about seven times. She didn't like what any of them were implying, and she opened her mouth to defend her... well, her honor, she guessed, but Mason draped an arm over her shoulder and drew her close, effectively shutting her up.
"Don't worry, Rube. I'll make an honest woman of 'er. Just as soon as we get the whole last name thing sorted, I promise you'll all receive your invitations by post." He was smirking, but it wasn't his I'm-being-such-a-dick-but-you-all-love-m
e-anyway smirk. It was his I'm-ever-so-wholesome-yet-extremely-plucky smirk. George suddenly wanted to punch him.
Rube turned his mild frown into a full-on glare. "I don't recommend it." Darting his gaze to George, adding just a dash of extreme disapproval and a pinch of disappointment, he added, "For any of our sakes."
There was a long silence - or maybe a short one, George's sense of time had been disrupted by Rube's stare and Mason's proximity - and then a sudden flurry of activity.
"I've got to, er, go," Daisy chirped, tossing a few bills on the table and standing. "It's been... well. It's been something. Georgia?"
George blinked and looked up at Daisy.
"See you at home." She arched an eyebrow so high, George suspected it might migrate to the Holy Land of Daisy's hairline. She turned and flounced off before George had time to reply.
Roxy was the next to go, and she did it with her usual air of no-nonsense self-righteousness, only this time, she took a second to spare George an extra frown and a cluck of her tongue.
Rube slid out of the booth after her, gave each of them one more penetrating stare, then smiled easily. "Well, business to be done. See you later." And he was off.
As soon as he was out of earshot, Mason eased his grip on her and slid down a bit, chuckling merrily to himself.
"What. The fuck. Was that?" George huffed, glaring daggers at the side of his stupid head.
Mason turned and grinned at her. "Aw, I'm just havin' a bit of fun, Georgie. Lighten up. You going to eat that?" He picked up the other half of her muffin and bit into it before she could snatch it back.
George took a deep breath, waited for him to chew and swallow, then hauled off and landed a good, solid punch to his bicep. He only laughed and rubbed the spot. "Oh, come on. They're going to believe whatever they want anyway. And the more we deny the sex we're certainly not having, the more they'll think they know what's going on." He waved the last bit of muffin. "This way, we can stay as we are for a bit, then fake a spectacular falling out, have a bit of fun sulking and sniping for a week or so. And then..." Mason shrugged, and popped the last bit into his mouth, finishing the rest of his sentence with his mouth full of half-masticated muffin. "We can forget the whole thing and carry on as we are."
George opened her mouth to answer back, but just as quickly closed it. As far as ideas went, it... didn't suck. She picked up her fork and cut into a sunny-side up egg, dragging the tines through the yolk. After getting all the good bits mashed into the white, she took a bite, chewed thoughtfully, swallowed, then nodded. "All right. That'll work."
Mason snagged her chocolate milk and took a long drink. When he gave it back, he had a smudge on his upper lip. "Or..." he said, pausing for effect and licking the milk mustache off his lip, exaggerating like a prize idiot, "we could just have sex."
George rolled her eyes and shoved him, laughing into her breakfast. "When you're the last man on the planet, I'll consider it."
He winked at her, tossed a ten on the table, and stood. "Breakfast was on me, sweetheart." He batted his eyelashes at her and nodded to the door. "Later."
George nodded and tried not to watch him go as she mopped up the remains of her egg with Rube's wheat toast.
Not having sex was a lot different from simply not having sex. Mason seemed to think it was his right to just about grope her when they were around anyone. Roxy pretended not to look, and Rube just glared all the harder. George just bore it silently, gearing up mentally for the day they could finally have their argument and go back to simple, easy friends. In her mind, the fight involved her slapping Mason, and hard, too.
Not long after Mason announced he was banging George, they went to the Gas Works Park together to work. Both their assignments had the same last name, and George wondered if Rube had done it on purpose. Did he think seeing a married couple or a parent and child snuff it was going to put her off the sex she wasn't having? And what business was it of his?
Mason clicked his fingers in front of George's face. "Hell-o? Earth to Georgie?"
She looked at him, annoyance writ across her face. "Can we just do this and go?"
He pulled a face. "What's crawled up your arse and died?"
George just rolled her eyes and headed toward a playground. Families hung out at those, didn't they? Hers hadn't, but she was coming to find most of her experiences among the living weren't exactly standard. Mason followed her.
"You know, you've been awfully unpleasant to me of late," he remarked casually. The fact it didn't seem to bother him in the slightest really bothered George.
She folded her arms across her chest and looked across the playground for danger signs - they were many. The jungle gym looked like it had been erected in around 1910, the chains on the swing set were all rusted, and the sliding board ended in a sand-filled pit that seemed to hold its fair share of broken beer bottles. She'd never noticed just how much of a death trap playgrounds were before.
"Was it something I did?" Mason asked, scratching his neck. "'Cos that crack about your chicken legs was all Daisy, and -"
"What about my legs?" George asked sharply.
Mason opened his mouth to answer - to lie, most likely - but was cut off when a little girl ran full force into him and latched onto his knees.
"Michelle Vera Parker!" a stern voice chided. Stern Voice was striding across the glass-littered sand to them, and little Michelle was looking up at Mason pleading eyes. George consulted her note - M. Parker. Fantastic.
The woman prised Michelle off Mason, apologizing. "She does this all the time, and I don't know why." She sighed and smiled at the both of them. "My advice? Wait to have children."
Mason and George both spoke at the same time.
"Oh, we're not -"
"Absolutely never - "
The woman smiled and took Michelle by the hand. "If you say so." She turned and marched Michelle away. George barely had time to brush her hand over the ends of the little girl's hair. Mason got the women at the last second, too. He faced her. "Sorry."
George quirked an eyebrow. "For?"
"Whatever it is I did."
George ducked her head and watched the Parkers go. A graveling skittered up the trunk of an old elm and bounced on a limb until it cracked and broke. It killed them both instantly - quick, clean, and painless, George hoped. As the souls of mother and daughter joined them, George smiled at Mason. "It's all right."
Mason topped off her drink - whiskey and whiskey with a splash of whiskey. It burned all the way down and generally on the way back up, too. George watched dispassionately, already dangerously intoxicated and wondering where she'd find the energy to get up to go pee.
"Why do we have to do this?" she asked, swallowing her drink and willing it to stay in her stomach.
Mason looked up at her, his eyes clear and dark. She wondered how it was he was never as drunk as she was. "What's that, love? Drink?"
"No - why do we have to be reapers?"
Mason took a swig straight from the bottle, seeming to mull it over. "Well, someone's got to, haven't they? May as well be us."
That was no kind of answer, and George frowned at him. "But why? Can't they just cross over on their own? And how long are we going to have to do this for? I mean, Rube's the oldest, and he won't tell anyone how long he's been at it."
Again, there was a long silence from Mason. Finally he climbed up onto the sofa beside her. "Because it's right, that's why."
She looked blankly at him. Maybe he was shitfaced, and she just couldn't tell.
He scrubbed his hand through his hair and looked into the fireplace. "The way I see it is this. You remember how when you were little, your mum would take you everywhere?"
George nodded. He mother never left her alone.
Mason pressed on, frowning slightly. It made little lines appear around his mouth and eyes, and George saw him as he might have looked had he lived. "She went into the bathroom with you, she sat with you while you ate, she put you to bed. You didn't know how to do those things, so she helped." He went quiet, so George's fuzzy brain struggled to fill in the missing pieces.
"That's what we do? We're, like, people's mothers?"
Mason nodded. "We help them when they don't know what to do."
George really had to pee, but she figured she could wait. Instead she curled up beside Mason and rested her head on his shoulder. His arm automatically went around her and pulled her closer. He was very warm and despite his appearance, smelled like laundry soap. George liked that.
"I think they're still... seeing one another."
"You mean they're fucking."
"Shagging, screwing, and/or banging."
"He's my father!"
"Proof he's had sex at least once."
They were sitting on the hood of her car, reasonably clear-headed, watching the tugs cross the Sound. George leaned back against the windshield and looked over at him. "What were your parents like?"
Mason's mouth became a thin line, and George looked back out at the water. "It's okay, I... you don't..." She fell silent.
"No, it's..." Mason shrugged. "My father was a solicitor in Brentford. He was a tiny bloke, probably weighed as much as you do." He chuckled, reclining until he was laying beside her. "Wanted me to follow in his footsteps, but I... didn't."
George nodded. "And your mother?"
Mason shook his head. "Never knew 'er. She ran off just after I was born." He smiled, then. "My dad said I took after her, though. Dark hair and eyes, I guess."
Before she could stop herself, George murmured, "And long eyelashes."
He grinned and fluttered them ridiculously. They were so close, George could feel his breath on her chin when he laughed, and she could just about count those lashes. But he turned away, leaving George wanting in a way she hadn't before. She swallowed hard, another question at the ready, but Mason beat her to the punch.
"I watched him for awhile after. He met someone, but never remarried or had any other kids." He took a deep breath and turned his gaze up the clouded-over sky. "I think Rube's wrong to tell you not to check in on your family. They are yours, after all. And they wouldn't have forgotten you."
She looked up, too. The clouds were drifting apart, and through them, she could see snatches of a crescent moon and the scattered stars.
As far as breakups went, theirs was a terrific failure.
Mason was meant to lock onto the first short skirt who came into Der Waffle House, and George was supposed to sulk until she lured him into an argument. George didn't tell Mason, but she planned on using a fork as some part of her defense since he'd vomited on her backseat the night before.
But so far? He was doing a sterling impression of an attentive boyfriend. He even went so far as to lean across the table to feed her a piece of banana nut muffin. George thought it was such a disgustingly couple-y thing to do, she nearly vomited on him. And she didn't miss Roxy's bemused laugh or Daisy's derisive snort. Hell, if she'd have been either of them, she would have done the same.
After a gaggle of undressed teenage girls cutting class had made their exit, leaving them alone in the Waffle House, George really was going to stab him. And when Rube left, taking Daisy with him, they were also out an audience.
Picking up her fork for reassurance, George glared at him until he acknowledged her. "What?"
"You know what."
He looked at her blankly, and frowned. "Oh. Was that today?"
George folded her Post-it and slid it into her jeans pocket with exaggerated ferocity. "Yes, Mason, it was today. I've got to go." She huffed unnecessarily and slid out of the booth.
Mason hurried after her. "I'll come with you."
She rolled her eyes. "Where are you going?"
He ignored her and hopped into the car, forgoing the use of the door. "God, it smells a bit ripe in here, doesn't it?"
She cranked the top down, hoping the gathering clouds didn't mean rain. "Why, yes, it is. How kind of you to notice." She started the engine, prompting sharply, "Destination? ETD?"
He dug in his pocket, pulling his crumpled note out to squint at it. "Bloedel Reserve, 10:16. Where's that? Bainbridge Island, yeah?"
"Yes. I've got the same at 10:17." She thought it was strange Rube kept giving them assignments so close to one another, especially since he was the one so dead set against whatever it was she and Mason were pretending to be. Which they needed to stop pretending to be.
They drove to the ferry in silence - well, relative silence. Mason kept turning the stereo up so he could hear Mick Jagger over the wind. He seemed absolutely oblivious to George's pique, and that only served to piss her off more.
Once they reached the island, she headed for the Reserve, knowing the way by heart. Her dad used to take her there - Roethke had downed there after all, and if there was anything Clancy Lass loved more than his undergraduates, it was a dead poet. George had just enjoyed the gardens, literary ghosts be damned.
There were more cars in the lot than she'd ever seen there before and the cause was readily apparent. There was some to-do about unearthing a time capsule. Intrigued, George joined the crowd, and Mason followed close behind. When they were as close as it appeared they were likely to get, he laid his hand on the small of her back and leaned close to her, speaking directly into her ear. "Shovels, backhoes, and other implements of destruction, oh my."
His nearness was disconcerting and the excitement of the crowd was engaging, and George forgot to be angry. She nodded to a large woman wearing a pink hard hat and carrying a pristine gold shovel. "My money's on her for S. Ferguson."
Mason reached into his pocket and fished out a five that looked like it might have been there since he'd first changed over from the pound. "You're on." He nodded to a harried looking man wearing an incongruous combination of Wellingtons and a slim-fitting suit. "That one for P. Andrews."
George snatched the note and tucked it into her own pocket. "I'll hold the bets, thanks."
He pulled a face, and together they approached the pair, using the thin disguise of attachés from the Mayor's office as an excuse to shake hands all around. As soon as one of the aide's had shooed them away, George's presumed mark walked to the small platform set up beside where the digging was to begin. As soon as she spoke into the microphone, it shorted out. Mason's Wellingtons approached it, making a few adjustments, but that only resulted in the microphone resuming functionality. The bland speech about community pride washed over George as the minutes until their estimated times of death dwindled.
With a minute to go, the groundbreaking began to much applause, but there were still no gravelings to speak of. The backhoe took over where the gold shovel had left off, moving the Earth to uncover the buried capsule. George and Mason were searching the crowd for possible danger when there was a terrible screeching sound from the hoe. The contractors hanging around, collecting pay, converged on the machine, shouting for the operator to halt, but it was too late. The hoe's bucket came up, and a length of pipe came with it. Pressurized water from the Reserve's irrigation system erupted into the sky and the Pink Hat and Wellingtons were thrown clear. George dug into her pocket and returned Mason's five as she made her way through the frantic, retreating crowd to their souls, getting soaked along the way by the spraying water.
As soon as they saw the confused pair off to their final destinations, they returned to the car. George was in considerably high spirits despite the fact she was soaked to the skin, and Mason was just glad he hadn't lost his last five dollars. He'd even given George his sodden jacket as soon as she'd noticed her blouse was a hundred percent more transparent than when she'd put it on that morning.
"Guess I'm going to have to skip Happy Time today."
"Oh, good. I could do for some company."
George laughed as she started the car and pulled out of the lot. "And what makes you so sure I'll hang out with you?"
He grinned at her. "Because I didn't say one rude thing about your tits a few minutes ago."
She slugged him, but there was no emotion behind it, and he just grinned cheekily at her. She found herself smiling right back, despite herself.
The rain began when they were still ten minutes from the ferry. And of course, it came fast and sudden. Seattle was such a fantastic place to drive a convertible. George turned off the road and pulled the lever to bring the top up. Naturally, it whirred to a stop a good foot from closing.
"Help me!" she shouted, lunging into the backseat and pulling on the top with all her might. The rain was coming down so hard, it was actually stinging her cheeks.
"Oh, leave it to you to steal such a quality motor vehicle," Mason called over the noise of the motor and the rain.
George looked at him, laughing. "It's called boosting!" She twisted backward and the top finally moved with her.
Mason latched it closed and grinned at her. "Well, at least it doesn't smell anymore."
George put her feet down in a half inch of water, snickering. "That's true." She kicked off her shoes and peeled off her wet socks. "And I always wanted my own indoor pool."
Mason slumped beside her on the wet vinyl seat. The rain water dripped from his hair and clothes which were plastered to him. George felt warm despite the chill and drew his wet jacket tighter to herself, all too conscious of how she must look. She leaned up and was about to climb over the seat when he caught her wrist. George looked over her shoulder, praying silently to whoever was out there that Mason wouldn't notice her heightened heart rate.
"Georgia." He said her name so quietly, it didn't sound like her name anymore. He pulled her to him and before she could react, they were kissing.
With the combined years of her ante and post mortem, George had experienced three classifications of kisses: Sloppy, Dry, and Decent. Kissing Mason was something else entirely, and George was glad to find he was able to put his mouth to better use than his usual prattling.
Her damp skin warmed quickly, and her arms went around his neck. Intuition took over where inexperience left off, and she climbed into his lap, gasping breathlessly when he was pressed intimately against her. He made a sound somewhere between a moan and a gasp, and George giggled - actually giggled - into his mouth; she'd never quite elicited such a response in anyone before.
"You laughing at me, Georgie?" he murmured, dipping his head to kiss her neck, and oh that was nice.
"Mmm... no, I... nng... just... ah..." she finally gave up and tipped her head back.
He took her silent invitation and pushed his jacket off her shoulders; it landed on the seat with an audible splat and George shivered when the cool air hit her. She dipped her head to kiss him again, warming back up immediately when his hands slid up her back, dragging her wet shirt away from her cool skin.
George was just wondering how things were meant to escalate when she felt his hand skim up her rib cage to her breast. Oh. Well, that took care of that. She swallowed hard and dipped her mouth to his neck, trying to do exactly what he'd done to her. It seemed to work because Mason whimpered quite audibly.
Her hands went to the hem of his shirt and clumsily peeled it off him, managing to get it stuck around his neck. He just laughed and tugged it the rest of the way off; George had to do her best not to stare. Mason smiled at her lazily and deftly undid the buttons of her blouse. "Well, Georgie," he asked, "'m I the last man in the world?"
Her heart was pounding in her ears, drowning out the sound of the rain hitting the roof of the car. All she could do was nod.
He kissed her goodbye at her door. "I'll walk home, I think." He looked up; the sky had cleared. "'S a good night for a walk."
George nodded. "Yeah."
He brushed her hair over her shoulder. "I'll see you in the morning?"
George nodded again. "Yeah."
Mason grinned at her. "Well, the conversation has been sparkling, Georgia. Good night." He kissed her again and walked away, turning back to to face her midway down the walk. "Georgie girl?"
"We should probably break up again tomorrow, all right?"
George laughed. "Good night, Mason."
"Night." And like that, he was ambling along the sidewalk, whistling merrily. George had never looked so forward to breakfast until that moment, and she went to sleep humming to herself.