"That was fast," Joan greeted her as soon as the connection opened.
"Brooklyn's not here. Did she call you with any changes?"
Silence for three thuds of her heart. Nikki had enough time to wonder if this was what happened to Brooklyn's phone -- someone nearby had some futuristic gizmo that George hadn't thought of yet that could interrupt the phone signal.
"Maybe they went to the sheriff's office. If there's something wrong at his house, maybe they don't want anyone to see you picking her up. Lose you in the traffic. Brooklyn said it was in the center of town."
"That makes sense." A nervous chuckle escaped her. "And here I stand, knocking and ringing the doorbell and getting the attention of every busybody on the street." Nikki looked up and down the street, both sides as she spoke. "Not that there's a single sign of life. Actually, kind of creepy."
"How does Gray feel?"
Nikki's face heated as she glanced down at her companion. Gray sat on his haunches next to her, looking perfectly calm. If anything, as he tipped his head up to meet her gaze, he wore his "So, what are you waiting for?" expression. He definitely showed no signs of alertness or awareness of any trouble or threat.
"He's just about to get bored." She felt better when that earned a chuckle from her sister. "I'll go check the sheriff's office and let you know."
"I'd take a walk around the house, in case Brooklyn left you any kind of message."
"Hey, I was just about to do that."
"Uh huh. Be careful, Nikki."