In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that is “comfort food for the urban fantasy soul.” (Seanan McGuire, author of Come Tumbling Down and Every Heart a Doorway)
Kitty Walks On By, Calls Your Name (aka Kitty’s Class Reunion)
“So, Sadie, you have any embarrassing pictures of Kitty I should know about?” Ben asked.
I blanched. “We don’t really need to go looking—”
She grinned. “They’ve got some old yearbooks at the front table if we want to go check.”
The place filled up, and I recognized more and more people, and somehow we all looked completely different than we had, and we hadn’t changed a bit, both at the same time.
“Hi, Kitty?” An upbeat woman with her dark hair in a ponytail, wearing a silky pantsuit, came up to me. “I don’t know if you remember me—”
“Amanda, we worked on yearbook together,” I said and accepted a quick hug. We did the one-minute update of the last ten years of our lives, and I repeated the same exchange with a dozen other people. Wolf slowly settled; these weren’t strangers, we weren’t in danger, even though this definitely didn’t feel like our territory. It helped that Ben was looking out for us. He patiently let himself be introduced over and over. This is my husband, Ben. And what do you do, Ben? Lawyer, criminal defense. Yeah, that got a couple of stares. And a raised eyebrow when one of the old marching band crowd asked him for a business card.
“You were on yearbook?” Ben asked, incredulous.
“I had no idea. I’m learning all kinds of things about you. I suppose you were all over spirit week and went to all the football games?”
“I was practically normal, back in the day.”
“Before,” he said.
He squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek.
“Sadie?” A tough-looking guy with an expensive-looking haircut and dark jacket came up to our table, and Sadie’s eyes widened. “Trevor?”
Trevor Ames? He’d changed. He hadn’t just put on that filling-out weight that everyone else had, he’d put on muscle, and moved with a practiced efficiency. He was a fighter. Back in school he’d been one of our crowd, Sadie and Jesse and me and the rest of us who weren’t cool enough to be in the cool crowd but weren’t goth or jocks or nerds enough to be in any other clique so we just made our own. He’d joined the army right after graduation, and was another one I’d completely lost track of when I lost track of everybody.
“He’s got a gun under that jacket,” Ben whispered in my ear.
I looked sharply at him. “Silver bullets?”
He smiled wryly as Sadie insisted on hugging him. They separated, then he looked right at me, a challenging stare, and his smile thinned.
“Kitty. You really are a werewolf.”
“You saw the YouTube video, just like everyone else,” I said drily.
He looked me up and down. “I could just tell.” He looked Ben up and down the same way, meaning he’d spotted both of us. We usually didn’t tell people about Ben being a werewolf too.
You could spot a werewolf just by looking, if you knew what to look for. This meant Trevor knew what to look for. And how, exactly?
“That a problem?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “No, it isn’t.”
I wondered . . . what would make it a problem?
“This is making me so happy,” Sadie said, beaming. “All of us together again—”
“Do you know if Jesse’s coming?” Trevor asked me.
“I don’t,” I said. “I kind of lost touch with everybody.”
“I figured if anyone knew . . .” He trailed off and shrugged.
Ben said brightly, “I really want to meet Jesse. I hope he shows up.”
“He’s not going to show up,” I said.
The guy who’d been class president went to a podium at the front of the room and tapped on the microphone, which was indeed on and screeched in disapproval. I winced—what had that poor mic ever done to him? He gave a speech about how happy he was, how great it was to see everyone, and how happy he was again, and so on. Then he announced that there were prizes. Prizes? Shouldn’t we all get a prize just for being here?
Former class president went down the list. Who had traveled the farthest to be here? Someone had come from Amsterdam, and why would anyone leave Amsterdam to come back to freaking Aurora, Colorado? Who had the most kids—four. Well, someone had been busy. The prizes were gift certificates to local restaurants for the most part, which was kind of ironic for the guy who’d come from Amsterdam. A few more categories followed, and I started to tune them out.
“And who has the most interesting job?” the guy asked. “The winner is . . . Kitty Norville!”