“You said you’d killed one before.”

“You don’t look so good. Are you . . . are you okay?”

Thursday morning, and Eli feels like his head is ready to burst and his eyelids have rusted shut. He is one-hundred percent not ready, in other words, to deal with Morgan Lacroix.

“Yeah,” he says. “Just . . . rough night, y’know?”

Morgan nods. She’s still in all-black but it’s not quite the lace-and-lamentation of yesterday. “I’m sorry,” she says and, near as Eli can tell, sounds sincere. “If you need anything . . .” She trails off, biting her lip and looking away, almost as if she knows how futile the offer is.

“‘m okay,” Eli lies. “Just . . . need time, y’know?”

Morgan nods.

Morgan has cornered him just outside the school, and there’s an awkward moment where neither of them seem to know what to say. Eli’s trying to figure out an excuse to leave when Morgan’s eyes suddenly dart between him and their surroundings, and she leans forward to hiss:

“I got it.”

“Huh?” says Eli, eloquent as always.

“The . . . the files,” Morgan clarifies, or tries to. “About the murders.”

“Oh,” says Eli. Then, when the memory clicks in place: “Oh!”

“From Mom’s laptop. I took photos. I don’t— I need your number. I’ll text them. Then I have to delete them”—said with great urgency—“Mom can never know I took these. You understand, right?”

“Yeah,” says Eli, who does. “Of course.”

He exchanges numbers with Morgan and, a moment later, a series of photos ping into his messaging app. They’re grainy and low-res, obviously taken of the screen of another computer, but they’re readable enough.

“Is that . . . is that what you needed?” Morgan asks.

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