“How lucky do you feel, Elias?”
On Friday, Aunt Addi is cooking breakfast. As soon as she sees Eli, she gives him a bone-crushing hug.
“Addi?” he asks. It’s not his face, that he does know. Whatever Zoe put in her potion, it worked, and now Eli’s skin is as healed as it was on Tuesday. Maybe better, given the way his acne seems to have vanished along with the bruises.
He gets one more squeeze before Aunt Addi takes a step back, still holding onto his arms as she regards him with soft pride. Addi is five-foot-nothing, all neat uniform and tight braids. Not stern, exactly, but Eli doesn’t think he’s seen quite this expression on her face since . . . since he came to live here.
“You’re a good man, Elias Drake,” she’s saying, apropos of nothing Eli can see. “Your daddy would be proud of you. I want you to remember that.”
“Um,” says Eli. “Thanks, Aunt Addi.”
It’s a strange interaction, but it’s followed by a plate of waffles, so Eli doesn’t think too much more about it. Particularly not when Addi says, “You might see Lacroix at school today.”
It takes Eli a moment to realize Addi means Ms. Lacroix, not Arthur or Morgan. “Is it about the murder?” he asks, trying to not appear too interested.
Judging by Addi’s sigh, he fails miserably. “Murders,” she corrects. “There was another overnight.”
The shiver ripples up Eli’s spine before he’s even really processed the words. Like something shifting just beneath his skin, hot and angry.