Not that GoToGuy knew her pretend age, not at first. He had teased that out of her, Tess being evasive in what she hoped was a convincingly adolescent way. She made him wait a week before she admitted she was under twenty-one. Well, under eighteen, actually.
Can we still be friends? she had typed.
Definitely, he replied.
The courtship only intensified. They soon had a standing date to chat at 10 p.m. Tess would pour herself a brimming glass of red wine and sit down to her laptop with great reluctance, opening up the account created for just this purpose. Afterward, she showered or took a hot bath. Do you have a fake ID? GoToGuy had IM'd her two nights ago.
Finally. He had been slow enough on the uptake, although not so slow that he had revealed anything about his true identity, which was what Tess really wanted.
No. Do you know how I can get one?
Sure enough, he did. Last night, informed that she had gone and obtained the fake ID, he had asked if she knew of this bar, which happened to be within walking distance of the Light Rail -- in case she didn't drive or couldn't get the family car.
And I can always drive you home, he promised.
I bet you can, Tess had thought, her fingers hovering above the keys before she typed her assent. Her stomach lurched. She wondered if he had gotten this far with Mercy. The girl swore they had never met, but the tracking software was not perfect. E-mails could have been lost ..
The foregoing is excerpted from The Last Place by Laura Lippman. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
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