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"I want to take tomorrow off," Vic says.
Claire sighs. "Vic, you don't have to ask me. You're my boss."
His face scrunches up. "'Boss.' Sounds so ... formal, when you say it."
"Take tomorrow off, Vic," Claire says.
Claire goes back to work. Other than the kid peeking at her over a comic in the corner, the store is pretty dead today. Good. She's got to finish moving this stack of graphic novels by closing, because the new comics will be coming in tomorrow--
"Hey!" Claire says. "Tomorrow is Wednesday! You can't take a Wednesday off!"
"Too late!" Vic says. "Just pressed Submit. Can't return online ticket purchases!"
The door jingles. There's a bent-over guy there, wearing a baggy, ragged hoodie and pants stained to the color of leather. He stares at Claire.
"Hey, man," Vic says. "You gonna buy something? You can't be hanging out here."
The homeless guy shuffles back out. Claire watches him go. Something about him...
"You see that?" Vic is saying. "The voice of authority."
"You're so big and strong," Claire says. "Now move this box over to the back rack."
The door jingles again. It's another guy, twenties, stressed-looking. He also stands there staring at Claire, eyes wide.
"Jeepers," Vic says. "It's like working the monkey cage at the zoo. Hey, buddy--"
"Wait," Claire says.
"Oh, you know him?" Vic says.
"Yeah," Claire says. Eric. Last time she saw him, he was on the run from Building 26. Rebel had sent him.
"Wow, interesting expression," Vic says. "So he's an old friend? Close ... friend?"
Claire goes to meet Eric in the middle of the store.
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