Excerpt from Gutter Punk, Book 3 in the City Streets series. Available from Amazon, AppleBooks, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble in softcover or digital.
Once Zeke had stirred, Sage was ready to move on. He removed Zeke’s lead from his ankle and attached it to his wrist. He shook out the last few drops from the water bowl and rose to his feet.
Mike stood up along with him. “Do you ever visit Brooks House?” asked Mike, referring to the men’s shelter. “Food’s pretty good there. Coffee’s always on.” Mike was assuming Sage was over eighteen, but doubted he carried ID to prove it.
“I would, but it’s hard with Zeke. I don’t leave him alone. Can’t take him inside,” Sage told him, as if there was no need to discuss it further.
“The guys will understand. They’ll help you out. Tell them Mike sent you. The guy
that runs the place, Gary, is a friend of mine. He’d enjoy hearing you play some Dylan,” Mike offered. “Anyway, we’ll let you go. Nice to meet you, Sage.”
Mike watched Sage easily toss a backpack over one shoulder, his arm through the strap. He switched his grip on Zeke’s lead between his hands so that it was never loose. He carried the guitar behind him to one side, the pack to the other. He made the load look more compact than Mike would have thought possible.
“Thanks for the song, Sage,” said Quinn. “And thanks for the help. Take care of yourself.”
“Don’t thank me for helping yet. We’ll have to see,” he said. “See you ‘round.” Mike and Quinn watched Sage head down the street with Zeke, the cattle dog in tow.
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