We pick up our story at Mo's, with a depressed Uno trying to justify ways to not get married, but kind of failing -- leaving the one reason that he doesn't want to, but more than that, he doesn't want to choose yet -- and he has to in order to get married.
The group ponders who would have sent them the items, but no one has any set ideas. They're sitting down to try to get through that when Zeke's phone rings -- it's work. They've got a strange local murder, and they're wanting him to come consult and take a look at it, if he would. Zeke takes off to meet the officer at the scene. Uno also takes off, as he wants to meet with his changeling posse and tell them the news.
While the rest of them are finishing lunch and preparing to go head off on their various plans for the day, Adia gets a text -- from her ex, Mickey. saying that he wants to talk to her and has some information for her. "Call me."Overruling the objections of everyone at the table, Adia messages him back, and he says he's heard some things and wanted to make sure she was okay. He wants to meet with her. She stews for a moment and then accepts the inevitable and sets up a meeting. She takes everyone else with her, though -- all other plans are cancelled when Mickey gets involved.
Zeke arrives at the crime scene over in Fell's Point, down at the water. The area is already cordoned off, and there's a tarp on the ground not far from the water's edge. He finds his contact there, waiting for him. "Don't know what the hell this is, but we thought since you deal with weird stuff sometimes, you might have some information." He pulls the tarp back to reveal two bodies, badly chewed and covered with an acidic slime, already decomposing, and with parts pulled off, scattered, and gnawed. Disgusted, he looks around the scene and consults Sauriel, who makes a deal with him to look through his eyes -- "Consent is important, Zeke. I can do nothing except by your will, as you well know." Zeke grumbles, but he needs the information, so he lets Sauriel share his body and power -- and what he sees is a horrible sensory experience. That clear acidic slime is tainted, and there's a trail of it coming up from the water... and then heading off in two separate directions. Something(s) came up, killed and/or ate this couple, and then left, but not the way they came. One headed down the block, the other into the grass at the edge of the parking area. Zeke picks up his phone and calls Victor via Adia -- "Yeah, I think there's something out here you should see. Come on over, would you?"
In the meantime, Uno has a talk with his besties. His closest confidant, however (a former changeling who turned fae) already knows, and she and the twins have their own invitations to the party. She's completely thrilled and wants to throw Uno a bachelor party in a week. She urges him to choose fae, thinking that it will influence the twins to choose as well. She doesn't know who sent him the chess piece, but remarks that it's the exact twin to a piece in a chess set owned by Queen Titania. He wants to go talk to his betrothed, but she informs him that it's completely against etiquette to do that -- they shouldn't see each other until the engagement, regardless of any other relationship they have. He reluctantly agrees to the bachelor party and she's thrilled, and gathers up the twins to go start making plans.
In the meantime meantime, Adia meets with Mickey at the national cemetery. He's charming and suave and polite to everyone, which makes everyone's skin crawl all the more. He suggests that Adia leave town for a little while to make sure she's safe, since things are shifting in unpredictable ways at the moment hereabouts, and he's not sure, given the company she keeps, how it's all going to play out. She asks why, and he refuses to say -- at least not here. But if she'd have dinner with him... well, that'd be different.
There's an art walk festival going on in Fell's Point, so she agrees to have hot dogs from a cart with him, in public, with everyone around. He accepts the deal, smiling, and she wants to kick herself for giving in, but doesn't go back on it. Mickey bades farewell to everyone until the evening and then heads off -- right before Adia gets Zeke's call. They trundle back into the cars and head around the harbor to the other side.
Once they arrive, Dylan and Viktor both end up using the Sight. Viktor is able to see the same trail, but he is able to identify it as ghouls. Dylan is able to track the origin back to a drainage pipe that flows out into the bay -- in doing so, however, he stares out at the harbor with it on, and he sees a storm and hears a deep bass voice laughing --- at him, he thinks. Everyone's struck by the idea of ghouls wandering around the city during the art festival, and gets a bad feeling. Eldi sneaks out of Adia's purse and goes over to a flower cart and hides, thinking little garden thoughts as she people-watches. No one realizes she's gone, though, in the face of all the ghoul-chewed bodies.
In the meantime meantime meantime, Uno's at his mom's brownstone, debating whether to call his intended and boss, the Summer Lady, or not. He's at the mirror and contemplating trying to contact her when he hears a scrabbling sound outside. He goes to check and doesn't see anything out the window. He can hear sounds on the roof as well, though, and he's suddenly got a terrible feeling. He grabs his sword and calls Adia, telling her there's trouble at the brownstone -- he hangs up, and listens to the noises coming from outside, and waits....
And that's where we pick up next time!