Excerpt from Painted Black
Street lights washed out the blink of green neon from the Hotel Chateau. Most of the windows had drapes drawn closed; half of them hung crooked on their rods. Near the entrance stood a young woman, hands in the pockets of a short jacket with the collar turned up. When the girl noticed them, she hurried around the corner.
“Lexie,” Keisha called and headed after her. Jo followed. “Alexis, I know it’s you. Quit trying to get away.” To Jo, she added, “She’s just a kid.”
When the girl turned and waited with a sullen expression, Jo saw what Keisha meant. Despite the reek of perfume, thick layers of eye shadow, and mascara that turned her lashes into tarantula legs, she could not have been older than fifteen.