|Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 1|
|Written by RKP Hunt|
The dirty alley was scattered with the leavings of old Chinese food and pizza containers. The asphalt was sticky from the years of split trash that leaked out from the nearby dumpster. A rancid stench filled the air that came from both the dumpster and the two buildings that surrounded them.
“Yep, that would be a vampire alright.” Trent stood up in the dark alley, the dead body lying beneath him.
Isaac, his partner, stood behind him and punched the air when he announced it. “Shit.” He left the uniformed policeman to stand next to his partner. “Does it at least look like it was another vampire?”
Trent shrugged his shoulders, “Do I look like a medical examiner to you?”
Isaac looked at his dark haired partner, who wore his long hair pulled back. His light brown eyes stared down at him with his dark eyebrow lifted, “You’ve been in paranormal law enforcement for ten years. I would think you could identify if it was a human, werewolf, or vampire kill.”
Trent frowned at his blonde partner, “Looks like bullet holes, could be anyone.”
Isaac had only been his partner for a little less then a year, as his former partner had been killed during a raid on a werewolf sanctuary. The people of Los Angeles and the rest of the world all knew of the existence of vampires and werewolves. They had to live together, though the vampires and werewolves hated each other, and would often battle it out in the streets. For the most part, the two breeds lived only in large cities, and tried to ignore that the other existed.
To ensure justice was served and that no wars between the species broke out, each group had their own police force that investigated matters concerning the other species. If this murder looked like a clear cut werewolf or vampire murder, he probably would still be at the office throwing darts at the wall. Since, it could be a human killer, he had to come along and wait for the vampire investigator to appear. He hated working with vampires; they hid information from him and were never willing to share. It wasn’t just the vampires, but the werewolves as well. He just didn’t like sharing a world with them, but the paranormal squad paid three times as much as the others.
The worst thing about the vampire investigators is that they weren’t even really policemen. Not in the sense that the humans and werewolves trained their investigators to be. Instead the vampire elders would send one of their peons to tag along and report back to them. He hadn’t worked with a born vampire yet, and seriously doubted that he ever would.
“Macrea Corp just called and said they are sending someone over now.” Isaac hung up his cell phone.
Trent didn’t even hear it ring, while he had been staring down at the male corpse. The Macrea Corp was a known vampire business, and one of the most powerful vampire clans in the city. They often sent their investigators when humans were involved. It had to do something with them believing they were better equipped to deal with humans.
“What do you think, Isaac? Born vamp or turned?” He asked pointing to the dead body.
Isaac looked down at the corpse then back up at his partner, “Why do you always play this game?”
“Because I have a knack for it. Now, guess.”
He sighed, “Born.”
Isaac rose an eyebrow, “And how can you tell this time?”
“Skin still is slightly tanned.”
“So, vampires can walk in the sun.”
Trent frowned, “Yeah, but they don’t tan. Watch, I’ll ask the vamp when he gets here. I guarantee that he’ll say that’s a turn job.”
“Alright, I bet fifty bucks.”
“Deal.” He turned his eyes from his blonde partner back to the corpse. “Wonder if it was by choice or force.”
Isaac sighed, “Shouldn’t we be caring about what killed him, and not how he was turned.”
“In my book being turned is being killed, maybe we should find his sire.”
“I doubt the Macrea’s would allow you near his sire.” A feminine voice said behind them.
They both turned to look at the woman with light auburn hair that was pulled back into a braided bun. She wore black slacks, a button up white blouse, and black high heels. The siren lights swirled behind her from the street, as she stood in front of them with her arms crossed.
“You the Macrea investigator?” Trent asked. Slightly surprised because he had never worked with a female vamp before.
“Indeed, I am.” She walked past them. Carefully, she tried to step around the trash on the ground. When she reached the body, she bent down to look at the corpse. Her eyes briefly scanned the face and body of the dead kine, who was laying on his back. With a clearing of her throat, she stood up and pulled her cell phone out. Hitting a single button, she put the phone to her ear, “Tell Marcellus that it’s Rylan.” She waited a moment, “No, I can’t tell. Too many humans have touched the body, but I do have a scent of werewolf in the area. That’s not too surprising though because it is an alley after all.”
Again, there was a long silence, before she looked at Trent, “Have you recovered a weapon?”
He shook his head.
“No, looks like bullet wounds though. Yeah, in his heart.” She kneeled back down, and looked over the body again. “I’ll send him to the lab.” She said as she checked the inner pockets of the corpse’s jacket. “Yes, I know. Alright.” She hung up her phone, and stood up to face the humans.
“You can identify him?” Isaac asked.
“Rylan Cullen of the Macrea Clan.” She looked down at the corpse then back up at him, “A toy of one of the elders. This will make him most displeased.”
“A toy?” Trent questioned, he had heard the term before, but was never certain as to what it meant.
“A favorite, if you will.” She crossed her arms, “Who ever did this will have to pay dearly. Rylan has been missing for two weeks now, but this is a fresh kill. So, he was either hiding from something and unable to contact us or he was abducted and held for a time before they brought him out here to kill him.”
“Could it have been another vampire clan?” Trent asked.
She smirked, “I doubt it. The other clans wouldn’t dare upset a Macrea elder. They know better.”
“Maybe they didn’t know he was a toy.” Isaac threw the idea out there and Trent agreed with a nod.
“Everyone knows who the elder’s latest toy is in our society. Especially since Rylan has been this particular elder’s toy for over twenty years now.” She looked towards Trent, “You must be Trent Monte.”
“Detective Trent Monte,” He corrected, “and this is my partner, Detective Isaac Reynard.”
She nodded, before looking back down at the corpse.
“And you are?” Trent asked when it became apparent she wasn’t going to tell him.
“Corliss.” She responded, her dark hazel eyes deadlocked with him.
She grinned enough to show her sharp pointed fangs, “Just Corliss.”
He didn’t like getting half truths or half of the information, and her response only proved his point about vampires not sharing with them during investigations. “So, how are we going to work this?”
“Our lab is going to take a look at the body…”
“I want to be there.” Trent demanded.
Corliss grinned again, “I’m afraid we don’t allow humans into our labs.”
“Then send him to our morgue. We will…”
Her cell phone began to ring, and Corliss ignored him as she answered it. “Yes?”
Trent glared over to Isaac giving him a silent message that he hated to work with vampires. Isaac gave him a nod and rolled his eyes in agreement.
“Yes, I am certain that it’s Rylan.” She turned her back and whispered into the cell phone, “Don’t you think I would recognize my own brother?”
Trent watched carefully as Corliss turned her back on him, obviously not wanting them to over hear her conversation. He took a step closer in hopes that he could hear anything she would say.
“I don’t know. I told Adriel, it could be anyone.” She paused, “No, there aren’t any visible signs. What do you mean probably human?” Her wandering eyes caught Trent taking a step closer to her, and she turned to face him. “I don’t think we should jump to conclusions. Rylan was a powerful kine.” She frowned at Trent’s invasion of her privacy. “No, I don’t suspect werewolves. I just think that we…alright. Yes, I’ll be there.” She hung up the phone again.
“Bosses pulling your strings a little hard?” Trent folded his arms.
Corliss’ frown deepened, “Our body wagon will be here soon. I need to go.”
“Wait.” Trent grabbed her upper arm as she walked past him; he was surprised to find it warm. “Are your people continuing this investigation?”
Placing her hand over his, she peeled his hand off her. “That’s what I am going to find out.”
He kept a tight clasp on her hand, “There is no proof that it was humans.” Trent glared down into her hazel eyes, “You know that right?”
Corliss grinned, “Worried, Mister Monte?”
“Of a war between species? Yes. Was he that important?”
“Important enough that a war could be started over him? I don’t know.”
“You don’t know? Give me a percentage or something.”
“Depends on how well liked he was by the elder. Right now, I say it’s a fifty-fifty chance.” She responded trying to pull her fingers from his grasp. Being stronger, she could have easily done so, but didn’t want to hurt him.
“I don’t like those odds.”
“Let go of my hand.” She growled under her breath, and Trent released her hand immediately.
Isaac watched from a distance, and wondered what Trent was doing. He had never before seen him touch a vampire let alone speak to one privately.
“How can I get into touch with you?” Trent yelled as she walked down the alley.
“I will contact you when there is a clear answer. Just stay here for now until they come to pick up the body.”
“You forgot to ask her if he was a turn or not.” Isaac chuckled when the woman was out of ear shot.
Trent turn to him with a grin, “You heard her, she said something about his sire.”
“Sire could mean father as well, ya know.”
He folded his arms, “No, it refers to the one that turned him. If it was fathered she would have said…”
“Whatever you say, Trent. I may be new in this district, but I am not a rookie.”
Corliss stood in the elevator of the Macrea building. She was heading to the meeting room on the sixtieth floor. Her arms crossed, she tapped her foot. This was her first case, and the elders didn’t fully trust anything she said, especially since it involved her brother. It didn’t matter that she was a toy to the most prominent elder either. He wanted to discuss the situation with her just as much as the others did.
The elevator door dinged as it opened, and Corliss began the short walk to the conference room. Two large men stood guard of the door, and noticed her as the sound of her heels tapping against the marble floor grew louder. They recognized her and opened the door.
The conference room was kept dark; only three lamps were on with fifty watt bulbs. Twelve men sat around the table and at its head was Adriel Macrea, leader of the Macrea Clan and the man who called her his toy. His hair was long and black, and his skin pale as were his blue eyes. He looked to be a man no older then twenty five, but the truth was he was well over six hundred. Corliss had come into the Macrea clan as a peace offering from her own clan the Faustos. She married Adriel’s son, only to have him die three months later.
She was not trusted among the Macreas and they pushed to have her removed from both the clan and life. Adriel took lead and ordered that she become a toy for him, least she be killed. Corliss hated the idea, she was of royal blood in her family, and now would be forced to be a slave under their hated enemy.
“Excellent timing, Corliss.” Adriel folded his hands together. “What news do you bring?”
“Nothing has changed since I spoke to you on the phone.” She said, standing at the end of the table, she felt a hand take hers.
Looking down, her eyes met with the green eyes of Marcellus. His facial features sharp and angry. She could feel his anger through the touch alone, and wondered if it was directed at her. He pulled her down into the seat they had left empty for her.
Marcellus was her brother’s master, who claimed him as a toy. Her brother had also come as a gift from her family, but several years after she arrived. He fought and killed the toy that Marcellus was keeping back then, and so her father chose to hand him over to the Macrea elder. It was better then risking an all out war between the two clans.
Adriel tapped the tips of his index fingers together, “Tell us what you think of the situation then.”
Corliss placed her hands in her lap, and looked around the room at the twelve sets of eyes on her. “Rylan was quick and powerful, he would have had to be taken completely off guard for a human to have shot him. I didn’t see any bullet casings in the alley, which leads me to believe that the body was probably dumped there.”
Adriel’s thin but strong features flinched with disgust as she spoke. “He was thrown into a dirty alley?”
She nodded, “Yes, his clothing was relatively clean, except for the six bullet holes and blood.”
“Were there scents of werewolves?” Marcellus asked.
“Yes, but they weren’t very strong. Of course, the alley way that he was found in is a common gathering ground for them. If he was dumped there by humans then it might have been to make us think that werewolves did it.”
Adriel leaned back in his chair, “Werewolves or humans, who ever has perpetrated this must be punished. Both the Macreas and the Faustos are very upset by his murder.”
“There is another option.” Corliss felt the words catch in her throat, and once they were spoken she wished to take them back.
“What?” Adriel glared down the long dark table at her, warning her not to anger him with his eyes.
“It could have been another vampire.” There were gasps from the room, but she continued. “Possibly another clan trying to get at Marcellus or turn us against the other species. Or…” She swallowed, “maybe it was someone from our own clan.”
The entire room of elders curled their lips in disgust.
“How dare you suggest such a thing!” Adriel barked.
“No, please, listen. It is not a secret that Rylan and I are not welcomed into the Macrea clan by many of its members. Especially since we have been placed in high ranking positions. Someone may have tried to remove him so they could…”
“Enough, Corliss.” Adriel snapped, “It was not one of the Macrea clan. However, I will humor your idea of other clans being involved.” He looked around the room, “Who are the human investigators that you would work with, if we decided to continue this?”
“Isaac Reynard and Trent Monte.” Corliss swallowed again; the eyes were making her nervous.
“Hmm, I have heard of this Monte. He does not care for our kind, but does seem to be a reliable detective. I have also heard that he has close contacts with the Upper Circle. He may be privy to information about this case that we are not, or information to other human secrets that would be beneficial to know.” Adriel nodded, “Yes, continue to investigate, Corliss. Ensure you keep in close contact with this Monte, and partake in any information he has to offer.” He leaned back in his chair, and scowled across the table at her.
She nodded and stood from her chair.
“Yes?” She looked across the table at Adriel.
“Do whatever it takes to ensure this human trusts you enough to share any and all information. We want to know who is behind this at all costs, understand?”
“Yes, I will do whatever the situation commands of me.” She bowed her head to the council before exiting the room.
Trent sat at his desk that faced his partner’s. Isaac was eating his lunch, a bologna sandwich and some vinegar chips. Trent hated those damn things; they reminded him of the smell of feet.
“Hundred thousand dollars a year, and you eat bologna and feet chips.” Trent grumbled.
“Last I looked, your apartment was covered in pizza boxes and cheap beer cans.” Isaac retorted.
Trent chuckled, “Got me there.” He leaned over his desk and unfolded his pastrami sandwich from the deli. “But why bologna? I mean you could be eating your lost dog for all you know.”
Isaac laughed causing himself to inhale some of his sandwich. He coughed for a long while, his face turning red.
“Drink your soda.” Trent told him, trying not to laugh at Isaac’s new red hue.
He drank down his soda, and pounded his hand against his chest. “You almost killed me.”
Taking a bite of his own sandwich, he looked around the station. Several desks were lined up like his own and at the back of the room was the door to the captain. He and Isaac got the desks right next to the stairway, and Trent prided himself in being so lucky. There was no real reason why everyone wanted to sit next to the stairs.
“Wonder if that vamp is going to get back to us today.” He said as he chewed his food and looked at the newly created case file. “Think I am going to ask for the corpse to be sent to our morgue after they are done with it. I want to know we had the same findings.”
Isaac nodded, “Be a smart move. Who knows what they would do to be able to blame us or the dogs for this murder. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they killed him just to start a war.”
“Me either.” He said taking another bite.
“It would surprise me.” Corliss said as she appeared at the stairway, she looked over the two men, both wearing dark suits. Isaac wore a tie, but Trent was without one.
Her high heels clicked against the linoleum as she walked over to their desk. She wore a dress suit with a gray short skirt that stopped mid-thigh, and a white top with no sleeves. Her high heels were white and laced up just below her knees.
“Cute outfit.” Isaac said sarcastically, he always told Trent that vampires seemed to create their own styles.
She glared down at him before turning her attentions to Trent, “The elders have decided to continue our investigations.” She placed a small suit case on his desk, and opened it. Offering him a small folder, “This is for you. It’s the report from our lab.”
“You guys work fast.” Trent said swallowing down his food, before taking it from her.
She sniffed the air and looked over at Isaac, “You smell like sweaty feet.”
Trent chuckled, “It’s his potato chips.”
Isaac held one up to her, “Want one.”
“No, if I wanted something that smelt like that I would find a jogger.” Corliss turned her eyes back to Trent, who was reading the report.
“Well, this is worthless.” He shoved the folder back at her. “Doesn’t state anything we didn’t already know.”
She slid it back to him, “You can keep that, and I know. That means that everyone is still a suspect.”
“If you guys think that the werewolves had something to do with this, then we need to let them get an investigator out here too.” Isaac told her.
She nodded, and tried to stop her lip from curling up in disgust. “I know.”
“So, we have no leads. That’s just great.” Trent looked across the desk at his partner.
“I wouldn’t say that. Rylan was quite active the last few weeks before he went missing. His credit card statement alone could have the answer we are looking for.” She pulled out another piece of paper and handed it to Trent.
“You know, I’m his partner, I get to see these things too.” Isaac snapped.
Corliss looked at the blonde man, before her eyes returned to Trent.
“Just restaurants and stores, what could this do for us?”
“Rylan was never that active, and he was also acting suspiciously before his disappearance. Normally, Rylan spent most of his time catering to Elder Marcellus’s demands and quietly going about his business inside Macrea Corp. However, the last four weeks before he disappeared, Rylan started leaving the building on a daily basis. He was eating at restaurants unfit for a vampire, and…”
“Why do you guys eat at restaurants, anyway?” Isaac asked, “I mean you get your food source from blood, but you eat human food. That would be like me eating grass when I could eat a steak.”
Corliss frowned, “It’s more along the lines of you eating a candy bar or having ice cream or cake after dinner. We enjoy the finer foods that this world has to offer. I wouldn’t expect you to understand.” She turned her attention back to Trent, again. “Anyway, no one knows what he was up to, but if we could find someone who remembers him, then maybe we can find out if he was with someone.”
“We?” Trent questioned, leaning back in his chair.
“Yes, we.” She folded her arms, “You’ve got a problem working with me?”
He laughed, “Every time I have ever ‘worked’ with a vampire, it was always me giving the information and them hiding what they found from me.”
“I gave you the lab report and his credit card statement, didn’t I?”
“Oh, they were more then happy to share information with me when it would get them some place that they wanted to go.”
Corliss rolled her eyes, “I’ll be at the Blue Berry Inn at three, be there or lose any clues that I might find.” Reaching down, she shut her brief case, and then grabbed the other half of his sandwich.
“Hey!” Trent barked, as she walked down the stairs and bit into his lunch. “Do you believe that?”
Isaac chuckled, “See that’s why you should eat bologna.”