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|Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 2|
|Written by RKP Hunt|
Samara sat at her desk, glaring at her partner and brother across from her. She tapped her pencil against her desk, as she watched him finish his report. His dark hair was beginning to thin with age, but it was curly enough to hide the secret. She knew that his eyes were a calming gray, and he looked much like her in that respect. Things were slow at the Pack Agency of Werewolf Statutes or PAWS for short. Of course, that was bound to happen when they didn’t really enforce much of anything. Most packs took care of themselves, and didn’t feel the need to involve them. Any werewolf deaths were normally by another werewolf through an honorable battle, and the case was closed within hours.
The only time Samara and her brother were out of the office longer then an hour was when a vampire was making claims of an attack by one of their own.
“Well, that was scintillating.” Coyle dropped the last piece of paper into the folder. “Thank the heavens we had to get out of our seats for that one.”
She smiled at her brother, “No kidding, I can’t even remember the last time that we were out of this office.” She looked around the dingy department.
Most of their office equipment had been donated by the local human police department. The paint on the walls was peeling, and the floors had large chunks of linoleum missing. Her chair leg always caught in one of the holes, and had gotten larger over the past two years.
Returning to her pencil, she began to tap her desk, “We should just go home early. What’s the point of sticking around?”
Coyle shrugged, “Sure, let’s ask the boss. I feel like Chinese food tonight, what about you?”
She nodded, “That sounds fine.” Leaning back in her chair, she cracked her fingers, then began to put her dark hair in a ponytail.
It was only one thirty but she knew there was no work to be done. With a loud yawn, Coyle stood from his chair and walked over to the captain’s desk. He didn’t even have his own office.
Gary was on the phone and Coyle sat his large form in the chair in front of his desk. Gary was an older werewolf with gray hair and beard. Most werewolves looked human, except that they smelt different to others of their kind and to the leeches, which was a common term used for the vampires. Most had blackened nails that varied in darkness.
“And the kine think one of the pack may have something to do with this?” Gary asked the question to the man on the phone.
Coyle raised an eyebrow.
“Hmm, I see.” Gary looked at Coyle and then pointed at Samara for him to call her over.
Coyle waved his sister over, and she came to stand behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders.
“I see, so all are involved. Blue Berry Inn at three. Yes, fax over the directions.” He hung up the phone and looked at the two siblings in front of him, “You two have had formal training for dealing with kine, haven’t you?”
“Yeah, we know how to deal with those leeches.” Coyle punched his own hand.
Gary frowned, “Not today. Seems a high standing vampire was killed last night, and there was no evidence left as to who may have done it. Everyone is suspect. You will be working with two human investigators and a vampire.”
Samara sighed, “Why can’t we work separately and share info over the phone.”
Gary looked up at her babyish face; it was hard to believe that the small woman was one of the pack or even related to her large brother. “This has got to be a group effort. Apparently, he was high enough up there that this could start a war, if found to be a personal attack against the Macreas.”
Coyle moaned, “Not the Macreas, any clan but them.”
“I could give the case to someone else if you…”
“No, we will take it.” Samara chirped.
“Directions are being faxed over for some inn that they are meeting at. Your human contacts are Trent Monte and Isaac Reynard.”
“And the leech?” Coyle asked.
“They didn’t say, probably some spoiled turn that some elder is amusing himself with.” Gary heard the fax machine begin to print. “There are your directions, don’t fuck this up. If you two get into a fight with the vampire, this could lead to serious trouble. Remain calm at all times.”
They both nodded as Coyle stood up. “It’ll get us out of the office for longer then an hour.” Samara said to her brother as he began to fight with the jammed fax machine.
“I suppose, still don’t like the idea of working with a leech.” He continued to yank on the stuck paper for several moments, before a large chunk ripped out into his hands. Coyle looked the piece of ripped paper over, “This is enough.” He turned and began to walk out.
Samara rolled her eyes, and turned back to Gary, “Chief, the fax machine’s broken.”
Gary sighed, “I told you not to let him touch it!” He yelled as Samara slammed the door behind her, following her brother.
Trent rolled his eyes when he saw Corliss standing outside of the Blue Berry Inn; she had changed clothing in the last two hours. She had returned to a similar look that they had first seen her in the evening before. Black slacks, black high heels with pointed tips, and bright red short sleeves blouse. Her light red hair was in a French braid with a red ribbon weaved through out.
“Did she change?” Isaac whispered in his ear as they approached.
“Vamps change their clothes three or four times a day, don’t say anything.” Trent warned, “You called PAWS, right?”
Isaac nodded, “Yeah, they are sending some agents over. I am surprised they aren’t here already, they are normally very punctual.”
“If they are here, they aren’t approaching because of Corliss.” He silenced himself as they approached the waiting vampire.
She looked at her gold Rolex, and then back up at Trent. “Ten minutes late.” She announced.
“We had to stop off and grab a burger. Some god damn vamp stole half of my lunch today.” Trent snarled.
Corliss smiled at him, he was surprised by her reaction and his frown vanished. The Blue Berry Inn was a shady type of place, consisting of one floor and twenty five rooms. It was painted blue hence it’s name. Judging by the amount of cars in the parking lot, they weren’t hurting for business.
“I hope this leech has training in dealing with the pack, because...” Samara stopped in front of the three waiting outside the inn. She cleared her throat as her brother came to stand beside her. “Ahem, are you Trent Monte and Isaac Reynard?”
“Yes, we are.” Trent extended his hand to her, and she shook it.
“I am Samara Travell and this is my partner Coyle Travell. We are from PAWS.” The dark haired woman pointed to her brother.
“Nice to meet you, Detective Monte, I’ve heard many good things about you.” Coyle said when he shook his hand, and then extended his hand out to Isaac who shook it.
“This is Corliss.” Trent introduced her.
“Corliss what?” Coyle asked raising an eyebrow.
“Just Corliss.” She answered.
He smiled trying to keep a friendly demeanor, though instinct told him to attack the vampire before him. “Ah, mysterious type, are you?”
Samara rolled her eyes, even when the woman was a damn blood sucker; he was still willing to flirt. “We weren’t exactly filled in, could you please explain the situation?”
“Certainly.” Trent stepped in front of Corliss, who was about to speak. The female werewolf’s soft features had caught his eye, “Last night we came across a dead body, it was identified to be a vampire by the name of Rylan Cullen: a toy for an elder of the Macrea clan. He was shot six times, which as you would know wouldn’t normally kill a vamp, but one of the bullets pierced his heart. Nothing found at the scene could point to which species had been the murderer.”
“Hmm.” Samara looked at the vampire behind him, “Werewolf territory was where he was dumped, right? That’s the only reason that your people would think that the pack was involved.”
“Yeah, a common meeting ground for pups.” Corliss had crossed her arms. Instinct told her to fight them or flee, but she had had enough training to hold back the urge.
“Oh, we are name calling already?” Samara retorted.
“Seem to recall someone calling me a leech not long ago.”
She swallowed, “I didn’t know that you were in hearing range.”
“Why did they send two of you? I mean I would expect that from humans, but I thought more highly of the pack. Two werewolves to do the job of one kine?” Corliss leaned against the door.
Samara scowled, “Watch your words, leech, least they be your last.”
“Attack me, I dare you, pup. You have no idea who you are dealing with.”
She laughed at her attempt to intimate her, “You think that you are strong enough to take on two of the pack?”
Corliss stood up on her feet, and for a moment Trent thought he might have to hold her back.
“Ladies, please. We all want to find out…” He began but Corliss pushed him aside.
“I am Corliss Macrea,” She stepped forward and held her index finger inches away from Samara’s chest, “you even think about touching me and every vampire clan will come down on your precious pack so hard…”
“You are a Macrea?” Isaac interrupted her threat.
“Oh, give me a fucking break!” Trent barked, “No, I am not working with a Macrea! If you get hurt, this shit is on my ass. Go back to your little clan elders and tell them to send someone else.”
Corliss crossed her arms again, “That black Lexus is Rylan’s car.”
Everyone turned around to look the black sedan that was parked in the distance. Trent seemed to forget what he was upset about. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. See the star pagan symbol on the wind shield, most kine put them there so we an identify each other.”
“Why?” Samara asked.
“In case one of us gets hungry we don’t attack the wrong car.” Corliss answered, but no one was certain if she was being serious. Most blood was purchased, as the lower ranking vampires drank animal blood, while the higher officials normally had pet humans.
Samara watched Corliss reach into her small black purse and pull out several photos. She offered them to everyone; it was a picture of a man with short black hair and dark eyes.
“What is this?” Coyle asked looking down at the picture.
“You handing out pictures of your boyfriends now?” Samara asked.
“Rylan Cullen.” She responded.
“Cute, but he’s dead, we know where he is.” Samara snickered and offered the picture back.
“It’s to use when you ask if someone has seen him before.” Corliss rolled her eyes, “Can’t very well go around asking if anyone has seen a kine with black hair and dark brown eyes can you?”
Samara kept the picture extended towards Corliss, “Why are we looking for people who have seen him?”
“Have you ever been part of an investigation before?” Corliss asked sarcastically, before she sighed, “The last few weeks before Rylan died, he was very active in the common world. He was purchasing below quality meals and shopping at stores not approved by the Macrea Clan. Something was amiss, and if we can find out what he was doing and why, that might be the answer as to why he was killed and by who.”
“Oh.” Samara said flatly, while putting the picture into her inner coat pocket; as did her brother.
Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a folded piece of paper. “Here, this is a list of places that he shopped and ate at.”
Coyle took it from her and unfolded the paper, “Below quality meals, huh?” He showed it to his sister, “We eat at most of these places.”
“I thought this place was nice.” Isaac said pointing to one of the names on the list.
Corliss sighed, “Yes, well, someone has to keep them in business. I suppose it would be your kind.”
Trent tried not to grin at her response.
Werewolves and humans had a better rapport then humans and vampires. Trent always believed that it had something to do with a majority of them being middle to lower class. They also seemed to offer more respect towards the humans, and care about following the laws created to keep peace. Vampires, on the other hand, were willing to bend laws until they almost broke for their own personal gains.
“Now, let’s speak to the inn keep.” Corliss turned around to open the door.
Trent put his hand on the glass door, “Manager.” He corrected, before pushing the door open.
The manager was a middle aged man with short brown hair that had several gray strands throughout. He was muscular and tall, obviously meant to intimidate any undesirable clients away. On the counter in front of him was a small television that was playing a game for the Werewolf Football League. Several years ago, humans had stepped down from playing major league football. It wasn’t considered entertainment anymore, not after the werewolves started to play.
There had been a big ordeal about it, and many people tried to ban werewolves from playing. In the end, the hard tackles, the endless supply of men, and the amazing plays won out, and werewolves took control over the beloved sport. Injury was always likely, but werewolves healed much quicker. One’s favorite player could be injured one game, that would take a human a whole season to heal, but they would be back the next game.
“Is that the LA game?” Isaac asked running past Corliss to the counter.
“Yeah, Labradors up by seven.” The manager told them. “Boston Terriers look like crap this year.”
The dumbest names ever, but the human owners got together and decided to name the teams in such a manner. They thought it would bring light heartedness to the brutal game, after all the politics had been involved.
Corliss shoved Isaac to the side and held up the picture of Rylan, “Have you seen this man before?”
“No.” He answered without even looking at the photo.
Reaching over, she turned off the small television, causing the manager to look at her. “Again, have you seen this man before?”
Samara looked over at her brother, not at all surprised by the leech’s demanding behavior. Trent stood behind Corliss, as she leaned against the counter.
“I said no, lady.”
She frowned, “First of all, I can sense that you are lying. Second of all, he’s car is parked in your lot. So, try again.”
He reached behind the counter and pulled out a room key, “He stayed in room twelve for a couple weeks. Always paid, and never made any noise. Is he in trouble?”
Corliss picked the key off the counter, “He’s dead.” With that she spun around and pushed past the werewolves and out the door.
The manager reached over and turned back on the television.
“Oh!” Both Coyle and Isaac screamed when they watched a large werewolf tackle another, the sound of bones cracking could be heard.
“What a hit!” Isaac announced, “Wow, that would have killed a man.”
“Think that would have killed me.” Coyle jested.
“Ahem, let’s go!” Samara ordered and grabbed her brother’s upper arm.
Isaac realized that Trent had already left the room, and scurried to catch up with him.
Corliss stood in the center of the small inn room with her hands on her hips. “Smells like pups.”
“And leeches and meat bags, what’s your point?” Samara responded when she stepped into the room, “A member of the pack could have slept here after your friend did.”
“My friend? You assume because we are both kine, that he was my friend?”
She shrugged, “Well, you did know his car.”
Corliss rolled her eyes, “Idiots.”
“Go get our kits from the car.” Trent ordered Isaac, and he left the room moments after he had entered.
“Head board is slightly crooked.” Samara pointed.
“Barely. could have just bent from passion.” Coyle teased, but she didn’t find it funny.
“Just go take a look.”
Corliss went with Coyle, when Isaac returned. The two humans began to dust for fingerprints, something that they were trained to do. The humans didn’t like hiring too many people for paranormal investigations. Therefore, they were trained in both police investigations and forensics collection.
Corliss approached the bed from the left and put her hand in the center of the headboard. Coyle too busy looking at the blood drops on the lamp, didn’t watch where he was placing his hand. As soon as he touched flesh, he retracted his hand and looked at the headboard.
Her hand tingled with the afterthought of his touch, and she tried to wipe the back of her hand against her slacks.
“What? Think I have cooties or something?”
“More like fleas.” She answered when he pulled the headboard forward.
“Looks like one of the legs are missing its wheel… hmm,” He leaned forward and pulled out a black pen. It was gold plated at the tips, it was also engraved. “To RC from M.”
“Rylan’s pen.” Corliss tried to reach across the bed and take it from him, but he pulled his hand away. She fell onto the bed, face first.
“I found it, that makes it mine.” He snarled.
Samara chuckled, but suddenly stopped when she realized that Corliss was sniffing the bed. She came to stand next to her brother.
“Smells like Rylan and… pup.” Corliss stood up, and Samara sniffed the same spot.
She didn’t say anything, but there was a scent of more then one pack member in the bed. One definitely male, and the other of a female scent. Corliss didn’t have the ability to smell the difference of each werewolf, but Samara could as easily as one could tell the difference between a man and woman by sight.
“You three having fun?” Trent looked disgusted as he watched them sniff the dirty sheets.
“Smells like Rylan and pup.” Corliss pointed to the bed.
“Like I said before, a pack member probably slept in here after Rylan checked out.” Samara told her.
“And the inn keep didn’t change the sheets?” Corliss asked.
Samara and Coyle laughed.
“This place is a gutter inn; I doubt they change the sheets unless there is an obvious stain or odor.” Isaac informed her.
Corliss curled her lip, “That’s disgusting!”
“Well, don’t you sleep in the same sheets for at least a week?” Samara questioned.
“First of all, I am the only one sleeping in my bed. Second of all, my sheets are changed by pets on a daily basis.”
Trent hated that word, ‘pets.’ It referred to humans that wanted to be turned into vampires. They would do chores for their master, and even allow the vampire to feed from them. All in hopes that one day they would be chosen to become a vampire. He had heard that it was more likely for a human to die of an attack then actually be turned.
Over the years, he had met many pets, and most of them seemed off kilter. They were either highly unstable or they had this over bearing passion to please their masters. Some had even gone as far as to call it love, but Trent knew that the vampires were too heartless to feel that emotion towards their pets. If a pet truly loved their master, then they were alone in the matter.
“Everyday? My god!” Samara squeaked, “You must have a ton of laundry.”
“I don’t do my own laundry.” Corliss crossed her arms.
“Lucky you.” Trent teased, “With the amount of times you change per day, you probably would be doing laundry everyday of your life. Wouldn’t have time for crime solving.”
Corliss frowned as the others laughed, “For your information, Mister Monte. I do not change my clothes more then once a day. The reason my clothes are different from this afternoon was that they were stained, and I had to throw them away.”
“Stained with what?”
“Blood.” She snapped, “I purchased some from the butcher shop, and when I walked out of the store some kid on a skateboard knocked me over.” She left out that he was mocking her before she went inside about being a vampire, and thus making it a hate crime. There was nothing she could do, had she attacked the boy, she probably would have caused more politics then she was willing to deal with.
“I would think a Macrea would only drink human blood. Thought you royals were too good for animals.” Coyle asked more then stated.
“I drink what I want, when I want. Now, can we stop interrogating me and get back to the real crime here?”
Everyone shrugged, “Yeah, ok.” Trent answered.