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Vampire Justice Chapter 19

Connie gets into the investigation with Slade.

Diana met Raven and Carlo at the door to the pub and let them in locking the door after they entered. She led Raven to the special section where Molly sat eating breakfast. As Raven approached, Molly stopped eating, put down her utensils, looked up and smiled at the lawyer. "Welcome Raven, did you bring my wayward servant with you? I hope that you had no trouble getting him released from the VJS lock-up. Sit down, please. Would you like something to eat?"

"No thank you, I had breakfast earlier before I picked up Carlo. I have some questions and some information to impart to you about his release. Are you ready to talk about that?"

"Yes, but before we begin, let's have a cup of coffee and gather Carlo and Diana to join us."

Molly called Diana over, who brought a tray containing coffee, cups, cream, and sweetener. Diana poured coffee for everyone and sat next to Molly. Carlo joined the group, and Raven took some papers from her briefcase. She held the papers and scanned them to remind her of the requirements of Carlo's release.

"There are two key points to his release. The first is that Molly or a designee knows where Carlo is at all times. The second is that The VJS preternatural police squad can appear any time to check on Carlo. I found this second point to be unusual, but they charged him with serious crimes, and they do not want him to get away and hide from prosecution. Do you think that those are simple things to manage?"

Molly looked puzzled, but answered, "The best we can do is try. I have not thought what I will do with Carlo. He was a key member of my team, my right-hand man so to speak. There are two places he will be while awaiting trial. They are here at the pub or my estate outside the city. What do you think, Carlo?"

Carlo, who watched the surroundings, turned his head to face Molly and answered, "I have no plans to be anywhere but here or at the estate. I will be ready to do whatever you need from me, Molly." Carlo's mind thought about what he needed. None of what VJS desired was what he wanted. He needed a new companion and knew that Molly would also need a new victim. Hopefully, the next few days or rather nights would provide new targets for conquest. He needed a new strong man to satisfy his needs. Molly or Diana would have to get him that.

Diana sensed Carlo's thoughts but piped in to bring things back, "I have plenty of things for him to do here in the pub. Rest assured he will be busy."

Raven felt ill at ease but capitulated to the words from the women about Carlo. She gave Diana the court papers and closed her briefcase.

As Raven stood to leave, Molly asked, "Will you represent Carlo at his trial? He will need a strong defense to prove him innocent, and I trust you with that task."

"As long as you pay my retainer, I will be his lawyer of record. I will need to get the evidence collected by VJS preternatural squad and confer closely with Carlo alone to structure his defense. Can you agree to that?"

Molly said, "You will have whatever you need from Carlo and us at any time. Just ask for it and it will appear."

"In that case, Carlo, you have a defense lawyer. If at anytime I feel that you are not cooperating with me, I will drop you as a client. Is that clear?" The three at the table nodded, and Raven walked out of the pub.

Kevin watched Raven leave the tavern and drive off. He called Slade, but Eran answered, "Raven left the tavern and Carlo remained inside. My relief is here. I will leave now and drive over to the estate to check on the progress of establishing surveillance coverage for the building, grounds, and approaches." Kevin hung up and drove to the estate.

Eran asked, "Can you come by and get me? I would like to see the estate and check out how the cameras look. It will give me a chance to check the computer connections too." Kevin agreed.

Eran's heart fluttered. She and Kevin had not been together alone for some time. They dated, but even dates were infrequent. As Kevin drove to Molly's estate, Eran watched him closely basking in his closeness. She reached over and touched his arm, which lay on the seat between them. He grasped her hand and laced his fingers with hers. Eran felt the warmth of his hand and envisioned his love. They rode holding hands until they approached Molly's estate and the VJS surveillance team. Eran grabbed her laptop and quickly joined Kevin in the big black step van.

Sunset had passed, and Leona and Connie joined Slade in the conference room with Quinn. After brief introductions, Leona and Quinn left to tour the VJS headquarters and the preternatural facilities controlled by Gustaf, Leona's brother. Leona informed Slade that she would be gone all night with Quinn.

It had been awhile since Connie and Slade worked together. She was his partner before she became a vampire. Her training as a vampire ended a week earlier, and she was free to become an active member of the VJS. She longed to rejoin Slade as his partner and resume the close relationship they shared. Tonight was a good chance. She moved closer to Slade and looked at the files he read. She asked him, "Is there something I can do to help in this case?"

Slade looked up, smiled and said, "Connie, I can always use your insight in any case we pursue. Here are all the files in this case. It is not as easy as the murder case we closed a bit ago. We are looking at two different crimes, but we think they relate closely. I would appreciate your knowledge and thoughts on how to proceed. We need to gather more information, but what to look for and save eludes us."

Connie frowned then smiled. "Let's go to our favorite place to brainstorm. We had not been there since before I got out of the hospital. I am sure we can work well there, and our friends may toss some ideas our way."

"Are you sure you want to go there? They don't serve bloody food there, only sweets and coffee. You are right, though, let's go."

They gathered the files; put them in the briefcase they always used and went to Slade's new VJS SUV. They drove swiftly to DD's and when they entered the gathered group of fellow police officers whistled and clapped. After the cheers and catcalls had died , Slade stood and bowed, thanking the group. Connie beamed at the reception of her fellow police officers. Since becoming a vampire, she wondered if they would still accept her as an old friend. She sat next to Slade blushing and smiling at her friends.

Slade's coffee arrived along with his typical Bavarian Crème donut. Connie got her tea and a cinnamon swirl. As they ate their food and drank, they chatted about the cases. Connie looked at all the victims and saw something that struck her as strange.

She put down her tea and grabbed photos of the three victims. She laid them side by side and said to Slade, "What do you see?"

Slade stared at the pictures and looked quizzically at Connie. "I see three guys who were victims of a succubus. What else is there?"

Connie looked surprised, but then Slade was a man and did not see the victims the same way. She saw the men as 'hunks' well-built, strong, rough men. They impressed her in that they fell for something that allowed them to succumb to Molly a succubus and possibly Carlo. All the victims were construction workers, which usually meant they were transients and not missed by family or close friends.

"All these victims are young men in great shape and work in construction. They disappeared and not missed from work or by friends except for Steve, Maria's boyfriend. They had disappeared for a while before they surfaced. That means they stayed somewhere close but confined. What have we seen either at Molly's tavern or the estate to confine someone?"

Slade shook his head, "The tavern had a cell in the basement where unruly customers slept off drunkenness. The estate had heavily locked upstairs bedrooms. I guess victims spent time there."

"When you were at the estate did the tech people search for DNA in any of the rooms other than the one found with a victim? If not, maybe they should go back out there to gather more data." Connie asked as if she couldn't believe they hadn't.

Slade quickly made a note of the request Connie made. He looked at her as if to say, "I missed these sessions with you." He put his notebook aside and stared at the pictures again.

Connie looked at the victims again, wondering if there was a way that they could use this against Molly and Carlo. From her vampire training, she learned about succubae and their need to feed off male life force often. Molly would need to feed soon. That was something; the VJS could use in their favor, but how?

Slade observed the concentration Connie paid to the victim's pictures. He marveled at how she dug into a case and brought out things in a new look. She was amazing. He opened his phone and called Kevin.

Kevin opened his phone and answered Slade, "Hello, we are just finishing up at the estate with the surveillance system. What can I do for you?"

"Great, you are where I want you. Do you have a Lab Tech with you? Do they have an evidence gathering kit?" Slade asked.

Kevin eagerly answered, "Eran is here, and she has an evidence gathering kit. What is on your mind?"

"Gather her and her kit and enter the estate. It is still under our control. Go to the other bedrooms and gather any DNA that you can. We need to find evidence of other men kept prisoner there. Connie has something in mind, and I think we will get a big break in the cases with this evidence."

"We will go right there now. We finished our work here. Meet us back at VJS headquarters later and we can talk about what is going on. The DNA sounds like a stretch, but might just lead to a big break." Kevin excitedly replied as he closed his phone.

Eran looked at Kevin's excited face and shrugged, "what's up?" Kevin's eagerness did not surprise her because he was a detective and liked to play with evidence gathering. He was in his element now, and she wanted to go with him.

Kevin grabbed her, took her to their van and drove off toward the estate. They drove through the gates up to the house. He went to the back of the van and brought out the evidence-gathering kits. He handed one to Eran, and they walked into the house.

"What are we doing here again?" Eran asked.

"Connie told Slade that we need to gather more DNA evidence from all the rooms upstairs. This place could hold evidence of other victims hidden here. We only searched the room where we found the prisoner. If there were others, they might have used other rooms. So let's get busy." Kevin said eagerly.

Eran scurried up the stairs to the upper rooms and went to work. Kevin followed and took another room. An hour later, both techs met in the hall and exchanged looks of completion. Every room yielded some results. Now it was time to analyze all of it looking for matches to victims. With a feeling of accomplishment, Eran and Kevin took their kits back to the van and drove to VJS headquarters.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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