Leona sat on Steve's bed. "Look directly in my eyes and keep focused there. I want you to open your mind and answer the questions I ask." As she spoke, her voice carried a wave that opened Steve's mind and brought his memory to ultimate sharpness.
Steve's eyes looked directly at Leona's and his body relaxed at the sound of her voice. Within seconds, he was under her control. Leona was new to glamouring, but she watched Andrei and Gustaf use it. Steve was a good subject. His condition was still weak and his mind was confused. Leona put him under and started the questions.
Leona's ability to control someone never worked on Slade. He was immune to the practice. Slade turned on his voice recorder, as the questions began. "Steve, do you know where you are?"
"I am in the university hospital."
"Why are you here?"
"I suffered a mental lapse and woke up here."
The establishment of the base line and grounds went quickly. Steve was an easy subject. Leona carefully probed Steve. She worked around the edges of the lost memory. She opened with the picture of Carlo.
She handed him Carlo's picture, "Who is this?"
"It is Carlo the doorman at Fog on the Heath. He works construction during the day and is a doorman at night. Does he have something to do with me?"
"We don't know. Can we find him there at night?"
"I think so. He bragged it was a better paying job than construction."
Leona punched the bed. She wanted more but her patience was waning. Slade looked at her and when he touched her, she relaxed. She slowly resumed her questions. "When you were last at the pub, what happened?"
"I watched some guys throwing darts. The owner of the pub, Molly, came up to me and invited me to join her at her special table. When I sat there, my pints never emptied. I was a real VIP. It felt good, until I think I passed out. Things are a little fuzzy after that."
Smiling, Leona looked at Slade. He gave her thumbs up and motioned her to continue. She sat back and paused. She wanted Steve to relax, as she probed his mind for more. "What do you remember next?"
"I remember waking up naked in a cell. There was another man there with me. His name was Sean. He told me a similar story of drugs and debauchery. Carlo came at night to visit with Sean. They both were bisexual and had sex with men and women."
"They let you go. What did they do with Sean?"
"One day Carlo came and dressed me. He seemed agitated, as if I were a potential problem. He was afraid of me for some reason. He fed me and I don't remember anything until I woke up here in the hospital with Maria, Gwen and Eran looking at me."
"Okay, you have done well. We have more information than you know. You gave us some pieces we did not have earlier. Thank you," finished Leona. Steve sat there still enraptured. It would take time for his mind to come back to normal and settle his psyche.
Slade smiled at Leona. They had a lot more information and clues with what happened to Steve. Leona hugged Steve and joined Slade, who wrapped her in his arms. It was a good night. All they needed was to get this information back to Eran. She would then weave her magic to find Carlo. Sean was a new problem/victim. The new aspect of this investigation was the appearance of a new victim. The key to the disappearance of the men was the pub, Fog on the Heath. The investigation would center on the pub, its owner and staff.
Slade and Leona waved good night to Steve and left eager to get back to Eran and Kevin. This new information was great. It did not indict Carlo or Molly, but made them key suspects. The case fell together in small pieces like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Steve would be helpful for identification purposes and some data, but good old police work had to follow. Slade, Eran and Connie were good at that.
As they waited for the elevator, Slade picked up Leona in a big hug and swung her around. She wrapped her arms around Slade and held on tightly. The elevator doors opened and a swinging Leona almost hit Maria and Gwen. She quickly let go of Slade and smoothed her clothes. She always wanted to be the picture of decorum, never ruffled. Leona ruefully glared at Gwen.
"So ... sorry," Slade stuttered. "Steve is fine. We left him in a state of quiet and he may be asleep. He gave us lots of information tonight. He was very helpful."
"Uh ... I guess that is good news," stammered Maria, while Gwen returned the glare of Leona.
Slade jumped into the elevator to stop the doors. Leona quickly followed, but kept glaring at Gwen. Slade grabbed her and pulled her to him. "Stop this petty hatred between wolf and vampire, please?"
Leona glared at him. As her glare faded, "I will try for you and our squad. I don't want her working with us after this case."
Slade smiled. It was difficult to get Leona to give up anything. He succeeded this time, but next time watch out, he thought. Leona was a fair and just woman, but some of her prejudices seemed out there. Slade held her hand as they walked briskly to his car.
When they arrived at the squad room, Slade gave Eran the voice recording. She plugged it into her computer and a voice to text program created a report from it. She gave the recorder back to Slade and started to edit the converted text. In less than fifteen minutes, she had a pristine copy of the interrogation. She printed out copies and Slade and Leona verified them. As she listened to the recording, she took notes of key facts. Now she began the task of digging into the facts.
One key fact that helped was she had a first name to go with the face. She added that piece to the search and it sped up right away. She added Molly's name to another search to find out about her. Sean was a dead end. With no description or no missing person report, he became just a person of interest as a potential victim. The only piece left to research was the lineage of the pub. Who owned it now, who sold it and how long had it existed in the city.
Slade leaned back with his hands behind his head, satisfied with a job well done. Leona plopped in his lap forcing a loud "OOF" from him. She rested her head on his shoulder. Slade watched Eran get the new searches started. Eran turned to look at him.
"Do you think we can get some other quarters where we can live and work while they change these?" Eran asked.
"We need to gather our stuff and go visit Gustaf. He can tell us where we will be staying and working. Why don't we do that now?"
Eran closed her laptop, stuffed it in her briefcase and went to Connie's room to gather her clothes. Leona went to gather her clothes. Gustaf had spare coffins for her. Slade gathered his clothes. Kevin grabbed his spare uniform and he was ready.
Kevin helped Eran load her stuff into a black company SUV. Slade and Leona put their stuff in his car. They drove out of the warehouse and went to the Vampire Justice System headquarters. They locked the warehouse, as they left.
Maria and Gwen cautiously entered Steve's room. Steve sat propped up on his bed dazed from Leona and Slade's visit. Maria looked at Steve and was shocked. She ran to the bed and hugged him wailing, "What did they do to him? Why did they do it?"
Gwen walked to the bed and disgustingly related, "They used vampire mind control on him. They probed into his subconscious and drew out buried memories. The old vampire Andrei did that to me. It is painless, but can leave him tired and disoriented."
"Do you think he really helped them? I want him back to me."
"Only they know what he said, but they did look pleased as they left. I don't trust that bitch vampire Leona."
Maria continued to hug Steve as tears slowly filled her eyes. Gwen comforted her as best she could as bitter anger rose inside her. She wanted to go after that vampire and confront her. Hate overtook her emotions, as she held onto Steve and Maria. It was too late to do anything. Both women felt helpless to fight back. Only hope kept them together. Hope that Steve gave information that the police could use buoyed their feelings.
Molly woke to the sound of running water. She looked at the bed where Sean slept. He was gone. Molly knew he was in the shower. She took two feedings from him during the past night. Any normal human would still be asleep recovering. Sean's physical conditioning helped him recover quicker. Molly thought I picked a good one here. Carlo had better leave him alone. Just then, the water stopped and Sean entered the bedroom looking like a shining bronzed Adonis. A quick intake of breath overtook Molly at his appearance.
She sat up and patted the bed next to her. Sean walked over sat beside her and cradled her in his strong arms. Molly loved the smell of a man. Sean radiated heat and overt maleness. Molly could not get enough. She suffered this curse for selling her soul. All men would love her, but she would never return that love. She was destined to take that love and return ultimate death as her gift.
As Molly reminisced about her troubled past, Carlo woke and drove back to the city. Instead of reporting to his construction job, he went to the pub. The bar maids chose a new victim and he was in the cell below the bar. Carlo went to the cell to assess this new find. To his surprise, he saw a mountain of a man confined in the cell. Carlo took one look and decided Molly could have Sean, he wanted this new victim.
Just as Carlo entered the cell, the bartender, Molly's partner stomped into the area. "What are you doing here? Aren't you supposed to be working?"
Carlo quickly lied, "I heard there was a new victim here and wanted to check him out."
Scoffing the bartender slurred, "Most likely you wanted to sample the goods. You are not going to do that while I am on duty. He belongs to Molly, so keep your hands off."
Sheepishly Carlo left the area, "I will get a sample soon. Mark my words." He stomped away as the bartender watched smiling.
The bartender stayed behind and watched the sleeping man. He was a very good potential victim. Several of the bar maids sampled him. They reported he was strong and amorous. The bartender stood outside the cell as the big man stirred. He rolled over and saw what the bar maids meant. Her libido stirred into overdrive. She wanted this man now.
She immediately undressed and entered the cell. She walked over to the big man and saw he was ready too. The man lay sleeping still on his back. She took advantage of his state and sampled him. He still slept after she left the cell. As she walked away smiling, the bartender thought, Molly will be very pleased.
Carlo watched the bartender from the supply closet. What he witnessed amazed him. He liked what he saw. He never saw such a big man. He knew the he had to sample this man too. He went to the cell and took a closer look. He decided he was the next person to be with this man. Molly could keep Sean.
Carlo went to the bar and hung out for a while. It was late afternoon and the construction crews drifted in for a cold pint to wash away the dirt. Carlo drifted to the small kitchen behind the bar. The chef prepared a few typical Irish meals, which were very popular. Carlo grabbed a meal, sat at the bar and ate. Several of the fey came up to him and talked to him about the day.
When Carlo finished his meal, he took his place at the door preventing minors or too many from entering. He was good at the job. He made sure everyone who entered passed the legal checks. Molly wanted to run a pub that was within all the laws. Carlo enforced the laws tightly. No one dared cross him.
As Carlo sat on a stool outside, a group of college-aged guys came up and tried to crash their way inside. Carlo blocked the way with the help of a few construction guys. They did not enter and walked away angry. Threats came from the boys, but Carlo ignored them. The drove by the pub and threatened to be back to avenge their treatment. Carlo waved them off.
Molly knew that Carlo and all the fey but two left to work the crowd at the pub. She stayed with Sean awhile longer resting cradled in his strong arms. He felt so good that she did not want to leave. As much as Carlo worked for her, she did not trust him alone at the pub. She kissed Sean and left his arms. A feeling of loss played across his face.
She quickly showered, dressed and went to the fey on guard. "Make sure Sean is fed well tonight. Use little drugs on him, but keep him conscious. I will be back later tonight to check on him. If anything happens or Carlo tries anything, I want to be told immediately."
The fey nodded that they understood. Molly went back to Sean and sat with him a while longer. He held her hands and swam in her eyes. The emerald green in her eyes held him immobile. She felt his heart slowly beating and she wanted more of him. Reluctantly, she let go of him and left to go to the pub. As she left the estate, the camera caught her image and saved it with a date time stamp.
A beep sounded on Eran's laptop, when Molly left the estate. A picture of Molly flashed up on her screen. Eran captured the picture and noted the time and date. Eran added Molly's picture to the immigrant search for Carlo. This way she would have a better chance of finding both of them. The search chugged on going faster.
Eran printed the picture of Molly. She would show that to Steve and Gwen. That would help narrow the search for the succubus and identify Molly as a suspect. She smiled as the picture printed. Small pieces of the case fell into place. It was these little pieces Eran liked finding. She felt as if she contributed to the case even in some small way.
Molly arrived at the pub at the same time Carlo booted out the college-aged guys. She was glad to see him, as he did his job. She was still angry with him for his use of Sean. Carlo needed punishment, but he was also her trusted friend and sometimes lover. The punishment had to be harsh, but not very severe. She paused in the pub crowd deep in thought.
The bartender signaled Molly to come over. Molly sauntered to the bar and stood at the end. When there was a lull in orders, she approached Molly.
"Have you been down to the cell yet?"
"No, what is there?"
"I think you better see for yourself. The girls thought you might like him. They sure did and me too."
"You did some recruiting while I was gone?"
The bartender smiled and shook her head, "We sure did."
Molly walked behind the bar to the elevator. She decided as the elevator descended that it might be better to observe the new visitor for a while. She turned invisible as the door opened. She stealthily walked to the couch near the cell. As she sat, the big man rolled on the bed and sat on the edge. He sensed someone or something was there. He felt the same thing when Carlo approached. He sensed that whatever it was, it was trouble.
Molly watched the man as he moved. Despite his size, he was light on his feet as a fighter. He was cautious as he moved around the cell. He looked as if he could rip the cell apart and not break a sweat. A small feeling of fear crept up in both of them. Molly liked what she saw but sensed there was more there. The man stared at the couch because there was a ripple in the air.
"Who is there?" He asked. "I can see you sitting on the couch. Show yourself, daughter of Lilith. I know you are there." He changed his appearance as he spoke. He shrunk in size and his visage was that of a young man who was very handsome.
Molly gasped as she watched the change. Soon she started laughing and appeared on the couch. The girls captured an incubus, the male counterpart to Molly. She saw a few of them over the time she was a succubus, but never encountered one closely. She walked over to the cell and opened the door. He shape shifted into some clothes and stepped out.
Molly spoke first, "Sorry for the mistreatment. My girls never met an incubus before. My name is Molly. I own the pub upstairs and this building."
The man glided to the couch and sat. "I am known as Sebastian. As you guessed, I am an incubus. I came to harm no one. I am just passing through. I see you have fey with you. Aren't they a bit much to control?"
"Not really, my senior fey has been with me for years. He is mostly gay which keeps the others in line. My problem right now is that I have my next victim subdued, but Carlo keeps sampling him. I am at a loss as how to punish and stop him."
"That sounds like a daunting task. I wonder if I may be of service to you. Of course, there will be a fee involved. You will have to sacrifice one of your bar maids."
"That won't be a problem, if Carlo falls back in line."