A VJS security officer walked up to Slade with a sheat of papers in his hand. Slade took the papers and examined them. He shook his head and dismissed the officer. The papers were duplicate copies of the warrants filed to examine all of Molly's properties.
A second set of warrants contained arrest documents for detaining Carlo for Steve's abduction. He was the prime suspect based on the security video, which showed him taking Steve. Kevin led one squad of officers to Molly's estate. Slade led his squad to the pub and the floors above and below it.
Maria could not decide if she should stay or go with one of the squads. As she looked around, Gwen made the decision for her. Gwen went with Kevin. That left Maria to go with Eran and Slade. Connie went with Kevin and Leona joined Slade.
The vans and SUVs left together. Each group of searchers would wait for the other to arrive at their destination. They used radios to coordinate the searches. Kevin's group entered the estate at the same instant Slade's group entered the pub.
A small group of officers stood outside the rear of the pub to prevent anyone from leaving. The back door of the pub flew open, as Carlo tried to drag Steve away. Steve was like dead weight to Carlo. Steve's drugged state prevented any movement.
Carlo dropped the unconscious man and pushed his way forward. The officers subdued and cuffed him tightly. He protested his innocence and demanded his freedom. The men refused his demands and kept him confined. Two special EMTs came to work on Steve. They quickly checked him out and put him on a stretcher. He needed further treatment, but was in no danger.
When the officers arrived, Molly was at the pub. She turned invisible to evade capture and questioning. She watched, as Carlo tried to carry Steve. She smiled at his aborted scuffle and eventual capture.
She stood idly by, as they searched the basement, pub and upper floors. The officers found nothing listed on the warrants. They put Carlo in the van in a special detention cell. The team gathered, shared the results and returned to VJS.
Maria went to Steve, as they wheeled him to the waiting ambulance. This time Steve would get the treatment Gustaf suggested earlier. Maria grabbed his hand and would not let go. She climbed in the ambulance with the EMT and sat next to Steve. They moved quickly to get him to treatment.
Kevin's group met no resistance at the estate. A handful of fey were at the house. The search of the basement and ground floor yielded no results. On the upper floor, one large thick door resisted efforts to open. The officers used a small amount of C-4 explosive and blew the door open. An interesting surprise met them inside the room.
The officers found the supine body of a man in the huge bed. The naked body lay wrapped haphazardly in the sheets and blankets. At first glance, he appeared dead. In his drugged state, he moved slowly. He looked at the officers who stood around. He sat up very slowly and shook the grogginess out of his head.
"Who are you?" The sleepy man asked.
"We are officers with the Vampire Justice System. We have a warrant to search the premises and take into custody anyone we find. Are you all right?"
"My name is Sean and I am a prisoner here. Molly treats me very well, but Carlo is wicked, mean and evil. He assaulted me several times. Can you get me out of here, please?"
"We will take you back to our headquarters. Where are your clothes?"
"I do not know. I was naked the whole time here. Where am I?"
"That will be explained to you when we get to headquarters. Meanwhile, stay with us. We will find something for you to wear."
Molly sensed, when Sean woke and talked to the officers. She heard the quick condemnation of Carlo again. She decided it was time to let Carlo stand by himself. He would face the charges alone in the courts. She smiled at the prospect.
She might intervene, if things got out of hand. Carlo lied with the best con men. His stories sounded believable and convinced many a legal system. Molly failed to realize that this was not a human justice system. Carlo's charm and finesse would fail here.
When the police squads left, Molly appeared quietly next to the bar. Only the bartender saw her appear. She went to Molly and stood by her. The pub was not very busy and the patrons were all regulars. Molly reached over the bar for a bottle of imported Irish whiskey. This was the first time the bartender saw Molly take a drink.
Molly removed the cap with her mouth and spit it out on the bar. She raised the full bottle to her lips and practically poured the contents straight down her throat. She poured the strong whiskey into her mouth, until she felt the burning sensation from the pit of her stomach to her nostrils. She pounded the bottle on the bar and swore under her breath. It was a long time ago, when she drank like that and swore like an old farm hand. To her it was a soothing familiar feeling.
Soon her head swam in a drunken stupor. She held onto the bar to stay upright. Her legs felt like rubber and she swayed from side to side. Molly was drunk and did not care. She lost her latest two victims and her favorite fey to the police. What could she do? Drowning her sorrows in whiskey seemed like the best idea. The bartender knew Molly was drunk. She signaled two fey to take her upstairs.
The bartender took her break and went to Molly's side. The succubus lay on her bed, clothing disheveled with her limbs askew. The bartender sat Molly up, removed her clothes and lay her back down. The bartender whistled softly, as she examined Molly's nude body. Lying there, Molly looked innocent and so young. She looked like a young Irish bride on her wedding night. The bartender wished she had more time. Molly was a woman other women lusted to possess.
The bartender reached down and pulled the covers over Molly. She bent down and kissed the supine woman's lips. Molly moaned when the kiss ended. The bartender reluctantly stood and left the room. As she returned to the bar, she asked one of the fey to stand outside Molly's room. His job was to make sure no one disturbed her.
Back at VJS, the medical personnel worked on Steve to revive him. The amount of drugs given him by Carlo was almost fatal. They pumped his stomach and gave him medicine to counter the drugs. Steve was still in a coma from the drugs, but his physical signs looked good and it would take time for him to come back. Maria sat close to his bed and refused to leave his side. The staff set up a bed next to Steve.
The medical people checked out Sean. Other than being rundown, he was in fine physical shape. Dehydration was all he had. Rest for a few days with rehydration was all he needed. He was in bed with several IV tubes rehydrating him. The police wanted him to stay for questioning. They hoped he would give enough information to build more on a case against Molly.
Eran, Kevin and Slade looked at the evidence the raid on Molly's properties yielded. They collected very little. The biggest assets were Sean and Steve. Given their testimony, they might have enough to go to trial. Slade shook his head. He felt there was more there to convict Carlo and not Molly.
He stood and walked away, "We need more to build a solid case to convict Molly. Maybe we can get Carlo to turn on her." They cataloged things they collected and waited to interview Carlo.
Gwen looked out at the night sky. It showed a thin moon. She needed to run. Something troubled her and a good run helped clear her mind and decisions made. She called her lawyer friend, Raven, who met her at the farm, where the pack met for their monthly runs.
As they prepared for the change and run, Gwen told Raven about the farm. "The police have put the road to here and another site under surveillance."
"Why did they do that?"
"The estate was purchased by a succubus and the ownership is shaky. They also discovered the farm and looked at it too. It may be tied to the estate."
"I will take care of the ownership. Thank you for the information. Let's get running."
Gwen paused for a second with Raven's last statement. She knew that some properties owned by the pack were not totally free and clear of other owners. Could this be one? She put the thought away and ran after Raven. She could follow Eran's probe and report it to Raven. This effort would be important to the pack and showed her interest in helping protect them.
As she ran, thoughts of Eran, Maria and Steve rolled through her mind. She found a new friend in Eran. The squad was not that bad and she felt welcome there. Maybe she would try to join them. She was a shape shifter after all. Working with vampires might be interesting. They were not enemies, but not friends either.
Gwen continued her run with Raven by her side. It was glorious running with no purpose. They loped along at a steady comfortable pace. Raven was a good guide, but Gwen needed independence from the pack.
She was a college student and sought to find her true-life meaning. The running helped clear her head and it refreshed her. She and Raven ran in wolf form for an hour looping back to the barn. In the barn, they cooled down and continued chatting. Raven drove away and Gwen got on her bike and rode back to VJS headquarters.
Molly lay in bed thinking of her future and dwelling on her past. She left Ireland, when her life fell apart. Her wanton ways finally caught up with her. She ran from the town where she lived on her father's farm. As she wandered from town to town, she fell in with a group of traveling artists. She learned to steal and take what she needed. Life was fun, until her world collapsed again. Her wanton ways forced her to flee, yet again.
This time however, she met a man who offered her relief and anonymity. That man was Sebastian, an incubus. He helped her stay on the move. One night, when Molly was at her lowest, Sebastian's female friend made her an offer that sounded too good to be true. How would she like to remain immortal, keep her youth and looks, have no past and prosper while traveling?
It sounded ideal, a life of luxury, travel, men and glamour. All she had to do was surrender her soul. How hard would that be? Her past would disappear and she would start over. What was a soul worth?
It did not matter right now. She grabbed for it. On the night she became a succubus, she met with Sebastian and his friend. Sebastian's friend unrolled a long scroll, which Molly eagerly signed without reading. Nothing special happened, except Sebastian's friend disappeared cackling into the night.
Sebastian and Holly were inseparable. They traveled together from big city to big city. They left the British Isles and traveled to Paris. Wherever they went, they attracted a group of local artists. It was the best thing she ever had. There were plenty of men for her and women for Sebastian. They accumulated plenty of wealth from art patrons who paid for introductions and liaisons with artists.
No one ever suspected that Molly sucked the life force from these patrons a little bit at a time. Her bank accounts grew, but over time, suspicions also grew of her prowess at gathering wealth. After fifty years, she saw the end coming in Paris and moved to Rome. Sebastian followed her there.
Rome was easier to move around the artist's community. Her reputation preceded her there and she established a following quickly. She bought a villa and set up for holding many luxurious parties. When Sebastian arrived, Molly moved him into her villa. The pair pretended to be lovers, but cheated all the time. The hint of scandal created just enough intrigue to keep the art patrons amused. They loved a bit of scandal with the amorous rumors that flew around all the time.
After twenty years, Molly went to Florence to establish a presence there. Sebastian stayed in Rome. Florence buzzed with her arrival. The city's artist colony and its patrons welcomed her. More parties followed and more wealth flowed to her. Wherever she went a trail of broken hearts followed. She was always careful never to leave a dead body behind, just men eager to please her every need and desire. Life was wonderful and things went well.
After fifty years of playing in Rome and Florence, Molly decided to move everything to Venice. This did not take much time, but left disappointed men everywhere she lived. Sebastian moved in with Molly in Venice and left a string of broken hearts. They lived quietly in Venice and made their fortunes grow until they had enough to live for possibly centuries. Molly yearned to return to Ireland and visit the land of her past.
It was almost a century, before she went back. Ireland grew in population, as the world changed. Had they forgotten her? Was it safe to return? She would find out soon enough. She traveled from Paris to London and by rail to Shannon, her old home city. Things were different, some farms gone and the city sprawled outwards into the country. Her favorite pubs still served pints and food. The raucous laughter and music were the same. That part of her life remained.
The people she knew were gone and memories of her behavior disappeared. Life and time changed it all. Her heart was heavy with the loss, but she also felt a new beginning. No one knew of her. It was like being reborn, time to start over. Now that she was a succubus, she saw a host of new creatures around her. She attracted the fey, a group of fairies. They knew what she was and attracted a small group of fey to serve her. She had a group of playful, mischievous fey to do her bidding. They kept her supplied with strong willing young men to serve her succubus needs.
She purchased one of her favorite pubs and set up a growing business. Soon however, the rumors spread that she stole the ownership of the pub. She used her 'feminine wiles' to procure the place. No one came forward to state the accusations, but the rumors tarnished her reputation. She went back to her old home and left the pub to the fey.
Sebastian showed up on her doorstep one bright day. He looked so wonderful and made Molly's heart skip with beats of joy. She knew he would make things better. She had the fey bringing her men and was careful to drain them slowly, but left no bodies around. The men simply disappeared. Life was grand and beautiful for the next thirty years.
There was still emptiness in her heart. Molly realized that her wish to shed her past erased her from ever being alive. She had no past. It was only in her mind. She needed to build a past from the future. Her memories were her only link to that past life. She would start over. The easiest way for her to do that was to seek a new life in a new country. Since the end of the global wars and other battles, the United States welcomed new families and gave them a good start. Why couldn't she do that too?
As she lay there in bed, her mind drifted to the day she came to America. She arrived with little cash in her pocket into the largest city in America, New York City. No one knew her there or cared that she arrived. It was a good place to start over. She had her fey with her and they spread over the city. They found an ideal place to gather young men for Molly. There was always construction in the city.
Molly found a struggling local tavern on the fringe of the construction areas. She wired a lot of her money to a local New York bank. This established her as a business, which allowed her to purchase the tavern. The tavern was on the street entrance to a small building of apartments. She moved into the apartments with her fey. Her life began with this new property. Her past became real.
Her fey started working the construction as day laborers. They spread word of the new tavern. Her business grew and her life as a succubus grew. She hired buxom women to serve in her tavern. That attracted the young men in search of a pretty face and a strong drink. Her business grew and her life started over.
After two years in New York, the body count accumulated. Molly was careless in her succubus activities. It was time to move. The police suspected nothing, but Molly knew that the bodies could not continue.
Molly woke to a knock on her bedroom door. The bar tender entered and sat on the edge of the bed. Her face was sad and she had something on her mind. It was not good news.
"What is wrong?" Molly asked as she rose to get dressed.
"Carlo called. He wants a lawyer to get him out of jail. He feels you owe him one. He does not like where he is."
Molly sniggered, "Does he think I even care about his activities? He did all this on his own and failed. I wonder if I should care. What do you think?"
The bar tender thought, "He can give them evidence of your activity here. They still have to prove you were involved. That will be difficult. I would get him out, but not use your regular law firm. Keep him away from you."
"I see. You are a smart one. I knew that, when I hired you. Who would you suggest?"
"I know a supernatural lawyer who is very discreet. Let me call her and have her come by."