As soon as Slade hung up with Gustaf and left the orders for taking care of Molly and Carlo, the meeting broke up, and everyone went about their duties. Gwen was the only one left, who did not have anything to do or anyplace to go. She felt going home would be a waste of time because she was not tired. Her nerves were on edge with the thought of going against Raven. She wanted to run, but going to the farm was too far.
She opted for the next best thing. She would run near the site where she saw the first body. It was close to home and private. The moon hidden by clouds made running easier and the night was cool, perfect for a long run. Gwen parked near the start of the run, stripped from her clothes and shifted to her werewolf form. She loped from the parking area heading into the foothills near the university. The runners euphoria overtook her as the stress and tension drained. Running relieved all her stored emotions and she visually felt her troubles roll under her paws into the ground.
Gwen's white fur glistened as the clouds moved away from the moon. Her black eyes flashed as she moved her head watching the scenery flow. She ran for thirty minutes before slowing to a gentle trot. She remembered that the area around her was where she saw a unicorn or thought she did. As she paused to look at the moon over the hilltop, a shadow clouded her view.
There was another werewolf shifter in her area. She sensed its presence and found its scent. Her curiosity awoke, and she wanted to follow this intruder. Who was it? The scent was unfamiliar to her, so she ran to catch the stranger. She followed it for a bit but slowed when the terrain became more rugged.
As she ran slowly, a large auburn and charcoal colored werewolf ran past her in the opposite direction. The mahogany eyes of the newcomer registered in her mind as she turned to follow. Curiosity overtook her emotions as she sped up to overtake the strange werewolf, but it sped up to get away. From the way the stranger ran, she determined that it was unfamiliar with the territory and would not survive in the direction it ran. There were jagged rocks and a dangerous cliff ahead, and she needed to warn the newcomer.
As they entered the dangerous area, she slowed but howled a warning message to stop the other. He slowed but kept moving until the edge of the cliff came into view. He stopped abruptly with loose rocks and dirt plunging over the edge. He turned to face Gwen growling to scare her away. His growling stopped her advance, but she remained watching him. She was curious about him. He was new, and she wanted to meet him. It was exciting to have a new shifter around. He impressed her, and she wanted to meet him.
As he growled to warn her away, Gwen sat and watched. He was a large wolf with strong defined lines, a beautiful lupine form. His scent was foreign, not from the area and not from the continent. Gwen knew all the local scents, but his was different, strong but gentle and alluring. She wanted to get closer and slinked over slowly acting humble and curious as a wolf, offering no aggressive behavior. He allowed her advances but stood ready to pounce and defend his right to be there.
They met, circled each other sniffing, a feeling of compatibility grew between them, but they were unsure of it. Gwen stopped letting the other shifter walk around her. She wanted to let him know she welcomed him, but still was careful not to be aggressive. She sat and watched him edge closer. He sniffed her but walked away from her showing that he had no interest in her. His behavior confused her, but she understood that he was a stranger and did not want to get involved, yet.
As the newcomer loped away, Gwen watched hoping to meet him again. He was beautiful and looked like a worthy mate. She had a decision to make with him also. His being new to the area meant that the local pack needed to know of his existence. Should she notify Raven and the alpha pack master? That might prove badly for the newcomer. He would have to fight to enter the pack. She did not want that to happen. He was too beautiful to scar with a fight or two. She would keep her knowledge of him a secret.
As she watched him trot away, Gwen wanted to follow, but being nude in her human form might send the wrong signal to this newcomer. She would wait and find another time when she could be alone with him again. Her connection with the local pack was tenuous at best. She was new to the area herself, having been a student for two years. It would be a good feeling to have a new human and shifter friend who was also a stranger to the area. She turned in the direction of her car and ran at full speed to work her muscles and generate the internal warmth that kept her happy. Her running kept her in shape, but it also toned and strengthened her young body. Now she had a good reason to run more frequently.
As she approached her car, her form shifted back to being a young college coed. She looked around assuring herself she was alone. Memories of Raven and her being naked at the estate and on camera caused her body to flush and turn pink. She had to remember to check the areas she shifted and ran for any possible active security cameras. Although she had nothing to be ashamed of, the knowledge that someone could be watching and see her shift worked against her normally shy and austere personality. She learned that bitter lesson the hard way earlier that night. She dressed quickly and drove home to relax and try to sleep.
After representing Carlo in front of the magistrate, Raven went back to her office to read the data culled by her para-legal about Molly. The stack of paper was thick but contained little of use in revealing Molly and her 'business' dealings. Molly still remained an enigma. She knew that Molly could not be in this alone, but was unsure if there was an incubus or another succubus involved. The fey were Molly's followers, but they lacked the personality to motivate and work at being evil. Raven needed more information but knew her only hope was Gwen and her knowledge of the on-going investigations into Carlo and Molly.
A chirping sound alerted Raven that someone wanted her attention. She reached into her pocket and removed her cell phone. The number was not familiar, but she knew it was work related. She flipped open the phone, put it to her ear and uttered, "This is Raven. May I help you?"
"This is Diana. Did things get resolved so Carlo can be released? Molly is anxious to get him home. There is work waiting for him."
"The bail was $500,000.00, payable in cash or check. I wrote a check, but Molly better cover it. Carlo will be at the pub by mid-morning. I will personally deliver him. There are rules regarding his release that I must inform Molly about as well. Will she be available?"
"I will make sure she is here. Thank you. See you then. Goodbye, Raven."
Raven closed her phone, put it on her desk, tented her fingers, thought of Gwen and how she could be used. Thinking of the hearing, she remembered that the charges were not serious, but there were a lot of unanswered questions and possibly more charges to discover. Using Gwen to discover these other charges and provide a defense was the key to winning Carlo's permanent release. Raven felt a twinge of guilt using Gwen, but she was pack and had to follow orders. Raven reached for her phone to call Gwen, but stopped and decided to wait until things moved along further.
Back at the Preternatural Police Squad, the work continued building more cases and gathering evidence. While Eran sat with her laptop collecting information on Carlo and helping create the case against him, an email arrived from the medical examiner. It contained results of the autopsy of the naked body that started this case. There were, at least, two different DNA samples on or in the dead man's body. The external DNA samples were of an unidentified male and female. The internal sample was from the same unidentified male. It seemed as if a male and female had assaulted the victim sexually before he died. Surprise spread across Eran's face, but her thoughts focused on Carlo and Molly immediately.
Eran printed the report with four copies for the squad and files. When printing finished, she filed one copy and went in search of Slade and Leona. She wanted to inform them and hear their reaction to the report. She gathered Kevin along the way. Eran found Connie, Leona and Slade in the conference room looking at the video of Raven and Gwen. Kevin opened the door and allowed Eran to enter first.
"Welcome, Eran and Kevin. We reviewed this video, and it appears that the shifters did not enter the house. All we have is that they searched the grounds." Slade spoke up surprised.
Eran slid the medical examiner's report over to Slade. He quickly read the report and passed it to Connie who shared it with Leona. Connie smiled and looked at Eran.
"Do you understand what this means?" Connie asked Eran.
Eran quizzically looked at Connie. "I have no clue. Why not enlighten us."
Connie stood and walked to the picture board. She pointed at the dead man's photo and Carlo. "If we can tie Carlo to the murdered man, we have him on a murder charge that carries a far more serious sentence. All we need is his DNA from a fresh sample here. If they match, we have him. Can we get a sample before he leaves lock-up?"
"Won't that sample only show that Carlo and the man knew each other? We can't tie him to the murder." Eran commented.
Leona grabbed her phone and made a quick call. She spoke for a few seconds and hung up the cell phone. "The sample will be ready when Kevin gets to lock-up. Gustaf was pleased that we might have evidence to hold Carlo on a more serious charge. It will put pressure on Molly and Raven to do something about Carlo. What else do we need? Carlo will go free on bail after sunrise."
Kevin left the room heading for the lock-up area. He planned to take the sample to the VJS forensics lab to get a quick analysis. They would do the work and publish their results in two days.
Eran asked, "Even if the DNA matches, that does not mean that Carlo took part in the murder. It only means he knew the victim as a sexual partner. We need something more substantial to tie him to the murder. The other question is who was the woman who left her DNA on the victim? Was it Molly or someone else? I think we have a bit more investigating and evidence gathering before we can close the book on this case. We need another body or some other evidence."
Slade looked at Eran, "Don't we have a video of Carlo dropping off Maria's boyfriend at the university under the tree? Will that help get Carlo tied to these rapes and killing? There has to be more out there. Maybe we can either push Carlo into a corner or hold him there while we work on Molly."
Connie piped up, "Weren't there other fey at the estate when we raided it? What happened to them? Have we interrogated any of them yet?"
Eran looked from Connie to Leona and Slade. She knew that none of the fey stayed in lock-up. They would have to round them up and interrogate them quickly. That may be difficult now that they could leave the area.
"We need help to gather the fey and transport them here and keep them separated. We should engage the VJS security police to gather them. They can handle fey easier than local police."
Connie nodded as Leona called VJS Security. The wheels of justice increased their speed.