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Vampire Murders Part 8

Vampire Murders Part 8

Three victims identified. Bombers identified and seek revenge on Leona.

Slade sat at his desk, looked over the squad room and thought of his missing partner. Connie was not there, she was in the hospital in a coma caused by an explosion when she visited The Main Artery's owner Gustaf. It appeared the explosion concentrated on his office and destroyed his sleep chamber. Gustaf was the master vampire of the city and had many friends and just as many enemies. This explosion targeted him, but only as a warning. If the design of the bomb was to destroy or kill, it had to be much larger. Slade took the assignment against the wishes of his boss, who said Slade was too close to it with his partner involved as one of the victims. Slade countered with the argument that it tied in with the six dead young women directly. His proof was the surveillance video just prior to the explosion. He hoped he was correct in his supposition. Slade watched and re-watched the video just prior to the explosion. The two young vampires looked angry with Gustaf and threatened him, before they forcibly left the club. Slade knew who they were and suspected they were the murderers and now the persons responsible for the explosion. He needed to interview Gustaf and Leona again. This time the gloves came off and he wanted information they had. It was no more mister nice guy, time to come clean.

Slade restlessly got up from his desk, walked to the window at the end of the hall and looked out. The sun stalled just above the horizon on another cloudless day and soon night. He hoped Leona called soon. There was a lot to talk about with Gustaf and her. He heard his name called in the hallway and turned around to see the coroner's assistant running toward him. She had a piece of paper in her hand and waved it at Slade as if it contained the key to a big mystery.

She walked up to him out of breath, handed him the paper and said, "We identified victim number six. Her name was Juliette Barnes, a college student locally, who lived in the dormitory. She spent her life in and out of foster care and was a prostitute to help pay for college. Because she lived in the dorm, no one knew she was missing or to report it."

"Thank you, this is great news. Now we have a name and can find out more about Miss Barnes, which will lead us to identify the others. This was great work and great news." Slade told her beaming with a huge smile.

"Now that I know what to look for, maybe I can find out who some of the other victims were. I can comb through the foster care database. We have fingerprints in there of everyone in the system. It may seem like a long shot, but it is worth a try." She eagerly volunteered.

Slade smiled, looked at her thankfully and urged her to get on with the task. He admired the tenacity of this young woman, as she left to return to her dark basement office. He took the report to the copier, made four copies and returned the original to the evidence locker after logging it in. He felt a lot more confident now about the future of the case. He had a direction to search and an area he knew would yield results. He and Connie felt that at the start of this case, most of the young women chosen were prostitutes. They seemed to be the only women, who got into stranger's cars with little to no fear, making them easy targets. The fact that this one was a college student made it even better, because she tried to get her tuition money and spending cash by selling her body to anyone who paid. It became the focus of the investigation now. The foster care system made the desire to earn fast money even stronger, because these women had no family or resources to back them up. It started to get easier to see, what happened with these young women and the complex lives they led, just to survive. Slade sat at his desk, added the name Juliette Barnes next to the picture of victim number six and felt a strong sense of satisfaction with the progress in the case.

A half hour went by and Slade looked up and saw the coroner's assistant again. This time she had two pieces of paper in her hand and waved them at him. He smiled, waved her over to join him in the conference room and waited for her to sit at the table.

"I have the names of two more victims. They were both in foster care, college students and prostitutes. This looks to be a trend for this string of victims. Victim number two was Barbara Collins and victim number three was Sofia Johnson. They were roommates at college, so no one missed them." She reported sadly, as she read from the two pieces of paper. She slouched in her chair as if someone let all the air out of her. She passed the papers across the table to him. Her eyes were wet with unshed tears, waiting to roll down her cheeks.

Slade slowly accepted them and put them next to the other one from earlier. He thought that knowing who the victims were by name made the case easier, but he had three victims now who had no family or friends who missed them. That knowledge saddened him a great deal and he hung his head in a moment of silence. He wished Connie were here to witness this discovery. He was alone now and it hurt him deeply, as a man. He sat there quietly looking at the three pieces of paper, thought of how Connie would feel and vowed to himself that these killers murdered their last young woman. He looked up at the young woman across from him, smiled weakly and thanked her for her hard work. She smiled back forlornly, but she felt better because she contributed to such an important case.

"Have the autopsies been completed on the six victims? With the three unidentified victims, has there been any progress made to at least ascertain, where they came from?" Slade absently asked.

The young woman answered, "There is nothing new to report. We are waiting for the results of tests, but that will be at least a couple more weeks from now." She looked away from Slade embarrassed, because there was nothing to report. She slowly stood, looked at Slade, gave him a friendly smile and quickly and quietly left the room.

Slade sat in stunned silence with nothing going through his mind, until his cell phone rang, bringing him back to reality. He flipped it open, examined who it was and answered the call. It was Leona returning his call from earlier. "How are things at The Main Artery tonight?" He asked with great interest. "I was there earlier, saw the damage and wondered where you spent the day."

"I spent the day where we spent the night. Gustaf was with me in another room. The club had no damage and is open now. Only Gustaf's office and a small part of my area sustained damage. How is Connie? I heard she was out cold for a long time." Leona told Slade.

"Connie has a broken leg, broken arm and three broken ribs. She is in a coma caused by the concussion of the explosion. It seems she was right next to where it was set off." Slade dryly reported.

"The bouncer we sent out to check the noise was hurt in the blast from blowback. He recovered and told us, who the bombers were. Can you come here tonight, so we can make statements about what happened? I cannot be of any help but I will stay with you tonight. I do not want to be alone and you make me feel safe as a woman. I need you here with me." Leona said with a pleading voice.

"What time do you want me there? I am not doing much here tonight with Connie gone." Slade lamented.

"The sooner you get here, the sooner we can be done and alone again." Leona said eagerly.

Slade looked around, thought for a moment and told Leona, "l will be there in 30 minutes. Have the bouncer there. He is a key witness in this whole investigation."

"I can't wait to see you." Leona purred.

Slade folded his phone, gathered up the new evidence, walked to the copier and made the copies after which he distributed them as required. Once done, he cleaned up the conference room, locked everything away and left for The Main Artery.

While driving there, he contemplated what would happen and wished Connie was with him. He felt so alone, but he knew she was all right and she would return soon by his side. He was so deep in thought, he missed his turn, ran a red light and almost drove head-on into a building. He stopped short, stared at building in front of him and tried to shake off the feeling of doom that came over him. Having an accident now was not a wise thing to do, as the investigation ratcheted up in gathering more details. He backed up, turned around and drove the rest of the way very carefully. At a stoplight, he smiled at being so careless, thinking about things so intently that it hampered his driving, another distracted driver on the road. He drove the rest of the way without incident, parked very near The Main Artery and walked down the dark threatening alley, which still smelled of an explosive compound.

When he arrived at the entrance, the customary door attendant let him pass without hesitation. He walked through the dark hallway into the club. The music played, but there were no dancers. The bar was not busy and only one waitress was on duty. There were a handful of patrons standing, milling about talking and joking, but no one was drinking. Gustaf and Leona sat in their customary positions in the VIP circle, guarded by the big man Slade met earlier.

As Slade approached, Leona stood, walked off the platform, grabbed his arm and kissed him, hello. She felt warm to the touch and Slade put his arm around her waist pulling her closer. Over her shoulder, he observed Gustaf's reaction to their greeting. Gustaf frowned at the two kissing, turned his attention to the bouncer and slouched into the couch. Leona turned holding onto Slade's arm, pulled him up onto the VIP circle and sat next to him as he sat opposite Gustaf.

"Sorry to see the damage to your office Gustaf. I was by earlier in the day and took a look at the damage." Slade said.

Gustaf replied nonchalantly, "It was minor damage. I wanted to redecorate anyway. This makes it happen a bit sooner than I wanted. How is your partner? She did not look too good, when they took her away."

Leona slipped in, "My chamber was not damaged at all. Whoever did this was after the main office only."

Slade volunteered, "I received a copy of the surveillance video from last night. The last few minutes before the explosion were very interesting. The two vampires, who you talked to, appeared to be threatening you as they left escorted by your man there."

"They were threatening me, but I did not take them seriously. You know how macho young men can be." Gustaf laughed it off.

Slade shook his head and decided to add some more, "We suspect the two young men in the video, as two of the vampires responsible for the six murders of young women. We have identified three of the women now and will soon identify them all. We know who the two young men are from our gang task force group. We just have to find them after building a solid case." After he said that, he knew that it was too much information on the status of the case. It was too late to take it back, but it might help flush the two vampires out in public.

"That is very interesting, detective Slade. Why don't we chat with Sam about that now? He saw the bombers in the back alley last night. Sam, come up here and tell the detective what you saw." Gustaf offered.

The big bodyguard approached the trio looking very uncomfortable and intimidated. Reluctantly, he sat when Gustaf instructed him to be comfortable. Slade asked him to tell what he observed when he entered the back alley.

"Mister Gustaf, here, asked me to check out noises coming from behind the club. I heard them too. As I rounded the corner to the back alley, I saw a red pickup truck and four men. They were busy attaching a flat package to the brick wall of the club. They did not see me, but I saw them. Two of the men were in the club earlier and I had escorted them out after they threatened Mister Gustaf. The other two were strangers to me. They finished with the package, ran to the truck gleefully laughing, got in and sped away down the alley onto the street. Not a minute later as I cautiously approached the package, it exploded pushing in the wall to the office. The force of the blowback pushed me to the ground, but left me unhurt. I got up, ran to assess the damage and see if anyone was hurt. That is all I remember." Sam related slowly.

"Thank you, Sam." Slade said.

"You may go now and thank you." Gustaf praised Sam, who got up and could not leave fast enough.

"I am not sure how much your partner will tell you, when she wakes. I had to carry her to my office. She consumed a whole bottle of champagne and passed out. I carried her into my office, put her on the couch, covered her up with a throw blanket and sat down at my desk to catch up on some business." Gustaf added casually.

Leona spoke, "I got here a couple of hours after the blast and saw the damage. It was close to sunrise, so I grabbed Gustaf and went to one of our other converted warehouses. We spent the day there, until just the hint of full night."

An awkward silence fell between them, as they stared at each other wondering, where to go with the story of the explosion. Slade wanted more information about the two threatening vampires, but he knew that might never happen. The vampire community policed its own, Gustaf saw to that with a vampire court and doling out the punishment, administered by his 'Enforcer.' Slade knew about the court, it was fair, just, and never interfered with the human justice system. The only things he wanted to know, who was this 'Enforcer' and why did the vampire community fear him so much. He heard about what happened at the court. The punishments were very harsh when compared to human standards, but vampires were stronger than humans were and it took a lot more severe punishment to hurt them.

Leona stood up, extended her hand to Slade and he got up and hugged her. She said, "I think we are done here for now. I feel like having a cup of tea. Will you take me for some?"

Slade replied, "I would love to take you for some tea. Is where we went the other night OK?"

Gustaf stood, shook hands with Slade, walked off the VIP circle and spoke with Sam for a little bit. Slade walked with Leona to the back of the club by the damaged office and into Leona's private area. Her area had a fine patina of dust on every surface but looked relatively untouched. She went to a closet, opened the doors and took out a long coat to wear outside. What Leona wore tonight was a very short almost micro-mini dress, very sheer and sexy. The long coat was just what she needed to cover her beauty and keep warm. Slade helped her on with the coat, she turned and kissed him lovingly on the lips. They walked out of her room in the club holding hands. They waved to Gustaf and Sam and walked out the front door. Leona walked close to Slade holding his arm and hand. She stole kisses and bumped her hip against him. They seemed to be two happy lovers out for a stroll on a beautifully moon lit night.

Standing in the shadows, unseen by the two lovers, a pair of young men followed their every move. Slade opened the door for Leona, who turned and held a long kiss on his lips, before sliding into the car. Slade walked around and slid into his seat, as Leona moved over to him, as close as she could get. The two watchers ran from the shadows, signaled to their companions and jumped into the large limousine when it drove up to them. The occupants of the limousine were the two male vampires and the three human gang members. They followed Slade and Leona, as he drove through the city to the Café Rendezvous tea house. Slade watched his rearview mirror searching for something, because he sensed that someone followed them from the club. He noticed the limousine following far behind, but did not think that would be a threat. After all, who would use a limousine to follow someone?

"Can you see the limousine that is way behind us?" Slade asked Leona.

Leona turned around, looked closely at the car and saw it was the young vampires and their friends. She knew that Slade and she were in trouble, but she had to keep quiet about who was in the car. She turned around facing Slade, grabbed his arm tightly and shook her head signaling that she saw them.

She reached in her purse, took out her cell phone and called Gustaf. He answered on the first ring. Leona hurriedly spoke to him in her native tongue, telling him about the limousine and their current location. He told her to keep moving, that he had people in the area who handled this type of work. She hung up, put her phone away and softened her grip on Slade's arm.

Slade drove around behind the tea house, parked in the brightly lit area, got out and helped Leona alight. The limousine stopped down the street from the tea house, turned off the lights, but kept the motor running. The two vampires observed the couple enter the tea house, got out of the limousine and walked to the back parking lot. A black SUV pulled into the parking lot, saw the vampires and drove up to them. Three very large men got out, surrounded the vampires and put them in the SUV. The SUV drove off down the street past the limousine, which turned around and followed them.

In the tea house, Leona's cell phone rang, she answered it and after a short conversation, she hung up relieved for now.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than 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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