Here's Blood in Your Eye
Kirk was still frozen and my fingers were lightly covering his mouth. I could see that his hysteria rising up as he thought of all that he had seen and found recently.
Harry tilted his head towards me, motioning me to continue my questions. First I wanted another gulp of coffee. It was criminal having to do this much thinking without a full cup of coffee in me. I leaned back, letting my fingers drop from Kirk's mouth. There was a slight tremble on his lower lip as he parted his lips to speak.
"Wait," I commanded. Harry nudged back the shared mug of coffee and I drained it. I got up and poured myself some more since Harry was supporting Kirk now. It amazed me to see how quickly he was falling apart with the discovery that the world might not be just how he had figured it was.
Harry had lit another cigarette for Kirk, and Kirk was busy sucking it down to the filter in quick, deep breaths. This act of normalcy seemed to return some strength to the man, and he stiffened up and shook his head a little. The expressions flitting over his face showed his horror as he tried to come to terms with what he was telling us. I knew he had little of the picture but wanted to see who else he had shared with besides Harry and me.
Sitting back down across from Kirk I began anew, "Kirk, what do you mean Greg and his friends think they are vampires?"
His hand shook slightly as he knocked the ash off the nearly finished cigarette. Stalling, he tapped out another cigarette and lit it from the smoldering filter. After taking a deep drag, he exhaled while saying, "Because I saw a video dropped off at my office last night after I left you. It came in an unmarked envelope with my name carefully written on the outside.
"I put it in the office video machine and watched it in the dark. I was puzzled why it had shown up until it started. It showed Greg and Elisa guiding a drunken teenager into the van. Then it blacked out and began to film through a long shot, I think a tripod set up, with limited light. The van was parked near the place it was found but from the angles of light and trees it seemed to be a few weeks ago. It was shot above on a hill looking into the front window to the lighted cab. The kid was given something more to drink and seemed to know them."
Harry and I were careful not to look at each other. We were pretty sure Lani and Seneca were the ones that filmed and orchestrated whatever Kirk witnessed.
Kirk's hand had a slight tremor as he took another puff off the cigarette. He sipped his own cup of coffee and grimaced at the bitter taste. "So, here I am in a dark room watching a video shot at dusk of this teenage boy being seduced by your cousin and his gal pal. They teased him, you could see their heads flip back in laughter and the kid beaming at some bad joke. There was a cup of something that kept being refilled from a paper-covered bag. It must have been alcohol by the way the kid's face grew slack.
" The boy looked about sixteen or seventeen. Some half-assed attempt to grow face hair, curly dark hair with a streak of a bright color like pink or red, and he had dark eyes and was skinny -- really skinny. He had that gray and black eye makeup that Goth kids like to wear, and some piercings. Not like he was over the top. It looks like he could clean up with the help of a brush and a hat. God, he looked just like my nephew."
Here Kirk was shaking so hard he had to put his lit smoke into the ashtray. He wiped his hand down his face and confessed, "I had to stop the tape and call my sister at that hour to see if Sammy was home. She was pissed at me but went and checked. Then read me the riot act for not being in a healthy relationship." He gave this awful sound that it took me a minute to identify as some sort of laughter.
It made me wonder what Harry had kidded Kirk about when I had entered the room that made him laugh. Knowing Harry, probably something about sex. I glanced over to see a slight smile briefly rest on Harry's lips confirming that thought.
This human was completely tortured by what he saw. I was momentarily puzzled by it, but dismissed it as some common frailty. I would have thought with his job he would have seen much worse.
"I put the tape back on and then could see it wasn't Sammy. But still I couldn't stop thinking it could have been. Stupid, but this kid had the same smile and everything." Okay, he identified with the kid, I got it. I tried to look like I cared while Kirk continued.
"Then Elisa began to guide the kid to the back of the van. He had been sitting with her in the same seat. She had her arm around him the whole time. Played with his hair and tugged on his ears. This totally predatory behavior. The kid didn't seem to care and Greg just smiled and let her do it.
"The tape stopped again and when it continued the tripod was obviously much closer. I could see the curtains were opened fully and Greg was sitting in the seat behind the driver's seat. The boy was now on the bed and leashed to the sides of the van. While Greg sat there, I watched Elisa toy with the boy. His shirt had been removed, showing how young he really was. He had piercings in his thin white-skinned chest and Elisa tugged on the rings while he trembled. He was perfectly happy to let her do whatever she wanted while her boyfriend watched."
Kirk turned to Harry, "This was the most explicit recording of a kid being seduced I have ever seen. The video was obviously being done in secret because nobody glanced at the camera. You've seen the faked movies and videos, no matter how much they try, there is always a degree of staging to them. Nobody posed or looked towards the camera. It was done without their knowledge."
Harry nodded and tried to look sympathetic. He was a better actor than I have ever been, I was glad Kirk hadn't directed the question to me. Kirk was no longer meeting my eyes. I didn't have to push for anything. It was like confessing all this to us was helping him. Whatever.
"It continued with Greg handing a knife to Elisa. The kid didn't panic or seem to mind as she sliced down his chest in shallow cuts. The alcohol had thinned his blood and it quickly beaded into lines that were drawn down his body. I must have missed when Elisa slid the fake fangs into her mouth because the next thing I see Elisa is raking her teeth over the cuts and the kid begins to really enjoy her attentions." Kirk paused and finished his cigarette. He drank the coffee and shuddered.
"Greg joined her soon and the kid never panicked or protested. Greg's fake teeth were even larger and the kid seemed to welcome his laving and touch. Then the video went to black. A second passed and I figured that was it. Then a piece of paper was in the frame and the words, 'So who's going to believe you?' and then it ended."
That did bring up some important questions for us to ask Kirk. I looked to Harry and gave him a slight nod. I needed to save the 'bad girl' if Harry's empathy didn't work. But given Kirk's hero worship of Harry I didn't see the problem.
"Kirk, you have more you haven't told me. You came to see me last summer worried about something. Was it about Greg?"
Kirk was distracted by the question for a minute. The sequence was out of his brain as he was still visualizing what he had seen on the tape mere hours ago. He lit another cigarette while he tried to figure out what to tell Harry.
Casting his eyes down he said, "No, that was a different case." He dragged at the filter harshly and laughed even rougher, "I had the case you saw, and then there was another murder book in my car that I didn't show you. You made me see I wasn't looking carefully at all that was before me. I mean, it took you like a second to see something that I had been missing for days. So instead of making myself look more like a fool, I decided to reexamine what I had on the other case before bringing it to you. It worked, and I didn't have to come back and ask you to solve another one for me."
It was obvious to me that Kirk was telling the truth, and he really felt embarrassed to be revealing this in front of me. Oh well, I caught Harry's eye and tilted my head towards Kirk unseen. Kirk was studying the full ashtray in dismay as he continued to smoke.
Harry was very serious as he intoned, "Kirk, look at me."
Kirk's eyes flew to Harry's face and he carefully put his cigarette down into the ashtray. As Harry continued to stare deeply into Kirk's eyes I could feel Kirk's pulse slow and begin to calm. His blood thickened with Harry's vampiric attention and I felt my fangs being to descend and had to keep my mouth shut.
My soul sang as I felt the flow of energy Harry bestowed on Kirk. The talent of this vampire amazed me. Harry waited until Kirk was relaxed and nearly in a trance state then asked, "Kirk, do you trust me?"
"Yes," slowly slurred out from his lips. I was ravenous, feeling the warm blood just beneath the skin. Tempting me so much, but I waited because we needed answers.
"Did you make copies of that tape for safe keeping?" Harry asked conversationally.
"No, I knew you would know what to do about this."
The answer was slow in coming, nearly a dreamlike quality to Kirk's tone. That made me even more aware of Kirk's pulse. Damn, this man was mine. Harry caught my thought and wagged a finger at me. "Later," he mouthed to me. I sighed and let him continue his questions.
"Okay, Kirk, can you hear me?" Harry asked slowly.
"Yes," his voice was nearly a whisper of sound. I felt my teeth pull back as Kirk was no longer tempting me. Harry had pulled him to another place, and he was no longer a live meal, but in a dream state between life and death.
"How many others know about these so-called vampire players?" He was informal in his tone. There was no shading of any opinion or emotion. Just a question to be asked to a friend, he was just making small talk.
"I don't know." Kirk seemed puzzled and he added unasked, "But there seems to be something going on out there in the clubs. I keep finding dead kids and they are all so lifeless. Their blood stains my hands. Harry, I don't know how to help them. Their moms and dads don't care about them. I tell these people their child is dead and they all shrug and seem to say it was expected. How can they not care? I am wading in a river of blood and nobody cares." He broke.
I know how fragile humans are, but rarely do I see them break over stupid words. Harry, on the other hand, was stunned. This was one of his chosen few and he was flawed.