Come Play with Me
Kirk was unable to control the twitching his left eye had begun to exhibit over the past half hour or so of conversation. Harry's steadily pushing into his brain and trying to mesmerize him with his vocal tones had conflicted with all of his basic hardwiring. I could see that Kirk was walking meat for anyone now. Harry had a slight frown between his eyes as he too figured out that Kirk was fragmenting. The fear waves rolling off Kirk were making me very hungry; they scented the air deliciously. Playing with the little telemarketer a few minutes ago had just acted as a little taste of what I needed. My frustration at the knowledge I was being watched did not help push aside that desire, but instead enhanced the game.
Predator and prey always had games. My challenge of avoiding detection and still satisfying my hungers were even sweeter than just basic vampire snacks.
"The tape?" Harry asked again in his lovely tones.
Kirk's left eye lid was dancing on his face as he tried to reply to his boss.
"I left it in the trunk under the spare wheel of my rental." He reluctantly answered while lighting another unneeded cigarette. The ashtray now had three burning in various lengths. He was completely unaware of the butts as he tried to thread the pieces of his brain back together; all the while Harry was precisely shredding it apart.
"There isn't a rental car in front of the house, Kirk. Where did you park it?" Harry had already checked out the front of the house, I thought without any surprise, and expected he probably had some spy cam set up watching me through his little geek toys. He smiled at me and nodded.
Yes, he had been spying on me for years. But then that sort of excited me in an odd vampiric way. Nevertheless, it gave rise to the concern how he had missed the Goths with Seneca and Lani also watching, not to mention Morgan. I shook my head again at how crowded my little sphere had become in the past few months. Harry shrugged and gave me a sheepish look. We would talk about that later!
Kirk picked up a smoke and inhaled deeply before replying to Harry.
"I parked it a block away. I wanted to catch Cassandra off guard. When you answered, it threw off my angle." Kirk was gaining a bit of his strength back with the recitation of his plan. Obviously he hadn't considered Harry in any equations. "You and Cassandra..." here Kirk trailed off as he wasn't quite sure how he was going to ask his boss a very personal question.
"Long time friends," Harry gave Kirk a totally male smug look which I took to mean his male nonverbal code was adding 'and a bit more' sort of thing. Harry, knowing he would pay for the male byplay if he didn't add some more words continued, "I was nearby when I heard about Greg and figured Cassandra would need me so I flew down here and tried to help her with finding what Greg has got himself into now."
Nice touch, leaving Greg in the current possibility of being alive with his use of 'has,' I thought. Harry always told me more people confessed by word choices than by evidence. Even though we had Kirk rattled we didn't make any assumptions he had suddenly got stupid. Harry didn't train stupid.
Kirk nodded slowly while he processed the fact being presented. "So what are we going to do?" He finally asked us.
Harry leaned in and said, "Nothing. Let the local cops continue to process the scene and find out where Greg and Elisa are without confusing them with too much of our attention. It is always hard to explain why we are around as it is." Here they exchanged another smug look of superiority. Harry loved being on the inside track and this latest department of his was obviously fun. He had this branch of the government well in hand and was using all the latest toys and technology to track rogue humans as well as vampires. Harry always liked feeding off the bad elements. But then so did I.
The phone rang again. I was going to let the machine pick up when some instinct kicked in and I got up to see who was calling. Another blocked number but my nerves were twitching.
"Hello," I picked up a moment before my answering machine would have begun.
"Casssssannndra, ah, there you are, my child." Morgan's voice purred on the line.
Damn. This was not a good sign.
"Oh, hello, Morgan, how are you?" I sounded off to my own ears. Harry's pupils widened as he realized who was calling me. Again. Twice in as many days. And I hadn't even ventured outside since his little warning. Which meant Morgan knew more of what was going on than was good for me. I so did not want to be the focus of Morgan. Nothing good ever came of that sort of attention.
"I am well, thank you for asking. But you have been a naughty little girl lately. Your friends are quite the problem now aren't they? How ever did Greg survive so long?" Strictly rhetorical questions needing no answers from me, I waited to see why he called.
Harry joined me at the phone to give physical support if nothing else. I wanted to wave him off, but knew better because whatever Morgan was going hit me with could in fact send me to my knees. Harry's hand was in the middle of my back, lightly stroking, giving me unasked for strength and some much needed comfort. My spine straightened and I asked, "So what can I help you with today?"
My voice refused to sound lighthearted and relaxed, but at least I wasn't shrill. Harry moved his fingers up to tug softly at the hairs at the nape of my neck, like you would a cat. I did relax into his touch and waited for Morgan.
"Come play with me." His tones were taunting.
My brain refused to acknowledge what he asked -- no, demanded -- for a heartbeat. Then warmth fused over me as it dawned on me I was being asked on a hunt with a master. I inhaled slowly and exhaled even more quietly before I replied, "But I have some company right now." I was careful to not give any signs verbally of any of my thoughts. I didn't want to give offence, but at the same time knew this was huge.
His laughter surprised me and Harry. It was a wicked laughter that had haunted many souls in their final moments. But this was not aimed at me. He continued, "Cassandra, I want you to bring both of them with you. It would be best you if you let your new friend drive. He will be getting a call in a minute and invite you both to go with him. Accept."
With that, Morgan hung up. I had no sooner put the receiver down when a song chime of a cell phone came from Kirk. He reached onto his belt and removed his cell phone, flipping it open quickly with very shaky hands. Kirk was still not doing very well.
"Excuse me, I have to take this," he said, turning his face away from us. His side of the conversation was limited to a few yes and no sort of sounds. He ended with he would ask and closed his cell.
"They found some more bodies near the van. It seems that around the same time we met last night, Cassandra, some locals were murdered. They haven't figured out how this ties into your cousin's van but think there may be a link. He may be on a killing spree, and they think he may be heading over here to harm you. I was asked if I would see if you minded going over to a local satellite office to fill out some paperwork about your cousin and his life while they set up a stakeout to watch your place." Kirk was getting back his color and lost his fear scent as he was given the distraction of attending to this little task.
Both Harry and I were stiff as we wondered how Morgan had arranged this so quickly. Since Harry was supposedly Kirk's boss, that he was getting calls from Morgan added a bit more to the mix. Kirk had not been run by just one vampire, it appeared by maybe two. Harry was slipping, to have this go on in his own backyard.
"That sounds like a good idea, honey," Harry said, propelling me towards my bedroom with his hand softly. "Why don't you get dressed and meet us in the living room?" He was nonverbally telling me to put on as many toys as I could carry, and make sure I was calm. He could see how I was still reeling from the sudden change in Morgan -- last night he was warning me off and now he was asking me to play with him.
I turned and kissed him before saying, "Only if you are coming with me!"
Kirk nodded and said while blushing, "Yeah, you guys just meet me in the living room." He thought we were just a little frisky. I was. But not how he was thinking. I had a small arsenal in my bedroom that would be worn by both Harry and I if possible.
Luckily for Harry I always kept some spare clothing for him in a dresser. No matter how long we were apart we always ended up in each other's home at some point. His personal clothing was much better quality than what I kept for him, but the Dockers and shirt worked for what we were heading into with Morgan. No need to mess up our good clothing. His house would have matching casual clothing for me if I were to wander in needing to change. It had served us well over the years and kept us out of jails or worse. Bloodshed could be extremely messy. And Morgan's request for us to come and play pretty much guaranteed bloodshed. I grabbed one of my larger purses from the closet and crammed in a light t-shirt for each of us and spare socks. For some reason, blood and gore-flecked socks were a problem. We might not need the shirts, but better safe than sorry. Also tossed in were some weapons for vampires and humans. Best to be as ready as possible, I always thought.
We did this in near silence other than casual comments for any eavesdroppers who were listening. I also checked my weapons carefully. With the obvious evidence that I had visitors to my home I couldn't assume what I loaded was still inside the guns.
I found only two things suspicious with one of my favorite weapons: the rounds had been placed back in the wrong chambers. I always left an armor-piercing round first, followed by the usual vampire rounds, and that one was over one space. The second thing was a smell around the barrel. I put that weapon back and picked another one that looked the way I left it. The smell puzzled me until I placed it: there had been perfume on the fingers of whoever touched my gun. I stored it in my head, and would find out which woman it belonged to, and then I would show her why it wasn't nice to play with other people's toys unasked.
A quick kiss and we were out of the bedroom joining Kirk. We smiled and Harry asked, "You ready to roll?"
Kirk nodded, "I will drive, if that is okay?" He felt like he would be in control that way.
Since it was what Morgan asked, I argued first, "Can't I drive?" My tone was slightly whiny.
"Honey, let Kirk drive, okay?" Harry sounded put upon, but wanting to keep the peace.
Reluctantly I let myself be persuaded by Harry, and so now Kirk thought it had been his idea. Which would probably come in handy in a bit, I thought to myself. I set the alarm as I shooed them out and locked the door. Why I bothered, I didn't know, but it felt better even though I knew I had my home breached far too often recently. We headed for Kirk's car and to see what Morgan wanted.
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