Breathless Ch. 05byEvil Alpaca©
This story is a bit wordy and fairly long, so if you are looking for immediate gratification, you might want to look elsewhere.
The following story is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between these character and events and any real person or events is strictly coincidental . . . and pretty darn impressive seeing as it is a science fiction story. Do not reproduce or copy this story without the consent of the author.
This story is based in an alternative universe, where history took a different course than the one we are used to. In this world, the creatures which we now believe to be legends have walked alongside man for the duration of our existence. Vampires, werewolves, wizards, witches, sorcerers, and a host of other beings share our world.
The following story contains, in one chapter or another, lesbian and heterosexual activity in different proportions.
"And there you have it," Sadie Hewitt said to the assembled officers. "Someone was using blood magic to burn the warehouse district down and who knows what else along with it." She wanted to point out that none of the "higher" races or classes were in any danger, but she was biting her tongue. Cops could be funny if they thought something wrong was happening. Innocent people could get harassed or worse.
Vladimir stood up, looking as strong as ever. Sadie almost couldn't stand to look at him, considering the spectacle she'd made of herself during the previous day's escapade. She wanted his respect for reasons she couldn't even fathom, and she had sucked his blood while trying to jump his bones when all he was doing was trying to look after her. If she'd lost much more blood, she would've frenzied and then someone might very well have died. And to make matters worse, she could still taste the faintest traces of his blood in her mouth, and she wanted more.
"Let's keep an eye out," he said. "Less than two weeks to Halloween and things are dicey out there, so take the time to get out of your cars or just get out in the streets and talk to people. Arbiter Hewitt has been doing just that, and the street folk have been responding."
"But I don't look that good in a thong," Fitzpatrick said solemnly.
"I wouldn't say that," Sadie replied demurely, looking at him through half-open eyes. "You could borrow one of mine."
Captain Grom shuddered. "Okay, I just got all sorts of mental images that I did NOT need." The room laughed, and a few people made noises of disgust as their imaginations caught up to the conversation. "But Vladimir is right. Gravestones is a hotspot for discontent right now."
The group broke up and Sadie headed to her desk. She hadn't seen Devlin, and she wanted to apologize for shoving him around in her delusional state. Not seeing him, she went up to the front desk to talk to Mel.
"It's his night off," she said. "If you want, I can give you his home number --"
"Nah, I'd rather just talk to him in person."
"Something's up by the way," Mel continued, noticing that Vladimir had joined them. "Mayor's office just called to speak to the Captain about a 'staffing issue.'"
"Hunh. Well, I'm sure the Captain will tell us what he wants us to here. Too bad we can't listen in to the call," Sadie said innocently.
"That would be a violation of policy," Melissa said.
"Can't have that," Vladimir added with a grin. He wasn't above bending a few rules.
Melissa glanced down at her terminal, and the two officers saw what looked like DVR controls floated on the desktop.
'She's rerouting the call through her PC,' Vlad realized, 'and she's recording it.'
"I'll talk to you later," Mel said calmly, going back to her work, trying not to smirk.
"We're patrolling together," Vladimir said to Sadie. "Meet you out in the lot." He then turned and walked out the door.
"Crap!" Sadie muttered.
"It's okay," Mel said. "He's your friend and he's a cop, so you're going to have to deal with him. He's probably freaked out by everything too. So just go out, patrol, and sit in the car with him in awkward silence. It'll be fun."
"I hate you," the vamp growled, then kissed Mel on the cheek. The girl blushed.
"No PDAs!" she hissed as Sadie started to walk away. "I'm spoken for now!"
"I don't think Mary would begrudge me a friendly kiss now and again." She hit the outside just in time for a light drizzle to start. "Great." She saw Vlad out front in a regular patrol car. "But --"
"No SUV. You seem to think you're invincible when you're in something that big." He saw that she was going to object. "I was given specific instructions by Melissa on behalf of --"
"That damn wraith!" Sadie was tempted to take of the sling just for spite, but her shoulder really did hurt. "That's the last time I ever make nice with an outcast."
The look Vladimir gave her was slightly amused and thoughtful. "I doubt that. You can't help it, can you?"
"Help what?" She reluctantly got into the passenger side of the car.
"Wanting to save everyone . . . even from themselves." He pulled out onto the road and headed into the Gravestones.
A few minutes later, Sadie was already ancy. "You drive like Devlin," she growled. "Gun it! Oh, we could've made that light!"
"I will let you out so you can walk," he said, holding the steering wheel casually. Then she saw those strong arms tense. "I'm sorry for what happened," he muttered. "Yesterday."
Sadie nodded. "It wasn't your fault. If I'd just let someone help me or hadn't gone off on my own --"
"No one else would've survived," he interrupted. "Except for me. And I was too busy avoiding dealing with you to be there for a partner . . . and a friend . . . when she needed me."
Sadie looked at the droplets of water cascading horizontally on the window. "I never know when to stop pushing. I never know when just to mind my own business."
"And I hope you never do." Vladimir was smiling again, particularly when he saw the look of surprise on her face. "Sadie, things have been more interesting in the month that you've been here than in the last several years combined. The squad believes in you. The people on the streets love you. Melissa's a whole new woman because of you, and it's a good change for her. You almost got yourself killed for someone that most people wouldn't have even noticed had died. You've put have young males of the Gravestones through puberty for crying out loud. My nephew hasn't stopped talking about you for weeks apparently. Speaking of which, I thought we'd meet him for lunch."
"Roll the Bones?" she asked hungrily.
"I thought you people just lived on blood."
"Nah. We need blood, but food helps. And I love eating." She paused. "I can't promise I won't push you again . . . about Teresa I mean. But I'll try. I respect you, and . . . and I just wish she did too."
He nodded. It was as much of a truce as they were going to reach, so he let it lie.
Just then, Sadie's phone rang. She pulled it out, but didn't recognize the number. "Hello?"
"Yeah. Terrence? That you? You get a new phone number?"
*Sort of. Throw away phone.*
Arbiter Hewitt got a strange feeling in her bones. "What's up?"
"No, I'm in the car with Vladimir Koloff."
*That works. Can you meet me in . . . oh say, the next fifteen minutes? Over at Rider Park . . . take the walking trail around to the creek.*
Sadie knew the sound of disguised urgency, and Terrence's voice was practically dripping with it. "Sure. We'll see you in a few." Then she hung up.
"Terrence McDermott. He's Lord Frost's bodyguard. He REALLY wants to talk about something."
"Any idea what?"
"No, but I've got the feeling it's something I need to hear. Rider Park, and drive inconspicuously."
They were only ten minutes away, so they found themselves pulling into the mostly empty parking lot. With the weather the way it was and Rider Park's reputation for being a haven for junkies, not even the darkworlders went there on a night like this. Vladimir and Sadie weren't exactly worried about getting mugged, unless the person was really, really out of their mind.
Finding Terrence wasn't hard, as he was standing on a bridge tossing some breadcrumbs to a family of ducks that had found there way to the area.
"You shouldn't encourage them," Sadie said. "There are people in this park that would eat them if they got the chance."
"Everyone's gotta eat," Terrence grinned. "And have you ever actually tried to catch a duck? They're sneaky little bastards."
Sadie noticed that Vladimir was actually eying the ducks more than he should, and his presence made the ducks nervous. He was a predator, and their instincts knew it. "Heel boy. If you eat duck, then it'll spoil your appetite for Roll the Bones."
"I wouldn't know about that," he replied with a grin. "I've got a big appetite."
Sadie slowly turned away. 'No sexual innuendos . . . bad Sadie! You're just getting things straightened out . . . you'd like to get HIM straightened out.' She rolled her eyes. 'You are a vampire with a one-track mind.' "So what's so important that you drug us all the way out here?"
Terrence looked around. He was careful, and he knew how to do recon. "Dazza was involved in the arson attempt," he said carefully.
"I know," Sadie replied.
"What? You did?!" Vladimir was as angry as he was surprised.
"Calm down," Sadie told him. "I was going to tell you tonight. I recognized his voice, but that wouldn't be enough for a conviction, not even coming from me."
"Frost knew . . . I think he was behind it."
"I knew it!" she said, stomping her foot and scaring the ducks off completely.
"Why would Frost do this? I knew he was a psychopath, but this?" Vlad rubbed his eyes, trying to sort this out.
"I heard them talking. They didn't like the fact that this company might have helped bring the community together. It's not even like it was for profit or because he wanted the neighborhood. It was just . . . petty." Terrence had seen a lot of reasons for killing, burning, raping, and pillaging, and none of them were good. But at least some of them made sense. "So I started snooping around. Frost was in his sensory deprivation tank, so I snooped around his office." He pulled a folded stack of papers out of the back of his pants. "Frost hates computers, so he puts everything down with on paper. I found a back up planner in one of his desk drawers. I made copies of all the pages and then put it back. I can't make heads or tails of it, but I figured it had to be important."
"Why?" Vladimir asked.
Sadie was staring at the pages. Even in black and white, the writing looked odd . . . smeared in some places.
Terrence saw in her eyes that she had realized what he knew to be true. "It was written in blood."
Arbiter Hewitt looked over the pages. It looked in many ways like an ordinary planner in that items were laid out in order on specific dates. But the entries made little sense. Two letters followed by an arrow pointing to another set of two or three letters. It all started on Halloween at midnight, and there were more and more entries leading up to New Year's Eve.
"Lord Frost and the mayor are putting one hell of a schindig on Halloween this year. He's bought a big tract of land on the outskirts of West End and he's already got a big pavilion put on it. I figured it was just more investment property, but now I'm not so sure."
"Got an address for me?"
"You've probably already gotten it," Terrence said. "I mailed YOUR invitation to the event personally. You know, if you would just be boring, he probably wouldn't be so interested in you."
"I doubt that could happen," Vlad muttered, looking over the documents some more. "On either case."
Sadie stuck her tongue out at him. "Why are you doing this? You could be in deep shit if you get caught."
"I figure I'll probably quit after the ceremony," Terrence said. "As good as the money is, I didn't put my ass on the line for my country to come back and sell out its principles to him. He used to just be cocky, but I draw the line when innocent people start getting hurt."
"You could testify," Vlad said.
"It would be my word against Frost and Dazza. Between Sadie and I, we've got a whole lotta here-say, and that means squat with someone who can buy and sell judges on a whim."
"If you hear anything else, let us know. Okay?"
Terrence grabbed Sadie's hand and kissed it gently on the top. "Your wish," he said with outrageous flamboyancy, "is ever my command."
She made a show of wiping her hand on Vlad's shirt while he looked at her with amused disgust. "Thanks," she said. "We need all the friends we can get."
"And that's why I like you more than other vamps," Terrence replied.
"Most vamps would've used 'allies' instead of 'friends.'" He turned and headed out the opposite way that they had come in.
"You haven't heard anything about this ceremony?" Vladimir asked as they headed back to the car.
"I've been a little busy," she replied. "So no." She stuck the folded up papers into Vlad's jacket pocket. "We'll get those back and see if Mel might be able to decipher them."
"You do realize that Melissa isn't actually a cop?"
"Can't ask anyone else to do it, and she's wicked smart. Hopefully she'll uncover something. We can look at it in the car too."
They hit the streets and cruised for hours. Sadie hit the overhead light and tried to make heads or tails out of the bizarre code on the photocopied paper. 'It seems so simple,' she thought, 'like something's on the tip of my tongue, but I just can't get it.'
Vladimir chuckled. He should be taking this more seriously, but it was fun to watch Sadie try and solve the puzzle. She had the perplexed look of a child trying to do quantum physics. It was so cute the way her eyes scrunched up and her lips pouted slightly . . . and the way that sling arced down drawing attention to her glorious cleavage and -- 'Stop that!' he thought. 'We just got things settled down between us!'
Luckily, he was distracted by a friendly sight when they pulled into the parking lot of Roll the Bones. Sadie followed his eyes to the group of youths playing basketball across the street and easily noticed that Vladimir's nephew Todd was amongst them. She was happy to see that there were a number of humans playing there as well. It seemed that young men were able to bond over seeing a hot mostly-naked woman playing sports.
The two officers headed across the street and were quickly noticed by the players. Unlike last time, there was no suspicion at their approach. Vladimir shook Todd's hand, followed by a manly hug complete with back-pounding. More than one pair of eyes drifted over to Sadie herself, and several of the young men were grinning. They remembered the last time Sadie had been on their court.
"Hey Uncle Vladimir," Todd was saying. "Wa'as up? Never see you down here no more."
"I'm doing desk-jockey crap most of the time. But since our illustrious Arbiter here just had to go and get herself shot up in the line of duty, I figured I'd be her chaperon for the day. You know, to keep her from taking her clothes off and injuring that shoulder of hers."
"So she's NOT going to get down to her unmentionables?" one of the human boys said, obviously glum about the notion.
"Not today," Sadie said, feigning a pout of her own. Then she grinned. "I'll just have to make it up to you boys somehow once I get better and old Mr. Fuddy Duddy here stops keeping me down."
Vladimir was getting some unkind stares from the young male crowd, but he seemed unphased. "Hey, Mary's the one keeping you in line right now, not me."
"Who's Mary?" one of the guys asked.
"You really don't want to know," Sadie said. She was going to have a serious talk with the wraith about this. Melissa might want someone to take control, but Sadie just wanted to get wild.
"Got time for a quick game old man?" Todd asked with a toothy smile. "I'll give a few points head start." He looked over to Sadie and then back to his uncle. "And you can even keep your clothes on."
"Oh, you didn't just say that," Vladimir replied, rolling up his sleeves. "Remember the LAST time you called this old man out?" He handed his gunbelt to Sadie, who was pouting a bit.
"I wanna play!"
Sadie grumbled by way of response, though she got over her sulking quickly. Vladimir played basketball just like he fought . . . balls to the wall and physical as all hell. Todd tried to give as good as he got, but he was still a young wolf and simply wasn't able to match strength or speed with his uncle. And Sadie liked seeing Vladimir in action. Masculine . . . sweaty --
"Damn!" Todd gasped when Vladimir pushed through him to score the final basket. "You are so alpha!"
"Don't start with that," Vladimir replied.
"C'mon, you know you are. Besides, you're coming to the dinner on Saturday right? You KNOW that Mom and Ivan are gonna bring it up then anyway."
Vladimir's smile had slightly withdrawn. "Try and run damage control for me ahead of time, okay kid?"
Todd rolled his eyes. "Will do. I take it that Teresa," he continued, almost sneering, "won't be joining us?" He blanched a little under his Uncle's glare, so he found something more pleasant to look at. "Arbiter! Why don't you show up? It'd be a great time to meet the whole pack leadership for the Northwest Territory."
"I'm sure that Sadie has something better to do than hang out with a bunch of mongrels all morning," Vlad growled.
"No I don't. We should have the deck finished early enough, depending on when it starts." To Sadie, it actually made a lot of sense, since she'd been meaning to make more headway into meeting the other primary powers in the area.
"Cool. Mom's the organizer for the meeting, so I'll let her know we'll have a guest."
Vladimir threw up his hands and headed back to the car, grumbling about how no one listened to him anymore.
"He's cranky," Sadie said with a grin. She was looking forward to finding out everything there was to know about her fellow officer, particularly the embarrassing stuff. A pack meeting was just the place to do it.
"He gets like that around meetings. The bigger the meeting, the more annoyed he gets, since he knows that Ivan will push him to take control again."
"Ivan Petrov?" She knew the pack-leaders name, but didn't realize that he and Vladimir were acquainted. "I didn't know that pack leaders ever wanted to give up their place."
"He never wanted it," Todd was saying as the rest of the guys went back to play. "Vladimir was in the Gulf when old Boris died, otherwise the job was his. No one in the Territory was going to challenge him for it. Hell, Boris had already blessed the transfer of power."
"I met Boris back in his hayday. I liked him . . . good man."
"Keep forgetting you're older than you look. You act like a teenager," Todd grinned. "But we needed a leader and Ivan was a good choice. He figured that Vladimir would come back, challenge him, he'd back down and that would be that. But when Vladimir came back, he married that . . . elf, and he kind of backed out of pack politics. It's made a lot of people uneasy. Ivan's a good man and would be a good pack leader if there wasn't someone more alpha around, but --" Todd stopped and shrugged.
Sadie understood. The head of the pack was supposed to be the biggest bad-ass that the pack had to offer. Having a beta in charge, however talented, flew in the face of nature.
"Vlad's THAT alpha?"
"He could have all the clout and all the bitches he wants," Todd replied. "He just --"
"I know, I know. The elf." She loved the fact that werewolves could say "bitches" and have it not mean anything derogatory. Of course if SHE said it about Teresa, it might not be so innocent. "Hey, shoot me an email with directions and times and I'll be there." She ran over to the car, then she and Vladimir went inside Roll the Bones for a well-deserved meal.