Soul's Divide Ch. 01byaustin_erotica©
June 10 11:20 p.m.
Detective Robert Pearson looked away from the two-way mirror and glanced at his partner. "So, what do ya' think?"
Detective Jeremy Alveraz shook his head slowly as he gazed through the mirror. "She's hard to read. She's very calm, I'll give her that." He paused and squinted as he leaned toward the glass. "Does it look like she's smirking?"
Pearson looked back at the woman sitting in the interrogation room. He thought he saw what his partner was talking about. The woman was sitting with her arms crossed and had what looked to be a very faint smirk on the end of her lips. She had one leg crossed over the other, her foot dangling in the air. The only evidence of her true emotional state was the way her foot bounced impatiently.
"It does look like she's smirking," Pearson replied slowly. "And she seems impatient. I don't know...both of those things don't make sense. You wouldn't think she had just been arrested for a gruesome murder, the way she looks right now."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking," Alveraz replied. "She's definitely too calm for my tastes. A fucking ice queen, look at her."
Pearson nodded in agreement. It was a shame, really, that a hard, beautiful woman like that might be guilty of murder. She wasn't some ditzy girl, this one. This was a real woman.
Her blonde-streaked brown hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail. She wore tight black jeans with a sleek black leather jacket. Her face was pale, her cheeks sharp, and her mouth was thin yet sensuous. Sharp green eyes were staring directly at the two-way mirror, as though she could see right through it. No, this woman was definitely not some delicate flower. A fucking ice queen, maybe, but a damn beautiful one.
"I think we made her wait long enough," Pearson said, nodding at the woman through the glass.
Alveraz gathered his folders and followed him to the next room. As soon as the door opened, the woman shifted her sharp gaze directly toward Pearson.
Damn, I wish I could stare into those eyes as I...
He cleared his mind as quickly as he could. He hoped the woman couldn't tell his thoughts. He learned a long time ago that the clever perps could read people like books.
God help me, if I'm blushing like a schoolboy...
"Good evening, detectives," the woman said, her smirk more pronounced now.
Pearson glanced sideways at his partner. Alveraz hated perps who had a smart mouth. If this interrogation was going to be productive, he figured he better take control now. "Good evening?" Pearson asked, deciding to play along with her game. "I don't know, I think that depends on what side of the table you're sitting on, don't you agree?"
The woman leaned back in her chair, her green-eyed stare boring into his blue eyes. Pearson almost glanced away from that look. He knew, suddenly, that this woman was very, very dangerous.
"Well, I should say it was a very pleasant evening until I was dragged here."
"That tends to happen when you butcher a man to death," Alveraz growled.
Pearson almost sighed. Most perps thought that Alveraz liked to play the role of bad cop during interrogations. They quickly came to learn that Detective Alveraz simply didn't play games.
"I did?" the woman asked, her eyebrows arched in surprise. "That's news to me."
Alveraz opened his mouth angrily but Pearson grabbed his arm and shook his head. He stared steadily at the woman. "Let's keep things simple. What's your name?"
She chuckled. "I take it my fingerprints didn't show up on your system? My face on the security camera not showing up on any databases? But let's keep things friendly for now, shall we? You can call me Elizabeth."
"Alright, Elizabeth," Pearson said quickly, as Alveraz once again looked on the verge of going off on the woman. "Are you aware that several eyewitnesses saw a woman matching your description chase a man down the street, tackle him, and then decapitate him with a machete?"
"Is that why I'm here?" she said, waving her hand casually. "Don't worry about that; it was nothing."
"Nothing?" Alveraz shouted. He stood up, put his fists on the table, and leaned in toward her. "The man also showed signs of severe torture! Several areas of his body were covered in third-degree burns. Do you consider that 'nothing' as well?"
He opened his folder and slammed picture after picture down in front of her. Each one showed different angles of a badly burned, decapitated corpse.
Pearson couldn't help but admire the woman, Elizabeth, as she ignored the pictures and stared calmly up at the enraged face of Alveraz. "I'm sorry, but is that a crime?" she asked innocently, glancing over at Pearson.
Pearson frowned at her, not quite understanding what game she was playing. Was she just simply nuts? "The torture and murder of another human being are indeed crimes."
"Ah," she said, raising a finger as though she had just won a point. "So you agree that the law clearly states that it's illegal to murder another human being?"
Pearson shared a brief glance with his partner. Why had she emphasized human being? "Yes," he said slowly. The interrogation was quickly getting out of hand. Who was this woman?
Elizabeth smirked at him. "Then I'm not guilty of a crime. I didn't kill or torture a human being." She jabbed her finger down on a photo for emphasis.
"The body down in the morgue might say differently," Alveraz growled. He leaned in even closer, his face barely inches away from hers. "Or are you just trying to establish an insanity defense? Because the way I see it, Elizabeth,you're just one cold bitch."
"Alveraz," Pearson said warningly. Alveraz stared at Elizabeth for a few more heartbeats before sitting back down with a huff. Pearson looked back at Elizabeth. "My partner's right; the body down in the morgue is indeed human, I'm afraid. So it was illegal to kill him, you see?"
Elizabeth put her arms on the table and leaned toward him. Her intense stare held him in place. "Are you sure? You might want to wait for your medical examiner's report before making a statement like that."
"It doesn't matter, no report will ever be written," she sighed, cutting him off. She sat back in her chair and crossed her arms. "What time is it?"
"We're asking the questions here!" Alveraz said, his jaw locked tight. He was very close to exploding, Pearson knew.
"It's 11:38 p.m.," Pearson said, glancing at his watch. "Do you have somewhere to be?" he asked rhetorically.
"Damn, he's late," she muttered, apparently to herself. She looked up at Pearson. "Any minute now, your medical examiner will be visited by somebody much higher up the food chain than anybody here. The minute after that, this person will pay a visit to your Captain. And then your Captain will come in here and tell you that your services are no longer required."
"Oh great," Alveraz said, rolling his eyes. "Looks like we got another nut-bag who thinks they're a government spook. Listen lady, it's late and I don't want to waste another minute talking to a nut-bag. So do us a favor and ask for a lawyer already."
Pearson remained silent and studied Elizabeth intently. She certainly seemed confident when she spoke. He hadn't detected any tell-tale signs that she was lying. This woman was an enigma wrapped inside another enigma.
"You'll have to forgive my partner, Elizabeth. We hear that all the time. Usually it's just a perp who wants to waste our time by acting like a smartass. But you're not wasting our time, are you?"
Alveraz snorted. "Come on, Pearson, do you really believe--"
A knock on the door cut him off. Captain Anderson stuck his head into the room. "This interview is done, gentleman. The lady is free to leave."
"About time," Elizabeth muttered as she stood up.
"But Captain!" Alveraz started. He fell silent as the Captain raised his hand.
"I don't want to hear it, Alveraz. The order came from up high. It's out of our hands."
The door swung fully open as the captain strode away. A very serious looking man in a black suit was standing across from the door. Elizabeth stopped by the door and looked back at Pearson. She smiled teasingly and walked away with the man in the black suit.
"Can you believe that shit?" Alveraz said, punching the wall. "How can they just let a murderer walk free? Who the hell was she?"
Pearson shook his head. There was something odd going on. Since when did the government rescue an agent who had brutally tortured and decapitated another person? Was the victim a terrorist or something? Was she in the CIA?
"Damn, she was beautiful," he whispered to himself. The image of her teasing smile refused to fade from his mind. Who the hell was that woman?
"You were sloppy, Gabrielle," Roberts whispered as they walked out of the police station.
Gabrielle didn't respond until they were safely in Roberts' black SUV. She buckled her seatbelt and let out a frustrated sigh. "That damn vamp was crafty as hell. I never thought a vamp could escape the bonds I used."
Roberts stayed silent for several minutes. Gabrielle admired his control; she knew he longed to give her a verbal lashing. "None of this was necessary," he said finally, teeth gritted. "You know I'm sympathetic about your search for your mother's killer, but if you continue to torture vampires for information instead of just killing them..."
"What?" she asked angrily. "Are you going to revoke my field status? Make me push papers?"
He shook his head. "No, if we did that then you would simply hunt vampires on your own. That would only put us more at risk, which is why we recruited you in the first place. This way, we can keep an eye on you."
"Then what?" She felt her temper give way slowly to fear. Roberts was looking uncharacteristically serious.
"We would be forced to classify you as a rogue agent," he said reluctantly.
"You would put a death sentence of my head?" she gasped.
"I wouldn't," he growled angrily. "Why can't you just follow the rules? The vampire that killed your mother is probably dead by now, anyways."
Gabrielle folded her arms in an attempt to reign in her temper. She wanted nothing more than to smash her fists into something. How dare he talk about her mother like this? "I'm done talking about this," she huffed.
Roberts was wise enough to hold his tongue. He drove on in silence until he pulled up next to her apartment building. He put the car in park and turned toward her.
"Listen, Gabrielle, I'm not only your boss but also you're partner. I have your back, you know that. Just...try to follow the rules from now on, ok? We don't mind you conducting your search for the vampire that killed your mother, as long as you abide by our rules."
Gabrielle opened the door and got out. She leaned in through the open window. "Yeah, I know," she sighed. "I don't want to get you in trouble."
"Thanks," Roberts replied, a relieved smile spreading across his face. He looked much better when he smiled, Gabrielle thought. His dark brown eyes seemed to shine when he did.
"I'll see you tomorrow morning, partner," Gabrielle said, thumping the car. "Give that girl of yours a hug for me."
He waved as he drove off. Gabrielle turned toward her apartment building, already lost in her thoughts. That vampire tonight didn't know anything about her mother's killer. She knew he was being honest. Vampires tended to be honest when their flesh was sizzling like a steak on the grill.
June 11, 12:03 a.m.
Detective Pearson pushed opened the doors that read Medical Examiner and walked in. "Hey, Nancy," he said, as he strolled toward her.
Nancy didn't even look up from her clipboard as she continued to write her notes. She stood in front of a metal table, the body on it, thankfully, covered by a sheet. "Pearson," she greeted him. "I haven't seen you in a while."
"Business has been slow," he replied, smirking.
Nancy turned toward him and flashed her own smile. "It makes me wonder why we even continue to have you on the payroll."
"Cute," he replied.
Nancy turned back to her notes, allowing Pearson a moment to study her. She was a fine looking woman, truth be told. A tall Hispanic woman, her black hair was cut short, barely below her jaw and framed both sides of her face. She wore her customary scrubs, but that didn't prevent anyone from seeing her womanly curves.
As though sensing his thoughts, she turned back toward him, her dark eyes twinkling. "Is there anything I can do for you?"
"Actually, there is. I was hoping you had a chance to examine a body earlier tonight. It was a man. He was decapitated and badly burned."
"Ah, one of those," she said, her face suddenly serious.
"One of those?"
"Yeah, decapitated bodies. Every once in a while, some men in darks suits will turn up and 'confiscate' the body from me. Usually, I haven't even gotten around to examining the body. I don't know how they get here so fast."
"Damn," Pearson muttered, running his hands through his brown hair. "So you didn't see anything?"
"I said usually," Nancy replied, a hint of satisfaction in her voice. "Tonight has been a slow night for me. I started examining the body almost as soon as it came in. They turned up after a few minutes, though."
"Great! I could use any information you discovered."
"Can I ask why?" she asked. "No corpse means no case. It's not our worry anymore. Those government assholes probably swept it under the rug. Our tax dollars hard at work."
"Just indulge me," he replied, in his sweetest voice.
Nancy snorted. "Fine. What do you want to know?"
"Did you find anything...peculiar about the body?"
"You can say that again," she replied, her voice dropping dramatically. "I've seen some weird things in my time here, but this was beyond anything I've ever seen."
The words sent a weird shiver of apprehension through him. Just calm down. You're letting this whole thing spook you. She was probably CIA or something.
"What was so weird about it?" He almost blushed when he heard the hitch in his voice.
"Well, for one thing, he didn't die from decapitation. I could see that right off. There was very little sign of bleeding. The blood around the neck had already coagulated."
"So, he was already dead," Pearson mused under his breath. "Were the burns the cause of death, then?"
"I told you I found something weird. Not dying from decapitation wasn't weird. Dying from the burns wouldn't be weird, either. No, what freaked me out was that this man appeared to have died years ago.
Silence. Pearson continued to stare at Nancy for several moments, waiting for the punch line. When it didn't come, he swallowed before speaking. "Surely you're joking."
Nancy shook her head, a hint of fear in her eyes. "No, Pearson, I wish I was. This man's skin was like old leather, like a mummy's. It was as though it had been wrapped up for years and suddenly exposed to air."
"Maybe...maybe the fire..." Pearson trailed off. He didn't even know how to begin to process this information.
"It wasn't the burns," Nancy said, shaking her head vehemently. "I cut open his chest and got a good look inside before the men in suits barged in. What I saw..."
"What? What did you see?"
Nancy took a deep breath. "It was his organs, Pearson. His heart. His lungs. His kidneys. They were shriveled up. All black and dead."
Pearson slowly backed into the table behind him, his hand reaching out to steady his suddenly weak legs. He felt something soft give way underneath his hand. He jumped away, squawking like a girl. It was another body covered with a sheet.
Nancy arched a cool eyebrow at him. "Get a hold of yourself, Pearson. You're going to scare the women."
"The organs were shriveled?" Pearson asked, in stunned disbelief. "But how is that possible? How was the man walking around?"
"I don't think either me or you really want to know the answer to that."
Who was that woman? A great weight of fear slowly dropped into his stomach, turning his insides icy cold. Nancy was right; he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
June 11, 8:58 a.m.
Dr. Daniel Gray glanced at his watch. She should be here any minute. What's taking her so long? He realized he was tapping his fingers impatiently on his desk. He took a deep breath and forced himself to be calm. The hunger was getting strong but he was still in control. If everything went according to plan, he would be able to feed tonight.
He almost sighed in relief when he heard a knock on his door. "Come in."
Lily Scott walked slowly into the room and sat down on the chair facing his desk. "Hello, Dr. Gray," she said quietly.
"How are you feeling?"
"I've had better days," she said, smiling sadly.
Daniel nearly winced at his stupid question. Poor Lily Scott was feeling anything but well right now. She had dark circles under her eyes and her skin was pale. Still, she was beautiful. Her long, dark brown hair was pulled up in a knot. Her blue eyes stared firmly back at him. She wore an unremarkable gray shirt and blue jeans. She wore no makeup. Clearly, she had no desire to maintain herself. Why would she, when death was knocking at her door?
"Thank you very much for coming, Lily. I didn't want to give you the results over the phone."
Her shoulders sagged slightly. "It's not good, is it?" she asked, with a heartbreaking smile. Tears were threatening to escape down her cheeks. "It was stupid to think it was."
Daniel looked down at her file, but he already knew what it said. He hated this part. "I'm sorry, Lily. The treatments didn't work. The cancer has spread."
Lily nodded and wiped a tear off of her cheek. "W-where did it spread?"
Daniel stared into her watery blue eyes. "Everywhere."
Lily covered her mouth with her hand. Her eyes crinkled in grief and fresh tears spilled down her cheeks. Her hand shook as she took it off her mouth. "How long?"
Daniel forced himself to continue to look into her eyes. He had to be strong for her. "One month, at best. We can try some experimental treatments...but that would only prolong your life by a few weeks at most."
Lily waved her hand. "No," she whispered, her face firming. "No more treatments. I don't want to die hooked up to all kinds of machines. I'm going home. I fought the best I could these last two years. The fight's over now."
"Lily...I'm sorry," Daniel offered. The injustice of it nearly made him vomit. She was so young and so beautiful. She deserved better than this.
"Thank you, Dr. Gray. Thank you for everything. We did our best. You gave me two more years in this world. For that, I will be eternally grateful."
Daniel hung his head. Lily's courage was simply amazing. Her ability to thank him as he gave her a death sentence was incredible. That was the strength that had sustained her for the past two years.
I can make her end beautiful. I can give her that much at least.
"Lily...what if I told you that you won't have to suffer? What if I offered you a way to die peacefully?"
Lily stared uncertainly at him. She glanced toward his office door and then leaned in close. "Are you suggesting...euthanasia?" she whispered.
"Something like that," Daniel replied. He chose his next words carefully. "I can make your end peaceful, nothing but pure bliss. You will pass with a smile on your face."
Her chest rose and fell rapidly. Her hands clutched her purse tightly. She let out a long breath. "Ok," she whispered. "You can make me go peacefully?"
"Very peacefully," he assured her. She deserved that much.
"When should we do this?" she asked nervously. She seemed scared by her own daring. She kept glancing nervously at the office door, as though afraid somebody was about to barge in and catch them.