The Slayers Ch. 04bykalamazoo707©
The mewling sounds grew louder as Jian reached for the door knob. Brittney tried to figure out if the sounds were coming from a male or female. They were so low pitched that she couldn't really be sure. As much as she loved Paul, she hoped that the sounds were coming from Amanda. Her stomach roiled and she fought the urge to vomit. She buried her face between Jian's shoulder blades too afraid to look.
When the door opened, an odor so strong wafted out that Brittney let go of Jian, turned and dry heaved. Jian went into the room glad that Brittney wasn't with him. It gave him a moment to prepare her for whatever he found.
Paul was sitting in a chair motionless. His eyes were glazed over, but opened wide as if in horror. The mewling sounds were coming from him. Jian looked to see if he was tied to the chair and was initially perplexed to see that he wasn't. He turned in the direction that Paul was facing and paled. Amanda's lifeless body was sprawled across the bed. The smell was coming from her. He saw the bite marks on her neck and understood why Paul was sitting as if he were tied. He turned to leave the room and intercepted Brittney as she was going in.
"No," Jian said stopping her. "Do not go in there."
"Amanda!" Brittney screamed around him. "Answer me! Amanda!"
"Where is she?" she screamed crying. "Let me go!" she screamed as she pounded Jian's chest.
For the first time since he met her, Jian held her. It wasn't how he envisioned the first time that he held her but it was what it was. He didn't have to tell her that her sister was dead-she knew it, had known it but hadn't accepted it. Now she had no choice.
"I- I want to see her," she cried into Jian's chest. "I need to see her."
"If that was your sister wouldn't you want to see her? Now let me go damn it!"
She had forgotten about Paul until he cried out again.
"Paul?" she yelled as she pushed past Jian. "Paul? What happened? Who did this? Where's Amanda?"
Like Jian had done, Brittney turned in the direction where Paul's glazed eyes were staring.
"Oh godohgodohgodohgod OHGod!!! Amanda? Oh my god wake up! Please wake up!"
Jian stood back watching as Amanda approached the bed where Amanda's body lay in an unnatural position. Her neck had clearly been broken and large gaping holes were on the side of her neck. Brittney didn't seem to notice them as she touched Amanda's cold body and then shook it.
"Who did this to you?" she crooned as tears ran down her face. "Who took you away from me?"
"Brittney, we must take Paul for help," Jian said.
"What?" Brittney asked half dazed.
Jian recognized the signs, Brittney was going into shock. It was a mixed blessing. On one hand she wasn't thinking clearly enough to want to call the police, but on the other hand it delayed the grieving process.
"Paul needs our help," Jian gently repeated. "He saw who did this..."
"We have to call the police," Brittney said suddenly snapping out of her shock.
"No Qin ai de-beloved, we cannot. They cannot help with this."
"What do you mean they can't help?" Brittney yelled. "Someone killed my sister and drugged Paul! We have to call for help!"
"Brittney you must listen to me," Jian said firmly but gently. "The police will not find the one who did this..."
Brittney wasn't listening. She took out her cell phone and tearfully called the police. Jian didn't try to stop her. If it was what she needed to do in order to begin dealing with her sister's death then so be it. He would deal with any fallout later.
"Ummm police? This is Brittney Marsh- I'm at my sister's house and – and sh... she... she's dead. I- I don't know- I found her and... y... yes. No... her boyfriend, but I think they drugged him... He's breathing- no he hasn't said anything can you just get here?"
Brittney gave the address and hung up, touched Amanda's body again and moved from the bed. She gave the body another look and began to sob.
"I felt something! I felt something and I didn't do anything! Yes I did- I bought a damned juicer! I ignored the feeling that I should call you for a damned juicer!"
Jian watched her with a heavy heart. "So this is what it feels like to watch your mate hurt" he thought to himself as she walked toward her. He ignored Paul's soft moans and went to Brittney. She was his focus and not Paul. When he reached her he put his arms around her. This time she didn't pull away but wrapped her arms around his waist and held on tight. They could hear the sound of rapidly approaching sirens. The police would soon be there.
"Amanda? Baby?" Paul weakly, "are you ok?"
Brittney pulled away from Jian and looked at Paul. He was fully awake. His eyes were clearer but still glazed. She watched as he toppled from the chair to the floor with a loud thump. She ran over to him and called put his name as she touched his face.
"Paul? Wake up! You have to tell us who did this! Paul!"
But he was out cold.
A few seconds later, the police were pounding on the front door. Brittney ran down the stairs to let them in. Jian stood back in a corner to watch. He didn't want to interact with human law enforcement unless he absolutely had to and so far; Brittney was doing relatively fine. When they asked if she was alone; she said yes. Jian nodded with satisfaction. The need to protect him was there and she acted on it twice without understanding it and without being aware that she was doing it. He watched as the police followed by EMTs entered the bedroom.
"Hey buddy! Can you hear me?" The paramedic who was taking his vital signs asked. "Does anyone know if he took anything?" He called out.
"He doesn't take drugs if that's what you mean," Brittney replied hugging herself.
"What about prescription meds?"
"No-wait- Amanda said that he just started cholesterol medications, but that's all I know. Is he going to be alright?"
"We need to get moving," the other paramedic said after he started a large bore IV. A moment later, Paul's large body was on a stretcher. A liter of normal saline was running wide open and was already half gone. The paramedic had another bag open and ready to spike as soon as the current one emptied. His partner checked Paul's vital signs, documented them and gave the okay to move him.
"I'm coming with you," Brittney said. She knew that Amanda wouldn't have wanted Paul to be alone. There was nothing more that she could do for her sister, but she could be there for Paul. The police asked her one more question that made her flush with anger.
"Do you think that he's capable of murder?"
"Paul? Absolutely not! He loved her!"
Jian watched as the medical examiner made the inevitable discovery of the neck wounds on Amanda's body.
"Whoa!" he exclaimed and started snapping pictures. "Detective did you see this?"
What impressed Jian was that the medical examiner acted as if he had seen something similar before. The detective had a much stronger reaction.
"What the hell happened to her? It looks like something bit her."
By then, much to Jian's relief; Brittney was gone. How she hadn't seen the gaping wounds he didn't know, but he was thankful that she hadn't. It was one less thing to deal with. The priority was getting her over her grief and teaching her how to control her anger. The anger hadn't come yet- but it would especially when the police would clear Paul and have no other suspects. There would be no prints and no physical evidence. They swabbed Amanda's neck for DNA but there would be none. The neighborhood would be canvassed but no one will remember hearing anything out of the ordinary. People at Paul and Amanda's jobs would be interviewed and none of them would recall if they had any enemies. They might find that Amanda had a few unrequited love interests who they would interview and then later clear. In the end, Amanda's case would join the hundreds of others in the cold case department. Some of those cases would eventually be solved bringing a measure of peace to the families and justice to the killers. But Amanda's case wouldn't be one of them. It would be up to Jian and Brittney to find Amanda's killer.
Jian was thankful for another thing- Amanda was truly dead. The vampire that killed her had made sure of that. Had he not, there would have been a problem-he or another slayer would have had to hunt Amanda down and kill her. More than likely, they would have had to kill Paul too because Amanda could have inadvertently turned him. He slipped from the house, went to his car and drove to the hospital where Paul was taken.
Brittney sat in the cubicle holding Paul's hand. He was going to be devastated when he found out that Amanda was gone. There was so much to think about. A service to plan, what Paul wanted to do about the house...
"We're going to find them," Brittney said softly. "They won't get away with taking her away from us."
In Brittney's mind, there had to have been more than one person. Paul was a big guy and even if taken by surprise, he would have put up a hell of a fight. Now that she was relatively calmer, a few things began to niggle at her. There had been no signs that he had put up a struggle. Maybe the assailants had a weapon. Maybe....
Jian stood outside of the cubicle listening. He listened to the tone of Brittney's voice and tasted her words. He heard the determination in her voice and tasted the sincerity of her words. Some of the anxiety that he had about her controlling her anger lessened. The focused Brittney was coming out. He stepped into the small cubicle and sat on the stool next to her. To his surprise, Brittney leaned over and put her head on his shoulder. He moved closer to her and took a hand in his.
"We will find him," he said quietly. "I promise you this."
The doctor came in a few minutes later.
"The drug and alcohol screens are all negative. The paramedics said that he just started a new medication- when was that?"
"I-I don't know for sure, but it hasn't been for very long- Friday I think. Do you think he's having an allergic reaction?"
"Not if he's been on it for a few days," The doctor replied. "I think that what we're seeing is shock. He witnessed something horrific. We're going to send him to ICU for a few days. I don't like how he's in and out of consciousness. When he wakes up we'll do a psych consult. Does he have any relatives close by?"
"He has a mother and sisters but they live in New Jersey..."
"Do you have a number?"
"No-but I can get it," Brittney said before she realized that it meant going back to the house which was now a crime scene.
"Fine, can you call the ICU with the number?" The doctor asked. "They'll be moving him after we do a CT scan and MRI."
They stayed until Paul was transferred to the ICU. Jian drove Brittney to his house and made her sit while he made tea. By the time he returned to the living room, Brittney was on the floor curled into a tight ball and sobbing. He sat the tea down, sat next to her on the floor and pulled her onto his lap and wrapped his arms around her. He didn't speak- it wasn't what she needed. Nor did he make the small sounds of comfort that humans tended to make. She needed to grieve.
Xavier rose early. He hadn't rested well. He couldn't forget the way that the last woman- Kelley Ann Wilkins had died. It was-dignified- a word that he had never used in the same sentence as human. He wondered where she had found that dignity and decided that it had always been there in spite of what she did for a living. He wondered how many other humans had that quality. He pushed his thoughts of Kelly aside and thought about the thief in his employ.
Unable to settle, he got up and walked around the room to think. If there was one thief there were others. His hope was that after tonight thievery would no longer be a problem. He pushed the intercom button located by the bathroom door and waited for a response.
"I'm up for the evening- bring my usual breakfast."
"Yes sire-there is also news that you will be interested in hearing."
"Tell me when you bring my meal," Xavier said.
He was curious as to what the news could be, but the servant hadn't said that it was an emergency. He went into the bathroom and as he did every morning and evening; examined himself. He wasn't sure of what he was looking for during the exam. He never found anything. But it was an integral part of his morning and evening preparation. He couldn't start or end his night and mornings without it.
He checked his dark hair, his teeth and then finally his face. The odd thing was that he didn't examine the rest of his body in the same meticulous manner. He looked down at his semi-erect cock and continued to his feet. Finished with the examination, he turned so that his back was to the mirror. He craned his neck so that he could see his back. He gave his backside a cursory glance and pronounced himself perfect.
"Sire? Your breakfast is here," the servant called from outside of the bathroom.
Xavier walked out totally nude. He was comfortable with and loved his body. The staff no longer paid any attention to him even if he walked through the house naked. Any guests that came to the house by either invitation or drop in never knew what to expect. If he greeted them in the nude, they wisely ignored it.
"Tell me this news that you think that I would be interested in," Xavier said as he sat at the small rollaway table.
The servant who had been with Xavier for longer than any of the others filled the crystal goblet with spiced wine and stepped back.
"Sire- a contact from the police department called last evening. Apparently a human woman was killed by one of our kind."
"So?" Xavier asked not seeing the issue. "Was she one of my stock?"
"Then I don't see..."
"The woman was one who had connections-family. There was also a witness."
This gave Xavier pause.
"What of the witness?" he asked.
"He is in the intensive care ward and unable to give any information."
"Then no problem," Xavier said relaxing. "No one will believe him if he even saw whoever it was as he truly is and-they may even pin the murder on him."
"Sire-there's a bit more."
"What else can there be?" Xavier asked as he took a sip of the cool blood spiced wine.
"It was the woman's sister who found the body and called the police. Your contact believes that she wasn't alone."
"I'm assuming that he has the name and address of the sister?"
Xavier realized that the servant was waiting for permission to speak freely.
"Say what's on your mind."
"Your contact has reason to believe that the other person was a slayer..."
"Who was the contact?" Xavier asked nonchalantly. Depending on whom it was there might be nothing to worry about.
"It was the medical examiner- he did not leave a name."
This was cause for concern. One of the reasons that he hired the medical examiner was because he was psychically sensitive to other beings- especially slayers. It was an extremely rare gift and he counted himself fortunate to have found the man. At some point he planned to have the medical examiner working at his side but not yet.
"Thank you Mitchell, you are dismissed."
Xavier finished his breakfast thinking about the news that he had just received. He knew about the slayers although he had never met one. He knew that they traveled in pairs-mated pairs which meant if there had been a slayer at the house, the female was his mate.
His heart raced. Slayers could ruin everything that he had worked for. Entire financial dynasties had toppled because of a slayer. If the female of the dead woman was a slayer's mate- they would never stop looking for the culprit. This killer- whoever he or she was had just made things more difficult for him. He had to find out who it was and dispose of him. He also had to find out who and where the slayer was. If there was one pair, then others weren't far away. Later he would call the medical examiner and get the name and address of the female slayer.
Jian held Brittney long after she had stopped crying and was asleep in his arms. As he waited for her to wake up, he thought about the crime scene. It had been careless of the killer to leave Paul alive. There was always a chance that someone would believe him if he said that it was a monster. That led to the next question- what had Paul seen? They wouldn't know that until he was fully awake.
Next he thought about the medical examiner- his reaction to seeing the bite marks was something other than what Jian assumed it was. Where would he have seen something like that? The monsters while brutal made sure to kill only those with no connections, but this one had made a mistake. The monsters also always made sure to leave no trace of their presence. Something was wrong.
Jian closed his eyes and replayed the entire scene in his head. It was like watching a movie but much clearer. He could hear the sounds and smell the smells that had been there. When he got to the part where the medical examiner found the wounds, he paused the memory and examined the man. On the face of it he looked normal. But his reaction to the bite marks wasn't. He wasn't as surprised as he should have been, Jian realized. The medical examiner was familiar with vampires. Jian restarted the memory and paused it when the man slightly turned his head to the left- the direction that he –Jian had been standing and then turn away.
"He saw me," Jian murmured. "He tried to act as if he didn't, but he did."
Although he hated to do it, he eased Brittney onto the matted floor and covered her with a light blanket. He needed to find out what the medical examiner was going to do with the information and who he worked for. He wasn't worried about being reported to the police but if he worked for the monsters there could be a problem. Many humans worked for the monsters if only for financial gain. The monsters as were the slayers were always watching for humans to sway to their side. Which side was this man on?
Jian took his cell phone out and called Winona.
"Are you home?" she asked.
"Yes and I need you here. I will explain when you get here."
Five minutes later, Winona aka Mrs. Nolan was at the door with a plate of cookies in her hand.
"What's happening?" she asked as she handed Jian the plate of cookies.
Jian led her to the living room and explained what happened.
"Do you think that this is what we've been feeling?" Winona asked.
"Maybe," Jian replied, "but I do not think that this is all of it. I think that Amanda's death was a random thing that may have caused unforeseen ramifications. You know how the monsters work- they are meticulous in covering up their brutality. Why was a witness left? Why take the chance that someone will believe him? But what concerns me more is that the medical examiner saw me."
"Maybe he is with us," Winona said as she looked over at Brittney.
"Maybe, but maybe he isn't," Jian replied. "I want you to stay with Brittney. If she wakes and asks where I am tell her that I will return shortly."
Before he left, Jian planted a soft kiss on Brittney's head and murmured a few words. Then he was gone.
Medical examiner Ephraim J. Cook was quite proud of himself. After today he was quite sure that his time in the medical examiner's office was close to an end. He hated his job with a passion, but it paid the bills. He had been counting down the years until his retirement- now it could be a matter of days. He was surprised but not shocked at the way the woman had died. He had seen it before. But a living witness did surprise him. The real shock had been spotting the slayer. He hoped that the slayer didn't realize that he had been spotted, but they were damned good at what they did. Had he not been gifted with being able to sense slayers, he wouldn't have spotted him.