Afternoon everyone! My new book “Penalty Kill” comes out on Tuesday, so if you haven’t checked out the Ragnarok on Ice series yet, you’ve got two days! Anyway, it’s time to pick back up where we left off with Vic and Liz…
The sun came glaring in and it woke me up. As my eyes came into focus, I noticed I was in a hospital bed hooked up to an IV. Sitting in the corner asleep were my parents and younger brother Felix. Dad must have heard me rustle, as he started to sit up. Soon the entire family was coherent.
“Son, you saved that vampire lady. You’re a bloody idiot, but you did your job and well.”
Before I could even respond, Felix wanted to know all the gory details. At sixteen years old, the gore and blood fascinated him. I did my best to give him the PG version for mom’s sake, but we were soon interrupted by Mayor Argent.
“Callum, Moria, a pleasure as always. Might I trouble all of you for a word with Victor?”
“Of course mayor, we were going to go grab something to eat. Victor, we will see you this afternoon.”
When they left, Argent pulled a chair up to the bed. “The situation has gone from concerning to serious overnight. Whoever is attacking vampires just attacked a territory ambassador in a werewolf community. Thank God she survived or we would be up the creek bad. Vic, whoever this is needs to be put down no matter the cost. As soon as you get out of here, Operation Cactus Killer goes into effect.”
I did my best not to roll my eyes at his ridiculous code name for the serial killer and instead told the mayor I would start as soon as possible. He told me to heal up and went to get all the information possible on last night’s attack. He said it would be on my desk as soon as he had it. My stay in the hospital was uneventful and Doctor Higgins released me around noon. I sent a text to my family and Billy telling them I was heading home. When I got to my Mustang though, I was in for a surprise.
“There is no way you can be healed that quickly.” Elizabeth looked like nothing had happened to her. I remember very vividly her condition last night; she was covered in cuts and bruises.
“What you did for me was unexpected and will never be forgotten. I am not sure why your blood worked, but it accelerated my already fast healing process.”
“You are a guest in my town; saving your life was never a question. The fact that it was required is a problem. It seems that maybe your friend has tracked you here.”
“I am not sure how this person found me, but they did not finish the job last night. Something tells me they will not stop until they do.”
She was right. Once a serial killer chooses their target, they generally don’t stop until they are successful. “Right now we need to get you down to the office for a statement. Plus, we need to get a safe house set up. This operation is now going to take place in Full Moon and until we get this guy, you are under my protective custody.”
I took out my cell phone and gave Billy a call. I told him to get Jacobs in and that I would be down to the station soon with the victim from last night’s attack. I knew he wanted more information, but I told him to wait, and there was more going on than I felt comfortable sharing on the phone. After I finished the call, I tossed Elizabeth my phone.
“I’m sure you have people to get a hold of too. Use my phone until we get your stuff back okay?”
“Thank you, once again you are on top of matters. My faith in you was well placed I see.”
I sure hoped it was. We got into my car and the entire drive down she was letting different people know what was going on. When she asked me if I had international calling, I nearly choked but she promised to pay back any bills incurred. I knew for a fact my phone never dialed an area code outside the state, let alone country.
“Everyone of importance knows what is going on. If it is okay with you sheriff, I have asked for two of my top men to come in and assist you. Consider them field agents to be used at your disposal.”
“If they can help us, I have no problem with that. Now when we get to the station, just give your official statement to Billy and we can go from there.”
“Should I inform them I was at your house last evening?”
That would get me some looks but no, we could not start this investigation off with any lies. “Tell them everything. What I do on my time is none of their business.”
When we got to the station everyone was there. I sent Elizabeth into our conference room with Billy to give her statement to him. As she started her story with leaving my back deck, I got all sorts of looks from the mayor, DA, and Talia, but I told them to knock it off. My personal life was not going to catch a killer.
After leaving, Elizabeth was on her way back to where she was staying which turned out to be the White Fang Motel on the edge of town. It gets some travelers here and there, but it is far enough away from town that no one ever wonders in.
It was the dark patch of road between the city limits and the motel where the attack happened. She was hit by a car and knocked down into the ditch. Her attacker then got out and started slicing her up, trying to bleed her out. The only good thing is he did not know how old a vampire she was. Elizabeth was able to collect herself just long enough to punch him in the side and break a few ribs. The attacker relented but not before dropping the cactus branch that Billy found at the scene. As the first responder on the scene, it was just luck he was driving out there at that time.
“So Vic, what do you think we are dealing with here? Do you really think a human could be capable of pulling this off?”
“That I don’t know, mayor. We could be dealing with a very well organized one that has known about the community for a while now or maybe we need to consider this is an internal vampire problem. Either way, they are in Full Moon now and they aren’t leaving. Not until she is dead anyway.”
“I don’t like it, not at all. Either option is not desirable but at least if it is a rogue vampire, we don’t have to worry about further discovery.”
“Let’s not worry about what could happen. I’m going to head out to the crime scene and take a look, see if I can pick up anything. While I do that, can you set up a safe house for our vampire friend?”
“Of course, I actually think I have a good place in mind.” He kind of stared off into space for a second before coming back down. “Once you give the scene a good look over, give me a call. You’re the best at this Vic, don’t forget that. Our perp doesn’t know what he is messing with.”
The mayor and I shook hands and we were both off. Billy said he would keep an eye on Elizabeth until the mayor got her set up. I hopped into my car and was off to the crime scene. It didn’t take too long to get there, and once out of the car I walked the scene.
You could see the tire marks where the car hit its brakes after initial contact. Dried blood was everywhere as well. The amount of blood she must have lost was incredible. Now that I was here, I closed my eyes and took in the scene through my other senses. Once I was able to get passed the smell of blood, I noticed a few things. The strongest was the smell of garlic, which I thought was a bit odd. Also, lingering was gas, some sort of scented oil, and burning rubber from the tires.
I followed the smell of garlic over into the grass where the majority of the attack happened. Once in the grass and off the road, I picked up the musky scent that would have belonged to the attacker. I took a detour and followed that for a ways until I came back to the road, about a mile from the scene. It seemed two people were in on this, a driver as well as the attacker.
Just as I was getting ready to head back, something caught my eye a bit further back. It looked like someone threw something back off the road. I walked over and lying on the ground was the last thing I would’ve guessed to have seen here. Our first clue in this whole investigation was a well worn King James Bible. I opened it up, and sure enough there was a name and even a church listed. It seemed I would be heading up to Elephant Butte and paying Rev. Warren Tucker a visit at Holy Methodist.