Here’s the FFF for today. Enjoy!
Both vamps were young, probably no more than forty or fifty years, and had been missing for over a year. Both showed signs of being frozen too. With their bodies being submerged in the water and then floating ashore I wasn’t able to use the magic surrounding them to ascertain any information about who dumped them which was in a word frustrating.
Over the next two weeks three more bodies washed ashore; all young vamps, all frozen with their spleens removed and all went missing within a few months of each other. The general consensus was that they were captured and killed in an attempt to find out everything they could about vampere. Now that the bodies were used up the killers were disposing of them. More than one agent had agreed with Tristan’s government conspiracy theory.
“It is time daughter. You have put it off much too long.”
I sighed before looking at my father. He was sitting in the single chair facing my desk while I stood in front of the window. The day outside was as dreary as the mood I was in. I knew he was right but I hated what I would have to do. I nodded and Lucian rose before holding his hand out to mine. I hesitated for a moment then took it. He allowed me to take a deep breath before he warped the space around us and manipulated it until we reached our destination.
He released my hand and took a step away as I became acclimated with my new surroundings. I hate traveling by portal that way. It was very rare that a Fabled had the ability to open their own portals at will. The only species known to have that ability are the djinn and they are an extremely rare breed. Lucian was the most powerful wizard in existence so he was used to manipulating not only magic but pretty much everything, and everybody, else. It was because of his unique abilities I was still living on this earth.
I looked around us and saw he had brought us onto the roof of a medieval castle in the middle of the eastern Alps. I dislike this overdone castle almost as much as I like the overdone vamp who owned it.
“Ah, Lucian. What an unexpected visit.” He bowed to my father before turning to me. “And Sunny, you grow more beautiful every day.”
“Augustus. Thank you for meeting with us,” Lucian said while I studiously ignored the pompous vamp.
“You know I am always willing to help one of our agents find a killer. Especially you Sunny.”
I managed a face that vaguely resembled a smile but probably looked more like a grimace.
“Come. Let us retire inside. Then you can tell me how I can help you.”
He put his hand to the small of my back and I wanted to rip it off but I reached deep inside and searched for a shred of diplomacy to help me through this situation.
Augustus Aigner was the head of the entire species of vampere and second in leadership of the council. He liked everything elaborately gaudy, probably to detract from his own unattractiveness. He was the only not good looking vamp I have ever seen. It wasn’t that he was ugly per se just average. He was turned in his early thirties but even at that early of an age he had a major receding hairline. The fact that what hair remained was practically white and long enough to reach his thighs only made the loss more prominent. He had cold blue eyes and his face was stuck in a permanent grimace that made him look constipated. Oh, and he was one of the most arrogant, pompous, astutely ignorant men I have ever had the displeasure of knowing which only made him more unattractive. My dislike for him ran way deeper than my prejudice against vamps themselves. If I was honest I would know that it wasn’t vamps as a race that I disliked but instead the few that I knew personally. But I would have to also say that those few didn’t give me much hope for the rest of the species.
Augustus led us into his elaborately decorated sitting room and took a seat at an arm chair that looked dangerously close to being a throne. He motioned for us to sit in the other opulent chairs surrounding his throne. I had a mental battle with my eyeballs to force them not to roll and only barely managed to win. We sat in a pair of chairs angled to face each other as well as our host.
“Would you like a drink, Sunny?”
I shook my head and he looked displeased with my response. He turned to Lucian.
“Yes, a nice brandy should do well.” My father, always the diplomat. Until he kills you in when you least expect it anyway. There was a reason he was head of the council. Power comes with a price. Ruthlessness was the penance he paid.
Augustus looked at a servant who was standing by the door and he immediately started pouring the drinks. I watched his movements and realized he was no servant at all. I wonder if Augustus always has his bodyguards fetch his drinks for him or if he called this one in because of us. The thought kind of makes me feel special.
The bodyguard brought Lucian’s drink and caught me watching him. He gave me a wink and I gave him my first genuine smile since I got here.
“It is an honor to have you here, thief,” he said for my ears only after giving my father his drink.
I nodded back to him. Thief indeed.
“That is enough Drake,” Augustus said.
“Drake? Kinda cliché isn’t it?” I asked him.
He smiled and shrugged. “My mother’s choice. What can you do?”
I nodded again and he returned to his station at the door. Drake the vamp. I’ll have to remember him. Judging by his movements and the control he showed over his every one, he would be a force to reckon with if I were to ever have to fight him. Then again I could just steal his magic. That is how I got the nickname “thief” in the first place. Perhaps nickname is the wrong word for it though. Friends call you by a nickname and none of my few friends call me thief. It was more of a name my reputation earned me. I wasn’t sweating it though. I’ve been called a lot worse names and I guess thief is a fitting one.
“Now, what can I do for you today?” Augustus asked as he relaxed back into his throne.
Lucian looked at me. I guess I was running the show today.
“Have there been any recent disappearances in the vampere community? I’m primarily interested in the state of Texas.”
Augustus’ eyes narrowed at me. I have no doubt he already knew about the bodies we found and probably had his own copies of the files. I’m also sure he was planning on me asking if he knew anything about it but what would be the use. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to say if he did know about it. Vampere tend to handle their own messes. The thing that kept nagging me about these bodies was why were the killers getting rid of them. They had them for over a year and now within a couple of weeks they were dumping them all. If it was as the other agents thought and the killers were using the vamps to gather info, then it’s likely they will want to continue to gather that information. And, if that’s the case, it’s likely more vamps will be, or have been, captured.
I sat and tried to look innocently at Augustus as he debated what to tell me.
“It is rare that vampere disappear. I would have to look into…”
“It’s rare that they disappear? Yet at least six were captured and killed over a year ago and the council has no record of the disappearances or that they were even investigated at all.”
“The vampere handle our own affairs. We do not need others in our matters.”
“Really? Let’s ask Mr. Ortega if he would have preferred to have our assistance when his boy was killed. Or, for that matter, let’s ask any of the sires whose children were stolen if they would have preferred to exhaust all possible venues in an attempt to save their children. I thought this was a unified front.”
“And who would we be at battle with, thief.”
Oh, we resorted to name calling did we. “Anyone who would do harm to innocents. Those vampere did not deserve to die like that. I have been working this case for two weeks and have continually dug into the lives of these victims without finding any wrongdoing on their parts at all. Hell, they were typical blue-collared workers. Ordinary people who were stolen and frozen to death. If more vampere are being stolen, we need to stop this before they suffer the same fate.”
He sighed. “I will give you what information I have. Only. If you are the agent to work this case. I will not have just anyone meddling in our business.”
I nodded. “I’m already on the case anyway. So, missing vamps?”
“Yes, there have been three vampere stolen from the Fort Worth area over the last two weeks.”
I sat back in my chair. So they have been replenishing their stock. “I’ll need all the information you have on these vampere. Did you find anything useful in your investigation so far?”
He looked lost. “I didn’t think there was any correlation to your investigation until now. We had assumed they ran away from their sires. It happens unfortunately.”
“So three vamps go missing in a matter of two weeks and you don’t investigate? I thought you said vampere don’t often disappear.”
“They do not. In the event they are temporary lost, they are later found.”
“Usually, you mean. Usually they are found but sometimes they are stolen and killed. I guess you could say the six vamps who were lost temporarily lost a year ago are now found too.”
“Yes, I believe that could be said.”
Vamps. Mind games and the convolution of words are their forte. I stood up.
“Well, thank you for your time Augustus. If you will get me the information I need, we’ll get out of your hair.”
His eyes narrowed again. I tried not to snicker.
Sorry but this excerpt reminded me of this pic. Too funny. Happy Friday everyone!