Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 22 by Dellani Oakes
Sandra says she is happy to help them track down whoever is hunting vampires. She plans to assemble a team to watch them at the modeling agency.
"And the stake?"
"Not telling all our secrets," Kirk replied judiciously.
Although the stake wasn't fatal, it was painful and slowed their bodies to a near death-like sleep. After that, they were vulnerable and could be killed. He'd rather not tell her that.
"We'll get started on this right away," Sandra said, suddenly businesslike. "I'll call you as soon as the team is assembled."
"How will you explain this?"
"I'll think of something," she replied. "Fanatic group targeting Wiccans or something. You don't mind that, I hope?"
"Drea and I have been many things over the years. Wiccan, among them. No, we don't mind. That's actually a good cover. Thank you, Sandra." Kirk kissed her hand.
"We owe you much," Drea said. "If you can help us solve this, we'll cater your wedding for free."
"I'll do my best, even without that," she said, smiling. "It's my job to help good people."
They went back to their hotel with a young man who was a civilian worker in the department. He was very talkative when he found out they were caterers. He loved to cook, and was working as with the police until he could afford to open his own place.
"You hiring?" he asked as he opened the car door for them.
"We might be at that," Drea said with a smile. "We'll let you know."
"Thanks." He grinned, saluting as he drove away.
"We don't need him," Kirk said with finality.
"If he's any good, we do. Need I remind you when you and Margo are playing detective, Tommy and I are still fulfilling our contracts. The work is split among four. It will be hard with two, easier with three."
"You have a point."
"I'll be careful, love. I promise. And Tommy can be relied upon to be discrete."
"Also true. All right. Call him and set an audition.... or interview, whatever you want to call it."
"I'll conduct it. You'll be too picky."
He chuckled, conceding her point.
The next morning, Kirk and Margo reported to the photo shoot extra early. They wanted a chance to look around before the business of the day began. They didn't find anything out of the ordinary. There was the usual hustle and bustle of the hurry up and wait nature of the business. Fortunately, the people in charge were more on the ball than some. There was more hurry and less waiting than they'd anticipated.
When they weren't in front of the camera, thus negating yet another vampire myth, they did more poking around. About two hours into the day, Margo hit pay dirt. It might not have seemed like it to some, but she'd been associated with the fashion business far longer than many. A history of nearly seven decades of both modeling and design (under pseudonyms, of course), she knew how things worked. It struck her as odd that there was so idle chitchat among the models and crew. In fact, it was so quiet, she found it mildly disturbing.
The crew went about their jobs efficiently. The models came and went as told. None of them seemed to feel things were out of the ordinary, but they didn't have Margo's senses. Even before becoming a vampire, she had extraordinary perception. Some might call it clairvoyance or ESP. Margo called it her cat sense.
"Were I to sprout whiskers, they'd be vibrating now," she whispered to Kirk. "Something isn't right."
"I have a feeling like there's a musician in the orchestra playing slightly off key and a beat behind. Though the piece sounds superb, something's off."
"All you needed to do was agree with me," Margo said with a pout.
"I agree completely. But what? What aren't we seeing?"
The waitress came over with a tray of delicious, low calorie appetizers. She handed some to Kirk and Margo, who ate happily. Both were very hungry.
"I can't give away the canapes," she complained. "No one eats. Even if the models don't, crew always does! I'll have to throw it all away."
"What did we do wrong?" Kirk asked, sniffing it.
"Nothing. Delicious as always," Margo replied as she smoothed her skirt. "And no one's talking but us."
"We'd better stop," Kirk replied, putting the hors d'oeuvre back. "Oh, we're being called." He rose, smiling. "Be right there!"
Margo wiped crumbs from his face, kissing his cheek. Kirk and Margo were a playing pair of super models recently hired by Andres. They had to act the part.
After seeing Kirk and Margo eat, it was obvious her food had no ill side effects for the lead model, more people drifted over to eat. One of the gaffers stayed to chat with Tommy, who was manning the beverages. He was tall, with long black hair, glasses and a big belly.
"Thank God," he said softly. "Didn't think we were gonna get to eat!"
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
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