Thursday, May 23, 2019
Take a Bite Outta Crime Part 33 by Dellani Oakes
The vampires are celebrating after a successful battle. Andres makes a surprising pronouncement.
"Actually, I thought it took you far longer than I'd anticipated. You can be abysmally dull witted when you're dipping your wick in a new woman."
Andres moved so quickly, they hardly saw him. He grabbed Heinrich by the throat, lifting him off the floor.
"You dare to try a coup? You sniveling bastard! You were nothing when I found you! A gutter rat of a man, stealing your way across London. If I hadn't turned you, the bloody night watch would have killed you! And now, after all I've done for you, this is how you repay me? I could crush you!"
Heinrich fought hard to free himself. Andres dropped him on the floor. Ringed by security, Heinrich picked himself up off the floor.
"You arrogant prick! You lord over the rest of us because you were a minor, petty aristocrat nearly a thousand years ago! If that old sod of a vampire hadn't turned you after the botched dual, you'd be dust, forgotten."
"Are you finished?" Andres drew himself up seeming to vibrate from anger.
"I suppose, unless you'd like me to grovel before you kill me."
Andres grabbed the hapless vampire, fangs descending as he turned his head to clamp down on Heinrich's throat. Staggering back, Andres clutched his side, Heinrich's dagger wobbled in his chest. Pulling it out, Andres sliced Heinrich's throat, roaring with fury. Blood sprayed everyone in the room, bathing even the humans in crimson gore.
Heinrich crumpled to the floor, his head bouncing along the floor, landing at Phillida's feet. She kicked it away from her even as it began to degrade. The body and blood fizzled and hissed, falling to dust.
"Bloody hell," Silas said from the doorway. "You've ruined the canapes, Andres!" Muttering and grousing, he picked up the tray of dust covered food and carried it to the kitchen.
Silas' exit broke the tension in the room. Even Andres laughed as the large chef stomped off.
"So, Heinrich was behind all this?" Vincent said, glaring at the place where the body had been only seconds before.
"He'd been building his army for some time," Phillida said, shaking dust from her Jimmy Choo's. "He got too bold, greedy. He didn't want to wait."
"So it was his people who targeted us?" Drea asked. "Why?"
"He wanted you to go to Andres for help. He hoped to recruit you to his side when Andres refused to help. Only he didn't," Phillida replied. "Heinrich was so sure he could drive us apart. He was almost successful."
"Let me guess, he introduced you to Carley," Tommy said with a smirk.
"He did, at a party after a show. He knew exactly how to turn my head." He touched Phillida's arm with more tenderness than Drea had ever seen. "I'm sorry, Philly."
She kissed him, her eyes soft. "You're forgiven, Andres. If you ever betray me like that again...." She didn't need to finish that statement. Her meaning was implicit.
"What I don't understand," Kirk interjected. "Why kill Jay? He was just a fish monger."
"He figured out about the caterers," Andres replied. "He supplied them too. When the illnesses were blamed on bad fish, he did some investigating. He'd tried to contact me, but Heinrich intercepted the call and murdered him."
"What will you tell Carley?" Drea asked. "Surely this will break her heart?"
Andres shuffled his feet, cursing quietly. "She's young. She'll recover. I thought I'd call...."
"You won't!" Phillida said, horrified. "You'll go see the girl and apologize for leading her on. You'll do all you can to make that girl happy or you'll have me to contend with."
"And me," Drea said.
"And me," Margo added.
Every woman in the room glared at him angrily. Andres ducked his head. The men laughed, not unkindly, as their leader looked more like a child than a centuries old vampire.
"As you wish, my love."
"When is the wedding," Margo asked Phillida.
"It will take weeks to put together. You'll cater, of course?"
"And piss of Silas?" Kirk shuddered. "The idea of having that behemoth angry with me fills me with dread. How about we do the cake?"
"Acceptable," Philly replied, smiling for the first time in ages.
"We'll help you plan," Drea volunteered. "It will be the best wedding ever."
"With the exception of mine," Margo added. "But we'll wait until after yours."
Phillida laughed, hugging the women to her. She even hugged Sandra. "Thank you. All of you."
"So," Scott said almost too loudly. "How do we write this up? The missing persons aren't missing anymore. A lot of people died, but there's absolutely no evidence linking anyone with anything. We have a huge mystery and no official statement. What do we tell our lieutenant?"
"Tell him whatever you like," Andres said. "We'll back you up."
"Time to get creative," Scott said to Sandra.
"We'll think of something," she replied.
"In the meantime, supper's getting cold!" Silas bellowed from the doorway. "Do you not hear me? Are you deaf? I've been calling you the last five minutes."
"Coming, Silas," Andres said, offering Phillida his arm.
The rest followed, chatting happily. Drea and Kirk lingered a moment after their friends exited.
"So, it was Heinrich all along. How sad. I always thought he'd make a fine leader one day," Drea said sadly.
"You get treated like crap for long enough, you learn to fight back the best you can. Much as I hate to say it, Philly and Andres brought this on themselves. They treated him like scum."
Drea nodded. "But it's over and Tommy's one of us now."
"We make quite a quartet, the bunch of us."
"We sure do. The best caterers in the city—Barr Nunne."
© 2019 Dellani Oakes
at May 23, 2019
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