||[Dec. 27th, 2006|10:53 pm]
Erotic Writers Anonymous
Section the tenth. A bit of a break in the romance/sweetness and back to the goods.
Suspension of disbelief: werewolves that don't have inbetween morph stages, Up State New York (yes, it does exist, namely, a village is where two roads intersect and houses were build around the bar and gas station that was put at the intersection)
Lookin help with continuity. This is where I'm at (no more info at this point) so I'm needing to fill in a few blanks within my own mind before I can continue.
Pages: About 4 at 12p Times New Roman.
Nalani tapped her pen against her bottom lip in thought.
Sasha lay at her feet, his chin on the toe of her boot, as she filled out form after tedious form.
Only half of the day shift worked in the office. The rest of the day, and all of the part-time swing shift, were out going door to door asking if anyone knew of a missing woman. Someone had found a hair while she’d been sleeping, so now Ms. Doe had a description.
By her bones, she was probably in her twenties, about five foot three. Her eyes were plucked out, a bit of information Nalani had missed the first time. Too much blood. The hair they found was a mousy brown. The officers were telling everyone that she had short, brown hair and brown eyes. Statistically, it was a good bet that that was the case. Nalani worried that the hair wasn’t from her, but from the killer. Or one of the werewolves in the area. Only the leader and a couple others had the dark grey markings. The rest had some brown and lighter grey.
The hair was on its way to the same lab that was dealing with her body. Pretty soon they’d know, one way or the other. She worried, superficially, what the tests would say if the hair turned out to be were. It wouldn’t effect her, not really, but the station would be turned on its head.
Sasha getting to his feet pulled her out of her musings. His nose pointed over her desk and straight at the door.
Mrs. Coleman looked up from her magazine at the front desk. A young man hesitated in the doorway.
His dark hair looked hastily combed back. His clothes hadn’t seen their best in years. Thin, a bit gawky, he couldn’t be old enough to buy cigarettes yet.
He didn’t look up at Mrs. Coleman when he finally did walk in. His fingers skimmed over all the objects within his touch, pausing longest over the corners of the desk.
“Can I help you?”
“This…” His voice was hoarse. He coughed and started again. “This is the police station?”
“Yes, son. What can we do for you?”
“I want to speak with Nalani Tahe, please.”
Nalani frowned. She couldn’t place his face. How would he know who she was? She set her pen down and remained in her seat.
“She’s busy working on a case right now,” Mrs. Coleman said, taking the hint when Nalani hadn’t stood to take over. “What do you want to speak with her about?”
“I think I have some information… but she said to talk with her. I don’t want, I mean, I just want to talk with her.”
“I could take your statement if you like. Or you can leave your information so she could get back to you.”
“I can wait until she gets back, I suppose.” He bit his lower lip. His fingers skimming the edge of the desk again.
“Okay, well, take a seat and I’ll let you know as soon as she’s available.”
“Okay.” He gnawed at his lip again. “Where can I sit?”
“Just over there, son.” She motioned to the set of chairs just behind him along the wall.
His head tilted slightly. He turned slowly and shuffled forward until his leg hit the edge of a chair. He cupped the arm with a hand bent to touch the seat, then carefully lowered himself down.
Mrs. Coleman cast a wide-eyed glance her way.
“He’s blind,” she mouthed. Nalani nodded, suddenly curious.
The boy’s eyes darted up when she pushed her chair back to stand. His eyes were bright, clear, and the same dark blue as the big wolf she’d been sniffed by the day before. She swallowed. One of his pack come to talk to her? But why this one? Why alone? Especially if he couldn’t see. Her nerves buzzed. The boy must have something to tell her; something important.
Sasha stuck to her side as she walked up in front of the kid. The fact that his eyes tracked her as though he could see spooked her somewhat. His nostrils flared somewhat, confirming the fact that he was a werewolf. What human would sniff her like that?
“You wanted to speak with me?”
“Yes. And you are?”
Nalani swallowed. Definitely from his pack.
“Okay, Brian. You have my attention. What would you like to talk about?”
“Could we speak in private? I… don’t like not knowing who’s in the room.”
Nalani nodded and turned to the bosses wife.
“Any rooms open?”
“Herb’s, I think. He’s off on sick leave.”
Nalani nodded. Sometimes she wished she worked in a city. Or at least a large enough township that they had a dedicated interrogation room. They’d been working on enough donations to do an addition for the past two years.
“If you would follow me, Brian.”
He nodded and stood. She touched his arm. He reached up with his other hand and cupped hers. She moved his hand to hold her elbow. He gave a small nod and she led him to Herb Miller’s office.
She closed the door behind them and guided Brian to the only guest seat not covered in stacks of overdue paperwork.
“Are we alone?”
“Just you, me, and the pooch,” Nalani replied.
Brian paused a moment. “Alexander Swanson?”
“So you are from Tristan’s pack then.”
“Do they know you’re here?”
He shook his head.
“I didn’t see you yesterday.”
“I… didn’t come out from the underbrush. I could listen just fine from where I was; it wouldn’t help me to show myself.”
Nalani nodded. “Okay, I won’t fault you for that. Why did you feel you need to come and talk to me, Brian?”
“Dad didn’t tell you everything. He was scared, we all are. That area isn’t our usual territory, and he was nervous that you would challenge him for it.”
“I basically did. The crime scene is my territory, for now.” She sat against the edge of the desk and crossed her arms under her breasts.
Brian nodded. “He won’t dispute you for that. None of us wants to go back into the lodge.”
Nalani sighed. There’s one assumption confirmed. That hair was probably from a were.
“When did you go into the lodge?”
“I never went,” Brian said. His head hung some, his eyes closed. “A couple of the others went.”
“Not long ago, maybe a week. We… sometimes we break into hunting lodges during the off season. The storms get bad sometimes.”
“That’s okay. I’m only interested in the woman who was killed. Once I find that out, I’ll be out of your family’s way. I don’t care about the rest.” Especially when exposing you’re family could eventually expose me, Sasha, and the kids. Nalani felt a little dirty for thinking that way, but couldn’t spare a moment to contemplate it.
“Dad was lying about something else too.”
“Mom. Our alpha. She didn’t die in childbirth. She was killed a couple weeks before she was due. As were two other women. There’s another pack a couple days run from here that’s missing their women too.”
Nalani’s head fell into her hands. A serial killer. What’s worse, she couldn’t tell anyone if all the victims were werewolves who had no legitimate identities.
“How many, in total?”
“Seven, if you include the woman in the lodge and the one who owned Mr. Swanson’s pelt before him. There might be others, but those are the ones I know about.
“No one can track the man whose doing it. That’s why Dad has us this close to your land. We were trying to follow him, but… he doesn’t leave a scent trail. There’s nothing to follow.
“Even I can’t smell anything.”
Nalani’s eyebrows drew together. “Even you?”
“I have the best nose in our pack. I was the one who found Mom….” He swallowed. “She… she was posed. Her skin was taken, like the woman in the lodge.”
He raised his hands, as if studying his fingers. “There was so much blood. I could smell it everywhere. I couldn’t even tell where it was until I stepped in it.
“Please, help us find him. We didn’t have anyone to turn to. We don’t exist to the cops. But you can help us. You can find him. Just tell us where he lives and-“ His jaw snapped shut.
“He can’t be tried for all the murders. But we can punish him for them all.”
Nalani sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
“For the sake of argument, I didn’t hear that, okay?”
“I want to ask you more questions, Brian. I have a feeling there’s a lot more you could give me, but I can’t do it here. We’ve been talking long enough that I should leave with lots of information.”
He nodded again.
“Can you give me the description of one of your packmates that died? Her human shape, that is. I’ll tell them that she’s gone missing and that’s what you came to tell me.”
“But they’re not missing, they’re dead.”
Nalani sighed and knelt down in front of him. She took his hands in hers. They were warm and shook a little. “I know, but I need to misdirect them some, to keep the rest of your family safe, okay?”
He nodded and squeezed her fingers. “Okay. My cousin was one of the girls who was caught. She was fourteen and was starting to look for a mate. She… Her hair was long. Her voice soft. She was strong, for her age.”
“When did it happen?”
“She went hunting eight months ago. She went alone and should have been back before sundown, but she never came back. We found her a week later.”
She squeezed his fingers again. “Okay. That will work. Is there anyway that the police can contact your family?”
“We have a post office box, three… no, four towns over. I don’t know the number though.”
“Okay. We’ll work with it. Is it under your father’s name?”
He nodded. She could track that down easily enough, given time.
“I want to talk with you again, when my shift is over. Is there a place I could meet you? Or do you have to go back to the pack now?”
“I wander off on my own all the time, so they won’t notice if I’m gone.”
Nalani doubted that somewhat, but knew better than to argue with a teenager. At the very least, she knew Tristan would smell her on his son. She wondered who would catch more flack from it, the son for going to an agent of the people, or the cop herself when she’d eventually have to deal with the Alpha again.
“How did you find the police station?”
“I smelled for your territory, then shifted and asked people.”
“Do you think you could find my home by smell?”
He paused a moment, tilting his head and drawing her scent in.
“Right now, I can smell you and Mr. Swanson clearly. Herb, this man’s office, hasn’t been in for two days, and he has diabetes. He either doesn’t know or isn’t treating it. I can smell the three pups on both of you. They’re very young. All boys. I’ll be able to find your house, no problem. Its just a matter of tracing to where the scent is strongest.”
Nalani glanced at Sasha, who looked just about as amazed as she felt.
“Well… I suppose all that needs saying then is to be careful. I won’t be offbeat for another five hours or so.”
“Would it be okay if I waited at your house? I don’t like being in the villages by myself.”
Nalani exchanged a look with Sasha again. He wrinkled his nose. They didn’t know this kid very well. Whose to say if they could trust him?
“There is a bit of woods behind my house. Its pretty secluded. If you’re feeling nervous, the back yard has a privacy fence, but it isn’t locked. The house is though.”
“I’ll stick to the woods. Fencing makes me nervous. I can’t smell walls.”
Nalani nodded. That made sense.
“Once I’m off duty then I’ll get the rest of the information, okay?”