A/N: Thanks for reading! Hopefully you find this to be quite tantalizing- and don't worry, it will be finished soon!

"That's right- I'm telling you, he hasn't been-" the woman on the phone blushed for a moment, then shook her head. "He hasn't been- WITH- me for over three weeks now. And it all started whenever he purchased that stupid horse of his. He won't even let me see the thing- I'm beginning to think that this 'horse' of his is nothing but a harlet whose show name is 'Horse'."

The voice on the other end comforted her, and she shed a few tears. "But- I'm his WIFE, for God's sake. That's why my last name's Farcelli, and not MacDougal anymore, remember? The reason that I left my home. I think he's really going to do it, Cheri. I really think he is."

More words on the other end tried to console the woman.

"I don't know what to do- I can't go to the police because I believe my husband is having an affair with a- with a horse, real or imagined! Can you imagine how much they'd laugh at me? And then tell them that I think he's plotting to have me finished off? I'd be laughed out of the police station."

Tears streamed down her face. "I- I don't know what to do."

Suddenly a door opened behind the woman speaking, and she whispered into the reciever. "I-I've got to go. I'll talk to you later, Cheri." She quickly placed the phone down onto its main part, and turned around quickly to face the steps that were coming towards her.

"L-Lewis! What are you doing back from the stables so early...?"

"You suspect me of something, don't you, Marianne?"

"I- I don't know what you're talking about, Lewis-"

The man smiled, his teeth pearly white with intelligence. "Oh, I know, Marianne. I know that you've been trying to find out about the new woman in my life."

"The new- the new WOMAN? Then I was right! Lewis, you-"

"She's just a horse," He said, continuing to wear his eerily cheerful grin. "Why?" He walked next to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. "The only new woman in my life is the filly that I purchased from the pet shop about three weeks ago."

"But- but since then, you've been rather... circumspect about being near me, Lewis. You've- you've changed. And not for the better. We haven't even been, well... together for almost a month now, and I-"

She leaned against his shoulder, tears streaming now at a more rapid pace.

"I've just been so worried about everything- about us, and I-"

"Shhh," he whispered, stroking her cheek with his left hand. He smiled gently as she cried, his eyes clouded. "Don't worry. There will be nothing to worry about soon."

"You- you think so?" she asked, her tears pausing for a moment. He smiled, and not just his smile reflected light as he placed his hand on her shoulder.

"I know so. Just be patient."

Her patience cost much, for after a few minutes, she no longer had to wait to find the peace she so desired.

"A horse. I told you already, Detective," Count D said to the group who now sat around the table that held the china tea set.

"A horse. You tell me it's a horse. Just like you told me the last couple times that it was an ordinary enough animal. A lizard. A dog. A freaking rabbit. All of which END UP KILLING PEOPLE!"

"Leon-" Bill said warningly, raising an eyebrow. Count D smiled gently behind his cup of tea, then set it down.

"He has reason, I think, to be hesistant in believing me. A great deal of the police cases that he gets called in for have to do with unfortunate circumstances surrounding broken contracts. Otherwise, most of the sales contracts I have go very well, and both the pet and owner are supremely pleased."

"...are you for real?" Bill asked, blinking.

"So cute!" May continued to exclaim, now rubbing her finger behind the little flying Q-chan's ears. Rally shook her head and in response to her partner's outcry, then smiled at the Count.

"So, there's a contract involved with all of these... failed pet owners?"

"Yes. And quite a shame it is whenever they fail. I honestly pray that each will succeed and that they will enjoy each other's company. Sadly... it does not often turn out this way."

"Okay. So these... contracts," Bill started, crossing his arms, "whenever they're broken, make you ineligible to be blamed for the consequences?"

"Correct."

"That's rather convenient, especially when so many of these contracts end up with the owner being killed," Bill noted. He gave the Chinaman a long, hard stare. He glanced at Rally, whose expression was one of obvious pensive nature.

"Well... what were the three sales terms?" She asked, placing her right index finer against her chin. The Chinaman smiled.

"Well, I shall tell you, but I believe that my Detective friend here has something that he has been hiding behind his back," the Count said, smilling. "Or so, Q-chan has told me." The little creature, still sitting in May's hands, squeaked.

"Oh. Yeah." Leon grumbled, then pulled out a bag from his left jacket pocket. On its outer skin, it read "Godiva", and Count D's eyes literally sparkled with life.

"Ah! You always seem to know exactly what is on my mind," the raven-haired man said, smiling as he picked up the package and opened it gently. His eyes practically popped from their sockets as he beheld the 'crown jewel' that he had just been brought. He squealed excitedly when he realized that the item that was in the bag was none other than a collection of hazelnut and almond truffles.

"The sales terms?" Leon asked, reiterating Rally's earlier comment. "I know you told me earlier, but if a lovely lady wishes to know, then I must ask again," he added, winking at Rally as he spoke.

Rally's expression became nonplussed.

"Oh, yes, the sales terms," Count D cheerfully responded, his fingers already arranging the chocolates in an appealing manner of which to eat. "The sales terms were these, and these alone. One, that he should always burn incense around the creature. Two, to never let anyone see her but himself, and himself alone. Three, to never let her breed with any but her own line."

"Doesn't sound particularly suspicious to me," Rally commented, still less than happy with Leon's mannerisms. She gave May a pointed look, which was ignored by the still-infatuated blonde.

"These conditions are not hard, not by any means, to keep. Unfortunately, some things are not easy for some people. Some things can even be, what would one say, impossibly hard for one to keep to."

May suddenly returned from her dreamland, blinking. "You mean- it's hard for people to just... do little things like burning incense?" She put a finger to her mouth. "I don't think that'd be difficult for someone like Farcelli."

Rally, after a thankful prayer for bringing her partner back to Earth, continued. "I agree. They don't sound like hard terms for someone to follow."

Leon rolled his eyes. "You say that now, but you'd be surprised how easy it is for some folks to break these supposedly 'easy' contracts- and every time they do, it ends in utter death or destruction."

"I beg your pardon, detective, but were you speaking ill of my pet shop?" the Count asked casually before placing a chocolate into his rose-colored lips. Bill gulped, and shook his head, an apology about to exit his mouth. However, Leon raised a hand to the FBI agent and looked the black-haired man straight in the eye.

"Screw the conditions. What we need to know is exactly how this ties into the rumors that Farcelli's just laid down a great deal of money. No horse costs that much, Count."

The Chinaman finished chewing his delicacy, then swallowed. He remained silent for a moment, then stared at Q-chan, who had suddenly flew up from May's hands. His little ears were perked up, and he flew away from the group. May's heart was obviously torn by the subtraction of her newest friend, her green eyes going wide in sadness. The Count raised a hand towards her, and gave a small grin.

"Do not worry about him. He is checking on something at the moment." He paused, then picked up his china teacup. "As for your question, Detective, I do not usually release the cost of the pets that I sell. However, this was quite an expensive one that Master Farcelli purchased."

"How much is expensive?" Rally asked.

He sipped from his teacup, then placed it back down. "Approximately three hundred thousand American dollars."

Bill nearly dropped his already clumsily-held china cup, and blinked. "Three hundred grand for a freaking HORSE? I've heard of ridiculous prices for purebred animals, but that's just... that's just a rip-off!"

"I remind you, sir, that the horse that I sold to Master Farcelli is an incredibly rare breed. The price at which it was sold was a great bargain in comparison to what I could have charged Master Farcelli."

"It's still an extravagant amount," Rally pointed out. May nodded in agreement. The brown-haired woman sighed, then pointed towards the Chinaman. "You're sure that there was nothing else during the purchase that he might have told you about? This Farcelli doesn't sound like someone who would only be interested in horses, from his past record."

"If it is anything else but pets, it is not dealt with in my shop," the man said, his golden eye unblinking. He then stood up and held out his right hand, on which a flying Q-chan became perched. The little creature let out a squeak, and the Chinaman's eyes widened for a moment, then closed in sadness.

"What? What is it?" May asked, curious.

"Sad news, I'm afraid to say. It seems Master Farcelli's wife has been killed."

"Killed?" Bill, Rally, and Leon stood up at once, their hands quickly edging to their hips, ready to grasp their guns. Bill looked at Leon and gave a smirk.

"Guess you were right, after all, about there being something interesting with that Farcelli. I think we should start the game. Wouldn't you agree?"

"Completely," Leon grinned. He nodded towards Rally, who jerked her head towards the door, then smiled and nodded towards the pet shop owner.

"Thank you so much for giving us the information we needed," she said, before running to catch up to the two men, who were already halfway to the doorway and stairs. May stood up and went to turn, but stopped to look back at the Count.

"Is... is everything going to be all right?" She asked him, and he stayed silent for a minute. He gave the blonde a small smile, and he whispered something unheard to the little creature perched on his arm. The tiny winged creature flew from his hand to May's shoulder, and he smiled.

"Do not worry. If you ever have need of me, send Q-chan. He will know where I am. And in the meantime," he smiled, and gestured towards the door, "I believe your friends are waiting for you."

"Y-Yes," May said, turning and running towards the door. She smiled and said, "Goodbye" before exiting. Count D turned from the door and placed his fingers against each other, his thoughts meditative.

He had not known that Master Farcelli had trafficked in drugs, although he had known to some extent that the man did not get all his money from perfectly honest means.

If this was true, all that remained to be seen is what would become of him- whether or not he would allow this unfortunate accident with his wife to sway his judgement on the pet he had purchased. Count D placed a finger over his mouth, pensive, then put it down. He had placed his best ally and friend in the care of the blonde May Hopkins. He would know when, not if, at this point, D was sure, he was needed.

"Jill!" A rushed Leon Orcott practically yelled into his cell phone. "Jill, are you there?"

"Yes- you don't need to yell, Leon- what's the rush? This phone call was marked urgent, and you never do that-"

"Something just came up. Jill, I need you to tell me any of the news that's just come in about Farcelli's wife. Supposedly, she just died, but I don't think it's due to natural causes."

"Actually, it's interesting that you called now- some of the police already went up to the Farcelli's house- apparently there was a break in, and Farcelli's wife was there. She doesn't know where her husband keeps the 'goods', so to speak, and so the robber killed her for not knowing."

Leon winced. "Anything that could tie this supposed 'break-in' to Farcelli?"

"Not a thing," Jill said, then paused. "Although one thing was very interesting- when the police went to inspect the stables, there was one room that Farcelli was very vocal about leaving alone. Wouldn't even let the police search it."

"The pet from the pet shop," Leon commented in a slight whisper.

"What? What was that, Leon?"

"Nothing. Jill, I need you to get any sort of data about Farcelli and his household- schematics, personel, anything you can get me. And-" he continued, "Any information on Farcelli's wife and how she was related to him- I mean in business means."

"Anything else, O mighty detective?" The blonde drawled over the phone line.

"Nothing- Thanks Jill, you're a real dearheart. I'll owe you a dinner, okay?"

With that, the reciever went click, leaving a slightly unhappy Jill alone with her desk and paperwork. She shook her head, and sighed. "Some men... well, I will say this- anything this man's dedicated to, he gives one hundred percent. I only wish-"

The secretary stopped mid-word, shook her head, and set about her work. Dreams weren't meant for secretaries to persue, after all. Those were only meant for real women with dreams.

"Well?" Rally asked Leon after he hung up his cell phone. The man gave her a smile, followed by a shake of the head. Bill frowned at his blonde counterpart.

"Jill's going to get the information for us. In the meantime, I think we should have some downtime while we wait for the rest of my division to get the information on Farcelli's wife."

"That's it? We're just going to sit here?" May asked. The little Q-chan on her shoulder squeaked in agreement.

Bill looked thoughtful for a minute, then shook his head. "I have to agree with Leon on this one. We can't do anything until we have more information. However, in the meantime, it wouldn't be remiss if we went back to the rooms for us and got some real 'down time', now would it?"

"Not at all," Leon smiled. He offered his hand to Rally to enter the car, but the brown-haired woman refused, instead stepping in on her own accord. Both Bill and May exchanged a secret grin. He wasn't winning the battle by a long shot.

Rally leaned against the window, watching the outside street as the rest of present company entered the detective's car. The street slowly started to drift by as Leon drove away from the pet shop and back towards the station.

She didn't know what she was doing here- she knew the obvious, that she was here to help out in bringing down a supposed Drug Lord, but beyond that... she didn't know. Some sort of feeling was creeping up on her. Something that Rally didn't want to admit to herself.

It felt nice to be hit on by that blonde detective, but Rally found herself longing for someone else whenever he did- not only that, but she was beginning to wonder if she'd let herself be coerced into this trip a little too easily.

Rally wasn't one to reveal her hand when asked, and right now she felt as though she was being forced to, if for no other reason than to convince herself of the truth.

She'd come because Bill was there.

Well? Read/Review/Let me know what you think! Chapter 5 in the works, sure to come out soon!