FUNBARI HIGH 2: To Love A Killer
Chapter 3 – Days Long Passed
"Deirdre…" Dragon's soft voice was filled with longing and sorrow. He had set up the portrait in one of the many rooms lining the endless passageways of tunnels and now knelt before it, staring at the painted woman. He heard Ren enter the room and walk over quietly, kneeling beside him without saying a word for a long moment.
"I…uh…who was she?" the Chinese's voice was nervous and sympathetic.
"A very remarkable woman and that is all I will say. Why do you care?" Dragon's tone was stern with slight anger in it. Ren couldn't tell if the anger was from the earlier quarrel or from being disturbed in his silent reverie.
"I…want to know more about you…to understand where you're coming from." Dragon said nothing, his memories seeping into his thoughts and bringing him back to those days long passed.
"Where are you taking me?" I asked the pale horseman after an hour of jerking and bouncing painfully on his horse, the countryside flying past. Funny, he had killed my parents not two hours ago and yet I felt…an odd sort of comradery with him, as though he and I had been through the same thing.
"To another world, one you will love and hate, fear and befriend. You will curse this day and honor it. You will become what I am." His words confused me.
"What are you?" He paused before replying.
"It is not yet time for you to understand these things. When you have transformed, then you will know."
"I don't understand…"
"You don't need to. It will come in time." I left it at that and withdrew my attention back to the passing landscape.
"I wish you'd forgive me Dragon." Ren interrupted his memory.
"Forgiveness...you ask me for forgiveness. I suppose, then, that you do not believe in atonement from the gods?" Ren snorted spitefully.
"Gods don't exist except in stories. If there were really a God, wouldn't he stop all the bad stuff from happening?"
"Perhaps in a perfect world."
"What's you're name, little one?"
"Welcome to Paris, Pierre." My eyes grew wide in wonder; I was in the largest city in all of France.
"Wow…" The horse trotted through the streets easily, leading through dirty cobbled roads until we had traveled through to the other end, into the outskirts of the great city before finally stopping. We stood before a house so fairy tale enchanting I thought surely this was a house from the many stories my mother often told of princes, magic and kind old ladies. There were vines growing up the walls of the house, rose bushes flowering before it and a small stone pathway leading from the door to the small metal framework gate. "What is this place?"
"My home." The horseman dismounted and lifted me off, handing off the horse to a stable boy, accompanying the reins with a small copper coin. "Be sure to cool him down before you put him in the stable." The boy nodded and led the steed off in all its majesty.
Sagara was at a loss. Physical evidence was useless, the files were gone, and all they really had was the vague idea of the suspect. There were so many questions, and so few answers. He clenched and unclenched his fists. How could a being so evil exist? How could he do all this and get away with it?
"Sagara-san…" he looked up into the uncertainly smiling face of Penny, and all of a sudden he noticed the delicious aroma in the air that made his stomach ache for food. "I made you some soup…" she offered him a steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup. He smiled kindly and nodded his thanks to her.
"A young lady like you should be out enjoying herself on a Saturday night, not feeding an old coot like me." Despite what he said he couldn't appreciate her more than he did at that moment. She was the only person who seemed to genuinely care, the only person who really mattered. She was his lost daughter, and the granddaughter he never had. The years of stress and depression had weighed heavily on him, aging him so he truly felt beyond his years.
"Nonsense, I can't just leave you here all alone." Their department only really dealt in investigation so most of them had cleared out for the day. Only Sagara, Penny, and Officer Talon remained after hours, Sagara racking his brain for answers and Penny and Dusk catching up on paperwork.
"I'll be fine. Thanks for your concern." Even though he appreciated her care, he had work to do; he was determined not to let the fucker get away this time. "Okay, just remember to get some rest." She smiled sweetly and left his office, returning to her desk and paperwork. No sooner had she sat down than Dusk began speaking.
"Hey, Penny, I'm about to clock out and hit this bar I like. You want to tag along?" She looked at him.
"Are you asking me out on a date?" she asked tentatively.
"Nah, just a little night out on the town, you know? No big deal." He shrugged nonchalantly to accentuate his words; he really just wanted some ass.
"Then no." she began to put up her finished paperwork. He blinked curiously.
"You know perfectly well I'm no one night stand kind of girl and I don't like to drink with people I may not be able to trust not to take advantage of me."
"Well what would you have said if I'd said I was asking you out on a date?"
"I'd have said no." She put a file away into the file cabinet.
"Because, Dusk. Girls flirt with guys like you, they don't take them home."
"Guys like me? What's that supposed to mean?" He was growing more and more determined to get her to say yes by the second.
"Well…you're just not the sort of guy a girl can take to meet her parents." His gaze narrowed at that.
"That's not fair. You just lump me in with a bunch of other guys. Who's to say I can't clean up well and meet your parents?" She smiled demurely at him and shrugged.
"I'm going by my previous experiences. If you're interested in dating me, prove that you can be a responsible, respectable guy."
"Fine, done. I'll pick you up Friday night at 7 and show you the time of your life. You'll be begging me to take you out on another date." Penny mentally laughed; her plan to reel him in was working perfectly.
"I'll believe it when I see it." She grabbed her purse and waved a little before heading out the door. Dusk watched her retreating form.
"…Did I seriously just get tricked into dating her?"