Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from "Blood Ties." They are all Tanya's Huff creations.
Characters thoughts are in italics
Thanks to my beta, Lena! Thanks for all the ideas and suggestions that you have given me throughout this story. Without you this story might never have been completed.
The final words were never spoken leaving the ritual incomplete. Astaroth howled in anger, unable to enter this plane and disappeared.
Vicki had just regained feeling to her extremities when she saw both Henry and Babette hit the floor. She ran over to them. The old woman's hazel eyes were staring off into the distance. The PI recognized that look from numerous crime scenes. She checked for a pulse knowing that one probably wouldn't be found.
No surprise no pulse.
Vicki rolled Babette off Henry. "Henry."
"We've been through too much for you to check out like this."
She cradled his head in her lap.
"When this is all over, I'll give you back the Illuminacion del Sol. I really don't need it."
"You know I really hate one sided conversations."
Several minutes had passed and Henry still had not stirred. She stroked his face. Tears streamed down her sunkissed cheeks.
"There are so many things I should have told you. Now I won't get the chance." She bent down to kiss him. Her lips had barely brushed his when his eyelids started to flutter.
The PI quickly straightened and wiped away her tears.
His ocean blue eyes slowly opened. "That's me."
"I thought…" She paused not wanting to complete her sentence.
Henry's questioning eyes gazed into hers. "What did you think?"
She shook her head. "It doesn't matter now. How are you feeling?"
"I feel like I could lie in your lap forever."
"You must be on the road to recovery then. What about Adrian?"
"I do not feel his presence. Killing her must have broken the spell."
Henry slowly sat up.
"Seriously how are you feeling?"
"I feel exhausted but after some nourishment I should be fine."
Vicki helped him off the floor. He stumbled a little.
A look of concern registered on Vicki's face.
"I'm fine." He reassured her.
The PI removed her jacket, rolled up her sleeve and wordlessly offered him her forearm.
"Thank you, Victoria."
Henry grasped her forearm and bit down. He tasted a hint of sorrow as her blood flowed into his body. When Henry finished, he used his tongue to heal her wound.
Vicki rolled down her sleeve and put on her jacket.
Her green orbs surveyed the room.
Henry's eyebrows narrowed and his forehead creased as he observed her. "What are you looking for?"
Glancing at his hand, he noticed that one of his rings was missing.
Finally spotting what she was looking for, she walked to the nightstand and retrieved his ring. "You don't want to leave without this."
The PI returned to Henry and placed the ring on his finger.
"With this ring I thee wed," Henry said with a slight smile.
"You must be hallucinating."
His smile widened. "What a wonderful hallucination that would be."
Vicki shook her head back and forth.
"How about we find our way outta here, partner?"
She ambled out of the room and Henry trailed behind. They ascended the stairs. Vicki turned the doorknob but the door didn't budge. She reached for her locksmith kit.
"Allow me," Henry said.
Vicki stepped aside as the vampire took hold of the doorknob and ripped the door off its hinges.
As they entered the foyer, a chandelier hanging from the ceiling illuminated various pictures lining the white walls. One picture in particular caught Vicki's eyes. A younger Babette was among a group of young women. All wore amulets similar to the one Babette had used to imprison Adrian's soul.
"You don't think that…"
Henry finished her statement. "These other women were lunatics like Babette and did the same to others? We can only hope that they didn't."
They continued down the hallway until they came to the beveled front door. They exited the brick house. The older woman's Cavalier was parked in the driveway. Vicki reached into her jacket for her small flashlight. Her cell was missing. Babette must have taken it.
The vampire held the flashlight while the PI jimmied the lock. Once the car door was unlocked, she slid into the driver's seat, hotwired the car and then moved to the passenger's side. Henry climbed inside and as soon as her seatbelt was fastened, sped off.
Before long the white Cavalier pulled in front of the red brick building which housed Vicki Nelson's Investigations. The lights in her office were still on despite the late hour. They went inside finding Coreen staring intensely at her laptop. As soon as she noticed them standing in the doorway, she rose from her desk and pulled them into a bear hug.
"I am so glad that you are both okay." The Goth's voice sounded relieved. "Mike and I had hit a dead end trying to find you. He went to the station to see whether he could trace the partial license plate I got from Babette's car."
Henry, Vicki and Coreen sauntered into Vicki's office. The PI dropped into a chair behind her desk and Henry and Coreen settled in chairs opposite her.
Vicki picked up the office phone and dialed. "Well, I guess I better call Mike and let him know what happened."
"Vicki? Is it really you?" Mike paused. "I was afraid that I would never see you alive again. I'm glad you're okay."
Mike had trouble forcing the words out of his mouth. "How's Captain Canine?"
"He's fine too."
"Glad to hear it." Mike's voice sounded somewhat insincere.
"So what happened to Alexandra Parker?"
"She's dead. Adrian killed her."
Mike's brows furrowed in puzzlement. "And what did she need you for?"
"I was supposed to be her sacrifice to bring Astaroth into this plane."
Mike shook his head in disbelief as the phone rested against his ear. "How many disciples does that demon have?"
"I guess a lot since we keep running into them. Apparently he's one popular demon."
Vicki gave Mike the address of the house in which she and Henry had been held captive.
His voice softened. "You've been through a lot, Vicki. Try to get some sleep."
Vicki yawned. "That won't be too difficult. Bye, Mike."
Henry rose from his chair. "Vicki, do you need me to drop you at your apartment?
Before the PI could answer, Coreen chimed in. "I'll take her home."
"Well, I guess that settles that."
Henry gave a slight bow. "Well, I will see you ladies tomorrow night."
They said in unison. "Night, Henry."
Mohadevan approached his desk as soon as his call with Vicki ended.
"I was able to match one of the hair samples found on Mr. Turner to Babette Barnaby. The other sample wasn't in the system. Something very fascinating happened with that sample. When it was exposed to sunlight, it turned to ash. I have a theory about that phenomenon but I think I'll keep it to myself."
The coroner walked away.
Mike grabbed his trench coat and went to Kate's desk. She was drinking coffee and staring holes in her computer screen.
"Guess what, Kate. Mohadevan was able to identify one of the hair samples. It belonged to Babette Barnaby and I just got an anonymous tip about her whereabouts."
"This anonymous tip wouldn't happen to be Vicki would it?"
Mike feigned innocence. "Of course not."
Kate rose from her seat. "Lead the way, partner."
They headed out of the station.
Hearing a rap at the door, Henry strolled to the door already knowing the identity of his visitor.
He stepped aside to let her in and closed the door behind him.
"What's afoot tonight?" Henry walked behind Vicki with his hands clasped behind his back.
"Can't I just come past and see how my partner's doing? Vicki settled on the leather sofa.
"Vicki, you don't do social calls."
"You may have a point."
Henry sat beside her. Vicki reached into her jacket and retrieved the Illuminacion Del Sol. Taking one of Henry's hands, she curled his fingers around the device.
The vampire shook his head. "You don't have to do this."
"I would feel better knowing that you had this." Henry returned the contraption to Vicki.
Her eyebrows elevated. "Are you sure about this?"
He nodded and took her hands in his. "Going through what I went through gave me a lot of time to think about things. As I said before, I understand your reason for keeping it and I do not blame you for using it on me considering the circumstances. You had no choice. As far as I am concerned, you didn't do anything wrong so there is nothing that needs to be forgiven."
"That's good to know. I was so sure you would still be angry at me for what I did."
"I'll admit I was at first but I could never stay angry at you." He inched closer.
Vicki rose from the couch. "Are you up for some hanky panky?"
Henry returned Vicki's question with a smile. "I thought you'd never ask."
He got off the sofa and drew closer. Vicki impeded his progress by thrusting out her arm.
"Actually I was referring to a case."
"And here I was hoping that you were talking about something else."
"Let's try focusing on the case."
He nuzzled one of her ears. "It would be so much more fun if we didn't."
"I don't think my client would agree."
Henry grabbed his black leather jacket from the closet. "What's the case?"
Vicki started filling him in as they headed out the door.
Author's note: I hope that you enjoyed my final chapter. I hope the ending was okay. I played a lot with that.