I'm so sorry it's taken me this long to update. I feel like a dork for letting this go for so long. Well, here's the next chapter such as it is.

Still own nothing, please don't sue me.

Little Girl Lost

by Minlin

chapter 5

Leigh arrives about twenty minutes later with the surveillance discs and a laptop.

"There's a shot of a car leaving that I think might be our guy," she says putting in the disc, "but he managed to keep the camera from getting a real clear shot of his face. I figured you'd want to call the guard and check yourself, I wasn't sure what kind of cover story you were going to use."

"Mrs. Sullivan's away visiting her sister in Iowa and I got a call that someone was seen skulking around the house. The description of the car seen will, surprisingly, match that of our kidnapper."

"That'll work. Here's the car now."

Leigh freezes the video then advances it slowly, frame by frame. They watch as the car pulls up by the security post at the gate. The driver doesn't pull all the way forward, and he opens the door a bit and leans out just enough so the door half blocks his face from the camera. He's gesturing as if he's asking for directions. Nick sees Eddie smile and nod and then point and gesture back. The driver gets back into the car and Eddie opens the gate. He waves as the vehicle drives off.

"Can you get the number on the plate?"

Leigh focuses on the rear of the car and magnifies the view.

"There we are. I can run it, though I'm not sure when it will go through."

"Report it as missing," Nick tells her, "that should help."

"I'm also checking anything the cameras here near the house picked up."

Nick leaves the deputy to her work. He crosses to where Karen and Claire are sitting on the couch.

"You double checked Emily's room, was there anything else missing that Dylan hadn't noticed?"

Claire nods her head, "Her locket is gone."

She continues, "Dylan gave it to her when she was five, it belonged to his mother. Emily doesn't wear it often because it's rather delicate, but she wore it today for good luck at the spelling bee. I saw her take it off and put it away when she first got home, but now it's gone."

"Can you think of any reason Emily would have taken it?"

Claire grimaces, "She likes to wear it for 'special occasions'. If Christian told her they were going somewhere special..."

Out of the corner of his eye Nick sees Lukas come back into the room and approach Leigh.

The four werewolves had gone outside to see if they could pick up some trace scent of Christian's vehicle to make it easier to identify when tracking it later. The teen is speaking softly to Leigh who, when she notices her boss watching, motions him over.

"Can we go outside for a second?" asks the boy quietly.

Once Nick has closed the door behind them Lukas tells him, "We found some footprints, and a faint trace of blood."

"Human blood?"

"Yeah, but not the girl's, Emily's, blood. Still I didn't want to upset Mrs. Radcliffe, so I thought it might be better to talk out here."

Nick appreciates Lukas' discretion.

Lexy and Mickey approach them, Mickey pulling on his shirt, and he assumes the animal sniffing around underneath the window is Wayne.

"The blood we're scenting, faint as it is, belongs to someone much older than Emily. We found the strongest trace of it on a footprint by the bushes near the window."

"He must have had uh..something.. to eat...and stepped in some of the blood."

Mickey's tone and expression are both squeamish. Nick not as surprised by this as he might have been before. The teen wolves seem somehow less alien than the adults. They remind him of other kids he knows, including his own. He can't see them as monsters, but then his idea of what makes a monster has changed especially since moving to the Gates.

"You're positive it's not Emily's blood?"

"I can smell alcohol. Whoever's blood it is had been doing a lot of drinking," Lukas answers.

While Nick's not happy that Christian's killed someone, he's relieved to know that the blood doesn't belong to Emily. If any harm comes to the child he knows there'll be no holding back Dylan from wreaking a very bloody revenge. Frankly, he doubts he'd try.