Disclaimer: in prologue.
"…And here's a new goblet, as promised."
PI's assistant clapped her hands like an excited schoolgirl and squeaked. The night was still young.
"Henry, you're the best!"
Coreen put her arms out to hold the baby. The father obliged.
Little eyes began to study this nice-smelling young woman up close. Little hands traced her cheeks.
For some reason a happy smile left daddy's face.
"No, sweetie. I am your aunt Coreen. And we'll be the best of friends in no time, Mikie, right?"
She was bouncing the boy on her knee by now, just like his mother used to do. She was talking to daddy as well, but her voice did not sound very happy.
Was it quiet, tender even?
But was it happy?
A big no.
"I'm so sorry."
Vicki tried to pretend that she was reading information on their latest case, there, at her table. However, she couldn't exactly magic up a pair of earplugs. And in all honesty – even if she could… Wait a minute! Aunt Coreen? As in aunt aunt?
Now that she thought about it, Vicki recalled her Goth of an assistant flying to Vancouver for a sister's wedding a couple of years ago. Or was it a cousin?
"Don't be. Coreen, it's not your fault."
"No, but… And if you received the new address in time, after I've moved house… What is it, Henry?"
Suddenly he looked so still. Almost like a statue.
Scraping the asphalt not so far down the road, then not far at all, and then – footsteps. Upcoming, impatient… for what?
"Detective Lam. Detective Celucci…"
"You've messed big-time, Fitzroy!"
Henry moved slightly to the left, positioning himself between the newcomers and Coreen's table.
"Nice to see you too, Celucci. You know, what I really missed, while staying in Vancouver these two years…"
"You're under arrest, have a right to remain silent and so on. Kate…"
"Slam your brakes!" Vicki stood up. She threw her unread file, aiming for the cabinet drawer and missing. "What's bloody going on here?"
Both detectives were gravely un-humorous. They exchanged a look, and it was Kate who answered.
"Murder of a former Mrs. Fitzroy, née Fennel. Performed brutally three days ago by her ex-husband."
"He didn't do it! He couldn't possibly!.."
Nobody seemed eager to listen to what Coreen had to say.
And her ex-brother-in-law… Was he truly that calm or simply full with blood of a disco-enjoying chick or two? Surely, he wouldn't have drained Mary!
"I'll go with you, Detectives, but…" He bared his teeth, just a tiny bit. "But my phone call comes first. Right now."
Kate gave him a quick nod. Mike huffed and nodded too.
The vampire turned to their ex-colleague.
"Vicki, if I may borrow your office phone?.."