Chapter 3: The First Present
Inside the box was a white rose, cut just below the bud to make it boutonniere length, splattered with blood. Thoughts of Kenzi kissing him fled Dyson's mind, and memory took over.
An eye for detail in a necessity in the crime business, both ends of it, and though it might not have seemed important at the time, the memory of the flower vase came right back to him. He knew if he could smell it, the blood would smell the same as the blood in the room did. The flower would have almost the same scent as the other's. Hale's reaction to it confirmed that fact.
"Gods, that thing smells," Hale said, his face a grimace as he turned it away from the flower. He held a hand up to his mouth, gagged once, then settled and turned back.
"I'm glad I'm not the only one who had that reaction," Kenzi said. She shook her head, closed her eyes, and Dyson could almost see it as she forced down a wave of nausea.
"Where did you get this?" Dyson asked.
"I told you," Kenzi said. "It came for you."
"In the mail?"
"No, it was left by the door.' Kenzi said. She shook her head again, and let a grim smile pass across her face. "It was such a cliché, like kids playing ding dong ditch. Somebody knocked, and by the time I got there they were gone. Just the box was left."
Dyson nodded. He stared down at the flower, wanted to pick it up by the stem and spin it between his fingers. He resisted the urge. He didn't want to screw up any evidence, everything that could help him identify the werewolf was important. And, the thought that this had been left for him made it personal.
A woman he'd been with was dead, and a flower with her blood on it was in his hands. And, it was delivered to the house of another woman he was dating.
All of that added up to a wonderful mess for the fey detective.
"This isn't good," Dyson said. He looked at hale and shook his head at all. "There's a pattern to this."
"What?" Hale said. He looked at the flower in the box and back to Dyson. His expression was easy to read with his mouth slightly open and his eyebrows knitted together. "What are you talking about?"
"There's a pattern to it," Dyson muttered again. His eyes flicked up, settled on Hale's face. "I slept with the victim."
"What?" Kenzi said. "What victim? Is Bo okay?"
"You told me that," Hale said, and too the two detectives Kenzi wasn't there. Fey or not, they were chosen to b law enforcement because they were good at it. They were good at upholding both Fey and human law. And, when they got into crime solving mode everything else stopped mattering.
"This flower is from her room," Dyson said. "I'm certain the blood on the flower is her blood, and it was delivered to Bo's house."
"Wait," Hale said, cocking an eyebrow at Dyson. "You're certain? You mean to tell me you don't know? What happened to those super powered wolf senses?"
"Hello," Kenzi said. "Worried about Bo here."
"Something," Dyson started, his eyes flicking to Kenzi, to the corner of her mouth where a dry patch of milk was hiding. "Is blocking my senses. I can't smell the stench you and Kenzi said was coming off the flower."
"What about Bo?" Kenzi said. "And, what do you mean you can't smell it? It smells like dead wet dog."
"What screws with your senses like that?" Hale asked.
Dyson's eyes flicked back to Kenzi, and she caught him this time. A sudden blush rose to her cheeks, and that was all the confirmation Dyson needed.
"Doesn't matter," he said, feeling the need to protect Kenzi's kiss like it was a treasure. What's more is he felt the need to kiss her again. "The victim, the flower, it's delivery to Bo's house; it all means the killer knows me, and the people I'm close too. It's a warning."
Hale sat there for a minute, crossing his arms and leaning back in his chair.
Kenzi stood with her lips pursed. That light little blush still decorated her cheeks.
Dyson shook his head. "Hale will you take this down to evidence?"
Hale nodded, and took the box from Dyson's extended hand.
He knows! He knows! He knows! It was the only thing Kenzi could think. Her skin was crawling at the thought, gooseflesh covering her from head to toe, and she couldn't tell if it was from fear of discovery or from the excitement of it. Her lips tingled. She wanted to kiss Dyson again, she wanted to make him her baggage.
Kissing him here, however, would not be kosher. Not in a police station. Not in front of Hale. And, definitely not in a place where it would get back to Bo.
What about Bo?
What happened to Bo!?
Hale brushed past her, his shoulder grazing the edge of her pea coat, but she didn't pay attention to him. Dyson locked his eyes on her, and a whole lot of questions she didn't want to answer were about to fall from his lips. Questions she didn't want to answer.
But, Kenzi had her own question.
"What happened to Bo?"
Dyson shook his head. "Nothing."
"Then why were you talking about women you'd been with? One of whom something happened too."
"It was a girl I met a couple of weeks ago," Dyson said. He took a deep breath and blew it out. "She was murdered last night, or the day before, we're not sure on time of death yet. The flower was in a vase she had in her room. The killer took it, and sent it too me."
"Obviously," Kenzi said. "And, you're playing Bo again?"
"Kenzi," Dyson said. She cut him off.
"Hurting Bo's feelings has worked so well in the past." She shook her head, the flush had filled the rest of her face, but now it was anger. "And, not only are you hurting her feelings, but you're putting her in harms way with this new whack job you're after. That's wonderful."
"Kenzi," Dyson said again. His voice was harder this time, with a commanding edge to it. She never had handled that tone of voice well.
"Oh gods above and below," Kenzi said. "I upset Detective Dyson because he's playing my best friend like a harp." Other officers looked in their direction. Some were furtive glances, others were stares, and two officers, who'd seen this show before, went to get something to eat while they watched the action. "And, now I bet you want me to keep this a secret. Well, I'm not. I'm telling Bo, and she'll do you're job for you, just like she usually does."
"But, you won't tell her you kissed me," Dyson said. His voice had an edge now, but it wasn't one of control. It was a very quiet voice and tone, one that knows how to cut straight to the quick.
Kenzi's eyes bulged. Her jaw worked up and down but no sound came out. And, the flush transformed again, making her ears burn this time. She backed one step away from the table and shook her head.
"I…" she started finally getting her mouth to work. "I didn't kiss you."
Dyson thinned his lips, pressing them together until they were almost pursed. He cocked one eyebrow.
"I'm lactose intolerant, Kenzi," Dyson sad. "Sweet milk is all I've been able to taste, all I've been able to smell." Dyson stood up, took a step forward, and raised a hand to Kenzi's face. She wanted to lean into it, to feel the warmth of his touch and the pulse of his power. A blaze began within her. One summoned by his nearness. One that grew more intense with every evaporating millimeter between them. His hand was electric when he touched, his fingers curled around her cheek, his thumb came to rest on the corner of her mouth, and Kenzi was glad she was already blushing.
"And, you have a little dried milk right here," Dyson said. He rubbed the patch away, and looked in Kenzi's eyes. She saw her desire reflected there. Her wants and needs. Dyson shared them. But, now was not the time to explore further.
"Left over from your bowl of Rice Crispies."
"I wish you weren't a detective," Kenzi said. She stood there while Dyson removed his hand, an empty feeling replaced it, and he grabbed his coat.
"I need to find Bo," Dyson said. "I need to warn her. Can you help me?"
"Uh…" Kenzi said. She felt the PDA in her pocket. "I should be…"
"Good," Dyson said. He gave her a playful shove towards the door, nearly dropping Kenzi on her face. "We need to find her fast."
"That," Dyson said. "We'll talk about in private."
A/N: So, I kind of wrote the first quarter of this story…and forgot to type and post it. Totally my fault there guys. But, the good news is, there will be a post every Friday for at least the next four weeks. Then somebody will need to poke me to write the rest of the story. Lol.