Chapter Five: Beatrix
The dirt beneath my feet made me restless, and I tried to stop myself from shifting from side to side. The Grimm, beside me, was also restless, tossing his head like some kind of horse and glancing at me every few seconds.
"Tell me again how you got into my house." He murmured to me, subtly turning his body towards me but keeping his head up and scanning the surrounding area. I felt my nostrils flare as a very slight breeze picked up, swirling the scents around.
"I've already told you." I murmured, shifting my body weight to my other foot and turning my head slightly. My eyes narrowed on a slight gap in the trees that surrounded the area. "I used the front door."
He shifted again, closer.
"I want to know the other part, and you know it."
I moved my head very slowly away from the forest to look up at him. I gazed into his eyes.
"Relax, Grimm, baby." I told him softly. "If I wanted to kill you, trust me. You'd be dead."
He grinned. A cocky, self-satisfied, smug smile.
"Many people have told me that. Those people are now in unmarked graves." He informed me.
I moved my gaze away from him again, this time focusing on the small man in uniform that was heading directly towards us.
"Yes, I heard about that." I muttered, tutting slightly. "An unmarked grave though, that really is quite disrespectful. Good job they're not there anymore. I don't think I could've lived with it."
He stiffened beside me, and his hand came up as if he was about to grab my arm. Upon glancing towards the growing-ever-closer man, though, he changed the motion into one where his hand was pushing through his thick waves of dark hair.
"What do you mean, they're not there anymore?" He demanded in a hiss. "Where are they?"
I smiled to myself and stepped forward to greet the man.
"They're being dealt with, don't you worry."
I stepped forward before he could say anymore and smiled as I had been taught, holding out my hand to the man who seemed a bit stunned that I had approached him first. The wind blew the pine smell of the trees towards me but there was something in that very faint scent that felt familiar, even when it was masked by the pine needle scent.
"Hi," I greeted him brightly. "I'm detective Beatrix Lally of Scotland Yard, England. Who are you?"
He seemed a bit dazed and slipped his hand into mine a bit hesitantly. I frowned. Were all men here like this? They seemed to be.
"Wu." Was all he managed to get out before the Grimm stepped up behind me.
"She's with me, Wu." He hustled me passed the small man and towards a small huddle of forensics in their forensic clothes and caps, with their little gloves on. They were huddled around a brutally murdered body. I stiffened and stopped when the smell of fresh blood caught my attention. I wanted to gag. The smell was always sickening.
I resisted the urge to turn into the Grimms shoulder and bury my face into his protection when the body came into view. I winced as I smelt the smell, saw the horrible result of some foul event.
There was that scent again.
"What have we got here?" The Grimm stopped me right next to the body and turned to forensics. They turned and gave him an affectionate smile. Something twisted deep in my gut. I pressed my hand hard against my abdomen, hoping nobody would notice I was now slightly hunched over. I couldn't be seen as weak, or the Grimm would take advantage of me. He would see me as pathetic and use my weaknesses to his advantage. They had warned me against that.
"Looks like he died from a frenzied and, may I say, quite brutal attack." One of the younger ones explained to the Grimm, her wavy blonde hair slipping out of her net. She peered up at him with wide, innocent blue eyes and I tried not to look in her direction. Wasn't she too young to be doing this type of work? But the Grimm didn't even glance at her. He was too busy staring at the Vics body.
"Post mortem will reveal more, obviously." She continued hurriedly, as if trying to gain his attention back. I was shocked by the sudden stab of smugness that shot me in the gun, right in the knot that had formed there. Like she'd ever had it in the first place.
I glared down at my stomach like it was its fault I was thinking these things.
"Anything to id him on?" The Grimm asked, moving closer to the body. I didn't like him being so close to the murder victim. I tried to convince myself that that was because I was worried about what he, as a Grimm, would do to mutilate it further.
Good lord I was so pathetic.
"No, nothing." The small man came up behind us and the blonde girl effectively lost all of the Grimms attention she might have had. "No drivers license, wallet, passport. Somebody didn't want him to be known."
"Of course not." I spoke without thinking, and everybody looked at me like they'd forgotten I was there. But the Grimm stayed hunched over the body, only briefly glancing at me to make sure I was still there. He'd been looking at me every minute and a half or so. If he thought I hadn't noticed, he'd been sadly mistaken.
With my confidence now back on top form, I stepped forward confidently and joined the Grimm squatted down next to the victims body. I tried to ignore the smell.
"You said it was a frenzied and brutal attack, right?" I didn't want to bring attention back to the pretty blonde, so I just kept looking up and down the body, my nose plugged against the smell of decay and blood. "Clearly not preplanned. It was probably done in the heat of the moment. Once that moment is over, the attacker panics. Clearly this person has watched enough detective shows or maybe has some knowledge in this area. Enough to know he's got to get rid of the id. So what does he do?" I felt around the victims body, shoving open his jacket and feeling my way into his stiff jeans pockets, caked in blood. "Searches the body, grabs all the paper he can find and chucks it..." I paused as I straightened up, narrowing my eyes around the surrounding area. Slowly, I lifted my hand and pointed over in the directions of the woods surrounding us. "Over there. It'd be quite far out, away from the 'beaten path' as it were, because clearly the attackers got to be some strong person to have beaten up a guy this big. So a good throw, and enough sense to realize its gotta be away from plain sight. That area there is perfect for a spur of the moment murder."
"Clearly." Wu repeated as if he was dreaming. The Grimm was now looking at me with shock, awe, and something else I couldn't quite identify.
I looked expectantly at them.
"Well?" I demanded eventually. "Aren't you going to go see if I'm right?"
There was a sudden scramble as people started to move towards the forest. People I would never have expected to start looking. Didn't they have their own jobs and responsibilities to be getting on with?
But the Grimm stayed.
"Impressive." He murmured when they'd all wandered out of ear shot. "Did you do this?"
I scowled at him.
"No, of course not. I've never killed an innocent person before."
The Grimm looked at the body at his feet. He scuffed at the dirt and I wondered if he had the same urge I had to kick the body. Probably not, now that I thought about it.
"He might not have been innocent."
"Who actually is?" I muttered.
Suddenly, a wind picked up once more whilst I was breathing normally, and this was a big one. One that pushed at you and swirled all the dirt and the pine needles up around me. And the smells.
My head snapped up. My eyes narrowed. My senses tingled. I growled.
Quickly dropping to the victims side, I very gently and subtly smelled up and down his body, almost recoiling at the amount I could smell on him. I growled an even deeper, throatier growl.
"What?" The Grimm came up behind me. "What is it? Are you smelling the victims body? What are you smelling for? Can you smell anything?"
I growled and whipped around to face him.
"Are you telling me you can't?" I demanded, turning back to the victims body. "Stupid Grimms and their stupid, god-awful senses." I turned around again. "How can you not smell that?"
I shot to my feet again, just as the crowd of people started to come towards us again, waving wallets and drivers licenses and other types of id around in the air for all to see.
I could smell it again, stronger this time, coming from the forest. They were still here. They were watching us. My gut knotted even more, I started to become light headed and unable to think straight. All I could think about was keeping the Grimm safe. I didn't have time to analyse this abominable feeling.
I spun around to face him and grasped his arms, pulling him towards me so that we were almost nose to nose.
"Listen to me." I said carefully, quickly, and I felt his arms tremble as if he was trying to restrain something. Next thing I knew, his arms were around my waist, pressing me against him, and his forehead was against mine. We both seemed to relax at the contact. I wasn't going to analyse that either.
"Listen very carefully." I repeated. "Stay here. Stay here with the others, in the clearing. With the others." Why was I repeating everything? Had I suddenly become stupid? "If they go somewhere else, go somewhere else. Make sure you're with at least five other people at each given moment, do you understand me?"
He was breathing deeply.
"What, why?" He demanded. "Are you okay? Whats going on?"
"Something I have to deal with alone." I told him. "You couldn't handle it. You're too weak and useless. Just promise you'll do what I just told you, no matter what you hear, see, or think you hear or see. Promise me."
"Tell me whats going on, Beatrix." He demanded savagely, not releasing me. "I'm not weak and useless! I'm stronger than most people!"
"I promise!" He yelled out before I thought he had even chance to think. It seemed like an automatic reaction to me. People were reaching us now. I had to go sort this out. And quickly, before people got the chance to think I actually liked this Grimm. He was just using me. Taking advantage of my sudden weakness. Had he put something in that sandwich I had had last night? When had I last eaten? Maybe that was the reason I was acting so crazy.
"Good." I nodded, firmly, before wrenching myself out of his grip. "Good. You keep your promises, you horrible, filthy, lying Grimm." I added the extra derogatory words to remind myself what he really was. Nobody else around us seemed to notice. He himself seemed a bit confused, dazed. Wary. Scared.
I turned away from him and started jogging down the hill towards the forest. The smell was getting stronger. I could see their shadows moving. How had they gotten so close without me noticing?
"And no matter what happens," I called over my shoulder. "Make sure that car is okay!"