months, and maybe a car payment or two.
Things were looking up.
She gave me a quick tour and then we shook hands and I left the way I had come, passing more live exhibits of mankind in his natural working habitat.
Or perhaps they were just offices and cubicles.
I called Mary Lou and got the rundown.
Anthony was awake and seemed to be holding steady. No real progress, but no relapse either. Still, my gut churned. When I thought about my son, I saw something dark around him. The brightness and vitality that surrounded him was gone.
I desperately feared what that darkness could mean.
To get my thoughts off my son, I headed over to Zov’s bistro in Costa Mesa, where I ordered a rare steak and a glass of white wine. The upscale Mediterranean restaurant was the epitome of hip, and I even noticed Orange County’s bestselling writer sitting just a few tables down. He looked serious. Maybe he was plotting his next thriller. I wondered if he could sense that a real live vampire was sitting just a few tables away.
While I waited, I plunged into Maddie’s police file, reading every note and witness statement.
I knew I should be with my son, and I would be soon, but for now there was a little girl missing, and she had made it very personal by calling me.
By calling me, even accidentally, she had assured herself of one thing: a private investigating psychic vampire mommy who was going to find her.
No matter what.
My food arrived quickly. The nice thing about ordering steaks rare is that they don’t take long to cook. And as I read from the folder, I discreetly used a spoon to slurp the blood that had pooled around the meat. I also cut the meat up without actually eating it. I scattered the chunks around my plate, hiding some under my salad. I felt like a kid hiding her food.
The blood was wonderful and satisfied some of my craving, although I would need more later. And when I had drained the meat dry, I moved on to the glass of white wine. When the wine was done, I was done reading the police report, too.
Granted, there wasn’t much to go on, but I had a few leads. I paid my bill, glanced a final time at the writer—who was now openly staring at me—and left Zov’s Bistro.
I had a girl to find.
I was driving down the 57 Freeway when my cell rang. I glanced down at it. Kingsley Fulcrum, a one-time client of mine who had turned into something more than a client.
A few weeks ago we had been intimate, an experience that had rocked my world, and shortly after that I was reminded of what a scumbag he could be. Kingsley was a defense attorney. A very high profile and rich defense attorney. He got paid the big bucks to get people out of jail. As far as I could tell, the man had no moral compass. Killer or not, if the price was right, he would do his damnedest to get you to walk.
Did I still care for the big lug? Yeah, I did. Did the thought of him in bed turn me on more than I cared to admit? Sweet Jesus, it did. Did the fact that he had shown up in my hotel room a week or so ago as a fully morphed werewolf, dripping blood and reeking of death, scare the shit out of me? Hell, yeah.
I clicked on, resisting the urge to sing “Werewolves of London” yet again. When
Caroline Anderson / Janice Lynn
Lieutenant General (Ret.) Michael T. Flynn, Michael Ledeen