Dancing With Werewolves

Free Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas

Book: Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carole Nelson Douglas
starting to date them. Quantico Girl? No. Retro Girl. Yes .
    A quart-size plastic bag holding a heavy load of large silver dollar coins is passed up.
    “Wanta bet there are thirty of them?” Ric murmurs in my ear.
    Then a sandwich baggie holding something small and black is also passed up to Officer Buff, but Haskell snags it. He stares at it, then eyes me with mean triumph.
    “A gambling chip,” he says. Tells me. “From the Inferno. So much for your ‘old’ theory, babe. So, Montoya. You came, you saw, you bombed. Get yourself and Quantico Girl outa here.”
    We retreat a few yards. Once we’re alone, I fight not to double over and barf. Because I re-feel their pain, this live-dead couple. Interlocked bones, loved to death. I’ve seen them at their best and at their worst. Vics. I know the lingo, but it makes them into pawns, not people who lived and breathed and loved at one time.
    I think about how everything I own could be pawned. Achilles’ urn. My own soul.
    Ric is shaking me loose of my flashback. “You’ll have to tell me what you saw later.”
    He’s frowning behind the sunglasses. They prevent sun damage and don’t hurt his looks at all. Does every woman fixate on him like this, or just me? What is going on?
    “He called you—” I start to say.
    “He lives to offend. Anyway, it’s true.”
    “Well, yeah, but . . . hey, what’s really bothering you?”
    “Besides you?” The easy humor is back. And then the frown. “The Inferno is the hottest hotel-casino in town for the Pseudo-Goth-Hypehead-Decadent set.”
    “And?”
    “It opened three years ago.”
    “Oh.”
    “That’s okay. Silver dollars haven’t been used for gambling in this city since the price-run on silver in the seventies. It’s up to the coroner’s office to determine the time of death. Those bones looked well seasoned to me.”
    “It’s not only that. I . . . saw . . . shards of their clothes, jewelry. Particularly hers. Strictly late forties or early fifties.”
    He’s smiling down at me. “They teach you that at ‘Quantico’?’”
    “No, but they should have, if I’d been there. I have worked as an investigative TV reporter. I covered ritual murders, although in Kansas they were cattle mutilations, most often. Are you really ex-FBI?”
    “Yeah. What about it?”
    “You’re the best freaking dressed Fed I’ve ever seen.”
    “Maybe that’s why I’m ‘ex.’ Hey, I appreciate your coming over here. I wanted to establish that we have a right to be on this case. I didn’t expect it, but you cooked Haskell’s goose.”
    We? This case ? Maybe. But I’ve got my own cases to solve, my own bones to pick.
    Bone number one is not who Ric is, but what. We walk away from the crime scene for a heart to heart.

Chapter Eleven
    “Now that we’re alone, Ric, tell me what happened here. This murder scene is what the dowsing rod targeted last night, and I saw it. Only I saw that couple alive, and being killed. I’ve never had daylight nightmares before. You must have had something to do with it. You’re a water witch, aren’t you?”
    Ric winced at my last phrase. “Water dowser. It’s a respected . . . faculty among rural folk all over the world. I can do it a bit now, but it’s not my particular gift. It’s not any part of this Millennium Revelation upsurge in supernaturals and freaks at all. I’m not a freak. I’m not a witch or a wizard of anything. Just a guy with a quirky family gene.”
    “So what’s your ‘faculty,’ if not finding water?”
    He looked away, maybe appealing to the island god for inspiration so that I’d believe him.
    “Most dowsers do find water. A very few find precious metals and stones. I’m unique, as far as I know. I see dead people. Underground. That’s what I do. Know they’re there.”
    “That’s what you consult about?”
    He nodded. “Law enforcement people are pig-headed and pride themselves on that. They just think I’m superbly educated and well-trained.” He

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