Chapter 4Disclaimer: See previous chapters.
“Excuse me?” Kailey carefully responded. “What did you say?”
“Can you just tell me the full story, please?” Giles pressed on. “Because while there are plenty of hungry, primeval spirits, they aren’t very regular in big cities so I would really like to know about your run-in in more detail.”
Kailey stared at Oz. Oz stared back. “I already told him everything,” Kailey said stubbornly. “Go and talk to him.”
Giles stared at Oz. Oz stared back. “Yes, well, Oz isn’t known for his story-telling skills-“
“He’s a singer-“
“Musician, actually. I don’t sing...or speak...much,” Oz said, almost guilty. “Kailey, just tell him, please.”
“Well, I don’t speak much either,” Kailey dug in her heels. “These are your friends – you speak to them.”
“Look,” Giles was beginning to feel like a member in a circus show, “can one of you tell me what has happened? Kailey, I assume that it has happened to you, so you start!”
“I was meditating at my home, getting in sync with the flow of the city as usual,” Kailey said petulantly. “Sensed it, then. Definitely not in sync with the city – huge, dumb, hungry. Freaked out and got out of the meditation as fast as I could. Went to talk to Oz, told him, he got you involved. The end.”
“Um, why did you go and talk to Oz?” Giles asked the first thing that came to mind.
“She knows that I’m a werewolf,” Oz said, “and she says that my wolf-spirit feels kind of like that, only smaller, smarter, and more civilized, apparently.”
“In proportion,” Kailey added in a less petulant tone of voice. “I don’t think that this is another werewolf...this spirit didn’t feel lupine at all.”
“I see,” Giles said slowly, feeling that his headache growing slowly worse. Primeval animal spirits were never fun to deal with.* * *
Rachel Straw was not a happy person. Oh, sure, she wasn’t too upset at the demise of Ruth – this couldn’t have happened to a better person than that fat witch – but the police were being unrea-sonable. For some reason, they began to assume that she had somehow been behind Ruth’s de-mise, that it was Rachel’s own fault – it was ridiculous!
Abruptly, Rachel realized that she was beginning to speed up, and hurriedly toned down the speed – the police hadn’t yet had any concrete proof against her (not that they could, for Rachel didn’t have anything to do with Ruth’s murder), but it certainly wouldn’t stop them from using Rachel as a scapegoat, would it? Therefore, the less dirt they could use on her, the better.
Behind and to the right of Rachel’s car, something rustled in the shadows – very loudly. Slowly, too slowly, Rachel shifted her position to take a look in her rear-view mirror to see what was making that sound – and it was then that the monster struck.* * *
The cell phone noticeably vibrated in Courtney’s pocket. “Hey, you got a call,” Faith LeHane pointed-out, as she, Courtney and Genevieve were busy setting up the meditation circle in Oz’s flat, with Giles directing their actions. “You should probably answer it, I guess.”
“I guess,” Courtney nodded reluctantly and pressed the button to talk. “Hello? Oh, cousin Lindsay, hi again! Did you sort it all out- oh? No?”
More chatter. “Right, well, I haven’t made plans to go out tonight – we’re experiencing meditation, it sounds very exciting and new age-y! Yeah, talk to you later, bye-bye!”
Courtney switched the phone off and met with Oz’s curious and silent look. Since Courtney wasn’t particular comfortable with silence (and she was a bit intimidated by Oz’s lycanthropy anyways), she took a deep breath and began to talk.
“Um, girls and Mr. Giles?” she said slowly. “I think that here’s something that you ought to know...”* * *
“That was Courtney?” Danny half-asked, half-stated his partner in the lab. “Something’s wrong?”
“Yes,” Lindsay nodded, sounding rather concern. “But possibly not with her, with me. Her parents – my aunt and uncle fought a lot, and when they got divorced, our side of the family didn’t really talk to Courtney’s anymore. The fact that I moved from Helena to here didn’t help any either.”
“And now you’re trying to reconnect past and present and it’s not very pleasant,” Danny nodded. “Well, for what it’s worth, your cousin didn’t seem to be a mistress or a trophy wife to that older companion of hers-“ There was a knock on the door. “Yes?”
“It’s me,” Sid Hammerback entered their office. “Am I interrupting something?”
“Just sorting through the paperwork we found in Ruth Limo’s desk,” Lindsay said, happy for a distraction. “How’s the autopsy going?”
“That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you,” Sid said, almost excitedly. “Can you come over? I want to show you something...”To be continued...