TRUTH & DECEPTION
Disclaimer: The Anita Blake verse belongs to Laurell K Hamilton. Basically I own nothing.
ST LOUIS POLICE HQ
She met Detective Tammy Reynolds on the stairs, she hesitated when she saw Anita, before hurrying past, a strange expression on her face, “Oh err yeah errr, gotta rush err… suspect waiting”, garbled Tammy.
Anita frowned after her, she was never on the best of terms with Tammy but that was a bit weird even for Tammy. She shrugged her shoulders and hurried on to the Spook department. Dolph had called earlier, said it was urgent, but had refused to give further details. She was planning to meet Ronnie later and was wearing a cream flowery dress, not the colour to wear to a bloodbath. Normally she wasn’t so girly but Micah had teased her about her lack of girly dresses. In a fit of pique she had gone out and brought a few strappy summer dresses all pastels and flowers. This was its first outing, and probably would be the last. Zerbrowski would never let her live it down.
Taking a deep breath she sauntered into the main office trying for a nonchalant, confident air.
“Hi Guys”, she said cheerily, trying not to look gauche, but failing miserably. She felt stupid. Gawd even one of Jean Claude’s outfits would be better than this.
Zerbrowski looked up from his desk, “Hi Anita, Dolph’s in his office,” his voice was sombre no trace of his usual wisecracking humour.
Anita paused looking round the office, everybody seemed to be unnaturally busy, but there was a silence to the room that was frankly disturbing. She idly noticed that all the Penguins had disappeared also. Good, finally they had given up on getting a reaction from her.
Dolph appeared in the doorway, “Anita, thank you for coming so quickly”, he motioned her into his office. He was very official and his face was grim. Dolph was never lightness and fun. But this was a bit too serious. Anita glanced at Zerbrowski, her eyebrows raised questioningly. “What’s with you guys, don’t tell me I’m getting fired?” she quipped, Zerbrowski didn’t answer, just twiddled with his pencil.
Anita frowned this was bad, really bad. Her hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and her normally calm stomach lurched as she followed Dolph into his office.
“You should sit down Anita”. Dolph sat opposite her, he ran his hand through his cropped hair sighing and fiddled with a large brown folder on his desk, Dolph never fiddled. He looked upset and Anita had the feeling of being a relative waiting to be told their loved one had died. This was disturbing.
“What’s happened?” Anita’s voice quivered despite herself.
“Anita, we’ve been working with the FBI, to break some of the more extreme elements of the Human First Cells, last month they raided a house in New Orleans where they basically hit gold”.
Anita nodded, Zerbrowski had filled her in a couple of months ago, he had been disgruntled due to the extra overtime required, Katie had not been impressed.
“Anita, I only got this last week, as soon as I got clearance, I called you…. I am so sorry Anita… I would have spared you this.” Dolph looked away “God this is difficult, …Anita the FBI made multiple dawn raids, across the country this morning. Over ten in St Louis alone, the mayor has a press conference at 3pm. People will be named”.
Anita nodded wondering where this was leading too. She had a sick feeling in her stomach.
Dolph swore, and then pushed the large file towards her. “Here Anita… this is confidential FBI file on one of the suspects we have in custody, I know you won’t believe it unless you see it yourself”. He reached out and grabbed Anita’s hand squeezing it softly, “I am sorry Anita”.
Anita looked at his hand, her brow knotted in confusion. She glanced down at the file in front of her. A typed name on the top of a plain brown file with a black and white police mug shot attached with a shiny silver paperclip. The name blurred before her, tears welling up. The grainy mugshot didn’t do justice, she thought inconsequentially, as she drew her fingers along its glossy surface.
There was a roaring in her ears, vaguely she was aware of Dolph coming from around his desk patting her shoulder awkwardly.
She stared down at the file to scared to open it. “This can’t be…NO NO NO NO NO NO”. The door suddenly opened and Zerbrowski was there enveloping her in a bear hug, shooting Dolph an angry look for being so insensitive. Dolph cursed, leaving to make some coffee, coffee he could handle, distraught females, even female executioners were beyond him.
Anita took a shuddering breath and slowly disengaged her hands from around Zerbrowski’s neck. “Have you seen it?”.
Zerbrowski nodded his big brown eyes sad, “I didn’t want to believe it, hell I liked the son of a bitch,” he paused unsure whether to warn her, “its bad Anita, but you need to see it all”.
Anita looked down at the file, her face pale with shock, but she nodded and with a trembling hands she reached out and opened it.
They had refused to let her drive home instead Zerbrowski was driving her to Ronnie’s. He drove carefully, no conversation just a country and western tape playing in the background. Anita couldn’t summon the energy to even tease him. She felt a hundred years old.
They drove up Ronnie’s pink gravelled driveway, just as Ronnie was opening her car. She raised her hand in greeting, striding towards them “That was lucky, I was just leaving…”. Her smile rapidly faded as she caught sight of Anita’s face as she stumbled from the car. Anita took one look at her friend and broke down in tears, hugging her arms around her body. Ronnie glanced at Zerbrowski, before reaching for Anita. Between them they managed to half carry Anita into the house and Ronnie’s spare bedroom.
Zerbrowski gave Ronnie a brief rundown. His voice shaking with barely suppressed anger.
“Yeah, but he is looking at five to ten. Look after her. She has had a rough day. Call me on this number if she needs anything”.
Ronnie watched as Zerbrowski drove away. She closed her eyes, and leant against the door. “Bastard”. Grabbing a bottle of whisky from the drinks cabinet and two glasses she made her way to Anita.
Anita was sitting on the bed rocking backwards and forwards, her face wan. She looked at Ronnie and then at the whisky bottle, a ghost of a smile flitted across her face, “He told you”. Ronnie nodded, she sat beside Anita, and held her “Anita I know what he meant to you, and what this means to you also. I wish I could stop the hurt, but it doesn’t work that way. And it doesn’t help that I am sorry so sorry”. Ronnie stroked Anita’s hair, “But I am here for you, I will always be here for you, it will get better I promise, you are not alone”.
Anita looked at her, her eyes so full of pain that Ronnie could have cried. “Ronnie, he wasn’t just a member he was an active participant - a lieutenant to one of the cell leaders. He was involved in the New Orleans fire bombing several years ago, he assisted in it, planned the fine details. They have evidence linking him to Vigilante attacks on known Were’s and sympathisers. Never actually got his hands dirty, just sat back and planned the details.” Anita gave a bitter laugh “But nothings changed there has it, Richard still doesn’t like to get his hands dirty”.
Ronnie closed her eyes “Bastard, he fooled us all Anita”. She reached out and poured two very large measures of whisky, passing one to Anita. Who downed it one shot.
“Its ironic Ronnie, he took the Lycanthrope vaccination and ended up turning into what he hated most. They had a recruitment video Ronnie, I made Dolph play it, they all wore masks but I recognised him. It was so full of hate, so much hate, against everybody: vamps, Were’s, witches, voodoo… ani….animators”, Anita’s voice cracked on the last one, “How could he sleep with me, when he, he…”.
“Maybe you changed him Anita”.
Anita laughed sourly “He never told them why he left their cause, just moved away to St Louis, that’s why they kept him on their files as a possible sympathiser to their movement. He still sends in yearly donations. I didn’t change him… oh god Ronnie how can I bear this, how could he do this, how could he lie”. Ronnie held her closer, crying herself as Anita collapsed into anguished sobs, her heart breaking for a second time.
Ok Ok a bit of a Richard bashing session, but I reckon he deserves it, and I always wondered why did he take the vaccination
Always was a bit suspicious, and the fact that he can’t accept his beast or the other monsters. I reckon he is just a tad prejudiced!!! Feed Me Reviews - Im starving.
I have been thinking about an epilogue chapter to finish this off. What do you think?