Home > Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(15)

Turned (The Vampire Journals #1)(15)
Author: Morgan Rice

“Yes, mam,” he said, and hurried from the room.

Why would they pick this exact time to murder him? Why intermission? Were they sending some sort of message?

She walked slowly in the heavily carpeted room, circling, looking at him from every possible angle. He had long, black wavy hair, and was strikingly attractive, even in death. What a waste.

At that moment, a sudden noise filled the room. All the officers turned at once. They looked up, and saw that the small TV in the corner had lit up. It played footage of the night’s performance. Beethoven’s Ninth filled the room.

One of the detectives approached the TV to turn it off.

“Don’t,” she said.

The detective stopped in mid-stride.

“I want to hear it.”

She stood there, staring at Sergei, as his voice filled the room. His voice that had been alive only hours before. It was eerie.

Grace circled the room once more. This time she kneeled.

“We’ve already been over this room, detective,” the FBI agent said, impatient.

She spotted something out of the corner of her eye. She reached down, far beneath one of the slick armchairs. She craned her neck and twisted her arm, and reached all the way under.

She finally found what she was looking for. She stood, red-faced, and held up a small piece of paper.

All of the other detectives stared back.

“A ticket stub,” she said, examining it with her gloved hand. “Mezzanine Right, seat 3. From tonight’s concert.”

She looked up and stared hard at all of her detectives, who stared blankly back.

“You think it belonged to the killer?” one of the masked.

“Well, one thing I know,” she said, taking one final look at the dead, Russian opera star. “It didn’t belong to him.”

*

Kyle walked down the red carpeted hallways, strutting through the thick crowd. He was annoyed, as usual. He hated crowds, and he hated Carnegie Hall. He had been to a concert here once, in the 1890s, and it had not gone well. He did not release a grudge easily.

As he marched down the hall, the high collars of his black tunic covering his neck and framing his face, people made way for him. Officers, security guards, press agents – the entire crowd parted ways.

Humans are too easy to control, he thought. The slightest bit of mindbending, and they scurry out of the way like sheep.

A vampire of the Blacktide Coven, Kyle had seen it all in his 3,000 plus years. He had been there when they killed Christ. He had witnessed the French Revolution. He had watched smallpox spread across Europe—and had even helped it spread. There was nothing left that could surprise them.

But this night surprised him. And he did not like to be surprised.

Normally, he would just let his usual, imposing presence speak for itself, and push his way through the crowd. Despite his years, he looked young and handsome, and people usually gave way. But he had no patience for that tonight, especially given the circumstances. He had burning questions left unanswered.

What sort of rogue vampire would be so audacious as to openly kill a human? Would choose to do so in such a public way, leaving no other possibility but for the body to be found? It went against every rule of their race. Whether you were on the good or bad side of that race, it was one line you did not cross. No one wanted that sort of attention drawn to the race. It was a breach of their creed that guaranteed only one punishment: death. A long, torturous death.

Who would be so bold to attempt such a thing? To draw so much unwanted attention from the press, the politicians, the police? And worse, to do so in his coven’s territory? It made his coven look bad—worse than bad. It made them look defenseless. The entire vampire race would convene and hold them to account. And if they didn’t find this rogue, it could mean an outright war. War at a time when they could not afford to have one, at just the moment they were about to execute their master plan.

Kyle walked past a female police detective, and she bumped him pretty hard. To top it off, she turned and stared at him. He was surprised. No other human in this crowd had the force of will to even take notice of him. She must be stronger than the others. Either that, or he was getting sloppy.

He doubled his mind strength, directing it right at her. She finally she shook her head, turned, and kept walking. He would have to take note of her. He looked down and saw her nameplate. Detective Grace Grant. She might end up being a problem.

Kyle continued down the hall, brushing past more reporters, past the tape, and finally past a new flock of FBI agents. He made his way to the ajar door, and looked inside. The room was filled with several more FBI agents. There was also a man in an expensive suit. From his shifting, ambitious eyes, Kyle guessed he was a politician.

“The Russian Embassy is not pleased,” he snapped to the FBI agent in charge. “You realize that this is not just a matter for the New York police, or just for the American government. Sergei was a star among our national vocalists. His murder must be interpreted as an offense upon our country –”

Kyle held up his palm, and using his force of will, closed the politician’s mouth. He hated listening to politicians speak, and he had heard more than enough from this one. He hated Russians, too. He hated most things, actually. But tonight, his hatred rose to a new level. His impatience was getting the best of him.

No one in the room seemed to realize that Kyle closed the politician’s mouth, even the politician himself. Or perhaps they were thankful. In any case, Kyle stepped to the side, and used his mind power to suggest that everyone leave the room.

“I say that we all take a coffee break for a few minutes,” the FBI agent in charge suddenly said. “Clear our heads a bit.”

The crowd nodded in agreement and quickly fled from the room, as if that were the most natural thing to do. As one final step, Kyle had them close the door behind themselves. He hated the sound of human voices, and especially did not want to hear them now.

Kyle breathe deeply. Finally alone, he could let his thoughts settle entirely on this human. He went up close and pulled back Sergei’s collar, revealing the bite marks. Kyle reached up and placed two pale, cold fingers over them. He held them up and took note of the distance between them.

A smaller bitespan than he would have guessed. It’s a she. The rogue vampire was female. And young. The teeth were not that deep.

He placed his fingers back over the bite and closed his eyes. He tried to feel the nature of the blood, the nature of the vampire that did the biting. Finally, he opened his eyes wide in shock. He withdrew his fingers quickly. He did not like what he felt. He couldn’t recognize it. It was definitely a rogue vampire. Not of his clan, or of any Clan he knew. More troubling, he could not detect what breed of vampire she was at all. In his 3,000 years, this had never happened to him before.

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