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Author Topic: A Murder in Alvedara - Chapter 19 - Return of a Lovely Lady  (Read 1353 times)
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Kane
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« on: November 08, 2010, 01:06:16 PM »

A Murder in Alvedara – Chapter 19 – Return of a Lovely Lady

Instead of going to the office, I went home and ordered a hot bath and a shave. I’d sleep in my own bed for only the second time since the killings began. It’d give me a small respite as my many detractors would assume I was at my office.

My plan worked better than I thought and I got six hours of uninterrupted sleep that was desperately needed. I ate a heavy lunch, not knowing when I’d eat again and walked back to the office. There were only a handful of men there as most had spent the night searching for Corporal Mehan. I placed one more red X on my map, marking where Mehan had been killed. The four marks still didn’t mean much to me, except that they were in different areas of the city. Without any clear idea of what the killer was doing, I could see two or three areas of the city where he might sacrifice his next victim.

I was sitting with my feet up on my desk, staring at the map when she entered, Selene, the beautiful but dangerous Sister of Tender Mercy. I thought about standing up, but as my days were likely numbered, it didn’t seem worth the effort. She seemed a little surprised by my indifference before she slinked into one of the softer chairs along the wall. She stretched out her long legs, almost mocking my pose.

“There’s been another murder; one of your men I believe.”

Her voice was matter of fact, no visible emotion or condescending tone in it. With the same lack of emotion I answered, “Corporal Mehan, a good man and like the others, very large. Our killer wants them big. They took his intestines. Good clean cut. His body was facing toward the city like the others.” I’d said enough for now, her turn.

“He’s mocking both of us, taking a legate and a guardsmen. Whoever he is, he has no fear and his plan is moving along easily. You’re not the only one getting little to no sleep.”

If she’d missed any sleep, it didn’t show. “I covered some tracks for you last night. About an arc ago, a dock hand saw four men dressed as legates; one possibly a woman, carrying a large body with its chest cut open. I couldn’t let the dock hand live and spread that tale. One of the legates was a large man who was hunched over.  Remind you of anyone?”

I didn’t expect her to share, but I could almost see her mind at work. “You said one might be a woman, why?”

“The witness said it was either a woman or a very slight man. Whoever is doing this can destroy souls. It stinks of the Order.”

Fortunately, she ignored my slight of the order. “That gives me a little more to work with. I like your map. Has it told you anything?”

I was beginning to enjoy the conversation. It felt like we were peers, possibly even friends, puzzling over a common problem. I could almost forget that she had probably killed more men than I had and knew more about torture then Yolan. “Not yet, but I’m sure there’s a pattern. If I had to guess, the next victim will die in three days near the bridge district. No evidence, just a hunch.”

She got up strolled behind me, trailing her fingers along the back of my chair before stopping before the map. A long nailed finger touched the bridge and then drew a circle connecting the four murder sites. “Not quite a summoning circle, but it may be something. If the killer is a member of the Order he could kill either of us easily. I don’t like the thought that I have no one watching my back. It would be good to have someone outside the order I could rely on.” With that she turned and gave me a long look as if she’d make it worth my while if I was that person.

Without waiting for an answer she smiled a beautiful but at the same time wicked smile and walked toward the door. “You look better when you’re properly shaved.”
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