Petshop of Horrors DIVIDE

Chapter 5

Chapter V

The next day, two more persons were reported missing. Sure enough, their bodies were found near the abandoned house. Again, they lacked any injury or apparent cause of death, and again, there were no traces of the murderer. Leon did check on Amethyst Moon, but witnesses confirmed that she had been on the other side of the city all night.

Back at the police station, Leon was eating his lunch and trying to put it together. Problem was, there was nothing to put together. To make matters worse, he had stupidly brought Count D into this, and mixed himself up with an orphaned little girl. This case couldn't get any weirder…

The phone rang.

"Hello? Yes, it is. How is she? What? She's gone? No, we don't. Thank you. I'll look into it."

He hung up, grabbed his jacket, and left.

"COUNT!" he shouted, bursting into the parlor.

D was standing with a small group of customers, clearly in the middle of something. He tipped his head, mildly annoyed.

"Officer, please, I am trying to run a business!" he sighed.

"Yeah, well in case you've forgotten, I still have a cell reserved for you! In the meanwhile, maybe you'd like to take a trip downtown?"

D had returned his attention to his clients. He took the roll of paper and handed them a large, covered box, conducting business in a low tone. When they had left, he spun around, his smile gone.

"What is this about?" he asked gently, his head down a little.

"Where is she?!"

"The child? She's here in the petshop."

"Come with me!" he said triumphantly.

Leon grabbed his wrist, dragging him across the room. D didn't struggle; the look of slight mortification on his face was actually cute.

"Officer! What are you doing?" D pouted, suppressing a smile.

Orcot let him go, sulking. "Start talking, or I'll give you a new set of bracelets," he threatened.

D rubbed his sore wrist with his long fingers. "I don't understand," he said innocently with a wounded look.

"Don't play games! This is kidnapping!" shouted Leon, furious.

"Nothing of the kind, detective," murmured D, smirking. "The child came to me herself. I assumed it was with the knowledge of the police and so provided her a safe haven. See how well she gets along with some of the more restless birds?"

Now he was actually smiling, indicating the birds with one, pale hand.

Leon gaped at him.

"You're controlling her."

"Only the same power I have over you."

Damn, Leon thought. I can't tell if he's trying to be playful with me, or if he's being serious!

Count D smiled his infuriatingly impossible to read little smile.

"Would you care for some tea?"

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