Leon stomped down the staircase and opened the ornate petshop doors, only to see D standing right there, wearing his peach-colored traveling coat. Q-chan, the strange, bat-winged, rabbit, was hovering just above D's right shoulder, squeaking and chirping urgently. Leon stopped.
"Why, hello, officer!" D said sweetly. "I've been expecting you!"
The cop positioned himself so that he was blocking the door. He scowled suspiciously. He moved his hand to point at the traveling coat.
"What's with that, D?" he demanded flatly.
"I'm afraid I have an errand to run, detective, if you'll excuse me…"
But Leon held up a hand like a wall in front of the other man. "Uh-uh. I don't think so. Where are ya running to?"
"I'm sorry, but the matter is somewhat urgent," D waved the question aside. Q-chan chirped again.
Leon's expression became intensely serious. "I know Amethyst was here yesterday. What did you sell her?"
"Relax, detective!" soothed the Count, opening his hands in a graceful gesture. "I didn't sell her anything."
"Nothing?" repeated Orcot.
"That is correct. You see, this is a business that deals only in dreams and desires. Amethyst's soul is pure; she is a song. She has no desire, save to exist, which is something I cannot sell. Thereby, it would be impossible for me to do business with her." He touched his fingertips together.
"What the… Is that supposed to make sense?!" he responded. "Knock it off with the metaphors, ok?" He launched into a tirade, counting the list off on his fingers. "Amethyst arrived the day the murders began. You told me that! Why? An orphaned kid shows up at the crime scene. Why? She knows you. How? Amethyst comes here, but you claim that you didn't sell her anything. What do you know that you're not telling me?"
"Please…" D tried to brush past him.
Leon seized a hold of D's collar and pulled the man towards him. He knew how much D hated physical contact, but it was the only way to get his attention.
"Are you even listening?!" he demanded. "Now, the kid's gone. The mirror's broken and covered with her blood! Don't try and tell me you're not involved, Count! What is going on?!"
Count D raised an eyebrow and gave him a mocking look. "Mirror?"
Leon let go. The Count half-fell onto his feet and regained his balance. He regarded Leon with a self-amused smirk.
"If I'm not mistaken…" he said after a pause.
"Fine!" Orcot shot back quickly. He rolled his eyes. "I never should have signed that stupid contract of yours."
Count D gave him a cool smile.
He was such an idiot! He'd known the guy long enough to know that those contracts led to trouble. And now, there wasn't a thing he could do about it. Damn… How could he have let D get the upper hand like this?
"I believe the police department can not hold me accountable for the consequences of Irina's disappearance?" D inquired.
"Not this time," grumbled Leon. "Wait. Consequences? Hey! Where do you think you're going?"
The Count stopped, his hand resting on the door. "Back to the crime scene." Without the slightest trace of anxiety in his tone, he added, "Before there is another murder."
"No way. You're not going anywhere wearing that."
Obligingly, D removed the cloak to reveal midnight-black robes embroidered with blood-red flowers. The fabric, shiny like silk, was tailored perfectly to his delicate frame. He looked beautiful… and a little sinister. "I assure you, I won't cause any trouble," he promised.
"Damn it, Count, it's another one of your half-truths isn't it?"
D put one finger up, closed his eyes, and smiled. "In fact I may be able to help." He was acting like a child again.
"Aww, officer! Don't you trust me?"
"Fine, you can come. But if you start pulling dragons out of your dress, I swear I'll shoot you!"
"Keeping innocent civilians safe, as always, I'm sure!"
"Not like you would… No! Feed the fish later, D!"
"Not like you would care. They're only humans."
"Honestly, it is rather foolish to protect those in the persistent habit of repeating their own mistakes."
"Cut the psychology crap! Just get in the damn car!"