Maris Santos sighed as she walked down the damp streets of New Orleans in the late hours of the night. She was exhausted from being nagged all day by the High Priestess of her witch circle. She hated Alma with a burning passion. The only good thing she looked forward to is to see her little girl, but then she groaned in annoyance remembering she was sleeping over at a friend’s house. Maris decides to take a shortcut, walking down an alley. As soon as she was heading down the alley was a feeling of dread and fear filled her. All the hair on her arms stood up as the temperature dropped 20’degrees. Maris felt her heart and breathing start to speed up as she walked down the alley even faster. Looking behind her, she only saw wisps of fog but she remained paranoid. She breathed a sigh of relief when she exited the alley and ran to her apartment. As soon as she was in her apartment, she headed straight to her small living room slumping on her comfy, old couch. She reached over and grabbed the TV remote and turned on the news. The news anchor talked in the background as Maris kicked off her heels and she started paying attention when she heard the anchor talking about a recent discovery of a body. Maris went cold as she recognized the woman who was killed. Maris took the remote and turned up the TV and started paying close attention.
“You know, Janette? I am absolutely shocked at the gruesome state of this poor young woman.” The male anchor said to the woman.
“Yes Jared, so am I.” She turned to the Screen.
“At eleven twenty-two, a young couple out for a stroll came across this body that was, well torn apart. The recent release of the autopsy shows she is missing her liver, kidneys, and heart. Her name was Aria Santos, a witch of The Circle of Night. Aria was missing for about a week, before and now she has sadly passed. Witches from her circle say she was on the way to New Orleans to visit her cousin, Maria. There are reports of officials claiming the Supernatural Investigation Bureau is opening a case, believing a supernatural committed this heinous crime. Further explicit details will be expressed later.”
A choked sobbed escaped Maria as she learned of her Cousin’s death and the brutality of her murder. Maria turned down the audio and curled up on the couch in sorrow. Her tears flowed as she fell asleep with the soft audio of the audio in the background.
Maria gasped as she jerked awake, but she couldn’t move. Her body wouldn’t listen to her commands. The only thing that would listen to her body, was her eyes. Her mind screamed as she something moves across the living room in the corner of her eye. Her chest heaved as her eyes widened in panic as she realized someone was inside her apartment with her. The rush of blood roared in her ears as she saw a pair of icy blue eyes glared at her with utter hate and animosity. He started to pray to Morrigan as he started striding towards her with the grace of a cat. His lanky body was coiled with tension as he finally was in the line of sight, his sharp of glass features matching his face that turned to disgust before he lunged and grabbed her by the throat. She felt his fingers lengthen and sharpened into claws, piercing the soft flesh of her throat. Just as Maria finished her prayers to Morrigan, she felt her throat ripped out, a flash of pain hitting her. Then, there was nothing.
He watched as her neck gushed her warm, tainted blood. He looked down at the chunk of flesh in his hand before sneering and dropping it to the floor. He had to hurry and make quick work of the time slot he had. He knew this little bitch put charms around her living space and it wouldn’t be long before someone came to check on her. He sat on the couch and grabbed her body, pulling her onto his lap. Her head rolled onto his shoulder as he dug into his pocket for his knife. With her blood seeping into his shirt, he slammed his 8” inch knife into the left side of her stomach. He twisted the knife and held it firm as he dragged all it to the right of her stomach, only nodding in satisfaction when the skin of her stomached opened and her intestines spilt out. He quickly shoved his arm into the hole of her body and grabbed what he was looking for. He put the organs in a small bag as he threw her body aside. He chuckled at the mess he made and the small pool of blood forming under her body. He pocketed his knife and quickly rushed to the window and slipped out into the cool night. After getting rid of Satan’s Whore, he felt giddy. He was going to be here for a while he knew, he had his sights on taking out the entire circle of Belgrave. He would do whatever his Master wished of him. He jumped down onto the concrete path of the alleyway, striding into the fog under the light of a full moon.
Note: Witches Screams Are Ear Piercing Loud.
I let out a low snarl at the Lycan and Vampyre in front of me as I rubbed my face in exasperation. Crossing my arms over my chest as they both guffawed at my unfortunate luck. I looked away sulking as they both started to calm.
“So, let me get this right,” Maverick chuckled. “ She bleached your clothes, trashed your bedroom and called Director Hamilton?”
“Yes! I went and fired her for unprofessionalism.” I was furious with her reaction when I took up another woman to bed.
Listen, Director Lysander, she probably thought you were dating because you have been “exclusive” with her for three weeks. Irritation shot through me at that comment.
“ No, she knew what I wanted and the terms of our “relationship,” I said as Lucien stood up and walked across my office to pour himself a drink. Maverick just leaned back into the leather loveseat sighing in comfort. My phone started to ring as Lucien finished his glass and pouring himself another. Picking up my phone I greeted the Director of April.
“This is Director Lysander speaking.”
I glared at both Maverick and Lucien leaned forward to listen to my conversation. I quickly turned my chair around looking out the tinted window of my office on the top floor of the SIB branch in Atlanta.
“Lysander!” Director April snapped in annoyance.
Gritting my teeth in annoyance I narrowed my eyes on the setting sun casting a golden glow over my city.
“ I want you to investigate the recent murder of the witches, Maris and Aria Santos in New Orleans. They just now discovered Maris murdered in the same fashion as her cousin. I just sent someone to give you the files and documents following their case.”
I was quiet for a moment before I finally spoke. “Is it that serious? You’re sending me to New Orleans for two murders. We have had mass killings before but what about this case makes you want to send a director?”
For the first time since I met Lillian centuries ago, she was quiet.
“ I’m not just sending you, Lucien and Maverick will accompany you. About the case, it’s just off. There is no scent we recognized of any supernatural being, so there is not much to go on. Come on Lysander, you’ll figure this out soon.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, giving your life before you are now.”
“Then why don’t you go?”
“ I can’t I have to handle a situation with a corrupt Alpha in Marinette, Georgia. No more discussion on this. You know I am above you.” Turning around I saw Maverick dancing in excitement as Lucien was preparing for the trip.
“Fine!” I snapped as I slammed the phone down. I chuckled as I saw Lucien shoot his foot out tripping Maverick. I rolled my shoulders, leaning back in my chair as a knock sounded out.
“Come in,” I said.
I watched as Bernadette strutted into my office passing the two other supernaturals scowling at her. When she reached my desk, she threw the files in front of me before cocking her hip to the side and crossing her arms.
“Bernadette...” I warned lowly.
She rolled her eyes and turn to leave before she turned back to look at me. I watched as her face softened for a milli-second before hardening again.
“Please. Please catch whoever did this. Those witches didn’t deserve to die like that, especially Maria.” She reached her hand in the pocket of her pants and withdrew a piece of paper.
“ Here. Go see LaRue at the Bubonic Emporium. Don’t go to the High Priestess Alma. She’ll tell you nothing. Don’t trust her. Go to LaRue and her family. The stuff that goes on in the night under New Orleans it-it isn’t pretty.” I took the piece of paper from Bernadette.
“ Thank you.” To be honest I was pleasantly shocked by her actions. Before my face turned grim.
“What exactly goes on in New Orleans?” I said slowly.
Her face soured. “ I can’t exactly say what because of Alma, but some are unspeakable.”
“Don’t worry. We will leave as soon as possible. We’ll solve the murders and then we will deal with Alma.” Maverick and Lucien nodded in agreement with stony looks on their faces.”
“ Thanks, Director Lysander.” she snapped and turned her nose up at him. He chuckled as he saw the small twinkle in her eye as swayed her hips out of the office.
I snapped my head to Lucien as I quickly stood up and grabbed the files, briefcase and laptop bag on my way out my office.
“How long until we can leave.” I barked as they followed behind me. Pushing the button on the elevator and stepping in Lucien whipped out his phone.
“The jet is ready to go with necessities already packed. The pilot is ready to go on command.” Lucien replied.
“Maverick, I want a brief report on the case and importance with details. I also want an entire report of the witch LaRue before we land.” I said as I handed him the files.
“Yes Director,” He responded. “ I’ll give them to you while we are on the jet.
“Perfect,” I said as the elevator dinged and we stepped out into the lobby.
Malcolm quickly rushed ahead of me opening the door as we hurried to the car that would take us to our private airport. It was a silent drive as all three of us were busy with our tasks. Lucien making phone calls as Maverick was quickly typing on the computer as I made reservations at a hotel. After fifteen minutes, we were at the airport and rushing to our jet.
“Director Lysander!” The pilot squeaked.
“Lindell,” I said tersely. “ Depart as soon as possible.”
I brushed past him as we made our way onto the jet. I went to a seat and pulled out my laptop and started looking up the map of New Orleans. The jet entered turbulence as we took off. I got comfortable as did Lucien and Malcolm. It was going to be an hour and a half flight from Atlanta to New Orleans before nightfall.
“Lysander,” Lucien called. I looked up as he made his way with a file. “Here, this is from Maverick. I also made reservations at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.”
I listened as Lucien gave a quick report on our staying preparations. Opening the file that Maverick made, which was brief and to the point. New Orleans was a Witch town run by Alma Bennette and the High Priestess of the Circle of Belgrave. She was meticulous and crude, ruling with an iron fist. His report showed that she had quite a few altercations with authorities in the past. She owned a few nightclubs in the French Quarter. She and her entire coven lived in Layfette cemetery. Almost twenty years ago one of the members of her coven, LaRue Torres left. Still residing in New Orleans with her wife Elodie Torres. They have an adopted daughter named Ambrose Torres. LaRue was the owner of The Bubonic Emporium which was a Voodoo supplies store. I rubbed my hand down my face and rested my chin on my hand.
“ Director Lysander we will be landing in about fifteen minutes.” The captain stuttered.
“Very well,” I answered.
I rolled my eyes in annoyance when I heard Maverik’s ghastly snores and I heard Lucien smack him in the head causing Maverick to let out a howl. They immediately started to bicker. I shook my head and resumed my reading, just starting of each personnel file.
LaRue Torres: Voodoo Witch.
Eye colour: Black
Hair colour: Black
Weight: 130 lbs.
Consort: Elodie Torres (Kitchen Witch)
Children: Ambrose Elaine Torres (Forest Witch)
“Lysander. We’re here.” Lucien said. I looked out the window, surprised at seeing a beautiful city. Checking the time on my watch seeing it was 7:38, I packed up my things and stepped off the plane where a car was parked. The captain walked up to us handing me the keys.
“I call shotgun!” Maverick cried. As soon as he began to run, Lucien was already in the passenger seat with his arms crossed with a shit-eating grin on his cocky face. Malcolm looks at me with a pleading look on his face as I strolled to the car, replying with a shrug. He poured and dramatically threw open the back door and sat behind Lucien. I looked in the review mirror as I started the car watching as a thoughtful look crossed Maverick’s face. I started the short drive to the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. “What are we doing first?” Lucien asked in that raucous voice of his. “We are going to check in right quick.”
I spared a quick glance at him. “Then we are going to LaRue’s house to ask some questions. Then tomorrow, going to pay a visit to Alma.”
“We going to LaRue? You sure she gonna help us? Listen. I ain’t saying she bad cause I don’t know her personally. But witches usually don’t do nothin’ without a price.”Maverick said in his silvery voice.
“She’ll help. She seems to hate Alma and we can use that to our advantage.”I responded. I was awed by the coloured lights of the city. Walking past on the sidewalks were all species of supernaturals.
I drove past the streets, taking lefts and rights detouring to see more of this beautiful city. I felt my skin ripple and I gritted my teeth holding the shift until we can check into our hotel then we can head to LaRue before 8 o’clock.
“You can shift you know? Maverick already turned into Silverback.” Lucien said nonchalantly. “But you should wait until your outside and closed places, like a car.”
I grunted and pulled into the parking lot of our hotel. It was decent. I and Lucien stepped out of the car. Hearing the groan of metal, we both saw Silverback step out of the car, standing seven feet tall with bulging muscles, Silverback was a top-notch enforcer of the SIB. “Be careful idiot! ”Lucien hissed. “Stay here. I’ll go check in and Lysander,” He turned to look at me. “Keep an eye on him. Make sure he doesn’t mess up.” He walked into the lobby to the front desk.
Silverback barked out a laugh before leaning up against the car attracting the stars of everyone. I groaned as I felt my skin ripple again. Rolling my shoulders I felt a large claw on my shoulder. I turned my head glancing at Silverback. “Shift.” He snarled. I nodded and walked to an alley. I grunted as his joint popped, bones cracked and rearrange with the flesh on my back torn from his body. My face contorted in a cringe as his wings unfurled and he felt my skin hardened. letting out a deep breath as it soon stopped, I stretched. I shook out all the tension in my body and I flapped my wings. I walked out of the alleyway, attracting awed and fearful stares. people rushed out of my way. I went straight to Maverick, who looked at me after hearing me come over.
“We’ll leave the car here. We will all meet at LaRue. Do not disturb the house unless I am there. We don’t want to get on the foot just in case.” I said to them. “ let’s go.”
My muscles relaxed then tensed as I unfurled my wings to take flight. I crouched and grinned as I saw Lucien disappear and Maverick running on four legs in the distance, letting out howls as he went. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Opening my eyes seeing the stars above and the coloured, twinkling lights of the city below me. I turned around I flew towards the woods, my strong wings driving me forward. I saw LaRue’s house in the distance, the porch light on. As I neared the house, I saw Lucien and Silverback prowling in the darkness of the night. They were waiting for me. I quietly landed on a thick tree branch. Silverback’s ear twitches and turned his head to give me a quick nod to me knowing of my presence.
Jumping out of the tree I landed on the packed dirt in the loose trees. I began walking to the house, passing Lucien and Maverick who followed behind me. Taking a deep breath I put on my best smile, behind me they did the same. Knocking on the door we waited, our smiles beginning to fade. Hearing footsteps, our smiles quickly returned as the door opened.
That’s when the screaming began.
LaRue’s wife has an 11” iron skillet
~10 minutes later~
I was resting on LaRue’s sofa as she handed me a bowl of tea, which I graciously accepted. I sighed as I heard whimpers from Silverback while LaRue gave him a pitying look as Elodie rubbed his back, muttering apologies.
LaRue turned to me with her soulful eyes. “I’m very sorry about your friend Lysander. We weren’t really expecting guests and well,” she waved a hand at me “especially one your kind.”
She sat down across from me in the love seat, her wife joining her shortly after snuggling together.
“You came here for a reason. What do you need?” Elodie asked quietly.
Lucien leaned forward and said. “ Maris and Aria Santos were recently murdered. Both were from LaRue’s former coven. A witch from our branch in Atlanta said you left because of your coven’s high priestess, Alma.”
LaRue’s face screwed up and she let out a hiss. Elodie tried to comfort LaRue who stood up and spit on the floor.
“ That woman! She has always liked her magick on the dark side. She deserves whatever Morrigan has in store for her. She should be rotting away by now.” LaRue sneered.
I took a drink and set my bowl down carefully.
“What do you mean by rotting away?” I asked her.
LaRue took a deep breath as her wife stood up and hugged her.
“When Witches or Warlocks use black magick, they start to rot away. Black magick slowly poisons your body and corrupts your mind over time. Your body starts to wither away or at best disfigure. Some witches or warlocks who have used black magick sacrifice and eat organs of other young witches to stall the process. But, they use glamour spells. Like Alma. She uses about ten a day.” LaRue said. I nodded in understanding.
“Why would they use black magick in the first place?”
“Technically, it can be more powerful but the spells are dangerous and the ingredients for them are hard to find. The spells must be precise or the backlash from doing one minuscule detail wrong can be devastating.”
“So Alma did it to be more powerful?”
“Yes. She could also control her coven better.”
“ I thought covens were the utmost loyal to their high priestesses?”
“Not to Alma. She’s a piece of nasty work. When I left she had about 4 loyal followers out of 43 witches and warlocks.” LaRue chuckled. “Trust me, the odds are not in her favour.”
“May I ask why you left the coven?” I asked.
“Certainly.” She gave Elodie a fond look before turning back to face me. “She wouldn’t let me be with Elodie.”
At the sound of my snarls along with Lucien’s and Silverback’s growls, they jumped and stared at us with wide eyes.
Lucien stood up. “She can’t do that! Mates are the one thing no one has a say on.”
I nodded. “What she did was in violation of the treaty of 1792, section 2. What did you do in response?”
“ Isn’t obvious? I left because Elodie means more than my coven, more than anything. I just adore her.” I smiled as Elodie blushed and said a quiet “I love you”. Maverick was cooing at them.
“What’s the best time to talk to Alma? We can go right now or in the morning.”
“Do it in the late morning,” LaRue said. ” She is up most of the night doing whatever she does. ”
I stood up, Maverick and Lucien following my lead.
" It was lovely meeting you LaRue and Elodie. But, we must be off. It’s early in the morning and we wish for you two to rest.” I said.
“We’ll come with you!” Elodie blurted out, face turning red.
“That is a very kind offer and I must accept. We do not know this town of-of well, deception. We’ll meet you at your store at 10 o’clock.”
“Of course, see you tomorrow,” LaRue replied. ” at 10 o’clock.”
We left the house at two in the morning.
“What do you think Lysander? ”
"We will go tomorrow."
"That's not what I mean and you know it."
"Yes," I said as I thought it over." I trust them."
Mave nodded leaving it at that.
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