Chapter 30-The Interrogation
After I dropped off Marcella last night I couldn’t find the energy to confront Nicholas. So I waited until this morning to do so. My thoughts are better collected now and I really do feel better about approaching him knowing Valerie has finally quit working here. I expected to find him in his office, but he must be somewhere else because no one’s in here, but me.
I walk out of his office and around the department in search of the hybrid. After I stroll through the workroom, I find him sitting in one of the interrogation rooms with Darren. I knock on the wide tinted window interrupting his interrogation session to draw his attention.
The hybrid lazily scoots back and takes his time exiting the small room. The officer guarding the door steps aside so Nicholas can walk through.
“Ah, mayor McCaster. I take it you brought the truth serum as we discussed?” He asks me.
“Yes, I brought it.” I answer while following him back into the room where Darren sits.
“Hey! Get me out of here! These people are insane.” Darren pleads to me as I set the half-empty flask on the table.
I pluck the cork from the flask and slide the container over to him on the table.
“What is this?” Darren growls baring his fangs at his stepbrother.
“The answers we are waiting for. Now drink up.” I say before the hybrid can answer.
Darren doesn’t move and Nicholas nods at the officer behind Darren. The officer picks up the flask and forces it into Darren’s mouth. Darren ends up biting the officer’s hand and gets slapped silly by the officer. Then, Darren’s chair falls over and his face collides against the cement floor. He downed the liquid, but I think a fight is about to break up between him and the officer he bit.
“Please, let me kill him. Freaking bit my hand, little shit!” The officer growls with his fangs bared.
He’s hunched over Darren with his foot on his stomach and has got his gun aimed at Darren’s bleeding forehead.
“Keep holding him down.” I tell the officer while approaching Darren.
“Do you know where Stella Gild and Colin Wallace are?” I ask him.
“No!” Darren growls while twisting his head around underneath the barrel of the officer’s gun.
“Who helped you trick Valerie? Someone must have made a spell for you to hide your identity. I want to know how you got that car as well.” I demand of him.
He continues trying to escape the officer’s hold.
“Nobody. I bought a premade elixir from a witch down in Florida. Drank it and then hijacked a police vehicle the night Valerie led me to the portal.” He explains.
“Why did you want her to take you to the portal?” I ask him.
“The legend! I wanted to activate it!” He blurts out while being lifted to his feet.
“Where are the missing? Have you been involved in the disappearances?” I question.
“I don’t know where they are. I had nothing to do with it.” He spits at me through his bared fangs.
The serum’s starting to wear off already and he tries to bite the officer again. Nicholas leads the way out and Darren gets dragged off down a hallway behind us. The hybrid returns to his office and I walk inside ready to discuss my own concerns.
“It is unfortunate he didn’t know about the missing. Which reminds me, why were you missing last night? You were to attend Marcella’s induction ceremony.” I instigate while glaring at the hybrid.
“My sincerest apologies. Darren is quite a handful.” He answers simply while sitting down at his desk.
For a human maybe. However, with so many vampires running this place there’s no way Darren would be able to escape. Nicholas Silvet must have been doing something else. I can’t imagine he would waste his own time watching Darren when there’s plenty of other officers here to do it for him.
“You wouldn’t have anything to do with Valerie’s aura being hidden, would you? The headmistress suggested her magic may be conjoined with someone else. Seeing as I didn’t do it, I was wondering if you did. Unless there is someone besides you, which knowing Valerie, I sincerely doubt!” I yell at him, but he doesn’t seem affected.
His frown deepens and another officer steps into the room behind me, the brute.
“I hear yelling. I ask you be respectful or I take you outside.” The giant vampire police officer remarks lightly in his heavy accent while watching me.
“Answer me Silvet or I’ll make you drink the serum too. You know the high council wouldn’t question it.” I say quickly while tapping my foot and facing him again, ignoring the brute’s threat.
“Mr. McCaster, we already discussed this long ago. There is no correlation between me being a hybrid and Ms. Parway’s aura being hidden. I know little to nothing about your legends, spells and whatever else you witches waste your time with. So please, keep such ludicrous ideas to yourself.” He tells me.
“There are people missing right now and you have done nothing about it. We are looking for answers and so is Valerie!” I shoot back.
“We are searching Mr. McCaster, but I asked before to work with your people which you refused to do. My kind are not good at tracking magic. Your people are. I thought that was why you went to the trouble of asking the high council to help? If you really cared to find the truth about Ms. Parway’s awakening you would reopen Patty’s case. I do not think Ms. Parway will accept what your coven is planning to settle with her on anyway.” He chides with a knowing smirk.
“How did you know about that?” I ask him.
“The papers from court arrived today. At present, their offer is still pending her approval. I wonder if ten thousand will be enough to satisfy her? It seems a small price for your coven to pay. Who, might I add, has mountains of money to sit on. Yet, they refused to pay for her medical bills from the crash. So I paid them for her.” The vampire tells me in his usual monotone voice while glancing at the clock above my head.
What does he think he’s doing paying my girlfriend’s bills?! I could have helped Valerie pay off those things, but she never brought it up to me. I didn’t even know they settled for ten thousand, but that number should have at least one more zero at the end of it.
“I told you to stay away from her.” I remind him sharply while watching my magic knock a book off his desk.
“I’m not sure I know what you mean. I was doing my job, protecting her as you asked me to. Besides, Ms. Parway no longer works here now. I don’t understand what the issue is with me helping out with a former employee’s financial problems.” He replies.
The officer leans back in his chair and tilts his head to the side as if confused by my anger.
“Where did you get that kind of money anyway? You don’t make half as much as I do. I thought you were indebted to the supreme!” I retort.
“My inheritance. My father’s estate was turned over to me after his death. His wife and sired children are out of state. Much like your own family, they wanted to escape the troubles of this town. They didn’t want anything to do with his money after learning about his crimes. The property was valued beyond what Jahmai demanded I pay her. I sold the house to her and kept the remaining amount of money I gained.” He explains without missing a beat.
“You gave the supreme your family’s home and she accepted it?” I laugh thinking him joking, but judging by the look on his face he must be serious.
“Mr. McCaster, I’ve told you time and time again that my interests are for the best of our community here. Now, you have nothing to worry about. Your coven has complete ownership of the mountain and will not need to worry about protecting your precious portal. The high council should have the missing found soon and you have finally selected a new headmistress. I think everything is going very well.” He replies sounding pleased.
He must have sold the land around my family’s ski resort to other coven members and kept that profit to himself. He had to of collected somewhere over a million and Jahmai asked for half that. Well, maybe he’s finally starting to understand his place around here. I’m glad he sold the land back to us, but I still don’t like him paying Valerie’s bills.
“I don’t need you to protect her anymore.” I inform him briskly.
“I suppose your coven must think so too. After all, they barely offered her the change in their pockets to compensate for everything they put her through. I guess they think she can manage enough on her own.” He answers sounding careless.
“We will give her more money, but no amount of money will make up for the damage Patty caused. Don’t show her those papers. Throw them out. I’m going to hold a meeting tonight and find out more about this.” I tell him while trying to control my temper.
I stride out of his office hearing the door shut behind me. I just don’t understand him. Before, I was so sure he cared about Valerie. Now though, it looks like he doesn’t care at all what happens to her which is fine with me.
I have more important things to worry about now. Such as which person decided ten thousand would be enough. They were supposed to pass the number by me before signing off on anything anyway.
It’s kind of nostalgic being back inside Wally’s. It doesn’t feel right though without Colin around and dampens my mood from earlier today when I found out they already accepted my application. I think they really liked the fact that I worked for the police or it could have been Colin putting in a good word about me before he disappeared.
Most of the employees are human, except for a couple werewolves who work the forklifts in the back. Wally’s really hasn’t changed at all since I remember. I don’t know how they can keep their doors open with the giant modern grocery store just outside of town now. The prices are higher here too and the variety of food much smaller.
“Valerie! Just who I was looking for. Can you take this cart and unload these frozen meals in the freezer section? Oh, and there should be another cart in the storage room with more of them. Could you put those away too?” The assistant manager, Anna, asks me.
“Sure.” I tell her while taking off with the cart.
Wally’s has a habit of playing old country songs that no one knows the name of. I’m pretty sure they’re playing the music on a CD player because I’ve heard all twelve songs three times now and the cheesy tunes are getting stuck in my head. The store isn’t very big, but for some reason, before I died it seemed bigger. This morning Anna told me there’s only about five people working each shift in the store. There’s only one cashier and Wally’s doesn’t need another one because business is slow. At least, that’s what Anna told me when I was filling out my new hire papers.
I push the shopping cart full of frozen fried chicken meals down the bakery aisle until I reach the freezer section in the back. Then I grab an armful of the boxes and start stowing them away where they belong on their shelf in the freezer.
“Heh, not a lot of action around here today.” I hear someone say from beside me. The man bends down to set a crate of milk on the tile floor. His hair is buzzed cut and he has a couple piercings on his right ear.
“Yeah.” I reply quietly.
The bright yellow collar of his Wally’s uniform polo moves away from his neck a little when he leans over the jugs of milk to pick up a few to put away on the cooler shelves beside the freezer I’m in front of.
“Name’s Jasper. You must be new. Don’t worry, everything around here is always this slow. It’s great, isn’t it? No one ever needs help. No messes to clean up. The only people who come in here anymore are the elderly.” He laughs heartily.
“Oh yeah? I’m Valerie, they just hired me today.” I tell him, but I can’t stop staring at the bite mark on his neck.
It’s scarred over and when he grabs my cart for me, I quit looking at it. It’s not super unusual to see a human with a bite mark, but it makes me wonder. Did he willingly let someone bite him or was he attacked? Well, it’s really none of my business.
I learn fast he walks really quickly and I hurry behind him into the storage room. I haven’t been back here yet, but I didn’t expect there to be so many big buckets all over the ground. We can barely walk back here. It smells kind of gross too like roadkill or something.
Maybe they have pest problems.
“What’s in the buckets?” I ask Jasper after almost tripping over one.
“Water, the roof leaks.” He answers in a gruff voice and I peer into one of the buckets.
The bucket is made of black plastic and looks kind of heavy duty. I can’t really even see the water because of the bucket color. It looks liquidy though and full too. Someone will probably have to replace them soon because they might spill over. I cross my arms trying to get an idea of where the water could be coming through at while looking up at the ceiling. All I see are rusty beams of steel and rotting wood. No giant holes, but I’m sure in a building this old the water’s probably seeping in through the wood.
It’s an awful lot of water though and I just have a hard time believing the rain alone could fill up so many of these big buckets. It did rain the other day, but certainly not enough to fill these buckets so high. Jasper starts steering the cart full of frozen meals around the maze of buckets and I wait for him by one of the tables.
There’s a couple more tables back here too. Each one has a bunch of cakes on it with red icing and a lot of plates with pastries with strange red swirls. None of the food is covered and I’m no health inspector, but this can’t be sanitary. Especially with the roof leaking back here, yuck. Why are the bakery items back here anyway? It must be a special order because I’ve never seen or known anyone to want so many red-colored treats.
Jasper manages to steer the cart around the buckets without spilling any. I hold the swinging door open for him as he pushes the full cart back into the store area. Happily, I breathe in the much better smelling air. I really don’t want to have to go back in the storage room again any time soon.
It was kind of dark back there too and I felt like I was waiting for someone to jump out from behind one of the wooden crates of food.