“Are you kidding me? How is this possible?” Carol sputtered.
“You found the car running, the attending officer cuffed to the steering wheel and Ms. Casavanio gone?” The police officer nodded. “Yes, the officer has quite the lump on his head. Oh, and a ball gag in his mouth. And his gun is gone.”
After Carol’s encounter with Mr. Crow, she had been summoned to Reception only for a uniformed officer to inform her of the impossible.
Rebecca had escaped.
“Samuel, get security footage up and running from earlier yesterday. The redhead, Rebecca what’s-her-name-pain-in-the-ass. I want pictures given to everyone on duty and headquarters. She just escaped police custody and is considered dangerous. Get hotel security into her room, round everything up and place it under police custody, immediately. And make sure there’s a least two guards.”
* * *
Ducking under the police tape, Carol held it aside for Agnes to enter the crime scene.
Outlined on the floor was where they found Antonio Rizzuto’s body. The room was still technically off-limits, but Carol wanted to know what, if anything, Agnes could sense, and as Jake had blown her off for dinner, again, it was the perfect opportunity.
“Agnes, you’re awfully quiet.”
“Sorry, there’s a lot in here and I’m trying to get a feel for it. I can hear the man dying. But there’s … old spirits. And more.”
Old spirits? Could there really be a ghost involved in this?
Agnes frowned heavily. “Something’s not quite right.”
Carol kept quiet as Agnes slowly walked around the room and bent over the chalked outline. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought her here, but she said she did this before with other police departments and we haven’t found any evidence leading towards a suspect.
“Honey, I have. I was involved in the Boston Strangler case back in the sixties. Now stop thinking. It’s mucking up the air.”
“Sorry, don’t think I’ll ever get used to you reading my mind.”
“Yeah, it’s like ordering Diet Coke, just ain’t right. Now shh.” Carol tried to think of nothing. It was more difficult than she thought.
Agnes stood quietly for a few minutes then slowly headed for the door.
“Lady, there’s a shit load of disturbances going on and I need to chat with Cider over this.”
“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say.”
“Yes. Except for you to cover your back and sleep with one eye open.” Agnes frowned.
“What the hell does that supposed to mean?”
“Just what I said.” Agnes quickly opened the door and left as fast as her old legs could move.
Well that went well. I’ve never seen the old girl move that fast. Which means she saw or felt something in here. Carol stared around the room. I agree with Agnes, I need to come back later.
Something doesn’t feel right, and my intuition doesn’t usually let me down.
* * *
“So, tonight’s the night. The ship is coming in.” Jake had texted her earlier.
Carol sat in her car as she called him.
“I thought being an undercover cop you would thrill on excitement like me. Anyways I only have tonight before this ship leaves, bound for San Francisco, and I’ve been ordered to plant a couple of ears on it. Are you in? We could do dinner and wine after.”
She did like living on the edge, wouldn’t have been a cop otherwise. That and upholding the law. “Dinner and wine, man, you never give up? After that outrageous scene with Rebecca in your room, I shouldn’t even talk to you. But I’ll consider this part of the assignment and not pleasure. And if you think of trying any funny business, I’ll slap my cuffs on you so fast you’ll think you just got booted out of an airplane. Got it?”
Yeah, he got nothing in that last sentence. I’ll have to watch him like a hawk. “So, we run out to this boat, without being spotted, board it and plant bugs? How are we going to do this?”
“I’ve got it already planned, some of my men will run another ship very close to them as they ‘quote’ leave the harbor and we’ll be suited in black gear, a black ops dingy, muffled engine and slide right up to them. I’m told tonight most of the crew is on shore leave and only a skeleton crew are on board. We’ve had satellite surveillance and drones watching the ship all day.”
“You Americans have all the coolest gear.”
“You haven’t seen the half of it. Are we on?”
“Let me check with my office, but I think we’ve a deal, not sure I can get the proper warrants in time to allow the Canadian authorities to do this. Given we’ve let you Yanks into this whole operation, or should I say you’ve barged in, without being asked, I don’t think that would stop you from doing this anyways.”
“Lady, we’re the ones that told your boys about it in the first place.”
Carol called him back after Big Dan called her back. “So Big Dan says I’m on my own. Deny everything if I get caught as I can’t get documentation in time to allow me to legally use the information if required, but I don’t think you care about that, unless you’ve got what you need from your people.”
“By the time we’re back, I’ll have what we need drawn up. So, it’s a go?” Jake replied.
“It’s a date. As long as I can plant our own ears aboard. My guys want to know what’s going down on this vessel as well. Could be crucial to finding out what is really going on with the mob out here.”
“Great. Meet me at pier forty-six by the boat named Seahorsey and don’t worry about what to wear, we’ve got all the gear we need to do this with.”
“Seahorsey? Your great undercover super-secret balls-to-the-wall loaded with all the newest wangle-dangle circuitry boat is called Seahorsey?”
* * *
Hours later, after dark had fallen, Carol hung onto to the sides of a small black dingy as her and Jake were being towed along. Both wore black fatigues and had blacked their faces as well. She’d never done anything this risky before which in itself was exciting. He was right it was a turn-on, the living on the edge of danger, part of her life as a police officer. Jake’s earpiece beeped. “Okay head down, we’re going in.” He released the rope and started the small engine. Even from inside the boat she couldn’t hear it run. “Electric, produces less heat for an infrared signal and far fewer decibels.
Not to mention the paint and the material of this dingy is nonreflective.”
They lowered their heads until she could barely see over the side. Quietly they whispered closer to the calm vessel wallowing in the waters of Victoria’s inner harbor. He’s so calm under tension he’s done this kind of operation before. I can only guess at the madness he’s gone through undercover with the FBI. Meanwhile her insides were turning to the consistency of quicksand. These moments of danger and thrill were what she lived for. The edge. Crap, just realized that. I’m one of those crazy thrill seekers that like to jump out of airplanes and dance over beds of hot coals.
As they pulled up alongside, he glanced at the small screen in front of him. “No heat scores on top, they are all either in the bridge or below deck.” He pulled a small gun like affair from a covered case and aimed it above them.
A silent whoosh and a projectile shot up. It popped itself to the side of the ship and then dispersed a load of plastic looking pouches. Instant footholds, she knew. He counted to ten and pulled on the rope before nodding it was safe. “Wait until I’m over the side, in case I have to deal with anyone.
The rope should hold two of us, but I’d rather not chance it.”
For all his size, Jake was extremely agile. All too quickly he was up, over and signaling her to join him. They ran along the starboard side, ducking under windows. From the dark waters of the inlet the hum of a large vessel approaching alerted them of its approach. It was a darkened large luxury cruiser, over thirty metres in length and headed in their direction. A large part of the bow lowered, and the roar of several black painted jet-skis erupted as they ejected from the vessel. Jake pulled a small pair of binoculars from his pocket. “Crap! We’ve company. They all in black commando outfits and bearing weapons.” He spotted the Uzi’s strapped to their backs, faces were blackened as well as partly covered with ski masks.
“They’ll spot us if we go back over the side.” He looked around as the vessels quickly approached. “Shit, under the lifeboat.”
The two dove under the covers as excited voices from inside the ship erupted, alerted to the approaching jet-skis. “This wasn’t part of the plan?”
“No. Don’t know what’s going on.” He pulled a gun from under his jacket, as did Carol, and both waited under the cover of the lifeboat. Her heart thumped hard.
A small explosion rocked the boat, followed by semi-automatic fire. The boat was obviously under attack. “Do we make a run for it?” she whispered.
“No, we wait it out. Lay out as straight as possible and I’ll get on top of you. This will make the boat as centered weight wise as possible.”
More shots rang out and somewhere a body thumped to the ground. Tracers ripped by them. Carol hissed and Cole clamped a hand over her mouth as he climbed on top of her. Her eyes opened in panic catching his cold hard stare. He replaced his hand with his mouth and kissed her deeply. What the…
His hungry tongue dove into her mouth. What? The man was psycho,
or … It’s that fricking edge thing. She felt herself wanting to respond to his kiss.
“Jake, what are you doing?” she whispered in the dark when he moved his mouth and ran his hands over her breasts. She could feel the throb from between legs.
“You excite me. I can’t help myself but be aroused when I’m next to you.”
“Are you kidding me?” she whispered. “We’re in a life boat hiding from killers.”
“Hey if we’re meant to go today wouldn’t you rather go this way?”
“I’d rather try to get out of here alive.”
“And if we don’t?” His hand trailed down her midsection. Carol fought the urge to deck him, anyone nearby would surely hear and the gig would be up.
“We might as while enjoy our last moments in style.”
Son of a bitch, bastard. This wasn’t the time or place for this. She wasn’t exactly a willing participant, either.
God damn him, it felt good, too good as his fingers caressed her between the legs. NO! I can’t. He’s FBI and I’m police.
“I can’t, we can’t.”
Carol reached down and grabbed him hard by the crotch.
“Oh, that’s it, baby,” he moaned into her mouth.
She crushed his balls in her hands.
“What?” he muffled his cry of agony.
“Now, get your bloody hands off my pants,” she whispered into his ear. It is said in the depths of emotion and despair you discover your darkest side. Bastard. I just discovered mine.
“But you’re turned on, you can’t deny that?”
“I know, not here, not now. This is work and there’s guys with guns out there. I’m on duty, what if he ever said anything, to anyone and being undercover police I couldn’t even think of raising this through any kind of Me Too Movement?
Carol continued to squeeze his sensitive parts harder as more shots rang out.
“Okay, I give, I give. Let go of my scrotum.”
“Let go of me. Deal?”
He pulled his hand free. “Fuck lady, you’re a teasing bitch. Oh, my balls, I don’t think I’ll be able to walk.”
“If wanted you I’d have told you.”
“No buts. I may want you. Not here, not now. Get it. We need to get our shit together and figure out how to get out alive.”
“Just wait ’til I get you alone someplace private.”
“Keep it quiet,” she spoke softly. “They’ll hear us.”
More shots were exchanged, some from silenced weapons, others thundering away. Footsteps thumped closer.
“Over here,” a voice yelled. Someone screamed while bullets ricocheted off the side of the lifeboat’s hull. “We need to leave, now.” A walkie talkie sent a line of garbled voices into the darkness.
“And I thought you liked feisty women? What do we do now?” she whispered.
“We wait. Not when they’re crushing my balls, you malicious bag.” Jake held his crotch.
Thump, Thump. Someone grunted as they ran by.
What The fuc…
Tracers zipped by, tinging off the metal of the life boat.
A barrage of gunfire erupted from a semi-automatic gun nearby. Voices cried out in what she thought was Asian. Something splattered near them and then silence.
Finally, someone moaned, before something splashed into the water. Shit, those are bodies being heaved overboard. After a few moments the sound of a boat’s motor restarting echoed in the sudden quiet. It quickly faded into the distance and silence reigned.
Jake listened for a few more moments before lifting the top of the lifeboat’s cover. “All clear.”
They scrambled out in the dark and spotted what looked like the Skidoos fading into the darkness. “What the hell just happened?”
“Don’t know, another gang? Someone else found out about this ship? Or the Italians want to already start getting rid of the Asian gangs. Could mean the start of a lot of trouble.” Jake moaned as he readjusted himself and walked tenderly. “Man you’ve got quite the grip. Damn.”
All around the deck blood splattered bodies lay. Bits of flesh clung to the walls, gore splattered like in some bad horror movie. Holes in the walls where bullets had gone through or ripped along. Four bodies at first count, a few more floating on the dark waters. Jake grabbed a semi-automatic and checked how much ammo was in it. He headed into the ship. Ahead of him one body moved. He put a bullet through the man’s head, before Carol could react.
“Sorry, can’t have any witnesses. Plant what you want out here, I’m going to look inside, stay here. I’ll see if there’s no one else aboard. But I’m pretty sure they took everyone out. Might not be any point in planting bugs, probably just get your guys to haul it to the docks.”
“Only why show up, kill everyone and leave? Didn’t make much sense.” Carol walked slowly about, checking the pulse of everyone she found that looked like they had a remote chance of being alive. A couple were so shot up it didn’t matter, chunks of flesh were splattered everywhere. She took a couple of pictures with her phone of the ones that had enough left to maybe identify and began to climb the stairs to the command center thinking she might find some answers when Jake came bounding outside from below deck, high tailing it as fast as he could.
“Carol! Run like hell.”
“What in the…?”
“Bomb,” he yelled and lifted his gun and ripped several rounds at the nearest lifeboat’s restraining cables. The small craft fell to the still waters. Carol ran towards him. They didn’t have time to get to their dingy, if indeed it was still there.
Jake tossed the gun aside and effortlessly picked her up by the waist as he ran past. He flung them overboard. Carol inhaled deeply as a horrendous explosion lit up the otherwise dark sky just before they hit the water. Something slammed into her as she breathed in salt water and lost consciousness.
* * *
My mother! I must find her. I remember now where she lives. They flew off in the sewers until they got to View Towers off Quadra Street in Victoria. We cannot stay long, the curse pulls against us, it is night. We can stand the night much more than the day.
It fluttered into a small apartment and there in her bed lay the former Cindy Amberside’s mom, Donna. Beside her a full glass of rum and bottles of prescription and illegal drugs.
She has strung herself out on drugs. We have got here just in time to save her life.
What do you care? She was horrible to you.
The elfish being leaned over and stroked her hair. I know, but she is still my mother and I love her. We must save her.
The half that was Lekwungen thought a moment. Okay, then we will feed off her and take this poison from her.
The blue fairy leaned over her, stroked her hair and breathed deeply taking the intoxication into itself, like a purple undulating mist, sucking it out of the woman.
This feeds us.
It felt itself filling inside. But she will do this again.
No, we will transform that energy into this part of us. It reached into itself and pulled out a small wriggling blue essence. Our love.
It opened her mouth and placed it inside where it glowed a moment, before dissolving. It is done, she will hate us, at first, thanks will come later.
We must go, the curse is calling.
The blue winged creature bent over in agonizing pain. We need to return. It cried in agony as jolting tremors shook its body. Yes, we must go.
Quickly it visualized itself back in the cool security of the sewers.
I hate this place, the stink.
I hate this also.
We must be free of this confinement.
Agreed, we will find a way.