Ethereal Vampire

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Chapter 2

Detective Eliora Canmore

Eliora made herself comfortable on the passenger’s seat. The car was quite spacious so the journey to the crime scene wouldn’t be dreadful with the layers of clothes and that thick coat making her feel like a warm cocoon about to hatch into a butterfly.

Speaking of the layers, Eliora noticed how Troyi was only wearing a sweater?

Why am I concerned about what he’s wearing?

As she flipped through the files, she figured a conversation or two would make things between them less work-tense or awkward, even though she had a feeling that Troyi was already making himself comfortable working with her.

“So, Troyi. How did you become a Private Detective? Why not work with the police Department?” Eliora asked curiously while flipping over the pages and memorizing the details.

“Um…” Troyi trailed.

“I guess you can say it gives me more leeway? I’ll work for anyone who pays me well...I mean...not anyone of course I don’t work for criminals. I’ll do background checks on my clients before accepting their offer. Plus it gives me other advantages from the departments.”

Eliora hummed in acknowledgement as her eyes were still focused on the file.

“How about you then? Why the department?” This time, Eliora shifted her gaze to Troyi.

“Hmm, I guess maybe one day I’d like to take over Corporal Swanson’s position?” Eliora smiled cheekily.

“Don’t tell him I said that though or I’ll never get promoted.”

Eliora heard Troyi’s chuckle, nodding to her in acknowledgement.

“Your secret is safe with me Detective Canmore, or shall I say future Corporal Canomore?”

Playful laughter filled the car for a short while. Eliora leaned back against the seat and once again, she flipped through the file.

“How long have you been working in this industry?” Troyi asked.

Eliora tilted her head to count the number of years she worked. It wasn’t that many years but enough to say that she wasn’t new to the job.

“I’d say… about 4 years or so? How about you then? To become a private I’m sure you’ve been in it far longer? How old are you anyways Troyi? You look no older than 25.” Eliora didn’t realize the amount of questions she was asking till Troyi was laughing softly.

“Detective calm down, I’m not going anywhere.” He said with a smirk. “How long? I guess long enough to be experienced. We’re almost here. Let me find the house.”

The destination was one of the houses at the end of the street. Barely much useful information was provided.

All Eliora could get from the file was that a neighbour who apparently entered the house where the crime scene was, found the body of Laurance Turner in the morning while she was delivering some pancakes.

Or so claimed by the neighbour after calling the East police department.

“Hey Troyi.” A short hum was heard from him. “Do you think the neighbor, Adalia, caused the death? She has the key to the house, but since she mentioned giving pancakes, it really is a routine isn’t it? What if it was something that she planned a long time ago? I’ve seen cases of such but she can also be an innocent bystander. ”

A short silence came between them. Eliora watched as Troyi’s eyebrows furrowed and his lips formed a small pout.

How adorable.

“Well...I’ve been around this area and the people seem friendly at a glance, but I suppose we can ask around. It does seem suspicious that she walked in when Turner was dead. We could find out about their relationship and dig for any other information about the people Turner contacted.” Troyi commented.

“Although we shouldn’t assume that Adalia did it before we find out more about it. She might be innocent.”

Isn’t he a bit too kind?

Eliora nodded in response, closing the file and stuffing it into her bag the moment they drove past the first few houses.

House after house, it seemed like a cheerful neighbourhood...was a cheerful neighbourhood till the murder targeted this area.

It was no different than an apocalyptic atmosphere.

The car stopped at the sidewalk in front of a fairly large house surrounded by police tapes. Eliora got out of the car and further examined her surroundings. As she thought, the neighbourhood bore no suspicion of any urge for revenge. From the backyard playgrounds to the beautiful gardens, this murderer sure dislikes dark areas.

“Troyi, you don’t mind me doing the talking do you?” Eliora questioned as she slung the ID card over her head and wore her gloves.

“Of course not. I’m here to assist you after all.” Troyi replied, getting a hold of his ID as well before following behind Eliora.

She flashed her ID to one of the officers, Troyi doing the same. They entered the house and Troyi already had his notebook and camera to start recording what was needed.

Unlike the surroundings outside of the house that resembles a heavenly garden, inside was a complete mess, as if an earthquake struck followed by a tornado.

Flipped couches at the center of the living room, broken chairs and glasses were scattered on the floor. The television screen was face down, assuming the glass shattered.

Most significantly, was a pungent smell that lingered in the house. Eliora had to request from one of the officers for a few masks otherwise she couldn’t bear to step in any further.

“Don’t you need one too? The smell is too strong here.” Eliora gave Troyi a look when he rejected the mask. He returned to her and tiled his head.

“There’s a smell?” Troyi asked till his widened eyes didn’t go unnoticed by Eliora. “Umm, let us look at the body shall we?” He stammered and made his way swiftly towards the dead corpse on the floor.

Eliora couldn’t help but feel an arose of curiosity and possible suspicion, but her current priority was the case. She walked to the body and started examining.

“Status?”

The Forensic Pathologist crouched down to the body to examine it further.

“Time of death, One AM in the morning. The cause of his death, his heart was struck deep from that stab wound. The weapon was taken to be sent in for investigations, we will update you about it. ”

Eliora nodded while examining the stab wound. Troyi crouched beside her and gently poked the corpse’s body. It was close to one PM, the body was laying there nearly four 24 hours.

“So, before Turner’s death, he didn’t receive a single injury other than that clean stab to his heart?” Troyi pointed out and continued.

“The house is in a mess as if someone attacked him unless somehow he let his rage let the better of him. I would recommend asking around if he had anger issues but…” He paused to look at Eliora.

“But there would have been a sign of bruises or chaffing on his limbs.” Eliora finished it for Troyi while looking over the corpse’s hands and feet.

Eliora let out a sigh, it was the same information as the previous victims. She looked around for any signs of footprints or evidence that there was another living soul during the time of death but… apart from the wrecked furniture, the place was spotless?

We need to get answers from the residence nearby.

This surely was attempted to look like a suicide but judging from the lack of injury, the smell and the house situation, it must have been a sneak attack.

But…

Why?

What have all these victims done to cause such a death upon them?

A stab to the heart? Was the murderer in love or something?

Laurence Turner’s body was zipped up in the black bag and wheeled away for autopsy. Eliora crossed her arms as she watched while observing every movement in sight.

Troyi was talking to one of the officers and...they seemed to be whispering?

She waited at the front door, eyeing Troyi till he walked to her.

“Shall we get some statements from the residence? Especially the eye-witness, Miss Adalia. I know she gave her report but it might be worth the trip in case there’s information or two that were missed out.” Troyi seemed cheerful for a murder case.

Why is he always so cheerful?

Despite that, his smile is so sweet that it makes the case less dreadful.

Eliora nodded and grabbed Toryi’s arm.

“Well we don’t have the luxury of time to spare now do we? Come on, let’s ask Miss Adalia then we can go for lunch.” Troyi tilted his head in confusion.

“Lunch?” He repeated before the realization of time hit him.

“Oh right, lunch. Are you treating me?” Troyi asked with a playful grin.

“Ha, shouldn’t you treat a lady out?” Eliora snickered and pushed Troyi to walk in front of her.

Troyi couldn’t help out a small laugh as he walked towards Adalia’s house, the house beside the corpse’s house.

“Is that a no then?” Of course Troyi didn’t expect Eliora to treat him. Well at least he didn’t expect it to go smoothly with a price other than money.

“I’ll treat you, but on one condition. Let me see how you interrogate Adalia first. If I’m satisfied, you get a free lunch. Deal?” Eliora held out her pinkie to Troyi who’s eyes widened at her.

Eliora would be lying if she wasn’t amused when Troyi scratched the back of his head, lips pouting like a child who had their toy taken away.

“Come on Private Detective,” She teased, “This deal won’t last.”

A childish whine once again made her lips curve upwards.

“Deal and you better keep it.” Eliora just chuckled hearing Troyi and walked ahead, gesturing to him to keep up with her.

Adalia’s house didn’t take more than five minutes since it was beside the corpse. She was intrigued by how Adalia could send pancakes so casually in the morning even if it was a routine as claimed.

Did she not hear any scream or struggle?

Or was she already asleep since the murder took place late night.

But shouldn’t the damaged furniture create loud noises?

Eliora stepped over the stairs before knocking on the door gently. The door opened by a crack, a woman in her robes peaked through the crack, looking at Eliora then shifted to Troyi who flashed a friendly smile.

“Good Afternoon Miss Adalia. I am Detective Canmore and this is my partner, Private Detective Lavode.”

Eliora noticed how Adalia gripped onto the door the moment Troyi’s name escaped her lips. Adalia’s eyes were watery but she pulled her lips to greet them pleasantly.

“How can I help you detectives? Would...would you like to come in?” Adalia opened the door wider and stepped aside to provide as much space as she could.

Eliora wanted it to be a quick interrogation assuming Adalia would be too shaken up to speak of the matter again, but since she invited them, she couldn’t let go of this opportunity.

Of course, she had her precautions.

“Thank you Miss Adalia. I promise we won’t take too much of your afternoon.” Eliora entered the house.

Eliora trusted her gut that there was something suspicious.

She was right.

But...she didn’t expect the suspicion would lead towards Troyi.

Troyi was still standing right outside the door, eyeing around the frame. “I think...I’m good here.” His left hand slowly moved behind his back and from his posture, Eliora could sense how hard he was clenching his fists.

She didn’t want to take any unwanted risks, especially with this case.

“Miss Adalia, please excuse him but do you think we can just ask you a few quick questions here?”

Of course Eliora wanted to question Troyi too, but now wasn’t the right time...was it? Adalia nodded, brushing her hair to the side as she let out a long sigh.

“It’s alright, Detectives. So, what do you want to know?”

Eliora looked at Troyi and nudged him with her eyes to Adalia, prompting him but she wouldn’t force him if he wasn’t ready to question Adalia.

It doesn’t seem like he wasn’t.

“Right, Miss Adalia, last night at about midnight to one AM, did you hear anything?

Even if it is the slightest sound?” Adalia’s answer caused Eliora’s eyes to widen and shoulders stiffened.

“I heard...your voice... Private Detective Lavode. I’m not sure but you sound so similar to the voice… ”

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