Paul called out to the two vampires who were about to set off at an alarming speed.
“Hey, what about taking a car?”
“Non!” Philippe was shaking his head in a very determined way.
“Good idea,“ Marcus quickly checked the vehicles parked near and chose the fastest. Then he got into the car and started the engine. Philippe closed his eyes, but got in as well. Paul barely had time to close the door when Marcus was already screeching away.
“That, my dear policeman, could very well have been your last mistake”, Philippe said ominously, holding on to the sides of his seat.
“Eh, do you know where you’re going?” Paul asked. He was being thrown around in the back seat, trying in vain to get the seat belt in place.
“We found the hotel they’re staying in,“ Marcus said through gritted teeth, making the turn for Heathrow.
“Marcus, stop, he’s not going to the hotel, go for Clark’s place!” Philippe shouted.
“Why would he be there?” Marcus didn’t agree.
“Because he’ll go for the papers”, Philippe explained patiently.
“How long do you think he’ll last in a car alone with Naomi?” Marcus asked all hope gone from his voice.
Philippe sounded calming: “Marcus, don’t fall apart on us here, concentrate!”
“What does he mean?” Paul was alarmed at Marcus’s tone.
It was Philippe who answered: “He means that your Naomi smells really appetizing to us, and that Buyden must be thirsty, he’s not been feeding regularly from what I could find.”
Marcus sounded the horn at someone in his way, then screeched around him on two wheels. Philippe flinched, but continued, “But if he was completely out of control, he’d have had her already. And all that is just one more argument for him to go for the papers first so he can take his time with her later. He likes to savour women. He’ll also probably use her as leverage on Clark.” Philippe turned to Paul for confirmation.
“What?” A scream from Marcus, and the car lurched forward even faster.
“I told you, he’s not nice. Don’t worry, he won’t go for a quick kill with Naomi either.” Philippe’s voice was bitter.
Paul nodded. “I think he broke her fingers in there when I didn’t answer quickly enough.” He tried not to remember that.
Marcus cursed and did a handbrake turn. Paul could have sworn to see Philippe blanch at that. “Do you mind? There’s still one vampire in here, who’s still got his sense of equilibrium.”
“You never had one,“ Marcus screeched to a stop in front of Clark’s house five minutes later.
Philippe opened his door took a deep breath then shook his head. “No, not here.”
Marcus snapped at him. “Door!”
“No,” Paul interjected. “Think first. Naomi doesn’t have Clark’s home address on her, why should she? She’s probably got it at her office at the college though.”
“So they’ll be coming back here?” Marcus was doubtful.
“Clark left his flat and went there”, Philippe who had left the car now returned to it and pointed to an empty parking space. “I’d say he got a phone-call and left. Want me to check last numbers?” He was gone before Marcus finished nodding.
When he returned, he rattled off a multi-digit number, which Paul recognized at once. “The college. Go to the Strand campus, now. I’ll call for back-up.” He suited action to word.
Philippe got back into the car with a suffering expression and held on to the dashboard for another roller coaster ride.
“Why did you choose this car by the way?” Paul asked in the hope of making Marcus go a little slower. Urgent as their mission was, he wasn’t absolutely convinced of Marcus’s driving skills and in contrast to the other passengers he would suffer in an accident.
“It’s fast. It was standing around the …”
“Keep your eyes on the road!” Paul interrupted when he registered Marcus had turned around to answer his question without slowing a bit. “Tell me later!” He could see Philippe’s eyes were squeezed shut in the rear-view mirror.
Marcus stopped the car right in front of the building, and left in a flash. Paul followed running. When he turned at the door, he saw Philippe bent over, his head between his knees.