It was late in the evening, almost eleven at night, when Isaac had returned home, he had spoken to his brother Johan, though he had two reasons to call him. One was to inform Johan of the possible events of a potential copy-cat killer, saying that he would still look out for Charla, but the other was to try and get a better holding on what was happening in the city and if there was any connection with Charla.
The house was silent as the grave, no signs of life or movement as he made his way to the living room, recalling how Charla had left for one evening, late during a rainstorm, what’s more the night of the attack Nina had made a comment how Charla kept her window open that night. Though in truth he only thought it was so Charla could get some fresh air since she lived in the city where it always seemed loud. He was much like that himself when he returned from the Police Academy, yet something still bothered him.
Quietly as possible Isaac made his way up the stairs and paused to look into Nina’s room and see her fast asleep. Then he slowly opened the door to see Charla. Her window was open faintly allowing the curtain to sway slightly from the wind, he opened the door further and entered her room. She slept facing the wall, her back towards him, the covers went up to her chest as she slept on her side.
He merely looked at her then the scare on her neck slightly obscured by hair, the pain she must have endured from the accident was impossible to imagen. Yet something about this he couldn’t shake, the way his brother had quickly moved on from the fact that there were sudden multiple deaths and going right to asking if Charla was okay, why would he ask that? On top of it, Johan told Isaac to not ask Charla any questions in regards to the murders, or to even push for an answer if she becomes quiet.
“What is going on with you?” he muttered to himself.
“Dad…?” Isaac turned to see a very sleepy Nina looking at him. “Why are you home, I thought you said you wouldn’t be back until tomorrow afternoon, and why are you in Charla’s room, she’s sleeping.”
“Her father asked me to check on her, that’s all. And I forget to bring some things with me to work. I woke you up didn’t I, I’m sorry, here let’s get you back to bed okay?” he said as he went to rest a gentle hand on his daughter’s tiny shoulder. “Come on,” he then brought Charla’s door slightly ajar.
Eyes opened before tilting head back to look at the now slightly ajar door, hearing the voices of Nina and that man before hearing him heading down the stairs before leaving the house. Getting out of bed and silently moving to the closet and reaching the dark navy blue hoodie and throwing it on. Already wearing jeans and would have been gone if not for the sudden return home of that man, have to be more careful with that, wouldn’t want him to think anything odd. Though tonight the front door was out of the question, once with Isaac knowing was more then enough, but it was clear he wouldn’t be more understanding like Johan was. Window was the only real option here.
Leaning against the wall and waiting to hear the faint sounds of Isaac grabbing what he needed before leaving and locking the house once more. The distant sound of the car being started before it driving off was when the move was made.
Quietly opening the window and leaping out, grasping the sturdy drainpipe before bringing it to where it was, lest to wake the little girl again and causing more trouble. Scaling down the side of the house and leaping to the slightly moist ground. It was faintly raining but not like it had been before.
Hazel green eyes looking up to the houses window before heading out, just a brisk walk this time, maybe to that bar and back, get a good ear of what’s been going on, things seemed rather off the last few days what’s more something was needed, maybe someone at that place that this town called a bar would know?
With a sigh and spoken. “Night kid,” before leaving into the night.
Will yawned heavily as he cleaned the glasses at his parent bar, it made him super grateful that the weekend was tomorrow meaning that he’d at least get some sleep on Saturday. Though things around the small bar, and the store after he told his parents what had happened along with the possibility of who might decide to pop by. It was the last thing that they needed right now. He shoved his hair back out of his face and sighed. In all honesty he didn’t want to drag Alex, Jason or any of his other friends into this colossal mess, they, mainly Alex had her own family drama to deal with. He didn’t need to add to it.
I’m gonna have to apologize to them for exploding like that. He thought as he used a cloth to clean the glass. Talk about embarrassing, I’m sure Al or even Erin won’t ever let me forget it. Ugh… Monday take forever to show.
The door opened and in came a face that he recognized but didn’t actually expect to see. “Claud?” he said rather surprised. “Err… I guess it should be Detective Winchester now huh?”
“Evening,” he said as he made his way over and looked around. “Your mother’s not working the bar this evening?”
“Nah, not tonight, she and Pa are going over stalk for the store tomorrow, me and Uncle Tom are tending to the bar, he’s in back if you want me to get him?”
Claud gave an arch stare seeing Will behind the counter before taking a seat. “He better not be having you pour anyone drinks with alcohol.”
Will laughed. “Pfft, as if! My Mom would kick him so hard in the nuts if he made me do that, I can do fizzy water or coke if you’d like.”
“I’m on duty still so just water, with a lime if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all Mr. Detective,”
Claud smirked. “Just using my name is fine. Though there is another reason I came by tonight. I need to ask you and your Uncle some questions, I hope you don’t mind.”
“Is it about the multiple murders in the mountain caves?” Will said as he placed the glass of fizzy water next to Claud.
Claud didn’t even look surprised. “Huh… you’re the second person to tell me that today. But it does regard that case.”
“You don’t seem that surprised by it.” Will said as he took a stool behind the bar and sit down. “Then again it is a small town so…”
“I understand, though with what’s happened I need to ask something about the one who wrote that article involving the murders. Something like this will only make things worse.”
Will shook his head. “I have no idea where he is, I only learned about that article around this afternoon, I’ve already told my folks and uncle about it.”
He took a sip of his water. “I know, but I should be fair to warn you that he might just decide to show up. And if he does will you and your family let me know?”
Will was about to respond when another spoke. “He isn’t part of the family anymore, so what he does is no business of ours. If we catch him doing something he shouldn’t we’ll throw him right at your feet.”
The man with a shaved head and gruff exterior came out from the back, reminding Claud slightly of Joshua’s father. “Evening detective,” he said.
He nodded to the man. “As to you Tom, sorry for barging in like this, hope you don’t mind me asking some questions to you or your nephew.”
The burly man shrugged. “No skin off my back, besides you’re apart of this town we know you and Detective Liebert do good by it.”
“I’m glad to hear it.” He said only to pause when the front door opened and in stepped an individual he didn’t expect to see. Charla? He thought with slight narrow eyes.
“Charla?” Will said aloud as she made her way further into the place. “What are you doing here? And this late even.”
She looked to Will and gave a faint confused look before answering. “I need a phone number, but I couldn’t find the stupid thing when looking for it in the phonebook.”
Will gave her a slight surprised look. “What number are you looking for?”
“The vet,” she said sounding almost strained as she looked around, Claud noted how she seemed almost different, her stance, her composure, even the way she seemed to carry herself.
“The vet?” he repeated. “You came all this way just to get the number for the veterinary clinic? You do know that’s what the internet is for right?”
She shrugged rather nonchalantly. “Yeah, but do you have the number?”
“Why not just ask your uncle?”
Another shrug. “He seemed busy, besides doing this gives me the chance to stretch my legs that’s all. You have a problem with people getting exercise?”
“Okay, okay I get it hold on,” he looked behind the bar where the phone numbers were kept but came up empty, Will then looked to his uncle. “Do you know where the number is?”
“I do, stay put Will I’ll get it.”
Will looked back to Charla noting how she seemed to be checking the place out, her eyes moving about as if trying to remember everything. “Nice bar,” she said before looking back to Will. “Though you look a little young to be tending it.”
“Hey I’m not that young, besides its not like I can serve alcohol, I’d get an earful from my parents if I tried.”
“Planning on getting your licence for it when you finish school?”
“Something like that.” He looked to Claud who was now watching Charla intently. “I know we don’t talk much but uh… what do you think of the town so far?”
“It’s fine,” she said pausing to look at a magazine that had been left by a pervious patron and looked to the index. “Could be better without all those thugs around…”
“You mean the ones who do the illegal fighting, yeah I can understand that. Some of them like to cause a damn mess here on occasion. Thankfully with police like Claud here it makes things a bit easier.”
Her eyes then flicked to look at Claud, they locked eye contact from where they were across the bar from one another. “Is that so?” she then looked back to the magazine. “That’s good, cops who do their job with an admirable spirit are always those who are looked up too. Those who don’t skit the line between being good or dirty.”
“She means a cop whose uses the badge for his or her own benefit.” Claud said from his seat as he took at notebook and began to make notes. “It’s a common thing, even if it’s something many people don’t wish for. I’ve had to arrest a number of people who had fallen to becoming corrupt.”
“I sure hope it wasn’t anyone you knew Claud.” Will said with an almost hesitant voice before looking to Charla who cursed faintly.
She said nothing as she read the article, eyes narrowing in anger as she did so, she made a faint sound when finishing it. No wonder…
“Oh that’s---” Will cleared his throat. “Yeah, sorry about that, I know that’s something you really wished not to see. Since you moved here and all.”
“You’re not the one who wrote it, so why are you apologizing?” Charla said bluntly. “It’s not like I’d hold you accountable for it.”
“Yeah but still…”
“That’s rather odd.” Claud spoke drawing their attention. “You called to talk to your uncle about it earlier today. You don’t remember?”
Faintly Charla’s eyes narrowed before she stepped forward to Claud. “No, sadly I don’t. Head trauma and all that from my accident tends to make me forget every now and again. So, you’ll have to excuse me if I ask something I may have asked before.”
“Then you don’t remember who I am?”
He merely looked at her, she was measuring him up, trying to see his motives behind his questioning. Claud then offered a hand. “Claud Winchester, you know my younger brother.”
“Winchester…” she repeated as a faint spark of a distant memory came to her eyes for a brief moment. “Oh, I see,” she took his hand. “Nice to meet you again I suppose. Sorry about forgetting you from our last meeting Detective.”
He could feel the tightness in her grip, as if giving a silent warning, telling him to stop asking such questions. “Is your head alright?” he asked when she let go of his hand and pulled away from him.
“It’s fine, this is normal for me.”
“I still remember you blacking out on the first day you came.” Will said with a faint laugh drawing their attention. “It really freaked us out, though I think Al was more upset then the rest of us. She did tell us a bit about your head trauma and the blackouts you have along with the uh… what did she call it? Oh yeah, that reverse amnesia that comes with the head trauma you have. It must really suck to deal with, no offence though.”
She merely looked at him blankly. “None taken, it does definitely suck no denying that. But it’s living with it even she knows that too.”
Will looked a little confused but before he could ask his uncle came back from the back. “Sorry it took so long, had trouble finding the number.”
She took the piece of paper that was offered to her and looked at the number. “Thank you, and sorry for the trouble.” She then put it away in her jeans pocket and looked back to Will. “Hey I have to go now, nice talking with you.”
“Yeah same to you, see you at school on Monday.” She then turned and headed to the door, only to have one more person to come in.
But it was one person that made Will cringe. The one who entered the bar was Duke, why the hell was he here?
“Hey, hey, hey Will, Dad it’s been awhile hasn’t it?” the man said with an arrogant smile. The man had sleazy reporter written all over him. Claud then noticed how Charla stopped and merely watched Duke with a somewhat disinterested gaze.
Tom grit his teeth. “Get out,” he told Duke. “You know damn well you’re not welcome here, or even in this town.”
But Duke on the other hand continued to smile. “Oh, come on Dad don’t be like that. I’m still your son after all, where’s the warm welcome.”
“Like hell you are, you’re not my son, not after that stunt you pulled on the poor girl and her family not long ago.”
“Not long ago? That was three years, plenty of time to get over it. Besides, it’s not like I was the one who gave her that rope. She did it to herself.”
“Only after you pushed her to it!” Will snapped. “Don’t go acting as if you had nothing to do with it!”
Duke looked to Will, slightly surprised before that smug smile returned. “Your still on about that? How weak-skinned are you cousin?”
“Fuck off,” he said. “Anyone would be when they find that their own family member pushed someone into taking their own life.”
He scoffed as he pulled out a cigarette from his inner coat pocket. “Well then maybe it should teach people if they don’t want to have a ruined reputation then they should stay out of the limelight as it were.” He was about to light it only for it to be snatched away by Claud. He tsked and looked at the man with a glare. “Well if it isn’t our note-taking detective, shouldn’t you be looking for a serial killer or something?”
“I actually have business here, in fact it was to find you about the article you wrote.”
Again, Duke scoffed before giving an arrogant grin. “Come on Detective, you know I can divulge my sources, you know how this business works. Its my job to give the news that everyone needs to know.”
“Claiming events without even having the facts isn’t what I would call your job, your trying to spread panic where there shouldn’t be any. What’s more your impeding on the investigation because of what you caused.”
Duke just looked at Claud. “Oh really? You think I am, well during my return I’ve been hearing some interesting rumors about you Detective about you and the fact that at your age you haven’t even remotely found yourself a wife, and your always sticking close to that Joshua guy. People are wondering why, some are even saying something might be wrong with you. Care to comment on that for me?”
“If anyone here is wrong that’d be the ass-hat blabbing away.”
The room went silent and Duke turned his attention to Charla who looked at him with distaste before looking to Tom. “Where the hell is his damn off switch? His constant gum flapping is starting to really annoy me.” She said as she put her hands in her sweater pockets. “Honestly, and here I thought I’d be able to avoid this kind of crap from the city. Guess it’s just not my lucky day.”
Duke just looked at her before letting out a feigned laugh. “Well if I live and breath, we seem to be in the presents of the head of the founding families of the town. You’re Charla Liebert, right? A girl of your standards shouldn’t be in a shoddy place like this.”
Then maybe you should get the hell out if you don’t like it. Will thought sarcastically.
Charla scoffed. “As if what I do is any of your business.”
“That’s where you’re wrong Missy,” he said causing Charla to give an arch brow in return. “It is my business; my job is to know about it’s people and I’ve been hearing the most interesting rumors about you. And what you’ve been through.”
“And?” Charla said with a disinterested tone as she moved to stand by Claud’s side. “Why exactly should I care about a bunch of rumors that hold no water? Seems to me that you itching for anything you can clump together for a story like that god-awful TV show talking shit about a celebrity and think that what they wear is news worthy. Gag me.”
The man scoffed but then smiled slyly. “You know, it’s a sad thing to hear, about your accident, the loss of your twin. So many people saw him as a prodigy, someone that would do great things in the future. While you were stuck in his shadow, I know people say your smart but come on, you must be happy he’s dead, right? I mean who wouldn’t be when their sibling is hogging all the limelight for himself.”
Claud glanced to her, he saw that her expression hadn’t changed but her eyes held a completely different story, those hazel green eyes were filled with a maelstrom of rage as she remained to look at him with that disinterested expression. She sighed and shook her head. “You really don’t know anything, do you? It’s clear that you’re trying to goad me on, to get some type of reaction. But I will say this, you touch him,” she indicated to Claud. “Or her, and then you’re going to have a problem. Granted I think if I were to retaliate it’d be warranted I’d just like to avoid anything unnecessary right now.”
“Young lady, are you trying to threaten a journalist?” he prodded.
“No far from it, I’m just telling you like it is. You have a job but if that little job of yours starts to hurt people, people that we both respect then that’s when I take issue. You’re smart, you know very well the abilities that the founding families can do.”
We? Claud thought. Could she mean Will? No, something in the way she said it… just who is she talking about?
But the man didn’t seem bothered by it. “Is that so, well I suppose with enough money you can do anything,” he said as he touched the headphones that rested on Charla’s shoulders. “Something like these headphones, right?”
Slowly Charla pushed his hand away from them. “Don’t touch them, or me for that matter. Take that as a warning, because it is something that I won’t tolerate.”
Duke eyed the girl, taking in her thin stature and the clothes that was being worn. “Oh? And what exactly do you think you can do to me?”
With an arch brow, she glanced to Claud. “He really has no idea, does he?”
“No,” Claud said bluntly. “Idiots tend not understand the legitimacy of a threat even when it is presented right in front of him.”
“Sounds about right, with his short temper he never thinks things through.” Tom said causing Will to laugh slightly, however Duke didn’t seem to find it funny.
With clenched teeth Duke grabbed the scruff of Charla’s shirt and glared at her. “You think just because you’re rich your untouchable? You and your damn family will fall one day from a scandal, and when your family does who do you think will be there laughing?”
“Oh? You honestly think that matters to me? We both never gave a damn about what family we were born in. Just as long as we had a caring family, well in the Dad department at least. Can’t say anything about the Mom.” Charla said, sounding completely uninterested as her eyes narrowed on him.
Claud merely looked to Charla saying nothing in response. There it is again, then could she have meant her deceased brother? It’s the only possibility since that’s the only sibling she has. But if that’s so, why is her demeanor so different?
Duke gave a twisted grin that made Will’s skin crawl, he always hated it when Duke did that, even when they were younger. “It should, considering your just some sorry little girl with a messed-up brain. No wonder your mother kept handing you off to her secretary.”
In that moment, there was a sudden change in Charla, though her stance did not change the air around her did, Claud could feel it emanating off her like an on-coming hurricane. “You… really should listen when a person gives you a warning.” She grabbed his wrist with one hand, forcing him to let go while the other grabbed his shirt in turn, Claud then noticed how she then quickly hooked her on his right ankle bringing Duke off balance before taking the hand that grabbed his wrist and punched him hard in the face the man fell to the floor.
He seethed and looked at her in anger. “You---!”
“I told you before,” she said calmly but all emotion was practically gone from her voice. “That you do not touch me, say whatever hell you’d like, I don’t give a damn about rumors or the latest trend. But people like you really do piss me off, you enjoy praying on those who never asked for it. I’ve seen it quite a bit while in my other school. Not giving a damn of who you hurt, so why should you care if I throw a punch? Be grateful that I was holding back because next time you touch me.” Her expression became cold and empty as her hazel-green eyes were filled with untold rage as her voice held a sharp deadly note. “You’ll have more then a sore cheek to worry about.”
Will flinched at the detached tone that Charla, this was a side he never thought to see, and if he was honest he hoped to never should deal with it on the other end. Though he could only hazard the reason behind it was from dealing with people like this in the city so much.
“He’s all yours Detective,” Charla said suddenly as she stepped back, breaking the silence as she went back to being her monotone self.
Without saying a word Claud went and hoisted Duke up off the floor with ease before putting handcuffs on him. “We’re heading to the station, there’s several allegations against you. not to mention the assault you’ve just done.”
“Me!?” Duke snapped and pointed to Charla. “That little brat punched me! She’s the one assaulted me!”
“And was in her right to do so. She told you to not touch her and you refused to listen to her word, so as a response she acted.” He said simply before looking to Charla. “You’re Uncle will want to talk to you about this but…”
“You doubt I will remember,” Charla finished. “Yeah, yeah, but even with all that I hope things go well for your case, Detective Winchester.”
“Do you need a lift home?” he offered.
“Nah,” was Charla’s response. “It’s not that far from here, I’ll be fine. Besides you have your hands full now, rather not get in the way of an active investigation. And I’d prefer to walk if it’s all the same with you.”
He looked at her with slight narrow eyes but knew well enough that he couldn’t question her now. Giving a simple nod in response Claud then took a complaining Duke outside to the car that he had parked across the street.
“Uh hey,” turning Charla looked to Will. “You sure your okay? Those things he said to you, about your brother…”
“They’re just words, hearing it doesn’t bother me. Though if it was her, she’d probably try to beat him to a pulp.”
“You mean Alex?” Will offered then gave a faint smile. “Yeah, she probably would, she’s always been like that. Protective of her friends, but if Duke keeps bothering you, you should probably call the police.”
“I live with one so it seems a bit counter productive.” Was all that was offered. “Anyway, I need to head back, thanks again for the information and saw for causing such a scene in your family’s bar.”
“Uh… yeah. Later Charla,” Will said as he watched her leave the building and into the stormy night.
His uncle on the other hand gave a concerned look to Will. “Are you okay Will?”
Quickly Will snapped out of his trance and nodded. “Yeah, I’m okay thanks Uncle Tom. I actually need to grab something from the backroom so I’ll be back in a minute.” He then quickly rushed to the back and closed the door before letting out a breath of relief as he recalled seeing Charla’s enraged expression when his cousin made light of her twin’s death, no, no it was to whoever looked after her that seemed to have set her off. In fact, she looked about read to kill him for that remark, but why would that be?
As of now though Will could only hope things wouldn’t get worse from here.