Stefanie Jansen would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Friends and Family - a London Mystery

By Stefanie Jansen All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery / Romance

Blurb

Paul Usher has his hands full: not only is his friend suffering from depression, his partner attacked and his teenage nephew staying with him. And now someone has started killing teenagers in London in a highly sadistic way... At least he has got a new girlfriend - he thinks... Volume 2 of the London Mysteries - leave feedback this time!

Chapter 1

The creature that lay curled up on the floor was becoming even tenser. The pain was getting worse by the minute, every bone and muscle was aching, his teeth were set so hard they might shatter into pieces. His brain was clinging to the last vestiges of humanity, barely hanging on.

He remembered violet eyes, huge with worry and relief, her warm soft body when she had lain in his arms, how her lips had felt when he’d kissed her and the scent of her hair. Then he had tried to kill her. Disgust.

Frantically he searched around for a better last memory. He saw her sleeping, her lips slightly parted, unruly dark hair spread out over the pillow, her face relaxed, all the bad dreams and anxiety gone because she knew he was there, watching… then her head lying on his best friend’s breast, her pleading note to him not to hurt him.

He yowled in pain.

How much longer?



Detective Inspector Paul Usher was doing something highly illegal in the West End this Saturday afternoon: He was breaking into a flat. He had not even applied for a warrant, nor could he, if asked supply any kind even of remote evidence to justify this break in.

It was hot, the beginning of August, and Paul was hoping and praying no one would catch him entering a very posh flat looking out on Regent Street.

He’d called out his friend’s name softly before he’d come in knowing his senses were very acute and that he would hear him through walls and heavy doors. He listened – no answer. Carefully he stepped through the hall, always ready for a quick retreat for – much as he liked his friend – he still remained what he was – a vampire.

Paul half expected to find Marcus in his library – the sun was much too bright for him to be outside – or in one of the other rooms. He’d even wondered what he would do if he found him lying in his rooms sick, then remembered that Marcus had once told him there was no way of him being sick, he was dead already, had been so for more than 80 years and – as he’d said with a crooked smile – “not a common cold even once.”

He looked around once more: everything was spotlessly clean, dusted and polished, but also empty. It didn’t look as though Marcus had left on purpose: there was still food and coffee in the kitchen (the last time Marcus had decided to leave he had brought all the food to Paul’s place), books and papers were in a jumble on the desk, other books open around it. He had been working on something obscurely medieval, Naomi would know what. There was some sheet music open on top of the piano.

Paul was about to leave when he saw something that almost made his heart stop. Marcus’s car keys and mobile phone were jumbled inside the pages of the latest issue of the English Historical Review. Why would he leave these behind if he was going on an extended vacation of now four weeks? Paul shook the paper and three pencils fell out: ah, definitely working.

Now Paul was getting worried: he started going through Marcus’s jackets in the hall closet and found what he had dreaded finding. In his favourite leather jacket he had left his wallet. Oh no. How would he tell Naomi about this?

He had met this strange acquaintance through Naomi in a way five months ago, when his now girlfriend had become entangled in a complicated case of murder. Even though Marcus had been tied to Naomi by some rather frightening kind of vampire love for fifteen years (on his side, she had not known till five months ago), they had all become close, and Paul considered Marcus the best friend he had; by now both he and Naomi were getting sick with worry.

In his book this kind of evidence could only mean two things: either Marcus had not left voluntarily (unlikely, considering the vampire’s strength) or suicide – but there had been no note and – Paul had discretely checked all channels available to him at the Yard – no suspicious victims of accidents.

Apart from that, suicide seemed a rather unlikely option too for someone immortal.

Paul decided to check the mobile’s voicemail. Most of the messages were by him or Naomi. He winced at her worried voice.

Finally he made a decision. He went through the mobile’s phone book and dialled ‘Philippe’, who was the only private number listed apart from his and Naomi’s.

He had met Philippe in connection with the case too, and Marcus had always been wary of the voluble African vampire with his human friends.

“Oui”, he heard a voice in a very noisy place.

“Philippe, this is Paul, Marcus’s friend from Scotland Yard, remember me?”

“Ah, oui, beautiful Naomi’s boyfriend. How are you? Does Marcus know you’re calling me?” He sounded quite amused about that. Then he started to think and asked in a rather alarmed voice. “Did anything happen to Naomi? Is Marcus there?”

“No, that is my problem. Marcus has been missing now for more than four weeks and we’re worried out of our minds. He’s not closed down the flat and left car keys wallet and mobile behind.”

Philippe’s tone became serious. “That does not sound good, you’re right. Have there been any accidents or unexplained fires in that time?”

“No, I already checked that. Philippe”, another line of thought had suddenly come to him, “could he have gone off with a girl and forgot the time?”

“Non, sadly not. We don’t change much once we’ve made up our minds.” He started talking rapidly in French to someone at his end. “Listen Paul, I’m coming to London, where can I reach you once I’ve arrived?”

Paul gave him his own mobile number. He didn’t really want him to come to Naomi’s house, which was where he was most of the time now, justifying his mistrust with Marcus’s uneasiness.

“Bon, see you tomorrow then.” Philippe rang off.

Paul took a sheet of Marcus’s expensive writing paper and left a note:

Marcus, we’re sick with worry about you. Could you please let us know you are alright? You don’t need to come and see us if you don’t want to, just get in touch.

Paul

P.S.: Philippe’s arriving here tomorrow.

He left the flat, carefully closing the heavy door behind him with a sad heart.

He did not tell Naomi about this afternoon’s exploits but pleaded work for tomorrow. Naomi noticed there was something he was not telling her but hoped he would get around to it soon. She could not start worrying about Paul too. For the past four weeks now she had been beating herself up about Marcus. She had quite a good idea of why he might be gone: he had not been seen since the night she asked Paul to stay. Had he been hurt by her note? Was he jealous? He had been quite clear about not wanting to come close to her again after he had almost killed her in spring. She had offered friendship, and he had taken her up on that offer – she thought.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...

heavyonbooks: I admire your creativity. You have written a great piece. I want to promote your Inkitt book for free to my list of newsletter subscribers. If that is alright by you then please email me at exzordersplrwso AT gmail.com to book your spot, thanks.

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

RedQueen_T: This is the perfect story to read for a light hearted story that keeps a reader with a fluttering heart. I got so close to the characters and came to care, I cried tears of joy for them. The intimacy was lovely it left it mostly to the readers imagination. I really hope to read something new from...

cato50802: this book is truly well developed and truly captivating, I thoroughly enjoyed every part of the book. there are little to no grammatical errors, and the characters are very interesting. it’s one of those books that’s hard to stop reading!

James Lawson: I enjoyed this so much I immediately bought (and read) the sequel from Amazon.ca - and am eagerly awaiting the third installment.Since this is a review and not a synopsis, I'll share my impressions rather than write out a condensed version of the plot.There were enough plot twists and turns to ke...

More Recommendations

Ashley Kimler: I love the drama and the darkness of this story. Sadly, I was distracted my editorial errors and couldn't delve into it. The grammar mistakes kept me from being able to forget where I was and immerse in the story. If not for that, I think I would have given this chapter 5 stars. My advice to the ...

Ro-Ange Olson: This is such a different romance story. I loved it. The book was very long and could be split into 2-3 books in my opinion, but I'd hate to have to wait to read the next part too. I loved the chapter from Darius's point of view. It was a really different way for the writer to cover time and also ...

Jim E. Johnson: Rarely do I find a mystery that peeks my interest, but Jack Huber's Pat Ruger reminds me of Parker's Spenser or Spillane's Hammer! Strong character with the right connections and plot drivers to keep anyone engaged and never putting it down.The encounters of the characters Ruger engages, continue...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Warren Bull: I thought this was a fast=paced thriller with elements of several other genres woven seamlessly in. It hooked me early and held my attention throughout. I liked the humor and surprises along the way. I really enjoyed the novel. I am not a big fan of romances or paranormal works,but when those ele...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.