Vision in Silver Page 104

<He knows enough about us to know that Blair could sniff the area and tell him how many thieves had come up the stairs from the street-side door,> Nyx said. <Could even tell him how many intruders had entered each apartment.>

<Which is one reason why Blair isn’t at this meeting,> Tess replied. The other reason being that the dominant enforcer was too furious about the attacks to be trusted around any human, even one who usually would be tolerated.

“That’s it,” Tess said, looking past Burke. “Anything you want to add about the attack at the stall market?”

Burke jerked as Vlad shifted to human form and joined them.

Watching Vlad, Tess thought the decision to close their stores to the general human population was a good one. She didn’t think the Sanguinati or the Wolves were going to have much tolerance for human misbehavior for a long time.

Vlad placed his hands flat on the table and leaned toward Burke. “The rallying cry of the humans who attacked us was ‘Humans first, last, and always.’”

“That sounds like an HFL rallying cry, but there is no proof that the HFL movement planned the attack,” Burke said.

“The shots came from behind us,” Vlad continued. “Two guns, two shooters. I heard four shots. I don’t know who else was hit. I don’t think they’d intended to shoot across that much distance and take the chance of hurting humans. I think they had planned to lure us to the back half of the building and wait until we were close to the table where men were selling what looked like trinkets but the packages they handed to their customers made me think weapons were being sold.”

“Which would be illegal at that stall market,” Burke said. “There are knife and gun shows where weapons are bought and sold, but selling weapons at the weekly stall and farmers’ market is a violation of permissions granted to the building’s owners by the city.” He sighed. “But in the chaos that followed the shootings, and the amount of . . . merchandise . . . that was rearranged by gusts of wind, it’s not likely we’ll find the guns.”

Burke’s mobile phone rang. “Excuse me for a moment.”

Tess watched sadness fill Burke’s eyes as he said, “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Problem, Captain?” Vlad asked when Burke ended the call.

“That was Lieutenant Montgomery calling from the hospital. Officer MacDonald didn’t survive his wounds.”

The three terra indigene exchanged a look.

“We’re sorry for your loss,” Vlad said.

“We liked him,” Tess said.

Burke put his notebook and pen in his pocket, a sign he was preparing to leave. The sadness had burned out of his blue eyes, leaving behind a fierce fire. “I may not be able to find the guns used to kill my officer and the Crow, but I will damn well find their killers. That’s a promise.”

Tess looked at Vlad, who straightened up as Burke pushed away from the table and rose.

“You won’t have to look far,” Vlad said. “You’ll find them among the dead.”

Burke stared at him.

Vlad smiled, a bitter yet satisfied expression. “I wasn’t close enough to stop them from shooting, but I caught them before they could blend in with the other humans and escape.”

Burke continued to stare. “Anything I should know about those deaths? Anything that would make someone think a Sanguinati was responsible?”

Vlad shrugged. “Lots of things flying around when Air blew to the rescue. Sharp things that might slice a person’s throat. Easy enough for someone else to slip in all that blood and fall the wrong way, breaking his neck.”

Burke nodded. “That’s plausible. I imagine quite a few people had similar, if less fatal, injuries.”

“Quite a few, according to the special news report I heard,” Vlad said.

In other words, nothing that would point to one of us killing “innocent” humans, Tess thought. Of course, there were attackers who were killed by tooth or claw. But that’s a problem for the city and the police.

Burke pulled out a card and handed it to Vlad. “I need to get to the hospital. If you think of anything else, let me know. Or give Lieutenant Montgomery a call.”

“Tell Lieutenant Montgomery and Merri Lee that we tidied up the apartments and put things back as best we could remember,” Tess said. “We don’t want them to be alarmed if they notice that something isn’t exactly the way they left it this morning.”

“I’ll tell them.”

*   *   *

Someone knocked harder on Simon’s front door.

Meg jerked awake and caught the book sliding off her lap before it conked Simon on his already sore head. She set it aside, pushed herself off the sofa, then stepped around tails and limbs in order to answer whoever was knocking on the unlocked door.

Simon and Nathan stirred, even looked like they were going to try to stand up and challenge the intruder.

“You two.” She pointed at them. “Stay.”

Grumbling and limping, she reached the door and opened it, saying, “It wasn’t locked for a reason.”

Steve Ferryman stared at her. “You cut your hair.”

Meg huffed. “Yes, it looks like puppy fuzz. No, you can’t pet it.”

He worked hard not to smile. Then they both heard at least one Wolf trying to get to his feet.

“Simon, stay!” Meg snapped.

The whine sounded more like an annoyed protest, but it was still a whine.

“He needs to rest, so I won’t come in,” Steve said. “What happened at the stall market is all over the local news. I came by to let you know that the Intuits and Others on Great Island will give you any help you need. And to bring you this.” He set a large basket just inside the door. “Wolf cookies for them, including freshly baked chamomile, and a couple of sandwiches and bakery treats for you.”

“Thank you.”

He looked at her knee. “You okay?”

She looked at her heavily bandaged knee, which was wrapped that way to prevent the Wolves from licking the wound. “It’s not a serious wound. I was trying to locate the source of the pins-and-needles feeling and fell on the stairs.”

“And spoke prophecy.”

“Yes.” Meg shuddered. She couldn’t recall the images she’d seen, which was for the best right now, but she still felt residual terror because of what she’d seen.

Prev Next