The sky was beginning to show the purple of early twilight as Detective Anton Rissoli exited the police station proper. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he growled, "What am I missing? I need a break in this case!" Hearing the strains of Mozart's Requiem from inside his suit jacket, he groaned and fished out his phone as he approached his black Mercedes 300SE in the police lot. Cutting off the dark strains of Mozart, he grumbled, "What do you want, Seth?"
"How are you, my boy?"
A string quartet could be heard in the background. "Tired."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk! Why don't you come home and cease this foolish dealings with human problems?"
"Like you?" The tired man sighed in frustration. "Look, must we have this argument again? I told you once, Father that I enjoy practicing human customs and living among them. It fulfills a basic need."
"You're never going to be one of them again, my son. I don't know why you must pretend."
Gripping the roof of his car as he opened the door, the detective didn't see the eyes watching him from the car ten feet away. "Father, I am not trying to change back. I know I can't. I just need to. I quite enjoy being a vampire, but being among the human's has enabled me to retain something of my humanity and I I don't know, I like hanging onto that. It gives me the chance to stretch my abilities."
The man on the phone made a disgusted sound. "Come home, Anton. I miss you." Gripping the balcony, he looked down at the city below him. "There are things we need to discuss and I please, just come home"
Lifting his dark head towards the lightening sky, the younger man inhaled the refreshing scent of gardenias and salt sea air. "All right," he breathed, "I will come home this weekend for a visit, but just for a visit. I am in the middle of a case and I can't just drop everything."
"Perhaps I can change your mind."
"Rest well father and tell John I said hello." Clicking off the phone, he cut off his father's response. "Why in the nine hell's did he call me now? We haven't spoken in months! Not since our big fight." Sliding behind the wheel, he started the car, grinning at the purr of the engine. Pulling out of the lot, he waived to the guard on duty and made his way to the 210. Relishing the early morning's light traffic, he took the drive from Los Angeles to Ocean Park in half his normal travel time. Pulling into his assigned parking space in the lot of his apartment building, he turned off the jazz station he'd been listening to and switched off the engine with a weary sigh. "Time's a wastin' Tony." Locking the car, he took the elevator to the eighteenth floor. His skin began to crawl as he picked up furtive sounds from down the corridor. Approaching his apartment, he saw that his door was ajar and drew his duty weapon, pointing it at the floor. A crash came from somewhere deep inside the apartment as he was pulling his phone free of his jacket and dialing.
"Nine-one-one, please state the nature of your emergency."
"This is Detective Anton Rissoli, badge number 7328. I need units dispatched to my residence at, 2337 Ocean Park Place South, Apartment 18B. There is an illegal entry in progress. Please be advised that, I am going in to investigate. Keeping line open. Also, please contact Captain George Masterson at the Rampart Precinct and advise him of situation."
"Detective, back up is being dispatched, you should wait"
Another loud crash came from the apartment followed by voices.
"Sorry, I can't do that." Dropping his phone into his pocket, still connected, he pushed the door open with his foot and stepped in.
"Detective, you don't know if they are armed or how many there are!"
"Shh!" Pausing to firm his grip on the .45 in his hand, he shifted his weight to the balls of his feet so that his shoes made little to no sound on the marble entry. Moving down into the sunken living room, his nose caught a familiar scent and he swore. "Dammit!"
He pulled out the phone. "The room has been tossed and it is now apparent to me that there are at least two of them." Hearing a sound from behind him, he dropped the phone into his pocket.
"Hello Anthony, did you miss me, son?"
The voice that had haunted his childhood sent ice down his spine as he turned towards the hallway. "Jackson McCord, as I live and breathe. I had hoped I would never see you again."
"Now son, is that any way to speak to your father?" The man advanced.
"You can stop right there, McCord!" Anton leveled his sidearm at the intruder. "You are under arrest for breaking and entering and destruction of property. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in court. You have the right to the presence of an attorney before and during any questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you free of charge before any questioning if you want. Do you understand these rights as they have been explained to you?"
"Now really boy! Don't be ridiculous!"
"Do you understand your rights as I have explained them to you?" He circled left following the man's movements as he moved around the living room.
"Just answer him, Jackson, you know how stubborn he can be!"
Anton froze at the sound of his mother's voice.
"Fine, I understand, ye igit!"
"Mother?" The barrel of his gun lowered slightly as his eyes swung around to the woman who had given him life.
"Ever useful Mariah. Good little bitch!"
Anton saw red. His normally blue-violet gaze darkened to a murderous shade of purple as his fangs dropped down from their sheaths. "I've told you before, McCord, don't talk to my mother like that."
Jackson smiled and lunged. "Time to teach you the manners you should have learned when you was a boy. I'll teach you to talk to me like that whelp!"
The cocked gun was ripped from his hands. By the grace of god it didn't go off as his finger flexed on the trigger before it hit the floor. Tussling with the man, he snapped one end of his handcuffs onto the thick wrist. Wrestling him to the floor, he put his knee in the older man's back pinning him to the floor and grabbed his free wrist with the intent of putting his other cuff on. Suddenly, the back of his head exploded in pain as the elegant glass vase he had on the coffee table shattered against his skull. Flowers and water sprayed down his back. Thrown to the floor, he scrambled to regain his wits. He saw Jackson's hand closed over the weapon he had dropped. "Give me the gun, McCord."
"Oh no, brat! I'm going to teach you the lesson I should have taught you as a boy!"
"No, Jackson! Don't hurt him! Please!" She grabbed his arm.
"Shut up Mariah! Your bastard isn't going to shadow my reputation anymore!"
Grabbing for the gun from the distracted man, Anton felt the piercing burn of the bullet in his shoulder a half-second before the shot registered in his brain. "Ah!"
"Go to hell!" Shooting his leg out, he knocked the man who had abandoned him as a child, onto his back. Leaping to his feet despite the blood now seeping down his right arm, which hung uselessly at his side, he kicked the gun away and reached for the handcuff. There were sirens in the distance growing closer but his vision was starting to blur and the voices of his captors and the dispatcher were beginning to blend together in a discordant cacophony. "Crap!"
The handcuffs suddenly left his slick hands and were on his own wrists behind his back, wrenching his ruined shoulder painfully. "On your feet brat! Jack, get your lazy good for nothing hide in gear! Gods! I'm always cleaning up your messes! Dragging her son up by his arms, she marched him to the door. "Sorry for this Anthony, but its time to come home to mama."
Uniformed officers screeched to a halt in the parking lot as the battered old truck was approaching the stop sign. Making their way to the eighteenth floor, they were greeted by chaos. Several of the neighbors were milling about and crying. One elderly man was tending to a young woman who looked like she had been bludgeoned by a battering ram. Groceries were scattered across the hall. The door to apartment 18B was open and had a large bloody handprint on it as well as a set of large bloody footprints. The larger of the four officers began issuing orders. "McNulty Ericson! Secure the perimeter and begin getting statements. Call the Paramedics and get these injuries taken care of."
"Yes sir, Lieutenant."
Lieutenant Charles Arsenault led the way into the apartment. The chaos and destruction he found were unsettling. The shattered vase of flowers, the blood those he could handle. Being a good Catholic man he was disturbed by the statuary he found destroyed and the shredded tapestry of the Last Supper and the painting. They brought tears to his eyes. Spying the discarded .45 on the deep pile white carpet of the living room rug, he stepped down and knelt beside it. Taking a slim line pen from his breast pocket, he lifted the gun from the floor and sniffed. "This has been fired recently. Mark its location. I'm betting this accounts for the blood on the carpet."
"I'll mark it for the CSU guys. Do you want to check the rest of the apartment?"
"Thank you, Jeff. Yeah, let's take a tour of the place, but don't touch anything." Rising, he began moving towards the hallway. "Isn't Detective Rissoli supposed to be here?"
"Yes sir, this is his apartment."
Pulling his 9mm from his holster, Arsenault made his way to the hallway. "Detective Rissoli Anton Rissoli?" Receiving no response, but expecting none, he made his way deeper into the apartment. Finding more destruction, he moved back into the main room and pulled his phone from his hip holster. Dialing, he pinched the bridge of his nose. "Nancy, I need an APB on Detective Anton Rissoli. He is 5'10". Black hair, Blue eyes, Medium athletic build. Last seen at the Ambassadore Apartments at 2337 Ocean Park Place South, we need a CSU team out here, and patch me through to Captain Masterson."
"Yes sir, Lieutenant."
He only had to wait a couple of minutes.
"Captain, Lieutenant Arsenault. I am at Detective Rissoli's apartment. He isn't here, and there has been one hell of a tussle. The Detective's firearm has been discharged, but it is still at the location."
"Are there bodies?"
"No sir. There is blood. Enough that whoever was hit was injured pretty badly and is going to need medical care right quick."
"All right. Secure the scene. I'll be there as soon as I can."
"Yes sir. My team and I will secure the scene. I've already got CSU rolling." Hanging up, he exchanged glances with his partner. They were marking damage and bloodstains in the living room when the crime scene investigators and the captain arrived.
"In here sir." He finished writing on a small index card and folded it in half. Setting it beside the shattered vase, he rose to his feet. "Captain Masterson Lieutenant Carlson. Officer Davis and I have marked everything we've found in here and left it alone. There is more in the bedroom and his home office. Whoever they were, they were obviously looking for something."
"Has there been any word about Detective Rissoli?"
"No sir. I put an All Points Bulletin out on him when we first discovered that he was missing. No one has mentioned anything." He was tired. "Do you need us in here, sir? I have to check with my men in the hall."
"No, we're good, Captain, we can take it from here. Thank you for your help Arsenault, Davis."
The three men left the room to let CSU do their job. When they were in the hall, Charles Arsenault rubbed the back of his neck. "Sir, I don't like the chances. This had to be a well planned kidnapping. What I can't figure is who was shot and how they got out of here with so much blood, and..."
"I don't know either. We'll find out more when the boys in there are done with their job. "Officer McNulty, what can you tell me?"
The blonde officer looked up from his pad. "Thank you ma'am. If we need anything further well be in touch." Turning to his superior, he consulted the pad before him. "Well, sir. All of the neighbors heard a single shot fired. Then, the elderly gentleman there with the paramedics, Mr. Baxter Chester Baxter, he says he saw a couple, male and female escorting Detective Rissoli out of the Apartment. Said his shoulder was bleeding pretty badly and he was in handcuffs."
"Did he get a good look at the couple who took the Detective?"
"You bet your brass buttons I did, Captain! Man was oh about my height, I'd guess, so about 5'11". Dark hair, and cold eyes. Coldest eyes you ever seen. Dame she was about the same height as the detective. She's blonde though. Green eyes, and a tongue that would clip a hedge. I hope you get the guys whoever they are, Captain."
"Thank you, Mr. Baxter." Turning his attention back to the officers, he nodded politely to the little old man. "Do we have anything else to go on?"
"Um excuse me." All eyes swung to the petite woman wearing the overcoat. "I don't know if it helps, but I caught their first names. His name is Jackson and hers is Mariah."
The Captain's eyes rounded. "I'm sorry did you say Jackson and Mariah?" At her nod, he swore a blue streak. "Forgive me, madam. Thank you for your help." Stepping into the apartment, he caught the sleeve of the lead technician. "Carlson, I need this processed High priority, and keep it under wraps. Process it like a murder scene. No fiber, no piece of furniture, nothing left unturned."
The startled man looked at the captain stoically. "Yes sir. I'll have a report ready for you this afternoon."
"Thank you. You can reach me on my cell all day, or via dispatch."
Grabbing the officer in charge, he barked out, McNulty, you're in charge! Arsenault, you're coming with me."
"Captain, I can't leave the crime scene. We have to have a..."
"Lieutenant, McNulty is in charge, he has two competent officers with him, and the four man CSU team inside. " The older man pushed the elevator button and pulled out his phone. "Let's go." Dialing, he didn't have to wait long. "Duncan? Charles. I need to borrow one of your men from the crime scene, Lieutenant Charles Arsenault" he paused. "Oh really Well then Yes, thank you Duncan. I look froward to it. No, one of my men is missing. Abducted, and according to eye witness accounts he has been shot."
"Has an APB been put out on him?"
"Yes, your man Arsenault is on it. I'm very glad you are willing to loan him to me."
"Put him on for a minute."
Charles took the phone that was shoved at him as he was guided into the elevator. "Yes sir? Yes sir. Thank you sir. I will sir. Yes sir, we will sir." Cutting off the call, he handed the phone back to the police captain. "Sir, if you don't mind me asking, why me?"
"You're quick on your feet. You think outside that box and I don't have to worry about watching some green, wet behind the ears recruit. "
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