Blood Chapter 43

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The room was dark, lit by only a few lightbulbs completely inadequate for the size of the room. There were only two figures- both dressed in fine suits, one sitting behind a desk and the other standing.

“What brings you here at this time?” the man behind the desk asked.

“What do you think?” the other man crossed his arms in front of him, “Your men messed the whole thing up. Now the feds will be after me… except with guns and not court orders.”

“I see. So… you think you would have actually been something without my help?” the man behind the table folded his hands and leaned forward slightly.

“Until we started dealing with your business, not a single one of my men had ever been eaten. Then you had me use my men for things even your guys couldn’t handle. Now your men screwed up so bad we couldn’t even touch a couple of teachers.” The standing man wanted to spit to punctuate his point… but held back from doing so.

 “An interesting point. Tell me, could it be that a handful of your men weren’t even able to hit a single shot on a guidance counselor?”

“Funny, I thought your men were supposed to provide that opportunity, but clearly that didn’t happen.” The standing man reached into his jacket, drawing and firing a gun in a fluid motion. The trigger was pulled repeatedly, until the clip ran out.

The silver bullets stopped halfway to the figure behind the desk, who shook his head. He slowly stood up from his desk… then with a blur of motion they had the standing man by the throat. “Marconi. Clearly your lack of understanding is the weakest link here. Next time we’ll pick someone more competent.”

—–

The next few hours for Erkan, Miriam, and Peter felt like they both flew by and dragged out forever. Police moved in on the school, both the regular sort and the supernatural sort. Most of the effort of the supernatural sort was bent on concealing the actual details of what happened. For that, Erkan was conscripted to help clean up blood magic circles. 

They had to deal with silver bullets, cover up Peter being shot, and handle the unconscious security guards. The narrative they were going for was a school shooting- but a rare fortunate occurrence where the security guards saved the day… after a pair of innocent gardeners had been killed. However, instead of a lone shooter it had connections to the mob. The essence of the story was true- it was just the blood magic and werewolves that was glossed over. Everyone had stayed in the classrooms and heard the gunshots, but no one would have seen all the details of what happened. 

Erkan’s presence was something that was kept from the normal police. After all, he had no reason to be on campus at that time. Likewise, word of Miriam and Peter’s involvement was kept to a minimum. Miriam also hid Nico’s gun in a bush- the humans had been carrying guns with silver bullets, so they claimed to have only used those, with Peter using the gun from the werewolf, as he really did. Fortunately the bullets were the same caliber- and they had no reason to look too closely.

Erkan figured the news would be about a tragedy narrowly avoided- and it would have been a tragedy, even if there were only two actual targets. It was fortunate he was able to show up in time to help. Later, Erkan couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened. He couldn’t fall back to sleep even though he woke up in the middle of the day. There were just a few things that didn’t make sense. He needed to contact Savina for one thing that stuck on his mind.

Who sent you that threatening message?

… Don’t know, some unknown number.

Probably fake

Why would they do it?

Well, Uncle Nico is kind of important to a number of ongoing cases

Threatening my friends could be used against him

Yeah, but why

Why not wait to send the message until later?

It just gave time to mess up their plan.

If they’d waited a few minutes…

We need to talk with Uncle Nico

After the sun goes down 

—–

Nico got back to his condo shortly after the sun went down, where Erkan was already waiting with Miriam and Peter. Miriam was already starting to pass out. “What a day to have slept over at the station.” He looked at Erkan, “Hey kid. You find the gun?”

Erkan gestured to the table, “Miriam shot a werewolf with it. There’s a bit of sap on the grip now.”

Nico looked at Miriam who was flopped over on the couch, “Sap? Did she get hurt?”
Peter shook his head, “Nah, she had a bush pull the trigger and it wasn’t exactly sturdy.”

Nico grinned slightly, “The best uses of magic are ones people don’t expect. Speaking of magic, I heard you completely exsanguinated two people?” Nico looked at Erkan.

“Yeah,” Erkan nodded.

“You’ll have to tell me all about it at some point… but Savina’s here.” Nico turned towards the door before Savina knocked, then opened it and let her in.

Savina rushed through the door, “I’m so glad you guys are okay!” She hugged Miriam, who pat her on the head sleepily. Then she hugged Peter and Erkan. “I’m so glad…”

“This guy sniffed out the blood mage,” Peter pointed his thumb at Erkan, “Then he protected us from her magic while we fought back with… conventional weaponry.”

“Not that I could have done that if you hadn’t jumped between me and a clip of bullets,” Erkan pointed out.

“Hey,” Peter shrugged, “We’re friends. I’m not gonna lie, if they were silver bullets you would have been on your own, but any time you need me to take a few regular bullets I’m in. Just… please have it not be very often.”

“I regret to inform you that I have been shot at with a full clip no fewer than twice in the past two months.”

“Eh…” Peter scratched his chin which had a five o’clock shadow that looked more like a week of growth, “You’ll owe me at least a good steak every time.”

“Noted,” Erkan nodded.

“Right,” Nico said, “Now then, the reason we’re gathered here. Someone sent a threatening message to Savina… but from another perspective it could have been a warning message. I already had people look into the number, but it’s a fake. Just wondering if anyone has any guesses of who it might be.”

Miriam shook her head, “Don’t know… anyone…”

Peter shrugged, “Not that would have done something that way.”

Erkan concurred, “I only know you guys and Justin, and Justin would have just said what was going on. Also he probably would have joined the fight.”

“I also don’t know,” Savina replied, “But it must have been someone who wanted to help but thought they might get caught. Unless they’re completely incompetent…” she looked to Nico.

“It’s probably something like that. We can’t know if they are a friend- or just didn’t want this particular thing to succeed. Continue to be careful about any strange numbers, and in your day-to-day lives. I imagine things will settle down for a while- they can’t afford any more losses. Marconi especially… he might already be getting a federal raid once the confessions of the men there today are verified.” Nico’s phone beeped, and he looked down at it. “Or maybe not.” He looked up, “Marconi’s dead. His body was found outside his home, and a lot of his men have been seen packing up and hopping town…”

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