TWO - Dry Blood

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There was a lot of police tape on Markham Road. Far more than she'd ever expected. Angelina stood outside the two houses, staring at the shiny web criss-crossing and peeling off their porches. No sign of any policemen or police cars, smashed in front doors or blood seeping under them, but yellow tape? Yeah, a lot of that.

She glanced at Hobson. "So, um, we just knock?"

"Let's get this clear now – I am not Batman."

"No no, I just mean..." She gulped as a gaggle of men moved closer – a cliché of a tabloid reporter, cloned. "Isn't this a bit insensitive? Turning up at their house like this?"

"Heh." Hobson chuckled and kicked the garden gate open. "Should've thought of that before you put them on the internet as a freebie really, Choi."

Without pausing, he swept the tape aside with one huge arm and strode up to the door in his black suit like a visiting undertaker, knocking so hard Angelina saw it shake. She chased along behind him, the assembled journalists turning towards the noise like a flock of birds.

"Hobson, with all the tape, doesn't that mean..."

"Oh, they're in."

A rustling behind the door, a crunch in its frame as someone inside leaned forward to look through the peephole. Behind them in the road, definite camera clicks. At least someone appreciated her amazing first-day outfit, Angelina thought, hoping the guy would open up before the paps asked her a question.

"Don't get excited, Choi," Hobson said, "we may not get in right away, might have to negotiate through the door, exchange numbers and call them later..."

The entrance swung open, to reveal a man with crimson gelled hair and oddly wide eyes. He was wearing a baggy hoodie, jeans and a huge grin, considering the murder in his house.

"Hey!" he said. "You're the internet guys! I saw your hashtag! Hobson, right?"

Angelina flashed a smug grin at her boss but he faced forward.

"Yeah, that's me. This is my assistant Angelina Choi," awkward wave from her, poking a hand out behind Hobson, "we wondered if we could speak to you about the murders?"

"Wow, you're actually investigating? I assumed that was just shitty online marketing."

Only then did Hobson return Angelina's smirk, before turning back to the resident. "We are looking into it. Can we come in, mister...?"

"Oh, yeah, Ric McCabe, hi." Broad wave, before looking past them to the photographers barely keeping off the front garden. "Best get inside, it's a jungle out there."

Ric ushered them in and slammed the door; Angelina was pretty sure he gave a middle finger to the waiting hordes before it fully closed.

Inside, all was dark; dim light and faded walls combined to blanket them with a sickly yellow glow. There were no windows, just a couple of heavy fire doors to the right and a staircase up to a world of darkness. It was about as homely as prison; she missed her mother's flowery wallpaper.

"Nice place," Hobson nodded, sincere as ever, "looks very secure."

Ric just laughed. "You mean aside from the dead housemate?"

"Obviously. Speaking of which, I'm told it happened in the kitchen?"

"Wow, you're a cheery fun guy." Ric looked over to Angelina. "Isn't he fun? With his serious face and his funeral suit."

"Thanks," Hobson said, not letting her speak. "You're quite cheery and fun yourself, considering your housemate's just been ripped to shreds by a wolf."

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