The Puppet Assassin - Ch 12 [her -|- luke]

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"The good die young - because they see it's no use living if you've got to be good"

- John Barrymore

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Chapter Twelve

Her | Luke

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I had stood silently as the men went through their different discoveries. Nothing new, nothing that would lead us to the sick creature that was doing this. Every time I blinked, the images of the bluish faces of the elderly men and the young girl flashed through my mind. They looked anything but peaceful. Unseeing eyes, open, choking mouths. I was close to becoming sick, I could feel bile at the back of my throat, but I couldn't get them out of my head. I tried to concentrate on who the culprit could be.

It had been determined that the blood was being removed via four punctures to the deceased bodies; inner elbows first, then jugular and then heart. The fluid was drawn out using some sort of machine. If we could find out what type of machinery was being used it would help us get a little closer to finding the killers but the only thing that could be determined was that the suction cup was round with the circumference of a tennis ball. It could be a hand-held suction pump for all we knew.

And as to what the blood was being used for, there were plenty of answers. The one most people thought of was witches using dark magic, the witch blood giving more power to their spells, hence why the murderers were nicknamed the blood-witches. But from what I knew the 'dark' witches usually practiced with a live sacrifice.

Other ideas were that the blood was being used for research. But for what research? And why was every last drop in these bodies required? I wanted the answers now. I wanted my pack, and all the other Changer-packs, to be able to live as carefree as they used to, as the average human does. I hated not knowing and I hated having to wait for the killers to make a mistake in order for us to find them. I wanted my claws embedded into the throats now.

Liam wandered out about an hour later, his expression a hard mask. He jerked his head towards his car and I followed him there. I still felt sick and had to concentrate on walking straight. Once we were in the car, Liam pinched the bridge of his nose with a frustrated sigh.

"We'll have to wait to hear back from forensics but it's unlikely we'll gain anything useful," he muttered, swiping his thumb to start the car's engine.

"I just wish this was simple." My voice wasn't completely even. "My people are scared and I'm supposed to provide a fucking answer. I'm supposed to keep them safe!"

"You're a leader, not a god," he drawled.

I shoved my hand through my hair, tugging hard on a few strands. The familiar throb of the relentless headache was returning. "I'm letting them down," I said starkly. "I need... I need an end to this."

"We're working on it. This can't overwhelm you, Remington." He paused, pondering something. "Tonight. The Griffin. Kayli has already planned to go out seeing as her friend's arriving in town. I'll buy you a beer and you can get this out of your head for a while."

Garth HAD been nagging me about going out. I hadn't had a drink since Fletch and Moro's going away. This was hard for Liam, I should accept graciously... But that would go against the grain.

"So long as Kayli's coming, I'm there. I'll wait til she's drunk, and therefore more honest, and then ask her who she prefers between us. Obviously she'll pick me and then we can finally ditch you and get married."

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