Chasing daybreak, p.11
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       Chasing Daybreak, p.11

           Ranae Glass
 

  Lisa Welch was a hooker? I’m just not sure I can wrap my head around that.”

  Shane propped his feet on the coffee table as I brought out a hot cup of coffee for me and a warm cup of blood for him.

  Taking his with one hand, he grumbled, “A paper cup?”

  I’d picked up some disposable travel cups at the store, the kind with lids. That way, I at least wouldn’t have to watch him drink it. Plus, blood stained white coffee mugs. I’d thrown away four of my favorites before I laid down the law about cup segregation. Unfortunately, I’d discovered that segregation wasn’t enough.

  “Yeah, you get blood moustaches when you drink out of the big mugs. If you’d prefer, I could pick up a box of bendy straws.”

  He snorted and took a sip. “No thanks. This is fine.”

  I took the file back from his lap. According to what we’d read, Lisa Welch was an escort, although what that meant in the vampire world, neither Shane nor I knew. The file also indicated that her husband was in serious debt to a bookie associated with the Conclave, but there were no details on that.

  My father had suspected for a long time that the Vampire Council had their fingers in a bit of everything from law enforcement all the way to the highest branches of government. They ran their organization like the Mafia.

  The head of the Council was Sekhmet, the oldest known vampire in existence. She and her two advisors, Nichols Von Wielder and Elizabeth Lathery, ruled from a secret location somewhere in North America. While Sekhmet appeared occasionally, she seemed content to allow the regional Chancellors to do the heavy lifting.

  Xavier was responsible for the Conclaves in both the Carolinas and Georgia. He also had two advisers, Ahnarra Collins and Gerard Van Swieten. Ahnarra, I’d met. Gerard was more of a mystery.

  “Lisa becoming a hooker makes a twisted kind of sense,” I stated. “The husband gets in over his head. She goes to the bookie, looking to cut a deal to pay them back. Do you think he knew?”

  Shane shrugged. “Nobody else knew. She might have been able to keep it quiet.”

  I sat back, lacing my fingers together behind my head. “Maybe. They gave her a credit card to use for expenses, but it wasn’t found with her belongings. So where is it?”

  “I see what you’re saying. She either took it and ran off—”

  “Which would have earned her a one-way ticket to a shallow grave for bailing on the Conclave—”

  “Or whoever killed her took it back. Assuming, of course, that she’s dead.”

  I nodded. “My gut tells me she’s dead. The question is—why?”

  Shane and I were still pouring over the new information when a sharp knock came at the front door. It was well past office hours, nearly midnight. He went to check it out and came back with a huge, white box tied with a red ribbon.

  “It has your name on it,” he said, handing me the card.

  Isabel,

  I hope it’s not too small. It’s hard to judge size on someone so much shorter than I am.

  See you next week.
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