Chasing daybreak, p.6
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       Chasing Daybreak, p.6

           Ranae Glass
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  Shane bounced in from Club Rouge just after three AM, looking like the cat that ate the canary. I raised my eyebrow as he talked.

  “…Marlene told me that good old Robert had a history of gambling problems. A few years ago, Lisa discovered some of her grandmother’s jewelry missing. She suspected Robert hocked it to play the ponies, or at least that’s what Lisa told her. Lisa made him start going to Gamblers Anonymous until he had it under control. Also, Lisa did use a credit card to pay for lunch.”

  “There wasn’t anything about this in the police file.” That surprised me. They’d dug into Robert Welch with a fine-tooth comb, even after his alibi cleared him as a suspect.

  “She said she’d totally forgotten about it until I asked about the credit card, because that day Lisa was wearing one of the missing rings. She noticed it when Lisa handed the card to the waitress.”

  I was impressed. “Well done, Shane. Anything else?”

  He grinned. “She asked me out this weekend. I had to let her down gently. The poor girl was totally into me.”

  I rolled my eyes. “That’s great. Tomorrow, I’m going to see if I can find out where the Gamblers Anonymous meetings were and talk to a few people there. It’d really help if you called your computer guy tonight to see if he could track Lisa’s movements from the steakhouse using the traffic cameras in the area. Also, according to the records, she used her cell phone to call and check her home messages at a little after two o’clock. Maybe he can do his tech voodoo and pinpoint where she was when she made the call.”

  Shane nodded. His one useful connection in the vampire world was Richard Clark. Richard was over a hundred years old and could make a computer stand up and sing Jimmy Buffet songs if he wanted it to. Oh, and he was kind of evil. Like, invented Wal-Mart evil. Shane and Richard had both been changed by a vampire named Irena Tarkeroff. It sort of made them brothers.

  “Sure. I’ll pay him a visit.”

  Did I mention that Richard was extremely paranoid and reclusive? I’d asked Shane once if I could meet the tech genius, but he’d told me Richard was dangerously unstable around humans. Too many years of feeding off them had left him with little in the way of self-control. And Irena wasn’t exactly the maternal type. She tended to turn and run, leaving her newbie vampires to fend for themselves. Lucky for Shane, he’d been found right away. Richard hadn’t been so lucky. According to Shane, Richard was changed and abandoned to roam the back alleys of London, feeding off street people. He was finally captured by the local Conclave in 1889 and caged until they could calm him—over fifty years later. Now he was a hermit, content to tinker with computers from the safety of his basement beneath Conclave.

  I didn’t ask to meet him again.

  With a nod of thanks, I clicked off my desk lamp. “I’m going to bed. I’m exhausted.”

  “Yeah, you should rest. You look like crap.” Shane snickered.

  Too tired to verbally shoot back, I locked up the office, trudged upstairs to my room, and crawled into bed.

 

  When I woke up the next morning, there was a note from Shane stuck to the already-brewing coffee pot.

  Isabel,

  I need to talk to you about the initiation next week. Please keep an open mind. Also, I left the street camera footage from Richard on your laptop. You can thank me later.
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