Chapter Seven Part Two
Sarah was preparing a salad to go with the Lasagne she had cooked when David arrived. He could smell garlic bread toasting as well. At least with a diet like that there was little chance Sarah would suffer Marie’s fate.
Her employer had let him in and David studied him thoughtfully as they walked to the dining room. He looked fairly unremarkable, just under six foot, slim built and dressed in black trousers and a white shirt. Sarah had said that they ate together to save money but was that really all there was to it? And why was the back of David’s mind screaming at him to get out of there.
“Wine?” the man asked, lifting a bottle from the cooler. His voice was warm and soothing and the mysterious tension seemed the drain away at the sound of it.
“Thanks, but I am driving,” David said.
“Don’t worry. Anna has a spare room. You can stay there if you drink too much. From what I hear you and her have a lot to catch up on.”
David considered the offer and it seemed good. He really didn’t want to rush off tonight and as long as didn’t drink too much he could go straight to work from here.
“Okay, I’ll have a glass, please, Mr… I didn’t catch your name.”
“Wilshaw,” he said. “But please, call me Michael.”
“Thank you, Michael,” David said. “I wish I’d known. I’d I’ve brought a change of clothes.” He sipped on the wine as Sarah appeared laden down with food.
“You should have called,” Michael said as he moved to help her. “You’ll have David thinking that I am a sexist pig who chains you in the kitchen.”
“Nah.” She shrugged. “Dave knows that I love to cook. You can serve and do the washing up afterwards if you want something to do.”
* * *
Sarah was standing in the doorway of her cottage staring up at the almost full moon when Leisa arrived. She looked and smiled at the vampire. “Hey, Leisa. Dave’s asleep in my guest room. I am still trying to get over the fact Meredith never told me about him or Marie. She must have known about it.”
“Yes, she must. You know I think that your family is almost as much of a supernatural magnet as this town itself,” Leisa said. She had headed up to Michael’s as soon as she had sensed David was asleep. Michael had been upset when he called and asked her to come here, but he hadn’t told her why.
“Well, we’ve been here for centuries,” Sarah said in a flat, accepting tone which made Leisa’s heart clench. “All the old families of Haventon have problems with the supernatural. At least we don’t have it as bad as the Millers.”
“To beat losing a brother to werewolves and having a sister turned into a vampire by a sick bastard they must have it really bad,” Leisa said.
“They do. Why do you think people around here swear they are cursed?” There’s a reason that only Adrian and Luke Miller are left.”
“That’s pretty bad. And they’ve never been recruited by the Order?” Leisa asked. “They seem like classic recruitment material.”
“Merry says they tried in the past, but all they ever got told is that they have something more important to do than run around after minor threats and ignore the elephant in the room,” Sarah said. “Though I doubt they called it the elephant in the room, but apparently they claim to be tied up fighting something ancient and evil. People don’t usually get to say no to the Order and live, but from the way something evil seems to be trying to wipe them out the Council decided it was probably true, and certainly not worth the risk of calling their bluff. So they put a moratorium on recruiting them. She thinks that the Order’s spectral branch are trying to find out what the Millers are doing, since it seems to fit their remit, but so far they’ve had no luck.”
“You know, now you say that I am kind of curious myself,” Leisa said. “The Millers are my only mortal descendants. I’d kind of like them not to die out.”
“Ah! You’re here!” Michael interrupted from the stairs. “Let’s have a drink and I’ll tell you what’s happened.”
“All right.” She brushed David’s mind to make sure he would stay asleep.
Michael poured them both a glass of cow’s blood mixed with wine from his personal stock and then sat in silence for a long time. After a few minutes of awkward silence in which Leisa emptied her glass twice she got tired of waiting.
“So what has happened? You said you’d tell me.” She couldn’t keep the faint hint of exasperation out of her tone. “And your shield is up tight so I can’t read you.”
“I am sorry, I am still upset. David killed Ian this afternoon.”
“Oh, Michael! I am sorry. This is my fault!” she berated herself. “I should have looked to see who else he might be on to.”
“No, it’s not. He seemed totally focused on you. Why would you imagine he had go after someone else,” Michael said. “But there’s more. Someone had paralysed Ian somehow and the death link was occluded as well. He was trying to tell me something but only fragments got through. I think he may have managed to communicate more to David.”
“Occluded? So whoever paralysed him didn’t want him to tell you something?” she mused. “And you want me to see what Ian told David?” She nodded thoughtfully. “That makes a lot of sense.”
“Yes, you know his mind better than me and are less likely to do him a damage when you go rooting around,” he said.
“It’ll be close to the surface anyway, but I’d better check his suspect list while I am here.”
“That’s not a bad idea,” he agreed. “Let’s not lose anyone else if we can avoid it.”
“Well, shall we go up then?” he asked. “We’ll deal with this afternoon first and then look at the rest.” He gave her a smile. “He is a good kid, isn’t he? I see why you’ve taken a shine to him.”