Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Interview with a Vampire - Paris Bites

Interview with a Vampire
Copyright 2012 Missy Lyons

Two days after the death of Officer Perot, I was assigned his caseload and buried deep in that thick stack of paperwork was the robbery of the century. Officer Perot was a friend and while I was still grieving his loss my muddled brain was having trouble wrapping my mind around the fact there were no clues, no suspects, and no evidence of the robbery ever happening. The video tapes revealed nothing and there were no fingerprints, and I was left with nothing to go on but instinct and a pile of handwritten notes.

Since a well crafted forgery was left in place of the real necklace I reasoned the criminals were familiar with the original necklace. I had my own list of suspects which was longer than Officer Perot’s scribbled notepad and included the museum employees who had come into contact with the jewelry or were involved in the security of the museum.

I had a hard time believing a complete stranger to the museum would break in and be able to deactivate every security measure they had to steal the blood diamond. It was so completely unlikely I nearly disregarded the idea altogether. This case was going to be difficult to solve if not impossible with so few clues or leads.

The fact remained however that the blood diamond necklace was missing from the Louvre museum and since the item stolen was only on loan, the Corrigan Family was lighting a fire under my ass to find it with mafia like tactics and threats that didn’t go unheeded.  

Just the memory of the pasty looking man confronting me in my office yesterday was unnerving. Mr. Corrigan kept covered up with a ball cap hiding his bald head and a heavy jacket on even in the summer months but his eyes were those of a hunter. Predatory and unafraid to hurt anyone who got into his way. At our first meeting I didn’t like him and he made it clear he didn’t like me, but now that Officer Perot was dead I had to be trusted enough to finish the job.

Part of me wondered if he were involved in my friend’s disappearance. The eerie thought that John’s death wasn’t an accident as first reported was enough to leave me hot and uncomfortable.

I loosened the top button from my tight-fitting button down shirt relieving myself enough to breathe and drank deeply of the coffee from my black chipped cup. I looked up to seeing Karen staring at me with a humorous smiled lingering on her lips. I was grumpy and didn’t like being caught in my daydream. “Is my appointment here?”

The intern response was curt but to the point, “Christopher is in the interrogation room now waiting for you.”

I didn’t think this lead would go anywhere, but Officer Perot had already set up the interview for me and if I could gather any information I would be better off than I was now. I grabbed the case file and my full cup of coffee in the other hand and got up to do my interview. It was a private room with only a few chairs, a table and a video monitor.

My intern, Karen was positively giddy when she jumped to open the door for me. Her hand paused on the knob and her cheeks lit up in a bright shade of crimson. “Wait until you get a load of him. He is positively hunky. Total eye candy.”

“You forgot to mention he was a gazillionaire too. Is that what you were smiling about?” I sighed deeply and rolled my eyes for her benefit, not mine. She was young and inexperienced but despite my single status I wasn’t looking for a date. “I’m here to get to the bottom of this case, not look at eye candy. Now if you excuse me I need you to get out of my way.”   

She grinned and giggled like a school girl before she opened the door for me Her bright blue eyes were filled with romance and it was likely her head was filled with hopeless daydreams about stealing the heart of the stud inside. “Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.”

I didn’t answer her, and I really didn’t feel like I needed to. I stepped inside clutching the file to my breasts when I saw him for the first time. I stopped abruptly taking in his bulky frame and very masculine body. He had a square jaw and silky dark hair that framed his olive skinned face. Christopher was dressed in a dark suite, and a grey striped tied that centered between his broad shoulders. The edges of his mouth perked up into a light smile when his sky blue eyes set up on me for the first time, crushing my heart in his grip.

This was a man of power. People and money circled around him because of his gravitational pull. Women could orgasm off the sight of his smile. I shouldn’t be surprised he had this strange effect on me just because he looked at me but I was. It wasn’t often I was in the presence of a man of money and affluence, but I could see why women would want to please him and men would want to be him.

I paused and gathered myself together. It wouldn’t do to fall apart when I was supposed to be the one in control. I heard the door close behind me, locking me in with this very hot man. I was completely alone with him. I jumped slightly and he appeared to be pleased by my reaction.

I really couldn’t allow him to affect me like this. I cleared my throat and purposefully sat down at the table in the only other chair mere inches from him.

Christopher placed his long calloused fingers on the table in front of him. “What a pleasure, Mrs….?

I set down my coffee and my file on the table and scooted my chair forward under the table. “Please I don’t wish to be formal here. You may call me, Antoinette.”

“It’s an unusual name,” he remarked.

“It was a gift from my father. He was a history major, and I sometimes think he wished we weren’t born in this century, but this interview wasn’t supposed to be about me. Thank you for coming today. Officer Perot regrettably couldn’t make it.”

“Oh?” His facial features were glacial and his countenance was stoic.

“Yes, unfortunately he died.” A lump rose in my throat. It would be a long time before I felt at peace with how suddenly I lost my good friend. The police station was a colder place to work without him. It didn’t seem right someone I loved could be stolen so quickly.

“Is that why you have me here?” His eyes bore into me like ice, challenging me. One thick eyebrow jogged high.

“No, it appears to have been an accident and there isn’t an investigation open at this time. What I need your help with is about another matter altogether. I understand you are a generous donor to the Louvre museum.”

“Well, yes but that’s not a crime,” his answer came reluctantly.

“No it’s not, but Louvre had the blood diamond necklace come up stolen,” I paused, waiting for his reaction to that news. This wasn’t public information and the media had not let anyone know, so he should be surprised or at the very least shocked at this statement.

He appeared completely unaffected. “So?”

His steely eyes bore into me, making me quite uncomfortable. I scooted back in my seat until I rested against the very back of it. My mind was working overtime again trying to interpret his response and see a deeper meaning where there wasn’t one. He looked bored out of his mind, his body conveyed his disdain and on top of everything he had this raw magnetic sex appeal that called to the inner diva inside of me and made me want to be claimed by him.

I licked my lips, suddenly aware I had to press my legs tightly together to keep the building pressure under control. I looked down at the table, anywhere else to avoid the intensity of his gaze. My head had grown dizzy and I felt my face flush and this interview had grown awkward and uncomfortable. “So, in Officer’s Perot’s notes there was an unusual amount of interest from your guests the night of the premiere.”

His blue eyes grew more intense. Darker and more dangerous to me, he screamed sex and not just any sex, but the kind of raw animal mating that melted my insides and curled my toes.

The breath caught in my throat as he angled his head towards me. That ever so slight movement made me feel like a deer caught in the headlights waiting for my inevitable death. I was frozen in fear and there was something else underlying his cool countenance…Something I wasn’t sure I liked or understood about this man.

“The night of the premiere? A lot of people were interested. The necklace had not been on display for hundreds of years. Why should you think I would be of more interest than anyone else, Miss Antoinette?”

“Everyone is of equal interest to me. I assure you.” I shifted in my seat uncomfortably. 

“Make your point.” Christpher’s distinguished face had darkened and become brooding.

“I was hoping you might be able to tell me about anyone at the party who was interested in the blood diamond.”

“I am afraid I don’t have any information to help you solve this case. That night I was enjoying myself and there were so many people there, all the faces were a blur. The wine must have gone to my head.” He shrugged.

I didn’t believe him. He was too calm, too at ease. I didn’t have any proof to say he was involved, but I didn’t believe Christopher was being completely honest with me either. “Why is it I think nothing goes to your head? You had a date that night that expressed much interest about the blood diamond to Officer Perot while he worked security detail that night.”

His hooded eyes narrowed dangerously in on me. There was a feral growl underlying his heated words. “As if a hundred other people didn’t walk into that room and look at the display too. I am not sure I like where this interview is going but you’re wasting my time. If you need me, you know where I can be reached. I’m afraid this interview is over, Miss Antoinette, unless you would like to continue with my lawyers present?”

“Not at this time,” I replied curtly. I didn’t have any proof to accuse him or charge him with a crime and the lawyers wouldn’t allow me to get anywhere with him. The best thing I could do is let him walk out and hope he led me to the blood diamond later or would become more cooperative in the future.  

I watched him get up and leave. I didn’t want to stop him or press my luck but I felt Christopher D’Angelo knew a lot more than he was telling me and so did Mr. Corrigan for that matter. I shivered slightly and goosebumps rose on my flesh.  If those two ever got into a battle, I didn’t want to be in between either one of them. They were dangerous men.

My interview left me with more questions than answers today.

The blood diamond was still missing, my good friend was still dead and I was no closer to solving the crime than I was at the beginning of the night. A queasy feeling entered the pit of my stomach and I tightened uncomfortably near my middle. Somehow I had the feeling I was way over my head in this and the mystery was bigger than a thief in the night. I just didn’t know what it was.

The real question remained: Did I really want to know the answers?

Interested in reading more? These characters are featured in Paris Bites by Missy Lyons. Now available at Siren Publishing.

Lots of Love,
Missy Lyons

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