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Authors: Carol Lynne,T. A. Chase

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Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood (2 page)

BOOK: Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood
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Aaron nodded and watched as the older man headed out of the room, Dudley in tow.

As he started to clean the evidence of their normal Monday night get-together away, his thoughts drifted towards the two murders. The first one had only been a month earlier, found close to another national landmark.

Aaron turned out the lights in the study and his office on his way out. Despite the tight security surrounding the White House grounds, he hated having the urge to look over his shoulder as he walked to his car. He was suddenly very grateful he’d paid the extra money to get into an apartment building with an around the clock security staff.

* * * *

“Another body has been discovered on the Mall. This one was close to the Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Police Department isn’t commenting on whether it’s related to the other body found near the Washington Monument a month before. Neither victim’s name has been released yet.”

Gray hit mute on his remote and punched his phone’s intercom button.

“Hey, Kaplan, come in here for a second.”

“Be right there, Mills.”

Leaning back in his chair, Gray stared at the TV screen, but didn’t notice when it turned over to sports. His mind filtered what he had heard about the sensational murders.

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

10

When a violent death hit the front page of the D.C. newspapers as well as being the lead story on the local news, it had to be gruesome and unusual. It was an unfortunate fact of life that murder and crime had become so common place in the capital. Yet something about these murders had caught the attention of the affiliates and Gray wanted to know why.

“Come in,” he called at Kaplan’s knock.

“What do you need, boss?”

“Are you still in contact with your old partner from D.C.P.D.?”

“Yeah. Have a drink with him every Friday at our old bar.” Kaplan sat in the chair Gray motioned at.

“Good. Call and invite him for a drink tonight and see what he can tell you about the Mall murders.”

Kaplan frowned. “Why? Do you think they might be important?”

“On the surface, they look like just another couple of unfortunate people who lost their lives because of escalating crime.”

His employee raised an eyebrow at him and he nodded.

“My gut’s telling me we’re going to figure out they’re related somehow, and their deaths mean something in a bigger picture we don’t know anything about yet.”

“What do you think they have in common? Do you have any idea who might be committing them?”

“Have no clue about either of those questions, but there’ll be more victims before it’s done.”

He shoved his hand through his hair and Kaplan nodded, understanding what Gray meant. He didn’t often have hunches, being a very grounded in reality kind of guy, but when his gut clenched like it did when he watched the news, he had learned to listen to it.

“Gotcha, boss. I’ll take Bert out and see what he can tell me.” Kaplan stood. “You have a meeting tonight?”

Slipping his hand in his pocket, Gray stroked the curve of his ‘six month’ chip. “Yeah.

Call me after ten if you get anything.”

Kaplan gave a two finger salute before leaving. After the door shut, Gray pulled out his chip and held it up between his fingers. Six months sober and each day was as difficult as the first day he decided to crawl out of the bottle and re-build his life.

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

11

Thank God for AA and dedicated friends who wouldn’t let him continue to ruin his life.

Yet alcohol and one vindictive bastard destroyed the one thing he’d been proud of for the first half of his life.

He flipped the chip in the air before tucking it back in his pocket. After standing, he wandered over to the bank of windows creating one of the walls in his office. Featured prominently in the centre of the glass was the Washington Monument, lit up and awe-inspiring. Gray loved working and living in D.C., though there had been a time when he’d considered packing up and heading to Alaska to get away from all the political bullshit running the city.

“But you didn’t,” he said softly. “You didn’t let that bastard Broomfield win.”

Vice President Daniel Broomfield, the man who wrecked Gray’s career in the Secret Service, for no reason except that he hated gays. Gray’s willingness to be open about his sexuality sealed the deal with the bigoted VP.

Shaking his head, Gray cleared his mind of the anger. Dwelling on the past was what turned him into an alcoholic in the first place. He had to focus on living one day at a time if he wanted to keep out of the bottle.

He returned to his desk and opened the files his secretary brought him before the news caught his attention. Several new clients were interested in hiring his security company and he needed to go over what they wanted before he met with them.

It would fill his time until he had to leave.

* * * *

Gray chatted with a few other members of his AA group after the meeting. His phone rang as he said goodbye to them. Pulling it out of his pocket, he answered.

“Mills.”

He tossed his coffee cup into the trash and headed out to his truck.

“It’s Kaplan. I just sent Bert home. Can I meet you somewhere?”

“I’m at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Seventh Street.” He unlocked his door before climbing in.

“I know where that is. There’s an all-night diner about six blocks east of it. I can meet you there in twenty.”

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

12

Gray turned the key and smiled as his old truck roared to life. “Sounds good. I’ll see you in twenty.”

“Okay.”

After hanging up, he set his phone on the centre console, pulling out of the parking lot and heading to the diner.

Whatever Kaplan found out from his ex-partner must have been big if he wasn’t waiting until tomorrow to brief Gray. Of course, Kaplan was a night owl and Gray’s sleep was often interrupted by nightmares. Meeting this late wasn’t any big deal for either of them.

Must be why neither of them had a significant other.

Traffic was light, which was a miracle in itself, ensuring Gray arrived at the diner before Kaplan. He found a parking spot close by and strolled in. His training had become so in-grained that by the time he sat in a back corner booth, he knew where all the entrances and exits were, plus how many people were in the diner. He’d assessed each person’s threat level, deciding he was the most dangerous person there.

The bored waitress took his order. Staring down at the scarred Formica under his hands, Gray let his mind wander. Thinking about Broomfield earlier brought the President to mind.

Gray hadn’t voted for the man in the last election, mostly because he was jaded about anyone being able to change politics. Yet after meeting President Douglas, Gray figured if belief in the common decency of man and a charismatic personality were enough, President Douglas had a better shot than most. He didn’t blame the President for firing Gray.

Something told him the man hadn’t wanted to let him go, but the V.P. forced the issue.

Thoughts of the President always brought up the image of the President’s aide, Aaron Baker, in Gray’s mind. The younger man was brilliant and gorgeous, though he didn’t seem to know it. If they had met anywhere else except on the job, Gray would have asked him out, but Gray never mixed business with pleasure. He was nothing if not professional when he needed to be.

“Your tea.” The waitress set everything down as Kaplan walked up.

“I’ll have what he’s having.” Kaplan gestured to Gray’s cup.

“Another tea coming up.” She turned to go.

“Wait. Tea? Seriously?” Kaplan shot him a glance.

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

13

“Yeah. Caffeine this late at night will keep me up. I have enough issues stopping me from sleeping. I don’t need to add caffeine to them.”

It had taken Gray six months to be comfortable with his failings, and if drinking tea among other things, kept him from falling back into the bottle, he’d do it.

“I’ll have a coffee, black.” Kaplan shrugged out of his jacket and rested his elbows on the table.

“How’s Bert doing?”

Kaplan grinned. “Good. Said to tell you thanks for helping his youngest out with those Secret Service questions.”

Gray chuckled. “I was glad to do it. She’s going to turn her dad’s hair grey when she gets older.”

“And he knows it. He’s already fretting about boyfriends and shit like that.”

His friend continued to fill him in on department gossip while they waited for the waitress to bring Kaplan’s coffee. After she left and he’d had a sip, Kaplan shook his head.

“Bert was happy to tell me everything he knows about the murders, but it isn’t much.”

Gray sat back, eyes half closed as Kaplan recited what Bert had told him.

“Both vics were male, late twenties, and blond, but they’re not sure if the blond thing is just a coincidence or if it’s important. No names have been released yet. They seem to be having a hard time identifying the second victim.” Kaplan drank some more coffee.

So there was a pattern to the killings, though two murders don’t make a serial killer, but Gray wouldn’t be surprised if more dead bodies appeared.

“Both were found naked, bound and gagged, stuffed in dumpsters. Lack of blood at the scene indicates the vics were killed elsewhere before being dumped. Oh, and they both had recently engaged in sexual intercourse.”

Something flashed in the back of Gray’s mind, but it was gone before he could grab it.

He grunted softly, not worried. Whatever it was would show up again when Gray was ready for it.

“No blood at the scene?”

Kaplan slid his cup around the table. “Not one drop. Also, after the second body was discovered, the Feds stepped in, and claimed jurisdiction because the sites were national monuments.”

“Makes sense,” Gray mumbled. “Is Bert willing to keep us in the loop on the case?”

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

14

“Yeah. He’ll get us what he can. The S.A.C. of the murders is Special Agent Gus Jameson. He and Tina used to be tight when she worked for the Bureau. Might be worth seeing what she can shake out of him.”

“Good idea. I’ll ask her tomorrow if she’s interested in sniffing around that old dog again. Good job, Kaplan.”

“Thanks, boss.”

They finished their beverages and Gray paid the bill. After parting outside the diner, Gray got in his truck and glanced at his phone. Aaron Baker’s face popped into Gray’s mind and his cock stiffened. Even after the humiliation he’d been put through in front of the man, Gray couldn’t help wanting him. Stupid really when they had exchanged maybe five words in the entire time Gray worked security detail for the President. He could find out Aaron’s number with a few calls of his own, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to open that door.

Maybe it was best to always wonder what might have been, instead of finding out it would never work between them.

He slapped the steering wheel and groaned. “Silly old man, what makes you think a hot little stud like Aaron would want you?”

Should he head to one of the clubs and pick up some nameless twink to fuck? Would that help get rid of this senseless wanting for a man he couldn’t have? Somehow Gray doubted it. One-night stands and nameless sex had gotten old for him after he turned thirty and sobered up.

Laughter caught his attention and he watched a couple stroll arm in arm down the sidewalk. The way the man held his girlfriend close made Gray’s heart ache, wishing he had someone to hold like that. God, now he was getting sappy.

It was definitely time to go home, and take Butch and Kid out for a walk. He’d stick in some mindless action movie afterwards and probably fall asleep on the couch again. His life might not be exciting, but it was even-keeled and that’s what he needed to stay in control.

ANARCHY IN BLOOD

Carol Lynne & T.A. Chase

15

Chapter Two

After several quick swipes with a towel, Aaron pulled his thick white terry cloth robe off the back of the door and shuffled towards the kitchen. He should’ve known better than to go out partying with his friends on a Tuesday night.

He retrieved a bottle of water before grabbing the Tylenol off the shelf. As he popped the tablets into his mouth, Aaron glanced at the clock and groaned. It wasn’t that he was hung-over, he’d barely had anything, but he’d managed to stay out until almost three.

Yawning, he automatically reached into the pocket of his robe for his pack of cigarettes.

When his hand met a used Kleenex and nothing else, he sighed. It had been almost ten months since he’d had his last cigarette, and there still wasn’t a morning that he didn’t crave another.

After several moments mired in the memories of smoking, Aaron stood and retrieved his asthma medicine from the counter. Like he did every day before work, he picked up his phone and unplugged it from the charger, surprised to see he’d actually turned it off sometime in the wee hours of the morning. He groaned when he saw the number of messages already left. He had no doubt at least half of them were from his mother.

Rebecca Baker hadn’t been the best or worst mom a boy could have. She’d simply been too busy to offer what most children took for granted. He hadn’t minded and held no animosity towards his mom. After all, she wasn’t the one who drank herself to death. That had been all on Aaron Joel Baker, Sr. For her part, Rebecca had barely let her husband’s death deter her from the busy social life she seemed to thrive on, which left Aaron home with a nanny far more than he would have liked.

Aaron decided to tackle the usual morning phone conversation with his mom before doing anything else.

“AJ? Where have you been? I’ve been calling all morning,” Rebecca answered.

Aaron rolled his eyes. His mom could be so dramatic. It was barely seven. He seriously doubted his mom had been up for more than thirty minutes, forty-five tops. “I must’ve turned my phone off by mistake. What’s up?”

BOOK: Dracul's Revenge 02: Anarchy in Blood
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