Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 1 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The dirty alley was scattered with the leavings of old Chinese food and pizza containers. The asphalt was sticky from the years of split trash that leaked out from the nearby dumpster. A rancid stench filled the air that came from both the dumpster and the two buildings that surrounded them. �Yep, that would be a vampire alright.� Trent stood up in the dark alley, the dead body lying beneath him. Isaac, his partner, stood behind him and punched the air when he announced it. �Shit.� He left the uniformed policeman to stand next to his partner. �Does it at least look like it was another vampire?� Trent shrugged his shoulders, �Do I look like a medical examiner to you?� Isaac looked at his dark haired partner, who wore his long hair pulled back. His light brown eyes stared down at him with his dark eyebrow lifted, �You�ve been in paranormal law enforcement for ten years. I would think you could identify if it was a human, werewolf, or vampire kill.� Trent frowned at his blonde partner, �Looks like bullet holes, could be anyone.� Isaac had only been his partner for a little less then a year, as his former partner had been killed during a raid on a werewolf sanctuary. The people of Los Angeles and the rest of the world all knew of the existence of vampires and werewolves. They had to live together, though the vampires and werewolves hated each other, and would often battle it out in the streets. For the most part, the two breeds lived only in large cities, and tried to ignore that the other existed. To ensure justice was served and that no wars between the species broke out, each group had their own police force that investigated matters concerning the other species. If this murder looked like a clear cut werewolf or vampire murder, he probably would still be at the office throwing darts at the wall. Since, it could be a human killer, he had to come along and wait for the vampire investigator to appear. He hated working with vampires; they hid information from him and were never willing to share. It wasn�t just the vampires, but the werewolves as well. He just didn�t like sharing a world with them, but the paranormal squad paid three times as much as the others. The worst thing about the vampire investigators is that they weren�t even really policemen. Not in the sense that the humans and werewolves trained their investigators to be. Instead the vampire elders would send one of their peons to tag along and report back to them. He hadn�t worked with a born vampire yet, and seriously doubted that he ever would. �Macrea Corp just called and said they are sending someone over now.� Isaac hung up his cell phone. Trent didn�t even hear it ring, while he had been staring down at the male corpse. The Macrea Corp was a known vampire business, and one of the most powerful vampire clans in the city. They often sent their investigators when humans were involved. It had to do something with them believing they were better equipped to deal with

humans. �What do you think, Isaac? Born vamp or turned?� He asked pointing to the dead body. Isaac looked down at the corpse then back up at his partner, �Why do you always play this game?� �Because I have a knack for it. Now, guess.� He sighed, �Born.� �Nope, turned.� Isaac rose an eyebrow, �And how can you tell this time?� �Skin still is slightly tanned.� �So, vampires can walk in the sun.� Trent frowned, �Yeah, but they don�t tan. Watch, I�ll ask the vamp when he gets here. I guarantee that he�ll say that�s a turn job.� �Alright, I bet fifty bucks.� �Deal.� He turned his eyes from his blonde partner back to the corpse. �Wonder if it was by choice or force.� Isaac sighed, �Shouldn�t we be caring about what killed him, and not how he was turned.� �In my book being turned is being killed, maybe we should find his sire.� �I doubt the Macrea�s would allow you near his sire.� A feminine voice said behind them. They both turned to look at the woman with light auburn hair that was pulled back into a braided bun. She wore black slacks, a button up white blouse, and black high heels. The siren lights swirled behind her from the street, as she stood in front of them with her arms crossed. �You the Macrea investigator?� Trent asked. Slightly surprised because he had never worked with a female vamp before. �Indeed, I am.� She walked past them. Carefully, she tried to step around the trash on the ground. When she reached the body, she bent down to look at the corpse. Her eyes briefly scanned the face and body of the dead kine, who was laying on his back. With a clearing of her throat, she stood up and pulled her cell phone out. Hitting a single button, she put the phone to her ear, �Tell Marcellus that it�s Rylan.� She waited a moment, �No, I can�t tell. Too many humans have touched the body, but I do have a scent of werewolf in the area. That�s not too surprising though because it is an alley after all.� Again, there was a long silence, before she looked at Trent, �Have you recovered a weapon?� He shook his head.

�No, looks like bullet wounds though. Yeah, in his heart.� She kneeled back down, and looked over the body again. �I�ll send him to the lab.� She said as she checked the inner pockets of the corpse�s jacket. �Yes, I know. Alright.� She hung up her phone, and stood up to face the humans. �You can identify him?� Isaac asked. �Rylan Cullen of the Macrea Clan.� She looked down at the corpse then back up at him, �A toy of one of the elders. This will make him most displeased.� �A toy?� Trent questioned, he had heard the term before, but was never certain as to what it meant. �A favorite, if you will.� She crossed her arms, �Who ever did this will have to pay dearly. Rylan has been missing for two weeks now, but this is a fresh kill. So, he was either hiding from something and unable to contact us or he was abducted and held for a time before they brought him out here to kill him.� �Could it have been another vampire clan?� Trent asked. She smirked, �I doubt it. The other clans wouldn�t dare upset a Macrea elder. They know better.� �Maybe they didn�t know he was a toy.� Isaac threw the idea out there and Trent agreed with a nod. �Everyone knows who the elder�s latest toy is in our society. Especially since Rylan has been this particular elder�s toy for over twenty years now.� She looked towards Trent, �You must be Trent Monte.� �Detective Trent Monte,� He corrected, �and this is my partner, Detective Isaac Reynard.� She nodded, before looking back down at the corpse. �And you are?� Trent asked when it became apparent she wasn�t going to tell him. �Corliss.� She responded, her dark hazel eyes deadlocked with him. �Corliss what?� She grinned enough to show her sharp pointed fangs, �Just Corliss.� He didn�t like getting half truths or half of the information, and her response only proved his point about vampires not sharing with them during investigations. �So, how are we going to work this?� �Our lab is going to take a look at the body�� �I want to be there.� Trent demanded. Corliss grinned again, �I�m afraid we don�t allow humans into our labs.� �Then send him to our morgue. We will�� Her cell phone began to ring, and Corliss ignored him as she answered it. �Yes?� Trent glared over to Isaac giving him a silent message that he hated to work with

vampires. Isaac gave him a nod and rolled his eyes in agreement. �Yes, I am certain that it�s Rylan.� She turned her back and whispered into the cell phone, �Don�t you think I would recognize my own brother?� Trent watched carefully as Corliss turned her back on him, obviously not wanting them to over hear her conversation. He took a step closer in hopes that he could hear anything she would say. �I don�t know. I told Adriel, it could be anyone.� She paused, �No, there aren�t any visible signs. What do you mean probably human?� Her wandering eyes caught Trent taking a step closer to her, and she turned to face him. �I don�t think we should jump to conclusions. Rylan was a powerful kine.� She frowned at Trent�s invasion of her privacy. �No, I don�t suspect werewolves. I just think that we�alright. Yes, I�ll be there.� She hung up the phone again. �Bosses pulling your strings a little hard?� Trent folded his arms. Corliss� frown deepened, �Our body wagon will be here soon. I need to go.� �Wait.� Trent grabbed her upper arm as she walked past him; he was surprised to find it warm. �Are your people continuing this investigation?� Placing her hand over his, she peeled his hand off her. �That�s what I am going to find out.� He kept a tight clasp on her hand, �There is no proof that it was humans.� Trent glared down into her hazel eyes, �You know that right?� Corliss grinned, �Worried, Mister Monte?� �Of a war between species? Yes. Was he that important?� �Important enough that a war could be started over him? I don�t know.� �You don�t know? Give me a percentage or something.� �Depends on how well liked he was by the elder. Right now, I say it�s a fiftyfifty chance.� She responded trying to pull her fingers from his grasp. Being stronger, she could have easily done so, but didn�t want to hurt him. �I don�t like those odds.� �Let go of my hand.� She growled under her breath, and Trent released her hand immediately. Isaac watched from a distance, and wondered what Trent was doing. He had never before seen him touch a vampire let alone speak to one privately. �How can I get into touch with you?� Trent yelled as she walked down the alley. �I will contact you when there is a clear answer. Just stay here for now until they come to pick up the body.� �You forgot to ask her if he was a turn or not.� Isaac chuckled when the woman was out of ear shot. Trent turn to him with a grin, �You heard her, she said something about his sire.�

�Sire could mean father as well, ya know.� He folded his arms, �No, it refers to the one that turned him. If it was fathered she would have said�� �Whatever you say, Trent. I may be new in this district, but I am not a rookie.� ---***--Corliss stood in the elevator of the Macrea building. She was heading to the meeting room on the sixtieth floor. Her arms crossed, she tapped her foot. This was her first case, and the elders didn�t fully trust anything she said, especially since it involved her brother. It didn�t matter that she was a toy to the most prominent elder either. He wanted to discuss the situation with her just as much as the others did. The elevator door dinged as it opened, and Corliss began the short walk to the conference room. Two large men stood guard of the door, and noticed her as the sound of her heels tapping against the marble floor grew louder. They recognized her and opened the door. The conference room was kept dark; only three lamps were on with fifty watt bulbs. Twelve men sat around the table and at its head was Adriel Macrea, leader of the Macrea Clan and the man who called her his toy. His hair was long and black, and his skin pale as were his blue eyes. He looked to be a man no older then twenty five, but the truth was he was well over six hundred. Corliss had come into the Macrea clan as a peace offering from her own clan the Faustos. She married Adriel�s son, only to have him die three months later. She was not trusted among the Macreas and they pushed to have her removed from both the clan and life. Adriel took lead and ordered that she become a toy for him, least she be killed. Corliss hated the idea, she was of royal blood in her family, and now would be forced to be a slave under their hated enemy. �Excellent timing, Corliss.� Adriel folded his hands together. �What news do you bring?� �Nothing has changed since I spoke to you on the phone.� She said, standing at the end of the table, she felt a hand take hers. Looking down, her eyes met with the green eyes of Marcellus. His facial features sharp and angry. She could feel his anger through the touch alone, and wondered if it was directed at her. He pulled her down into the seat they had left empty for her. Marcellus was her brother�s master, who claimed him as a toy. Her brother had also come as a gift from her family, but several years after she arrived. He fought and killed the toy that Marcellus was keeping back then, and so her father chose to hand him over to the Macrea elder. It was better then risking an all out war between the two clans. Adriel tapped the tips of his index fingers together, �Tell us what you think of the situation then.� Corliss placed her hands in her lap, and looked around the room at the twelve sets of eyes on her. �Rylan was quick and powerful, he would have had to be taken completely off guard for a human to have shot him. I didn�t see any bullet casings

in the alley, which leads me to believe that the body was probably dumped there.� Adriel�s thin but strong features flinched with disgust as she spoke. �He was thrown into a dirty alley?� She nodded, �Yes, his clothing was relatively clean, except for the six bullet holes and blood.� �Were there scents of werewolves?� Marcellus asked. �Yes, but they weren�t very strong. Of course, the alley way that he was found in is a common gathering ground for them. If he was dumped there by humans then it might have been to make us think that werewolves did it.� Adriel leaned back in his chair, �Werewolves or humans, who ever has perpetrated this must be punished. Both the Macreas and the Faustos are very upset by his murder.� �There is another option.� Corliss felt the words catch in her throat, and once they were spoken she wished to take them back. �What?� Adriel glared down the long dark table at her, warning her not to anger him with his eyes. �It could have been another vampire.� There were gasps from the room, but she continued. �Possibly another clan trying to get at Marcellus or turn us against the other species. Or�� She swallowed, �maybe it was someone from our own clan.� The entire room of elders curled their lips in disgust. �How dare you suggest such a thing!� Adriel barked. �No, please, listen. It is not a secret that Rylan and I are not welcomed into the Macrea clan by many of its members. Especially since we have been placed in high ranking positions. Someone may have tried to remove him so they could�� �Enough, Corliss.� Adriel snapped, �It was not one of the Macrea clan. However, I will humor your idea of other clans being involved.� He looked around the room, �Who are the human investigators that you would work with, if we decided to continue this?� �Isaac Reynard and Trent Monte.� Corliss swallowed again; the eyes were making her nervous. �Hmm, I have heard of this Monte. He does not care for our kind, but does seem to be a reliable detective. I have also heard that he has close contacts with the Upper Circle. He may be privy to information about this case that we are not, or information to other human secrets that would be beneficial to know.� Adriel nodded, �Yes, continue to investigate, Corliss. Ensure you keep in close contact with this Monte, and partake in any information he has to offer.� He leaned back in his chair, and scowled across the table at her. She nodded and stood from her chair. �And Corliss?� �Yes?� She looked across the table at Adriel.

�Do whatever it takes to ensure this human trusts you enough to share any and all information. We want to know who is behind this at all costs, understand?� �Yes, I will do whatever the situation commands of me.� She bowed her head to the council before exiting the room. ---***--Trent sat at his desk that faced his partner�s. Isaac was eating his lunch, a bologna sandwich and some vinegar chips. Trent hated those damn things; they reminded him of the smell of feet. �Hundred thousand dollars a year, and you eat bologna and feet chips.� Trent grumbled. �Last I looked, your apartment was covered in pizza boxes and cheap beer cans.� Isaac retorted. Trent chuckled, �Got me there.� He leaned over his desk and unfolded his pastrami sandwich from the deli. �But why bologna? I mean you could be eating your lost dog for all you know.� Isaac laughed causing himself to inhale some of his sandwich. He coughed for a long while, his face turning red. �Drink your soda.� Trent told him, trying not to laugh at Isaac�s new red hue. He drank down his soda, and pounded his hand against his chest. �You almost killed me.� Taking a bite of his own sandwich, he looked around the station. Several desks were lined up like his own and at the back of the room was the door to the captain. He and Isaac got the desks right next to the stairway, and Trent prided himself in being so lucky. There was no real reason why everyone wanted to sit next to the stairs. �Wonder if that vamp is going to get back to us today.� He said as he chewed his food and looked at the newly created case file. �Think I am going to ask for the corpse to be sent to our morgue after they are done with it. I want to know we had the same findings.� Isaac nodded, �Be a smart move. Who knows what they would do to be able to blame us or the dogs for this murder. Wouldn�t surprise me one bit if they killed him just to start a war.� �Me either.� He said taking another bite. �It would surprise me.� Corliss said as she appeared at the stairway, she looked over the two men, both wearing dark suits. Isaac wore a tie, but Trent was without one. Her high heels clicked against the linoleum as she walked over to their desk. She wore a dress suit with a gray short skirt that stopped mid-thigh, and a white top with no sleeves. Her high heels were white and laced up just below her knees. �Cute outfit.� Isaac said sarcastically, he always told Trent that vampires seemed to create their own styles.

She glared down at him before turning her attentions to Trent, �The elders have decided to continue our investigations.� She placed a small suit case on his desk, and opened it. Offering him a small folder, �This is for you. It�s the report from our lab.� �You guys work fast.� Trent said swallowing down his food, before taking it from her. She sniffed the air and looked over at Isaac, �You smell like sweaty feet.� Trent chuckled, �It�s his potato chips.� Isaac held one up to her, �Want one.� �No, if I wanted something that smelt like that I would find a jogger.� Corliss turned her eyes back to Trent, who was reading the report. �Well, this is worthless.� He shoved the folder back at her. �Doesn�t state anything we didn�t already know.� She slid it back to him, �You can keep that, and I know. That means that everyone is still a suspect.� �If you guys think that the werewolves had something to do with this, then we need to let them get an investigator out here too.� Isaac told her. She nodded, and tried to stop her lip from curling up in disgust. �I know.� �So, we have no leads. That�s just great.� Trent looked across the desk at his partner. �I wouldn�t say that. Rylan was quite active the last few weeks before he went missing. His credit card statement alone could have the answer we are looking for.� She pulled out another piece of paper and handed it to Trent. �You know, I�m his partner, I get to see these things too.� Isaac snapped. Corliss looked at the blonde man, before her eyes returned to Trent. �Just restaurants and stores, what could this do for us?� �Rylan was never that active, and he was also acting suspiciously before his disappearance. Normally, Rylan spent most of his time catering to Elder Marcellus�s demands and quietly going about his business inside Macrea Corp. However, the last four weeks before he disappeared, Rylan started leaving the building on a daily basis. He was eating at restaurants unfit for a vampire, and�� �Why do you guys eat at restaurants, anyway?� Isaac asked, �I mean you get your food source from blood, but you eat human food. That would be like me eating grass when I could eat a steak.� Corliss frowned, �It�s more along the lines of you eating a candy bar or having ice cream or cake after dinner. We enjoy the finer foods that this world has to offer. I wouldn�t expect you to understand.� She turned her attention back to Trent, again. �Anyway, no one knows what he was up to, but if we could find someone who remembers him, then maybe we can find out if he was with someone.� �We?� Trent questioned, leaning back in his chair.

�Yes, we.� She folded her arms, �You�ve got a problem working with me?� He laughed, �Every time I have ever �worked� with a vampire, it was always me giving the information and them hiding what they found from me.� �I gave you the lab report and his credit card statement, didn�t I?� �Oh, they were more then happy to share information with me when it would get them some place that they wanted to go.� Corliss rolled her eyes, �I�ll be at the Blue Berry Inn at three, be there or lose any clues that I might find.� Reaching down, she shut her brief case, and then grabbed the other half of his sandwich. �Hey!� Trent barked, as she walked down the stairs and bit into his lunch. �Do you believe that?� Isaac chuckled, �See that�s why you should eat bologna.� Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 2 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Samara sat at her desk, glaring at her partner and brother across from her. She tapped her pencil against her desk, as she watched him finish his report. His dark hair was beginning to thin with age, but it was curly enough to hide the secret. She knew that his eyes were a calming gray, and he looked much like her in that respect. Things were slow at the Pack Agency of Werewolf Statutes or PAWS for short. Of course, that was bound to happen when they didn�t really enforce much of anything. Most packs took care of themselves, and didn�t feel the need to involve them. Any werewolf deaths were normally by another werewolf through an honorable battle, and the case was closed within hours. The only time Samara and her brother were out of the office longer then an hour was when a vampire was making claims of an attack by one of their own. �Well, that was scintillating.� Coyle dropped the last piece of paper into the folder. �Thank the heavens we had to get out of our seats for that one.� She smiled at her brother, �No kidding, I can�t even remember the last time that we were out of this office.� She looked around the dingy department. Most of their office equipment had been donated by the local human police department. The paint on the walls was peeling, and the floors had large chunks of linoleum missing. Her chair leg always caught in one of the holes, and had gotten larger over the past two years. Returning to her pencil, she began to tap her desk, �We should just go home early. What�s the point of sticking around?� Coyle shrugged, �Sure, let�s ask the boss. I feel like Chinese food tonight, what about you?� She nodded, �That sounds fine.� Leaning back in her chair, she cracked her

fingers, then began to put her dark hair in a ponytail. It was only one thirty but she knew there was no work to be done. With a loud yawn, Coyle stood from his chair and walked over to the captain�s desk. He didn�t even have his own office. Gary was on the phone and Coyle sat his large form in the chair in front of his desk. Gary was an older werewolf with gray hair and beard. Most werewolves looked human, except that they smelt different to others of their kind and to the leeches, which was a common term used for the vampires. Most had blackened nails that varied in darkness. �And the kine think one of the pack may have something to do with this?� Gary asked the question to the man on the phone. Coyle raised an eyebrow. �Hmm, I see.� Gary looked at Coyle and then pointed at Samara for him to call her over. Coyle waved his sister over, and she came to stand behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders. �I see, so all are involved. Blue Berry Inn at three. Yes, fax over the directions.� He hung up the phone and looked at the two siblings in front of him, �You two have had formal training for dealing with kine, haven�t you?� �Yeah, we know how to deal with those leeches.� Coyle punched his own hand. Gary frowned, �Not today. Seems a high standing vampire was killed last night, and there was no evidence left as to who may have done it. Everyone is suspect. You will be working with two human investigators and a vampire.� Samara sighed, �Why can�t we work separately and share info over the phone.� Gary looked up at her babyish face; it was hard to believe that the small woman was one of the pack or even related to her large brother. �This has got to be a group effort. Apparently, he was high enough up there that this could start a war, if found to be a personal attack against the Macreas.� Coyle moaned, �Not the Macreas, any clan but them.� �I could give the case to someone else if you�� �No, we will take it.� Samara chirped. �Directions are being faxed over for some inn that they are meeting at. Your human contacts are Trent Monte and Isaac Reynard.� �And the leech?� Coyle asked. �They didn�t say, probably some spoiled turn that some elder is amusing himself with.� Gary heard the fax machine begin to print. �There are your directions, don�t fuck this up. If you two get into a fight with the vampire, this could lead to serious trouble. Remain calm at all times.� They both nodded as Coyle stood up. �It�ll get us out of the office for longer then an hour.� Samara said to her brother as he began to fight with the jammed fax

machine. �I suppose, still don�t like the idea of working with a leech.� He continued to yank on the stuck paper for several moments, before a large chunk ripped out into his hands. Coyle looked the piece of ripped paper over, �This is enough.� He turned and began to walk out. Samara rolled her eyes, and turned back to Gary, �Chief, the fax machine�s broken.� Gary sighed, �I told you not to let him touch it!� He yelled as Samara slammed the door behind her, following her brother. ---***--Trent rolled his eyes when he saw Corliss standing outside of the Blue Berry Inn; she had changed clothing in the last two hours. She had returned to a similar look that they had first seen her in the evening before. Black slacks, black high heels with pointed tips, and bright red short sleeves blouse. Her light red hair was in a French braid with a red ribbon weaved through out. �Did she change?� Isaac whispered in his ear as they approached. �Vamps change their clothes three or four times a day, don�t say anything.� Trent warned, �You called PAWS, right?� Isaac nodded, �Yeah, they are sending some agents over. I am surprised they aren�t here already, they are normally very punctual.� �If they are here, they aren�t approaching because of Corliss.� He silenced himself as they approached the waiting vampire. She looked at her gold Rolex, and then back up at Trent. �Ten minutes late.� She announced. �We had to stop off and grab a burger. Some god damn vamp stole half of my lunch today.� Trent snarled. Corliss smiled at him, he was surprised by her reaction and his frown vanished. The Blue Berry Inn was a shady type of place, consisting of one floor and twenty five rooms. It was painted blue hence it�s name. Judging by the amount of cars in the parking lot, they weren�t hurting for business. �I hope this leech has training in dealing with the pack, because...� Samara stopped in front of the three waiting outside the inn. She cleared her throat as her brother came to stand beside her. �Ahem, are you Trent Monte and Isaac Reynard?� �Yes, we are.� Trent extended his hand to her, and she shook it. �I am Samara Travell and this is my partner Coyle Travell. We are from PAWS.� The dark haired woman pointed to her brother. �Nice to meet you, Detective Monte, I�ve heard many good things about you.� Coyle said when he shook his hand, and then extended his hand out to Isaac who shook it. �This is Corliss.� Trent introduced her.

�Corliss what?� Coyle asked raising an eyebrow. �Just Corliss.� She answered. He smiled trying to keep a friendly demeanor, though instinct told him to attack the vampire before him. �Ah, mysterious type, are you?� Samara rolled her eyes, even when the woman was a damn blood sucker; he was still willing to flirt. �We weren�t exactly filled in, could you please explain the situation?� �Certainly.� Trent stepped in front of Corliss, who was about to speak. The female werewolf�s soft features had caught his eye, �Last night we came across a dead body, it was identified to be a vampire by the name of Rylan Cullen: a toy for an elder of the Macrea clan. He was shot six times, which as you would know wouldn�t normally kill a vamp, but one of the bullets pierced his heart. Nothing found at the scene could point to which species had been the murderer.� �Hmm.� Samara looked at the vampire behind him, �Werewolf territory was where he was dumped, right? That�s the only reason that your people would think that the pack was involved.� �Yeah, a common meeting ground for pups.� Corliss had crossed her arms. Instinct told her to fight them or flee, but she had had enough training to hold back the urge. �Oh, we are name calling already?� Samara retorted. �Seem to recall someone calling me a leech not long ago.� She swallowed, �I didn�t know that you were in hearing range.� �Why did they send two of you? I mean I would expect that from humans, but I thought more highly of the pack. Two werewolves to do the job of one kine?� Corliss leaned against the door. Samara scowled, �Watch your words, leech, least they be your last.� �Attack me, I dare you, pup. You have no idea who you are dealing with.� She laughed at her attempt to intimate her, �You think that you are strong enough to take on two of the pack?� Corliss stood up on her feet, and for a moment Trent thought he might have to hold her back. �Ladies, please. We all want to find out�� He began but Corliss pushed him aside. �I am Corliss Macrea,� She stepped forward and held her index finger inches away from Samara�s chest, �you even think about touching me and every vampire clan will come down on your precious pack so hard�� �You are a Macrea?� Isaac interrupted her threat. �Oh, give me a fucking break!� Trent barked, �No, I am not working with a Macrea! If you get hurt, this shit is on my ass. Go back to your little clan elders and tell them to send someone else.�

Corliss crossed her arms again, �That black Lexus is Rylan�s car.� Everyone turned around to look the black sedan that was parked in the distance. Trent seemed to forget what he was upset about. �Are you sure?� �Yes, I�m sure. See the star pagan symbol on the wind shield, most kine put them there so we an identify each other.� �Why?� Samara asked. �In case one of us gets hungry we don�t attack the wrong car.� Corliss answered, but no one was certain if she was being serious. Most blood was purchased, as the lower ranking vampires drank animal blood, while the higher officials normally had pet humans. Samara watched Corliss reach into her small black purse and pull out several photos. She offered them to everyone; it was a picture of a man with short black hair and dark eyes. �What is this?� Coyle asked looking down at the picture. �You handing out pictures of your boyfriends now?� Samara asked. �Rylan Cullen.� She responded. �Cute, but he�s dead, we know where he is.� Samara snickered and offered the picture back. �It�s to use when you ask if someone has seen him before.� Corliss rolled her eyes, �Can�t very well go around asking if anyone has seen a kine with black hair and dark brown eyes can you?� Samara kept the picture extended towards Corliss, �Why are we looking for people who have seen him?� �Have you ever been part of an investigation before?� Corliss asked sarcastically, before she sighed, �The last few weeks before Rylan died, he was very active in the common world. He was purchasing below quality meals and shopping at stores not approved by the Macrea Clan. Something was amiss, and if we can find out what he was doing and why, that might be the answer as to why he was killed and by who.� �Oh.� Samara said flatly, while putting the picture into her inner coat pocket; as did her brother. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a folded piece of paper. �Here, this is a list of places that he shopped and ate at.� Coyle took it from her and unfolded the paper, �Below quality meals, huh?� He showed it to his sister, �We eat at most of these places.� �I thought this place was nice.� Isaac said pointing to one of the names on the list. Corliss sighed, �Yes, well, someone has to keep them in business. I suppose it would be your kind.� Trent tried not to grin at her response.

Werewolves and humans had a better rapport then humans and vampires. Trent always believed that it had something to do with a majority of them being middle to lower class. They also seemed to offer more respect towards the humans, and care about following the laws created to keep peace. Vampires, on the other hand, were willing to bend laws until they almost broke for their own personal gains. �Now, let�s speak to the inn keep.� Corliss turned around to open the door. Trent put his hand on the glass door, �Manager.� He corrected, before pushing the door open. The manager was a middle aged man with short brown hair that had several gray strands throughout. He was muscular and tall, obviously meant to intimidate any undesirable clients away. On the counter in front of him was a small television that was playing a game for the Werewolf Football League. Several years ago, humans had stepped down from playing major league football. It wasn�t considered entertainment anymore, not after the werewolves started to play. There had been a big ordeal about it, and many people tried to ban werewolves from playing. In the end, the hard tackles, the endless supply of men, and the amazing plays won out, and werewolves took control over the beloved sport. Injury was always likely, but werewolves healed much quicker. One�s favorite player could be injured one game, that would take a human a whole season to heal, but they would be back the next game. �Is that the LA game?� Isaac asked running past Corliss to the counter. �Yeah, Labradors up by seven.� The manager told them. �Boston Terriers look like crap this year.� The dumbest names ever, but the human owners got together and decided to name the teams in such a manner. They thought it would bring light heartedness to the brutal game, after all the politics had been involved. Corliss shoved Isaac to the side and held up the picture of Rylan, �Have you seen this man before?� �No.� He answered without even looking at the photo. Reaching over, she turned off the small television, causing the manager to look at her. �Again, have you seen this man before?� Samara looked over at her brother, not at all surprised by the leech�s demanding behavior. Trent stood behind Corliss, as she leaned against the counter. �I said no, lady.� She frowned, �First of all, I can sense that you are lying. Second of all, he�s car is parked in your lot. So, try again.� He reached behind the counter and pulled out a room key, �He stayed in room twelve for a couple weeks. Always paid, and never made any noise. Is he in trouble?� Corliss picked the key off the counter, �He�s dead.� With that she spun around and pushed past the werewolves and out the door. The manager reached over and turned back on the television.

�Oh!� Both Coyle and Isaac screamed when they watched a large werewolf tackle another, the sound of bones cracking could be heard. �What a hit!� Isaac announced, �Wow, that would have killed a man.� �Think that would have killed me.� Coyle jested. �Ahem, let�s go!� Samara ordered and grabbed her brother�s upper arm. Isaac realized that Trent had already left the room, and scurried to catch up with him. Corliss stood in the center of the small inn room with her hands on her hips. �Smells like pups.� �And leeches and meat bags, what�s your point?� Samara responded when she stepped into the room, �A member of the pack could have slept here after your friend did.� �My friend? You assume because we are both kine, that he was my friend?� She shrugged, �Well, you did know his car.� Corliss rolled her eyes, �Idiots.� �Go get our kits from the car.� Trent ordered Isaac, and he left the room moments after he had entered. �Head board is slightly crooked.� Samara pointed. �Barely. could have just bent from passion.� Coyle teased, but she didn�t find it funny. �Just go take a look.� Corliss went with Coyle, when Isaac returned. The two humans began to dust for fingerprints, something that they were trained to do. The humans didn�t like hiring too many people for paranormal investigations. Therefore, they were trained in both police investigations and forensics collection. Corliss approached the bed from the left and put her hand in the center of the headboard. Coyle too busy looking at the blood drops on the lamp, didn�t watch where he was placing his hand. As soon as he touched flesh, he retracted his hand and looked at the headboard. �Uh, sorry.� Her hand tingled with the afterthought of his touch, and she tried to wipe the back of her hand against her slacks. �What? Think I have cooties or something?� �More like fleas.� She answered when he pulled the headboard forward. �Looks like one of the legs are missing its wheel� hmm,� He leaned forward and pulled out a black pen. It was gold plated at the tips, it was also engraved. �To RC from M.� �Rylan�s pen.� Corliss tried to reach across the bed and take it from him, but he

pulled his hand away. She fell onto the bed, face first. �I found it, that makes it mine.� He snarled. Samara chuckled, but suddenly stopped when she realized that Corliss was sniffing the bed. She came to stand next to her brother. �Smells like Rylan and� pup.� Corliss stood up, and Samara sniffed the same spot. She didn�t say anything, but there was a scent of more then one pack member in the bed. One definitely male, and the other of a female scent. Corliss didn�t have the ability to smell the difference of each werewolf, but Samara could as easily as one could tell the difference between a man and woman by sight. �You three having fun?� Trent looked disgusted as he watched them sniff the dirty sheets. �Smells like Rylan and pup.� Corliss pointed to the bed. �Like I said before, a pack member probably slept in here after Rylan checked out.� Samara told her. �And the inn keep didn�t change the sheets?� Corliss asked. Samara and Coyle laughed. �This place is a gutter inn; I doubt they change the sheets unless there is an obvious stain or odor.� Isaac informed her. Corliss curled her lip, �That�s disgusting!� �Well, don�t you sleep in the same sheets for at least a week?� Samara questioned. �First of all, I am the only one sleeping in my bed. Second of all, my sheets are changed by pets on a daily basis.� Trent hated that word, �pets.� It referred to humans that wanted to be turned into vampires. They would do chores for their master, and even allow the vampire to feed from them. All in hopes that one day they would be chosen to become a vampire. He had heard that it was more likely for a human to die of an attack then actually be turned. Over the years, he had met many pets, and most of them seemed off kilter. They were either highly unstable or they had this over bearing passion to please their masters. Some had even gone as far as to call it love, but Trent knew that the vampires were too heartless to feel that emotion towards their pets. If a pet truly loved their master, then they were alone in the matter. �Everyday? My god!� Samara squeaked, �You must have a ton of laundry.� �I don�t do my own laundry.� Corliss crossed her arms. �Lucky you.� Trent teased, �With the amount of times you change per day, you probably would be doing laundry everyday of your life. Wouldn�t have time for crime solving.� Corliss frowned as the others laughed, �For your information, Mister Monte. I do not change my clothes more then once a day. The reason my clothes are different

from this afternoon was that they were stained, and I had to throw them away.� �Stained with what?� �Blood.� She snapped, �I purchased some from the butcher shop, and when I walked out of the store some kid on a skateboard knocked me over.� She left out that he was mocking her before she went inside about being a vampire, and thus making it a hate crime. There was nothing she could do, had she attacked the boy, she probably would have caused more politics then she was willing to deal with. �I would think a Macrea would only drink human blood. Thought you royals were too good for animals.� Coyle asked more then stated. �I drink what I want, when I want. Now, can we stop interrogating me and get back to the real crime here?� Everyone shrugged, �Yeah, ok.� Trent answered. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 3 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Walking inside the manager�s office, Trent offered the key to him. Everyone else was waiting outside talking about the lack of information that they collected in the inn room. �Here.� He shoved the key back. �Thanks.� The manager took the key and put it back on the hook behind the counter. �Hey, before you go.� Trent had turned to leave, but immediately spun around to look at the manager. �I didn�t want to say anything around that blood sucker, I know how their types get offended. But that guy she�s looking for, he was a vamp right?� �Yes, why?� He kneeled down and when he reappeared he slid a VHS tape across the counter, �He kept coming here with some woman. I can�t be certain, but she might have been a dog.� �A dog?� He picked up the tape. �It�s got him and her checking in a while back, normally he would check in and she would show up later. They�ve been coming here for six months now. A couple weeks ago, he was here almost every night. She would show up around ten and leave at midnight, always trying to be extra quiet.� The manager looked out the window to make sure he hadn�t caught Corliss� eye. �Heard a name?� �Started with an A or an E. I really don�t remember. They were both really nervous. He told me not to bring this up, but since he�s dead, I doubt he�ll mind.�

�Thanks.� Trent shook the tape at him and slipped it into his inner jacket pocket. He didn�t want the dogs or Corliss to see it, until he was certain. �Oh, please!� Corliss squealed when he left the office, �Go find a hydrate to piss on!� Samara snorted, �You�� �Ok, we can�t have this.� Trent announced, �If we want to get this done, everyone needs to get along. Even if you are just pretending.� �Trent, we all know that�s never going to happen.� Isaac announced, �They are natural enemies. Probably taking a lot out of them just to not tear away at each other�s throats.� Trent folded his arms, �Fine, then one of us will go with the dogs and the other with the vamp.� �I call dogs!� Isaac shot his hand up. �No way!� Corliss objected, �They might find information and withhold it from me.� �We could say the same about you, and as a leech you are more likely too.� Samara snapped. �We will get together at the end of the day and have dinner, and discuss our findings.� Trent told her, �Don�t worry, Isaac and I share everything with each other.� He looked over at his partner, �And I get to go with the dogs.� Corliss crossed her arms, �Are you kidding me?� �No.� Isaac said, �You handle the vamp better, I can�t take her snootiness.� �Snootiness?� She shrieked. �Ok, flip a coin?� Trent reached into his pocket and pulled out a quarter, �Call it in the air.� He flipped it. �Heads.� Isaac yelled out. Trent stepped back allowing the quarter to fall to the ground, �Shit.� He snapped when he saw it land on heads. �Yes!� Isaac pumped his arm, and turned to the werewolves, �So, you watch WFL too?� He asked Coyle, who nodded. �Man, you guys are some athletes.� �Hey, before you go.� Trent grabbed his shoulder, �We need to make sure we don�t cover the same ground.� He pulled out the list that Corliss had given him, as did Samara. �We will start at the center at the Java Bean Coffee Shoppe.� Samara told him. �Alright, that�s where I will end then. Be safe and cautious, Isaac.� Trent warned him. �I always am.� Corliss watched Isaac get into the werewolves small white Geo, before she turned

her eyes back to Trent. �Just so you know, I was hoping you would get to go with the werewolves too.� With that she spun around and headed towards her black BMW. Trent chuckled, �Thanks.� His eyes went to his gray Honda, �We taking your car, I presume?� �If you want.� Corliss responded as she leaned against her car door. �Well, let me take my car home then, you can follow me.� He pulled the car keys out of his pocket. �Fine.� She turned around and sat down in her leather seats to wait for him to get into his own car. Trent fondled with the lock for a moment, the driver�s side door always stuck. He needed to get it fixed. Hell, he needed a new car, not as if he couldn�t afford one. When he was inside, he started his car and looked over to find Corliss with sunglasses on. He couldn�t help but chuckle to himself. As he pulled out of the parking lot, he looked behind him to ensure that Corliss was following him. She was, and a little too close for his comfort. �Did you have to ride my ass the entire time?� Trent snapped when he got into her car. �Ride your ass?� Corliss chuckled, �That brings a strange image to mind.� He raised an eyebrow, before sighing in defeat, �Let�s see� we should�� �Club Black reappears on the list a lot, we should go there.� She informed him, as she pulled away from the curb. �Isn�t that a vamp club? I can�t go in there.� He put his hand on the dash board to steady himself from her speeding. �You�ll be fine, they will think you�re my pet.� Trent frowned, �I am not a pet, nor do I want to be a pet. Especially not yours.� Corliss grinned, and looked at him out of the corner of her eye, �But I am so good to my pets.� It was a lie, as a toy she wasn�t allowed to have any. Adriel had several, which she was allowed to feed from on occasion. Normally when she had pleased him greatly, he would give her to opportunity to drink from their necks. He snorted and looked out the window, �Don�t even try.� She laughed, �Do I make you nervous, Mister Monte? All alone with me? You afraid that I won�t be able to handle myself, alone with a human.� Out of the corner of his eye, he gave a cold glare. �You think that you are just that alluring that I might toss away all my years of training, just to suck down some of your sweet blood.� He watched her lick her dark red lips, �Very funny. Let�s get back to our job, the sooner I am away from you, the happier I�ll be.� Trent knew that Club Black would be a dead end, especially if Rylan was working

with a werewolf. He would not take a dog to a vamp club, but he couldn�t tell Corliss that. Not until he had a chance to look at the video tape himself. �Oh god.� He looked down at his feet, when she nearly hit a pedestrian. �I didn�t hit them. They�re fine.� �You know, you may be able to get into a major accident and walk away, but I�m not built that way.� Corliss smiled, �Is my driving scaring you?� �Yes, it is.� Corliss laughed sinisterly, and gave him a large smile. �Nice car.� He said, when she realized that she had slowed down for him. �Thanks.� He looked out the window as they approached the covered parking lot. �I�ve never met a vamp that didn�t own a car that cost as much then my parent�s house.� She cleared her throat as she pulled into the parking lot, �You ever notice that at the end of most humans� lives that they have a nice nest egg? Money that they saved up during their lives so that they could do what ever they want in their last few years.� �Yeah, what about it?� �That�s what we kine do. We live two thousand years easily, if we don�t run into the wrong werewolf, human, or step on any toes in our society. We collect money in our time on earth, and pass it onto our children just like your people do.� She pulled into her parking space, and set the car in park, but left the AC running. �We just have a lot longer time to collect it and enjoy it.� �What does this have to do with anything?� �I�m sorry that humans only get eighty years and that werewolves get sixty, but we kine can�t help that. Our clans weave a tight bond and we share the wealth with everyone. If your people were willing to do that, then everyone of your kind would be the same class too.� She stepped out of the car, and when he was out, she clicked on her car alarm. The sound of the horn honking nearly gave Trent a heart attack. �Are you calling humans and werewolves greedy because they don�t share what little wealth they have with each other?� �That�s exactly what I am saying, Mister Monte. If your upper class citizens shared then no one would be starving, but they want all they have for themselves. My people not only share, but increase the money that they are given so they never have to take again.� Trent folded his arms as he came around the side of the car and leaned against the back door. �Oh, so, now you are going to tell me how rich you are?� Corliss frowned, �I was given five thousand dollars by my father, and only five thousand dollars. Today that money is well over fifty seven million dollars,

because not only did my father give me the fish, but he taught me to fish with it as well.� �I�m sure you weren�t starving or in need of clothing, shelter, or anything else while you set aside all that money.� Trent snorted, �Some of us have bills to pay.� �That�s part of sharing. Teaching, helping, and then letting them go when they are ready.� She began to walk towards the club that looked more like an abandon warehouse then a place where the elite vampires would congregate. �Not all of us can have Adriel Macrea as their father, either.� He mumbled behind her. �Who said Adriel was my father? I said my last name was Macrea, and that was all.� Trent rose an eyebrow as he walked behind her, �Then who is your father?� �None of your business.� She stopped in front of the club door, then turned to face him. �You might see some terrifying things inside here, if you can�t handle it then please just leave, and I will meet you by the car.� �I�ll be fine.� He snorted, as he pushed past her to the door. ---***--He wasn�t fine, as a matter of a fact, he wanted to take Corliss up on her offer. But leaving now would only show weakness. The club was packed full of vampires of all varieties and clans. Everywhere he looked there were human remains used as decorations, and many pets passed out on couch due to lack of blood. A medical team stood on standby in case anyone needed to go to the hospital, and worst yet was the sound of rats squeaking as they were bitten into. �Are you alright?� Corliss placed her hand on his upper arm, when she saw him stumble. �I�m fine.� He rested his hand on the bar top. �Your pet looks sick, maybe you should chain him up outside.� The dark haired, pale bartender said as he approached them. �My pet is fine!� Corliss snapped, and the bartender took a step back. She pulled out a gold necklace from under her shirt. It had a Macrea crest charm dangling from it, she had almost forgotten to display it. This would bring an amplitude of respect from the other kine, as well as their honesty. �You sure you don�t want to go outside?� She asked Trent. The smell of blood was turning his stomach, �I said, I am fine, didn�t you hear me?� �Alright.� Corliss pulled a stool out, �At least sit down.� She turned to the bartender, and pulled out the picture of Rylan from her purse, �Do you know this man?� She asked him. Seeing her crest, he nodded his hand. �Rylan Cullen, he�s part of the Macrea clan, a toy for one of the elders. He never told me which one though.� �Who did he normally consort with?�

He looked around the club, �Normally, Faustos. Which was strange I thought your clan and the Faustos hated each other, but they seemed to be pretty close.� �Do you know which Faustos?� He nodded, �Julian, for certain� but, I can�t think of any of the others. I think Silvio talked to him a time or two.� Corliss nodded her head, �Thank you.� �Anything for a Macrea, can I get you a drink?� She looked at Trent, who had his head on the table, as he tried not to watch the vampire beside him chew on a live rat. �No, I think we need to go.� �That was disgusting.� Trent mumbled underneath his breath as they approached her car. Corliss chuckled and her keys jingled about in her hands as she walked, �I told you to leave if you couldn�t handle it. Being a crime scene investigator, I would think you could handle a bit of blood and some intestines.� �I can, when they are coming out of a dead body, not when they are used as decoration. Where do they get all that from any?� �Donations from morgues, unclaimed bodies, etc.� She grinned, happy to see him out of his element for a time. �Have to admit that was funny. I thought for certain you would vomit.� �I don�t vomit.� �Never?� He frowned, �Where are we going next?� �Well, the bartender says that Rylan would speak to Julian Fausto often, and he mentioned Silvio Fausto too. However, I don�t want to drag the Faustos into this, until we are certain that we need to. I think we should check out some more places on the list.� �You mean, you�ll talk to the Faustos and never tell me what they said.� Corliss frowned as she unlocked her door, �Yeah, just like you�ll watch that video tape the inn keep gave you and never tell me what�s on it.� Trent looked over the car as Corliss sat down, he almost punched the hood, but remembered that this wasn�t his car. Besides, he didn�t want to pay the expenses it would take to get a ding out of a BMW. Sitting in the car, he looked at her. �Why didn�t you say anything to begin with?� He asked once she started the car. �I didn�t want the pups to know anything about it.� ---***--Isaac stepped out onto the sidewalk with a black coffee in a paper cup in his hands. He took a sip as Samara stepped out behind him, then looked at her brother

who was across the street. The small knick knack shop across from the Java Bean Caf� was also on the list. �Glad you found something in there.� Samara growled as Isaac took another sip of his coffee. �Ah, give me a break, the vamp isn�t here. You can play nice.� She snorted, �At least if the vamp was here, she would have drilled everyone in that joint. You asked two questions; have you seen this man and do you have French roast? Excellently done, are you a rookie? Did that asshole stick us with a rookie?� Isaac glared out her out of his green eyes, �I�ve been a paranormal investigator for three years. I just recently transferred to the LA division.� Samara rolled her eyes, �Three years and you only asked one question about the case?� �Well, that was a dead end, how did you make out?� Coyle asked after finally crossing the street. �Same.� Coyle held up the list, �Look at this, the Dog Pound is on this list.� Isaac raised an eyebrow, �Isn�t that a werewolf and human sports bar?� He nodded, �Yeah, so why is a leech going there? I mean they wouldn�t throw him out or anything, but a leech around all those werewolves? I can barely handle myself around one.� Samara took the list from him, �Well, that�s definitely a place that they�ll remember him then. Let�s go.� �You think we can stop off at my station and pick up my car?� Isaac asked as he rubbed his knee, �The Geo is tiny� especially with big guy here.� Samara sighed, �Fine, let�s go.� �Is this new?� Samara asked, sitting in the back of Isaac�s Toyota Corolla. �It smells new.� Isaac chuckled, �Yeah, I bought it last month. Normally take Trent�s car, because I don�t want it to get damaged.� His cell phone rang and he picked it up, �Hey.� He answered after seeing that it was Trent through the caller ID, �Yeah, we got a good lead. Seems the vamp was going to a dog and human sports bar. We are going to check it out.� Coyle sat in the front seat with Isaac, and smiled back at his sister, �Roomy.� �Not really, just seems so compared to the Geo.� �Yeah, it�s dinner time soon.� Isaac said, �Ok, where does she want to eat? What? I never heard of that, and it sounds like we couldn�t afford it anyway.� He nodded his head, �Well, tell her we don�t have that kind of cash.� Samara was laughing, she knew that the leech was trying to get them to go to an

expensive restaurant. �We aren�t dressed for that. Yeah, we are wearing suits, but� if it�s her treat, then whatever.� Isaac hung up the phone. �We are eating fancy tonight.� He joked. �The leech paying?� Coyle asked. �She said she will.� �Always willing to put a dent in a leech�s pockets. Where were eating at?� Samara asked. Isaac shrugged, �Some French place, we will meet there after we do this.� He pulled into the small parking lot. The sports bar looked old, it had been built in the fifties at least. The inside was even smaller then the outside portrayed it to be. A scruffy looking werewolf stood behind the bar, his beard long and gray. He looked more like a biker, then a bartender for a sports bar. The room was filled and all eyes were plastered onto the large sixty inch plasma television. �Excuse me.� Samara asked the bartender, who held up a finger to her to tell her to wait. She looked back at her brother, who had been mesmerized by the television. The entire room hollered out in cheers of joy as one werewolf took a hit. �Oh, man, that was good.� The bartender�s scratchy voice said, as he turned to her. �What can I get you?� �I wanted to know if you have ever seen this leech in here before.� She held up the picture of Rylan, and looked at Coyle and Isaac. Both had their eyes deadlocked on the television. �Ah, yeah, him.� He said flatly, �Yeah, I know him. If he�s dead no one here did it.� Samara raised an eyebrow, �Why would you think that he�s dead?� �Because you�re a member of the pack investigating a leech. He is either dead or killed one of us. Either way, I don�t know nothing about it.� He turned his eyes back to the television. �Listen, he is dead. He was also pretty high up on the food chain, if you catch my drift. If the leeches even think that his death happened because of something here, your bar will be shut down or worse.� He turned his attention back to her, �Came in here once a week, always with a pretty blonde packy.� �He was with a member of the pack?� He nodded, �Yeah, real pretty thing. Think they had something going, but they were never that affectionate in here.� �Then why do you think anything was happening between them?� He chuckled, �Look lady, pack women love them leech males, they got cash. Leech

males love how vicious our women are in the sack. And that�s the only reason that a leech and packy would ever set aside their differences. I never heard them bicker, and they sure as hell sat close enough.� He pointed to the picture in her hand, �That fucking leech was banging one of our girls, if he�s dead then it was probably his own people. Wouldn�t surprise me none, if his clan got wind of it, and wanted him dead, or her either. We packies don�t really care all that much when a leech fucks one of our girls. But them leeches, they think they are too good for that. Catch my meaning?� Samara nodded, �That all?� He shook his head, �Nah, last time he was in here, he left his wallet.� He reached behind the bar, and handed the black wallet to her. She looked inside and counted the money. �It�s all there, we didn�t touch the damn leech�s cash. We didn�t want to start no trouble with his kind. He sat in the corner with the girl, and we left them alone.� �Remember the girl�s name?� He shook his head, �No, but she hung around the Razor Claw Pack for a while. After she started it up with the leech, they just sort of ignored her from then on.� She tapped the wallet on the table, �Thanks, you�ve been a giant help.� Turning back to her brother, she tapped him on the shoulder. �Huh?� He asked without looking away from the television. �You didn�t hear any of that, did you?� �Hear what?� Samara sighed, �I�ll explain in the car.� She grabbed him by his sleeve and began to pull. Coyle tugged on Isaac�s suit jacket, so he would know that they were leaving. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 4 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 �Well, isn�t this a fancy pants type place.� Samara snorted, �No wonder she wanted to eat here. Any place we would want to eat is on that list of unauthorized leech food.� Coyle chuckled, �At least she is paying.� �Sorry, we are late.� Trent said running up to meet them in front of the formal restaurant. Several people passed him in elegant clothing, and they looked each them up and down with disgust. �Where is the leech?� Samara asked as Isaac and Trent gave each other their hellos.

�Talking to the valet about not scratching her car.� He shrugged, before looking over the restaurant, �Think they will even let us inside?� Samara shrugged, �If not we will go to a steak joint, screw her and her �I�m too good for that� attitude.� �They will let you in.� Corliss said as she walked past them. �Don�t you need a reservation for a place like this?� Isaac asked as they stepped into the waiting room. The chairs had red velvet cushions, and a man stood behind a podium with the reservation book in hand. �Mlle Macrea, it is good to see you, as always.� He said in a thick French accent. �Bonjour Hugues, table for five available anytime soon?� Hugues looked at her companions, �They are not dressed appropriately, Mlle Macrea.� He teased her, but Samara thought he was serious. �See we told you, but�� �No, Madame, you misunderstand. I joke with Mlle Macrea. Her guests are always our guests, you come dressed like a � uh� homeless and we seat you, if you are with Mlle Macrea.� Hugues smiled at Corliss. �That�s so kind of you, Hugues, but I would never bring anyone dressed like that to your lovely restaurant. I thought their suits, as cheap as they may be, would be alright.� �It�s fine, it�s fine. You worry no more. You like to seat outside or inside?� Corliss looked at the others, �Any preferences?� No one answered. �Somewhere in the back where we can have some privacy.� Hugues looked at the reservations seat, �Oh, personal Macrea dining hall is open, we put you there?� �That�s fine, thank you.� The dining hall proved to be just that, it was practically an entire floor owned in the restaurant by the Macreas. The table was long, and they all crowded around at one end with Corliss at the head of the table. Coyle sat next to his sister on one side, while Trent and Isaac on the other. �My menu doesn�t have any English on it.� Isaac announced. �Give me a break, can�t we just get burgers.� Samara threw her menu down. �Don�t worry, I will order for you.� Corliss reassured everyone. �You don�t know what we like!� Coyle snapped, offended that she would even think that would be acceptable. Corliss chuckled, �Let�s see, pups like meat� cow meat? Humans� well you�ll eat

just about anything. Anyone dislike any type of food or allergic to anything?� No one answered, �Alright, then we will be fine. Just trust me, and for once you can have a decent meal, may be the only decent meal you will ever have.� Samara glared across the table at Trent, who shrugged his shoulders. He had eaten in restaurants like this before when he met with the Upper Circle. It was a group of humans that watched over paranormal activity in Los Angeles. Nothing happened without their knowledge. �Bonjour Mlle Macrea!� A young man entered into the dining hall. �Bonjour Beno�t.� She said as he reached down and kissed both of her cheeks. �Vous allez bien?� �Oui, merci et vous?� Beno�t responded. �Oui.� �Qu'est-ce que vous voulez boire?� He asked. Corliss looked over everyone, all of their menus were down, �Je voudrais commander main tenant.� �Oui, naturellement.�

She used her fingers to make a circle around the table to point at everyone, �Comme hors d'�uvre, nous voudrions une Assiette de Fromages et une bouteille de votre une bouteille de votre meilleur vin.� He didn�t pull out a notepad to take down her order, merely nodded as she spoke. �Bon choix.� The waiter responded. �Comme plat principal, je voudrais le Filet de Porc au raisin sec.� Beno�t smiled as he wrote it down, �Ensuite?� She chuckled, then pointed to Trent, �Monsieur Monte voudrait le steak au poivre,� Her fingers went to the werewolves, �et Monsieur et Mlle Travell voudraient le filet mignon sauce au vin.� Then she turned returned her finger across the table to Isaac, �Monsieur Reynard voudrait le canard � l'orange.� �Et pour le dessert?� He asked. �Nous attendrons a la fin pour commander.� �Tr�s bien, je serai de retour avec votre vin.� Beno�t bowed his head and then left the room. �So, what are you feeding us?� Samara asked. �I heard filet mignon in there, but that�s all I caught.� Isaac announced, causing everyone but Corliss to laugh. �I got Trent the Steak au Poivre, basically it�s a seasoned steak with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and etc.� She told him.

Trent nodded his head, �Alright, sounds like something that I would eat.� �I got the pups the filet mignon in a wine sauce.� Corliss looked at Isaac, �And for Isaac, duck in orange sauce.� �Duck?� He raised an eyebrow, �I don�t like duck.� �Have you ever tried it?� He shook his head, �No, but I know I don�t like it.� She sighed, �If you don�t like it, we can exchange plates.� �What you get? The snails?� He joked, but was seriously disgusted. �No, I got pork tenderloin.� She leaned back in her chair, �Oh, I also ordered wine and a cheese plate.� Trent chuckled, �They have cheese plates here?� Corliss looked up at him with a frown, �I�m already sorry that I brought you guys here.� �We would have been happy at a burger joint, would have cost you less too.� Samara snapped. Standing up, Corliss put the napkin in her lap onto her dinner plate, and left the room. �Where is she going?� Isaac asked. �Watch, she�ll leave us here with a five hundred dollar bill.� Coyle said as a joke, but it caused everyone to panic slightly. �What if she does?� Samara looked across the table, �I don�t have that much in my bank account. Hell, I don�t think I have ten bucks.� She looked at Isaac. �Don�t look at me, I have child support that I have to pay.� Isaac put his hands behind his head. �Everyone calm down.� Trent ordered, �I�ve never known a vamp to invite you somewhere and leave you high and dry. If they say they are paying for something, then they will.� �Are you sure?� Samara slammed her hand on the table, �I am not going to spend my night washing dishes.� �We haven�t even eaten yet, they can�t make us pay for something we haven�t used.� Trent tried to calm her down. Corliss entered back into the room, and sat down. �Where did you go?� Trent asked. �I changed Isaac�s order to the Steak au Poivre.� She told him, then looked at Isaac, �That�s alright, isn�t it?� He nodded, a little surprised that she went out of her way, �Yes, thanks.�

�So, let�s talk about what we have learned today.� Corliss said as the waiter returned with a bottle of wine, he began to pour everyone their drinks. Another man came in behind him and placed the cheese plate in the center of the group. �Don�t they have beer or something?� Coyle asked as his wine glass was filled half way, he reached across the table and took a piece off the cheese plate. �Wine is better with this type of food, don�t worry.� Corliss responded, then looked back at Samara. �Well?� Samara leaned forward, �We got something good, but you go first.� She sighed, �Fine, we went to Club Black and the bartender there said that Rylan often visited with Julian Fausto, and he thought perhaps Silvio Fausto as well. I didn�t want to bring the Faustos into this until we have something else pointing their way.� �We saw the Dog Pound on the list, looks like Rylan was entertaining a female of the pack.� Samara smiled, knowing this would piss off Corliss. �Entertaining, what do you mean by that?� Coyle knew his sister was trying to get a rise out of the leech, and answered before she did. �The bartender there thinks that Rylan may have been in a relationship with a female pack member, as he brought her in there once a week. He never saw them give each other affection, but he was pretty sure that was what was going on.� Corliss didn�t give any of them the response that they desired, she simply folded her napkin back into her lap, �So, I am guessing that this bartender was a pup, and believes that Rylan�s own people killed him for having a relationship with her?� Samara nodded. �If that were the case, then there would have been a trial, and Rylan would have been sentenced to death. He would have been killed and then given a funeral, not dropped in an alley.� Coyle snorted, �Not unless your people wanted to get back at the girl, blame the murder on her so they both die.� �That is ridiculous and paranoid.� Corliss took a sip of her wine, and Trent looked at the lipstick print left behind on her glass as she set it down. �That has happened several times in my lifetime, and we have never tried to have the pup killed. Not unless they stepped on our toes after the execution.� �Fine, we will just need to keep digging around for more proof.� Samara folded her arms and leaned back in her chair. �What did you say about the Faustos?� �Rylan was in contact with them at Club Black.� �Don�t the Macreas and Faustos hate each other?� Corliss shrugged, �We have a mutual dislike for one another, but we do not hate each other. About a hundred years ago, there was a war between us. The Faustos were nearly wiped out. It wasn�t a war between the elders, but instead created by

the lower level vampires. In order to stop the war, Adriel Macrea and Cassius Fausto agreed to have their children married. Cassius sent his daughter to become a Macrea, and the war ended.� �Hmm, could Rylan have been a child of this pairing or does he know them?� Samara asked. �Rylan knows the daughter of the Faustos, but the Macrea son was murdered mysteriously three months after they were wed. However, if you think that�s the link between Rylan and the Faustos, then you are mistaken.� Trent grunted, �Seems like a good link to me. Rylan knew the Fausto�s daughter, and he was a Macrea speaking with Faustos. Obviously, she was sending messages to her clan through him or plotting something.� Corliss shook her head, �No, all connections to the Faustos have been severed. They won�t speak to her, and she is forbidden to speak with them. Even through a messenger.� �I think we should talk to her still.� Isaac looked at the doorway, as their food was brought in. �Or you and Corliss should.� Samara agreed, �It�s a lead, and you need to investigate it.� �This has nothing to do with her.� Corliss snapped. �We should speak with her tomorrow morning.� Trent said as his plate was placed in front of him. �I can�t do anything tomorrow. I have a funeral, and thus a day of mourning.� Corliss told them. �A funeral for whom?� Trent asked, his plate was practically empty. �Rylan Cullen.� Corliss began to cut up her meat. Isaac looked at his plate, �Where is the food?� Samara poked the small piece of meat with a fork, �What is this? The filet mignon that we get before the meal?� Corliss rolled her eyes, �Just eat it.� ---***--Standing before the elders, Corliss folded her hands in front of her. She remembered how quiet Trent had been in the car when she drove him home. He made mention about her coming over later that evening to watch the video tape, and she agreed. His mind seemed elsewhere, and she wondered what had taken his attention. �Rylan�s inn room held some clues.� Corliss told them, �One of the werewolves found the black pen given to him by Marcellus. There was blood on the lamp shade, though the pup didn�t mention it when he found it. I also found this on the night stand.� She reached into her purse and pulled out a folded piece of paper. Marcellus opened it and read it before passing it down the line. �Looks to be a phone number, but the last two digits are blurred. There is an

address as well, and a name.� �Looks like Fausto.� Adriel snarled as he passed the paper down. �Could Rylan have regained contact with them?� �Yes, that�s something else that was learned at Club Black. He was conversing with Julian and possibly Silvio Fausto.� Adriel nodded his head. �It does get worse.� Corliss warned, �In his inn room, I� uh� fell on the bed and happened to catch his scent on the sheets. There was a pup in the sheets as well as his own.� �A pup must have rented the room after him, after all this Blue Inn must be quite low class. I am sure it was affordable by any of them.� �That�s what the PAWS agents said, but this scent was mingled with his own. It alleviated just enough that I have reason to believe a pup was in that bed with him. There was a stronger scent of pup as well, but I couldn�t tell if it was the same one.� Marcellus clenched his jaw, �Are you suggesting that Rylan may have been consorting with a werewolf?� Corliss nodded, �The PAWS agents discovered that he was visiting a pup and human sports bar with a female pup. It is likely.� Marcellus was about to put her in her place, but Adriel held up his hand to stop him. �Are you certain about this, Corliss?� �To be honest, I do not want it to be true. This is my brother, and to think he would have anything to do with those creatures� well, it makes my stomach churn. It is disgusting, but unfortunately that is the way that the evidence is pointing.� Adriel nodded his head, �Anything else?� �The pups are going to continue searching for this woman he was with. However, I have run into a problem. The human investigator that I am working with wants to speak with me about Rylan.� Adriel rose an eyebrow, �When you say you, I assume you mean Fausto�s daughter, and my son�s wife. He does not yet know that it is you, correct?� Corliss nodded, �They believe that I am a Macrea, yes.� �I see. Then we will not grant him permission, it�s as simple as that.� Adriel looked around the table, �Everyone is excused, I wish to speak to Corliss alone.� Corliss felt Marcellus� hand rub against her shoulder as he left. When she stood alone in the room, Adriel got up from his chair. He walked over to the window and looked out over the darkness of the city. �Have you learned anything from this Monte? Anything about the Upper Circle?� He asked after a long moment of silence. �No, I�m afraid that he hasn�t really opened up to me at all.� Corliss took

several steps closer to him. �I told you to do whatever was necessary to gain his trust, Corliss.� He glared at her out of the corner of his eye with his hands folded behind his back. �I am trying, but it�s only been one day. I purchased him a nice meal at�� Adriel turned towards her, and ripped the top three buttons of her blouse out. It exposed some of her bust, Corliss covered herself with her arms. �I mean it, Corliss. Start dressing down to his level, be as friendly as possible.� �Are you trying to tell me to gain a relationship with him?� �That�s exactly it, Corliss. Do whatever it takes. This isn�t an opportunity we get very often�� �But he�s human, Adriel. Maybe you should give me a partner and she could� I�m royal blood, damn it. I am not going to do anything to a human, and I am certainly not going to try and impress him.� �I don�t care if he is a werewolf, you do whatever it takes to get information from him. Are we clear?� �You don�t mean anything do you? Adriel, he�s a human! I could get thrown out of not only my clan, but kine society itself. I could be shunned!� He turned to her and grabbed her upper shoulders, �Corliss, this isn�t a request, it�s a demand. Nothing will come of it, I will ensure that you are not prosecuted, and take full blame. This is important. The Upper Circle may have information that has been kept from us for generations.� �Information about what? I don�t understand what could be so important that my entire reputation is worth it.� She felt like she was nearing tears. Adriel placed his hands on her cheeks, and gently kissed her lips, �Trust me, Corliss. All will be well, no one will touch you.� She looked into his eyes, �I don�t understand.� He sighed, �All that I will say is that the Upper Circle has spies everywhere. They know what every clan and what every pack is up to. If we had someone within their trust, then we would always be atop of the other clans. Do you see?� Corliss nodded, �It�s to keep us in power.� �Yes, good girl.� He kissed her forehead, then let her go. �Monte wants me to meet him at his apartment to view a video tape he collected from the inn. I should go now.� Adriel nodded, �Change your clothing before you go. Do something casual.� Corliss bowed her head, before walking out of the conference room. ---***--�Why didn�t you tell me about the tape before?� Samara asked Trent.

He had invited her over as well to view the video tape. His apartment was small the kitchen could contain no more then two people, but had an open counter to view the living room. After Samara arrived, he realized that he probably should have picked up the apartment. Beer cans and pizza boxes were laying everywhere, and he knew that there were cockroaches running around. �Look, I didn�t want to get everyone excited. As soon as Corliss comes�� �You told the leech about it? God damn you, whose side are you on?� Trent was cooking himself some pork and beans from a can, �The human�s side. If I share with you, then I�ll share with her. Besides, it�s only Rylan checking in with someone that the manager thought was a werewolf. It�s no big deal.� �If one of our own was with a now dead high standing vampire, then it�s a huge deal. They could claim that she was the killer. Corliss will jump at the chance�� There was a knock at the door, �Can you get that? It�s probably Corliss.� Trent asked. Samara twisted around, she knew she should have woken Coyle up from his drunken stopper and made him come along. Opening the door, she looked at the familiar red head. �What the hell are you wearing?� She asked as Corliss stepped in. Trent looked over at Corliss in a pair of sneakers, gray sweat pants with pink Greek letters above her buttocks, and a white tank top. She carried her matching jacket in her hand, her hair was in a high pony tail. �I was at the gym, and this is what I wear.� She lied. �You don�t smell like you came from the gym.� Samara commented. �You do.� Corliss retorted, and turned her eyes to Trent, �You didn�t tell me that the pup would be here.� She said, sitting down on the stool next to the kitchen, she bent over the counter to see what he was cooking. He grinned at the dressed down vamp in front of him, he knew this was a rare sight. So was the cleavage that she was displaying as she bent over to look into his cooking pot. �Sit up, I can see your boobs.� Samara snapped as she pulled a soda out of the fridge. �Always make yourself at home in other people�s houses?� Corliss questioned. �He told me earlier there was soda in the fridge if I wanted it.� Had the two women been human, he might have rather enjoyed their bickering. But knowing they were species that were bitter enemies, he tried to ignore most of his excitement. �Is Isaac coming?� Corliss asked. �No, he�s got his kids this weekend. They came tonight. Told me to show it to him on Monday.� Trent answered. �And where is your mate?� Corliss asked Samara. �He�s not my mate, he�s my brother!� Samara barked.

�Oh, look at you getting all offended.� Corliss chuckled, �I must have hit a sore spot, a little incest going on in your family.� Samara slammed her soda down in front of Corliss, �Say that again, leech, and I�ll gut ya.� �Ok, ladies, that�s about enough of that. It was funny until the threats started.� Trent ordered as he poured his pork and beans into a bowl. �What some?� He asked Corliss when she stared at the food, he thought curiously, but it revolted her. �No, thanks.� Corliss crinkled her nose. �I don�t even know what that is.� Samara waited for him to offer her some, but he didn�t. �Ah, I�ll take some.� Trent laughed, �I�m sure you got some at home. Only offered it to her, because she wouldn�t take it� and she probably has never eaten anything like it before.� �Meal from a can?� Corliss held up the opened can from the counter, �No, I haven�t.� Samara frowned as Trent left the kitchen to set up his meal on the coffee table, he took the entire loaf of bread with him. Corliss walked into the living room, and looked around the littered apartment. Samara brushed past her and sat down on the couch next to Trent. �You live like a werewolf.� Corliss announced, �No offense to those of us that are actually werewolves, Samara.� �I like it, it�s cozy. Reminds me of home.� Samara announced as Corliss walked around the other side of the couch and sat down beside him. �You should hire one of those cleaning services to come in once a week and clean it for you.� Corliss told him. �Ah, I don�t want to pay for that.� Trent said as he smashed a cockroach on the coffee table that was heading for his bread. Corliss� entire body cringed, �I see you have roommates too.� Samara laughed out loud for several minutes, �Oh, man. I didn�t want to laugh, but that was so funny. Roommates� so funny.� Trent chuckled with a mouth full of food as he watched Samara trying to catch her breath. He picked up the controller to his small television, and turned on the TV and VCR. There was some static before it cleared up, Trent began to fast forward through the tape, until he saw Rylan�s face at the front door. �There stop.� Corliss announced, and he hit play on the controller. Rylan stepped into the inn and walked over to the counter, where he spoke with the manager for a moment. He reached into his back pocket, and pulled out his wallet. �Oh yeah, that reminds me.� Samara said, �Ask me about a wallet after this.� Corliss looked across Trent to her and nodded. The inn door opened again, and a blonde woman with her hands in her coat pocket

and sunglasses on walked in. She stood next to Rylan, and kissed his cheek after the manager gave him the keys. Turning around, they both walked out of the office. �That�s it?� Corliss asked. �That�s it.� Trent responded and put more pork and beans in his mouth. �Utterly useless, and too think you were hiding that from me.� Samara stood up, and pulled a wallet out of her back pocket. She tossed it to Corliss, who moved her hands so it would land in her lap. �Rylan left that at the Dog Pound, when he was there.� �When?� Corliss asked. �I don�t know, I would guess the last time he was there.� She sighed, �If you would have asked when, then it might have been the day he went missing. Maybe he didn�t forget it, but during a conflict it was knocked out of his pants.� Samara shrugged, �I�ll go back and ask tomorrow. I need to get back to my brother, I left him drunk. See ya, Trent.� She waved, and walked to the door. �Bye, Samara.� He waved with his spoon. �Now that she is gone.� Corliss grabbed her jacket and dug around in her pocket, �I found this at the inn.� She held up the piece of paper. �Why� why didn�t you tell me about this before?� Trent asked, taking the paper from her. �I wasn�t going to tell you until you showed me the video. Fair is fair.� Unfolding it he looked at blurred writing, �Looks like someone put a sweating cup next to it or on it. Hard to read anything.� �Just a name, address, and phone number.� She scooted closer and pointed with her pinky finger, �See there, that says Fausto.� Trent tried to ignore that her shoulder was leaning against his own, �Well, there is your second piece of proof, I guess.� He offered it back to her. �No, this won�t get us in to see the Fausto elders.� �Julian and Silvio are elders?� She shook her head, �No, but we can�t talk to them until the elders give us permission.� She put Rylan�s wallet and the piece of paper into her jacket pocket that was when Trent noticed the cockroach on the jacket. As she moved about the cockroach fell from her shoulder into her lap, and it began to crawl up her shirt. He swallowed down his food and pointed at her, �Don�t move.� He warned, and reached towards her chest to knock it off. Corliss followed his hands and found the giant cockroach perched on her chest, �Oh my god!� She jumped up and started to swat at it. Trent stood up to help her, but she continued to flail around.

�It went in my shirt!� She cried out. �Stop!� He ordered, �I can�t help you.� She was smacking her chest, �It�s down my back.� She stopped and turned towards him, her back facing him. Trent grabbed the end of her shirt, and pulled it up to find the cockroach on her white bra strap, as well as a rose tattoo on the small of her back. With his thumb and index finger, he flicked it off her onto the carpet, then stepped on it. �Did you get it?� She asked, looking down at the foot he used to crush the cockroach. �Yeah,� He said heroically and still holding her shirt up, �should have just let me flick it off your chest, instead of freaking out.� �I don�t like those things, they are unclean.� She tugged on her shirt. �Can you put my shirt down now?� He dropped the cloth, �Sorry.� Sitting down, he looked up at her as she grabbed her jacket and shook it off. �Nice tattoo.� She said nothing, �Well, as much fun as this has been I should be getting home.� �I rented a horror movie, you can stay and watch that.� Trent offered. �I just lived a real life horror, I think that I�m good for the night.� He shrugged, �Alright, well, thanks for dinner earlier.� Corliss looked at his bowl of pork and beans, �Yeah, I can see it really filled you up.� With a grin, he picked up the bowl, �Sure, you don�t want to try it?� �I�m fine, see you on Monday.� Walking over to the door, she remembered Adriel telling her to get the man into her trust. She didn�t want to do it, but she turned to face him. �I don�t hear the door opening.� He said as he flipped through the channels. �I have this fundraiser on Sunday�� She hated this, �you want to come?� �Why?� Corliss had to think quick, �Fausto elders, and other clans are going to be there. Human upper class as well, you won�t be the only one.� �Fausto elders you say?� She nodded, �Yeah, you�ll have to wear a black suit and tie.� �Alright. What about the dogs?� �No, they can not come. It�s a kine and human event only. I�ll pick you up at seven, then?�

Trent turned his head to look at her across the room, �In the evening, right?� �Yes, of course.� �Ok, see you then.� Corliss gave a quick nod before leaving the apartment. Trent turned back to his television, and started to watch Wheel of Fortune. He tried to decide if she had asked him as date or for their case. She was an elite vamp, he doubted she would take him into vamp society as a date, it had to be for the case. Damn, he would need to buy a black suit and tie. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 5 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 �Wake up.� Samara kicked her brother, who had fallen off the couch and onto the floor. Their apartment was slightly cleaner then Trent�s, but Chinese take out and pizza boxes were the main theme. She opened a box on the table and pulled out a cold slice of pizza, as her brother sat up from the floor, moaning. �Where�d you go? I woke up and you weren�t here?� Coyle asked sitting on the couch. �Monte called said he found a video tape of Rylan Cullen and his packy girlfriend entering the inn. I went over there to watch it.� �Why didn�t you wake me up?� He asked, reaching across the gap between the couch and coffee table to pull out a piece of pizza. �I tried, you were knocked out. That�s why you shouldn�t drink vodka, you can�t stay awake. I see though that you weren�t worried enough about my disappearance you couldn�t take time away from ordering another pizza.� �Fuck you.� Coyle said with a mouthful of pizza. �What was on the tape?� �Not much, the girl is definitely a werewolf, though I didn�t say anything to Monte and the leech.� �Ugh, the leech was there?� She nodded as she leaned back, putting her feet on the coffee table. �Subtle movements told me that she was one. She held herself like a member of the pack, but I doubt Monte or the leech could tell the difference. She had her hands in her pockets, so they couldn�t see her nails. There was also some blood on the collar of her jacket. Maybe the leech was feeding off her? Or they might have been fighting?� �With each other?� He asked taking another bite. �No, a leech who didn�t like their relationship, I would bet.�

Coyle nodded his head as he finished his pizza; Samara was half way through hers. �The leech said something about a funeral for Rylan tomorrow. We should check it out, see if any interesting characters show up.� �Think that would be a good idea.� Samara grabbed one of the warm beers on the table. �Just have to find out where.� He snorted, �The cemetery with humans protesting the burial of a vampire in their holy ground would be the best bet.� She chuckled, �That�s one thing that really bugs me about meat bags. So blinded by their own religions, and thinking they are better then everyone else. Won�t even let a dead leech rest in peace.� �Careful, I might start to think you are sympathetic towards the blood suckers.� Punching her brother in the arm, she sat up, �No, I don�t like them, but doesn�t mean I don�t have to respect their right to live. They die too, and they need to be buried just like any of us.� �I guess.� Coyle shrugged, �World would be a whole lot better without them.� �You know some people say that about the pack too.� Samara sighed. He nodded, �Yeah, you are right.� He stood up from the couch, a little wobbly, �I am going to bed.� �Hey, Coyle?� Samara grabbed the sleeve of his shirt. �Yeah?� He looked down at her over his shoulder. She swallowed, a little nervous about the question she was about to ask, �Do you think the leech is pretty?� He raised an eyebrow, �Corliss?� She nodded. �I guess she is pleasant enough to the eye, why?� Samara let go of his shirt and leaned back, �Think Monte might have something for her.� �Hey, it�s his funeral if he wants to get involved with a blood sucker. Especially them born ones.� Coyle turned to face his sister, �Why do you care anyway? He make you hot in the pants?� �Shut the fuck up, Coyle. I can�t believe you asked me that.� He laughed, �So, he does.� With a shrug, he headed for his bedroom door behind the couch. �Would suggest dressing less like a slob if you want to attract his eye.� Samara grabbed the pillow from the couch and threw it at him, �Shut up!� ---***--�You summoned me?� Corliss stuck her head through the crack in the door.

Adriel sat on his canopy bed with a book in his hand. He looked up at her, and waved her in. His room was elegant, mostly decorated with blues and whites, except for the dark wood of his furniture. It was how his late wife had wanted their room, and he always kept it that way, despite her death over a hundred and twenty years ago. Corliss changed into a flowered summer dress before she went to see the elder. She knew even though he asked her to dress casual, he wouldn�t appreciate her under dressed for a meeting with him. �Did you wear that to your meeting with Monte?� He asked as she came to stand at the end of his footboard. �No, I dressed casual.� She responded. �Ah.� He looked her up and down, �That is rather casual as well.� She swallowed, �I was preparing for bed when they told me you wanted to see me. I didn�t want you to wait long.� Adriel nodded, �What was on the tape?� �Nothing special. Rylan was with a blonde woman, I am not certain if she was a pup or not, she had her hands in her pockets. There was blood on her collar, however. I am beginning to think that Rylan may have kept her as a pet.� He raised an eyebrow, �He was keeping a werewolf as a pet, are you certain?� �No, I am not certain. It�s only a hunch, I will investigate the matter further.� She looked down at the brown sandals on her feet, �I was also given his wallet by the female pup. I forgot it in my room, should I go fetch it?� Adriel shook his head and closed his book. �There was some condoms in his wallet, coupons, credit cards, and several ticket stubs to concerts and theaters.� �Condoms? He couldn�t impregnate a werewolf or human for that matter, why would he need those?� �Ellice, one of Elder Farquay�s toys. He was seeing her in his room for the past few years.� Adriel crossed his arms, �Did Farquay know this?� �I doubt he would allow Marcellus� toy and his to communicate. They do not care for each other, as you know.� �This is not good news. If Marcellus knew that this was occurring, this could start a terrible political battle between them.� Adriel rubbed his face with his hand, �Let�s keep this between us, unless it proves to be of importance.� Corliss nodded, �That is all I have. I think I should look into some of these ticket stubs.� He threw the covers off of his legs, and stood from the bed, wearing only long dark blue pajama bottoms. The book in his hands was placed on the night stand, as he came to stand in front of her.

�Tomorrow is Rylan�s funeral; I will not have you dishonoring him by not using that day of grief.� He took her hand into his own and kissed it. �I didn�t plan on doing otherwise. I did invite Monte to the fundraiser on Sunday as my date.� Adriel frowned, �I suppose it�s a necessary evil. I will explain the situations to our elders, and claim him as a guest trying to gain my favor to those that question it. Try not to bring too much attention unto him.� �I will try.� She attempted to pull her hand from his, but he kept his grip. He brought his lips to her ear, and began to whisper, �You are doing well, Corliss. If this plays out well, then perhaps you will receive a position within the clan, no longer my toy.� �I would like that, though I fear repercussions from others in the clan, if I were not under your protection.� He kissed her ear, �Then I will keep you close.� She felt his lips move down from her ear to her jaw line, and his hands move behind her back to the zipper of her dress. Corliss put her hands to his bare chest and tried to push herself away, but Adriel grabbed her hands. �Adriel, please�� He silenced her with his mouth, and she could taste the blood on his lips. He had recently feasted on one of his pets. �When is the last time that you fed?� The question came when he pulled his lips away from her own, and slid the straps of her dress over her shoulders. The thin dress fell to the ground at her feet. �I bought some pig�s blood earlier today.� She answered as his hands caressed the bare skin on her back. �Let me feed from you.� He requested with his lips next to her cheek, she could feel the heat of his breath. Corliss swallowed, �But I� tomorrow is a day of mourning, I can�t feed until Sunday.� �Go to one of my pets tonight.� She could not deny his request, and she knew it. He had merely given her the illusion that there was a choice, with a reluctant nod, Adriel kissed down her neck. She felt his fangs slowly pierce the delicate skin of her throat. The pain was merely passing, and when she felt his tongue and lips suckling, she gave an unwelcome shiver to the pleasure. Her reaction caused him to smile as he continued to drink the blood that trickled out of her fresh wounds. Pressing her against his body with his left hand, he ran his right hand from her stomach to cup her breast over her white lace bra. Corliss flinched when she felt him stop suckling and dig his fangs in deeper into her flesh. She knew that he didn�t need to feed, this was simply his way of proving to her that he owned her. As a toy she had no more rights then a slave owned by their

master. Lately, she had been acting as if she were a vampire of the clan, especially when she spoke in front of the elders. Adriel thought he needed to put her back into place, and this was how he would do so. She needed no further a demonstration, as she understood fully what he was trying to communicate. As she was about to push him away and tell him that she understood his demands, he turned her towards the bed and shoved her backward. She landed with a hard thud, as the back of her knees hit the footboard. Her hand went to the large holes on her neck to feel the moisture of her own blood. She watched Adriel walk around the bed, and kneel down on one knee beside her, his other leg hung off the bed. With ferocious speed he grabbed her by the throat, bringing her face within inches of his own. �Have you forgotten your place, Corliss?� His whisper was deathly low, and she could feel his anger. �No, I know my place.� She placed her bloodied hand on his wrist. �Do you really? I think you have forgotten belong to me now. My son lies dead because her own, �You have been given a great deal rest of the clan is forced to respect you. that you are no longer a Fausto, you of you.� His dark eyes burrowed into more freedom then most toys, and the Do you not appreciate this?�

�I appreciate it, I�m sorry for whatever I have done to cause you doubt.� Adriel grinned, �You�ve brought me no doubt, Corliss. Your loyalty to me is more assured that that of my own children. You need me to stay alive, least the others of our clan destroy you.� �Then what have I done? Tell me.� She put her other hand in the center of his chest to keep him at bay, his anger was beginning to frighten her. �You question my demands and speak disrespectfully to me and the other elders. You are not of royal blood here, despite your marriage to my late son. When I decide that you have earned your place then and only then will you have the freedom you seek. Do as I say, Corliss, do not think the Faustos would blink if I had you put to death.� He could feel her swallow underneath his hand. Bringing up his other hand, he began to rub her cheek, �Do not forget again, Corliss.� �I won�t.� The hand on her neck slowly stroked down to her chest, where Adriel began to pull her bra strap down over her shoulders. She let go of his wrist, leaving a bloody handprint on his arm. With her breast exposed, Adriel leaned forward, pushing his face into her chest as he bit into her flesh once again. Corliss laid down on her back, as she felt his hand move down her thigh. She listened to the sounds of his suckling, as she looked out the window across the room. The black blanket of night had surrounded the city, a darkness that always surrounded her heart. ---***--Trent drove past the scores of protestors that were screaming about demons being buried in their cemetery. Several jumped in the way of his car, and he would have to stop. The local human authorities would shove them back behind the yellow

barrier line. When they came to the cemetery gates, Trent pulled out his badge and the guards waved him through. Isaac sat beside him, he had given his children to his mother for a while. They had both decided to watch the Rylan Cullen�s funeral from the car with binoculars. It was their hope to see something that Corliss wasn�t telling them. �Look at all those limos.� Isaac said as he looked out the wind shield, �I have never seen so many in my life, god damn.� He sat up in the seat as they started to pass them. �Yeah, vamps live well.� He told him, as he found a spot to parallel park his Honda between two white limos. When he was in his spot, he picked up his binoculars and looked across the cemetery to the gathering of people. The sounds of the protestors could no longer be heard at this distance. Isaac climbed into the back seat to have his own window to look through. �Damn kid safety windows.� He growled when the back window would only go down half way. �There comes some more.� Isaac mumbled as a small group of vamps approached the gathered others. �Look who else is here.� Trent pointed to the small Geo parked amongst the limos. Samara had already spotted them and waved, and Coyle followed suit. They both had binoculars in their hands as well. �Hey.� Isaac hit his shoulder, �What do the roses mean?� At funerals each vampire carried a rose that depicted who they were to the deceased. �Red is for masters, the ones that call them toys� I think they fall under the masters category, and lovers.� Trent told him, �Yellow is for friends, and white is for family.� Suddenly there was a tap on the window, and Trent rolled his window down. He should have done it in the first place, but thought it would look suspicious. �Hey.� Samara smiled, �You see this?� �What?� She turned and pointed towards the group that had come last, �Look at them.� Trent held up his binoculars and saw a group of men with yellow roses, there was a dark haired woman with a red rose, a man with a black hat on with a red rose, and a red head with a white rose. �What about it?� Trent asked, still looking at them. �Look at the woman with the white rose.� He concentrated on her face for a moment, �Is� is that Corliss?� Samara grinned widely, �Looks like she was hiding something from us. Not only that, but the people she is with are Macrea elders. On the other side are Faustos� they all have white roses.�

Trent looked to see if she was right, and she was. The group of dark haired men across the grave either carried white or yellow roses, where the Macrea group had all yellow roses. Minus the two red, and one white. �Hmm, white means family, right?� He asked, even though he was certain that it was. �Yeah, that means Corliss is related to Rylan� and that Rylan is a Fausto.� Samara felt so proud of herself, and when Trent dropped his binoculars from his eyes, her pride swelled. He looked very disappointed and angry, and she knew that was because of Corliss. �Someone is keeping secrets.� �That bitch!� Isaac barked what Trent was thinking. �Why the hell would the Macrea�s put her on a case where the victim was her own family member?� �I don�t know, but there is more to that, Trent.� Samara grabbed his binoculars before he looked again, �Corliss is holding a white rose, the Faustos have white roses. Come on put two and two together.� �Corliss is a Fausto.� Trent said after a moment. �I�ll bet my next paycheck that she is the daughter that was given to Adriel Macrea�s son. That�s why she didn�t want us to talk to the Fausto daughter. And, I�ll even go as far as to say this�� She smiled when she knew she had Trent�s full attention, �I think that they killed Rylan Cullen themselves, and then dumped his body to blame on either the pack or humans. I bet they sent her to divert us from the proper path.� Trent nodded, �Makes sense to me.� He was rather impressed with how quickly Samara came up with scenarios. �Think we should confront her?� Isaac asked. �Not now, maybe on Monday. Tomorrow, she is taking me to a fundraiser, I will be in a room with many elders from different factions. I�ll bet that I can get something out of it.� Trent looked through his binoculars at her, �If we confront her now, she�ll probably hold out any information from us. Also, the other vamps will get pissed because this is a day of mourning for them. We don�t want to cause that scene.� �Maybe we shouldn�t tell her at all.� Samara suggested. �Why do you say that?� Isaac was the one to ask. �We know her secret now, and she thinks we don�t. It might be our advantage.� Trent nodded, �Good thinking, thanks for sharing, Samara.� He looked at her and she smiled. �Any time, partner.� With that she spun around and headed back for her car. The burial was almost over, and Trent and Isaac rolled up their windows as the vamps approached their limos. To his luck, Corliss� limo was right in front of him. She walked beside a large man with a pony tail that fell over his shoulders, much like his own. None of the mourning vampires seemed to be paying attention to their surroundings, especially to the obvious beat up Honda parked among the

elegant limousines. �Adriel Macrea.� Isaac told him, �I saw his picture.� �Where? I�ve never seen his picture before.� Trent asked, �And I�ve been in this district for ten years.� Isaac shrugged, �I don�t remember where.� Trent looked back at Corliss, and watched as they stopped in front of the limo. His heart beat quickly, as he hoped that she wouldn�t notice him sitting in the small car behind them. The windows were tinted, but not enough that she couldn�t identify him. Adriel kissed her lips, before he opened the door for her. Corliss was speaking to him, when Trent noticed a man across the chain link fence with a handful of rotten tomatoes. �Go back to hell, demons!� He screamed before hurling the tomatoes over the fence at Corliss and Adriel. Trent was shocked to see Corliss stand in front of Adriel and take most of the attack. Her face and front of her black dress was covered in a rotten, moldy red goo. Trent went to get out of the car to ensure that she was alright when Isaac grabbed his shirt sleeve. �You�ll blow our cover.� Isaac said as a guard went to chase after the man that had attacked Corliss and Adriel. He sighed, and leaned back in his seat to watch Corliss wipe some tomato off Adriel�s face with the end of her dress. She held his cheek delicately in her hand as she brushed the filth away. Adriel removed several large chunks of tomatoes from her hair and dress, before they both laughed. Corliss turned around and pulled up the end of her dress, before getting into the limo. Adriel followed her inside, the door shut and the limo drove away soon after. �Think they are in a relationship?� Trent asked. Isaac shrugged, �Vamps are touchy with each other, could be anything.� He nodded his head, �Hey, do you have a black suit and tie that I could borrow?� Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 6 User Rating: / 3 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Throwing the last bag of trash into his bedroom; he looked around his semi-cleaned apartment. At least the beer bottles and pizza boxes were gone. Trent stood with his hands on his hips proud of himself for the clean up job. Looking at his suit, he collected himself, and tried to hide a stain on the white shirt. �Damn it.� He mumbled as he spit on his thumb to try and rub the stain out. A knock came to the door, and he took several long strides to reach it. Opening it, he found a small graying man in a tuxedo, his hands folded in front of him.

�Mister Trent Monte?� He asked. �Yes.� He asked suspiciously. �Miss Macrea sent me to pick you up.� He told him, �My name is Gibson, the limo driver.� He sighed, �She forgot to call, didn�t she?� �I�m afraid so.� Gibson nodded his thin, old head. �Well, that�s Miss Macrea for you. Sweet girl, but always forgets to do her menial tasks. I�m a pet for the Macreas.� He continued to explain, �Miss Macrea had some matters that needed her immediate attention, and she asked me to pick you up and bring you to Macrea Corp.� �Macrea Corp?� �Yes, sir, the fundraiser is being held in the ballroom there.� Gibson looked him up and down, �You aren�t wearing that are you?� Trent sighed, �It�s all I got.� �Miss Macrea guessed that this would happen, she left a tuxedo in the trunk. You can change in the limo.� He smiled as Trent gave him a worried look. �The windows are tinted.� Gibson began to walk down the hallway. Trent suddenly felt like he didn�t want to go; a limo driver had just insulted his clothing. Of course, it looked like the clothes on the driver�s back were more expensive than Trent�s entire wardrobe. �Coming, Mister Monte? Or are you going to disappoint Miss Macrea?� He shook his head and grabbed his keys, when the door was locked he followed Gibson down the stairs. Inside the limo, Trent put on the new tuxedo, and was shocked to find how perfectly it fit him. When he was dressed, he leaned back in the large seat and stretched out his arms. After another moment, Gibson rolled down the window that dividing him from the back. �You don�t meet many humans who wear their hair long.� He said. Trent grabbed the hair that fell over his shoulders, he had it tied back. �I like it long.� �Yes, it seems to be a kine style, that was all I meant. I wore my hair about shoulder length when I was a young man, but with the loss of my hair it started to become worthless.� Trent nodded, and listened to the silence between them. �You�ve known Miss Macrea long?� �Oh, my entire life.� Gibson said with some excitement in his voice. Trent was beginning to think that the man might be starving for attention. �Your whole life?� He nodded, �My parents were pets, but they were never turned. Miss Macrea actually played with me when I was a child. The other children and I used to chase her

around the garden on the roof. She wasn�t always as dark as she is now. Used to be a lovely woman, it was the Fausto genes.� Trent grinned, the old man just told him more than he should have. He decided to play along like he already knew a great deal on the issue. �Yes, well, the Faustos have always been rather generous to human causes. Employing our kind, and always willing to throw money at any troubles that we have. Macreas aren�t as giving, I guess you could say.� Gibson nodded, �I wish it weren�t true, but it is. The Faustos have a better relationship with humans, which is why they are left alone more often than other clans.� �Left alone?� �Oh yes, but those damn religious cults that think kine are demons from hell. Those bastards were at Mister Cullen�s funeral yesterday, they attacked Miss Macrea and Mister Macrea with rotten tomatoes. Poor Miss Macrea, she was covered from head to toe.� He chuckled. �What�s so funny?� �Oh, not that she was attack. No, no, that is certainly not funny. I was just thinking about when she returned. Everyone looked at her covered in that nauseating slime, completely in shock and humiliated for her. She just smiled so wide at us like nothing was the matter.� He chuckled again, �Never seems to mind that those damn cults harass her so much.� �They do it often?� �She is considered royalty among both the Macreas and the Faustos. I can�t think of anyone who gets harassed more than her.� �But I thought the Faustos were left well alone.� He shook his head, �Just not as often, but she is part of the Macrea clan. A couple days ago, she came home with blood all over her. Some brat purposely knocked her over spilling her lunch all over her new outfit.� �Yeah, she told me about that, said a kid accidentally knocked her down.� Gibson snorted, �Accidentally, ha! Boy had a cult tattoo on his upper arm, he was targeting her. Wasn�t the first time that the same boy has bothered her either. But Miss Macrea never makes a fuss about it, never tells Mister Adriel Macrea or even Mister Marcellus Macrea. Oh, Mister Marcellus would throw a fit if he heard about half the things that she keeps from him.� �Why would Marcellus be upset?� He looked at Trent through the rearview mirror, �I don�t know if I should be saying this, I�ve told you quite a bit already. If you said anything to Miss Macrea or anyone, I would be fired or worse lose my chance to be turned.� Trent nodded, �Well, I don�t want you to tell me anything that would get you in trouble.� Gibson sighed, �Ah, I trust you.� His desire to for the attention from another over weighed his want to become one of the kine. �It�s just a rumor mind you, but

Mister Marcellus visits Miss Macrea�s room quite often. He isn�t supposed to since she is Mister Adriel�s toy.� �What? Corliss is a toy?� He spoke the words with shock. �Oh dear, I said more then I should have. You won�t say anything will you? I�� �No, don�t worry. I won�t say anything. Like I said, I don�t want to get you into any trouble.� Gibson grinned, �So, you are working with Miss Macrea on Mister Cullen�s case?� Trent told him that he was, and then suddenly a plan came to mind, �Hey, Gibson, could I ask you something?� �Sure, Mister Monte.� �Call me Trent, please. At Rylan Cullen�s funeral, Miss Macrea was holding a white rose, isn�t that for family?� Gibson swallowed, �Oh, now I know this is definitely not my place to say anything. I�m afraid that I just can�t answer that for you.� He nodded disappointed, �I understand, Gibson. Don�t worry about it.� Trent put his hands behind his head. �You should feel lucky to have caught the eye of such a prominent kine.� Gibson said after a few moments. �Caught the eye? Of a prominent kine? I don�t understand.� �Me, I am not a pet to such a high ranking kine, it�s doubtful that I will ever be turned. I pray that my grandchildren will someday though.� He stopped at a red light, and turned to look at Trent, �Becoming a pet to Mister Adriel though, you are bound to become a kine, especially with how valuable you are.� �A pet to Mister Adriel?� Gibson raised an eyebrow, �It�s no secret that you seek to become his pet, after Corliss gave you that recommendation.� �I see.� Trent grinded his teeth, �Light is green.� He turned around and continued to drive, �Course there are perks to becoming a pet to such a high kine as well.� �Oh, what are they?� He chuckled, �I�m not a very forward man, and it embarrasses me to even think it, let alone say it.� He swallowed, �But pets for higher kine have rights to� ah, sleep with vampires of the same clan.� �Oh?� Trent raised an eyebrow. �As long as their master grants them permission.� He laughed, �That�s probably why Corliss recommended you, isn�t it?� �I have no idea.�

�Never slept with one myself, but I have had friends that have. Some refused to go back to human afterwards. Made a life of serving certain kine. Sad really, since most of them never had any children and they were never turned.� They pulled into the parking garage and began up to the third story. �Their choice, I suppose.� Gibson nodded, �I suppose.� ---***--Trent stepped out of the elevator beside the large vamp, who he was certain had to be a body guard. Tuxedo or not, he knew a warrior class vampire when he saw one. The vamp had only spoken once and that was when he opened the limo door to tell him to follow him. He looked around the large hallway that he now stood in. There was a hall to his left and right, and three sets of double doors ahead of him. A large red carpet in the center of the floor, as well as several potted trees. �Stay.� The vamp told him before disappearing down the hall. Trent crossed his arms, and leaned back on one foot. He couldn�t hear the sounds of a party nearby and wondered what they were doing on this floor. When he heard voices coming from the hallway, he straightened his stance and arranged his tux. �Well, don�t you look handsome.� Corliss appeared from the right hallway, her arms extended to him. Trent�s heart skipped a beat when he saw how she was dressed. She wore a gray evening gown with a slit on her right side all the way up to her hip. Her high heels matched her dress as well as her long gloves. Silver and diamond studded jewelry hung from her ears and neck. Her hair was in a French bun with what Trent was certain was diamond studded hair clips. The large vampire body guard walked behind her, as she fixed Trent�s suit. He was surprised that she was even willing to touch him in front of another of her kind. �Thank you.� Trent responded, �You look nice tonight as well.� The words caught in his throat, in truth he was pissed about what he had learned in the limo. �Can I talk to you?� He grabbed her wrists, and the body guard stepped forward. �Of course.� Trent looked at the large vamp, �Alone?� Corliss looked at her body guard, �David is a trusted servant.� He frowned, �I would still prefer alone.� She sighed, �We will be right back.� She told David, and pulled Trent through one of the double doors. They stood in a large ball room that was completely empty, Corliss flipped the switch that turned on the chandeliers, before turning to face him. �So, you�ve recommended me to become a pet for Adriel?� He didn�t want to offend,

but needed to know what he was getting into. Corliss chuckled, �No, oh dear.� She pinched the bridge of her nose for a moment, �Gibson and his big mouth, if anyone else had been available I would have sent them instead. I spoke to Adriel about inviting you to the fundraiser, and so that no one would question your presence, he said he would tell people that you were seeking his favor. That way people wouldn�t think I was consorting with� well, you know.� Trent crossed his arms, �Exactly why did you invite me?� �I thought you might like to be able to mingle with some of the elders. Maybe you�ll see something that I don�t.� �Why wouldn�t you see something suspicious and I would?� She shrugged, �I am with them day in and out�� �That would be the exact reason why you would be able to see something suspicious better then I could.� Corliss grinned, �Are you scared?� She stepped forward and untied his bowtie, so she could retie it. Trent watched her retying his bowtie, but grabbed her wrists before she was through, �You want to tell me what�s going on here?� He asked, shoving her hands down. �I am trying to work with you. I have invited you to a very private social gathering, where you have access to elders. Do you honestly think that you would have ever been able to even see them without my help?� She folded her arms and tapped her right foot. A stance that made Trent grin, �If you don�t want to do this, then you can leave. No one is forcing you to go.� �Why would Adriel help me get in?� �I told him it was for the investigation. He agreed because he wants to find Rylan�s killer as soon as possible.� Trent bit his inner cheek, he wasn�t certain if he believed anything that she was saying. Corliss stepped forward again, and finishing tying his bowtie. When she was done, she flattened down the shoulders of his jacket with the palm of her hands. �You can keep this tuxedo, by the way.� He frowned, �You said it was black tie, not tuxedo.� She shrugged, �Sorry, it�s not like I left you without.� �What was so important that you couldn�t come pick me up yourself?� Corliss chuckled, �Oh please, don�t act as if Gibson didn�t talk your ear off. We both know you got your fair share of information about me and the clan.� Trent grinned, �Alright.� �So, you want to come up to the party or not?� She still had her hands resting on

his shoulders. �Yeah, I�ll come up.� �Good, and after this, I�ll take you home, and you can tell me if you saw anything interesting at the funeral.� Trent nearly gagged, �What?� �When you were spying at the funeral yesterday. Please, Trent, your car stuck out like a pile of trash in a rose garden. So did that damn Geo that those pups drive. They were lucky that Adriel strictly forbid the others to approach them.� Suddenly, she frowned, �See them throw tomatoes at me?� Trent nodded, �Yeah, I saw.� Corliss stepped back, �You would think we could find some peace on our day of mourning.� She shrugged, �Oh well, Rylan got his funeral.� �What is he to you?� The question came out before he thought it over. Her eyes connected with his, �The white rose, right?� He nodded. There was no response from her, as her mind tried to find an answer. �No lies, Corliss. Just tell me the truth. Are you the Fausto that was wed to Adriel�s son?� �Yes.� Trent frowned, �Is Rylan a Fausto? And are you related to him?� �Yes.� �How are you related to him?� Corliss cleared her throat, and looked towards the door. She felt his fingers touch her chin and force her to look at him. �How are you related to him?� �He is my brother.� She answered. �Son of a bitch. Why did they send you to investigate your own brother�s murder? You could very well be a suspect.� She snorted, �My brother was born after I was sent over to the Macreas. We barely knew each other. After he killed Marcellus� toy almost twenty years ago, he was sent as a peace offering from the Faustos. I hardly ever spoke to him, and when I did it was purely business.� �He was still your brother!� Trent snapped. She shook her head, �By blood only. But�� She sighed. �But, what, Corliss? Let�s clear the air, so we can get to the bottom of this

murder.� Trent knew that the vamp elders would never change their investigator, he had to work with Corliss, but needed to know everything she did. �He did tell me some things on occasion. You know, we were both Fausto royalties forced to be Macrea toys. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone who can empathize with you.� �What did he tell you?� Corliss looked like she was about to cry, �He told me that he was keeping several women without Marcellus� knowledge. A few kine and some humans, but he never told me anything about the pup. If I had known about it, I would have said something right away.� Trent nodded his head, �Anything else?� She gently shook her head, �No, that�s all I know.� �I don�t believe this.� �Don�t tell the pups, they will only think that I am trying to lead your investigation astray.� He frowned. �I�m not! I want to find my brother�s killer more then anyone. I truly need to know who took his life, be that kine, pup, or human, Trent, I swear!� She squealed, and a tear ran down her right cheek. �Ok, ok, I believe you.� He didn�t, but he couldn�t handle the sight of a woman crying. She took off her right glove, and wiped the tear off. �I�m sorry.� �For what?� �For crying, I should have better control over myself.� After clearing her throat, she slipped her glove back on. �We are still going to the party, right? I am sure everyone is waiting for me by now.� Trent nodded, �Yes, but you have to promise to be honest with me from now on, Corliss. Otherwise, I am hiding any information that I find, and sharing only with the pups.� �Deal.� To his utter shock, Corliss cupped his face and kissed his lips quickly and gently. Letting go of his face, she walked towards the door and put her hand on the doorknob. Trent was left standing alone, he wasn�t sure if he liked the thought of a vamp kissing him. �Sorry about that.� Corliss cleared her throat again, �Force of habit. I get into trouble with Adriel a lot, and we kiss to seal his forgiveness. Don�t tell anyone I did that.� Trent nodded his head. When they were in the elevator, he realized that she had just done something to him, that she would normally do to the leader of the Macrea clan. He wondered if that meant she saw him as someone to be respected. Whatever

it was, he liked it. ---***--Entering into the largest ballroom that Trent had ever seen; Corliss took him by the crook of his arm. She led him to a group near the entry way that had acknowledged her with nods when she entered. �You are late.� The man that Trent recognized to be Adriel Macrea said, before Corliss kissed his lips briefly. �I�m sorry, but beauty takes time.� Corliss joked, �This is Trent.� She pointed at him with her hand. �Trent, this is Adriel Macrea, Marcellus Macrea, Ezekiel Brick, and his lovely wife, Jacinda.� Trent shook each of their hands, a little surprised that they were more then willing to greet him in such a human fashion. �So, you are the one trying to catch Adriel�s eye.� Jacinda said, her black hair flowing over her shoulders. She seemed like the ideal vampire with dark hair, eyes, black dress, and pale skin. Trent grinned, he wasn�t about to admit to their lie. Jacinda put her hands to his chest and rubbed down to his stomach, when Trent jumped backwards she laughed. �He�s a little shy.� She said to Corliss, �If Adriel does accept him, make sure to send him to my room.� �Jacinda!� Ezekiel laughed along side his wife, �Excuse us, seems she can�t handle herself around the human guests.� With that the pair walked onto the dance floor in the center of the ballroom. �It�s good to meet you, Mister Monte.� Adriel finally said, �That is an exquisite suit, I wouldn�t think a man stuck in your career could afford such quality clothing.� Corliss patted his chest, �Oh, he�s got some taste, Adriel.� �I am sure you are referring to yourself.� Marcellus teased. Trent tried to pretend he was enjoying the conversation, but in truth it was angering him. He didn�t like to sound like he was owned by anyone, especially when others thought he was trying to become a vampire. As if a man like him would want to be owned by a vamp like Adriel. �Would you like some champagne?� Corliss asked him, and he nodded. She left him standing in front of the two elders as she disappeared into the crowd. �We appreciate that you are continuing the case, even though there seems to be very little human involvement.� Adriel told him. �I like to see things through, you never know when more evidence might appear that may lead to my doorstep.� Trent missed Corliss already, he felt unprotected without her. Marcellus patted his shoulder, �I am most appreciative, however. Rylan was a dear

friend. True, he was my toy, but I valued his loyalty and companionship. Last few weeks, almost on a daily basis, I asked for him to be sent to my office.� He sniffled and wiped a tear from his cheek. �I look forward to the punishment of whoever did this.� Trent tried not to roll his eyes, he had never seen such bad acting before. Corliss returned and offered him a glass of champagne, �We will find his murderer, Marcellus. You can rest assured.� �I know you will, darling.� He kissed her lips, before looking to Adriel, �Well, I think most of the people are here, we should begin the auction don�t you think?� Adriel nodded, �Yes, excuse us, love.� He kissed Corliss as well before following Marcellus into the crowd. She smiled at Trent when they were gone, and noticed that he had already downed his drink. �So, point out the people of importance to me.� Trent demanded. Corliss took his glass and handed her own to him. �I will when I get back.� She walked away with the empty glass. Trent looked down at the crystal glass that had red lipstick print on one side, where Corliss had taken a sip. He shrugged and downed her glass as well. If he was going to be stuck in a room full of snobs, then he would need a few to loosen up. Corliss returned with two full glasses, and laughed. Handing him another glass, she reached her gloved hand up to his lips and wiped away some lipstick, �Not your color. I would go with a more natural shade for your skin tone.� He wiped the rest off with the back of his hand. �You are being a little too friendly for my tastes.� �I�m acting the part, dear.� Corliss smiled, �I have to portray myself as kind, generous, and�� �Which one are you then? Corliss on the street or the Corliss in here?� She grinned, �Whatever one I need to be.� �Who would you rather be?� Her smile faded, �Why do you want to know?� Trent shrugged, �Guess the difference is making me nervous. Now, what was this about an auction?� �I told you that it�s a fundraiser. See several guests as well as the Macrea Corp have donated items to be put on auction. The money received will go to charities around the world. Makes us look generous without us having to spend too much money.� Corliss smiled at him. �We don�t have to go into the auction room, though.� She took him by the arm again. �Oh good.� Trent downed his glass again.

�You better slow down, otherwise you�ll be going home before I have a chance to introduce you to anyone.� �I�ll be fine.� Trent snapped. �You are just supposed to sip it.� She offered her glass to him, and took his empty one. �Supposed to sip it, my ass.� Trent mumbled under his breath as he downed the new glass she gave him, when Corliss went to get him another drink. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 7 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Trent sat on the opposite side of the limo seat from Corliss, who had insisted that she take him home. He didn�t like that she was willing to spend more time with him, but realized that he had drank a great deal of champagne. He told himself that she just wanted to make sure he got home safely, not that he was driving himself. They had spent most of the evening in the dining hall; she had tried to introduce him to as many people as possible. No one had any information that they could use, not that he was actively questioning them. He knew that he had to fit in, which was why he hadn�t argued with the large woman who had asked him to dance. At least, she was human; it was better then dancing with a vamp. Except for the fact that the woman couldn�t dance and kept stepping on his feet, until Corliss came and rescued him. It wasn�t surprising at all that she could dance better then he could. After all, she had probably spent her life in ballroom dancing classes, when he was at the shooting range. She had also been kind enough to stand up for him, when other vampires tried to bother him about becoming a pet. Most acted like predators looking for prey, but he had heard that there was a shortage of willing humans. It was nothing like when he was younger, and people were dumb enough to believe they would be turned. Most pets were born into the life by their parents who had fallen victim to their false promises. �Your people can really put on a show; by the end of the night I was almost convinced that they were the good species on the planet.� Trent said once the silence became too much for him. �Do you think we are demons too? Like those radical religious cults?� He shook his head, �No, but I don�t believe that you are saints either.� He said as he looked over, her leg was folded over the other. The slit on the side of her dress allowing her sculpted thigh to lay bare. Trent swallowed, and turned his eyes away when he realized he was having scandalous thoughts about a vampire. Corliss grinned, she had noticed it. The alcohol that he had consumed blocked his uncanny ability to hide his true intentions. �I suppose we aren�t, but need I remind you that seventy three percent of all crime in the world is caused by humans.� �That�s because we outnumber vamps and dogs.� Trent put his elbow on the door and rested his head in his hand.

She cleared her throat, �See anything interesting at the funeral yesterday� or the party?� �No, both were a pretty big waste of time. Besides finding out you are related to our victim. Which I still think it�s immoral for you to be working on this case.� �I�m sorry; I did not ask to do this. As a matter of a fact, this is my first case.� Trent sighed, �Oh, this just keeps getting better, doesn�t it?� �I�ve had plenty of training; this is what Adriel wanted to use me for. I know all kine investigating techniques, several martial art styles, and I have even begun to understand the power of mind reading. Though I am still very much an amateur. Not many of us learn to use such an ability.� He nodded, �Yeah, and vamps can sense when people are lying, blah, blah, blah. Still, as soon as they knew you were on your brother�s case, they should have pulled you.� �I get the feeling that you don�t like me, Trent.� His head spun around to look at her, �Really? Just now?� Corliss frowned, �Alright, well, at least we�ve made that clear enough, I suppose. Personally, I hold a great deal of respect for you, and that won�t change just because you don�t have any for me in return.� Trent laughed out loud, �Respect for me? Are you kidding me? When you respect someone you don�t hold information from them. You don�t hide evidence, and you certainly don�t insult them every chance you get.� �Insult you?� He snorted, �This tuxedo, you think that I am too poor to buy my own goddamn suit and tie� shit, I forgot my suit and tie in the other limo.� �I�ll bring it to you tomorrow.� Corliss continued to frown, �And it will be the last you see of me, until I come across anything useful to the investigation.� �Oh no, we are sticking together on this. You�ve already proven that you can�t be trusted. No way that I would let you go out on your own.� �Let me? What do you think that I am, your toy?� Trent laughed mockingly, �No, seems to me that Adriel has that claim on you.� Her jaw dropped, �How did� damn it, Gibson!� The driver they had now was not the same man that had driven Trent to the Corp building. �Not only that, but there was absolutely nothing at the auction of interest to the investigation. Other then a master who didn�t give a shit about his dead toy.� Trent barked. �So, why the hell did you bring me there?� He could see the anger rising in her cheeks, �Because I needed a date, ok?� It was Trent�s turn to drop his jaw. �I wanted to bring someone that would actually talk to me, instead of running around trying to impress the elders. I thought, �Hey if

he learns a thing or two that helps in the investigation all the better.� Happy now, Trent? Happy that you got me to admit to it?� He realized that he had leaned in closer to her, and pulled himself back to look out the window. �Alright, at least it�s the truth.� The tension in the silence was thick enough to choke on as the limo continued towards his apartment complex. �You looked very pretty tonight, Corliss.� He finally said, hoping to clear out some of the friction. �Thank you.� She grumbled with her teeth clenched. �Of course, you always look pretty. That�s just the vampire way though, right? Always look presentable no matter who you are doing, everyone should dress as if they are meeting with a king. I like that about your people.� He cleared his throat. �You don�t have to make up compliments, Trent.� When he looked over her arms were crossed, and she stared out her own window. �Who�s making it up?� Her eyes turned to him even though her head did not, �The tuxedo was a gift, as a friendly gesture. It wasn�t meant to say that you couldn�t afford anything nice, that�s why I told Gibson to check what you were wearing first.� �I know, I actually appreciated it. It fits perfectly, and this has to be custom made. How�d you figure out my measurements?� Corliss shrugged, �I guessed. A lot of the elders like my fashion sense, so they are always sending me to have clothes made for them.� �Had it made rather quickly.� �Helps when the Macreas own their own clothing line, complete with tailors.� She smiled and turned her head towards him. Trent grinned back, �Can I ask you something?� She nodded, �Anything.� �As Adriel�s toy, what do you do?� Corliss swallowed hard, �You know he keeps me as his toy to keep me safe from the clan. They would kill me if they got a chance.� �That doesn�t answer my question.� She nodded, �I know, but I wanted you to know why I am a toy. I run errands for him, do these investigations� well, now I do. Pretty much a secretary.� �Do you sleep with him?� �Trent! Good grief, what a thing to ask a lady.� He was leaning forward again, and leaned back, �I�m sorry, I probably should have

phrased it better.� �As a toy, I am no better then a slave.� �Slavery is outlawed in the United Stated, Corliss.� She laughed, �For humans, Trent. Not many laws are applied to the kine, as long as we keep it away from human eyes.� �So, you do, don�t you?� The smile she was wearing was replaced with a somber look, �I do whatever he tells me to do, Trent. No questions asked. Most of the time the things he does to me doesn�t lead to that no, he would be disgraced if he got a Fausto pregnant.� She chuckled nervously, �It�s funny really, I have the Macrea name, but I am not welcomed in the Macrea clan. And because I have the Macrea name, I am not a Fausto anymore either.� He nodded his head slowly, �It�s hard to not belong.� Corliss nodded, �I�m sorry that you didn�t like being referred to as a pet this evening.� She remembered him flinching every time someone introduced him as one. �I think that is the worst kind of slavery. They are so in lust with the idea of becoming something that they aren�t, they don�t even notice the chains on their wrists.� �Pets are free to go whenever they please. Human slavery is against the law.� She told him. He shook his head, �No, you vamps do something to them. Make them all crazy; make them see nothing else for them. Look at Gibson, he�s is like seventy years old, and is still hanging onto this dream. He knows that he�s too old to be turned, but he wants his grandchildren to make it, so he keeps working for you people.� �Not all pets are delusional, only the ones that want to be.� �Fuck that!� He barked, �My mother didn�t know what she was doing!� Corliss raised an eyebrow questioningly. Trent stared into her eyes for a moment, �When I was ten, my mother and sister disappeared. Left my father, my brother, and me alone to care for ourselves. A few years later, after hiring a private investigator, my father found my mother. She had taken my sister to live with a vamp clan; she had been seduced by a god damn vamp. His loyal servant, she was not herself.� Corliss dropped her eyes to the floor of the limo. �My father brought me and my brother along to try to convince her to come back to us. He thought maybe if she saw the faces of her sons that she would realize what she had done. She didn�t even know my name!� His voice cracked, �That vamp showed up and fed my mother some of his blood� right there in front of her husband and children. Told us that she belonged to him now, and he would never let her go.� �Didn�t your father call the police?� Trent nodded, �They showed up, my mother said she wanted to stay and be his pet,

and there was nothing else they could do. My father fought court battle after court battle trying to get my sister back, but that vamps could afford such expensive attorneys, that we never saw her again. I know my mother died during a pack attack, but for all I know my sister is still in that damn building. She might even be a vamp now, I don�t know.� �If she is still alive, and was a child back then, odds are they turned her.� Corliss told him, even though she knew he didn�t want to hear it. �It was the Macreas, wasn�t it?� Trent nodded, �Kaleb Macrea.� �One of Adriel�s sons.� Corliss mumbled. �I� She had to of asked to drink his blood, Trent. Kaleb, also, had to care for her.� �Care for her? To turn her into a zombie?� �She was hardly a zombie. What I was going to say, is that in order to turn a human into a kine, there has to be an exchange of saliva and blood. If he was feeding her blood, then he couldn�t feed from her without turning her.� �Why would he feed her blood anyway? Just to control her mind?� Corliss shrugged, �There are many different reasons. Our blood can keep diseases from spreading in human bodies, can help psychiatric problems, could your mother have been sick?� He shook his head, �No, she was fine.� �Then I don�t know, Trent. I�m sorry, Kaleb has always been one of the most selfish Macreas. I honestly wouldn�t put it past him to use his blood to control your mother�s mind. It�s a shame he will take over when Adriel passes on.� Trent hadn�t expected her to be sympathetic or even say anything against Kaleb. �Thank you, Corliss.� �Is that why you got into paranormal investigations? To help the pets?� �Part of me wanted to help them� another part wanted to be able to put them out of their misery. After living with vampires for so long, they never seem able to cope with living in the human world again. Most commit crimes.� He felt the limo stop. �Looks like we are here, I�ll walk you to the door.� Corliss said and before he could reject her offer, she had gotten out of the limo and was heading towards his building. ---***--Opening the door, Trent stepped out and realized that he was a lot more drunk then he thought. Corliss came over to help him up the stairs, and told the driver she would be down in a while. When they got to his apartment door, Corliss asked him where his keys were. �In that other suit, damn it.� He kicked the door. �Don�t worry.� She smiled and pulled two pins from her hair, �I know how to pick a lock.� Kneeling down, he watched her fight his door�s lock, after a few moments there was a click. Corliss stood up and opened the door for him, �Ta da!� She

pointed to the door with both hands. Trent smiled, �So, you are a thief too.� She chuckled, �When the moment calls for it. I�ll make sure your keys are with the suit when I bring it over tomorrow morning around eight.� She looked him up and down, he looked drunk, �Maybe nine� I�ll call before I come.� She told him as he stepped inside his apartment. He leaned against the doorframe, �Well, despite that total lack of information collected, I did have some fun. Although, I think I like you better when you aren�t trying to play into the favors of the elders.� �I thought you didn�t like me.� Trent shrugged, �I don�t like vamps in general.� �Oh, so it�s not just me?� She giggled. �Nah, actually, I think you are one of the nicer ones that I�ve met. Of course, I never worked with a born vamp before. Maybe all you born vamps are nicer then the turned ones.� She shook her head, �No, I think we are worse. And we are called pure bloods, not born vamps.� Corliss wanted to go, as soon as possible. But she remembered Adriel wanted her to humor him, and she would do so as long as Trent was willing. After all, he wasn�t as bad of a human as he could have been. There was a silence as the two ran out of topics to discuss. �Well, I think I should let you get your beauty sleep. You look like you are going to have a bad morning.� Trent gave a half grin, �I probably will. It�s also probably why I liked you tonight as well. Don�t worry, I�ll be back to hating you in the morning.� �With the hang over you�ll have, I will bet you�ll hate everyone.� She smiled. �You are probably right. Good night, see ya tomorrow.� �Goodnight.� Corliss placed a kiss on the corner of his mouth, and before she could back away felt his hands on her shoulders. He held her in place for a moment, his eyes looking into her own. It was as if he was trying to make a decision about her. �Listen, I�m not Adriel or any other vamp for that matter. Don�t kiss me anymore.� �Why not? It�s a sign of respect.� He began to speak quickly, �Cause we humans don�t take it as light heartedly as you vamps do. It�s not a sign of respect to us, it�s a sign of lust and love. And to be honest, I find you very attractive, and I don�t like that I do. If you kissed me again, I might take it the wrong way, and then try to kiss you for real. Of course, then you would be offended that a blood bag like me would ever think that an elite vamp like you would want anything to do with me, so you would hit me. I�ve been slapped enough in my lifetime to know that I don�t like it by humans, and you are a lot stronger then a human.�

�Trent? You are a rambling drunk.� Corliss whispered her lips a hair away from his own. �People have told me that.� She leaned into kiss him again, but Trent jerked her back. �Don�t, just don�t. I know how you vamps work, and I don�t want to get myself or you into trouble.� Corliss grinned, �Stop calling me a vamp, Trent, it�s offensive.� She felt his grasp on her shoulders loosen, so she stepped forward to check his guard. When her hands touched his chest, he looked up to the ceiling, �I have no interest in becoming a pet or a vamp, Corliss.� �Well good, because as a toy I can�t have any pets, and I am not authorized to create any new �vamps.� So, you are safe.� She was breaking down his defenses already, she couldn�t believe how easy it had been. Of course, she knew that humans had a high mating drive, and that they were easily attracted to kine. That�s why it was easy enough for them to gain pets, even from people who didn�t want to become one. She slid her hands up his neck to his cheeks, bringing his lips down to her own. Trent seemed to completely forget his objections from before, which could have been due to the alcohol in his system. Stepping forward, he took a step back allowing her into his apartment. When she was in, she grabbed the edge of the door and slammed it shut. She felt Trent�s lip part in a smile at the sound of his door being slammed, and she decided that he thought she was being overly enthusiastic. Trent grabbed her shoulders and pushed her up against the door, pinning her between himself and the wood. His hands slid down her arms to her wrists, as Corliss suckled on his bottom lip. The feel of her fangs against his flesh caused him a dangerous excitement. Grabbing her wrists, he shoved her hands and his own behind her back near her buttocks. Corliss understood the type of men who liked to be in control of everything, after all Adriel was one, and she had dealt with him for over a hundred years. He gave no warning nor was gentle, when he forced his tongue into her mouth. Corliss could taste the mixture of champagne and shrimp cocktails, and suddenly felt guilty for taking advantage of his drunken state. He may be a useful tool to the Macreas, but she didn�t want to benefit by deceiving him. She barely knew the man, and worst of all, he was human. His right hand let go of her own, and grabbed the back of her head. She could feel her French bun weakening as his fingers made it�s way into her hair. Trent tried to pull her closer to him, even though his head was screaming that this was a vamp. In truth, he was curious about some of the rumors that he had heard, most revolved around what Gibson had told him earlier. He pressed his hips into her, and heard her moan within her throat. His tongue still exploring her mouth, his mind was still arguing with the rest of him. This was a vampire, he hated vampires. He hated them more then he hated werewolves, but then again he always dreamt of being with one. There was no way in the world that he would want to be one, but he desired to taste the forbidden fruit. That was until it became all too real, and he felt the prick on his tongue. He didn�t know if she meant to do it, or if he had been to vigorous, but his tongue was bleeding. Every warning signal in his body screamed, telling him that

this was really a vampire, it was no fantasy. �I�m sorry.� Corliss said pushing him away with her free hand. He thought she was referring to biting him, but her guilt had actually taken control. She just couldn�t go through with this, damn Adriel to hell if he didn�t like it. �You bit my tongue.� He snapped, putting his hand over his mouth. �You pressed against my fang, it wasn�t like I purposely did it.� �Then why did you say you were sorry?� Corliss didn�t have an answer, she couldn�t tell him the truth. �I can�t do this. I�m sorry, I need to leave.� �Yeah, I think that would be best.� Trent reached for the doorknob, and opened the door. �See you tomorrow.� He shut the door when he heard her trying to give a goodbye. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 8 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 The loud thumps were a part of his dream, but slowly reality began to take control. Trent sat up on the couch, and wiped at a drool spot he left on the armrest. The thumping continued, and through his headache he realized that someone was knocking at his door. Moaning, he stood up and walked over to answer it, grumbling under his breath that Corliss said she would call first. When he opened the door, Samara beamed at him. Her hair in pig tails, but wearing a pant suit. �You will not believe the night that Coyle and I had.� She stepped inside his apartment, and went to the kitchen to make coffee. �Uh, what time is it?� He asked, shutting the door before making his way over to the stool. �Eight in the morning, why?� He shook his head not wanting to answer. �Have a long night with those snobs?� Samara laughed, as she filled his coffee pot. Looking over to him, she could see where some lipstick had been smeared down his chin. It was red, and she knew well enough that the leech wore that shade. She decided to say nothing, not yet. �Wasn�t too bad, just drank a little much. Where is your partner?� �He went to get your partner; I thought the four of us could have a little pow wow about the funeral, the party, and Coyle�s and my little adventure last night.� Opening the fridge she pulled out his coffee can and found the filters in one of the cupboards. �You are way too cheery for eight am, Samara.� He laid his head down on the counter.

She chuckled, and hit the button to turn on the coffee maker. When she was finished, she rested her elbows on the counter in front of Trent. �How was your evening?� He shrugged, �Worthless, met Rylan�s master, Marcellus. He didn�t seem too hurt about his toy�s death, but they never do.� She nodded her head, then chuckled when she looked over and saw the lipstick again. �What are you laughing at?� �Nothing.� Samara shook her head, �Just trying to picture a guy like you on a date with a leech like Corliss. I see you didn�t have time to change.� She looked at his tuxedo, the bowtie and jacket were missing and he had released the top two buttons on his shirt. Reaching forward she felt the fabric, �That�s a really nice tux. I wouldn�t imagine a guy like you owning one.� �A guy like me? You said that twice now, what does it mean?� She shrugged, �Just a regular guy, not a rich snooty leech lover, is all I meant.� �And it wasn�t a date either. It was business to help the investigation.� �Alright, I�m sorry, geeze.� Her eye caught something on the carpet near the door, standing up straight, she walked over to it. Reaching down, she picked up the diamond studded hair comb. �Well, this doesn�t look like it�s your style.� She walked back over and threw it on the counter. Trent picked it up, �It�s belongs to Corliss.� He threw it back down on the counter. �So, she was here last night doing something that knocked a hair comb out?� She raised an eyebrow. �Yeah, helping my drunk ass into my apartment. Don�t look at me like that, I wouldn�t touch a vamp.� He swallowed hard, before looking over at the coffee pot. Samara frowned, �I didn�t suggest anything. You are in a bad mood this morning.� He turned his head to look into her eyes, �I have a bad hang over, I�m sorry.� With a grin, she picked up the hair comb, �Those real diamonds you think?� �Probably.� �How much you think something like this would cost?� �I have no idea.� Trent laid his head back down on the cool surface of the counter. She frowned, �You have lipstick on your mouth and chin.� With that she turned around to find them some coffee cups. Trent sat up, and rubbed the back of his hand against his face. Pulling it away he found the lipstick smeared on his hand. �Shit.� Standing up, he walked into the bedroom to make his way to the bathroom. He had to jump over the sacks of trash

that covered the floor, it was why he hadn�t sleep in there that night. Samara pulled four mismatched coffee cups from the cupboard, and poured her and Trent each a cup. After several long minutes, he returned and chugged down the hot cup of coffee. �So, it wasn�t a date, huh?� �Ah, some woman at the party was trying to kiss me all night, you know how those vamps are.� He lied as he slammed the coffee cup onto the counter. �Looks a lot like Corliss� shade.� Reaching across the counter, she wiped some off the corner of his mouth with her thumb, and held it up to him. Trent snorted, �Yeah, because she would kiss a slob like me. Besides, what do you care? Are you jealous?� �Maybe.� Samara took the empty cup off the table and filled it, handing it back to him. Trent sat with a look of shock on his face. She realized her mistake and swallowed, �I mean after all, couldn�t you tell that I wanted Corliss? I may make fun of her, but, man, is she hot. Love, hate relationship, but I want to jump that leech�s bones.� He laughed, understanding now that she was making a joke before. �Can I watch?� Isaac asked, neither of him had noticed him come through the door. He sat down on the stool next to Trent. Coyle stood in the doorway, his jaw was about to drop. Samara tried not to blush, �It was a joke, Coyle. Damn it!� She grabbed the coffee pot and poured them each some coffee. �Oh damn, for a minute, I thought my sister was a leech lover and a lesbian.� He laughed as he shut the door, and walked over to the counter. �What�s this?� He picked up the hair comb. �It belongs to Corliss, Trent thinks those are real diamonds.� Samara told him. Coyle raised an eyebrow, �What was she doing in here that knocked loose her hair comb?� Isaac looked at Trent with a serious expression, �That�s what I would like to know.� �I was drunk, she helped me up. It must have come loose then.� He frowned, �Anyway, Samara said you guys found something.� Isaac shrugged, �I wasn�t with them.� �Yeah, we went to talk with the Razor Claw Gang, who the bartender at the Dog Pound said use to hang with Rylan�s pack girl.� Samara told him, �Her name is Amelia, but she�s been missing since Rylan died. They haven�t heard anything from her, and no one has seen her.�

Trent tapped his finger against his hot coffee cup, �What are you thinking? Another victim or suspect?� Coyle shrugged, �We kicked her out. She They just asked the no one thought they something like that don�t know. Turns was welcomed, and pair to stay away were friends with hanging over your out though, that it wasn�t her gang that they didn�t mind the leech coming around. from them during social situations. That way any leeches. Can�t have good street rap with head.�

�I see.� Trent looked into the black void of his coffee, �Why didn�t they mind the vamp?� Samara grinned, �He brought money with him. That always makes you friends quick no matter what species you are. He never insulted them for being members of the pack, so they didn�t mind him.� Coyle chuckled, �As a matter of a fact, the alpha was rather charmed by him. Seemed really torn up when we told him that Rylan had been killed.� �You get a last name?� Isaac asked. Samara shook her head, �They weren�t even sure if Amelia was her real name, she seemed to be hiding from something. One time they heard Rylan call her Amica, or something like that.� �Forgot the cheese Danishes in the car.� Isaac said interrupting everyone�s train of thought. �I�ll get them, give me your keys.� Coyle offered. �Thanks.� Isaac slid his keys over to him, and Coyle disappeared out the door. �So, that all you found out?� Trent asked after Coyle left. Samara nodded, �Well, other then a few places that she is known to crash at. It�s a lead. What are you going to do with the leech today?� She turned to get milk out of the fridge, but the only liquid was beer. Shutting the fridge door, she returned her gaze to Trent. �Don�t know, other then the Faustos we really don�t have any leads.� Isaac scowled, �What do you mean? Don�t you have that Fausto that Adriel�s son married?� He shook his head, �Nah, that was discovered to be a dead end last night.� �Oh, how?� Trent looked down into his coffee cup, �Just trust me.� Samara looked between the two men, Isaac looked upset that his partner was holding something from him. She thought that he rightfully should feel that way. �Did you talk to her last night?� �I guess you could say that. She was with the Macreas before Rylan was born, and then they never saw each other at Macrea Corp for the most part.� �Yum yums!� Coyle announced entering the apartment with a cardboard tray of

danishes that were covered in saran wrap. Setting him on the counter, he tore into the wrapping and scooped up the first pastry. Everyone joined him in devouring their breakfast, when the ringing sound interrupted their silent eating. Samara grabbed at her heart, �That scared me.� The phone was on the wall next to Trent and he picked it up, pressing the button on the small cordless phone, he placed it to his ear. �Hello?� �Good morning, you awake yet?� Corliss� familiar voice came from the other end, she sounded as cheery as Samara. �Yeah, Samara, Coyle, and Isaac came over, we are having breakfast.� He didn�t know why he told her that, probably because he wanted her to trust him, as much as he wanted to trust her. �Oh, hope it�s all pleasure and no business.� Corliss said flatly. Trent grinned, �Being with them is never a pleasure.� Isaac punched him in the upper arm. �Alright, guess I will cut this meeting short�� She paused and Trent could hear the sounds of someone talking in the background, she answered him with a yes, �I�ll be there in a half hour� make it forty five minutes.� �Ok, see you then. Good�� Trent heard the phone click on the other end, and looked at his phone. �She hung up on me.� He threw the phone back on the charger. �What did she have to say?� Isaac asked. �Not much, she�s in a meeting and said she�ll be here in less then an hour.� �Good, gives us time to discuss our strategy about what we saw at the funeral.� Samara announced. �She knows we were there.� Trent told her then took a sip of his coffee. �She knows?� Samara bit her bottom lip, �Did you tell her?� Isaac chuckled, �A Geo and beat up Honda in a sea of limos, come on. I doubt he had a chance to blow our cover.� Trent nodded, �Besides we were parked right behind her. She said you guys were lucky that Adriel ordered them not to bother the dogs.� Samara took a bite out of another Danish, �Well, did she admit that she was related to him?� Trent didn�t know if he wanted to tell them, he had already lied about sort of meeting with the Fausto daughter. It was a theory between them, but he didn�t want them to think that Corliss had something to hide or that she was leading the investigation astray. �Oh God, she is a Fausto, isn�t she?� Isaac read his expression, �She is the Fausto that married Adriel�s son, please tell me it�s not true.� He didn�t want to lie to his partner. In ten years in Paranormal Investigations,

he had had only two partners, and never lied to either of them. So, he lowered his head in shame. �What the hell are the leeches doing putting her on this case?� Coyle asked. �Gets worse.� Trent told them, �Corliss isn�t even an independent vampire, she�s Adriel�s toy.� They all moaned in unison. �Well, she is obviously here to destroy the investigation. We can�t let her be part of this any more.� Samara stomped one foot. �There is nothing that we can do. The Macreas want her on this case. Besides she wants to find her brother�s killer even more then we do.� Trent knew he shouldn�t have said it after the words were already spoken. Fourteen years as a cop, and he couldn�t seem to keep his mouth shut lately. �Brother? Rylan is her brother?� Isaac shrieked, �No, fucking way, man. You don�t put someone on their sibling�s murder case, no, no, no�� �Shut up, Isaac.� Trent snapped, �Look, there is nothing that can be done. She�s on the case and they are keeping her on the case. We just have to be cautious, who knows why she was the one they sent. I will keep working with her, and keep my eye on her. At least, she won�t be at your side, screwing up your part of the investigation.� They nodded, and each picked up another Danish. ---***--Corliss pulled on her blue jeans, and checked out how they shaped her thighs and buttocks in her full length mirror. When she was satisfied, she pulled on a dark brown shirt that allowed barely an inch of her stomach to show, but displayed her bust. She sighed, dressing down was harder then dressing up. Pulling on her three inch heel brown boots, she walked through her beige colored room to the closet. She had four of them, but the one she was heading towards was for hats only. Opening the door, she began to ruffle through her hats. She found a dark brown cowboy hat that had the sides pulled all the way up, it was made of wool felt. Deciding it would best match her outfit, she dropped it atop of her head. She had curled her hair that morning with loose small curls. Putting on her silver earrings, bracelets, and a cross necklace, she turned to the door when the knock came. Opening the door, she looked at the woman standing before her. She recognized the soft features, and the straight dark brown hair. �Ellice, what�� Corliss stuck her head out to ensure no one else was in the hallway, then pulled her into her bedroom. After, slamming the door, she turned to her fellow kine. �What are you doing here?� �I�m sorry, Corliss, I know, I should have sent a pet to inform you that I wished an audience.� She looked around the room at the clothing on the floor, and then looked at her outfit, �What are you wearing?� Corliss sighed, �It�s a long story, I�ll explain another time. What are you doing here?�

She sniffled then wiped the tears from her cheeks, �I heard that you were looking into Rylan�s murder.� Her small lips pressed together as she swallowed, �I think that I may have some information for you.� �It isn�t wise to talk here, Ellice. Farquay and Adriel would be upset with us.� She looked at the watch on her left wrist. �I need to leave, but I will call you soon, and tell you where you meet us.� �Us?� �I am working with a human investigator, he will need�� �No, no humans, Corliss. This is too important for human ears.� She looked down at the beige carpet beneath her feet, �He can be trusted, Ellice. If he is to help me�� �No, I won�t speak to a human.� Corliss looked up at the woman dressed in a silver evening dress, �Do you want to get justice for Rylan?� �Yes, but I�� �Then you will speak with the human. I promised no more secrets.� Ellice crossed her slender arms, �Since when do you keep promises to humans? I recall you tricking�� �I didn�t trick anyone!� She chuckled, �Seduced, whatever you want to call it. You are still the reason that Adriel has so many pets. You�ve lied, kept secrets, and broken a thousand promises to practically every human you�ve met.� �What�s your point, Ellice?� Corliss hissed. She scowled, �My point being that you�ve never objected to keeping secrets before and I am asking you to do no more then what you have always done. I do not want to meet with this human, either you speak to me alone or I won�t tell you anything.� Lifting her hand, Corliss threw the back of her hand against Ellice�s cheek. She stumbled back holding the stinging skin of her face, her eyes piercing through the red head before her. �Listen carefully, Ellice, I hold your secret. Rylan was the only reason that I never told Farquay of the things you do. I will call you later today, be here. You will meet with me, when I say and where I say.� Her eyes began to tear up, �Or what, Corliss? Would you tell Farquay of my treachery? Could you be so heartless? He would have me put to death!� �I hold no affection for you. Your death would cause me no amount of pain. I call you friend only because it�s convenient. Besides, if you think I have been treacherous to humans, you would be astonished as to what I�ve done to others of the kine.� Corliss folded her arms, �I�m sure Farquay would love to know of your many transgressions.�

She stood up straight and adjusted her dress, �I do not understand why you hold this human in such high regard, Corliss. However, you give me no choice. I will do as you command.� Corliss stepped aside, allowing Ellice to leave the room. After she was gone, she pressed herself against the door and took in a long breath. ---***--�Why didn�t you go with them?� Trent asked as he pulled the milk out of the fridge. Samara brought her brow together, �I looked in there for milk earlier, I didn�t see any.� He grinned, �Magic.� Opening the cardboard container, he sniffed the milk, then made a sour face. Looking at the expiration date, he sighed, and turned to dump it out in the sink. �Looks like I was lucky not to find it.� She leaned against the counter, �When is the last time you went grocery shopping?� He made an audible gulp sound that Samara assumed was a chuckle, �I went shopping like two days ago.� �Besides for beer.� Trent hesitated for a moment, before chuckling. �My step mother comes over here once a month. She takes my debit card and buys me what I need. Isaac normally eats most of it by the end of the week though.� �You and Isaac spend a lot of time together?� �Yeah, well, we don�t have any other friends. Both of us have families, but our jobs get in the way. What about you and your brother?� �Not uncommon for pack siblings to live together until they find mates. And even after finding a mate most male siblings live together for life.� He threw the container away in the trash can under the sink, and turned to her. There was a bowl of cereal on the counter without any milk, the danishes hadn�t filled him up. �You have other siblings then?� �Yeah, well, giving birth to triplets is more likely for a packy then single or double births. But Coyle and I were always different. We were a rare double birth. Our other siblings never liked us, and we found a home within PAWS.� She watched Trent eat his cereal with his hands. �You have any siblings?� �Brother and a sister. Haven�t seen my sister in over fifteen years though.� He said with a mouthful of food. �Brother lives in Boston, works for Paranormal Investigations there. Feel sorry for our parents, both of us are in jobs that pretty much stop us from getting married and having kids.� �Why? Isaac seems to have managed.� �Yeah, well, Isaac has been divorced three times and has two kids from one marriage. He lies to the women and makes them believe he�ll have time for them. I can�t go into a marriage without the woman knowing what she�s getting into. Every

time that I�ve come close, she sees the truth and heads for the door.� Samara nodded, �Yeah, about the same for me and Coyle. It�s different for males of the pack though, normally for about a decade after they turn twenty all they can think about is finding a mate. But Coyle never went through that, he�s thirty two now, still more focused on his career then anything.� �What about the females?� �Females go through that for a decade after they turn thirty. So most of the time, males end up with an older woman.� She shrugged, �I am supposed to be going through that now. So, either it�s subtle or not happening.� Trent shrugged and ate another handful of frosted wheats. �Think though that Coyle is starting that cycle late, he seems more interested lately in females then his job. So, makes me wonder if mine will be ten years late too.� �Better to have it for a decade then the rest of your life.� He jested. �Wonder what�s taking them so long.� Isaac and Coyle had gone to get donuts and a newspaper from the nearby supermarket, everyone was still hungry after eating the small tray of danishes. �Shouldn�t be a WFL game on this early, so I don�t know.� Samara looked at the door, then down at the diamond studded hair comb, �That was really Corliss� lipstick on your face, wasn�t it?� He snorted, �I doubt it.� �Don�t lie, Trent.� His playful expression melted into a cold stare, �I was really drunk.� He replied, and looked at Samara who seemed to be waiting for more, �That�s all I have prepared.� She grinned, �That�s a really hot flame to be playing with, you know?� �Not as hot as if she were a dog. I mean all you have to do is scratch me, and I�m a werewolf. At least with a vampire, she has to bite me and make me eat her blood. It�s a project!� �So, you would rather date a leech then a packy?� �I would rather date a human, and that�s who I will keep on dating� when I find time.� �Then asking you out to coffee and maybe dinner this Friday would be a no?� Trent nearly choked on his frosted wheats, �What?� �Forget that I asked, never mind.� She tried not to blush, �I just thought that since you went on a date with her, then you� never mind.� It was silent for a moment, and Samara felt the blood filling her cheeks. �Just as friends, ya know. Get that trust thing going.� She finally said.

�Um, alright, as long as we go as friends.� He didn�t know why he agreed to go, but Samara had been nice enough not to tell Isaac and Coyle about the lipstick. �Ok.� She smiled, as the light tapping occurred at the door. �Bet that�s Corliss.� Samara stood up from her stool, �I�ll get it.� As soon as she opened the door, she burst out with laughter, �What the hell are you wearing?� She asked seeing Corliss in her cowgirl outfit. Corliss stepped in and looked over at Trent, who tried to hide his embarrassment about the evening before from her. �Well, yeehaw!� Samara put her hand above her head and made a circling motion, �We got ourselves a bonafide cow folk!� With a roll of her eyes, Corliss ignored Samara as she took a seat in the stool that the pup had recently occupied. �No, really, why are you wearing that?� Samara asked, sitting down beside her. Again, Corliss ignored her, and began to talk to Trent, �Got one of Rylan�s kine girlfriends to talk to us. Now, she came to me and I told her that you and I would have to meet with her before she told me anything. She says that she may have some information.� �Alright.� He answered bumping hands with her own in his cereal bowl, �That�s mine.� He watched her bite into one, then her face cringed. �Yuck!� She threw the other half back into the bowl. �My hair comb!� Corliss snatched it up from the counter, and shoved it into her dark brown purse. �I was looking for that all night.� Trent snorted and ate the half piece of frosted wheat. Samara was shocked to see him eat something that the leech had had her mouth on. �With as many of those that you had in your hair, I am surprised that you knew any where missing.� Trent said. �I have a case for them in my safe, and there was an empty spot.� Samara frowned, �How did it fall out of your hair?� �When I was helping Trent up here last night, he had a little too much fun at the party.� Corliss buttoned her purse. After hearing that, Trent wished he would have stuck to his lie when Samara confronted him. At least, Corliss� story and his would have matched. �Maybe it was when he was kissing you.� Samara snapped. Trent inhaled some of the frost wheats and had to turn around to get a drink with his hand out of the sink. Corliss frowned, and glared at Trent when he turned back around, wiping his hands on his slacks. Her scowl turned to a grin, �I�m sure that Trent has exaggerated the tale. I

merely pecked his lips twice as a show of respect.� �My ass, there was lipstick all over his chin.� Samara chuckled, her smile faded when Corliss kissed her briefly. �Oh god!� Coyle exclaimed as he stepped into the apartment. Samara sat in shock for a moment, �What did you fucking kiss me for?� �Go look in the mirror at the amount of lipstick on your face now.� Corliss told her, �When he was sleeping he probably smeared it around.� She wiped the mass amount of lipstick from her face, �Disgusting!� �I don�t know, I think it was pretty hot.� Isaac chirped. Corliss turned her eyes to Trent, and winked with her left eye so that no one could see her do it. �So, you were saying about Rylan�s kine girlfriend.� Trent said, trying to ignore Samara�s revolted sounds. �Yes, she said to call her and she will meet us whenever and wherever we want. We need to go somewhere that no other kine will spot us. She is a toy to Farquay, and he would not be pleased to see her speaking with me.� Trent nodded, �Alright.� He turned his eyes to Isaac, �And you guys will be checking up on Amelia�s hiding places?� Isaac nodded. �Amelia?� Corliss asked. �Amelia is the packy that we think was Rylan�s girlfriend, at least that�s what her gang said.� Coyle told her. �Don�t know if that�s her real name though.� Isaac said, his truthfulness annoyed the werewolves. �Oh, why is that?� Corliss asked, almost taking another frosted wheat from Trent�s bowl, before realizing she had already tried them. �Rylan called her Amica, several times. Or something like that.� Corliss grinned. �What?� Samara snapped, she didn�t like the look of humor in the leech�s eye. �Amica is Italian for girlfriend.� She told them and everyone looked at her blankly, �Oh come on, I am sure you know by now that Rylan was a Fausto� and they came from Italy three generations ago.� �Well, that solves that mystery.� Trent announced when everyone else remained silent. �Yeah too bad, she can�t tell us who killed Rylan.� Coyle said flatly. �Oh, I�m sure she can.� Samara frowned.

Corliss sighed, �Well then we all have things to do.� She grabbed her purse and stood up, as Coyle put the box of donuts on the counter. �We have to eat.� Samara opened the box. �Eat as you work, time to get busy.� Corliss ordered and walked out the door. �Well, isn�t she bossy today.� Samara looked over at Trent, who was walking around the counter to grab his jacket of the couch. �Before you go, Trent. The Upper Circle asked to see us this evening around eight.� Isaac told him. �Why didn�t they call me?� His partner shrugged, �I don�t know, they caught me on my cell phone before we came over here.� Trent sighed, �Alright, I�ll meet you there then.� He watched Isaac give a sharp nod, before chasing Corliss out the door. �I guess we lock up?� Samara asked. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 9 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Corliss was waiting in the car when Trent made his way down to the street. He opened the passenger door and sat down, immediately noticing the vampire�s uncomfortable expression. �I found your suit.� She pointed into her backseat with her thumb. Trent looked and it was hanging up, wrapped in plastic. �Did you get it dry cleaned?� �Gibson did. But, he said he didn�t find any keys. Said that he would look for them and give them to me tonight if he did.� Trent frowned, �How the�� He noticed Isaac and the werewolves leaving his apartment complex, �I�ll be right back.� Corliss observed Trent running over to his partner and holding out his hand. Isaac took a key off his key ring, and gave it to him. They said their goodbyes, and Trent returned to the seat beside her. �Well, I can get into my apartment now. Can�t drive my car though.� He folded his arms after putting on his seat belt. �I�m sorry, I�m sure they fell under the seat or something. Gibson will find them.� �After you finish making spares, right?� Corliss snorted, �Yeah, because I so want to go for a joyride in that hunk of junk

that you call a vehicle.� Trent grinned, �Where are we meeting this woman?� �I told her that we would decide and that I would call her. Pick a place that you are sure no kine would go to.� �Coffee bar on Wilshire Boulevard? Don�t recall ever seeing a vamp in there.� �I don�t know, if she is seen then it will mean a lot of trouble for both me and her.� Trent rolled his eyes, �Just call her.� She pulled her cell phone from her purse and pushed several buttons, �Hey, let me talk to Ellice.� She paused, �I don�t care, do it, but make sure no one sees or hears you.� He watched her tap the steering wheel with her spare hand, she was obviously nervous. �Ellice, meet us at the coffee bar on Wilshire Boulevard. Yes, right now.� Corliss hung up the phone, �Alright, let�s go.� The uneasiness between them fell into a deafening silence, as Corliss drove pass the werewolves and Isaac getting into the Toyota. Trent realized that she had some talk show on the radio, but it was barely audible to him anyway. Corliss could probably hear everything they were saying with her sharp ears. �Think we should talk?� Trent finally asked. �About what?� She didn�t even look at him. Scratching the side of his head, he was trying to decide if he wanted to make up something about their contact or tell the truth. �Listen, I was drunk. Don�t take this the wrong way or anything, but you�re a vamp. That�s just not something that I want to get involved with. I have enough drama with human girlfriends, I have no interest�� He stopped when she cleared her throat. �Yeah, I know. You don�t need to explain anything to me. Let�s forget it ever happened, and go back to our distaste for the other�s presence, instead of this uncomfortable silence.� Trent nodded his head, �Alright, forgotten.� He tried to grin playfully. She didn�t return the grin or even look at him. �Can I ask you something?� �What?� �I know that we said we would forget, but you bit my tongue last night. I�m not going to be craving blood anytime soon. I know you said before that it takes saliva and blood, but�� She chuckled, �I didn�t bite you, you pressed it against my fang. And I doubt you got enough of the bacteria in my saliva to do anything to you.�

�Yeah, but how long am I unsafe for? I mean if I accidentally ingested some vampire blood or something.� Her brows came together, �You planning on drinking any in the near future?� �No, but I want to know my buffer.� She cracked a grin, �I would say to be safe stay away from the blood for a month, but like I said, you could probably drink a whole gallon of my blood and be fine. That�s why we have to bite down hard. The bacteria has to be introduced in large quantities, but the virus in the blood only needs a couple drops.� �Have� have you ever thought if there was a cure for vampirism, would you take it?� �What kind of question is that?� He shrugged, �It�s been scientifically proven that it�s more of a disease then anything else. They are working on a cure for it. So, I am just curious. If you had a chance, would you?� �I was born a kine, Trent. My father was born that way, as were my grandparents. I could never foresee myself as anything other than what I am. You and many others may hate me for being a kine, but I don�t.� He nodded, and suppressed the desire to ask about her mother which she cleverly neglected to mention. �I couldn�t imagine choosing to become the prey either.� �It�s not that I think humans are prey, Trent. It�s that I am part of a proud species. Humans may point and say that I have a disease, that it�s just a sickness. But, whatever it is, I know that it�s part of who I am. I would never give that up.� Trent bit his tongue, and turned his eyes out the window. How was it that humans could easily choose to become werewolves and vampires, but he had never met a dog or vamp that was willing to become a human. Not that there were any known cures, but it was as if they felt they would become a lesser being. �Well, I hope they find a cure for it someday.� He mumbled the words, not really meaning to speak them to her. Corliss� sharp ears caught his whispered sentence, �I don�t.� Turning his head, he raised an questioning eyebrow. �And why not?� �Because the kine monitor carefully who becomes part of our people, we don�t need a cure. I also think that if there was a cure, many humans would be willing to just try it out. After all, they can just be turned back, and then becoming part of the kine could just be a phase.� She began to parallel park. �I doubt anyone would just want to try it out.� She laughed, as she put her car into park, �Do you know how many times that I have been approached by humans looking to be turned? The process of being a pet is a way for us to find out who is serious and who is just playing games. Some humans just don�t understand that it�s a permanent change. Nothing is ever the same after you are turned.�

�How would you know the difference? You have always been a vamp and always will be. You have no idea how we view the world.� �And you have no idea how the kine do. So, stop judging me for wanting to be what I was born as, just like you do.� With that she opened her door, and stepped out. Trent followed her lead into the coffee shop. Stopping behind her, he watched Corliss examine the crowded shop. When she didn�t recognize their contact, she walked over to a booth and sat down. Trent took a seat across from her and folded his hands on the table. �She�ll be here soon.� Corliss said tapping her fingers against the table nervously. �It�s was just a hypothetical question, Corliss.� Trent cleared his throat, �I don�t understand why you became so defensive.� Her frown remained, �Here�s a hypothetic question for you. What if I turned you?� �What?� The question nearly made him jump out of his skin. �Right here, right now.� She grabbed his wrist and yanked it towards her with a strength that surprised him. He tried to pull his arm away, but her vampire strength overpowered his own. �Well, answer me. I turn you without permission from the elders. Now, you are part of the kine and an illegal turn. Human laws can no longer protect you.� She bared her fangs to him, and ran her thumb nail over the flesh of his wrist. �This isn�t funny.� He tried to ensure that his voice didn�t sound strained. She threw his arm back at him, and crossed her own as she leaned back in her seat. �Hypothetical questions can be a bit scary sometimes, can�t they?� He answered with a deep scowl, �I would probably end up being killed, wouldn�t I? There would be little I could do about it.� She grinned, leaning forward, she rested her elbows on the table, �You could beg Adriel to make you a toy. I would even get you an audience.� �Wouldn�t you be killed for turning me?� There was a chuckle before she answered, �Not many kine are put to death for illegal turns, only their ill gotten children.� He swallowed hard, �I would never be a toy. Not for Adriel, and certainly not by your help after you forced me to become one.� Her grin faded, �I see, so death would be preferred over an existence of a kine. I did not know your hate ran so deep, Trent. Especially, not after how hungry you were for my own flesh last night.� �I was drunk, and you said that it was forgotten.� Her grin returned, �You�re blushing, Trent.� Her eyes turned to the double glass entrance of the coffee shop. �Over here!� Her hand shot up.

Trent�s back was to the doors, and he didn�t see their contact until the dark haired woman sat down. �Eleanor?� The name caught in his throat. Ellice stared across the table at him, a look of fright in her eyes. Trent�s surprise turned to anger, he turned his heated glare towards Corliss, �You did this on purpose.� Corliss looked between the two at their expressions, �What have I done on purpose?� �Why?� Ellice asked her, �Why did you let him see me this way?� �What?� Corliss sat dumbfounded. �I told you that my sister was at Macrea Corp and then you bring her to see me? I don�t want to see her, not like this.� Trent tried to keep his voice calm. �I didn�t know that Ellice was your sister. You never told me her name, and I haven�t spoken to Kaleb about it. Stop being so self centered and paranoid, both of you.� Trent looked across the table at his pale sister. She should have been a woman at least thirty by now, but she looked twenty. Eleanor could have been a wife and mother at this point in her life, had their own mother not forced her into the life she had now. Ellice wasn�t certain what she should say to him. They hadn�t seen each other in over fifteen years, but she recognized him almost immediately. He still looked like the young boy she had pictured in her mind. �It�s good to see you again.� Were the words she was finally able to come up with. �No, it�s not.� Trent responded. �When did this happen?� Ellice looked at Corliss, as if asking her if it was alright to speak. The red head gave an encouraging nod, before Ellice turned her attention back to her brother. �When I was eighteen.� She watched him sigh, before rubbing his face. �It was my decision, Trent. My master offered this to me, and I accepted with gratitude.� �Give me a break, you know that you were brainwashed to believe it was what you wanted. Mother forced you to�� �Mother asked me if I wanted to come, and I said I did. She was in love with Kaleb Macrea. Father hardly spoke to her, always busy with his job. He didn�t care anything for either of us until we left. Then he was too proud to give us up to the kine; he hated them.� Trent shook his head, �You have been told lies for your entire life, haven�t you?� �No, Trent, you have!� She snapped. �Enough!� Corliss interrupted, �This is not about that. Not now. You two can discuss this another time. Ellice, you said you had information for us about Rylan.� She nodded and took a moment to compose herself. Her eyes never drifted over to Trent, she stayed focused on Corliss. �Rylan and I were together for a few years.

I knew that he wasn�t faithful to me, and I even spoke to several of his other women. Including human females that he would take to motels, and wine and dine. One evening, Rylan wanted to take me out, because of Farquay, we just couldn�t risk being seen in public together.� She heard Trent moan, and stopped speaking. �Go on, tell us.� Corliss encouraged. �He convinced me one evening, and we went to a rather questionable restaurant. When he went to pay the bill, a blonde woman approached me. She was a pup, of that I am certain. She didn�t tell me her name. When I asked her what she wanted, she told me that Rylan belonged to her, and that if I ever got in the way again, she would rip us both apart.� Her eyes fell to the plastic booth seat beneath her, �I told Rylan when he returned, and he was furious. Told me that he would never let anything happen to me, dropped me off at home, and then drove off to find her. No one saw Rylan again until he was found in the alleyway a couple weeks later.� �You mean this happened the night he disappeared?� Corliss asked. Ellice nodded her head, �Please, don�t tell Farquay. If he finds out�� �I told you that I wouldn�t.� She patted her hands, �Is there anything else?� She nodded, and pulled a piece of paper from her purse, �This is a list of humans and kine that I know Rylan was seeing. I� I don�t know any pup names. I didn�t know that he was interested in them until that night.� She began to cry after throwing the piece of paper on the table, �Had I known it would have gotten him kill, I would have never told him about it, Corliss. You have to believe me.� She rubbed Ellice�s upper arm, �I know. You should get home, Ellice. Farquay will become suspicious if you are gone for too long.� Ellice nodded, and stood from the booth. Before leaving, she reached into her purse and pulled out a card. Gently she laid it in front of Trent, �If� if you ever want to talk things over with me. I�ll be happy to tell you my side of the story, even if you think that it�s all a kine trick.� Trent nodded his head, and pulled the card towards him. �You look nice, Trent. I�m glad to see that you followed in our father�s footsteps.� With that she walked out of his sight for what Trent hoped would be forever. �Had I known that she was your sister, I would have never�� He held up his hand to her, �I know. The dog that Isaac and the others are after is blonde, maybe it was Amelia.� Corliss agreed as his cell phone began to ring. He answered it and said yes several times, �Ok, we will be right there.� He hung up the phone, �Looks like they need you.� �Me?� She pointed to herself. �Yeah, I�ll let them explain.� ---***---

Pulling into the large vacant lot, Coyle waved them over towards Isaac�s car. Neither Isaac nor Samara could be seen, but they reappeared as Trent stepped out of the car. Corliss didn�t like the smug look on Samara�s face as she came to stand beside the Toyota. She looked towards the abandoned warehouse. Most of the windows were broken, but the front double doors looked as sturdy as ever. �Guess what this is?� Samara grinned at Corliss, who had put on her sunglasses. �Your home?� She responded, which caused Samara�s grin to fade. �No.� She answered, unable to think of a retort. �On the outside, it looks like an old, abandon warehouse, but downstairs is a whole other story. The warehouse stretches out underneath this parking lot. They have made small bedroom areas for anyone who applies, and host parties for those that are thinking of joining.� �Who are they?� Trent asked. �They are PAKA. Pack and Kine Amore. A group for helping leech and pack couples stay safe from those who would persecute them. They only accept couples that are in the process of becoming�� She grinned at Corliss, �newlyweds.� �I see.� Corliss folded her arms and looked towards the warehouse. �That means that Amelia and Rylan were either getting married or were married.� Samara told her, hoping it would cause an up-rise. Corliss looked back to her, �Rylan was always promising to marry women. The kine we met with today thought she and he would eventually wed, once their masters set them free.� �Would that ever happen?� Trent asked, realizing he sounded a little too hopeful for some reason. Corliss nodded, �All toys have the opportunity to gain their freedom. It rarely happens, but it�s something to dangle over their heads.� �Rare is better than never.� Isaac chirped in, he had been leaning up against the Toyota, hidden away by Coyle�s large form. �So, what was so important that you had to drag us away from our investigation?� Corliss answered, ignoring Isaac. Samara�s grin widened, �They only let leech and pack couples in; they let Coyle in there to look around because he said he was thinking of joining, but they weren�t interested in answering his questions. We need to talk to some people in there, they might know what happened between Amelia and Rylan.� Corliss was already shaking her head. Isaac came to stand between the two werewolves, �Come on, Corliss. This could be the lead we�ve been waiting for.� �I am not going to display myself as a lover to any pup.� She reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone, walking towards her car, she began to make a call. �Who the hell is she calling?� Samara asked.

Trent shrugged, watching as Corliss tapped her foot on the ground. She was out of hearing range. �But they want me to pretend that I am dating a werewolf, Adriel.� Corliss looked over her shoulder briefly to make sure no one had gotten closer. �If am a recognized then� yes, I understand that, but, Adriel, please�� She tried not to cry, �This is ridiculous, why don�t you send another kine to do this.� Bunching up her fist, she listened to his response, �I know I am the investigator, but this has nothing to do with Trent. They want me to portray myself in front of an� yes, it�s the organization that we�ve been looking for. Werewolves and kine only.� Trent raised an eyebrow, he was curious as to what Corliss was up to. He had thought they were gaining trust with each other, but now it seemed that she was still hiding something from him. �Well, we shouldn�t make a move until after Rylan�s murder is solved. I�ll hand over the address when I return home. But, Adriel, listen to me. I can�t do this, I am a prominent� hello? Adriel? Hello?� She threw her cell phone onto the ground and began to stomp on it. Everyone standing behind her was surprised to see this type of behavior from a kine. They normally kept calm in all situations, though stories of their shown rage was legendary. Corliss turned around to look upon the shocked faces of the group, she crossed her arms and tried to hide her embarrassment from her temper tantrum. Samara was about to make a comment about her daddy forcing her to play nice, but thought better of it. �Fine, let�s go.� Corliss frowned. Coyle offered out his arm to her as she approached. �With you?� She nearly squeaked. Samara chuckled, �Would you rather be a lesbian cross breed couple?� She didn�t want to go in there, and figured this would be a good opportunity to get some time with Trent. Corliss� frown deepened. �Go on, Corliss, I�ll make it up to you.� Trent said, shocking the dogs and his partner. She gave a deep, angry sigh and began to walk ahead of Coyle to the warehouse. The werewolf had to catch up with her, unable to give his normal last words of carefulness and running if there is any trouble to his sister. When Coyle caught up to her, he took her hand, and looked into her displeased face. �You need to smile, and look like you have finally found a place that accepts our love.� He told her. She said nothing, just glared up at him. �Look, I don�t like this anymore then you do, trust me. Of all the kine in this city, you would be the last I would choose to date.� Again there was no response, only an angry glare.

�They aren�t going to believe that face.� He tapped on the door, afraid of what was to come. A small male kine opened the door, and looked between them. �Mistress Elysia said that you would be returning.� His high pitched voice said, stepping aside he let them into the darkness, then slammed the door behind them. ---***--�Well, they are in.� Isaac announced, turning to his partner. Samara was sitting on the hood of his car, between them. �Think this was a bad idea.� Trent mumbled, but clearly enough for the others to hear him. Samara raised an eyebrow, �Why? Coyle has done under cover work before, and well those leeches are great liars. Hell, she could probably convince us that her and Coyle are lovers. Why are you babying her all of a sudden?� �I�m not babying her.� Trent argued. �Yeah, and what was that thing about making it up to her?� Isaac questioned as he leaned against his car beside Samara and folded his arms. His blonde hair had come undone from the hairspray and had fallen into his eyes. �She�s trying to be honest and share information with me, and I saw this as a reason for her to use to not share with us.� Trent responded defensively. Isaac pressed his lips together, �I don�t like this one bit, Trent. First the date, and now you are acting funny.� �Shut up, Isaac. You know that it�s nothing like that. Just shut up.� Trent snapped, and leaned against the car. He sighed after a moment, �We should have bugged them. That way if they got into trouble we could help.� �Yeah, because I know when I am fighting an army of werewolves and leeches, I want two humans at my side.� Samara said sarcastically. He glared at her out of the corner of his eye, �You can shut up too, dog.� Samara chuckled, not taking him seriously. She turned her attention to Isaac, who was staring at the warehouse. Taking notice of his stray hairs, she brushed them back into place. Trent noticed this, but said nothing. Isaac acted as if it was a common occurrence for her to groom him. �I hope they will be alright. This wait is going to be unbearable.� Isaac spoke while staring at the warehouse. �Coyle knows what he is doing, as long as Corliss plays along then there is nothing to worry about.� Samara told him, and Isaac looked over at her, she smiled. Looking around, Trent saw a donut shop across the street from them. �Anyone want coffee and donuts, my treat.� Samara and Isaac nodded.

�I�ll be right back, then.� Trent said turning towards the shop and walking away from them. He didn�t want to stand around waiting for their answers, that wasn�t the type of investigator that he had programmed himself to be. �What do you think?� Samara asked, watching Trent walk away. �About?� Isaac followed her line of sight. �Trent and Corliss.� Isaac shrugged, �I don�t know. He hates vamps. I don�t see him ever involving himself romantically with one. Never seen him flirt with any woman no matter what the species, so I can�t really judge.� She nodded, remembering Trent telling her about the kiss between him and the leech. Folding her arms, she turned her eyes back to the warehouse, hoping that this would bring the answers that they seek. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 10 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Corliss and Coyle were led through the moldy, dusty warehouse by a large werewolf. Coyle had forced her to walk beside him holding the crook of his arm. She wanted to yank her hand from him and shutter in disgust, but knew that their investigations and their lives might be on the line in those moments. The warehouse looked like it had long ago been abandoned, and to anyone who didn�t know any better it was. The large werewolf walked them into a small back room, and pulled away a part of the wall that revealed a stairway. �Mistress Elysia awaits you in her quarters at the end of the stairway.� The dark haired werewolf told them, �Do not wander and go directly to her room.� With that they were shoved into the stairway and the wall was shut behind them. Corliss looked up at Coyle, who only shrugged and continued his way down the stairs. He knew that the leech was not use to such treatment, and their guide�s behavior had insulted her. He had learned, however, that when it came to kine, if you didn�t allow them to make a big deal out of something, they normally wouldn�t. Following behind him down the stairs, the warehouse turned from an old damaged building to a place that even Corliss would gladly call home. The walls were covered in bright red wallpaper with dark wood and gold trimming. All doors were painted gold, and anyone who could be seen in the distant dining room was dressed as if they were attending a ball. Coyle found the door that had Mistress Elysia etched in gold in its center. He knocked gently, and within moments a dark haired vampire appeared before them. Her skin was a milky white, her dress black, but her lip stick matched the bright red walls. �I am so pleased that you returned to us, Coyle.� She smiled at him, then turned her gaze to Corliss. �And what a beautiful lady friend you have. I can see from her outfit choice that she has chosen to dress more like one of the pack than a kine.�

Corliss bit her tongue, when Coyle took her hand. �Yes, well, she looks beautiful no matter what she wears.� He said bringing her hand to his lips for a brief kiss. Elysia grinned widely, �That is such a lovely thing to say.� Her attention went back to Corliss, �And what of your name, my dear?� Coyle was about to tell her, when Corliss interrupted him, �Corey.� She said, not wanting the woman to know her real name. �Corey and Coyle.� She chuckled, �That�s simply adorable.� She took Coyle by his other arm, and began to lead them down the hallway. When they reached the dining room, she stopped to look at the group of vampires and werewolves that were dining at the table. �We here at PAKA, do not judge relationships between kine and pack members. It is a safe haven for those that would otherwise be mistreated for their love.� She smiled at Corliss, �And to help those of us who are embarrassed to display our affection.� Corliss frowned when Elysia turned away, and they continued forward into a small indoor garden. The halls were small and at a certain pointed Coyle felt like he couldn�t breathe. The garden was filled with white flowers with white painted metal benches. Elysia took a seat in one, and pointed across the white rock path for them to have a seat together. �I am going to ask you a few questions, they may seem personal, but I assure you that they are necessary.� Elysia said when they both sat down. Coyle nodded, but Corliss felt uncomfortable with the idea. She felt him put his arm around her shoulder, as if he were trying to comfort her. Yet, the more he touched her, the more she wanted to jump from the bench and tell him to unhand her. Her tension was felt easily, and Elysia carried a look of uncertainty in her eyes. She could tell that this kine was not use to being touched by Coyle, and certainly not a member of the pack. Like clockwork, a male kine appeared and handed Elysia a clipboard and a pen. Elysia rested it on her knees, and filled out the top part of the form. �How long have you two been together?� Elysia asked. Corliss decided that it would be best to allow Coyle to answer the question, this way they wouldn�t contradict each other. �Around two years now.� Coyle responded. Elysia looked up with a smile, �That�s a healthy amount of time. So many kine and pack members come to us after only several months together. Most of the time, the kine is only looking for a momentary fling, and when the pack members proves they desire more, they flee.� �Doesn�t the pack want a momentary fling, as you called it, as well?� Corliss asked. Slowly she shook her head, �Not really, no. Most pack members mate for life, unlike us kine who have multiple partners in our lifetime. But if you live as short of lives as they do, I suppose it doesn�t matter. Myself, I am on my twelfth husband, the last five being pack members.� �Oh.� Corliss looked over towards Coyle, who still had his eyes on Elysia, and his

arm around her. �Have you two been intimate with each other?� Elysia asked, after she finished writing on the form. Corliss nearly choked on her own tongue. �I�m sorry to offend you.� Elysia said with another smile, �We just want to ensure that only stable relationships become part of our group.� �Yes, we have.� Coyle answered. �Good.� Elysia wrote it down, �Many times the kine refuses to allow such a beautiful thing to happen between them and their pack spouse. Still embarrassed about what they have done to their clan.� She looked up at Corliss with a smile, �But, of course, as both us ladies know, the wild, animalistic side of a werewolf during intimacy can be a wonderfully exciting thing. Much better then those boring old kine males, that think they know everything about our bodies and don�t.� �And refuse to learn.� Corliss grinned in response, but her uneasiness was plastered across her face. Elysia chuckled, �Indeed.� After several more questions that Corliss would have rather not answered, they came to one that would help with their own investigation. �Who referred you to us?� Elysia asked. �Amelia and Rylan.� Corliss responded, it was an answer that angered Coyle. His worry soon faded, when Elysia gave a large, friendly smile. �Coyle didn�t mention that to me before. It has been so long since I�ve seen them, my goodness. I was afraid that they decided to call it quits. They were having such a rough time.� Corliss grinned, �You mean with the kine bothering him?� She didn�t know what the woman was talking about, but knew she had to pretend that she knew some of the details. �Oh, dear, the kine were bothering them too?� Elysia sighed. �Were pack members harassing them?� Coyle asked. Elysia nodded, �I don�t like to tell tales, but Amelia�s pack was not pleased that she joined that other pack, what was it?� �Razor Claw?� Corliss answered, knowing that Elysia was looking to ensure that Corliss did know some of the story. �Yes, them. Seems that they told her to stop dating Rylan or else they would both pay. So, she ended up with the Razor Claws, who didn�t mind Rylan as long as he was buying the next round.� �Hmm, Rylan never told me that.� Corliss responded. Elysia nodded, �Well, when you are in relationships like we are, sometimes keeping secrets is the only way to survive.� She cleared her throat, �Do you know if they

will be back? They were supposed to get married this weekend, but they never showed.� Corliss shook her head, �Rylan is dead, Mistress Elysia. I�m sorry, I thought you knew.� She looked shocked and covered her mouth for a moment, �Do you know who did it?� �No, they are still investigating.� Coyle told her, he was finally understanding where Corliss was going with their conversation. �I�ll bet you anything it was Amelia�s old pack.� �What did they call themselves?� Coyle asked before Corliss could. �Bloody Paw or something along those lines, I know that it had something to do with blood. I remember joking about kine needing blood, or some such nonsense. Not funny now that I don�t remember the joke.� Elysia cleared her throat again, as she tried to hold back her tears. �Anyway, let�s get back to the form.� She wiped her cheek with the back of her hand, before looking back up. �Is Amelia ok? I would have thought she would come to me after hearing of Rylan�s death, especially if she thought it was her pack.� Corliss shrugged, �We haven�t heard from her either. They are suppose to be looking for her as well.� Elysia nodded, then looked back down at her clipboard. There was a small sniffle as the kine tried to hide her tears behind her clipboard. �Do you have a range for when you would like to get married?� The question seemed to stick in her throat. �Mistress Elysia, why don�t Coyle and I come back tomorrow? Give you time to gather yourself after such terrible news. Obviously, you are very traumatized.� Elysia nodded at Corliss, �Thank you, my dear. Come back for lunch tomorrow, we can speak then.� She grabbed Corliss� arm when they past by her, �If you tell the investigators anything that I told you, please don�t say where you heard it from. We need to keep PAKA a secret, if anyone learns where we are located, it would be devastating. The kine especially are unforgiving to our plights.� Corliss nodded her head, �I won�t tell them who told me.� She grinned, �We will tell the pack investigators the information, they won�t share it with the kine.� Elysia smiled, �Thank you, dear.� She said, before releasing her arm. ---***--Corliss immediately took notice approached them. Adriel�s words and she knew that she needed to pushed her arm off his arm when but remained silent. that Samara was holding onto Trent�s arm as she of gaining Trent�s trust echoed within her mind, act fast. Her worries disappeared when Trent Corliss was in sight. Samara looked slightly hurt,

�How did it go?� Trent asked her as soon as she was within range. Coyle answered, �Well, the further in we investigate the less likely it looks to be a human killer. You two might be taken off the case after this one.� �Oh?� Trent raised an eyebrow.

�Yes, it seems that Amelia�s old pack had a grudge against kine. She was removed from their circle because she wouldn�t give up Rylan.� Corliss told them, �Bloody Paw was what Elysia said their name was.� �Never heard of them.� Samara leaned against Isaac�s car. �She said it had the word blood in it.� Coyle corrected, �I am going to assume Blood Fang, they are the only ones that I know of.� Samara gave a nod, �Not a good pack to get involved with. They are incredibly anti-kine, and will attack any leeches who are foolish enough to walk in their territory alone.� �Get involved with?� Corliss asked, �Aren�t you born into a pack?� �Well, if you want to get technical, we are all part of the same pack.� Coyle explained, �Some of us just have different ideals, and have separated into gangs, calling them packs is a loose term. We are born into certain gangs, but some packies change their gang once they get older to match their ideals. Takes a lot of convincing to get into another gang though, except for females who can find mates within the gang.� �I see.� Corliss looked over at Trent, who had his eyes on Coyle. �If they are anti-kine, then I doubt I would be welcomed to a meeting among them. Will Isaac be alright?� She had no idea why she asked that, she didn�t want him to tag along with her and Trent. �They have close bonds with humans, just not kine.� Samara told her. �Elysia, also, said that Rylan and Amelia were supposed to get married last weekend.� Corliss announced. �You thinking motive?� Trent asked. �Perhaps. Neither the Blood Fangs or the Kine wanted them to wed.� Corliss cupped her hands together in front of her. �However, none of the kine knew that Rylan was dating a pup. Yet, a whole gang of pups did.� Samara growled, �Don�t you even start to pin this on us until there is proof!� Corliss ignored her, �Elysia didn�t know that Rylan had been killed.� Corliss rubbed her upper arm as she spoke, �And I think she got the impression that we were investigators, and not a loving couple.� �Seemed like it, but I doubt we would have gotten through the door if we flashed our badges.� Coyle patted her back, �Good work though.� �Don�t touch me anymore.� The words left Corliss� lips with a hiss. Shooting his hand into the air, he grinned, �Excuse me, but with all the moves you were making on me in there, can�t blame a guy for getting the wrong idea.� �Moves? What the hell are you talking about?� Corliss turned to face him, �I barely touched you.� �Oh, that�s your story now!� Coyle said with a large grin, and Corliss realized that she was being teased when everyone else started to laugh.

Taking a step back, she crossed her arms, before looking over at Trent, �I think we should get going.� With that she spun around and headed for her car. Trent looked at his partner, �Good luck.� Isaac gave a short nod, �Be careful, don�t get yourself into anything that you can�t get out of.� ---***--Trent brought his brows together, not sure what his partner meant. He chose not to say anything else to him before leaving the pups and him to their business. Trent and Isaac found themselves standing outside the large sky scraper, both men were dressed in their uniforms as it was a requirement when meeting with the Upper Circle. Their uniforms were a dark blue, their collars carrying their rank insignias, and the front of their shirts holding any medals that they had received in their years of service. The Upper Circle began long ago when the species began to live among each other. They were the first to begin investigations into kine and pack murders, and creating laws between the species. Though many people respected them for their work, many others hated them for giving into demands of the pack and kine. One particular law that was passed that Trent, himself, hated was the law that allowed the kine to keep human pets. This law was passed to stop kine from hunting humans, as even with blood donations there still wasn�t enough blood for all the kine. Many believed it was a necessary evil, allowing humans who wanted to be feed for the kine to practically give themselves to slavery. No law that was past between the pack and kine was without enemies. Everyone wanted to live peacefully, but no one could agree on how, which was why the Upper Circle had been created to begin with. However, the Upper Circle controlled more then just laws, they were the center of the Paranormal Investigations Squad. The Circle consisted of forty men and women who ruled on every investigation and situation between the species. Many more worked within the Circle, but the forty directors were the Circle�s heart. Trent�s father was one of the directors in the Circle, as a former Paranormal Investigator, he was given the position soon after retirement. It was not something that he had wanted to become, instead the Circle sought him out, and gave him an offer he just couldn�t pass up. Upon entering the building, a dark haired woman sat behind a large oval desk. She recognized Trent, and smiled as they approached. �Hello, Mister Monte. Your father told me that you would be here to see him today.� She gave each of them guest passes that were used to unlock the elevators. �Please, go straight to his office, he is waiting for you.� �His office? I thought we were meeting with the Circle.� Trent threw the small guest pass rope around his neck. �No, your father thought it was best to speak with you two alone. That�s all I know.� She said with a smile. �Alright, thanks, Kelly.� The inside of the building looked bare, nothing but metal and glass could be seen. There were no plants, no comfortable seats, it was more uninviting then a

hospital. With good reason, they didn�t want any kine visitors. Most kine wouldn�t feel comfortable in such a place. Franklin Monte was engraved into the metal door that they came to stop in front of. Pressing the small red button beside the door, it asked him to state his name. Trent offered his name to the machine and within seconds, the buzzing sound came from the door, then the sound of it unlocking itself. Stepping inside, Trent�s father�s office was more welcoming then the rest of the building. His wooden desk sat at the end of the room near the windows, book shelves lined the walls, and there was a dark blue couch and two matching chairs positioned around the room. Franklin looked like an older version of his son in a suit. His hair was gray, and he kept it long. Trent always remembered his father having long hair that he wore tied back. Trent�s brother always told him that when they looked into their father�s face, it was like looking into a mirror of the future. �Ah, good.� Franklin stood up from his chair, and pointed to the two smaller chairs in front of his desk. �Have a seat, boys.� Isaac sat down immediately, but Trent seemed a little nervous. His father had never asked to see them without the other Circle members. He tapped his fingers gently on the back of the chair, before sitting down. �I recently received information that a kine was killed last week, a Macrea toy, and that you boys were assigned to the case.� Franklin began to tell them as he opened a folder on his desk. �Seems this vampire was named Rylan Cullen, correct?� Trent nodded, �Yes, a toy to Marcellus Macrea.� Franklin nodded his head, before coughing into his hand. �What have you learned so far?� �Why?� Trent asked. �We have taken a special interest in this case. And as a personal favor to me, I would like you to tell me what you have discovered.� �Why is the Circle interested in this case?� Trent asked. Franklin sighed as he shut the folder. His son had always been the kind to answer a question with a question, and unless he felt comfortable, he wouldn�t tell him anything about the case. Franklin looked at Isaac for a moment, before looking back to his son. �This is off the record, Trent, got it?� Trent nodded. Franklin looked at Isaac, �Got it?� �Of course.� Isaac responded. �Rylan Cullen was an inside agent for us. We used him to gather information on the Macreas. He even helped us by bugging the entire Macrea building. We had suspicions for several years that the clan is planning to destroy a number of other clans. We needed to know for sure, before we made any claims.� Trent rubbed the bridge of his nose, he couldn�t believe this. �But he was a double agent, wasn�t he?�

�Not that we know of. However, Rylan decided six weeks ago that he no longer wanted to work with us. He had been getting death threats; we believe them to be humans because they were asking for money. If he didn�t pay they would tell the Macreas. Some even went as far as to threaten his life, probably knowing that the Macreas wouldn�t listen to them.� �How did anyone know that he was one of our agents?� Isaac asked, and scooted closer to the edge of his seat. Franklin folded human agent has the an isolated handed over the his hands atop of the folder, �We are beginning to believe that a been leaking information. To whom� we aren�t certain. This isn�t case where one of our kine or pack agents have been killed.� He folder to Trent, �Here are the death threats that he received.�

Trent took the folder from him, �We had almost ruled out the possibility of it being a human.� He dropped the folder on his lap. �Afraid not, though they could have told a Macrea. If the Macreas found out that he was spying on them, then I don�t doubt they would have him killed. However, the Macreas take traitors very seriously. I read your reports, and I don�t see them killing a spy in that manner. Torture would be their solution to the problem.� �Rylan was missing for a couple weeks before he was found dead, but there was no evidence that he was tortured.� Trent told him. �Of course, that was coming from a kine examiner. They could have said anything, and Corliss was sure adamant about her lab receiving him.� Isaac spoke to Trent, but he was trying to inform Franklin. �Corliss?� Franklin swallowed, �Corliss Macrea?� Both men nodded. �She is the one that they put on this case?� �Yes, is there a problem with that?� Trent asked seeming to be defensive. Franklin ran his hand over his face, �Shit.� He mumbled, �Shit, shit, shit!� He began to kick the underside of his desk. �What is it?� Trent leaned forward. �Rylan told us that we were never to involve Corliss in his matters, that she could never be trusted. However, Rylan often received information that only someone close to Adriel could know.� Franklin sighed loudly. �So? Rylan was Marcellus� toy, he could have easily told him.� Isaac said. Franklin shook his head, �No, even if they work together, that doesn�t mean that they are sharing secrets. Marcellus could easily take over the Macrea clan, Adriel would never inform him of his plans until after they came to fruition.� �You are thinking that Corliss was informing Rylan? That she was an agent for the Circle as well?� Trent asked, realizing that he might sound a little too hopeful. �We don�t know. Rylan informed us that he did have an unnamed spy close to the elders; we called the agent the Shadow. After Rylan went missing, the Shadow continued to send information to his email here. Once Rylan was announced to be

dead, the Shadow cut off all contact. We�ve tried to send him emails, asking him to continue to help us. Some fear that the Shadow was found out, and others think that he became scared when he heard of Rylan�s death.� Franklin leaned back in his seat. �All that we do know is that Rylan asked us never to approach Corliss. Some think that was because she was untrustworthy, and others believe it�s because she was his inside man. If someone saw her with one of our agents, then she could have been disposed of.� �Her brother was protecting her by saying she wasn�t trustworthy then?� Isaac asked. Franklin nodded his head, �It�s all speculation, but Corliss looks more and more like the Shadow with each passing day.� Trent covered his mouth with his hand, while he thought on what his father was saying. If this were true, then Corliss was putting her life at risk to give Rylan information about what the Macreas were planning. However, this also meant that she might know much more about Rylan�s murder then originally thought. Perhaps it was she that informed the Macreas that Rylan was an agent for the circle. �Keep the folder, but I wouldn�t let the pack or kine investigators see it. Understand?� Franklin watched them both nod. Isaac stood up and shook his hand. �I need to speak with Trent alone.� Franklin told Isaac, who nodded and stepped out of the room. �There is something else, son.� Trent looked up at him, �What?� �The bugs haven�t been removed from the building, so if they were informed of Rylan�s treachery, they weren�t told of them. We heard a conversation between Corliss and Adriel. It seems he knows that you are a regular visitor here, and he has ordered Corliss to try and recruit you onto their side.� �Recruit me? Like turn me?� Franklin shook his head, �No, they very much want you to stay human. I believe they want to make you an agent for them. In time, you would eventually become a member of the Circle, and to have you reporting back to them� it would be disastrous.� �How is she supposed to get me to do this? I would never betray the Circle.� He nodded, �I know, son. And as far as how she was suppose to do this, Adriel has in a sense ordered her to seduce you. I would watch myself, if I were you, boy.� Trent gave a nod before standing up. �I�ll see you at your birthday party in a couple weeks.� Franklin nodded, �Ah, don�t remind me.� Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 11 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt

Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Samara leaned against the Geo as Coyle cussed his way out of the cramped car. They had decided to speak with the Blood Fangs while Isaac was away, as they probably would be more willing to express their feelings towards the leech without him. It was no secret among the pack that the Blood Fang owned a bar in town. Well, less then owned, they had taken it over and the human owner could do nothing to stop them. He allowed them to claim it as their base, and was content to allow pack customers and the occasional fearless and stupid human. The neon blue signed flashed the word �Oasis� with �Bloody� painted in red above it. Obviously a last minute change in the name when the Blood Fangs took over. Samara unzipped her leather jacket so that her shirt could be seen. It displayed her cleavage, as well as allowing her lower abdomen to shine through in her hip hugger jeans. Male pack members were no different than human males, and easily distracted by a half naked woman. It helped a great deal that Samara was without a mate as well, as there were five male pack members to every one female. The bar was a hole in the wall, the first floor was nothing more than a bar lined with stools and three booths. Having been inside once before, Samara knew that the bathrooms and some tables were set up on the second floor. The walls had peeling wallpaper showing the brick behind them, and the floors were a grayed wood that had once had a dark brown shine. Coyle looked down at his sister�s choice of clothing, and rolled his eyes before heading into the bar. She was close behind him as the shabby door was pushed open, and all eyes fell onto them. Samara gave her best smile before walking over to the bartender. �Look, every time you come in here, something gets broken.� The bartender said as he filled up a beer glass, �We don�t know nothing, and we try to keep it that way.� Samara chuckled at the large blonde bartender, �Oh, come now, Solon. We just need to ask a couple questions about Amelia. Ever heard of her?� �Yeah, I remember the leech lover. Could have had any man she wanted in here, but she picked a fuckin� leech.� He snarled as he put the beer on the bar in front of a dirty looking packie. There was a loud belch from one of the men in the booths, Samara looked over her shoulder then back at the bartender. �Couldn�t imagine why she wouldn�t want one of these� handsome gentlemen.� Solon snorted, �Ain�t got no time for this shit.� Coyle stepped in seeing that his sister was getting them nowhere. They couldn�t go upstairs without Solon�s go ahead. �Sounds to me that you had your own eye on Amelia.� He nodded, �Asked her out for a drink or two, I recall.� He leaned against the bar with his elbows. �What�s all this about, she get herself into some trouble?� �The leech got himself killed, and Amelia is missing. We just want to clear the Blood Fangs from any wrong doing.� Solon stood up straight, �I see. So, you want to go upstairs and talk to Xavier, do you?� He said with a smug grin.

�How much?� Samara sighed. �Hundred.� Coyle frowned and reached for his wallet in his back pocket. Looking inside, he counted how many bills he had. �I got sixty.� He said, then looked at his sister. �I didn�t bring any money.� Samara told him. �Sixty is fine.� Solon held out his hand, and Coyle gave it to him with some hesitation. Walking around the bar, Solon unlocked the door with the keys on his belt. Opening the door, there was a narrow hallway that had ten stairs, then turned the opposite way for another five stairs. When Coyle and Samara were on their way up, Solon shut the door. The upstairs looked just as old and dingy as the downstairs. The six small tables that set four people each, where filled with biker looking men. Some females stood around, most leaning against the walls. Everyone wore black and leather, all with images of a fang dripping blood. Many of them had tattoos of a bloody fang on their faces, which didn�t help them to blend into society. However, that was their entire point, the Blood Fangs were against pack members joining human society. Xavier was the largest of the men, his hair and skin dark. He had one brown eye, and one light blue eye. Those in the Blood Fang believed his blue eye could look into someone�s soul. What he found there varied from myth to myth. He was not pleased to see them walk up the stairs. Though Xavier was the leader of the Blood Fangs, he was without a mate, and had attempted many times to persuade Samara. Knowing that it would hurt her career, she had always declined as gently as she could. However, with Xavier any rejection was taken personally. He hadn�t tried to have her killed, simply because she was with PAWS, and he didn�t want them breathing down his neck. Leaning back in his seat, he folded his hands on the table as Samara and Coyle came to stand in front of him and his full table. They were playing poker, and Xavier seemed to be winning. Though if his gang members were smart, they would always let him win. �Well if it isn�t the canine squad.� Xavier looked behind them, �Missing your handlers, I see.� The Blood Fangs believed that PAWS was run by the humans, mostly because they worked so closely together. Samara folded her arms, �We don�t have time for games, Xavier. We need to ask you and your gang some questions.� �About?� �Pertaining to Amelia. She was once part of your gang, but you threw her out for dating a leech.� Coyle told him. Everyone in the room laughed, but Xavier answered for them. �We threw her out, because her little lover boy started a fight with one of our own. Amelia didn�t allow it to remain one on one, and joined in the fight. She even changed form.� Pack members had certain rules when it came to disagreements. They always allowed

two people to work things out on their own, but if third person stepped in then all rules were void. �How could one leech and one packie, stand up to the entire gang?� Samara asked. �We weren�t around when it happened. They killed him without cause.� Coyle looked at his sister for a moment, �Sounds like motive to kill the leech to me.� Xavier snorted, �I won�t lie, we would have gladly ripped that leech�s heart out� and Amelia�s too. But we got a better offer.� �A better offer?� He nodded, �A human dressed in military uniform said that Amelia worked for him, that we needed to leave her and the leech alone. Put ten thousand dollars on the table, and walked out. Think that more then paid for our dead comrade, don�t you?� �Military uniform?� Coyle asked. �Yeah, don�t know what branch. Might not have been military, could have been a cop, don�t know� don�t care either. Whatever he was, he gave us enough cash to forget the entire incident. So, if Amelia�s claiming that we touched her little play thing, then she�s full of shit.� Xavier growled, �Little bitch was always a liar. We haven�t bothered her in months.� �Maybe someone in your gang wasn�t pleased with the arrangement. Someone who was close to the victim perhaps?� Coyle asked. The entire room laughed again, before Xavier spoke, �Ten thousand bucks makes you forget real quick.� He picked up his cigar from the ashtray. �Now, I think we�ve wasted enough time on the two of you.� Samara looked over at her brother, who began to walk towards the stairs. �Samara, interested in a drink?� Xavier asked. She had just turned her back on him, but turned her head to see him over her shoulder, �No, thanks, I am working.� She started down the stairs, but could hear Xavier clearly yell to her. �You know where to find me, when you are finished playing hard to get, baby!� The room laughed again. Outside in the Geo, Samara started the car and looked at her brother, who was deep in thought. �What do you think?� �If Amelia was working with the humans police force or military, then maybe Trent and Isaac will have a better edge on that lead.� Coyle answered. Samara nodded, �Yeah, we will ask them about it tomorrow� away from the leech.� �Agreed.� ---***--Samara pounded against the door with Coyle standing closely behind her. She had

seen Trent�s car outside, and hoped that meant that he was home. Otherwise, he was out with Corliss and each time she slammed her fist against the wood, she became more and more afraid of that. Finally, she heard someone mumble something from the other side of the door. It slowly opened to reveal Isaac�s heavy-eyed face, he ran his fingers through his disarrayed hair as he yawned. �Good God, Samara. Why don�t you just kick it down?� �Sorry, but Coyle and I have some information and we wanted to get to Trent before Corliss did.� Samara stepped in, shoving him to the side. When Coyle entered he gave an apologetic nod to Isaac, as well as a shrug at his sister�s behavior. �Where is Trent?� Samara asked, sitting down at the bar stool. �In the bedroom, asleep. We met with the Upper Circle last night, and then came back here. He was still drinking by the time that I past out.� Isaac told her as he began to make coffee for them. �You two were drinking? On a work night?� Coyle asked. Isaac laughed as he opened the coffee can, �Trent was drinking, and he drinks every night� and throughout the day too.� He began to scoop the coffee out with a tablespoon, �He sneaks it whenever he goes to the bathroom.� Coyle looked at his sister, who seemed to be pretending that she wasn�t paying attention to their conversation. �Doesn�t your captain have anything to say about that?� Isaac shrugged, �It doesn�t interfere with his job, I don�t even think the captain knows.� Samara cleared her throat, she had seen the alcohol bottles around the apartment before and had suspected Trent�s habit. �What the hell is going on out here?� Trent asked, as he stumbled out of the bedroom. He wore nothing but a pair of old checkered pajama bottoms. �We talked to the Blood Fangs, they had some interesting things to say about Amelia.� Samara told him. Trent sat down beside her in front of the booth, �Yeah? Like what?� Samara grinned, �For example, someone paid them off to not bother her and the leech.� �Who?� Isaac asked as he leaned against the counter. �Some guy in a military uniform, said she worked for him.� Coyle informed him. �Guy as in human?� Trent questioned as he stared at the coffee pot that was bubbling throughout their conversation. Samara nodded, �Doesn�t know if it was a cop or what, though.� Running his fingers through his hair, Trent stood up from the stool. �I�ll be right back, I need to shower and get dressed before Corliss comes.�

Everyone excused him with a nod. �How was your meeting with the Upper Circle?� Coyle asked as he leaned against the wall next to the door. Isaac shrugged, �Same old bullshit, as always.� �Nothing to do with our case?� Samara asked this question. �What is this? An interrogation?� Isaac opened the cupboard and pulled out four coffee mugs, he turned his attention to the still brewing coffee. �Why did you sleep here last night?� Coyle looked at the pillows and blanket that were disheveled on the couch. Isaac cleared his throat and ignored Coyle�s previous question, �Upper Circle business is none of pack or kine concern, you both know that. Anything that was told to me and Trent is confidential, and will remain that way.� �Oh, someone is in a bad mood.� Samara teased, even though she was offended. Standing up from the stool, she adjusted her gray dress suit, and felt the French bun that her hair was in. Coyle had mocked her for dressing as he put it �like a kine�, but she had the urge to dress well that day. As the cups of coffee were poured, Trent reemerged from his bedroom and took a seat on the stool again. Jeans and a grayish blue t-shirt were all that he wore, while Isaac still stood in his suit from the day before. �Should we tell them?� Trent asked. Isaac sighed aloud, �This is something that should be discussed in private. They were very specific about us not telling any outsiders.� �It might help our case�� Trent saw Isaac roll his eyes, which told him that he could go ahead. �Our contact at the Circle, informed us that Rylan was working on the inside for them. They were trying to gather information on any Macrea plans against other clans.� �Did he find anything?� Coyle stood up straight, no longer leaning against the wall. Trent shook his head, �They didn�t say, but what they did tell us is what is important. Rylan was getting threats from what they believe to be human blackmailers, because they were asking for money. Some threatened death and others threatened to tell the Macreas.� He ignored the fact that it could have been a packie asking for money. �That is further proof that a leech did it to him.� Samara grinned, a little too proud of the fact. Again, Trent shook his head, �They don�t think it was. If the Macreas discovered that he was betraying them, they would have tortured him slowly. Shooting him is not typical of the kine.� Isaac continued, �It gets deeper though, seems that Rylan had someone else on the inside working for him. Someone who was close to Adriel� they called this person, the Shadow. No one knows who this person is, or if they are even still alive.�

�They didn�t know who was working for them?� Samara sipped her coffee after asking the question. �Well, Rylan told them to stay away from Corliss, that she wasn�t to be trusted. Now, they are wondering�� Isaac looked over to Trent to ensure it was alright to inform them. �They think that Corliss might be the Shadow. She is the one that is closest to Adriel, and would have the most information on him.� Samara coughed up some of her coffee, �You can�t be serious? That kine is more loyal to her people then�� Coyle put his hand down on the counter, �That would explain why Adriel sent her out on this case, though. Maybe he has his suspicions about her, and doesn�t want her near him until he can prove it one way or the other.� �They don�t think that the Macreas know, because they installed bugs at the Macrea building, and they had yet to be removed.� Trent said. All eyes went immediately to the door, when the light tapping occurred, everyone knew that it was Corliss. �Keep this quiet. If she isn�t the Shadow, then we will hurt the Upper Circle�s investigations.� Trent ordered in a whisper, as Coyle answered the door. Corliss stepped into the apartment with a smile that was short lived when she saw Samara�s smirk. She was completely unaware of the conversation they had been having, and of their new suspicions of her. ---***--�So, where to?� Trent asked as he buckled his safety belt. Corliss shrugged, �We have a list of girlfriends, two of which are willing to speak with us. I would say we visit them first.� �I doubt they would have any leads for us. It�s obvious that Amelia is our road to answers. We need to find out where she is� she might even be another victim.� He looked over at Corliss� freshly manicured nails that she was tapping against the steering wheel. She had gotten a French manicure this time, her tips painted white. It matched the casual look she seemed to be going for lately. Today it was jeans, black high heel boots, and a low cut black t-shirt, but she still wore that red lipstick. �They could very well be a path to that road. Like this one,� She pointed to the list, �Jenelle Horst, I know which blood bar that she likes to patronize.� �Horst? That�s the German clan isn�t it?� Corliss nodded in response. �What is a Macrea or Fausto doing with one of them? Don�t you guys find them to be dirty?� �After hearing that my brother was dating a pup, nothing can surprise me now.� She turned on the engine, �Besides, the Macreas think anyone outside their clan is dirty. The Faustos actually have a closer relationship to both humans and other kine clans.�

�Fine, let�s go.� Trent sighed as Corliss pulled out of the parking space. He wanted desperately to call her on the information that his father had given him. Tell her that he knew that she had been ordered to seduce him, but more importantly find out if she was the Shadow. Things would be so much easier to understand if they knew that she was trying to bring her overlords down. It would take their ability to trust each other to entirely different level. As it stood now, they were working against each other, but trying to get to the same end. �How was your evening?� Corliss asked, interrupting his train of thought. Trent shrugged, �Like any other, yours?� �Interesting�� She grinned slightly, and for a moment he thought she was about to tell him something more, but she seemed to think better of it. �Interesting how?� Trent was entirely sure if he wanted to know, and hoped it would revolve around the case. She gently shook her head, �Just interesting.� �Going to peek my curiosity and then just make me suffer with it, are you?� Trent folded his arms and grinned. Corliss chuckled, �It�s nothing that you would want to hear about, trust me. For a moment, I almost forgot that you� never mind.� �That I what?� �That you aren�t a kine.� She mumbled, then cleared her throat. �Oh� I see.� He turned his eyes to the passing buildings outside his window. After a moment of silence, he looked back to her. �So, what did you do?� She gently shook her head, �Whatever you think us naughty little kine do in the privacy of our sacred blood chambers� that�s probably what I did.� �Sacrificing babies and bathing yourself in their blood?� She nearly gagged, �What? No!� She swallowed again, �No!� Trent began to laugh, and it took a moment for Corliss to realize that he had only been teasing. �I was part of a blood ritual last night, a very important rite for the younger kine of the clan.� For a moment she silenced herself, and Trent said nothing as he knew she was gathering her words. �First time that I was allowed to even witness the ritual, let alone be part of it, since I left the Faustos anyway. Back then, I was permanent fixture at those things.� �Oh, that�s nice� I think.� Corliss smiled, �No one died,� She said to reassure him, �and no one got upset that I was there. That means they might finally accept me as part of the clan.� �That�s good then.� His words were empty, and she heard it.

�Yeah, I think it has to do with how I am handling this case. If I can get the clan to accept me, then I won�t need Adriel to keep me as a toy anymore.� �Why do you need him to do it now?� �For protection. No one will touch me, knowing that I belong to such a powerful kine.� Her eyes went to her rear view mirror for a moment, and then back onto the busy road ahead of her. �Being a toy to a powerful kine, didn�t seem to save Rylan.� Trent tried to keep the safety belt away from his neck, as it was rubbing against his skin. Corliss nodded slowly, �Which is exactly why I don�t think a kine would have killed him. It had to be a human or pup kill.� Trent said nothing, he wasn�t about to argue with her on this issue. He had been a cop for a long time, and knew that the only thing that could lead them to the truth was the evidence left behind. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 12 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Trent stepped out of the car, and looked across the street at the Plasma Bistro as the kine saloon was called. It seemed to be a busy place, as even early in the morning there was a long line that wrapped around the large building. There were a few humans standing alongside their masters, and he knew that meant he would have to play as a pet to Corliss once again. �This isn�t like that other place, is it?� Trent asked, as she came around to stand beside him. �No, this is a high class type of place. Like an informal restaurant� well, sort of.� He felt Corliss� thin fingers wrap around the crook of his arm, as she began to walk forward. Looking down at her skin touching his own, he cleared this throat before turning his eyes back to the long line. �It�ll take hours to get in here� I doubt flashing my badge will get us in.� �We don�t need a badge nor do we have to wait in line.� She said with a smile. He turned his attention to her smiling face, �Oh, I forgot, you�re a Macrea.� As they approached the front of the line, the bouncer had begun to wave a group of four towards the door. When he noticed Corliss, he held out his hand with his palm facing the small group. They stepped back into line, and watched as Corliss and Trent entered into the bar. �Good Morning, Miss Macrea.� The bouncer�s deep voice greeted her, as he opened the door. �Come here often?� Trent asked as they walked through the narrow hallway. She shook her head, �No, but I do own the place.�

He sighed, �This is informal?� Trent asked, as he looked around the room. It was a nicer place then their last trip to a kine bar. Instead of human innards hanging from the walls, there was fine art. Everyone was seated at a table, and a live jazz band played on the small stage. A large bar sat thirty people at a time, and across the room was four swinging doors to the kitchen. There were at least four stories to the place, and each floor was almost identical to the last. �How are you certain that Horst is even here?� �Oh, she�s here. This is all she has to do. Being the sixth daughter, she has very little responsibilities. Practically, her father just wants her to dress well and entertain guests at his parties.� Corliss said as she surveyed the room. �She�s probably on the roof, that�s where the dancing and more casual socializing occurs.� �Casual socializing?� Trent asked, as she led him towards the elevator. �Well, of course. Even in the human world, there are places where you speak to strangers and places where you do not. A totally different social structure in a bar, then say a restaurant.� She said as the small elevator door dinged open. Stepping inside, embarrassing her he felt Corliss� arm, causing him Trent thought he could pull his arm away from her without in front of others. As soon as he was about to jerk his arm away, finger tips gently rubbing his flesh. It sent a tingle up his to forget his plans of abandonment.

On the roof, they were immediately hit with a loud thunder of noise. The band played a much quicker tune, and those who were trying to carry a conversation had to talk over them. Trent wondered why he hadn�t heard the band playing when they were outside of the building, until he noticed the soundproof glass walls and ceiling around them. �You spared no expensive, did you?� Trent asked her. Corliss grinned, �Kine will only visit the classiest of places, and besides we would have been ticketed for noise had we not done this.� Her eyes wandered to the bar, �Would you like some wine?� �Uh, no, I�m on the job and it�s early.� She chuckled, �Oh, you would much rather sneak in your whiskey in the bathroom, then?� Trent frowned as he glared down at her, �Fine, I�ll take some.� �Red or white?� �I really don�t care.� �Ok.� Corliss began to walk away, but Trent grabbed her arm. �Make it white, I want to make sure that I am not drinking blood.� He ignored that the two would have distinctly difference properties, but he didn�t want to chance it. She rolled her eyes, �Fine, stay here and try not to insult anyone.�

Trent watched several of the vampires dancing on the shiny wood dance floor, which was in the center of the roof. Most of the humans were packed into a corner, blank stares on their faces, and arms crossed. He felt sorry for them, as they were trying so hard to be what they weren�t. Tricked by the kine into believing that being one them was far superior to being humans. Of course, it was starting to seem that way to Trent as well. Corliss didn�t want for anything, and when she did want, it was never for long. Trent had his fair share of money, as a matter of a fact, he spent very little of his earnings. �Well, hello.� A woman with jet-black hair and bright red lips approached him. �And who�s pet are you?� She asked running her hands across his chest. �I�m not a pet.� Trent said, he refused to play any games or give Corliss the satisfaction. She grinned, �She said you would say that.� �Who?� The woman pointed at Corliss at the bar, then turned back to him. �I�m Jenelle. Corliss said you wanted to speak with me.� Trent felt uneasy in the woman�s presence, her eyes looked at him the way a hungry tigress looked at its prey. �Here you are.� Corliss handed him a glass of wine, and then offered one to Jenelle. �What is it?� Trent asked, looking into the yellowish liquid in his glass. Corliss grinned, �It�s a lovely French chardonnay.� He looked at the red wine in both of their glasses, before taking a sip of his own. When Corliss drank from her own glass, he realized that the two kine were not drinking wine at all. Instead, their glasses were filled with a thick blood, it was the first time that he had ever witnessed Corliss act as a kine. It hit him then that she really was not human in the least, and his father�s words that she was trying to seduce him began to echo again in his ears. �Jenelle�� Corliss began, �have you heard of Rylan�s death?� She nodded her dark locks, �Yes, I felt terrible that I couldn�t join you on the day of mourning. However, my father refused me permission.� �We received a list of woman that Rylan had once been seeing, and�� Jenelle looked around nervously, before whispering. �Let�s go to your office, Corliss. I can�t afford anyone over hearing this.� She agreed, and again took Trent by the crook of his arm. They reentered the elevator, and made their way to the fourth floor, where Corliss� office was beside the kitchen. It was large office, complete with filing cabinets, couch, fireplace, desk, and bookshelves. Corliss took a seat on the couch and Jenelle sat down beside her. They both looked at Trent, who had decided to remain standing. Being alone in the room with two kine drinking blood was making him very nervous. �It�s true, I had a relationship with Rylan.� Jenelle began. �We stopped seeing

each other about six weeks before he went missing.� Corliss nodded, �Anything unusual happen that might help us?� She cleared her throat, before taking a large gulp from her drink. �I smelt pup on him, all the time. And not just like he was around it, there was a heavy scent. I knew he was cheating, but it didn�t really matter to me, we weren�t serious. A Horst could never be with a member of the Macrea clan. It was just fun to sneak around and pretend, you know?� She looked to Corliss for reassurance, and it was giving to her with a nod of her head. �Who ended it?� Trent asked. �I did, I mean, I could take other kine having him, but to know a pup was touching him�.that disgusted me. Besides his unwillingness to hide it just ruined the illusion that I was going for.� �Can you think of anything else, Jenelle, anything at all that could help us?� Corliss asked as she grabbed Jenelle�s hand. She slowly shook her head, �I�m sorry, love, but Rylan and I weren�t verbally intimate. We would have our fun then go our separate ways, that�s just how we enjoyed it.� �Thank you, Jenelle. If you think of anything, call me and we will set up a meeting.� Corliss squeezed her hand as she stood up. Jenelle kissed Corliss quickly on the lips, �You know that I will. Please, don�t tell anyone that you talked to me about this. My father is already very close to disowning me, and hearing this would send him over the edge.� �Your secret is safe with me.� She said before the dark haired kine left the room. �Well, that didn�t really tell us much more then we already knew.� �Told us that Rylan was with a pup, probably Amelia, at least two months ago. Kind of a long term relationship for him, wouldn�t you say?� Corliss shook her head, �No, he was with Ellice for a long time� something like four years.� She drank down the rest of her drink, which made Trent shiver slightly. Standing up, she noticed Trent staring at her wine glass that still had a thin layer of blood covering the inside. She smiled, �Making you uncomfortable?� �A little.� �It�s not human, if that makes you feel better. It�s peacock, that they let harden a little before serving.� She took a step closer to him, and towards the door. Trent didn�t move out of her way, though his legs told him to, something forced him to stay. Though he knew what Corliss was now up to, he had been thinking it over throughout the prior evening. He wondered how far she was willing to go with it, but more importantly he was curious to what it was like. He had already kissed her and though he acted like he hated it, in truth he had wanted to do so again. Now that he knew that she was purposely trying to use him, perhaps the tables could be turned. He could always stop it when he wanted to, after all, he would be in control now.

�Are you ready to leave?� She asked, not stepping away from their closeness. He didn�t know what he was going to do now, he hadn�t thought that far. Maybe the moment of proximity was all he needed, so he downed the rest of his wine. Corliss took the wine glass from him as he brought it down away from his lips. �So, where next?� She asked as she set the glass on the desk next to her own. �Maybe, we should try to speak with those Faustos that Rylan was speaking to at Club Black.� She frowned, before nodding, �You�re right. If we don�t tell anyone we talked to them, then maybe they�ll meet with me. They think I am a traitor to the Faustos though, because at the beginning of my life as a Macrea, I refused to share insider information with them.� Her eyes looked up into his own, �But, if I tell them that I have proof that they have been speaking with Rylan, then they might meet with us.� Brushing some hair from her eyes, Trent tried not to touch her skin against his own. Yet, he found the back of his hand gently rubbing its way down her cheek. Corliss grabbed his hand as it came to a stop at her jaw line. �I should try to line up a meeting with them, you can go home and rest. We will meet later in the evening.� Corliss told him as she let his hand go. Before she could catch it again, Trent cupped her face in his hands. Corliss remembered Adriel�s words and tried to keep her stance in front of him. Trent�s lips barely brushed her own, before he felt the tension in her jaw. �Don�t touch me anymore.� He mumbled as he spun around and walked out the office door. Corliss� heart beat rapidly from both an unexplained excitement and a sudden disappointment. She removed all emotion from her before, before she followed him down, and offered to give him a ride home, but he chose to take a cab, and leave her to arranging their meeting. ---***--Sitting down at her desk, Corliss tapped her pen against its hard surface as she stared at the phone. She had never witnessed Trent act in such a manner, and it had left her confused. Biting the end of her pen, she picked up the phone and dialed the number to her secretary at the Macrea Office Building. �Lyra, it�s Corliss. I need you to find me the number to Julian Fausto� his private number. No one can know that you are looking for it, understand?� Corliss pulled the pen away from her lips, �No one, Lyra, not a soul.� Hanging up the phone, she looked around the office as she waited for her secretary to call back. Suddenly there was a knock at the door, and Corliss stood up to answer it. She hoped that it was Trent, and yet she prayed that it wasn�t. Opening the door, the tall man with long black hair stood before her, his face quite similar to Adriel�s, but this was not her master. �Kaleb, what are you doing here?� She asked, stepping aside to allow him to enter. Kaleb was Adriel�s second eldest son, and was the rightful heir to the Macrea Clan and all of its holdings. He looked exactly like his father, where his now deceased elder brother had taken the face of his mother, as the kine liked to say.

�I saw you downstairs with the human detective.� Kaleb said as he grabbed her upper arm and pulling her away from the door. His seemed anxious, and not at all like his normal confident self. �Is this about Rylan�s death? Did my father put you on that case?� �Yes.� She said with a nod as they came to stand in front of the desk, �I thought everyone knew that I had been assigned�� �What do you know, Corliss?� �I� what do you mean?� Grabbing her other upper arm with his spare hand, he jerked her slightly. �What the hell do you know?� �That Rylan was dating a pup, and that�s about it. We have no other leads� just trying to find her. What�s wrong, Kaleb?� He grinned as he grabbed her face between his large hands, �You aren�t lying to me, are you?� �No, there is no reason to. Ask Adriel, I�ve told him everything.� She took his wrists in her hands, �Are you going to tell me what this is about?� Dropping his hands to her shoulders, he stared at her jaw line. �Rylan and I were working on a business proposition, one that my father would not agree with. If you find out anything about it, then it�s your duty not to tell him.� �It�s my duty to tell him anything that I discover. He is my master.� His hands began to rub up and down her arms, �Not for much longer.� �What do you mean?� She tried to step back, but his long fingers wrapped around her upper arms once again. �He offered you to me several years ago, and I am certain that he�s still willing to complete the deal.� Corliss snorted, �Hardly, he has plans for me now.� �Like what?� �He wants me to seduce the detective, so that I can get access to the Upper Circle.� �Oh, he can still use you for that. However, as my wife you are forbidden from speaking of my financial business, and that�s all that matters to me.� �Your wife?� She nearly choked on the words, �That would get you killed, just like it did your brother. Is this secret really worth your life?� Her body was shaken back and forth several times, as Kaleb yelled at her. �You don�t understand! I will do whatever it takes to keep this hidden from his eyes!� Suddenly, he calmed down, and wrapped his arms around her shoulders, bringing her close to him. His hand began to pet her hair, �I�m terribly sorry, Corliss. But you honestly don�t understand what you are speaking of.�

Taking a step back, Kaleb walked towards the door. �This is ridiculous, Kaleb. You are acting like a spoiled child, not even your brother wanted to marry me, and that was to stop a war.� �That�s probably why he killed himself.� Kaleb said as he grabbed the doorknob. �He didn�t kill himself, and you know it!� Corliss snapped, and within moments Kaleb was standing in front of her, grabbing the front of her shirt. �You�re right, I killed him. He would rather be dead than married to a Fausto scum, that�s what he told me, Corliss. He knew that Adriel would force him to impregnate you, and just the thought of touching you made him sick. So, he asked me to kill him, and make it look like it was because he was married to you. We had hoped that Adriel would send you back.� He ran his finger down her cheek as her terrified eyes stared into his. �Little did we know that Adriel already had a soft spot for you. I can see why now, and so can the rest of the clan.� �I�m going to tell Adriel what you�ve done, before you can speak to him.� She tried to yank away, but Kaleb kept a tight hold of her shirt. He smiled, �Adriel knows, he has always known.� She swallowed deeply. �That�s right, no one is stupid enough to kill Adriel�s son, but another one of his sons. You�ve always known that, Corliss, you were just too proud to admit it. You sickened my brother, just like you sicken me. Yet, I have a hundred years of your total loyalty to my clan to push me pass it. All my brother had was your selfish, spoiled Fausto princess attitude, but that�s all been washed away since you been a toy for so long, hasn�t it?� �Let go of me.� Corliss voice shook with anger. Quickly he jerked his hand away, and Corliss almost fell backwards. �Maybe there is a little of that princess left?� He grinned, �Good, I don�t want you to just lay there and take it, when you are forced to bare my children.� �Get out!� She screamed and pointed towards the door. Kaleb grabbed her hand, and kissed her knuckles, �Now, now, Corliss, let us be friends. We have many years ahead of us that we must spend together in harmony.� �Get out!� She yanked her hand away, �Get out!� He bowed his head, �As you wish.� ---***--Trent couldn�t believe that they had to drive so far out of the city to meet in the middle of nowhere. Worst yet, Corliss made him drive his own car and promised to meet him there. Of course, since he had already been drinking by that time because he thought that Corliss was running their lead without him, he had to call Isaac to drive him. The world was beginning to fall dark outside the car, and there were no signs of life anywhere near them. Trent looked at the directions again to make sure that they had followed them correctly.

�Where is she?� Isaac asked as he turned down the radio. �How the hell would I know? What time is it?� He asked, but he could clearly see the clock radio read six thirteen, she was forty three minutes late. Isaac sighed, �Trent, I have to leave soon. My son�s baseball game has already started, I barely see them enough as it is.� He nodded, �Alright, I�ll wait here, you go.� �I don�t want to leave you out here in the middle of nowhere, what if they never show?� He cleared his throat, �I�ll call you on your cell phone, and see if you need me to come pick you up.� �I left my cell phone at home.� Trent responded a little embarrassed. Isaac gave a loud, audible sigh, �Well, then I guess, I�ll have to drive back up here and see.� Trent nodded his head, before slowly stepping out of the car. Isaac pressed the button on the driver side door to lower the passenger side window, �I�ll be back around eight or eight thirty, Trent. If I don�t see you, I�ll assume that Corliss gave you a ride. That alright? Or do you want me to search?� Trent leaned into the window, �I�ll be waiting right here.� He offered the folded up directions to Isaac, �I won�t move unless I see them.� Taking the piece of paper from him, Isaac gave a nod, �Be careful.� Watching his partner drive away, Trent realized immediately that he made a big mistake. It was too late to take it back now, however, so he found a tree to lean against and waited. To his surprise, a pair of headlights appeared from down the dirt road as soon as Isaac�s were out of sight. He wondered if his partner had had a change of heart, but once the car was close enough he knew that they didn�t belong to Isaac. Corliss stepped out of her car, and looked around with her arms folded. �Trent?� She said looking at the man in the distance. He stepped forward, walking slowly towards her. �Where the hell have you been?� He snapped, but his voice lowered when he noticed that Corliss� mascara was smeared, she had been crying. �What do you mean?� She looked at her watch, �I�m fifteen minutes early.� �You said five thirty.� He tried to ignore that streaks of black on her cheeks. She shook her head, �No, six thirty. How much did you drink? I told you to relax, but I didn�t mean for you to drink yourself into a stupor.� �I didn�t.� �Where is your car?� She asked looking around. �Isaac drove me, you probably passed him on your way in.� Trent folded his arms.

Corliss nodded, �I assume you want me to drive you home.� �If you can, yes.� With a sigh, she looked down the road, �Very well.� �You have a tissue or handkerchief?� Trent asked. �Yes, why?� Holding out his hand, he spoke, �May I see it?� Corliss opened her car door, and pulled a white handkerchief from her purse, then placed it in his hand. She was a little startled when he stepped forward and took her chin into his spare hand. Gently he wiped the black streaks from her eyes and cheek, and when he was done he showed her the black stain on her handkerchief. She cleared her throat as she took it from him, �Thank you.� Her words were very close to sounding hostile as she opened the car door and through the piece of cloth inside. �You did say you haven�t seen them in a long time. I doubt you want to look like you�ve been crying.� �I wasn�t crying.� She snapped as she slammed the car door shut. �Oh really, then why did your make-up run?� He propped himself up against her car. �I was weeping, there is a difference, and it�s none of your business as to why.� She stepped away from the car and him, before folding her arms in anger. �I wasn�t going to ask why.� �Good, because I wouldn�t tell you.� She began to tap her foot after a moment, about the same time another set of headlights began to appear. �Always early, it�s the Fausto way.� She chimed, seeming to forget that moments earlier she had been near tears again. Two thin, tall men stepped out of the car. One with chestnut brown hair and the other with hair that matched Corliss� own. They put their hands into their jacket pockets, before making their way to stand in front of their sister. �Corliss, you better not be wasting our time.� The red head said as he pulled his hand from his pocket to check his watch. �When have I ever wasted your time, Julian?� �Right now, get to the point.� Silvio snapped. �What were you two meeting with Rylan about?� Corliss asked, shoving her own hands into her long black jacket. Julian glared at Silvio, �I told you it was a bad idea, but no�� �Shut up, Julian, she doesn�t know anything. What can father do? Spank us for talking to him?� Silvio turned his eyes to his sister, �We talked, nothing more. He was still our brother, and especially after killing that Macrea toy.�

�I stopped a war by becoming a Macrea, and the two of you pretend that I never existed inside the Fausto clan.� Corliss frowned, �What made Rylan different?� �We didn�t trust you because you wouldn�t help the clan. You went too far, and tried to integrate yourself into the Macreas.� Julian snapped. �But Rylan, he gave you information, did he?� Corliss asked with a smug grin. �You always say too much, Julian.� Silvio barked, before turning his attentions back to her. He grinned, �Now, Corliss, you don�t need to go repeating that.� No one seemed to pay any attention to Trent, who was standing only a few feet away. He decided that this was a perfect opportunity to remain silent and hidden, perhaps learn more then Corliss wanted. �Tell you what, Silvio, you tell me what I want to know, and no one will know where I got it from.� Corliss watched the two of them whisper in each other�s ears for a moment. Silvio gave a nod, �Alright, yeah, Rylan was feeding us some insider information. Let us know what the Macrea Elders had plans for, business wise that is. That way we could compete with them. It�s how the Faustos have been getting an edge on the market against them.� Corliss frowned, �Sounds like there was more to it then that. The only elder who would trust him enough would be Marcellus.� She was quiet for a moment, �Marcellus was offering him the information, wasn�t he? He knew that Rylan was giving it to you.� �Yeah, that�s right. He figured that if Adriel could be proven to be an unfit leader, that they would hand the clan over to him.� Julian answered. �Anything else?� She looked between them. �Going to take a wild guess, and assume you know about Amelia.� Silvio didn�t even wait for her to respond. �She contacted us after Rylan was killed, he introduced us a couple times. Think she saw him get killed, but she never did say for certain.� He looked over at Julian, letting him know it was his turn to continue. Julian sucked on his lower lip for a moment, �We didn�t like her much, seemed that Rylan let her know way more then he should have. He was playing with a pup, but you never let them in that close. We think he was working with her on something, maybe working for PAWS or the Upper Circle. She was just too inquisitive if you know what I mean.� �Know where I can find her?� Corliss asked, she couldn�t believe that Rylan would work for anything but a kine related establishment. Silvio nodded, �Not sure, but there are some abandoned apartments not far from the inn that he stayed at... Blue Bird Inn or something like that.� �Why would you think she would hide there?� He shrugged, �Cause we met her there a couple times, when Rylan sent her with our monthly in sight. Would talk to Ellice too.� �Why Ellice?� Corliss pulled her hands from her pockets, and when she did, her brothers followed in suit. It was customary to keep your hands in your pockets so

to not look threatening, when one took their hands out, it was a show of aggression. �Ellice met with us a few times as well, her and Amelia were practically best friends. If anyone knows where she is, then Ellice does.� Silvio waited a moment for another question, but none came. �Now, we got to get going. You keep your mouth shut.� �For as long as it suits me.� Corliss growled. Julian watched Silvio walk away then turned towards her, �You look good, Corliss. It�s nice to know that the Macreas are taking good care of you.� �If you hear anything else from Ellice or Amelia, let me know, Julian.� He gave a nod, before Silvio yelled for him. Running towards their car, they both got in and within moments were gone from sight. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 13 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Trent didn�t know what to do, as he watched Corliss drive him home without a word between them. She didn�t even want to discuss what they had learned from her two brothers. Occasionally, she would rub her finger under her eyes to wipe away any tears that had fallen. He wanted to know what could have caused this strong woman so much pain. In his wildest imagination, he couldn�t fathom what could make the kine cry. She seemed like a brick wall to him, willing to take whatever the weather threw at it. Pulling onto the side of the road, Trent realized that they were at his apartment. With a mumbled goodbye, he opened the door, and tried to step out. He couldn�t do it, his feet wouldn�t leave the car. Shutting the door, he turned back to her. �What happened?� He asked, sounding more annoyed then concerned. �Nothing that concerns you, now please leave. I will see you tomorrow.� She said trying to hold back even more tears. Trent reached over to the steering wheel and pulled the keys from the ignition. �Well, I am going upstairs to have a drink, and if you want your keys back then I suggest you join me.� With that he stepped out of the car, and began his walk to the apartment building. He was more than a little surprised to see Corliss step out of her car without so much as a curse thrown his way. Trent didn�t know why he cared, but he knew that he couldn�t just let the woman go on crying all night alone. Woman? Why did he keep calling her that in his mind, she was no woman, she was a vampire, a kine. She fed on human beings to sustain her own life, she was a monster. As they made their way up to his apartment, he gave Corliss ample opportunities to steal the keys from his hand. She didn�t even notice that he barely hung onto them, or that he tossed them in the air for her to catch. He knew

with her quick kine reflexes she could easily snatch them away from him. Yet, she didn�t even try, and that was when Trent understood that she needed someone to talk to. Under his breath, he damned himself to hell for offering his shoulder, but deep inside he felt excited that she was willing to just sit and talk to him for a while. Inside his apartment, Corliss took a seat on the couch, not even bothering to take off her coat. Trent poured them both a shot of vodka, before realizing that she probably wouldn�t like his cheap stuff, so he drank them both down himself. If he was going to listen to her complain, then he needed something to make him care. At least, that�s what he kept repeating to himself in his mind, in truth he really did want to know what was wrong. Pouring some orange juice into a glass, he added some vodka to the mixture, and got himself a beer. Corliss took the drink from him without her usual upturned nose, and disgusted glare. �It�s got a shot of vodka in it, hope that�s alright.� He said, thinking that Corliss might tell him how she drinks only the finest of vodkas, but she didn�t. With a nod, she took a sip then set it on the coffee table. �So, you going to tell me what wrong?� He asked, as he dropped her car keys on the coffee table, if she wanted to leave then he wasn�t going to hold her prisoner. She swallowed, �Found out today that I am being given away or at least I think I am.� �Given away?� Trent asked, taking a drink of his beer. �Yes, Adriel is giving me to another kine.� She didn�t want to tell him that she was going to be married to her new master, it was better that he think she would remain a toy. �And that is what has you so upset?� He leaned back. �No, I� I found out that my husband basically killed himself.� She sniffled. �Basically?� She gave a nod, �That is as much as I can say. He hated the idea of being married to me so much, that he killed himself so that he didn�t have to touch me.� Trent didn�t know what to say. Deciding to remain silent, he hoped that she would continue speaking. �From the day that I arrived, he was so nice to me, and� well, I had no idea that he loathed me that much. He would have rather been dead then to bare any children with me.� She wiped some tears from her cheeks. �How did you find out?� She shrugged, �Someone who helped him told me today, after you left the bistro.� Again, she sniffled, �Just to cause me heart break.� Setting his beer down, Trent called himself an idiot several times in his head, before scooting closer to Corliss. He wrapped one arm around her shoulder, and pulled her head towards his chest. �You can�t believe everything people say, Corliss. Sometimes, people say terrible things just to hurt you.�

�No, it was the truth. I asked Adriel tonight, and he told me.� She rubbed her cheek against his chest gently, wiping away any tears that fell. With a sigh, he set down his beer on the coffee table, then began to stroke her upper arm with his free hand. He wanted to feel sorry for her, but his father�s voice telling him what she was up to kept playing in his mind, and he couldn�t help but wonder if this was another ploy to get close. Corliss sat up and looked down at the red lipstick stain she left on his light blue shirt. �Sorry, I�ll have it dry cleaned.� She said, as she tried to smear it away. Trent look down at his shirt and shrugged, �It�s old, probably need to buy a new one anyway.� With a sharp clearing of her throat, Corliss seemed to pull herself back together. �I apologize, that was very unladylike of me. I shouldn�t be placing my troubles on a stranger, let alone a human.� �It�s alright, Corliss�.it is�interesting to know that you have emotions just like anyone else.� �Interesting how?� She turned to face him, and found him already lost in her eyes. �Not so much interesting, as it is nice to know.� He was acting strangely, she had picked up on his new behavior that morning. Something was amiss, and though she wasn�t entirely certain what it was, she knew that she needed to think quickly. His eyes were not the eyes of a man in lust, but instead the same ones that Kaleb had given her when he knew that he was in control. That was it, Corliss needed to gain back some of her control, but she had no idea what Trent thought he was in control of. Without realizing it, her thoughts had kept her quiet and her eyes focused on Trent�s. He nudged closer to her, and placed his hand on her cheek, bringing her lips towards his own. To Trent�s utter dismay, he felt relieved when his lips began to caress her own. The memory of their previous kiss still burned hot within his mind, and though he wanted to desperately tell himself that it was nothing more then a drunken mistake, he wanted more. Even when he was completely sober, which was becoming less often, he wanted Corliss to touch him. Something about being with her made him feel better about himself, as if she was never judging him. It had hurt him more than angered him when his father told him of Corliss� deception. Her tongue began to run gently over his lips, and though his mind told him to stop this madness, his body refused to listen. His own tongue danced with hers, before finding the sharp fangs in her mouth. For a moment, he remembered himself, only to be lost again when Corliss� hand made it�s way from his chest to his thigh. He knew, Corliss� eyes flashed open and she stood from the couch. Trent knew that she was trying to seduce him, she didn�t know how he did, but he did all the same. His face was full of confusion as Corliss stared down at him with what he thought was horror. �What�s wrong?� Trent asked, lipstick on his face once again.

Corliss had to think quickly, she had to regain control of this. �Trent, I�m sorry, but I can�t do this.� His confused look continued, �What? Why?� �Adriel, he told me to seduce you so I could get information from you. I�m sorry, but I just hold too much respect for you now. Doing something like this with you, would be under false pretenses, and if we did this, I would want it to be for the right reasons.� Corliss adjusted her clothing. �What right reasons?� Trent was trying to lead her, perhaps get her to share more information then she wanted. have make just go.� �Because we are attracted to each other for starters. Or how about because we feelings for one another?� She tried to hold back her tears, as she tried to up these lies, she realized that they weren�t lies at all. Trent said nothing stared up at her, his face showing both disappointment and pity. �I should With that Corliss flipped around and headed for the door.

Practically leaping over his couch, Trent caught her as she opened the door, and slammed it shut. Corliss felt his body push against her back, pinning her to the door. He locked the deadbolt, before brushing her hair from her neck. His kisses were not angry or harsh like the ones before, but instead soft as he made his way up her neck to her cheek. Corliss felt him give her enough room to turn around. �I told you before that I am attracted to you.� Trent mumbled the words into her throat as he continued to kiss her. �But I am a kine, Trent.� She said as she felt his hands slide down her arms to grab her wrists, then brought them up over her head. He stopped and looked into her eyes, �Does it bother you then that I am human and you are not?� �No, it bothers me that I am a kine and you are not.� Corliss� words were soft as Trent�s lips hovered a feather�s width away. He grinned, �I don�t think it does, and that�s what really bothers you.� The words cut like knives, though it was the truth. She really didn�t care that he was human, all she wanted was to see him again. Being out in the real world with him during the investigation had almost made her feel free, and when she had to return to the Macreas, it was like giving that freedom away again. Corliss didn�t answer him, just looked into his eyes. Trent didn�t need her to answer with words, he had already seen the truth for himself. They were both playing games with each other, both thinking that they were the ones in control. Truth was that neither of them had any control over the other, and all they had been doing was lying to themselves about their feelings for the other. Corliss was much better at it then he was, though he liked to believe he had faked it well. �If you don�t want me to kiss you again, then tell me now.� Trent whispered the words, his breath cooled her moist lips. �I don�t know.� Corliss didn�t want to cry again, but was more confused now then she had been moments before.

Trent took her words to mean that she wanted more, and his lips rushed her own. Letting go of her hands, he grabbed her shoulders, afraid that she would try to run away. Instead, Corliss� hands ventured downward to his shirt and pulled it from his slacks. Her thin fingers began to slowly unbutton his shirt, the slow progress she was making was purposely meant to frustrate Trent and it worked well. He let out a deep moan in his throat, before finishing the job of removing his shirt, his lips stayed locked with her own. Trent became excited when he felt Corliss� fingers trying to unbuckle his belt, and then not long after his slacks. They slid down to his feet, revealing his black boxers. Corliss tried not to grin when he pushed his eager flesh against her abdomen. Pulling away from his kiss, Corliss gently nipped at his neck, causing Trent to remember that he was with a kine. Yet, it excited him even more to know the danger that Corliss represented. Her lips left his neck and made there was down his chest to his nipples where she briefly licked them, before continuing her travels downward. Trent leaned his head against the door, as Corliss dropped to her knees in front of him. Her lips tickled his stomach, causing him frustration in the anticipation of what he hoped was about to happen. Corliss grinned each time her lips came close to the thin cloth of his boxers, and Trent would suck in his breath. She could see his hard sex behind the cloth, and it thrilled her to know that she had that effect on him. Corliss� hands made their way around Trent to feel the tenseness of his buttocks, her fingers held the fabric tautly, before slowly sliding them off. He kicked off both his slacks and boxers when they were both at his feet, as soon as they were off, Corliss began to tease him with her lips again. This time she did so with his shaft, before finally making love to him with her mouth. Trent tensed up when he felt Corliss� warm lips over his member, and became even more so when her sharp fangs glazed his skin several times. Still, the pleasure soon drowned out any worries that he had about her kine nature. After what seemed to Trent to be several long gratifying moments, he looked down to realize that Corliss hadn�t even taken off her jacket. �Stop.� He mumbled, placing his hand on her head. The satisfaction he knew was sure to come was mounting within him, but this is not how he wanted it to end. Corliss stopped and looked up to see Trent staring down at her, �Something the matter?� �I want to please you.� She didn�t know what to take from that, but knew it meant she needed to stand up. When she was on her feet, Trent slowly removed her jacket and threw it on the couch. Kneeling down, he unzipped her boots and helped her step out of them. Corliss said nothing only watched curiously as Trent slowly stripped her. Standing back up, Trent began to unbutton her black shirt, when Corliss tried to help, he smacked her hand away. She looked up at him a little wounded by his action, but Trent paid her no attention. He became more aroused when he found the red lace bra that was hidden underneath her dark clothing. When the shirt was open, he ran his hand gently over the flesh that was not covered by the bra. �Kiss them.� Corliss ordered, and Trent complied. Peeling her shirt the rest of the way off, he found his way to her slacks. His hunger grew when he found matching panties underneath. He had never known a woman

to wear such sexually appealing under garments unless they were expecting to become intimate. He might of given the thought more time, had Corliss not taken him into her hands. Looking back into her eyes, he saw her own hunger growing. With a deep kiss, he wrapped his arms around her back, and Corliss brought her legs around his waist. Placing his hands around her bottom, Trent took her to his bedroom. He had to step over the trash to get to the bed, and was pleased when Corliss said nothing about it. Laying her on his black and white checkered bedspread, she continued to kiss him, seductively sucking on the tip of his tongue. Reaching behind her, Corliss removed her own bra, and Trent didn�t give any arguments. Her breasts were full, and her nipples hard. He immediately pulled them into his mouth, and nipped them tenderly. Corliss convulsed slightly, whenever he did so. Finally, he began his way down her stomach, surveying her skin with his mouth. He carefully removed her underwear to find a small red rose tattoo under her navel, similar to the one he had seen before on the small of her back. Sitting up, Trent looked over the nude woman in front of him. She was more perfect laying there then she had ever been in his dreams. Corliss sat up, propping herself up on her hands. �What�s wrong?� She asked, her voice low. �Nothing� you�re perfect.� He sounded almost disappointed. Corliss smiled, and ran her fingers over his cheeks, gently kissing his lips. �Thank you, I think you are too.� Trent shook his head, �You can�t possibly expect me to believe that.� Sitting up on her knees, she kissed his lips tenderly three more times. �You don�t have to, only I do.� Folding his arms around her, he laid down beside her. His hand ran from her breast to the warmth between her legs, his fingers found their way to her moisture. Corliss ran her nails down his arm, and tried to kiss him even harder. She pulled him close, her voice begging him to be within her. Trent shivered as he felt her warmth wrap around him, and her legs engulf his hips. She controlled how quickly he was able to move within her. Arousal began to hit its peek, when he heard the deep moans emanating from Corliss� throat. Her fangs running over the flesh of his shoulder and neck, as she tried not to penetrate his skin. It was common for kine to share blood during lovemaking, but this was not another kine. Her nails scratched down his back, gently at first, but became more vigorous. Feeling her teeth on his neck, Trent remembered hearing stories from pets about how pleasurable it was to be fed from. His sanity slowly fleeting with each of Corliss� moans, he whispered for her to bite him. �No.� She whispered back between breathes. �Please, just do it.� That was all it took for Corliss to bite deeply into his flesh. At first all Trent could feel was the pain of his skin breaking under the pressure of her fangs, but as she continued to suck it came. The pleasure that he had never

experienced before, his entire body shivered as Corliss� onslaught of his neck continued. Until she cried out in her own pleasure, Trent could feel her contract around him. Corliss was shocked to discover that she had orgasmed with a human as it barely happened with another kine. Trent wasn�t too far behind her, and rolled off her as soon as she released him from her stranglehold of his hips. Sitting up, Corliss suddenly became both ashamed and angry, she wanted to leave. She couldn�t face the truth of what she had done right now. Before she could stand up, Trent grabbed her wrist. �Where are you going?� He asked, his head resting on the pillow. �I should go home now.� Corliss told him finding her bra on the bed beside her. Yanking gently on her arm, she scooted closer to him. �Stay here.� �No, I should leave.� Trent reached out his arms to her, and Corliss was immediately attracted to his embrace, despite the ongoing argument in her mind. Resting her head on his chest, Trent pulled the comforter over their bodies, and within moments they were both fast asleep. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Corliss� eyes fluttered open, and she soon realized that she was not in her own room or Adriel�s, for that matter. Sitting up, she felt Trent�s arm slide down her stomach and into her lap. She looked at the sleeping man beside her, his mouth was slightly open, and he breathed heavily but without snoring. His long black hair had come out of it�s tie, and was now feathered out over his pillow. Smiling to herself, she brushed his hair back from his face, and for a moment went without guilt for what she had done that evening. When she was finished watching him sleep, Corliss removed herself from his arms, and found her clothing that was scattered throughout the house. Standing in the living room, she picked up her keys from the coffee table and looked around the small apartment. It was then that the beige folder caught her eye, underneath a newspaper on the counter in the kitchen. She was only going to briefly look over the folder�s outside to see if it had anything to do with the case. Carefully, she lifted up the newspaper with two fingers to find the large circle with several vines in the center. It was the symbol of the Upper Circle. Despite, her desire to leave Trent�s apartment immediately, Corliss picked it up. Laying it open on the break bar, she chose to continue standing in the kitchen so she could see Trent coming. Her eyes quickly read over the death threats from miscellaneous writers to her brother. After several moments, she came to the final report that her brother had delivered to the Upper Circle. Corliss inhaled quickly and deeply as she continued to read about her brother�s deception and about his accomplice, The Shadow, as they called him. The worst part came when she realized that the entire Macrea Building had been bugged. �Damn it, Rylan. What the hell were you thinking?� Corliss said underneath her breath. A large hand fell over the folder and slammed it shut, �What are you doing?�

Looking up into Trent�s eyes, she could see that he was both angry and nervous. Without knowing what to do, she grabbed the folder from under his hand and ran towards the door. Trent caught her before she was able to open the door, and pinned her to it. He was wearing nothing but his boxers, which he had slipped on before searching for Corliss. �Let me go!� Corliss screamed. �That�s classified information, Corliss! You can�t tell them!� He tried to grab for the folder, but she kept it away from him. Anger filled his heart, and Trent grabbed her shoulders, spinning her around to face him. �Are you the Shadow, Corliss?� He ordered the answer, but when none came, his anger subsided. �Please, Corliss, tell me that you are the Shadow.� He was begging now, and it pulled at her heart. �I am not the Shadow. I�m sorry.� Trent�s head dropped, �Fuck.� He mumbled. �Fuck!� The word came again, this time louder and accompanied by his fist slamming the door beside her head. �You can�t tell them, Corliss! You just can�t do this! We are trying to make sure that the Macreas don�t start any wars between the clans!� �I have to tell them! These are my masters, I can�t keep secrets from them!� With that Corliss brought up her hand, and slammed it into Trent�s chest. Falling to the floor on his hands and knees, Trent gasped to catch his breath as Corliss opened the door and ran from the apartment building. She felt terrible leaving him there, but knew he would never let her leave with the folder. Hitting the stairs, she stopped when she saw Isaac approaching her. His eyes went immediately to the folder in her arms. Knowing that the only way she could have that was to steal it, Isaac leapt forward to snatch it away from her. Before he made it half way, Corliss bared her fangs and hissed. It was a barbaric display of aggression in kine society, but it worked well on humans. Isaac stopped his assault, and Corliss was able to escape the stairwell, and make it to her car. Placing the folder on the passenger�s seat, she drove away as Isaac ran from the apartment complex to try and catch her. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bursting through Trent�s apartment door, he looked at his partner. Trent was leaned over the counter, his hair falling into his face. His breathes were heavy more through anger then because of the attack. Slowly he looked up to Isaac, half hoping that it would be Corliss. �What the hell, man? Corliss nearly bit me in the fucking hallway, and she has the folder your dad gave us!� Isaac snapped as he slammed the door shut. �She stole it, alright! She found it on the damn counter!� Trent yelled back then slammed his hand on the counter. Isaac rubbed his face, �What was it doing on the counter? You have a safe in your closest, why the hell didn�t you put it in there?� �I don�t know, I didn�t think she would steal it.� Suddenly, Isaac realized that his partner stood in nothing but his

undergarments. �What was she doing here?� He asked the question with fear of the answer. Trent said nothing just stood up straight, and glared his partner down. It only made things worse, because now Isaac could see the bite marks on his neck. Two puncture holes as well as bruising of other teeth marks, she had bitten him quite hard. �She bit you?� Isaac�s voice was full of panic, �Oh, fuck, man! Oh, fuck! Did she turn you?� He asked as he began to pace the room. Trent shook his head, �Don�t worry, I didn�t drink any of her blood. I won�t become a kine.� Isaac stopped his pacing, his eyes wide, �You let her bite you, Trent? Tell me, please, tell me, that you didn�t let her do this.� He said nothing, which only caused Isaac to spew more cuss words throughout the apartment. �What the fuck, man? What the fuck!� Isaac kicked the couch, �What the hell is the matter with you? She�s a fucking vamp, Trent� a god damn vamp!� �Don�t you think I know what she is?� Trent growled. �Apparently not! Look at you, what the hell happened to Trent Monte? Remember he hated vamps and dogs, remember him? I mean it was only a week or so ago, that he was my partner. Who the hell are you?� Isaac looked like he was nearing tears, and about to become sick all at once. Trent leaned over, dropping his head onto the counter, �I don�t know, Isaac. I really don�t know. I can�t even tell you what happened, it was� it just happened.� He couldn�t think straight in those moments, all he wanted was more of Corliss. The rips in his shoulder ached for her fangs and lips, he now understood what had happened to his mother and sister. He had allowed her to do this to him, to take control. Worst of all, he didn�t care that he longed for her, even though he desperately wanted to. With a swallow, he prayed that it was only passing, before realizing that Isaac was still yelling at him. �And that�s not even the worst of our problems, you�re getting it on with a god damn vamp� which is pretty fucking bad! She had years worth of information in that folder, enough to shut down everything that your father and the Upper Circle have been working for since I was a recruit!� �Isaac, shut the hell up!� Trent barked, �I know what kind of shit, I am in. Don�t worry, I�ll take all the blame.� �Yeah, you will! I had nothing to do with this! I warned you, I fucking told you�� �Shut up!� Trent yelled. �Great, you fucking told me so! Good for you!� With that he spun around and pulled the vodka from the cabinet. Taking out a glass, he poured himself a large glass. Bringing it to his lips, he immediately felt ill. When he set it down, the nausea went away. Trying again, the same thing happened. �Oh, you have got to be kidding me.� �What?� Isaac asked, sitting on one of the stools with his head on the

counter, �No more bad news, I can�t take it.� Trent looked over his shoulder and shook his head gently at his panicked partner. �It�s nothing.� He sighed and dumped the vodka out into the sink. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 14 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Standing in front of the elders� meeting hall, Corliss tried to gather up the courage to enter. The folder in hand, she wanted desperately to tell them what the Upper Circle had done, but Trent�s scared voice echoed within her mind. They were only trying to ensure that the Macrea didn�t do any more power grabs like they had done many times before in the past. She didn�t want to hurt Trent�s career either by allowing the information he was given to get to the elders, but she had to protect her clan. She snorted; her clan� is that what she really thought the Macreas were. No, her clan was the Faustos despite the last name that she carried. Seeing her beloved brother, Julian, had made her remember that. Though Silvio had always been the annoying older brother who thought he knew what was best for everyone, she had still seen his loyalty to her in his eyes as well. They had both been told that she was no longer a Fausto and to treat her like an outsider, but she never realized until last night that they truly didn�t believe it. Looking down at the folder in her hand, Corliss sighed before looking at the large guard in front of the elders� door. �Ready to go in?� He asked. �No, and it would be wise to forget that I was ever here to begin with.� She said and walked away but not before he gave a nod in response. Making her way to her room, Corliss hid the folder under the mattresses of her bed. She knew that Adriel had combinations and keys to all her of safes, and that he personally checked them all. Once it was safely tucked away, she heard the gentle knock at her door. Opening it, Ellice stood silently in front of her. Corliss curled her upper lip, �Get in here, now.� With a deep swallow, Ellice entered the room, and flinched when Corliss slammed the door behind her. �Listen, Corliss, I spoke� I spoke with Julian and he told me that they had talked to you. I� had to lie, I swear I did. It was for the good of the Faustos, don�t you care about your family anymore�� �Stop rambling, Ellice. I am not going to hurt you, though it had crossed my mind.� Corliss took a deep breath, �All I want to know is where Amelia is, and then we can forget this whole thing.� �I haven�t seen her in a while; she contacted me once after Rylan�s body had been found, then not since after that.� Ellice fiddled with her fingers nervously. �Where can I find her?� Corliss asked again. �Just like Julian told you, the only place I can think of is those abandoned apartments not far from the Blue Berry Inn.� She looked into her angry eyes.

�Why did you do this?� �Rylan told me that if we brought down the Macreas, then he and I could be together. That�s the only reason that I did it.� She watched Corliss walk over to her bed and sit down. �It was the Upper Circle that you were working for? You are the Shadow, aren�t you?� Corliss folded her hands in her lap, and tried to keep her voice calm. �No, I swear I am not. I don�t know who the Shadow is, Amelia and Rylan knew, but they never told me.� She sniffled still afraid that Corliss might become enraged. �The Upper Circle didn�t even know that I was helping them. No one pays any attention when I am around, so people are willing to talk. Except Marcellus and Adriel, they don�t trust me, because of Farquay. Please, believe me, Corliss. I speak the truth this time, I swear.� �Why did you lie to me, but tell me about a pup being involved?� She shrugged, �I figured that you already knew, I guess. I wanted to look like I was being helpful is all. I don�t know, I am so sorry, I really am. Please, don�t tell Farquay what I have done, please, I beg you.� Corliss nodded, �I won�t, you have nothing to fear. However, I can�t protect you either, if someone ever finds out, I will not put my neck on the line for you.� Walking to the door, Corliss opened it for her. out. Ellice stared at her for a moment, �You�� She shook her head and began to walk �I, what?� �You smell like my brother, Corliss.� She swallowed, �Maybe you should take a shower and brush your teeth before Adriel or Kaleb or anyone else for that matter comes to visit.� She gave a nod, �Thank you, I will.� Shutting the door, Corliss threw herself onto her bed. She inhaled deeply of her clean sheets, before getting back up and preparing herself a shower. Her mind was always on the folder underneath her mattress, and she knew that she needed to let Trent know of her decision, and the information that Ellice had given her. Though it wouldn�t be easy to talk to him now, not after the way she had recovered it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Having spent the day with Isaac and the dogs, Trent entered his apartment. Their investigations had been fruitless that evening, and though they tried to locate Amelia they had not been able to find the abandoned apartments. With a heavy sigh, he threw his keys on the coffee table and then himself on the couch. The investigation had been the last thing on his mind that day, as he tried to think of how he would explain his loss of critical information to his father. A low rumble came from his stomach causing Trent to realize that he hadn�t eaten or drank anything the entire day. Though, strangely enough, he hadn�t been

hungry not even when Isaac and the dogs had bought hot dogs. He grinned to himself when he remembered Samara asking him if they were still on for Friday and he agreed, though he truly didn�t want to. Standing up, he walked over to the kitchen and began to dig around for food. He didn�t have much and was about to order pizza, when the knock came at his door. Slowly opening it, he wondered who would be visiting him at nine in the evening. Seeing the door reveal Corliss brought both anger and relief to his heart, the anger faded when he saw the folder in her hands. She looked more beautiful now then he had ever remembered her. Dressed in proper kine attire, he remembered how she looked the first time he had met her. All prim and proper, the look suited her well. Her dark red hair pulled back in a bun with several stray curls, a gray dress suit, and that same red lipstick. �I have been calling you all day, why haven�t you answered your phone?� Her voice was low, almost a whisper. �I was working, you know the investigation that we were assigned to do.� He tried not to sound angry, and he knew he shouldn�t bring up the folder. Corliss gave an almost embarrassed nod, before noticing Trent�s eyes fixed firmly on the folder in her arms. She immediately held it out to him and Trent tried his best not to snatch it away from her, but instead take it gently as if he had known all along she would bring it back. With nothing else said, Corliss turned her back to him and began down the hall. Trent was not about to let her go that easy, so he grabbed her upper arm to stop her. �Did you tell anyone?� He asked with both fear and hope in his eyes. Her head gently shook, �No� I decided against it.� His quick motion towards her caused her heart to jump in fear, as for a moment she thought he was going to attack her. Instead, he cupped her face with his left hand and gently kissed her lips three times. Corliss put her hands to his chest and calmly shoved him back, �Don�t do that anymore.� �Why?� �Because I don�t like it.� She crossed her arms. Trent frowned, �Why? Because I�m human?� Her eyes looked down the hall, then back to him. �Just don�t.� �No, I want a straight answer. It�s because I am a human, so you think that you are better then me.� �Fine, yes, because you are human. Do you know how much trouble that I would be in�� �Don�t give me that, you and I both know that Adriel told you to�� It was her turn to interrupt him, �Yes, but not enjoy it, not want it. I was supposed to make you trust me enough to give me top secret information, that is

all. After this is finished, there will be no place for us. We belong to different worlds; you know that just as well as I do.� He nodded, �I know it well enough.� His eyes fell to the carpeted floor beneath him. �Are we still going to work together?� Corliss sighed, �Yes, I suppose that we have to. Ellice told me that she was working with Rylan and Amelia for the Upper Circle. She doesn�t know exactly what they were working together to do or who the Shadow was. However, she did reinstate Julian�s theory that Amelia is at the abandon apartments near the Blue Berry Inn.� �We looked for them today, and didn�t find anything remotely abandoned.� Trent said. She cleared her throat, �Well, I will ask Ellice for clearer directions tonight. And we will do see her tomorrow, we should probably bring the pups. She might feel safer and more willing to talk in their presence.� He was a little more then surprised to hear her invite the dogs along. �Good idea.� �I�ll see you in the morning then.� Corliss began down the hallway. �See you then.� With that he turned back into his apartment, and headed for the telephone knowing that his food was only twenty minutes away. After he ordered his large pepperoni pizza, the knock reoccurred at the door. Opening it, Corliss had returned, her eyes held her nervousness. �Then again,� She began, �no need to worry about what happens afterwards until we cross that bridge, right?� Trent grinned, �I just ordered pizza, you want some?� He stepped aside to let her enter. �I have never had pizza before, is it any good?� Corliss entered the apartment, brushing her shoulder against his chest. �It�s the main staple of my diet. Like the round greasy base of my food pyramid.� He said as he shut the door. She chuckled, �I think I am in the mood to try something new.� Her grin turned to him as he removed her coat. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------That morning Corliss called Ellice for specific directions, and in typical kine fashion she discovered that the apartments were only abandoned by kine terms. Ellice gave her the apartment number that she knew Amelia normally stayed at. Before long Corliss was driving to them with the pup�s car close behind them. Isaac had not been happy to see Corliss in Trent�s apartment that morning, but had kept to himself on the matter. He didn�t want the dogs to know about the occurrences between the two, much less that Corliss had stolen their files. He had been put to ease slightly, when Trent mumbled that she brought back the files. He still did not trust her, after all she had seduced his partner.

Parking on the street, Corliss and Trent waited on the sidewalk as Isaac parked his own car. The apartments were hidden behind a large grocery store, and looked like they needed a couple coats of paint. Children ran from one side of the building to the next, screaming as they played a game of tag. One ran into Corliss� leg, and bounced back onto the sidewalk. Corliss stood her ground and acted more like a leaf had rammed her then a seven year old. This only reminded Trent, once again, that Corliss was not human. �What�s the number?� Isaac asked with Samara and Coyle close behind him. �Three eighteen.� Corliss said after looking at a piece of paper she pulled from her jacket pocket. �We should knock, seeing a kine might scare her off.� Samara more so demanded then suggested, she had been rather grumpy that morning. After seeing Corliss in Trent�s apartment that morning, she had been no happier then Isaac. Of course, she had noticed that Corliss was not wearing her shoes nor was Trent appropriately dressed for kine guests. �Amelia worked with Rylan, I doubt she has any hang ups about the kine.� Corliss informed her as they continued their walk down the narrow concrete path. Amelia�s apartment was on the third floor on the building, the stairs and doors were available from the outside. Climbing to the top, the cement stairs creaked and cracked as each of them placed their weight on them. At the top, Samara pushed past Corliss to stand beside Trent as they knocked on the door. Corliss frowned as she stared at the dark haired pup in front of her, until she felt a light touch on her hand. Looking towards Trent, he gave a brief grin before turning his attentions back to the door. Slowly it opened, and the blonde haired werewolf from the video tape stared at them. Dressed in gray sweatpants and a white t-shirt, she looked as if she had just awoken, except that her hair was freshly done in curls. She didn�t look shocked to see the strange mixture of breeds outside her apartments, only gave a deep sigh. �I was wondering when you would find me.� She said with a grin, before stepping aside to allow them entry. Amelia�s eyes went immediately to Corliss as she past her. The apartment was no bigger then Trent�s, but clean and well decorated with earth tones. The pups took a seat on the couch along with Isaac, while Corliss and Trent took to the large chairs across the room from each other. Amelia had already taken the seat next to Corliss, which had caused Trent no small amount of annoyance. �You look so much like Rylan in the face.� Amelia�s soft voice said to Corliss, �He spoke often of you, I feel as though I know you.� Corliss snorted when she realized that the others were watching her, �I don�t know why you would, he barely knew me.� Her head nodded slowly, �No, I suppose he didn�t.� Amelia looked towards the others. �How may I help you?�

�We need to know about your relationship with Rylan Cullen.� Samara said. Amelia nodded, �We were partners, nothing more. Rylan was helping the Upper Circle in a project to ensure that the Macreas would no longer cause problems among the kine. It seems whenever there was a dispute, many of their pets would end up dead.� �Why would he be partnered with a packy, though?� Coyle asked, he hadn�t been able to take his eyes off her since she opened the door. �And why do so many people believe you were having a romantic relationship?� Samara asked, a little disgusted to be in her presence, mostly because of her brother�s behavior. �There was no romance between Rylan and myself, we only used it as a decoy of sorts�� �But what good would that do?� Samara asked. �And what about PAKA?� Corliss added. Amelia sighed, �You all have been thorough. Let me start off by answering a question posed to me previously, about why he would be partnered with a packy, maybe that will clear things up a bit. I could get into places that Rylan could not, as we all know kine are not often welcomed into certain�businesses. Not only that, but in Sacramento where I worked for PAWS, I often went undercover. I was natural choice for this mission.� Everyone nodded in agreement. �As for PAKA, the Upper Circle wants us to see if it was a sham. There have been several similar organizations that claim to help cross breed partners, but instead murder them.� Amelia rubbed her left hand, �We played along with the whole arrangement, until we were asked to get married, then we called it off. Rylan refused to be wed to a pack even if it helped his assignment. He was very much against pack and kine relationships, but didn�t believe they should be killed either.� Corliss tried to hide her relief from everyone, she knew that her brother wasn�t the type to toy with a pup, but all evidence had pointed to otherwise. �The bed at the Blue Berry Inn, your scents were mingled.� Samara said more then questioned. �We would often lay on the bed together and discuss matters, it was nothing intimate. Please, believe me when I say there was no romantic relationship between Rylan and myself.� Amelia�s words were directed towards Corliss. Corliss gave a nod, �I believe you.� �Tell us then about your mission with Rylan.� Trent demanded. �For the most part, I was there to inform the Upper Circle and help Rylan with any troubles that he had. After a time, I convinced him that we needed someone closer to Adriel reporting back to us. We had several options� or at least that is what Rylan said, he never told me their names. He wanted to protect them, which is how we came up with the code name Shadow.� Amelia turned her eyes to Corliss for a moment, then back to Trent.

�Tell us about this Shadow.� Isaac leaned forward. �The Shadow would email us data that was received from Adriel. We bugged several rooms in the building, the ones we felt were most important, but that didn�t mean we were getting all the information we needed. Besides that, Adriel is known well for whispering, especially when it came to matters with other clans.� She cleared her throat. �You do not know who the Shadow is then?� Coyle asked. �I do not know.� She seemed to hesitate for a moment, �There is one thing though. I have reason to believe that the Shadow was more then one person.� �Why would you think that?� Corliss asked the question this time. Amelia again cleared her throat, �Several reasons, really. Sometimes the Shadow would spell Rylan�s name with an I and other times with a Y. The same one that spelt it with an I would always sign it, The Shadow, but when it was spelt with a Y, there would be no signature.� She looked around the room, �Also, they would say things like, �You should ask the Shade for further details, as they are closer to this issue then I am.� I believe Shade was a code name for the other Shadow.� �Did you ever ask Rylan about it?� Isaac questioned. �Of course, but he wasn�t going to tell me, and got quite upset when I brought it to his attention.� She swallowed. �Anything else, you can tell us?� Coyle tried to sound sympathetic. She grinned before looking at Corliss, �I think Rylan had other reasons for doing this. Something told me that he wasn�t just trying to keep the Macreas out of trouble, this was personal. Maybe he wanted to elevate himself or someone else in the clan.� �Do you have any idea who could have killed him?� Trent asked this time. Amelia nodded, �I have plenty of ideas, hell the Upper Circle has a whole list of them. However, logically speaking, I think Rylan was about to pull out. He was going to inform Adriel of everything, something spooked him.� �Those death threats?� Samara guessed. She shook her head, �No, someone on the inside found out and got to him, and that could be the reason for his death. Though the Upper Circle knew he was leaving and could have had him killed, or even my old pack, the Blood Fangs.� �They said they were paid off and didn�t care.� Samara told her. Amelia snorted, �Their pride was hurt, no amount of money could patch that� only blood.� him. �Who do you think killed him, above all?� Coyle folded his hands in front of

�He was about to spill everything, the two Shadows would have gone down with him. If he told them what he was about to do, they might of tried to stop him.�

Everyone stood from their seats, and Amelia followed. �Thank you for the information, Amelia.� Samara shook her hand, �We will be in touch.� �It was a pleasure meeting you all, take care.� Amelia followed them to the door, and grabbed Corliss� arm before she could leave. �Your brother never told you, but he respected you for always keeping your loyalty to the Macreas. Even when they treated you poorly� he once told me that, he wished he could be as forgiving and dedicated as you were.� Corliss grinned, �Funny, I always wished that I could be a little more free, like he was.� Amelia smiled back, �So did I.� -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pulling off her shoes, Corliss landed face first on her soft bed and inhaled the scents of the freshly washed comforter. She knew that she needed to inform the elders that she had found Amelia, but still wasn�t certain what she would say. After all, she hadn�t told them anything about the bugs or the shadow, but lying to them would prove to be difficult. Adriel always knew when she was being less then truthful, however, with her switch to being Kaleb�s toy, he might believe she was trying to protect his son. She sighed heavily, taking a moment to realize how truly tired she was, before her mind slipped onto him. Her lips fought to smile, as she remembered the gentle kiss that Trent had placed on them before she left. It was doomed before it had even begun though, this feeling that she had for him. He was too old to be turned and the clan would have her killed before she could ever go public with it. Sitting up, she shook her head, what was she thinking about anyway? That she and Trent actually had more between them then just desire for control and information. No, she was being silly now, though this did remind her a great deal of a relationship she had back when she was a Fausto. They met at a formal banquet, he was dressed like a high standing kine, which he was. His dark hair pulled back, and his eyes so very green. Back then he was a Macrea and she was forbidden to become friends with one, let alone lovers. That didn�t stop him from sending the poetry and flowers, all of which, he managed to get into her room without being noticed. Marcellus had been her first and only love, but it all changed when she was forced to marry Adriel�s son. Not that they couldn�t sneak around anymore, that could have easily been done, instead because he was the one who offered the idea to Adriel. It had been Marcellus, who suggested that they take Corliss as one of their own, therefore bonding the two clans. He had meant for her to marry him, but Adriel thought it would calm the war if she married one of his own. Finding out about what Marcellus had done, she cursed his name and demanded that he never again speak to her. He did as she had ordered him to, and rarely spoke to her unless the situation called for pleasantries. Rylan had fought Marcellus� toy simply because he accused his sister of being in love with the elder. Even though Rylan hardly knew her, he would not allow his sister�s name or that of his clan to be soiled. Corliss remembered begging Marcellus for

forgiveness and to show him mercy, and had been shocked to hear of the trial�s decision. It had been Marcellus who asked that he become his toy, when Adriel demanded his death, and Corliss� father had accepted his son�s fate. Many rumors were sparked because of the trial, mostly about Marcellus and her being in love, which at the time was no longer true. She had heard other rumors that Marcellus often visited her room, though if it were true she was never in. Her heart ached as she thought of events past, as well as those to come. When this case was over she would forbid herself from ever seeing Trent. It was for the benefit of them both that they kept their distance. And if like fate was playing a dark and cruel joke upon her, the bedroom door opened, and in stepped Marcellus. His green eyes pierced into her soul, as she stood up to greet him. �What are you doing here?� She asked, and tried to peer out the door to ensure no one had seen him. �It�s not the first time that I have snuck into your bedroom, Corliss.� He told her, as he shut the door. Turning back around, he leaned against it to seal her inside. �It seems we both have issues that can be fixed by the others intervention.� �Oh? And what are these issues?� Corliss crossed her arms, he was the only elder that she wasn�t afraid of. �You do not want to marry Kaleb, and I think that Adriel�s reign over the Macreas needs to come to an end.� Her arms dropped to her side, �I see.� The words slipped from her lips as she sat on the end of her bed. �What are you suggesting then?� Corliss knew how politics worked in the kine world, and this was a common occurrence. Marcellus was giving her a chance to join his side, which meant that if a change of power transpired she would not be killed like Adriel and Kaleb�s other toys. However, if the transfer of power wasn�t successful then she would be found out and killed as well. The only reason she gave Marcellus time to further explain, is that she knew many of the elders were tired of Adriel. He had made Macreas too political in his time, where they only wanted to run a business. It was difficult to be within the public eye at all times, and having Adriel running around trying to gain power in the human world was taking its toll. Odds were that Marcellus had most of the elders on his side by now, and they were willing to accept him as their new leader. Corliss was no fool, and though she had been loyal to Adriel for many years, she knew when to change sides. He grinned, �I need to know everything that you have learned about Rylan.� �What do you mean? I tell the elders�� Rolling his eyes, he stepped forward. �I know that Rylan was working with the Upper Circle, but I need to know why and how.� �How do you know that he was?� Marcellus chuckled, and gently laid his hand on her cheek, �He was my toy, there wasn�t much that he did that I didn�t know of.� As he spoke he kneeled down in front of her, placing his hands on her thighs. �I monitored his email and kept his phones under surveillance.�

�If you monitored his email, then you know as much as I do. Amelia was not much help other then telling us what was in those emails� actually, with phone surveillance, you probably know more then I do.� He gave a nod, and squeezed her thighs, �Who are the Shadows? I need to know.� �We don�t know, but we are trying to figure it out. When I know more, then you will.� She stared down into his eyes, her hands folded in her lap. �Then you will join with me?� �Yes, as long as you keep the wedding from going forward.� Marcellus stood up and gave a nod, �Several other elders have joined my cause, I am certain that we can prolong the engagement for a time.� Turning around, he placed his hand on the doorknob, but before opening the door, he looked back over his shoulder at her. �And just so there will be no surprises, when I am the high elder, you will become my wife.� �And if I don�t want to be your wife?� Corliss asked defiantly. Marcellus grinned, �Adriel ruined our plans a hundred years ago, it will not happen again.� �Our plans? I do not recall you ever asking me to marry you, only tricking Adriel and my father.� �Then I will ask when this is through.� Opening the door, he didn�t give her time to object further. Corliss sighed, �What is with everyone wanting to marry me all of a sudden?� She threw one of her decorative pillows at the wall. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 15 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Standing in front of the elder�s doorway, Corliss inhaled several times, before she was ready to enter. The guard opened the door for her, but she did not enter. The room was dark and the table held the shadow of only one man, it was Adriel. Her heart began to pound wildly in her chest; her throat went dry, causing her to swallow desperately to moisten it. �Enter, Corliss.� Adriel hissed, placing his elbows on the table and folding his hands near his face. Her shaking foot stepped over the thresh hold as the door was shut behind her. Having been in trouble before, she recognized all the signs of Adriel�s anger. What she had done she did not know, but that answer wasn�t far away. Her hands shook as she placed them on the chair to pull it out, but before she could sit down, Adriel was beside her. His long fingers wrapped around her throat, before her feet left the ground completely. Grabbing his wrists, she tried to loosen his grip, but he was relentless in his hold of her throat. With a growl released from his lips, Corliss felt herself begin to move rapidly through the air, then Adriel�s fingers left her throat. Her

pain had not yet registered in her mind; as she gasped for air, her back and head slammed into the glass of the window. She caught herself from falling through by grabbing the window�s frame, though she would have only landed on the balcony outside. A cry left her lips as the sharp piece of glass entered into the palm of her hand. Adriel spared no time, before grabbing her shirt and pulling her in. She collapsed by his feet, but he gave her no time to rest there. Capturing her hair bun in his hand, he brought her to her feet, slamming her face into the wall several times. The taste of her own blood filled her mouth, before Adriel threw her to the floor. Spitting out one of her fangs, she picked it up from the carpet. Her eyes returned to Adriel, who was breathing heavily above her. She swallowed down the blood that had collected in her mouth, waiting to see if Adriel was finished or just resting. She had not begged him to stop or let out any cries of pain, as she knew that would only prolong her punishment. Kneeling down in front of her, Adriel took the fang from her hand, it was then that Corliss noticed the tears running down his cheeks. He grabbed her face and her fang once again fell to the floor from his hand. Jerking her forward, he brought her face inches within his own. �Why do you do these things, Corliss?� He asked, tightening his grip within her hair. �I�ve given you everything.� He shook her head, as if he were trying to gain her attention. �You are given more freedoms then any toy could wish for. I have never once asked for my share of your profits.� His eyes glared deeply into her own, �I have given of my blood, of my status, and of myself to you, and how do you repay me?� Before she could answer, he jerked her again to silence her. �I love you.� He loosened his hold, and wiped some blood away from her lips with his thumbs. �Do you hold no love for me? When you look upon me, do you only feel hatred, Corliss?� �No, Adriel, I love you.� She was finally able to answer, �I give of myself to you, whenever you ask. What have I done to make you question this?� His eyes wandered over to the table, and Corliss followed his direction. A dark blue folder laid on the table where he had been sitting. She recognized it immediately; it was the copy she had made of the Upper Circle files that she had stolen from Trent. She had hidden them underneath her bed in the box springs, which made her wonder how Adriel had discovered them. Her eyes widened with horror before she returned her gaze to Adriel. He cocked his head to the side, �Why?� Corliss began to shake violently; this was an offense punishable by death. Tears began to stream down her eyes, �I don�t know, Adriel. Why would I do that? I�m so sorry, please, please, forgive me.� As she spoke, blood began to drip from her mouth. Straightening out his head, he kept his eyes deadlocked with her own. �If you were anyone else, you would be dead already, Corliss. I would have your treacherous body laid out for all to see, as it was mutilated and given to the toys to feed upon.� The malice in his voice sent a shiver up her spine that ended in pain when it

reached her neck. �What will be done with me then?� She swallowed another mouthful of blood. �Nothing.� He whispered the spite was gone from his voice, �You have made yourself invaluable to me by becoming close with the Upper Circle�s councilman�s son.� He brushed her loose hairs behind her ears, holding onto her chin with his free hand. �That and I could never bring myself to order your death. You may become my son�s wife, but you will always be mine, Corliss.� Again she swallowed, as Adriel kissed her chin, sucking at the blood that split from her lips. Once it was all cleaned, he turned his attentions to her lips. His tongue penetrated her mouth, as he licked up the blood that split from the wounds within. His left hand slid over her shoulder, while his right went under her arm. He pulled her closer to him and into his lap. She felt his hand slide up her skirt, and knew that he planned to demonstrate exactly how she was his. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------�What the hell happened to you?� Samara asked as she opened Trent�s apartment door, and looked upon the beaten kine. Corliss said nothing as she stepped inside the apartment. The pup�s question pulled all attention to her. The bruises on her cheeks and throat, as well as swelling in her nose. Sitting down on the stool, she stared down at the counter, embarrassed of the situation that she had found herself in. �Are you alright?� Trent asked. �I�m fine.� She mumbled, and was barely audible even to the packies. Clearing her throat, she briefly looked up at everyone only to find their eyes still on her. Coyle had a piece of his donut stuck to his lips, and Isaac�s hand was stuck in midair as it had been bringing another piece of the sugary bread to his mouth. �Stop staring at me!� She snapped after another moment, as Samara came to stand beside her brother. �Are you� are you missing a tooth?� Coyle asked. She cleared her throat again, �It�s a fang and it will grow back by the end of the week.� She muttered, turning her eyes back to the counter. �Did you get into a fight? I mean come on; you have to tell us what happened?� Samara was a little more then pleased to see the prim and proper kine looking like an average street brawler. �Leave her alone, Samara. She obviously doesn�t want to talk about it.� Trent defended her. �Did you talk to the council about Amelia?� Isaac asked, trying to change the subject. �I mean what did you say? Because you know, they aren�t supposed to know about the bugs and stuff.� Corliss looked up at him, �I didn�t get a chance.� She pointed to her face, �I was preoccupied.� She cleared her throat, �Anyway, that�s why I came by. The

council found out about the bugs and the inside agents, so you might want to inform the Upper Circle.� With that, she stood up and walked towards the door. �Wait, how did they find out? Did you tell them?� Coyle asked, flipping around on his stool. �Yeah, I told them, that�s why I look like this.� Corliss said with sarcasm, she flung the door open. �Now, if you will excuse me, I don�t feel much like being ridiculed by you pups today.� Exiting the apartment, she didn�t shut the door behind her. her. �Corliss, wait!� Trent yelled, running out from behind the counter and after

Catching up to her at the stairway, he grabbed her arm and swung her around to face him. �What happened? What�s wrong?� �You want to know what�s wrong, Trent? Do you really want to know?� She didn�t give him a chance to answer, �I am a fucking princess! A princess, I say! Do I look like a princess to you? No! I was forced to marry a man I didn�t even know, and he killed himself so he wouldn�t have to touch me! Then I was ordered to pretend that I wanted some sort of sick, warped relationship with you, a meat bag! And now, I am being forced to marry Adriel�s bastard son, who only wants to keep me quiet! Oh and to top that off, Adriel beat the shit out of me, when he found out I was lying for you!� She threw her free hand in the air, �That�s what�s wrong, Trent! That�s�� A tear ran down her cheek, �That�s what my fucking problem is.� Trent was stunned, by both by her admissions and the profanity that she used. He had never heard her speak that way before. Silently he stood for several moments, until he reached his arms around her and pulled her close to him. Corliss was stiff for a moment, before she relaxed and laid her head on his shoulder. She sniffled, �And now Marcellus wants me to help him remove Adriel from power, and if I don�t then he could have me killed as an unfaithful when he does become the high elder.� She ran her moist eyes over his shoulder. �I don�t know what the hell, I am doing anymore.� �Most of us don�t, Corliss. We just walk blindly in the dark.� �I can see in the dark.� She said, and smiled when Trent chuckled. He tightened his arms around her, there was a long silence between them, and Trent feared that his companions might come out into the hall in search of him. Yet, when he heard Corliss give a sigh of contentment, he didn�t care any longer. �Corliss? What�s going on between us? I mean, is this all a game for you?� �I� I don�t know. Is it a game for you?� She looked up into his eyes. Gently he shook his head, �Not anymore.� Her eyes fell to his chest, and for a moment, he thought she would break free of his grasp. Her breaths quickened and she looked around the hall, before her eyes reached back on his. �What will we do then?�

�I don�t know. All I ever wanted to do was be near you since the moment I laid eyes on you.� �You are too old to become a kine,� Before he could interrupt, she added. �not that you want to become one, I know. And what we have will always be forbidden among our people.� Corliss whispered. �Then we are doomed to fail?� She nodded her head, �Yes, I suppose we are.� He dropped his arms, releasing her from his grasp. Corliss thought that he would walk away, and that it would all be over in this moment, instead he laid his hands on her cheeks. �Then we fail, but not without trying.� She gasped at his words. �Will you try with me?� Slowly, but surely she nodded her head. �I will try.� Trent grinned, and gently placed his lips to hers. He did so several times, as if testing to see if her beaten face could take the pressure. Finally, he collapsed his arms around her and kissed her as deeply as he could for as long as he could. When he released her, Corliss had to find her footing. �I need to go.� She mumbled, �I have things I must attend to at home. I have been neglectful of my other duties because of this case.� Trent nodded, �I will see you soon then?� �Probably not until Monday.� With that she turned around and headed down the stairs. Reaching her car, she climbed inside, and tried to calm the loud poundings of her heart. She wasn�t sure why it beat so, if it was love or fear that caused its momentum. Laying her forehead on the stirring wheel, she sighed. A small drop of blood left her lips and landed on her jean covered thigh. Quickly, she reached up to her mouth and wiped the blood away. There were still several opened wounds within her mouth from her teeth cutting her own flesh as Adriel beat on her. They had all stopped bleeding the night before, suddenly her heart began to beat rapidly again, this time with what she was certain was fear. Her eyes went to the window of Trent�s apartment, as she questioned if it was possible that he had ingested any of her blood. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Inside his apartment, Trent looked at his partner and the werewolves, who were staring suspiciously at him. He refused to be ashamed of his feelings for Corliss, though he knew that the man he was only a week before would have been. Crossing his arms, he stood definitely before their judging eyes. Samara stood up, and cleared her throat. �Well, Coyle and I should get going.� Her eyes wandered over to Isaac, letting him know that she was giving him time with his partner. �We haven�t checked into headquarters in a while, and until we

figure out what to do next�� �Yeah, yeah.� Trent waved his hand. �We still on for tonight?� Samara asked out loud, which did embarrass him. He gave a slow nod, before she disappeared into the hallway with her brother in front of her. Isaac took a sip of his coffee and scratched above his right eye, a sure sign that he was trying to find the right words. �You want to tell me what�s going on?� He finally asked, as Trent took a seat beside him to drink his own coffee. �No.� He sighed, �Look, I am your partner, I would never betray your trust. So, let me have it.� Looking at his partner out of the corner of his eye, Trent tried to size him up. �I�ve fucked up.� He mumbled, �I did the one thing that we are never supposed to do. I let a vamp get close to me, and I knew it would lead me here.� Isaac sighed again before drinking his coffee, �What are you going to do about it?� �Not a damn thing.� He turned on his stool to face him. �I mean I feel great, about myself, about my life. I haven�t drank any alcohol in two days now.� �So, you want to become a vamp now? Is that it?� Trent shook his head, �No. Besides, I am too old, they would never allow it.� Isaac seemed surprised with his partner�s words, �It won�t work, Trent. Corliss is a vamp, they despise cross breed relationships. What�s more is the Upper Circle would have your badge if they found out about this. You would be considered to be a contaminated agent, unworthy of their trust. Haven�t you put any thought into that? You could be throwing your life away for this!� Slowly he nodded his head, �I know, Isaac, you are completely right. I�ll turn in my badge tomorrow.� Isaac�s jaw dropped, �That�s not what I meant, Trent.� He took a moment to huff as he tried to find the words and calm himself, �Do you hear yourself? I mean, you are Trent Monte, aren�t you?� �I don�t want to betray the Upper Circle or my father, and by staying a detective and within their trust, I might do just that.� Trent took another sip of his black coffee. Isaac rubbed his eyes and forehead. �Look, I know that if we talked to the captain, not about the relationship, but say that she�s harassing you, and you think they are trying to make you a pet�� He bit his lower lip, when he saw the glare that his partner was giving him. �The captain could call them and ask for another investigator, and put in an order that she stay away. You would never see her again.� Trent snorted, �Isaac, I feel great, do you understand that? The last time I felt this good was before my mother and sister left, and then I saw them and how

happy they were and�� He stopped speaking realizing he may have gone to far. Isaac swallowed deeply, �And what?� Trent said nothing, only drank from his coffee cup. �And what, Trent?� He slowly turned his eyes to his partner, �And I knew that I would never be happy until I was like them.� �Like them? A slave to a vamp? That�s what you wanted? No, that does not sound like the Trent that I�ve always known.� �The Trent that you�ve known, constantly lied to himself about his wants, and he doused them with alcohol to keep them at bay. I�ve always known the truth, but it took� it took Corliss to prove it to me.� �Corliss is a toy, god damn it! She can�t have any pets!� Trent chuckled, �She won�t be soon. She�s marrying Kaleb Macrea, and then she�ll�� Isaac stood from his stool, and it fell behind him. �I won�t let this happen, Trent. I am going to the Upper Circle. You�ve been compromised and need some time in a decontamination tank. It�s the vampire bite, it fucks with your mind.� He headed for the door. �I thought that I could trust you, Isaac.� Trent mumbled, causing his partner to stop with his hand on the door knob. There was a long silence before Isaac made his way back over to his partner, �Ok, Trent, listen. Don�t turn in your badge, don�t say anything. Just stay away from Corliss for a week, and if you still feel the same way, then I won�t stop you.� Trent gave a nod, �Deal.� He shook Isaac�s hand when it was offered to him. Isaac took a deep breath to relief himself of his anxiety, �Come on, we should make some reports at the office as well.� Standing up, Trent put on his coat, �I notice you didn�t say anything about my date with Samara.� Isaac chuckled, �I think we will deal with one problem at a time.� -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Corliss ran down the halls looking for the man, she knew would have the assistance she would need. Whenever another kine appeared in view, she would walk calmly, and try not to draw any attention to herself. Marcellus was leaving his quarters, when she turned the corner, and before he could shut his door, she shoved him back inside. He was a little appalled by her behavior, but said nothing knowing that it had to be of the utmost importance.

�Marcellus, I have a problem.� Her bottom lip quivered as she spoke. �Who beat you?� He asked, running his finger over the dry blood on her chin. �Adriel.� She responded before thinking her answer through. He grabbed her upper arms, �Why?� Anger filled his eyes, as he shook her to grab her attention. �Because, I hid information from him. Now, listen to me, I think I may have turned a human without permission.� Marcellus rose an eyebrow, �You did what?� �I swear it was all an accident. Adriel told me to begin a romantic relationship with him, and so I did. Then when we were having sex, I bit him, but no blood transfer.� She began to sniffle, and Marcellus grabbed a tissue from his night stand. It was then that Corliss realized that she had never been in his room before. It was decorated in dark browns, greens, and other earth tones. It was not the room that she expected him to have. Taking the tissue from him, she wiped her eyes and then the blood from her mouth. �Then after Adriel beat me, he kissed me.� �Adriel kissed you or the human?� �The human, and I think I got blood in his mouth but I don�t know. I am pretty sure of it, otherwise I wouldn�t be here.� Marcellus took a seat at the end of his bed. Corliss knew better then to touch anything in his room, because if Adriel ever visited his room, he might smell her. �And you are certain that the bite and blood occurred within a timely manner?� Corliss nodded. �Then we must kill him immediately, Corliss.� �No! Please, Marcellus, there has to be another way. I� I don�t want him to die because of my errors.� Marcellus eyes held his skepticism, as he pulled his sweater�s sleeves up, revealing his well muscled arm. �We have time. As you know most humans take anywhere from two weeks to two months to completely alter. That�s more then enough time for us to remove Adriel from power, and put me in place.� �And when that happens?� �Since you obviously care for this human, for reasons I would rather leave a mystery, I will claim that he was turned under my authority. However, he will not be your pet, and I will send him to another Macrea clan.� Corliss saw the jealous anger forming within his eyes. �As long as you don�t kill him.� �Does he know?�

She shook her head, �No, I didn�t�� Marcellus� loud sigh cut off her words, �Good, don�t tell him. It will be better that way until Adriel is no longer the high elder.� Corliss nodded her head and turned to exit the room, before she touched the doorknob she turned back to him. �I never told you who it was.� �I know, Adriel discussed it with us. This was actually one of the problems that I foresaw, and warned him about. Do you see now, why he must be removed?� She nodded again, �I know him better then anyone else, I needed no proof.� With a small weight removed from her heart, she again turned to leave his room. Before she was able to, she felt Marcellus� hands on her upper arms. He pulled her to him, he back pressed against his chest, and he wrapped them gently around her. �I need you to be honest with me in order for this to work, Corliss. So, now is the time if you are hiding anything from me.� He said before kissing her neck. She swallowed, �I know who killed Rylan.� His grin could be felt on the soft flesh of her neck. �And how do you know?� �I was there when he was murdered.� Marcellus began to chuckle, and took a step back. �Excellent.� He mumbled, taking a seat at the edge of his bed, and crossing his legs. �Please, tell me everything, from the beginning.� Corliss came to stand in front of him, �Well, it all started about four months ago�� Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 16 User Rating: / 2 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Samara smiled across the counter at Trent, though he had been less that friendly that evening. Still, she seemed content to have gotten him away from the others. She had surprised him when she brought beer, pizza, and a couple rented movies to his apartment. Holding them up, she acted as if they were the answer to all their problems. Trent poured them both a glass of soda, as Samara bit into the sardines, onions, and mushrooms pizza. He had nearly choked when he saw the toppings that she had gotten, but the other half was pepperoni which gave him some comfort. Though he preferred sausage and olive, he would take pepperoni over sardines any day of the week. Putting his own slice on a paper plate, he handed her the glass. �What do you want to watch first? I brought all my favorite horror movies.� She told him, reaching for the plastic bag that held five video cassettes. Trent shrugged, �Whatever you want.� He mumbled taking a bite of his pizza.

She smiled at him, and her eyes told him that she knew something, but was unsure of how to bring it up. Finally she found the courage in the silence between them, �Isaac tells me that you won�t be seeing Corliss for a while. It�s good to hear that, I was beginning to get worried about you.� He held back an annoyed groan, and made a mental note to chew Isaac out later. �Well, it was that or he would go tattle on me.� Her smile faded for a moment the quickly returned, �Well, leeches do have supernatural abilities, Trent.� �So, do werewolves.� She snorted, �Hardly, we don�t have mind reading or the ability to make a man lust over you. Believe me if I had that it wouldn�t be Corliss that Isaac was telling you to stay away from.� He tried to ignore her unsubtle advance. �Let�s watch a movie.� As he made his way around the counter, the phone rang out. Answering it, Trent heard Isaac voice on the other side of the line. �Hey, Trent, guess what? We got another murder, just like Rylan�s. Is Samara with you?� �Yes.� He responded. He could hear Isaac swallow, �I�ll get Coyle, and call the Macrea building for Corliss.� �What�s wrong?� He had never heard his partner this distressed before. �It�s Kaleb Macrea, Trent. It�s Kaleb fucking Macrea. This case just jumped into the high priority files, and worse yet, no matter who did this, there is going to be a war.� �Calm down, Isaac. Where are you at?� Trent asked, trying not to drop the phone. �Same place as the first one.� He told him. Trent hung up the phone and looked at Samara, �Looks like we got another murder.� �Kaleb Macrea, I overheard.� She stood up and grabbed her jacket, �Well, let�s go.� She looked disappointed as they made their way out of his apartment, and into his car. Trent said nothing to her, and they drove to the familiar crime scene. Isaac and Coyle were already inspecting the body by the time they arrived. �What do we got?� Trent asked his partner. �Six bullets, looks like one in the heart.� Isaac looked upset, and so Trent patted his shoulder for reassurance. �Why don�t you get us some coffee?� He asked, and Isaac nodded. It was hard to see the body in the darkness, but everyone was equipped with flashlights. They would have to wait until the crime scene unit showed up with florescent lamps.

�Where the fuck is Corliss?� Coyle mumbled, �I know that bitch knows something about this. They are trying to set someone up, and they couldn�t do it with Rylan alone.� �Don�t jump to conclusions.� Trent corrected as he looked around. �No shell casings, no blood splatter. It has to be another dump job.� The sounds of someone clearing their throat behind them, caused everyone in the alley to turn and face him. He was tall and slender, his hair dark as were his eyes. �Greetings, I am Elijah Grant. I was sent by the Macrea clan.� He told them before looking over the body with his sharp kine eyes. �Oh dear, it is indeed Kaleb Macrea. This will send shock waves throughout the Macrea clan.� �Where is Corliss?� Trent asked. �Miss Macrea was removed from the case, it seems� how can I say this? It seems she became too emotionally involved, besides this is her fianc�e. We can�t have her investigating this, can we?� He kept his eyes on Trent the entire time he spoke. �You guys had no problem putting her on her brother�s case.� Coyle barked. Elijah acted as if Trent had spoken instead of the dog, �I would know nothing of that. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to make an unfortunate phone call to his father.� Turning his back on them, he made his way out of the alley. �What the hell is going on?� Samara mumbled the question. �That�s what I would like to know.� Coyle responded and look towards Trent. �Something tells me that Corliss just made her way onto our suspect list.� �Our witness at the very least.� Trent told them before looking at the body again. �Only problem will be getting to her, sounds to me like they want to keep her from us.� �And we definitely can�t have that leech around when we do get to her.� Coyle added. Samara nodded her head and looked up as Isaac returned with coffee. �Who the hell is that?� He pointed at Elijah. �Corliss� replacement.� Trent responded, �Looks like we are going to need to talk with her.� �How are we going to manage that?� Trent cleared his throat, �I know someone on the inside, maybe she can help us.� ---***--Entering into the station, Trent and Isaac took a seat at their desk as they began their paperwork for their new case. The two dogs had also returned to base to inform their captain of the day�s events. Though Elijah was not pleased with the arrangement, he announced he would contact them soon. Which to Trent meant that he would investigate on his own, and give him whatever information the vamp thought would help himself.

It was late in the evening, and everyone had gone home, except for the captain. His light was turned on in his office, which wasn�t unusual. He often claimed that he had a lot of paperwork to deal with, but almost everyone knew he just didn�t want to go home. Three months earlier, he had lost his wife to cancer, and the large house was just too empty without her. Trent had no idea why the captain had confided that in him, as he was known for having less then serious relationships. Yet, he listened to the man who had been there every step of the way for Trent in his career. It wasn�t a minute after they sat down, before Captain Alcott exited his office with a grin. The aging ex-marine still walked straight as his back would allow as he came to stand in front of their desks. �I just heard the good news, excellent work, gentleman.� He tapped their desk. �On what, sir?� Trent looked at his partner wondering if Isaac hadn�t told him. Their captain raised his eyebrow at him, �For solving the Cullen case�� His words trailed off as he watched Trent�s face contort. �We haven�t solved it yet, as a matter of a fact, we just got back from another body. Killed in the same manner as Cullen.� He stood with his mouth open for a moment, �I just got off the phone with some Macrea elder about three hours ago, who wanted to thank me personally for my people�s role in the case. He informed me that he was most pleased that the killer was another kine, and that they would be dealt with accordingly.� �That�s news to me!� Isaac barked, though he was trying to add humor to the situation, his annoyance was clear. Alcott looked between them for a moment, �You didn�t know that it was solved, eh?� he began to chew on his inner cheek, �This reeks of kine cover up.� Trent smiled, glad to hear his captain say what he had been thinking. �What do you want us to do?� �Find out what they are burying, while working this new case.� He nodded, then looked at Trent, �What are you thinking?� He shrugged, �Our kine investigator was suddenly replaced for this �new� case, and I am beginning to question if perhaps she was part of this.� �As in?� He looked at his partner then back to Alcott, �I don�t know, but I have gained some trust with her. Perhaps, she will be a little more forthcoming with me. I just don�t see how she wouldn�t know something about this.� Alcott gave a nod, �Alright, get your paperwork done and go home. It�s late.� He said looking at the clock on the wall. He began to walk back to his office, but turned back around to face Trent. �You know, I wasn�t going to say anything, but�� Trent looked up at his captain, and leaned back in his chair. �I don�t want to know where or how you got those bite marks on your neck. It�s

really none of my business, but it is my job to ensure that all my agents are clean. So, lets just go with� if I catch you with those again, I will report it to the Upper Circle and probably get you suspended. And don�t think turtle necks will stop me.� He gave a sharp nod to Alcott, before the man flipped around and headed back into his office. �I told you to button your shirt all the way up.� Isaac teased, pulling out a beige folder. Ignoring him, Trent pulled out his wallet, and the business card that his sister had given him. �Going to call my inside person.� He announced before picking up the phone. After four rings, he was about to hang up when he heard the soft voice from the other end answer. �Ellice?� He said, he hated calling her by that name, but decided that she would go on the defensive if he used Eleanor. �Trent?� She whispered and he could hear someone else talking in the background. �Can you talk?� There was a long pause, and through the phone several doors opening and shutting could be heard. �I can now.� �I need a huge favor�� Ellice snorted, �Are you sleeping with Corliss?� Trent fought the urge to drop his mouth open, knowing it would catch Isaac�s attention. �Sort of.� Ellice cleared her throat, �How dare you judge me for what I chose to be and then�� �This isn�t the time or the place, Ellice.� Trent snapped, �I really need a huge favor, you can yell at me afterwards.� She didn�t say anything, but he could still hear her breathing. �Have you heard about Kaleb Macrea?� He asked and she moaned a yes. �They took Corliss off the case, and have told my boss that Rylan�s murderer was found. I need to get into contact with Corliss�� �Have you waited for her to contact you?� �Well, uh, no. I just saw her earlier but I didn�t think she would after she was removed�� Ellice sighed heavily, �Let me give you her cell phone number, but wait until tomorrow to call her. She is with Adriel right now comforting him after the loss of his son.� Trent gritted his teeth, trying to hold back the jealousy he felt as he wrote the number down. Of course, he had no idea if comforting meant that she was sleeping with him or just speaking with him, either way it made his blood boil. �Alright, and what if she won�t talk to me?�

�She goes to some artist�s studio on Saturdays; I�ve never really paid attention when others talked about it. I�ll find out for you, if she won�t talk to you. Something tells me though that she will.� �And why is that?� Ellice chuckled, �Call it a hunch. I need to go, you interrupted at� ah� an awkward moment, bye.� Before Trent could stop her, she hung up on him. Hanging up the phone, Isaac stared across the desks at him. �She gave me Corliss� cell phone number. Said to call her tomorrow.� ---***--Walking down the stone stairs, Corliss made her way into the basement of the building. It had been turned into a temple several years ago for both weddings and funerals. Mostly made from graying stone, there were red velvet curtains laying around for decorations, and an altar at the end of the room. She knew that behind the small divider wall were coffins, not for the living vampires, but instead for the ones long past. On the altar, Kaleb�s body lay with a transparent white sheet covering him. Adriel had scared everyone out of the temple, and his tantrum could be seen in some broken statues and ripped curtains. He was kneeled before the altar, his body hunched over, as he cried into his lap. She pitied him, as this was his last son; the other two had died in previous years. Adriel never remarried after his wife was killed, though the elders had often demanded that he did. Corliss saw no other way for him now, he would have to marry someone to give birth to his heir. Though Adriel had daughters, he would refuse to give them his estates. Not that Marcellus would ever allow that to happen, after all he was trying to take over the clan. And this was all part of his scheme, and though she had wished Adriel to be removed, she suddenly felt responsible. She had thought they would take over through votes, and by proving his was an unfit leader. Not by destroying his very soul and taking away the only son that he had left. Corliss walked down the cool hall, until she was standing behind him. �Adriel?� She whispered, and reached her hand out to touch his shoulder. He said nothing as Corliss laid her hand on him, and after a moment he slowly turned around. Still on his knees, he wrapped his arms around her waist and cried into her abdomen. Rubbing her hands over his hair, she began to hum a soft melody, before mumbling the words. �Who would do this, Corliss?� He sniffled. She didn�t respond, just continued to stroke his hair. Her eyes wandered up to Kaleb�s body, and the peaceful look that he had. �Who would kill my son?� He screamed and then shoved her back. Falling on her bottom with a loud thud, she watched Adriel stand up and tear down another curtain that hung from two pillars. She immediately jumped to her feet and

ran to him. �Adriel, stop, this won�t help anything!� She begged him, and grabbed his face within her hands. �Adriel, please.� She whispered when he began to calm down. �Who ever did this needs to be punished, and you can�t lead us if you are down here throwing fits.� He nodded, and took several deep breathes. �Now,� She began, rearranging his clothing and using the sleeve of her shirt to wipe the tears from his face. �you are going to go upstairs, and you are going to take charge of that council. You have to show them that you are not weak, and are still capable of running this clan.� �You are right. Marcellus could use this opportunity to portray me as incompetent.� His words shocked her, as she had no idea that Adriel knew that Marcellus was trying to take his position. �Right.� She responded after a delayed moment. �I�ll stay here with Kaleb until you send down others for the watch.� He looked down into her eyes, �You know about Marcellus� treachery, don�t you? He has come to you.� Corliss knew better then to lie, �Yes, he has.� Adriel didn�t push the matter any further, he seemed content enough to believe that she had sent him away. Once he felt that he had a hold of himself, he headed down the long walk way and up the stairs. Corliss came to stand beside the altar and looked over Kaleb�s body. She touched his hand through the soft cloth, �I�m so sorry, Kaleb. I swear I didn�t know.� She sniffled, �This is all my fault, I am so sorry.� ---***--In the kitchen Trent picked up his phone, and stared at the piece of paper with Corliss� number on it. He had never called her before, even after their feelings had been expressed he couldn�t help but feel uncomfortable. Isaac sat across from him, and Samara and Coyle had taken positions on the couch. Trent had hoped that Corliss would have called him by now, though she did say she would be busy until Monday. Thinking on that, he began to wonder if she knew of Kaleb�s death beforehand. Hitting the talk button, he turned off his phone and looked at his partner. �What?� Isaac asked. �Wouldn�t today be a day of mourning? Like it was for Rylan?� Isaac nodded, �You�re right, should we head down to the cemetery?� Coyle popped up from the couch, �Turned out to be a bust last time we did it.� �Not true, we found out about Corliss� relation to Rylan.� Samara told him, her eyes were on Trent and not her brother. She had pulled her hair back in a rather

sporty looking pony-tail. �Call her anyway.� Trent nodded, and hit the talk button again before dialing the number. After three rings, a man�s voice answered. Initially, he was afraid it might be Adriel, and instinct told him to hang up. Yet, the cop in him demanded that he say something. �I�m sorry, I must have the wrong number.� �Are you calling for Corliss?� The masculine voice asked. �Uh, yes. Is she there?� There was a long pause, �Corliss is being punished and is not allowed access to her belongings at this time.� Trent arched an eyebrow, �Why are you answering her phone? Shouldn�t you let it go to voice mail?� �May I ask who is calling?� The man ignored him. �Tell her that Trent Monte called her, and it�s urgent that she get in touch with me.� He waited for the man to reply, but nothing was said. �Hello?� �Corliss says to stay away from her and make no attempts to contact her.� With that the line went dead. Trent felt a pain in his chest, but he shook the thought away. He wasn�t about to believe that message unless it came straight from Corliss� lips. He hung up his own phone, while everyone stared at him, waiting to hear what was said. �Apparently, Corliss doesn�t want us to make contact with her ever again.� Trent spoke the words confidently, trying to hide the pain he felt. �Hmm.� Isaac rubbed his chin, �Things just got more interesting, wouldn�t you say?� He was asking Samara and Coyle, and it wasn�t about the case. �That�s enough out of all of you.� Trent snapped, before any of them couple answer. �Something isn�t right here. They said that Corliss is being punished, but what for?� Samara shrugged, �Who knows? They punish each other for eating at the wrong restaurant. Doesn�t necessarily have to do with the case.� Coyle shook his head, �No, I think that Corliss might know something.� �Have you heard anything from Elijah?� Isaac asked. Trent shook his head, �I doubt we ever will, unless it�s something that only we can look into.� He grabbed his phone, �I have to call my inside agent. She said that if I can�t get to Corliss, that she�ll get us in to see her.� �You can just say you are going to call your sister.� Isaac told him, as Trent walked around the counter, his eyes glaring at him. �Thanks, because I wanted them to know my sister is a kine. That helps a lot, Isaac.� Trent meant the dogs, but they had already been informed by Isaac previously of his sister�s condition. Isaac was about to tell him that, but decided it was best not to let his partner

know that he was sharing his life story. They all watched Trent disappear into the bedroom to call his sister in private. ---***--Marcellus dropped Corliss� cell phone beside her on the bed, and finished buttoning up his shirt. The night before he had come to her, and didn�t mind that his scent would be left all over her bed. Not that Adriel would be visiting her room anytime soon, as he had engulfed himself in the council. Something that Marcellus made clear would prove a difficulty in their tasks if it continued. �You are lucky that I was here.� He told her, as he put on his black tie. They were preparing for Kaleb�s funeral. �I would have just let voice mail get it, if�� �You have to cut all links with him in order for our plan to work. No one is going to believe that I turned him, if you are the one who is being seen with him.� Once he was finished in the mirror, he turned around to face her. Corliss sighed, before staring angrily into Marcellus� eyes. �You didn�t have to kill Kaleb.� �I didn�t kill him, nor did I order anyone to.� He came to stand in front of her, and placed his hand on her chin forcing her to look at him. �Don�t accuse an elder of any wrong doing without proof, Corliss.� �Who else would have done it? You were the only one who knew.� Marcellus grinned, before dropping her jaw. �I did not touch him, only informed those who would care.� �Those who would care? What does that mean?� She jumped to her feet, as Marcellus walked to the door. Placing his hand on the doorknob, he looked over his shoulder. �You know well enough, Corliss. Come now, we have a funeral to attend to.� ---***--It took Ellice two weeks to find out the studio that Corliss would go to, and the news got better as well. She went there alone, and therefore would be easy enough to find and talk to. The artist was a famous kine painter by the name of Roman Sinclair, he was known for his work with live nudes both kine and werewolf. But his most famous piece was of a red headed kine standing in front of an army of werewolves, Adjacent Death, as it was titled. Trent had seen the painting many times before, but only really remembered it because the kine had been nude. He realized on the drive over that the kine in the painting had probably been Corliss, as Ellice explained that she was one of Roman�s favorite models. Since all races were welcome within his studio, Coyle and Samara tagged along. They had been the ones to locate Corliss� car within the parking garage at the museum, where Roman rented his studio.

The inside of his studio was rather large, plenty of room for costumes, make-up tables, and even changing rooms. Trent wondered why the guy wasn�t just a photographer instead of an artist, though Samara told him that there was more artistic license as he could add scenery after the fact. Immediately upon entering a small kine, with short black hair and thick glasses approached them. �May I help you?� He asked. �Mister Sinclair?� Isaac questioned, he had guessed because of the amount of paint the man had on his white overalls. �No, I am his assistant. May I help you with something?� Trent surveyed the room to find at least twenty people walking around the studio. His eyes settled upon an altered werewolf, their snout long, and teeth flashing. Lightly dispersed hair covered the seven foot frame, and at the werewolf�s feet was a nude Corliss. A collar around her neck, and a chain leading up to the werewolf�s hand. A thin kine stood behind a canvas painting the two in front of him. Feeling his breath caught in his throat, Trent reminded himself to exhale. It had only been two weeks, but he had almost forgotten what Corliss had looked like. Her red curls flowing across her breast, allowing only the slightest hue of pink from her nipples to be seen. He had nearly forgotten the desire that she created for him, and had been certain that he was over her lure. All it took was a glimpse to rip down the dam that held back his emotions. �We need to speak with Corliss.� Coyle told the assistant. �She is busy right now, but Mister Sinclair is almost finished. Have a seat, please.� He pointed to the fireplace in the corner, where three purple velvet chair and a bear rug were. Trent allowed everyone to sit down, and remained standing as they waited. It gave him a better view of Corliss, though he didn�t tell the others. �I remember this scene from another one of Roman�s paintings. Something like forbidden love, showed a werewolf with a kine. He likes to do that kind of thing.� �A kine with a human, ma�am.� Roman�s assistant told her. �Oh, was it a human?� He gave a nod, as he offered everyone coffee cups. �It was a werewolf model, but in human form disguised as a human, I guess you could say. It was called Contraband Feelings.� Samara grinned, a little taken back that the kine had called her ma�am and had answered her question without any disrespect. After several silent moments, Corliss appeared in a white robe that she kept closed with her arms. �I thought you were told to not get into contact with me.� Where the first words from her mouth, her eyes upon Trent. �We need to speak to you about Kaleb�s death. This is all business.� Trent told her.

Her stance remained firm, �Well?� She looked back and forth between them, when no one said anything. �Why were you removed from the case?� Samara asked. �Because it was my fianc�s death, and before you ask about why I was allowed on my brother�s case, it was because we weren�t close.� She snapped her answer, but Trent thought it sounded rehearsed. �Someone spoke to our captain, and told him that Rylan�s case was solved. Why didn�t you let us know?� Isaac asked this time. �Because someone else already contacted you. Besides, they didn�t think it would be a good idea for me to make contact with you guys again. And no, I won�t tell you who the murderer is.� �Who is the murder?� Samara questioned as soon as Corliss said that she would not answer. Corliss rolled her eyes, �Anything else?� �Considering that Kaleb was killed in the same manner as Rylan, it only helps the case if you tell us who is being punished for Rylan�s death.� Trent almost reached out for her hand, but realized that eyes were upon them. She sighed, �Look, it�s not the same killer alright. It�s a copycat, and I would look at the Faustos.� �Corliss?� Trent grabbed her arm as she was about to turn around. �We really need your help here, we have less to go on then with Rylan. The new investigator refuses to share anything with us, so please.� Looking into his eyes, she saw the pain within and nodded. �I am being punished for Rylan�s death. I was the one who killed him, because I found out about his betrayal to the Macreas. I believe the Faustos may have killed Kaleb to get back at me for killing him. Even if they disowned him, they still consider him part of the family, me as well. Which was why they didn�t kill me directly.� Trent didn�t buy a single word that she had spoken, and she knew that he didn�t believe her. Shifting from foot to foot, she waited for another question, but none came. �Alright then, goodbye.� She spun around and headed to her changing room. �What do you think?� Isaac asked him. �She�s full of shit.� Samara barked, and Trent nodded in agreement. �She�s protecting someone, but who?� The question came from Trent�s lips. �Head down to the car, I am going to speak with her privately.� Isaac grabbed his upper arm before he could leave, �Don�t do anything stupid, Trent.� The only reason that he even let him go was because he knew that Corliss trusted him, and would probably talk. Otherwise, he would have sent Trent to the car and gone himself. As he walked out to the car, he wished that he had been the one to lose that coin toss in the motel parking lot. Not because he wanted to be in

Trent�s shoes, but because he knew that none of this would have happened to his partner. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 17 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Corliss� heart pounded as she stepped within the cramped, closest-like changing room. She leaned against the make-up stand and looked into the mirror. Even though Trent didn�t have any physical changes, she could smell the chemical changes within. She wondered if it was strong enough that the pups could tell. Even though pups had a naturally stronger sense of smell, the chemical changes of a kine were rarely detected by them. Though in the latter stages, it was all too potent. There was no doubt left in her mind, Trent was becoming a kine, and she had no idea how to tell him. Marcellus told her not to, and that he would deal with it when the time came. The time was drawing near, as was the up-rise that was about to begin within the Macrea clan. Adriel either had to be told of the betrayal and of what she had done to Trent, or she would have to continue on with Marcellus� plan. She was afraid to tell Adriel, as he would have Trent killed, at least she had seen him do it before. He spared no sympathy to those that were turned without permission. A light knock sounded at her door, and before she had given consent, it swung open. Trent shut the door behind him, before leaning against it, as if that would stop Corliss from leaving. She swallowed deeply, leaning her backside against the make-up stand. There had been doubt in his eyes, when she repeated the story that Marcellus had forced her to rehearse. She had said the words so many times that they had lost their meaning, until she had started to believe them at least. �What the hell? I told you to leave me alone!� Corliss barked. �Are you going to tell me what is going on, or do I have to force it out of you?� Trent folded his arms across his chest. �I told you everything that I know, now please leave.� His defiant stance weakened, �Last I saw you, we were talking about making this relationship work, and now� I don�t understand.� �Oh, please, as if I would ever have feelings for a human. I don�t have to be your little love slave anymore, what we wanted to accomplish has been done. You are of no further use to me!� She could feel her heart slowly breaking as she spoke the words. Trent heard her voice crack when she talked, �I don�t believe you.� �Well, believe it, blood bag!� Stepping forward, he grabbed both her hands and slammed them on the make-up stand behind her. Pressing his body to her own, he felt Corliss shiver under his touch, though she tried desperately to hide it. With her kine enhanced strength, she could have easily removed herself from his grasp, and she knew that she should. Trent�s lips hovered above her own, she felt his breath on her upper lip, and it

made her quiver again. �What has happened, Corliss?� He forced himself to speak instead of kiss her. Staring into his dark eyes, her own eyes told of an internal struggle between heart and mind. �It�s not something that humans or pups need worry themselves over, Trent. Just walk away.� �You didn�t kill Rylan, did you?� �As far as the kine are concerned, I did.� �I thought the kine punished murder with death.� Corliss nodded, �Yes, but because he was betraying us, they decided that such a severe punishment was not necessary.� �Why did you take the fall for his death?� �Trent, there are some things that are best left unanswered. Just trust me, and say that I did it, please. It�s important that you at least pretend to believe me.� He tried to locate any hint of dishonesty within her irises, but there was none. �I don�t think I can do that.� �When it�s all over, you will understand. It�s vital that you tell your captain that I was the killer.� For several minutes, he said nothing. His hands still pressing down against hers, and his body heated from the woman beneath him. �And us? What about that?� �I�m sorry, Trent, but I can�t�� �Was it all a lie? Did you ever have any feelings for me, Corliss?� She nodded her head, �Of course, I did, but you don�t fully understand the circumstances. We can�t�� Trent placed two fingers over her lips. �I have spent the last two weeks convincing myself that you had no hold over me. Proving to both myself and Isaac that what we had was a fling that I could toss aside.� He took a deep breath through his nose, �No one in my entire life has ever made me feel an entire spectra of emotions like you have. I absolutely hate you, and no one else pisses me off as much as you do. And yet, there is no denying that I feel completely the opposite, because no one makes me happier either.� �You don�t understand, Trent, there is more�� He covered her mouth with his hand. �I walked into this studio today, knowing that I was over you. I had no doubt in my mind, and then I saw you. I realized then that I was just lying to myself this entire time. So, Corliss, tell me to go away. Tell me that you will never love me, and that you never want to see me again, and I will make it happen.� He removed his hand from her mouth, his heart throbbing within his chest. In truth, he was terrified of what her answer would be. Both ideas he hated, but both he wanted. Had he just confessed his love for her? Corliss wasn�t certain, but it had made her change her mind about telling him of what she had done. She couldn�t very well

inform him that he was becoming the very thing he never wanted to be. �How have you been feeling?� She asked. Trent arched an eyebrow, a little shocked that she hadn�t answered him. �I�m fine, why?� �Are you sure?� �Well, I have been having a lot of heart burn lately and lack of appetite, now that you mention it, uh why?� Corliss swallowed, �You seem out of sorts is all.� She had no idea why she had asked that question at that exact moment, she had meant to confirm her love as well. Instead, concern for his well being seemed to be the only thing she could voice. She saw the confusion within his eyes, and then defeat as he took a step back. �I� I won�t bother you anymore, Corliss.� He looked to his feet unable to look at any part of her, as he felt his heart break and begin to suffocate him. ---***--Isaac leaned back in the car seat and looked up at the museum. Samara and Coyle were in their small car, parked behind him against the sidewalk. He had thought that Trent had given up his feelings for the vampire, but he saw it return as soon as Corliss was within sight. It caused him no small amount of grief to know what he had to do. The Upper Circle had to be made aware that Trent might have breached their codes of conduct. The last thing that he wanted to do was get Trent into trouble or worse fired, but Isaac was just as guilty as his partner was if he didn�t tell them. He just couldn�t let Trent take him down with him. This had been the last decision he thought he would ever have to make when he first met his new partner. Their first case together had been a dead vampire, and Trent kept telling him over and over how much he hated them. Removing his eyes from the building, they fell to his lap. He already hated himself for this, but knew it was the only thing that could be done. Trent needed to be saved, and he was too damn blind to see that. Though, Isaac had his doubts about whether or not that was possible. Recently, his partner had a lack of appetite, and complained often of heart burn. Classic symptoms of a kine transformation, though Trent seemed completely oblivious. His friend also only ate steaks that were barely cooked, and he could have sworn he had seen Trent with fangs in his mouth. Whenever he had looked back they had been gone. It wouldn�t be long before Trent�s transformation was complete, though the last night would prove the change to him. Isaac had been told that it was the most painful experience one could live through. The human body actually dies, giving into the disease, but the disease refuses to let the body stop operations. It keeps the heart pumping, and the brain working. Those reasons alone were why there would never be a cure for vampirism. One thing Isaac couldn�t stop asking himself was, how did Corliss get authority? Trent was much older than the age normally given consent too. Which meant that there was a large possibility that there had been no permission given. If that

were true then Trent was a rogue kine, and would be killed if he was found out. He couldn�t be sure if that was worse than actually being turned against his knowledge. Either way the Trent he knew would be gone. A light tap echoed in his ears, and he looked out his passenger side window. Samara smiled widely at him, as he opened the door. He didn�t have the keys to turn on the car, so he could roll down the window. Of course, it was probably worse that Trent hadn�t locked his car up, junker or not. �Think we should go in after him?� Samara asked. Isaac shook his head, �No, he�s made his bed, let him lay in it.� �So, you know do you?� He raised an eyebrow, �Know about what?� She swallowed, not entirely sure if she wanted to be the one to inform him. Her mouth opened slightly, then snapped shut. �Yes, I know. Trent is becoming one of them.� Speaking the words out loud made him sick to his stomach. �What are you going to do?� She kneeled down beside the car. �The only thing that I can do, report him. He�ll probably be arrested.� �Arrested for what? It�s not illegal to become a kine.� Isaac almost grinned; he had never heard Samara call them kine before. �As a traitor to the circle. He hasn�t cut contact with them, and as a vampire he isn�t allowed access to certain information that he has access to as a human investigator.� �Being arrested by humans will be a lot better then what the Macrea elders have in store for him.� She stood up and looked at the museum. Isaac gave a nod, �I don�t think she was given permission either, by the elders or by Trent.� �What the hell did she do it for? I mean�� She sighed, �Are you going to tell him you are going to the circle?� �No, he has a way of talking me out of things. I am going to see his father tonight, and pray that I have the strength.� �Want me to go with you?� After asking it, she realized there was no chance in hell she would be allowed inside. �Like wait in the car, I mean.� Isaac grinned, �Thanks, but I think it�s something that I have to do on my own.� ---***--Corliss grabbed his hand before Trent could leave the changing room. Grief and humiliation were written all over his face, as he looked up from the floor to her. She didn�t know if she wanted to kiss him or tell him what she had done. Both

seemed like viable options, though one would have him storming out of the studio. �I love you too, Trent.� With those words, he could breathe again. He let out a deep, relieved sigh, before a chuckle escaped his lips. Running his hand over his hair, he tried to hold himself together. �For a minute there, I felt like the world�s biggest fool.� Corliss opened her mouth again to speak, now that she had admitted her feelings, she had to admit her mistakes. Trent placed two fingers over her lips, and she clamped her mouth shut. He didn�t want her to say anything else that would continue this emotional roller coaster ride. Something in her eyes told him that she was about to tell him what he didn�t want to hear. Taking a step closer to her, he laid his hands on her hips. Her eyes watched where he placed his fingers, before he pressed their bodies together. Corliss� worked the palm of her hands up his arms to his neck. Keeping their eyes in constant contact, she smiled when he did. Slowly, almost as if he were afraid she would pull away, he brought his lips down onto her own. His body filled with heat, when Corliss sighed and accepted him within her mouth. Her robe that she never tied, fell upon under their movements. Running his hands up to her shoulders, he helped get the robe the rest of the way off. She inhaled in a sharp breath, when the cool air hit her skin, as she hadn�t expected him to remove her clothing. Trent grinned under her kiss, hearing the excitement in her breathing. His grin faded when she began to suckle on his bottom lip. His hands slide underneath her butt and pulled her up onto the make-up stand. Gradually, Trent�s kisses made their way down her neck and shoulders. His hands sliding up and down her stomach, just out of reach of her breast. He abruptly stopped, causing confusion in Corliss� eyes. He had to fight back a grin that was brought on by her expression, as he stepped back. Taking off his suit coat, he tossed to the floor, and then unbuttoned his shirt. The confusion left Corliss� eyes, and was replaced with a grin. She reached out, and grabbed his collar yanking him towards her. A shiver of fear engulfed her spine, when he was able to hold his ground under her strength. It only reminded her of what she had done to him. Trent mistook the fear in her eyes to be disappointment, and stepped forward allowing her to do whatever she had planned. Corliss tossed her thoughts aside for the moment, and began to unbutton his shirt. One button at a time, she kissed his chest after each button was released. Finally, Trent was able to pull off his shirt, revealing his built chest, lightly coated with dark hairs. He brought his lips back to her neck, and mumbled something that was inaudible to her. When she didn�t respond, he continued to kiss and suck on her tender flesh. Making his way down to her chest, and pulling her nipple into his mouth with his tongue. Corliss arched her back as his other hand began to play with her other nipple. Looking up briefly, he watched Corliss with her mouth slightly ajar. She was watching him, a deep desire burning within her eyes. Trent continued his explorations downward, and fell to his knees. Immediately, Corliss grabbed his face within her hand, and jerked his eyes upward.

�What are you doing?� Her voice held her shock. Trent arched an eyebrow, and smiled devilishly. �Returning the favor from last time.� �No, that�s alright.� He responded by peeling her hands from his face, and slamming them down on the makeup stand. �Those stay there.� Corliss narrowed her eyes at him, �Excuse me?� She question was asked more out of surprise then anger, though she didn�t move her hands. Ignoring her, Trent began to kiss her inner thigh. The first kiss caused Corliss to jerk back, and complain about the stubble on his face. His eyes returned to her own, this time with a hint of annoyance. �Corliss?� �Yes?� She answered, when he remained silent. �Shh, you are ruining the mood.� A grin tugged at the corner of her lips as he returned to kissing her inner thighs. Though she tried to tell herself that his new found dominating behavior was caused by his on coming transformation, she lost all thought when his tongue began to lick at her. He pulled her legs over his shoulders to get a better positioning. Corliss threw her head back, as his tongue began to probe her sensitive innards. Disobeying his command to keep her hands on the desk, she reached out with her right hand for his head. Her fingers entwined with his long, dark hair. Realizing that she had never seen his hair down before, she pulled herself away from him. Trent let out a low growl, when he realized that she was purposely trying to escape him. He looked up into her eyes when she pulled the band from his hair, and the black mane fell over his shoulders. She grinned quite happily to see him puzzled by her action. Taking the band from her, she thought he was going to pull his hair back up, but instead he threw it over with his coat and shirt. A wave of exhilaration came over her, as Trent unexpectedly yanked her back towards his mouth. �I hope that will be your only distraction.� This time Trent offered her no mercy, as he licked and sucked her most vulnerable of areas. After several moments, Corliss tossed her head back and tried to jerk away. �Stop.� She begged. �Let it happen.� Trent rumbled, and continued despite more cries for him to stop. The pleasure sent a shiver throughout her body that was followed a long, deep moan. It was a pitch that Corliss didn�t even know she had. Trent kissed her thighs again, as she began to relax from her climax. When she looked back down at him, he stood to his feet, and allowed her to remove his belt and pants. All the while, he tried to kick off his shoes. Corliss grabbed a hold of his shaft with both hands, though he didn�t need any stimulation. He inched towards her, but she placed her hand on his chest, holding him back.

�You want to jump right into it?� She questioned. He pulled her hands away from his body, he had gotten all he needed from her moans and mounting pleasure. Corliss didn�t argue any further, and eased her legs around his waist. She helped guide him, causing Trent to let out another growl when the heat began to engulf him. Without ensuring that Corliss was prepared, he began to thrust in and out of her. His mouth fell to her shoulder, and he suckled hard on the flesh there. It was not something that he had ever done before, and with his mind on the brink of pleasure, he didn�t think much of it. Nor did he notice when the skin in his mouth broke, and a gush of blood began to seep from the new wounds. He drank the blood down, concentrating more of his desire for Corliss. Not even she was totally aware of the wounds to her neck, as she scratched her fingernails up and down his back. Trent moaned in ecstasy as Corliss was released from the confines of her own impending orgasm. Resting his hands on the make-up stand next to her hips, he inhaled deeply of the scent of blood. He had thought it was his own, until a drop exited his lips and landed on her thigh. Looking up, his eyes fell on the two small holes on her shoulder. He jolted backwards, his fingers heading to his mouth. They were there, the fangs that had torn the flesh on her shoulder. Corliss noticed the blood seeping from his mouth, and looked towards the smell of blood. Her eyes widened in fear, when she realized what Trent had done. �What� what have you done to me?� He yelled, gathering his clothing up. �Trent, stop!� She jumped in front of the door, so he couldn�t exit. �You are becoming a kine, there is nothing that can be done to stop it.� �You turned me?� Rage filled his eyes as he began to pull on his clothing, he had no intention of leaving until he got answers. Her blockade of the door was useless. She shook her head, �It was all an accident, Trent, I swear to you. Last time we saw each other, remember I was beat up? You kissed me and my mouth was bleeding, you swallowed blood�� �You knew that I was being turned and you didn�t tell me?� �I had to come up with a plan first to make sure that you weren�t killed.� She could see the fangs within his mouth slowly returning to normal canines. It wasn�t uncommon for fangs to come and go as the person was undergoing their transformation. He looked like he was going to kill her. �Killed is a much better option than becoming this!� �You don�t believe that and you know it. How can you say you love me, but hate what I am at the same time?� His mouth opened to answer, but snapped shut. �Listen, you probably have a couple days left, and then you will suffer through possibly the worst night of your life. You should be under the watch of another kine when that happens.� She swallowed, before sighing. �Marcellus has told me that he will accept blame for your transformation, which means that it will be a sanctioned turn.�

�Why would he do that?� �Because I am helping him remove Adriel from power.� She whispered so that none of the other nearby kine or werewolves could hear her. �There is nothing that can be done, Trent. You are going to become a kine, whether you want to or not. The question is: Are you going to take it as a gift or a curse?� �A gift? You are turning me into a monster, and I should think it�s a gift?� Trent was finished dressing, and ready to leave. He wiped his bloody mouth on her robe.. Corliss continued to stand in his way, blood dripping down her shoulder. �You just told me that you love me. If you would let me fix this, I know that�� �You just said that there is nothing that I can do, I am going to become a kine.� �Fixing it, doesn�t necessarily mean that I will be able to make you human again. Please, just don�t do anything stupid, like jump off a building. It�s not all that bad.� Placing his hand on her shoulders, he shoved her aside. �Not all bad, my ass! You�ve been one your entire life, you don�t know any different.� Grabbing her robe, she wrapped it around her as Trent opened the door and stormed out. She chased him down the stairs and into the main lobby of the museum, and clutched his upper arm when she finally caught up to him. �Don�t do this, Trent. Don�t walk out on me.� She stared up into his eyes, tears had begun to escape her own. �I am begging you. I am so, so very sorry that this has happened. I never meant for it to be this way. Yet, it has happened, and it is this way. Can�t you just accept it, so we can�� He yanked his arm from her grasp. �I will never accept your �gift�, vamp!� Corliss looked around the room as people in the lobby stared at them. She blushed at the embarrassment, which gave Trent enough time to escape. Watching him exit the building, she gently shook her head. This could not be happening, it just wasn�t possible. She knew what needed to be done, and there was only one person that could help her. Fear shook her inner being, she couldn�t do it, she just couldn�t. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 18 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Trent entered his apartment, a Styrofoam cup in hand. Grabbing the cordless phone, he placed them both on his coffee table, and took a seat on the couch, his eyes staring down upon it. No wonder he hadn�t been able to find anything worth eating, he was looking at the wrong species menu. He shook his head, this was no time to joke around. No, this was the time to make a decision. He either had to turn himself into the Upper Circle, where they would lock him up, and probably use him for research. Or he could spend the rest of his life as a kine, but with Corliss. He rubbed his brow with the back of his hand, before running his finger through his hair. This was all his fault, he may have blamed Corliss for it, but he knew

where the blame lay. He had allowed himself to play a dangerous game. One that he had been told a thousand times during his training not to engage in. It was too late now, too late for regrets, and much too late to stay human. Reaching for the Styrofoam container, he opened the lid to reveal the pig�s blood within. Truth be told, he had known for a while now that he was becoming a kine. He saw it whenever Isaac or the dogs looked at him, and he could feel it within his own heart. It was a burn that he deserved for playing with such a hot flame. Staring at the dark red liquid, he asked himself what he wanted. There had to be worse things out there then spending a thousand years with Corliss. The alternative was in fact worse. Who wanted to be an imprisoned test subject, like so many other rogue kine that he had met. Of course, Corliss did say that Marcellus would claim him. He pressed his lips together, what made him think that he would be with Corliss if Marcellus did that? Wouldn�t he be property of that particular elder? No, Corliss had said� nothing of the sort. She just begged him not to leave or kill himself. He let out of a long, He was a logical man, had a choice to make, he was going to drink deep sigh. The phone and the blood, they were his options. and liked to see his choices in a physical form. Tonight he he was going to call the Upper Circle and report himself or that blood, and go back to Corliss.

Loyalty versus love, a battle that had been fought many times before, by many different people. Corliss or his father? Either way, he was going to become a kine, unless he killed himself now. He didn�t want to die, he may have said it was a better option to Corliss, but he didn�t mean it. Looking out his window, over the city that he had grown up in he swallowed. His eyes turned to his choices on the coffee table. �Kine, either way.� He said out loud to himself, �Do you want to be a free one or a caged rat?� Leaning over, he picked up the Styrofoam cup and dipped his index finger into the liquid. He looked at the blood dripping from his finger back into the container. Slowly, he brought the finger to his mouth, before sucking it clean. �That�s not too bad.� He set it back down on the table. He didn�t like it, and he hated himself as well as Corliss for it. But he�d rather be a Macrea toy, then an Upper Circle�s lab rat. She should have told him, so that he could have been better prepared. But, she really was only trying to protect him. His head jerked up, as his apartment door was kicked down and in entered six men dressed in black. They all held rifles, one man leapt forward, ordering Trent onto his stomach. He complied without hesitation, and the man pressed his knee against Trent�s upper back, before handcuffing him. �Trent Monte, you are under arrest for your deflection against the Upper Circle. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you. You have the right to an attorney�� �Yeah, I know!� He barked, though the Upper Circle had their own right not to comply to a request for an attorney under these circumstances. His arrester yanked him up onto his knees, and then to his feet as he shoved him out of the apartment and down the stairs.

Trent�s eyes rested firmly on Isaac, who was waiting out by the squad car as they brought him out. �Wait!� Isaac ordered, stopping them from shoving him into the car. �Trent, I�m sorry, but this is my job. I can�t go down for this.� Trent nodded, �It�s alright, Isaac. I would have done the same thing had it been you. Call my sister, her card is in my desk at work, would you?� Before he could hear or see Isaac�s response, he was thrown into the backseat of the squad car. He looked out the window at Isaac, who stood with his hands folded on the sidewalk. Damn him, had he only waited one more day, then Trent would have been under Macrea protections� or at least he hoped he would have. As he watched his partner, Samara came to stand beside him. A look of dread and fear filled her eyes. She obviously hadn�t expected them to treat him like a criminal. Trent wondered what the hell had Isaac dragged her along for. It was bad enough that he was being arrested by his peers, let alone to have the damn dogs there with him. He must have needed the emotional support. He looked up as the driver got into the squad car, he recognized this man. Jonah Ridley had worked in paranormal investigations with him for eight years. They said nothing to each other, as he started the engine and began to drive away. ---***--Ellice threw her cell phone down onto her bed, and ran out into the hallway. Her destination was Corliss� bedroom, despite that she was inappropriately dressed in a night gown. She tried not to act suspiciously, but knew that she was failing miserably. After all she was running in the halls in nothing but a satin slip. Getting to Corliss� door, she barely knocked before throwing the door open. Her eyes fell on Marcellus and Corliss, both looked like deer caught in headlights. They stood at the end of the bed, both completely dressed, so she knew there was nothing indecent going on. Yet, they both acted as if she had caught them in the act. The elder was the first to break his frozen stance. �What the hell are you doing, toy?� Marcellus barked. �I am very sorry. I have something urgent that I must speak with Corliss about. Should I wait outside?� Ellice bowed her head, her eyes never looked into Marcellus�. He shook his head, �No, I was just leaving.� As he past her, he grabbed her upper arm. �You will not speak of what you have seen here.� �No, milord, never.� She gently shook her head, her eyes squeezed tightly at the pain he was causing to her arm. He glared over at Corliss, before leaving the room, slamming the door behind him. �What has gotten into you?� Corliss� voice was full of shame and anger. �I am sorry, Corliss. I really am, but this is important.�

�Out with it!� �I just got off the phone with a woman named Samara. She told me that Trent has been arrested by the Upper Circle for� uh� I think she said deflection against them.� Ellice looked up from the ground at Corliss� gapped mouth. �What�s going on, Corliss?� She knew from her expression that there was much more to the tale, and Corliss knew it. �Oh my god!� Corliss cried out. Rogue turns were not given the same royalties and rights as a sanctioned turns. That meant that the Upper Circle could do as they pleased with Trent, kill him, use him. They couldn�t charge a kine with anything that was up to their clan. He obviously wasn�t part of a clan, he didn�t live in the building or have the proper plaque posted outside his apartment. �Corliss, what has happened?� Ellice cried out the question again, as she past her heading for the door. �Go back to your room, Ellice. Don�t tell anyone about this, understand?� She ordered, heading out into the hallway, and leaving Ellice alone in her room. Running towards Adriel�s bedroom, she knew the choice had been made for her. He was the only person that could make any of this right. She had no idea whether Trent wanted to live or die, but Marcellus had no power. By the time he did, odds were it would be too late. Knocking on the door, Adriel opened it and allowed her entry. �I wasn�t expecting you this evening.� He mumbled, as he shut the door. He was wearing nothing but his black pajama bottoms. �Adriel, I have something that you need to know, and something that I will trade for it.� He arched his eyebrow, and crossed his arms across his bare chest. �I know who all the elders are that have sided with Marcellus. I also know what they plan and when they plan to do it.� His eyes narrowed and his lips pressed firmly together, �And you know this, because?� �I sided with them.� She was ready for the slap, but it came much quicker then she had expected it to. Picking herself up off the floor, she steadied her stance. �I should kill you where you stand, you little treacherous slut!� He growled, jumping forward and grabbing her upper arms. He shook her violently four times, before slamming her against the wall. �If you kill me, then you will never know a thing. They will take over, and you will be left with less than ruin.� �Less then ruin?� His grip on her eased. �They plan to kill you, Adriel. It�s more then just a takeover.� She relaxed when Adriel stepped back away from her.

�I see. And you say you have something to trade for this information?� She nodded, �I accidentally turned Trent, and he has been arrested by the Upper Circle as a rogue. You claim he is part of the clan, and I will tell you everything that you need to know.� He curled his upper lip, �How dare you! I will claim no part in an illegal transformation, nor will I bring any of your infected Fausto turns into my clan.� �Then I tell you nothing, Adriel.� Raising his hand again, she readied herself for another slap, but it never came. �Very well, Corliss, we will play by your rules for now. Tell me what you know.� �Call the Upper Circle first, and send one of our representatives over.� Corliss had never been the one in control of their relationship, and though it felt strange, she felt empowered as well. Adriel gave a nod, �Very well.� He reached for the phone, but his hand dropped. �Do you know who killed Kaleb?� She knew, it was her brothers. Though neither Marcellus or her brothers would admit to it, she had a good feeling that Marcellus had told them. �Yes, I do.� �Who?� �Shall I start from the beginning or just give a name?� Adriel stood straight, and crossed his arms. �You have been playing a dangerous game, haven�t you, Corliss?� She grinned, �I have.� �Very well from the beginning.� Corliss walked over to the edge of the bed and took a seat, Adriel followed her lead. �It started about four months ago, I was in the garden alone, and Rylan came to see me. He told me that he had started to work for the Upper Circle, and that he was working closely with a pup. His mission was to gather information about the clan to ensure that the Macreas weren�t going to attempt any power plays. Like removing another clan and such.� She looked over at Adriel and he seemed rather calm. �He had asked someone else to join the cause, and the person agreed because he wanted to have you removed from power. This made him the Shadow, that you no doubt read about in the files you found in my room� I later found out that it was Kaleb.� Adriel gave a slow nod. �He wanted me to do the same as Kaleb, and so I agreed.� �Why did you agree, have I not given you all that you wanted?� Adriel seemed more hurt about her betrayal then his son�s. �I have never wanted to be here, Adriel. We both know that.� She waited for a response, but got none. �A few weeks before we found Rylan�s body, he told me that he was getting a lot of death threats. Not only that, but he was certain someone

within the clan knew about what he was doing. It turned out to be Marcellus. He said that he was going to quit and expose us all. There was nothing I could do to change his mind, so I let him go.� She swallowed deeply, when Adriel took her hand and began to squeeze it. Ignoring him, she continued. �I got an email a couple weeks later, asking me to meet the other Shadow and Rylan�s partner at a warehouse. When I got there, I was an hour late, and Kaleb was screaming at him. The pup was there as well, and she gave him a gun.� Corliss� voice caught in her throat as she tried not to cry. �He shot him, and then they just left. Neither of them ever saw that I was there. I picked up Rylan�s body and hid it at a popular pup hide out, hoping the werewolves would be blamed.� Adriel had stopped breathing, and his eyes were enraged. �And my son?� �Marcellus. I told him that Kaleb had killed Rylan, and he wanted revenge for his toy�s death.� She lied, but Adriel was too angry to tell the difference. He stood from the bed and reached for the phone, �I am a man of my word, Corliss. However, after this is over, you will be tried for what you have done.� �I understand, and I expected no less.� ---***--It started before they even reached Upper Circle headquarters. His stomach felt as if it were about to burst, he began to suffocate, and his heart would pound at unheard of speed, and then just stop. The pain had been too much, even when his own father had tried to speak to him. Words, thoughts, they couldn�t form through all the torment that his own body was going through. They threw him into a small five foot by five foot cell, a solid metal door for an exit. No pain killers, no checking up on him, he laid there on the cold ground. Trent could barely remember his own name, and it had taken him several moments to recognize his father�s face. He managed to cry out for his father to help him, which made the old man tear up and leave the room. He told himself that the pain would end with time, but it only grew stronger. Wracking his entire body with what felt like daggers into his soul, until he knew that he could bare no more. When he started wishing for death, praying that the sweet release from life would come, it stopped. All the pain, just disappeared, as if it had never been. He didn�t even feel tired from his evening of thrashing about and screaming. Sitting up, he wiped the sweat from his brow. He was left in deep confusion, but remembered that Corliss had warned him about the terrible night ahead. Feeling his teeth, he found that his canines were now fangs. Sharp and deadly like any other kine. He closed his mouth, and bit his own tongue. Letting out a slew of curse words, he bit his bottom lip. Gently, he shut his mouth, ensuring that no other body parts were in the way. This was going to take time getting use to, though he wondered if he actually had much time left. The cell door opened and in stepped a tall, dark haired man. Trent knew immediately that he was a kine, though he had never before met him. It had to do with the way he smelt, he reeked of blood, but not his own.

�Mister Monte, I am Zane Orrin. I was sent here to secure your release.� His skin was darker then Trent had ever seen a humans, as were his eyes. �Are you well enough to stand? I understand that you have been undergoing your transformation these past two days. It is a rare to go through such a long process, though not unheard of.� �Two days?� Trent finally managed. �Yes, Mister Monte, two days.� He held out his hand for Trent to take, �I will explain everything to you in the car. Right now, we need to get you out of here and put some blood in your stomach. Both are critical in this stage of your development.� Trent took his hand, and was pulled to his feet. Zane put his arm around his shoulder to keep Trent from falling over. As he exited the cell, he looked into the eyes of his father, Franklin. He stepped forward, �Are you sure you want to go with them, Trent?� Franklin asked. He gave a nod, �I have a feeling that it will be better there then here.� A sadness filled the old man�s eyes, yet another child lost to the kine. �I am still your son, father, and I think you would find that Eleanor still wants to be your daughter. Though, she goes by Ellice now.� Franklin looked up into his eyes, �Have her call me?� Trent agreed, and Zane helped walk him down to the front desks of the Upper Circle�s prison. There he signed a few papers, one that included his release from all human laws and positioned himself under kine law. It was a harsher system, but he had no other choice. Zane walked him down to his black car, the make and model Trent didn�t really pay attention to. Though he was certain that it was a luxury car. Sitting in the driver�s seat, Zane smiled at him. �Welcome to kine society. I am afraid we can�t go straight to the Macrea building. I have been asked to keep you from there until a certain business deal finishes. Which also means that for the next few hours, I will be your mentor. So, first things first, you are pale as the moon.� Zane chuckled, starting up his car. �Let�s get you something to eat.� �Animal right?� Trent asked, pulling his seat belt on. He hadn�t felt weak in the cell, but the moment he stood up, all his energy had drained away. �Right.� Zane said pulling out of his parking lot. �How did you get me out?� �Mister Adriel Macrea called the Upper Circle and informed him that you were a member of the Macrea Clan. They had no other option, but to release you from their cells. You do not belong under rogue kine or human laws.� �Adriel?� He watched Zane nod, �Not Marcellus?� �Nope, Adriel. He summoned me and asked that I ensure your safe release.� Zane looked at him out of the corner of his eye. �Why would you think Marcellus would

have the power to do that?� He shrugged, �I am out of it.� He wasn�t going to rat Corliss out if this man didn�t know. Speaking of Corliss, �Is Corliss alright?� �Miss Macrea is fine. She was with Adriel last I saw her.� Zane�s voice held his curiosity, as well as his suspicion. He cleared his throat, �Anyway, let�s get to mentoring, shall we? First and foremost, you need to drink blood, as if you didn�t know. You�ll probably need to drink it three to four times a week right now, and then later you can drop down to two. Some kine can even go with just one feed a week.� He grinned, �And animal blood works for that.� Trent chuckled, the man had known his question before he had asked. �Second of all, if you indulge yourself in human food, try not to eat anything with too much fat. It doesn�t digest well for us. Animal fat is alright, like say a steak, though. But try to stay away from butter and ice cream.� �What does it give you gas or something?� Trent asked. Zane laughed, �Too much can make you violently sick. I remember when I was freshly turned, I didn�t believe my mentor. I puked for a week while it made its way through my system. Couldn�t do anything but lay in bed and vomit. Had to drink water just so I had something to throw up.� He shivered, �Dry heaves are the worst!� Trent chuckled, �No offense, but you aren�t what I expected from a kine.� �None taken, and I think you�ll find the kine aren�t always what they appear. I wasn�t exactly a willing turn myself, which is probably why Adriel sent me.� He turned the steering wheel, and chuckled. �Why do you say I was unwilling?� Zane shrugged, �Why else would the Upper Circle have you?� �Good point.� Trent looked out the car window, �How long do we have to stay out?� �Until they call me and say to come back.� Zane answered. Of course, if they didn�t call him by midnight, then he would know that Adriel was dead. It would be his task then to kill the man sitting beside him. ---***--Corliss stood in the dark elder�s meeting hall, she knew that her brother Julian and several other Faustos were positioned around the room. Adriel had called them to help bring the treachery to an end. It turned out that Adriel and her father, Cassius, were relatively close, business-wise. He didn�t want Adriel losing his position anymore then he wanted to lose his own. Had she known that then she would have never agreed to help Rylan all those months ago. Adriel gave her a nod, which told her that it was time. Marcellus had sent her in to ensure that he was alone. Stepping out of the room, Corliss walked down the hall to where Marcellus and several other elders were awaiting her word. She entered and shut the door, her heart beating quickly within her chest.

�He�s alone, and sitting at the table when I left him.� She told Marcellus. She hated the idea of sending him in there, knowing that it would mean his death. They had been in love once, and she still cared deeply for him. She also knew that Marcellus� victory would be the only thing that would stop her own death. Adriel was going to have her tried and killed after this was all over, she knew it to be true. Yet, she had to do this for Trent. Adriel had promised her that he would not be killed. �Are you prepared for this?� Marcellus asked as he handed her a hand gun. �Prepared to kill my master? As much as I will ever be.� She looked around the faces of the other elders, she had never seen them so blood thirsty before. Adriel�s death meant they would all move up one notch, but they would not succeed. The high elder was prepared for their inevitable betrayal with an army of his own. �Take it.� Marcellus said still holding the gun out to her. �Do I really have to be there for this? I�ve done my part, I am not a soldier.� She watched him shove the gun at her again, and took it from his hand. �Are you certain that you want to do this? I mean can�t you just vote him out?� Marcellus snorted, �In order to vote him out, we need a majority of the Macrea clans to agree. We are never going to get them to vote out a man who has increased profits here.� He shook his head, �No, we kill him and pin his death on Kaleb�s pup partner.� He meant Amelia, but she wasn�t Kaleb�s partner. Corliss wasn�t going to correct him, this was no time to get into semantics. Everyone slipped past her and leaving Corliss to catch her breath in those last moments. It was too late to warn Marcellus now, and her heart broke knowing that she was the final factor in his life. Following the group down the hall, they all filed around the door. Her heart pounded with fear and anticipation at to what was to come. Someone she cared about was going to die today, and it would be all her fault. Marcellus placed his hands on the doorknob, and began to twist. The guards that were normally posted outside the door had been ordered to leave earlier. They had not questioned Marcellus when he demanded it, though Corliss was quite certain that Adriel had told them it would happen. Throwing the door open, they all piled into the room. Corliss didn�t enter instead, did as she was told by Adriel, and slammed the door shut behind them. She locked the door with the key that she had been given. Marcellus spun around and grabbed her arm, and Corliss rid herself of the key by throwing it to Adriel. The door being locked was more of an inconvenience then anything, as Marcellus could easily knock it down with a few kicks. �What have you done?� Marcellus growled, he didn�t notice the other vampires in the room. They wore bullet proof vests and black jump suits, in each hand was a rifle. Julian was the head of security at the Fausto�s businesses. Her father didn�t believe in just letting his children run around free because they had money, he demanded that they worked.

�I would let her go, Marcellus.� Adriel said to his cousin, his arms folded behind his back. Marcellus turned his eyes to the small group that stood with Adriel, all the elders had thrown down their weapons. He placed the gun to Corliss� temple and pulled her in front of him. �Do not be a fool, Marcellus. We both know that Corliss is already sentenced to death for her treacherous acts, she is no shield for you.� Adriel chuckled, �Of course, with your ever romantic ideals on love, I am sure that you would prefer the Romeo and Juliet ending. Though, I doubt Corliss feels the same.� Marcellus squeezed her against his chest, �Open the door.� Corliss was well aware that Adriel may betray her in those moments, but she prayed that he would keep his end of the deal. He promised not to kill Trent, and that he would let him decide whether to live as a kine or die. That�s all the really mattered. All of this was her fault, and she was prepared to pay the consequences. �She fell in love with a human.� Adriel grinned, �A human over you.� Marcellus glared. Corliss could see the look of confusion on her brother, Julian�s, face. He didn�t know what she had done to Trent, and her fear compiled with shame. The last thing she wanted was for anyone in her family to know that she had fallen for a human. She could only pray that Adriel told him it was a lie to get a rise out of Marcellus later on. As she doubted she would be around to contradict her master. Marcellus pressed the cool metal of the barrel into her temple, and she closed her eyes. Wrapping her fingers around his forearm, she prepared herself for the end. She wished that Trent could have been there with her, and she prayed for his safety. Sucking in what she thought would be one of her last breathes, she felt Marcellus� hold of her release. He threw her to the ground at Adriel�s feet along with his gun. �I could never hurt you.� He mumbled as the Fausto crew ordered them to get on their knees and put their hands above their heads. Adriel grabbed her upper arm and pulled her to her feet. She couldn�t believe that it was over just like that. No bloodshed, no death, Marcellus had just given up, as did the other elders. �I blackmailed her into doing this, Adriel. This wasn�t her fault.� Marcellus announced as he was removed from the room. Corliss looked up at Adriel as he exited, �That�s not true.� �I know.� He growled, �Now, I must prepare for the trials. We shall begin tomorrow.� Adriel was the judge and jury, and there was no doubt what would happen to them all. He exited the room, without looking at Corliss. She was shocked that she had not been arrested with the others, perhaps Adriel knew that she wouldn�t try to escape. There was nowhere to run.

Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 19 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Zane hung up the cell phone in the coffee shop, and looked across the table at Trent. The new turn had done quite well for himself after his first feed, as most would have thrown up. He had been able to keep the blood down for the most part, although a half hour later he had vomited some within his mouth. That was partly the reason they had stopped off at the coffee shop, Zane not only wanted to get something to wash it down for him, but show him some proper places where vampires could patronize. �Well, that was Adriel. Said it�s alright to come back when we want to.� Zane�s booming voice spoke over the crowd. �Can I see Corliss? I would like to speak with her.� He shook his head, �No, Corliss has had all her privileges revoked, and is considered a prisoner at this time.� �For murder?� Trent asked, taking a sip of his black coffee. �No, for betrayal and unsanctioned turned. I don�t know what bargaining chip she used to keep you alive, but you are one lucky man.� Zane put his cell phone in his pocket; Adriel had explained some of the situation to him on the phone. �What will happen to her?� He didn�t understand, he thought she said that Marcellus would help them. Why would she be under arrest now? And why did he just get off the phone with Adriel, had they failed the take-over? Zane shrugged, �That�s for Adriel to decide. Right now, I need to take you to meet with him. He wishes to speak with you privately.� He stood from the booth and pulled out his car keys. Trent covered his coffee with the lid, and followed his temporary instructor out to the car. Once inside, they remained silent for the rest of the drive. Though he didn�t know Zane very well, he thought for certain he saw uncertainty in the man�s eyes. Man? Kine, Zane was a kine, and so was he. It felt so weird to think it, as he still felt human. All his life, he thought that kine were walking around with a superior strength and pride within, but he felt no different then he had last month or even last year. No, that was a lie, he felt better, healthier. The self loathing that he had carried with himself all his life was slowly fleeting. The urge to drink himself away had vanished weeks before, after he had been contaminated. Could it then be true? Could he possibly be one of the humans who were born and were always meant to become a kine? He didn�t like the thought, but it would make his transition all the easier. With a deep swallow, he looked out his window as they pulled into the Macrea Corp parking lot. Zane exited the vehicle as soon as he turned it off, and clicked on the alarm system once Trent was out. They took an express elevator from the parking garage to one of the floors in the Macrea building. Zane had to use a card to get the doors to open.

�Be respectful, act as if you are talking to God, and you�ll do fine.� Zane whispered to him as they reached the elder�s meeting hall. �Thanks for your help, Zane. Maybe we can have coffee again sometime?� He didn�t know why he asked, perhaps to ensure that he had friends within the clan. Zane shook his head, �I have a feeling that this will be the last time we ever speak to one another.� �Oh, well, good luck to you.� �You need it more then I. Take care, and remember to be respectful.� Trent nodded, as the guards opened the door behind him. Inside, Adriel sat at the end of the table, and pointed to the chair further from him. �Please sit, Mister Monte.� Remembering Zane�s words, Trent sat immediately. �Thank you.� Adriel folded his hands on the table in front of him, �You may remember me from Rylan Cullen�s funeral. I am Adriel Macrea. Were you informed of why I wanted to speak with you?� �No, sir, I was not.� A grin played at the corner of the kine elder�s lips, �It�s good to see that you are courteous. Tomorrow, you will be tried for being an unsanctioned turn. Normally, one such as yourself would be put to death. However, as a man of my word, I will not be able to have you permanently removed from this earth.� �Excuse me, I don�t mean to interrupt, but what do you mean when you say �a man of your word�? Has some deal been made that I am not aware of?� Trent swallowed, when he saw a look of anger flash in the elder�s eyes, it softened as he talked. �Yes, with your master, Corliss. Well, it was less of a deal, and more like blackmail, but you needn�t concern yourself with details. Right now, your future is at stake.� Adriel watched him for a moment before continuing. �You see, Mister Monte, I do not allow just anyone to become a member of my clan. People must earn that position, such as your sister did.� His deep piercing eyes were making Trent uncomfortable, but he tried not to squirm around. �I wish to speak with you, so that I can get an understanding of how you think, and if it is akin to my own. If not, then I see no reason for you to be part of my clan. After all, Corliss is not a Macrea, though she may carry our name. I do not think that my people would take kindly to you. Therefore the only way to protect you would be to make you my toy, understand?� �Yes, sir, I do. If you do not decide that I can become a member, what happens to me then?� �As I cannot kill you, I would have to release you. You would become a rogue kine, and therefore hunted by those that wish to experiment on you or destroy you. Clan members do not take lightly to rogues.� Adriel watched him shift in his seat. �Shall we begin then?� �I am ready, sir.� Trent knew that he had to do the best he could with the

information that he had collected about Adriel. Hopefully, he could paste together enough agreeable information that Adriel would not find him lacking. He hated the idea of becoming a Macrea, but the alternative was not much better. ---***--Corliss followed a pet down the halls to a spare meeting hall, she wasn�t sure who wanted to meet with her, but the pet had made it sound urgent. Adriel had ordered her to stay within her room, however the pet had brought her written proof that it was alright for her to leave for this meeting. The short man opened the door for her, and she stepped into the room that wasn�t that much different from the elder�s hall. Her eyes fell immediately upon the kine with black hair, tan skin, who stood as tall as Adriel. This was her father, Cassius Fausto. Beside him was her mother Kamila, and her brothers, Julian, Silvio, and the eldest, Dante. Kamila ran towards her as soon as the door was shut, and wrapped her arms around her daughter�s shoulders. �Oh my beautiful girl.� She kissed her cheek. �My beautiful, beautiful baby.� �Kamila, cease this. That is not your daughter, but a Macrea!� Cassius ordered his wife. Though in truth, he was glad to see his daughter again. She looked exactly like her mother, almost too closely for comfort. �Oh hush, Cassius. If you believed that we would not be here now.� Kamila continued to hug her, and then stepped back holding her hands. She brushed some stray hairs from Corliss� face. �Have you been treated well? I�ve missed you so much.� �What is going on? Why are you here?� Corliss looked past her mother to her father. Everyone lowered their heads, and finally her father spoke. �Adriel informed us of the punishment that is set out by Macrea law for what you have done. We wanted to say our goodbyes.� She gently nodded her head. �I see.� �What were you thinking, Corliss? All this for a human, how could you do this to our family?� Dante barked Kamila turned to her son, �May I remind you that I was still human when your father fell in love with me. Perhaps you shouldn�t be so quick to judge. If a kine had not loved a human, you would have never been born.� He dropped his head, �I am sorry, mother. I didn�t mean to offend. I just don�t see why she did this for him. From what I understand Marcellus could be high elder of the Macrea clan now, and Corliss would have been spared.� Cassius spoke before Corliss could, �There are some things that are more important then your own life. Your sister decided that this was one of them.� He turned his eyes to her, �Right?� �It was my fault that Trent became a kine. He shouldn�t be killed for my mistakes; he had nothing to do with this, father.� She looked between her brothers and

parents, �I am sorry if I have shamed the Faustos, it was never my intention. Actually, Adriel was the one who ordered me to get close to the human in the first place.� Kamila frowned deeply. �I knew that horrible man had something to do with this, he�� �Kamila!� Cassius snapped, �Adriel is our ally, you should not speak of him so.� �Your ally put her in this position; this is his fault that any of this happened. And now he is punishing her for doing what he knew was a probability.� Kamila looked back to her daughter. �It isn�t fair.� �I think he is punishing me more for joining Marcellus� side then for turning Trent, mother.� Corliss looked down at her mother�s hands that were holding hers so tightly that her fingers were turning red. �We should go now, Adriel asked us not to keep you long.� Cassius announced, when nothing else was said. Kamila leaned in and kissed her daughter�s cheek several times. �Be strong, my baby girl.� �Father, may I ask you something in private?� Corliss asked, as everyone headed towards the door. With a nod, he waited for the others to leave then turned to her. �I know that after what I have done that you owe me no favors. But perhaps, you can grant me a dying wish?� He crossed his arms, �What is it?� �Adriel may make Trent a rogue kine, could you�� She hesitated; this was not something you asked of an elder or even your father. �Accept him as a Fausto?� He finished her question. Corliss nodded, her eyes staring down towards the floor. �It really wasn�t his fault that all this happened.� �I will give it some thought. We will all be at the trial tomorrow, so I will make my decision after Adriel makes his.� �Thank you.� �Don�t thank me, I haven�t agreed to anything.� With that, he opened the door to leave. Julian appeared in the doorway, �I want to speak with her alone.� �Make it quick, we need to get home.� Cassius ordered. Stepping into the room, Julian shut the door and reached out his arms towards his sister. Corliss threw herself at him, and began to cry into his silk shirt. �I�m sorry, Julian. I really am.� He stroked her hair, �Don�t be sorry, you have caused no damage to the Fausto

name. At least not within the clan, maybe to the Macreas who know you are one.� �I can�t believe all this happened.� She sobbed. �I� how did this happen? I don�t know how I even got here. I tried to push him away, I did everything, but Adriel kept pushing me to go further.� She shook her head, �No, I can�t blame him, this is all my fault, and I know it.� �You know,� He began still petting her hair, �I always thought that one day you would be back in the Fausto clan. Just something that I knew would come true in my heart. And then everything would go back the way it was.� He grinned, �Remember reading in the study all day together, and whenever we got to something interesting or funny would read it to each other?� Corliss giggled, �Yeah, but the other one didn�t understand, so we had to explain the entire book.� �Yeah, Silvio doesn�t like reading much.� �Silvio doesn�t like much of anything.� She retorted. He released her from his grasp and held her at an arm�s distance. �We are going to be there with you. Death will not come to you without those you love near.� She shook her head, �No, listen to me. I asked father to take Trent if Adriel makes him a rogue, if he does that I want you to take Trent home. I don�t want him to see me die, Julian, please.� He swallowed, trying to hold back tears. �I�ll try to convince father to take him. I�m sorry that all this happened, Corliss.� �Me too.� She stepped away from his grasp, �Be good, and don�t bother the Macreas anymore. You don�t want to end up like me and Rylan.� He grinned, �No worries.� Turning around, he exited the door, but before he disappeared down the hall, he looked back to her. �I love you, and I�ll miss you.� �You�ve barely talked to me in two hundred years, you won�t miss anything.� �I�ll miss knowing that you are still alive out there.� With that, he turned his back on her and vanished down the hallway. ---***--Corliss made her way down to the basement of the building, her eyes wandered across the room to the alter where Kaleb had once lain. Her eyes dropped, as the guard assigned to her motioned her towards the cells that were kept to the right. She wasn�t being placed in the prisons; instead Marcellus had requested to speak with her. On the way down, she had felt Trent enter the building. A heavy weight left her heart knowing that he was finally in the possession of the Macreas. Whether that would remain was yet to be seen. She had only turned one person before in her life, and she was killed several days later. There was a bond between two persons after the human of the group was transformed or the stronger vampire drank from the weaker. It was how Adriel had known her so well, and why he had taken her into

his bed. Passing through the curtains, the cells revealed themselves. Nothing more then a bunk, gray stone, and steel bars. The one closest to them held Marcellus. He was sitting on the ground with one knee up and his elbow resting upon it. He looked rather relaxed for a man who would be dead by the next sun set. Her guard whispered that he would wait by the entrance, as Marcellus stood up and walked towards her. The steel bars were left as her only protection as the guard disappeared around the corner. �Tell me, Corliss,� Marcellus began, �what exactly where you thinking when you betrayed me to him?� �I was thinking that Adriel�s signature would be the only way to get Trent out of the Upper Circle�s grasp.� �And this couldn�t have waited one day and then I would have been high elder?� His fingers wrapped around the metal bars. �No, they could have killed him. What does any of this matter, now?� Softly, he shrugged, �I merely want to know why the woman I loved betrayed me. This way I have no unanswered questions as I die.� �Don�t try to make me feel guilty, Marcellus. I did what I had to, and there is nothing that I can do now to change anything.� His eyes narrowed, �You are a traitor as much as I am, why aren�t you in the cells?� �I don�t know, but I am standing before the courts tomorrow. Adriel promises a punishment no worse then your own.� �No better either, I hope.� Her eyes dropped, before returning to his. �I am sorry, Marcellus. Had there been another way, I would have taken it. I�d rather no blood be shed, and you should not have tried to take over this way. We have laws for a reason.� He released the bars and his hands fell to his side, �I know where my own faults lie, Corliss. The real question is: Do you?� �Of course, I know. I am not as blind as some may think.� �Was he worth it? Your life, my life. Please tell me that he was, I would hate to think I am dying for a decision you regret.� �Was Trent worth it?� She mimicked, �None of this was his fault, therefore he should not be punished for it. So yes, he was worth it.� Marcellus ran his hand out through the bars, causing Corliss to jump back. �Take it.� He ordered. She gently placed her thin hand in his own. Nothing was said for several moments, as he stared down at her small hand within his own. Corliss watched as his thumb rubbed the back of her hand. Finally he

released her, and looked back up into her eyes, his fear all too apparent, though he tried to hide it. �Did you ever think it would end this way?� He asked. �I didn�t even think it would start this way.� Marcellus grinned, �They say that it is easier to forgive an enemy, then to forgive your own friend. I have never seemed to have that problem, not with you at least. Perhaps, it was because I have always known where your loyalties lie. It�s not with me or Adriel or even the human, but with yourself.� He swallowed, �You never do anything that would betray your own beliefs, and I can�t be angry with you for doing what I would hope to have the courage to do myself.� She stepped closer to the bars and wrapped her fingers around them. Marcellus reciprocated by placing his own hands around hers. �I really am sorry.� She whispered. �No, I be wed that I I keep am the one who is sorry. Had I not been so self-centered and asked that you to a Macrea, then none of this would have ever happened. Now, go. I know do not want to spend the last day of my life in the prisons, so why should you here?�

Corliss smiled, �I wish you well when you stand in judgment, Marcellus, both before Adriel and the heavens.� �Same to you.� He released her hands. Removing her fingers from the bars, she turned her back on him, forcing herself not to look back. The guard stood at the entrance like he had promised, and opened the door as she approached. With a heavy heart, she made her way back up the stairs to finish off the rest of her hours alone in her room. Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Part 20 User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 The courtroom had three from each clan, as well standing behind a large the large crowd, though him. Corliss had looked the isle.

stories of balconies to accommodate the elder vampires as their company. At the head of the room was Adriel desk with two elders beside him. Trent stood in front of he was more worried about the woman he saw sitting behind so relieved to see him as the large guard walked him down

He hadn�t smiled at her, as he had been stunned to see her. Upon entering the courthouse, he had already seen what had been done to Marcellus and the other elders. Each was crucified above the entrance doors, as a display to all vampires that this behavior was not tolerated. Their blood ran down the walls of the building and was being collected. Trent didn�t know what they would use it for, but he was more concerned about Corliss� future. Corliss� mother held her hand, as Corliss had fought the urge to hug Trent the moment she saw him. Her brothers and father filled the pew at the front of the courtroom. It was the first time that she had ever seen Trent in his completed transformation. She worried for his life, even though she knew that Adriel would

not kill him. There were worst punishments then death.. �Trent Monte.� Adriel began, �As an unsanctioned turn, the sentence is normally death. However, your circumstances are unusual. You and your master were both unwilling participants in your transformation, which makes death a radical punishment.� He looked at the young man standing in front of him. Trent didn�t seem afraid of the judgment that was to come, perhaps because he knew that Corliss had done this for him. �Have you anything to say before I pass sentencing?� �No, sir.� Trent answered, his hands folded behind his back. �After speaking with you, I find that you are not like minded to those in the Macrea clan. Your introduction would cause us no small amount of grief, and therefore I am banishing you from our buildings and our clan name. You are a rogue kine, do you understand?� �Yes, sir.� He bowed his head seeming rather calm. Though, in truth, his heart pounded in fear. He knew there was an Upper Circle spy in here somewhere, there always was. He wouldn�t be outside the courthouse for a minute before they swooped in and returned him to his cell. �Excuse me.� Cassius stood from the bench, and all eyes fell on him. �Since his master is, in fact, a Fausto, our clan will gladly accept Trent Monte within our ranks.� Adriel nodded his head, �So be it then.� He looked at Trent, �Do you understand what has just occurred?� �Yes, sir, I do.� His heart throbbing eased, and he was able to breathe again. He knew that Corliss had something to do with this, and feared he would never get the chance to thank her. �Please, take a seat then.� Adriel ordered. Trent turned around to find a place to sit, when three men rushed towards him and pulled him from the building. He recognized two of them as Julian and Silvio Fausto, and the third looked a great deal like them. �I want to watch Corliss� trial!� He snapped at Julian, when they reached the sidewalk outside the courthouse. The red head glared down at him, �Corliss has asked that you not be present.� He told him, as a limo pulled around the corner. He was shoved inside along with the other men, and the limo began to drive forward before he could react. It was silent for several moments, before Trent�s worry for Corliss overcame his own self-concern. �What is going to happen to her?� �They are going to kill her.� Silvio growled. �She did this for you. Right now, she could still be a member of the Macreas and Adriel could be dethroned.� Dante hissed, �But now she will die, all for you. Does that please you?� �Don�t blame him.� Julian jumped to his defense, �This was all Corliss� choice, this is the way she wanted things to play out.� He looked at Trent, �She loves you, and didn�t want you to suffer for her mistakes. She asked our father to accept you into our clan, and she wanted to exchange her life for your freedom.�

�He� he�s going to kill her?� Trent�s voice shook. �That is the price for betrayal.� Silvio explained with a look of rage in his eyes. �Don�t worry; our father will treat you like his own son.� Julian patted his leg, �You are� you will be all that we have left of Corliss.� Trent tried to fight back his tears, but several escaped him. �Are you shitting me?� He barked, �How can you think that I am worried about my own well-being, when Corliss is going to be executed? And how can you just sit here knowing that you are doing nothing to defend her?� �There is nothing to defend!� Dante snapped and leaned forward in his seat across from Trent, �Don�t you get it? She admitted her guilt, so that Adriel would claim you are a Macrea member. The Upper Circle couldn�t do anything to you if you were a member of a clan.� Trent rubbed his tears away with the back of his wrists, �Why?� He sobbed, he didn�t really need an answer, he already knew. Corliss� three brothers said nothing to him in response. Each seemed just as upset as he was, but tried not to show their grief. Silvio and Dante both glared angrily at the man across the limo from them. Julian took a softer route, and seemed to be the peacemaker of the group. Clearing his throat, Julian tried to lighten the mood, if there was any way to do so. �You a big reader?� He asked Trent. ---***--Corliss walked in front of the court, Adriel�s eyes piercing into her flesh. Her mother had fought to not let her go up there, but Cassius had pried her hands away. Now that she was standing before the court, she felt naked and vulnerable. It was time to be judged, and she was ready to accept her punishment. She had wronged everyone in her life with the way she had acted, and now it was time to pay. Folding her hands in front of her, she waited for Adriel to begin his speech. She would have much rather he just announced that she was sentenced to death, so she could get this over with. The wait was excruciating. �Corliss Macrea, you are accused of betrayal to your high elder and your master. As well as creating an unsanctioned turn, and withholding critical information about human spying in the clan. How do you plead?� Adriel asked, he was being more formal with her then he had been with Trent. �Guilty.� She responded, her voice unshaken, but her body was tense. All sentences were carried out immediately, and in front of the court. She could see the large executioner standing in the corner in front of her. He knew what her verdict was going to be, and he prepared himself. �For two hundred years, you have been a loyal servant to the Macrea clan.� Adriel began, �Before I announce sentencing, I would like to know why you suddenly chose

to betray your family.� She cleared her throat, not expecting to have to explain. �Before I was a Macrea, I was part of the Fausto clan. I met Elder Marcellus during a party, and we began an affair. He fell in love with me, and tried to use the war to marry me by suggesting I wed a Macrea. Years later, he approached me and offered me my freedom as a toy, and a place at his side if I were to betray my master. I did so willingly and without hesitation.� Adriel nodded as well as the other two elders beside him. �Tell us why then did you inform your master of your betrayal?� �To save Trent Monte from the Upper Circle and to ensure that he was not killed when his turn was discovered. I blackmailed my master with information about Marcellus Macrea.� Corliss heard the whispers behind her; they had been ongoing every since she had opened her mouth. Adriel frowned; he had wished she would say something about realizing that she was wrong, and asking for forgiveness. �Very well, Corliss Macrea. As you know, part of your plea bargain included that you would be punished no worse and no better then Marcellus Macrea. Even though he was the organizer of this entire assault, none of it would have been possible without you. He used information that you gave him to coax other elders to his side. I believe that makes you just as guilty, do you agree?� She bowed her head, �I agree, milord.� She swallowed as she saw the large executioner stand up, and begin to move towards her. �Do you have anything you wish to say before I pass sentencing?� �I do.� She sighed, �I wish to apologize to the Fausto clan for any grief that I have caused them, and I offer my apologies as well to the Macreas. I acted out of selfishness, and I pay for my crimes today. Most importantly, I want to beg forgiveness from you, Adriel.� She looked into his eyes, �You treated me fairly throughout the years, better then most toys, and I spit in your face. Please do not think back on me bitterly.� He nodded his head, �I can not speak for the clans, but for myself, when I say that I hold no grudge against you.� The executioner grabbed her upper arm. �Thank you.� �As in accordance to the judgment given to Marcellus Macrea; Corliss Macrea, you are sentenced to�� ---***--�And this is your room.� Julian opened the door in the Fausto mansion. �We can stop by your old home tomorrow and pick up any of your stuff that you want.� He watched Trent enter into the room. �This is bigger then my entire apartment.� He was trying to be kind to Julian, who was showing him nothing but genuine concern and compassion. Trent really wanted to be left alone to mourn, but knew that Julian was suffering from the loss as well. He inspected the room briefly. A canopy bed, a wide

dresser, double doors that lead out into a balcony, a fireplace, and large Chinese designed rug. �You can screw around with it, and make it your own. Believe me, my room looks like a punk teenager lives there.� Julian grinned, as his cell phone rang. �Hello.� He said when he answered it. His friendly demeanor vanished, and a deep frown impaled his face. �I see, thank you, father. Yes, I will tell him.� He hung up the phone and put it in his inner coat pocket, �Corliss� sentence was just carried out.� His voice broke when he spoke, �Excuse me, I need to�� He didn�t finish just shut the door as he exited the room. Trent sucked in some air, trying to suppress his tears. He wanted to tell her that he forgave her for what had happened to him, and that he felt better now that he was a kine. He wanted to thank her for everything she had done for him. No one else had ever accepted him, faults and all. No one else had ever held their tongue when he was being a fool, but let him know gently with their eyes. Suddenly, he couldn�t breathe anymore, and grabbed at his heart. It was breaking inside, and tearing him to pieces at the same time. He sat down on the bench at the end of his bed, and allowed the tears to flow. �God damn you, Corliss.� He mumbled, �God damn you.� Why did she have to make him care? Why couldn�t he be mad that she had made him a kine? How was it that he had dreamt the night before of the future he would have with her? He had given himself hope, and now it was all ripped away. She had been so close in that court room, he could have touched her face when he walked past. Pride had told him not too, even though he wasn�t angry anymore, he wanted her to think he was. He wanted her to beg for his forgiveness after the trial, so he could humbly give it. He hated himself for running out on her at the museum, if he hadn�t been caught by the Upper Circle, then this� no, this wasn�t any good. No matter what or whom he blamed, all this had happened. Corliss gave her life so that he could live, but for what? Now that she was gone there was very little he wanted to live for. She had given him a reason; she had been the obsession that kept him going. All he had wanted was to see her another day, to touch her, to smell her, to kiss her, and now that would never happen again. Standing up, he walked out onto the balcony and looked up at the stars. If he had thought he would have been left undisturbed, he would have screamed into the night�s eternal blackness. A limo pulled into the driveway after what seemed like an eternity on the balcony. He watched it drive up, then disappear behind the corner of the mansion. It was probably Cassius and Kamila coming back from their daughter�s execution. He wondered if Cassius would come and speak to him now. Trent wasn�t in the mood to talk with anyone. Leaning forward, he laid his forehead on the cool stone of the balcony�s railing. Tears streaming from his eyes and onto the stone flooring below him. He wanted to hit something, destroy anything, but this wasn�t his home, not yet. Throwing a fit right now in front of strangers would be interpreted incorrectly, and they would believe he had a violent temper. �Trent.� A soft voice spoke from the balcony doors. Standing up straight, he turned his eyes to meet with the intruder. His heart or

breath stopped, or perhaps it was both. �Corliss?� She tried not to grin, and pointed to his bedroom door with her thumb. �I knocked, but you didn�t answer. I just wanted to make sure that you were alright. I didn�t get to talk to you before the trial and find out, like I had hoped.� He ignored everything that she said. �I thought, they said you were executed.� He wanted to run to her and hold her in his arms, but he didn�t believe any of this. �I was not to be given a punishment any worse or better then Marcellus� own. Turned out that he wasn�t killed, just hung up outside the courthouse to humiliate him.� She held onto the balcony door as she spoke, a little sad that Trent hadn�t approached her. Initially she thought he was crying for her, but now she wondered if he was crying for himself. For what she had done to him. �What did they do to you?� He finally asked after they stared at each other for a moment. �I was whipped naked in front of the court; I have welts and wounds on my back. I�d show them to you, but�� Her eyes wandered down to her dress suit. She couldn�t believe it herself, when Adriel had announced a whipping as her punishment. She had actually asked him to repeat himself, which he refused to do. �You got the nice room, this was always my favorite. It was Rylan�s.� She looked behind her. �Why� why are you here?� He still couldn�t believe this. �I was thrown from the Macrea clan, and my father accepted me back into the Faustos. I think that really pissed Adriel off, both me and you finding a clan right after being banned from his.� She grinned at him. Trent stared at her, saying nothing. �Well, I will leave you alone now. I�m� I�m sorry about all this, Trent. I really am, and I hope you believe me.� �Don�t leave.� He whispered when she turned her back to him. Trent hadn�t expected her to hear him, but she stopped in her exit and turned to face him. Corliss stood silently, waiting to see what he wanted. Both feeling the need to run into the other�s arms, but too proud to actually give in. �What happens to me now?� It really wasn�t his concern, but he knew it would keep her near. Corliss shrugged, �You aren�t a toy, you are a free kine. My father will probably teach you the same way he taught me. Give you some money, show you how to spend it, and let you start your own life.� �My own life? I can do whatever I want with it?� She smiled, �As long as you follow the Fausto law, but those will be explained to you later.� She watched him shake slightly, as he fought back an urge to walk towards her. Corliss stepped out onto the balcony, and positioned herself in front of him. He still refused to reach out and touch her. �Are you free?� He asked.

�Free in the clan or free for dinner?� She smirked. His worry began to melt, �Both.� �Yes.� Hesitantly, she reached her hands up she touched his neck. �I�m sorry, Trent, I�m�� He dropped his forehead to her own, and shook his head. �No, I am sorry. I realized now that being a kine was something that I always wanted, but was too proud to admit. I am the one who should be sorry. I knew that I was turning long before I bit you.� He stared down at her, a quizzical look on his face. �You�re a Fausto princess now, right?� She nodded. �Can I� am I beneath you now?� �A little less then when I was a Macrea toy and you were human.� She joked. �I�m serious, Corliss.� Her grin faded, �I love you, Trent. My father knows it, my brothers and mother know it. They would never stand in my� our way.� �I don�t have to hide my feelings from anyone then?� His hands rested on her hips. �I beg you not to.� She grinned when Trent wrapped his arms around her back. He pulled her close to him, kissing her bottom lip gently, as if to test the reality of it all. Corliss didn�t give him time to think it through, as she pulled his lips to firmly meet her own. His passion increased when it struck him that it was all true, and this world full of unhappy endings had given him a rare blissful one. Though, this wasn�t truly the end, he would have many years ahead of him with Corliss. Grabbing her upper arms, he pushed her back some. She looked like she had lost herself in the kiss, before finding a somber glare in his eyes. �When do I get a sports car?� She playfully punched him in the chest, �Bastard.� Crimson Moon Series: Broken Toy Epilogue User Rating: / 1 PoorBest Written by RKP Hunt Tuesday, 19 June 2007 Trent ordered a coffee from the roadside stand, and grinned at the man who came to stand beside him. He didn�t look a day older then when he had last seen him on the sidewalk in front of his apartment, in fact his old partner looked younger. �Long time, no see.� Isaac said, then ordered his own coffee. �How�s life been treating you?� Trent asked him. �Good, you?� Trent tugged on his expensive suit to show it off. �Very well. I heard that my

father retired and gave you his seat in the Upper Circle. Congrats.� Isaac smiled as they both took their coffee cups and began to walk together down the sidewalk, �He asked your brother, but he declined. He thought of me because of my courage to turn you in.� �I never got to thank you for calling my sister, Isaac.� Trent patted his shoulder, �I appreciate it.� �It wasn�t me, it was Samara.� He confessed. �You gave her the number, didn�t you?� Trent watched him nod. �I couldn�t call myself, it felt like betrayal.� �It�s all the same to me.� Isaac cleared his throat, �I am sorry about doing that to you, Trent, but I just knew that�� Trent raised his hand, �I told you before, I would have done the same to you. Don�t worry about it, alright?� Isaac felt ashamed, and dropped his head, allowing his eyes to fall down to the ring on Trent�s finger, �Married now, are you?� �Yep, and a kid on the way.� Trent took a drink out of his paper cup, then pointed across the street. Isaac watched the pregnant Corliss step out of a clothing store and wave at them, before getting into her car. �Talk to Samara or Coyle lately?� Trent asked before Isaac could congratulate him. �Yeah, I have actually. They are working a case for me right now.� He nodded his head, �It�s good to see that you�re happy now.� �It�s good to be happy. Tell Samara that I said thanks. See ya around.� He waved as he crossed the street, and found his way to his car. �Looks like Isaac is well.� Corliss pointed out the window at him. Trent smiled, �Yep, where to now?� She sighed, �My feet hurt, let�s head home. I still need to buy some things, but that can wait until tomorrow.� Reaching over Trent kissed Corliss� forehead and then her bloated stomach, �I still want to name him Franklin.� He said pulling on his seat belt. �That�s a terrible name!� �It�s my father�s name.� Trent chuckled, starting up the car. �And yet, it remains terrible. My family would never allow it.� She frowned, �How about Sergio or Antonio?� Trent stuck out his tongue, as he pulled out into the street. He waved at Isaac as he drove by, thankful to be arguing with Corliss about baby names, and rid of that

old life.

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