Ryan and Stan watched the workers load four bodies into the back of the van. Stan clutched a small bag that held several items. He approached the largest man, and held out the bag. “Make sure you deposit the bodies in separate buildings around the city. At each drop, place one of these items near the body. Make sure you wear gloves when you handle the objects. The buildings must be abandoned.”
“These the items taken from that Archivist?” Jack stuffed the bag in his shirt.
“Yes. Mr. Aston wants to get her out of the way and being suspected of murder is one way of doing it.” He stepped back.
“Yes, sir.” The workers entered the van and left.
“Mr. Aston should have her killed. That will get her out of the way permanently.” Ryan pulled open the door.
“No. She has already told the police and the Head Archivist about her suspicions concerning Mr. Aston. If she were killed, then scrutiny would fall on our leader.” Stan checked his phone messages. “I need to go to the lab. Another object has been brought in. You better let Andrew Masters know you are available for further work at either site.”
With a nod, Ryan turned down the next cross hall.
I wonder what it’s like to have a Shadow possess you. Would Lynda notice a difference if that happened to me? Stan fingered the crimson moon amulet. It’s hard enough keeping my two live separate. If she finds out, that will end our marriage. Not to mention the access I have to the information at the Archive.
Ben handed a set of keys and a card to Lennie. “Keys for the new locks, and the codes for the security system. Once you move to your new apartment, we’ll do the same there. We’ll also install security cameras outside the door and windows. Serena wants the two of you a safe as possible.”
“Thanks, Ben. Did you find any other bugs or GPS trackers?”
“No. Just the one on your car and in your bag and Nickie’s. Expensive ones too. Whoever is tracking the two of you has some serious money to back them.”
“I Hope to hear back about the new apartment tomorrow morning. Once the paperwork is signed, I’ll give you a call.” She walked him to the door.
“Sounds good. Take care, Lennie.”
“You too.” Once she locked the door, she set the alarm.
Nickie padded into the living room, rubbing her eyes. “”They finished?”
“Yep.” She handed her a key and the card. “Memorize the code, and then I’ll put it in the safe.”
“Why are they so interested in us?”
“I have no idea. Although in your case, it might be your ability to see that aura. I want to know how they found out about that.”
“Move the sofa against that wall.” Lennie pointed to the left.
“Nickie, how many more boxes are left in the truck?” James and Shannon followed her directions.
She set a box on the floor. “Fifteen. This one is for the kitchen.”
“Lennie, I’m glad you didn’t have a lot of furniture in your old apartment.” Shannon wiped her forehead. “We still need to bring up the beds, dressers and your desk.”
A knock at the door interrupted them. Scott stood in the doorway, face expressionless. “Lennie, I need to speak with you.”
“Come on in. What’s up?”
“I need you to come down to the police station with me.”
“For what? Did you find another artifact?”
“No. Four bodies were found in abandoned buildings. At each dump site your fingerprints were found.”
Nickie moved to Lennie’s side. “IF you think Lennie killed someone, why don’t you come out and say it?”
“Don’t make this difficult. I had to pull in a few favors to stay on this case, since the two of us are friends.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “I just need to ask you some questions on the record.”
“Let me call my lawyer first, and have him met us there. Archive policy. Nickie, you stay here with Shannon and James. I’ll also call Brant and have him come over to help here. He needs the exercise.” She rested a hand on Nickie’s shoulder. “Don’t worry; I’ve been through this before. I’ll be back in a couple hours, All right?”
“If you say so. I don’t like this, Lennie. Someone is setting you up. I can feel it.”
“Agreed. Don’t forget, I can account for my whereabouts all this week, so fingerprints mean nothing without further evidence.”
“Lenara Lenquil, four bodies were dumped in four abandoned buildings around the city. At each scene your fingerprints were found on an item near the body. Why don’t you explain that to me?” Detective Matthew Johnson slid photos of the crime scenes across the table.
“Detective Johnson, my whereabouts is documented. As for how the items and my prints were found at the scenes, maybe someone went through my trash. I did throw out a lot of stuff when I was getting ready to move to my new place.”
“In what way are they documented?”
“The security system in my old apartment and my new apartment, the security logs at the Archive, the people at the sites I’ve been working. The only time I’ve been alone is when I sleep and I do have a person that shares the apartment with me. Take your pick.” Lennie leaned back, hands resting on the table.
“For the Archive, who do I speak to?”
“Serena Michaels, Head Archivist.” She removed a card from her pocket and slid it across the table. “This is the phone number for the security company I deal with.”
A knock on the door disrupted the interrogation. Scott opened it and spoke to the person on the other side. He turned back. “Lennie, you can go.”
“Wait, I have more questions for her.” Detective Johnson knocked over his chair as he stood.
“No you don’t, Detective.” The chief entered the room. “Miss Lenquil, I’m sorry for the inconvenience, Ms. Michaels provided the information we needed.”
Exiting the room, Lennie found Serena and Nickie. Nickie moved to her side, and put an arm around her.
“We get to ride in a limousine back to the apartment. It even has a mini bar. I wish we had a limousine and a driver.”
The phone slammed onto the desk with enough force to crack the case. “Damn them. They released Lenquil and she is no longer a suspect in the four murders.”
“Perhaps a new chief of police is needed.” Ralaax toyed with an amulet around his neck.
“Several city council members need to be replaced as well. The bribes are becoming outrageous.” Reginald began a list. “I want you to deal with the police chief. I’ll have Ryan and two others deal with the council members.”
“I take it you are satisfied with the ‘new’ Ryan Jones?”
”Yes. He has come up with some good ideas and has brought the others in his group in line. I believe a few other lower members will benefit from such a change. I will take care of that this evening.”