Pure Blood | Chapter 26 of 40 - Part: 1 of 6

Author: Caitlin Kittredge | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 2226 Views | Add a Review

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CHAPTER 18

The dispatcher gave me Benny Joubert’s address of record, a three-story stately home in Needle Park. Needle Park was actually the Bowers, once upon a time, a small bedroom community in the lull between Cedar Hill and the city outskirts that had been built by the sailors who came through Nocturne in the nineteenth century. Since then, fewer families and more drugs had moved in, and now Needle Park was as sad and dangerous, in its own way, as Waterfront or Ghosttown.

I parked at the curb, tucking the Fairlane between overflowing trash cans and what I assumed was Joubert’s car, a late-model black Mercedes. No one had touched it, and that made me nervous. Joubert would be a major player in the neighborhood to command that sort of respect.

“Okay,” I said as we paused in a row on the sidewalk. “You two just hang back here unless I get into trouble. No sense in spooking him.”

Irina sniffed. I lasered her with a glare. “You didn’t have to come, princess.”

“Who else will watch over Dmitri?” she snapped. “It is your fault he was infected in the first place. We cannot trust you.”

Sometimes, no comeback works as well as an extended middle finger.

Irina pursed her lips sourly and deliberately turned away, pretending to examine the decaying wood-frame houses and cracked pavement with great interest.

“One more time,” I said. “You wait here unless something bad goes down. Got it?”

“Don’t piss him off any more than you have to,” said Dmitri.

I hated that he knew me so well. Writing him off as a fling would be worlds easier than feeling the twinge that our past mating caused between his were and mine. That’s why weres only give the bite, in theory, to men or women they plan to stay with for the rest of their lives. Dmitri was 0 for 2 with his mates, as was I. Although I didn’t count a predatory Serpent Eye forcing himself on a fifteen-year-old girl, really. It sure as hell wasn’t my fault Joshua had lost his mate, but I was the one left with that burning need to replace him with a pack leader or another male—hell, female. Any were would do, in an Insoli’s more instinctual moments.

Life as a packless were woman sure was a laugh and a half, most days.

I reached Joubert’s front door, which was covered with a heavy steel security grate, and rang the bell. When that produced no discernable sound from inside, I kicked at the grate and shouted, “Joubert! Open up!”

After a long two minutes I heard shuffling and the clacking of at least three dead bolts being thrown, and then the inner door swung open. Benny Joubert smelled almost as bad as he looked. His skin had a yellowish cast and the wild brown hair in his photo was longer and greasy. Up close, his face was bisected with scars—knife or claw, I couldn’t tell.

“What the fuck do you want?” he said by way of a greeting.

I tried to breathe through my mouth and said, “I need to ask you about Vincent Blackburn.”

His small dark eyes squinted at me, almost disappearing into their close-set sockets. “You a cop?”

“Yes,” I said, deciding that playing it straight was probably the quickest way to get what I wanted.

“Let’s see some ID.”

I let him examine my shield until he nodded slowly and unlocked the grate, shoving it to the side. “Vincent Blackburn. I heard that queer turned up dead.”

For a were, whom most plain humans on earth hated and feared with a passion usually reserved for IRS audits and Freddy Kreuger, Joubert had a charmingly backward outlook.

Mr. Blackburn was murdered,” I said. “I’m the detective in charge of the inquiry. I understand you’re a partner in the club where he bartended.”

Joubert shrugged. “I don’t do the hiring. If I did we wouldnt’ve had so many goddamn fairies in the place.”

“Well, Tinkerbell,” I said, “I’m not interested in your employee procurement. I’m interested in the drugs you and Vincent were funneling through Bete Noire.”

He snapped from his sagging posture to rigid attention and I could tell my status had been upgraded from “minor annoyance” to “dangerous nuisance.”

“What the fuck did you just say?” he demanded hoarsely, pig-eyes taking on a light. He was scenting prey, just as I would if our situation were reversed. Why couldn’t it be reversed?

I stepped into his personal space, one foot resting on the threshold. “I said you’re a fucking drug pusher, and while we’re on the subject of personal failings, are you aware of the wonderful invention called deodorant?”

Joubert should have gotten mad and started calling me names and given me a reason to arrest him, but his nostrils flared and then he laughed. “You think you scare me, coming around my place and flashing a badge?” His hand snaked out and grabbed me by the hair, exposing my throat in one deft movement that I never would have thought possible from his pudgy, scarred frame. “You don’t know what scared is, you Insoli bitch.”

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Alice
Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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