Vampire breed, p.27
Vampire Breed, page 27part #4 of Kiera Hudson Series One Series
Hearing this, Potter smiled to himself. Then, swinging the gate open, he made his way up the path towards the house.
“Be careful!” I called out as the rest of us made our way after him.
Potter pushed against the front door, but it was locked tight.
Brushing him aside, I said, “Not so fast. ”
“What’s wrong now?” Potter groaned.
“Kayla, can you hear anything?” I said, turning to look at her.
Kayla came forward through the falling snow, and swiping her hair behind her ear, she turned her head towards the front door.
“Nothing,” she whispered.
“Now perhaps we can get this over and done with?” Potter moaned, reaching for the doorknob again. Then, looking at Isidor and me, he said, “Or perhaps Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson want to have a snoop around?”
Ignoring him, I said, “Someone has been here and it wasn’t long ago. They flew here – so that makes whoever it was a Vampyrus. They were male and known to Doctor Ravenwood. He knew them well, so well that he trusted them. ”
“How do you know all that?” Eloisa asked, staring at me with her brilliant eyes.
“There are no tracks leading to and from the house, apart from ours, that is,” I told her. “But there was a set of footprints in the snow just in front of the door. So whoever it was, flew here and landed just outside the door. ” Pointing down to the footprints, I added, “They are too big to have been made by a female, and they haven’t yet been covered by fresh, falling snow so they were only here a short time ago. They’ve gone now, or Kayla would have heard them. Even if they weren’t moving, she would’ve heard the blood running through their veins. ”
“But how can you be so sure that this Doctor Ravenwood was friends with this Vampyrus – that he trusted him?” Seth asked with a sneer.
“The door is still intact,” I said. “Whoever came here, came here for a reason and they wouldn’t have gone away if Ravenwood hadn’t have let them in. They would have, more than likely, broken the door down. It’s quite easy for me to surmise, then, that Ravenwood knew this person. Ravenwood is on the run – in hiding – he wouldn’t have just opened the door to anyone. No, it was a friend, someone he trusted. ”
Slowly clapping his hands together, Potter said, “I like your style, Sherlock,” then glancing at Isidor, he added, “And what about you, Watson?”
Fixing Potter with a stare, Isidor said, “I can smell blood. ”
Hearing this, Potter brushed Isidor aside, stepped up to the front door and without any hesitation smashed his fist into one of the wooden panels. His hand cut through the door as if he were tearing through a sheet of soggy paper. He eased his arm through up to his elbow, twisted it slightly, and then the sound of the lock being released could be heard from the other side. Potter withdrew his arm, and gently pushed open the door with his fingertips.
Without apprehension, he marched inside the house. I started after him and as he was about to step into the hallway, I grabbed hold of his arm.
“Be careful,” I said and looked into his dark eyes.
He looked down at my hand, and then looked back at me. “So you keep telling me,” he smiled and shrugged my hand free. The others followed us inside and closed the door behind them.
We stood in the gloom of the hallway and the only sound breaking the silence was our breathing. To Kayla, that sound must have been deafening. I glanced about. There was a staircase to our right and I peered up into the darkness. Potter followed my gaze and looked up. He stared back at me and his eyes were as black as the landing above us.
“Wait down here,” he told us.
Without giving anyone a chance to object, he began to stride up the stairs two at a time.
Isidor wandered away from me and pushed open a door which led into a lounge. Looking down, I saw a trail of blood leading from beneath the door, and I feared what might be waiting for us on the other side. But before I had a chance to say anything, Isidor went inside. He disappeared from view and I waited. No sound came from the room, so I carefully peered around the edge of the door and looked inside.
Isidor was looking at a body that lay lace face-down on the floor. Beneath the body was a worn-looking rug, with frayed and turned-up corners. A set of bay windows shed a slither of milky light into the room. It was furnished with comfortable chairs and a sofa. There were chocolate brown bookshelves stuffed with leather bound tomes and a large coffee table that had sheets of paper scattered across it. A fireplace was carved into the wall, and behind the grate were lumps of coal that glowed hot and red, sending a spiral of smoke tumbling up the chimney.
Isidor turned to face me as Kayla and the two Lycanthrope entered the room. Seeing the body on the floor, Kayla gasped, and clapped a hand over her mouth.
“Are you okay?” I asked her.
She nodded, not taking her eyes off the body sprawled before us.
“This couldn’t be the work of a Lycanthrope,” Seth said smugly, “His injuries don’t look that bad. ”
“He’s dead, isn’t he?” Potter asked as he strolled into the room and lit a cigarette. “I’d say that was pretty bad. ”
“Maybe he collapsed?” Isidor said, eyeing the body.
Toeing the body with the tip of his boot, Potter rolled the figure over and said, “Yeah perhaps you’re right, Watson. Maybe Ravenwood hit the corner of the coffee table as he went down, and ripped half of his face off and throat out!”
“He was killed by a Vampyrus,” I whispered, dropping to my knees to examine the floor. I brushed the tips of my fingers over the rug that Ravenwood was stretched across, and ran them around the edges of his body. His face was torn open from the top left corner to the bottom of his ear and I could see his teeth grinning back at me. An opening ran from beneath his chin to his navel. The open cavity didn’t smell as much as I feared, as his intestines had been taken or more than likely, eaten. Glancing up Isidor, I could see that he had covered his mouth and nose with his hands.
“Well?” Potter asked.
“He wasn’t attacked here, not in this room anyway,” I started, as I ran the palms of my hands down over Ravenwood’s open eyes and closed them. “He crawled in here from another room in the house, the kitchen probably, but his killer thought that he had left Ravenwood for dead in the kitchen. Ravenwood crawled in here after the Vampyrus had left. His attacker was right-handed, about six-foot-one in height, but no more than six-two. The killer didn’t come here to find the code, he came here to give me a warning – he wanted me to know that, again, he was one step ahead of us. He knew we would come here for Ravenwood. And I can see where Ravenwood hid the last part of his code. ”
“How do you know all that stuff?” Kayla asked.
“She’s making it up,” Seth sneered.
Without looking at Seth, I said, “Ravenwood didn’t die here because there is very little blood on the rug and no blood splatter marks on the walls or ceiling. ”
“The good-old blood splatter book,” Potter said, the cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth. “I’m pleased to say I missed that spellbinding class at training school. ”
“The size and severity of his injuries show that there would have been blood, and lots of it, but there is hardly any here. The blood leading from the door and up the hallway is undisturbed. If he had been killed in here, the killer would have surely left some footprint or trace as he exited the house. ”
“They could have flown out?” Isidor suggested.
“Wingspan,” I said back, shaking my head. “The room is too small and the hallway too narrow. No, he was definitely killed in the kitchen. Ravenwood was struck on the left side of his face, and the tears in the flesh show that he was attacked from the front – therefore his killer was right-handed. ”
“Let me guess,” Potter cut in, “you know the killer’s height b
“You’re learning, but there are no footprints, remember? Now pay attention,” I said. “When people write a message on a wall, they write it at eye level, so this leaves a good indication as to the height of whoever left the message. ”
“What message?” Kayla asked.
“That message!” I said pointing to the wall, cast in shadow by the open door. At once, they all turned around and looked at the message that had been scrawled in blood across the wall.
In a breathless voice, Kayla read it aloud. “Kiera, I got to the Doc first – now bring me the code!”
“What does that mean?” Isidor asked, as we watched the bloody letters drip down the walls.
“It means what it says,” I whispered. “He’s telling me that he knows my every move and that he knows I’ll take the code to him. ”
“But you won’t, will you?” Kayla asked, looking at me, her eyes wide.
“Not intentionally,” I said thoughtfully.
“But if this Vampyrus killed Ravenwood in the kitchen, why leave the message in here?” Eloisa asked me.
“By leaving it here, behind the door, he is telling me that he knows how my mind works. The killer knew that I would search the house, leave no stone unturned. That’s my nature. So he hid the message behind the door. It’s also his way of informing me that he got away – disappeared without revealing himself. It’s his way of making contact with me, but not directly. He’s trying to taunt me. ”
“Okay, enough of the psychology,” Seth sneered, “You said you could see where Ravenwood had hidden the code. I can’t see it. ”
“That’s because you look – but don’t see,” I said. “If Ravenwood was able to crawl out of the kitchen, why didn’t he go to the front door to get away and find some help? That would be the natural thing to do, right? But he didn’t, he came in here and sprawled himself face-down on this rug. Remember how his arms were spread out, almost as if it was his dying wish to protect something – to conceal it with his body?” Then, kneeling down again, I pointed to the turned-up end of the rug. “See this? It’s been rolled back, and often, as the corner has failed to roll flat again. And if you look really closely, you can see that the colour of the floor beneath the rug is exactly the same shade as the rest of the floor. If the rug had been here for many years, wouldn’t the colour of the floor beneath the rug be lighter?”
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