Spell Blind – Snippet 27
“He’s all right!” the neighbor called, running up the street toward the house. “He didn’t do anything! It was the other guy.”
“Who are you?” the Latino cop asked, his weapon still aimed at me. The badge he wore identified him as Roberto Torres.
“My name’s Jay Fearsson,” I said, my voice even. “I’m a PI. I used to be on the force.”
“The Glock’s yours?”
I nodded. “I fired it once at the man who killed Shari Bettancourt. I hit that street sign over there.” I pointed with my chin, keeping my hands as they were.
“You hit a street sign?” the other cop asked.
I wasn’t about to explain that the guy I’d been aiming at used a deflection spell to steer my bullet away. I nodded, and tried to ignore their shared grins and raised eyebrows. But while they both had me pegged as a lousy shot, they also seemed convinced that I wasn’t a threat. Both men holstered their pistols.
Torres stepped past me to the doorway.
The white cop — Allen Marra, according to his badge — said, “I’ll need to see your license, Mister . . .”
“Fearsson.” I pulled out my wallet and handed it to him.
I heard his partner rattling the door.
“This is chained,” he said. “How’d he kill her?”
“I don’t know. You need to call Kona Shaw in homicide. She knows me, and she knows what I’m working on.”
“Do you know the guy’s name?” Torres asked, ignoring what I’d said.
“I heard her call him Cower, or something like that.”
“And why are you here? Did you have a relationship with the victim?”
“No.” I said. “I met her this morning at a . . . a farmer’s market. I talked to her for a while there, and then followed her back here to ask her a few more questions. While I was talking to her, the other guy showed up.”
“And he killed her.”
“Is that what you saw?” Torres asked, speaking past me to Shari’s neighbor.
“I didn’t see any of that,” the man said. “I saw this guy and the other one. This guy was chasing him, and then he stopped. They both did. And then this guy puts his gun in his mouth, and then pulls it out again, and that’s when I yelled at them. The other guy ran away.” He hesitated. Then, “Is Shari really dead?”
Marra still held my wallet, and now he frowned at the man. “Fearsson put his weapon in the other guy’s mouth?”
“No. He put it in his own mouth.”
Marra grimaced. “Why the hell would you do that?”
“It’s hard to explain,” I said, sighing the words.
Torres descended the steps and planted himself right in front of me. “Give it a try,” he said.
“The other guy made me do it. I couldn’t help myself.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Please, call Kona Shaw. She’ll know what I’m talking about.”
“First you explain this.”
“The guy’s a myste. A sorcerer. He used some kind of mojo on me.”
Torres raised an eyebrow, drawing a roll of the eyes from his partner. I figured I was about thirty seconds away from an all-expenses-paid trip to the psych ward.
“Please call Kona,” I said. “You have a dead woman in there. I’ve told you that I didn’t kill her, and that’s been corroborated by another witness. The rest I’ll explain to the homicide detectives.”
“We can run you in anyway,” Torres said.
“Yeah, you can. But you’d be wasting your time.” I took a breath. “I’m working on behalf of the Deegan family, and so my investigation is connected to the Blind Angel killings. I worked the case when I was still on the job, and now I’m working it again. Kona was my partner. The guy I was after — the guy who killed this woman — I’m pretty sure he’s the Blind Angel killer.”
“The Blind Angel killer is already in custody.”
“Gann’s not your man,” I said.
“Holy shit,” the neighbor said in a hushed voice. “That was the Blind Angel?”
“I swear to God, Fearsson,” Torres said, wagging his finger in my face. “If you’re bullshitting me, I’m going to make your life a living hell.”
“I’m not. Call Kona.”
Torres considered me, the muscles in his jaw bunching. After a moment he nodded to Marra, who hurried to the squad car.
“Holy shit,” I heard the neighbor whisper again.
It took Kona and Kevin, her partner, some time to get there, and then they spent several minutes speaking in low voices with Torres and Marra. The forensic team had arrived in the interim and after cutting through Shari’s chain lock, had entered the house. I moved off the stairs to a shady corner of her yard. Kona and Kevin joined me there now, both of them grim-faced.
Kevin was younger than Kona and me, and had only been on the force for three or four years. He’d shaved his head since the last time I saw him; it looked good on him. He was a handsome African-American man, with dark eyes, a lean build, and an easy smile. I’d tried to be as nice to him as I could since meeting him about a year ago, but both of us remained wary of each other. I think he felt that I was critiquing him all the time, measuring his performance as a cop against my own. I wasn’t. I just found it hard to think of Kona working with anyone other than me.
“You all right?” Kona asked me.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“You sure this was our guy?”
My eyes flicked toward Kevin. He didn’t know I was a weremyste.
“Pretty sure,” I said.
“There isn’t a mark on the woman,” Kevin said. “No sign that anyone broke in. Is it possible she died of . . . of something natural?”
“I don’t think so,” I told him.
“Kevin,” Kona said, “why don’t you go see what they’re doing in there. Make sure they’re not messing with my crime scene. I’ll be in soon.”
Kevin eyed us both. It wasn’t the first time one of us had contrived to speak in private with the other while he was around. “Yeah, all right,” he said, his voice flat. “Catch you later, Jay.”
“See you, Kevin.”
Kona and I watched him walk away.
“You’re going to have to tell him eventually,” I said.
“I keep hoping you two will become friends so that you can tell him yourself.” Her eyes raked over me. “You look like hell.”
“I thought I was dead. This guy’s stronger than any weremyste I’ve ever seen. He made me . . .” I broke off shaking my head.
“So it is our guy.”
I managed a smile, but it was fleeting. “It better be. If there are two sorcerers walking around with this kind of power, we’re in trouble.”