This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
AN: Regretably, due to the length, I'm dividing day 1 into two parts. Part 2 will be up very soon.
Day One – Part 1
The boy shifted in his seat, bag stretched across his lap, trying to appear discrete as he cast a quick glance around to see if anyone was watching. Lanky and in the early stages of adolescence, the auburn-haired teen had a look about him of one who was distinctly uncomfortable, and doing his darndest to hide it.
Eden smiled lightly behind silver framed sunglasses, as he watched the boy frown and bite at his lip, wrestling with the silent urge to adjust himself.
Spontaneous erections. He didn't miss them one bit.
Eden's body rocked on the balls of his feet as the bus slowed for another stop, grip tightening on the hanging strap of the aisle standing only zone. He let his gaze wander down the length of the bus. It was packed already. Most seats already possessed two occupants religiously adhering to the unsaid rule of 'eyes front, make no attempt at conversation,' typical of city public transport. It was almost funny really, how uncomfortable people could make themselves.
The young male held his messenger bag closer to his body, head angling to the door a few short steps away at the front of the bus, as the vehicle stopped, and passengers began to step aboard. Thumbs being dutifully pressed against the white electronic pad at the head of the steps, that would flash green, concordantly.
Eden removed his sunglasses with one hand, folding and secreting them away dexterously into a pocket inside his suit jacket, as the three new occupants stepped past. Two were adult men in their thirties and the last an older woman in her late fifties. All were pure-blooded humans. However, the woman wore far too much fragrance, his eyes blinking a couple times to prevent watering, as she slid past.
Did she spray that on, or swim in it.
The male exhaled as the bus started up again on its journey. They only had one more stop to go. He ran a hand through his hair where his glasses had sat, casting a simultaneous gaze to the small mirror above the driver, and looking not at himself, but the three passengers finding the rare seat in the aisle behind him. Looked like the young, auburn-haired teen, still had an erection too.
A few nearby heads glanced his way momentarily, as a muffled beep echoed from his messenger bag. Eden slid his hand into his bag without looking, ice-blue eyes flicking instead to the mirror first to see who was watching him, as he withdrew his silver Smartphone. The youth smiled once he unlocked the screen, reading the message and tapping out a response.
SIMON: I can't get out of bed. Thanks a million.
EDEN: Suck it up ;)
He got a response back almost immediately.
SIMON: It's been 8 years. I'm leaving you for a younger man!
The male fought down a laugh, and slipped his phone back into his bag, an amused smile on his face. A glance confirmed he wasn't receiving any undue attention, so he allowed his gaze shift sideways out the window, confirming he was almost there. He held his attention on the scenery for a moment.
The streets and buildings in this part of the city were visibly more utilitarian in nature, than the city centre, being further towards the outskirts, and away from the skyscrapers and major businesses. Most of the buildings in the area were only a couple stories in height, with the odd multi-level office building or warehouse. Pool shops, used car dealerships, brokers, real estate, acupuncturists, furniture rentals, and the rare gun store, was the type of industry making up the area.
On first thoughts, you wouldn't necessarily think of 'Division' in such a decentralised location, nestled in the same street as pawn shops and porn shops. But on second thoughts, once you considered what went on at the young man's employ, you wouldn't want 'Division' in any such a centralised location either.
Eden's body rocked with the momentum of the vehicle once more, as the bus slowed down at another stop. From the looks, there was only one woman in a white tank top and jeans waiting to clamber aboard. Eden gave her an automatic once over as she stepped onto the bus. She had a somewhat vacuous quality about her that made the young man question her soberness. He adjusted the hold on his bag, slipping his fingers into the void.
Movement in his peripheral vision split his attention, as a dark shape quickly traversed the footpath beside the bus.
A flash of green and bold text from the scanner had the 'approved' woman moving up, whilst a young unknown man in a business-casual suit hurried onto the bus.
He couldn't smell anything illicit on the woman, as she moved past him. Intoxicating agents tended to have a stink to them that wasn't easily removed. She therefore, was obviously just tired.
There was another flash of green from the electronic pad.
So he was human too.
Eden watched the mirror over driver, simultaneously observing the tired woman in the tank-top take the last free seat, and the man moving closer. With the woman now seated, he turned his full attention onto the male as the newcomer looked for an available seat, and finding none, joining him in the otherwise empty standing zone at the front.
Eden moved his eyes over the male from bottom to top. Starting with his shoes, he worked his gaze up the suit pants, lingering at groin level for several moments, before traversing up his upper body to his face. The young man was ignorant of the appraisal, watching the street signs with an air of unfamiliarity, but Eden could see easily that his eyes, like his hair, were a dark shade of brown.
At about 5'11, and visibly in the upper-end of average physical fitness, Eden could say with comfortable certainty, that the male was an attractive specimen, professionally dressed, with well groomed short hair. Eden's own raven hair was longer, at about ear length. Made up of an indeterminate mixture of straight and swept back. Meticulous, and all over the place. Though, he preferred his own hair a little long so that his partners had something to grip.
The slighter male took his finger off the safety of the firearm concealed in his bag.
"Are you excited?"
The male's head swung towards Eden, with a flustered look. The icy-eyed youth smiled faintly.
"I remember my first day with the Feds. It was a strange feeling. Equal parts pride, excitement and outright terror."
The male gave him a guarded, wary and slightly fearful look.
"Um. I ah. Do I, Do I know you?"
Eden lifted a brow.
"You do now. Eden Harrows. A pleasure." He gave the male his best smile, observing the reaction.
The young man looked uncomfortable.
"Um. Okay." The male gave him a once over with his eyes.
"I'm in Division too, just so you know."
The reaction was instantaneous. The male showed an immediate relaxing of the shoulders, exhalation of breath, and widening of the eyes. Obviously exemplifying; 'relieved surprise'.
"You are? Awesome! Oh ah, sorry. I mean. Nice to meet you uh, Agent err, Harrows?"
"Err, yeah. Nice to meet you, Agent Harrows. I'm Will. Will Young." He held out his hand. Eden took his fingers off his gun, shaking the man's offered palm in a confident grip.
"A pleasure to meet you Agent-to-be, Young. Do you prefer Will, William, or Agent Young? I prefer to go by my forename, personally."
"Um, Yeah. Will. I mean, call me Will," Young said, staring at their hands that the smaller male had yet to let go of.
"Will it is then," Eden said jovially, letting go of the male's hand nonchalantly.
"Um, thanks," Will said with a hint of confusion, frowning as Eden broke eye contact to look out the front of the bus, conversation apparently ended.
"Err, how did you know it was my first day, since we haven't met?" Will broached, after several seconds of silence, not quite comfortable to leave the encounter there. Eden tilted his body in the newcomer's direction to answer.
"You have that new guy look down cold. Additionally, I read your ID tag," Eden said with a wry smile, nodding down to the plastic ID clipped to the front of the taller male's belt. Will blinked a couple time, before laughing and shaking his head, unclipping his identification to examine it.
"Well shit, I mean err, good I guess. Glad there's an explanation. It was a little creepy, Agent Har- ah, Eden. Knowing I was new and all."
Eden smiled cheekily.
"It was purely intentional, I assure you."
Will smiled in response after a few moments, hand on the back of his head, once he worked out what the other had said.
"Although," Eden began, in a more grave tone. "You should probably put that ID where no one can see it when you don't intend them to. No point advertising who you are and what you do. Anonymity is often the best protection we're afforded," the shorter male warned. Will frowned a moment, thinking on that, before he pushed his temporary government ID into his trouser pocket.
"Makes sense I guess. Err, obviously," Will said, gesturing to the other, making reference to Eden's determination. "You got any more advice for newbies?"
"This next stop is us," Eden stated, nodding to an upcoming creamy, six-story building, before addressing the question. "You know what they say about free advice."
"What's that?" Will asked, as the bus began to slow.
"No idea. But I figure it's best to treat it with a certain degree of skepticism."
Will snorted at the response, as the bus slid to a halt outside the building. The taller male looked to the shorter, who made a motion for him to precede him out the front door, their thumbs pressing the electronic pad as they went down the stairs. One with a green response from the screen. The second, a yellow screen, unnoticed by the taller male.
"So, did you want a payment or something, to make sure any advice isn't free?" Will said in continuation to the conversation as they headed up the flight of steps, towards the glass foyer doors beyond. Lettering over the building entrance read; Federal Division of Demon Investigations.
"Or something," Eden murmured in reply, watching the bus move off, before giving the taller his full attention.
"When you head through the doors, the Duty Sergeant will be the desk immediately on your right. Division is a branch of the Bureau, but the door is run by Metro PD. Regular's a nice guy, his name's George. Tell him you're new, and he'll call someone from Human Resources on level 04 to come down and take you through the paperwork, and get properly accredited. You're pretty enough for a photo, so don't sweat that part."
Will gave the shorter a glare, at the head of the steps, but listened attentively as they drew closer to the doors.
"Once HR has you primped out properly, you'll be sent up to the Agent in Charge on level 05. His name is Agent Hamilton. He will not like you..." Will frowned at that. "...But as long as you do your yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir, properly, and don't piss him off. Your time here, for today at least, should be comfortable. Expect to spend today organising the best place to put a stapler. You'll be assigned to a senior special agent for a three month probationary period some time during the week, depending on how busy things are."
Eden reached the doors and made a gesture to the brown-eyed male who was staring upwards at the building with a forlorn look.
Will frowned, and the male paused a moment, before heading through the doors, Eden following with a half-smile a moment behind. Inside, Will was standing in the large foyer. The initial area was only a few meters across, a second glass door was directly ahead, with a pad in the wall beside it. Through the glass door you could see a couple elevators, and there were presumably other rooms and offices spread out across the ground level. This entrance area was obviously intended as a secure waiting area for visitors, given the line of bench seats along the wall to the left hand side of the door. The right side indeed had a duty desk, with a man in security attire manning it. Two or three more were in an office directly behind him.
"This is where I leave you. Good luck," Eden offered with a supportive look.
"Huh, oh yeah. Thanks. Thanks a bunch. I um err. I'll see you around, right?" Will asked.
"Doubtless. I take my lunch at twelve-thirty up on Level 02. Pleasure meeting you, Will." Eden offered his hand to shake again, which was warmly taken up.
"Yeah, thanks. I'll look for you. You've been a huge help."
"My pleasure," Eden smiled letting go. "Later then," he nodded, and headed towards the glass doors.
"Later," Will called after him.
The ice-eyed male smiled, pressing his thumb to the pad beside the doors. The biometrics working in combination to the PAN (personal area network) card, the Division ID in his jacket pocket, identified him, and slid the door open. The youth walked forward and pressed the button for a lift.
As he stood waiting for the elevator to arrive, Eden chuckled to himself.
Staring at the ceiling of the elevator, Eden hummed quietly. Once upon a time the lift had played music, the building having once been a privately owned office, before being snatched up and converted for Division, by a budget conscious city council. Thankfully the jingle had been disconnected long ago. Apparently it had sounded like a duck drowning in porridge in its last days. For most purposes, torture was illegal. The sounds the machine had made had definitely been cruel and unusual.
The doors opened, and the short-statured male stepped out onto level 05. The space in front of the lifts swept the entire floor of the building. The borders of the massive floor space consisted of a dozen small, glass offices which made a near complete circle, save for a small coffee/kitchenette area in one open section of glass. The remaining centre space was crammed full of partitioned work areas, about eight or nine people were already at work at their desks, on the phone, or working at their computer. Above the people, a massive open cavity, a full third of the roof, was gone, and you could see up to the top floor, level 06.
Visibly, there were a couple conference rooms and more private offices. Thankfully though, there was a glass rail around the massive open section so one couldn't easily topple to their death. Engineers were good like that.
Eden pointed himself in the direction of an office on the western side of the building. He got a couple neutral nods from the agents at the centre desks, as he walked past. One or two looks however, was decidedly less than neutral, being distinctly unfriendly, but these he ignored.
Standing in front of one of the private offices, he dug into his jacket pocket for his keys. Although the ground level and access points, had the more up-to-date tech, things like offices and the like, still used the old-style mechanically cut keys and tumbler locks. Finding the right one, he slid it into the lock. The plaque on the door read Specialist Eden...
Eden tilted his head to the noise curiously, as he unlocked the door to his office. A well built man in his late forties was standing in the doorway of an office diagonally across from his, on the northern side of the building.
"Hey, Boss-man," Eden returned with a bright expression, opening his door and tossing his bag on his desk, and turning back to face the intimidating man.
"How was your weekend?"
The man glared.
"My office!" the man barked, and disappeared inside. Eden just chuckled, turning the lights to his office on, and relocking the door. The raven-haired youth then sauntered across the space between their offices, ignoring the looks he was getting from his colleagues. He stepped through the door of the office that was at least three times the size of his own small cubicle, and which possessed a view of the entirety of the floor.
The man whom called him was seated behind a large dark wood desk, the bulk of his 6'2 frame filling out a black leather office chair. His hair was cut militaristically short, and his light blue eyes were watchful, and rather gauging. This was fitting since Special Agent in Charge Shawn Hamilton, if the plaque on the desk was anything to go by, had spent twenty years in the Army before he joined the Bureau. His last eight years of military service having been in the Criminal Investigation Command. The Feds had eagerly snatched him away once his twenty were up, and ten years on, the man was the SAIC of the city's demon investigation division.
"What's up?" the ice-eyed youth asked casually, standing in front of the man's desk. Hamilton frowned, jerked his head in the direction of the open door.
"You're not uptight about that underwear joke, are you?" Eden said with a laugh, ignoring the pointed look at the door, and taking a seat in the empty seat across from the imposing man, whose jaw clenched.
"If only. What have I told you about fraternising with your colleagues?" The man began in a tired voice.
"I only said 'Hello!'" Eden exclaimed wildly, as Hamilton moved his chair back from his desk to stand.
"You called him a maggot you wouldn't touch if he was the last man on Earth," the built man retorted, as he approached his office door. Eden tilted his head owlishly.
"Are we talking about the same thing?"
"God, we better be," Hamilton stated, snapping the door to his office shut. "This makes eleven marked citations against you. Eleven!" The man's chair groaned as he sank into it.
"Really? I thought I'd have to be on at least sixty or seventy by now," the raven-haired youth said impishly.
"Don't be a smartarse. I have to investigate all complaints made against agents in this office, including your own," The man cautioned. Eden just shrugged.
"Well then for the record, I did not call that weasel, Benelli, a 'maggot I wouldn't touch if he was the last man on earth.' I called him a 'snot-faced, pugnacious maggot, whom I wouldn't fuck if he was the last man on earth,' and I have witnesses that will support that."
Hamilton winced rubbing his brow.
"He started it too!" Eden added, in afterthought.
"It doesn't matter what you called him," the man began, "and it doesn't matter what he said that made you say that. What matters is that instead of my Sunday night consisting of pasta bake and tolerating my daughter's boyfriend. I had to write four separate letters to the review board about what a good agent you are, how much of an asset you've been, and how everybody who makes a complaint against you is full of crap."
"But they are full of crap," Eden said earnestly.
"Which is the only reason I haven't shot you yet!" Hamilton exclaimed, leaning forward. "Now do you think for one week, whilst I sweep this under the rug, that you can stay out of trouble?" he asked in exacerbation. Eden hesitated.
"Trouble usually finds me."
"Just say, 'Agent Hamilton, I will try."
"'Agent Hamilton, I will try," Eden said, his tones matching the deeper patterns of Hamilton's voice in perfect mimicry. The man glared at the much smaller male.
"I will!" Eden said sharply in his own voice, pausing at the hostile glare he was receiving.
"Do you have some work for me?" the youth offered in a sedate tone. Hamilton just shook his head in disbelief.
"You're going to be the death of me," the man said tiredly, moving over a stack of a half-dozen brown folders from the side of his desk.
"And no, apart from your antics, it was a quiet weekend. Not much for you to ingratiate yourself in my service." Hamilton picked up the first file, and grimaced.
"I still have that Level A down in holding. The Alaska facility is apparently doing some upgrades and can't take new prisoners. No one else wants to accept the risk of holding him, so temporarily, we're stuck with it."
"There's a shock," Eden said sarcastically. Hamilton glared and the youth held his hands up in surrender.
"Rumours of a new underground prostitution circuit," The man said picking up the next file and glancing at it.
"Ah, can I have that one?" Eden asked hopefully.
"I'm assigning it to Peterson," Hamilton said with a suppressed-smile. The boy's face fell.
"Burn. Fine, punish me," Eden said bitterly, slouching his chair. Hamilton moved onto the next file, amused.
"Robberies. Nothing extraordinary. Metro has that for now." He grabbed another file.
"Rangers fished a John Doe out of a lake east of here. Standard organised crime dump job. Body was burnt then dumped, though the victim's obviously demonic. Probably been in the water for a month or two though, so bloating makes the standard ID impossible. Investigation pending the results of comparison to the demon DNA registry." Hamilton looked from the file to the young male.
"That's if your girlfriend and the lab rats down on 01 ever get over their backlog."
"She's not my girlfriend," Eden defended with a glare. "And which lake was it?" The bulky man glanced at the fine-print.
"Echo Lake, why?"
"Just curious so I know where not to go skinny-dipping," Eden said with a shrug, making the man grimace.
"Of course you would," the man muttered, grabbing the next file.
"Here's one you can handle. Metro caught a Class E Friday night. Open and shut killing. Neighbors called in a disturbance, and when the locals arrived, they found a vampire chewing on the dead homeowner." Hamilton passed the file across the desk to Eden who propped it open against a bent knee.
"That's nice," Eden murmured, wincing as he opened the file and saw the crime-scene photo.
"Looks like as you say, an open and shut. A starving vampire and a human in the room at the same time. Shit happens." Eden glanced up. "Where do we fit in the picture? The Cops don't like to share cases with us, even open and shut ones."
"Because our Class E until a few days ago was a prominent Class H. People, important people, want to know who turned him, and the locals don't want to be in the same room to interrogate a blood-mad vampire. Which is where, as you say, we, in this case you, come in. The vamp's down in 'the pit'. Enjoy."
"Oh, I will. Many thanks," Eden muttered darkly, reading the file. "It was probably Dante, again, though."
"Probably," Hamilton said in agreement, watching as the shorter agent read. Long seconds ticked by, and the raven-haired boy made no sign of shifting.
"Harrows?" Hamilton queried, waiting for the youth to look up. "What are you doing?"
Eden looked up from the file with a playful smile.
"I'm just enjoying your company, boss-man."
Hamilton returned the smile thinly.
"Get the hell out of my office."
Eden walked across the space between his office and Hamilton's, not reacting to the looks of his colleagues, but sprouting a smile at the departing shout after his back to 'stay away from the weasel!' Wearing a half-smile, he opened up his office door again, stepping in. Putting the file on his desk and flipping through it, his empty hand grabbed the phone hard-line, and dialed a number.
"Yeah, hey Bernie, it's Eden. Did the city send over a Level E by the name of," he checked the front page of the file. "Robert Lancaster." There was a brief pause, and the icy-eyed youth moved his bag into the bottom drawer of his desk, and closed it.
"Yeah, that's the one. I'll be down in a few minutes to have a chat to him. Yeah, that's fine. Thanks, Bernie." Eden hang up the phone, spending another few moments standing at his desk skimming over the dossier, before closing it. Pressing the power button for his computer so that the ancient piece of government crap would be ready when he got back, the short male left his office, locking it behind him.
Most of the agents on this level were here by now, the centre area being filled with the morning bustle of about twenty people. The youth made his way over to the kitchenette area by the glass window-like walls, and began prepping himself a coffee in one of the supplied cheap styrofoam cups. Frowning as he added sugar, he looked at the cups, and grabbed a second, making another coffee without any sweetener this time. Task done, Eden headed for the lifts, ignoring a rather hostile death glare from a balding agent in his forties, who was just exiting a lift. Rolling his eyes, the slender male pressed the button for the other one.
"Weasel," Eden muttered under his breath, as he stepped onto the lift. Balancing the two scolding beverages in one hand, he held a thumb to the bottom-most button with a 'P' on it. The lift didn't do anything for about three seconds, and then the P lit up with a blue light and the doors closed.
Eden removed his thumb from the button as the elevator began to descend downwards. He sighed and stretched his neck, hoping for a satisfying crack, but not getting one. The male exhaled heavily again, glancing up to the floor indicator.
3. 2. 1. G. B1. B2. P.
The doors opened up, and the male stepped out into a tunnel. It sloped down at an imperfect angle, the faded half green and half white paint on the walls, and the old incandescent yellow lights gave the tunnel an old, something hazy feel to it. This didn't seem to bother the young male though, who followed the silent and sloping tunnel for about forty meters, until the passage angled out to a series of doors. The first one was a glass door with another biometric pad, the other two accesses within sight, being steel. It was this first one that Eden stepped forward to, ignoring the black bubble camera above the door, as he pressed his thumb to the pad. It clicked open a minute later, and he shouldered his way through.
The new room was brighter and fresher smelling than the hallway, with painted white walls, and midnight blue lino floors. A security counter was on the right side a meter past the door, with a red-haired woman seated behind, and a man chatting to her casually, leaning on the counter.
"Morning, Bernie," Eden greeted as he stepped through the door, letting it close behind him. The man turned to face him. He was about six foot four, and had somewhat of a potbelly to him, visible beneath his white security shirt and navy blue jacket. His expression though, despite towering over the newcomer, was friendly, being a wide, dimpled smile.
"Heya, Eden," Bernie drawled. "How ya doing?"
"Underloved and underappreciated. Yourself?" Eden said, flashing a disarming grin.
"I'm err, pretty good. Pretty good, indeed. For a Monday," the man smiled, nodding out his response, not as fast on the upbeat as the younger male, whilst the woman snorted.
"I'll be amazing if one of those coffees is for me," Bernie added, looking at the cups in Eden's hands, hopefully. Eden just smiled wider.
"Black with two sugars," passing one in his hand to the man and keeping the as yet untouched plain coffee for himself. Bernie's face lit up as he accepted the styrofoam cup.
"Ahh, awesome. Just how I like it too."
The red-headed woman laughed silently to herself, as the big man practically inhaled about half the cup in a few seconds. Caffeine craving catered to for the moment, Bernie gestured for Eden to precede him through the room, towards what was becoming the ever ubiquitous glass door. Through it you could see a well lit concrete passage with doors either side. Pressing his own meaty thumb to the access pad, Bernie opened the door for Eden, and waved him through, following behind the boy a moment later.
"So, Hamilton has ya on dat Vampire case, huh?" Bernie asking, making conversation, as they walked past closed steel doors which looked rather industrial in their construction and strength.
"Mmmhmm. Wants me to do the locals a favour and figure out who turned him."
"Probably Dante," Bernie offered, sipping his coffee.
"That's our feeling," Eden nodded, frowning. "Though I expect the Cops won't much like the idea of a mysterious vampire, running around turning blood-sucking rich bastards, into blood-sucking undead bastards, for funzies."
"You're probably right. One of da Metro detectives is here with the prisoner."
"And I bet he's my kind of guy right?" Eden queried with a smirk.
"Why? Do you like err dumb, fat and lazy guys now? If so, I'll have ta start dressing snappier," Bernie said with a ribbing expression.
"You should! You've lost some weight. I like it. Pretty soon, I won't be able to recognise you, you sexy beast," Eden shot back with a grin. Bernie snorted in reply.
"Oh don't tempt me sir, you'll make my heart go all af- ah, darn it." The man cut himself off short as they passed one particular door, the sounds of scratching coming distantly from behind the metal.
"Sounds like the Creepers are awake again. I'm holding on ta a pack of em for Andy, the warden from the Wisconsin office. They need another culling out tha' way. Us too for tha' matter. The critters made a heck of a racket last night, howling at each other." Bernie navigated them past the door without pausing.
"Given what's down here, a few howls are the least of your worries," the icy-eyed male murmured, giving the taller a sympathetic look. "The boss-man mentioned you're still holding the Level A." The big man's face took on a stormy expression at Eden's words.
"Don't talk to me about that! We never should have got him in the first place. We're not equipped for his level. That's why they built tha' bloody snow prison, to house those monsters. Don't bring him up. The less I have to think about that bas-"
The man fell silently unexpectedly as they approached an intersection in the tunnels, and they turned onto it. Eden looked at the man curiously for an explanation, walking in silence, but then saw the reason why. Twenty meters or so up the passage, there were a couple guys standing guard. This was a change in scenario in on itself since apart from Bernie and the woman at the desk at 'The Pit's' entrance, Eden hadn't seen anyone else down here. The other exception was that they wore riot gear, and were armed with two extremely powerful looking firearms, that were less standard police issue shotgun-like, and more cover-your-ears and guard-your-loins, handcannon-like.
The duo were forced to walk past the two guards, whom were standing either side of an glass observation window, the room beyond bathed in an eerie crimson light, making it difficult to make out the features of the shadowy figure in the rear of the room. The feeling that emanated out though, was a menace that was palpable, physically intoxicating in its violence. Bernie took the smaller male by the arm, guiding him away before he could do more than spare a glance, hurrying them along. It wasn't until they were well out of earshot along a new passage that the warden spoke.
"Like I was saying, the less we have to do with tha' animal the better. We've put him under three separate power suppressors, and he's still as dangerous as a Class B. I had to threaten ta fire my guys to get them to do their job and guard him, but still had two quit their asses on me, rather than deal with him. The sooner he goes, the -"
"The happier you'll be," Eden interrupted. "Yes, I got it."
The man shot him a frown in response, but said nothing, finishing off the last of his coffee. Eden decided to change the subject.
"Whereabouts in this maze did you end up putting the Vampire, anyway?" The youth asked.
"Just around da next corner," Bernie assured, quietly. "This section is all short term holding."
Sure enough, about thirty seconds later, they were standing in front of a steel door, and the man was flicking through a large selection of colour-coded bilock keys, to open it. When he had the right one, he opened up the door, and waved the agent in, following behind and shutting it after them.
It was a small darkened room, with one wall made of glass, looking into another, well-lit room which had a steel table and chairs. A man sat in this room, handcuffed hands over his head, practically hiding in the corner. Watching him from the room Eden and Bernie had stepped into, were three other men. Two were police officers, obvious from their patrol uniforms. The last though, wore brown trousers and a jacket, being middle-aged and a little grungy to look at. You didn't need to be a detective to work out this was the detective Bernie had mentioned before.
"Officers, this is ah Special Agent Harrows," Bernie said by way of introduction. "He'll be doing da interrogation of your suspect." The men stared at Eden.
The two officers were decent enough not to say anything, but the last man, obviously had no such qualms, since he scoffed openly.
"Him? He's a little fresh, isn't he?" indicating Eden's age, snidely.
Bernie looked like he wanted to say something, but the ice-eyed male just waved him off.
"I assure you, I'm uniquely qualified for this sort of thing," Eden said with a forced smile.
"Though if you think you can do a better job, I'm sure Bernie won't object to you hopping inside the cell. Alone. With a blood-mad vampire."
The detective glowered.
"I'm just here to watch that you Feds don't wreck our case. That creature's a murderer. I don't want to see him get off because you say or do something that a bleeding-heart demon hugger could use to free the freak."
The raven-haired agent just glared back.
"A freak, huh? Aren't you mister personality." Eden turned away and ignored the cops, looking to Bernie.
"Let's get this over with already," he said in a resigned tone. Bernie nodded.
"Did you have a weapon on ya?" The man enquired, moving towards a section of glass that had another pad on it. It would slide open a section of glass into the interrogation room, when he pressed his thumb against it.
"Nah, left it upstairs. I know the rules, Bernie."
"Sorry, gotta ask cause people jus' forget they have one on em," The warden said in apology, as Eden stepped up to the cell door. The detective though, lifted his brow.
"You're going in there without a gun? What are you, fucking nuts?"
Eden glowered at the detective.
"Actually, I'm a Capricorn."
The man went red in the face, and opened his mouth to give a retort, but Bernie cut him off.
"That's the rules, gentlemen. No guns in the same room as da prisoners."
"Who the fuck came up with that idea?" the detective sneered. Eden narrowed his eyes, looking irritated.
"Well as a matta' of fact, tha' was me," Bernie said, with a look of aggravation. The change in mood making him look less of a cuddly teddy bear, and more of an 'I'm strong enough to rip your face off,' bear.
"I've worked here a long time, and a gun has yet ta save a single life. They give ya false sense of security, make you feel safe, when you're not, and given the danger of what's down here. My feeling is that if you don't feel safe going in without a gun, then it's not safe ta go in at all."
The detective sneered and shook his head.
"You're all crazy, we should just shoot these things, but do what the fuck you want."
"Thank you, we will," Eden said coldly, speaking up before the tall man beside him could respond.
"Open it up, Bernie?" the raven-haired youth said, turning to the man.
"A pretty boy like you, would be just the snack that monster wants," the detective degraded in a bitter tone. Eden's ice-blue eyes gave the man a spiteful look. He was prevented by saying anything by Bernie, who put a restraining hand on his shoulder.
"Eden is more than capable of looking after 'imself," Bernie defended, steering the young agent's attention away from the detective, towards the glass door.
"Try an' play nice with da' man," Bernie pleaded quietly, as he set his thumb on the scanner.
"No promises," Eden muttered, as the glass 'door' whooshed open, and he stepped in, the glass sliding shut behind him, locking him into the room.
Eden tilted his head at the place where the door had been. Even though he knew exactly where it was, from this side it was indistinguishable from the rest of the mirrored surface. And indeed, it was a mirrored surface, since from this side you could only see the room reflected back at you. Two-way mirrors were old tech, but as long as the Bernie and the Cops on the other side kept their lights off, it was effective enough.
The raven-haired male put a stray hair back in place behind his ear, and stepped forward to the metal table bolted down in the room's center. There was a chair on either side of the table, and Eden stood behind the one in front of him, resting a hand casually on the back, as he looked across the table to the man cowering in the corner.
He could hear him shuddering and sniffling into his arm. The clothing he wore being what was probably a few days ago, a very expensive grey suit, was now bloodied and torn. It was easy to smell the blood in the air actually. The man stank of it. That rusty, copper smell of dried blood and human sweat. The man in the dossier Hamilton had given him had been a man in his late fifties, whom was very dapper and full of presence. The man in the foetal position now had all the presence of a soiled toddler. It was pathetic.
"Hello, Robert," Eden said aloud, tilting his head as he watched the man. Ice-blue eyes saw the man stiffen, and coil himself into a tighter ball.
"It's morning," Eden continued. "I brought you a coffee," he said, leaning forward and setting the coffee down on the table in front of the seat opposite.
"I can't drink coffee," Lancaster said into his arm.
"How do you know?" Eden asked sympathetically.
"I tried. I tried everything. But I couldn't stop myself. The urges. That woman. There was so much blood."
"It's not your fault Robert, you're not responsible."
The man tensed and looked up from his arms. His face was paste-like and coloured like his blood-shot eyes, red from flecks of dried blood. When the man spoke, his canines were obvious.
"I killed that poor woman. I'm responsible!"
Eden gave a shrug.
"You may have been the murder weapon, but you're not the murderer."
Lancaster's face hardened.
"What would you know! I killed her! Me! Who the hell are you, anyway?"
"My name's Eden. I'm here to talk to you, find out what happened to you," Eden said with a supportive tone.
The man snarled, displaying his inch long fangs.
"I don't want to talk!" the man shouted, before laying his head on his arms again and sighing. "He'll kill me if I talk to you."
"He?" Eden queried. Lancaster stiffened, but remained silent. The raven-haired boy leaned more forward on his chair.
"You've considered what 'he' may do to you, but have you spared a thought to what we might do to you?" Eden commented, lifting a brow.
"You killed a woman. From what the report tells me, you snapped her neck and practically tore her apart in an amateur attempt to drink her dry. Last I checked people don't really have a problem walking a badly-behaved vampire out into the sun."
"What the hell do you want from me!" the vampire shouted, bursting to his feet, a murderous expression on his face. The young male didn't seem surprised or threatened by the move, though.
"I want you to help yourself, by helping me," Eden remarked. "And you can start by not cowering in the corner like an infant, and take a seat."
Lancaster growled at the boy, stalking to stand behind the chair opposite the beautiful boy.
"I will not give you his name!"
Eden raised a brow.
"What did he promise that makes you so unwilling to help yourself? Take a seat."
"I won't help you," the man repeated quietly, in defiance. Eden's eyes narrowed.
"Sit!" the youth hissed sharply, the sound sudden and unexpected, echoed around the room with intensity. Lancaster started in surprise, an element of fear on his face as he looked at the boy, as the reverberations faded. When the sound had disappeared completely, the vampire glanced at the seat, and looking at the hard face on the young man, sank into the chair cautiously. Eden sighed and pinched his nose, as if annoyed at himself for losing his temper, before focusing on the vampire.
"Sorry about that," Eden apologised. The vampire said nothing, only blinking a couple times, and glancing down at the styrofoam cup in front of him, and wincing, as if the smell of the coffee was a source of pain to him. Eden ignored this and pulled his own chair back, sitting opposite the vampire. He tapped his fingertips on the table surface in thought, before he spoke.
"I don't actually need you to tell me his name. I have a pretty good idea who was responsible for making you, so a simple nod will probably suffice to this next question. For your sake, I suggest you do answer as there are going to be plenty of people who can sleep just fine having your arse sun-baked. Cooperation would be a smart idea."
Lancaster narrowed his eyes.
Eden leant forward.
"Does his name start with a 'D?'"
The man's eyes widened in surprise, and seeing this, Eden sighed as if disappointed. The raven-haired male pushed his chair back, and stood.
"I kind of hoped it wasn't going to be him. Not to be, I guess. And not surprising. You're not the first to have been used by him. You're not an individual unique snowflake. Every couple years he does this. Finds rich, greedy schmucks who'll believe his lies, promises them immortality, and sits back and watches them betray everything they ever stood for. He likes to point out that deep down; people are just as ugly on the inside, as demons are reputed to be on the outside. That in the end Robert, we're all just food for worms." Eden moved to the door.
"You're lying!" the vampire shouted after him. "He didn't use me! He said he would protect me. He said he would keep me safe!" Eden ignored the man.
"I'm done, Bernie. Open up."
Lancaster exploded forwards towards the boy's turned back, fangs bared, fingers bent like claws. He latched onto Eden's arm, spinning him around, mouth open wide. He was stopped dead by a slapping blow from the raven-haired boy, the force of which knocked the vampire sideways. Lancaster didn't get a chance to react further, as the boy's legs swept the man's knees out from under him and he toppled to the ground, finding the boy crouched over his back, knee on his neck, pinning his head.
The vampire hissed and sputtered, restrained to the ground, as the glass door slammed open and Bernie stormed in flurried move. Whipping a black canister like device from his pocket, the man smacked it against the vampires back. Lancaster howled in rage as his body contorted as if struck by lightning, jerking for a few seconds, before passing out.
"You okay, E?" Bernie enquired, as the young agent stepped away from the motionless vampire.
"I'm fine," Eden snapped testily, clutching his hand. "Bastard got the jump on me, that's all."
The raven-haired boy tried to move out of the interrogation room into the observation chamber, but was blocked by the detective who was inspecting the scene from the doorway.
"This is why I say we should put these freaks down. They're all murdering scum." The man looked down at the boy in front of him.
"You're not too bad in a room though. Maybe I wa- jeez! What the fuck!" The man backed up away from the shorter male, staring at the boy's hand, the one Eden had struck the vampire across the face with, with horror, and disgust.
Instead of soft tanned skin, there was a moving shadow of black on the boy's upturned palm. His fingers were short curved claws, instead of the contrasting pink nails on the normal appendage, clutching the other 'hand'. Looking across at the vampire's face, it was now obvious to see where the boy's 'claws' had connected. There wasn't any blood, vampires not having much in the way of circulation, but the man's cheek and jaw showed what the obvious sign of injury, possessing five ragged lacerations.
"What the fuck are you?" The detective said in open disgust, the two silent officers with him, looking at the short male with similar unease.
Eden's throat clenched tightly and he grabbed at the handle to the door to the passage, and quickly left the room, ignoring Bernie's call after him, as he stormed off. He walked quickly down the passage for about thirty seconds, before he stopped to calm himself.
Breathing heavily he glanced at the clawed hand he had been holding onto tightly, and was relieved to see that the 'claws' had disappeared, and only a faint black shimmer remained. Eden spent a few seconds controlling his breathing, and then, this shimmer too faded away into his skin. The boy exhaled.
"Stupid. Don't let him get to you," he muttered at himself, and began stalking further down the tunnel. Rounding a corner he saw the two guards in the tactical gear once more.
It was the Level A holding cell.
There would be no choice but to walk past it. Cursing under his breath, Eden moved swiftly forward.
He was almost to them, when the two guards outside the glass observation to the cell, backed away from it suddenly, and a harsh voice filled the corridor.
"Heh, heh, heh. I smell a boy toy."
Eden froze where he was, a few steps away from coming into view of the cell.
"What? Are you afraid of me? Heh, heh, heh. You should know you can't hide what you are from me. I could smell you the moment they brought me in the building," the voice taunted.
With wary steps, Eden stepped towards the two guards, whom had their weapons drawn and pointed at something in front of them. As Eden came into view, he could see what had them worried. Seven plus feet of muscled torso, vicious teeth, was standing right up against the glass. The beast grinned wider as he saw him. The malevolence it oozed was practically visible beneath the crimson light.
"Ah, the lord and master shows himself. Heh, heh, heh. So tell me, boy. How hard do you bounce in these human's laps to walk around here without a leash." The demon laughed loudly, as Eden's jaw clenched. Ice-blue eyes glanced to the sign on the glass.
Level A Temporary Holding.
SUBJECT PRESENTS EXTREME MORTAL DANGER. DO NOT RELEASE.
"Try it. You might enjoy it," Eden said coldly, tears his eyes off the fiend and walking away.
"Heh, heh, heh. Not as much as you seem to."
The demon's cruel laughter, followed after the youth, all the way out, ringing in his ears even when he got back to his office.
Swearing, Eden slammed the door to his office, ignoring the looks it garnered him from some of the other agents. Slumping in his seat, he sighed, composing himself. Once he had a handle on himself, he opened up the bottom draw of his desk, and opened his bag, checking that his gun hadn't gone walkabout whilst he was down in 'the pit.'
It was untouched as expected, but whilst there, he noticed his phone. He took it out to check for any missed calls or messages. Eden unlocked the screen.
GUNNER: Look forward to 2nite. Can't wait to have my cock in your ass!
He closed the text window and relocked his phone silently, staring at the wall with a clenched jaw.
AN: Thanks for reading. It is eating at me that I decided to split the chapter up. I was contemplating it at five thousand words. I made my mind up at 10,000 words. Hopefully this part is a good enough cliff-hanger to tide you over until the next part. My concern was it was getting a bit exhausting, and that you need time to refresh your brain since the focus mostly follows Eden. The only problem is that because the events happen in one day, there are details in this part that inform on character interactions in the next part, and these may be less obvious when not read together. But I'll leave that to your judgement.
The good news is I'm already a good three thousand words into the next part, and will finish off pretty fast.
Notable line: 'individual unique snowflake' is a line of Chuck Palahniuk's, from Fight club.
"You are not special. You're not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We're all part of the same compost heap. We're all singing, all dancing crap of the world."
As always any thoughts, feedback and constructive criticism is appreciated.
Until next time.