Carter glanced across his desk to see Chris pouring over yet another file. He’d been at it for hours and judging by the determination he saw in his young partner’s eyes there wasn’t an end in sight. He shook his head and picked up an old manila folder from the pile on Chris’s desk.
“What are you looking through all these old things for?” he asked, flipping through the folder. There was nothing there but deeds and title transfers. “They put you on a case I don’t know about?”
“Remember I told you there was something going on with those two?” Chris asked, never looking up from the file in his hand. He’d finally found the name he was looking for.
“Good God, Chris.” Carter tossed the folder aside and shook his head. “I thought I told you to let that go. That family has been through more than enough. Leave ‘em be.”
“You don’t understand,” he argued. “I figured it out. Well some of it anyway.” He turned a few pages and saw a picture of the man, the vampire he’d seen at Matt’s place. He pushed it in front of Carter. “See this guy?”
Carter looked, but didn’t see a connection. The picture was dated circa 1845.
“Yeah,” he said shrugging his shoulders. “What of him?”
“He’s part of it.”
Carter took another look at the photo and then his partner. Obviously he was suffering from a lack of something. “You realized this guy died over seventy years ago.”
“You’d think,” Chris said. “But I swear that’s the same guy I saw at Matt’s place.”
“Hold up,” Carter said calmly. Not a week before they’d both been told to stay away from the family altogether. An unidentified caller had called their superiors at home to complain about Chris’s accusations and asked that they be removed from Ben’s case altogether. “You keep digging and you’re gonna find yourself out on your ass.”
“I doubt that,” Chris snorted. “Now that I know what I know, they can’t keep me away.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Carter was beginning to think the kid had snapped.
“I’m saying if I can find this guy, I can find Ben. The sooner that happens the better.” Somehow finding Alana, getting her away from them both seemed more important than anything else. “I get the feeling if he gets a hold of her again she’s in for a fate worse than death.”
“A week ago you were sure he was covering for her. Now you want to save her? What gives?”
“I saw something the other night, Carter. Something I never in a million years thought I’d ever see. Everything makes sense now. I see why she was so calm about Jennifer’s death. She already knew.”
“Knew what? That Ben did it?” Carter closed the file and got up for a cup of coffee. “I told you that the night they called off the patrol.”
“I’m not sorry I asked questions.”
“Of course not. So what did you see? Why this sudden change of heart?”
“I saw Ben nearly kill a man.”
“And you didn’t call it in?!” Carter was exasperated. Even though they’d been called off the case they had a duty. “What were you thinking?”
“They didn’t need help,” Chris said, lowering his voice. He looked around the room for prying ears. What he was about to say didn’t need to be overheard. “They had that guy.” He gestured toward the closed file. “They had a vampire.”