Destroyer(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 5)(19) by Connie Suttle
"Randy, stop worrying about it, all right? San Antonio sounds fine when I visit again."
"Sara, I wish we were together. Right now. I want my hands on you, baby."
"Randy, don't do that. It's hard enough as it is, being this far apart."
"I know. I never should have let Mom talk me into moving."
"Randy, she's your mother, no matter what. I'm just the girlfriend, remember?"
"Sara, don't ever say that again. You have no idea how important you are."
"I'll remind you that you said that after our first big fight," Sara teased.
"You do that. It'll still be true."
* * *
"Here's the information." Gavin set a folder in front of Ashe while Tony lifted an eyebrow in surprise. Gavin, the crusty old vampire, never allowed anyone except another vampire Assassin to see information provided by Wlodek and the Council.
"Kieran Ormonde?" Ashe blinked at Gavin as he flipped through three pages of printed information.
"May be responsible for murdering six people in the San Francisco area. Considered quite dangerous. He was last heard from when he reached Oakland, where we lost touch. You see his financial status, before and after the crisis." Gavin barely nodded.
"I see it. He has more money now than he did before the meltdown, with not much in between."
"Precisely. All the victims have made recent large transactions, transferring funds into specific investments. We believe Ormonde has placed compulsion on a human, who is in charge of these investments. Most of that money has disappeared, leaving the human in the hands of local authorities. He has been charged with fraud and running a Ponzi scheme."
"Doesn't sound good for old Kieran, does it?" Ashe shook his head.
"No, it does not."
"I'd say you're right. Except Kieran isn't the only one involved. Got any other folders containing the names Brinkley Addison and Ellis Kline?"
"Those are only suspects at this point, with recently reported locations in Ireland," Tony said. "Are they involved?"
"I'd say so. You know for sure that they haven't been to the U.S. in the past four months?" Ashe's eyes were filled with stars.
"Not completely." Gavin only blinked once at Ashe. "Private jets leave the country all the time."
"Yeah." Ashe's eyes were back to their normal blue.
"Are we traveling to two locations tonight?" Gavin asked, taking the folder from Ashe's outstretched hand.
"Yes. San Francisco and Dublin."
"I haven't been to Dublin in a while. Kid, dress warm. For both places," Tony said. "Maybe we should hit Dublin, first. It's ten p.m. here. We have less than two hours before sunrise in the U.K.," Tony consulted his watch.
"I'll go change," Ashe hunched his shoulders. He was destined to see more vampires die.
* * *
"Hi, Thomas," Wynter said brightly when Thomas Williams called her cell. "I heard you had some trouble in Amarillo. Are you okay?"
"I'm good. The vamps did most of the work. Weldon and I only got two and that's because Dalroy and Rhett were too polite to interfere," Thomas chuckled. "How about you?"
"School starts again in a week. But I'm almost done."
"Good for you. What I called about, well, I'll be looking for a ring. Is there anything special that you like?"
"I love chocolate diamonds surrounding a diamond," Wynter squeaked. Thomas was buying her a ring!
"I'll see what I can do, then."
"Did Daddy give you a hard time?"
"Not much of one. I told him I'd take good care of you. Twice. And he said you can fly out one weekend a month, as long as you're supervised by my sister."
"Daddy has to stick his nose in everything. It's not like I'm an adult or anything."
"Sweetheart, we have to get to know each other. I want you to be sure when I put that ring on your finger."
"I'll be sure."
* * *
"We know where he is, but he's guarded most of the time," Parlethis informed the four who stood before him. "By werewolves and vampires. We have devised a plan to draw him away from that place so your attack will be easier. You are the fastest we have at relocating, and you must take him by surprise. I have these." Parlethis handed capped darts to each Bright Elemaiya soldier. "These darts contain lion snake poison and will kill almost anything quickly."
"We know about lion snake poison," one of Parlethis' chosen assassins handled the dart carefully, examining the cap and how solidly it was positioned over the point.
"Good. You go in two days. Here is the map and photographs we received from one of our contacts." Parlethis handed out paper copies of what he'd been given. He'd also sent two darts to the contact in question by return mail. It was the first time he'd mailed anything, and found it quite simple to accomplish. He'd lied, too, telling the clerk the box contained photographs.
* * *
"You'll do it because I tell you to do it," Zeke snarled at Josiah's contact over the phone. "Wildrif is here, and he was happy to give me your information. You'll hit the target I told you to hit. You get two darts, in case somebody else is there."
Zeke listened for a moment while the contact argued on the other end. "Look, either you do this or my trackers come hunting you. If they don't get you, I can always send information anonymously to the Grand Master. I'd say that one of us will have you. You don't stand a chance." Zeke listened again while the contact called Wildrif many names. Most of them had profanity involved and none of them were nice.
"You gonna do this?" Zeke's mouth turned up in a smile when he received a sulky "Yes."
* * *
Kid, I don't know how you do this. I'm not arguing, though. Tony waved a hand to keep Ashe from defending himself. He, Ashe and Gavin stood across the street from a house in Dublin, a narrow, cobbled lane lying in between. Inside the house, dim lights shone from behind heavy curtains. You're sure they're here?
Yeah. With humans. Women, Ashe added, swallowing nervously.
"I think they're engaged in sex," Tony breathed softly to Gavin, who nodded and gripped Ashe's arm.
"Young one, stay outside unless you are needed," Gavin whispered next to Ashe's ear.
No problem, Ashe agreed mentally. Gavin nodded. Ashe watched as Gavin and Tony approached the house. Surprisingly, Tony drew a lock-picking kit from a pocket and went to work on the door. The faintest of ticks sounded and Ashe nodded respectfully when Tony had the door open in seconds. Gavin led the way inside the house, Tony close behind.
* * *
"I can meet with you tomorrow night. You can choose the place," Peyton spoke into his cell. He'd been more than surprised that William Winkler called him back. It didn't matter that he might be walking into a trap—Peyton had spent the last twenty-four hours evading Zeke Tanner's trackers. Not for the first time did he wonder why the trackers didn't go after Winkler, but shoved that thought aside. Winkler was on the phone, asking for a meeting.
"Come to the house. I'm sure you know where it is anyway," Winkler said.
"I'm being followed," Peyton admitted.
"No surprise. Know where those followers might be?"
"They're here in Corpus Christi," Peyton said. "I managed to lose them last night, but they're here. I figure they'll catch up with me soon enough."
"How about letting them follow you here?" Peyton could almost hear the grim smile in Winkler's voice. "I think we can arrange to give them a traditional, rogue welcome."
"That would be mighty fine, Mr. Winkler," Peyton released a sigh. "I'll give you every bit of information on Zeke Tanner I have. He doesn't tell me everything, but I know enough."
"Just telling me where his compound is will go a long way," Winkler muttered.
"I can do that, but if I know Zeke, he may be making a move. He does that a lot, if he thinks somebody might come to visit."
"Know anything about that nutjob, Wildrif?" Winkler asked.
"Yeah. Scary as hell," Peyton shuddered. "I think Zeke's been in contact with him all along."
"That's what I was afraid of," Winkler replied.
"I was mighty surprised when Zeke sent him to Obediah, but that was probably Wildrif's doing," Peyton said.
"Not surprised about that, either," Winkler agreed. "How long have you worked for Tanner?"
"Since I was twelve, so that makes it twenty-three years. Said he found me when I was a baby, abandoned by my parents. Now, I don't know how well you know Zeke, but I haven't believed that lie for a long time. He had some of his raise me, so most manners I know I learned from books. At least one of 'em taught me to read before Zeke took him down."
"Know anything about your parents?"
"No. I was too little to know anything, I guess."
"Where were you when that mess happened here?"
"Going after a rival dealer outside Chihuahua."
"Ever hear Zeke talk about a contact in D.C.?"
"Yeah, but I never got a name. Look, I can explain what I know when I get there, if that's okay."
"That's fine. I may have a couple of others here with me. They might have questions, too."
"Sounds good. If the Grand Master wants an execution after that, well, I'd appreciate it if he made it quick."
"I'll mention that to him."
* * *
"Weldon, he's coming tomorrow night and he may have Zeke's trackers on his tail. I had Matt connected to the call—he was in Chicago, so he's flying down. Matt's ears perked right up when Peyton said he had information on that contact in D.C." Winkler toyed with a pen on his desk while he spoke with the Grand Master.
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