Home > Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1)(6)

Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1)(6)
Author: Melissa F. Olson

Unless I could make it look like something else?

“How did you do it?” I asked Molly. There had been too much blood for me to really examine the wounds.

She blinked, and her rocking finally ceased. She reached up one reddened finger and pointed at her mouth. I sighed. She’d pressed them to hold still, and killed them one by one with her teeth. Great. If she’d used a blade or a gun, I could have spun it as a human crime, but no one was going to buy bite marks as the cause of mundane human violence. Which was why vampires rarely used their teeth to draw blood these days.

As I weighed my options, Molly’s rocking picked up again, and I realized that I needed her to snap out of it before I could do anything else. I went over and crouched right in front of her so our eyes were on the same level, like you do with frightened children. “Molly, we need to go,” I said. “We have to get out of here before someone shows up.”

Her eyes widened in sudden fear. She whispered, “If Dashiell finds out . . .”

“I know.” Vampires, especially very new vampires, occasionally make a feeding mistake that kills someone. It’s terrible and unfortunate, but there’s really no punishment—the first time. Maybe even a second time, depending on the circumstances. But mass murder was a huge no-no. It drew too much attention to the Old World, and moreover, it just wasn’t in line with vampires’ very nature. They were efficient, careful predators, taking what they needed to live without attracting the attention of the prey. Vampires who blood-gorged were put down. It was one of the unwritten laws that we lived by, and every new vampire knew the drill. At best, Dashiell might be gracious enough to grant her a trial the next night, but it would look pretty open-and-shut.

Too open-and-shut, actually. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure Molly would be sentenced to death. I needed to think about how the hell I was going to help her, but that was a problem for Future Scarlett. Right now, the important thing was to cover up the evidence and get Molly out of here. That was, after all, my actual job.

“Molly!” I said, firmly enough to get her attention. “Where’s your car?” She’d driven a late-model Mini Cooper as long as I’d known her.

“I have a spot in the off-campus garage,” she said numbly. “No, wait. It’s at the dealership for an oil change. Bridget was going to pick it up for me tomorrow.” Her eyes flicked in the direction of the living room. Toward Bridget, I assumed.

“Okay. We need to go,” I said again. “Right now.”

She looked down at herself. “Good point,” I said as though she’d delivered an argument. She couldn’t go out on the street like that. “Is there a shower?” I asked. She nodded. “Go. I’ll get started here.”

She stood up and tottered toward a doorway on the other side of the kitchen, which must have led toward a bedroom. The blood on her had dried too much to leave any drips or marks on the tile where she walked, which was a small mercy. But I was never going to be able to clean up that blood pool in the other room.

As soon as she was gone, I went around and made sure all the doors and windows were locked and the curtains closed. Then I went into the first bedroom I could find and grabbed clean clothes for Molly from the closet: a belted dress, a wireless bra, underwear. I left them on the floor in front of the bathroom door.

I did that much just on instinct and experience, but then I paused in the living room doorway, feeling like my brain was bouncing around inside a hamster wheel. How the hell could I make this look like an accident? Or at least a human-on-human massacre?

My phone buzzed in my pants pocket, making me jump. When I pulled it out, I saw a text from Eli. You on your way? I stared at it, puzzled, until remembering I’d promised to stop by the bar after my “simple” job. Right. It seemed so ludicrous that I had to stifle a laugh. I was afraid if I started, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

After a moment of thought, I texted: All good, I think I’m just gonna head home. Battery is low. Love you.

I didn’t really think Eli would use the computer in Will’s office to check my location, but it wouldn’t exactly shock me if he did. There was GPS or LoJack or whatever on my van, but it could only be accessed through Dashiell’s security people, and as long as no one raised an alarm there would be no reason for the cardinal vampire to hunt me down. Assuming I could take care of this mess.

I glanced at the heap of bodies in front of me, feeling guilty. I shouldn’t have called them a mess.

“I need pot,” I said to myself. “Lots and lots of pot.”

When I heard the water in the bathroom stop, I went back to find Molly. She had opened the bathroom door, but was now just standing in the middle of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, staring dubiously at what remained of her bloody outfit. When I got close enough to make her human, she began to shiver, water dripping from her black-and-blue hair.

I picked up the pile of clothes I’d grabbed and held it out to her. She took it obediently, her gaze still fixed on the blood-soaked fabric on the floor.

“Molly, do you know where we can get some marijuana?”

She finally lifted her eyes, looking at me in confusion. “What?”

I repeated my request. She seemed no less bewildered, but at least she answered me. “A few of the girls keep it in their rooms, I think. I’ve smelled it.”

“Good. I need you to get dressed and get me everything you can find, including bongs, papers, whatever.” I didn’t smoke; my understanding of pot accouterments and slang was limited to what I saw on television. “And some nail polish and nail polish remover, if you’ve got it. As fast as possible.”

She opened her mouth to ask questions, but then she visibly shook herself, sending sprinkles of water across the tiles, and began to dress in slow, careful movements, like she had to remind herself how it worked. The dress was a little baggy and long for her, but it looked okay when she tightened the belt.

“Hurry, Molls.”

She moved past me toward the living room, and there was a burst of air as she got outside my radius and hit vampire speed.

While she searched, I went back to the entryway for my duffel bag, digging out several dead AA batteries, an almost-new bottle of nail polish remover, and a baseball cap. I tucked my hair up into the cap and went to back to the smoke detectors in the kitchen and living room, replacing the batteries with my dead ones.

A few seconds later, Molly came back with a pile of baggies, bongs, matches, nail polish, and a bottle of nail polish remover. “What are you going to do with them?” she asked.

“I’m going to make a story.”

I instructed Molly to dump a few of the polish bottles out on the wood floor and scatter the marijuana and the bongs around the room. When she was finished, I handed her my duffel bag and said, “Get your jacket and anything that could ID you. We’re not coming back here.” She looked like she wanted to protest, but after a moment’s hesitation she nodded. “Then wait for me in the foyer,” I added. “Keep an eye on the door.”

After Molly had retreated, I splashed acetone on each body, taking the time to make sure I got all of the bite marks. Then I backed out of the room, leaving a little trail of flammable liquid. Molly had already returned to the foyer with a bright pink backpack, and was taking down the last of the photos that showed her face. “I can’t find my phone,” she said over her shoulder. “It’s not where I left it.”

I frowned. “Are you sure?”


We didn’t have time to search the house, not with a room full of dead girls. We were just going to have to hope the phone was destroyed, if it was still here. I crouched where she’d left my duffel and got out a book of matches. I lit three at once and dropped them onto the trail of acetone, watching the flame spread along the floor toward the closest girls.

I had seen and done a lot in this line of work, but even I didn’t have the stomach to watch the girls burn. I turned my back on the doorway, snapped off my gloves, and stuffed them in my pocket. Then I gripped my duffel bag strap in one hand and Molly’s hand in the other. Cradling the framed photos with one arm, she allowed me to tug her through the door and down the cobblestones.

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