Andrew and Vivien were just saying good night when his cell phone rang. “Hello, yes, this is Andrew.” He listened for a moment. “Yes. I’ll be right there.” Andrew turned to Luc knowing he’d overheard the cell phone conversation. “Will you come with me?”
“Yes. Meg, you and Vivien have a nice long chat about being pregnant. We’ve got to go.” Luc kissed Meg and grabbed his jacket.
“Where are you going?” asked Vivien. She was not happy with the look on Andrew’s face.
“The Mall. The Silver Lode has been vandalized. You stay here.” His voice took on that subvocal growl that raised the hairs on both Vivien and Meg’s arms. Vivien nodded and kissed him goodbye.
“I’ll call as soon as I know something,” Luc said as they headed out the door.
“Well, do you want another cup of tea?” Meg asked as the two women headed back into the house.
“Might as well. I get the feeling we are not going home early tonight.” Vivien sighed and sat down at the kitchen table as Meg put water on for tea.
“Call Ginny,” Andrew said as he drove to the Mall.
“I want her and Patrick to go check my house. If they have attacked my shop, they may attack my home.”
“Right.” Luc called Ginny and explained what was going on. Next call he made was to Cal and Pete. He had them check the office. Last, but not least, he called George and explained what was going on. When he was done, they were nearly at the Mall.
“Like I told the officers, I came round the corner to head towards the office and saw the red paint all over the Silver Lode. It wasn’t there when I started the shift.” The janitor had repeated his story three times by now. First to the police, next to Andrew and now to the owners of the Mall.
Luc looked at the shop. “Werewolves are real.” “Some bitches are real Dogs!” “Thou shall not suffer a shifter to live!” “Fuckers are hiding right under your nose! Wake up!”
“You know, they are getting more creative,” Andrew said as a round man who’s tie looked too tight walked over to where they stood.
“I’ve given the security tapes to the police,” said the manager. “As soon as they are finished photographing the stuff, we’ll get it cleaned off. Is there anything else you want us to check?”
“Yes. Where is the nearest communications panel?” asked Luc.
“Umm… it’s round the corner next to the janitor’s office. Why?”
“We’ve had a number of clients with issues the last few weeks, and I want to make sure that there is no damage to the Silver Lode’s connection,” Luc explained.
“Sure… sure. Come this way.” The manager led the way, with a cop in tow. When they got to the panel, the cop checked it out first. There were fingerprints and some odd smudges. Then they opened the panel. Everything looked okay.
Luc stepped forward. He took a deep breath as he stood there tracing lines. He noted the scents and would talk to Andrew about them later. When he found the Silver Lode cable, he ran his fingers over it after the cop had dusted it. “Why am I not surprised?”
“What’s the matter Luc?” asked Andrew.
“The Cat-5 is crushed. Soft pliers so that the casing didn’t break, but the insides are damaged. Let me call Cal and have him bring me some cable.” And let him smell the scent that’s here.
“Can’t it wait until morning, Mr. Moreau?” asked the manager.
“If we don’t, Andrew here will have no service in the morning. Nor any security tonight. If this guy comes back, he could bust in and no one would be the wiser.”
“Oh. Um… yes, by all means. Call your man. Send us the bill.” The manager’s face grew redder.
Luc walked away and called Cal. He came back a moment later. “Cal can be here in about fifteen minutes. Don’t let anyone touch this panel.”
The manager nodded and then they all walked back to the Silver Lode. Andrew and Luc sat across from the shop in the chairs for the ice cream shop. They watched as the janitors began to scrub the paint off.
“Vivien, do you want to curl up on the couch?”
“Yeah. They are taking a long time. I’m exhausted.” Vivien stood, stretched and yawned.
Meg nodded and went to get a blanket. There were plenty of pillows on the couch. She came back to find Vivien taking off her shoes.
“Here’s a blanket. Do you need anything else?”
“Yeah. Some sanity. Between the latest book going to press, Andrew’s business perking up and now this, I’m just exhausted.”
“Don’t forget pregnant too.”
“Oh yeah… I can’t believe I didn’t twig to it. I felt so stupid when the doctor told me that I didn’t have the flu.”
“I know the feeling. We spend all this time as ‘enlightened women’ and then boom! Back to the dark ages where everything is a mystery.”
That made both women laugh. Meg hugged Vivien and then headed off to bed, leaving Vivien to get comfortable on the couch.
“Yeah. Same scent. Even the same undertones,” said Cal as he fixed the run of Cat-5. “The office was fine, but Buttercup and Fezzik were a little unsettled. Wasn’t sure if it was us coming by or if someone else had been there. Didn’t smell anyone, but that doesn’t help if they just drove by.”
Luc and Andrew nodded. They were talking softly as the repairs were made. Luc and Cal acting like it was more than just a crushed cable, while Andrew ‘observed’ and also watched the rest of the people. No one was acting suspicious.
“There. All finished.” Cal stood back and dusted his hands off before he began to pick up the scrap wire. “You need this for your case, Detective?” He held out the wire to a police detective.
Andrew, Luc and Cal packed up and said their goodbyes. They checked the cleanup on the shop and then headed towards Andrew’s house. They hadn’t heard from Ginny or Patrick and that had them all worried.