Jonas is surprised when his commanding officer tells him that they’ve captured Dmitri Koval out in a cabin in the woods, where vampires can not escape.
Jonas knows a lot about Dimitri Koval. He’s read his history. He is the “count Dracula” of vampires, way too smart to just walk into a trap, and not prone to killing sprees. How could he have made such a simple mistake?
Curious and excited to actually be interrogating the infamous Dimitri Koval, he is willing to accept the need for him to literally walk into the lion’s den.
But alone in a cabin in the woods with the vampire, he finds that not only is there more to Dimitri than expected, but he also learns some things about himself that could change his entire life.
“What’s this one done?” I asked, leaning back in my chair. My eyes were closing. I’d just spent several days tracking a werewolf across twenty miles of woods.
“We think he’s responsible for a blood bath up in Vegas,” Captain Jacobs glanced at the file in his hand. “Seventeen corpses all left in the drain tunnels.”
“Pretty sloppy for one of their kind, isn’t it?” I rubbed the stubble on my jaw, yearning for a shower.
“Granted. Obviously, this one is out of control. Maybe he wants to go underground, and he’s overfeeding in preparation.”
I shrugged. Wouldn’t be the first time some bloodsucker glutted on human blood, then hibernated for a century. “Can I get some downtime before I interrogate him? I’m beat.”
Jacobs nodded. “We have him contained within the perimeter. He’s not going anywhere.”
“Did someone check him out yet?”
The captain sighed. “Forensics is busy examining what’s left of the corpses, and ah…I think we had some problems talking Silas into doing the tests on the suspect this time. Last report is the test hasn’t been done.”
“He seemed a little frightened of this one.”
“Well, when you hear who we got up there in that cabin, it might make more sense.”
I lifted an eyebrow.
“It’s Dmitri Koval.”
“Dmitri Koval?” I brought the chair down on all four legs with a thud. I was suddenly wide awake. “The Dmitri Koval?”
Jacobs nodded. “The one and only.” He threw the file on the desk. “Read it and weep.”
I picked it up and scanned the report while Jacobs continued filling me in on the case.
“Security guard saw someone suspicious at the scene and called Vegas PD. Luckily our team heard it on the police scanner and recognized it for what it was. Of course the suspect had gone before the police arrived. Silas went to the site and waited. Sure enough, the next night, Koval was spotted again at the scene snooping around, most likely trying to cover his tracks. Silas netted him, took him out and released him into the enclosure. Funny thing was, Silas said that Koval wandered right into the trap like he wanted to be caught.”
“Um, Koval would never allow himself to be captured. He’s a lot smarter than that. He would have known he was being watched. Plus, he’s a loner, and he’s always lived within the boundaries, at least, he has in this century, as far as I know.”
“He’s a pet project of yours, huh?”
I shrugged. My fascination was easy to justify on one level. Koval reportedly was one of the oldest living vampires, a Russian Count from the seventeenth century. Koval’s father had been granted a large estate and many acres of land in exchange for his long military service to the Czar. Dmitri was his only son. He’d distinguished himself as a military leader in the landed army—the basic military force of Russia—and was a favourite to the prince. His transition to vampire happened somewhere during his military career. Then he disappeared from history until the reign of Catherine the Great. He reappeared during what was known as the peasant reform of 1861, during the reign of Alexander II of Russia.
But I had more personal reasons for my interest that were no one’s business but my own.
“Jonas?” Jacobs was speaking to me. “You should go get some sleep.” He glanced at the window. “Sun will be up soon. You look beat.”
“Yeah,” I said, checking the file again. I zeroed in on something I hadn’t seen the first time. “It says there was a survivor among the victims, an eyewitness who made a positive ID of Koval?”
“Um,” Jacobs reeled back in his chair, “a woman by the name of Nancy Potts.”
“She swears it was Koval who attacked her? How does she know him?”
“She claims she works for him as his housekeeper.”
“So,” I was trying to wrap my head around all of it, “Koval feeds off his own housekeeper, and leaves her alive to identify him? Something doesn’t add up.” I got to my feet. Dmitri Koval hadn’t managed to walk the Earth for this long by being an idiot. “I need to talk to her. She still at the clinic?”
“Yeah.” Jacobs smiled. “Thought you were going home?”
“I am going home, but the clinic is on my way, so…” I trailed off with a grin. “Tell Silas I’ll be up at the cabin tomorrow evening around seven. I’ll do the blood test on Koval. He can go home after I get there.”
“Sure you don’t want some extra help with this one?”
“I work alone. You know that.” I couldn’t tell him how much I wanted to meet Koval or the reason for it. I’d waited a long time.
I left the office and jogged down two flights of steps to the front door. Three rooms on the second floor of an apartment building outside Vegas served as our headquarters. There was no number on the door, nothing to indicate what went on inside. The apartment downstairs remained empty. Only a handful of people knew about us, including a special government department which operated on a very small budget in Washington, the same people who oversaw the Area 51 stuff.
For the last fourteen years, I’d headed up a special unit of uniquely trained police officers who tracked and captured supernatural creatures who stepped outside the boundaries. It was an existence lived in the shadows. No one outside the agency could know what I did for a living. There were just some things better left in the dark.