Case #13 – 5: Coffee talk Pt 1


Rough night but finally got a few hours sleep.  I thought Seattle was supposed to be temperate, cool, rainy, wet.  Not ungodly hot.  At least the room has air conditioning but it’s a shock to walk outside at 8am and have it be 80 degrees in the Pacific Northwest.

I arrive at the Starbucks across from my hotel for my meeting early.  Again, part of sizing someone up is how they enter.  In this case, I choose the spot out of convenience to me.  Meeting a vampire’s human followers is always a tricky business.  Normally, I treat them exactly like the vampire, many of the master’s traits rub off on them.  And personalities need to mesh.  You can tell a lot by the company someone keeps, especially when that someone can cause you harm if they slip up.

I sit down with a local paper.  Dead girl found in a dumpster.  Small print today, will be no print by tomorrow.  Meet is at 9am.  Should be able to get to the Sports page.

At 8:43AM, a striking tall latina with long raven hair, perfectly fitting t-shirt, jacket, and jeans, and no nonsense eyes that physically move two businessmen out of her way strides in.  I think my jaw drops open.  Morena Fourtenay doesn’t just enter the room.  She owns it.  Hercule’s dossier spoke a lot about her abilities with weapons and combat, her shining career, fast tracked then stonewalled, then reassignment and quitting .  But this woman here looks anything like a quitter.  And the dossier has no ranks for kick-ass-edness.

I toss a look around the room.  Even the picture didn’t do her justice.  Must have been an official one from her embassy days, all prim and proper.  Every able male in the room (and some of the women) are currently fighting a whole different morning woody.  She cases the room while ordering her drink.  But she’s distracted, sloppy.  I’m not trying to avoid her eye contact but her eyes brush by me.

Makes it easy as I wait for her to choose a spot then very casually move to exchange my paper on another open table, peruse it, then sit down right behind her.  That’s when I notice the fidgeting, her fingers drumming against table as she drains her venti in under five.  I let her sweat it out for a few minutes.  The drumming doesn’t let up.  And they say vampires are OCD.  Just as I’m about to say something, I hear her sigh.

“This is a total waste of time.”

I lean back in my chair.  “Coming from an ex-Secret Service agent, that’s saying something.”

She startles, grabs for the back of her jeans, under her jacket.

She’s packing.  In a coffee shop.  Great.  Great start.

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