A manila file slid across Isobelle Mina’s desk. Not even in her thirties yet and already she’d seen and heard things better left to the imagination. She was a part of a secret society of monster killers known as the Mooyers. The society had been around for centuries. Whole families joined one after another to pass down this arcane knowledge and keep unsuspecting people safe. Isobelle had been one of those people for years. One night changed all that. Hell, one night had changed her entire life. Whether it had been for the better was still debatable.
Her mission, along with so many others, was to rid the world of all monsters. One psychopath at a time. All because they’d killed the first twelve sons of Eli Carvanis. It was a story she knew like she’d lived it firsthand. Hell, all members of the Mooyer Society were forced to remember that bloody night and pass it down to their children after them. It was a vicious cycle of capture, torture, kill, and repeat. No sick days or vacations. Shit, some days all she wanted was a timeout but there weren’t any of those either. It was 24/7 and 365 all the time. Sleep was for the weak and the word “can’t” had been removed from her vocabulary.
The society was hardcore to the extreme. It made movies like The Skulls look like a fairytale. The Mooyer Society was way worse. There was no out clause, unless you counted death. And for the record she didn’t count death. She’d prefer the land of the living, thank you very much. Days like this though, she wished she could go back to that day and never walk through that damn park. All because she was pissed at her mom and needed a little space from her irrational bullshit. Whatever, the past was the past and as they said, what’s done is done. It wasn’t as if her life could get any worse. She’d just focus on the good things, like hoping Alexander came to his senses and picked her over his current fiancée. At any rate she could still dream. It wasn’t illegal, unlike murder. And honestly, would anyone really miss Nicole Casey? Not like she contributed much anyway. Isobelle turned her thoughts back to the case at hand. Daydreams of premeditated murder could wait, for now.
Isobelle didn’t have time for another case. In fact, she didn’t want to deal with the shit she was already dealing with. Dozens of men and women had been torn apart, battered, and broken. She didn’t need any more added. Nor did she want any. Her hands were full, and so were her partner’s, Alexander Carvanis. A legacy. A legend. His family was one of the founding families that had been hunting monsters for centuries. She, on the other hand, was the first of her bloodline as far as she knew. She was only in the society because she accidentally stumbled onto a scene she shouldn’t have.
It was the best and worst night of her life. Best because she met him. Worst because she met them. She didn’t know if she should be happy or sad. Doesn’t matter now. Her hand had been dealt. Nothing left to do but the job. It was either that or be killed because she had seen things she shouldn’t have. So they gave her some choices. Be killed, committed, or join them.
Lost in her own thoughts, she never heard him approach her desk, but she could smell him. She could always smell him. Even in her sleep. That smell followed her around everywhere she went. Even when he wasn’t near.
“Isobelle, why haven’t you looked through your folder yet?” Alex asked in that deep, raspy voice he had.
She looked up into blue-grey eyes that saw so much but not enough. Not nearly as much as she wanted them to.
“Pretty sure I’ve seen something like it before. Plus, haven’t eaten yet and don’t want to lose my appetite,” she quipped.
He just gave her that unblinking stare; the one that never failed to creep her and everyone else out. So she picked the folder up and looked through it. She immediately wished she hadn’t. She could have done without it. After looking over every picture and note, Isobelle closed it, stood up to grab her coat, and made her way out to the car. She knew without looking back that Alex was right behind her, even though he never made a sound.
The folder came from an inside source on the force. They had found the bodies from a tip someone called in. Photos of the deceased and of the scene, the caller transcript, and background on both victims were present. Alex wanted to go to the crime scene and look for himself, and he wanted Isobelle to go with him. There was something about her he didn’t trust and that’s why he wanted her for his partner—so he could watch her closely. That way if the time came to kill her, it would be no problem because he’d been studying her since they met. She was off somehow and he wanted to know why, damn it. No one besides a legacy should move through the ranks this fast, and she was definitely not a legacy. His family would know. They had been doing this for centuries. Killing things better left to the dark. He caught her looking at him strangely at times when she thought he wasn’t looking. If she thought to tempt him, she was sadly mistaken. He had a duty to another and his family never turned their backs to duty. He would do what was to be done and would marry whom his parents decided to marry him to for the good of the family and his name. He had eyes for no one until he was told to. Just like every other male in his family.
It took them 30 minutes to get to the crime scene. Boston’s finest was all over the scene. He didn’t need this distraction. Outsiders. They would have to watch what they said carefully. He gave Isobelle a pointed look and waited for her to nod that she understood. Satisfied he had gotten his point across, he turned to ask one of the rookies who was in charge of the case.
The crime scene looked more like the inside of a scary movie. Whoever had done this needed a bullet to the head and fast. Isobelle was definitely sick of this asshole. She needed a lead and she needed it fast. On the surface, the attacks looked like Dylia but assuming could cost lives and man-hours. Whatever it was didn’t care about ripping the victims apart. In fact, it looked staged and overdone to her. Isobelle turned to look for Alex. Maybe he had better insight. Before she could find Alex, a rookie cop stepped in front of her.
“Excuse me, but you aren’t supposed to be up here. Who are you anyway?” the rookie asked.
Isobelle needed to think quickly. She didn’t want to tell a story that differed from Alex’s. Shit, where was he? The rookie had a look on his face that didn’t bode well for her. She started to speak when she heard Alex’s voice coming up the stairs and turned to the hallway. She looked at him for help.
“Isobelle, there you are. I told you to wait for me. Rookie, move the hell out of the way and let us do our job,” Alex barked to the baby-faced officer.
“Now wait just a damn minute! Who are you people? You aren’t allowed up here. No one said you could be here,” the rookie argued.
“If you don’t like it, talk to your chief. He knows who we are. You don’t need to unless he feels you do. Now get the hell out of my way before I move you myself.”
“This isn’t over, asshole.”
Isobelle just looked at Alex and shook her head. Men.
“Was that really necessary?” she asked.
“What? You broke protocol and would have got us busted if I hadn’t already talked to the chief. Next time wait for me,” Alex roughly chastised her.
Just what she always tried to avoid; looking like an idiot in front of a legacy. Especially when she was trying to impress him. She didn’t dare reply when he got like this. Nothing she could say would make a difference. So she just told him her thoughts on the crime scene. He listened with a thoughtful expression on his face. She held her breath waiting for his answer.
Alex surveyed the scene before him, thinking on Isobelle’s words as he did. The scene did look forced. Staged. The killer had fun with these two. Looked like he took his time. Magic was also definitely involved. For no one to have heard the screams the couple no doubt made, magic had to be used. Only good thing was that the magic used eliminated some species from the list of suspects and he now had an idea of where to look. He turned to Isobelle to give her his thoughts.
“This scene was indeed staged. Question is who exactly was it staged for and why? If we find out the answers, we find the killer,” Alex said.
“Do you have an idea of who did it?” Isobelle asked.
“No, not for sure, but I do know magic had to be involved and only a handful of these monsters use magic that we know of.”
“Okay. I’ll be downstairs. I’ve seen enough.”
Leaving Alex upstairs to finish his assessment of the scene, Isobelle fled to the car to wait. He would take as long as he needed. While she waited, she would look over the other scenes for similarities they could use.