Once everything stopped being covered in darkness, hazy, blurred images started to flutter before Dexter’s eyes. The angel begun to return to his body, slowly sinking back into bones and muscles that ached with a dull throbbing…and twitches of digits that came back until he felt ten fingers and toes again. His head rolled on something soft, forcing his eyes to open and focus more in order to determine where he was. Dexter saw a window first…before he saw himself in a bed…then it clicked that he was in a hospital bed-pajamas and thin sheets included. Looking around the room that he had found himself in, Dexter felt some relief at the sight of Tyler in the bed next to him. That relief…went away as soon as the angel found that he couldn’t move. “Wh..What the…?”

Tyler started to wake up around that time. Going through the same process of rediscovering his body, figuring out where he was and seeing Dexter beside him, the werewolf tried to get out of bed…but couldn’t. “Dex…what’s going on here?” His struggling-though weak-was enough to make the blanket slide down his body and reveal why neither of the boys could move. “…restraints?”

“…I think I know where we are and I think we’re in big trouble, Ty.”

“You bet you’re in trouble.” The voice made Dexter and Tyler’s heads turn towards the door-and then they began to freak out as soon as they saw who it belonged to. Saria-purple locks styled, dressed for a business day but accompanied by her demonic cloak and equally demonic intern Yorukage-looked like she was going to rip someone’s head off and turn it into a planter. “You’re both in a lot of trouble!!!”

“Wait-wait! Saria! Whatever it is-we can talk it out!”

“And-And-And we solved the case!”

“I don’t care!” The witch stormed into the room, cloak hanging off of her shoulders like a well trained animal, ready to pounce at her master’s command. “You two idiots flaunt confidential medical information in front of the entire L.A. underworld-make me look a rat working for the authorities and then leave my records-with MY hospital’s name all over them-for the police to find! Not to mention an important patient to this hospital was taken in the middle of the night and then returned like a checked out library book!”

“We can explain-“The angel’s explaination-if he had any-was cut off by the witch’s cloak wrapping a sleeve around his mouth. The sleeve slid down to his neck and shoulders underneath his pajama top. The werewolf was undergoing a similar treatment with the spare sleeve…only it looked like it was actively trying to strip him.

“I don’t care! If I didn’t make Yorukage go back to change the records, I’d be in jail by now! You two are going to pay for all of this and you’re going to pay for it with your bodies!” On that cue, Saria skillfully pulled two hands full of scalpels out from the inside of her suit’s jacket and displayed them to the detectives tied down to the beds. The witch had every intention of taking them both apart in various ways…and she was going to keep them conscious while she did it.

Doing his best to ignore the angel and the werewolf’s shouts and protests, Yorukage was standing by with a table of various medical instruments for the witch to use…and to also guard the door. He heard a knock and went to answer it as if nothing was going on. The crow demon opened it a crack and looked outside. “We’re currently in the middle of a delicate procedure. There’s nothing to be concerned about and I must ask that you-“

“OUTTA MY WAY,SKINNY BOY!” The door slammed against the wall as one red headed werewolf charged past Yorukage and into the room. She was accompanied by Reisen-fully recovered from the attempt on her life-and Sveta (also fully recovered). Thankfully for Saria, Lillian wasn’t the first to react to what was happening.

“SARIA?! What-what are you doing?!” Sveta cried with wide eyes.

The sound of her beloved girlfriend’s voice in a state of shock made the witch drop her scalpels and look at her like a child who was caught red handed doing something naughty. “Sveta-I-This isn’t what it looks like!”

“You were going to try and hurt my friends again, weren’t you?!”

“That-That isn’t-I was just-they were…They started it! They took my records and a patient of mine! I know they did!” Saria looked and sounded like a child as she blushed hard in shame of getting caught by her love like this. It was an effect that the homunculus had on the witch. The arrival of the three women was enough to make Mr.D release the detectives and slink towards the corner…as if to pout about getting caught and having the fun end… With the demonic cloak out of the way, Reisen and Lillian could undo the straps that held the boys down. Sveta and Saria continued to have a good discussion about what just happened. “…you couldn’t have kept them all out or found an excuse to make them leave,Yorukage?” The witch did not look happy as she glared at Yorukage with bright red cheeks.

“I wasn’t expecting those two to be accompanied by someone so...just by someone like her.” Yorukage said in his defense. The crow was taking a small amount of pleasure in seeing his boss be scolded like a child by her love…and that the detectives wouldn’t be cut up into little pieces, or used as research material for her love life. They were unusual…but likable.

Picking themselves up a little and pulling their clothes back into place, Dexter and Tyler were soon bombarded by hugs and questions and happy exclamations about their safety as the angelic girl, werewolf girl and soon the homunculus flocked to their bedsides. Both of them were happy to see them all again for so many reasons and the girls were happy too. “We were worried sick about you two!”

“We all heard so many different things about what happened to you! Some things were opposite of each other and just made things more confusing, ah ha!”

“We’re-We’re fine now!” Dexter said with a smile.

“Yeah, you don’t need to worry. We’re both okay!” The werewolf added.

“YOU TWO ARE BOTH IDIOTS!!!” Standing between the two beds, Lillian launched a solid and bone rattling punch into the detectives’ shoulders.

“OW! HEY!”

“GEEZ! LULU-WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!” Tyler was quickly jumped by the red werewolf as she pushed him back against his bed and punched at his chest.

“STUPID! IDIOT! MORON! FEED FER BRAINS!” Lulu kept punching and insulting Tyler with any name she could think of until her punches started to lose their power and her insults started to die down. When she finally got it out of her system, Lulu wrapped her arms around his middle and pressed her face against the fur that hung over his shoulder. “Don’t ever do anythin’ tha’ stupid again…don’t go lookin’ fer trouble and just expect me to be fine with it…”

Tyler could only stand back and let Lillian take her anger out on him. Once it looked like she was done, the werewolf held her close and buried his face into her hair. “I promise. I promised I would come back, didn’t I? I won’t put you through this again, Lillian…” It was easy for the wolves to forget about the rest of the world around them as they got lost in each other’s arms. So the awes from Sveta and Reisen brought on by their tenderness, the smiles from Dexter, the embarrassment from Yorukage…and a slightly annoyed look from Saria…yet unnoticed.

With the drama and the touching reunions just about over with, Dexter and Tyler needed to know what happened and what has been happening. Saria-with some encouragement from Sveta-told the detectives that they were brought to Rosa Medical about two days prior to their awakening and left to be found around the same spot the emergency overdoses, mysterious beatings and abandoned babies were dropped off. Seth wasn’t with them at the time, but the L.A.P.D called and requested several doctors about two hours after the pair showed up. It was safe to assume that they had Seth in custody. The newspapers the following day didn’t reveal much but the general story was that the demigod was arrested and confessed to everything. The evidence brought in by…“anonymous sources”...backed up everything he told the police about the frame up of the Fallon siblings, the attempts on their lives and their loved ones, how Cyrus was murdered…no detail was spared. It all checked out. With this information, the Wild Hunt had been called off by Asthore and her father and the Council had no more reason to hunt for Tayte Fallon…at least for the crimes they had thought she had committed.

There was something else to this story though that wasn’t in any newspaper. “From what few sources I still have left…it appears that Seth’s territory now belongs to Ares. Everything that used to belong to him is now property of the war god! And I mean everything! Real estate, cars and whatever is left of his gang after all the arrests and you two going to town on them.” Appearing to be in a better mood as she sat opposite of the detectives in the beds, the witch looked at them with a question in her eyes. “How do you suppose an arrangement like that was achieved, and for what purpose?”

Dexter and Tyler were sitting up in their beds, eating hospital food like it was straight from a five star restaurant. At the mention of this “deal”, they exchanged a confused look before it all clicked in the angel’s mind. “Tayte. It was Tayte! She was with us-she had to have brought us here! And-And she said she wanted to make a deal with Ares! That’s why it took so long for Seth to get dropped off and that’s why she took AHHHH-NEVER MIND!” The sudden shift in the gaze of the witch made the detective stop in his theory on the events that could have taken place. Better to not say out loud how Tayte kidnapped Kristen in order to blackmail her father…Saria may have already had her suspicions about that anyway. “What happened to Tayte? And her brothers? Have any of them been seen since Seth’s been arrested?”

“No one has seen them in days. The police looked everywhere for them…I don’t even think their own gang knows where they went…” Reisen explained with a sad look in her face. “I haven’t seen Donnybear since he left me with Saria and Sveta…he said that he needed to go with his brothers, to avoid the police and the backlash of things for a while…” The little angel girl noticed how disappointed Dexter looked by this and quickly started to hop about and stutter until she found enough syllables to piece together into words. “But-But Donnybear promised me that he would come back to L.A. in good time, so-so Tayte and the others will come back too! They have too much to do and so much here-they wouldn’t just run away! Ah ha!”

“I hope you’re right about that, Reisen…”

“We still may need Tayte for testamonies….and so Dexter doesn’t die of heartbreak.”

“Shut up! I won’t-and I-just shut up!” It was nice to the angel to hear friends laughing again. Even Saria and Yorukage looked amused…so he was willing to let that one slide. Though it did make him think… The crow demon suddenly looked like he heard something from far away and was zoning in on the sound. No one could hear anything as the laughter stopped and they all looked to him. After a few moments, Yorukage left the room. “What’s up with him?”

Saria was watching the door once Yorukage left. She knew something everyone else didn’t. When the crow demon returned, only the witch could hear what he had to say. “I see… I better come with you then.” She adjusted her cufflinks and started to head towards the door. “Sveta, I’ll be back for you in due time. The rest of you can stay for the rest of visiting hours… I recommend staying in here.”

“Hey now, hold up! Wha’s gettin’ ya all excited an’ secretative about?” Lillian asked from her customary spot in Tyler’s lap.

“…You two boys are about to become very popular.” That was the last thing Saria told them before she left the room with Yorukage.

“…what the hell was that about?” Tyler asked. No one in the room looked like they had a clue. The detectives thought they had a few moments to rest in peace and think things over before anything else could happen.

Reisen was walking by the window when she saw something. “Holy COW! Lookie, lookie everyone!”

“What is it?”

“What in tarnation?” All three of the girls gathered around the window, blocking the view for Dexter and Tyler. Whatever they were seeing was enough to make them temporarily forget that the detectives were confined to their beds and unable to see what got them in such a buzz.

“Just what the heck is so exciting out there?!”

“Yeah, don’t keep us in the dark about it!”

“Uhhh…it ain’t what most would call excitin’…just…surprisin’…”

“There are newspaper people outside! Lots of them!”

“What now?!” Getting out of their beds, the angel and the werewolf looked down towards the ground and saw that the girls were right. They could see people with their cameras and notepads and everything else…they were trying to get in through the front enterance but were stopped by security at each attempt! “Is that-Is this what Yorukage told Saria about?!”

“Forget that! Only Yang was supposed to know about us and our involvement in the case! How did every paper boy in town find out and find out where we were?!” Exchanging nervous looks at each other, Dexter and Tyler feared for their chances of cleaning up the mess left behind from the last few days. Still needing to clear up the misunderstandings with the police, confirm that the evidence was all true, and find a way to dodge the bullets from any and all gangsters holding a grudge…having the detectives’s faces plastered all over the papers was the LAST thing they needed. The merman was an exception because they already promised and they knew he would handle the story well. Speaking of the merman, no one in the hospital room saw the aquatic reporter or his signature jacket anywhere in the festering mess below. Squeezing through the frame as best as they could, everyone thought of double checking for him…when something high flew up past their faces and threatened to come down on their heads. “HOLY-“

“CRAP! AHHH!” Falling back into the room in a heap, what appeared to be a…grappling hook was wedged on the window sill. “What the hell?!”

As quick as the grappling hook appeared, so did the person who threw it. “Hey, everybody! Hope I didn’t hit anyone!” While flashing that all too familiar grin at the current company, Yang the merman scaled up the rest of the wall and crawled into the window with spare rope around one shoulder and a camera thumping against his chest.

“Yang! You crazy son of a-What are you doing here?! How did you even find us?!” Dexter asked as he picked Sveta off of him.

“I have my sources! You should know that by now.”

“And what’s with the grappling hook?” Tyler asked, currently getting pushed off of Lillian while balancing Reisen on his back.

“It was the only way I could get in here with security and everyone else downstairs. It took me forever to guess which room you were in and get my aim right! …What? Don’t give me that look. You should be able to guess that I know how to use one of these things…don’t ask me how though.”

The angel and the werewolf could only look at each other before deciding to simply accept what they just saw as a fact about their friend and leave it at that. As they walked back to their beds, Yang exchanged his usual pleasantries with the girls before going to the door. The click of the lock made Tyler’s ears flick and made him ask- “Why?”

“Because someone got a peek at the story I wanted to do about you two and how you broke the biggest case of the year! I don’t know who it was but once that blood was in the water, the rest of the sharks started to gather! But they won’t be getting in here and stealing this story from me! You two are all mine.”

“…you know we hate it when you phrase things like that right?” Dexter told Yang with an uncomfortable blush in his cheeks as the girls found a reason to giggle and poke at both boys as the merman pulled up a chair.

“Yeah, I know. That’s why I do it!” Once all of the funny was out of his system, Yang started to look and act more professional as he pulled out a notepad and checked the ink in his pen. “Okay then...this is going to be an informal interview. I’ll clean it up and have it ready for print but before that, I want to make sure that I have all of the facts and how things actually went from you two. So don’t hold anything back.”

“Before we do this, I have to ask you…” Dexter began. “Do you know what happened to Tayte?”

“… ‘Dexter McBane, private investigator of Lower L.A. begins by asking about the fate of the woman of danger who was an unfortunate victim in the string of crimes that are the focus of this interview. As I look at him now, I can see a certain kind of concern and affection focused on the harpy mobster Tayte Fallon that is no longer the fuel that drove him and his partner Tyler Levion to the truth’.”

“I’m being serious here!”

“Better tell him if you know, Yang. We do need to find them for statements.”

“…no one knows.”

Dexter could have sworn that he was beginning to hear the tiny sounds of something beginning to stir in his chest. But the sound grew louder-it wasn’t a cracking or a breaking…it was the blaring of sirens. Down on the ground below, police cars were beginning to file in through the chaos of news reporters stopped at the doors. Like ships passing through heavy waves, the officers were able to pass through and enter the hospital while the reporters were pushed back and blended back into the chaos by security. The girls were watching all of this from the window before looking back to the detectives and the merman. Everyone in the room knew who the police were here for. Law inforcement and the news media had a strange relationship. While both were discouraged from having a proper relationship with each other, that didn’t mean they couldn’t sneak into a closet every now and again for a quick one. It was clear that whoever got a hold of Yang’s story had left a few important facts slip to the police and now they were here to collect.

“…we may have to make this a two or three part interview.” Yang said once he came to terms with what was going to happen very soon.

Dexter and Tyler took one last look at each other before they both fell back into their beds and started to groan and sink under the sheets. The case may have been over…but there was still the matter of the clean-up that often made the detectives glad that they weren’t part of the normal law enforcement. They were likely to see any and all attempts to railroad them into the slammer because they weren’t a part of the system. They made fools out of the people who were supposed to protect L.A…and even if they weren’t arrested, the pair would have to watch every step they made for a long time…to make sure they didn’t cross paths with any gangster that could have wanted them dead.

There was no time to make a contest out of which of these things could have been worse before there was the knocking at the door. “L.A.P.D! Open up!”
Rosa Medical Hospital…the L.A.P.D…the Valencia Race Track…places blurred over the last few days after Dexter and Tyler were taken in by the police. Saria cleared them both without a word as Yorukage assisted her. Yang disappeared once the door was opened. Sveta and Reisen could only watch the police take their boys away. Lillian was fighting the urge to punch out everyone that wanted to take Tyler away. That was the last time the pair would see their friends again for some time. After that, even the colors of Lower and Upper L.A. couldn’t stand still and were swirled together into an indistinguishable blend. But…despite all of this…Dexter and Tyler started to gain more ground toward their freedom with each step.

The police grilled them both forever-together, separated, with multiple officers, with only one officer…the department did everything they could think of to try and catch the detectives on some charge or another. The arson investigation provided that they weren’t reasonable for burning down their own office or the warehouse-as they’ve repeated countless times before the facts came in. But for a long time, the angel and the werewolf were grilled about several things. Like evading the police on numerous occasions, breaking into a crime scene at the race track, the validity of their “evidence”, associating with criminals both small and large, releasing a possible witness from a squad car, possibly being responsible for the kidnapping of Kristine Wellington and assaulting several of Los Angeles’ finest. Raphael made this point very clear as he personally interviewed them both-the shiners from Dexter and Tyler still perfectly visable around his eyes and mouth. It was one of the few things that kept the detectives from punching him again as he laid it into them thick and hard over the hours. But both of the boys kept to their stories and the facts. The evidence slowly checked out as time went by. The trips to the race track and to the docks to validate some of the facts was enough to reinvigorate the pair of sleuthes…though the handcuffs and restraints were a bit much. But their biggest saving grace was Cyrus and Asthore.

The ghost and the fey arrived together with a small entourage about three days after Dexter and Tyler were taken in by the authorities. It looked like they were going to be held a lot longer on…some kind of idiotic charge…when they showed up. The sight of Asthore and her father was one thing but Cyrus-spitting image of how he looked in life now only opaque-that was more than what was needed to make heads turn and conversations stop. The party went straight to the chief’s office and didn’t come out for some time. From where they were being held, Dexter and Tyler could catch glimpses of officers gathering around the office to try and hear what was going on. The detectives didn’t know who it was or what was going on until Cyrus and Asthore came in front of their cell. “…G-Guys! What-What are you doing here?!”

“The Council has business with the police and we’ve come to discuss such. Thanks to your efforts…we were prevented from making a terrible mistake. The Hunt will not be released on an innocent after all.” Asthore said to the sleuthes in the cell, a soft smile on her lips reflecting her relief and graditude. “Father and I will talk to the chief about your release…and about an apology and thank you for your hard work.”

“You two have done magnificent work! The Council went over all of your evidence as the authorities did and everything checks out! I still need to give an official testimony today but-but you did it. You really did it!” Cyrus couldn’t have looked happier. He was…almost glowing! The colors in his bodies were brighter and his feet had a hard time staying on the ground. The ghost almost floated all the way off the ground and through the bars of the cell.

“Thanks, Cyrus.”

“Just doing our job.”

It wasn’t long before Dexter and Tyler were released from their cell by an officer-Raphael of all people. The urge to laugh or poke fun at his expense was strong but they decided to hold back. Raphael wanted to tell them a few choice words but the presence of Asthore and her father muzzled him for the time being. With the completion of the paperwork and the exchange of their possessions, Dexter and Tyler were free to go. The chief of police gave his thanks and apologizes-though rather improvised and unpolished-and the detectives were free to leave. They started to leave just as the chief started to talk to Raphael about some of the problems he’s caused for the department lately. The sleuthes could already see desk duty in the white angel’s future and took a bit of satsification in that. Cyrus offered to walk with them as Asthore and her father went back to talk to the chief some more. The Council still had a lot of work to do with the police to clear up the mess left from the recent explosion of gangster activity. Territories were being rearranged, handled by new people…groups went missing while some grew stronger… There was much to do. Asthore couldn’t look at the angel and the werewolf as they left…she couldn’t look in the sense that she couldn’t see them…but her head followed them out. And she looked happy for more than one reason.

“Are you sure that your testimony is going to hold up okay? Ghosts are still pretty new territory for lawyers and juries and all of that.” Dexter said as he and the two others walked out of the police station and down the steps.

“I’m certain that I will do fine in court. I’ve told my story countless times to Asthore and the Council. It can only help what you and Tyler have collected at this point.” Cyrus said as he followed them down the stairs. “…I don’t believe I can ever thank you both enough for what you did. You’ve helped me and so many others in a way that…I don’t believe most others would go the length for.”

“Like Tyler said before, it’s our job. No need to thank us or anything!” Dexter replied.

“Thanks are still in order and I will do my best to repay you one day.”

“Yeah, about that favor you could owe us. Now that we figured out who murdered you, shouldn’t you be…you know, going to Heaven now or moving on or something?” Tyler questioned. “I mean, that’s how it works with ghosts, right?”

“Hey, he’s right! Beyond sticking around for the trial, what else could you here on earth?”

When asked that question, the ghost looked like he had been thinking about it a lot and already had his answer. “Normally, you’d be right. I would have no reason for staying here on earth beyond seeing to it that my murderers and the ones responsible are put into prison…but I have a new reason now.” Cyrus looked back to the top of the stairs. The sun was close to setting then, giving him a warm orange glow. “Miss Wildhunt-Asthore…said I could stay with her and her father in their mansion from now on. I refused at first naturally, but I reconsidered after some time had passed and the initially shock of recent events had faded away. I’ve…known that Asthore is fey for some time now and…while the truth had me terrified at first…it’s something that I can live with. I was always afraid that…if I could reveal my feelings to her…she would outlive and forget me with time…but now…now I can stay with her until the end of her natural days!”

“So…you found reason to stay in this world…in Asthore.” Dexter replied while trying hard not to smile like he saw that one coming. Tyler had the same problem but hid it with a tilt of his hat.

“…I suppose so.” Cyrus looked like he had no regrets in staying among the living for such a reason. “Anyway, I should get back inside. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done. If you two ever need anything and I mean ANYTHING, come find me. To protect Asthore and her household, I’ll be working hard in order to hone my new abilities.”

“We’ll keep that in mind, Cyrus!”

“If we need a haunting, we’ll call you!” The moment where it was time to say goodbye was awkward for more than one reason. Beyond the fact that the three had every means of becoming close friends, the question of how they could say goodbye with a physical gesture came to mind. Looking at each other for a few seconds, the angel, the werewolf and the ghost decided to attempt a handshake despite the obvious lack of physical form in one of them. The detectives simply wrapped a hand around Cyrus’s and gave an appropriate squeeze based on what they saw of the ghost’s hand in theirs. It was cold but the gesture made everyone happy. With that, Cyrus went back up the stairs into the police department and the sleuthes walked down the rest of the way and onto the street.

“…that was maybe the craziest thing we have ever done.” Tyler said.

“Maybe the second craziest…compared to some of our first cases, remember?” Dexter never needed a sucker so badly. But the coat that he got from the department had none. All the same, he was glad it was over…for the most part. “Wait! …Oh CRUD! I forgot!”

“What now?”

“We forgot to ask about Tayte and the Fallons! Or if anything is going to be done about making sure we don’t get murdered by rogue gangsters!”

Tyler looked at Dexter with wide eyes for a moment before breaking into a run back towards the police station. “CHIEF! HEY CHIEF!”

The greys in Lower L.A. had never looked softer. The buildings that were normally so worn down and decrepit took on an appearance of kindly old relatives happy to have familiar faces around again. Even some of the urchins were in better spirits with Dexter and Tyler back in the neighborhood…though that didn’t stop them from using their work site as a playground and trying to steal their tools. “Come on, get out of here! Shoo, shoo! Go play somewhere else and put that saw down!” Scattering whatever ashes were left over from the fire, the children ran away laughing as the angel chased them off. Scooping the knicked tools off of the ground, Dexter couldn’t help but feel…happy. It had been several days now since he and Tyler were released from custody, cleared of all charges and appeared to be home free. They would still have some work to do with the courts in terms of testimonies but for the meantime, the detectives were free to repair their office building, check in on people and just try and get things back to normal.

“Dexter! Bring in that lumber! We need to get the stairs fixed to get to the second floor!”

“Okay!” With the last of the lumber in his arms, Dexter angled himself up the crowed stoop and into what remained of their little bulldog of a building. The bricks that were in the walls kept the building from falling down but everything inside would need to be gutted and replaced. The detectives had to use the last of their funds to get whatever supplies they could afford…which essentially chalked up to them only being able to fix a few rooms on the first floor. In the lobby area at the foot of the staircase, Tyler and their friends were working hard. “This is the last of the wood so make it count.”

“Crap…and we still need to replace the damaged plumbing, broken windows and a buttload of other things around here…” The white wolf grumbled as he hammered away at a new section of wall.

“Pa may have some supplies left over from fixin’ the shed…I can ask ‘im if ya can have it…” Lillian offered as she helped with the repairs. Along with the red wolf female working on the drywall, Sveta sat on a crate with an old telephone and notepads concerning the costs of repairs and how to make the money stretch. Reisen was helping Lillian with the drywall and Yang was…Yang was sitting on the stair railing and finishing up his interview with Dexter and Tyler. “Care to lend a hand there, Yang?”

“I will in a second, Little Red. Just need to finish this up.” The merman said in his defense. “Dexter, anything you want to add to this thing? The article needs to hit the printing press by tonight so make sure you got all of your thoughts out.”

“No, I think we told you everything that people need to know.” The angel went over to Tyler’s side and got back to work on the wall. “You really went all out just to make sure that you were the one that got the story!”

“Well of course! You and Tyler are going to be the biggest thing to hit this town since-since-“

“Since mini blueberry muffins? Swing music? Oh, no wait! Since Humphrey Bogart came to town!” The teal haired angel suggested while hopping slightly at the mention of Mr.Bogart.

“All good answers, Rei-Rei!” For a moment there was laughter among the group as they continued their work…before there was a knock at the door and the laughter suddenly died. Dexter looked at Tyler and Tyler looked back at Dexter. For several days, the detectives feared retailiation from the gangsters for everything they did-intitially or otherwise. Their biggest concern was Ares…but with Eclipse suddenly hating them, Vivi seeking revenge for his destroyed club and… Well, those were the only personal reasons that they knew about but the point was Dexter and Tyler were likely to be hunted down for their involvement with the Fallon/Gilmead case. The thought had made them skiddish for days and not having some protection from the police didn’t help. Always watching the cars that drove by on the street, sneaking double checks of strangers that past them by… The knock on the door started again and the sleuthes were on the defensive. Standing on opposite sides of the doorframe with hammers in hand, they signaled for everyone to take cover.

“Open the door, you paranoid pansies! It’s just us!”

“We could probably just huff and puff and blow your little shack down anyway…and that was before the fire!”

The familiar British tones in the words of these individuals made everyone’s tension melt away before the angel and the werewolf opened the door. On their crowded stoop were Dani and Ellie with smiles and boxed lunches for everyone. “Took you long enough! Scared like Granny during a thunder storm?”

“You KNOW we’re tense! Don’t go doing stuff like that to us!” Dexter chastised the siblings before letting them inside.

“We only forgive you because you have fish and chips…you do have fish and chips, right?” Tyler asked, inspecting the box lunches with subtle sniffs.

“You know we do. So help yourselves!” The dispensing of the lunch boxes began and the happy atmosphere resurfaced once again as Dani and Ellie got comfortable among friends and construction equipment. “…looks like you lot got your work cut out for you.”

“We’re doing as much as we can with what we have. At least we got a lot of hands to help!”

“And it keeps us from going insane as we hide out…”

“…you guys may be interested in what we learned recently then. Move over, Yang.” Ellie said as she sat down next to the merman on the steps.

“What do you mean?”

“You guys know about our…special brownie nights.” Dani began to explain as he picked up a hammer and nails and started to work on the wall. Dani standing near Lillian and Tyler together…no longer troubled him. “We had a few new customers for the event. They told us who referred them to us so we couldn’t turn them down…but when they had a few brownies, they started talking about some interesting things. two… Don’t start looking at me like I’m about to deliver the bad news! It’s sort of good…I think.”

“Because of what you two did to Ares, it looks like every other gangster in town wants nothing to do with you!” Ellie decided to fill in while sharing French fries with Yang.

“…can you explain a little?” This information truly flabbergastered everyone in the room. Except maybe Yang who continued to eat fries.

“Do I really need to explain? You two managed to fight off a god! Of course everyone’s going to avoid you like the plague. They don’t want to get caught in the cross hairs. From what Kirk’s heard, all the gangsters are afraid to get near you two and those that aren’t afraid are staying clear just out of respect for the man and his revenge.”

“Kirk’s out of hiding then? Where was he?”

“Hiding in the zoo of all places, though that wasn’t too surprising! The zoo keepers noticed one too many Artic foxes in their habitat and how one had some extra tails. As soon as Seth was in jail, Kirk turned back to normal and walked right of there butt naked with thanks to the zoo keepers and the foxes there. It really gave everyone quite the show!”

“Sorta reminds me of someone I know…” Lillian gave Tyler a look while the werewolf male and several others in the group found reason to laugh at how this must have looked to everyone in the zoo that day.

“But anyway, Kirk heard a lot of things before he had to leave town. Mostly how the gangsters aren’t going to try anything to you two because of Ares… So, there’s sort of good news in that…”

“It’s enough to get you two of this little soot house if anything.” Dani added. “That was all Kirk was able to hear before he closed down his shop for a spell. He and that Donny fellow decided to hide in Mexico to let the heat cool off of them both…and to see what kind of ingredients he could find for his salads and our brownies.”


“Donnybear left…? Without saying goodbye…?” Reisen looked a little heartbroken. At the sight of this, Dani appeared to have remembered something. Sharing a look with Ellie, he pulled several folded sheets of paper out of his pocket. He passed them around to Reisen, the detectives…even Yang got one. “There wasn’t a whole lot of time for goodbyes so they asked us to give everyone those notes. They should say everything they wanted to say to you all…”

Reisen and everyone read their notes. The angel girl looked saddened but soon looked as though she had something to wait for…and was happy to do so. Dexter and Tyler had thanks from both Kirk and Donny on their note. The kitsune promised them free salads and food that magic mushrooms could be added to whenever they wanted (a promise they could only see themselves going half way on) and the harpy male…well, he said thanks. That was all that mattered. “…what does your note say, Yang?”

“It’s a possible excuse for me to go down to Mexico and have some fun with the boys. Kirk wants my opinion on the sea life down there and if any of it can be used in his shop. That one incident with sea cucumbers continues to pay off!”

“Oh Yang, take me with you!”

“Every time, my dear Eleanor!”

“It’s not an invitation for you two to skip work!”

The pace of the room wouldn’t slow down as Dani and Ellie and Yang were caught up into a discussion on how to interpret the meaning behind the kitsune’s note. It was too funny to really stop as everyone else ate and watched. Somewhere in the middle of everything, the telephone on the box Sveta was using as a desk started to ring. The homunculus scooted over to the box and sat down to take the call. “Hello? …Oh! Mr.Skyes! So-So good to hear from you! …yes, yes! They’re both here!” She clamped a hand over the receiver. “Guys-Guys! It’s Tristian! He’s calling from New York!”

“Tristian?! He’s finally calling?!”

“Quick! Get back on the line! See what he has to say!”

“Okay, okay! …yes, Mr.Skyes! The news of what’s happened here in Los Angeles has reached you in New York? … Oh. Well, I’m sure that…what was that? …the matter of Dexter and Tyler’s pay?” Everyone in the room clinched up then and moved in closer on Sveta to try and hear everything the griffon over the phone had to say. “Well, I understand that the case has drawn a lot of attention…but given how they were still able to solve the case with such results… What was that? …you want to give them HOW MUCH?” Sveta looked astonished by what Tristian had to say and went silent. Feeling like everyone was waiting to know the news-good or bad-she passed the phone to Dexter.

“Tristian? Dexter here.” The angel held the phone between his ear and Tyler’s. “How’s…New York? What…yeah-yeah, we solved the case and Tayte…Tayte’s fine… What was that about our pay? How much did you have in mind?” The detective went quiet as Tristian gave a number. Everyone in the room was dying to know as the boys both kept straight faces. “…no, no. That price is fair…yes. You can pay us both when you get back from New York.”

“How’s Chloe doing? …That well? That’s great! She’s met a guy too? That’s also great. Say hi to her for both of us. And to Sidra.”

“Thanks for calling us. We’ll see you in a few days. Goodbye.”

The silence broke into a maelstrom of questions-all centered in on the topic of how much Tristian was going to pay the detectives for their services. Dexter and Tyler wouldn’t say anything. The angel simply wrote down a number on a slip of paper and gave it to Sveta. The homunculus waited a moment before she looked at the number…and let out a squeal. “Oh! My! GOODNESS!”


“Let us see!” With the paper exchanging hands, Dexter and Tyler began to grin like fools and perform a dance that would forever known as the “we got a lot of money” dance…namely because that was what they started to chat as they danced around the room.

“We got a lot of mon-ey! We got a lot of mon-ey!” Soon everyone else in the group started to join in once they saw the number on that scrap of paper. Dexter and Tyler gave hugs to all of the ladies in the room and shook hands with every guy-except Yang who gave hugs anyway just because he could. It didn’t both the sleuthes though! All of their hard work was about to pay off! “This is great! Ty! With-With what we’re about to get paid, we could fix our office a hundred times over!”

“No! We’ll make it better than before!” Tyler declared as he shared a dance with Lillian and Reisen. “We can get everything fixed and better than ever! No more pipes that leak!”

“No more worrying about the roof when it rains! Or the power getting turned off on us!”

“We can have the rats flushed out of our walls!”

“And give Sveta the paycheck she deserves for keeping us afloat for as all as we have!”

“You guys don’t have to-OH MY! Put me down! Ha ha, come on!”

“It’s the least you deserve for putting up with us! And we’ll give some of the money to the church and to Dani and Ellie’s place and some to Kirk to help his shop and to Cyrus and-and-“

“Since you’re feeling so generous, Dexter… how about paying us for the fish and chip delivery?” Dani asked.

“We don’t deliver so it’ll cost extra.” Ellie added. She and her brother were sharing the same kind of grin-the grin that suggested that they were plotting.

Dexter and Tyler…couldn’t help but laugh. Things were becoming good again. They were probably getting better for the first time in…forever, really. Running a detective business would always have its downside and guarantee a certain degree of struggle-finacially or otherwise. So while the money would be appreciated, it was what it meant in the minds of the detectives that made them so happy. The money meant that the case was over. It was the biggest case they had ever cracked so far and they completed it to where they made their benefactor happy…and everyone involved happy as well. Heartbreak was something detectives had to deal with when cases came to an end. Avoiding it was always a secret wish for some detectives…mainly those who still had a soft heart. So having no one get their heart broken because of this case…made Dexter and Tyler happy.

…well, almost happy… There was something Dexter still needed to do…
The days went by in a blur once again. Between going to the court house to testify, to the police station to get some last minute details right and back to the court house again, Dexter and Tyler were busy. They saw a lot of people during those days-just about everyone important to the case. But none of the Fallons showed up. Beyond Donny who they knew was in Mexico with Kirk, no one knew where the other siblings went. It made some things hard in court…but it looked like Seth and the ones directly responsible for the murder of Cyrus, the attempted murders of Nicky and Kristen and the abduction of Sveta and Reisen were as good as locked up. It wasn’t until after all of their parts in the court that Dexter and Tyler were now two for two in terms of demigods they had managed to put away… The deed was something they could take a small amount of pride in…but the amount of fear of them ever getting out doubled. There was still no sign of Ares…but Kristen being grateful to the detectives for saving her life and Nicky’s HAD to help keep her father from killing them. He liked her more than his other child in jail! He made that very clear!

The relief of having taken care of their obligations in court gave Dexter and Tyler the impression that the feeling should be celebrated with drinks. By the way Saria had nearly dragged Sveta out of the courtroom and into her car, it looked like the homunculus was unable to attend. There was no sign of Yorukage...but he was underage anyway. The English pair were working at the restaurant, Cyrus had left with Asthore. So it would have been a boys' night...if it weren't for a few other things. The werewolf had plans for the evening with Lillian-a date in hopes of getting back on her good side-but he wanted to do something with Dexter first. The angel looked preoccupied with matters beyond the court. He was always watching the doors for someone to either arrive or leave…scanning the crowds, honing in on women with red hair only to be disappointed by who it really was… Dexter needed to get his mind off of things. With the sun starting to set and the lights of the city popping on one by one and adding new layers of color and glint, Tyler led Dexter to the one club they suddenly had the money to go to-The Golden Wing.

“Ty…I really don’t know if this is such a good idea…” Dexter tried to protest as he and Tyler walked past the gorilla built bouncers. Being at the club and knowing that Tayte wasn’t likely to be there too…it hurt. The memory of the first time he ever saw her burned in his heart…

“Come on! We practically have free passes to this place now-“

“Tristian never said that. You just said that to get in here for free…again.”

“-and we should be able to enjoy it! At least once! Now come on! I gotta meet up with Lulu soon so let’s see some of Reisen’s show, throw back a few and just have some fun.”

With no means of arguing and deciding to just let it be, Dexter and Tyler found a table, got some drinks from a waitress and watched the musical acts on the stage. Reisen had an early act that evening before she could take the night off. She looked as cute as always…but her songs were a little different. She was singing a lot slower songs than usual…but they were all about waiting for love and being hopeful about love’s return. The crowd adored the angel girl for singing songs that sweet. Dexter wanted to smile…but they still found a way to sting. Tyler noticed this about a quarter of the way through his beer and thought of an idea by the time he started the second. “Dexter…I probably shouldn’t be saying this…but if you wanted to, say, check out Tayte’s dressing room for clues of where she could be…I wouldn’t mind keeping Lorcan busy…if he’s around.” The offer disgusted him to no end but the werewolf owed Dexter and couldn’t stand to see him look so down.

Dexter couldn’t help but stare at Tyler in amazement for a second before he looked positively thrilled. The angel almost knocked the drinks off the table as he got up with a start. “Thanks-Thank you, Tyler! Come on! It’s still early, Lorcan may not be here!”

“Okay, okay! Slow down! Try not to skip while you’re skipping for joy…”

With people focusing on the show, no one paid much attention to Dexter and Tyler as they snuck to the back and the area behind the stage. The other performers of the evening were getting prepared but without the kind of senses that belonged to one absent werewolf, no one caught much of the sneaking, off duty sleauthes. Remembering their first visit to the backstage area, Tayte’s dressing room wasn’t hard to find. The name star was removed from the door that Dexter and Tyler stood in front of. “I can keep circling around the stage and watch for surprises while you’re in there. But once you’re done, I gotta take off! I got dinner reservations to meet and a picture show to get to on time.”

“Really going all out to make it up to Lulu, huh? …thanks, Ty. I really… I just really need to do this.”

“Anytime, Dex. Good luck.” The werewolf left the angel to search the dressing room that used to belong to the harpy Tayte. He was hoping for something that could have given Dexter a bit of closure. If Tayte broke his friend’s heart (which the werewolf thought she would), the werewolf would track her down himself. But…on the off chance that she didn’t crush him…then he hoped that she left Dexter a clue on where to find her. All things he thought about as he walked away from his friend in the dressing room.

Dexter stood in the dressing room for a few moments and looked the room over. Besides the make-up mirror and counter, the dressers and the little love seat, the room was cleaned out of anything that could have belonged to Tayte. She wasn’t meant to be here for long-Dexter realized that-but still…he was hoping for something. Anything. The night he and Tyler rescued Seth from Ares couldn’t be the last time he ever saw Tayte…he wanted to see her again and just…he wasn’t even sure but he just wanted to see the harpy one last time. Searching through the drawers and in the closet, there wasn’t much left for Dexter to really draw much information from. He knew next to nothing about the girl and she was driving him crazy regardless! The angel didn’t know what else he could have done as he faced the make up mirror. Tayte would know how to hide herself…he probably wouldn’t ever find her if she was serious… Why was that one picture on the wall upside down?

Studying the picture for a second, Dexter flipped it back up to its original position before noticing how it was directly opposite of the mirror. While looking at the picture’s reflection in the mirror, the angel caught a rather interesting detail-in the picture there was an arrow feature that pointed upward. So, if he were to apply it to the mirror…there was nothing on the ceiling above his head…but the mirror was one that could flip on its hinges so… Dexter flipped the mirror up in the direction of the arrow until its back was exposed. And taped to the back were two pieces of scrap paper! With an address written on one of the pieces in a woman’s handwriting! The thrill and joy that shot through Dexter’s body couldn’t be described as he held the note. He ran out of the dressing room not caring who saw him. “Ty! TY! Found what I needed so you can go see Lulu! Good luck! YES! YES!!!” The werewolf may not have been around to hear him but he would probably figure it out soon…or he may have already left (actually, he had found himself cornered by Lorcan and already making a scene about it). Dexter didn’t care-he had a lead! Two leads actually. The piece of scrap paper had only partials of hand writing on it-like there were more pieces for him to find. But the intact address on the first piece had to be his clue to where Tayte was. Or where she wanted to meet him. Or-either way! He needed to find out where the first address would lead him! Taking a hard stop at the bar, Dexter figured he could get a good sense of direction from the bar tender Addy.

“Addy! Addy! Addy!”

“What? Whoa-who lit a fire under your a**-“

“This address! Do you have any idea where I can find it?!”

“Simmer down! You’re gonna have a stroke at this rate…yeah, I actually know where that address is. It’s about five blocks away from here, due north…and then you take about three blocks west and you’re there.”

“Thank you,thank you, thank you! Oh,right! Tip-Tip jar!” He went fishing for some dollars in his jacket before Addy stopped him.

“Don’t let anyone on to this…but those cheeseburger coupons…I’d be willing to take those off your hands if you ever come by looking for tips from a guy who’s been around the block a few times…”

The angel wasn’t going to waste time wondering why-he just assumed that the place made a great cheeseburger. So he fished out a coupon and left it in the glass jar. “Thanks, Addy! I’ll keep that in mind!”

“Good luck…crazy son of a b***h…”

Upon leaving the Golden Wing, Dexter took off in a mad dash of running and flying towards the address Tayte decided to leave in her dressing room. Following the note and the directions that Addy gave him, the angel arrived at a dress shop…a rather expensive looking one. The destination confused him until he saw something sticking out of the dress on the mannequin in the front window-the same kind of dress that Tayte wore the night they met! So Dexter had to duck inside, jump into the display, grab the note and make a break for it while a very confused and angry dress shop owner tried to chase him. But he had another partial of paper and another address! Tayte…was really going to make him work hard for this. Dexter was certain of this.

As the hours of the evening turned into the early hours of the night, the angel’s scavenger hunt took him all over the city and to some rather interesting places. Maybe it was all at random…but Dexter felt like Tayte was choosing these places as a way of telling him more about herself and her life beyond the mob. That idea was certainly starting to ring true as Dexter was forced to look for clues at several different-and expensive-clothing boutiques. The harpy girl was apparently one of fashion…and must have had some connection to Switzerland or Sweden based on how she got him to search through the Swedish foods in a little shop in some unknown part of town. She was welcomed in a vast majority of weapon shops and had to go to a special salon in order to get her talons taken care of while still remaining needle sharp. She kept a locker at a special gym for winged creatures and was a favorite at a shop that…customized in lady…undergarments… She still felt it was appropriate to leave her clue in a pair of panties and a bra that…felt very much like her size… Dexter was forced to flee from the store with a bloody nose while the shop keepers chased him out with shouts of him being a pervert. Tayte must have delighted in the thought of making Dexter run through various shops like that…

Despite the varying difficulties in these tasks, the angel kept on going. The little bits of paper included with the address cards were starting to piece together and look like the final address in this game. The last address he recognized and had no problems in finding. It was the apartment complex that Tayte cared for Dasha. The flight to the rooftop was easier than the last time-no need for sneaking around or for hiding. The roof was much like the dressing room back at the club-empty and removed of anything personal to the harpy. A look into the coop was about the same-no sign of the harpy and no falcon inside. Or…so he was led to believe upon first glance. At the sound of something hard hopping along the concrete ledgings, the angel turned around and saw the amost iconic falcon patient hopping along and looking at him. “Hey there, Dasha…I don’t suppose you know where Tayte is, do you?” That was when he saw something wrapped around the falcon’s ankle. “I guess you do…come here, sweetie. Come here…” It was nerve wracking to say the least, trying to keep a falcon in one place while moving closer to it. The angel couldn’t afford to lose her… Almost sensing that thought in him, the golden falcon stood on the ledge while Dexter retrieved the scrap paper around her ankle. “Ha…good girl, Dasha. Good-AH!” Falling backwards, the falcon didn’t bother to wait much longer once Dexter had what he had come for. Taking off with a screech and a playful grab at his hair, the falcon disappeared into the night, leaving the angel on his butt and the last clue clinched in his hand. Watching Dasha fly off like that…was more peaceful than Dexter would have thought.

With the last piece of the puzzle in his possession, the angel pulled out the other pieces he had collected over the night and started to piece them together. He could always get some enjoyment and sense of accomplishment when completing puzzles but this had to be the first time Dexter could see a real prize in the activity. With an exhaled breath, the scraps of paper finally formed a clear message: “You can find me at this address. Come in through the fire escape window. Don’t leave me waiting.” The tone in the message sent a weird shiver through Dexter’s spine that told him he should heed the note and get moving.

The apartment complex that bore the address in the puzzle wasn’t anything like Dexter had expected of Tayte. It wasn’t ugly but it wasn’t as elegant or as expensive as the angel had been led to believe suitable for Tayte. But the brick red building was where the harpy said to meet her so he couldn’t ignore that. There was a little voice in the back of his head that told him that this could have likely been a trap set up by Ares or one of the gangsters…but the little voice of reason and common sense was being bullied and overrun by Dexter’s other emotions and thoughts…all of them believing beyond a shadow of a doubt that Tayte was the one that left all of those clues for him. So, with common sense to the wind and powerful new emotions under his wings, Dexter scaled the fire escape until he reached the window that belonged to the right apartment. The window had a dim light inside…the harpy was home. But how was he supposed to go about this? Does Dexter knock? Does he go in like he owned the place? The idea of how the sleauthes in his favorite books and movies would go in to see the girl came to mind. He should do this like they would do it-with confidence, wit, and a cool, take no prisoners attitude like this was something they did every day! Pumping himself with that kind of attitude and persona, the angelic detective was ready to storm the hill and go inside to see Tayte-

To see the back side of Tayte…walking past the window…lit only by candle light…wearing nothing but those beautiful wings and a small…small black thong…and then a red kimono… The sight of the harpy in such a state stopped Dexter cold in his tracks, the fire freezing out of his blood and his brain ceasing all forms of thought, shutting down all of his body functions until-!!! He passed out on her fire escape with his nose seeping blood.

Not quite like the detectives in the movies…

His head started to throb from both the crash and the loss of blood as he woke up on the fire escape, the sound of a woman’s laughter pulling him along until he opened his eyes. Looking up from the iron bars that kept him from crashing to earth, from the window leaned the fiery winged vixen herself. Smiling like she had succeeded in pulling a rather mean prank and playing with a loose strand of red hair, Tayte looked very amused with herself and had to fight the urge to keep laughing. “Is this how we’re going to meet from now on? It may not be good for your health if you take what I said about you looking cute while you’re sleeping too seriously.”

Trying to ignore how beautiful Tayte looked at that moment-with snow white shoulders peeking out from silken red sleeves and silver eyes reflecting the moonlight-Dexter had to think of a clever retort. “Well…it’s-it’s not good for your health to be walking around half naked near an unlocked window! There may be perverts around…”

“I was expecting you to show up, wasn’t I? I just didn’t expect you to be a pervert as well…a rather big one from the looks of things.” The harpy couldn’t help but laugh a little at how it looked like she had won this round and at the horribly embarrassed but adorable look on Dexter’s face as he studied the blood on his shirt. With a kind smirk, the harpy moved inside and held the window open. “Come inside before you bleed to death out there. I’m glad you were able to find Dasha…she and I said our goodbyes hours ago…didn’t think she would stick around for you.”

“I’m…I’m just lucky like that, I guess…”Rushing inside the window like a stray cat-but with none of the grace or skills-the angel crawled over the window frame and landed on his back in Tayte’s apartment…nearly landing on a cardboard box. As he looked around the candle lit apartment, there were a lot of cardboard box towers-some of which nearly touched the ceiling. “Uh…are you…going somewhere?” He asked with a nervous tone in his voice.

“Huh? Oh. Yeah. I’m currently in the middle of a move.” Tayte said absentmindedly before realizing what Dexter was thinking about. “No, no! I’m not moving out of the city or anything! I’m just changing apartments for the time being…I needed a change. I’m not leaving.”

“So…the plans for South America…and the circus?”

“I’ve decided to put those on hold for the time being…want something to drink?”

“Drink? Uh-Uh-No, no, thank you!” Dexter quickly sat himself down on her couch with his hat clinched in his hands as he tried to act as naturally as possible…and failed at. It was…just the atmosphere of the apartment! The candles, the offer of a drink, being alone with Tayte…it was driving his heart crazy! The angel almost missed the sudden adjustment of the cushion next to him as Tayte sat down to his side with a glass of wine. Her presence made him flinch before he jumped into the first thing he could think of. “So-So you’re not being forced to leave L.A. after all! That’s-That’s really great! I mean…I’m glad that…Tyler and I…were able to see that justice wasn’t going to be misused and send innocent people to jail!”

The harpy woman couldn’t help but laugh then-but it was kind of laughter that suggested she found something to be really amusing or adorable. “Dexter. You don’t need to be so nervous around me.” Tayte chuckled as she adjusted her robe a little and set down her glass of wine. “I really do owe you a lot. And I suppose I owe that beast something as well.”

“Think nothing of it! It’s just-part of us-doing our job after all.”

“This goes beyond what you did for your job. You helped me out in more ways than you know.”

“You mean…by making sure you didn’t have to leave L.A. and everything you worked for?”

“Everything my brothers worked for… Do you know what I had to give Ares in exchange for your lives that night?” The harpy was pretty surprised as how desperate and scared the angel’s expression turned at mention of this topic. “It was nothing bad! Nothing like my life or my body or anything like that. It was more or less for my retirement. Oh, and there was something about him hiring you two unofficially…I reminded him of his payment.”

The fact that he and Tyler completely forgot about that should have been enough to make him feel stupid but Dexter had bigger things to process then. “What? You mean-Ares forced you to quit being a mob boss?!”

“I offered it to him. Along with a decent chunk of the territory that I myself own and a few of my best guys.”

Dexter was very confused by how Tayte could possibly look calm while delivering such information to him. “But…I don’t get it…why would you…what could have possibly possessed you to do that?”