VALENCIA NOIR II

ACT IV

For some time there was nothing but stars. Spinning and swaying beyond their natural paths in the heavens against a backdrop of dull, throbbing colors. As they grew from mere pinpoints of light to swirling shards of broken colors, the softest of sounds began to resonate as if from the shapes themselves. The stars were singing songs that only made sense to them…at least, that was what appeared to be happening. The stars started to lose their edges and colors, devolving to dark blurs against a warm backdrop as they began to gather together and loom overhead. Their soft alien singing slowly turned into something recognizable to human ears and the world began to reform…

“…he’s still unconscious!”

“…how’s the girl? She has to be okay…”

“Call a doctor!”

“Check on her!”

“We can’t! The unconscious moron won’t let her go!”

“Hey, don’t call him a moron, you moron! Dex! Come on, wake up! Speak me to me, buddy!”

A weak groan escaped from Dexter’s lips as his eyes cracked open with the lumbering deliberant motions of a rusted gate. The sensations of the physical world tickled in passed the opening gates of the angel’s awakened mind and he drank in what had happened after he had passed out from the shock of coming face to face with the method of his earthly demise. From his resting position on the lawn, the truck was long gone down the hill and everyone who didn’t pursue it had gathered around the angel. Kneeling next to him was his white maned partner Tyler, hands on his shoulders as he gently shook Dexter awake. “Ty…take it easy, I’m awake...”

“Dexter! Oh, thank God.” Tyler sighed as he sat down on the ground and wiped some nervous sweat from his forehead. The subtle twitches in his mane had stopped and his tail went limp on top of the grass behind him as a sign of his relief. “You…you really scared me, I thought you weren’t going to make it past that truck!”

“I wasn’t…thinking about the odds. I-I just-I didn’t even-“The angel began to think about what had happened to him the last time he had done something so reckless-and how he could of gone through such an ordeal again that very night… The weight of such thoughts started to smother him. “I’m an idiot, aren’t I? I mean I-I could have-I could have been-” It was becoming hard to breath as his heart raced.

“You may be an idiot every now and again…but you have more guts than most guys I could know.” The werewolf saw how his partner was starting onto a downward spiral of memories and needed to be pulled out before he sunk too far down. Dexter’s actions were truly heroic (like usual) and he deserved to know that. The compliment worked as Tyler saw a small smile and a light in his friend’s eyes as the deathly glow vanished from Dexter’s face. With the angel breathing normally and moving away from his harsher memories, there was just the matter of dealing with the aftermath of his actions. Namely-“Uh, Dex…you can loosen up on the death grip now. You’re both out of the way of danger!”

“Huh?” Having been so wrapped up in the flood of emotions and memories associated with his death by motor vehicle, Dexter had completely forgotten his reason for diving in front of the truck in the first place! “Oh! Right!” Looking down at the head buried face first in his chest, the feeling to his arms quickly returned and slid off of the tiny form he had protected even while unconscious. With the room to now move and breathe, the young girl rolled out of her tight ball, pulled her face free from Dexter’s shirt and looked up at the face of her savior. The detectives were both briefly amazed at innocent beauty of the girl resting on top of the angel. Appearing to be no more than twelve years old in a sundress of white and periwinkle blue, she was truly a doll-a fairy princess even! Lithe and delicate with skin as fair as Snow White’s. Her pale blonde hair hung in heavy locks around her slender shoulders and beneath her lofty bangs were the biggest green eyes anyone would ever see. For the two detectives, it was like looking into portals to a magic meadow-no. It was more like looking into a deep warm ocean…

The whispers from the surrounding circle of onlookers-and the young maiden’s wide growing eyes and rapidly reddening cheeks-pulled the detectives out of their distracted state and got them moving again. “Sorry about that. You’re-You’re not hurt, right? I didn’t crush you or anything?” Dexter asked as he pushed himself off of the ground and moved the young girl off of his chest and onto the grass beside him. The young girl was unharmed as far as the detectives could see…but she appeared to be in some form of shock. She wouldn’t stop staring at Dexter-eyes wide and unblinking, hands secured over her heart, a scarlet blush creeping through her face. The poor thing appeared to be in some form of shock in the eyes of the two sleuths…but a more accurate word would have been star struck.

After a moment of staring-and a moment of Dexter and Tyler silently contemplating who they should call to pick up their silent young friend-the maiden resumed blinking with a rapid flutter of her thick eyelashes, began rubbing her fingers together and mumbled softly until timid words began to trickle from her lips. “I’m…I’m okay!” Despite the hushed tones, her voice was beyond ideal-earnest and innocent, slightly accented, with an unknown enchanted element to it that made her speech sound like a song. “I mean-I wasn’t paying attention so I… But then I saw the truck coming towards me and…and then… You saved me.”

Like a sudden gust of air off of the ocean, the angel and the werewolf were pleasantly surprised by how refreshingly sweet and warm the young girl was. They were used to helping people regardless of the danger-especially Dexter…but it was still great to get thanked every once in a while from someone so unbearably adorable! “It was no big deal! Anyone would have done the same.” Dexter replied, scratching the back of his head in a gesture of his modest nature. Tyler was scratching a flickering ear in a similar matter-doing his damnedest not to grin like a happy beast. “I never would have made to it to you if Tyler didn’t point you and the truck out!” The effort to share the credit for the rescue was well attempted but otherwise wasted. With a slowly rising eyebrow, Tyler observed how fixated the girl was on Dexter, to the point where there appeared to be no one else in her world at the moment. The angel had yet to notice her stares and the depth of emotion behind them…which just made the situation really funny to the white wolf.

“What’s your name, sweet heart?” Tyler had to ask in order to keep from laughing. And it was useful in locating a child’s parents-which they needed to do now that the girl was safe. They needed to get back to work and fast. The werewolf finally materialized in the life of the small blonde child as she looked him over. His animal features gave her a moment of pause but Tyler’s affiliation to her savior allowed her to continue.

“Mmmm…my-my name is-“

“Naddie!” With the danger over and members of the crowd returning to their chores (and to colleagues in order to gossip about what they had just witnessed), a young woman was finally able to step up and get a clear look at what had been happening on the lawn. As tall as the detectives, with the slender built of a high school track star, short blue hair styled with barrettes to match and big earnest blue eyes, the young lady was dressed like a professional in a black blazer and matching skirt. Her face was cute and earnest as well…and an excellent mask for her emotions. Any anxiety she had experienced by watching two people nearly get crushed by a truck was well hidden besides a particular energy in her eyes and a lingering ring in her voice. That subtle energy exploded though once she made eye contact with young Naddie. With strides best used by an agile deer, the blue haired woman crossed the space between her and the girl she called Naddie in no time and kneeled down to examine her like a frantic mother. The detectives were…more or less pushed to the side as Naddie was looked over for injuries. “Are you okay? You’re not hurt, right? You didn’t hit your head or anything?”

“No-No! I’m okay! Really, nothing happened to me. I promise!” Naddie pleaded with a smile to end the investigation of her person. Her wish was granted as the young woman backed off and let her breathe. “I was…I was saved by an angel. And-And a werewolf! Right here-these two boys! They really saved me!”

Seeing Naddie safe and unharmed was a relief that brought a gentle smile and a warm light to her eyes. “Oh, thank goodness.” In a gesture that had to be common to them, she brushed a lock of blonde hair off of the young girl’s face and simultaneously moved a loose blue lock behind her ear. The moment passed and the young woman’s attention went to the two detectives. They felt as though she was sizing them both up before she decided to speak, her face and voice returning to a composed, neutral state of indifference. “I suppose some thanks are in order so…thank you. Thank you both for saving Natalie.”

The level of control that came from the young woman as she delivered her thanks was…interesting to say the least. The detectives gave each other a brief glance before returning their gaze to the girls. “Uh…it was no problem.” Dexter replied as he started to pick himself off of the ground.

“Yeah…anyone would have done the same.” Tyler added as he helped the angel steady himself on his feet. Once Dexter was stable, Tyler returned the hat he left behind during the rescue. The unearthed necklace box still tucked under the werewolf’s arm pressed against his ribs, reminding the detectives that they needed to get back to work before it got too late. “We better get moving. We have to talk to Arazia again and figure out a new plan.”

“Right.” Dexter donned his hat before looking down at little Naddie. She would be perfectly safe now with her…guardian? Sister? The two had seen enough to feel comfortable with leaving Naddie to this woman. They could get back to their investigation without having to worry about leaving a little girl alone after such a dangerous experience with a possible stranger. Dexter smiled at Naddie as he started to walk away with Tyler. “Be careful from now on, okay, sweetheart? Watch out for cars and keep an eye out for danger.”

“Take care, honey. You too, ma’am.”

The duo left the girls on the lawn to their own devices and began to walk back to the opera stair case. Before they even got onto the first step and could discuss their next move with Arazia and their other cases, Naddie came running after them and latched onto Dexter’s arm. “Wait! Please! Please don’t go without telling me your name! I-“ The young girl caught herself before she could say any more. Ignoring the heavy blush in her cheeks and casually adjusting her hair, Naddie continued with an attitude of an adult. “I would very much like to know your name. You saved my life and would like to know who you are… You and your friend.”

“It’s something you owe her. That stoic cowboy, man with no name act you two tried to pull back there…it’s just not as cool as you think.” Naddie’s blue haired guardian was following close behind her, arms crossed over her chest as she continued to study the sleuths. “And don’t call me ‘Ma’am’. I’m not old enough to be called that yet-especially by men my own age.”

There was a lot to be embarrassed by in that instance. The detectives did have a habit of borrowing from their favorite books and movies and using what they thought to be cool while on the job. Now some of these borrowed traits had helped in the past in creating a tougher, older persona needed to get the job done…but being called out on how their renting and shuffling of borrowed behaviors sometimes failed to fulfill their purpose was embarrassing. And a harsh reminder of how they still had a long way to go in terms of years and experience before they could be as convincing and charismatic as their long hardened heroes. The youthful sleuths couldn’t leave now-they had to fulfill their social obligations by introducing themselves to the young ladies. “Tyler Levion.”

“Dexter McBane.”

“Emily Jones.” She remained stiff and professional as she shook both of their hands, though her eyes did gleam with satisfaction in calling them out as she did-almost smug and sassy for it.

“And my name is Natalie Florres! But-But you can call me Naddie!” The little girl was struggling to decide her next course of action in introducing herself. She was caught somewhere between a curtsy and a handshake before Dexter took her hand. The sweet little dear froze and blossomed bright pink, almost forgetting that she needed to move her arm in order to shake! The angel continued to look puzzled by this while Tyler was struggling not to laugh as he shook Naddie’s limp hand.

“Florres…Florres… Like the Florres of the Mediterranean? The representatives for the sirens in that area?” Dexter inquired. “If so, that’s pretty big! They donate money to the Council every year!”

“Aren’t they also sponsors for the ‘Summer of the Arts’ events this week? Including the opera? I thought I heard their names among the sponsors in the theater.” Tyler chimed in.

Before she could confirm or deny any of these facts, Naddie looked to Emily. Emily looked at Dexter and Tyler for several seconds, eyes searching them in a way that they themselves knew so well. Gathering information from so little in such a short time… Emily was obvious in her gaze but she wasn’t trying to be subtle-just effective. Finally satisfied with what she collected in her inspection, the blue haired woman placed a hand on Naddie’s shoulder. The young girl smiled at Emily before looking to the detectives again with their answers. “All of that is true. My mother and father are representatives for the sirens and they frequently donate to the Council of Los Angeles. They’re also funding a handful of events for the upcoming week…and I’ll be able to attend them for the first time ever this year!” The little siren caught her behavior before she could become too excited and childish at the idea of obtaining attendance to an event for adults. It was too late to hide her joy-and it was adorable for the three adults to see.

“So what’s your business here at the opera house? The shows aren’t starting yet and…well, you two don’t look like sponsors. Or actors. Or like you have anything to do with this place.” Emily’s observation was sharp and a little insulting but accurate none the less. The detectives knew that they couldn’t reveal the details of their investigation but the young ladies weren’t about to let them leave without their say so. The look in Natalie’s eyes was begging for them to stay longer…and Emily was going to give exactly what her young charge wanted. Decisions had to be made then-someone would have to stay behind to make nice with the young ladies while the other left to continue their work under the guise of a polite excuse. Given whom it was that Naddie really wanted to stay with her, Tyler made the call. “I need to use the bathroom, I’ll be right back! Dex, meet you back out here in ten!”

“Huh-hey! Hold up,Ty!” The angel was stopped by a combination of Naddie’s pleading gaze and Emily’s stern stare, leaving the werewolf to sneak past them and continue up the stairs with the jewelry box under his arm. Tyler mouthed an “I’m sorry” to Dexter as he walked backwards through the double doors, which Dexter of course had to accept. They still had a job to do so better to do it anyway they could…though he was still lost on why it had to be him to stay behind to be a gentleman. All the same-“We’re merely here as a favor to a friend. She…needed some moral support today.”

“Really?”

“Oh yeah! It’s her first time working at the opera house so there’s a lot to learn. The ins and outs of the stage, peoples’ routines, normal occurrences with the house, matters of that nature… Hey, maybe you could help with that. You’ve had to have been here for a while…”

While Dexter dabbled in the kind of activities best practiced by spies overseas-simultaneously entertaining while pulling what appeared to be useless information out of conversations-Tyler was returning to Arazia to discuss their findings. The werewolf traveled through the halls with a deadline in mind, along with the nymph’s scent. He was returning to the Theater of Pluto, expecting to find her rehearsing still or resting backstage but was surprised to find her waiting outside of the massive double doors. Her outlandish costume was gone and replaced with a simple (but elegant none the less) cotton dress of cream and green. She was accompanied by Matt, who looked rather...unsure, of some matter or another. Arazia, however, looked rather annoyed. Her lips were pouting, her nose wrinkled slightly and her eyes locked onto Tyler with the force of a striking viper. He would have been scared…but he remembered being stuck with the massive bill from earlier that day. The memory steeled his resolve. “Miss Scavera.”

“Senor Levion.” Again, there was that entitled tone that made her annoyed attitude all the more apparent and ring of impatience. “Why am rattling around back stage, making mess of everything and drawing attention to self? Am not paying good money to be covering backsides of detectives while playing in vents! Senorita Elkin cannot be of appeasing for disturbances for long!”

“I’ll be the first to apologize for the ruckus. But we were able to…well, maybe we should discuss this elsewhere.” Matt’s presence had to be of a personal reason so there was no need to include him for the business.

“Am not needing to be discussing business elsewhere. Am perfectly content to be staying here. Besides, Matt here is in information which may be of use to detectives.” Tyler shot Arazia a brief glare. The nymph was the one who pressed the partners for their silence and digression as they worked and now she was letting someone else in on the affair. Arazia saw the soured look on the werewolf’s face and patted his shoulder like he were a mere child that thought the adults were lying. “Matt am confiding in on matters of investigation now. Oh, no pouting of your face! Is useful information, right Matt?”

“I would certainly hope so!” Said Matt as he turned to address Tyler. “Please forgive me for intruding-it must feel insulting to you as a professional. Everyone in the theater already knows why you’re here, but I can understand wanting to keep certain details under wraps. It’s why I didn’t come out with what I know earlier-too many ears around that could have misused my information for you. But once I confided in Miss Scavera about what I knew, she insisted that I help.”

“And what information would that be?” Tyler wasn’t sure what to make out of Matt. He was polite enough, and he looked like he really wanted to help. But he had to wonder-was Matt holding out before so he would have a reason to get invited by Arazia? Was he hoping for an inside look at the situation that could have threatened the show and therefore, an investment? It didn’t matter to the werewolf at the moment. He still had to present his findings to Arazia and get back to Dexter… But none of that meant that he was going to be careless with how much information he would share.

The Hispanic gentleman cleared his throat and adjusted his bolos tie to hang loose around his neck. He appeared to be a little nervous about what he had to say. “I can’t say for certain…but on the day in question-just around the time before Arazia came out to everyone about the theft…I think I saw the thief.” Just as Tyler was about to say something in response to this ridiculous sounding situation that was being fed to him, Matt held up his hand. “Hear me out. I didn’t tell you both before because I wasn’t sure about the circumstances in which I saw the occurrence. I was standing by the window outside of the Theater of Pluto-the window you’re in front of now-when I saw something fall from the roof above…and it looked like a body.” From the expression on the werewolf’s face (shock, awe and a realization of sorts), it would appear that Arazia was right to include Matt in on the investigation and encourage him to come forth as a material witness.

As Tyler was receiving new information on the inside, Dexter continued to work on pulling whatever seemed important from Naddie and Emily. The young siren was more than happy to talk to the angel for as long as he wanted and her guardian just stood aside as the pair continued to converse on the lawn. The blonde girl was simply a delight to the angelic detective: polite, cheerful, eager and pleased as punch to be of help… but unfortunately, Naddie didn’t have a whole lot to say that could have helped-at least in the way that Dexter had asked. There were stories and advice galore for his “friend”…but nothing useful he could have pulled from what he was being told. Time was marching on without him and he couldn’t afford to lose it in the growing distance. The normally polite angel was feeling his patience begin to stretch and he was gearing up to excuse himself to find Tyler-regardless of Naddie’s feelings and her willingness to let him go. An excuse was growing inside and reaching for Dexter’s lips when Emily finally decided to speak. “Naddie. I think your father will be waiting for you somewhere in the lobby. It’s getting close to the time we agreed to meet up. Could you go inside and see if he’s there?” She requested of her charge.

Naddie looked at Emily with a shadow of doubt in her eyes while glancing back over to Dexter. “But…”

“Just let him know that you’re checking in and we’ll join him soon. You can still come back and say goodbye. We just shouldn’t hold Mister McBane up much longer than we already have.”

The angel gave Naddie a warm smile and a placed a hand on her shoulder as she considered what to do and if she could protest. “Don’t worry, Naddie. I won’t leave without saying goodbye! I’ll be here with Emily when you come back.” It was a minimal effort promise on his part but that was all that was needed to make the young siren happy. Once again smiling with a light he couldn’t understand the source of, Naddie glowed at Dexter and gave him a nod before taking to her heels and running up the stairs of the opera house. The detective let out a sigh of relief as the girl disappeared behind the doors. Naddie was a sweet girl-beyond sweet in all honesty-but Dexter had a job to do and it was always a chore to keep secrets from kids. Secrets from adults were a different story. Emily faced him almost immediately with a look in her eyes that said they could speak honestly now. “Thanks for the help back there.”

“Naddie is a kind girl. It’s better than she doesn’t know about what’s going on with the opera house just yet. It’ll only make her worry. It’s why you’re here after all-to investigate on behalf of Miss Scavera.” Emily replied with a dry and clean cut tone.
Dexter was a little shaken by how Emily was able to deduce his motives but he didn’t let it show too much on his face. He dug out a sucker from his pant pocket and unwrapped it. “Given that Naddie’s parents are sponsors and you’re watching their daughter, it only makes sense that you know what’s going on around here. I guess I’m not all that subtle about what I do either.” Hiding his embarrassment with a shake of his head and popping the sucker into his mouth, the angel took a deep breath and allowed his mind to shift back into its normal state. “Alright then… Since you’re the one to send her away-and you figured out who I am-I take it you know more about what’s going on around here. And you want to share what you know. Well, I’m all ears.”

Emily’s face remained calm, collected and expressionless as the detective pulled out his note pad and pencil to dictate her statement. “You really were obvious back there with Naddie. But I can understand your need to maintain a certain...mystique, and how hard that can be with children. Regardless, Naddie and I weren’t in the theater on the day Miss Scavera was robbed. We were wandering the grounds at the time, much like we do everyday.”

“Did you notice anything while you were out? Did anything seem out of place or did you see anyone suspicious? Even the smallest detail will help out.”

“...I did see something that day. I thought it was a trick of the light, given that it was sunset...but I guess it was real.”

“What was it?”

“I saw-”

“-someone fall from the roof?!” Tyler exclaimed in shock as his head snapped back around to the window behind him. The werewolf studied the ground down below. The bushes beneath his gaze were in the same spot he and Dexter had found the jewelry box buried in the dirt. The evidence had already said that the culprit could have taken off in any direction from the bushes...but the fact remained that between the roof and the ground, someone had seen the culprit! “Tell me everything that you saw! Think really hard about it,spare no detail!” The werewolf demanded.

Matt looked to Arazia (who one could swear was almost glaring at him for an instant) before turning back to Tyler. “I’m not sure just how much I can tell you that can be of use. I was near the window at the time...but I wasn’t directly next to it. So when I saw something drop, it was out of the corner of my eye. By the time I went to the window and opened it, whatever had fell was gone.”

“So what you’re saying is-”

“-you didn’t get a good look at the culprit.” Dexter said, slightly disappointed by Emily’s response.

“I’m afraid so. Naddie and I were walking towards the building and the sun was setting. I only saw something big fall passed the windows and land into the bushes. By the time I walked over with Naddie, there was nothing to be found.”

“Could you point out which windows those were? I want to see if it checks out.”

Emily was happy to comply as she gestured for him to follow. “Is it possible that-”

“-you may have seen something else? Anything at all?” Tyler pressed from Matt. Time was running out and the detectives would need a lot more information before they had to leave. The werewolf was fishing for the smallest bite as Matt struggled to recall such useful information. He watched as Matt went over to the window and began to open the panels. “I can tell you that I opened the window to check, but I didn’t see anything down below in the bushes.”

“I did see that a window was open after a while. And someone was standing there.” Emily recalled.

“But it is possible that instead of running right away, they could have just blended into the crowd in the courtyard!” Matt realized. “I could have been-”

“-looking at something without realizing it and it was-”

“Right down-”

“Right up-”

“There.”

“There.” The universe had demonstrated its ability to orchestrate the elaborate dance mere mortals called coincidence yet again. As Matt and Tyler had gathered to look out the window, Emily and Dexter were right below them looking up. The detectives looked at each other with puzzlement and then with the realization that the evidence was starting to connect more and more. Emily looked at Matt with a mild curiosity and a searching glance, and Matt studied Dexter and Emily...almost with an ice cold, predatory glare before looking innocently surprised. “Well,that’s certainly a funny series of coincidences. Mr.McBane! I trust everything is proceeding smoothly!” Matt shouted to the angel in the courtyard below.

“Uh-Yes! Tyler! Meet me at the steps in two minutes!” Dexter shouted up to the werewolf in the window above. “We got to get going!”

“Right! See you in two shakes!” Tyler replied before looking back to Matt and Arazia. The handsome Hispanic man looked slightly pleased with himself and his contributions to the investigation. Arazia,however...look rather miffed. “Uhhh...yeah. Dexter and I need to get to going. We’ll need to look over the evidence and-”

“Am wasn’t going to waste night babysitting the gumshoes anyway! Simply get investigation done and be returning my necklace to me!” Arazia huffed and puffed before storming off. “To be thinking to be dedicated to searching all night but no…”

“Don’t mind her…I’ve noticed that she has insanely high expectations of everyone. But I know she’ll be in touch with you and you will do the same.” Matt said, apologizing on behalf of Arazia.

“Uh...it’s no trouble. Thanks for the help. We’ll get back to Arazia when we’re figured something out. Give our regards to Machiko and let her know that we’ll be around.” Tyler replied. He and Matt shook hands before the werewolf took off to meet Dexter outside. Meanwhile, the angel and Emily were walking towards the grand staircase to meet up with their respective company. Flipping through his notepad, he was starting to paint a better picture of what had happened at the opera house. Sadly, so much remained unclear. They needed to find the culprit and the necklace and get right back to their missing persons case!

Dexter and Emily met up with Tyler at the bottom of the staircase with Naddie bouncing after him. The detectives would exchange any new information once they were alone. For now, they needed to say their goodbyes. Emily and Naddie were both interesting girls and could hopefully be another couple of sets of eyes and ears around the opera house. Emily continued to look at the sleuths like she was still analyzing them as Naddie chirped away happily with Dexter (with Tyler trying his damnedest not to laugh). “And...you’ll come back to see me-everyone here,right?”

“Of course! My friend is still in the show here so we’ll be coming around to see her.” Dexter replied with a smile. “Thanks for all of the advice, Naddie. It’ll really help my friend out. Same with you,Emily.”

“Yeah, thanks for that. Take care, ladies!” Tyler tipped his hat to the girls with Dexter following his example. The sleuths left the girls behind on the grounds of the opera house and walked down the road on the hill. The sun was slipping behind the ocean, pulling down a curtain of purple and black over the sky. The stars were cutting holes in the curtain and shining through the diamond slits in the darkness. “That...took longer than we could afford.” He said once they were a fair enough away.

“We’ll have to really make up for the lost time by working all night. But I think we have a better idea of what we’re dealing with.” Dexter replied while pulling out his notepad. “Our culprit is clearly non-human but not monstrous enough to merit any notice. He used the air vents to break into Arazia’s fitting room, escape to the roof and then jump off to blend into the courtyard below.”

“Matt said he saw someone fall but didn’t see anything besides a blur. And it looks like Emily saw the same thing but was too far off to see anything or watch him hit the ground.” Tyler added while looking at Dexter’s notes. “It’s not much to go off of…”

“Not really...you couldn’t make out the species of the culprit from the blood spots in the vents either…” The angel replied while flipping his notes over. He sighed and looked over the street, observing how the citizens were beginning to shift into their roles and duties for the night. “Let’s head to the east side of downtown. Some magical creatures go there when they have something shifty to do. Maybe our guy went down there to hide and sell the necklace.”

“It wouldn’t hurt. I could find out what this guy might be by walking around there and it’s a part of town we haven’t searched yet. Some of our missing people could have gone down to that part of town without telling anyone.”

“To the east side then . We’ll have a lot of shops and clubs to search and not all of them are going to be easy to get into.” The battle plan was in place and the weary urban warriors were ready to take to the night for their quest. Juggling two or more different investigations was never an easy task to do but there was very little the sleuths could do about it. They had their reasons for not letting up on the missing person cases and they couldn’t deny Arazia their assistance with her problem (she probably would have them hunted down if they did). So the detectives were prepared to work all night in hopes of discovering the break in one case as a means of getting to the other faster. Besides the east side, there were numerous other neighborhoods and communities where the magical creatures could gather for...less than savory intentions...but the east side had the worse reputation, ergo, the best chance of finding anything of use. A lot of their hopes were riding on discovering the truth in this community...the more time went by, the more nervous Dexter and Tyler became over the fates of the people they needed to find.

The insufferable heat of the day was finally starting to die down...but nothing in L.A. could remain peaceful and comfortable forever… A summer’s night in the city could bring its own pains that only the few were prepared for.