The traitor has been found and dealt with. Now the others can get back to their lives with a new member amongst them. Tommy has been welcomed into their vampire family.
“Bloody hell,” Silas said from the doorway. “You’ve ruined the canapes, Andres!” Muttering and grousing, he picked up the tray of dust covered food and carried it to the kitchen.
Silas’ entrance broke the tension in the room. Even Andres laughed as the large chef stomped off.
“So, Heinrich was behind all this?” Vincent said, glaring at the place where the body had been only seconds before.
“He’d been building his army for some time,” Phillida said, shaking dust from her Jimmy Choo’s. “He got too bold, greedy. He didn’t want to wait.”
“So it was his people who targeted us?” Drea asked. “Why?”
“He wanted you to go to Andres for help. He hoped to recruit you to his side when Andres refused to help. Only he didn’t,” Phillida replied. “Heinrich was so sure he could drive us apart. He was almost successful.”
“Let me guess, he introduced you to Carley,” Tommy said with a smirk.
“He did, at a party after a show. He knew exactly how to turn my head.” He touched Phillida’s arm with more tenderness than Drea had ever seen. “I’m sorry, Philly.”
She kissed him, her eyes soft. “You’re forgiven, Andres. If you ever betray me like that again….”
She didn’t need to finish that statement. Her meaning was implicit.
“What I don’t understand,” Kirk interjected. “Why kill Jay? He was just a fish monger.”
“He figured out about the caterers,” Andres replied. “He supplied them too. When the illnesses were blamed on bad fish, he did some investigating. He’d tried to contact me, but Heinrich intercepted the call and murdered him.”
“What will you tell Carley?” Drea asked. “Surely this will break her heart?”
Andres shuffled his feet, cursing quietly. “She’s young. She’ll recover. I thought I’d call….”
“You won’t!” Phillida said, horrified. “You’ll go see the girl and apologize for leading her on. You’ll do all you can to make that girl happy or you’ll have me to contend with.”
“And me,” Drea said.
“And me,” Margo added.
Every woman in the room glared at him angrily. Andres ducked his head. The men laughed, not unkindly, as their leader looked more like a child than a centuries old vampire.
“As you wish, my love.”
“When is the wedding,” Margo asked Phillida.
“It will take weeks to put together. You’ll cater, of course?”
“And piss of Silas?” Kirk shuddered. “The idea of having that behemoth angry with me fills me with dread. How about we do the cake?”
“Acceptable,” Philly replied, smiling for the first time in ages.
“We’ll help you plan,” Drea volunteered. “It will be the best wedding ever.”
“With the exception of mine,” Margo added. “But we’ll wait until after yours.”
Phillida laughed, hugging the women to her. She even hugged Sandra. “Thank you. All of you.”
“So,” Scott said almost too loudly. “How do we write this up? The missing persons aren’t missing anymore. A lot of people died, but there’s absolutely no evidence linking anyone with anything. We have a huge mystery and no official statement. What do we tell our lieutenant?”
“Tell him whatever you like,” Andres said. “We’ll back you up.”
“Time to get creative,” Scott said to Sandra.
“We’ll think of something,” she replied.
“In the meantime, supper’s getting cold!” Silas bellowed from the doorway. “Do you not hear me? Are you deaf? I’ve been calling you the last five minutes.”
“Coming, Silas,” Andres said, offering Phillida his arm.
The rest followed, chatting happily. Drea and Kirk lingered a moment after their friends exited.
“So, it was Heinrich all along. How sad. I always thought he’d make a fine leader one day,” Drea said sadly.
“You get treated like crap for long enough, you learn to fight back the best you can. Much as I hate to say it, Philly and Andres brought this on themselves. They treated him like scum.”
Drea nodded. “But it’s over and Tommy’s one of us now.”
“We make quite a quartet, the bunch of us.”
“We sure do. The best caterers in the city—Barr Nunne.”