Sorry about the lack of posting but I’ve been having too much fun writing the mermaid story and researching things like Long Island hotels and clam bakes.
Here in chapter 4 we have mermaid dancing, Josh maroons Tom(Not really) and Tom and Chrissie close the deal.
I woke to the sound of the engine running.
I crawled out of the deckhouse and there was Josh running the boat.
“Where are we going?”
I was tired and sore from yesterday, wanted to find Chrissie and here was Josh hijacking me on my own boat.
We were passing a row of islets all with little stumpy trees on them.
“We’re almost there.”
Josh turned the boat and ran it gently up the beach. Then he started to take his clothes off. Then he reached under the engine cover, took something out and put it in a rubberskin bag that he sealed up and tied around his neck
“Tom, do you think I’m human?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Do you think that I am a monster?”
“Of course not.”
I sensed the start of a Change and watched as he Changed. Then he dropped into the water.
“I left food for three days. I’ll be back in a week after I get Mera and the boat. Look around. You might find a way off.”
I went to the engine cover and opened it. He had taken the ignition coil. I guess that he didn’t know that I kept spares. On the other hand I could feel Chrissie nearby and I think I knew what was going on. A quiet little Island with Chrissie was something I sort wanted right now anyway. Or anywhere with Chrissie.
I took out the anchor and dropped off the bow and set the hook.
Then I started to walk around the island. I passed some tide pools and dunes. Around one dune there was sort of a lean to made out of driftwood and pieces of wreck. And there she was, still the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen.
“Hello sailor, why don’t you sit down and have some eats.”
There was a fire, the tarp, my pot and the rest, with a blanket
“I think I will.”
“Tom I’m so sorry.”
“Chrissie, you are still the most beautiful person I have ever seen.”
“Ooh I like the sound of that. One thing we have to clear up. Do you think I am some sort of monster?”
“Chrissie, the past week I have learned so much, especially about my own family and what you and I are. You are Chrissie, no matter what Change you may have. You are the Chrissie that I love and always will love.”
She reached up and kissed me.
I kissed her back.
“I think that we should eat before we go on. Mother said that was best because we would be using a lot of energy and might not be thinking straight for some time.”
“I bow to the voice of experience. While you get the plates ready, I want to get the lantern and some blankets off the boat.”
I ran back to the boat and grabbed the lantern, the camera, some matches and the blanket and started to look for my flashlight. Then I remembered that it had fallen overboard yesterday. I looked up stared at the shotgun with the flashlight that I had attached to the bayonet lug the night before as an experiment. I grabbed the model ten from its place next to my everyday shotgun and wrapped it with the matches in the blanket and ran back to Chrissie. I couldn’t have known it then but that saved our lives.
“Why did you bring that?”
“It has a flashlight attached and my other one fell overboard yesterday while we were on search and rescue, remember.”
Lobster, potatoes and corn were not typical breakfast foods, but Chrissie was used to sea food every meal of the day and I didn’t care. Slavored in butter the chunked lobster was delicious.
“Hold On a minute, Chrissie I want to capture the moment.”
I held up the camera.
“Shoot away, this is an important day to remember.”
I clicked several shots as Chrissie sat there in her radiance.
“Somehow I don’t think that the pictures will do you justice.”
“Mother suggested raw oysters as an aphrodisiac but I didn’t think that we would we would need them. Start taking off your clothes, mister, I don’t want anything slowing this down this time. She held up a clawed hand. Do it before I shred them off.”
I took off my boots and socks and started to unbutton my shirt. Chrissie reached over, undid my belt and Levis and pulled them down down around my ankles.
“Faster, mister, I’m not wearing anything Am I?”
“Chrissie, you never wear anything, it’s not fair.”
I finished getting my shirt off, shed my pants and Chrissie grabbed me and danced kisses all over my face.
“Who says anything has to be fair in love?”
Before I could respond she stuck her tongue into my mouth and deep kissed me.
“Oh so that’s how you want to play.” I returned the favor.
My hand moved along the sides of her dorsal fin caressing her back and it responded by flexing up and down.
“MMM, I like that. Do more.”
I could feel the tips of her clawed hands as they lightly scratched along my back as I kissed her neck and then started down her chest stopping to kiss both her breasts and then moving on down.
“Here we go again.”
Her hands wrapped around my neck.
“If you stop this time you will be in deep trouble mister. I’ll pull you back up and you will have to start all over.”
I quickly pulled myself back up and kissed her neck.
“Would that be a bad thing?”
She bit my nose.
“Back to work mister. No, wait, I need to check something. My turn.”
She started kissing down my chest and down until-.
“Ready to go.”
And she kissed my head
She worked her way back up and gave me another of those deep throated kisses.
“Back to work, the little guy down there needs someplace to live.”
I went back down again, a little faster and when I reached with my thumbs and spread. The smell of Chrissie was overwhelming and I had an irresistable compulsion to get the taste of Chrissie. To eat the fish.
As I licked, Chrissie started to moan louder and louder as her slit started to swell, spreading the protecting scales and being ready. She screamed her readiness and pulled me up and into her pulling me back and forth as I did the same and she moaned and moaned until she reached a climax and I released.
As if in response to the release I felt an incredible pain as my Change started and joy as I was at last was joined and complete. I looked at Chrissie with joy as she looked at me in compassion as the agony and the Change ended.
I looked at Chrissie.
“Why did we put this off so long.”
“Thickhead, it’s your fault. I want to Swim with you. I’ve wanted to Swim with you for weeks.”
“Then let’s go”
And I entered a whole new world.
I parked the car and went up to the office.
“Mary, I think that I want to pick up Sillia from the Yard this morning, So you might need to plan to make other arrangements. I’ll let you know on the way out.”
I walked in to the boss’s office.
“Boss I think that I may have found the monsters.” “Ok, but keep up with the stuff with the mob too. In case you’re wondering, you are on detached duty to Tony. ”
“I know. I sort of owe Vinnie for that. He was a good friend and maybe if I had known a lot of this wouldn’t have happened. I’m going to call my dad and pick up Sillia. I want to pick her brain about these Shark attacks. Those are at least some of the monsters behind this and she’s been right there. Maybe I can make up for Vinnie.” I walked over to my desk and called my dad.
“Dad, I think I’ll come down and pick up Sillia. Could you let Suzy know that I’m on the way.”
“I was going to have George do it, but I’ll let Suzy know.”
“I’ll be down soon.”
I took the picture of Vinnie and me and put it on the desk. I wanted to remember. Then I went out front.
“Mary it’s go with Sillia so I’m off.”
“Ok, Sal. I need to be at the office for a bit anyway, so I’ll call Bennies and tell Mera that I will be late. I’ll take her book too.”
I went down and picked up my book and then out to the car. I went down to the yard and Gate 2 Where George waved me through and I headed over to dock One where there was a crowd around the end of the dock. I Saw George Barnes and walked up to him.
“Hey George what’s going on?”
“Nera’s giving dancing lessons.”
I looked out over the dock and six bodies came out water leapt high and spun over and splashed back into the water. There were my mother, Suzy, Mrs. Farr, the Admirals wife, Sillia and Nera and it was the most amazing thing that I have ever seen.
“How did this happen?”
“Well apparently your mother was talking to Nera last night and Nera mentioned dancing. Stella said that she wanted to see, so when Mike brought Nera and the others over to the yard they came over to the dock so that Nera could demonstrate and then Suzy wanted to try too and then Sillia and your mother joined in. Then Captain Farr’s wife and the admiral’s wife were driving by and they wanted to join in as well.”
I ran back to the car and got the Graflex. I knew that if I didn’t get pictures I would never forgive myself. Coming back to the dock I arrived just as they leapt out of the water again.
“Is that a film crew?”
“Lt. Billings sent them down when he saw it. He said that Admiral would want the film.”
“I imagine that there are going to be a lot of people wanting prints.”
As they leaped again I clicked the shutter. Then to be sure I got two more. I looked around and there was Mera on the side of the dock still wearing her dress. I walked over.
“Not a dancer?”
“I used to be, but I’ve been out of practice and Josh spends too much time on his legs. I think that Nera is right about that and that when he gets back I will start him on an exercise routine. Nera has already started with Mike.”
They leapt out again and I shot another picture.
“Where is Mike?”
“Over there. Spiro Kialedes came down and they got together about some of the speculation you came up with.”
“How long do you think this is going to go on?” “Not much longer. The rest of the ladies aren’t really in shape for it yet. Though when Nera gets back they will probably want to make it a regular routine.”
“Are you planning to move your operation up here, or go back to Bennies.”
“I think Bennie’s, at least until Josh shows up.”
“Ok, I’m going to pick up Sillia and drive her down. I want to get her impression on the attacks “under sea. Then I’m check in with Tony and do some looking around”
“Ok bring me what you have at Bennie’s tonight.”
I shot another picture and then walked over where Spiro was on a float at the edge of the water talking to Mike.
“Hey Spiro, Mike. Enjoying the show?”
“Yes, but Mike seems a little anxious.”
“Spiro, your wife isn’t putting you on a daily exercise routine that includes Swimming around the island.”
“Manhattan, though she may settle for Staten Island.”
“So did Mike mention my speculation about the sharks?”
“Yes, but until we have anything solid, we don’t have anything to go on.”
“I know. Do you have a list of shark attacks? I tried with the fishermen and sort of came up empty the other day but I think that I will work the protection racket angle.”
I raised the camera again as five heads popped up and clicked the shutter as Nera leaped up, spread her hands and bowed to her loving and clapping crowd and splashed back down.
“I’ll send the list to your office.”
The mermaids headed over to the float and pulled up.
“Thank you Nera. We will have to do this again when you get settled”
“You’re welcome, Mildred, Ella. Sal!! You took pictures. For Mary?”
“Among others. Yes, when they come back I’ll make a set for you and Mike, my dad and Tony, Dom and Tara.”
Even with the Navy film crew and photographers, I was beginning to realize just how much trouble I would have been in if I had NOT taken pictures.
“Sillia, get dried off. I want to take you down to Bennies.”
“In the car?”
She took a towel from obviously admiring rating and started to dry herself off. Then I handed her the camera.
“Here hold this.”
“You took pictures!”
“Sillia, do you know how much trouble I would be in if I hadn’t?”
I picked her up and took her over to the car.
“Think about it. Mary, Tony, my dad, your dad, more importantly, your mother, my mother, my elder sister, my younger sister, my brother, your brother, and Nera and Mike, along with my boss and Linda. That’s the list of people so far that I think will want those pictures. The more I think about the bigger the list gets. But I took them mostly for you. The dancing was one of the most wonderful things that I have ever seen. Did you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed watching it.”
“Yes very much, but I need to work on my tail muscles. Nera is so much stronger. But then she did get all that exercise coming down from the Cape.”
I started the car and drove back toward the gate.
“After we close the deal, we can dance together.”
“After we close the deal you better believe that I’m going to strengthen you up. If you’re lucky you might see your legs again in a month.”
“I feel the pain already and I don’t even have a tail.” “Just you wait, that’s coming too.”
“Sillia, can you tell me more about Vinnie? About the girl he was going with? I assume she was Changed. They went up to Fire Island to close the deal, didn’t they.”
“Yes. I didn’t get along very well with Ynthia, but Vinnie doted on her.”
“Was she from the old neighborhood? Wait a second. Ynthia? Cynthia? Cynthia Stelletti?”
I remembered her as sort of jerky little girl that always seemed to be around. Sort of like a certain Cece, in fact. I hadn’t liked her much either. Her dad had a small foundry and made castings. I thought about it and decided that when I checked in with Tony I would ask about any business relationships that were changed recently.
“Were there a lot of shark attacks “under sea” before Vinnie? I know about Mera’s mom, but were there others? Were there more attacks at Fire Island or other places where people closed the deal that I don’t know about.”
“What are you getting at?”
I told her my wereshark theory and how I thought that the people being attacked were targeted.
“Do you think so?”
“I wish I thought of this back at the yard, but I was distracted by a certain dancing beautiful vision this morning. I could have asked Spiro about it. But I’m wondering if Vinnie wasn’t targeted because of a business alliance. As part of a project to weaken and destroy.”
“Tell me more about beautiful visions.”
“Well there was this certain mermaid-“
We arrived at Bennies and I parked the car.
“Bennies or the dock?”
“The dock, I’ll wait for Mera there.”
I left her there and headed for the outfit.
I got there and pulled up front.
“Keep an eye on my car, boys. I’m going up to talk to Tony.”
Tony was at his desk outside Dom’s office.
“Hi Sal!! Running a little late this morning?”
“Hi Tony, I took Sillia back to Bennies. Nera was giving dancing lessons at the navy yard this morning. I’ll have some pics for you tomorrow.”
“Wait till you see the pictures. Anyway I was talking to Sillia. How much business do we do with Stelletti Metals.”
“We sort of broke off after Vinnie. What are you getting at?”
I told him my wereshark theory and how it seemed that the attacks were attacking alliances or potential alliances.
“I think I’m going to do some checking at state police and see if there any more cases of shark attacks on the beach where business interests are involved” Do you have any more victims of the protection racket? I want to check those boys out too today”
And I was off.
This was not a dream. I took the steps to the top floor of my building and feeling the pressure of the Change upon me. I could fly. I dropped my nightshirt and walked to the edge of the building. The Change shivered through me and as I reached the edge of the building I spread my wings and leapt off the coping. I went up and then started to fall. I flapped my wings, but they seemed to have no effect. And then he caught me in his powerful clawed hands as he pulled me up, wings straining as we rose and turned around and landed on my building.
“Using your wings is instinctual. Flying on the other hand, you have to learn. I’m so glad that I found you in time.”
He was wonderful, the eagle to my hawk with white head feathers and huge black wings. I loved him already and we had just met.
“I’m Roscoe, Roscoe Duthee.”
“Linda, Linda Renton. Was it you that I sensed the other day?”
“Probably. I was over your office a few days ago.
When Mary had put the word out about the tail none of the boys could find it. They had been VERY disappointed about that. And the fact that Mary wasn’t there most of the time. We had put the word out that Mary was planning a wedding for a friend and when we asked the boys if they wanted to know where she was, they said, no thanks, they needed the practice. So far Bennie’s hadn’t seen an increase in lunch business, but it was only a matter of time.
I now understood why they never picked up the tail.
“So how are we going to deal with this?”
“Well, you need flying lessons. Why don’t I come by your office to discuss it. Please don’t try this again. Now that I found you, I don’t want to lose you.”
He flew off into the gloom. I picked up my nightdress, went back to bed and dreamed of flying and dancing.
When I got to the office, there he was. Wearing an airman’s uniform with major’s leaves. Actually charming Mary, which was in itself, more than a little of a surprise.
“Linda, this is Major Duthee, he said that he’s here to see you about something he’s working on.”
“Yes, I was expecting him I’ll take him into my desk. Thank you Mary.”
We walked in and sat down.
“You look different this morning.”
“Well I could hardly walk in wearing feathers.”
“The way this outfit has been lately, you probably could. You heard about the crazies who burned themselves out the day before yesterday.”
“That was you?”
“Well before we get to what I’m supposed to be in NY for. Saturday is coming up. Are you off?”
“Let me check with the boss, off hand I think so.”
I walked into the boss’s office
“Boss unless something changes could I have Saturday?”
“The investigation seems to have slowed down, so it shouldn’t be a problem. What for?”
I walked out,
“I think we have a date.”
“Great I’ll pick you up at your building nineish. ”
“Now why are you really here?”
“Ok, well I came up from Langley to have a quiet talk with Mike Welland and I had an appointment but he doesn’t seem to be available. I’ve tried his number several times and haven’t gotten through and then I was told that he would be gone for an indefinite period. I was going to check into the office anyway this morning to see if I can track him down before I have to head back to Virginia. Is there any way that I can reach him?”
“He’s been working on the case that involved with down on the fishing area in the Rockaways. Let me check with the boss again and see if I can take you down there.”
I walked back into the office.
“Boss I think I need to take Major Duthie to see Mike. I want to talk to Mera anyway so I want to run him down.”
“Is he going to have any problems with Mikes Change in lifestyle?”
“No actually, I don’t think he will.”
“Take Mary with you then , Sal went down to the navy yard to take Sillia down.”
“I’ll pick her up on the way out.”
I left the boss’s office.
“Roscoe, Let’s go, we need to pick up Mary on the way out and some briefing books for the people down there. I think you will be amazed at Mike’s Change recently.”
All the way downstairs Mary applied her best office mom interrogation techniques which Roscoe manage to adroitly evade. Not that that would help him in the long run as Mary would probably be on the horn to Roscoe’s office mom to network about him at the first possible time when she discovered out that Roscoe and I were dating. That is if she didn’t already know.
“Roscoe you’ll really like the food at Bennies.”
“Eric dear, how’s the pool coming for Chrissie?”
“We’ve got the excavation done but the masonry is going very slowly. Why? I don’t think Tom is going to be bringing her up that soon. ”
“I don’t know I keep having this feeling that Chrissie and Tom are coming soon and that they will be in trouble when they come. Is there something we can turn into a temporary tank until the pool is done?”
“Possibly. We can move the sugaring pan, the old one. We can attach the pump and make some salt water and add an air pump to keep the water aerated. I’ll talk to the boys and get it done.”
The Swim back from where I had marooned Tom was longer than it should have been. Mera had been nattering me for some time about getting more Swim time and I was beginning to think that she was right. I dropped by the bower to see if Noro was there but Altris, Ilutra and their younger sister, Eltra were working on getting things put back together. Eltra handled security for the bower and was my captain if I had to play general, something which we both hoped would never be necessary.
“Well Tom’s been marooned. I imagine by now that Chrissie’s already started to work on him. Though from what I saw yesterday she won’t have to work that hard. Where’s father?”
“Back in town. He and the harbormaster want to go over how things went yesterday and see if they can’t plug some holes the next time around.”
We had lost two people yesterday when the Swimmer on beach patrol couldn’t get there fast enough and exhausted himself trying. At that we were lucky. That hadn’t been the only case of exhaustion though the rest of them ended as Chrissie’s had. It was apparent that we needed to do better.
“Ok, I’ll go on up. Eltra, keep an eye on our lovebirds. But not too close. “
When Chrissie’s and Tom’s bond had become apparent, Mera had started to make some quiet phone calls to Tom’s parents. I didn’t anticipate any more problems but if anything happened to Tom, or Chrissie now, we might be in for a great deal of trouble.
I Swam back to the harbor to check in with father and pick up the clothes that I had left in the harbormaster’s office. Noro and the harbormaster were in the office going over yesterday and what had happened. I took the bag off my neck.
“How did it go?”
“Well Tom and Chrissie are on the island and by now I imagine they’ve found each other. Here’s Tom’s ignition coil. I left food for three days, but somehow I think that that’s going to be necessary.”
“Neither do I. When they ran me home last night I got the feeling that they were going to look each other up this morning anyway.”
“I told Eltra to have her people to keep a discreet eye on them, just to be safe.”
Joe came in.
“Hi dad, you ready to go?”
“Yup, marooning accomplished. I want to stop by Western Union to tell Mera that I’m on my way back and then stop by the diner for lunch and then you can take me over to the train station. I want to find out what Mera’s been up to.”
“What makes you think that Mera’s been up to anything?”
“A problem to solve and government types available? I’m astonished that it hasn’t made the papers yet. John, you know how Mera and federal cases go together.”
“Dad, you do know that Tom wasn’t really marooned. He keeps spares in the boat.”
“I sort of figured that. But then I sort figured that Chrissie would make sure that he wanted to be marooned. Let’s go.
The street was busy as George Barnes dropped us off at Bennies. Alvertis was working with his people to get the returning refugees back under water as the fishing boats returned. Navy dive people and Swimmers were getting a barge ready to do some final checks and work on the drydock.
“George, why do you use hard hat divers if you have swimmers?”
“You just said it Mera, hard hat. Clumsy as they are, a hard hat diver is protected. When dealing with stuff that might move and crush you, you want protection. The Problem is that once a Swimmer is in the water, they Change, even if they aren’t wet, so they can’t use a suit. So we use a normal, not that any of my guys can be considered normal, and a Swimmer buddy system. Actually it’s usually a double buddy with two Mark V divers and two Swimmers.
I’m going to visit with my wife until they bring your boat back and then take whoever back up to the yard.”
“Thank you, George.”
George took us into Bennies and Sissy came over.
“Mary called and said that Linda was bringing her down along with somebody to meet Mike.”
Now that was interesting. Though how Linda was handling Mike’s Change and a stranger was interesting as well. Either she felt that what the stranger wanted was more important than the stranger knowing about Mike’s change or she wasn’t concerned about it. I thought about getting a dress for Nera and clothes for Mike, but considering what was happening out front, it was rather pointless.
“Did she say who?”
“Somebody from the army. Apparently he had made an appointment. ”
Mike, Nera and I went through yesterday’s book, but so far it was all dead ends. There were some interesting hints from what we were able get from the photographs but trying to trace back through the purchase orders hadn’t told us much beyond the fact that whoever was responsible for that little enterprise was smart enough to pay promptly. And use dummy companies.
Silvio brought Sillia in and she came over to the table. I had wondered why Sal picked her up from the navy yard. Other than the usual.
“So what did Sal want?”
“I think he wanted to talk about my brother Vinnie. I hadn’t realized that nobody told him back then and I think it hit him hard. I think though, that he may have a point about the shark attacks. He seems to think that the attacks may be the result of somebody or something trying to prevent or destroy fae alliances. Have you had any attacks up on the Cape?”
“No, now that I think about it. My mother was attacked down here. My sister was looking for something and coming up empty. Let me check with George up on the Cape. And we really haven’t had any changes in relationships recently except Mike and Nera. And Tom and Chrissie but they hadn’t closed the deal when I left.”
I picked up the phone and connected to George. I wanted to ask about sharks. George didn’t have much to add right off the bat, but said that he would get back to me after he checked down on the water.
Linda, Mary and man wearing an Army uniform walked in. One thing was obvious. Linda had bonded and more than likely had come into her Change.
“Linda, who is this?”
“This is Major Duthie. He wants to talk to Mike. Roscoe this is Mera CLaytor the woman that tripped off our little investigation.”
“Hi Roscoe, as you can see I’ve made some life Changes.”
“How did this happen?”
“Well I came down here and there was Nera here and things sort of happened and I ended up like this.”
“Well met Nera, I have to say that the Changes look great on Mike.”
“You don’t seem too surprised by this, Major Duthie. You knew what he was.”
“Well I knew that he was high fae. Exactly what his Change would be I could not know until it happened.”
“And for yourself?”
Alvertis walked in.
“Mera, Josh sent you a telegram.”
Alvertis handed it to me.
“Oh, good he’s on his way. He should be here tomorrow. Alvertis how are things going?”
“The water is getting better and we weathered the storm perfectly. When you see the Admiral and Mr. del Vecchio give them my thanks. As well as Mr. Smith and his people.”
“Are the Admiral and Mr. del Vecchio responsible for that big piece of steel out there?”
“Yes, it was quite the show yesterday, Major Duthie. We all had front row seats.”
“From what I saw it was an impressive thing to see.”
“Mr. del Vecchio tends to engage in large projects according to his son. So Major-“
“Roscoe, what did you want to talk to Mike about?”
“Mike, how much do the people here already know? Some of this stuff is confidential?”
“Well Mary and Linda are cleared for everything, Mera is working this case as Fisheries Agent in Charge, so she’s cleared for everything relevant, Nera is going to be working in the office and everything I know, she will, and as for Sillia, considering her present and future family connections and current physical traits would be more than a little crazy to try and take her for interrogation.
“Well her last name is Calieberti. Sal delVecchio, son of the man who dropped that bug chunk of steel out there yesterday is her bonded and Sal is one of my agents and is on detached duty from NYPD.” “Dom Calieberti?” “Yes. Anybody who messes with Sillia here will probably find the experience more than a little painful.“
“Mike , How do you know Roscoe?”
“Well it goes back to ’21 when I was chasing Tom’s brother and his associates through France. Roscoe was a pilot assisting in recording the war for the army and we used his services. It was especially helpful that we could obtain aerials without engine noise from time to time. Then he and Tom were looking into some stuff in Washington when Tom was a congressional staffer. About the same time that Tom left, he was attached to the Embassy in France probably because they were both turning over the same rocks. “
“By the way, Mike have you kept in touch with Tom? I’ve been trying to chase him down, but his family up in Vermont is rather closed mouthed about where he went.”
“He’s bonded with Mera’s daughter Chrissie. Considering some of the fiasco this week with some weather magic I hope that they have closed the deal. He’s up at the Cape. You didn’t discuss what you wanted to talk about when you called last week.”
“I wanted to bring you up to speed on what I found, or rather didn’t find during my stint over there. I was trying to track my family down in Holland and as far as I could tell I had no relatives alive there at all. At least that I could find. Even stranger was that I could pick up almost no trace of the fae, either high or low all through Belgium, France and Germany except in the South of France. I don’t know if they are dead or hiding, but if they are hiding, they are doing it very well. Which considering how twisted things are in Europe right now, I can’t blame them very much.”
“What do you mean twisted?”
“Mike’s told you about the werewolves. Well there are other things, things that haven’t apparently Changed but are exhibiting a remarkable set of abilities. Many of these people have risen to leadership positions in some countries already and still more are likely to show up.”
What Roscoe was saying as he went on just added to the chill that I had been feeling from the beginning. Somebody was murdering the high fae and destroying the families. I needed Josh, and soon.
A bit later a pair of ensigns pulled their wives in on the rickshaw and transferred them to chairs , pushing them to a table. One of them came over to me and said to me.
“Mrs. Claytor we brought your boat down. Here are your keys. The fuel was topped off before we left and everything should be shipshape. Mr. Delvecchio wanted to extend his thanks again.”
“Thank you for bringing the boat down.”
“It wasn’t a problem Maam, we get some log time and lunch with our wives, so it was a pleasure. PO Barnes is going to take us back up to the yard after lunch.”
I went out to the state police office at Jones Beach out on Long Island to see if they had had more information on shark attacks along the South Shore. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was more to this. I also had this feeling that Vinnie wasn’t the only victim that had been killed when “closing the deal.”
I pulled into the NY State police troop at Jones Beach. The grey skies and still huge waves were a perfect companion to the way I was feeling about Vinnie. I got out of the car and walked through the door. I flashed my badge.
“I’m Detective del Vecchio. Is there somebody who deals with off season beach incidents.
“Detective, is that a-“
“Yes. I’m working with the task force that’s working on the toxic dump case and that is our undercover vehicle.”
“So what can we do for you, detective?” “In our case involving the toxic dumping we ran into a significant increase in shark activity and attacks. I’m looking into other areas to see if there has been an increase in shark activity outside the area where the chemicals were added to the water to see if the chemicals were in fact responsible for the shark activity. Have there been any case other than the Caliaberti-Steletti case?”
Corporal Mills came up with case files for three more similar shark attacks on the beach. All of them seemed to be relationships that had all the earmarks of fae closing the deal. I was beginning to see a pattern. I also realized that, like it or not I was going to have to visit Giovanni Steletti, because he had a surviving daughter who was eighteen and had almost certainly Changed and was heading right into another attack. I decided that I would drive over to Steletti metals.
“Corporal, do you have a Brooklyn phonebook handy, I need to look up an address.”
This was not going to be an easy stop. Mr. Steletti had not been well liked by us kids and I suspect the feeling was mutual. He had always been meticulous about his lawn and property and got annoyed when we would walk on his grass. Still I owed Vinnie, so off I went.
I drove up to the Steletti plant, which in spite of the depression seemed to be doing well. The Steletti Metals had been mostly brass for plumbing, but when I left the neighborhood Mr. Steletti had been trying to talk to dad about casting processes for aluminum for aircraft. It looked to me as if that had been a good business decision.
“Detective Sal del Vecchio. I would like to talk to Mr. Steletti about the case concerning his daughter. ”
“I’ll see if he’s available Detective.”
“Tell him it may be fairly important.”
I waited for about ten minutes and the receptionist’s phone rang.
“Detective he can see you know, go through that door and right up the stairs, he will be waiting at the top.” I walked up the stairs and throught the door.
“Mr. Steletti, I’m Sal del Vecchio of NYPD homicide. Could we talk in your office.”
“Yes, of course.”
We went into his office.
“So detective what is this about?”
“This is a little complicated so I’m going to start from more or less the beginning which is that I am bonded to Sillia Calibierti and know about her Change and your daughter’s Change. Both Ynthia’s and your younger daughter’s Change. Is she and your wife at the Rockaway or someplace else.”
“You seem to know a lot about these things.”
“Not as much as I should have. Nobody told me about Vinnie when it happened and I didn’t know. Which is why I’m here. My dad and Dom have taken steps to keep Sillia and Suzy safe due to the shark attacks and I wanted to let you know that it’s starting to look as if somebody is targeting people like us.” “Who?”
“The agency I work for doesn’t know yet. Did you see the papers about the warehouse fire?”
“Well that was part of this operation that was definitely targeting the Rockaway bower. We shut it down, but that operation was almost certainly part of a determined effort to attack the area’s fae.”
“So what are you looking for from me?”
“Mostly to keep your daughter off the beach if she should bond. I now have at least four cases here on Long Island where people have gone up to Jones Beach or Fire Island and were attacked or killed by sharks. Also, here’s my card. If somebody comes to your outfit saying that you need protection, give my office a buzz and one way or another it will be dealt with.”
“Even if it’s the boys from the old neighborhood. We may have not liked each other then, but even I know that you and they didn’t exactly get along.”
“Sometimes you have to do the job you hate. I got Vinnie’s dumped on me and I owe him. So yes, if anybody from the old neighborhood hassles you, it will be dealt with.”
I left to see if I could work to start fixing things. For Vinnie.