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  1. #21

    "I don't know," Ferenc replied as Spot nuzzled against Larissa's hand. The dog seemed fine now aside from bandaged paws, and emotionally Spot seemed no worse for the incident either, but Ferenc had been fretting about it all day.

    "I guess it was someone who thought I murdered that old lady. There was graffiti about me during the night, too. I just don't see why anyone would take it out on a poor dog. Even if I was a murderer, Spot didn't do anything wrong. But maybe somebody thought that would be a good way to get back at me, by hurting someone important to me."

    He hadn't given the leash a second thought. Like Grushenka, Ferenc assumed the woman had picked up his leash by accident. Maybe she was used to carrying one, and had grabbed it out of habit. It wasn't like leashes were all that different; maybe it looked like her own. It was weird that she'd left so abruptly, but Ferenc assumed she'd realized at the last minute that she went to the wrong vet practice. It was an odd mistake to make, but it still seemed more logical than that she'd come there just to steal Spot's leash...
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-25-2012 at 01:43 PM.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea
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  2. #22
    Clayton Ducharme, Enid Heche, and Harold Winter

    Clayton hadn't wanted to talk about their plan in a public café, especially since it involved kidnapping kids. He had a plan, though, and Enid and Harold seemed content just to go along with it. After watching the news carefully and piecing it together with what Harold had dug up on his stolen smartphone and the gossip Clayton himself had overheard from the prison guards who used to work for him, he'd figured out who was leading HPL - and who that man's children were.

    With their lives on the line, surely HPL would back down. Clayton wasn't bluffing, though. He would have no qualms about killing the little brats if the father didn't cooperate. Fortunately, there were three. Surely HPL would balk once one or two of them were dead, so he could prove he was serious and still have at least one hostage left over.

    There was a more immediate concern, though. Two immortals in the café, a Vampire and a Lycan. These days, the war seemed to be over because humans were a bigger threat than other immortals, but still, Clayton was surprised to see them together. Maybe they were looking for more allies. The more immortals working together, the better.

    Clayton didn't want to tip his hand too early, though, and the others followed his lead. They waited to see what the newcomers would do before making a move.
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  3. #23

    Deanna had never figured out how she was immune to sunlight, but it sure helped to be able to go out during the day. Getting something with Ferenc's fingerprints would have been a lot harder if she'd had to work under cover of darkness. As it was, by the time night fell, she was ready for action and thought she had chosen a target.

    She'd briefly toyed with the idea of using the real Bogdana, but quickly decided that was so impractical as to be ruled out by default. Deanna had no way to get the kid out of the obsessively well-guarded community, and anyway, there would be an autopsy. The child couldn't be a Vampire, or it would cast doubt that Deanna herself might be an immortal too. It didn't matter who she chose, though; as the "mother" she herself would be the one to identify the body.

    Originally she'd intended to grab a random girl off the street, but that would cause problems too. Parents looked for children who disappeared. She couldn't buy another young sex slave like the real Bogdana had been, again because of the autopsy. It would lead to awkward questions if the child showed signs of that lifestyle.

    Deanna had resolved to abduct an orphan from an orphanage, but on the way, an opportunity too tempting to pass up fell right in her lap. She had to duck into an alley to avoid catching the attention of two men who were beheading another Vampire - or at least suspected Vampire. A real one would have been able to put up a better fight, Deanna thought. While one human sawed away at the desperately flailing man's neck, the other was painting "HPL" onto the sidewalk. Deanna hurried away... then saw the van the men had arrived in.

    There was a girl just the right age sitting in the passenger seat looking frightened.

    Deanna grinned, broke the window, and dragged the girl out on the pavement. This would be a chance to get back at the vigilantes, and this girl would never be reported missing either. What was her father going to say, that the girl had been grabbed while he was out murdering someone? It was enough to make her laugh.

    The girl tried to fight back, but Deanna soon had her subdued, bound tightly in a blanket from the van, and gagged, accidentally breaking the girl's slender arm in the process - but she could blame that on Ferenc too. She was careful not to leave any bruises that would indicate the girl had been restrained, but signs of a struggle were to be expected. Deanna bundled the girl into her sports car, and drove her to a remote corner of one of the city's largest parks. Then she freed the girl, shoved her to the ground, and pulled the leash tight around her neck.

    "Sorry," Deanna said. "This is nothing personal."

    She slowly strangled the girl, dragging it out as Ferenc would have done if he wanted to make his victim suffer to get revenge on her mother. The girl struggled weakly, then passed out. Deanna didn't intend to release her until she was sure she'd killed her, but the sound of joggers on the path took the choice of timing out of her hands. This would all go very badly if she was found with the ligature weapon in her own gloved hands. The girl was still and cold, anyway, almost certainly dead.

    Deanna tossed the leash into the bushes where she was sure it would be found easily - but not so easily it would seem to be a setup - and ran to the path, waving her arms frantically. "Help! Call the police! Call an ambulance! Ferenc Lantos just tried to murder my child!"

    One jogger hastily took out a phone, while the other knelt by the girl Deanna was calling Bogdana. Deanna pretended to look distraught... but her distress became real when the first-aid providing jogger said, "Try not to worry, Miss. I feel a faint pulse."

    Deanna had to fight a rising wave of panic. If the girl was alive - if she could talk - everything would be ruined. Somehow, without implicating herself, Deanna would have to make sure the girl never woke up. Although, from the look of things, she might not anyway...
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  4. #24
    Orson Legrant

    Orson and Ariel both knew that Clayton, Enid, and Harold noticed them. Orson and Ariel decided to approach them but they had to do it discreetly. They couldn't just discuss that everyone knew what the other one was in front of a bunch of humans. He and Ariel argued a few minutes about who was going to slip them a note to meet them outside. Eventually it came down to a coin toss, which Orson lost. He grumbled as he got up and pretended he was going to use the restroom. He dropped a crumbled up napkin next to Clayton's foot. It said that if the three wanted to talk, meet them outside in ten minutes at the red station wagon. Orson paid and left with Ariel shortly afterwards. They sat in their car and waited to see if the other immortals wanted to talk.

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  5. #25
    Larissa Perov

    Animals were pretty resilient creatures, Larissa thought. She was more upset about what happened to him then Spot seemed to be. Still she was angry and upset about the whole situation. She knew there were plenty of people who still thought her boyfriend had murdered that old lady because Deanna said so, but it was wrong to take that out on an innocent animal.

    It's not right. If I find the person who did, I'm going to throw a bottle at them and see how they like it.

    She didn't know about the stolen leash since everyone who had been involved didn't think it was a big deal. If she did know, then she would have just thought it was weird anyway. Leashes weren't normally high theft items.
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  6. #26
    Regina Walters

    Regina helped Deanna how she could with her plot to destroy Ferenc's life. She was pretty stuck on ideas how to ruin Noah's. He seemed to be pretty happy since she and Deanna returned to Budapest and that didn't sit well with her. She was supposed to be the best thing that ever happened to him and Janna was making him act like she never existed. Janna gave him the little brats she never would have. The only thing Regina thought she could do to one up Janna was to say she was having Noah's baby. That idea horrified her, she wasn't pregnant and she didn't want to be pregnant. Still what else could she do? Surely Janna would dump him for having a child with someone else. Well she'd think about it after Deanna killed the girl. She stayed hidden in the shadows as a look out. She cursed in her head that the girl was still alive and that one of the joggers was calling an ambulance. Great. If the girl lived then she could identify Deanna as her attacker.
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  7. #27
    Clayton Ducharme, Enid Heche, and Harold Winter

    Clayton nonchalantly picked up the note, and glanced at it with what would appear to be no more than idle curiosity. Then he slid it across the table to Enid, who skimmed it and just shrugged; if something couldn't be blown up, burned down, or made into a trap, Enid generally wasn't all that interested in it. She passed the note in turn to Harold.

    Harold said, "Could be a good opportunity."

    Clayton nodded. "May as well hear them out," he agreed. "If their goals don't mesh with ours, we stick to our original plan. Couldn't hurt to have some allies, though."

    No one disagreed, and in ten minutes they approached the red station wagon, cautiously but not fearfully. They had the numerical advantage, after all, even if of the three of them only Clayton and Enid were of much use in a fight.

    Clayton tapped on the window - unnecessarily, since they'd obviously been seen as they got close to the vehicle - and said, "So, what did you want to talk about?"
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  8. #28

    Deanna didn't have to fake anxiety in the waiting room. What she worried about wasn't whether the girl would live, though, but about whether or not she would wake up - if she did, it would be a disaster. While she waited, Deanna filled out sheet after sheet of medical paperwork referring to the girl as "Bogdana Anders" - really Gabe's child should have the surname Laval, but Deanna didn't want to raise awkward questions if the name flagged in the system as the same person Gabe and Ingrid were raising, a person who was as far as Deanna knew alive and well. Deanna called herself the mother, of course.

    A few hours later, a grim-looking surgeon came out into the waiting room. "I'm afraid it's not good news, Mrs. Anders," he said, assuming Deanna was married to the girl's father. "Bogdana survived the surgery, but she's still in a coma, and we're not sure if she'll ever wake up. I'm so sorry."

    "Oh no!" Deanna said, pressing a hand to her heart and thinking, I have to make sure she doesn't!

    A police officer approached then also, cautiously out of fear of intruding on a mother's grief, and said, "We're sending a squad car to pick up Ferenc Lantos for attempted murder..."

    Deanna nodded; that wasn't good as actual murder, but it would still put Ferenc away for awhile, and once the girl died surely the charge would be increased.

    The officer went on, "And rape."

    "Rape?" Deanna repeated. She didn't have to fake her shock and dismay, but it wasn't for the reason the police officer would have imagined. If the girl had been raped, it must have happened earlier in the evening... and if they did a DNA test, it wouldn't be Ferenc Lantos who was implicated. That would cast doubt on whether he'd done the rest of it either. "How can you be sure she was raped?"

    "There was physical trauma and trace forensic evidence," the police officer explained. "According to your statement, you and your daughter had become separated in the park, and the girl got lost. It was dark by the time you finally found her, and you walked in on a scene of Ferenc Lantos strangling her with a dog leash. Is all that correct?"

    "Yes," Deanna told him, because it was what she'd said before. Now she realized she should have changed their story so she somehow saw the whole thing, but it was too late now. If she made up something that different later, it would be obvious that one story or the other was a lie.

    "Lantos must have raped her before you got there. I'm so sorry, ma'am. I hope your little girl wakes up. I promise you, though, Ferenc Lantos will pay for what he did."

    "He'd better," Deanna said, hoping everything else would fall into place. Right now her house of cards seemed very shaky indeed.

    "I'll see to it," the officer promised. "I'll make sure of it personally."
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-25-2012 at 09:56 PM.
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  9. #29

    Ferenc smiled appreciatively, and gave Larissa a kiss. "You're so ferocious when someone you care about is hurt," he said. "It's one of the many things I love about you. Being protective is a good quality."

    They spent the evening with Larissa's family, and Bogdana asked Ferenc if he'd help her with her science project. Ferenc was anxious about that, because he didn't read very well and had struggled in school, but it turned out that what Bogdana was doing was identifying leaves she'd collected from around the community and surrounding areas. With all the time he'd spent camping and hiking, Ferenc knew more about local plants and wildlife than most people did, and he found that he was able to be useful to Bogdana after all. Being able to help someone always made him feel good about himself, and that took the sting out of having to tell Larissa goodnight.

    He almost invited Larissa back to his room... but he didn't, because he didn't want her to get the wrong idea. He didn't want her to think that this was all about sex for him, or to worry that he thought she was easy because of her past. Actually, Ferenc was nervous about the sex they would eventually have if they stayed together. He hadn't done it - not consensually, anyway - in more than ten years. Maybe he wouldn't remember how. He was afraid he'd hurt her or scare her or turn her off, after all she'd been through. And for his own part... he was afraid of what would happen if she got pregnant. Ferenc wasn't afraid of the responsibility of raising a child, but ever since his ex had claimed she had an abortion, Ferenc had been plagued with nightmares about his children being taken from him. How was he going to make it if another baby disappeared?

    All he really wanted tonight was for her to lie beside him. He didn't know how to ask for that, though. Maybe someday.

    Ferenc told Larissa goodnight, and wished her good luck with school the next day. He said he'd see her in the afternoon. Then he went to his bed alone, and wondered why it seemed so empty when he'd been alone for the last decade. He fell asleep... only to be woken by a phone call in the middle of the night saying the police were at the gate of the compound and needed to see him urgently.

    He stumbled to his feet, ran fingers through his hair to smooth it, and shoved his feet into a pair of shoes. If it was really that urgent, the t-shirt and shorts he'd been sleeping in should be sufficient for clothing. Ferenc expected he'd have to answer a few questions - maybe about that jailbreak he'd seen on the television - and then he'd get to go back to sleep.

    Instead, the officer said, "Ferenc Lantos, you are under arrest for the rape and attempted murder of Bogdana Anders..."

    Ferenc was being read his rights - he remembered that had happened last time - but he wasn't really listening. His first thought was worry that someone had hurt Bogdana. Was she okay? Was someone taking care of her? But he didn't understand how it could have happened. Had someone gotten in? If so, why were the police even involved?

    And why would anyone think Ferenc had done it?

    He was going back to prison. That thought made him break out in a cold sweat, and his stomach started to heave. He took a step back, tripped on his own feet, crashed into the gatepost. Orin and Chester took a step forward, moving into place to shield him.

    Ferenc saw very clearly what would happen. They would fight for him. They would win, this time... but the police would come back. They would bring numbers, soldiers, weapons and bombs. Everyone he loved would be wiped out.

    That couldn't happen. Ferenc took a deep breath, put his arms behind him, and turned so the police officer could handcuff him. He had to go willingly, to save everyone else.

    "Tell Larissa they took me," he told Orin. "Tell her I love her. Tell her I swear I never hurt Bogdana. Someone will need to take care of Spot."

    Orin nodded grimly, and went to inform the Laval-Perov-Vogl household of what had happened.

    The officers shoved Ferenc roughly into the back of the car, making sure he banged his head on the way in. They were silent, but he knew where they were going - Nagy Prison, the place where he'd lost ten years of his life. Where a decade had been taken from him. Now he was going to be buried alive again, and just like last time, there was nothing but his word to vouch for his innocence.

    They fingerprinted him, photographed him, strip-searched him and put him in the familiar uniform. All this was to be expected. But then something happened that Ferenc hadn't anticipated. Instead of putting him in the holding cells where they temporarily housed inmates who hadn't yet been to trial, they threw him directly into the "general population" - just a couple of doors down from his old cell. That meant no protection.

    "Hey, this isn't where you usually..." Ferenc said.

    The guard punched him in the face without warning. "You raped a kid," the guard said coldly. "You tried to kill her, and you raped and killed that old lady. You don't get to ask for anything."

    At that moment, Ferenc knew things were about to be a lot worse than they had been before. He passed the rest of the night uneasily, barely dozing and startling awake at every noise. The next morning, six guys cornered him in the shower and proved him right.
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 09-25-2012 at 11:36 PM.
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  10. #30
    Regina Walters

    Regina planned to meet Deanna at the hospital, she had to play the role of an upset best friend to help sell the story. Of course, she wasn't supposed to be here and she couldn't just waltz into the hospital right after the girl got there. She'd have to show up later to show support. Which meant she had nothing to do right now. She was still thinking over her options of what to do about Noah and making sure he and Janna didn't get to the altar and live happily ever after. A baby seemed to be the best option but she surely didn't want to be pregnant. She was walking back to her car when she saw a girl, who had be around 16 years, old trying to calm down an young infant boy. A grin formed on her face as she thought she didn't have to have carried a baby, she could just say this baby was Noah's. It was young enough for her to claim that she had been pregnant around the time she dumped him. She walked over to the girl, offering to help her. Of course, she was really just gathering information and making sure the girl and her baby didn't have a family. They didn't, the young mother was an orphan that had been kicked out of her group home once she told them she wasn't going to give up her baby for adoption. She had no one who cared about her and the baby's daddy wasn't in the picture. Regina offered to give her a ride to a place that could help out a young mother. She told the mother about the community and the girl seemed eager to go. Sadly for her though, Regina wasn't going to take her there. She drove her in that direction but only because police had stopped patrolling or responding to calls in that area. Since the boy that the girl called Drake was her only family, no one would miss her. Regina killed her and after cleaning herself up at home, she took Drake with her to the hospital. He wasn't very fussy because of the car ride and Regina hoped he stayed that way. She'd be even worse then his mother at trying to calm him down. As soon as she entered the hospital with the baby in her arms, she put on the tears and ran over to Deanna and gave her a hug.

    Oh Deanna! We got here as soon as we could. How is poor Bogdana?

    What Regina was really interested in was whether or not the girl was dying or not but in front of these people, it would seemed she was she just very concerned for her best friend's daughter.
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