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19 January 2008 @ 03:56 pm
What Goes Around  
Seventh street was a part of the city Zak knew well. The buildings were large and made of marble, the residents “fashionable” in their dazzling jewels and made of the need to dominate the lower classes. Lights from the hotel and apartment buildings desperately tried to outshine the theatre, which glowed warmly like a dozen heat lamps strung together.

A man passed their car, sneering at the layer of dirt; even his dog looked insulted they were sitting in its presence. It lifted its leg near their tire and when the dog had finished, they walked away, the man grinning.

“We needed to have it washed anyway!” Azrael called after him, stepping out of the car.

The man didn’t acknowledge him.

“He is very rude, please pay his actions no heed.”

Zak, who had finally joined Azazel, turned. “Miss Contelli!” he exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”

Hara Contelli pursed her colored lips together. “We are going to lunch at the Minageré,” she replied. “Would you care to accompany us?” Her tone said she hoped they would decline the invitation, which Zak did.

“You’re part of an investigation, ma’am.” He looked at the boy beside her and recognized him immediately. “It’s nice to see you again,” he said, kneeling down. “We have some questions to ask you.”

He looked different in a pressed suit, but he was certainly who they had been looking for. The boy stepped back, prepared to run, but Hara grabbed his hand and yanked him to her leg. “Those charges were dropped,” she reminded coldly.

“This is about your brother,” Azrael told her. “We figured his friend would be willing to help.”

Hara’s grip tightened and the boy grimaced, but she took no notice. She glanced at her watch. “I am going to be late for my reservations.”

“You can bring him to the station when you’re finished,” Zak suggested.

The woman sighed. “Fine. My secretary will escort him. If you will excuse us.” She brushed past them, dragging the boy.

“Charming as ever. Did you notice that he could be her clone?”

Zak shook his head. “They’re probably cousins and didn’t tell us.”

“Why wouldn’t she-”

Zak gave Azrael an odd look. “Think of the headlines,” he said. “It would be a feeding frenzy for the press.” He turned to their car and watched as a pair of children drew obscene pictures in the filth. “Hey, get away from that!” They looked up, horrified at being caught, and ran off.

Zak sighed heavily.

- -

When the pair sank into their chairs officers surrounded them, asking what the Contelli mansion was like. “You’ve been gone for a while,” one commented, handing them coffee. “Then you came back, took your car, and left again.”

Azrael looked at her blankly while Zak sipped his coffee. “We needed to wash the car,” he said. “You would believe how many people have vandalized it.”

When the excitement of the mansion died down and the police returned to their individual duties, the door to the precinct opened. Silence fell over the office as heads turned. A woman in a blue dress stepped in, her black shoes tapping on the tiled floor. She glanced around, her forest green eyes penetrating everyone in the room until she spotted Zak. The woman tossed her curled auburn hair over her shoulder and moved toward him as he stood. Trailing behind her was the boy, whom he found to be more interesting.

“You must be the officer Miss Contelli has spoke about,” she murmured and he noticed absently that there was a slight hiss to her words. The woman smiled brightly, holding a gloved hand out for Zak to shake. “My name is Calista Saon. It is a pleasure to meet you, finally.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Miss Saon,” Zak assured, returning the handshake.

“Oh, please, call me Cal.” She winked. “Everyone does.”

Zak fought to keep his expression neutral. “If you would like, ma’am, my partner will get you something to drink while I talk with-” He stopped, realizing he had no idea what the boy’s name was.

Calista’s smile widened. “That would be lovely,” she said. The boy tugged on her black jacket and she glanced down. “You go with him, and remember what I told you. Mind yourself.”

The boy stepped away cautiously with a nod and scooted around the desk to stand beside Zak. He folded his hands together and waited quietly, his head tilted slightly toward the floor. Zak nodded to Azrael, who led Calista away. When his partner had turned the corner into the hall, Zak looked at the boy. “Well, are you ready to get started?”

The boy didn’t nod. In fact, he showed no signs he had heard Zak, but when the officer patted him on the shoulder, he jumped and focused his haunting blue eyes on the man.

“Are you ready?” Zak repeated.

This time, the boy whispered a response and followed Zak to an interrogation room.
 
 
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