Zach looked on as members of Containment Unit 24 did their jobs. After apprehending Nataliya, he’d called in the damage done and they had been on the scene within minutes, rounding up civilians, including those who’d tried to leave in the midst of the disturbance. He was leaning against an unmarked blue containment vehicle and pulled his leather jacket closer to his body. A few Albanian police officers had also arrived at the cafe following up on a distress call from one of the patrons, but they were no match for the mind games containment played. Soon they were as complacent as everyone else, believing the call had been a false alarm.
Zach straightened as one of the fully geared containment officers approached him.
“Why they send you here when we have our own wardens all over city?” the burly, dark haired man, with a huge bushy moustache asked in a heavy Albanian accent.
“This is my case,” was all Zach said, containment douchebag, was what he thought.
“Case is no longer yours,” the officer responded, gesturing wildly with his hands. “Within our borders, our jurisdiction.”
“Take that up with Commander Kriskov,” Zach said, excusing himself. He was referring to the leader of Containment Units 20 to 24, a competent man who was great friends with his handler Damian. It was never a good idea to argue with containment officers when they decided to become territorial and Zach was just one of the many wardens who chose to avoid the conflict which could easily spiral out of control, if any of them popped the bubble. It was for this reason that he sighed inwardly when the officer ran to catch up with him.
“What is this of Kriskov? He fight battle for you?”
Zach squared off with the officer, “I wasn’t aware this was a battle.”
As if unsure if Zach was making fun of him or not, the officer cleared his throat loudly before changing the subject. “How many times you shoot?”
“Ah, you miss first time don’t you? Human too fast for bullets of English warden?”
Zach stared at the man, anger building within him. He changed his stance slightly, making it obvious that the conversation was going far past the right direction. “Why don’t you go shit on someone else’s night?”
The containment officer raised a bushy eyebrow, “What you say?”
“You heard me just fine, now bugger off,” he replied, deadpan expression still in place.
“You come to my country and you bring insult and—” the officer began gruffly, but Zach turned away as his phone buzzed in his pocket.
He strode further down the street, not willing to continue any part of the conversation with someone whose intention was to start a fight. “This is Zach,” he said, when he was far enough away.
“You ‘ave to get back to headquarters right now,” Damian ordered on the other end.
“What? But I’ve still got to hear Nataliya’s statement, she’ll be able to help us uncover more on the Reshu.”
Damian breathed heavily on the other end, a sign that he’d been smoking even more than usual. “The Albanians can handle it and we’re sending in wardens and containment from other countries to help them out, but there’s another job I need you and Erin on together.”
Zach sighed, “Damian, I haven’t heard anything at all from Erin in days, I don’t think she’s just going to work with me no questions asked again.“
“She doesn’t ‘ave a choice, when I talk to her, I’ll make sure she understands that. These orders are from the top,” he said, then lowering his voice, “It’s a bloody mess boy, a fucking shite storm of a mess.”
Zach frowned at the worry in Damian’s voice, “What’s happening?” he asked first, then remembering something else Damian had just said, “You have heard from Erin already right?”
Damian breathed heavily into the receiver, “She ‘asn’t checked in for days, but I’ve a pretty good idea where she is and who with.”
Jacob, Zach answered for himself. He had no idea what the deal was there, but hadn’t missed the genuine concern the vampire seemed to have for Erin.“I’ll just finish up my debrief here and be on the next plane then,” Zach said, wanting to see Erin more than ever now.
“No.” Damian’s tone was sharp and left no room for argument. “You’ll be excused from that until we handle this latest situation.”
What the fuck’s going on? “Damian …?” he began, but his handler was already filling in the blanks.
“Lauren’s daughter Lisbet has been taken.”
“Yea, was supposed to be in school on Wednesday, never made it there and no one’s seen her since.”
“Shit,” Zach breathed into the phone.
“Exactly, and that’s not the half of it.”