Moon Island (Chapter Sixteen)

We were back at the bungalow.

Just two college chums and their annoying new friend, all supposedly catching up – and most definitely not talking about murder.

Supposedly.

"You think they bought it?" asked Allison.

"Hard to say," said Tara. She'd brought a bottle of wine with her, of which we were all partaking. Some of us more vigorously than others.

"I think they bought it," said Allison, pouring herself yet another glass of wine.

"Tell me more about Edwin," I said to Tara.

"He's Junior's only son."

"Your cousin," I said.

"Right." Outside, rain slapped against the bungalow's windows. Tree branches groaned overhead, as the bungalows were closer to the surrounding forest. "He was never much interested in the family's business."

"But I bet he's interested in the family money," said Allison, laughing. "Oops, sorry. Was that inappropriate?"

"No," said Tara. "Of course not. You guys are here to find answers to my grandfather's death. I'm not sure, at this point, if anything could be inappropriate, or if I would even care. And to answer your question…I'm not so sure about his desire for money."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"He lives fairly simply. In fact, he often lives here."

"Living here isn't living simply," said Allison.

"True, but even while he's here, he lives simply. In fact, he prefers sleeping in the basement. On a cot, of all things."

"He's here a lot?" I asked.

"Often. In fact, he's rarely not here."

"What does he do here?"

"Nothing, as far as anyone knows."

"How did he take your grandfather's death?" I asked.

"That's the strange part," said Tara, looking up from her glass. "He didn't seem to take it hard at all."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"I mean just that. He didn't appear overly distraught."

"No tears?" asked Allison, piping in.

"None that I saw."

"Is there a room in the basement?" I asked.

"Of course, but it's so cold down there. Drafty. Miserable."

"Well, maybe he just wants to stay out of the way," said Allison. "You know, since he's here all the time."

"Maybe," said Tara.

Or maybe the cold doesn't bother him, I thought, sending it over to Allison.

A vampire? she thought back.

Yes. I thought. I think. I can see his aura, so that's a problem.

Problem, why?

I can't see vampires' auras.

Gotcha. So, is that why you had me shield my thoughts back at dinner? I nodded and turned my attention back to Tara. "Were you here on the night of your grandfather's death?"

"Yes," she said. "We all were."

Tara next asked Allison for some more wine, who was only too willing to comply, and shortly, my friend and witness were both gone for the night.

I sighed, and made notes in my case file, all while the girls giggled and talked and got drunker and drunker. I made a mental note to fire Allison.

Rhetorically, of course.