Park’s a couple of districts across the city from my office, so I drove there. Unfortunately some moron without access to the most prosperous bastion of lazy rich pricks was in line ahead of me. As the cars lined up behind me, I called over one of the cops. The problem with traffic or district cops is they don’t spend a lot of time in court or watching the news. He didn’t recognize me. I nearly had to pull the – don’t you know who I am card – but once I got him to pay attention to me he let me through pissing off everyone behind me.
The Primera Towers are a feat of engineering and art. Made of glass, wood and copper the pair of towers rotate slowly during the day to give each resident a different view from their opulent apartments. On the top of one tower is the restaurant where the average meal costs $3,000, and the tip of the other is a penthouse where Viktor lives. Between the towers are bridges with themed parks, with guided tours and restaurants of their own that stretch across a city block.
Sam was waiting when I got there and we took the elevator up after joining up with Derrik Todd. Viktor was waiting for us. I was surrounded by vampires. Derrik is one of Viktor’s clan. They could all eat and drink, but I don’t know if they get anything out of doing it. I had steak and crab, and some of the best Scotch I’ve ever had.
I don’t spend a lot of time in Park. The idle rich piss me off. They make great clients, of course, but most of them are just too lazy to live. Maybe if I’d been born into money, I might feel differently about them. Viktor didn’t seem to have much use for them either. The way he was talking about his family was damned funny. I was glad he got to business before we ate.
It seems he’d picked a kid to be turned when he was old enough. Richard Belleview the Third was fifteen, and he was missing. Viktor told us he might be in Chinatown living out his Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady fantasies where he was the guttersnipe. He told us about the kid’s mother who was useless. Told us about the “father” who was fat, lazy and useless, and his theories that Ricky was half sidhe. Ricky’s mother went down to Chinatown for a night of tawdry fun, and that may have been the last time she had sex. Somehow the “father” hadn’t guessed the kid wasn’t his or he didn’t care.
After the enormous dinner we walked across one of the bridges to the Belleview’s apartment. The bridge was done up as a rain forest complete with white peacocks and a jungle. We kept losing the Toreador to the pretty things. Oh yeah, the kid, is an artist. Born to pull amazing works of art from stone, and that was why Viktor selected him.
We were met at the door by Jeeves – no really – the butler. Viktor gave us full access to the apartment. He paid for everything in it as Richard #2 had bankrupted the family by being an idiot. Jeeves offered to let us interview the staff, but we wanted to check out the kid’s living areas first. The vampires headed to the studio while I scoped out his bedroom.
It was cluttered, but not dirty, clothes laying about, computer on his desk, very few personal items on display. It was an actual suite with a wet bar, living room and a huge bathroom. I checked around the desk and computer after finding a lockbox full of cash in the freezer in the bar. The bar was full of top shelf alcohol, but it was barely touched. There were a lot of open wine bottles in the refrigerator.
On the computer I found three copies of the same research paper with different names on it. Looks like Ricky did homework for a few people. He ran into a lot of trouble at Prescott Academy. The other kids didn’t like him, because he was different. The girls thought he was pretty, but he didn’t have much use for them. The jocks hated him for being smart… the usual stuff. There’s a blog on the computer that I can’t get into, so I called Dexter to have him get someone in IT to look into it.
In the studio, Sam and Derrik found the ruins of a few sculptures. Apparently Ricky lost his temper and smashed them with a crowbar or something before bailing. The rest of the room was surprisingly clean and organized compared to his bedroom.
Derrik used his auspex to look at Ricky’s bed, and discovered that he’d had sex with two people the night before he left home. They looked like siblings, and Derrik drew a picture of them on one of Ricky’s blank sketch pads.
Sam found a box of business cards with a lot of places in Chinatown. He also found a locked safe in the kid’s closet. Derrik managed to get it open, and found a journal on paper written in the Sidhe language. Sadly while I can understand any spoken language, I can’t automatically read them, so we’re going to need to find a translator.
We went to Jeeves to ask him about the people in the sketch. They are Brian and Briana Watson, the driver and a housekeeper, on the staff. Jeeves was shocked when I let it slip they were having sex with the kid. He sent them to us to be questioned after firing them.
I was expecting child molesting scumbags, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Briana fainted, apparently she has some condition that makes her pass out when stressed. Brian gave us an earful about the kid’s drug addicted high strung alcoholic mother and his abusive predatory father. The picture they painted made me so happy I had my mother. I never felt unloved like this kid had to. Brian said they were the only human contact the kid got, and I had no doubt he was telling the truth. And not just because I’d used my influence on him to make him talk.
Briana was a sweet kid too. Brian said she was a little simple, and that Dick #2 took advantage of her. Jobs were hard to come by, so they put up with a lot of things they shouldn’t have. They also wanted to keep an eye on the kid. Unfortunately they had no idea where he went when he wasn’t home. Prescott’s has round the clock classes, so it was easy for Ricky to be nocturnal. All they could tell us was he’d come home smelling like cloves and booze.
I decided to hire Brian and Briana, since I’d helped get them fired. I love Layne, but she can’t cook. Briana makes the kind of food my mom did, and she wasn’t hard on the eyes. I’d also been planning on getting Layne a driver for a long time. I know she can take care of herself, but sooner or later someone was going to see something they shouldn’t. She didn’t mind when I called to tell her. I hope it works out in the end.
The vampires were investigating the mother’s suite when I caught up with them. There are tongs in Chinatown bitching that she has more drugs than they do. Brian told us the woman went to bed by eight every night after a handful of pills and a pitcher of martinis. She scheduled a one hour appointment with Ricky a week for maternal affections. The rest of time she starved herself and shopped. She was useless.
The father’s suite was like something out of a bad porno. Leopard print bedspread, disco ball in the ceiling and it was too hot. I could feel the sweat trickling down my back. Dick used the heat to assist in slipping drugged drinks to the staff to cool off. Sam and Derrik found a stash of money and videos of Dick’s adventures in bed. He also had cameras set up around the house where he caught Ricky’s activities too. There were a ton of naked pictures of the kid and the staff in another box.
It was enough to get Dick tossed in jail for a long time. It was also enough for me to be able to blackmail him. Too bad he didn’t have anything I want. I could use the information against Viktor, but I didn’t want him for an enemy. Right now Viktor was going to owe me, and that was good enough in the long run.
On the last recording before Ricky left home, we found Dick having sex with Briana. She was doped up. In the background Dick was playing a recording of Ricky with the sibs. Ricky walked in and caught his father in the act. There was a fight, and Ricky ran off.
We decided to interview the rest of the staff once we found out some more on the outside of the viper’s nest. Chinatown was our next stop unless Dex could get me some information off of the blog. We also needed to find someone who could read the journal.