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"Yes, I'm sorry, forgot to throw that in. I'll probably have a few meals and sleep for a few hours in the midst of all this, too. Caitlin, please..."

Caitlin bit her lower lip, looking away. "I'm sorry. I do love you, and you know it. I don't mean to be difficult. It's just that Jagger is..."

"Jagger is a vampire. Yes, I am aware of that. And I'm the oldest of the three of us, and I need to act responsibly. And I will. I swear, I would never do anything to risk the two of you or myself--or anyone else, for that matter," Fiona said.

"Responsible, intelligent and aware--and sleeping with a vampire," Caitlin said, then lifted a hand when Fiona would have spoken. "And vulnerable. We're all vulnerable. That's life. Just don't let it be your death."

The artist's sketch of the man from Barely, Barely, Barely who had probably met up with Tina Lawrence after her last night at work was everywhere.

It was shown on every local news channel. It was in the newspapers.

In some neighborhoods the residents printed up fliers and plastered them all over trees and poles and shop windows.

But not a soul called in to say that they had seen the man.

Jagger had returned to the scene where the body had been found, though with very little hope that he would find anything, but he had to start somewhere.

Of course, it was still early days, he told himself. The sketch had just started making the rounds. They could still hear something.

Meanwhile, he was standing in the tomb in the old cemetery just on the edge of the Quarter when the call came that a body had been discovered in a cemetery in the Garden District.

In ten minutes time he was standing in the Alden family vault, last interment 1921. He noted everything about the vault as he went in, the architecture and the inhabitants. The first interment had been in 1840, soon after the cemetery was established in 1833. The gated door was guarded by two angels, now minus their heads. That detail fit in well with the asymmetrical rows of little stone houses in this particular city of the dead. As for the Alden mausoleum itself, there was an altar at the far end, a small table in the center of the room, and rows of divided shelving for bodies, most of them sealed in. A few of the oldest had broken--or been broken--open, but not even bones remained. The heat in New Orleans provided for burial of another family member or loved one in the same space in "a year and a day." In that time, the corpse was basically cremated by the intense heat alone, and what was left of the remains could be raked to a "holding cell" at the end of each tomb so that someone else could be interred in the first body's spot.

This tomb itself was slightly different from the one where Tina's body had been left, so this time the killer had left his victim on the altar that stretched across the back wall.

She was beautiful--blonde and beautiful. Her face was perfect, like porcelain. Her hair was almost platinum, and curled over the edges of the stone. She was laid out in a white halter-necked gown, as if she had just been to a dance. Maybe a prom. This one was young.

There didn't appear to be a mark on her.

"Oh, God," Tony breathed.

Jagger turned to him. "Apparently she was also found by a tour guide. Can you head out and talk to him? I don't think he found her until eleven, and the first tours go through around nine, so maybe we'll get lucky and someone saw our killer. Can you find out just how he stumbled on her?"

Tony nodded, looking almost as ashen as the corpse.

When he was gone, Jagger slipped on his gloves and began his intense search of the corpse.

As before, the marks he was looking for were there.

He sighed softly. This time the killer had gone for the major artery in her left thigh.

"Now we're in serious trouble," a voice said from the entryway.

He turned around.

Craig Dewey had arrived. He was standing in the doorway, caught in the dust motes that played against the rays of sunlight seeping into the tomb.

Dewey laughed dryly. "Hey, buddy. You look like a character out of a movie, standing there all 'Son of Dracula,' bending over his last meal."

Jagger didn't laugh. He knew Dewey wasn't trying to be funny.

The other man strode on in, stared down and shook his head.

"They have an ID on her yet?"

"Nothing certain, but she matches up with a missing co-ed call that came in this morning. Abigail Langdon, last seen at a frat party last night. One of the uniforms is getting me her college ID picture. If it's her, we'll have to bring someone in to make a positive ID. One of her friends, maybe," Jagger said.

Dewey slipped on gloves and stepped closer to the body. "Skin as white as snow. The killer seems to like blondes. And he's bold. Wants his victims found, and found by ordinary citizens. This is considered one of the safest cemeteries in the city to visit."

"I'm not sure any cemetery is safe at night," Jagger said. "There are too many places for someone to hide. We call them the cities of the dead, and the dead don't call the cops when you run in to escape observation."

Dewey looked at the victim's eyes, turned her, touched her and took her body temp, then turned to Jagger. "Well, we're looking at exactly the same kind of killing--late last night, very late. Can't say much about lividity, because there was no blood left to pool beneath the skin. Again, I can't help but think she was killed elsewhere, since I'm not seeing a drop of blood around the body anywhere. What a shame. This one looks like a kid."

"Rape?" Jagger asked.

"I'll need a kit, but no obvious signs of violence or trauma...." He looked at Jagger. "I'm not a vegetarian, and I don't avoid leather, but I'd never buy fox fur. They electrocute the poor little things with a rod up the rectum. Quite gruesome."

"She wasn't electrocuted," Jagger pointed out.

"Just don't ever buy fox fur," Dewey said, stabbing a finger at him. "The point is that she looks as pure as the day she was born. The killer didn't leave a mark on the body that I can see so far. I'm not even sure she suffered. It's almost as if she were hypnotized and told to go to sleep or something. Poor child, so beautiful."

"Well, we've got to let the crime scene unit in, and then you can take her to the morgue," Jagger said. "How soon can she be scheduled for autopsy?"

"Not right away, I'm afraid. First thing tomorrow. I'll have her photographed, bathed...set for first thing tomorrow morning."

"I thought she'd be a priority."

"You would think so, right? But a city bigwig--potential candidate for mayor--died in his home last night, and his children are making waves against the stepmother."

Jagger groaned inwardly. Another night he'd have to head for the morgue. Slip in. Maybe traumatize a few employees.

Then he remembered that Billy Harrington had taken the job of night attendant. He could just call Billy and ask him to handle the matter.

No, he couldn't. This was his responsibility.

He stepped outside and saw that Officer Gus Parissi was standing at the gate, patiently waiting, presumably for him.

He saw, too, that the media were already there, being held on the far side of the gates. Tour groups were being sent away.

"Parissi, you waiting for me?" Jagger asked.

The other cop nodded. "The brass are keeping the same group of uniforms working both murders," he said, then winced. "This that missing college kid?"

"Looks to be," Jagger said.

"I brought a yearbook," Gus told him.

Jagger took Parissi's elbow and led him behind one of the tombs. A winged cherub set to guard an ironwork-covered window stared at them balefully.

"Let me see the missing girl," Jagger said.

Parissi silently opened the book to a marked page.

She was a junior, a nursing major. She was in the chess club.

She was the latest victim.

"Family?" he asked Gus Parissi.

"The sisters at the convent," Gus said. "She was orphaned at seven and never adopted. They say only babies stand a chance to--"


"Sorry. She doesn't have a family. Just the sisters."

"All right. I'll let them know. Parissi?"


"Keep the mob out. Let the M.E. and the crime scene unit take their time in here. The Catholic Church still has control of the cemeteries just outside the Quarter, but this place is managed by a historical foundation. See that it isn't reopened until tomorrow. Understood?"


Jagger turned away. Celia Larson, her bag in hand, was headed toward the tomb. She glowered at him. "How can you think that we'll turn anything up when the crime scene has been trampled by hordes of tourists?" she demanded.

"Celia, if I knew where a crime would be discovered, I'd be there before the damned thing happened," he said, trying to maintain his temper. "Come on, surely you've been briefed. She was discovered at eleven. The first tours are at nine. What do you think I could have done?"

She sniffed and walked on past him. Dewey was standing at the door to the tomb. He rolled his eyes toward Jagger as she approached, and Jagger shrugged.

He had to go see the nuns.

"Oh, God, there's been another one!"

So far the three of them had been doing well, considering the way the day had started.

But Fiona knew the minute her sister spoke that there was real trouble ahead.

Caitlin was behind the desk, focused in on the news on the store's computer. So far, the identity of the victim hadn't been released to the public, but from what the news media had been able to gather, the method of murder and the disposal of the body matched the first, just a different cemetery.

Fiona felt as if her stomach pitched down to her feet.

She moved to stand behind her sister. Jagger was on the news, caught by the media as he exited the Garden District cemetery.

"The police will not lie, nor will we hedge," he said.

"Yes, we have discovered a second body. We have formed a task force, and every officer will be on overtime, following every possible lead. We will not stop. We ask the citizens of the city to help us, and we ask the women of New Orleans to be especially vigilant. We will be working tirelessly to find this killer. Please, don't panic, but be smart. That's all that I can say right now. We have to let our crime scene unit and our coroner's office do their work."