I came across this image of a woman on a really interesting chair this afternoon and…
Well it just screamed Succubi to me…
Jun 21 2009
Jun 20 2009
Jun 19 2009
I can’t bring myself to spend $1000 on this drawing of a Succubus in flight…
It is artwork, according to the description, done by Esteban Maroto, who has done quite a few different comic book series over the years…
To be honest, this almost looks like it is Vamperella in the arms of a Succubus. At least from what I can see in the art it would make sense to me…
I really can’t do that…
Jun 18 2009
This week’s Succubus is someone that should be known to all of you…
I really want to find the best images of her that I can find on the web… Nothing that shows her in a bad way because really she is an amazingly complex character and she does in her own way portray Succubi really well…
This image appeared in my email this week…
I didn’t receive any information to the artist or where to find more of this work, but it really is amazingly well detailed and I think is now my most favorite Morrigan image that I have posted on the Tale so far….
UPDATE: Thanks to a reader of the Tale, I can add that the artist is named Buddy Jiang, or Plue, and is from Singapore. You can find more of their works at: http://hokiboshi.net and http://buddyjiang.cghub.com/
Jun 17 2009
I discovered by random a wonderful video made by the artist Brandon Brown. It’s explaining how he cleans up his pencil work on Photoshop before colouring and finishing his images…
This is his YouTube:
And a direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9XrO69-gC0
And the completed work is here:
Just amazingly lovely!
Jun 16 2009
This was only a short moment with a member of the Garden named Wrider… He vanished from the Garden for a time, but to my delight he has reappeared in the past month…
And I am very thankful that he did so…
Temptations XIV – Moment
By TeraS and Wrider
One minute, everything makes sense – you’re just a bookworm looking for some ideas, something to keep you up at night looking at monsters and magic and wondering what it would all really be like to live it out.
The next second, you are.
Scrambling to my feet, mouth wide open at what I see, or more properly, don’t see, before me. This doesn’t happen, my head screams at me. This isn’t real!. But my eyes see it – the bookshelves gone, and the floor a slick blackness. Running a hand through the loose mane of brown hair on the top of my head, spending a few moments trying to make sense of it all before finally just trying to call out for help. I might be delusional, the rational side of my head tells me, but if someone can help me actually see something, bring me back to reality. This sinking feeling in my gut though, it doesn’t…
Then that voice, a low hovering hum that felt more in place in my dreams at night. I don’t want to turn, I don’t want to realize how hard that book hit me… but that voice, that unearthly, wanton voice.
Suddenly, I am of two minds all over again. Oh no, no no no no no…, and an occasional Oh,
yes drowning out my sensibilities. She’s talking, but I can’t make sense of the words, not yet. I’m still dealing with the fact that a figure I want to flee from and make love to with all of my body is sitting only a few feet away.
The smile doesn’t leave her lips as she watches the confusion wrap itself around you and take hold… Then stretching out a slender leg in front of her, she smoothly and gracefully raises herself from the throne and begins to close the distance between…
Her voice is husky as she says, “I know you… I remember your dreams my dear… You have such interesting ones you know… You beg and plead one moment for me and then try to run and hide from me… Part of you needs me… Part of you fears me… Shall we find out which one will win… Or perhaps lose the night?”
In the next moment she stands to your left, her tail no longer swisching in the air but rather beginning to twines itself around your left leg, the heat from her skin warm and pleasant….
“My… my dreams? How did… how are you…”
Thought slips away at the touch, gasping at the sudden, unexpected sensation. Wasn’t expecting to feel, wasn’t expecting toexperience. Books suddenly gone, and now this… this thing… who knows all the little secrets, all the dark fantasies hidden away… I close my eyes and take a breath, to steady myself and not panic.
“What is going on? How am I here… things like this… shouldn’t be possible, and my dreams… how…”
But her form and supple skin practically scream sex at me, and the latex conjuring up so many images, so many I try to save for late at night…
She moved close enough that her warm breath drifted and teased against his right ear and cheek, her cherry scent getting stronger as she continued in that honey sweet voice of hers, “Your dreams brought you to me my dear… You wanted me in your dreams…. But that wasn’t enough… So your dreams pushed you to the book and through it to me here in realty…”
She raised her left hand to trace a fingernail along his cheek as she continued, “You remember your dreams don’t you? Oh I do… I remember how you like it when I slowly stroke your cock… How much you love it when I wrap my red lips around the head and suck and lick on you… You remember it don’t you?”
As she had spoken to him, her right hand had drifted down his body towards that which she had put his mind upon…
She was more than beautiful. She was everything my teenage and fantasy mind could put together. Her voice resonating across my being, and that sudden smell that clouded everything so deliciously… her words… suddenly, there was touch, and my cheek was alight with sensation as the rest of me went rigid as her voice kept going… and going… a gasp at my lips, eyes widening as my tongue stammers, my voice wanting to agree, to agree and say I remember…
Then, a sudden step back as reality snaps back into place. My breathing already quickening, body already reacting to just the sound of her voice, the smell of her body… What is happening? Rationality, in its need to control and understand, took the reigns again.
“Those.. those were… are, dreams. F-fantasies… that’s all they are.” I don’t sound brave, but at least I can still speak after being so overwhelmed by everything happening. “You… who are you? Why do you wish this? What games are you talking about?” Questions, quick questions, trying to keep my eyes on her eyes, and not running down the body of curving supple skin and black shining latex. There has to be something going on, something else, anything…
She reversed the direction of her finger and drew it upwards as she replied, “Come now… Are you telling me that you don’t believe that dreams can be made reality? Off hand I would think that my standing here would be proof that this is reality…” Her fingers came back to his chin and stopped there as she said with amusement in her voice, “You know that you have felt it… You sensed me in the shadows watching you when you fell to sleep in the night… You know that all of the clues were there in the morning when you finally slipped back into your world again, but you didn’t see them for what they were… So now… Now we are here and you can’t ignore the fact that I’m here and so very very real…”
Her right index finger tapped once on his lips as she continued, her tail swisching behind her slowly, “I am Tera. If you will notice, you will see the tail behind me… And… If you would pay attention…”
She moved that hand away from his lips and then pointed to her red horns in her raven hair, “See the horns? Get the picture?”
And just smiled as the truth began to sink in before she crossed her arms over her black latex covered breasts and waiting for him to figure out the rest of the game…
“I-I know… what you look like… w-what you must be…” Of course I knew, I couldn’t stop myself from looking. Every angle, every curve burned in my mind. It was so hard not to look where her arms rested…
“W-what is it you wish of me… Tera, right?” I swallowed hard – I couldn’t argue, dream or not… it felt real, her touch, the emptiness of this place besides her throne in the black background… I was here, now, and where here was, I had to deal with it. “Why were you in my dreams… if you were? Why did you want me here? And the game…” Images from old dreams… all of them sexual, all of them mind numbingly hot, pushed to the forefront of my thinking even as I tried to clear my head. What type of game? No, I can’t lose myself yet, I need to know more… “What is it?”
She tilted her head to the left and said with bemusement in her voice, “The game is what you make of it my dear… What drives you? Lust? Desire? The questions of life? The meaning of words? The passing of time? The what if and what could have been?”
She came back to him closely, her breasts touching against his chest, her legs just spread enough that she could rub her hot sex against his thigh… Her lips just above his once more as she said to him huskily, “Will you give into temptation and deliver yourself into….”
She left the end of that question empty as her lips pressed against his once more and drew some of his hungers from within and use them to her own ends later… As he would see..
A lick of her tongue over her red lips as she said. “mmmmm… You taste devine you know… I will enjoy you so very very much…”
And so it rather abruptly ends…
Another shame really…
Jun 15 2009
Storm Clouds VI
Wasn’t happy with Chapter three… Not enough character development of Jane or really of any of the characters. Besides which we haven’t seen a Succubi as yet and so I do have to keep your attention…
“How did she die?”
The question hung in the air over the people surrounding the cold steel table upon which a body laid covered in a white blanket. The medical examiner pushed his thick glasses up his nose with a latex-gloved finger before replying in a disinterested voice, “Looks like a mugging. Stabbed in the back eight times and then whatever she had on her was taken. She was found beside a car in the Summer Hill Mall parking lot.”
The man that had asked the question rubbed the day’s worth of stubble on his chin, “Eight times? Sounds like something more than a mugging Doc. No mugger than I know of would spend the time to stab his or her victim that many times. Too easy to be see or get caught.”
Doc looked back at him before shrugging, “You want facts Tom. That’s all we have here. Nothing else to say about her. Eight wounds with a knife or similar object. No sign of other harm to her. Before you ask, no signs that she was raped either.” He turned away from the table and stripped off his gloves, “Just the usual senseless crime in the big city.”
After Doc left the room, Tom stared at the body for a while. It didn’t make sense. Why her? She was nobody. Nothing special. She probably had a family and he would have to see them next. That was the part he hated most of all. Having to walk up the lawn or path or whatever. Knocking on the door. The person opening it for a moment with hope in their eyes that their loved one would be there waiting. But instead they would see a middle-aged brown haired and brown eyed man in a rumpled suit flash a badge, ask to come in and then a little while later leave the home with wrecked lives in his wake.
He sighed and grabbed the clipboard that held her ID…
And came to an abrupt halt in his thoughts.
There was nothing there. No name. No address. No other ID. Nothing.
He was mulling over in his mind the procedures for filing a Jane Doe report, when a woman’s voice broke into the room from behind him, “We’ll look after her from here, thank you.”
Turning to look over his shoulder from his right he answered, “She’s a Jane Doe. My file. You have…”
He found himself looking at a woman about his height. She had short blonde hair in a bob cut, blue eyes. Slim of build. Cute in her own way, he supposed. She was holding a folded piece of paper in her hand, “Paperwork. I’m here to claim my Sister.” She handed him the paper as two burly men in dark suits entered the room behind her.
Tom didn’t bother to open the paper. There really was no point. They would not have managed to get into the room without having the paperwork to do so, nor would they be able to leave with the body if they didn’t. He watched her go over to the table, lift the top of the sheet from the body, then with a nod say to the men, “It’s her.”
They wasted little time then, within moments they had moved around both himself and the blond before taking hold of the table and rolling it out the door.
As she turned to follow the men pushing the table from the room, Tom called after her, “I’m… sorry for your family’s loss.”
She hesitated in mid-step before replying without looking at him, “Are you really? Or are you just parroting the words that your regulations say you should say officer?”
Tom found himself unable to bring himself to say to her that it wasn’t just words. That he hated his job. That he hated not being able to find the ones that did these things and bring them to justice. Instead he said to her, “Not all words are lies Ma’am.”
Her answer gave him pause, “No. No they are not. But neither are they all truths either.”
He watched her open the small blue purse she held. For a moment, she seemed to be considering her next actions carefully, as if she was about to reveal something that she was not sure she had the right to. A small white card appeared in her hand a moment later. She looked at it before placing it on the countertop to her right, “If you want to attend her services, they’ll be at that address. Tomorrow. Nine in the morning.”
With that she pushed through the door leaving Tom in the room alone with his thoughts, the buzz of the lights, and the card on the table…
And the question in his mind of whether or not he would or wouldn’t…
Tom picked up the card and stuffed it into his inside pocket of his jacket without looking at it. That decision could wait for the moment. Pushing through the door that led out of the room, he turned down the hallway and entered Doc’s office.
Doc’s office was not what you would expect from a medical practitioner. Every other doctor you would ever meet had their diplomas on one of the walls. Books neatly placed on bookcases. Files waiting for them on their desk. All of the stereotypical things you would expect. Doc was not the norm. Doc’s office consisted of a wall of filing cabinets on one side, his mass purchased steel desk opposite to that, and on the wall to your right a single photograph in a frame.
That photograph was of a young Doc with his arm around a cute red head with blue eyes. They looked happy together. Tom always wondered about that picture and what happened to make Doc the old crusty pain in the ass that he was today.
Doc was sitting behind the desk, a bottle of some cheap dime store beer to his right, his concentration on a file in front of him as he wrote something there in the chicken scratch that was common for doctors around the world to use.
Tom took the chair on the other side of the desk and then said, “It’s early for having a beer Doc.”
As he put his pen down and reached for the bottle the answer was, “Nightshift rules Tom. Whatever helps you make it through the shift.”
Tom frowned but didn’t push Doc on this. Doc was one of the few people that still tolerated him. Not quite a friend mind you, but at least Doc would listen. He said in return, “Our Jane Doe was claimed. She was rolled out of here a few minutes ago.”
Doc just about choked on his beer, “Claimed? I wasn’t told? Who released her?”
Tom blinked, “Err… I did. She had paperwork and…”
With a slam of the bottle on his desk Doc said, “Gimme the paperwork Tom.”
It took a moment to draw it from his suit before handing it over still folded up. Doc opened the paper and then shot him a look, “Did you look at this Tom?”
A shake of his head was the answer…
Doc tossed the paper at him as he reached for the phone on the desk, “Nice paper. No work.”
Tom blanched as he looked to see that the paper was… Empty. Blank. Nothing.
Just like Jane Doe herself.
It took a short time, but it became clear that whoever had claimed the body, had gotten out of the building unopposed and unseen. What was more frustrating was that parts of the surveillance cameras in the building would randomly turn off and then back on again leaving gaps in their coverage.
Doc pointed a finger at Tom, “You have any ideas?”
Tom didn’t hesitate, “Nothing. Didn’t give me a name or anything. I figured that a woman and her muscle wouldn’t get down here without clearance, so I didn’t think to challenge her.”
With a grunt, Doc turned back to the phone dismissing Tom…
Which was fine with him.
He stood up and walked from the office heading towards the elevators. After pressing the button for the main floor, Tom fished out the card she had left on the counter. He almost expected it to be as blank as the sheet of paper she had given him. Why didn’t he look at it? He should have. At the least he should have asked for her name or Jane Doe’s name. Something.
Finally the card was in his fingers and he considered the address printed there in a cold formal font…
S. Realm Enterprises, 69 69th Street. We make dreams.
The bell sounded as the elevator doors opened.
Tom had an appointment to keep in a few short hours and some answers to get from that woman over this…
Tom didn’t go directly to the address on the card. No, that wouldn’t be proper if there was a funeral there–especially not at four in the morning. First he went back to the small unremarkable apartment that he called home. He had lived in the place for just over 12 years now.
Exiting the subway he crossed into the first rays of the sun pushing their way into the concrete jungle that was his city. A sort walk with the warmth of the sun on his back brought him to his small apartment. It was a simple basement apartment that he could slip in and out of at all hours and not bother the people that he knew were his neighbors but whom he had, in all truth, failed to get to know.
Moving down the twelve steps from the street to his door he fished out his keys and then rammed one of them into the lock. For a moment he dwelled on the past and why the place meant as much to him as it did.
That could be summed up with one word.
With a grunt to push the memories away, Tom opened the door to discover the small calico cat that was the last living thing in his life to connect him with her. She purred questioningly at him and he replied out of habit, “Yeah. I know. Look like crap and smell like it too, right?”
His answer was a flick of the cat’s tail and then it walked away no longer interested in him for the moment. Much like he was with the world today for some reason that didn’t matter right then.
The floor creaked as he tossed off the clothes he’d worn that morning. Fishing around in his hall closet, he found his funeral suit, shoes and tie and changed into that.
It didn’t take long. Before leaving again, he tore open a tin of cat food, filled the old porcelain dish that was the cat’s and left some drinking water before leaving again, catching a cab and heading off to… Somewhere else again…
The cab came to a rough stop as Tom heard the cabbie grunt, “69 69th Street bub. Nine-fifteen plus the tip for the fare.”
Tom looked out of the window with some surprise. 69 69th Street was… odd.
This was one of the more fashionable, modern parts of town, with gleaming steel and glass buildings, corporate logos plastered all across them. The typical chain stores with their signs screaming at people to buy something within their doors…
But not 69 69th Street… No this place was, well, calm. Quiet. Unassuming. Among all of the rushing around, this building was a throwback to earlier times in the city, a brownstone four story building set back from the curb a short way. The windows gleaming in the sunlight made whatever was within invisible for the moment.
Tom paid the cabby and then started towards the wrought iron fence that marked the edge of the property. As he walked along the cobblestone path towards the front doors, the odd thought came to him that it was like following the yellow brick road. Amused, he wondered if that woman that he met in the morgue was named Dorothy or not. He noticed that, to either side of the path he walked, there were a series of park benches and trees for shade in the small space that had been carved out…
He then registered the fact that there were no people sitting on them or milling around. If there was a funeral to be held here or at least a remembrance of someone shouldn’t there be people here waiting to enter or at least trying to comfort each other? Or did he mishear the time of the gathering, being either too late or too early for it?
Either way he was here and time was ticking away…
Taking the four steps to the front door, he noticed the bronze nameplate of the company by the door and the little buzzer and speaker to call for assistance.
Which he pushed.
The speaker crackled and a somewhat distorted female voice asked, “Yes? Can we help you?”
Tom was going to start with the usual lines that all police gave, but then remembered the conversation he had with that woman and said, “I would… if it is possible, like to pay my respects to a sister that passed away…”
There was a short pause and then the voice replied, “One moment please and someone will let you in…”
It was a short wait of perhaps five minutes before the thick wood door was opened and, to his surprise, the blonde who gave him that blank note in the morgue stood there. She didn’t seem at all surprised to see him, although, for a moment, she brushed her hands to smooth out the black silk dress she wore before greeting him with, “Good morning. Please do come inside.”
Tom shot her a look, but accepted the invitation and stepped over the landing…
And just about lost his breakfast as he did. For a moment he thought that he was going to leave a wet chunky spot on the carpet, but then the feeling passed and he found himself looking at the blonde as she shut the door and locked it again.
He coughed and then was about to read her the riot act, arrest her and take her downtown when he realized that they weren’t alone…
And there was a funeral or wake or something going on.
The immediate area around him was filled with couples milling around talking in hushed tones. Several of them were looking in his direction and that of the blonde with looks that ranged from disinterest to bemusement to… desire?
The blonde gave a little cough to get his attention and added with a nod of her head, “Will you join me in the sitting room please?”
Tom was torn for a moment between hauling her away and getting more out of her, but finally decided that it all looked legit in his eyes. Making a scene at a funeral would not go over well, and he wasn’t sure but he thought that a few of the people in attendance were city officials… high up ones.
Very calmly, Tom replied to her in a low voice, “Lady. You have no idea just how much trouble you have created. Where’s your sister? I’m going to have to take her back to the morgue. She was attacked and there is an investigation going on. You can’t…”
The blonde shook her head and then with a nod, offered, “Please. Just come over here into the waiting room with me? We can discuss this there and I’ll try to answer your questions…”
Tom finally gave a grunt of agreement and then followed her away from the crowd deeper into the building.
She led Tom towards a white trimmed doorway in the wall that opened into a good-sized room. It was not your typical business waiting room with year old magazines and hard cold plastic chairs. No, this place was class. Cherry wood furniture, bookcases filled with what looked to be expensive writings, a large ornate rug in the middle of the room and a small fireplace in the wall that was unlit for the moment.
Taking a seat in what looked to be a Victorian high-backed chair, she waited a moment before asking, “Would you like a seat?”
Tom shook his head, “No thanks. Lady, you are in all sorts of trouble.”
Turning to him she said, “I’m sorry for misleading you, but there was little time and I didn’t have a choice in the matter.” She smiled a bit, “My name is Camilla Addison. I’m sorry that I didn’t introduce myself when we first met, but I wasn’t prepared for you to be there. Might I know your name as well?”
Tom offered in return, “Thomas Selleck.”
Camilla placed a hand over her lips and attempted to not giggle as she managed to get out, I’m sorry. It’s just that…”
Tom nodded and allowed a small grin, “Yeah, I know. My mother was in love with the television show, but my dad wouldn’t let her name me Magnum… It’s an ice breaker at parties, however, when I have a fake moustache on…”
She placed her elbow on the arm of the chair and then put her head against her hand, “I’m sure it would be Thomas.”
He turned serious again, “Miss Addison, you understand that you have broken several laws with what you have done and I will have to arrest you for them.”
She just smiled, “I don’t think there will be a problem.”
Tom was getting frustrated and it began to show, “A missing body, a theft, and you think there won’t be a problem? Why would that be, Ma’am?”
Camilla explained, “I am sure that whatever is needed to make that issue disappear is being looked after as we speak Thomas. My… group is not without it’s resources and connections within city government and the powers that be in your city.”
He paused to consider that and then said, “Group? Are you suggesting that you are part of the Mafia or something illegal?”
The oddest smile came with the words, “Not the Mafia, and nothing that your rules would see as illegal as such Thomas.”
He had the feeling he was being played with, much like when his cat would tease a mouse before killing it. The frustration grew as he answered, “We should continue this discussion downtown Ma’am.” Tom was not happy with the situation and found himself falling back on his training to try to take control of the situation– if he had ever been in control of it from the moment he had met Camilla.
She shook her head and replied, “I think that will not be where we need to go next Thomas.”
He gave her the obvious reply, “And just why would that be Ma’am?”
A new voice came into the room behind him, “Just because.”
Tom spun around and just about fell over from shock…
Standing there, in a red dress, was Jane Doe… very much alive and from the look in her eyes, not exactly happy with what was going on…
It was her. One hundred percent Jane Doe, complete with mid-length curly red hair and green eyes. He found himself thinking that she looked better in the red than under that white sheet in the morgue. Tom’s next coherent words were, “What the hell is going on?”
Jane replied coldly, “That’s a good question isn’t it?”
Camilla shot her a look, “That’s enough. Show some manners when we have a guest here.”
The reply was a snort of derision.
Camilla tapped her right hand on the arm of her chair before she sighed, “Have a seat Thomas. She’s not who you think she is.”
He took the chair to her right still in shock. He was absolutely sure that this was Jane Doe. That he had seen her on the slab. Dead. But there she was angry and looking for trouble. With a sigh Tom ran his fingers over his chin as he attempted to gather his thoughts. In doing so he managed to reply, “Must be the end of the world. Dead people walking the streets.”
Camilla reached out a hand to touch his arm and explained, “Identical twins. We always had a problem telling the two of them apart. finally got to the point where we made them get tattoos…” A short nod in Jane’s direction, “Mind you, her sister was not as frustrating to deal with.”
The glare in Jane’s eyes made it clear that she didn’t like Camilla. Nor, Tom thought, that she thought much about him either.
Tom couldn’t believe that she was right. This was the Jane Doe in the morgue. The face, the hair; It was her all right he was sure. Identical twins? Weird things did happen, but this was just out of the ballpark. Still he found himself asking her, “So what’s your name, then? Can’t be Jane, can it?”
For an instant, she seemed to be considering her answer very carefully. The look in her eyes of barely contained anger didn’t change for the seemingly endless moment before she came to a decision. Uncrossing her arms, she put them behind her back and then shifted her hips a bit before answering, “You can call me that if you like.”
Tom wasn’t sure at first if she was playing him or not. When someone was being evasive they looked guilty, nervous, unsettled. Jane looked as if she was ready to snap someone in half if they weren’t careful what they said or did.
But somehow calling her Jane felt right. Whether or not it was her real name was another question. He figured that he could et something out of Camilla or that, when he took the two of them downtown, there would be some real answers given. Still, he couldn’t do that right this minute, and so he glanced at Camilla, “Are you all this helpful when it comes to answers?”
Camilla chucked, “Ask a direct question and you’ll likely get a direct answer Thomas…”
He pondered that as he looked at Jane standing there, unconcerned with him, the police, it seemed, or anything else.
Save the anger within her that was almost like a black cloud hovering over the room.
Seeing that she wasn’t leaving, he took that to mean that she would answer more questions from him. Tom decided that it was in his interest to get some basic information out of her, so he sorted out the questions he wanted answers to, picking out the ones that were quick and meaningful. Then he said, “Jane it is, then. What’s your sister’s name? The one who was lying in the morgue and Camilla and the goons took out last night?”
Jane didn’t flinch as she answered, “Patricia.” And not another useful word came from her after that to ant of his questions. But it was obvious that there was a great deal of hurt in her eyes, hurt that was feeding her anger. Tom found himself deciding that as odd as the story was so far, there didn’t seem to be a lie in it he could touch. It was also obvious that Jane was hiding something from him that he would need to figure out.
Rubbing his chin Tom mumbled to himself, “Magnanimous women will be the death of me I’m sure.”
Jane smirked and offered, “You never know what the future brings. Patricia didn’t.”
Tom managed to bite back what he wanted to say, which was that she should get off her high horse and try to be less of a bitch and more of a human being. He found himself looking at Camilla and thinking, “I wonder how she’s related to her?”
Camilla saw him look at her and began to explain, “Jane… has been out of the country for a while. She came back early this morning after we sent word a few days ago that Patricia had gone missing. She arrived shortly before you did Thomas, and…”
Jane finished the sentence, “I was told she was dead. A wonderful way to return to family isn’t it?”
Tom couldn’t argue that point either.
Camilla told Jane firmly, “The detective is here to look into what happened.”
Jane actually rolled her eyes before giving him a dismissive wave with her right hand, “So you are here to investigate why she was killed then? Or are you here just to make waves in our lives?”
Tom gave her a hard look as he answered, “You want tidal waves lady? Just setting aside what happened to your sister, what you people did in the morgue is a no-no. She was taken from the morgue improperly. There is an investigation going on about that. It’s not my problem but I’m here because I am involved in it. Now, your sister is my case, and maybe I can figure out what happened and why and find the one that did this. That’s why I’m here. I have to start somewhere and…”
He looked at Camilla, “…You were good enough to leave me the clue to this place at least.”
Jane gave a little snort of derision, “Police. Useless beyond words.”
He managed not to growl out the words, “Lady, I don’t know where you were and I don’t give a damn either. This isn’t some two bit country in the middle of nowhere. Patricia is my case to solve, and I’m going to. I’m not going to let this just slide by into the unsolved case files, and you know why?”
Jane just watched him in silence until he answered with a smirk, “I have my reasons.”
Camilla chuckled at his words before saying as she clapped her hands softly, “Touché…”
Tom was about to start asking some pointed questions of them both when there was a soft cough from the hallway. Standing there patiently was a man of the cloth. He looked like the sort of man that you’d like to have as your uncle: a kind face; eyes that held the glimmer of mirth and joy he carried with him; the stature of years of listening, understanding, seeing and helping; a life filled with the joy of doing good work wherever he was needed to be.
He carried a small, old book that Tom took to be a Bible in his left hand — a hand well weathered with time and doing the work of his life. But it was also clear that his hands were the source of comfort as well as guidance where it was needed. He didn’t command the room with his size. No; that, it seemed, was not his way. It was more his easy smile and welcoming stance but, most of all it was just the calm understanding that surrounded him.
He smiled pleasantly to them all before saying, “We’re going to be starting the service in a few moments. Would you care to join us?”
To Tom’s surprise, both women replied in soft voices with deference to him, “Of course. We’ll be right along.”
He nodded at the reply and then said to Tom, “You are welcome to join us as well, mister…?”
Tom stood up and then offered his hand, “Selleck. Thomas Selleck.”
The twinkle in the pastor’s eyes became a little more mischievous as he accepted the hand and gave it a firm shake, “You need a mustache.”
Tom chuckled, “Thanks for the tip. I’ll get right on growing one in the morning.”
The minister laughed in return, “Excellent. We need something to smile over. Patricia would be mad as all get out if there wasn’t some joy here today.”
Then. with a pat of Tom’s shoulder and a wink, he disappeared down the hallway. Tom watched him leave before he commented to the two women in the room, “Seems like a good man.”
Camilla had stood up and offered, “The best. Come on. He’ll be disappointed if the whole family isn’t there.”
Jane turned away with a last scowl at Tom before vanishing into the hallway. He looked at Camilla and said, “Well, I suppose she’s on my not friends list.”
She slipped her arm around his and said, “Well, maybe I can be on your friends list instead?”
He replied to that with, “Tell me the truth after this. Explain to me what the hell is going on and you go to the top of the page Camilla.”
She seemed to be thinking about that for a long time as she stood beside him. Then mysteriously she said, “The truth just is Thomas. You just need to be able to see it for what it is.”
As they left the room, Tom found himself wondering what kind of service it would be…