When he woke up that morning, Benton Fraser had never given much thought to vampires, demons, and other things that may or may not go bump in the night. Despite the (rather annoying) ghost (figment of his imagination) of his father, Fraser was a realist. He believed in things he would hear, see, touch, taste, and smell.
So it is understandable, then, that when Ray called and mumbled something about a murder by exsanguination, his thoughts did not immediately turn to blood-sucking fiends of the night.
When he got to the station, Ray was pacing outside the chief’s door, mumbling angrily to himself. One look into the office told Fraser why – the FBI agents they’d “worked” with previously stood in the office. Another man he didn’t recognize leaned on the wall in the room, looking bored.
“Ray?” Fraser said. “Ray. Ray. Ray!”
“Fraser! How did they get here so fast? Do they lurk around, listening to our calls? And why are they here, anyway? This case shouldn’t have anything to do with them.” Fraser’s reply was cut off by the door opening as the bored man came out and closed the door behind him.
The most striking feature about the man was the prominent black eye patch over one eye; other than that, he looked perfectly normal.
“Are you with them?” Ray demanded, nodding towards the FBI guys still in the office.
“Yes. No. Well, not exactly,” the one-eyed man answered. “They’ve had their sense of humor surgically removed, and I’m pretty sure I’ve still got mine. Which makes me definitely not of the FBI, but I did enter the building with them. My name is Xander Harris – please call me Xander.”
“I’m Ray, and that’s Fraser. If you’re not with them, why are you here?”
“I’m an expert on this killer.”
“We’re dealing with a serial killer?” Fraser wanted to know. Harris considered the question.
“You could say that.”
“Mr. Har-“ A look stopped him. “Xander. Have you been looking for this serial killer long?” A strange expression filtered across the other man’s face.
“You could say I’ve been looking for this killer damn near half my life,” he finally answered. Ray turned a raised eyebrow towards Fraser – Xander Harris couldn’t be more than 26 or 27.
“Half your life?” Ray asked.
“You could say I lost my best friend to this killer when I was 15.” That made sense to Fraser. He had, after all, first come to