Chapter 6

Aidrian was leaning over Mr Ó Ceallacháin with a calm expression on his face. It looked odd, especially because Mr Ó Ceallacháin looked like he was being threatened, his features drawn tight and his lips a thin, hard line.
“Good to speak to you, Mr Ó Ceallacháin. Guess I’ll see you at the Midnight Ball then.”
A short, sharp nod was the only reply Mr Ó Ceallacháin gave.
Aidrian gave me one of his easy smiles before he walked out of the room.
I sat down and placed my coffee in front of me, not bothering with a handshake. The fae disliked physical touch with strangers.
“Hello, Mr Ó Ceallacháin. I’m Casey Hamilton, and I’m one of the people working on your daughter’s case. Can I get you anything? Tea, coffee, water?”
The proud-looking man watched me for a few, long seconds before he answered. “Are you the person in charge of Elisa’s case?”
“Yes.” I didn’t hesitate. He seemed to want a straight up answer.
A few more seconds passed before he nodded. “Good. What can I help you with, Mella?” He was definitely high born. The courtesy title for fae women of high rank was only used by members of the High Court. And since he was using it for a lowly half-blood like me, he was being kind too.
“Any chance you’ll tell me what happened between you and Aidrian?”
“I’m afraid I can’t. Fae politics.”
“Well, it was worth a shot.” I shrugged. “I’ve gone through your daughter’s file, and even though the information is quite comprehensive, I was hoping you could tell me a bit more about her.” I took a sip of my lukewarm coffee and nearly choked. It was so strong that I wouldn’t be surprised if the water had been replaced by jet fuel.
Mr Ó Ceallacháin took out a picture from his breast pocket and handed it to me. On it, a young girl with golden blond hair and big blue eyes was laughing at something off camera. Some of her features were similar to Mr Ó Ceallacháin, but they lacked the delicate, almost fragile, characteristics of a pureblood fae. “As you can see, Elisa was a half-blood, like you. I lost her mother shortly after Elisa was born, so my little girl became the sole focus of my life. She was my everything.” His feelings were clear in his voice, something which was rare with the fae. They usually remained stone-faced and almost never showed any emotion whatsoever. The fact that I could actually tell he was grieving, showed just how much he loved his daughter. His half-blood daughter. The majority of the fae would never acknowledge a half-blood child.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Mr Ó Ceallacháin. I am doing everything I can to find the person or people who took her away from you.”
“Thank you.”
Mr Ó Ceallacháin’s love for his daughter could possibly cast some light on why the fae generally looked down on mixed-bloods. My own dad couldn’t tell me because he was as human as they come, and my mother had died when she gave birth to me. “This may sound like an odd question, but can you tell me why half-bloods are viewed as such an abomination amongst the fae?”
Mr Ó Ceallacháin looked towards the door like he was worried that someone might be listening to our conversation. “It’s forbidden to talk about this.”
“Please, Mr Ó Ceallacháin. It might be important.” That wasn’t a lie. It could be important for this case.
“Will it help find the one who killed Elisa?” He met my gaze.
“It might. I need information to solve this case, and right now I don’t have anything useful to work with. Anything you can tell me will help me figure out what’s going on.”
He remained silent for a long time, clearly weighing his options. “What I tell you cannot leave this room. If it does, I will lose my life. Do you understand?”
“Yes.” I nodded and waited for him to continue. The fact that this man was willing to risk his own life to solve his daughter’s murder was humbling.
“In the old days before the barrier went up, magic was strong, and the fae were powerful enough to rule the world. They were arrogant and regarded every other life form as inferior to them and therefore didn’t want anything to do with anyone else. However, at some point in history, a human woman caught the eye of a fae Lord. They had a child, and it was discovered that the magical abilities in the child had been deluded. The fae Lord’s line had been tainted.” The way he said the last world made it clear that he didn’t agree. “This was used as proof that fae and humans should not mix. Magic was the sole source of the fae power, and power is everything to my kind. When the barrier came, the option to mix with humans was taken away, and the few mixed bloodlines became so deluded or simply died out that none were left when the barrier fell. The fae had suffered whilst contained by the barrier because of our low fertility, so when we re-joined the world, we were desperate to replenish our numbers, even at the cost of diminished magic abilities. However, it quickly became apparent that magic was no longer a strong force in the world, so the fae were struggling to stay at the top of the food chain. As half-blood children were born, it also became apparent that they were better suited to live in a world where technology ruled along with magic. They now possessed the best of both worlds, drawing on magic and wielding technology which is beyond the reach of the fae. Half-bloods are not bound by the same limitations to their magic as pureblood fae. Because magic is no longer the power it once was, purebloods are struggling because that’s the only power they can access. However, if half-bloods learned basic magic skills, they could boost their magic by drawing on the vitality from their human side, making them on of the most powerful creatures in the world. That’s also why they are so rare. The High Court has forbidden to procreate with humans.”
“Half-bloods are the most powerful creatures in the world?” Surely that couldn’t be? I was struggling to comprehend the enormity of his statement.
“They certainly have the potential, which is also why half-bloods were slaughtered on sight by the fae after the barrier fell and their potential was discovered. The High Court is not interested in losing their crumbling power, but they now recognise that humans would rise against them if they keep killing half-bloods and their human parent. Instead, they have chosen to keep their potential for magical domination secret. The penalty for telling a half-blood or a human the secret is death.”
The last word hung in the air between us. “Wait, if it’s forbidden to have children with humans, then why did you have your daughter?”
“Accidents happen.” His smile indicated that his daughter had been no accident.
“So this could-“ There was a knock on the door. “Come in.”
Carol poked her head in. Her red curls were a big tangled mess, and her cheeks were flushed. “Sorry to disturb you, but there are three important-looking men here asking for you, Mr Ó Ceallacháin. They said it was urgent.”
Mr Ó Ceallacháin nodded and then looked back at me. “I trust you to keep this secret safe. Please find whoever did this to my little girl.”
“I will do my very best.”
He nodded again, seeming satisfied with my answer. Without another word he got up and left the room.
I was left with a secret that in a matter of minutes had turned everything I knew about half-bloods up-side down. Turns out I wasn’t a lowly good for nothing parasite which was what the fae had labelled me all my life. Mr Ó Ceallacháin’s information hadn’t just given me a whole new understanding of who I was, it had also given me a possibly motive for the killings. I had to confirm my suspicion first, though.
I went to my desk and pulled up the footage Thomas had given me of the two missing and murdered women.
I watched the recording of Penelope Evans leaving the club, pausing the video and enlarging the frame to give me a closer look at her face. Peeking out of her blond hair was a pointed ear. As with Elisa, her features were not delicate enough to label her a pure-blood.
Excitement shot through me. Penelope had been a half-blood too.
I pulled up the video of Charlene Dickens, but when I enlarged the picture, both her ears were covered by her hair.
I studied her face, but whilst her features were delicate, it was difficult to tell if she was a half-blood or not.
Disappointed, I pulled out the thin hard copy files on the other missing women.
“So did Mr Ó Ceallacháin tell you anything interesting?”
I looked up to find Aidrian staring at me. I answered him with a question of my own. “Did you tell Mr Ó Ceallacháin anything interesting?”
“I guess that depends on what you define as interesting.” He was evading the question. Interesting. Like all pureblood fae, he couldn’t lie, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t withhold the truth. Luckily I wasn’t bound by the same rules – not that he knew that.
“I guess it does.” I went back to my folders, but I could feel him staring.
After a couple of minutes, he walked passed me and out of the office. Someone was clearly in a mood today.
I spent some time going through the information we had on the other women in this case. It didn’t take me long because we didn’t have much.
A copy of a birth certificate did, however, draw my attention. Nicole Atterleigh was the 3rd woman to go missing and according to the information on her birth certificate, her dad was fae. His name wasn’t listed and no contact information was given, but Nicole’s mother had provided his race, which was all I needed really.
Grabbing the phone I called my favourite detective.
He answered on the fourth ring. “Hallo?”
“McGraw! How is my favourite homicide detective?” I knew he was working the Nightclub case, and he might just be able to help me, though he wouldn’t want to. A long pause followed my cheery reply.
“Hamilton. What do you want?”
“Hmm, good question. World peace would be nice, but I would settle for you telling me, why you didn’t share the little nugget of information about how all the women in the Nightclub case were half-bloods?”
“How do you know that? Who told you? That’s classified information!”
I could feel a big smile spreading across my lips. “So it’s true. All the women were half-bloods.”
A short pause followed. “I didn’t say that.”
“Actually, you kind of did. Thanks for the confirmation, McGraw. It’s much appreciated. Have a lovely day. Bye!” I hung up before he had a chance to yell at me. He and I had a great working relationship.
A series of high pitched noises coming from my bag alerted me to the fact that someone was trying to contact me. I dug my phone out and looked at the number on the screen. Thomas Pelletier was calling me again. “Hallo?”
“Miss Hamilton?”
“It’s Thomas Pelletier. I just wanted to know if we could move our meeting to 8.30pm tonight? I’m unfortunately running a bit late.”
“Okay, we can do that. Still want me to meet you at your place?”
“Yes, please.”
“Okay, well see you there at 8.30 then.” A thought hit me. “Actually, did you know that all the women in the case were half-bloods?”
Thomas hesitated. “No, I did not know that.”
My bullshit meter spiked.
“Do you think this fact is important?”
“I’m starting to think so.”
“Interesting.” Silence followed, but I let it last, hoping he would fill it with something that would give me a deeper insight into the man on the other end of the line. “Well, we can discuss this new information along with what I have to show you tonight. See you later, Miss Hamilton.” He hung up and left me with the disconnect tone.
My instincts were telling me that Thomas Pelletier had just lied to me, and I wanted to know why. It might be worth paying his place a visit before our meeting tonight.

Read chapter 7 here!