The depth of the woods was unclear from Cole’s vantage point. The base of the mountain was somewhere in here, but so were suburban neighborhoods that made up part of the Charlottesville area. Cole walked to the start of the path by the edge of the trees. He turned to look at the campus. From this angle, the only part of the school visible was the upper floor of the Primrose dorm. The rock wall extended quite a distance in both directions and likely marked the boundary of the campus. The victim’s body had been slumped behind the wall in such a way that it wouldn’t have been visible from the campus proper. Someone would have to come up right on top of him, which the joggers eventually did.
Cole froze and listened.
Okay, he did hear that. Turning slowly, he scanned in the direction he thought the voice was coming from. “I hear you.”
“Over here.” A faint whisper.
Cole stared and finally saw a head sticking above some bushes. Eyes darted back and forth.
“You can come out. It’s just the two of us.” Cole stepped carefully over the path, not wanting to frighten the kid even more.
The bushes rustled and a youth in sweats badly in need of washing emerged.
“Simon.” Cole wasn’t surprised, given how the kid had watched his advance through the athletic fields.
“How’d you know my name?” Simon wiped his brow. His hand was shaking noticeably.
“I heard one of your teammates call you up there.” Cole motioned toward the fields with his head.
Simon blinked and let out a breath in relief. “Oh, yeah.”
Cole waited a few seconds for Simon to talk. The kid wiped his forehead again, sniffed, and scratched his head
After a few false starts, Simon said, “Are you a cop?”
“Oh. Cool. Um . . .” Simon weaved and tilted his head in all directions as he searched the immediate area.
“I get the feeling you want to talk to me.”
“Um . . .”
“Did you see something?”
“Uh-huh. I think I saw what killed him.” Simon looked at the ground.
“You mean who killed him.”
“No. I mean what. It was a vampire.”
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