For the second time in as many weeks, Seymour de Winter was awoken by the sound of knocking at his door. This time, though, he recognized it immediately for what it was.
“Fuck,” he muttered, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the mattress. “What in the name of bloody fucking Rezyn does that fucker want with me now?”
Henry propped himself up on his elbow, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “What time is it?”
Still cursing, Seymour fumbled for his pocket watch on the bedside table, located it, and squinted to read it. “Five fucking thirty in the fucking morning. I’ll fucking kill him!”
“When’s your birthday, Seymour?”
“In August,” Seymour said as he stepped unsteadily into a pair of trousers. “Why?”
“I’m going to give you a thesaurus as a gift.”
Seymour stumped, half-dressed, out of the bedroom, leaving Henry to smirk at his own joke, and crossed the kitchen, all the while swearing under his breath. Upon reaching the door, he unbolted it and yanked it open.
“Good morning, de Winter,” Inspector Crowlinger said.
“You can take your ‘good morning’ and stick it up your ass, Inspector.”
“I take it I’ve disturbed your beauty sleep?”
The detective clenched and unclenched his fist menacingly. “Just tell me why you’re here before I knock your fucking teeth down your throat.”
“All right.” The inspector backpedaled a step. “Cawker’s dead.”
“The guards found him in his cell an hour ago. His throat was cut. Presumed suicide.”
Sighing heavily, Seymour closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead with the palm of his hand. “Evidence?”
“Well, he was alone in his cell, so…”
“What, is a police holding cell an impenetrable fortress now? There are people with keys to that cell, Crowlinger.”
Seymour slammed his hand against the doorframe, causing the human to jump. “Don’t you ‘yes but’ me at five thirty in the morning, Inspector. Is there or isn’t there a possibility that someone could have let themselves into his cell?”
“There is,” Crowlinger admitted. “But it’s highly unlikely.”
“Fine. What of the instrument that inflicted the wound?”
“A knife, of sorts. We don’t yet know he got it, or smuggled it in or whatever, but it was there and bloody. He was holding it in his right hand when he was found.”
“And what do you mean by ‘of sorts?’”
“It wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen,” said the inspector. “Made of black glass.”
“Similar to it, but not nearly as fragile. Had sapphires imbedded in the hilt and the outline of a bird engraved in the blade. A raven, I thi—”
But Inspector Crowlinger never got to finish that thought, for at that moment, Seymour doubled over and spewed the contents of his stomach all over the inspector’s boots.