THE SCENE WAS impossible, but there it was, happening just after midnight. The man was on the ground, fighting for his life. A werewolf was tearing at his throat, growling loudly. The werewolf was a female, incredibly powerful. The victim was strong, but no match for the fangs and claws of the snarling werewolf. The victim, a black man, was wearing an expensive watch and gold chains, plus two-carat diamond earrings. He was losing too much blood and was weakening. Finally, all resistance stopped, and the victim was dead. The werewolf satiated her need for blood and then slipped into the black of night.
BRAD JACKSON WAS thirty-four years old, and a lot had transpired during those thirty-four years. A quarterback in college, an army officer for three years, an LAPD officer for three years and an attorney for the past four years. As a policeman, he discovered that the line between cop and criminal was very thin and illusive, with both sides often crossing over the ill-defined barrier. He was tall, six feet three inches and well built; working out at his health club three days a week. He had light brown hair, hazel eyes and a Cabo San Lucas tan. The women he went out with said he was very handsome. His ex-wife said he was ugly. She decided that when the court refused to award her alimony. As an attorney, he could represent rich people, who he disliked, poor people, who could not afford his services, or gang members who had the necessary funds.
By representing gang members, he made numerous enemies among law enforcement agencies. He would probably have made the same number of enemies if his skills kept rich people from being convicted. Because lawyers were universally hated by policemen, it really did not make much difference which group he represented. Los Angeles County had over seven hundred gangs, some major, others smaller. Because of the large number of gangs, his courtroom skills were always in demand. He had become successful as an attorney and his law firm now employed three lawyers, one white, one Mexican and one black, plus three law clerks. He was considering hiring an Asian attorney, since the Hmong and other Asian gangs were getting stronger in the southland. The overall gang number did not include the Chinese Red Dragon, the Korean Black Dragon or the Wau Ching; these did not splinter into smaller gangs.
His receptionist was a beautiful black woman who lived with him off and on, when she was in between boyfriends. She had just notified Brad that his appointment had arrived. His office should have been in Beverly Hills or Century City, where other prosperous attorneys were located, but his clientele felt uncomfortable in those wealthy cities. Plus, it was more dangerous to carry weapons in affluent areas. Instead he bought a building on Central Ave and it looked far too successful for the area, bars on the windows and security cameras protected the offices. He purchased the building next door, razed it, and turned it into a parking lot; complete with guard. His clients could park their expensive vehicles without fear of theft.
Brad had his receptionist bring the client back to his office. The office was not what one would expect in South/Central LA: exotic wood paneling, carpet thick enough to sleep on and a glassed-in arboretum on the north wall. The arboretum was an indoor misting rain forest, complete with ferns and flowering plants; plus, a small waterfall. Brad stood up and shook Tyrone’s hand. Tyrone’s bodyguard glared at Brad, which was normal because he hated white people.
Brad suggested, “Have a seat.”
Tyrone sat down in one of the button-back leather chairs and his bodyguard sat on the matching sofa, still scowling. Tyrone was the head of the Black P. Stone Jungle Crips, a major player in the Crips hierarchy. He was six feet tall, well-built and had a scar on his left cheek, given to him by a Blood enforcer when he was just a low-ranking soldier. He had received his AA Degree online from LA Southwest Community College while incarcerated in Soledad prison. He was probably the only Crips leader in Los Angeles with an AA Degree. He majored in Police Science.
Tyrone asked, “What did you find out?”
Brad told him, “Mostly nonsense. The deputy coroner’s report claims your lieutenant was killed by a rabid dog. But the medical report says nothing about saliva from a dog with rabies, and the black hair found on the body could not be assigned to any known breed of dog. Plus, no report of a rabid dog in the area was circulated to warn the local citizens.”
“Lester was as tough as pig iron and wouldn’t have laid down so some dog could maul him.”
“Even worse, his .40 S&W pistol was still in the back holster, so if it was a rabid dog, he’d have shot it.”
“Lester is the third one to die like that, him, a Blood lieutenant and a lieutenant from the Northside Bulldogs. The last thing we need is a war, but someone is killing off our lieutenants. We all lose soldiers, but they’re shot or stabbed, not have their throats ripped out and missing blood.”
Brad related, “My contact was able to get her hands of the other two files. Same foolishness, one blamed on a rabid dog and the other a large feral dog.”
Tyrone frowned and asked, “What’s a feral dog?”
“A feral dog is a domestic dog that has become wild and will attack other animals. If a feral pack is large enough, it might attack a man, but animal control never lets a pack of dogs survive. And the breed of a feral dog could be determined by the dog hair left on the body.”