The men stalked towards us with malicious intent in their eyes. In retrospect I wasn’t really afraid of what they would do to us considering that I could beat them but I didn’t want to draw in unwanted attention.
They finally reached us and just stood there, staring at Roy. He stared right back at them with the same hard look on his face. Then they all smiled. The one who had called his name pulled him in for a hug. I was very confused.
“You jackass you,” he said. “Why didn’t you tell us you were going to be in town?”
“I didn’t expect to be here too long,” Roy admitted. Hopefully we wouldn’t be.
The man looked over at me. “You running a daycare center?”
“Excuse me?” I asked. Who does this guy think he is?
I stepped forward but Roy put his hand up to stop me.
“He’s a friend of mine,” Roy lied. Well, maybe it wasn’t a lie. “We’re working together.” Roy turned to me. “Wes, this is Harry.”
I reluctantly stuck my hand out and squeezed his hand a little harder than I should have. He took it like a man, though.
“Good grip,” he said. “Wouldn’t have expected that from you. I can respect that.”
“Thanks,” I said.
“Still bounty hunting then?” Harry asked Roy.
“Yeah,” Roy replied. “That’s why we’re here actually.”
“A lot of disappearances lately.”
“You know anything about that?”
“Come have a drink with us.”
“I guess we can have a quick beer.” Roy looked over at me and I nodded in agreement.
We got to the bar and Harry bought everyone a beer. I went to grab for one but he knocked my hand away.
“You’re underage kid,” he pointed out. It was worth a shot. Honestly it smelled terrible anyway but I didn’t want to look like a wimp.
Once we were all settled in Roy talked with them for a little while, getting reacquainted. Apparently he had come through here once before after Drake had sent him on his own. Drake, to remind you, is the paladin that trained both of us. Roy was the only human, besides the agency, that I knew of that hunted monsters. Anyway, he was hunting a vampire and Roy saved Harry’s life. Harry just thought it was someone high on drugs or something, which was convenient because he didn’t need to know the truth.
“Anyway,” began Harry, “so what’s the deal? Do we have a serial killer here or what?”
“I don’t know,” said Roy. “We’re here to find out.”
“It’s been really strange. A lot like last time, but stranger.”
Harry slowly spun his cup of beer. “I don’t like to give into rumors or myths or anything like that but people have been disappearing into the sewers.”
“Yeah,” I chimed in. “We knew that part.”
“Did you know that the only thing left of the people they find are their heads?”
Now he had our attention.
“Come again?” Roy said.
“Yup,” said Harry. “All they find is their heads. They didn’t release that information to the media.”
“How do you know then?” I asked.
“Frankie’s wife here works for the sheriff’s office.”
I was already dissatisfied with having to be where we were and why we were there, but now I knew what we were there for. There was only one thing that would kill a human and then leave just the head: a mantis…