I know what your thinking. Wow took her long enough didn't it? All I can do is throw myself to your mercy and apologize my ass off. Real life and lack of motivation combined are my measly excuse.

I'm actually pretty humbled by the fact that every two or three days, I STILL get story alerts even though this story hasn't been updated in such a long time. A huge THANK YOU to everyone that still has any interest in this, old and new readers alike!

A couple of weeks ago I got a message from a fellow reader/writer asking me if I was ok and did I plan on ever updating again. I promised them that I would watch my True Blood DVD's for inspiration and work on it. Well I did, and it actually worked. This chapter was already mostly written so I simply finished it, and I'm now working on chapter eight. K..enough talk. On with the show!

Chapter 7

Heading home from downtown Dallas, I had never felt as world weary in my life as I did in that particular moment. Despite my best efforts to remain strong, the past three days were emotionally and physically beginning to take their toll.

After running errands around Garland, I had taken the I-35W loop into Dallas and within thirty-eight minutes was standing in front of last place my sister had been seen. Approaching the closed nightclub's door, I took a gamble that someone would be in the club before opening hours and for once my gamble payed off.

After knocking on the blacked out door only two or three times, I was met at the door by man who turned out to be the manager of "The Underground".

Tony Anderson was aged somewhere in his mid to late twenties. Dressed casually in a pair of jeans and an well worn clash t-shirt, he was what one would generally describe as being an average looking guy.

Explaining the situation, I handed over several of the copied photos of my sister. Seemingly concerned, he claimed to not recognize Holly himself but promised to circulate the photos around to all the staff and give me a call if anyone remembered seeing anything.

The club was so quiet and bare looking in it's off hours, take away the lights, music and patrons, it almost had the feel of an old abandoned building. I couldn't help but to wonder if Holly was the first person to go missing here. How often does something like this happen in that type of setting?

I managed to reign in the morbid thoughts long enough to give Mr. Anderson a weak smile and thank him for his time and help. Then it was time to head home.

Rounding the last turn onto my street, I spotted a dark blue sedan parked on the road in front of my house. As I drew closer, I then noticed a figure standing on my front porch with the screen door propped open.

Pulling into the driveway, I put my car into park all the while keeping an eye on the stranger. Now closer I could identify the person as a male who was dressed in a pair of khaki pants, a button down shirt and tie.

Grabbing my pocket book, I quickly exited the car and strode up to the porch.

"Can I help you?" I called.

At the sound of my voice, the man turned his head then closed the screen door to face me. Reaching into his back pocket, he pulled out a dark wallet and flicked it open wide to display what appeared to be a badge.

"Yes ma'am, I'm Detective Alex Ross from the Dallas Police Department. I was wondering if I could have a few moments of your time?"

Looking up at the rather tall man who stood easily well over six feet, I quickly deduced the reason for his visit, "I assume this is about my sister?"

Giving a short nod of his head he said, "If your Laura McCallister then yes Ma'am it is."

With a jerk of my head toward the front door I offered, "OK..would you like to come in?"

"If it's not to much trouble." He responded while tucking his wallet back in his pocket.

He was a good looking guy I couldn't help but notice, aged somewhere in his mid to late thirties. Black hair was cut in a very modern tousled short style with long sideburns that ran down the length of his jaw line, a style which seemed to suit his strong facial features. An aquiline nose set below a pair hooded brown eyes and a dark olive complexion hinted of a Spanish or even perhaps an Italian heritage. This being Texas my money was on Spanish.

Walking around him I found the house key on my key ring and proceeded to unlock and open the door. Glancing back over my shoulder I spied the Detective standing patiently with his hands stuffed loosely in his pockets. I entered the house and could hear him following close behind.

I called back over my shoulder, "If you don't mind, we can sit in the kitchen to talk."

"I'm sure that will be fine." he easily agreed.

Just then Penelope came zooming from the hallway, apparently having just heard us come in. She immediately began chatting me up, "Meow..meooow..meow." I reached down and scooped her up as I continued toward the kitchen.

"Pretty cat...calico?"

We had reached the kitchen and I turned toward the man with Penelope still in my arms. She was purring madly as I stroked her head between her ears.

"This is Penelope and yeah, she's a calico." I said with a little smile. Then I looked at the detective and gestured toward the small breakfast table and chairs set up in the corner of the kitchen. "You can go ahead and take a seat." Then I thought to ask, "Can I get you anything? Coffee, water, tea?"

'Momma would be proud of me for remembering my manners.' I thought wryly.

Selecting one of the kitchen chairs, he sat down and said, "Actually, water sounds good, thanks."

Putting the cat down gently, I went to the refrigerator and pulled out two chilled bottles. I walked over to the table and sat down across from my guest handing him his water.

I watched as he opened the bottle and took a couple of large gulps before he finally started, "Ms. McCallister, I'm sure you know by now that I spoke with your Mother this morning."

Nodding I confirmed, "Yeah..I know."

"So tell me, is it true that you and your sister have had a fallen out recently?" He set down the bottle and smoothly pulled out a small black notebook and pen from his front shirt pocket.

Caught completely off guard by the question I opened and closed my mouth a couple of times before I could articulate an answer, "I..well yeah we had an argument but I don't understand..."

"And is it true that she was having problems with your Mother as well?" He shot off the next question before I could even finish answering the first.

My eyebrows drew together, completely confused by the line of questioning. "Look I don't know what that has to do with my sister being missing, but I..."

Once again he interrupted, "It has everything to do with it ma'am. I have to be sure that this isn't a case of your sister running away versus a possible abduction.

Taking a moment to gather my wits I then said tersely, "Look detective..I don't know why you're implying that my sister might have ran away, but I can assure you that is not the case here."

Raising one arrogant eyebrow he queried, "Oh? And your completely sure about that?"

"Well let me ask you detective, how can YOU be sure?!" I internally winced at the shrieking tone of my own voice. When I lose my cool that tends to happen.

Then I added sarcastically, "Besides don't you think if Holly had ran away she would have taken, oh I don't know, something other than the clothes on her back!?" I threw up my hands in frustration.

Holly may have been angry with me lately, but she did not run away. I knew this with every fiber of my being, and I didn't appreciate what this guy was trying to imply.

Lifting his wide shoulders in a shrug he said, "People just pick up and leave all the time Ms. McCallister. Believe me, I see it a lot."

Narrowing my eyes I shot back, "And people are abducted all the time as well, I hear it in the news every day. What are you saying? Does this mean your not going to investigate this as a missing person's case?"

He lifted his hands in a defensive gesture, "No..no..The investigation will stay open..for now. I'm still looking into it, but you need to be aware of the direction that this may take."

Clinching my fists and my jaw simultaneously I gritted out, "I don't care what direction you THINK this may take, your wrong! Did you even speak to Darla Walters? I talked to her and I swear that she knows something..."

"As a matter of fact, I interviewed her right before coming here. I have to say, her story seemed pretty straightforward to me and she doesn't seem to know much of anything."

I just blinked at him as in shock. Was this guy deliberately being thick headed or was it me?

Finally slumping back into my chair in defeat I murmured, "Looks like you've already made up your mind..."

He ignored that statement and asked, "Ms. McCallister, was your sister dating anyone that you know of?"

Pausing a moment to think I answered honestly, "I don't think so, if she were we would all have know it. When Holly dates someone she gets totally consumed for a week or so then it's on to the next crush. You know how teenage girls can be."

"Totally consumed? Consumed enough to consider taking off with someone?" He raised his brow.

"No! That's...your misconstruing what I said." I stuttered. "I just meant if she had a boyfriend she would have had him over to the house or would have been on the phone with him constantly, not that she would run off with him!"

He only grunted as he looked down and wrote something into his notepad. Suddenly I had this overwhelming urge to reach out and snatch the little notebook right out from under his pen, then tear it into a thousand little pieces. Obviously my patience level was wearing pretty thin at this point.

Without looking up he said,"One more question and I'll be out of your hair. Your Mother mentioned that Holly had called and left you a message Tuesday night. What did she say to you in her message?"

Licking my lips I thought back and said, "Not much really. Just that she wanted to talk to me, and she seemed upset."

"She seemed upset? How could you tell?" The detective looked up from his notebook to my face.

"I could have sworn she was crying. She was sniffling." I clarified.

Pinning me with his dark eyes he said, "So she called you upset right BEFORE she was missing?" Closing his notebook he said, "I'd like to hear that message if possible."

Nodding my head I rose from my seat and retrieved my cell phone from my pocketbook which I had sat down in it's usual resting place. Logging into my voice mail, I found the message and then passed the phone over to the detective before once again taking my seat.

Honestly until now I hadn't dissected Holly's phone call having been so swept up in the fact that she was actually missing. While waiting for the investigator to finish listening for himself, I stopped to really think about what that phone call could have been about. I'm sure Detective Ross would automatically assume Holly was calling me before she voluntarily left town for whatever reason, but it seemed much more likely to me that my sister was calling because she was in some sort of trouble. My heart ached at the implications.

I noticed that the detective had set the phone down and was now watching me intently. The stare was a bit strange, and I suddenly found myself feeling very self-conscious.

"Look I can see that on the surface the phone call fits right into your theory. Believe me detective, no one wants you to be right more than me, but I'm telling you that I know my sister. She would never have just voluntarily taken off without some indication she was going to do so. She would have packed a bag, or left some kind of message or warning. I really think she might have been in trouble when she made that call."

Sighing out loud Detective Ross rose to his feet, "I will keep that in mind Ms. McCallister." He offered his hand to shake, which I stood and reluctantly accepted.

I trailed behind him from the kitchen back to the front door feeling decidedly unhappy with interview. While I knew the best case scenario would be that Holly had just voluntarily run off, and I really wished that was the case, something in my gut was telling me different. It was imperative that the police continue to search for my missing sister.

Once we had reached the door he turned to me and said, "If I have any news I'll be in touch."

With a nod he moved to exit the opened door, when I remembered to ask, "Oh! If I hear anything from Holly or at the club, how can I contact you?"

His head whipped around and he echoed, "The club?"

Nodding I said, "Umm yeah.. "The Underground"...you know where she was last seen?" At his nod of understanding I continued to explain, "I dropped off several pictures of Holly with my phone number. I'm was just hoping someone saw something."

A flash of some undefinable emotion, annoyance perhaps, flashed in the detectives dark eyes before it was gone, "It's probably not a good idea for you to get involved with an ongoing investigation, I wouldn't want you to get..hurt." This last was said with a small tilt at the corners of his mouth.

Pulling out his wallet once again, he retrieved a small white rectangular card then handed it over.

"That has both my cell phone and department number on it. If you can't get me, leave a message and I'll get back to you fairly quickly.

Before I could reply, he opened the door and saw himself out.

Walking up to the door behind him I turned the lock on the door and shifted my gaze to the small foyer window. Pulling back the white linen curtain, I watched as he strode to his car got in and finally drove away.

I mindlessly toyed with the small business card between my fingers tips as I continued to stare out at the now empty curb where the sedan had just taken off only moments before, my mind replaying the strange interview over again.

'Why do I have this nagging feeling that something was just off with that guy?'

I know this chapter is boring, but in interest of the plot of this story it's a must... I think. lol

If you get a moment review and let me know what you think :) Thanks for reading!~