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Except that when he had tasted the water, he had tasted death.

The moonlight shone down on the water, and for a moment, he wondered if anyone else would be able to see the arm until morning when human eyes could see more clearly.

"You called?" Reginald's voice had lost its edge of suspicion soon after Vlad had been forced to make Anna into a vampire. There was no love lost between them, but respect had replaced some of the distrust, and Vlad had known it would be Reginald who responded to his call.

"There's a body in the lake," he said simply. "I wasn't certain at first, but the water tastes of death."

Reginald stared at him for a moment, then nodded. "Can you show me where? If we go out on a boat?"

"If you have spells to combat the darkness, you might be able to see it from here," Vlad said. "There may be more than one. I can't tell."

"More than one?" Reginald frowned.

"I'm not sure the taste would be so strong if it was a single body," Vlad said, and pointed to the middle of the lake. "There."

The arm waved. Vlad fought against an almost overwhelming urge to wave back.

"Oh," Reginald said. "And you just--saw it?"

Vlad's lips twitched. "Interrogating the only witness?" he asked lightly, knowing that Reginald was only doing his job. "I often walk around this lake. It's near my house, and it's usually fairly empty at this time of night. I've never seen anyone near here, before you ask. And the body wasn't in the water three nights ago, which is the last time I was here."

"Or bodies," Reginald muttered.

"Or bodies," Vlad said, watching the faint form in the water. "I hope not, but I thought you would be the one to call."

"I'll have my men drag the lake," Reginald said. "It might take longer than a night to find everything--if there is anything else to find."

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