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May Day is the first book in the Seekers series. It follows Jack Valentine and takes place some twenty years after the events of Killian's Dead.

Blurb[]

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective.

Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.

Body bags on standby.

Content warnings[]

General warning for violence/murder.

General warning for blood/gore, including blood drinking, description of injuries, dead bodies, forensic investigation, autopsy.

Brief mention of suicide.

Blood drinking as sexual/pleasurable behaviour.

Some swearing (up to and including ‘fuck’).

Use of ‘date rape’ drugs including rohypnol, in non-sexual context.

Predatory sexual behaviour discussed on-page but not seen, including stalking, sexual assault and rape, physical abuse of women for sexual pleasure. Use/abuse of prostitutes mentioned.

Misogyny from side characters.

Brief mention of miscarriage.

Events (Spoilers)[]

This section will contain detailed spoilers. Many characters in this series also appear in other Silverse books, so clicking any links may lead to spoilers not only for this book but also for other series - use caution!

Jack Valentine is patrolling Magdalen Bridge in Oxford on May Morning with Cam, Naia, and Boyd, other members of the Seekers. Despite the Seekers usually only dealing with their Silver peers, their captain has ordered them to prevent any human students from dying while jumping into the river, a dangerous May Day tradition. While they are distracted doing this, a body drops from near the top of Magdalen College tower, and Jack smells the scent mark of Silver violence. The team collects evidence from the scene at Silver speed, and reports back to Captain Langford, who admits the unusual patrol was because she suspected something might happen during the celebrations. She tells the team that she was warned by the Solis Invicti that London has had a couple of 'scab kills' during major traditional events - kills made by a rogue Silver who murders humans rather than using the sanctioned ways to get their blood supply, and who run the risk of revealing the existence of the Silver to the human populations.  

The team lay out the evidence they found: the dead man was a local property developer named David Grant. Naia was able to take swabs from his body, which have been taken to Ed's lab for analysis, and she also found a ticket to an opera at the Oxford Playhouse from the night before. Jack adds that Grant was a fifty to fifty-five year old Caucasian, with dark hair, wearing an expensive but ill-fitting suit and a gold wedding band. He had no coat or umbrella, so was not planning to be outside. He had been mostly drained of blood, but there was no evidence of a Silver bite on him, only a needle mark in the back of his right hand, surrounded by a bruise, with sticky residue from surgical tape. Bits of red lint were stuck to the residue, and a sample has also been taken to the lab. His body was marked with the scent of Silver violence, but not Silver passion.  

The captain tells Jack's team to follow up with the lab, but to hold off on further enquiries until she has contacted the Solis Invicti. At the lab, Cam and Ed are very awkward around each other, and Jack wonders why; she knows that they used to date, and are friendly, but they have recently been very cool towards one another. Ed tells Jack and Cam that the red lint is synthetic velvet, and may be a match to the upholstered seats at the Oxford Playhouse, but they will need to bring him a sample to compare. He also tells them that there was a smear of Chanel Noir Moderne lipstick on one of the swabs from Grant's mouth.  

With the investigation on hold until the Captain has approval, Jack and Cam go to the Solomon College bar to get drunk. They meet Naia and Boyd, and end up discussing the case, realising that all of the scab kills are intended to be big spectacles; this isn't a rogue Silver who can't control their urge for blood, but a calculating one deliberately trying to make a scene. Jack tells Cam she suspects Killian Drake, the Baron of Oxford, whom she has a grudge against (see the events of Killian's Dead). Cam tries to dissuade her, but they agree to investigate him if necessary. They carry on drinking, and later, Cam has to carry a very drunk Jack back to her room and put her to bed.  

Jack wakes to find Naia pounding on her door; the Secundus of the Solis Invicti has arrived for a briefing. Jack arrives late to the meeting, smelling of alcohol. The Secundus introduces Thomas Meyer, a member of the Solis Invicti, and Dr Tabitha Ross, part of their medical team, who will be attached to the investigation. Jack is instantly attracted to Dr Ross. She tells the Seekers that Grant's blood was most likely drained through the puncture on the back of his hand, perhaps through an IV, unlike the London scab kills, which all featured bite marks. Meyer suspects that the perpetrator is the same, despite this difference in the method, and theorises that the murderer is using humans to dump the bodies to avoid leaving a personal scent mark. The Secundus gives the Seekers the okay to investigate, specifying that Cam should speak to Grant's wife.  

Mrs Grant tells Jack and Cam that she believed her husband had been having an affair since January, but she had no proof. She isn't particularly upset by the idea; she stayed for the convenience, not love. She mentions that Grant was always scribbling in a notebook. When Jack and Cam return to the college, the Secundus sends them to speak to Gabriella De Palma, the director of the opera Grant attended the night before his death; he also tells them that Grant apparently disappeared with a short, dark-haired woman after the performance.  

At the theatre, Jack realises that Gabriella is Silver. They interview her in her suite at the Randolph Hotel, where she explains that Grant was a patron of the operatic society, which allowed the Silver to operate without arousing suspicion about where their money came from; she has enough wealth to fund the opera herself, but loyalty to the Primus prevents her from arousing suspicion by splashing money around. She tells the Seekers that Grant attended the opera with two men around his age and a woman in her forties, all human. She also mentions that he had a reputation for being handsy with women, but this unknown woman did not seem to be tolerating that. When pressed for her whereabouts, she says she was backstage after the show, and then was supposed to have a midnight dinner with Killian Drake, but he never showed up, so she ate alone in the Randolph dining room. After the interview, she takes Jack and Cam back to the Playhouse and they meet some members of the cast and crew, including the lead soprano, Alicia Tresor, and the stage manager, Iain Halberd; they are all human. Gabriella gives the Seekers tickets to that night's opera.  

Jack insists on interviewing Drake alone, sending Cam to report to the Secundus. She admits to herself that she would happily frame Drake for this case in order to 'pay him back' for the disappearance of Winta. At his Summertown house, she outright accuses him of killing Grant, but Drake denies it, stating that he wouldn't be so crude. He claims that he never agreed to go to dinner with Gabriella, but that she had been pursuing him romantically and would not accept that he had refused the date. Instead, he says he was in London with the Primus, which means Jack cannot fault it. Drake taunts Jack about her obsession with him and she swears to make him pay, then leaves.  

That night, Cam and Jack attend the opera. Cam lectures Jack about her grudge against Drake, and hints that it might be fuelled in part by attraction, which she vehemently denies. They end up sat next to Drake and his date, Veronica, in the front row. When Drake helps Jack out of her coat, she hears his pulse increase and he teases her about her low-cut dress; she enjoys his discomfort. As the opera starts, Jack realises all the actresses are wearing Chanel Noir Moderne lipstick. After the show, they go backstage with Drake; they speak to Gabriella, and Drake introduces Jack to the lead soprano, Fabiana, who is not the same lead soprano that Gabriella had introduced her to earlier that day. Fabiana tells Jack that Grant was always backstage, scribbling in his notebook, and that he made her uncomfortable; Halberd breaks up the conversation to hurry the singers to leave the Playhouse. Jack is concerned to realise that she has grown used to Drake's company, and irritated that he seems to be inserting himself into their investigation. Jack, Cam and Drake ask Gabriella about the lipstick that the singers are wearing, and she says that it must have rubbed off when he came backstage the previous night - but Jack notes that she had not mentioned that he came backstage when they spoke earlier. Gabriella denies that Grant was having an affair with one of the singers.  

As they leave, Drake confronts Jack about her grudge against him, and asks how long she will keep attacking him over a 'twenty-year-old fling'. He manoeuvres her against the wall and Jack is overwhelmed by her attraction to him, but remains in denial. He claims he turned down Gabriella because he didn't feel a 'lightning bolt' with her, and hints that Jack is searching for that feeling too; he offers to help her. She is confused about how he makes her feel but tells him to stay away from her.  

The next morning, Cam reports to the Captain and Jack heads to Ed's lab with the upholstery sample. Ed has discovered that Grant's blood contains a large amount of Rohypnol; he was injected before his blood was drained. Ed offers no theory as to why Grant would have been sedated, and they note that the drug made his blood smell revolting, so it is unlikely that his blood was drunk by a Silver. Jack needles Ed about his awkwardness with Cam, but he ignores her. Meanwhile, the Captain has told Cam that the woman Grant left the opera with was an insolvency lawyer, and Grant was in deep financial trouble. She left angrily as soon as the opera finished, because Grant had tried to grope her. Jack is still trying to link the murder to Drake, but she and Cam are forced to admit that the case doesn't make any sense. Jack asks Cam again about Ed, but he says he isn't ready to talk yet.  

They head to the canteen and have lunch with Naia and Boyd, who report that they have made no progress. Jack fills them in on the discoveries they have made so far, and Naia suggests they should check the 'Creep Box' files for any Silver with a history of using Rohypnol. They find a file on Matthew Felton, who is known to abduct and drug humans, and dress them up and pose them before drinking from them. Naia and Jack pay him a visit, and find him asleep in his attic with the unconscious bodies of three human women, whom he has dressed up in costumes and suspended from the ceiling with silk ties. Naia and Jack are outraged and Naia breaks Felton's arm. They untie the young women and interrogate Felton, who admits to drugging his victims with cocaine and sedatives of his own invention, but not Rohypnol, which he says makes the blood taste too bad to drink. Naia takes samples of his blood and bone marrow for DNA testing, and also samples of his sedatives. Felton claims that nothing he's done is illegal by Silver law, which is true since it doesn't threaten their secrecy, and Naia and Jack, frustrated by this, beat him up and leave a fire burning in his room (which is also technically legal in the eyes of the Silver).  

At the lab, Ed confirms that Felton's samples do not match the drug found in Grant's blood. Jack and Naia talk to Tabitha; Jack is awkward with her, but Naia invites her to come drinking with the team that evening. In the bar, Jack and Tabitha flirt, and Ed arrives with Carrie, which upsets Cam. Jack tries to distract him with a potent cocktail of blood and alcohol (a Valentine's Massacre) and they all get very drunk. Jack wakes up the next morning with Tabitha in her bed, though they are both fully clothed and neither of them remember doing anything beyond stumbling home. Jack is called to the conference room and tells Tabitha she will return with coffee after the meeting.  

In the meeting, the Secundus tells Jack's team that Killian Drake will be helping with the investigation. They confirm what they know about the case so far and Drake suggests looking at the records of Cope, Grant, and Carding Limited, a property investment company linked to many wealthy Silver. He also suggests investigating Sir Percival Windsor due to his gambling debt, which may have caused him to have problems with CGC, and Lydia Gainsborough, who may have been speculating with CGC. Boyd expresses frustration that they are investigating Grant when, if the case is related to the London scab killings, he may have been randomly chosen as the victim, but the Secundus tells him they need to pursue all avenues.  

After the meeting the Captain reprimands Naia and Jack for their behaviour towards Felton, saying that he has powerful friends. When Jack assumes this means Drake, she tells her to stop fixating on him; she reveals that it was Drake who insisted Jack be made a Seeker twenty years ago. Jack is very uncomfortable with the thought that he has helped her. Naia and Cam tell Jack she needs to get her act together or she will ruin any chance she has of joining the Solis Invicti, and that she's deliberately sabotaging herself rather than admit she had a bad start with the Secundus. Jack goes back to her room with coffee but finds Tabitha has left for work.  

Jack, Boyd, and Meyer head to the offices of CGC while the others visit Grant's business partner Carding and Lydia Gainsborough; on the journey Meyer gently teases Jack and she realises he has a sense of humour. The offices are surprisingly empty, but the team hear voices in a closed office. Suspecting a hostage situation, they kick in the door, but find Grant's other business partner, Mr Cope, arguing with Sarah Jenkins over some documents that prove embezzlement. Boyd notices something in the documents, but indicates to Jack he doesn't want to talk in front of Meyer. Sarah tells them that it is unlikely the embezzlement was linked to the murder, due to the timing, but that Grant was a 'social-climbing sleaze' who was trying to start an affair with her.  

The team then head to the home of Percival Windsor to question him. Windsor is hungover and has the scent of three women on him, and he does not invite the team in. They hear dogs barking inside the house, although most Silver don't have dogs due to their heightened sense of smell, which makes Jack suspicious that he is guarding something. Boyd asks to be allowed to send a Seeker to one of his parties to monitor the guests; Windsor refuses, even when Meyer name checks the Secundus, and makes it clear he will not cooperate with the Seekers. He leaves and his butler closes the door on them.  

When they arrive back at Solomon College, the other half of the team have found nothing. The Secundus says that the Solis Invicti will handle the similarities to the London murders, and the Seekers should focus on the leads that involve Grant. Once the Invicti have left, Boyd reveals that several of the companies named in CGC's documents look like they belong to the Solis Invicti, or even the Primus. Captain Langford makes it clear that she will pretend not to know about this and the team have the weekend to investigate. Later, Jack talks to Cam and Naia and realises she has to apologise to Drake for her behaviour towards him.  

Jack meets Drake in his conservatory. He needles her about her crush on Tabitha, and Jack thinks he might be jealous, but then Veronica appears wearing a bathrobe and Jack dismisses the idea. When Jack apologises, Drake guesses instantly that the captain told her about his involvement in her joining the Seekers; he seems unsettled by her attempt to be friendly, and tells her just to be herself, but ditch the vendetta. They bicker, but Drake points out that it's more like flirting and touches Jack's hair, which sets her on edge. Jack asks him to escort her to one of Percival Windsor's parties the next night so that she can investigate his social circle, and Drake teases her about it being a date, but agrees. Later, Jack fills Cam in on the conversation and he suggests that she and Drake should deal with their sexual tension with a night together, an idea Jack pulls a face at. They check Grant's phone records and find a mobile number that called him fifteen times in the month before he died.

The next morning Naia tells Jack that Tabitha has finished the post-mortem on Grant, and they go to her house to visit her lab. They also see that there was more lipstick on and inside his mouth than they had thought, which indicate that it didn't just rub off accidentally, but came from him kissing someone, but Naia and Jack agree that an affair with a human (as the opera singers were) is most likely unrelated to the murder. Tabitha tells them that Grant's heart and part of his liver was missing, an amount roughly equivalent to the Shakespearean 'pound of flesh', confirming that the motive is almost certainly Grant's finances. She puts time of death between midnight and 2am, and has sent samples of the DNA under Grant's nails to Ed to examine for a match. Jack awkwardly invites Tabitha for a drink, and she accepts, offering that night, but Jack remembers she has to go to the party with Drake and tries to leave without setting another date. Naia makes Jack ask for Tabitha's number, and Jack realises Tabitha fancies her back. Later that day, Jack buys a formal dress for the party, and texts Tabitha; they arrange to go out the following night.  

That evening, Drake picks Jack up for the party. He tries to touch her hair again and she bats him away, but he points out for Jack to keep her cover, they will have to touch, and what's more, mark each other with a possessive scent mark. This requires a kiss where both parties consent to mark each other. Jack initially refuses, but realises she has no other options. They kiss and Jack is overwhelmed by her attraction to him; the mark takes very quickly and leaves Jack wanting more. Drake points out that the kiss felt more intense than just something she was doing for the sake of the investigation but Jack brushes him off.  

Inside, Windsor greets Drake and Jack notes that the party is mostly old Silver men with young Silver women as their dates, with the odd human girl as well. Drake kisses Jack again to confirm their cover and she is surprised the mark is affecting her so much by making her want him. She tries to split from him to investigate but he points out that no one will talk to her on her own, so she begrudgingly includes him. They speak to a man named Harrison, who asks if Drake knows about Grant. He hints that Grant was involved in some sort of scam targeting humans, not Silver, since he 'knew' what would happen if he crossed the Silver. He was a frequent guest of Windsor's parties. Another man named Mainwaring joins them, and lets slip that it is possible at these gatherings to buy your way into being turned Silver; this is illegal to do without the Primus's knowledge, but Jack doesn't know if this is happening secretly, or with the Primus's approval.  

A bit later, as the men talk about themselves, Jack notices the women slipping away, and follows them upstairs. She finds a room set up like an auditorium, filled with the women and about twenty men, who are mostly human with a few Silver. One of the men seems familiar, and threatening. She realises this is the ceremony for turning those who have bought their way into becoming Silver. A list of six names is read out, and the first selected man leaves with one of the women, escorted by two Silver men, but the Silver return bloodied and alone, and Jack realises he has died during the turning. The rest of the men do likewise, all dying, until the last man goes out and returns successfully; however, Jack notes that he was Silver to begin with. She realises this is a racket to con these men out of their money, and then kill them.  

On her way back downstairs, Jack is cornered by Felton, who threatens her with the Solis Invicti. She is about to fight her way free when Drake arrives to rescue her; Felton does not know who Drake is and the situation escalates. Windsor, toadying to Drake, punches Felton and kicks him out of the party. He encourages Drake and Jack to stay. They join the dancing, and have an intimate moment, but Jack continues to deny her feelings for Drake are real, insisting it is the mark. The moment is ruined when Jack spots the buffet of humans laid out for the Silver to drink, but she can do nothing without breaking her cover. To distrat herself, she starts a game of Ring of Fire, using Valentine's Massacres as the drinks. Some time later, Jack and Drake leave in a chauffeured car, and he tries to kiss her again, but she refuses. She passes out and wakes to a text message from Tabitha talking about their date; Jack realises it's going to be hard to explain Drake's scent mark on her. She accuses him of deliberately sabotaging her budding relationship with Tabitha, and he tells her he never claimed to be a good man. Jack storms out and texts Tabitha to postpone their date until the day after, when the mark will have worn off.    

The next morning, Jack struggles with the way the mark makes her want to be with Killian; she compares it to an addiction. Cam and Naia immediately notice the mark and assume that she and Killian have slept together, so she explains the kiss and denies that it meant anything, but they do not believe her. Boyd tells the team that the Silver companies on the books of CGC Ltd are real, and successful, but have no leads to anyone actually involved. Jack reports back on the scam at the party, and Boyd insists they tell the captain. The captain says that their priority is containment; she will deal with the people who were at the party, and the team are not to tell anyone else, especially not the Solis Invicti, who have returned from London. She also tells Jack to try not to let on that the mark was because she was at the party.    

The Seekers meet with the Invicti so Ed can explain his findings. Drake is also there, and acts as though he and Jack are a couple, holding her hand, and she realises he is also trying to hide the reason behind the mark. Ed informs everyone that the DNA results show that the London killer, and Grant's killer, had fed from two of the same people, and it would be too much of a coincidence for a London Silver and an Oxford Silver to share a food source. He also confirms that the red fibres found on Grant's body are from the seats at the Oxford Playhouse. Tabitha arrives to give the report from the post-mortem, and scents the mark and sees Jack and Drake holding hands. After the meeting, she leaves quickly, and when Jack chases her, she tells her that although she likes Jack, she won't fight Drake for her. Jack convinces her to talk once the mark is gone, and she leaves. Jack tells Drake off for letting Tabitha believe the mark was real, but he claims it was more important to keep up the deception for the Invicti, which she grudgingly agrees with. He flirts with her and implies it isn't just the mark creating the attraction between them, but Jack leaves.    

Cam tries to talk to Jack about Drake but she refuses to discuss it. They realise that the only people they know who came from London to Oxford are the Invicti, and that they have to keep quiet until they can find proof. They set off to investigate Magdalen College without being seen, as directed by the captain. That night, they sneak into the college, and find a Silver, Mary Thompson, in one of the rooms. She claims she heard screams on May Morning and saw a Silver running past, but the only detail she saw was a flash of purple and green from under a dark coat. Jack notices a black mark on her wrist that follows the path of her veins; afterwards, Cam tells Jack she is Black Mary, a folk legend who drained the blood of children in her care and who was marked with the black veins by the Seekers to mark her out. Jack asks Cam if he's okay about Ed, and he says he will be; he asks her about her love life, and tries to comfort her that she still has a chance to talk to Tabitha.

On Tuesday night, Jack and Tabitha go on their date. Jack tells Tabitha that she only let Drake mark her for a mission; Tabitha points out that it wouldn't have worked if she wasn't attracted to him. She also tells Jack that Drake specifically asked her to be at the meeting, presumably so she would know about the mark so he could stake his claim on Jack. Jack says she's choosing Tabitha regardless of Drake's plans, and Tabitha agrees to give it a chance. Later, they go back to Jack's and kiss, but Tabitha stops things from going any further, saying it's too fast. They go to sleep together, but Jack is kept awake by anger towards Drake for complicating the relationship.

The next day, Jack confronts Killian at his house about calling Tabitha to the meeting. They argue about the mark again, and the tension between them ends up with them kissing intensely. Jack asks Killian to bite her, which she finds deeply erotic, and afterwards she accidentally calls him by his first name for the first time. She storms off, but realises that they've marked each other again. She texts and cancels her plans with Tabitha for that night, planning to hide until the new mark has worn off; she also receives a text from Drake asking her if she's free that night. She blocks his number.

On Thursday, the captain gives Jack and Cam David Grant's mobile phone; they see that the number that called him fifteen times in April is labelled 'Work'. When they call the number, it's a co-working office space called OfficeBox. They head to OfficeBox and find out that it's a front; David Grant hired a furnished room there to sleep with prostitutes. Later, Cam counsels Jack to be honest with Tabitha about the new mark; she calls Tabitha to talk, and they agree to discuss it the next night after lots of drinks.

Still looking for Grant's notebook, Jack and Naia head back to his house to speak to Mrs Grant, who is very drunk. The house is in the process of being packed up, and Mrs Grant tells them debt collectors are taking everything; she also tells them she knew about Grant's space at OfficeBox and didn't care. They take a coat of Grant's in the hope of using his scent to find out more. When Jack asks about the notebook, she's surprised he didn't have it on him as he apparently carried it everywhere; he had had many notebooks before this one, but they have not turned up in the house even though she's looked. She's too drunk to leave alone, so Jack and Naia take her back to Solomon College to sleep it off, but there are no spare guest rooms so Jack has to let her sleep in her room. In the night, while Jack and Cam are discussing the notebooks, Mrs Grant mumbles 'gym', and in the morning she tells them he has a locker at a local gym. Jack asks Faizan to check it out.

Boyd and Naia find Grant's notebook at Magdalen. It is full of sketches of women annotated with disturbing sexual comments detailing his violence against them. This book is only a few months old and contains around 20 different women, but it seems likely the remaining books detail a long history of his behaviour. The most recent drawing is of Alicia Tresor, one of the opera singers from the show Grant attended the night before he died. At the back of the book is a sketch of the Solis Invicti's mark, a stylised SI, and the name Benedict (who is the Tertius of the Solis Invicti); the team decide it's best to rip the page out before they pass the evidence on, and hide the fact that they know the Invicti were involved somehow with Grant. Later, the captain instructs them to take the notebook to the Secundus, who introduces them to Benedict. Jack recognises Benedict as the person in charge of the Casting racket at Windsor's party but doesn't say anything. Benedict is dismissive of the notebook, saying that they know the killer is the same as the London scab killing randomly, so they don't need to investigate Grant any further. At lunch, the team talk to another Seeker team (Ellie and Quentin) who have also been pulled off a case by the Invicti. Naia tells Jack they need to keep their mouths shut about any Invicti involvement in Grant's death, as they are ultimately reporting back to the Invicti, so it would be pointless at best and dangerous at worst. Faizan calls; he didn't find the notebooks in Grant's gym locker, but has requisitioned the CCTV.

Jack and Tabitha's date sees them end up at Oxford's blood bar on Holywell Street, which she has some history with. They refuse to let her in until Gabriella de Palma vouches for her. By the end of the night, Jack and Tabitha are very drunk and decide to start fresh and forget about Drake. They kiss, and Jack tries to mark her, but it doesn't work; Tabitha says it's too soon, but doesn't seem to mind. After Tabitha heads home, Jack is followed by Benedict, who claims he is 'curious' about her after a 'friend' mentioned her. Jack feels he is threatening her.

The next day, Jack finds that the Invicti have had a tip about a future planned murder at the Queen's birthday celebrations, and they head back to London, leaving Benedict to keep an eye on the Oxford investigation. Jack informs the captain of Benedict's role at the party and his threats the previous night, but the captain dismisses her concerns, giving several excuses as to why Benedict might have been involved and saying that his behaviour towards Jack seems normal. Later, Jack tells Boyd they should have shown the captain the page they ripped out of Grant's notebook, but he says she would have dismissed that too; Jack decides to investigate Benedict herself.

Naia and Jack visit Alicia Tresor, the soprano, at her house in North Oxford, which is much grander than Jack is expecting. She seems like a shell of her former self. The stage manager, Iain Halberd, is also there, and although he is polite, he refuses at first to let Jack speak to Alicia alone. Eventually Naia distracts him and Jack asks Alicia about her relationship with Grant; she angrily denies that they had one. Seeing they won't get anything out of her, Jack and Naia leave. Back at Solomon College, Cam tells Jack he found out why Ellie's team had been taken off their case by the Solis Invicti: some blood sample evidence had gone missing in an investigation about the disappearance of a wealthy human man who had drained his bank accounts and then been found dead with a Silver violence mark on him. Jack realises the Invicti are trying to cover up the Casting racket, and speculates that they're just doing it for the money. She notes that the only place they've seen an excess of money is in the Invicti-linked companies Grant was using to embezzle money.

Later that day, Jack is in the stationery cupboard when Benedict corners her, locking them both inside. He asks her if she's ever wanted to join the Solis Invicti, and, not sure if it's a threat or a bribe, she gets angry and tells him she saw him at Windsor's party. He tells her he was there on business and insinuates she'd better consider who's side she's on, before leaving. Jack is left very shaken. She tries to convince Cam to help her question Matthew Felton again, and he tells her she's just looking to provoke Benedict, but she decides to do it anyway, so Cam brings him in. Felton confirms he was acquainted with Grant through 'a mutual friend' before Benedict interrupts the interrogation and sends him away. He dismisses Cam and starts to threaten Jack, but realises there's CCTV on and keeps it subtle, once again leaving her sure he's behind the sham Casting, but worried about investigating further.

Eventually, Jack finds something on the footage from the gym: Iain Halberd, the stage manager from the Playhouse, removing a black duffle bag from Grant's locker. Jack goes to question him, but finds Drake waiting for her outside the college. He tells her they can't ignore what's happening between them; she tells him she's acknowledging it, but doesn't want it so she's avoiding him until the feelings fade. He asks her spitefully if her feelings for Winta have ever faded, and Jack tries to shut the conversation down, but is shocked when Drake drags her into an alleyway. His aggressive behaviour, and his eyes, seem unnatural to Jack, and she struggles to get away from him, but he pins her to the wall and backhands her dangerously hard across the face even while he's trying to convince her to be with him. Suddenly, he lets go, and his eyes seem to return to normal. He starts to tell her something about her blood but is interrupted by someone shooting a dart at them; he steps in front of Jack to protect her and the dart hits him in the neck and he collapses. Another dart flies past and Jack flees back to the college carrying the now unconscious Drake. While Drake is being assessed in the sick bay, Cam takes the dart to Ed's lab so he can assess its contents; he asks Jack about the bruises Drake has left on her face, but she tells him that Drake wasn't himself. Tabitha arrives to treat Drake and speculates that the dart contained some kind of poison as his wound has turned black, though she has never heard of a poison that would do this to a Silver. She asks if it might have interacted with something already in his system, and Jack is forced to tell her that he had bitten her, and said something about her blood right after the attack, which leaves things awkward between them. Jack is very conflicted about her feelings towards Drake and pleads with him to wake up. Ed comes back with the results and says Drake will be fine tomorrow. Cam and Ed show Jack that the dart has the Solis Invicti crest engraved on it and Ed tells her that the contents had a lot of common components with Felton's sedatives; Jack concludes that the dart was a warning from Benedict to stay away from Felton.

That night, Jack can't sleep and sneaks down to the sick bay to sit with Drake; she falls asleep holding his hand, but when she wakes up, she snaps at him and leaves. On her way out she bumps into Tabitha, who tells her she's giving Jack up in the face of Drake's claim, which he reiterated to her that morning. She also tells Jack about haematopsychosis, which is a psychosis induced by Silver drinking the blood of a Silver they've marked; Drake's aggressive behaviour might be explained as this. She leaves, but tells Jack to call her once she's talked to Drake. Jack tells Drake to leave her and Tabitha alone, but is caught off guard when he apologises for the night before, and tells her he won't interfere in her relationship with Tabitha. She decides not to tell him about the Invicti sign on the dart, but does explain about haematopsychosis; Drake isn't convinced he wasn't acting on his own bad impulses. Jack leaves, feeling awkward about not knowing how she feels.

The team tell Jack that the Secundus called them about the dart after someone unknown reported it to him; the contents were something that was being tested and shouldn't be out in use yet. They speculate about the reasons behind the Invicti's involvement in everything, wondering if they are gathering money and resources for something in the future. Jack learns that Benedict has left Oxford as the London scab killer has been found (a Silver named Charles), but he has an alibi for the time of Grant's death, so Boyd says he'll ask the captain if they can keep investigating. Jack goes to check on Drake in sick bay but finds he has gone home, and Cam finds her there. They talk about Jack's conflicted feelings, then Cam tells her that he and Ed have made friends again, though they haven't gotten back together.

The next day, the team get orders to pretend that there was no incident with the dart and they know nothing about it. Boyd tells them they need to tie up the loose ends as the captain has instructed them, on the Invicti's orders, to close the case. They also need to write up reports. Cam and Jack go back to Alicia Tresor's house to talk to Halberd. After they show him the footage from the gym, he tells them that Grant had been stalking Alicia but nothing could be done because he was too valuable a benefactor to the company. She eventually became ill from the stress and refused to perform. He says he burned the notebooks without Alicia's knowledge, to protect her from seeing them. After they leave, Jack and Cam reflect that without seeing the last notebook, Halberd doesn't seem to know how far Grant went in his abuse of Alicia, but they don't think he is the murderer. They also realise that even with large donations to the company, Grant's missing money is such a big amount that must have gone somewhere else, presumably to paying Benedict for the fake Casting.

Back at the college, the team discuss how to write the report to leave out what they know about the Invicti, which is difficult. While they wrangle, Jack realises that the identification of Grant's killer as the London scab killer might be down to someone planting pre-existing evidence to throw off the investigation. Naia finds the ticket from Jack's visit to the opera on her desk, and realises that Jack saw the company perform La Traviata, whereas the ticket in Grant's pocket when he died was for Tosca. Jack looks online for information about the change and finds dress rehearsal pictures that show Gabriella de Palma wearing a purple and green skirt, which matches the description of the murderer given by witness Mary Thompson. Cam and Jack go to the Randolph to talk to Gabriella, and find her packing now that the show's run is over. She realises they know, and confesses; she did it to protect Alicia, who never told her what was going on, and did it publically to warn away other predatory men like Grant. She tells them Grant had got Alicia pregnant, and when she refused to abort, he beat her up until she miscarried, which was when Gabriella snapped. Gabriella gives Jack and Cam the rest of Grant's notebooks, and heavily implies that Drake told her where to find them. She also implies that she stole the rest of Grant's missing fortune to make restitution to Alicia. She shows no remorse, and Jack privately agrees with her, but given the keen focus on the case they cannot just let Gabriella off; they take her to Drake's mansion for punishment. She is boxed for one year - the worst punishment for a Silver, where they are drained of blood and shut in a small box underground. Many boxed Silver go mad, though a year is a fairly short duration given the severity of the crime.

On their return, Jack ponders the loose ends of the case, but Boyd tells her to give up. He says that the captain spoke to the Primus, who confirmed that the fake Casting at Windsor's party was a set-up to dispose of some humans who had learned about the Silver. It doesn't ring true to Jack, but there is little she can do. Jack also receives a written note of apology from the Primus for the incident with the poison dart, which he claims he has been informed 'by his guard' was an accident with an 'impromptu weapons test'. Jack thinks that perhaps the Primus is uninvolved, but being lied to by Benedict, but she decides not to publicly pursue the issue for now and just keep watching.

At dinner with Tabitha that night, Jack fills her in on the case. She accidentally calls her her 'girlfriend' during the conversation, and Tabitha agrees to try out being officially together. On the way home, they kiss and mark each other. When Jack gets back to her room, she finds an envelope with Drake's scent on it has been pushed under her door; it contains photographs of the captain and Benedict talking together, and Benedict handing over one of the poison darts to her; the captain is part of the Invicti's plans. There is also a note from Drake that says 'I'm with you'.

A couple of days later, Jack visits Naia at 4am with a can of petrol in her hand and asks her to come with her to visit Matthew Felton, but Naia refuses; Jack thinks she's a hypocrite for choosing peace with the Invicti over punishing Felton and getting to the bottom of what's going on. Jack goes alone, and splashes petrol throughout his house before setting it, and a sleeping Felton, on fire.

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