There was a long silence. Frost, standing in the corner, rolled his eyes.
"Funny," said Jane. "You look human to me."
"That's just on a superficial level. But if you examine my cells, if you look at them under a microscope, you'll see that I'm different. Since I was just a kid, I've known that I wasn't like everyone else. I don't need food like you do. I can survive perfectly well on just air and ..."
"Wait, don't tell me," Jane said. "Blood?"
The boy's eyes narrowed. "You're mocking me."
Oh, you think?
"Are you telling us you're a vampire?" asked Frost, managing to keep his face perfectly serious.
Lucas looked at him. "If that's what you want to call us. We're a subspecies of human, nocturnal and hemophagic. That means we devour blood."
"Yeah, I got that. So whose blood do you devour?"
"We don't kill people, if that's your question. We're the pacifist branch of our subspecies. Sometimes volunteers will donate a few tubes to feed us."
"Friends. Classmates. Or someone will smuggle out a bag or two from the local blood bank. But mostly, we consume animal blood. You can buy it, you know, from any good butcher shop." He sat up, puffing out his thin chest. "It gives us superhuman strength."
Jane looked at the anemically pale face, eyes sunken in hollow sockets, and thought: What he's got is a superhuman case of the crazies. "So Kimberly Rayner was a vampire, too?"
"Yes. A few weeks ago, she ran away from home. I invited her to crash with me, in the church."
"You slept together in that coffin?"
"No! We were, like, totally platonic. I found an old shipping carton for her to sleep in. To block out the light."
"I thought vampires were supposed to be immortal. So what happened to her?"
"I don't know. I woke up, and she was screaming. She was rolling around on the floor, saying that her stomach hurt. Even though it was still daylight, I went out to get her some Pepto-bismol. When I got back, about an hour later, there was a police car parked at the church." His head drooped. "I didn't know she was dead."
"How about telling us what really happened?" Jane said.
"I told you."
Jane leaned closer, her gaze hard on the boy. "Here's how I think it went. You wanted sex. Or maybe you wanted a taste of her blood. Or maybe something ticked you off, and you attacked her. And she started screaming."
"No, that's not how it --"
"She wouldn't shut up, so you grabbed her by the throat, just to quiet her down. She kept screaming, and you pressed harder. And harder. And suddenly she wasn't screaming anymore." Jane paused and said quietly: "It was an accident, wasn't it? Isn't that how it happened?"
"You'll never get me to say that, because it's not true."
There was a knock on the door and Detective Darren Crowe stuck his head in the room. "Hey Rizzoli, the girl's father just arrived. I'll have him wait in --"
A man suddenly shoved past Crowe, into the room, and stood staring at Lucas Henry. "You freak," he said. And he lunged at the boy.