“What was down here?” Steopa asked.
“Ah, the employees didn't know about this place,” Vincent said. “It was only for the owner and a select few.”
“But what was it?” Beka asked.
“Most of the offal and viscera ended up here,” Vincent said.
“How did they get it out of here?” Beka asked.
“They didn't,” Vincent said. “We are talking before health codes.”
“Gross,” Beka said.
She took Steopa's hand. Vincent glanced at her holding Steopa's hand and smiled. He turned his head away. Steopa grasped her hand tighter. Beka rolled her eyes.
She noticed something odd about the walls and the floor. There were stained channels in the walls that joined with the ditches on each side of the hallway. She tried to map out where they were in her head. They were under the dance floor; that had been the main killing area when the building had been a slaughterhouse.
On the ceiling, old bolt holes arranged in pairs and ran the length of the hallway. Something had been suspended above the paths in the past.
“Can't you feel it yet?” Vincent asked.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Can you not smell it?” Steopa asked.
Beka sniffed the air. She could smell the stench of old blood mixed with the smell of herbs and smoke. It smelled like Cassie's shop, but not as strong. In the past, it must have reeked.
“Yeah, Good ol' Joshua. He was a strange one,” Vincent said.
Beka heard the bitterness and anger in Vincent's voice.
Vincent smiled, a smile of someone trying not to strangle the person who pissed them off. “He had a 'select' group of friends and they would meet here.”
The hallway ended with a large archway made of stone. The channels on the floor went through a small clay culvert at floor level. Beka grimaced; the smells intensified in the room beyond.
Vincent paused, covering his mouth. He lowered his hand and coughed. Motioning them to follow, he walked through the stone arch. The room on the other side had been carved out of a small cave.