For disclaimers see Part 1. More violence ahead, so beware…
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For now, enjoy .
Jenna's eyes fluttered open to find the concerned brown eyes of her friend staring back at her. She tried to sit up but found that doing so only made her dizzy.
"How long was I out?" she croaked.
"Only for a second," Laura answered in obvious relief. "What happened?"
Finding her bearings, Jenna looked around to see a ring of people gawking at her. "What the hell are you looking at?" she snarled, watching in satisfaction as they backed away. "Did you see her?" she whispered to Laura.
"See who?" she asked in confusion.
"Leah! She was here."
Jenna got to her feet and looked around, ignoring the fact that her friend was looking at her like she had sprouted an antenna out of her left tit and was now sending messages to the mother ship.
"Jenna, I didn't see anything but your ass hitting the ground. What are you talking about?"
The blonde didn't answer. Instead, she hurried out of the music store, her green eyes searching for the raven-haired woman and the squat bully that had taken her away. She could hear Laura calling after her but didn't pay any attention to her. The object of her insanity was still around, she just knew it. All she had to do was find her.
"Dammit Jenna! What's going on?" Laura demanded as she caught up and tugged at her friend's sleeve.
Jenna did not answer. Instead, her eyes scanned through the throng of people milling about the mall like ants around a hill. The pesky voice in the back of her mind was laughing and telling her that she had really gone out to pasture now, but she ignored it too. She knew she had seen Leah and Jenna would be damned if she let the person that had been haunting her for weeks get away now.
She started running for the front door, sure Leah had been taken in that direction by the vile little man who had been with her. She slammed through the glass doors and stopped, scanning the parking lot for the taller woman.
"Jenna!" Laura panted as she ran up beside her. "What the hell is going on?"
"Come on!" Jenna yelled, grabbing her friend by the wrist as she took off running. She was sure she had seen the brunette getting into a car across the parking lot and she had to get closer to see if it really was her. But before she could get there, the car backed out and moved quickly through the lot.
"Do you see her?"
"It's her! For the love of all that's sacred in this world, LOOK!" the blonde-haired woman roared and pointed a finger at the burgundy sedan moving rapidly away from them. The car sped out of the parking lot and screeched into oncoming traffic on the main road. Leah was gone.
"FUCK!" Jenna bellowed. "Please tell me you saw her. We gotta go after them!"
Laura panted and fanned herself with her hand. "Jeez, Jenna, take it easy! They're too far ahead to chase down now."
"Tell me you saw her then!" she yelled, grabbing Laura by the upper arm.
"You're hurting me!"
Jenna let go, then bent over to catch her breath. She was far too out of shape for that rigorous of exercise and her body was pissed at her.
"It was her, Laura. I swear it was her."
"Look, we don't know that for sure. Yes, I saw someone that could have fit her description," Laura consoled at the pointed look she was getting from Jenna. "But I don't know it for certain. It could have been Nancy Reagan for all I know." "Real funny. Nancy Reagan has blond hair. Just take me home."
Laura watched in exasperation as the person that had been her best friend through more thick than thin stormed off toward her car. She wondered who this person was that looked and sounded like Jenna. Gone was the sweet and gentle person she had always known, replaced by some stranger that had a terrible temper and no desire to truly live.
By the time she dropped Jenna off, Laura was further frustrated. The moody woman hadn't spoken a word the entire ride home, even when she had tried to talk to her. As she slowed her car to a stop in the driveway, Jenna jumped out and closed the passenger door without a word. She watched as her friend made a beeline for the house.
"Thanks for the company!" she yelled in aggravation, only to be greeted by a slamming door. She held her head in her hands for a moment before leaving. Jenna was not herself and she was scared to death for her now; she had no idea where to begin helping her.
Jenna paced the length of her home in an agitated manner. She was finding it hard to breathe and she was afraid that if she sat down she would suffocate. That, or her screaming leg would get stiff and she would be stuck there for three days.
"Pope John Paul on a cross!" she muttered as she continued pacing. "She was right there and all I could do was pass out like some stupid school girl!"
Jenna wished she had a painkiller. Just one, that wasn't too much to ask for, was it? Just one to dull the pain a little…
'Yeah, one for now and six for later,' her mind laughed out. 'And a dozen after that. Then maybe you can go back to the blackness forever!'
She finally gave up and sat on the couch, rubbing her face in frustration. That nagging thought did have a good point. She had no desire whatsoever to return to the black hell she had escaped when she awakened from the coma. She could just imagine overdosing, then she would never get to the bottom of this miserable problem.
Glancing at the clock, the blond knew she had to find Leah again. It had only been an hour since she had seen her, but already there was a gaping hole deep inside of her. The only problem was that she had no idea where to begin looking for her, at least not on the physical plane.
Jenna got painfully up from the couch and hobbled toward her bedroom. Once there, she flung open the double sliding doors of her closet and began rummaging through the boxes that littered the closet floor. Somewhere in those boxes were the records from when she had been institutionalized. She did not remember all the details of that time in her childhood and hoped to find something to spur her memory. Maybe there would be some clue in those records as to what was happening now.
Deeper into the boxes she dug, through high school yearbooks, athletic awards and letters from friends. She waded through family photos and paused, staring at one of her grandmother and herself when she was four. She studied the weathered face that bore a small, knowing smile.
"Granny, I wish you would visit me again. I bet you could tell me a thing or two about what's happening."
Jenna put the picture aside and continued searching. She knew she had the records, she had requested a copy of them after she had turned eighteen. She had never read them herself, and only got them out of the box they were in once to prove to Laura that she wasn't kidding around about the whole thing. Now, if only she could only find them again…
The blonde sat down, clutching the papers to her chest, hoping for just one stroke of luck in this time of misery.
"Here goes," she whispered and began to read.
She pored through the records, scanning line after line of psychiatric testing results. She skipped to the progress records, squinting to read the awful handwriting.
"Didn't they have Dictaphones back then?" she mumbled and shook her head, then read on.
'The patient is convinced that her grandmother has been to visit her on numerous occasions, though she was well aware of the fact that her grandmother is deceased. When reminded of that fact, the patient vehemently states that the grandmother was, in fact, there, and wonders why no one will believe her…'
'The patient presents with schizothymic behaviors and statements, though all test results state that the patient has a firm ground in reality, and, aside from these 'visits' from the deceased grandmother, is an otherwise healthy child…'
"Well at least they didn't think I was crazy!" Jenna chuckled to herself, then sobered when she began to skim through the next page.
'…patient referred to me from Dr. Goldstein for attempt at psychic work up…'
"Psychic? Apparently the guy didn't even know what field he worked in!"
But as Jenna read further on, she noticed that whoever wrote the progress note had not misspelled the word. It appeared, if she was reading correctly, that she had been tested for psychic abilities when the authorities had decided she was mentally stable.
"Psychic testing?" she muttered incredulously. "I thought that only happened on Ghostbusters!"
The more the blonde read, though, the more obvious it became that she had indeed been tested for psychic abilities- ESP, telekinesis, psychometry, clairvoyance, and numerous other related subjects. She put the progress notes down and leaned back against the wall, rubbing her disbelieving eyes. What the hell was that all about?
Jenna had never believed in the paranormal and all that, not even after she had seen her dead grandmother. She had always thought it was pure superstition, or people making things up for the attention. And she certainly did not remember anything about this testing while she had been at the institution. But there it was in black and white, right in front of her face.
She snatched the papers up and went to the kitchen to get something to eat. Her stomach had been grumbling for the last twenty minutes and she intended to feed it so she could keep reading without further distraction.
After fixing a sandwich, Jenna made herself comfortable on the couch. She picked up the notes, munching thoughtfully on her sandwich when a thought occurred to her- why couldn't she remember these tests? Shoving the discomfort that came with that aside, she continued reading.
Apparently she had scored fairly well on the psychometric and clairvoyance tests, if she was reading the results correctly. As Jenna read the last page of the records, she wondered what it all meant. There had been no note to say that this had anything to do with seeing her grandmother. In fact, there were no conclusions written at all on this testing. The test results were all there was.
Green eyes stared off into space as Jenna sat the papers aside and contemplated what it all meant. She was not sure if she had any answers to her current predicament, but she certainly had questions about the past. She wondered if her mother ever knew about this testing, and if so, why she never bothered to talk to her about it. Her stepfather had been dead for several years and though she had not had much contact with the woman she called her mother since then, the subject of Jenna seeing her Granny had come up more than once. Why had it not been mentioned?
Jenna stood up from the couch and stretched, then went back to the kitchen to clean up her mess. She filled a glass with water at the kitchen sink, staring idly at the trail that led through her back yard a she sipped the cool liquid. The answers were out there somewhere; she just had to find them before she lost her mind. Or worse.
Jenna spun on her heel and went to her office, booting up her computer before sitting down in front of the screen. She didn't know a whole lot about the things she had read in those papers and decided the best place to go was the Internet. She was sure she could find out whatever she needed to know there. Clicking on the link to her favorite search engine, she ignored the little computer voice that was telling her she had mail. It was probably just her last few web accounts telling her that she was fired anyway.
After searching around for two hours, she had come to two conclusions: her ass hurt, and everyone had a different opinion about clairvoyance and psychometry. She had learned that clairvoyance was basically the ability to see visions, whether in the past, present, or future. Psychometry was the ability to feel 'vibrations' from holding objects that would give clues about said object's history and owner. Apparently, police used people with this ability on occasion to help solve crimes.
Jenna rubbed her eyes and shut the computer down. She felt better now that she knew a little more about what she had been tested for, but was still a little uneasy about the whole situation. She still had a hard time believing in all that, but after the events of the last several months and the time involving her childhood, she had a hard time not believing. What else could it be?
After settling again in the living room, Jenna sat in her recliner and compared what she had learned with what she was sure had happened. It seemed that each time she returned to the river, something new involving this Leah woman happened. If what she had read about the abilities she had been tested for were true, it would seem that what she was experiencing now could only be explained as a clairvoyant experience. Whether it was past, present, or future she did not know. Nevertheless, if that was so, she had yet to explain why she was seeing these things.
"Ugh," she growled and got up from her chair. It seemed the more Jenna thought about it, the more confused she became. And that was not helping at all. In fact, she wasn't so sure that she was not losing her mind. It was not the first time that she had thought that, and that did nothing to allay her fears.
"I need answers!" she yelled to her empty house, scrubbing her face in frustration.
Realizing that she would find none if she stayed in the house, the blonde put her shoes on and headed back for the river. It was the only place she knew to begin looking for the answers she needed, even though it seemed that every time she went there she ended up with more questions to no answers. After the day's events, she had no idea what she would find there. But she knew for a fact that she needed to go there for her own sanity, especially after she had freaked Laura out. Jenna didn't think she could call her friend again unless she had some hard evidence that Leah existed.
As she took the muddy path to the river, Jenna watched the sun in the western sky as it raced toward the horizon, considering the situation. Leah was real, that much she had learned earlier in the day. Why she had been dreaming about her or whatever it was, she had no clue. But if all the bruises Leah sported lately were any indication, that little shithead she had been with was knocking the hell out of her. And that led the blonde to the conclusion that she must need help, or else why had the brunette been haunting her? And better yet, how had she been able to contact her in the first place?
Jenna wasn't sure about the answers to those questions, but she did know one thing- she was enraged by the idea of that little puissant hurting Leah. In fact, it made her blood boil. She knew that she didn't know the woman from Eve. But she could not help the way she felt. Something about the tall woman brought out her protective side.
As she neared the water, Jenna felt the muscles in the back of her neck tense up. There was an electricity in the air that she could not explain. Her gut was telling her that something important was about to happen, though she had no idea what.
'You need to get the hell outta here!' her mind and body screamed at her. 'Now, before it's too late!'
Green eyes watched the clearing as she neared the water, having no idea why she was reacting that way. She carefully took in her surroundings and everything seemed to be okay. Yet Jenna could not shake the feeling plaguing her. Shaking her head to clear it, Jenna sat down beside the river and took her shoes off. It was a pleasant evening and she was going to soak her feet a bit, even wade in the water while she waited to see if Leah would appear again.
Jenna relished the feeling of the cold water as it ran over her feet. She waded knee deep into the water, enjoying the way the soft mud squished between her toes. Soon the foreboding feeling was forgotten, and as she grew tired of wading, she found a place to sit where she could rest a bit. The run through the mall earlier that day had left her leg aching from the unusual amount of exercise.
In fact, she welcomed the tired feeling. It would make it easier for her to fall asleep in hopes that she could talk to the blue-eyed woman again. Jenna layed back and closed her eyes, enjoying the singing of a bird coming from somewhere behind her.
Jenna awoke, the sound of something crashing through the underbrush jarring her from her sleep. She got up as quickly as her stiff leg would allow. Her green eyes searched the surrounding brush, hoping that it was not a mountain lion or some other dangerous animal wanting to have her for dinner. Deciding it prudent to be safe rather than sorry, she scurried to a blackberry bush and crawled into a small opening in the thorns. Settling herself, she turned her attention back in the direction the noise was coming from.
A second later, the brush beyond her parted and Leah came spilling out. She looked back in the direction she had come from and got back to her feet.
Jenna opened her mouth to call out and see if the woman was okay but stopped when an ear-splitting scream filled the air. The man who had been with Leah earlier came bounding out of the brush and grabbed the beautiful woman by the hair. He brought his arm back and with a resounding slap, sent her to the ground.
The blonde was so mortified by what she was seeing that she was momentarily paralyzed. She watched in horror as the brute bent over and doubled up his fist, punching Leah square in the face. He dropped to his knees, panting.
"I told you not to ever run from me again! I told you I would kill you and I meant it!"
He hit her in the stomach and Jenna could see the air leaving her heaving body. Then he grabbed her by the arm and drug her waist deep into the water. There he grabbed a handful of hair and put his hand over her bloody face and shoved her head under the rippling surface of the water.
Jenna finally came to her senses. She climbed out of the thorny bush, ignoring the scratched it left on her face and bare legs. She ran as fast as her stiff leg would let her, pausing to pick up a rock as she hurried toward her target. She was going to murder the bastard and like it.
She splashed into the water and when the man turned to look at her she slammed the rock into his temple as hard as she could. She ignored the sickening thud it made, hitting him again as se sank limply into the now red water. He floated away on the current as Jenna searched for Leah.
She saw bubbles surfacing a few feet away and plunged through the deep water to where she had seen them. Diving under, she groped blindly through the murky water until her hand felt what she was looking for. Grabbing with hold both hands, she brought Leah's body to the surface and gasped for air when she reached it.
Jenna tried hard not to panic when she saw the amount of blood still pouring from Leah's misshapen nose. The water dripping into her eyes made it hard to see how bad the damage was for sure, and as she hurried for the shore, Jenna hoped that she had not reached the pother woman too late. Leah was very pale.
When she reached the shallow water, Jenna grabbed the unconscious woman under the arms and tried to haul her on to dry land. Leah was so tall and limp that it made Jenna's efforts almost useless, especially with one crippled leg. With one final heave she layed her gently down, satisfied that at least the top half of her body was out of the water.
"Leah?" she called to her, trying to get the woman to awaken. "Come on, wake up."
She shook her shoulder to no avail. It was then that she noticed the lack of chest movement and panic did set in. Jenna could feel the bile rising up in the back of her throat and swallowed hard as she reached a shaky hand to Leah's neck.
There was no pulse.
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