Disclaimer. All mine this time. If you're under the age of 18, I'm afraid you will have to go elsewhere for your reading material. This does hold adult actions concerning the same sex.
So be warned.
It has been a long while since I wrote or posted anything and I know some of you are awaiting a certain sequel. I do have it, but I am editing it at the moment, and will post as soon as I am happy with it. This story was one that I kept going back to and rewriting because it wasn't quite right, then all of a sudden it just flowed.
This is an UN beta read version. As it grew into such a monster my beta reader went into overload and I wanted to get it posted. So, please forgive the bad grammar and occasional misspell. I hope it doesn't spoil your reading too much.
Take care all and I will be posting more soon. As always please let me know what you think?
The wind moved effortlessly through the trees like a lost lover's caress, barely stirring the branches into gentle movements. It was summertime, the air heavy with season's sweetness and scents. Long dry swaying grass stood bleached by the rays of relentless sun, causing it to take on a mirage of a field of wheat as it rippled like the skin of the sea in the breeze. The unusually low rainfall through the year had turned the river below into nothing more than a trickling bubbling brook, exposing once hidden rocks and stones to view, the sunlight giving them the appearance of twinkling gems for the taking.
One lone figure intruded into the scene. She was dressed in shorts and a white tank top, her hair the matching color of the summer grass. She walked in silence along the banks of the stream, pacing the same spot over and over again, almost footstep by footstep. Occasionally she would pause, her head bowed as if searching for the ultimate state of grace, her body becoming so still it was prayer like.
Above her looking down from the ridge, two police detectives sat cross-armed against the car.
“You're nuts. You know that right?'' The younger of the two looked sideways at his companion for a brief moment before his gaze went back to the woman below, a show of disapproval in his narrowed eyes.
The older detective exhaled, which tailed into a sigh.
“Look Pete. We have done everything on this case. Six months for Christ sake and we've come up with nothing.'' He inhaled again, the tiredness sounding in his voice. ‘'….What harm is it going to do calling her in on this? The parents need peace. Can't you at least understand that?” He ran his hand back through his graying hair, his eyes fixed on the woman below, but his brown-eyed gaze held something the other detectives didn't. Hope.
Pete grumbled. ‘'This is a fucking waste of time.''
Below, the woman stopped, her eyes closing, opening all her senses. She waited, breathing evenly and slowly, her head tilted as she picked up the bird movement from the trees to her right... A small smile twitched as she listened, a frown quickly replaced it, her face became pensive. Bowing her head down to a point her chin rested on the collar of the tank top.... Her breathing deepened. She brought her hand up brushing back a strand of mellow blonde hair from her cheek.
Inside her heart calmed, but she was aware of her blood rushing. She concentrated on a passing bumblebee, her inner energy vibrating around, almost crackling the air and causing every hair on her body to rise with the electricity. The beating wings on the bee seemed to slow no longer a blur of moment. Inside she focused her senses on the action until the point in her mind's eye each wing fell and rose as if captured in stop motion. She let the beautiful moment wash over her as she saw each and every tiny detail of its delegate wings. Reluctantly she let the image so, steeling herself, extending her senses further, reaching them out to the full area around, searching for the thread. She wasn't aware of the light sheen of sweat that now bathed her, in fact she was aware of nothing except her focus as time began to freeze, and stopped. The wind and the woman held their breath and so did the world.
She reopened her eyes slowly, scanning. She noticed the stream wasn't low anymore it was in full flood, high now up the banks, an angry currant snapping at the edges. She didn't move psychically but suddenly the world tilted and spun letting her see a different perspective and direction outside of her own vision. In panoramic the world spun, making her feel like a crazed cameraman had grabbed hold and was running around turning the edges of vision into a blur of moment. When it stopped she psychical jerked. But still she watched, letting her eyes take in the new view. Most of trees were barren of leaves, while others held the copper glow of rust. The air was icier, sharper. The grasses at her feet were short; the path she stood held a touch of white frost. She knew she had found the cord, the thread, one which would show her past events. The reason she was here.
Again her vision moved in shudders and now she was facing the picnic area. She watched the family get out of the automobile, laughing and happy. Watched as the man unloaded the food baskets, while the woman jumped out of the Explorer carrying the infant, turning back to help the small boy leap down.
Time leapt ahead again, the watcher inhaled sharply feeling her energy drain as she kept locked on the scene. This time the mother was sitting eating with the baby sat in front of her. The watcher turned her eyes to the laughter coming from behind. The father was playing Frisbee with his son... a smile came to the watcher's face as she felt the love radiate off the family, tapping into it to give her a momentary surge of energy.
Time leapt again into a blur of colors, to the point the woman thought she was going to throw up, she inhaled concentrating to slow the spectrum into some form of substances… then time halted. The watcher forced herself to step forward, feeling the resistance hug her body, but she made the step. She watched the boy chase the Frisbee as it sailed high, watched him pick it up and throw it again. She heard the man's voice calling not to go too far. The watcher turned as if in slow motion back to the picnic area, now the man and woman were talking. She forced herself away, her attention and senses now fully locked onto the boy, and she followed.
He had now crested the ridge before the bank of the river, disappearing down the other side. The watcher stood at the top and watched as the Frisbee entered the full river. Knowing the boy was totally out of sight of his parents. Her eyes tracked the boy, watching as he looked around now unsure, trying to reach it… all the time the Frisbee floated and bobbed up and down on the water being drawn further and further downstream, with the boy in pursuit.
As the boy followed the Frisbee, the watcher followed the boy.
Suddenly the Frisbee got tangled in a tree root in the center of the water… the boy looked around, grabbing a stick, he turned back to the Frisbee. His face set in determination to rescue his toy.
The watcher swallowed hard knowing what was to come, her eyes flicking upriver to the approaching fallen branch, and in slow motion she watched the unfolding past, knowing she couldn't change it. She swallowed and prepared.
The boy hopped onto one of the bigger stones, almost losing his balance but he managed to reset it, he crawled across the longer stone, his hand extended, poking the stick towards the Frisbee. His small face locked in concentration to the point his tongue came out. The stick caught the edge of the Frisbee and his face lit up…
That's when it happened. The oncoming branch struck his side sending him yelling into the tempest of water... he went under.
The watcher bit down on her mouth trying to hold in her own scream, feeling the cold water flush over her skin as it encompassed the struggling boy. Her nails dug into her arm as she held herself ramrod straight, to try and keep connected to the vision. Her connection jerked, now moving away from the surrounding to the boy and what he felt; fear…panic…pain. She felt the water enter his lungs, the impact of the rocks as they struck, each and every detail washed over her as they rushed over the boy.
The fight wasn't long, a nine-year old can't hold out long against ice water and nature. He went under for the last time.
The woman's face filled with anguish as she felt him die. With great difficulty she calmed her thoughts, pulling herself gently away from his connection, going back to one she could handle. Her senses reaching out again in a different way, to locate his body. Finding his tiny life thread she watched as the current caught him and pulled him down deeper in the swelled water. Slowly she brought her self-back, her breathing coming in gulps, sweat running free from each temple. She stood still, battling back the sobs, focusing inwardly, regaining control, hearing her heart calm, feeling her veins recede from the energy.
When she was ready she opened her eyes to the reality of now. She tasted blood on her lip knowing she had bitten it again. Her eyes took in the summer scene, the birds singing, the warmth of the sun on her now cold soul, she let it seep into her until she felt a small coal of warmth, letting it regain some of the energy used. After exhaling and wiping the tears from her eyes she looked up the hill to the two detectives.... With a sigh of sorrow she began the walk towards them, using each step to rebuild the solid wall around her, to face them.
The older detective stepped forward, nervous. “Well? Anything?”
She nodded, fully aware of the disbeliever vibe coming off the other detective. She swallowed, clearing her dry throat before beginning. “About a mile down the river on this side of the bank, about 15ft down below the water line there is a recess in the bank wall...it's a deeper wider part of the river.... Jeremiah is there... he got pulled under trying to get his Frisbee...that's why you couldn't find him. There was a cave in.... his body….”
Her voice trailed off, her eyes dull. She looked to each of them.
Both detectives blinked in surprise at the intense look.
Her voice was emotionless. “…. It was an accident. This isn't a kidnapping.”
Without waiting she walked past them straight to her jeep, stepping in she placed her sunglasses over her almost transparent green eyes, turned on the c.d. to full volume started the car and pulled away. Leaving the detectives with a face full of dust and the fading sound of Dusty Springfield….
“The only man who could ever reach me…was the son of preacher man.”
. . . .
The white beach house was tucked away nestled in-between two large sand dunes, the only way to spot it would have been if you walked along the beach and were directly in front. It held an old vintage charm telling you straight away it was built in the early centuries, when the first inhabitance lived on the small island. All it showed now was how isolated the whole place had become, a forgotten remnant of a once prosperous fishing trade. Now the island was no more than a rich man's or tourist's haven.
This was the last house on the island that showed the reality of life, of peeling paint and broken fencing. A sign the owner didn't have the money, or simply didn't care enough to repair. It had a nostalgic sadness about it, as if it had been caught in the wrong period of the twentieth century, that somehow it had breached the veil of the future and become a lost bubble of the past frozen in time.
Each window was covered in a heavy curtain, blocking all light from outside ever entering. They hung like guardians, keeping at bay the modern world and any sunrays from penetrating the inside of the house.
Inside, candles and oil lamps littered the rooms, throwing dim light and shadow throughout the interior. Flickering light radiated off every original beam of wood, another sign of the buildings true age. It wasn't an eerie illumination; in fact if anything it emitted warmth and safety.
A newspaper laid half-open on the breakfast bar. A blonde woman bit into her banana as her eyes followed the headline.
Murdered body found.
28 year old female… As yet unidentified .
This is the sixth killing within a four-month time scale. Each of the bodies was found with one tooth removed, which has labeled this killer the Tooth Fairy by the press.... Police are still refusing to comment the murders are connected ... story continues page four and five
She popped the last of the fruit into her mouth, picked up the paper rustling it open to page four.
A hundred miles away on the main land, Detective Shannon Rhimes slammed the phone down causing her partner to look over at her with a raised eyebrow. She bent her head forward, cascading long ebony locks, she ran both hands back through it uncovering her face.
“We are nowhere....” She let out a long drawn out exhale, resisting the urge to just bang her head on the desk top. Instead she slammed both hands palm down onto it, jittering all equipment and causing everyone in the squad room to lift their heads and glance over to her. She ignored them as she rose, pushing the chair away with her legs, her whole body a mass of tension as she lifted her mug refilling it with coffee, sipping as she turned back.
“Explain to me Pete how the hell someone can dump a body in plain view of a mall and no one sees? Or how another can be placed in the middle of a god damn fountain outside a library and we still get nothing?”
Pete choose to stay quiet he knew his partner was as frustrated as the rest of the Keys police department
“How long does he think we can keep this from the press they are already making their own minds up and we both know they aren't farfetched.” She tossed the newspaper at him
He turned it with one finger letting his eyes flick to it briefly. “Come on Shan we both know that's guess work on their part, they don't have any more proof then we do.”
Shannon inhaled throwing her partner a look for a moment, her head turning as she heard her name.
“Rhimes, Johnston my office.”
Pete looked at the retreating form of the Captain then rose to follow his partner towards the captains, office. They entered.
The Captain didn't bother to look at them. “Close the door and sit down.”
Shannon looked over her shoulder taking a seat as her partner closed it. Pete moved and sat to his partners left.
The Captain held a file in his hands, his eyes locked on it as he walked behind his desk to sit. Shannon looked over to Pete, who just shrugged in reply. Both of them turned their attention back to the Captain and just waited. A page being turned the only interruption in the silence. When he finished he cleared his throat and threw the closed file down on the desk, sitting forward his fingers meeting and going into a pyramid as he elbows went either side of the file, his eyes flicked first to Pete then Shannon.
“I have the chief of police screaming at me, he has the commissioner screaming at him, who in turn has the mayor screaming at him…. All of them want to know one thing…. What the fuck is being done about this case? Are you both getting what I'm saying here?”
They both nodded.
“Good at least we are on the same wave length… and all I have to tell them is we have as yet no one as a suspect and no ties to the victims, other than they are dead and all in the same god damn type of sheet…. We have no useable forensic or DNA. No witnesses and no following MO…”
He sat back stretching out his arms, the old chair creaking as he looked to each of them in turn, then sitting forward he cleared his throat. “All in all we have jack shit. Am I right on that assumption?” When he asked his eyes fixed on Shannon. “Well?”
“I won't lie... We have…” She paused. “….We have no new evidence…Only what you have just read in the file.”
He nodded. “Ok. Then answer me this, do you think the Tooth Fairy is going to kill again?”
Shannon's eyes jumped to his. “Yes.” She didn't pause in her answer.
The Captain nodded again, inhaling before he continued. “So do I. Look I know both of you are busting your balls on this…”
Pete smirked over to Shannon; she just threw a side look of non amusement.
“But unfortunately that isn't good enough for Chief. He asked me to form up a plan.” He ran his hand back through his hair. Clearing his throat he continued. “Because of the dead ends in this case and the pressure of trying to solve it within the killers time line, plus the lack of ideas coming from this department.” He sent a wry look to both of them. “I put in a proposal to the chief and it was accepted…”
Shannon gave Pete a sideways look again, seeing her partner suddenly shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Her eyes went back to the Captain in question.
“What sort of proposal? Are we being taken off the case?”
The Captain held up his hand to silence her. “No.... I still believe you two are the best minds for this one… The F.B.I are going to head their own task force and I'm sure they will make themselves known soon around here. However as I said I put in proposal, which is somewhat unorthodox.”
Again Shannon's gaze went to her partner as she heard him exhale sharply, noting that his face was now flushing red.
The Captain saw it. “Something to say? Detective?”
Pete clenched his jaw. “No. Sir.”
“I don't understand? If you aren't taking the case away what are you going to do?” Shannon tone was curious, looking at her partner for a third time beginning to wonder what really was going on.
The Captain reached down pulling open the draw, removing a large file, he placed it on the desk and pushed it across, as Shannon moved forward to get it, the Captains hand came down on top of it. “I hope you have an open mind Detective.”
She frowned. “I like to think so.”
He accepted her answer with a nod and removed his hand letting her now lift it and begin to read. Her reading was interrupted as Pete stood up.
“You have to be kidding me here Captain, not this shit again.” Pete looked first to the Captain then his gaze dipped with disgust to the file.
The Captain smiled. “You know as well as I do Pete, what she did worked, even if you can't explain it.… You witnessed it. You're just too damn stubborn to admit it did….” His voice trailed off, stopping the anger that was rising.
Shannon watched the exchange with silent interest, wondering what the hell was going on. Then she looked down at the black and white 10X8 photograph of the young woman. For a moment she was oblivious to the growing tension and the rest of the conversation as she starred at it.
“No matter what I think about this Captain, this isn't the right way to go…She hasn't been active in two years, she won't do it.”
Shannon heard the last remark filter into her distraction. “Who won't?” She turned the file over to the information.
“Miss Jennifer Newton… She has so called talents.” Pete's words came out as a sneer.
She looked over to her partner as he sat back down. “Talents?” Her eyes flickered from him to the Captain and back again.
The Captains tone snapped her attention to him. “She's a psychic.”
Both of Shannon's eyebrows rose, lifting her hairline. “A psychic?” She snorted, which faded when the Captain folded his arms and met her stare.
“You're kidding?” Her voice oozed with humor.
“No.” The Captain's jaw tensed.
“You want us to use a psychic to catch this killer?” Her tone now had lost all humor. Her gaze went to Pete now understanding why he saw anger in his whole body.
The Captain followed her gaze. “Pete has had dealing with her before, as have I… Read the file Detective Rhimes, it will give you full details of the cases she has worked on….” His tone softened. “Look…. I can't explain how she knows things, sees things…. Four times she helped us solve unexplained crimes. I don't give a rat's ass if you believe or not. She gets results and right now we need her.” He took a long breath, running his hand back through his gray hair. “Pete can fill you in on two of the cases; the file will do the rest.
Shannon looked at Pete again, seeing that he had his anger back under control. “You've dealt with her?”
“Yea.” His answer was through gritted teeth as he threw the Captain a dirty look.
The Captain ignored it, turning his attention to Shannon. “Her address is there. I tracked her down. Which let me tell you wasn't an easy task. I was surprised to find her in our neck of the woods. Now then, go see her, explain the case, take the evidence we have and all information so far. If I know Jenny she will be already following the case… She won't be able to ignore it.'' His eyes shifted to each of them, his voice took on the stern roll of a Captain. ‘'I don't care what you both think. This is my call. I want this done today.”
Pete shifted again, with a tight lip he spoke. “ She won't help us, and you know that as well as I do, she hasn't done this in two years… it's a waste of our time.”
“Then it's my waste of time Detective.” The Captains reply was curt and to the point, with a ‘ don't mess with me tone .' He out starred Pete then rose.
“That's all… Get it done.”
Shannon rose, the file now tucked under her arm as she followed her partner, catching the thrown open door as it swung back from the force.
Returning to their desks they sat.
“Mind telling me what the hell just happened, or did we just enter the X files or something?” Although a question, Shannon added a touch of sarcasm to her voice.
It did its job as Pete's face lost its frown and a small smile curved at the corner of his mouth. “Does that mean we get to play Mulder and Scully later on tonight?”
Shannon returned the grin. “You wish.”
He let out a laugh. It eased the tension.
Shannon pulled out her chair sitting, placing the file on the desk in front of her as she took up her coffee again and sipped. She had no idea of how she was supposed to deal with this, part of her still expected the Captain to run out and yell April fools, she really couldn't believe that he was serious with this.
“Mind telling me what this is about?” She tapped the file.
His eyes dipped to it for a moment then back up to her. “I don't believe in this mumbo jumbo shit Shan.”
“Yea. But he does and he's the boss.” Her head tilted in the direction of the office they had just come from. “So fill me in?”
He let out a sigh. “We used her on two cases I was involved in, she solved them… I don't know how. But she did.”
“Just like that?”
He shook his head. “No. We gave her all the information and evidence she asked for…”
“Maybe she was involved somehow?”
He snorted. “I thought of that, I checked her out, one of the cases she wasn't in the country when it happened, the other turned out to be an accident.”
“So how she do it?” Her curiosity now was peaking.
He lent forward. “My theory is she uses the files of the case to see things we don't... you know like some kind of profiler… We miss things, you know that I know that, but she, well she gets inside the case.”
Shannon slightly nodded, turning the file to the first case listed with Pete's name on it. “Tell me about the Cormin case?”
He relaxed back a calm coming over his features as he remembered.
“April 1999 Mr. Cormin wife Amy disappeared on the way to work. He filed a missing person report after he had checked with family and friends… She never arrived at work that day or home. We were called in… No witnesses no forensic. In other words after normal enquiry's we came up with nothing… there were no financial problems. No marital either. In fact if anything they were more than happy. No enemies… and no dirty little secrets to make her disappear.”
He took a breath.
“A week after the report, her car was found at the nearby train station…. We found one witness who remembers her there on the day of her disappearance, she remembered because she thought the woman had been crying… she also informed us that a young man she had never seen before or since was with Mrs. Cormin. Her husband and friends didn't recognize the description given.”
Pausing again for a moment he looked up at his partner.
“We went over everything and after six weeks we still had nothing, we had to move on, we had over fifty cases backing up, so we did…. But Cormin isn't short of money he hired private detectives… Then three months later he comes into the precinct with Newton in tow, wanting all evidence and background on his wife case. Grieves wasn't Captain then he was my partner and he agreed to give it….”
His eyes went to the Captains office in distaste.
“ Newton went over everything with a fine tooth comb, a week later she called us to go with her, she took us step by step over Mrs. Cormin's last day… Right up to the train, which we all went on. Then about twenty minutes into the journey she pulled the emergency stop… Shocked the fuck out of us then calm as can be she gets off the train… We followed.”
He stopped again and swallowed.
“She led us right to her, she was dead and laying in an old water runoff ditch been there since the day she disappeared.” He exhaled. “We would never have found her Shannon… and for the life of me I still have no clue how the witch did it.”
Shannon sat back as stunned, as Pete seemed to be. She let the ‘Witch' comment go, she was more interested on the killer. “What about the perp?”
Pete laughed dryly. “She found him too. Turned out to be a student from Boston who had been stalking her… Damn Newton led us right to where he was staying. We went in with a warrant and the idiot had a shrine and evidence removed from the body, he broke down with the whole story that he was in love with her every since he saw her give a lecture four years before at his university….” He shook his head. “As I said Shan I have no clue how this woman does it.”
Her eyes fell to the picture again. ‘' What about the other case?”
“That one is just as unbelievable... A nine year old boy went missing while out with his family… We checked out the parents and no way they were involved. Then we thought maybe kidnapping, although there was no forensic to back it up. The whole area was clean… We had a non-stop search of the area for over a week but nothing… no demands came, and time passed… The case was left unsolved, but Grieves wanted it closed, for the parents' sake. We didn't really think foul play was involved, there really wasn't any evidence, we both came up with the fact the stream was nearby … but we just couldn't find the body… So Newton came.”
“And?” Shannon found herself on the edge of her seat so shifted back.
“She came and did her thing…. She found the body all right, it was hidden in the bank walls about a mile away from his parents. The river there was a lot deeper, divers had checked it before but…..'' he paused. ‘'…. Fifteen feet down it there had been a recess, which had caved in. The diving team had no way of ever seeing it or finding him. The area had been swept with thermal imagining, but the water had been way below freezing, which meant the boy's body went cold fast….'' He shook his head, his eyes still showing the amazement of that day. ‘' But somehow she found him. Six months after he went missing. She knew where to look. Hell, not look, she pointed us right at the damn body.”
Shannon turned the file to the case, reading over it. “It says here she requested geology maps of the area?”
He nodded. “ Yea I know where you going with this… it's what I said at the start, she sees things alright but it's not visions, what she does is look at everything, her brain is like a damn computer with information, every fact every detail…. She throws herself into the case lock stock and barrel. It becomes her obsession.”
Shannon nodded. “So why don't you think she will help in this?”
He tensed, then sat back. “Two years ago she was involved in a case in D.C, someone was killing hookers… You heard of it?''
Shannon shook her head.
‘' Well, she was called in to work her shit. I heard rumors she lost it on that one went mental, had some sort of break down, she made mistakes... Another hooker died, when one of Newton's leads hit a dead end. She screwed up big time. Anyway, somehow the killer found out about her…. And got to her.”
Shannon's eyes shot up. “Got to her? How?”
He shrugged. ‘'Who knows how. But, he kidnapped her, had her for three days… He also had a little fun before the police could get to help, heard she was cut up pretty bad…. Had some sort of breakdown afterwards. Totally disappeared. Since then she keeps out of the public eye and the press… She has turned down any department that wants her help. Think it goes for private consultations too. This is the first I've heard about her in two years.”
Shannon took it all in, reading through the file at the same time as Pete recalled the cases. “Maybe that is how she does it… the profiler thing I mean.”
He shrugged uncomfortably. “Yea. That's pretty much my thoughts. She gives me the spooks with those eyes of hers, Shan. It they ain't natural.”
“Eyes?” She briefly looked up at him then turned to the black and white picture, noting the eye color on the description. “Green… You think green is spooky?”
“No. I think her eyes are. You know that actress Meg…. Meg something with those eyes that are almost transparent like albino. You know who I mean?”
She nodded, her eyes still fixed on the photo. “Foster, Meg foster.” Her gaze concentrated on the picture now knowing why it looked wrong, the eyes were pure gray with no pinpoint of an iris.
“Yea that's her, well Newton's eyes are like that only….” He paused. “ Well weirder, gives me the damn shivers every time she looks at you, makes it seem she's looking right through you.” He shivered. “Anyway let's get this over with.”
She looked up as Pete stood, pulling his gun from the drawer and lifting his jacket. Shannon soon followed, clipping her gun into place and heading out after her partner to the address at the front of the file, not knowing what she was going to find there.
The ride was a silent one, but not unpleasant. Their destination had taken them out of the haze and dry heat of the city, through the suburbs towards the ocean, something anyone would have traded on the hottest day of the year. The air conditioner within the car kept the journey cool.
Pete had taken the chore of driving and Shannon didn't argue she took the time to completely go through Newton's file. She became oblivious of the blurring scene that past them, becoming engrossed in the details of each case the psychic had helped on. Discovering that in all the forty-three cases Jenny had found an answer. When she finished the last case she closed it, stretching out her long body and only then took notice of the surroundings, confused to find that the car had stopped and they were now on a ferry.
“Um... Did I miss something?” She looked over at her partner, who at that point had his head out the window, breathing in long and deeply. When he turned to her she noticed his face had a tinge of green.
“Only me... throwing up lunch.” He took a long swallow and his pallor grew whiter.
She winced at the image. Glad she had missed it. “Where are we?”
He swallowed twice again. “Ferry… It's the only way to reach the island she lives on….”
As she nodded, she shifted back in alarm as Pete's hand went to his mouth while he fumbled for the car handle, opening it he shot out reaching the rail and hurling over the side. Shannon swallowed then tactfully turned her gaze away, noticing the pier start to come into view as the ferry maneuvered to dock.
The golden retriever sat at the top of the ridge, his head tilting causing his ears to flop to one side, his tongue lolling as he panted. His ears pricked and brown eyes tracked the car that came into view at the rise of the hill road. He watched it turn into the dirt track. With a low “ oof ”, he headed down the dune running flat out along the beach.
Pete pulled the car to a halt as they reached the end of the track, both of them got out. He looked down at his shoes then at the sand everywhere they were going to have to walk. “Shit, this is going to ruin them.”
Shannon grinned as she removed her light jacket, glad that she had chosen a light cotton suit for the day and sleeveless blouse. She stepped onto the beach, tilting her head back for a moment to let the cool breeze spread over her skin, she quickly tied back dark hair into a ponytail, and pulled down her shades. Looking at that moment, every inch someone on vacation.
Pete looked over at her and cursed, she didn't look like she was even sweating, and he was already beginning to feel the itching under his shirt. He at that moment looked like a businessman caught in their worst nightmare.
They both headed out along the beach, following the instructions they had gotten at the ferry post. After about ten minutes they spotted the house and approached. Shannon noted the woman sitting on the front porch as if waiting for them, a dog by her side. She knew it was Newton from the pictures, a thought passed over her mind as they walked up the path. The pictures didn't do this woman any justice at all.
Pete moved first stopping just in front of the woman, his eyes going from the woman to the now growling dog. “Miss Newton, I don't know if you remember me?”
As of yet Newton hadn't looked up, her hand just kept up a steady stroke along the dog's side. When she didn't answer Pete looked back over his shoulder to Shannon. Shannon could see he was trying to control his temper.
She stepped forward. “Miss Newton we are from the Keys police department, I'm Detective Rhimes and this is my partner Detective Johnson.”
Still the blonde woman didn't look up, but her hand paused on the fur of the dog. Then she looked up, her face tilting to Pete. Her sun glassed eyes turning to him.
“I know you.” Then her attention went to Shannon. “You weren't his partner back then.”
Shannon smiled, although inside she was finding it hard, for some reason this woman was pissing her off. “No… as a matter of fact the reason we are here is his old partner, he is our Captain now.”
Still the woman starred, remaining silent. But her hand resumed its stroking of the dog at her side.
All of them were silent, Shannon could see that Pete was having a hard time biting his lip, she turned her eyes back to the woman who still hadn't spoken again or moved from the step.
“Don't you want to know why he sent us?” Shannon was finding it even harder now not to get angry, the woman in front of her seemed to be totally void of any emotions at all.
Then Newton looked directly at her, her sunglasses reflecting back Shannon's image.
“I knew you were coming.” She rose and turned to walk up the steps back into her house.
Shannon shifted slightly suddenly feeling uncomfortable, then she picked up Pete's snorted words from behind her, knowing Newton must have heard.
“Yea I bet…. A vision.” He spat the sentence.
Shannon turned her eyes to the woman who had now stopped; one foot paused to board the last step, her head snapping around to focus on him.
“No... My dog warned me.” With a slight smirk she walked into the house the dog bounding ahead of her, the door closed with a resounding click.
Shannon found it hard pressed not to snort out loud, watching Pete suddenly blush bright red both in embarrassment and anger.
“Fucking freaking bitch.”
Shannon blinked in surprise at the venom in the words, she looked at her partner unsure. “Pete?”
He swallowed then calmed himself. “Don't tell me you didn't feel it, Jesus she's ice here, she isn't going to help us. Let's go.”
“We can't do that; do you want to be the one to tell the Captain why?”
She shook his head, chewing his teeth together for a second. “Fine.”
With three strides he reached the door and banged on it.
“Look Miss Newton we are here to get your help… Captain Grieves sent us to ask you.”
Shannon was watching her partner carefully wondering why the hell he was suddenly so mad.
“We aren't leaving here until you hear us out Newton…” He banged the door again this time louder.
Shannon had had enough she grabbed his shoulder turning him from the door. “What the hell are you doing?”
He shrugged off her hand. “Getting what we were sent here to get.”
“What you gonna do arrest her? Jesus Pete calm down, what is going on here?”
“Never mind… fine.” He turned around throwing up his arm, moving to the fence to lean against, crossing his arms. “You deal with her.”
Shannon just stared at him, then she heard the door open, turning her gaze back she found one pissed off woman with her arms crossed starring at her, all she was missing was the tapping foot.
“Am I under arrest for something?”
“No… no of course not.” Shannon took a short breath. “Can we go inside Miss Newton?”
Shannon blinked in surprise at the tone. “Well Ok then… We will talk from here. Look the Captain does believe that you can help in a case we are working on.”
Shannon looked up her eye's going from her hands. “No! That's it, no questions as to what it is.”
Shannon could feel her anger beginning to rise. “Are you familiar with the Tooth Fairy murders?”
The one-word answers were really starting to annoy her. “That's the case he believes you can help on.”
“I can't.” This time Newton looked away.
“You can't or won't?”
Newton's head snapped back. “Does it matter which?”
Shannon body shifted. “Well yes, one is unavoidable the other is a choice.”
The blonde tilted her head for a moment as she starred, then she stiffened.
“I'm sorry you came here for nothing and it was a waste of police time.” She turned to leave.
Shannon stepped forward her hand reaching out to grab the woman's arm, suddenly out of nowhere the blur of the golden retriever appeared knocking it away, he now stood between them growling.
Newton turned realizing what must have happened, her hand came gently down on the dog's head, silencing him. Her head going up to look at the detective who was looking at the dog in amazement.
“Don't ever try to touch me again.”
Shannon quickly recovered resisting the urge to count the fingers on her hand. She stepped slightly forward well aware of the growling dog, this time she didn't make the same mistake of reaching for the woman as she turned to leave.
“Wait please... Please.” Her eyes were still semi locked on the dog, which now seemed to have found a stone more interesting than her arm.
The blonde woman turned. “What?”
Shannon warily stepped back to give the woman some room. “I have the files here, the evidence all of it, what harm would it do you to look over them. Twenty-four hours of your time. If after that you still feel the same, I'll go back and let my Captain know. Sound fair? You could at least give us some insight of what you think? ”
Newton's eyes dipped to the file then back up to the detective her face slightly softening. “Interesting choice of words.”
Shannon relaxed a little. “So?”
For a long moment Newton thought about it, then she met Pete's eyes then Shannon's. “Leave them on the porch, I'll look.”
This time she called the dog and went inside and slammed the door shut hard.
Shannon let out a long noisy exhaled breath through her teeth. She moved putting the file and box next to the bench sliding it under. Pausing she looked at the door then headed down to catch up to Pete who had already started off up the beach.
On the other side of the door Jennifer was trying to gulp in air, her body shaking. As she hugged herself she slowly slid down until she was sitting on the floor, immediately she felt the warmth and the calm of the dog come and lay beside her, closing her eyes she tapped into it letting his energy pulse over her fear. When she was calm enough she opened her eyes. Pulling the dog to her, grinning as he started to lick her face. “Thank you.”
His answer was to bury his head under her chin and lick there, his tail wagging into her leg.
She laughed then hugged him closer, stroking his back. “I don't think that woman even knows how much power she throws out Buddy…Jesus I've spent too much time alone I could hardly handle it…”
Then her mind went back over the conversation, the Tooth Fairy killer, she had known someone would have looked for her to help on it, she had made her mind up to turn whoever it was away no matter what. But here she was offering.
“God what am I doing?”
Her voice showed the insecurity and fear as she whispered it. Sensing his mistresses rising distress again, he whined briefly then covered as much of her as he could as he climbed into her lap, resting his chin on her chest and just starred up at her with brown sorrowful eyes.
Jennifer held onto him, tilting her head back closing herself off from everything else around her and the turmoil of fear that licked at her subconscious like a whispering demon.
Shannon finally caught up to her partner, he was leaning against the car tapping out the sand from his shoe. Before she spoke she took a calming breath, letting the anger recede.
“What the hell did you think you were doing?”
He looked up at her briefly then replaced his shoe. “She isn't going to help us and this is a fucking waste of time.”
Shannon turned her head away cursing inwardly, she knew Pete's temper was a part of the partnership she didn't like, in fact if she really thought about it she didn't like him at all, he was self centered. But usually his temper came out when a situation was volatile, this was the first time she had actually seen him blow up over nothing. It was one of the reasons she knew he had been passed over promotion and the main reason Pete didn't get on with his ex partner now Captain. Simply Peter thought he should be Captain and had more experience than anyone else in the squad room.
Turning back she looked at him, she softened her voice. “What's really going on here Pete?”
He paused, his hand holding the shoe, then he finished banging it on the side of the car before replacing it. “She's a freak.”
Shannon took a long breath. “You don't even know her; come on there's something else here?”
He threw a look of anger at her and pulled the door open. “Nothing, let's get back and tell Grieves she isn't going to help.” He got in and started the engine, waiting and tapping on the wheel as he glared out at her.
Shannon looked back up the beach then came to a decision. Moving she looked in leaning through the window to him.
“I'm staying, at least till she looks at the files, you go back and tell the Captain I'm here, I have my cell phone call me if you need me.”
He rolled his eyes his jaw tensing. “Fine!' With that he threw the gear into reverse, just giving Shannon enough time to grab her jacket through the window and step back before the car shot backwards.
She watched him turn, with a mixture of curiosity and anger on her face. Then she realized she had no where to stay. “Well shit.”
Slinging her jacket over her shoulder she headed back towards the beach house, wondering if the day could get any worse.
Jennifer had recovered enough and within ten minutes her curiosity had gotten the better of her. She brought the file in and left it on the table and busied herself in the kitchen with occasional glances back to it.
“Who am I kidding?” With a sigh she sat down and began to shift through the contents.
Shannon had reached the edge of the house, she debated whether going to the door or just sitting in the sand. In the end she sat down on the edge of the dune facing the sea, taking off her shoes she wiggled her toes in it. She let her eyes look out across the horizon. It was the first time in a long time she had stopped long enough anywhere to watch the world go by. Soon her thoughts calmed and she became lost in the beauty. Tilting her head up as a lonely gull screeched as it dipped.
Inside Jennifer placed the six photographs of the victims out across the table, putting them into order then pulled the forensic on each one, reading through it.
Outside Shannon shifted back, tucking her jacket under her head to rest back on to. She stiffened as she felt something hit her stomach, looking up she froze. The golden retriever was sitting next to her, his head tilted as it watched her.
Shannon swallowed, unsure if she was just about to become doggy food.
“Um... Good dog.” She slowly started to sit up.
When the dog barked Shannon jumped. “Shit.” She scrambled to her feet, looking around for a weapon, she didn't think shooting him would go down well with the owner.
Instead the dog watched her, tilting his head again as he stepped forward, noticing her step back. He woofed again, almost chuckling to himself as she jumped, he could smell the fear coming from her, but he could also smell the fact she was hiding it and the sense that she didn't want to hurt him. So instead he turned back lifting the stick and came up dropping it at her feet.
Shannon's eyebrows appeared over the top of her sunglasses as she watched him drop the stick. Taking a long breath she realized that was what she had felt hit her stomach relieved to find it wasn't someone's arm.
“So you want to play?”
“ Oofffff.” He added a wagging of his tail, sensing the fear drop on the woman.
Shannon looked at him for a moment, then a smile crept onto her face.
“Okey dokey. Haven't got anything else to do here.” Lifting the stick she threw it towards the surf.
The dog took off at once.
Now that the dog was out of range, Shannon let out a long breath. Within a short time her fear for the dog had gone and she actually started to enjoy the game.
Inside Jennifer's focus was completely on the information in front of her, slowly she was building a picture of each victim. There was also something else there, niggling at the back of her subconscious as she looked over each victim. She relaxed back the pencil tapping on her chin, then she became aware of the fact Buddy was barking, frowning she rose walking slowly to the window to look out. Surprise spread over her face as she caught a glimpse of the detective suddenly going down as Bud barreled into her.
“Oh my god…” she started running only slowing in amazement as she watched her dog suddenly appear in mid flight above the sand dune, his ears thrown upward by gravity. She picked up her run, skidding to a halt watching in utter disbelieve at the scene in front of her.
The detective had the golden retriever pinned. Her hands holding his front paws down, her legs pushing down on the “grrrrrrring” wiggling form.
“One…. Two… Threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Ya out of hereeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee… “
With that she jumped up, letting the struggling dog rise, running in circles to avoid him as he tried to lock on to her with snapping jaws, Shannon burst out laughing. “Hey… hey it was a far fight…. I had ya…”
The psychic felt the laughter, felt the joy… closing her eyes she slowly erected a wall to it, crossing her arms.
“Excuse me. What are you doing to my dog?”
Shannon stopped, spinning to the voice. Which was a bad idea as the dog couldn't slow in time his paws dug in throwing sand up as he hit her legs from under her.
Jennifer couldn't hold it she let out a laugh. She coughed it clear, putting on a more serious face as she approached the pile up.
Immediately the dog paused “rut roow” , his eyes went to his mistresses, almost sighing he went to her side, looking up at her with his best “ sworrrrrrrrrrry” reflecting back up at her with an added. “Arroff.”
She smiled at him and ruffled his fur then looked back at the crumpled detective. “You ok?”
Shannon sat up testing her body, then rose brushing the sand away. “Yea.” She threw the dog a look. Who just gave his best I'm ignoring you stance.
Jennifer nodded. “So?”
Shannon shifted embarrassed for a moment. “Well he wanted to play stick and then we kinda got into the wrestling.”
Jennifer bit her lip trying hard to hide her own smile, instead she took the time it took to look down at her dog to compose her face, trying all the world not to laugh out loud at his best “Who me.” Expression.
“I meant why are you still here? I told you I would let you know.”
Shannon looked up from brushing her pants down. “Kinda thought about that, you don't have a phone or computer so thought I would just hang around. “ She shrugged.
“Oh... Well the island post office has a phone I usually use that to get to the outside world.”
Shannon couldn't miss the sarcasm in the last bit. She was about to come back with an angry comeback when she caught the woman trying to control her smile. She scratched her head feeling the sand.
“I'll admit it I didn't think it out; I just didn't want to get in the car with Pete.”
With that the small blondes head snapped up, the smile no longer twitching at her mouth. “Can't imagine why.”
For a moment they looked at each other.
Jennifer was the first to break it. “I suppose you are thirsty?”
Shannon nodded. “Yea didn't think that one through either.” She added a smile hoping that it worked.
Taking a breath the blonde just nodded. “Come with me.” She slapped her thigh and the dog fell into a heel beside her as they headed back to the house.
Shannon watched her for a moment then followed, pausing outside the door well aware she hadn't been asked inside, so instead she chose the bench. Using the time to knock the sand out of her shoes.
After a few minutes the blonde returned with two cokes, handing one over. “Buddy is now drinking his bowl dry.”
Shannon looked at her, chuckling as she took the drink. “The dogs name right?”
Jennifer simply nodded and sipped her own drink.
“Well he worked me hard, better than anyone, don't need to spend tonight in the gym. Hard to imagine he was the same dog that nearly ate my arm.” She pulled the tab on the can and drank, her eyes going out to the sea again.
This time Jennifer answered the smile, finding herself actually liking the detective across from her. “He was protecting me and he wouldn't have hurt you unless you intended to hurt me…he was just warning you.”
Shannon didn't look over, instead she just nodded, figuring it out for herself during the time alone with the dog.
The silence this time wasn't forced it was an almost natural pause. Jennifer took the time to look at the woman. She could feel the power again pulsing, as it filtered free. Gently she erected a wall around her senses to a point she could handle the intrusion. Then she looked at the woman herself.
Shannon knew she was being scrutinized, and for no reason could feel the blush warming her skin. She had yet to see Newton's eyes, but she was fully aware of them looking her from top to bottom. So she kept her own eyes fixed on the sea.
It didn't take long for Jennifer to see the detective was very attractive, how could she not be, dark long hair, a fit body and tall. As she looked longer she realized she was starring no longer at the power but at the person, and liked what she saw. The thought springing into her mind threw her, she snapped her eyes away.
Feeling the inspection was over Shannon sat back. “I can see why you live here, it's beautiful.”
Jennifer gave a gentle forced smile. She was still unsettled and she didn't like it. “Yes it is, and isolated.”
Shannon looked at her. “Is it that important to be alone?”
“For me yes.” She stiffened.
Jennifer inhaled with a sigh. “Do I have to have a reason?”
Shannon shrugged. “Usually there needs to be... It's a choice.”
The psychic turned her head slightly to study the detective again, this time her face was serious. “Yes it is, and I have my reasons.”
Shannon nearly kicked herself as the whole woman next to her closed her out again and the emotional face fell in to place. “I didn't mean anything by it, just curious, I wasn't going to judge you.”
Jennifer blinked. “What makes you think people judge me?”
Shannon let her own smile come out, sipping at her coke. “Because you close up expecting them too… You're not that hard to read you know. Besides, I am a detective.”
Jennifer thought about it for a moment, then let her own smile show. “I know I'm not…. Mainly because I intend you to see I won't be messed with, it's a defense mechanism… and yes I do expect it because in my experience everyone is the same at judging me… because of what I do.”
Shannon just nodded.
“No questions on that detective?”
“Look call me Shannon or Shan ok, I really get pissed off when people use that title in the way you just did, like I'm a label, I have my own defense mechanism on that one.” She stiffened.
Jennifer kept silent totally understanding her comment on labels. “Ok then Shannon, call me Jenny, anything but Jennifer, it reminds me of a maiden aunt who I hated. As I said you have no questions on that part of me?”
Shannon looked at her, wiping her forehead a moment. “Yes I have, but I'd rather you wanted to tell me than me just being another predicable person wanting to know.”
Jenny sat back a little for the first time relaxing. “Maybe I will one day, who knows. But I'm betting your curiosity will get the better of you before then.”
Shannon grinned. “Can't help human nature Jenny.”
Jenny met the grin. “No guess not.”
Shannon didn't want to spoil the moment, she felt the woman next to her open up, but she also knew she was on a time line. “Look as much as I like this, I do have to ask?” she paused.
Jenny sat up, “the case right?”
Shannon couldn't help the disappointment as she felt the walls come up around her companion. “Yea.”
“I've looked over them briefly…' she stopped then took a long breath, not really believing what she was going to say next. “ I'll help if I can.”
Shannon sat forward a little surprised at the sudden turnaround from the woman, but she let the question of why die on her lips. ‘Great that's great, I'll contact the Captain.”
Jenny stood up, rising her hand to silence her. “But I have conditions and if you can't agree now I'll wait for the Captain to agree, I'm not helping unless I get them.”
Shannon paused, listening.
“I'm not going to leave the island I work from here, I want all info as soon as your department finds it, I will be requesting things you haven't covered and I need them without arguments or secret police policy bullshit… I wouldn't ask for it if I didn't need it…. Some of it will come across as, well let's just say strange and to you may seem stupid or meaningless. If I didn't need it I wouldn't ask.”
She took a long breath before continuing. “I don't want anyone outside of the department knowing I'm helping in this. That includes the F.B.I. I don't need to be strong armed into giving information I'm not ready to give.''
Shannon briefly wondered if that's what had happened in D.C. She nodded waiting.
Jenny took a breath, anger sounding now. ‘' And I don't want to find my name on the front page of any newspapers or media. You get me. ”
Shannon shifted slightly at the anger aimed at her. “I can't see that being a problem Jenny.”
Jenny turned away to look at the sea then turned back. “And I need…” her voice broke for a moment. “ I need to know I'm safe.”
Shannon rose wanting the entire world to touch the woman who now was almost shaking in front of her, but she didn't. “As I said I'll run your request passed the captain, but what I will promise is that you will be safe… ok?”
Jenny just nodded.
“I'd better get in touch with the Captain and get things in motion, is there anything you need right now?”
“You have power here?” surprised eyes jumped to look the house up and down.
Jenny couldn't help the snort of laughter at the expression on the detective face. “Believe it or not Shannon, I have power, gas, water and a phone line, it's just my choice not to use them.”
Shannon felt herself flush. “Sorry, just thought… well ok I will get what you want, about the phone you want one brought in?”
Jenny shook her head. “No. I can live without it.”
Shannon looked at her for a moment, and then understood that a phone line could be traced, she wondered if that was how the D.C. killer had gotten to her. “Ok no phone…. When do you want me to contact you?”
“If they agree to my conditions send the laptop and the rest of the forensic as soon as possible I'll contact the department when I have something.”
She rose then headed back inside, instead of going straight in this time she turned back to look at the detective.
“It was nice meeting you Shannon.” She smiled then went inside closing the door.
Shannon waited for a moment a smile coming to her face, then turned heading back up the beach, pulling her cell free and dialing the precinct.
Getting off the island wasn't as easy as Shannon thought, finally she hitched a ride with a rich inhabited using her police badge as leverage. Returning to the precinct she ignored her partner as she made her way to the Captains office, knocking.
He looked up beckoning her in. “Well?” he replaced the phone he held in his hand.
“She'll help, but she has some conditions...”
He nodded slightly. “Thought she might, and let me guesses she won't help if they aren't met?”
He sat. “Ok what?”
“She wants full access to all files when she asks for them no bullshit….” Shannon looked up a slight smile coming to her lips. “Those are her words.”
The Captain laughed, “oh I bet they were, ok done she has access, what else?”
“She wants kept out of the media, I think in fact she wants the less people to know the better…. She… Um she wants to be safe on this one Captain.”
His eyes saddened then he nodded. “Understandable. Ok I will post a team to protect her. Anything else?”
“No.” she shifted uncomfortably.
He saw it looking up in question. “What?”
“I don't think she is going to go for the protection team, she wants to remain isolated…. I get the feeling she would see that as an intrusion.”
“Fine I will post them around the island to watch her.”
“We both know that isn't going to get her much protection, I've seen that place anyone could bring a boat ashore on any of the beaches unseen.”
He sat forward. “You have something else in mind?”
“Yea... But I get the feeling she really isn't going to go for it….”
He watched her for a moment. “You want one person with her at all times right?”
“You're right she isn't going to go for it… unless.”
She looked up meeting his gaze. “Unless?”
“You.” He pointed at her.
Her eyebrows rose. “Me? No way, I got a case to run and what the hell makes you think she would let me go anywhere near her.”
He shrugged, rising to get a file from the cabinet. “Because you were the one she said yes too.”
She looked at him then understanding dawned. “You didn't expect her to say yes at all did you?”
He shook his head, giving her a sly grin as he sat. “In truth no I didn't, so either something happened with you to change her mind, which means she trusts you to some degree.”
Shannon bit the inside of her mouth; she didn't like the feeling of being used as bait. “Is that why you sent Pete, knowing full well those two hate each other.”
He glanced up from the file. “She and Pete have history I knew you would be the good cop to his bad cop…. You seem to forget here detective this isn't about you, or her or me for that matter, it's about a killer who is playing games with the police department and for me the cost of another innocent victim is way too high…”
She sighed. ‘‘So what makes you really think she will let me protect her?”
Shannon shifted uncomfortably. “Sir. I'd rather not do this, I prefer to work on the case personal rather than be someone's body guard.”
He slightly nodded his gaze now not leaving the report in his hand. “And I have dually noted your opinion…. What else did she want?”
Shannon let out a long sigh realizing she really didn't a choice anymore. “A laptop and all forensic…”
He looked up smiling. “ Ok get what she needs and pack up your stuff and head out there I will tell Pete to keep you updated on the case you can handle the four man team I will send to the island tomorrow you will be in charge of her ok. The usual four ok with you?”
“ Yes but I'd prefer Tully to Amins on this one, he has a problem with being subtle and as much as I'd like his experience watching my back, he is going to stick out like a sore thumb on the island.”
The Captain chuckled, pulling up an image in his mind of Amins ex fighter look trying to fit into the elite and rich inhabitances. “See your point. Ok done, they will be there when you get back tomorrow... Anything else?”
Shannon shook her head as she headed for the door. She stopped the door half open as she glanced over at her partner then back to the Captain. “Why does he hate her?”
The Captain followed her gaze to Pete. “Not my place to say, either he or she will tell you if they want too.”
She nodded then headed out to inform her partner of her new assignment knowing damn well he wasn't going to like it.
Shortly after the detective had left Jenny couldn't help herself, full curiosity took over. Clearing a wall free of pictures in the den she began to tack each of the six crime victim photos up. Placing each in a horizontal line across the wall, leaving a foot gap in between each, with a five-foot clear area below. Slowly she began categorizing each forensic and info, into their relative position below each victim. Leaving the once bare wall now looking like a macabre broken jigsaw puzzle. In between the gaps of evidence Jenny used a magic marker to write Evidence needed .
During the following three hours she worked like a woman possessed scribbling on her notepad any small fact or question which came to mind or raised an unanswered explanation as she focused on each victim in turn.
By the fifth hour she now knew the names and background of every single one of them, now they were people to her not just victims. Her thoughts were completely calm as she worked, before she had started she had erected a wall around her senses so not to pick up any outside vibes from any of the evidence. She didn't need that part of herself so soon in her investigation; this was more about the facts of the case and what the evidence showed.
Long before she realized her so called ‘gift' was here to stay, she had made her mind up she wanted to be an investigator of crime, to use her powers seemed to be like cheating. She knew she had a mind that was special even without the powers, it became more about the challenge of the crime rather than the solving, that came later when she realized it wasn't a game.
The part she loved was the puzzle, the solving, and finally the answer. Her gift would only be used when the answer didn't make any sense or the answer needed to be proven. But it didn't always work out that way, because in the end she had to use her powers to make her name and bring in the clients, and that changed everything because then she only became known as the “psychic.”
In a way she hated that part of herself and for a long time through her late teens and early twenties it had caused her nothing but pain, grief, ridicule, and scorn. When her powers began to grow she distanced herself from family, friends and relationships, but more the outside world itself. During that early time alone she discovered how to focus her power and control it, using sensor walls around her to block the now constant bombardment that had nearly drove her mad.
When she decided to work on unsolved crimes, like this one, she virtually became an unemotional vacuum, which both helped and hindered. The high price was each time she did it she lost a small part of her own humanity, because in that ice state she missed things that were right in front of her. That was what happened two years before in D.C. she had closed herself down so far inside herself she missed the warning signs.
Jenny jerked awake as the memory replayed in her mind, for a moment her eyes searched the darkened den, flicking nervously to every shadow, then her brain filtered in the information of familiar surroundings.
“Jesus…” She sat forward, rubbing her neck, noticing her hand was trembling.
‘Arroof!” The dog watched from the door, unsure, his head lifting to sniff the air, he could smell his owner's fear, but he didn't understand it.
Letting out a long breath, Jenny looked over her shoulder to him. “It's ok boy…. Just bad dreams. Come here.' She patted her leg.
“Oof.” Relaxing, his tail wagged as he approached.
Smiling Jenny sat back letting her fingers scratch behind his ear. “Can you explain to me Bud what the hell I'm doing?”
His only answer was to raise a paw and put it on her knee, tilting his head and panting, causing his lip to get stuck on his canine tooth.
Jenny laughed, ruffling his fur. “You are such a dork.”
With an indignant look he left going to his empty food bowl, giving it one look than a stare to her. “Arghwoof.”
She laughed again as she rose, pausing to groan and stretch out her spine, then got the dog chow from the cupboard and filled his bowl. “There ya go boy sorry it's so late.”
No answer came, just the breeze of a wagging tail.
Pulling an O.J. from the chiller sipping it, she walked passing the wall, pausing to look at it, then shaking her head she moved to the open door, leaning against the framework as her eyes took in the moonlight scene reflecting in the bay. Her eyes closed for a moment as she inhaled the salt air. The only sound was the waves coming in and out, that and one loud low rumble, which came from her stomach. Sighing she turned from the door, closing it with her foot as she made her way to the kitchen.
“Let's feed the other beast in the family.”
Shannon had gathered all the information and evidence that she knew Newton would want. Also stopping at the armory for surveillance equipment and a vest. Finally she met up with the four-man team and had given them instructions on where she wanted them when they reached the island the next day. Her final task before leaving the department was getting a laptop, after that she headed home, deciding to start fresh in the morning.
On the journey home her thoughts kept going back to Jenny, part of her was pissed at the fact she was now no more than a glorified bodyguard. While the other side of her meant what she promised. She wouldn't let anything happen to the young woman. Thoughts and questions were with her the whole time she went through her nightly routine and were still there as she got into bed, setting the alarm for 6 am. Reaching over she switched off the light, letting her gaze go out the window to the full moon, her last thought as her eyelids grew heavy was. “Who really is Jenny Newton?”
As the detective and the world slept the night passed with no sign of the Tooth Fairy killer, people continued their normal routines, either choosing to believe it wouldn't happen to them or just not caring enough to change their routines. The moon moved across the sky, stars filtered through until the sun rose and another day was born.
A silhouette darkened to a shadow stood at the window. Eyes bright, a glass of wine, came to his lips, leaving a dark stain of scarlet on his lips, before it was licked clean. He starred into the night.
The knock at the door didn't make Jenny jump it was the loud “ WOOF!” that did and sent tea spurting from her mouth.
“BUD!” He immediately lay down, his head on his paws, his brown eyes following her as she walked past.
Scooping up a cloth she wiped down her legs as she approached the door, not opening it. “Yes?”
“Hi Jenny … it's Shannon .”
Jenny blinked in surprise then tossed the cloth away feeling the need to straighten her appearance, realizing what she was doing she stopped, mentally cursing at herself, as she pulled the door open, blinking in pain as the sunlight blasted her eyes, she stepped back to reach her sunglasses.
“You ok?” Shannon had seen the action. “Sorry am I to early?”
Jenny turned back, still feeling the sting of the sun on her retinas. Trying to blink the two orbs of light still fresh in her vision away. “No… no not at all.” Her eyes dipped to the box in the detective's hands. “I see he agreed to all my requests…”
Shannon grinned. “Yea… think you knew he would though right?”
Jenny gave a slight smirk. “Might have.”
The detective held out the box, making sure not to cross the threshold, still knowing she wasn't invited.
Jenny took it then walked back in, placing it on the table, pulling out the laptop she realized the detective wasn't with her, she turned back seeing the somewhat sheepish detective standing unsure at the threshold. She felt a small pull of warmth at the fact the detective had respected her privacy.
“Would you like to come in?”
Shannon head shot up from her feet, not helping the grin. “Thank you.”
Stepping in she removed her sunglasses, letting them adjust to the dim light of inside, then walking further in she let her gaze take in the room.
Jenny watched the detective, inhaling silently as the blue eyes were revealed, quickly she swallowed turning her attention back to the contents of the box.
“I like it.”
Jenny looked back over her shoulder, meeting the detectives smile. “Thank you, I do too.”
This time Jenny let her stare hold for moment longer than necessary, before she removed her own sunglasses, her attention going back to the evidence.
Shannon was aware again of the woman's gaze on her as she looked around the room, she wasn't prepared for the jolt she felt as Jenny removed her sunglasses and suddenly she got her first view of her eyes.
“Wow.” Shannon bit her lip realizing her thoughts had come out of her mouth as the young woman's head snapped around to her in question. “Um sorry, your eyes, they … well they are…. Just …well….”
Jenny peaked an eyebrow, smirking inwardly as the detective fumbled for words, she decided to help. “Wow.”
Shannon snorted a laugh. “Yea wow.” She scratched the back of her neck nervously.
Jenny chuckled, she had had many responses to her eyes, she knew they were unique and drew people's attention. “Yea I guess they are.”
“They're light sensitive right?”
Jenny turned fully this time. “Yea they are… how?”
“I'm a detective.” Shannon grinned. “And I caught the grabbing the sunglasses thing when you opened the door... How sensitive?”
“Sunlight and bright direct light mostly, as I‘ve gotten older it has gotten worse.” She didn't speak the part that in daylight without shades on she was virtually blind.
“So you wear dark glasses all the time?” Shannon was becoming more interested by the minute, she wanted to answer that question which posed itself before she went to sleep.
“No, I have contacts specially made, I can wear those, but when I'm around the house I find sunglasses work better.”
Shannon nodded then her eyes flicked briefly to the curtains and oil lamps around. “It that why you use those inside, and not electric light?”
Jenny crossed her arms, her stare now was full of suspicion. “Is this an interrogation?”
Shannon eyes shot around. “No. No of course not, I was just interested, I'm sorry if it came out that way.”
Their eyes locked for a moment and Shannon got the feeling that something was touching her skin.
Jenny dropped her eyes immediately as she realized what she was doing, as her subconscious had started to probe the woman in front of her. “Well I'd rather you just left, thank you for bringing what I needed.”
Shannon frowned. “Jenny I am sorry I didn't mean anything by it.”
Jenny forced a smile. “No problem, but I do have work to do…” she turned away lifting the box and headed out towards the den.
Shannon stood there wondering what the hell had just happened, taking along breath she moved to follow, stopping when the dog moved in front of the door, his tail was wagging but she could tell that he wasn't about to let her pass.
“Hey Buddy how you doing?” she bent down offering out her hand.
For a moment he stood his ground, turning his head in the direction of his owner, then he came over sniffing the out stretched palm.
Smiling Shannon ruffled his fur. “Let me guess that way is off limits to me right?''
He answered with an “ oof.”
Shannon nodded. “Well you see I have a problem I need to talk to her again and I'd rather not yell at her through the walls like a fishwife. Don't think she would appreciate that approach do you agree?”
Cocking his head he looked at her, then again in the direction Jenny went.
Shannon laughed. “Yea something like that… Jesus I'm talking to a dog here.”
His answer was to raise a paw and hit her with it. “Mmmwoof.”
“Sorry… sorry, seems my day for insulting things.”
Sighing she rose, taking one look at the dog again then the open door ahead, then making a decision she sat on the chair in the kitchen, folding her arms and waited. “You might as well tell her I'm not leaving boy.”
He wagged his tail, then turning he let out a long drawn out grumble, which to the detective at that moment sounded all the world like he was chuckling.
When Jenny came back ten minutes had passed, she blinked in surprise as her eyes fell on the detective. “You're still here… I thought I asked you to leave?”
Jenny moved to the kitchen filling a glass of water, leaning back against the counter. “And the reason you didn't is?”
“I hadn't finished what I came here for and quite frankly Miss Newton I'm not someone you can just dismiss.”
Jenny looked up from the rim of her glass, for a moment the anger of the detective flooded over her senses, needing to distances herself she moved into the living room, choosing the rocker by the window to sit in. “Ok I'm listening.”
Shannon lent forward, trying to relax the tension in her body. “The Captain agreed to all of your concerns and the demands for the evidence, none of which is a problem…'' She looked over to the shadowed form. “There is one problem… your security.” When Jenny didn't say anything Shannon continued. “We can't protect you here on the island; I have a four man team coming which will watch the docks and any strangers which show up…”
Jenny rose. “So what is the problem?”
“You know as well as I do, you need someone close to you.”
Shannon sighed. “Well that's the problem, I don't think we can make you feel safe unless you do have someone with you 24/7.”
“I said no... Work something else out.”
Shannon had had enough she rose, striding towards the blonde, well aware that the dog had risen and stepped forward, she hoped he would understand what she was doing. “You listen to me, I gave you my promise that nothing is going to happen to you, you want me to make you feel safe, well fine, but I need some cooperation from you to do that, I know my job, let me do it.”
Jenny stepped back. “ I said no and I mean no… get a bigger team to come to the island set up cameras I don't give a shit of how you do it just do it. I'm not having someone I don't know around me all the time, its hard enough dealing with people as it is…”
Shannon really wanted to know what that comment meant but she let it go for now. “Ok then how about me?”
Jenny turned to face her in surprise. “You?”
“Yea... The Captain has given me the assignment…. Could you handle me being around that close, now that you know me a little?”
Jenny's eyes narrowed. “But you don't want to. Do you?”
Shannon bit back the retort, running her hand back through her hair she turned away then went to sit again. “In all honesty no I don't, but if it's the one thing that makes you feel safe and work with us on this, I won't take it as a great hardship to baby-sit you.”
Jenny's jaw tensed, then realized the last part was aimed as a joke as she watched the blue eyes in front of her sparkle. “Why?”
“Why do this… you don't believe I'm a psychic.”
Shannon thought about it before answering. “I don't know what you are, or what you do…. All I do know is I have read through forty-eight cases you have worked on and solved, and right now we have nothing on the Tooth Fairy and he isn't about to stop killing…” She was well a where that Jenny was studying her the whole time as she talked. With an almost tired exhale she continued. “ I don't know what you do Jenny and I don't even deem to understand the how of it… but right now you are the best thing to catch this murderer. Whether I believe or don't believe isn't the issue, you are helping us here, and you made the request to be safe. The one thing I do believe is, I can do that.”
Jenny had listened and after a moment of thinking she met the detective's eyes. “Do you believe in psychics in general?”
Shannon let out a long sigh. “This is a loaded question, if I say no am I walking out the door?”
Jenny shook her head, as she tucked back a loose strand of hair behind her ear. “No. This is a personal question I need to know, well do you?”
Shannon watched the hair tuck and for a beat it threw her, it made the blonde seem years younger, shaking her thoughts clear she continued.
“I don't believe or disbelieve, I've never met one before, and I've never seen it or witnessed it. In my life I have seen strange things, and I don't deem to understand the universe and what powers she has.”
Jenny smiled. ‘A doubting Thomas…”
Shannon stared in question. “Who?”
Jenny laughed. “Not a bible reader I see… Thomas was one of Jesus' disciples, he didn't believe that his lord could come back from the dead, even after the others had told him they had witnesses it, he never believed until he could touch the wounds and see for himself...”
“Well I guess I am then.” Shannon relaxed as soon as she saw Jenny had.
“So if I prove myself you would believe your own eyes?”
Shannon met her gaze, now no longer intimidated by the green of them.
“Probably question the hell out of it.”
Jenny laughed. “Well at least you're honest.”
Shannon gave her a large grin, although her tone had turned totally serious.
“I always am Jenny.”
There gaze locked again before Jenny broke it as she passed the detective to sit by her dog, letting her hand smooth over his fur, taking his calmness and using it to sooth her senses. “Ok so say I let you protect me, what exactly will that mean?”
Before Shannon turned to face her she let a smile tug at the corner of her mouth, but when she met the blonde woman's frank look the smile had gone.
“I stay here, and out of your way, I make sure the team keeps me updated and where you go I go.”
Jenny was silent, as she thought, she knew this wasn't a great idea she was finding it hard to keep her wall up around the detective.
“And if I still say no, what then?”
“I camp outside your door.”
Jenny had to hide the smile on that answer, clearing her throat she looked up meeting the intense blue gaze again.
“Ok… You can stay in the guestroom it's out the back and has a separate outside door, I'd rather you stayed in there and left that way… I can't take you in here all the time, when I ask you to leave it's because I need the distance, not for other reasons…. Ok?” She rose.
Shannon grinned. “ No problem I'll get my stuff.” She headed to the door.
“Pretty sure of yourself aren't you.”
Shannon paused, her hand on the handle as she turned back. “No not really, but I was sure enough to know I would be sleeping on the beach for the next few days.”
Jenny laughed. “Ok.”
As the detective left, Jenny moved to the window her gaze following the figure as it moved away. She could feel the wall inside her draining her, seeing that the detective would be gone for a while she let it drop. Inhaling a lung full of air as the surrounding peace flooded her senses. Another scent cascaded over her, for a moment she was dizzy, knowing it was Shannon 's. She sighed heavily, this was going to take a lot, this trust and just having Shannon around. For two years she hadn't been alone with anyone. No attachments of any kind. Now there was going to be someone living in her home and for the life of her she had no clue why she'd agreed. But, even as she thought that she knew on some level why. She was lonely. She took a breath again inhaling Shannon 's scent. Deep, musky, alive. Part of her responded to it, as she felt the tightening of her stomach muscles and warmth begin to spread, before anything else could respond she slammed the inner door shut on the scent.
She knew the best option was to just tell the detective to leave, she didn't need the added intrusion while she was working on the case, but a bigger part of her was whispering below the surface, the fear. Since the incident in D.C. she had found it near impossible to control it. At first she had put it away and it only showed its self during dreams, the place she had no control, it woke her constantly covered in sweat and her heart threatening to explode, with a scream stuck in her throat. Nothing at the beginning would halt its advancement in her subconscious other than becoming an insomniac.
Through the following two-year period she had worked hard to quell her demons, now once again working on a case she could feel the tendrils start again beneath her senses, the memories. Making the choice to help had fueled the paranoia again that someone was always watching. But she knew once she did make the choice to help she would have to deal with it and something made her trust the detective more than she thought she would ever trust anyone. Then there was the whispering part, the loneliness, a human need that craved another's voice or presence, something that when the detective was around seemed to quieted.
Turning away from the window she set about finishing her breakfast, after which she went into the guestroom opening the windows to air out the staleness of the room.
Within the next hour Shannon had moved her things into the guestroom, noticing that the bed had clean lined on with a smile as she set about unpacking. When she finished she exited the veranda doors and checked out the area, making mental notes of blank spots. Another hour had passed by the time she returned, now she had the lay of the land and any problem points. Making sure she had what she needed for now, she headed back to the house, pausing at the open front door, letting her gaze fall onto the blonde woman who was sat on the floor crossed legged who seemed to be meditating.
“Can I come in?”
Jenny opened her eyes then inhaled, finally turning to the source of the question. “Sure, how are you settling in?”
“Fine... Thank you for cleaning the room, you didn't have too, I would have… I don't want to interrupt your time working Jenny.”
Jenny shrugged as she rose. “The least I could do?”
Shannon held up the bag. “I'm not sure what you think of the bakery at the harbor but I stopped over and got some fresh rolls and pastries.”
Jenny this time gave a genuine grin. “I love it.”
Laughing Shannon moved into the kitchen, then stood unsure. “Um… is ok if I'm in here?”
Jenny finished making a note on the laptop then looked up, seeing that the detective was very uncomfortable. “Ok I think we need some rules, would that help?”
Relieved Shannon exhaled. “God yea...”
“Ok then… you can use anything you want from here… you don't have to keep asking. The only rule I have is that when I need to be alone I will tell you, until then you can come and go anywhere in the house… well nearly anywhere, Bud won't let you go in my bedroom… he's trained for that ok. I work mostly in the den and I'll show you that later.”
Shannon 's eyes twitched to the bedroom door. “Ok no problem.”
Jenny walked over, her eyes dipping to the bag a hungry smile coming to her mouth. “So what did you get? Because it smells amazing.”
For the first time Shannon truly relaxed and thought. “Maybe this isn't going to be so bad.”
During the first day together, they had both settled into a routine. True to her word Jenny showed her the den. Shannon was very impressed by the layout of all the victims, taking notice of the information under each woman. The fact the psychic had used much the same formula and layout she had when talking to the task force impressed her again. It told the detective something new about the psychic; Newton was serious about her job and knew what she was doing. When Jenny made it known she was ready to get back to work, Shannon had left near lunchtime to welcome the surveillance team and to set out their assignments, she wanted the port covered at all times, and any unknown to be reported and checked out. For the Two remaining surveillance team she leased a beach house on the farthest side of the small island, which if need be could become a safe place at short notice. The forth member was deemed a beach bum who would virtually cover the island keeping to the coast areas watching out for divers and surfers. Shannon made it known within the small harbor that she was vacationing on the island with friends, with that covered she reported in to the Captain.
Jenny had discovered something surprising while working that morning, the detective had come in unannounced to get something. Jenny at that point had been totally engrossed in a detail which didn't make sense, it was only after the detective had left did she realize her senses hadn't jumped through the roof at her presence, in fact if anything they didn't reacted at all. If she hadn't have been so caught up in the question that wouldn't go away in her head she would have noticed its relevance more, but instead she set about solving the problem in front of her.
The latter part of the day involved Shannon setting up her own equipment in the guestroom and radio communication to the four-man team. While Jenny had used the time to go through the smaller police reports via the laptop, to fill in loose ends on each case.
The day continued.
Shannon looked at her watch for the fifth time. 6 37pm, her eyes went to the closed door again, shifting on the guest bed to get more comfortable. Lifting the dog-eared paperback she tried to turn her hungry thoughts to the ones created on the page. A light tapping on the door stopped her attempt, she swung her long legs over the side of the bed.
The door opened gently until a smiling blonde head appeared. “Hi... I don't know if you want to join me for dinner?”
At that point as the 6ft frame rose her stomach let out a long rumble.
“Guess that's a yes… come on.” Jenny chuckled as she ducked back out.
Shannon tossed the book on the bed as she followed the retreating form. As soon as she cleared the closed door her nose filled with the tell tale smell of something good. Her eyebrow peaked as she saw the small table was laid out for two.
“What do you want to drink?” Jenny kicked the oven door shut as she asked her hands full.
“Beer if you have it.” Shannon sat, then grinned down as she felt a wet nose hit the back of her hand. “Hey there.”
Jenny balanced the hot dish until she could put it down on the edge of the table, making sure to push it fully on the heat mat. Her eyes narrowed as she watched the table cloth waft outwards, ducking slightly to see under the table, to come face to face with the innocent looking dog.
“Yea right and you know that isn't allowed at meal times… go sit.”
With a long sigh, Buddy ducked his head and tail and made his way to the porch.
Shannon coughed away her laugh as Jenny locked eyes with her.
“He knows your easy Shannon .”
Shannon 's eyebrow shot up, at the same time Jenny started to blush. She turned away getting two beers from the chiller then set to dish up the pasta.
“Hope you like vegetarian I don't eat meat, this is just garlic cheese, tomato, herbs and pasta, sound ok?”
Shannon held up her plate. “Sounds great.”
Once the dinner was dished they both began to eat, both aware of the silence but neither of them knowing exactly what to say.
“This is good.” Shannon spooned another mouthful into her mouth to prove the point.
Jenny relaxed back in the chair dabbing at the sauce with one of the rolls, before popping it in her mouth. “Thank you. It's actually nice to cook for more than one.”
Sipping her beer Shannon a wry smile twitched at her mouth. “Does that mean having me around isn't so bad?”
“Well not as bad as I thought.” Jenny couldn't help returning the smile.
“I promise to make it as pain free as possible… I have a question?”
Jenny looked up briefly then turned her attention back to her dinner. “Ok?”
“Can I ask who you're afraid of? I mean, is there something that has sparked wanting protection?”
Jenny spoon froze mid way between her mouth and the plate. Then she lowered it. “I made a mistake once, I'm not about to do it again.”
“You mean D.C. right?” Shannon took it easy on her questions, knowing the signs that the woman in front of her was getting tense.
“Yes.” Jenny placed her spoon down, choosing the beer instead. “You read the report I take it?”
After taking a long drink, Jenny shifted uncomfortably. “Well…. That should tell you what happened.”
“What happened yes, why it happened no?” Shannon made sure she kept her eyes locked on the green ones looking at her as she spoke.
Two gazes stayed locked.
“Why is it important to know Shannon ?” Jenny's voice dropped as she spoke.
Shannon broke the stare, shrugging slightly, before toying with the pasta with her spoon. “It isn't important, I just wanted to know, as you know I've read your file and the cases, and at no time did you ask for protection, including D.C. I guess what I need to know here is… Have you had a feeling about this one? You know the psychic thing?”
Jenny sat back trying the entire world not to scoff, instead she placed her spoon down with a clatter. “Oh god, now you choose to believe I have talents.”
Shannon blinked, not entirely sure what she had just said to cause the green eyes she saw fill with pain. “Ok maybe I didn't phrase that right.'
Jenny rose, taking her dish to the trash, scrapping the leftovers into it. “Oh I think you phrased it exactly how you meant too detective.”
Shannon flinched at the use of her title again. “Jenny I...”
Jenny spun around cutting her off. “In answer no I haven't had a feeling, but I know one thing here, no matter what promises your Captain has made my name will come into this case… I also know within a day of that happening I am going to be front-page news… I don't want some freak out there wanting to make me their trophy again ok…So I choose this time to have someone with a gun between me and the fruit loop….” She slammed the plate into the sink. “God you are just like all the rest aren't you, what am I a freak show to you too. Something to go back and tell the rest of the boys about….” She inhaled, turning away her whole body shaking with anger.
Shannon had watched staying silent, slightly caught off guard by the explosion of anger she was witnessing. Taking a breath to pause before she spoke, she then continued. “Jenny… “She waited. “ Jenny pleases.”
When the blonde woman still hadn't faced her she rose, stepping closer.
“I really didn't mean anything by it… As for telling tales well, if you knew me better you would know that isn't who I am.”
Jenny closed her eyes, her arms coming up to hug her chest. This had been a bad idea and she knew it. She couldn't do this.
Shannon exhaled not sure what to say or do, she ran her hand back through her hair, looking around as if searching for help, she noticed the dog laying head on paws in the corner, his gaze going first to her then back to his owner. Taking a breath she let her voice try and show the true emotions inside. Even though she felt confused by the turmoil of them.
“Look… I'm finding this as hard as you are ok… I don't really know what to do except protect you but I needed to know from what and now I do… You're the one who has shown you have something special around police work. I told you I didn't understand the how of it… I'm working blind here Jenny… if I put my size 8 in my mouth it is a genuine mistake. I'm not here to harm you or ridicule you….” She stood there waiting for a response, when none came her eyes filled with sadness, turning she headed back to her room, pausing for a moment she looked back. “I'm sorry if I hurt you in some way…. I never meant to, please at least believe that. “Then she went in and closed the door.
As the door closed tear-filled eyes flicked to it and stayed.
When the early first rays of dawn pushed through the window, the detective was already awake and watching, the slight grayness under her eyes and their bloodshot redness were witnesses that she hadn't slept well. After leaving the kitchen the night before she'd paced the small room until she heard the psychic finally go to bed. After which Shannon had left the house by the guestroom door to patrol the area and check in with the team. For one it gave her something to do while she tried to figure out what had happened. She spent the time away trying to get her under control. She was annoyed at herself, for some reason she couldn't get the usual control she had. Anger had replaced most of the turmoil, anger at not understanding one bit of it no matter how hard she tried. All she did know for sure as she reached the peak of the sand and starred back at the darkened house below, was the fact she hated that she had caused Jenny pain. With that thought and the steel twist in her stomach she turned her full attention back to securing the area. Work she understood.
It was well past two am when she returned, and hours later she had finally closed her mind's questions and eyes giving way to sleep. Now with daylight blazing in on her she sat starring at the ceiling, her arm under her head, thinking. She had come to a silent conclusion as she walked the darkened beach last night; maybe she wasn't the best person for the job. Everything she seemed to say or do seemed to piss off the woman she was now protecting. If truth were told she would rather be out working the case itself, but something deep down realized Jenny was the answer to solving it. She was a cop and that meant questions had to be asked, she knew at times she could be tactless, but she never classed herself as hurtful, but she had been she had seen it in Jenny's eyes, what she still didn't understand was how or why?
Grumbling she rolled over punching the pillow a few times before resettling.
But still her thoughts continued. For another ten minutes she debated what to do, finally having enough and knowing sleep was not going to return, she got up. Dressing quickly in her jog gear, grabbing her gun and phone and quietly as possible slipped out onto the beach, concentrating her mind on her usual morning run.
In the adjoining room, Jenny had a similar night; she too was awake as the sun lit up the curtain throwing a warm amber hue light into the normally dark interior. She had tossed and turned through most of the night, hearing the detective leave and return in the early hours. At first she had tried to calm her mind and return to work, sitting in the den for hours starring at the picture wall trying to focus, but something blocked her. She knew what it was, it was her own emotions and they sat heavily, acting almost like a fog that wouldn't fade. She didn't understand her own reaction the night before; normally she was in complete control. After thinking about it she had come to the conclusion it was the detective herself that was the problem. Shannon wore her emotions fully out in the open, they were raw and powerful and although the gift would feed on that much power, Jenny usually could sense the change within her and temper it in some way. That in it puzzled her, it could be the fact she hadn't been alone like this with a person for almost two years, but another smaller voice inside was telling her that it was because Shannon was unlike anyone she had known. Shaking her head she sat up, answering that remark in her head with a,” yea right …”
There was also the problem with the case, something about it didn't make sense. She'd had enough time now to go through the evidence, what there was of it. Also pulling apart each victim to find some connection, the resulting answer had been none. No connection, none what so ever. That was strange but not uncommon. The victims had been killed in the exact same way, left wrapped in a sheet, all in the same pose. Normally she could come up with a reasonable profile just on that information alone. But, all she really had uncovered was the killer wanted to be noticed, to be known, but unlike most serial killers this one didn't want to be caught yet, he was playing a game and enjoying it. What she didn't like was the more she concentrated on the case the more she was beginning to realize that the game was with her. Not she as in Jennifer Newton, but with the person the killer knew would be brought in to profile him. When that thought flashed in her mind late in the early hours, she had been frozen by fear and the images of D.C had driven her running from the den. To calm herself she had argued it down with the logical brain that always saved her, she was letting her own paranoia rule her. That had calmed her enough to finally close her eyes for a few hours, but now here she was awake again with another dilemma, She had questions that needed to be asked about the case, so how did she face the detective again?
After hearing the guest door close curiosity made her rise, peeking through the curtain, only to catch a fleeting glimpse of the detective as she set off down the beach in a full run. Blinking the brightness away Jenny returned to the darkness of her room and began to dress, her mind turmoil of questions with no answers.
Shannon loved the feeling pulsating through her as she increased her strides into a full run, the sand was different to running on asphalt, she could feel her feet sinking and the extra pull on her calf muscles as her legs readjusted to the strain. Testing muscles more, she pushed her body, increasing her run. Her breathing increased slightly to accommodate the new need for oxygen, but it was still even and calm. The only visual evidence that her body was under strain was the full sheen of sweat that began to film her skin. For another five minutes she kept up the pace, then without pause she began to slow to a steady rhythm, letting her long legs effortless carry her along the shore line. Inside she was focused on her body and the run, her thoughts had silenced their previous questions and for just a moment she found peace. Checking her watch, she slowed to a stop, stretching out her legs and pausing to drink from the water bottle, her eyes took in the area around her. She couldn't miss its beauty, but the eyes she was looking through were trained to look for other things. Instead of the amazing blue of the sea, and the yellow egg of the sun, all she noticed was the two boats just off the sandbank, and the surfers further up the beach.
Sighing she replaced the bottle back into the hip pack wishing she could turn that part off sometimes. Finally with one last long look around she headed back towards the beach house, using a slow jog to give her body time to come down from its high.
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