Together in Darkness by Sloan McBride [PG13]
"I'm Detective Lancaster," a haggard-looking man said as he came toward her.
Allison raised her eyes and with a tentative smile. "Hello, Detective." She rose. "I would like to speak with you about the recent murder."
"Yes, ma'am. Do you have some information?"
She fumbled with her purse, suddenly nervous now that she was here and angry with herself for it. "Can we speak privately?"
"Okay." Detective Lancaster motioned her to the door and held it open. Carefully avoiding any physical contact, she followed him down a slim, dismal hallway.
Allison entered the conference room and found another man sitting at the table. She stopped short, causing the detective to bump into her and almost knock her down. He peered over her shoulder and cleared his throat.
"This is Special Agent Jake Austin. He's with the FBI. We're working together on this case. I thought it best that he be in on any conversations."
Allison's gaze shifted between both men. The younger man had a vibrant aura, an intensity that shook her nerves. Dark features so compelling they stole her breath and green eyes so deep in color, they were hypnotic. Dangerous came to mind. "I understand." Did it suddenly get twenty degrees hotter in the room?
The agent rose and gestured to a chair he'd pulled out. "Please have a seat, Miss."
"Allison. My name is Allison Brody."
"Okay, Ms. Brody. What can we do for you?"
He moved back, but didn't sit down. She hesitated a moment. "Thank you for seeing me. II want to offer my assistance."
"What kind of assistance?" Lancaster asked. He took a seat at the end of the long table.
Allison clasped her fingers to steady her hands and kept her head lowered, unsure of what to say next. Deciding to just spit out the truth, she said, "I've been having visions of the murders."
A quick look passed between Austin and Lancaster, not totally unexpected. She glared at the federal agent, sensing doubt strongest in him. Their doubt radiated through her like a sickness. She remained remarkably calm while saying, "Think what you like gentlemen, but it will not change the facts."
"Not to be disrespectful, ma'am, but I'm sure you understand our skepticism." Lancaster smiled, as if to take the sting from his words.
Allison sighed heavily, far too familiar with the cynical minds of people, especially those in the police department.
"Yes, Detective, I do. It's not the first time I've dealt with it."
Austin remained stoically silent, but studied her with cynical eyes. She felt like a freak under his incessant stare.
"What is it you think you've seen?" the detective asked.
She forced herself to go on. "I've had flashes of places I recognize and a a woman's face."
"What did this woman look like?"
"Reddish hair, brown eyes, young."
Massaging his neck with one hand, Jake Austin finally spoke. "That could describe anyone."
Allison ignored his comment and spoke directly to Detective Lancaster. "It was here, in Gloucester. I recognized the buildings. I saw things through his eyes."
"His?" Austin's voice sounded suspicious, with an undercurrent of anger that sent shudders across her shoulders.
"The killer." She gave the outward appearance of being calm but butterflies were like dive bombers in her stomach. Something about the agent unnerved her. It almost seemed...familiar.
Austin moved to the windows. "Can you tell us where he is, what he looks like?"
Allison's narrowed gaze settled on him. He didn't trust her. She frowned. "No. I told you, I see things through his eyes."
"Do you know what his plans are? What direction he's heading? Who his next target is?" Austin fired off the questions fast, like he wanted to shut her up or maybe scare her away.
Allison knew the killer's future plans. He was scouting out his next victim. That's why she'd come to help, but she couldn't give them anything yet. How could she hope to explain when they already thought she was batty? "I can't."
"Then I think we'll stick to good old-fashioned police work," the younger man said with a sneer. "You know, looking for leads, evidence, using instinct."
His arrogant attitude pissed her off. She clenched her teeth and hands, praying for strength. "Yes. I can see you've done real well so far. Sixth time lucky!"
Startled by her outburst and a little disconcerted, Allison jumped up; certain no more could be accomplished here. "I can see I've made a mistake in coming. I've taken up enough of your time." While reaching for the door, the bulb in the lamp next to her popped. Both men looked from her to the lamp. Not fast enough for her raggedy nerves, Allison threw open the door and hurried out before something else exploded.
"Arrogant, jerk." she fumed, pushing out the door of the police station and heading up the street.
Her step faltered as she ranted, immune to the stares of a few passers-by. Who cared if she talked to herself? It was a free country. She slowed her pace and concentrated on her breathing.
"Find your center. Relax." She fingered the smooth stones in her pocket; blue sapphire to promote mental toughness, sugilite for courage of conviction and uncomfortable situations like the one she'd just had, and citrine to prevent her from stifling her feelings. "Closed-minded Neanderthal."
Her temper gradually subsided so she could think clearly again. His superior attitude had distracted her, and she needed to focus. Her skin, juiced by the electricity Jake Austin put off, still tingled.
It happened before. The words of the killer were loud and clear. What did it mean? She had to find her quiet place and recall every word he'd spoken. It meant something and she needed to find out what.SLOAN MCBRIDE
~~Love Spans All Time~~
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