"Jacinda Brown keeps to her safe existence doing investigative research, avoiding people and places with people. To most, it appears she has a normal life; blending completely undetected in her lonely continuation. She doesn’t investigate people; she can’t get that close. Through her hand she can feel emotions, thoughts. With a touch she can see what has been.
Unfortunately fate tosses her into a situation where her carefully guarded secret and her own conscience are at war when she finds herself working with detectives to find a killer. Jacinda clashes with the very strongly grounded detective, Reid Merritt, destiny has forced her to work with. At some point he begins to matter, making her decision harder. Will he look at her with abhorrence, like she’s some sort of freak when she’s through?
When the fifth murder happens, Jacinda makes the decision to use her gift to find the killer. She doesn’t let herself think of how she’s going to suffer afterward, the consequences that will curse her again, the chance she’ll be giving up everything and starting all over. She just thinks of finding some justice and stopping a killer.
What will be the price, this time, for the ability she doesn’t want?"
She stared at the beams above her before her eyes rolled back again, her arms suddenly so heavy she didn’t want to move.
Blinking, she watched him as the tightness in her chest increased and her stomach heaved-- she couldn’t struggle against it anymore--her face was so hot--so cold…
Focusing on him through the blurriness for as long as she could and knew, somehow, they would find him…
~ * ~
Reid Merritt gritted his teeth and tossed the file on his desk. He sat with an amused smirk as it slid across and off, landing in the trash basket. Leaning back in his creaky chair, he flipped his scuffed boots up onto the edge of the desk and rubbed his whiskered face. Close to a month now he’d been drudging through that folder, its content growing, but no solid leads could be found.
The six other detectives or officers of some sort that had been assigned to help him and his partner were starting to get on his nerves. There were only so many follow-ups and errands they could be sent on, before they were back here standing in his office looking at him.
Running his fingers through his shaggy brown hair, he pursed his lips together. How many hours had he been sitting here cross-referencing? Sighing, he crossed his arms and stared at the folder teetering half in the garbage.
With the body yesterday, that put the count at four. Four dead women, with not one thing in common except the fact that they were dead. The only thing that told him it was the same killer was the immaculately clean killing and the same neatly dressed victims.
He didn’t even have an identity on number four. How could someone not have anyone missing them? Laughing quietly at himself. Do you have someone that would miss you? Nope. Not unless his annoying neighbor missed having someone to bore. It had been at least two years since he’d had anyone in his life that would notice if he wasn’t home, or was late.
Shaking his head, he gritted his teeth again. Drowning yourself in your own past wasn’t going to help anything. Life happens. You pick up your sad ass and move on.
Looking toward the voice, he spotted a redheaded man leaning into the room. His friend and partner, Brent Jordan. “Yeah?”
Brent raised his eyebrows and looked at the folder. “Captain Reely wants us in his office, pronto!”
Letting out a breath, he kicked his feet back onto the floor. “On my way.” He straightened his tall lanky frame and stretched. The last month of chasing nothing was wearing him out. A few days off would be welcomed. And do what, he didn’t know-- all he had was work.
The only thing that appealed to him would be to spend a few days sleeping. When was the last time he’d really slept? If it wasn’t his own mind waking him up, it was Brent phoning him with a crime scene address at any hour of the night.
Criminals should think about a union and sticking to office hours. Yeah, he needed a day off when he was thinking stupid shit like that.
He walked half way across the room then turned and looked at the folder still sitting in the trash. “Should leave the damn thing there and let the janitor look at it--maybe he’d find a lead.” Sighing, he strolled back over and picked up it. Without straightening the papers, he tossed it onto his desk and turned to head out into the hallway.
~ * ~
Reid walked into the office without knocking or greeting.
The balding man sitting at the desk grinned at him. “Good of you to join us.”
Folding himself down into one of the chairs sitting across from the desk, Reid shrugged. “Anytime.” He glanced over at his friend shaking his head. “So…”
Captain Reely sighed. “Do you have anything solid yet?”
Reid looked at his partner and shook his head. “No. We’re just waiting on dental to see if we can give the fourth a name.”
“It’s definitely the same?”
Not having any reason to believe otherwise, Reid nodded.
The captain shook his head and looked at his men. “I’ve never seen you have this much trouble finding a connection.” Sitting back, he studied Reid “Our mayor is hounding me. The press is getting harder to avoid, in case you didn’t notice the reporters lurking at every entranceway this morning.”
“I noticed.” Reid looked at Brent. He’d thank him later for being of no help to him here. “Hopefully the identity of the fourth will open some doors.”
Their captain nodded. “On that note, I have a few calls for you two-- maybe it will open something.”
Reid resisted the urge to moan. “Calls?” Where were the others that dealt with the dead end calls?
Captain Reely sat back and studied him. The expression on his face reminded Reid of a parent assessing one of their children. “One call is from one of the families--a relative says they have something to tell us about victim number two.” He handed a piece of paper to Brent, and then grinned at Reid. “The other is some type of investigator looking for a missing woman. From the brief description, it could be your number four.”
Reid’s head popped up. “An investigator? Aw, hell! Give me that one. That’s just what we need is some private investigator wanting to profit from all of this.”
Grinning at him, Reely handed the paper to him. “Your investigator has a photo of the missing woman.”
Not even glancing at the paper, he stuffed it into his pocket as he stood up. Nodding over to Brent, he headed towards the door. “Fill you in later.”
~ * ~
Both men watched the door close. Brent leered at the Captain. “Do you have any idea how tiring it is to keep up with those long legs?”
The captain laughed. “Just keep thinking they’re an asset when he needs to get to you fast.”
Brent rubbed a hand through his short hair and grinned. “Very true.” He pushed away from the wall he’d been leaning against. “We’ll keep you posted, Cap.”
~ * ~
Reid looked at the address again. Jac Brown. Someone misspelled the guy’s name. Mistakes like that could be costly in his profession. Stopping at the light, he waited impatiently. He pictured this Brown character as a short round man--probably wore glasses and last year’s suits. Not that he had anything against private investigators; he had worked with a few that knew what was what-- and more importantly knew when to let the cops handle things.
Although saying you were an investigative researcher was a new twist. The guy got points for not following the norm. Checking the intersection briefly, he accelerated when the light went green. Let’s hope Mr. Brown is one of those who knew when to bow out and let trained people deal with things.
Of course he was way ahead of himself. He didn’t even know yet if they were both dealing with the same woman. At this point, though, he hoped they were. Then at least he’d know something he hadn’t already known about the case this morning.
“Yeah.” Answering his phone before it had a chance to ring the second time.
“Most people say hello when accepting a call.”
Reid grinned at his partner’s voice. “Since when do I fit into that category?”
“Okay, you got me there. Anyways, I was calling to see if you wanted to grab a beer after this never ending day ends.”
“Well, I just thought seeing as yesterday was your birthday and we were too busy working…”
“Oh yeah. Huh. Forgot all about it.”
Brent chuckled. “You’re the only person I know of that could forget their own birthday. Especially since you haven’t even hit thirty yet.”
“Biologically I haven’t. In real time I’m in my fifties at least.” He spotted the street he was looking for. “I’ll call you when I’m done here and we’ll meet at Rusty’s.”
~ * ~
Reid pulled up in front of the building and turned off his car. Twenty-nine. In some ways it seemed like he had been nineteen a few days ago--in others he was sure he’d never been young. He wasn’t sure if he should be shocked or humored that he’d forgotten his own birthday.
A group of boys messing around as they went around the corner grabbed his attention. Enjoy it boys, soon enough life’s going to begin and the fun is over. Well, maybe not all the fun-- being all grown up had a few pleasant advantages. Watching them a few more moments, he wondered how they even walked with the way their pants fit. Times kept changing and he didn’t want to understand most of the changes.
Picking up the note, he stuffed it in his pocket and climbed out of the car. As he walked into the building with long strides, the smile vanished--emotions turned off--and headed straight for the stairs, not even giving the elevator a second thought.