Rayne screamed, closed her eyes, and shook her head. When she re-opened her eyes, Percy was still there. She stared into his obsidian eyes and found only darkness there. She fumbled with her skirt to find the necklace, but her hand kept missing the pocket.
You can’t get rid of me so quickly, witch. Where’s Leo? he asked again.
I don’t know.
You’re lying. He’s been missing for over a day now. He’s never gone this long. Do the police have him? Tell me!
Maybe he hooked up with someone else. Or maybe he went back to New York.
Nonsense. I own him. He knows it.
Rayne found the pocket and pulled the necklace out. She wrapped it around her neck, but fumbled with the clasp. Percy leered at her, anger radiating from his eyes. She couldn’t get the necklace secured. She cried out as Percy again shouted at her.
I will find him and you! You’re dead, witch.
Rayne felt a hand reach around her neck and clamp the necklace. As Percy’s face faded, another face took its place. Rick had pulled the car over and was in the backseat with Rayne. She blinked a few times. It was Rick in her field of vision now. She wrapped her arms around his neck and wept. Rick held her and allowed her tears to flow. After a long while, she stopped crying and lifted her head.
“Thank you. I couldn’t…”
“It’s okay. When you began screaming, I knew something was wrong. I saw you trying to get your necklace back on and pulled over. Are you okay?”
“A little nauseous, but otherwise I’m fine.”
Jenna stared back at Rayne with a tilt of her head. “What did you see this time?
“Percy. In my face. Eyes filled with rage.”
“How convenient. Now that we know what he looks like, he shows his face. But how does he know we know?”
Rayne shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know for sure that he does know. What’s certain is that he knows Decker is missing and he was fishing for answers to his whereabouts. He thinks the police have him. Maybe he thinks Decker gave him up.”
“He’d have been arrested if Decker gave him up. No, if he even suspects that the police have Decker, Percy knows he will never talk. You two didn’t see it,” Rick paused for a moment and then continued, “but when I interrogated Decker, he was scared out of his mind. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anyone with that level of fear.”
“The Borkowski case,” Jenna said with a nod.
“Yes, that one,” Rick confirmed. “I’ll spare you the gory details. The point is, there were two of them. One was charismatic and dominate, like Percy. The other was timid and obedient, much like Decker. A killing duo, but I honestly believe the dominate one did all the murders. The timid one was too damn scared, of his partner and pretty much life itself. We tried for weeks to get him to crack and give up his partner, but it never happened. He’s on death row now alongside his partner. If he’d have talked, he might have gotten twenty to life.”
“Percy isn’t scared that Decker will give him up. He’s lost control of this whole situation and that’s what’s driving him now. He wants control back,” Jenna said.
Rayne nodded. “He could have left me out of it though. He… he threatened… to kill me again.”
Rick pulled Rayne close. “This bastard is unhinged. We’re going to catch him. I promise you.”
Jenna looked down at her iPad. “We’d better get going. We are supposed to meet up with SA Peterson in few hours. Would you like me to join you back there, Rayne?”
“Please. I doubt anymore visions will come through now that I have the necklace back on, but I don’t want to be alone back here either.”
Rick and Jenna traded places and Rick drove on as dawn approached. He turned the jazz music on again and fell silent. Jenna cradled Rayne in her arms. She lightly stroked her hair as the young girl’s body quivered with unease. After a while, she felt Rayne’s body soften and her breathing evened out. Rayne fell into an untroubled sleep.
# # #
They arrived in Manhattan earlier than previously thought. With an hour to kill before their meeting with SA Peterson, Rick took them to a small diner near the New York field office for breakfast. Rayne had never been in such a big city before. She was in awe of the tall buildings and the rush of people coming and going. As they sat in the diner, Rayne stared out the window, while Rick drank coffee and Jenna coordinated with Trip over her iPad.
Rick poked Rayne on the arm. “You really should have something to eat.”
“I can’t. My stomach is still in knots. He was this close,” she said as she held her hand in front of her face. “I can still see his eyes.”
“I wish I could take that away from you.”
Rayne lightly smiled. “I know you would, but no one can. I just have to deal with it.”
Jenna let out a slight yelp of glee. “You know that convenience store you saw?”
“Turns out, there are three such stores along the metro line. Two within the triangulation area. Troy and the local PD are checking them out today. We are getting closer to him, Rayne. I can feel it.”
Rick chuckled. “Since when have you gone with your gut instincts?”
Jenna kicked him under the table.
“Serves you right. I don’t always rely on facts.”
“Well… since meeting Rayne.”
Rick smiled at Jenna and then at Rayne. “You are having a positive effect on my partner.”
Rayne laughed as Jenna glared at Rick. The mood had been alleviated once again thanks to the friendly banter between the pair. They finished their coffee, paid the bill, and set off down the street to the New York field office.
# # #
“Rayne Fallon, this is SA Peterson. He runs this field office,” Rick said as he introduced the two.
“My pleasure, Miss Fallon. You can call me Jack. Everyone does.”
“Nice to meet you, Jack. And I am Rayne, no need for formalities with me either.”
Jack clapped his hands. “Well, now that we all know one another, let’s get down to business.” He stretched out his hand and directed the three into a conference room. “As you can see,” he said, pointing to a white board with pictures tacked to it, “we have six men who are willing to talk to us about Decker and Percy. We have them in separate interrogation rooms. Rayne, you will be able to watch and hear them from the booth.”
“That’s a small room with monitors set up,” Jenna explained to her.
Rayne nodded. This was a whole different set-up from back in Fairfax. There were rows of cubicles and agents walking about. Everyone looked at her as they passed, which overwhelmed Rayne a bit. She wrung her hands and glanced around the room, her eyes darting back and forth. She suddenly felt faint and realized that she should have eaten some breakfast as Rick suggested.
Jenna noticed Rayne’s discomfort. “Are you okay?”
“A little dizzy. Do you think I could have some tea?”
“I’ll see what they have. You’ll be okay, Rayne. You’ll be in the booth with Jack while Rick and I talk to those men.” Jenna patted Rayne on the hand and headed off in search of tea.
Rayne stood by the white board, half-listening to Rick and Jack talk. She studied the faces of the men in the pictures. A couple of them reminded her of Decker. Young, slim and innocent-looking. The model type. They were both beautiful men. Three others looked like they’d been strung out on drugs for a while. Their cheeks were shrunk in and their eyes were large with a wild look in them. The last one intrigued Rayne. He seemed perfectly normal. If she’d met him on the street, there’d been nothing to set him apart from anyone else walking along. She wondered how he knew Decker and Percy.
“Here you go,” Jenna said, half-startling Rayne.
Rayne took the cup and smiled at Jenna. “Sorry, a bit jumpy.”
“Think nothing of it. Come on. I’ll get you set up in the booth.”
Moments later, Rayne sat inside the booth with earphones on. Jack sat to her left monitoring the interrogation rooms. She watched as Rick and Jenna walked into the room with one of the models, who called himself Jax.
“Just Jax, the young man said. “It’s all the rave these days to just use a single name.”
“Okay, Jax,” Rick said as he took a seat across from the young man. “We don’t have a lot of time to waste, so I will just get right to it. What’s the nature of your relationship with Leo Decker and Kent Percy?”
The man shifted in his chair. “With Kent, hardly none. He is an artist and I sat for him a few times.”
“And Leo?” Jenna asked.
“We lived together, as lovers,” he said with a smile as his eyes went dreamy. “Leo is the most beautiful man I’ve ever met. We were happy too, until Kent came along.”
“How did you two meet Kent?” Rick inquired.
“At the club. Cheery O’s, a gay club. Leo and I had to pay our bills, you know?”
“That’s where Leo got arrested for male prostitution, correct?”
Jax nodded. “We both did, several times. Kent showed up one night. Some rich kid with money to blow,” he said with a wink. “He asked us if we wanted to model for him. I was reluctant, but Leo said yes right away.”
“How would you describe Kent’s personality at that time?” Jenna asked.
Jax crossed his legs and leaned in toward Jenna. “To put it bluntly, he was a prick. He had several of us modelling for him, but most of the time he would cancel our appointments. The money was good when he kept them though. He became obsessed with Leo. After a while, he only wanted him. The rest of us were given the shaft.”
“How did Leo react to Kent’s attention?”
“Moon-struck. He moved out of our apartment and in with Kent.”
Rick glanced over at Jenna and lightly nodded his head. He turned back to Jax and asked, “Did Kent ever show any signs of abusive behavior?”
“Abuse? Not that I noticed. He was demanding, but not abusive. Well, except…” Jax paused.
“Except what?” Jenna asked.
“I hadn’t seen Leo for months. He showed up at my apartment one day, nearly two years ago, and said that he and Kent were moving to Virginia. Something about Kent’s sister was ill. Anyway, Leo had bruises on his arms. I asked about them, but he said he’d bruised them while packing to move. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but now… Are you suggesting that Kent has been abusing Leo this whole time?”
“We’re not sure how long it’s been going on, but yes. Leo has been abused.”
Jax threw himself back into his seat, a bit over-dramatically. “That stupid kid. I tried to warn him. I could just sense there was something off with Kent. I just couldn’t figure out what.”
“Just one final question, Jax and we’ll let you go on your way,” Rick stated. “Have you heard from Leo since he moved to Virginia?”
“Just once, a week back. I was a bit surprised by his call. I never thought I would hear from him again.”
“What did say?” Jenna prodded.
“He didn’t make much sense, to tell you the truth. I think he was drunk. He kept going on about some dogs and saying that Kent had gone crazy. I heard some shouting in the background. Figured it was Kent and the line went dead. I tried to call him back, but just got voicemail.”
Rick and Jenna stood up.
“Thank you, Jax. You’ve been most helpful,” Rick said as he held his hand out.
Jax shook his hand. “If you see Leo, will you let him know that I miss him?”
Jenna smiled. “We’ll tell him.”
The next few interrogations went pretty much the same. The other model, a young man by the name of Devious, confirmed Jax’s story. The three who looked like druggies had met Kent in the same club. They’d each been casual lovers of Kent’s and he’d supplied them with cocaine to keep them coming back. The last one, a guy named Alex, said that even after Leo moved in, Kent still called upon him and would have sex with him in front of Leo. None of them experienced abuse, nor saw Kent abuse Leo. Before his sister became seriously ill, Kent just seemed like a rich jerk. Rick and Jenna moved on to the last man on their list. The one who appeared completely normal.
“Good morning, Mr. Olsen,” Rick said as he sat down across from the man. “Thank you for taking the time to talk with us.”
Olsen sat sideways in his chair with his legs crossed. He nodded politely. “Good morning, agents.”
Jerome Olsen, as it turned out, was a gallery owner and had held shows several times for Percy over a ten-year period.
“Can you tell us about his art?” Jenna asked.
“He was brilliant. He didn’t limit himself to just one medium. Watercolors, oils, charcoal sketches, even sculptures.”
“Did you notice any odd changes in his work over the years?” Rick inquired.
“You have to understand,” Olsen began, “Kent’s work was always edgy, somewhat dark too. I asked him once if he was trying to work out his demons through his art. The only time that changed was during his Leo phase. Apparently, he’d met some young model and did a whole series of sketches of him. They were beautiful, elegant, like he had captured that young model’s soul. It was the last show I did for him before he disappeared somewhere in Virginia. Virginia of all places! His parents thought he was dead until the FBI contacted me. I had to call them, of course,” he concluded.
“Of course,” Jenna said nonchalantly. So, the parents knew. They’d have to talk to them too now. Jenna made a note on her iPad.
“Is there anything else you can tell us about Kent Percy, Mr. Olsen?” Rick asked.
“If you are looking for odd behavior, you may want to check with the Rosewood Coven. They are a local coven of witches. Kent was involved with them for a while. He did some beautiful watercolors during that phase, but something happened and he left them before finishing his series.”
Rick’s eyes grew wide. He knew all too well who the Rosewood Coven were. Mazi was a member.
Seeing You (a working title) is the story of Rayne Fallon, a witch with the power to see into the past and future, although not always accurately. She gets tangled up with FBI’s SA Rick Harris and SA Jenna Styles as they search for an 8 year old missing girl, thought to have been kidnapped by a Serial Killer.
Seeing You ©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved. Permission must be granted to distribute or copy this serial (unless reblogging). Thank you.
In case you missed a part, click Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25
or jump ahead to Part 27
I am participating in NaNoWriMo. Each day I will try to write at least 1667 words for a total of 50,000 by the end of November. Today’s total: 2500 words. Total words so far: 44,658