Rayne sat in the small, quaint dining room of the Crosslaine Bed & Breakfast with a cup of steaming coffee in her hand. Her eyes scanned the sunrise out a window across from her table. It had been late when she called Agent Harris the night before and although he said he would come by her cottage, she said it could wait until morning. She’d been in no shape for another visitor and especially not a man with a badge who might or might not believe her.
It had been a restless night. She’d turned on every light in her cottage and stayed huddled on the sofa, a baseball bat in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. She hadn’t a clue why she needed the bat. Her only excuse was that if whoever she’d seen in her vision knew where she lived, he could show up on her doorstep at any time. She’d gone over the visions repeatedly, taking notes and over-analyzing everything. By morning, she only had frayed nerves to show for her efforts. Hell, she’d asked for this meeting with Harris, but three times that morning, she had decided not to show up and then three times, she’d continued to get ready anyway. And now, here she sat waiting on him.
She glanced around the room. Rayne remembered her grandmother delivering fresh produce and herbs here every Saturday when she was a little girl. Not much had changed in all those years. The wallpaper was still the same – lemony-yellow with small orange poesies. The carpet had been updated and so had the curtains and tablecloths. The china cabinets, tables, chairs and country-style paintings on the walls all hailed back to the mid-to-late 90s. The menu hadn’t changed much, except for the prices.
Rayne smiled as she remembered Adelaide’s Peanut Butter Pie. It was the best in all southern Virginia and it kept folks returning to the B&B year after year. Even though Adelaide passed the recipe down to the current owner, the pie just didn’t taste the same. Some folks said it was because Adelaide put her heart into the pies and it was all that love that made them so good. Rayne had always wondered if it was because the new owners didn’t use the same vanilla as Adelaide had – a brew Rayne’s grandmother had given her. The new owners never came around for the special vanilla and their business dwindled down to just a handful of customers per week. Rayne had thought about offering it to them, but Mindy Stevenson was the co-owner with her husband Charles, Adelaide’s grandson, and there was bad blood between Rayne and Mindy. As soon as they signed the papers and packed ole Adelaide off to a retirement home, the Stevensons stopped doing all business with the Fallons – no produce, no herbs, and no special vanilla. Rayne often wondered if one of her grandmother’s last rites had been to curse the B&B for how they treated Adelaide in her last days. A smirk creased across Rayne’s face.
“And here I thought you’d look like hell this morning, Miss Fallon. You know, with that phone call last night,” a male voice said.
Rayne looked up to see Agent Rick Harris standing in front of her. He wore a similar white shirt, black suit and black tie as he’d worn the evening before. His jet-black hair was combed back, still wet from an apparent shower. Beside him stood a petite woman in a black pantsuit, strawberry-blonde hair fastened into a bun and crystal blue eyes. She sat a briefcase down on one of the empty seats and smiled at Rayne.
“Blue Aventurine,” Rayne whispered as she gazed into the woman’s eyes.
“Excuse me?” the woman asked.
“Don’t mind Miss Fallon, Jenna. She seems to relate eyes with stones,” Rick wiggled his eyebrows at her and winked. “Lapis Luz..i… something or other,” he concluded, pointing to his eyes.
“Lapis Lazuli,” Rayne said as she turned her attention to Rick.
Rick looked at Rayne sheepishly. “Yeah, that one. Miss Fallon, this is my partner, Special Agent Jenna Styles.”
Rayne stood and shook the woman’s hand. “Pleasure to meet you,” she said softly. She held onto the woman’s hand a few seconds longer as she stared into her eyes again. Finally, she released Jenna and stepped back, lowering her eyes. She sensed a cynical vibe in Agent Styles, something Rick Harris had lacked the night before. She waved her hand toward the table. “Shall I order the two of you some coffee?”
Jenna declined. “I don’t do well on caffeine. I mostly drink herbal tea, but I am sure Rick could use another cup,” she said, grinning at him. “You’ve had what, three already this morning?”
Rick chuckled. “Something like that. Sure,” he said as he sat down across from Rayne, “I’ll have a cup.”
“The B&B has a special chicory blend. It tastes like coffee, but there isn’t a drop in it,” Rayne offered to Jenna.
“Never heard of chicory, but what the hell, I’ll give it a try,” she said as she sat the briefcase on the floor and slid into the seat beside Rick.
Smiling, Rayne rang a small, crystal bell. After a short moment, a waitress come to the table and took their orders. Rayne was fortunate that it was too early for the Stevensons to show themselves; otherwise, they’d have to take their coffee and conversation elsewhere. The three sat in awkward silence until the waitress returned with their drinks and some cinnamon danishes. Rayne didn’t know if the agents were waiting for her to speak first, or if they too didn’t want to be interrupted mid-sentence by the returning waitress. As soon as the waitress wandered back into the kitchen, Rayne let out a nervous sigh.
“You sounded a bit frantic on the phone last night,” Rick said, getting to the topic at hand.
“I am so sorry I called that late. I wouldn’t have… I mean, it is not in my nature to be so rude.”
“No need to apologize. I was still awake.”
Rayne huffed and shook her hands, closed her eyes for a second, opened them and then tried again. “Sorry, it’s anxiety. Oh god, stop saying sorry…,” she whispered to herself. She looked up at the two agents across from her and feigned a smile. “As I said on the phone, I’ve had a few visions, but I don’t even know if they are related to your case.”
“What do you remember about the visions?” Jenna asked.
“Obsidian eyes. A girl on a table. Muzzled. Tiger’s Eye. Another girl. Blonde hair. Locked in a cage…” Rayne stopped as she realized she was blabbering. She tried to gather her thoughts and then asked, “Do any of the missing girls have diabetes?”
Rick leaned across the table, his eyebrows furrowed. “How do you know that?”
“I smelt it. Is it true?”
Jenna moved her cup over to Rick’s side of the table and picked up the briefcase, placing it on the table and opening it. Inside were file folders. She removed one of the folders, closed the case and plopped the folder on top of it.
“These are all of the girls who’ve disappeared in the last eighteen months in and around Fairfax,” Jenna said as she opened the file and spread out ten photos of little girls. “They are all under the age of ten. This one,” she said pointing to a girl with long blonde hair, “has Type 1 diabetes.”
Rayne raised her hands to her lips and let out a gasp. Could this be the girl she’d only seen from behind? She lowered her right hand, keeping the left on her lips, and scattered the other pictures in front of her. She lifted each picture and examined the young girl. When she picked up the third one, her eyes grew wide. “Tiger’s Eye,” she said in a low voice.
Jenna threw her hands in the air. “Seriously? We have missing girls and all you can think about are stones?”
“Hush, Jenna,” Rick said. “I told you, that’s how she relates to people. Eyes equal stones and vice versa. It’s her thing.” He turned his attention to Rayne. “You saw this girl too? She’s been missing for two weeks.”
Rayne dropped the picture and nodded. She closed her eyes. That poor girl. Her hands began to shake and she began to breathe rapidly.
Rick reached across and squeezed Rayne’s hand. “What did you see?”
Opening her eyes, Rayne squinted at Rick as though she were trying to focus in on the vision. “The first time…”
“You’ve seen her more than once?” Jenna interrupted.
“Yes… the first time she was just lying on a table. Mouth duct-taped. He held a knife at her throat. The second time, she was still on the table, but she had a dog’s muzzle over her face.”
“The other girl,” Jenna said as she picked up the photograph of the blonde girl and held it up. “You said she was in a cage. Do you remember anything else about her?”
“Pink barrettes. Purplish-pink t-shirt. She needs insulin. Sweet smell. I think she’s also urinated in the cage. There’s a urine smell mingled with the sweet. Does he know she’s diabetic?” Rayne inquired to no one, even though she was still squinting at Rick. “Candy wrapper in the cage. He’s fed her chocolate.” Rayne closed her eyes and whispered, “She’s in danger.”
Jenna shook her head. “Okay, I don’t believe in psychics, mediums or what was it you called her, Rick? Oh yeah, a seer. This is just a huge waste of time, sitting here in this bed and breakfast, drinking… what is this again? Oh yes, chicory…” She lifted the cup to her lips and tasted it. “Okay, well maybe the chicory is good, but come on, Rick… do you really believe all this?”
Rick turned his head and glared at Jenna. “Shut up!” He turned his head back to Rayne and squeezed her hand again. When she opened her eyes, he said, “Rayne, this is very important. How far back in the past do you think you were seeing this? Hours? Days?”
“Not hours or days,” she said so quietly that Rick had to strain to hear her.
Jenna heard her perfectly though. “Couldn’t be that far in the past. Sally, the blonde girl, has only been missing three months,” she scoffed.
Rayne turned her head slowly toward Jenna and locked eyes with her. “It’s happening right now, and now…” she hesitated for a moment and finally concluded, “he sees you too.”
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.
or jump ahead to Part 5
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: 1766 words. Total words so far: 6970