“Don’t go, Rayne,” Ella begged.
Rayne had invited Ella and Amy over to explain where she would be for the foreseeable future. Neither where happy with her decision.
“I have to. I’m not only protecting myself. I am protecting you two as well.”
“How is running toward the fire protecting either of us?” Amy asked.
“You have a daughter in the age range of this lunatic and what about your niece, Ella? She is in that age group too.”
Ella paced around the seating room, biting her fingernails. When Rayne mentioned her niece, she stopped. “You don’t honestly think he would harm Emma, do you?”
“Emma, Abigail and any other young girl I’ve encounter. He knows I can see him and he knows where I live. At least, I think he does. He saw my cottage through my own eyes.”
Amy shivered. “So you think if you leave here, he won’t harm any of us.”
“But what if you are wrong. What if you get too close to his whereabouts and he comes after Abigail or Emma to spite you?”
Rayne hadn’t considered that. Was this madman capable of that? Has her involvement in this case already jeopardized everyone she held dear?
“I can’t answer that. I just hope that he will focus on me and not everyone around me. He may not even know about any of you.”
Ella pulled out her cellphone and began clicking repeatedly.
“What are you doing?” Rayne asked.
“Destroying pictures of us on my Facebook.”
Rayne chuckled. “I don’t think that is necessary. As far as I can tell, he isn’t tech savvy.”
Amy shook her head and pulled her cellphone out as well. “Not taking any chances, Rayne.”
“Come on. You two are acting paranoid.”
Ella huffed. “We are paranoid? You are trekking off to god knows where with two FBI agents to save us and you have the nerve to call us paranoid?”
“I think you will all be safe,” a voice said in the distance. Rick poked his head out of the office and then wandered into the room.
“You promised not to listen,” Rayne accused him.
Rick grinned at her. “Sorry. I guess it is the detective in me. Besides, you three talk too loudly.”
Jenna joined them in the room. “Rick’s right. This guy is too focused on the girls he already has and on Rayne. And from what we can tell, he can only see what she sees. We’ll keep her away from social media.”
“He can’t read your thoughts?” Amy inquired.
Rayne shook her head. “I don’t think so.”
“That’s not good enough,” Ella exclaimed.
“I just mean that he hasn’t yet. I can’t read his either.”
“If it makes you two feel better, we’ll have local police check in on you periodically,” Jenna offered.
Amy rolled her eyes. “These locals? They won’t help us. They know we associate with Rayne and she’s a pariah in these parts.”
Rayne sighed. “It’s true. They still blame me for the Gresley mess.”
Rick crinkled up his nose and raised an eyebrow. “Why are they blaming you at all? You tried to warn them.”
Rayne shrugged her shoulders. “Details, or the lack thereof, I should say.”
“And when the whole story broke, it made a fool of the Sheriff. He’d refused to listen,” Ella interjected.
“His son is now the Sheriff. Ten years on, it is still a sore spot for them,” Amy added.
Rick nodded. This was quite a conundrum. “I doubt my boss would approve putting you all in protective custody. Regardless of how the local force feels about you, we should inform them that you could be in danger and they would have to protect you.”
Amy scoffed at the notion. “I won’t rely on them. I’ll get an alarm system installed and inform the school to be on the lookout for any weirdos hanging around.”
“Damn. I’d better call Stacey and have her do the same,” Ella said with a deep sigh.
“What about you, Ella?” Jenna asked.
“I live in a secured building, but I will inform the Super.”
Jenna clapped her hands. “Well, that’s that then. Everyone will be safe.”
Rayne picked up the pot of tea she’d been sharing with her friends and walked toward the kitchen. “Everyone, except me,” she said quietly.
Jenna followed Rayne into the kitchen. She stood by the counter and watched the young woman empty the pot and then rinse it out at the sink. “I won’t let anything happen to you,” she assured her.
Rayne turned and stared Jenna in the eyes. “You can’t give me a definitive like that.”
Jenna reached out and caressed Rayne’s arm. “You are right, of course, but I will risk my life for yours. If he even comes near you…”
“I don’t think he will. Not physically anyway. You may have a badge and gun, but all your might can’t stop the nightmare in my mind. That’s where he’ll attack me.”
“Not to be flippant, but are you sure about that?”
Rayne nodded. “I’ve already sensed it. When he saw me in my office, I could feel not only his curiosity, but also that he received a great deal of pleasure letting me know that he could see me. His attacks will be psychological.”
Jenna pulled Rayne into an embrace. She’d dealt with a lot of victims during her time in the FBI, but they’d always been from some form of physical abuse. She had no idea how she would help Rayne through this.
Rayne placed her head on Jenna’s shoulder. It was hard to believe that just the day before, she’d held such a negative view of the woman. She should have trusted in the meaning behind the Blue Aventurine stone, the color of Jenna’s eyes. Warmth, compassion, strength. She saw all of that now. Jenna would be a wonderful ally for her.
Jenna released Rayne and smiled at her. “Teach me how to help you through this.”
Rayne blinked her eyes a few times, then gave Jenna a slight smile. “I can’t give you hard facts on how to help. I know that’s what you need. You will just have to learn to trust me.”
“Sure. Just be patient with me. It took Rick years to gain my trust and sometimes, I don’t fully understand him, but I do trust him.”
“Thanks, Jenna. I will keep that in mind and try not to judge you so harshly.”
“What about the pain you go through? Is there anything that elevates it?”
“Not really and this time… this time it is more severe. I’m having symptoms I didn’t have with the Gresley case. I can handle it though.”
“I need to know what to look out for. If I am to help in anyway, I need to know the symptoms.”
Rayne nodded. “Intense pain in my stomach. Nausea. Dizziness. And this time, extreme anxiety. But Jenna, just knowing the symptoms aren’t going to help me.”
“Maybe not, but do any of them come on just before you have a vision?”
Rayne hadn’t analyzed them quite that way. She just always assumed that they were an after-effect. “Come to think of it, the nausea always hits me first.”
Jenna smiled. “See, that will help us. If you begin to feel nauseous at any time, we will know to stop whatever we are doing and pay attention to your visions.”
“What’s cookin’, buttercup?” It was Amy, standing in the doorway.
Rayne suddenly realized that she and Jenna were huddled in what must appear to be an intimate conversation. She smiled at her friend sheepishly. “We’re just discussing the case.”
“Okay, we’ll go with that,” Amy said with a smirk on her face. “Just wanted to let you know, Ella and I are off. Please be careful.”
As Amy turned to leave the room, Rayne said, “Wait. Let me give you and Ella some tinctures in case I am gone for a while.” She walked over to a cupboard and pulled several bottles from the shelf and walked over to Amy, handing her five bottles. “That’s four St. John’s Wart for Ella and one Echinacea for Abigail.”
“Thanks. We’ll be fine,” she said as she rattled her keychain. “We’ve got keys if we need more.”
Rayne walked with Amy to the door and hugged her and Ella. “See you both soon,” she said.
“You’d better,” the two said in unison.
Rayne smiled as she closed the door. Only those two could ever really know what she went through. Sometimes she felt they were of three minds connected. She turned and went back into the kitchen. Jenna and Rick stood by the sink, deep in a conversation, but turned around as soon as they heard Rayne enter.
“We’d better get you packed,” Rick said.
Rayne nodded and then a wave of nausea swept over her. She gripped the counter tightly and then slowly sank to the floor. “It’s happening again,” she whispered.
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.
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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: 1498 words. Total words so far: 13,485