Rayne had struggled with what to wear to the police station for over an hour. She paced around the guest room, stared at her clothes on the bed and wrung her hands. Everything she’d brought said weirdo. The dresses were long and velvet. The skirts bore a hippy, bohemian look and the blouses were peasant blouses. She’d always worn such clothes unless she worked in the garden or walked in the mountains. She didn’t even think when she packed them. She looked at her jeans and t-shirts. She couldn’t show up dressed like a bump off the street either. In frustration, she’d finally sought Jenna’s help.
By the time Jenna and Rayne showed up at the field office, Rayne wore a pair of flared pants and a crimson tailored shirt. She and Jenna were about the same size, thankfully. Rayne fidgeted as they stepped out of the car. Anxiety crept up in her throat, leaving it dry. She licked her lips and stared at Jenna.
“You will be fine,” Jenna assured her. “Just… stop whatever that is you are doing with your hands and keep your shoulders back.”
Rayne had a bad habit of flexing her hands then drawing them back into fists, cracking her knuckles as she did so. She nodded at Jenna and laid her hands flat against her sides. She inhaled and then blew the air out in a quick huff.
“Let’s do this,” she finally said.
The two walked into the precinct and headed toward a back room. Heads turned immediately and whispers filled the space, but Rayne kept her eyes on the goal – a glass door where the FBI had set up. When they reached the door, Jenna opened it and ushered Rayne inside. She spotted Rick and he flashed her a warm smile. She nodded her head in his direction. Jenna pointed to a chair and Rayne sat down.
“Everyone, this is Rayne Fallon,” Jenna informed her team. She then pointed out the other members. Troy Durbin stood about six-foot tall and had a linebacker’s physique. At about forty, he was the oldest member, the only African American, and the team leader. Denise Jenkins was a petite, blonde thirty-something with an infectious smile. Mark Caspian was as round as he was short with a balding head that belied his youthful age and large black glasses that hid his green eyes. And finally, Trip Cranston stood up when Jenna introduced him. He appeared no older than Rayne with a mop of unruly black hair and wide blue eyes nearly the color of Rick’s. Jenna had been correct. They all welcomed her to the team.
Rick stood beside two large boards plastered with faces of missing girls. Rayne noticed that her sketch was missing, but Rick brought that up immediately.
“We’ve decided to wait until the six o’clock news to release your sketch, Rayne. To keep the polices’ suspicion down, we’ve left it off the boards.”
Rayne wrinkled her forehead. “Why so late?”
Troy stepped forward. “Most mothers don’t have time to watch the morning news. Midday news would put them into panic that their child hadn’t made it to school. By the evening news, children are home and having dinner with their families. That’s the best time to prevent wide-spread panic. If the girl is still safe, her mother will be curious enough to contact us.”
Rayne’s face softened. Of course, they wouldn’t want to panic anyone. Chances were, the girl was still safe. “That makes a lot of sense. Sorry, I am not used…”
“Think nothing of it, Miss Fallon,” Troy said. “Trip is tracking recent purchases of cattle prods, muzzles and cages. Any hits, Trip?”
Trip sat at the end of the long conference table surrounded by laptops. “Nothing yet, sir. With all the farmland in this area, those kinds of purchases are normal. I’ve got an algorithm set up to search for anyone who’s purchased all three at a single location within the last year. If I don’t get any hits, I will expand it to five years. In the meantime, I am also searching for just cattle prods since it’s an unusual item.”
Troy nodded his head. “Good job, Trip.” He turned his attention back to Rayne. “I confess, when Rick suggested we use a psychic on this, I was apprehensive, but you’ve given us a few leads that we didn’t have. I wonder,” he paused and scratched his head. “I won’t pretend to understand how your visions work, but do you think if you went to the scenes of the recent kidnappings, you could pick up any new information?”
Rayne looked back and forth at Rick and Jenna before answering. They both gave her an encouraging nod. “I can try, Agent Durbin.”
“That’s all I ask. Rick. Jenna. I want both of you on this.”
Rayne breathed a sigh of relief. At least she would be with the two who knew how her visions worked.
Rick grabbed his jacket and walked across the room toward the door. Jenna and Rayne joined him. As Rick went to open the door, Trip stopped them.
“Got some toys for you guys,” he said as he walked over to Rick and Jenna. He handed them each a tablet. “These little gadgets will allow you to communicate directly with me and they have GPS trackers. Wouldn’t want you two getting lost out there,” he quipped.
Jenna leered at the young man. “Ha, very funny, computer boy.”
Trip smirked and returned to his laptops, unscathed by Jenna’s cynicism.
As the three walked out of the conference room, Rick and Jenna positioned themselves on either side of Rayne. They stared straight ahead, with a haughtiness air to their demeanor. Rayne followed their lead and kept her eyes on the front door of the station. She could hear the whispers again and felt some negative vibes from the men and women in uniform. She scolded herself for not bringing along the citrine.
Once they stepped out of the police station, Jenna pulled Rayne into a quick hug. “You did great in there.”
Rayne held out her trembling hands. “Tell that to my hands,” she mumbled.
Rick grinned at her. “You just need some caffeine.”
Jenna laughed. “You mean you need some caffeine.”
They reached the blue sedan and Rick opened the back door for Rayne. He bowed and waved a hand in front of his chest, signally Rayne to get in. She did so. Once he closed the door, he shrugged his shoulders at Jenna. “Same difference. Caffeine for her. Caffeine for me.”
Jenna chuckled as she slid into the passenger front seat. She turned around and winked at Rayne. “I guess this means a coffee run first.”
Rick plopped down in the driver’s seat and nodded his head. “Police station coffee is always the worst. I spotted a Starbucks on the way here this morning.”
Rayne flashed them a half-smile, but remained silent. She’d never visited a crime scene and wasn’t eager to get there. She welcomed the distraction. As Rick pulled out of the station lot, Rayne clinched her fists in her lap. She closed her eyes and willed herself to calm down. She slowly fell at ease as she listened to the back and forth repartee between the two agents she’d grown to trust over the past few days. By the time they reached the coffee shop, Rayne had almost drifted off to sleep.
“Coffee all around?” Rick asked as he looked back at Rayne.
Rayne’s eyes bolted open from the loudness of his voice. She had no clue what to get at a fancy coffee shop, and then she remembered what Amy had told her. The family had gone to DC for a tour of the White House. They’d stopped at a Starbucks and Amy had tried a spiced tea. What had she call it? Chai. Rayne shook her head. “Chai latte for me.”
“Chai? What the hell is that?”
Jenna slapped him across the arm. “A spiced tea. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of caffeine in it.”
He scrunched up his nose. “It sounds abhorrent.”
“Just get it and a coffee for me.”
Rick raised an eyebrow at her, but thought better than to start a squabble. Instead, he just exited the car in silence.
“That man is impossible sometimes,” Jenna declared. “You doing okay back there?”
“I don’t know.”
“A little. Mostly nervous. What if I don’t sense or see anything?”
Jenna lifted a shoulder and cocked her head. “Then you don’t.”
Rayne sighed. “I don’t want to let your boss down.”
“Pfft. Don’t worry about Durbin. Sure, he would love it if you came back with more clues, but we’ve had so many roadblocks on this case, a few more aren’t going to knock him or us down.”
Rayne forced a smile and lowered her eyes to her lap. Her hands were still balled into fists. She slowly spread her fingers out and rested them on her knees.
Jenna noticed the tension. “Stop worrying. Just go with the flooooowwwwww,” she bellowed out with a snicker and wiggled her hand like a wave in motion.
Rayne couldn’t help but burst into laughter. In that moment, Jenna reminded her more of Ella than of a stiff FBI agent. She had to admit it, she would never have thought Jenna could be so much fun, but she was. Rayne felt even closer to the woman now.
The two were still laughing when Rick returned with their drinks.
“Well, it looks like the atmosphere has shifted,” he remarked as he passed Rayne her chai latte and then handed a coffee to Jenna.
“You have no idea,” Jenna said with a wink.
“You could fill me in.”
“No chance, old man. This is girl talk.”
Rayne nodded with a giggle and sipped the tea.
“Fine. Be that way,” Rick huffed as he sat his cup in a holder between him and Jenna. He turned over the engine and frowned at Jenna as he pulled out of the parking lot.
Jenna laughed and leaned back in the seat. This was the first time in a long time since Rick had been left out of a conversation. It would do him good, she decided as she sipped her coffee.
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: 1711 words. Total words so far: 21,865