Seeing You – Part Thirty

“Mazi, hurry. Bring me the necklace,” Moonsong exclaimed, her voice cracked and edgy as an injured Rayne slumped into her arms. She lowered both her body and Rayne’s to the carpeted floor, one hand pressed over the gaping wound on Rayne’s shoulder and her other hand outstretched to grasp the necklace.

Mazi ran to the center of the circle and handed the necklace to Moonsong, who immediately wrapped the chain around Rayne’s neck. Mazi circled around behind the fallen pair and with trembling fingers, clasped the chain together. The pendant radiated a soft metallic glow as Moonsong chanted an ancient spell.

Rick and Jenna moved at the same time to go to Rayne, but Mazi held up a hand and shook her head. “Stay, we’ve already tampered with the circle. She’ll be okay for a few moments longer,” Mazi whispered.

Moonsong continued chanting, her voice rising and falling with words of intent. The necklace’s glow turned brighter and vibrated against Rayne’s throat. After a few moments, Rayne moaned and fluttered her eyes open. She gazed up at Moonsong, who radiated in a kaleidoscope of colors. Her head ached, as did her shoulder. She tried to move, but the pain was too great. She felt a warmth fill her body as Moonsong ended the chant.

“Charlene, break the circle. We have to treat Rayne’s wounds,” Moonsong demanded.

Charlene went about the quarters as fast as she could, thanking the Lord and Lady and the Watchtowers for guarding their circle. She then kneeled and swept her hand across the salt to open the circle. She nodded at Mazi who rushed from the circle and into another room.

Rick and Jenna hurried to Rayne’s side.

“Here, let me do that,” Rick said to Moonsong as he placed his hand over hers on Rayne’s wounded shoulder.

Moonsong slipped her hand from beneath his and smiled at him. “Thank you, my hand was going numb.”

Rayne winced from the pressure. She tried again to sit up, but slumped her head back into Moonsong’s lap.

“Don’t sit up,” Jenna said as she moved Rayne’s legs to flatten them on the floor.

Mazi returned with a bottle of peroxide and some bandages. “This is the best I can do for now. I need to mix some herbs,” she said as she handed the items to Rick.

“It’s too deep. She’ll need stitches,” Rick informed her as he lifted his hand and inspected the deep gash. “Jenna, call 911.”

Jenna nodded and rushed out of the room. Her cellphone was in the large meeting room.

“Rick… I saw…” Rayne muttered.

“Shhhh. It’s okay,” he whispered as he smoothed her hair back with his free hand.

“No, I… 22… 16.”

“What is that? Rayne? What is 2216?”

Rayne’s eyes fluttered and she closed them.

Rick patted his hand on her cheek. “Rayne? 2216?”

“His house… hurry… the girls…,” Rayne moaned.

“Mazi,” Rick said, turning to his cousin, “find Jenna. Tell her to call Troy. 2216. Percy’s house number.”

Rayne cried out as pain pounded against her skull. She tried to open her eyes, but everything went black again.

# # #

Back in Fairfax, Troy, Captain Jakes, and half of the Fairfax Police Department descended upon Kent Percy’s house at 2216 Trent Avenue. Across the street stood a Stop-n-Go. This had been one of the houses they’d knocked on several times, always with no answer. They didn’t need to knock this time. With a warrant in hand, they broke down the door to the closed-in porch, then the door to the house. Troy and two officers made their way into the house, giving the all-clear as they moved toward to basement. Captain Jakes and his other officers began survey the main floor.

As Troy made his way down the stairs, he heard muffled cries. “Kent Percy, FBI,” he shouted as he neared the foot of the stairs. He stopped before he reached the bottom two and raised his gun.

Percy stood at the long wooden table, a knife pressed at Gina’s throat. Muzzled and strapped to the table, Gina could only whimper.

“Don’t come any closer. I’ll kill her. I swear to god I will.”

Troy’s eyes darted around the room. Two empty cages. He could barely make out Mia in the third.

“Where’s Sally, Kent?”

Percy jerked his head around and glanced at a corner off to the right. Sally leaned against the wall in a fetal position with her eyes closed. “She’s not dead. Not yet, but if you try to take me, I will kill all three of these damn dogs.”

There was a creak on the staircase. One of the officers had advanced a few steps.

Percy pushed the blade harder against Gina’s throat. “I said don’t come any closer!”

Troy held his hand up at the officer and he stopped. “We will stay where we are, Kent. Just put down the knife and let the girls go.”

Percy laughed and waved the blade around. After a moment, his eyes turned black and he whispered, “How’s your witch doing?”

“You damn well know how she’s doing. You nearly killed her.”

“Only nearly? Damn. She’s a fine-looking witch, but she’s not getting my dogs and neither are you.”

“They aren’t dogs, Kent. Look at them. They are frightened little girls.’

Percy lowered his head and raised the bladed-hand to his forehead. With the blunt end of the knife, he pounded on his head repeatedly. “They’re dogs,” he screamed.

Troy took the moment of distraction to advance down another step. “Kent, take a good look at her.”

Percy lifted his head and narrowed his black eyes. He leered at Troy, all the while keeping the knife raised in the air. “You’re trying to trick me. Just like my dad did. Just like…,” his voice trailed off as he glanced down at Gina.

“You loved Bethany. Why would you want to kill this one?” Troy said as he stepped off of the final stair-step.

“’Cause, she ain’t Bethany. None of these mongrels are,” Percy growled as looked back up at Troy.  He raised the knife even higher and began to swing it back down toward Gina.

“Don’t do it, Kent!” Troy yelled as he raised his gun a bit higher.

Percy laughed and aimed the knife right at Gina’s heart.

Troy knew if he didn’t act fast, that little girl would be dead. He raised his gun fully, got Percy in his sight and fired. The bullet struck Percy in the chest. As the man fell backwards and onto the floor, the knife slid from his hand and clattered onto the cement. Troy walked over to Percy, his gun still aimed at the man, and slowly bent down, taking the man’s pulse. He was dead. He raced over to Sally and directed the other two officers to attend to Gina and Mia. As he knelt, Troy placed two fingers on Sally’s wrist. He sighed, relieved. The pulse was faint, but she was still alive.

# # #

Rayne stirred, wincing in pain. She opened her eyes, blinking a few times. She felt a light pressure on her hand and slowly moved her head to the left. Jenna sat in a chair beside her bed, sleeping. Her hand rested on Rayne’s. She wiggled her fingers. Jenna sprang up in the chair and glanced over at Rayne.

“Hey,” Rayne whispered. “Did we… are the girls…”

Jenna flashed her a bright smile and leaned in close. “We got him, Rayne. You saved those girls.”

Rayne closed her eyes and sighed. “They’re safe,” she murmured repeatedly before drifting back to sleep.

Hours later, Rayne sat up in the hospital bed with Jenna, Rick and Mazi standing around her. She had to be reassured that Percy was dead and the girls were safe. She thought she’d merely dreamt Jenna’s previous answers.

“Troy got him. One clean shot,” Rick assured her.

“And Sally?”

“She’s fine. Weak and exhausted, but she’s back on her insulin. All the girls are fine, Rayne. You did good.”

Rayne smiled and then scrunched her face in confusion. “I still don’t know how he trapped me there. I couldn’t pass through anything.”

“What do you mean?” Jenna asked.

“Most of the time when I was in his world, I could pass through objects. That’s how I got the house number, but twice he trapped me. Once when he zapped me with the cattle prod and then this time after he pulled me from outside the house.”

Mazi shuddered. “He had some wicked powers. Thank goddess he’s dead.”

Rayne nodded. “I guess we’ll never know now how he did it.”

The four chatted for a while longer and then Jenna and Mazi left to get coffee. Rick sat down on the corner of the bed and squeezed her hand.

“Ready to go back home?” he asked her softly.

Rayne stared up into his lapis eyes. Home? She hadn’t thought about her cottage or her friends in nearly a week. Could she go back to her life as if nothing had happened? Would she be content to just make tinctures and read tarot after all she’d been through? All she’d seen?

“I… I don’t know,” she replied.

Rick grinned. “You could always hang around here a while longer. Maybe help…”

“Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”

“What do you think I am suggesting?”

“Me, consulting on more cases.”

Rick chuckled. “The thought had crossed my mind. Would you consider it?”

Rayne glanced over at her shoulder and then back at Rick. She had enjoyed working with him and Jenna. It had been dangerous and nearly fatal, but her old life seemed so boring now. She pursed her lips together and closed her eyes. Was this really what she wanted? To work side by side with Rick and Jenna? To help them catch serial killers? She would still need to go home, if for no other reason than to explain to her friends and close up the cottage. It wouldn’t be forever. She could still go home between cases. After a long moment, she popped her eyes opened, grinned at Rick and nodded.

~The End~

or is it?

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, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28, Part 29

Today’s total: 1679 words. Total words: 52,026

Seeing You – Part Twenty-nine

They’d had a lovely dinner at Mazi’s place that night. Roasted root vegetables, couscous, and a broccoli casserole. Rayne had helped Mazi cook while Rick and Jenna consulted with Troy and Trip back in Fairfax. Troy had approved their extra time in New York, although Rick hadn’t told him the exact reason they needed to stay. Troy still wasn’t a hundred percent behind the whole witchy thing. Jenna had filled Trip in on Percy’s alias. He promised to get back in touch if anything popped up. By the time dinner was over, Rayne was exhausted. Mazi had shown her and Jenna to the spare bedroom where a pair of twin beds lined the walls, opposite one another. It wasn’t long before Rayne collapsed and fell asleep.

The next morning, Rayne awoke to loud chatter emanating from the living room of Mazi’s small house. She pulled her robe on over her pajamas and padded down the hall to see what all the commotion was about. Rick paced the room with his cellphone pressed against his ear talking loudly to Troy. Jenna was in a chair, her laptop resting on her lap. She was Skyping with Trip. Meanwhile, Mazi buzzed about her kitchen making coffee and heating bagels in the toaster. Rayne went over to a large blue sofa and sat down, drawing her knees up to her chest.

Rick smiled at Rayne when she entered the room. He continued his conversation for a few more minutes and then ended the call. He crossed the short space of the room and sat down beside Rayne.

Rick placed a hand on her arm. “Got a bit of good news,” he said with a warm smile. “Using the brief description of the store across from Percy’s place you gave us, Troy says they’ve narrowed down one row of homes where it could be seen from a basement. They are canvassing the houses now.”

Rayne rubbed her eyes and yawned. “That is good news,” she muttered.

Rick nodded. “We are closing in on him. You may not have to put yourself through that circle thing tonight.”

“That would be a good thing,” Mazi said as she entered the room holding a tray of coffee mugs. “I still think it’s too risky.”

Rick reached up and took a mug. “She will have the necklace to protect her too.”

Rayne shook her head in protest. “I can’t wear the necklace.”

“Why not?”

Mazi sat the tray on the table between the sofa and chairs. She plopped down in a chair beside Jenna and sighed. “It will prevent her from seeing anything.”

Rayne nodded as she straightened out her legs and leaned over to get a cup of coffee. “I should still be okay inside the circle.”

“Let’s hope we nab this guy before then,” Rick said. He took a sip of his coffee. They had canvassed that row of houses earlier, but three-fourths of the homeowners hadn’t answered. It was still a long-shot.

Jenna closed her laptop and sat it on the table. She reached for a cup of coffee. “Trip didn’t find anything on Arthur Kent. No bank accounts, credit cards, property leases or rentals. Zero.”

“I didn’t expect he would find anything. Percy has been very careful,” Rick stated.

“Everything has been in Decker’s name and they still can’t get him to talk. Trip says they’ve been hammering away at him for days now.”

“The poor kid is probably scared out of his wits and who can blame him. Arthur… I mean, Kent Percy could just astral on over to the jail and kill him in his sleep,” Mazi surmised as she held her coffee mug between her hands. She lifted the cup to her lips and mumbled, “I hope he gets caught before nightfall. I’m still uneasy about the circle gathering.”

Rayne shivered. She hadn’t thought about Percy using astral projection in that way. Was he really that strong? If so, why hadn’t he tried to kill her, or Rick and Jenna for that matter? Maybe he needed a link with the person to astral project that way. He probably had that kind of link with Leo. She felt sorry for the kid. Her brief glimpses into Percy’s life had been terrifying. She could only imagine what Leo had been living through.

“You okay?” Rick asked her, noticing that she was now shivering.

Rayne flashed him a faint smile. “Yeah. Just trying to figure out what abilities Percy does have.”

“None that are good,” Jenna quipped.

They all nodded their heads in agreement.

They spent the rest of the morning with more coffee and bagels, and talking strategy for the circle gathering. Mazi explained to Jenna what to expect and drew her a diagram of the details. Rayne had curled up next to Rick with her head on his shoulder. She drifted in and out of sleep. Around midday, Rick’s cellphone rang. It was Troy again.

“Yes, sir. I will tell them,” Rick said as he ended the call with a distressed look on his face.

“What is it?” Jenna asked.

“Leo’s dead. He hung himself this morning.”

“Damn it,” Jenna said through clinched teeth. “There goes another potential lead. Any word on the canvassing?”

“Same as before. Too many people not answering.”

Rayne sighed as she looked from Rick to Jenna. Finally, her eyes rested on Mazi’s face. “Guess we’re doing the circle after all.”

# # #

By nightfall, they returned to the Rosewood Center. Mazi lead them past the large room they’d been in the day before, down a long hallway and into an even larger space. Like in the previous room, one could easily tell that in its heyday, it had been an industrial space. It had high ceilings with metal scaffolding, but inside this room, the walls were covered with crimson cloth and the cement floor was cushioned with black carpeting. Tall candelabras were place throughout the room. Six white candles burned from each one. Nine other members of the coven stood around chatting when they entered the room, but they fell silent when they saw Mazi. She introduced everyone and the conversation picked up again. After a few minutes, Moonsong joined the gathering, wearing a long white gown, and carrying a single black candle. She moved to the center of the room and motioned for Rayne to join her.

With Rayne by her side, Moonsong stretched out her hands. “My Rosewood sisters and brothers, please form a circle.” She waited until everyone had taken their places, black candles in hand. “Charlene, please caste the circle and call the Watchtowers,” she concluded.

Walking around the outside of the circle created by the members, Charlene poured salt behind them, encircling them with the protective salt. Finally, she moved into position at each direction and called the Watchtowers. “Ye Lords of the Watchtowers of the East, ye Lords of Air; I do summon call and stir you up, to witness our rites and to guard the Circle…” When she finished the summon at each quarter, Charlene returned to her place in the circle.

Moonsong took a matchbox from a pocket in her gown and struck a match. She lit her black candle and then blew out the match. She walked around the circle, lighting everyone’s candle from her own. When all where lit, she returned to her place beside Rayne. “May the light of these black candles dispel anything negative or evil from this circle.” She lifted her hands into the air again and said, “Lord and Lady, I do summon thee. Join us in this sacred rite and guard our Circle.”

In awe, Rayne stood beside Moonsong. She’d practiced her family’s style of kitchen witchery her entire life, but she’d never experienced an actual coven gathering. Even when she’d gone with her grandmother to Salem, they hadn’t taken the time to join one. She closed her eyes and soaked in the energy of the circle. She felt safe. When she opened her eyes again, Rayne stared at the faces across from her. Rick appeared completely at peace, but Jenna’s face was marred by uncertainty. Rayne flashed her a quick smile as she felt Moonsong’s hands encircle her neck, unclasping the necklace. Moonsong walked over to Mazi, handed the necklace to her and returned to Rayne’s side.

One of the male coven members clicked a small device in his hand and the room echoed with enchanting music, a mixture of drums, the flute and a woman’s soft voice. Everyone lowered their candles to the floor in front of them and then clasped hands. Moonsong moved behind Rayne, embraced her, and began chanting an ancient spell. Rayne couldn’t understand the foreign words, but she felt the power in them. She closed her eyes and swayed to the music and the sound of Moonsong’s voice.

Rayne felt the nausea immediately. She opened her eyes. The circle had disappeared and in its place, the dingy walls of Percy’s living room appeared. She stood there for a long moment to get her bearings. The room was dark except for a tinge of light coming from a window. She moved toward the window, but then heard a noise coming from a lit room off to her right. As she followed the noise, she recognized the sound. An electric can opener. She entered the room. The kitchen. She glanced around. In one corner stood a green refrigerator and across from it, a white stove that looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in decades. Food and grease stained the stove-top. She walked on, moving silently around a corner where a round wooden table stood in front of a bay window. Kent Percy stood bent over a counter, a can in one hand and the other hand holding an electric can opener. She inhaled deeply, cupping her mouth with her hands. When she realized that Percy hadn’t detect her presence, she exhaled and walked around the counter, staring down at two opened cans on the counter-top. Dog food. Percy finished opening the last can, reached into a cabinet above his head and removed three small bowls. He emptied the dog food into them and tossed the cans in a trash can beside the counter.

Rayne felt relieved. Three bowls meant the girls were still alive, even if he was feeding them dog food. She sighed heavily.

Percy picked up the three bowls and turned to leave the room. Suddenly, he stopped. He looked around the room, his dark eyes scanning every inch of it. He furrowed his brow and frowned. After a few seconds, he walked out of the kitchen, through the living room and down the hallway. He stopped at a door, put the bowls on the floor and reached into his pocket. He pulled out a set of keys and unlocked the padlock on the door. He opened the door, put the padlock on the hook and picked up the bowls of food.

Rayne stood inches behind him. She felt a sense of disgust from him and heard words echoing in her head.

Where the hell are you Leo? You know I hate feeding these damn dogs.

She followed him as he descended the long staircase down into the basement. She stood on the last step as she watched him fumble for the table, sit the bowls down, and then reach up and pull the cord to the light. As a soft yellow glow filled the room, Rayne glanced over at the cages. Gina sat in her cage with her hands and feet tied, her head slumped against the cage, asleep. Sally laid with her face pressed against the cage, unblinking, but still alive. Mia cowered in a corner of her cage, a muzzle over her mouth and both her hands and feet bound, lightly whimpering.

While Percy unlocked the cages, loosened the girls’ bound hands, and fed them, Rayne took the chance to nose about upstairs. She ascended the stairs and moved back into the living room. She loomed over tables and shelves hoping to see something with an address on it. She tried to touch an overturned envelope, but her hand just passed right through it. She walked to the window with the dim light coming through, but could only see a walled-in front porch with a small hole in the cheap plywood where light from a street light peeked through. She sighed as she walked into a bedroom, looked around, but still found nothing that would help. She returned to the living room.

As she stood there feeling useless, an idea came to her. She could pass through things, what if… She went to the front door and reached a hand toward it. As her hand slid through the door, a big smile creased her face. She pressed her entire body through the door and found herself standing on the walled-in front porch. She glanced around. A wicker chair, porch swing, small table. She looked up on the wall of the house, but there was only a faint outline of what used to be house numbers. She’d have to go through the outer door. She walked over to it and again pressed her body through it. She now stood on cement steps. She turned and looked up at a column. 2216.

Suddenly, Rayne felt a hand grab her arm and jerk her back inside the walled-in front porch. She let out a scream.

“I knew you were snooping around, witch!”

Rayne came face to face with Kent Percy. His dark eyes bore into her own. She could smell the stench on his breath and feel the pain in her arm as he squeezed it.

“What did you see?”

Rayne was silent. Percy squeezed her arm tighter.

“Tell me, witch!”

“Nothing. I didn’t see anything,” Rayne stammered.

“I don’t believe you,” Percy seethed. He pulled out a knife from his back pocket and swung it at her. “If I kill you here, you die there.”

Rayne wrenched her arm free and ducked, but the knife slashed a gash in her shoulder. She let out another scream and covered her head with her uninjured arm. Percy lunged at her again. She twisted away from him and crashed into the wicker chair. Why didn’t she pass through it? She got to her feet just as she saw the knife coming at her again. The blade aimed at her chest. She cried out and backed against the wall. Again, she didn’t pass through it. Something was seriously off. She slithered along the wall, moving back toward the front door. Percy’s eyes followed her as he moved closer toward her, the knife ready to pierce her heart. She stumbled over something on the floor and fell to the ground. Her head struck a sharp object and everything went black.

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, Part 26, Part 27, Part 28

or jump ahead to Part 30

Today’s total: 2465 words. Total words so far: 50,347

Seeing You – Part Twenty-eight

Moments after Rayne laid out her plan, Charlene arrived at the Rosewood Center. At barely five-feet tall, the twenty-something entered the center in a flurry of panicked apologies for her late arrival. She carried a long hobo bag slung over her shoulder and several paper bags in her arms. She placed all the bags on the long table and smiled at everyone. Tossing her long black hair over her shoulder, the hazel-eyed woman plopped down in one of the chairs and let out a deep sigh.

“Hey, I know I’m late, but why the long faces?” she asked.

Mazi let out a nervous chuckle. “It’s not because you are late. We’ve had some disturbing turnabouts.”

“Oh dear! This is related to Arthur, I presume.”

Mazi nodded. “Let me introduce you to SA Jenna Styles,” she said as she pointed to Jenna. “Rayne Fallon, the one we enchanted the pendant for,” she continued, pointing at Rayne. “And you know my cousin Rick,” she concluded with a smile and nod at Rick.

“Good to see you again, Rick.” Charlene flashed a bright smile at him and then turned her attention to Jenna and Rayne. “Lovely to meet you, ladies. Wish this was under better circumstances.”

Rick stood up and walked over to Charlene. He leaned down and embraced her. “Good to see you too, Charly.” He released his hold on her and kissed her cheek. Charlene had always been one of his favorites of Mazi’s coven sisters and affectionately called her Charly. Rick walked back around the table and picked up the file folder. He removed Leo Decker’s picture and handed it to her.

“Oh yes, I remember this guy. Quiet, timid, always clinging to Arthur at the festivals,” Charlene noted. “He never came to any of the meetings though. Arthur said he didn’t approve of him messing with witches.” She rolled her eyes. “I felt sorry for the kid though. Arthur was such an asshole to him.”

“Mazi said you did a one on one with Arthur once. Can you tell us about it?” Jenna inquired.

“It was a horrible mistake to astral travel with him,” Charlene began, her voice quivering. “When we got to the astral plane, I realized that he wasn’t interested in anything spiritual about the place. He wanted to see if he could inflict pain in real time while in the astral.” She lifted the black sheer blouse she wore and pointed to the scar on the left side of her ribcage. “The bastard stabbed me!” she concluded.

Rick stared at the scar for a long moment and then asked, “Was there anything unusual about him before this incident?”

Charlene shivered. “He was always an odd duck. Obsessed with his dead father. I didn’t think much of it at the time. Just thought he was one of those emo artists.”

“Did you ever see any of his art?” Jenna asked.

“A few times. He invited me to his studio once. He had a series of beautiful watercolors, mostly with angels, little girls and their dogs, stuff like that. Then I went to one of his shows. He’d done a series of brutal sculptures. Twisted, horrid stuff. Scared me shitless. I had to leave. It was all too creepy. A week after that show was when we did the astral projection.”

Rayne furrowed her brow. “We’ve seen his handiwork… sculptures, I mean.”

Rick pulled out the notes on Percy from the folder. “Arthur’s real name is Kent Percy.”

Charlene’s eyes widened. “Oh! He told me he was Arthur Kent. That makes sense now.”

“What does?”

“The first time he came to the center, he signed in as Kent something, but scribbled out the last name and wrote Arthur Kent after it. I thought it was peculiar at the time, but when I heard he was an artist, I figured it was just a pseudonym. They all have them. Artsy types, you know?”

Jenna nodded as she looked up from her iPad. “I just sent a message to Trip to do a search on Arthur Kent. We know he’s used the name Arthur in Fairfax, but if he is using the full name, we may get some financials on him.”

“Or more,” Rick hoped.

Charlene relaxed. It felt good to get all the information she’d known about Arthur and Leo off her chest. Then she realized how solemn everyone looked when she’d arrived. She leaned her elbows on the table and cupped her cheeks with her hands. “Say, why did you all look so down when I came in? I mean, it wasn’t because I was late and none of this stuff about Arthur and Leo is so depressing. What gives?”

“Rayne needs our help,” Moonsong said, having kept quiet until now.

“What kind of help?”

Moonsong looked over at Rayne and nodded her head. “I’ll let Rayne fill you in.”

Rayne wrung her hands in her lap. It had already unnerved her the first time she spelled out her idea, and it wasn’t going to be any easier this time either. She cleared her throat. “I’ve been able to explore the area where Percy lives a little without his knowledge, but eventually he discovers what I am doing and puts a stop to it. We are nowhere close to stopping this… this lunatic. I need more time to explore, to see something significant – a building out a window, a street sign or his house number. I thought maybe,” she paused, looked up at Moonsong, and then continued, “if I were inside a protective circle, in this place with a protection spell against him already in place, then I could find something to help the FBI nab him.”

Charlene clapped her hands together and her face lit up. “That sounds like a wonderful idea!”

“You can’t be serious,” Mazi stated.

Charlene laughed. “What could go wrong inside a protected circle?”

“Quite a lot,” Moonsong said as she glared at Charlene. “We only have eleven members available right now. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this without a full thirteen. And from what Rayne has told us, he has grown stronger. Any number of things could go wrong.”

Charlene lowered her eyes. “Sorry, High Priestess. I didn’t mean to be flippant about this.”

“No matter,” Moonsong said. “We just don’t have the strength to pull something like this off.”

Mazi suddenly became excited. “But we do, Moonsong. Rick has joined some of our gatherings before and Jenna can join in too.”

“Wait! What? I don’t even know if I believe in all of this stuff,” Jenna protested.

Rick turned to his partner. “You don’t have to believe. You just have to join the circle with an opened mind and an intent to help.”

Jenna glanced over at Rayne and saw the pleading in her eyes. How could she not help Rayne now after all she had done for the FBI in this case? She closed her eyes and inhaled. If her Catholic grandmother could see her now, she’d pay a ghostly visit to the Pope and have Jenna excommunicated. She laughed internally. She’d never even prayed or given a confession. Her grandmother was probably already petitioning the Pope. Sighing, she opened her eyes and nodded at Rayne.

“Okay, I’m in.”

Rayne smiled and Moonsong shrugged her shoulders.

“I guess we’ll attempt this after all,” Moonsong resolved. “But… we need to do it on a full moon and that isn’t until tomorrow night. Can you all stay until then?”

“I’ll call Troy and confirm it, but I doubt he’ll have any problems with it,” Rick assured her.

“We’ll have to extend out hotel reservations,” Jenna interjected.

Mazi huffed. “Nonsense, you can stay with me. It’ll give Rick and I a chance to catch up,” she said as she winked at Rick. Rick grinned back at her.

Moonsong stood up. “That’s that then. Charlene, call the other members and remind them to all bring a black candle. Mazi, you and I will prepare the meeting hall tonight. As for you three,” she said, glancing from Rayne to Rick and finally at Jenna, “I suggest you rest up. This is going to be a tiring ordeal.”

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, Part 26, Part 27

or jump ahead to Part 29

Today’s total: 1362 words. Total words so far: 47,882

Seeing You – Part Twenty-seven

Rick hadn’t spoken to Mazi since they’d discovered who Kent Percy was, but now that the coven was a potential lead, he’d have to involve her. He and Jenna wrapped up the interrogations and joined Jack and Rayne in the conference room. Rick filled Jack in on the Rosewood Coven angle.

“I’d been puzzled for a while now,” Rick began, “trying to figure out how Percy communicated with Rayne the way he has. If he was involved with witches, then he may have picked up some means of telepathy or…”

“It’s a form of astral projection,” Rayne corrected him.

Jack scrunched up his face. “What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s a technique we use to move through time and space on an astral plane, but normally during sleep. Percy isn’t asleep when I see him in my visions. He’s modified it somehow.”

Jenna’s eyes narrowed. “You don’t think he is psychic too, do you?”

Rayne shrugged. “Maybe a little? But I don’t get that sense about him. He can only see me when I see him. If he was truly psychic, he should be able to see and know things without my presence.”

Jack rubbed the back of his neck. “No offense, Rayne, but all of this sounds like hocus-pocus to me.”

Jenna laughed. “I had the same opinion at first, Jack, but Rayne is authentic and she knows what she’s talking about.”

“Oh, I am not doubting you, Rayne. It will just take me a while to process all of this.”

Rayne smiled at Jack. “No offense taken. I am not sure I completely understand it all either.”

Jack returned the smile. “Good, I don’t want to be hexed,” he said with a wink. “So, what’s on your agenda next?” he asked as he turned his head toward Rick.

“We need to talk to Mazi. She’s in Brooklyn, so we should go there next.”

“We also need to talk to Percy’s parents,” Jenna injected.

“Let my team talk to the parents,” Jack suggested. “If they have anything to add, we’ll let you know.”

Rick and Jenna agreed.

Jack nodded at Rick and Jenna. “We’ll get to it then,” he said as he walked off to inform his team.

“I’d better call Mazi. Wouldn’t want to just show up unannounced,” Rick decided as he pulled his cellphone out of his briefcase and dialed her number.

“Mazi Star… how may I chart you?”



“Hello, cousin. Quite a catchy lead-in.”

Mazi laughed. “Thanks, cuz. What’s up?”

“I’m in New York, working this case. I need your help.”

“Is it related to that necklace I sent for Rayne?”

“A bit. We think the guy we are looking for was a member of Rosewood.”

“Gotta name?”

“Kent Percy.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell, but Charlene keeps the coven’s records. Meet me at Meadow Avenue. We just rented a loft space there for Rosewood. It will be so good to see you, Rick.”

“You too, Mazi. We’ll be there in an hour, depending on the traffic.”

“We? Did you bring Jenna with you?”

“I did, but Rayne is with us as well.”

“So, I will finally get to meet your Rayne Fallon. Goody,” Mazi said with a wicked, yet playful tone.

Rick chuckled. “See you in a bit, cuz.”

Rick ended his call with Mazi and walked over to Jenna and Rayne. “It’s all set. Mazi didn’t recognize Kent Percy’s name though.”

Jenna wrinkled up her nose. “Maybe he used an alias like he did down at the church center.”

“Could be. Let’s go find out.”

They gathered their briefcases and, along with Rayne, set off to Brooklyn.

# # #

“Mazi, this is Rayne,” Rick said as he introduced the two.

Mazi embraced Rayne. “It is so good to finally meet you.” She loosened her hold and looked at Rayne’s neckline. She lifted the pendant and smiled. “How has this worked for you?”

“I don’t know how you knew what I needed, but I cannot thank you enough. It has saved my life more than once.”

Mazi led Rick, Jenna, and Rayne into the heart of the Rosewood Center. They stopped at a long table, where Mazi directed them all to sit. “When Rick told me what you were going through with your visions, I consulted my coven. Moonsong, our High Priestess, suggested that we enchant a pendant for you. You’ve had no ill-effects from the visions?”

“Very little. A bit of nausea and dizziness, but not like before with the severe stomach pains.”

Mazi clapped her hands together. “Excellent. That was our goal. To stop any illnesses.”

“It did more than that though,” Jenna said.

“Oh? What else?”

“I no longer see through his eyes. I am now independent of his field of vision,” Rayne informed her. “But, that only happened once. Now, if I am wearing the pendant, I don’t have visions.”

“Well, that was unanticipated effect. It was not our intention to stop your visions, only mask the illnesses caused by them.”

Rayne smiled. “I understand how these things work. I’ve never enchanted anything, but I understand cause and effect. If my visions are the cause of my illnesses, then the effect would be no visions.”

Rick shrugged. “Makes perfect sense to me.”

“Yes, but without the visions, I am of no help to the investigation,” Rayne injected.

“Speaking of the investigation,” Rick said as he directed his attention to Mazi, “we want to show you a photograph of Kent Percy.”

Jenna took out a folder from her briefcase and handed it to Mazi. “It’s the one on top. The second one is of Leo Decker. Maybe you will recognize him as well.”

Mazi opened the folder and as soon as she saw Percy’s picture, she dropped it on the table. She raised a hand to her mouth and inhaled. She exhaled and her body quivered. “That’s Arthur.”

Jenna and Rick flashed knowing glances at one another.

“Who is he?” Rick inquired.

“I don’t know him very well. He came to a few festivals and some meetings. We all got weird vibes from him. I recall that Moonsong expelled him from the group.”

“Do you know why?”

“She said that he kept asking her questions about how to transcend the body. We thought he was just interested in Astral Projection, which we were exploring at the time. He wanted to go deeper though. He did a one on one with Charlene and well, let’s just say that the experience wasn’t good. She said he physically attacked her while they were on the astral plane. She has a scar to prove it.”

Jenna furrowed her brow and narrowed her eyes. “What kind of attack?”

“A knife attack, but when she came out of the projection, he was still in and there were no knives around.”

“He did that to Rayne with a cattle prod,” Rick said.

Rayne nodded.

“Were there any other reasons he got expelled?” Jenna inquired.

“Yes, there was,” a female voice said behind them. A tall woman with long blonde hair approached the table. “I am Moonsong,” the woman said.

Rayne stared up at the woman. She wore a long purple velvet gown and her eyes were tanzanite, a purplish blue that glistened in the sunlight streaming in the windows. Tanzanite was rare, only found in Tanzania, East Africa. A stone that radiated compassion and was associated with higher consciousness. Her gaze followed Moonsong as she came around the table and sat down across from Rayne.

“You must be Rayne,” Moonsong said as she reached across the table and clasped one of Rayne’s hands.

“Yes. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Rayne squeezed Moonsong’s hand and smiled at her, her gaze not leaving the woman’s eyes.

“What is it, Rayne?” Rick asked as he noticed Rayne’s continuous stare.

“It’s my eyes,” Moonsong replied.

Rayne nodded. “Tanzanite.”

“She’s very good with stones and crystals,” Moonsong said as she released her hold on Rayne’s hand and turned toward Rick. “To answer your previous question. There was another reason I expelled Arthur from the group. He wanted to learn how to communicate with the dead. I offered to teach him how to use the tarot or a spirit board, but he rejected both. We argued and he threatened me. I saw no other recourse but to expel him.”

“Did he say who he wanted to communicate with?” Rayne asked.

Moonsong glanced back over at Rayne. “His father. He said he had some unfinished business with him. When I inquired about the nature of that business, he said he wanted his father to suffer for what he did to him and his sister. I explained that we don’t do that kind of spirit work here.” She lowered her eyes. “What he was seeking was black magic.”

Jenna coughed. “I know I am new to all of this, so please excuse my ignorance. What could he have possibly done to his father who’s already dead?”

Moonsong looked up. “He wanted to trap his father’s spirit. At least, that’s what he claimed.”

“Trap it how?” Rick asked.

“I don’t know. He acted strange and had a dark look in his eyes. When I refused to help him, that’s when he grew angry and threatened me. I ordered him to leave and immediately put a protection spell around the house we were using at that time for our coven meetings.”

Jenna took notes on her iPad. “Did you ever hear from him again?”

“Not directly. Charlene spotted him once at an herb shop where we frequented. We changed our shopping location after that.”

Turning the folder around, Rick pulled out the picture of Leo and showed it to Moonsong. “Did you ever see this guy with him?”

“He looks familiar. Maybe he came to one of the festivals we held, but I cannot be sure. Mazi?”

Mazi looked at the picture and nodded her head. “He does look familiar. You said this is Leo Decker, correct?”

Rick nodded.

“Let me call Charlene. She organized most of the festivals and kept names of attendants.”

Mazi stood up and walked over to a desk. She picked up her cellphone and called Charlene. Meanwhile, Rick probed Moonsong for more details and Jenna took notes. Rayne sat there listening to their conversation, but only half-paying attention. She was worried for those three girls. Now that Decker was out of the picture, who would feed and tend to them? Percy certainly wouldn’t. He was too cold and cruel.

“She’s on her way,” Mazi said as she wandered back over and sat down.

For a moment, the five fell silent. Suddenly, Rayne had an idea, but she wasn’t sure Moonsong would go along with it. She looked over at the High Priestess.

“What is it, child?” Moonsong asked.

“Did you place the same protection spell around this place when you moved Rosewood here?”

“Of course.”

“Then I think I have a way to see where Percy is and save those girls, but I would need your help,” Rayne said as her eyes widened with excitement.

Rick scratched his head. “Sounds dangerous.”

Moonsong nodded. “If she is about to suggest what I think she is, it will be.”

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, Part 26

or jump ahead to Part 28

Today’s total: 1862 words. Total words so far: 46,520

Seeing You – Part Twenty-six #NaNoWriMo2016

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?”

Rayne nodded.

“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.”

“Since when?”

“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

Seeing You – Part Twenty-five #NaNoWriMo2016

Rick, Jenna, and Rayne traveled to New York in near-silence. Rick had put in a cd of light jazz at the on-start of the trip, something that Jenna ribbed him about for the first few miles. They shared their banter back and forth, while Rayne sat in the back seat listening. She’d come to enjoy that aspect of the two agents. They’d been on the case for just over a month now and Rayne considered the two friends. She couldn’t help but wonder what would happen to that friendship once the case was over and they parted ways.

An hour into the drive, the music had soothed Rick. He fell silent and kept his eyes on the road. A light snow had fallen, but the roads weren’t hazardous. Jenna kept herself busy with her iPad. She had earbuds in and was watching a documentary of some kind. She’d told Rayne the title, but Rayne hadn’t paid much attention. The missing girls and Kent Percy consumed her. Just the thought of his name sent chills down her spine.

Rayne laid her head on the backseat headrest and stared up at the padded ceiling of the car. Her right hand encircled the moon pendant around her neck. She knew it prevented her from having visions, but fear of Percy had forced her to keep it on for days now. You are of no help this way, her mind whispered. She swallowed the fear and decided to remove the necklace. She would let the visions surface because she needed to know that the girls were okay. Slowly, she reached behind her neck and unclasped it. It fell into her hand and she slid it into the pocket of the skirt she wore. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Sleep overcame her.

He’s going to kill me.

Rayne watched as Leo Decker paced in his cell. She’d seen pictures of him, but when they brought him in for interrogation, she wasn’t given the opportunity to see him up close. Now, as she watched him, she noticed his eyes. Green Alexandrite. So rare, it was only used as a side stone in expensive jewelry settings. That’s what Leo was, a rare side-kick to Percy and Percy knew it. Decker paced, sat down on the bench, fretted, stood up, and paced some more.

I should have stayed in New York. I could have modeled for other artists, or gone back to the clubs. I am doomed. God help me. I am doomed.

Rayne felt his fear as he rubbed the bruises on his arms. She reached into his mind and pulled out one of Decker’s last memories. He was in a room alone with Percy. There was nothing unusual about it – a couch, chair, and a television hanging on the wall. Clothes and beer bottles were strewn about on the floor. Rayne heard a whooshing sound. The metro. This was Percy’s place.

I can’t do this anymore. I’m going back to New York.

You go when I say you can go.

You’ve changed, Kent. All these girls. All this death. I didn’t sign up for any of this.

Percy walked over to Decker and embraced him. He stared into his eyes and kissed his lips, not once blinking. The kiss deepened. Decker’s body softened as he wrapped his hands around Percy’s neck and returned the kiss. Percy backed his lover up against a wall, his hands reaching up under Decker’s tank top. Rayne heard their moans of desire, felt Decker giving in to Percy’s pursuits. And then Percy bit down hard on Decker’s lower lip, grasped his arms and squeezed until Decker screamed out in pain. Percy backed away and laughed.

I took you off the streets, whore. Gave you everything. A beautiful house and a car. Allowed you to model for me and make me millions. Oh, dear Leo, I own you.

Decker wiped the blood from his lip and leered at Percy. And then you took it all away. You don’t own me. Nobody does.

Percy laughed again. Really? Then why do you always do my bidding? You work the streets to pay for all of this. He held his hands out and turned around in a circle. He stopped and faced Decker again. And you satiate my appetites. You don’t even care about those dogs. None of them.

I care about Mia. You said she was too young. Why’d you make me take her?

Because that witch and her FBI friends took my mark! I needed a fresh one. I can’t stand the stench of those other two dogs. They aren’t Bethany.

Bethany died. You know she did. And those aren’t dogs, Kent. They are frightened little girls.

Percy slapped Decker across the jaw. I should kill you. Maybe I will.

Decker cowered and ducked out of the way, fearing another blow or worse.

Percy chuckled. Not today, whore. I still need you. Go clean the cages and feed them dogs. And when you’ve done that, get to the street. We’re running out of food.

Rayne watched as Decker hugged the wall and slid along it. He reached the doorway and ran to the basement door. As he clambered down the stairs, Rayne could hear the girls’ whimpers. Decker reached up and pulled a cord, lighting up the room. For the first time, Rayne could see clear details. It was a small room with cement walls. The work bench was hand-crafted, and the shelves were definitely from the church center. The lower shelves were rusted, but the upper two shelves were fine. The top shelf held bags of candy and cookies. Two liter sodas and jugs of orange juice filled the second shelf. Rayne could see out of the basement window and across the street on the other side of the metro line since it wasn’t running now. There was a small convenience store, but she couldn’t make out the name of it.

Decker moved over to the cages. Gina’s mouth was duct taped and her brown hair matted. She tried to scream, but only muffled whimpers came out. She kicked the cage with her bound feet to no avail. Sally laid on her side with her face away from front of the cage. Her breathing was shallow and her mouth covered with duct tape as well. In the third cage, Mia sat looking up at Decker with tears in her eyes. She was muzzled and her hands and feet bound. Decker ignored Sally and Gina and went immediately to Mia’s cage. He opened it and removed the muzzle. He reached over to the shelves, removed a jug of orange juice, and poured some in a plastic cup inside the cage.

He lifted the cup to Mia’s lips. Please drink, Mia.

The girl shook her head and the orange juice spilled onto the floor through the holes in the cage. She began to cry for her mommy. Decker couldn’t take the wailing and stuffed her mouth with a cloth and returned the muzzle.

I’m sorry, Mia. So sorry.

Rayne could hear footsteps on the upper stairs. And then a voice shouting.

You don’t really want me to come down there, do you? Stop playing with those damn dogs and feed them!

Decker muttered under his breath as he walked to a corner of the room and removed a mop out of a bucket, squeezing it. He set it up against the table and went back to the cages. Carefully, he lifted each cage onto the table, mopped the floor and then set the cages back down. He unlocked the cages and loosened all three girls’ hands. He put candy bars and cookies into each cage and filled their cups with soda. Finally, he removed the duct tape and muzzle from the girls’ mouths.

Shhh, don’t scream or cry. Just eat your food or he will come down here.

Sally is too sick. She needs a doctor.

Decker ignored Gina, but shook Sally’s shoulder. She moaned lightly, but didn’t move.

She’s alive. There’s nothing else I can do for her.

You could get her a doctor.

I can’t. He’ll kill me too.

Decker backed away from the cages and ran his hands through his hair. He turned around in a circle, waving his hands wildly in the air. I didn’t want any of this. I’ll leave. Just get in the car and go. He won’t come looking for me.

Decker turned to leave, but went back to the third cage instead. He bent down, and stared at Mia. Tears streamed down his face. After a few moments, he stood upright and bolted back up the stairs. Without saying anything to Percy, Decker stormed out the front door, went to the garage and got into his car. He clicked the garage door opener and the door lifted. As he pulled out of the garage, Rayne tried to see a house number, but Decker didn’t look back at the house. She could see the street though and the metro zooming by. Decker sat there, staring at it. Whoosh, whoosh.

Rayne woke up with a start and knocked her knee against Rick’s seat.

Rick looked at her through the rearview. “Are you okay?”

Rayne nodded. “The girls are still alive. Well, at least they were before Decker was arrested.”

Jenna pulled the earbuds out of her ears. “What’s going on?

“Rayne had a vision.”

“What did you see?”

“Decker and Percy argued. Decker wanted to go back to New York, but Percy refused to let him. They’re lovers, of sorts and Percy is definitely being abusive.”

Jenna raised a brow. “Really? That’s an interesting detail. Probably why Decker was too scared to talk.”

“How’s Sally?” Rick asked.

“Not well. She didn’t move the entire time I saw her in the vision. I don’t think Sally and Gina have long though. He has grown tired of them and with Sally being sick…”

“Don’t think about it, Rayne. We are going to catch this sick bastard,” Jenna assured her.

Rayne slowly nodded her head. If she could see through Percy’s eyes or tap into his head like she had Decker’s, then maybe she could figure out his plans.

There you are witch. Been hiding behind that pendant, huh? And now here you are.

Rayne heard Percy’s voice, but couldn’t see anything. Then suddenly, Percy’s face was in her face and he shouted at her.

Where’s Leo?

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

or jump ahead to Part 26

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: 1740 words. Total words so far: 42,158

Seeing You – Part Twenty-four #NaNoWriMo2016

For the next two days, the case sat at a standstill. The FBI and the Fairfax Police had continued canvassing the mile-long neighborhood near the metro, but so far turned up no leads. They had units patrolling the area of the triangulation, but the white Ford Fusion hadn’t turned up. Rayne’s frustration grew. She’d had no visions and fretted over the welfare of the three girls in Kent Percy’s clutches. She felt useless to the investigation. The whole team felt useless.

It was midday on the second day. The team sat in the conference room going over the case again in hopes that they’d find something they’d overlooked. Troy stuck by Captain Jakes’ side, coordinating with patrol officers. Meanwhile, Rick took the old-school route and shuffled through the paper files, Jenna fished through her notes on her iPad, and Trip monitored police reports on his laptops. There was nothing for Rayne to do, so she kept the coffee cups full. An eerie silence hung over the entire team. No one wanted to admit that time could be running out for Gina, Sally, and Mia. Rayne finally curled up on a chair and closed her eyes, but before she even fell asleep, Trip let out a yell.

“They’ve got him!”

Rayne sat up and rubbed her eyes. Rick and Jenna jumped up from their seats and headed to the end of the table. Troy, who’d heard Trip yell, had been in the captain’s office. He hurried into the conference room with Captain Jakes on his heels.

“They’ve got who?” Troy asked when he reached the end of the table.

“Leo Decker. They’re bringing him in as we speak.”

Jenna raised a brow. “Percy wasn’t with him?”

“Afraid not.”

Rick slammed his fist on the table. He didn’t normally have such fits of rage, but this case had worn him down. “Damn it,” he muttered.

Troy glared at him. “Cool head, Rick. I want you to interrogate this guy and I can’t have you going in there half-cocked.”

Rick nodded his head and walked away from the table. As he rubbed the side of his hand, he stared out the window. The police department was situated across the street from an elementary school. It was recess and the kids were out playing on swings and running around. His eyes zeroed in on every young girl who came into his field of vision. He couldn’t help but ponder what could happen to any of them if they didn’t get Percy behind bars soon.

Rayne walked over and joined Rick by the window. She followed his gaze and sighed. “We were worried about eight-to-ten-year-old girls, but now even younger girls are at risk.”

Rick wrapped an arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him. “We’ll get him. I’ll make Decker talk.”

Troy motioned for Jenna to join him over by the white board, and she followed him there. He stood in silence for a moment and then finally said, “If Rick doesn’t get anything out of Decker, the two of you are going on a road trip.”

“To where?”

“New York City. I’ve been talking to the New York office and they’ve tracked down some buddies of Decker’s. I want you two to go up there and talk to them.”

“I don’t mean to question you, sir, but why can’t the New York team handle this?”

“I let them do the grunt work, but this is my case and I want you two to do the questioning.”

“Understood, sir. What about Rayne?”

Troy glanced over at Rayne, who still leaned against Rick, and sighed. “I suppose you must take her with you.”

“Don’t see any other choice, sir.”

A patrol officer entered the room. “Captain, we’ve got Leo Decker in Interrogation One.”

The captain nodded and the officer left. He cocked his head at Troy. “It’s your show now.”

# # #

Leo Decker was a slim male, approximately five-foot-seven, with short cropped blond hair and green eyes. He wore a grey tank top, blue jeans, and scruffy black boots. He sat hunched over the table with his legs crossed and his hands twisted together over his chest. When Rick entered the room, the young man didn’t even acknowledge him. Instead, he stared at a spot on the table, unflinching. Rick sat down across from him and tossed a couple of file folders onto the table. He sat there for a long moment staring at Decker.

“Do you know why we brought you in, Mr. Decker?” he finally asked.

The young man shook his head, but continued to stare at the table.

“Do you know Kent Percy?”

Decker looked up with a hint of fear in his eyes, but said nothing.

“I know you do. We have witnesses who’ve seen you two together.”

“He’s… he’s a friend.”

“A friend, okay. Is he the one who put those bruises on your arms?”

Decker stared down at his arms and then glared up at Rick. A moment later, he lowered his eyes.

“Not going to answer that one? Okay, let’s move on. Have you ever lent him your Ford Fusion?”

Decker rolled his eyes around and tilted his head toward the ceiling. “A few times.”

“What about a van? Has he ever driven around in one?”

The young man remained silent.

“Do you share living quarters with him?”

“No, no, no no no,” he said, slightly agitated.

“Okay, Mr. Decker. Calm down.” Rick opened a folder and pulled out a picture of Mia and swung it around in front of Decker. “Recognize this girl?”

He glanced down at the picture, scrunched up his face and flipped it over.

“You do, don’t you?”

Decker shook his head.

“Don’t lie to me, Mr. Decker. I know you know her. She’s missing and you were seen down at the church center the day she disappeared. Her mother, Maria, said you two were friends. What happened to her?”

Decker stared blankly at Rick.

“What did you do to her? Where did you take her?”

He said nothing. Instead, he wrinkled up his brow and shifted nervously on the chair.

Rick pulled out Gina and Sally’s pictures and pushed them across the table. “What about these two girls?”

Decker sneered at Rick.

Rick slammed his fist on the table. “Look at them.”

The young man slowly dropped his gaze. When his eyes landed on the girls’ pictures, he teared up.

“You know who they are too, don’t you?”

Decker shook his head wildly. “No, no.”

“Stop lying to me. Where are they?”


Rick opened a second file and tossed the pictures of the eight dead girls across the table. “I bet you remember these girls too.”

Decker pushed the pictures across the table and swung his body sideways in the chair. “I… I want… a lawyer,” he stuttered.

Rick sighed heavily and stood up. He gathered the pictures and stuffed them back into the folder. “You’ll need a damn lawyer,” he said as he walked out of the room and slammed the door.

# # #

Rick threw up his hands. “I got nothing. He lawyered up.”

Troy paced in front of the white board. “I figured he would. He’s been through the system enough times to know better than to talk.”

“I thought he was going to crack. He came so close. By the time I’d shown him all the girls’ photos though, that’s when he asked for a lawyer.”

“Percy’s got too much control over him.”

“He did admit to knowing Percy and lending him his car. That at least makes him an accessory.”

“Possibly, but I want something solid on him.”

“So, what now?”

“We’ll hold him for forty-eight hours. Try to talk to him again with his lawyer present. We’ve got nothing else here. I am sending you, Jenna, and Rayne to New York City. Maybe you can dig up something there that’s helpful. I’ve already spoken to Jenna. She’ll fill you in.”

“Great. Maybe a road trip will help clear my head.”

Troy chuckled and headed toward the door. “Can you even function with a clear head?”

“Funny one, boss,” Rick grinned.

“Keep in touch with Trip,” Troy said as he walked out of the conference room.

Rick walked over to Jenna, Rayne and Trip who were huddled around the laptops. The New York office had sent files on some of the men they’d rounded up who knew Decker. Rick counted six in all. They’d also sent Decker’s arrest files.

“I’ll send it all to your iPads,” Trip said.

“Just mine,” Jenna said. “I don’t think Rick even knows how to use his yet.”

Rick scoffed. “I do too. I just… I don’t like the blasted thing. I scroll one way and it goes the other direction.”

Jenna chuckled. “Admit it, you’re just too damn old.”

This caused Rayne to laugh.

“Don’t you start too,” Rick growled and then winked at Rayne.

She muffled another laugh with her hands.

“We’d better get going,” Rick said.

A wave of seriousness washed over them as Rick and Jenna packed up their briefcases and Rayne gathered her hobo bag. It was late afternoon and they still had to go by Jenna’s for some clothes and get something to eat. It would be an all-night drive to New York and Rick couldn’t face it on an empty stomach. Trip gave them a thump’s up as they headed out the door.

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

or jump ahead to Part 25

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: 1567 words. Total words so far: 40,418

Seeing You – Part Twenty-three #NaNoWriMo2016

The door-to-door search wasn’t going well. Rick’s team concentrated on the area within the triangulation of the kennel, junk yard and church center. He felt that would be their best chance, but they weren’t having much luck. Two hours in, they’d already knocked on close to fifty doors, only to discover most of them were families. No lone loons, as one of the police officers had described it. People were friendly though, allowing them in to do quick searches. They’d had little to no resistance so far. Only one man had refused and it wasn’t because he didn’t want to let the police officers in; he had an ill daughter who’d just fallen asleep. He’d let them in the next day. They’d had a lot of no-answers, but that wasn’t unusual. People were probably at work and kids were still in school. Tomorrow, they’d come later in the day to those homes.

Rick leaned against his car, sipping a lukewarm coffee, and thumbing through his iPad. Although he hated the tablet, he’d been using it to coordinate with Trip, Troy, and Captain Jakes. They were still on radio-silence in case Kent Percy was smart enough to have a police scanner. Neither of the other two teams were having any luck either. This canvassing was a long shot. It always was in these cases. Simply put, unsubs just wouldn’t answer the door and how could you tell if it was their home or just some businessman’s home who was still at work?

Rick sighed as he remembered what his trainer at Langley had once said. “It’s not like they have a neon sign on their door stating that they are the unsub.”

It was true, but they had other ways to find out. They’d searched the alleys for cars and trashcans for evidence, too. Sometimes they’d get a break. Today was not one of those days though. This stretch of houses had a lot of attached garages with no windows. Percy could easily hide his car and van in one of them, and since it was not a trash pick-up day, there weren’t many trash cans out. They carried on though for another two and a half hours, and as the sun began to set, they stopped for the day. Captain Jakes put out an APB for the car and van, but since they had no license plate numbers and Trip had verified that there were no vehicles registered under Percy’s name, there was little chance that would bring in a lead. One fact had become clear, knowingly or unwittingly, Percy had an accomplice.

By the time Rick and Troy joined their team back at the Fairfax County Police Station, exhaustion had set in. Rick placed his briefcase on the table, took off his jacket and loosened his tie. Troy just sat down and hunched over the table.

“That bad?” Jenna asked as she placed a cup of coffee on the table in front of each of them.

Rick shook his head and plopped down in a chair. “Worse. I don’t think this is how we’re going to catch this guy.”

“Maybe not,” Troy said as he lifted the cup to his lips, “but what else do we have? Nothing. Not one damn clue.”

Rick glanced over at Rayne who was curled up in a chair in the corner of the room sleeping. That gave him some comfort and he smiled. He then turned his attention to Trip who was leaning back in his chair, rocking back and forth. “Any luck tracking down the VIN on that van?”

Trip sat upright and crinkled his face in frustration. “It’s off the grid. No one has registered it since Donny D’Arca reported it scrapped.”

“It’s possible that whoever owns the car is swapping plates with the van when Percy uses it.”

They all fell silent. Jenna re-examined every detail of the case on her iPad while Troy nursed his coffee. Rick tapped a pen on the table and was just about to suggest dinner when a police officer burst into the conference room with flustered cheeks and his mouth agape. His entrance startled Rayne awake and she sat up in the chair, pulling her knees up to her chin.

“What is it?” Troy asked the anxious officer.

“There’s a missing girl, sir. From that church mission. Her mother just called in. Said Miss Fallon would know who her daughter was.”

Rayne’s eyes grew wide and she fumbled in her jean pocket for the dog tag the little girl had given her. “He’s taken her,” she said as she held out the tag for everyone to see.

Rick sighed and stood up. “He said she was too young, but apparently, he’s gotten desperate. We’d better get over to the church.” He paused for a moment and turned his head toward Rayne. “I need you to come with us. Are you up to it?”

Rayne sat her feet down on the floor and rose from the chair. “I told that mother to keep an eye on her daughter. I could sense he would come back for her if we didn’t catch him.” She inhaled deeply. “I’d go even if I weren’t up to it.”

# # #

Maria Sanchez was in hysterics by the time they arrived at the church. Jenna and Rayne sat with her while Rick spoke to the pastor.

“I only lost sight of her for a minute. She was hungry, so I went to get her some cookies and milk. I remembered what you said, Miss Fallon, so I turned around to go back to her and she was gone. The police officer said it might be the man you’d been looking for, but Mia… she was terrified of him.”

“So, you knew this man?” Jenna asked.

“Oh yes, we all knew Arthur. That’s what he called himself. He hung around here all the time. Brought his dog with him. All the kids loved that dog. He was fairly nice then, but after a while, he stopped bringing the dog and began acting creepy.”

“Did he ever show up with anyone else besides the dog?”

Maria’s forehead puckered. “Come to think of it, a younger man came with him sometimes. He was a bit shy though. Always hung out by the door and never said much.”

“Do you think you could describe him to a sketch artist?”

“I can do one better.” Maria stood up and went into a side room. Moments later, she returned and handed Jenna a photograph. “That’s from our Christmas party last year.” She pointed to a young, blonde-haired man standing off to the side of a table filled with food. “That’s him.”

Jenna examined the photo and then passed it to Rayne. “Do you recall his name?”

“Larry? No, Leo. That’s what Arthur called him. Do you really think he took my Mia?”

Jenna and Rayne exchanged glances and then Jenna cupped Maria’s hand with her own. “If he did, we’ll find him. Did you see Leo in here tonight?”

Maria nodded as tears streamed down her face. “Oh, Dios mío. He was. Mia would have gone off with him. They were friends.”

Jenna squeezed Maria’s hand. “You’ve helped us a lot. We’ll find them, all of them.”

Maria continued to weep. “Gracias, gracias,” she said repeatedly.

Jenna and Rayne stood up and walked toward the center’s front door. As they stood there waiting for Rick, Rayne stared at the photograph for a few minutes and then handed it to Jenna. She snapped a picture of it and sent it to Trip, hoping he could identify the man.

“Did you sense anything about Leo?” Jenna asked.

“A little. He’s scared.”

“Of Percy?”

“I think so. Did you see the bruise on his arm in the photo?”

Jenna looked down at the photo. “I hadn’t noticed that.”

“I think he’s being abused. I can sense fear, shame and…” she trailed off because Rick joined them.

“Who’s that?” he said glancing down at the picture.

“Leo. He’s Percy’s accomplice,” Jenna informed him. “Rayne says he’s being abused by Percy, too.”

“That’s not surprising. Percy endured abuse as a child. Abused children sometimes become abusers themselves.”

Jenna grinned. “How’d you get to be so smart, Dr. Harris?”

“Been hanging around Martin too long, I guess,” he said with a wink.

Rayne leaned up against the doorframe and listened to Jenna and Rick’s banter. She suddenly felt Leo’s pain and realized she was standing where he usually stood. She moved a few steps to the left and cleared her throat. Finally, she asked, “What did the pastor have to say?”

“Not much. He said it was a typical evening. Lots of homeless in for a meal and some warm clothes.”

“Maria said Leo was here tonight and Mia would have wandered off with him.”

They walked out of the center and headed toward the car. Rick’s mind spun with possible scenarios. Kent Percy wasn’t a very attractive man and those scarred hands would have scared anyone, especially kids. But Leo… he was younger and attractive.

As they approached the car, Rick stopped and turned to Jenna and Rayne. “It all makes sense now. Leo does the ‘snatch and grab’ for Percy.”

“He must be in some twisted relationship with that creep to do that for him,” Rayne said as she opened the car door and got inside.

Rick nodded. He went around to the driver’s side, opened his door and got inside. “Undoubtedly. We had a case in Baltimore a few years back where a woman helped lure other women to her boyfriend so he could rape them. The woman had been physically and sexually abused by the guy for decades. She’d also been emotionally brainwashed into helping him.”

“We’ve had dozens of cases like that,” Jenna concurred as she slid into the car.

Rick settled behind the wheel and let out a long sigh before starting the engine. He turned in his seat and looked back at Rayne. “I’m really sorry that you’ve had to discover all of this, Rayne. Someone like you… well, you shouldn’t have to know all this ugliness in the world.”

Rayne smiled faintly at him while Jenna nudged him on the arm. “She’s stronger than she looks, Rick.” She winked at Rayne. “You are holding up remarkedly well.”

Rick nodded his head and shrugged. “Of course, she is. I’m just saying… I’m impressed, that’s all.” He turned back around and pulled out of the parking lot.

They’d only gotten a few blocks away when Rick’s cellphone rang. He motioned for Jenna to get it.

“Rick’s phone. Jenna here,” she said into the phone.

“Hey Jenna, it’s Trip. Put me on speaker.”

She did so.

“Guys, I got a hit on Leo. His full name is Leo Decker. In the system for male prostitution.”

“You wouldn’t have an address, too, would ya?” Rick asked.

“Not a helpful one. New York City. And get this, he has a register white Ford Fusion.”

“In Virginia?”

“Are we ever that lucky? It’s registered in New York too.”

“Damn it,” Jenna muttered.

“We do have a license plate number though. Captain Jakes has added it to the APB.”

“Good work, Trip.”

“Thanks, Rick. See ya.”

The line went dead and Jenna turned the phone off. Rayne sighed and folded her hands in her lap. They were closing in on Kent Percy. She just hoped those girls would live long enough to be rescued. She leaned back in the seat and closed her eyes.

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

or jump ahead to Part 24

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: 1924 words. Total words so far: 38,851

Seeing You – Part Twenty-two #NaNoWriMo2016

“Well, not found found him,” Trip confessed. “But I know who he is now.”

Rick sighed. He thought they’d finally nailed this sick, twisted unsub. An id was a step in the right direction. He leaned over the desk and read the various streams of files Trip had dug through.

“Kent Percy,” Jenna said as she read the profile. “Why does that name ring a bell?”

Trip pointed to a picture of a young man standing in an art gallery. “He is a world-renown artist, or at least he was until he fell off the grid two years ago.”

Rayne stared at the picture for a long moment with her mouth agape. “I remember him. Wasn’t he obsessed with ballerinas?”

“More than obsessed,” Trip said as he pulled up more photos. “He painted them, sculpted them and even photographed them. His sister, Melissa, who was severely burnt in that house fire, had always wanted to be one.”

Jenna studied the photographs. He was good, damn good. “Why did he fall off the grid?”

“As far as I can tell, he came back to Fairfax from New York City in early 2014 because his sister was dying. Kent had been adopted into a wealthy family, but Melissa had been put in a special care center here in Fairfax. The fire did a lot of damage to her lungs as well as her body. The records from the center show that from 2000 until 2014, he’d visited her over 150 times. After her death, he never returned to New York.”

“He’s certainly wealthy enough to live off the grid,” Rick said.

Trip shook his head. “That’s the thing though. He hasn’t touched any of his bank accounts, never used a single credit card, or even used his Mercedes. They found it in an airport lot. His adopted parents had written him off – suicide or homicide? He’s still a missing person.”

Rick raised an eyebrow. “So, his sister’s death was probably the stressor that triggered his killing rampage.”

“Yes, but that still doesn’t explain why he changed M.O.,” Jenna declared.

Trip moved to another laptop and pulled up more photographs. “No, but this does.” He turned the laptop around. The photographs were all a beautiful, white Samoyed in various poses – sleeping, running, playing catch.

“Guess what her name is?” Trip asked.

Rick, Jenna, and Rayne all chimed in at the same time, “Bethany.”

“You all get a gold star.”

Rayne covered her face and began to weep. She saw Bethany caged while a shadowy Kent worked on one of the sculptures he would later put one of the eight girls in. Sparks flew from his welding gun. He’d been careless. He’d also worked on the van in that room and oil had leaked onto the cement floor. A spark ignited the oil which ran under the cage. He’d tried to keep her safe. To keep her away from his welding projects. Instead, Bethany began to burn. He ran to the cage, desperate to get it unlocked, re-burning his hands in the process. Bethany died and Kent’s hands, which still bore scars from his childhood, became horribly disfigure. Rayne sank into a chair, shaking her head to clear away the vision.

“Rayne? What did you see?” Jenna asked as she knelt beside the chair.

“Bethany, burnt alive, just like his dog had when he was a kid.”

“And there is the second stressor.”

Rick paced around the room, thinking aloud. “We now know what caused both stressors. Why he went from holing up those girls inside sculptures to holding the last two in cages, but where the hell is he?”

“He’s no longer using that garage,” Rayne whispered.

Rick cocked his head at her. “How do you know?”

She shrugged her shoulder. “Bad memories, I guess.”

“You guess?”

“It’s what I sense.”

“That’s better. For a minute, I thought you’d lost your senses,” Rick said with a wink and a half-grin.

Jenna laughed, but she too was worried that their lead had dried up. “That just leaves the house he’s in now. The one Rayne saw in her visions.”

“That long stretch of housing along the metro line,” Trip said.

Rick sighed. “I guess we are going to have to do this the long, hard way. Canvassing.”

Trip sat at his laptop typing away. After a long moment, he looked up. “I just sent Troy all the details. He’s on his way back from D.C. and should be here in two hours.”

Rick plopped down in a chair. He knew Troy well enough that if they were going to coordinate a canvassing, his boss would be in the lead. They had two hours to kill.  “So, burgers, pizza or Chinese?”

# # #

By the time Troy joined the team back in Fairfax, they’d devoured Chinese food and left the evidence on the conference table. Rick had cleared the white board and pinned a last-know photo of Kent Percy on a board alongside photos of Gina and Sally. A map of the targeted area had also been pinned up. Captain Jakes had rounded up every available officer from his county patrol, as well as from the city of Fairfax. Thirty men and women of uniform stood in the conference room along with the FBI team awaiting instructions. Rayne sat in a faraway corner with her knees up to her chest, looking pensive.

Troy turned from staring at the white board and faced the officers. “We’ll break up into teams of three. Agent Harris, Captain Jakes and I will each lead a team. You do nothing without coordinating with your team leader, is that understood?”

The officers all nodded and shouted, “Yes, sir.”

“I cannot stress enough how urgent this is. We’ve got two endangered little girls out there and only about five hours of daylight. This is a ‘knock and question’ effort. If anyone agrees to let us search their home, go ahead and do it. If they disagrees, thank them, and move on. If you get a name, write it down after you’ve left the premises. If you get no answer, we will target them again tomorrow. Keep a note of house numbers. And finally, we go in low-key. No sirens, no radio chatter and definitely no arguing with the residents. We don’t want to alert the suspect.”

Troy stepped aside and nodded at Captain Jakes to take over.

“Tiggs is handing out packets that contain the photo of the suspect, as well as photos of the two missing girls. Remember, the suspect has severely burnt hands and could be wearing gloves,” Captain Jakes informed them. “This is a mile-long search, officers. Let’s get out there and find this lunatic and bring those little girls home safely.”

The officers took their packets and cordoned off with their assigned leaders. Jenna wandered over to Rayne and sat down beside her.

“I’ll be staying here with you,” she said softly.

“Don’t you want to be in the field where all the action is?”

“Honestly, I should take Rick’s place. He is far too emotional right now, but he’s got rank and he’s a better shot even under duress.” Jenna winked at Rayne, showing her humorous side.

Rayne laughed lightly. “I feel more comfortable with you here anyway. I don’t think I could take Rick’s pacing.”

They both chuckled and Rick looked over at them. He smiled and threw up his hand, clueless to their chiding of him. Jenna and Rayne huddled their heads together and snickered again. Troy shot them an icy glare that told them both how inappropriate their behavior was. It was true. This was no time for laughter, but after all they’d just been through, a bit of levity was needed and welcomed, especially for Rayne.

“Okay, ladies and gentlemen, everyone know where you are going and with whom?” Troy asked.

They all nodded.

“Let’s get to it then.”

The men and women in blue piled out of the conference room, following each of their team leaders. When the last one exited and closed the conference room door, Rayne felt relieved. She knew it was ridiculous to still feel animosity toward the police, but some wounds just wouldn’t heal and that was one of them.

Jenna stood up and began clearing the containers, plates, and cups off the table. She watched Rayne as she tidied up. She still sat in the chair with her knees up to her chin, her head resting on her knee caps and her long auburn hair cascading down to her feet. Her features had also softened in the last few minutes. Jenna normally hated this kind of detail. She did prefer to be among the action, but if she could keep Rayne safe until Kent Percy was in custody, she didn’t mind staying behind this time. She’d grown quite fond of the strange young woman with extraordinary abilities. She just wouldn’t admit that to Rick, ever. She finished cleaning the table and walked back over to Rayne and sat down again. She took one of her hands into her own and squeezed it. Like Rick had told her a million times, waiting was the hardest part of their job.

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

or jump ahead to Part 23

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: 1525 words. Total words so far: 36,927

Seeing You – Part Twenty-one #NaNoWriMo2016

Rayne, Rick, and Jenna sat at a secluded table in a small diner. Among plates and coffee cups, file folders, Jenna’s iPad and Rick’s laptop consumed the entire table. They’d had a successful morning. They now knew that the unsub considered himself an artist using junk parts, which meant he had welding skills. He’d also bought the van, so he had mechanical skills as well. He could have burnt his hands while performing either of those functions. Jenna had sent Trip the information about a Kyle or Ken and he was running a search. They still hadn’t figured out why he changed his M.O., where the other eight girls were or what the dog had to do with the other two girls.

The artist angle intrigued Jenna. She ran a search for sculptors in the area, but none named Kyle or Ken showed up. She then ran a search for anonymous sculptors. There were six in the Fairfax area, but only three of them had displays using metal. She made a note of that and switched the search. She figured that he would need a workshop to construct metal sculptures. Maybe old factories or garages? She sent a message to Trip for him to search for any that had been rented in the last eighteen months.

“I think I might have an angle for us to investigate,” Jenna said as she looked up from her iPad.

Rick tilted his head. “Spill it.”

“Well, the guy at the junk yard said that the unsub was an artist. If he is using metal, that means he is a sculptor. I ran a search, but there are none in the area named Kyle or Ken. However, there are three anonymous ones in the area with displays. I thought we could check those out.”

“If they are anonymous, I don’t see how that will lead us to the unsub,” Rick criticized.

Rayne’s eyes widened. “No, she’s right. This isn’t so much about the abductor as it is the girls. Remember what I said about them? They suffocated and there was a metallic ringing.”

“Holy shit…” Rick yelled, disturbing some of the other patrons. He lowered his eyes and his voice. “Are you thinking what I am thinking?”

“That maybe the reason none of these girls were ever found is because they’re inside some sculptures? Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking,” Rayne confirmed.

Jenna packed up the file folders and grabbed her briefcase. She held up her iPad. “I’ve got the addresses for the displays.”

# # #

They arrived at the first display in a small park, but they could tell right away that there were no girls hidden inside. The metal structures had too many open spaces. They headed to the second display on a college campus, but like the first one, these sculptures also had too many open spaces. The final display was in a huge field by a series of abandoned apartment buildings.

Rayne gasped as they got out of the car. In a square display of walls and windows from car parts were eight structures, closed-in sculptures that told a twisted story – a larger-than-life male and crouching girl, a large hand raised to strike, an over-sized sofa and television, a woman frozen in a doorway, a huge basketball, and a six-foot tall dog with headlight eyes and a car grill for teeth. Long sheets of metal in zig-zag patterns where placed every few feet throughout the display and smaller pieces stuck up from the sofa and television. Rayne understood their significance. Fire. She fell to her knees and buried her head in her hands.

As Jenna squatted down to comfort Rayne, Rick ran to the display. A faint whiff of decomposition still lingered in the air.  He doubted the smell would’ve alerted anyone in this neighborhood of open fields and abandoned buildings. If they hadn’t made the connection, those girls would have been lost forever. When he reached the display, Rick placed a hand on the basketball and slid it around the circumference of the huge object. He shivered from the coolness of the metal and the horror contained inside. He walked over to the crouching girl and placed a hand on top of her head which had been created out of small, welded-together pieces of car bumpers. He knelt and bowed his head. He couldn’t imagine what those girls went through as they slowly died inside those sculptures. He said a little prayer and then stood up.

“Call it in,” Rick said to Jenna, choking back tears.

Jenna stood up and pulled out her cellphone. As she spoke to the captain of the Fairfax County Police Department, she walked around outside the display. On the far side, a child-sized sculpture stood with its face and hands pressed against a window, looking in at the other sculptures. Once she hung up with the captain, she snapped pictures of the entire display and sent them to Trip. In the email, she told him to search for survivors of a fire in that neighborhood twenty-five to thirty years ago.

Rick and Jenna joined Rayne back at the car. She was in hysterics and Jenna led her to the back seat.

“I couldn’t save them,” Rayne wept.

“There’s nothing you could have done here,” Jenna assured her. “You weren’t on the case back then. They were long gone before we brought you in.”

Rayne looked up into Jenna’s eyes. “I can still hear them, begging, pleading, and banging on the inside of those sculptures for help.”

Jenna pulled her into her arms. “If I could, I would take those voices away from you, but without them, we would never have figured this out.”

Rayne glanced over at the display. She saw a basketball fly through a window, glass shattering to the floor. It crashed into a heater, tipping it. Flames sprang up. A man jumped from the sofa and screamed at the woman and girl. The woman ran from the kitchen, but froze in the doorway as flames engulfed the curtains and furniture. The girl crouched down in fear as the man raised a hand to slap her. Get up, brat! Where’s your brother? The man ran for the door, but the fire surrounded him. The family dog tugged at the girl’s dress, pulling her through the flames and toward the broken window. The boy stood outside, staring in. He saw the dog and his sister crawling toward the window. He grabbed his sister, pulling her out. He dragged her toward the field behind an apartment building, far away from the fire. She was badly burned. He ran back to the house to rescue the dog. She whimpered as the boy pulled at her front legs, but her collar was caught on a shard of glass. Flames lapped at the dog’s back feet. As the boy let go of the dog, Rayne’s vision faded and she collapsed in Jenna’s arms.

# # #

Within the hour, the field was tapped off and crawling with police and the local CSI. They’d brought in a crane and truck to haul the sculptures to the FBI lab at Langley. Rick, Jenna, and Rayne sat in the car, watching as each sculpture was lifted and placed upon the truck. As the last one settled on the bed, Rick turned over the engine.

“Nothing more we can do here,” Rick acknowledge. “We should get back to the field office and coordinate with Trip.”

Jenna had written down everything Rayne had seen in her latest vision and sent the information to Trip. Rayne felt certain that the young boy was their unsub. If only he and his sister had survived, it would prove to be a good lead.

“That fire weighed heavily on his mind,” Jenna proposed. “Something created a stressor for him to kidnap young girls and do… that to them.”

Rick nodded and glanced back at Rayne through the rearview. “You okay back there, kiddo?”

“Not really. I’ve gone from despising this abductor to feeling sorry for him. And that just weirds me out.”

“Don’t be, Rayne. You are empathic. It is natural for you to feel compassion for someone who obviously went through something traumatic as a child.”

“You’re right, but why did he have to turn into such a creep?”

“Just one of those mysteries. We still don’t know why some people who’ve experienced trauma are fine and others turn into serial killers,” Jenna informed her.

Rayne sighed and glanced out the window. She needed a peaceful place to soothe herself, but there was no chance of that in the ensuing hours. She closed her eyes and envisioned her cottage and garden, of tea brewing and the laughter of her grandmother. By the time they arrived at the field office, Rayne felt a little better, but it still wasn’t enough. The girls’ voices lingered, as did the look on the boy’s face as he turned loose of the dog.

When they walked into the conference room, Trip couldn’t contain his excitement long enough for Rick and Jenna to even put down their briefcases. He motioned for them to join him at the end of the table where information was displayed on three separate laptops.

“I’ve found him!”

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

or jump ahead to Part 22

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: 1535 words. Total words so far: 35,402