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Authors: Dale Mayer

Tags: #Mystery, #Suspense

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BOOK: Eyes to the Soul
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“Of course you need to go. Who knows what he might find?”

She lowered her gaze to stare at the table and the cup she could feel in her hands. That was the problem. She was petrified to hear what the doctor would find. But for all she could tell Jillian, she hadn’t yet told her about the voice – it was hardly the same element as her friendly ghosts like Mimi.

“We’ll see,” she compromised. “At the moment I’m not so sure what to do. The last thing I want is to be here with that,” she waved her hand in the direction of the bathroom, “but neither do I want to leave my space. I hate trying to navigate strange places.”

“And you don’t have to. You could always get a dog. You are allowed a small one in the apartment complex. A service dog would be ideal. A dog to help you get around and for companionship.”

Celina loved the idea of a dog, but not because of being blind. And that went back to the idea of not accepting her condition. She didn’t
want
to be blind. A seeing-eye dog would be permanent. And she refused to accept that her vision would never return.

Jillian’s fingers brushed the top of hers. “Easy, sweetheart, you’re going to break the cup.”

Celina released her death grip. She flexed her fingers several times. “Sorry. I’m still a little tense.”

The doorbell rang once, and then a second time. Celina’s stomach sank. Great, here was round two. “That’s the cops. A different group,” she muttered, pushing her chair back to stand up.

“Ugh,” Jillian said.

Celina called back, “I know you can’t stay for long. If you want to take off now while they are here, you could always come over later.”

“Will do.”

Celina opened the door and frowned. Heat and power radiated toward her. “Hello?”

“Hello,” said a calm, masculine voice. “I’m Detective Brandt Sutherland and I have Stefan Kronos, a consultant working with the department, with me.” He hesitated. “May we come in? We won’t be long, but we’d like to see the crime scene.”

She stepped back and away from the entrance. By rights she shouldn’t even be here, but it wasn’t like she had any place to go. She motioned in the direction of the bathroom. “Help yourself.”

“Thank you.” Two men walked past her. The second one caught her attention as he moved past her. She lifted her head and sniffed gently. She recognized that aftershave…and there was just something else about him…she recognized him…or maybe it was his name.

Celina waited at the door but the consultant didn’t say anything. She wracked her brain as to why his name rang a bell in her memory.

Jillian stepped closer and whispered in Celina’s ear, “Oh my God, they are both hunks.”

Celina’s lips twisted. “Really? Well, their looks don’t do anything for me.”

“Maybe not, but wow.” Then her voice changed. “I feel like I should know the first guy but can’t place him.”

“Hmm. I thought I recognized the consultant’s name, but I don’t know from where.”

“Think about it, and be good while I’m gone.”

“Like I have a choice,” Celina muttered as she closed the door behind her friend. She really needed to give up her self-pity and get on with her life.

“Like hell,” she said to no one in particular, then realized how odd she must look standing in the hallway talking to herself. She made her way back to the kitchen where she sat down with her tea and waited. She lifted her cup ever so slightly when she felt it – almost a ghostly poke.

It was a weird, snaky, sneaky feeling. She frowned and lifted her face in the direction of the doorway.

“Did you want to talk to me?”

That deep milk chocolate voice that promised a million midnight dreams spoke, his tone curling her toes and making her drop her cup. She knew that voice. Oh dear God, she did. “You,” she whispered. “What are you doing here?”

“Do you know me?” the consultant asked. “From where?” The smile in his voice sent shivers down her back.

It was stupid, but she felt she’d touched this man before and had been touched by him. Finally, forced by a compulsion she couldn’t understand, she whispered the truth under her breath, “From my dreams. I’ve seen you in my dreams.”

*

Stefan stared at
her. He didn’t know what to say. Was she serious? She’d spoken in such a soft voice he wondered if she’d realized what she’d said.

He hadn’t seen her in any of his dreams, but he’d walked in and touched on hers many times. Had she picked up on that? Or was it something else?

“Pardon?”

Her gaze widened and she flushed. “Sorry, just muttering to myself.”

Damn. He didn’t want to pry, but he’d love to know a little more. He could do some investigation on his own later, but it wasn’t the same thing as her admission. He wondered again if she was psychic and if she knew. Many people didn’t know they were. She had a room full of ghosts, but then he suspected she’d had a lifetime full of the same thing. He studied her energy, seeing the embarrassment and discomfort. He wanted to check her energy out deeper, but she had walls up. Serious walls. He could scale them, but not without her permission.

“Did you find out anything new?” she asked suddenly, motioning behind him.

“I haven’t looked yet. Brandt is in there first. I thought I’d ask you a few questions, and I do realize that they are likely to be ones you’ve already answered.”

“Then why ask again?” she said in a reasonable tone.

And because it was a reasonable tone, he answered honestly. “Because reading a report is not the same thing as getting the information firsthand.”

She tilted her head, her silvery gray eyes sharpening with intensity. He leaned forward suddenly. There was something in her gaze. Something lively. Could she see? Doubts filled him. Yet if she could, why would she pretend to be blind? It made no sense.

Then she answered with a light laugh, “That makes sense. Fire away.”

Shaking his head at his fanciful thoughts, Stefan focused on the issue at hand. He went over the questions he knew she’d already been asked about living alone. That the door had been locked. Did anyone have the keys? Had she woken up in the night? What had alerted her to something being wrong in the bathroom?

At that last question her energy, which up to then had been comfortable and easygoing, even reserved, suddenly pulled up tight and close. The color shifted to a darker purple and the softness disappeared. He frowned as he watched the hidden walls become instantly visible.

She had some deep protective instincts. His interest deepened. He knew so much about her – her energy that showed no subterfuge, her innocence in many ways, the charm and beauty of her aura. She was a good soul, and he’d known that for a long time. He couldn’t imagine being attracted to a woman who wasn’t. In the work he did it would be a basic requirement for his survival.

And he’d been attracted to her for a long time.

In a soft, distant voice, she said, “The smell of fresh blood.”

That was the part he didn’t get. He hadn’t gotten any smell from the bathroom. Then again he hadn’t been allowed to get very close yet. A clue, but one he didn’t understand.

“Have you had reason to have smelled fresh blood like that before?”

She snorted. “Are you asking if I’ve ever killed anyone?”

“Not at all,” he said quietly. “I was thinking of a bad accident, a job in the healthcare field, or something similar.”

Her bristling eased, and she dropped her hand from her chin to stare in his general direction. As always, he found himself studying that gaze. Something about her eyes, her physical blindness, bothered him. He just didn’t know why.

Her odd silvery eyes were clear and direct. Her eyes didn’t smile, missing the mobility of a person with sight. Something he’d thought he’d seen earlier. Maybe he’d been mistaken.

He could see so much other energy around her that he knew some of it was her ghostly friends, but not all. There was something dark lurking in there. Held secure by her walls. Secrets? Evil? He wondered if she had any idea they were all there, in her space, all the time. She had to know on a subconscious level, but he wasn’t sure she had any conscious awareness.

There were also bits and pieces of her friends clinging to her – or ones she clung to. A couple she held tucked in close. From the protective way she was caring for them, he knew that they mattered to her. They were also a huge drain on her energy.

He’d never seen anything like it.

There was a tiredness around the corners of her eyes, the droop of her lips, and the slump to her shoulders. Of course waking up to find something nasty in her bathroom had to be one hell of a shock. Add to that not being able to see exactly what was wrong, and anyone’s fears would be sent into hyper drive.

His gaze whispered over and through her energy again and saw something he hadn’t noticed before. One of the energies that she was keeping close looked familiar. But it was half-hidden. Tucked in tight, he couldn’t get a clear view of the signature because it had almost completely morphed into the other energies. He frowned, not sure what he was seeing.

“What?” she asked.

“Sorry? I didn’t say anything,” he murmured.

“No, but you frowned.”

He straightened in surprise. “How would you know?”

“Something shifted in the way you were looking at me.” She smiled. “Then you pulled back. I’m very sensitive to small movements and the energy around me because I can’t see. My other senses go into overdrive.”

Bemused, Stefan lifted a hand, and even though it was childish he moved his hand gently in front of her. She didn’t move, and her facial expression didn’t change in any way. He lowered his hand.

“Satisfied?” she asked softly, as if aware of what he’d done.

His eyebrows shot upward. Then decided to be honest. “Yes.”

She made a slight movement of her head then turned her gaze to the doorway.

“Stefan, can you come here please?” Brandt stood at the doorway to the kitchen.

Stefan stood up. “Sure.” He walked over to Brandt. “My turn?”

Brandt nodded and led the way to the bathroom.

Stefan stopped at the doorway and his mind instantly recognized what he was seeing. Dried blood decorated the sink, the floor, and dropped down off the mirror at every letter of the message.

And he realized something else. Whoever had done this had the same energy signature as the bit of energy that Celina cradled so gently in her aura.

*

Talk about fun.
He didn’t know how far he could make this go, but then again he’d had no idea that he could have gone this far. Talk about a bonus. He was feeling slightly better today. His training practice was a little stronger.

It couldn’t last. He knew that. He’d wracked his mind for a way to keep this happening, but at some point in time body parts wore out. He knew the end was coming. He could only hope and pray for more time.

He really wanted to maximize the damage. And it wasn’t like he could just build a bomb or organize a major terrorist attack. He was limited in so many ways. He could manipulate people into doing stuff his way and doing things he wanted done, but he was still restricted in terms of the skills of the other person. And so far he hadn’t been lucky enough to find anyone with major SEAL training or survivalist skills. Both would be fun. But the very nature of both occupations made it unlikely for them to come into his sphere of influence. At least not through the general way.

What he needed to do was connect to the weaker parts of himself. Then he could find out how to get rid of them. He had found many of them but had much less control over them.

What he needed was her.

Chapter 8

BOOK: Eyes to the Soul
12.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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