Breathe a lie
Allison watched through Locke's eyes as he whirled around, trying to catch a glimpse of the people he knew were around him. "Hello?" He called out, sounding stricken. No one answered him back, though Allison tried to open her mouth and form words when he called out again. She felt weightless, like she no longer had a mouth, or even a body. She was just...there, floating around inside Locke's dream state.
The hum was more felt than heard, a deep, soul shaking rumble. Locke's gaze went to the city of rubble that lay beyond, a large plume of gray-black smoke rising from the wreckage.
Words did not usually come to Allison, only pictures of words. But these thoughts Locke was having...she could hear them. This new oddity frightened her, and she almost wished she knew how to escape this nightmare he was having.
Locke began screaming at the people he could feel around him, begging them to help, but no one paid him any mind. Finally, turning around he caught sight of one, single person. A beautiful blonde woman who stood before him in a flowing white dress that blew around her gracefully in the wind.
Allison had known the girl looked familiar. She was dressed differently, and much more beautiful when alive and with a full head of hair. She stepped toward Locke, who seemed rooted in place. In her outstretched hand, she held the silver locket Allison had seen the morning before inside Locke's head. Rebecca stopped just in front of Locke and reached out to trace her fingers down his jaw, as Allison was doing to him in real life. The moment Rebecca's fingers touched his cheek, Allison felt the dream world ripping away, until she was left blinking as her vision cleared and she found herself back in Locke's living room, finger's still gliding down his rough face.
"Allison? What are you doing?!" Locke demanded, brows furrowed as he stared up at her.
"I...I'm sorry." She whispered, swallowing the lump of fear and humiliation that was threatening to choke her as she saw herself standing there though his eyes. She looked down, unable to meet his gaze and realized she was still touching him, her palm cupping his cheek. She quickly pulled away, taking a few stumbling steps backward. As she did so, the glowing cord connecting them went out. She didn't understand these strange feelings fisting around her heart as voices warred inside her head.
Why was he dreaming of her?
Because, he's trying to find out who murdered her!
I wish he would dream of me...
Allison cleared her throat, pushing her thoughts aide. "I'm sorry," she said again. “I didn’t mean to wake you. I was…going to make breakfast, but…I wasn’t aware detectives drank so much. There’s nothing but beer and ketchup in your fridge.”
Last edited by Manic; 07-13-2012 at 02:12 PM.
Locke just stared at her. For a moment he didn't understand what she was doing there. It only took a moment for him to remember the previous night. He sat up a little straighter, reaching up to wipe the drool off his cheek. He would have been embarrassed if he hadn't been wondering what it was she was doing.
"There’s nothing but beer and ketchup in your fridge."
"I, uh..." he realized he was still staring at her and quickly shook his read and rubbing his eyes. "I just get a bagel and coffee on the way in." He pushed himself up off the couch, "I think there's some oatmeal in the kitchen somewhere."
He stepped by her, careful not to touch her as he made his way from the living room to the kitchen. He started looking through the cabinets looking for the box of instant oatmeal he was fairly sure was in there somewhere.
As he looked, he couldn't stop thinking about what he'd woken up to. What had she been doing there? He couldn't really remember what it was he'd been dreaming of, just the feeling of desperation. Had she seen his dream? Had he dreamed so loudly that she'd seen it all the way upstairs. Or had she looked on purpose? The latter made him feel a little uneasy.
"Allison," he turned from the kitchen cabinets. "Where you...watching what I was dreaming about?"
Breathe a lie
Tentatively, Allison followed him into the kitchen, hands clasped behind her back. She watched, silent, as he scoured his cabinets for oatmeal. She had a sudden, desperate urge to again know what he was thinking. Had she made him angry? Was she going to lose the first person whom she could have an actual conversation with, before they'd even been able to have any kind of conversation? It would be just her luck, if he threw her out. Not unwarranted, however. She’d been spying.
She struggled to imagine the cord that she’d seen connecting them, but her mind was too full of her own thoughts, swirling around and threatening to give her a head ache. She pictured Rebecca, reaching out to touch Locke, a small smile on her face. She felt her cheeks flush as she realized jealousy had rooted itself in her stomach. It was completely idiotic, not only given the fact that the woman was dead, but because she had no reason to be jealous of any woman touching Locke.
"Allison," she looked up from her feet and met his eyes. "Where you...watching what I was dreaming about?"
She felt the blood rush from her face, and starred back at him in silence. Her expression would give away her guilt, so she knew there was no point in hiding what she’d done. “Yes. I’m sorry. I was just…curious. I’ve never not been able to hear someone. I wanted to...see if I could turn it back on.” She could tell by his expression he was wondering if she could hear him now, so she spoke before he had a chance to vice his inquiry. “I can’t hear you right now. I...I think I…turned it off. Again.”
Turned it off? His brows furrowed in thought. Again?
Locke turned around completely, folding his arms over his chest and leaning back against the kitchen counter. For the moment the quest for oatmeal was forgotten. This was a puzzle and puzzles demanded to be solved.
"Hmm," he reached up to thoughtfully scratch at the scruff growing on his chin. Last night in the bakery she had told him that she had seen a cord between them and that the cord had disappeared right before she stopped "hearing" him. She had said that she had felt it when it happened. Locke, on the other hand, had felt nothing.
"The cord must have come from you, then." Even though he used "you" as though he was addressing Allison, it was obvious that he was more thinking aloud than he was having a conversation. He drummed the fingers of his other hand against his elbow. The fact that the cord was off again instead of still told him she had some kind of control over it. This meant that she could control when it was she could hear him. He looked up at her with a little surprise. Why him and not anyone else in town? Unless...
The phone's shrill call rudely cut him off. Locke stood where he was awkwardly. He knew in his gut that whatever the reason for the call was it would be work related. Even on a Saturday. He debated as he stood there awkwardly whether or not he should shirk his responsibility for the enigma before him or not.
Responsibility finally won out over curiosity. He cleared his throat and muttered an "'scuse me" to Allison before quickly moving to the living room and grabbing the phone.
"This is DeCine," he answered it.
"There you are," Mitchell Brathbaum was on the other end. Instantly Locke wished he'd just let the damn phone ring. "The toxicology report came back today."
"You called me at..." Locke turned to look at the clock on his cable box, "6:30 am to tell me that. Wait. What the hell are you doing at the station at 6:30 in the morning on a Saturday?"
There was a smirk in Mitchell's voice when he answered, "oh, no reason."
Fucking asshole, Locke frowned darkly. The toxicology report hadn't come in today. Locke could tell by the tone in Mitchell's voice that it had most likely been delivered yesterday, or maybe as early as Thursday afternoon. The station was small enough, Mitchell most likely intercepted it.
Locke sighed, "What's in it?"
Mitchell feigned indignity, "Why would I know that? This is your case. All I'm good for is lost dogs and gossip, remember?"
Locke reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Just leave it on my desk, I'll come in and get it."
"Dude, the station's closed up, 'cept for the drunk tank and the Sergeant D'Amatto."
A groan escaped him involuntarily. A sleepy town like Stoneyvale had no reason to keep its police station open 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The 911 center was located near the town hall and on the weekends would dispatch a county sheriff to handle emergencies. The police station itself was only manned by a desk sergeant to handle non-emergency calls. Everything else was locked up. Those in positions of authority didn't see the need for junior detectives to have keys to the station.
Mitchell was going to make this as big a pain in the ass as possible. "Leave it with D'Amatto, then."
"Ya, sure?" Mitchell asked, "'Cause I was thinking you could treat me to breakfast and-"
"Fine, fine," Mitchell relented. "Have it your way. It'll be with D'Amatto."
Locke let out a sigh when he hung up the phone. He called out to Allison, "I gotta go to the station. I'll give you a ride back to your car."
Breathe a lie
Allison stood in silence, watching as he lost himself deep in thought. "The cord must have come from you, then." He muttered, though she didn't exactly feel like the comment was directed at her. She was unsure how to respond. Had the cord come from her? She supposed it may have, but she'd never seen one connecting her to someone else, so how could she be sure?
"Allison-" She jumped when he said her name, and again when the telephone began ringing. His eyes went from her to the direction of the phone and back again. No, please don't answer it, Allison begged silently. But he of course couldn't hear her, and he mumbled something and disappeared toward the living room.
Allison began to follow him, but paused a few feet into the dining room. She'd been peering into his dreams not even five minutes ago, and now she was going to listen in while he was on the phone? What was wrong with her? Frowning, she pulled out a dining chair and sat down, running a frustrated hand through her hair. She could barely hear his frustrated tone as he spoke, and she had to order her ears not to strain to make out words. Why was she suddenly being so intrusive? She'd spent years wishing she didn't have to know what everyone was thinking, and now here she was, with the one person she'd found who's thoughts she didn't have to see, and she was wishing again that she could see them.
"I'm an riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a taco," Allison muttered to herself, jumping again a moment later when Locke called out to her.
"I gotta go to the station. I'll give you a ride back to your car." Peering back into the kitchen, she caught sight of the time above the stove. 6:40. She was supposed to have been at work at six. Allison jumped from her seat as Locke approached.
"I have cupcakes and cookies I'm supposed to be making," she blurted. Locke just sort of stared. “I need you to drop me at the bakery,” she explained. “I’m late for work.” Allison was going to be in serious trouble if she didn’t get moving. The pick-up was eleven, and she still had so much to do. She was at the door and pulling it open before Locke could even grab his keys.
As Allison rushed from the house, Locke grabbed his keys and both of their coats. He hurried to catch up with her, finding her waiting by the passenger door of his car. He unlocked the door so she could let herself in.
It was the third time Allison had gotten in the car, but the first time she was conscious for it. That would have made Locke laugh to himself if he wasn't so lost in his own thoughts.
Now that he was certain Allison was in no danger of hearing or seeing whatever it was he thought, he didn't have to worry about what went through his mind. The entire drive to Main street, Locke was quiet, his eyes focused on the road. He was on autopilot, taking the same route he did every day on his way down town. He was hoping that the toxicology report waiting for him would have some answers for him. He was still troubled about the way Rebecca was dressed and now he was wondering about the locket that had been found on her body. Locke didn't believe the locket belonged to Rebecca. Where did it come from. What did the letters engraved on the back mean?
A noise from the passenger seat jarred Locke from his thoughts and he realized they were on Main Street. It was still early and not many of the shops were open yet. There was still plenty of parking on the street and Locke was able to pull his car up to the curb just outside the bakery.
He kept the engine running, but looked over at her before she got out of the car. "You're gonna be alright, right?" He reached into the inside breast pocket of his coat and produced a card and handed it to her. "If you need anything, call me."
He watched her get out of the car and go into the bakery. Once she was inside, Locke let out a deep breath and drove the rest of the way to the police station.
The station was located a few blocks away from the bakery just off of Main street. Locke's car was the only one in the lot that morning. The air was cold against his skin as he walked through the front doors where Sgt. Louis D'Amatto was manning the front desk.
The middle aged police officer looked up when the doors opened. "That annoying loud mouth gotcha outta yer nice warm bed, huh?"
Locke forced a bit of a chuckle to accompany his nod. "Did he give you a file for me?"
"Yeah." D'Amatto reached below the desk and produced a brown envelope which he handed across the desk to Locke.
"Thank you, Sgt." Locke took the envelope from him. He opened it and looked inside to see a file folder with the emblem of the county medical examiner's seal on it. He nodded to the Sgt. D'Amatto before turning to leave the station again.
"Stay warm out there, Detective," D'Amatto called after him, "They're talkin' 'bout snow today."
"I will, thank you."
It sure felt as though it would snow. The sky was overcast making the entire landscape seem grey. There was no wind, but the air was frigid and crisp, almost so that it hurt the chest when inhaled. Snow this early in the year would have been early, but not that unusual.
Locke hurried to his car, wishing he had grabbed his gloves and scarf before he left the house. Just the short distance from the station to his car, his hands had turned pink from the cold air. He cupped his hands to blow through them to warm up before he started his car again. With the envelope containing the toxicology report on the passenger seat, Locke drove back home.
Once home, Locke took his briefcase from the backseat of his car. Due to last night's excitement, it had never made it inside the house. With that in hand and the envelope under his arm, he let himself back into his house.
After he'd showered and dressed and had a cup of coffee, he sat down in his home office to go over the toxicology report. Just as he was afraid of, there wasn't much in the report that offered any help. There had been no drugs found in Rebecca Shaw's system. Her blood alcohol level was well below the legal limit, she'd had maybe one glass of wine before she died.
With a sigh he went over the rest of the file. The clothes. He kept coming back to the clothes. Why was she wearing something so out of her personality? Then there was question of where she'd been before turning up in the drainage ditch. Roommate Julia Shaw had said Rebecca had been gone for a few days, but her body had only been dead a few hours when it had been found. So where had she been for the few days between leaving Hartford and coming to Stoneyvale? If she had been staying here, why was it no one recognized her? A stranger in town never went unnoticed.
Locke sat at his desk, the heels of his palms pressed against his eyes. As he sat there, hands to his head, he found himself thinking of Allison Brimley. The girl with the curse to be able to see into people's minds. He wondered how she was doing at work that morning with all the discoveries she had made about herself last night so fresh in her mind. Could she be able to turn her power on and off on other people as she could with him? How would she be able to determine that if Locke himself was the only one who knew her secret? Why him, at that? What had made him so special that he'd been able to figure it out?
Locke too his head out of his hands and looked upwards. Right over head was the spare room Allison had spent the night earlier. In that room were boxes full of his grandfather's belongings. His grandfather had been eccentric, with fantastic stories about strange things he'd seen over his life. Allison's ability wouldn't have struck Westley DeCine as odd at all. In fact, he probably would have been able to tell Allison just how she could control her ability and turn it from being a curse into a gift. Locke continued to stare at the ceiling. He hadn't gone through any of the boxes since his grandmother had insisted that he take them out of storage and do something with them so she wouldn't have to pay for the storage unit anymore. Could there be something in one of those boxes that would help Allison?
Seamus suddenly jumped up onto the back of Locke's chair and meowed loudly, jarring Locke. He shook his head hard. He had to focus on the murder of Rebecca Shaw. He had to make sense out of what little evidence he had. Try as he might, Locke was having a hard time concentrating. Finally he decided he had to get out of his house. He shuffled the file into his briefcase. He was sure to grab a pair of gloves and a scarf before leaving the house again.
After driving around for a short while, Locke found himself back down town at Elvira's. He took a booth at the back, away from any windows this time. A few moments after he sat down and pulled out his file and tablet, Jack came over with a mug and a pot of coffee.
"Its Saturday, you know," he said as he put he mug down on the table.
"Yeah, I know," Locke spared a moment to look up to acknowledge Jack before going back to his notes.
"Murder never takes a holiday, huh?"
"No," Locke agreed with a sigh.
Jack shook his head and poured coffee into the mug. "Do me a favor, alright? Don't get so caught up with the dead a that you forget to live."
Locke looked up at him, his brows furrowed. That statement sounded like a quote from something Locke should have recognized, but didn't. He gave Jack a nod. The diner owner just shook his head with a half-laugh before going to check on his other customers and leaving Locke alone with his work.
Time was soon lost to Locke as he delved into the file. Surprisingly even with the noise of the dinner he found he could concentrate more. Rebecca Shaw had to have been staying in town somewhere. There was a bed and breakfast in town, and two motels by the highway. Locke had already spoken with the woman who owned and ran the b-n-b and the owners of the two motels. No one had recognized Rebecca as anyone staying with them at the time of the murder. Now that he had a name and a photo of Rebecca while she was alive, it was time to revisit the motels and the bed and breakfast.
A hand on his shoulder made him look up to see Malcolm Cullin, Stoneyvail Police Department's senior detective.
"Locke." Malcolm nodded at him, "mind if I sit?"
Locke shook his head and watched as Malcolm took the empty seat across from him. The older detective unzipped his coat and removed his hat, placing it on the table by him. He reached up and ran a hand through his thinning and graying hair as he looked at the file in front of Locke. "Is that the case?"
Locke nodded, "yes, sir."
"I see," Malcolm nodded his head. He looked up at Locke. He gave him a bit of a smile, "you are allowed to call me Malcolm, if you want. I'm your senior, not your boss."
Locke shrugged a little bit, "force of habit, I guess."
"Mm," Malcolm nodded, "I want to apologize."
"Apologize? For what?"
Malcolm tapped the file with one of his old gnarly fingers, "this should have been my case, you know," he explained. "The only reason it was handed off to you is because I'm retiring."
Locke nodded. "I know. Its actually kind of flattering, I guess. You know, being the new kid on the block, and all."
Malcolm leveled him with an intensely serious look, a very sever look, that made Locke's stomach suddenly clench and drop.
"There is something you should know, Locke," Malcolm said in a voice that matched the look.
Malcolm glanced from the booth and his eyes seemed to scan the diner for a moment before looking back at Locke, "it happened in the late 80's."
"The last murder Stoneyvale had."
Locke felt his stomach lurch. "The last murder."
Malcolm gave a single nod. "There was little to no evidence in that case. The woman was never identified. It simply looked as though she had laid down in the kitchen and expired." With that said he produced a file and set it on top of Locke's work.
"Is this it?" Locke asked before picking it up. Malcolm nodded. Locke just stared at the file for a moment before looking up at Malcolm, "my Jane Doe has a name, sir. And she was stabbed to death."
"Defensive wounds?" Malcolm asked.
Locke shook his head slowly.
Locke shook his head again.
Malcolm leaned forward, pressing his chin against the backs of his hands, "Tell me what sort of sober person doesn't try to defend themselves when their life is threatened?"
"They wouldn't," Locke answered.
"Exactly," Malcolm nodded approvingly, as though Locke had given a right answer to a pop quiz. "There is more to your case then meets the eye, Detective. I wasn't able to solve mine, but it may be able to help you."
"What do you mean?"
Malcolm didn't answer him. Instead he picked up his hat and put it on his head. He gave Locke's arm a friendly pat before he slid out of the booth. "Good luck, Detective DeCine."
Breathe a lie
"If you need anything, call me."
Allison’s hand slipped into her pocket, where Locke's business card lay. She watched him drive away, not turning toward the shop until his car was completely out of sight. Mary approached from Elvira's down the street as she slid the key into the door’s lock.
"Did I just see you step out of that detective's car?" She asked, brows disappearing into her white hair. "I thought you were frightened of him, after yesterday morning..."
"Oh, uhm...yes...no." Allison let out a nervous laugh, closing her eyes as Mary's memories of her screaming in terror, of her stepping out of Locke's car, flashed through her mind. “I spent the night at his house, so he had to drop me off.” Mary’s eyes grew wide. “Oh! No, not…like that…I, he took me to the hospital, and then let me stay in his guest room…”
“The hospital? Child, are you alright?” Mary started poking and prodding, checking for Allison didn’t even know what.
“I’m fine, perfectly fine. I do have a rush order to get out this morning, however.” Allison grasped Mary’s hands, about to push them away when her breath caught, everything stilled, and a glowing cord appeared between them. With a gasp, Allison stumbled backward and it disappeared as she let go of Mary.
“Allison, child, are you alright?” Mary reached out for her, but Allison we over has hurrying through the door and toward the kitchen.
“I…I’m fine!” She threw over her shoulder, ducking through the kitchen door. Allison leaned back against the hard wood, taking a shaking deep breath. Had she just seen that same cord, the connection she had with Mary like she had seen with Locke? And if she had, did that mean she could turn it off like before? Her fingers found the card in her pocket, drawing it out to again read Locke’s number. Should she call him, tell him what had happened? She wanted to. But what if he wanted to come and talk about it? She eyed the kitchen, thinking of the cookies she needed to frost, the cupcakes she needed to get into the oven. She didn’t have the time, right now.
Allison tucked the card back into her pocket and pushed away from the door, to the large basin sink against the far wall. She washed her hands, and set about getting out the ingredients she needed to make the various cupcakes.
Three and a half hours later, Allison had three dozen cookies and three dozen cupcakes, iced and packaged, ready for pickup. Her hair was dusted with a layer of flour, and she had a smear of blue frosting across her right cheek. The oven beeped, interrupting the few seconds she’d had to pause and take a breath. Hurrying over, she pulled the muffins out and dumped them on a rack to cool.
“Allison?” Mary pushed into the kitchen, giving her a smile. “There’s a Mr. Carter here, for pickup?”
“Oh, right. Help me take these boxes out?” Together, they were able to stack the boxes and carry them out to the shop, where a tall man in a tan suit stood. Allison set the boxes on the counter and hurried back to the kitchen before anyone’s thoughts could reach her, leaving Mary to deal with the transaction.
Allison waved to Mary as the old woman left, no doubt on her way to Elvira’s. She snuggled herself into the chair behind the counter, wondering if that last two hours tonight would be as eventful as the one’s before. She didn't have much time to wonder, as the bell above the door jingled and a man entered.
“Hello, can I help you find anything?” Allison asked, standing and offering him a smile.
“Yes…” The man, dressed in a fine blue suit covered by one of those fancy tan trench coats, let his eyes wander the shop. Allison got the feeling that he saw…everything.
There was something strange about this man. Allison felt herself take a small step back as he neared the counter, giving her a smile that made her skin crawl. Without taking his eyes from her, he plucked a muffin from the basket on the counter. “I’ll take one of these,” he said, pulling out a twenty and a business card from his pocket. He set them on the counter, looked at her for another few moments, and then turned and left.
It took Allison a few moments until she was able to take a full breath. That man…her eyes went to the business card, to his name in black embossed ink.
Allison couldn't bring herself to pick up the card, slipping the twenty out from under it and putting it in the register. Before she realized, Allison was pulling the land line off its cradle on the wall, dialing Locke's number. When has she memorized it?
"This is Detective Locke," his voice across the line eased some of her nerves.
"Locke? It's Allison..." What was she supposed to say, exactly? Some one came into the shop, bought a muffin, and I seem to be having a panic attack? "Can...can you pick me up after work? I...I saw that glowing cord again."
Edmond Pomeroy walked out of the bakery and up the street to a black Lexis parked by the curb. He shifted the brown paper bag containing his newly acquired muffing to the crux of his arm before reaching down and opening the door and getting inside the warm car's passenger seat.
His sister, Patrice, had been waiting patiently for him. He'd only been gone for a few moments, but those few moments may have been an eternity given the errand they had been tasked with. The car wasn't running, but her leather gloved hands were still on the steering wheel, gripping it tightly.
Edmond set the paper bag on the center consul separating her side of the car from his and unbuttoned his trench coat. Patrice eyed him as he started pulling his gloves off his hands one finger at a time. She was growing impatient. "Well?" She finally demanded. "Did you meet her."
"I did," Edmond answered her.
"And?" Her impatience showed in her sharp tone.
"She's a timid little thing," Edmond answered knowing full well that wasn't what Patrice had actually asked him. He took the bag from the center consel and opened it. He grinned sensing his sister's growing frustration. He took the muffin from the bag and started undressing it from its flimsy paper wrapper.
"Is she one of ours, Edmond?" Patrice demanded.
"Mmm. She definitely has some kind of ability." He broke the muffin's top part off the bottom. "Whether or not she's one of ours is impossible for me to tell right now." He turned his eyes towards Patrice, a grin on his face, "I'm going to have to get closer to her."
Patrice's eyes narrowed. "Just remember that she may be our cousin."
Edmond chuckled. "Yes, yes, of course." He offered her the top part of the muffin.
Patrice eyed it and raised a hand to reject it with a single gesture.
Edmond shrugged nonchalantly before taking a bite out of the bottom half, "your loss."
"Ugh." Patrice made a face. "Its bad enough that Father makes me buy that disgusting fried chicken from the diner."
"You're so pretentious, Patty," Edmond laughed. "You used to eat that every day when we summered here."
"When I was young and didn't have a waistline to worry about." Patrice shot him a glare.
"Ahh," Edmond sat back with a smile. "Those were the days, weren't they, Patty? Back when we didn't have anything to worry about."
Patrice looked away from her brother's nostalgia. "I wish you'd stop calling me Patty. Its so childish." She was quiet for a few moments before she spoke again. "Father will be hungry again soon."
"Mm," Edmond agreed as he took another bite of the muffin.
"We have to be more careful this time," Patrice looked back at her brother. "Another mistake like the last one and we'll have the entire police department at our door in no time."
"One detective is hardly the entire police department," Edmond corrected her. He flashed her a smile, "besides he already seems pretty taken with you. It will be easy for you to get him under your spell. Just like Mother did the last time."
Patrice nodded her head. "Yes, he shouldn't be a problem at all." She turned the key in the ignition and the Lexis purred to life. What she didn't tell her brother was what was really concerning her. She should have already had Locke DeCine under her control. However, when she had attempted to delve into his soul at the diner she had found it impossible. His soul was unlike anything she had ever seen before. There was something different about Locke DeCine and it unsettled Patrice greatly.
Locke had left the diner shortly after Malcolm had given him the old file. He'd gone straight home and started pouring over it the moment he was inside. In fact he was still in the kitchen when his cell phone started to ring. Absently, and without taking his eyes from the file, he pulled the cell out of his coat pocket.
"Locke? It's Allison..." she cut in before he could finish his distracted greeting.
Allison? Locke raised his eyes from the file and looked at the microwave clock. It was a few minutes after 6. Mary had gone for the evening. Allison was alone.
"Can...can you pick me up after work?" Allison was saying now. "I...I saw that glowing cord again."
Another cord. This had to be how Allison was able to see into other people's minds. Locke was sure of it now. He looked back at the file he had in his hands. There were two unsolved murder cases that were demanding his attention. Two dead girls whose voices needed to be heard. Could he really afford the distraction?
But how could he tell Allison no? He was the only person who knew her secret. She trusted him. And right then, she needed him. He couldn't deny her that. He couldn't.
"Yeah, Allison," he answered her gently. "I'll come pick you up."
Breathe a lie
There was something about Locke that just made her feel so much better. Like the wall of ice, the one that kept her separate from everyone else, was melting with the warmth of his voice. “Yeah, Allison,” he said softly, and she finally was able to take a full breath. “I’ll come pick you up.” Reluctantly, she said goodbye and hung up the phone.
Plopping back into the chair behind the counter, Allison ran a hand through her hair and took a few more deep breaths. The man’s card still sat atop the counter. With any luck, if she just left it there Mary would toss it in the trash tomorrow. She still didn’t know what about him made her feel so uneasy. He hadn’t done anything to her, or said much of anything, let alone something that would put her on edge. It had been…his aura? She supposed that was that the right word. The air around him had just seemed…dark. Not physically, but emotionally. She felt like if she got to close to him, were to touch something he had touched - like that business card - she would catch it. Shaking her head, Allison knew she needed to think about something else.
Locke’s face formed in her mind, and a small smile pulled at her lips. She’d never even bothered to wonder what it would be like to have someone know her secret, let alone to find someone whom she could have a normal conversation with. Or, do…other things. Her face flushed red as she thought back to him sleeping. She’d felt a weird twinge of jealousy, knowing he had been dreaming of Rebecca. Stupid, obviously, since he’d only been doing so because he was currently trying to find out who had murdered her. But…she wanted him to think about her.
“Oh, god,” she muttered, head falling into her hand. “I have a crush on Locke.” When had that happened? She’d known him for what, two days, if that? It had to be because she didn’t have to constantly see his thoughts. It had never happened before, so she was just getting a little crazy. Or, a lot crazy.
She wasn’t stupid. She’d seen enough thoughts, geared both toward others and her, to know when someone was attracted to someone else. She may as well be sexless, as far as Locke was concerned. He seemed far more interested in her ability than her as a person.
“I am such an idiot,” she sighed, trying to again redirect her thoughts. Muffin recipes, whipping techniques for frosting…the way Locke got completely lost in thought. “Crap.”
She wasn’t having much luck not thinking of him. The way his hair fell into his dark blue eyes…Allison gasped as a transparent line appeared before her. Somehow, she knew it was one of those cords she had seen earlier, and that in this state, it was ‘off’. Somehow, she knew it was what connected her to Locke.
Allison grasped it and it glowed to life, pulling her into Locke’s mind. He was driving down the country road into town, the same one she and most everyone else took daily. And he was thinking about her. Well, her gift, but still her heart gave a little jump.
It was different this time. She saw not only what he thought, but what he was seeing himself. The view of the turn in front of him was juxtaposed over with the image of her standing over him when he woke. She watched as he turned and started down the main town road, his thoughts still on her as he parked on the street outside, stepped out of the car and up to the bakery. She could see the top of her head behind the counter through the window through his eyes. His thoughts switched to fluffy white bunnies as he opened the door, and she heard the jingle not only through her ears, but his.
She let go of the warm cord and fell back into herself with another gasp. Her eyes fluttered open and the cord was till there between them, transparent, sleeping.
“Locke!” Jumping from her seat, she scrambled from behind the counter and almost knocked him over as she grabbed him. “Did you feel it that time? I was in your head!!”
Last edited by Manic; 08-06-2012 at 06:16 AM.
Locke had been over half way to the down town shops where the bakery was when he had felt it. Well, "felt" was probably the wrong word for it. "Experienced" would have been better, though even that didn't accurately describe what happened.
For a fraction of a moment his vision had blurred. He probably wouldn't have even noticed it if his head hadn't suddenly felt as though it were hollow, as though a vacuum had suddenly opened up between his ears. Everything around him became muted. Sensations from light, sound, even touch felt as though they were being shared with someone else. It sort of reminded Locke of when his grandmother would pick up one of the house's extensions to eavesdrop on other people's telephone conversations. She was always so quiet on the other end, but there was always that little bit of extra feedback that could be heard through her phone's receiver.
Locke probably should have been alarmed that this sensation was happening in his head, but he wasn't. In fact, he wasn't alarmed at all. The sensation wasn't at all threatening. It was cautiously curious. It was almost as though Allison were in the car with him.
He smiled faintly. Allison. He thought of waking up to find her standing over him that morning, her hand pulling away from his face. It was a good thing that she was attempting to explore her talents rather than attempting to hide from them and therefore cut herself off of the rest of society. He did draw in a breath in a patient sort of way. Once she had a better grasp of her abilities, though, he was going to have to set some ground rules. The idea of anyone being able to just enter his thoughts at any time she pleased uneased him. It was more than just an invasion of privacy. Even if it was Allison, a girl who he surprisingly trusted nearly completely, despite only having known for a couple of days.
He parked his car at the first available spot and started making his way towards the bakery. The wind was as cold as it had been that morning. The sky overhead was still overcast and there was a crisp smell on the air. Snow was coming and it wouldn't be surprising to see a light dusting come either that evening or later on that night.
Even though Locke knew that Allison was already in his mind and watching the world through his eyes, he still forced himself to think of fluffy white bunnies as he entered the bakery. It was a good habit to get into, he'd decided. The bells over the door jingled as he entered.
He saw her seated behind the counter, her eyes closed and her head slightly bent. She looked as though she was sleeping. However, as he got closer, he saw that wasn't the case. It was like she was in a trance. "Allison?" he started to reach for her. Her eyes snapped open the moment he said her name. At the same time the sensation of someone listening in on his internal "phone" suddenly died. As though the extension had been hung up. It caused Locke to blink with the sudden abruptness of the cut off. His vision blurred again for a fraction of an instant. This time, though, a wave of dizziness accompanied it. The room around him grayed out, like when one stands up too quickly and the blood rushes from their head. Locke closed his eyes and reached out one hand to steady himself.
"Locke!" Allison cried out. In her excitement she was oblivious to his discomfort. She grasped his arm. “Did you feel it that time? I was in your head!!”
He fought to gain control of himself. If he scared her she may decide not to explore what her gift could do and attempt to hide within herself again. That, Locke decided, was something he couldn't let happen. He forced his eyes open and made his best attempt at a smile as he could muster. "Yeah," he told her. "I felt it that time." He tried to stand as straight as he could, thankful that the dizziness had started to subside and he could start to see normally again. "Been practicing, huh?"