In his short life, Emery had learned that lies were more believable when a small seed of truth could be found within. It helped even more when it was less of a lie and more of a half-truth. His brother always told him there was very little difference in the two.

“I’m waiting for my brother and friends,” he told the waitress softly. “I’ll just have water for now.” She poured him a glass of water and left him with a menu. It was likely that she wouldn’t bother him now unless time stretched on too much.

He settled back to wait and watch. The man he watched was seated three seats down. Trauma wrapped over and around him like a cloak. It was a public kind of trauma, something he’d shared with another. There was no doubt in Emery’s mind that the man was the culprit they were searching for. The trauma had the same distinct features he’d found at each crime scene.

Now all he had to do was figure out how to tell his co-workers that he’d found the murderer without saying that he’d followed the traces of trauma that he shouldn’t, by rights, have been able to sense.

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