Emery frowned as he sat up in bed. Someone had called his name. “Wha’s that?” he said, blearily.

“Brother, we have another case,” Miles said. “Morrissey wants us to go. Hassett will be here in ten minutes. Get up and get dressed.”

Emery moaned and glanced at the clock, illuminated by the light from the corridor. The hands showed the time to be four thirty. Sighing heavily, the young investigator rolled out of bed and pulled off his pajamas. By the time he was dressed, he was more awake. A hot cup of tea, which he was sure would be waiting for him, would complete the process. By the time they arrived on the scene he would be running on all four.

**
Fifteen minutes later, the boys climbed out of the vehicle and made their way to the crime scene. Just like the previous two bodies, this new one had been mutilated. “Tongue is missing this time,” Hassett murmured.

Emery swallowed around a thick feeling in his mouth. He darted a glance at Miles and shook his head. This was not a good time for him to feel what the victim had felt, but it appeared that the amount of trauma at the scene was triggering just that response.

“Wait here, Brother,” Miles whispered. “Get yourself under control before you try and process the scene.” He bounded ahead and began the usual search for trace evidence.

Emery stepped back and swallowed around his tongue, which still felt two sizes too big. “Something wrong, Chief?” Hassett asked softly.

Emery nodded and knelt on the ground before his legs could give way under him. In his mind, he relived the events of the previous night. He was running as someone – someone with a knife – chased him. The man caught him by the hair, yanking him off his feet.

As he fell, he felt a sharp pain across his chest. When he cried out, the man held his mouth open with some kind of device. Slowly, methodically, the man removed his tongue. He hummed as he worked, taking his time.

Somewhere, not far away, a person barely breathed for fear of what she was hearing. Then there was another sharp pain as something penetrated deep into his chest and was swiftly torn free.

Emery came back to himself with a start. He was no longer on the road but laying on the back seat of Hassett’s car. The older man hovered nearby protectively. When he saw that Emery was awake, he knelt down and asked, “Better now?”

“Did you see the attacker?” another voice queried.

Swallowing back bile, Emery nodded. “T-taller than me – the victim, that is. Dark hair, kind of… scraggly. Pockmarked face, dark eyes,” he managed. He swallowed thickly once, twice more and laid back down. “I’m very dizzy,” he said.

The words were a lie but they would make the commander go away. She had what she needed now. He needed to rest.

“Feel sick?” Hassett asked softly. Something cold and damp brushed Emery’s forehead and he nodded.

“Felt like it was happening to me,” he murmured. “All the – the terror the victim and witness felt – all the agony… I felt it. It was as real as… as this.”

“I can’t imagine what that must be like,” Hassett admitted. “Rest up. You stay here. I’ll go check and see how Miles is doing.”

He left the cold compress on Emery’s head and the young investigator relaxed as he heard the man’s footsteps retreat. Now he could be sick if he needed to. With a deep sigh, Emery tried to calm his jangled nerves. He could only hope they found evidence enough to catch the killer. He knew that his “mind-witness” testimony wouldn’t be enough. No one, outside of the team, could know of his gifts.

Advertisements