Page 26 of Already His

Alana decided to continue along the new route she’d taken, not giving it much thought other than the fact that she was already spooked by the normal path. She’d already taken a few steps this way. There was no point in turning back just to return to the way she’d thought she was going to return home. She’d get there either way. And this route was just fine, too, so long as she stepped carefully and didn’t get too overconfident about the placement of the rocks she knew could jut out from the sides of the thin path down the middle of the ravine.

She tried to focus on her breathing. There was no light from any human source out here, but there was faint light from the moon—even fainter still where the storm clouds kept passing over the surface of it, but enough for someone very familiar with the area to get by. The thought of the storm made Alana tut at herself out loud. How had she let that escape her mind? Now she was going to take longer getting back. If she ended up getting soaked in the rain, it would be her own paranoid fault.

She took a deep breath to sigh it out—

And felt the wind knocked out of her, something jerking around her neck and pulling her backwards off her feet, like a puppet whose strings had suddenly been yanked back.

Alana tried to cry out but found her voice strangled by whatever it was around her neck still, sensations and sounds and smells and sights jostling in on her stunned brain all at once. There was something around her neck that was rough and tight making it so that she couldn’t breathe. Something was against her back. She could smell the sea. A shape was blocking what little light there was above her. The sky—she was looking up at the sky. Her legs were lying across the ground, a large rock under one of her knees. Her hands gripped the thing around her neck and her brain returned the wordrope. Her lungs hurt. Her throat hurt. Her fingertips hurt. She kicked the ground hard, and her heel sank into the soft earth.

She couldn’t see a thing. Everything was black in front of her eyes. Her fingers scrabbled at the rough texture of the rope, but it made no difference. She managed to gasp one last time, but no air made it through. She thought about the keys in her hand that she must have dropped as she fell backwards, about how she was supposed to have stabbed him with them but hadn’t. She thought about the fact that she was supposed to be in the warmth of her home. She hoped it wasn’t going to rain before she could get home.

Alana thought about the sea, all she could hear, all she could smell, and then she stopped thinking about anything at all, her hands and feet going limp at her sides.

And the only sound was the breathing of her killer, panting heavily above her, his arms finally going slack on the rope.


Laura looked him in the eye and took a deep breath.

“Chris,” she said. “I have something to tell you.”

Chris was wearing pajamas—blue checkered pants and a long white shirt, the kind of cream-white like something from a commercial. A shorthand for men’s pajamas. The kind of thing that real people couldn’t possibly wear because everyone was being told all the time that they did.

He folded his arms over his chest and leaned on the doorframe, rubbing his eyes.

“Laura, it’s the middle of the night,” he said. He sounded tired. Laura wanted to grab him and hold him and have him hold her and go to sleep together, which would be much easier than what she needed to do. “I thought you were on a case.”

“I was,” Laura said. “I am. But this is too important.”

“Alright,” Chris said, shrugging and stifling a yawn. “What is it?”

“Won’t you let me in?” Laura asked, glancing around. It was night, but that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be anyone around to hear her.

“No,” Chris said, his easy standoffishness taking her aback. “What do you need to say?”

“The thing I’ve been hiding from you,” Laura said, taking a breath. “I know you know that I’ve been hiding something. To do with Zach. To do with me. And I’m ready to tell you what it is.”

“What is it?” Chris asked. That same straightforward manner had her stumbling.

“I…it’s…” Laura took a breath and started again. “It’s me. I have these…powers. Psychic visions. I get visions of the future, or sometimes the past. It’s what makes me such a good FBI agent. It’s what helped me to save Amy’s life.”

Chris looked at her for a long moment. “You’re serious?” he asked.

“Yes,” Laura insisted. “I’ve seen so many things. I don’t even know where to start telling you. But when I see things, sometimes they come true and sometimes I manage to change the future before they happen. I can see where a killer is going to be. That’s how I stop them.”

Chris heaved a huge sigh and looked down at the ground.

That wasn’t the reaction she had been expecting—out of all the different possibilities, this wasn’t one of them.

“Chris,” she started, hoping to prompt him into saying something.

“Laura,” he said, shaking his head sadly as he looked up at her. “I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this. Your boss and Nate, they told me you had delusions and that I needed to be careful around you. I didn’t want to believe them. But I guess it’s true.”

“It’s not a delusion,” Laura insisted. “I can really do it. Honestly, I can. It’s not really working properly at the moment, but—”

“I’m sorry, Laura,” Chris said, stepping back inside the house, his hand on the door ready to close it.

Someone from behind grabbed her arm from both sides—two people. Laura looked up to see two huge orderlies in white uniforms holding her back.

Tags: Blake Pierce Suspense
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