Larissa studied the investigator’s demeanor after she’d repeated her statement.
Would he believe her? Could he? What had happened during the eclipse was so fantastical, it was more suited for the big screen than a police report.
Inhaling deeply, she mentally counted to three as she exhaled, drumming agitated fingers on her thigh. How many times would she have to repeat what had happened?
And, she was the one usually asking questions.
“I know it sounds crazy,” she replied, keeping her voice at a steady level. “But, I wasn’t the only one who saw them. I’m sure the other witnesses described the attack.”
What she thought she saw? Not a good sign.
Had the lights always been so bright in this room? It was one of the smaller ones with nothing more than a table and four chairs. Her body burned under the fluorescent glare, like she was under a heat lamp.
She was under heat, all right.
He raised his brows. “In the sky?”
“And what did you do?”
“We tried to stop them. People were being attacked in the dome. We did what we could to save them.” Her pitch rose, her voice sharp and defensive.
Her heart rate sped up like she’d drank a double espresso. Not this again. “Nothing.”
She squirmed in the chair and then reprimanded herself since her uncomfortable body language would trigger his wariness. Even though she was telling the truth.
“I didn’t have a weapon on me.”
“But, you fired something.”
“Not a weapon. Like I said before, I think it was some type of energy.”
An eyebrow twitched on his otherwise impassive face. “From your hands?”
She shifted in the uncomfortable chair. “Yes.”
“And how did that work exactly?”
“I don’t know–a reaction to stress, I suppose.” Her palms felt clammy. She resisted wiping them on her police uniform. With the way the questioning was going, she wouldn’t add any fodder for her skewering.
How could she explain what had happened? She didn’t understand it herself. She didn’t want to admit her differences after a lifetime of trying to be normal, but her façade was crumbling under the scrutiny.
Yes, perps, not demons. She had to use jargon he’d understand since he didn’t seem to be buying the creatures fighting in the air bit.
The investigator wrote some things down on the paper on his clipboard. She tried to read it upside-down, but couldn’t from the distance.
“Look, I know it sounds delusional, but it’s not,” she added. “It’s not drugs or anything like that. I’m not on anything. Anyone else who was there will tell you the same thing.” It was a fucked-up night with some fucked-up creatures doing some fucked-up things.
“And now your friend is in a coma?” the investigator asked.
Her muscles tensed at the sudden reference to Janie. “Yes.”
“What happened to her?”
She wouldn’t dare repeat that it was an incubus. With the way these questions had been lobbed at her for two days, she sensed her superiors were scrutinizing her role in the battle far too closely. Her leg trembled. She took a deep breath to steady herself.
The demons were gone. The gargoyles were protecting the city. And hopefully, many of the people who’d been attacked by the demons would recover.
That motherfucking incubus.
Larissa clenched her hands under the table. She would blast it to bits of demon confetti if she could. Luckily, that bastard had disintegrated into ashes on the sidewalk and was hopefully rotting in a special type of hell reserved for demons.
The investigator’s phone rang. He glanced at the caller and pursed his lips. Without raising his eyes to her, he said, “We’ll be in touch.”
She returned to her desk at the police station. The sounds of phones ringing surrounded her; they’d had far more calls than usual, even for a Monday. Had it only been two nights since the demons had attacked? She could swear she’d aged two decades.
She picked up her abandoned coffee, which had now turned cold. The scent mocked her, tempting her to take a sip, but if she did, she’d spit out the stale mire. She usually drank it as hot as possible and didn’t get why anyone would drink iced coffee. Before she could move a step to refill it, one of the officers on her shift stopped by her desk.
“More of the same?” McGuire asked.
Larissa had filled him in on the events of the night. Whether he believed her, who knew? It was the talk all over the station, all over the city, for that matter.
“You know how it goes.”
“Have you watched the news? It’s all they’re talking about.”
“The conspiracy theorists are getting off like they’ve brought a tray of oysters to an orgy. You should read some of their stories.”
Larissa grunted. “No. I definitely don’t want to see any of that crap.”
McGuire laughed. “That’s it exactly—crap.”
“Sure sounds like it.” He raised his chin. “Hang in there.”
A twinge of muted pain twisted in Larissa’s skull. She put the mug on her desk and placed her hands on her temples.
“You okay?” McGuire asked.
“It must be a stress headache,” she said.
“You’re pale. You want me to get you some ibuprofen?”
After McGuire walked away, Larissa focused on how to move beyond the pain. God, it better be a stress headache and not one of her premonitions. A headache might just be a headache. It could be brought on by stress, dehydration, or lack of sleep.
She grabbed her water bottle and drank half of it. That had to be it. She was overreacting–being hypervigilant after the attack and stressed out from yet another interrogation, this time from a hotshot who knew dick about what they’d encountered.
But, if it was leading to a vision…
In the past, acute headaches often meant something bad was coming—only she couldn’t always read what it was. To sense something ominous and be unable to prevent it tormented her.
Breathe, breathe, breathe…
Right. She had to breathe through the pain to get past it. She couldn’t deal with her visions at the police station. Especially, not after being questioned by the investigator, who was still there. It wouldn’t look good for her to appear rattled by his questions.
She inhaled, counted to three, and then exhaled.
Where was Roman? He had a way of calming her and would know what to do. But, as commander of the Stone Sentries, the gargoyle protectors who watched over Boston, he was also preoccupied with the aftermath of the demon attack.
He’d said he’d try to come to her place tonight. God, she hoped so. He was one of the few people whom she could confide in about her visions. And, she missed him.
Focus on something.
She stared at a figure of a weeping angel on her desk, one that Janie had given her. It was from Doctor Who and had “Don’t Blink” printed at its base. As if she could control any of her physical responses, right now. Simply breathing had turned laborious.
The muted ache in her head turned up as if someone had twisted a crank to a level reading “throbbing.”
You can’t lose it here. Ignore it. She couldn’t function through the pain, not at that intensity. Voices around her called her name, only they sounded like they were underwater.
No. It had to be a flashback. The demons were gone. She’d helped send them back to their realm.
Help me. It was Janie’s voice.
“How?” Larissa called out.
No answer. Of course not. This wasn’t real. It was in her head.
“Janie?” Her whisper came out a soft plea.
Shit. She was going to pass out. She lost her grip on her desk as she fell.