Note: Please take note that this is my own work from my own imagination. All characters are purely fictional and any resemblance in any way to anyone is merely coincidental. Any copying and redistribution of this material will also fall within copyright infringement.
Liz opted to stay in the car and listen to the radio in case the dispatcher needed a car in their area while her partner went into the diner to get dinner with his friend. She opened up a notepad and a criminal law book and began writing notes. She had been deeply immersed in her note taking for twenty minutes when a tap at the window broke into her concentration. She knew who it was even as she lifted her had to see. The door opened and she sighed softly as he slid into the passage seat.
“Are you avoiding me or just having a love affair with that book?” he asked too close to her ear.
“Both,” she said sharply.
“Ouch,” he muttered.
She glared up at him. “Not every woman is madly attracted to you, John.”
He chuckled. “Oh, you’re attracted to me; otherwise you wouldn’t be fighting it so hard.”
She turned to him, and by the look on her face, it was with the intent to deliver more sharp words, when her eyes suddenly widened and she grabbed for his head and shoulders. John thought she was going to kiss him until his head was pushed down until it hit the console between the seats. Ow, he thought, confused about how come his head was there instead of attached to hers at the lips when her breasts were pressing against the back of his head and her hands were against his back. Then he began to think she was going to skip the kissing and go straight to pulling off his shirt. He enjoyed that idea even better.
That idea was killed when a gun shot went off and the windshield shattered, spraying tempered glass over the both of them. Liz gently lifted her head to check where the gunman was and he heard tires squealing as someone peeled away from the scene. She let him back up and grabbed the radio. “Dispatch, this is car 22156. We have just been fired on at Tom Horton’s on Crawford and Elliot. Pursuit in progress.”
“What?” John demanded as Liz put the car in gear and turned it toward the getaway direction. “The windshield is out!”
She slid a disgusted glance at him and got the car going at an incredible speed, flipping on both the lights and the siren.
“Car 22156, did you get a visual on the vehicle?” the radio calmly asked.
She held the radio up to her mouth as she took a turn too fast for John’s comfort. “Black, four door sedan. Make Toyota; model Camry. License plate number Zed Alpha Fiver John Niner George.”
John looked at her like she had gone insane and waited until she cleared the radio connection. “There wasn’t enough time or light for you to have seen that.”
“But, I did, John,” she said calmly as she hit a straight track and sped the car up even more. She picked up the radio again and said, “I have a visual again. Suspect is heading east on Tecumseh.”
John’s head swung to the hole in the car where the windshield used to be and blinked in amazement. There in front of them was a black Toyota Camry weaving dangerously through traffic and flaunting a plate with ZA5J9G lit up below the trunk. ‘How did you catch up to them?” he yelled as he clutched the dash to keep himself more steady as she wove expertly through traffic.
“John,” she said, tossing the radio to him, “be productive and report the roads and direction to dispatch. I need to keep my eyes on the road.”
He gave her the look she always hated. The look that asked why she wasn’t acting like a normal person, but someone who was way more calm than any normal person should be. The look that silently declared that they thought she was insane. “Oh, and John? Put your seat belt on.”
A string of colorful curses came out of his mouth as he struggled to pull the seat belt over his body and not get the radio cord entwined in it. He glanced over at the speedometer and let out another string of curses. She reached out a hand and laid it gently on his knee. Instantly, his body lost the panic it was feeling, but not the urgency of the situation. He blinked at her as everything came into sharp focus. Inwardly, she smiled smugly. How many insane people do you know who can do that, she wanted to project to him.
Instead she said, “Concentrate, John,” her eyes never leaving the road. “We can’t lose them now or justice will never be served. I need you to help dispatch with the location of the pursuit so they can send us backup.”
He knew all of this, but how she was doing what she was doing seemed impossible. But, the panic from the unknown left him and he was once again able to help with the situation. How, he couldn’t say, but he’ll ask her about it when this mess was over. He plucked the radio from the floor where it fell and began naming streets as they turned.
They wove through traffic without hitting anything, while the car ahead of them hit other cars, ran into trash cans and mailboxes, and narrowly missed fleeing pedestrians. Liz stiffened in her seat, then grabbed John again and pulled them both below the dash. Several shots rang out and the back window shattered. Liz released him and grabbed the wheel to avoid hitting a car trying to cross the road. The car swung around the vehicle with amazing accuracy – or John just witnessed some strange quantum physics being used – then continued the pursuit.
Liz pulled her gun from the hip holster and released the safety while John reported shots were fired and their newest location.
“Have they sent backup?” Liz asked over the roar of the wind streaming through the car.
“Hold on, I can’t hear anything,” he said, leaning forward to turn up the volume. “Dispatch has two cars in the area on an intercept at Huron Church Road.”
“Good,” Liz said as she raised her right arm and pointed the gun out the window. She let up on the accelerator and aimed at the tired. “Get ready to run, John. They’ll rabbit as soon as their car is out of commission.”
“What makes you think they won’t engage us?” he asked. “They have guns and already showed us they mean to use them.”
“Trust me, John, they are going to run.”
The shot from her gun overpowered the wind’s roar and John hoped she didn’t say anything more while his ears muted everything down. The shot went over the car and hit the connector of a street light which fell onto the hood of the Camry. The Camry’s windshield cracked in a spider web pattern and the engine smoked beneath the dented hood with the street light still embedded in it and further obstructing the view. The car swerved into oncoming traffic and a delivery truck side-swiped it, shattering the passenger side window and taking out a brake light and side mirror.
Liz pulled the police car to a stop and exited the driver’s side with her pistol raised and aimed at the suspect’s car. John reported the incident before flipping the safety off of his gun and exiting the car cautiously. He trained his gun on the passenger side door and slowly approached.
“Come out of the vehicle with your hands visible and empty,” Liz said as she slowly approached the Camry. John could see her out of the corner of his eye and struggled against his need to protect her by pulling her out of the way of harm. Liz slid him a glance accompanied with a scowl and he got the impression she could sense where his thoughts went.
The car door’s creaked and John realigned his sights and his focus. The doors burst open on both sides of the car and individuals bolted from the interior, fleeing in opposite directions. John let out a sigh and began pursuing the one who left the passenger side.
Liz bolted after the driver. He was young and had a longer stride than Liz, but she was a toned athlete who paced herself and wore practical clothing. The young man ran holding his oversized pants up and getting blinded by his flapping hoodie.
“Halt!” Liz shouted as the boy dodged into an alley. Her instincts told her he had a destination in mind now that he realized he couldn’t out run her. After she got a clear view of his intentions, she took a couple of different turns, put on even more speed to get ahead of him, then backtracked to cut him off.
He let out a yell when she suddenly jumped in front of him. His momentum drove him toward her and she side-stepped, keeping a foot out to trip him. Between her foot and his own pant cuff, he stumbled, hobbled, twisted, and finally sprawled across the ground. Frantically, he tried to untwist from his own bulky clothes to find his gun. Liz crouched beside him and held the point of her gun toward him, but used her free hand to pull the hood off his face so he could see what she was doing. Instantly, he stopped what he was doing, his attention riveted on the point of the gun.
Liz smiled gently. “Look at me,” she said softly, like a mother to a child. His dark eyes shifted to hers and his body went completely still. “I don’t think I need to use this, and neither do you. You are going to cooperate with me and we’re going to sort this whole mess out tonight like adults, right?”
The boy was nodding as soon as she started talking and whimpered when he finally said, “Yes.”
“Good,” she cooed and saw his body relax. “I’m going to cuff you now, ok?” It sounded like she was telling a child she was going to put a scarf on him for his own good. “Can you help me?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said in a small, little boy voice. He didn’t break eye contact as he sat up, then stood with his hands behind his back. Liz put the cuffs on, removed his gun, and gently took his arm to lead him back to the squad car. She heard sirens approaching her abandoned vehicle and she reached out with her senses to see how John was doing with the other suspect.
She could feel the rush of the adrenaline pumping through him as he ran after the other boy. His attention was split between the pursuit and how she was doing. Worry was pushing him to catch the boy so he could go help her. Images of her shot and left bleeding in an alley was going through his mind to help push his speed even higher. John had a lot of bulky muscle to push. The boy he was chasing was a lot leaner and had it easier pushing up his speed due to less mass – although his over-sized clothing created some drag.
Liz decided to push a thought into John’s psyche to assist him in his pursuit. John, I’m safe and have my suspect. He’s docile and cooperative. Right now, I’m beating you back to the car. See you there.
She could feel his shock at hearing her voice in his head, but the images stopped and his focus was no longer divided. A soft sigh escaped her. She knew he’ll want an explanation later, too. For some reason, he wasn’t as easily swayed toward forgetting things. Others she had little problems with planting suggestions of other probable events so they would just drop the issue or create their own version of what happened. John always remembered every detail. She learned to just avoid him for awhile until he would drop it. The Lady had begun to question Liz’s abilities with mental manipulation. She was beginning to believe the Lady didn’t want to accept the obvious – John was immune to her ability to manipulate his thoughts. What she just did was talk to his mind instead of implanting an idea. Amazingly, he believed her and accepted it as truth.
The car came into view and she was getting the boy into the car when John came into view tugging a handcuffed boy with him. It appeared like he was getting less cooperation from his suspect. Of course, Liz had the advantage of being able to charm people into a trance where they did whatever she asked of them.
After John got the other boy into the car, he looked at her. His body was completely tense, but he remained still while holding her with his gaze. It was dark and completely focused, unwavering. Suddenly, Liz heard his voice in her head. It’s a tie. Shocked, she could only stare at him and wonder if she picked up an internal thought or if he was really able to put his voice into her head intentionally.
Cars pulling in around them registered to both of them at the same time. “John,” she said as he approached her.
“We’ll talk about this later,” he said as he came to her side. His brown eyes bore into hers a moment, then turned toward the officers coming out of the cars.
She continued to stare at him, sending small probes at him to see if he was more than he appeared – just like her.
“Whatever you are doing,” he growled, “stop. It’s distracting.”
For the first time since she was eight-years-old, Liz experienced uncertainty to the degree it felt akin to fear. Maybe not fear, but definitely in trepidation. Was John one of the Halflings she had to police in her off-hours of policing humanity? Was he demon possessed like the man she found a month ago attempting to feed on a kidnapped child? Why was it that every time they touched something inside of her turned off and she felt an inner peace she hadn’t known since her parents died? Was John human or a being between worlds?
She was so distracted by her thoughts, she hadn’t heard the string of questions thrown at her. “Lochran!”
Liz jumped and looked at the older man before her. His face was ruddy, his uniform was stained with coffee and his eyes had dark circles under them. She flushed when she realized her superior was talking while she was internalizing. She didn’t bother looking at John. She could already feel his eyes on her, wondering why she was so unusually unfocused at the moment. Little did either man know – was John a man? – she was a police officer for their world and one that humanity was unaware of.
“I’m sorry, Captain,” she said in an even tone. “I was reviewing everything you asked in order to answer sequentially.”
Thankfully, that threw her superior enough that he finally said in exasperation, “Just tell me what happened, Lochran!”
She nodded calmly and proceeded to relay events like she was either reading or writing a report on it – minus all the paranormal portions, of course. Still, the captain’s face expressed incredulity. He turned to John and asked for his version. Liz listened to the account and realized he described it the same way a person recounted a movie scene. He included his feelings and raw perceptions without giving away Liz’s strange skills. He made her sound intuitive and intelligent instead of weird. She found herself staring wide eyed at John, who would steal glances at her through the corner of his eye without breaking eye contact with his superior.
“Why didn’t either of you think of getting the senior officers you are assigned to first?” Captain Peterson asked.
Liz shook off her amazement and answered. “Because the suspects would have gotten away.”
“You had the license plate number,” he pointed out. “Other cars could have been dispatched in pursuit while the other informed your senior officers.”
“Dispatch cars to where?” Liz interrupted and stiffened when John put a hand at the small of her back in warning. She stepped away from him, shot him a scowl, then returned her gaze to Captain Peterson. “Even with video feeds, a license plate is useless when there is no clear direction to locate them. By the time all feeds north, south, and west of the original location were viewed, it would have been time for breakfast and the suspects would have had time to ditch the car, clean it, and found another.”
Captain Peterson grew more irritated with each point she made. “Finished?” he asked, his face flushed with his barely concealed anger. When she nodded, he said, “Good. You’re suspended for three days. Give me your badge and gun.”
When he thrust out his hand to her, she looked at it, then slowly raised her eyes to his. He nearly took a step back, but stiffened his back to keep himself steady. John snagged her elbow and swung her toward him, releasing her when her gaze met his. “Don’t,” she warned him in a hiss and swung her gaze back to the captain. “Because of the choices I made tonight, you have two suspects in your custody who were planning on and willing to kill a cop tonight. And they were unlucky in targeting me,” she said as she removed her gun belt and badge and put both into his awaiting hand. “And now our force is a little bit safer with them in custody where I put them. And you can take my statement to the review board.”
She turned and started walking down the street, fury etched in her face while her steps remained measured. Once she rounded a corner, lights played in the shadows and she could hear soft cheers. “If any of you try to meet out more justice on humans tonight, I’ll wrap you in iron,” she hissed softly at them. The lights fluttered off in panic. Several blocks later, the Lady stood in her way. While she smiled warmly at Liz, her dark eyes remained cold.
“You did well tonight, daughter,” she praised.
Liz stopped walking once she saw the Lady appear and watched the Lady with all her senses on the highest alert. “I am not your daughter,” she replied stoically. “I should not have done that and probably lost my job as a result.”
“You have other work,” the Lady gently reminded.
“It doesn’t pay,” Liz snapped back. When the Lady was going to remind her of something else, she jumped in. “For my grandmother’s medical expenses, nurse, and utilities, not for me. Some day, some ancient being is going to rise up and have the ability to strike me down and where will that leave her? She took me in when I had no one, and I will return that kindness even if you don’t recommend it.”
Liz sighed and moved around the Lady to keep walking. Her fury burned up too much energy and her shields were failing. She could feel the unchecked restless energy building behind the weakening walls, needing an outlet. After several blocks, she felt like the Lady had decided to finally leave her alone, but another presence was fast approaching.
“Great,” she muttered. While a good fight would help her spend the excess energy, she really wasn’t in the mood to risk herself again. What if this time, she didn’t go home?
She moved into the shadows of an abandoned parking lot in a dark business district and waited. The pounding of shoes on concrete got louder and soon became accompanied by heavy breathing. Liz held a hand out in front of her with its palm up. She siphoned off enough energy to create a small yellow ball of light in the center of her palm, then curled her fingers around the warmth. A tall masculine shadow came into view, running in her direction. It slowed and she could make out the head swiveling from side to side as though scanning the area. The runner stopped, turned in a slow circle, then faced her directly. She started feeding more energy into the small sphere in the center of her hand causing it to grow until her fingers could barely conceal its glow.
“Are you going to stand there and stare at me all night or can we talk about what just happened?” John’s voice said from the shadows.
Liz gasped and she snuffed out the energy ball in her hand before walking toward him. “Travers, I could have killed you,” she said as he came into view.
“With what?” he challenged. “You handed your gun over, remember?”
“How can I forget?” she muttered, rubbing at her neck.
He quietly watched her, then moved closer and put a restraining hand on her hand that was working the muscles of her neck. He pulled her hand away and replaced it with his own. His long, strong fingers brushed across her neck seeking the tight muscles and gently rubbing them in a circular pattern, gradually deepening to loosen the tightness. His touch brought back the serenity she was always lacking, but the gentleness of the massage was causing her bones to liquify. Her eyes drifted shut and she swayed on her feet. His other hand came up to cup her shoulder to steady her.
“Better?” he whispered.
Although she didn’t want the massage to stop, she nodded and took in a deep breath to prepare herself for the headache that always crashed down on her when his touch was removed. His fingers continued the languid massage and she forced her eyes open to see why he hadn’t stopped yet. His chocolate brown eyes were mere inches from her face and she could see gold glinting in their depths.
“Good,” he said and smiled. The laugh lines crinkled around his eyes and she felt a strong pull to be closer to him.
She swayed toward him, closing her eyes and feeling her cheek connecting with the rough fabric of his uniform.
“Oh, Liz,” he groaned, cradling the back of her head and gently holding her against him. His heart thundered against her ear. She could feel his excitement and tried to rouse herself from this strange sluggish sensation to see if they were in danger.
“Shhh…,” he said gently. “Everything is fine. Just relax, Liz.”
And, she believed him. They stood like that until the predawn lightened the shadows around them. Liz tried to gently remove herself from the embrace, but John refused to let her go. A couple of times, she could feel his erection brushing against her abdomen, which shocked her. She knew he was attracted to her, but she thought it was because she was unattainable. She thought he only pursued her because she was something to chase, not really desirable to him.
“John,” she began.
“You have no idea how much I love hearing you say my name,” he growled.
She cleared her throat. “Travers, it’s nearly dawn and I’m pretty tired.”
For a moment his arms tightened instead of loosened around her and his heart rate picked up more speed. His whole body tensed and it was triggering her fight or flight response.
“Travers, it’s time to let me go,” she said sternly. She was beginning to feel trapped, even though it didn’t feel like John meant it that way at all. All the work ahead of her today was coming up from the recesses of her mind and she had to be rested and prepared to take on her paranormal work.
“What if I don’t want to,” he said closer to her ear. His breath brushed against the sensitive shell and her stomach tightened. “What about coming home with me? I’ll make sure you get the rest you need.”
She could feel the underlying truth in this words. A part of her wanted to smile, but another wanted to push him away in disgust. Why did sex have to ruin the moment? Liz steeled herself and put both palms against his chest and pushed gently at first then with growing conviction. “No, Travers. Not tonight, nor any night. I can’t allow myself to get comfortable. Too much is at stake. I have work to do.”
“What ‘work’?” he asked, dazed by her sudden change. She broke free of his embrace and walked backwards, facing him. “What do you mean, Liz?”
“Call me Lochran,” she said, stonily. “It helps.”
She turned and loped off. John watched her, confused by her mixed signals as much as her cryptic message. “But, I like Liz,” he muttered.