“Please don’t make me do this!”
Her eyes seemed large in her too small face. Full with unshed tears. Her throat knotted with emotion. She fought back the sob that threatened to escape. One lone teardrop spilled over and ran down her cheek.
“I can’t,” she finally whispered.
Sabra looked around her into a sea of faces. Some expectant. Some sympathetic. Some annoyed with brows brought down in frowns. But one. One stared back at her with disgust. She flinched outwardly.
“We’re wasting time here. For all we know she’s a fraud.”
“She’s not a fraud, Detective Grayson. I’ve seen her in action. She can find the child.”
“You don’t understand,” Sabra began, trying to explain. “It’s too much to ask of me.”
“We’re not asking anything of you but to give us a description of the kidnapper. That’s all. Not like before.”
Sabra jumped as Grayson slammed his fist down on the paper-strewn desk in front of her.
“Damn it, Captain! This is getting out of hand. We don’t have time for this,” he bellowed.
“Will somebody get this moron out of my office! We’ll never get anywhere with him ranting and raving like a frigging lunatic!” the captain snarled.
Grayson’s nostrils’ flared in anger as Detective Tonya Price tugged on his arm. He stared down into the pale face of the young woman seated before the desk. For the first time since he entered the room he really looked at her.
She lifted her face as he moved. Her gaze locked on to him and he felt a swirling sensation like he was being drawn down into some deep unknown void. For a moment he felt her sorrow. Her features spoke of a frailty, a vulnerability, that made him want to pull her into his arms. To hold her close and tell her it would be all right. To tell her she didn’t have to do this. To tell them all to go to hell and walk away.
He had a sudden overwhelming urge to protect her. To soothe away the pain that showed so plainly in her water-laden eyes. It was a feeling that was foreign to him and he blinked in surprise at the strong sensation that rippled through him.
She tugged at him from somewhere deep within. If it was another time, another place, a different situation, he would be interested. He would want to know her. With her pixie face and gentle smile. But the smile was gone now. Only haunted eyes remained.
Grayson closed his own eyes tight and broke the contact. Drawing in a deep breath, he shrugged off the hand that now gripped his arm. He hardened his heart. He was a cop, damn it, and he had a job to do. He strode for the door and yanked it open. His anger evident. He turned.
“You’re making a mistake, Captain, fooling around with something like this. This will never work.”
Tonya was fast on his heels as he exited the room. She was determined to make him understand. To make him a believer.
“Don’t you think you could have shown a little more compassion for Sabra Davies, Grayson?”
He snorted. “For what? She is what she is and what she is, is a fraud!”
Tonya’s voice grew a shade colder. “You’re wrong. She isn’t a fraud. She’s a true pyschic, if that’s the right word. But you are right in one aspect, though.”
Grayson lifted an eyebrow in mockery.
Tonya continued, trying to make a point. “She is what she is.”
He just continued his stare with a cynical glare set hard on his features. She went on as if knowing a reply would never come. “I’ve worked in this department a long time, Grayson. She’s helped us lots of times. She’s good. I’ve seen the incredible things she can do. Been a part of it. She is a true physic.”
Grayson crushed the paper in his hand into a tight ball and aimed for the waste basket. He missed.
“Cut the crap, Price. This is bull shit with a capital B and a capital S. I don’t believe in this kind of thing for one minute. The girl’s a nutcase.” He paused in his tirade, for a moment remembering the feeling he had as he lookd deep within her, then he placed his hands palms down, bent forward over his desk and slowly enunciated his next words. “A nutcase. Plain...and...simple!”
“Damn it, Grayson. I’ve been there from the beginning. I tell you she’s good.”
“Then what the hell is her problem if she’s so damn good?”
“You don’t know the story then?”
Grayson eyed Tonya with skepticism in his features. “There’s a story? Well, of course, there is.”
“Let’s have a cup of coffee, Detective. Maybe after you hear what I have to say, you’ll drop your cynicism and be a believer. We could use your help to convince Sabra to help us find the missing child.”
“It’ll be a cold day in hell before I believe such nonsense.”
“We’ll see, Detective Grayson,” Tonya assured him with a knowing smile. “I'm going to tell you tales that will make your hair stand on end.”