Something in Jessica Ryan’s guts told her that something terrible will happen today. Out of habit, she closed her eyes and tried to use her psychic ability to foresee the danger but saw nothing. Sighing, she shook her head ruefully. It hasn’t been the same since the incident with the Eternal Killer.
After the killer managed to somehow infiltrate the Tree of Knowledge, which housed other psychics whose focus was finding criminals, and killed all of her colleagues except her, she has difficulty using her skills. That was why her superiors recommended – more like forced her– that she take some time off because they claimed that she was still traumatized from seeing her colleagues’ deaths. Although they told her their explanation. Jessica has a notion of the real reason; since she could no longer use her psychic powers, she was useless to them.
Just thinking about it made her want to scream out in frustration. Being on the police force was her life! When the Dr. Stephenson’s Studies of ESP Foundation discovered her gift, she has trained since she was a child to become one of the best psychics in the world. What was she supposed to do now if she lost her purpose? She would be a nobody.
Ding dong! Startled, Jessica looked up at the monitor. She wasn’t expecting any guest so who could that be? Her heart dropped when she recognized the familiar face. Wesley Brooke gave his usual impish smile as he waved at the camera. “Hey, Jessica, it’s me. I was by the neighborhood and thought to drop by,” he said. “Mind if I come in?”
Why did it have to be him? Like Jessica, Wesley was a part of the police force though he didn’t have any psychic ability. However, that wasn’t the main reason why she didn’t want to see him. After the Eternal Killer incident, he had offered to take her home, and one thing led to another… She felt her face burned a bright red just recalling how he caressed her body and kissed the nape of her neck. What was she thinking!? Sleeping with a colleague! Nevertheless, that wasn’t why she was mad at herself – it was the fact that she made herself so vulnerable.
“N-no, not at all,” she lied as she buzzed him in. As he entered the room, Jessica studied him. Wesley would be considered a handsome man with his boyish looks and muscular body. Not to mention, he was quite a charmer as well. If he wasn’t a police officer, he would probably be in the modeling industry. Jessica shook her head. What was she doing? This was so unlike her! Clearing her thought, she asked, “Would you like anything to drink?”
Wesley shook his head. “No, I’m good. Anyway, how are you?”
“I’m fine,” she replied as she poured herself a cup of coffee. Taking a sip, she leaned against the counter. “And you?”
“Fine and dandy.” He then grinned at her. “Of course, I’m on the same boat like you.”
“I’m not surprised. You did kill the Eternal Killer after all,” she said dryly.
“I know, but I still don’t see why I’m on paid leave,” he moaned.
“You know it’s procedure. You killed a suspect so they have to investigate it to make sure it’s justified,” she reminded him.
He snorted. “Then why the hell it’s taking so long? Isn’t it so obvious that I had to do it to save my partner?”
Jessica smiled. Wesley may be impulsive at times, but he has a good heart. “Speaking of your partner, how is Regan?”
“He’s doing well from what I heard. Apparently, he will start physical therapy soon.”
An awkward silence filled the air as no one spoke. At last, Wesley cleared his throat. “Listen, I know that we talked about what happened, but I think we still haven’t gotten over it yet.”
She shifted her feet as she glanced down at her cup. “I don’t know what you mean.”
“What I mean is…” he began as he strolled up to the kitchen counter and lean against it so he would be looking at her eye-to-eye. “I think we should try to figure what our relationship is. Besides, professional, that is.”
“You know that’s against protocol!” Jessica protested. “We already broke it once, which was a mistake, that I might add, and I don’t want to risk breaking it again.”
The sudden change of topic caused her to lose her appetite. She went to pour her coffee away when he abruptly placed his hands on top of her. “That’s not why you didn’t want to see me,” he accused. “When I killed that girl, I saw you standing in the crowd. That look on your face… Not to mention, the frantic voicemail you left on my phone… You’re scared of me, aren’t you?”
A strange glint appeared in his eyes when he said it; his eyes, once warm and gentle, were cold as ice. Jessica shuddered at the sight of it. It was the same look that night when he killed the Eternal Killer. However, that cold-hearted glare was gone in a blink of an eye. Was she imagining it then? “I’m not-” She took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. “It’s just… when I went down to see you that night, I was worried about you. I sensed that something terrible would happen to you so I decided to search for you to make sure you’re okay. But when I saw you…”
Her voice trailed off. If she dared voice what her psychic ability warned her, she was afraid that it would come true. However, Wesley just smiled as he gently squeezed her hands. “Is that what your psychic power told you? Didn’t you tell me that it was acting wonky now? You know that I would never hurt you,” he reassured her.
“But how can I be sure?” she whispered.
“Why don’t we take a little walk around the block?” Wesley suggested. “That way, you’ll know that I’m still the same person the first time you met me.”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea…” she began but stopped herself. Instead, she looked into his eyes to try to determine whether or not that awful gleam will appear again. Only a twinkle of mirth appeared in them. Maybe he was right. Perhaps she was imagining things. “All right,” she relented. “A stroll around the block would be nice.”
He grinned. “That’s the spirit! Why don’t I wait here while you get ready?”
“Okay,” she said. The last thing she saw as she shut her bedroom door was Wesley strolling around the room.
“Wesley, I’m ready!” Jessica announced as she finished tying her burgundy hair into a ponytail and stepped into the hallway. He didn’t answer, which caused her to frown. “Wesley? Do you hear me? I said that I’m ready.”
Walking into the kitchen, she noticed that all of the window blinds were pulled down. Unnerved, she called out, “Wesley, is this a joke? If so, this isn’t funny!”
Still no response. Jessica was about to check the living room when she noticed an envelope lying on the kitchen counter. Where did that come from? She couldn’t recall seeing nor leaving one before she went to change. Curious, she walked over and picked it up. That’s odd; the stuffed envelope was addressed to her police superiors. What was going on? Luckily, the envelope wasn’t sealed so she pulled out the letter and unfolded it. What she read caused the hairs on her arms to rise.
Dear Chief Winfield,
I regret to inform you that I have decided to leave the Sector 7 Psychic Police Force. Due to personal reasons, I am unable to fulfill duties to the best of my abilities and feel that it is best that I step down.
I am thankful for the opportunities that you have given me as well as your support and guidance. I wish you and rest of the members in the Sector 7 the best.
“What the-?” a baffled Jessica muttered. Resignation? She never wrote this! What in the world was going on here? Just then, she heard footsteps approaching behind her. Jessica turned around to find Wesley blocking the exit.
“Surprised by the letter?” he asked as he sauntered over to her.
She felt the blood in her veins went cold especially when she saw that dangerous glint in his eyes. It reminded her of a tiger cornering its prey. “You did this? What kind of sick joke are you trying to pull?” she demanded, brandishing the letter at him.
He stopped in front of her and raised his arms innocently. “It’s no sick joke, Jessica,” he told her. He then smiled his usual smile though it was colder. More heartless. “You are leaving the police force, but it’s because you’ll serve a different purpose from now on.”
Despite the growing fear, Jessica kept a calm expression. If she manages to distract him, maybe she could find a way to escape. “A different purpose? What does that suppose to mean?”
Wesley combed his blonde hair with his fingers, which she noted were gloved. “My superiors have requested that I was to deliver you to them by any means necessary.”
“Your superiors? You mean Chief Winfield?” she wondered.
“Of course not! Why should I deliver you to that buffoon?” he retorted. “No, my superiors are someone more powerful and important than he.”
More powerful? Trying to keep her composure, Jessica challenged, “Even if you did deliver me to your superiors, people will realize that something is up if I suddenly disappear!”
“They won’t. I made sure of it,” he replied, gesturing at the letter in her hand. “You see, it has your fingerprints on it so everyone will believe that you left town to ‘live a quiet life’. No one will bother to look for you, and even if they do, they will have no way of knowing where you are.”
Jessica felt the blood in her face drained. That was why he was wearing gloves! It was to ensure that none of his fingerprints would show up on the envelope and letter. How could she be so stupid? Seeing her stunned expression, Wesley laughed out loud. “I fool you, didn’t I? You thought you were so clever, but you’re not! Now then, let’s take our walk together. No funny business, okay?”
She shook her head vehemently. “And if I refuse?”
He laughed. “Then I guess I have to use force, which I don’t mind. I think it would be more entertaining that way.”
Before she could react, he raised his hand at her and she felt something struck her, causing her to slam into the kitchen counter. Wesley was a psychic, but how? He told her that he failed the psychic examinations when they tested him. As she crumpled to the floor, she saw him walking up to her. With little strength she has, she glanced up at him. He just knelt down next to her and placed his hand on her head. “Say ‘goodbye’, Jessica,” he said. The last time she remembered before she passed out was his gloating smirk.