at the Gate by Summer Rain
Jim and Blair ran towards the window
and leaned out in time to see the man
straighten up from where he had landed.
He gave one last look up to the
window to where the partners watched him
before turning and running out of
conversations were delayed as the uniformed officers who had
been on the
street came barreling up the stairs on response to all
Jim waived away their questions and ran past them down
the steps and back
outside to check the alleyway but all traces of Detective
Stone were gone.
"So, Shaman of the great city.... any idea what
just happened here?" Jim
Blair's mouth opened and closed
as he struggled to find an answer. Finally
he just shook his head "Not a one,
Zeke ran down the street confident he had a
good head start in all the
confusion. He unclenched the hand curled
protectively around his shoulder
knowing by this time the wound had
He slowed to a walk as he lost himself in the crowd on the
wanting to draw further attention to himself by running, sighing
when he finally reached the hotel. The hotel clerk glanced up
to scowl when he came in, not appreciating the interruption to
show viewing. Not for the first time since coming to Cascade, Zeke
for Max, the hotel clerk where he stayed in LA. Max was a fountain
information or at the very least knew where to get information with
access to technologies that were completely foreign to him, having
introduced into mainstream society after his death.
He needed to
find out about the two police officers. Their presence at the
time of the
murder confused him. It could have been simple coincidence of
there was no way to be sure, based on what he knew now. The
they were demons now seemed somewhat unlikely.
The bigger man had
gone into some sort of trance for a moment. An escapee
from Hell would never
leave himself open to attack in such a way. Zeke
could have easily shot him
in the eyes, thus sending him back to Hell if he
had not set his gun
And the younger man, what was his story? After his companion went
trance what had prevented him from going after Zeke himself? Or why
the older cop simply shot Zeke in the eyes when he had the chance,
sending him back to Hell once he had managed to disarm Zeke?
shook his head. Neither of these men could be the demon he had been
for. They left themselves too open to attack. However, it didn't
wouldn't keep an eye on them. After all they had managed to keep up
when none of the other officers had. Maybe if he stuck close to
could lead him to the demon. Then the trick would be to dispatch
the demon to
Hell with none the wiser.
"That's right! Use the humans. You are learning
Zeke turned to find the Devil regarding him with a
"I'm not..." Zeke broke off.
"Oh come off it Mr.
Stone, don't say you aren't using them because that's
exactly what you are
doing," he said stepping closer into Zeke's space.
"Just like I do and
yet you condemn me." He continued, shaking his head
"We are more alike than
you think, Ezekiel."
Zeke's eyes narrowed at the statement, "We are
nothing alike." he gritted
out through clenched teeth.
stiffened in indignation as Devil laughed. "Oh Ezekiel, you
still think you
can defy me" he laughed aloud. Ezekiel's reply was cut off
as just as swiftly
the Devil swept in for a kiss.
His gasp was lost in the kiss as his
mind swirled, thoughts colliding with
one another until he wasn't sure
whether he was coming or going. All he
knew was that he couldn't possibly be
standing still, not when he felt as
if his feet had been knocked out from
under him. He shoved away from Devil
and backed against the wall trying to
gather his scattered thoughts as the
other man smiled lazily at
"Is this part of how you use humans?" he asked as he watched
the other man
warily. Though Devil was slightly built but he had far superior
strength such as Zeke could only imagine. He was very aware of this
Devil stared at him, not releasing him from his gaze, not trying to
the hunger in his eyes.
"I have no desire to *use* you
"Then what do you want?"
opened and snapped shut, a look of confusion in his eyes
he schooled his expression into blankness. "My reasons
are my own Mr. Stone,
as for you...get back to work. I'm not paying you to
laze about!" he snapped,
smiling cruelly as he disappeared and Zeke found
himself transported back the
"Didn't I just leave here?" Zeke muttered to himself,
shaking his head.
Obviously Devil wanted him to look around for something
either that or he was screwing with him again. It was not easy
the "king of kidders" as he called himself. He checked through
the room again, finding nothing significant. He stepped out of the
apartment and turned down the hallway towards an open window. Had the
police checked the whole hallway?
He looked around again trying to get a
feel for how the crime might have taken place. How did the killer enter the
building? Was it a random victim or was this all planned? Ezekiel
went back to stand in front of the apartment door and looked down the steps.
Would the killer have taken the direct approach? Somehow he didn't think so. He
looked at the flight of stairs leading to the upper floors, nodding. That way,
it was worth checking out.
He climbed the stairs, making his way up to
the upper floors. He didn't necessarily expect the killer to be around but years
being a police officer made him naturally wary. His time spent in Hell simply
increased that wariness.
He bypassed the floors, making his way
straight towards the roof, willing to work his way top down if necessary. The
door to the roof opened easily and he stepped out into the sunlight, looking
around for anything, any clues that might help him. It was a drab city roof,
nothing except a home for pigeons and few discarded beer cans, apparently. A
flash of yellow at one corner of the roof caught his eye and he headed over,
hoping that he had somehow found a clue.
He crouched down by the yellow
material, so engrossed in his discovery that
he did not hear the rooftop door
"Tampering with evidence, Stone?" The steely tone snapped his
attention back to the doorway and he whirled in his crouch, one arm reaching for
the gun tucked into the back of his waistband which he pulled out, aiming at the
"Lets not go through this again, man" the younger of the two
Ezekiel's hand stilled and he looked towards the bigger man,
waiting to see his reaction. The silence was deafening, neither man wanting to
be the one to bend. Ezekiel looked to the two men, the taller one standing
slightly in front of his partner, as if to protect him.
The younger man's
eyes were wide and questioning, asking him to be the one
to give. He nodded
in agreement with the unspoken request. He could do that, be the one to give in.
He had nothing to lose after all he thought as he put his weapon away. It wasn't
as if they could kill someone who was already dead. The only problem would be if
they tried to take him in. That he could not allow.
It took Jim a moment
longer to lower his weapon, though he did not change his protective stance in
front of Blair. He tensed as Blair sighed and stepped to the side and around
him, and snapped his gaze back to Ezekiel in challenge.
quirked in a slight smile at the antics of the larger of the two men. He
recalled his own protectiveness towards his partner, when he had been in the
force, and could understand how this man was feeling. True the man seemed overly
protective but then he had no real way of knowing how the partnership had
progressed between these two men and whether there was cause for this
Ezekiel's eyes narrowed inquisitively as the younger man
looked at the swatch of yellow fabric in his hand and shuddered
Jim stepped forward at the slight shudder in his Guide and
rested his hand
on the small of Blair's back to soothe him as best he could.
He looked carefully at what was held in Ezekiel's hand and grimaced in
A yellow scarf.
Even after all this time, it was
still a reminder to Blair. He tried hard to suppress his reactions but they
flared just the same, along with the occasional nightmare. Reminders of when he
had been kidnapped and almost killed by the serial killer whose trademark was a
"What's wrong?" the raspy voiced Detective
"Just a reminder of a really bad case." Blair answered, shaking
off the dread. He took a deep breath, relishing for a moment the small circular
motions Jim made against the small of his back, before moving away from
"What were you thinking Stone, when we came up
here?" Blair asked.
Ezekiel paused for a moment before closing his mouth,
slightly. "You called me Stone" he said, eyebrows raised
The younger man shrugged. "You could have killed us back
there while Jim
was...out..." the younger man trailed off. Blair did not add
sadness in the other man's eyes intrigued him. Something about this
drew him. He could almost feel the loneliness and pain radiating from
man, much as it had been when he had first met Jim. He considered
a good judge of character and he knew that this man needed their
Blair decided to take the leap of faith and trust
Ezekiel looked down momentarily. The younger man had decided to
for some reason and it overwhelmed him, but it felt good, as any
human contact did lately.
Ezekiel shrugged and held the scarf
up for Jim to take. "I just decided to
come up here and check it out. No
doubt the techs have been up here already
but I thought it couldn't hurt to
look." Ezekiel responded.
Jim nodded as he took the scarf. He couldn't
fault the other man's
Thinking despite feeling uneasy about the man. His
senses could not help him with this one, as there was no heart beat for him to
tune into. No inordinate amount of sweat to indicate he was lying. He peered
closely. The man seemed not to be sweating at all, though it was a rather warm
Jim lifted the scarf to his nose. The smell was familiar. He sniffed
again, straightening and focusing at the feel of Blair's hand on his arm serving
to ground him.
"We need to take this to forensics," Jim said
"Why? Can't you tell if it's the killer's?" Blair
"It is the same smell that was in the room, but we've got to do
this by the
book. That will mean, testing and comparing to what we've got
back at the
lab." Jim responded, turning back towards the rooftop
"You have an idea who this is?" Ezekiel asked.
and looked him over before reluctantly shaking his head. "We're
not sure. Do
you know who it is?" he asked.
"No. Not really," Stone
"No? Or you know and won't tell us." Jim asked, arching an
"I don't know who this killer is." Ezekiel
answered, looking Jim straight
in the eye.
Jim's jaw clenched, hating
the feeling of not being able to judge whether
this man was being truthful.
He turned again towards the door, before
pausing and turning around to face
"It might be best if you came with us." Jim said. "We might
"And you want to keep an eye on me." Ezekiel
added, looking at him through
"That too," Jim
responded, not bothering to deny it.
Ezekiel considered it for a moment
before looking at the younger man and
nodding his head. He just had to trust
they wouldn't turn him in once they
reached the station.
It seemed to
be a day for leaps of
given the scarf and Ezekiel and Sentinel and Guide went out
together to discuss the case. It was a venue Ezekiel preferred,
felt at once comfortable and nervous at the station.
He gave a puzzled
smile at Jim's outright smile at his request to have
lunch at a burger
"Finally a man with some taste." Jim said, looking slyly down at
Blair shook his head smiling fondly up at his partner and
Ezekiel smiled at the antics of the two officers.
It was wonderful
to see the camaraderie that existed between the two men. He was pulled into it
as he ate lunch with the two men listening quietly as Detective Ellison and his
partner exchanged good natured jabs. He watched with a sad smile. This is what
he missed. The simple things. Being able to sit down and exchange in some
good-natured ribbing with a friend. The closest he got now was his exchanges
with Devil and he hardly qualified as a friend. He shook his head and bit into
the burger appreciatively just as Jim's cell phone went off signaling yet
another interrupted lunch.
Ezekiel and Blair sat quietly as Jim listened
for a moment to the speaker, frowning before disconnecting.
Simon, he wants us back in the office," Jim said, turning to Blair. Blair nodded
and threw down his napkin, never having managed to take a bite of the greasy
"Is it about the yellow scarf?" Zeke asked, setting down his
napkin as well.
"No, different case. As soon as we get all the info on
the scarf, we'll call you. Do you have a number where you can be
Translation: Sit by the phone waiting for our call, so we know
exactly where you are. Ezekiel thought to himself, shaking his head slightly.
"No, sorry I don't," he said, smiling softly in amusement. "If you give me your
number I'll contact you when I'm able."
After a moment, Jim nodded and
wrote his cell phone number on a napkin quickly
And passing it to Zeke. He
stood and along with Blair left the restaurant, leaving Ezekiel behind to finish
lunch by himself.
Ezekiel finished off the rest of the
lunch appreciatively and walked outside the restaurant slowly as he contemplated
his next move.
He needed information on that yellow scarf. Whatever tests
were being done on it, results would take a while to develop.
looked at the digital watch on the top of one of the office buildings. They had
had a late lunch; if he left immediately it would give him a few hours at the
research center of the Cascade Central library. Perhaps an old newspaper story
somewhere would provide him with the significance of the yellow scarf, and
exactly why Jim and Blair seemed to have been affected by it.
back inside the restaurant to get directions and then continued on to where he
hoped he would be able to find some answers.
At the library he spent
hours searching through paper clippings, going through microfiche and microfilm.
He even tried his hand at searching on the Internet with the help of a
librarian. The frustration of being fifteen years behind in technology, and
being pressed for time prevented him from spending long on this.
eventually found himself in front of the microfiche machine, perusing papers
over the past few years and seeing if any stories jumped out at him that might
be able to help him with this case.
Looking at his watch he realized he
was running out of time and began to skim quicker through the articles, wishing
that his reading rate has increased along with his strength during his time in
After what seemed like forever he finally found mention of a yellow
scarf. It was in a cover story from a few years back. Apparently the yellow
scarf was a trademark of a serial killer named Lash. One of his intended victims
was a police observer. The picture was grainy as if taken from a distance but he
could clearly make out the form of Detective Ellison bent over the person lying
on the stretcher, obscuring from view all but the top of the person's
The auburn curls in a state of disarray were very familiar; they
looked suspiciously like he hair of one Blair Sandburg. If nothing else it would
explain Blair's reaction to the sight of the yellow scarf.
report was not as explicit as it could have been, but from what he was able to
read, the crime didn't fit Lash's typical modus operandi. So on this case, he
either changed his way of operating or there was a copycat killer on the loose.
He had to keep both options open. The fact that Lash had been killed while
avoiding being apprehended meant nothing, as he well knew.
no other angle for him to investigate, at least not until he got further
information from Jim and Blair.
He stood looking at the machine for a
moment before standing and thanking the librarian who stood nearby, returning
the microfiche to her He left the library and since it was a cool night and he
was on a limited budget he began his walk back to his hotel.
There was no
other angle for him to investigate, at least not until he got further
information from Jim and Blair.
"Have a nice time?"
Ezekiel asked as he looked up to see the Devil fall into step beside
"Finding out about your new friends of course."
shrugged and kept walking, not looking in Devil's direction, hoping he would get
the hint. He did not.
"You know, your time might have been better served,
visiting in church instead." Devil said as he scurried forward to keep
That stopped Ezekiel in mid-step.
"Why so surprised Mr.
Stone? I'm a firm believer in worship. It's best of course when I'm the one
being worshiped but we can't always get what we want," he said, smiling sunnily
Ezekiel's suspicion increased tenfold and he turned to face
Devil fully. "I'm almost afraid to ask where this is coming from?" the normally
soft raspy voice had an edge to it.
"Why Mr. Stone, I'm merely trying to
help. Do you doubt my sincerity?" When Ezekiel's only response was a
disbelieving look he smiled again and began walking, this time forcing Ezekiel
to catch up to him. "Try the Grace Street church Mr. Stone, I hear the services
there are hot."
Ezekiel studied him for a moment and then nodded and
walked forward, a thousand questions on his mind. Knowing however they would not
be answered. He was stopped by a hand to his chest as the Devil moved into his
"I should tell you Mr. Stone, you will not like what you see." All
traces of amusement had vanished from his expression. The expression of the
slighter man more serious... more open than Ezekiel had ever seen on
Ezekiel felt the warmth spread in his body, radiating from the spot
where the Devil's hand made contact with his chest. His eyes narrowed in
perplexity at the Devil's actions. *He looks so...serious. Could it actually be
that he cares about my feelings, even in some small way?*
As if Devil
could sense his thoughts he snatched his hand back and stepped away. He cleared
his throat nervously in an endearingly human like gesture.
smiled at the movement, smile broadening as the other man scowled at him
unconvincingly. They stared at each other for a moment. The Devil being the
first one to drop his gaze as he turned and walked away, leaving Ezekiel to
stare after him.
Ezekiel finally turned to make his way to the church,
his mind whirring in confusion. Something was going on with Devil, something
that concerned himself. His hand came up to touch his chest, still feeling the
heat of Devil's touch. Had Devil realized that his hand had rested over
Ezekiel's once human heart.
Ezekiel shook his head.
There was no
figuring out Devil's actions at times. He doubted Devil himself understood why
he did the things he did at times.
He dropped his hand and squared his
shoulders, clearing his mind. He had a job to do. There would be time later to
figure Devil out, if that was even possible.
Ezekiel stepped around the
corner to see a small group of people standing huddled together. As he
approached he saw that several of the people were crying. One of the group
members said something and they all looked up at the building in front of them,
drying their tears away as they did so.
Ezekiel stepped around
the corner to see a small group of people standing huddled together. As he
approached he saw that several of the people were crying. One of the group
members said something and they all looked up at the building in front of them,
drying their tears away as they did so.
They shook their heads
sadly and walked down the street, away form Ezekiel's position. He walked
forward, curious to see what they had been so saddened over.
a church. The church that Devil had sent him over to see apparently. It was
small and slightly recessed from the street, which is why he had not spotted it
from his original position.
He looked at the street sign on the
corner to be sure. Yes, there it was. Grace Street.
right. He did not like it one bit. It smacked too much of Ash for
There was broken police tape trailing on the floor, one
end still taped to the side of the entrance. He looked around in case
anyone was watching and then stepped across the fluttering tape and into the
He paused at the doorway and looked around him. The
charred remains of the wooden pews ere a silent testimony to the havoc wreaked
against this church.
He spent the better part of an hour exploring the church
undisturbed. He finally shook his head in frustration. Whatever evidence or
clues he had hoped to find had been long since removed by the police.
turned to walk back out of the church when he noted the yellow cloth by the
door. He had missed it before when he had come in because the yellow had been
slightly under and therefore blending in with the trailing police tape.
he got close enough he picked the cloth up, lips tightening into a thin
It was a yellow scarf. It was similar to the one he had found on
He shook his head in confusion. What could possibly be the
The newspaper report he had read hadn't mentioned arson as one of
He needed more information. He left the church as
unobtrusively as he had come in. He placed the scarf in a small plastic bag
against the hope that they would be able to find some fingerprints or something
else of significance on the scarf.
As Ezekiel reached his motel he
looked at his watch, surprised to see how late in the day it was. He called the
precinct for Detective Ellison but was told that he had left for the day.
Ezekiel checked the card that Ellison had given him, and called the other number
listed, leaving the message about the scarf on the machine when no one answered
Either he hadn't gotten home yet or...
Ellison was sound asleep
through the ringing of the phone.
Ezekiel smiled at that thought.
remembered those days as a police officer. Working on a really tough case and
then finally coming home to collapse from exhaustion, finally safe in Rosalyn's
His smile finally reached his eyes as he thought of her.
down on the flimsy motel mattress and closed his eyes as he thought of her. He
could almost feel her strong arms as they encircled his shoulders and pulled him
In fact he _ could_ feel her. He felt her soft breast beneath
his cheek, rising and falling as she fell back asleep. Her soft exhalations of
breath swaying the hair on his forehead. He sighed as he snuggled deeper into
He lay like that for a long time, his memories sustaining
him even as he slept.
Devil watched the slight smile on
Ezekiel's face from where he stood at the foot of the bed. He knew exactly why
Stone was smiling for it was he who had created the illusion for
He sighed as he watched Ezekiel. This was ludicrous. There was
no reason at all why he should be providing this illusion for the
Except that he didn't like the thought of him feeling
For a moment he pictured himself being the one to hold Ezekiel
within his arms.
He was pretty sure there would be no such smile on Ezekiel's
face. The thought angered him and he blinked out of the room taking his illusion
Seconds later he popped back into the room grumbling softly as
he waved his hand to reestablish the illusion. Sitting at the foot of the bed he
watched his Detective sleep, not knowing what to make of the turbulent emotions
caused by this man.
Ezekiel awoke the next day still
feeling the sensation of arms surrounding him. He frowned as he came awake
fully. Something was strange. Instead of his wife's soft breast beneath his
cheek he felt a flat chest and wiry arms surrounding him. Strangest of all was
that there was almost, if he allowed himself to feel it, a sense of rightness to
He opened his eyes and looked up into the face of his
Ezekiel groaned, he should have known. He turned his
gaze away, missing the look of disappointment as he extricated himself from the
other man's embrace.
"Its about time you woke up Mr. Stone." Devil said
arching an eyebrow at the detective.
"Yeah well...just catching up on my
beauty sleep." Ezekiel said, flippantly standing and moving away from the
"You don't need it"
"What?" Ezekiel asked looking back at the
man lying on the bed. Had he just heard what he thought he heard? Was it his
imagination or was the Devil looking at him with...longing?
shook his head and stood walking over to stand beside Stone.
better get a move on Stone. Detective Ellison I'm sure will be anxious to
solve this case and to see the scarf you've found." Devil
Ezekiel prepared himself to go the precinct, calling Jim's cell
phone number to let the Detective know he was on his way and what he had found.
Making sure the bag, which held the cloth, was still closed securely he made his
way to Major Crimes.
Once there he handed the cloth over to Jim and it
was taken down to forensics after which Ezekiel waited as Ellison got pulled
into the office to conference with Simon.
Stone tried to be as inconspicuous
as possible, not wanting his presence questioned by the other officers in the
room. Most of them had seen him enter with Jim so no spoke to him. After a while
however, he could not shake the feeling that someone was watching
Looking up he saw an uniformed officer a few feet away looking
directly at him.
Ezekiel stared at the officer, unnerved by the sense of
familiarity he felt with this apparent stranger. He tensed as the officer
approached him slowly.
"Hello...Zeke." The man said emphasizing the k in
his name, his mouth turning up into a twisted smile.
Ezekiel started. How
did this man know his name?
"Do I know you?" the raspy voiced detective
The other man simply laughed and walked away, leaving a perplexed
Ezekiel behind him.
"I didn't know you knew anyone else here" Jim
said inquisitively as he approached Ezekiel after exiting Simon's
"I don't" Ezekiel answered staring after the other man. "I'm
going to go talk with him and meet back with you here. I'm sure you have lots of
paperwork to catch up on in the meantime," he added, smiling at the detective's
grimace at the reminder.
He walked quickly after the officer, frowning as
the officer also quickened his pace. He didn't want to call out to the other man
to stop, not wanting to cause a scene in the precinct.
He frowned as the
officer went through he stair doors turning back to look at him as if in
challenge. He crashed through the doors just in time to see a bit of blue from
the officer's uniform disappear around the bend of the stairs. He gave chase,
just hearing the pounding of footsteps in front of him yet never catching sight
of the officer. He quickened his pace, needing to catch the man. If nothing else
so that the officer could explain his actions. He was deliberately leading
Ezekiel on a chase. Yet he was a complete stranger. What could be the
Reaching the last flight he slammed open the doorway leading into
the basement level garage. There was no one there.
Not even the sound of
the running footsteps that had been haunting him for the past few minutes. He
looked around the room and listened intently. There was no shuffling of feet.
Not even heavy breathing. They had gone down seven flights of steps at a rapid
pace. Any mortal would be breathing hard by now.
Ezekiel muttered an oath
and reached for his gun, cursing himself at his own stupidity. He never reached
it. He was knocked to the ground and pounced on. If he had been alive and needed
to breathe he would have gotten the breath knocked out of him. Instead he lay
stunned on the ground as a man he had seen before only in a photograph pinned
him to the ground.
"Hello" the other man responded. "Nice
to meet you. I've heard so much about you." He sneered.
"What, but I
don't know you. Who would have told you about me?" Ezekiel asked, staring up at
the other man. He raised his arms but found them quickly pinned to the ground
above his head.
"Relax Stone. I'm not here to hurt you, I just wanted to
meet you. And in answer to your question...we've got a mutual friend. You got to
know her *very* well."
"Her? Who are you..." the rest of his question was
cut off the doorway behind him slamming open.
"Get off of him.
Ezekiel watched as his captor's face lit in recognition at the
sound of Jim's command. He stared at the man as a giggle erupted from his lips.
He had no further time to think as he was dragged up and used as a barrier
between Lash and Detective Ellison. He opened his mouth to shout at Jim to shoot
the man but had no time to speak as he was thrown into the Detective knocking
them both to the ground.
By the time they untangled themselves from where
they had fallen Jim was able to listen and tell that the imposter was long gone.
Turning to Ezekiel with eyes wide in shock he opened and closed his mouth before
finally finding his voice.
"Luckily I recognized the scent.." Jim
faltered, taking a deep breath. "Please tell me that was not Lash I just saw."
He said hopefully. When Ezekiel did not comply with his request he closed his
eyes, shoulders sagging and shaking his head.
"Do you have an explanation
for this?" Jim asked.
Ezekiel nodded his head but said nothing.
take it it's not something I'm going to want to hear."
Another nod from
Jim sighed and rubbed his hand over his face before
straightening his shoulders. He tucked his gun back into his holster and nodded
at Ezekiel. "Okay, lets get Blair. I have a feeling he will be able to deal with
your story a lot better than I will."
They went back upstairs where Jim
grabbed his jacket and they headed out to the university to catch up with Blair.
They waited a few minutes as he answered the questions of some students who had
stopped to speak with him just outside the classroom he had just lectured
in. He said goodbye to the last student and walked towards the two men
frowning at the looks on their faces.
"What's up?" he asked them turning
to Jim as Ezekiel did the same.
"I know this sounds crazy Chief
but...Lash is back" he finished softly. He winced as he heard the instant
increase in heartbeat from his Guide, even though the other man appeared
"H-how can that be?" Blair asked.
back at the other two men debating how much he could reveal. Confessing that he
was in fact a dead man working for the Devil chasing down demons... well, he
just knew that would not go over real well with Detective Ellison. He decided to
settle for half truths.
"Lash is...special. He's not the man you shot and
apparently killed a few years ago, Ellison." Ezekiel winced at his own
dishonesty as he stressed the words apparently. "I know at the time he was
dangerous, but he's even more so now. Where he's come from... he's a demon."
Ezekiel blurted out knowing that the other two men would take his words
Blair shuddered "You mean he's even more insane, if
that's even possible?"
"The question is, how do we stop him?" Jim
"First we have to catch him" Ezekiel's response was cut off by the
ringing of Jim's cell phone. They were called back to the office, Blair
promising to catch up to them later.
They returned to the office and
Ezekiel stayed behind in the basement garage searching for any more signs of
Lash as Jim made his way up to Major Crimes.
Eventually he conceded that
there was no indication of the man's presence and Ezekiel made his way up to
"We finally got an ID on the John Doe killed in the
apartment building." Jim said setting his jacket on the chair next to him and
flipping through his notebook as Ezekiel approached him.
"Who was it?"
"A missionary of sorts for a local church. Worked with the
street kids and junkies in the neighborhood"
"Hmm, yet another link to
religion." Jim pointed out. "I don't get it, what's with Lash's sudden
fascination with religion?" he said, valiantly suppressing a shudder at the
mention of the name.
"And the complete arson of the churches. He seems
incredibly angry. Why?" Ezekiel asked thinking aloud.
"We have to keep in
mind it could be someone else.' Jim pointed out reasonably.
strong enough to kill without a struggle, who else could it..." Ezekiel broke
off, stunned look on his face.
"What?" Jim asked turning to the other
"Nothing, I just..." Ezekiel exhaled sharply and looked down at the
younger man. "I do know another demon who would do this, but why would she...
and the method... It's just not her style." Ezekiel finished, shaking his
"Her?" Jim prompted.
"Yeah... Ash." Ezekiel answered saying
the name through gritted teeth.
"Ash...who.." Jim was interrupted by the
opening elevator doors and an excited Blair exiting and walking briskly towards
"Guys, we gotta scoot. Just heard about another burned down
church," he said.
Jim nodded and turned to grab his jacket quickly
catching up to the other two already walking to catch at the closing doors of
the elevator. He nodded as Blair gave him the address recognizing the area the
church was in. It was not far from where the missionary had been
They made their way to the church each man deep in his own
thoughts reviewing possibilities for the case, hoping for answers through this
On to part 3
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