continuation Demons 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
the alleyway.

Any further conversations were delayed as the uniformed officers who had
been on the street came barreling up the stairs on response to all the

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, Jim."


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 healed.

He slowed to a walk as he lost himself in the crowd on the street, not
wanting to draw further attention to himself by running, sighing in relief
when he finally reached the hotel.  The hotel clerk glanced up momentarily
to scowl when he came in, not appreciating the interruption to his talk
show viewing. Not for the first time since coming to Cascade, Zeke wished
for Max, the hotel clerk where he stayed in LA. Max was a fountain of
information or at the very least knew where to get information with her
access to technologies that were completely foreign to him, having been
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
course but there was no way to be sure, based on what he knew now. The
possibility that 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 down.

And the younger man, what was his story? After his companion went into his
trance what had prevented him from going after Zeke himself? Or why hadn't
the older cop simply shot Zeke in the eyes when he had the chance, thus
sending him back to Hell once he had managed to disarm Zeke?

Zeke shook his head. Neither of these men could be the demon he had been
searching for. They left themselves too open to attack. However, it didn't
mean he wouldn't keep an eye on them. After all they had managed to keep up
with him when none of the other officers had. Maybe if he stuck close to
them, they 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 Mr. Stone"

Zeke turned to find the Devil regarding him with a sneer.
 "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.
 His spine 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 him.

 "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,
strength such as Zeke could only imagine. He was very aware of this as
Devil stared at him, not releasing him from his gaze, not trying to hide
the hunger in his eyes.

 "I have no desire to *use* you Ezekiel!"

 "Then what do you want?"

 Devil's mouth opened and snapped shut, a look of confusion in his eyes
momentarily before 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 murder scene.

"Didn't I just leave here?" Zeke muttered to himself, shaking his head.
Obviously Devil wanted him to look around for something here. Well....
either that or he was screwing with him again. It was not easy working for
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 opening.

"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 partners.

"Lets not go through this again, man" the younger of the two men said.

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.

Ezekiel's lips 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 protectiveness.

Ezekiel's eyes narrowed inquisitively as the younger man looked at the swatch of yellow fabric in his hand and shuddered slightly.

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 understanding.

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 yellow scarf.

"What's wrong?" the raspy voiced Detective asked.

"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 the
soothing hand.

"What were you thinking Stone, when we came up here?" Blair asked.

Ezekiel paused for a moment before closing his mouth, mouth quirking
slightly. "You called me Stone" he said, eyebrows raised quizzically.

The younger man shrugged. "You could have killed us back there while Jim
was...out..." the younger man trailed off. Blair did not add that the
sadness in the other man's eyes intrigued him. Something about this man
drew him. He could almost feel the loneliness and pain radiating from this
man, much as it had been when he had first met Jim.  He considered himself
a good judge of character and he knew that this man needed their help, and
Blair decided to take the leap of faith and trust him.

Ezekiel looked down momentarily. The younger man had decided to trust him
for some reason and it overwhelmed him, but it felt good, as any sort of
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 day.

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 straightening.

"Why? Can't you tell if it's the killer's?" Blair asked.

"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 door.

"You have an idea who this is?" Ezekiel asked.

Jim turned 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 answered.

"No? Or you know and won't tell us." Jim asked, arching an eyebrow in

"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 the Detective.
"It might be best if you came with us." Jim said. "We might need your

"And you want to keep an eye on me." Ezekiel added, looking at him through
narrowed eyes.

"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 faith.


Forensics was given the scarf and Ezekiel and Sentinel and Guide went out
for lunch together to discuss the case. It was a venue Ezekiel preferred,
after having 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 joint.

"Finally a man with some taste." Jim said, looking slyly down at his partner.

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.

"That's 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 burger.

"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 reached?"

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. 
Ezekiel 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.

He stepped 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. 

He 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 Hell.

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 head.

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.

The police 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.

There was 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?"

"Doing what?" Ezekiel asked as he looked up to see the Devil fall into step beside him.

"Finding out about your new friends of course."

Ezekiel 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 pace.

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 at Ezekiel.

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 path.

"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 him.

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. 

Ezekiel 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.
It was 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.

 Devil was right. He did not like it one bit. It smacked too much of Ash for comfort. 

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 building. 

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.

He 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.
When he got close enough he picked the cloth up, lips tightening into a thin line.

It was a yellow scarf. It was similar to the one he had found on the rooftop.
He shook his head in confusion. What could possibly be the connection?
The newspaper report he had read hadn't mentioned arson as one of Lash's hobbies.

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 the phone.
Either he hadn't gotten home yet or...
Ellison was sound asleep through the ringing of the phone.
Ezekiel smiled at that thought.

He 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 arms.
His smile finally reached his eyes as he thought of her.

He lay 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 closer. 
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 the embrace.

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 him.
He sighed as he watched Ezekiel. This was ludicrous. There was no reason at all why he should be providing this illusion for the Detective.
Except that he didn't like the thought of him feeling lonely.

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 with him.

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 the embrace.

He opened his eyes and looked up into the face of his smiling employer.

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 bed.

"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?

Devil merely shook his head and stood walking over to stand beside Stone. 
"You'd 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 advised.

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 him.

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 asked.

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 office.

"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 reason.

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. Now!"

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.

"I take it it's not something I'm going to want to hear."

Another nod from Ezekiel.

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 outwardly calm.

"H-how can that be?" Blair asked.

Ezekiel stared 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 figuratively. 

Blair shuddered "You mean he's even more insane, if that's even possible?"

"The question is, how do we stop him?" Jim asked.

"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 Major Crimes.

"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?" Stone asked.

"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.

"Someone 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 man.

"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 head.

"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 them.

"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 killed.

They made their way to the church each man deep in his own thoughts reviewing possibilities for the case, hoping for answers through this latest break.

On to part 3

Return to story index