Книга Sense Of Evil. Содержание - 15

“No. I’m not a touch telepath, I’m an open telepath. All I have to do is focus on someone and concentrate. If I can read them at all, I know right away. I can read you, and you’re psychic.”

“I am?”

“You are.” Paige looked at Isabel. “I was pretty sure he was, at that news conference before you showed up on Thursday. When you walked into the room, I was positive.”

“That’s when everything changed,” Rafe murmured. “I felt it.”

“I’m not surprised,” Paige said frankly. “The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. It was like an electrical current was let loose in the room.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Isabel demanded. “Then would have been nice, but when I called you today-”

“I reported in to Bishop on Thursday, and he told me to wait. That you and I shouldn’t have any contact at all until you called me. On Sunday.”

“He knew I’d call today.”

“Apparently, yes.”

“At least tell me he didn’t give you a whole list of things to say to one or both of us.”

Paige grinned. “No. He just said you’d call, and it would be safe for us to meet, that I should follow my training and instincts. So that’s what I’m doing.”

Isabel was looking thoughtful, her irritation with Bishop a fleeting thing. “Wait a minute. Rafe was already a functional psychic before I came into the room?”

“Yeah, but not consciously.”

“Then the original trigger was-”

“Dunno. It had to be recent, and probably some kind of emotional or psychological shock.”

Slowly, Rafe said, “I don’t recall anything like that happening. My life was very ordinary until all this started. Having a serial killer loose in my town was a shock, I admit, but nothing I’m not trained to deal with.”

“Could have been some kind of subconscious shock, I suppose, though that’s really rare. We’re usually completely aware of the jolts we get through life. Whatever it was, I can’t get at it; it’s behind his shield.”

Isabel rubbed her forehead briefly. “Okay, let’s try something a little easier. What happened when I came into the room that day?”

Readily, Paige said, “As near as I can tell, you were the catalyst. Or it was a combination of the two of you in close proximity for the first time. On a purely electromagnetic level, it was like energy going to energy. I felt it come through the room between you. Jeez, I could almost see it.”

“And what did that do to Rafe’s abilities?”

“Same thing it did to yours. Started to change them.”

“Wait a minute,” Rafe said. “Change them from what? And into what?”

“Here’s where we get into educated guesswork,” Paige told them. “From what I was getting before Isabel walked into the room, I think your natural ability would have been precognition.”

“Seeing the future?”

“Like your grandmother,” Isabel said. “She had the sight.”

Rafe leaned forward, elbows on knees, and frowned at Paige. “But I’m not precognitive now?”

“No, not actively. When Isabel walked in, everything changed. Her energy added to yours closed that door and opened another one.”

“I’m afraid to ask,” Rafe said.

“I’m not,” Isabel said. “What’s behind door number two?”


Startled, Rafe said, “Like Isabel?”

“Yeah, except that as we all know you have a shield. Dandy one, as a matter of fact. So dandy you’ve got it wrapped around both of you.”

“How is that possible?” Isabel demanded. “He’s not consciously controlling any of this.”

“That’s how it’s possible.” Paige eyed Rafe thoughtfully. “In case you don’t know this, your conscious mind is always second-guessing your hunches and instincts. For most of your life, I gather.”

He nodded without comment.

“Well, your instincts are fighting back. Once your abilities became functional, your subconscious took them over. With a vengeance.”

Isabel frowned. “Wait a minute. If this shield of his is so powerful it can even enclose my mind-”

“Then how am I able to read him? It’s because he’s doing all this at a subconscious level. Just beneath his conscious mind is a solid wall.” Paige lifted her brows at Isabel. “Same one that’s just beneath your conscious mind. It’s really no wonder you can’t hear the voices anymore.”

With a sigh, Isabel said, “You know, Bishop was right-as usual, damn him-to send Hollis with me. She’s been pretty much on the mark about all of this.”

“Yeah, the rookies often are. Sometimes knowing just the basics can offer you more room to speculate and the imagination to do it,” Paige said. “The rest of us tend to get tripped up by our own assumptions.”

“I’m still trying to figure out the basics,” Rafe told them. To Paige, he said, “So I’m not stripped naked to you, just down to my underwear.”

“Pretty good analogy.” She smiled. “And accurate, as far as it goes. I’m not picking up thoughts from you-I mean clear thoughts like sentences. It doesn’t work that way for me. You could be calling me rude names in your head or worrying about some deep dark secret you don’t want anybody to know, and I wouldn’t necessarily read either.”

“Because you specialize in reading psychic ability in other minds?” he guessed.

Paige nodded. “Exactly. My own energy seems to be tuned for that, picking up on that particular frequency. So I usually know if somebody else is psychic, how they’re psychic, and what’s going on in that area of their minds. But the human brain is vast, mostly unmapped terrain, and the larger part of it is as alien to me as it is to most everybody else.”

Rafe shook his head as he sat back in his chair, but said, “Okay, how do I control this?”

“Simple. Get your conscious mind in control.”

“And you’re going to tell me how to do that?”

“Wish I could. Sorry. This is the sort of thing almost every psychic has to figure out more or less alone. The only advice I have to offer is that you two work together on it. Clearly, you’re meant to.”

It was Isabel who said, “So tell us why.”

Paige didn’t hesitate. “Do me a favor and hold hands for a minute.”

Rafe looked at Isabel, then held out his hand. With only a slight hesitation, she put hers in it.

At the spark, Paige’s eyes widened. “I’d heard about it but not seen it. Interesting, to say the least.” She frowned, obviously concentrating.

But then something really weird happened.

While Isabel and Rafe watched in fascination, Paige’s shoulder-length dark hair began to lift and stir as though a breeze had wafted through the room. There was a soft popping and crackling, and a low hum began to fill the silence.


HOLLIS LOOKED UP as Ginny stuck her head in the conference room to say, “Caleb Powell is here to see you. Should I show him in here, or to one of the offices?”

“In here, I guess. Thanks, Ginny.” Hollis went to cover the bulletin boards, then returned to a chair on the far side of the table. She was more than a little surprised that he wanted to see her at all; to seek her out here at the police station, and on a Sunday, definitely made her wonder.

Especially after their last meeting.

“Hi,” Caleb said as he came in. He didn’t shut the door behind him, and Hollis didn’t suggest that he do so.

“Hi yourself. What’s up?” With a gesture, she invited him to sit down on the opposite side of the table.

He hesitated, then sat down. “I wanted to apologize.”

“For what?”

“You know. I acted like a jerk when you told me about your eyes.”

She couldn’t help but smile. “You didn’t act like a jerk, you were just a little unnerved. I can hardly blame you for that, since I am too. And I’ve had months to get used to them.”

“Still, it was a lousy way for me to act. I’m sorry.”

“Apology accepted.”

Caleb moved half-consciously in his chair. “Then why do I get the feeling I’ve damaged… something… beyond repair?”

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