“You once asked me if I could help you.” Stevie was there, barely, as if she were standing outside the door, and down the hallway a bit, and whispering. “You once asked me if I could do more than helping you find a way to hold the pain, to keep it from being too much for you to bear, and I told you I couldn’t. I can’t, and I am not supposed to tell you this, but there is a way.”
“Tell me.” Jan managed to croak out loud. Her mouth was dry again but she hated the tube.
“I need for you to let go for a while.” Stevie said. “Let me inside of you, and let me do some things for you. When everything is better, you have to let me stay, and let me do what I need to do, and if you will do this for me, I can help you, but you have to let me in.”
“Let you in?”
“When you feel your mind resisting me, you have to stop, and relax, and you have to willingly let go of that, and you have to allow me to do what I want to do.” Stevie said soothingly. “It will be better for you if you do this.”
Jan could not tell if time was passing, or if it was standing still, but she heard a voice.
“Jan?” It was Barbara.
“Baby, listen to me, “ Stevie said, “you have to do this for me now. What I can give you is something you need, but you have to let me in.”
“Jan, it’s Barbara.”
Jan relaxed and in an instant she was in lotus position, near the water, and Stevie was there. There were no more voices and no sound but the gentle surf. Jan felt the pain recede, but she felt her mind resist Stevie’s presence she relaxed, and allowed Stevie inside of her, like a lover, like someone she had always known and wanted. Jan felt doors close behind her, felt the locks click into place, and knew she would not be allowed to turn around and leave, ever, but this was good. Jan felt Stevie envelop her like water, and when she breathed Jan could feel the air entering Stevie’s lungs, and she could feel Stevie’s heart beat. Jan felt as if she were watching now, sitting in lotus, sitting on the beach, and she saw Stevie lying in the hospital bed, with the tube, that damn tube, inserted in her mouth, and Jan exalted she would never feel that tube again, ever, and it was good.
“Yeah, Barb, I hear ya.” Stevie said.
“I have some news…”
“How?” Barbara asked.
“It’s been three days since you’ve seen him. Bastard never went three days without looking for me.” Stevie said. “You think the doc can fix my nose, it was always a wreck, even before.”
“I’ve never heard your curse before, Jan.” Barbara asked then paused. “Do you want to know how he died?”
“I do not care.”
“This is different.” Colleen said. “You’ve always told me your kind can take advantage of people under the influence.”
“I like the way you put that, ‘your kind’ when it is very clear it is your own kind that revolts you at this very moment.” Regal lay on the cot in the interrogation room with his hands folded on this stomach. “You already know as well as I why she kept going back, and you know it has nothing to do with my kind.”
“How did Stevie do it then?” Colleen asked suddenly. “How could she maintain Jan and still go out and kill Jan’s husband?”
“It would be very easy for a powerful demon to do just that.” Regal sighed. “That sort of thing… and perhaps I have mentioned this to you before, at some time?”
“Don’t be sarcastic with me.” Colleen said. “So with that last bit you’re telling me she was powerful but she didn’t kill him.”
“I knew this sort of thing would render you incapacitated that is why I chose the subject matter as I did. What does that suggest to you, that I can shut your mind off with a well placed tale and make you unable to see the obvious?” Regal laughed and stole a glance at Colleen. “You aren’t going to shoot me again, are you, Colleen?”
“No.” Colleen stood up and paced to the corner of the room. “You’re playing with me, now. You’ve told me something and now you’re trying to make me think of what it was you did not say, or you’re….” Colleen froze.
“I like it when you stop talking, human.” Regal said and there was nothing but disdain in his voice now. “It means you finally started to think.”
“Stevie wasn’t very powerful at all.” Colleen said slowly. “That is the point of all of this. She didn’t kill anyone at all, it was…”
“It was suicide by cop.” Regal sat up and his eyes gleamed. “You can look this story up, too, it happened during this time. “
Colleen waited to see if Regal would say more but he lay back down and was silent. Please, Toby, please be running this story down right now and do not miss getting that woman’s address, Colleen willed herself not to say this out loud, or to look back at the mirrored glass of the control booth. She knew better than to ask what city or any details. She knew better than to ask another question that might not be the right one. She had one question left and she had to make it count, she could feel it. Anything but the right question and Regal would not say another word about this, and Colleen knew it.
“Stevie had nothing to do with it.” Colleen said slowly. “She was about to abandon Jan, and look for another host. But with him dead, she didn’t have to, all she had to do was count on Jan being willing to give up. That was what Stevie was doing.”
Colleen took a step back as Regal nearly leapt from the bed. She held her right hand up and Regal froze, and Colleen knew the security people would not enter unless Regal moved on her. If she dropped her hand quickly they would come in, and no matter what she said they would “cocoon” him.
“That, Colleen,” Regal grinned at her, “is exactly right. Exactly right! That is the very most of everything that our kind, “ and he hissed those two words at her, “does”