Read Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1) Online

Authors: Teresa Reasor

Tags: #Romance, #Urban, #Fantasy

Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1) (8 page)

BOOK: Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1)
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At a quick tap at the door, Brian twisted around, and she caught her breath, half with relief, half with regret. An older man with gray hair stuck his head around the door, and seeing, Brian, meandered in. “Hello, Miss Templeton. My name is Detective Garr, and I’m Detective Underwood’s partner.”

It must suck to be him.

He offered his hand, and after a brief hesitation she clasped it.

“I’ve been in to see Mr. Newton,” Garr said.

She dragged air into her lungs and gripped her hands together around her blanket-covered knees. “Is he okay?”

“It’s going to take him some time to heal, but he’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t try to get up and walk out of here.”

She nodded.

Garr angled toward the door. “I’ll let Detective Underwood continue with his questioning.”

Brian shrugged. “We haven’t really started. Why don’t you go ahead, and I’ll take notes?”

Garr frowned, but nodded and removed a pad from his pocket. “Will you state your full name, Miss Templeton and your address?”

Acutely aware that Brian was not only listening to her answers, but taking notes, she hesitated. Would he try to pay her a visit and get back at her? “Juliet Marie Templeton. Five-four-four Hallow Street.”

“Your call came in at one-ten. How long before that do you think the attack happened?

“I don’t know. I left work at one. And walked two blocks toward my apartment.”

He remained silent for a moment as he wrote something down.

“Where do you work?”

“I tend bar at Steampunk Alley.”

Garr focused on the pad in his hand. “Was it there you met Samuel Newton?”

Juliet hated the defensive heat that ran into her cheeks. “I didn’t meet him. He was a customer and I waited on him.”

Garr eyed her for a moment. “Were you planning to go somewhere after work together?”

“No. He’d come to tell me the men who killed his brother Tanner had been found.”

“Why would he come to tell you about Tanner Newton?”

Juliet remained silent for a long moment. “I was with Tanner when he was killed. I identified his killers.”

“And Samuel was walking you home?”

“Yeah.”

“And this attack happened on the corner of Seventeenth and Stoker Street, not far from where Tanner Newton was killed?”

“Yes.”

He raised one brow. “Why didn’t Mr. Newton just drive you home?”

“I didn’t trust him, and I wouldn’t get into his car.” As it was, the car would have been a safer option. She looked directly at Brian Underwood for a moment. “No place is safe. Not even a stall in the ladies’ room.”

Underwood’s features tightened, but he kept his eyes on the pad in his hand.

Damn him. He’d left what he had done to her behind. Because he’d never paid for it.

Juliet folded her arms against her and rocked against the freshly hewn pain brought on by just seeing him. She concentrated on the door, praying a nurse would come in and interrupt.

“Mr. Newton wasn’t able to tell me much. Did you happen to see the man who attacked you?”

“All I saw was something gray. There was a cloth over my face, something around my throat, and I couldn’t breathe, and I was lifted off my feet, then I blacked out.”

Garr nodded. “Something gray.” He lifted his head and focused on her with his mid-toned brown eyes. “Do you mind if I look at your throat?”

Juliet peeled back the blanket, revealing the pale blue hospital gown. She knew her throat looked like she had been burned. Even the ER doctor had commented on it.

Garr frowned. “Would you mind if another detective comes by to question you, Miss Templeton?”

She shook her head, then flinched when her strained neck muscles twinged, and stopped. “No, I won’t mind.” Anyone but Brian Underwood.

A nurse pushed open the door and came into the room. “Miss Templeton, I thought you’d like to know since you’re her emergency contact on record, your sister has been brought into the ER, too.”

*     *     *

Miranda flinched away
from the doctor’s probing touch. He looked as confused as she felt. What the hell had it been, and why was it after her?

It
was
after her. She’d had time to think it through while waiting with Caleb for the doctor. The shadow hadn’t become visible until after she emerged from The Dish. It hadn’t pursued Caleb when he left the diner. But it had come after her.

Chill bumps rose on her skin as fear rushed over her like an icy breeze. She swallowed though her mouth was dry.

Aware of the damage it had done to her with just a glancing blow, she was scared Caleb’s instinct to defend would get him killed. He would put himself between her and the shadow, and it would—

“And you say you were struck by something?”

The doctor’s question dragged her attention back. “That’s what it felt like. It numbed my whole arm.”

“I’ll be back shortly.” The doctor stepped out of the room.

Caleb edged closer to the bed. “You look a little pale. You’re sure you’re okay?”

Miranda nodded. She clasped Caleb’s hand. “You don’t have to stay. I’ll be fine here on my own.”

His brow creased in confusion. “What the hell are you talking about, Mandy?”

How could she get him to leave her here and go? He needed to get as far away from her as he could.

“This thing that hit me isn’t after you. But it might try to hurt you if you get between me and it. I couldn’t bear that.”

His fingers tightened around her hand. “We can’t know anything for sure.”

“I know for sure.” her stomach ached with tension, and she pulled her knees up. “If it had wanted to hurt you, it would have followed you to the garage. It didn’t appear again until I came out of the diner. It’s after me, and I can tell from looking at you that you know what I’m saying is the truth.”

He remained silent for a long moment. His eyes had never looked so blue. “I can’t leave you. I won’t.”

The curtain was jerked back and they both jumped. Seeing her sister clutching a blanket around her shoulders left Miranda speechless for a moment. “Juliet. What are you doing here?”

With one sweep she took in her sister’s disheveled appearance. Her hair hung in stringy curls, and she had on almost no makeup. A round scrape marred her cheek, and there was a horrible red burn around her throat. Juliet strode to the bed. Behind her, an older man with gray hair stepped into the cubicle.

“The nurse told me you were here. And that someone hit you while you were on a motorcycle. I told her that couldn’t be true. My baby sister would never ride a hog.” Juliet’s voice sounded edgy around a hoarseness that was almost painful to listen to. Her fingers clutched the hospital blanket around her shoulders, holding it taut.

“Well maybe there are a few things about me you don’t know,” Miranda said as she met her twin sister’s gaze. They might not have spoken in the last few months, but she had no problem reading the emotion in Juliet’s face. She was stressed and upset. No matter what issues they had, they always looked out for each other, protected each other. She sensed Juliet needed support. She reached for her, then flinched when she raised her arm.

Juliet pressed a cheek to hers. “That looks damn strange,” she commented as she drew back, her attention on Miranda’s injury.

“And yours looks like a burned handprint,” Miranda commented.

“Weird, huh?” Her studied Miranda’s arm again, her frown deepening. “What’s the odds we’d both end up in the ER at the same time with strange injuries?”

Miranda started to reply, but her attention snagged on someone in the hall. Was that Brian Underwood just outside the door? Rage flooded her. With her left hand she flipped the blanket aside and gingerly scooted over so she could get up.

Juliet blocked her. “You need to take it easy, sis. The police are here interviewing me about an assault, too.”

Looking at each other had always been like looking into a mirror. Though they were identical twins, they were total opposites. At least in personality. She’d always been the straight-as-an-arrow twin, while Juliet had been the rebel. She understood why that had to be. Juliet never had any other choice. But it was Miranda’s own temper, her desire to protect Juliet, which could unravel everything for them. She glanced past Juliet to the door again, her eyes narrowing on the man who stood there just out of reach.

“Ms. Templeton?” The gray-haired man who came in with Juliet spoke.

She looked up, and Juliet turned to face him. He had a long, homely face and deadpan eyes, as though he’d seen it all, and none of it good.

“My name is Detective Garr. As your sister said, I’m here investigating her assault. I’d like to take a statement from you about yours as well. The doctor just flagged me down in the hall. Your injuries are similar to Mr. Newton’s, the man who was with your sister when she was attacked. Very similar.” He held a pad and the stub of a pencil. “Will you state your full name, address, and place of employment, please?”

“Miranda Ann Templeton, 223 King Street, and I’m head librarian at the college library.”

Garr wrote down the information. “Just who attacked you?”

What was she supposed to say? “They were behind me, so I didn’t get a good look. I got the impression of a gray figure. If Caleb hadn’t gunned the motorcycle, I’d have been hurt even worse. As it was, I just received a glancing blow.”

Garr’s attention shifted to Caleb. “And who are you?”

“Caleb Faulkner. I own Faulkner’s Car Repair in town. Mandy had an issue with her vehicle, and I was giving her a ride home.”

“And what did you see?”

Miranda tensed. What could he say that wouldn’t sound crazy?

Caleb remained silent for a moment, his features creased in thought. “Some—
one
dressed all in gray, their face covered by a gray stocking or some kind of mask. They were fast and came out of nowhere. I didn’t see what they hit her with, I was too busy getting us out of there.”

Miranda tensed. He hadn’t lied. He’d just held back the parts guaranteed to turn this nightmare into insanity. When Juliet gripped her hand, Miranda fought the urge to look up.

“Juliet, did you speak to your sister after your attack or speak to her tonight at any time?”

“No.”

He turned his attention on Miranda.

“No. I haven’t spoken to my sister tonight.” Or in the last month. What was wrong with them? Why couldn’t they be in the same room without memories standing between them?

Garr looked at Juliet. “Your sister’s description of her attacker is exactly the same as Mr. Faulkner’s.”

Chapter 8

C
hase strode through
the emergency entrance of the Superstition Regional Medical Center. He flashed his badge at the receptionist sitting at a semi-circular registration desk and continued through the automatic doors leading into the emergency room. He paused by the nurse’s station. “I’m here to interview an assault victim. The last name is Templeton.”

The nurse barely paused long enough to look at his badge. “We have two patients with that last name. They’re twins who came into the ER within half an hour of each another. At the moment they’re both in exam room four with another detective.”

Chase’s brows shot up. What were the chances of that? He found Underwood standing out in the hall outside the curtained alcove and frowned. “Why aren’t you in there with Garr?”

“It’s a small space, and I thought the victims would feel less pressured if they didn’t have a room full of badges to contend with.”

Fuck me!
If Underwood was developing any kind of sensitivity he’d eat his badge. He searched his face. Underwood looked away. Yeah, something else was going on. The rookie detective had screwed up somehow.

Chase pulled the curtain aside and entered the room. The small twelve by twelve compartment was dominated by a large hospital bed, and did, indeed, feel cramped. Two women sat side by side on the bed, their features so identical it was like seeing double. Both had long, dark brown hair, high cheekbones, and flawless skin. Except for the one who had what looked like road rash on her cheek. Both wore blue hospital gowns over their pants. There was one chair in the room unoccupied by the two men in the room. Everyone’s attention shifted to him.

Garr motioned toward him. “This is Detective Robinson. If you’ll excuse us a moment, I’ll get him up to speed.”

The two of them went out into the hall. Garr instructed Underwood to stand guard and not to allow any of the victims to leave. He motioned Chase down the hall to a more private room and shut the door. “There’s something really hinky going on here. As you could see, the women are twins. Both were attacked within a few minutes of each other, but in different parts of town.”

Garr referred to the small notebook he’d been writing in. “The first victim is Tanner Newton’s brother, Samuel. Newton is being kept for observation for a couple of days. He’s showing bruising over half his body. One of the ER docs said he’d never seen that kind of extreme and widespread bruising from a fall or a beating in his life. One of the Templeton women, Miranda, has a weird bruise on her arm that looks like a lightning bolt. The other twin, Juliet, has a burn around her neck where she said her attacker tried to strangle her.”

BOOK: Deep Within The Shadows (The Superstition Series Book 1)
12.95Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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