Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2 (6 page)

BOOK: Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2
10.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Love you too

She set the phone on the nightstand
and stared at it. This was the second time she’d had strong enough feelings
about something happening with his cases that it interrupted her psyche. Karen
said that Stephanie was driving this connection to everyone else. That couldn’t
be totally true. Yes, Karen was reacting to Stephanie. But she was reacting to
Chaz or the atmosphere around him. One thing was clear—she needed to keep her
husband safe.

When she returned to the guest
bedroom to meditate, she had a greater sense of purpose. Instead of seeking
relaxation, she would try to focus her energy on accepting the changes in her
gift even though she didn’t yet understand them. That could bring her peace.


~ ~ ~ ~


Chaz shoved his phone into a pocket
and turned his attention back to the technician who was monitoring the screens
from the second floor above Damien Granger’s jazz club. Chris had installed
them to capture everyone emerging from the elevator and all hallways. There
wasn’t much activity earlier in the evening, but that had changed about twenty
minutes ago.

Austin had stepped from the
elevator with a giggling and frisky dark-haired woman. The couple disappeared
into the second door to the left of the elevator and emerged less than
half-an-hour later. Camera coverage of the police officer picked up again when
he exited the elevator and went a separate direction from the woman. Almost
immediately, the technician assigned to the 9:00 pm. twelve-hour shift started
making jokes about Austin sampling the merchandise. Chaz didn’t correct him. After
all, Austin knew there were cameras and where each one was. Maybe he was
deliberately trying to indicate something about the woman. Still, Chaz needed
to consider all possibilities, no matter how angry he was over the derogatory

Later, when he was upstairs in the
privacy of the bedroom, he would get a notepad and start documenting his wife’s
dreams and impressions. Doubt. Anger. Distrust. He only needed a moment to mull
those over and decide they all applied to the vibes between him and this

The younger man, Brian Pleasant,
hadn’t worked on the case while Chaz had been analyzing it in Cincinnati. In
fact, not much video surveillance had been done on this case—mainly
photographs, the accounts from Confidential Informants, and the observations of
the two undercover police officers were the basics of the file. If it weren’t for
the fact that the FBI had a greater interest in Damien Granger than simple illegal
prostitution, Chaz doubted that the Bureau would have taken on this case. But,
they had and here he was—stuck with an opinionated and somewhat immature
computer wiz that he, for some reason, didn’t trust. He’d have to give that
more thought in the morning.

Right then, he needed to add to the
notes he’d jotted down about the meetings earlier in the day with Vanessa and
Austin. For him, it was always best to write the clinical details of his report
soon after the event. But he’d also figured out that he functioned more clearly
when he gave himself time to digest the personality indicators and come up with
an assessment of the person’s state of mind or character.

Just as he was turning away from
the bank of monitors to head upstairs, something caught his attention. He
blocked out the irritating humming of the other man in the room and focused his
eyes on a video feed of people entering the jazz club portion of the building.
His blood froze.

Paul Watkins. What was he doing
there? Yes, his name had come up before when Chaz was reading reports and when
he’d spoken with Steve about this case, but no one anticipated that Watkins
would venture this far from his home base in Chicago. Chaz watched every step,
facial expression, gesture, and shift in body position. Watkins was quietly
aggressive, as he had been when meeting with Chaz on the undercover case in

This was a development he would
need to report to Roy right away. It was critical that someone be assigned to
watch Watkins’ activities. Multiple FBI offices were building what would become
a monster case against the man.

“Do you know that guy?” Brian

Chaz chose not to answer. He didn’t
know this tech. If he wasn’t trustworthy, the last thing Chaz needed was for
someone to slip and mention his name in any way that could get back to Watkins.
Chaz wasn’t even sure whether he’d tell Austin to listen for any information on
the man—it wasn’t his assignment. Chaz had been a major player in keeping
Watkins from taking over an illegal gambling room. They’d only met once, but it
was enough for Chaz to eternally be on his guard regarding the criminal. He was
totally confident that Watkins wouldn’t hesitate to kill him should their paths
cross again.

Stephanie’s impressions made sense
in light of this discovery. Of course she would be unusually connected to a
case with a man who frightened her. Doubt. Anger. Distrust. Yes, she would
sense all of those things if she was aware of Watkins’ presence.

Knowing that he had similarly
applied those same words to his reaction to Brian instantly bothered Chaz. Were
the two men somehow involved with each other? He’d have to watch closely.

And he’d have to tell Stephanie
enough information for her to figure out how her gift was transforming without revealing
any classified information. Maybe he should get some input from Steve
McDaniels. Yes, the man was on indefinite medical leave, but he was the only
person who knew about Stephanie—and he’d been interested in having her help
with this case.

Chaz pulled out a chair and settled
into it to watch the monitors. Since the club wasn’t open yet, this was no
social visit. He was very interested in knowing why Damien Granger was dealing
with Paul Watkins.


~ ~ ~ ~


Stephanie stood in front of the
bathroom mirror studying her changing body. A smile spread across her face as
her hands smoothed over the roundness that was the first indication of the baby
bump. Of course, it wasn’t yet large enough for her to start wearing maternity
clothes, and probably no one other than Chaz would notice it, but this was
exciting. She could visualize her husband standing behind her, kissing the back
of her shoulder, watching them both as his hands joined with hers in caressing
her belly. Soon. Her smile got brighter.

A few minutes later, she was
sitting crossed-legged on the bed waiting for Karen’s face to appear on the
computer screen. Instead, her dark-haired husband appeared with a worried
expression on his face.

“Good morning, Steph. What’s wrong?
Karen is worried sick about you.”

“I am not!” came a disembodied
voice from somewhere in the room.

“Well … maybe that’s a slight
exaggeration,” Victor admitted, but his scowling face didn’t change. “You know
she usually sleeps like a rock; last night she tossed and kept waking up. So,
what’s going on?”

“Good morning to you, too.”
Stephanie grinned at her best friend’s husband, who was also a very close
friend. “This is why I miss you guys so much.” A deep sigh left her.

“Really, sweetie, talk quick before
your godson wakes and starts crying to be fed.” Karen’s face appeared beside

“I honestly can’t explain why you
were so bothered. Apparently, you picked up on my troubled spirit at the same
time I did. But, something is going on with Chaz’s case. He’s not in danger,
but I’m somehow attached to it.”

“And I’m attached to you.”

“How is this possible?” Victor was
highly intuitive, so for him to be baffled surprised Stephanie.

“I meditated last night. All I can
come up with is that you are sensing my aura, even from so many miles away, and
I am sensing the auras around Chaz.” Stephanie shrugged. “We knew my gift was
changing when my dreams started being about more than just him, but I don’t
remember much about my recent ones.”

Everyone thought about that for a

“Could you be suppressing the
dreams but sensing the residual impact?” Karen nodded as she spoke. “That could
account for why you have the feelings but vague details.”

“It’s possible, maybe. But, why
would I suppress the dreams?” Some of them had been scary over the years, but
Stephanie had never been afraid of having them.

“Because the details aren’t about
Chaz.” Victor was confident in his conclusion. “The intensity is about him, but
not the details. Remember—that was the first indication that your dreams had changed.
It’s the same thing that started happening in December when he had to testify.
You had a strong impression about his supervisor, right?”

Both women nodded.

“What about déjà vu?” Karen asked.
Stephanie sat up straighter and stared wide-eyed into the camera.

“I’m not having much of that. So,
maybe those two gifts are overlapping or blending or working together. Maybe I really
am suppressing my dreams and the ‘already seen’ nature of déjà vu is showing up
when I sense Chaz’s stress as it’s happening. I’m feeling what I must have
experienced in my dreams as an echo of details I can’t remember.” Everyone was
silent again. “How can that be?”

“I don’t know.” Karen looked at her
husband. “We can’t go down there every time she gets off-kilter.”

“No, but it’s still your job to
rebalance her. It always has been.”

“That’s it!” Stephanie nearly
shouted. Both of her friends turned back to the screen. “I am supposed to help
Chaz keep his team out of trouble and you’re supposed to keep me centered so
that I can do it! Everything has been building to this from the day I met him.
Remember how you use to ground me after my dreams in Erie? That’s always been
your role in my life. And, Victor, remember how you pushed me in the right
direction when I couldn’t see it or was afraid to embrace it? All of our paths
have been heading towards this destiny.”

“Then, I’m the alarm ringer?” Karen
asked hesitantly.


“I felt you last night when you
didn’t even know you were sensing Chaz.”


“I might be able to make you aware,
but I can’t always balance you from here. I won’t be able to read your auras or
know what teas to send in time for it to help Chaz.”

“Phailin!” They all said her name
at the same time. The Thai woman, who was initially a friend of Chaz, was
intimately familiar with these Eastern concepts. She’d known things about
people’s auras so well that she was sometimes able to anticipate how they would
respond in specific situations. She knew how to balance Stephanie and she lived

And they all trusted her.

“I’ll call her this morning and see
when she can meet with me.”

Calmness settled over the three of

“That’s it, then.” Victor’s
certainty always amazed Stephanie. “I’m going to work. Take care of yourself,
Steph. You know I love you.”

“I will, and I love you, too.”

As if on cue, their baby’s cries
punctuated that the conversation was over.

“Call me after you talk to
Phailin,” Karen urged, “but I know we’re right.”

“I think so, too. Thanks for

“No problem, sweetie.” Karen blew
her friend a kiss and ended the call.

Stephanie sat on the bed for a
while after speaking with the Matthews and tried to digest everything that was
said and what it meant for her and Chaz. She had no doubt that everyone else
was a supporting cast to the partnership they were building.

They were a team: Chaz, Stephanie,
Victor, Karen, and Phailin. Somehow, Stephanie suspected that Steve McDaniels
was also a part of this team—she had intense feelings about his reliability and
goodness towards Chaz.


She and Chaz had used that word a
lot recently without knowing what it really meant.


~ ~ ~ ~


“Tell her as much as you can
without giving classified information.” Steve’s voice was strong and clear on
the other end of Chaz’s phone. “There’s nothing wrong with revealing that your
case deals with prostitution, or that some dangerous people are involved, or
that you will use a variety of techniques to obtain information. She would
appreciate knowing you need her input about a certain meeting or relationship. She
saw how we operated in Erie, so some of this will be easy for her to figure out
with only a few hints from you. If she had agreed to help, I was intending to
ask whether she was having dreams about our target or picking up on vibes about
specific people by describing their personal appearances without providing any
names. I was hoping that might direct her dreams in some way.” Chaz could hear
the other man shifting around in his seat and wondered whether he was at home
in Erie or at his new place in Cincinnati. “Stretch the rules as far as you can
without breaking them, Chaz. It’s what might need to be done, especially if
Paul Watkins is wrapped up in this in any way.”

Chaz nodded even though his mentor,
who was becoming a friend, couldn’t see him. They were on the same wavelength.

BOOK: Loving Night: Dream Catcher Series ~ Book 2
10.49Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Other books

The Making of a Princess by Teresa Carpenter
Dangerous Games by Selene Chardou
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
Dirty Ugly Toy by K Webster
Everyone Burns by Dolan, John
Erotic Retreat by Gia Blue
Dusk and Other Stories by James Salter