"Look Naomi," Jim said hastily. "I'm going to drop you off at the loft and then I'm going over to the station for a little while. Will you be okay by yourself?"
"I'll be fine." she looked worriedly at Ellison. "I'm just going to fix myself a cup of tea and do some meditation. Are you sure you wouldn't like to join me?"
"Thanks, Naomi but I have some things I need to do. Save me some of that tea okay?"
Jim dropped Blair's mother off at the apartment. He didn't want to go to the station and face the cloying sympathy of his fellow officers so he drove aimlessly around Cascade for some time, ending up, oddly enough, at the university. Jim parked the truck and walked over to the fountain in front of the hall where Blair's office had been. He sat on the edge of the pool remembering the time that he had pulled his guide's lifeless body from the water. He had felt so helpless back then just as he felt now, but at least then he'd been able to bring Blair back from the dead. Their souls combining to continue the Guide's life. What had happened between than and now? Why was Blair allowed to be murdered? Why had he been taken from him like that? Jim dipped his hand into the cold spring, mesmerized by the sounds of the splashing water, he could see in his mind Blair's pale face and blue lips. "I couldn't let you go then Chief and I can't now. Not ever." He whispered.
The ringing of his cell phone was so startling to Ellison that he nearly tumbled into the water. "Ellison." He growled into the phone.
"He's dead Jim." The woman's voice was detached. "She will be too if you don't do exactly as I tell you."
"Taylor!" Jim screamed angrily, "You're the one who is going to die!"
"I will live forever." She said harshly, "and there's nothing you can do to stop me. Just as you couldn't even stop me from killing your pretty little friend."
"You're a demented bitch Taylor!" He roared in anguish. "All those deaths, all that blood will never be enough to keep you alive. I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"
"Temper, temper, detective. Bring my book to the cemetery, to the crypt on the hill. Come alone or I will kill her. You've got twenty minutes Ellison, better hurry." Her laughter still rang in his ears even after the connection ended.
Jim bolted for the truck, turning on lights and siren; it would take him longer than twenty minutes to get to the cemetery if he didn't hurry.
Jim parked at the cemetery gates and ran up the hill toward the crypt that Taylor had indicated. He pulled the book from his inside pocket and then his gun. Jim paused at the open doors of the crypt, listening for any sounds. It was pitch black inside; Jim focused on his vision trying to pinpoint Naomi or Wynn. He crouched low and slipped into the dark tomb. The floor was slippery and smelled odd. Jim concentrated his hearing, trying to locate the women. He could hear two distinct heartbeats, one rapid and one slow. He crept slowly toward the sound.
"I know you're there Ellison." Wynn laughed. "I can hear you breathing."
"Let her go Taylor." He ordered.
"The book first." A match flared in the darkness and for several minutes Jim was blind. "Toss me my book." Taylor commanded.
"Let her go first." Jim insisted.
"The book." She said clinging stubbornly to that one demand.
"Naomi, are you all right?" Jim asked.
"I'm okay." Her voice was tight with anger mixed with a little fear.
Jim held up the book, "If you want it, you have to let her go." Jim tossed the book on the floor, inches from his foot.
"What's the matter Ellison? Don't you trust me?" Taylor mocked.
"No I don't, you cold-blooded bitch. Let Naomi go."
Candles flared and Jim covered his eyes with his hands, blinded again. He heard Wynn Taylor's soft laughter.
"Naomi," Taylor ordered, "Get the book and bring it to me."
Jim cut down his other senses and dialed up his sight. In the flickering light of the candles he could see Taylor prodding Naomi forward. Light glinted off the edge of a long bladed knife Taylor held.
"Try anything Ellison and I'll gut her like I did her son. Now step back, detective."
Jim backed away from the book, his eyes meeting Naomi's. He wasn't sure if she could see him, but he tried to smile.
Naomi picked up the book, staring hard at Jim.
"Bring it to me." Taylor said. "Slowly."
Naomi kept her back to Taylor, stepping carefully and never taking her eyes away from Jim. She mouthed the word, "Now." and dropped to the floor.
Jim brought up his gun and fired at Taylor, the rounds echoing in the small chamber as he emptied the clip. He heard Taylor scream and the candles flickered as if a wind had caught them.
"Naomi!" Jim yelled.
The room suddenly flared to brightness as a fallen candle ignited the oil on the floor.
Blinded by the fire that raged everywhere, Jim felt a hand on his arm, "Come with me." Naomi said. She pulled him back and he tried desperately to adjust his eyes to the sudden light.
"I can't see." Jim protested.
"I can," Naomi said, "let me lead you." She pulled him out into the clear air; they were both coughing from he smoke of the fire. They collapsed on the grass outside and watched as flames and black smoke billowed from the crypt.
"Forensics report is back, Jim." Rafe said handing a folder to Ellison.
Jim read through the report rapidly, "Dammit!" he exclaimed.
Simon looked up, "What is it, Jim?"
"The bitch escaped!" Ellison hurled the report onto the captain's desk.
Simon picked up the report and looked it over, "It says bone fragments were found. She must have died in the fire."
"It also says that due to the heat of the accelerant and the small space in which it occurred there is no way they can identify the remains as hers."
"It also means that it could be her. Calm down Jim." Simon advised. "You said you didn't see her escape and the door was the only way out. There's no way she could have gotten out that so it must be her."
"That bitch always seems to come back to haunt me."
"Go home Jim. It's getting late." Simon insisted.
Ellison frowned at him, and Simon did a passable imitation of Jim's expression. "Now." the captain growled.
Jim smiled, saluted, "Yes, Sir."
"He's gonna be alright." Simon remarked softly as the detective left.
"Chief?" Ellison rolled over, wakened by the sudden added weight on the bed. "S'matter? Bad dreams?" Jim muttered. He reached out; eyes still closed and bunched the t-shirt in his fist. "Aww for crying out loud Chief, stop bringing your wet shirts to bed!" He tossed the shirt on the floor and it landed with a wet smacking sound. "Yuck, dog slobber." He sat up and smiled at the wolf cub, "Come here, you." Jim called. The pup bounded across the bed and landed in Jim's lap, tongue lolling in an animal grin. "Atta boy." Jim rubbed the pup's head and that started a tail wagging frenzy. He hugged the animal close and yawned, lying back down with the cub sprawled across his chest. "G'night."
The cub snuffled and groaned, burying its muzzle under Jim's arm. Its warm breath gusted across Jim's face and for a moment he thought he could smell Blair's shampoo. Jim smiled, "Thanks Chief." His eyes closed and he was asleep moments before the pup closed it's blue eyes and fell asleep, following his master into the world of sleep and dreams.