Something wasn't right.
It was still the predawn dark of the day and when Daniel opened his eyes. He had a nagging instinct that somehow the natural flow of life had been turned upside down.
It wasn't the first time he felt that way, but usually by the time he got up and heard the birds chirping outside and Lewicki fixing breakfast downstairs, the act of normalcy would kick in and he would feel better.
As Daniel peered into the darkness, he was no longer sleepy. Yet it was too early for the familiar noises to be heard outside or downstairs. So instead he strained to hear the strange sound that had earlier roused him.
But it was not a sound that had awakened him.
A dark sensation seemed to vibrate against the walls of his bedroom. He felt his heart pounding and the pulsating rush of blood pumping throughout his body. No, it wasn't a sound he heard.
It was the feeling of fear.
Fear that something bad was going to happen today. It was an awareness so visceral that it raised goose bumps on his flesh and left him trembling.
He needed to stop these thoughts. For once, he wished his hallucinations would kick in, but all he saw in front of him was a dark abyss.
Daniel closed his eyes and he tried to conjure up images of Kate. He wanted to imagine her smile, her loveliness and for a second, he was successful. But try as he might, he could not maintain the focus and instead the image was getting weak and fading.
Kate, come back! he screamed in his head.
But she was gone, replaced by that ominous foreboding of hopeless dread again. Like a child, Daniel just wanted to bury his head in his blankets, and hide.
But it would be useless. There was no escaping what was haunting him. Daniel forced his eyes shut, willing himself to sleep, but merely ended up tossing and turning in his bed for two hours.
Morning had arrived by then and Daniel could already hear the routine of morning beginning. The first chirp was heard outside and Lewicki could be heard getting the pan out from the kitchen cabinet. Hearing the familiar sounds allowed Daniel to breathe a little more freely once again.
With its quintessential charm, Chicago Lake Michigan University consisted of beautiful gray stone buildings settled among a lush campus steeped in tradition. Daniel had been strolling down one of the many pathways when he bumped into Dean Paul Haley on a beautiful fall day.
"Daniel! Good to see you!" greeted Paul, " I was just on my way home for lunch; come walk a ways to my car with me."
"Al-right," Daniel nodded as he joined Paul and they headed to the university parking lot structure.
The two colleagues walked in tandem on the steep incline leading to the next level of the parking garage.
"I've missed seeing you, Daniel," Paul began, "I think someone upstairs is making sure our working hours are not scheduled at the same time."
"Spoken like someone in charge of scheduling," Daniel remarked, half-jesting.
Paul raised his hands, begging off, "Hey! Don't look at me!"
Daniel half-smiled, glad he to be getting a breather from the oppressive feelings, if only for a short time. Paul looked directly at Daniel.
"I would ask you how you've been," began Paul, "but if you don't mind me saying, Daniel, you look exhausted."
"Thank you," Daniel stated sardonically, although he couldn't deny it, "I haven't been sleeping well lately."
"Oh?" Paul asked, his voice dripping with concern, "Is it anything you care to discuss with me?"
"No," Daniel responded, not wanting to go through the long explanation, "I've just been busy...with other projects."
At that remark, Paul let out a frustrated sigh, "You don't have to tell me. Lewicki has mentioned your preoccupation with...a special project of yours. I could only conclude that you're working on a case instead of academic work, which as you know, I've always felt was not advantageous to the university."
Here we go again, Daniel thought.
"Paul, don't worry...I'm getting my academic duties accomplished, aren't I?" Daniel asked, sounding slightly defensive.
"Yes, that's true," Paul admitted, "it's getting done. but...I expect more than bare minimum."
Daniel really was not in the mood to discuss this again.
"Paul, I don't know what to tell you, except I need to keep my mind active."
"Look, Daniel, I know how obsessive you get when you're working on a case for the FBI," Paul said, "so I already know it would be a waste of my time to ask you to tell Kate to find someone else to work on the case."
At the mention of Kate's name, Daniel stiffened as he again felt a sense of foreboding.
Why? Was Kate the one in danger?
He had not seen much of her lately for they had been working on separate cases. No, that's not right. He wasn't working on a case, he was working on a hunch.
"Actually, Paul," Daniel admitted, "I'm not working on an FBI case."
A darkness seemed to settle in his psyche, and this time he imagined the shadow of a killer lurking around in his mind.
And he could not shake the ominous feeling. In fact, it seemed to be closing around him.
Daniel and Paul had reached the covered parking area now. From the floor above they could hear the sound of a random car's engine coming down the ramp.. As they continued walking towards Paul's car, Daniel thought he caught its movement in his peripheral vision.
A Mustang coupe made its appearance from around the corner. And strangely, there seemed to be something deliberate and sinister about the way the vehicle rushed closer towards them. The driver was hidden behind tinted glass, which added to the overall menacing appearance of the vehicle.
The car was picking up speed and the driver seemed to be adjusting his steering while keeping Daniel in the center of his target. This was obviously not bad driving Daniel was witnessing.
Paul seemed oblivious to any impending danger, "So I told the board member that-"
Daniel consciously registered what he knew instinctively.
" Paul!" Daniel shouted his warning.
Paul turned to Daniel in bafflement."W-wha-"
Daniel reacted. He physically pushed Paul as hard as he could, out of the path of the oncoming vehicle. He vaguely remembered Paul falling, but where, his mind didn't register.
Daniel then attempted to make a flying leap off to the side, but he had used up his precious milliseconds to save Paul and now it was too late for him; in a flash he knew he would not make it.
This was it. These would be the last seconds of his life.
There was impact of human body against steel car. Daniel was hit with the car, but not from the front. His body bounced hard and steadily across the side of the car which then twirled him about and knocked him off his feet.
The concrete seemed to come up and rush Daniel's face.
For an instant Daniel felt relieved that whatever happened would be quick; death would be instantaneous; he would not have to feel the excruciating pain of his physical body.
His body hit the ground hard.
Blackness now enveloped him.
Hello! I know I barely finished the other story, but I couldn't wait to post this! I've been re-watching some of the episodes and can't wait until the new season. Sigh.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this! I really loved writing it!