County General Hospital
New Hebron, California
The agent was the first to come awake, sitting bolt upright with a suddenness that prompted Matthews to jerk back and land on his posterior. Amelia gasped and looked at her hands. More than a little relieved to find they were not the gnarled and wrinkled one she’d witnessed in the vision.
“S-s-sir,” she said struggling to pronounce that one syllable word.
She traced her hands along the grout between the tiles in the floor, realizing for the first time she must have fallen from her seat after loosing consciousness.
“I saw what… happened… A-ll of it… I can… confirm it was Che-Chemosh.”
Each word was a struggle. She paused for breath far more than she normally would have and stopped short before she went into more detail. Breathing was hard too, but as she took in breath after breath her chest loosened up.
“I’m fine… Sir. Just give… Me a minute to…”
She gritted her teeth and turned her head to watch as Everett came awake just a few feet away. He emitted a soft feminine groan and Amelia shook her head in disbelief. Had she not been there to witness the Everett’s transformation she never would have believed the young woman who was sprawled face first on the ground was the same person as the old man.
If the effect on Amelia had been drastic, it was worse for Everett, who struggled so hard to bring in air he could only breathe in short, jagged bursts. As his breathing slowed the two locked gazes and the agent’s own breath caught in her throat as a wave of fear slam into her with such strength it almost seemed to have taken physical form.
Never to one to be cowed by fear, she gritted her teeth and fought it, baffled by its sudden onslaught. Realization was slow to come, but when it struck, it left her breathless. It was not her own fear she was experiencing, but Everett’s.
Her trip into Everett’s memories had consequences she never would have dreamed possible. She grabbed him by the shoulders and looked him in the eyes his fear subsided as he looked back. A sense of awareness had formed between the two and it was far stronger than either would bring themselves to admit. Their feelings were an open book, either could sense the emotions emanating from the other, but thoughts were a different matter.
“Amelia, what the hell just happened?” Matthews grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back.
“Sir, I don’t know how, but I got pulled into Everett’s memories. I witnessed the entire attack through his eyes.”
“A new extension of your abilities?”
She shook her head and let her other hand slide free from Everett’s shoulder. Matthews held his hand out and she took it allowing him to pull her up from the ground. “No sir, I think, it might have been my abilities interacting with Everett’s.”
“Everett? I was unaware you two were on a first name basis, agent.”
She shook her head trying to erase the fog that clouded her mind, but try as she might she couldn’t quite shake it. “Sir, there’s more. I don’t know if it’s an after effect of being pulled into his memories or if it’s something else, but Mr. Howard and I seem to have developed an empathic bond.”
Matthews ran a hand over his domed head and let a sigh escape his lips as he stared at the pair. “This new development makes me more than a little uneasy. After Dr. Hassebroek has finished with our friend here, I want him to give you a look over.”
Amelia looked like she’d just swallowed something foul, but didn’t utter a word in objection. She nodded and uttered a single ‘yes, sir’ before her superior shuffled out the room. He didn’t offer a reason, but Amelia believed she knew why he’d left in such a hurry. Matthews was reporting to their superiors.
“Who’s Dr Hassebroek?” Everett asked rising to his feet and staring at the doorway that the other agent had just vacated.
“He’s a doctor we keep on staff. He’s a bit of an ass, but you get used to him.”
“Great, can’t wait to meet him.”