SHE WAS IN DARKNESS, floating on a black sea, a starless sky above. She could hear nothing and see nothing. It was a perfect black moment but then Rachel Walling opened her eyes from the dream.
She stared up at the ceiling. She listened to the wind outside and heard the branches of the azaleas scratching against the window. She wondered if it was the scratching on glass or some other noise from within the house that had awakened her. Then her cell phone rang. She wasnít startled. She calmly reached to the bed table. She brought the phone to her ear and was fully alert when she answered, her voice showing no indication of sleep.
"Agent Walling," she said.
"Rachel? Itís Cherie Dei."
Rachel knew right away that this would not be a Rez call. Cherie Dei meant Quantico. It had been four years since the last time. Rachel had been waiting.
"Where are you, Rachel?"
"Iím at home. Where do you think Iíd be?"
"I know you cover a lot of territory now. I thought maybe you ó"
"Iím in Rapid City, Cherie. What is it?"
She answered after a long moment of silence.
"Heís resurfaced. Heís back."
Rachel felt an invisible fist punch into her chest and then hold there. Her mind conjured memories and images. Bad ones. She closed her eyes. Cherie Dei didnít have to use a name. Rachel knew it was Backus. The Poet had resurfaced. Just as they knew he would. Like a virulent infection that moves through the body, hidden from the outside for years, then breaking the skin as a reminder of its ugliness.>>>
by Michael Connelly
(originally listed at bookbrowse.com
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