Ghost Layer Day 5, Zach TOMORROW DAY 1 of GHOST KILLER
He opened the gate and went through, descended the three steps, and walked to his truck, ready for a lonely journey, because something twisted inside him couldn’t share.
He’d had no idea he was crippled inside, too. That he might be able to straighten.
Zach went to the place he’d be most comfortable, where strong people would surround him—a cop bar where a friend of his on the DPD hung out. Nobody would care if he talked or not, and would expect him to keep mum about hurt, his past, his lost brother, and especially, his strange psychic powers.
He was welcomed . . . with reservations. Some conversations stopped and some young police officers didn’t look at him because his disability stirred fears of the same in them. His friend was there, but preoccupied with a case he couldn’t talk about.
Though the atmosphere untangled a thread in Zach since he was among his tribe, it also emphasized his differences. He was more like an honorary member of the tribe, shoved to the side. Maybe consulted now and then about a piece of knowledge he might have that the warriors of the tribe didn’t, but he was no longer a warrior.
And this evening, some of these men and women were here in the bar because the alternative was an echoing empty apartment.
A cop’s life wasn’t easy, and often dangerous, and Zach hadn’t been ready to settle . . . before. Especially for a woman who didn’t understand the difficulty and danger. A woman who wasn’t strong enough to manage the wait while he was on duty and the dread of a knock at the door giving her terrible news.
He’d been in that situation of waiting for terrible news with his brother, Jim. He’d never forget that knock on the door.
He was no longer a warrior of this tribe.
Yet as he drove through the city bright and dark, he felt that despite their different pasts, Rickman and his men were accepting him into a different tribe. As a warrior, an integral part, not a man on the fringe.
He and Clare had taken turns in growing in fits and starts; occasionally he was ahead of her in the acceptance of their new lives category.
He’d dealt with the lack of respect others would give him in his new job first. He’d had no good opinion of private investigators in all of his career. And his cop friends pitied him because he had to step down into private investigations since he couldn’t cut it as a deputy sheriff anymore.
But in the depths of his heart, being disabled had always been a possibility in his career, and he’d known that.
Yeah, he and Clare had talked the “respect” thing out and he’d helped her there.
This evening, he wasn’t, quite, ready to let her help him.
Because if he did have some sort of gift in the past, it had failed him in his deepest need.
He didn’t want another one if it would fail him when he needed it . . . to protect Clare.
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