But she was. And she couldn’t deny it any longer.
She’d dreamed of Sarah Hill again last night and the things she witnessed were unspeakable. Horrific. While she struggled to wrap her mind around what she saw, she could not continue convincing herself to sit on her thumbs and take no action.
No. She’d done that once before. Kate couldn’t live with herself if this girl suffered the same fate as the last one. She could barely live with herself now. If Sarah Hill ended up murdered, it would break her.
Sarah Hill could end up like Jamie Hallow.
God, it made her physically sick to think about Jamie. How Kate had done did nothing to help her.
Jamie had been twenty-one. Coincidently, she was also a student at Northwestern. Kate had dreamed of the missing girl held captive in a dark, dank basement, hands and feet tied with rope to a dirty, bare mattress. Eyes covered with a filthy white cloth. Naked. Crying. Bruised. Pleading to go home to her parents and to her little sister.
Kate’s parents had dismissed her once again when she tried to talk to them about it. After that, she never mentioned another dream again.
She’d dreamed of Jamie for three weeks straight and then…nothing. When the dreams stopped, she didn’t think twice about it. She was sixteen at the time. At sixteen, she wanted to dream about boys, dances, boys, football games. Boys.
A week after the dreams stopped, while doing an assignment on current events for school, she ran across a picture of a fresh-faced, platinum blond beauty in the newspaper, which gave her pause.
It was a picture of the girl from her dream. Jamie Hallow. She was real. And she was missing, presumed a runaway. But Kate knew better.
There were no leads, and to this day, her body hadn’t been found.
Kate tried to assuage her guilt by convincing herself she was just a teenager at the time. What could she possibly have done? How could she have known this was real instead of a horrible, wretched dream? Who would have believed her?
But nothing worked. The guilt she felt was immense, both then and now.
She would not stand by this time and do nothing. There had to be something in her dreams to help the investigation. She would just conveniently leave out the part about fangs…and vampires. She had no desire to be labeled as mentally unstable, although she often felt that way.
She knew the missing young women were running out of time. Each dream was progressively more violent. More disturbing. So she had to take the chance in telling her story and hope they believed her.
This morning she stood resolutely at the front desk of the police station and spoke to the officer behind it. “I think I may have information on a missing girl, Sarah Hill.”
“Okay. Your name?”
“Just a minute please,” said the officer as he picked up the phone, presumably to call a detective. “Please have a seat and someone will be with you in a few minutes.” He nodded to a block of chairs to the left.
Yes, she’d already wasted too much time coming forward. Time she hoped didn’t cost Sarah Hill her life.
Detective Mike Thatcher ate up the distance between his desk and the front office as quickly as possible. He’d been assigned as the lead detective to the Sarah Hill missing person case and was banging his head against a brick wall with one dead end after another. It seemed like the girl had just disappeared into fucking thin air.
A loner. No boyfriend. No friends to speak of. Her roommate didn’t know a damn thing about her, apparently shacking up with a guy instead. Professors said she dutifully came to class, was an excellent student. They knew of her, of course, but none claimed to know her well. Professor Duncan Bailey was the last person to see Sarah alive, and Mike couldn’t find any evidence indicating he should be a suspect. Yet. But something just felt off about the guy, so he continued to dig a bit deeper into the professor’s background.
Sarah did have a close relationship with Henry and Linda, her parents. Talked with them every Sunday evening without fail. Henry was an old college buddy of Mike’s, and while they hadn’t kept in touch much over the years, he’d known Sarah as a little girl. She was sweet, funny, smart. On a full-ride academic scholarship to Northwestern. Wanted to be a counselor, specializing in youth and child development.
He’d failed one too many times at finding the lost. One case in particular he couldn’t forget. Wouldn’t forget. To this day, she haunted his dreams. It was long ago, but it fueled the relentless fire inside him to find as many others as he could.
He desperately needed a new lead, so when he heard there was a woman here with possible new information on the case, he was more than eager to speak with her.