Aiden was fast asleep in his bed when Snow and Cadence walked in. Cade took her seat on the bed carefully then looked up to Snow. “One of these days you’re going to have to teach me how to do this myself.”
He smiled and nodded. “One day I will but not tonight. I think we’ve all had enough of a learning curve these past few weeks.” He took her hand as she took Aiden’s.
Cadence found herself by the merry go round in an amusement park. She saw Aiden on the ride, looking somewhat terrified like he wanted to get off but it was going too fast for him to jump. She walked over to the unattended control box and hit the button to bring the ride to a stop. Aiden hopped off as soon as it had slowed enough, and he went stumbling dizzily to the railing around the ride as Cadence made her way over to him.
“I had a feeling you might show up tonight. And thanks,” he said, gesturing to the ride behind him. “Nice to know I have someone to save me from my nightmares.”
“This isn’t a regular thing, I don’t just hang around to swoop in and save you from your dreams,” she said. “But you’re welcome.”
“So you’re just going to pop in randomly?”
“I guess,” she said. “I don’t know. Ghosts and the living don’t normally work together like we did. Our partnership is uncharted territory.”
“What are you going to do if it isn’t a normal dream?” he asked after a moment’s thought, looking uneasy. “Like a sexy dream?”
“I can change your dreamscape, remember? I took you from the lobby at Lexington Hills to a forest.”
“Oh right. Thanks, by the way, for bringing Bethany to me to say goodbye. I hated saying it, but it was good.”
“You’re welcome. And thanks to you, for everything you and your friends did tonight. We could not have done it without everyone’s help. I’m so sorry how things ended.”
“Yeah,” he said, frowning. “We called the cops, and they found Dan in his apartment. Lauren’s still pretty upset.”
“I can imagine. I’m sorry that we couldn’t save him and that the night couldn’t have gone differently.”
“It sucks, but I get it,” he shrugged. “I haven’t even watched the tapes from tonight, but don’t worry. I’ll bury them.”
“We appreciate it.”
“So are you riding off into the sunset now?” Aiden asked.
“Pretty much,” she nodded. “I’m sure I’ll see you again. Especially if you guys keep investigating haunted sites,” she said.
“Do me a favor?”
“If I can,” she replied.
“If you guys are hanging around, let me know?”
“I’ll do my best, but it has to be within my rules when you have recording devices out. If we’re in your apartment however, put something on a shelf or a table that I can knock off to let you know we’re there.”
“You have a deal, detective,” he said.
“Enjoy your amusement park.” She waved to him, then opened her eyes, fading from his dream and into the bedroom once more. It took them only moments to teleport back to their office. They opened the door to find Alistair Croft sitting at Snow’s desk.
Snow tensed. They had violated Croft’s directive, worked with the NHD, solved the case, and had absolutely nothing to do with the desk duty he had ordered them to perform. Croft rose from the chair, looking sternly at both of them, his presence seeming to fill the room like a dark roiling storm cloud. But then suddenly it was like light broke through the clouds and Croft smiled.
“Osmond, my boy, I knew you could do it!” he said as he came over to clap a floored Snow on the shoulder.
“You… You’re not angry?” Snow managed to stammer, shocked by the sudden switch of mood.
“Angry? No! I did what I had to do to push you, to test your resolve. I must say the two of you make one hell of a team.” He nodded to Cadence. “The spitfire is a good compliment to your caution, Osmond.”
Cade frowned slightly. She wasn’t sure, maybe it was just the after effects of everything that had happened, but the vibe coming from Croft was strange. Maybe he was pissed that they hadn’t listened, but couldn’t argue since they got results. Maybe he was jealous of the rapport that she and Snow had developed. Maybe she was just imagining things because she had been through hell the last few days.
Snow smiled nervously. “Well, I’m glad you think so. She’s a hell of a partner.”
“She seems to be at that. Well, I just stopped by to congratulate you two on your accomplishment. Especially given it was your first real assignment together, not just a training case.”
“I work better without training wheels,” Cade said as she squeezed past the large man’s figure to get to her desk.
“Right you are, right you are,” Croft said as he moved so she could get by easier. “Yes, well, I know you have reports to file, I’ll not keep you from it.” He clapped Snow on the shoulder once more and turned, leaving the room and closing the door behind him. Both of them took their chairs and sank wearily into them.
“I feel like I could sleep for a week,” she said.
“Me too,” Snow said. “I’d forgotten how draining it was to try to manifest and talk to them,” he said as he referred to his shouting at Derrick to light the candles.
“We got it done, despite everything,” she said. “No more beastie.”
“True.” He said and opened his drawer, pulling out the files of paperwork and tossing one across to Cadence.
“I still hate paperwork,” Cadence said with a sigh.
Snow paused for a moment then smiled a bit at her. “Why don’t we leave it for tomorrow?”
She looked up at him, surprised and then smiled back. “Wow, putting off paperwork? Procrastinating? I like the way you think, Ozzie.”
“Then you’ll love this. I think you’ve earned something, a prize of sorts for getting through this. Are you up to visiting one last destination tonight?”
“I think I can manage,” she replied, curious about what he had in mind.
He took her hand and that now familiar sensation of teleporting washed through her. When she opened her eyes they stood in front of a large three-story Victorian home that had a chain link fence around it along with several warning and trespassing signs. The place had obviously been abandoned for several years, however, the street around it was anything but deserted. Streetlights shone on the sidewalk, other houses on the street were well maintained and had lights on in them. There were even people out walking, talking and laughing. This house, however, was dark and boarded up.
It didn’t matter how it had deteriorated over the years or how much time had passed since she had been there. Cadence knew the place well, and her jaw dropped as she looked at Snow.
He gave her a kind smile and nodded as he gestured for her to go. “I think this reunion is well earned and long overdue.”
Cade smiled and turned, heading into her brother’s college dorm.
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