Twin Hearts

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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Liam shuffled through the stack of papers on his desk, his thoughts distracted by the past few days events. The previous day he had met with Xena Angelos to discuss his bid and his plans for the conversion of the three warehouses. They had only met for thirty minutes when it became obvious that Xena was more interested in Liam than in what his company could do for her. Xena who was a very attractive woman in her mid-thirties with shoulder length black hair, dark brown eyes and refined Greek features, had after thirty minutes begun to openly flirt with Liam. By the end of their meeting she had asked him to dinner and then suggested he spent the night in a hotel she owned.

Liam at been flattered at first, he was used to women finding him attractive and to having the occasional woman shyly proposition him, but Xena’s blatant attempts to get him in her bed he’d found unsettling. Despite his advanced age and the thousands of years of history Liam had seen he was still somewhat old fashioned, and was put off by Xena’s brazen sexual suggestions. He’d flown to meet her to discuss business and nothing more, when he had declined her less than subtle offer saying he was expected home she had been openly annoyed.

Liam had thought that they chance of getting the contract was zero but she’d called him that morning and spent an hour on the phone asking for more information and for certain changes to be made to the designs he’d submitted. Xena had then asked for him to fly out and meet with her again by the end of the week, Liam had wanted to say no, but the contract was worth a lot of money. He had agreed reluctantly and Xena had told him that she’d send her chopper to pick him up Thursday morning early at the airport.

Adding to Liam’s general unrest was the fact there had been five more ritualized murders of young women and Danny had been assigned to the task force investigating them. She’d missed their dinner date last night as she’d been at a crime scene till nearly midnight. Liam had driven to where the murders had taken place and waited an hour in his car till she was finished so he could drive her home. Despite the number of police around her he knew he couldn’t rest till he knew she was home safely, Danny had hugged him for several minutes and kissed him several times in gratitude before going into her apartment building.

Liam had also had Franky pick her up and take her into work that morning at nine, not wanting her to take the bus or walk when he knew she would be exhausted. Danny had texted him several smiley faces and X’s and O’s in gratitude. Her obvious growing feelings for him had made him feel like dirt when Artie had called that morning to say he had finished his reports on both Danny and Rita.

The intercom on his desk buzzed and Liam hit the answer button. “ Yes Paul what is it?”

“Mr. Banks is here to see you boss.” Paul his personal assistant answered.

“Thank you send him right in.” Liam replied and pushed his papers to one side preparing himself for whatever Artie might have found.

There was a quick knock and Artie stepped into his office, a black attaché case in one hand. Liam rose, nodded in greeting and motioned for Artie to take the plush leather chair before his desk.

“Thank you for your promptness. What did you discover?” Liam demanded retaking his seat.

“You said you wanted it done quickly.” Artie laid his briefcase over his lap and popped it open. “Which lady to you want to hear about first?”

“Dr. Troy.” Liam tried not to sound anxious, but he wanted to know the truth about Danny. He was drawn to her, hell that was a lie he was crazy about her and before he did something rash like ask her to marry him or tell her the truth about himself he wanted to know if she was a threat.

“All right, I should warn you the lady has had a hard life.” Artie pulled a leather folder out of his briefcase, then snapping the case shut set on the floor, but kept the folder in his left hand. “Her parents were David Troy and Sandra Finnegan; they were professional ball room dancers and good ones, very good one, champions in fact. They had been partners for ten years, starting when they were both in junior high. They were in the final four in a major interstate competition with a fifty thousand dollar prize and a contract for a TV show on the line. An hour before they were to do their last dance David was jumped by three men, they beat him up and took a pipe to his right leg. Busted it in three places and badly enough that not only was he never able to dance again but nearly lost his leg.”

Liam winced and sat back. “Go on.”

“Well he and Sandra got married when he finally got out the hospital, luckily David had a degree in engineering. Apparently he just danced to be with Sandra and to make her happy, his real passion was engineering. They moved to Green Park city, a sleepy little down in North Dakota and started a family. They had a son Daniel a year after they were married and then triplets two years later.”

“Triplets, isn’t that rare?” Liam demanded leaning forward on his desk.

“Yes extremely rare, but apparently Sandra was on fertility drugs, she had identical twin girls and a fraternal son. They were named Benjamin, Danielle and Charlotte.” Richard leaned forward to drop a sheet of paper on Liam’s desk.

Liam picked it up and discovered it was a copy of a newspaper article, from twenty four years ago announcing the rare birth of triplets at the local hospital. There was a grainy black and white picture of a man and woman, the woman was in what was obviously a hospital bed, and the man sitting beside her. In their arms were three well swaddled babies, the caption beneath the photo said David and Sandra Troy and their children.

“When the triplets were ten Sandra started teaching ball room dancing at the local community college, she ended up being stalked by one of the students named George Sawyer. Apparently he didn’t like to take no for an answer when of the many times he asked her out.” Richard paused for a moment. “It got so bad Sandra had to get a restraining order against him. One night he showed up at her home, from what the cops put together it went down like this. David opened the door and George shot him point blank in the chest three times, then he moved into the house where the kids were watching television. He shot the older boy first, two times once in the chest and also the head, then shot Ben in the back.”

Artie shook his head then after a moment continued. “Sandra was in the kitchen starting dinner and came out, she somehow distracted George long enough for Charlotte and Danielle to try and run for it, from the police report it looks like she hit George with a fire poker, but he over powered her, struck her hard enough that she lost consciousness and then George chased the girls out the back door of the house. It was snowing and cold, real cold and the kids were in their pajamas. George apparently shot Charlotte next, three times, once in the head and twice in the back, by a miracle she didn’t die immediately. When he went to kill Danielle he’d run out of bullets but he had a hunting knife with him which he stabbed Danielle in the back about six times. He left the girls in the snow and went back inside where he raped and tortured Sandra. Luckily a young patrol officer named Matthew Dickerson drove past the house about thirty minutes after George had arrived; he was doing a safety check on the family and saw the door open. He caught George in the act of peeling the skin off Sandra’s stomach while she was still alive. He shot George in the shoulder and the leg and then tried to save the family. Unfortunately despite his best efforts he wasn’t able to save Sandra and the others were all dead.”

Liam felt like he’d be sick, inside him his lion was roaring in rage at the thought of what had happened to Danny. “Dear god.” Liam said. “Is that it?”

Artie shook his head. “ Nope Danielle only survived due to the quick thinking of officer Dickerson. He’d been an army medic posted in Alaska and had studied about how cold and snow can actually save lives. He packed Danielle and Charlotte in snow and called for backup and a life flight helicopter. The paramedics on the helicopter kept the girls packed in snow and flew them directly to the hospital. Charlotte was brain dead, the bullet had destroyed her brain, but her body was still working. Danielle had been hit I the heart and the lungs, the knife had actually penetrated her heart, the only way to save her was a heart transplant. The doctors managed to get hold of her mother’s sister who gave permission over the phone for the doctor’s to take Charlotte’s heart and give it to Danielle.”

“She has her twin’s heart?” Liam demanded feeling ill.

“Yes she does, if not she’d be dead.” Artie replied. “Apparently the doctors actually let Danielle freeze to death to slow brain damage and allow them to perfume the heart transplant. Once the new heart was in they warmed her up slowly and she lived, obviously, but according to the records she was actually clinically dead for close to ten minutes.”

“What do you mean she was dead?” Liam demanded.

“She was by every medical definition there is dead, no brain activity no heart beat nothing. Once her heart started beating again and they warmed her up they kept her in a medically induced coma for a month so she wouldn’t be in pain or move about till she healed.” Artie shifted uneasily in his seat. “Once she was awake she had to have several months of therapy both physical and mental. During therapy she kept telling the doctors about shadow people coming to see her and about the people she could see through. The doctors decided she was hallucinating or was suffering from brain damage and put her on heavy medication.”

“By the gods, is there more?” Liam was afraid to ask but was also burning to know what had happened.

“Luckily her aunt Eddie didn’t believe the doctors, her aunt who is something of a well renowned sculptress and potter took Dannielle home to New Mexico with her. Dannielle continued talking about the shadow men, and after seeing a score of doctors who all said that Dannielle needed to be heavily medicate or have electro shock therapy her aunt contacted a holistic doctor who was also a Navajo medicine man. He realized that Danielle wasn’t crazy or hallucinating but she was seeing dead people.”

Liam shook his head not sure he’d heard correctly. “Did you say dead people? As in ghosts?”

“Yes I did, apparently according to the medical records we acquired Danielle and Charlotte had been talking to each other telepathically for years, Danielle also had strong empathetic abilities. The doctors who studied Danielle think that dying and coming back triggered some ability in Danielle that had been repressed.” Artie leaned forward and lay several sheets of paper on Liam’s desk.

Liam quickly looked over them seeing that they were copies of medical reports on an eleven year old Danielle and two copies of newspaper reports from a paper in New Mexico talking about a young psychic prodigy who had the ability to see and talk with the dead.

“Danielle according to what we dug up was tested by a score of doctors and University scientists and she is legit. She has been ranked as one of the most powerful physical medians alive, every test they ever gave her she aced.” Artie dropped another sheet of paper on Liam’s desk. It was another newspaper article on how a twelve year old Dannielle had solved the murder of a college freshman by talking to her ghost. That not only had Danielle led the police to the woman’s body that was hidden in a canyon but had identified the man whom the cops had suspected as her killer. The man after being arrested had confessed to his crime and threatened to come after Danielle for exposing his crime.

“In addition to being a medium she is a high level empath, apparently if she touches a person for long enough she can feel what they are feeling and know if they are telling the truth or not. She is also extremely intelligent, and by extremely intelligent I mean genius level, she also has a photographic memory, apparently she graduated from college at fourteen with two degrees, one in anthropology and another in psychology, she has gone on two earn three master degrees, one in history, one in anthropology and one in criminology. She also has two doctorates one in anthropology, one in psychiatry as well as being a licensed M.D, and is currently working on a third doctorate in Archaeology.” Artie leaned forward to drop more papers on Liam’s desk.

“With her abilities why isn’t she working for the government, especially if she is some kind of human lie detector?” Liam demanded feeling uneasy and confused. If Danny could read minds did she know what he and Keith were, did he know how old they were.

“She did when she was seventeen she was in England studying at Oxford and was hired by MI5 as an asset. I wasn’t able to get much information on what she did as it is top secret but apparently she helped them stop and catch terrorist groups and helped Scotland Yard with cold cases.” Artie checked his notes again.

“Why isn’t she still working for them, why is she here working for a small city police department?” Liam demanded.

“Unfortunately things didn’t go well for her, she was in her third year at Oxford when a coworker who’d been harassing her broke into her dorm room and attacked her during the Christmas break. He beat her senseless and then strangled her. When the cops arrived he was in the process of ripping off her clothes.” Artie sighed heavily. “Luckily her screams had drawn the attention of a guy walking his dog outside the dorm, otherwise god knows when she’d of been found. The cops rushed her to the hospital, but she died on the way. I think the only reason the bastards kept working on her was because she had a Scotland Yard I.D on her. I could be wrong, England could have great health care and they could go to heroic lengths for everybody. Any way they brought her back in the emergency room, she had massive internal bleeding and a punctured lung. You can read all the grizzly details yourself.”

“The man who attacked her what about him?” Liam grated out, feeling his nails dig into his palms in anger. Danny was so small and delicate, she should be protected and coddled not put in harm’s way, not beaten and tortured.

“He was some computer programmer that worked for Scotland Yard, he had a thing for Dr. Troy. He apparently had asked her out several times, but she’d turned him down. Can’t blame her, she was seventeen and the creep was thirty six.” Artie gave an apologetic shrug. “Sorry, I keep forgetting how old you really are. Anyway, the guy had used his skills to break into her personnel file and find out where she lived. Then he bribed a damn janitor to let him into the woman’s dorms. The creep got twenty years for assault and attempted rape as well as stalking. Dr. Troy ended up in a coma for over a month, and then needed facial reconstruction surgery as he’d broken her jaw and her left eye socket. When she recovered Scotland Yard bought her off. She got her degree from Oxford and then came back to the States and got her degree in Psychiatry.”

“And then what?” Liam demanded forcing himself to talk deep calming breaths. Hearing that Danny had been attacked and actually died twice had unsettled both him and his lion.

“Apparently she had not only stayed in contact with the cop that had saved her, Matthew Dickerson, but was friends with him. According to what my sources dug up she was a wreck both physically and mentally when she came back to the states. Dickerson had her move in with him and his family for a few months then helped her get her the job here working with the police department and prosecutors office. Scotland Yard apparently gave her a large amount of money as hush money for letting one of their own attack her, she used almost all of it to buy her condo from you of all things.” Artie dropped another piece of paper on Liam’s desk, it was a copy of a bill of sale for Danny’s condo at the converted warehouse, the bill listed many custom upgrades that in the end cost a staggering one million dollars.

“As you can see she paid for some upgrades, very special upgrades. The floors, walls and ceiling of her condo are all lined with lead. Even the glass in the windows is leaded.” Artie waited to be sure Liam was still paying attention.

“Leaded, why leaded?” Liam demanded.

“I wondered that myself, apparently according to my sources it’s thought to block not only radiation but psychic waves. My sources said that way she would be safe from other people’s thoughts and emotions and spirits couldn’t enter her place.” Artie replied. “There is more she had a panic room installed, with a full bathroom and a dedicated phone line, she also had special shelves with hydroponic misters and grow bulbs included. Apparently the lady likes plants, likes them a lot.”

“Anything else? Liam demanded.

The lady doesn’t have much money, every dime she had went into her condo or into education or paying off medical bills. She suffers from seizures because of what happened to her as well having been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome. Considering she was actually killed twice it’s a wonder the lady ever sets foot outside or helps the police.” Artie shook his head. “She apparently has a high success rate as a profiler and has even helped the FBI a few times, she’s also been called in on a few missing person cases.”

Liam pushed the papers away from him as he thought about the things Danny had said over the weeks that had been dating and it was all starting to make sense now.

“Is that it?” Liam demanded.

“Yes, considering her abilities she could be a threat to us and the other warriors, I don’t normally suggest eliminating someone, especially a woman but it is an option.” Artie said hesitantly.

“Eliminated, hell no, she could be my mate.” Liam thundered making Artie flinch.

“I’m glad you said that, I wasn’t looking forward to having the lady removed. I talked to Theo when I discovered what the good doctor can do, Theo as you know also has abilities. I asked Theo if she’d suspected Galen wasn’t human and she’d said she’d had odd feelings about him but nothing that screamed I’m dating a several thousand year old human alien lion hybrid. I think your secret is safe with the good doctor.” Artie said.

“Thank you Artie you found more than I expected.” Liam gave Artie a nod.

“So you still plan on seeing the lady again I’m guessing?” Artie asked.

“Yes, yes I am. She intrigues me and my lion likes her too, it’s hard to explain, it’s like I’ve been waiting for her all my life. When I’m with her I’m just happy, we can be doing nothing more than eating dinner and I’m happy. I miss her when she isn’t around and I can’t wait to see her again. Hell I text her very hour just to be sure she is okay.” Liam replied hoping he didn’t sound foolish.

“No, I get it, that’s how I knew my Betsy was meant to be my wife. So you ready to hear about Rita now?” Artie asked pulling out a new folder and setting it on his lap.

“Yes, I am, is there a lot of information?” Liam demanded.

Artie chuckled softly. “Oh you can say that and none of it good, as Bette Davis said

fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

Liam shook his head then dropped it into his hands as he wondered what horrible information Artie had found, whatever it was it couldn’t be as bad as what had happened to Danny.

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