Heritage: Against the Grain I

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Summary

Gillian Beaumont is not your run-of-the-mill rookie cop. She is a vampire born from an ancient line, and she ran from that life to find herself. She's trying to be an ordinary cop and to do good in a world full of wrong, but she was not born to be ordinary. She will soon learn that no matter how far you run, you can't run from yourself or from destiny.

Genre:
Thriller / Mystery
Author:
CSDreamer
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
29
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

Invisible

If there is one thing that never changes, Gillian acknowledged, it’s fear caused by having to walk into a new life to confront an unknown future and make it your own.

She stood across the street from her destination, familiar with the hollow pit at the bottom of her stomach. Adrenaline amplified the smells, sounds, and sights a million times as if to imprint the moment in her brain.

“Come on, you can do this,” she muttered.

This was the moment of safety she would never get to return to once she crossed that road.

She purposefully pushed her doubts into that secure box in her imagination. The world narrowed into a controllable pinpoint of existence as she forced herself to take the first step onto the rain-slicked tarmac and checked her stride instantly. She reigned herself in until the world shrunk to just her and the little bit of gravel that circled that precious bubble of personal space, which humans so valued.

She touched the unexpectedly modern sliding door and barely hesitated before crossing the threshold and blinking at the over-bright, incessantly buzzing fluorescent lights inside.

She shut out the pulsing sweet, enticing smells of their blood, blocking the drumming, regular beats of their hearts as they passed her by

A shining expanse of dark lacquered wood served as a counter, and the serious-faced men and women in their dark blue uniforms stood behind the brittle barrier of its frame and guarded vigilantly against the world outside. The real darkness of which they would hopefully never encounter in their sheltered, isolated reality.

They were close enough to touch, which forced her to secure the predator and its demands into its prison until she was invisible, hidden, controlled, and safe—just one of them.

Gillian hesitated briefly before stepping inside the building and took a deep breath to calm her nerves as she mentally prepared herself for the assault of air-conditioned, confined human scents.

She squared her shoulders and purposefully strode forward again, approaching the counter and crossing the final border into the land of the unknown.

“Excuse me?”

Her voice startled the woman, and Gillian altered her mental attitude. There was no need to be too invisible and end up scaring anyone.

Humans were such easily excitable creatures, and she had to stop herself from smiling and then grimacing as she remembered whose words echoed so easily through the halls of her mind—Grandfather. She didn’t want the past intruding on this moment.

The desk sergeant’s eyes wandered past her as if she searched for the means by which Gillian appeared before her, unnoticed.

Instead, her gaze fell upon the group of people who followed Gillian through the door, and the lady cop did not waste time on her confusion. She took the situation in hand, and Gillian liked that, respecting the ethics behind it.

The officer had clear, bright, intelligent eyes, unlike the older woman beside her, who stared at the clock with bored disinterest while a female victim sobbed out her plight.

Gillian purposefully pushed down the tiny snarl in her throat, concentrating on the officer on the other side of the counter.

“I am Officer Beaumont, reporting for duty,” Gillian offered, a smile tugging at her lips.

“I am Sergeant Forrester.” She had a strong southern accent.

***

Gillian had no idea that the little bit of uncertainty she injected into her expression, although endearing to sergeant Forester, did not fool her. Forester was a woman prone to reading people, which was why she was stationed at desk duty.

She saw the little flash of irritation as Beaumont glanced at Polatsky. Who, once again, displayed more interest in her smoke break than the poor beaten, mugging victim, pleading for help she would receive reluctantly and halfheartedly.

Forester noted how Beaumont took her in with a single glance, reading her name tag and noticing that she was left-handed.

She had greeted many officers fresh from the academy, who thought they knew it all. They were all so brash and innocent, so woefully unprepared for this world they were about to enter, outfitted with no genuine concept of the horrors they would find beyond those doors. This cop didn’t fit that description.

Forester rarely saw the likes of this one; she would wager her badge on that. The girl was not as young as she seemed—something betrayed by the expression in her eyes and hinted at by the set of her mouth. Beaumont had seen the face of darkness and knew the taste of pain.

She was no fresh-faced, half-grown, impudent child but a young woman who already saw too much of the world to be blinded by the glitter of a shiny new badge.

Forester focused more intently, and Beaumont’s bright, icy blue eyes instantly met hers. They caught her gaze and weighed her with a certain knowledge.

She reigned back her odd gift and nodded, disengaging. She would never go there, sensing pain so deep and terrible it scared her, and it was also private.

That cool gaze simmered down, becoming considerate in its intent, and she did not back down from it, keeping her expression open and candid. She had never met another with this... awareness of the world and those in it that she had.

She would not ask and would not be asked. They understood each other perfectly.

Forrester nodded at the paperwork in Beaumont’s hands and held out her hand.

***

Gillian watched the dark-eyed, blond woman page through her file until she found what she was looking for. She was in her late forties but looked younger.

Forester was slim of build, and the strength of her perception was surprising. Few humans had such keen senses; most were deaf and blind to the world around them. She was perfect for this job but would have made a better detective, but there was something there, a darkness and great sadness that had become a burden that weighed too heavily.

The officer had a child or children at a young age. She carried that worn-down air of a single mother trying to make ends meet like a badge of honor.

She was widowed, Gillian guessed. There was just something about the way she twisted her wedding ring while she talked on the phone earlier that spoke of great love and loss.

“Go down the hall, turn right and take the elevator to the third floor. Walk down the corridor and find the third door on the right. Walk all the way down the room on the other side to the offices, find the middle one and ask for Senior Detective Hoight. Good luck.” The way Forester said the last bit, despite her attempt at solemnity, spoke of amused fondness.

“Thank you very much,”

“My pleasure.”

***

A frown tugged at Gillian’s brow as she took her file and moved off. She never once glanced back, and Forester only glanced at her retreating back as she disappeared around the corner.

She found it odd that after such a brief meeting that she felt the absence of the girl’s presence. Beaumont was just someone that made an impression. Her forceful personality was almost commanding, which was not something a young cop usually came equipped with.

A small smile curved her lips. Finally, someone had a personality that would fit Hoight’s parameters, and he wouldn’t miss it.

It was about time someone came along worthy of filling the shoes that had to be filled. Her smile faded at the thought, and although she directed her attention to the man speaking to her, a small part of her mind remained elsewhere.

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