Blood Ties by TalgoM

[page 3 of 4]

"What?" Both Alex and Nick demanded.

"Last night, in my dream I heard the warning from the yesterday, the one that made me think twice about entering the house. She somehow put it in my head to leave the house and when I dreamt last night I heard the words clearly, the words that had forced me to step back. She said, 'please leave, you can't imagine what they'll do to you.' 'They'll,' Alex, more then one." He desperately wished she had told him more, that she had fed him more then one inadvertent clue. "Alex look into the cases with Charles, anything where more then one spirit seemed to be working together."

"Sure, you are coming back here?" She asked it trying to make it sound casual, but her worry was always present. She wanted the two of them safe in the house until they knew what they were up against.

"I want to swing by the house. Maybe she'll try to warn us off one more time. She might tell us something more this time." He tried to ignore the emotion he heard in her voice, not wanting to back down quite yet.

"Derek, please." Alex pleaded.

"We won't get close Alex, I promise. But if this is how she tells us things then it's the best chance we have at unlocking the secrets." Derek again tried to reassure her but knew he wasn't succeeding.

"Just tell mom we'll be home before dark and be done with it." Nick grinned at Derek who did not repeat his words to the researcher.

"We'll be fine, Alex. Call if you find anything else." Derek hung up the phone and handed it over to Nick. He was surprised to see the younger man's eyes looking so alive. He just rose his eyebrows with the unspoken question.

"You know, more I think about it, the better I start to feel. I mean, why the hell would we lose?" Nick shot Derek a lopsided smile and for the first time in over twenty hours Derek felt he was seeing the Nick he knew so well. The strong willed sarcastic, sensitive young man. Brooding at times, but he always tried to draw the focus off that behavior by joking.

"I don't know why we would." Derek answered back softly, though not feeling as sure.

"C'mon Derek, Alex is making headway finally, and it's all gonna be over in a matter of hours." Derek shook to hear Nick's words. 'It's all going to be over.' He didn't know why the simple statement made him feel such a heavy foreboding but it seeped down into him.


It was back, the subtle shift in balance, which meant they were back. She didn't make a move from the bed though. Why draw extra attention to herself? The man was angry enough as it was. Her plan had worked, but it had succeeded too early. She couldn't get out yet but he was weaker now then he had been in a long time. Exhausted from the rage he had directed to her. She felt the back of her head and found the hard knot there. Now he was at least distracted, concentrating in whatever place they went, on what he would do to the would be saviors. She could bring him back if she pushed it though and despite the fact he was weaker, she knew he was never weak. She had quite enough pain for one day.

Still, she was too stubborn to be completely docile. 'Let it slide away from you, glide outwards like a thread caught in the wind. They may not know you're talking to them but it will reach them. I know you can touch the living if you just try. Gentle, relaxed, just let it flow Tangye.' She heard the voice whisper from her memory. How had she lost their lessons for so long? She remembered all the languages and practical studies, but the lessons that would have helped her endure slipped away. Now they came crashing back down. 'You have a talent, you need to learn to use it, someday it might save your life little one.'

The man would feel none of the crashing force from the day before, that cry had been done without subtlety. This time she just let the images slip from her mind, making no sound but still they reached out to him. Drifting into his mind with less power then a whisper but they would nag there, hanging on and he would find them there somehow. She was sure someone that exuded such a sense of power would find them.

She grinned, pleased with herself. For years the hazes had been mocking the friends she once had. Pointing out how powerless they were to help her now. Maybe they were unable to return to her rescue but the lessons had been taught. Perhaps they were powerless now, but they already did their job in all this. They had empowered her. She turned her eyes to the door, waiting for him to arrive. He didn't and the house stayed silent. She had done it, gotten past their defenses without them knowing. She nearly laughed out loud but instead just whispered 'thank you' in her head.


"Well that was a wasted trip." Nick did it to her again and this time he nearly lost control when he saw her jump. Derek followed him into the control room looking exhausted from running around in circles all day. Nick quickly spun one of the chairs around and plopped down into it backwards.

"Nothing at the house?" Alex forced her voice to remain calm so not to amuse Nick anymore.

"Not a thing evidently." Nick shot Derek a quick glance, but only shrugged when he didn't choose to collaborate. "What about on the home front?"

"Actually, at long last I think we have an answer." Both Derek and Nick seemed to stiffen hearing those words from Alex. It was what they had wanted to hear this whole time. "Charles Gaarlihn, if it's the same man from the case logs which I can't find anything that indicates it is, but…," She quickly added noting the look of disappointment on the faces of both her companions. "I also can't prove it isn't. Anyway, Charles, whoever it is, was involved in a case in the thirties with two spirits. They had been torturing victims at a local hotel. All indications are that the attacks were pretty violent and some of the people were being held hostage in their rooms. When the Legacy moved in the two spirits got angry, said they couldn't be defeated separately. The report is that the female vanished first, before the Legacy even had a chance to try anything. The man was said to have warned that 'this would not be the last strike, and they would pay for their interference, or their blood would.' Then, poof he was just gone. I checked the database, there doesn't seem to be any indication that they have ever reappeared." Alex turned to study Derek's reaction as she so frequently found herself doing. Was she really still so needing of his approval? She chastised herself for it but when she saw him the thought slipped away.

"What part did Charles play?" His voice was steady; it did not betray the doubt he instinctively felt over this explanation.

"Like I said it looks like someone tried to wipe this guy out of the database. They just missed a few mentions of his name. All I know was he was there when they went to the hotel, what exactly he did it doesn't say. The sweep was pretty thorough. No last name, no indication of age, I can't even really be sure he was a member of the Legacy." Alex looked back at the report on the monitor, wondering what Derek saw in it to cause that expression on his face. The worry, nearly an anger.

"Maybe he turned on the Legacy and somebody wanted to forget he ever was in it." Nick suggested with a shrug, not really thinking this detail too important.

"No." Derek snapped more harshly then he intended.

"Derek what is it?" Alex asked, her voice soothing.

"He did not turn on the Legacy, someone turned on him." Derek said with a noticeable scowl.

"What's that mean?" Nick asked defensively, hating it when Derek decided to be cryptic.

"Something else is going on here. Information is being kept from us for a reason, and in doing so someone is managing to further the pain of his great-granddaughter." Derek answered, his voice still tight with the anger over his suspicions.

"Derek we don't even know that this is Charles Gaarlihn." Alex reminded him. She found that she was hoping it would be but didn't want to put too much hope in such an unlikely possibility.

"I do." Alex stood up and crossed to him, gently placing one thin hand on his arm.

"Derek, please, go upstairs. Get some sleep. Tomorrow you two can go in the house, now that we know what we're dealing with. I'll prepare all the information I can find for you to read in the morning. You need to relax, you're too close to this, both of you are." Nick looked at her out of the corner of his eye, a hint of annoyance on his face at her words. "Play savior in the morning."

"Fine, you're probably right." Derek nodded, not voicing his thoughts that she wasn't. That this answer was completely wrong somehow. He turned, giving her a gentle grin of reassurance before leaving . "You too Nick." Alex sternly commanded. Nick failed to comment but she didn't miss the way he lingered over the picture in his hands before dropping it on the table. As soon as he was gone she went and picked it up. A pretty young girl, her whole life spread out before her, so many choices ahead. Laughing over a long lost moment that none of them shared, but Alex felt herself smile with the girl anyway. "Okay Ms. Gaarlihn who are you and what have you done to them, to us?" She studied the picture another moment. "And more importantly, what's been done to you?"


"Go to sleep now little one." The woman pulled the covers up around her shoulders. Tangye jerked away when the hand reached out to her. She hated the way the woman was forever trying to do these sorts of things, trying to make gentle gestures when all they ever brought was new pain.

'Don't touch me. How many times do I have to damn you before you understand?' She couldn't have pushed the words out with more spite and the woman flinched at the anger.

"Tangye Mauveen don't you dare use that sort of language." Her face grew stern. Normally she was not the most threatening but at that moment Tangye clearly recalled the woman's ability to cause her pain. She was more subtle then the man, slowly creeping her will over Tangye's.

"Apologize Tangye." The man's voice boomed. He appeared again for the first time since the morning and he had shed none of his anger. His eyes were alight and his face tight.

'Rot.' She spat at the two apparitions who proved to have plenty of ability to hurt her, as the knot on the back of her head testified. She saw his jaw lock, knew the signs of his fury all to well at this point but she couldn't keep the words from forming anymore. She'd spent the day going over all the lessons she had ever been taught and one kept ringing in her mind, one that forced her into action rather then logic.

"Young lady you've become more and more difficult over the years." The man complained. There was so much that the man seemed to dislike about her.

'You won't leave me alone, you're driving me mad is that what you want?' She screamed at them. She wished she could force out the words but she was tired from the day, the effort would be a waste of what little energy she had right now. She absently feared that she would never hear her own voice again. Not that it would matter much if they had their way, she could communicate with them without spoken words and they intended to keep her locked away from the world here for eternity with only them as her company, as her torturers.

"We only want what's best for you." Her voice tried to be sweet but there was venom behind it. Again the woman's hand reached out but she just pushed herself away from it further knowing she could do nothing to knock it away.

'Then die already.' She pleaded but her voice held onto some of the demand and hate.

"Tangye." He snapped, his hand struck her head where it was already damaged and she cried silently in pain. "Now sleep, we'll have visitors in the morning." His voice made it quite clear that she would get nowhere by arguing.

'I will not allow them to be hurt.' She growled.

His smile turned her blood cold and her heart stopped for a moment. Why couldn't she control a single emotion she had? Why couldn't she ever not push so hard? She grinned as the knowledge came back to her. Her lessons. "You won't be able to do anything about it, it's time we made a clear example for the world, so they know to leave you alone. Now sleep, things will be very exciting tomorrow." They were gone, still in the house but they left her the peace of her room.

'At least I can say with certainty you'll go to hell, that has to be some type of revenge.' She pulled the sheets up around herself again knowing it would be hours before she slept. She said a few prayers in her head. Prayers she was certain were being heard but she couldn't figure out why they were always ignored. But now she added prayers for the two men, who might sacrifice their lives only to help her. She had thought about it all day though and had finally realized there was only one person that could help her now.

She had spent the whole day thinking, reviewing everything about her life. She forced herself for the first time to face the duration of time since she had first seen the two hazes, never having realized before how much of the situation she had made herself forget. Now every detail mattered but one realization had struck her hardest, had steeled her to the situation.

Seven years. She was sure of the amount of time that had passed now. For some time it had all blurred into one inescapable moment in the haze of her mind. She grinned slightly at her own choice of terms. 'Haze.' It was the same word that she used to describe her tormentors refusing to acknowledge them as the spirits of the bodies that they inhabited. Even though she knew that was just what they were.

Seven years lost that she would never be able to regain, that had been what hurt the most to realize. She had lived in quiet resignation over the situation during most of that time. She had tried to make them leave, but she doubted that she ever believed that she would succeed. Now she was left wondering from what unexplored corner the strength had sprung up from. She still had a good handle on the whole situation though. She knew that it had to end, and there was only two ways that was going to happen. She was resigned to either option.

'She's not stable, but I don't believe that she is a danger to herself.' The diagnosis of one of many doctors in her life. She was never meant to hear it but she had. She never told her parents that she knew what the man had both said and believed about her. He did believe that she was a danger to herself. She had seen that much in his head, but how could he tell that to the parents of the twelve-year-old girl in his waiting room? 'She's strong, I don't know where it comes from but she is certainly strong.'

Memories long dead threatened to come crashing down upon her but she refused them the opportunity. She didn't even know they were there anymore and wasn't about to face them now so they stayed locked where she had put them. They were her well of strength though. The fountain her will drank from. A small voice in her head reminding her that if she could live through those horrors she couldn't recall, she could endure anything. She was strong indeed and the hazes would be reminded of that fact.

She shouldn't have survived, a part of her knew that, but she continued to draw the next breath in defiance alone of the forces against her. She remembered the spirits that had been so much a part of her childhood. Those that spoke to her with gentle kindness, those that had made her laugh, those that taught her she was a survivor. 'You, listen to me now.' The man snapped at her in her memory. 'You're different Tangye, you know that and I know that. But you are also strong, stubborn, and Dammit you better not let anyone ever forget that. You never give in no matter how weak you might feel. You remember me at those times. Got it kid? You think of me and I'll help you get through.'

'You better be with me now James, cause I have never needed you more.' She whispered the words in her mind. She almost felt him smile at her as he always did when she was proving to be especially stubborn. 'That's my girl, you don't take it from nobody kiddo.' The others had never really liked James, but at this moment it was his lessons that would serve her best she was just glad she had finally found them there in the recesses of her mind. The others wanted her to learn languages, he had taught her to fight and more importantly, to win. That was the lesson that mattered most now.

'Listen kiddo, I gotta get going now. But you, you did me proud. You even showed me a thing or two. There's gonna be plenty of times when you should concentrate on their lessons, all their fancy schooling. But there's gonna be more times when it's the stuff I told you is gonna be it. Latin won't save your life. Your strength of will can. So listen, one last lesson, when it's all down, when you are sure you've lost, focus. Remember your anger, it sounds awful, but it's in you and you can use it. Take it and stand up with it and nobody can knock you down.'

Seven years lost, just gone. Though she had known anger at the two hazes for years now it had always been held in check by her fear of them. She let herself believe their words when they said no one was more powerful then they were. Now she did as James said. Let the pain slip away, the mourning. All of it until the only thing left was her anger over what had been done to her. For the first time in too many years she started to feel like that stubborn thirteen-year-old that James had taught. The girl who was not about to admit defeat.


Nick slept soundly, a smile playing at the corners of his mouth. They were in the mountains, there was a soft white blanket covering the ground. She still said nothing to him, and he just stared at her. Watching as she looked around, took in all of the sights of this quiet little spot. Studied her as her face lit up with a smile of wonderment. He saw each breath that escaped her mouth and created a brief cloud in front of her. Her hair caught in the wind blew up behind her, wild and free, whipped into her eyes. She brushed it away absently wanting nothing to obstruct her view of this place.

Finally after he had been studying her for what felt like hours she turned to him. Her face was alive with pleasure. Her smile spread into him infectiously. A dimple sprung up on one of her round cheeks. Her eyes glinted in the sunlight, but what color were they? Her face suddenly grew serious for a moment and she mouthed the words 'thank you' to him. The smile that followed was more solemn but still filled with joy over the place he had brought her. She turned away from him with a slight bow of her head. He watched as her hand moved, her pinky finger finding it's way into her mouth, she bit down on the last joint. Her eyes wandered over the horizon and that pleased smile returned to her profile.

Nick knew she was happy here, happy here because he was with her and nothing could have felt better to him as he slept. Her occasional quick glances fighting away the demons that usually haunted his slumber. She won his battle for him, or would. But first he had to help her with her own fight.


Derek's sleep was fitful down the hall. He envisioned her being torn from the window, saw the shadow that was more then a shadow again. The stains. He saw the stains that her blood had left on the shutters. 'I can do it.' The voice was suddenly there but had no one present to be speaking. It was low in register, just short of husky. 'It took me a long time to realize it but I can. You have to be careful. I can't risk naming them. But I can defeat them. I might need a little help though. Just be careful. They know you're coming, they want you to. You're to be their lesson to the world.' Her voice was full of the same warning that had been there the night before but it seemed stronger suddenly.

"Derek, listen to her carefully." Derek jerked in his sleep at the sound of a man's voice. He turned to find a man in sixties, dressed nicely in a suit that Derek was sure he recognized from being an American style around 1953. "And never go for the simple answer. Her life has always been complicated and it has always been her own. This is being done to her, not her ancestors." He spoke calmly.

"Charles." Derek heard himself whisper. The man merely grinned without commitment of an answer. His hair was gray, a bit longer then was probably the style. His face was well lined but still strong as his body seemed to be.

"She's strong Derek, but sometimes she forgets the little things." The man went on with the message he had been trying to deliver for years. Up until now though he had been unable to find a bridge, but the young woman had created it without knowing by opening the connection between herself and the precept.

"I don't know how to help her." Derek said weakly, his voice full of the disappointment and failure he had been feeling all day.

"You don't have to. She's already been taught what she needs to know, remember there was a guardian angel in her life she once believed in. She was bound to be alone someday and she was prepared for it very early. But she forgets things." He repeated making Derek sure that somehow the answer was held in that simple statement the man seemed desperate to communicate.

"What do you mean by that?" Derek felt desperate, wishing for a straight answer.

"Think of what you've learned about her. Think of the descriptions you've been given." Derek shook his head, understanding still alluding him. "It will come to you. She's yours now, someday she will need you to fight for her, tomorrow is not that day." He seemed sad to be letting her go.

Derek dawned suddenly on something. "You did this. Sent the message somehow?"

"Things have gotten desperate and what good is a guardian angel if he doesn't guard?" The man answered back lightly a brief smile playing on his lips.

"But you waited so long." Derek felt some of the annoyance he had found in himself at Janet Albertson begin to swell again. Why had those who claimed to love her failed to do anything for so long?

The man's return was muted with his own regrets. "I could do nothing. The power in the house has built a fortress I couldn't get through. It can only be destroyed from the inside now."

"If that's true…" The man before him shook his head.

"No more questions, she can do it and she needs only one thing from you to succeed. Enjoy her, I always have." Derek sat up in bed suddenly and the dream quickly faded from his mind until all he could remember was that she needed something from him to end her torment on her own. But what did he have to give her? What was it that he knew about her that held the answer?


Alex sat in silence in the control room refusing to give up the search until she found some concrete answers. She wasn't convinced that the two spirits from the hotel were those that were now keeping the young woman locked in her house but for now it was her only lead. Still something about the answer she wanted to believe just didn't feel right.

She tapped on the computer keys and the image changed to the picture that Nick had up the night before. Alex sat back slightly in her chair and stared up at the image. Since joining the Legacy she had been witness to too much needless suffering and it always had the same effect on her. She tried so hard to remain objective but too often her more honest instincts got the best of her. Alex Moreau was a sensitive woman even without her unique Sight. She felt others pain and strove to do whatever she could to relieve it. Simply learning about the existence of Tangye Mauveen Gaarlihn had brought forth that reaction in her.

But it was more then that too. She felt a bond with the young woman ever since reading the journals that Rachel had taken from Dr. Berton. She recalled her own isolation when she was young brought on by her Sight. The loneliness it had always caused her to know that she was different. She had never really been alone though, she had the support of her Grandmother all along. Grandma Rose had always known when Alex was feeling the worst about her gifts and had the right words to ease her discomfort. She was a woman with natural insight.

"Okay Ms. Gaarlihn I need some answers. We're all listening now you just have to tell us something." Alex leaned forward in her seat studying the picture. "How'd you do it?" The phone rang beside her suddenly and she quickly grabbed it not wanting it to wake any of the others in the house. "Luna Foundation." She answered.

"My darlin' you are up good." Alex smiled hearing her grandmother's voice on the other end. Definitely a woman with insight, Alex had planned to call her in the morning at a more reasonable hour. "I had a dream I need to tell you about."

"Grandma Rose, I was planning to call you. I had something I needed to ask you." Alex realized she had placed a lot of hope for the answer to the question plaguing her in the woman thousands of miles away.

"Den ask it chil'." Her soft accented voice prodded.

"We're working on a case, and it's seemed to obsess us all…" Alex began not sure how to explain.

"I know all about dat. You're blamin' the wrong one. The chil' didn' cause this reaction in you. Someone else is doin' it." Her grandmother answered calmly. "I saw a man in my dream, he's a good man don' you worry about dat. He wants what's best for the little one. He jus' can't do it all alone, he needed your help and is pushing a little too hard to get it." Alex understood what the woman was saying. Whoever this man was he was somehow manipulating their emotions so they would feel urgency not necessarily their own, hoping it might force them into action. She just didn't have the answers as to who would cause such a thing to happen to them. Who was it that had taken such an interest in the girl? What was he trying to fight so desperately?

"Then you know what's going on up here?" Alex was surprised.

"Not everythin' but enough. You must help the little one so she can help you." The older woman answered cryptically.

"Why would he reach out to you?" Alex asked, confused why her grandmother would become involved.

"He didn' I just saw him. He's fightin' hard and causing a disturbance, but my chil' he's not winnin'. He needs all of you to do the rest so she can do her part. And Alexandra, just a reminder but you know better then to take the easy way out." Alex laughed at the admonishment in the woman's voice. "You don' have to have the answers, just the heart this time. Tha's all the little one needs."

"Well that's good, because right now I think we have plenty of that." She smiled, her eyes returning up to the picture on the screen.


She slid back in the rowing machine chair, her breath coming in labored gasps. She had meant to only do half her regiment this morning to conserve her strength. Now she just exceeded it. In fact she hadn't even planned to come in here but the nervous energy had finally gotten the best of her. Sweat streamed down into her eyes but she felt good, empowered. She wondered absently how long they would let that last. Surely they sensed something about her new attitude, even if she weren't flaunting it so openly they would have felt it.

She felt him arrive before he was even in the room for her to see, and a part of her relaxed. At least now she knew where he was and he couldn't jump out of a dark corner and take her by surprise. Yet the rage just resurfaced unbidden.

'You said you'd never come in here.' Her voice was clear in his head, not still deeply breathing in ragged breaths as her form was.

"After the way you behaved yesterday you're lucky you can come in here." He snapped back. "Now you should get dressed, our visitors should be along shortly." His scowl was pure venom; he was loving every second of the pain he caused so thoughtlessly. Her jaw clamped down, her breathing still heavy; her eyes alight with fire.

'We aren't expecting house guests, you're corralling sacrifices.' She snapped the words off.

"No matter." He shrugged and then vanished. A bit of the old fear started to creep back over her and slip hazardously into her mind. He didn't at all fear possible defeat; he was convinced he had nothing to concern himself with in the situation that was developing. She had to give a little credence to that herself. What could she possibly hope to do after this long? He had defeated her time and time again. Left her beaten both in body and mind on countless occasions. Now suddenly she thought she could do something to stop this? She was wrong, terribly wrong.

Slowly she got up from the rowing machine brushing her damp hair out of her eyes. She gave one last look around the room, a part of her acknowledging that no matter what happened she would not look at this place again. She desperately tried to focus on the anger that had kept her going through the night so well but it seemed weak suddenly. Tired and old. It just wouldn't be enough. She moved through the house, going through the motions but not really acknowledging what she was doing.

Finally she sat in her bed, wrapped tightly in her robe after the shower, staring straight ahead. Where had the rage gone? How did it vanish so quickly? She suddenly felt sick to her stomach and very tired. She couldn't risk sleep though; she had to be ready when the men arrived. "Tangye put this on, it's so flattering on you." She furrowed her brow at the woman as she laid out the dark burgundy, waist length sweater. "I assume you'll insist on wearing jeans." The woman happily went back into the closet to gather the rest of an outfit. "You're very pretty, and pretty girls shouldn't worry the way you do, he'll handle everything." Her voice was so light, airy and the young woman began to make sense of things but her mind seemed to be in a battle of realization and denial.


Derek had no idea how to explain himself so he chose not to. He decided instead to just trust in both Tangye's words and those of her great-grandfather, if that was who he was. Nick and Alex planned as though they were going up against the spirits from that hotel so long ago. He knew their names had been said but he wasn't really listening. He cursed quietly to himself as the frustration took over. If only the dream hadn't been so cryptic. But Charles seemed intent on evading direct answers. Why? If he would tell Derek what he needed to do then of course he would do it.

'I can't risk naming them,' Her voice returned to him. It dawned on Derek suddenly. Not only could she not risk it, Charles couldn't. Whatever powers these spirits or as Derek was beginning to believe them to be, demons, held it had to be immense. Both his visitors had been afraid to utter their names or draw too much attention to themselves for fear of the repercussions.

"You ready boss?" Nick patted him on the shoulder jerking him out of his revelry. They had left the equipment in the car from the night before though both seemed to doubt it would do any good Alex said it made her feel better. She was still trying to get them to show some caution but she also seemed to feel much better since she believed they finally knew what they were up against. But her eyes had not entirely lost their anxious concern. Nick had tried lightening the mood a few times over breakfast by teasing her but was only met with her exasperated sighs or threatening glances.

Derek glanced at Nick again, seeming to notice for the first time what a good mood he was in. The brooding from the day before was completely over. His eyes were lit up and smiles came quickly as he joked with Alex. Derek wondered for a moment what had gotten into him in the last few hours but decided to not pursue the issue.

"Yes. Alex I need you to call Rachel, get her over here today. We have no idea what state Tangye will be in and she might be a big help. Have Dominick set up a room for her, something comfortable, use your discretion. I'll call as soon as we have her, or if something develops. You might also want to give Philip a call," Derek saw the flare up build in Nick, "just in case."

Derek was surprised when Nick didn't argue though he made his opinion known when he stalked out of the control room. Derek suddenly wondered if he shouldn't have taken Alex aside and mentioned the priest. He just wanted Philip to know what was going on, in case anything happened. Instead he had managed to snatch away Nick's good mood with a single name.

"Don't worry about him, he'll pout about Philip for a little while then just drop it when he realizes yet again no one is going to listen to him bad mouth Philip." Alex smiled. She wanted so bad to pull him to her, to hold him. Instead she turned her head away catching a glimpse of the photo out of the corner of her eye. The girl's face smiled up at her and in some odd way reassured her that it was all going to be fine. She patted Derek's arm. "Call the minute you need anything." Derek nodded then left her alone in the control room hugging herself to fight off the ache she felt to watch him leave.

She had taken some small comfort in her grandmother's call and the reassurance the woman tried to communicate that everything would be fine. She hadn't dropped the notion that it was the spirits of the hotel for her friends even though she was sure now it wasn't. At least that gave them something to fight, something horrible to go up against. She also was certain that neither Nick or Derek believed in that answer but were prepared to press forward anyway. They were leading with their hearts just as Rose had said they needed to and she had to pray that was enough.


Derek got out to the car and found Nick sitting in the driver's seat. Derek climbed in sighing deeply to himself as preparation for what was coming. "You know eventually you're just going to have to accept it. He left the Legacy Derek, yeah he pops up from time to time but he isn't one of us anymore. He doesn't even want to be." Nick's voice was filled with the same anger he had been holding onto for so long.

"Nick I know it bothers you that he leaves…" Derek attempted to calm his volatile associate.

"No, it bothers me that every damn time he does it you let him back in. That's not how it's supposed to be Derek. He needs to pick one way or the other." Nick slammed the gas pedal to the floor causing the car to lurch violently forward. "Don't you get it? He's never gonna come back here, not for good. He might play around at it for a week or two but then he's gone again. He makes us think we can depend on him and then he's just gone. We're a team Derek, we back each other up, to do that we need to be able to count on the others being there." Nick fought to control his anger but it didn't work. Derek hated to see Nick this way, knowing he was only angry with Philip because he couldn't deal with the disappointment that his friend had left him.

"I just want him to be aware of the situation, just as a precaution." Derek fought to keep his voice even. He didn't want to try and have to explain this whole thing over again but always felt the urge to try to intervene on the behalf of their relationship. He just couldn't forget the memories of them once so close.

"What in case we need some holy water?" Nick bit the words off and then silence fell. Pursuing this issue always ended in the same argument. Nick was hurt that Philip left the house. Not for any of the reasons he so frequently claimed but just because he left. Years ago they had been close, different as they possibly could be they forged a friendship. When Philip had decided to leave the Legacy back to the church the rest of the house had stood by and watched that bond crumble. Nick let scant few people into his life and when Philip decided to walk back out it had crushed Nick. And Nick Boyle wasn't quick to forgive even an imagined betrayal.

Derek was sure he couldn't stand the silence anymore by the time they finally pulled up in front of the Gaarlihn home. Nick had been fidgeting in his seat, tapping at the steering, uncomfortable to have to linger after a fight with his precept. Usually he got to go off somewhere and cool down, now he just had to sit and hope Derek didn't pursue the issue. He shifted his jaw back and forth, waiting for Derek to draw the breath that would mean he was about to speak.

"You ready?" Nick finally decided to just get it over with.

"Yes, and Nick…" Nick waved off whatever he was about to say. Derek took one more deep breath reflecting that this was the last thing he needed right now. Nick turned to Derek as he got out of the car, then looked over at the house. For the first time he seemed leery of just throwing himself into the situation. "Are you ready? Maybe I should…"

"No, I have to go in there." Nick answered a little too quickly.

"Nick you don't have to do this if you don't feel up to it." Derek began to wonder just what it was that was bringing this odd reaction out of his friend. His mind dancing around the obvious answer.

"You don't get it Derek." Nick turned to face him full on, and Derek read the certainty there. "That's her home. It's supposed to be a place of warmth, a safe haven from a cruel world. I know what its like to have that illusion shattered." Nick turned away not wanting his friend to see the pain that found it's way too close to the surface. Derek had hoped Nick had not associated himself with Tangye's plight. But of course he did, he had spent his childhood a prisoner to his father's rage and drunken beatings. He had spent too many years being reminded that he was nothing, too long afraid to not make the connection or to ever forget. A part of the young man beside him would always be a little boy so maliciously robbed of his hope that no one even knew needed help. Despite the slight reconciliation that Robert had made with his son by reaching out to him after death Nick was still unable to forget the pain he endured.

Again Derek silently berated himself for missing the signs that had been in front of him so long. He could never give Nick back those years but if Nick saw Tangye Gaarlihn as a chance to save someone in the way he had never been saved, maybe it could be a chance at redemption for Derek.

"Then lets go remedy that problem." His voice did not waiver.


She sat on the stairs, staring intently at the front door, waiting anxiously for the arrival.

She could hear them behind her; they were also waiting with a different sense of anticipation. He was excited, thinking he would be able to ensure that no one else would disturb them after this day. The woman was cleaning which had infuriated Tangye. They weren't expecting guests, he was trapping victims. She hadn't even attempted to repress her anger and her explosion at the woman that morning had enraged the man. He demanded that she respect the woman but she didn't find it in herself to pretend to do so anymore. Again the depth of her hate shocked her, and for a moment it had seemed enough to defeat them.

She gently rubbed the side of her face, another reminder of her place in all of this. The woman had gone into hysterics when he had tossed her across the room. Not over her injury but the broken vase she had caused when she had hit the table.

She gritted her teeth, concentrating all her energy at keeping them out of her head. She just couldn't hold onto her anger and in the back of her mind she knew it was the woman's doing. Somehow she was forcing her into a numb submission. She had sensed the power Tangye had held with her anger and had somehow pried her away from it. Knowing that had forced Tangye into many decisions and neither of them needed to be alerted to that so instead she concentrated at keeping them out. She now knew there was only one way to stop them and hard as it was she would willing to face that if only to end this.

She heard the car doors slam outside.

"Finally." The man's voice whispered behind her, his glee sent shivers up her spine.


Janet watched in awe as the two men approached the house with such purpose in their strides. Nothing was about to deter them. The younger man held up his hand and wandered off around the back of the house. It wasn't more then two minutes later that he came back, nodding, a self-satisfied expression on his face. Janet realized that he must have disabled the alarm system. She wondered to herself if they would have any success. It had been so long since hope had permeated her heart for her godchild. She wasn't sure if it was worth the heartache to allow that to spring up only to have it dashed again.


"We're all set. I called the police from the island, let them know we'd be going in so they won't bother investigating a breaking and entering here." Nick turned to Derek as they walked up the stone path. His mentor merely nodded focusing all his attention on the house before him. They emptiness and pain had struck him again once he had seen it but he had to fight that off. He forced himself to ignore the nagging memory of the sound of her voice warning him to leave and just press on towards the front door.

The first day they had left because of the warning she had somehow sent crashing into his mind. The second it had been the sight of her being viciously yanked away from the window and the fear of the recriminations it would cause to enter. Today nothing was going to stop them.

He still didn't think they had any idea what they were going up against, despite Alex's seeming conviction about the two spirits from the hotel's involvement. He knew that not being sure should make them pause but he just couldn't do it. He had seen her face in the window for only a moment and had been surprised not to see fear there, it was a horrified concern written on it. She was worried about them not herself. In Derek's mind it was time to focus on her and not themselves.

"We have to be careful. All we really know is that the spirits in there are dangerous, we can't afford to be foolish." Nick didn't mention the fact that the going in itself was probably foolish. It wouldn't have stopped Derek and knowing that sure as hell wasn't going to stop him, so why bother pointing it out? Two nights he had spent dreaming of her and throughout those days he hadn't been able to shake the image of her. Of the face that said without words that she understood. He had to rescue her, there was no option left and nothing was going to prevent him from doing so.

"Of course." Nick pulled out his gun, making sure there was a bullet in the chamber. Ready in his head to face anything. Derek realized he was concerned by Nick's behavior too. The younger man had seemed to take saving the girl on as a personal crusade and Derek knew how dangerous that clouding of emotions could be. Alex had told him how she had found him in the control room, staring up at Tangye's image. She had described his attitude but mostly concentrated on that lost look she had seen in his eyes. She had seemed confused though, not sure if it was really lost, or it he had just found something. Compounded with the argument they had just had he started to rethink allowing Nick to proceed. Nick turned and nodded to Derek, his eyes hardened, as he stepped up to the porch, Derek knew he wouldn't have been able to stop him if he tried.

"I'll go in first." Nick said, his voice low and confident.


'I'll ask you one more time, please don't do this.' She turned her eyes to the man's image.

"Don't argue." He replied without thought, his eyes focusing only on the door.

'I won't let you do this.' She warned but he didn't seem to care that she was even speaking.

"Really?" His voice had a steel-trap edge to it that froze her, making her wonder if she would be able to go through with it. He turned to her again, his face alive with delight. She gritted her teeth seeing it there. A momentary swell of anger grew in her. "I think I told you to go upstairs."

'You don't have the time to make me.' This time it was she, who nearly laughed at him, things were progressing too quickly for him to punish her, as he wanted to. She heard their footsteps on the porch.


Nick stopped a few feet from the door, glancing one last time at Derek who again just nodded at him. He took a deep breath and kicked the door in with one swift movement. He didn't even have a chance to think how odd it was that it was this easy to get in before his instinct pushed him into the house with Derek only a few feet behind him. Suddenly time seemed to stop for the man though.

She sat on the steps in front of the door, her eyes jerking up to his face immediately. He saw the large bruise on the side of her face, the dried blood around her ear. He couldn't remember ever seeing a fear like that on anyone's face before. She didn't move towards him, didn't say anything but she was terrified and it was obvious, it seemed to seep out of her every pore. But it wasn't fear for herself, he was sure of that somehow. There was a warning on her lips that she couldn't voice. In that instant he noticed everything about her, how small she looked, how beautiful she still was despite her pale skin. But mostly he saw the eyes that locked with his own.

He realized he had been right not to just write them off as blue, they were the most stunning eyes he had ever seen. A deep sky blue, not on a particularly cloudy day, or the type that looked like ice, they were the color of the clearest sky he could remember. Around her wide pupils though there was a ring of gold, not flecks, not something that made them look hazel, but a distinct circle of gold. It brought to mind immediately the look the sun fighting to be seen from behind a lunar eclipse, glowing around the edges. They dug into his heart the moment they found his face and he knew he couldn't imagine not seeing them look at him again.

As suddenly as it had slowed, time sped back up again. Derek was thrown back, the door slammed shut but rather then running to check it he ran to her. Moving forward without conscious thought. Whatever had been haunting her was obviously in the room with them right now. Derek could take care of himself; the girl obviously had already lost one too many battles just by the bruises on her face.

He grabbed her hand and pulled her up the stairs behind him, wanting to put some space in between them and the apparition he couldn't see. He just didn't know what else to do or where else to go as his own desperation expelled logic.

He didn't hear the voice calling to the girl. "One at a time, he'll come back for his friend, we'll make sure he enjoys what he finds." She closed her eyes trying to fight him off, allowing the young man to lead her.


"Alex we have a problem." Derek couldn't keep from yelling into the cell phone at his ear. "Nick's in the house, whatever's in there threw me out though, I can't get back in."

"Are you okay?" Her tone was anxious.

"I'm fine, but I have to get in there. Nick can't perform an exorcism. I saw the girl, she's hurt, tell Rachel to be prepared to administer medical treatment. I'll call you when I've got them out." He turned the phone off and slipped it into his pocket, fighting the urge to smash it. What had he gotten them into? He had only gotten to see her for an instant but he still had a clear feeling of her in his mind. She was determined for this all to end but he wasn't sure that she believed in her own power to end it. Then the door had slammed on him. An invisible force having tossed him off the porch into the soft grass of the yard.

He cursed himself for the distraction he'd spent the past two days in. Had he overlooked something? Charles said he should know what she needed but he still had no clue. Now whatever was in the house had Nick. Again he felt the urge to destroy something swell in him over his helplessness but he strove to bury it. He had to focus; he had to get his friend, his son, out.


Nick kicked the door shut behind them knowing it would do nothing to stop whatever was in the house but it at least made him feel better. He couldn't possibly understand that she was managing to keep them out of the room. She fought them back with all of her mind, she had to keep them away long enough to figure out a way to get the man out. To make it clear to him he had to leave and not come back. That he couldn't do anything to save her. Just yesterday she had found hope and now it had been completely vanquished. She had been wrong to think these men could aid her. To allow them to enter her life. She would only fail them as she had done before. But how could she communicate anything to him and keep the hazes at bay?

"Christ…" Nick was at a loss. He had been in the Legacy long enough that the power of the spirit didn't really surprise him but his own actions had. What in the hell had he been thinking running upstairs? He had successfully cut himself off from any escape. Rather then focus on his self-loathing at his lack of quick thinking he concentrated on the woman with him. She was the important thing now. Maybe she had a clue about what they could do from here.

He looked around the room and realized immediately they had found their way to her room. Maybe that would help her gain strength. Dark wood furniture lined the walls and there was a computer in the corner, useless though for the destroyed monitor. The bed was made neatly which he thought odd but shook off that thought realizing how unimportant the detail was. He suddenly felt her hand in his own again and just gave it a squeeze of reassurance, though he didn't feel so sure at the time.

He lead her over to the bed against the wall and sat her down, studying her face looking for some sign that she saw him. Again the beauty of her eyes struck him, they spoke to something in his heart despite the fact they were no longer looking at him. Instead they were lost in a blank stare. Still just looking at them made it hard for him to breath, he tried desperately to focus on the situation but couldn't look away from her face.

It spoke volumes of the pain she had endured and Nick found himself desperate to do something to help her, to find a way to save her. He remembered his first glimpse of her in the prom photo and how that face had danced in the back of his mind ever since that moment. He had never felt such an immediate attachment to someone before, he was completely captivated by her and knew it would be useless to try and fight it. He had been right in his words to Alex the night before last, this was like a face from his dreams, one he had spent an eternity looking at. Even if he had never known her face before he was sure that to him it would prove to be something that couldn't be ignored.

He reached out and touched her hair; it felt like silk under his fingers. He stroked her head in a weak attempt at comfort and found a large bump on the back of her head that made them both wince. "Sorry Tangye." She swallowed hard trying to keep her thoughts focused on fighting them off and ignore the pain he inadvertently caused her by touching the sensitive wound.

He grinned slightly, trying to comfort her in another way. She was surprised when she found herself noticing how handsome this would be savior was. His hazel eyes were full of concern but behind them she sensed a pain he didn't speak of. His face was thin with distinct lines, his jaw strong and covered in morning fuzz. In his expression she read the intensity he lived his life with. His mouth was serious but soothing. He had high cheekbones, dark hair that he seemed to be allowing to grow out. She somehow knew this was a man who had faced the worst in the world and had survived, never being beaten and she admired the sense of that trait in him. There was a kindness to his face she couldn't ignore and she knew that if she had seen him anywhere in the world he would have drawn her in without even knowing it.

Suddenly she averted her eyes from his intense gaze that studied her. He was trying to commit it all to memory but knew in his heart that was already done from the moment that he had first seen her. "Okay, I think I need a little help here. I don't think I can do this without your help." He traced the backs of his fingers down her cheek trying to draw her attention away from whatever had her looking so lost and she found she couldn't help but look back up at him, if only to take comfort in his face. She couldn't speak though, she wanted to so badly but nothing would come out.

She could feel him in her mind, fighting to get to them through the defenses she erected. She heard his steely voice. "Tangye Mauveen stop this, he must be an example."

'Leave me alone, please..' Her cry was sent to them both weakly.

"I will not stupid child. Listen to me, I'll kill him no matter what but you can't imagine what you're bringing on to yourself right now." She could though, all to well. She had been in the same position before, fighting to protect an innocent and that time she had lost. She didn't want to face losing again. She knew what would be done to her but couldn't let him in to them. He would never kill her; she knew that without doubt. Instead he would deliver more pain to her then man had words for, already had really. He would make her suffer but never offer her release from the pain, never would the gentle grip of death be allowed, not if he was in control anyway.

She gripped the young man's hand tightly but he didn't seem to notice the pain, his eyes locked on hers as he tried to find a way to help.


"Philip?" Father Philip Callaghan stood at his desk in the chapel office; he had just walked in the room from the morning service. He had heard the incessant ringing of the phone all the way down the hall but hadn't realized it was his until he got to his door. Having quickly grabbed it his first reaction was slight irritation to see the number on the caller id box they had installed after a serious of threatening calls from an anti-Semantic group had been received. Though the members of the Legacy were still his friends they usually called asking for his help, despite his assertion that he left the group. He had enough to do on his own and didn't need the feeling of obligation to help them compounded with that. That annoyance fell away quickly though hearing Alex blurt out his name with such relief.

"Alex, what is it?" He recognized the stress in her voice even over the phone lines and felt his heart instinctively skip a beat.

"There's a problem. We were investigating this house, there was a young woman holed up in it for the past seven years, five of which she had no contact with the outside world at all. We have no idea of what's keeping her there. All we know is that they're violent evidently and…" The words came in a torrent he could hardly understand, if he had any hope of figuring out what was going on he had to calm her down.

"Alex, focus, tell me what's happened?" Philip demanded. She was distracted, rambling but he was now sure that she had called for more then just his opinion on another case. Alex just didn't get this upset without a very good reason behind it. Still there was a case involved. He almost sighed at that thought but withheld his exhaustion over the situation. It had been years since he had left the Legacy yet they would never let him go. In a way he was gratified by their faith in him, in another way it drove him crazy, why did they refuse to hear him?

"Derek and Nick decided to enter the house, I tried to stop them but this was like a personal crusade for them, I don't know why. But only Nick made it in, now Derek can't get him or the girl out. The spirits are keeping them in there and Derek out." Philip didn't have words to express the fear that swept over him upon hearing those words. He knew the tone in the woman's voice, the fear he was hearing was for Nick's life, and knowing that he understood how desperate the situation was.

"Give me the address." She recited it off for him and he jumped up not allowing himself time to think about what he was doing. He grabbed the small bag from the closet, the one he always had handy in his own testament that he had never really left the Legacy. He dashed out of the small parish office, making sure to grab the keys to the van off the wall as he ran by them. It wasn't until he made it to the van and was fumbling with the keys that the full weight of the situation hit him.

Nick. His little brother in most ways except for blood. Forever headstrong, too sure of himself, full of anger and more unspoken pain. He and Nick had fought on countless occasions but at the heart of all those arguments had been one simple fact, Nick never wanted Philip to leave him alone. Nick had said so many hurtful things over the years, trying to anger the slightly older priest but never really succeeding. Instead Philip met his every effort with calm understanding. Philip knew why Nick tried to hurt him. He felt if he could make sure their relationship was completely destroyed then it wouldn't hurt so much when Philip decided that he needed to return to his life in the parish. Then Philip wouldn't have just been ignoring the pain his leaving caused; he would have good cause to leave. But the priest had never given in, maybe he should have, he thought. Maybe it would have made one element of Nick's hard life easier. It had been so long since their relationship had been right, lingering instead in an in between state. Still Philip could not imagine life without Nick; he was too much a perfect balance for him. Constantly forcing the young Irishman to see the other side.

He thought back to the times when they were younger, when he had lived still on Angel Island and they would stay up late into the night talking over Guinness. He thought about those times when Nick had admitted to him things he probably never meant to, and probably didn't remember confessing. The way his voice would grow tight, a mixture of his anger and pain, indicating his disappointment over so many things in his life. The way his eyes would look at Philip to make it all better. To have him prove in some way that the pain that surrounded his life was not his fault. That look of a little boy wanting, needing, his big brother to fix things. Unfortunately Philip had never been able to do that. Then he had let Nick down by leaving the Legacy. By saying in the younger man's mind that he was also abandoning him. Philip hated himself when he thought he had just added to Nick's quiet anguish rather then help him with all that already existed and too often manifested itself in violent outbursts rather then tears.

"God Nick, what have you gotten yourself into this time?" Philip swallowed back his own tears that threatened to come too easily. "Please watch over my little brother Lord, please."


Nick was having no luck getting her to focus on him. His hand held within her vice like grip seemed oddly far away. He watched as her eyes danced nervously. He sensed that something more was going on in her mind then he was privilege to and the weight of his helplessness sat heavy on his chest. All he could do was wait for her to offer him something.

"Tangye he's right this must be done." The woman's voice, more logical but still angry. Tangye cursed the woman in her heart, knowing it was she that had somehow managed to rob her of the power of the anger she had the night before.

"Tangye let us in, do you hear me?" She gave no response. It took all of her focus just to keep them on the other side of the door. The pain was incredible but she had no other option if she wanted to save the man. She closed her eyes tightly willing herself not to have to hear them screaming in her mind. It failed miserably. His voice was louder then any sound she could recall. "Stop whatever you're doing and let us do what must be done. Listen to me Tangye, this is your father speaking."


"Kat sweetheart are you alright?" Rachel looked over at her daughter in the seat beside her. She had been oddly quiet all morning and seemed deep in thought.

"Why do people hurt people they love?" Kat turned her blue eyes on her mother. Rachel was surprised by the question and concerned by what could have brought it on.

"Kat honey, is there something you need to tell me about? Something going on at school?" Rachel asked gently but got only a shake of Kat's head in response. "No one at school is being hurt? Then who Katherine. Why would ask me that?"

"I don't know who she is. I had a dream about a girl and she was in a lot of pain. But the people hurting her were supposed to love her. She said that. Why would they do that?" Kat's voice was low; knowing how uncomfortable her mother got sometimes when she talked about these things. Maybe it would have been better if she had waited to see Alex, she would have understood.

"Kat, I'm sure it was just a nightmare." She wanted to dismiss it as just that but didn't know if that was the right thing to do. Derek had explained the Sight to her countless times and she felt she understood what her daughter was going through. Still she wasn't ever sure what was just a child's imagination or the gift that Kat held.

"But why mom? People do it, why?" Kat continued on with her question ignoring the dismissal. It seemed so important to her that she have an answer, Rachel bean to worry.

"Well, there's a lot of reasons. Usually they don't even think about it though. They loose their tempers and bad things just happen." Rachel wasn't sure how to explain something so complex without scaring her daughter.

"Are spirits angrier then most people?" Now Rachel was certain that Kat had seen something. Even though she had been involved with many spirits and demons her child rarely dreamed about them without cause.

"I think they just get more confused sometimes so their emotions come out ways they don't mean for them to. Kat what else did you see?" Her child shrugged. "You can tell me honey, I'll believe anything you say." Kat seemed pleased with that reassurance.

"Well there was a girl, she was about my age. She said that they were hurting her, asked me why they would do that when they promised to love her. Then there was a man, he was older then Derek with white hair. He said that she had to do something. I don't know what. Then there were these two shadows and they started to get near here and the man he stood in between them, the girl and the shadows. He was pushed away though, he couldn't protect her. Then the girl asked them to love her. I woke up then." Kat finished, scrunching up her face to try and recall any more helpful information but finally just shaking her head. She could recall nothing else and didn't know what any of it meant.

Rachel was shocked by the details that her daughter remembered. She prayed this was not some sort of portent of a new disaster lurking around the corner for the Legacy.


She seemed to flinch at something Nick couldn't see or hear but he found her in his arms, he looked around desperately trying to find something to fight for her salvation.

She had refused to think of him that way in years, even if she had always known that was just who he was. She had banished that name from her mind, destroyed all of the happy memories in an effort to remain sane in the face of her nightmare. She wouldn't allow that creature to exist with the name of her father, nor the other as her mother. They had died and what came in their place was straight from hell. But it had always been her parent's forms torturing her; it had been their voices berating her for seven long years. Denial of their identity did no good anymore once he spoke the name she had evaded for so long. When he said the single word, a title that once meant so much to her – love, pride, safety, it was enough of a reminder to bring the truth crashing down on her.

The tears came unbidden, soaking into the man's shirt, any last bit of resolve she had slipping away so quickly.


Derek tried various windows but couldn't get them to work or break and the doors weren't giving an inch either. He hadn't heard anything from the house in at least fifteen minutes but he still couldn't control his fear of what was happening to Nick or Tangye Gaarlihn behind the old walls. He looked around anxiously and for the first time saw the form in the window next door.

His body was compelled into motion. His frustration needing an outlet and seeing one finally. Ever since he had first heard her story he had been aggravated that she had stood by in silence for so long. She claimed to love the young woman trapped in the house but had given up on her when doctors decided that she was just caught in her grief. She had allowed herself to believe the simple answer despite her own instincts that seemed to suggest she knew there was more going on. She had done nothing in seven years; in fact she never really had done anything by her own will.

He remembered Charles' words from his dreams and the implication of them. Janet Albertson had said she didn't know why she had written the letter to the Legacy. She claimed she felt something made her do it and Derek knew now that was true. Charles Gaarlihn had made her write the letter as his only way to bring help to his descendant. She may never have done anything if not for an outside entity forcing her hand.

He made it to the house in a dead run and began pounding violently on the door, refusing to be ignored. Mrs. Albertson pulled it open only moments after he got there. Her face was stricken but he ignored it. She didn't deserve his pity right now in his irrational mind. The spirits in there had successfully held Tangye for seven years, what certainty did he have that they couldn't do the same for seven more years? And now they had Nick as a second prize.

"You saw? Whatever is in there has them both now and for years you've stood by and watched this build in silence, how could you?" He wasn't really surprised by his anger or the accusation but could tell the woman was. But he felt out of control. He had only glimpsed the young face of the girl on the stairs but had seen clearly enough the bruise and the blood. It had struck him instantly the pain on her face, he wanted to do something to ease it and his normal cool demeanor was lost in the face of her agony. Not only that but now whatever it was had Nick as well. The man that was as close to being Derek's son as anyone else in the world, the younger of the two that Derek had always felt like a father to.

"Dr. Rayne, I…" She struggled for something to say to him.

"Don't, now you have to help me." He pushed her back into the house, still unsure what he was going to do but unable to not act.

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