Who Says Timing Isn't Everything by Sammi M.The office was as quiet as a tomb when Jim stepped in to survey the damage. Though Blair tended to keep it cluttered, his space was never messy. The young man could find anything in the room he needed at the drop of a hat and that screamed some type of order.
Simon stood behind the Sentinel acting as a substitute Guide while his man did that extra something that put him ahead of the game. "Are you picking anything up?"
"Yeah, that horrendous stuff Lloyd I mean, Harriston called cologne. He was definitely here. There's a chemical scent as well." A spot of something caught his eye near the back of the room and he carefully walked to it.
Banks followed closely and was barely able to detect when his detective slid into the zone. "Damn, Ellison! Don't do this to me without the kid around." He turned the other man to face him and tried to pull him back without raising his voice. "Jim! Come on, man. I'm out of my league here, so I hope you're not relying on me completely to bring you back."
A small brown hand floated into the older man's line of sight and he turned to see Schuyler reaching for his friend, "Jim, I need you to focus on my voice. Come on; you can do it. Just listen to my voice and let it lead you back." She kept up the soothing litany for what seemed like an eternity to the captain, but was really only a few minutes. Finally, Ellison seemed to be returning. "That's it. You're almost here. Trust me a little more. Just a little bit more."
"What happened?" The disoriented man asked as he swayed slightly.
"You zoned big time and Miss Sandburg had to pull you out," Simon offered as he supported Jim. "Do you care to enlighten us on what was so fascinating?"
"Blood. I found a few drops of Blair's blood near the wall and I focused in too much on the smell. It seemed to be mixed in with something chemical almost like "
"What you might use in a tranquilizer dart," Schuy finished for him. She nodded. "That would fit what one of the students described. She told the campus police she saw Blair being supported by a big man to a car in the back parking lot. She said it almost looked like he'd had one to many, but she knew that wasn't his style. So, she reported it. The C.P. arrived right after I called you." To listen to the young woman, you'd never think she was terrified because her voice was clear and concise. But, her hands and body contradicted the calm front her tone suggested she was trembling so hard *Simon* felt it. "One of the officers has the note. It's pretty straightforward me for him. Harriston picked a warehouse down by the docks tomorrow night at seven for the exchange. He wants Jim to come with me so he can keep hold of Blair when I umm "
As she faltered, Jim moved closer and embraced her. "You don't have anything to worry about. We're not gonna let anything happen to you or Blair. After tomorrow, this nightmare will be over."
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%Ellison felt a little nervous as he waited in the private reception area. The room was the epitome of comfort and he couldn't believe how wonderful the seat felt. The magazines were current and covered a lot of interests and the music that played in the background was soothing and left you with a warm feeling. *This is a waiting room designed to make your wait pleasurable. Under other circumstances, I might actually enjoy this, but not with Blair out there, somewhere, with a madman.* He kept looking over at the receptionist hoping she'd buzz him in soon, but all she'd do was offer him a polite and understanding smile. *It's not that I don't feel welcome. It's just this isn't the kind of place I would have expected to see Schuy in.*
A huge oak door opened to the right and Telly greeted him, "Hello again, Detective Ellison. I've been sent to take you in." She motioned for him to join her and when he did, she continued, "Has there been any word on Blair?"
Jim shook his head and followed her closely as they made a few turns. "None. We've got tons of feelers out for him but it's like he and Harriston have dropped off the face of the planet."
"Dang it! I was hoping you'd have better news for her. She's really strung out on this and she won't let me give her anything to calm her. She's jumping at every little thing and won't even talk to anyone." They stopped in a smaller outer office and Telly nodded at the woman behind the desk. "Gina, Kay wants you to go ahead and take your lunch now. Forward all of her calls to me and lock your office behind you. On your way back, stop by the deli and pick up that special order I placed for her. Maybe if I threaten her with bodily harm, she'll actually eat something."
They watched as the woman quietly and efficiently followed her orders and left. As soon as the outer door was closed and locked, Telly turned back to the detective. "How much do you know about Schuyler?"
Surprised by the sudden question, Jim answered hesitantly, "Enough. Blair told my captain, Detective Taggert and myself about what happened before."
"Did he also tell you Schuyler has enhanced sight and hearing?"
"No, but I kind of figured that out from things they both said." It had taken him a few days, but being the detective he was, he'd pieced together what gave the young woman her advantage in her field. "She mentioned tests and I know her brother's particular love of those."
"Yeah, I figured Blair had probably mentioned to you what enhanced senses were considering how into them he is. I had hoped he'd told you about her and what set him on his quest, but I guess he didn't want to let on his sister was different. Since he didn't say anything, what I'm about to tell you can't go beyond this room or he and Schuy would kill me.
Telly took a deep breath and forged ahead. "From what Schuy's told me, she's had them since the accident. She spent almost two days trapped in that car. Some of her first recollections are of the doctors and nurses and Naomi screaming at her in the hospital and being blinded by the fluorescent lights. That's why her recovery took so much longer than anticipated the slightest thing could set her to crying. Can you imagine out-of-control senses for a baby?
"Naomi finally convinced the doctors to allow her to bring in one of her friends to see if she could help. Melissa Whitecloud claimed she 'talked' to the baby and was able to determine a way of dealing with things. She had the doctors set up lamps in the room and told them to talk softly. The results were amazing. Schuy wasn't as agitated as she was before and she could handle things almost normally. To this day, she and Blair believe Miss Whitecloud gave her the first controls and she's relied on those and what Blair later taught her to keep her going."
Jim was puzzled. "Thank you for telling me that, but I'm curious to know why you did and why now?"
"Schuy's senses have been all but gone since Hannah died. We've tried to work on bringing them back, but no such luck. The reason I told you all this is to warn you. When someone who has grown up with special talents and expects them as much as she would her next breath suddenly finds herself without them, that person can feel really out of control. She might appear completely with it and on some levels be able to function on her know-how and skills alone. But, it's an act." She took another deep breath and looked straight into his eyes. "My friend is hanging on by a string and there's not much more I can do for her. It's not going to take much to push her over the edge and I want you to promise me you won't do anything to actualize that. Because my knowledge of this is limited and Blair isn't around, I'm afraid she'd break down. I'm relying on you to reassure her everything will work out for the best. If you don't think you can do that, then no matter what she's asked for, I won't let you through this door."
Jim recognized this woman meant business and he felt a sense of pride for Schuy at the people she had working for her. "I promise I'll do my best not to upset her further."
The biggest smile broke out on her face and the detective realized the woman was quite attractive when she wasn't so serious. "Thank you. You don't know how much I appreciate that. Shall we? I'm sure she's about to call the cavalry out in search for us." She turned to the door and slid a card-key through a reader and stepped inside as the door opened. "Kay, Detective Ellison's here."
Schuyler stood up from behind a massive desk and smiled. "Detective Ellison has been here for a while. Gina buzzed me when he showed up at secondary reception." She maneuvered around the desk and moved to the man's side. "The lecture took longer than I expected, but I knew you wouldn't let me and my wallet down. Gina now owes me fifty."
"You are incorrigible."
"Why thank you. It's always good to know I'm still living up to everyone's expectations."
Telly shook her head and chuckled. "I'm heading to lunch in the cafeteria. When I get back, be prepared for us to work on you eating what I ordered." Watching the other woman's expression. "You will eat or I will dope you so up, you won't awaken for next week, let alone tonight." She winked at Jim as she pulled the door behind her. "Don't forget."
Schuy stood beside him and it didn't take a man with heightened senses to know she wasn't happy. "Why does everyone insist on mother-henning me? I'm an adult, for goodness sakes!" Seeing his smile. "And what are you grinning about?"
"I was just thinking how much you and your brother are alike. That happens to be one of his favourite lines as well." He watched as she loosened up a bit and gave him a slight smile. "So, what did you call me over for?"
"Since no one had called me this morning, I figured there hadn't been any new developments on finding Blair." She directed her friend to a leather sofa and sat beside him. "I wanted to discuss some things with you out of Mom's earshot."
"Oh, you didn't want to panic Naomi with the plans for tonight."
"That and a few other things. I know we discussed how we're going to do this with Captain Banks well into the night, but I just wanted to make sure some things were clear."
Jim grinned. "Blair said you were a tactician to your soul, so I can understand that." He quickly outlined what they had decided on. "We read him his rights and backup takes him away. Is that how you remember it?"
"Exactly. Thanks." Jim noticed her increased heartbeat and he quickly thought back to what he said to make sure he hadn't upset her. "Don't worry. You didn't cause it; I was just thinking of how I could best bring this up."
"Bring what up?" Schuyler stood and moved over to a panel on the far wall and looked directly into a small opening. If it hadn't been for his enhanced sight, he might have missed the small light that passed over her eyeball. A click sounded and a small door popped open. She reached her hand inside, pulled out some papers, entered some numbers in a console and closed the door. When she returned to the sitting Sentinel, she dropped the papers in his lap. Jim perplexed, grabbed them and looked up at her. "What is this?"
"Your what?! What are you doing with something like that?" *Sheesh! How many twenty-two year olds have wills?*
She shrugged. "I've had one since I was sixteen. I just update it as my life changes."
"And you put it in my lap for what reason?"
"I put it there because if something happens to me, I want you to be strong enough for Blair and Mom and *yourself* to accept what I've given you."
"I'm in your will? Do you realize how weird that is? I didn't even know you three weeks ago!"
"But I added you over a year ago right after Blair started writing to me about you." She smiled and took his hand. "From the first letter, I knew you were someone special to him and for that I was grateful. He deserved a wonderful, caring friend like you and I was so glad he found you.
"I'm in a position where I can't ignore my responsibilities should something happen to me. I know it sounds morbid, but as soon as Richard had my signature declaring me the new head of Symmonds, Inc., he sat me down and for a week we worked until we had something worked out that we both could live with pardon the pun. First and foremost, I wanted my family taken care of. Even before I met you, I included you in that designation because that was how Blair saw you.
"If something happens tonight, I want you to promise me you will accept what I've given you and help Mom and Blair accept what I've given them. I want you to see that Blair finishes his studies and that Mom takes our grandparents around the world like they always wanted and that you get that boat you've been dreaming about but told Blair you could use the money for something more necessary. I want you to accept my gift for what it is an offering of love and a wish that I could have had a chance to know my other 'brother' a little better."
For long minutes, Jim simply stared at the sheets of paper and the hand that held his. Finally, he looked up and just nodded. With the weight of his possible refusal off her shoulders, Schuy's tears began to fall and for the second time in less than a week, he found himself with a Sandburg in his arms. "I'll do this on one condition. You have to prom promise me you won't be in any hurry to fulfill these bequests. If you can't do that then our agreement is null and void. Pax?"
The girl sat back and gave him a watery smile. "Pax."
"Good. Just so long as we understand each other, Little Sister."