F O U R T E E N - Edwin's Emergence

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The office chair doesn't swivel and it shouldn't. 

Edwin doesn't draw attention, even if he wanted to. He propped his elbows against his knees as he listens intently to the bustling cacophony of paper rustling, phone ringing, and donut-munching officers bellowing in laughter as their steamy coffee swishes in ceramic cups. Glancing at the empty desk, the table clock ticks Tuesday, 6:30am. Beside it reads a dusty silver-plated name tag: Wyatt Johnson. He attempts to wipe the dust off but it's a failing attempt.

It's been three days since he's seen Wyatt, which means he hasn't seen Josslyn. If they brought her in for questioning, it could only mean he missed her as she walked out the door. In fact, her energy has diminished to a faint pull. If this keeps up, he'll have to call off Phillip's search to look for her. He's doomed without her immediate presence. They've lived and died together seven lifetimes and this time won't be any different. He isn't going without her.

Where are you, Josslyn? The surrounding noise fade to a droning dissonance. 

Wyatt. I detest that man.

But Edwin knows that Wyatt needs to serve his purpose; to do as he's done to protect Josslyn: Run blindly into the fog, suffer her burns and scars, deter even the most vile villains from harming her. He needs Wyatt to provide the only thing he can't provide: a physical body. Edwin may not trust Wyatt entirely, but he trusts Wyatt's intentions - just enough.

Certainly if Wyatt hasn't shown up, it could only mean that he's taken her somewhere – somewhere far. Edwin's only hope is that Josslyn's safe; that Phillip hadn't somehow reached her first. But what if Josslyn – no, he shakes his head. He's been pushing that thought aside. There's no way she'd do him wrong. If anything, Wyatt ought to keep his damn hands to himself – that is unless it requires him to touch her, to save her.

He sighs. The thought of his wife with another man is heart wrenching; a risky bet he'd never take unless he absolutely had to. And when she returns home the way she left, he'll take her away. They'll flee Oregon and never have use for Wyatt again.

"Found him!" A pudgy officer shouts into the Chief's office, "Just got off with the dispatcher; a civilian sighting at the gas station, Oakway and Southwood."

"Hmm! The fucker's been hiding closer than we think. We better hurry." The disheveled, grey haired Chief rises off his leather chair, swinging his jacket over his back, "this son-of-bitch's been hard as fuck to track down. Send for Sergeant Collan to send backup." They both make way toward the exit. 

"Chief, since when do you step into the front line of duty?" asks the puzzled pudgy officer.

"I'm dealing with a tycoon's son. I've got no choice but to come along. Besides, at 6 foot 5? We'll need manpower to bring this fucker dow – what the!"

Cups are knocked off tables, coffee splatter and stains grey carpet, pens bounce off the floor, as paper jets off desks. A trail of mess makes its way toward the exit of the police department. The heavy glass door swings opens and slams shut by itself. Wyatt Johnson's swivel chair circles round and round and round.

Oakway and Southwood. Oakway and Southwood. Gas Station

Edwin pants hard and cuts left into backyards, wielding his own shortcut, kicking hard at the dewdrops clinging onto blades of grass. The cushion of soft soil propels him faster toward his destination. 

There, straight ahead is Eugene's busiest gas station. Reaching his destination, he stands in the middle of the bustling crowd. His chest rises fast, heartbeat ringing in both eardrums, and sweat rolling off the tip of his nose as his eyes dart in search for Quasimodo.

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