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"What did you do?!" I yelled as I hopped upright and rushed into the room again. I didn't pass the desk. I kept the solid bit of furniture between myself and the majority of the cultist, unwilling to see what Darius had done. I did, however, kick the man's leg. It wobbled, then stilled. "Dammit, Darius!"

"It would not have been possible for me to hold them both at once," the Sin said from my side, looking down upon Pier with a bemused air. Darius' hair was mussed, and his eyes were fully taken by hungry shadows. "It matters little. The madman had nothing else to tell us, and I have no patience to interrogate babbling fools."

I rubbed at my eyes until sparks of light burned. Pier could have told us much more than he had—but there was a difference between could have and would have. The man hadn't been right in the head. Darius and I could have spent hours or even days trying to shake loose what information the man had, but we didn't have that kind of luxury. The man who'd personally murdered my sister was dead, and I hadn't even seen it happen.

It was...anti-climactic. I'd thought the ache surrounding my heart would lessen once John Pier no longer breathed. If anything, the ache only felt heavier, darker, and more cumbersome. I touched my sternum and wished I could simply reach through my bones and flesh and uncover a tangible wound. If I could find it or understand it, I could alleviate the pain, could mend the sore boring holes through my chest—but I couldn't understand this sense of loss and ruin.

"This feeling never goes away, does it?" I asked quietly as the Sin stepped around Pier's still form to open the drawers of his desk. The locks gave way with harsh clatters.

"No," Darius answered, not a single trace of pity to be found in his voice. "I thought you would have known that by now." The Sin began to withdraw the contents of Pier's desk. Several binders, blank folders, and stuffed envelopes joined the merger documents on the desktop. I glared and opened my mouth to give the Sin a scathing retort—but I thought better of it and remained quiet. He was right. I should have known better by now.

"We only have thirty minutes or so before my compulsion to stay away wears off of that woman. She had business with Pier, and though she won't remember what she saw, she will return. When I perused the building the week before, I compelled the receptionist to forget my face when I leave a room. He will not remember me."

"And what of the two at the watercooler?"

"They are the wildcards we discussed." Rubber bands snapped under Darius' persistent abuse. "The ones my...abilities could not account for. They may remember me, but they will not—obviously—remember you."

I nodded, then glanced at John's legs. "That secretary will find him here when she returns." Guilt overwhelmed me, but I smothered the emotion. If the worst thing the poor woman experienced today was finding her boss dead on the floor of his office, she should consider herself exceedingly lucky.

Darius stacked the pilfered materials with careless motions. I caught the pile before it could slump over and join Pier on the floor. "We'll take what we can and inspect it later. What else did you find downstairs? Was there anything I need to return for when I have the strength?"

I shook my head. "No. Just a bunch of old, outdated records." The red splotches on Darius' hand caught my attention as the Sin dropped a trim black datebook on the pile's top. I recalled the ice chest and its macabre contents. "There was something. Not something you would need to return for, but...there were blood bags in a freezer down there." I knew my expression matched my disgusted tone.

"Blood bags?"

"Yeah. About a dozen or so."

Darius frowned as he pushed the empty drawers shut. "Blood bags..." he muttered under his breath, scratching his temple as he removed the mock glasses from his nose. "I must admit, I do not understand why they would have those, but now is not the time to discuss the matter." The Sin lifted the sizable pile and held it against his side with his arm. The datebook, being smaller than the other items, slid past the Sin's grip and fell. I knelt to pick it up, averting my eyes from the sight of John Pier.

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