Caleb hated to admit it, but things were pretty tense with Evangeline by the time he pulled into the SCF parking lot. Every question she continued to try and ask him he dodged, and soon she learned to stop asking them. Whatever their relationship was or wasn’t, had nothing to do with the latest danger breathing down her neck and they needed to keep their focus on what was important. That was his new motto.
At the newly opened SCF building, he was relieved to run into Jake first. He told his second the gist of what was happening with Evangeline, who was listening from the sidelines. “Do you know anything about what she was doing last night?” Caleb asked now.
Jake shook his head no and addressed the woman herself. “You weren’t in the office last night at all. I don’t know if Bess had you on something more low key.”
Evangeline nodded, trying to keep her frustration under wraps with weak smiles. “Is she here?”
“Yeah, in her office.”
Caleb knew the way and let Jake get back to his work. At first it hadn’t been ideal, to have his wolf in such a public light where one slip up could expose their entire race, but Jake breathed control and would never make such a mistake. Now the SCF was a way of life, for all of them.
Bess had the office on the far right while other members of the SCF called the rest home. Evangeline looked around as they headed down the hall to meet with the woman in charge. The SCF headquarters wasn’t anything too fancy, it was meant to be boring and welcoming. Ironically, it was the exact opposite of the work they dealt with. Hunting vampires and figuring out the many mysteries to supernatural crime was never boring or welcoming. It was damn dangerous and he hated how mixed in Evangeline was with it now. His wounded ego could see why it was maybe easier to take on Bess as a boss opposed to him as an alpha.
With a rasp of his fingers he made their presence known. It wasn’t uncommon for Bess to be engrossed in work and oblivious to her surroundings. She hung up the phone and gave them her full attention. Bess Jane was a beautiful woman, a few years older than Evangeline with blue eyes and brown hair. She wore her confidence on her shoulder, appearing to be ready for just about anything, from a vampire attack to the plague. Caleb couldn’t say he knew the woman very well, he heard stories from Jake and met with her himself a few times. What he could see in those short meetings was her passion, she gave a damn about her job and the pressure that came along with it.
Bess was frowning as she took in the image of them in her office; together. He wondered what Evangeline might’ve told her about their past encounters. “What am I missing?” Bess asked, standing from behind her desk.
When Evangeline remained silent, Caleb took the floor. “Jamie and I paid her a visit this morning to find she has no memory of anything but the last few hours. I have her staying with me, whatever wiped her memory has been trying to hurt her.” He explained the gash he found on Evangeline’s back, along with the only details they had managed to put together so far. He wasn’t used to going to somewhere else for help or explaining himself, the title of alpha rebelled such actions but this wasn’t his battle, it was Evangeline’s, and Bess was her boss with the right to be included. She was also a good someone to have on their side. He still wondered how pretty unassuming Bess Jane managed to get the coven to back off.
“Well, shit.” Bess leaned her butt back against her desk. Her expression was thoughtful and carefully worried, she masked it well except he had seen through better. “You think it’s related to a SCF case? I wish it was, so we’d have a lead to follow but Evie wasn’t working anything major.” She addressed the woman in question and said, “I’m sorry.”
Evangeline shook her head. “Don’t be.” She walked over to the empty couch and sat, her shoulders slumped in defeat as their only hope started to circle the drain.
Caleb opted to keep standing. “Could it be something you wouldn’t consider major?” he knew it didn’t take much for something to go from clean cut to hell in a hand basket. In many ways that was the story of his life, and certainly his history with Evangeline.
Bess gave a grim smile. “Evie only works major crimes, and as far as I knew she had the day off. I can talk to everyone and find out if you were helping with another investigation.” She made sure to address her employee accordingly, memory or not.
Evangeline wasn’t holding out much hope. “Sounds like shooting fish in a barrel.”
Bess walked over to the couch and sat, taking the younger woman’s hand. “That’s a saying you don’t hear everyday.” Her voice changed from worried boss to experienced federal agent in a heart beat. Caleb stood back like a fly on the wall listening.
“It’s something my dad used to say.” Evangeline realized with a frown. “I guess the memories are still there.” Her stormy grey eyes went wide, a brand new light shined from behind them. Her hope was back.
“Yes, and we need to pry them out. I know someone who might be able to help us find out what you were working on.”
Evangeline’s eyes continued to brighten. “I’m willing to try anything.”
“Her name is Rebecca Kayden, she has the talent to peak into memories, no matter how old or new. She once told me about a vampire nearly a hundred years old and she saw memories of him human.” Bess was trying to ease her friend’s fears and give her a reason to keep hoping. Caleb’s opinion of the woman was soaring high with gratitude.
“When can I try this idea of yours?”
Bess’ confidence and smile wavered. “She’s currently out of town and she’s not set to return until tomorrow evening.”
“That’s not too bad.” Evangeline hid her disappointment well from her face but it was strong in her scent. Caleb hadn’t stopped watching her, he took in every little look on her face and every shift in her emotion.
“I can arrange for you to be put under protective custody until then.”
“No, I’ll stay with Caleb.” Evangeline turned away from Bess to meet his eyes. “If that’s ok?”
There was nothing he wanted more. “I wouldn’t mind.”
“Are you sure?” Bess asked, and again Caleb wondered what exactly the cop knew. It wasn’t as if he’d ever hurt Evangeline, memory or not, he’d offer any assistance he could.
“Everything inside of my body is saying to trust him. Is it wrong?”
“No.” Bess didn’t hesitate. “Caleb has and will do everything he can to help you, if you trust him it’s a good sign your memories are close to the surface. I’ll call you the minute Rebecca returns. Until then lay low.”
Evangeline stood from the couch. “Thank you.” She followed Caleb out of the room. “What do we do now?”
“We follow Bess’ lead and lay low. I know this must be hell for you to sit back but tomorrow will be here soon enough.” He silently vowed to keep his eyes on her until then, making sure whatever was trying to hurt her, wouldn’t get close again.