* 7: Signs *

The wind whispered in my ears that night as I watched Courtney hold him in her arms. Silent words of hate, fear and lonliness echoed in my mind and I couldn't do anything about it. She was moving in closer as he pulled farther away from the investigation. I could feel him giving up hope and the betrayal burned in me like a flame to a wick.

She touched him like I wanted to touch him. She spoke to him like I wish I could. She looked into his blue eyes and I melted as did she. The salty taste of jealousy lingered on my tongue as she ran her fingers through his hair and caressed his chisled face. If I could only take her place and touch him one last time. I need so much energy to do that. I need to learn.

My transparent heart thundered in my chest as her sudden movement towards him triggered my attention. I sat up from the chair I was sitting on when I knew what she was doing. She was going to take everything away from me. She was trying to erase my total existence. I had to do something. She leaned into him and gently touched his soft, warm lips with hers. I stood up quickly. All I could do was scream 'no'.

"Did you hear that?" JC asked as he abruptly broke away from Courtney.

"What?" she shook her head. "Hear what?"

"I thought I heard someone yelling." he said as he looked around the room.

Courtney turned his face towards her. "I didn't hear anything."

JC stood up quickly and walked away from the couch. "I need to go get a shower."

"I'll wait for you."

"No, you don't have to. You've been here for two days. Go home." he sighed as he messed up his hair.

"I don't mind being here with you." she said softly as she put her hand on his arm.

JC backed away from her and looked to the floor. "I just want to be alone for awhile."

"Ok then. I'll call you later?"

JC just bobbed his head and started up the stairs. He stood silently at the top until he heard the door close and then sighed loudly.

"What am I doing?" he said to himself as he entered the bathroom and turned on the shower.

The scolding water enveloped his skin as he soaked in his pain. A million thoughts ran through his head about Christina, about how much he missed her and about Courtney. He felt his emotions running away from the investigation just like everything else in his life. He knew that Courtney was getting too close. He was still sane enough to notice that.

Twenty minutes later he finally stepped out the steam filled shower. His head still swimming with thoughts as he dried himself off. Something caught his eye as he looked towards his steamed mirror. It looked as if someone was writing on it but the letters were fresh.

"What the..." JC said again to himself as he looked closer.

A small scribbled J and a C were fingered onto the glass. The letters were'nt written together but seperately on different parts of the glass.

"JC." he said aloud but then pondered the possibilities. "No. Courtney must of done it to try to scare me." he shook his head and stormed over to his bedroom.

He picked up the phone to call Courtney and looked up into the mirror at his desk. Her reflection was as clear as day. She looked at him with sullen eyes as her dark hair accented with the white dress she was wearing.

"Holy shit!" he dropped the phone and spun around. "Christina?" he yelled but he found himself alone in the room.

He stood silent for a moment, knowing that she wasn't there and that his mind was starting to play tricks on him. A tear escaped the corner of his eye as he slid to the floor. He cried to himself, stopping only once to call and request Maddie's company.

A half hour later Maddie showed up covered in snow. It had still been snowing since Christina disappeared, covering everything for at least another month.

"Jace, how are you doing?" Maddie asked as she hung up her coat.

"I'm doing I guess." he smiled lightly.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing more than the usual." he continued bluntly as they both sat down on the couch.

"You look like shit."

"Thank you."

"Seriously, you called me and told me to come over so whats wrong?"

"I was just lonely. Sorry, I'm okay now." he lied as he looked to the floor.

"Are you sure there isnt anything you want to tell me?" she asked with concern.

JC looked up and over to Maddie with silent words flowing from his eyes. "Nothing that you would believe anyway."

Maddie shook her head and looked at him strangely. "Whadya mean?"

"Nothing. Nevermind I said anything, okay?" he sighed, trying not to let his insanity show.

"No Jace, tell me." she demanded as she grabbed his arm. "Please tell me."

"Maddie..." he started but was cut off by a knock at the door.

JC jumped up, glad for the interruption, and answered the door. "Lance."

"Hi. Can I talk to you?" he asked as he took off his cop hat.

"Hey Lance!" Maddie yelled from inside.

"Hey Maddie." he replied and looked back to JC. "I'm sorry. Are you busy?"

"Oh, no. Come in." JC said quickly as he opened the door wider.

"I think we found something important today." Lance said as he stepped inside.

"What? What did you find?" JC walked around him quickly.

"Well first off I need to make sure that you or anyone else haven't been near the club."

JC looked at him strangely and then replied, "No, I haven't been. You've had the place closed off for the past week, right?"

"Yeah we have. Just checking with you to be sure. How 'bout you Maddie?"

"Sorry, haven't been near it." she replied calmly.

"What's goin' on?" JC jumped in.

"Well," he paused. "We found something that was last seen the night Christina dissapeared."

JC perked up to his statement and instantly wanted to ask a million questions. "What did you find?"

"According to the statement given by Maddie here, we think this belongs to Courtney." he said as he held out a charmbracelet.

"Let me see that!" Maddie demanded as she reached for the bracelet.

"Yeah, that's Courtney's. I gave it to her for her birthday." JC said as he eyed the one jewel which had his initials on it.

"Where'd you find this?" Maddie asked as she handed it back to Lance.

Lance looked to JC with sullen eyes. "In the office. Under your desk."

"Under my desk?" JC repeated. "How'd it get there?"

Lance shrugged his shoulders. "That's what we would like to know."

"What made you look under the desk?" Maddie questioned.

"Well, uh, I'm not sure really. We were just going over the evidence again. The office has been searched a dozen times already and we never found this. For some reason I looked down and it was if someone pushed me to the floor. It was strange really." he sighed.

"Tell me about it." JC said under his breath.

"What?" Maddie asked.

"Nevermind, just talking to myself."

"Anyways, it was just there, even though the whole area was already searched before. It was just calling my attention, like it was a sign." Lance continued.

"That's strange." JC said, pondering the possibilities once again.

"Since you are our main witness, Maddie, that Courtney had this on the night Christina dissapeared, then that means she was in the office sometime after that and could be our number one suspect." Lance explained.

"Are you saying Courtney killed Christina?" Maddie exclaimed.

"Maybe." he replied bluntly.

"No way. I mean Courtney of all people?" JC denied. "I know her more than anyone."

"We have a solid lead with this bracelet so we have to go with it." Lance added.

"This is messed up." Maddie sighed.

"I have a feeling that a confession won't come easy so we need you, JC, to get closer to her and get her to spill her guts."

JC shook his head. "Wait, shouldn't I be talking to Detective Reed about this? I mean no hard feelings man, but how is it that you can give us so much confidential information?"

Lance looked to the floor and grinned. "Well, you are a good friend of mine, Jace. I pulled some strings to help with the investigation because I was determined to help solve this. She was close to me too and I couldn't just sit back and not do anything."

"Maybe they'll bump you up to Detective Bass soon then?" Maddie added.

"I dunno. But, seriously, Jace, you have to do what you can to get Courtney to talk." he demanded as he switched back to the main subject.

"When am I supposed to do this?"

"Not until we start installing mic's into your house." Lance replied.


"Sorry, but we have to. I mean if you get close to Courtney she might be able to tell you are bugged and we can't risk that."

"But, she is always here." Maddie interrupted. "How are you gonna get in here to do that without her snooping around."

Lance grinned. "I guess that's where you come in."

Maddie shook her head knowing exactly what he ment. "Yeah, I'm sure we'll both love a whole day together shopping. Like she won't see through that."

"Well, I don't know what you want to do but you have to do something."

"I think I'm gonna be sick." JC said as he turned away.

"Jace? What's wrong?" Maddie asked quickly.

"I'm just thinking that the person that could of hurt Christina was here with me, was close to me." he said putting his head in his hands.

"Well, you didn't know." Lance added.

"But, I should have. I should of had a gut instinct."

"Why would you have been suspicious of Courtney?" Maddie asked.

"I just should of known. The way she came by my side right away. The way she has been trying to slowly make me forget everything like I possibly ever could."

"So, you are going to help us then?" Lance jumped in.

JC sat silent for a moment. "What exactly do I have to do?"

"Anything and everything." Lance replied bluntly.

"Like..." JC stopped when he thought he saw Christina's reflection once again in the living room mirror.

"Sleeping with her?" Lance finished his sentence.

JC paused as he looked around the empty room. He wasn't sure if he could go that far with Courtney. He somehow knew that Christina was there and watching him and even if the truth would set her free, he wouldn't hurt her by getting that close with the person that may have taken away her last breath.

* 8: Bittersweet Confession *

Christina Main