Shadow Unit

Case Files

Teasers & Deleted Scenes

J. Edgar Hoover Building, Washington, D.C., April 2009

He'd released a ghost into the bullpen.

Reyes wondered why he hadn't expected it. Maybe because he'd been concentrating on the photos, and Villette, and whether the two, when combined, would require any special handling, and if so, who would be best to alert in advance about it.

In the end, he'd called Chaz in and explained that the photos had been rescued from the house before the fire got there, and held in evidence, but had now been released. He'd passed the manila envelope across his desk.

If Chaz needed special handling, he'd ask for it. All Reyes could give him now was self-determination.

Reyes watched without watching when Chaz rose from his desk chair and paced, steady as a drunk determined not to show it, to the copy room. He came back and worked a while at his computer.

Chaz talked to no one, and no one talked to him. But a silence moved around the room like a living thing. Reyes could almost see it brush one after another of the team, sending them out of the room to return quiet and self-contained.

If Reyes had still been a Catholic, he might have said that an angel moved among them, touching them, opening their souls a little wherever trouble had been shut inside. But angels were created in humanity's image, and human nature had angel nature within it.

Reyes didn't believe in angels, or ghosts. But something had been sealed inside that envelope with the photos of Adeline Villette, and passed now through the bullpen on the way to its rest.

Reyes wished it well.