turned up at her fatherâs funeral.
The dreams and memories had stopped when she was twelve, and had resumed briefly when she had come into contact with Bayard when she was eighteen. Since then she had been utterly normalâuntil now.
Pushing the covers aside, she shrugged into a robe and walked out to the kitchen, made herself a cup of hot milk, then walked through to the bathroom and found the small bottle of sleeping pills her doctor had prescribed shortly before her father had died.
She hadnât used them then. Sheâd had weeks to prepare for her fatherâs death, and shuttling to and from the hospital, her fatherâs house, her apartment and work had left her perpetually exhausted. Whenever she had the opportunity, she had literally fallen into bed.
She shook a pill into her palm. It was after three in the morning, the wrong time to take a sleeping pill, but she was desperate.
She swallowed the pill, chasing it down with the warm milk and walked through to her bedroom. As a precaution, she set her alarm just in case she overslept.
She frowned. She was certain it was a place name. On impulse, she walked out to the sitting room, found her atlas and ran her finger down the index.
The name leaped out at her. Not Louisiana, or anywhere in the States.
She noted the grid reference and turned to the map of France and all the fine hairs at her nape lifted. Vassigny was a small village at the base of the Langres Plateau, not far from the Swiss border.
A crumbling ChÃ¢teau, dark pines, vast silences â¦
She snapped the atlas closed.
The sleeping pill was working. Her head felt heavy, andâprobably because she was already exhaustedâshe felt clumsy and uncoordinated. But that didnât change the clear, sharp knowledge in her mind.
It was happening again.
The dreams, the horror.
And this time, it
intruding into her real life.
S ara checked with the Shreveport PD before leaving for lunch at twelve. Rousseau, the detective who had taken her statement the previous evening, wasnât in yet. He worked second shift and didnât start until two. Her call was transferred through to the field office and picked up by a crisp-voiced officer who identified herself as Detective Canon.
A few minutes later, Canon found the file. Rousseau had done some checking, and the man she had described didnât have any kind of profile in either Shreveport or Bossier. It was possible he was new in town, or just passing through. His description had been circulated and they would keep looking, but unless he attacked someoneelse and they managed to get a license plate or Sara could add to the information she had given them, the likelihood that they could locate him was slim.
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Bright sunshine made her wince as she stepped out of the dry, cool, air-conditioned environment of the library just after one. Moist heat enveloped her, making her break out in an instant sweat, and a surge of dizziness hit, an unpleasant side effect of the sleeping pill she had been battling all morning. She gripped the railing until the dizziness passed. A few seconds later, she continued on down the stairs and headed in the direction of the nearest cafÃ©.
Ten minutes later, a deli sandwich tucked in her purse and a take-out coffee in one hand, she strolled back in the direction of the library. Smothering a yawn, she paused for a pedestrian crossing. When the walk sign flashed, she started across the road.
The throaty roar of a car sounded. Car horns blared and someone screamed. Pedestrians scattered. For a split second time seemed to slow, freeze, as her sluggish mind processed the fact that the car was torpedoing straight toward her.Coffee splattered across the road as she flung herself to one side. Hot exhaust filled her nostrils as she hit the asphalt and rolled, pain exploding in her hip, her shoulder, her head.
The roar of the car receded. Shakily, she pushed to her