Vampire Wake Online - Kiera Hudson 2 - Tim O'Rourke
(Kiera Hudson Series)
“What about the nightmares, Kiera?”
“What about them?” I asked.
“Are you still having them?”
“Yes,” I told her.
The doctor sat opposite me, her thin hands holding my case file across the lap of her tweed skirt. Her pale, grey eyes stared back at me from behind her glasses. She wasn’t unattractive, but her fair hair was pulled too tightly into a bun at the base of her neck, which gave her face a pinched, almost angry look. She couldn’t have been any older than thirty-five but the glasses and the way she fixed her hair made her look more like forty-five. She appeared very prim and proper – but I could see that there was more to her than that.
“Are they always the same?” she pushed, her eyes fixed on mine over the rim of her glasses.
“About my mother?” I asked, although I knew what she meant. “Yes they are mostly about my mother,” I answered.
“Mostly?” she fired back, keen to pick up on every word that I said.
“Mostly,” I repeated.
“What else then, if not about your mother?” she asked, opening my file and taking a pen from her desk.
“Doctor Keats, I’ve been coming to see you every week now for the last six months. You know what else,” I replied.
“The vampires?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, not breaking her stare.
“Tell me about them,” she pushed, pen poised above her notes.
“Why? What’s the point?” I asked, trying not to get frustrated with her. “You don’t believe me – no one believes me. That’s why I’m here, isn’t it? The force wants to know if I’m mad – wants to know if I’m fit to go back to policing the streets. Isn’t that what this is all really about?”
“Can you blame your employer for doubting you, Kiera?” Keats asked with that patronising tone in her voice.
“Of course I blame them,” I said. “They were the ones who sent me to The Ragged Cove.”
Thumbing through my case notes, she said, “From what I can see, you volunteered to go, Kiera.” Then looking up at me she added, “No one forced you.”
“But if I’d known…” I snapped, then stopped myself from going on.
“Known what?” she said in that tone again.
“That the place was infested with vampires. I wouldn’t have taken up the post,” I explained.
Smiling at me, like a mother who knows best for her wayward child, Doctor Keats shook her head from side to side and said, “But Kiera, there were no vampires.”
“How do you account for all those incinerated bodies in the church?” I asked, meeting her gaze again.
“A terrible tragedy. Those poor souls caught in a horrendous fire while celebrating an early morning mass,” she said.
“Oh please,” I groaned. “You don’t really believe that, do you?”
“What else could’ve happened?” she asked.
Knowing that I was never going to convince her that those burnt remains were really the skeletons of vampires, I said, “So what about all the cops that went missing from that place?”
“Lots of people go missing from time to time, Kiera,” she smiled. “It doesn’t mean that they became vampires.”
I looked around the blank colourless walls of her office and I didn’t know for how many more days or weeks I could keep coming and going over the same old thing. She was never going to believe me and I was never going to change my story. So picking up my bag that rested against the leg of my chair, I stood up.
“I really can’t keep doing this, so goodbye Doctor Keats,” I said and turned towards the door.
“You know you can’t just walk out of here,” she said, and there was a tinge of smugness in her voice.
“Why not?” I asked, glancing back at her.
“Not if you want your badge back, Constable Hudson.” Then staring me straight in the face, she smiled, “Not if you want to find your mother.”
Lingering by the door, I said, “What do you know of my mother?” I breathed.
“Only what you’ve told me,” she said. “But I know the only way you’ll ever get your hands on her missing person’s file will be to get back on the force. And the only way that’s ever going to happen, is if I sign you Fit For Duty.”
“That sounds like blackmail to me!” I hissed.
“No, it’s not blackmail, Kiera,” she smiled and pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose. “It’s called ‘protecting the public.’ They pay a lot of taxes for their police force and I’m sure they wouldn’t want