CHAPTER TWELVE

Brook and Posner were both in the hospital, their conditions were stable but Brook's parents were causing a fuss. Max and Flynn were trying to calm them down while two nurses were trying to treat them for minimal smoke inhalation. Dex watched as Brook's parents calmed down and then began asking what had happened.

"Can I talk to you for a sec?" Dex turned and smiled at Megan but it fell from her lips when she saw how pale the younger girl's face was. They left the room and stepped into the corridor, when they returned Dex was just as pale as Megan and she wouldn't meet Hale's gaze as they crossed the room to Kelly.

"Where are they going?" asked Dawn. Odessa stopped pacing and turned just in time to see Megan and Dex leaving the waiting room.

They sat in Dex's car in the hospital car park, Megan had her eyes closed and was searching for a vision. She suddenly grinned and opened her eyes.

"The police are going to move him to a safer location, I know what route they will take. Go down there" she said. Dex started the engine and headed down a side road and then onto a smaller road that took them across the back fields towards Hove. A police car was heading their way, Megan nodded. Dex waited until they were passing the car and then her pupils danced and the car was shunted off the road and into a wall. Megan jumped from the car and ran across to the police car, the two officers infront were unconscious but breathing. Bailey Kiss was blinking against the light in the back, he saw her and a small look of hope flickered across his face.

"He's alive" called Megan.

"Shame" replied Dex. She used her power to rip the back door from its hinges and then both girls dragged the struggling murderer across the empty road and bundled him into the trunk of their car.

Bailey Kiss woke up slowly and looked around the room with bleary eyes. The walls were bare bricks and the only furniture was the chair he was tied to. Wait. Tied to a chair? He struggled but couldn't move and his scream was muffled by the gag on his mouth. A bare bulb above Bailey's head flickered into life and he saw three people in the corner of the room. The two girls were a couple of witches from that big house! But the old man was a stranger and Kiss didn't like the feral grin on his face.

"Well, he's awake so we'll leave you to it" said the girl with dreadlocks. The shorter girl followed her friend out of the room and the door banged shut with an echoing clang.

"You don't know me but I know you. My name is Michael Lee. You probably didn't know my friend James Sugden, he's dead now." Kiss frowned behind his gag and shook his head, the surnames rang a distant chord of memory and he began to get very worried. These people weren't police. Lee picked up a large knife from the floor and advanced upon the struggling man.

"You might remember our daughters. Lana Lee." The knife flashed and pain ripped through his right cheek. "Or Gemma Sugden." Another flash and his entire face seemed to be on fire. Kiss began to scream behind his gag but he had an awful feeling that nobody could hear him. Lee smiled and examined the blood on his blade.

"I only wanted five minutes, you know. But there's no rush I suppose." Kiss screamed.

Megan and Dex arrived at the hotel Dr Posner had arranged for the group a little after midnight. Both looked exhausted and neither could look anybody in the eye.

"Where did you go off to?" asked Hale. Dex shrugged and stared at the carpet beneath her boots.

"We had stuff to do. How's Brook?"

"Alive." Hale tried to get into Dex's mind to see what she was hiding but she knew that trick and kicked him out with a vicious shove that almost had him seeing stars. The doors swung open again and Dr Posner walked in, Max followed and the look on the young medico's face made it obvious he wasn't happy about Posner being out of hospital.

"The house should be ready for us in six months, maybe eight. Brook . . . May not come back at all" said Posner. He dropped into a chair and stared at the gathered group. Every face held at least a touch of guilt, Brook hadn't been a very likeable person but she didn't deserve what had happened to her. His eyes suddenly turned to steel.

"Kiss has gone missing. The police car was involved in an accident and they believe he escaped but the officers in the car don't remember another vehicle colliding with them." Posner looked from Megan to Dex and back again but both girls suddenly took an interest in the cracked ceiling. Hale's face turned pale, he walked across the room and stood where Dex couldn't avoid looking at him.

"What did you do?" he whispered. There was a pause before Dex replied.

"We gave Michael Lee some time alone with his daughter's killer." They all jumped as Posner slammed his palm down on the table, he struggled to his feet.

"We are not vigilantes!" Dex laughed, it was a high pitched and very nearly hysterical sound.

"What about all those kids we just stood back and watched jump off that cliff? Or those two girls we left with the Baba Yaga? We are vigilantes when it suits us, Dr Posner and those two were your choice!" Dex swung away from him and made it half way across the room before Posner's quiet voice stopped her. She turned and noticed Kelly staring at his twin as if he no longer knew her.

"It's not what we stand for, Dextra. We can't make those sorts of decisions and we can't help people to take revenge. We're not murderers." Dex's pupils shrank to the size of pinheads, as they expanded all the windows exploded.

"Just me then" she snapped. Dex spun on her heel, the door swung open and then slammed shut with a crash behind her. _

Dex slammed into her hotel room and threw herself onto the bed. She heard the door open again but she wasn't quick enough to close it before Hale slipped into the room.

"What's happened to you?" he asked. Dex rolled over and sat up, her eyes narrowed but her pupils remained steady.

"I'm tired of dealing with hypocrites. Posner says we're not vigilantes but we are! He makes decisions that are above the law and we're supposed to just go along with it? I'm done. Posner wants me, he knows where I am. Get out!" Hale opened his mouth to speak but he suddenly found himself on the floor in the corridor, the door slammed shut and he heard the bolt being thrown.

Dex moved a chair to the door and threw herself back onto the bed. She closed her eyes and took a shaky breath. Things had been going so well and now she would probably be sent away. Or arrested for murder. Dex felt a strange tightening in her chest and, for the first time in a long time, Dextra Barlow burst into tears. She cried for Brook and for Megan and for the missing sister Dex had only just found out about. And she cried for herself.

An hour later, the tears had finally dried and Dex didn't so much fall asleep as drop into a coma. There was nothing wrong with that except that, when the dream came again, there was no getting away from it.