Continued from February 14, 2018
“Haskel!” Claire turned and watched as Goldman ran down the stairs. He had dark circles under his eyes and looked pale.
“Are you okay, Goldman?” Claire asked.
“I think so. I had -” Goldman began.
“Get away from her!” Daniel cried as he tackled Goldman.
“What the hell!” Claire yelled as the two wrestled on the ground. “Stop it!”
Claire bent and tried to pull them apart. She felt the rune on her forehead flare with heat and they flew apart five feet in opposite directions. Stunned, she straightened and touched her forehead. Both Goldman and Daniel stood, looking disoriented.
“What was that?” Goldman said shaking his head. “What just happened?”
“The gifted one forced us apart.” Daniel replied, staring daggers at Goldman. “You will stay away from her, fiend.”
“Daniel, relax. I’m just trying to figure out what’s happening.” Goldman replied.
“Your rune is corrupt. I can’t relax.” Daniel said.
“What are you talking about?” Goldman replied, turning to Claire who, in that moment, saw the ‘X’ on Goldman’s forehead. His was shorter and wider than her’s.
“Goldman,” Claire said without moving, “there is something going on that I’m still trying to figure out.”
“What’s that thing on your forehead?” Goldman said, “Do I have one? What’s it look like?”
“You have an ‘X’ like I do, but it’s different from mine.” Claire said, “I think they believe that you are somehow dangerous to me.”
“That’s ridiculous! We’ve been partners for four years, how could I be dangerous to you. You’re like a sister to me now.” Goldman replied.
“Lies!” Beth called. “You lie!”
“Easy now!” Goldman said, putting his hands up in front of him as five of the people around Claire advanced on Goldman. “Don’t do anything you’ll regret, I am a police officer.”
“Goldman, run!” Claire called out as the five advanced quickly toward him.
Claire watched as Goldman took off down the street and disappear around a corner. It was a few minutes before the five returned and Claire let our a sigh of relief that they looked frustrated.
“Did you catch him?” Beth asked when they returned.
“No. He ran too fast for us.” Daniel replied.
“Good, I’m happy he got away.” Claire said.
“You don’t get it, Claire. Your rune means ‘gift,’ and his rune is the corrupt version of yours. He is going to be a plague against us. Everywhere he goes destruction and chaos will follow. We can’t afford to trust him.” Daniel said.
“I think you should come with us. We’ve set up not far away. We need to get out of the open so more of those with Goldman don’t find us.” Daniel said.
Claire nodded, but she looked down the street in the direction that Goldman had run. He was like family to her. She felt safe having him around, in spite of his flaws. He was always a good and loyal partner, but she felt the twinge of uncertainty as they began walking away from the police station.