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“Thank you.” Through half-lidded eyes, he looked up at David. “What did you say your name was again?”

“David Klein.”

The recognition was slow to build, but once it was there, McLaughlin smiled. “You worked the case back in the day, didn’t you? I thought I recognized your name when you first said it, but I couldn’t put a finger on it.”

“Yeah, I did. I was a young man back then. Not a detective yet.”

“Do you have any regrets?”

David’s smile was sad. “More than most.”

“Any regrets about this case?”

The ringing of church bells interrupted them. The pealing cacophony drowned out any other noise for a full minute. When it was over, Cassie’s ears were still full of the sound. But she didn’t miss David’s next words.

“I wish I’d done more back then. I wish I’d tried harder. Spoken up more. Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. Maybe I would’ve been reassigned. But at least I could tell my kids and grandkids I didn’t have any regrets.”

“We all have regrets.” Noah’s slumped a little further. “It’s what we learn from those regrets that’s important.”

“Is that why you killed Shapiro? Because you had your own regrets?”

“I wish I’d done more.” His breathing was ragged. “More to help…my sister.”

“You’ve helped a lot of people, Noah.” David cradled the other man now. “And you brought justice to a murderer.”

Noah looked up at David and moved his lips, but no sound came out. His eyes drooped until they were nearly closed. Cassie saw the subtle rise and fall of his chest slow, until she couldn’t tell if he was breathing at all.

David looked up at her with pained eyes as he eased the man down.

There was nothing more either of them could do.


“And then the cops came. Then an ambulance. They pronounced him dead at the scene.”

Cassie was sitting on one end of the couch in her living room, while her sister sat on the other. They were both snuggled under a thick, soft blanket. Apollo was curled up between them, his nose tucked under the tip of his tail. His soft purrs comforted Cassie in a way few other sounds could.

“I can’t say I blame him,” Laura said. “I’d want to go out on my own terms, too. But I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do it myself.”


??Me neither. Still, it’s strange.”

“What is?”

Cassie furrowed her brow. She didn’t have the right words for it. “He was a good person, at least as far I could tell. Usually, when victims come to me, something unspeakable has happened to them. Their killers are terrible, evil people. Like Baker and that doctor killing women and ripping out their hearts.”

“Shapiro was a terrible person.” Laura took a moment to compose the words that followed. “Technically, his victim came to you first.”

“True.” Cassie smiled. Laura was trying her best to accept her sister’s abilities, as strange and foreign as they were, and Cassie appreciated the effort. “And I’m glad we got to solve that case.”


Cassie’s smile faded. “But I feel strange about Noah’s death. Like it was unjustified. Like he deserved better.”

“The world isn’t black and white, as much as that might make life easier. Good people can do terrible things, and terrible people can do wonderful things. Sometimes, an action is neither good nor bad. It just is.”

“You know, David said something similar as we were leaving the church. Something about how legality and morality aren’t always the same thing.”

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