This is the continuing story of the Succubi called Storm Clouds…
If you want to read previous chapters, please click the link in the Tale header at the top of the page marked Storm Clouds or click here...
Chapter 14 edits this week with thanks to James as always…. I am trying to finish a story for the EMCSA this week, but we’ll see if that works out or not…
Storm Clouds 79
After Camilla left, Tom spent the next thirty minutes grilling Bill over what he had done, what he was doing, and whether anyone in his company might have taken it upon themselves to attack Brent and his wife. He came to the decision that, while Bill wasn’t directly involved in what happened, he could not dismiss the possibility that someone that worked for Bill had done the deed . . . or that Bill was hiding something from him.
That bothered him.
It wasn’t that he didn’t believe what Bill had said, it was the sheer stupidity of Bill going off his rocker and going off on a tirade over the injustice that he perceived was done to him.
Tom didn’t enjoy pushing his old friend that way. Worse was trying to break all of his explanations and reasons why he wasn’t responsible for what had happened. Most of the reasons made sense, most of them, but one exchange just about pushed Bill over the edge, and that worried him.
Tom sighed and paced in front of the offices again. He was sure that the workers inside were looking at him oddly, but he didn’t care: Bill was not quite cleared; that one piece of evidence would damn him in court if it came to that.
Tom hoped that it wouldn’t.
Camilla came into view soon after, her heels clicking on the concrete floor of the warehouse. Tom noticed that Billy wasn’t there, and he wasn’t too pleased about that. He had been intending to grill Billy next, thanks to his father’s admission, but was now preparing to go hunt him down and corner him. Filing away the thoughts on his old friend, he called out to Camilla, “Where’s Billy? Have to talk to him.”
“No you don’t. He’s not to blame for this: he nor his father.”
Tom rubbed his chin a moment, then said, “You got a feeling or something?”
She looked around, then nodded and explained, “Let’s just say that my … feelings … are pretty accurate.”
Turning away, he replied, “You’ll have to explain that to me sometime. Soon would be great. You know, before I have to toss them both in jail.”
Camilla looked at him curiously, then followed behind. Tom seemed to be in a rush to get out of the warehouse, and she found herself running a bit to keep up with him. Then she asked, “Do you have something to charge them with?”
“Enough to charge him: making threats. He was foolish in front of a lot of people. That’s a big no-no in things like this.”
“Passions of the heart can make us all say silly things we don’t mean at the moment they are said.”
“Passions can and have killed in the past, you know.”
Camilla had finally caught up to him, and, as she walked beside, started to lecture Tom a bit, “Those are not passions. Those are misguided beliefs and desires that pull one from what is important inward, toward oneself. It is easy to fall to darker desires and temptations than it is to hold onto the more important things within.”
“You know, I don’t understand all of that stuff. I’m just a simple man. I haven’t got the time to deal with theories and wishes. I deal in facts. Give me some of those and I’ll be able to deal with ‘em.”
“All right then, fact: Bill said that he would never harm a lady. Fact: you agree that he would not either. Therefore, he cannot be the one to have done the deed nor order it done.”
“Okay, see that’s not a fact: that is conjecture.”
“Is it? I don’t think so. I have …”
“A feeling? You said that before. What does that mean?”
The pair exited the warehouse, but Camilla did not speak until she was quite sure that no one could hear her.
“I … We … know people by their souls, Thomas. When I touched your hand, I knew that you were a good man. I also knew that you have a troubled past and that you have lost someone close to you.”
Tom’s look was a mix of shock and concern, but, before he could say anything, she continued.
“I didn’t look deeply into you. I did not look into your memories; I could have, but you didn’t give me permission, so all I knew was that you cared about what happened to Patricia, for whatever reason you had, and so …”
He stopped walking, “You used me.”
“No. I did not. I gave you the card. I gave you the chance to walk away. You decided that you needed to find out more and you came into our world. Do not confuse the sight of an open door with walking through it. You had the choice. You made it.”
Tom wanted to rant at her, but her logic was sound. He did poke his nose in, and he was deep in it now. With a sigh, he asked, “How much do you know about Bill and his son?”
“Enough to know that Bill has not killed anyone, ever. I can say the same for Billy, as well.”
“Okay, explain that … in simple words so that my mind doesn’t break.”
Camilla laced her hands together and explained, “If you are dark, or have been touched by the dark, if you have killed or done something that serves the dark and makes it gain power, you are marked, in your soul, with that. If I touch someone like that, I’ll know. The same is true of someone who has been touched by the light, but it is different.”
“Weird. Sort of sounds like you are a divining rod.”
She giggled a bit: “Divine I’m not.”
And with her right hand she pointed at her forehead.
“What most people are, generally, are shades of grey. That’s normal, and what we expect from most. But there are always exceptions to that rule. If either of them had killed, they would not be grey; they would be dark. I don’t sense that in either of them.”
“So, you give them a pass?”
“I give them more than a pass: there is nothing in them that screams they are involved. But …”
“I asked Billy for a favor.”