• Alex Valentine opened her eyes and gasped for breath. Her hand clutched the loose T-shirt she wore tightly and the other grabbed hold of the sheets. Her breathing was restricted. It was as if something heavy was placed on her chest and with every intake of air it became harder to stay alive. The sweat on her forehead was an indication that she had the dream again and her dilated pupils signaled that she could barely move. She lay on her back with her knees up and she knew the action showed that she was vulnerable.

    Telling herself to breath, Alex closed her eyes and tried to relax. "It was a dream." She told herself, it was always only a dream. The moonlight moved across the room and she sat up. The light, white curtains she hung on her windows were now blowing at a steady pace and flowing into her thoughts. Breathing through her mouth made it easier but Alex never thought of that. When ever she awoke from that dream she would keep quiet and listen for the cocking of a gun or footsteps through the small house.

    It was instinct to her. Ever since she finished at the academy she began to become more afraid of the dark. Not the dark but what ever what lurking inside of it. Alex had helped put away some of the top criminal minds and because of this she also made some unwelcoming enemies. Every time she testified there was one other person in the world who wanted her to suffer and she could barely stand the thought.

    Alex got out of bed with a sigh once she was sure nothing was waiting for her to let her guard down. Throwing her feet over the edge she balled her toes in the carpet and yawned. She'd been up too late the night before and woken up too early the next morning. As she looked out the window at the pale moonlight that had been shining on her face she turned around to see a face in the shadows. Not a face but a twisted smile. Its eyes were those f a snake and his smile was like something out of a story book. "I was hoping I wouldn't wake you." It hissed in a low voice and Alex took a step backwards. "You look so beautiful when you cry in your nightmares." He mused and his grin widened.

    Alex reached to her right for the gun she kept there but instead found the switch for her lamp. As the face dove for her she turned it on to see nothing. The warm glow of the light bulb revealed nothing out of the ordinary. She noticed things other cops missed and that's why she was the best of the best -despite her young age. The price she paid for that imagination was the endless fear. While one mind worked on solving the next puzzle the other mind worked on thinking of new ways to prepare her waking mind for a new battle. There was always a new test for her when she fell into a deep sleep, a new way to handle a simple situation gone wrong.

    With a sigh the young girl walked to her door. The old house held old door knobs and this gave Alex some peace of mind while she slept: if someone could open this door without Alex knowing then she deserved to die. As she slowly reached for the door handle a loud ringing echoed through the silent room. This caused Alex to jump and lean against the door until the sound was identified as the small telephone sleeping on the stand beside her bed.

    Picking up the phone delicately she held it to her ear for a moment. "Hello?" She asked in a groggy voice. She had just awoken from a long sleep and still figured she shouldn't be awake long enough to have a proper conversation.
    "Oh Valentine, thank god you picked up. I've been knocking at your door for 15 minutes now! Get your a** out here, I'm freezing my a** off out here." Alex hung up the phone and went to the door again. This time she opened it and walked down the dark hallway while rubbing her eyes. As she came to the end of the hall she took a left and found herself looking at the large, heavy, metal door. She opened it up in mid-yawn and a man pushed past her.

    The man was taller then Alex -who was 5'5"- and stronger also. Although Alex was never much of a fighter so she stayed behind the scenes, this guy looked as though he had spent a fair bit of time in a boxing ring. His hair was a shaggy brown while Alex's was blond and his eye colour was green while hers was blue. It would seem to most that they were opposites and most people would be right. In this case their clothing was also different. While Alex wore a large, green and white T-shirt and nothing else but her black bra and underwear the man wore a brown suit and red tie.

    "Hello Paul." Alex yawned and closed the door. "To what do I owe the visit to?" Paul shook his head and pulled a chair out from the small table in the dark kitchen. He sighed heavily and put his forehead in his palm. Alex noted that Paul had brought a brief case with him although it was 6 am. The idea of carrying a brief case at all was stretching it but at this late -or this early- it was extremely odd.
    "Cut the act." He said angrily. Alex boiled the kettle in silence and once it has fully boiled she poured herself tea and sat across the table from him. "There's no one in this town who doesn't know why I'm here talking to you." He spat and Alex looked down at her mug. Her breath caused small ripples to appear in the drink and she smiled to them. Paul leaned over to lift the brief case from its position on the ground.

    At this act Alex already knew what was coming next. Paul opened it up and slid a file swiftly across the table to her. As it spun to a stop Alex turned a light on behind her in order to read the title at the side. The small label clearly read 'File #33675'. Alex looked up at Paul's hopefully face and then sighed. Hanging her head she looked down at the file and opened it up on ly to look away quickly. Pictures of a woman with her eyes cut out stuck out at Alex and caused her to feel sick. She carefully removed the picture and looked at the papers.

    "Jamie Cole, age 43, death time roughly 4:13 am." Alex read aloud and looked up to Paul. "Why did you bring me this Paul?" She asked coolly and Paul looked away.
    "He's killed 2 families already and it seems like he's moving through the country. The first was on the coast in P.E.I and the next one was in Qubec only 50000 km away from the first crime scene." Alex shook her head. "That's what we thought too. The first time he cut out the eyes and this time he cut off the nose. If he's moving through the senses then we don't have much time. We're getting every available detective on the case and we need your help, Valentine." Alex shook her head and pushed the file away. There was a pause in the silence and Paul looked down. "Wolf will be there." He whispered and Alex stood angrily.

    "Good night Paul." She said and helped him up from his seat roughly. "I don't want to deal with these cases for a long time Paul. I don't care who'll be working on the case if I'm not." Paul stood with little resistance and walked to the door. His large body towered over Alex's and she couldn't look at him.
    "Just check out the crime scenes. All by yourself with no one there. If you can still turn away after seeing the house then I'll leave you alone." Paul offered and Alex bit her lip. He smiled and nodded. "I'll have someone to pick you up in an hour then." He smiled and left Alex standing in the empty home by herself.