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The Profiler, The Doctor, and the Flower

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It is not uncommon to find Will laying restlessly at night.

It was not uncommon to find Will laying restlessly at night when Annabelle wasn’t  beside him. It is already past midnight and she hasn’t returned from an urgent call regarding one of her patients.

“Do not wait up for me,” she said kissing his forehead before racing out the front door. It is a convenience that she lives in tailored suits even at home. That left Will and Jameson to clean off the table and get ready for an early bedtime. Jameson was a gremlin when it comes to sleep; her small body craves it. Once he tucks her in, she becomes dead weight to the world around her. Will is envious of how she finds sleep to be a companion rather than an enemy. He lays still listening to the house groan against the October winds that bring a harsh winter breeze with them.

Will finally sits up rubbing his face. If not who the killers that visit him in his sleep, then he would truly be alone. He goes to the window staring out at the ocean of trees that move in waves against the night. He wonders how many souks have been swallowed up into its murky depths.

How many souls has he swallowed up?

The thought left a gaping hole in his throat. The wendigo that stalked his mind began to evolve in his faint reflection in the window. Had he always been like this? Or had Annabelle brought put the shadows he so often confused for darkness? His antlers sprouted from thick, dark truffles of curls as his eyes grew darker than the midnight sky. His skin became as obsidian as the backdrop of the forest. His ribs expanded; his nails sharpened.The creature in front of him barely noticed the door creak open until he turned to find Jameson staring at him. Her wide eyes seemed to be reconsidering her actions before Will moved to pick her up.

It was late; the creature realized as it held the flower in its hand. Had it been another embodiment of life, he might have destroyed it in its wake of destruction. This flower, however, bloomed perfectly well in the darkness. Something so pure could never truly be tainted, if not stained. The man could feel the creature crawling under his skin. If Will knew better, he would let it out, but nights like this were not adequate for change. He was not the shadow that hunted with his beloved. No, tonight, he was a father.

The word stung like stepping on a nail. He pulled Jameson into the bed until they were tucked under the covers. His chin rested on top of her head as he hummed an old lullaby his father once sang to him. Jameson didn’t stir, but he felt her eyes on him.

Did she know?

Will thought that sometimes she could see, but ignored it. Something she might have done when she realized her father had been slowly sinking away by the hands of a silent killer. Did she see him as a threat or a protector?

A small hand reached up to tug a curl loosely. He looked down at her and saw nothing reflected at him.

“What was that for?” He asked amused.

A slow smile crept upon her face before she signed,

“Just making sure you were still here.”

Will chuckled. Not because the simple action was silly, but because she knew when he wasn’t here. Who he was when he left, Jameson seemed to notice the difference. It was truly fascinating for someone so young to be able to profile like that.

They stayed tucked away together, eyes starting unto the oblivion that was beyond the window waiting. The shadows lurked and crawled all around them; none dared come close enough to the creature as he watched over his flower.