John found himself searching the faces of the personnel for Brie. Eventually he saw her, digging gloves and some sampling equipment out of the back of the truck. She wore a standard issue FBI wind breaker and a pair of dark slacks. He dodged past a couple of agents on security detail to get to her.
“Hey Gabrielle!” he called.
She was wearing her dark sunglasses despite the heavy overcast of the day. He stopped beside her and laid a hand on her arm. She looked up at him.
“I recognize those glasses. Migraine ?” he asked.
“Yeah … ” she answered slowly.
“Give me 5 minutes.” He pulled her against his body and threaded his fingers through her hair, rubbing the back of her neck and the knotted muscles at the base of her skull. He felt her mind brush across his. Just a hint of pure pleasure at his touch as her forehead rested on his collarbone.
“Interrogation today?” he asked.
“Yes, better than ninety minutes,” she whispered. His cheek rested against the top of her head, and he noticed that they were receiving a couple of pointed stares. He was amused. He spent a couple more minutes holding her, trying to ease her headache.
“Some. Enough that maybe my eyeballs won’t fall out.” She pulled away and started putting on her gloves. He grabbed her field kit box and followed her toward the body. Cecelia and Evan were measuring and photographing. Several FBI people were doing similar things. This was definitely going to lead to arguments over who got what samples. Brie walked the perimeter, looking. John set the box down and watched her. He slowly realized that she was looking for something. Something specific. She knelt down and used a swab to sample something, placing it in a tube. And then she stroked her fingers across it, feeling the texture of whatever it is through her gloves. The sun chose that moment to break through the clouds. She let out a little squeal and dropped the tube, which was luckily acrylic. She was franticly yanking the glove off her hand.
“Fuckfuckfuck!” she yelled.
John lunged forward, dropping to his knees and grabbed her wrist and peeling most of the glove the rest of the way off. There was gummy melted residue on her palm and fingers, and she was grimacing in pain. John looked at her with a worried expression.
“Hey Cecelia! Get over here!” he shouted. “What happened?” he demanded of Gabrielle.
“Major exothermic reaction.”
“It didn’t quite burst into flames,” said Brie. Cecelia dropped down beside them.
“Take a look at her hand. Whatever it was, melted the glove,” ordered John.
Cecelia took hold of the other woman’s hand and starts flexing her fingers and trying to assess the damage.
Now I Could Drink Hot Blood is available in both paperback and e-book