They stood in silence for several moments, neither daring to inhale loud enough for the other to hear. After some time, she backed away a few inches, scanning for any sign that this was indeed her kin. He was nearly unrecognizable. Large gashes ran from either side of his chest, each flanking his collarbone nearing the nape of his neck. It was as if a target was stuck from one side of his body to the other, marking him for death.
The coroner placed a hand on her shoulder, but she didn't react. She couldn't. She knew what she'd come for, but she was hesitant to ask. She shook slightly not out of nerves, but as not to alert the coroner. Was she acting too casual? She couldn't help but stand there in awe, studying every inch of his exposed grey skin, or what was left of it.
"Any identifying marks you might be looking for?" He said gently.
It took her a second to reply. She knew what she was looking for.
"He...he had a small tattoo on the back of his neck. If... if that's not too much to ask, I think that's the only way I'll know for sure."
He nodded once and reached into the pockets of his white lab coat. A single, unwrapped pair of exam gloves emerged with them. Shaking, he opened the plastic with little difficulty.
She looked down at her feet as he moved slowly over what was left of her brother, a lifeless shell of the man he once was, the boy she once knew. He'd aged so much the last few years. He looked so much older than when she'd seen him last. He bore barely a resemblance to her at all. She shook the image from her mind and focused forward once more.
"I'm afraid there isn't much left of it, but it would seem there may have been a tattoo here."
There it was, just below his hair line. Three circles. Bits of outlines were all that remained. Like three crescent moons. One yellow, one red, one blue. You could hardly see them behind 3 fresh puncture wounds.
"That's him" She said gazing once more over his lifeless corpse.
"Thank you. I'm afraid I can't let you touch him until the autopsy is complete, or I'd let you have a moment alone."
"That's quite alright. I'd like to get out of here if possible." She said, straightening herself and turning to the door.
"Miss..." he started.
"Amelia. Please, just call me Amelia."
"Amelia, I do have some paperwork that we need you to sign. Could you?" Hands outstretched, he offered her the folder.
"Sure." She smiled.
She shook only slightly as she poured brandy into a paper cup. She'd been sober for years, but tonight she was treating herself. Not enough to lose herself, but enough. She spills a few drops down the front of her blouse and curses as she flicks them away. She hadn't said much in the hours that had passed since she made her way out of the coroner's office and back to her hotel. She'd forgotten about food, but she'd remembered to stop for a drink.
She shouldn't be so surprised. They'd known this moment would come for years. They'd both lived in fear for so long. They knew this was coming. The only thing they weren't certain of was who would be first.
Now she had her answer.
The only problem with the answer was it was followed by more questions. When would they find her? Would they take their time with her because she was the only one left? Could they be sure that she was indeed the only one left? Even she couldn't be sure of that. Surely she wasn't a threat now that she was alone.
She was completely alone. Bennett was gone.
Despite their efforts to keep the family together, to protect them, her parents had vanished when they were young. The twins were forced into a string of terrible foster homes, which ironically, kept them safe for some time. When they both turned 18, a will was discovered, and they inherited the cabin nestled in the wilderness of Maine. The cabin that was now left for only her. The cabin that she dare not enter, but did she have a choice in the matter?
She shuttered at the thought.
Bennett felt safe out there. Amelia felt more comfort in the big city, around other people, blending in with society. She'd bet her life that she was right, and it turned out to be a safe bet, for now.
With Bennett gone, she was living on borrowed time. She brought the paper cup to her lips once more, this time taking in the remaining warm drink, welcoming the burn in her throat. She'd felt almost numb since she'd left the morgue. She'd thought of everything, but felt very little. She paced the small room for a moment before finding her way to the edge of the windowsill, watching the few cars as they passed on the street.
In her minds eye she let the streetlights fade away and remembered the last time she'd seen her brother, the last time she'd see him alive. She'd only been passing through. She told him it wasn't safe to be seen together, but he wouldn't listen. She'd missed him, and he knew it.
She smiled as the memory of the dim lit coffee shop enveloped her.
"All I'm saying is you could call more."
"Bennett. You know that's not safe. If they find out..."
"How are they going to find out?!" He groaned, swaying his coffee to his lips, sloshing it onto the table.
She shook her head and reached for a napkin, pulling it from beneath his elbow forcing more coffee to spill from his cup. "They know a lot more than you think."
"Just because they're supernatural you think they know everything!" He said leaning back into the booth so she could clean up his mess.
"LOWER your voice, Bennett." She whispered harshly.
"Oh come on, you don't think Susan and Elliot are one of them now do ya?" He smirked.
"Of..." She looked around hesitantly before leaning in, "Of course not. We just can't be too careful. You...you just never know okay?"
"You make a mistake one time and..." he chuckled.
"BENNETT! That was hardly a mistake. That could have gotten you killed!" She said flicking the wad of discolored, damp napkins onto the table.
"Oh come on sis. She was just so..."
"Pretty?" she interrupted. "Yeah, well, pretty is dead..."
Bennett set his cup down gently and reached for her hand as she bit at her cuticles. "That's a god awful habit, you know that right?"
She smiled halfheartedly. "You know what's a god awful habit, Bennett?"
They both chuckled and the heavy mood lifted.
Amelia shook her head slightly as the street lamps came back into view and the memory faded into the darkness behind them. One hand gripped the paper cup until the edges bent inward and the other had found its way to her lips again.
Gently tugging on her cuticles she thought, 'Why had he been so stupid, so trusting?'
"I shouldn't even be here," she whispered pushing herself up from small wooden lipped sill.
She poured another drink and made her way to the bathroom. She set the paper cup down harshly letting some spill from the cup onto the counter, but this time, she wouldn't clean it up. Pulling her hair up in a tight pony, and tracing her neck in three small circular motions.
"They'll never give up. They'll come for me too." She took another long drink eyes fixed on her sunken reflection, deflated but not yet defeated. "I'm not ready to give up either."
Finishing her drink as she drug herself to the edge of the bed. Folding back the sheets, she sighed. The sun was peaking over the hilltops now. The streetlamps went out as the gentle rays settled on each one. She climbed into bed, and turned out the lights. "Goodnight, Bennett." She said softly as a yawn escaped her lips and her eyes started to fall shut. "Goodnight Brother."
(Are you guys mad at me yet? We'll be back next week! YOU'RE WELCOME!)