“Has she said anything since you brought her in?” asked detective Ross.
“Not one word,” answered her college. “She didn’t have any ID on her either. We’re running her prints through AFIS now to see if there’s a match.”
“And her clothes?”
“Bagged as evidence,” said detective Lebowitz. “ME’s testing DNA for a match to the four victims.”
“She’s been here for five hours and nothing? Has she asked for a drink or food, maybe a lawyer?” said Ross with a smirk.
Lebowitz chuckled, “I’m not that heartless. I offered and got no response.”
Ross turned and looked through the two-way mirror at the woman sitting in the interview room. She was large for a woman, six feet tall according to her processing papers. However, from what Ross could see, she wasn’t large enough to be able to overpower and slaughter four grown men. “Well, let’s see what we can get out of her.” With that statement, the detectives opened the door to the small room and entered.
The original occupant didn’t even look up. “I’m sorry for keeping you waiting Miss…” said Ross hoping to draw out a reflexive response. The woman’s eyes locked onto her and the detective was struck with the combination of wildness and resignation she found there. Getting no other response, Ross sat down across from the woman and took a moment to study her. The mute woman’s eyes never left her as the detective examined the enigma across from her.
The woman’s hair was disheveled, probably from the remnants of blood that they weren’t able to remove on intake. Ross thought the original color was probably a light brown, although it looked jet black in places where the blood had dried. The clothes she was wearing were from the station house. Probably whatever the detectives on duty at the time had stuffed in their locker. She sat halfway slumped in the chair, leaning her elbows heavily on the table. Ross noticed that her hands were scrapped up pretty bad, knuckles bruised and bloodied. Her hands were thick but tapered down to thin wrists incased in a set of handcuffs.
Looking back up to the woman’s face Ross noticed a large cut that ran from the bottom of her left jaw-line, down her neck, and stopped at her collarbone. Ross looked to Lebowitz with a raised eyebrow. Normally, any injuries that the perp had were taken care of prior to being deposited in an interview room.
“Little miss sunshine here wouldn’t let any of the EMS guys near her. I guess she prefers to bleed. It took six uniforms to get her in the car and another four to process her when she got here,” said Lebowitz as he walked around the room to stand behind the woman.
Ross watched as her enigma tensed considerably, tracking the detective as he moved. When he finally stopped behind her, she stood and turned to face him. “You need to take a seat,” said Lebowitz advancing on her. He reached his hand out to touch her shoulder but before either detective could act, he found himself face down on the table with said hand behind his back.
A split second later Ross was on her feet and moving to restrain the suspect. Just before she wrapped her arm around the throat in front of her, she noticed that the suspect was sporting a very large gash down her back. Ross’ arm tightened and in turn Lebowitz cried out as his arm was forced higher. “Let go of me you bitch!”
“Let go of him or I’ll put you down the hard way,” Ross snarled into the other woman’s ear. The suspect never gave an inch. Ross knew that it was only a matter of seconds before the woman would be out cold. As the detective tightened her hold, she could feel blood from the suspect’s wounds seeping through the front of her shirt and sleeve. “Please, I don’t want to hurt you,” Ross barely whispered.
Ross felt a subtle shift in the body she held. The woman let Lebowitz go and Ross pulled her away from the table. She raised her hands in supplication as the detective loosened her hold slightly. “You alright Jim?”
Lebowitz stood up and rotated his shoulder wincing. “Yeah,” he answered shooting a glare at the woman Ross held. He came over and removed one of the cuffs as Ross laid the woman over the table. He refastened them behind her back and shoved the suspect into the chair. Lebowitz saw the blood on Ross’ shirt, “You OK?”
Looking down at herself she answered, “Yeah, it’s all hers.” She took a deep breath, “Come on, we can take a break while I change.”
They both exited the room leaving the other woman behind. She was sitting as she had been before the interview started, staring at the wood on the table. Because of the tussle, the wounds that had previously been seeping were now bleeding freely. “We have to get those cuts of her’s taken care of,” said Ross as she began to unbutton her shirt while they walked.
“I told you we tried. She won’t let anyone near her.”
“Obviously you didn’t try hard enough,” Ross shot back, more than a little irritated.
“Hey,” said Jim loudly, “why don’t you calm down Tracy.”
Ross took a deep breath as she walked through the locker room door. Jim stopped at the door and waited for her to reappear. Tracy stalked to her locker and wrenched it open. Rifling through her duffle bag she found a t-shirt that would do and removed the bloody business shirt she currently wore. She carefully placed it in a plastic evidence bag that she found in her locker intent on sending it for DNA testing. She cursed under her breath as she realized her bra was also ruined and retrieved the sports bra from her duffle as well.
A few minutes went by before she exited the locker room and stood before her partner. “I’m sorry Jim, I’m just…”
“Don’t worry about it. Did you save the shirt?”
“Of course,” said Tracy holding up the bag, “You always seem to forget I’m the brains of our little operation.”
He laughed, “Forgive me oh most intelligent one.”
“Can you run this to the lab for me? I’m going to see if I can’t get someone to look at our suspect’s injuries.”
“Yeah, just be careful,” he said rotating his shoulder again with a grimace.
“Someone call for EMS?” asked the woman standing in the doorway to the squad room.
“They did not send me you,” exclaimed Ross staring at the diminutive woman. “I asked for a couple of big guys and what do they send me, a representative from the lollipop guild.”
“Oh you’re hilarious detective. ‘Cuz you know I’ve never heard that one before.”
Tracy shook her head, “I’m sorry. I could normally care less how tall you are or aren’t, but I have a special case on my hands and I asked for some muscle for a reason.”
“Unlucky for you, the rest of Gulliver’s family is busy on other calls. You want something done now, then I’m all you’ve got.”
Tracy stared at the woman of Lilliputian stature standing in front of her. She was probably all of five feet three inches tall. The other half of her team had to be at least slightly bigger than she was. “Where’s your partner?”
“At home nursing the kids, where do you think? He’s parking the rig. You know, you guys could use an actual parking lot instead of this on the street crap.”
Tracy smiled; this woman had spunk. As the EMT came into the room and slung her bag onto the detective’s desk Tracy said, “I’m detective Ross.”
“Good for you.” As the paramedic opened her mouth to no doubt issue another scathing remark, the two women heard a booming voice come from the doorway.
“Yo Bell, ain’t you done yet.”
Ross looked up to find a mountain in man’s skin coming toward her. This guy almost had to duck and turn sideways to move across the threshold. “Now that’s more like it,” she muttered.
“Nah Toby, we were just getting past the ‘oh so pleasant’ introductions,” said Bell leveling a glare at Tracy.
“Okay, I can see we started off on the wrong foot,” explained Ross. “It’s just that, I have a suspect that almost took out six of our officers when we brought her in and that was just when we processed her downstairs.”
“So if she’s already been through booking why are we here? They should have cleaned her up before she even got to you,” countered Bell.
“We tried, but no one can get near her to help her. I don’t want her injured anymore than she already is but I can’t tell how injured she is now.”
“Let us take a look at her,” said Toby, picking up the duffle that Bell had placed on the desk. “Bell here is pretty good with the crazies.”
“Thanks a lot Jumbo.”
“My pleasure Midget.”
Tracy chuckled at the two’s antics as she walked them back to the interview room. She let them have a look at her suspect from the opposite side of the mirror as they stored their gear.
“Yep, she’s a bigun’,” said Bell grabbing one of the smaller bags they had with them.
“I don’t know,” said Toby with a smirk, “she looks kinda small to me.”
“Well big or small she’s dangerous,” said Tracy. “Take it slow. I’ll be watching you and I’ve got two other officers waiting for my word. The first sign of trouble and you both get the hell out of there ok?”
The two partners nodded their understanding and for the first time Tracy saw they were all business. “I’ll go first big guy, follow slow and don’t move until I give you the sign,” said Bell to her partner.
“Right boss,” he answered, without a hint of sarcasm.
Bell slowly opened the door to the interview room, drawing the occupants attention. Ross watched as what looked like astonished recognition fleeted across the suspects face before realization erased it. “I’m not here to hurt you,” said Bell in a soft voice.
The woman eyed her as she advanced into the room. Bell was careful not to walk behind her, and instead passed in front of the mirror, blocking Ross’ view for a second. “Will you let me take a look at your injuries?” There was no answer either way so Bell took that as a green light. She approached the woman slowly; ready to bolt at any second should the encounter turn ugly. Bell had speed that aided her instead of bulk and was fairly certain she could get away before the other woman could lay a hand on her. The paramedic reached out and tentatively touched a shoulder to test the waters. When there was no reaction she went on ahead with her examination, always mindful of the tense posture of the suspect.
“Well I’ll be damned,” Tracy said to herself.
“Now my partner is going to come in and bring me some supplies and give me a hand. We’re all going to stay relaxed and not make any sudden movements okay.” On that cue, Toby appeared in the doorway to the room. The injured woman grabbed Bell’s arm and pushed the small woman behind her, putting her body between the two EMTs. Toby started forward at the gasp of surprise from Bell at the same time Tracy opened the door to the room.
“Hold it!” Bell yelled before anyone could get any farther. They all froze at the sound of her voice. “She didn’t hurt me,” she explained. For the moment no one moved. Ross studied the two women, and if she didn’t know any better, she would say that the perp was trying to protect Bell from Toby. Bell placed a small hand on the suspect’s shoulder and turned her partially around. “He works for me,” she said pointing to Toby, “isn’t that right Jumbo?”
“Yes Ma’am,” Toby answered softly.
“He doesn’t do anything that I don’t tell him to do. Right Jumbo?”
“So he’s going to put the bag down and then assist me with dressing your injuries. He will not touch you. Got that Jumbo?”
“Yes Ma’am,” said Toby with a smile.
The suspect relaxed slightly and Bell was able to guide her back into the chair. Tracy remained by the door after she shut it behind her seeming to lean casually against the wall. Toby slowly moved closer to the other two women in the room and set down a big bag. He then grabbed the chair next to the suspect and sat beside her to assist Bell.
“My name’s Bell, and this is Toby,” said the petite woman as she began cleaning the first cut.
“Chase,” said the injured woman, raising her head to meet Bell’s gaze. Bell looked over to Ross and the detective gave a nod.
“Nice to meet you Chase. Are you in any pain?” Bell asked as she snapped on a pair of latex gloves.
“Okay, if I do anything that causes you pain, please let me know before you rip my arm off.”
A slight lift donned the corner of Chase’s mouth for a split second, but Bell registered it. “Yes ma’am.”
Bell made quick work of the cut on Chase’s neck. Thankfully it didn’t need stitches, just a few butterfly bandages. Her knuckles checked out ok as well and Bell could see that there were no obvious fractures. When she moved to check the back wound she ran into a problem. “I don’t suppose we can loose the cuffs?”
“You know the answer to that,” said Ross flatly.
“Then we need to reposition them because I can’t get to the laceration on her back.”
Ross walked over as Bell guided Chase to her feet. The detective stood in front of her suspect and leveled her with a look. “Don’t make me regret bringing them in here.” Chase dropped her eyes in supplication. Tracy released one cuff and brought Chase’s arms around to re-cuff them in the front of her body. That complete, Chase sat back down and leaned onto the table. The back of her shirt was caked in fresh and dried blood, making a sickening sound as Bell peeled it away from the woman’s skin. Removing the shirt revealed a huge gash that ran from Chase’s right shoulder down to the bottom of her ribs on her left side.
Bell could tell the laceration was deep. If it had been any deeper it would have cut into her spine. The only thing that probably saved Chase was the fact that her back was full of hard muscle. “This is going to need stitches.”
“So put them in.”
“We can’t, that can only be authorized and performed by a doctor,” said Bell.
Ross thought for a minute and then motioned for Bell to follow her out of the room. As the two moved away, Chase began to eye Toby suspiciously. “You two play nice, I’m watching you,” said Bell stepping away to the door.
“We can’t take the chance of moving her. She may be acting all docile in front of you, but I’m telling you, I have six uniformed officers that will attest to the fact that she is quite the opposite.”
“Were any of them injured in their encounters?” asked Bell.
“Not that I know of, why?”
“Don’t you find it funny that a woman strong enough to take on six cops didn’t do any real damage. She’s got enough muscles in her upper body alone to probably bench press half the force. Has she said anything since she got here?”
“No, not until she told you her name.”
“Well people just don’t go mute for no reason,” said Bell frustratingly running a hand through her hair.
“She’s mute because she doesn’t want to say anything that might jam her up for slaughtering four men. Now I need you to stitch her up,” said Ross heatedly.
“What do you mean no?”
“N, as in ‘not on your life’, and O, as in ‘obviously you’re an idiot for asking me again.”
“Umm, guys?” interrupted Toby from the interview room.
“What!” both women said turning to look at him through the mirror. They were both startled as they saw Chase standing close to the glass, looking straight at them.
“Can she see us?” Bell almost whispered.
“No,” Ross answered with surety.
“Then how come she’s staring right at me?”
Chase then looked to Ross and motioned for her to press the intercom button. Startled, the detective did as requested and Chase’s voice came over the com. “You can do it,” she said looking back at Bell, “you’re a doctor.” A small gasp came from the petite woman and Ross glanced at her.
“How did you…”
“Well are you?” asked Ross as she released the intercom button.
Bell peered at the detective, “Technically. I’m actually a psychiatrist.”
“What the hell are you doing driving a bus?” asked Ross in disbelief.
Bell looked back at Chase who was still staring at her through the two-way mirror. “I supplement my practice with EMS tours, to keep my medical skills up to par.”
“What for, if you’ve got a cushy desk job shrinking heads all day?”
Bell leveled the detective with a glare. “I utilize the opportunity to maintain a personal standard I set for myself. I didn’t go through medical school just to loose all of the knowledge I gained while I was there.” When Bell looked back, she found that Chase had reseated herself behind the table once again.
“Look Doc, I’m just asking for a little help here. Don’t you think it would be a more pleasurable experience for my suspect in there if we didn’t have to wrestle her to the ground before we helped her?”
Bell could get into trouble if she did this. Probably wouldn’t be allowed out on tours again, at least for a long while. If something happened, Chase could sue her and the department for a myriad of different charges. As she thought, the doctor watched Chase. She could tell there were multiple layers to the woman’s personality, and frankly, the psychiatrist in her was jumping at the chance to learn more. “I’ll do it on one condition.”
“And what’s that?” asked Ross staring at the incredibly stubborn woman.
“You let me in on the interview.”
“What? Hell no. I’m not going to be responsible for you…”
“Dr. Rivers has full credentials,” said a slightly balding man in the doorway.
“Captain?” asked Ross in surprise.
“I want to see both of you in my office, now,” he said as he walked away without waiting for them to follow.
Hesitating a moment, Bell hit the button for the intercom, “Chase I’ll be right back. Do I have your word you won’t do anything while I’m gone?”
“Yes ma’am,” came the tinny answer through the com.
“I don’t see the harm in gaining her assistance on this one detective,” said Captain Fredericks, shaking three Tylenol into his palm.
“With all due respect captain this is my case. I don’t think we’re going to need the doctor’s particular expertise.”
“Don’t bullshit me Ross. You’re so close to having this case thrown out on an insanity plea I can already feel the ADA breathing down my neck. Having the doctor in on this would only assist you at this point.” He swallowed his pills and placed his coffee cup back on his desk. “Now, the good doctor has graciously offered her services and I suggest that you politely accept and move on.”
“Captain, I don’t even know a thing about this woman and you want me to partner up with her on a case. Is she trained? What’s her specialty? Has she done any work with criminals before?”
The captain rolled his eyes and then looked over to Dr. Rivers. “Would you care to demonstrate?”
Bell had remained silent, letting the scenario play out. At the request she asked, “Should I use her or the suspect?”
“Oh please, be my guest,” answered the captain gesturing toward Ross.
“Very well,” she said and turned to the detective. “You’re married with four children although two of them are from your husband’s previous marriage. You’ve been on the force long enough to become a sergeant but you won’t take the test because it will take you off the streets. You were born in the Midwest but moved around a lot, no doubt, due to the fact that your father was in the military. You are an only child. You write in your spare time, probably science fiction, in order to escape the gruesome reality of your job. You’ve never been to college but maintain an extensive vocabulary as not to be left out when questioning a suspect. You value strength and honesty above all else in a person but maintain that you’re not a hypocrite because when you lie, it’s for the job.”
Bell finished her display of skill with a slight nod and then settled back into her chair. Ross sat there with her mouth open. “Am I right?” asked Dr. Rivers.
“How?” was all Tracy could manage.
The doctor took a large breath to explain. “You have pictures of all your family on your desk with the two children that look nothing like you pushed behind your birth children. You carry the title of Sergeant but you are clearly territorial when it comes to your cases leading me to believe it is the same with the area your precinct covers. Your accent betrays your longest residence to have been somewhere in between Indiana and Iowa but you also have hints of Southern California and North Carolina. I’m betting daddy was career Navy, particularly because of the bases available in the previously mentioned locations. The only child part was a guess. You have a callus on your middle finger where your pen rests when you write which also attests to the fact that you don’t use a computer unless you are at work. Probably because they don’t quite live up to the standards that you’ve set for them based on your own writing. The science fiction tip off was because of the Trust No One mug sitting on your desk. I’m a fan of Scully myself. You have an above normal vocabulary for a civil servant however; you don’t flaunt it by displaying a diploma leading me to believe you don’t posses one in the first place. As for the theory about your stance on lying, most cops feel that way and fortunately for me, you’re like all the rest,” answered Bell with a smirk and then turned to the captain. “Be sure to give Sharon my love Robert, I haven’t seen her for a while.”
Ross sat there shaking her head. Who was this woman, The Librarian?
“Now that we’ve got that out of the way, see if you can get some answers out of our perp.” The captain dismissed the two women with a last order to get Chase stitched up.
On their way back to the interview room Ross stopped Bell with a hand on her arm. “You have worked with criminals before right?”
“Yes detective I have. Every once in a while our great city calls upon me to assist with an odd perpetrator or two. I’ve helped get confessions out of more than one suspect.”
Ross could tell that in the process of putting on her little display, the doctor had almost slipped in to another personality. She now seemed to act as if she was a woman with a PHD behind her name instead of the smart-assed EMT from before. “Does Toby know about you?”
“Yes he does.”
“How does he feel about having a know-it-all for a partner?”
“I would assume the same way your partner feels detective Ross,” Bell answered with a smile.
Ross smiled back, “So what can you tell me about our suspect?”
“Not much I’m afraid. She was clearly traumatized but I don’t think it was from the four murders that you say she committed. Her wounds obviously indicate that there was a struggle but I can’t yet determine whether they were defensive or not.”
“Normally anyone with a slice like that on their back got it running away. One of the men obviously fought back and injured her in the process.”
“Let’s find out shall we,” said Bell gesturing for Ross to go ahead of her.
A few seconds later, both women were standing in the observation room looking in on Chase and Toby. The two were sitting at the table having an intense discussion. Ross pushed the button on the intercom to listen in.
“So you’re saying I should just ask her and get it over with?” asked Toby.
“And you think she’ll understand?”
Chase nodded again.
“I hope you’re right and I’m not making a huge mistake.”
Chase reached out her cuffed hands and touched Toby lightly on the arm, “She truly loves you; she will understand.”
Toby smiled wide, “Thanks Chase.”
“Well that’s interesting,” said Bell after Ross released the com button.
“You can say that again. Come on, let’s get her cleaned up.”
The two women opened the door to the interview room and walked in. “The good doctor here has agreed to stitch you up Chase. It may take a while however, so I’m going to continue my questioning while she works.”
“Toby I can handle this. Why don’t you knock off for the day and take the rig back to the station,” said Bell with a look that told her partner not to argue.
“Sure thing boss,” he said rising from his chair. “Take care Chase, thanks for the advice.” Chase just nodded her acknowledgement and watched him leave the room.
“Chase I’m going to need you to stand up and sit backwards on your chair.” Chase did as the doctor bid and Bell peeled her shirt up once more. As Dr. Rivers worked, detective Ross began her questioning.
“How about you tell me what happened,” suggested Ross as she retrieved a file folder from the counter just outside the door. Chase gave no response. “It just surprises me that someone who could accomplish what you did wouldn’t want to brag about it.” Ross began laying out pictures of the crime scene. The first was of a young man lying face down in a pool of own blood, his throat slit, his arm bent at an odd angle and his leg severed just above the knee. “This one was a little sloppy I have to say.”
Bell refrained from speaking as she watched Chase for any reaction to the photos. She worked slowly, trying to draw out the procedure, allowing her ample time to observe the other woman. Ross drew out another picture and laid it next to the previous one. This one showed an older gentleman sitting in a chair. He looked peaceful, all except for the fact that he was eviscerated. Blood was all over the body as well as the surrounding area. Chase looked at the picture and Bell saw a flash of rage gleam in her eye.
Ross must have registered it also because she decided to exploit it. “What did he do, tell you you’re not pretty enough?” If the comment struck a cord, there was no indication. Chase just sat staring at the picture, her gaze never faltering from the image of the dead man. Ross laid out the next picture; this one of a younger man. He was more muscular that the other two and taller from what bell could tell. His body had been cut in half at the waist. Bell had to look away to finish cleaning the wound but Chase just continued to stare.
“This one is my personal favorite,” said Ross laying out the final picture. This one was of a reasonably good-looking man. The only problem seemed to be the fact that his head was severed from his body. Looking closer, Bell also noticed that his genitalia had been removed and laid next to his body. “There are more than a couple men I’ve wanted to do that to.”
Chase never said a word. Bell felt the body in front of her shift as the suspect reached forward and picked up the last picture. With a look of satisfaction on her face, she folded the photo into fourths and tucked it into the front pocket of the pants she was wearing. “Keeping a memento?” asked Bell.
“Yes ma’am,” answered the woman with steel in her voice.
“Why him?” asked Ross, but got no response.
“Why that man?” asked Dr. Rivers.
“He is deserving,” Chase said as she turned to look at Bell out of the corner of her eye. Her eyes held a mixture of respect and hate in them that was new to the doctor.
“How did you get this wound,” asked Dr. Rivers.
“Momentary lapse in concentration,” Chase deadpanned.
“That’s one painful moment,” remarked Ross with a snicker.
“I’m going to start putting the stitches in now. Because of the questioning, I won’t be able to give you any pain meds, do you understand?” Bell asked her patient.
“We have your permission on the record to continue?” asked Ross.
As the doctor began to sew, she heard Ross say, “We found your sword.”
Both Chase and Dr. River’s heads shot up at the declaration. “The lab is testing it and matching the blood on the blade to the blood of these victims.”
“Is it whole?” asked the suspect in a strained voice.
“The sword? Now why would that matter?”
Chase didn’t respond.
“If it’s so important to you, why did you leave it behind?” asked Dr. Rivers.
“I didn’t, I lost it,” said Chase lowering her head. If the stitches were causing her any pain, she didn’t show it. However, Bell could tell that loosing that sword pained the woman deeply.
“Why does it mean so much?”
“I owe my life to it.”
“You used it to kill these men,” stated detective Ross.
For the first time Chase answered her, “No.”
It was short answer but it was still progress. “Who is the man in the picture? The one you put in your pocket,” asked Ross.
“What’s his real name?”
“I don’t know.”
“What about the other three men? Do they count enough to have names?” asked Ross with a little bite in her voice.
“I don’t know.”
Ross was about to ask another question when there was a knock on the mirror. She stood up, “Will you be okay?” she asked Bell.
“I think we’ll be fine.”
Ross nodded and exited the room. When she made it into the observation room, she ran into Jim and the captain.
“We got a hit on her prints in the system,” said Jim handing her a file. “Her name is Veronica Chase. She’s an award winning martial artist and has master level skill in weapons that I don’t even know how to pronounce.” Ross flipped through her file as he spoke. “Seems her favorite of these weapons is the sword; but hold on for the kicker. Miss sunshine is out on bail pending trial. She’s been charged with the rape and murder of one Angelica Worthington.”
Ross came upon Angelica’s crime scene photos. She felt the bile rise in her throat and had to look away to keep from vomiting. “Extra special aren’t they? She was also killed with a sword and our suspects fingerprints were found all over the scene including on the murder weapon and the body. After Veronica made bail the weapon came up missing from evidence until it was found, guess where.”
“At our crime scene,” said Ross.
“Bingo! We’ve got this wrapped up. No jury in the world can deny all of the physical evidence we have on this broad.”
“I want this sealed with a confession detectives,” said Captain Fredericks. “Get the doc to help you and see if while she’s at it, she can’t deem Ms. Chase fit for trial.”
After Ross stepped from the room things settled into an eerie calm. Bell worked in the stitches as Chase just sat there. The suspect kept her eyes closed, almost as if she were meditating. “Does the meditation help with the pain?”
“Depends on which pain you’re talking about.”
“You have more than one pain?” queried Bell as she began her last stitch.
“I now have many types of pain, only one of them is physical,” Chase wearily said.
“Why is that?”
“Loss, the only real cause of pain.”
Bell considered this as she finished her final stitch and began to clean the wound. “I can think of a couple of other causes, like rejection, hate, or envy. Guilt can also cause a lot of pain if it’s strong enough.”
“Yes, guilt is very painful.”
“Do you have guilt?” asked Bell as she moved to sit beside Chase.
“Yes,” she reluctantly replied. “So much it threatens to crush me.”
“Guilt can also be alleviated. You can stop its pain by talking about it. Once you understand it, you can let it go, get rid of the pain.”
“I don’t deserve to get rid of the pain,” Chase said as a tear rolled down her cheek
The door burst open allowing an infuriated Ross to enter. She stalked to the table and slapped down another picture. This one was of a woman that looked suspiciously like Dr. Rivers. She was bound at the wrists and gagged, with what looked like an old rag. Her clothes were hanging off her in tatters and soaked through with blood. Anyone looking at the picture could tell the woman had been savagely raped and beaten. The final deathblow was a sword wound to the gut. Someone had stabbed this woman so hard that the sword was embedded in the floor beneath the woman’s body.
Chase reacted physically to the photo, pulling back and turning her head to the side. “Angelica Worthington. Did you kill her too?” yelled Ross. Chase’s head snapped around to stare at the detective. “Did she tell you to stop? Did she scream for mercy while you raped her with a broom handle?” Tears were streaming freely down Chase’s face.
“Detective, you should stop,” said Bell as calmly as possible.
If Ross heard her, she didn’t obey. “How about when you took a knife blade to her, or when you hit her in the head hard enough to crack her skull. Was she still able to plead for her life before you ran her through?”
A split second after the question had left her lips; Ross witnessed the explosion of rage on chase’s face before she even felt the physical impact. A roar erupted from the enraged woman and as she stood the metal table was ripped free from the brackets holding it to the floor. Chase overturned it and continued her forward momentum until she came in contact with detective Ross. Tracy had just enough time to un-holster her weapon and get one shot off before her gun hand was forced above her head. Chase held the detective’s arm as she slammed her into the two-way mirror.
Squeezing detective Ross’ wrist to the breaking point, Chase spoke. “She was my wife.” The statement came out in a choked sob. “They violated her in front of me. They beat her while I watched helpless to defend her. They laughed at me when I had to look away because I could no longer bear to see the love left for me in her eyes. They deserved what they got. I only wish they each had another life so that I could take that one from them as well.”
Two other detectives rushed into the room and grabbed Chase by the shoulders. As they pulled her away from Ross, the detective saw that her one shot had hit its mark. “Call a bus,” she yelled toward the door. Chase was loosing energy quickly as Bell came away from the opposite wall of the room to check on her.
“Ah God,” said Bell dropping to her knees as the two detectives lowered Chase to the ground. She could tell by the amount of blood pouring out of the chest wound that EMS would be too late. She grabbed a packet of sterile gauze that was lying on the floor from the table being overturned. Ripping it open with her teeth, she then pressed it firmly onto the woman’s chest. “Grab that bag over there,” Bell shouted to one of the detectives.
The bag was thrust towards her as she ripped open the front of Chase’s shirt. “Chase, can you hear me?” There was no response from the prone woman. “Hold on, don’t you go anywhere,” she said as she touched the woman’s neck finding a week pulse. “Chase!” she shouted again. This time a pair of eyes locked onto her.
“Angelica?” she rasped.
“She thinks you’re the dead girl, her wife,” said Ross moving closer.
Bell made a quick decision, “Yeah honey it’s me.”
“I thought they killed you.”
“No,” said Bell putting more pressure on the wound. “How could anyone hurt me with you around,” she said with tears in her eyes.
“I’d kill ‘em,” Chase rasped with a smile. Bell began to pull away to get more gauze and Chase caught her hand. “Don’t leave me.”
Bell gave up; there was nothing more she could do for this woman except make her comfortable. “I’m not going anywhere,” she said as she lowered herself to lye next to the dying woman.
Chase never took her eyes off Bell. When the doctor was finally settled next to her she said, “I’m tired my love.”
Bell choked back a sob. She caressed the side of Chase’s face, “Then you should sleep. You rest, and when you wake up I’ll be waiting right here for you.” The bleeding woman nodded her head slightly and then closed her eyes. It only took a few more moments for her to stop breathing, but to Bell, those few moments felt like an eternity.
Laying Chase’s hand gently on the floor, she got up and walked numbly out of interview room. Ross followed her, “Dr. Rivers, are you hurt?”
“No detective, fortunately for me, none of this blood is mine.” Bell stopped walking and looked at Tracy standing there holding her wrist. “You should put some ice on that and keep it elevated.”
“I’m more worried about you. I think you should have a seat.”
“You’re probably right,” said Bell pulling over a nearby chair.
A long silence stretched out between the two women as they watched the EMS enter the interview room. There was a myriad of activity around the squad but both women were riveted to the interview room door. Detectives came and went, so did the Captain, pausing to say a few words. When they finally wheeled the body out Bell stood abruptly and said she had to leave.
“Let me get one of the uniforms to take you home,” said Ross. Bell nodded her consent and Ross made the call. “I’m sorry…I didn’t…” began Ross after she hung up the phone.
Dr. Rivers held up a hand to silence the other woman. “No matter what words you come up with to explain what happened in there, they will still fall short of giving me the answer that I’m looking for.” An officer appeared in the squad-room door and Bell walked toward him robotically without another word.
Dr. Rivers stood on the front step of her house. As the squad car pulled away, the front door was wrenched open to reveal a worried looking woman. “Oh my God, baby come here, are you ok?” Bell let the other woman guide her into the house and upstairs to the bathroom. “What happened love?”
When Bell could take standing next to her wife no longer she threw herself into the larger woman’s arms. She sobbed for what felt like days as she told Chase’s story. Her wife lovingly listened while she undressed her smaller partner and herself and started the water for a shower. She listened while she washed Bell and then herself. She listened while she dried both of them off and laid them both down in bed. When Bell was finally still in her embrace, the woman spoke.
“I’m so sorry this happened honey.”
“Me too,” said Bell as she turned to look at her wife. “Would you have done the same for me?”
“Without even thinking about it,” said her wife nodding as a tear rolled down her cheek. “No one would have been able to stop me.”
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