Chapter Eight

Holly stared down at the results in front of her wondering how it was possible, the evidence was undeniable but Holly couldn't wrap her mind around it. She had been waiting for the results of the comparison test that they were running to see if they could get a match on which instruments the killer might be using. It was a long shot, but they had nothing else they could do. There was no other evidence to run and no chance of catching this killer unless they were willing to try everything. She never expected there to be a match. And not just a match on one of the instruments but all of them. Someone was using a medical examiner kit that was identical to her own.

"How is this possible?" Holly asked looking up from the results at Victoria who was just as baffled as she was.

"Where is your kit?" Victoria asked.

"I keep it locked up in my office when I'm not using it." Holly said pulling out her key ring and showing Victoria the key.

"Is it still there?"

"I think so."

"Go check."

Holly walked quickly towards her office, though she tried to keep her pace controlled so not to alarm anyone that she walked past. She thought back to when she had last used her kit, then had it cleaned and then it was returned to her. She remembered putting it in the drawer to her office and locking it. She had the only key, it was protocol, and no one else was allowed a key to her desk except for Charles.

Kneeling down in front of her desk drawer Holly slid the key into the lock and turned it, hearing it click and pop open. Looking inside the drawer that housed nothing else but her kit, kept in a metal case that held each instrument in its place. What greeted her site was what she expected to find. Her kit was right where she put it. But there was something different about it, it took a moment for Holly to figure out what it was exactly until she saw just the edge of a yellow post-it note sticking out from underneath the kit. From the same stack of post-it notes she had on her desk.

Very good Holly.

The words scribbled made Holly want to throw up. The killer had been in her office, an office that only two people had access to at any given time. This was her space, and the killer had invaded it. Come into a secure building that they had checked and double checked the security over and over. The lab was harder to get into now than it ever had before. How was it possible?

Pulling her phone from her back pocket Holly dialed Victoria's number and listened as it rang.

"He was in my office." Holly spat as soon as the line picked up. There was a curse heard through the line and then Victoria told her not to touch anything. Holly wanted to point out that she knew what to do at a crime scene but she still couldn't quite think of her office as such a thing.

Within ten minutes her office was swarming with lab techs, each one of them inspecting every inch of the room for finger prints and any trace bit of evidence they might be able to find. Victoria stood beside Holly watching as the office was turned over, Charles stood on the other side his concern more for Holly.

"Who has been in here with you over the last week so that we can start eliminating finger prints? I need you to be as specific as possible." Charles said. He didn't want to think that anyone from the lab might be the one responsible but there was no one else that could have entered without someone noticing.

"Gail, and some of the officers from 15-"

"Which ones?"

"Officers Diaz, Epstein, Price, Shaw, and McNally. Detectives Nash and Callahan. Um, my assistant Zach and then you two. No one else." Holly said.

"You're sure?"

"Yeah. Unless they were here when I wasn't."

"Okay. I have to call Staff Sargent Best." Charles said excusing himself.

"This bastard was in my office Victoria." Holly said looking at her coworker. The taller woman looked over at Holly, there was no mistaking the sympathy that Victoria felt. But that wasn't what she wanted right now, Holly wanted this person found.

"We'll find out who is doing this Holly." Holly scoffed, she hated hearing that phrase. She'd been hearing so much of it lately.

"Why me?" Holly asked knowing that Victoria didn't know the answer. But she needed to know why this person seemed Hell bent on bringing Holly into his fantasy. Her head was spinning and she really wished that she at least knew that much. Did she know who this person was? How could anyone that she knew do something as atrocious as this?

"Holly, it's going to be okay."

"You don't know that."

"You need to believe it otherwise this bastard is going to win." Victoria said.

"I need some air. I'll be on the roof."

"You shouldn't go alone." Victoria cautioned. Holly looked up in time to see Oliver walking through the door.

"I have my shadow."

Holly took the stairs, she needed to work off some of the tension that filled her body. It felt like a coil winding tighter and tighter throughout her entire body and she didn't know how to relieve it. She wanted to scream, she wanted to demand answers but she didn't even know how to ask answers from. Oliver followed her dutifully and silently. He could tell just by looking at her that Holly didn't need words right now, he didn't want idle conversation she wanted answers and he didn't have any to give to her. They would tear apart her office but he doubted that they would find anything. The killer had been too good so far to leave any evidence behind.

The fresh air felt nice as Holly drew deep breaths in and out, it didn't help her calm down any but at least she didn't feel like she was suffocating. Looking at the Toronto skyline Holly wondered where the killer was. Which of the buildings before her was offering shelter to this monster that was slowly destroying her sanity.

"What do you tell victims to make them feel better Oliver?" Holly asked her tone even, and startling calm.

"You aren't a victim darlin'." Oliver said coming to stand behind Holly.

"Then why do I feel like one? He was in my office. He got into a building that is supposed to be secure. I'm supposed to feel safe here so tell me how am I not supposed to feel like a victim when he came into my office and wrote me a note and left it in a locked drawer?" Holly demanded, her voice shaking but she wasn't sure if it was with rage or if it was from pain.

Oliver looked at the woman before her and saw how Holly was trying to keep herself strong. She was trying not to let the tears fall from her eyes but in fighting it her entire body had started to shake.

"Everyone keeps telling me we're going to find him. We're going to stop him from hurting anyone else and yet we can't. There is no evidence, there is nothing that is helping us narrow down who might be doing this. So he's going to keep killing and he's going to keep gloating about it until I lose my mind." Holly heard the door to the roof open and found that Gail was standing there looking at her, worry etched all over her face.

"Stay strong." Was his parting advice before he retreated and let Gail and Holly have their privacy. Gail watched as Holly turned her back and looked back at the skyline. Her heart broke at the sight, she knew that Holly felt responsible and victimized and Gail didn't know how to make Holly not feel that way. Coming up behind Holly all Gail did was wrap her arms around Holly's waist and rest her chin on Holly's shoulder inhaling her girlfriends scent.

"What can I do?" Gail asked finally. Holly took a deep breath and shrugged, if only she knew what could be done to make this feeling go away. How she could think about going back downstairs and getting back to work.

"Would you think any less of me if I wanted to pick up and run?" Holly asked. Gail thought about the question, wondering how serious Holly was about her question.

"I wouldn't think any less of you. If it meant keeping you safe I would take you to the airport right now." Gail answered.

"Then he kills again, brutally like he did before. Or he follows me. What do I do Gail?"

"We don't let him win."

"Don't say not to worry because we're going to find him. I'm so sick of hearing that."

"I'm not."

"I'm scared Gail." Gail's arms tightened around Holly, kissing her shoulder before she turned Holly to face her.

"I am not going to let anything happen to you."

"I know."

Holly waited for her entire home to be checked, she watched as officers looked in every room and looked herself to see if anything was out of place. It looked the same as it had when she had left that morning. Gail stood beside her, still in her uniform with gun belt on. She hadn't liked the idea of Gail bringing her gun home with them but when Gail had come with a small safe to keep the gun secure Holly had relented. Gail had shown her how to open it and made Holly try it several time until she could wake up and open the safe, draw the gun and aim in under a minute.

Once the town home was secure the cops filed out except for one of the officers that would now be staying in the apartment as well as another outside. Holly wanted to be stubborn and tell them that she didn't need it. But at the same time it made her feel safe knowing that they were there. In this case, Traci was sitting on the couch making no indication that she was going anywhere and outside sitting in an unmarked car Steve. The two seemed to have been able to work through some of their issues to the point where Traci didn't want to strike him whenever she saw him.

"I'm going to take a shower." Holly said once the three women were alone. Gail watched Holly disappear upstairs and then sat next to Traci.

"I don't know what to do Traci." Gail confessed looking at her friend. Traci placed her hand on Gail's leg comfortingly, she didn't know what to tell Gail either.

"We're going to focus on keeping Holly safe right now. Everyone is looking for this guy and we're going to find him. Do you have any idea who might be doing this?"

"No idea. I've thought about everyone that I have interviewed when Luke had me looking into Holly's past. And everyone seems to have fond memories of her. Even her ex-girlfriend that cheated on her."

"What about the boyfriend? Do you think he might have some latent jealousy?"

"Enough to do this to her? I didn't talk to him, but it seems like if he got the girl in the end then why would he want to do this to Holly?" Gail asked.

"Who knows why people do things. I think we should look into him at the very least." Traci suggested. Gail nodded, she had always been a good judge of character and was good at the "spot the criminal" game. It was something that her mother had made her and Steve practice when they were kids. They had to watch films of closed cases and they would have to point out who they thought the criminal was. Gail had been really good at it.


"Are you okay?"

"What do you mean?"

"This is Holly, I know how you are around her. You're trying to be strong for her so that she can lean on you but I know that even the great Gail Peck still feels. If you want to talk, I'm here." Traci promised.

"Thanks Trace. But I think I'll only be okay when we catch this son of a bitch."