Epilogue

He held her as she sobbed silently, rocking her back and forth in his arms, the cold kitchen tile touching their intertwined feet. The clock ticking behind them the only sound apart from the muffled breathing. He pulled her tightly to him but she was already as close as she could get. She was in his lap, against his chest, hands pulled tightly in front of her. He was helpless as he watched her shake against him, pouring out tears of anger and sadness. He had cried too. Cried for her and all that she was going through. He couldn't protect her. Not from this.

It hadn't even been three weeks, the case didn't have a chance to go to trial. He had been found this morning in his cell, bludgeoned to death. No leads, no suspects but highly suspicious. Cullen had called him and told him and he drove to the Jeffersonian. Once inside, every step felt like lead. He had reached the platform and stopped, watching her explain something to Zach, wishing that he didn't have to tell her. Wishing for the thousandth time since everything started that he could take her away from this, shield her from the pain. She had turned to look at him before he announced his presence and could tell immediately from his face that something was wrong. He tried to lead her to her office but she insisted, so in the middle of the Jeffersonian with the squints watching, he informed her that her father had been killed.

She hadn't said anything, just let him lead her outside to the car where he drove her home. And while she was making a cup of tea in the kitchen, she collapsed in anguish. He looked down at her still trembling body. He brushed her sticky hair away from her face and kissed her hair. His shirt was wet from her tearstains, his hands sweaty from holding her. While one hand cradled her, the other was rubbing her back in slow circles.

They stayed like that long after the sun had gone down, neither of them willing to break from their embrace to eat anything. He stroked her hair and looking down, realized that she had finally fallen asleep. Slowly rising, he lifted her and carried her through the living room and into her bedroom. Laying her down on the bed, he pulled back the covers and tucked her in. Then he lay down next to her and pulled her close. She immediately nestled against him and her shallow rhythmic breathing calmed him. Before he drifted off to sleep he decided he would find out the truth for her. That was one thing that he could do to ease her pain.