A/N: Again, sorry this has taken so long, but it is slightly longer than the others, so hopefully that will make up for it. Please review. I'm open to suggestions, and reviews make me happy... again, a happy paramedic is a good paramedic, so...
Whatever else might be going on in Abby Williams' mind, she was definitely traumatized by the situation. Morgan was trying to ask questions in a general enough manner to avoid coming right out and telling her about the new murders too early in the interview. Her face read anger as she talked about her former best friend accusing her of not trying to save the woman, but her voice simply said exhausted. She had been asked too many questions by too many people, had too many accusations thrown at her. After ten minutes, Morgan was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that she had done everything in her power to save the woman she was being accused of killing. Unfortunately, that wasn't what he was there to determine. She had been there alone in the cabin for the last week, with only Mike and Linda occasionally checking on her. Not the best alibi, but she had no vehicle, and it was a long hike out of the woods.
Finally, he had said all he could without telling her everything. He dreaded this. The girl was emotionally fragile, already pushed past what most people have to deal with at once. She sat on the pale green sofa with her knees pulled to her chest, tears on her voice but not on her face: there had been too much of that already over the accusations. And what Morgan was about to tell her would go even deeper. He dreaded having to say it.
He glanced up at Mike, making eye contact, searching for any sign that the girl couldn't handle this. The older man nodded slightly, and sat on the arm of the sofa beside Abby, putting his hand on her shoulder. Linda scooted closer to her and put her arm around her. Morgan cleared his throat. "Abby, you know that I'm not here about the accusations on Topix, right?"
She thought about it for a second. "The FBI did seem a little extreme for a malpractice case. So why are you here?"
"Do you hunt?" He asked.
Abby shrugged. "Sometimes. Why?"
"What kind of gun do you use?"
"12-gauge, led slugs. Again, why?"
"Have you ever fired a rifle? .30-.06?"
She shook her head. "No, not that I remember. Maybe when I was little, before my dad died."
She genuinely considered that answer, so Morgan realized that she probably had no idea what that type of gun looked like. No one "really little" fired one of those. He turned to Mike. "Do you have any guns here?"
"Of course I do… Do you realize how far out in the woods we are? Would you expect me to not have the means to protect my family?"
"No, sir, I was just asking. Is one of them a .30-.06 by any chance?"
Abby looked over at Mike suddenly. "What's going on here?"
He ignored her with a wince and focused on Morgan. "No. I have a .22 rifle, a .38 pistol, and I think Abby has her shotgun here waiting for hunting season, right Abby?"
"Yeah. What is going on here? Will someone tell me?"
Linda pulled the girl into a hug, and turned to face Morgan. "Tell her."
Morgan adjusted his position, no longer the interrogator, now simply the one delivering bad news to a family or friend. "Abby, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Anna McDowell and David Bowers were killed. We're here investigating their murders."
Abby sat up quickly, dropping her feet to the floor and pulling away from Linda's embrace and Mike's hand. "And you think I did it?! Since I wasn't able to save a dying old woman, you think I'm capable of murdering my partner and my boss?!"
Morgan didn't flinch from either her statement or her glare, but met her eyes firmly. "No. I don't. And I don't think you let that woman die either. But I'm a profiler, and you fit the profile and I had to talk to you. You need to know that you are considered a suspect, though."
"Doesn't your profile tell you anything useful?" She demanded. "Like that if I was capable of what they say I am, the only person I'd murder is Connor Matthews? If that creep is still breathing, you can be sure that I haven't killed anyone!"
"Abby!" Exclaimed Mike. "I thought it went without saying that you don't confess homicidal thoughts to the FBI!"
Abby closed her eyes and took a deep breath. The tears she had refused to let fall slipped loose and trailed down her cheeks. When she opened her eyes, she looked at Mike rather than Morgan. "It's not true, right? He's making it up? It's some profiler trick to get me to confess to something, right? Anna and David can't be-" The sorrow she saw on her friend's face stopped her in mid-sentence and she started crying.
Almost instantly, Linda pulled her into a tight embrace, and Mike dropped to his knees on the floor in front of them. He put a hand on his wife's knee and the other on Abby's head and started praying. Morgan turned away, and the man was talking very low, so he understood very little. "Be with their loved ones" and "protect our family" and "we trust in You". Sounded like a standard prayer, Abby looked up at Mike and started speaking. By the second word, he and his wife were reciting it with her:
O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
2 Many are saying of me,
"God will not deliver him."
3 But you are a shield around me, O LORD;
you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
4 To the LORD I cry aloud,
and he answers me from his holy hill.
5 I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
6 I will not fear the tens of thousands
drawn up against me on every side.
7 Arise, O LORD!
Deliver me, O my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
8 From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
Morgan had tried not to eavesdrop on the family prayer, but this caught his attention. When they had finished, Abby met his gaze. "It's the third psalm," she explained, wiping her tears on the sleeve of her sweatshirt. "It's became my favorite since the whole mess started, since it seems everyone is against me. Not many people have been on my side." Her voice cracked again, but she held her ground. "David has… had… been great. And Anna. And Mike and Linda of course, they've stood by my side from the beginning. And Zack. And our pastor. And that's about it. I've been fighting on all sides." She shivered, and Mike stood to put a steadying hand on the quaking shoulders.
The radio on Morgan's belt let out a burst of static, then Hotch's voice came across. "Morgan? Are you still on the porch?"
He unclipped the radio. "Just a second," he told them. "Gotta check in with the team." He pushed the transmit button, and addressed Hotch. "No, I'm inside. Abby and her family decided to talk to me." Abby smiled at the 'family' comment, and leaned against Linda's shoulder.
Hotch's static-filled voice came through with no confusing the seriousness in he tone. "Then maybe you need to step outside a moment."
"If you guys will excuse me…" He stood and headed back for the porch.
When he came back in a few minutes later, his relaxed demeanor was gone, leaving him every bit as tense as Hotch's voice suggested he was. "I have good news and bad news," He stated flatly. "The good news is that Abby is no longer a suspect."
Linda smiled broadly. "That's wonderful!" Abby and Mike, however, exchanged worried frowns. "Isn't it?"
Abby shook her head. "If they've determined I'm not a suspect in the last few minutes, something bad happened."
Morgan intentionally didn't address that. "What can you tell me about Zack Miller?"
Her spine straightened instantly, eyes flashing with indignant fire. "Zack did NOT do this! He is the kindest, most gentle, and possibly most naïve person in the world! He would never hurt anyone, ever! I'm done talking to you if he's a suspect!"
Mike caught the truth from Morgan's eyes a split-second before he spoke and slouched back down to the floor. "Abby," Morgan continued slowly. "Zack isn't a suspect. I'm sorry. He was killed ten minutes ago."