It was a cool night in Boston, and I had just closed my eyes when my phone rang. I sighed. "Isles," I answered.
Jane had called to say they needed some, as she put it, "unique" help on a scene.
I sighed again. "Okay, Jane, be right over."
When I got there, Jane smiled and patted my shoulder in greeting, pointing upstairs. "There's a little girl up there. She's in bad shape, Maura. We think she may have seen something, but she seems scared of us, so I thought you could try."
I gave my friend an uneasy look. "Okay, I can try,"
Jane smiled and patted my shoulder again. "Second door on the left."
I nodded, going up and knocking. "Can I come in?" I asked tentatively.
"Are- are you the police?" came the small, shaky voice.
"No, sweetheart, I'm not," I said in what I hoped was a soothing tone. "My name is Maura. I'm a doctor. Will you let me in?"
"Turn knob," she told me simply. "Door is never locked."
I did like she said and found her in the corner of her white bedroom, curled up tight with her arms around a small blue teddy bear. I stepped closer, but she shrank back. "No, no," I whispered. "don't be afraid."
"You- you not hurt?" she asked me softly,
I smiled to put her at ease and shook my head. "No, Sweetheart. I won't hurt you. Can you tell me your name?"
She looked at me uneasily, as if she weren't sure how to pose the question I could tell she wanted to ask.
"What is it, Baby?" I asked her gently,
"I sit in your lap?" she inquired, her voice a scared whisper.
I smiled, opening my arms to her, surprised that she had become so comfortable with me so quickly. "Sure, Honey," I replied, "Come on over."
She smiled, her eyes still brimming with uncertainty as she let me gather her into my arms.
"Now can I know your name, Little One?" I questioned as I stroked her wavy red locks.
"Emery," she replied.
I smiled softly. "Emery. That's a pretty name."
She took my hand and held it tight. "What you say your name was?" she asked.
"My name is Maura."
"You work with the police?"
"Sort of, yes. How old are you, Emery?"
She held up three fingers, and I smiled, "Okay, can doctor Maura look you over?"
She looked worried,
"What is it?"
"Sometimes I let a doctor close and he hurt."
I tilted my head. "How, Em?"
She didn't seem sure how to answer. "he tell me I not supposed to tell, Doctor Maura," she finally said. "He say it's only our game."
I sighed. I knew where she was going with this, and I didn't want to press her, but in order to help her, I needed to know more. "Emery, you can tell me. I can help."
"Bad touch," she whispered. "He touches between my legs. It hurts. I try to scream, but he cover my mouth and hold me down, saying it's okay, is how is supposed to happen." She started to cry, and I stroked her hair, kissing her forehead, "Sweetheart, where are you when this happens?" I asked.
"I'm in his office. He not let anyone in the office if I with him. I tell him I would tell, and he slap me and tell me he will hurt Mommy and Daddy if I tell. I tell Mommy earlier tonight."
"Then what happened?"
"She hug me tight, say it was over, and she go and she tell the police. When she come home, she tell me the police were going to talk to him. Then I go to bed, and a loud bang wake me up. I go to top of the stairs, and I see doctor. He has a gun. He's shot Mommy. I cover my mouth, and I watch him do same to Daddy."
"What's his name?" I asked.
"Okay, Sweetheart," I said let's get you out of here."
"Where I go?"
"You'll come with me."
"Okay," she agreed, burrowing into my chest tiredly.
Now came the real test. Telling Jane.