Maura nearly tripped and fell as she ran up toward the house in five inch heals. It was nighttime but the yard was lit with street lights and the flashing lights of half a dozen squad cars. Policeman and EMTs were scattered around the front lawn. Maura grabbed the first person that she literally ran into.

"Dr. Maura Isles, Medical Examiner's office." she panted. "What's the status?"

Before the officer could speak, the radio on his shoulder squawked. "Scene secure. Officer down. We need EMTs in here STAT!"

Without waiting for a response, Maura tore the rest of the way up the lawn toward the house. After pushing past some officers, Maura's eyes locked onto Korsak who was standing in a doorway visibly shaken. Maura's stomach plummeted.

"Korsak!" Maura called. "Where is she? Where's Jane?"

"I tried to cover her up..." Korsak whispered with a far away almost bewildered look in his eyes. "I... I was scaring her... I've never seen her like that..."

As Korsak's voice trailed off, Maura pushed past him into the parlor.

Jane was lying on the floor on her stomach; her head turned facing the door. Her clothes were rumpled and significantly torn allowing Maura to see the dried cuts and bruises on the exposed skin. Most shocking, though, were Jane's hands which were splayed out before her nailed to the floor in pools of drying blood.

Maura crossed the room in two strides and dropped to the floor. Barely conscious, Jane seemed to sense a close presence quickly recoiled in fear.

Maura immediately stilled her movements.

"Jane...?" Maura said softly. "Jane... can you hear me?"

Jane continued to look blankly at the floor at a random point a few feet away.

Moving ever so slowly, Maura toed out of her heels and crouched down farther into Jane's field of vision.

"Jane... Sweetie..." Maura hesitated. Sensing other people entering the room behind her, Maura quickly held up her hand. Their movement paused immediately.

"It's Maura... he's gone Sweetie..." Maura continued softly. "Can you look at me? It's just me..."

After a couple seconds, Jane's eyes hazily moved to Maura's face.

"Hey there.." Maura smiled sadly. "You're safe now, Jane. He's gone. We're going to get out of here, okay?"

Jane didn't respond but continued to hold Maura's gaze as a single tear slid down her cheek.

"Okay." Maura said softly but matter-of-factly as if answering her own question.

Maura slowly slid off her trench coat and gently laid the $2000 coat over her friend's battered body. As she did so she did a quick visual assessment of Jane's injuries.

"I need a medical bag." Maura said flatly without looking up addressing no one in particular.

"Jane..." Maura said her voice and features suddenly soft again. "I need to put in an IV, okay?..."

As she spoke Maura slowly reached out and put her hand on Jane's side. Jane's weak body jumped slightly at the contact.

"Jane, it's just me remember?" Maura said gently.

Maura reached behind herself to where an EMT had approached. Taking the bottle of iodine from the EMT, she turned back to Jane and rubbed her thumb on Jane's back in what she hoped was a comforting gesture.

Maura made quick work of inserting the line and then handed the foley bag back to the EMT who pushed in morphine through a syringe.

When Maura looked up again she saw a young rescue officer approach with a pair of heavy pliers.

"No." Maura said authoritatively. "We can't risk severing an artery. The nails have to be surgically removed at the hospital."

Startled, the rescue worker walked quickly out of the room to bring back something that could be used to cut the floor.

"Maura?" Jane's voice cracked.

Maura knelt closer and began brushing the hair away from her face. "I'm right here, Sweetie" Maura said softly.

"Hurts." Jane whispered.

Maura's heart broke at the pain and hollowness in Jane's voice.

"I know." Maura said as she blinked back the tears in her eyes. "Stay with me, Jane. We'll get you out of here."

Maura shot up from her chair in the waiting room as a young female surgeon approached the group.

"Dr. Thomas," Maura said quickly "how's Jane?"

Dr. Thomas reached out and put a comforting hand on Maura's bicep. "She's stable, Maura." the doctor said comfortingly. "She's in recovery."

Maura put her hand on the doctor's shoulder and guided her away from the group.

"Deb, I saw the bruising... " Maura said quietly. "...did you do a rape kit?"

Dr. Thomas squeezed Maura's arm and shook her head. "Maura, you know I can't tell you that." the doctor quietly admonished.

Maura, of course, new this. She was holding out hope that her professional friendship with the doctor would compel some more information.

Maura dropped her hand from the doctor's shoulder and ran it through her hair.

"I know." Maura sighed clearly both frustrated and concerned.

"Hey," Dr. Thomas began "she'll talk to you when she's ready right?"

"You don't know Jane" Maura mumbled.

Sighing again, Maura looked up and met the doctor's eyes. "Deb, I'm sorry. Thanks for everything" Maura said warmly. "Really."

"Don't mention it" Dr. Thomas replied. "Take it easy, Maura"

Maura smiled politely and returned to the group.

Maura, clad in white skinny jeans and a cashmere cardigan (her casual attire), sat in a chair next to Jane's bed. After being practically forced home to clean up, Maura was now determined to not leave Jane's side.

Jane's bandaged hands laid on either side of her body. The dirt and blood that had covered her face in the house had been cleaned but her skin was still marred with cuts and bruises.

As Maura watched Jane sleep she noticed a small bare spot on Jane's scalp where it looked like a lock of hair had been pulled. Bile rose to Maura's throat as her mind slipped to thoughts of the abuse her friend had endured. Quickly looking away, Maura swallowed hard and wiped her palms on her jeans. Keeping her gaze away from Jane while she fought the unwanted images, Maura's eyes unconsciously fell on the medical chart hanging from the edge of Jane's bed.

Maura stood and reached for the chart before shaking her head and dropping her hand back down by her side.

"Stop it, Maura" she muttered to herself as she eased back into her seat.

As she sat, Maura became increasingly aware of the sound of the clock ticking on the wall. Maura reached 70 before she realized she had been unconsciously counting the tickets.

Groaning in frustration, Maura stood up and ran her hand through her hair.

Her eyes fell on the chart again.

Before she had time to think, her hands shot out and grabbed the chart. Maura subconsciously held her breath and she scanned through the pages. Jane's platelet count was low. She had lost a lot of blood. "Intravenous antibiotics..." Maura muttered. "Jesus... Four broken ribs..."

Maura stared at the doctor's note - Patient appears to have been repeatedly kicked. After closing her eyes briefly, she read on...

Defensive wounds.


Facial lacerations.

Bruising on the upper thighs and pelvis.

Maura took a sharp breath.

No fluids present. Rape kit inconclusive.

Maura slammed the chart down unable to read any further. Stumbling backwards into her chair Maura pressed her fists against her eyes as if trying to force the tears back inside. Before she could stop it, a sob escaped her throat. Then another. Before she knew it, tears were freely falling down her face.

Suddenly Maura saw a movement out of the corner of her eye. Roughly wiping her eyes on the sleeve of her sweater, Maura head shot up and looked to the bed.

"Jane?" Maura whispered?