I sat in the call room, my head in my hands, fear electrifying every nerve in my body.
Capra had been here, in the one place I felt safe, and he had killed Nina Peyton. I felt like I had let her down. I felt like I had failed her. I had been through the same nightmare she went through, and I couldn't protect her. I started to feel tears prick my eyes, and this time I couldn't stop them. My scrubs were still covered in Nina Peyton's blood, but I didn't really notice.
I felt my body shaking with sobs, and in the next instant I felt arms wrap around me.
"Catherine?" I heard Thomas ask. "are you all right?"
Because of what Capra put me through, I wanted to pull away, but his voice was so soft and warm. As much as I hated to admit it, it felt so good to be cared for, so I said, "No, I'm not."
"Catherine, what happened to Nina wasn't your fault."
"Yes. Yes, it was," I whispered. "I told her I would protect her, and I couldn't. He was here, Thomas. He was here in my safe place. Here, everything used to feel safe. It was all in order. It was all figured out. It was clear. Now that he's been here, nothing feels clear or safe anymore. I'm scared of everything. Every little noise makes me jump. It makes me feel so soft and weak." I was crying into his chest now, and he pulled me close and kissed the top of my head.
"We're gonna get this guy, Catherine," he told me with an air of conviction that convinced me that he would do everything in his power to make that happen. "I'm scared to stay alone," I told him, my voice soft and childlike. What if he's still here? What if he follows me home? What if he's there right now waiting to finish the job and kill me like Nina and those other women?"
"It's okay, Catherine," he said, squeezing my shoulder. "I won't let him. I'll come home with you so you feel safe."
"Oh, you don't have to do that," I said, embarrassed by my momentary weakness.
"It's okay. I want to do it. If it will help you feel more secure, I'm more than willing."
I hadn't shared my home in so long, but I had to admit that having him there would make me feel better, so I agreed, saying,"Okay, you can take the guest room."
He smiled and said, "Okay. Let's get you home and out of those clothes."