New York City

October 21st, 1973

A cold drizzle is beginning as Blythe rolls her bike into its usual storage spot by her building. She can see her breath as she catches the glimpse of the shiny black car parked on the street, and the two policemen inside. Chris is nowhere to be seen as she unlocks the door and hurries up the steps to her floor.

In her only slightly warmer apartment, she throws down her purse and helmet and has pulled off her coat when she spies the figure lounging on the couch. Her breath stops, and her heart beats in her throat.

The figure is clad completely in black. No exposed skin, as she had noticed the first time she seen him. She senses more than sees his head turn toward her; the apartment is still dark, and his apparel is not good for definitive gestures.

"Are you here to kill me?" She says, her voice choked.

"Probably, yes."

"I don't get to be romanced first? Like all the others?" She asks, as sarcastically as she can manage.

"It would be convenient, for continuity's sake." He sighs. "But we don't live in a perfect world."

"Have you killed all 5 of them?" She asks.

"In New York, yes. I get to know them first, then well, the rest's history."

"Why? Why only nurses?"

He shrugs. It's unnerving.

He flips off the T.V. casually. Blythe hadn't heard it over the sound of her own heartbeats. He strolls toward her, without a care or worry. She does the only thing she can think of—run back toward the door she came through.

She's not far before something hard slams into the back of her head. She feels the blood spread across her scalp, and suddenly she's nose to nose with the floor, and he's standing over her, binding her hands.

She has a blinding headache by the time she succumbs to unconsciousness.

m m m

Chris is lumbering up the stairs to Blythe's floor at 6:45 am. After she had gone to work the night before, he'd headed home to hos own apartment to get some more sleep, and then shower and change clothes. He poked his head in the 1-2-5 around 6:15 to tell them all was well. Annie was the only one there.

He then, finally, seeing the time, hurried back to Blythe.

He knocks on the door, and waits a beat. He hears no footsteps from in the apartment, and then knocks one more time, louder. He can feel a nervous churning in his stomach when he pushes on the door to find it unlocked.

Inside, it is dark and cold. Silence is like a weight on his shoulders as he observes the overturned lamp and fire extinguisher lying on its side on the breakfast table, blood dripping off the corner. His breath catches in his throat, and cold chills radiate down his spine. He sees the through the opening to the bedroom a second door, a back door they hadn't known about. The handle is broken, the door is ajar.

"Oh God." He whispers, and reaches for the phone on the table.

m m m

Ray, Sam and the Lieut are second on the scene after Chris calls, following the two officers that were parked on the street.

The younger man is slipping on leather gloves as the other detectives arrive, and looks thoroughly shaken. Sam pats hims on the shoulder, as comforting as he can muster, in spite of the bleakness of the situation.

They go to work, dusting for fingerprints, collecting a sample of the blood on the fire extinguisher, and inspecting the broken back door.

"The back door leads down a flight of stairs to an outer door, which opens to the dumpsters and a parking area behind the building. Her motorcycle's still here, and both doors show signs of breaking and entering." Ray announces. "I guess she never thought to mention the other door."

"She had faith in us." Chris whispers, the guilt clear on his face.

"We'll find her." Sam says, trying to sound reassuring. "We have a lead now, right?"

"We do," Ray puts in. "No-Nuts is working on trying to find Daniel Hawthorne's new alias and address as we speak."

Chris looks around at the small apartment, with morning light just starting to spill in. Blythe's keys, purse, and jacket are lying on the counter, and he crosses the room to look at it. If she had time to put her things down, that means she was not immediately ambushed on her way in. So there was elapsed time between her coming in and being kidnapped. But not enough time to scream or run. Other officers had taken up a canvas for the neighbors. Most had been asleep, but nothing woke them up. One man was up, but had the TV turned up at the other end of the hallway and heard nothing.

It is several hours later before the detectives headed back to the 1-2-5.