Duty of Care
Nikki crawled in to bed exhausted, Helen was still out for the count and hadn't woken up as she snuggled down under the covers, and she soon drifted off in to a contented sleep. Helen woke up a few hours later at noon and saw that Nikki was fast asleep beside her; she gave her a quick kiss on the forehead and got up quietly, being careful not to disturb her slumber. She busied herself in the kitchen, washing last night's dinner dishes that had been left because they both had more important things on their minds.
Once the kitchen was tidy, Helen brewed some coffee and then sat down in front of the TV, there was nothing on and she couldn't even go out for some fresh air because the rain was lashing down. She selected a book from Nikki's collection and began to read, she got carried away with the story and didn't notice when the bedroom door opened.
"Hiya." Nikki yawned and ruffled her hair as was her usual habit.
"Shit." Helen jumped at the sound of Nikki's voice; she had been so engrossed in the book that she had blanked everything out.
"Sorry sweetheart didn't mean to scare you." Nikki smiled at her lovingly and then gave her a kiss.
"What time did you get in?" Helen put the book down and snuggled up next to Nikki on the sofa.
"About 9 this morning, I actually didn't get to go anywhere, I sat in the bloody station."
"Thought they needed you for something?"
"So did I, although I came in handy at the briefing. As it turns out my boss thought he was being clever and made me stay behind. You aren't going to like this but...."
"There was another murder at the hospital, actually there were two."
"Two murders!" Helen exclaimed, the expression on her face was one of disbelief.
Nikki related the events of the previous hours and Helen sat and listened with absolute horror. Nikki explained that she was being sent back to the hospital and that this time she would not get pulled off the case until it was solved.
"I feel a whole lot happier going back to work on Monday now that I know you're going to be around." Helen said with feeling, she felt safe and protected with Nikki.
"So do I, there is no way I would be happy letting you go to work with that evil bastard hanging around." Nikki kissed Helen once again, and then jumped up, "that reminds me, I have those numbers I asked for weeks ago."
Nikki retrieved the envelope with the numbers inside and then passed them to Helen to look through. She went right through the list and marked off the numbers she didn't recognise. They corresponded roughly to the amount of times she could remember getting weird silent phone calls. Helen didn't mention Paul's calls, she didn't want to worry Nikki and in any case he hadn't technically done anything wrong. Nikki studied the numbers Helen didn't recognise and they were all different but they had one thing in common, she realised they were all call box numbers.
"So whoever was calling you isn't using their own phone, they're using call boxes."
"You don't think it was him do you?" Helen asked referring to the killer.
"I don't know, it could be but it doesn't really seem like his style. Mind you though I'm no expert." Nikki looked thoughtful.
"Anyway, to change the subject slightly because I didn't get much of a chance to tell you this morning. I love you Nikki Wade." Helen drew Nikki in to a hug.
"I love you too. Are you feeling a little tired? Do you fancy a lie down?" Nikki grinned at Helen suggestively.
"Come to mention it, I think I do." Helen shot up off the couch and raced in to the bedroom with Nikki following closely behind.
Monday morning greeted them with more rain and thick heavy black clouds that hung above them ominously. The rain hadn't let up all weekend and showed no signs of stopping any time soon. The temperature had suddenly gotten colder, with a biting wind that seemed to go straight through everybody. They were glad to get inside where it was warm, because the short trip from the car had them shivering.
Helen walked up to her office accompanied by Nikki and then they both went back down to the department to get ready to start work. A few members of staff greeted Nikki in surprise and asked her why she was back; she kept the reply simple and said she had transferred back because she didn't like the other hospital she had worked at. They all seemed to believe her response and carried on with their work. An hour or so later after several emergencies Nikki caught up with Helen and they were having a chat for five minutes.
"I missed you." Nikki said smiling.
"You only saw me ten minutes ago." Helen chuckled.
"I know but it was ten minutes that seemed to drag on."
"You daft sod, for what it's worth I missed you too, only don't tell anybody or you will ruin my reputation as the iron lady." Helen's eyes twinkled.
Several members of staff had noticed the change in Helen over the last few weeks, she seemed to glow, and they had been mystified up until now as to the reason why. But seeing her with Nikki, it was instantly obvious why she was happy. The staff exchanged knowing smiles and carried on with their duties. It was also obvious to Kerry what was going on between them both, she had tried to avoid them so far but it had gotten the better of her and she just couldn't resist saying something to them.
"Hey." she smiled as she sidled up to Nikki.
"Hi." Nikki said flatly, she really didn't want to have anything to do with her.
"See you got what you wanted after all then, don't get too attached though Nikki." Kerry sneered at them both.
"Just what the hell is that supposed to mean?" Helen was getting angry.
"Lets face it Doctor Stewart, straight women don't hang around for long, they have their fun and then bugger off back to the boys."
"Listen Kerry......." Nikki started to say through clenched teeth but Helen interrupted her.
"For your information, I love her. You're just jealous because she didn't choose you. Oh and just so you know, I'm not straight."
"Sounds so convincing when you say it like that but hey we all know how this is going to end." Kerry looked smug.
"This is going to end with me giving you a slap in a minute." Nikki was fired up, "so take the hint and piss off."
Kerry sauntered off looking please with herself, she had managed to ruffle a few feathers and with any luck, Helen would dump Nikki soon and then she could pick up where they had left off. Nikki parted from Helen and went back to work, as she was ferrying patients around she made sure she was ultra observant, looking for anybody who looked in the slightest bit suspicious. As had been the case before, there was no sign of anybody who looked out of the ordinary behaviour wise and Nikki would just have to keep looking.
At lunchtime Helen went up to the canteen and got the lunches in while Nikki quickly phoned her boss to keep him informed of the situation. She really didn't have much to tell him and he had suspected as much, catching the killer on her first day back was always going to be a very slim chance anyway. She clicked the phone off and then went back to Helen in the canteen.
"Sorry about that." Nikki apologised as she sat down next to Helen.
"No problem, what did he say?" Helen took a mouthful of her sandwich and looked at Nikki.
"He just said he didn't expect me to find anything on my first day back and just to keep at it, and that he had faith in me."
"Doesn't sound like him at all." Helen was amazed.
"I know, wonder what I did to deserve such praise?" Nikki chuckled slightly and tucked in to her lunch.
They were sat talking quietly away when Paul came up to them and asked if he could join them.
"Sure Paul sit down." Nikki said smiling, and then caught a look of discomfort on Helen's face, it puzzled her.
"So how's things?" Paul said smiling; his stomach was clenched like a fist, because he was sitting so close to Helen.
"Fine, how's things with you?" Helen wasn't looking at Paul; he was making her feel uncomfortable lately with his strange behaviour towards her.
"Oh they're fine thanks." he pushed his lunch to one side, he wasn't really hungry now. He lit up a cigarette and took a sip of his coffee.
"You should give those up." Nikki said smiling, echoing an earlier conversation.
"Touché!" Paul said laughing, recognising his own words, "I've been meaning to ask you about when the police showed up the other day, I noticed you were with them, what was that all about?"
"They found things that they suspected the killer had dumped and they needed me to have a look at them, seeing as how I found the last lot of stuff." Nikki kept it simple, she didn't want him knowing much.
"Really? Suppose that would make sense." Paul smiled.
"Nikki we have to go, we were meant to be somewhere remember?" Helen looked at her watch and stood up.
"What?" Nikki looked at Helen as if she had gone mental, and then caught the look in her eyes, "oh yeah, good job you remembered." she had noticed a certain tension in Helen, and knew something must be wrong.
"Sorry about this, see you later Paul." Helen said quickly and then dragged Nikki off.
"Helen, slow down! What's the matter?"
"Not now Nik, just wait till we get to my office." Helen carried on rushing ahead while Nikki followed.
They entered the office and Nikki shut the door behind them, she locked it at Helen's insistence and then turned around to face her lover.
"Are you going to tell me what's going on? Is it us? Does it embarrass you?" Nikki was worried in case Helen was embarrassed about them being a couple in front of other people.
"Don't be bloody daft, I would broadcast it on the ten o'clock news if they let me. Paul makes me feel uncomfortable."
"I thought you liked him?" Nikki moved closer to Helen, she took her hands and then perched on the end of the desk.
"I did, I do, oh shit, I don't know. I wonder now if he's the one who has been calling me."
"What makes you think it?"
"He called me a few times, even came up to see me and asked if we could go for a drink. He called me one night and asked to come over to my place for a chat and he was acting strangely, I can't put my finger on it but something isn't right." Helen perched on the desk beside Nikki.
"Why didn't you say?"
"I didn't mention it because to be honest it had slipped my mind at first there was so much else going on at the time. I should have mentioned it the other day when we were going through the numbers but I had no proof of him doing anything wrong. He makes me feel so...."
"Yes, that's why I dragged you out of there; he kept looking at me strangely. In retrospect I suppose him calling me should have set alarm bells ringing but I was pre-occupied at that point."
"I'm sorry I didn't notice. No wonder I can't find the killer when I can't even see Paul eyeing you up." Nikki shook her head in disgust.
"He wasn't eyeing me up as such at least I don't think he was, he was looking at me weirdly. You wouldn't have noticed anyway because he waited till you looked away before he looked at me. The day I found the diary, he was watching me from the entrance of the hospital, that coupled with these strange calls and the way he looks at me has me wondering now."
"It's got me wondering too. I'll keep an eye on him, don't worry. If it happens again then I will make it my business to find out exactly why he is acting so weirdly."
"You're thinking it might be him aren't you? You're thinking he might be the killer, the thought had crossed my mind but he just sort of seemed friendly and although it was creepy, I had no reason to suspect he might have an ulterior motive."
"To be honest yes, it does all seem to fit. At the moment he is the only suspect I have." Nikki pulled Helen in to a hug and began to put two and two together. strange phone calls, weird behaviour, taking such an interest in Helen, maybe they had found the man they were looking for and all she had to do was wait till he stepped out of line.
Nikki kept an eye on Paul for the next few days and noticed that he was indeed watching Helen, and he kept looking at her strangely. Nikki made sure Helen was never on her own for too long but the pace at which hospital life moved sometimes meant she couldn't be there all the time. Kerry never missed an opportunity to make a sly remark or two and she was really starting to get up Helen's nose. She would glare at Helen and smile seductively at Nikki. It was getting to the point where she was tempted to say something to her but Nikki told her just to let it all go over her head.
The media was crawling around the hospital grounds trying to get in to interview the staff but security wouldn't admit them and they tried to come up with madcap schemes to gain entry. It resulted in a few of them being arrested for trying to get in posing as doctors and nurses. It was all getting a bit much for everybody, the fear that the killer might strike at any moment coupled with the stress of having to work in such difficult conditions was getting everybody down.
Helen was in a meeting one lunchtime with hospital management so Nikki went to lunch alone, she saw David sitting across the other side of the canteen. He was writing something down while eating his lunch and Nikki didn't think much of it until she saw that he was writing in a book that was very similar to the killer's diary. Nikki was stunned at this point and now she had two major suspects, both had some sort of interest in Helen and she was at a loss as to who would have been the likelier candidate. Realising she now had two people to keep an eye on, it wouldn't be easy, but at least now she had two suspects instead of none at all. She left the canteen and went up to Helen's office to see if she was out of the meeting. Helen arrived at her office the same time as Nikki and looked harried, the meeting obviously had been a pain and she looked stressed out.
"Have you eaten?" Nikki asked as she gave Helen a hug.
"No, haven't had chance yet."
"There you go, put yourself on the outside of that." Nikki produced a sandwich and passed it to Helen.
"Aww thanks sweetheart, what would I do without you?"
"You'd probably end up stroppy again." Nikki giggled.
"Shut up you. Come here, I need a kiss."
Nikki placed a kiss on Helen's lips and then drew back to look at her. Helen winked and then pushed her down in to her chair, then she sat on Nikki's knee and began to eat her lunch. Nikki waited for Helen to finish and then she brought the subject of David up. She had her arms wrapped around Helen who was snuggled against her.
"You know when you were going out with David?"
"Yeah?" Helen didn't like the sound of this.
"Don't worry; I'm not going to start getting jealous over it! I'm the one who gets to take you home every night." Nikki saw the look on Helen's face, "I just wanted to ask you something."
"Go on then, ask away." Helen was relieved.
"Aside from him being a tosser, did you ever notice anything strange about his behaviour?"
"Er." Helen looked thoughtful, "He did sort of act edgy, I didn't think much of it at the time, I put it down to nerves, you know dating somebody new but now I know that he is married, I suppose he was afraid of getting found out."
"Are you sure that's all it was?"
"Why what do you mean?" Helen was intrigued now, Nikki obviously knew something.
"Let's put it this way, when I saw him in the canteen earlier, he was writing away on something."
"And that's strange because?"
"It was very similar to the killer's diary."
"Oh my god." was all Helen could say.
"So now I have two likely suspects, David and Paul. Paul is acting strangely around you and David has or had an interest in you as well. So that means I'm going to have to keep a close eye on both of them, not to mention everybody else just to be safe."
"It's at times like this that I'm glad I'm a doctor and not a copper. How on earth do you cope?"
"It's not easy trying to watch dozens of people at any given time but you learn. It takes a lot of patience."
"You certainly have a lot of patience, after all you waited for me long enough." Helen raised her eyebrow and kissed Nikki on the forehead.
"Shit look at the time, I should have been back ages ago." they both stood up and made their way to Helen's door.
"Don't worry Nik, you won't get in to trouble, you're sleeping with the boss." Helen started to laugh, it was a deep dirty belly laugh and it was one of the things that Nikki loved about her.
"Aren't I the lucky one!" Nikki giggled and gave Helen a quick pinch on the bum as they left the office. As they walked along a corridor, they were unaware that they were being watched.
He could feel his excitement begin to rise; it wouldn't be long now, till his plan was carried out. The pieces were all starting to fall in to place and his plan was being carried out carefully. Not many more victims now till the finale, he wasn't sure how many more it would take, but the voices would let him know.
They got back to the department and set about their work, Nikki watched Paul closely, he was sticking around Helen a lot of the time and she didn't like it. She wanted to confront him but it wouldn't be a wise move, after all it wasn't a criminal offence to look at somebody all the time, if it had been then 95% of the population would be banged up. It didn't prove that he was the killer, only that he was acting strangely around Helen. She rationalised that he couldn't get too near Helen in the hospital and she went home with Nikki every night so she would be safe.
Another week passed by and November changed in to December and people began to look cautiously toward Christmas, Helen and Nikki were getting excited because it would be their first Christmas together and they were planning to spend the holiday with Lisa and Jill. They both set about decorating their apartment with Christmas decorations and they had gotten a real Christmas tree. After the first twenty minutes Nikki started bitching on about pine needles all over the floor.
"Stop your moaning woman!" Helen giggled from where she stood across the room.
"I've already pulled three of the buggers from the sole of my foot." Nikki said as she held up yet another pine needle.
"Don't panic, you live with a doctor remember? I can clear the kitchen table and perform surgery on you if it gets that bad." Helen giggled again.
"Let you loose on my body? Not a bloody chance!"
"Didn't seem to bother you me being let loose on it last night, or again this morning."
"Look darlin' you are a nymphomaniac and that's the price I have to pay for loving you." Nikki grinned cheekily and dodged when Helen chucked a cushion at her.
"Ow! Fuck! Here we go again." Nikki sat down on the couch and inspected her foot.
"Let me have a look." Helen crouched down beside her, and removed the pine needle.
"That hurt and you dug your nails in on purpose." Nikki pouted at Helen.
"Serves you right for calling me a nympho."
"Did I actually say nymphomaniac?"
"Yes you did." Helen said smiling.
"That's ok; I'll forgive you just this once."
"I should have chosen my words better. How about raving sex addict?" Nikki jumped up laughing.
"Bitch!" Helen grabbed her, and they kissed. After ten minutes of fooling around they decided to get on with putting the rest of the decorations up.
After the decorations were done, they both got on with the task of decorating the tree and Helen laughed when Nikki went off to get her steel toe capped boots so that the needles wouldn't stick in her feet. Helen couldn't help smiling at the comical sight of Nikki clopping around in huge boots while wearing a pair of shorts. The tree was soon decorated and they settled down in front of the TV with a glass of wine to make the most of what was left of their weekend.
A lone figure stood outside in the shadows opposite the apartment building. The wind was bitingly cold; he took a drag of his cigarette and then threw it away, causing a myriad of orange sparks that were carried away on the wind. He stared up at Nikki and Helen's window, he could see the winking lights from the Christmas tree and felt his heart constrict.
"Oh Helen, if only I could tell you." he muttered and walked away as the wind whipped around him and made his eyes water.
Monday morning came around all too quickly and Nikki and Helen went to work wishing they could have the weekend all over again. Helen was happy and it showed, for the first time she had a future that she was looking forward to and she had Nikki to thank for it. Nikki was equally happy, she had found 'the one' she knew she had always been waiting for and Helen agreed with her. They had a conversation about it and as corny as it sounded, they both believed that they had found their soul mate, the conversation had even stretched as far as children.
Helen was nervous about bringing the subject up but she did and was delighted when she found out that Nikki would also like children one day. They talked happily about the future and things that they would love to do, it was something neither of them had ever done before and babies were most definitely on the list.
Work was busier than usual what with it coming close to the holidays and alcohol related accidents were definitely on the increase. Nikki somehow still found time to make sure Helen was ok and to keep an eye on Paul, and David whenever he was around. Nikki noticed he seemed agitated about something and was walking around the department like a bear with a sore head. Later on that afternoon, he was back down there consulting with Helen about a patient.
"Yes, he really does need surgery but it's not detrimental that he receives it today. I will schedule him for theatre in the morning, in the meantime he can be sent up to a ward." his manner with Helen was brusque and he gave no indication that he knew her other than on a professional basis.
"Thank you Doctor, I will arrange for him to be moved." Helen was just as businesslike with him; she had no desire to be in the same room as him, let alone have to talk to him.
"Well if that's all I really must be going."
"Of course." Helen nodded her head politely and he walked out. She followed him and bumped in to Nikki.
"Hey love, you ok?" Nikki asked quietly.
"I'm fine sweetheart. Wonder what's going on with those two? As if I didn't know." Helen remarked and pointed to David and a young nurse, they seemed to be having a heated conversation in the corner.
"Lovers tiff." Nikki could tell they were intimate just by the body language they were both using.
David seemed to say something that upset the young blonde nurse and she ran off in floods of tears. David did not look to happy, in fact he looked absolutely furious and he went storming off after her.
"I don't like the look of that." Nikki said as she began to follow, instinct told her that she should keep an eye on things.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to see what's going on."
"Hang on I'm coming with you." Helen said and began walking with Nikki.
"Remember what my boss said? We aren't Cagney and Lacey you know."
"That's as may be but I'm not letting you go after him alone."
Nikki rolled her eyes and they carried on following. They saw David enter the women's toilets and both women gasped in shock.
"I don't believe it." Helen said breathlessly.
"Doesn't look too good does it? I mean he's wearing surgical attire and entering the women's loos."
Nikki bounded up the hallway and kicked the bathroom door open to find David shaking the young blonde nurse who was crying.
"Oi!" Nikki shouted and he whirled around, she grabbed him and pinned him against the wall, "you better explain pretty bloody quickly pal." she snarled.
"Let go of me!" he yelled angrily.
"Not a chance, what the hell are you doing in the women's loo? If it's what it looks like to me then you are in a world of trouble."
The nurse seemed to pull herself together and realised what was happening, she wiped her eyes and then spoke to Nikki.
"It's not what you think; he wasn't trying to attack me. We were having an argument and he got angry with me."
"Helen, can we use your office? I think we need to sort this out." Nikki spoke to Helen who was standing close by looking pale.
"Yeah sure." Helen responded automatically, she couldn't get the image of David shaking the young nurse about out of her head.
Nikki dragged him upstairs while the nurse and Helen followed; she pushed him in to a chair and told him to explain himself.
"I don't have to explain myself to you, it's none of your bloody business."
"You were assaulting a member of staff David and that makes it my business." Helen snapped at him, "now either you tell me what's going on or I will phone the police."
"David and I have been having a relationship, I'm pregnant and that's what he is angry about." the nurse began to cry again.
"Shut up!" David shouted over at the young woman.
"He wants me to get rid of it and I won't. It's my baby David, I want to keep it."
"You really are a nasty bastard aren't you David?" Helen said with disgust.
"If she's pregnant then it has nothing to do with me, for all I know she has slept with half the hospital."
"How can you say that? You know you're the only one, I love you David." the nurse sobbed.
Both Nikki and Helen looked at him with expressions of contempt. Nikki ushered Helen outside the office for a moment to have a private word.
"I'm going to call it in, we can never be too careful. If it's him then I don't want the bastard to get away with it." Nikki said quietly.
"I agree, let them have a word with him and see what they come up with."
Nikki switched her mobile on and called her boss, within fifteen minutes, two detectives had arrived to question him. They took David and the young nurse away down to the station and all they had to do now was wait for the outcome. Nikki still hadn't heard by the time they left work for the day, she expected it to be a long process. She didn't have much time to think about it because Lisa and Jill were coming over for dinner and she helped Helen with the cooking.
At a quarter to eight the doorbell sounded and Nikki opened the door, Lisa and Jill stood on the doorstep carrying several bottles of booze.
"You two came prepared." Nikki laughed.
"This one is for before dinner, this one is for during and these three are for afterwards." Lisa giggled as she pointed to each bottle.
"You better come in then; we won't get through all that if I keep you on the doorstep all night."
They went through in to the kitchen and greeted Helen, who looked happy to see them. She raised her eyebrow at all the bottles they had brought with them and she could tell by Lisa's face that something was going on.
"Alright you, I know that look, what's going on?" Helen said smiling.
"You know me too well, let's get some drinks, and mines an orange juice. Jill and I have some news."
Nikki got the drinks and when they were all seated, Lisa began.
"Jill and I found out this afternoon that I'm pregnant." Lisa was beaming, as was Jill.
"Oh Lise!" Helen squealed and jumped up to hug her sister, the tears started flowing and they all stood huddled in a big group.
"Nikki, get over here." Helen said and Nikki joined them, she had been a bit unsure at first, she didn't want to intrude on a family moment, "you and I are going to be aunties." Helen said smiling through her tears.
"Oh my god, aunty to a Stewart sprog, is there any worse punishment than that?" Nikki giggled.
"How do you think I feel? I'm going to be one of its parents." Jill laughed.
"I didn't even know you two were thinking of having kids." Helen said as she poured some more wine for everybody and orange juice for Lisa.
"The subject came up a while ago and we looked in to it, we had the procedure done a few weeks ago and we went back to get tested today. Needless to say, we're both thrilled." Jill positively glowed as she talked about the baby.
"I think it's terrific, congratulations." Nikki raised her glass in a toast to the two women and Helen followed suit with a big smile on her face.
They chatted about the baby over dinner and Helen explained to Lisa what the various procedures were, when she would need scans and so on. Lisa confessed to being scared about the labour but Helen told her that she would be in safe hands when it happened and that she would have nothing to worry about. They were giggling away over baby names when Nikki's phone rang; she excused herself and went to answer it.
"Nikki Wade speaking."
"Nikki, it's Tony. It's not him, he's got solid alibis and the handwriting analysis tells us that the diary wasn't written by him, I'm sorry."
"Thanks for letting me know, at least that's one crossed off the list."
"So that just leaves whatsisname? Doctor Barrett?"
"Yeah, I'll be watching him very closely don't you worry."
"Stick with it Nikki, you'll find the bastard, we're all rooting for you."
"Thanks Tony, I appreciate it." it wasn't like Tony to be so nice to her, he usually took the piss.
"No problem, I gotta go, take care ok?"
"Will do Tony and thanks again, bye." Nikki put the phone down and walked back in to the kitchen and sat down.
"It's not him, his alibis were solid and his handwriting doesn't match. That just leaves Paul Barrett as our principle suspect."
"Well at least that's one less to worry about." Helen took hold of Nikki's hand and rubbed the back of it with her thumb. Things were starting to get on top of Nikki and she wished she could somehow help.
They spent the remainder of the evening talking and it was soon time for Lisa and Jill to go home but it was pretty late so Nikki ushered them in to the spare room, then went to bed with Helen.
"Don't worry sweetheart, I'm sure that you'll find him." Helen was propped up on one elbow with her other arm across Nikki's waist.
"I hope to god I do, what if it's not Paul? What do I do then?" the strain was plainly visible in Nikki's face.
"Then you hit a dead end but you keep looking. You'll find him, I have faith in you and I know you'll get him sooner or later love." Helen gently caressed Nikki's face with the back of her hand.
One more woman was all he needed, the voices had told him that one last victim would complete the circle and then the final part of his plan would be carried out. He could then claim his special one and she would love him because he had worked so hard to prove to her that she meant the world to him. It wouldn't be long now, he could almost taste victory, he could feel her arms around him and he knew everything was going to be ok. Now was the time, he had to move now. He spotted the perfect woman walking down the corridor and he knew she was the one. Something would be different this time; he had to make the last one special. He moved the mask down over his face and then silently crept up behind her; he clamped his hand over her mouth in a steel-like grip and got excited as he felt her tremble violently beneath him.
Nikki lay in bed talking softly to Helen; they were both finding it hard to sleep. It was 2am and they were talking about Jill and Lisa.
"I think they will make lovely parents." Nikki commented with a smile.
"Yes they will, they did once mention years ago about having kids but I didn't think they were going to do it yet."
"No time like the present as they say, how do you fancy it?" Nikki looked at Helen with a leering smile.
"Fancy what?" Helen knew what she meant but wanted to know what Nikki's response would be.
"Getting pregnant, I can't physically manage it but in theory it would be fun trying." Nikki wiggled her eyebrows.
"And you call me a raving sex addict." Helen smiled.
"Get that t-shirt off, I want you." Nikki said huskily and as soon as Helen had taken her clothes off, she dragged her under the duvet.
Things were getting interesting when the phone rang; Nikki groaned and stopped what she was doing. Helen instantly missed the contact and groaned as well through frustration, she had been enjoying Nikki where she was.
"Nikki Wade." Nikki almost snarled down the telephone.
Helen could see Nikki's expression change from being annoyed to looking very serious, she had a cold feeling in the pit of her stomach and she could already guess what the call was about.
"Ok, I'll be right there." Nikki put the phone down and jumped up, "there's been another one, I gotta go sweetheart, I'm sorry."
"Don't apologise love, I'll get some clothes for you." Helen began to gather some clothes while Nikki went and had a shower at warp speed.
She was soon back and dressed in the clothes that Helen had gotten for her. She picked up her car keys and went to the door; she turned around to kiss Helen who had gone to see her off.
"Be careful Nik."
"I will sweetheart, don't worry. Lock the door after me; I've got my phone, if you need me."
"Ok see you later babe." Helen kissed and hugged Nikki and then after she left, locked the door and went back to bed.
She pulled the covers up around her chin and hugged Nikki's pillow, she breathed in her scent and smiled, she loved her so much that it made her heart physically ache when they were apart. Helen sent Nikki a quick text then she fell asleep a short time later holding on to Nikki's pillow.
Nikki screeched to a halt in the car park and flashed her warrant card at security, they let her in and she made her way down to the morgue, where the latest victim was. She caught up with her colleagues and they filled her in on the situation. Nikki was shocked when she heard who the victim was. Sarah Flanagan, David Flanagan's daughter. David had been informed and he was standing outside in the corridor in a state of shock. Apparently his daughter had been on her way to see him, the killer had noticed her and she had been murdered.
Nikki didn't like David in the slightest but nobody deserved such a terrible thing to happen to them and she felt all her animosity toward him vanish. Before she took a look at the victim, she approached David.
"Hello David." Nikki said quietly.
"Nikki? What are you doing here?" he looked at her quizzically.
"I'm helping to investigate the case, I'm not really a porter, I'm undercover."
"That explains you manhandling me the other day." A look of realisation passed across his face, he had been so pre-occupied with his personal life that he didn't even wonder why Nikki had questioned him or called the police.
"Yes it does, I'm sorry but I had no choice."
"Thanks to you my daughter is dead! You are just as responsible as the evil bastard that murdered her." David's tone of voice was threatening.
"Calm down Doctor Flanagan, getting upset will only make you feel worse." DCI Jones had walked over to see what was going on.
"Upset? Bloody upset? Thanks to her, my daughter is dead!"
"I know you are distraught Doctor Flanagan but DS Wade is not responsible for this terrible tragedy."
"If she hadn't had me dragged off to the police station then my wife would never have found out about my affair. That's why my daughter was coming to see me, her mother was in a hell of a state and she wanted to know why." The tears had finally started to trickle down his face.
"I'm sorry." Nikki said almost inaudibly, at this point she felt like he was right, it was all her fault.
"Yes sir?" a big burly man joined them, and removed his hands from his pockets.
"Could you please take Doctor Flanagan here for a cup of coffee, I think he needs a break."
"Yes sir, of course." David was taken away by the policeman and DCI Jones pulled Nikki to one side.
"Nikki, the man's upset, he's lashing out but he doesn't mean it." DCI Jones was being sympathetic for once.
"Even if he doesn't mean it, he's right, it's all my fault. If I had caught the bastard sooner then this wouldn't have happened, none of those women had to die." Nikki's jaw clenched, she wasn't sure how much more of this she could take.
"Nobody would have caught him, he's too clever. The reason I put you on the case is because you are a bloody good officer and I have every faith in you. I know I don't always show it, and I know I can be a bit of a bastard at times but I have great respect for you and your skills. It wasn't your fault and you have to stop blaming yourself."
Nikki looked up at him, she couldn't believe her ears, gone was the sarcastic and sometimes overbearing manner and it was replaced with an air of sincerity.
"If that's true then why all the stupid assignments, why treat me like a new recruit that's still wet behind the ears?"
"Simply put Nikki, jealousy. You are a better detective than I ever was, or ever will be. And a whole lot better than many on the force, it's wrong and it's unforgivable, for what it's worth, I'm sorry."
"You're a bastard sir."
"I know, and the wife would agree with you."
"Apology accepted but only on one condition."
"And what would that be?"
"That you start treating me like a proper copper, no more shit jobs and no more treating me like an idiot."
"You have my word detective." They shook hands and grinned at each other, Nikki knew she should be pissed off with him but he had apologised and everybody deserved a second chance.
"Right lets view the victim." DCI Jones walked off in the direction of the morgue and Nikki followed closely behind.
Nikki could smell the blood before she even saw the victim; it hung in the air giving off a metallic tangy smell. She was careful where she walked to avoid the blood spatters and saw the victim laying on a mortuary table in front of her. Unlike the rest of the victims, her face was recognisable; in fact it hadn't been touched. It was her body that had taken all the blows and it was a mass of bruising and broken bones. Nikki felt tears spring to her eyes; this poor girl had taken a severe beating before she died. She could stand no more and had to leave, she walked out through the doors on the other side of the morgue which led out behind the hospital. She breathed in the cold night air and lit a cigarette to try and steady her nerves.
She switched her phone on to check for messages out of habit and noticed she had a text from Helen. She opened it up and began to read.
Just a quick note
to say I love you,
and I miss you already
Nikki smiled as she read the text, no matter how bad she was feeling Helen always seemed to make it better. She sent one back, even though Helen would be asleep, Nikki knew it would take more than a bleep from her phone to wake her.
I love and miss you
too babe. See you soon
The body was examined by the pathologist and forensics did their examination of the scene but as usual there were no clues, the killer was always one step ahead of them. As they were getting ready to move the body, something caught the pathologist's eye and he moved closer to have a look. On the side of the victim's neck, something had been scratched on to the skin. It was so small that the pathologist had missed it with his examination of the body the first time around. He picked up his magnifying glass, the marks had been made with a needle from a syringe and he squinted to see what it was. He called his assistant over.
"What does that look like to you? I can't quite make it out."
"I think it says 31a."
"31a? What's that supposed to mean?"
"Did you say 31a?" one of the detectives remarked.
"Yeah, why?" the pathologist replied.
"31a." the detective pointed to one of the morgue fridges that bodies were slid in and out of on a tray.
They opened the door carefully and inside, lay a single piece of white paper.
This was the final one and she was so beautiful
I didn't touch her face. But sssh I don't want
everybody to know, just our little secret!
It's come full circle now.
My job here is done
What can I say?
The best man won
Good work guys, pity you couldn't catch me though!
The room went silent as everybody digested the contents of the note.
The police station was a hive of activity, the noise of ringing telephones echoed around the room incessantly and there was an almost constant background noise of murmuring voices. DCI Jones had dragged Nikki back to the station so that they could go through everything she knew so far, to see if they had any chance of being able to pull Paul in. They went over and over it again but they didn't have anything concrete on him and after sixteen long hours Nikki was ready to leave. She was glad that Helen had taken her advice and called in sick, she wouldn't have felt safe with her being in the hospital alone all day. It was just after 7pm at night and Nikki climbed in to her car, glad at last to be going home. She had been on the go since 3am and hadn't slept the previous night, she looked and felt shattered. She tried hard to keep her eyes open as she drove home and then wearily dragged herself upstairs to the apartment.
She let herself in and found Helen in the kitchen with Jill and Lisa who had stayed with her all day to keep her company. The strain on Nikki's face was plainly visible and Helen felt her heart ache. It was all beginning to get too much for Nikki and Helen wished there was something she could do to help. After five minutes Lisa and Jill excused themselves and went home, leaving Nikki and Helen to spend some much needed time together alone.
"You look knackered sweetheart." Helen pulled Nikki in for a hug and caressed the back of her head.
"I am, can't remember the last time I was this tired. I hate my job Helen."
"That's not like you; I thought you loved your job?" Helen was worried, this didn't sound like Nikki at all.
"That was yesterday, today is different."
"Want to talk about it?"
"Not just yet. Helen?"
"Feed me, I'm starving." Nikki pouted like a child and then grinned.
"I bet you haven't eaten since breakfast have you?" Helen shook her head at Nikki.
"Try since dinner last night."
"Nikki! You should learn to take better care of yourself, you'll make yourself ill." Helen chastised gently.
"That's what I've got you for, somebody who loves me and looks after me, just like I do for you."
Helen kissed Nikki and then sat her down at the kitchen table. She dished out dinner and they sat talking until they were finished. Then Helen led her in to the living room by the hand and sat down, while Nikki lay with her head in her lap.
"I'm listening if you want to talk sweetheart."
"Oh god Helen it was awful, there was blood everywhere. It was David's daughter."
"Dear god." Helen said shocked, he was not her favourite person in the world but right at this minute, her heart went out to him.
Nikki told Helen everything, all about David's accusation and how the stress of the situation was getting on top of her. She was finding it next to impossible to cope with the feelings of guilt because she hadn't managed to catch the killer. She broke down and sobbed, Helen held her tightly and rocked her back and forth as she cried along with her. She knew that deep down Nikki was vulnerable but she always seemed to put a brave face on things, she always projected herself to be so much stronger.
Nikki was grateful for the fact that Helen was there for her, she had never had a case affect her like this and appreciated the support. Helen held her close as they talked, Nikki had poured her heart out and she felt a lot better, she realised that bottling it all up hadn't done her any good. They both went off to bed soon after, Nikki was exhausted and Helen held her in her arms as she drifted off to sleep.
Word had gotten around the hospital that David's daughter had been murdered and it was common knowledge that he had handed his notice in with immediate effect. Paul was still acting strangely and Nikki was getting fed up of it, she wanted to say something to him but as he was the only suspect they had right now, she had no choice but to bite her tongue. After lunch Nikki was quite busy and she didn't get to spend that much time with Helen. Paul made his move when he saw that she had disappeared, he couldn't get near her while Nikki was around.
"Doctor Stewart, can I have a word please?" his heart was beating like a drum.
"Is it important?" Helen was wary, she took a step backwards, she didn't like getting that close to him.
"Yes it is. Look could we go for a drink after work?"
"I'm sorry but I'm busy tonight."
"Doesn't have to be for long, just ten minutes."
"I can't, I already told you."
"I've been trying to get to talk to you for weeks," he said getting exasperated.
"I noticed, like I also noticed that you keep looking at me all the time. Knock it off Paul, it's getting creepy." Helen's annoyance overtook her fear.
"I do not!" he hadn't realised he had been watching her quite so much.
"You do and it has to stop." Helen walked off leaving him standing there.
"She has got to be the most irritating woman on the bloody planet," he said aloud to himself.
"You got that right." Kerry smirked as she walked past.
He gave her a dirty look and walked off and got back to work, there was plenty of time to deal with Helen later.
At lunchtime, Nikki decided to take Helen out somewhere to eat so that they could talk in private without anyone being there. She took her to a restaurant a few miles down the road; they had a quick look at the menu and then ordered. While they were waiting for the food to arrive, they sat chatting.
"I notice Paul is still acting strangely, I'm waiting for him to step out of line and when he does." Nikki left the threat unspecified.
"He asked me again if I would go for a drink with him after work, he waited till you were busy and then came up to me. I told him that I had noticed him looking at me and that it had to stop. Even just being near him creeps me out."
"I wish I could say something to him, I've been itching to but if he is the killer and I do then the whole case could be fucked. I promise I will try not to leave you alone with him because if what the note said was true, then it's all come full circle and he wants you." Nikki shuddered at the thought, if Paul so much as went near Helen in future, she would tear him limb from limb.
"You can't help it if you have to Nik, you're busy just the same as I am. Besides, I'm relatively safe so long as I don't go anywhere on my own and especially not anywhere with him."
"That's true. God I wish this was all over, I want my life back." Nikki sighed.
"Oh gee thanks." Helen said smiling.
"I didn't mean it like that and you know it. What I meant was that I wish this was all over and we could look forward to the future, I want to know you're safe." Nikki smiled back, "you're just angling for an argument so you can have fun while we make up."
"Who me? Never in a million years! Besides if I want your body all I have to do is smile at you, that normally does the trick." Helen smiled at her seductively as if to prove her point.
"Where is that bloody food, we need to get back to your office and fast!" Nikki giggled but she wasn't kidding, Helen's smile was doing things to her stomach.
The food came and they chatted whilst they ate, Nikki soon paid the bill and then dragged Helen outside to her car. They got back to the hospital in less than ten minutes; Nikki couldn't wait to get Helen back to her office. In a state of some urgency, Helen pulled her in to the office, closed the door and locked it behind them. She grabbed Nikki and started to kiss her passionately, She knew they wouldn't be missed for half an hour or so.
Nikki took Helen's coat off and tossed it on the floor where it joined her own. She pulled Helen's blouse from the waistband of her skirt and then unbuttoned it, she slipped her hands inside and caressed her breasts.
"Your hands are freezing." Helen jumped at the feeling of Nikki's cold hands on her body and giggled.
"Sorry sweetheart." Nikki rubbed her hands together and then resumed her soft caresses.
Nikki sat on the edge of Helen's desk and pulled her closer. She wrapped her arms around her as her tongue danced across Helen's. Helen moaned softly in to her mouth and pulled Nikki's shirt over her head. She pushed Nikki down on the desk and climbed up to sit astride her. Nikki noticed Helen was wearing stockings and suspenders, she hadn't noticed her put them on this morning.
"Mmmm wearing your suspenders I see, one of these days I'm going to have a heart attack."
"I wore them because I know how much they turn you on." Helen bent over and pressed her body against Nikki. She sucked Nikki's bottom lip in to her mouth and gently nibbled on it.
All this was driving Nikki to distraction, Helen could see she was getting desperate and proceeded to make love to her. The thought of making love in Helen's office was turning them both on. When Nikki had come back down to earth, it was Helen's turn; she flipped her over on to her back and kissed her way up and down her body. Helen had to clamp her mouth shut when her orgasm hit otherwise the whole hospital would have heard. They both lay there on top of the desk breathing heavily and smiling at each other.
"Doesn't seem like that long ago that you were dragging me in here to have a go at me, now you're dragging me in here to take advantage of my body." Nikki smiled and then kissed Helen on the forehead.
"I know which one I prefer." Helen raised her eyebrow and smiled.
"I prefer the first one, it doesn't take as much energy." Nikki started to giggle.
"Just watch it Wade or you'll be sleeping in the spare room."
"I'd creep back in while you were asleep."
"I'd let you. That was interesting, it has to rank as one of the strangest places I've ever had sex." Helen put her arms behind her head, as Nikki kissed her chest.
"Where else have you had sex?"
"Truthfully, only ever in bed." Helen giggled.
"You had me going there; I thought you were one of those adventurous women that had sex everywhere."
"I could be, now I've found the right person." Helen wiggled her eyebrows seductively.
"Mmmm now there's an idea. Where is the one place you've always wanted to have sex?"
"There is this beautiful little lake, up in the highlands. It's always deserted and it's one of my favourite places. I'll take you up there when the weather is a bit warmer and you can help me act out my fantasy." Helen smiled as she ran her hand down Nikki's leg.
"It's a date! And one you will never forget." Nikki bent down to kiss Helen again, they were both getting carried away and if they didn't make a move they would be there all afternoon.
"Come on, we better get going before we ravish each other again." Helen stood up to get dressed and Nikki followed suit.
"I really wish we were in the highlands right about now, we never seem to get enough time on our own." Nikki tied her shoelaces and stood up.
"Me too, don't worry it won't be long. Come on Casanova, let's get back to work."
They left the office after kissing each other one last time.
One week later
It was 2 weeks before Christmas and Nikki and Helen were once again having dinner with Lisa and Jill. They were discussing Christmas and Nikki confessed with a grin that all her Christmas shopping had already been done, Helen looked surprised.
"How did you manage that?" Helen took a sip of her wine and then looked at Nikki.
"It's called the internet sweetheart, you just flash your credit card and they'll send you anything." Nikki grinned over at her.
"I haven't had chance to go shopping yet, I should have done it sooner because trying to shop this time of year is a nightmare."
The phone rang and Nikki excused herself to answer it.
"Nikki, it's Kerry."
"What do you want?" Nikki wasn't happy.
"Look I really need to talk to you, it's urgent."
"I'm not interested ok; I have made that perfectly clear."
"No you don't understand. This isn't about us, it's really important. Something happened at the strip club and I need help. Can I see you?"
"You better hadn't be messing me around."
"I'm not I swear, can I see you or not?"
"Look give me an hour and I'll meet you outside the pub ok?"
"Ok, don't be late."
Nikki put the phone down and went back in to the kitchen; she wasn't going to tell Helen about this because she knew she wouldn't like it.
"Who was that love?"
"That was my boss; he wants to have a quick meeting with me. I need to be there in about an hour. I'm sorry sweetheart."
"Don't worry about it, Jill and Lisa are staying over so I won't be on my own." Helen leaned over and kissed her. She felt bad about not telling her that she was going to see Kerry but she knew Helen would take it the wrong way.
An hour later she left the flat, promising to be back soon and drove to the pub. Kerry was standing on the pavement and when she noticed Nikki pull up, she jumped in the car.
"Go on then tell me what happened, what did you need my help with?" Nikki wanted to get it over with.
"This." Kerry leaned over and tried to kiss her but before she even got near, Nikki pushed her away.
"Stop it! You dragged me all the way here just to play silly buggers? Jesus Kerry I told you it was over, I'm with Helen now and if you don't like it then tough."
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her." Kerry ran her hand up Nikki's thigh only to have it pushed away.
"I said no and I mean no. I love Helen and I would never cheat on her. Get out of the car."
"Don't be like that Nikki; we could be really good together."
"I said get out!"
"You're going to regret this." Kerry snarled and then slammed the car door.
Nikki drove off in a temper, she should have known better than to believe Kerry when she said it was something important. She knew this was going to cause trouble, Helen wouldn't be happy.
Next morning at the hospital, Kerry took every opportunity to wind Nikki up about the previous evening. Helen sensed something was going on, Nikki was avoiding Kerry but she kept following her around.
"Nikki, what's going on?"
"Nothing is going on sweetheart."
"Then why is Kerry following you around like a puppy?"
"You know what she's like; she never misses an opportunity to wind me up."
"I should have a word with her."
"Not worth it Helen, just ignore her." Nikki was panicking in case Kerry opened her mouth, nothing had happened but Nikki still felt guilty.
"Ah Doctor Stewart, just the person I wanted to see." Kerry stood there smiling and Nikki's stomach hit the floor.
"And why would that be?" Helen didn't bother to disguise her tone of annoyance.
"To tell you you're needed in cubicle 7." Kerry smirked at them both; she was enjoying dangling all this over Nikki's head.
"Oh Nikki before I forget, can you take the patient in cubicle 3 up to x-ray?"
"Sure, no problem." Nikki wandered off, dreading the fact that Kerry might tell Helen about the previous night.
Helen started to walk away towards cubicle 7 but Kerry called her back.
"What?" Helen was getting fed up now.
"Could you ask Nikki to search her car later, I lost an earring last night and I think that's where I dropped it." she walked off, and Helen was rooted to the spot.
Helen's thoughts raced off in different directions, Nikki had said she was going to see her boss last night. What was she doing with Kerry? Helen did not want to jump to conclusions; she trusted Nikki and wanted to hear her side of the story first. She caught up with Nikki just as she stepped out of the lift.
"We need to talk about last night, why were you with Kerry instead of your boss?"
"I can explain but not here. Can we go to your office?"
"Yeah ok." Helen said calmly.
They entered the office and Nikki sat down, she knew Helen was being calm about all this, it worried her slightly. Helen should at least be reacting in some way but she seemed unfazed by it all.
"Before you lose your temper and go mental, I promise you nothing happened."
"Just tell me."
"I didn't go to see my boss last night as you already know, I was with Kerry. She said she needed to see me urgently, that it was important. She has been working as a stripper and she told me that something had happened at the club, it sounded like she had some sort of a problem. She sounded so convincing and like a fool I believed her. She got in the car and tried to kiss me but I pushed her away before she could, then I kicked her out of the car, I swear nothing happened Helen."
"You should have told me." Helen didn't look angry and Nikki was now really worried, she had expected Helen to go mad, "you swear to me that nothing happened?"
"I swear on my life Helen, nothing happened. I wouldn't do that, I couldn't do that, I love you too much." Nikki looked so upset that Helen could see she was telling her the truth, deep down she knew she could trust her anyway.
"I believe you, you know I trust you, I just needed to hear you say it. Don't ever do that to me again, we're supposed to be partners Nikki, that means we tell each other everything."
"I know and I promise I will in future. I just didn't want to upset you but I ended up doing that anyway."
"I love you so much and I'm scared I'm going to lose you, when Kerry told me you were with her last night, my stomach was in knots."
"Helen sweetheart, you'll never lose me, I love you too much to ever abandon you. I know you're scared that if you get close to somebody that they'll leave you but I swear on my life that will never happen. I'm so sorry darling; I didn't mean to upset you."
"It's ok, it's all in the past already."
"Eh?" Nikki looked surprised.
"You thought I was going to go through the roof didn't you? If I didn't trust you so much then I probably would have. I've even surprised myself." Helen smiled.
"I love you, have I ever told you how amazing you are?" Nikki wrapped her arms around Helen.
"I love you too. And yes you have, once or twice." she stood up on her tiptoes and gave Nikki a kiss.
"I really am sorry." Nikki said once again.
"I know, it doesn't matter sweetheart. Lets just forget about it." she gave Nikki a big hug, "come on lets get back to work. Before I do anything though I'm going to have a wee word with Kerry."
Nikki tried to persuade Helen it wasn't worth it and to leave things as they were but she insisted that she wanted to talk to Kerry and not to worry. Nikki went off in the direction of resus and nearly bumped in to Kerry who was walking towards her.
"You're in deep shit now." Kerry smirked at Nikki.
"I wouldn't bet on it." Nikki walked off and left Kerry to be confronted with Helen.
"You and I need to talk." Helen's tone was dangerously polite.
"About you trying to fuck up my relationship with Nikki."
"I really don't know what you mean Doctor Stewart." Kerry feigned surprise.
"You know full well what I mean; Nikki told me all about it. Get it through your thick skull Kerry, she doesn't want you. No matter how many times you try to split us up, it's not going to happen." Helen crossed her arms defiantly.
"You're the one who doesn't get it, she is stringing you along. Last night I needed to talk to her about something important and she couldn't be bothered to listen, she was all over me like a rash, I told her to stop but she wouldn't. I pushed her off me and she got angry and grabbed me, that's how I lost my earring." Kerry started to cry.
"Nice try but I don't believe you. Don't turn the tears on either because it won't get you anywhere. Just stay away from Nikki and stay away from me." Helen went off to find Nikki leaving a very pissed off looking Kerry behind.
"You can keep her, I wouldn't want your castoffs anyway." Kerry shouted after Helen, her tears had now been forgotten. Her plan hadn't worked; Nikki and Helen were welcome to each other.
Helen caught up with Nikki and told her what Kerry had said. Nikki was none too happy about it and felt like throttling her, Kerry wouldn't even look at them and Helen was confident the situation was sorted.
The next day
He sat in the dark and thought about the coming day, it was his day to settle a few scores and it was nearer to the time. The scene was set; he just needed to do a few things before he was ready. He sat down at the table and began to write, no poems this time. Once he was happy with the notes, he left them where somebody was sure to find them. He smiled and went off to collect his special one, it was almost time.
Nikki was passing reception when the receptionist called out to her.
"This is for you, I noticed somebody had left it here, it's got your name on."
"Thanks Pam." Nikki took the envelope and it was indeed addressed to her. She opened it and read the note.
Remember me? Your friendly neighbourhood madman!
I have something that belongs to you. I'm up on the
ninth floor and I'm getting impatient and just in
case you don't know what I'm talking about, when was
the last time you saw Helen?
Nikki panicked when she read the note, she hadn't seen Helen for a while now, she was upstairs in a meeting. She looked at her watch and realised she should have been back ages ago. In a blind panic she dropped the note and raced upstairs to the ninth floor, ending up in the room where she found the bloody scrubs. There was no sign of anybody, she felt sick and her mouth was dry. Where in god's name was Helen?
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