He shouldn’t have come to Seattle.
The hollowness that’d set up residence in his chest when he’d learned of Olivia’s transfer all those years ago spread. There was nothing he could say—nothing he could do—to make up for the past. The gutting reality of that fact drove him out her building’s front door and carved deeper than any case, any mistake, any choice he’d made. The weight of failure, of losing Olivia a second time, centered between his shoulder blades and stole the oxygen from his lungs. Damn it.
He couldn’t think about that right now. Because she was right. A serial offender had taken up Charles Daggett’s cause and killed three people. That they knew of. The results hadn’t come back on the blade that’d nearly sliced through him at Marco Stein’s apartment. Neither had the autopsy reports from their latest victims. Silas wasn’t naive enough to believe the killer would stop just because they’d lost their weapon of choice or because he’d recused himself from the investigation. "Autopsy results."
They might not have Grant Harvey’s or Marco Stein’s, but Irene’s would be finalized. She’d been killed a little over a three weeks ago. Rain pounded on his shoulders as a storm churned out over Puget Sound. He unpocketed his phone. The screen haloed around him, pushing back the physical darkness closing in. The investigating detectives would’ve taken point on his former partner’s murder. Maybe even connected it to Charles Daggett’s MO, but they weren’t as familiar with the case as he was. Silas accessed the federal database and searched Irene’s name. The initial incident report, background information on the victim, the investigation plan, submissions for forensics tests, autopsy report—it was all there.
Silas ran through the report line by line. And froze. Confusion cut through him. He and Irene had worked together for close to two years. He’d gotten to know her and her husband well, had been to their home in DC on more than one occasion before her transfer. They’d been happy as far as he could tell. But she’d never mentioned seeing a therapist. Dr. Lara Farell. He punched in the doc's name into his phone's internet browser and brought up her address. Seattle. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
He stared straight up the side of Olivia’s building. His instincts screamed warning as he wrenched the front door open and hauled himself up the stairs. The answer had been right in front of them the entire time. He’d just been too blinded by his need to prove himself to Olivia to see it. Silas struggled to catch his breath as he burst onto her floor. He raced down the corridor. Dim hallway lighting blurred at the edges of his vision. He pulled up short in front of her apartment and pounded the side of his fist into the door. “Olivia, it’s me. We need to talk.”
His strangled breathing echoed through the hallway as he knocked again. “Oliv—”
Glass shattered from the other side of the door. Every cell in his body caught fire. Silas tested the doorknob, but it wouldn’t give. He backed up two steps and launched his shoulder into the door near the outer frame. The door slammed back on its hinges, and he rocketed forward.
Straight into a pool of blood.
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