Their brief heated meeting one fateful night had singed itself into their minds. Not knowing of the other's identity, but unable to forget, had sealed their fate. The fire smoldered quietly in each of them as they tried to move on with their lives.
Eric Stiles was in the middle of chaos, searching for a killer.
Hunted by an obsessed psychopath, Rebecca Gailen was trying to be strong.
The world stopped for a moment as they looked up and saw the other standing just feet away.
His heart lurched, her armor shattered and the world started again as Eric's brother, Charlie, appeared to take her hand.
Family loyalty isn't a choice. When Rebecca's stalker rages out of control, Eric's decision haunts him and he struggles to stay away. Can he remain loyal to his brother, even if it means abandoning Rebecca when she may need him the most?
Eric managed to get a few hours sleep in the cage before he was needed back in the bullpen. He was finding it more and more difficult to push her out of his mind. He went to get some coffee.
"Stiles," Lug said, breaking through his churning thoughts.
"Hey, what's up?" he replied as he grabbed his full cup of coffee.
"Trace on the box of blood came back," Lug said.
Eric walked to his desk. "And?"
"They found a piece of hair in the box sealant."
"Were they able to get a name?"
"Yeah," Lugow started as he looked down at his desk in hesitation. "It came as a match to a Veronica Naltin."
Eric froze as the name hit him in the chest. "What?"
"Yeah," Lug replied as Eric took a deep breath. "We double checked. There's no mistake."
"Jesus," Eric said as he leaned on the desk, his mind spinning uncontrolled.
Adam appeared and looked at him. "You told him?"
"So now what?" Eric asked as he tried to reign in the fear that began to bubble in his stomach. They were not only dealing with a stalker, but now a ruthless killer.
"We start from the beginning," Adam said as Lug nodded. "We look at everything from both cases."
"We should look at anything that's happened since this guy made first contact with Rebecca," Lug suggested.
"Do we have a date?"
"The only specific date I have is two weeks before the teddy bear," Lug replied as he looked at his notes. "I will try and get something more specific."
"Where is she now?"
"Donna's," he said with a deep breath.
"Is she going to be safe there?"
"She'll be fine for now," Lugow added.
"Okay, let's get to work," Adam said.
Eric's phone rang. "Detective Stiles."
"Eric, we have a problem," Charlie said, sounding panicked and out of breath.
"What's going on?" he said, looking to Lug and Adam.
"Rebecca got a message from the stalker."
"I little while ago," he replied.
Eric's heart began to race.
"We think he's going after Donna."
"I don't know. Something about the message."
"Did you hear it?"
"Let me talk to Rebecca," he said and then heard Charlie pass the phone to Rebecca.
"Eric," she said, sounding terrified and shaken.
Eric got to his feet as Adam followed him. "What did he say?"
"Uh, it was a joke."
"A knock, knock, joke."
"Tell me exactly what he said, Beccs."
"Knock, knock, who's there, Donna, Donna who, Donna turn around ka-boom," she said into the phone.
He could hear the agony in her voice. "Where are you?"
"On our way to Donna's office."
"Okay, let me talk to Charlie," he replied in an even tone. He heard her pass the phone back to Charlie.
"Hey," Charlie said.
Eric and Adam reached Adam's car. "Have either of you tried to call her yet?"
"Yeah, she's not answering, but Beccs said she had an early meeting."
"We're on our way to Donna's office as well, but you need to stall and keep Rebecca away until I tell you it's okay."
"That's going to be pretty hard to do."
"Listen to me, this could all be a way to lure Rebecca out into the open," Eric explained as Adam pulled onto the street. "Just stall long enough for us to make sure it's safe."
"Okay," Charlie agreed before Eric hung up.
"What's going on?" Adam asked.
"Rebecca got a message from the stalker."
"What kind of message?"
"One with a ka-boom."
Eric, Adam, Lug and the bomb squad arrived in front of Donna's office twenty minutes later. Adam coordinated the sweep and evacuation of the building while Eric went looking for Donna. He stepped off the elevator and flashed his badge to the receptionist. "Detective Stiles, I need to speak with Donna Smith, it's an emergency," Eric said as the woman looked at him in confusion.
"I thought you were meeting her in the parking garage," the woman replied.
Eric spun, dashing to the elevator as he called Adam. "She was called down to the parking garage, I'm on my way now," Eric said into the phone hitting the P on the elevator. The doors opened moments later, and as he stepped off, he saw Donna leaning against her car with a look of irritation. "Donna!" he called out to her.
She shifted, looking.
He ran toward her.
"Eric, what's going on?" she asked as she moved to meet him.
Eric heard a door slam just to the left.
"Is Beccs alright?"
"She got a call from the stalker. He…"
"Donna!" Rebecca called as she ran toward them, Charlie in tow.
He realized that Rebecca was going to pass right in front of Donna's car. "Beccs, no!" he screamed, pushing Donna behind him just before the car exploded. The blast pushed both he and Donna off their feet as it shattered and sprayed glass across the parking lot.