"Hello, Brooks speaking."
Eryn watched as he nodded on his phone.
"Got ya. I'll be right over."
He hung up and stuck his head in the door, "They've got the transcript of
Lia Hall's questioning. I'm going to run down and get a copy. I won't be
She nodded and waved him off. She had a headache and just wanted to rest.
Vince locked the door behind him and walked briskly to the elevator and out
to his car.
The traffic was bad; it was 5:18 and rush hour was starting. He was
tempted to switch on his emergency siren, but he knew it wasn't that
Finally, after twenty minutes of traffic, he pulled into the station.
Weinan was just leaving, "Hey Vince. What brings you back so soon?"
"I just came for a transcript of Lia Hall's questioning. One of the
subordinates called to say it was in."
"Hm. I hadn't heard that. I probably just missed the memo."
"Probably. I promised Eryn I'd be back quickly, so I'd better go. See
He headed inside and into the lab.
"Hello, Detective Brooks. How can I help you?"
"I got a call saying you had the transcript of Hall's questioning. I just
came by to pick it up."
"I'm sorry, sir, but who's transcript?"
"Oh no, you must be mistaken. We don't have to transcript. We haven't
even gotten a tape."
Eryn shuffled out of her bedroom. The kitchen was lit only by the setting
sun through the little window over the sink.
She rummaged wearily through her medicine drawer and finally found the
Motrin she was looking for. She poured a glass of water and swallowed the
Before she could realize what was happening, a soft cord slipped around her
neck. She jerked her good foot backwards, hitting her attacker in the
thigh as she stumbled on her bad leg.
She clawed at her throat. There was a tiny bit of slack on the fleece and
she stuffed her fingers through it.
Vince ripped apart his car, trying to find the siren. The driver behind
him honked loudly as the traffic moved an inch.
He flipped the driver off and started going through his trunk. In the far
back corner of the space, he found it.
He slammed the trunk and plugged the simple siren into the cigarette
lighter. It whooped loudly and started flashing.
The cars stuffed themselves off the road, trying to make room for him. He
swerved through the less-than-tidy lane the cars had made.
Dialing on his cell phone, he called Eryn.
The phone was ringing. Eryn rammed her elbow into the attacker's ribs. He
hunched over, pulling her with him.
She grabbed at the phone, but he shoved it away.
The answering machine picked up and Vince's voice made her attacker jump.
"Hey Eryn? I know you have that headache and all, but please pick up if
everything's all right. I'm on my way, I should be there soon. Eryn? Are
you there? Answer the phone. Damn!"
The phone clicked and the machine went silent.
"He's on his way, did you hear? Could you hear that siren? He'll be here
any minute." Eryn whispered to the man.
He twisted the cord tighter. She pulled at the small space where her
finger was. The air wasn't coming.
Vince called the police station. As soon as someone picked up, he shouted
over the siren, "I need as many officers as possible now."
He gave them Eryn's address and ordered the dispatcher to get Weinan over
there was well.
He flicked off the siren and turned into the parking lot of the apartment
Eryn tried kicking again. The cord loosened for a split second as he
flinched. She worked two more fingers under the fleece braid and gasped
He pulled the cord so tight that her knuckles dug into her jugular vein.
She felt dizzy and light-headed.
Now would be a good time to give in, she though wearily.
Vince pounded the elevator button. The lights showed that is was on the
third floor and going up.
He ran to the stairs and started up them. Eryn's floor was only on the
second floor, third counting the lobby, but he wasn't used to the exercise
and his legs burned.
He started to slow as he neared the stairwell exit, but he pushed onward.
Eryn took a deep breath and slumped forward. Her attacker giggled and let
go of the fleece cord.
He picked up her body and carried her into the bedroom. He curled her body
around the soft teddy bear.
"Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say goodbye."
Vince burst into Eryn's apartment, gun drawn.
A man he didn't know stood there smiling, "Go ahead, shoot. You're too
Vince struggled to keep himself from shaking, "No. Eryn would fight."
"Oh she did fight. Vince. She fought like a bear," he giggled. "Too bad,
she stopped though. She just gave up."
"You're lying. Eryn wouldn't give up. I know she wouldn't."
"You don't know everything about Eryn, Vince."
"She's got to be alive, I know she is. Where did she go?"
"She's sleeping in her room. Sleeping with her teddy bear, forever and
He felt the cold metal press against his temple first. Then he realized
that his hands were being held behind his back.
The shock on Vince's face had to be a mirror of his own.
A soft voice whispered in his ear, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, that will do!"
He hung his head as he was lead way in the cold handcuffs. This was not
how he'd planned it, but this was how it had to end. Now he would take his
final slumber, when the judge ordered it. Perhaps he could get a teddy
bear to have with him for that sleep. To keep him company and to remind
him of his failure. Perhaps.
Vince held Eryn tightly, not wanting to let her go.
"Vince? You're hurting me. Loosen your grip a little."
He let her go, "I thought you were dead, Eryn. I mean, it wasn't really a
thinking. When I stood there and he was talking about you I knew you were
dead. It was just something I thought had to be true."
"But it wasn't, Vince. And we got him! We put him away!"
"Yes we did."
He pulled her back to him and kissed her. This time, neither of them
wanted to let go.