Eric walked into the office forty-five minutes later and found Lugow talking with several security guards and a frustrated suited man. He scanned the room for Rebecca. Instead, he saw Donna talking to someone in one of the offices. He approached, still not sure what he was doing there.
“Beccs, you need to stop. This was not your fault!”
“The box was meant for me and she opened it! How can it not be my fault, Don?” Rebecca replied in anger.
He watched her push her hand through her hair in frustration.
“Detective Stiles, thank God. Can you please help me talk some reason into her? She is insisting that all of this is her fault,” Donna said as he looked at Rebecca.
She turned to face him, held his gaze for a moment and then looked away. He tried to think of something to say, but he had nothing. Saved by the bell, so to speak, Donna’s phone rang and she excused herself from the room.
Eric watched Donna go and realized this was the first time he’d been alone with her since…
“You don’t need to be here,” Rebecca said in a low tone as she walked to what he assumed was her desk. “I appreciate the gesture but I’m…”
She was about a foot away.
His gaze followed her as she tried to act busy. He moved toward her and when she turned again she was inches from him. His body hummed with her proximity as the sweet scent of peaches seeped into his pores. He locked her wide eyes, almost forcing her to look at him. “Rebecca, it’s not your fault.” Her eyes seemed to soften as he said it, and he watched her take a broken breath of air.
“We are all done here, Rebecca,” Lugow said, his voice breaking into the office.
Eric saw her jump in fear.
“I am going to have a squad car follow you home.”
“I got it Lug,” Eric said and she turned away from him again.
“Did I hear that we’re done?” Donna asked as she joined the group.
“Yeah,” Lug answered. “You are going to your place?”
“I need to talk to Jim before I go, if you’ll excuse me,” Rebecca said as she exited the room.
Eric watched as she walked across the office and stopped to talk to the suited man.
“Detectives,” he heard Donna say and both men turned their attention to her. “Thank you for everything you are doing but how do we make this stop? Beccs is very good at putting up a brave front. I don’t know how much more of this she can take.”
“We are doing everything we can to find the man or person who is doing this.”
“I know you are. My gut is just telling me that there’s more going on here than we know. I also have a hunch that you’re thinking along the same lines.”
“We are looking into all of the possibilities,” Lug answered in a very even diplomatic tone.
“Look, Beccs takes care of herself and everyone else. She’s not used to anyone taking care of her, nor does she really allow it. She thinks it makes her weak,” Donna explained as Eric glanced at Rebecca still talking to the suited man. “She won’t play the victim even when she should. So, this needs to end sooner rather than later. Especially now that it has affected someone other than her.”
“Why do you say that?” Eric asked.
“Now that this freak is threatening someone other than her, she’ll put herself in the line of fire to catch him,” Donna explained as both men looked at her in alarm. “I’m going to do my best to keep her under wraps but the sooner this ends the better.”
“We couldn’t agree more.”
“Good. That being said, I’m going to take her home and put her to bed before she falls over. Detective Stiles, you will be escorting us home?”
“Indeed,” Eric replied, impressed with the woman’s tenacity.“Terrific, let’s go.”