Mike looked more closely at the marks on the girl's lower back. He saw three dime-sized burns close together, but he assumed she was probably hurt more that that. He didn't want to startle Paige or the girl, but he could see that the burns needed to be cleaned and treated, and he knew they must still be somewhat painful.
"Stay here, I'll be right back," he said to Paige quietly. She looked at him a bit puzzled, but gave him an expression suggesting that she couldn't really move anyway.
Mike went into the kitchen cabinet where they kept a small first aid kit and took out the antiseptic wipes, burn cream, gauze pads, and medical tape. Mike walked back into the living room and set the stuff down quietly on the coffee table. Paige looked at him with a worried face. She adjusted the girl a bit so that she could see what Mike saw. She let out a small gasp.
Paige tapped her hand on the couch, gesturing for him to sit. Mike looked a little hesitant, but sat close to Paige. "Hey there," Mike said to the little girl still snuggled in her lap, "my name is Mike. I'm sorry if I scared you."
"He's my best friend," Paige said to her, trying to sit her up a bit, "and he's going to help me keep you safe, ok?" She waited a few moments before continuing, trying to figure out how she was going to phrase what she needed to say. "Does your back hurt, sweetheart?" she asked quietly. The girl looked up at Paige, her eyes were still a little red.
"Did somebody burn you?" Paige asked slowly. The girl nodded her head.
Mike could see that Paige was putting some effort in to not look upset.
"Would it be ok if I helped it stop hurting?" Mike asked. Paige smiled at the way he phrased the question. The girl looked over at Mike, and then back to Paige before nodding her head.
Mike sat on the coffee table and helped Paige shift the girl so that her legs straddled Paige's lap. The girl could feel that Mike was right behind her and she buried her head back into the center of Paige's chest. When Mike went to lift the back of the girl's shirt, he saw some bruising he hadn't noticed before. "We need to —" he said quickly to Paige, handing her the bottom seam of the shirt.
"Let's get this off," Paige said lifting the shirt up over the kid's head, "and we'll get you a new clean shirt to wear." Paige had to get the girl to let go of her so that she could slide the shirt down her arms. The girl didn't help her, but didn't quite resist either.
Mike had gotten out his cell phone and took a few pictures of her back, not sure if they would need the evidence later, or if anyone overnight at the FBI had taken any.
He put the phone down and tore open the wipe pack. Paige had one hand on the back of the girl's head, gently running her fingers through the dark curly hair. Paige's other arm was wrapped around the girl's hips in a hug so that she could hold her close.
The girl squirmed when Mike began to clean the burns with the antiseptic. Paige repeated to her over and over that she was ok and held her tight. Mike had seen two more burn marks on her right shoulder when they removed her shirt, and he cleaned those as well.
As soon as Mike put the burn cream on one of the marks, the girl relaxed her muscles and exhaled. "See?" Mike said, "I told you it would help."
"Does that feel better?" Paige asked her. She nodded her head, but continued to hold on to Paige, her arms in a tight hug around the woman's ribs.
Mike carefully finished putting the cream on each of the burns and covered the spots with small gauze pads, securing them with the medical tape so that they would be easy to remove later.
"Are you burned anywhere else?" Paige asker her quietly. She shook her head no.
"Second drawer on the left in my dresser," Paige said to him, "bring back a small gym shirt."
He returned the supplies to the kitchen cabinet and went upstairs for a clean shirt.
Paige sat the girl up and looked her in the eyes. "Ok," she said, "it's just you and me." Paige held both of the girl's hands, "What's your name, sweetheart?" The girl put her head back down on Paige's chest and then mumbled something quietly.
Mike was heading back down the steps, one of Paige's short-sleeved t-shirts in his hand, but Paige held up her arm and flexed her palm at him, telling him to stop and stay where he was. "I'm sorry," Paige said to her, "I couldn't hear you because of my friend making some noise on the steps. Can you tell me what your name is again?"
The girl didn't look up at Paige, but very clearly whispered, "Jessie."
Paige gestured with her hand for Mike to come over to them, and Paige sat her up so that she could help her put on the clean shirt. "Mike," Paige said to him, "this is our new friend, Jessie." Mike smiled at Paige.
The front door swung open. Jakes and Johnny had returned with bags of groceries. Mike went over to help the guys put everything away.
"Do you want to go sit in the kitchen?" Paige asked her, "I'll sit with you at the table."
Jessie nodded her head and Paige lifted her up and carried her into the kitchen on her hip. Jessie wrapped her arms around Paige's neck and laid her head on the woman's shoulder as they went to join the guys. Paige looked over at the clock; it was only a little after 9am. This was going to be a long first day.