Don't Speak

Chapter 3

Maura stirred slowly, not wanting to leave the first good night of sleep she’d had in years. She slowly stretched, her arm instinctively reaching across the bed before she realised what she was doing. As her brain caught up she realised Jane’s hand had left hers and the other side of the bed was cold.

She jerked upright, suddenly panicked that Jane might be gone. That maybe she wasn’t ever here at all. Movement caught her eye and she realised Jane was standing on the far side of the room, walking towards her with a worried look. Maura calmed immediately, her posture relaxing, which made Jane relax as well.

Maura cast an appraising look over her friend. From the temperature of her side of the bed she had probably been up for quite a while, but Jane didn’t appear fatigued. She seemed alert, wary.

Maura decided to try to get Jane to talk. Last night she had still been in shock from Jane’s sudden appearance, her thoughts too muddled to allow a plan to be formulated. Today she would try to reach her friend and find out what had happened.

She started small, trying to engage Jane in a friendly conversation. “Good morning Jane. Did you sleep well? You look well rested.”

Jane cocked her head to the side, an agreeable look on her face, not quite a smile yet but definitely a less sombre look than any she had worn yesterday. Maura sighed, disheartened that Jane didn’t seem to be any more vocal but not willing to give up just yet.

Maura got up, leading the way to the kitchen with Jane trailing behind. She noticed Jane glancing at all the entry points to the room, seemingly checking the security of the house, before she walked back and stood near Maura.

Maura poured two glasses of juice, sliding one towards Jane and sipping the other herself. She watched as Jane glanced towards the glass before returning to her watchful scrutiny of Maura.

Maura sighed, gesturing towards the glass. “Jane, please have some juice.”

Jane frowned before moving towards the liquid cautiously, seeming to check for hidden traps or meanings before she finally touched the glass. She again watched Maura drinking carefully before copying the motion, her eyes widening slightly at the taste of the juice. She took another sip without prompting, seeming to enjoy it more. Glancing back at Maura she put the glass down almost guiltily before returning to her previous position, scanning the room once again before turning back to Maura.

Maura tapped her finger on the bench thoughtfully. “What are you looking for Jane? Are you worried about someone finding you? Are you hiding?”

Jane’s face closed off slightly, the relaxed visage she had been presenting disappeared, replaced with the stoic façade she had worn last night. Her body stiffened, becoming more alert and poised. Maura knew she had come close to the truth; it was just a matter of narrowing down the specifics.

“Okay, is it an organisation that’s looking for you?”

Jane seemed to realise that Maura could read her well enough to detect her responses and stopped trying to hide them. Her slight nod felt like a breakthrough, indicating she trusted Maura; she was starting to respond.

Maura couldn’t help a slight smile. “Did you escape from them?”

Another nod, this one a bit more firm with a slight lift of the eyebrows. Maura read that Jane was proud to have escaped.

Maura considered where to go from here. If there was some organisation hunting Jane they had to be covert and highly illegal, which probably meant she couldn’t tell anyone she had seen Jane for fear of alerting them to her location.

“Are they a government group?”

Jane looked unsure. Maura realised it might have been hard to tell; depending on the circumstances of her captivity she might not know who had taken her, or if she did she may have been lied to.

Maura decided to steer away from the difficult questions for a while. “Are you hungry? I’m going to make some pancakes.”

Jane’s face lightened; she clearly remembered pancakes. Maura smiled as she moved towards the cupboard to get the ingredients.

Jane’s memory gaps seemed hard to place. She didn’t remember basic things like how to use cutlery or drink from a glass or even sit down, but she remembered pancakes and she had somehow understood that the bottle of wine on the floor had meant that Maura was drinking to excess. She also remembered Maura, noticing things like her changed nightly routine. It was a puzzle, but it was one Maura was determined to solve so she could work out how to help Jane.

Jane drifted closer as the smell of pancakes cooking permeated the room, the wistful expression on her face almost getting a laugh out of Maura. She had relaxed a lot since she had started responding to Maura’s questions, her posture no longer ramrod straight and tense. She even clumsily perched on a kitchen stool when prompted by Maura, waiting patiently while Maura set up a plate and cutlery for her to eat at the bench.

Her eyes were eager as Maura pulled the first pancakes from the pan, watching intently as Maura drizzled toppings over them before placing them in front of Jane with a flourish. Jane looked almost joyful as she looked at them, before glancing at the cutlery and looking back at Maura with a sad expression. Maura followed her gaze before realising she was unsure about how to eat them since the cutlery was different to the ones they had used for the salad the night before.

Maura quickly plated up her own breakfast before sitting next to Jane. She showed her how to hold the knife and fork, before demonstrating how to cut the pancakes and take a bite. Jane looked excited to be understood and eagerly mimicked the motions, her face ecstatic as she took her first bite.

Maura was thrilled to see the first genuine smile cross Jane’s face, a mixture of pleasure at the taste and relief at their fledgling communication. Jane’s face conveyed how grateful she was in that moment and Maura felt like they were back where they belonged, just two friends enjoying a late breakfast on a lazy Saturday.

She knew it couldn’t last though. After she finished cleaning up the kitchen she turned to find Jane looking at her expectantly.

Maura realised what Jane’s manner indicated. “Are you waiting for me to give you instructions?”

Jane nodded, cocking her head to the side to wait for the expected direction.

Maura sighed, Jane’s behaviour making a sad sort of sense. “Jane, you don’t need me or anyone to tell you what to do. You’re a strong woman with a mind of her own. You’re not a servant, or a soldier, or whatever someone seems to have convinced you. Do you understand?”

Jane looked very confused and agitated. The concept of free will seemed foreign, her lip curling in distaste as she contemplated Maura’s words.

Maura realised they were on sensitive ground and quickly changed topic. “Okay, how about you let me examine you. Work out what your physical condition is. How does that sound?”

Jane’s face relaxed out of its hostile discomfort, settling on an obedient emotionless mask. Maura realised she had taken a step back, retreating from the easy atmosphere that had developed over breakfast. She suppressed a sigh as she headed to the couch, waiting for Jane to follow before getting her to sit down.

Maura grabbed a notepad out of her work bag and started her examination of Jane. She had noticed all of her scars while Jane was in the bath last night, but she now took the time to examine them closely and take notes. Jane sat passively during the examination, not reacting to any of the poking and prodding. Even when Maura pressed firmly on some of the more prominent bruises that were readily apparent Jane didn’t flinch, continuing to stare into space. It seemed like Jane was accustomed to being examined and zoned out, there was an air of long-suffering routine to her manner.

Maura was appalled to see the damage that had been inflicted on her friend’s body. Some of the marks were clearly the result of life-threatening injuries. A large scar on her chest looked to be the result of being impaled on an object approximately an inch in diameter and round in shape. An exit scar was apparent on her back, showing that the object had most likely compromised her lung and should have impacted her spine. There were several surgical marks near the location of the vertebra that should have been compromised, which could explain how Jane could still move.

The scar across her face looked to be the result of a sharp implement. Maura could see stitch marks from haphazard attempts to seal the wound. The treatment was rudimentary, leaving the very prominent scar across Jane’s face. If she had received proper care it was likely that the scar would be greatly reduced, but it appeared that whoever had imprisoned Jane hadn’t cared for aesthetics. The scar finished near the site of several surgical marks near her temple. Maura had no knowledge of procedures that would use that location as an access point, so was clueless about what had been done to Jane in that instance.

There were multiple lesser injury sites all over her body, indicating several burns, stab wounds, bone breaks and other abrasions. Some were treated; others seemed to have been left to heal unattended.

The multiple surgeries that were evident all over Jane’s body left Maura uncertain of Jane’s surgeon’s intent. Some, like the marks around Jane’s spine and chest, were obviously treatments for the injuries at those sites. Others seemed to be either exploratory or for an unknown purpose. Maura couldn’t imagine why a medical professional would cut into someone who wasn’t ill, but that was obviously what had happened.

The most alarming discoveries were the mysterious implants under Jane’s skin. Maura had noticed the odd protrusions last night, but with Jane lying down she could more accurately observe the shape against her skin and probe carefully with her fingers to try to determine the purpose of the invasive objects.

There were augmentations to Jane’s legs, most obviously prominent at her hips. It seemed from the cuts, coupled with the shape of the implants, that all the bones in her legs had been exposed and covered with some kind of plating. Her knees were solid, as if the joints had been replaced. Her feet had also been cut open, with so many badly healed marks that Maura couldn’t make out what had been done.

Jane’s abdomen had clearly been opened multiple times. It was impossible to tell if any organs had been removed, but Maura could feel something hard near the surface below her navel. The obstruction made it difficult to feel any other organs, but there didn’t seem to be any other new additions.

Jane’s ribs and chest seemed untouched apart from the injuries. Her shoulders had been altered however; there were cuts similar to the ones on Jane’s legs where plating had been inserted, ranging from her neck down to her hands. The familiar scars on Jane’s hands were still present, but they had been joined with several other more intrusive looking marks.

Finally, Jane’s spine, neck and head seemed to have been augmented with the same plating. Maura could see that her head had been operated on several times at various intervals, with some of the scars looking old and healed whereas some were new and fresh, not more than 6 months old.

It was apparent that Jane had been operated on regularly for the entire period she had been missing. Maura was reasonably sure that one of the surgeries had removed Jane’s ability to feel pain, as she had tried to trigger involuntary pain reactions with several times with no success, although it upset her to cause Jane any further discomfort. It would explain the bruising on Jane’s arms; people without feeling in their limbs often banged them without realising. Maura didn’t think Jane was completely without sensation, mostly due to the memory of Jane’s gentle touch on her bruised face, but she clearly had lost her normal pain response.

When Maura finished her examination she touched Jane’s arm to bring her back to a sitting position. Jane’s eyes immediately focussed on Maura’s face, her expression turning alarmed and questioning as her hand reached for her eye. Maura felt curious fingers brushing over wet cheeks before realising she had been silently crying for almost the entire examination.

Maura took a shuddering breath, only then realising how upset she was. “Oh, I’m sorry Jane. I’m not hurt, I just….I guess I am just realising how much you must have been hurt while you were gone. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop this from happening, or be there for you, or help you….”

Jane’s expression softened, her hand grabbing Maura’s and bringing it close to her chest before bringing it to her temple. Maura was confused and watched Jane repeat the motion a few times before she understood.

“Oh, do you mean you felt like I was with you, you remembered me?”

Jane nodded with a faint smile. Maura returned it shakily, her other hand snaking around Jane’s shoulders to pull her close. Maura felt the hardness of Jane’s shoulders now that she realised what had been done, but she still drew comfort from the knowledge that Jane hadn’t ever forgotten her.

Fresh tears fell as Maura considered Jane’s behaviour in light of her discoveries. “I’m just so sorry this happened to you.”

Her hand rubbed Jane’s arm, her need to convey comfort overwhelming the veneer of control she had put over her emotions. “You know, after you disappeared I used to imagine you were still out there somewhere. I’d open my front door and you’d be there, smiling at me and apologising for keeping me waiting. And I wouldn’t mind, I wouldn’t care how long it’d been, or how sad I’d been, I’d just smile back and we’d go get a coffee and we’d talk and it would all be okay. I never imagined you being hurt, or needing my help. I looked for you for a long time, but I think I never really thought that I’d see you again. I gave up hope, and I’m sorry for that. I should have known somehow, I should have….”

Jane’s hand came up to still Maura’s lips mid-sentence. Her finger stayed on Maura’s mouth, her eyes encouraging Maura to stop and relax. The hand gradually moved to her cheek, a calming thumb brushing lightly over the wet cheek as Maura’s head was carefully guided down to lie on Jane’s shoulder. Maura sobbed quietly, her bottled up feelings breaking free now that they were in the presence of the one person who could always deal with them and soothe them. Jane’s hands continued to comfort, one holding her hand and the other gently circling over her shaking back and shoulders.

By the time Maura finished crying it was almost time for lunch. She left Jane in the kitchen while she went to wash her face and change, since she was still in her sleep wear. When she came out she saw Jane was looking curiously at something on a shelf.

As Maura joined her she realised it was a scrapbook that Angela had made for her. She had seen how depressed Maura was coming up to her last birthday, so decided to try to make her something to remind her of her brightest moments in an attempt to help her recover some joy. At the time, the book had only reminded Maura of how empty and pointless her life felt, but she appreciated the gesture and the attempt.

Jane was currently looking at a newspaper clipping of Maura accepting a commendation from the city. She looked up at Maura questioningly, holding out the book.

Maura sighed, moving to the couch. “It was about two years ago. We had another serial killer and we weren’t getting anywhere with the investigation. The killer had a particular type; he liked to go after single women, taking them from their homes and transporting them to his farm before holding them for several days. He would rant at them for days, about his worthiness, about how they thought they were better than him, about his family situation, anything that crossed his mind really. If they argued with him they would be beaten. If they tried to agree and didn’t say the exact right thing they would be beaten. By the time they eventually died of thirst they would be a mess. We would find them dumped somewhere in Boston a few days later, and another girl would be missing.”

Maura took a deep breath before continuing. “I decided to do a press conference about the situation with Lieutenant Cavanaugh. During the conference I deliberately goaded him, drawing his attention. He came for me the next day.”

Jane’s brow drew together in consternation, a clear rebuke on her face. Maura smiled weakly before continuing. “I know, it was foolish and dangerous. I just wanted to help. I wasn’t helping with the forensics; we had nothing. I had just had enough. Enough of the case and of everything else. He came for me, taking me prisoner just like the others. I was there for two days before I managed to goad him enough to cause him to punch me off the chair I was tied to and leave. Fortunately I managed to find a rusted nail to cut my restraints. I was able to overpower him when he came back; he had left a machete in the room with me.”

Maura’s voice caught and she was forced to swallow before continuing in a strained voice. “I found his phone and called Korsak. They traced the call and found me. He was pronounced at the scene; exsanguination from his…injuries.”

Maura remembered vividly how much blood there had been. He had looked so surprised when she swung and struck him in the chest, like she had said something vaguely insulting rather than acting to end his life. His eyes hadn’t left hers during the long minutes until he bled out. She hadn’t been able to look away, needing to know that he was gone before she moved. When they had gotten her to the hospital they had thought her injuries were much worse that they were before they realised she was just coated in her assailant’s blood.

Maura shuddered at the memory before she cleared her throat again. “I don’t remember much about the aftermath. I was in shock and then on strong pain medication for weeks. At some point they told me I was to be given this commendation.”

She passed her hand over the clipping, remembering the ceremony clearly. “I was just constantly flashing back to your award ceremony. I remember how much you hated it. You didn’t want anyone to think of you as a hero. I didn’t really understand until I was on that same stage, receiving a medal that I thought had more business choking me than commending me. I didn’t understand how I could be congratulated for murdering someone, even if it was someone as damaged and dangerous as him.”

Jane stared at the clipping with an outraged look on her face. Her gaze flicked up to meet Maura’s, softening into a sympathetic almost smile. Her hand found Maura’s and squeezed. Her other hand reached out to touch Maura’s heart, then clenched into a fist, then made a flicking motion as if shaking off unwanted liquid. Jane’s eyes furrowed, waiting to see if Maura understood.

She did. Maura smiled and squeezed Jane’s hand back. “Yes, I got past it. I went to therapy. I talked about it. It took months, almost six, but I eventually went back to work. Your mother visited almost every day, making sure I was eating and looking after myself. Korsak kept me up to date on all the news from work, reassuring me that there was a place for me as soon as I was ready. Susie came and visited every Friday. I think she was trying to recreate our movie nights so I would feel like you were still looking out for me.”

Jane almost smiled again, moving her free hand between their hearts with a questioning look.

Maura smiled. “Yes, I felt like you were still with me. I didn’t think I could get through it without you there, but the memory of how you’d helped me in the past got me there eventually.”

Jane did smile finally, looking pleased to have helped somehow.

Maura’s face fell as she continued. “I think that was when I really gave up on seeing you again. I was just so distraught, in so much pain. I knew that if there was any possible way of coming back to me you would have done it; you’d never let me go through that alone if you could help it. When you didn’t magically appear I realised you weren’t coming back. It took almost six months, but I eventually put myself back together and tried to move on. Not to forget you, but to try to work out how to live with myself knowing you were really gone.”

Jane looked pained to hear all that Maura had been through without her. She looked back at the book before closing it, apparently done with reminiscing and catching up for now.

Maura internally pulled herself up, realising how much she had just blurted out. “Oh, Jane, I’m so sorry, I shouldn’t be burdening you with any of this rubbish! You’ve been through enough, I didn’t mean to….”

Again Jane shushed her with a finger to the lips, indicating a give and take motion between them with both hands. Maura smiled thankfully, realising that she couldn’t help spilling her feelings to Jane, it was automatic no matter how much time had passed.

She put on a more upbeat tone. “Okay, but if we’re sharing you have to share too. What do you want to do with the rest of the day?”

Jane just cocked her head to the side again. Maura realised this was her ‘awaiting instructions’ face and sighed. “Jane can you really not speak? It would make it so much easier to understand what you need….Can you try? For me? Please?”

Maura could see that Jane understood what she was asking. Her expression turned fearful, her hands trembling slightly as she balled them into fists. As Maura gasped and moved to touch her, Jane recoiled violently, throwing herself into the nearest wall and curling into a defensive ball. Maura instinctively went to follow her before realising she might make the impression of impending pain worse.

Backing up with her hands raised, Maura spoke as softly as possible, her voice shaking. “I’m sorry Jane, I’m sorry. You don’t have to speak. I won’t hurt you. Nobody will hurt you. I won’t mention it again, I’m sorry. Please Jane, it’s okay, everything’s okay.”

Jane slowly uncurled enough to watch Maura back against the wall, her hands still held out empty. It took several minutes of staring and gentle reassurances before Jane finally relaxed and stood up, her eyes still full of fear.

Maura couldn’t decide whether it would be wise to try to approach Jane yet. Her reaction showed absolute terror, but Maura wasn’t sure what she had done to trigger that response. It would take more data to determine the cause, but first Maura needed to calm Jane down. Observing how wary Jane was she decided it was too soon to physically approach her.

Taking a few deep breaths she started speaking as calmly as possible. “Jane, do you remember when we used to go for a run in the early mornings before work? We would meet up here and pick a direction and just run until we were tired, then we’d turn around and come back. Even when it was cold outside and we could see our breath and the sun wasn’t up yet we’d still go for our run.”

Jane was relaxing slightly, but she hadn’t moved yet. Maura kept going, keeping still to try not to spook her. “Whenever it was cold, your hands used to hurt. And you wouldn’t tell me, because you’re stubborn, and you didn’t want me to know you were in pain. But I eventually figured it out, and since I can be stubborn too I forced you to let me help. We’d run for twenty minutes and then I’d make you stop so I could massage your scars, and they wouldn’t hurt as much. Do you remember that, Jane? Then we’d keep going and we’d finish our run and we’d start our day.”

Jane looked at her hands, rubbing curious fingers over the still present reminders of her old life. She looked back at Maura, confusion obvious on her face. She seemed to be trying to decide whether Maura wanted to punish her or help her.

Maura decided to push on, still not moving but making her voice firmer. “I still want to help you Jane. I want to try to ease any pain you’re in. I would never cause you any pain if I could avoid it. You are safe with me, I promise.”

Jane looked searchingly at Maura before apparently making her decision. Her gait was cautious and slow as she inched across the room, one hesitant step at a time. Maura didn’t hurry her, patiently waiting for Jane to be comfortable. Finally Jane stopped just out of reach.

They stared at each other, Maura trying to convey comfort and trust with her body language, Jane clearly transmitting her still present fear. Maura slowly, carefully, reached out a hand to Jane. “It’s okay, you can trust me. I won’t hurt you, I could never hurt you.”

Jane looked at the offered hand as if searching for traps or weapons. She looked back into Maura’s eyes searchingly.

Finally she moved, extending her hand and dropping it cautiously into Maura’s. Maura smiled thankfully at the gesture before moving her other hand and placing it on top of Jane’s. She gently started to massage the scarred hand, the motion familiar but alien as she felt foreign objects moving under the skin. She forced herself not to react, maintaining a constant reassuring movement.

Jane watched the healing hands working over her pale skin in fascination; the fear fading away and being replaced with wonder. She looked back at Maura, reaching out a hand to touch her face, almost as if she was convincing herself that Maura was real. When her fingers met solid flesh and tangled in blonde hair Jane smiled faintly, a relieved expression filling her face and relaxing her body.

After an indeterminate amount of time Maura finally let go of Jane’s hand when she thought Jane was back to feeling safe. Remembering that it must be past lunchtime by now, Maura moved into the kitchen and started preparing their meal. She remained silent, not willing to push Jane by asking her what she wanted to eat. Jane remained standing where she had been left, watching Maura’s movements with a curious and contented gaze.

The meal passed in silence, with Maura trying not to stare at Jane despite the fact that Jane did little else but stare at her. It was like she had completely lost all her social filters, not caring about nudity, staring, personal space or anything else that she used to navigate with ease before she had disappeared. It was disconcerting for Maura to be the one in this pair with a better grasp of social cues and behaviour; Jane had always been her guide through those treacherous waters.

As they finished eating, the silence continued unabated. Maura cleaned up the dishes and then moved to the couch. Jane trailed after her quietly, sitting down in her spot without instruction. Maura gave up trying to avoid staring and started scrutinising her friend’s every expression, trying to work this out. Trying to work her out.

She decided to go back and catalogue everything she knew in order to construct a logical plan. Maura was fairly sure that Jane had followed her home from the park. From the amount of dirt on her it was likely that she had been living in the park, or one like it, for between a few weeks and a couple of months. She didn’t appear to be undernourished, so it was possible that someone may have looked after her, since she didn’t appear capable of feeding herself without instruction.

Since she had found Maura and allowed herself to be pulled into the house, Jane had hardly shown any independent action. The only times her own self had shown through was when Maura had been showing her own pain, either with tears or tiredness or the physical evidence such as the empty wine bottle. Whenever Maura had been calm, Jane had been mostly passive, waiting for instructions and standing obediently.

Maura realised that she needed help. It would be telling to see how Jane reacted to another person, whether her responses were specific to Maura or a general response to anyone. Since getting Jane to speak was clearly off the table, observing her behaviour in reaction to different stimuli was the only course of action left open to Maura.

Her decision made, Maura motioned for Jane to stay put before retrieving her phone from the bedroom. She turned it on to be greeted by several missed calls from Susie. She opened a text message, frowning in confusion.

Where are you? There are two new cases that have been brought in and you need to have the quarterly budget review in by the end of the day. I covered and said you were working from home, but you need to get in here as soon as possible!

Maura realised in shock that it was Friday, not Saturday as she’d somehow assumed. She was supposed to be at work. The thought hadn’t even crossed her mind; she was so focussed on Jane. It was telling that Susie didn’t sound worried, she had just covered for her until she showed up. Maura glanced at Jane, knowing she wouldn’t approve of how much her professional pride had slipped over the past four years. The time where Dr Isles was prompt, thorough and reliable was long past.

Maura took a breath, considering her options before speaking. “Jane, I need to see to some work. I want to ask Susie to come here. Is that okay?”

Jane seemed to think it over before nodding, her expression worried but not scared. Maura nodded back before moving to her office to call Susie.

The phone rang only once before a frantic Senior Criminalist picked up. “Maura, where have you been? Lieutenant Cavanaugh is furious, Detective Rizzoli is waiting on autopsy reports before he can start investigating, and the governor’s office has been calling about the quarterly reports! Are you coming in?”

Maura sighed, remembering all the work she was supposed to be doing today that she had put off yesterday since she was hung over. “I’m sorry, Susie. Something has come up; you’ll understand when you get here. I need you to come now.”

Maura had rarely heard Susie yell, and never quite as high pitched as this. “What? You want me to leave now? I’ve been covering for you all day Maura! You need to come in; you might get fired this time! You are really out of chances!”

Maura knew she didn’t care. “I’ll take that chance Susie. I really need you to come to my house as soon as you can. Send me the budget reports; I’ll call in a replacement ME for the cases.”

Susie was silent for several long seconds. They had done this dance before, with Maura failing to appear at work and Susie using every excuse in the book to deter the wrath of all those who relied on her. The excuses had run out long ago, and everyone was at the end of their tolerance for Maura’s ongoing faults.

Susie was still loyal to her friend, however. “I’ll be there as soon as I can. I’ll just sort out a few things to get everyone moving. Maybe a couple of hours?”

Maura closed her eyes in relief. “Thanks Susie. I’ll see you then.”

She hung up and looked at the phone guiltily. Susie had endured an awful lot by sticking by her over the last few years. They had moved past the distant relationship of colleagues and into a real friendship after her second breakdown, but Susie could never replace Jane in her heart and she knew it. However there was nobody else that Maura trusted enough for this, and she hoped that Susie could help her figure out how to help Jane.

She called the replacement ME before she grabbed her tablet and headed back out to Jane, who looked up expectantly, her head cocked in the waiting pose.

Maura sighed again, not knowing how to get Jane to stop being so passive. “Susie will be here in a few hours. Do you remember Susie?”

Jane nodded slightly, not looking convinced. Maura frowned, not quite knowing what to do with that answer. “Okay, well I need to do some work for a while. You are welcome to watch some television, or read. What would you like to do?”

Jane made a show of settling into the couch and placing her hands in her lap, staring at Maura unflinchingly. Maura rolled her eyes, not having the patience to try to get anything more out of her right now.

“Okay, you sit there and watch me, that’s fine. Let me know if you need something.”

Maura quickly received the email from Susie and started work on her reports. Nothing much had happened in her department this quarter so the reports were relatively quick to finish, she just hadn’t had the motivation to attend to them before now.

She occasionally glanced at Jane, who had barely moved. Her constant gaze was still disconcerting, but it was starting to unsettle Maura less as the day wore on.

Maura had just finished the reports and emailed them when a knock sounded at the front door.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.