The elevator ride up to Agent Lynch’s office was tense and silent. Helena was trying to control her breathing and almost wished that the walls would swallow her whole. How could this even be possible? Why was Elijah here? Another part of her said that this was part of her punishment. Having Elijah be so near but not remembering anything from their life together. It was the cruelest punishment of all.
The doors opened and Ryder stepped out motioning for Helena to follow him. He noted how tense she seemed to be and he took a mental note of that. He knew that this was bringing up past trauma for her, but there was something else that was setting her off. He would try to get it out of her as he questioned her, but he wasn’t sure how much she would reveal.
“Please have a seat, Miss Jekyll, can I get you anything to eat or drink?” He stood by the chair she had sat herself in and waited for a response.
Helena barely looked at him as she said, “No, I’m fine, but thank you for the offer.”
He merely nodded and shut the door before rounding his desk and taking a seat. There was a file before him which he flipped open and Helena saw papers and the edges of photos resting inside. Ryder leaned back in his chair and asked, “Miss Jekyll, are you all right? I know that this isn’t easy, but I promise that this is only a formality.”
Helena cleared her throat and said, “I didn’t sleep well last night, that’s all.”
He nodded his head in understanding, “I’m sorry if I ruined your evening, Miss Jekyll, or dredged up any unwanted memories. I hate having to reopen old wounds for you, but unfortunately, there is no way around this. I’m hoping that this won’t take too long.”
“I understand, Agent Lynch,” was all she could muster up the courage to say.
He smiled at her and it made her heart beat a little quicker in her chest, she had forgotten what a nice smile Elijah had had. “Please call me Ryder, Miss Jekyll.”
“You can call me Helena…. I would prefer it if I’m being honest,” she replied. She wanted to hear him call her Helena, even if it was selfish. She would more than likely never see him again after this, and she wanted to hold onto this for as long as possible.
“All right, then let’s start with a basic question. Why did you change your name, Helena?”
The question threw Helena through a loop, she hadn’t been expecting anyone to ask her that. Lying was the only thing she could do in response to the question. “When my parents were killed there was some media coverage surrounding them, I had reporters bugging me night and day for statements and questions. I got tired of it. And after everything that happened I just kinda wanted to start over.” She twisted the ring on her finger, a nervous habit that she had, Ryder picked up on it. “I needed a fresh start, and changing my name seemed like one of the best options for doing that.”
“How many people knew of your name change after your parents’ deaths?” His eyes never left hers, and she squirmed under their intensity. There was more to this than she was telling him, and he couldn’t figure out why she wanted to keep things a secret from him. He was trying to catch her parents’ killer, why would she be nervous?
Unless she had something to do with it.
Had she killed her parents?
“My friends at the time and the school of course. Most of the people who knew me and knew what had happened to my parents knew that I had decided to change my name.”
“Would any of them want to hurt you? Would they like to see harm befall you?” He watched as emotions flashed in her eyes. She was petrified. “Miss Jekyll, is someone threatening you?”
“No!” She said quickly. “No one has threatened me. And as far as I’m aware no one would want to hurt me or see anything bad happen to me. No one disliked my parents, and we never did anything to warrant something this vile to happen to us.”
She was only giving him half-truths, but he wasn’t going to press her further. He was going to have to find another way to get her to tell him the truth. “Where were you when you had learned that your parents had been murdered?”
“I was in my dorm with several of my friends, one of which is Gianna Anderson whom I’m still good friends with to this day,” she told him.
He nodded his head, he knew who Gianna was. “She was the one that admitted you to the psychiatric ward after you had a mental break, correct?”
“She was,” Helena nodded.
Ryder took some notes on a clean sheet of paper before moving on to his next question, “And in the years since has anyone ever threatened you or sent letters to you threatening your life?”
“No, I never received any letters from anyone.” She had wondered if she would, she even waited for an email or a letter of some kind. That had been Jacquline’s move go to move. She loved to taunt the police, the newspapers, and even Helena herself after she had committed a murder. She craved the attention that the letters brought her. “And as far as I’m aware there were never any threats released to the police or newspapers as well.”
“You would be correct,” Ryder told her. “You know I find it funny how similar these murders are to the Jack the Ripper killings back in the late eighteen hundreds. I mean there have been copycats before, but this seemed oddly similar.”
Helena’s heart skipped a beat, “That is odd.”
Ryder’s eyes met hers, “Helena, am I making you uncomfortable? Do you need a break?”
“Could I get some water?” She wanted him out of the room so she could breathe for just a few minutes. He nodded his head and got up leaving her in the room alone. She glanced out the door and stood leaning over the table and reading what he had written.
Could possibly know more? Maybe being threatened by someone?
Possibly the killer
The last observation was struck through and Helena wasn't sure if she should be happy that he didn't think she was the killer or worried that he had suspected her in the first place.
She quickly sat back down a few seconds before he walked back into the room and handed her the styrofoam cup filled with water. She thanked him and took a long sip from the cup, buying herself a few moments to compose her nerves. She felt Ryder’s eyes on her as she sipped on the water.
“Feeling better?” He asked when she gently set the cup on the table.
She looked up at him, “Yes.”
“Is there anything else that you can tell me about what happened? Anything strange going on in your life? Did your parents seem agitated at all or scared?” The rapid-fire questions made Helena tense up again as she recalled that time of her life she had so carefully shoved down.
“No, nothing seemed wrong or off. There was nothing going on that would have made me alarmed or worried. My parents were perfectly average members of society. They were loved by their friends and neighbors. As far as anyone was aware they weren’t ever into anything illegal.”
Ryder tapped his fingers against the metal table, his other hand holding the piece of paper where he had written the notes about Helena. “Well, then I don’t think I have any further questions for now, Miss Jekyll. If I think of anything else I’ll give you a call,” he stood and she followed his example. “Thank you for agreeing to come in and meet with me, and I’m sorry for dragging up old wounds. I know this must have been hard for you.”
“It’s fine,” she lied. “If I can help bring in the person who did this to my parents then I will do everything I can.”
He led her back through the building and down the elevator once more. When they reached the doors leading outside he said, “Enjoy the rest of your day, Miss Jekyll.”
“You too, Agent Lynch,” she moved through the doors of the agency building and then turned to get one last look at him, still thinking about how much he looked like Elijah.
Ryder watched as her cab disappeared out of sight before he turned to head back to his floor. When he made it there his friend and colleague Agent Kyle Daniels asked, “How did it go? Did she give you anything useful?”
Ryder leaned against the wall right outside his office and glanced out the window, “I don’t know yet. But one thing is for certain, she knows something that she isn’t telling anyone else.”
“Think she had something to do with what happened with her parents?” Daniels could see the wheels turning in Ryder’s head.
Ryder looked from the window to Daniels, “I don’t think so, but I’m going to keep an eye on her.”