Chapter 19

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Cait had been rolling on adrenaline since she'd woken and felt her attacker's weight on the edge of her bed, now the hormone was leaving her bloodstream and she was getting the shakes. Being forced to lie down on the back of Steve's car wasn't helping. "Is this still necessary?" she asked Riley, who was allowed to sit up like a normal person. "Wouldn't we know if we were being followed by now?"

"Just being safe." Riley said. "We're nearly there."

At least the anaesthetic spray was working on her burns, and her chloroform headache was finally subsiding. The car made a sharp turn. Cait slid on the leather, her head pushing into Riley's thigh as the car came to a stop. A uniformed cop peered in at her through the window, then waved them under the building.

Cait had been to the Operations Monitoring Centre before, but this time Steve led them away from the main entrance and through a door that needed a swipe card and a password to unlock. Behind the door was a single elevator and inside it, where a button for the ground floor should be, Steve inserted a key into a lock and turned it. He pushed the button for the fourth floor.

"Is there a secret part of the fourth floor?" Cait asked.

Steve smiled. "The same old fourth floor, just a more secure way to get to it."

The doors opened onto the enormous open-plan office she knew. Steve led them through the maze of empty cubicles into a large room, carpeted but for a metre of linoleum in front of a kitchen bench and a fridge along one wall. Three battered two-seater couches lined the rest of the walls. Cait didn't fancy sitting on any of them.

"I'll go and talk to Poletti and see what surveillance has come up with. Maybe Riley could make you some hot tea?"

"I'm not here to drink tea," Cait said.

"No," Steve said. "You're here to be safe until I know more about what we're dealing with and answer questions when I think you're up to it."

"I'm up to it now."

"You're trembling Kitty" Riley said.

"It's just shock. I'm fine."

"Being in shock is by definition not fine."

"Mugs are in the top right – or the dishwasher more likely," Steve said. "I'll go see what the AV guys have got so far, I'll be back soon."

Cait was pressing her teeth together to stop them chattering, she couldn't really argue.

The tea had more sugar in it than Cait would have liked but she stopped trembling. It seemed an age before Steve arrived. He was carrying a laptop. "How are we going?"

"Not even trying to relax," Riley huffed.

Cait rolled her eyes. "Doing nothing is not going to relax me."

"Alright. Let's do something, then." Steve opened the laptop and set it on the coffee table in front of Riley. Cait stopped pacing and joined them.

On the screen an image showed Cait's unit from a telephone pole across the road. The camera was centred on the front door and lounge room windows. In the bottom right hand corner most of Cait's garage door and most of her own driveway were also visible. "This is from today's surveillance." Steve said. "I've cued it up to when you arrived home. If you're up to it, I'd like you to take me through what's going on inside while we watch the time stamp and see if anything's happening outside."

"You can't have watched this, yet," Riley said to Steve.

"Not yet."

"What if the guy's on it? A little traumatic don't you think?"

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