“Can I get you something, miss Morgan?”
Debra sat still on the chair, keeping an eye on Harrison who was drawing in a coloring book at the other side of the room. She could have left him at home, or with a nanny, but these days, there weren’t many places that she’d leave the boy alone.
It’s why she was doing this, why she’d agreed to do this, and to do it here, instead of allowing one of them into her home.
“No, … thank you.” She wanted to say fuck it, to forget it all, but she needed to do this. She couldn’t keep Harrisson at home forever. She couldn’t keep hiding. “Let’s just fucking start this, get it the hell over with before I completely lose my nerve.”
“Of course.” The reporter sat down and put his tape recorder on the table before throwing a look at Harrison.
“Miss Morgan, I remember reading about your experiences with Rudy Moser, and it makes me wonder, what was it like to discover that he and Dexter were brothers?”
The woman froze, as if checking her reaction and Deb sat there thinking, What the fuckity fuck did you think I felt?
Instead she stared at her fingernails.
“I felt sorry for Dex.” She barely bit back a hysterical giggle. “I just discovered that… how my dad found him and Rudy in that cargo container, how they lost their mom.” And the blood, god, stuck in that container for two days… “And I had to tell him, I couldn’t lie to him. “ She stared at Harrison, using the little boy as a center to calm down, for his sake. “I didn’t find out until later that he already knew, and he’d never told me. That he knew exactly who Rudy was, and he still chose me over him.”
She shivered and grabbed for the glass the reporter had put in front of her, wishing it was stronger than tea. God, she needed a drink.
“That’s the thing about Dexter. A lot of people see him as this soulless monster who just picked the kind of victims no one would care about. And part of that is true. Vogel and my dad made sure of that. But that wasn’t all that Dexter was. He loved me, I have to believe that. He loved me, he loved Rita, and Harrison, God, he loved those kids. He loved us as much as he was capable of. And that matters.”
Hell, the bastard even loved Hannah, for all that she didn’t deserve it, Deb wished Dexter had just added the woman to his list of victims.
“Finding out that your brother was a serial killer must have quite a shock.”
Seriously? Deb wished she could bash some sense in the guy. She wished she could tell him how she’d found out a year before, how hard it had been to even be around Dexter after she’d murdered Laguerta for him. All those times he'd tried to talk and she'd turned her back on him. How she’d felt dirty having him touch her, saying her name, how taking him down with her had almost felt cleansing in a way. But telling all that, would make her an accessory after the fact, an accomplice even, and who’d look after Harrison if she went to jail. Sometimes she wished that Dexter was right here so she could make him deal with his own crap. How he’d let Saxon screw everything up, because Dexter hadn’t been careful enough.
She still didn’t know how any of them had missed the asshole enough to let him get away with it all. Killing his mother, killing people in general, his mother’s patients, going after Dexter. And why Dexter hadn’t just destroyed whatever information Vogel had had on him in the first place. But that was Saxon, not Dexter.
The rest of the crap though, that was all Dexter and she wished to sweet Jesus that she could treat him like a bad puppy and wipe his face through his own mess. But then, if he were, she’d probably be doing the exact same thing she was doing now. Dexter might have been the older one, but she’d always been the one protecting him. Even when they were kids.
“It felt like I didn’t know him any more.” She handed out the words as a token, as if she was giving him the key to the truth. “He’d been my big brother, the stable one, the one that kept my neurotic ass straight all my life. To find out that the very thing I relied on to keep me standing was a broken and shattered wreck, almost destroyed me.”
She couldn’t tell them about Dexter explaining things to her, showing how his ‘work’ helped people. His excuses and how she’d almost bought into them. The lawyers had tried to do the same and she let them. Anything to save her brother, even if he was gone in his own head where she couldn’t follow him. A nifty excuse really, the doctor’s said it was a natural response, dealing with getting shot, seeing her go down. The shrink figured that part of him was scared of coming out of it and finding her gone. She wished she could just shake him up and get it over with. But she didn’t think that approach would help.
“It wasn’t all his fault. Our father, doctor Vogel, the two of them created him. Dad might not have realized what they were doing to Dex, but she did. They took this kid, who was damaged, who needed help. And instead all they, all 'she' could think of, was an experiment. There’s times I wonder if he could have been normal, if dad hadn’t pushed it into him that he was a monster."
She took a quick glance at Harrison, the little boy was still playing. Still so unaware, so innocent.
"If Dexter cared enough to listen about not killing innocents, doesn’t that mean that he could have been trained not to harm anyone at all? Not all psychopaths are monsters, there’s plenty of them who lead normal fulfilling lives without ever harming anyone. But Dad never even gave him that chance. And I don’t think I can ever forgive him for that.”
She could forgive her father for the mess he’d made of her, the neglect, thinking she’d be alright, while he focused on Dexter. But what he’d done to her brother, that she would never get over. And she didn’t think that anyone could expect it of her.
“I see.” No he didn’t, but she didn’t expect him to.
“My brother’s in a mental institute. The doctors tell me that the chance of him coming out of his catatonia is minimal. The police are still trying to figure out how many people he really killed. And all I can hope for, is that Harrison and his siblings will be left in peace.“ While knowing that they wouldn’t be. They were the Bay Harbor Butcher’s children after all.
“What do you feel about the exoneration of James Doakes.”
What did she feel about it? About the guilt of knowing that a man who’d been a friend had gone to his grave unmourned by most of those who’d once cared about him, because too many of them believed he’d been a monster. About how she hadn’t lifted a finger to reveal the truth once she knew what was going on. How she’d sat down with his mom and sisters, had known them and let them suffer on. When all Doakes had done was what he’d always done, try and find the truth and bring the bad guys to justice.
“I’m glad for his family. For Laguerta. I’m glad she’s resting easier that her work came to light and proved his innocence.” And Deb had killed her to protect her brother, but she couldn’t admit to that either.
She wondered if bringing Laguerta’s evidence out in the open was an act of contrition, a last apology to Laguerta. But even if it were, it wasn’t enough, it would never be enough. And yet, it was the only thing she’d had left to do after Quinn and Angel found out what Dexter's last victim had done. Vogel’s son, who had threatened Deb, who had used Vogel’s research to bring the truth about Dexter to light. He’d had it on a timer, ready to send to the press if he wasn’t there to stop it. And she’d had to find out about that from the news.
In a way, Deb was almost happy that Dexter wasn’t aware of the truth. He was the lucky one, she wished she could join him.
And she would burn, she just hoped that when she did, she wouldn’t take the children down with her.