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How They Win

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Casey Novak was livid. How could the suspect have a twin? How was she just finding out about this? It was supposed to be an open-and-shut case.

This was not the conversation she thought she’d be having. There is no way for her to win this case now. With her hands on her hips, she anxiously shuffled from side to side, wondering if it was going to be worth the battle.

Cragen tried his best to keep the conversation moving forward. Stepping in front of Amaro, he spoke directly to Casey. “What if we let him think Gabriel's out?”

Casey shook her head and furrowed her brow. “And terrorize the whole city?” 

”We set a trap,” Amanda suggested. She stood up from where she had been sitting and listening quietly. With her right hand held onto the chair for support, she used her left to gesture to herself. “He does like blondes.”

Amanda rolled her eyes, already dreading what she had just offered herself up to do. She knew she was good at sting operations because it was the reason she made detective so quickly back in Atlanta. At times, the operations had almost been enjoyable. It felt good to have total control, for once. Then again, with her old boss, she never did have total control. He took pleasure in pulling her strings.

As the only woman in her unit, Amanda realized early on that she needed to prove to her male coworkers, and to herself, she was capable of handling any assignment she was given. She worked twice as hard as the men, but because Atlanta was a “boy’s club”, she never felt respected by them. She felt objectified. 

When Patton took notice of how well she performed undercover, he made her believe he was going to mentor her. For the first little while, it gave her confidence and a sense of belonging, like she had finally found the family she desired. Compared to the one she was born into, her Atlanta family could have been worse. Or so she naively thought.

Patton walked around the station with Amanda on his arm like he was showing off a shiny new car. It was easy not to mind in the beginning. Amanda assumed Patton was harmless; that’s just the kind of person he was. Some people are naturally touchy-feely and if she had grown up in a home with parents who supported her, she might have ended up the same way.

She actually didn’t mind the attention. For once, it was someone being gentle and kind to her. For once she wasn’t a disappointment or a burden. Amanda thought of Patton as a father figure and trusted him as her superior to protect her. She knew Patton would never walk out on her the way her father had. She knew he would never hurt her the way her father had hurt her, or her mother.

But he did hurt her. And she let him do it.

 


 

Amanda had been jogging for a few kilometres before she decided to stop for a stretch. She wasn’t tired, just curious to find out where Brian was in the park. She paused at a park bench and lifted her right leg onto it before leaning forward to reach for her toes.

While she stretched, Amanda turned her head to scan the park for their suspect. When she didn’t spot him, she radioed Fin, Liv, and Amaro, who were there as her backup in the park. “Anybody got eyes on him?” 

“He's still sweeping,” Fin answered, binoculars in hand as he watched Brian from his position. He had parked the squad cars as close as he could, and was watching from the top of a nearby bridge in the park.

Olivia was given the honourable task of walking Frannie while she also kept her eyes on Brian. While he worked in the park, they were playing fetch.

“Oh,” Olivia leaned down to pet Frannie who had dropped a toy at her feet.

The dog absentmindedly snapped her jaw at a nearby butterfly. Olivia picked up the toy and threw it for Frannie to fetch for the 73rd time that evening. The dog was adorable, but much too excitable for Olivia’s taste.

After watching Frannie catch the toy in mid-air, Olivia added, “He's been watching you for four days. And all Brian's done is snap a few pictures. Maybe you aren't his type after all.”

“Come on,” Amanda scoffed. “He hasn't taken his eyes off me since I stepped into the park.” She rolled her eyes. 

Olivia noticed Brian was preparing to put his work stuff away. “Wait a minute, hold up, he's on the move.” She called the dog over and put the lead back on Frannie, intent on following Brian.

Amanda continued scanning the park. “Where?” She spotted the suspect. “I got him too.”

“Heading north toward the overlook by the flower garden,” responded Olivia while she led Frannie in that direction. 

Brian locked eyes with Amanda and she looked down at her feet before she started a light jog again. “I'm there now.”

She heard Olivia sigh. “I think you hooked him. Stay in sight,” Olivia warned, after watching Brian hop on his bike.

Walking faster, Olivia and Frannie followed Brian as he biked behind Amanda, keeping a short distance between them, so as not to spook him. “Stay close, Rollins.”

She hadn’t gotten a response from Amanda. Something felt off. Suddenly, her earpiece filled with static and a loud, “Agh!”

Olivia frantically ran down the path she last saw Brian on. “Rollins, update your location.” When the path came to a divide, she went right, praying Amanda had done the same.

At the top of her lungs, Olivia shouted, “Rollins!” 

A voice Olivia didn’t recognize spoke through her earpiece. “You're a feisty one,” he snarled.

Olivia realized Brian must have already gotten to Amanda and picked up her pace. Her calls for Amanda and general state of panic now had Frannie protectively searching for her owner as well, sensing she was in danger.

Olivia wasn’t giving up. “Rollins!” 

Brian was on top of Amanda. He had biked up behind her in a secluded area of the park and pushed her onto the ground into the bushes. His hands pinned hers above her head, while his legs straddled her hips to prevent her from moving. She could smell his sweat and turned her head to the side to hold in a gag. 

For a second she closed her eyes, but with them closed, she only saw Patton on top of her. She quickly opened her eyes again, gasping in horror when the realization set in. She was about to be raped. Again.

While she struggled, Brian pulled out a knife and held it up against her throat. Now that they were free from his hold, her hands reactively pulled at his arm to keep the blade from cutting her neck. A small whimper escaped her mouth before she could suppress it, as the blade cut into her flesh.

“Give me a smile.” 

Having been through this before, Amanda knew it was always easier to just do what they say, but she wasn’t giving up completely without a fight.

“Okay,” she agreed, before hesitantly flashing him a forced smile.

He then reached for her pants and began to pull them down to her knees. She knew she had to distract him to give Liv time to find her.

“No, no, just slow it down. Slow it down. I'll give you what you want.”

Brian’s right hand met her left cheek with a smack, forcing her body to freeze out of shock. She hadn’t expected the slap.

“Look at me. Look at my face.”

Grabbing her face to turn it towards him, Brian bent down to give her a rough kiss on the lips. Amanda tightly shut her eyes closed and tried to keep her mouth shut. While he was kissing her, he used his left hand to unzip his pants. She heard the sound of his zipper and tried to squirm out from under him, using her legs to help her push him off.

It was no use. She couldn’t see what he was doing below belt but it couldn’t be good. When her underwear was moved to the side, she tried to stay as still as possible and made sure to keep her eyes closed. Amanda chewed on her bottom lip to keep from crying out. She didn’t want to give him any more satisfaction than what he’d already stolen from her.

As the tears fell and she thought about how unbelievable it was that she’d allowed herself to be raped again, Amanda heard a voice she’d never forget.

“Police! Put down your weapon. Now! Put it down.”

Olivia was standing less than 10 feet from her with her gun raised, and Frannie was at her feet, barking to be unleashed. 

When Brian didn’t move off of Amanda, Olivia dropped Frannie’s leash and the three of them watched the dog sprint towards the suspect. She bit at his foot, fully intending on removing him from Amanda herself. Brian cried out, dropping the knife to protect himself from the dog that was now dragging him towards Olivia.

Kicking at the dog was no use, and he finally surrendered by laying on his stomach with his hands on the back of his head.

“Hey, enough! Enough! Whoa, whoa, come on, come on, easy, easy. We got him,” Amanda shouted at her dog, urging her to come. 

Olivia put away her sidearm when she had Brian in handcuffs, and Fin on his way with backup. “I got him. You okay?”

Amanda pulled her yoga pants back up her legs. “Yeah, I'm fine.”

“You were supposed to stay close.”

“I had my shot, and I took it. Okay, what the hell was that? You trying to ruin this case?”