Who's gonna believe you?
"I said no!"
Amanda sat up straight.
Her hands frantically grasped at the air in a half-hazard attempt to defend herself from the man plaguing her dreams; The man who always turned them into nightmares. Once she was finally able to take in her surroundings, she realized she was in her bedroom, not the office of her former Deputy Chief.
She counted to three while inhaling. Then again, while exhaling. Her breathing slowed to it’s normal pace, and she gripped her bed sheets to ground herself.
The last time she had a panic attack was months prior, in Atlanta.
Amanda was called into Patton’s office and told she was being given the opportunity to transfer up to the Special Victim’s Unit in Manhattan, New York.
Initially, she was thrilled. She was also surprised to hear her application for a transfer had been approved, knowing just how competitive it was for officers who wanted positions with such esteemed detectives as those found at the sixteenth precinct.
She figured her background in forensic science helped, but had a feeling it came down to her Captain vouching for her. She knew he would do anything for her, and before her assault, she enjoyed using it to her advantage. She would never let things go too far because he was a married man, but it felt nice to be wanted, and she figured he was only interested because he wanted what he couldn't have.
Patton certainly wasn’t thrilled about the whole ordeal. About her transfer, or her Captain showing interest in her. Patton thought she was his and wanted to make sure everyone in the office knew it. He was never shy when it came to touching her hair, the back of her neck, her shoulders, waist, or her backside. He never feared he was ever crossing a line because he knew he was King.
His power terrified everyone, so they kept silent. There was always whispers about their relationship, behind her back, but no one stood up for her. No one protected her. They masked their jealousy and their fear by spreading false rumours about her.
Everyone wanted to be liked by Patton. To be disliked by him meant discovering just how powerful he truly was; in most cases it meant one lost their job. They did what they had to do to stay employed and if that meant staying silent or averting their eyes while the Deputy Chief manhandled a woman half his age, so be it.
In Amanda's case, keeping her job meant staying silent and averting her eyes while she was being manhandled by the Deputy Chief.
Not only was she afraid of him, but she viewed him as a father figure and hated that she desired his approval. She did whatever he wanted her to do if it meant someone was proud of her; someone saw value in her. It wasn't always bad working with him, and she knew she could learn a lot from him, so she figured she could toughen out the worst of it.
She never thought of herself as a victim.
Instead, she saw herself as a woman who did what she had to do to make it in a man's world. There were others who had it worse. At least she went home with a pay cheque, had a bed to sleep in, and a roof over her head. It wasn't like she told him to stop or ever said no to his advances. Sometimes she even laughed when he made comments about her physique, about her sex life, in front of the guys at work.
When they invited her out for drinks, she always eventually accepted, and knew she didn't have to go drink for drink with them. She always did anyways. No one forced her to get drunk and make out with everyone, or get up onto a table and dance before taking her top off. Those were the choices she made, even if she regretted them afterwards.
It was all normal behaviour to her.
Every time she was called into Patton's office, she hoped, prayed, it was related to the case they were working on, but was promptly told to get down on her knees instead.
He rolled his chair back and out from under his desk, spreading his legs as he did so.
Every time he'd say the same things. "This'll be the last time, Mandy. I promise. Please? You're doin' me a huge favour here, darlin'," he always whined, unzipping his pants.
She always froze when he courted her. He'd stand up when she wouldn't immediately do what he asked of her and grab at her hair or her body, forcing her to the floor.
He'd whisper in her ear, and she could smell cigars on his breath, Old Spice in his hair. She loathed those smells; they made her nauseous.
“Mandy, c'mon. Ya know I don’t take ‘No’ for an answer.”
Amanda's eyes began to focus as they adjusted to the light from the window beside the bed she was in. She looked beside her and exhaled raggedly, once she realized she was in bed alone.
Unable to recognize the sheets, she looked around for another clue that would help her identify where she was. The room was small, but quaint.
There were two bookshelves filled to the brim along the wall to her right, with a small end table and lamp situated in between. Her eyes scanned the rest of the room until the pounding in her head convinced her to get up and look somewhere with Advil and a glass of water. Her mouth was so dry, it felt like she had swallowed the Sahara desert.
Amanda removed the covers from her lap and shifted out of the bed. Her legs felt stiff. She paused to notice the spots of bruises covering her legs. At some point the night before she must have fallen, but her headache made recalling her memories arduous at this point in time.
A voice startled her from her thoughts, propelling her backwards onto the bed.
Her head shot up towards the bedroom door. Olivia Benson opened it slightly to peek her head inside. She watched Amanda intently, with what Amanda assumed was pity on her face.
As she thought back to the night before, Amanda remembered bits and pieces of what she had done. She remembered getting drunk but she couldn't remember how she had accosted Olivia into helping her, or how she had ended up in Olivia's apartment.