So this is the last chapter. I hope it meets everyone's expectations, but I have to say I'm not completely satisfied with how it turned out. A huge thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed. Enjoy and please let me know what you think.
"you wanted to know what I meant."
Uncertainty washed over her as soon as the words had left her mouth. Opening up had been a decision made in the spur of the moment, but nevertheless one she couldn't take back.
"It was about two years ago, I needed to cash in some checks at the bank…."
Almost immediately after she had entered the building, the door behind her opened again and she was passed at both sides by black figures. Everything around her seemed to happen in a blur. There were screams, a gun went off, yet above all the noise she could hear a male voice.
"Everyone on the ground, palms on the floor!"
Her body moved on its own accord, dropping to her knees first before laying down completely. One side of her face touching the stone floor, hard and cold against her skin.
"But you're the police, didn't you have a gun?" Rusty interrupted her, sounded nothing like his usual annoyed, teenager self.
Carefully she raised her head to be able to see what was happening around her in order to assess the situation. There were seven of them, five men and two women, all wearing masks and carrying guns. Her own gun was safely tucked away in the purse lying next to her, she would be able to get it, quite easily even. She raised her head again, looking at the other people on the ground. Closest to her was a man, his arm wrapped protectively around the small frame of a young boy. A couple of feet away from them was an old lady, her eyes firmly closed, her lips moving slightly as if she was praying. She could see eight more people facing the floor, and she wasn't even counting the staff who were lying behind the desks. If she'd manage to get hold of her gun, she'd be able to do what" Probably take out one or two of them at the most before they'd start firing back. It was too much of a risk, too many people could get hurt in the process.
"Okay, you are gonna stand up one by one, hand in your bags, mobile phones and other communicational devices. No funny business, don't give us a reason to start killing people, because we will."
Sharon heard the same deep voice less than a metre away from her, before the wind got knocked out of her lungs by a heavy boot kicking her in the stomach.
Slowly she rose to her feet, resisting the urge to clutch her stomach. She kept looking at him directly while getting out her phone and giving him her bag. She felt extremely small with his broad posture looming over her, yet she kept her spine straight, her head held high. Determined not to give any of them the pleasure of knowing they intimidated her. That was the thing with being brave, it had nothing to do with the absence fear. In fact, it had everything to do with feeling afraid, because the very essence of courage lied in the overcoming of fear, the realisation that some things are worth fighting for. She'd never been one to crawl away into a dark corner, neither literally nor figuratively, this wasn't the time to start.
"Shit man, this one's LAPD!"
His voice startled her, but not a muscle in her face moved. One of the women walked over to them, looking at her gun and badge, which the man was currently holding up.
"It doesn't matter, as soon as we've got the money, we'll be out of here."
Nothing much happened for what she guessed was about half an hour, even though it seemed to last forever. They were made to sit against one of the walls, while the employees of the bank were following the instructions that were thrown their way. On the other side of the room, one of the women was on the phone, most likely with a negotiator.
"Well hello there."
Sharon's train of thought was broken by a voice somewhere to her left. Turning her head as inconspicuously as possible she saw that one of the black clad figures was standing in front of a young girl, sitting only a few feet away from her. The faceless man leaned forward a bit, placing two fingers under the girls chin. From where she was sitting, Sharon could see her grey eyes widening in fear.
"This is going to take a while. What about you and I go look for a little privacy."
The girl looked as if she was either going to break out in tears, or pass out on the spot. It was painfully obvious what the man's intentions were. He yanked her to a standing position, his hand reaching for the buttons on her blouse. The girl looked around her, anxiously seeking for help, her eyes flitting back and forth between the passive people against the wall. When the man roughly pulled her with him, a sob escaped her lips.
Rusty was looking at her as if he saw her for the first time.
"These men were going to ruin this girls life. And for what? For fun? A bit of entertainment?"
Her voice was filled with tears, a lump had formed in her throat. She had seen her fair share of criminals over the years. After all, she had dealt with a lot of criminals over her long career. Still, there were things she'd never get used to.
"So, you let them rape you?"
There was a tone of disbelief laced into his words, but also a hint of admiration.
"It wasn't rape, I knew what I was doing."
There was no resentment in her voice, not a trace of spite, only sadness. Suddenly Rusty understood why she'd been pushing him to see a therapist. Deep down he knew it was what he needed, but at the moment it was too much for him to handle. It was comfortable to cling to the idea that he didn't have a problem, tempting to pretend it never happened at all.
"I'm not ready to-"
His voice was suddenly hoarse, his throat feeling dry and raw, almost like sandpaper. He couldn't bring himself to finish the sentence, the words left a bad taste in his mouth, but she immediately knew what he was referring to and she understood.
"I know, rusty, and I never meant to make you do something you're not ready for. I just want you to know that I'm on your side, whether you want me there or not. Even after we found your mother. I hope you know that."
He was at loss for words. For the first time since he'd arrived at the condo, he felt like he could actually begin to like the captain. It was good to know that someone was on his side, it was good to know that it was her.