Disclaimer: I do not own the characters. I just like to borrow them for a bit.
Rosalie walked to the front door, pausing in front of the hall mirror to double check her appearance. "You can do this girl. Just keep thinking how this will change your life. Leave this hell far behind us." She took a deep breath as she turned and opened the front door.
"Heya doll," the older gentleman said as he brushed past into the house. "I'm glad you could see me tonight."
"Actually I'm the one who's glad. I was really hoping to be seeing you but knew better than to call."
"Really?" The man took off his jacket and draped it across the couch. "Never knew I was your favorite customer."
"Well, of my customers, you are the one to help me get out of the business."
The man crossed his arms as he turned to face her. "What are you talking about?"
"I want out and if you want me to keep quiet then you're going to help me."
"Just one damn minute you conniving bitch. If you think I'm going to fall for that then you are more stupid than I thought."
Rosalie stepped forward and poked her figure at his chest. "I'm smart enough to know that you'll pay before you'd let this information out."
He brushed her hand away. "Yeah? You got pictures? Video? Anything?"
Rosalie's eyes darted around the room as she tried to come up with a response, maybe she wasn't ready for this tonight. "People will believe me."
"That's what I thought," he laughed as he backhanded her, causing her to stumble. "Who's going to believe a two-bit whore."
"I know people," she yelled as she stood up to him again.
"Yeah, people who would be more pissed than I am if you made trouble for them." He grabbed her arm and dragged her down the hallway, pushing her into the first room he came to. "Tell you what if you're good maybe I'll give you an extra twenty."
Rosalie tried to push him out of the room. "Not in here," she pleaded. She got more desperate when he wouldn't leave the room. "Get out," she demanded as she began hitting and clawing at him.
"Stupid bitch," he yelled as he pushed her to the floor.
"I'll tell everyone about you," she screamed up at him.
He stood over her and punched her as she tried to stand. "You'll tell no one," he said as he grabbed a lamp off the dresser and brought it down across her head. "Stupid whore," he spat. After a few moments of repeatedly hitting her he suddenly dropped the lamp. "Oh my god," he breathed. In a daze he looked around the room, finally picking a small blanket off the bed to wipe the blood from his hands and face. Then he bent down and wiped off the lamp. He backed toward the door, studying every surface for anywhere he may have touched. He wiped off the doorknob and all along the door, unsure where exactly he touched. In the living room he put on his jacket and wiped down a few surfaces just in case, finally wrapping the blanket around his hand he opened the front door, making sure to wipe off the outside. Then he was gone.
Nora pulled the El Camino up to the curb. "Ready?"
Nikki turned with a frown. "If you'd been a little faster with your reports we could have been home by now instead of at yet another crime scene."
"I said I was sorry, but I was distracted," Nora smiled.
"I was merely doing my paperwork," Nikki replied matter-of-factly.
"Yes, well, you do it in a very distracting manner."
"As I said before," Nikki began as she opened her door and stepped out of the car. "If you'd been faster I could be distracting you at home instead of here," she whispered through the opening before she closed the door.
Nora shuddered as she felt her body flush. "I need to start using smaller words," she decided as she climbed out of the car.
Nikki stopped to speak to one of the uniforms outside so Nora motioned that she was going inside to the crime scene. Once in the house she took a quick look around the front room, noting the lack of disruption, then moved down the hallway to the first room. "Hey Henderson," she greeted the uniformed officer who was watching over the crime scene.
"Delaney," he returned. "What are you doing here?"
"We were at the station when the call came in." Nora walked around the body, getting a good look at the wounds. "Somebody was angry," she murmured. "Any word on who called 911?"
"Call came from this number but no one was here when we arrived." He watched as Nora looked around the room. "Surprised you didn't pass this to someone else."
Nora's brows drew to a frown. "Why?"
"Come on, this isn't your typical high profile case." He pointed to the body, "this is someone taking out the trash."
Nora straightened and crossed her arms. "This is a murder victim," she corrected.
"In case you haven't noticed Delaney this is a whore who wasn't selective enough in her clients."
A small sniffling sound had both them both spinning toward the bed with their guns drawn. "Dammit Henderson, did you even clear the room." Nora knelt next to the bed and peered under only to find small terrified eyes staring back. "It's okay sweetie, my name is Nora and I'm a police officer; I'm here to help you," she tried to soothe the small girl out from under the bed. "You'll be okay, I promise I won't hurt you."
After a few seconds the girl began scooting out, cradling a cordless phone to her chest.
"She was whoring in front of her kid? Mother of the year she wasn't."
The girl whimpered and pushed herself further under the bed.
Nora turned to Henderson. "Get out," she ordered. "Now," she demanded when he didn't immediately comply. Once he was gone she looked back under the bed. "Okay, he's gone you can come out now." The girl shook her head, her eyes closed tight. "Is she your mom?" Nora asked softly and almost imperceptibly the girl nodded. The detective's heart broke for the small scared child. Not having much experience around children, Nora couldn't be certain but guessed the girl was no more than five or six. "I know you're scared and sad because your mom got hurt but I'll find out who hurt her. And, I promise, I won't let anyone hurt you. Please come out."
The girl finally opened her eyes and, once again, began scooting toward the blonde. Nora remained on her knees and once she was out the girl threw her arms around the detective's neck. "Shh, it's okay honey, I've got you now."
Deciding it best to remove the girl from her mother's body Nora lifted the frightened child and carried her out of the room. She met a scowling Henderson in the living room. "There's a phone on the floor in there, I think she called 911," Nora said evenly, ignoring his apparent attitude at being ordered out.
"Hey Nora, who do we have here?" Charlie asked as he entered the house.
"Vic's daughter," the detective answered quietly. "EMS out front?"
"I think they were getting ready to head out, you may want to get this little thing out there."
The ME watched as Nora carried the frightened girl out of the house, silently promising to take extra special care of her mother.
Nora carried the girl over to the ambulance, where the paramedics were repacking their equipment. "Hey guys," she called. "I have a passenger for you. She seems fine but should probably go in to be safe," Nora informed them as she sat the child on the back bumper. She tried to step away but the girl held firmly to her hand. "It's okay honey, they will take real good care of you." When the girl still wouldn't let go Nora knelt in front of her and pointed over to Dan and Nikki. "I just have to go over there to talk to my boss."
One of the paramedics sat next to the child and took her free hand. "I promise we won't hurt you, okay. We take care of kids all the time and I bet my partner could even find something for you in the ambulance."
The second paramedic searched around the ambulance for a second before finally kneeling behind the girl. "Yeah, see what I found," he said as he held out a small teddy bear. "You can hang onto it while we check you over. Okay?"
The girl studied the bear for a few seconds before she slowly released her hold on Nora and reached for the toy.
"They will take real good care of you," Nora promised as she backed away.
"Who was your friend?" Nikki asked as her partner approached.
"Found the vic's daughter under the bed."
"Oh my god. Did she see?" Nikki breathed as she motioned toward the house.
"I don't know, she hasn't said anything. She was terrified so my guess would be yes." Nora shook her head as she turned to Dan. "Henderson didn't clear the room and then he opened his big mouth and scared her even more."
Dan placed a hand on her shoulder. "I'll talk to him," he promised. "In the meantime we found out that the house is a rental, we're still trying to track the owner." Dan pointed to an older woman standing on a neighboring porch. "Neighbor said the victim's name is Rosalie, little girl is Isabelle. She said they were nice neighbors, kept the yard and house clean, said they were pretty quiet and kept to themselves. She did comment on the number of men she would see coming in and out at all hours."
Nora closed her eyes and sighed, so I guess Henderson was partially right. The ass. "Did she hear anything tonight?"
"Hopefully the landlord will have the correct information and not a false name so we can track down some family for the little girl. I still have some contacts in Vice, I can..." The rest of Nikki's statement was cut off by a scream from behind them. Everyone in the yard turned toward the commotion and Nora immediately moved to where Isabelle struggled against the paramedics.
Seeing her coming the medics released their hold and the girl threw herself into Nora's arms. "Hey, what's wrong?"
"Sorry detective, but we were trying to load her for transport to the hospital."
Nora nodded as she lifted the child. "They just need to make sure you're okay. They won't hurt you," she promised as she carried the girl back to the ambulance and sat in the open door. She smiled as Nikki approached and she brushed Isabelle's hair back from her face. "This is my partner Nikki."
The brunette crouched in front of the pair. "Hey there sweetie. I know this is real scary but we'll take care of you."
"How about if Nikki rides with you to the hospital," Nora suggested. "That way you won't be scared."
Isabelle's response was to tighten her grip around the blonde's neck.
"You go. You'll be fine," Nikki assured her partner when she saw the uncertainty in the green eyes. Nikki picked up the teddy bear that Isabelle had dropped and handed it to Nora. "Besides, it doesn't look like you have much of a choice."
"Okay, I'll go with you," Nora relented and she felt Isabelle sigh in relief. "Finish with Dan and meet us there," she instructed Nikki.