Thursday

12.00 PM

"SVU portable we need backup to 672 West 75th street."

Olivia sent a nod to Nick and Nick busted the front door of the abandoned building down. The sirens were wailing in the distance but they didn't have time to wait. There were two young children who were in danger and Olivia wasn't about to lose them now. The case had taken a toll emotionally on her and now she was finally going to get the bastard.

Both detectives quietly and efficiently made their way through the house, checking in each room before calling all clear.

"They have to be here somewhere," Olivia said through gritted teeth.

"There's a basement." Nick walked over to a small and dingy door near the refrigerator in the kitchen and turned the handle. "It's locked."

Olivia took a step back and raised her right leg, kicking the door as hard as she could. It busted right open and she held her gun out in front of her. "Cecilia? Carly?" Those were the names of the two seven year old girls who had been abducted by a man who they know knew was Richard Carlo. They had gotten lucky and a lead was called in with a correct address and now here they were. "It's the police."

When they reached the bottom of the stairs it was too dark to see anything so Nick and Olivia turned on their flashlights.

"Oh my gosh…" Olivia was in near tears at the sight. There were blood markings on the wall of the names of Carlo's victims. There was a dirty mattress on the floor in the corner and a filthy blanket on top it.

"Nobody would have heard them screaming for help," Nick commented, "Just like Leslie Miller said."

Leslie Miller had been Carlo's first victim and by pure luck she had managed to escape. She had went to the precinct and told them about the two other girls there. The ones nobody was looking for.

"Did you hear that?" Olivia asked as she shined her flashlight to the right of her.

"Carly? Cecilia?"

There was a curtain hanging from the ceiling and from what Olivia could tell it was covering a water heater. She moved the curtain to the side and sighed of relief when she saw the two girls huddled close together.

"Hi," Olivia smiled, "I'm Olivia. I'm a police officer. We're going to get you of here, okay?"

She took one of the girls by the hand and Nick took the other. "You're safe now," he informed them.

Once in the sunlight and handed off to the paramedics, Olivia shook her head and let a few tears fall. Those girls had been starved and raped and their own parents hadn't even known they were missing. What kind of parent would do such a thing?

"You okay?" Nick asked.

"Yeah," she whispered, "I'm just going to call Brian and talk to my kid…"

Nick nodded. He understood what that was like.

Olivia stepped to the side of all the commotion and dialed Brian's cell number.

"Hello?"

"Hey," Olivia said, "What's Cassie doing?"

"Right now we are busy having a tea party," Brian sort of chuckled, "When are you coming home to join us?"

Olivia smiled. The thought of Cassie and Brian having a tea party warmed her heart. Three years ago, ever since Cassie was born, Olivia had felt the joy of being a mother and she couldn't have been more proud of her growing daughter.

"Soon," Olivia answered, "Can I tell Cassie that I love her?"

Brian passed the phone to Cassie who was busing pouring pretend tea into a small plastic tea cup. "Hi, Mommy!"

"Hi, Sweetie," Olivia said; her face illuminating. "Are you having fun with Daddy?"

"Uh huh. Daddy is the prince."

"He is?"

"Yeah. Can you come home so you can be the princess?"

"I'll be home very soon," Olivia promised, "Mommy loves you, okay?"

"I love you too, Mommy." Olivia heard the dial tone and she smiled to herself at how precious her life was. She had a husband and a daughter whom she loved to death and she wouldn't want to trade that for anything.

Olivia was just about to turn around and join Nick back at the scene when she saw him. "GUN!"

Thursday

4.14 PM

Brian slowly hung up his phone and laid it gently on the table that he and Cassie were playing tea party at. He looked to his little girl and watched as her brown hair bounced against her shoulders and she giggled while talking to her stuffed teddy bear.

"Daddy, what's wrong?"

Brian had tears in his eyes and he didn't know how he was going to tell her. It didn't seem real to him. He never thought it would actually happen to his Olivia.

"Daddy?" Cassie asked again when he didn't answer. "When's Mommy coming home?"

Brian took a deep breath and scooped Cassie in his arms. "Remember when Mommy told you that her job was very dangerous?" Cassie nodded. "And that she fought the bad guys to save the good guys?" Cassie nodded again. "Well sometimes… the bad guys are extra bad and they hurt people…"

"Did Mommy hurt a bad guy?"

Brian shook his head. This was harder than he ever imagined. "Cass… Mommy isn't coming home." He choked on his own words as he said the sentence out loud. He would never see her again. He would never see her radiant smile in the mornings and never again kiss her soft lips. He would never see her perfect hair blow in the breeze. Cassie would never see her mother again…

"But Mommy always comes home," Cassie said with a quiver of her lip, "Mommy says so."

"I'm sorry," was all he could think of to say. When Cassie started crying he cuddled her in his arms and shed his own tears too. They had just spoke earlier on the phone and she told him that she would be home soon. She lied.

"Mommy said she would play princess," Cassie sobbed, "Why isn't she coming home, Daddy?" Cassie looked up at Brian with her big brown eyes that were an exact replica of Olivia's.

"The bad guy hurt Mommy," he said in a whisper, "She's in heaven now."

"Like Gramma?"

Brian nodded as a new batch of tears streamed down his face. "Yeah."

"I miss Mommy…"

"I do too," Brian said attempting to wipe his little girl's tears, "But I want you to know that your Mommy died a hero. She saved two little girls who are only a bit older than you are. She's saved a lot of people in her career."

"Superman saves a lot of people," Cassie offered.

Brian nodded, "Superman is a hero and Cassie, your Mommy is just like Superman."