At their final session before Kallie would be sent out to test her skills, Drew showed up with her. Jack noticed how different her demeanour was when he around. He hated it. Jack and Cam had learned that she was such a fun, loving, and outgoing spirit when she felt comfortable and safe, and she was completely the opposite when Drew was near her. She was back to her nervous habits, wringing her hands and playing with the ends of her hair. Jack wished he would go away- forever.
“Good morning boys. I came with Kallista today because I want to make sure she can actually hold up her end of the bargain like she claims,” Drew stated, and Jack wished he could just wipe that smug ass smile off of his face.
“She can, without a doubt,” Jack retorted, standing up a little straighter and clenching his fists.
“Well? I am waiting…”
Jack tightened his jaw. “Let’s do this, Kal.”
Jack and Cam both took turns sparring Kallie, working her through attacker scenarios, and showing Drew everything she’d learned over the past few weeks. She was strong, tough, and determined, and it made her a good little fighter. Jack was convinced that even if she HAD to use self defense tactics, she could. Against anyone who put her in a situation where she may need to.
“Hmm,” Drew said, when they had finished. Jack was so proud of all she had learned, and Drew seemed so unimpressed.
“Hmm, what?” Cam retorted angrily. Jack knew he’d had enough of this guy, and was about to show Drew everything HE’D ever learned through 18 years of Martial Arts.
“Well, that’s all well and good that she can do that stuff with you guys, but frankly, this is someone who doesn’t know her in the least, and won’t go easy on her. Let me try,” Drew said, a challenging look on his face.
Jack and Cam both looked at each other and then looked at Kallie. She looked terrified; she never looked happy around Drew but the look on her face right now shook Jack to the core. Drew sauntered over to Kallie, menacingly. She instinctively stepped back, and then tried not to flinch and in turn, upset Drew and cause him to be violent. He stepped toe to toe with Kallie, looking her up and down. Kallie stood her ground, but everything about her body language portrayed fear and insecurity. Drew bent down to tighten the laces on his sneakers, and Kallie caught Jack’s eye over Drew’s head. Don’t let him touch me, she mouthed to Jack silently. He was taken aback, but only hesitated for a split second before stepping up between them.
“Drew, I’m not sure she’s 100% ready yet. We still have 2 sessions left before the operation; she’ll definitely be good to go by then.”
Drew’s gaze went from Jack to Cam and rested on Kallie, and she could read the anger in his eyes. “Fine. But everything better be perfect on Saturday, or I’ll be blaming the three of you.”
Jack took a step toward Kallie, but was careful to stop himself from reaching toward her; he would protect her if needed.
Kallie gathered her things and started toward the door with Drew. “Drew, I just have to use the bathroom before we go, please.”
Drew raised his eyebrows in annoyance and gestured toward the hallway, impatiently.
“I’ll show you where it is,” Jack spoke up, even though he was sure she knew exactly how to get there. He waited outside the single stall bathroom for her to finish, and when she exited, he grabbed her arm gently.
“Kallie, I don’t know you that well and I don’t know your life. But I’m willing to listen whenever you need someone and I will always be here if you need something. Never hesitate to ask.” Jack pulled a card out of his wallet and gave it to her. “In case you want to use it.”
Kallie read it quickly and tucked it deep into her pants pocket. “Thank you,” she said quietly, “but I’d probably never get the chance to use it if I needed to.”
With that ominous statement and a load of indescribable feelings, Jack led Kallie back out to the lobby and watched her leave with Drew.
Three weeks of intense training later, the day of the police sting had arrived. Kallie was so nervous; she felt that Jack and Cam had prepared her well but still, this was a serial killer she was dealing with, and on her own. Kallie truly felt as if she’d be able to play this part, but a small part of her- namely, Drew - kept telling her that she was a screw up and she better not screw up this operation.
Kallie and Drew headed to the home of the officer that “home base” would be setting up in. There, she would get dressed in her tiny red dress and pumps, cake on layers of make up that she would never prefer to wear, and style her hair into an untouchable pile of pins and curls that she wouldn’t normally be caught dead in. Kallie reminded herself that this was just like acting, like playing a part in one of her dance recitals from when she was younger.
Along with “home base”- where officers would be monitoring cameras, audio bugs, and GPS locators- there would also be a traveling audio van following Kallie’s every move, and officers hiding in the suspected killer’s home so that they could nab him before he hurt Kallie. Jack would be stationed in the audio van with his partner Evan and Drew would remain at home base. Although Kallie never said anything, she was secretly glad that it would be Jack who was following her around town ensuring her safety, and not Drew. She only wished that Cam could be there as well, as she felt safest when both Jack and Cam were around her. Kallie would never admit it, but over the last few weeks, she had subconsciously put her life in Jack’s hands and completely trusted him.
After arriving at “home base”, Kallie went upstairs to the bedroom and began getting ready with the hair and makeup team that the department had called in. She watched them sweep a large amount of eye shadow across her lids, and heavily paint her mouth in blood red lipstick. They curled sections of her hair and pinned them back from her face. The team couldn’t stop raving about how absolutely beautiful Kallie was, and kept reassuring her that she would be fine tonight. She laughed to herself as she looked in the mirror, realizing that although her makeup was so over the top, the thing that still looked the most ridiculous on her was her ugly brown contact lenses.
After finishing, the team left Kallie alone so she could get dressed. She slipped on the skimpy red dress and impossibly high heels and stared at herself in the mirror. She definitely looked like the victims in the pictures that Drew had showed her. Too much makeup, too much hairspray, not enough clothes. Well, she thought to herself, here goes nothing.
Kallie heard a knock on the bedroom door. “Kal?”
“Cameron! What are you doing here?”
“I just wanted to see you and wish you luck before you left. Since I can’t tag along and all. So Kallie?”
“I don’t want to be mean or anything… but you look like a whore.”
“Gee thanks Cam, and I was beginning to think that I kind of liked this look and I should do this every day. “ Kallie rolled her eyes and swatted him in the arm.
“Not that I don’t like the view but…”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it Cam. And thanks for the support.”
The bedroom door swung open all the way.
“Kallista are you almost- Cameron. What are you doing in a bedroom with my wife?”
“Er, sorry dude. I was just going over some, uh, last minute techniques I wanted to make sure that she had down pat. I’ll go now.” Cam walked through the doorway, but not before he turned and winked at Kallie behind Drew’s back.
“Kallista, you look amazing. You ought to think about maybe adopting a look like this into your every day wardrobe.” Kallie did everything to refrain from rolling her eyes at Drew and allowing him the knowledge that this outfit was the last thing she would want to be wearing on an everyday basis. It was even less than he normally made her wear.
“Um, thanks. Are the officers ready? Is Jack, uh, Officer Williams here?”
Drew pursed his lips. “Officer Williams is outside running tests on the audio van. The detectives who are staying here have everything ready to go downstairs.” Drew took a step closer to Kallie, and she instinctively took a step backwards. Quick as lightning, he threw his arm out and ensnared Kallie around the back of her neck, gripping too tightly.
“Drew, ow, you’re hurting me!” Drew didn’t loosen his grip in the least.
“Kallista, you better NOT mess this operation up for us. If I catch this guy, the department will shower me with praise and finally give me the respect I deserve. Do you understand me?”
Kallie slowly nodded her head and silently begged the tears that welled up in her eyes not to fall.
Drew’s grip tightened even more on her neck. “And just so you know, don’t you EVER let me catch you in a bedroom with another man. EVER. AGAIN. We will deal with that later.” Drew let go of Kallie with such force that she was pushed hip first into the vanity. Just another bruise, she thought sadly.
Jack had never seen someone look so sad, so beautiful, and so uncomfortable at the same time. As he watched Kallie walk out the front door of the house and towards that taxicab that would take her to the bar they knew the killer would be, he felt sadder and more sorry for her than the day he first met her in the precinct. He could see that Kallie truly had no desire to take part in this sting and was scared out of her mind.
Jack put down the equipment in his hand and jogged over to Kallie. “Hey. Are you okay?”
Kallie looked up at Jack through her eyelashes. “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m good. I’m under control. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.” She giggled and shook her head. Jack really liked that smile.
Drew emerged from the house. “Let’s go everyone! We’re ready!”
“Kallie! You’ll be fine. We’ve got this under control.” Jack handed her an audio pack, disguised as an evening clutch to match her dress.
Kallie got into the waiting taxi cab. She smoothed her hair and dress and looked out the window just in time to see Jack wave before the cab drove away.
Jack watched the cab disappear, and tried to get his head in the game. He needed to attack this operation like the dedicated police officer that he was in order to ensure that Kallie was safe and the killer was apprehended. He remembered a case when he had first come on the force- a woman about his age had been slipped a date rape drug at a college alumni party and the next day, she couldn’t remember what had happened but was battered and bruised all over her small body. She had come into the precinct to file a police report, and Jack, a rookie police officer under the tutelage of his experienced partner Evan, had been the one to take on the case. He hated that this had happened to his poor girl, and had done everything he could to investigate the case and eventually, caught the 2 men that had drugged and raped the young woman. It had rocked his world in ways that he couldn’t explain- both by helping this girl heal and by seeing how bad some people in the world actually were. Over time, handling cases had become easier and easier for him, and he had been able to remove himself emotionally from the feelings of battered women or young men who ended up on the wrong side of a hateful beating. Until now. Kallie brought out protective instincts and emotions in him that he didn’t think he could feel anymore. Jack had to make sure that tonight went off without a hitch.
Stepping out of the cab, Kallie put her game face on. I’ve got to get this right, she thought. I know I can do this. She grabbed her handbag and strutted inside. A few important things that Kallie knew were that the bartender was briefed and would secretly not serve her any alcohol, there would be 2 undercover officers in the bar that she couldn’t even glance at, the bar had been rigged with police cameras so they could watch everything going on, and that the killer would target the most beautiful, confident woman in the room. She knew that she could handle each and every one of these things if she put her mind to it, and with ease. Kallie opened the door to the bar and scoped out the crowd. Glancing at the right hand corner of the bar counter, she spotted the suspected killer, who was also scoping out the crowd. Kallie gracefully planted herself on the other side of the bar counter, and crossed her long legs. She was surprisingly excited to see that the killer watched her every move. She ordered a “gin and tonic” and took a long swig, tossing her hair back and leaning back relaxingly.
From the inside of the audio van, Jack watched Kallie in amazement. She was like a different person. She never once looked nervous or even peeked at the undercover officers sitting in a corner booth. Kallie was poised, confident, and full of a vibrant energy that he had never seen a glimmer of.
She genuinely laughed at the conversation she was having with the bartender and easily chatted with a couple of the other people sitting around her. Jack watched their suspect slowly get off of his barstool and make his way over to Kallie. Jack immediately bristled in anger; he had to remind himself that they had taken so many precautions to protect her, and that she was looking like a natural in there and the killer wouldn’t suspect a thing. He watched the suspect pull a stool up right next to Kallie and put his drink on the counter next to hers. He turned up the audio box in the van so he could hear every single word that was said.
“Hey beautiful. Can I buy you a drink?”
Jack watched Kallie turn and flash that beautiful smile. “I’ve never said no before, and I don’t plan on starting now. I’m Sandra, what’s your name?”
The killer scooted closer and draped his arm across the back of her stool. “I’m Kurt. What are you drinking?”
As Jack watched the two of them, he became more and more confident that this sting would work out, that Kallie would be alright. She was a natural, and the killer had no idea that this was a set up. She did everything right; she laughed too loudly at his stupid jokes, she ordered too many drinks, and touched him way too much. Jack knew it was only a matter of minutes before the killer was asking her to go home with him.
“It’s getting crowded- let’s get out of here and go to my place.”“Ooo, that sounds like a great idea. Let’s go.” Kallie let the killer help her off of the stool. Jack laughed when he saw her even add a calculated “stumble” to add to the effect that she was drunk.
Jack secured all of the equipment in the van and moved it to the best position to be able to follow the killer’s car back to his house unnoticed. He carefully watched Kallie and the killer leave through the back door of the bar and get into an expensive white Acura with blacked out windows. Jack quickly jotted down the license plate on the Acura into his detail notebook. When the Acura pulled onto the road, Jack and Evan were careful to follow the car, but not too closely. As they had hoped, the killer brought Kallie directly back to his high rise apartment. Jack and Evan parked the van across the street from the entrance to the apartment building and connected the van’s equipment to the audio feed that the officers hiding inside had planted. They would not have any visual feed into the apartment, as it would have been impossible for them to plant any in that short of time.
Taking the elevator up to the top floor apartment, Kallie was getting more and more nervous. This guy, this suspected serial killer, was hanging all over her. He had her pinned in the corner of the elevator, touching her legs and making her dress ride up. She closed her eyes and tried to keep her head on straight. She definitely couldn’t afford to lose her composure now. For a fleeting second, it crossed her mind that if Jack knew something about her that no one at all even knew, he would never have let her do this at all.
The elevator doors opened up right into his apartment. The killer drug Kallie into the apartment and down the hall towards the bedroom. Before Kallie could even look at her surroundings, he had pushed her in the bedroom and locked the door behind them. Kallie knew that there was supposed to be an officer hiding in the bedroom closet, and she also knew not to even glance in that general direction. He pushed her on the bed; hard. Kallie knew that his sweet, smooth act was over and that now, he was on his hunting ground. She thought she should continue to play along.
“Oh, I see. You like it rough, huh?” Kallie slowly slid up on the bed as to not give him too much of an advantage.
“You have no idea, sweetheart. This is only the beginning.”
Quicker than she expected, he reached out his arm and snatched her wrist. Using a pair of handcuffs she hadn’t seen before, he locked her right and left wrists together and attached the handcuffs to the bedpost. Now Kallie was really scared. Drew had given her safe words to use if he was about to hurt her and the scenario hadn’t yet been stopped- “Please Help Me.” She had to use these 3 words in succession in order for the team to reveal themselves, but Drew had told her to wait until the last possible second to use them.
“You’re definitely the prettiest one I’ve ever had, Sandra. Your portraits will be the best ones to add to my secret collection.”
“Wait, what?” Kallie tried to shift her body into the sitting position, but the killer quickly got onto the bed and straddled her hips. A stray tear slipped down Kallie’s face; Jack had warned her. She was so over her head.
The killer pulled a knife out from under the mattress. He drug the dull side of the blade down Kallie’s face and neck. Kallie began to get really overwhelmed. She was so very close to using the safe words but she didn’t want to ruin the whole operation.
From inside the closet, the hiding officer whispered one word down to the audio van. “Knife.” Jack froze. “Get her out of there. Now.” Captain Roberts’ voice came on through the earpiece connected to the whole team. “No. Leave her in there. We don’t have enough evidence from him yet. She needs to make him talk more.”
Jack gritted his teeth. “No. He is going to hurt her. She needs to come out.”
“Officer Williams, you are not the acting leader on this operation. Shut the hell up and take orders. Leave her.”
Jack punched the van door. “Damn it. Keep alert. Be ready to interfere.” He listened more closely to the audio feed.
“You are going to make a beautiful addition to the shrine in my storage unit. Locks of that long blonde hair will look perfect hanging with the others. Too bad you won’t be around to see it.” At this point, Kallie was full blown crying. She hoped that what he was saying was giving the officer’s what they needed, because she was ready to break down.
Jack had heard all he needed to hear. “Captain, get her out of there now!”“No!! She’s got him talking, let her keep going.”
“Drew, he just gave us the location where he put his keepsakes from the victims. Give the go to get her out!”
With that one word, Jack threw off his audio headphones and got out of the van. He removed SWAT gear from the front seat and began suiting up to go in. Just then, a car pulled up a few slots down from the van and Jack watched Cameron get out.
“Jack, what’s going on? Nothing yet?!”
“The asshole just gave up his secret storage locker and has a knife to Kallie’s throat. Roberts won’t give the go ahead for the team to go in. I’m going in myself.”
“What the hell? I want to go with you!”
“Cam, no! Stay here!”
Inside, Kallie held her breath as the killer ran the blade of the knife down her neck, her stomach, and her legs. She didn’t know when the officers would break in, or when she should use the safe words. She wished Jack could see in here, because he would have gotten her out of here a long time ago.
“Too bad you’re so pretty. Seeing as how you came in to the bar alone tonight, it doesn’t seem like anyone will miss you though.”
He put the blade on the side of her throat and pulled down, leaving a line of blood behind it.
“PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!”
A lot of things happened at once. The closet doors opened and two officers in full SWAT gear burst out. One of them tackled the killer on to the floor and the other handcuffed and secured him. Three officers broke down the bedroom door. She felt like she was watching the whole thing from above, but she felt safe. She heard someone say something about how he had used the knife to cut her dress completely to shreds; she hadn’t even realized it. Kallie felt someone wrap the bed’s quilt around her and pick her up. She let herself relax against the chest of this stranger that she knew was here to help her. Everything seemed to be going on in a blur around her. She could see lights and hear police sirens. She felt a rush of fresh, chilly air as she was brought outside.
When the officer and Kallie emerged on to the front stoop of the apartment complex, Jackson’s blood froze. She looked so tiny and helpless, wrapped up in an old, ugly bed quilt. As the officer came closer to Jack, he could see a towel pressed up against Kallie’s neck that was covered in….blood. He sprinted over to the officer.
“Officer Simmons; thank you. I can take her to the EMS.” Before waiting for a response, Jack scooped Kallie out of his arms and rushed her to the waiting ambulance. She was awake, but he could tell she was unaware of her surroundings. She was in shock; he had warned her not to do this but her stubborn little ass didn’t listen. Jack gently placed her on the back step of the ambulance and stepped back to let the EMS workers do their jobs. Cam rushed over to stand next to his brother.
“Jackson, is she alright? What’s wrong with her? Why isn’t she talking? Did he hurt her? Is that…blood?!”
“Relax Cam, she’s in shock. She has a shallow knife wound on her neck and collarbone. I don’t really know much more yet.”
Jack watched Kallie as she sat stone still. She didn’t flinch or respond when the EMS workers examined her wound and began to clean and dress it. He was worried; why wasn’t she snapping out of this?
All of a sudden, Kallie began to blink rapidly. She shifted uncomfortably and wrapped the quilt more tightly around herself, looking around.
“Jack?” Jackson and Cam easily pushed past one of the EMS workers so Kallie could see them.
“Hey, I’m here. Are you okay?” Jack squatted down in front of Kallie, while Cam boldly sat right next to her and placed his hand comfortingly on her back.
“Yeah I’m-I’m fine, just disoriented, I guess. Did I do good? Did you catch him?”
“You did great Kallie; we got him. He gave up a storage unit we didn’t know about and revealed some details about his victims when he was talking to you. You were amazing; better than any undercover cop would have been.”
“Thanks Jack. Um, can I go now? I just don’t really want to be here anymore.”
Kallie, Jack, and Cam heard a commotion from outside the circle of busy EMS workers. Drew angrily pushed his way through the throng of people.
“Where is my wife?! I want to see her; NOW.”
Jack watched Kallie blink back tears and clear her throat. “Drew, I’m right here.”
Drew found Kallie with Jack and Cam and glanced rudely at them. “Excuse me boys, but you are done here. I’m taking my wife home now.” He pulled Kallie to her feet, and she tripped over the quilt. Cam reached out and stopped her from falling forward. “Cameron, I think I can take care of my own wife. And that’s the last time I will talk to you about being inappropriate with her.”
Cam stepped back and put his hands in the air, demonstrating that he meant no harm and was only trying to help. Drew picked Kallie up and whisked her away to his waiting car. She was careful not to look back at Jack or Cam; she was already hoping that the help she provided with this case would save her from receiving a harsh punishment from Drew when they were alone.
The whole drive home, Drew’s mouth was set in a hard line, and he didn’t speak a word to Kallie. She didn’t really understand why he was so mad; Jack had said she did a great job and they had caught the killer. She’d thought Drew would be happy with her; he would finally get the decorated recognition that he thought he deserved. Kallie was just so exhausted, so drained, that she didn’t have the strength to dwell on what had Drew so uptight. She felt herself dozing; it had just started to rain outside and the sound of the drops hitting the sunroof and windshield made her nod off…
“Kallista. Wake up.” Kallie was jolted immediately awake by the harsh tone of Drew’s voice. She looked out the car window and realized that they were home, and that it was pouring out now.
“Get yourself quickly inside; I need to discuss something with you.” Kallie could smell alcohol on Drew’s breath; had he been drinking on this assignment? She opened her car door and rushed into the front door of the house, out of the soaking rain. Before Drew could lock up the car and get inside, Kallie rushed upstairs to her bedroom so she could change out of the now destroyed red dress. She slipped on a long sleeved t-shirt and thin sweatpants. She took out her ugly brown contact lenses and stored them in their case on her bathroom sink. She glanced in the mirror at the still red and raw cut going from underneath her right ear to below her collarbone. Kallie was hoping she would just be able to get into her bed and sleep for hours and hours, but she knew it wouldn’t be that easy. Drew was waiting for her in her bedroom when she left the bathroom. He quickly stalked across the floor and shoved her into the wall, making her head whip back and giving her an immediate headache.
“How dare you make me look like a complete idiot. Do you really think no one will be talking about us when they go home tonight, after they saw your display with those brothers? What do you think they will say, Kallista, about their idiot Captain whose wife has been being a slut behind his back?”
Drew put his hand around Kallie’s throat and pinned her to the wall.
“Drew, I didn’t do anything wrong. You weren’t there; Officer Williams brought me to the ambulance so they could dress my wound.”
“So now it’s my fault? I wasn’t there? So every time I’m not around, it gives you an excuse to be a whore?” Drew pushed Kallie on the bed and straddled her hips, immediately making Kallie re-live the terror of the past few hours.
“I should take you right here and now, Kallista, so you always know who really owns you.”
Kallie began to sob. “Please Drew, don’t . Please. We can talk about this in the morning, when both of us get some more sleep.”
“We will not talk about this again. You will continue to do what I say. Next time I won’t be so nice.” Drew pinned both of her wrists down at her sides. He pushed so hard that Kallie felt like they were going to break. He leaned down and pressed his lips to hers, so hard that their teeth clashed. Drew tasted like alcohol and anger. Kallie knew that he could taste the salt on her lips from her tears. He let go of her wrists and slapped her in her head. The blow was so hard that her right ear began to ring, the same side of her face that was already sore from the sharp blade of the killer’s knife. He slapped her again, this time in the face. It made her vision blur and her head feel foggy. Don’t black out Kallie, stay alert. Help yourself. Stay awake. Drew slapped her across the face once more, and she let herself retreat into the blackness.
Kallie dreamt. In her dream, she was at the top of a clock tower, with a young woman about her age dressed in a beautiful, pale pink gown. The woman had olive skin, dark hair, and hazel eyes- a complete contrast to Kallie herself. She was crying, wiping her eyes with a silk handkerchief and looking into the distance, pondering something. Kallie approached her, careful not to startle her but concerned for her. She didn’t recognize the face of this woman, but could feel the raw pain and suffering in her tears. It was pain she knew she felt before and pain she would continue to feel if she didn’t do something about it. The woman looked up and into Kallie’s eyes, and more tears began to fall from her soulful brown eyes. Kallie began to weep as well. The woman handed the handkerchief to Kallie and touched her shoulder gently. “Don’t let him take it all away, love. Break free,” she said, and smiled.
Kallie awoke with a start, after what felt like hours later. After realizing she was alone, she listened intently to try to figure out where Drew was in the house. She glanced at the clock and saw that she had only been out for about an hour. She rolled over and sat up in the bed, and was immediately greeted with an overwhelming wave of nausea. Kallie rushed into her bathroom and vomited in the toilet. Great, a concussion. Drew had definitely done a number on her before, but this was by far the worst. She felt helpless. Drew ran every aspect of her life, and she didn’t know what she would do without him. All she knew was that she couldn’t let herself take this any longer. Leaving everything she owned, Kallie opened her bedroom door and crept down the hall. She saw light from the TV coming from Drew’s room, and she held her breath. She tiptoed down the main stairway and checked the alarm pad, breathing a sigh of relief that Drew had been too worked up to remember to set it and she would be able to leave the house silently. In her pocket, she had a business card that she secretly kept with an address on it that she would need. Opening the door, Kallie realized that it was still pouring outside; oh well, she thought, soaking wet was better than dead. She started walking.