She looked across the desk at her Captain. DC Jobson had sat at this desk for the past twenty years and he looked like he hadn’t lifted his ass out of his chair since landing this promotion. She’d only been here for a couple of months but in that short time they had established one small piece of common ground, she hated it here and he hated having her here. It was also the only thing they agreed upon.
“This is ridiculous,” she knew this game, if she didn’t play this right, they might realize that she wanted this case and take it off her, “Deputy Chief Jobson, you have to give this to someone else. Having me on a case like this is a waste of resources.”
“Is that right?” he looked unconvinced as he looked over his spectacles at her, “And what else do I have to do?”
“You should be utilizing the four years of experience that I accumulated in the homicide division, before I was transferred here,” she said the words that she was expected to say, “You need to give me something that will challenge me.”
“Do I now?” he nodded but there was a glint of steel in his eyes, “Remind me again why I’ve been burdened by you on my team, Detective Gordon?”
“Burdened? I wouldn’t exactly say that you’d been burdened by my transfer,” she tried to sound convincing, but she’d was tired of having to hear the response that she knew was coming.
“Burdened,” he reaffirmed, “Because you couldn’t follow orders. Because you didn’t listen to your superior officer. Because you decided to interrogate a suspect by stomping on his testicles then rammed your steel capped boot into his groin. And because that suspect was Chester Weston the third, the son of Senator Weston. The same Senator who oversees the Judicial standing committee and the same man who was hoping to have grandchildren to inherit his long and distinguished name.”
“In my defense, he deserved it,” she grumbled, “And he was guilty.”
“Yes, but that didn’t justify the torture tactics you employed and the fallout that resulted,” her new boss yelled, “And now I have to sit here and listen to you telling me what you deserve? Well, it seems that I do have a choice, I can either waste precious resources by giving you this stalker case or I can see if traffic control have something that would challenge you more, like giving out parking tickets or breathalyzer testing.”
“They’ve privatized giving out parking tickets,” she mumbled.
“I don’t care,” his face was now red and the veins in his neck were showing, “Take the damn stripper’s case, don’t mess it up, and try not to stomp on his sac. The press ‘love’ this guy, if you save his balls, we might get some good publicity. Then I might be able to convince some other department that you’re not a liability and transfer you the hell off my team.”
“I’ve heard that there’s a vacancy coming up in Drug enforcement, and they’re always looking for new blood in the Organized Crime division,” she nodded with enthusiasm, but he slammed his fists down on the desk causing most of the contents to jump and land on the floor indicating that he wasn’t interested in her transfer preferences, “Yes, sir. I’ll look after that for you.”
“And stay away from the guy’s undercarriage,” he closed his eyes, “This man makes more money from swinging his dick around for half an hour, than you’ll make in your entire professional life. If you damage his money-maker, he’ll sue the department for millions, and I’ll make sure that a good proportion of that shit sticks to you.”
“Got it,” she stood and gave a half salute as she slow stepped backwards and towards the door, “Yes, sir. Great chat, sir. Very inspirational.”
She was out of the door and striding down the corridor, muttering expletives under her breath. She’d loved working homicide for the Los Angeles Police Department. She’d been surrounded by good people at the LAPD and, given the caliber of her coworkers, it was telling that she felt blessed to be able to call her partner Rory her friend and her mentor. He was an experienced, accomplished and decorated detective and he taught her everything she needed to know over the four years that they’d worked together. This was evident by their impressive track record of cases solved. It had been her dream job and she was a damn good homicide detective.
Then Rory’s daughter was raped and, while Rory was on leave dealing with his family, Ann had overstepped her divisions jurisdiction to identify Chester Weston the Third as the culprit. The public knew him as a harmless socialite, eligible bachelor and womanizer, but she’d worked hard to find evidence that he was more than that. She knew that he was the worse kind of man and wasn’t overwhelmed by his credentials, background, or his fame when she accused him of rape. She handed over her evidence to the correct division proudly and ignored the naysayers who whispered that this would never stick. She knew better. Those who said she was foolish trying to pin this one someone who had so much power behind him, weren’t worthy of being detectives.
They weren’t wrong. Maybe she should have listened to them. Chester’s father had his fingers in all the right pies, pulled all the strings, and had enough clout to ensure that her tight case fell apart. Which meant arrested him proved pointless when then the DNA evidence went missing, witnesses became scarce, and he lawyered up. His alibi was fabricated but difficult to disprove. And the department in charge mismanaged everything making her case work look inept.
She complained. She shouted about the unfairness of it until she was blue in the face. No one cared about her opinion. She didn’t have the political muscle to change how the world worked. The Chief of Police told her to get out of his office and to stop wasting his time. The division’s Commanding Officer told her to let it go. And the Deputy Chief of homicide told her she was committing career suicide. Everyone clearly stated that, without a confession, it was a dead dog and that she should walk away.
So, she took the only route left to her, and got him to confess. She knew that she was out-of-line, but this was Rory’s daughter. And then she willingly violated all the rules of conduct just because the guy was just so damn smug. She snapped, forgot all her oaths, and gave in to vengeance, fury and her own selfish motives to acquire that confession. And somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew it wouldn’t stand up in a Court of Law, but she just wanted to hear him say the words, admit his crimes, even if went no further.
Afterwards, the Weston family had threatened to sue her, have her fired, and to publicly crucify the department. However, these threats vanished when they realized that exposing her misconduct brought into question Chester’s alibi for the date relating to the rape. The group of friends that had verified his whereabouts were the same group that he’d supposedly been with at the time that Ann had extracted her confession. This proved that his alibi wasn’t airtight. If the Weston’s filed a suit against her then they would be admitting that Chester could have been the rapist.
It was a catch-22 for both parties. Chester Weston was forced to swallow his pride or face being indicted for rape. And Ann Gordon was left unable to solve Rory’s daughters’ case despite having reasonable evidence. She now had to live knowing that if she’d controlled her temper and arrested him, they would have been able to shoot down his alibi and proceed with a case against him. By forcing a useless confession out of him she’d lost that opportunity and made it almost impossible for the department to reinvestigate him for fear of being sued themselves. And she’d destroyed her own credibility and career.
She was officially an embarrassment. They couldn’t fire her without exposing the story, so they transferred her here. She’d packed her belongings into a cardboard box and was demoted to obscurity in this out of the way precinct. Although D.C. Jobson wasn’t wrong, it could have been worse, at least she was still a detective and she wasn’t stuck in traffic control.
She still had a job and that wasn’t lost on her. She was also thankful of one other saving grace because, despite hating her boss, despising the team, and being disinterested in the case work, it was a relief that they hadn’t bothered to allocate a partner to her. She, at least, wasn’t lumbered with any of these chauvinistic bastards to slow her down and to sully her memories of what a good partner was like. She knew she deserved worse than the punishment dealt to her but that didn’t make it easy to accept.
She would have done anything to change the past but that wasn’t going to happen. Instead she’d clung to the hope that if she worked hard to redeem herself that, with time, she’d be able to climb her way back up. It didn’t make the days any shorter or her life any easier, but it was what kept her from drowning in despair.
“I hear you got the stripper case,” Chauvinistic Bastard number 3 smirked as she walked to her desk, “Nice work, I hear his junk is so large that you’ll need platform shoes on if you want to ‘question’ him in your usual way.”
“The stripper guy, are you talking about the one with the stalker? My girlfriend has a DVD of them swing their stuff. All four of them are built like stallions. I swear the guy could be a tripod,” number 2 scoffed, “And he knows how to use it too. The guy’s a living legend.”
“Yeah,” number 1 replied, “Forget the fingerprint kit, you’ll have more luck if you take an imprint of his dick. He touches more shit with that than with his hands.”
“Hell, did you see the chick he was banging last week?” number 4 exhaled, “They had their picture in the paper while they were attending some gala. She was hot, wearing next to nothing, and all over the lucky bastard. Why can’t I get a woman like that?”
“Because your junk is the size of a peanut,” number 3 laughed, “And no one wants to see that.”
“Actually,” number 1 nodded knowledgably, “If you do get an imprint of his dick, I want a copy. Given how crazy the bitches go over them, I could make a fortune selling it on the net.”
“Yeah, those chicks must be seriously stupid,” number 3 nodded, “Despite knowing how many women he’s done, they still queue up to be his next conquest. It’s no wonder that the media love him, every week he shows up with a different girl and new story to print.”
“At least the boss doesn’t have to worry about him corrupting RBF,” number 4 scoffed, “The man’s got no shortage of bitches and, even with the jackhammer that he’s packing down there, I doubt that he’d be able to blast a hole through the glacier that’s between her thighs.”
She didn’t bother responding. They called her RBF, which was an acronym for Resting Bitch Face, and she didn’t care enough to remember their names instead numbering them. Today was nothing out of the ordinary. They always spoke like she wasn’t in the room and had a competition running to entice a reaction from her. The winner, who annoyed her or insulted her enough to cause her to acknowledge them, earnt free drinks and food until the next idiot infuriated her enough to deserve a glare. No one would be proclaimed a winner today.
She ignored them and opened the file to flip through the photos she’d taken of the fan mail. She initially didn’t want this case but wasn’t about to hand it back to them. She was sick of dealing with petty thief and dull cases that no one else wanted. High profile cases would usually never come her way but this one involved a stripper and a stalker, which meant it had landed on her desk.
They’d treated the complaint like it was infected with the plague. She’d listened to them whine about how much the well-endowered stripper intimated them as men, decide that stalkers weren’t real criminals in their eyes, and proclaim that media would eventually turn nasty on this one. And henceforth, it became the file that no one wanted to touch. It held too many risks and not enough rewards for the likes of them.
These were nothing more than excuses. She knew that the real reason behind it coming her way was due to how much work it would entail. Just to cover the basics required hours of work combing through fan mail, CCTV footage and taking statements. And, even if the identify the offender was uncovered, the burden of evidence was high for an arrest warrant and the conviction rate was low. It reeked of lots of legwork for naught result. They would have normally pigeonholed it as an unsolvable, but for the looming knowledge that the media wouldn’t accept that. They needed some semblance of resolution or a head would end up rolling.
She couldn’t help but smile at the irony. The head that would end up rolling would more likely be hers, rather than the one that the stalker was threatening to chop off. Failing to identify the stalker might result in the possibility that they would attempt to separating Mark’s manhood from his body. However, there was an almost one-hundred-percent guarantee that Ann would lose her job if she didn’t succeed. Hence, Mark’s odds were better than hers once the press got involved.
The media frenzy that would follow news of Mark Rivera being stalked, would be enough to necessitate her being fired. This idiot was the nations favorite hot bad boy complete with a cheeky smile and a body that drove women wild. He was notorious for womanizing and yet he, and his constant procession scantily dressed floozies, had kept magazines, newspapers and online subscription sales high for years. If anything happened to him the press would be all over this police department like a sexually transmitted disease. Someone would need to take responsibility for that failure and the DC had already made the promised that shit would stick to her. She’d been given this case as their scapegoat not because they expected her to do her job.
But that didn’t mean she didn’t want to take the case. She looked at the photo showing a close-up of the signature, RBFC. She’d seen it during the meeting and had immediately knew she had to hold onto this file. She needed to know why they’d chosen this set of letters. Did the offender know her? Was this a coincidence or was the ‘stalker’ just misdirection to confuse? Were these pictures really intended for Mark Rivera or where they indirectly aimed at Ann Gordon?
This could be nothing more than a simple stalker. But it could also be a sick practical joke meant for her and there was a possibly that there was something even more sinister in-play. If these pictures where meant for her to see, then the timing of the first one was about right. Chester Weston had been the one who’d christened her with the nickname and although she thought him too self-focused to think up something as clever as this, she might be underestimating him too. Whether it was him or one of the many other people who’d adopted the acronym, she knew that there was a long list who’d celebrate her ruin if this ended badly.
Maybe she was reading too much into this. It couldn’t be a fluke that the first three letters of the stalkers signature were RBF. However, the abbreviation RBFC was too close to that which was used to insult her, to ignore it as a possible link. Knowing this connection, she should be running from this, but she couldn’t. She was stuck.
She had to take this case if there was any chance that Chester Weston was linked to it. She couldn’t ignore any opportunity to nail him even if the chances were low. She had no choice.