She’s shaking as she stares through the glass. She’s wanted this day for so damn long. Every nerve in her body is awake and focused on the disgusting excuse of a man on the other side. He sits there so smug, she would pay millions just to smack the ever present smirk off his face. She’d do anything just to make him hurt like he hurt her.
“Clarke, you know you don’t have to go in right?” She snapped out of her thoughts and looked up. Officer Blake is stood next to her, his hand hovered over her shoulder like he’s afraid she’ll break under it. She nodded and swallowed thickly.
“Yeah,” It comes out hoarse, “but I can’t make the other girls do it.” She wiped at her eyes and shrugged. “No one was there to protect me or them when it happened, but if I can protect them now…” Clarke can’t help the revulsion that comes over her. Remembering what happened will always make her sick to her stomach, she’s sure of it. But if she can bring some kind of peace to the other girls who went through the exact same thing as her then why wouldn’t she?
Officer Blake- Bellamy, she reminds herself- looks at her with a look she can’t decipher. He’s hesitant as he lays his hand on her shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. “Thank you.” What he’s thanking her for goes unsaid. Clarke remembers the names of all the girls who were hurt before and after her. She’ll never forget seeing the name Octavia under the picture of a girl with dead eyes. A girl who had become another victim. No, not victim, Clarke thinks, survivor.
She can’t help the guilt in her gut though. Maybe if she had come forward sooner, had said something to anyone, maybe no one else would have gotten hurt. But it’s too late now- three years too late. She has to do what she can now.
The door to the interrogation room opens with a hushed sound. “I’m ready when you are, Ms. Griffin.” Detective Marcus Kane looks at her with the kindest eyes she had ever seen. Throughout the investigation he had been nothing but kind and patient with her. She would always be grateful for that. Clarke nods once and clenches her fists as she takes hesitant steps into the interrogation room. She can hear Bellamy follow behind only to be stopped by Kane. “She has to do this alone. We’ll be waiting here if you need, Clarke. Just say the word and we’ll be there with you.” Kane is careful as he pats her shoulder. She nods and steps fully into the room. He closes the door behind her.
It takes everything in Clarke to not scream for the door to be opened. She knows they’re watching, she knows the room is being recorded, and she knows he is cuffed to the table. He can’t touch her here. He can’t touch her ever again. But the disgust and fear build in her.
“Well, I didn’t think you would ever show up.” She nearly vomits at the sound of his voice. She can hear a gentle *tap tap* sound on the window. Bellamy is reassuring her they are here for her. She takes a deep breath and fully turns around. The disgust she feels evaporates and almost immediately is replaced by rage.
What she wouldn’t give to hurt Cage Wallace like he had hurt her.
Her mind blanks as she takes him in. He looks nearly the exact same as the last time she saw him three years ago. That, for some reason, makes everything that much worse. He hasn’t been affected in the slightest by what he’s done. Yet, there are a dozen women and girls whose lives will never be the same because of him. It takes nearly everything she has not to rake her nails over his near perfect skin.
“I didn’t think I would either.” She said it with confidence she didn’t know she had. She crossed the small room and stood in front of the chair meant for her. She tipped her chin up slightly; he deserved to be looked down upon. “I’d almost forgotten you existed until the detectives were at my door.” That was a lie. Probably the biggest lie she’d ever told. But Clarke knew Cage almost better than anyone. Any small hit to his ego could send him spiraling and they needed that.
She could see it worked with the slight twitch in his eye. “Forgotten me? Like you could ever forget me, Clarke. We had such good times together.” Her name might as well have been acid in his mouth the way he said it. She kept her nerve.
“Really? The last time I saw you was over three years ago and it wasn't a good time.” She said. Her hands rested on top of the chair; her fingers were holding on so tight it should have hurt.
“You wound me, Clarke.” He said bitterly. “How can you say our last night together wasn’t fun? Magical, even?” She could spit in his face right there. Bellamy had warned her if she did anything considered ‘antagonizing’ or ‘harmful’ to Cage, then he might as well walk free. His attorney could say he was coerced by an old friend.
Clarke squared her shoulders. “That’s not how I remember it.” Dozens of images flashed behind her eyes every time she blinked. Her mind had done it’s best to erase some memories; saving her from having to relive them. But there was only so much she could take before her mind broke. Even if she didn’t want to, she could remember every single second of the night her life was ruined.
“Then tell me,” Cage had leaned forward, licking his lips, “how do you remember it?”
Gods, did she not want to remember. Every fiber of her being wanted to forget and never have to think of that night again. She’d retold it more times than she could count. She’s told police, detectives, doctors, therapists, even her mom. She’s told everyone how that night went as many times as possible just so she could have this moment. She wanted her peace back and was going to take it. But why was it so damn hard to tell one more person? Why was it so hard to tell the person who hurt her that he did hurt her?
“You came over to my apartment with a key you somehow got or stole from me.” She grit her teeth. Her eyes had been focused on the table since she came to stand next to it. Looking at Cage was not an option. “I broke up with you the day before and you were pissed. I told you I couldn’t handle your controlling and manipulation issues. You needed to get help and I would have nothing to do with you until you did.”
Cage nodded along with her. “Then I came over to apologize.”
“No.” Clarke all but sneered. “You came into the apartment when I was asleep. You knew I’d be asleep and had no reason to think you had a key or else I would have told you to give it back.” Her eyes snap to his. Gods, she hates those eyes so fucking much. If there was ever a time for her to commit a crime, scratching his eyes out would be it. “You came into my apartment, you locked the door behind you. You made sure I wasn’t able to get out. You locked all the windows, hid all my kitchen knives, and waited for me to wake up. You knew what time I would get up and waited for three fucking hours to do what you did to me like some pathetic creep.”
The twitch in his eye was back and more present. “And what exactly did I do to you?”
Clarke feels like she’s thrown back to that day. Waking up at six a.m. on the dot for work. Getting up and heading to her bathroom, completely unaware of the person in her home. No, not a person, a monster. She can all but see herself walking out of the bathroom and into the kitchen. She had only seconds between seeing Cage standing in her living room and when she found herself on the floor. “You beat me.” She can still feel the sharp pains and aches that came with every hit. “You hit my ribs so many times two of them broke. You pulled my hair so hard I found clumps of it weeks later.” Faintly, she was are of how much her hands hurt from clenching the chair. She didn’t care.
“Then what?” Cage asked. He was enjoying, she knew. She wanted to leave and tell the officers to find someone else to confront him. She wanted to go back to living in Floukru and far, far away from Arkadia. So far away she could at least pretend that none of this happened.
But she couldn’t. “You raped me.” She had said the sentence so many times before. Hundreds of times to herself, to officers, to anyone who needed her to come forward. Three years had been nothing to make it easier. She felt so sick now. “You kept me locked up in my own apartment, my safe place, and used me over and over. Just because I said no to being with you. You left so many bruises the nurse who saw me couldn’t tell if I had been beaten or ran over. You had the damn nerve to drop me off at an emergency center after three days. Three days!” She stomped her foot as hard she could. Cage jumped. It brought little satisfaction. “Then you paid for the hospital bill like you owed me something.”
Cage had a look in her eyes she had never seen before. “And that’s what happened.” There was just the faintest smile on his disgusting mouth.
“It is what happened. And you are going to own up to it and own up to what you did to all those other girls.” The way his eyes widened in just the slightest didn’t go unseen. “We found them all. All the other girls you hurt, you abused, and tried to pay off. And every single one of them wants your head on a spike.” She hoped for just one second she could instill some kind of fear into him.
“Well you’ll never have my head.” He gave her a shrug that could have been confident. It came off as feeble. “My father will have me out of here before dinner.”
Clarke couldn’t help but feel a little smug. “Maybe so. But everyone will know why you were arrested and what you did. Not a single person will be able to look at you without hatred. Even if you don’t get prison time, I can assure you that your life will be made hell.” Clarke could see just the faintest crack in his demeanor.
“And how exactly do you plan on doing that?”
The door opened before Clarke could answer. “Because, you just confessed to the rape and assault of Clarke Griffin.” Kane came through the door, Bellamy and another officer behind.
“No, I did not.” Kane’s tone changed almost startling.
The other office came forward. Reyes, Clarke tried to recall. “Actually you did. We have a camera in these rooms and I’m sure the jury will love to hear you say, and I quote, ‘ and that’s what happened ’ on repeat for the trial.” Clarke took a step back like she’d been burnt. She had been so lost she had missed that part. Even if it wasn’t an exact confession, it was something. She kept taking steps back until her back hit the wall. Officer Reyes isn’t so kind as she pulls Cage up from his seat. She is very aware of the pair of eyes on her. Bellamy has been so kind during all of this, but she can’t make herself look at him. She can only focus on Cage and the need to ruin him.
Clarke listens to Reyes read the Miranda Rights again. She watches her uncuff him from the table and pulled his arms behind his back. The groan of pain he gives might as well be music to Clarke. They’ll take him to a holding cell until he can be processed and put into the county jail for now. Then they’ll have to wait for the trial. Cage might be right though, his dad might bail him out tonight. He might be able to sleep in his own bed like nothing is wrong. But she can’t let him go without making sure he understands her.
“Wait.” She said as Reyes all but drags Cage out the door. She swallows and looks Cage in the eye. “When I was pre-med, I learned how cells in your body are all but completely erased and replaced every seven years.”
He looked at her in almost the same way he looked at her the last time. “And?”
Clarke smiled. “And do you know how amazing it is to know that one day I’ll have a body you have never touched?”
Officer Reyes returned her smile and hauled Cage away. Clarke was almost numb then. It was an almost freeing numb. She knew the fight was nowhere near over. It could take years. But she was willing to go through it for just the small satisfaction of seeing Cage Wallace fall.
“You did very well, Ms. Griffin.” Kane nodded to her before following Reyes. Clarke could only nod back.
“Thank you, Clarke.” Bellamy’s voice made her jump. His eyes had never left her the entire time. “I can’t thank you enough for coming forward. For helping as much as you can. For helping the others”
Clarke shook her head. “Thank me when your sister can go outside without having to worry about Cage Wallace ever hurting her again.”