It wasn’t long before two officers, one male, and one female, came into the room and sat down. The female looked at us and smiled warmly. She was tall with long curly blonde hair she was attempting to tame in a ponytail. She was dressed in a navy work suit and a white shirt. She wore minimal make-up and had friendly ocean blue eyes. She held out a slender hand for us both to shake. “Now, I understand you are here to report some serious crimes. My name is Agent Kate Lockley from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and this is my colleague Agent David Garner.” The man simply nodded to us and took out a pen and a pad. He was tall although he was stockier than his colleague; His hair was greying with age although the dark eyes peering from behind glasses seemed soft. He did not extend his hand at this point but nothing in the way he was sitting suggested an unkind nature. Maybe now was just not the time for a greeting from him.
Lockley smiled again. “Now, we understand talking through these things can be uncomfortable for you so we will try to not get you to repeat things too much. So, who is doing the reporting?”
“Just me for now ma’am although I am hoping Simon will change his mind,” Charlotte said. “I am Miss Charlotte Acker and I am here to report a Mr Mark Jason Harris for rape, torture, and kidnap.”
“OK Charlotte, do you mind if I call you Charlotte?” Charlotte shook her head. “Thanks. Tell me what exactly has happened?” Her voice rose slightly at the end indicating the statement was in fact a question.
I squeezed Charlottes hand and just stayed silent as Charlotte told her story. She reached the end and after a brief silence as the agents took in the information Agent Garner looked at me. “You don’t look as though you have escaped this son,” he remarked which were his first words directed at us since his entrance to the room.
I swallowed. “He never raped me or even touched me sexually so I think that I escaped;” I replied, “besides I am not here to report my brother for anything.”
“Your brother? Oh right well we are not about to force you to do that but I do want you to be medically examined along with Charlotte.” Agent Garner put down his pad as he spoke as if he was emphasizing the fact that the request was not official. “We might be able to help in some way because you do look in a grim state if you don’t mind me saying. You two won’t have to be separated and I will send a car to take you both to the general hospital…”
“N-No!” I cried suddenly, making Charlotte jump slightly. I gripped her hand tightly in my sudden fear before explaining my cry. “We can’t go there because Mark works there!"
“It’s OK,” Agent Lockley quickly soothed me. “We will send for examiners to come here and we won’t give your names. We will protect you both as much as we can; we promise.” She stood and walked to the door. “I will go and organise that and arrange to have Mark Harris arrested.” She left the room.
I shuddered and I guess Agent Garner noticed. “This can’t be easy for you playing a part in getting him arrested.” He told me like he knew the turmoil of emotions that I felt right know. On top of all that self hatred for betraying my brother so much was the feeling that I was doing to right thing. Well, it was right for Charlotte so it had to make it right for me, didn’t it? As if Charlotte sensed this she twined her fingers with mine and smiled gently up at me. “You are doing the right thing here, honestly,” the Agent continued, “he needs punishing for what he has done.”
“He does Simon and I am so proud of you for being here,” Charlotte told me as she cuddled into me. She brought our linked hands onto her lap. “What happens after the medical exam?” Charlotte asked Garner.
“You are free to go, do you have a place to go, or will you want us to organise something?"
“I have a house we can go to,” Charlotte said, giving the address.
A few minutes later Agent Lockley reappeared and as soon as she did I knew from her expression that the news wasn’t good. “I am afraid that when we went to arrest Mark he had disappeared. He is on the run which potentially puts you both in real danger.”