Chapter 25 – A Man’s World
I do not own DC Universe or Twilight. Nor do I own A Man’s World by James Brown.
“Just telling it like it is… relax.”
Jim gritted his teeth.
“What did you just say to me?”
Bullock sighed whilst rolling his eyes.
“Look, I get it… she’s your niece and you want to protect her. But she’s gotta learn how things really are.”
The Commissioner glanced upon his niece.
“Bella, my squad car is outside. I’ll meet you there.”
“Please… just go. I’ll be right there.”
Bella drew back a breath and with apprehension she headed that way. Once she was out of sight Jim punched Bullock in the gut. Bullock gasped back and was brought to his knees.
“FORGET THAT SHE’S MY NIECE! YOU LET THESE MEN HARRASS A WOMAN! AND WHEN SHE GOES TO REPORT IT; YOU TELL HER TO SUCK IT UP AND DEAL WITH IT?! ALL YOUR ASSES ARE MINE! EVERY ONE OF YOU! I WANT YOU AT THE STATION, PRONTO. ANYONE THAT DECIDES TO PLAY NO SHOW WILL BE HUNTED DOWN AND TOSSED IN JAIL! DON’T EVEN BEGIN TO TEST ME ON THIS! YOU GOT 15 MINUTES!”
They jumped as he slammed the door on the way out. Bullock sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Well ya heard him, get going.”
Jim cleared his throat on the way to the station. Bella sat in silence the entire drive. Her face was flushed over once they got to the station, he put the cruiser in park. She turned to him.
“He told you, didn’t he?”
Gordon narrowed his eyes on this.
“Bruce… He told you… that’s the reason you were there.”
He shook his head.
“I haven’t a clue what you’re referring to. I haven’t talked to Mr. Wayne.”
Bella cut him a mistrusting glance.
“I was there to monitor how things were going and help out with PT today. I hadn’t any idea this was going on! And why didn’t you come to me?!”
She drew back a breath on this.
“Has our relationship gone that sour? You don’t even trust me enough to let me know what’s going on?”
“My uncle is the commissioner… How do you think that would look? Me running off to tattle tell. I was handling it.”
“Oh were you?”
She shook her head and ground her teeth together. Bella stepped out of the car and started towards the station. Her uncle rushed over and gently took her by the arm.
“I get it. Trust me. I do.”
“No. No you don’t! So don’t even pretend to.”
“Bella…” he murmured with concern.
She was thinking about Batgirl. How none of them knew the truth and never would. They hadn’t a clue what she faced. And even as shallow as Batman was at first, not once did he ever say the words… because you’re a woman.
“I worked just as hard as any of those men!”
He nodded in full agreement.
“What gives them right…” she stopped herself as she was shaking all over and her entire body was flushed.
“And you know what you have to do…” her uncle softly stated.
She half laughed and pinched her eyes shut.
“This is it for me, isn’t it? Once I sign those papers…”
He drew back a breath as he gathered the hint.
“Not if I have a say in it. You’re not in the wrong. They can’t hold what those men did against you.”
“This won’t look good either way. We both know once I walk into that courtroom claiming sexual harassment against twielve men…”
He put up a hand stopping her as Bullock and the others started pulling up to the station.
“This conversation isn’t over.”
Gordon led her on inside and began setting up everything she needed in order to press charges etc… He handed her a pen once she was done. Her hand shook as she began. Gordon patted her on the back and pointed towards his office once Bullock and the others entered the station. They headed that way and he followed. The moment he entered he pulled the door to. Gordon adjusted his tie and made his way over to his desk. He just sat there for a few minutes thinking back to everything he’d heard in that locker room. He took out his cell phone and hit play on the recorder.
Oh please, even Bullock has stated that she isn’t dependable. Hell, just the other day he was telling us how he imagined Gordon was ashamed of her. She’s a fucking joke that one! She waltzes on in here thinking she’s one of us. Face it Whitlock – she’ll end up in a body bag if she even makes it past these next few weeks.
She’s plenty dependable and Bullock is full of shit.
It’s because of you and your little posse she’s been late. And that stunt with the underwear. Not cool! That woman has feelings just like any of us do. She’s going to make a damn good cop one day and you know it!
She’d make a better hooker than she would a cop.
That’s no lie! Nipples ahoy that one!
Eh, rich boy’s got her right where he wants. Fine piece of ass that one. I can’t lie. I wouldn’t mind having my cock buried in that sweet little ass.
Try telling that to Mr. Wayne’s face and see if he blackens the other eye as well!
Look here you southern piece of shit…
Dude! Knock it off!
He reached back over and hit stop. Jim tapped his fingers along the table as he rested his head about his knuckles.
“Where do I even begin…? We’ve got sexual harassment, threats, assault, and the list goes on.”
Commissioner Gordon nodded towards Whitlock and Peak.
“Are the two of you willing to testify in court?”
“Oh come on there’s no need for that!” Corrigan snapped.
“We were just messing around!”
Gordon came to his feet and strut right up to Corrigan. He took out a pair of cuffs and started reading him his Miranda rights.
“WHAT THE FUCK?!”
Corrigan shouted and quickly shoved him back.
“Nah, man you’re not arresting me. That little niece of yours needs to learn when to take a joke!”
“JOKE?!” The Commissioner barked as he grabbed him by the collar and forced him up against the wall.
“Making death threats and talking about fucking my daughter… you think that’s funny?”
He cuffed once of his hands and roughly got the other one. Bullock raised his brows realizing what Jim had said. And wondered if he even had. But he wasn’t dumb enough to make a comment on the matter. He motioned for Bullock to open the door.
“I’ll sue this entire department! You won’t get away with this!”
Bella looked up from the papers she was filling out.
“This is all your fault! You know it too!”
The other officers helped get him locked away.
“You can’t do this. I have a right to a lawyer!”
“You know how things run. You get one call.”
Gordon called out as he spun the keys about and was walking away. Corrigan continued in his rant and everyone did their best to ignore him. The commissioner reentered his office. He pointed to the other eleven.
“Go home. Don’t come back. But don’t go far… You’ll be expected in court before long. You pissed it all away and you have no one to blame but yourselves. If any of you decide to go and get yourselves in trouble, you’ll be joining your buddy. Now get out of my office!”
None of them said a word and damn near tripped over themselves they couldn’t get out of there quick enough.
“As for you…” he pointed to Bullock.
“You’re to be suspended fourteen days no pay. I want your gun and badge in the meantime. And you two will make an appearance in court.”
“OH come on Jim! I had no idea what the guys were doing.”
“Don’t even stand there and fill me with such lies. You knew damn well something was going on. You chose to ignore it! And when Bella went to report it you told her to suck it up. So I suggest you do the same Harvey! SUCK IT UP! GUN! BADGE! GO HOME! But like the others don’t go far.”
“You’re shorthanded as it is! Who’s going to teach the class?”
“What class? We got three cadets left!”
Bullock shook his head on this.
“Everything is going to have to be postponed for now.”
The detective rolled his eyes and handed his gun and badge over.
“You’re one of my best Harvey… Which isn’t saying much for this department at the moment.”
Bullock bitterly left the room.
“As I was saying before… Are the two of you willing to testify against Corrigan and the others?”
He tapped his fingers along his phone in reminder.
“Of course…” Whitlock was first to say.
“Absolutely sir, whatever you need. We got her back.”
“Good to know. My apologies on how this all went down. I assure you Bullock isn’t usually one to let this sort of thing take course. Or at least I assumed. I suppose I will have to keep a closer eye on him. Can’t trust anyone these days. Mr. Peak, would you mind shutting the door.”
He nodded and pulled the door too.
“Now this stays between us, off the record… Do you mind telling me what all took place to the best of your knowledge?”
Whitlock and Peak looked to one another before telling their side of the story. When they were done Gordon looked as though he’d pass out. He gave a simple nod afterward.
“Thank you, both of you. You two go on. And I’m truly sorry about these events. I will see what I can do about finding another academy or postponing for a later date. And not to worry these last few weeks you’ve put in have been recorded and you will be accredited for them.”
“Thank you, sir. And we understand.”
Gordon offered the men his hand.
“We could use some men like you. Not many would’ve stood up the way you two have… You have my respect and I know you have my niece’s as well.”
Once they exited the office. Gordon leaned back in his chair. He reached out and picked up a picture of his niece. He scanned his thumb over it and the guilt kicked in hardcore. All that hell he’d been giving her… And he hadn’t a clue what she’d been going through.
When he stepped out one of the officers was videotaping her oral statement as well. He observed from a distance and once they were finished he made his way over.
“That’s enough for today. I’ll take you back to your car.”
Gordon put the car in park and ran his fingers along the steering wheel.
“Bella…” he started to say as he drew back a breath.
“I’m sorry… And I don’t just mean for recent events. I mean everything…
Bella nodded not sure what to say to that. She put her hand to the handle and he reached out stopping her.
“I’m not done…”
She swallowed back seeing as how he actually had tears forming in his eyes.
“I know I’m hard on you.” He sighed and sort of laughed.
“Truth of the matter is… I see a lot of myself in you. Especially, when I was your age. You’re very ambitious. You’ve always known what you wanted and you don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I suppose the real question is this… Who is Isabella Marie Gordon? What do you really see in your future? One of Gotham’s finest? A mother?”
He drew back the deepest of breaths.
Her eyes widened and heart sank to the pit of her stomach. He nodded and stared straight ahead.
“I raised you? You think I wouldn’t figure it out eventually?
Bella tossed her keys onto the table beside the entrance. She took her jacket off and went to hang it up, only to have Alfred beat her to the punch.
“I had that…”
He nodded and hung it up anyhow. Bella narrowed her eyes as there was music coming off the surround sound from the living area. She curiously headed that direction.
This is a man’s world
This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing
Without a woman or a girl
The lyrics played out and Bella couldn’t help but to smile. Bruce was leaning against the mantle of the fireplace. He had a single red rose in hand.
You see man made the cars
To take us over the road
Man made the train
To carry the heavy load
He nodded upon her and gradually made his way over.
Man made the electric light
To take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water
Like Noah made the ark
Bruce did a slight bow and handed her the rose. Bella softly giggled and breathed it in.
This is a man’s, man’s, man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing
Without a woman or a girl
Like that of a gentleman he took her hand and twirled her about. Bringing her against his chest he started dancing.
Man thinks about a little bit of baby girls
And a baby boys
Man makes them happy
‘Cause man makes them toys
“You’re crazy, you know that?” He nodded. “Funny, it’s usually the other guy that’s accused of such.”
And after man’s made everything
Everything he can
You know that man makes money
To buy from other man
This is a man’s world
But it wouldn’t be nothing
Not one little thing
Without a woman or a girl
He’s lost in the wilderness
He’s lost in bitterness
Once the song was over he scooped her up and laid her on the couch. She raised her brows as he handed her a glass of red wine. He propped a pillow behind her head and took her shoes off. Bruce maneuvered her about as he sat on the couch with her feet in his lap.
“You really don’t have to do that,” she remarked in a semi state of shock as he was rubbing her feet.
“Just relax Bella…”
The young woman started to argue but turned into putty. She’d never had her feet massaged before. Bruce chuckled as she let out a slight moan.
“That good, huh?”
A blush cast over those cheeks of hers as she sipped at her wine.
“So…” he cleared his throat.
“How’d it go?” He hinted.
She sort of laughed.
“As about a good as it’s going to get…” she replied with a shrug.
There was much to say at the moment she didn’t want to talk. Bruce gathered that as well. Bella finished her glass of wine and sat the empty glass on the coffee table. He raised his brows as she crawled into his lap. His arms wrapped around her as she rested her head against his chest. Before long she was grinding herself against him. A moan escaped his lips as he got a firm hold of her ass, egging her on. Both were severely backed up as it’d been awhile… Bella hurriedly undid his tie and was unbuttoning his shirt. Buttons sprung across the room as Bruce ripped her blouse open. He threw the remains across the room and lowered the straps of her bra exposing her to him. He welcomed himself to her breasts as Bella unfastened his pants. She reached under her skirt and was about to pull her panties to the side, only to have Bruce rip through those as well. He positioned her just right and they moaned in unison. They heatedly kissed as she rocked about him. The moment their lips parted Bruce softly growled out. He had her by the hips and his teeth were gritted.
“Faster!” He demanded.
He gave her a decent pop on the rear.
“FUCK!” Bruce called out as he felt her soaking his cock.
His name fled from her lips as she arched back. Just the sight alone had him past the brink. He threw his head back and came thinking he’d never stop he was so backed up. Afterward, he brought her back against his chest.
“So he knows…”
Bella nodded looking rather bleak. Bruce drew back a breath on this. He knew this meant Gordon knew his secret as well. It wasn’t that hard to put two and two together. The dark knight just hoped he could keep their secret and not raise any hell over it.
“I won’t lie. Bella, I’ve had the same thoughts he’s had. But I knew that was a decision you’d have to make. Even he can see there’s just no way you can juggle all this.”
“So that’s it? I have to choose?!
“That depends… I mean think on it. Can you really manage all three?”
“All three? I wasn’t aware that we were with child,” she scoffs.
Bruce cocked a brow at this.
“Well no… not at the moment. But one day… unless you’ve changed your mind. Do you even see that in our future?”
“Well of course I do. But why does that I mean I have to give up being a cop or Batgirl even? I mean are you about to quit your CEO position and put up the cape as well?”
He shrugged but looked to be in thought.
“Children need a lot of guidance. It’d already occurred to me that I’d need to spend less time at the office. And even Batman might have to rethink certain things. That’s not to say I’m putting up the cape. But yes, there will be other priorities.”
“Great, so I’m a terrible mother before I’ve even become one!”
“That’s not even what I saying or was thinking…”
“No but you’ve already got this all mapped out! Jesus Bruce, I haven’t even begun to truly think on these things! But you’ve got our future set in stone! Haven’t you? I bet you even have names picked out.”
He drew back a breath and sort of laughed.
“I’m glad you find this amusing…”
“Bella… We discussed this… Why is this an issue now? Are you having second thoughts?”
“Of course not! I just didn’t realize you planned on having children that soon. You make it sound as if we’re gonna start nesting the day of our wedding.”
“The night after actually, I figured we could try for triplets,” he taunted with a smirk.
She wanted to stay mad but started laughing.
“You’re such an ass.”
“Bella, if you’re not wanting children…” he started to say.
“That’s not it. I just don’t see why having a family means I have to give everything up.”
“That’s not what I’m saying, not at all. I’m only wishing you’d see how Batgirl by night cop by day… it’s going to take its toll on you. And if and when that day comes that we have a child. How would you even begin to make time for them?”
“This is crazy! We’re not even married yet!’
“These are things every couple should discuss before taking that plunge, Bella.”
“And I get that. Believe me I do. But it’s hardly fair!”
“That you’ve already got the role of Suzie Homemaker picked out for me!”
“Are you even listening to me?”
“Then you’d know damn well that’s not even close to what I’m saying. When I say choice… I mean Batgirl or cop. Don’t put words in my mouth!”
“I can do both!”
“NO YOU CAN’T! Even I wouldn’t attempt such a thing. When will you sleep? Or have a life period if you take on both roles? Not only that, but you’re putting double the risk on yourself. Both are dangerous jobs and you’re in attempts to pull off both? So you’re going to spend 24/7 in constant danger? Do you not see the bigger picture? We both know what it’s like to lose a parent! Is that a…” Bella jumped to her feet and put up a hand stopping him.
“Don’t you even finish that thought! How dare you! I can’t believe you’d use the dead parents card on me!”
“Oh come on Bella! I’m not the bad guy here. I’m only trying to help you see the bigger picture. Think about it. Married, Batgirl, cop, and children?!”
“Okay fine, we won’t have children!”
He reared back in absolute disbelief as she stormed out of the cave.
“What the fuck?!” He snapped as he punched at the bat console.
Bella took her helmet off with bitterness. The fight she’d just had with Bruce lingered in her thoughts. She wanted to get her mind of things so decided to pick up a new book from the library. As she was walking that direction she felt this gentle tug at her jacket. When she turned to see what it was she saw a boy no older than seven taking off.
“You’re kidding me…” she scoffed seeing as how he’d just stolen from her.
She drew back a breath of annoyance and discreetly followed the boy. The boy was on a mission as he zipped along throughout Gotham. It was apparent he knew his way around and this wasn’t anything new as he continued to pick the pockets of others along the way. Bella blended in with the crowd as she followed him to an abandoned building. He cautiously looked around before lifting a board and entering. Bella tilted her head in wonder. She made her way to the wooden board he’d entered. The young woman quietly raised the panel as well and carefully entered the area. Her jaw dropped once she took notice of all the children.
One of them happily announced. The little girl rushed up to him and hugged him. He chuckled and twirled her about.
“I got you all something.”
He dumped out everything he’d stolen and the children formed a circle around him.
“Dude! That’ll feed us for at least a week!” One of the boys announced.
The little thief smiled on this.
“That’s right, Miles.”
The boy divided the money amongst his friends. Bella counted eight in total – making him the ninth.
“That leaves you short a good ten dollars!” Another friend of his said.
“Ah… I’ll be alright. I grabbed a burger on the way,” he lied.
“Are you sure J.T?” Another little girl questioned.
“Yeah Sandy… I’m good. Just be smart with it and I’ll make another run in a few days.”
Bella swallowed back as the boy started to build a fire in a nearby metal trashcan. He took his jacket off and placed it on the girl that had greeted him. She was violently shivering as he brought her to the fire he’d built.
“Let’s get you warmed up Morgan.”
He took his fingerless gloves off and placed them on the girl.
“But then you’ll be cold.”
“Nah… I’m good.” He said as he propped open a nearby window.
Bella drew back a breath as she stepped out of the shadows letting herself be known. She raised her hands letting them know she came in peace.
“Easy now…” she softly called out as they all had that deer caught in headlights look.
“Just wanted to talk to Jason…” The young woman flashed the gun she’d tucked into her jacket as they went to take off. But it was merely a scare tactic. She’d never aim a gun at a child.
“What are you a cop?”
“Not at the moment. Maybe one day…”
He rolled his eyes at this.
“Great, just what this city needs, another pig on the loose. Look, I got nothing to say to you lady. Get lost.”
His lip curled at the expensive clothes and outrageous engagement ring on her finger. He remembered stealing from her alright. She screamed spoiled rich! And he hated them all!
“I guess you’re here to get your money back?”
He rolled his eyes and took a wad of money out from his pocket and her cellphone. He tossed it at her feet.
“There. Now go.”
She bent down and grabbed the cellphone. But she left the money. Not only that but she opened her purse and took another hundred out. She laid it down along with the rest.
“I don’t mean to pry. But where are your parents?”
“You think we’d be here lady if we had one of those?”
“There’s an orphanage not far…”
He rolled his eyes and started to round his friends up.
“We don’t do orphanages. And we don’t need your fucking charity,” he said as he picked up the hundred dollar bill. He balled it up and threw it at her feet.
She reared back at the rather vibrant language.
“But you’re more than willing to steal from others?”
“Gotta make a living somehow. Not that it’s any of your business!”
“I can help you…”
“We don’t need or want your help.”
“Yeah! We don’t!”
“You’re all the same!”
His friends joined in. He folded his arms about his chest and nodded with a stern look her direction.
“Miles, take the others to our other hangout. I’ll meet you there.”
“Just go… We can’t stay here now. She’ll call the cops the minute she gets a chance.
“You don’t have to go. Your secret is safe with me. But please take the money. And please at least give the orphanage a chance. You’d have a bed, three meals a day…”
Jason gritted his teeth and grabbed one of the nearest children. He twirled them about and lifted their shirt.
“Already tried that. Fuck your orphanage!”
Bella grimaced at the marks along the boy’s back.
“They did this?”
He nodded and motioned for his friends to go on. They all took off following this Miles kid.
“You’re pretty brave… and it’s a nice thing… What you’re doing for them.”
“Look, you got your stuff. Would you leave me the hell alone now?”
The boy fired off something a lot like the grabble gun Batman and Batgirl used. He was suspended into the air and he crawled through a hole in the ceiling. Bella shook her head on this and looked around. There were very little clothes, torn pillows, and shredded blankets. She bent down and picked up one of the girl’s dolls. She narrowed her eyes as she ran her fingers through the doll’s blonde locks. Once again, her conversation with Bruce came to play.
This seven year old boy had taken it upon himself to take care of eight other children. But who was taking care of him? Who tucked him in at night? Who read to him? She placed the doll back down and pinched her eyes shut for a moment. She’d never felt more selfish in her entire life.
Bella jumped to her feet though as she heard some sort of struggle going on outside of the building. At this she rushed on out and followed the sound. Her jaw dropped and she hurriedly took out her gun.
“Hands in the air! STEP AWAY FROM THE BOY!”
The two men snapped their heads her direction. She gritted her teeth as they took off. Bella rushed over and scooped the boy up. They’d beat him to a pulp.
“I got you…” she whispered and rushed him to the car.
He whimpered out off and on as she sped down the road – heading to the nearest ER. With a shaky hand she dialed Bruce.
Her voice quivered as she spoke.
“Bruce, can you meet me at the ER near 12th street.”
“Are you alright?”
Bella glanced towards the boy.
“NO!” She shouted as the door opened and Jason tucked and rolled it on out of the vehicle.
She slammed on the brakes and put on the emergency brake.
“BELLA?!” Bruce called out in alarm.
She hung up the phone and took off in search of the boy, only he was nowhere to be found.
(Please leave your comment/review. Let me know what you think. Gamma Love, A Webcatcher’s Dream, About Italy and Love Me Till It Hurts coming up soon.)