This is their fortieth official date, forty-second if you count the two almost-not dates, and forty-three if you count the not-a-date-at-all. Which, Sam is. Just so you know.
The movie is a bust. Some overly romantic flick Sam hadn’t wanted to see, but Dom had dragged him to, just so it wouldn’t be weird with his sister and her fiancé.
Dinner is better. Home cooked. Garlic shrimp and steamed asparagus.
Now, Dom’s not picky, but he does know what he likes and dislikes and he dislikes seafood strongly. He also apparently doesn’t like asparagus, and Sam grits his teeth when Dom whines about not being allowed to cook for himself.
“If you’d picked the meal, we’d be eatin’ half-cooked pizza,” Sam snaps.
Dom falls silent, pushes his food around but doesn’t eat.
Later, after Bella and Tommy have gone home, Dom says, “Let me make it up to you.”
He takes Sam’s hand, leads him to the bathroom.
Shower sex. What a cliché.
Even Sam’s arousal is standard.
Dom hands him a toothbrush. “I don’t like garlic breath,” he says, leaving Sam alone.
By the time Sam’s done scrubbing his teeth—and any other-ahem-delicate places that might need it—Dom’s curled up on the foot of the bed, head hanging down the side, blanket pulled over his body. He’s awake, Sam can see his eyes glittering in the half-light spilling in from the hallway, but he doesn’t respond, even when Sam runs his cold fingers down his side. Oh, naked.
“C’mon,” Sam says, pulling at Dom until he gets him to sit up. “You said you’d make it up to me. How are you gonna do that, huh?”
“Like this,” Dom says quietly, sliding from the bed to kneel gracefully in front of Sam. With shaking hands, he tugs at Sam’s pants until Sam helps him by loosening the belt.
The room feels colder when his dick is free, and it makes Dom’s hands warmer where they’re pressed against his hips.
Carefully, with a quick peek up at Sam, Dom lowers his mouth onto his flesh.
His mouth is hot, sinking down slowly.
Sam groans, thrusting up slightly. Dom draws back, gagging.
“It really has been a while,” Sam pants, gripping a handful of hair and tugging Dom back onto his dick. He thrusts up harshly and Dom pushes away.
“Don’t do that,” he says when he gets his coughing under control.
“Don’t be such a cocktease,” Sam retaliates, tightening his hold on Dom’s hair. He uses the thumb of his other hand to pry Dom’s jaw open so he can push his dick back inside. Dom recoils.
“I changed my mind,” he says, glaring. “I don’t owe you anything.”
“You don’t get to do this to me,” Sam shouts, pointing down at his half-hard penis. “If you’re gonna do somethin’, do it all the way.”
“Flies with honey,” Dom says, likely a saying he got from Amanda, that bitch—she’s the only one who insists on meddling with their relationship. Sam reaches out and smacks Dom’s cheek with the flat of his hand.
It’s the first time Sam has struck him, and neither are sure how to react at first, staring at each other.
Finally, Dom stands up, goes to where he folded his clothes neatly over the back of a chair. He dresses quickly, t-shirt on backwards, pants tripping him until he’s able to get his feet through the holes. “I’m going out,” he says stiffly. Already, Sam can see his hand print reddening his cheek.
“Dom,” he says softly.
Dom shakes his head, holds up his hand. “Don’t. I don’t wanna hear it. No excuse you give me is worth it. You have to shape up, Sam.”
“At least tell me where you’re going?”
Dom shakes his head again. “You don’t get that information.”
The door slams behind him, the apartment too empty, too quiet. Dom’s always making noise, even if he’s asleep.
Sam sits on the couch, wrapped in Dom’s favorite afghan, waiting.
He waits for a long time. Dom doesn’t come home.
Amanda wakes up to her phone chiming. It’s a call from Carisi.
Not the way she wanted to be woken up at, oh, midnight.
It’d been a lazy day off. Errands and running around with Frannie.
She presses ‘send’ and listens.
“Sorry to bother you, but no one else is answering their phones.”
Carisi sounds breathless, and she hears traffic in the background.
“Can you come get me, please? Sam and I had a fight.” He laughs harshly, sounds more like a sob to her.
“Sure,” she says, not sure why. She’s been warming up to him lately, but still; this is not how she wanted to spend an early Sunday morning. “Where are you?”
He gives her the address—a little ice cream shop she’d taken him to a while back when she was trying to like his boyfriend.
It’d been a bust, her shouting at him, “He’s toxic!” but not quite knowing how to tell him that one of her support members, a guy who hit on every breathing male in his vicinity, had admitted to sleeping with Sam after he and Carisi had been dating for a month.
When she gets down to the shop, she finds Carisi leaning against a wall, arms crossed over his chest, shivering in the cool night air. He picked a bad day to forget his jacket—it’s supposed to touch freezing tonight.
In the streetlight, she catches sight of a mark on his face, and she stops moving. A beat later, she resumes marching. He holds up a hand as she comes to a rest beside him.
“Don’t say it,” he mumbles. He’s been crying. He wipes at his nose with the edge of his shirt. She sees a tag nestled at his throat. He left in a hurry after the fight, then, she surmises.
She manages to hold her tongue until they get back to her apartment, where it’s harder to ignore the obvious red hand mark on his left cheek. “What happened?” she asks softly. He flinches.
“Sam hit me,” he says stiffly. “What do you think happened?”
“Is that all he did?”
Carisi laughs that sob-sounding laugh again. “Yeah, Rollins, that’s all he did.”
They both freeze, recognizing that he’s just told a lie. Immediately, Carisi spins away from her, studying the bare walls instead of her face. The tips of his ears turn pink.
Knowing he won’t talk even if she pushes it, she drops the subject, hands him a blanket, and points at the couch. Frannie looks up from her position by the far armrest and jumps onto the floor with a soft thump to follow Amanda as she heads to her bedroom.
“Hey, Rollins,” Carisi calls, and she pauses, Frannie brushing past her legs. “Thanks for this. I know you didn’t have to, probably didn’t want to, but I appreciate it.”
“Don’t mention it, Carisi. And if anyone asks, you spent the night with your sister.”
“’Night,” he says.
“’Night,” she responds, closing the door. Carisi really should talk to someone, but Amanda knows she’s not the right person for it. It’ll be a betrayal of his trust, but she’ll talk to Olivia tomorrow—or rather later today—about his options. He shouldn’t have to put up with what Sam’s doing to him.
Sunday morning, Olivia bundles Noah into a cute red snowsuit, tucks him into the walking-stroller, and heads to the park for a nice outing. Barely five minutes after they arrive at their destination, Rollins comes jogging in.
She scans the people before picking out Olivia and heading toward them.
“Hey,” she says. “Look, I need some advice. It’s about Carisi.”
This is not something Olivia wants to deal with on her Sunday off. “Can it wait until tomorrow?” she asks.
Rollins shakes her head. “Sam hit him last night. I don’t think that’s all he did, but it’s all Carisi admitted.”
Olivia sighs. Rollins had been against Carisi’s relationship from the very start. Everything she says needs to be evaluated carefully.
“Did you see any evidence?”
“He has a mark on his cheek from Sam’s hand,” Rollins says, quietly. “I asked him about it, and he said, ‘Sam hit me.’”
“His shirt was on backwards, so at some point he was naked.” Rollins shrugs when Olivia stares at her.
“You don’t have anything but the mark on his face, do you?”
Rollins shakes her head. “My gut is telling me something’s really wrong.”
Olivia has learned to listen to Rollins when she’s like this.
“I’ll talk to him,” she promises. “But only tomorrow unless he approaches me sooner. Okay?”
Rollins bites her tongue and nods. “Thanks.”
Oliva returns her full attention to Noah. He blinks up at her before babbling nonsensically and pointing toward the swings. She wonders if she’ll be as quick to dismiss someone else’s misgivings about his significant others, when he’s old enough, or if she’ll be like Rollins, watching out for everything to go wrong.
She shakes her head and pulls out her phone to call Carisi.
He doesn’t answer, so she leaves a message, something about needing to talk to him first thing tomorrow.
Then, she takes Noah home.
Carisi is gone by the time Amanda gets back from the park. She finds a note pinned to her fridge with a couple of twenties as well. Amanda puts the money in her coat pocket so she can give it back to Carisi at work tomorrow.
She dials his number, cursing quietly when it goes straight to voicemail.
She calls Benson next. “I can’t get a hold of Carisi. I think he went back to his boyfriend.”
Benson makes noise about tracking him down, and Amanda tugs on her coat. She grabs a sweater an ex left just in case she finds Carisi wandering around half-dressed.
Amanda vaguely knows where Carisi lives: she’d been the only one to go to his boyfriend’s apartment to help him move in. When she gets to the building, she presses the buzzer for his floor. A few minutes later, the door opens and she starts trudging up the stairs.
When she gets to his floor, she can’t remember which apartment he is in. It’s early enough that she feels comfortable knocking on people’s doors, and the first one she chooses is answered quickly.
“Hi,” a young man, mid-to-late-twenties, long, dark hair tied back in a loose ponytail, bare feet and a too-large t-shirt, says.
“Hi, yes,” she says. “I’m Amanda. I’m looking for my friend Sonny?” At his blank look, she amends it to: “Dominick?”
“Oh, yeah, Dominick. He’s my next door neighbor. Hang on. I think he’s in. Sam has the day off.” The man wrinkles his nose. “I don’t like Sam much at all. He drinks a lot on his days off.”
The man knocks on the door next to his and waits with Amanda. After a few minutes of silence, the door opens.
“Micah,” Sam, Carisi’s boyfriend, says. He sounds less than pleased. And then he sees Amanda and his whole face shrinks in disgust. Amanda feels the same way.
“Hey, Sam,” Micah says. “Do you know if Dominick’s in? We were supposed to walk down to the coffee shop later.”
“Dom’s not feelin’ well right now,” Sam drawls. Amanda doesn’t miss the way he uses his body to block the doorway.
“Oh, can you give him Josh’s and my well-wishes?”
Sam nods, and Micah steps back, shooting a quick look of disbelief at Amanda.
“Hi, Sam, I don’t know if you remember me.”
“I do,” he says shortly.
She ignores him. “Dominick and I had plans this morning, and he completely blew me off. I was hoping to catch him here so we could reschedule.”
“If Dom wanted to hang out with you, he would’ve called you.” Sam shrugs at her. “He didn’t call you.”
“Actually, he didn’t answer his phone,” Amanda says icily. She’s had enough of Sam’s bullshit. “There’s a difference. Move aside.”
“Hey, Sam?” Carisi comes to the door, ice pack held over his left eye. His shirt, still inside out, is torn at the neck, splatters of blood down the front.
Amanda reaches for a pair of handcuffs that isn’t there.
“Dom, what are you doin’ up? I thought I told you to rest.”
“Sonny, what happened?”
Carisi stares at her with a look that she’s all too familiar with. She motions to the hallway behind her.
He steps out, a quick glance at Sam.
“What happened?” Amanda asks again, softer.
Carisi shrugs. “I walked into a door.” He won’t meet her eyes.
“Please don’t lie to me,” she says. He nods but doesn’t say anything.
Finally though, she sighs. “Do you want to go to the hospital?”
“I’m fine,” he mumbles. “Thanks anyway.” He clears his throat. “I’m fine,” he says again, more conviction in his voice. He doesn’t move the ice pack, but Amanda can see the bruising, see the way his eye is almost swollen shut. “Look, Sam didn’t hit me. I really did walk into the door.”
She points at him. “I don’t believe you, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt until I can prove otherwise. Just know that I am going to document everything, and I will not hesitate again.”
“Duly noted. Now can I go back inside?”
Amanda grabs his arm. “Please don’t let it escalate,” she begs him. “I don’t want to bury you.”
“You won’t,” he promises.
She doesn’t believe him, and she almost doesn’t let him go.
Eventually though, he slips away from her and goes back to his apartment. He pauses, turning back to her for a second. “My neighbors, they’re really cool. You’ll like them.”
He opens the door, Sam still waiting for him right there. Amanda meets his eyes and knows, knows that he knows she knows that he beat Carisi.
She just has to prove it. Carisi’s “cool” neighbors is as a good a place to start as any.
Micah and Josh really are cool. Josh, short, rotund, blonde, works at a record store nearby and Micah is in his last year studying to be a doctor.
They also tell Amanda about an incident where Dominick hit a mirror and Micah had to bandage him.
“Why’d he hit the mirror?”
Micah shrugs. “Sam cheated on him. He found out about it. Sam wasn’t even home when he hit the mirror. I think it took time to process it.”
“We’re supposed to meet him tomorrow,” Josh puts in. “We have a standing date night where we meet with Dominick when Sam works late at the bar.” He worries his lip, and Amanda waits him out, certain that there’s more.
She doesn’t have to wait long before he sighs. “Look, Micah and I, we both think that Sam’s abusive. We know he’s physically abusive even if Dominick keeps denying it, but we also think he’s sexually abusive.”
Micah shakes his head, murmuring, “Forgive me please.” He turns to Amanda. “Dominick has admitted, in confidence, to me that when he and Sam are intimate, he doesn’t feel like he has a choice, like he can’t say no.”
“Have you seen Son—Dominick today?” she asks. Both of them shake their heads. “He says he walked into a door. It looks like that door was a fist. I need your help to convince him to leave his boyfriend.”
“Fiancé,” Micah corrects quietly. “They’re engaged.”
“We need to get him out of there before Sam kills him.”
“It is escalating, isn’t it?” Micah exchanges a worried glance with Josh.
“Quickly too,” Amanda says. “Dominick told me yesterday night that when Sam slapped him it was the first time he’d hit him.”
“Now that’s something I don’t believe,” Micah says. “I’ve spent time with Dominick. He moves sometimes like he isn’t sure of himself, and he always offers to get Josh something, following it up with, ‘Are you sure he won’t be mad?’”
“So, Sam’s been abusive for a while now. We need a way to get Dominick out of there before he’s a different statistic.”
“He’ll be by himself tomorrow afternoon,” Micah says. “I’ll talk to him then.”
“Call me if you can’t convince him to leave.” Amanda hands both Josh and Micah a card with her cell number scribbled on the back and Sonny’s money. It feels like a mistake to leave but there’s nothing else she can do until Sonny is ready. She hopes he’s ready soon.
She’d rather not have to bury a colleague.
Dom is curled on the floor.
Sam stands over him, his fist aching from the force he’d used.
Dom isn’t moving, knocked out cold from the impact on his jaw.
Sam gathers moisture in his mouth and spits, the glob of saliva landing in Dom’s hair. Blood, snot, and tears mix in a puddle under his lips.
Dom thought he could leave. Sam sneers, surveying their wrecked apartment.
Filled boxes litter the floor, and it’s a miracle that Dom didn’t actually land on one when he fell.
Sam kicks them out of his way as he jerks Dom’s limp body upright. He isn’t heavy, but Sam doesn’t want to wait, doesn’t want to make this comfortable for him. He drops him again, on his front, hikes up his rear end, stripping him quickly and efficiently. Dom doesn’t protest, doesn’t change his mind, or tease him any as he lines up and forces his dry cock into him.
Dom whimpers in his state, rousing slightly as Sam sinks deep into him. A hand around his throat helps him go right out again, and Sam thrusts harshly, his way lubricated with the blood of Dom’s torn anus.
It doesn’t feel like sex this time, Sam thinks. He likes it, the power he has over Dom, and he draws out completely to slam in as hard as he can without breaking his dick.
Dom doesn’t respond. Sam feels a little disappointment at that.
Maybe next time he can rape his fiancé when he’s conscious. Thrust into his useless body and make him come on his cock, make his domination complete.
Dom rouses again just as Sam finishes, and he pulls out, leaving him bleeding, broken on the floor.
Sam walks away.
He gets as far as his bar, sitting down, sipping a Bloody Mary, watching the game when that bitch flanks one side and Dom’s Sarge sinks onto the stool on the other side.
“You know why we’re here,” the Sarge says.
Sam knocks back the rest of his drink and lets the bitch cuff him.
She looks like she’s fighting back tears as she leads him out to a patrol car.
“I hope you get what you deserve,” she says through clenched teeth. “I hope you’re in jail for a long, long time.” She slams the door before he can sneer at her. Whatever. The feel of Dom quivering on his cock, unconscious and unable to stop him—not that Dom could ever have truly stopped him—will sustain him for a long time.
He just wishes he’d been able to fuck him like that while he was conscious. It would have been a thing of beauty.
Olivia enters Carisi’s hospital room to find him shooting the breeze with his neighbors, one with long dark hair and the other with cropped blonde locks. Amanda had asked if she could come, but Olivia doesn’t know how Carisi is going to react when she has to ask him about what happened to him. She doesn’t want Amanda and her impulsiveness to get in the way.
“Sarge,” Carisi greets cheerily despite the splint on his wrist and the way one of his eyes is swollen shut.
His front left tooth is chipped. The result of hitting the floor with his face when his fiancé hit him.
“Now it’s a party!” Carisi jokes, but Olivia can hear how nervous he is. She doesn’t blame him. He has to know that he’s not here just because he was beat up. He has to feel the damage Garrett inflicted.
She turns to Carisi’s neighbors. “Do you mind giving us some privacy?” she asks.
“No,” Carisi says quickly. “They can stay.” He turns to the dark haired man, “Can’t you? Please?”
“It’s about what Sam Garrett did to you.” Olivia fixes him with a meaningful look, and Carisi ducks his head.
“Oh,” he says quietly, “those questions.” He looks up, eyes shining with unshed tears. “Can they wait, please?” he asks. “I want—”
“Sonny,” she says as kindly as she can. “If you don’t talk to me, he could be let out.”
“Okay. I understand.” He turns to his neighbors. “So, yeah, go on, guys. I’ll be here a while, it sounds.”
The men both run their hands down Carisi’s arm and leave, mirrored looks of sympathy for Carisi as he hunches in on himself.
“I’m sure you know,” Olivia begins, and Carisi interrupts her, saying, “Did he really…” She nods.
He swallows hard. “I’m sorry.” The first tear falls. “I just.” His fingers twist sharply in the edge of his gown. “I-I can’t.”
“I know,” she says soothingly. “But I need you to. Okay?”
He nods, resolved, wiping away his tears. His face sets in determination, and Olivia realizes that she’s proud of him for that. That she doesn’t think less of him for allowing himself to be abused, to be raped.
It’s a relief to her even as her heart breaks listening to just how long and much he put up with Samuel Garrett.
After, she wishes she had an answer when he asks her, “Why?”
Instead, she sits next to him, wraps an arm around his shoulder, and listens to him cry.
Amanda helps Sonny move again. She tries to call him Dominick to his face, but his nickname has grown on her, and she thinks it fits him. Plus she’s met his dad who calls everyone, his daughters included, Amanda included, Sonny-boy.
Sonny seems happier settled now. He still meets with Micah and Josh often, and he’s letting Amanda drag him on double-dates.
It never goes anywhere, and Amanda is glad for that, because sometimes she catches him in an episode where he thinks Sam’s around the corner, out to get him.
Sam made bail, wasn’t a flight risk, and Sonny had nightmares the entire three months before he went back to trial.
Even after the trial, Sam being convicted for fifteen years, chance of parole after seven, Sonny kept waking up screaming.
He finally admitted to himself and to her that Sam had been more than abusive toward him.
“I don’t know why I stayed with him as long as I did,” he says one night when she’s trying to drown the memories of a bad case in a bottle of wine and he’s just watching her. “I could have left at any time.”
“Yeah,” Amanda agrees. She’s had her share of fucked up relationships. She’s not judging him. “I mean, what’s a few smacks when you’re in love?”
Sonny sighs. “I think I didn’t really love him. He was just persistent. I mean, he asked me out over a dozen times before I finally said yes, and he was always talking about how he was in love with me to the people around us before we even were formally introduced.”
“Bad news Sam,” Amanda hiccups, setting aside her empty bottle. “Look, you lived and learned. People can and will judge you for it, but you never have to feel ashamed of it. You stayed with him because of whatever reason. And whatever reason that was, it wasn’t wrong.”
Sonny snorts. “You kept trying to get me to leave him,” he reminds her, stealing her glass and drinking it all in one go. He sets it aside. “I distinctly recall a conversation you had with me about, and I quote, ‘That lying, cheating sack of scum.’”
“That’s because he was cheating on you.”
Sonny runs a hand over his scarred knuckles. “Yeah. I found that out.”
“Look,” Amanda says, “it doesn’t matter now. You’re out now. You’re not six feet under, and you’ve still got your friends and family.”
“True.” Sonny leans forward, hands coming up to rest on her shoulders. Amanda thinks for one horrifying moment that he’s going to kiss her, but all he does is study her face. “Thank you,” he finally says, after a few awkward seconds, “for everything.”
Amanda swallows. “Yeah, anytime.”
She’s not surprised to find that she means it. She’s more surprised by the fact that she said it out loud. It’s a game now to not tell him how much he means to her as a friend.
Sonny usually sees through it anyway, and this time is no different. He smiles at her. “If you ever need me like that, I’ll be there.”
She believes him. It’s a nice feeling.
~ The End ~