The next day, Detective Lieutenant Donald Drake arrives at the Our Lady of Chairty Home for Children. Father Dominic had called him about an hour ago. He enters the administration building and walks through the halls to the headmaster's office.

He immediately notices Fahter Dominic sitting behind the desk, as well as the girl Tiffany.

And he clearly sees the Crusader, dressed in his black outfit.

"What do you want?" asks the lieutenant.

"I have a plan to gather the evidence against Detective Charlebois," replies the super hero.

"Tell me."

The Crusader tells Detective Drake about his plan.

"I don't believe this," says Drake, his expression a mixture of surprise and anger. "This is absolutely stupid."

"We're gonna need evidence to put him away. We know his kind can't resist doing it again and again. He's going to rape more girls like Tiffany unless we put him away. And we can't put him away unless we have more evidence than her word."

"We have to do this," says Tiffany, clenching his fist.

"It could be dangerous," says the detective.

"I have to do this," says the girl. "I have to put him away no matter what."

"Okay," says Drake. He clearly has doubts about the plan. "I'll see what we can do."

oooooooooooooo

A few minutes later, Detective Drake returns to the police precinct., He goes to the Robbery/Homicide division's office. He sees Detectiver Sergeant Aaron Charlebois speaking with Detective Kevin Feretti.

"I spoke with Tiffany today," says Drake. "She wants to go home."

"Great!" says Charlebois, shedding joy from his face and smile. "I'll call May."

"I'll take you and May over there."

"What about this case she's involved in."

"I'm still investigating. I'm pursuing a lead. I hope it will work out. Get your wife here, and I'll take you."

Drake leaves the office.

oooooooooooooo

Tiffany waits in Father Dominic's office, holding the Crusader's hand. Her heart trembles at what she is about to to.

Then she sees Aaron again as he walks through the door. And she sees someone else she had not seen in a long time. A woman with brown hair, dressed in a gray skirt, gray coat, and white blouse.

"Tiffany?" asks the woman.

"Mom!" she says.

The two of them hug.

"Who is this man?" asks her mother.

"I'm the Crusader," says the costumed man. "Vigilante super hero. I heard her crying for help. I witnessed a man assaulting her."

"I'm May Charlebois, Aaron's wife and Tiffany's mother."

"Was she raped?" asks Aaron.

"No, he didn't rape her," says the Crusader.

"How are you?" asks May, Tiffany's mother.

"They've been treating me well," says Tiffany. "Detective Drake said I should stay here for a while."

"Who was the man that was beating you?"

"Can we go home?" asks the girl.

"Was the man who was beating her? Is he part of the investigation?"

"Yes," says Detective Drake.

"I'm Father Dominic," says the priest who had been sitting in the office. "I'm the headmaster."

"Thank you for keeping her safe," says May.

oooooooooooooo

Later that afternoon, Tiffany is riding in the police car with Detective Drake. The Ford Crown Victoria police car turns onto a familiar residential street in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. It still looks the same as it did a year ago, when she gathered her clothes and stuff after one violent encounter and ran away.

And she looks at the house where she had lived for five years. It is a typical two-story house with a huge front yard. More memories flash through her teenaged mind.

"You okay?' asks Drake, placing the car onto the driveway.

"Yeah," replies Tiffany.

She gets out of the police car. A blue Honda Accord pulls up on the driveway next to them. The Charleboises step out of the car.

"I wonder why you insisted on taking her home yourself," says May.

"I asked him to take me home, Mom," says Tiffany.

"Shall we go?" asks Aaron.

The three of them enter the house and take a look. Tiffasny notices the living room looks the same as before.

Detective Drake wealks in, carrying a cardboard box.

"Whast's that, Don?" asks Aaron.

"A little present for Tiffany," replies Drake. "It's an old TV set. I figured there wouldn't be any harm in giving it to your daughter instead of throwing it out in some garbage dump."

Tiffany leads them to her room. It still loks the same as before, with a bed and dresser and bookcase.

"Let's place it here," says the lieutenant, removing the television from the box and polacing it on the varnished wooden surface of the dresser. He then plugs it into an electrical outlet. "This has a VCR; you can play videos."

He presses the power button on the television. A cartoon show appears on the screen.

"We can get a stand for your TV," says May.

"Thank you for taking care of her," says Aaron. "What was this case you are working on that she's involved in?"

"I'll tell you when the investigation's over. I promise."

He then walks out of the Charlebois home. He pulls something out of his coat.

Meanwhile, Tiffany sits on her bed. Memories surface. Memories of that first time, which started with a kiss. Soon it involved rough hands going over her growing breasts, the layerts of her clothes torn away.

And the sharp pain signaling the loss of her virginity.

She was left naked, blood trickling down her thighs, ruined body and soul.

She was only twelve.

And it went on for two years.

She looks at the television. She hopes this will work out.

oooooooooooo

A few hours later, after the sun set, Detective Drake sits inside a van made up to look like an ice cream truck. He looks at images on Sony video screens.

"You think we should be doing this?" asks Detective Feretti, who had been recruited at the last minute. He had heard about Tiffany along the way to this street in Sherman Oaks.

"We hope to catch her attacker in the act," replies Drake.

"Does Charlebois know?"

"No. I don't want him to interfere with this sting operation."

"But she's only fifteen. I think Charlebois is entitled to know."

"She fully volunteered. She doesn't want to be afraid anymore. I'll tell you later, but there is a reason Charlebois is being kept in the dark."

They hear a knock on the door. Feretti places his hand on the handle of his Beretta M93R semiautmatic pistol. Drake opens the door.

Feretti sees a man in a black outfit with a white cross.

"I asked for his help," says Drake. "this is the Crusader. Crusader, this is Detective Kevin Feretti, LAPD."

"Hi," says Feretti. "You from the Hall of Heroes?"

"No, I work independent," says the Crusader. "I did work with them a month ago. We were chasing a super villain."

"So you were the one who saved Tiffany."

"The man who attacked her might try to attack her again," says Drake. "We hope to catch himm in the act.

As the super hero sits down, Feretti says to Drake," I thought you didn't like super heroes."

"I found one I can work with," says Drake.

And so the three of them watch the images on the screens. The images are received from a hudden camera and recorded on a VHS video cassette.

"We got pizza from Domino's and some Sprite," says Feretti. "So, who are you really?"

"Don't ask," replies the Crusader.

oooooooooooooo

Meanwhile, Tiffany finishes her dinner. She gets up and pushes her chair into the dining table.

"You don't want to stay and talk?" asks May.

"I want to go to my room," she replies to her mother.

"I know we haven't gotten along, dear. Maybe you can talk."

"Take it slowly, May," says Aaron. "We just got her back. She lived on the streets for a year. Who knows what she did?"

Tiffany walks up to her bedroom and turns on the television. She had been talking to her mother and stewpfather about happier times. Her mother usually does not go to sleep until 10. She looks at the sigital readout of a General Electric clock radio next to her bed. It is 8:35.

She wonders if she should run away.

She then remembersa what the Crusader had told her. About how he failed to stop a rapist, aboiut how that rapist later killed the only person he ever loved.

She clenches her fist. It is time to stop running; it is time to put an end to this atrocity.

ooooooooooo

The Crusader had been sitting down in the van for hours now.

"You bored?" asks Feretti.

"Yeah," replies the Crusader, sipping on a Sprite. They had been entertaining themselves with stories. Feretti discussed previous cases while the Crusader talked aboiut his encounters with the assassin El Homnbre Afilado and the super villain Siphon. He looks at the screen. "Something's going on."

"Let's turn on the audio," says Drake.

oooooooooooo

Tiffany hears the door open and Aaron enters the room.

"Hello," says Aaron. "We haven't had that much time to be alone."

"Get out," says Tiffany, with a deep tone in her voice.

"I'm your father. Why don't we talk about what you did?" He sits down on the bed. "I can imagine what a pretty girl like you had to do to get food. You probably fucked other men for money, is that right?"

"Shut up."

He slaps Tiffany with the back of his hand. "Don't you EVER talk back to me like that. You know, I went out and got some rubbers just for this occasion. I know you might have AIDS, but I want to find out how much experience you got in Hollywood. Just to be safe, I'll put on two rubbers."

Tiffany gets and and walks towards the door. Aaron grabs her and throws her on the bed. Tiffany is held down on the bed.

"NO!"she yells.

"Fucking your mom was a poor substitutre for fucking you." Aaron reaches up her gown and tugs at her panties.

ooooooooooo

For this first ten seconds, Detective Drake stared in shock. A horrible truth about a man he had worked with for years has just been played before his eyes.

He looks around the van. Detective Feretti is the only other person here.

The back doors are open; the Crusader is gone.

oooooooooo

Aaron holds his stepdaughter down. He had been waiting for his wife May to go to sleep. He feels her young body writhe underr him. It only makes him more excited. He can feel the pressure.

He pushes Tiffany's gown up. Forget the rubbers, he will ride her bareback.

"Get ready," he says.

And then suddenly he feels something impact on his head with great force.

Stunned, he looks up and sees the Crusader standing above him. The expression on his jaw reveals rage.

He then feels the breath knocked out of him as the Crusader's srteel toed shoe strikes his stomach. It feels as if his abdomen is on fire.

"HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO HER!" yells the Crusader, delivering more powerful blows with each sylabble. "PEOPLE LIKE YOU KILLED HER! PEOPLE LIKE YOU TOOK HER AWAY FROM ME! I HATE YOU!"

Suddeny the super hero hears a bang. He falls forward. He feels pain- and wetness- in his shoulder.

He looks up and sees a woman holding a pistol. And aiming it for his face.

"Get away from my husband," says May.

"Put the gun down," says Detective Drake, walking into the room, holding his Beretta M93R semiautomatic pistol. "Can't you see what he is doing to your daughter? Look!"

May looks at Tiffany, her gown pulled up exposing her ass and pussy.

Wracked with pain, Aaron Charlebois looks up at Drake.

"Aaron Charlebois," says Detective Lieutenant Donald Drake, "you are under arrest for rape. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. Anything you can say can and will be used against you in a court of law. If you can not afford an attorney, one will be provided for you."

Tiffany gets up. She notices that the Crusader had left. She then looks down at the man who had raped her repeatedly for two years, and who tried to rape her tonight.

She knows it was caught on tape. She knows Aaron Charlebois will be put away.

oooooooooooo

Andrew Curtis checks the dressing of his wound. The bullet had just grazed his shoulder. He knows that his radioactive-steroid-altered physiology will heal his wounds faster.

But the radioactive steroids in his bloodstream can not heal the wounds of his soul so easily.

He looks through photographs of him and Darlene. They show them at her home, in their respective apartments, at school, at places like Disneyland and the Santa Monica Pier and Tijuana's Avenida Revolucion. Most of photos have just the two of them, while others were taken with their friends and her parents.

And then darker memories surface. Memories of that most awful night, when his hopes and dreams died with her.

He lies face down on his bed, weeping bitterly for what he had lost.