DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and all characters are
property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
SERIES: This story is the first in the 'Secrets and Lies' series.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Paul Ryan was beginning to irritate her, detective Benson decided. They had wasted time going to his work to be told that he had phoned in sick and wasn't answering his cell, they had then gone to his apartment to find Mrs. Ryan alone. Having apologised for disturbing her Olivia enquired as to the whereabouts of her husband.
"You've tried his office?" Olivia nodded. "I see, then he's probably on the golf course, he calls it networking."
"While we're here Mrs. Ryan" Elliot asked, "we were wondering about the apartment maintenance, blocked pipes things like that, does the landlord have a contract company you and your neighbors go to or does everyone sort it out individually?"
"It depends how great the problem is, for big things we ring the landlord, for little things we generally fix it ourselves, Paul is very good with his hands."
"You wouldn't know if he's ever fixed anything for Jessica Martin would you?"
"I don't think, wait, he did unblock her sink for her once, but that must have been, six, seven months ago. Why?"
"It's just a question of elimination Mrs. Ryan, we need to tie up all the fingerprints. Thank you for your time."
Finding Ryan on the golf course the detectives walked over and Olivia waited until he was about to swing before saying, "No work today Mr. Ryan."
"You're looking really sick" Elliot added.
Ryan turned around looking very annoyed, "Ever heard of stress detectives?"
"We just have a few more questions, we were wondering if you've ever been in Jessica Martin's apartment?"
"Are you sure about that?"
"We're taking the fingerprints of all the men in the apartment building so that we can rule them out of any found, would you have a problem with that?"
"Actually detectives I would, what about my constitutional right to privacy? Seems to me the police are supposed to protect people's freedoms, not harass them because they're unfortunate enough to live next to a murder victim. I did not kill Jessica Martin. I have no intention of becoming involved."
Elliot had had enough, "Maybe we should take this down to the precinct, get a more formal statement from you about Friday night."
"Please get in the car Mr. Ryan."
Ryan was no more amenable by the time he got to the station, but as Elliot had already called the ADA for a warrant based on Mrs. Ryan's testimony it didn't matter. "What time did you arrive home last Friday night Mr. Ryan?"
"And you didn't see Jessica Martin at all?"
"No, I told you, I only ever see her if she's on her way in or out at the same time I am."
"And she never had any visitors?"
"Not that I know about."
"What about a boyfriend, ex-husband?"
"I wouldn't know."
"Did you go out at all on Friday night?"
"Can anyone vouch for your whereabouts?"
"No, my wife has already told you she was looking after her mother in Connecticut."
"And you've never been in Jessica Martin's apartment?"
"I believe I've already answered that."
"Refresh my memory."
"No, I have never been in Jessica Martin's apartment."
"Your wife told us this afternoon that you had been, why do you think she said that Mr. Ryan?"
"So you didn't fix Jessica Martin's kitchen sink when it became blocked a few months ago?"
"I, Yes I did but "
"So why did you tell us you'd never been in Jessica Martin's apartment?"
"I'd forgotten... it was several months ago."
"So fingerprints found on the pipes under the kitchen sink would be yours?"
"I don't know, possibly."
"Well let's find out shall we" said Elliot putting the warrant on table, "Interestingly the same print's were found on the headboard of her bed."
Paul Ryan sighed and bit his lip, "I was having an affair with Jessica, is that what you want to hear?"
"We want to hear the truth Mr. Ryan" Olivia replied, "What happened on Friday night?"
"It was an arrangement that suited us both, we'd meet up when my wife was at her mother's, but I did not kill her, I didn't even see her Friday night I knocked on the door as usual about 9 o'clock, there was no answer, I thought she was out. When I heard the music I went over and knocked again, there was still no answer, I thought she had brought someone back with her."
"Had she done that before?"
"No, but it was hardly a mutually exclusive arrangement, I'm married for god sake!"
"Perhaps she decided to change that and tell your wife?" Elliot said.
"Jessica wasn't like that, as I said it was an arrangement that suited us both. She was very career driven, we both occasionally needed an outlet for our frustrations, that was all it was, I didn't kill her."
The detectives looked at each other, they didn't believe him but at the moment they couldn't prove it.
Alex sat in her chair, eyes resting on the notes in front of her, her mind going over her plan of campaign. Anyone watching the focused woman would have seen a clever counselor perhaps going over legal argument or refreshing her knowledge on the particulars of a case. They would have been most surprised to find that she was thinking of the best strategy for asking a certain detective out on a date. She had already discarded dinner and the movies on the basis that Olivia would immediately shy away from anything that stood out as traditionally date like. While the previous night had shown her that the detective wasn't entirely indifferent to her, she was an extremely private person and Alex knew that unless she could get her to relax, she had no hope of getting to know her better. She smiled ruefully, tying to work out if there were any other sports Olivia could teach her that weren't too energetic and would involve getting up close and personal.
The phone on her desk startled her out of the thought. "Cabot"
"Alex? It's Andy Kelliher, we met last night."
"Yes detective" Alex replied, wishing her work number could be de-listed "what can I do for you?"
"Well I have some tickets to the Mets game on Saturday and I was wondering if you would like to come."
Alex was about to politely decline when he added, "Three of the guys that usually go have to work and as Tony and I already have tickets we thought you and Olivia might like to come."
Alex thought quickly, "Have you spoken to Olivia yet?"
"No, we only found out this morning, but Tony's bringing his wife so it won't be all talking about the job."
"Let me ask Olivia and get back to you, what's your number?" Alex said, mentally high-fiving the powers that be while writing the number on her pad.
Olivia liked this hour of the morning; the air was fresh and clean. The city seemed at peace, and although she knew it wasn't, it was easy to dream. She shut her apartment door, and walked down the stairs, pausing every now and again to stretch the muscles in her legs. Saying good morning to Mrs. Peterman who was taking her yapping Jack Russell for a walk, she jogged down the street and turned the corner. Keeping fit was part of her job, but even if it weren't it was something she enjoyed, while she was running her mind was empty, unencumbered by the cases niggling in her head.
Getting into work two hours later she put her coffee down on her desk, the squad room still quiet she sat lost in her own thoughts. Her mind turned to her budding friendship with Alex who had managed to catch up with her the day before after they had taken a statement from Paul Ryan. Telling her about the tickets she had asked the detective if she wanted to go. Laughing, Olivia said that Tony had already rung her and told her she had to go, Marie hadn't seen her in that long she was beginning to doubt her continued existence. Asking the counselor if Andy was picking her up, Olivia knew it was none of her business, but the words were out before she could stop them.
The detectives were quickly running out of leads, Paul Ryan didn't have so much as a parking ticket to his name and they were no closer to connecting him to any of the things found in the bedroom. Elliot had called camping and sports stores in the city, picking them at random from the phone book. The rope was a popular brand and across all of them over a hundred people must have bought it in the last three months. Likewise with the dog collar, almost every pet store carried it. He hoped Olivia was having better luck with the chain.
Detective Benson having got the manufacturer of the chain from Forensics had gone to see them, coming away with a list of the stores that sold it in the city. Having rung all the stores, she had narrowed her search down to thirty-four that had sold it in the last three months. Looking at her watch she decided she'd had enough and having earlier declined the guys invitation to go for a drink, she decided to walk the two blocks to a movie theater that was showing a film she had been meaning to see.
Tyler Dane's life was perfect she decided. A partner in a prestigious accountancy firm, she worked some of the biggest accounts and got a real buzz out of her job. Her Fiancé was coming back from two months working abroad the following weekend and then they were spending a couple of weeks on vacation at his parents place on Long Island. Her sister, high school homecoming queen, was arriving for a few days the following morning having recently divorced, and Tyler, always the clever rather than the pretty one was going to enjoy being top dog for a change. Looking up from the bridal magazine she had been immersed in, she realized that her buzzer was going. Putting the magazine down and walking to the door she picked up the entry phone absent-mindedly. "Hello?"
"Ms. Dane?" a voice said from the other end.
"I'm from the florist, I have some flowers for you."
Tyler pressed the buzzer smiling, "Come on up" she said, "I'm on the fourth floor."
The next afternoon, having carefully seated herself between Olivia and Marie, Alex found she was enjoying the ball game immensely. She felt slightly sorry for Andy sitting the other side of Olivia, who was not completely unaware that she was coming between him and one of the reasons they'd been invited. Once again Alex managed to delve into the popcorn sitting on Olivia's lap at exactly the same moment that she did, Olivia, engaged in the act of saying something uncomplimentary about one of the umpires to who ever was listening paused in mid flow and smiled at her. "Enjoying yourself?"
"Mhmm" Alex got back, nearly choking on the piece she had just put in her mouth, not knowing whether the detective meant in general or whether her game had been noted. Wow, what a smile, she thought, her pulse speeding up to agree with her. An annoying beep coming from the vicinity of Olivia's pocket alerted her to the fact that her plan was about to come apart.
"Benson" she listened for a minute then turned to Alex.
"Sorry" Olivia said putting her phone away, "I've got to go," and then glancing at Andy she added "enjoy the rest of the game." Olivia was barely out of it before Andy had switched seats, great Alex thought, the dark haired detective had picked her up, and there was no way Andy was taking her home.
A few minutes later her cell rang, "I thought I'd give you an out if you wanted it" Olivia said, "I can drop you off before going in," chuckling as she heard the voice on the other end say "Not a problem Captain, I'll be there as soon as I can."
Alex made her apologies and headed out of the stadium towards the car, an upraised eyebrow greeted her, "Captain?"
"I thought I might need someone who could pull rank" Alex replied, "Thanks."
They rode to Alex's in silence and Olivia dropped her outside her apartment building, giving a quick wave as she left. Alex, in no mood to go inside, wandered slowly down the street to a nearby park. Not paying attention to her surroundings she sat on a bench, still going over the events of the previous few hours.
The detective had insisted on picking her up and had arrived at exactly the appointed hour looking as cool and confident as ever. Alex, having only just got off the phone to her mother and in to the shower, managed quite with out thinking about it, to answer the door in a towel. "Well don't just stand there," she said, seeing Olivia hesitate, "I'm running late, I won't be long, make yourself at home." And seeing Olivia step inside and shut the door she went back down the hallway.
Returning to the living room twenty minutes later dressed in jeans and a shirt, Alex found her standing in exactly the same position. "If that's you making yourself at home" she commented "I'd hate to see you when you're standing on ceremony."
"Just admiring the place" Olivia answered, "Ready to go?"
"All set" Alex replied pulling on her other boot and grabbing her keys and purse from the table.
As the ride to the stadium was uneventful and Olivia was as talkative as ever, Alex contented herself with surreptitiously taking in the detective's profile and soon found herself quite absorbed. "So tell me counselor," Olivia said, bringing Alex back down to earth, "Did I put my make up on incorrectly this morning?"
"Sorry?" Alex said inquiringly, "I was thinking about a case" damn, so much for surreptitious.
Olivia turned in her seat "I said, we're there Alex" she smiled.
It was only then Alex realized that the car had indeed stopped and as Olivia walked around and opened her door she pulled herself together and stepped onto the sidewalk. "Thank you."
They met the other three outside the stadium and arriving at their row just before the start of the game. Deep in conversation with Marie, Alex motioned Andy to go in before her, praying Olivia and Tony would hurry up from wherever they had gone. Spotting them coming down the stairs, Alex, who was rapidly running out of things to say, pointed them out and asked Marie where they had met.
"At the Academy" she replied, "I swear that man will look like a chilidog soon!" Alex looked at them again and suddenly noticed the huge carton of popcorn in Olivia's hand, she grinned, I can work with that, she thought.
"Aren't you ladies sitting down?" Tony inquired swallowing the last of his chilidog as he reached them.
"Waiting for you" Marie replied smiling at the woman next to her, the appreciative look Alex had given the detectives walking towards them had not gone unnoticed, and much as Marie loved him, she didn't think it was her husband that was making the counselor grin like that, poor Andy was out of luck again.
"After you Olivia" Alex said, the pleading tone so faint that it was lost on the other two.
The detective glanced down the row and then back at Alex, "you'd better write a good eulogy for my funeral counselor," she whispered in passing. Alex smiled at the memory, then coming back to the present she realized that it had got colder while she had been sitting down and walked quickly back to her apartment, where she attempted to concentrate on work.
Olivia heading to the latest scene let her mind wander over the pleasant and surprisingly relaxing time she'd just had, apart that was from the shock of Alex in a towel and the subsequent temporary loss of motor functions. She wasn't sure however why Alex had wanted to go to the game; evidently she had no desire to see more of Andy. Mentally shrugging she parked the car, showed her badge to the cop at the entrance of the building and pressed the button for the elevator thinking she ought to send Alex some flowers to apologize for giving her the choice between leaving early or getting stranded, next time they'd take both cars.
Her partner was already there and he was not looking happy.
"What have we got?" she inquired
"Go look" he said pointing behind a counter that served as a break between kitchen and living room.
Olivia walked around the side and drew a sharp breath. The perp who'd killed Jessica Martin had gone serial.
The detectives let CSU do their work while they took Tyler Dane's sister to a hotel.
Having not been picked up from her flight she had rung her sister's apartment and then her cell, receiving no answer. She took a cab to the building and then getting no response she pressed all the buzzers until she did. Showing a charming gentleman who lived on the first floor her driver's license, which she had fortunately changed back to her maiden name, she explained the situation and asked if there were anyone she could call with a spare key. He called the Landlord and then invited her in to wait. Several hours later they had discovered why Tyler had not gone to the airport.
Taking statements from all three witnesses and interviewing the neighbors had taken up the rest of the day and by the time Olivia got home she was exhausted.
"Ok, weekend's events," Cragen said having called all the detectives into his office.
"Tyler Dane, similar MO to Jessica Martin, one shot to the head, this one was in the kitchen not the bedroom, only the wrists had bruising, dog collar and chain as before, this time wrapped around a faucet. Found by her sister. Most of the neighbors were out Friday night, those that weren't didn't see or hear anything."
"What about Paul Ryan?"
"He was with friends at the golf club, they state he didn't leave until they put him in a cab at 12.30, drunk. The cab company confirmed the pick up and they took him straight to his apartment. Tyler Dane was already dead by then."
"Any connection between him and the girl?"
"Couldn't find one but she was an accountant."
"Did the two women have a connection?"
"Not that we've found so far" Elliot replied.
"How are you going on the chain?" Cragen said turning to Olivia.
"Got it down to thirty four stores that have sold it in the last three months, twenty four have only done so to trade accounts, we're going to see the other ten today."
"Pull Ryan's license photo just in case and throw it into a photo array" Cragen said grimly before turning to Fin and Munch, "What about the girl on campus?"
"Gloria Janevski" Munch replied, "Danny Parkes turned up at his parents house last night, we're going to pick him up this morning."
"Let's see what he has to say."
Alex strode into the squad room to find it empty, walking to Cragen's office and seeing him sitting behind the desk she knocked on the door.
"Counselor" he said, looking up and smiling at her.
"I thought you might like to know Anthony Edward Bain is going to a psychiatric unit" she began, referring to a case they had been on a couple of months previously, "the court ordered tests, he doesn't see what he's doing as wrong so he'll continue to re-offend. This way they can keep him in until he's cured. Or until he can fool them into thinking so." she finished cynically.
"Thanks Alex" he said, "stay around if you have time, we're bringing in Gloria Janevski's classmate Danny Parkes."
"Captain?" Munch put his head round the door, "Morning Counselor."
"We're just coming" Cragen replied.
Danny Parkes, having been left alone with Fin for a few moments while Munch went to get the Captain, couldn't talk fast enough by the time they returned. He had given the bartender money to spike Gloria's drink, in the hope that it would 'relax' her. When asked the bartender's name he said he didn't know, however, when given some photo's he picked out Andrew Glover. "Take him down to processing, I'll get you the warrants for Glover" Alex said.
Cragen walked back to his office and picked up the phone. Olivia and Elliot were having no luck; no one remembered Paul Ryan or had any other memories regarding the chain. Answering her cell Olivia found the Captain on the other end, "How are you doing?"
"Nothing so far, we've got four to go."
"Right, get over to Glover's apartment, I'll have a uniform meet you there with a warrant, Fin and Munch are going to 'Voodoo', you can do the others later."
"We're on our way" Olivia said, thinking at least someone was having some luck.
Benson and Stabler had arrived at Glover's apartment to find no one home. Having got a key from the manager they started their search, putting any substance they couldn't immediately identify into evidence bags. A mouthwash bottle in the bathroom cabinet was later found to contain a highly concentrated form of GHB. Having been told the results Cragen came out of his office, "We've got him, Olivia, Elliot go home and get some rest, I want you outside his apartment at 3am to take over from Munch and Fin."
"Have you found Glover yet?" Alex said to Munch walking into the squad room the following morning.
"Not yet, Olivia and Elliot are still at his apartment in case he shows up there."
"Yeah thanks" Fin said putting the phone down, "Glover was in Boston until two months ago, in the last month he was there, there were thirteen reported rapes where the perp possibly used GHB and they think that's just the tip of the iceberg. The name of the supplier they were looking for was Drew, they're sending across a sketch."
"I'm in court all morning but let me know what happens," Alex said on her way out.
"Sure" Munch said, then turning to Fin "Let's get over to the bar in case he turns up there."
"Hey" Elliot said nudging his partner, "Isn't that our guy?"
Olivia turned, "that's him." They waited until he had gone past them, then got out of the car and crossed the road. He spotted them as he went up the steps, turned and started running, the detectives following. Glover ran down the street and across the road, a car having to screech to a halt to avoid hitting him. They were gaining on him as he ran onto some waste ground, seeing a fence at the other end he swerved to his left, Olivia turning sharply to try and cut him off, Elliot following him. Olivia, reaching him first, hurled herself into his body and landed on top of him as Elliot pulled out his cuffs.
"You have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions " Elliot started as they pulled him up and walked back to the car.
Having called Munch and Fin, they were already back by the time the detectives walked in with Andrew Glover. "I take it we can add resisting arrest to the list" Munch said seeing Benson's disheveled appearance. Taking Glover by the arm he went into the interview room with Fin while Olivia went to get cleaned up.
"Well Alex will be pleased" Elliot said when she returned. Olivia suddenly remembered she hadn't seen the counselor since the ball game, "Are we going to do the rest of those hardware stores?" Elliot continued.
"I'll meet you outside" she replied "I just have to make a phone call."
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