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Silly Quitting Thing
Tuesday, 1:22 p.m.
"You did what?" Alex's voice rose.
"You heard me," Donnelly replied. "I just dealt Baker."
"You know my feelings about Baker!"
"Yes, I do." Her boss eyed her calmly. "You hate him because he took a shot at Benson. You'd rather go to trial on shaky evidence than agree to one day less than eternity in prison."
"Shaky evidence?" the ADA repeated incredulously.
"Questionable. Iffy. Pick a synonym."
"So you're questioning my judgment."
"There's no question," Donnelly said, reaching for her stack of recent messages, effectively dismissing her subordinate. "It's bad on this one."
Blue eyes darkened. "That's it!" Alex exploded. "I'm out of here! I quit!" She tossed her file folder wildly onto the desk, scattering papers everywhere, then stormed for the door. Just as she laid her hand on the knob, she whirled around. "Oh, and now that I don't work for you any more, I have a few things to say to you . . . ."
The ADA shoved aside a few items in the banker's box to make room for her personally-purchased Rules of Evidence handbook. Good--the damn lid finally fit.
Perversely enjoying the screech of the wrapping tape (the sound suited her mood, she decided), Alex drew the roll around the box one more time before slicing through it with an Exacto knife. She reached for her legal pad and pen and drew an emphatic line through item number 8-pack personal belongings.
What now? Oh, yes--item number 9.
The squad room was abuzz when she arrived.
"Is it true?" Olivia asked. Tears filled her big brown eyes.
"Yes, it is," Alex replied. "I can't take the politics and the second-guessing one more day."
Last-minute pleas went unheeded by the attorney. Her mind was made up. More expressions of dismay followed, then promises to keep in touch, and then it was time to take her leave.
"One more thing, Olivia," she said. "Since we no longer work together, I'm no longer subject to DA's Office rules." She grasped Olivia and planted a kiss squarely on the detective's lips. "I love you, Liv, and I want to go out with you."
Olivia stared at her, wide-eyed. Finally, a smile crept across her face. "SVU's loss, my gain," she said.
Saturday, 8:29 a.m.
"Wish me luck." Alex smoothed her skirt in the full-length bathroom mirror.
"Too late," Olivia replied. Padding up to Alex in t-shirt and socks, she pressed herself into the other woman's body. "If you were lucky, you wouldn't be starting at your new firm the same morning that I'm off." She whispered in Alex's ear, "And wanting to get off."
"You have a short memory," Alex said with a smirk.
"I have an excellent memory," Olivia countered. "That's why I wish you were staying here." She slid her hands down and caressed Alex's hips.
"Hold that thought," Alex said. "They said this wouldn't take too long." She turned around for a quick goodbye peck, reluctantly reaching behind her to remove her lover's hands.
"Gentlemen, you've all met our newest addition, Alexandra Cabot," said Wade, the firm president. "If it's all right with you, Alex, we'll get started now." At her nod, he picked up his agenda. "First, I'll ask our chairman of the board, Frank, to open the meeting."
The 82-year-old founder leaned forward to croak his response. "Having reviewed the bylaws, I have discovered that no provision is made for a chairman of the board," he reported.
"We've always had a chairman of the board," Dark-haired Woman protested. "Do the bylaws preclude it, or do they just not mention it?"
"They don't preclude it, but they state that the president shall conduct shareholder's meetings," Frank responded.
Well, Olivia will find this fascinating. Not quite the impassioned shouting matches with Donnelly that Alex often vented about to the detective.
"Can I delegate it?" the president asked.
"Then I delegate the opening of the shareholder's meeting to the chairman of the board."
Alex felt her eyes begin to glaze over. She really shouldn't have let Olivia give her that 'good luck present' last night. Not more than twice, anyway.
"Moving on to approval of the minutes from our last meeting: Are there any changes?"
"Yes," Frank said. "On page 2, paragraph 3, Yvette's name is misspelled."
"Who?" asked Sleepy-Looking Redhead.
"Yvette Mendez," Beanpole spoke up. "Head of our Hispanic Department."
Oh, my God. Even my meetings with Liz weren't this painful.
"On page 3, paragraph 2, the bylaws require us to specify by name the shareholder who voted against Craig's motion to defer Karla's motion," Frank droned on.
"Can it be by initials?" someone asked.
"What if we hired two people with the same initials? I move that we include the whole name."
Could Liz have been right? Did I lose my objectivity on Baker because he tried to kill Olivia? I didn't even ask how Baker's jaw got broken on his way to the station house. I wanted to kill him myself.
"All in favor of using the whole name instead of initials, say aye. Motion carries. OK, which one of you voted against last month's motion to defer the pending motion to change the firm name?"
"I did," three shareholders replied.
"You couldn't have," the firm administrator said. "We only had one no vote."
"I distinctly remember thinking that Craig's motion was unbelievably moronic and shortsighted--no offense, Craig--and therefore voting against it," Sideburns insisted.
Feeling a mild vibration, Alex reached a hand into her pocket and glanced down at the pager.
Will you make it for lunch? Olivia sent. I have something hot for you here. VERY hot.
Alex suppressed a grin. She would type out a quick reply during a break.
"Moving on to page 4 of the minutes--"
Oh, for Christ's sake.
"--I see in paragraph 3 the notation `PDF,' which I am informed represents 'Portable Document Format'. I move that we replace `PDF' with 'Portable Document Format' for clarity."
"I move to amend Frank's motion," came another voice. "I wouldn't know what 'Portable Document Format' means, so I think we should put `PDF' next to it."
"I second that."
Liz did go to bat for me when I wanted the death penalty on Hundley. Alex frowned. And she kept Branch from sticking me with that Novak idiot. Hmm . . . .
"Does that require a motion?
"Does what require a motion?"
"Changing the minutes."
"I call the question."
"I have a pending motion to amend Frank's motion, which I think should be decided before we decide whether we need a motion."
"I'm naked in your bed," the tiny screen read. "Waiting for you."
"The motion to decide whether to have a motion having failed, we need a vote now on whether to amend the motion."
"I withdraw my motion."
"You can't; it's been seconded."
"I move that the minutes no longer be distributed to Frank," an irritated junior partner said.
"Guess what I'm doing with your pillow right now."
Damn. Alex squirmed in her seat.
"Next up is the Firm's organizational chart," Wade announced. "The executive committee has decided to recommend no changes, so let's start at the top and work our way down through each subcommittee."
"I move that we strike the chairman of the board box at the top, since the bylaws don't provide for it," Sideburns said.
"Now you're just being difficult."
"Let's take a break," suggested one of the quiet group on the other side of the table. "Are there any more glazed donuts?"
"No. How about one with those little sprinkles?"
"I move we be provided a bigger selection of donuts at next month's meeting."
"Liz?" Alex said urgently into the phone. "I'm sorry that I called you a cold, bitter harridan."
"And that I said you were just taking out your frustration from your latest failed marriage on me."
"And that I called you a dried up has been who couldn't carry my lunch in the courtroom."
"And I won't give the SVU detectives your home number again."
"Liz, if you have an ounce of humanity--" Alex lowered her voice. "We're about to discuss whether we should spend shareholder time discussing scanners. Scanners, Liz! Liz?"
"I'm relieved to have Alex back," Elliot said to his partner, "but what about . . . ?" He wiggled a hand.
"We broke up," Olivia said matter-of-factly. "That's why they let her come back to SVU."
"I'm sorry to hear that, Liv," he said. "You gonna be all right with this?"
At that moment, the ADA stepped into the squad room. "Petrovsky let us out early today," she said. "You ready for dinner?" she asked Olivia.
"Sure." Olivia straightened her desk, then reached beneath it for a small overnight bag. She smirked at the sight of Elliot's arched eyebrow. "It's an amicable separation," she said.
Alex slid an arm around her waist. "Very amicable," she murmured. "I just wish I'd quit years ago . . . ."
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