DISCLAIMER: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and its characters are the property of NBC and Dick Wolf.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the third part of the story arc that started with Déjà vu, followed by The Cabot Cabin. To understand this one, I strongly recommend reading those two.
THANKS: To all of you for reading this ongoing series and supporting it the way you have, I really appreciate it. To the faithful followers on my Yahoo Group, vivalab – you guys rock!
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Trial & Retribution
By VivalaB


Chapter 26: In Session

The Federal court was small and specifically designed for closed trials. The Judge's bench dominated the room, looming ominously above the tables for the defense and prosecution. The witness box sat to the left of the Judge's chair, almost adjacent to the area reserved for the jury, allowing the juror's an unobstructed view of whoever was giving testimony.

Three doors allowed access to and from the court room. The door behind the witness stand was used solely by the judge and jurors, the one to the left of the defense table led to the holding cells and the one a short distance behind both tables was the main entrance to the room for attorneys and witnesses. Each door was guarded by an armed, court officer at all times when the court was in session.

A closed court also meant no public gallery and no representatives from the media. The court stenographer had a small, portable desk to the right of the judge's chair, not far from the defense table.

Abbie Carmichael moved her eyes around the courtroom, glancing at the faces of the jurors on her right before sweeping her eyes across the empty judge's chair and finally resting on the accused man sitting on her left.

Dean Porter met her dark eyes with his own and smiled. He reached his hand up and straightened his tie confidently as the dark haired woman rolled her eyes before returning her gaze to the papers on the table. He turned his attention to his notepad and lifted his silver pen, tucking it carefully into the top left pocket of his suit jacket.

Abbie ran through her opening statement in her head once more, focusing her mind on the evidence and facts before blinking slowly and taking a settling breath.

"All rise, the Honorable Judge Jamie Ross is now in session," the court official standing by the door, behind the witness box announced.

Everyone stood as the tall, slender woman with collar length brown hair and pale, piercing eyes entered the courtroom and took her seat.

Judge Jamie Ross was a well known and respected enforcer of the law and had been a Federal judge for almost five years, having started her career as an ADA with the New York's District Attorneys office. As a prosecutor, she was renowned for her sharp, analytical mind and courtroom prowess and as a judge, had garnered a reputation for speedy trials with minimal continuances.

Judge Ross settled into her seat and glanced over the information in front of her before lifting the gavel that sat on her right. She cast her eyes around the room and banged the wooden hammer once, "This court is now in session," she announced.

Alex nudged the daydreaming woman beside her, "You okay?" she asked quietly.

Olivia blinked a few times and smiled, lifting her head to meet the blonde gaze," Yeah, trial started an hour ago," she replied, looking at her watch again.

Alex reached for her hand on the backseat of the taxi and squeezed it gently, "Try not to think about it, we're going to Abbie and Casey's for dinner tonight, we'll get a full rundown then…in the meantime, let's enjoy our anonymity," she suggested.

Olivia nodded in agreement, "Okay," she said, giving the hand in her own a squeeze. She glanced out the window and shook her head, "Did we have to do the zoo first?" she groaned.

"Consider yourself lucky…I would've preferred to come here in the dark and get a better perspective," she teased quietly, waggling her eyebrows at her blushing firefly.

Abbie stood confidently in front of the jury, having listed all the charges being brought against Agent Dean Porter. She paused, allowing the jury a moment to absorb the gravity of the crimes, allegedly committed by the dark haired man in the gray suit that sat perfectly still at the defense table.

She nodded her head and raised a hand in Porter's direction, "This man facilitated the kidnap of Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Cabot with the intention to murder her in a twisted attempt to seduce Detective Olivia Benson," she paused and shook her head slightly, "He instructed one accomplice to kill three innocent, decorated officers of the NYPD's Tactical Assault Team. He engaged the services of a known killer for his own murderous gains, a killer whose brother was convicted five years ago for several counts of murder, including the attempted murder of Alexandra Cabot," she paused again, allowing the jury to soak up that last piece of information.

"Dean Porter deliberately and repeatedly, abused his position of authority to gain access to sensitive information that formed the basis for his plan to kill Alexandra Cabot…I will prove to all of you, without a shadow of a doubt that Dean Porter is a cold, calculating killer and deserves the only punishment fitting for his heinous crimes…" she placed both hands squarely on the wooden railing and looked across the faces of her rapt audience, "…the death penalty," she finished. She held their gazes for a few seconds longer before nodding her head once more and moving back to the prosecution table.

"Mr Porter?" Judge Ross said, looking down at the dark haired man.

Dean Porter smiled up at the judge before easing out of his chair, he made a show of casually buttoning his jacket as he began his speech, "Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury…Miss Carmichael paints me as a villain, as a sociopath with murder in mind and no sense of guilt, hatching a cunning plan to murder one of the city's most respected ADA's in order to fulfill some fantasy involving one of the city's most decorated detectives," he started as he walked over to the jury.

He rested a hand on the railing and smiled, "I've upheld the law for almost twenty years, I've been decorated for bravery on nine separate occasions, I've taken three bullets in the line of duty and been shot at more times than you've had hot dinners…the prosecution wants the death penalty…says I'm a cold, calculating killer, the truth is, I'm the reason you and your family can sleep easily at night, because people like me…" he paused and looked directly at Abbie before turning back to the jury, "…take risks and put our lives on the line, for every…one…of…you," he said slowly and deliberately, pointing his finger at every member of the jury.

"I will prove, to all of you…that my actions were ultimately to protect ADA Cabot and Detective Benson…" he said, nodding his head, "…The actions of others are their own, I neither supplied the weapon nor pulled the trigger that killed three members of law enforcement…I will show how I rescued and saved the lives of ADA Cabot and Detective Benson only to become tangled in their web of deceit to protect their own secrets," he finished somberly. He glanced down briefly before looking up at the faces once more, "Thank you," he said quietly, moving back to his table.

Judge Ross watched him walk back to his table and looked at the paper in front of her. She looked over at Abbie, "Miss Carmichael, you may call your first witness."

Abbie nodded, "Thank you, your Honor. The prosecution calls Sean Connors," she said, looking towards the door on her left.

Alex and Olivia sat side by side in the small coach that was riding slowly through the, "African Savannah" outdoor section of the Smithsonian Zoo. They were currently headed to the Cheetah Conservation Station to see the newly born cubs with their mother. They had spent a leisurely morning seeing the various sections of the zoo from the comfort of their tour bus, having seen animals from Asia and Amazonia as well as bears, flamingos and a rather protective pride of lions.

As the coach approached the station, Alex turned in her seat, "Are you having fun?" she asked, smiling easily at her girlfriend.

Olivia nodded a she met the excited blue gaze, "I'm not really a fan of animals being removed from their natural habitat and locked up in cages, but with the way of the world we live in, I think this is the safest environment for them," she replied.

Alex frowned as she raised her hand and swiped it through the air from left to right, "The more you know," she mocked, referring to the NBC infomercials.

Olivia nudged her, "Yes, I'm having a good time," she amended.

Alex leaned in closer, "Why don't we go to the Living Light room after this tour?" she asked, discretely running her hand along Olivia's thigh.

Olivia shook her head, "Do I wanna know what's in there?" she asked.

Alex smiled mischievously and waggled her eyebrows in response.

Sean Connors appeared through the door that led to the holding cells, flanked by two armed guards. He glared at Porter as he passed his table, heading for the witness box where the court officer swore him in before he sat down.

Abbie eased out of her chair, "Mr Connors, could you state your name for the record please?"

"Sean Joseph Connors," he said with an Irish lilt, leaning closer to the microphone that rested on his right.

Abbie stood in front of her table and folded her arms, "Mr Connors, how do you know the defendant?" she asked coolly.

"I was working for the Colombians, a drugs cartel was looking to break into the arms trade in the Middle East, I was selling them information, contacts…but as part of my release agreement with the United States Government, I was feeding everything back to the FBI…to Agent Porter, " he said, pointing at the defense table.

Abbie nodded, "And Agent Porter was you point of contact?"


"And how often did you make contact with Agent Porter?" she asked.

Connors frowned, "Usually once or twice a week, whenever the Colombian's were making contact with the Afghan's," he replied.

"How long have you been feeding this information to the FBI?"

The fair haired Irishman looked briefly at Porter, "About ten months, I think, maybe a wee bit longer," he said, nodding his head.

"And how many meetings have you had with Agent Porter during these ten months?"

Connors lifted his left hand and rubbed his hand back and forth across the stubble on his chin, "Maybe twenty," he answered with a touch of hesitancy.

Abbie nodded, "And how many of these meetings did Agent Porter instigate?" she asked confidently, already knowing the answer.

"One," Connors replied instantly.

Abbie started pacing slowly in front of her desk, "Can you remember why, agent Porter called that particular meeting?"

Connors instinctively moved his left hand to his right shoulder and rubbed the healing bullet wound absently, "Yes…he asked me to meet him at Riverside Park, he told me my brother had escaped from Portlaoise Prison and was waiting for me in a cabin Upstate, thirty miles north of Hamilton," he replied.

"Would you tell the jury the name of your brother please?"

Connors nodded and looked over at the jurors, "Liam Connors," he said smiling.

Abbie saw the smile on his face, "You're proud of your brother?" she asked, looking at him directly.

He nodded enthusiastically, "Liam is willing to die for the Cause," he stated proudly.

"Actually…Liam, is willing to kill for the right price in any Cause, isn't that more accurate"?

Connors shook his head, "Getting paid to do something he loves is a bonus," he corrected.

Abbie arched an eyebrow, "You're a hired killer aren't you Sean?" she asked, stepping forward.

"I used to be," he said, looking up at the judge nervously.

Abbie nodded, "What else did Agent Porter tell you during the meeting, that he called, that morning in Riverside Park?" she asked, emphasizing that Porter had called the meeting for the benefit of the jury.

"He told me Liam was under surveillance, that the folks of your fine government wanted to make a deal with him, similar to mine…he told me Liam's escape was Interpol's embarrassment and that the FBI were not going to apprehend him as a, show of good faith as part of their deal," he said.

Abbie stood in front of him and unfolded her arms, resting one hand lightly against the wooden rail, "Did he tell you anything else?"

"He told me Liam wanted Cabot. I was to bring her to his cabin…he gave me a mobile number, told me it was Liam's," he answered, glaring over at the dark haired man.

Abbie eased away from the witness box, "Did you ever speak to your brother? She asked casually.

Connors gritted his teeth, "No," he ground out.

"And why's that?"

Connors continued to glare at Porter, "Because Liam never escaped from prison, Porter was setting me up," he replied angrily.

Porter stood up, "Objection…witness is speculating," he said.

Judge Ross looked at Abbie, "Sustained…Get to the point Miss Carmichael," she advised.

Abbie nodded her head, "Sean, did Agent Porter tell you directly that Liam was expecting you to bring ADA Alexandra Cabot to him, at any cost?"

Connors nodded, "Yes," he replied.

"Did he give you the cellphone number, allegedly enabling you to contact your brother?"

Connors nodded again, "Yes"

"Did you ever speak directly to your brother, Liam?" she asked, glancing over at the jury.

"Not directly, I received my instructions via text, Liam…or whoever," he said looking at Porter, "Told me it was safer that way and less traceable," he replied.

Abbie nodded, "You enlisted the help of David Brennan, the now deceased member of the NYPD's Tactical Assault Team, correct?"

"Yes, Davy had done a few jobs for me in the past. He was supposed to get Cabot out of the DA's building during a false fire alarm evacuation and hand her over to me, I was waiting outside in an SUV with my cousin, Patrick to take her Upstate," he replied.

Abbie watched as he rubbed his shoulder again, "When that plan failed and ADA Cabot and Detective Benson were being escorted by ambulance to hospital, you ambushed them, with your cousin, Patrick, correct?"


Abbie looked at Porter, "What happened to your arm Sean?"

Connors snorted, "I was waiting outside Sam's Diner, thirty miles from the cabin, for Porter and the two women to come out, I'd got a text from Liam, saying I needed to bring them up to the cabin as soon as possible…I got shot in the car park during a shoot out," he answered.

"Where you threatened to blow everyone up, if they didn't hand over Alexandra Cabot?" Abbie added.


Abbie looked up at Judge Jamie Ross and shook her head, "Nothing further, your Honor," she said before turning and looking over at Porter as she sat down.


Chapter 27: Bait

The large room was dark, the only lighting coming from the guidelines on the floor, outlining the wooden path they were currently walking along. The air was cool and regulated, filled with the noises of the night. Fluttering sounds could be heard all around them as brightly lit, flying insects appeared to float overhead.

Olivia stood with her head tilted, gazing as the glowing winged anomalies flew high above her. Alex stood beside her, holding her hand gently, "Welcome home Liv," she whispered.

Olivia closed her eyes briefly, "It doesn't bother me anymore," she lied.

"You're a terrible liar sweetheart," Alex said, placing a soft kiss on her cheek.

Olivia snorted softly, "Whatever you say," she answered.

They continued to move slowly around the large room, marveling at the wonderful light show on display in the air above. After almost thirty minutes, they made their way to the exit, blinking a few times as their eyes adjusted to the bright sunlight. Olivia tugged Alex towards the gift boutique, a dangerous gleam in her dark eyes, "C'mon, there's something I wanna get," she said smiling.

Porter stood in front of Sean Connors, "Who is Riley O'Hara?" he asked.

"He's the man who called me and asked me to kill Alexandra Cabot," Connors replied.

Porter shook his head, "He didn't actually ask you…he offered you two hundred and fifty thousand dollars as part of a contract hit, didn't he?"

"Yes," Connors answered.

Porter nodded his head, "When we met at Riverside Park, you told me you had some family business to take care of, didn't you?"

"Yes, but that was before you told me about Liam," the Irishman said.

Porter turned to the jury as he spoke, "So, you had already agreed to the hit, to murder ADA Cabot, prior to our meeting?" he asked.

"Yes," he replied.

Porter turned to Abbie, "Nothing further," he said smugly and moved back to his table.

Abbie stood, "Redirect your Honor?"

"Go ahead Miss Carmichael," Judge Ross instructed.

Abbie approached the witness box, "If you hadn't met with Agent Porter that morning, where he allegedly told you about your brother, what would you have done?" she asked.

"I would have killed Cabot," he answered calmly, his tone devoid of any emotion.

Abbie nodded, "Did you instruct Agent David Brennan to kill three of his colleagues?" she asked.

"No, I told him to get Cabot out of the building," he answered.

Abbie rested her hand on the rail once more, "And why didn't you kill her?," she paused shaking her head, "You've just said that if you hadn't met with Agent Porter you would have killed her, why didn't you?" she asked, raising her eyebrows expectantly.

"Because Liam wanted to do it himself," he replied.

Abbie smiled, "And the only reason you believed that Liam was waiting for ADA Cabot was because of what Agent Dean Porter told you at that meeting in Riverside Park, isn't that correct Sean?"


Abbie lifted her head to meet the watching pale eyes of Jamie Ross, "Nothing further," she said, pushing off the wooden railing.

Olivia panted heavily in the darkened room as her hands clutched at the blonde head nestled between her parted legs. She opened her eyes and looked down her heaving body, meeting the twinkling gaze from her lover as she kissed a wet trail up the centre of her body.

Alex settled on top of Olivia and kissed her languidly, allowing the older woman to taste the traces of herself that still coated her moist lips. She moved her hands to either side of Olivia's head and smiled lovingly at her as she brushed aside damp strands of brown hair, "I love you," she whispered.

"I love you more," Olivia rasped softly on a ragged breath.

Alex reached over to the night stand and lifted a glowing bug, the size of her palm and held it next to Olivia's face, "Proof absolute sweetie," she said grinning.

Olivia closed her eyes and groaned, enjoying the weight of Alex's body on top of her own. They had returned with the intention of changing clothes and going for a walk until it was time to head over to Abbie and Casey's home in Georgetown for dinner, that had been two hours ago and with the heavy, dark curtains drawn it felt much later.

Alex sighed happily as she studied Olivia's face, she leaned forward and placed a series of delicate kisses across her eyelids, down her nose before finally settling on her parted lip.

Olivia opened her eyes and smiled, feeling her heart burst with love for the blonde woman in her arms, she reached shaky hands up and tucked long blonde hair behind her ears, "You're beautiful," she said quietly.

Alex smiled, "And you're glowing," she replied, waving the toy lightning bug in front of Olivia's face.

Olivia wet her lips, "After what you did to me…I'm surprised I didn't combust," she quipped.

A ringing from the bedside table halted Alex's retort as she reached over and lifted the intrusive cellphone, "Yours," she said, handing it to Olivia.

Olivia hit the answer key and held it to her right ear, "Benson," she answered, watching Alex lean back and straddle her stomach, rubbing the lightning bug teasingly between her breasts, her eyes locked on Olivia's. The fluorescent yellow body of the sot toy glowing eerily in the low light.

"I'm sorry, what?" Olivia said, trying not to sound flustered as she watched Alex tease her breasts with the large insect, she focused on the familiar Texan drawl husking over the line, "Sorry Abbie…yeah, we'll be there in an hour…how did it go today?" she asked as Alex stopped all movement and searched her face. Olivia nodded into the phone, "Okay, we'll see you soon, do we need to bring anything?...okay…bye," she said and ended the call.

Alex studied her expression, "Well?" she asked.

Olivia shook her head, "No issues, went smoothly…she'll fill us in at dinner," she said, placing her phone back on the night stand.

Alex held the lightning bug to her chest, "Can I keep this?" she asked in a low tone.


She smiled, "To have for my office, remind me of you," she answered.

Olivia laughed softly, "Lucky for you I bought two," she said, waggling her eyebrows as she sat up in the bed, causing Alex to slide backwards and rest on her parted thighs. Olivia circled her arms around Alex as their bodies pressed together with the glowing toy between their breasts.

Alex wrapped her arms tightly around Olivia and dipped her head, "How long is the cab ride to Georgetown?" she asked quietly, her lips almost touching Olivia's.

Olivia swallowed, "About ten minutes," she replied, her breath tickling Alex's parted lips.

Alex closed the gap, bringing their mouths together for a sweet exploration. She pressed herself against Olivia's lower stomach and moaned wantonly as Olivia slipped a hand between her parted thighs, into the molten wetness. She released Olivia's lips and tipped her head back, giving her access to her slender neck, "Oh Liv…we don't have time," she panted, grinding herself on to the insistent hand.

"We'll always have time for this," she whispered before tossing the toy to the side and latching on to an inviting nipple.

Casey answered the door of the three storey Brownstone located in the heart of Georgetown and welcomed the women into the home she shared with Abbie. She took both jackets from her friends and hung them up beside the front door before ushering them into the living room and offering them a drink.

Olivia looked at Alex, "Wine would be great," she answered as she looked around the large room.

"Where's Abbie?" Alex asked as she accepted the offered glass of red liquid.

Casey shook her head, "When she got off the phone from Liv, she said you would both be late, so she decided to get some work done," she said, taking a sip from her own glass and motioning for the two women to sit down.

Alex and Olivia sat next to each other on a large brown sofa and blushed. Olivia bit her bottom lip, "Sorry we're late, that was my fault," she offered sincerely.

Casey lifted a hand, "Don't sweat it Liv, dinner will be another twenty minutes at least," she replied standing, "Speaking of which, I should check on the meat in the oven," she said.

"Let me help," Alex said, rising to her feet and following the red head.

Olivia placed her hand on the empty seat beside her, "What am I supposed to do?" she whined.

Alex stopped and turned, "Why don't you give Abbie her gift?" she asked and winked.

Olivia knocked lightly on the door of the study, watching as Abbie's head hung low over the desk, her long, dark hair hiding her face as she focused on the notepad in front of her. She lifted her head and smiled as she watched Olivia approaching.

"Casey owes me ten bucks, I said you'd be late," she drawled knowingly.

Olivia shrugged, "What can I say, I'm in love and showing it," she replied grinning broadly.

Abbie rolled her eyes in response and sat her pen on top of the notepad.

"How did it go today?" Olivia asked, desperate for the details of the opening arguments.

Abbie nodded, " Good. His opening argument was as we expected, he's been set up, he's a hero, he's a patriot…he's a liar," she said.

Olivia nodded in agreement, "Did Connors take the stand?"

"Yeah, I set Porter up beautifully, left him just enough enough bait dangling on the end of my, death penalty pole," she replied, smiling.

Olivia studied the folders on the desk, "Did he bite?" she asked, disturbed to see a copy of her employee file on her friend's desk.

Abbie nodded again, "Hook, line and sinker…we'll talk about it over dinner, save me telling the story twice," she advised as she eased out of the chair and stretched out the kinks in her back.

Olivia placed the gift box on the desk and indicated it with her head, "For you," she said warmly.

Abbie frowned as she eyed the box warily before stepping around the desk, picking it up and removing the red ribbon, "What is this?"

"A good luck charm," Olivia replied.

Abbie brought out the lightning bug and pressed the small button on its belly, laughing loudly as it instantly glowed, "I love it!" she squealed, exposing her dimples.

"Thought you might," Olivia agreed.

Abbie held it to her chest and looked over at her friend, "I'll think of you, always," she said dramatically.


Abbie sat the bug on her desk and hugged Olivia, "Thanks Liv," she said sincerely.

Olivia shrugged dismissively into the unexpected embrace, "When did you get out of court?" she asked as they parted.

Abbie shook her head, "Mid afternoon, Rush em through Ross really knows how to live up to her reputation," she said sighing.

Olivia frowned, "Who?"

"Judge Ross, she kept it moving at quite a pace, court was out by three," she answered, watching Olivia's face.

"Jamie Ross?"

Abbie stared at her, furrowing her brow deeply, "You know her?" she asked curiously.

Olivia bobbed her head, "Intimately," she replied, noticing Abbie's eyes glance over her shoulder to the open door. She turned her head instinctively, meeting the curious gaze of her girlfriend.

"Dinner's ready," Alex announced, holding Olivia's gaze.


Chapter 28: Threads

Abbie looked over at Alex, "I'll go ask Case to keep dinner warm for ten minutes…give you two a minute," she said quietly, placing the glowing bug behind her on the desk.

Alex shook her head, "No need," she said smiling at the tall Texan before shifting her eyes to Olivia, "We can talk about it later…unless there's anything you'd like to share, you and Casey maybe?" she asked icily, raising her eyebrows in question.

Abbie snorted before moving her eyes back to Olivia as the brunette remained ominously silent, "Did you two?" she asked, her face suddenly going slack.

Olivia screwed up her face, "What?...God no!"

"Are you saying my girlfriend isn't attractive?" Abbie asked seriously.

The red head in question appeared behind Alex in the doorway, "Are we eating up here?" she teased innocently, looking between the two dark haired women.

"No, we're just coming…sorry baby," Abbie said, glaring at Olivia as she brushed past her, approaching the blonde at the door with open arms, "Good to see you blondie," she said quietly as she hugged Alex warmly.

Alex closed her eyes, blocking out the watching face of her girlfriend and smiled into dark locks, "You too," she whispered.

Olivia watched as the three women left and sighed. She turned around and placed her hands flat against the large oak desk, closed her eyes and began to count slowly to twenty. As she reached '11', slender arms snaked around her waist and a familiar weight leaned into her back, she smiled with relief and opened her eyes, "I'm sorry you found out like that," she whispered.

"I shouldn't have said that about Casey, I'm sorry," Alex replied softly.

Olivia turned in her arms, "Jamie was such a long time ago, a really, really long time ago," she said earnestly.

"We both have pasts, Liv…it just took me by surprise, that' all…come on, Casey's gone to a lot of effort for us," she answered, reaching for her hand and tugging her towards the door.

Dinner was polite, served with an extra helping of tension.

Abbie recounted the events of the trial while Alex told tales from their trip to the zoo as Olivia remained noticeably quiet.

Casey looked between the three women, seated around the dining table as Abbie served up dessert, "Now that dinner's out the way, somebody like to let me in on it?" she asked.

"In on what, Red?" Abbie asked, smiling at her as she sat down.

Casey shook her head, "The dimples won't work this time…you two…" she indicated between her girlfriend and Olivia, "…are playing too nice, what's going on?" she asked.

Olivia shrugged and turned to her left, "We don't always fight Case, sometimes we don't need to throw our toys around every time we're in the same room," she answered lightly, smiling at her.

"Especially when those toys aren't yours to play with," Abbie mumbled, glaring at her dessert.

Olivia rolled her eyes as she moved her gaze to her right and stared at Abbie's bowed head, "I've never played with your toys," she stated firmly.

"Okay, first off…" Casey said, waiting until Abbie lifted her head and met her eyes, "…If you ever refer to me as your 'toy' again, then you're gonna need to buy new batteries for your plastic friend upstairs, hidden in your underwear drawer, 'cos that's the only toy, you'll be playing with for the foreseeable future," she warned her wide eyed girlfriend.

Abbie opened her mouth to speak as she felt the heat rise in her cheeks, but Casey's raised hand halted her as she shifted her attention to Olivia, "And you…I can't believe you told her, that was a lifetime ago," she said, shaking her head with disappointment.

Alex, who had remained quiet throughout the entire exchange, held the spoon in mid air as her brain processed what Casey was saying. She placed the spoon in the shallow bowl and took a long drink from her glass of wine, her eyes never leaving the dark, brown orbs locked on her own.

Olivia closed her eyes and dropped her head, "I never told them Casey…we were talking about Jamie Ross being the judge in Porter's trial…a long time ago, I was involved with her, back when she was an ADA…Alex jokingly asked if there was ever anything between me and you…" she trailed off, sighing wearily as she rubbed a hand across her forehead.

"Another can of worms, anyone?" Abbie drawled.

Alex snorted softly, "Might as well, the night is young and this record's getting old," she replied, pouring herself another glass of wine.

Olivia looked up and met her blue eyes, "Nothing has ever happened between me and Casey," she said quietly.

Alex shook her head, "And I worried that I was becoming a Badge Bunny," she said coolly, lifting her spoon again.

Casey lifted her glass and drained the last of her wine, "I asked Liv out," she announced, halting any further exchange between Alex and Olivia as all eyes turned to her in surprise.

"What?" Abbie asked.

Casey motioned for Alex to pass her the bottle of wine, once she had refilled her glass she took another drink and met everyone's gaze, "I asked her out, I'd been with the squad for about a year after you lef-"

"I didn't leave," Alex interrupted, correcting her.

Casey shook her head, "Sorry, I honestly didn't mean it like that," she said smiling apologetically.

Alex nodded as she shifted her eyes back to Olivia's across the table, "Its okay," she replied.

"Anyway, we'd gone for drinks a few times after work, I asked her out…and she said no," Casey finished, shrugging her shoulders.

Abbie looked at her girlfriend across the table, "How come you never said anything?"

Casey smiled over at her, "Nothing to tell, besides it's not one of my finer moments," she answered vaguely, lifting her glass and taking a long sip of wine.

Olivia dipped her head and lifted her spoon, absently cutting a piece of pie, "I said no, because I was waiting for Alex to come back…" she whispered sadly, avoiding everyone's gaze, "…and I needed you, as a friend, to help me get through it," she confessed quietly as a contemplative silence shrouded the table.

Alex swallowed the lump in her throat at the heartfelt admission, shifting her gaze to Abbie and seeing her friend do the same.

"You've been a great friend Liv, I'm sorry I left without saying anything," Casey finally said, breaking the silence. She now regretted the way she had left New York and the friend she had abandoned.

Olivia shrugged dismissively, "It's okay, everything turned out alright in the end," she said, raising the spoon to her mouth.

"Yes it did," Alex agreed, watching as sad brown eyes lifted and met her own. They looked at each other for a long moment before Abbie interrupted.

"You two really must come over more often, this has been such fun," she drawled sarcastically.

Olivia kicked her under the table, "Shut up," she said lightly, without breaking Alex's gaze.

Casey sighed, "Are we done with the drama?" she asked, rising to her feet.

Abbie smiled, "For now," she replied, waggling her eyebrows.

"Good, then you and Liv can do the dishes while Alex and I finish this bottle in the living room," she said, emptying the contents equally between their glasses.

An hour later and all four women were comfortably settled on the two large brown sofa's, discussing the trial.

"She should recuse herself," Casey said.

Abbie looked down at the red head, resting in her lap, "I disagree, she's known for two weeks Olivia was involved in this case, if she felt there would be a conflict of interest, she would have stepped down already," she replied, running her hand through the soft hair gently.

Alex smiled across at them, snuggling deeper into Olivia's side, her hand idly tracing patterns along Olivia's thigh, "I agree with the Cowboy, this is a bonus for us," she commented, feeling Olivia's arm squeeze her lightly.

"I'm just glad my closet is now empty," Olivia said.

Alex laughed, "You sure about that? I've seen the way Donnelly looks at you," she said smiling against her chest.

"Donnelly?" Olivia asked

Abbie frowned, "What's wrong with Liz?"

All eyes turned to Abbie, "You and Liz?" Olivia choked out before anyone else could ask.

The air in the room grew heavy as Abbie remained pensively quiet, she looked down at Casey, "I was drunk," she finally said.

Alex nearly choked at the revelation, "OH.MY.GOD"

Olivia couldn't contain her laughter and her vibrating body shook the slender frame coiled around her own. She lifted a hand to wipe the tears from her eyes.

Abbie glared at her, "It was my leaving party…you remember, you left early," she groused.

Olivia shook her head, "I was supposed to be on a stakeout, you're lucky Cragen only showed face or I'd have been written up," she replied.

Alex looked over at Abbie, "Donnelly…wow," she said, shaking her head.

Casey reached a hand up and stroked her dimpled jaw lovingly, "Who could resist that face?"

"Apparently, only me," Alex quipped as she snorted with laughter.

Olivia dipped her head and kissed the blonde crown, "You're immune to her Southern charm," she whispered.

Alex lifted her head and smiled, "I prefer my brunettes shorter," she said, stealing a quick kiss.

Olivia gasped, "I'm not short!"

"Yeah, you are," three voices chorused together.

Olivia's mouth fell open, "I'm five eight, that's above average height…you're all Amazons," she whined, looking between the three women.

Abbie smiled, exposing her dimples, "Small, but perfectly formed," she drolled.

Olivia sighed, turning her gaze to the woman tucked into her side, "Do you think I'm short?" she asked, almost pouting.

Alex moved her hand from Olivia's thigh to her hair and pushed it away from her face, "I think you're the perfect height," she said, gazing at her as she shifted her position

"For what?" Olivia asked, drowning in the sea of blue as Alex moved her head closer.

Alex stopped a whisper away from her beckoning lips, "For me," she husked as their mouths met.

Casey watched as they kissed tenderly and sighed, "We already talked about the pay-per-view channel, didn't we?" she asked her girlfriend, without looking up.

"Uh huh," Abbie replied, her eyes never leaving the two women.

Olivia opened her eyes, noticing their captive audience and gently pulled away from Alex, "Where's the bathroom?" she asked innocently, smiling at the expression that crossed both women's faces.

Olivia stood with her forehead pressed against the cool, one way glass , watching the cars in the distance and smiled as she realized how relaxing her new hobby was. She reflected on their evening and the unexpected revelation that Jamie Ross was the trial judge. She blew out a long sigh, "You never really escape your past," she whispered quietly.

Alex stood behind her and felt the panic rising in her throat, "What?"

Olivia lifted her head and turned, smiling appreciatively at the sight of the naked blonde, "Nothing, just thinking aloud," she replied, reaching out and pulling Alex gently towards her.

Alex felt relief wash over her as she wrapped herself possessively around Olivia's firm body. She felt hands rest on her hips, holding her close as Olivia tilted her head up and kissed her hungrily. Alex moaned into her mouth as she moved her hands to the front of Olivia's shirt and began unbuttoning it with urgency.

Olivia pushed her hands aside and ripped the shirt open, "That's why I brought so many," she husked, removing it along with her bra before reaching for Alex again. She shuddered as their bare breasts brushed together, hardening nipples making their presence known as they teased insistently across sensitized flesh.

Alex loosened the dark denims, easing them down Olivia's muscular legs, smiling as she saw the evidence of Olivia's arousal, painted across the tops of her thighs. She inhaled deeply, "I can never get enough of you," she whispered as she removed the rest of her clothing.

Olivia swallowed, "Come up here, don't hurt your knees," she husked, smoothing her fingers through long silken strands.

Alex stood up and pressed against her, causing Olivia to gasp as her back connected with the glass, "I was happy where I was," she whispered before melding their mouths together.

Olivia moaned as the hot tongue dueled with her own and grasped Alex's ass with both hands, pulling her closer. Alex shifted her stance, parting her thighs and swallowing the moan that escaped Olivia's throat as she pressed her thigh firmly against her hot, wet core. Olivia tore her mouth away, desperate for air, panting raggedly as their breasts heaved in unison.

Alex gazed at her, open mouthed and panting as she stepped back, "Turn around," she breathed out.

Olivia swallowed and faced the glass, placing her hands flat against the cool surface as she spread her legs.

Alex felt her arousal soar as she took in the sight before her, she eased forward and placed her hands on slim hips as she pressed her moist sex against Olivia's firm ass and began to grind into her with slow, teasing circles, "This is why you're the perfect height," she whispered hotly, feeling the body beneath her shudder with excitement.


Chapter 29: Tee shot

Dean Porter sat quietly as he only half listened to the testimony being given by the imposing figure with short, black hair, dressed in the dark uniform.

Lieutenant Tom Goldie, the experienced and decorated Tactical Team Leader, had given a detailed description of the events that had led to the death of David Brennan as he had tried to forcefully remove Alex from the DA's building.

Porter studied Abbie as she stood confidently beside the jurors, one hand casually placed on the wooden divide as she appeared to listen intently to Goldie's account of the sight that met him in the stairwell. He admired the way she questioned him gently about the integrity of the officers that died at the hands of their rogue colleague. He shifted his eyes back to the man in the witness box and wished he would stop talking. The prosecution witness list was long and the two he was most interested in were at least two days away from taking the stand, despite Judge Ross' fast flowing pace.

"Nothing further your Honor"

The words snapped Porter from his musings, he rose slowly to his feet and rounded the square table and walked towards the witness box. He placed his hands in his trouser pockets as he stopped directly in front of Tom Goldie, "Lieutenant, how long had you known Agent David Brennan?" he asked.

"Three years," Goldie replied.

Porter nodded, "And in those three years had he ever disobeyed a direct order?"


Porter nodded again, "Would you describe him as a competent agent?" he asked.

Goldie nodded his head, "Yes"

"Agent Brennan killing three of his colleagues must have come as quite a shock," he commented, removing one of is hands and placing it on the wooden bar.

Goldie clenched his jaw tightly as he looked at Agent Porter, "Yes...yes it was," he ground out, glaring at him.

Porter stared at the back of his hand as it rested on the wood, "You stated that you tried to reason with Brennan when you were on the ninth floor hallway of the DA's building, correct?"

"Objection, relevance?" Abbie interjected.

Judge Ross looked at Porter, "Where are you going with this, Mr Porter?" she asked.

Porter shifted his gaze to the brown haired woman and smiled, "I'm trying to establish cause, your Honor," he answered.

"Ask your questions directly Mr Porter, it's far too early in the day for a bedtime story," she directed.

Porter tilted his head in acknowledgment before moving his eyes back to the man seated before him, "You tried to diffuse the situation in the hallway, to make Brennan see reason, but Detective Benson shot him in cold blood,"

Abbie leapt out her seat, "Your Honor!"

"That's enough Mr Porter, strike the last question from the court record please," the judge said, turning to the the stenographer.

Porter nodded his head, "I apologize your Honor, I am leading somewhere with this, if I may be allowed to continue?" he asked.

Jamie Ross moved her head back towards to Dean Porter, "Last warning, Mr Porter," she advised sternly.

Porter smiled briefly before addressing Goldie, "Lieutenant, Do you believe that Agent Brennan would have followed orders from someone outside of the unit?"

"Objection, calls for speculation" Abbie argued.

The judge nodded, "Agreed. Mr Porter, unless Lieutenant Goldie is a mind reader, I doubt very much you'll get the answer you're clearly looking for…overruled," she said evenly.

Porter hid his frustration, making a fist with the unseen hand, tucked inside his trouser pocket, "You witnessed Detective Benson shoot Agent Brennan, correct?" he asked.

"Yes, sh-"

Porter nodded, "Thank you Lieutenant," he said, cutting him off as he turned and moved back to his seat.

Abbie watched him with a furrowed brow as she rose from her chair, "In the hallway Lieutenant, Agent Brennan was armed…where was his gun while you were desperately trying to reason with him?"

"Pointed at ADA Cabot's head," Goldie replied.

Abbie stood beside the table, leaning against it lightly, "How long did you try to negotiate with him?"

"About twenty minutes," he answered.

Abbie nodded, "Were you armed during this negotiation?"

"No, Ma'am, I had placed my weapon on the floor," Goldie said, lifting his chin a shade higher.

Abbie shook her head, "And nothing you said was easing the situation, Brennan continued to point his service weapon at Alex Cabot's head…what happened next?"

"Detective Benson, was lying on the floor unconscious with a GSW in her side that she had received from Brennan…she managed to squeeze off a round first and took him down," he explained.

Abbie nodded again, "Do you believe Detective Benson acted accordingly, given the circumstances?" she asked moving slowly towards him.

"She saved ADA Cabot's life and possibly mine and Detective Stabler's," he replied proudly.

Abbie nodded, "Thank you, Lieutenant."


Alex smiled into the cellphone, "Sorry Elliot, it's Alex…Liv's in the shower," she replied.

Elliot paused, looking at his watch, "It's almost noon, you two just up?" he asked, hearing the hesitation in Alex's voice. He ran his fingers underneath the crisp black collar of his shirt in an effort o loosen the sudden tightness.

"Late night," she answered after a beat, feeling her cheeks burn.

Elliot caught sight of a familiar figure, striding purposefully along the corridor, "I'm heading into court, thought I'd see if you two wanted to meet up afterwards, I'm catching the red eye back to New York," he said, nodding his head in greeting at Abbie as she entered the court room.

"Of course, why don't you call us when you're done…Elliot?" she started, tentatively.


Alex wet her parted lips, "Are you wearing your uniform?" she asked, feeling the cool air of the room blow teasingly across her naked skin.

"Yeah, damn thing's shrunk or something…I'll be glad to get out of it," he groused.

Alex's eyes shifted to the walk in closet and closed her eyes, thinking of the uniform and the woman she longed to see wearing it.


She opened he eyes and swallowed, "Sorry," she said, rolling her eyes at how easily she had been distracted.

"I gotta go in, I'll call you later…tell my partner I said, 'hi'"

Alex nodded absently, "I will, bye Elliot," she answered, ending the call and placing the phone back on the night stand.

Olivia padded into the room and nodded with her head at the phone, "Who was that?" she asked, running a hand through her wet hair.

Alex moved towards her and smiled, "Your other partner," she replied, reaching for the large, white towel, covering Olivia's naked body.

"Lex…" Olivia warned.

Alex waggled her eyebrows as she parted the fluffy cotton, smiling appreciatively as the toned and tempting flesh was slowly revealed. She threw the towel on the floor and pressed their naked bodies together, wrapping her arms around her lover and sighing, "From now on, all phones are switched off before we get wet," she said, shifting her eager mouth to the waiting lips.

Olivia kissed her thoroughly for a few minutes before easing back, grinning confidently, "In that case, you might as well throw yours away now," she husked as her hand snaked between their bodies and cupped Alex's hot, wet centre.

Elliot answered Abbie's questions diligently and concisely, having been briefed by her beforehand of the approach she would be taking. He glanced at Porter frequently during his testimony and deliberately made eye contact with the jury as he described the events that occurred at Sam's Diner.

Abbie listened as Elliot described Porter's behavior in the car park, during the shoot out with Porter only making two objections, both of which were sustained. Elliot had been on the stand for almost forty minutes and was the epitome of authority in his dress uniform, his NYPD cap resting in his lap.

"I then called Agent Porter's phone and he realized the sim card had been switched, his plan was exposed"

"Objection, speculation…unless Detective Stabler is a mind reader, your Honor," Porter suggested smugly, throwing the judge's own words back at her.

Judge Jamie Ross, placed a hand over the microphone and indicated for the dark haired man to step forward. Once he was directly in front of her, she leaned forward, "I strongly advise you watch your tone Mr Porter, I'd hate to hold you in contempt at your own trial," she warned quietly, motioning for him to step back. She looked over at Abbie, "You may continue, Miss Carmichael," she instructed.

"What did Agent Porter do once he realized the sim card had been swapped?" Abbie asked Elliot as she began to pace slowly in front of her table.

Elliot nodded and looked at Porter, "He told me if I even thought about coming through the kitchen door, he would kill ADA Cabot and my partner, Detective Benson…he also told me to order the officers in the parking lot to, stand down," he replied.

"Did you believe that he would kill ADA Cabot and your partner, Detective Stabler?" Abbie asked, teeing up her next ball of justice.

Elliot nodded, "Yes, a few weeks ago…Agent Porter helped a woman, Terri Banes, cover up two murders… he also instructed her on how to stage the crime scene, so that it looked like a Special Victims case so that we would be investigating it," he replied.

"By, 'we', you mean you and Detective Benson?"

Elliot nodded again, "Yes"

Abbie shook her head, "Why wasn't he prosecuted as an accessory?" she asked, stopping and turning to look over at the witness box.

"My partner had just started to Mirandize him when our CO, Captain Cragen, instructed us to let them both go, he was acting on orders from the NSA," he answered.

Abbie nodded, "He also abused his position within the FBI by placing unauthorized traces on the pones at the precinct and tampering with evidence, is that correct?"


Abbie glanced to her right, discretely looking at the jury, "Thank you Detective Stabler," she said as she turned to Porter, "Your witness."


Chapter 30: Strategy

Alex and Olivia sat on a bench in the quiet park, a short distance away from the courthouse. The sun was high in the sky and the air was warm as the women watched two young boys with their father, racing boats across the small pond. Alex reached for Olivia's hand and held it gently in her own as she studied the family at play.

Olivia closed her eyes, soaking up the soothing rays of the sun as they warmed her face. She felt Alex shift next to her and opened her eyes to find glittering blue orbs gazing at her, "What?" she asked, smiling reflexively at the undeniable look of love being cast upon her.

"We'll make great parents," she said confidently.

Olivia felt her heart rise in her throat at the unexpected comment, "We already talked about this at the cabin, we will definitely make great parents," she replied, rubbing her thumb tenderly across the back of the hand she held. She leaned forward and kissed her gently, "I love you Alex," she whispered.

Alex lifted her free hand and removed her glasses, her eyes twinkling even more brightly in the afternoon sun, without the dark frames, "And you are going to look so cute pushing a stroller," she said quietly, kissing her lightly on parted lips.

"Does it ever worry you?" Olivia asked as Alex shifted and settled comfortably against her side.

Alex released her hand, allowing Olivia to drape an arm casually around her shoulders, holding her close. She crossed her trouser clad legs and looked down at the toe of her black boot as it bobbed up and down, "Does what ever worry me?"

"Us, how close we've become in such a short period of time," she clarified, knowing that her love for this woman had simmered under the surface for a very long time.

Alex shook her head, causing blonde strands to tickle Olivia's cheek, "We've talked about this too, are you okay?" she asked, wondering what Olivia was thinking as she turned her head slightly to look at her face.

Olivia smiled and kissed her nose, "I've never been happier, I just can't believe we're sitting here having a conversation about the kids we're going to have…together…" she said, her voice softening and trailing off as she suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to formally ask Alex to, grow old with her.

She blinked slowly as her breath caught, suddenly realizing the absolute truth of those thoughts. Her heart thumped erratically against her chest as a fuzziness invaded her ears, she saw Alex's lips move, but couldn't hear the words and shook her head in an effort to clear it.

"Your cellphone's ringing," Alex repeated, studying her curiously.

Olivia stared at her and frowned, "I'm sorry, what?" she asked, blinking rapidly.

Alex reached across denim clad thighs to the jacket beside Olivia on the bench and retrieved the chirping device, "Liv's phone," she answered, smiling curiously at her girlfriend. She nodded as Elliot told her he was out of court. She looked at her watch and shook her head, "It's not even 3 o'clock," she said before uncrossing her legs and preparing to rise from her comfortable seat, "Okay, we'll se you in a few minutes," she added, ending the call.

"Elliot's finished already?"

Alex nodded, "Apparently, says he'll tell us all about it when we meet him in five minutes," she answered, slipping her glasses back on and searching the face in front of her, "Where did you just go?" she asked, her voice quiet with concern.

Olivia smiled and cupped her sun kissed cheek, "To a cabin by a lake with a beautiful sunset and the love of my life," she replied shyly, smiling as she took the cellphone from Alex's hand and lifted her jacket. She stood up, slipping the soft leather over her shoulders and turned to the seated blonde, holding out her hand.

Alex felt the air leave her lungs as her heart melted at the soft admission, she took Olivia's hand and shook her head, "I wish you'd give me some warning when you're about to, rock my world," she said, rising to her feet and deliberately brushing their bodies together.

Olivia shrugged dismissively, "Come on, I cannot wait to hear what happened in court," she said, tugging Alex towards the park exit.

Judge Jamie Ross sat in her chambers, looking at the photograph on her desk. She lowered the hand that was propping up her chin and picked up the silver frame, looking intensely at the holiday snapshot of her second husband and two daughters as they smiled happily up at her. She glanced at her watch again and realized she would need to leave soon in order to pick her youngest up from school. She wiped the glass surface with her fingers, removing a light coating of dust and placed it carefully back on her desk. She looked at the trial folder for Dean Porter and opened it, leafing through the pages until she found the picture of Olivia. She lifted the receiver of her phone with her free hand and pressed, '0', instantly connecting with her secretary, Pamela.

"Yes Ms Ross?" the elderly woman asked politely.

Jamie sighed, "Pam, I need a number for Judge Elizabeth Donnelly, she's in New York," she replied.

"Shall I put you straight through?"

Jamie placed Olivia's photograph back inside the file and shook her head, "No, I just need her number...thank you Pam. I'll be leaving in a few minutes, you can reach me on my cell," she instructed before hanging up.

Elliot watched the two women approach and smiled at their evident closeness as they walked towards him, their shoulders brushing lightly. He rose from the small stone wall he had been sitting on and held his arms out wide at the appreciative, low whistle his partner let out.

"It still fits," Olivia commented, smiling at her partner as they stopped in front of him.

He shook his head, "Only just, I shoulda tried it on before I left New York," he replied, smiling over at Alex.

Alex nodded her head, "You look very commanding and authoritative," she said, admiring the black ensemble and gold shield on his breast pocket.

Elliot tilted his head towards Olivia, "You're in trouble Liv, I've seen that look before," he said, grinning knowingly.

Alex's mouth fell open, "Not from me," she replied indignantly.

He snorted, "From Kathy…right before she ripped the shirt off my back," he clarified, laughing at the mortified expression that crossed the blonde ADA's face.

Olivia bumped her shoulder, "Ignore him, he's full of it," she said, glaring at her partner.

Alex smiled, shifting her eyes to meet Olivia's, "He's right though, I am curious to see how authoritative you'll look in your uniform," she confirmed quietly, running a hand across a leather shoulder.

Elliot stopped laughing, mesmerized by the exchange and cleared his throat, "I give…you've made your point Counselor," he stated lightly, shaking his head.

Olivia gazed at her, "I might let you wear my hat," she whispered, ignoring the loud groans, coming from her partner.

Alex wet her lips as she smiled, "I think it will go well with my favorite suit," she answered, swallowing the sudden dryness in her throat.

Olivia frowned, "Favorite suit?" she asked shaking her head.

Alex nodded, "You remember…I showed it to you this morning…twice," she replied, a mischievous gleam evident in her eyes.

Olivia nearly choked as she realized exactly which, 'suit', Alex was referring to and turned a blushing face towards Elliot, "Are you changing first?" she asked, smoothly changing the subject.

Elliot shook his head, "Nah, I'll eat first and change back at the hotel," he answered, smiling at his flustered partner.

"He never asked you anything about the diner, not one thing?" Alex asked, shaking her head with disbelief.

Elliot chewed the burger in his mouth slowly as he looked across the table at Alex. He swallowed the tasty piece of beef and lifted his cup of soda, taking a refreshing drink before answering, "He was more interested in talking about Liv and you," he replied.

Olivia poked her fork around the grilled chicken salad and frowned, "What did he ask?" she asked, trying to sound casual, secretly wishing Elliot would hurry up and tell them what had happened in court.

Alex heard the strain in the brunette's tone and nudged her knee under the table with her own, "Liv, if anything bad had happened, we'd know already, right?" she said, raising her eyebrows at Elliot.

Elliot nodded and sat the half eaten home made hamburger on his plate, next to his ketchup covered fries. He licked his lips and wiped his mouth with a paper napkin, "Abbie asked me to go through the events, as they happened. I described everything in detail, Porter objected a few times, but everything was overruled by the judge," he paused, taking another sip of soda, "Abbie talked about Terri Banes, how he had helped cover those two murders and got the NSA to bail him out…when it was his turn to cross…" he stopped talking and swallowed, looking between the two women, "…He asked how log we had all…" he indicated with his hand around the square table, "…known each other, if we trusted each other….He asked if you'd ever requested a new partner…" Elliot finished trailing off as he caught the look of surprise on Alex's face.

"Prick," Olivia muttered under her breath.

Elliot nodded, "He asked about our working relationship…he's definitely planning to out you both on the stand…some of the questions…" he shrugged, without finishing.

"Like what?" Alex asked.

Elliot looked down at the tempting burger on his plate, "If Liv and I have ever been more than colleagues," he said quietly, lifting his eyes to meet her gaze.

Olivia snorted, "I shoulda done what Goldie told me and put a bullet in that bastard," she ground out between clenched teeth.

"He asked if I met any of your boyfriends, your relationships with colleagues…men and women…telling you Liv, he's a subtle as a brick," he said, shifting his eyes to his partner.

Alex's eyebrows shot into her hairline, "And Abbie didn't object?"

"No, she didn't," the familiar drawl responded as the tall, dark haired woman slid into the empty seat next to Elliot. She casually lifted his burger and took a large bite before reaching across the table for Alex's drink.

Elliot stared at her in disbelief, "I asked you if you wanted to come, you said you were busy…" he paused and looked at his own drink, "…Something wrong with my soda?" he asked sarcastically.

Abbie placed the cup back in front of Alex as she swallowed the meaty bite, "I prefer the drink of champions," she replied, referring to the Sprite, Alex had favored for as long as she'd known her.

Alex lifted the cup and placed it in front of the dark haired prosecutor, "Might as well finish it, I can smell the onions from here," she said disdainfully.

Abbie accepted the drink and lifted the cup to her mouth, suddenly conscious that everyone was watching her, "What?" she asked, placing it back on the table.

"Why did you let him ask those questions about Liv…about me?" Alex asked.

Abbie rolled her eyes, "Clearly he wants to out both of you in that courtroom, for God only knows what reason…if I let him lead up to it…when it's time for either of you to testify…I'll bring it up casually, you'll both confirm it and he'll be left with no eggs in his already, flimsy defense basket," she finished confidently.

Olivia nodded, "Well, McCoy and Cragen are fine, we've nothing to fear by being honest in a courtroom," she added.

Alex nodded in agreement, "How's the case looking?" she asked, glancing sideways at Olivia.

Abbie shrugged, "Evidence speaks for itself…Sean Connors' testimony wasn't rock solid, but it did hold enough weight to damage Porter's credibility and definitely enough to question his motives," she paused, reaching for a fry and popping it in her mouth, ignoring the glare from Elliot as she continued, "The LUDS from Brennan's cellphone, the sim cards, the fact he deliberately missed a flight to Mexico and leased out an SUV then drove you both a hundred miles, where he eventually confessed his demented plan as he pointed a gun at your head," she said, shifting her dark eyes to Olivia.

Olivia nodded, "So it's going to plan?" she asked nervously, doubts nagging at her brain that it was proceeding too smoothly.

Alex nodded, "He's been making a few interesting phone calls from prison though," she added.

Elliot frowned, "Prison or holiday camp?" he snorted, shaking his head.

"I don't like it any more than you do, but it's his right as he's representing himself, to have access to files, books and the people he needs in order to ensure this is a fair trial," Abbie growled.

Olivia sighed, "Does everyone have a copy of my jacket?" she asked, remembering the employee file she had seen on Abbie's desk in her study.

"And Alex's employee file, Elliot's…he's allowed access to anything pertaining to the proceedings…although…" she trailed off, remembering the reason for her late afternoon visit and furrowed her brow.

Olivia immediately sensed something was up, "What is it?"

Abbie shook her head, "He made a call two days ago, they're all recorded and I've listened to it, but it makes no sense," she answered, looking between both women.

"Who did he call?" Elliot asked.

Abbie turned her head and met his gaze, "The admitting officer at Fort Memorial Hospital in Jackson County," she answered, shrugging her shoulders.

Elliot shook his head, "Where's that?" he asked.

"Wisconsin," Alex supplied absently as a wave of nausea washed over her.

Part 31

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