Precinct 16 Weight Room
Elliot rapidly pressed the down arrow on the inclined treadmill and slowed his pace to a brisk walk. The mile warm-up jog turned into a two-mile, winded run and he knew if he did not stop at two-miles, he would continue running all day.
He had intended on stopping by the gym near his apartment the previous night, but with several drinks in his system from a somber night out with Olivia, Munch and Fin and the impending dread of seeing Diana again, he opted for an early morning workout instead.
Stepping off the treadmill and giving it a traditional spray of diluted cleaner, Elliot headed for the second room where the weights were kept. He expected to find the room empty, but instead found Olivia in the corner with a dumbbell in hand. She was standing in the corner doing tricep lifts with her eyes closed and iPod earbuds in place.
He walked across the floor quietly and tapped her on the shoulder, anticipating her shock with a mischievous grin on his face.
“Jesus!” she shouted, dropping the weight and just barely missing Elliot’s foot.
“I guess that would’ve served me right,” he said picking up the weight.
“Yeah, it would’ve.”
“So, what are you doing here this early?” he asked.
She started walking toward the bench press. “Same as you, I guess. I’ve got some frustrations to work out.”
“Not the same as me,” Elliot said. “I’m avoiding people from my own gym.”
“Ah,” Olivia said as she wiped down the bench. “Wouldn’t be someone by the name of Diana, would it?”
Elliot stood silent for a moment. “Yeah and I meant to ask you about not giving me my messages, anyway.”
Olivia slid a 2.5 lb weight onto the bench bar and smirked at him. “I was pissed…more than pissed. I picked up the phone by accident, I heard it was a woman, I knew it wasn’t Kathy, Maureen, Lizzie, or Kathleen so I hung up when she stopped talking.” He stood silent and she continued. “Sorry, Elliot. Really. Who is she anyway?”
“You need a spotter?” Elliot said quickly trying to change the subject.
“It’s fifty pounds. I think I’ll be okay.”
“Just fifty?” he said playfully. “Come on. You gotta push it. You gotta live, Liv.”
“Fine, fine,” she said lying on the bench. “Throw another five.”
“Woo-hoo,” Elliot said as he stood in preparation to spot for her. “Fifty-five. Now, you’re really pushing it.”
Olivia let go of the bar to give him a light punch in the stomach. Elliot laughed and put another five pounds onto the bar.
After twenty minutes of lifting against Elliot’s constant verbal pushing, Olivia lied on the bench out of breath and feeling like her arms were about to break. Elliot had piled on another twenty pounds on the bar over the course of her workout and with one hand in the middle of the bar to aid her, he continued pushing her to lift just one more set.
“Come on, Liv,” he said. “Just one more.”
“Come on, lift. Lift.”
With a kick of her leg to give a last exertion of force, Olivia’s face contorted into an odd angle as she pushed the eighty pounds upward and onto the bar handle.
“All right!” Elliot said clapping his hands.
Olivia shook her head and rolled of the bench, however Elliot could not help but notice the wince on her face as she rolled on her side.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “Did you pull something?”
“You just made me lift more than half my own weight. I’m glad I’m even able to walk.”
He smiled as he lied down on the bench. “I didn’t make you do anything. I was barely lifting with you on that last one.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to wipe that down first?” she asked as she took his place behind the bench press.
Elliot shook his head. “I figure you’re pretty clean, though if I get a rash, I’m coming after you.”
He started with the eighty pounds Olivia had just lifted and they continued until ten minutes to six o’clock when Elliot breathlessly asked her place another five pounds onto the bar giving a total of a hundred and fifteen pounds on top of the bar.
Elliot took a deep breath as he prepared to the lift the weight and Olivia peeked over the bar to stare down at him.
“You know, if you can’t lift this one-fifty, you’re screwed right?”
“Fine,” he said laughing. “Take me down to one-twenty-five and I’ll finish out.”
“So,” Olivia said as they were walking toward the locker rooms ten minutes later. “Why are you avoiding this Diana from your gym?”
“No reason,” Elliot said and he quickened his pace to walk in front of her.
She got the message that he did not feel like elaborating on “Diana” and dropped the issue, though she wondered what it meant for Elliot and his wife.
When they came to Olivia’s locker, Elliot noticed her bag hanging from her left shoulder instead of her right like normal.
“You’re hanging you’re bag on the wrong side,” he said. “What gives?”
Olivia shrugged. “I switch it up from time to time.”
“I’ve known you eight years and I’ve never seen you ‘switch it up.’”
“Woman’s prerogative, I guess.”
He frowned as he stared at her, unconvinced by her story. Combined with how she reacted when she left the weight bench and the fact that she appeared to be favoring one side, Elliot factored years of experience and knew immediately that she was hiding something.
Olivia set down her bag to grab something out of her locker that she had forgotten and Elliot took a step toward her. He reached out his hand and gave her a light pinch on her right side. Olivia jumped, screaming, and slapped his hand away.
“What’d you do to your side?” he said crossing his arms.
“Nothing. I’m fine,” she said. The lie sounded more ridiculous aloud than it did in her head.
“I barely touch your side and you scream and jump away? I’m not buying that.”
Elliot stared at her silently with a look that read “You’re full of it.” She sighed and pulled her t-shirt up slightly and turned toward him.
“I can’t really see it in the mirror, but it hurts like crazy,” she said. “Tell me, at least, that it doesn’t look as bad as it hurts?”
He took a step toward her, eyebrows furrowed and bent slightly to look at the vast purple bruise on Olivia’s side, though he did not need to do so. He could have clearly seen the bruise by standing all the way across the room. The large, circular purple and blue patch radiated out of a bright red spot on her side and Elliot frowned longer when he saw it closely.
“Well, I hope it hurts like a bitch because it looks like hell.”
She let go of her shirt and rubbed her hand across the back of her neck.
“What happened?” he asked.
“Nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
“Nothing. I’m fine.”
“Seriously, what happened?”
“Olivia, how many more rounds are we gonna go with this? What happened?”
Olivia slammed her locker door shut. “I’m fine.”
She tried to brush past him, but he stepped in front of her to block her path.
“No way,” he said. “We’re talking about this now.”
“There’s nothing to talk about it. I’m fine.”
She tried going around him on either side twice before turning around to head down another locker aisle. Before she was out from an arm’s length, Elliot brushed her side again and she yelled and dropped her bag.
“Goddamn it, Elliot!”
“Liv, you’ve got a bruise the size of a bowling ball on your side that I’m guessing didn’t just appear overnight! Now, you’re obviously in a lot of pain and you know it looks bad. Why won’t you tell me what’s wrong?”
“Is it…is it something with Halloway? Did he do something to you?”
“No,” she said rolling her eyes. “I’m fine.”
“Is beating you?”
“Elliot, nothing is wrong. Nothing happened.”
“You didn’t even answer my question. Is Halloway hurting you?”
“No! Nothing happened!”
“Nothing happened…Doesn’t that sound a little like Evelyn Rivers who keeps insisting that nothing’s wrong when we all know that Diorel’s beating her senseless?”
“For the love of God, Elliot! No! Jonathan isn’t doing anything to me! Christ, I haven’t even seen him since Tuesday!”
“Well, then what the hell happened? Why do you have that bruise on your side?”
Olivia looked toward the ceiling, but said nothing.
“You’re not going to tell me anything? Someone hurt you and you’re just going to let it go, just like that?”
She sighed and finally looked him in the eye. “I’m handling it.”
“What did Halloway do to you?” he said in a deep voice.
“I keep telling you. Jonathan didn’t do anything.”
“Then, what happened?”
She stared at him for a moment knowing that he was never going to move. There was no way out of it. She could either lie and risk doing irrevocable harm to their partnership or she could tell the truth and risk Elliot doing harm to both Drover and also his career.
“I…” she began.
He stared at her expectantly, brooding eyes burning intensely into hers.
All right, Girl, she thought. Just keep it together…
“I got a call last night…”
She took a deep breath. “Drover.” Elliot narrowed his eyes at her and she continued. “He called saying that he needed to talk to someone and that I was the only one who wouldn’t have to be updated on the situation.”
“He wanted to talk to you?” Elliot said. “About what?”
“He wouldn’t specify. He just said that he needed to talk to me…so…so I agreed to meet at the Late Cup on Bleecker…”
As Olivia’s voice trailed, Elliot felt every muscle in his body tense. He did not like the way the conversation was going and his mind quickly ran though how long it would take to find Drover’s address in his desk and kick in Drover’s door to drag him back to their precinct.
Olivia was his first woman partner and though he considered her his equal, he could never shake the idea of needing to protect her like he did every other woman in his life. The idea of someone who was not only a suspect, but a child molester, hurting Olivia was almost too much for him to stand.
“Look,” she continued. “I had my phone out to call you about it the second I hit the street, but…”
“But, he grabbed me from the alley next to my building before I could even dial.”
Elliot stared at her, silently picturing the scenario. “What did he do?” he said in close to a whisper.
“Like I said, nothing. He pushed me against this drain on the building, but I convinced him to let me go.” Elliot only stared at her, saying nothing. “Elliot, the bruise is just from the drain. If I was foot to either side, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”
“So, you would’ve just let the fact that he attacked you in the alley next to your home go like nothing happened?”
“He didn’t attack me. He might have tried to, but he didn’t do anything.”
“Is this what you’ve been telling yourself all night? Something to convince yourself that you’re not a victim?”
“I’m not a victim,” she said, well-rehearsed.
“Olivia, if someone came off the street and described to you what you just told me, what would you do?”
“This was a unique situation. I knew I was going to be fine.”
“That’s bull and you know it. If a woman walked into the house with that story, the first thing you’d do is pull out the card for victim’s services.”
“Because she wouldn’t be privy to this situation. A civilian wouldn’t know that she could talk her way out of it.”
He shook his head. “What did he have to say?”
“That we were screwing him over with this case and that he was going to do the same to me, but I told him what was going to happen if he did and he let go.”
“No one saw this happening?” he asked, exasperated.
“Some kid came running by. I guess he saw Drover standing around and he came to make sure I was all right.”
It was her turn to frown at him. “You sound as if I’m leaving out something significant.”
“Liv…Something like this happens to you and you wouldn’t even have considered telling me about it. If I hadn’t noticed you favoring one side…you said it yourself…we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“Because I knew how you’d react.”
“What reaction? I don’t even know how to react or what to react to first: the fact that this happened, the fact that he could’ve murdered you last night or the fact that you weren’t even going to mention this to me.”
“Do you feel any better now that I have?”
Elliot rubbed a hand over his face and sat on the bench that ran in the aisle’s middle. “Liv…I don’t know what to think. Actually, I feel a little queasy right now.”
“Look, we both knew that Drover was off and…I went overboard on Wednesday. I should have known that there’d be some kind of backlash. I guess I just didn’t think it would come so soon or like that.”
Elliot sighed again. “You know, I’m not going to be able to sleep at night knowing that he’s still walking the streets, right?”
“Well,” she said sitting beside him. “We could him pick up…press charges, although I’m pretty sure that lawyer of his would have him out quickly based on what happened Wednesday.”
“He lured you out of your apartment to do this, Olivia. I doubt this is the first time he’s done something like that.”
She nodded as she thought about what was said. “You
want to speak to the
“We couldn’t hold him on that. Not without a complaining witness…Christ…”
He leaned over and rested his face in his hands with his elbows on his knees, but Olivia knew exactly what was bothering him.
“We’ll find Kreider, Elliot. There’s only so many places he could go. He’ll show up at some point and the moment he does, we’ll nail him. And, as for Drover…we should keep looking at him because if he abused Daniel Richardson, he probably abused other boys too.”
She rubbed his back as he shook his head.
“I don’t want him on the streets,” he said.
“Neither do I.”
“Where are you staying tonight?”
“I’ll be fine, Elliot.”
He turned toward her and her hand paused in the middle of his back.
“Elliot, seriously,” she said. “I’ll be fine.”
“You’ll be fine…Fine, like nothing was wrong? That kind of fine?”
“I let my guard down last night, partly because I had a little too much to drink. Trust me. I’ll be fine.”
“Fine or not, just know that you’re getting a ride home every night until we’ve got him in lockup… or at least until I break his legs.”
Olivia nudged him and he leaned to put his arm around her, leaving room between them to keep from hitting her bruised side.
“I’ve grown attached to you, Liv,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to lose you to an asshole like Drover.”
She allowed him to give her a light squeeze. “You won’t.”
Fin leaned back in his desk chair as he poured over Owen Kreider’s phone records from the past two months. Munch held records from September and October of 2006, while Olivia was combing through the past year’s bank records of Kreider, the Lewendales and anyone Kreider had contacted more than once in the past month.
The four detectives had taken a break from answering phone calls relating to Kreider. According to eye witness accounts, he had been seen everywhere from visiting Ground Zero to being seen on a bus crossing the Mississippi River to jumping off the Golden Gate bridge. They had investigated anything that pertained to the Tri-State area, but recovered nothing.
Elliot had spent most of the day pulling anything he could find on Jeffrey Drover, taking a break midway to call his mother, lest he receive a lecture from his brother. Casey gave him an odd look when he asked for an additional warrant on Drover and said that he should “tone down” his vendetta against Drover before he lodged a complaint, but Elliot did not care.
With Drover in a state where he would chance attacking an officer, he knew it was only a matter of time before Drover did something drastic to a child, over whom he could have more control. By the end of the day, Elliot had conducted his own interviews with people who had coached with Drover and the parents of the children on Drover's teams and he also secured a police detail on Drover. No one had stepped forward to say that Drover had done anything wrong, however, none of the parents had any inclination to say positive things about Drover any longer.
At , Elliot was heading back to the squad room just in time to see Munch and Fin leaving for the night, each carrying their own stack of records to sift through in the comfort of home. Having found nothing significant in anyone’s bank records, Olivia sat at her desk trying to plan the next week as best she could. There were court appearances and numerous other open cases that still needed to be dealt with and Helena Fayden’s case was still a priority, much to Olivia’s dismay.
She had received another phone call from Evelyn Rivers, but when she called back, she only received the machine. Evelyn’s message had said only that she wanted to make sure she had both Olivia’s work and cell numbers, just in case. In case of what, Olivia did not know and she made a note to check on Evelyn sometime Saturday.
“We’ve got the detail on Drover,” Elliot said as he approached his desk.
“We?” Olivia said with an eyebrow raised. “Why are we detailing him?”
“I’m just having some Unis sit on him for a bit. This is his first weekend unemployed and I want to make sure that if he does something else stupid, we can catch him.”
“You don’t think you’re pressing it too hard,” she said. “I mean we both know the real reason you’re doing this.”
“Well, I could renege,” he said, sitting on his desk. “‘Course they’ll be asking questions and I couldn’t guarantee that you’re little incident with Drover wouldn’t come out. Liv, we owe it to these kids to do something now, rather than later.”
“I doubt he’s going to be doing anything except wallow in self-misery.”
“That bruise on your side says different.”
Olivia pursed her lips, but did not reply as she continued organizing several files on her desk.
“You ready?” Elliot. “I’m picking up Kathleen tonight.”
Olivia shook her head. “You don’t have to drive me home. I’ll be fine. I don’t want you to drive me all the way back Downtown before you get your daughter.”
“Too bad,” he said. When she shook her head again, he sighed. “Are you really going to make Kathleen wait ‘cause you’re being stubborn?”
“Fine,” Olivia said, rolling her eyes with a groan. “I’m done. I couldn’t drum up anything new on Kreider anyway. What’s on the agenda with you and Kathleen tonight?”
“We’ve got Perfect Crime tickets at eight at Snapple Theatre.”
“Oh come on, Elliot!” she said throwing down her
bag. “Eight! You’ll never make it to my place, then all the way to
Elliot stared at her for a moment. “Fine…just…please be careful.”
“I am,” Olivia said. “I will. You’ve got a detail on Drover and once I go home, I’ll probably be in for the night.”
He gave her a small wave and raced for the elevators. Olivia shook her head at the idea of Elliot taking the chance at being late for the Off-Broadway show, but smirked at notion that he cared that much about her.
An hour later, she was on the phone with Maya reflecting on her first reasonably good day in several weeks.
“Well,” Maya said. “It’s good to hear that you two are doing better.”
“Yeah.” Olivia paused on the phone. “I’ve been thinking that now is a good a time as any to tell Elliot about Kathleen.”
“About what? The pills?”
“Yeah. We’re in a good place right now…maybe it will soften the blow if I just approach it right.”
“I guess tomorrow. Maybe I’ll just show up at his place and just say it.”
“You sure you don’t want to do it in a restaurant or something?” Maya said. “It might be best for that to go down in a public place.”
“Probably,” Olivia said, smiling, “but, I think I’ll be less embarrassed when he starts screaming at me if we’re alone. Well, not alone since Kathleen’ll be there, but at least we wouldn’t be out where everyone can hear.”
“I see…Well, just give me a call when you get there. That way I’ll be able to give your squad a timeline to start from when you turn up missing.”
“What about Jonathan?” Maya asked.
“What? Take Jonathan with me?”
“No, although that might not be such a bad idea. But, I meant just talking to him. Have you even talked since Tuesday?”
“No, but I suppose I’ll have to eventually.”
“You sound like you don’t want to.”
“It’s not that I don’t want to…it’s just…sometimes he’s so damn smug. He’s so certain that he knows what’s best for me. When I say I’m not in the mood, I mean it.”
“So, I trust that means you two aren’t hooking up tonight?”
“Probably not. Do you want to see a movie? I’ve been wanting to see Dreamgirls, but I’ve never found the time.”
“Can’t. I’m meeting Mason a little later.”
Olivia scoffed. “You know, you’ve got a lot of nerve talking about my love life, when you’re stringing along multiple men at the same time.”
“Yes, but at least I know where I stand with each and every one of them.”
“Of course you do. Let’s see: you’re letting one of them dote on you, thinking you’re going to settle down one day, you're helping one of them commit adultery on his wife of thirteen years and you’re just sleeping with the other…is it two or three? Maya, you know sometimes I just lose count.”
“It’s just Amit and Mason and at least none of those are co-workers of mine.”
“I’m not doing anything with Elliot and besides…wouldn’t starting something with a co-worker require you to do some work?”
“Okay!” Maya said. “Time to go!”
Maya hung up the phone and Olivia set down her own chuckling to herself. With an evening free from friends or work, Olivia drew a bubble bath and tried to relax from the ulcer-causing stress the week had held.
The decision to tell Elliot that she had taken Kathleen to get birth control came after a careful consideration over the impending aftermath. Elliot would most likely hit the roof the moment she said it, but hopefully he would calm down quickly and realize she had done it to help his family, however it was the idea of Kathy finding out that had Olivia’s stomach rumbling.
She and Kathy had never really been on the best of terms and learning that Olivia had given her daughter the “freedom” of birth control pills would most likely tilt their relationship from cordial to hateful.
The soft crackle of the candle Olivia had lit in her bathroom lulled her eyes closed as she soaked and she attempted to push away thoughts of Jonathan. In the two years that they had been dating, Olivia had asked him to leave numerous times, but he always called to apologize within three days of any fight. With Friday coming to a close, she wondered whether this past argument was the one that marked the end of their relationship.
Her breath caught and she half sank under the water at idea of losing Jonathan completely. As much as he did seem to annoy her from time to time, he was usually a good person and, deep down, she knew she loved him. Of all the relationships she had had throughout her life, Jonathan Halloway was the only person with whom she could see herself growing old.
Olivia dried off and wrapped her hair up in a towel as she flopped onto her couch. From the week she had had, the only other option for her night was watching To Catch A Thief hoping that Jonathan would come by for something other than his itching sexual cycle.
Elliot peeked quietly into the second bedroom of his apartment and checked on his sleeping daughter.
The play was wonderful and Kathleen made them stay
an hour afterward to get the autograph of the lead. She had said on their way
He stepped into her room and pulled the covers around her, smirking at the fact that she was slightly sucking her thumb just like she did when she was a little girl. He sighed wondering, not for the first time, where all the time had gone and noticed something shiny glinting in the hallway light.
Elliot squinted in the dark and noticed a long silver and white package lying on the nightstand. He walked back into the room and picked up the package. He could see that it was a package of pills and while most of the pills were white, the ones at the end were red and each pill had a day of the week labeled over it and –
“What the hell?” he whispered.
He turned on the light on the nightstand and snapped his fingers in Kathleen’s direction.
“Kathleen. Kathleen. Wake up.”
Kathleen seemed groggy at first, but when she saw Elliot holding her Nordette package, she silently cursed herself for leaving them out as her eyes grew wide.
“What the hell is this?” Elliot said shaking the pills at her.
She jumped out of the bed and looked around the room wildly.
“Kathleen! What are these?” He asked the question knowing the answer, but had no other way of expressing his growing anger at what he had found.
“I-I don’t know,” she said shaking her head quickly.
“You don’t know! That’s the best you can come up with! That you don’t know?”
“They’re not mine,” Kathleen said slightly cowering against the opposite wall of her bedroom.
“You don’t know what they are, but you’re sure they’re not yours!”
Tears began to well in her eyes. “I…I don’t know.” She sank down the wall to the floor and wished she had simply left the pills at home.
“Are these…” Elliot began. “Are you sleeping with someone? With that kid…that Mike!”
“No, Dad,” she said as her face scrunched into a sea of tears. “They’re not m-”
“They’re not yours? Is that really the story you’re sticking with? That these aren’t yours?”
Elliot glanced at the package in his hand. “Six pills are missing. How long have you been on the pill?”
“Just now!” she yelled. “I just started taking them on Sunday.”
“Does your mother?”
“No. No one knows.”
“Where did you get them?” he demanded.
“From the doctor,” Kathleen said pulling her knees to her chest.
“Come on, Kathleen,” he said, trying to regain his calm. “Which doctor? When?”
She looked up at him, but remained silent.
“Which doctor?” he repeated with a little more force. “Did you just go to the hospital and get these behind my back?”
She shook her head.
“Look, Kathleen. You can talk to me, okay? I just want to know what’s going on. Where did you go to get these?”
She slowly stood, but refused to look at him. “You have to swear you’re not going to go crazy when I tell you. You have to promise you won’t get mad.”
He felt his eye twitch involuntarily. “Okay. I promise. Just tell me what happened.”
Kathleen ran her fingers through her hair. “Okay…Well, Mike and me had been talking about it.”
She gave him a dirty look, so he simply nodded and let her continue.
“We started talking and I decided that I should get some birth control.”
“And you did this on your own? You went to our doctor to get these?”
“No. I didn’t want you to know about it because I knew you’d react just like this.”
“Then, where did you get them?”
She hesitated, bouncing on her toes a bit and looking at every point in the room except her father’s eyes. “We just went to the doctor’s office and got them.”
“We?” He racked his brain for the name of her best friend. “You and Melissa?”
“Look, Dad,” she said as if she were changing the subject. “I asked her to take me and I don’t want you to be mad.”
“Maureen took you?”
She shook her head.
“Kathleen,” he said beginning to lose patience. “I already told you I’m not going to be angry. I just want to know what’s going on. Now, you got these and from what you’re telling me or not telling me, you don’t know anything about them, how they’re going to affect you and what to do if anything goes wrong. And, the fact that neither your mother or Maureen knows about this has me more than worried.”
“But, she told me to stay on them for a while before I did anything.” She blurted out the words, but once they began flowing, she could not stop them. “She and I talked about it for a long time. She told me everything I needed to know. Every single thing.”
“Who?” Elliot said firmly.
Kathleen sighed and stared at the floor.
They were getting nowhere fast and Elliot crossed his arms as he stared at his daughter and thinking very carefully. He felt his eye twitch again when the answer came to him.
“Olivia…took you to get birth control?”
Kathleen’s eyes finally met his and grew wide. “Dad…I asked her to.”
Elliot stood silently nodding his head as he put some of the events in the past few days together.
“She didn’t do anything,” Kathleen continued. “I came to her and I asked for her help.”
“You couldn’t come to me or your mother?” he whispered.
“Not when I knew you were going to act just like this. Dad, she had a lot to tell me and I’m glad I went to her.”
Elliot glared at his daughter unsure where his anger truly lied.
“I had no idea what I was doing and she told me everything.”
“Everything?” Elliot again whispered.
“Yes, everything. So, I really don’t know why you’re standing there like you’re going to snap, because I got my facts straight before I even did anything. I mean I actually don’t see what the problem is at all. I did the right thing going to her.”
“You don’t know what the problem is!” Elliot yelled, causing Kathleen to take a step backward.
“Dad,” she said tears forming in her eyes again. “Look, I know you’re mad that I started taking them, but-”
“I’m angry,” Elliot said through clenched teeth, “that you would go behind my back and do this. You couldn’t even go to your mother. You had to go to Olivia.”
“I went to Olivia because I knew she would give me straight answers and she wouldn’t treat me like I was child!”
“You went to Olivia because you knew you could pull something with her you knew you’d never get away with me or your mother!”
“That’s not true, and you know it!”
“Kathleen, if you wanted to…” He could not bring himself to think of his daughter being sexually active. “Why couldn’t you go to your mother? Or your sister?”
“Because you all act like I’m still some little kid who shouldn’t even be thinking about it! Whether or not you want to believe it, I’m mature enough to handle this.”
“You’re mature enough to handle this?” he repeated angrily. “When I first asked you about these pills, you said you didn’t know what they were. That you didn’t know whose they were! You’re telling me that’s something a mature person does?”
“See,” she said crossing her arms. “That’s why I had to go to Olivia. I knew she wouldn’t be patronizing.”
“That’s because she’s never seen you dissolve into a mess of tears when confronted with a serious situation! I’m not being patronizing, I’m being honest! You went to my partner because you wanted to get away with something and it was the only way you knew how.”
“No, I didn’t!”
“Don’t lie to me, Kathleen!”
“I’m not lying! I went to Olivia because Mom wouldn’t even talk about it and I knew if I even brought it up, you were gonna act just like this!”
He slammed the package of pills on the nightstand.
“Did you beg her to take you to her doctor?” he said through clenched teeth.
“No,” Kathleen said softly. “We went to the free clinic.”
“Olivia said that way you wouldn’t find out about it.”
A chord snapped within Elliot and he felt his temperature rise several degrees in one second.
Kathleen, noticing her father’s skin tone change from normal to red, took a step backward. “I mean I asked her to take me somewhere like that because I knew you’d flip if you found out. It’s not like she suggested it.”
Elliot shook his head and Kathleen opened her mouth to say something else, but he interrupted.
“You,” he said pointing at her. “Don’t move from that spot. Do you hear me?”
She nodded her head furiously and Elliot left the apartment, grabbing his jacket and slamming the door shut as he left.
Olivia jumped at the sound of her door lock shaking
in conjunction with the music of the
“Jonathan?” she said, rising from the couch.
“Yeah, Olivia, it’s me,” he said from the other side of the door. “Can I come in?”
She opened the door and stepped aside to let him by her. They stared at one another for a moment before Olivia finally broke the silence.
She scoffed. “You tell me. You’re the one who came over here.”
“And you’re the one who threw me out a few days ago.”
“Were you expecting some kind of apology?”
Jonathan sighed. “Olivia…I’m sorry. I’m sorry about Tuesday, but I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Olivia glared at him and crossed her arms in front
of her, but he continued. “In fact, I think you were just being a little too
high and mighty to come down off your exalted position in the
“What?” she said raising her voice.
“You came all the way from the
“I have given you everything I’ve got, Olivia! I treat you like a queen, but you keep treating me like you’re doing me a favor by allowing me to breathe in your goddamn presence and I’m sick of it!”
“You have nothing to be sick about! Every day, I see-”
“I know already! Molested kids and women raped to the point that they’ll never be the same. I get it! I know! But rather than come home and allow yourself to escape from all that, just for one second, you keep pushing me away! You’re not the only one in the world with a difficult job.”
“Don’t even pretend like your tough day is even comparable to mine!”
“You know what? It doesn’t even matter, because when I leave the office, I leave the office! I leave all that there because I know it’ll be there for me tomorrow. All I want to is you, and all you give me is your bullshit!”
“You’re so full of it, Jonathan! You don’t get it! I can’t leave ‘all that’ at the office because my job doesn’t end at or even when the sun goes down. I care about every single victim that walks through our doors and even when their case is over, even when justice has been served, I still have to be there for them. I’m the one they call when they hear a noise at night and when they start reliving what’s happened to them! What’s been done to them! You don’t know my job and, if you can’t figure out that when I say no I mean no, then you need to get the hell out and stay out!”
“Fine,” he said through his teeth. “You’re right, Olivia. You get paid nothing to deal with society’s filth and I respect that. Trust me, I do. But if you can’t step outside yourself for one goddamn minute and see how someone who doesn’t know every single detail of your job could make an honest mistake, then you can’t possibly be as good at your job as you think you are! So, I touched you when you didn’t feel like being touched. So what! It’s the first time it has ever happened and instead of being the understanding person you claim to be, you throw me the hell out! It’s like you’re doing everything possible to keep me from loving you and that’s sick!”
“I don’t need this Jonathan. I really don’t.”
“No, you need to hear this! You’re a good person and a beautiful woman, but you’re still alone and I know exactly why. Every time someone gets too close to you, every time a guy acts like he’d give up everything just to be with you, you lose your mind and you start pushing him away as hard as you can. You just can’t allow someone to love you! Why? Is it because of your mother? Was there someone else who hurt you when you were younger? Someone you won’t ever tell me about because you refuse to let me in! What! What is it? Why won’t you let me love you!”
Olivia stood silent, eyes burning with tears she refused to shed.
“You know what?” he continued. “I don’t need this shit. I don’t need it, Olivia. This too much work to chase after you when the best I can ever hope for is a fight like this at least once a week.”
“Well, then leave!” she screamed. “Get the hell out! Go find yourself a little gold-digging whore who you can shower with gifts and who’ll do exactly what you want her to do without question!”
“Goddamn it, Olivia! I don’t want that! I just want you and I just want you to be happy! Is that asking too much! I just want to love you! I want to marry you! I want to wake up next to you everyday for the rest of my life! I want to travel the world with you! I want to grow old with you! I want to give you everything, but you refuse to let me. Why?”
Her vision completely blurred and overwhelmed with emotion, Olivia took a step backward. “Just go,” she whispered. “Please, just go. You’re screaming at me and all I wanted from you was one simple apology for being a jackass. Just go.”
“Why do you keep throwing me out like this? What does this prove? I’m giving you everything and you just want to drop kick me out the door. Why?”
“Because if you want to tell me all that, you can do it when you’re calm and when you mean it. Not when you’re just trying to get laid.”
“Sorry, for what? You don’t even know what you’re supposed to be sorry about.”
Jonathan stared at her for a long time. “I’m frustrated, Olivia. You want me to apologize for Tuesday, but you’re not even willing to meet me halfway…but I am sorry. I promise you, in the future, I’ll be more understanding.”
“That’s what you said the last time when you were being completely insensitive about Elliot’s daughter. I have no reason to believe you when you say it.”
“Then why even ask for the goddamn apology! My God! You’re the most difficult person I’ve ever met!”
“Why? Because I don’t let you get away with all the shit your family does? Look, Jonathan, I don’t care what you do or what your father does. All I know is I’m not going to put up with your smug bullshit just because everyone else in the city sees fit to kiss your ass. You were being a complete dick a week ago, you were last Tuesday and you’re acting the same way tonight. I’m not going to be swayed just because you think you know everything. You don’t know my job and you don’t know my life!”
“And whose fault is that? If I didn’t struggle to drag things out of you, I wouldn’t know the bits and pieces that I do!”
“This is absolutely ridiculous and I’m sick of arguing with you. Go home and come back when you’re ready to talk to me like normal adult.”
“A normal adult? Tell me Olivia: is it normal for a woman to go crazy over someone reading her the wrong way? Is it normal for someone to not accept gifts and make a man work like a dog just to get a little closer to her? Was it normal that you barely knew a thing about me two years ago and you didn’t even know my last name when you were ready to spread your legs for me?”
Olivia took three steps foward and slapped him across the face.
Jonathan staggered backwards in a combination of pain and surprise having never hit been in his entire life and, through her own blurry haze, Olivia could see tears forming in his eyes.
“Why do you make everything so hard?” he asked softly, holding a hand to his face.
“Get out! Now!”
“All I want to do is love you.”
“So help me God, if you don’t leave right now, I’m going to shoot you in the head. Get out!”
Jonathan slowly grabbed his coat and walked to the door. “Why are you doing this to me? I just made a mistake.”
“And you’re making another one by standing there when I’ve already told you to leave. If you want to call a woman a whore, you go right ahead, but it’s not going to be me. I already told you…I’m not putting up with your shit and I mean it.”
“Why are you so incapable of allowing yourself to be happy?”
“I’ll be perfectly happy the second you’re out of my sight. Leave…now.”
He glared at her a moment more before shaking his head and leaving the apartment.
Olivia felt her heart catch the moment the door clicked softly in its latch and she stood shaking her own head knowing the only thing that kept her from after him in the corridor was her own stubbornness and pride.
She locked the door and pulled the door chain across the door, but held her hand on its base listening for footsteps in the hallway. The sounds of someone pacing just beyond the door echoed through the door and she wiped at her eyes as she glanced out her peephole.
Jonathan paced back and forth in front of her door, continuously running a hand through jet black hair that appeared curiously blue in the corridor light. Her hand shook violently on the door chain, her mind longing to open the door and allow their tears to speak for themselves, but she stood firm.
He had no right to say that to her and in combination with the week she had had, no amount make up sex would shake away those words.
She stepped away from the door and poured herself a scotch in her kitchen as her mind raced. The drink shook in her hand and Olivia jumped a moment later at the sound of her telephone ringing. She stared at it for a moment wondering if Jonathan would be on the other end ready to scream her before she answered.
“Livia…” Maya said softly. She sounded like she was crying. “Livia, his wife is banging on my door right now. She found out, Livia. She found out.”
“Maya,” she began. “I’ve just had one of the worst fights of my relationship with Jonathan and I don’t think I can handle you right now.”
“Livia! She’s screaming at my door right now!”
“Then call the police.”
“I did! I called you!”
“Maya! I can not deal with you right now!” She hung up the phone and swallowed the rest of her drink in one gulp.
As if fate was testing her, the telephone rang again.
“What!” she answered.
“Uh…yeah, Olivia? It’s Philip. Look, I’m not sure if you’re free tomorrow or not, but since you’re home tonight…I know of this really nice restaurant that just opened and-”
Olivia hung up the phone without saying another word and promptly unhooked her phone from the wall as she poured herself another drink. The harsh alcohol hit her throat and she felt the urge to simply finish off the bottle as she had watched her mother do so many times throughout her childhood.
Instead of pouring her third Scotch of the night, Olivia slid to the floor against her cabinets and rested her head on her knees as she pulled them to her chest. The tears that had been shed for Jonathan had long since dried, staining her face, and she squeezed her eyes shut to keep any others from escaping.
I’ve shed enough tears for one night, she thought.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Olivia woke with a start from her position on the floor. She had been asleep, wrapped in her own arms, for barely thirty minutes when the banging on her door ripped her from her sleep.
“Olivia! Open the door or I’m kicking it in!”
She rose quickly at the sound of Elliot’s voice, her bones and muscles aching from her nap on the floor. She quickly crossed the apartment, puzzled at what he could want so late at night and at her apartment.
As she pulled the door chain across its slide, she froze.
He knows, she thought.
Olivia opened the door and took a step backward as Elliot barged into the apartment, a light dusting of snow still in his hair and on his jacket.
“You…” he began. She could see he was shaking with anger and he paced back and forth in front of her. “You took…my daughter…to get the pill.
Olivia took a deep breath. Here we go.
“She said she didn’t have anyone else to turn to,” Olivia said in a small voice.
“YOU TOOK…my-MY DAUGHTER…TO
He was yelling so loud her ears began to ring.
“Elliot, she came to me asking for birth control and-”
“And you gave it to her!”
“I didn’t give her anything! She came to me with questions and I gave her information.”
“You went with her to get it!”
She took a step away from him. “Yes, I volunteered to take her to a doctor so that she could get checked out and then to the pharmacist.”
“You had no…no right to do that! She’s my daughter! I can’t even believe you!”
Olivia took another step backward, but Elliot took another one forward. “Look, I tried to talk her into going to you and Kathy, but-”
“You should have tried to talk her out of it! Not take her to the damn clinic!”
“Elliot, she already had her mind made up about it! If I didn’t talk to her about-”
“You should have come to me first! You should have told me what was going on! I’ve been worried for weeks about what was going on with her and you knew all the time! You should’ve told me!”
“I wanted to,” Olivia said, her voice pleading with him. “But, I couldn’t figure out a way to tell you without you turning into this.” She motioned to his figure now so close that he was standing over her instead of in front of her. “I didn’t want you to be angry, least of all with Kathleen.”
“You’re damn right I’m angry! You! You sat down and had some long heart-felt discussion about birth control with my daughter! My kid! Like you’re some great confidante!”
“She had nowhere else to go!” Olivia had backed all the across the living room and now had her back pressed firmly against the wall of her bedroom.
“She should’ve come to me!”
“Why! So you could blow up at her just like this?”
Elliot was silent for the first time since he had set foot in her apartment that night. “She could have gone to Kathy or Maureen or…”
“Or who?” she said now attempting to stand her ground. “Who, Elliot? She didn’t want you to know. Kathleen looked me in the eye and said she could not go to her mother or her sister about this and that she had no one else to turn to. It was either me or just winging it!”
“Nothing…nothing gave you the right to talk to my daughter without telling me,” Elliot said, his voice scathing.
“Elliot, it’s not like I picked her up from school one day and said, ‘Hey, let’s have a talk about sex.’ She called me. She asked me to talk to her about this…and, I’m glad I did.”
Elliot glared at Olivia feeling an intense rage running through his body. She swallowed and continued. “You wouldn’t have believed all the stuff she didn’t know. And-”
“She shouldn’t have to know about it!” he blurted out without thinking.
“Why the hell not?”
“She just barely eighteen years old.”
“And, you know what?” Olivia said now taking the offensive. “In a few months she’ll be out there on her own. Do you really want your daughter away at college not knowing the least bit about birth control? Do you really want your kid repeating your mistakes?”
Elliot simply shook his head and glowered at her.
“Elliot, I hate to break it to you, but by the time she came to me, she’d already made up her mind about it. She was going to start having sex, whether she got any information on birth control or not. All I did was-”
“All you did was give her the green light to do whatever the hell she wants and the means to do it! Why do you think she came to you? Because she knew that you weren’t going to try to talk her out of it!”
“She came to me because she’d already made up her mind and she was just trying to not get pregnant in the process!”
“You…you should’ve done…something!”
“I did! I told her they should both get tested before anything. I told her-”
“You shouldn’t be any conversations about sex with my daughter!”
“Well, which is it, Elliot? Should I have done something or should I have just let her go off on her own to figure it out by trial and error?”
“You should’ve told her to come to me!”
“So you could act like this when you found out! Tell me, Elliot: exactly what would you have said to Kathleen if she came to you asking about birth control? Or more appropriately, what would you have done?”
He stormed away from her, taking a few steps across the room.
“You would’ve tracked her boyfriend down,” she continued, “and threatened him too and, the next time she needed to come to you, she would know for certain that she couldn’t.”
“That still didn’t give you the right to talk to her without telling me first,” Elliot said calmly, though the anger still flowed in his veins.
“What would you have wanted me to do, Elliot? She asks me to meet her for breakfast…she already has a list of questions…Was I supposed to tell her I’d think about whether or not I could talk to her about birth control? She had her mind already made up. She knew exactly what she was going to do and I knew that if I didn’t tell her something right then and there, I knew that you would be dealing with becoming a grandfather at a young age.”
Elliot sighed and closed his eyes and some of the animosity for his partner began to subside. Sensing that most of the initial danger had passed, Olivia reached out and touched his arm.
“Don’t!” he said recoiling from her. “Don’t touch me. I…I don’t even want to look at you.”
He glared at her a moment more before, shaking his head in disgust and storming out of her apartment, slamming the door shut in the process.
Olivia stared at the closed door, feeling tears burning in her eyes once again. He had never been that angry with her and she had no idea how she could even begin to remedy the problem.
As she crossed the room to lock her door, she heard two knocks on the door. She hesitated at first, wondering why, if it was Elliot, would he bother knocking.
She opened the door slowly to see Mark standing in her doorway.
“Sorry, to bother you,” he said softly. “But…uh, I know you’ve got the same Internet as me and mine hasn’t been working. Is yours all right, ‘cause I’m trying to see if it’s just me or if it’s our building.”
Olivia shook her head as she attempted to quell the tears that were blurring her vision.
“Are…are you okay?” he asked. “I mean…I thought I heard shouting…”
Before he could say another word, Olivia had thrown her arms around him. Tears steadily trailed down her face as she allowed Mark’s arms to envelope her and she just let out everything. Her knees began to buckle and they both sank to the floor, Mark never letting go.
She had tried so hard to remain strong, but with back to back arguments with the two men she loved most in the world, Olivia could do nothing but sob on Mark’s shoulder, crying even harder at the irony of the man she considered small and weak, being the only one strong enough to hold her when she was at her most vulnerable.