Chapter 44:  If Wishes Were Horses

On Monday morning, Jim looked up and saw Jessica walking in.  He immediately capped the dry-erase marker and walked up to her.  “Hi,” he said as they walked toward each other. 


“Hey,” Jessica said back.  He put an earring into her hand.  “Uh, what are you doing?” she asked.


Grinning, he explained, “I found your earring in my couch.”


“You had to give it to me here?” Jessica asked.


Alex saw Jim and Jessica and narrowed her eyes.  Her suspicions about them had now been confirmed.  However, she had another matter to discuss with him.  “Jim!” she called out.


Jessica looked at Alex like a deer caught in headlights and quickly made her exit.  Avoiding eye contact with Alex and glancing around nervously, Jim walked up to her. 


“Did you check out Mike’s office?” Alex asked, gesturing toward it with her glasses.


“I know what it looks like,” Jim responded.


“Well, it’s not a shrine.  We gotta fill it.  An empty office doesn’t help morale.”


Throwing a hand out, Jim said, “I said I’d take it.  I—I just—”  He faltered as he looked into Mike’s office and was reminded of the tragic circumstances of his best friend’s death.  Clearing out his office and taking it over so soon just seemed disrespectful of his memory.  “You know, I’m just busy.”


Alex nodded.  She knew he was still taking it pretty hard so for once, she decided to give him a break.  “End of the week, ok?” she said in a soft but firm voice.  Jim nodded and walked away.


Alex returned her thoughts to the interaction between Jim and Jessica.  She was annoyed not because she wanted Jim but because she was wary of Jessica’s intentions.  She already knew that Jessica was a very strong-willed woman.  From her own experience with Jim, she also knew that he could be a pushover when it came to women he liked and that he became emotionally attached rather quickly.  She did not want to lose control of her bureau because her deputy bureau chief was interested in one of his underlings.  With Jessica’s dominant personality, she was afraid that she would use sex to manipulate Jim into letting her have her way around the office. 


In fact, it was already happening.  Just last week, Jim had told Jessica that when a judge tells her to plead out a case, she should follow his orders.  Jessica had flat-out refused and instead of Jim demanding that she do it—especially after Judge Michaels had called and said that she was on a crusade—he’d allowed her to go to trial.  Furthermore, unbeknownst to Alex, Jessica had confessed to Jim while they were undressing that she’d given her rape victim, a hooker, 50 dollars to get her to go to trial and testify.  Instead of reprimanding her, he’d gotten into bed with her and said that she won the case, which meant that the end justified the means.  She’d thanked him and that was that.


Alex went back into her office.  Although it was still early in the day, she had already received several calls congratulating her on her strong anti-drug speech at the Crime Prevention Commission fundraiser.  She was very pleased that it turned out to be such a success.  However, she couldn’t stop herself from wishing that Olivia had been with her instead of Robert.  If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride, she thought. She quickly scolded herself.  The chapter of her life with Olivia had been closed and she was moving on.  She had no time or place to daydream about what could’ve been. 


She once again revisited the Jim and Jessica scene.  Ultimately, she knew that Jim felt much more strongly for her than he did Jessica.  She wasn’t going to do anything at the moment but if push came to shove, she could use that to her advantage.  She was prepared to let her know that she was still the boss and that if she thought she could use Jim to one-up her in her own bureau, she had another thing coming.




A couple days later, Olivia was in the squadroom.  It appeared that Fin’s son was lying about information he had regarding a murder and tension was in the air, especially after the fight that had erupted between Fin and Elliot.  Late the previous night, Ken had called Olivia for help after he had been picked up by two officers for digging up a dirt lot in an alley.  She knew that Ken and his father weren’t close and that’s why he had called her instead of Fin.  She wanted to help Ken and disapproved of the way Elliot was handling the situation, so she decided to confront him about his behavior.


“You went pretty hard at Fin,” Olivia stated.


“I only called it like I saw it,” Elliot responded unapologetically.  “Did you know Ken Randall has a file in the juvenile system?”


“No,” Olivia answered in surprise, sitting down at her desk.


“I knew there was something off with that kid.  Got a hit off CHRS.  Either Fin’s covering for him or he doesn’t know.”


“What are the charges?”


“It’s sealed,” Elliot answered.  “I gotta request them.  Ken lied to us, Olivia.  You and I both know that.”


“Kids lie.  Even yours, whether you live with them fulltime or not,” Olivia retorted.


Luckily, the conversation was interrupted by Cragen wanting to know how they were doing on potential murder victims.  It was just as well because Olivia wanted to get her work done for the day and be out of there at a reasonable hour.  She had a big date with Zoe that evening and she didn’t want Elliot putting her in a sour mood.




Meanwhile at One Hogan Place, Billy Desmond was in the conference room with the lawyer of Luke Taylor, a friend of Nick’s who had been busted for coke possession at Bungalow 9. 


“This kid is a nonviolent, first time offender,” his lawyer Russell Albright argued. 


“I hear you, but I’m telling you my boss is firm on these drug possession cases,” Billy explained.  “My hands are tied.”


“We should be able to reach some sort of agreement.”


“You’re not hearing me, Russ,” Billy said, leaning back in his chair.  “I can’t make that deal.”


“But you want to,” Russell replied.


Holding a finger up, Billy quickly said, “Irrelevant.  I don’t have the authority.”


“I see” came the response.


“However,” Billy began, “if someone were to go over my head, talk to my boss…”


“Your boss Steele?” Russell inquired.


“More like his boss,” Billy explained.  “Alexandra Cabot.”


Nodding in understanding, Russell replied, “Bureau chief.”


“I think she met the managing partner of your firm the other night at a fundraiser,” Billy said, closing the file.


“Bob Delaney?” Russell asked.


“Yeah.  Have him call and set up a meeting,” Billy said as he stood up.


“She’d be open to that?”


“She’s reasonable.”


“Depending on who she’s talking to and how important they are?” Russell responded.


Billy laughed as he opened the door to leave.  “I said she’s reasonable.”


A little while later, Billy knocked on Alex’s door.  “Hey, you wanted to see me, boss?”


Alex turned to him.  “I just got a visit from Bob Delaney.”


Billy furrowed his brow and pretended to try to see if the name rang a bell.


“Managing partner of Simpson-Stowe.”


Billy nodded.  “Yeah?”


“Tell me about this Luke Taylor case,” Alex instructed.


“Uh, pretty straightforward.  Kid rented out the VIP room at a club for his birthday, pulls out some blow and gets busted.”


“No intent to distribute?” Alex asked.


“No,” Billy confirmed.  “Just dumb, spoiled prepster celebrating a birthday.” 


“So there’s nothing else?  Nothing that makes it more interesting?” Alex queried.


No,” Billy lied, shrugging.  He, of course, was withholding the fact that Nick was at this party, too and was a potential witness.  Nick had been ready to tell Steele the truth but Billy told him to keep his mouth shut because Jim already didn’t like him and would fire him.  He had told Nick he’d try to find a way to get rid of this and so far he was succeeding.


Alex nodded.  “Huh,” she murmured as she looked off to the side in thought.  She looked back at him and asked, “Well, what were you gonna recommend?”


“Well, um,” Billy began, clearing his throat, “I think a year’s probation and drug counseling is appropriate but given our tough stance on drug cases…”


“No, make the deal if you want,” Alex assured him.  “But two years probation.”


“Sure,” Billy agreed.


“Thanks,” Alex said.


“Thank you,” Billy replied, leaving her office.


Alex looked at the clock.  She still had a number of things to take care of before the day’s end, but she thought she would be on track to leave in time for dinner with Robert.  He’d already made the reservations and she was actually looking forward to a nice, romantic dinner to take away all the cares and stresses of work.




A few hours later, Olivia was putting her earrings on in her apartment.  As she looked in the mirror, she remembered how Alex used to always compliment her on that particular pair; in fact, it was one of her favorites to see her wear.  With a deep sigh, she decided to brush the thought out of her mind.  If she tried getting rid of everything that reminded her of Alex, she wouldn’t have much left. 


She ran a brush through her hair and then picked out a clutch to match her red dress.  A smile crossing her lips, she thought, Zoe is going to love this.  They had only gotten to see each other briefly on Sunday, so she was looking forward to their date tonight.


It wasn’t long before the doorbell rang.  After smoothing out her dress and giving herself a final once-over in the mirror, she ran to the door to let Zoe in.  Zoe looked her over appreciatively.  “Wow!  You know, I was so excited to take you to this place but after seeing you in that dress, I’m thinking maybe we should just stay in,” she said, pulling Olivia close to capture her lips.


Olivia laughed against her mouth.  “I’ll take that as a compliment,” she said before kissing her again.  “But come on, let’s get outta here.  We don’t wanna be late.”   


After they got to the restaurant and had been seated, Olivia looked around.  “Wow, this is an um, pretty nice place to say the least,” she commented.  Giving Zoe a lopsided grin, she lowered her voice and joked, “You should know by now that you don’t have to take me to some five-star restaurant to get me into bed.”


Zoe laughed, “Oh shush.  I’m doing this because you’re worth it.”  She reached over and brushed a few strands of hair behind Olivia’s ear and smiled.  “You know that, right?”


Olivia smiled in return.  “Yeah,” she said softly. 




“Hi, Mr. Shelton, it’s nice to see you again,” the maître d’ said.  He smiled warmly at Alex.  “And you look as stunning as ever, Ms. Cabot.”


Alex smiled in return.  “Thank you.”


Robert chuckled and put a hand on her back.  “She always does, Pierre.”


After they’d ordered, Robert excused himself.  “I have to go to the restroom.  Be back in a few.”


Alex smiled.  “Sure thing, honey.”  After checking her phone, she decided to turn it off.  She was determined not to let anything interrupt or ruin her evening.


But she wouldn’t be so lucky this night.  No sooner than she’d tucked her phone into her purse did she look up from their table to see a familiar face catch her eye.  Olivia?  She had to do a double take.  Her stomach dropped when she recognized the other face—Zoe. 


Robert returned and put a hand on her shoulder.  Alex jumped a little at his touch.  “You ok, sweetie?” he asked.


Alex forced a smile and turned to him.  “Yeah, you just startled me.”


“That was a pretty intense gaze.  You see anyone you know?” he asked as he sat back down and looked in the direction Alex had been looking.  Before she could answer, he snapped his fingers and exclaimed, “Ah!  Isn’t that Olivia?”


Keeping her face expressionless, she simply answered, “Yes, I believe it is.”


“Who is the lady with her?  From the way she just kissed Olivia’s hand, I assume they are on a date.”  He looked back at Alex.  “You didn’t tell me Olivia was a lesbian.”


Alex frowned and tried to wash down her jealousy with a drink of wine.  “Why should it matter?” she demanded.


Robert looked at her in shock.  “Why are you being so defensive, dear?  You know I have nothing against homosexuals.”  He looked in Olivia’s direction again.  “She sure does clean up well, doesn’t she?  What a waste.”


“Waste?” Alex snapped.  “That little comment certainly doesn’t sound gay-friendly.”


Rolling his eyes, Robert responded, “I just meant that as attractive as she is, she’d have no shortage of gentlemen callers.  But I guess it’s good she’s taken, though.”


Alex narrowed her eyes.  “And why is that?”


“Because she’ll be too busy with her to hit on you.”


Alex glared at him and clenched her fist under the table.  “What did you just say?”


Robert laughed.  “Relax, sweetheart.  It was only a joke.”


Alex shot him a look that could kill.  “I don’t think it was.”


Robert touched her arm softly.  “Alex, let’s not argue, honey.  Let’s just have a wonderful evening.  In fact, to show you I meant no harm, why don’t we go over and say hello?  I know she’s a close friend of yours.”


Alex couldn’t believe her ears.  Her heart began to pound in her chest.  “Wh-what?”


“Let’s say a quick hello,” he repeated.  He studied her face carefully.  “Is something wrong?”


“No, of course not,” Alex said quickly, avoiding his eyes.  She finished the rest of her wine in a desperate attempt to settle her nerves.  “Come on, let’s go then.”  She felt it would be awkward to refuse, especially since Robert thought that friendship had been the extent of their relationship.  Not wanting to arouse suspicion or seem jealous, to her dismay, she felt herself rising from her seat, joining hands with Robert, and walking over to where Olivia and Zoe were seated.