Categories > TV > Law & Order: SVU > Control
It was 2 am and the body count had risen to three. All raped and murdered the same way. Elliot and Olivia trudged back into the House no closer to finding their now serial killer/rapist than they were when they started. They both flopped down into their chairs and heard Cragen’s office door open.
“Rough night,” he said as he approached their desks.
“Yeah,” Elliot replied looking to Olivia who sat silently staring off into space.
“I have spec’s running tonight,” Cragen said with a sigh. “Get some sleep and we’ll start fresh in the morning with the results.”
Cragen’s phone began ringing and he headed back into his office.
“You ready to head out?” Elliot asked as he rose from his chair and grabbed his keys. Olivia sat silently staring at the desk in front of her not acknowledging that she’d heard him at all. “Liv?”
“Yeah?” she said looking up at him seemingly startled by his voice.
“You ready to head out?” he repeated watching her closely.
“Um no, I’m going to stay here for a while and work. I’m not really tired,” she replied taking off her coat and then focusing on her computer.
“You sure cause I’m game to…” Elliot asked as he surveyed her. Liv’s knees stopped rattling after the second victim and she seemed to settle down. He recognized her focused gaze, having seen it many times before.
“I’m good. Go home, El,” she said with a furrowed brow her focus on the screen in front of her. “Nite.”
“Nite,” Elliot replied as he continued toward the elevator. A few steps before reaching it something pulled at him. He stopped, looking back to Olivia sitting at her desk. Her hand was in her hair, sweeping it away from her face. He wanted to say something but he didn’t know what. He pushed the unexplained uneasiness away and left for the night.
Leaving for the night may have been the plan, but once he walked out, she never left his mind. He laid awake in bed as he re ran the day repeatedly. He almost texted her to see if she was still at the office. He knew. However, that she would think that he was checking on her, because he was. Elliot had never known such a strong willed, stubborn woman in his entire life.
His ex-wife Kathy had come close, but in a different way. Kathy was just unyielding, inflexible. It was either her way or shit. There was a time when he’d been accommodating to her demands but that time had passed.
She wanted to fix him, change him, and make him into something he couldn’t be. She finally realized he was never going to change, and she closed the door on them as husband and wife. Now they were the parents of five beautiful children and better friends than they’d been in years.
Liv, his colleague for over eleven years, had an uncompromising compassion and strength that made him proud to have her as his partner. He also knew she was human beneath the steel. It was something she rarely showed, even to him. So when he saw signs of weakness, like her fainting spell, his radar immediately went up.
He had to stop.
She said she was fine, just dehydrated. His stomach kept telling him that there was more than he was seeing.
He eventually slept and as 6 am rolled around, he was locking up his apartment on his way out. He descended the stairs and out the building door. He found Olivia sitting on his steps, two cups of piping hot coffee in her hands.
The door closed and she turned to face him with a smile. Her eyes warm and inviting he couldn’t help but smile back.
“Thanks,” he said as she handed him the coffee.
“I figured I owed you one after yesterday.”
“It isn’t like any day you haven’t had to put up with me,” he replied his heart lifting a little.
“Well since you put it that way.”
“So where are we headed?”
“I already checked in with Cragen so we’re headed to see Melinda. I want some details before we start talking to anyone.”
“Agreed,” he replied as they got into the car and headed to the ME’s office.
One trip to the ME’s office and three interviews later they were headed back to the House.
“You want to get something to eat?” Elliot asked as he looked over to Olivia, her head leaning against the car window. “Did you get any sleep last night?”
“Yeah,” she started and then sat up straight looking at him with a smile. “Yeah, I got a few hours. I’m not really hungry. Let’s just get back to the station, K?”
Elliot nodded and went back to focusing on the road. Within ten minutes, they were back at the House.
“Hey,” Fin called to both of them as they walked into the room. “I think we got a break.”
“What did you find?” Olivia asked, her energy suddenly replenished as she walked over to the mini fridge and took out a protein shake.
“Thanks to Olivia’s digging last night this guy is a repeater,” Fin explained as he and Munch led them to the board.
“Same MO popped up twice in two years. First in Virginia, then eighteen months later in Jersey,” Munch explained as he showed the map of crime scenes. “All of the victims were between the ages of 28 and 32 years old.
“Do we have suspect list?” Olivia asked.
“They’re sending over the scripts now,” Fin replied. “But we do know while they interviewed five suspects, there were two that the locals took particular interest in.”
“Any from around here?” Elliot asked.
“Alexander Toppin and Marshall Lane, both current residents of NYC,” Munch said with a grin.
“Okay we’ll take Toppin, you guys take Lane,” Elliot replied as he turned to Liv, seeing her already headed toward the door. He jogged to catch up with her before they hit the car. “I thought you said you slept last night?”
“I did,” she replied as she walked around the car to the passengers side.
“I worked for a while, went home couldn’t sleep and then came back,” Olivia explained as they both got into the vehicle. “Is there a problem?”
Elliot’s mind was raging. He knew she was lying to him but it was pointless to bring it up. She would only deny it and he didn’t have any way to prove it. “No.”
“Good then, let’s go.”
With traffic, it took them ten minutes to arrive at the house of Alexander Toppin.
“Looks like he’s in Commercial Real Estate,” Olivia read as they started toward the suspects residence. “He started in West Virginia and was promoted out here about a year ago.”
“Did he spend any time in Jersey.”
“Not according to this. NJ isn’t that far of a jump and it fits the timeline.”
Elliot turned to make sure she was with him as they reached the door. He noticed her hands shaking as she read off her blackberry. He heard the doorbell ring and the door opened.
“Can I help you?” the woman standing before them said in a kind voice. She was petite with platinum blonde hair and electric green eyes.
“Hi, my name is Detective Stabler, and this is Detective Benson,” Elliot said motioning to Olivia as they both showed their badges. “We were wondering if we could possibly speak with Alexander Toppin.”
“He isn’t here at the moment,” she replied in concern. “What’s this about?”
“It is an ongoing investigation and we need to speak with him?”
“Do you happen to know where he is or how we could reach him?”
“Um, yes. He said he was going to the Willis building this afternoon. I can give you the address,” she replied while opening the door to let them in. “Please come in.”
They followed her into the house. You can tell a lot from a person’s house. The interior walls and carpeting were warm rich colors. Twisted, warped paintings and sculptures littered the rooms. Elliot was looking at one in particular of two women seemingly cutting out the other's wombs.
“You have a lovely home,” Liv commented absently
“Thank you,” she replied with a grin. “My husband has an eclectic style.”
“That’s one way to put it,” Elliot murmured to himself looking to Liv whose eyes were drooping just a little. Her hand going to her head as if in pain.
“Ah yes, here it is,” she said as she handed Olivia a business card with an address on it.
“Thank you,” Olivia said with a smile. “Just curious. Were you and your husband home last night?”
“Um… no actually I was at the Norman Mahler Benefit and Alexander had cigars with one of his business associates.”
“Cigar’s,” Elliot chimed in. “One of my favorite past times. Where does your husband like to go? Edwards on 5th ?”
“Usually yes, but he said he met his associate at…well what was it called…Wood’s…”
Liv looked to Elliot checking to see if he could be of any assistance.
“Um…Drift’s!” she said triumphantly. “Drifts Emporium.”
“Oh yeah that is my buddies favorite,” Elliot was quick to agree. “I’ve never been there though. I’ll have to check it out.”
Elliot walked out of the cigar shop no alibi in hand. The owner of the shop made it a point to know all of its patrons and Mr. Toppin was not one of them. Liv was patiently waiting for him against the car as he walked out.
“How’d it go?”
“No dice,” Elliot replied as he picked up the wrapped sandwich that sat on the car next to her. “Never heard of him.”
“So no alibi. Are we taking a trip to Willis towers?”
“Yeah,” as he took another bite of his sandwich. “Did you eat?”
“Yeah, I finished mine when you were inside,” she replied with a smile and a sip of his drink.
“Hey while you are finishing that I am going to grab a tea,” she said as she hopped off the car and headed toward a coffee shop across the street.
Elliot finished the sandwich and reached for the bag of chips while the details of the case rolled through his thoughts. He looked in the brown lunch bag and pulled out a napkin. He noticed the receipt from the sandwiches attached to the napkin. He wondered how much he owed Liv, and glanced at the receipt. He saw a sandwich, chips and a drink. There was nothing else on the receipt.
It struck him as odd and he wondered where she ate. He crumpled up the receipt and threw it in the garbage along with the rest of his garbage. He walked around to the driver's side of the car, as Liv approached with an iced tea.
“That was a good sandwich thanks,” Elliot said as they got into the car. “How much do I owe you?”
“Don’t worry about it. I put it on my card.”
“Yeah that hit the spot. We’re going to have to go there again,” Elliot commented as he started the car. “What did you have?”
“Chicken Salad,” she replied as she looked away from him and out the window. She must’ve noticed him staring at her. He realized she had just blatantly lied to him. She turned back to him with a confused look. “Willis Towers?”
“You have a very eccentric art collection Mr. Toppin,” Elliot commented as they stood in the foreman’s trailer onsite at the Willis Towers construction site.
“Some people could call it that, yes,” Toppin replied as he leaned against his desk. “So what can I do for you detectives?”
“How about you tell us where you were last night between the hours of 7pm to 2 am.?”
“I was in a meeting with an associate of mine.”
“At Drift’s cigar bar?” Olivia asked challenging the man. “Yeah, try again, we checked that out.”
“Turns out it is a pretty close crew over there and they have never heard of you.”
“Look, it’s not what you think…”
“Tell us what happened two years ago in Virginia, Mr. Toppin?” Olivia asked as she patiently awaited for his answer. An easy smile spreading over her face, She’d perfected it to unnerve the most brazen criminal.
“That was a mistake,” the man insisted as he stepped forward getting into Olivia’s face. “I had nothing to do with those murders.”
“Funny, huh? Last night the same thing happened right here in New York. You have no alibi, again.”
“Quite a coincidence,” Elliot added looking to the man with a warning before answering his phone.
“What are you talking about?”
“So why don’t you just tell us where you were last night?” Olivia asked again as the man stood tall against her, his patience obviously coming to a halt.
“I think we should take this conversation downtown,” Elliot said as he took the man’s arm to put him in handcuffs.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m taking you into custody. Unfortunately, for you, your DNA was in the system. It matches the DNA recovered at two of the three crime scene’s,” Elliot explained before reading the man his rights. The man began to resist but Elliot held firm.
The suspect was secure and he looked to Liv seeing a glazed expression on her face. She was staring at the suspect but not necessarily looking at him. She seemed to be somewhere else, frozen in place. Elliot led the man out of the trailer passing in front of her eyes. He stopped, looked directly at her, and she didn’t respond.
She jumped out of her skin but managed to focus on him. He held her eyes seeing fear.
“Let’s go,” she said in an unsteady voice as she quickly pushed past him and out the door.
Sign up to rate and review this story