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Metropolitan Correctional Center – June 2021

Richard Wheatley was no fool.

Obviously, neither was Elliot Stabler – just seeing the woman, Elliot’s Liv had solidified that fact. ‘Morales was right,’ Richard smirked to himself, ‘Captain Olivia Benson’s eyes were – breathtaking.’ Olivia Benson was, without a doubt, the most beautiful police Captain he had ever seen. He believed that if he had met her at a gala or some other fundraising event, he might’ve been able to charm her. Not so much anymore, things were not looking very good for him at the moment. Richard couldn’t help but smirk at the thought of the things he had found out using his old program, Mastaba from his Faraday Cage. The things he had found out by utilizing the Domain Awareness System that he had used to track Gina Cappelletti, well, he’d been watching the other woman in Elliot Stabler’s life.

If that fool didn’t make a move soon, chances are he’d never pull his head out of his own ass.

Richard sat at the table, he had asked to speak to the fool, his Liv, and Sergeant Bell after hearing about the unfortunate demise of his darling ex-wife. Or he had hoped that they weren’t lying to him. He had some things to say on the matter.

Unfortunately, due to incompetence he had gotten his items taken away from him in his cell a couple of days ago. But not before he had damaged the phone to the point that they wouldn’t be able to obtain ANYTHING from it. After he had placed the call to his house, he had smashed it, opened it, and cracked the board. Such a shame, but he would have his attorney slip him a new one. He had a company to run, he had to save his own ass – even if that meant dismantling the organizations that his own father had helped perpetuate over the years. Things were changing, and the old ways of thinking just simply weren’t cutting it anymore. Their blatant racism was disgusting. People should be allowed to marry outside of their race and class.

As the three very important people walked into the room, he glanced down at his handcuffs. Elliot Stabler took up his sentry near the door, Sergeant Bell pulled up the chair next to Olivia Benson and they were seated across from him – this was just fantastic to him.

“Detective Stabler, I don’t bite.” Richard smiled, his blue eyes dancing mischievously as he looked at Olivia, “Hard. Unless you want me to.” He winked at Olivia. Stabler’s jaw twitched ever-so-slightly.  

Olivia Benson watched Richard Wheatley appraisingly, her brow quirked when he added the part about whether or not anyone wanted him to. The words he had spoken to Elliot outside of the plaza echoed in the back of her mind, and she wasn’t sure what to make of it all. Ayanna took a deep breath next to her and rolled her eyes. That was the thing about these rich, suave, slimy mobsters, they all believed that they were God’s gift to women.  

“I’m doing pretty well over here by the door, Dick.” Elliot responded. “What did you want to talk about?”

“I just wanted another opportunity to thank you for your undying devotion to justice and to thank you for taking such great care of my ex-wife. And to find out the answer to the question I posed while they were unceremoniously dragging me away…So you never said yes to dinner, Captain Benson.”

“You didn’t ask me, Richard.” She answered, leaning forward on her elbows, smirking, “You assumed I was interested. Besides, it appears like you owe Elliot a dinner instead of me…it would only be nice of you, seeing as how he saved your ass.”

“No, I doubt it was my ass he wanted.” Richard leaned back, a smirk on his face. Ayanna watched, attempting to mask her interest in this situation. “I bet he didn’t tell you about my hot mess of an ex-wife Angela and his relationship – did he?” Richard brought his cuffed fingers up below his chin, “He is just so confused about everything, your old partner, Detective Stabler.”

“Did you just bring us here to blow smoke up our ass?” Elliot asked, beginning to lose his patience.

“Perhaps you should’ve worried about saving your children’s asses.” Bell interjected. “Ritchie is going to go away for the murder of Gina Cappelletti, she was a cop.”

“Well, perhaps Ritchie should have spent time studying the object of his obsession before acting like a damn fool.” Richard shook his head, turning his attention from Ayanna back to Benson. “Perhaps he should’ve spent years getting to know her, finding out everything there was to know about her. Perhaps he should’ve fallen for her slowly but all at once at the same time.” He paused, “But she was never his one true love. The love of his life, the one woman he would’ve died for. Because when it came down to it, he pulled the trigger.” Richard turned his attention to Elliot.

“Unlike some people, Ritchie took the shot.” Richard’s smile widened as he saw the twitch in Olivia’s eye out of the corner of his own. “I suppose he’ll get over her, eventually. They didn’t really fight and make up. It was all puppy love, the two of them. Not at all what some people in this room have experienced - you know what I’m talking about, Elliot, that all-consuming fire within your soul that you just cannot imagine your life without that person for one. Single. Day. And every single moment you spend away from the person just kills you a little more inside. The elation you feel when you can work alongside the person to achieve something greater than yourself.”

Olivia’s boot hit the side of the table’s leg. “You alright, there, Captain?” Richard’s eyes studied the woman in front of him. He sighed melodramatically. “My wife, Pilar, she’s a lovely, exquisite human being, very cultured…But it’s not that feeling you get where when you put your arms around the person, even for a moment and you feel like you’re at home.” Richard looked down, “I don’t think I’ve ever been lucky enough for that – to live in the memory of the smallest touches, the affectionate solitude from knowing someone’s soul almost as completely as your own. The burning flame in your heart that bursts into a wildfire when that person is near you. No, I don’t think that was the relationship at all.”

“What about your ex-wife, Richard?” Olivia asked, her voice wasn’t as strong or authoritative as it had been a moment ago. Richard smirked – he knew she knew at that moment just what game he was playing with her.

"Well, I can’t say our marriage was happy, it was in the beginning, but it became old-hat, and more of an obligation than anything. I was just being a good father until I wasn’t a good father or husband, so we separated. I’m sure you know all about that, right, Elliot?”

“Wow, you are awfully tight-lipped over there, Detective.” Richard looked over at Ayanna, “Tough crowd, right?”

“The worst part about fighting with someone you love? When one bleeds. That’s heartbreaking. When your fingers have felt their blood beneath them, that’s a feeling you can never forget. Angie fell one day and cut her arm on a vase that had been thrown at the wall during one of our blow-out fights – man, there was so much blood. I didn’t know whether or not I was going to lose her that day…she came out alright, though.” He sighed, “My father and my mother – they had a beautiful love story. He used to say that it was only with her that he could do anything at all.”

Olivia’s brow quirked at this last statement. She wanted to test a theory, and she wasn’t going to turn around to look at Elliot to gauge his reaction to it – “Do you miss your wife? I can’t imagine you’ve been away from her for more than a few nights since you’ve gotten married.”

Richard’s smile widened, “I miss her in a simple, desperate human way. I miss her more than I ever thought I could have believed I would. I mean, I was obviously prepared to miss her a great deal, but this – wow. This is just straight up agony being away from her. Love persists regardless of sacrifice, even when the person doesn’t demand anything in return. Love persists when someone gives you the strength to be better than the person you were yesterday. Love grows and flourishes even in the darkest places – in all honesty, that’s where we begin to feel the light of love radiating from within. Just four days is bad enough being away from her – she’s my true and only treasure and I will miss her with every single fiber of my being while we’re apart.”

“Too bad it will be for a lot longer than ten years.” Olivia stood up away from the table and walked to the door where Elliot was standing – she looked up at him as he moved to open the door.

“You know, Captain Benson, there are so many words that could be said but sometimes, the brain doesn’t find the right words. The world is a beautiful place, and people are sometimes too stupid to take advantage of the beauty until it’s too late. Did you know, you are the one true love of his life. Even though he made out with Angela, he was most definitely thinking of your pretty brown eyes. I would’ve lost all resolve if I’d have seen your pretty eyes as well. You would’ve broken down all my defenses.”

“You know, Richard…” Olivia met eyes with the criminal. “I hope you enjoy the rest of your pathetic existence in whatever hell-hole they throw your ass in.”

Richard Wheatley leaned back as Olivia and Ayanna walked out, but Elliot closed the door quickly behind them and turned to the man. “How?”

“Elliot, the photo you have, saved in your phone – the one of her sleeping? That’s a little creepy, even for me.” Richard Wheatley smiled as Elliot Stabler stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him.

Love is wasted on the hopeless.” Richard spat out as the three people disappeared around the corner. “Mastaba, Elliot Stabler.” He whispered to himself, an evil grin spreading across his face.