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Fault Lines

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Olivia felt herself become conscious again but she wasn’t ready to let that be known. She kept her eyes closed and was trying to focus on keeping her breaths deep and even as to not give herself away. Her mouth wasn’t covered which was a relief nor were her eyes. She ever so slightly tested her limbs. Her hands were bound together behind her back and her legs were each tied to whatever was holding her up. She took stock of the rest of her body to see if anything else jumped out at her. Her neck was stiff and sore but other than than she didn’t think she had any other injuries.

She tried to backtrack to the last thing she remembered before the darkness had taken over. She remembered getting into her car and shutting the door and then nothing.

She could hear footsteps echoing around her and she decided it was time to open her eyes and see what and more importantly, who, she was dealing with.

She rolled her eyes in annoyance when she saw Richard Wheatley standing before her.

“Welcome back, Captain Benson.”

Her stomach turned at the words, dragging her back through time to her old apartment. She took a deep breath trying to anchor herself to the present. She wasn’t there. Lewis wasn’t here. This was not the same. Not good, but not as bad as that. She looked around at her surroundings. They seemed to be in some sort of warehouse. She was slightly relieved that it was just the two of them here and that Wheatley hadn’t gotten to anyone else. Yet. The dimness outside told her that the sun was almost gone for the day. This meant she’d been out of it for at least a few hours.

Good. That meant someone would know she was gone by now. That meant she’d missed Noah’s school pickup.

Her heart began to race in panic. Noah. Had Wheatley gotten to him too? Was he safe? Was he worried knowing his mom was missing?

“What do you want, Wheatley?”

“World power. Unlimited wealth. My wife back by my side. I could go on but I won’t bore you with the details.”

“What do you want out of this?“ Olivia repeated, emphasizing her meaning as she moved her head around at their predicament.

“Why don’t we call your boyfriend, Olivia? Invite him to join us.”

Wheatley pulled out his phone and he paced in front of her.

“Detective Stabler,” Wheatley taunted, holding the phone in front of him with the speaker on.

“Where is she?” Elliot growled out.

So, he did know. That meant they were looking for her. They were probably dumping her phone. Tracking her car’s gps system. Where was her gun? She’d been armed.

Olivia analyzed Wheatley but he had on a black, leather trench coat that concealed his figure. She’d have to just assume he was armed.

“She’s somewhere safe with me.”

“Wheatley, I swear to god if you fucking touch her,” Elliot threatened, his voice low and gravely.

“Don’t worry I haven’t harmed a hair on her head.”

“I don’t believe you. I want to speak to her.”

“Why don’t you come see for yourself?”

He shoved the phone towards Olivia.

“Go on, tell him. Tell him to come save you. Before it’s too late.”

“Liv, are you there? I’m coming to get you as soon as I can.”

“Elliot, don’t take the bait. Don’t give him what he wants.”

She’s not sure why she said it. She knew it was futile but she wasn’t giving Wheatley the satisfaction of her begging. So, she at least tried to feign indifference. He wanted to have Elliot unhinged, desperate and Olivia was just a pawn to achieve that.

“Tell me where to meet you, Wheatley.”

“I’ll send you coordinates. Come alone or she’s dead. I’ll have the love of my life pick you up while I wait here with your’s.”

“He’s bluffing, Elliot.”

“I wouldn’t be too sure, Captain.”

She wasn’t sure if she believed her own words. But, Wheatley hadn’t lied. She was so far, unharmed. She’s not sure if that would change if Elliot refused to play along. Would Wheatley kill her here and now? Leave Elliot to come chasing after her body? God, she couldn’t stomach the thought of him finding her lying here. What would happen to Noah if she was dead? She was caught between her own survival instincts and her resistance to giving into Wheatley’s ploy. She needed to keep him talking. She needed to see what his endgame was.

“If he wanted me dead, I would be. You have your chance to get out. Leave the country. You could be in the south of France with a new name and a Swiss bank account. Instead, you’re still here playing games like a hurt child.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, Olivia. I’m a real man. I don’t run away from my problems and disappear on the ones I love. Unlike Elliot here. So, why don’t we let Romeo decide for himself if I’m really bluffing. I’m sure there’s plenty of room in the cemetery next to his wife. Or does the Catholic Church frown upon having your wife and mistress buried next to each other?”

“This is between you and me. Leave her out of it,” Elliot snarled.

“Which ‘her’ are you referring to? It’s so hard to keep track of all the women in your life, Elliot.”

“Send the location, Wheatley.”

“It’s done. I’ll let you get to it while Olivia and I catch up. We’ll be waiting for you.”

And with that, he hung up the phone and turned his attention back towards Olivia.

“You know, you could be a little more grateful, Olivia. I’ve done you a favor.”

“Puh-lease, what could I possibly have to thank you for?” she shot back.

“For clearing the way. For eliminating the only obstacle keeping you from everything you want. The life she stole from you.“

“You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“I think I do. Elliot is a man of virtue, loyalty. He would never leave his family the way he left you. Not as long as he had a wife he was bound to. Vows to uphold. And here I’ve gone and taken care of her, yet he still hasn’t managed to make a move. Pathetic , honestly. Especially, after all you’ve done for him. Playing mommy-dearest to his children. Running behind him, cleaning up his messes. And what has he done for you? You see, a real man would own up to his  feelings. Take responsibility. But, not Elliot. He hides,” Wheatley mocked, leaning in close, inches away from Olivia’s face.

She spit in his face and he recoiled back, bringing his hand to wipe his face

“You’re not half the man he is, Wheatley.”

“Hit a nerve I see. I knew you were feisty underneath that calm, composed, indifferent exterior. Well, I think you need to rest some more before Elliot arrives and I’m quite tired of talking at the moment.”

Wheatley reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a cloth. Before Olivia knew it, he was grabbing the back of her head roughly and holding the cloth over her nose and mouth. She tried to resist as the panic swept over her, but it was useless. She slowly slipped back into the darkness.