Bedelia sat on her living room couch, blank and staring at nothing as many different people milled about, chatting on radios, or else with each other as they decided to decide how it would be best to go about looking for and rescuing Amanda and Maggie Blue.
She'd recovered from her collapsing, and Carisi had even made her a cup of tea, but she just held the mug in one hand, while with the other, she kept it clamped over her midriff, channeling her energy into thinking about the tiny, beautiful, innocent life that was growing away in her womb without a care in the world.
What would her new baby be like?
Would he or she be fierce and protective like her, or dangerous and full of anger, like Odis Lee?
Would he or she be strong and unwavering like Amanda?
Wild and crazy, but still good-hearted, like Kim?
Or would he or she be compassionate and full of nothing but love, like Maggie Blue?
Or would the little one just be normal and silly, like Leon?
Would the child be born healthy like Amanda, Kim, and Leon were, or would she have another child with special needs, like Maggie Blue?
Would the baby be another carbon copy of her, like Amanda, Maggie Blue, and Leon, or would he or she look like Odis Lee, the way that Kim did?
And would she have a second son, or a fourth daughter?
Already, she was hoping for a daughter, because even though she loved all of her children equally, she just didn't know if she could handle having a son that looked like Odis Lee.
Was this the struggle that Serena Benson had had to go through when she realized she was pregnant with Olivia?
How she wished Serena was still alive so she could ask her.
Suddenly, there was movement beside her, so she reached out and caught the other person by the arm.
"Olivia, wait." she said.
Olivia sat back down and turned her attention to her friend. "What is it?"
"Where are Nick, Audrey, and Alex? Queens?"
"Alex bundled Noah up and took him with her, so they could be with Nick; she volunteered to help keep him sane and the kids asleep. I got a text from Alex after they settled in that said Audrey was already there because Nick called her and asked her to come."
"I need to see them."
"Okay. We can arrange for someone to take you and Leon out there. Bedelia?"
For all of a sudden, Bedelia was overcome with only the kind of sick dread a mother could get when worrying about one of her children.
"Have you heard from Kim?"
Olivia was taken aback. "Not recently, no. Why?"
Just then, Carisi approached the duo, still holding Leon, who was now fast asleep again. Bedelia put her drink down and reached for Leon, having the energy to be attentive to him again. She gave her sleeping son kisses when he was in her arms again, and Leon grinned broadly as he slept on.
Meanwhile, Olivia spoke to her detective when she she realized he had something to say.
"Cough it up, Carisi. This is no time for beating around the bush."
The young man spoke nervously, but mostly because Bedelia was beside Olivia, what he had to say concerned her. "I was just informed by the PD in Murray Hill that Kim was abducted from her rehab center earlier today."
Olivia's heart became doused in despair and even disbelief, while Bedelia became blank again.
"Olivia," Bedelia finally said after a few moments. "I loved my husband once, but not anymore, not after everything he's done now, capping it off by kidnapping all three of my daughters in a single night." (she let out a shaky breath as she realized the depth of what she had to say next) "My daughters have all met for the first time—I have no doubt that they're all together at the moment—and it wasn't even under happy circumstances; my husband robbed me of being able to see the girls' first meeting altogether."
"What are you saying?" Olivia asked cautiously.
"What I'm saying is that I'm finally throwing in the towel as far as my husband is concerned. If he goes to Riker's Island, even for life, I don't ever want to see him again, and if he dies tonight, then it's no less than what he deserves. I also refuse to go to any kind of burial, and my wishes are that the city cremates him."
"Alright. We'll keep that in mind." Olivia turned from her to Carisi. "Bedelia really wants to go to Nick and Amanda's house to be with the others. Alex is there with Noah, and she's helping Nick look after the kids. Audrey is there, too. Will you drop them off, please?"
"You got it." he said seriously. "Anything else?"
"Come back to the precinct when you're done."
While Carisi occupied himself with his beset task, Olivia cleared Bedelia's apartment of the extra people, all of whom vacated very quickly.
That just left her with Fin and Melinda.
Being able to read Olivia like a book after all these years, Fin asked her, "And we're going back to the station, huh?"
"Yes." Olivia turned to Melinda. "And nobody is dead, so far as I know, but you might as well come, too, since already showed up with Odafin."
Something in the way Olivia said her detective's real name caused the man in question to stop in his tracks as he stood next to his companion and began shuffling his feet. The action forcibly reminded Olivia of Noah when she would catch him being naughty.
"How long have you two been together?" Olivia asked, hands on her hips.
Fin hung his head, unable to deny that the cat was out of the bag while Melinda said without any preamble, "Since about the time we found Maggie Blue and Frannie Mae in the park."
"This means Alex owes me a hundred bucks, but congrats, you two." Olivia told her friends. "And next time you try to hide something from me, try harder—I started suspecting the day of."
And with that, Olivia sauntered away from the lovebirds and to the front door, leaving the other two to stare after her.
178 North Street
When Olivia, Fin, and Melinda arrived back at SVU, they were surprised to see that Casey, Barba, George, and even Trevor were waiting for them by Olivia's office. For them.
Not even questioning how they'd all known to show up, Olivia opened up her office and turned on the light, soon sitting beside the eight-and-a-half month pregnant Casey, who had immediately taken the couch, and in spite of the situation, had the appearance of being disgruntled about something.
"What's wrong?" Olivia wanted to know. "You're on maternity leave, last I checked, and your baby is due any day now."
"I know, I know." Casey blew out a breath and rubbed her swollen middle vigorously as Mìa kicked nonstop. "Amanda is my friend, and so is Bedelia, but even with you, me, Rafael, Fin, Melinda, Trevor, and George all here, and the stakes are all this high, there are still two people missing."
Olivia made the connection immediately and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Oh, don't say it."
"Do what you have to, but for the love of God, take backup."
Casey let out a whine. "But I just sat down!"
Olivia looked at Barba, who was watching them closely. "Help her stand. You guys can take the kitchen."
Barba did as Olivia instructed, and when he steadied Casey, the redhead hung her head and sighed.
"Come on, Raf—it's time to play a special edition of my favorite game." she said sarcastically.
Only because of the lateness of the hour, Barba felt confused. "And what game would that be?"
"Casey Wakes A Judge."
Olivia quipped, "And Acacia is just so good at this game—I've seen her play it time and again, but never with two judges."
On her way out with Barba in tow, Casey called, "Shut up, Liv!"
"Anybody want to fill in the blanks?" Trevor asked when they had gone.
"Casey is going to call Donnelley and Petrovsky—they've always been in our corner."
"I would call them," George chimed in. "But they just don't like me because of how often we've butted heads over the years."
Melinda watched Olivia and she moved from the couch to her desk and sat down at it.
"What do we do now?" the medical examiner inquired. "Three of Bedelia Rollins' children have been taken in a single night, and whatever is happening, I have a feeling that this is the final showdown."
"I couldn't agree more." Olivia said as she began rifling through the papers on her desk for something in particular. "It's definitely all hands on deck now, and I hate to say it, but I need all of you to hang tight."
"Why?" Trevor asked. "And what are you looking for?"
"The piece of paper I wrote the information for Kim Rollins' rehab center on—got it!"
She propped the paper against the phone cradle and put her glasses on.
Feeling everybody's eyes on her as she picked up the phone and began to dial, she added, "This has been a hell of a day, and from the sound of it, it sounds like Kim has been gone for awhile; I'm going to call the rehab center to find out why it took them so long it took them to report her missing!"
2266 Azalea Street
Forest Hills, Queens
Though Bedelia was no closer to having her daughters back in her arms, she still felt safe at the house in Queens with Nick, Audrey, Frannie Mae, and all of the little kids.
She knew perfectly well that this was where Amanda had been taken from, but when she saw uniforms clearing out and driving away as Carisi pulled the car into the driveway, she had a feeling that Odis Lee wasn't going to be fool enough to come back. She was also sure that Odis Lee was using their daughters as bait to get her to come look for him, but she was still had one—no, two more children to protect.
After Carisi saw her and Leon inside, and after he sent Olivia a text that everything was good and that he was on his way back to work, Bedelia thanked him. She was fast becoming friends with Carisi, and she found him as genuine and charming as he was helpful. He was like a little brother.
Audrey saw Carisi out of the house and then took Leon to the sitting room with her while Bedelia put her things away. When she arrived to where the others were, she saw Audrey sitting in an armchair, holding Leon and rocking hime gently in her arms as he she shifted in his sleep. He settled quickly when Audrey got him out of his traveling clothes and swaddled him in a warm baby blanket. Looking around, however, Bedelia soon realized that Leon was the only child in the room, deducing that Zara, Noah, Lilyjoy, and Rubyjane were all asleep in the bedrooms.
That being said, other than Frannie Mae, who was camped out on the couch and laying down with her head resting against Alex's baby belly, Bedelia also realized that Leon was the only other occupant of the sitting room that was reasonably calm.
Everyone else was on edge: Alex and Nick had been bickering, and Alex, in her loyalty to Olivia, was opposing what Nick was proposing. On the other hand, Nick was (almost vehemently) opposing Alex's words, although from where Bedelia stood, it sounded like Alex was looking out for Nick, with the concern of a sibling.
"What's happening?" Bedelia asked.
Nick and Alex paused in their tiff to greet Bedelia.
Nick even gave her a hug and said, "Why don't you come with Alex?"
"Nice try." Bedelia replied. "Why are you and Alex bickering?"
"She means well, but when I told her that I want to help out at the precinct right now, she put her foot down."
Bedelia nodded in acknowledgement and looked at the other person involved. "Alexandra?"
Immediately squirming in her seat because the only people older than her who called her by her actual name were her fiancée, or else the more distinguished judges she encountered at work, Alex blurted, "Nick is as good as my big brother, and he's close with Olivia—I would be remiss because of those relationships, and as a friend, if I let him go in to a situation where a madman is on the loose!"
"That is very fair, and your concern is valid." Bedelia said that in a calm tone, having years of experience of breaking up Amanda's and Kim's fights before casting a look at the other person who was watching them. "Audrey, do you have anything that you want to add?"
"Oh, I'm staying out of this one." she said quickly. "The children have already been at it for twenty minutes."
Taking that in stride, Bedelia moved back to Nick. "You really want to go and help, huh?"
"Yes, and I appreciate Alex's concern, but I'm not about to fall apart, not when I can help."
Bedelia raised an eyebrow, questioning him further. "Are you sure you're not going to flip out when you get there?"
"I'm very sure, and Olivia wouldn't hesitate to kick my ass if I did."
"But you'll be on your best behavior?"
Nick was actually dressed to hit the road, keys in hand. Literally.
"I give you my word that I will be."
Bedelia straightened Nick's jacket collar and began brushing imaginary wrinkles from it. "My children—all of them—are the best and most beautiful accomplishments of my life, Nicolas, and I know that you understand that because you fell in love with my oldest child and started a family with her."
"Amanda is the absolute love of my life, and I would do anything for her, Kim, Maggie, or Leon because she has shown me time and again over the years that no matter what your family looks like or how big it is, family always takes care of family. Let me go, and I'll bring your daughters back."
Nick spoke with such sincerity that Bedelia gave a warm hug and when she pulled away, said, "Take care of yourself, but go look for my babies and bring them back to me so I can give them kisses. Audrey, Alex, and I will hold the fort down and look after the kids."
"Thank you, Bedelia. I'll be back before you know it."
As Amanda, Kim, and Maggie Blue slept, all three of them eventually started having nightmares, making them almost thankful for an abrupt wakeup call, unpleasant as it was.
"What is that?" Kim asked as they listened to someone coming in to the front part of their dwelling. "It sounds like daddy came back."
Amanda pulled Maggie Blue into her arms to keep her safe, saying, "Yes, but he sounds like he's got someone with him!"
"NO! DO NOT TOUCH HER—JUST LET HER GO AND TAKE ME! PLEASE!"
Amanda's heart jumped when she heard the voice because she recognized it.
But how could this be?
Amanda didn't have time to ponder the question any further because the door opened, and though her father stood in the doorway, it was to give a shove to the person in his company because she had fallen to her knees as she continued to plead with him for mercy.
When Amanda turned her lamp and shone it in the direction of the newcomer, her heart took an express elevator to the floor.