Chapter Four

The meeting had ended over twenty minutes ago. For the most part, the office had cleared out. Jack was still sitting in his seat in front of Branch's desk. Alex was still tentatively lingering behind. She did not really know how to think. She had never known Abbie, but clearly this was affecting Jack. As his friend, she felt she should do something. She just didn't know what. She knew the book part of being a lawyer. The emotional parts were harder.

"Are you ok?" she asked as she moved closer to Jack's chair. Branch was not in the office. He was talking to Tracey and Kelly about the case. Talking or calming them down. Alex was not entirely sure.

"No," Jack replied somberly. "I'm not." How could be ok with all of this? It still seemed to unreal. It was as if he was living a nightmare. A bad nightmare. He knew her. Even after she left, the two of them have been exchanging e-mails. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on in her life. Quite the contrary. She was getting what she wanted. Jack was pretty sure she mentioned an engagement, or at least the likely possibility of one. That was only two days ago. He was unaware that she was even in the city. He kept coming back to the question of how could this have all happened.

Alex began twisting her hands nervously.

"Don't stay because of me," Jack told her as he finally looked up and acknowledged her presence. "It's getting late, and you have to be in court tomorrow. I'm not going to be there."

"Understandable. Take all the time you need. I can handle it." I think.

"I know," Jack said simply. "Now, go. I think I'm going to talk to Tracey and Branch. See how we're handling this." He stood up, took in a deep breath, and began walking towards the hallway. He opened the door and let his co-worker out.

Once she had exited, Jack quickly walked out of the office and down towards Tracey's. Alex followed at a slower pace. Lingering outside Tracey's office was Kelly. Judging by the look on the blonde ADA's face, Kelly felt just as out of place as Alex.

"I take it you didn't know her either," Alex said as she approached Kelly.

Kelly nodded. "I started here when Jack was working with Serena. I only know what Tracey told me about her."

"Why would someone do something like that?" Alex asked. She shuddered slightly. "What about us? How many ADAs are killed each year?"

Kelly did not know what to say. Alex was new to the office. Kelly could only presume what stories she had read in the paper regarding previous ADA homicides. The only one that happened during her time there was Alex Cabot. But that was when she was new. She only knew about Cabot's homicide because of Tracey's deep connection to the late ADA. There must have been other homicides. Carega, she recalled.

"We'll find who did this," Kelly found herself saying as a calming mechanism both for herself and for Alex.

"Arthur, no one wants to win this case more than I do," Jack insisted. "Come on. Abbie and I worked together for three years. I know her best, and I can't fathom why someone would want her dead. I just want a conviction for the guy who did this."

Tracey turned to him. "And you're implying that I can't get that?" she asked him seriously. "I've been here almost as long as you have," she reminded him.

Branch shook his head at them. "You're both working this case," he said seriously. "Jack, I'll let you first chair, but Tracey will step up if she feels you're getting too emotional towards the case. Are we clear?"

The two ADAs glanced at each other. This should not be a power struggle. It was supposed to be about getting justice for their friend. Finally, they nodded. "We're good."