Disclaimer: The only parts of Law & Order: Criminal Intent I own are the Seasons 1 and 3 DVDs, though I'd love to own more, coughBobbycough- anywho, It all belongs to Dick Wolf who graciously lets me borrow them under the assumption that I won't have too much fun (but what fun would that be?)…

A quick little story before I launch you into Robert Goren's next latest/greatest adventure! (I lie). So, recently my dog had to have dental surgery, and because of the nature of his wounds, they were unable to sew up all of the holes where they had to pull teeth- anywho, you know that shakey thing dogs do- slobber, legs, and ears flopping and flying. Well, my dog still does that, only blood was added to the mix of slobber. So, he shook out a few times during the night and voila! Blood spatter on my wall! Shortly before my dog's blood spatter producing surgery, my brother was a witness to a grass fire near our house. Due to unfortunate circumstances, he was suspected of starting the fire. So, the local fire marshal came, read him his rights, interviewed him, and had him write a statement! So, the whole of all of this produced the coolest thing for a Law and Order freak- there was blood spatter on my wall, my brother was Mirandized, and there was an unmarked government vehicle in my driveway! How cool is that! (You'll all be happy to know that my brother was cleared and charges were never filed…but I did have to clean up the blood spatter off of my wall, it was starting to smell…)

Chapter 1

Bobby kissed Alex again and she kissed him back. She wanted to hold on to him. Never let him go.

She knew they could never be together openly and still keep their jobs. They had come dangerously close to separation only days before. Deakins had given them an ultimatum of sorts: keep your partnership and stop seeing each other, or well, the opposite. They understood that they couldn't work without the other, they just couldn't. So, a little hesitantly they had decided to stay together at work, and see how things went. They could always change their minds later…

His hands tightened around her waist as he buried his nose in her neck. Oh, but I don't want to choose one or the other. And your back has to be hurtin' hunched over like that. I'm not exactly tall…

"Bobby," she finally said. He grumbled. "Bobby, we were told one or the other-" Alex was struggling for words.

"And yet…" he whispered as he worked his way across her jaw to her mouth. He was absolutely right. They had been given a choice and once again found a way around it. Damn him! Why does he always have to be right?

"Damnit!" she shouted as she pushed Bobby away. She inched around him out of the corner to the coffee table where her cell phone sat ringing. She was still breathing heavily when she answered, "Eames." There was a pause. "Wha- oh, treadmill… Alright, I'll call him… Bye."

Bobby was looking at her; his hair was a complete scruffy disaster.

"Deakins wants me to come in, I'm supposed to pick you up on the way."

"You do have the car."

"Well you'd better have the coffee ready when I get there," she replied. Bobby smiled adoringly at her.

One Police Plaza

Alex and Bobby stepped out of the elevator onto the 11th floor, rounded the corner, and headed towards Deakins' office.

"You rang?" asked Alex.

"What did you find at the Crime Scene?"

"Nothing new, same as the other 2. It fits the MO perfectly. Victim was shot from behind through the chest at their home, violin was gone, and the practice area was neatly arranged as with the previous 2 Victims. The only difference is that this violin was German and not French," said Bobby.

"A violin is a violin. This guy could be stealing them and selling them off," replied Deakins.

"Not necessarily. French Instruments and German instruments have distinctly different sounds. If our guy were in a theft racket of some sort why would he switch the style of instrument… No…The killer targeted these women for a reason. They were in their mid 30's, violins from the same era, the 2 Frenchies in a row were a rues. The person who did this knows the instruments, and knows the culture of an orchestra. Why else would they have arranged the practice area in the crime scene like they did? Everything was arranged to look like life was normal, but the instrument was gone. This guy wanted to snatch the music from these women. The question is why."

"Whoa, slow down there. Don't get all philosophical just yet. Find the guy first, then ask all of your fancy questions. Start with the orchestra, interview as many people as you have to. You say this guy knew his victims-"


Deakins nodded to himself. "Then start with the people who knew them."

"The orchestra," Alex finished.

"The orchestra," repeated Bobby. They left Deakins' office and headed back to their desks.

"Hey Goren," said Deakins.


"A word."

Bobby walked back into Deakins' office…this time without Alex. "What's got you so fired up? You know practically nothing about this case and you're already on one of your tangents."


"There's nothing to be sorry about, I was just curious. You and Eames seem to have recovered pretty well."

"We try, sir."

"Yah, I bet you do," he mumbled. "Well, alright. Get going with those interviews. And try and use your adrenaline to get this solved quickly."

"Will do, sir."

Bobby walked back to his desk. "What was that about?" asked Alex.

"Deakins thinks I have an extra spring in my step," said Bobby grinning. Alex laughed and reached for the orchestra roster on his desk.

"Oh great. 100 little cross breeding tortured artists."

Bobby automatically responded, "They're not all tortured ar- Wait…" He looked up at her.

"Don't look so happy," she said, though her words belied her expression.