Disclaimer- See first chapter…

The Ties That Bind Us – Chapter 2

Elliot stared at his partner for a long time, letting her words sink into his brain. "Olivia, I don't understand I thought your mother was…" He wasn't sure how the words would affect Olivia in her current state of mind so he let himself trail off, hoping for a better explanation.

"I know, but this letter…according to this letter Serena had a child before me." Olivia held the back of her hand to her eyes, hoping to clear away the fog her tears had left there. Listening to her own breath she became aware of her surroundings for the first time. She was collapsed on the bathroom floor of her precinct, with something warm on her shoulder. Stealing a look from behind her fingers she saw Elliot's thumb stroking her shoulder in a comforting gesture. If only he would…

'Benson…he's trying to comfort you for God's sake!' Olivia chastised herself for the dark thoughts that ran through her mind as she stared at his hand. Lately, it was becoming harder and harder to push her dreams out of her head no matter how ridiculous they were. "It all took me by surprise…I mean who would have ever thought that I would have a sister." Her voice started to trail as her emotions threatened to overcome her logical mind again. "One who was…normal." She felt the hand tighten on her shoulder and she immediately regretted the words that had spilled over. Trying to salvage it, Olivia mustered the most convincing laugh she could. "Damnit, Stabler I need a vacation. This is great news and I here I am losing it." She chuckled as she rose, praying her legs would support her. His hand was still on her, now moving to her back to support her. "Hey, this is the ladies room you know."

Elliot gritted his teeth but gave Olivia the best smile he could. It killed him inside to know that even after her passing, Serena Benson could still torment her daughter. He reluctantly took his hand away from her and she started to tease him about barging into the woman's bathroom. "Yeah, yeah well you are my partner you know. I think the Captain wanted to see us so…whenever you feel up to it, I'll be waiting for you in his office. She sent him a dazzling smile that nearly broke something inside of him and he quickly turned and left her the privacy she needed before it registered on his face.

"Benson, you feeling alright?" Elliot had only briefly mentioned Olivia's ordeal when he strode into his office and already he had to pull out his licorice to keep his cool. Over the years Cragen had thought of Olivia as his own daughter in some regards, the thought of her in more unneeded emotional pain struck a chord deep inside of him. She nodded and accepted the offered candy and leaned against the wall next to Elliot. "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but we just caught something off of homicide. It seems some nut artist is using human beings as his canvas." Elliot crossed his arms in front of him and waited for this sick twist that tagged almost every crime they were assigned. "Look, I can't really give you a description of the twisted stuff this guy is into so you better head down to Warner's and see for yourselves." Captain Cragen handed over a folder that looked like it was ready to burst and nodded them out the door. "Time is a factor here, we do not want this freak striking again."

Knife against flesh is so perfect. Like an artist I create the portrait of pain, her blood swells to bring the color to stain her porcelain skin. This is better; her perfection was sickening, drove me to madness every night…now I have found my sweet release.


The rest of the note has been torn away so Elliot tossed the evidence bag back on the steel worktable in Warner's office. "So what, this guy fancies himself some sort of artist against women, carving them up then raping them?" Elliot grimaces as he glanced back at the body of a woman in her late twenties, or so it looked, that was now lying on the table next to him.

"Hard to say, the note is a bit misleading. It's like his justification for what he's done to the women he has 'worked' on." Warner kept her eyes on the note as the corners of her mouth tightened. Her eyes betrayed her stiff composure; there was something that would not leave her tongue, something that turned her stomach.

Olivia's eyes were still locked on the grotesque lines carved into the woman's skin. "How did you get the note anyhow, shouldn't it been included with the report?" Olivia bent down to get a closer look at the woman's neck while awaiting the doctor's response.

"Yes, you're right but I just found it. The note was inside the body, he peeled back the skin he cut right along the torso and placed it against the muscle there. The rest of the note wasn't wrapped in plastic so I'm assuming it dissolved in all the blood or is still missing. This guy is sick, not only did he do a number carving her up but take a look at this." Warner pulled a lamp closer and held a magnifier over one of the woman's eyelids. "This guy took out her eyes then took the time out of his busy night to sew them up."

The lines at the corners of Elliot's mouth were still present after they had climbed into the Sedan. "Liv, are you okay?" He was still worried about her, and all this chaos with a murderer/rapist had left them no time to talk.

Olivia felt her eyes searching her partner's face; his worry for her was overwhelming for a moment. "Yes, I'm fine. According to that letter she wants to meet sometime in the near future, although with this case now I don't think that's going to happen." She sighed heavily as her emotions weighed heavily on her. If the case wasn't enough, Olivia now had a whole new life to worry about.

Reaching past the armrest, Elliot took her cold hand into his own. "Don't worry Benson, everything will be alright." She smiled softly at him and he started the car hoping a lead was waiting for them back at the office.

Author's Note – I put this chapter up in a hurry and I apologize for the mess. I imagined some angry readers at the edge of their seats, so I squeezed in a few more moments to write another chapter. Anyhow, I ran through and made a few things clearer…I know its still sort of a mess but please bear with me.