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Goren and Eames investigate a kidnapping and bomb threat that may be tied together with a group of Hudson University students. The investigation is derailed when Goren is shot.

I envision this taking place sometime during Season 6.

Chapter 1

"Darrell is the key to this whole thing, I guarantee it," Bobby said as he popped up out of his chair and began pacing back and forth. He rubbed at his chin several times as he walked, finally turning to Eames, waving his index finger in her general direction. "All we need is a little more evidence and we can get him and his rich friends off the streets. We just need that one . . . something . . . that ties everything up in a neat package." What am I missing?

Eames rolled her eyes and sighed loudly, mostly for Bobby's benefit. She shook her head as she watched Bobby start pacing again. He was driving himself crazy over yet another case. She wasn't sure he hadn't been up here all night sifting through the evidence gathered so far. He didn't look as if he'd shaved or slept and he'd barely eaten three bites at lunch. The case had been hanging over their heads for over a month, so it was inevitable. It was time to close this case.

It had actually begun almost six weeks ago with the kidnapping of a twelve-year-old girl. Her parents were financially well off, but far from rich, and the ransom had been a moderate 250,000 dollars. The family had quickly paid it and the girl was safely returned, frightened but unharmed, before the family contacted the authorities. Once the girl had been returned, the family called authorities in the hope that now they would now investigate and get not only the kidnappers but the return of the ransom money. Unfortunately, there was little to go on, and what evidence had been found was tainted or useless by the time the FBI and NYPD was informed. The case came to NYPD's Major Case at the special request of the Mayor, who had received a rather large donation from the girls' grandfather during his last bid for re-election.

A seemingly unconnected bomb threat followed a week later, targeting a diplomatic conference of international speakers at the convention center. Bobby had been able to connect the two events based on the partial description from one of the security guards at the convention center and the description given by the young kidnap victim. The threat had been just that, no explosive devises were found, leading to speculation that the incident had actually been a test of the response by the federal and local authorities.

Then, a second kidnapping came two weeks after the bomb threat. The sixteen-year-old daughter of a real estate developer was taken from a classmate's birthday party at a local country club. The parents called in the FBI immediately, who in turn had alerted NYPD. Even though the ransom drop failed to take place, the girl had shown up at a bus station outside the city just where the kidnappers had said she would, once the ransom was paid. This time the girl had been beaten. She was told to tell the authorities the beating was payment her family not following their instructions and bringing in the FBI and NYPD, and for the bungled drop off of the ransom money.

But the second kidnapping had yielded a starting place. From talking to the girl, they had were able to find the old, abandoned house she'd been kept in. The kidnappers were prepared and careful. The house had been torched a few hours before CSU teams reached the site. Kerosene and gasoline had been a very effective accelerant – the only item surviving the fiery inferno was a rare and expensive watch found wedged between a countertop and an old refrigerator in the kitchen. Protected by the huge appliance, it received minimal damage.

Once again, Bobby's attention to detail and incredible memory had provided them with a lead. Bobby sat staring at the watch that had been found, flipping it over repeatedly while he mumbled to himself, trying to remember why the watch seemed familiar. The watch… a suspect… an interview... about WHAT?

Eames had watched him, fascinated despite herself, as he questioned himself about why the wristwatch looked so familiar. Then, he'd jumped up and announced to no one in particular, "That's it." He ran to his desk and pulled out his copies of notes taken during an interview from almost a year ago.

"See, Eames, here… in my notes. ..."air of privilege, condescending, flippant"... 'Vacheron & Constantin 18K gold wrist watch' (vintage, circa 1959 - Today's value 8000.) "I had to look up the date of the last part of the information, but it's the same watch. Now, why would someone leave a watch like this behind? It's rare, very distinctive. If it's seen, it's going to be remembered. The watch had to have been left there for a reason. To implicate someone else? Throw suspicion on one of the crew? Whatever the reason, it was no accident. How or why it was left behind?"

Bobby had first noticed the watch during an interview with Chase Hayden, the son of CEO, Scott Hayden of Hayden Industries. They interview had taken place during the investigation in the death of an undercover ATF agent. Hayden Industries had been implicated in the smuggling of weapons to drug dealers in South America. Eventually every lead the department had, dried up and nothing had come of either case, neither the NYPD nor ATF had been able to discover a likely suspect in the murder case. After the death of their agent, the ATF's case against Hayden had come to a dead end also.

Now, in this case, Scott Hayden had immediately hired the prestigious law firm of Hastings & Janofsky to run interference for Chase. The family, insisted the watch must have been stolen several months earlier when their East Hampton home had been broken into, even while pointing out there was no way to be sure the watch they now had in evidence had ever belonged to Chase Hayden. The home had been broken into, a police report at the time confirmed this, although the watch hadn't been listed as part of the insurance settlement.

During the investigation into this lastest series of related event the detectives discovered that Chase Hayden, now a senior at Hudson University, was a part of a group of super-rich college boys that ran wild, according to the other students and several of the faculty. The group comprised of four young men included, Chase Hayden, Thomas Keller, Connor Jameson and Kylan Jensen and they viewed themselves as privileged and elite. (Something that Goren had sensed earlier in Hayden). As a group were rude and disrespectful to the professors and staff, terrorized other students and cheated on just about every exam or quiz. Grades and education appeared meaningless to this crowd as was responsibility for their actions. They had been caught vandalizing school property once, but a sizable contribution from several of the parents had the Dean of Students rescind his decision for disciplinary action at the school and the charges of vandalism being dropped against the young men.

The more the detectives looked at the young men, the more convinced they became that the group, known as the Group of Four was responsible for the two abductions and bomb threat as well as a rash of burglaries in the area. Eames had been able to get several leads linking the group to the series of burglaries, but nothing that would stand up in court. So far, they didn't have enough to convince the DA to go to the grand jury. The phalanx of H&J lawyers circling the Hayden family was now effectively hamstringing the detective's efforts. The other three families had lawyers waiting in the wings, if needed.

Bobby maintained they were still missing the big picture. He was convinced that none of the boys was smart enough or organized enough to have come up with the intricate plan necessary to execute the kidnappings. They were still looking for someone more disciplined and focused. They had finally discovered there was one low-key and often forgotten member of the group who didn't seem to fit in. He was at Hudson on a full academic scholarship, his family wasn't wealthy and he kept his ties to the Group of Four very low profile. Darrell Griffith, was actually the fifth member of the group. He was a year older than the other boys, but only in his Junior year. Griffith was a Criminal Justice major and classmates in his Criminology classes described him as smart, quiet, and intense. Unfortunately, the detectives had been unable to locate Darrell so that they could interview him. They were planning on going back out to the university this afternoon, they had an appointment set up with several of Griffith's professors.

"Goren, Eames!"

The two detectives looked up as Captain Ross approached and handed Eames his scribbled jottings. "Another bomb threat was just called in, this time it's at the Federal Express distribution center at 34th Street and 11th Avenue."

Goren and Eames were already headed for the door when Ross yelled after them, "Vests! Both of you. No jumping the gun, here. Let ESU do their thing and stay out of their way."