Chapter Eight: Bail Out
"That's a trophy wife," muttered Frost, looking at Jennifer Bayless applying her lipstick in the interrogation room.
"That's a lanka," Korsak corrected, causing both Jane and Frost to stare at him. "You don't know what a lanka is? Man you've never been married." After a moment, Korsak added, "Second Mrs. Korsak," and Jane ohhhhed silently in understanding.
On the other hand, Maura looked even more confused, "Lanka is another name for Sri Lanka, and it means 'respected island.' Are you trying to imply that your ex-wife was a respectable woman? Or perhaps that she was a fierce and mighty warrior?"
Both Jane and Korsak sighed. "A lanka," explained Korsak, "Is a kind of witchy woman. The sort that trick you into a relationship that seems all pure and laid back, but really they just want your soul. And they dress like that." He pointed through the window.
Jennifer Bayless was dressed like a slutty version of Maura. The clothes were tight, hugging her in all the right places, but in the totally wrong way. Jane and Frost tilted their heads identically, trying to size her up. "She'll fold like a cheap suit," decided Jane. "Frost, go for it."
The others waited while Frost went into the room.
There was no swagger in his step as Frost tossed a folder onto the table. "Mrs. Bayless," he said, grimly, sitting down. "You're facing multiple felony counts," Frost started, keeping the actual charges vague. "We have evidence your truck was used to transport a body from a crime scene, change his clothes, and dump the body in a public place."
Squirming a little in her seat, Jennifer Bayless looked away. "I didn't do anything," she said breathily. "You can ask my coworkers, we were at work late finishing up for year-end. It was an all-nighter."
Frost hmmed softly and opened the folder. "Your coworkers? The ones who said you left the all-nighter at 1am when your boyfriend stopped by?"
The woman started. "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm married." She flashed the rather large ring.
"That's right. You're married to Greg Bayless, out of work since April 2010. A year and a half, how've you been holding up?"
Jennifer's eyes narrowed. "We make do. Tighten our belts."
Frost's grim smile extended and he tossed a print up over to Mrs. Bayless. "I didn't know shopping at high end stores counted as belt-tightening."
They both looked at the expenses from her credit card. "I'm helping the economy," she offered, her voice quavering.
Jane grinned and whispered. "Push it, Barry. Get her on the ropes."
"The economy," drawled Frost. "Right. The economy. You got your husband a brand new truck to help the economy?" That was right, assured Jennifer. "And you run errands for your boss, picking up all sorts of personal items, for the economy?" Again, she said this was so. "So, what errand were you running between one o'clock and two-twenty-five in the morning last Tuesday?"
Pursing her lips in an attempt to be coquettish, Jennifer hesitated. "He needed a clean suit."
"Your boss normally call you up in the middle of the night for clothes? He must pay you extra." Frost flipped through his pages. "Looks like he pays you a lot more for data entry than everyone else. You must be pretty impressive. How many words per minute do you average?" No answer. Frost let the line play out, asking more and more detailed questions about the job Jennifer supposedly did. No answer.
Behind the glass, Jane and Korsak were grinning ear to ear. Maura looked concerned. "Shouldn't she ask for a lawyer?" Both detectives shot her with a glare. "What? She has the right to an attorney."
"Hey, Dr. Death, I don't tell you how to do your job!" snapped Jane, her eyes sparkling with delight. Holding up her hands in defense, Maura said nothing further, but tacitly acknowledged Jane's points, won by having a reasonable excuse to call her by her faux-gang name, Dr. Death.
Frost, ignorant of all this chatter, scratches his chin. "Okay, so where did you take these clothes on Tuesday?" No answer, again, and Frost made a note. "You know your car has GPS." He slid a blue, folded, paper over to her. "This is a warrant for your car, including a download of said GPS data." Jennifer's eyes locked onto the paper, widening. "There's a bus, Mrs. Bayless. You can get on it, or it can run you over."
With one, perfectly manicured finger, Jennifer slid the warrant over to look at. "I didn't do anything wrong," she whispered.
"Your husband's truck is being paid for by electronic bill-pay from your personal checking account." Frost was cool as ice and Jennifer stared at the table top. "Care to revise your statement?"
Voice low and pained, Jennifer Bayless asked the obvious: "How many times can I do that?" Frost help up one finger. Instead of calling for a lawyer, Jennifer did exactly what Jane had predicted. She folded and gave an address. "It's another one of Blake's houses. He owns four for sale."
"There is a bus," Frost said, taking it all home at last, just like Mama taught him. Well, just like Rizzoli taught him. "You can either be on it, or under it." Sliding over a blank yellow pad and a pen, he added, "Write down everything."
One of the best parts of her job was storming the castle. Jane slapped the warrant down on the secretary's desk. "Blake Sanden," she said clearly, fighting to keep the smirk off her face.
The secretary looked at the paper, without opening it, and picked up the phone. "Mr. Sanden's in a conference with clients. Let me just call our lawyer -"
Korsak reached over and pressed the button in the cradle of the phone, hanging up for her. "Sure, call the lawyer. Where's Sanden?" Torn, the secretary pointed with her eyes to a room just past her. Always the fancy room right by the secretary. "Thanks, go make that call." And the detectives strode in.
If was the first time they'd had chance to meet Blake Sanden. Up until now, his relationship to the case was peripheral. The owner of a house where arson had occurred, with an airtight alibi. The boss of an incompetent data-entry monkey, paid above her grade. Neither of these things were against the law. Unethical, certainly, but giving your mistress a pay raise under the guise of 'services rendered above and beyond the call of job description' (and by the way, ew!) wasn't illegal.
The man was big. He wasn't fat, really, but solid. A barrel of man, standing tall and firm, like the anchor of a ship. Steadfast. Jeeze, I bet Maura wouldn't have a thing to say against how he dresses, Jane thought, taking a moment to admire the man's attire. The suit was perfect. And looked in the same style as the ill-fitting one Marcus Jenkins had been dressed in.
"What's the meaning of all this?" he asked, pompously, his upper-crust Bostonian accent ringing off the walls.
"Blake Sanden, you're under arrest for obstruction of justice, illegal handling of human remains, and felony murder," announced Frost. They'd all agreed that since he broke Jennifer, the collar was rightly Barry's. "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be held against you in a court of law." With expertise born of years of practice, Frost twisted Sanden's arm up behind him and cuffed him. "You have the right to speak to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?"
Sanden spluttered, "This is preposterous! Call my lawyer," he shouted as they frog marched him out the door and past his secretary.
Dealing with the living was, perhaps, Maura's least favorite aspect of her job. It was stressful for her, especially in the realm of their emotions. She led the dead man's son, Lyle Jenkins, into the viewing gallery, along with Father Daniel Brophy. "Stand here," she suggested in what she hoped were suitably gentle tones. "I'll go into that room behind the glass, open the blinds, and you should be able to make the identification." She would not describe the autopsy process; the sheet would not be lowered enough to show the sewn Y-incision. She would not mention that she had shaved the dead man's face in order to enable recognition and to obtain trace evidence that might have been caught in what had been a substantial beard. Years of being a medical examiner had brought home the fact to her that no homeless, disenfranchised person's family wanted to really know how bad their relative's life had gotten without their help.
As she stepped away and into the room, Father Brophy placed a hand on the young man's shoulder. At twenty-three, he should not have had to identify his father's body. That should have happened when he was at least in middle age, if not older. "I'm here for you," said the distinguished-looking priest, and at his tone, Lyle Jenkins demonstrated the first evidence that he was not made of stone. Like so many bereaved who came through these doors, he was simply holding himself together. "Thanks."
The blinds opened. Maura now wore her scrub gown, and her hair in a ponytail. Father Brophy gave her a nod to indicate that he'd given minimal input to the son, assuring that he was in as good a frame of mind as a person could be for such a situation. Lyle didn't seem to even notice her. His eyes were fixed, as expected, upon the empty carcass that had once held, "Daddy." It was a whisper. His posture stiffened even as his face crumpled. Everything that he had looked up to as a child, everything that he had wanted to get a chance to fix and make right, was gone.
Back on the other side of the glass, Father Brophy guided Marcus Jenkins's son into an unused room, there to offer solace; and also the subtle suggestion that in addition to the murder charges that would be brought, there were grounds for a civil case as well. Those responsible could be brought to fuller account for their actions.
Legal requirement satisfied, identification made, Maura closed the blinds and sighed. It never got easier, watching the hope leave a face. I'm sorry. I wish it had been a stranger.
Even though he was in the interrogation room, with a lawyer, Blake Sanden kept arguing. "This is a violation of my civic rights! You can't arrest me in front of my clients on trumped up charges!"
Now it was Jane's turn to ride point. She threw pictures of the deceased Marcus Jenkins on the table, both pre and post autopsy. "Tell that to Marcus Jenkins."
The lawyer, a corporate fat cat, recoiled in horror. "Who's that?" asked Sanden, his tone imperious.
"The man who died in your house fire," Jane replied, her own voice dripping acid. As Sanden objected that no one had been found in the house, she plowed on. "No, not in the house. Marcus Jenkins managed to get out, but passed out from smoke inhalation. We already have Greg Bayless in custody, Mr. Sanden, and his wife. They rolled on you like a cheap suit, the irony of which you will shortly be able to admit you appreciate," she grinned.
"Want me to explain?" asked Jane, standing up with the folder in hand. "I have a CEO with a mistress, who has a house he can't sell. His mistress has a husband out of work, so she's willing to bend her wedding vows for some bad sex and a raise." Sanden spluttered again but Jane kept going, "Don't stop me unless I've got this wrong, Mr. Sanden. You did take Greg Bayless, and his wife, out to dinner. A private dinner at Mistral? We have that on your credit card, with triple your normal charges. Looks like dinner for three, wouldn't you say?"
Now Sanden's mouth snapped shut, and his lawyer delicately flipped the photos of Jenkins over. "Mr. Sanden will admit to the affair with Mrs. Bayless. But there's nothing illegal about an affair, nor in taking your mistress out to dinner." The lawyer made no attempt to explain why Greg Bayless had been in attendance.
Jane shook her head, "No, nothing illegal, though I'm pretty sure the SEC will have some questions to Anchor's hiring and pay practice when they see just how much extra Mrs. Bayless is paid compared to her coworkers. Oh, and they all said they knew about the affair. Something of an open secret, eh Blakey?"
As Sanden's face turned violet with fury, Jane fought a smile. "She can't talk to me like this," he erupted, shouting at his lawyer.
"Oh I can, Blake. Because I've got you on a red light camera, on the Concord Turnpike, at a quarter after midnight on Tuesday." Jane tossed a picture, clearly showing his license plate. "You should see the video. You're not a good driver, Mr. Sanden. Must be that chauffeur you use all the time."
I think Maura would call that face apoplectic with rage, Jane mused, as Sanden roared his wrath upon her. She waited till he stopped denigrating the police force before continuing. "GPS on your car, too, by the way, places you at one of your other 'for sale' houses. Same location as Mrs. Bayless. Want to explain that?"
While the lawyer insisted Sanden didn't have to say anything, the rage-filled CEO ignored him. "We were having an affair," he shouted.
"With her husband's knowledge?"
"He knew -" Sanden stopped, abruptly, as if caught.
"He was there too, Mr. Sanden. "GPS and phone triangulation confirm it. You know, you really should have had him leave the phone at home. I mean, you were smart enough to get him a burner for your conversations, but we can still trace locations, even if you're not making calls."
While playing Detective Exposition wasn't her favorite thing, nailing assholes to the wall really was. "According to the Baylesses, Greg was hired by you to burn the house down. He says he broke the burglar alarm a month before the fire, which we confirmed with your security company. Then you waited until, finally, the homeless moved in to make a little bad-weather nest." She tossed a photo down, of the burnt house. "Greg's going down for arson. He admitted to setting it, but he ratted you out for the planning."
"That's his word against mine," said Sanden, firmly. "There's no evidence tying me to any of this."
Another photo went down. This time of a suit, devoid of any human body, remains or otherwise, it looked like any other suit. "Did you know your legs are uneven, Mr. Sanden?" Atop the picture of a suit, Jane dropped the record of his measurements from the tailor at Brooks Brothers. "Your mistress isn't that smart. Good in the sack, probably, but if she'd had the brains, she wouldn't have needed to sleep with you to keep her job. That's your suit."
Sanden swallowed, once. "So she stole one of my suits, I'll fire her -"
That sentence didn't need completion. "Your suit had some trace evidence on it. Trace from the house where you and Greg Bayless washed and re-dressed a dead man. Trace we matched to the carpet fibers in your car. Evidence tying you to the scene of a crime, Mr. Sanden." Jane placed both hands on the table. "The bus has already pulled out and run you over, Blakey. Now we just get to see how far we drag you."
Sharing a look with his lawyer, Blake folded his arms and said nothing. "My client is invoking his right not to self-incriminate," wheezed his lawyer.
As Jane retold the tale to Maura, her energy had her all but bouncing off the walls. "I didn't even have to get to the part about how Frankie tracked the tarp down to one they left at Dewey Park," she beamed taking a pull off her celebratory beer at Maura's, ignoring the fact that Maura had seen the entire proceedings from behind the observation mirror and didn't actually need to be informed. "The Bayless couple are going to do some time, but Blakey-poo's going away for a lot longer."
"Blakey-poo?" asked Maura, dry irony dripping from her voice as she took the seat right next to her lover, wine glass in hand. "Suddenly I'm even gladder we agreed not to use pet names."
"Pissed him off, good. He almost forgot what he hired the lawyer for."
Jane felt justifiably cocky, and sat leaning as far back as the couch would let her, as if actually making room for a big, satisfied belly filled with the guilty party. She'd definitely eaten that guy for lunch. "When he found out his little mistress rolled on him, he turned purple."
"Yeah, Maura," Jane agreed, "but he started sweating and everything. It was great. He was -"
"Jane," Maura repeated as she started to chuckle. "I saw. You were brilliant. You had him by the... What is it?"
"Short and curlies."
"Those. And what a disgusting phrase, thank you." But she chuckled as she said it; she didn't mean it. Oh, it was disgusting, all right, but for some reason, Jane being disgusting - or, rather, calling attention to a perp's disgustingness - was kind of funny. She set down her wine glass. "You know, this calls for more than a celebratory beer." She stood, held out her hand until Jane surrendered her own bottle, then held out both hands until Jane took them. "Come on. Come with me."
Jane was not a great fool, and when her sexy girlfriend got that twinkly little smile on, she knew to come a-runnin'. "Ooh. Did you buy something new?" she asked, half nervous and more than half willing to just roll with it. Maura made excellent purchases, especially the ones she made online that came mailed in plain brown wrappers.
"... Yes," Maura said with a wink, "but that's not where we're going." Sure enough, instead of turning down the hallway to get to the bedroom she thought of as theirs, she turned the other way, guiding them down the hallway at the end of which were situated the guest rooms. When they reached the door to the smaller of the two guest rooms, she put her hand on the doorknob. "Close your eyes."
Jane balked. "Seriously?" They had rules, and one of them involved eyes.
"Close them, or I'll be forced to hold my hand over them instead."
Jane sighed, but closed her eyes. She heard the doorknob turn and the door swing open (no creaks - the hinges had been oiled recently - but a little brush of door against carpeting, and the cooler air of a room that had been closed. Jane let herself be led inside. "What are we doing?" she asked, trusting Maura, but wanting to know exactly which activity (activities?) to psyche up for. There was no answer. Tempted to open her eyes after all, Jane nevertheless kept them closed, sensing nothing but emptiness around her. "What's going on?"
"Open your eyes."
Jane blinked until her focus came in clearly, then blinked again. "Where's the bed?" she wondered, glancing around and then adding, "Where's the dresser? Where are the books?"
"Not here," Maura replied with a smile, pleased with herself. "The closets are empty, too, and so are the built-in drawers. This room is just waiting to be filled."
"I don't get it," Jane said after a long moment, chin pulling back in her classic way to demonstrate wariness and a withholding of judgment.
Maura gestured all around as if the hills were alive with the sound of music. "Don't you see it? Look at the possibilities, Jane. What do you want to do in here?"
One eyebrow spocked upwards. "Anything?" Jane asked, thinking she knew where this was going. "Because if I had my way, we wouldn't be in here, we'd be in the other guest room. Or your room. The ones with the beds in them."
A giggle pealed out, and Maura rushed up to embrace her girlfriend. "That is a great idea, and I want that too. But first, I think you should consider what to do in here. It is, after all, your office."
Her mouth moved, forming the words 'my office' without voicing them. Both of Jane's eyebrows lifted in surprise to this little revelation. "Maura, this is a bit bigger than a drawer. Or closet space." Her voice was a little weak as she spoke. "You're giving me a room?" At Maura's nod, Jane stepped further into the room, looking at a space that was about the same size as her living room. Empty built-in book cases, no furniture, and its own exit door leading out to the back patio. This room was not picked at random.
Suddenly apprehensive, Maura asked, "Do you like it?" Jane wasn't saying anything. "I can put everything back," she rushed. "I just moved it into storage, it won't take all that long -"
"This is the most romantic thing anyone's ever done for me, Maura," Jane exhaled, her back still to her girlfriend as she decorated in her mind. "I mean, it even tops the flowers." Glancing back over her shoulder, Jane blushed a little, "I can't believe you did this for me."
"I can't believe," Maura said as she slipped her arms around Jane's waist and pressed against her back, "that I didn't think to do it until now. Well, until your last trip out of town. You told me what you needed. I was listening, and I did take it into consideration, as I gave my word to do. I should have thought of it before, but I realized that even though I've been thinking of this as our home, all you could see was what my decorator and I had picked out, and nothing of yours."
She kissed the spot between the taller woman's shoulder blades. "The rest of the house, we can negotiate little by little. Some things will stay and some things will go, and we can bring in more things that suit your personality as you decide what they should be. But this is a start. You can shut the door, lock it, come and go to get fresh air or to get out of the house when you want... and because the door closes and locks, your mother won't see it at all, until you're ready to show her that you have space here. It's all yours. And if there's something you don't have, and you think your office needs it, the second part of the gift is that I'll get it for you. Whatever it is."
Jane leaned back against Maura, taking the doctor's hands in her own. "See, and I was just going to tell you I made reservations at that French place you like so much, to apologize for being pig headed and argumentative about stuff." She brought one of Maura's hands up to kiss. "So how about you go change, we'll go out, and then we'll play in one of the rooms that has, y'know, blinds. Or curtains," she added, impishly.
"Hmmm," Maura hummed contentedly, cheek resting against Jane's back. "Mmkay. You change, too, though. I want to see that new suit that I know you bought last week." They parted ways, Jane to shower and change in the guest bath and Maura in her own. There was ample room for both in the master bath, but sometimes they liked to surprise one another with their 'date' appearances.
As Maura stepped into her bedroom, already unzipping her work dress, she paused. A brand new Twister! game was sitting in the middle of the bed, the plastic removed, but otherwise looking as pristine as it had just come from the factory. "Jane," she called, but her girlfriend had already turned on the water for her shower, and didn't hear her. But there's no floor space, her mind protested in puzzlement. Why bring it in here, when we'll only have to take it back out to the living room to play? The only place in here that's big enough is the bed - Oh.
Her smile grew warmer as she finished stripping down for her shower. She'd skip dessert tonight at dinner, in the interest of getting home just that little bit earlier.
The End... For Now
As you've found, the Occupy Movement had nothing to do with the plot, save to distract you and act as a red herring. Still, calling this a 'lighter' story seems inaccurate. The issues raised by the Occupy 'movement' are not to be taken lightly. There are serious problems in the world, many of which are being ignored by the media. Human rights are violated and the law is being applied unfairly. For many police officers, they're caught in-between the worlds. In this fic, we offer no solutions and only demonstrate people thinking about the problem.
There's no perfect answer to this, so we ask that you think instead. Think. Learn. Look up information and read both sides of the story.
The dangling plot threads left in this fic are intentional. Some will be picked up in the next fic.
Reviews, even ones about how we suck, make us write more.