I sat and watched the SUV as it sat idling along the curb.
Unfortunately, once Goren closed the door, I couldn't see inside any more.
Or at least not well.
However, the streetlights managed to cast a little bit of backlight, allowing me to see enough to get the gist of what was going on.
And I have to say, it surprised me.
More than a little.
Although, in hindsight it actually makes sense.
Every look I saw pass between them during the five years they worked under me…
That's why she was so committed to protecting him when I was their boss.
That's why she could understand him, even when he spoke in nonsensical circles.
And that's why she went undercover with him last year.
She didn't do it as some grand, justice-seeking gesture.
She did it because she was sleeping with him.
And then it occurred to me that she's probably the one who fed the reporters Logan's name.
She sent them running down the wrong trail just to throw suspicion off of Goren.
And it had worked brilliantly. Not once have I heard his name in connection with hers.
I was going to have to consider the possibility that she's smarter than I thought.
Well, smart and stupid.
Because I can't fathom what she sees in Goren in the first place, and risking her career to sleep with him is just downright senseless.
But she's smart in the sense that she'd found a way to cover it up.
Until now, anyway.
While I sat and pondered my next course of action, apparently the two lovebirds in the SUV decided to take their show on the road.
I wished desperately that I'd been in my car when I saw them so that I could follow them.
Because Moran would never believe my word.
Especially after I'd accused Eames of not only sleeping with Logan, but also of having something going on with Maas.
I'd need some kind of proof.
I watched the taillights of the SUV and rehashed the facts in my mind.
Liz had said that she's friends with Eames now.
And since she's dating Logan…
I wonder if Logan knows.
It would be tough to keep a secret like that from a partner, and he's the type who would get off on the thought of pulling the wool over Moran's eyes.
So does that mean that Liz knows, too?
Has she been out with them, maybe on a double date?
I could just imagine the conversations that the four of them had together.
They'd probably laughed at my expense.
That thought was almost too much.
To picture Goren laughing while Logan probably made some crude joke about me…
I got up from the table and stalked out the door of the pub, feeling conflicted.
I was enraged by the idea of them mocking me, but I was also elated with my new, incriminating information.
And yet I was puzzled as to how to make it work for me.
And then I remembered what happened last weekend.
Stanley Maas had been at Eames' apartment.
Moran might have bought that house-sitting crap, but I sure didn't.
I let it go at the time, since I had no proof of…anything.
But why was he really there?
And how did it fit in with Goren and Eames sneaking around?
Or was it completely unrelated?
I needed to find out more about what was going on, and since Eames was presently driving Goren, she'd have to take him home at some point, so I decided to stake out his place.
Juvenile, probably, but I was getting desperate.
Tomorrow morning, Holt was going to announce that Eames gets to keep Major Case, and that's just unacceptable.
Especially now that I know she's in such flagrant violation of NYPD policy.
Thirty minutes later, I found myself parked outside of Goren's building.
There was no sign of the department SUV, and I was kind of disappointed about that.
I'd thought that maybe she was bringing him home and then going inside.
Would she really have just dropped him off and gone home?
Had I misinterpreted what I was seeing in the shadowy recesses of the front seat of the SUV?
Goren had practically climbed into the driver's seat, that much I could tell, and there was no innocent explanation for that.
So maybe I beat them here, I thought suddenly.
Were they out somewhere, celebrating their impending victory over me?
I had to find out, so I got out of the car and talked my way into the building.
On my way upstairs, I thought about what I would say to Goren, if he happened to answer the door.
I could say...thank you. For killing Hassan and giving me my life back.
But I don't know if I could get through that with a straight face.
He hadn't given me my life back.
He was trying to give my life to his girlfriend.
Or at least my career anyway.
And the other half of my life was in the hands of his partner.
And excuse the hell out of me for feeling a little bitter about the fact that not one damn person had been happy to see me alive.
And yeah, okay, so no one knew about me until it was also known that I was trying to take over as captain, but still…
What was it Liz had said to me?
You just need to ease up and let people get used to the idea that you're back.
I know she was trying to be nice when she said it, but why should I have to ease up?
I have nearly a year of lost time to make up for.
What am I supposed to do – piddle around for another year while people get used to me again?
Was I supposed to let Eames make a mockery of Major Case with her ineptitude?
Especially now…now that I know about her and Goren.
It only goes to prove my point even further that she doesn't belong in that damn office.
Her first priority is him.
Mine is the NYPD.
And Liz would've run a close second for me if not for Logan.
I can't even think his name without gritting my teeth.
Well, we'll see how much she wants him after I'm in charge.
He'll either be unemployed by virtue of his resignation letter, or he'll renege on his little stunt and then he'll be at my mercy.
And trust me, if he tries to stay in Major Case, he won't last long.
By this time, I was standing outside of Goren's door, and before I could lose my nerve, I knocked.
I knocked again, but still nothing.
So they're out, I thought with satisfaction.
Good. I'll see them when she brings him home.
I went back to my car and re-parked so that I was in a good spot for surveillance.
I felt a little on the smarmy side for spying, but the desperation I feel about tomorrow's meeting was enough to override it.
So I settled in for the wait.
And it was a lot longer than I expected.
It was almost eleven o'clock when I saw the SUV pull over alongside the curb down the block.
Pull over and park, I amended with a smile.
I slid down a little in the seat and kept my eye on the vehicle until at last the driver's door opened.
I was surprised to see that Goren got out.
Since when does she let him drive?
Or maybe he took her home and then drove the car home?
Wouldn't that be anticlimactic?
But then the passenger door came open, and out came Eames.
She was smiling broadly, possibly at something Goren was saying, and then she closed the door and met him at the front of the SUV.
Where she kissed him.
And let me tell you…guessing as to what was going on earlier, and seeing it under the glow of the street light were two completely different things.
I mean, I was their boss for half a decade.
I worked late nights with them…sat in briefings with them…watched them do interrogations…and never once did I have a clue.
It was such a jolt to see them like this that I almost forgot what I was here to do.
I watched as they finally broke off the kiss and then Goren took her by the hand and the two of them went inside of his building.
And then I waited for a little more than an hour to see if she'd come back out, but she didn't.
So this explains why Maas was at her place.
Because she was here.
Which means that he knows about it, too.
The goddamn deputy chief of D's.
Maybe I should just forget about Major Case.
Maybe I should take Stanley's job instead.
I pondered that for a moment and then shook my head.
No, I'd start with Major Case.
Eventually, I want Moran's job, but even I can recognize the fact that I need to get re-acclimated with the workings of the NYPD before stepping into a role in the chief's office.
I headed for home since the show at Goren's apartment was apparently over.
Or at least, the show that I was going to get to see.
I could just imagine what was going on inside.
Better yet, I can imagine what Moran's face will look like when I tell him about it.
Because he's been standing up for her.
She'll be lucky if she gets to keep her badge after this fiasco.
That thought gave me pause for a moment because it's not that I want her to get fired. I really don't. I just want her somewhere other than in my office.
But she made her bed and now she has to lie in it.
With Goren, apparently.
I warned her about him years ago, telling her not to let him take her down with him, but she didn't listen to me.
So tomorrow I'll tell the mayor what I know and whatever happens, happens.
I went home and slept like a baby, and then the next morning, I awoke early and dressed in my best suit.
The meeting was scheduled for eight, and I made it to the lobby of 1PP by seven-forty.
"Hold the elevator!" I called out as I hustled across the parquet floor toward the back where one set of doors was halfway closed.
A hand popped out, sending the doors in the opposite direction just as I came to a stop in front of the elevator.
"Ross," Goren greeted stiffly.
"Detective," I said with a nod. I glanced around the elevator, surprised that there was no one with him. "Where's your sidekick?"
Eames…Logan…either one would've been expected, and I was curious to see how he answered the question.
I should've guessed it.
He raised his eyebrow at me questioningly and I realized that I was still standing in the lobby, holding up his progress.
"Sorry," I mumbled as I stepped on and let the doors close.
For some reason, I was almost nervous about being alone with him.
I pushed the button to the chief's floor, and I realized belatedly that the number was already illuminated.
"You have business with Moran?" I asked.
"Oh," I said, giving up any pretense of having a conversation.
The elevator creeped along interminably and each of us stood on our respective sides, watching as the lights indicated our progress.
"You know, it's not personal," he said at last.
"Our support of Captain Eames. It's not personal against you. We'd do the same thing no matter who tried to steal her job."
"I'm not trying to steal it," I argued defensively. "It's mine."
"It was yours."
I sighed heavily and closed my mouth.
"You're stepping on the people who fought for you," he continued quietly. "I was outraged by your murder. I called you a friend. I risked my life…Eames and I both did, just so that we could find the person who ratted you out."
"Who ratted me out? What do you mean?"
"Are you kidding me? You never read the file?"
"Hassan's dead," I said flippantly. "What else do I need to know?"
I'd timed my remark for the opening of the doors on the appropriate floor, but Goren surprised me by reaching out to push the stop button.
"Stahl gave you up," he said as he turned towards me. "She was on Hassan's payroll. We infiltrated the FBI so that we could find the mole. Because we thought it was important to put some kind of meaning to your death."
"Yeah, I know. You gave up a year of your lives. I'm sure it was a hardship, being undercover with her, wasn't it?" I snapped cynically.
Because I didn't want to hear what he was trying to tell me.
That I'm the bad guy in this, not him.
It was too late for me to change my course of action now.
I had to go through with this and get my job back.
And then maybe I could see about making some kind of restitution.
He stared at me hard, narrowing his eyes in scrutiny, and I thought he was going to say something more, but then he reached over and hit the button, allowing the doors to spring open.
I hurried off the elevator and didn't look back until I arrived at the conference room door.
I glanced over my shoulder and saw him standing in the hall, still watching me carefully, and then he turned and headed in the direction of Maas' office.
"Lt. Ross," Moran called out through the open doorway. "I'm glad you're here. It's early, but you're still the last one, so let's go ahead and get this meeting underway."
I'm Lt. Ross.
I hadn't mentioned that to anyone yet, but leave it to Moran to bark it out loud.
Apparently, the NYPD wants me to retest for captain.
According to what Holt told me on Tuesday, it won't affect my push for the captain's office because lieutenants can hold that position as long as the captain's exam is pending.
And since I already passed it once, it was surely just a formality.
But it was a humbling formality, and it really, really gripes my ass to know that at the moment, Eames outranks me.
But that's fine.
Her humbling moment will come.
Very soon, in fact.
I entered the conference room and pulled the door closed behind me.
Eames and Maas were seated at the far end of the table. Zaring was in the middle and Holt was at the other end. Moran was on his feet, but then he moved towards the table, taking a seat near Maas.
Thus the lines were established.
I stayed on my feet and looked around the room.
"No need to sit, Ross. I think we can handle this quickly and efficiently," Holt began, and then he looked down the table at Eames and smiled and added, "Just like Major Case, right, Captain?"
"Yes, sir," she replied.
"Sir, if you don't mind, I'd like to say something first," I said to Holt.
"I'm not sure that's…"
"Please," I interrupted. "A very disturbing fact has come to my attention."
"Wait, let me guess," Moran said smartly. "Captain Eames is having an affair with me now, right?"
"No, sir," I said with a smile, ignoring his sarcasm. "But she is having an inappropriate relationship with one of her detectives."
"Ross, I'm tired of these allegations," Zaring spoke up in annoyance.
"I can understand that," I agreed. And then I pulled my phone from my pocket and held it up triumphantly as I said, "But this time I have pictures to prove it."