Dancefloor Dust

Chapter 12

When I arrive at the police station Owen is nowhere to be seen. I assume they already placed him in an interrogation room as I look around for a familiar officer I could get some more information out of. I've asked myself more than once on the drive over here why I even get involved in this. I have no obligation towards Owen but he's never been anything but nice to me and it would've felt wrong to drive off after I saw him getting arrested. And I sincerely doubt the accusations against him are true. I might see an occasional weed user in Owen but never a dealer.

"Peter?" I turn at the sound of my name and see Mark, an officer I've worked with a few times, walking towards me.

"Hey." he greets me and we shake hands.

"Are you here for the little drug fish we caught tonight? I thought the SA's office wouldn't send someone before tomorrow morning." he chuckles.

"I'm not here as an ASA, but if you're talking about Owen Cavanaugh I'd appreciate some the record."

"Off the record, Peter?" he raises an eyebrow at me.

"I was with him when he was arrested. He's a friend of mine and I'm here to help him. I really don't think he's guilty. So can you please tell me what you have against him?"

"He's a friend of your's? You better advise him to call a lawyer. He's in big trouble." he turns away, intend not to tell me anymore.

"What have you got on him?" I follow him to his desk.

"Look, Mark, I'll find out anyhow. So come on." I smile at him as he shakes his head.

"Ok, Peter." he sighs and leans back in his chair.

"Thank you." I grab a chair from nearby and sit down next to him.

"We got an anonymous tip that he stored weed in his locker at the university. Turned out it was true. We found quite a stack in there."

"How much?" I ask resigned. Mark is right. It doesn't look good for Owen.

"A little under 500 grams."

"Wow, that's a lot. He's looking at up to three years. Damn." I'm shocked by the amount they found.

"Up to five years, Peter. We really think he's selling it."

"I don't believe that. He's just not the type to do this. Did you find his prints on the stack?" I sigh deeply at this news, shaking my head in disbelief.

"The evidence says the contrary. We'll have the lab results in the morning. It's not looking good for him."

"Can I talk to him? Convince him he better gets representation?"

"You know I can't do that, Peter." he shakes his head at me.

"Come on, Mark. You can't grill him all night!"

"Ok, wait over there. I'll see if they're done for now." he nods at me and I realize I've held my breath.

"Thanks, Mark." I get up and walk over to the bench on the other side of the room, sitting down.

About half an hour later Mark appears again and gestures me to follow him. He leads me into one of the interrogation rooms where I find a totally devastated Owen sitting at the table.

"Peter. Thank God, you're here. I'm really in trouble." he calls out as soon as he sees me.

"You have 10 minutes, Peter." Mark tells us before he closes the door behind him.

"I can't really help you, Owen. I shouldn't even be here. You have to call someone to represent you. I strongly advise you not to say anymore without a lawyer present." I sit down opposite him.

"I can't call Alicia. I can't do that to her. It would upset her too much and the pregnancy hasn't been easy on her." he buries his head in his hands.

"I'm sorry to hear that. But you can't not tell her. She might take that even worse." I try not to dwell on what Owen just told me about Alicia and concentrate on helping him.

He looks up again, nodding at my words but I know he won't call her.

"What about your parents? I know your Dad doesn't live here but your Mom does. Couldn't she get you a lawyer?"

"I can't call my Dad. This would just add to the pile of disappointments I'm already to him. And I can't call my Mom either. For the same reasons I won't call Alicia. Can't you represent me, Peter?" I can see the desperation in his face as I shake my head slowly.

"You know I can't, Owen. I told you I shouldn't even be here. I work for the SA's office. We will be prosecuting you when this goes to trial. All I can give you are some names of other firms. But I think you should call your family." I try to reason with him.

"I can't tell them, Peter." he lowers his gaze on the table.

"Owen you're looking at jail time here. They will learn it anyway. You have to take this seriously." he doesn't answer, just continues to stare at the table.

"Ok, you're right." he finally looks up again and I really hope he's made up his mind.

"Could you call Will for me? He hates me anyway, so this won't make anything worse."

"Are you sure?" I know little about their relationship but what I know makes me doubt this decision.

"Yes. So could you please call him?"

A few minutes later I stand outside the station, cell phone in one hand and Will's number in the other. I take my time dialing and exhale deeply before I hit the call button, not really sure why I agreed to do this.

The line rings a few times and just before I think the mailbox will answer any second, I hear Will on the other end.

"Gardner." his voice sounds sleepy and only then I realize how late it already is.

"Hi Mr. Gardner. This is ASA Florrick. Your brother-in-law Owen Cavanaugh was arrested and he asked me to call you. Could you please come down to the 1st District station. He needs a lawyer." I pause and it's silent on the other side of the line.

"What did he do?" I sense that Will is not yet awake and remember that Owen also asked me to tell him not to mention any of this to Alicia.

"He got arrested for marijuana possession and distribution. Please come down here and don't mention any of this to Alicia." I haven't finished saying her name as I hear her voice in the background, asking Will what's going on. I close my eyes for a moment and her face appears before my inner eye. I shake my head to get rid of the image but it's too late to stop the picture of both of them lying in bed next to each other from forming in my head.

"What? Why? He doesn't want her to come, too?" Will sounds more awake now and I can hear him getting up.

"No, he was very specific that he wanted you to handle this. Can I tell him you'll be here?" I get impatient now and want this call to be over, shaking my head at myself for agreeing to it in the first place. I would be exaggerating to say I was over Alicia before I met Owen tonight but I had believed to be on a good path of putting her behind me. In small steps of course but I saw a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. But standing here knowing she is in the background of this conversation is nearly too much for me to bear. It makes me all the more realize I really meant it when I told Owen earlier that I still love her. And that thinking I can put her behind me was a lie I told myself.

"Yeah, I'll be there in twenty minutes." Will finally answers my question and I hang up without saying Goodbye. I put my cell away and just stay there in the chilly night air for a few minutes trying to calm my nerves and start to think straight again.

"Peter?" Mark's voice startles me and I turn to see him standing in the entrance to the station.

"Yes?" I run one hand through my hair taking a deep breath trying to cover how shaken up I am.

"They are about to start questioning him again. Is his lawyer on the way?"

"Yes, he is. Should be here in 15 minutes. Tell Owen I had to go. Thanks Mark. I owe you." I walk past Mark, patting him on the shoulder lightly.

I need to get away from here. I can't still be around when Will shows up. I feel a bit bad towards Owen but once again I remind myself that I have no obligation towards him and have already done more than one could expect from me. My first instinct is to walk to the next bar and drown the bitter taste this night has left in my mouth but then I remember my own words from earlier. What difference would it make? And the answer is still the same: Absolutely none. So I head for my car and drive home. And with every second that passes, every inch that expands the distance between me and what happened tonight I am able to breathe easier. At least it seems so.

I walk out the court room searching for my cell in my purse. I'm not looking forward to this call which will ruin my already bad saturday even more. The son of one of our big clients had himself arrested last night and the arraignment that just ended didn't go well. He'll stay in custody and I have to pass on the news to his dad now. I search for the number in my contacts when someone says my name behind me.

"Diane?" I turn to see Will Gardner stand a few feet away. I shut my phone and plaster a fake smile on my face as I close the distance between us.

"Hi, Will." I greet him, knowing that this meeting had to happen sooner or later. I know for a while now that he opened a firm in Chicago and it was only a matter of time until we bumped heads in court. I'm somehow glad we get this over with outside the court room. I'm normally not someone who sees running away from things as a solution but now I'd rather be anywhere else than here having this conversation. I was on the verge of forgetting that one night we spent together three years ago until hiring Alicia brought all of it back. I'm not proud of that night and had I known he was married it would've never happened. I can't change it but would've preferred it had stayed in the past so I could forget about it completely instead of standing in front of me in the present.

"I thought name partners didn't work on weekends." he smirks and I force a laugh partly to thank him for lightening the atmosphere a bit with this attempt at a joke.

"That's a myth we tell the associates. You should know." I smile at him, genuinely this time.

"Yeah. So what brings you here on this early saturday morning?"

"Arraignment. You?"

"Same. My brother-in-law got into some trouble but I got him bail, so he's on his way home now." he smiles but I get the sense this really wasn't more than a nuisance to spoil his saturday.

We stand in silence for a few moments and I'm at a loss for a conversation topic. So I address the elephant in the room head on.

"How's Alicia?"

"She's good. Misses work. But the doctor insisted she stopped." If he's surprised by my question it doesn't show aside from a small twitch of his eyebrow.

"Good to hear. Tell her I said Hi." I smile at him, intending to end this awkward conversation.

"I'd rather not. You're a sore spot between us. But thanks for asking."

"How come?" I have an idea what he means but hope I'm wrong.

"Didn't she talk to you?" he can't hide his astonishment anymore.

"About what?" I know what his answer will be.

"She found out about us. Someone took pictures of us that night." he looks down and I get the feeling he wants to forget this as much as I do.

"Oh my God." is all I manage to say, covering my mouth with one hand. I'm not shocked at the fact that Alicia knows I slept with her husband. I sensed it during the last weeks she was at work with the way she behaved around me. But the thought someone was actually taking pictures of me and Will that night scares me.

"Do you know who gave her the pictures?" I find my voice again, nearly blurting out the question that bothers me the most.

"No." he shakes his head in addition to his words.

"Do you have any idea who it was? Or does Alicia?" I manage to lower my voice again, realizing we're in a public place and that our conversation shouldn't be heard by anyone else.

"No, I don't. And she doesn't care about it. All that mattered to her was the content of the photos."

"Ok." I nod at his statement understanding her take on this.

"So, are you ok? With the baby on the way?" I feel bad for only capturing now what this exposure meant for their relationship.

"Yes, we are now. Or getting there again." he flashes me a half-smile that gives me an idea of what they went through.

"I'm sorry, Will." I smile at him, hoping he knows I never meant for this to happen. He simply nods and we stand in silence for a few moments.

"So, are you trying to find out who made these photos?" I ask him as this is the most pressing issue for me.

"No. It won't change anything for me, Diane."

"Well, I want to know. So please tell me everything you know how they came into Alicia's possession."

"It's not much. They just showed up on her desk one day." he shrugs his shoulders smiling apologetically.

"Her desk at the firm?" I know it's a rhetorical question as I'm sure if they turned up in their apartment Will would be more interested in finding the person responsible.

"Ok, that's a place to start." I say after I see him nodding slightly.

"Just let it rest, Diane. I'm sure whoever took the pictures was after me and got what he wanted. At least I hope that."

"But they showed up in my firm, Will. I need to know."

"Do what you gotta do. I have to go now. Nice meeting you again, Diane." he pats my arm and walks away but turns once more after a few steps.

"I'm sure these pictures have nothing to do with you, Diane. Try to forget them." he smiles at me before he walks away. I want to believe his words but something tells me these photos will continue to haunt me.

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