Part 4

Ben headed to New York. He needed to brief the DA's office about what was going on. Luckily Jack McCoy, the ADA that consulted on the original case was still working in Manhattan.

"Agent Bruckner!" Jack McCoy rose from his desk to shake Ben's hand. "It's been a long time, how have you been?"

"Great Jack, it's good to see you."

"Please sit down; I'm sure this isn't a social call."

Ben took the seat across from Jack's desk, "I wanted to talk with you about the Taylor case."

"Craig Taylor?" Ben nodded. "Wow, that's a blast from the past. I thought the case was cold."

"Well it was, but we've caught a break. Craig has struck again in Pittsburgh."

"In Pittsburgh? I don't think I need to tell you that is a little out of my jurisdiction."

"I know, unfortunately, we have no concrete evidence on that case, but there have been some new developments on the murder of his wife and daughter."

"What new developments? It must be pretty good if you can re-open a ten year old case."

"How about an eye witness?"

Jack raised his eyebrows in disbelief, "Why is this just coming out now?"

"Well, it's a long story."

"I've got all day."

"Craig Taylor's son, Justin, is prepared to testify that he saw his father kill his mother and sister."

"Justin Taylor, wait a minute …"

"He survived the shooting."

"Agent, I think you have some explaining to do."


Ben spent the next two hours giving Jack the details of Justin's survival and his subsequent placement in Witness Protection.

"Let me get this straight, the Feds fucked up their case and gave their only eye witness a free ride."

"That's correct."

"And now you want me to fix it for you?"

"It's a pretty slam dunk case Jack, I thought you would be thrilled."

"I don't know how you Washington boys like to play, but New York judges aren't exactly thrilled with witness tampering."

"There was no witness tampering. The kid was in a coma for six months and then in rehab for another year, I'd hardly call that witness tampering."

Jack snorted in disbelief, "Ok Ben, let's pretend for a minute that we pull a judge willing to overlook the fact that you have hidden a material witness to a double homicide for ten years, have you forgotten that Craig Taylor is no longer in New York?"

"I know, but he travels to New York for business all the time. When he comes to town, you pick him up and indict him."

"So now you're asking to have our police department on the lookout for someone who may or may not come to New York. Why don't you tell me what's really going on?"

"I have an opportunity to put one of the most ruthless crime bosses behind bars. Why are you treating me like a criminal?"

"Call it fifteen years experience in this office. There's another story there and I want to know what it is."

Ben looked down, unable to meet Jack's penetrating gaze, "The murder in Pittsburgh was a member of my family."


"I know, but I have the chance to try and make it right."

Jack nodded, he had been in this position many times. "Ok Ben, I'll need to talk to Lt. Van Buren. It's going to be up to her how she puts her people on this. Detective Briscoe is still in homicide, I know he'll be willing to help. He's watched Taylor slip from our grasp many times."

"What about Detective Logan?"

"He's been working with the major case squad. They may be willing to re-assign him temporarily."

Ben heaved a sigh of relief, "Thank you Jack."


Anita Van Buren looked at Jack McCoy incredulously, "Let me get this straight Jack, you want me to put my detectives on a case that has been cold for ten years and have them be on the lookout for someone that may or may not re-enter our jurisdiction. Please tell me you're joking."

"I'm not. Anita, it's Craig Taylor. We finally have a break in the one murder we can pin directly on Taylor himself. We can't pass up this chance."

"Jack, no one would like to put that son of a bitch behind bars more than me, but you have to accept the position I am in."

"I know, and I wouldn't ask you if I didn't feel we had a chance. I have full federal cooperation on this, in conjunction with the Pittsburgh police department. They will notify us when Taylor comes to New York. All I need you to do is have him picked up when he hits town."

"I suppose you want Briscoe and Logan in on this?"

"It was their case. I know Lennie was pissed when he got away. I figured he would be chomping at the bit to make this bust."

Lt. Van Buren got up and went to her office door. "Lennie, can you come in here please?"

Lennie Briscoe walked into the office. "Yeah, what's up? Hey Jack."


"Lennie, Jack here tells me we have a lead on the Taylor murders."

"You're kidding? Has that asshole finally slipped up?"

"We have an eye witness that can swear he saw Taylor kill his wife and daughter."

"You mean his wife, daughter, and son."

"The son survived."


As soon as he arrived back in Pittsburgh, Ben went right to the loft. "Well, I talked to New York."

"What happened?"

"Well, Jack McCoy was a little reluctant considering how much time had passed, but I convinced him we have an airtight case."

Justin spoke up, "So what happens now?"

"Well, we need to tail your father. Brian, that's where I need your help. We need to notify NYPD the minute we know Craig is headed to New York. The detectives who worked the original case are on board, but we have to give them a clean shot."

After Ben left, Brian and Justin sat in silence. "There's no turning back now is there Brian?"

"Please don't tell me you're having second thoughts?"

"No, it's just becoming very real."

"Well, look on the bright side, when this is all over, you get your life back."

Justin didn't look convinced, "No, not back. This isn't going to be over if my father is convicted. I'm still going to have to go back into witness protection. There's no way my father will let me live after I testify."

Brian wasn't sure he wanted to think about Justin leaving after all this was over. "Don't worry about that now."

Brian stood up and offered Justin his hand and led him to the bedroom.


The next few weeks passed by uneventfully. Both Brian and Ben were keeping tabs on Craig Taylor; however, the mobster didn't appear to be planning any trips to the Big Apple. Brian kept Justin hidden away in the loft. They couldn't risk the blonde artist being spotted by anyone who could report his existence to his father.

The hardest part was keeping the truth from their family. The Liberty Avenue clan was very close and it was hard to keep secrets, especially from Debbie.

She was giving Ben and Michael the third degree one Sunday night at dinner. Brian and Gus were no-shows again and Deb was fed up.

"I want to know why that asshole is staying away. In times like this, Gus needs his family more than ever."

Ben spoke up since he was the only one who knew the full truth. "I'm sure that Brian just wants to get Gus settled into a routine. Once things calm down, I'm sure things will go back to normal."

"Well, they fucking better."


That night Michael and Ben were lying in bed. Michael knew that Ben was keeping something from him. Normally Michael tried not to pry because he knew there were things that his husband couldn't talk to him about.

"Ben, what's going on?"

"What are you talking about?"

Michael was not about to stand for Ben's brush off, "You know what I mean. What's going on with Brian?"

"You know I can't tell you."

"So it is work related? Is it about Lindsay's murder?"

"All I will tell you is that it is work related. Please don't ask me anymore."


Brian and Justin were settling into a nice domestic routine. Brian would pick up Gus from school and the three men would spend the evening together. It was such a different routine from what he used to live that Brian thought he would get bored. To his surprise he enjoyed coming home to Justin. Normally, the thought of such domesticity would repulse the detective, but to his surprise he found himself enjoying it.

"Honey, we're home," Brian cried out in a falsetto voice that he knew would rile Justin.

The object of his ridicule rolled his eyes and flipped him the bird. "Not in front of the child Sunshine."

Justin laughed and went into Brian's waiting arms. The two men began to kiss and didn't come up for air until Gus spoke, "What's for dinner Jus?"

The two lovers began to giggle and Justin went back to the stove. It was moments like these that Brian and Justin almost forgot their time together was limited. Almost.


Ben was sitting in his office when he finally got the call. He'd paid one of Craig Taylor's lackeys to inform him when the boss was planning a trip to New York.

"Agent Bruckner."

"Taylor's going to New York tomorrow. He's ordered his pilot to be ready to leave at two. That should put him in at JFK by three or three-thirty."

"You'll get the rest of the money after he's arrested." Ben and Brian had pooled their own money to pay off the informant. The FBI and the Police Department would have never authorized the payment. After he hung up, Ben made the call to New York.


"Lennie, it's Ben Bruckner."

"Is this a social call Agent?"

"Taylor will be arriving at JFK's private landing strip tomorrow between three and three-thirty."

"Logan and I will be there."


Craig Taylor was preparing to disembark from his jet the next afternoon. Since his move to Pittsburgh, he still made trips to New York to check on his "business" that was still run out of the Big Apple. There was still a lot of heat on him in New York, so he only made the trip when he had to. It was always made in relative secrecy so the cops wouldn't be notified.

Craig very rarely conducted business in Pittsburgh. He'd learned it wasn't wise to do business in the town where he lived. He'd been careless when he killed Jennifer and his kids. The cops hadn't been able to pin it on him, but he knew they would always be watching, waiting for a slip.

He hadn't wanted to kill that gallery manager, but when Sam told him she was taking files, he knew the situation had to be taken care of. Experience had taught him to stay away from the kill and the cops never suspected him.

Craig stepped off the jet and was immediately met by Detectives Briscoe and Logan.

"Detectives, to what do I owe the pleasure."

Logan immediately grabbed his arms and cuffed him, "Craig Taylor, you are under arrest."

"Give me a break Logan, what is the charge."

Briscoe spoke up, "Abusing your frequent flier miles."

As Craig was being shoved into the back seat of the car, "You're making a huge mistake."

"Well, we'll be sure and apologize when you get out.


Amanda Anderlee's courtroom was full when Craig was brought in for arraignment. His lawyer, Jim Stockwell, had met him there.

"Docket number six three seven nine, people versus Craig Taylor. The charge is two counts of murder in the first degree."

"Mr. Taylor, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty your honor."

"Ms. Southerlyn?"

Serena spoke up, "The people request remand Your Honor. This is a capital charge and the defendant has unlimited means and is a serious flight risk."

"Of course they do. Mr. Stockwell?"

"My client is a respected business man, and these charges are ridiculous."

"I'm sure they are, however, your client's reputation precedes him. The defendant is remand. Next."


Craig and Jim Stockwell were meeting in one of the conference rooms at Rykers. "Jim, this is ridiculous. What do they possibly have to tie me to my wife and children's murder."

"From what I hear, an eye witness."

"An eye witness? Who?"

"I don't know yet, they aren't required to disclose until we start preparing for trial."

"I want you to find out what they have and take care of it."


Brian and Justin were relaxing at the loft. They had finished dinner and had just put Gus to bed. They were wrapped in each others arms exchanging lazy kisses when a knock at the door interrupted them.

Brian slid back the door to find Ben standing on the other side. Brian stepped back to allow Ben entrance. The look on Ben's face told Brian that something had happened and that his time with Justin was coming to an end.

Justin stood up when he saw Ben enter the loft, "Ben, what's going on?"

Ben looked between the two men. "Your father's been arrested and is being held in New York."

Both men were silent for a moment, and then Brian finally spoke, "Fuck!"

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