2010-09-04: Hypothetical Tip




September 4, 2010


The Colorado Legal Offices of Wright, Jamison, and Penn


When a person assists a criminal in breaking the law before the criminal gets arrested, we call him an accomplice.

When a person assists a criminal in breaking the law after the criminal gets arrested, we call him a defense lawyer.

The legal offices of Wright, Jamison, and Penn are abuzz of activity. The hardwood floors brightly reflect the light almost like an A-frame lodge out in the country rather than the firm's downtown Colorado location. The walls match this theme in a deep forest green and the chairs in main reception have all been carved out of wood, making them more like art than furniture. Unfortunately the art meets furniture concept leaves something to be desired in the way of comfort.

The receptionist had called Cross nearly ten minutes ago. His appointment is here, leaving Olivia to wait on one of those vastly uncomfortable chairs. Finally, the blonde haired, blue eyed, lawyer dressed in a black suit and red striped tied treads into the reception. With a flash of teeth and a quirk of lips, he shoots Olivia a charming smile as he adjusts his tie and offers her a hand. "You must be Miss Carter — " except the forty-something woman who he begins his introduction to isn't Olivia at all, she's someone else's appointment. Oops. Faux pas.

Tick-tock. Squirming uncomfortably every so often, Olivia bides her time waiting by scrolling through various e-mails on her Blackberry. "Not funny, Ray," she murmurs at one of them, although her blue eyes roll in mild amusement. Sporting a slim black jacket and a matching skirt, a hand idly lifts to smooth out the fabric of her crimson button up shirt peeking out over the lapel of her suit.

Chin lifting as she hears her name, Olivia and her oh-so-adored black Louboutin heels press into the floor with a satisfying click as she rises from her seat. "That's me," she notes with a bit of a wry smile, one brow arching at Cross and the poor not-Olivia.

Cross's 'oh' in response is silent, but present in the round circle his lips purse into. It's a major faux pas as a lawyer, fortunately he works primarily with international criminals so the damage isn't beyond repair. He shoots the forty-something woman an apologetic smile before sliding to the real Olivia and issuing his hand once again. "I'm P.I. Cross. I take it you're Miss Carter?"

Even amid his mistake there's no sign of actual embarrassment in any of his features — not his eyes, cheeks, or lips — thanks to his well-rehearsed well-practiced poker face. But then, that's why he's so good at his job and hired by so many. "Please, follow me — " he leads her towards an office that has his name literally taped to the door. It's a temporary fix. He normally doesn't work out of Colorado, but follows the money wherever the practice may take him.

The office itself is quite bare of personal effects save for a zen garden resting on the desktop and a checkerboard on a coffee table near the front (which is, apparently in use as the pieces are in various positions from a long-played game). He steps around the desk, before gesturing to one of the two black chairs across from him — far more comfortable than the ones out front. "Sorry to keep you waiting, please, have a seat."

It doesn't appear that Olivia has taken any offense to the mistake. In fact, she looks rather amused, even going so far as to offer a small grin. It happens. "Indeed." The hand is taken and shaken professionally, before they turn to move. Try as she might, she can't muffle the sound of her heels clicking over the floor. +1 for fashion, -1 for stealth.

"No problem," the blonde murmurs, gaze sweeping around the room and noting where things are before dropping into the offered seat. Ahh. Much better. Satisfied with its comfort she leans back and straightens up, hands folding together to rest on her knee. "So," she begins, but doesn't finish the statement. Her eyes settle on Cross, her expression a curious one.

"So," he offers her a lopsided, albeit mildly flirtatious, smile. His azure eyes seeking hers in that same vein. Reflexively he assumes his own seat, considering his words carefully before uttering a sound. "I suppose I should call you Agent Carter rather than Miss Carter. You'll have to forgive me, it's not often I actually chat with the FBI." He leans back in the chair and unbuttons his suit jacket to avoid creases when he stands.

"There was an incident last week with a client of mine out of the Supermax facility." His eyebrows arch expectantly. "My sources — " who these sources are isn't to be divulged even if Olivia could guess. " — they told me you were present. Considering I get to miss out on what would've been a very large pay day, I'd like to know what happened to Tau on that bus. As much detail as you can give. When I lose a client in such… carelessness on the part of a prison… there is hell to pay."

"It's quite alright," Olivia actually grins a full, broad grin now, left cheek dimpling deeply. "The title is still new enough to me, actually, that even I forget. Don't worry about it." Waving a hand dismissively, her hand then returns to settle on her knee, her well-manicured fingertips tapping lightly against it.

As the topic shifts, her attitude shifts appropriately - there's a much more somber look on her face. "I was," she says at first, head inclining slowly. "What happened inside the bus, I'll never know, I'm afraid. I was behind it in my own vehicle. After leaving the facility, four other black SUVs appeared almost out of no where. They corned me in before firing."
Olivia has partially disconnected.

"So… randomly they opened fire on the bus?" Cross muses quietly. His chair tilts forward as he hmmms quietly to himself through a veil of near-amusement. With a click of his tongue and a shake of his head, palms rest along the top of the glass desk, "Are you familiar with the in-fighting within Supermax? I have a number of clients in that facility right now — and I'm inclined to believe Tau was targeted." His lips press involuntarily together.

"Especially in light of you being locked in, Agent Carter." His eyes narrow slightly as he glances down at his own hands — the fingernails short, trimmed, and overall well-manicured before he glances back up at her, "With only one survivor onboard it begs a lot of questions though…"

"I don't know how random their intentions were but, yes, they popped up out of nowhere and started firing at the bus. Their windows were so heavily tinted that I couldn't see inside at first," she explains. "Then the guards on bus started firing back. At me, too. Luckily I was assigned the SUV with bulletproof glass, or I probably wouldn't be here."

Leaning back, her arm rests on the arm of the chair, fingers lightly clenching into it. "After they rolled their windows down to start firing their AK-47s, I caught a quick glimpse of them. Emphasis on quick. At one point I was able to pull over to the side of the road and drive along the desert, but two of the cars followed me while the other two stayed with the bus. As the bus tipped over on its side, the car behind me locked its front to the back of mine and started pushing me really quickly. So.. I jumped out." At this point she takes a deep breath, clearly tense from recalling what was assuredly an intense situation.

"I'm sorry… I should've asked sooner, can I get you something to drink? Water? Tea? Coke — the cola variety not the…" now his cheeks actually flush. "I'm sorry. I work primarily with high risk terrorist types many of whom are involved in the drug trade, I realize I probably didn't have to make that distinction with you — "

Quickly Cross is back on topic, however. "So infighting, likely. Which means his inferior is likely behind it." His lips purse as he opens a drawer of his desk and pulls out a manilla file folder which is plopped on the desk. "Tau was my only client in the Cobras, but this is the entire file he gave me on their structure, their goings-on, and how they operate within the prison. There's plenty of interviews and information that might be helpful to the investigation, but — " it's a big but " — attorney-client privilege extends beyond the grave. I realize information about how their gang operates may not fall under this umbrella as in the people versus Litsky in 2002," his lips quirk upwards, "yet I'd rather feed you the info and have it entirely hands off from me… " The question remains: what does Cross have to gain from all of this?

"I am familiar with the stories and general culture, but I just started doing any work regarding the various groups within the prison," Olivia responds quite belatedly to his question re: infighting. "I'm fine, thank you," she briskly shakes her head. After a deep breath, she resumes a much more calm, cool, and collected demeanor. Back to work.

As Cross explains the situation, she listens in silence, though her gaze never wavers from watching him as he speaks. "So," she begins, lightly clearing her throat. "You'd like for me to have this information to work with.. from an anonymous source?" she adds, giving him a bit of a look.

The upward pull of his lips becomes downright wicked, as he raises a single pointer finger in the air and nods, "Ahhhhh." It's an odd way to say yes, but then anything he states here is, theoretically, on the record. "If someone were to randomly leave you an unmarked file void of fingerprints, on unidentifiable ink, and on generic paper — printed by a public printer with no easy match, then would such information be considered… viable for use? Clearly it wouldn't hold up in court, but could, in theory, further an investigation."

It's all circumstantial. What's in the file, what there is to read — it's all up for debate and displaced within a haze of outright avoidance.

His voice lowers now, "I want my client's killer found and I want him tried to the fullest extent of the law." The smile has long since faded, buried under layers of an almost neutral animosity.

"Hypothetically, yes, it could be viable enough to use in an investigation that could lead to admissible evidence." Olivia plays along, sliding a finger underneath her chin. The smile is returned, but barely, and it's certainly not wicked. Just.. amused. A little. "Without knowing what's in this hypothetically file, though, I cannot promise anything. If it contains enough information, though, it could at least draw enough concern to begin a preliminary investigation."

There's a pause, and Olivia slowly lowers her hand from her face to settle on her knee once more. "I would imagine that whoever killed your client will also be charged with the death of the others on the bus, and for attempting to murder a federal agent as well. Once caught, I would seriously doubt the person responsible will see the light of day again." There's no ominous tone to her voice - it's entirely calm and matter-of-fact.

"That's music to my ears, Agent Carter." Cross's sly smile transforms into something more charming once again, leaving him but a master of his own form. "Well, expect some information finding itself to you, perhaps not useable in court, but certainly for your purposes of beginning an investigation."

His eyes flicker with bemusement as he adjusts in his chair. "The perpetrator deserves to spend many many years in lock up, and assuming it's someone already within the prison… solitary confinement seems forseeable on the menu."

A little oddly his blue eyes sparkle unusually. "Speaking of menus… I imagine you're in town during this small investigation with few leads… I would appreciate company for dinner later this week if you're available…"

"And I'm happy for the help," Olivia notes, smoothing a hand over the fabric of her knee-length skirt to push out any wrinkles. This gesture is repeated, even when there are no more wrinkles to smooth out. One more time, for good measure. "I'll keep an eye out for it." There's a pause, followed by a crisp nod. "I have no doubt about that."

"Friday," is all that she says, parting with a rather coy smile.