Previously on Disorderly Conduct: Widower: Natalia and Emerson receive word from Gabriel, who once again identifies Jane as the DNA found on the body at the Christopher Greenway murder. A visitor identifying herself as Larissa King gives a book to Natalia and Emerson, saying that she found it in her friend’s apartment and didn’t know what to do with it. Accepting the help, Natalia asks Larissa to reveal who the friend is. Larissa identifies Sabrina Paxton.
Emerson and Natalia go to interview Sabrina at her home. Is she still at the apartment or has she fled?Click To Reveal Results
“Look, Nat, I’ll have the warrant ready for the morning and then we’ll go get her and bring her in for interrogation. You need to sleep. First thing in the morning we’ll see Sabrina and you’ll get your answers. I promise,” Emerson argued, crossing his arms. “You know I’m on good terms with the judge, she’ll get it to us quickly. I’ll look into Sabrina and see what I can find. Anything urgent comes up, I know who I’m calling.”
Natalia sighed, shaking her head, “I don’t know about this, Mackabe.” She admitted, looking unsure about the situation. “What if she’s gone by the time we get there? What are we going to do then? What about what Bridges said? Matt and I can’t afford for me to lose my job right now, we’ve got another kid on the way.”
“We’ll find another way to get to Sabrina,” Emerson replied, shrugging as if the answer were obvious. “But I doubt she’ll be gone. And when has Bridges ever scared you? Nat, come on, go home. At least you’ll be early today. Go hang out with Veronica and Matthew, they’ll be ecstatic to see you.”
“I haven’t actually seen Veronica in a couple days…” Natalia mused, pondering the idea. It did sound tempting, and it would make Matthew less upset with her… “Are you sure that you can handle this by yourself?”
“Nat, please, I’ll be fine. Besides, if you don’t loosen the reins now, how will you be when you’re on mat leave and I’m here all by myself?” Emerson chuckled.
Natalia smiled, “Don’t pretend like you’re not taking a huge vacation the second I go on maternity, Mackabe.” She laughed, shaking her head.
“Well if I’ve got to deal with you, hormones and all, for a full nine months, I sure as hell deserve the greatest vacation in history. Seriously, they should be paying me extra for staying your partner while you’re in this state of mind,” Emerson replied sarcastically, laughing at his own joke.
“Oh, shut up. I haven’t been that bad,” Natalia retorted, chuckling.
“That’s a matter of opinion,” Emerson continued laughing. Natalia shot him a teasing look. Emerson tilted his head to the side, “But at least you haven’t punched me in seven months. That’s definitely bonus points in my books.”
Natalia laughed, “Whatever, you’re not perfect either, y’know.”
“Of course I am, just look at me,” Emerson traced the bottom of his jaw with the back of his hand and looked to the side. “I’m the definition of perfect.”
“That’s why you’re single, right?” Natalia asked, smirking.
“That one hurt, dos Santos, not gonna lie,” Emerson replied, laughing before he reverted back to the conversation they’d been having before the battle of words. “But seriously, go spend time with the family. I got this.”
“Are you sur-?”
“My God, woman! Seriously go, scram, get out of here. It’s gonna be tomorrow soon if you don’t leave, and then your darling Matthew is gonna be even more ticked off,” Emerson urged. “I had the same training you did, I’m perfectly capable of a night on my own. Come back when you want to, but it has to be sometime tomorrow, got it?”
“Yeah, I got it,” Natalia sighed. “You’re going to call me if you find anything, right?”
Natalia wanted to know that she had every box checked off before she left. Her family meant a lot to her, that was for sure, but her job meant a lot as well. She wanted to make sure that it was being done properly. Emerson would do fine, she knew that. But it didn’t stop her from being overly cautious before leaving.
“I will call you, okay? Now quit stalling. God, you’re such a mom,” Emerson complained teasingly. “I will pick you up and physically throw you out of my office if you don’t leave right now, Nat. Goodbye.”
“Fine, I’m leaving,” Natalia replied, standing up from her seat and walking towards the door. “But you promise you’ll call?”
“Yes,” Emerson replied, “Now we’re going to go because I’m going to walk you out to make sure you don’t just go work at your desk when you tell me you’ve left like you did last month.”
“Jeez, you lie once…” Natalia mumbled under her breath.
Emerson rose from his seat and followed Natalia out of his office. The two walked together to the doors, and Emerson led her all the way to her car. He made sure that she got in, and put the keys into the ignition. Natalia rolled down the window.
“You can also call me if you need me to look anything up or something, just so you know,” Natalia mentioned casually. She always had to be a part of the case, even if it was only a small amount. Just like the kid dipping their big toe in the pool when they didn’t want to be completely engulfed by the water.
“Bye, dos Santos. I’ll see you in the morning,” Emerson stuffed his hands in his pockets, stepping out of the way so that Natalia could back out of the stall.
Natalia nodded, looking around before backing out. She gave a couple friendly honks to Emerson, who waved because he knew she was looking in the back mirror at him. He laughed and shook his head, walking back into the precinct.
Captain Bridges practically ran him over as soon as he’d taken his first couple of steps towards his office. She had wide eyes, looking at him questioningly.
“Was that Detective dos Santos leaving?” Bridges asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Um, I told her that she should because she’s been working so hard on this case and if you want to blame anyone, please blame me because I was the one that sent her out and-” Emerson knew that he was rambling, but he couldn’t find a way to stop.
Covering for Natalia when the reason was illegitimate was simple, but when they had a good reason? He always worried that the Captain wouldn’t agree with what they thought was logical reasoning. It was hoping and praying that she actually listened and could see it from their point of view for the most part.
Captain Bridges held her hand up to silence him, Emerson obliged and replaced his verbal diarrhea with a nervous gulp. Bridges closed her eyes, taking in a breath, “You were the one that got her to go home early?” She reopened her eyes, looking at him with a raised eyebrow.
Emerson nodded, afraid to open his mouth again in case he blurted out anything else. Last thing he needed was a nervous lie escaping his lips and complicating the entire situation when he’d been bargaining with the actual truth for once. Not something stupid like the car door story Bridges had somehow bought.
“Thank you,” Bridges breathed, her voice barely above a whisper.
“Look, Sir, if you don’t want me doing it again, I totally understand. But please just let her go this time because she- wait, seriously?” Emerson questioned once he’d actually processed what Captain Bridges had said.
“I’ve been trying to get her to take shorter shifts for months now, so yes, I’m being serious,” Bridges sighed. “Great work, detective. And please, any time that you can get her to leave earlier, do so. Thank you again.”
Was she… praising him? Although the occasion was a rarity, Emerson didn’t like it. It made him nervous to see this side of the Captain when earlier that day he’d seen the veins-popped, nostrils flared, dark and brooding Captain that the majority of the precinct was used to on most days. Singing praises was not Captain Bridges, which only reassured him that she truly meant it…
Regardless, Emerson still thought it was weird.
“Uh, not a problem, Captain. I’ll do my best,” Emerson assured. “I have some work to attend to, so if you don’t mind…” Emerson trailed off, hoping that Bridges would clue in. He’d gotten her in a good mood, which he could only assume added a tiny bit of thickness to the thin ice he was walking on with her. Last thing he needed was to tick her off again and break the ice.
“Yes, of course, detective. Work hard,” Captain Bridges nodded and walked into her office, which was only a few steps away.
Emerson sighed, straightened out his tie nervously and strode back to his office. When the captain was being nice, he couldn’t help but feel that something was up, even though he had no idea as to what it was.
And if he was being honest with himself, he didn’t intend on finding out either.
“Matt? Veronica?” Natalia called as she stepped through the door. She kicked off her shoes quietly.
“Bee!” Natalia could hear Veronica call, as she heard footsteps run in her direction.
Natalia, Matthew and Dakota had sat down one day before Natalia had officially met Veronica to try and figure out what Veronica was going to call her. “Mom” wasn’t going to do it, Natalia didn’t want that title to be shared between her and Dakota. Besides, Natalia knew that she wasn’t her actual mom, and she was okay with that. Though she didn’t mind simply being called “Nat” by Veronica, Matthew was insistent that they would find some kind of alternative name that only Veronica would call Natalia. (It was part of his whole scheme to get Veronica and Natalia as close as they could be, Natalia had found out. He’d been worried they wouldn’t get along, but the kid was one and a half when they’d met, so Natalia didn't really perceive it to be a problem).
Eventually, Dakota came up with “Bee” meaning “Bonus Mom” because Natalia didn’t like the suggestion of “Stepmom” that had been thrown about and “BM” wasn’t the best idea either. It made her feel like some old hag who had married for love instead of money and was abusive to her stepdaughter, not a good feeling at all. “Bee” was about the only name listed in that conversation that Natalia was actually comfortable with, though Natalia figured when Veronica was older, she’d just become “Natalia.”
Natalia’s leg was tackled in a hug soon after, causing a wide smile to form on Natalia’s lips. She pried Veronica off of her leg enough for her to be able to crouch down and receive a proper hug from her stepdaughter. Matthew stepped around the corner, smiling as he leaned against the edge of the wall.
Natalia stood up with Veronica in her arms, her leg lightly rested overtop of Natalia’s stomach. Her small arms were holding onto Natalia’s neck, which she didn’t mind in the slightest.
“Hi,” Natalia said, smiling up at her husband as he leaned down slightly to give her a quick kiss.
“You’re home early,” Matthew mentioned, smiling wider.
He couldn’t have been happier at the fact that Natalia was home, having not been able to take the day off. He understood that the case was important, but his family values were important too. More than anything, he just wanted Natalia to get a day of relaxation for herself. She worked herself too hard, despite the fact that she’d never admit so.
“I can go back to work if it’s a problem,” Natalia teased.
“Absolutely not,” Matthew replied, shaking his head. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Natalia smiled as Veronica looked at her animatedly, “Want to see the picture daddy and I painted?”
“Of course!” Natalia replied in a sweet tone.
She put Veronica down, who then grabbed the edge of her coat and led her to where Natalia knew she did all of her painting. But, Natalia wasn’t going to spoil the excitement that boiled within the toddler. Matthew wrapped his arm around Natalia’s shoulders, pulling her as close to him as he could without trampling Veronica. He lightly kissed the side of her head. It had been so long since Natalia had been home when the sun was still out and Veronica was still awake. Even though he knew it was summer, so the days were longer, which means she was working longer hours, but that was beside the point. She was home and he intended to cherish every single minute of it.
Veronica stopped and pointed to the easel she had set up. Paint was dripping down into the spot meant for holding paintbrushes, though Veronica had no use for that as she used her hands. The painting itself was just a bunch of different coloured blobs that were varied in size. Natalia could see how proud of it she was, and smiled because she knew that was definitely going somewhere on the wall when it finally dried.
“Oh, it’s beautiful!” Natalia mused, smiling wider.
“Ronnie did most of it,” Matthew commented, chuckling, “She did a great job.”
“She definitely did,” Natalia replied.
Natalia definitely didn’t regret going home.
For a few more hours, the family just sat around the house. Natalia had changed out of her jeans into a pair of much more comfortable leggings and a large t-shirt. For the most part, they sat in front of the television watching mindless cartoons with talking animals. The painting had since dried and Natalia, as promised, had hung it on the wall where people could see it on the off chance her and Matthew got visitors that weren’t preschoolers.
Finally, they put Veronica to bed and sat down on the couch together. Natalia leaned her head on his shoulder, and he lazily wrapped an arm around her.
“So I never actually got to hear… how was your day? Everything going well at the restaurant?” Natalia asked, looking up slightly at him.
“Uh…” Matthew blew a breath out. “I mean, yeah things are fine. Brady got fired today.”
“Really? He’s been there forever!” Natalia exclaimed, frowning.
“Yeah, but it turns out he’s actually an illegal immigrant who’s been working there forever without a proper visa. And he wasn’t supposed to be here anyways because he was on parole for some crime he’d committed in… whatever country he’s actually from,” Matthew explained with a soft chuckle.
Natalia could tell it was still bothering him though, he’d known Brady for longer than he’d known Dakota and Natalia combined. From what Natalia knew, Brady was like Matthew’s personal guidance counsellor. He was always there whenever he needed help or something in was going on. Brady had been there for him through everything. He was even one of Matthew’s groomsmen at both of his weddings. Besides his best man who Matthew had known since preschool, Brady was the best friend Matthew had in his life. He was the one that first told Matthew to ask Natalia out, that’s how close they were.
“I guess some people just aren’t who you thought they were, huh? I mean, you think you know who someone is and they turn out to be someone completely different. And… God, I wouldn’t have even noticed if it hadn’t been announced at that damn meeting we had to go to today,” Matthew continued, sighing.
“Wouldn’t have even noticed…” Natalia mumbled, her eyes widening.
She stared off at the wall past the bridge of Matthew’s nose, her mind was racing with thoughts about the case. She couldn’t help going off on her own little tangent, it was who she was. Matthew knew that and kept quiet, letting her think in silence. After all, the sooner she finished the case, the sooner she’d be off for a couple days. He wasn’t going to stop that from happening.
“I’ll be right back, I’ve got to call Emerson,” Natalia announced, springing up from her seat and going over to the kitchen counter to where she knew she’d left her phone. She dialled quickly, pressing the phone to her ear. “Come on, pick up you idiot…” Natalia mumbled.
“That must be a record, dos Santos. You lasted more than an hour this time. Beat it by a landslide, wow, I’m so proud,” Emerson answered, not even bothering to say hello to her.
“Emerson, her eyes!” Natalia exclaimed, causing Emerson on the other end to pull his phone away from his ear while she spoke.
“Have you been watching Jennifer Garner movies again? I agree that her eyes are pretty, but did you really have to call?”
“I can’t believe you don’t think my eye theory is right,” Natalia scolded, looking at Emerson pointedly.
“Eyes on the road, dos Santos,” Emerson replied.
Natalia looked back to the road. The two were on their way to Sabrina Paxton’s house to take her back to the precinct for questioning. Mostly over the fact she’d hidden the book that could have saved Christopher Greenway’s life. Natalia was not holding back on her this time around, someone was dead because she withheld evidence. She wasn’t getting away with anything else. Natalia had already been suspicious of her, the new information didn’t help her cause one little bit.
“Look, I didn’t say you were wrong, I said you were insane. There’s a difference,” Emerson continued. “However, if this doesn’t go through, then I will allow you to drag me all over the place trying to find this Joan woman and you can see if her eyes are the exact same as Jane’s. Scout’s honour, we’ll get it done.”
“I know they’re the same…” Natalia muttered under her breath but shrugged it off. “Let’s just get this over with.”
She parked in front of the apartment building and got out of the car. The doorman tried to stop them, but Natalia and Emerson both flashed their badges in his direction, so he allowed them entry without any further questions as to what they were doing there. Emerson had wanted to take the stairs, in case she was making a break for it, but Natalia had looked at her stomach, then back at him with an expression that made him feel as if he’d grown three heads.
He wasn’t going to argue with her.
Elevator it was.
After exiting the elevator, the two quickly walked to the apartment.
Natalia knocked on the door rapidly with her fist. “Mrs. Paxton? We’re here with the police department, we just want to ask you a few questions.”
“Mrs. Paxton?” Emerson called, frowning.
Again, no reply.
Emerson rolled his eyes, lifting his foot and kicking it into the doorknob. The door swung open, slamming against the wall on the inside.
“Breaking and entering - didn’t know you had it in ya, Mackabe,” Natalia teased.
“I’m not you, dos Santos, I got a warrant for that too,” Emerson retorted. “Plus, this is technically a crime scene. So I’m covered.”
“Goody two shoes,” Natalia muttered, following Emerson into the room.
The two stalked through the apartment, Natalia immediately going into the bedroom.
“The corpse isn’t still in there, you Necro,” Emerson commented loudly, picking up papers from the living room.
“I don’t have a corpse fetish, Mackabe!” Natalia shouted, walking back into the living room. “Her clothes are still here, she hasn’t fled.”
“Told you she wouldn’t,” Emerson replied.
“You were the one that wanted to take the stairs, liar,” Natalia retorted, crossing her arms.
“She must just be out,” Emerson continued, avoiding the subject of Natalia being right once again. “We can come back some other time.”
Natalia nodded, “Fine. But we’re looking into the eye thing back at the precinct.”
“I’m a man of my word, Nat,” Emerson replied, agreeing. “Let’s go.”
When the two reached the door, Natalia turned sideways to allow Emerson to leave first. Emerson took his first step when they heard voices. Natalia and Emerson both froze in place where they stood. The door was pushed back open, as Emerson had broken the frame that kept the door in place. In walked the woman they had been wanting to see, along with someone who had claimed not to even know her.
“Mrs. Paxton, Lee, funny seeing you here,” Emerson managed.
Without hesitation, Lee quickly lunged towards Natalia, using every ounce of his strength as he pushed her as hard as he could. Not prepared for any altercations, Natalia fell onto the ground, letting out a groan. Lee grabbed Sabrina’s hand roughly, and the two fled for the stairs.
“Nat, are you okay?” Emerson asked, immediately crouching down to check on her.
Natalia hadn’t been able to catch herself, and had fallen on the side of her stomach, causing a slight difference in her breathing. And although Emerson knew she would never admit it, he’d watched her head practically bounce off of the hardwood floor.
“Go get them, I’ll be fine,” Natalia ordered through gritted teeth, clutching her head with one hand.
“We’ve got to get you to a doctor-”
Emerson looked rapidly between the doorway and Natalia.
Does Emerson stay and help Natalia despite her protest or does he go after Lee and Sabrina alone?
If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.