By Mike Livingston

Abbie Carmichael rattled the handcuffs locking her hands behind her back and tried to think about what had happened again. She and Jack were going to meet for lunch to discuss the Rivera trial. She had decided to walk to the restaurant instead of hailing a cab since it was such a nice summer afternoon. Of course, to most New Yorkers, it wasn't a nice summer afternoon, as the temperature was just slightly over ninety, with a bit of humidity. But to a native Texan like Abbie, it was almost a cold spell in August.
She rattled the cuffs again; against the iron railing the cuffs were threaded around, hoping someone would hear. She tried again to cry out for help, but the handkerchief taped into her mouth kept her voice down to a muffled grunt. She shook her head and looked again to the West, across the river, over towards New Jersey. She could see the storm coming in. Every Texan knew what a severe thunderstorm looked like, and this Texan could see it plain as day over the misnamed meadowlands of the Garden State. A storm like that meant lightning, and sitting out in the open was bad. Wearing steel handcuffs and attached to an iron stairway railing was worse.
Much worse.
Abbie whimpered again, and watched as the storm neared. She could see the rain sheets underneath it. This one was probably one that would cause the Weather Channel to beep on her cable. She still watched that to this day. In Texas, when the sky looked like this, everyone watched the Weather Channel.
She sat back on the stairs and tried to think again. Who would have taken her, in broad daylight no less? It had to be something with the Rivera trial, but she couldn't think of who it might be. Sure, Rivera's father had some shady friends in the Masucci family, but they didn't kidnap people who got in the way. If she were perceived as a real threat, she wouldn't be atop a building; she'd be part of the foundation. So if not him then who?
The door of the building opened, and her questions were answered at once. It was Rivera. How the hell did he get out on bail? "Hiyas, Dolly," he said to her. She hated it, but she couldn't respond. "Nice evening here, huh?" He placed a hand on Abbie's cheek and gently stroked it. She turned her head away sharply, glancing it on the railing. The memory of her rape entered into her mind. "Whatchoo worried about Dolly, afraid that the boogie man is gonna do something?" He leaned close to her; she could smell the garlic on his breath from lunch. He looked her in the eyes and said "Boo!" to her. Abbie jumped a bit, but quickly collected herself, staring at him.
Rivera looked at the storm clouds, which were almost overhead and smirked at Abbie. "Geez, not a good night to be out on the roof. C'mon, let's get you inside where you can be a little more comfy. Maybe we can get comfy together." He leaned closer to her on the stairway. Abbie gave him a kick to his midsection from her seated position, and he fell down the few stairs onto the roof bed. Rivera stood at once, and Abbie realized she probably just made a terrible mistake. Now her resolve appeared to break slightly, her eyes widened as Rivera approached. "You like it rough, bitch, ok we can play rough." Rivera raised his hand as if to slap Abbie. And then something happened...

As she looked up from her hospital bed, Abbie shook her head when Jack asked her what happened next. "I don't really know. He was about to slap me and then the whole world lit up for an instant, and now I'm here."
"Well, Abbie, you worry about recovering. You were lucky. It's not often people can be that close to a lightning strike and not suffer more than a concussion. Especially when they found you."
"Who found me?" she asked.
"Some kid named Cassidy, in narcotics. He was sweeping out that crack house Rivera took you too when the lightning hit it," said Jack. He smiles and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You need your rest. The doctor said you probably can go home tomorrow. Although before you come back to work, Adam told me that he wants you to see Skoda on Friday."
Abbie looked at the ceiling again, and shook her head, "Could you at least bring me some of the files for the Rivera case, I have a few things I need to add to them."
Jack smiled that ironic grin to her, "Rivera wasn't as lucky as you were."
Abbie smirked back, "He got hit, did he?"
"Thunderstruck," said Jack as he walked out the door, waving.
Abbie leaned back into the pillow and laughed. "I hope it was a good joke," said her next visitor, Detective Lennie Briscoe as he walked into the room.


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