See Chapter One for disclaimers.
The CSI team spent most of the day going over Madison's property with a fine-tooth comb searching for anything that could provide a lead on the case. Logan knew the rookie's death came at the hands of the Strip District killer and she mentally denigrated herself for allowing the inexperienced officer to take part in the surveillance.
Torn as to what to do, Logan swore under her breath and glanced at her watch, realizing she had to leave soon in order to meet the other investigators at the Langston building to serve the search warrant. She didn't want to leave the scene but knew there was nothing further she could do.
The detective hesitated before walking up the steps to the front door and ringing the bell. Logan didn't recognize the resounding footsteps as they crossed the marble floor of the foyer and knew from the cadence that someone other than the owner of the residence would greet her. After a few moments, the door opened and Logan was met by a very attractive blonde, her eyes expressing an almost palpable resentment for the intrusion. "May I help you Officer?"
The tall detective took a moment to study the piercing eyes of the woman before her, unsure as to how she should approach the woman before simply asking to speak to the doctor. "May I speak to Dr. Cavanaugh, please?"
"I'm sorry, but the doctor is resting at the moment. Is there something I can do for you?"
Taken by surprise when the spunky woman flatly denied the request, the detective raised a solitary dark brow. "Well, no, I'm sorry there isn't, Ms ahhh...I didn't catch your name."
The blonde-haired gatekeeper, unmoved by Logan's demands, returned an equally daunting glare. "I don't recall giving you my name Officer, so if you'll excuse me, I have more important things to attend to."
As the unintimidated woman began to close the door, Logan moved with lightning speed, placing her foot over the threshold, effectively preventing the woman from shutting her out of the house. "Really, I'd like to see Madison, and.now.please."
An icy glare passed between the two women, each dueling for control before the smaller woman finally released a low growl and stepped out of the way, opening the door for the tense overstressed detective to enter. Logan's eyes darted about the adjacent rooms in an attempt to locate the doctor, as she listened for sounds that would reveal the whereabouts of the small blonde-haired woman, but her eyes fell only on empty rooms and her keen hearing failed to note any movement on the first floor of the residence.
She turned towards the glaring woman becoming annoyed at her overbearing attitude. "Would you mind getting the Doctor for me?"
"Actually I would but I can see that you aren't going to leave until I do." The woman turned quickly, retreating up the stairs, leaving Logan alone in the foyer. Several minutes later, the blonde reappeared at the top of the stairs and called out. "You may come up Detective."
Logan took the steps two at a time, reaching the top of the stairs in seconds only to have her progress hindered once again by the blonde-haired woman. "Only a few minutes, she needs her rest." Nodding, Logan watched as the woman descended the stairs, appearing to know her way around the house very well, and wondered what role the mysterious blonde played in Madison's life.
Upon entering the master suite, Logan's eyes searched the room for the doctor to no avail. She stood silently in the doorway, listening intently and heard a soft, gentle voice coming from the oversized walk-in closet across the room. Stepping lightly across the deep pile carpet, she stopped in the doorway of the closet when she spotted Madison sitting perched on a pillow in the middle of the floor beside Femur. Easing her tall frame into the cramped space, she knelt beside the frail looking woman, gently placing a hand on her shoulder. "How's he doing?"
A tear slid down Madison's cheek, which she quickly wiped away with the back of her hand before looking up into concerned eyes. "He's going to be alright. Nicole said he has what equates to a concussion in humans and should be up and around soon."
She assumed the feisty woman downstairs must be Femur's veterinarian but still didn't understand the woman's protective nature. Glancing around the small enclosure, Logan's curiosity got the best of her. "Why the closet?"
A smile crossed Madison's face as she gently stroked the labs head. "He always comes here when he doesn't feel well." Her eyes swept the contents of the closet before focusing on the detective kneeling beside her. "I don't know if it's the scent from my clothes or the security of a small place, but whatever it is he feels safe here."
Understanding dawned on the detective as she dropped her hand to caress the short dark fur along Femur's flank. "I see. How are you holding up, and...ummm, how's the...ahhh bruise?" Concerned eyes watched as the doctor shrugged, another tear streaking down her cheek.
"I'm okay, now that I know Femur will be alright." Frightened, pain filled eyes looked back at the detective as she searched Logan's face. "He has been through so much already. I was afraid I had lost him."
Logan caressed the doctor's tense shoulders as she sat on the floor, sliding closer to Madison, and encircling her in a warm embrace. "I know. I was scared too."
The small blonde leaned into Logan's strong frame as she absently stroked Femur's back. "Did you find anything of any use outside?"
Releasing a frustrated sigh, the detective shook her head. "No. Nothing so far. I'm leaving in a few minutes to go back into the city. Maybe the search warrant we're serving on Langston will provide some useful information."
A noise from the bedroom startled both women and Logan's arm tensed around the doctor's shoulder in a protective response. They looked up in unison to see Nicole standing in the doorway, a frown on her face. "Times up Detective."
Logan's eyes swept from the cross-armed woman to the smiling blonde doctor beside her. Shrugging, the detective unfolded her muscular body from the floor and stood. "Yes, ma'am, I'm going."
Satisfied that the intruder was preparing to leave, Nicole turned and walked out of the room leaving an angry detective and a sore, but grinning doctor in the closet. "She can be a little overbearing sometimes, but she means well."
"Humph, overbearing isn't quite the word I would use for that woman, Doctor."
Madison held out her hand to the detective, deciding she could leave the recuperating dog for a few minutes. "Help me up and I'll walk you to the door."
A strong arm lifted the slender woman from the floor and into a warm embrace. "Can I call you later?"
The doctor gently nipped Logan's chin as she lifted a well-tended brow. "You'd better. I believe we're staying with you for a while and I'll need some directions to your house."
A smile crossed Logan's face as she gazed down into the doctor's swollen tear-reddened eyes, and she felt a warm heat spread throughout her body. "That's right, you are staying with me. I'll call you when I've finished at Langston's and I'll come back out to get you and Femur."
The doctor brushed her lips across Logan's and then took the woman's hand, leading her from the room and down the staircase. As they reached the foyer, a knot formed in Madison's stomach when she eyed the door, remembering the carnage that had occurred outside in the drive earlier in the morning. Choosing not to cross the threshold, Madison said goodbye at the door and watched as the tall, dark detective made her way across the lawn, avoiding the small red flags that peppered the dormant grass.
Only after Logan had disappeared around the corner of the house did she shut the door and turn to rejoin Femur, holding her still tender hip. As she climbed the steps to the second floor, a sudden surge of fear ripped through the doctor's body knowing her tall, dark protector would soon be leaving her alone to pace the floor in what she would never again refer to as her safe haven.
Lieutenant Beaudry arrived just as Logan climbed into her truck to drive back into the city. She waited as the burley man walked towards her vehicle, noticing the limp in his gait had progressively worsened over the last few weeks. In what could have been a fatal error, her supervisor had intervened in a domestic dispute he witnessed on the drive home from work the previous fall. After calling for backup, he had approached the couple arguing in front of their dilapidated brownstone. The female, welding a baseball bat, was attempting to fend off her drunken husband with wide arcing swings, unconcerned for the growing crowd. The Lieutenant had attempted to subdue the man, only to have the blade of a four-inch switchblade imbedded deeply into his thigh.
As with most domestic disputes the female involved had chosen to turn her anger towards the downed police officer and proceeded to beat him with the bloody baseball bat she had only seconds before been swinging at her spouse. It took the assisting officers several minutes to regain control and by the time the paramedics arrived, the Lieutenant was unconscious and lying in a large pool of his own blood.
As one of the officers providing back up in the incident, Logan remembered the night with extreme clarity, as the images once again flashed through her mind. The knife had been plunged deeply into Beaudry's leg, slicing into the femoral artery and causing profuse bleeding. Logan remembered the continuous flow of blood that pumped from the wound and the realization that unless stemmed, would prove to be deadly in a matter of seconds.
She shivered as she recalled the fear that had seized her heart as she sat beside Beaudry on the sidewalk holding his hand and whispering reassuringly into an unhearing ear...applying pressure to his groin...silently praying to a God to whom she seldom spoke...pleading for the life of the man whose pulse she could feel under her fingertips... hoping he wouldn't bleed out... all the while listening impatiently for the approaching sirens.
Logan had paced the long corridors while her commanding officer fought for his life beyond the doors of the surgery suites. It was six excruciating hours later when an obviously exhausted surgeon pushed her way through the doors and gave the Lieutenant's family, friends and comrades in the crowded waiting room, the news that he would survive. Only then, did Logan finally release a pent up breath and allow herself to relax.
Hours later, she had sat on the front steps of her house, still in the same blood spattered clothes and released the pent up fear and emotions that she had held at bay for most of the night. The sobs were fierce and passionate, yet cleansing and as she allowed her emotions to take control for the first time since the call had come in.
During the Lieutenant's recovery from the stab wound, broken arm and leg, a bond that neither of them truly understood, yet it sealed their lives together. Logan had felt a kinship...a duty to protect her commanding officer until he had healed and she wore that responsibility proudly as she visited and pushed him hard to fight his way back.
Months of physical therapy followed the removal of the casts on his arm and leg and the agonizingly slow progress had worn on the Lieutenants usually tempered patience. Undeterred by the harsh, sometimes cruel demeanor of her commanding officer, Logan continued to push him to take one more step, complete one more leg or bench press, or walk one more mile, until the long months of agony turned into victory.
It was during that time, the Lieutenant had also taken a personal interest in Logan, personally and professionally, always pushing her to be more than she thought herself capable of at times. The detective knew she wouldn't be heading up the Strip District Task Force if it weren't for her Lieutenant and as she watched his approach, she couldn't decide if she wanted to hug his neck or punch him in the face. "Morning Lieutenant."
"McGregor" The graying man leaned heavily against the side of the truck, unsuccessfully trying to hide the pain induced frown that shadowed his face. "Fill me in on what you have so far."
She reached over, opening the passenger door. "Take a load off pop and I'll do just that."
The truck dipped as the Lieutenant's heavy frame settled on the seat. Growling, he turned to the detective giving her his best intimidating glare. "If you ever call me that around the squad room and I'll buck you down to meter maid, you punk."
"Yeah, right. You couldn't live without me and you know it."
"Whatever, Mac. You give me more heartburn than all my ex-wives put together." The corners of his mouth turned up in a revealing smirk as he regarded the woman that was not only his best officer, but someone he had come to look upon as a daughter and a friend as well. "So get on with it, I don't have all day to fart around with you."
Logan recanted the progress, or lack thereof that had been made in the case to date. After listening to Lieutenant Beaudry's suggestions to tread lightly concerning Langston development, Logan began driving towards the city silently hoping for a break on the case. Something...anything that would bring her closer to apprehending the Strip District murderer.
C.W. Langston sat stoically in the leather wingback chair at the head of the long mahogany conference table glaring at the three men and one woman. Even though Langston himself had personally overseen the electronics sweep of the conference room a few minutes earlier, he still hesitated at speaking of Thomas Peters' murder as a little known emotion swept over him. Fear was an emotion C.W Langston elicited in others, not one he himself was accustomed to experiencing and as he looked towards his daughter, the realization that even with all his power and influence, protecting Christine may not be something he had the power to do...not now...not after Thomas. "I have arranged to have a personal bodyguard assigned to each of you until this madness is over."
"C.W. exactly what is it we are supposed to do now, just sit and wait to be slaughtered like Peters?" Blue eyes swept the other faces circling the table for support. Christine Langston, although powerful in her own right had never once confronted the almighty Czar of Langston Development. Maybe someone should have. Then we wouldn't be sitting here fearing for our lives. Christine was shaken from her musings by a soft, yet confident voice beside her.
"I have no doubt you will be well protected with the guards I have arranged for you. Don't do anything stupid and you'll be safe." Making eye contact with his daughter, C.W. Langston raised a graying brow in challenge. "I think our time would be best spent trying to contain this situation before it gets any more complicated."
Running a hand through thinning hair, the CEO released a frustrated sigh. "The police and one particularly unruly detective are currently downstairs in my office rummaging through the acquisition records for the last five years." Lips curled in a smirk as he regarded Lester Donovan. "These people are cops and have no idea what they are looking at, so I wouldn't worry too much about them." Hard eyes turned towards Christine Langston. "What I do worry about is the McGregor woman. I have no persuasive evidence to use as a means of convincing her to go away; she is one of the hard ones...clean and honest."
Cold eyes fueled by an even colder heart studied his daughter. "Find something...anything, and if there is nothing to find, well then, create a little persuasion for me."
Unfeeling eyes held the senior Langston's as she slowly nodded. Years of being moved around the corporate chessboard as a pawn to further her father's career and power had forced Christine Langston to hide her emotions well. No one knew her true thoughts and feelings with regards to the man she called her father and the development corporation and no one would until she was ready to let them see the real Christine, the woman that she herself had thought for years was buried away, never to be discovered.
Logan raked a frustrated hand through her long dark hair as she looked around the disheveled room at cases upon cases of records stacked along the wall of the accounting department. She had no idea what she was looking for but knew in her gut the answer would be found within these walls. Somehow, the Strip District murderer and Langston Development were connected and the detective vowed not to leave until she found the link.
The Judge signing the search warrant had provided a broad scope in which to work, allowing the search and seizure of past and current records, computers, and financial statements along with any personal property or information pertaining to any of the involved executives that was included in the personnel files.
A long time adversary of C W Langston's, the Judge silently relished the thought of being able to fight the man in the legal arena as the long arm of the law and it's often vague interpretations provided the weapons. The detective had used her knowledge of the animosity between the two powerful men as a weapon of her own to fight the hidden powers within the police force that bent under C W Langston's pressure and tried to hinder her investigation.
A smile crossed her face as the powerful man himself walked into the room and began bellowing orders to uninterested officers as they made their way through the catacomb hallways with corporate records towards a line of waiting vans below. Blazing eyes pierced hers as Langston stormed towards her, his face red and his nostrils flaring in uncontrolled anger. "You will not come into my offices and disrupt my business. I want every one of those cases placed back where you found them and not a single record disturbed. Am I making myself clear officer?"
Logan listened patiently as Langston ranted and only spoke after he had completed his demands. "I understand your concerns Mr. Langston. However, I have a murder investigation to lead and part of that investigation includes having our financial advisors audit these files in an attempt to locate any clue that will lead us to the murderer." A self-satisfied smile crossed the detective's lips as she watched the CEO's face pale. Gotcha you son of a bitch, now I know there is something here. "As soon as we have completed the investigation, I will be happy to return the records."
She pressed past the irate man and heard him swear as she headed towards the door. "You can not just come in here and disrupt my office. I will see to it personally that you and your superior are reprimanded for this outrageous behavior, young lady."
The tall, dark detective stopped and turned towards Langston. "You go right ahead and try Mr. Langston and I promise you, I will have you and your cronies arrested for hindering my investigation, withholding and tampering with evidence in a felony investigation, as well as any thing else I can come up with." Smiling she held the older man's eyes until he finally looked away. "I suggest you co-operate Mr. Langston, or else you may find yourself in less than accommodating quarters." She turned and walked out of the office as a pale face watched her retreat.
Langston stood frozen as the detective disappeared through the doorway, his mind spinning through the different possible scenarios. Quickly walking behind the desk, he lifted the phone to his ear and punched in the familiar number, waiting for an answer on the other end of the line. After several rings, a voice broke into his thoughts. "This woman is going to be harder to contain than I previously thought. Come up with something on your end and put it in motion. If we can't stop her outright, maybe we can throw enough bullshit at her she won't have time to concern herself with us."
The CEO, after slamming the phone down, made his way down the hall and towards the elevators on his way to the one person he knew would never let him down. As the elegant private car ascended the high-rise to the penthouse, C W Langston's thoughts traveled back to the events of the last five years. One of the brightest moments in his career had been when the Strip District restoration project had become a reality, but he realized it would all be for naught if the nosy detective poking through the corporate files stumbled across his darkest secrets.
Without knocking, C W entered the plush office and sat uninvited in a chair before the petit blonde-haired woman, impatiently waiting for her to complete her phone call. Before the phone was barely on the base he impatiently snapped, "It's time we made some other arrangements in regards to the problem at hand, my dear."
Christine sighed as she regarded her father. "I wish there was some other way, C.W."
"There isn't." His eyes bore into those of his daughter. "I can't afford these distractions Christine and neither can you. It's time to cut our losses and move on."
The senior Langston stood as his daughter sadly watched the slow and unsure movements of the man she had always admired and emulated. The once mighty and powerful C. W. Langston was now a fading nova, slowly withering away after long years of being the brightest, richest and most powerful man in the city. "I know, Daddy. I'll take care of everything, I promise." She watched as her father quietly closed the door contemplating her options before reaching into her briefcase for the personal cell. Some things you just don't need to know, Daddy.
The slim blonde made her way through the crowded halls of Langston development acknowledging each employee she passed by name. The first item on her agenda when coming into the company was to become acquainted with as many of the employees as possible. Experience had taught her that friends were always useful and beneficial in times of needed support Her father had thought it a waste of valuable time, never having learned the names of anyone under the ranks of vice president, except his secretary, who for many years was also his wife.
Walking quickly towards the door, she slipped the slim phone into the pocket of her blazer and made her way out of the building. Several blocks later, after finding a quiet, secluded place to sit, she removed the phone from her pocket and glanced around once more before press the numbers she knew from memory. Waiting for the phone to be answered on the other end, a small smile crossed her lips at the memory of the first time she had dialed the number. The familiar voice on the other end broke through her musing and the smile faded as quickly as it had appeared. "Hey baby, it's me. I need you to set up that meeting we've been discussing...and make it as soon as possible. This is getting out of hand."
Continue to Part Seventeen of Code Blue
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