A New Beginning
by Marion D Tuttle
Disclaimers: This is my first real shot at writing an uber story. Yeah I know I did a couple of Harry, Mattie and Annie stories but this one is with my own characters. Yes I know the main characters in this story might bear a resemblance in appearance to a certain Warrior Princess and Bard but it isnít them. This story does depict a loving relationship between two woman. If that isnít your cup of tea then this may not be to your liking. I am considering a series with these characters so please by all means your feed back is very much appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cassidy Windsor sat looking out her office window. She marveled at the people that rushed by, caught up in the details of their lives that might seem so important to them at the moment but in the grand scheme of things really didn'tít matter. They were so worried about getting to their next appointment on time. What they were going to make for dinner that night. How they were going to make their bosses understand that they just had to have this Friday afternoon off so they could get things done around the house before they left on their weekend trips. She used to be just like them.
Her mind wandered back that time. Even though she had seen the evils of life in her job as a police detective she had still managed to insulate herself, as everyone does against dwelling on it in her personal life. She knew that there were terrible things that happened to people on a daily basis but she had been lulled into the false sense of security that these things happened to other people. It was a common mistake, one everyone makes and most people get to live their whole lives believing. Sometimes though it doesn'tít happen that way, in one horrible night Cassidyís illusions of personal safety for her and her loved ones came crashing down around her. She hadnít been the same since.
It had started out like any other day. She had been working on a case that had left the rest of the department mystified. That was her specialty, cracking the cases no one else could. However this one had her stuck, as a rule she never had this much of a problem but there was something about this case that she just couldnít quite get. Every time she got close it seemed like any evidence she thought would be there just vanished. She was pouring over some of the information from the last crime scene when she happened to glance at her watch.
"Damn it" She said it was already 5:30pm and she had promised Michelle she was going to try and make an early night of it. She picked up the phone to call her lover. "Hey Babe, itís me."
"No donít tell me you running late right?" Michelle wasnít really angry she knew how important Cassidyís work was to her.
"Iím sorry, I wonít be much longer I just really want to see if I can finish this up."
"Still the same case?"
"Yeah. This is a strange one I canít figure the bastard out. He doesn'tít seem to have any pattern thatís whatís so frustrating. But I want to stop him before he hits any one else. Want me to stop and pick up take out on the way home?"
"Sure that sounds good, hurry home. I love you."
"I love you too." She hung up the phone. That would be the last time she would ever talk to Michelle.
She had worked about an hour more and was just getting ready to leave when Captain Jim Harris knocked on her door. "Cass can I talk to you for a minute?"
"Iím kind of in a rush Jim. Iím already late and you know how Michelle gets." She smiled at him.
"Sit down Cass." The tone in his voice told him something was not right
"Whatís going on Jim?"
"This just came over the wire." He held up a report
Cassidy felt a cold lump forming in the pit of her stomach "Heís struck again hasnít he?"
"Yes, but that isnít the worst of it." Jim searched for the words to tell Cassidy what he had to. He had done this so many times before with other victimís familyís, having to break the news to them that a loved one had been murdered but this was different. Cassidy was not just one of his detectives, she was a good friend. "Cass, it was Michelle..."
Her world exploded around her "No! That canít be! I just talked to her a little over an hour ago. Thereís got to be some kind of mistake."
"Thereís no mistake. Evans called it in. It looks like he had been in the house before Michelle got home he was waiting for her, just like the others."
She sat letting his words sink in as she felt her entire world crash around her. "How could he get in Jim? The security system...How?"
"Who ever this is Cass heís obviously done his home work But we will get him."
"You mean I will." She was determined, no more than ever that she was going to catch this madman. He had just made it personal and she wouldn'tít rest until she had him."
Jim had other ideas though he know Cassidy to well. If she ever caught up with the scum back that had killed Michelle she would not wait for the justice system to make him pay for his crimes. It wasnít that he had any sympathy for the perp, if he had his way he would let Cassidy cut him to ribbons but he didn'tít want to see her put her life or career in danger. She had lost her objectivity on this case and that could make her take dangerous chances. "No way, as of now your off this case."
Cassidy couldnít believe what she was hearing. "You canít do that Jim!"
"Yes I can and Iím going to." It was rare that he used her official title but when he did she knew he meant business "Detective Windsor if I so much as here a rumor that you are even asking questions about this case in an official capacity after leaving this office I will suspend your ass. You got that!" He went on in a tone that was more like a friend. "Hell Cass I know what you feel like but you have to steer clear and let us catch him Iím bringing in a team from the FBI the last thing either of us wants is for this son of a bitch to get off on some technicality."
"At least let me consult...."
"No I donít want you anywhere near this one. I mean it, you know the departmentís stand on this as well as I do. Not to mention the public defenderís office if the find out you are had anything to do with bringing this perp in theyíll turn it into a circus."
She had reluctantly agreed that had been four years ago and still the case remained open. After Michelleís death it had seemed like the bastard that had killed her had just fallen off the face of the earth. The killings had stopped with no explanation and after several months had gone by with now other murders the case grew cold. It was the one case she had never found an answer to and it haunted her to this day.
Her life had gone on but it bore little resemblance to what it had once been. She was still the best in her field and her career was moving on a fast track. In fact she had just received a new assignment to train and head up a new drug task force this was a pet project of the Governorís. As much as she hated to admit it she didnít think the Governor was all that interested in cutting crime connected with drugs in the inner city. But it was an election year and he was trying to score points. She was waiting for the files on the new Cadetís she was going to be training. Part of her wanted to groan when she had found out that this team was being assembled by handpicked cadetís that were fresh out of the academy. One fact that had given her some measure of comfort was that she was to be assigned an assistant that had a good deal of experience With drug related crime. At least she felt better about it until she got her future assistantís file. One look at the staff photo and she felt like she had seen a ghost.
Sometime getting what you want could be the worst possible thing. Jordan Walker stood looking at the mess that used to be her organized bedroom. For what seemed like the millionth time that day she asked herself if she was crazy. She had asked for this assignment, not so much because of
the fact that it would look great on her resume, although it would. Her main concern in this was gain valuable knowledge and skills.
She had heard stories about Cassidy Windsor. Any one that had been in law enforcement in this town for longer than a month had. She had the reputation of being able to see things on a case that eluded everyone else. Jordan was far from a slouch when it came to crime solving but she knew that she could learn from Detective Windsor. Her immediate problem was in getting ready for their first meeting. Normally Jordan wasnít a stickler for impressions but she wanted to make a good first impression on Cassidy.
She knew the woman had a reputation of being a loner and that it would be an uphill battle as it was to gain her trust in working together. The last thing she needed to do was start of on the wrong foot. "Go with the grey suit." She told herself, it made her look professional with out looking to stiff and formal.
Taking a deep breath she decided it was time to go. She made one last check of the contents of her briefcase before heading out to her car. Just as she put her hand on the door the phone rang, she thought about letting the answering machine pick it up but her Mother had not been feeling well and she wanted to make sure nothing was wrong. "Hello?"
"Jordan, Iím glad I caught you before you left."
The sound of her ex husbands voice always grated on her nerves but never more then when she had something to do and he was preventing her from doing that. "Paul can I get back to you? Iím really tight for time right now."
He never liked being brushed off by her and he felt like that was what she was doing. "Listen Jordan I just wanted to call to try one more time to talk you out of this."
She let out a slow breath, silently counting to ten. Paul had made it very clear that he did not want her to take this assignment. The truth was he didnít even want her to be a cop it was one of the reasons their marriage had failed, at least in his opinion. "This isnít a good time, I told you Iím running late. Besides this issue really isnít up for discussion."
"OK but can we have dinner tonight?"
She had tried to tell him many times that their marriage was over. She would always care about him as a friend but their was no hope for a reconciliation. He had said he understood but he never missed a chance to tell her that he still thought they should be together. As much as she wanted to beg off she knew it would be quicker to just say yes. "Alright, seven at OíBrienís ?"
"Great Iíll met you there."
She hung up already regretting her decision to see him. "This day is starting off on great note." She said she was unaware at the moment that it was only going to get worse before it got better.
Cassidy sat across from her Captain, a grim look on her face. She hand the file folder to him."Have you seen this?"
He had expected a reaction when he saw the file but he honestly didnít know what to do about it.
He tried to down play it. "I take it your talking about the fact that Detective Walker bears a slight resemblance to Michelle?"
"A slight resemblance? Jesus Christ Jim they could be twins!" She drew in a deep breath in attempt to steady nerves that had become quite shaky. "I canít do this Jim."
"You better find a way Cass, because the truth is you donít have a choice. You were both picked for this assignment for very specific reasons. These orders come straight from the top." He sought to comfort her "Itís been four years Cass, maybe itís time...."
"Time to what? Forget her? Iíll never forget..." The pain rose in her again the passage of time had done little to lessen her grief.
He was reminded again of the pain his friend had suffered at the loss of her lover. "Hey Iím going to tell you something. Not as your boss but as your friend. I know how hard it was for you to give up your heart in the first place and I know you loved Michelle more than anyone you have ever known. But she wouldnít want this for you Cass. She would want you to move on with your life and be happy. It threw me for a loop when I saw this picture, I canít lie about that. But Jordan Walker is not Michelle she is coming here to do a job, thatís it."
"I understand that Jim, I do but...." She really wasnít trying to be difficult but she knew that being in the same room with this woman that looked so much like Michelle was going to tear her heart out.
Jim felt what his friend was going through and he sincerely wished there was something he could do to help. But it occurred to him that even though it would be painful this might be just what Cassidy needed. It would force her to finally face the demons that still haunted her. God really did work in mysterious ways. "Itís settled Detective Walker is going to be here later this morning. Youíre a professional Cass, remember that. Youíll find a way to deal with this."
The building rose before her, once again she swallowed the lump that had seemed to lodge permanently in her throat. Thoughts were swirling in her head. A lot was riding on this assignment and she knew it. She had broken her back in the five years she had been on the force to get through the invisible barriers that seemed to be firmly in place against her advancing her career. Although it was never said out loud, it was common knowledge that the police department in the small town she had come from was considered a "boys club". Most of her co workers in the department had been very supportive. But there had been a few that thought she was just some bored housewife looking for a little excitement and it wouldnít be long before she decided to quit.
When she had announced that she was leaving her husband, the police chiefís son it started a whole new pile of rumors. Of course these rumors werenít really new. They had followed her through high school and college. She had done her best to deflect the talk that she might not be all she should be as far as her social life. After all it wouldnít do for her, the daughter of the towns two most prominent citizens to be labeled as a freak.
After college she and Paul had married, she wasnít even sure why she had agreed to marry him. She did love him but not in the way a wife would love a husband. She really saw him as more of a dear friend. She had told him after three years of marriage that she wasnít being fair to him she had tried to be a good wife but she felt like she was cheating him out of the chance to be with someone that truly loved him.
She had thought he understood but he never missed a chance to point out that they belonged together and he was more than willing to take her back once she got this Ďindependenceí thing out of her system.
Shaking her head she tried to clear her thoughts. She had enough to worry about today without trying to figure out what Paul was going to hit her with tonight. Taking a deep breath to calm her nerves she walked into the building. She stopped at the information desk to get directions. "Iím here to see Lieutenant Windsor, I believe she is expecting me."
"Yes Detective Walker she is just finishing up a meeting with Captain Harris. If youíll follow me Iíll show you to her office." Jordan watched as the young woman rose from behind her desk She couldnít help but notice that she seemed very eager to please. She wondered how much of that was pride in her job and how much was an effort to impress the higher ups in an effort to reach a higher level in her career. She suppressed a small grin she was always looking for the ulterior motive in peopleís actions. It wasnít that she was distrustful of people by nature. It was just something she had picked up early in life and had stuck with her through her career as a detective.
She followed the young woman into Cassidyís office, sitting in the chair she had indicated. "Lieutenant Windsor should be here any moment..."
Before she could finish her sentence she heard a voice behind her "Iím right here Gina." Jordan noticed a blush that covered the younger womanís cheeks at the sound of the Lieutenantís voice.
"Can I get anything for either of you?"
Cassidy simply raised a brow at Jordan. "Coffee would be nice...I take it black."
"Iíll be right back, Lieutenant?"
Ginaís voice broke through her thoughts "Oh yeah, coffee would be good. Thanks Gina." After the young woman had left Cassidy turned to Jordan. "I see Gina made sure you found my office alright."
There was something in her voice. Jordan couldnít quite put her finger on it. It seemed like she almost felt disdain for Jordanís presence ĎGreat, just what I need she thought to herself. She hasnít even heard me speak yet and she has already made up her mind that she doesnít like me.í "She was very helpful yes."
It was then that Gina reappeared with the two coffees. Jordan noticed when the cups were placed on the desk that Cassidy seemed to drink hers black as well. At least she knew they had something in common. It was a small thing, but at least it was something. After the young clerk left the office Jordan turned her attention back to Cassidy. She couldnít help but feel a lump forming in her throat. She had expected, and prepared herself to meet a hard edged detective. Cassidy clearly was that, what she hadnít planned on was meeting one of the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. ĎNo point in letting my mind go thereí She told herself. She sat waiting for Cassidy to say something, anything to break the tension that she could feel building in the room.
Cassidy had noticed the tension as well. She knew she had to say something soon but it felt to her as if some one had a tight grip on her throat. Even though she had seen Jordanís picture and thought she had prepared herself for this meeting she couldnít help the feeling that the wind had been knocked out of her lungs. Extending her hand she thought at least introducing herself might help get the ball rolling and break the ice. "Itís a pleasure to meet you Detective Walker. Iím Cassidy Windsor, my friends call me Cass." Now why had she added that she thought. This woman was here as a coworker not to be her new best friend.
Grasping the hand that was offered Jordan offer her own introduction. "Call me Jordan please. I understand that we have new cadetís coming at the start of next week for training."
For some reason Cassidy felt herself relax a little bit. Jordan seemed to have a way about her that put people at ease. "Thatís right I thought we could use a few days to get to know each other and get a handle on what this teams functions are going to be before we had a bunch of rookies running around." She heard her voice in her own ears, it sounded like her voice but she didnít know where the words where coming from.
Jordan noticed too that Cassidy seemed to be a little less on edge than when she had first arrived. Something told her that she was going to have to proceed in a very careful manner. It was clear to her that the woman before her was doing everything she could to make things as comfortable as possible. Still there was something there under the surface. She decided the best tact would be to keep her questions work related. She pulled a stack of papers from her briefcase. "I got a great deal of information faxed over to me about this project last week. I understand our focus is going to be on drugs and gang related crime."
Cassidy reached across to take the offered bundle of papers. "Thatís government for you any problem can be taken care of if you throw enough paper work at it." She arched a brow as she read through some of the facts and figures contained in the reports. She shook her head "It still amazes me how much money the powers that be are willing to spend to compile reports to tell us what we already know."
"I take it your not a statistics buff?"
For some reason that comment touched a nerve. She recalled when Michelle was murdered some of the officers that had been working the case referring to her death in terms of "Statistics" and "Numbers" "You take it right. It sickens me that some paper pusher can sit in an office somewhere and reduce human life and suffering to raw numbers. I know first hand that there is crime out there and whatís happening, every cop does. The last thing we need to be doing is sitting around reading reports about how violent crime has increased while the people that are responsible for it are out there doing their thing. Itís not like the crooks are out there reading reports and stats on what weíre doing."
Jordan agreed with everything Cassidy had just said she was just a little taken aback by the reaction she saw. She could tell that this was a subject that had they potential to get very uncomfortable very fast, so she sought to defuse the situation. Taking the papers back Jordan tossed them into the wastebasket beside the desk. She noticed Cassidy raising one dark brow in question. "Well since we both seem to be in agreement about wasting time with nameless faceless reports letís not waste time with them then." She moved towards the file cabinet in the corner. "What do you have that is directly related to what weíll be doing?"
Cassidy sat back in her chair. ĎSo she doesnít want to drown in red tape either, this just might work out after allí
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