A New Beginning
by Marion D Tuttle
Disclaimers: There arenít really any necessary as I own the characters.
This piece is of an alternative nature, in other words it does refer to a loving relation ship between two woman if that is not you cup of tea I would recommend you read some of the other great work that is out there.
Part II Takes up with Cassidy and Jordan finding that they can in fact work together but their fledgling relationship is about to hit a major snag that may make them both face ghost from their past they would much rather keep buried.
It had been two days since Jordan had first walked into Cassidyís office. There had been some tension at first, but they had found a way to settle into a working relationship. Cassidy still felt a lump in her throat when she looked at Jordan especially when the light hit her hair a certain way. She told herself that it was just because of the resemblance to Michelle. It had to be, Cassidy hadnít felt anything of a romantic nature towards anyone since Michelle had died. Oh there had been the occasional one night stand here and there when the loneliness got to be to much. The ironic thing was that after one of these encounters she felt an even deeper sense of loss. There seemed to be something about this young woman though. It was almost as if on some level she sensed that Jordan had suffered a great loss as well.
They had been going over several of the profiles on the cadets they would be training when the phone rang. Cassidy answered. "Lieutenant Windsor."
A male voice she did not recognize answered her "Iím looking for Jordan Walker, this is her husband." Cassidy creased her brow at this. Jordan hadnít mentioned she had a husband. She handed the receiver over "Itís your husband."
Jordan frowned at that "Ex husband." She responded. She took the phone from Cassidy it was clear she was irritated by the disruption. "This had better be important Paul."
"Hey take it easy, I was just worried thatís all. When you didnít show up for dinner the other night I got worried. Thatís not like you. I tried to get you at home...."
She mentally chastised herself, once they had broken the ice over their feelings on useless studies and reports they had started talking about what their respective ideas for this team were and the best way to implement them. She had gotten so preoccupied with both the work and the beautiful woman she was talking to that she had completely forgotten that she had agreed to meet Paul for dinner. "Iím sorry, I got busy..."
"I really do need to talk to you Jordan."
She was frustrated, she had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to talk to her about. He still thought they belonged together and simply would not accept that she did not want their marriage. Her first reaction was to just tell him that it was pointless but she didnít really want to get into on the phone, least of all at work. "Ok Paul how about tonight. I really donít feel like going out though. Just pick up some Chinese and come over to my place. Make it about 7:00."
"See you then."
Hanging the phone up she caught the quizzical lift of Cassidyís brow. "Iím sorry about that."
"Not a problem."
Over the past two days she had felt Cassidy slowly becoming more at ease with her. Now it seemed like some of those walls she had first encountered were back up. "I wish I could make him understand that our marriage is over." She said before she even had a chance to think about what she was saying.
"Hey itís really none of my business." She hadnít meant for her words to sound so harsh. For some reason it stung, just a little for her to think that Jordan was involved. She told herself she had no right to feel that way. After all they worked together nothing more. Wasnít that the exact thing Jim had told her when she first had doubts about this project? Seeing the look on Jordanís face at her comment she told her. "I didnít mean to snap like that, I just..."
"I know, getting calls at work for personal reasons isnít something I like either."
That hadnít been what Cassidy had meant to say but it gave her a safe out, so she took it. "Yeah well, what do you say we just get back to work?"
"Sounds like a plan." She smiled, it occurred to her again when she looked at Cassidy that she had a very warm feeling being in the presence of this woman. She felt a blush cover her cheeks as her thoughts went to a place she desperately didnít want them to. She had worked to hard to get where she was to risk her career on a physical attraction.
After several more hours of work they decided to call it a day. They agreed to make an early start of it in the morning. They only had three more days to prepare before the cadetís were scheduled to arrive for training on the following Monday. Jordan made a note to herself to stop at the bakery in the morning before coming to work and picking up some cinnamon rolls. She had notice that Cassidy had quite a sweet tooth. It was surprising really, no one would have thought by looking at the tall muscular woman that she had a weakness for sweets. It certainly didnít show.
The drive home for Jordan was not the most pleasant one she had ever had. She really wasnít looking forward to spending the evening with Paul. She had hoped that they could remain friends after their divorce, she didnít dislike Paul, she just didnít love him. When they first started dating her had some habits that she had a hard time dealing with. There were times he seemed moody and a little irritable but he had gotten over it. He had blamed it on being over worked and she had accepted that. Still their were times she wondered what was bothering him so much. When he asked her to marry him her initial reaction was to say no. In the back of her mind she knew it wasnít what she wanted, but she was so desperate to prove she was just like everyone else she had agreed. On the condition that he under go counseling for his Ďmood swingsí as he called them.
He had consented to this and they had married three months later. Jordan had done everything in her power to be a good wife but it didnít take her long to realize she had made a mistake. She had told Paul she wanted a divorce, at first he refused to accept this but when she filed and had him served with papers he really had no choice. That hadnít stopped him from insisting that they should give their relationship another try though.
She pulled into her space in the parking lot of her building. She noticed Paulís car was already there. Looking around she didnít see him. It struck her as strange but she really didnít think that much about it. She headed up to her apartment, standing in the hall she searched through her purse looking for her keys when much to her surprise her door opened. "Paul! What are you doing here."
He smiled at her. "We had a date, remember?"
She didnít even try to hide the aggravation in her voice. "No we didnít have a date. We had an appointment huge difference. Besides thatís not what I meant and you damn well know it. How did you get into my apartment?"
"I used to live here too you know. I still have a key."
She held out her hand. "Well thatís going to change right now!" She made a mental note to have her landlord change the locks ASAP
He took the key off his ring and handed it to her. "I donít see what the big deal is. Itís not like Iím a stranger Jordan Iím your...."
This was not starting off well. Her temples were already throbbing with a fledgling headache. She held up her hand to ward off his protest. "No donít say it. You are my ex husband, you got that? EX We are not married anymore and more to the point we are not, I repeat not getting back together!" It was the first time she had ever been this forceful with him about her feelings.
There was a look on his face that was somewhere between hurt and anger. "You donít mean that."
That was the final straw she couldnít take anymore of his refusing to accept her decision. "For Christís sake Paul what does it take to get through to you? I have tried every way I know how to make you understand. I donít want to hurt you but there is no chance for us..."
"You ungrateful bitch! I loved you I married you when every one else in town told me it was a mistake. You didnít know that did you? No how could you? You never really cared about what other people said. I heard the rumors, your cousin even told me about your sick little habits but I didnít believe it. I even moved to the city when you got the bright idea that you wanted to join the police force. You could have stayed home and had a perfectly good life but no that was never good enough for you was it. I was never good enough...." He was becoming more and more upset the more he spoke. He looked at her "Tell me the truth everything I heard is true isnít it?"
She couldnít meet his eye, she knew what he was talking about she had struggled all her life with the fact that her Father, Step Father really had sexually molested her at a very young age. She had told her Mother about the abuse but her Mother being the woman that she was told her that she must be mistaken. It wasnít that her Mother was a bad woman, she loved her only child. But she had suffered abuse at the hands of her first husband as well as her second and she lived in fear herself. In her own mind she did believe Jordan she just didnít think there was anything she could do.
Jordan had buried the pain and shame deep, so deep in fact that sometimes it seemed more like a distant dream to her than something that had really happened. She had never been truly comfortable with men though and when she had met her college room mate for the first time she felt an attraction for her. It had never occurred to her that she could in fact be gay, that just wasnít something that would be acceptable in the small town she came from.
One night after trying to deny her growing feelings for her friend for months she had told her the truth. She was surprised when Beth had said she returned her feelings. Even though she had been with men before this was the first time she had made love. The next day she awoke expecting to see her lover beside her and ready to start on a new relationship. What she found was Beth, in her robe in their small living room in tears with her angry parents telling her she was trash and a shame to them.
She never got the chance to talk to Beth about what had happened. Bethís parents had turned on her saying that she was scum for what she had done to their daughter. That she had ruined her life. The irony was not lost on her that one second they had been yelling at Beth calling her trash and the next they were blaming everything on her. Before she even had a chance to speak to Beth she was informed that this was never going to happen again. Bethís parents told her to get dressed and the all but dragged her to their car.
She never knew for sure what had happened to Beth after that. She had heard that Beth transferred to a school in another state but she never got so much as a letter or call. About a month after graduation she happened to run into Beth in town. At first Beth acted like she didnít even know her. Then when she finally acknowledged Jordan she told her that what had happened between them was a foolish mistake. Beth had a husband and a child on the way and didnít want to go back to that time.
Jordan tried to hide the hurt she felt at these words. She wanted to be happy for her friend but the one thing that haunted her was that Beth had the same flat lifeless look in her eyes that Jordanís Mother had always had. It was then she made a pledge to never let the small minds of people in that town touch her again. She tried to convince herself that Beth had been right about what they shared having been a mistake. She tried for years, it never worked.
Her mind snapped back to the present "I really am sorry Paul, I never meant to hurt you..."
He let her words sink in she hadnít confirmed what he had heard but she hadnít denied it either. "Well you right about one thing, thereís no chance of us getting back together. Iíve embarrassed myself enough." He turned to leave not thinking of the food he had left in the kitchen. "See ya Ďround Jordan."
She didnít want to bring it up but she felt she had no choice she had gone this far and didnít want to leave any unresolved issues between them. "You said you had to talk to me Paul, that it was important. What was it?"
He looked at her and for the first time in her life she saw disdain in his eyes. "Not that it matters anymore but I was going to ask you to go away with me for the weekend. I thought if we had a chance to talk. If you could get away from all this police crap your always so caught up in it might make a difference But there isnít any point to that now is there?" He turned and left before she had a chance to respond.
Part of her felt as though a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Yet at the same time there was a part of her that felt sorry for what had just happened between them. The truth was, as she had said she had never meant to hurt Paul. She couldnít help but think if she had just been honest with herself and everyone else from the very beginning things never would have come to this. She went into the kitchen, thinking about dinner but all of a sudden she didnít seem to have an appetite. Putting the food into the refrigerator she decided her best course of action would be a nice long hot shower and then turning in early, maybe things would look better in the morning.
Cassidy sat, the tapping of her pencil against her coffee cup the only indication of her growing aggravation. One sore spot with her was being kept waiting, Jordan was about 20 minutes late and it was staring to get to her. She heard the outer office door open and knew it had to be Jordan. She was prepare to blast her until she saw her. Jordan had a bandage on her head and one eye that was swollen shut and terribly discolored. "My God! What happened?"
"I had a second visit from my ex last night."
"You mean you know the person that did this to you? Your ex husband, why on earth did you ever agree to meet him if you knew he was violent Jordan?"
"I didnít, I mean I didnít know. He has never done anything like this before. He came over last night with the same old pitch in mind about us getting back together. Paul never wanted a divorce and was always convinced I was just going through some kind of phase..."
Cassidy rolled her eyes "Leave it to a man to not be able to accept reality."
Jordan winced at just how much reality Paul did finally face last night, and what that might mean for her future. "The point is we got into some things last night that we never had before and he really lost it. At first I thought he was just going to go home." She stopped thinking about what had happened
"But he didnít?"
"No I guess he got together with a few of his buddies and they went out drinking. He and a friend of his showed up at my place at about two this morning. They broke down the door and came in." Her breath caught in her throat. "They said they were going to teach me a lesson." With those words she felt her composure slip and she broke down
Anger was not a new emotion to Cassidy and she could feel it rearing up in her now. "Are you telling me they...."
"Please donít say it, I just want to forget this ever happened."
Something about the way Jordan said that touched off an alarm in Cassidyís mind. "Are you telling me you havenít reported this yet?"
"No I havenít, and Iím not going to."
Cassidy couldnít believe what she was hearing. "Jordan, come on I know this is traumatic but youíre a cop. You know you canít let these dirt bags get away with this."
"Hey I know all the arguments alright? If I donít report this it will happen to someone else right? Well it wonít, this is not a case of serial rapists weíre talking about. It was personal, it was to settle a score and itís over now...I just want it to be over." The tears were flowing harder now.
It was clear that Jordan was not going to be in any condition to work today or for a few days for that matter. Cassidy knew the first thing she had to do was let Jim in on what had happened. Then she needed to get Jordan out of here and calm her down. Maybe then she could get her to see that she couldnít just let this go. "Alright, I understand where your coming from. Let me make a call and then weíll get out of here."
The fact that Cassidy was going to call someone caused Jordan to ask. "Who are you calling?"
"Captain Harris? Cassidy no please..."
"Jordan I have to. You need some time we can postpone training for a week or so but I have to tell him something."
She saw the sense in what Cassidy was saying still she didnít want to reveal any more than she had to. "OK But please donít say anything more then you have to."
Nodding her head in understanding Cassidy moved to pick up the phone. After several rings she heard a very sleepy voice on the other end of the phone "Harris."
"Jim, itís Cass."
He looked at the clock on his bedside table "Jesus Cass whatís so important that you had to call me at 6:00am?"
"We have a small problem Jim."
These were never good words to start the day. "Not about this team again. I thought we had that settled."
She knew she had to be carful about how she proceeded. Jordan was in a very fragile state right now and for some strange reason Cassidy felt a sudden need to protect her. "It is about the team Jim, but Iím not the one with the problem..."
"Look Cass whatever it is just work it out.."
"Jim would you please listen to me this is not about not working with Jordan." Catching that comment Brought a questioning look to Jordan. "There has been a...development. Something personal has come up for Jordan that she really needs to give her full attention to. Canít we just postpone for say a couple of weeks?"
Silence met her request. He could hear something in her voice and his instincts told him this wasnít a ploy. There truly was something wrong. "Give me a good reason. I mean if I am going to go to the Commissioner and the Governor and ask them to put this project on hold Iím going to have to give them a reason."
She looked at Jordan she had put the call on speaker so she would be able to hear what was going on as well. "Tell them we are compiling additional information that will ensure the success of the project and we need a little more time to put things together. That should satisfy them, no one understands red tape like bureaucrats."
"Alright Iíll buy you some time, but tell me whatís really going on."
Jordan had a look of pure dread on her face. "Jim, please Iím asking you to trust me on this one."
The tone of her voice let him know that this was something she was serious about. "OK Just promise me Iím not putting my butt in a sling for nothing."
"I promise, and Jim Iím going to be putting in for a few days leave."
For some reason he wasnít surprised "Of course..."
"Thanks, Iíll keep you up to speed." She hung up the phone. "Alright, thatís taken care of now letís get out of here and you can tell me what happened."
They elected to take Cassidyís car since Jordan didnít feel much like driving or anything else for that matter. As they drove along the highway Cassidy wondered what she was getting herself into. She had made a point to never get to close to anyone that she worked with. Of course she had a close bond as friends with Jim, but that was different they had been friends before....íCanít go there right nowí she told herself. Now here she was, with a woman in her car that was on the verge of falling apart and she wasnít sure what to do. "What do you say we stop and get a cup of coffee. We can talk, or not talk depending on what you want." Jordan just shrugged her shoulders. "Or if you like we can go over to my place. It might be a little more comfortable for you not having to deal with a crowd of people right now."
"Thatís sounds better." Jordan answered.
ĎAt least sheís responding on some level.í Cassidy thought. Jordanís mind was replaying events not just of the early morning hours but of years ago. All the pain she had kept hidden all these years was starting to surface and she was afraid it was going to overwhelm her. She wondered again why she had gone into the station instead of going to the hospital. Then it occurred to her, she had wanted to see Cassidy. She barely knew this woman but there was something about her that Jordan inherently knew she could trust. She felt safe with her, something she hadnít really felt for as long as she could remember.
They drove on in relative silence each woman lost in their own thoughts. Pulling up into Cassidyís driveway Jordan was a little taken aback by the sight that greeted her. The house looked like something you would read about in American Castles. "This is a great house."
"Thanks, I had it built a few years ago. Some people think itís a little...imposing."
"No itís great just how...." She stopped herself before she could ask a question that really wasnít any of her business.
"How do I afford this on a police lieutenantís salary? I donít, Dad left me some money and when the stock market was doing so well in the 80's I put it to good use." Pulling the car into the garage Cassidy thought again of some of the things she had said over the past few days to this woman. True she hadnít really revealed any intimate secrets but she had been more at ease with her than most people she had ever come in contact with. She certainly felt more comfortable with her than she had expected to.
Taking a moment to disarm the security system before entering she looked back at Jordan. She knew Jordan wanted to just put this whole ordeal behind her. For some reason that she just couldnít put her finger on this young woman seemed almost afraid to take any action against the men that had violated her. Her first instinct was to try and talk some sense into Jordan but her instincts told her that pushing that particular issue at this point would be a mistake.
Cassidy turned on lights as she moved through the house. "Have a seat and Iíll see about that coffee."
Sitting on the sofa Jordan took in her surroundings she hadnít really given much thought to what Cassidyís house would look like. She had just assumed it would be an average house or maybe even an apartment but this was nothing like what she would have thought. The decor spoke of understated elegance. It was clear that the person that had designed this home and decorated it had a very original style that bespoke class. She heard Cassidy call from the kitchen. "We havenít had the chance to really talk. Are you from New York originally?"
Jordan smiled she knew an attempt to make small talk when she heard it. Her innate talent for reading people told her that this was not something Cassidy normally did. "Upstate actually, small town called Hudson Falls?"
"Donít think Iíve ever been there."
"Iím not surprised. Itís a small place Anytown USA really. It has all the quaint little shops, local dinner, VFW lodge all the closed little minds...."
That last comment caught Cassidyís attention. She came out of the kitchen with two cups of coffee and some pastries on a tray. I thought you might be hungry." Sitting the tray down she sat in a chair next to the sofa. "Sounds like you have some less then fond memories of some of the people you knew growing up."
"Letís just say I didnít conform to the idea of the good little Catholic girl that I was supposed to be." She took a sip of the coffee and let the warmth of the liquid seep through her. She hadnít noticed until just now but she had a cold feeling that had nothing to do with the weather. "My life hasnít really been all that exciting she said." She was trying to change the subject. "What about you? Your something of an enigma your self."
"Me? Iím an open book."
"Sure you are you work, primarily on your own. No one at the precinct seems to know that much about you outside of the office. You live in this great house that has room for a small Army but you seem to prefer being alone..." It was then she saw it. It was almost like a mask that dropped down over Cassidyís features. Her normally bright blue eyes seemed to cloud over.
"Things arenít always what they seem." There seemed to be the slightest shake in her voice when she spoke.
There it was again, that wall that Jordan had noticed the first time she met Cassidy. She was beginning to understand that she wasnít alone in having something in her past that had left scars. She knew hers were far from healed and it was becoming clear to her that Cassidyís were still open and hurting too. There was no explanation for it but for some reason she suddenly thought that maybe they could help each other heal.
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