Please see part 1 for all disclaimers.
Ring...ring. "Yeah." Corey reached over for the phone. It was 10 am. "Sleeping in are we?" The captainís voice came through the receiver loud and clear.
"Corey...it's John. The rest of the search on the license plate came back. 238 possible matches with the three numbers Ms Woods provided. Iím sending it all to you to sort out. Security link 32. Good luck." He finally said not waiting for Corey to say anything.
Corey sat the phone back on the table looking over at her companion who was reclining beside her rubbing her belly. "That was the captain, 238 possible matches on the license plate numbers. Want to help me sort them out?" She asked laying back down and drawing the smaller woman into her arms. She slowly rubbed circles on her back; Rachel laid her head down on Coreyís bare breast. Her mouth was only an inch from her nipple. Snaking her tongue out she licked it, feeling the sharp intake of breath and gently blew on it watching it harden under her gaze. Unable to restrain herself any longer she took the taut nipple into her mouth.
An hour later. "I canít move." Corey complained with a lopsided grin on her face.
"I know the feeling." The smaller woman said laying on her back with Coreyís arm over her stomach and a long leg pinning her to the bed.
"Ohh...sorry," She grinned scooting back and finally sitting up. "Do you have any idea what you do to me?" She asked the beautiful blonde in front of her who was stretching the kinks out.
"I hope the same thing you do to me." She winked at the tall dark haired woman and retreated into the bathroom.
Hearing the shower running she thought to herself. "Hummm... no, weíll never get started."
Shrugging her shoulders. "What the hell." She stepped into the bathroom to see a very wet, delicious looking Rachel standing under the running water. "What took you so long?" She asked pulling her lover into the steaming shower, hearing a soft giggle from the taller woman.
Taking the smaller woman by the hand she led her over to the computer. "This will take a minute. Itís being sent via a secure link." After several quick keystrokes and a few moments of drumming her impatient fingers on the desk the screen finally gave her the information she wanted.
"Lets see," Corey said looking at the screen. "we can delete everything thatís not a car." Quickly going through the list and eliminating almost half. "Okay, you said it was a light colored car, possibly white. So the 6 black ones can go." She deleted them from her list. "So, these we need to go through one by one." Corey stated looking at an inquisitive Rachel.
"But thereís a lot of other colored ones." Rachel said pointing to the screen.
"Hmm...true, but the problem is they donít tell us if theyíre a light or dark color. If the car was a color other than white I donít want to miss it." The investigator said pointing to the colors of the vehicles showing her there was no distinction between the light colored cars and the darker colored ones.
"Oh...okay, I see what you mean." She said softly leaning on Coreyís shoulders before straightening up and getting herself a chair.
"What does that symbol mean?" Rachel questioned.
"The car has been reported as stolen." Came the response.
"Wouldnít it make sense to go through them first and make a list?"
Corey handed her the piece of paper she was scribbling on. "Oh." Rachel said a little embarrassed. "I guess you do this a lot huh?"
"Yeah." Came an automatic response as she continued studying the screen. "Hmm...take a look at this." Corey continued, pointing to what she wanted Rachel to see. "What do you see there?"
"Just several of the same type of car. Some of the years are different but all of them are white, the same make and model." She said cocking her head to one side looking at her companion. "But that could be just a coincidence. Maybe it's some chop shop or something like that that needs parts."
"Yeah.... Thatís possible of course. But let me bring up some dates." Corey quickly made a few keystrokes and a new screen appeared. "Okay, look at that."
"What am I looking at?" Rachel inquired.
"The dates of all the murders and the one that almost was." Before it got all the way out of her mouth she realized what she was saying but it was too late to stop it. Looking over at the smaller woman sitting beside her she quickly put a comforting arm around her shoulders. "Iím sorry, I shouldnít have said that." She apologized.
Looking at her companion she smiled. "No. Itís okay. Iím just glad Iím not on there." She said pointing to the top of the list.
Corey couldnít help but smile back, "Me too." she said sincerely.
"Yeah?" Rachel said.
"Yeah." She pulled Rachel closer and kissed her. Releasing her she rubbed her finger along the blonde's jaw line and smiled at her as her eyes drifted back to study the screen again. She wrote down the dates and quickly changed screens. "Now, look at this screen...this is a list of stolen cars in the time frame of the first murder until she abducted you."
Taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. "I guess I just donít know what Iím looking at."
" Okay...Well.... Letís think about this. Our killer seems to be pretty methodical. She only kills the same type of woman. Young, beautiful, long blonde hair, green eyes, always dressed in business type clothing, and always found in a shallow grave at a roadside park along Interstate 17, and let's not forget the gold ring." Corey said looking pensively at the monitor.
"Do you think this Lacy looked like these other women?" Rachel asked.
Corey turned to regard the blonde woman sitting beside her. "Yeah." She said thinking. We need to find Lacy.
Picking up the phone and dialing without thinking, "John...Corey...look, I need access to all the DMV records. I need to find this Lacy and the only way I can think of is by going through those records. Iím going to need some help on this. I want names, addresses and phone numbers for everyone that has the initial L, in either first or middle name, and any variation of the name Lacy. You might want to check records of tags turned in from other states as well."
"Think youíre on to something?" The captain asked.
"Yeah...maybe. Can you do it and send them? Thanks." She hung up the receiver.
"You and the captain donít seem to have much to say to each other do you?" Rachel said.
"Huh...what do you mean?" Corey stopped and looked in the smaller womanís direction.
"Well...you two never have anything to say to each other. This morning you answered and said one word Ďyeahí then hung up. Just now...pretty much the same thing...do you guys ever have any conversations?"
Corey stopped to think about that for a moment. "Hmm...no I guess not. Only work stuff. Why?"
Shrugging her shoulders. "I donít know, itís not important I guess. Just noticed is all."
"Hummm." Corey grunted returning her attention back to the computer screen.
Stretching Rachel finally said, "Weíve been here for the last four hours. How about taking a break? Weíve covered everything a couple of times. Until that other list comes in...." She let the sentence drop.
"Yeah, you're right. I just think the longer I stare at the screen maybe something else will come to me. What do you think about heading up to the cabin tomorrow?" Corey asked.
"But what about the other list of car owners? Donít we have to check them out?"
"We?" A dark brow raised in question.
Lowering her head Rachel softly spoke. "I...just thought you wanted my help."
Lifting her chin to look into the green orbs, Corey wondered how she got so lucky. "I do need your help but I wonít put you in harm's way."
Protesting. "I have been in harm's way in case you forgot. I want to see her caught before she hurts or kills someone else. Itís not fair of you to keep me out of this ...not now." She finished putting her hands on her hips and glowering at a surprised Corey.
"Okay...we stay together all the time. I wonít take a chance of anything happening to you. Do you understand? No wandering off, no answering the door, nothing. You and me like glue."
Smiling Rachel touched her friend's arm. "I can live with that." She simply stated.
"Okay, but we can still go to the cabin. Itís Friday, I donít expect to hear anything from that search until the middle of next week. There are over two million people just here in Phoenix, let alone the rest of the state. Plus there's the extra tags Iím having looked at. It will take some time." She reasoned with her friend. "So what do you say we get on up there?"
"Yeah, I really like it there." Rachel said reaching to touch Corey on the arm. "We need to stop and do some grocery shopping though." She thought out loud. "So, tell me what kinda stuff do you like?"
"Oh I donít know. I can tell you I donít care much for seafood, vegetables, fruit, pork, chicken, turkey is okay, or plain white bread."
Raising both eyebrows to look at her companion. "That only leaves McDonalds or Taco Bell. What do you normally do?"
"Eat out...alot." A sheepish smile crossed her face.
"Okay..." Rachel thought about this for a moment. "Do you trust me to take care of this?"
"Yeah...what you have fixed for me has been good," Corey admitted. "even with the veggies. But I really donít like seafood."
"I see, youíll eat everything else, you just donít buy the stuff."
Another sheepish grin. "Never really learned to cook. To me making soup is opening a can of Campbellís. When I was growing up I wasnít allowed in the kitchen much. It was my motherís domain...so I just stayed away. She did all the cooking and house cleaning so I stayed out of her way."
"What about your dad?"
"Never had one. He split before I was born. The first time I ever say him I was fifteen years old. I have a brother two years older then me and when he graduated someone talked him into sending our dad an announcement. Anyway, he responded and I said that maybe someday I could come to Phoenix to meet him and the next thing I knew I had a round trip ticket in the mail. So I came out here. We kept in contact for a very short period of time then we both stopped writing." Corey shrugged her shoulders.
"He lives here...in town?" Rachel sounded surprised.
"Yeah, just over on Northern, off Interstate 17."
"Do you ever see him?" She continued to question.
"When I first moved out here I contacted him. I thought maybe I would get to know him. You know just a little curious I guess. We only stayed in contact about a month. It didnít work out. So I havenít seen him since then."
Rachel was surprised the way Corey regarded her father. "Donít you ever want to see him?"
"Nah...He asked me one night if I was gay and I told him I was. He said it was all right with him but not to tell HIS family. So I decided then and there he wasnít worth my time or trouble to get to know. After all, you canít miss what youíve never had." Corey just shrugged her shoulders. "No big deal. What about you? Are you close to your family?"
"Yeah, pretty much. I have five brothers and sisters. Iím kinda in the middle. My father passed away a few years ago. I sure miss him. But I keep in contact with the rest of my family pretty regularly." Rachel let a smile form on her lips.
"You almost got that grocery list done?" Corey asked looking at the pad and nodding her approval of the choices so far.
"Yeah, almost." Rachel stopped and looked at Corey. "Where are we going to get this at...here or in Payson?"
"Oh, ah...I guess weíll stop in Payson since thereís some freezer stuff there." She pointed to the indicated items.
"Doesnít open until 3:00 pm." Marilyn Dunn bellowed at her partner. "How the hell can you do business like that?" She looked at her watch. "Itís only 1:30. What the hell are we going to do until then?" She sounded disgusted.
"Ohh...Marilyn just chill out." Judy responded to her bellowing partner, stepping up to her. "Itís only an hour and a half then we can talk to Anne. Hopefully sheíll remember something more."
"Yeah...yeah...Iím sick of all these lesbian bars. Damn queers," She mumbled. "Iíll bet Coreyís one of them." She flared her nostrils looking like she wanted to punch someone.
"I think you had just better stop it right there." Judy placed her hands on her hips. "I like Corey and Iím not going to stand here and let you run her down.
"Whatís the matter with you?" Marilyn nodded towards the door. "You like this?"
"Lets just say I donít have a problem with what people want to do or who they choose to love."
Marilyn just grumbled. "Letís go get something to eat."
Two hours later the agents entered the bar. Marilyn stopped just inside the doorway and looked around.
"Hey..." Judy whispered to her, "weíre not suppose to be conspicuous." as she steered the reluctant agent to the bar to sit down.
The bartender smiled at the pair of women as she walked over and placed paper coasters on the bar in front of them. "What can I get you?" She asked cordially.
Judy spoke up before Marilyn could. "I think we would both like a coke."
The bartender nodded, filled the glasses with the requested beverages and placed them in front of the women. "Thatíll be $3.00." She reached for the offered bill. Rang up the drinks and returned with their change.
"Excuse me." The younger of the two women said. "Would you be Anne?"
She looked from one to the other before finally answering. "Yeah...why? Do I know you?"
"No." Judy reached into her pocket and pulled out a leather wallet. "Iím Agent Larsen and this is Agent Dunn. Weíre with the FBI and would like to ask you some questions."
Anne immediately went white as she felt her palms begin to sweat. ĎThis is ridiculous.í She thought to herself. 'Iíve never done anything. At least nothing to get the FBI after me.' Marly was at the other end of the bar watching and stepped up next to Anne. "Iím the owner of this bar. Is there something I can do for you?"
"Yes, Iím glad we get the chance to talk to you as well." Judy pulled out the composite sketch they had. "Have you seen anybody around here that looks like her?"
They both studied the sketch then looked at each other.
For the first time since they entered Marilyn finally said. "Does that look mean yes?"
"Well sort of. " Anne said hesitant to say too much.
"What does that mean?" Agent Dunn persisted.
"I guess I just donít remember for sure." Anne stated.
"Look...Anne." Agent Larsen spoke up again. "If you're trying to protect her, I need to tell you she is a very dangerous woman."
Anne shrugged her shoulders and started to walk off only to be stopped by a reassuring hand on her shoulder from her boss. "Anne if you remember anything about her maybe it would be wise to tell them." Marly suggested.
Anne looked back at the agents. "What did she do?"
"Sheís wanted for questioning in the attempted murder of one of your patrons." Marilyn answered enjoying the shocked look on their faces.
Anne countered, staring right at the smug face across the bar from her. "The FBI doesnít get involved in an attempted murder case. Thatís usually left to the local authorities." Now it was Anneís turn to look smug.
"Okay enough of this. Marilyn why donít you wait for me in the car?" Judy dared her to challenge her.
Muttering under her breath she slipped off the bar stool and went outside to wait.
"Sorry about that." Judy tried to lighten the mood. "Now Anne, please if you can tell me anything."
"Alright." She finally relented. "She was in here the other night. Trying to pick up on this really nice looking gal. I donít remember her name but she was about my height, slimmer maybe 110 lbs and I remember the long blonde hair. She was pretty."
Judy nodded knowing she just described Rachel. "What did this woman do to her?"
"Just trying to get her to go with her. She kept calling her by a name...I think she called her Macy, Casey...something like that I donít remember the blonde's name but I do remember her telling this woman that she had her confused with someone else."
"Can you describe this woman?"
"Yeah, she was a big girl probably close to 200 lbs. Maybe 5í8" or 5í9". She looks just like this picture. Oh...yeah, she had some kind of flower tattoo on her hand by her thumb. I remember asking her about it." Anne paused.
Agent Larsen produced another sketch. "Is this the tattoo?"
Startled Anne raised a brow at her. "Yeah...thatís it."
"Then you talked to her?"
"No, not really. She just ordered a couple of beers and I saw the tattoo and that was about all the conversation we had until she ordered a beer for that woman she wouldnít leave alone. I remember because she asked me what she was drinking." Anne stopped and waited as the agent took notes.
"Did she at any time tell you her name?"
Anne thought about that for a moment before answering. "No"
"Do you remember anything else about her that night?"
"I remember she grabbed...damn, I wish I could remember her name. Anyway, I came around the bar and motioned for some friends to join me. Just in case of trouble. But she let her go and went down to the other end of the bar. It was after that she told me she wanted to apologize to ...damn, why does her name keep escaping me...and bought her beer. She gave it to her and left." Anne shrugged her shoulders.
"Has she been in here before then or after that?"
"She did kinda look familiar but I canít say for sure."
"Anything else you remember?"
Anne looked pensive for a long moment. "No...so what did she do?"
"Sheís only wanted for questioning. If she should come back in here will you call this number?" She handed Anne and Marly both business cards with her various numbers on them. "We have reason to believe sheís a very dangerous person. Please be careful and thank you." She nodded as she stood to leave.
As soon as Agent Larsen cleared the door she heard a car start. Looking out into the parking lot she could see a seething Marilyn Dunn. ĎOh boyí she said to herself as she walked over and opened the door. Before she was all the way seated Marilyn started to pull out. Grabbing the door and pulling it shut, Judy just looked over at her. "Jesus...let me get in first?"
"Donít you ever send me out like that again."
"Then be civil to these people." Judy snapped back.
"There just a bunch of damn queers." Marilynís hatred showed and she didnít care what anybody thought.
"What is so terrible about them? They work hard for what they have just like we do! They shop in all the same stores we do, they pay their bills just like we do. I find it hard to believe that they can be hated for loving someone they choose." Judy tried to reason with the closed mind beside her.
"It's un-natural, just gives me the creeps." She shivered to bring across her point. "Why are you defending them anyway? You're not one of them...are you?"
"You know damn well Iím not! But I believe in treating people with respect until they give me reason not to. And it's not because of what they are, it's because of who they are; people just like you and me."
"Donít you ever class me with...with...them."
Judy just shook her head. "This conversation will never go anywhere so let's just drop it...huh?"
"Thatís the smartest thing youíve said." Marilyn commented while she was making a left hand turn onto Cave Creek Road to head back towards the office.
"You okay?" The taller woman asked looking at Rachel who seemed to be upset about something.
"Yeah, Iím just glad to be back inside.. Thatís all." She tried to avoid the reason why.
"Okay...so why are you glad to be back in? You couldnít wait to get up here." She questioned with her usual tactlessness
"I...I...guess Iím still a little shook up. Every face I look at I see her. Kinda silly I guess...huh?" A shudder went down her back.
Corey didnít have to ask who she was talking about. She stopped unpacking groceries and took the blonde woman in her arms and held her close. Rubbing her back slowly she whispered into a nearby ear. "I wonít let anything happen to you...I...promise."
Snuggling closer for a moment, Rachel sighed with visible relief. She knew this woman holding her would protect her and she felt safe in her strong arms. It was her own insecurities and she knew it, but couldnít help the nagging feeling of impending danger. "Thanks...I...ah...feel better already. We better get the ice cream in the freezer before we have mush." She laughed at the wrinkled nose of her companion.
Rubbing her belly Corey stretched out her long legs. "God...Rachel...you are such a good cook. Thank you."
Smiling the smaller woman reached across the table and rubbed the bare arm of her companion. "Glad you think so." She said a little embarrassed.
"Whatís this blush about? Surely other people have told you what a great cook you were?"
"Well, actually no." She said looking at the floor. "I was usually yelled at for it being too hot, too cold, or not ready on time."
Corey got up then kneeled in front of this beautiful woman lifting her chin to gaze into the green orbs she continued to find herself getting lost in. "I am so sorry someone found the need to treat you like that." She stopped, not knowing what else to say so she kissed her. The kiss lingered. Corey loved the responsiveness of the smaller woman. She had never before been with anybody who brought out such tenderness or such need in her. Need for many things. Not only on a physical level but also on an emotional level. Her heart hurt to think that someone had treated her so badly. Someone who was supposed to love her. If I ever get the chance...she thought to herself. Well, let's just say...It wonít be pretty.
Rachel was the first to break the kiss looking into Coreyís deep pools of blue passion. "I feel so much when Iím with you." She whispered rubbing her finger on the taller womanís cheek. "I...I...just donít know what to do, or how to handle it." She whispered touching her forehead with the investigator's. "Do you feel it?"
"Yeah." Corey confessed. "It's like we knew each other before. I canít explain it. I just know what I feel when Iím with you. I feel a sense of peace, a sense of belonging, and completeness, a sense of being loved."
"I feel all those things too and a real sense of familiarity to you." Rachel added watching the taller woman agree. "So where do we go from here?í
Shrugging Corey studied her companion intently. "All I know is that I keep getting this nagging feeling that our destiny's are meant to be together."
Smiling the blonde woman kissed her saying, "Good, I was hoping it wasnít just me feeling all that."
A sudden happiness flowed over the investigator as she reached around the smaller woman picking her up and spinning them both around in a circle. "I love you Rachel." Came tumbling out before she could bite back the words. Setting her back on the floor Rachel paused and looked at her. Putting her finger on the side of the tall womanís face she smiled. "I love you too."
Corey smiled a slow sexy smile as she bent down making contact with the smaller womanís lips. Gently nibbling them as solid contact. Her tongue traced the lips of her lover demanding entrance. Rachel willingly gave it to her, sucking her tongue as the taller woman moaned deep into her mouth. Gently pulling apart Corey put her arm around the blonde woman and quietly led her to the bed.
Standing beside the bed they slowly undressed each other, taking turns in gentle explorations. Neither woman was in any hurry. As the last of the clothes fell to the floor Corey lifted the smaller woman and gently laid her on the bed. Resting her own weight on her elbows as she covered the beautiful creature that had stolen her heart. She nibbled her ear lobe tracing the edges with her tongue. Moving gently down to her sensitive neck she continued her gentle assault with her lips. Her hands began to roam, cupping a breast and feeling the nipple harden in the palm of her hand. Quickly replacing her hand with her mouth she sucked in the nipple, running her tongue over the taut peak. She continued sucking, licking, and kissing the breast listening to the soft moans of encouragement from her lover. Slowly she moved over to the other breast to give it the same attention. Kissing back up to her neck then her earlobe Corey softly said, "Turn over love." Lifting herself up enough for the smaller woman beneath her to roll over without hesitation. Corey straddled one leg, reached around and cupped her breast kneading it much to the blonde womanís pleasure. Pressing her hips into the buttock pressed up against her curly patch. The other hand roamed down the blondeís side around to the small of her back and over the other side of her buttocks. Long fingers finding their way into the hot wet center beneath her. She slowly entered her, gently pushing in two fingers and pulling them back out to the first knuckle. Rachel raised her buttocks to meet the welcome intrusion. "More." She moaned with need as Corey continued to rub herself on the back of her loverís thigh. Entering her with three fingers and feeling the juices flow she knew it wouldnít be long before her lover sailed over the edge. Her lover's pleasure was the only thing important to the taller woman. She knew her own needs could wait. Pumping faster and deeper Rachel met her thrust for thrust. Corey felt the tightening of the muscles inside her lover. One more thrust and Rachel stiffened, then mumbled a variation of Coreyís name before collapsing headfirst into the pillow. Slowly Corey removed her fingers and laid beside Rachel who crawled with what little strength she had on top of the long, strong body. Laying herself between the legs of her lover Rachel pressed herself into her. Gaining her strength as her passion rose again beyond all limits. She sat up and straddled her loverís hips. Coreyís hands went instinctively to the smaller womanís thighs slowly running her hands up and back down a few times until she could no longer stop her roaming hands as they made contact with the blonde bush in front of her. "Oh no you donít." Her partner grinned covering the larger hands with her own lifting them above her head. "Hold on to the headboard," She instructed. "and now my love open yourself for me." Corey did as instructed. Rachel kissed, nibbled and sucked her way down the tall body trying not to miss any of it until she kissed the top of her lover's thighs where she began licking the sweet, creamy juices smeared over her lover. Corey moaned in pleasure as the blonde continued the most wanted assault. Gripping the railing on the headboard tighter as Rachelís tongue made contact with her very swollen nub. Sucking it in she continued to rub her tongue over it harder and harder, then letting up on the intensity and receiving a muffled moan in protest. Rachel pulled back, gently rubbing her tongue over her lover's swollen nub. Looking up the long strong body and running her hands up across Corey's stomach she stopped her assault momentarily. "You holding on tight?" She asked, receiving a nod as dark blue, passion field eyes peered at her. "Are you ready to come my love?" Rachel waited for an answer, receiving only a series of moans. "Iíll take that as a yes." She said diving into her prize, sucking the nub into her mouth and rubbing her tongue over it harder with each passing movement. Increasing her hold on the taller woman as she felt her reach her peak and slide over it in a wonderful sensation of love. Rachel refused to let up, only increasing the intensity as her lover peaked over and over again until complete exhaustion took over her body. Trying to reach for the blonde woman without any success she could only drop her arms to the bed. Rachel crawled up the delicious body beneath her. "Wore ya out?"
A blue eye peered at her with a tiny grin. "Rest sweetheart, just rest." She said laying her head down on Corey's chest feeling the warmth of her lover's skin and the strong steady heartbeat that lulled her to sleep.
Waking with Rachelís head on her chest Corey looked down at the peaceful blonde woman cradled in her arms. ĎGod, how can one person make me feel like Iím so much more then what I have always pictured myself as being?í She thought about it for awhile. Not coming to any conclusions, she finally decided this time in the morning was no time for philosophy. It was only time for more snuggling, which she happily did drifting off into a peaceful, contented sleep.
Ring...Ring...Ring...Corey finally grabbed the phone dropping it on the hard wood floor then retrieving it again. "Yeah?" She finally managed to say as she attempted to catch her breath.
"Corey? Itís Judy." She waited for Corey to acknowledge her. When she didnít get the expected response she continued. "I have a report you from the bars we visited yesterday."
"Oh...yeah, sorry. Whatís going on?" Corey said as Rachel handed her a small towel to wipe the sweat off her forehead that was flowing freely.
"Are you okay?" Judy sounded concerned.
"Hmmm...yeah, I was just working out."
"Oh...okay." She paused. "We visited all the lesbian bars yesterday. Nobody but Anne at Marlyís Bar remembers her or at least theyíre not saying if they do."
"Is there any reason you think any of them are lying to you?" Corey questioned.
"No not really. Most of then was pretty hesitant to say anything or talk to us. Corey I have to tell you Marilynís attitude was a big factor in a lot of it. I finally had to ask her to leave Marlyís so I could talk to Anne." Judy waited, hearing Corey take a deep breath then hesitate.
"Why? Whatís her problem?" Corey questioned.
"Oh you know, the whole phobia thing."
"Hmm..." Corey mumbled. Maybe thatís her problem with me. Oh well, she thought to herself, sheís going to have a real problem now. "Judy...is there someone else you think you can work with on this?"
"Yeah, but sheís going to be really pissed I said anything." Judy cautioned.
"Donít worry Judy." The younger investigator paused, "She wonít know. Iíll have John reassign her...okay?"
"Works for me. How about Chris?" She knew Corey could almost hear her smile.
"Good and thanks Judy." Corey said. "So did you learn anything new from Anne?"
"No...only that she may have seen her before but wasnít really sure. Everything you had told me about Rachel and the bar is pretty much what she had to tell."
"Hmm..." Corey thought about that for a minute. "Well, okay thanks. Oh...by the way, have you heard when Karenís or Mikeís funerals are?"
"Damn, I told Marilyn that never should have happened."
Before she could finish her thought, Corey interrupted her. "What are you talking about?"
"You didnít know?" Judy sounded surprised.
"Know what?" Corey's voice lowered, her patience running thin.
"Marilyn refused to go. And Karen said she would go with Mike."
"What do you mean Marilyn refused to go?"
"Now Iím getting this second hand Corey, I was off that day. Anyway I was told Marilyn had said she refused to go get...and I quote here Ďthat little queer's stuff.í Total silence on the other end of the phone. "Corey?"
A long calming breath, "Yeah...sorry...Iíll take care of it Judy and donít worry you wonít be mentioned."
"Corey..." Judy paused. "You know I donít feel that way donít you?"
"Yeah, I know and thanks." Corey hung up the phone. She was seething and knew she had to calm down before she called the Captain. Should I tell Rachel? She asked herself. Yeah I think I should. Corey turned to see green eyes peering at her in concern.
"You okay?" Rachel reached out and touched her forearm.
"That was Agent Larsen on the phone. She just told me Marilyn had refused to go to your apartment. At the time I thought it odd Karen and Mike were out there alone but after what had happened I guess I just filed it away. Marilyn was supposed to go instead of Karen. She would have had the experience and knowledge not to go on into the apartment, just back out and call for assistance." Corey took another calming breath.
"Why did she refuse?" Rachel's brow furrowed as she thought.
Corey looked into patient green eyes then ran the back of her hand down the blonde's cheek. "Apparently she said she "refused to get that little queer's stuff"." She said softly seeing the momentary sadness in the expression of her lover.
"I never know what to say to stuff like that. She just hates me because Iím gay and for no other reason. I donít understand attitudes like that." She shrugged her shoulders and wrapped her arms around Coreyís waist. "So what are you going to do?"
"I donít know. I do know sheís off this case and Iíll tell the Captain what happened about sending an inexperienced rookie into harms way and let him handle it. I guess I had better get it over with." Corey kissed the top of her head and moved over to her desk.
Punching in a number from memory Corey waited while it rang once, twice, "Captain Daniels please." She told the dispatcher. "John...it's Corey...listen I need to talk to you about something that was just brought to my attention. First of all I want Marilyn Dunn off this case."
"Whatís going on Corey?" Although he trusted his second in command and friend, he still wanted some explanation.
She laid out the entire story to him. How Marilyn was responsible for sending Karen into the field when Corey had told her Karen was not to be there unless she was with her and/or Agent Larsen.
"Corey," The captain confided in her. "Iíve been hearing some of the same things and have already asked for an internal investigation. I reassigned her this morning to desk duty. Iíll be sure if anything comes in on your investigation it's directed elsewhere. You got someone else in mind?" He asked knowing she already did.
"Yeah...I would like Chris Simmons to take over. And she needs to understand Agent Larsen is in charge. Okay?"
"You got it Corey. Iíll call Judy and Chris both into my office and let them know. Is there anything else you need me to do for you?" John asked.
"When are the funerals?"
"Karenís parents requested that her body be flown back to Virginia for burial and Sally, Mikeís wife wanted Mike to be cremated. She said Mike always requested not to have any ceremony. She said she was going to go ahead and move to Florida. They both had some family there."
"John...that never should of happened." Corey said drawing a touch from Rachel who sat close by. "I was so wrapped up in what was going on that when I heard it was Karen and Mike I just never questioned it. I feel so responsible."
"Corey," The captain said softly. "I know the feeling. But you are not to blame. Iíll get to the bottom of this. I promise."
"Thanks John. Iíll talk to you soon." Corey disconnected the call and sat the receiver back in its cradle.
"You okay?" Rachel moved closer putting her arms around her lover who returned the hug.
"Yeah...what do you say we get back to checking these plate numbers?"
"I have a better idea. How about lunch first?" Rachel covered her stomach with her hand as it sent out it's own acceptance of the idea.
Corey chuckled and led her to the kitchen where they fixed sandwiches and chips. "This was a good idea." Corey mumbled around a mouthful of ham and cheese. "Ice cream for dessert?"
"Sure, never been one to refuse ice cream. But I donít know anybody that would. Well, actually I do. A friend of mine that lives in Louisiana, Susan. Sheís allergic so I guess that doesnít really count huh?" She smiled shrugging her shoulders. "Iím really sorry about Karen. I know you thought a lot of her."
"Yeah, I kinda took her under my wing so to speak. I requested her assignment here when she graduated from the academy. Iím not good at handling this stuff." The tall woman confessed.
"Iím here and Iíll listen if you want to talk." She looked at a reluctant Corey. "Think about it huh?" Rachel left the offer open.
"Thanks. Maybe I will later." Corey twitch her lips into a forced smile until she looked up at the green eyes that peered down at her from where Rachel stood behind her chair, then the smile came naturally to her.
Hours later Rachel stood and stretched her shoulders which were sore from being hunched over the desk helping Corey go through all the possible plate numbers. They came up with 11 good leads that the investigator insisted on checking out herself tomorrow.
"How about some tub time?" Corey offered standing up stretching, then bending at the waist and groaning.
"Are you hurting?" Rachel asked looking at the position her friend was in.
Chuckling, "No it feels like my spine pops and moves into place. It feels good in an odd sort of way. I have this one spot in the middle of my back though that actually does hurt when it pops. It feels like the muscles pull and..." she paused for a minute thinking, "it just kinda hurts is all." Corey finished standing up, slowly rotating her shoulders as she did so. "It really feels good after the tub. You should try it." Corey motioned with her hand towards the hot tub.
"How about a back rub after the tub?" Rachel raised her eyebrows at her friend.
"I would love that but only if you let me reciprocate."
Smiling Rachel stood up on her toes and kissed the offered cheek. "You're on."
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