Cyber Antics Chapter 10
By Penelope Downs, AKA Doc
Disclaimer: The characters are mine and I own the copyright. Use without my permission is prohibited. Any resemblance to a person, dead or alive, is unintentional. If you under 18 years of age, are offended by same sex romances, or it's illegal to read about it where you live, stop now and read no further.
Neil and Detective Williams spent fifteen minutes surveying the front of Torrey's house with the younger officer, who also took photos and collected samples of the blood that covered the front porch, door, and a good portion of the sidewalk. When they were certain that they couldn't be of further assistance, they excused themselves and headed to Neil's car. Neither of the men was particularly thrilled about having to make the trip to the morgue, but they knew it was essential. It would confirm whether or not the body pulled out of the Potomac that morning was that of Carolyn's missing Spanish boyfriend.
Inside the red brick townhouse, Catherine continued to hold Torrey. She kept a firm but gentle grip on her, rocking back and forth, softly saying words of comfort until she stopped sobbing. When the younger woman regained her composure enough to move, she reluctantly scooted out of Catherine's lap, saying in a low voice that Catherine almost couldn't hear, "Thank you." She hadn't really wanted to move. She would have loved to remain in Catherine's embrace. It had felt good; she had felt grounded. However, she didn't think the Catherine would have been comfortable continuing the embrace once her desperation and panic had subsided. Although the older woman had tired to explain away her strange behavior in the elevator the day before, Torrey still couldn't help but think that there was something about her that made Catherine uncomfortable. Her unspoken fear was that it was the fact that she slept with other women and was attracted to her that repulsed Catherine. She hoped she was wrong.
Catherine attributed Torrey's awkwardness to the trauma of that morning. The blonde woman was still pale. Catherine decided that she needed to stay close to her, even if the tears had stopped flowing, so she consciously pushed down the urge to raise formal barriers again and distance herself from the woman. Instead, she followed her from room to room, talking.
When she heard her own stomach growl, Catherine decided that they both might feel better if they had a bit of breakfast. She definitely was hungry. She hadn't fixed anything at the house since she had planned on getting something from the small shop in their office building. Trying to interject some levity in an attempt to get Torrey to smile again, she said. "I can't promise that you won't get food poisoning, or at the very least an upset stomach, but I'm willing to make breakfast if you have the fixings."
Torrey appreciated Catherine's efforts to comfort her and put her at ease. She smiled weakly and led the other woman into the kitchen. "I've got bacon, eggs, bread for toast, orange juice and coffee."
Catherine feigned an outraged look, and chuckling, replied. "Here I thought you were a fitness fanatic. Now the truth is out, you're into fatty foods. I bet if I opened your cabinets I'd find junk food too, wouldn't I?"
Catherine's comments had the desired effect. Torrey laughed, cracking a wide, genuine smile. "Well, yea, you'd find Oreo's and chocolate ice cream. I admit that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. I try and to be good, but life's short, you know. I refuse to deprive myself of all pleasures. I just workout harder to make up for it."
Catherine continued the light banter, hoping it would raise the woman's spirits as she set about trying to find the cooking utensils she'd need to prepare their meal. "Well, there'll be no Oreo's or ice cream for breakfast young lady. I'm afraid you'll have to settle for eggs, bacon, toast and coffee. Although that might not be the most healthy meal, it won't cause a sugar high."
A bit of Torrey's carefree personality shone again. "You don't have to worry, I normally don't start my day with the Oreo's and ice cream. I generally have them right before I go to bed."
Catherine shot back. "Oh, that's even better. I bet you have nightmares once you're able to fall asleep."
Torrey quickly replied as she retrieved a pan that was well hidden in a lower cabinet and handed it to Catherine. "Actually, it has the opposite effect on me. I fall asleep like a baby if I've had my treats."
Catherine laughed heartily at that comment. "Well, I think I'll stick to my glass of warm milk."
Humor had succeeded in breaking the tension that had hung in the air. More relaxed and in a better mood, the two women fell into an easy partnership while preparing their meal. They continued to tease one another. Torrey, being a tactile person, even poked and touched Catherine several times during the course of various exchanges. Although the touching made Catherine uncomfortable, she also liked it. She found herself unsure about how to handle her conflicting emotions.
By the time their meal was prepared Torrey almost seemed to be her usual, upbeat self. Catherine was relieved, however, she suspected that Torrey wouldn't be comfortable spending the night in the house and was trying to decide whether she would invite the younger woman to stay with her. She was about to raise the subject, despite her fears that it might upset Torrey again, when she felt the small cellular phone that was clipped to the waistband of her skirt begin to vibrate. She grabbed it, unfolded it, pressed the send button and then held it to her ear. It didn't surprise her to hear Neil's voice, but his tone upset her. He didn't sound happy. In fact, he sounded very worried. His message was brief, too. He didn't want to speak on an open line. He simply told Catherine to take Torrey and head to the office to await his arrival. When he got there, they'd need to meet with Robert MacEwen.
Catherine decided against telling Torrey about the ominous undertones to her conversation with Neil. She simply told her that he wanted to meet with them and MacEwen when he returned to the office. Then, despite her strained nerves, she proceeded to eat at a leisurely pace, figuring that Neil could wait if he arrived at the office first. Once they had finished their meal, Catherine volunteered to rinse off the plates and put them in the dishwasher while Torrey got ready. She said nothing to encourage the young woman to rush. Catherine hoped to postpone what she knew would be bad news. They would have to deal with it soon enough.
It didn't take Torrey long to get ready. She returned downstairs looking like a proper lawyer in her Armani suit. Catherine shepherded her out the back door. As they descended the back steps, she decided she'd have Kelly make arrangements to have the goulish splatterings removed from Torrey's house for her so she wouldn't have to deal with it. She also felt a sense of dread when she realized how much she appreciated the view of Torrey's well-formed calves as the woman walked down the steps. She didn't like the emotions she was experiencing. They made her uncomfortable.
Both women avoided looking at the front of the house as they headed toward Catherine's car. They quickly maneuvered trees and scrubs and made it to the vehicle without more unpleasant reminders of the mornings events. Catherine had a sense of dread as she began the short drive to the office. The short trip didn't take long, given D.C.'s standards. Both women noticed Neil's car as Catherine drove to her reserved spot. Torrey wondered aloud what news he might have, not realizing where he had headed when he had left her house. Catherine didn't volunteer any information. She figured they'd both find out in a matter of minutes.
Continue to Chapter 11
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