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I arrested him for the robbery of the Martin Off License, read him his rights and
"Detective OConnor! Can I talk to you in my office for a minute, please?"
Frankie looked up from her computer when she heard her name called, she nodded to him and said, "Sure. Ill be right in."
She saved the report of her last arrest, that she had been writing and stood up and went to Lieutenant Martins office, she walked in and shut the door.
"Sit down Frankie."
Frankie sat down in front of his desk, looked up at the Lieutenant and wondered what was going on. She knew that she hadnt done anything wrong, so she wasnt in any trouble. But, the reason she was in her lieutenants office was a mystery to her; she hated not knowing, so she asked.
"Whats going on John?"
John smiled at the pensive look on Frankies face, "Nothing to worry about Frankie, really. Im just assigning you a new partner."
Frankie smiled, a little unsure of how she was supposed to take this news, she hadnt had much luck with partners in the past. So she said, "Really? Who is it?"
"Detective Cameron Taylor. Shes transferring here from the NYPD. Shes originally from LA, so shell pretty much know her way around. And " John looked at his watch... "She should be here soon."
Frankie sat thinking, she had recognised the name straight away. Cameron Taylor was well known for being a tough cookie, not one to take any crap. She smiled at the prospect, and said to John. "Ive heard of her. You going to try your luck putting us together?"
John laughed, "Youre incorrigible, do you know that? Im putting the two of you together because I think youll be a great team."
He came around the desk and sat in the chair next to Frankie, he decided to get serious.
"Frankie, listen to me carefully. I want you to really try and make this partnership work. I think Cameron will be a good influence on you and you on her. I know its hard for you to do this, but you do really need to rely on someone other than yourself for a change. You know I think of you as my own daughter, so naturally, I worry."
Frankie was looking at the floor taking in everything John had said, she took a deep breath in and slowly exhaled. She looked up at John and said, "I promise I will try. I dont mean to worry you, you know. But ever since its the only way I know how to keep a handle on things, I keep to myself But, I will try."
John nodded, glad she was receptive to the idea of having a partner. He was about to say something else when he was interrupted by a knock at his door, he turned to the door and said. "Come in."
The door opened and in walked a woman, a couple of years older than Frankie, she was about five foot ten and had long black hair, which was clipped back off her face, and it meant you could see her eyes; a beautiful blue.
"Detective Taylor?" John asked. When she nodded John held out his hand. "Its nice to meet you."
Cameron shook his offered hand. "Pleased to meet you too sir."
Cameron had noticed Frankie as soon as shed walked through the door, and gave her the once over. A little younger, maybe shorter about five foot six and had short blonde hair, Cameron smiled at her and when Frankie looked up at her she saw she had the most clear, green eyes shed ever seen, Frankie smiled back, a little tentatively, she stood up and John introduced them.
"Detective Cameron Taylor. Id like you to meet Detective Francesca OConnor. Your new partner."
Frankie held out her hand and Cameron shook it.
"Its nice to meet you."
Cameron smiled. "You too. Im looking forward to working with you."
Frankie nodded, remembering what John had said. "Me too."
John smiled, he hoped that this was going to work out, at least they seemed to get along okay. They didnt hate each other on sight, which, he thought was always a good thing. He mentally crossed his fingers, praying that this partnership was going to work.
"Frankie? Could you give us a few minutes to some stuff out, and then you can give Cameron the ten cent tour."
Frankie nodded, "Sure." Then to Cameron she said, "When youre through here come and find me."
Cameron nodded. "Okay, Ill see you later.
She smiled and said, "Okay." She walked out and shut the door, and went back to the report shed been writing when John called her in. She sat there thinking about what John had said and her first impressions of Cameron Taylor. She doesnt seem too bad she thought and smiled I guess Ill have to wait and see.
In the meantime John was telling Cameron all about the unit, "You shouldnt find it too hard to settle in. The other detectives in this unit are all men, some are set in their ways but theyre all good guys. Only, they do have a habit of getting a bit vocal about some issues but Frankie manages to give as good as she gets, so now they pretty much leave her alone."
Cameron smiled, "Sounds like she can stand up for herself. Why was she without a partner for so long?"
John stood up and went to the window. "Frankie is a brilliant detective, one of the best Ive ever seen, methodical and very intelligent when it comes to her cases. But, she can be arbitrary and a bit impulsive when she wants to be. People tend to give up trying to get through to her after a while. But, when I read your file, you seemed to be the yin to her yang, so to speak."
Cameron nodded and smiled at John. "Ill try my best."
John nodded his approval. "Good, right lets sort all the paperwork out while youre here and then Ill let Frankie show you around so you can get acquainted with the filing system and all of her current cases."
Cameron nodded, "Fine."
Frankie had just finished writing her report and was printing it out when the phone on her desk rang.
"This is dispatch. Theres been another one."
Frankie grimaced, "Okay. Where?" she wrote down the address and thanked them.
She found the file for the case shed been working on for the past six months, it was of a serial burglar. She went to Johns office and was just about to knock on the door when it opened.
"Frankie! Were you getting impatient?"
She grinned at John. "No, I just got a call from dispatch, my burglars at it again. I was coming to ask if Cameron wanted to be thrown in at the deep end?"
John looked at Cameron and she nodded. "Okay, you go. Frankie will catch you up with the case and give you the tour later."
They walked out to Frankies car in silence. When they got in Frankie spoke.
"Heres the file. Ive been working on this case for six months, but he keeps changing his M.O. He likes to rob the expensive houses but he never leaves any evidence."
Cameron was reading while Frankie talked and drove. "How do you know its the same guy?"
Frankie turned her head and smiled at her. "He leaves me a note."
Cameron looked at the next page and saw the five notes he had left so far.
"He always signs Robin Hood, delusions of grandeur I think. But he is clever, no finger prints or fibers of any kind left on the scene."
Cameron kept reading while Frankie drove, she knew in cases like these, that sometimes a second pair of eyes could spot something new, a fresh perspective on the crime scenes.
Five minutes later Frankie pulled up to a house, she parked behind the squad car and looked around to try and spot the officer. They got out and walked up to the house.
Frankie turned at the sound of her name and saw the officer. "Hey Andy. Andy this is my new partner Cameron Taylor. Cameron this is Andy Mason."
They shook hands and Andy said "Hello." They went in and Frankie turned to Andy and asked. "So what do we have?"
Cameron had to smile, straight down to business she thought to herself.
Andy looked at his notebook, "I was called at eleven thirty a.m. No one on the scene when I got here, I looked around, and when I found the note I knew what it was, and thats when I called dispatch and told them to call you."
He handed her the note in the evidence bag so that any fingerprints were preserved.
It read Youre getting slow sheriff. Robin Hood.
Frankie sighed, she was getting tired of this guy. She handed the note to Cameron and said. "Here, you might be able to shed some light on this. I dont seem to be getting very far."
Cameron read the note, then she re-read the previous ones. At the same time she watched Frankie out of the corner of her eye. At first she stood in the middle of the room, just looking around, letting her eyes wonder over the furniture and bits and pieces in the room, then she walked around. John was right, she thought. She is methodical. I can almost see her brain analysing everything in sight.
She started looking as well, although she was more into the senses, touch and sound etc. Not trying to get into the guys head like Frankie did.
Frankie could feel Cameron watching her, but she wiped all thoughts from her mind and concentrated on analysing the room. She could see where the forensics team had dusted for prints, so she looked in the places that they had overlooked. You just never knew when he was going to be careless.
"Andy? Where was the note?"
Andy pointed to the door leading to the kitchen. "It was pinned to the back of the door. Forensics took the pin with them just in case."
Frankie nodded. Her mind on the enigma surrounding this case.
Andy knew there was little point trying to talk to Frankie when she was like that, so he turned to Cameron. "Detective Taylor, I have to get back to my station. Theyre sending an officer to check up later. It was nice meeting you, and will you tell Frankie I said bye?"
Cameron smiled at him, "It was nice meeting you too, and Ill tell Frankie when shes back with us. Thanks for your help."
He nodded at her and left. She watched him go and turned back to Frankie, she read the letter again while Frankie was looking around. Something had been niggling at the back of her mind since shed read the notes in the car, she was just having trouble making it a lucid thought.
Frankie turned around, despondent at not finding anything that they could use. She looked over at Cameron, she looks like shes on to something she thought. She didnt speak for fear of interrupting her train of thought, she was mumbling to herself, looking from the file to the room and back again, the latest note her main focus.
Then "Thats it!" Her head shot up and she turned to where Frankie was standing looking at her. "Theres a pattern."
Frankie looked at her, "Are you sure?"
Cameron nodded. "Entirely. The notes."
Frankie frowned, not knowing where this train of thought was destined, she asked. "What about them?"
Cameron smiled at the look on Frankies face. "They dont mean anything. A red herring. He thinks that if theres a note in cases like this; then that is the thing detectives will concentrate on. Because, they think that its important evidence. Hes using it to cover his ass."
"I dont get it. Why go to all this trouble and effort?"
"Because he knows, that one of these days hell get sloppy. Forget to wipe something, leave us some small piece of evidence, so hes been using the notes to make that our main focus. Hoping well neglect the crime scene. Take his latest effort, hes not saying youre slow, hes saying hes slowing you down. Kind of um reverse psychology. Does that sound stupid?"
"No it doesnt sound stupid. You are right. I have been focusing on the notes, but how did you come up with a theory like that?"
Cameron shrugged, "I dont know really. I think it was just a fresh insight. Not really having a vast knowledge of this case. I just looked at it from a different angle."
Frankie laughed. "Well Im glad you were here to figure it out. Now we can concentrate on the scene, and see if hes slipped up. Because, even though I looked earlier I have to admit that, I was more focused on the note than the room."
Cameron nodded, and they started searching in earnest.
They spent another hour searching the house for anything even remotely out of place, they returned to the station to tell John what had happened.
Cameron thought they had got on alright and decided to see if Frankie would come out for a drink to celebrate her first day.
"Frankie, do you want to get a drink when were finished here?"
Frankie shook her head. "Im sorry Cameron. I cant, I would like to. But, I have an appointment that I cannot miss."
"Oh, okay. Another time then?"
Cameron wasnt sure if it was brush off or not, but she realised it would take more than one day to crack the shell surrounding Frankie.
Frankie though, she kept her feelings hidden, because she knew in the long run she would get hurt, and she wasnt about to let that happen again.
When they got to the office they went their separate ways, just saying night on their way out.
Lieutenant Martin caught up with Cameron just before she left for the day.
"Frankie told me you figured out a significant piece of the case?"
Cameron smiled, "Yeah. It just came to me."
"Well congratulations. Well, Ill let you go. Goodnight and Ill see you tomorrow."
She nodded, said goodbye and left. She drove home, she was still sorting out her new apartment. Most of her stuff was still in boxes, so she spent a couple of hours sorting them out. Then she went to bed as she was exhausted.
About two hours after finishing work Frankie got home, she saw the message light flashing on her answer phone so she pressed play, it was John checking she was okay. She was too tired to call him back, she decided to wait until the morning. She went to bed and was asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow.
When Cameron woke up the next morning she had another idea on the Robin Hood case. She had a shower and got ready for work, the idea still fresh in her mind ready to run it past Frankie when she got to the station. Forty-five minutes later she got to work, she noticed Frankies bag on her desk but no sign of Frankie. She sat down and started to do some more research into the case.
Frankie had arrived about five minutes before, but she had gone straight into see John.
Frankie opened the door and went in. "Morning John."
John looked up from his paperwork and smiled at Frankie. "Good morning. Take a seat."
Frankie sat down and looked out of the window, when she didnt say anything John took the time to look at her properly, she looked really good. But, he was still worried about her even though she said she was fine, she still had a haunted expression in her eyes. He could only see it occasionally, but he wished he didnt see it at all.
Frankie turned back and caught John looking and she smiled at him. "Im alright. Honestly, I just came in to say Im okay. I was tired when I got in last night which is why I didnt call you back. So, I decided to come and see you this morning."
John nodded, "Im glad youre okay. Im sorry for being such a worrier, but Im entitled. Right back to business." Frankie grinned at him. "How did things go yesterday? You and Cameron get on okay?"
"Yeah we seemed to. Shes very smart, Ill let you know if there is any problems but, I think well be fine."
"Good, now get back to work. Ive got stuff to do."
Frankie smiled at him, got up and went to the door, she turned and gave him a mock salute. And then had to duck the screwed up piece of paper that was aimed at her head, she giggled. She closed his door and turned to see Cameron working on her computer. She took a deep breath and went to say good morning to her partner.
Cameron was familiarising herself with the computer system, she heard the lieutenants door open and looked up just as Frankie got to her desk.
Cameron smiled. "Good morning. Ive had another idea on the Robin Hood case."
Frankie grinned at her and said, "Great. Do you want to get a cup of coffee and then we can talk about it."
"Okay, that sounds good."
They went to the machine and Cameron got two cups of coffee handing one to Frankie, they went back and sat at Frankies desk. Cameron took a sip of coffee and began telling Frankie her idea.
"Okay. We figured out what the notes mean, they mean something but not anything of vital importance in this case, right?" Frankie nodded not interrupting Cameron.
"So, I thought about the types of houses hes breaking into, expensive ones, so what if its his Robin Hood fixation that is a clue. We have to start looking and thinking: disgruntled employee, an angry ex-boyfriend dumped for a rich guy."
At Frankies raised eyebrow Cameron smiled and shrugged, one hand tapping out a tune on the desk. "Okay. Maybe not that one but you see where Im going right?"
Frankie leaned back in her chair, looking into the room, not really looking at anything, she was twirling her pen through her fingers. Thinking over what Cameron had said. She looked at her partner and said, "Youre right. The only way were going to catch this guy is if we get inside his head. So, the next time he strikes well be closer to catching him."
Cameron nodded, glad that Frankie hadnt dismissed her thoughts as inane, or completely out of left field. "Right, another thought. Has anyone you sent to prison got bail or parole recently?"
Frankie grinned at her and said. "I thought of that. And, I checked last night before I left for my meeting. Everyone Ive ever sent to prison is still safely locked away."
Cameron was looking over the file again, reading the notes, she was just about to say something when the phone on Camerons desk rang.
"Its John. Weve just had a call about a suspected crack house downtown. I want you and Cameron to go with Roberts and Murphy and have a look. And remember, wear your vests."
Cameron looked at Frankie expectantly, waiting to hear what John had said.
"We have to back up Roberts and Murphy to raid a suspected crack house. Weve got to grab vests and meet them downstairs."
Cameron nodded and they got ready.
Frankie followed Cameron downstairs and saw detectives Roberts and Murphy waiting for them.
"Morning guys." To Cameron she said, "Meet James Roberts and Aidan Murphy. Guys this is Cameron Taylor - I didnt get a chance to introduce you yesterday."
Cameron shook there offered hands and said, "Hello."
"Whats the plan?" Frankie asked.
James answered. "Weve got four squad cars to back us up, and well decide how it will go down when we have seen first hand what we are dealing with."
Cameron asked. "Where are we headed?"
"To the waterfront, theyre set up in a warehouse."
Frankie nodded, "Lets go."
Cameron drove following James and Aidan. When they got about three hundred yards from the warehouse they pulled over and got out.
Aidan spoke. "Right, according to the source there are two ways in and out. One at the front and one down the alley. Backup is about a minute away. Well go in the front, you two give us to the count of thirty, then come in. Unless of course they start shooting, then come on in."
Frankie nodded and they went there separate ways. Frankie looked at Cameron and smiled. "Dont worry. Youll get used to Aidans sense of humour. He figured out that sometimes you have to see the funny side in situations like this."
Cameron raised an eyebrow. "I wasnt worried about that. I just hate kicking doors in."
She said this with such a straight face that Frankie took a second or two to grin. She shook her head. "Okay, lets go." Into her radio she said, "You guys set?"
"Yeah give us thirty."
They heard the door slam open and James shout "LAPD Freeze!"
And then the shooting started. "Oh shit!"
To Cameron she said. "Ready?"
Cameron nodded, not smiling. She kicked the door open pulling her gun out at the same time. "Ready."
She went in and motioned the all clear for Frankie, she went ahead of Cameron and heard someone coming. She motioned for Cameron to stay still where she was, and she held her gun down by her leg. She took a second to decide what her plan of action was going to be, and then holstered her gun. The guy came around the corner and before he could react, Frankie grabbed his arm and slammed him face first into the wall. Before him or Cameron knew what was happening Frankie had him unarmed, handcuffed and lying outside.
Frankie winked at Cameron, redrew her weapon and they carried on. The sounds inside were getting louder. They got to the inside door and heard the gunfire stop, they looked at each other and Cameron shrugged. She opened the door and stood back.
Frankie shouted, "LAPD. Drop your weapons." Then she let out a relieved breath as she heard Aidans shout.
"Its okay. Theyre down."
Frankie and Cameron walked in and helped them handcuff the three guys who were lying face down on the floor.
"Backup is on the way. Did you get the other one?"
Cameron smiled. "Yeah. Hes all locked up outside."
The backup arrived and took the four guys to the station, Frankie looked around but couldnt see Cameron anywhere, James and Aidan were collecting all the evidence. Frankie left them to it and went outside to find where her errant partner had disappeared too.
She found Cameron outside, leaning up against a squad car just staring into space, Frankie hoped she was alright.
"Cameron?" When she didnt get a response she put a hand on her shoulder and said her name again. "Cameron?"
Cameron came out of her stupor at the feel of Frankies hand, and focused on Frankies concerned face. "Sorry, I was miles away."
"Its okay. I just wondered where youd disappeared too and when you didnt answer me I was worried. Are you okay?"
Cameron nodded. "Im fine Really. I was just taking a breather for a minute."
Frankie looked at her for a bit longer. Then she smiled, a tentative smile, she knew something had effected Cameron, but she thought why would she confide in me when I dont with her? she shook her head to clear her mind.
"Okay. Im going in again to help the guys. You take as long as you need."
Cameron nodded and Frankie went back inside.
Cameron watched her go and took a deep breath and let it out, willing her heartbeat to calm down.
She didnt know why she didnt just tell Frankie it was her reaction to the close call in the corridor. For a second she had a flashback, but Frankie handled it and she was relieved. She just needed a minute to calm down and clear the images from her mind.
After a few minutes she went back inside and helped to collect the evidence, there was a lot of it to collect. About half an hour later they were ready to go back to the station, theyd left the forensics team to finish up collecting prints and more
The car ride back to the station was a silent affair, Frankie not knowing what to say and Cameron was still conflicted about the days events and what had happened in the past.
When they got back to the station they worked out how the interviews were going to pan out. It took them most of their continuing shift to get all four statements. Then the four guys were on their way to lock up. Cameron and Frankie were both exhausted, they said their goodbyes and went home.
A week later they were working on the Robin Hood case, theyd had a quiet week, tying up loose ends of paperwork theyd had on the raid and they had a few call outs, nothing huge.
Theyd had one call in the morning and had got back to the station just after lunch, after getting something to eat they got coffee and went back to work on the Robin Hood case, they were still at an impasse.
They decided to brainstorm, just throwing out ideas. After a couple of hours of throwing ideas about they were interrupted by the phone.
There had been a homicide, and they were the only detectives available to attend. Frankie threw Cameron the keys and the gave her the address and said, "You can drive."
When they pulled up to the address ten minutes later, Frankies heart almost stopped. She hadnt got any details over the phone, but in front of her was a house that was still smouldering from the fire that had gutted it.
It looked terrible, flashing lights and people running about putting out the little fires still burning and wetting things that were still smoldering. Cameron got out of the car and turned to say something to Frankie, but when she turned around she wasnt there.
Cameron opened her door again and leaned in, she said. "Are you coming?"
Her partner was staring out of the window, not moving. Frankie didnt look at her, she took a deep breath - opened the door and got out. "Im coming. Lets find someone to tell us whats going on."
Cameron nodded and followed her partner to look for someone in charge.
They went and found the fire chief and the police officer who had been the first on the scene.
After listening to both accounts they were able to piece together what had happened.
A husband had lost control with his wife, when he found out she was having an affair, so he torched the house with her and her lover inside. Theyd rescued the woman and she was getting treated in hospital, but the lover was D.O.A. The husband had been arrested and was being treated for minor burns.
"Do you need to look around?"
Cameron nodded, "Just to get a clearer picture. I dont think well find any evidence." She turned and looked at Frankie, she was still worried about the far away expression on her partners face. "Frankie? Are you ready?"
Frankie shook her head, clearing her thoughts. "What? Oh yeah sure."
They followed the fire chief inside, he told them where the fire had started and all the details, where theyd found the bodies etc.
Frankie tripped on a fallen chair, she grabbed the doorframe to stop from falling and got covered in soot. She just stared at her hand, at the blackness of the soot. The smell of the fire was so bad she could taste it, and all the other stuff happening made her feel sick, it was a rational feeling and all she wanted to do was get out of the house. She ran out and went to the car, she stood there taking deep breaths to get the feeling of the fire out of her lungs.
Cameron watched her run out, and then followed her out, but before she could say anything Frankie said, "Lets go."
They got in the car and they were on their way back to the station, they had called the hospital and were told the woman was in critical condition, they would have to wait to talk to her. The husband would be kept in for a couple of days but they could talk to him the next day.
Their shift had ended about ten minutes before they got back, and Frankie went straight to the locker room, still without saying a word to Cameron. Cameron let her go, and went to tell John what had happened on their call out.
She knocked on the door and went in. "Just coming in to say were back."
John looked up. "What was it?"
"A fire. A guy torched his wife and her lover."
Johns face paled and he asked. "Wheres Frankie?"
"Shes getting her stuff. Why?" Cameron was worried, the look on Johns face making it clear that there was something going on, something that had affected her partner badly. And, she knew it must be big from the look on Johns face.
"Just keep an eye on her."
Cameron nodded. "Okay, I will. Goodnight."
She left his office and went in search of Frankie.
Frankie was staring at her reflection in the mirror, she had streaks of soot on her face and her hands and shirt were covered. She washed her hands and face and was drying off when she heard the door open.
She saw Cameron in the mirror, she had a worried look on her face, but she didnt speak; she couldnt. All she wanted was the smell of soot off her, she ripped her shirt open, buttons went flying and took it off and threw it in the bin. Her back was to Cameron and she wasnt surprised when she heard Camerons gasp.
Cameron wondered what was wrong with her partner, but lost her train of thought when Frankie turned her back. She couldnt not notice the tattoo on her right shoulder - it was beautiful.
"That is incredible."
Frankie shrugged, she put on a clean shirt and turned around. That was when Cameron noticed the tears, they were pouring silently down Frankies face.
Cameron walked toward her. "Frankie? What is it? Whats wrong?"
Frankie looked at her, opened her mouth, she tried to speak but nothing, not a sound came out. Cameron took her arm and led her to sit on the bench and did the only thing she could think of, she took Frankie in her arms and held her. For a moment she worried that Frankie was going to pull away, but she didnt. And, after a few seconds she put her arms around Cameron and just let the tears fall.
"Its okay. Ive got you Ive got you."
For about twenty minutes Cameron just held her tight, reassuring her that she wasnt alone. When Frankie pulled away Cameron got her some tissue and Frankie wiped her eyes and face.
Cameron smiled. "Anytime."
Frankie stood up and went to the window, she looked out and was still, Cameron was silent. She could see that Frankie was trying to work things through in her head, so she stayed silent. After a few minutes of silence she turned around and spoke to Cameron.
"I think its time I told you some stuff about me. But, I think we should get some ice cream first."
Cameron nodded. "Okay. You drive."
Frankie finished getting her stuff, then they went down, got her car and drove to the nearest ice cream shop. They got what they wanted, Frankie decided that she wanted to be at her place when she told Cameron her story.
Cameron didnt say a word, she realised that Frankie was fragile and the best thing she could do was let her dictate what and how things would happen.
They got to Frankies apartment and went in, Cameron looked around while Frankie served up the ice cream. When she came in the living room Cameron was sitting on the sofa, Frankie put the bowls on the coffee table but didnt sit down. She went and stood looking out off the window, she took a deep breath, exhaled and started to talk.
"The tattoo is a tribute to my parents. The badge was my dads and the rose; the rose was my mothers favourite flower."
"And the hawk?"
Frankie shrugged. "I dont know. Just something to put them together, see the hawk is flying off with the badge and the rose. You see, when I was a rookie I lived in an apartment by myself and not at home, I wanted to be independent. One night I was on duty, Andy and I were called to a fire, but when the address came over the radio I froze because I recognised it, you see it was my parents house. When they said the address my heart stopped, and when we got there Andy had to hold me back to stop me from going in. They told me that they had found my younger brother Billy and my mom and that they had been taken to hospital. But my dad my dad was DOA."
Cameron could see that Frankie was finding this hard, her shoulders were shaking and tears pouring down her face, so she got up and stood next to her in the window.
"When they told me this I broke down, Andy put me in the car and drove me to the hospital. The doctor told me that Billy would make a full recovery, his left arm and shoulder were burnt but it would be okay. But my mom my mom was in a bad way, they said the damage was too extensive for her to recover. They took me in to see Billy, and as soon as he saw me he started to cry and asked about mom and dad. He was only fifteen and I was only nineteen, I took his hand and had to tell him that dad was dead and that mom was dying. About half an hour later a nurse came in and told us that mom wanted to talk to us."
All through her story tears streamed down her face, Cameron grabbed some tissues and handed them to her.
"Thanks. They let me wheel Billy down to her room, and I had to try really hard not to break down, for Billys sake and my own, she was badly burnt, but she was still mom. She said she just wanted to see us one last time. Billy told her he loved her, kissed her cheek because it was the only place not burnt and said his goodbye, then the nurse wheeled him back to his room. Then my aunt Amanda came in, she said goodbye to her sister and went to sit with Billy. Then mom made me promise to look after Billy and not to die. You see we had fought over my decision to be a cop. So I promised her. I kissed her cheek and told " Frankies voice broke so she took a breath. " told her that I loved her, and watched her as she died a few seconds later."
Cameron took her hand. "You dont have to go on."
"No, Im okay. I couldnt stop now even if I wanted to. After she died I went outside to the waiting room and John was there. He was my dads partner, he saw my face and he knew, he told me how sorry he was. But, I didnt care. By this time my heart was behind the wall Id built, the walls were up and I was numb. I just said tell me what happened and he did. He told me that the men my dad was undercover investigating had found out he was a cop and they had dealt with it, in their own violent way. The other undercover officer with him didnt find out until it was already done, and it was too late to do anything when he did find out. Thats when I got angry, but John said at that moment they were arresting the men responsible. I just walked away, back to my brothers room, my aunt was still there and they both knew that mom was gone without me saying a word. My aunt Amanda was great, she dealt with everything and everyone. It was moms wish that if anything ever happened to her and dad that Mandy would look after Billy, so he was going to move in with her to finish high school. The funeral was a week later, when Billy was well enough to attend. All this time I hadnt cried, the whole thing was horrible, especially the wake. I had compassionate leave off work and I left the wake early because I just couldnt stand it. I went to the nearest off license and bought a bottle of vodka and drank it until I passed out."
Frankie turned to look at Cameron, grateful that she was just letting her talk, getting everything off her chest.
"For three months I drank and drank to try and numb the pain of losing my parents. I wouldnt listen to Billy or Mandy when they tried to help, I thought I could handle it. I couldnt see how much I was hurting them and myself. I kept drinking until the day Billy decided to come and see me, and when I didnt answer his buzz he let himself in. And, as he walked through the door he heard a crash in the bathroom, when he opened the door he found me unconscious and blood pouring from a cut on my head where Id caught the edge of the sink when I collapsed. So, Billy did the only thing he could do, he called an ambulance. When I woke up a couple of hours later I saw Billy, with tears in his eyes looking so distraught. But, my reasoning was that the promise I made to my mom wasnt broken, I wasnt dead but, I wasnt really living either. But at that moment, I woke up and realised what Id been doing to everyone. I started to cry and Billy held me and I promised then and there that I would get help."
Cameron held her hand tighter. "What did you do?"
"I went into rehab, and I got sober. After six weeks I went back to work and put my head down and worked hard to become a detective at twenty four. So, Ive been sober now for almost five years. I go to AA meetings at least once a month and on odd occasions if I feel the need I go twice. So there you go. The reason I keep people at a distance, you, even Billy and Mandy is because I dont ever want to feel like that again, that heart breaking agony. If I dont get close to people then I dont get hurt. Which is why I havent had a partner last longer than two weeks since they died. But, I realise now, that if I dont feel things, then Im just an empty shell of a person. And, another thing I realise now, is that sometimes I can be a bit slow what I realised is that I am really glad that you are here and that you let me just talk."
Cameron was crying as well, all that stuff shed had to deal with, most of it on her own. "Im really glad Im here too. Wow, now I know you were going to an AA meeting that first night."
Frankie nodded, Cameron just pulled her into her arms and held her.
After a couple of minutes, Cameron let her go and went to the sofa and sat down, Frankie seeing the pensive look on her face sat next to her and said, "Whats the matter?"
Cameron looked down at the floor and said. "I guess its my turn for true confessions."
Frankie shook her head. "You dont have to tell me anything."
"I guess I need to. I want you to understand and if you can be brave then so can I."
When Frankie stayed silent, Cameron began to talk.
"You know at the raid last week when I disappeared and I said I just needed some fresh air?" Frankie nodded, "Well that wasnt the real reason. When you disarmed that guy in the corridor, I had a flashback to a similar incident that didnt go so well. About a year ago my squad were called to an office block where some disgruntled employee had gone on the rampage with a gun. My partner was in front of me and he came around the corner and before I could react hed shot her in the head. I froze, it was only thanks to the other detectives that he didnt shoot me. So, I had compassionate leave and appointments with the psychiatrist forced upon me. I requested a transfer because I couldnt stand being in New York anymore. I felt ashamed, I couldnt face Sophies husband or her daughter. I thought it was my fault for not reacting quick enough, if Id reacted maybe shed still be here."
Frankie held her as she cried. "Oh Cam. It wasnt your fault." Cameron looked up at her, she looked so devastated. "There was no way you could have stopped him, no one blamed you did they?"
She shook her head. "No, no one blamed me, this is all my own guilt. Why did she have to die? She had a family, it should have been me."
Frankie shook her head vehemently, "No. it shouldnt. Ive spent a lot of time thinking about this so listen because it has taken me almost five years to realise this, things happen for a reason - you might never understand why it has happened. But, you cannot let the shoulda, coulda, wouldas get in the way of living your life. Im a prime example of that."
Cameron smiled. "I guess it was just what happened last week, it made me remember. I guess Id repressed it all we are a right pair arent we?"
Frankie laughed. "Yeah. But, now we know that we can talk about it all and work through it. Because holding all that stuff in, isnt good; for either of us."
They sat in silence for a few minutes, both feeling like a huge weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
Frankie looked at Cameron. "Yeah."
"Wheres Billy now?"
Frankie took a deep breath and said, "Hes at college in Chicago. Hes doing something with computers, I forget what exactly, we talk at least once a fortnight. But, I really did keep him at arms length after my parents died, even more so after I came out of rehab."
"Maybe its time you let him back in. You said yourself its time to start living."
Frankie nodded. "I know your right. You should forgive yourself too - about Sophie. Were you friendly with her family?"
Cameron nodded slowly. "Yeah. I was. But I know that Andrew didnt blame me. He told me so at the funeral. But, I was so upset that it took me a long time to accept that. But I have now."
Frankie hugged her again. "Im glad."
They talked for a couple more hours about what had happened, and then Cameron went home, Frankie felt different. That was the first time she had told the entire story to anyone, she was glad that Cameron had listened and, that she had confided to Frankie also.
She decided to do something else, so she picked up the phone and dialed.
"Hey Billy. Its me."
"Frankie? Are you okay?"
Frankie smiled. "Yeah, Im good. I just wanted to phone and tell you that I love you, thats all."
Silence at the other end, and then she heard Billy crying. "I love you too sis."
"I wanted to say sorry for pushing you away after everything and that from now on Ill be your big sister again. If thats okay?"
"Yes Frankie thats okay. I cant think of anything Id like better. One question though."
"Okay. Go for it."
"What bought this on?"
She laughed. "I got a new partner at work. And, I told her about everything tonight and I realised that I wanted you in my life. Like you should be, and thought, or rather hoped that you would forgive me?"
"I forgive you Frankie. Im glad youve got a new friend. Is she nice?"
Frankie smiled, picturing Cameron in her mind gorgeous she thought, where did that come from? she pushed it to the side of her mind, instead, she said. "Yes she is, really nice. Im glad too. Well, little brother I have to go as I have to get up early. Ill talk to you soon okay?"
"Yeah, Id like that. Goodnight sis."
Frankie heard the phone cut off and smiled, but she decided to make one more call before bed.
"Hello?" said a groggy voice.
"Hey Mandy. Sorry for waking you up."
"Frankie? Are you okay, whats wrong?"
Frankie had to smile, "Im okay. I just wanted to phone and apologise for giving you grief. I just phoned Billy and apologised, so I wanted to call you too."
Mandy smiled to herself. "Its okay Frankie. I always understood. Im glad youre feeling better. Its really late. Do you want to come around for dinner one night?"
Frankie smiled. "I would love to. Is Tuesday okay?"
"Fine, be here at seven? We can talk then."
"Yes maam. Goodnight."
"Night Frankie. Sweet dreams."
Frankie put the phone down and smiled to herself, she went and had a shower before flaking out because she was so exhausted.
Cameron got a cab from Frankies back to the station to pick up her car, and then she drove to her place. She marveled at all the stuff that Frankie had been through at such a young age, and how she had gotten through it all. She was glad it was all out in the open, and that she had told Frankie about her experience. It really did help to talk about things, maybe now they could both get on with living their lives.
She got to her apartment and went straight to bed, the evening had been emotionally exhausting and she was glad to be in bed. She fell asleep almost instantly, having the first peaceful, dreamless sleep shed had in a week.
When Frankie woke up the next morning she smiled, she felt great. She had her brother and aunt back in her life and had a really good friend. She was excited, for as long as she could remember shed felt like her parents death and her battle with alcohol had hung over her head like an anvil, now she felt free. To live her life. She knew that it was always going to be there, she wouldnt ever forget it but it wasnt the main focus of her life anymore. I can get my life on track again she thought, she got up and went to the gym. She had started using exercise as a way to work off stress in rehab, instead of after work drinks. But, now she went because she enjoyed it, it made her feel good. After a couple of hours at the gym she was showered and ready for work.
Cameron woke up and lay there thinking. Shed thought that she would never be able to get through to Frankie, when John had first told her that she was difficult Cameron was worried. But, after what Frankie had told her she understood totally. If Id had half of what she had to deal with in her life I dont think I couldve gotten through it.
She got up and had a shower, she had a cup of coffee and then went to work. When she got in Frankie wasnt there yet, so she sat at her desk checking her messages, waiting for her partner to arrive.
When Frankie walked into the squad room she smiled at her partner, Camerons head was downcast looking at something on her desk. She walked over quietly and stood next to Cameron, after a couple of minutes Cameron looked up into the smiling face of her partner. She blinked because she hadnt even realised Frankie was standing there.
Cameron smiled. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"
Frankie frowned, "Yeah I did. Why do you ask?"
"I was worried, talking about all that stuff last night, that it might of bought it all back."
Frankie sat down. "Actually I slept great. I think telling you was the best thing to do. It helped me deal with it all at last and I feel great."
Cameron grinned. "Good. I want to thank you again for listening to me too."
Frankie smiled, "You are welcome. I took your advice and called Billy and Mandy last night."
"You did?! How did it go?"
"Really good. Billy was very happy, he forgives me and is glad that I have a new friend. And Im having dinner with Mandy on Tuesday night."
"Thats really good. Im glad too."
Frankie looked puzzled, and then she realised what Cameron meant, she smiled. "Yeah?"
Cameron nodded, "Yeah."
Frankie stood up "Ive got to talk to John. I wont be a minute."
"Okay. Ill get you a coffee."
Frankie nodded and went to Johns office.
Frankie walked in, and when John looked up she gave him a big smile. "Morning John."
John smiled, "Good morning to you too. Youre in a good mood this morning. "Why not? The suns shining. Life is good." At Johns confused look, Frankie sat down and explained. "After being called to that fire yesterday I told Cameron the whole story. Everything."
John was shocked and glad at the same time. "Wow. Maybe it was an inspired decision to partner you two together. Im glad you were able to talk to her."
Frankie smiled. "Me too. Thanks John, and, I wanted to apologise to you That day in the waiting room I wasnt very nice. So thank you too, for sticking by me."
John smiled at her. "You are very welcome. Me and your dad had a deal, that if anything ever happened to either of us we would look out for the others family, so I was doing it for your dad as well."
"Well, Im grateful for everything. I better go and do some work!"
John smiled. "Yeah. And thank you for telling me."
Frankie nodded and walked out. John sat thinking Well Daniel. I think weve got your Frankie back.
Frankie walked to her desk, Cameron handed her a mug of steaming hot coffee and asked, "Everything okay?"
Frankie smiled back. "Superlative!"
Cameron laughed at her friends exuberance. "What did he say?"
"You know John. He decided it was an inspired decision on his part to partner us together. Because you did something people have been trying to do for five years and couldnt manage it."
"Well Im just glad I could help."
Frankie looked at her. "I am too. Well, we had better get back to work before we get in trouble."
The look Frankie gave her made Cameron laugh. "Okay. The hospital called, we can talk to the husband at one."
"Okay. Well write our reports up for last night, go talk to him and get a statement."
They worked on their reports until they had to leave for the hospital to question the husband.
They interviewed him, he had no remorse for any of his actions. He signed his statement and they left, they got back just as their shift ended. They got their stuff from the locker room and were having a chat.
"Hey, I know its only Monday but are you looking forward to your weekend off?"
Cameron shook her head, "Not really. Ive got to decorate my bedroom. The rest of the apartment isnt bad. I can live with it for now but, I think the last tenant was colour blind when it came to the bedroom."
"That bad huh?"
Cameron nodded. "You have no idea."
Frankie finished getting ready to go. "Tell you what. Considering I am doing absolutely nothing this weekend, I could always give you a hand if you want."
Cameron looked at her and smiled. "You sure?"
She nodded. "Absolutely. Itll be quicker with two."
"Okay youre on. Ill buy the pizza."
They left, saying their goodbyes at the door.
The next day went really quickly, before she knew it the shift was over and she had to get ready for her dinner with Mandy.
She was nervous until Cameron phoned to wish her luck. She didnt have to worry, Mandy gave her a big hug and they had a good talk.
For the rest of the week they were stacked out at work, they didnt get much time to talk.
On Friday before she said goodbye Cameron wrote her address down. "Heres where I live."
"Okay. Ill see you in the morning. Any particular time?"
"Anytime after nine. Ill have to buy paint first."
Frankie nodded and smiled at her. "Okay Ill see you after nine. Night Cameron."
"Night Frankie. Ill see you in the morning."
They went their separate ways.
Frankie woke up about seven, she got up and went for a run instead of her usual trip to the gym. About an hour later she was in the shower, when she was dressed she killed time until she was due at Camerons. After half an hour wasting time she left, she stopped for breakfast on the way.
She pulled up at Camerons apartment block, got out and rang the buzzer.
"Its me. I bought breakfast."
Cameron looked at her watch 9.01am and smiled. "Come on up."
She left the door ajar and looked at the organised mess her apartment was in, shed gotten up at about eight to make her apartment a little bit neater.
Frankie came in and Cameron smiled and said. "Hey. Good morning."
"Morning Cameron." She handed over the bag containing breakfast. "Here. Bagels and coffee, the breakfast of champions."
Cameron laughed. "Make yourself at home. Ill get some plates."
Frankie went and sat down, she had a quick look around. It was a nice place, big windows and a nice view. She was still looking around when Cameron came back in.
"Here" she said and handed Frankie a plate.
They ate and chatted about the usual stuff to pass the time while they ate their breakfast.
Frankie looked at her, a question in her eyes.
"Do you know a good store to buy paint? Its been a while since I had to shop in LA."
Frankie nodded. "Sure. You ready to go?"
"Yeah. Lets get this over with."
Frankie laughed. They went down to her car and drove to the store. When they got there Frankie asked "Have you got an idea for your colour?"
Cameron shook her head.
Frankie shook hers, "Not a clue?"
Cameron smiled and said. "Absolutely no idea whatsoever."
Frankie groaned. "Lets go. I have a feeling I might regret this."
Two hours later they were back in Camerons apartment, after shopping for paint and accessories. They were all ready to paint.
"Okay. You ready?"
Frankie looked over at Cameron and nodded. "Lets get on with it. The sooner we start the sooner well be done."
Cameron had picked two shades of purple and one of blue, they sectioned off the areas for the different colours and got started.
They painted till lunchtime, stopped to grab a sandwich and then got back to work.
While they painted they talked about everything under the sun, favourite movies and music, books to food. They had a great time, and Frankie was once again very glad that shed opened up. Because, she could not even imagine going back to the way she was before Cameron came along. It wasnt even something she wanted to or could contemplate.
About nine oclock they were finished and completely exhausted. Cameron called for pizza and for the rest of the evening they ate their pizza, talked and watched some television.
When Cameron looked over at Frankie a few hours later she was fast asleep and she didnt have the heart to wake her up because she looked so peaceful. So, she made her more comfortable and covered her with a blanket and went to bed in her spare room. She just hoped that when Frankie woke up she didnt freak out because she wasnt at home.
Frankie woke up about three in the morning, when she realised she was asleep on a sofa she was worried, but when she remembered shed been at Camerons she relaxed. She went back to sleep because she knew she was safe.
She slept for a couple more hours until she heard Cameron moving about. She got up and was stretching out her back when Cameron came in.
Cameron smiled at her. "Good Morning. How did you sleep?"
"Fine. Sorry for flaking out on you, and thanks for the use of your sofa."
"Youre very welcome. I just didnt have the heart to wake you up - you looked so peaceful Breakfast?"
Frankie nodded. "That would be great. Can I use your bathroom to freshen up?"
"Sure. Its all yours."
Frankie smiled, and she went to make herself look a bit more alive, Cameron meanwhile went to put on some coffee.
They ate their breakfast. Frankie smiled, she wasnt used to talking as much as she had for the past couple of days, but she realised that she enjoyed it. And, the fact that Cameron was so easy to talk to; it made it so much easier. So, she knew that no matter what happened on the future, she wouldnt have missed it for the world. And, she knew that at her next AA meeting she would tell Lizzie all about it. Lizzie was her sponsor and had tried to get through to Frankie but hadnt succeeded, but she would be happy that Frankie had finally opened up.
Frankie was so lost in her thoughts that she didnt hear Cameron say her name.
"Frankie?" Cameron put her hand on her arm. "Are you still with me?"
She was shaken out of her reverie. "Sorry Cameron. I was thinking. What were you saying?"
Cameron smiled. "I was asking if you had anything planned for this afternoon?"
Frankie shook her head. "Nothing that cant be done at another time. What did you have in mind?"
"How about shopping, dinner and a movie? If you arent sick of me already."
Frankie looked at Cameron and smiled. "Never. And shopping, dinner and a movie sounds good. Can we go to my place first so I can get changed?"
"Sure. Ill follow you, and then you can leave your car and well take mine."
"Cool, lets go."
Cameron smiled and then got up leaving Frankie staring into the space that shed left behind.
On the drive over to Frankies, Cameron was thinking. After Sophie died she had thought that she would never find a partner she got on with so well, let alone a friend. But she wasnt complaining, she knew that Frankie would be a great friend and she was looking forward to getting to know her better. Now that she wasnt buried under all the stuff shed had to deal with. She knew that they would be there for each other and for that she was grateful, grateful to whatever force that brought them together. She pulled up at Frankies apartment and walked up to Frankies car and waited for her to get out. When they got in Frankies apartment she went for a quick shower and got dressed while Cameron got comfy on the sofa.
About half an hour later Frankie was ready. They had decided to go to the mall because they could shop, eat and watch a movie all at the same place. They had a
great time, they window shopped and spent all their time talking and laughing about when they were young.
Over dinner they kept talking and when Frankie suddenly went quiet Cameron was worried.
"Frankie? Are you okay?"
Frankie looked up from the table. "Yeah, its just this is the first time Ive talked about my parents like this, Ill be alright in a minute."
Cameron put her hand on Frankies arm and squeezed it . "We can talk about something else if its upsetting you."
Frankie shook her head, grateful that Cameron didnt force her to talk about things. "No, its okay. I want to talk about them, honestly. It does me good to remember the good times."
Cameron smiled. "As long as youre sure."
Frankie nodded. "Sure as sure can be."
Cameron was glad that Frankie was okay talking about this stuff, they talked until they had to go into the movie. It was a comedy, and it was so funny that they were crying with laughter. They had an amazing evening, when Cameron dropped Frankie home she said "Thanks for a great day. Ill see you at work tomorrow."
"You certainly will, thank you for showing me how much fun I can have if I try."
Cameron smiled, "Youre welcome."
Frankie smiled. "Goodnight Cam."
Cameron grinned at the nickname, she liked it. "Goodnight Frankie."
Frankie went in smiling, but was so tired that she just flaked out, when Cameron got home she went straight to bed, looking forward to work for the first time in a very long time.
The next morning when Frankie woke up she decided to call Billy.
"Hello?" said a sleepy voice.
Frankie smiled, it reminded her of when they were little. "Morning shorty."
"Frankie? Are you alright?"
"Yeah. Im good. I just wanted to say hi. I was going to phone you on Saturday but something came up."
"Oh yeah. What?"
"I was helping Cameron."
Billy smiled to himself. "Im glad youre getting out."
"Me too Billy. Well Im sorry this is a short call but I have to get ready for work. Ill call you later in the week."
"Okay. Bye sis."
She hung up and got ready to go to the gym, two hours later she was showered and on her way to work.
Cameron had woken up with copious amounts of excess energy so she went for a run to use some of it. For the first time since shed been back she was glad to be back in LA. She had missed the weather but coming back she hadnt known many people. And, she was able to reminisce about all the places she used to go when she was younger, with her parents and friends. After a long run she had a shower, grabbed some breakfast and then left for work. She pulled in about thirty seconds after Frankie and met her at the door.
Frankie smiled at her. "Good morning Cam. How are you today?"
"Feeling good thanks, how about you?"
"Im fine. Great actually. I phoned Billy this morning just to say hello."
Cameron smiled at the contented look on her face. "Im glad." She looked down at her watch and said, "Wed better get going or we are going to be late."
Frankie nodded and they went in, ready to start a new week at work.
For the first few hours of their shift they did some more work on the Robin Hood case. Scrutinizing all the evidence, looking at it from all conceivable angles, and the inconceivable ones. All the possible suspects, all the reasons why hed picked those houses, but they kept hitting a wall. All they needed to crack the case wide open was a tiny clue, something insignificant - something they usually wouldnt have looked for. But; they couldnt find it.
"This is useless." At the sound of Frankies voice Cameron looked up from the file, "Ive read this so much that its blurring."
Cameron put what she was reading down on the desk and said, "Why dont we get a drink and not think about it for five minutes."
"Okay, thats a good idea. This stuff is giving me a headache."
They went and got a cup of coffee and just had a five minute respite from trying to crack the case.
The day was pretty quiet, the girls spent most of their day on the case, but didnt get very far. They also had the chance to get caught up on their paperwork. About three oclock they got a call to a store robbery, it was a run of the mill call, Frankie had a suspect in mind who might have been responsible so they went to look for him. They found him, and the stolen merchandise and so they arrested him. So they had to get a statement, by the time they were through it was time to go. Even though they hadnt had a very active day both Cameron and Frankie were exhausted. They said their goodbyes and went home.
Frankie made herself some dinner and read her mail, smiling when she got to the letter from Billy, she read it and had a tear in her eye by the time shed finished. She thought about how it was before Cameron had arrived, and felt so thankful that she was her friend and was in her life. And, thankful that she had been brave enough to tell her everything that happened.
She finished her meal and went to bed, reading her book before falling asleep. She awoke in the morning with a smile on her face, she felt so much better now, she felt able to deal with all the tragedy that had befallen her life; without letting it control her. She decided to use the precinct gym for her workout.
Cameron woke up and had the same idea, so she could stay longer and not have to worry about being late for work. When she got to the gym she was surprised to see a crowd of people, she couldnt see what they were watching so she moved in closer. It was then that she saw Frankie and a guy doing chin-ups. But she didnt understand what she was seeing, so she asked the female cop next to her.
"Excuse me? Whats going on?"
"John was mouthing off about how men were stronger than women and Frankie took exception to his comments, so he challenged her to prove him wrong."
Cameron looked at Frankie then back to the policewoman. "Whats the challenge?"
The officer looked at her. "This is. The person that does the most chin-ups or lasts the longest wins."
"Wins what exactly?"
"Well, if John wins Frankie has to tell everyone what her tattoo means, and if Frankie wins then John has to admit to everyone that women are as tough or tougher than men."
Cameron didnt know what to say, she stayed quiet and then said. "Wow. Well, how is she doing?"
Cameron was worried, she knew there was a lot of pride involved in this situation, but when Shannon the officer saw the pensive look on Camerons face she spoke. "Dont worry. I was in the academy a few years behind Frankie, and I know something this lot dont."
Cameron looked at her. "Whats that?"
She smiled. "Frankie had a record, for the most chin-ups done in an hour. And, as far as I know, no one has beaten it yet."
Cameron smiled, but she was still worried.
Frankie pulled herself up again.
Why am I doing this? she thought to herself, then she remembered. She looked at everyone watching and saw Cameron, she smiled and was very glad she was there. She looked over at John and saw that he was struggling. The thing was, he was strong, but too many beers and donuts made him bulkier. But, thanks to gymnastics when she was younger she had a strong upper body. But, she hoped he would give up soon, because her arms were beginning to ache.
Cameron looked at Frankie again. A look of complete concentration on her face. Come on Frankie, she thought you can do it.
Frankie kept going. She knew she wasnt going to let him beat her.
Frankie looked over at John, saw him falter and let go, she smiled. Shed won, but now had a decision to make, whether to let go or keep going she kept going to prove to him and everyone else that it wasnt a fluke that shed beaten him.
Cameron saw that Frankie was going to carry on even though she had won. She smiled, turned to Shannon and asked. "How many was her record for at the academy?"
Cameron shook her head, I dont believe her.
Everyone had joined in the counting. "EIGHTY-ONE."
Frankie took a deep breath, for some reason she was still going; wanting to prove something to herself because her record in the academy was before she had started drinking and she wanted, no needed to prove to herself that she was still capable of doing that many. And, since rehab she had used exercise as her alternative stress reliever and she was very stressed at that moment. But, even though her arms were killing her she kept going.
Cameron crossed her fingers, not taking her eyes off Frankies face.
"NINETY-FIVE NINETY-SIX NINETY-SEVEN NINETY-EIGHT NINETY-NINE ONE HUNDRED!!"
Frankie let go of the bar and everyone clapped and cheered. But, she needed to get out of there, she caught Camerons eye and motioned toward the door.
They walked out and when they were out of sight Frankie slumped against the wall.
"Cameron." When Cameron looked at her she said, "I think you are gonna have to help me."
Concern written all over her face, she asked, "Are you okay?"
Frankie nodded. "Yeah, Ill be okay. I just over did it a little."
Cameron took her arm and started to walk to the changing rooms. "Why overdo it if you knew it was going to effect you like this? Was it really worth beating John? Do you feel good about winning?"
Frankie stopped and turned to Cameron. "It was worth it. You see other than you, me, Billy and Mandy no one knows what my tattoo means. So, it feels more special to me that only the three people I care about most; know. If everyone knew it would lessen the idea of what it means, to me. Do you see?"
Frankie looked so tired. Cameron smiled, took her arm and started walking. "I understand, but Im still allowed to worry cause that is what friends do. You did good by the way."
Frankie smiled, "I know. Thank you. Do you think I shouldve told him about my record?"
Cameron shook her head. "Nah, he probably wouldve challenged you anyway."
Frankie started to laugh and Cameron joined in. They were still laughing after Frankie was showered and they were on their way to work, especially when reliving Johns equal opportunities speech and the look on his face during it.
It was later at break time that Cameron thought about what Frankie had said about the three people she cared about most. It made Cameron smile, happy that Frankie felt like that, she did too; Frankie was the best friend shed ever had and she was very happy about that.
When Frankie looked up and saw the big smile on Camerons face it made her smile too. I wonder whats making her smile like that, she shook her head and carried on reading the file.
She was going through the Robin Hood file for what seemed like the thousandth time, and she was getting tired of it.
"This case is driving me nuts."
At the sound of her friends voice Cameron looked up, "Yeah, I know. The annoying thing is, that it will probably be the tiniest piece of evidence that gives us the upper hand."
Frankie nodded, "Absolutely."
"This is dispatch. Officers need assistance downtown."
Cameron wrote down the address and put the phone down. Frankie looked at her. "You drive." And caught the keys that Cameron threw.
"Where are we going?"
"Downtown. Two officers got called to a missing persons, a dad taking his daughter because hed lost custody. Theyve tracked him down but they need backup."
Frankie threw on her jacket, "Lets go."
They got to the car and got in, Frankie pulled out into the traffic, as they got near to the area Frankie made sure not to put the siren on, they didnt want to freak the guy out.
When they arrived they found the officers and got the whole story.
"Whats going on?"
"He took her out of kindergarten this morning, the mother found out about an hour ago and called us. We tracked down his car to here, and then found out that hes up on the roof."
Cameron and Frankie looked at each other, both shocked but knew what they had to do.
"Alright." Frankie said, "You call in and ask for a negotiator, well go up and see if we can talk some sense into him."
Cameron nodded, to the officer she asked, "Do you know their names?"
The officer looked at her notepad, "Yeah, hes called Matthew and the little girls called Sophie."
"Okay. Lets go."
Frankie led the way, not speaking until they got into the elevator. "You ever had to do this?"
Cameron looked at her. "Negotiate?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, once; a bank robbery. So, Ill do the talking?"
"Okay. Ill be right behind you."
The elevator got to the top and they had to walk up one flight of stairs to get to the roof access. They opened the door quietly and looked out.
They saw them sitting on the edge, Matthew with Sophie in his lap.
"Matthew?" Frankie said quietly, so as not to spook him. "Im Frankie and this is Cameron. We want to talk to you."
Matthew held Sophie closer. "Stay away, youre not going to take her away from me."
Frankie motioned for Cameron to stop, but she kept inching forward. "Im not taking her anywhere. I just want to talk to you for a minute."
Cameron held her breath, worried for her friend, neither knowing what state of mind he was in and what hed do. Frankie kept inching, until she was almost level with him, but about ten feet away.
"Can we talk?"
Matthew nodded but didnt speak. So Frankie spoke again. "I know you lost custody of Sophie, but this isnt the best way to fight it. Its not safe up here for Sophie, think about it Matthew. Please."
He didnt look up, just kept shaking his head. "She took her away from me. Im a good dad."
"Im sure you are, I admit I dont know why your ex-wife won but, Im sure you can appeal but, listen to me, you are not doing yourself any favours bringing her up here."
A movement caught her eye, she looked and she saw Cameron moving slowly towards Matthew, she caught her eye and shook her head, an imperceptible shake so that Matthew wouldnt notice. When Cameron nodded that she understood she turned her attention back to Matthew, she hadnt wanted him to flip out thinking Cameron was going to try and grab him.
"Listen, why dont you move away from the edge." He held Sophies hand and Frankie saw that she was shivering. Frankie took off her jacket and said "Put this on her, shes cold." And threw it to him.
He picked it up and put it on his daughter.
"Matthew, let her come to me. You know its the right thing to do. Please, she shouldnt be up here."
He looked away, still holding her hand tightly. He looked down at his daughters head and then up at Frankie holding out her arms. He knelt down and said, "Sophie honey. I want you to go to this lady. Just remember daddy loves you."
He let her go and she ran into Frankies arms, Frankie picked her up and held her close and when she heard Cameron shout no, she looked up.
"No!!" she saw Matthew running and he jumped off the edge, Frankie was shocked and pulled Sophies head to her shoulder. "Its okay sweetie. Its okay." her heart was pounding, when Cameron came over and put a hand on her shoulder she looked into her friends sad eyes.
"Is she okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah. I think shes in shock. Lets get back to the street. I hate heights."
Cameron nodded and they walked to the door and to the waiting officers waiting below. When the paramedics tried to take Sophie from Frankie she wouldnt let her go. Frankie walked to the ambulance and sat down and said, "Sweetie, these guys are going to take a look at you and then take you to your mommy." Sophie looked at her with such sad, unknowing eyes. "You want your mommy?"
Sophie nodded and let go. The female paramedic took her from Frankie and started checking her over. Frankie stepped out of the ambulance and looked for Cameron, she saw her talking to the officers, so she went over.
"Okay, I want her mom taken to meet her at the hospital. And, try to reassure her that Sophies going to be fine."
The officers left and Frankie walked up. "Shes going."
Another officer came over and gave Frankie her jacket back. She shivered, finally feeling the chill in the air.
Frankie looked at her watch, their shift was over so they made their way back to the station. They let the detectives who had just arrived to take the witness statements.
When they got in they talked to John and got ready to go home.
"Are you okay?" Cameron asked.
"Im fine. Dont worry. Ill see you tomorrow."
Cameron nodded and watched her go. She didnt want to let her go because she was worried about her, but she did, because she didnt want to push Frankie into retreating back behind her barriers.
Frankie left Cameron and drove to the nearest shop. And, for reasons beyond her control bought a bottle of vodka. She carried it home and when she got in she put it on the coffee table and sat down.
She sat there for about an hour, tears pouring silently down her face, thinking about what had happened. She didnt want to drink, but she had felt as if her heart had been torn out. The look of devastation on Sophies face, and the image of Matthew plunging over the side stuck on repeat in her head. She picked up the bottle, she didnt want it, but she wasnt sure she could stop herself. She poured out a glass, but her hand was shaking so much when she picked it up that she just stared at it. It was like she didnt know how it had gotten there. Then, she got angry. She threw the glass and its contents against the wall, it smashed and, she sat there watching the clear liquid pool on the floor, not moving, almost not breathing.
After a couple of minutes she picked up the phone and dialed Liz at the hospital. When she got through she asked for Liz and when she got on the phone she spoke.
"Hey, you okay?"
Frankie shook her head. "Not really. I bought a bottle."
Lizzie was worried about her friend, "Have you opened it?"
"Well thats something. Listen I cant come cause were stacked out. Can you call Cameron?"
"Yeah. I just didnt know what to do."
"Call Cameron. And Ill call you in the morning, okay?"
"Okay. Thanks Lizzie."
"Youll be okay."
Liz put down the phone, and hoped that her friend would get through this.
Frankie redialed, she was crying heavily now.
"Frankie? What is it?"
"Cam." Frankie couldnt get her words out.
Cameron was worried. "Frankie. Im coming over. Open the door for me."
"Im on my way."
Cameron grabbed her keys and left, berating herself for not pushing Frankie earlier.
Frankie opened her door ajar and sat down on the floor by the window, arms circling her knees. About five minutes later she heard footsteps coming down the corridor. She didnt look up but heard Cameron come in and shut the door.
Cameron saw Frankie, but also noticed the bottle of vodka on the table and the broken glass on the floor.
She went over and knelt in front of Frankie, she took one of Frankies hands in hers and with her other hand tilted Frankies head up so she was looking at her.
"Im here. For whatever you need me for, Im here."
Frankie didnt speak. She just looked beaten. Cameron took her in her arms, telling her shed be okay and that she wasnt going anywhere. She was worried about her, because she knew that whatever had made her buy the bottle must be serious.
About twenty minutes later Frankie took a deep breath, let it out, and then looked up at Cameron. "Thanks for coming."
Cameron smiled. "I told you Id be here when you needed me. You called I came."
Frankie smiled at her. "I know."
"Now. Are you gonna tell me whats going on?"
"I couldnt do it. I bought it because I kept seeing that girls face and her dad disappearing over the edge. And, I couldnt face it. It made me remember how I felt when my parents died, how desolate I was. I cant imagine how shes feeling, shes only a baby. She shouldnt have been put in that situation. And I couldnt clear my mind, I thought the only way I could block it out was to drink. But, then I got angry with myself for going to the easy option, so quickly. So, I phoned Liz and she couldnt leave work, so she told me to phone you."
Cameron sat down next to Frankie, still holding her hand. "Why didnt you say you were upset at the station? You know I wouldve stayed with you."
Frankie squeezed the hand holding hers. "I know you would have. But, I I needed to try and do it by myself. I needed to know that I can handle situations like that. But, as you can see thats not the case."
Cameron shook her head. "Hey. I think you handled it okay. So, you bought a bottle, you didnt drink it. Maybe you just tried to do it all by yourself too quickly. But, now you know for next time. And you know that unless Im on the other side of the world Im only a few minutes away. Okay?"
Frankie nodded. "Okay. I know that really, I do. I just lost sight of it for a second there. My mind froze."
Cameron stood pulling Frankie with her. "Come on."
She led Frankie to the kitchen, picking up the bottle on the way. When they got to the sink Cameron handed the bottle to Frankie and said. "Make a decision."
Frankie didnt think twice, upended the bottle and poured the contents down the drain.
Frankie was relieved, Cameron was right. She mightve slipped a little but she had the strength to keep her focus. She smiled and gave Cameron a big hug. "Thanks. I think I just needed a little support."
"Youre welcome. Im just glad you called."
Frankie nodded, "Im glad you were home."
"Me too. Are you gonna be okay?"
Cameron had such a caring look on her face as she asked, Frankie felt so
happy. "Yeah. I am now."
Frankie didnt want her to go. "Do you feel like watching a movie and getting some Chinese?"
Cameron nodded, "Sounds like a perfect end to a bad day."
They ordered Chinese then watched a movie, a funny one to make them both laugh.
At one point Frankie looked at Cameron, she just watched her watching the film. Feeling extremely blessed that this incredible woman was her friend. She looked away before Cameron caught her staring.
They had a great evening, Cameron gave Frankie a big hug before she left, thinking all the way home how glad she was that Frankie had called her. She was glad shed been able to help. When she got in she went to bed, able to relax knowing her friend was okay.
Frankie cleaned up the broken glass and went to bed, reminding herself to phone Lizzie in the morning. She was so glad that Cameron was her friend, that she slept a dreamless sleep.
In the morning Frankie woke up and went for a run, when she got back an hour later she had a shower and then called Lizzie.
"Yeah its me."
"Howre you doing?"
Frankie smiled. "Im good. I called Cameron, she came over and we talked. I tipped the vodka down the drain."
Lizzie smiled, glad her friend had made it over this hurdle in her recovery. "Im glad. I was worried for you."
"I know. Thanks for being there. I have to get ready for work but Im going to a meeting tonight."
"Okay. Ill see you there. Im proud of you."
Frankie smiled. "Thank you. Ill see you later."
Lizzie put the phone down happy, so glad that Cameron could help her. She knew that they would get a chance to talk about it at the meeting.
Frankie got ready for work, knowing that one of the things they had to do was talk to Sophie and her mother. But, Frankie knew that shed be okay because she wasnt alone.
Cameron woke up early and went to the gym, then she went to work and she arrived before Frankie. She sat thinking for a while, thinking about what had happened the night before. Glad that Frankie had wanted her help, she was still lost in her thoughts ten minutes later when Frankie arrived.
She smiled when she saw Cameron and said, "Morning."
Cameron smiled back, "Hey. How are you today?"
"Good. Im going to a meeting tonight as a precaution."
Before they could carry on their conversation they were called out and didnt stop for the rest of their shift. At the end of the day they said their goodbyes, Cameron went home and Frankie went to her meeting.
She had a long chat with Lizzie, and felt much better about everything. When she got in she called Cameron, as much as anything she just wanted to talk to her friend.
"Hey its me."
Cameron smiled. "Hey Frankie. How was the meeting?"
"It was really good. It reminded me that two weeks on Saturday will be my two thousandth day sober."
"Yeah. They asked me to do a speech, and and I wanted to ask, will you come?"
Camerons smile grew, "I wouldnt miss it."
Frankie smiled. "Thanks, Im going to ask Billy and Mandy to come as well."
"I think thats a great idea."
Cameron was confused. "Whats that for?"
"For being my friend."
"Thank you for letting me. And for being mine."
"Always. Night Cam."
Cameron hung up the phone with a smile on her face, happy that Frankie wanted her at the meeting. Since telling Frankie about what had happened in New York she had been thinking about it a lot. And, had for the past few days been writing a letter to Sophies husband to see how he was. Some closure to help her cope, she finished the letter and went to bed thinking.
When Frankie hung up she called Billy.
"Hey sis. How are you?"
"Im good, how are you?"
"Tired but doing okay."
"Good. I was phoning to ask you if you wanted to come and stay with me for a couple of days? My two thousandth day sober is two weeks Saturday and Im giving a speech, I wanted you to be there."
Billy grinned. "Wild horses couldnt keep me away."
Frankie smiled. "Im glad. When do you think you can come?"
Billy thought for a minute, "How about Wednesday? Then we can have a couple of days. Ive got exams and stuff starting the Wednesday after."
"Wednesday will be great. Im going to call Mandy and invite her too."
"Great Im looking forward to it."
"Me too. Ill see you then, if I dont talk to you before."
"Okay. Bye for now."
"Bye little brother."
Frankie put the phone down very happy, decided to try Mandy as well, she wasnt home so Frankie left a message to call her at work. Frankie went to bed, contemplating what to say in her speech.
The next day dawned, a bright, sunny day. Frankie went to the gym and worked out for an hour, she felt invigorated. Even talking to Sophie and her mother didnt seem to bad, they had to postpone it from the day before because they had been so busy. She had a shower and went into work, making two cups of coffee, one ready for Cameron who walked in a couple of minutes later.
Cameron had woken up late, had enough time for a shower so when she was the steaming hot cup of coffee on her desk her mood lifted. She smiled at Frankie, sat down and took her cup and took a sip before saying anything.
She looked up, smiled at Frankie and said. "Morning."
"Morning." Frankie smiled. "Feel better now?"
Cameron smiled sheepishly. "Yeah, sorry. I missed my coffee this morning. Slept through my alarm."
Frankie laughed. "Youre forgiven. I called Billy and hes coming. I had to leave a message for Mandy."
"Im sure shell come."
Frankie nodded, "I know."
Cameron smiled at her, a reassuring smile. "Back to work. What time are we talking to Sophie and her mom?"
Frankie looked at the file in front of her, "About ten. And, from there its up to fate!"
Cameron smiled, "Okay. Lets work out how this is going to go."
For the next hour they went through all the statements from the scene, and their own notes to give themselves a base of questions to ask Sophies mom Sophie.
They got there just before ten, Sophie came straight to Frankie who knelt down to say hello. They took them into the interview room, an hour later the interview was over and Frankie and Cameron wrote their reports and handed them to John. It seemed Matthew had lost custody due to a drug problem and he was deemed unsafe, Frankie was just glad shed been there and that she had helped.
The rest of the day was pretty normal, they had a couple of call outs and that took a bit of the day to sort through. They had a lot of paperwork to clear as well, by the end of the day both were ready to leave, as they left Frankie turned to Cameron and asked, "Pizza?"
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, that sounds great. I havent got the energy to cook."
They went to the pizza place then back to Camerons place to eat.
When they got in Frankie had a look around while Cameron got some drinks. "The place looks great."
Cameron came in and handed her a soda, "Thanks. Its a bit tidier that last time you were here."
Frankie grinned. "Yeah. Youve been busy."
Cameron laughed. "Im just glad its done. It feels more like home now."
Cameron smiled and ate her pizza, feeling really hungry. When they were done they just talked and watched TV. Frankie left early because they had to get up for work in the morning.
She drove home and found a message from Mandy waiting on her machine, she decided to call her in the morning as it was so late.
She went to bed and instantly fell asleep, with a smile on her face, which was normal for her; lately anyway.
Cameron cleaned up and threw out the trash, then went to bed suddenly exhausted and didnt stir again until her alarm went off. She got up and had a shower, she decided against the gym and just relaxed until she had to leave for work.
Frankie woke up and took a bath, when she got out she called Mandy.
Mandy smiled at the sound of her nieces voice. "Morning sweetheart."
Frankie smiled at the name. "Sorry I missed you last night."
"Thats okay. What did you want to talk to me about?"
"Its my two thousandth day sober a week next Saturday and Im giving a speech, and I wondered if youd like to come?"
Mandy smiled again. "Id be honoured."
Frankie grinned. "Good. Billys coming for a couple of days and Cams coming too, so youll be able to meet her."
They talked about all the details and when Frankie got off the phone she was still smiling. She got dresses and set off for work, she arrived at the same time as Cameron and they met at the car, said hello and went in.
The next two weeks followed in the same vein, work and more work. They were still trying to figure out Robin Hood, and had a few tough cases but nothing too serious. Frankie spent most of her spare time writing her speech, trying to instill some first hand knowledge into it.
The night of the speech arrived, Billy had arrived on Wednesday and they had been talking a lot. Frankie introduced him to Cameron and on Saturday Cameron drove all of them to the hall where the AA meetings were held.
When they got there Frankie found them seats and then went to find Lizzie.
Lizzie turned around and smiled giving Frankie a hug before saying, "Hello. How you feeling?"
Frankie smiled. "Im nervous. But doing okay, Ive got some moral support." She said pointing to Cameron, Billy and Mandy.
"Im glad. Well lets get started you ready?"
Frankie took a deep breath and nodded. "As Ill ever be."
Cameron was looking around, at all the people and at Billy and Mandy. She liked them and was glad that Frankie had sorted her relationships out with both of them. She saw Lizzie walk up to the podium and she realised that she was nervous - for Frankie, she relaxed because she knew Frankie could do it, and that shed be fine.
Lizzie got up and introduced herself. "My names Lizzie and Im an alcoholic."
"Im here to introduce a young lady whos going to talk to you tonight. Please give her a warm welcome Frankie."
Frankie walked up to warm applause.
"Hello. My name is Frankie and Im an alcoholic."
Frankie smiled at the chorus of Hello Frankie that answered.
She looked to the back at Cam, Billy and Mandy and smiled at them.
"And today is my two thousandth day sober."
She smiled again at the round of applause. "Thank you. I started to drink after my parents died, and I thought that it was the only way to cope with what had happened. I drank solidly for three months until my brother, who was fifteen at the time found me unconscious on the floor in my bathroom bleeding. It was in the hospital after I woke up to my brother crying, that I realised what I had been doing to myself and my remaining family. So, that was my wake up call, I decided to get some help. I entered rehab for twenty eight days and have been sober ever since. But, I felt that the only way I would be able to guarantee that I would never want to drink again, have a reason to want to drink again was to keep my loved ones at a distance. So I did, my brother and my aunt. And, any prospective friends were kept at such a distance that in the end, they gave up on me. Not that I blame them, I was cocooned from the world, in my shell. And, I wasnt going to let anyone inside the walls Id built up."
She coughed and smiled at the audience.
"So I went solo at work, Im a police detective and my lieutenant decided to try and partner me again. At first I did what I always did and kept her at a distance, but it became more difficult as I began to get to know her better. Eventually I started to open up, and told her everything that had happened to me after a traumatic day at work. And shes still here, and the best friend Ive ever had and ever hoped to have. And, she proved that to me a couple of weeks ago, when I had a crisis and bought a bottle of vodka. And when I couldnt drink it I called Lizzie my sponsor and when she couldnt come she told me to ring Cameron. So, I called her and she came straight over and sat with me, talked to me all night and in the end I poured the vodka down the drain. So, I am thankful for having her in my life."
She looked up at Cameron she saw she was crying, she smiled and Cameron smiled back. She knew how her friend felt, she was struggling not to cry herself. Billy looked at her and smiled, he was very glad his sister had a friend like that.
"And, I realised, after a lot of time and tears; that no matter what happens friends and family are whats important in life. And, Im really glad that my brother and aunt forgive me for how I behaved and, that I have got the best friend I could hope for. Who likes me for who I am and who I know is someone I can rely on and who I love dearly. And, just to say to all those who have been sober for one day, one week, one month or a year, that as long as you take things one step at a time, and let people in because they cant help unless they know whats going on. Youll do just fine."
The applause started then, and when Frankie got off the stage she was stopped along the way to shake peoples hands. Finally she got to Cameron and they hugged for ages not talking. They drew apart and Cameron smiled at her. "That was some speech."
Frankie shrugged. "Thanks. Thats just how it came out. Thank you for being here."
Cameron nodded, then Frankie hugged Billy and Mandy and thanked them as well.
When Lizzie came up to congratulate her she introduced her to Cameron, Billy and Mandy. And then they decided to go out for coffee. They went to a local diner and talked and talked about everything. Cameron was happy that shed been invited, Frankie was glad that she got on with Billy and Mandy. About two hours later they said there goodbyes, Cameron giving Frankie a hug and whispered "I love you too, my friend."
And was gone, Cameron got home. She was happy that Frankie seemed okay after all the stuff that had happened over the past few weeks.
Frankie smiled about what Cameron had said, and took Billy and Mandy home. They sat up talking for hours about old times, about their parents. Mandy telling them some stories about before they were born. For the first time Frankie could laugh and smile properly when talking about her parents. It proved something to her that doing the speech had started - which was, that if she found it easier to talk about stuff, it was less crucial to her now. Not that shed ever forget it but she felt well equipped to deal with it all. It made her feel relaxed about things. Knowing that she had four people who would listen if she needed someone to talk to, or just be there when she needed someone, or give her space when it was needed.
She went to bed that night, feeling freer than she had in years. Ever since Cameron had come into her life, and she fell asleep with a big smile on her face.
When Cameron woke up in the morning she felt awful, hot and sweaty. Typical she thought. I get a cold and its a hundred degrees outside. She coughed and got up to get some water, she took her temperature. 101 she shook her head not believing, bad idea because it made her dizzy, and she didnt like that cause it made her queasy. So she sat on the edge of the bath, taking deep breaths until the nausea eased. She was just glad it was Sunday, she made her way back to bed, she was trying to fall back to sleep when the phone rang.
She picked it up and before she could speak she sneezed.
"Hello?" she rasped.
"Cam? Are you okay?"
Cameron smiled despite how she felt. "No, I feel like hell. Ive got a temperature."
Frankie sat down on the sofa, "How high?"
"Oh Cameron. Im coming round. Ill bring supplies."
"You dont have to do that. Im okay, spend time with Billy."
Frankie shook her head. "No way Im leaving you alone. Billys gonna spend time with Mandy. And, Ill be there in half an hour. No arguing, a best friends job is to be nurse and provide lots of TLC."
Cameron smiled, liking the best friend. "Okay thanks."
"Just latch the door and relax, Im on my way."
Cameron put her phone down and laid back, relieved that Frankie was coming. She realised then, that was what she had hoped for as soon as she heard Frankies voice. She got up and put the door on the latch and then went back to bed.
Frankie put her shoes on, grabbed her car keys and left. Billy had already left for Mandys so she left him a note in case he got back before she did. She stopped off at the market for some stuff to help Cameron feel better. She got to her apartment in twenty minutes, she let herself in and went to find her poorly partner.
She felt a smile grow when she went in, Cameron looked so helpless. "Hey you."
Cameron opened her eyes. "Hey."
Frankie walked over and sat on the edge of the bed. She felt Camerons forehead. "Wow. You are hot. How you feeling?"
Cameron shrugged. "I dont know really. Pretty awful though."
"Well I bought some stuff that will hopefully make you feel better. And, the makings of my moms chicken soup, which is the only thing I can cook. So, I want you to take some medicine and then try to sleep, while I cook. Okay?"
Cameron smiled. "Youre the boss."
Frankie grinned at her. "Now I know that youre sick."
Cameron fell asleep straight away, Frankie checked on her a couple of times while she was making the soup. When it was done about forty-five minutes had passed. She poured a bowl and carried it on a tray into Cameron, she put it on the side and gently woke her up.
"Hey Cam. Soups ready."
After a few seconds Cameron stirred, not completely lucid.
"Hey sleepyhead, you in there?"
Cameron opened her eyes fully and looked at Frankie, her eyes were glassy but focused. "Im here. You might have to help me sit up though, Im not sure if I can."
"Okay, come on then." She helped Cameron sit up and then grabbed the tray. She put it on her lap and sat on the edge of the bed.
Cameron ate a spoonful. "Mmm. This is great. Are you not eating?"
"Thank you and no. I had a sandwich while I was cooking. Why didnt you call me when you got up?"
Cameron sighed. "Because, I didnt want to interrupt your time with Billy, and I can be really grumpy when Im sick."
Frankie took her hand, and she squeezed it. "I told you, youre not interrupting anything. And, you are as important to me as Billy and Mandy. And, if you could deal with miserable old me, I can deal with a little grumpiness on your part."
Cameron squeezed back. "Thanks Frankie. You know I feel better all ready."
Frankie smiled. "Im glad." She took the finished tray away and said. "Now get some more rest, Ill be in the other room if you need me."
Cameron nodded. "Okay."
When Frankie got to the door she turned back, she had to smile, Cameron was out for the count. She went to the kitchen and cleaned up her mess.
She spent the next couple of hours just watching the TV and reading the paper. About one oclock she heard Cameron coughing and then her name.
She got up and went to the bedroom door and saw Cameron half sitting up. "Hey." She went over and felt her forehead. "How you feeling?"
"Not too bad. I could use a drink."
"Ill get you one." She went into the bathroom and poured her a glass of water and grabbed the thermometer.
"Here let me take your temp again." Cameron opened her mouth and Frankie put the thermometer in.
When she removed it she looked at it and said, "Good. Your temps gone down to 97."
She handed Cameron the glass and she drank it. "Thanks."
"Its okay. You feel like curling up on the sofa, under your quilt. Keep me company - we can watch a movie?"
Cameron nodded, "Sounds perfect."
Frankie grabbed her quilt and pillows and settled Cameron on her sofa, she sat on the chair, and for the rest of the afternoon they just watched movies, relishing each others company.
About nine oclock Frankie got ready to go. "Im going now. Promise me if you still feel awful in the morning youll call me and then stay home."
Cameron grinned sheepishly, "I promise. And thanks again for today."
Frankie came over and sat on the edge of the sofa and gave her a big hug. "Youre very welcome. Sleep tight and Ill talk to you in the morning."
She got up and left, Cameron feeling better just from the warmth of the hug and the knowledge that she had someone who cared about her, and all the stuff Frankie had said during the day.
Frankie got home about ten minutes later.
She turned from closing the door and smiled at her brother. "Hey. How was your day?"
"Fine. We had fun, hows Cameron?"
Frankie sat down. "Shes okay. Feeling yucky but shell be okay."
Billy sat next to her. "Good. Well Im packed and ready to go. Well have to say goodbye in the morning."
Frankie nodded and took his hand. "I know. Im really glad youre here."
Billy put an arm around his sister and hugged her tight. "So am I. And Im very glad youre doing so well and that you have Cameron in your life."
"Camerons great, and Im very thankful that she is in my life too, but Im also glad that youre still in it."
Billy laughed, "Me too. I missed you."
"I know. I missed you too, and I promise I will never shut you out again."
"Im glad to hear that. Well Im gonna call it a night as I have to get up early." he got up and kissed his sister goodnight, when he got to the door of the spare room he looked back. Frankie sat on the sofa, staring into space, she was thinking about something. In his head he thought I hope whatever it is, you figure it out.
Frankie sat there for about half an hour after Billy went to bed, just thinking. The weekend had made her reflect on the last couple of months. And, she had tried to figure out what was it was, that seemed to be at the edge of her subconscious willing her to let it in. She went to bed, and fell asleep, a dreamless sleep that was only disturbed by her alarm clock at seven am. It was then she realised what it was she had been feeling, it popped into her head as soon as she opened her eyes, I love Cameron oh my god I love Cameron! she laid there for a minute, thinking about it, what am I gonna do now?
She heard Billy moving around next door and had to smile, she got up and had a shower and then got dressed and went to find Billy.
"Morning. Do you want breakfast?"
Billy nodded. "Yeah, Im starving."
Frankie smiled, reminded of when they were children and that was Billys answer to anything food related. While Frankie made toast Billy did the coffee, theyd just sat down to eat when the phone rang.
Frankie picked it up. "Hello?"
"Hey, its me."
Frankie had to smile at the croaky voice. "Hello me. How are you feeling today?"
Cameron wiped her nose. "A little better. But Im going to take your advice and stay in bed today."
"Im glad to hear it. Ill tell John and pop in after work, okay?"
Cameron smiled. "Yeah. Have a good day and Ill see you later."
Frankie put the phone down and finished her breakfast, she was thinking about something, it took her a few seconds to register Billys question.
"Is she okay?"
She looked at Billy, "Yeah. Still not great."
Billy looked at his watch. "Well its time to go for both of us." Just as he spoke they heard the taxi beep.
Frankie stood and gave him a big hug. "Call me when you get there."
"Yeah. Ill talk to you later."
Frankie looked at him and smiled. "I love you."
Billy kissed her. "I love you too sis. Bye."
He grabbed his bags and left, Frankie stood there for a minute and then she cleared away their breakfast dishes. Grabbed her stuff and went to work.
Cameron put the phone down and laid back down, thinking about Frankie and hoping that she was okay, she knew that Billy was leaving. But, she knew that if Frankie was upset shed say something. She was glad she was taking Frankies advice, she still didnt feel one hundred percent, but she was feeling happier knowing that Frankie was coming around later. But, now she decided to go back to sleep as her eyelids were drooping.
When Frankie got to work she went to tell John that Cameron wouldnt be in. The day turned out to be a quiet one, Frankie left on time and headed for Camerons.
She got to her apartment and parked, she was buzzed in and got to the apartment about ten minutes after leaving work.
She smiled at Cameron. "Hey. You look better."
Cameron grinned. "Well if this is looking better then I must have looked awful yesterday."
Frankie laughed, no way, you look beautiful whatever she knew where that came from, but again she pushed it aside, so she said "Okay, youre making jokes so you must feel better. Have you had a good day?"
Cameron nodded and went to sit down. "Yeah, I just spent the day watching TV and sleeping."
"Sounds more interesting than my day."
"Not good huh?"
"Only paperwork, pretty boring. But Im not complaining."
Cameron smiled. "Well I made dinner if youre hungry."
"You didnt have to do that but I wont say no."
"Well Ill go dish up then. Do you want to put on some music or would you prefer to watch a movie?"
Frankie stood up. "Music, cause then we can talk."
Cameron nodded, glad that Frankie wanted to talk.
For the second night in a row they sat up talking, except this time Frankie didnt leave. Like before Frankie fell fast asleep on the sofa and Cameron just covered her up and watched her sleep for a minute. She brushed the hair off her forehead and just stood there watching her sleep for a minute, and then she went to bed.
Unlike the last time she woke up on Camerons sofa, Frankie wasnt worried. She felt safe.
Cameron came in just as she stood up. "Morning."
Frankie smiled. "Good morning. Thanks for letting me crash."
"Youre welcome. Do you want some breakfast?"
Frankie nodded. "Sounds good. Then, Ill have to go home and get changed."
"Okay. Itll just be a minute."
Frankie followed her into the kitchen, "Can I help?" she asked.
Cameron Nodded, "Sure, can you put the coffee on."
Frankie nodded and set to work.
They ate breakfast and then Frankie left to go home and shower, and then she went to work.
Their day was dragging along slowly, they hadnt had any call outs and Frankie was getting stir crazy.
She got up to stretch her legs and get some coffee, just to give herself something to do, Cameron had to smile at her partners mood.
About half an hour later John came over to talk to them, he had such a serious expression on his face Frankie didnt say anything; usually shed make a crack, but she could see this wasnt the time.
"Frankie, Cameron. Weve got a situation."
Cameron looked at Frankie then back to John. "What is it?"
"I need one of you to go undercover."
Frankie asked, "Why us?"
John smiled despite the situation, "Because, weve got some guy out there attacking young girls, so I need a young girl who can handle herself, to be Well quite literally bait."
Frankie wasnt smiling anymore, "Ill do it."
Cameron looked at her, "Frankie !"
Frankie looked at her and smiled, "Dont start Cam, I can handle it. As long as youre with me. Okay John?"
John nodded, "Sure, that sounds like a plan. There seems to be a connection to the Rise nightclub, only thing is youll have to look the part."
Frankie nodded, "Right, its five now. Give me two hours and Ill be back looking like a clubber.
Frankie left and went to see an old school friend who owned a salon, after explaining what she had to do she was made over, hair and make up. Then she went to a shop that Nicole had told her about, to get the clothes to match.
She was quite surprised by the makeover and she couldnt wait to see the guys faces when she walked in.
Frankies usual attire was smart trousers, a shirt and jacket. And when she wasnt at work she lived in jeans, and her work out gear when needed. She wasnt a skirt person.
Cameron stood up and said, "Right, lets get things rolling this end."
"Are you sure shell be okay."
Cameron looked at John and nodded. "Shell be fine, she can handle herself and Ill be there with her every step of the way."
They got all the equipment they would need and worked out all of the arrangements, and make Frankie appear on the VIP list at the club. Cameron went over the evidence from the previous attacks, looking for anything that might give Frankie a heads up when she was out. The only thing was they didnt have much of a description to go on.
Frankie came back, she looked a little different, she walked in the station and up to the squad room and peeked in to see where Cameron and John were, they were at Camerons desk with their backs to the door. Frankie went in and it went silent, she had to smile.
Cameron and John were finalising the details at Camerons desk when the usually noisy squad room went eerily quiet.
Cameron and John wondering what was happening turned around and stared open mouthed at the vision in front of them.
Cameron looked her from top to bottom, her short blonde hair now down to her shoulders and braided in little plaits, made up to the nines. A cleavage revealing tight red tank top and a very tight, very short black leather mini skirt. But it didnt stop there, it was topped off by black fishnet tights and knee high, black heeled boots.
"Oh my god!"
Frankie started to laugh, "I wish I had a camera. Anybody would think youd never seen my legs before.
"Not looking like that we havent"
Frankie had to smile, "Well, do you approve then James?"
James grinned, nodded and said "Oh yeah!"
Cameron came over and said, "Wow. You scrub up good."
Frankie said, "Thank you. Do you think Ill fit in?"
John nodded, "Its perfect. I think youll do fine. Lets get to business." To the other detectives he said, "Those of you not helping with this case, get back to work."
They finalised some details, working out the specifics, what Frankie would say to get Cameron and James to come to her aid. About three hours later they were ready to go.
Cameron spoke, "Right, the club opens at ten. There are bouncers on the door and guests with invites get preferential treatment, youll be on the list for tonight under Tiffany James. Just get a feel of the place, James and I will be outside and youll be able to contact us through the microphone, and well be in contact with you through an ear piece, and youll have the mini camera on as well; I doubt well be able to see much but it should help. You wont be able to have your gun, but hopefully you wont need it."
Frankie nodded, "Hes probably picking young girls who look like they wont fight back, but I can if necessary."
"Thats the plan. Hopefully youll look weak and innocent enough to attract him."
Frankie nodded, "Right, what time is it?"
James looked at his watch and said, "Almost ten, theres a cab waiting for you downstairs, Cameron and I will follow in the van."
Cameron stood up, "Okay, lets get this show on the road."
Frankie was nervous, she got in the cab and looked back to see the van following. She had tried to hide her nervousness from Cameron, she didnt want her to worry. She wasnt really a clubber, never had been even when she was drinking. And, going to a club where there was a copious amount of alcohol wasnt her idea of fun, and it was another reason she was nervous. But, it wouldnt be a problem, not anymore.
One thing that relaxed her was the thought that Cameron would be right outside, it made Frankie feel safe. She knew she could handle any trouble, but the reassurance of Cameron and James presence was greatly appreciated.
The cab pulled up and Frankie was shocked at the length of the line to get in, she was glad she didnt have to line up, especially in the boots. She got out and walked straight up to the bouncer and gave her name. She had to smile, the looks on some peoples faces were hilarious.
Cameron watched her go in, and then put on the headphones to hear all that was happening. They had to turn the volume down because of the music as soon as Frankie went in.
She turned to James and said, "You ready?"
James nodded. "Yep. Cameras on and the recorders on."
Cameron nodded. "Good. Hopefully this will be the only night we have to do this. I dont want this guy out there any longer."
James nodded and they got to work.
Frankie went in and went to the bar, she kept her eyes open for anyone that might match the partial description theyd managed to get. The camera was on her strap of her tank top so it wasnt visible. She ordered a club soda and went to have another look around. Well she thought, Nicole was right, I do look the part. She took a sip of her soda and went and found a seat, she looked around at all the people; some dancing and some talking.
She said quietly knowing the microphone would pick it up, "I hope you two are loving this music as much as I am."
Cameron laughed and said, "Oh yeah, loving it. I hope all our ears will be okay tomorrow."
She heard Frankie laugh and then jumped feet when James came back in. Hed gone for coffee and snacks.
"Coffee is served."
Cameron took the cup and said, "Thanks. Frankie said shes really enjoying the music."
James laughed, "I bet she is. Any possibilities yet?"
"No, but she gonna mingle and see."
Frankie walked around, keeping her eyes open. She didnt really know what she was looking for, but she knew if she saw anything strange she would check it out.
After about an hour she had to go to the bathroom, she told Cameron and James that she would go off air for a few minutes, and when she got the confirmation she took the earpiece out and the camera off.
She went into the bathroom and when she was washing her hands a girl came in, Frankie could see she was upset and said, "Are you okay?"
The girl nodded, "I will be. My boyfriends dumped me."
Frankie grabbed some tissue and handed it to the girl, "Here."
"Thanks." She took the tissues and wiped her face.
"Are you gonna be alright on your own?"
The girl nodded and said, "Yes. Thanks."
Frankie smiled and left the bathroom, when she put her earpiece back on she heard Cameron asking if she was okay.
"Im fine Cam. Ill tell you about it later."
Frankie stayed until the club closed at one, she was exhausted. She went out to the van and James drove them back to the station. They said goodnight and went their separate ways. Frankie left promising to call Cameron in the morning.
Frankie fell asleep as soon as her head touched the pillow, she only woke up when her phone rang at eight. She saw the time and picked up the phone.
"Frankie, its John."
Frankie sat up, "What is it?"
"He attacked another one last night. I need you and Cameron here and then to take a statement at the hospital."
Frankie couldnt believe it, "Okay Ill call Cameron and well be there soon."
Frankie ran a hand over her face and then dialed Cameron.
"Its Frankie, he got another one. John wants us in."
"Okay, Im up. Ill see you there."
She got up and threw some clothes on and was at work twenty minutes later, followed by Cameron about three minutes later.
They went straight to Johns office.
The girls went in and John said, "Take a seat."
Cameron sat down but Frankie stayed standing, "What happened?"
"She was found at about five this morning, shes been beaten but shes conscious. No ones really spoken to her yet, the doctor said you could go and talk to her after nine."
Cameron looked at Frankie, and knew by the look on her face what she was thinking.
"Do you have a picture John?"
John took a file off his desk and handed it to her, "Yeah, her name is Michelle Roberts, shes a senior at UCLA."
Cameron looked at the picture and handed it to Frankie. "Well make a move then."
She got up to go, but Frankie didnt move she was still looking at the picture.
"Frankie? Are you okay?"
Frankie shook her head, "I talked to her, last night. She was the reason I was in the bathroom for so long."
Cameron looked at her, "Okay, well well go and talk to her and see if we can catch this guy."
John nodded and said, "Ill see you later."
Cameron nodded and followed Frankie out, they went to their car and before they left Cameron turned to Frankie and said, "Dont do it."
Frankie looked up at her and she smiled, "You know me too well."
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, and you have to know its not your fault. You didnt know what he looked like. Even if you saw her leave you wouldnt have known it was him. Lets just hope that she will be able to give us a good description."
Frankie nodded, "I know that youre right, it just threw me for a second."
Cameron nodded, they pulled into the hospital and went to find the doctor dealing with Michelle.
He told them that she would make a full recovery from her injuries, but he didnt know about the mental trauma she had suffered. She would have the opportunity to see a therapist if she wanted.
They were shown into her room and Cameron introduced them.
"Hi Michelle, my names Cameron and this is Frankie. Were detectives and we are here to ask you a few questions. Is that okay?"
Michelle nodded and they sat down, she was looking and Frankie and said, "I know you."
Frankie nodded, "I met you last night, I was at the club."
Michelle nodded, "I remember."
Cameron looked at Frankie and then started to ask Michelle questions.
"Michelle, can you tell us what happened last night?"
"I can tell you what I remember. I left the club at about half past one, I went out to find a cab, and when I couldnt get one I decided to walk a bit further along to look." At the look that passed between Cameron and Frankie, she said, "I know not very smart, but I just wanted to get home. Then I remember someone grabbing me from behind, and throwing me up against the wall. And then hitting me, and I fell to the ground he kicked me again and then just left me there. I couldnt breathe very well and couldnt scream for help. Then I guess I passed out, because the next thing I remember was the ambulance arriving."
Frankie got up and got her some tissues because she was crying, "I know this is hard for you Michelle, but I need to ask if you can give us any type of description, because the reason I was in the club was to catch this guy. But, we didnt have a description. Is there anything you remember about him?"
Michelle closed her eyes and thought about it, "He was taller than me, so he must be six feet tall or more, because Im five eleven. He was white, and didnt have an accent. He had soft hands, I cant really say anymore."
Cameron was writing all this down, "No, thats good. It narrows it down a bit. When you say he didnt have an accent, did he speak to you?" at Michelle nod, she asked. "What did he say?"
"He said, that it was disgusting how we flaunt it."
Cameron looked at Frankie, both looked confused.
Michelle smiled, "Didnt you know?"
"Know what?" Frankie asked.
"That, Rise. Is a mainly lesbian club."
Frankie shook her head, "No we didnt"
"I was there with my friend, and she is why my boyfriend got angry, he though there was something going on between us."
Cameron shook her head, "Son of a bitch." To Michelle she said, "Sorry, but why the hell didnt we know. This changes everything, if hes attacking people he thinks are lesbians. "
Frankie nodded, "Yeah. Michelle, were going to leave you to rest. Well come back in a couple of days to get a statement. And we may have to have you come in to a line-up. Would you be willing to do that?"
"Yes. Anything to help catch him."
They said their goodbyes and left, "Frankie didnt speak until they were in the car, "I dont believe it. I think I should change my image tonight."
Cameron nodded, she had an idea forming in her mind.
They got back to the station and went to speak to John.
Frankie looked at him, "A lesbian club John. Which means hes attacking these women because he thinks that they are gay."
John stood up, "Why didnt we know, well at least we do now. I suppose if were lucky well catch him tonight."
Cameron nodded, "Ive got an idea about that. He went after Michelle because she was with her friend, but she left alone. What if I went in too tonight, and Frankie and I pretended to be lovers. If we have a fight and she leaves alone, he might pick on her."
John looked at Frankie, "What do you think?"
Frankie was silent for a minute, "Sounds like a plan, well have to have someone with James in the van, and well have to change my look a bit."
John nodded, "Do what you have to. I want this guy tonight."
They nodded and left. Frankie took Cameron to Nicoles salon to get her hair done. And she had her extensions taken out, because they were annoying her.
When they were both ready they went back to the station, Cameron was in tight black jeans, and a blue silk shirt with her hair flowing loose over her shoulders, Frankie was in leather pants with a black tank top and her hair just normal. Frankie thought that Cameron looked beautiful, and knew that shed have to be careful, playing girlfriends was going to be easy and extremely hard not to play it for real.
They got to the squad room and got the same response as Frankie had had the night before.
Aidan was going to be with James in the van, and he wolf whistled when they came in, Cameron laughed and turned to Frankie.
"Well he approves."
James smiled, "Are you two ready. Camerons on the list as your guest. Well be in the same spot as yesterday. Equipments the same, so well be in contact at all times. Frankie if you feel like youre being followed, dont let him know you know, just be ready when he strikes."
Frankie nodded, "I will. What time is the cab arriving."
James looked at his watch and said, "About ten minutes."
Frankie nodded and they went downstairs to wait.
Twenty minutes later they were at the club, Cameron took a deep breath and they went in. they checked in their coats and Cameron took Frankies hand, when Frankie looked at her she smiled and mouthed ready?
Frankie nodded and they went in, when Frankie looked around this time she noticed the majority of people were women and most were dancing or snuggling with their other halves.
She leaned in and said, "I mustve been blind last night."
Cameron shook her head, "You werent looking for that, its not that noticeable."
They got drinks and went to find a table, Frankie said, "Any possible?"
Cameron was looking, and then James came over the ear piece, "Possible just entered, black trousers and white shirt. Short hair and glasses."
"Okay, well keep an eye out."
She couldnt help but tap her foot to the music, she put her drink down and turned to Frankie. "Dance?"
Frankie smiled, "Lets go. Wed better make this look good."
Cameron nodded, they got up and went onto the dance floor, always looking around. They moved like theyd been dancing together forever, Frankie moved in to whisper to Cameron, anyone watching would think they were lovers.
"Behind you at ten oclock. Hes been watching since we hit the floor."
Cameron danced Frankie around, "I see him. What do you want to do. Dance some more. Or see if he takes the bait?"
Frankie thought, in her heart she wanted to dance, "See if he takes the bait."
Cameron nodded, not happy, but she thought it was because she scared for Frankie. "Okay, well leave the floor. Argue and then you storm out."
Frankie nodded, "Lets do it."
They went off the dance floor and started to fight, because of the music they knew they didnt have to shout, but just look like they had fought. Then Frankie turned and walked off.
She got her coat and walked out into the street, she heard Cameron telling the guys what was happening. She did what Michelle did, she walked away from the club and around the corner. She had to smile when she heard Cameron tell her the guy had left after her, when she heard footsteps behind her she tapped on the camera to tell the guys he was following.
Cameron got her coat and went to meet James, Aidan was going to stay on surveillance in case Frankie was overpowered.
"Where did they go?"
James pointed and they followed. Cameron listening for any clue from Frankie, she spoke to Aidan, "Anything yet?"
"Yeah, she covered the camera like we said, shes being followed."
Cameron said, "Okay, keep us posted." To James she said, "Lets go."
They picked up the pace and followed where Frankie had led him.
Frankie could almost feel his breath on the back of her neck, she had the fight her natural instinct to run. She kept walking and then he attacked, he grabbed her from behind and put one hand over her mouth, she went into action. Stepped down on his instep and, when he let go, she turned and saw he was about to attack again. She didnt let him. She grabbed his outstretched hands and flipped him over. And knelt down on his back to stop him getting away. She heard running footsteps and shouted, "Over here."
Cameron and James came barreling around the corner. They stopped running and James came over, handcuffed the guy and took him away; reading him his rights.
Cameron came over and hugged Frankie, she held on tight because her heart was pounding. Thankful that Cameron was holding her up.
Cameron pulled back and looked at her, "You okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Adrenaline."
Cameron smiled and they followed James back to the van. They saw the guy being loaded into a cruiser and they went with James and Aidan back to the station.
They got in and put the guy in the cells over night, they decided to talk to him the next day.
Frankie and Cameron went their separate ways, and both fell asleep straight away, Frankie because the adrenaline rush had subsided leaving her exhausted and Cameron because all the worrying about Frankie had tired her out.
The next morning Frankie was up early, and she went for a run to loosen up muscles that were sore from her confrontation the night before, she was home and showered in an hour. She went to work early because she was full of nervous energy.
When Cameron arrived an hour later, she found Frankie buried under paperwork, she hadnt seen her come in. so, Cameron went and got two cups of coffee. She took them over and Frankie looked up and smiled. Cameron handed her a cup and sat down.
"Thanks Cam, thats just what I needed."
Cameron smiled, "You are welcome. How long have you been here?"
Frankie looked at her watch, "About an hour, I was restless."
"Youre mad. When are we going to speak to him?"
"About ten, and then I said wed go and see Michelle. Get her statement and tell her the good news."
Cameron nodded, "Good."
They questioned the attacker, and he was shocked when he realised that Frankie was a detective, he admitted to the previous four attacks and they left him to the district attorney who would bring charges against him.
After they had interviewed him they made their way to the hospital to speak to Michelle. When she saw them she smiled.
Frankie smiled and said, "Hey, how are you feeling?"
"Better, the doctor said I could go home in a few days."
"Thats good. Weve got some good news."
Michelle looked at Cameron and then Frankie. "You caught him?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah. Last night, he picked on someone who fought back."
Frankie smiled at her. "Me. He admitted to all the attacks and we just need you to give your official statement. And he should go down for a long time."
Michelle closed her eyes, "Okay. Im ready."
Half an hour later they were on their way back to the station, Frankie felt better that theyd caught the guy. She did feel guilty, but now she knew he was no longer out there and that Michelle would be okay, she relaxed.
They got back and John called them into his office. They went in and he smiled, "Sit down guys."
Frankie and Cameron sat down and waited to hear what John wanted to say.
"Well done for last night." To Frankie he said, "Are you okay."
Frankie nodded, "Im fine. He didnt get near me really. Im just glad we caught him."
Cameron smiled, "She had him all under control when we got there."
John nodded, "Good. Right, Im glad its over. You two get back to work."
Frankie smiled and said, "Yes boss!"
Cameron laughed and herded her out. "You too are incorrigible."
Frankie nodded, "I know. Come on, wed better write up our reports."
Cameron nodded, they spent the next hour writing up what had happened the night before.
When they had finished, they put the reports with James and Aidans in a file and put it on Johns desk. They decided to grab some lunch, and while they were out they were called to another robbery by their old friend.
Frankie swore when it came over the radio, and drove to the address.
Cameron couldnt believe it, for the past couple of weeks shed forgotten about Robin Hood. And, when they got out of the car Frankie went up to the two officers by the cruiser.
"Hey guys, what have we got?"
"We were called about half an hour ago, had a look around and saw his note."
Frankie nodded, "Have you got it?"
The policewoman handed it to her, she read it and passed it to Cameron. It said, Missed me, Sheriff.
"He thinks hes so funny."
Frankie nodded, "Forensics been?"
"Yeah, if thats all detective we have to go back to the station."
Cameron nodded, "Yes, you go. Thanks."
They nodded and left.
Frankie turned to Cameron, "You ready?"
Cameron nodded, they walked in and started to look around. When her phone rang she answered it.
"Hey its Mel."
"Hey Mel, you got some good news for me?"
"Actually I might, I need to do some further analysis on it. But it might be something, dont get your hopes up."
"I wont Mel. Thanks, Cameron and I will pop in on our way back."
"Okay, looking forward to it."
When she put her phone away Cameron was looking at her.
"That was Mel in forensics, they might have found something."
Cameron smiled, "Really?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah, but she told us not to get our hopes up, it might be nothing. Were gonna pop in on our way back"
Cameron grinned, "Okay, lets finish here and we can go."
They looked around for an hour, but as usual couldnt find anything of any importance. Both were hoping that whatever Mel had meant something. They got in the car and drove to the forensics lab, they went in; showed their badges and were shown up to Mels office.
Frankie knocked, and on Mels command went in.
"Frankie, hey, how have you been?"
Frankie nodded, "Good thanks, this is my partner Cameron Taylor."
Cameron and Mel shook hands.
"Its nice to meet you Mel."
"You too Cameron."
Frankie looked at Mel, "Well, should we be getting excited?"
Mel looked at both of them, "Yes, but not too excited. We got a partial print off the doorframe, where the letter was. We have to run it through the records. If we find a match, youll have your guy. But if hes been a good boy up to now "
Frankie nodded, "Then we have nothing. But, its a start."
Mel nodded, "I know. Sorry its not such great news."
Cameron shook her head, "No, its not great. But, it means we were right, he has started to slip."
Frankie nodded, "Thanks Mel, if something comes of it youve got my number."
Mel nodded and they left.
In the car Frankie said, "Well, you were right."
Cameron nodded, "Yeah, well have to see."
Frankie nodded. They got back to the station and added the new information to the Robin Hood file. They worked on it for a while before heading home.
When she got home Frankie phoned Billy just to talk to him, and then she watched some television before going to bed.
Cameron got home and did some laundry and then followed Frankies example of TV and then bed.
In the morning they were back at work about half an hour earlier than they had too, they were both eager to catch Robin Hood. About ten oclock Mel rang with the news that they didnt find a match, Frankie thanked her and told Cameron the news.
"Oh well, at least we got something. Maybe next time."
Frankie nodded, "Yeah. I want this guy hes getting on my nerves."
They had, had a quiet morning but about two oclock all hell broke loose, John came in and told them that they were all needed for a raid, it was on a warehouse that they suspected was full of stolen merchandise.
Everyone got ready, they worked out the arrangements with the six detectives in the squad, plus John and the uniforms.
They made their was to the warehouse and got ready, Frankie and Cameron were told to go through the back. They had to find a way in, when they got to the back of the warehouse, Frankie looked around and found a window they could get through. The only problem was it was about eight feet off the ground, Frankie tried climbing the drainpipe next to the window, but she lost her footing and fell; she heard Cameron shout her name but then she hit the ground and passed out.
Cameron froze for a split second, before she ran to where Frankie lay, unmoving on the ground.
"Frankie? Answer me, damn it I need assistance around he back of the building. Ambulance required."
When she heard the confirmation she was relieved. She felt Frankies pulse, she was still breathing, but the blood pouring from the cut on her head and her unconscious state were unnerving Cameron.
Time seemed to stand still while she was waiting, she heard the commotion from inside the building, results of the raid they had just started. The paramedics arrived and took control of the situation.
"How was she hurt?"
Cameron looked at her, "We were trying to find a way in, and she lost her footing and fell. I couldnt see how she landed, but she hasnt regained consciousness since she fell."
"Okay. Well take her in and get her checked out."
"Okay. Ill meet you there, I have stuff to sort out here before I can leave. Do me a favour? If she wakes up, shell be disoriented, could you tell her Camerons on her way?"
The female paramedic nodded. "Sure. Dont worry shell be fine."
They wheeled Frankie away and Cameron went to find out what was going on.
About half an hour later John was driving her to hospital, Cameron doubted she would have been able to concentrate.
"Wed better call Billy, have you got his number?"
John nodded, "Yeah, Ill give it to you when we get there, okay?"
"Yeah, Ill call him. As soon as we find out whats wrong."
John nodded but stayed quiet. Thinking why her? When they got there they went to the desk and asked where Frankie was.
Having a badge proved to be very helpful. They found the doctor who was treating Frankie and he told them the prognosis.
"She has a hairline fracture of her right wrist, a bad concussion and a couple of broken ribs. But she will be okay, shell need a lot of rest, she wont be able to do anything strenuous until her ribs heal. Will someone be bale to stay with her."
Cameron nodded, "I will."
They thanked the doctor and he left.
Cameron took a deep relieved breath, Cameron took Billys number to tell him the news.
"Hey Billy. Its Cameron."
Billy was on the alert straight away. "What happened?"
"She had an accident, but she is going to be fine. Shes got a fractured wrist, couple of broken ribs and she banged her head. She hasnt come round yet."
"Okay. Ill try to get a flight. Ill see you when I see you."
"My sisters got a hard head, she will be okay."
"Tell her Im coming."
Cameron nodded, "I will. See you soon."
She hung up and went to Frankies room, she saw John waiting outside she went up to him and he smiled.
"Ive spoken to the doctor and he said you can sit with her, talk to her. Im going to call Mandy and tell her, then Ill wait for them to get here."
"Thanks. Billys gonna try and get a flight straight away."
"All right. Ill be back in a little while."
Cameron nodded. She was so tired all of a sudden. She went into Frankies room, it was quiet, apart from the heart monitor beeping. She choked back a sob, her friend looked so pale and helpless. She sat down on Frankies good side and held her hand, she thought about what had happened, she was really scared.
"Hey Frankie. You scared me there, for a minute I thought I was going to lose you. I want you to wake up and talk to me, okay."
She put her head down onto the bed, she was emotionally drained.
Frankie slowly came back into consciousness, hearing the beep of the monitors. She felt constricted around her torso and someone holding her hand. She opened her eyes and just saw the ceiling, slowly she turned her head and saw Cameron, she smiled and gently touched Camerons head.
Cameron drifted off before she knew it, only to be woken up by the soft touch on her head. She looked up and into the eyes of her friend and she smiled. It took her brain a few seconds to become coherent then her head shot up and she said, "Youre awake?"
Frankie smiled and rasped. "If you can call it that."
Cameron laughed. "How do you feel?"
Frankie looked confused, "I honestly dont know. Tell me what happened and Ill tell you how I feel."
Cameron smiled at her, "Okay, we were trying to find a back way in to a building, you lost your footing and fell. So, youve got a broken arm, a couple of broken ribs, which is why you are strapped up. And youve got a nasty cut to your head, which is why youve been unconscious for the last three or four hours. And, your knee will probably ache for a while."
Frankie smiled. "Okay. Then I feel like shit."
Cameron looked at her and started to laugh, "Well I wasnt gonna say it, but you kind of look like it too."
Frankie grinned. "I bet I do. Well youd better tell someone Im awake."
"Yeah I will. Johns here and Billy and Mandy are on their way."
Frankie had tears in her eyes.
"Hey are you okay?"
Frankie nodded gently, wary of the headache she had that could have felled an elephant. "Yeah, sorry."
"For what, its okay. Just promise me something."
"Dont do that again!"
Frankie smiled. "I promise."
"You scared me, you know?"
Frankie nodded, "Sorry."
Cameron smiled. "I just hated seeing you like that, like this."
"I know. I dont know what happened. I dont remember anything until just now when I woke up. I saw you, so I knew I was safe."
Cameron had tears in her eyes now, "Im glad I could be here."
"So, Im gonna be okay?"
"Yeah with rest. You sit tight and Ill go grab your doctor and see whos here. Okay?"
Frankie nodded, "Yeah."
Cameron left, and fell back against the door when it closed. Shock and happiness taking its toll, she told the nurse that Frankie was awake and then went to find John. She didnt find John, but saw Mandy staring out of the window in the relatives room.
"Hey." she said in a tired voice. Mandy turned around and looked at Cameron, Cameron smiled and said, "Shes awake."
The smile lit up Mandys face, "How is she?"
"Sore, but her spirits are up. Wheres John?"
"Hes gone to the airport, Billy got a flight straight away so hes gone to meet him."
"Good. Do you want to go see her?"
Cameron nodded, "Im going to go and splash some water on my face, you go and see her, and will you tell her Ill be back."
Mandy nodded and left Cameron there, she went into the nearest bathroom. Thats where she broke down, she started to cry and went into a cubicle. She had been so scared when she couldnt get a response from Frankie. She hadnt wanted to upset Frankie, which is why she was crying in the bathroom.
Mandy got to Frankies room and knocked.
She peeked her head in and saw that Frankie was alone and went in. "Hey."
Frankie smiled at her aunt. "Hey Mandy."
Mandy went over to the bed and gave her a hug. "How you doing?"
Frankie smiled. "Ill be fine. The doctor said Im doing okay. Wheres Cam?"
"Shes gone to splash some water on her face, shell be here in a minute. Johns gone to meet Billy at the airport."
Frankie closed her eyes for a second. When she heard the door open she opened them. It was Cameron, Frankie looked at her for a second and knew what shed been doing. She looked at her and then made a decision. "Mandy?"
Mandy looked at her. "Yeah."
"Could you go see if Im allowed anything to eat, Im starving."
Mandy looked at her and then Cameron and nodded. "Sure."
When she left Cameron finally looked up at Frankie and Frankie patted the bed, Cameron came over and sat down, tears still running down her face.
Frankie raised her hand to Camerons face and wiped the tears away. "Im fine you know, you arent going to get rid of me that easily."
Cameron nodded, Frankie took her into her arms. "Im not going anywhere. I promise."
Cameron smiled, "I know really. I just didnt want you to see me cry."
Frankie smiled, "I know but I can handle it. But I promise you, Im going to be fine. Doing chin ups again in no time."
Cameron looked up and smiled. She got down off the bed and sat in the chair, not letting go of Frankies hand, because she didnt want to lose contact.
Frankie smiled, it was funny. Even though she was in pain she was happy, glad that her family was with her.
Mandy came back in with a sandwich, and Frankie found that she was hungry after all, they chatted for a while and then Billy and John arrived.
Billy came in and went straight to give Frankie a hug, "How are you feeling?"
Frankie smiled at her brother. "Im fine. Actually, I feel good. Apart from when I laugh it hurts like hell."
Billy smiled, and went and hugged Mandy and Cameron hello.
"How was your flight?"
Billy looked at Cameron and grinned. "Okay actually. I managed to get on the direct one so it wasnt so bad." He looked at his sister and said, "Have they told you how long youve got to stay in?"
Frankie nodded. "Overnight for observation because of the concussion. Then I can go home and rest. Camerons gonna stay for a couple of days to look after me. Youre welcome to stay too, if you can."
Billy nodded, "I can stay until the day after tomorrow. Then I need to go back as I have a project to hand in."
Frankie nodded, "Good."
Mandy, John and Cameron left then telling Frankie theyd see her tomorrow, the nurse had only given them a short time to stay because it was past visiting hours. They left Billy to say goodbye to Frankie in peace.
When they left Billy turned just as Cameron was leaving, he turned just in time to see Frankie watching her leave.
He smiled knowingly, he asked "So, when are you gonna tell her?"
Frankie looked at him, not understanding. "Tell her what?"
Billy smiled. "That youre totally head over heals in love with her."
Frankie looked at him for a moment, and then down at the bed and said in a small voice. "I dont know if I can."
Look for the sequel called Culmination coming soon.
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