By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers see part one.
A big thank you to my beta reader Joanne.
As always this is for Heather.
CC rubbed her aching temple as she returned to the kitchen. She needed more caffeine if she was going to deal with her sisterıs attitude. Stevie was following close behind her. CC loved her baby sister dearly but at that moment she wanted to ring her neck. ³Stevie,² CC growled as she turned and gave the smaller woman a cold stare.
³Fine. Iıll drop it.² Stevie held up her hands and retreated into the living room. CC poured herself another cup of coffee and sighed heavily. The past few days had really sucked.
Her car still wasnıt running and Jamie hadnıt been around much. When she did encounter the blonde doctor, it was only briefly. Jamie seemed distant since the other night. She wasnıt hostile, just distant. CC really wanted to talk things over with Jamie, but Jamie always seemed to be busy. Stevieıs attitude towards Jamie just added to the mix. ³I slept with her too soon,² CC muttered absently.
³Thatıs all I was saying,² Stevie piped in from the outer room.
CC rolled her blue eyes in disgust. Gripping her mug tightly, she walked back into the living room. ³Look, Stevie. Just drop it,² CC stated firmly. ³I know it was mistake. I should have waited until we got to know each other again.² CC found herself smiling as she watched her niece in her playpen try to put her foot into her mouth.
³I just donıt understand why you slept with her,² Stevie said in bewilderment. CC groaned at Stevieıs persistence. ³The two of you went from gee youıre arenıt the jackass I thought you wereı to hopping back into bed together. I can understand the night you both got loaded, but this last time . . .² Stevie just shook her head.
³It felt right,² CC explained. She was tired of having this argument with Stevie. For the life of her, she could not understand why her sister was so angry with Jamie. ³We spent the day together, at your insistence I might add. It was like it was before. All the old feelings were still there.²
³Thatıs the problem.² Stevie groaned bitterly. ³You are not getting to know her.²
³I know her,² CC scoffed. ³This is James weıre talking about.²
³No, this is Jamie Jameson,² Stevie snapped back. ³Sheıs not the sweet naïve little college girl you remember.²
³I know that,² CC argued. ³Sheıs changed and so have I.²
³Look, I like Jamie,² Stevie defended herself. ³But youıre rushing into this. Youıre acting like nothing has changed. Come on, Caitlin. You slept with her and now sheıs blowing you off.²
³She isnıt blowing me off,² CC protested. ³Sheıs busy. She had a life long before we ran into one another again.²
³Open your eyes,² Stevie warned her.
³What is this really about?² CC finally demanded.
³I just donıt want you to get hurt again,² Stevie said sincerely. ³But Jamie isnıt the little virgin you left behind.²
³Iım quite aware of that.² CC snickered.
³Iım serious,² Stevie responded flatly. ³I wasnıt going to tell you this, but the night before the two of you hooked up together Brad saw her at the club. She ended up in the parking lot with some girl.²
³Donıt do this,² CC warned her sister in a cold threatening voice. ³I know she was with someone that night.²
³You do?² Stevie said in surprise.
³Iım a cop. I notice things,² CC explained in a flat tone. ³Letıs just say the lipstick on her collar wasnıt her color. What I didnıt need to hear were the gory details.²
³Iım sorry,² Stevie said as she blinked in surprise. ³I just donıt understand why you would be with her so quickly knowing that sheıs promiscuous. Come on; itıs a little sluttish.²
³Donıt,² CC hissed out through clenched teeth. ³I wouldnıt worry about Jamieıs morals if I were you.²
³Excuse me?² Stevie gasped.
³Do you think Emmaıs room will ever get completed if you keep banging the contractor every time she comes over?² CC questioned her triumphantly.
³How did you . . .?² Stevie stammered as she blushed furiously.
³I notice things,² CC taunted her. ³I also know that youıre not in love with her. You just need someone right now. Sheıs a buddy,² CC added with a shrug. She didnıt want to argue with Stevie. They had always been close. She understood that Stevie was just looking out for her. But until she talked to Jamie she wasnıt about to allow Stevie to trash her.
³What if thatıs all Jamieıs looking for?² Stevie questioned her carefully.
³I donıt know,² CC answered honestly. ³If thatıs all she wants then I guess thatıs it.²
³What do you want?² Stevie inquired softly.
³I donıt know.² CC sighed as she sat down next to her sister, stretching out her legs. ³Maybe we just needed one last time together to put everything behind us. Maybe it means something more. I donıt have a clue. All I know was, at that moment, none of it mattered. There wasnıt the past. No thoughts of the future. It just felt right. It felt right to hold her and kiss her.²
³Okay,² Stevie blurted out as she patted CCıs knee. ³Speaking of gory details, I donıt need to hear everything.² Stevie held up her hand as she grimaced. CC laughed as she swatted her sister playfully. ³I just worry about you,² Stevie added thoughtfully. ³I can see that look in your eyes and it hasnıt been there is such a very long time. Just try taking it slow. Maybe have a date or go out for coffee before the two of you get naked again.²
³I promise,² CC agreed, smiling as she stood. ³With our schedules I just I hope I get the chance before the next ice age.²
CCıs smile vanished as she saw Jamie out in the parking lot hugging a small brunette. Who the hell is that?ı the policewomanıs mind screamed. She felt her sister standing next to her.
³Oh boy,² Stevie muttered as she grabbed onto CCıs coffee cup before it could spill.
³Not a word,² CC said sadly as she marched back into the kitchen.
Jamie hugged the small brunette tightly. The woman was one of the few people she knew that she could hug without reaching up. Meagan had chestnut hair and gray green eyes and was one of the truest souls that Jamie had ever met. She couldnıt have asked for a better sister. Of course they had only officially become siblings a few years ago. But during all of those summer vacations and family trips theyıd endured together, they had become sisters long before Jamieıs father married Meaganıs mother.
Jamie had endured a long hard week of sheer hell. It seemed to her that every person she encountered was just plain rude lately. She tried to write it off to her own emotional troubles. Granted, she was upset about CC but she was trying to keep things in perspective and not fly off the handle. She needed some distance from the tall policewoman before she overreacted. Sheıd done that once twelve years ago and it cost her the woman she loved. So if it wasnıt the possibility that CC was seeing someone, what was going on with the world? Sheıd also double-checked her calendar just to ensure that there wasnıt another cause to the hostility that was surrounding her.
³Did you have any trouble finding the place?² Jamie asked her stepsister as she led her towards her home. Despite Jamieıs over-analytical mind, she was notorious for giving horrible directions. She was infamous for saying things like you know, the place with the thing, turn right thereı.
³No,² Meagan responded brightly as they entered Jamieıs townhouse. Jamie smiled, thinking that sheıd done a good job in getting her sister up there from Maryland. ³I just ignored what you told me and looked it up online.²
³You doubted me?² Jamie gasped in mock horror.
³Yes,² Meagan asserted firmly.
³Iım wounded.² Jamie chuckled as they removed their coats.
³Did you just get off duty?² Meagan inquired thoughtfully as she settled down on the sofa.
³Yes,² Jamie responded with a yawn. ³Iıll just put on some coffee for us,² Jamie suggested warmly.
³If you need a nap or something, itıs okay,² Meagan interjected.
³No way.² Jamie waved her off as she shuffled off to the kitchen. ³I donıt get to see you that often anymore.²
³Okay,² Meagan called out as she scanned Jamieıs sparse living conditions. ³Jesus, Jamie! When are you going to unpack?²
³Itıs getting there,² Jamie called back as she carefully measured the coffee. ³Iıve been busy,² Jamie explained once she returned from the tiny kitchen.
³You look wiped, kiddo,² Meagan noted thoughtfully. Jamie rolled her eyes at the term. Meagan was two years younger than Jamie. Sheıd been a bit of a wild child while they were growing up while Jamie had been a role model. Jamie always said that sheıd saved everything up for when she came out. Despite their differences the two had always gotten along. It didnıt hurt that Meagan had finally outgrown her days of partying. Now the once feisty teen was a financial officer with a devoted husband.
³Are you certain you donıt need to get some rest?² Meagan suggested.
³No, Iım fine and Iım off for the next couple of days so we can spend some time together,² Jamie explained. ³I just had a really long week.²
³You want to talk about it?² Meagan offered in a comforting tone.
Jamie shrugged as she sat down next to her sister. Perhaps it would do her some good to vent a little. ³I donıt know,² Jamie mumbled as she collected her thoughts. Meagan quirked her eyebrows to encourage Jamie to continue speaking. ³It just seems that lately Iıve been crossing paths with the rudest people on the planet. For example, the other day I was going to the post office. You passed it on the way here. It sits on a curve of the rotary.²
³Not very safe,² Meagan noted.
³Thatıs why they put some lights there,² Jamie explained quickly. ³I pulled around the rotary and got stuck behind a car thatıs double parked. I canıt go around because cars are coming up behind me. The driver canıt see this because sheıs looking for something on the floor. So I beep my horn. I swear thatıs all I did,² Jamie added in her own defense, knowing that Megan would assume that she offered the woman a single digit salute. ³There were parking spots just a few feet ahead of her. She pulls up a centimeter and Iım forced to pull out into traffic and go around. Then I park in one of the spots and she pulls in behind me. We both walk up to the mailbox at the same time. She tells me you go aheadı in the snottiest tone I have ever heard. I never wanted to bitch slap someone so much in my life.²
³You didnıt?² Meagan laughed.
³No.² Jamie blew out an exhausted breath. ³I just rolled my eyes and mailed my letter. I really didnıt want to get into it with her. ³
³How rude.² Meagan shook her head in disgust. ³I did notice that the drivers around here are a little tense. Whatıs with all the detours?²
³The Big Dig.² Jamie groaned. ³Itıs getting better. I know that Massachusettsı drivers have their own way of doing things. Itıs part of the charm of living up here.²
³Something more than a rude driver is getting to you,² Meagan pointed out.
³Itıs just that everyone Iıve run into this week has been like that,² Jamie blurted out in exasperation. ³I expect it at work. The folks I see there are sick or injured. Itıs hard to stay upbeat when you just broke your arm. But the other day I went to get pizza for everyone. Iım dressed in my scrubs, heading back to the hospital loaded down with several pizza boxes, and this guy shouts out hey where you going with all that food? Iım hungry.ı ²
³Ugh,² Meagan grunted in sympathy.
³I know what he said was innocent enough but it was the tone,² Jamie bemoaned. ³You know that flirty Iım a cool dudeı tone. Did this guy actually think he was going to get my phone number or get lucky with me? Tell me truthfully. Does that random shouting out in the streets work with you straight girls?²
³No.² Meagan laughed.
³It must work on someone since so many men do it,² Jamie noted as she went into the kitchen to get their coffee.
She came back with the coffee mugs in hand. ³Even in North Hampton or P-Town Iıve never heard a woman yell out Hey beautifulı or I love youı,² Jamie explained thoughtfully.
³Maybe you just donıt have sex appeal?² Meagan teased.
Jamie flicked her stepsister and then offered her a single digit salute. ³And our parents always thought you were the nice one.² Meagan sighed. ³So are you going to tell me whatıs really stressing you out?²
³Well, thereıs this intern following me around at work,² Jamie continued as Meagan rolled her eyes. ³I keep explaining to him that Iım not interested plus Iım his supervisor.²
³Have you told him that youıre gay?² Meagan questioned her.
³No,² Jamie admitted as Meagan gave her a curious glance. ³I will but I just hate having to say that all the time. Why is it that you just canıt say Iım not interestedı without having to add an explanation?²
³I think I know what you are saying,² Meagan responded. ³Before I was dating Anthony and even after we were engaged, guys just wouldnıt except that I didnıt want to go out with them. You always have to explain why. Do women do that?²
³Oh yeah,² Jamie groaned. ³I had this friend back in my days at George Washington who started giving out the phone number to the local FBI office. She said it was easier then having to endure this long drawn out drama about why you donıt want to give someone your phone number.²
³I wish I had known about that little trick when I was single.² Meagan laughed. ³Okay, Jamie. Youıve stalled long enough. When are you going to tell what is going on with your ex-girlfriend?²
³Iım really trying to keep things with CC in perspective,² Jamie explained carefully. ³I told you what really happened twelve years ago and how it was just a huge misunderstanding?²
³Yeah, and I still say she had twelve years to tell you about the shooting,² Meagan responded firmly.
³I do want to talk to her about that,² Jamie muttered. ³Well, I think sheıs seeing someone. Which makes things a little awkward since sheıs my ex-girlfriend.²
³Well, face it. Once you get naked with someone, you never react the same way to them again. Even if you want to see them happy, or out of your life, or whatever, you still went to bed with this person,² Meagan surmised.
³Yeah, and since CC and I ended up sleeping together recently it makes things even more difficult,² Jamie said quietly in hopes that Meagan would miss what she said.
³Excuse me?² Megan choked, almost spitting her coffee out.
³It kind of just happened,² Jamie squeaked out in embarrassment. ³I was secretly hoping that maybe we could start dating or something.²
³What do you mean it just happened?² Meagan berated her. ³How does something like that just happen?²
³We spent the day together and it was great,² Jamie started to explain.
³And you thought youıd celebrate by tearing one anotherıs clothes off?² Meagan jested.
³Something like that.² Jamie winced at the implication. ³It just felt right.²
³Are you sure it wasnıt just old feelings?² Meagan suggested.
³Maybe,² Jamie reluctantly admitted. ³I just wish I had the opportunity to find out. Now I think itıs too late.²
³I donıt know, Jamie,² Meagan cautioned her. ³If sheıs seeing someone so soon then sheıs not the person for you. I have to admit it is a little surprising to hear you talk about wanting to date someone. Youıve always been adamant about keeping your solitude.²
³Iıve been doing a lot of thinking since CC reentered my life,² Jamie confessed. ³Maybe being alone isnıt the paradise Iıve been telling myself it is.²
³My, isnıt this surprising.² Meagan chuckled lightly.
³Oh, give it a rest,² Jamie chastised her with another sharp flick. ³Anyhoo, I want you to meet CC and her sister while youıre here. Even if Iıve missed my chance of making things work with her, sheıs a really nice person. I feel bad that Iıve been avoiding her. I just needed some space on this one. Iıd really like to keep her friendship.²
³Iım a little curious as to why you havenıt asked her if she is seeing someone,² Meagan prodded.
³Iım scared,² Jamie admitted with a heavy sigh.
³Blunt force trauma to the cranial cavity,² the medical examiner noted dryly. CC tried to listen carefully as she stare at the lifeless body.
³Someone hit her on the head?² CC questioned Marissa with a yawn.
³Yes. Am I boring you, Calloway?² Marissa curled her lips in amusement.
³Not at all.² CC waved off the remark. ³Iım not sleeping well these days. What was she hit with?² CC blinked her blue eyes rapidly, trying to remain focused on Marissaıs report.
³My best guess is a tire iron,² Marissa explained. ³Youıd think theyıd come up with something new. So whatıs keeping you up at nights?² Marissa pried.
CC rolled her eyes, knowing that Marissa would prod until she got a response. ³Oh, you know - the job, my car has finally died, the usual stuff,² CC lied.
³Uh huh,² Marissa scoffed at the explanation. ³Havenıt seen you around town lately. I thought maybe some sweet young thing finally caught you,² the dark-skinned beauty taunted the policewoman.
³Uhm, can we just focus on the case?² CC admonished her.
³So itıs true.² Marissa beamed.
CC was growing steadily more uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was taking. She had no idea where she and Jamie stood. She had been avoiding Jamie since her houseguest had arrived. It was childish and CC knew it. On top of that, CC had dated Marissa briefly some time ago and she never missed an opportunity to let CC know that she was still very interested. ³Dr. Vergas, can we deal with the victim for just a moment?² CC snarled. ³Was she sexually assaulted?²
³No penetration.² Marissa went into detail. ³I did a rape kit anyway. No signs of semen. But there is bruising between her thighs. I think our boy wanted to but he was either interrupted or had equipment failure.²
³What about the other thing I asked you about?² CC continued, making notes in the little pad she kept with her constantly.
³You were right,² Marissa continued methodically. ³The body was moved. She didnıt die in the park.²
³Great. So the park was a dumping ground.² CC sighed as her temple throbbed. ³No crime scene and we have no idea who she is. You sent the dental impression over to Clooney?²
³Yes,² Marissa answered her drolly. ³Hereıs the full report.²
CC accepted the file with a slight nod and started to leave the sterile environment. She hated going down to the morgue; there was nothing rewarding about the experience what so ever. ³Hey, Calloway!² Marissa called out.
³Yeah.² CC sighed, thinking she had missed her opportunity to get out of the room. She tried to play the role of the big tough cop, but the sights and smells that surrounded her at that moment were making her sick.
³How about dinner on Saturday?² Marissa inquired with sly smirk.
³I donıt think so,² CC responded quickly.
³Come on. Itıs just dinner,² Marissa pushed as CCıs stomach became increasingly queasy.
CC was about to tell her in no uncertain terms that she wasnıt interested but for some reason the brooding brunette found herself hesitating. ³Fine.² She accepted the invitation, thinking that perhaps going out with a friend was just the distraction she needed. ³But it is just dinner,² she emphasized, not wanting to lead Marissa on.
Later she was sitting at her desk looking over the medical examinerıs report and her own notes and photos. CC drummed her fingers on her desk as she tried to piece together the evidence lying before her. ³I hate it when you do that,² Max grunted indignantly.
³Sorry,² she grunted in response as she rubbed her face in her hands wearily.
³Okay, Iıll get us some coffee.² Max sighed as he stood, his chair creaking in relief once he had vacated it.
They had worked together for so long and, like most partnerships, they had each developed little habits that they knew drove their partner up the wall. CC would tap her fingers or fiddle with a pen or some other object. Max wouldnıt have his chair fixed. Every time he stood, sat, or shifted, it would let out a high-pitched squeak that sent shivers down CCıs spine. Max returned with two mugs of coffee; he handed one to CC before returning to his chair directly across their adjoining desks. CC glared at him as it squeaked.
³Letıs go over it.² Max sighed, ignoring her glare.
³White female, twenty-five to thirty years old. Blunt force trauma to the head, probably a tire iron. Marissa made a notation that it was probably a smaller one, like the kind that comes with a foreign compact car. The victim was found off the soccer field in Jackson Park, completely nude. Blonde, not natural,² CC read off their findings.
³They never are.² Max snorted.
³No rape but based on the bruising on the inside of her thighs, there was an attempt,² CC explained dryly. ³Probably why he killed her.² Max nodded in agreement. ³None of the victimıs clothing or belongings were present at the scene which makes identification impossible for the time being. The body was dumped so the murder happened somewhere else. Thatıs it for Jane Doe number . . . Good Lord, how is possible that that many women could just disappear?² She blinked her eyes in shock when she read the tag number. ³Okay, died from a blow to the head; other than the bruising between her thighs, thereıs no sign of a struggle. The blood work came back clean so we can assume that she knew her attacker who couldnıt step up to the plate. Her remains were dumped. Her identity and the site of the murder are unknown.²
³Donıt you love these easy cases?² Max joked half-heartedly. ³You remember your first call after getting your gold shield?²
³What a nice guy.² CC smiled. ³He called us and then sat and waited while sipping his twelve-year-old scotch. He put the gun safely off to the side so we would know he wasnıt a threat. He refused a lawyer and confessed.²
³On the drive over Iıd been lecturing you on the doıs and donıts and not to expect the suspect to just confess. Then this guy blurts out the whole story while offering to make us tea.² Max laughed. ³He was quite a gentlemen about the whole thing. I almost didnıt want to put the handcuffs on the guy.²
³You had to love it,² CC agreed. ³What happened Mr. Henderson? I got home early from work and found my wife and best friend in bed together. I shot them both. Would you nice officers like a cup of tea?²
³I donıt think Iıd be that calm if I caught Shirley with my best friend.² Max snorted. ³Frank is an ugly guy,² Max teased. CC couldnıt resist laughing.
³Okay, Iıve got a couple of possibilities from Missing Persons,² Max explained, getting back to business. ³I donıt think any of them are our girl. It might be too soon for someone to have reported her.²
³Letıs go,² CC said grimly as she grabbed the Polaroids of their victim and her jacket. She hated this part of the job. She was about to visit people who didnıt know where their loved one was and she was carrying pictures of a corpse.
CC sat at her desk exhausted; she was no closer to finding out the identity of her victim. It had been hell visiting those hopeful families. They seemed so eager when they first arrived and then, when they realized what CC and Max were there for, they fell apart. There was a strange sense of relief when CC viewed their photos and informed them that the girl they had found wasnıt their child. She left them no closer to finding the answers as to what happened to the young person they were seeking.
Max was shifting in his chair causing the squeaks to increase loudly. They were both frustrated. She was contemplating throwing her pencil at him when her telephone rang. The desk sergeant informed her that she had a visitor. She made her way across the squad room and out to the desk sergeant who simply pointed through the bulletproof glass to the lobby. CCıs eyes lit up when she saw Jamie leaning against the wall. Her joy was short lived when she noticed the brunette sitting close by.
The sight of both women waiting for her startled CC slightly, and she braced herself for the awkward situation that awaited her. The tall policewoman brushed her bangs out of her face and quickly checked her appearance before opening the door and stepping out into the lobby. She approached the women as they chatted. ³This shouldnıt take to long,² Jamie was explaining. ³Why donıt we check out that Mexican place for dinner tonight?²
³Hello,² CC said, effectively interrupting the brunetteıs response.
Jamie jumped slightly, apparently startled by CCıs arrival. She smiled as she looked up at the raven-haired beauty. ³Hi,² she responded in a voice just above a whisper. CC felt like she hadnıt seen Jamie in ages. Mentally she was kicking herself for staying away.
³What brings you down here?² CC inquired shyly, suddenly feeling like a kid. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of the small brunette looking at her. CC knew when she was being sized up. She cast an icy blue stare down at the stranger. Much to CCıs surprise, the small woman gave as well as she got. Neither seemed to be willing to give up.
³Uhm Caitlin ,² Jamie said, interrupting their staring contest.
³Hey,² CC groaned as she returned her attention to Jamie, ³donıt call me that.²
³Sorry.² Jamie chuckled lightly. ³CC,² she corrected herself. ³I would like for you to meet Meagan.²
³Hi,² CC responded in a bored tone, not even glancing in Meaganıs direction.
Jamieıs jaw dropped; she was surprised by CCıs rudeness. CC just folded her arms against her chest defiantly. Jamie tugged on CCıs arm and pulled her off to a corner of the room. ³Now I know you like to preserve your big tough cop image,² Jamie sputered. ³But thatıs no excuse to be rude to my sister.²
³Your sister?² CC gaped in embarrassment. Suddenly her face turned grim. ³You donıt have a sister,² CC snapped in a quiet accusing tone. ³You have three brothers.²
³Meagan is my stepsister,² Jamie corrected her.
CC tried to process the information as Jamieıs face brightened slightly. The blonde seemed to suddenly understand everything. ³CC, my Dad married Meaganıs mother almost two years ago. Our families have always been close and Meaganıs Dad passed away about eight years ago and we lost Mom almost five years ago. Dad was really lost and they just seemed to lean on one another. We were thrilled when their relationship turned romantic,² Jamie explained in a very slow and careful voice.
³Your Mom died?² CC said sadly as she laid a comforting hand on Jamieıs arm. ³Iım sorry. I didnıt know.²
³How could you?² Jamie addressed her softly as she placed her hand on top of CCıs. The blondeıs thumb casually brushed the back of CCıs hand. ³We werenıt even speaking to one another back then.²
³I need to apologize to your sister.² CC grimaced.
³Yes you do.² Jamie gloated as she patted the back of CCıs hand.
CC groaned before turning her attention back to Meagan. The brunette seemed overly amused by the situation. ³Iım sorry,² CC stammered as she offered Meagan her hand. Meagan shook her hand warmly. ³I thought you were . . .²
³Jamieıs latest hottie,² Meagan teased. ³Sorry, wrong team.²
³Your husband would like that.² Jamie snorted in delight.
³Yeah, laugh it up, blondie,² CC chastised her. ³So is this why you stopped down here? Showing Sis all of Boylstonıs hot spots?²
³No. Actually I have a favor to ask,² Jamie said grimly. ³One of my interns is missing. Sheıs only missed one shift, but Stella called me even though Iım taking some time off. Itıs just really out of character for her not to show up. The hospital called her apartment and I stopped over there before I came here.²
³Iıll look into it for you,² CC volunteered immediately.
³Thanks.² Jamie sighed with relief. ³I donıt want to alarm her parents just yet. These kids are under a lot of pressure and sometimes they just freak out. Still, I wouldnıt have pegged Sandra for losing control.²
³Tell me about her,² CC encouraged her.
³Her name is Sandra Bernstein. She lives in a two-family near Longwood,² Jamie explained as she reached into the back pocket of her jeans and retrieved a slip of paper. ³Thatıs her address and phone number. She worked the night shift two nights ago and hasnıt been seen by anyone on the staff since.²
³What does she look like?² CC continued, thinking that the intern was probably spending time with her boyfriend.
³A little taller than me. She has blonde hair and green eyes. Sheıs a little older than the rest of her classmates, maybe twenty-six,² Jamie explained as CCıs heart began to beat just a little faster.
³Is she a natural blonde?² CC inquired carefully.
³I donıt know her that well,² Jamie shot back quickly.
³Sorry,² CC offered. ³Did she have any tattoos or distinguishing characteristics?²
³Where is this going?² Jamie asked fearfully.
³Hopefully nowhere,² CC said absently. ³Can you wait here for a moment?²
Jamie nodded hesitantly as CC had the desk sergeant buzz her back into the squad room. She grabbed the Polaroids off her desk and motioned for Max to follow her. She returned to Jamie who had turned white as a sheet. CC said a silent prayer that the nagging hunch she was experiencing was wrong. ³James, could you look at some pictures for me?² she inquired carefully as Max looked on with interest.
³Oh God,² was the only response Jamie offered as she accepted the photos. ³Itıs her,² she said after viewing the first one. Jamie thrust the photos back into CCıs hand.
³Are you . . . ,² CC began hesitantly.
³Yes,² Jamie said, cutting her off. ³How?²
³Weıre still investigating,² CC offered softly as she fought back the desire to wrap Jamie up in her arms. She could see the pain in the young doctorıs eyes and she just wanted to make it stop. ³Iıll need to see her employee file so I can contact her family.²
³If itıs all right, Iıd like to call them before you do,² Jamie requested softly. ³Iıll let the hospital know that youıre coming over. I suppose youıll still need her file and need to check out her locker?²
³Thank you,² CC responded as she began to absently rub Jamieıs forearm.
Jamie gave her a halfhearted smile as she captured her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. ³Sorry, Meagan,² Jamie apologized to her sister who was now standing beside her. ³Looks like weıre going to miss the museum.²
³Tell you what.² CC began to formulate a plan of action. ³Why donıt you come with me to the hospital? That way Meagan can take your car and do whatever she wants. Iıll take you home; itıll give me a chance to see Emma. Max, hereıs Sandraıs address. Why donıt you go chat up the landlord and see if you can get a look inside?² She handed him the slip of paper. He simply nodded in response.
³Mrs. Grayson,² Jamie provided. ³Her landlady is Mrs. Grayson; she lives on the first floor. Sheıll chat your ear off. But sheıs sweet.²
CC watched as Meagan and Jamie conferred. ³You have my cell number?² Jamie questioned her sister as she handed over her car keys.
³I just need a few moments.² CC explained quickly.
CC gathered up her notes and jacket and went to rejoin Jamie. Max halted her movements by gently touching her on the arm. ³Thatıs James?² he inquired with a hint of sadness.
³Yeah,² CC responded in confusion. ³Youıve met Dr. Jameson before.²
³And so have you,² he noted dryly. ³Twelve years ago?² he prodded. ³I could never understand who James was. I had always suspected that you were gay.²
³Let it go, Max,² CC cautioned him.
³Right. We arenıt suppose to talk about it,² Max growled. ³It never happened. I didnıt get my gold shield after watching the rookie I was supposed to be taking care of almost bleed to death.²
³Max, it was a long time ago,² CC said softly, fighting against the familiar panic. ³And you got your gold shield because youıre a damn good cop.²
³Right,² he sneered, the bitterness clearly evident in his tone.
³Please, Max, let it go,² CC cautioned him once again. She knew that both of them were still haunted by the demons that day had brought forth.
³At least the bastard got what he deserved,² Max added dryly.
³Donıt,² she cautioned him sternly as she grabbed his arm tightly. ³I donıt want to think about that either.² It was a nagging question that had haunted her for years. Was the man who had shot her that day later killed by the mob or by someone who didnıt like the fact that he had gotten away with shooting a cop? It was a question she prayed she would never know the answer to.
³Fine.² Max shrugged it off. CC wasnıt buying his sudden change in demeanor. ³So is the good doctor the person you were seeing back then?²
³Yes.² CC sighed in exasperation. ³God, youıre worse than an old lady. Can we get some work done now?²
As Jamie and CC drove to the hospital, the policewoman couldnıt help noticing that Jamie was lost in thought. She assumed that it was the death of her young colleague. ³Uhm CC . . . ,² Jamie began hesitantly, ³why do you have your sisterıs car?²
CC looked at the blonde strangely; it certainly wasnıt the question she was expecting. ³Mine broke down a few nights ago,² CC explained dryly, still feeling uncertain as to where this conversation was heading.
³So youıve been using Stevieıs?² Jamie said with a slight smile.
³Yeah,² CC responded curiously. ³Like I said, mine died. I really need to get a new one, but Stevie hasnıt had the time to take me.²
³I could take you,² Jamie volunteered. ³Are you free on Saturday afternoon? Meagan will be gone by then and itıs my day off.²
³That would be great,² CC answered brightly. ³Thank you.²
³Youıre welcome.² Jamie smiled once again. ³Uhm CC . . .² The doctor paused, trying to gather her thoughts. ³Are you seeing anyone?²
³Me?² CC laughed at the thought. ³No. I havenıt been dating anyone for a long time. Itıs been about ten months or so. Jamie, what is all of this about?²
³Youıre going laugh,² Jamie stated with some degree of amusement.
³Why do I doubt that?² CC questioned her companion.
³Okay, so maybe you wonıt,² Jamie conceded. ³After the last time you and I were intimate, I went over to your place to see you. ³ CC raised her eyebrow in suspicion as she listened carefully while trying to keep her eye on the road. ³Your car was there and Stevieıs wasnıt so I went around to the back door. The door was open and I heard noises.²
³Noises?² CC questioned, still not getting the gist of the conversation.
³I heard someone . . . you know,² Jamie stammered.
³No, I donıt know,² CC responded honestly.
³Having sex,² Jamie finally blurted out.
³Oh?² CC laughed and then her face dropped when she realized whom Jamie had heard. ³Icky.² She groaned in disgust. ³That must had been Stevie and her little playmate, the contractor.²
³No wonder itıs taking so long to get that room done,² Jamie said thoughtfully.
³Tell me about it,² CC grumbled.
They drove in silence while CC processed the information. She knew that she should be focusing on the case. ³So thatıs why you were avoiding me?² CC finally asked.
³Yes,² Jamie confessed. ³Look, I know I donıt have any right to say anything about who you date. But it hurt when I thought that you had bedded someone else so quickly.²
³Jamie,² CC began slowly as she reached out and took Jamieıs smaller hand in her own, ³you are the first and only person Iıve been with in almost a year. I honestly want to see if . . .² CC stopped speaking abruptly as they pulled into the hospital parking garage. ³Sorry. Can we talk about this later? I really need to focus on Sandra right now.²
³I understand.² Jamie nodded in agreement. ³Iım not looking forward to calling her parents.²
³Are you all right?² CC inquired tenderly.
³Not really,² Jamie admitted. ³Itıs just such a shock. She was so young.²
CC could see the pain in Jamieıs eyes as she pulled the car into an available spot. She unhooked her seatbelt as Jamie did the same. As Jamie went to open the car door, CC halted her by reaching out and placing her hand on Jamieıs shoulder. She watched as the blondeıs eyes fluttered shut. Without question CC wrapped Jamie up in a warm and comforting embrace. ³Why would anyone do this?² Jamie choked out. ³She was just a kid.²
³I know,² CC said soothingly as she rubbed Jamieıs back.
Jamie shifted once again, trying to make herself comfortable on the sofa. It was her own fault; sheıd known Meagan was coming for a visit and she still hadnıt gotten the spare room ready in time. Now she found herself fighting nightly to get comfortable on the sofa. Jamie sighed heavily as she began to flip through the channels on the television. ³Four hundred channels and thereıs still nothing on.² She grunted as she continued to search for something to watch.
It didnıt help that she was accustomed to working at night. Now it was well after three in the morning and she was wide-awake. She knew that a part of her insomnia was because of Sandra. The call to the energetic girlıs parents had been difficult. They were flying in from Colorado in the morning. Jamie couldnıt imagine what it must be like to lose someone so suddenly. It had been hard enough watching her motherıs life slip slowly away. Sudden loss was something she dealt with constantly at work, and she still didnıt know how to handle it.
The only bright spot in her day was CC. She felt good about having some of the confusion between them cleared away. The constant misunderstanding reinforced what she had already known. She and CC really didnıt know one another anymore. ³Maybe now weıll get the chance,² Jamie said thoughtfully. ³Wouldnıt it be funny if we get through all this only to discover that we have nothing in common.² She chuckled. ³Well, almost nothing,² she murmured in a breathy tone as her mind flashed to CC kissing her way down Jamieıs body.
Jamie felt the blush creeping across her body. ³She is certainly good in bed.² Jamie blew out a frustrated sigh. Jamie looked around the room, shyly wondering if her sister was sleeping. The blonde licked her lips in anticipation as she cupped her breasts. A soft knock at the front door disrupted her exploration. ³This just isnıt my day,² the doctor growled as she clicked off the television and tossed the blanket aside.
She raced over to the door, thinking that the only person who would come calling at this hour was the woman she had just been fantasizing about. She scowled when she looked through the peephole. ³Youıve got to be kidding me,² she growled as she swung open the door. ³What are you doing here?² she snapped at Simon.
³I just wanted to see how you were,² Simon stammered. ³I heard about Sandra.²
Jamie blinked in disbelief as the young Dr. Fisher rambled on. ³How did you get my address?² she barked coldly as she folded her arms over her chest.
³I . . . er . . . uhm . . . ,² the young man stuttered as he blushed.
³This stops now,² Jamie fumed as she stepped outside and neared the tall lanky boy. Despite the fact that Simon was much bigger than she, the feisty blonde was making him cower in fear. She knew she could appear menacing when she needed to be. ³I am your supervisor and that is all. We are not friends and you are not permitted to invade my privacy. Is that understood?² she growled fiercely.
³Jamie, I just thought . . . ,² he began shyly.
³You thought wrong,² Jamie barked as she watched Stevieıs mini-van enter the parking lot. ³And didnıt your Momma tell you that it is impolite to address someone by their first name unless they invite you do so?²
³I just think . . . ,² he continued as Jamie watched CC exit the vehicle. The tall policewoman cast a curious glance over at her. ³I just want to talk to you,² he pleaded.
³No,² Jamie responded firmly as she watched CC approach. Oh goodie, the cavalry has arrived. Sheıs going to blow a gasket. I can feel it from here,ı Jamie thought fearfully.
³I have feelings for you but I could accept just being friends,² Simon continued pitifully as CC drew closer.
³Dr. Fisher, we are not friends,² Jamie corrected the young man, trying to get rid of him before CC could intervene. ³Iım only going to say this once more. I am your supervisor. Coming to my home was inappropriate. Now I suggest you leave.²
³I just want to talk,² he whimpered as he reached out to her. His movement was halted by CCıs grip on his forearm. ³Ouch!² he yelled as he turned angrily towards his attacker. ³Let me go,² he growled.
Jamie stepped back, noticing the young manıs demeanor had changed dramatically. ³I think the lady asked you to leave,² CC said firmly, her hand still gripping his arm.
³This is none of your business,² Simon spat out.
Jamie could see the intense look in CC eyes. ³Caitlin,² she said softly in an effort to diffuse the situation. There was a twinkle in CCıs eyes as she turned towards the doctor. ³Dr. Fisher was just leaving. You can let go of him now.² CCıs lips curled into a snarl.
³Back off,² Simon snapped as he moved to push CC who then grabbed the young man by his throat.
³This is just great,² Jamie grumbled. ³Let him go. The kidıs turning blue,² Jamie pleaded.
³Is he going to behave?² CC asked, holding the struggling man up straight. Simon was choking.
³Simon, if CC letıs you go, will you play nice?² Jamie inquired forcefully as CC lifted the man higher off the ground. Simon nodded. ³Put him down,² Jamie instructed CC firmly.
³All right,² CC sighed as she dropped the man to the ground. ³Hi, honey. Iım home.² CC teased as Simon gasped for air and struggled to get to his feet. Jamie shook her head as she stepped closer to CC.
³You . . . ,² Simon growled as he reached out for CC. Jamie quickly stepped between the two. Simon instantly backed down. ³Who in the hell is this creature?² he growled.
³I told you that Iım involved,² Jamie stated flatly. Simon looked stunned as CC snorted triumphantly from behind her. ³Now go home. Iıll be back from my vacation in a couple of days. You and I are going to have long talk,² Jamie addressed him coldly. The young doctor nodded mutely as he rubbed his throat. He cast a cold stare at CC before stumbling off.
³You enjoyed doing that,² Jamie moaned as she turned to find CC smiling.
³Just a little.² The policewoman beamed in delight. ³Who was that?²
³Long story,² Jamie groaned. ³Come in for some coffee and Iıll tell you.² She ushered CC through the door. Jamie was anxious to get inside so they could stop giving a show to the entire complex.
³Youıre sleeping on the sofa?² CC inquired as Jamie closed the front door behind them.
³Meagan has my room while sheıs staying here,² Jamie said softly, hoping that her sister wasnıt awake.
³That canıt be comfortable,² CC noted thoughtfully.
³It sucks,² Jamie agreed as she stretched her shoulders to alleviate some of the tension from her body. ³But Meagan is leaving soon so itıs not too bad.²
Jamie stared at the tall brunette whom seemed lost in thought. ³Jamie, I donıt want you to take this the wrong way, but youıre more than welcome to bunk with me,² CC offered in a sincere tone. Jamie could only stare at CC in disbelief. Certainly she hadnıt just said what she thought she said. ³Iım not trying to hit on you,² CC explained quickly. ³I just thought youıd be more comfortable in a bed. Weıve slept in my bed before without anything happening. And this way you could get some real sleep.²
³It would be nice not to be squished up on the sofa,² Jamie reasoned as she wondered if she could trust herself sleeping so close to CC.
³Itıs settled then,² CC responded casually.
³Iıll just leave Meagan a note,² Jamie said absently as she padded off to get a pen and paper.
³Tell her to come over in the morning and the four of us can have breakfast together,² CC added with a warm smile.
³Okay,² Jamie answered her blankly, wondering if this was such a good idea. Jamie wrote the note quickly and left it on the coffee table. She grabbed her keys, wondering if she should bring anything else. Realizing she had everything she needed, she followed CC out the door and locked up behind them.
As they entered CCıs home, Jamie still felt a little awkward. ³Iım going to take a shower then you can tell me about Doctor Feel Good,² CC said casually as she headed out of the room. ³Jamie, thanks for accepting the invite. Iıll be honest. I didnıt like the looks of that guy and Iıll feel better if you stayed here,² CC confessed in a shy tone.
³Thanks,² Jamie said with smile, feeling better about the situation. She understood CCıs overprotective nature and it made her feel good knowing that her invitation was born from concern and not lust. ³Go take your shower and Iıll make us some tea.²
CC smiled in response and left the living room. Jamie went into the kitchen, filled the kettle, and put it on the stove. She couldnıt shake the feeling of how natural the simple act seemed. She was going to brew tea and relax and talk with CC after each had experienced a long day. Something felt so right about the moment.
A short while later they were sitting on the sofa sipping their tea while CC played with Emma. ³She is never going to sleep through the night if you keep waking her up when you come in,² Jamie noted as she watched the two of them giggling.
³You sound like Stevie.² CC smirked as she continued to play with the infant. ³Doesnıt she?² CC questioned her cooing niece. ³So tell me about the guy on your front steps,² CC inquired.
³Heıs one of the med students,² Jamie explained nonchalantly. ³Simon Fisher. Heıs had this crush on me,² Jamie continued in a dismissive tone. ³I ignored it at first, but lately heıs been stepping over the line. I tried being nice and then I tried being firm. I told him I wasnıt interested and Iım also his advisor so it would be inappropriate to interact socially. I even told him that Iım seeing someone.² She groaned in disgust.
³He seems to be a bit slow on the uptake,² CC said thoughtfully. ³He didnıt know that youıre gay?²
³No,² Jamie sighed as she rolled her eyes. ³I know that some of the nurses told him that he was barking up the wrong tree. I donıt understand him. Iıve been very up front about my lack of interest. I canıt believe he showed up at my house.²
³None of this sounds very good,² CC said in a serious tone. ³I donıt want to alarm you but something about him makes me nervous.²
³Donıt worry,² Jamie responded as she rubbed CCıs shoulder gently.
³Hmm.² CC grimaced.
³You probably scared him off.² Jamie chuckled. ³No,² she said quickly as Emma reached for CCıs teacup. ³Iıll take these into the kitchen,² the blonde offered as she collected their cups.
³Thanks,² CC responded.
Jamie rinsed their cups and then took a moment to brush her bangs out of her eyes and straighten her T-shirt and sweatpants. She rolled her eyes at her actions. She was enjoying their comfortable conversation. Still, sitting so close to CC who was clad in a pair of boxer shorts and a tank top, was wreaking havoc with her libido. ³How am I going to share a bed with this woman?² she whimpered before reentering the living room.
Stevie had appeared and was cradling Emma as she chastised her sister for waking her daughter. ³Told you so,² Jamie taunted CC.
³Hey James,² Stevie greeted her with a smile. ³I hear youıre going to be crashing here.²
³Yeah, if you donıt mind,² Jamie said, feeling a slight degree of tension from Stevie.
³No problem,² Stevie responded sincerely as she cast a cautioning look at the doctor.
³Iım beat.² CC yawned as she stood. ³Iım heading to bed.²
Jamie was about to follow her when she caught Stevie giving her a slight nod. ³Iıll be there in moment,² Jamie said softly.
³I meant it, Jamie,² Stevie addressed her after CC had left the room. ³Itıs not a problem. Itıs just that you two seem to have a real issue when it comes to taking things slowly.²
³I know,² Jamie conceded. ³Iım not going to hurt your sister. I promise.²
³Jamie, I really like you,² Stevie continued. ³I know Iıve been giving you a hard time, but my sister means the world to me. Honestly I would love to see the two of you work things out.²
³Really?² Jamie said in surprise.
³Really.² Stevie chuckled. ³I just think maybe you need to get to know one another in the vertical position first.²
³Iım trying,² Jamie said with relief. ³Goodnight, Stevie,² she said as she touched the brunetteıs arm gently.
³Goodnight, James,² Stevie said brightly.
Jamie entered CCıs bedroom to find the brunette still awake. She closed the door behind her and climbed into bed. ³My sister giving you a hard time again?² CC inquired with concern.
³You canıt really blame her.² Jamie yawned as she tried to distance herself from CCıs warm and inviting body. ³Itıs not like you and I havenıt said the same things.²
³I know,² CC grumbled as she clicked off the lamp on the nightstand. ³Itıs just so annoying coming from my kid sister.²
Jamie chuckled lightly as she clung to the edge of the bed. ³You know I invited you to stay here so youıd be more comfortable,² CC said dryly. ³Iım not going to ravish you if you move a little closer.²
³How do you know I wonıt ravish you?² Jamie taunted CC as she rolled over on her side so she could look at her. Even in the darkness she could see CCıs crystal blue eyes staring back at her.
³Goodnight, James,² CC said softly, ignoring Jamieıs comment.
³Goodnight, Caitlin,² Jamie said softly in response as she unconsciously leaned in closer and placed a soft kiss on CCıs lips. Jamie hadnıt realized what she was doing until she felt CCıs lips pressed against her own.
Jamie pulled back slightly, startled at how natural her actions had felt. CC cupped her face with her hands and brought Jamieıs face down to her. Jamie felt CCıs breath teasing her skin as she leaned into her touch. CC reclaimed her lips gently. Slowly mouths parted and tongues began to explore the warmth of the otherıs mouth. Jamie felt the spark of desire ignite within as her body pressed against CCıs.
Jamie smiled down at CC as the kiss ended blissfully. She lowered her body so she could rest her head against CCıs chest and smiled as CC wrapped her arms around her to hold her close. She still felt aroused by the contact, but she felt something else as well - she felt loved. She drifted off to sleep as she listened to the steady beating of CCıs heart.
send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
for updates, previews & the wednesday afternoon series join Finding Mavis