The next few weeks went by fairly quickly with Koty and Laney solving small cases here and there. It seemed to Koty that everyone at the precinct really liked Laney. Even the young 'pumped up pimple faced fart rookie' as Laney and Koty referd to him. A little too much.
You could always find him sniffing at her heels when they were both in the building at the same time. 'That is,' until one day Laney backed him against the wall right in front of everyone, and kindly told him to back off.
Of course he wasn't too happy that she had said it in front of the other officers, but he seemed to get her drift and knew better than to try and do anything about it. Since then, he behaved like a well-trained little puppy.
"Hey Koty, why don't we stop off at Fuddruckers for lunch today, I've become rather addicted to that place," Laney said just as her stomach viciously growed.
"Jesus Laney, has that thing had all of it's shots?" They both laughed as Koty drove down Virginia Beach Blvd.
As they sat down at their table, Jamie and Trish walked up to them. Laney told Koty to invite them to sit down and join them. Koty's friends had already eaten, but sat for conversation.
Koty introduced Laney. "These are my best friends Jamie and Trish. Guy's, my new partner Laney Jacobs."
After about twenty minutes Jamie's beeper went off. "It's the station. Charlie has been really sick for the last couple of days so I told them to page me if they needed me to fill in for him. Sorry but I have to go Trish."
Laney had told them that it had been nice to meet them and maybe they could all get together some time. She waited until they had walked out the door before she turned to Koty.
"Koty, are they together? Um...you know, as in a couple?"
"Yes they are. Jamie and I have been best friends since grade school. She and Trish have been together for seven years now."
"Really?" Laney said. "They make a very cute couple, and they seem real nice."
"They are great people, and they have really good parties too, if you can handle being in a room full of lesbians. Well, there are a few straight couples that go to their parties as well. Maybe I'll take you to the one they're having this weekend. That is if you want to go?"
"I think that I can handle it Koty, and yes, I would like to go. I like meeting people no matter if they are gay, straight, black, white, purple or green. People are just people to me Koty."
"I know that Laney, but not everyone shares your point of view."
"I'm a very easy going person most of the time Koty, it takes mean people to make me not want to be around them. Then, I'm not always that nice."
Jamie had been moving some things around in her garage when a toolbox fell off of the shelf and on to her pinky. With a sickening crunch, she knew that she had broken it. "Ow, shit, mother f...!"
She knew she had better get it checked out, or Trish would have her ass so she drove over to Chris and Kasey's clinic.
Chris had walked into the little room Jamie was waiting in with the ex-ray in her hand. "Well Jamie, you did break it, but we won't need to put a cast on it, just a splint. But, you need to still be careful with it so no messing around, ok?"
"Yeah, ok Chris. I damn sure can't work with a cast on my hand so I'll be careful."
As they were walking out of the small exam room, Chris smiled, "Good. Um...have you seen Koty lately?"
"Yeah, I saw her at Fudruckers the other day when Trish and I had gone there for lunch. She was with her new partner."
Chris laughed. "Monty told me that her partner was a 'real babe' as he called it."
"He was right, she is a babe." Jamie told her right as Kasey walked up to them.
"Who's a babe?" Kasey asked as she gave Jamie a hug and kissed her on the cheek.
Not really knowing what to say, Jamie just shrugged her shoulders and said, "Koty's new partner."
Kasey arched a brow, but refused to comment. 'That is something I for damn sure don't want to know about.' Instead, she asked Jamie if they were still having their party that weekend that Trish made her promise to be at.
"Yes we are. You are coming aren't you, Trish is really counting on being able to see you even if you only show up for awhile."
"Um...yeah I'll be there." She replied not knowing for sure if she wanted to go or not.
She knew that Koty would be there one-way or another. Her feelings for Koty had not dimmed in the least. Actually the more that she was away from her the more she missed her. She wouldn't be able to handle it very well if Koty showed up with Tina. Well, with any woman actually. 'God, how petty can you get Kasey, you're the one that pushed her away.'
The three of them spoke for a little while longer until one of their newly
hired assistants walked a patient into a room for Kasey. Kasey left, leaving
Chris and Jamie talking about the party. Chris and Monty had been invited as
well, but had to decline. That was the weekend that thet would be out of town.
Saturday night, Koty and Laney drove to Jamie's house in Koty's Jag. Koty had told her that there wasn't any reason for them both to drive and that she would pick her up.
"Nice car Koty, it suits you. How on earth do you keep it smelling so new though, it's got to be what, two years old?"
"Two years exactly, and I take it to a detailer and have them clean it at least once a month. It wouldn't smell this way if I cleaned it all the time myself. I would probably just put one of those ugly little pine trees hanging from my mirror."
Trish opened the door to find Koty there with Laney. 'Oh boy.' She actually liked Laney, and she was sure that there was nothing between her and Koty, but she knew that Kasey was going to be here and she didn't know how Kasey would react to them being here together.
Hugging Koty and shaking Laney's hand, she led them into the kitchen to show them where the drinks were.
"You know where everything is at Koty, so I'm going to show Laney around and introduce her to a few people. I'll bring her back in a moment."
Laney turned and smiled as Koty winked at her. Lifting her hand to give a little wave, Koty said, "Bye now, ya'll come back now ya hear?"
Koty was watching her face as Trish introduced her to their friends when Jamie walked up and kissed Koty on the cheek. She watched with Koty briefly before she asked, "Koty, is Laney gay?"
"No. But she's not homophobic either, and she likes meeting people. She gets along with everyone she meets it seems."
"There's going to be a lot of women here tonight that are going to try and hit on her. You think she'll be ok with that? She's awfully cute."
"She'll be just fine James, you'll see."
After a couple of hours, Koty had, had enough to drink to keep a permanent smile on her face. Laney had walked up to her and patted her back telling her that she needed to give her the keys to her car.
"Ha, you just want to cruise in my car don't you?" She said, but handed over the keys anyway.
Laney was sitting on the couch talking to Trish while Koty was dancing with Liz. Koty felt someone grab her shoulder from behind and spin her around.
"What the...Mel! What are you doing here, and where is my girlfriend Gina?"
After pulling from Koty's tight embrace, she told her that Gina had went to hang up their coats, and fix some drinks for them. "We just got in, I had some things I had to take care of before we drove down here. So how are you? Any more drama to report?"
"Huh, how long are you here for?" Koty asked as she reached past Laney to reach her drink on the end table.
"We're just here for the weekend. Jamie called and begged us to come in for the party, and since it's been a while since we've been here, here we are."
"So how are all of your furry little creatures doing?"
They both laughed at that, and Mel stole a quick glance at the woman sitting on the couch watching Koty. 'Hmm, and who do we have here?' She thought just as Koty introduced them.
"Mel, this is my new partner Laney. Laney, This is Mel, one of my best friends since high school."
Laney stood and reached for her hand. "It's nice to meet you. I couldn't help but to overhear some of your conversation. Did you drive in from out of town?"
"Yeah, we drove down from a small town right outside of Grafton West Virginia. Koty calls us hillbillies now."
"Grafton? I know that place pretty well. Some friends of my late grandmother lives up there. John and Lucy Hudman, they have an old farm down in the holler of Lewis's mountain."
"No shit! We know old man Hudman and his wife. Someone was poisoning some animals out at his property about a year ago, and Gina and I helped some people out up at his place. Well what do you know, small world."
At that time Gina walked up, and Mel started telling her about Laney knowing the Hudman family so they swapped stories for a while. Koty stood there and listened, not knowing who they were talking about.
Jamie handed Koty and Laney a fresh drink and said, "This seems like old times doesn't it, the only one missing is Deanne."
"Not anymore, Mel said with a huge grin on her face. "That's her coming in the door right now. God I haven't seen that girl in a coon's age!"
Koty hugged Deanne, then turned to her girlfriend Roxi and hugged her. "The whole gang is here now, what a trip."
They all stood talking for a while, then Koty grabbed her drink and went over and plopped on the couch next to Laney giving her a smile.
"You doing ok Laney?"
"Of course. Koty, you sure know a lot of beautiful women."
"I know a lot of women period, beautiful or not. They are great friends, and it's been a long time since we were all together at one place. We all went to school together with the exception of Deanne, but she came in not too long afterwards. "I hope this isn't too boring for you Laney, if it is we can go."
"Nonsense Koty. I'm really having a good time so quit worrying about me, and you don't have to keep checking on me either. Just relax and enjoy yourself Ok?"
Koty smiled and took a long sip of her drink as she watched Jamie walking up to her. Jamie knelt down by her legs and rested her hand on her knee.
"How you doing Babes?"
"Never been better. It's a great party James and it's pretty cool that the gang is together, even if it is only for one night."
"Um...Koty. You know that Trish invited Kasey tonight don't you? She said that she didn't care if you two weren't talking or not, or what either one of us thought, but she also doesn't want anyone to be uncomfortable."
Koty glanced sideways at Laney and watched her smile and take a sip of her drink, but did not say anything. 'What the hell is she gonna think about this?' She leaned back against the back of the couch and groaned.
"Do you think she's gonna show up Jamie?"
"Well...She's already here. Actually she's been here for about an hour. She's in the kitchen right now talking to Trish."
"Shit, she's here!?" Koty sat straight up and ran her fingers through her hair. "Man, I think I need a drink."
Jamie leaned in a little closer and hugged her. “Take it easy Koty. You going to be all right? You already have half a drink in front of you." She quietly continued so only Koty could hear, "Don't get carried away on the booze Babes just take it easy."
"Shit Jamie, you're not gonna lecture me are you?"
"No, but you're my best friend, and you're hurting pretty badly right now. We are both the same when we're hurting. We tend to hit the alcohol a little too heavily when we need to escape. Right now you are seriously trying to escape."
Jamie made Koty look at her so that she knew she heard her, then stood and patted her on the back. "Just think about what I said. Ok?"
Koty picked up her glass and finished off her drink as she watched Jamie walk away. Laney leaned in and whispered to her.
"One of these days when you feel comfortable enough to talk to me Koty, I hope you can tell me what just happened here and who this Kasey woman is because it's got you as white as a sheet right now."
Laney could sense that Koty probably wanted to be alone right now so she reached over to rub her shoulder, then stood and went to talk to some woman leaning against the wall.
Kasey stepped out of the kitchen just in time to see the woman that Trish had told her was Koty's partner lean in, whisper something to her, then rub her shoulder.
Koty looked up at that time and their eyes locked. Kasey felt something shift in her stomach at the look on Koty's face before she backed herself into the kitchen again. 'This is crazy!'
Koty leaned her elbows on her knees for a few minutes. 'Fuck! We can't keep going on like this, something has gotta give somewhere.' Standing to stretch her tall lean body she then walked to the bathroom.
As she turned to go down the hallway she bumped right into Kasey.
"Um...I'm sorry." Koty just stood there fidgeting. "So how have you been Kasey?"
"I've been...fine Koty. How about you, are you doing alright?"
"Well...yeah, I've been pretty good. Look Kasey..." Then she stopped.
"Um...I have to go to the bathroom."
Kasey didn't say a word. She slowly stepped aside as Koty brushed by her and closed the bathroom door.
Koty leaned her head against the closed door, and shut her eyes to the tears. All she wanted to do was grab Kasey's hand and take her home. She couldn't believe the amount of tears she had shed in this past month. 'I miss her so much it's tearing me apart.'
When Koty walked back into the living room, Mel was talking to a very somber faced Jamie who turned to look at her as she came up to them. 'Uh oh, wonder what that's all about?'
Mel turned to Koty briefly. "I was just telling Jamie about the application that you put in with the Morgan Sheriffs Department. You had put me down as a personal reference, and Sheriff Abby called me because you forgot to put a contact number. He told me with your qualifications and reputation, he would be crazy not to have you on his team. Anyway, he wants you on board, all you need to do is call him."
Koty had completely forgotten that she even put that application in. She was pretty upset that morning about Kasey, and when she had gotten home the next week, and she and Kasey had gotten together, she totally forgot about it. 'Sonofabitch, no wonder Jamie looks like she wants to kill my dog. She thinks that I wasn't going to tell her.'
"So, they're really interested huh?" Koty asked, then looked at Jamie who still had that, 'I'm gonna kill you' look on her face.
"Look guys, I've had way too much to drink. I'm gonna go find Laney and see if she is ready to go. Great party James." She hugged them goodbye then left them wondering what her plans were.
After Koty had left, Jamie and Mel were telling Trish and Kasey about Koty's offer with the Sheriffs Department. Kasey turned sharply and walked out of the kitchen with Trish hot on her heels.
Jamie slammed her glass down on the counter, nearly breaking it, and followed them into the living room. Kasey looked at her with a stricken look on her face.
"Jamie, what in the hell is she thinking? Is she going to accept it?"
Trish put her arm around Kasey's waist, waiting for Jamie's answer herself.
"I honestly don't know. Ninety percent of the time I can tell you exactly what Koty is thinking, but this time I just don't know. She didn't give any indication as to what she is going to do. Hell, I didn't even know that she applied so this is all news to me too."
Jamie reached for the drink that Mel handed her. "Thanks Mel. I will tell you this Kasey. If Koty feels that it's really over between the two of you, she probably doesn't think there's anything to hold her here. I wish I had a better answer than that for you."
Kasey wanted desperately to talk to Koty. Her mind was racing furiously. 'Why
did she just leave out of here without telling me goodbye?' Can I let Koty walk
out of my life that easily? Is Jamie right? Would Koty just leave now that we
aren't together anymore? What will I do?'
"I can't believe that Koty wouldn't tell me that she was even thinking about leaving." Jamie told Trish as they climbed into bed. "I know she's had a lot on her mind lately, but she always confides in me, why not this time?"
"I don't know Honey, but I do know that this is going to kill Kasey if she does go. I wish they would just stop this crazy argument and make up, because they are both miserable without each other."
"I've never seen Koty this down before over a woman. Kasey is the one for her. We know it, and Koty knows it, now Kasey needs to know it."
"They have both been burned in the past by ex lovers, and that makes them gun shy. I don't know what will happen Jamie, but I hope that Koty doesn't leave."
"Yeah, me too."
Trish growled at Jamie when she put her cold feet on her calve. "Remove them, or lose them." Trish sqeeked.
"Aw but Baby, I want you to warm me up."
"I know of another way to warm you up Honey, but if you don't move those ice cubes, I'm going to roll over and pretend that you're not here."
"Ok, ok. I'll move them. Hee hee, come here Baby."
Sitting in a booth at Captain D's where they had stopped for lunch, Laney told Koty that she had never eaten there before, but she had always wanted to try it.
"I'm sure my ateraries just went into shock, but this is wonderful," Laney moaned after another bite.
"Koty, I know that this is probably none of my business, but you seemed really upset the other night over that Kasey woman. Um...is she your lover?"
Koty regarded her for a moment then sat her drink down. "She was. She basically told me that she didn't want to see me anymore, and to let it go. She thinks that I screwed around on her with my ex girlfriend."
"No I didn't. I was up at a skiing lodge with my brother and sister-in- law when we got snowed in and they shut the roads down. We had our rooms there already, but those that didn't had to sleep on the floor. Tina was there with some of her friends from the fire station, and I felt bad about her having to sleep down in the lobby with all of those other people, so when she asked if she could stay in my room, I said yes, but she had to pull the cushions off the chairs and sleep on the floor. I went to take a shower, and right before I got out, Kasey called and Tina answered the phone. Needless to say, she freaked out and doesn't seem to want to believe me when I tell her that nothing happened."
"Mmm. Look, I also overheard your friends talking about you taking that job up in Morgan. Are you serious about taking it?"
"I was at the time that I put in the application. My head was pretty screwed up, and I was looking for an escape. I was still recovering from being shot, and trying to ignore my feelings for Kasey."
"Well for what it's worth, I hope you don't take it. I kind of like having you as my partner, so now that I think about it, I will just refuse to let you go."
Koty looked her in the eyes, and at that moment, Laney felt a shift in her gut. 'What in the hell is that all about?' Confused, she started laughing, and Koty joined in, unaware of what had just happened.
"Well I must say Koty, that Kasey is really beautiful, but she is also being a fool."
"By the way," Laney said as she pushed her tray away from her, "I hear that the station has a softball team that's getting ready to start, and that you are one of their best players. I'm not too shabby myself and I signed up this morning."
"Great. We have a really good team, and were undefeated last year. We're supposed to start practicing this weekend. I can use it because I feel so out of shape from the winter. I really need to start using the gym at work again"
"Uh yeah, I can tell because you are soooo flabby."
"Yeap. You ready to go?"
"Let's roll. Man, I ate too much."
"You say that every time."
They were both quiet as they got in the car and left the restaurant. It was finally starting to warm up a little during the days so Koty cracked her window to get some fresh air.
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