Disclaimers: Ok, these are my characters. All mine. No copyright infringement anywhere in sight.
Blood, sex and foul language: The main character works crime scenes. There is more blood than Sponge Bob, but less than a CSI episode. And the characters do curse. As for sex, it’s two ladies going at it. If you are too young or it’s illegal, sucks to be you.
Thanks to: Kat and Amy. Honestly, this story wouldn’t exsist without them. Kat stood over my shoulder with a gun while Amy re-wrote the bad parts of the story. I want to thank them so they don’t kill me in my sleep.
Click. An overturned file cabinet. Click. A broken lamp. Click…
Justice Rollings stopped taking pictures and checked her pager. The annoying tone and vibration had interrupted her processing of a robbery scene. There was no text for once, only a number to call. She frowned, blonde eyebrows furrowed at the interruption and unclipped her cell phone from her belt and punched in the number from the pager.
“This is Deputy Page.”
“This is Jay Rollings of the Johnson County Crime Lab, you paged me?”
“Yes ma’am,” he drawled in a typical Kansas twang. “We are a bit overwhelmed out here and called in help from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. We need you to help us process a crime scene.”
Green eyes blinked in confusion. “Where are you calling from?” There were only 3 area codes in all of Kansas. The area code on the phone number she dialed covered all of northern Kansas outside of the immediate Kansas City Area, which she worked in.
“I’m sorry ma’am, I’m calling from Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. We have a particularly bad double homicide out here, and our crime tech is out sick with that flu that is going around. I’m not sure he could collect the evidence in this case anyway. This is way outside of our experience.”
Jay could feel her blood run cold. Her job mainly consisted of processing robbery and accident scenes. On the rare occasion, she processed homicide and sometimes helped the more violent neighbor to the north, Wyandotte County, process one of their numerous crime scenes. Johnson County had more money than anyone else in the metro area, so the Crime Lab was constantly utilized by the other Counties in the area to help process forensics.
“I’m in the middle of processing a scene, let me call my supervisor to see if he can get someone else to cover this and I’ll be right out.” The Deputy agreed and reeled off an address of one of the larger apartment complexes in Lawrence, Kansas. Jay recognized it because one of her study partners from her time at the University of Kansas had lived there.
“There will be lots of lights and uniforms around, it won’t be hard to miss.” Page said as he ended the call.
Jay immediately called her supervisor, Jacob Fields. “Hey, I just got this call from a Deputy Page…” she started before she was cut off.
“I know. What have you done on the break-in so far so the next tech can come in after you?” Both of them knew that Jay would be the one to handle the homicides. Despite her age and experience, the petite blonde was Jacob’s best investigator by far. Her meticulous process of each and every scene, from a simple break in to a domestic violence call gone horribly wrong had earned her a closure rate higher than anyone else in the county. Jacob would have bet the state, but some of the smaller CSIs probably had a 100% somewhere because their case load was smaller than Rollins’s.
“I just started taking pictures. Nothing more.”
“Ok, I need to you make all possible haste out there. The locals found the bodies a few hours ago, and you know how everyone has to come and look, so god only knows how contaminated the crime scene is by now. You have the van so no one will stop you from hauling ass down the turnpike, ok?”
Jay’s mouth twitched briefly in a semblance of a grin. “Ok, warp speed in a forensics van coming up.”
The van might not have matched the speed of her beloved Toyota Supra, but the V8 still had quite a bit of power in it as she barreled down I-70 at over 80 miles an hour. She took the turn off into downtown Lawrence, and flashes of memories assaulted her as she cruised the familiar streets of what was once her hometown. Her parents both still taught at the High School, and Jay remembered the endless teasing she had endured for her full first name. She winced in sympathy for her other sisters, who had the other six virtues for their names. For some odd reason, all the sisters had left Lawrence, shortened or changed their names and seemed to work in careers that matched their respective virtues. Justice was in law enforcement. Faith was married to a minister and together they managed a small church in the Topeka projects. Chastity was a counselor in a rape clinic. Temperance managed a small bar and grill and loved to work the bar when she could. Hope ran a bridal shop while Charity was a loan officer in a national bank. Patience was a kindergarten teacher in Kansas City and married with 4 children of her own. She and her husband had threatened to name their kids after the seven deadly sins, but when Justice pointed out how accurate the names were with the Rollins girls, Patty had sobered quickly.
The drive to the apartment complex was short, owing to the fact that Lawrence itself wasn’t very big. Deputy Page was right; it was very easy to tell that something was wrong at the complex by the sheer number of EMS vehicles in the lot. It looked like all 5 of the Lawrence cop cars were there, along with an ambulance, two Kansas Highway Patrol cars and 3 Douglas County Sheriff cars. As she found a place to park, a tall man with sandy blond hair and typical farm boy looks in a Sheriff’s uniform walked up to the car.
“Ms. Rollins? I’m Deputy Page. Thank you for coming so quickly.”
“It’s not like I was going to get a ticket. Seems like everyone is here instead of out catching the bad guys.” She grinned to soften the criticism. “Can you tell me what’s going on?”
The Deputy took a deep breath. “Mrs. Ellen Procter called dispatch because she hadn’t heard from her daughters for several days. Unlike most college students, her daughters Karol and Karen check in at least every other day. They lived here, in Jayhawker Place instead of on campus because the dorms were too noisy. Dispatch sent me out to investigate. I arrived at the apartment and there was no response to my knocking. The door was locked, I looked for the apartment manager and couldn’t find him, so I gained entry to the apartment by breaking a window and crawling in. When I broke the window, I could smell that there was something very wrong in the apartment.” The Deputy blanched at the memory, but after taking a deep breath, continued on. “Upon entering the apartment, I started to check for the source of the smell and discovered a young woman’s naked body in the master bedroom. She was covered with blood and her arms and legs were spread out with her arms positioned over her head.” The Deputy stopped and pulled out a box of cigarettes. As he pulled one out, Jay noticed that his hands were shaking badly. He silently offered one to Jay, and put them away after she shook her head no. It took him 4 tries to get the lighter lit, and Jay had to help him steady his hands to light his cigarette. “Thanks.” He blew out a stream of smoke. “I found the second body in the kitchen. She had multiple stab wounds to the abdomen and it looked like the freak had posed her. I called for back up and sealed the crime scene.” He looked up and met Jay’s eyes. “No one but me has been in that apartment since the killer left. I know how important it is to not contaminate the crime scene.” He grinned weakly. “I watch CSI.”
Jay grinned. “You do realize that I have no where near the super tech powers of the CSI people on that show, right?
The Deputy smiled back weakly. “Gee, and I was hoping you would get this solved in an hour for me. Your boss said you were the best.”
The blonde walked around to the back of her van and opened the doors. “I’m the best,” she said, an underlying hint of steel in her voice made the statement ring true. Jay had no need for false modesty. She pulled out her kit and grabbed extra gloves. “But I am afraid that real world lab techs cannot get DNA test results back in 20 minutes. But I still like the show.”
Jay followed the Deputy up to the apartment. As she passed, the other police and EMTs stopped their conversations as she walked by. It was disconcerting, but Jay had learned to live with the slight awkwardness of her profession. As she passed, a tall brunette in an EMT jumpsuit met her eyes. The blonde almost dropped her kit as the EMT’s clear blue eyes caught hers. The world seemed to fade out around her for a minute. As she came back to the here and now, she stumbled at little at the shock of what one glance had done to her. She quickly came to her senses before she ran into the back of Deputy Page.
“This is the place, ”he said, waving at the entrance that was guarded by another deputy.
“Would you mind assisting me in collecting the evidence?” asked Jay.
The deputy positively paled. “Thank you Ms. Rollins, but I would rather not step foot back in that place. I will if you truly need me to, but I’m going to have nightmares as it is.”
“I really need you to at least take notes. I’m going to have my hands full.”
“Then I guess that I can concentrate real hard on the notepad while you work.”
“Please call me Jay. When you call me Ms. Rollins I start looking around for my mother. And here, use this notebook while I process this scene.” Jay handed over an official crime scene notebook to the not so eager deputy.
The two methodically processed the crime scene. First by taking pictures of the bodies, the point of entry of the deputy, the trails of blood and the evidence left in the bathroom where the killer obviously cleaned up. Next, Jay dusted every possible surface for prints, while Page made arrangements for the EMTs to transport the bodies to the Johnson County Crime Lab. Jay lifted several prints, which would have to be compared to the two sisters to see if any of the fingerprints belonged to their killer. Both bodies had been posed grotesquely after death, so Jay would have to find out where the origin of the crimes were and how they happened.
Having no more use of the bodies onsite, she signaled to the EMTs that they could come get the bodies of the two young girls. Jay supervised the loading of the girls into the body bags, noticing that both paramedics were shaken up. The brunette from earlier had unchecked tears rolling down her face as she gently placed the first girl into the body bag. She looked up to find Jay watching her.
“Does it get any easier?” she asked softly.
The blonde shook her head, deep sadness showing in her eyes. “No, it doesn’t. You just learn to push it aside until your job is done. If it does become easy, that’s when I know to find a different job.”
The brunette nodded in understanding as she wheeled the first body out to the ambulance. As the crew loaded up the second body under Jay’s watchful eye, she called Jacob on her cell phone.
“Boss, this place is a mess. Can you spare someone else to help me? I need to run string to find out what exactly happened.”
“Can I send you a rookie? That’s about all I can spare right now.”
“Depends on who it is you send me.” The blonde grimaced. One of their new techs couldn’t find his ass with both hands and continually made inappropriate advances towards her whenever they worked a scene. JT Bisel seemed to think that watching all the shows on Court TV, the Discovery Channel and the new CSI shows made him an expert on all things forensic. Jay preferred to get her knowledge from books and articles in scientific journals and occasionally watched the same shows for pure entertainment value. Besides, Marge Helgenburger was hot.
“You can have Rodger.”
Jay sighed in relief. Rodger Barnes was eager to work with any of the more experienced techs. He absorbed information like a sponge and had no problems asking questions to make sure he was following procedure for collecting evidence. The blonde knew he was going to make an outstanding tech once he had more experience. “Tell Rodger to bring the string and his laptop. Oh, and if he can snag some of those lasers out of storage….”
“I’ll authorize anything you need.” There was a moment of silence while Jacob tried to find an easy way to ask the question. He finally just blurted it out. “What happened?”
Jay pinched her nose using that small amount of pain to focus her thoughts “As near as I can tell, a bad guy entered this place, killed both sisters, posed them, ate and took a shower. I hope we turn up his fingerprints and get a name before he does this again.”
Jacob was silent a moment. “Do you think he’ll kill again?”
“Honestly,” she paused reflecting on the visual evidence on hand. “ I don’t think this guy is done. I don’t think he’ll stop until we stop him.”
“God. You need anything, you ask for it. We are pulling all the stops out for this one. Do you think we’ll have to call in the state police or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation?”
“No, I think with our help, the Douglas County Sheriff’s department can handle it. This guy is pretty dissociated already. He’s left all kinds of clues all over the place. This is not some Hannibal Lector we are talking about here.”
“They caught Son of Sam by chance,” warned Jacob.
“Yeah, but that was in New York City. This is Lawrence. Someone like Dave Berkowitz would not go unnoticed out here.”
Jacob laughed at the comparison. “True, I’ll send Rodger right out.”
Jay hung up and without thought detached herself so she could go back to collecting evidence. She got her toolbox from the van and started disconnecting plumbing in the bathroom. First was the trap under the sink. She cleaned out all the debris from the trap and bagged it before moving on to the drain in the shower. If the killer took the time to shower before leaving the apartment, it was obvious that he was trying to hide his crime. Rodger found her bent over the shower drain, trying unsuccessfully to remove the grate.
“Hey sweet cheeks!” he announced his presence, causing Jay to squeak in surprise and jump. Her professional detachment ruined she attempted to glare at Rodger
“Rodger you ass, I’m working here.”
“Oh baby, you are working it!” Rodger started his flaming queen routine. Both Jay and Rodger had set off each other’s gaydar and Rodger loved to work with Jay because it was the only time he felt safe playing with a co-worker.
Jay turned around, put her hands on her hips and glared at her co-worker. Rodger stood at 5’8, three inches taller than Jay and his hair was the same color blonde. His eyes were a light gray, where Jay’s were a vibrant green. Other than that, they looked liked long lost siblings. In fact, if it weren’t for her parent’s religious convictions, Jay would have bribed Gary, the DNA tech to run a few extra tests for her.
“Look, we need to run string to find out what happened. I expect we’ll be here until late tonight.” She sighed. “This one is awful. These two girls were 19 if they were a day and this freak just went to town. The poor Deputy who was helping me lost his cookies while I was taking DNA samples from the one on the bed.”
Rodger looked shocked. “You had someone helping you?”
“Yeah, this is going to be an ugly case. I thought it was best to leave no one alone with the evidence collection and pictures. That way, when called to testify, we can support each other’s statements.”
“You think we’ll catch this guy.”
Jay looked bleak. “I think this may be the beginning of a serial killer’s run. It’s not a question of if he strikes again, but if he’ll give us enough time to interpret the clues so we can catch him before he strikes again.” They stared at the crime scene around them.
“And with that note, time for the time honored tradition of the string spatter analysis.” Jay said trying to lighten the humongous task in front of them.
“Damn, girl, when are we going to join the rest of the world and get that high tech shit? Most Crime Labs now use that software program developed by Carleton University in Ottawa. I feel like a little kid using string.” Rodger grumped.
“Well we don’t have access to the program so we have to do it the old fashioned way, with pieces of string.” Jay said already getting lost in the mathematics and physics involved with the seemingly random drops of blood. However, nothing about the spatters of blood was random. The tiny drops could tell Jay and law enforcement quite a lot. They mapped the crime from the front door, where the killer had forced his way in. In her mind using the angles mapped out by the string Jay created a 3-D map, reality moved in three dimensions not two and she moved the spatters on a X, Y, and Z axis. Force, angle, and speed came together giving directions. They could see where the crime started, where it moved to, and the order in which things happened. The killer quickly dispatched the first victim, who was the sister in the kitchen. He took more time with the second victim, who was found in the master bedroom. Finally the killer took time to eat, pose the bodies, and shower to clean up. After eight painstaking hours, eyes blurry and brains fatigued Jay and Rodger had a pretty good picture of what had happened in the apartment. They finished their preliminary reports of the scene and started packing up Jay’s van. Since Rodger was not a primary tech, he didn’t have the luxury of having access to one of the County vehicles yet.
Just as they had placed the last toolbox in the van, a Lawrence Police officer came running up to them. “Glad I caught you.” He puffed. “There’s been another one.”
The officer led the two techs to another wing of the same complex. Once again, the flashing lights of multiple Emergency Service Vehicles clued Jay to where the crime scene was. Only this time, the press were out in force as well. Looking at the vans with satellite antennas on them, Jay could see representatives from Lawrence, Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita. The Lawrence Police force was out in numbers trying to keep the media hounds at bay. A man with more shiny metal bits than any other police officer Jay had ever seen approached the two techs.
“Justice Rollins?” the man questioned as he got within speaking distance.
Jay winced and then nodded. “Yes sir. We just finished processing the other scene. What’s going on here?”
“We have a civilian clerk that works the night shift for the Lawrence Police Department. She failed to show up for work this evening, so her colleges went looking for her after realizing that she was in the same apartment complex as the earlier victims. No one has been inside yet. We sealed the scene and waited for you.”
Jay looked at all of the confusion going on around her. “So what’s with the media circus?”
“The call came out over the scanner. Our officers used the radio instead of a land line, and the media was already hovering around because of the scene you just processed. The media actually beat almost everyone else here.” The Chief looked furious at the breach of protocol.
“You keep the vultures off my neck and we’ll process the scene, Chief.” Jay grabbed Rodger who was looking horrified at the pack of rabid reporters, screaming questions at anything that moved behind the police barricade.
“Jay…” he started nervously, obviously not wanting to go any closer to the scene.
“Come on Rodger, we have a job to do.” Said Jay, not letting go of his jacket sleeve.
“I don’t wanna.” He whined unsuccessfully as the smaller blonde drug him towards the excitement.
“Tough. Now smile and wave at the reporters.” She muttered through clenched teeth. Anyone who seemed to enjoy this type of thing must be nuts.
On her way in, she passed the same brunette EMT that had worked the earlier scene. She stopped and raised an eyebrow at her. “Don’t you guys get to go home?” she asked.
The brunette blushed. “I pulled a double. I just happen to swap out the wrong days it seems. Honest, I’m not a groupie.” She winked at Jay. Jay just stared back in surprise at the woman’s actions and her ability to find a joke in a very bad day. Until Rodger gave her a shove from behind to get her moving towards the apartment again.
“Girlfriend, you know you are going to tell me all about what just happened, right?” he whispered.
The two approached the door to the apartment that was being guarded by two Lawrence police officers. The Sheriff’s office was stepping back out of respect for the loss of one of Lawrence’s officers.
All business Jay asked “Who discovered the body?”
“I did,” a female officer stepped forward. “When Cheryl didn’t come in for work, her supervisor tried calling the house and got no answer. Cheryl has never missed a day or come in late without calling. When it was learned that she lived in the same complex as the other victims from today, dispatch called me to go check on her. I didn’t get an answer to my knocking, so I went around back to peek through her window. There was a small gap between the sill and the blind. I saw her through that.” The officer swallowed noisily, obviously trying to keep from throwing up.
“How did you know something was wrong?” asked Rodger.
“Because I could see her sitting on the bed naked, missing her head.” The officer was a slight shade of green and steadily getting greener. Jay signaled for one of the EMTs to come over.
“Do you think you could check Officer,” Jay read the officer’s nametag. “Officer Johnson for possible shock?” green eyes locked with blue. “I know that Officer Johnson is more along the lines of what you are used to than what we are going to find in that apartment.”
The brunette nodded and started to lead the officer away. “What’s your name?” she blurted, then blushed.
“Jay. Jay Rollins.” Stammered Jay. Cool. Way to go slick.
“My name is Ashley. Ashley Tomas. My partner over there is James. Call us when you need us.” The EMT hurried away.
Jay stood there blinking, while Rodger grinned broadly. “Way to go Justice!” he whistled. “And another one bites the dust.” He started humming the Queen song under his breath. Jay smacked him across the stomach.
“Shut up. And what do you mean ‘another one bites the dust?’ My track record is about as good as the Royal’s. Even with George Brett.” The blonde grumbled.
“You have tons of admirers. Of both sexes,” insisted Rodger. “You just… intimidate the hell out of them.”
Jay stopped walking and stared at her co-worker. “What are you talking about?”
Rodger glanced around at everyone staring at them. “Could we discuss your love life at some other time? Like when we don’t have every available police, sheriff and TV camera pointed at us?”
The smaller tech looked around and noticed that he was right in his assessment of the amount of attention they were gathering.
“Oh. Right.” Jay mumbled slightly embarrassed at almost televising her love life or lack of one. The two techs started walking toward the apartment again. Another, more official looking police offer stepped up towards them after they passed the crime scene tape that had been strung up to keep out the masses of humanity that were drawn to tragedy.
“Officer Rollins?” asked the man, his shiny bits of medal were almost blinding in the TV spotlights. “I’m Lieutenant Glass. I am the liaison for the Lawrence PD.”
“Yes, I am Jay Rollins.” Jay hated being called an officer. In some way, the blonde figured that she was a law officer, but she preferred to think of herself as a scientist first, a law enforcement officer second, if at all. She felt it demeaned the hard working men and women who wore the badge and were out there everyday facing down bad guys.
“I need to talk to you about what you can say to the press.” The man started.
“How about I refer them all to you.” Suggested Jay, forestalling the lecture the man was about to give on leaks and official statements.
“Um, yes. That would be fine, but in case you do talk to the press….”
“I won’t.” interrupted Jay. “I don’t talk to the press. I think they are blood sucking leeches and I wouldn’t spit on one of them in a desert in case the moisture they absorb from my spit actually allows them to make it to a water source.”
“Geez Jay, tell us how you really feel,” muttered Rodger in her ear.
Lieutenant Glass stared at Jay. “Ok, then I guess I can trust that there will be no leaks from you. Now what can I do to assist you?”
“Keep the press away from me. If you can avoid it, don’t tell them mine or my associates names so we won’t have the press corps camped out on our doorsteps.” Jay started walking towards the apartment door again, and then paused as a thought stuck her. “Oh, and you might want to talk to the apartment management about doing a door to door search of the apartment complex. That’s 3 homicides in a relatively small area. If he felt comfortable enough to attack twice in the same complex, there might be more bodies.”
The Lieutenant turned gray. “I’ll see what I can do.” He murmured, backing away from the apartment door.
Rodger looked around at the waiting police and sheriff officers. “What has got these guys all spooked?”
“Maybe finding 3 dead bodies in a town this size is a bit of a shock for them.” Replied Jay.
“I guess that would do it.” He put down his kits and pulled out the master key the police had gotten from the apartment manager. He put the key in the lock and turned the knob. As he opened the door, the smell of blood and death wafted out. “That is one smell I will never get used to.”
“It gets easier,” said Jay offhandedly, as she pushed her way past him. She eyed the entryway. There were no lights on, so she put down one of her toolboxes and pulled out a flashlight. “Rodger, get the camera out, would you?”
“Rodger get this. Rodger get that. What am I, a slave?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Jay, absently as she shined her flashlight around the front room. The room appeared to be the living room, with a dinning area between it and the kitchen. In front of them, a hallway that appeared to lead to the bedroom and bathroom had dark smudges on the carpet. “Get some shots of those spots would you? I’m going to test for blood.”
“Why don’t we have a crime scene photographer? Isn’t that a whole forensics field?” whined Rodger.
“It was. Now it’s easier and cheaper to teach us to point and shoot. Talk to the budget people. I guess that they would rather have things like DNA labs and ballistics labs than forensic photographers. Now stop whining and we can finish and get out of here.” Jay waited for Rodger to snap off some shots before proceeding down the hall. She eased open the door to the left and saw that it led into a bathroom. There were bloody footprints on the tile and the sink and tub showed signs that the killer had taken time to clean up. There was also something sitting on the toilet tank.
“Oh my God!” Rodger sounded like he was trying very hard not to scream those words out loud. “Is that a head?”
Jay swallowed hard and then started smiling. “Yes. Yes it is. Now use the camera or I’m going to beat you with it.” She gave the man a poke. “Rodger! Do your job!”
“Why are you smiling? You look like Jack Nickleson in Batman.” The blonde man was trying to focus on anything other than the horror that was the bathroom.
“I’m trying not to throw up. Smiling suppresses the gag reflex.” Ground out Jay from behind her fixed smile.
“Oh.” Rodger started taking pictures of the bathroom while Jay took samples of the blood on the floor. She checked to make sure it was human, though it looked pretty obvious that it was. She also took swabs of it for later testing and typing in the lab.
Jay and Rodger finished their preliminary investigation of the bathroom and approached the bedroom door. The door was shut, and Jay put on a fresh pair of gloves to make sure not to contaminate the surface with any of the blood from the bathroom. She took a deep breath and turned the knob, opening the door to the bedroom.
The door opened into a darkened room and Jay clicked on her flashlight. The beam swept across the room, highlighting a partially closed closet door, a dresser, and a figure sitting upright on the bed. Jay brought her flashlight back to the figure leaning up against the headboard, and it took her mind a few seconds to actually pin point what was wrong with the image it was trying to process. The body didn’t have a head. She heard a thump behind her. Rodger had landed in a seated position and looked like he was having trouble focusing. Jay knelt next to her partner.
“Rodger.” She patted his face. “Rodger!” she lightly slapped him. He finally focused in on her face. “I need you to go outside and tell the EMTs to get ready to come in and get the body. I don’t want to process the scene in the dark when we are this tired, ok?” The blonde was giving him a graceful way out of the situation.
“Ok.” He got shakily to his feet.
“Let me have the camera so I can finish, ok?” Jay looked him in the eyes. “Warn the EMTs, but don’t let anyone else overhear you, ok?” Rodger nodded without looking at Jay. “Rodger.” Jay grabbed his chin and gently forced him to look her in the eyes. “It’s ok. Don’t worry about it.” Rodger nodded again and removed the camera from around his neck. He handed it over without a word and stumbled towards the apartment door.
Jay turned around and forced down her own nausea and mentally prepared herself for the worst. She stepped back into the room, and was able to distance herself from the crime scene with the camera. Most of the techs grumbled and complained about the taking of crime scene photos, but Jay actually thought she did better when she took her own pictures. It allowed her to focus in on the crime scene, yet still remain aloof from it. The camera acted as a filter, allowing her to do her job without having to experience the horror first hand. The blonde worked methodically around the room, taking pictures of everything and focusing in on things that caught her eye, like the bent slats of the cheap blinds on the bedroom window. She suspected that was how the police were able to peek in and see that something was horribly wrong in this apartment. The overturned nightstand and the general condition of the sheets indicated that the victim had put up a struggle and expired in this room. Jay focused in on the body, taking several shots of it from across the room and then up close. She noticed bruising around the neck, upper arms and breasts. As she took pictures of the breasts, she noticed something wrong with them. She hung the camera around her neck and pulled her flashlight out again. She slowly approached the body sweeping the light over it; flesh became highlighted in the small spotlight. Holding the light steady it became horrible clear what was wrong. The nipples had been removed. She swept the light around the bed and found one on the floor and one on the bed next to the victim. She quickly pulled out an evidence bag and collected them.
Jay backed out of the room, trying not to lose her composure and ran into a warm body. She let out a tiny scream as hands grabbed her to keep her from falling.
“Easy, easy. It’s just me, Ashley.” Soothed an alto voice in her ear. “Are you ready to release the body to us?”
Jay took a couple of deep breaths and tried to hide her shaking. “Yeah.” She squeaked. She coughed and tried again. “Yes, you can take the body. The head is in the bathroom.” She continued in a more normal tone. “I’m going to check out the rest of the apartment. Try not to let on to the media that the head is separated from the body, ok?” She had turned to face Ashley and realized that the woman had not removed her hands from Jay’s shoulders yet. Ashley seemed to notice at the same time and quickly dropped her hands and looked down to hide her blush.
“Ok. I can do that.” The brunette almost seemed to babble. Jay suppressed a grin and walked to the kitchen. She found a dirty plate on the table along with the makings of a sandwich on the counter. The rest of the apartment seemed very clean so the mess in the kitchen did not seem compatible with the rest of the house. Jay made a note to make sure and dust everything for prints. She pulled out the camera and took pictures of everything in the kitchen.
As she was finishing up, Ashley walked up to her. “We loaded the head in a large evidence bag that Rodger gave us and put it in the body bag with the rest of the remains. Do you want to meet us at your crime lab?”
“Hmm, I wasn’t aware that our pathologist was going to do the autopsy, but ok.” The blonde shrugged.
“Our instructions are to turn over the bodies to the Johnson County Crime Lab, so I guess you are doing the autopsy.” The EMT smiled at the smaller tech.
“Ok, then. I’m done for the night here. I’ll meet you at the Lab and sign for the body.” Stated Jay, gathering up her toolbox and taking off her gloves.
The two EMTs rolled the gurney with their grisly load out the apartment door, followed by Rodger and Jay. Jay locked the door and then sealed it with a crime lab seal. She turned to the Lieutenant who came hurrying up as she exited the apartment. “I need you to post a guard here, and probably at the back window. I have not finished processing the scene. I just removed the body and I will be back tomorrow to finish the scene. I need you to make sure it remains undisturbed. I would suggest that while your officers are canvassing the area to maybe instigate that door-to-door search that I suggested earlier. Both attacks appear, on the surface, to be the work of the same killer. I will know more once the lab processes the results.”
The Lieutenant nodded and held out his hand. “I want to thank you for all of your hard work, Officer Rollins. I know this has been a long day for you.”
Jay shook the Lieutenants hand. “I hope that I find something that can help you catch this guy quickly, sir.”
Jay turned and started walking towards the parking lot where her van was. She caught up with Rodger, who had waited for her, just beyond the bright lights of where the TV crews had set up. “As I was saying, boss.” Rodger grinned at her wince at the title. “I think Ashley likes you.” He bumped her gently with his shoulder.
“Don’t you think we should be talking about the case?” whined Jay, trying to distract Rodger from critiquing her love life.
“Nope, I want to think happy thoughts between now and when I go to bed. Maybe I won’t wake up with nightmares.” He looked sober for a minute then shook himself. “Now, about Ashley…”
“Stop right there. No playing matchmaker. You don’t even know if she’s family.” Protested Jay, agreeing with Rodger that a change of subject was in order.
“She sets off my gaydar. “ Rodger wiggled his eyebrows.
“Why is it that I can pick guys out at 100 yards, but women have to be wearing a sign for me to figure out if they are lesbians or not?”
“Don’t know, don’t care, but the Amazon was not only checking your butt out when you walked by, but she was very concerned that I left you in that place by yourself.”
“Was she?” Jay felt herself grinning like a fool. “Wait a minute! We are not in high school. I am not passing notes or having you act as a go between.” She looked over at Rodger who was snickering. “Was she really checking out my ass?” Rodger doubled over with laughter and had to stop walking. Jay just stood there and glared at him until he wound down.
“He he. He he, whoooo. Thanks girlfriend. I needed that. Whew. You lesbians are a trip, you know that? I swear, some butches just think whacking a pretty woman over the head and dragging her to the truck is romance. Maybe that’s what you need?”
“What, a club or a helmet?” jibbed Jay.
“Both. Either. Girlfriend, you need to get laid. How long has it been?” Jay started digging in her pockets for the keys to the van to avoid answering. “Uh huh. Since Tiffany. That bitch was bad news. And she was ugly.”
“Hey!” Jay found the keys and roughly inserted them into the lock. “I have never commented about Mr. Hairball!”
“Right, you bringing over the extra strength hair removing Drain-O wasn’t saying anything.” Rodger rolled his eyes as he packed up the boxes. “All I’m saying, sweetie, is that you can do better. Much better than Tiffany and Ashley is a hottie. She even made me look twice. And not having sex for so long, well that can’t be healthy.”
“I have sex,” grumbled Jay.
“Using BOB’s don’t count, girlfriend. Sex is with more than one person. Masturbation is a solo act. And I know you’ve been flying solo for a while. If you aren’t careful, you are going to wind up with carpal tunnel syndrome.” Rodger made a rude pantomime with his hand. Jay busted up laughing.
“Ok, ok. You and Temp have been talking again, haven’t you?”
Rodger gave her a quick hug. “You know we love you. Now go return the van and flirt with the nice EMT. Maybe you can get a date out of it.” He swatted her lightly on her butt. “Now scoot!”
Jay gave him a salute and jumped in the van. She waiting until he got in his car and started it before driving off towards the Crime Lab. Visions of a long legged beauty with blue eyes dancing in her head.
Jay pulled up to the Johnson County Crime Lab’s loading dock and saw the Lawrence Ambulance sitting there, backed up to the dock. She pulled into the assigned spot for the van, and jumped out with her clipboard and bag. She turned around and almost ran into Ashley. “Hey,” she said, startled and at a loss of what to say.
“Hey,” replied Ashley with a smile. She then started and looked at the ground. “James has to pull an early shift, so can we do this first so he can take the van back?” she blurted out in a rush.
Jay took a few moments to run back what Ashley said in her mind at a slower speed to try and figure out what the brunette said. “Sure,” she responded once she figured out what the brunette wanted.
The blonde walked over to the door next to the loading dock and jiggled her keys until she found the correct one. She unlocked the door and walked in, turning on lights as she went. When Jay got to the back wall of the dock, she picked up the receiving clipboard from the desk and walked back to the big rolling door and hit the button to open it up. The dock was like any other dock and made for easy access in and out of vehicles, so the floor of the dock actually hit the back of the van pretty high. Jay looked down at the EMTs unloading the body and got a nice cleavage shot from Ashley. Enough of one to notice that the brunette was wearing a black demi cup. Jay blushed and went back to looking at the clipboard.
“If I can just get you guys to wheel her into the cooler, you can have your gurney back.” Jay squeaked out. Both EMTs looked at her funny. She coughed. “Sorry, had a piece of candy stuck in my throat.” She lied.
James nodded but Ashley didn’t look convinced. They followed Jay back to the autopsy lab and wheeled the body into the cooler where the bodies were stored. The quickly transferred the body from the ambulance gurney to one of the autopsy tables. Jay made out a tag while James filled out some paperwork. The transfer complete and the chain of evidence unbroken, the three of them filed out of the room with the gurney.
James went to load up the ambulance while Ashley hung back to talk to Jay. “I don’t remember you having a piece of candy in your mouth when you got out of the van.” She said.
“Huh?” Jay looked lost at the non-sequetor.
“The choking on the dock? What candy?” prodded Ashley.
“Oh, um that.” The blonde could feel her ears turning red. “Um, well..” she hedged.
“You are so cute when you do that.” Blurted out the brunette, who looked stunned. “Did I say that out loud?” she asked
“Um, yes. Yes you did. Thanks though.” Stammered Jay.
“Oh. Um. I should go.” Ashley turned and was almost to the door.
“Cleavage!” stammered the tech.
The brunette stopped. “What did you say?”
“From where I was standing I could see your cleavage.” Muttered the blonde.
“Could you now?” Jay looked up into twinkling blue eyes. “And that made you choke?”
“They were very nice?” tried Jay.
“Are you asking me or telling me?” teased Ashley
Ashley started laughing, and Jay, after replaying the conversation in her mind, joined in. They were interrupted by James.
“Hey Ash, do you mind if I bail? I have to take the bus back and your car is here.”
“Go ahead James. I’ll see you on the next shift.”
“Later,” the man turned and got into the ambulance.
“I’ll see you later,” said Ashley as she turned to go.
“Wait!” called Jay. “Let me give you my card. I don’t do crime scenes in Lawrence very often so I don’t know when I’ll see you again.” Jay fumbled in her pocket and finally produced a business card. “Call me and maybe we can do lunch or something.” She finished lamely.
“Sure”, Ashley took the card and studied it. “J. Rollins. Is Jay short for something?”
Ashley waited while Jay just gave her a little half smile. “So you aren’t going to tell me, huh?”
“Nope. State secret”
“We’ll see.” Ashley tucked the card into a breast pocket and sauntered away. Jay kept her eyes glued to the woman’s ass until a sexy bump and grind made her look up to see that Ashley had caught her. The brunette laughed as the blonde blushed again and pushed the button to close the dock door and jumped lightly to the ground outside. “Later J. Rollins.” She winked as the door closed.
Jay leaned up against the wall and fanned herself with the clipboard.
Jay finished checking her evidence into the lab and signed out for the night. It was about 3:45 am when she finished and the thought of turning around and doing it all over again tomorrow made her groan. The blonde shouldered her backpack, pulled out her keys and walked out the front door of the building. She started towards her car, which was towards the back of the lot when she noticed a figure leaning against it. She slowed her walk and pulled out her cell phone. The person noticed her coming and stood up. Jay started dialing 911 as the person approached her. She stopped when the figure walked under a light in the parking lot and the tech recognized Ashley. Jay sagged a little in relief and put the cell phone away.
“Hey, not that I’m not happy to see you, but what’s a girl like you hanging out in a parking lot like this at this time of morning?” called Jay.
“Waiting for a knight in shining armor?” Ashley called back.
The blonde made a show of patting herself down. “No armor here, but can I offer to help you anyway?”
Ashley grinned. “I’ll settle for a cell phone. My car died and I need to call a tow.”
“Ok.” Jay handed over the cell phone and continued on to her car to give Ashley some privacy. She opened up her trunk and placed her backpack inside. She closed the trunk and leaned back against the spoiler of her Supra and waited for Ashley to finish with her call.
“What do you mean I have to wait for tomorrow? What do I pay my insurance for if you can’t help me?” There was a pause while the brunette listen to the answer. “Great, that’s just great! Thanks a lot. If I’m found dead and raped along the side of the road, I’ll make sure my estate sues you for this!” She punched the off button and looked like she was going to throw the cell phone. Jay quickly intercepted the motion and saved the phone from a painful death.
“Hey, what’s the problem?”
“The problem is I have cheap ass insurance and they won’t send a tow after business hours unless there’s a snowstorm or something.” Ashley huffed and leaned against Jay’s car.
“I could, um, either take you home or let you crash my sofa and bring you back to the car in the morning when I come to work?” Jay found herself offering. Her libido was screaming YES! YES! while a more practical side started to object then found itself quickly locked in a soundproof box by her libido.
The brunette smiled at Jay, who found her knees going a little weak. “Would you? That would be so great. Then I could get the tow to a garage nearby in the morning and take care of my car. I have tomorrow off and if you are sure it would be no problem?” Ashley had started to babble at high speed again and Jay had to once again replay Ashley’s answer in slow motion to figure out what she said.
“No problem. I have a guest bedroom with a daybed and a really nice couch in the living room. I fall asleep on the couch all the time. I’m not sure if the daybed is long enough for you, though. My sister sleeps on it all the time and she’s much shorter than you.” The blonde found herself babbling. She never babbled. Jay bit her tongue to keep from saying another word and unlocked the car for Ashley to get into.
Jay slid behind the wheel of the Supra as Ashley got into the passenger side. As the blonde started the car, Rodger’s words about sex invaded her mind and she quickly cranked the radio up to try and drown them out. Ashley looked at her, puzzled.
“It’s to keep myself awake,” lied Jay. “I’m really tired and the music will keep me from dozing off.”
Ashley nodded in understanding and started singing along with the AC/DC song that was currently blasting out the speakers.
Jay threw the car into reverse, backed out of the spot, hit first and burned rubber out of the parking lot, speed shifting gears as she realized that being in a confined space with Ashley probably wasn’t a good idea. Especially now that she could tell that Ashley was wearing the blonde’s favorite fragrance.
The trip home took less time than usual, with the lack of traffic and the tech defying all the speed limits in an effort to get home and place herself more than 18 inches from the cause of her discomfort. A cold shower and a locked bedroom door should put a damper on any raging hormones threatening to take over Jay’s body.
The Supra pulled into the driveway and Jay jumped out as soon as she killed the engine. “We’re home!” she exclaimed. The blonde darted up the steps to her doorway and fumbled with her keys as Ashley followed her slowly up the walk. “Just give me a second and I’ll have the door…ah.” Jay’s fumbling had finally managed to get the door open and she grandly gestured her guest in ahead of her.
The blonde followed the EMT in and shut the door, taking time to make sure all the locks were engaged before facing her perplexed guest.
“Jay, if this is making you nervous… I umph.” Ashley’s question was interrupted by Jay’s lips on hers. The blonde had turned around to find Ashley standing right in front of her and something inside just snapped.
The shorter woman seemed to come to her senses and press back against the front door. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, I have no idea what came over me.”
Her protest was cut short as Ashley pinned the smaller woman to the door and attacked her lips in kind. “Does it look like I’m complaining?” she asked between kisses. She pulled Jay’s shirt out of her pants and started trying to pull it off her body. The two stopped kissing long enough for Ashley to yank the shirt over her head. Ashley wanted skin; she needed to touch Jay’s skin. Somehow that would help the lust that was burning through her. The damn shirt was in her way, stopping her. It had to go. Ashley had only managed to get one of Jay’s arms free of the shirt before the blonde dove into the valley between the brunette’s breasts that had been tempting her all day. Being a breast woman, it was a good thing to be short. Especially when the object of your desire was so much taller than you. The licking of her chest seemed to short circuit something in Ashley’s brain because she staggered back against the entry way wall and let the blonde take charge for a bit. Jay used this to her advantage and started unbuttoning the jumpsuit that the EMT had on. The effort was hampered by the fact that one sleeve was covering her left hand and the blonde didn’t want to stop and take the darn thing off.
She finally got the jumpsuit open and got a full frontal view of the bra she only got a glimpse of on the dock. Part of Jay’s brain was trying to rationalize her behavior. She had seen lots of blood and death; maybe she needed to feel alive, feel connected to something. She turned it off and put it in the box with her practical side. She focused back on the breasts in front of her and felt her lust spike. It stunned her for a moment, Jay was not use to out of control emotions. Ashley took advantage and grabbed the shirtsleeve and yanked it off of the shorter woman. Jay found herself spinning and slamming up against the entryway wall as Ashley became the aggressor again. But it was okay Jay was so turned on it didn’t matter. The brunette feasted upon the blonde’s neck as she worked the buckle and the buttons to the tech’s jeans. Ashley licked her way up to the blonde’s ear as she slowly lowered the zipper to the jeans and worked her hand inside of Jay’s underwear. The shorter woman groaned loudly as the brunette’s hand found it’s way between her legs.
“You are so wet,” whispered Ashley in Jay’s ear as she played in the blonde’s juices. The EMT entered the smaller woman with a quick thrust. The blonde groaned and started moving in sync with the taller woman’s thrusts. Ashley positioned herself so that she had her leg between Jay’s and it was helping power her hand as it thrust inside of the blonde. The tech seemed to like this as her groans became breathless and her thrusting became wilder. The EMT started rubbing her clit against Jay’s partially clad hip, trying to affect her own orgasm to match that of her lovers. The smaller woman’s actions became more urgent and Jay could feel herself tightening around the taller woman’s fingers. “Almost there,” she panted into Ashley’s neck.
This seemed to set off the brunette who bucked wildly against the blonde. Ashley’s actions set off an orgasm in Jay that had the tech seeing colors. Coming back to herself, Jay smelled the perfume that seemed to have a wild effect on her libido. She looked up from where her head was nestled between two heaving breasts and found a pair of bright blue eyes looking back at her. “Well,” she scrambled around mentally to find something to say. “I guess it’s ok to share the bed now,” she finally came up with.
Ashley started to laugh. “Do you think that’s safe? We got 5 feet inside the house and halfway undressed.”
“Yeah well, at least now I know you won’t mind if I happen to touch you when I’m asleep,” said Jay.
The brunette pulled back slowly, gently freeing her fingers from their spot within Jay. “Well,” she said as she started taking off the rest of her jumpsuit and bra. “I really hadn’t planned on getting much sleep tonight, how about you?”
Jay shook her head mutely as the breasts she had just been resting her head on were finally free of their confinement.
The shrill ringing of a phone roused the blonde from her position at the foot of the bed. It felt like she had just gone to sleep. Finally locating the annoying thing under what was left of her clothes next to the bed, she answered it.
“Rollins,” was croaked out through dehydrated vocal chords. Jay rolled over and found her clock on the nightstand near the head of the bed. No wonder it felt like she had just gone to sleep, it was only 8:30 in the morning.
“Good morning to you too, sunshine.” JT’s sarcastic tone came across the speaker. Jay put her arm over her face and sighed. She could actually picture the worm’s stupid sneer as he made the comment.
“And your problem with me this morning is…?” She asked him, not bothering to hide her irritation.
“Oh, just that you are late to work and there is an important crime scene to process. Are you sure you don’t want me to take over? Seeing as how you are overwhelmed and everything.”
God, didn’t the man understand the term sucking up? How did he expect to get on her good side with that kind of attitude. Oh wait, she was an inferior female. He didn’t. “JT, I worked until about 4 this morning, I know that Jacob will let me come in late.” Not that it matters now you fucking piece of shit. A hand reached out and started rubbing her leg in a comforting manner. Great, the succubus is awake. I can barely walk as it is. Jay grinned at the thought. She had gotten rocked last night and all was right with the world, even with JT walking around in it.
“No, you can’t help,” the blonde interrupted the rookie tech. “Rodger and I have everything under control. You go back to processing….whatever it is that you do. Good bye.” Jay hung up the phone to prevent listening to more of the man’s comments. She turned the cell phone off for good measure. “Now, where were we?” she addressed the beauty that was playing with her feet up by the headboard. The brunette started sucking a toe and running her nails lightly up and down Jay’s shins. “Oh right there,” groaned the blonde as she lay back down on the bed and contemplated the popcorn ceiling.
Sometime later, after a morning aerobics bout and playtime in the shower, the two of them managed to get dressed and grab something to eat before hopping in the Supra and starting towards Jay’s work.
The blonde smacked herself in the forehead. “Damn it, I forgot my bag with my laptop.” She started looking for a place to turn the car around.
“Is that the bag you carried out of your office last night?” asked Ashley.
“Yep,” replied Jay as she moved into a left turn lane.
“You didn’t take it into the house. It’s still in the trunk.”
“I what?” The tech glanced at Ashley. “Are you sure? I never leave my computer in my car.”
“That’s how I suspected that you were uncomfortable with my coming home with you. You stalled the car, jumped out and never even looked at me.”
“Oh.” The blonde merged back into traffic from the turn lane she didn’t need to use now. “I was nervous. All I could think about was how good you smelled and what it would feel like to touch you.”
The EMT grinned sexily and placed her hand on Jay’s upper thigh. “And now that you know?”
Jay yelped. “No touching! No touching! Trying to drive here.” She picked Ashley’s hand off her leg and put it back on the brunettes lap.
Ashley just laughed and demurely folded her hands in her lap, signaling that she would behave.
The rest of the trip to the Crime Lab was uneventful. Jay pulled up next to an older silver Nissan 4 door sedan that Ashley had indicated was hers. “I supposed that you will call me for lunch now, right?” grinned Jay to her passenger.
“Oh most definitely,” the EMT started to lean in for a kiss, but a hand on her shoulder stopped her.
“I can’t.” Jay’s green eyes looked at her sadly. “This is still the bible belt and I am at work.”
The brunette let out a long sigh. “I understand.” She smiled and patted Jay’s leg. “I’ll call you. Maybe we can actually have a date now?” she laughed.
“I hope so.” Answered the blonde.
The two exited the car and Jay offered Ashley the use of her cell phone while the tech got her backpack out of the trunk of the car. Ashley completed her call and arranged to have the car towed to a nearby mechanic and handed back the phone. As she was saying thank you, a loud voice interrupted her.
“Ashley! Where have you been?” A handsome man with dark hair and cool brown eyes approached the two women. “I’ve been worried sick about you all night?”
“You know JT?” Jay asked, carefully.
“Of course she knows me,” replied the rookie tech. “I’m her boyfriend after all.”
Jay could feel an emptiness forming inside her chest as her features hardened into the mask she wore when processing a crime scene. “I see. Well, maybe you shouldn’t leave her stranded with a broken car, JT. I had to give her a place to crash.” Turning to Ashley who was trying to say something to Jay, “I am glad I was able to help. Maybe I’ll see you around at the company picnic or something.” The blonde walked off, ignoring the stuttering explanations that Ashley was trying to give and JT’s berating his girlfriend for not calling him and accepting a ride with ‘one of those women’. The closing of the front door behind her cut off the argument that had started between the two, and Jay took the steps up to her office two at a time. The blonde grabbed the keys to her van, waved at Jacob through his open door where she could see him on the phone, and headed back down the back way to her van and freedom.
Only in the safety of the van, did she allow the tears to fall.
Jay pulled up to the crime scene she had left last night and pulled out her toolbox. She hoped that the redness in her eyes could be explained away by lack of sleep. She flashed her badge at the cops guarding the door and went in to find that Rodger had been busy.
“Hey boss,” he greeted her cheerfully. Her grunt didn’t dismay him. The senior tech was not known for being a morning person, and after putting in a long night and to find her back at the crime scene before noon actually surprised him. “So, did you get the EMT’s phone number?” he asked, as he dusted for more fingerprints.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Jay put her toolbox down and pulled out some gloves from her pocket. She shrugged off her Crime Scene jacket, leaving her in a sleeveless, button up oxford. “Are we going to need to run string in here, do you think?” she asked her partner.
Rodger looked over at his friend and noticed her ‘don’t fuck with me today’ face and decided to stop teasing her. “No, I don’t think so. I think this was his first stop, and he decided to move on from here. We’ll know more when we get the time of death from the autopsies and compare.”
“What makes you say that?” asked Jay as she removed more evidence bags to start collecting samples.
“For one thing, I was talking to the cops out front and they indicated that Cheryl had not been seen for 4 days, where as the twins had not been seen for 2 days. Plus, the food on the counter was rotting in here and it wasn’t in the other apartment.”
“Good catch,” the blonde nodded in approval at her partner. “You are turning out to be really good at this.
“I’d rather be good at robbery scenes,” grumbled Rodger.
“Crime scene is a crime scene,” the senior tech mentioned absently as she started to bag the stuff in the kitchen.
“I don’t like finding headless corpses at my crime scenes.”
“Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. You are some kind of prima donna, aren’t you?” teased Jay.
“Oh look who has returned from the land of stick up my ass! Why it is Justice, Queen of the morning bitchiness,” Rodger actually stopped what he was doing and made little bows in Jay’s direction.
“My mom’s still alive, I’m just a princess,” shot back Jay. “And if you were woke up at the butt crack of down by his evilness, you’d be grouchy too.”
“Oh really? And what did Mr. Wonderful want with you this morning?” asked Rodger as he came over to see what Jay was doing.
“This case,” grunted Jay as she bent over to pick up what appeared to be fingernails from the floor with some tweezers. The position caused her shirt to gap a bit between her neck and collarbone, exposing part of a line of hickeys the shirt otherwise covered. Rodger clapped his hands in glee.
“And you say it was the butt crack of dawn because either you were interrupted or you had just passed out.” He wiped away an imaginary tear. “Girlfriend I’m so proud of you! Was it the Amazon EMT? Tell Rodger all the details.” The rookie tech plopped down on the floor next to his friend.
Jay finished sealing up the evidence bag and then lowered her head and she sighed. “Promise me you won’t get all hysterical.” She said.
“Cross my heart and hope to die.” The man crossed himself and sat expectantly like a child waiting for a bedtime story.
“Yes, Ashley and I had hot monkey sex all night long. Yes, it was great. Yes, she gave me the hickey.”
The blonde man jumped up and started doing a weird little dance wiggle thingy. Jay recognized it as Rodger’s happy dance. “You know, for a gay man, you sure can’t dance.”
“I am happy, leave me to my celebration.” Uttered Rodger seriously as he completed his dance of happiness. He stopped and sat back down and studied Jay closely, finally noticing the sadness in the green eyes that stared back at him. “Why do I sense there is not a happy ending to this tale?” he asked.
She sighed and took off her gloves and ran a hand through her hair. “Ok, it goes like this. Her car was broken down at the Crime Lab and I offered to let her crash my place since the insurance company wouldn’t tow the car after hours.”
“Wait a minute, why was her car at the Crime Lab? That’s in Overland Park. She obviously lives in Lawrence. That’s like 40 miles away from here.” The man was starting to put pieces together.
“Wish I had thought to ask that question, but my hormones had taken control of my body.” Jay studied her hands in her lap where they were playing with the gloves. “So after a wonderful night, we come back so she can tow the car, she promises to call me for lunch, and who comes out but the worm.”
Rodger shuddered. “I don’t think I like the direction this story is taking.”
“Yeah, me either. Turns out Ms. EMT and Mr. Worm are boyfriend and girlfriend. He dropped her car off there or something. I didn’t stick around to ask.”
Rodger leaned over and wrapped his friend up in a much-needed hug. He was silent for a while. “Well, you know,” he started thoughtfully. “I guess you can ask her if you were right when you called him pencil dick the other day.”
Jay jerked back and glared at him. The blonde man wiggled his eyebrows at her suggestively, and the whole absurdity of the situation hit her and she just started laughing.
The two had spent the rest of the day processing the scenes and then turned it and their preliminary reports over to the Lawrence PD. Unlike their TV counterparts, the Crime Lab did not actually do any detective work. They just process the forensics at a particular crime scene. Rodger and Jay would spend the next few days compiling the information for an official report of their findings and, except for a court appearance, their job with the crime was done. While both really hoped to help catch the killer, neither really wanted to be in on the day-to-day grind of an investigation. That’s what detectives are for.
Jay went back to the crime lab and picked up her car. There was a note on her windshield. She pulled it off and glanced at it enough to see that it was from Ashley, and crumpled it up and threw it on the floorboard of her car without reading it. The blonde tossed her backpack in the passenger seat, and thought for a minute, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. Coming to a decision, she nodded her head, put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot.
After a 20 minute drive, she pulled into a sports bar within walking distance of her house. She put the car in park, checked her pockets for money and entered the bar. She flipped her keys to the startled bartender and sat down. “Give me the Yukon, George,” was all she said. The bartender pocketed the keys, pulled out a glass and the bottle of Yukon Jack. He set both in front of her and disappeared into the back.
Jay ignored his abrupt disappearance, knowing where he went, and poured herself a glass of the Canadian whiskey. She quickly shot it back, grimaced and poured another one. She felt someone sit down on the stool next to her. She didn’t even look up as the strong smell of aftershave hit her.
“Hey there pretty lady.” The man started. “That’s a mighty tough drink for someone as delicate as you.”
Jay ignored him and started a mental countdown in her head. 10…9…8…
“Hey asshole, why don’t you go sit back down at your table and wait for your hot wings, ok?” Came a voice to her left. A small form sat itself down next to Jay and rubbed her arm.
“What’s it to you, dyke?” came the man’s reply.
Jay growled, pulled out her badge and shoved it in the man’s face, her green eyes flashing. “Watch what you say to my sister.”
The man looked at the brunette on the other side of the pretty blonde and saw a matching pair of fierce green eyes glaring at him. He held up his hands in surrender. “Just trying to be friendly. No harm meant.” He backed away from the two women and went back to his buddies at the far table.
Jay sighed and put her badge away and took another shot of the whiskey. She grimaced as it went down.
“At least tell me you had something to eat before you started slugging that stuff back.” Asked Temperance, the bar manager and Jay’s younger sister.
“No,” replied the blonde sheepishly. “I had a really bad day at work,” she tried to explain.
“Uh huh. Let’s get some nice, greasy pub food into you before you go too much further and then you can tell me all about it, ok?” Temp signaled George, who had been hiding down at the end of the bar. Having dealt with the terrible two before, as the wait staff had dubbed the Rollins sisters, he decided discretion was the better part of valor.
“Ok,” Jay knew better than to argue with her sister. Not only was Temp fiercer than she was, she was the one who paid the bar staff. So in other words, they would listen to the brunette long before listening to her older sister.
George brought out a sampler platter and told them that two orders of fish and chips were on the way. He then retreated back to the far end of the bar.
“Chicken,” muttered Jay as she munched on some nachos.
“No, he just knows what you do for a living.” Replied Temp. “Honestly Just, some of the stories you tell about your job when you are lit are horrifying.” She stuffed another nacho in her mouth.
“I don’t see it spoiling your appetite,” grouched the blonde.
“Nope. I just ignore you.” The brunette winked at her sister and stuffed another chip in her mouth. “Now, why are you here? And don’t make me pretend to go to the bathroom and call Rodger from my office.”
“You two gang up on me,” whined the tech.
“Yep, now spill.”
Jay then spilled out the whole horrible mess to her sister, from the crime scene and the possibility of a serial killer, to the situation with Ashley and JT.
Temperance munched quietly on her fish and chips that George had delivered during Jay’s story and thought for a bit. “So, this woman makes you crazy? Totally mind blowing, can’t think straight, nuts?”
The blonde had her head on the bar. “Yes,” she said somewhat nasally because of her squashed nose.
Temp patted her sister on the back. “Good. It’s about time.”
Jay shot up and looked blearily at her sister. “What?”
“You are out of control. It’s about time. You have so locked yourself up that you forgot the basic principles of human emotion, sis. I’m glad you felt like this.” Temp patted her sister’s hand. “Of course, now that she hurt you, I have to hunt her down and kill her. She works in Lawrence you say?”
The blonde put her head back down on the bar. Lack of sleep, stress and the whiskey were hitting her system hard and it was getting difficult to think. “Yes. She works for the Lawrence Hospital. At least that is what the ambulance said.” She was quiet a minute. “Wait, if you shoot her, I have to process the crime scene.”
“I know, but you love me and will make sure I get off.” Temp poured herself another soda from the gun behind the bar. “Now, let’s get you home and into bed.”
Temp helped her inebriated sister to stand up and stagger to the car. She had gotten the car keys from George when he came back to the office to tell her that Justice was there and getting ready to start one of her binges. Her sister did this every couple of months when she needed to let off steam. Temperance wasn’t happy that this was the way her sister chose to blow off steam, but did acknowledge that at least she came to a bar where she would be safe instead of one that wasn’t managed by her family. Which is why she never nagged the blonde about her drinking.
The brunette maneuvered her sister into the passenger side of the Supra. She pushed the backpack out of the way and noticed a crumpled piece of paper on the floor of an otherwise immaculate car. Jay was a neat freak, so Temp’s curiosity was raised. She picked up the piece of paper after buckling her sister into the seat. She walked around to the driver’s side and got in.
“Temp,” slurred Jay from the passenger side.
“Yes Just?” asked the brunette gently as she backed out of the parking space.
“Love you.” The blonde hiccupped and closed her eyes.
“Love you too, sis.” Temp patted her sister’s thigh and drove her home.
Justice woke up and didn’t recognize her surroundings at first, or the other body in bed with her. The blonde then recognized the ceiling in the guest bedroom and the warm lump as Temp. The two of them had grown up sharing the same bed, so they had a tendency to reach out for each other in times of stress. She then felt her stomach lurch and quickly got out of bed and ran for the bathroom in the hallway. The sound of footsteps alerted her to Temp’s presence before gentle hands pulling blonde hair back did. After she finished losing last night’s dinner, her sister handed her a damp washcloth to clean her face with.
“You know, there are better ways to deal with job stress, sis.” Temperance finally said, gently.
“Living up to your name, huh sis?” croaked Jay.
“All things in moderation. My life’s motto. What’s yours? Justice for all? You know that’s not a realistic expectation, hun.” The brunette slid down to a sitting position on the floor and looked her sister in the eye.
Jay looked at her sister and felt all the bad feelings well up and she started crying. Temp quickly caught up her sister in a hug and rocked her as the blonde let all of her frustrations and anger out on the brunettes shoulder.
“ Why do I have such shitty taste in woman?” she finally asked.
“Oh honey,” Temp stroked her sister’s hair. “I don’t know. We’ll work on it, ok? You fix my taste in men, and I’ll fix your taste in women, ok?”
Jay started laughing through her tears, which was her sister’s intention. “We’ll put out personal ads for each other and interview the respondents before they even get to go on a first date.”
Temp started laughing with her sister. “I’ll call the paper later today.”
Jay came into work, looking like something the cat threw up. Something that JT was more than happy to point out to her.
After finally kicking the man out of her cube, Jay put her head down on her desk and contemplated committing hara kiri with her letter opener. Then she envisioned acting out the scene from ‘Casino’ where Joe Pesci stabbed someone in the neck with a ballpoint pen. With JT on the receiving end of the pen. That thought actually made her feel good enough to start working on her report again.
The fingerprint results had come back. Most of the prints were too smeared to compare except for a partial thumbprint on the jar of mayonnaise, but so far there was not a hit from the fingerprint data bases.
The phone on her desk started ringing, the sound acting like an ice pick being driven through her skull. “Rollins,” she grunted into the phone as she tried to organize her notes for the report.
“Officer Rollins, this is Lieutenant Glass here, we have a suspect in custody. Do you have a fingerprint or DNA for us to compare?”
“Sir, I have a partial left thumbprint. No DNA results are back. The perp was a non-secretor anyway so I don’t know how that will go.”
“Good, can you fax the thumbprint to me?” The Lieutenant rattled off a fax number with a Lawrence area code.
“How did you develop the suspect?” Jay asked as she used her computer so send out a fax via a fax server.
“He is one of the weirdoes we have wandering around town. He talks to imaginary people and collects weapons. He’s also been seen in the area before and was run off by apartment management for bothering the residents.”
“Really? That was fast. I hope he’s your guy.” Jay turned in her chair at a light knocking on her cube wall. “What did your guys turn up with the apartment search?” She asked while holding up a finger, asking Jacob to wait a second.
“Nothing. We didn’t actually get the apartment management’s permission to search the apartments. We are still working on putting on pressure on the management to allow us to do that.”
“Good,” replied Jay. “Let me know when you get permission and I’ll be out there with a team just in case.”
“Will do. Thanks again, Officer Rollins.” The Lieutenant hung up.
“What’s up?” Jay asked her boss as he came in and leaned against her desk and crossed his arms.
“JT says that you rudely refused his offers of assistance and that you are harassing him at work, creating a hostile work environment.”
The blonde looked at her boss, then started laughing. “Are you serious? He called me yesterday morning shortly after I went to bed and told me to stay home and that he’d be more than happy to take over because I was obviously out of my depth. I was grouchy and told him off, but that’s it. As far as harassing him, the last time we worked a scene together he grabbed my ass. I slugged him and told him that if he tried it again, he was going to lose the family jewels.”
“He what?” Jacob shot off the desk and glared at Jay. “Why didn’t you report him?”
“Because I thought I took care of the problem,” shrugged the blonde as she turned back to her desk. Jacob’s shout had started her head throbbing again. “It’s no big deal. We don’t work together anymore.” She waved her hand as if shooing a fly. “It’s a dead issue.”
“I don’t like it when one of my techs harasses another one of my techs.” Jacob wasn’t ready to let the incident go.
“And he got a black eye for his effort. It’s ok, boss. If he bugs me again, I’ll sic the other virtues on him.” Jay knew that Jacob had met a couple of her sisters and knew how overprotective they were of each other.
“If you say so, but if he tries again…”
“I will tell you immediately. What you should be watching him for is the media leaks we are suddenly plagued with.” Jay turned and looked Jacob in the eye. “You know that they started shortly after he arrived and all of the rest of us hate the media.”
Jacob looked thoughtful. “I’ll look into it. This case should bring out all the vultures in force.” The older man patted Jay on the back. “Take care of yourself, you look like crap, kid.” And he walked out, leaving Jay doing a fair impression of a goldfish. She decided to finish up her report and go home and go to bed.
“Ashley, there’s someone outside looking for you.” One of Ashley’s co-workers came into the break room at the hospital where the EMTs hung out until a call came through. The brunette stood up.
“Did she say what her name is?” The EMT was worried after the horrible scene with JT and Jay in the parking lot the day before. She had left a note on Jay’s car telling the tech how to get hold of her and a brief explanation of what was really going on. Ash really liked the blonde and hoped that she hadn’t screwed up what could be a very nice relationship.
“Naw, but she’s about yea high,” the man held his hand up about shoulder high. “Has brown hair and a huge attitude.”
Ashley’s shoulders dropped when she realized the man was not describing Jay. “Ok, I’ll be right outside if a call comes.” She walked out of the break room and almost ran into the small woman pacing up and down the hallway.
“Are you Ashley?” demanded the woman.
“Yes,” The small woman reminded the EMT of someone, but she just couldn’t put her finger on who it was.
“I want to talk to you about this!” Ashley’s guest held up a crumpled piece of paper that the EMT recognized as the note she left on Jay’s car. She made a grab for it but the smaller woman snatched it back out of reach.
“How did you get that? That was a private note for someone else.” Ashley made another abortive attempt to grab the note.
“I want to talk to you about what you did to Jay. You hurt her and it’s my job as her sister to find out if she should listen to your apology or if I should just kneecap you now.”
“Sister?” Ashley studied the smaller woman more closely. Both Jay and her sister were about the same height, and shared the same facial characteristics. The snapping green eyes also caught her attention, as they were boring into the EMT leaving no doubt that the smaller woman would make good on her threats. “Do you mind if we take this someplace less…” Ashley looked around at the hallway full of people. “Busy? We can go hit the coffee cart outside and sit on a bench,” And it gives me a chance to run in case I don’t make my case.
“Sounds good. I’m Temperance by the way,” Temp held out her hand for a shake. “I’m actually not this aggressive, but you hurt Just so you are on my shit list at the moment and need to work you way off.”
Ashley shook her hand. “Just?”
Temp looked at her strangely. “Justice Rollins? Small blonde, green eyes? You left huge hickeys on her body?”
“So that’s what the J stood for, the little fink.” Ashley started laughing.
“Yep, you have met two of the seven virtues.” Stated Temperance as she followed the taller woman outside.
“You have seven sisters?” gasped Ashley.
“Nope, I have six sisters and we are named for the virtues.”
“You actually have a sister named Piety?” asked Ashely
“No, Piety is not one of the seven virtues.”
“Oh,” said Ashley, embarrassed that she didn’t know that.
“Our mom is named Piety though,” Temp smirked, having been asked that question numerous times.
The EMT put her hand over her eyes and groaned.
After buying coffee for the both of them, since Temp insisted that Ashley had to earn her way out of the doghouse, the two found a relatively out of the way bench to sit down on.
“So,” began Temperance, “in your own words, describe what happened.”
“I met a wonderful woman, had a wonderful experience with her, bumped into my psycho ex the next morning and now I’m begging her sister to convince the wonderful woman that I deserve a second chance.” Ashley had never been one for speeches.
“Psycho ex boyfriend? Is that who he is? I know that Just and JT hate each other. He followed her into the bar one night and I had to toss him out for being an ass.” Temp looked like she had bit into a lemon at the memory.
The EMT sighed. “When I first moved up here, I really didn’t know anyone. I met JT at a party. He was very handsome and seemed charming. We started dating and I found out that beauty is only skin deep. We broke up a few months ago, but apparently he doesn’t believe it. I changed my phone number, the locks, and I am about to get a restraining order against his ass.”
“Ok, next question; why was your car in the parking lot of where Jay works?”
Ashley blushed. “I worked a double that night, and I was assigned to transport duty both nights. When I saw Jay was working the second scene, I called my one of my co-workers and bribed him to drive my car to the Crime Lab on the off chance that I could talk Jay into coffee after the run.”
Temp looked at Ashley hard. “Can the person who drove the car back this up?” Both explanations were credible. Temp suspected that half of the problems Jay had with JT was that she had shot down every advance that he had made on her. If Ashley was as affected by Jay as Jay was by Ashley, it was not inconceivable that she had a co-worker do the favor just in case she convinced the blonde to go out after work.
The taller woman nodded. “He’s working today. In fact, he was the guy that came and got me.”
“And what was the favor?” The bar manager was covering all the bases.
“That I work a couple of his crappy weekend shifts.” The brunette shrugged. “It doesn’t matter to me. I am single at the moment and I’m not into the bar scenes, so working weekends doesn’t really bother me.”
The smaller woman looked at her slyly. “Is one of the weekends you have to work this Saturday?”
“No, as a matter of fact, I have this Saturday off.” Ashley looked suspiciously at the smaller woman. “Why?”
“Cause you have plans now. At least, if you want to get back on Justice’s good side you do.”
“I’m all yours,” Ashley spread her arms in supplication.
“Oh goodie.” Temperance had a gleefully evil look on her face.
“Why do I think I’m going to regret this?” muttered the EMT.
Jay walked into her office, almost happy. There had been no midnight phone calls, no notes on her car, a short line for coffee at the local 7-11 and no sign of JT this morning. She had gotten ten hours of much needed sleep and she had almost forgotten the mistake of the other night. Now if she could just lay low the rest of the day….
“Jay! I need to see you in my office!” called out Jacob as she walked by his open door. She sighed. It was too good to last.
“Let me put my stuff down,” she called. The blonde walked to her cubicle to put her bag and coffee down. On the way, she collected Roger with a small head gesture. “Jacob wants to see me, do you know what that’s about?” she whispered to him.
“It could be because the fingerprint we lifted is only a 4-point match to their main suspect. Also, his feet aren’t big enough.” Rodger whispered back, referring to the photos and carpet samples of bloody footprints that he and Jay had collected from the crime scenes.
“Oh really,” Jay lifted her eyebrows. “And of course, that means that we made a mistake, not that this might not be the guy.”
“Of course.” Agreed Rodger.
Jay made her way back into Jacob’s office, glad for the heads up from Rodger. “You needed to see me boss?”
“Some questions came up with the Lawrence case,” started her boss without preamble. “The Lawrence PD wants to make sure that the integrity of the crime scene was maintained.
“In other words, they have a guy the physical evidence doesn’t match and so they are questioning us.” Finished Jay.
“Exactly. Anything you want to tell me about the scene?” asked Jacob.
“No, it’s all in my report. If the fingerprint doesn’t match, than this isn’t our guy. Simple as that.”
“But it was a partial match,” challenged Jacob.
“4-points. I bet I could match 4-points.” Scoffed Jay.
“3-points, actually.” Replied Jacob with a smile. “They asked us to run it against yours and Rodger’s fingerprints to rule out any ‘accidents’.”
Jay muttered under her breath.
“What was that?” asked her boss.
“They all wear girly hats,” fudged the blonde.
“Uh huh. That’s what I thought you said. Anyway, you are on desk duty today. Finish up your reports, get ready for court tomorrow and then have a nice weekend.”
Jay flinched at the last comment.
“Now what?” sighed Jacob.
“I forgot the family BBQ this weekend,” sighed the blonde.
Now Jacob flinched. “Picnic with the Furies,” he muttered, having met most of Jay’s sisters through the different work family functions.
“Virtues,” corrected Jay absently as she mentally skimmed through a list of likely excuses. As much as she loved her family, right now she couldn’t face her turn of ‘when are you getting married’ from the parental units. Her mom had open-ended tickets to Vermont already and her dad had taken to cruising the PFLAG meetings for phone numbers. She loved her parents for being supportive, but there was such a thing as too supportive.
“Whatever. Promise me you will keep Hope away from the fire, will you?” he turned back to his never-ending paperwork.
Jay shook her head, chuckling to herself, remembering Jacob’s one run-in with Hope at the last Crime Lab BBQ. Hope had set the grill on fire, which was good, but she had also set all the meat on fire, the charcoal bag by the grill, the hot pads, exploded a can of charcoal lighter, and set Jacob’s shirt on fire by accident. Hope was now banned at all Crime Lab family functions involving open flame. Jay’s younger sister claimed that it was an accident, the result of a mistimed sneeze while holding the lighter fluid. Jay wasn’t really sure, because Hope had never displayed any allergy symptoms, plus JT had been bothering her while she was trying to start the fire.
Jay sat down at her desk and was just going through her notes to prepare for court the next day when Rodger poked his head in.
“Ok boss, what’s up?” he asked as his body followed his head. “What did the big Kahuna say?”
“That I’m a good person, and gosh darn it, everybody likes me.” Jay replied as she flipped through the forensic reports.
“Well, that’s good to know. Should I bring anything for the BBQ Saturday?” He smiled brightly as Jay started banging her head on the desk in frustration.
“You are now my assigned escort, right?” she asked between thumps.
“Yep. You will be there or Temp told be to forget the ‘be fruitful and multiply part’ of the bible.”
“And I was having such a good day,” moaned Jay, with her head still face down against her desk.
Saturday started out bright and sunny. Since it was late September, the baking heat of the Kansas summer had passed, and the winter months of cold winds coming down the Rockies and whipping across the plains had yet to arrive. It was a suspiciously perfect day weather wise, for an outdoor BBQ
Rodger had arrived early at Jay’s house. This left Jay without the ability to escape the family function without a 135 lb screaming man attached to her leg. Rodger loved the BBQs. His family had disowned him after he had come out. The Rollins were happy to adopt him into their clan. ‘Eight is enough’ Jared Rollins used to joke until Faith pointed out the son-in-laws added to more than eight. “But Rodger looks like one of us,” pointed out Jared, but he stopped making the joke.
Jay and Rodger made ‘smashed potato salad’ to bring to the party. They also stocked up on pop. Mom and Dad Rollins might be ok with the homosexual thing, but they really weren’t very cool with the alcohol thing. They pretended that Temperance actually managed a restaurant that happened to serve alcohol instead of a bar that happened to serve food. Everyone decided to leave the Rollins to their fantasies.
Rodger put the cooler in the back of Jay’s car while she secured the salad in the backseat. “Do we need to pick up Temp?” she asked him.
“No, she said she was bringing someone with her to the BBQ and that she’d meet us there.”
Jay froze halfway out of the backseat of the car. “Run that by me again, would you? I thought you said that Temp was bringing someone.”
“You did,” Rodger huffed he stretched to reach the lid of the trunk to close it.
“Hmph. She hasn’t told me she was seeing anyone. Has she told you anything?” Jay knew the two of them were thick as thieves behind her back, but that was ok. She liked them both.
“Nope. She has sworn off men for Lent.” Rodger walked around the car with his ‘man bag’ as he insisted his small backpack be called.
The blonde scrunched her face up in puzzlement. “I thought Lent was in February or something?”
Rodger shrugged. “Could be, I’m a non practicing Baptist so I have no idea.”
“Then who is she bringing?” asked Jay in confusion.
“I have no idea. Can we go now?” Rodger was practically dancing in place.
The small woman threw up her hands in defeat and walked to the driver’s side of the car.
The Rollins’ family didn’t live in Lawrence proper, more on the outskirts of town. They lived in an old farm house that had ten acres of land, and the family only utilized three for a yard. This gave the family plenty of room for parking, plus the 'friendly family soccer game'. This game was a tradition anytime the girls were all in the same place. The boyfriends/fiancés/husbands had learned that it was safer for them to stay far away from this tradition. The girls all had a healthy completive drive. Really healthy. So healthy that no one was brave enough to join their games. Mom and Dad Rollins just stocked up on bandages and cold packs. So far, the games had only sent various participants to the hospital 4 times.
Rodger was out of the car and up the steps to the back kitchen door before Jay had even stopped the car. “Looks like someone missed my mom,” she muttered under her breath. Rodger and Piety Rollins had bonded. Rodger was like the son that Piety never had.
Jay unpacked the salad and took it inside. She bypassed the fierce hug between her mom and her co-worker to safely place the salad on the far cabinet. As she turned around, she was blindsided by a blonde blur.
“Ooof. Hi Hope,” she gasped around the bone crushing hug the baby of the family was giving her. “Ok, breathing.” She tried the wrestling failsafe maneuver of tapping her sister’s arm before her lungs collapsed
“I missed you. I saw the horrible crime on TV. The camera really does put 10 lbs on you. You looked tired. So is the guy in custody the killer?” Hope said all of this at top speed.
“I missed you too. And no, the evidence does not point to him.” She grinned. “Wait, what do you mean the camera puts 10 lbs on me?” she glared at her younger sister. Hope just stood there and looked innocent, something she was really good at. She had Justice’s blonde hair and snub-nosed features, but she got her cornflower blue eyes from her father. Her angelic looks had served her well; no one suspected the sharp business mind and wicked sense of humor under the pretty wrapping. Hope was the youngest at 25, 10 years younger than the oldest sister, Faith. She had graduated from KU with a business degree at age 19. Now she had a thriving bridal shop and was looking to expand to a second location.
Charity walked in next. Charity was the only other sister that shared Jay and Hope’s blonde hair. Where Justice had vibrant green eyes, and Hope had gentle cornflower blue, Charity’s were a cool gray. Her features were also a bit sharper than the other two’s, taking after their mother, rather than their father’s baby faced good looks. All in all, Rita was an imposing figure. As the loan manager for Bank of America, this served her well. She gave Jay a fierce hug and a surprised her younger sister further by giving her a kiss on the ear.
Jay stepped back and looked at her sister in shock. All of the Rollins’ girls were a touchy feely bunch with the exception of Charity. She was a bit more aloof than the other six, so the hug and kiss from her was way outside the norm. “Ok, not that I’m complaining, but what did I do to deserve that?” she looked back and forth between her sisters and caught Rodger looking guilty and trying to hide behind her mom. Piety was a tiny woman with dark hair, hazel eyes and sharp features. She also had a presence in the class room that could make the biggest of football players cower if they got out of line.
Jay sighed in resignation. “Yes, I had a bad week, ok?”
“Well dear,” her mom walked over and gave her a hug. “We’ll take care of you,”
“That’s what I’m afraid of,” muttered Jay.
The whole family was gathered in the backyard. Fire extinguisher close at hand, Hope was manning the grill. Ted, Faith's husband, was keeping a close eye on her ready to sprint for the hose should it be necessary. Faith was playing with Patty’s oldest, Trish, while Patty and Charity were talking with a kid on each lap. Rodger and Jared were setting up the field; gathering the first aid table for the family feud later in the afternoon and other vital safety measures. Chastity was on the ground with Mickey, the only grandson. Jay was sitting with her mom at the picnic table with the rest of the food and condiments. Subtly she was looking around for her buddy Temp to help take mom's attention off of her. After all, Temp was bringing someone with her--that should be enough to remove focus from her and on to Temp. Bob came outside with the platter of meat for the fire. “Hey, Piety,” he called. “I think I see Temperance’s car at the end of the driveway. It’s just sitting there though.” He walked over to the fire and he and Hope started loading up the grill with hot dogs, hamburgers, and brauts.
Piety turned to her 3rd oldest child. “Justice, go check up on your sister.”
Jay stood up and started walking around to the front of the house. Once she cleared the side of the house, she could see her sister’s Jetta at the end of the driveway. There were two figures in the car and it looked like they were arguing. Jay broke into a jog and hurried down to the end of the driveway. She stopped and knocked on the driver’s window. “Hey, Temp. What’s up? The party is up there….” She trailed off at Temp lowered the window and the blonde got a good view of who the passenger was. She glared at her sister. “What the fuck? Why did you bring her here?” she asked her sister accusingly.
“Just, you need to listen to her. I went over to her work to kick the crap out of her and she convinced me that it was all a big mistake.” Temp tried to explain, but she could see the vein starting to throb in Jay’s forehead. That was never a good sign. Temp decided a change in tactics was in order “Right, well,” The brunette leaned over her passenger, opened the far door, pushed the poor woman out of the seat and took off up the driveway, just missing a stunned Ashley and a furious Jay. “You guys can work it out yourselves,” she called out the window before speeding around the corner of the house.
“Traitor,” muttered Jay as she started to march up the drive and commit soroicide. She could get a way with it, she was a crime scene investigator after all. No one knew more about committing the perfect crime than she did.
“Hey!” yelled Ashley. “Your psycho sister just shoved me out of a car after kidnapping me!”
Jay whirled around. “My sister is not psycho. At least she didn’t forget that she had a boyfriend before sleeping with someone else!” she yelled at the EMT who was slowly standing up.
“Your sister chased me down at work and promised me that if came with her today I would get to talk to you. But if the rest of your family is like her, I don’t want to have anything to do with you!” Ashley started up towards the house. “Does this asylum happen to have a phone? Do taxis make it out to never-never land?”
Jay’s frustration and anger of the last week reached a boiling point. She shoved the taller woman in the chest, pushing her back a couple of feet. “My sister is nuts for talking to you!”
Ashley caught her balance and faced her small roadblock. “See! You just agreed that she was nuts! At least she believed me when I said JT needs to be slapped with a restraining order!”
“Whose bad taste was it to date him in the first place if he doesn’t understand the word ‘breakup’?” The blonde put her hands on her hips and faced off with the EMT.
“He was cute, a charmer and I was new in town. I made a mistake. I hear I’m not the only one who did. Where’s Tiffany?” shot back Ashley.
“Who told you…” Jay’s eye’s narrowed. “Exactly how long have you been talking to my sister?”
“Look, you and Temp are tight. I know this. She told me. If she believes me and brought me here, don’t you think you should give me the benefit of the doubt?” Ashley spread her hands out in frustration. “If I didn’t think that this was a horrible misunderstanding, why would I come to your house, with your parents and all of your sisters? Why would your sister bring me here?”
The blonde took a deep breath and actually thought about what Ashley was telling her. The fact that Temp did bring her here as opposed to tracking the EMT down and disemboweling her did work in Ashley’s favor. “Okay, you have 2 minutes to explain what happened.” Jay crossed her arms over her chest.
Ashley took a deep breath and let it out. “I moved up here from Pittsburgh.” At Jay’s raised eyebrow, “Kansas. I felt that with my… lifestyle… I would have a better time up here than down there. My parents don’t quite, understand.” She looked down at the ground, then up at Jay. “I am bi-sexual. I like both sexes.” Ashley flinched and waited for the explosion. Most lesbians she knew didn’t take ‘bi-sexual’ really well. The explosion never came. Jay just stood there, tapping her foot and waiting. “I think if I swung one way or the other, my parents would be more understanding. I got my EMT license and moved up here. I met JT at a party one of my co-workers threw. He was so charming. He listened to me and damn it, he’s good looking. We started dating and the real JT started showing through. I broke up with him months ago, but JT refuses to believe I broke up with him. No one breaks up with JT, because JT is so perfect.” This last part was said with a sarcastic tone and a twist to her mouth.
Jay relaxed her stance. “True now. Were you dating JT when you slept with me?” She peered into blue eyes that she found so captivating.
“No. You are the first person who has even piqued my interest in a long time.” Ashley’s gave her a half grin. “You kind of bowled me over. One look at you and I was gone.”
The tech was charmed in spite of herself. “Yeah? Lust at first site?” she teased.
Ashley looked sheepish. “Kind of. You certainly made my hormones stand up and take notice. But I like to think that there is more between us than just sex.” She looked hopefully at the blonde.
Jay exhaled and blew her bangs off her forehead. “Tell you what, you survive my family this afternoon, and you get a second chance. Otherwise,” and Jay grinned evilly, “I help them hide the body.”
Ashley stuck her hand out. “Deal.”
Jay gripped the EMT’s hand, feeling an electrical shock run through her at the touch. “Deal.”
With an evil grin Jay dragged Ashley to the family festivities; quickly Ashley was introduced to the whole clan. One by one, the sisters took it on themselves to give the EMT the third degree about what would happen if she hurt their sister again and about the whole JT fiasco. After being put through the wringer by the whole family, the sisters decided to accept the EMT on a conditional trial basis. While they liked her, she had already hurt Justice once. The Virtues invited Ashley to play in the traditional soccer match. Behind the row of eager faces, the men in the family were making frantic gestures indicating that accepting would be a very bad idea. The brunette declined the offer to join and volunteered to run the first aid stand instead. She got a row of thumbs up from the guys and looks of disappointment from the sisters.
The family game went on without a hitch. Ashley’s EMT skills were greatly appreciated by the end of the match. A sprained ankle, a black eye and a bruised nose later, it was determined that once again, the blonde team; made up of Jay, Hope, Charity, and Temp, had defeated the brunette team, which consisted of Faith, Patience, Chastity and Piety. While Temperance was a brunette, she played on the blonde team. As children, separating Justice and Temperance was quickly determined to be a bad idea, as they would throw terrible temper-tantrums when separated for any length of time.
Seeing Jay all sweaty and in soccer shorts running up and down the field did something to Ashley. While all the other family members were talking and replaying the match with their spectators, the EMT leaned over and whispered something in the blonde’s ear. She punctuated the comment with a slow lick up the blonde’s neck that ended with a nip to the ear. Jay’s face turned bright red. She grabbed Ashley’s hand, let out a quick goodbye to the rest of the family, and dragged the EMT towards her car. Behind them, there was an exchange of looks, then people started reaching in their pockets for money. Temperance and Hope high-fived each other and then went to collect their winnings.
The door to the apartment opened quietly. The figure eased in and listened. He could hear the faint sounds of the shower running in the bedroom. He nodded to himself and then moved to the kitchen. He pulled out two coffee mugs, milk, sugar, and coffee. He poured water and coffee in the machine and started it brewing. He then dug around in the cabinets and pulled out some pans. He heard the water shut off and smiled. He started making omelets and hummed a song he heard on the radio on the way over.
“Put your hands up slow. Lock them behind your head and then turn around,” came an authoritive voice from behind him. It was punctuated by the click of a gun cocking. The man slowly followed the instructions. It was hard to tell who was more surprised; the blonde in a towel holding a gun on the intruder, or the man upon seeing who was holding a gun on him.
“Rollins! What the fuck are you doing in my girlfriend’s apartment?” he yelled, removing his hands from his head.
“Put your hands back up there, JT.” Jay wiggled the gun at him. “You are breaking and entering. I think that’s grounds for termination, don’t you? Getting arrested and all.” She smirked at him. “How did you get in? Ashley never gave you a key.”
“She did. I just lost it. I used my lockpick gun.” Admitted JT. “Now, why are you in my girlfriend’s apartment?”
“Number one, that is breaking and entering. Number two, she’s not your girlfriend anymore. Number three, you are so busted asshole.” Jay never wavered in holding the gun on JT.
“Ashley?” called Jay. “I need you to call the police. You have an uninvited guest.”
The brunette walked into the room holding a cordless phone, wearing a robe. She glared at JT while she started dialing. A lightbulb seemed to go on in JT’s head as he took in their state of undress.
“Bitch,” he snarled as he advanced towards Jay.
“Uh uh uh” cautioned Jay as she poked him in the chest with her gun. “You are not in a good position right now.”
JT ground his teeth for a moment, then shrugged. “If I go down, you go down.” He said.
“What do you mean?” asked Ashley. She stopped short of hitting the talk button.
“I mean, that if you call the cops, and this goes on record, Jay’s perversion is going to go on record,” smirked JT. “You might be the golden child, but this is the bible belt, and you are a freak of nature.”
“Shit,” muttered Jay, and lowered the gun a bit. The she brought it back up. “It doesn’t matter, I can get a job anywhere. I’m a good forensics scientist.”
“That might be true, but your family is here.” The man chuckled. “So what are your options here?”
Ashley put the phone down and put her hands on her lover’s shoulders. “I can’t ask you to give up your family.” She looked at JT. “Get out. I’m filing a restraining order on you. Don’t come near me again.” She hissed at him.
He lowered his hands slowly, watching Jay the whole time. She never moved. He sauntered out of the house. “This isn’t over, Rollins,” he warned, then shut the door behind him.
Jay let out the breath she was holding and dropped her arms. Ashley hugged her from behind. “This is going to be bad.” She whispered.
It was with great reluctance that she went to work on Monday. She was sure JT had been spreading his poison. The evidence that the man had been busy started as soon as the tech walked into work. People averted their eyes, whispered conversations stopped when she came close. Jay was close to tears by the time Rodger found her hiding in her cube.
“Jay, what happened?” he asked. “Word is that JT caught you in a compromising position with a woman this weekend. I thought you were with Ashley.”
“I was,” she whispered. “The asshole broke in and tried to make Ashley breakfast. I caught him and had him at gunpoint. Bastard said that if we didn’t call the cops, he wouldn’t say anything.” She sniffed. “I can’t believe I fell for it.
Just then, Jacob appeared in the door to her cube. “Jay, I need to talk to you.”
Jay wiped her eyes and nodded. Rodger patted her shoulder encouragingly as she passed him to follow Jacob into his office. JT stood outside Jacob’s office, smirking. The blonde could feel her hands tightening into fists. She just wanted to smash the man’s face in. Jay resisted the temptation and walked by the man into Jacob’s office.
“Shut the door,” he said.
Jay shut the door and sat down quietly in the chair in front of Jacob’s desk.
“JT made quite an allegation against you this morning.”
“I’m sure he did. What did he say?” she asked, tiredly.
“That you were caught in a comprising position by JT and then held at gunpoint until he promised not to say anything.” Replied Jacob, folding his hands on his desk.
“Well, if you mean that I caught him breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, and happened to pull my service weapon on the intruder before I knew who he was, then yes, I did.”
Jacob blinked at her. “No, he seemed to have left that out of his story.”
“I’m sure,” the blonde muttered.
The man sighed and rubbed his face tiredly. “What is exactly is your relationship with his ex-girlfriend.”
Jay swallowed hard and said a quiet prayer. “She’s my girlfriend.” She admitted.
Jacob sighed. “Ok, there is no reason for me to fire you for being a homosexual. So don’t worry about that.” Jay let out a sigh of relief and sagged a little in the chair. “However, this is Kansas. As much as we like to think we are in the 21st century, this is the bible belt and Reverend Fred Phelps lives just down the road. I can’t say how your co-workers will treat you. You don’t have to worry about me.” The man looked her straight in the eye and silently promised her that.
Jay could feel tears of relief gathering at the corners of her eyes.
“Now I know you have work to do, go do it.” Jacob dismissed her with a wave of his hand.
The tech exited the office and went to her desk. She sent off a quick email telling Rodger she was ok, and then started work on one of the hundreds of reports that always seemed to come up.
Throughout the day, the blonde found that she had more supporters than she thought. Almost everyone in the office made a point to come to her desk and tell her what a good job they thought she was doing. Some of the old school forensic guys really surprised her with their gruff but accepting attitude. By the end of the day, Jay’s confidence had returned, and she could see JT fuming as she left for her car. His plan had backfired.
She met Rodger at Temp’s bar later that evening. After the day the blonde had, she needed to be near her friends.
Jay had ordered her usual fish and chips with a beer, when Rodger slid onto the stool next to her.
“Girl, I heard you had one hell of a day.”
The blonde smiled at bit. “Yeah, JT outted me, but I think it backfired on him.”
“What happened?” Rodger hadn’t been in the office most of the day, he had been taking care of a robbery crime scene.
“Well, JT opened his big mouth and told everyone that I was a dyke,” Jay munched on a fry from her freshly delivered plate. “Everyone seemed to take a step back, realize that I was the same person, and didn’t ostracize me.” She chewed thoughtfully. “I was very surprised. JT was so mad he was spitting nails at the end of the day.” She laughed in memory and sipped her beer.
“I wish I could have been there to see it,” Rodger sipped his own beer and ordered hot wings from the bartender.
“No, I don’t think that would have been a good idea, “ said the senior tech slowly. “Everyone wondered if we were dating anyway, so me coming out as a lesbian…”
“Might have raised questions about me.” Finished Rodger.
“Especially since you would have defended me so fiercely.” The blonde laid a hand on his forearm. “My protector.” She grinned.
Rodger blushed and ducked his head. “You make it so easy. Everyone loves you. I guess that’s what really frosted JT cookies. You turn out to be some type of sick pervert, and everyone accepts you anyway.”
Jay nibbled on her fish thoughtfully. “You know, I’ve never really had a problem with being gay. I know I’m not completely out, with a big purple ‘L’ tattooed on my forehead and all, but I’m not really in the closet. I don’t hide it, I just don’t really talk about it. I think I would have said something at work, if it ever came up. I never really got the feeling that it’s something to hide, except from the throwback rednecks that have a fit when people of color associate with white people.”
Rodger stole a fry and considered Jay’s words. The prevailing attitude that he had encountered was if you were a generally good person, worked hard, helped others and generally kept your nose clean, most mid-westerners didn’t seem to care if you were gay. As long as you didn’t go around introducing yourself with ‘Hi, my name is Rodger and I’m a homosexual’. If you made it such a small part of your total personality, like the fact that you preferred blondes over brunettes, short over tall, it didn’t seem like a big deal. It was only with the in your face ‘I’m here and I’m queer so get used to it’ that seemed to raise the collective hackles. Certainly the tolerance level for people like the Reverend Fred Phelps had dropped considerably in the last few years. At the last Kansas City Pride festival, the police hadn’t allowed the good Reverend and his flock within 5 blocks of the festival. And they had made no bones about the fact they thought he was an asshole either.
Maybe the world was changing.
Then he shrugged. Deep thoughts on a Monday night at a sports bar. He definitely needed to drink more beer.
“On a happy note,” Rodger changed the subject. “How are you and the Amazon working out?”
A huge, goofy looking grin spread over Jay’s face. “Fine,” she replied.
“By the look on your face, you must be talking about Ashley,” Temp had walked over and stole a fry off of Jay’s plate.
Jay slapped at her hands. “Hey, you work here, get your own fries.”
“So what happened after the party?” Rodger interlaced his fingers and rested his chin on top of them, batting his eyes. “Inquiring minds want to know. Especially stranded best friends.”
“Oh god Rodger, I’m sorry. I was um, distracted. I didn’t mean to leave you there!” Jay looked properly chastised.
The man waved his hand. “No problem, as long as I get details!”
“Ok, we made it back to her place, since it was closer,” the tech blushed. “And had wonderful make up sex. Then we woke up, had some more fun in the shower, then came out to find we weren’t alone in the apartment. That’s when the whole JT thing happened.”
“Whoa whoa, wait a minute. Time out.” Temp made a ‘T’ with her hands. “Back up. JT thing?”
“JT broke into Ashley’s apartment to surprise her with breakfast I guess. He got the surprise instead. I came out in a towel and pointed my gun at him.” Temperance’s eyes grew large. “He made a deal that if Ash didn’t call the police, he wouldn’t out me. Of course, he outted me anyway, and everyone at work was like, whatever JT. Pissed him off too. So Ashley was supposed to spend today getting a restraining order.” Jay looked worried. “I think JT is seriously unstable and the fact he was issued a gun really frightens me.”
“What did Jacob say? I know you told him.” Asked Temp as she rubbed Jay’s back.
“That JT didn’t mention that I caught him breaking in to my girlfriend’s apartment and that’s why I pulled a gun on him. I think he’s already investigating JT for all the leaks our office has suddenly sprung.”
Temp thought this over a minute. “Ok, no more work talk. You are here to relax. Did you see the last Chiefs game?” The three fell into a lighthearted discussion about Kansas City’s favorite fall subject, the football team. The rest of the night was spent in laughter and humorous discussions.
The weeks that followed were a revelation to Jay. Her relationship with Ashley continued to grow stronger, They had yet to move out of the honeymoon stage and she was in a constant state of hungry need to touch her lover a state she hoped would continue on and not diminish with time. Temp had teased them, saying it was a good thing that they were lesbians, because by this point, someone would be knocked up..
Despite JT’s efforts, work remained the same, only one or two of the people at the Crime Lab treated Jay any differently than before the worm had outted her. A few of the guys A few of the guys had pulled Rodger aside and asked if he was brokenhearted about finding out that Jay would never date him. He had seriously told them that if Jay wasn’t going to date him, at least she wasn’t dating any other man.
The Lawrence PD had made no headway finding the killer and was still convinced that their main suspect was guilty. Relations between Jay and Lieutenant Glass had deteriorated to the point that all calls from the Lawrence PD went directly to Jacob. The DNA had yet to come back, but unless the suspect had someone else’s fingerprints glued to his thumb and work a pair of boots 2 sizes too big, he wasn’t the killer.
Ashley had finally gotten a weekend off, after working the shifts she had traded for her car delivery to the Crime Lab the night she and Jay had met. The two decided a night on the town at Kansas City’s hottest gay nightspot was just the ticket. Rodger had bribed his way into the invite by offering to be the designated driver for the evening. The three started out with a nice meal at the Cheesecake Factory on the Plaza, a high-class shopping district on the Missouri side of Kansas City. After an enjoyable dinner, they arrived at The Cabaret, located just behind the Plaza.
The Cabaret was a sprawling complex, taking up most of a block. There was only one entrance, and 4 doormen zealously guarded it. After paying cover, you could walk to your right, which lead into a sports bar-type area with a huge fish tank behind one of the bars. There were pool tables, pinball machines and video games set up around the place as well as TVs in every possible corner of the ceiling. The two bathrooms for the upstairs were there as well.
If you went left from the front door, you went down a mirrored hallway that led to a small dance floor and another bar. This dance floor played hard-core techno all night long, and was connected near the back bar to the sports bar area by a set of stairs. Those two rooms were the original Cabaret. The owners had since expanded into the buildings beside and behind the original club. Now a ramp led down behind the dance floor into a seating area that had been decorated to resemble an outdoor garden eating area. A small window in the back wall allowed you to order food to eat, making sure the Cabaret was allowed to stay open until 3am because of Missouri liquor laws.
If you followed another hallway to the left of that, you passed more bathrooms and a patron was led into a coffee bar, complete with couches and tables. Behind the coffee bar was the last dance floor and stage, easily as big as the rest of the club combined. Here was where all the action took place late at night; from the pumping house music and the packed dance floor, to the Flo show. Flo was a drag queen that emceed the most popular drag show in all of Kansas City. On Sunday nights, Flo hosted a $5 beer bust with all of the proceeds from the beer bust going to the AIDS hospice in Kansas City. Everyone who was anyone was at the Cab on Sunday nights. All of the other gay bars in the city conceded defeat and you could rarely find one open on Sunday nights.
Ashley paid everyone’s cover at the door, then dragged Jay off to the left and towards the pumping techno music she could hear coming down the hallway. Before Jay had a chance to glance around the room to see if any of her friends were there, Ashley had her on the dance floor and ground against her in time with the beat. All other thoughts flew from the blonde’s head as she moved her body in rhythm with her lover’s. After dancing together through countless songs, Jay finally broke away and headed for the bar. The blonde got up to the bar and shouted her drink order to the bartender. As he was making her drinks, she felt someone come up next to her. She turned and looked into Tiffany’s eyes.
“So who’s the Amazon,” the woman questioned as she put her hands familiarly around the blonde’s waist.
The tech shrugged off her ex’s unwanted advances. “My girlfriend.” She said shortly and turned away.
“Touchy, aren’t we?” sneered Tiffany. “Were you fucking her before we broke up?”
Jay whirled around to face the woman. “No, I left the sleeping around to you.” She snapped. Just then, a tall body pressed up against her and she relaxed into once she recognized Ashley’s perfume. “Ash honey, let me introduce you to someone. This is Tiffany. Tiffany, this is Ashley, my girlfriend.”
Ashley looked over the other woman, taking in her pinched features, dark brown hair and eyes and overly endowed figure. She snorted. “Rodger and Temp were right, she is ugly.” Ashley received a sharp elbow from Jay and was pleased to notice that Tiffany’s face darkened even in the club lights. “Now if you don’t mind,” she addressed the woman, “My girlfriend and I are leaving.” With that she grabbed the drinks that Jay had just paid for and followed her blonde lover towards the sports bar area.
“Whatever did you see in her?” asked the EMT as they entered the sports bar area and the music level dropped to a low roar.
Jay sighed and found an empty table and sat down. “Let’s see, she’s smart, funny, and is really a nice person.”
Ashley snorted as she sat down as well. “That’s not what Temp and Rodger said.”
“That’s because they love me and anyone who would cheat on me must be unworthy of my attention.” Commented Jay.
“Did she say why she cheated?” asked Ashley as she sipped her drink.
Jay studied her hands. “She said I was awful in bed.”
The brunette sprayed her drink out across the table. “She what?” Ashley choked out. “Honey, I don’t know what her deal is, but you have absolutely no problems in that arena.”
Jay looked up. “Really?”
“Truly,” assure Ashley.
Jay grasped her lover’s hand and interlocked their fingers. That just made her whole night.
The next Monday at work, Jay walked in whistling with her morning cup of coffee. She had a nice weekend with her girlfriend, all of her reports were caught up, and she was not scheduled to be in court all week.
As she passed by Jacob’s office to go to her desk, the sound of her name bellowing out from his office caused her to stop.
“Justice! Get in here now!” the man was standing behind his desk, face red and veins protruding from his forehead.
Uh oh. “Yes boss?” she gingerly stepped into his office, prepared to bolt at any sudden move.
Her boss threw the paper down on his desk, facing her. “Did you see this?” he pointed a shaking finger at an articled titled ‘Alleged incompetence in the Johnson County Crime Lab causes killer to walk free’.
Jay could feel her own temper rising. “It’s about the Lawrence case, isn’t it?”
“An inside source is quoted as saying ‘the efforts of Crime Scene Technician J. Rollins have compromised this case. I doubt if there will ever be a conviction at this point.’ Who do you think the inside source is?” Jacob thundered.
“Um, JT?” tried the blonde.
“I called the reporter to see if he would give me the name of his source. The asshole takes the whole confidentiality of an informant very seriously. He refused to give me a name.”
Jay thought a moment. “I think we should hold a press conference. I would like to present my side of the story. We won’t release any of the hold back information, but maybe something the killer has done will get attention and we will find another crime scene. Not everything has been put into VICAP.”
Jacob rubbed his chin, considering the idea. “Are you all right with going in front of cameras? I know how you feel about the press.”
“No,” the blonde responded, “but I don’t see another way out of this.”
“I’ll call the press officer to set this up for this afternoon.” Jacob picked up the phone. “Well? What are still doing here?”
Jay almost ran out of the office.
The low roar of many conversations going on in one place came through the open door. Jay peeked into the press room with anxious eyes. The room was full of reporters from both the print media and the television media. She swallowed hard and clutched her notes.
The press officer came up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder, causing the tech to jump and spin around with a yelp.
“I’ll go out and introduce you,” the man said, ignoring her nervousness. “Then you come out, make your statement and take a few questions. If you get in over your head, I’ll jump in.”
The man walked out stood behind the podium with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department seal on it. “Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention please?” He waited a moment for the noise to die down. “If you will take your seats, we can begin the press conference.” He waited for everyone to find their seats before beginning again. “The Sheriff’s Office called this Press Conference in response to allegations about one of our crime scene technicians. J. Rollins is one of our best technicians. She has a closure rate unmatched through out the state. We loaned her to the Lawrence Police Department to help with their investigation at the Lawrence PD’s invitation. Officer Rollins’ integrity has never been called into question before, despite her 5 years of service to this office. If you care to do your own research on the subject, you may check all of the court records with her as the primary crime scene technician.” He paused for a moment. “I will bring her out so she may respond to these allegations herself. Ladies and Gentlemen, J. Rollins.”
Jay walked out to the podium, hiding her nervousness deep down and pulling out her ‘court’ face. She stood behind the podium and adjusted the microphone. “Thank you Mr. Curtis.”
“The article in the Kansas City Star highlighted a few issues that I would like to address, then I’ll take questions. Number one: The fingerprints found at both crime scenes were badly smudged and were my own fingerprints. This is false. The fingerprints were partials, due to the manner in which they were left, not collected. My fingerprints, as well as all other people allowed access to the crime scene were taken and compared with the partial. There was no match with mine or any other law enforcement agent on scene. Number two: The blood and DNA samples found at the crime scene were contaminated and unusable due to improper collection. This is untrue. The DNA samples from the first apartment match the two sisters and one other person presumed to be the killer. The killer was a non-secretor, so there was no way to match the tissue samples collected under one of the victim’s nails with the rape kit. In the second apartment, the DNA collected matched the victim’s as well as the DNA sample collected from under her fingernails matched the DNA from the first apartment victim. Meaning that the person who killed the sisters in the first apartment killed the victim in the second apartment. The rape kit from the second apartment also came back as a non-secretor, so it is probable that the same man raped all of them as well killed them. Number three: The man who police had in custody had to be released because of the questions raised in points one and two. The man police had in custody voluntarily submitted to fingerprinting and DNA samples. The fingerprints did not match, and the DNA results came back as a negative as well. There were footprints left at the scene as well, and not only did the suspect not own a pair of those particular type of boot, the boots that left the prints were also two sizes too big for him. All of this evidence points away from the man the police had in custody and that is why they released him.”
Jay took a drink of water from the glass on the podium. “Now I will answer a few questions.” The room erupted as reporters vied for the blonde’s attention. She called on a reporter that the press officer had suggested would ask good and fair questions. “Yes, Mr. Thompson.”
“Greg Thompson, Channel 5 News. Are you saying that there have been no issues with the forensic evidence between the Crime Lab and the Lawrence PD?”
“Yes. As far as I know, the Lawrence PD is happy with the work we have done for them. I’m sure you will call and ask them after you leave the room.” The reports laughed at her joke.
Jay pointed at another reporter, towards the back that Mr. Curtis had mentioned worked for the Kansas City Star. “Mr. Wilson, your question please?”
“Tom Wilson, Kansas City Star. Does your office have any other leads besides what you have given us?” he asked.
“We are still developing a forensics case, but we leave the crime solving to the qualified detectives of the various agencies we work with. Our job is to make sure that the right person is punished and we can prove it in court. Next please?” She pointed to a person down in front, that Mr. Curtis had no information on.
“Patricia Cox, The Ledger. Is it true that you are a lesbian and were caught having intercourse with one of the other investigators on this case?”
Jay looked stunned. “What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?” she sputtered.
“The public has the right to know if you are allowing your own personal prejudices interfere with your work on this case.” Responded the woman smugly.
“Ok, the answer to your question is that I am in a committed relationship with someone who is not connected to law enforcement in any way. I am not sleeping with any investigators on this case, who, incidentally, are all men, thereby precluding the lesbian issue.”
The press officer stepped in and cut off Jay before anything else could be said. “Okay, since the questions have delved into the non relevant, I’d have to say we are done here. Thank you for coming ladies and gentlemen. Good day.” He grabbed jays arm and steered her out of the room to the sounds of bedlam from the reporters.
“You did very good,” he complimented the blonde.
“Thank you. I hate the press. Where as one time I thought they served a purpose, now I just find that they represent the lowest common denominator of our society.”
Curtis laughed at that. “Some time, we are going to have to meet for drinks and discuss that.” He winked. “You bring your partner and I’ll bring mine.” And with that, he was off, hurrying to his next appointment. Jay smiled, feeling better for the first time since she walked into Jacob’s office.
The blonde was whistling a tune that was stuck in her head as she walked by Jacob’s office.
“Justice,” he yelled when he saw her walk by.
“You called, boss?” Jay knew she had done nothing wrong so far so she wasn’t worried.
“This just came in over the fax. You might want to read it.” He handed her a couple of piece of paper. Her eyes widened as she read through the report. She looked up at him in shock.
“Is this for real?” she asked.
“Getting ready to call the Denver PD to find out. Would save a lot of headache if it is.”
The fax report had listed that the Denver PD had a suspect in custody for an unrelated crime. His thumbprint had popped up in connection with the Lawrence killing spree and the Denver PD was asking what the Lawrence PD wanted done with their suspect.
“Get a fucking DNA sample, “ murmured Jay as her boss called up the Denver precinct.
Jacob chuckled as he turned his attention to the phone.
Jay walked into Temp’s bar and threw her arms around a tall brunette that was sitting at the counter watching a game and sipping a beer.
The woman turned in her embrace and returned it. “Not that I’m complaining, but what was that for?”
“They caught the guy,” Jay burbled happily from her spot nestled in her girlfriend’s chest. “And JT is under suspension while they investigate his involvement of leaking information to the press. After the reporter was forced to print a retraction about his article, he had no problem pointing a finger at JT.”
Ashley kissed the top of her lover’s head. “That’s great, Jay. I have good news as well.”
“Oh yeah?” Green eyes rolled up to meet happy blue ones. “You’re pregnant and going to have my child so I have to make an honest woman of you?” hazard the blonde.
The EMT started laughing. “No, but we could hit the tabloid circuit if it was true. Ashley paused looking at the blonde nestled in her cleavage. "Jay would you still love me if I was a lowly Firewoman for the local firehouse here?"
Jay blinked up from her happy place. Ashley had mentioned her desire to switch to a more adrenalin pumping section of her field, and while Jay had her concerns especially about her lover’s safety she couldn’t put down Ashley’s dream. "Yeah, I suppose I could love a big strapping firewoman."
Ashley gave a relieved grin, " Good, I was approved this afternoon!"
Jay let out a whoop of happiness. If Ashley was happy she’d be happy for her. Plus the move in careers meant that Ashley would be relocating to Overland Park with Jay, rather than the two commuting back and forth between the apartments. Temp came out and saw Jay’s happy dance. “I guess you told her, huh?” she grinned.
“Yep,” beamed Ashley. “But she had some good news of her own. They caught the guy.” At Temperance’s raised eyebrow she clarified. “The guy who did the killings in Lawrence.”
“Oh really? How did that happen?” asked Temp.
“He was picked up for something stupid like loitering or public drunkenness or something. One of the arresting officers noticed what looked like old blood on his boots. There was enough of it on his boots that the officer brought the guy in for more questioning. They ran his fingerprints and popped up with a query from Lawrence saying they were looking for the guy.” Jay shrugged. “Not very dramatic but effective.”
"Well, I think both your pieces of good news deserves a toast. On me." Declared Temp, walking behind the bar.
Jay rolled her eyes, "Yeah that’s a hardship when you manage the bar."
Temp swatted her with a towel and then handed Jay and Ashley a drink. Taking one for herself they clinked the glasses. "To us," said Temperance. "The most kick ass females we know!"
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