After So Long

By Wendy Arthur

Sequel to After The Storm , After the Honeymoon, After Vermont and Aftermath


This romantic drama is an Uber, however all characters are created by me.

All characters depicted, names used, and incidents portrayed in this story are fictitious. No identification with actual persons is intended nor should be inferred. Any resemblance of the characters portrayed to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

The registered trademarks mentioned in this story are © of their respective owners. No infringement of their rights is intended, and no profit is gained.

This story contains descriptions and scenes of mild violence but nothing too scary this time. Readers who are disturbed by or sensitive to this type of depiction may wish to read something other than this story.

This story depicts a sexual relationship between consenting adult women. If such a story frightens you, you better click on the X in the top right corner of your screen right away.

* * * * * *

Many, many thanks to my beta-reader, Norsebard. Your help is very much appreciated and continues to be most welcome.

This is the next installment in a series of stories (After the Storm, After the Honeymoon, After Vermont and Aftermath). I would suggest that, to understand and enjoy the characters and situations fully, you should probably start at the beginning J

Comments and/or opinions can be sent to or left at



Chapter 1

Special Agent CJ Carson sat at her desk in the LA field office. With her head buried in her work and a pen clasped between her teeth, she flicked through yet another case waiting to be solved. She looked up to see her colleagues – Agents Jamie Green, Mikey Ryan and Ethan Matthews – all doing exactly the same thing. She smiled, realizing that for the first time that she liked all of her team. It was a nice feeling. And it was about to get better.

Assistant Director Mark Mulroney held the tray of coffees and muffins in his outstretched hands as he carefully made his way along the corridor. When he got to the closed door at his destination, he kicked it with his foot having no free hand to open it.

CJ glanced up at the other side of the closed door with a frown. She saw Jamie throw her a puzzled look. “Come in,” she shouted.

The door didn't open and… there was that thumping sound again. CJ got up and walked towards it, hearing Mark on the other side.

Open the door, CJ .”

“Sir?” She opened it and found her AD with a sheepish grin on his face. “Are these for us?” she asked, gesturing to the beverages.

“Indeed, they are,” the tall man said, walking into the room. “We have a piece of news to celebrate.”

All four agents raised their eyebrows in question. As CJ went to sit on the edge of Matthews' desk, Mark set a coffee in front of each person and added a muffin too.

He stood in the center of the room facing all of them and made his little announcement. “Since we're all so fabulous, I received confirmation this morning that our experimental team is no longer experimental. We've been deemed a Specialist Unit. It's official guys. Well done!” Mark finished with a wide grin on his face. The four faces looking back at him were smiling but nobody spoke. “Well?” Mark squeaked.

“That's amazing news, Sir,” CJ said. She was fighting with herself to remain professional when she really just wanted to hug everyone. This was indeed great news. It would mean her permanent position in LA was even more permanent... unless the Bureau wanted to move the unit. “Uh, Sir?”

“Yes, CJ?”

“We can stay here, right? I mean, they don't want to move us to Quantico or anything?”

“Heck no. We're all staying right here. The Section Chief would bolt us to the floor if he could.”

The tight smiling faces relaxed and they all laughed in relief. Mark sat down with his own coffee and the agents chattered wildly, asking the boss who told him, what was said about their work and anything else they could get out of him.

CJ was elated. And she couldn't wait to get home and tell her wife. ‘Aww hell, she'd want to know right away. I'll call her cell ,' the raven-haired agent thought. Picking up the phone, she dialed Kate's number.

Kate Marshall.”

“Well, that was very official,” CJ purred into the receiver.

Oh hi, honey. That wasn't your usual number calling?” the actress quizzed.

“Ah, I'm at Ethan's desk.”

Trying to catch me out, huh?” Kate teased.

“Nope. Just wanted to hear your sweet voice and tell you the good news,” CJ grinned.

Oh? What's the news?”

“Our team was confirmed as an official Specialist Unit today!” the agent said excitedly.

Oh wow, honey. Congratulations to you all! That's awesome!”

“It sure is. I'm pretty darn happy about it.”

I can tell. I wish I could give you a proper celebratory hug right now ,” Kate purred.

“Oh my. I'll hold you to that… tonight.”

Nice. So apart from that, how's your day going?”

“Fine, actually. Lots of paperwork today, a couple of new cases… nothing too scary. How about you, honey? I didn't call at a bad time, did I?”

You sure didn't and I told you, there's never a bad time for you to call me. I was just heading to the cafeteria for a ten minute break ,” the petite actress said.

“Cool. What time are you finishing up today?”

Not sure. We've had a few re-takes but worse than that, a large part of the set collapsed so they had to close that section off .”

“Did anyone get hurt?”

No, thankfully. Nicole was standing near it but no one was injured .”

“Okay, good,” CJ said, her shoulders relaxing again. “I should go and get on with all this, Katie but I'll leave here as soon as I can.”

I bet you will, Agent Carson .”

CJ could just imagine her wife's mischievous face and wiggling eyebrow. She cupped her hand around her mouth and the phone. “You are sooooo getting it when I get home,” she whispered.

Kate giggled. “ Oh I'm counting on it, wife of mine .”

“Right, I'm gonna go before I… well, you know.”

Uh huh… bye for now, honey. I love you so much ,” the blonde husked.

CJ shivered pleasantly. “Bye, baby. I love you too.” She hung up the phone and took a deep breath, trying to calm her racing pulse. Kate just had to speak to her sometimes and she became aroused. ‘ My God, we've been married for more than two years and I'm still completely in love. So awesome! '

It had been a few months since they'd returned from Christmas in Montana and things had been going great since then. Both women were busy at work but made sure they had quality time together too. Valentine's Day was particularly fresh in CJ's mind. Kate had swept her off her feet – not literally, of course – by romancing her to the point where her heart almost burst, then driving her to a state of delirious pleasure later that night on the couch… and on the kitchen table and in bed. The agent's body tingled at the memory every time she thought of it.

Another piece of news had just come their way. Kate's brother, Eddie, had been given a transfer to San Francisco. He'd be living much closer to the actress now and they were looking forward to spending a little more time together. His impending move brought him closer to a woman in his company he was attracted to, so he was looking forward to so many aspects of his new life on the West Coast.

But by far the biggest piece of news was that Kate had been nominated for an Emmy. The day the actress had been told, CJ saw a side of her never quite revealed before. A true child-like joy and excitement had burst out of the blonde and the agent had been thankful the display was saved all for her. Kate had gotten home and bounced all over the house, jumping up and down in CJ's arms as she told her wife the news. The tall agent had thought it was incredibly adorable and she'd even gone so far as to jump up and down with Kate in her merriment. The big night was coming up quite soon and Kate begged CJ to be her date. The agent wasn't one for such publicity but she was honored to be at this special event with her wife.

* * * * * *

Since the director and the rest of the crew had given up trying to film until the set was cleared up and rebuilt, Kate got home at 6pm and changed into her jeans and a shirt. She grabbed the tennis ball from the front porch and went out for a long walk with Kamali. The big German Shepherd bounced along beside her until she threw the ball but once he had it he never gave it up. Kate was kinda thankful since it was now covered in doggy drool.

When she arrived back at the house, she heard the phone ringing and lifted the receiver. “Hello?” Silence… and a sneeze. Kate tried again. “Hello? Who's there?”

CJ?” a tiny voice queried.

Kate knew it was a child and suddenly realized who was calling. “Shannon? Is that you?” The actress' mind briefly flashed back to her wife's emotional face as CJ described her meeting with the girls after their father's murder. The agent had been so very taken with them and had connected with Shannon immediately.

Yes. I wanted to talk to CJ. Did I get the wrong number? She gave me three ,” the little girl said shyly.

“No, Shannon, this is CJ's phone too but she isn't home from work yet. Would you like me to take a message for her?”

Who are you?”

Kate smiled. “I'm Kate. And I'm very happy to talk to you, Shannon. CJ told me all about you.”

She did?” Shannon was a little more confident now.

“Yes, she did. She likes you and Lucy very much.”

Are you CJ's wife?”

Kate's eyes popped open wide. “What makes you say that, sweetie?”

'Cause she told me her wife is called Kate .”

“Oh. Well, that's me.”

The little girl chuckled. “ I remember a girl at my kindergarten had two mommies.

Kate tried not to laugh at the cheeky little voice. “Really? And what did you think about that?”

“It doesn't matter if you have mommies or daddies. My friend Sarah said her mommies love her very much, so that's good.

Kate was astounded at this little girl's intelligence… and in awe at the simplicity in her statement. “I think that's a great way to think of it, Shannon. You're very smart.”

I am?”

“Yes,” the actress laughed.

Lucy isn't smart yet ,” Shannon stated, very matter-of-fact.

“Well, I'm sure she is but she's younger than you,” Kate explained.

But she doesn't talk. She should talk by now .”

Kate was puzzled by the last remark but got distracted by a shuffling noise in the background as someone took the phone from the little girl.

Hello? Ms. Carson?”

“Yes. My name's Kate.”

I'm so sorry, Kate. Shannon called this number without asking me. I'm Helen Ross .”

“Hi, Helen. Are you Shannon's aunt?”

Yes. Are you Agent Carson's wife?

Kate blinked again. “Yes. She's not home yet. Would you like to leave a message for her?”

I'd just like to keep in touch. Shannon talks about her all the time and I think it would help if CJ popped by to see her .”

“I'm sure CJ would love to see the girls,” Kate said cautiously.

Well, perhaps you could both come by. I'm still staying with a friend in Sherman Oaks until things get sorted out .”

“Oh, that's not too far away from us. I'll let CJ know and we'll arrange a visit. Can I get you on this number?” Kate asked, looking at the caller ID.

Yes. Would you like to say goodbye to Shannon?”

“Yes please, Helen. Thanks.”

Okay bye .”



“Hi Shannon. I just wanted to say goodbye but I'll get to meet you soon, okay?”

You will?” the girl said excitedly.

“Yes and I'll bring CJ. How's that?”

Shannon squeaked. “ That's great. Bye, Kate .”

“Bye, sweetie.”

The line went dead and Kate held her hand to her chest. “What a sweetheart,” she mumbled to herself. “Just wait ‘til CJ hears this one.”

* * * * * *

As CJ finished up her work for the night, Mark came into the office. He sat in the chair opposite her and pursed his lips, flicking through a couple of papers in his hand.

“You okay, Sir?”

“Hmm, oh yes. Here's some info for you.”

The agent took the offered sheet of paper and looked at it. “Well,” she said, sighing, “I guess our testimony and the evidence did the job.”

“Yes. Coburn is locked up for life… no chance of parole. Good result.”

“They found him guilty on eight counts of murder. I suppose that's all we'll get. He never did give up the location of his father's body.”

“I know. He still might but I suppose it was his final act of revenge against the man.”

“Thanks for the information, Sir.”

“There's more,” Mark said slowly. “Sheila Davenport's sentencing has been delayed again. Her attorney has gone for any stalling tactics he can find, so she'll get another court date. They think she'll appear before the judge again in a month or so.”

“Okay. I guess I'd better check in with the girls then. I tried to stay away… didn't want to confuse them any more than they already are.”

Mulroney handed the other sheet of paper to her. “I asked social services for Sheila's sisters contact number. You can keep that.”

CJ gaped at him for a moment. She had only been able to check on the kids through a third party at social services before now. “How did you get that?”

Mark shrugged. “I know someone.”

The tall agent smirked. “Always good to have contacts.”

“Yep. Go home, CJ. I'll see you tomorrow,” he said, getting up from his chair.

“Goodnight, Sir.”


* * * * * *

CJ pulled the truck up outside the house and a wave of giddiness washed over her at seeing the Mercedes already there. Kate was home. She glanced over at the two horses grazing lazily in their field. The sun was low in the sky, casting a reddish glow over everything and she enjoyed the view for a few seconds, feeling so very glad to be here, as always. She had one of those flashback moments where she thought of a few years ago when she had nowhere to call home – except the cabin – but she had realized after meeting her wife that a place wasn't home to her anymore. Home was wherever Kate was. Sighing happily and gathering her suit jacket from the passenger seat, she headed into the building, locking the door behind her.

“Honey, I'm home!” she shouted, knowing Kate loved it when she did that.

“I'm in the tub, CJ. Get up here!” Kate's voice floated down from upstairs.

A mischievous grin spread across the agent's face and she was totally naked by the time she got to the door of the ensuite. She could smell strawberries and knew Kate was indulging in her favorite scented bubble bath. “Well, hello there,” the tall agent husked in a very smooth, deep voice.

Kate turned her head and gazed at the nude form. “Oh baby, get in here. That body should be wrapped around mine.”

“Well, I hate to kill the mood but I need to pee first,” CJ said, proceeding to do just that.

Kate giggled. “So how was your day at the office, dear?”

“Pretty darn good actually. I cleared up some paperwork that needed doing and before I left tonight…” She paused while the toilet flushed. “I got the news that Coburn was put away for life, no chance of him getting out.”

“Well, I should think so too,” Kate said, leaning forward so that CJ could slip in behind her.

The agent took a long, deep breath and relaxed with an audible exhale. She slipped her arms around Kate under the deep water and kissed the soft skin on her neck.

“Mmmm,” the actress moaned. “I missed you today.”

“Right back at ya.”

“You got a phone call earlier.”

“I did? Who was it?”

“A very intelligent female. Something you want to tell me, CJ?” Kate teased, leaning her head back on CJ's shoulder and turning to look at her.

The taller woman was puzzled for a second until she saw the sparkle in her wife's eyes. “Spit it out, honey. Who was it?”

Kate chuckled. “It was Shannon.”


“Yep. She wanted to talk to you but she settled for me instead. I also spoke to Helen, her aunt. She wants us to go visit them. They're staying in Sherman Oaks right now so I said I'd organize it with you.”

“Great,” CJ said. “It'll be nice to see how the girls interact with the woman. How did Shannon sound?”

“She sounded okay. She's a bright spark, that's for sure.”

“Yeah, she seems to be.”

“She knew I was your wife. She said that it's fine because her friend Sarah from kindergarten has two mommies and they love Sarah very much…” Kate trailed off into a chuckle.

“Uh huh. When I told her that I had a wife, she didn't even bat an eyelid. So simple for kids, huh?”

“Seems like it, honey.”

“So,” the agent said quietly, kissing Kate's ear, “how was your day at work?”

“It was fine. We had to stop shooting for a while because of that set thing and Phil eventually sent us home. Oh, and I called John… told him I couldn't do the producing job after all. I'm just too busy.”

“He's still not started it?”

“Nope. Funding problems, so he has plenty of time to find another producer.”

CJ squeezed a sponge full of water over Kate's breasts – one of her favorite pastimes in the bath – and inhaled the scent of the woman in front of her, feeling every muscle in her body relax. “I love taking a bath with you,” she murmured.

“I love it too.” Kate grinned. “What are you doing to my nipples?”

CJ continued to rasp the sponge over the tips of her wife's breasts, watching them stand to attention. “Playing with them. Is that okay?” she asked quietly.

Kate's breathing had gotten a little faster. “Sure… yeah… fine.”

“Can I play with other things too?” CJ purred into the delicate ear at her mouth.

The blonde swallowed hard. “What… other things?”

The taller woman sucked an earlobe into her warm mouth, then licked the soft skin just behind it. “Do you want me to tell you… or just do it?”

Kate was losing the ability to speak as her spouse continued to squeeze and rasp her nipples gently. “Do…”

CJ's slowly sat upright, effectively taking Kate with her. The actress immediately moved her hand behind her and found CJ's abs. The agent wrapped her arm around her wife and massaged the breasts she found there, before tickling her way down to cover the thatch of soft hair between Kate's legs. At the same time, the actress easily sought out her wife's engorged clit - CJ's opened legs making it very accessible – and began to fondle it lightly. She pressed herself back onto CJ, basking in the feeling of the soft wet skin against hers.

The raven-haired woman gasped onto her wife's shoulder as she felt the tender touch of Kate's fingers. She watched her own hand as it sunk into warm flesh and stimulated the length of the blonde's swollen ridge. Kate lifted her feet out of the water and pushed her knees against the sides of the tub, wanting CJ to have better access as the sensation shot through her entire body.

“Oh Ciara, I love how you touch me…”

CJ groaned. “I… love it… too.”

Sensing what CJ needed, Kate's hand moved quicker and she applied a little more pressure to her strokes, moving up and down then round in small circles. As her wife nibbled and licked her neck, she slid her fingertip down to the agent's warm opening, teasing it mercilessly then moving back up to manipulate the swollen nodule once more. It had the desired effect and CJ moaned loudly.

“Ohhhhhh, baby…”

“You're so ready, Ciara… come for me…”

CJ sobbed with each breath, knowing that she could never resist that command or Kate's deep voice when she was aroused. The agent's whole body began to shake and Kate knew it was time. But CJ held back and focused on Kate's center, on the feel of the viscose-like moisture that enabled her fingers to slide deliciously over her wife's clit. She watched Kate's breasts, rising and falling faster and faster. She glanced to the side and saw her spouse's eyes were closed and her mouth slightly open, the soft tongue poked out to moisten the dry lips. “Oh God…” she croaked at the sight.

Kate came loudly; screaming out as she thrust her center onto CJ's hand and it was all the tough agent could take. She pushed herself forward, trapping Kate's fingers between them as she climaxed.

“Oh, Katie… yesssss.”

Kate made tiny blissful sounds as she recovered and leaned back on CJ's heaving breasts. As she laid her head on her wife's shoulder, she tilted it to the side knowing that CJ would bite her neck, which the agent immediately did. A shiver shot through the actress' body and she smiled. “Yeah. I love taking a bath with you,” she murmured.

CJ laughed weakly, kissing at the skin she had just bitten. “Uh huh.”

They sat pressed against each other for long moments before washing and getting out of the tub. CJ wrapped Kate in a large fluffy towel and pulled the smaller woman to her. “I love you,” she breathed at Kate's lips.

“Mmmm, I love you too.” The actress kissed her wife. “Now, take me downstairs and feed me.”

CJ laughed. “Sex and food. Your day is complete.”

“Only sex with you, my love.”

“Well, I should think so,” the tall agent grinned.

After a few more playful touches and lavishly drying one another off, they sensually applied some moisturizing lotion – which took a lot longer than was truly necessary - before pulling on some pajamas. Continuing their playful interaction, they trotted downstairs to make something for dinner and enjoy a relaxing evening together.

* * * * * *

Jamie Green sat in the restaurant, nervously tapping her finger on the table. She was sure Sam wouldn't stand her up. ‘ She's just running late, that's all ,' she assured herself. She wondered why she was so worried about it. But what she was feeling for Sam wasn't her normal lust, or ‘love them and leave them' thing. It seemed to go deeper than that and she didn't quite know how to handle those feelings. She also wanted Sam to really know her and that meant letting someone close to her heart, which was terrifying. She noticed the drumming of her fingers getting louder and lifted her glass of water to give her something else to do.

The agent spotted the little redhead entering the restaurant and swallowed hard. Taking a deep breath to calm her ridiculous nerves, she stood up and waved Sam over to her. The producer flashed a dazzling smile and quickly walked toward Jamie's table. They hugged briefly and Sam sat down opposite the blonde agent.

“I'm so sorry I'm late,” Sam said, smiling warmly. “There was a whole load of cop cars down on 6th Street so I had to take a detour. Were you waiting long?”

“Not really. I'm glad you made it,” Jamie replied nervously.

The waiter came over to take the order for their meal and a couple of drinks. Sam eyed the agent as she picked at her fingernails and sipped on the water in front of her. “Jamie, may I ask you a question?”

The blonde looked up. “Sure.”

“We've been talking about… nothing in particular and going for coffee and stuff for weeks now. I just wondered… well, have you changed your mind about us dating?”

Jamie sighed. “I need to apologize to you, Sam.” At the producers horrified face, Jamie raised a finger. “I need to say sorry for how distant I've been. I… this is kinda scary for me, believe it or not.”

“Scary? Why?”

“Because it means something to me. Something real…” The waiter interrupted and put their drinks on the table. Jamie thanked him then settled her gaze on the surprised face of the redhead.

Sam was wide-eyed but cleared her throat. “But… you must have dated before, Jamie. I mean, have you looked in a mirror lately?”

Jamie half-smiled. “I'm not so good at the serious stuff. I've never had a relationship before. Maybe you could help me.”

“Serious? You mean…”

“Oh… not that I'm saying we need to be serious but I feel this is more than just dating, Sam. What do you think?”

Sam swallowed audibly and got up the nerve to say what she really wanted to say. “I would like it to be more… I… but I'm nervous and a little scared too, you know? I mean I've never been…” she stopped, not knowing how to say the next part.

“You've never been… with a woman?” the blonde said carefully. Sam nodded; her eyebrows curling into a frown as she waited for Jamie's reaction. The agent sighed. “Can I be completely honest here?”

The redhead was now just waiting to be dumped and nodded silently.

Jamie thought for a moment about how much she wanted to divulge right now. She spoke in a quiet voice. “Sam, I really like you. I mean, really like you. I care about you and I have feelings for you that I haven't felt for anyone because I was quite a… uhm, bitch in the past. I didn't get into relationships, I just used people and kept my distance. I've grown up a lot since then and came to California to start anew and find something real… I think, to find you,” Jamie gulped and looked up to see what the producer was doing. Sam stared at her with her mouth hanging open, unable to respond. “You'd better close that or you'll catch a fly,” Jamie grinned shyly, lifting her hand and reaching across to Sam's chin. She pushed upward to close the woman's mouth. “Are you going to say anything?”

Sam was still feeling the touch on her chin that made her skin tingle. They hadn't even kissed yet and she'd thought Jamie didn't want her. “I… I'm not sure I'll make any sense if I speak now. I thought you had changed your mind… about me, I mean.”

“Oh God, no. I have some baggage and insecurities that I simply don't want to have around you. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to handle that. But I am interested… I really am.”

“Okay,” Sam replied, taking a few deep breaths. “We can take it slow then. But I want you to know I'm not experimenting with you or anything. I haven't felt this way about anyone before. It's kinda new to me too. That, and the whole gender thing. But I know what I want, Jamie…”

The damn waiter came over again, halting the conversation and Jamie hurriedly thanked him to try and not lose the moment. Once he left, she gazed back at Sam again. “I think what we should do is eat our meal and enjoy our evening. We can make a plan to get together somewhere more private to talk next time. I'll find it really difficult to open up and we both seem to have our worries about this but I want to try, Sam.” Jamie ducked her head. “You're worth it,” she whispered.

“So are you,” Sam answered, dropping her own eyes to her plate, but not really seeing the food.

After a few seconds they both looked up at the same time and a smile spread across both faces.

“Let's lighten the mood and eat, okay?” Jamie said, warmly.


Chapter 2

Kate walked across the lot with her new dress on a hanger, a black dust cover shielding it from prying eyes. She entered her trailer and hung it on the closet door handle. As she unzipped the front of the cover, she shook slightly in excitement. She had chosen a black, subtly patterned dress. It had this lop-sided neckline that had really caught Kate's eye . ‘A simple little number for my first red carpet appearance ,' she thought. Her stomach flip-flopped at the idea of walking down the red carpet with her wife.

Her thoughts drifted to CJ's dress. The agent hadn't wanted anything fancy, worrying that she'd get something too revealing and not really keen to be in the limelight at all on Kate's big night. The actress had assured her wife that she wanted to show the agent off and told her to go with whatever dress she felt good in. CJ had come home from her shopping trip and immediately showed Kate the garment for approval. And boy, did Kate approve. The red dress was going to look absolutely drool-worthy on her spouse and she couldn't wait to be on her arm in front of the cameras.

Hearing a knock at her trailer door, she zipped up the cover and went to answer it, hoping it wasn't Jack. Since his suspected cruel phone call to CJ, Kate had kept her distance. They couldn't prove he'd done it of course and he hadn't been very communicative since she'd returned to work. It was rumored that he was dating Nicole now and Kate was glad of the break in his attentions. She sighed and opened the door, glad to see Sam standing on the steps. “Hey you,” the blonde greeted.

“Hi. Do you have a minute?” the producer asked.

“Of course, come on in.”

Sam entered and sat on the couch. “I don't have long. I just wanted to talk to you about last night.”

“Your date?”


“How did it go? Did you guys talk?”

“We talked. We both want the same thing but we both have worries. It's really holding us back but we're gonna go somewhere more private next time and discuss some stuff.”

“That's good… isn't it?” Kate queried. She knew her two friends had been struggling to communicate.

“Yes. But I'm still scared.”

“What exactly is it that you're scared of, Sam?”

The redhead frowned, trying to pinpoint what she was feeling. “I think it's… it's because I feel so good around her, I keep thinking it's not really happening. I want to share everything with her and I haven't felt this way before so I'm not used to being open about it. And because I haven't been with a woman, I'm afraid I'll screw it up.”

Kate crouched down in front of her friend and took her hands. “You won't screw it up. You guys are taking it slow and you've both admitted you have concerns. You're both open to talking things through so I can't see how you'll screw it up.” Kate thought for a second. “Are you scared that it'll go wrong… in bed?”

Sam's face flushed and she looked up at the actress. “That too.”

“Sam, trust me, when you two get to that point and you feel the way you say you do, it will all fall into place. I'm sure you'll be fine.”

“I hope you're right. God, I've never been so uncertain or felt so much for anyone in my life! I keep wanting to get close to her but I'm afraid and I feel like she's resisting,” Sam sighed and shook her head. “Okay, I have to go. Thanks, Kate,” she added, squeezing her friend's hands and getting up.

Kate followed her to the door. “You'll be all right. Just give it time and if you need any tips, you can ask me anything,” she winked.

Sam rolled her eyes and kissed the actress on the cheek. “Later, Kate.”

* * * * * *

CJ banged her head repeatedly against the desktop. It seemed to be practical joke day in the office and she had just opened her drawer to find a huge hairy fake spider sitting on her spare gun. Jamie rolled around on her chair, holding her stomach as she laughed at the expression that had momentarily crossed her friend's face. It was difficult to catch CJ out but for just a second, the raven-haired agent had jumped out of her skin and held her breath.

“Quit… bangin' your head… DM,” the blonde chuckled between gasped breaths.

“Maybe I should bang it harder and tell Kate that you created the bruise!” That silenced Jamie pretty quickly and she barked out a few scattered giggles as she calmed down. CJ watched her with her tongue between her teeth and a devious grin on her face. “You do realize, I owe you now,” she growled.

Jamie sighed. “Okay, now I'm really scared,” she added, holding her spread hands next to her face, feigning terror.

CJ laughed silently and looked at Mikey, who was just smirking and shaking his head at the antics. He was starting to settle in now and was pleased to find he liked his colleagues, although CJ's brilliance and stunning good looks did feel a little intimidating every now and then.

Jamie got up from her chair. “Anyone for coffee?”

“You going out, Penfold?”

“No. I mean the crap stuff.”

Mikey waved his hand in the air. “I'll go out in an hour or so and get the good stuff… once Ethan gets back.”

“Yeah,” CJ said, running her tongue round her teeth and pointing at Mikey, “I'll wait for that.”

“Suit yourselves,” the blonde shrugged and headed to the machine.

Mark came in and dumped his butt in a chair between CJ and Mikey. “We have a new case, guys,” he said, pursing his lips. “CJ, I want you to run over it. It's been going on now for years – attacks all over the country – but the more recent ones are in California, and last week in LA. It now seems that someone was murdered last night in an alleyway off 6th Street…”

Jamie recalled her date last night and remembered Sam saying some thing about cop cars in 6th Street. “What time did that happen, Sir?”

“Approximately 8pm. It has the same initial MO as this attacker but this time she cut a heart on the man's chest after stabbing him. They can't find the piece of flesh either,” Mark answered.

“I wasn't far from there last night…” Jamie said weakly.

“Well, the cops had it under control but the Chief heard about our little unit and our success rate. He thinks this could turn into a serial killer if it's not stopped and wants us to look into it. Now I gotta say, it's not often the cops give a case to us voluntarily so I want this investigated thoroughly and hopefully we'll be the ones to finally capture this woman.”

CJ reached over as Mark handed the file to her. She flipped through the first few pages. “Female perp, both male and female victims.” She paused and read a little more. “Wow, fifty three reports of attacks over… fourteen years?”

“Yes. She moves around the country pretty quickly and leaves a reasonable gap between attacks. She also travels to random States… doesn't seem to be a pattern there. It seems no one can keep up with this one.”

CJ shook her head. “Why has she never been caught? I mean, look at this description - six foot two,” she raised an eyebrow, “long dark hair, pronounced features… piercing dark eyes? I think she'll stand out in a crowd.”

Mark squashed his bottom lip between his thumb and forefinger. “Yep. Seems she uses her looks to lure her victims away from the crowds and into a dark alleyway or sleazy motel room. She always picks places without any camera surveillance, which makes me think she checks the places out before she even goes in for the attack. She's smart but she only lures them away to attack them. There's no sexual interaction after her initial flirting and promises. Will you have a good look through it and let me know what you come up with?”

“Sure,” CJ replied, not noticing Jamie's pale face, drained of all blood. The tall blonde was still standing at the coffee machine. She slowly put her cup down and left the office, heading straight to the restrooms to throw up. CJ heard the door slamming behind her friend as she left and frowned. She looked at Agent Ryan. “What happened there, Mikey?”

He shrugged. “I don't know. I was watching you guys.”

CJ was puzzled but told Mark she would get on it right away. She sat for a while after the AD left, flipping through the file and scribbling down her thoughts. Jamie returned to the office looking slightly ill and sat down at her desk, not making eye contact with anyone. When Ethan came back, CJ asked both him and Mikey to go and get the decent coffees. As soon as they left, she went over to Jamie and stood next to her. “What just happened?” she asked, looking down at her seated friend.

Jamie did not look up. “What do you mean?”

“Don't take this as an insult, Penfold, but you look like hell. Talk to me.”

“It's nothing. I just felt a little sick. Probably too much of that shit coffee,” the blonde said, still avoiding the other woman's gaze at all costs.

“I don't believe you,” CJ said, crouching down beside the chair. “Look at me, Jamie.”

The blonde agent clenched her jaws together, feeling irrational anger at the intrusion. “I'm fine,” she barked.

“No, you're not.”

“Christ, CJ! I just don't feel well, okay?”

“All right. You don't need to shout at me. I just care about you, that's all,” CJ said, getting up and walking back to her seat.

Jamie remained silent, trying to hold back her tears. She didn't want to lash out at CJ but she couldn't face this right now.

The dark-haired woman watched her friend from the side of her eye. ‘ Something happened when Mulroney told us about the case. That must be it. Let me just see… ' she plotted. “Uh, would you be able to help me with this case Mark gave us?” she asked casually.

Jamie's face tightened and she didn't look away from her computer screen. “I can't. I have too much to do,” was the clipped response.

CJ knew she'd guessed right but she wasn't going to get anything out of Jamie right now. She wondered what it was about the case that had the blonde so worked up.

Ethan and Mikey eventually came back into the room and handed out the drinks. CJ got back to work, still very concerned about the other woman. She decided to take the case file home and tell Kate what had happened here. She needed to have a good look through it and talk it over with someone. And who better than her spouse, ‘civilian-special-agent-extraordinaire', Kate Carson.

* * * * * *

When Kate finally got home after a long, long day at work, she heard the rather loud tones of Queen's ‘Don't Stop Me Now', billowing through from the kitchen. Following the sound, she searched the diner for her wife not finding the agent anywhere. Then she saw the backdoor lying open and knew the noise was coming from the gym they had added to the rear of the house. She sneaked through the door and saw her wife working out. CJ had her hair tied back in a ponytail and wore a black pair of figure-hugging shorts that showed off her firm buttocks a little too well. Kate gulped and her eyes glided over the supple body as the tall woman lifted some free weights. The skin-tight sleeveless tee was almost too much for the actress to cope with. CJ's muscles rippled and flexed under the smooth, tanned skin, glistening with sweat.

The blonde felt the wetness pool between her legs as she watched the delicious display in front of her. Her stomach clenched when CJ put down the weights and stretched her arms straight up above her head. The agent continued to do her stretches – bending her body into some incredibly revealing poses - clearly finishing up her workout, and Kate's breaths quickened at each movement. The song finished and her spouse turned to switch off the stereo.

The agent saw Kate and the glazed, dreamy look in her green eyes. She instantly felt the desire oozing from the smaller woman as it crackled through the air between them and she grinned as she stalked towards her.

Kate was frozen to the spot, still drinking in the sight of this Goddess whom she dazedly realized she was actually married to. ‘ Holy crap, will I ever stop feeling this way? ' she thought to herself. She decided that she never would as CJ kissed her deeply, swirling that sweet tongue around in her mouth. Kate's knees went weak and she felt her heart beating hard in her chest. She slipped her arms around the athletic body and moaned into CJ's mouth. The agent pressed her wife up against the wall and eventually broke the kiss when they both had to come up for air.

Kate groaned. “Mmmm, salty…”

“Want me to get you all sweaty too?” the agent smirked, curling an eyebrow.

“Best offer I've had all day.”

As the actress kissed her again, CJ groped around for the light switch and pulled the door closed behind her as they headed into the house, still joined at the mouth. They somehow made it inside their bedroom door but that was it. CJ pressed Kate up against the wall again, their passion getting the better of them.

The agent broke the kiss and trailed her lips over her wife's neck, nipping and sucking the creamy skin there. “What do you want, baby?”

Kate moaned. “I… you… hard…”

CJ stomach flipped. “You want it hard?” she breathed against her soft, sweet-smelling wife.

“Yes… want you… inside me… fuck me….”

“Oh Jesus, Katie…” CJ gasped, feeling the wetness pouring from her own center.

She instantly lowered herself to remove Kate's pants then standing back up, pressed her entire body against her spouse. The heat coming from both of them intensified the scent of their bodies and only served to make CJ ravenous. She slipped two long fingers through Kate's incredibly wet folds, hearing the actress gasp loudly in her ear. She immediately entered the smaller woman and rubbed her body against Kate's as she thrust in and out of the hot opening. Kate moaned and sobbed loudly, knowing that watching CJ's work out had made her very aroused and she wouldn't last long at all. The heat spread from her swollen clit as CJ's thumb stimulated the slick protrusion, and shot through her entire body as her orgasm took hold. CJ held her tight as the blonde came, her taut form convulsing repeatedly against the tall woman. The agent felt the wetness coat her whole hand and moaned at the sensation. She bit Kate's neck and held her wife in a firm embrace as her legs gave way.

After a few moments, Kate turned to capture CJ's lips is a searing kiss, full of passion and love. “Are you okay?” she gasped against her wife's mouth.

CJ brought her hand up to their lips and watched as Kate's tongue came out to lick the drenched fingers. CJ's tongue slid out to meet Kate's before the agent took the fingers into her mouth, so completely aroused by her wife's release. “Yeah… why?”

“You didn't come,” Kate whispered to her.

CJ laughed quietly. “Yeah, weird huh?”

Kate laughed and led her wife to their huge bed. She turned to strip the agent's workout clothes from her body, kissing the skin as she removed each piece.

CJ stood naked and cupped Kate's face in her hands, pulling her in for a kiss. “I need to wash, baby.”

“Nuh uh, you taste incredible,” the feisty blonde said, pushing her wife down on the bed.

CJ was short of breath by this point and wanted to see what her wife had in mind so she did as she was told. Kate removed the remainder of her own clothing and lay down beside the tall woman, pressing her body against CJ's side. Leaning on her left elbow, head in hand, she trailed her fingers over the agent's body, lightly teasing the beautiful breasts. She watched her spouse react as her hand avoided the hardened nipples that begged for her touch. She moved slowly and deliberately. CJ lay with her eyes closed, reveling in the sensations, her breaths slow and deep. The actress watched the smooth, tanned skin ripple beneath her fingers as she crossed the firm abdomen.

When Kate reached the dark thatch of hair, she gasped at how wet it was. Gently flattening her hand against her wife's mound, she slipped the length of her middle finger down into the hot folds, feeling the moisture surround the digit. Her other fingers simply followed, trailing over the soft hair and surrounding skin. CJ moaned as Kate began a slow, lazy rhythm, running her entire hand up and down with a steady pressure. The blonde watched her movements, concentrating on the feel of the engorged skin beneath her fingertips. It was so tempting to replace her hand with her tongue but she wanted to make this last for CJ and continued her pace, trailing her gaze up to the pert breasts so close to her mouth.

The taller woman moaned and sobbed but never made a move to urge Kate to quicken, or ask her to do anything differently. In fact, the agent was enjoying this slow, torturous lovemaking. She was rising to her climax so gradually that she could almost feel Kate's eyes on her, burning through her soul and every time the fingers slid over her, she felt her body shudder in sheer delirious pleasure.

As the actress pressed down a little harder but kept her movement exactly the same, CJ gasped aloud and curled her fingers around the blonde hair that fell beside her cheek. Kate licked her lips, knowing her wife was getting closer to her goal. She leaned her head down and sucked a velvety soft nipple into her mouth, feeling it elongate instantly as her tongue swirled around it. CJ‘s breaths suddenly became short and fast and Kate pressed a tiny bit harder with her hand. The agent sobbed again and pushed her legs a little further apart. Kate dragged her hand up CJ's clit and swollen outer lips, feeling the skin pulling back as CJ began to climax. She sucked harder on her wife's nipple and moved her hand in a circular motion over the burning flesh between the agent's legs. CJ whimpered as her orgasm shot through her entire being, taking her breath away. She arched her back and raised her hips off the bed, pushing into her wife's hand. She quietly scattered into a million pieces, waiting for Kate to collect them up again, which the smaller woman did by wrapping herself around CJ and kissing her senseless.

Once she came back to herself, CJ wrapped both arms around her spouse. “That… wow, Katie. Just wow.”

“I enjoyed it too, baby. You felt so good.”

CJ kissed her and the blonde's head came to rest on her shoulder. As a smaller arm wrapped across the agent's stomach, she thought about the whole encounter. That was the second time Kate had desperately needed to be satisfied and used a word she would never normally utter.

“Katie?” the agent said quietly.

“Hmmm?” came the slurred voice from her shoulder.

CJ grinned at the sleepiness in her wife's voice. “I wanted to ask you something. Are you conscious?”

Kate poked her in the ribs. “Yes, smart ass, I'm conscious. What's up?”

“I just wondered… that's the second time you've asked me to… uh, fuck you…”

The blonde raised her head to look at her wife. “I won't use it again if you don't like it, honey. Sometimes you just drive me so wild, I feel like…” She made a growling noise, then blushed.

“Uh huh. Well, I don't mind you using it. As a matter of fact, it turns me on but only because I know we're still making love. It's all about the context with that word, I guess. But I just wondered, though…” The agent didn't know how to say the next part.

“What?” Kate frowned.

“Well… do you need… I mean, do you miss being, uh, filled by –“ CJ was silenced by two fingers on her lips.

Kate narrowed her eyes. “Don't say it. I do not miss anything about being with a man. Not a damn thing, okay?”

The taller woman's eyes widened at the fierceness in her wife's voice. “Okay. I know we're amazing together, honey… that's not what I meant. I just meant the physical feeling of being completely filled. I know I don't miss it but I've never been with a man.” CJ shrugged. “My fingers can only do so much…” she trailed off.

Kate stared into her wife's eyes. “CJ… I have never, ever needed or wanted anyone or anything else since I met you. I am one thousand percent happy and satisfied with our love life, believe me. You've given me so much more than anyone has from my past… not that there were many… and not a single encounter from back then comes close to half what I experience with you. So, no, I do not miss a single thing. I'm the luckiest woman in the world and I only want you… for the rest of my life. You're more than enough.” Once her little speech was done, she slid her body on top of her wife's and looked into the bright blue eyes beneath her. “Do you want to try something? Is that why you asked?”

CJ grinned. “No, my darling. The thought just crossed my mind and I wanted to ask you about it. We talk about everything but we've never discussed using toys. It never came up… no pun intended.”

Kate laughed and gently slapped CJ's upper chest. “Well, if you want to try something for fun, you just let me know, all right?” she said, raising an eyebrow. “Have you used toys before?”

CJ giggled. “No. I've never been this open about anything before and I never really thought about us using anything until recently. I just wanted to check with you but I don't feel the need to try it. Maybe when we're old and gray and my fingers are all stiff and sore… then I may need some help to mmmpphh-”

Again, CJ was silenced but this time it was Kate's lips covering her own, although the actress was laughing as she kissed her. The agent's body vibrated as she chuckled silently until Kate's tongue slipped into her mouth and laughing was the last thing on her mind.

* * * * * *

Jamie pulled the car up outside Sam's home. “2076 Mulholland… I guess this is it,” she said to herself. She stepped out onto the driveway and admired the single level home. A warm glow emanated from the front windows and Jamie liked the feel of the place. If only her stomach would settle down and her nervousness would disappear, she'd be fine.

Sam must have heard the car or something because she came to the door and smiled at the agent. “You're right on time.”

“I'm glad I got the right place,” Jamie said calmly, her cool exterior betraying how she truly felt.

Once they were inside, the producer offered the blonde some wine, which she politely declined. As Sam went to check on the food, Jamie paced the large living room, breathing deeply to calm her pounding heart. ‘ I have never been this nervous in my life ,' she mused.

The redhead came back in and offered Jamie the tour. The agent followed Sam through the house and was surprised to see how many shows she had actually worked on. She stopped in front of a cast photograph on the wall in the hallway. “You worked on ‘Teenage Dreamers'?” she asked, eyebrow raised.

Sam giggled at the facial expression. “Yes. I produced quite a few episodes. It was a lot of fun.” Jamie smirked and followed the smaller woman back into the living room. Sam disappeared to the kitchen and came back through the door a few moments later. “Come on. It's ready.”

They sat in the dining room and consumed their meal accompanied by some pleasant conversation; both of them seeming to avoid any relationship talk. Once they'd enjoyed a small fruit salad, they retired to the couch with some coffee.

“Are you okay?” Sam asked.

“Yeah. Why?”

“You just seem nervous… uncomfortable even,” Sam said with a worried expression crossing her features.

Jamie sighed deeply. “I'm sorry. I guess this is harder than I thought. The serious talk, I mean. I just don't know where to start.”

“Can you tell me why it's so hard for you?”

“I could but it ain't pretty,” the agent replied hesitantly.

“I want to know it all, pretty or not,” Sam said warmly, covering Jamie's thigh briefly with her hand.

The blonde closed her eyes at the touch and gulped audibly. “Uh, where to start,” she said, recovering her senses. “Well, I think it's so hard for me because I've never done it before. I was, for lack of a better phrase, a total bitch when I was younger. I used people and never let anyone get close to me…” She faltered, knowing how bad it sounded.

“Go on,” Sam urged.

“I slept around… with men and women. God, I was horrible. Love them and leave them… that was me,” she said with disgust.

“And now?”

“Oh, Sam, I'm not like that anymore. I haven't had a partner in two years and I've been tested for, well, you know… recently. And I'm clear, if that worries you…”

“I hadn't even thought about that but thanks for telling me,” the producer whispered. “I'm clear too, just so you know,” she added, blushing slightly.

Jamie smiled. “I want to do this right, Sam. I… I have so many feelings for you but I don't know how to handle them. I'm hoping we can figure it all out together but I can't promise it'll be an easy ride. Oh, that didn't sound right,” the blonde said, frowning.

Sam grinned. “I'd like to try. I'm feeling a lot too. And I have to say, I'm not used to having these thoughts about a woman,” she blurted.

Jamie raised an eyebrow. “And what thoughts would those be?”

“Uh… you know.”

“No. You'll have to tell me,” the agent said, leaning forward so that they were mere inches apart.

Sam swallowed hard. “Well uh, I want to… kiss you right now…”

Jamie felt her stomach flip and leaned in for their first kiss. Her eyes closed blissfully as their lips met and she heard Sam let out a small moan. The agent could feel the softness of the lips covering her own. She loved Sam's lips, so full-bodied and dark.

Sam was in heaven. Never had she felt such a tender touch. Jamie was soft, gentle and the smell of jasmine filled the producer's senses. She figured it was Jamie's hair and she reached up unconsciously to feel the blonde strands. She wanted to deepen the kiss but was wary of moving too quickly. She decided to go with her instincts and poked her tongue out hesitantly to taste Jamie's lips.

Jamie gasped as she felt the hand on her hair and the tongue requesting entry into her mouth. It was so tentative but she opened her lips slightly to grant access. Sam immediately accepted the invitation and it was all both women could do to remain upright, their tongues twisting together in a sensual slow dance. The thought of letting this go further suddenly terrified Jamie and she broke the contact.

Sam swallowed and caught her breath. “Are… are you okay?”

“I'm sorry. I… I can't do this right now,” Jamie said, standing up quickly.

Sam followed and grabbed the agent's arm as she turned away. “Where are you going?”

“I'm sorry, Sam. I have to get home.” The tall blonde tugged her arm free.

“What? Jamie, tell me what I did wrong!”

“You didn't do anything wrong. It's me. God, I'm sorry.”

Jamie disappeared and Sam stood in the middle of the living room with her heart in shreds. The tears slid down her cheeks at the thought that Jamie didn't want her. She sat back down and held her head in her hands. “So much for my damn instincts!” she shouted in frustration.

Jamie hit the gas and her car screeched down the street. She felt so scared… and she felt like a complete shit for leaving like that. ‘ I can't do this ,' she thought, feeling the pain smother her entire being. ‘ I can't bare my soul to her, even though she's the one I want to show all of myself to. I can't do this .' She tried to stop the tears as she drove home but they just continued to fall and by the time she pulled up in front of her apartment, her shirt was soaked through.

* * * * * *

At breakfast the next morning, both Kate and CJ couldn't stop giggling. Their conversation last night had made for some hilarious jokes in the shower that morning and they now sat at the dining table trying to recover from the fits of laughter.

“Okay, okay… I admit it might be fun to try a toy but my God, CJ, we'd be laughing so much we wouldn't be able to use it anyway,” Kate smirked.

The agent bit her tongue and tried to stifle the giggles. “We can…” Snort “talk about it…” Cough “later.” She took a few breaths. “I have to get to work early.” The thought of work sobered the agent and she creased her face into a stubborn frown.

Kate noted the change and raised an eyebrow. “Bad case?”

“Yeah. I meant to talk to you about it last night but I got, uh, sidetracked.” CJ grinned. “Anyway, it was a series of attacks that now seem to be turning into murders… well, one so far, but I think Mark is right. It may end up being a serial killer if she continues on like this…”

“She?” Kate squeaked.

“Yep. Fifty-three attacks all over the country, a murder in LA last night.”

“Jeez. Is that why you have the case now? To profile her?”

CJ nodded. “When I get home tonight you can look over it with me if you want. You know I always value your insight.”

“Okay,” Kate said, stuffing her last piece of bacon into her mouth. “So many attacks, huh? She must be on the move a lot.”

“Exactly. I'm wondering if she lives in her car, maybe hotel rooms too. She never seems to stay in the same place and has covered huge distances so far. She can't have a home anywhere. And what's more baffling is, she's taller than me and still manages to hide from the cops.”

“Wow. That is tall. What's her MO?”

CJ grinned at her wife's FBI mind. “She lures her victims… both men and women… away from bars and such, into a quiet alleyway or crappy hotel room. Seems she's quite the seductress. Then she stabs or slashes them… always on the chest.”

Kate grimaced. “She sounds like a broken-hearted psycho.”

CJ dropped her fork and stared at the blonde.

“What?” Kate stopped chewing, mid-mouthful.

“You haven't even seen the case file and you're thinking the same as me… again!”

“I am?”

“Yes. After skimming over the basics, I got the impression that this woman was psychotic, yes, but also that she'd had her heart broken badly in the past. I think that's the trigger. But what amazes me more about your thinking, is that you don't even know about the heart from the murder.”

Kate placed her fork down on the plate, thanking her lucky stars that she'd finished eating before hearing about the ‘heart'. “What about the heart?”

CJ sighed. “On the guy's body from last night, she carved a piece of skin out of his chest in the shape of a heart. The cops couldn't find the piece of skin,” CJ said, scrunching up her nose in disgust.


CJ laughed humorlessly. “Just join the Bureau, Katie. We need you. And yes, a trophy would be my guess.”

Kate smiled. “I've been thinking about that. I'm not going to become an agent, honey. I like my work and after the Davenport case, I think I'd rather be here to support you, not off goodness-knows-where doing the same thing. I mean, I wouldn't even get to choose where I was posted at first. And I love our life, CJ. I don't want to change a thing right now.”

“I love it too. And whatever you want is fine with me, Katie. I think Mark has settled down on the whole ‘getting you to join' thing, anyway. This way he can have you involved in cases without paying you,” CJ smiled.

The actress chuckled. “Maybe I should charge him a fee for my services then.”

Both women laughed and finished their coffee before heading off to work. As she drove along the highway, CJ's mind drifted to Jamie and she wondered if she should just set her wife to work on the blonde agent. If anyone could get information out of Agent Green, Kate could.

Chapter 3

Reports of serious knife attacks had reached CJ's desk. They were recent and were just filing in to the FBI office after the respective local police departments were told of the Bureau's involvement. There were also two more murders.

The tall agent sighed as she looked over the case files. “I guess we can say for sure now that she's a serial killer… and her attacks are becoming more frequent.”

Mark nodded and sucked on his teeth. “Yes. And she's definitely on the move. Do you see the locations there?” he said, pointing to the files.

“Yep. I'm going to need a detailed map of California. In fact,” she added, tapping her chin, “I'll need a map of every state she's been in. I want to mark them with the locations. Might trigger something in my brain.”

“I'm not doing anything right now. I'll get those for you,” Mark said, standing up.

“Thanks, Sir.”

“No problem. I'd like to get her off the streets just as much as you would, CJ. I'll be back later with those maps,” the tall man said, closing the door behind him.

CJ got her head down for a few hours, not completely oblivious to Jamie, who had not said a word to the AD and was buried in a mountain of paperwork that CJ suspected was already complete. The raven-haired woman hadn't yet had a chance to ask Jamie if she'd like to come to the house for dinner and CJ felt bad at the thought of luring the agent there under false pretenses. She needed to have it out with Jamie to find out what her problem was but she couldn't do that here at work. ‘ Tonight ,' CJ thought, ‘I'll invite her tonight, ‘cause I know Sam's working late so she's less likely to have an excuse .' CJ nodded to herself, knowing she was meddling but also realizing that if she let this go, it would fester into something more serious. She began to read through the reports in front of her, stopping again when the phone rang.

“Special Agent Carson.”

Hi, honey, it's me .” Kate's voice made the agent's heart skip a beat… still.

“Hey, you. What's happening?”

Well, Phil sent everyone home again. We had one of the lighting rigs explode at the studios. Power's out now. It's not going well this week .”

CJ frowned. “I think they need to up their maintenance budget, Katie.”

The actress laughed. “ Yeah. You could be right. Anyway ,” she said, sighing audibly, “ that wasn't the main reason I called you. You left a pile of files here at home. It looks like previous victim information .”

“Oh.” CJ flicked through her case file. “It's okay. I must have left them because I have copies here somewhere.”

Okay. But CJ, have you looked through all the photos of the victims ?”

“Not yet. Mark wants the profile done first and foremost, and there are a lot of previous victims. I found out today there are a few more we didn't know about.” Kate remained silent for a few moments. CJ frowned again. “Katie?”

Yes, sorry. Uh, is Jamie working on this case?”

“No. Why?” CJ asked, narrowing her eyes and sensing some hesitation in her wife's voice.

CJ… Jamie is in these files .”

“What?” CJ was aware that the woman in question was sitting close by and tried to answer without giving away the conversation. “There was nobody by that name,” she said quietly.

You might want to check it out on your copy. The name on the file is Lisa Jamie Riley. She was attacked twelve years ago. The picture sure does look like Jamie .” Hearing nothing but silence on the other end of the line, Kate suddenly felt guilty. “ CJ, I'm sorry for looking through your files, but you know how curious I get…

“Don't apologize. I wouldn't have left them at home if I didn't think you should see them and I wanted your opinion anyway. I'm just kinda speechless. I need to go check this out, okay?”

Sure, okay. I'll talk to you later then.”

“Thanks, Katie. I love you.”

Ditto, honey. Bye .”


CJ hung up the phone and opened her top drawer to pull out the victim's medical files. She flipped through the numerous pages to the older cases and pulled out one for nineteen year old Lisa Jamie Riley. And there it was. A very young-looking Jamie Green. The agent couldn't believe it and everything started to make sense. When Mark had given the case to CJ, they had discussed the MO and the attacker's description. After that conversation, Jamie had made a quick exit.

CJ closed the file, not wanting to look at the photos of Jamie's injuries until she was at home and in private. She definitely wanted to help her friend to open up now and decided that Jamie was coming to dinner tonight whether she liked it or not. Now all CJ had to do, was figure out how to convince the blonde to accept the invitation.

* * * * * *

Deciding on an afternoon snack – since she'd missed lunch - Kate sat at the dining table with a coffee and a toasted bagel topped with cream cheese. She picked up Jamie's file, feeling slightly guilty about looking at it but her curiosity knew no bounds sometimes. And she was starting to figure out why Jamie was having issues with a close relationship. The blonde agent was hurting in some way and Kate felt the need to help her friend.

Opening the case file, she looked again at the picture of Lisa Riley. Jamie was a beautiful woman and it seemed she always had been. At nineteen years old, she was flawless. Her creamy white skin looked like it was painted on – and airbrushed to perfection - and Kate smiled at the twinkle in the dark brown eyes. The actress could appreciate the beauty of the woman although she did know that Jamie had used it blatantly in the past. She had been very promiscuous when it came to sexual partners and had broken a lot of hearts. “Oh God, I hope this woman isn't searching for Jamie!” she gasped aloud. Then she shook her head when she realized that Jamie was the fifth victim of this attacker. ‘ I'm so silly sometimes ,' she thought to herself.

She turned the page and tears sprung to her eyes. The next photos were of Jamie's injuries. There were at least eight knife wounds on the tender skin of Jamie's left breast, all bloody and bruised, and Kate couldn't look anymore. She closed the file, feeling that she was invading her friend's privacy. She pushed the case file away from her and rubbed the tears from her cheeks.

Getting up to rinse out her mug, she decided that she would go riding and went in search of Kamali to accompany her.

* * * * * *

It was late afternoon when Mark returned to the office with an armful of maps rolled into tubes. “I checked the case file and this should cover it,” he said, putting them down on the spare desk.

CJ got to her feet and walked over to him. “Thanks, Sir. I'll start with California. From what I can tell, she seems to be heading around the state in a circle but I want to see it on the map.”

Mark helped her pin the map onto the wall where, not so long ago, the pictures from the Davenport murders had been. The wall was covered in a felt board, specifically designed for displays such as this. CJ lifted the pot of pins and Mark grabbed the case file from CJ's desk, seemingly wanting to be involved. He was also curious about what the agent was thinking. He admired the way her mind worked.

“Want me to read the Californian locations out to you?”

“That would be great. Thanks,” the dark-haired woman said.

“Okay. Here we go. Laguna Beach.” He waited until CJ had pinned the location before going on to the next. “Los Angeles. San Lucas. Palo Alto. San Francisco. Cloverdale.” He looked up to check CJ was keeping up with him. Seeing her look over her shoulder, eyebrow raised, he smiled and looked back at the file. “Sacramento. Beckwourth… and Bridgeport. That's it so far.”

CJ looked at the map, then took a few paces back to look again. Shaking her head, she turned to Mark. “Let me think about this a bit more. I'll have something for you soon. I'm sure of it. I'll pin up a couple more states and I'm almost finished with the profile.”

“Sounds good, CJ. Keep on it.”

Ethan looked up from his desk as the AD left. “You need any help with this, CJ?”

The tall woman smiled at him. She knew his workload was huge right now and even though he had Mikey helping him, she knew he was buried in cases. “Not yet but I'll keep you in mind. Thanks, Ethan.”

She went to sit down and get on with her work. This killer wasn't getting to her as such… apart from the fact that the woman had hurt her friend. This one had started out attacking people due to what CJ suspected was a broken heart and borderline psychotic tendencies. ‘ Or maybe there's no borderline about it ,' she mused. It seemed the perp had a feel for her weapon of choice now and her attacks had escalated into killings. The agent also suspected that the first killing had been accidental, although she couldn't be sure about that. Either way, it seemed this woman had acquired a taste for it and CJ wanted to catch her. Her car had to be identified somehow. That was the next thing to focus on.

* * * * * *

Kate grumbled to herself as she walked across the lot. She'd left her cell phone in her trailer and as she locked the door after retrieving it, she saw Sam standing near the cafeteria doors with her phone stuck to her ear and a frown on her face. The actress didn't want to interfere and tell her about Jamie but she had to check on her friend and see how things were going. Walking towards the redhead, Kate could see the hurt look in Sam's eyes. She ducked down to catch the producer's attention and waved at her, not wanting to disturb the call.

“I'm calling you,” Sam said, relaxing her tense shoulders.

“Oh, sorry. I left my cell in the trailer and the battery's dead. You okay?”

Sam shook her head slightly and Kate could see she was trying not to cry. She herded her friend into the cafeteria and found a quiet table in the corner. Sitting across from the redhead, she grabbed both of Sam's hands and looked straight at her. There was never really any messing around between the two of them.

“Tell me what's wrong,” Kate said firmly.

“Why do you think anything's wrong?”

“Sam, you're about to burst into tears. Tell me…”

The redhead swallowed hard. “I think it's over… between me and Jamie, I mean.”

Kate sighed. She knew it would be about Jamie. Sam was generally an upbeat person and not many things could make her this sad . ‘It must be love… or something close to it, ' Kate mused. “Why do you think it's over, Sam?”

“We had a date last night… at my place. Had a nice enough dinner and when we started talking afterwards, I thought it was going okay.” Sam paused and dropped her eyes to the tabletop. “We kissed. But something changed in her during that kiss and she suddenly left. I don't know what I did wrong.”

“Did you ask her?”

The producer nodded. “She said it wasn't me, it was her.” She looked up at Kate caring, green eyes. “But isn't that a line, Kate? It's not you, it's me… that's just something people say when they realize they don't actually want you, right?”

Kate pursed her lips. “Not in this case, Sam.”

The redhead saw something in Kate's expression. “What do you know?”

“Nothing. I just have my suspicions about Jamie's fears.”

“Fears? Kate, if you know something that will help, please tell me.”

“I can't. I'm just speculating anyway. I wouldn't keep something from you intentionally, Sam. Let me check a few things out, okay? And don't give up on Jamie.”

“Well, I wasn't going to but I can't make her want me, Kate.”

“She does want you, Sam. Can you give it a little time?”

Sam's sad expression was killing Kate and she wanted to tell her about Jamie's past but she just couldn't. Jamie had to tell Sam on her own. The redhead eventually nodded. They ordered a coffee and consumed it accompanied by some talk about the state of the Deadline studio. Kate managed to cheer Sam up a little but as she left the producer and headed for home, she decided that a little more friendly meddling was in order.

* * * * * *

CJ was about to leave for the night but she had just come off the phone to Kate with a smile on her face.


“Yes?” the blonde said, not looking up.

“Kate has invited you over for something to eat. She has a huge dinner cooking and hoped you could join us,” CJ said, praying that Jamie would accept the invitation.

“I don't really think I'd be much company.”

“Well, that's okay. We'll just eat and watch a movie… don't want all that food to go to waste. What d'ya say?” CJ quipped, trying to keep her tone light.

Jamie thought about it for a moment. “Okay. I was going to ask you for a ride home anyway.”

“What's wrong with your car?”

“I… I uh, was drinking last night and couldn't drive in this morning. Took a cab,” Jamie muttered, staring at her desk.

CJ nodded knowingly. She realized that what Kate had just told her about the date with Sam, was affecting the blonde agent too. CJ sighed. “You ready to go now?”

“Gimme two minutes to close this up,” Jamie replied, pointing to her screen.

They left work and during the very quiet drive home, CJ thought of how she could get Jamie to let all the pain out that was eating her up inside.

Once they arrived, Kate greeted them warmly and served up the meal. Jamie ate silently but answered the occasional question with a single word here and there. CJ thought back to the other day when Jamie was playing practical jokes on her. The blonde was laughing and joking around in good spirits, then the case reared its ugly head and stole that away from her. CJ wanted her Penfold back; the happy, confident, smiling Special Agent who rarely frowned, even when she had to work with a moody, unpredictable CJ on a daily basis. That thought made the raven-haired woman smirk inwardly.

They left the dining table and headed to the couch with their drinks. CJ sat on the end, with Kate slipping in next to her. Jamie sat stiffly beside Kate.

CJ decided it was now or never. “How's it going with Sam, Jamie?”

The blonde agent's face instantly tensed. “Okay.”

“Be honest with me,” CJ stated.

“I am.”

“Jamie, it's not going okay and you know why.”

Jamie suddenly looked up and her gaze pierced CJ's. “What do you mean by that?” She'd been waiting for CJ to find out about her connection with the case, but hoped that if she shut up and ignored it, it might magically disappear.

“You know what I mean. Tell me what's wrong… why you're so unhappy?”

“I'm fine.”

“No. No, you're not. Tell me about the attack,” CJ said, pushing for the inevitable fight.

Kate sat between them, sipping her wine and calmly waiting to mediate the battle that was about to be fought.

Jamie stood up abruptly. “I have to go,” she said, walking around the coffee table to leave.

CJ got up and blocked her path. “We're going to talk about this.”

“No! We are not!” Jamie was furious, her face tight and jaws clenching as she stood face to face with the tall agent.

“I won't let you push Sam away… push me away because of something that happened in an alleyway twelve years ago.”

“How dare you!” Jamie shouted, swinging her hand up in anger to strike CJ.

The dark-haired agent caught the hand in an iron grip and held the wrist tightly, a few inches from her cheek. She stood nose to nose with Jamie and spoke calmly and slowly. “Don't ever raise your hand to me again, Jamie. I'm not doing this to hurt you.”

“But you are!” Jamie growled, nostrils flaring and jaws still clenching so hard CJ thought she might break a tooth.

“It needs to come out, Penfold. Let me help you. Tell me what happened,” CJ requested, still holding the wrist but seeing tears threaten to sting Jamie's eyes. The blonde was still angry but she was breaking, which is just what CJ had hoped for – not to hurt the agent but to help her.

Kate sat on the edge of the couch, her awareness heightened by the attempted punch. She had put her glass down and swallowed hard, hoping with all her heart that Jamie would relent before they truly came to blows.

The tall blonde jerked her ensnared wrist slightly and frowned when CJ's grip didn't loosen. “I… I can't…”

CJ maintained her calm, steady breaths. “You can. She took you out of the bar. You went with her into the alleyway. What happened? Did she kiss you? Did she promise you a good time?”

A tear ran down Jamie's smooth cheek. “Let me go!” she blurted in a final weak attempt to avoid this conversation. Her strength was draining away and she knew CJ was going to win this one.

“I saw the file. She stabbed you many times. At least eight,” CJ said quietly. “Tell me…”

Jamie looked to Kate for backup, knowing that the actress would be supportive of them both but realizing she wouldn't stop CJ either. However, Jamie felt safe with them and couldn't argue the fact that she had to face this eventually.

The blonde agent looked dazedly at the blank surface of the coffee table. “She danced with me… she… I went with her into the alleyway. She pushed me up against the wall…” The tears were coming fast now. “She kissed me, but while she did that she must have pulled the knife out. When she… when she started stabbing me, all I could think was that we were hidden by a dumpster and I would soon be in it… oh, God.” She looked at CJ, finally making contact with the deep blue eyes once more, and that's when she fell apart. She slumped into CJ's arms and cried her heart out, loud powerful sobs flooding through her slim body.

CJ held her tight, rubbing her hand through the blonde hair and whispering comforting words into her ear. Kate stood up and walked over, looking at CJ with a sad smile on her face. She wrapped her arms around the two women and held on until she felt Jamie stop convulsing in pain. She left them both standing there and went to get tissues for the crying woman. When she returned, she saw CJ guiding Jamie's crumpled form to the couch.

Once they had all sat down, Jamie wiped her face and sat fumbling with the tissue in her hand. “I don't know what to say.”

“Just tell us what happened,” Kate said lovingly.

“I already did,” Jamie snapped. She turned to Kate. “Sorry. I didn't mean to…” She sighed heavily. “I was in the bar, dancing with anybody and everybody. This tall seductive woman came up behind me, pressed her body against my back and started dancing with me. She had her hands on my hips and spoke in my ear. Back then I was… I was so easy,” Jamie said, her face contorting in emotional pain at the memory. “She asked me my name and was telling me how hot I looked. She said she wanted to have sex with me right then and I… I went with her willingly.”

CJ watched the vast array of emotions washing across the tired features as Jamie spoke. Her heart ached for her friend and she took the agent's hand in an attempt to encourage the woman to continue, which Jamie did.

“We went into the alleyway and she pushed me up against the wall next to the dumpster. I was so turned on by her aggression. Usually, I was the aggressor so I was enjoying the control she had over me. God, I sound like some kind of deviant.”

“Not at all,” Kate croaked with a voice full of emotion.

“She kissed me… a really good, deep kiss. I was lost in it and didn't see or feel her movements until it was too late. She… she… the knife. She stabbed me… many times. Slashes and sometimes… she would try and push the knife into me but it was like she was afraid to go too deep. I… I tried to scream and fight her off but I couldn't. All I could think was that someone was going to find my body in the dumpster the next morning. I looked down at all the blood and I think I passed out or something. I don't know what happened after that…” she trailed off, feeling her throat constrict at the memory.

“You told her your name. That's why you changed it?” CJ asked. Jamie nodded. “But you didn't get her name, right?”

“I never thought to ask her. I just wanted what she was offering. God, I was so horrible…” Jamie's tears came again.

“It's okay, Penfold. You're safe now and if you help me with this case, we'll put her away for a long, long time. And you're not horrible,” CJ husked, squeezing the hand in her own.

Jamie looked at her with such love that CJ had to look away momentarily. When she returned her gaze to the brown eyes, she saw the love of a friend. There was no hint of anything else and the tall agent smiled, knowing that she had helped somehow.

Jamie confirmed it. “Thank you, DM.” She turned to Kate. “And you too. I've never had friends who cared so much before.”

“Well, you have us but you also have a little redhead who, I hate to tell you, is completely crazy about you,” Kate said, sniffing away the sadness.

Jamie sighed. “I really screwed up there. Last night…”

“Uh, Jamie, I know about last night. She's my best friend at work, remember?” Kate said with a smirk.

“What… what did she say?”

“She's hurt, but,” Kate said holding up a finger to forestall the blonde's response. “I told her to give it a little time and you'd come back to her.”

“You were so sure…” Jamie began.

“I was so sure that between me and my wife here, we'd meddle enough to help you through whatever was going on in there,” Kate said with authority, poking gently at Jamie's forehead.

The expression on the actress' face made Jamie burst out laughing. “Cocky little thing, aren't you?”

Kate smiled. “Yes.”

CJ was watching all this and had to let out a grin of her own. But she also knew they had to get back on topic. “Jamie?”


“I need to ask you about one more thing.” At the blonde's nod, she went on. “I saw the photos from back then. You had some really nasty injuries. Did they need stitches?"

Jamie's brow had creased again. “A few of the slashes did.”

CJ nodded. “They looked pretty bad. How are they now?” she said, knowing she had guessed something else right when the blonde let a few more tears fall.

“I have… scars.”

“Is that why you're scared to get close to Sam?”

Jamie nodded sadly. “I don't let anyone see them.”

CJ was horrified. “You don't let anyone see them?” she repeated. Jamie nodded again. “But what about the partners you've had… you don't…”

“I always wear a shirt. I… I don't let anyone touch me… there,” Jamie mumbled, looking down at her hand that was still joined with CJ's. “People who just want a one-night stand don't tend to care too much if they can touch you or not.”

The dark-haired agent gasped, hearing Kate make a small sound beside her. The actress' hand came down on CJ's thigh and the taller woman covered it with her own. She focused back on Jamie. “So, you've never… I mean, no one's touched your breasts in… twelve years?” Jamie looked up at CJ, brought out of her pensive stare by the agent's words. She shook her head mutely. CJ's heart was aching for her friend. “Oh, Jamie, I'm so… God, I don't know what to say.”

“You don't need to say anything. I guess I just got used to it.”

“Well… don't! Honey, you need to talk to Sam. If you're really serious about her, you need to overcome this with her help.”

The blonde agent smiled at the endearment, never having really seen this side of CJ before. “You're kinda sweet sometimes, huh?” she teased with a rakish grin.

Kate laughed, as did CJ. “There's my Penfold,” the agent replied with a smile. She leaned in and kissed the woman on the cheek. “It's time to start really living, Jamie. And I want to help you get over your fear of showing your scars,” CJ added, forming an idea in her head to lighten the mood and help Jamie at the same time.

Jamie raised a dark blonde eyebrow. “What are you up to?”

“Show us your boobies,” CJ said smugly.

“Get lost, CJ.”

“I'm serious.”

Kate let out a snort. “Oh, this is getting interesting.”

“You show me yours and I'll show you mine,” Jamie scoffed.

CJ glared at her. “Uh…”

Kate decided to leave them with something to think about before she had to go pee. She stood up and lifted her shirt to reveal her breasts to the completely astounded gaze of the two women, and walked out of the room leaving an image of the pert, full mounds in Jamie's mind.

“Well,” the blonde agent gasped, “those were nice.”

CJ burst out laughing at her friend's expression… and her wife's sense of humor. “Uh, yes. Yes, they're very nice,” she said, smacking her lips. “But seriously, Jamie… perhaps if you let me look at the scars, you'll feel more confident about revealing yourself to Sam. I'll be very honest with you about them. I promise.”

Jamie thought about it. It was painful to think of anyone seeing them. She had hidden them for so long and was only confident around others if she was covered up. The thought of revealing herself made her feel vulnerable . ‘But how am I ever going to conquer that feeling if I continue to hide? ' she thought to herself. ‘ And CJ's my best friend. I have to do something… and maybe this is it .'

She slowly put her hands up her back under her clothing to unclasp her bra. Then she unbuttoned the blue shirt that covered her scars. CJ's gaze fell on the blonde's cleavage, seeing the whitened, rough skin start to appear. Jamie revealed her left breast and kept a hold of the shirt over her right, still feeling a little apprehensive. She had about nine slight scars and one that was quite pronounced all crossing over one another like hash markings. The worst one was about two inches long, the raised flesh running over the soft swell of her breast. She shed a few nervous and painful tears again but waited to hear what CJ would say to her. She did not expect the words the tall agent would utter next.

For some reason, CJ needed to make contact with her friend and raised her eyebrow in question as she moved her hand towards Jamie's skin. The blonde nervously swallowed and nodded slightly. CJ ran her fingertip down the main scar. She just wanted to try and make Jamie feel more like the precious woman she was. “They're beautiful. Just like you, Jamie. And if I love you as a friend and feel that, just imagine how someone who is crazy about you will feel,” CJ said quietly, reaching over to close the shirt.

Jamie's tears trickled down her face and her dark brown eyes were wide with astonishment. Kate was standing by the door, watching the tender exchange and Jamie turned to her, shaking her head slowly. “Did you hear what your wife said to me?”

“Yes.” Kate said, walking towards them. “And I agree with her. They don't detract from your beauty in the slightest. And it just shows me how incredible you are that you had the courage to show them to us. Please don't hide anymore, Jamie, not from the people who love you.”

“I…” The blonde agent was speechless.

Kate sat down, pulling Jamie with her. “You know what happened to me just before I met CJ, right?” At Jamie's nod, she continued. “I have a pretty large, deep scar on my inner thigh from those attacks. CJ kisses it all the time, just like she kisses everywhere else because she loves all of me. These aren't ugly, Jamie,” she said, pointing to the skin peeking out of the agent's shirt. “They're part of you and I know Sam will love them because of that.”

Jamie still had tears running down her cheeks but her eyes twinkled. “Seems we all have our war wounds. CJ has a scar too,” she smiled wanly.

Kate raised an eyebrow. “Uh huh. She has three. Which one are you talking about?” she grinned

Jamie pointed to CJ's breast. “That little one.”

”You saw that, did ya?”

“Well, yeah but only because she was wearing that low-cut blouse,” Jamie nodded.

CJ licked her teeth. “Yeah, yeah, okay. That's nothing. The point is we don't want you to hide your scars around us. Even if you don't feel you want to show them to anyone else, please feel free to walk around in your underwear in our presence,” CJ winked. “And when you go to Sam and finally make love without your shirt on, it'll free something inside you. I'd even place a bet on that… sure to make me some money,” she finished smugly, crossing her arms over her chest and sticking her chin out.

There was silence for a second before all three began to laugh. Jamie rolled back on the couch, pointing at CJ's ridiculous expression and howling when the agent feigned hurt. And the blonde didn't even hold her shirt closed.

Once Kate had calmed herself down, she leaned over Jamie to pull the shirt over her breasts. “Okay, Missy. No need to throw them in our faces.”

That set them all off again and they spent the next couple of hours talking easily and teasing one another mercilessly. CJ suggested her friend stay in the guestroom for the night and Jamie accepted readily.

In the upper hallway, CJ handed a couple of clean towels to her colleague and was pulled into a bear hug. “Thank you for tonight. You're an amazing friend and I love you,” the blonde said as she released the tall woman.

CJ stared at her for a few seconds before finding her voice. “I love you too.” Her face took on a teasing grin again. “Now, don't screw up this thing with Sam or I'll have to kick your ass.”

Jamie smirked, deciding she enjoyed being teased by her best friend. “I won't. Goodnight, DM.”

“Night, Penfold.”

Jamie lay awake and thought about the entire evening, finding it quite unbelievable that anyone would care for her so much. Good God, they had cheered her up. And CJ was right; she did feel so much freer already. She knew now she had to let Sam in. She kinda loved the little redhead and knew that they could be something special, if only she'd give them the chance.

* * * * * *

CJ lay in bed, waiting for her wife to finish up in the ensuite. When Kate came through the door, she turned off the bedside light and crawled into the agent's arms.

“Mmmm, you were so great tonight, honey,” the petite blonde murmured into CJ's neck.

“So were you. Do you know how much I love you… love ‘us'?” she said, kissing the soft hair near her cheek.

“We do make a pretty good team, don't we?”

“We sure do.”

“You know what I find amazing about that whole night?”

“What?” CJ smiled, brushing a few strands of hair from Kate's face.

“That there were some really intimate moments between you and Jamie… so beautiful… and I never felt anything but complete love and trust in you. You're so incredible, CJ.”

The agent's eyes had suddenly moistened and she gulped audibly. “See… to me, you are incredible for being that way, honey. I'm not sure I could always be so understanding.”

“Ah but you were… and you are. You trust me, don't you?” Kate asked.

“No question there. Yes, I do.”

“Exactly. And there was that phone call not so long ago, accusing me of having an affair but you knew in your heart that I wasn't, right?”

“Yes, Katie.”

“So there you go. We trust each other and I know what you feel for Jamie is love but it's a friend kind of love, like the way I feel about Sam. It's a beautiful thing and I'm so glad that Jamie's starting to feel comfortable around us now.”

CJ squeezed the smaller frame and kissed Kate's forehead. “I love you, baby.”

Kate raised up onto her elbow. “Baby? Oooh, want me to show you how much I love you back?” she purred, wiggling an eyebrow.

CJ made her ‘oh-go-on-and-force-me' face and Kate laughed before leaning down to kiss her spouse deeply. The agent whimpered as her wife took her breath away and she had to break the contact to gulp down some much-needed air. “We need… to be quiet, Katie.”

“Uh huh. You'll have to bite down on your arm then… baby,” the actress breathed in CJ's ear, before beginning a trail down the tall body with her lips and tongue.

“Oh God…”

* * * * * *

At six thirty the next morning, CJ met Jamie down in the kitchen. The blonde was making breakfast for her friends and the dark-haired woman blinked at the sight. “What are you doing, Penfold?”

“Hey. I spotted fresh fruit in the fridge and thought you guys might like waffles… maybe some syrup and delicious things,” Jamie smiled, spreading her hand out to the table set with all kinds of toppings. “Is that okay?”

“Hell, yes. Watch out though, Kate might want you to move in.”

“Oh I doubt that, DM. You guys couldn't even be quiet for one night,” Jamie teased.

CJ blushed furiously. “You heard us?”

The blonde agent smirked. “Uh, yeah. The pillow over my head didn't help either.”

“Oh God. I'll never live it down,” CJ muttered.

“Don't worry about it, CJ. As long as you enjoyed yourselves.”

CJ bit her lips and busied herself at the coffee machine, making Jamie giggle. Kate walked in the door with a sleepy, dreamy look on her face, blonde hair in disarray and CJ's robe trailing on the floor around her feet.

Jamie pointed at the actress. “See? She's all happy and satisfied.”

CJ barked out a laugh at her wife's expression and she had to admit, Kate did look like the cat that had already consumed the canary… so to speak. The actress rubbed at her face and pulled out a chair at the dining table, dumping her cute little butt into it heavily. Green eyes blinked a few times to focus on the two women. “What's she going on about, honey?”

CJ grinned. “Seems Jamie heard us last night, Katie. But don't worry, I'm throwing her out in about five minutes.”

Kate pouted at Jamie. “Sorry. Was I that loud?”

Jamie and CJ burst into hysterics.

The raven-haired agent leaned down to kiss her wife. “I believe you were,” she whispered into Kate's ear, making the actress shudder.

“Hmmm, sorry Jamie. I couldn't help it. Anyway, it was partly all that flesh flying around last night that got me going.”

“Uh, I believe it was you who flashed your boobies first,” Jamie smirked.

“Yeah yeah, whatever,” the actress muttered, waving her hand about.

They sat down to breakfast and the two agents ate quickly as they had to stop by Jamie's apartment on the way to work for a change of clothes. Kate was still half-asleep but kissed CJ and hugged Jamie before they left. Shuffling back upstairs she went for a shower and got ready for work, hoping that nothing at the studios would fall apart today.

Chapter 4

When CJ arrived at her desk she had a message from Agent Neeson. She hoped it was good news, having given him the tedious task of looking through surveillance camera footage for a whole load of streets branching out from the locations of the previous California attacks and killings. He'd been on nightshift and had gone through a ton of them last night. She picked up the phone and dialed his internal line.

Neeson ,” said a slightly tired sounding voice.

“Hey Stewart, its CJ. You got anything for me?”

Oh yes. I'm starting to see a car in quite a few of the recordings. It's always parked about two streets away from the bar or club the victims are lured from ,” he said, thankful that he had information for Agent Carson.

“That sounds promising. Did you check out the vehicle?”

I'm still working on getting the images enhanced to read the license plate. I'll get the stills up to you within the hour .”

“Great. Thanks, Neeson, I'll see you then,” CJ said, hanging up the phone.

Jamie walked through the door and CJ looked up and smiled.

“Hey, where'd you go?”

Jamie smiled back. “I went to see Mark. I told him about my uh, involvement with this case and asked him to put me on it with you. I hope you don't mind.”

“God, no. Of course I don't mind. Are you sure you want to do this, though?”

“Yes, CJ. It'll help with the whole ‘facing up to myself' thing.”

“Did Mark allow it?”

Jamie sat down at her desk. “Yes. But I asked him to keep it between the three of us here in the office.”

CJ nodded. “Good. I'm happy to have your help. And I'm proud of you, Penfold,” she added, trying not to sound corny or condescending.

Jamie felt a smile creep across her face. It surprisingly meant a lot to her to hear that. She took a deep breath. “So, what do you want me to do first?”

“Well,” CJ said, standing up, “look at this map. These are the locations of all the attacks and killings so far in CA. I'm seeing a pattern but I can't really believe it's that simple and I still can't comprehend why no one ever caught up with her. Tell me what you think.”

Jamie got up and stood shoulder to shoulder with her friend in front of the map. She looked at each pin and location name. Then she took a step back and cocked her head to the side to look again. She walked to her desk in silence and opened the drawer, bringing out a small ball of string. CJ watched her, feeling that sense of advancement surging through her when a case started coming together. She knew what Jamie was about to do.

The blonde wrapped the end of the string around the lowest pin on the board and proceeded to trail it round the outside of the other pins. And there it was. The left side and top of a heart shape.

“She's kinda obvious, huh?” Jamie said, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Seems like it. But why haven't the cops caught this? I bet it's similar in every state.”

“Maybe they did… but she moves on so quickly. Even if they'd figured this out, they couldn't keep up with her and she left random time gaps between the old attacks. And anyway, they may not have gone this far into it. The murders only started recently. When I was attacked, the cops weren't all that interested.”

CJ raised both eyebrows. “They weren't?”

“Not really. Remember, CJ, she targets crummy bars or nightclubs and lures her victims away to even crummier places to attack them. I guess the cops figured the victims had it coming. I don't know,” Jamie said as her eyes glazed over.

“Hey, stay with me. Are you sure you want to help with this?”

“Yes, sorry. I'm okay,” the blonde said, patting CJ's arm. “Really.”

“Okay. Let's get to work.”

They both settled down around CJ's desk and started going over everything. The medical files and photographs were left closed for now but when Neeson walked into the office, they had much more information to work with anyway. CJ began checking out the license plate of the car that seemed to be near the area of every attack in the past few months. Jamie caught herself up with the details of the case and was just about to look at her own file when Ethan and Mikey arrived with coffees… the good stuff. She put the papers back into the drawer and greeted her colleagues.

A short time later, they had a possible name for the killer. Alison Timmons was the last known owner of the suspect car and fitted the description of the attacker down to the last detail - almost. But CJ suspected she wore a few different wigs and so could explain the quick changes in hair color and length over the years. Now she needed to get a photo of the woman so that Jamie could identify her, but Timmons wasn't on file.

CJ had been puzzled by the lack of DNA at the scenes but after looking over the reports more carefully, she noticed that the attacker didn't even touch her victims after the first ten or so – apart from the knife into their flesh. She used her charm and seductive promises and they seemed to go with her like lambs to the slaughter . ‘This woman must have that ‘something' that makes people drool over her ,' CJ had thought to herself . ‘Either that or she picks her victims well and can see that they're easy targets .' CJ just couldn't imagine how this attacker had been able to commit so many. If a description had been put out on the national news, surely people would have been wary. Of course, her victims were no doubt full of drink or drugs, considering the chosen locations. CJ inhaled deeply, stretching her shoulders out before getting on with her work.

* * * * * *

Kate breathed a sigh of relief at 2pm. They had gotten a lot of work done so far and nothing had collapsed or blown up. She was absolutely desperate for a cold soda and headed out into the lot, keeping her green eyes peeled for a sighting of Sam.

In the cafeteria, she headed to the register with her chosen drink. As she handed over the cash she felt nimble fingers pinch the sides of her waist, and jumped before hearing the sound of Sam's voice.

“Lookin' good, sexy,” the producer grinned.

Kate turned to see her friend smiling shyly at her. “What did you do that for?”

“I have no idea. You just look so good in those pants.”

“Hey, keep your eyes off. This belongs to a certain tough FBI agent,” Kate said, splaying her hands over her body.

“Oh I know. I just seem to have a new appreciation of the female form. May I join you?”

“Of course.”

They sat at a nearby table and Kate opened her soda. “Want some?” she asked her friend.

“Nah. I just wanted to see if you were all ready for the awards.”

Kate smirked. “Yes. We both have our dresses. God, wait ‘til you see my wife. I don't know how I'm gonna keep the drool from running down my chin all night.”

Sam laughed. “I don't want to see that on the front page, that's for sure.”

“Yeah, I think I could do without that kind of publicity for my first big night.”

“I bet you win.”

“Don't make me think about it. And to be honest, I'm more excited about attending it with CJ than anything else. If I win, it would just be a bonus.”

Sam shook her head slowly. “You really aren't like any actress I've ever met before, Kate. And that's a good thing…”

“What do you mean?”

“You know Hollywood… everyone's out to win, make more money, be in the limelight as much as possible no matter what it costs anyone who gets in their way. But you're different and that's probably why we became friends, amongst other things,” the producer replied.

“Thank you for saying that, Sam. And I guess you're right. I mean, when I was young I did want to be famous and rich but now that I'm all grown up, it's more about the parts I would enjoy playing, not how much I'm paid or how popular I'll be. And anyway, I've found something that's worth more than any money in the world. It certainly puts things into perspective.”

Sam knew she was talking about her wife and while it warmed her heart that Kate was so happy, it reminded her of her problems with Jamie. Her face fell and Kate noticed it.

“It'll happen,” the actress said quietly.

Sam threw her a half smile and snagged the soda to steal a gulp or two.

* * * * * *

CJ walked along the corridor to her office. Once inside, she dropped into her chair and kicked off her shoes. Scratching her fingers through her dark hair, she looked over at Jamie. No matter how hard she'd tried not to think about her friend while she was at the mortuary, the blonde still popped into her head when she was looking at the bodies – one man and two women - from the last few of murders.

They had been stabbed and slashed the same way Jamie had, but just below those marks the fatal stab wound was inflicted and the heart shape cut out of the covering skin. The thought of this woman touching Jamie with a blade made CJ sick.

“You okay, Dangermouse?” the blonde asked.

“Yeah. Just don't like mortuaries much,” the agent replied with a wan smile.

“Who does?” Jamie replied with a similar expression.

“Did Mark stop by?”

Jamie searched for a piece of paper. “Yep. He left you a note but I can't… oh, here it is.”

CJ got up and perched on the side of Jamie's desk. “Great. He put out the APB on Timmons. If her car is spotted in any of the places we think she's headed to, we'll know about it. Then… we need to be ready to move.”

“Are we going up to Bakersfield?”

“I think we should but I'm worried my hunch will be wrong and she's actually in another town.”

“I want to be the one to go undercover with you, CJ.”

The dark-haired agent shook her head. “No way, Jamie. I'm going in with Mark. I don't want you going through anything else this week.”

“I'm a big girl, DM. No need to worry,” Jamie said, patting CJ's thigh.

“Well, you'll forgive me if I do anyway. Besides, I think you're leading the team on standby. As soon as we know where she is, you'll be in a van heading to the scene. We need you to eyeball her since we couldn't get a picture,” CJ stated plainly.

“Okay. I'm not gonna fight you on this. It's your deal. But be careful, please.”

CJ smiled. “I will.”

At that moment, Mark came in with Ethan and Mikey in tow. They all sat down and the AD looked at his team. “Right, we're all going to Bakersfield. In order to cover the main drag, I'll need everyone I can get my hands on and you'll be paired off. We have a lot of ground to cover but if CJ's right, the killer will target the not-so-cool places. Still, we can't afford to miss anything.” He handed out a sheet of paper to each agent. “Early on in the night, I want the clubs on 18th and 19th Streets checked. Also Baker Street and Union Avenue, as they seem to be the busiest. There are more but we'll take it in waves. The local PD is cooperating with us and has allocated a group of undercover cops to assist us in the search. We'll take a team of twelve from here..." He paused at CJ's worried expression. “CJ?”

“I'm just concerned that this is all being done on my gut feeling about where she'll strike next, Sir. That's a lot of cops and agents.”

“Hmm, how do I say this without embarrassing you?” He shrugged. “CJ, I'm willing to go with your gut feeling. Considering the way you bring cases to a satisfactory conclusion very quickly, especially the Davenport case, I'll take any educated guess you have to offer. I think I've known you long enough and anyway, I agree with your gut feeling. You let me worry about the budget, okay?”

CJ blushed slightly. “Yes, Sir.”

“All right. Jamie, I need you in the backup van. If we get a hit, I want you to get to the location and ID her as quickly as possible. CJ, you're with me. We're going to check the uh, less popular clubs… if you know what I mean. Then we'll wait in the car for a sighting. Once that happens, we need to move in. Mikey, Ethan, I want you two on the main streets. I want you to keep your eyes and ears open and check all alleyways that are easily accessible. Every pairing will have access to a car. If we need to move to another area, I want everyone there as quickly as possible. Her last attacks in California have been at weekends. Let's hope she doesn't change that now. If we don't get anything tonight, we'll have to stay and try Saturday too.”

“If we see her, are we going in to bait her, Sir?” Mikey asked.

“That's the plan but I'm not sure yet. I'll brief you again when we get over there. If we find her, CJ and I will make ourselves blatantly noticeable to her and hopefully she'll take the bait.”

CJ swallowed and grimaced. “What do I have to wear?”

Mark scrunched up his face. “Something nightclub-ish?”

The dark-haired woman smirked. “You mean, something revealing and hideous. I get it. Yes, Sir.”

“Don't worry, CJ. I'll wear a shirt I once got for a Halloween party and we'll both look like… well, you know. Any more questions?”

All four agents shook their heads and Mark gave them some final instructions and left. CJ decided she had to phone Kate before she jumped home for clothing to take with her. She wasn't gonna get back until tomorrow at the earliest.

* * * * * *

“So, do you think if we got you and Jamie together, you could talk this through?” Kate asked, picking at a fudge brownie she'd decided she just had to have.

Sam bit her lip. “I want to, Kate, but remember when I told you I was scared before? Well, I'm ten times more scared now.”

Kate nodded, trying to think of a way to help these two sort things through. “How about… you come over for dinner. I'll get CJ to invite Jamie too. Then once we've eaten, you'll hopefully be more relaxed after our scintillating conversation and CJ and I will go out for a ride while you two talk?”

“You're quite the meddler,” Sam smirked.

“I'm not meddling. Okay, I am but you guys need help.”

“God, Kate, you make us sound like two idiots in love.”

“Close enough,” the actress said, earning her a kick under the table. “Ouch!” she barked, but Sam could see the amusement in the blonde's eyes and smiled. Kate's cell phone vibrated and she fished it out of her pocket. “Hello?”

Hi, Katie .”

“Hey honey. How are you?”

Fine. How are you?”


“I'm okay. Just chatting with Sam… trying to plan a dinner, if you know what I mean.”


“That sounds great but I have to be away overnight, maybe tomorrow too ,” CJ said, rubbing her temples with her fingers.

“Aww, why?”

We have to go up to Bakersfield and try to catch this killer. We want to be in the area if the cops spot her. The evidence we have so far is only speculative and we need to catch her in the act .”

“Hasn't she left DNA on anyone?”

“She hasn't touched any victims for a long time, Katie, but I can't really talk about this right now, you know ?”

“Of course.”

How's your day going? Are you at the studios?”




“No more catastrophes I hope ?”

Kate sighed. “No, thankfully.”

Good. I love you, honey. I have to go.”

“Ditto, CJ. Please be careful, okay?”

Always. Bye Katie,” CJ said quietly.


Kate hung up the phone and turned to Sam. “Well, tonight's no use. We could shoot for tomorrow instead?”

“For what?” Sam blinked.

“Dinner at our place. Sheesh, Sam, keep up,” the actress teased.

The producer pursed her lips. “Yeah, tomorrow sounds fine. But I may call Jamie tonight if I get up the nerve.”

“She might be away with CJ. Want me to check?”

“Oh yeah, please.”

Kate sent a text message to her wife, receiving one back a few moments later. “Yep. Jamie's going too. So, we'll try for tomorrow then.”

“You just love it when a plan comes together, don't you?” Sam chuckled.

“Just call me Hannibal,” Kate winked.


“Oh for goodness sake, Sam. The A-Team?”

Sam laughed at her friend's frustrated face, making Kate realize she was being teased. The actress grinned and picked a few more pieces from her brownie, narrowing her eyes and flicking them at the redhead.

* * * * * *

CJ smirked through the car window at the guys in the Bureau van that had just passed them on the freeway. As Mark drove, she thought about how they were going to capture Timmons since she seemed to be pretty good at avoiding the authorities. Of course, she'd never been up against the LA Specialist Serial Homicide Unit of the FBI. CJ snarled at the thought of catching the killer. This woman had not only physically harmed her friend, she had caused a whole load of emotional and mental grief to Jamie too… for twelve years. Not to mention the numerous other victims she had affected or killed. It made CJ's blood boil. The tall agent tried to squash the anger she felt rising, knowing that it wouldn't do her any good anyway.

“What was that for?” Mark asked, breaking her train of thought.


“That growling sound you just made.”

“I did not.”

“You did. What were you thinking about? Or do I not want to know?” the AD said, raising his eyebrow.

CJ sighed. “I was just trying to control my anger toward this perp, Sir. But don't worry, I'm fine.”

“Oh, I know you're fine, CJ. But I also know she hurt your friend. I see how close you and Jamie have gotten and while that's a great thing, I need you to focus just like you would with any other killer.”

“I will, Sir.”

“CJ… call me Mark when we're alone.”

She turned to him and saw the sincerity in his dark eyes. “Okay, Mark.”

He focused on the road again and they made the rest of the trip in a comfortable silence, save for some random country song playing quietly on the radio. The Bureau van and a few fleet sedans were up ahead of them on the freeway. When the vehicles eventually took the exit toward Bakersfield, Mark signaled and followed them to the local police department to pick up their troops and get as much info as they could on the lay of the land.

* * * * * *

Kate stood next to her Mercedes wondering where Tony had gone. She called him and a few moments later he appeared, doing up his belt as he walked quickly towards the car. The actress raised an eyebrow. “Please tell me you were just in the bathroom,” she deadpanned.

Tony took a few seconds to realize what she meant. “Oh, Kate, I wouldn't do such a thing. I just had to pee, I swear!”

Kate barely held back her laugh and the young man realized that his boss was teasing him. He opened the car door for the actress, who shook her head at his nervousness. Once he'd sat in the driver's seat, she leaned forward to catch his attention in the rear view mirror. “Tony, I know you're not the kinda guy to have a quickie with your girlfriend while you're working but I also know you two are getting pretty serious,” the blonde stated.

“Kate, I wouldn't ever do anything like that. I can control myself…” He looked round, seeing the mischief in Kate's eyes and slapped his forehead. “You're pulling my leg again, aren't you?”

Kate laughed and nodded. “Sorry, Tony. I was talking to Cyn earlier and she said you guys had a quick kiss in the trailer while I was on set…” she said, holding up her finger at the man's worried expression. “She told me because she knows I don't mind. It's your relationship, and as long as it doesn't affect my schedule, I want you to know I think it's cool. Okay?”

Tony sighed in relief. “Okay. Thank you, Kate. It will never affect my job. I promise you,” he said sincerely.

“I know. Now take me home, man.”

He chuckled and started the car. During the drive home, Kate decided to see what Sam was up to tonight. With both CJ and Jamie away, they could take the opportunity to get together for dinner.

Hanging up the phone a few minutes later, she sighed happily. Sam was coming over. They were ordering take out and the producer was bringing a blooper reel from ‘Rise of the Phoenix'. Since it was Kate's old show, she'd be quite happy to see them make asses of themselves. She giggled silently at the thought.

* * * * * *

“Shit! That is her,” Jamie said with certainty. She pressed the button for her earpiece and mic, activating them to AD Mulroney. “Sir, sighting confirmed. Timmons is just entering La Movida nightclub.”

Mark flicked a switch linking the wires each agent wore. “All units, we have a confirmed sighting. I want everyone in the area around La Movida nightclub as soon as possible. Keep radio traffic down to a minimum. This channel will remain open. Agent Carson and I are going in. Over.”

Jamie ended up alone in her van as all the agents filed out in their pairings. This vehicle had the secured area in the back and she was to remain in it, ready to jump to any location as transport for the prisoner. She positioned herself across the busy street from the club, giving her a view of the crowds of people. Her stomach had churned slightly at the sight of Timmons and she wanted this part of her life to end now. “ Please get her, CJ ,' she thought.

* * * * * *

After a delicious Chinese meal, Kate and Sam had watched the blooper reel twice. It was hilarious and the actress still chuckled when she thought about it. “Can I keep this to show CJ?” she asked.

“Sure. It's a good ‘un, huh?”

“Yeah. I'm sure she'll need a good laugh when she gets back.”

Sam nodded. “Such a dangerous job. How do you cope with that aspect, Kate?”

“I just do. It's part of CJ's life and she's really good at her job. I thought about joining the Bureau too, you know.”


“Yep. I decided recently, after that horrid case a few months back, that I'd rather be here to support her, not off trying to start a new career.”

“Yeah. And it's a tough career to get into. I don't know how they do it,” Sam said, her mind wandering off.

Kate watched her friend and smirked. “Where did you go?”

“Uh…” The producer began to blush and turned to her friend. “I was just thinking about… you know.”

“Yes. I do know. So, have you figured out what you're going to say to her when you see her?”

“Not really. I was thinking I should just drag her away when she walks in the door and kiss her senseless. What do you think?”

Kate laughed. “Sounds fine. I doubt she'd object.”

“God, Kate. I've never thought about kissing someone so much in my life. That short kiss we had was incredible. What am I gonna be like when she touches me?”

“Well, if you guys are anything like CJ and I, you'll melt into a little pool of utter bliss every single time,” Kate said, sighing dreamily.

Sam laughed and slapped her friend on the shoulder. It was well after midnight but they were enjoying having some time to chill out and talk. A couple of hours later, Sam decided to go since she had to work the next morning. Kate was a little luckier and had the day off tomorrow. They said their good-byes, hugging at the front door and Kate locked up once the producer was in her car. She shuffled through the house, clearing up the glasses and shutting off the lights before going to her lonely bed. She suddenly wondered what CJ was doing right now and shuddered at the thought. ‘Damn, I miss her' .

* * * * * *

Inside La Movida nightclub, CJ and Mark scanned the dance floor and bar area, respectively. Timmons should be easy to spot but the guys who had come in with them were not, so CJ kept looking for the suspect or a sign from a cop. The music was loud and the lights were flashing around the darkened room. She passed the restroom door and quickly checked inside. While she was in there away from the loud music, she heard Mark talking to someone on the receiver in her ear… and it was a woman. “Shit!” she muttered. She left the restroom and headed to the bar.

CJ looked frantically at each surrounding table. She couldn't see Mark anywhere and felt a panic course through her body. She scanned every area for her boss then headed outside where she could communicate again with her colleagues. She couldn't hear a damn thing in here.

Mark walked out the door with the woman he suspected to be Alison Timmons, who had offered to buy him a drink. He'd suggested to her that he wasn't here to drink but was looking for a good time. When she didn't slap him and walk away, he guessed – from her reaction and appearance – that she was the killer. She whispered in his ear that she wanted him to fuck her outside… right now… and he left with her, knowing that as soon as she took him into the alleyway and produced the knife, he would say the code words to call for his agents.

What he hadn't known was that Alison had pepper spray – or something similar - in her pocket and as soon as they were off the main street, she turned quickly and sprayed Mark's eyes and mouth with a large dose of the contaminant. The AD was tall and quite burly so it seemed that Alison wasn't taking any chances. He growled in pain and couldn't see the woman as she pulled a large knife from her black cowboy boots and held the blade across his throat. He lashed out and tried to turn back onto the main thoroughfare, forcing Alison to touch him. She pulled his arm up behind his back and moved him deeper into the alleyway. Mulroney tensed, thinking she would feel his gun and figure out that he was an officer of the law. He was glad that she had touched him though. If she somehow got away, they would hopefully have DNA. ‘ She's not getting away ,' he thought angrily. His eyes stung so badly he had no way of opening them. His throat was burning and his tongue felt almost numb. The pain was becoming intolerable.

While all of this was happening, Jamie – who had seen Timmons as she walked down the street with Mark – was driving round to the other end of the alleyway to head them off. Not seeing anyone emerge, she was now creeping along against the darkened wall with her gun drawn. She heard the noises of a struggle and tried to control her pounding heart. She wasn't afraid but she wasn't looking forward to facing this woman again either.

Peeking out from behind a dumpster - the sight of which had made her wince - she saw Mark being held by the throat and knew she didn't have any time left. When she noticed Timmons move into a shadowed spot under a fire escape, she cocked her gun and moved into the center of the alleyway.

“FBI. Drop it!” she shouted.

Alison Timmons looked over at her, making no move to do what the agent had instructed. “Or what? You'll shoot him?” the woman sneered, pointing at Mark who was shielding her body.

Jamie's finger pressed against the trigger.

* * * * * *

CJ ran as fast as her long legs would carry her, hearing all sorts of directions being barked over the radio on her ear. She wished she had the breath left in her to tell them to shut up. All she wanted to hear were Mark's words. She had asked a few people on the sidewalk where the tall dude with the sparkly purple shirt had gone and one of them pointed to the alleyway, which was more than a block from the club. She kept running, pulling her gun from its holster as she went.

When she entered the alleyway, the sight that greeted her made her heart leap into her mouth. Jamie was standing pointing her gun at Timmons, who was up against the wall with Mark in her grasp, a large knife pressing into his jugular. CJ aimed her gun at Timmons and could see Mark's face covered in tears. His eyes were swollen and red. ‘ What the hell? '

Jamie warred within herself. Anger and horror at seeing this woman again made the blood pulse through her veins at the speed of light.

Timmons just glared at her. “Drop the gun, sexy, or I swear to God I'll stick this right through to his spine,” the incredibly tall woman spat.

“There's no way I'm dropping this gun, Alison. And if you hurt him in any way, I'll make sure my bullet goes through your brain the next second,” Jamie snarled back, raising her aim to the killer's head.

“So you know my name? Hmmm, still, I don't think you've got the balls to shoot me.”

Jamie breathed steadily, fighting with her adrenaline-filled body. “Try me.”

“All right.” Timmons shifted her gaze, glancing at CJ then looking at Mark. “Nighty night, handsome.”

In the blink of an eye, Jamie adjusted her aim again – knowing she had no other options left - and blew a hole in Alison's elbow, making her drop the knife from a hand left devoid of any feeling. The woman screamed in agony and tried to drop to the ground to grapple for her weapon. Mark scampered away, bumping into a couple of things due to his blindness.

Jamie stepped forward and pressed the barrel of her gun against Alison's forehead. “You touch that knife and I swear to God, I will kill you. You're not hurting me again.”

CJ ran to Mark. “Don't touch your eyes, Sir. Stay still,” she said, sitting him in a safe spot against the wall.

Timmons looked up at Agent Green, effectively placing the barrel of the blonde's gun between her eyes. “Again?”

Jamie raised an eyebrow. “It's a shame you don't recognize me… because I'll be the last thing you see before you die. It's time for you to pay for your crimes,” she replied icily, her finger tensing on the trigger once more.

CJ stood rigidly next to her friend, seeing the look on Alison's face turn from cocky to fear. She spoke quietly to Jamie. “She's injured and we can handle her.” CJ looked round to see a few more agents arrive. “Lower your weapon, Agent.”

Jamie stood stock-still; her finger still poised to pull the trigger. Every muscle on the blonde's face and neck was tensed. She showed no sign that she was listening to CJ as she stared coldly into Timmons' eyes.

The raven-haired agent tried again. “She's not worth it. You need to lower your weapon. She won't get away and there are three other guns trained on her now. Let it go.”

“I can't. She deserves…” Jamie couldn't finish the sentence.

CJ took a step closer to Jamie's shoulder. She spoke in a whisper into her friend's ear, making sure this evil woman wouldn't hear these words. “I love you, Jamie. Don't fuck this up now. Please, lower your weapon.”

The blonde swallowed hard. Holding her aim, she turned to see the three guns, including Agents Matthews and Ryan, pointed directly at Timmons. Ethan nodded briefly at Jamie and she lowered her weapon. The other agent's quickly moved in and as CJ led Jamie away, she heard someone calling for an ambulance.

Agent Green crouched beside her boss, wearily leaning on the wall and putting her arm around his shoulders. “Are you okay, Sir?”

“Yes, Agent. Are you?” he croaked against a burning throat and tried to open his eyes.

CJ watched over them and kept her eye on the others. The alleyway was now swarming with cops and agents and she noted with satisfaction that someone was snapping on gloves to retrieve the knife, which had a little of her boss' blood on the tip. She grimaced and focused back on Jamie and Mark.

The AD clumsily patted Green's knee. “You did good, Agent. I know that musta been hard for you.”

“It's over now,” Jamie sighed, looking up to meet CJ's eyes. The blonde smiled and CJ nodded once, acknowledging the ‘thank you' for what it was.

The next fifty minutes or so seemed to fly by and included a paramedic treating the hole in Alison's elbow and bandaging her up. When CJ had slowed down again, she realized she was in the sedan with Mark and Ethan. Jamie and Mikey had gone in the van with a few other agents, accompanying Timmons on her journey back to LA.

It would be a long night of paperwork. They all doubted they would get home until tomorrow. It would take hours just to get back to the city. CJ sent a text message to Kate, telling her she would get home as soon as possible but it would be after work the next day. The actress had a couple of days off and CJ couldn't wait to spend some time with her. And now that the adrenaline had left her system, she was missing the little blonde very much. The tall woman sighed and began jotting details down in her notebook for reference later.

Mark watched from the back seat as Ethan turned on the radio, keeping the volume low as they headed down the highway behind the convoy of Bureau vehicles. Once again, the AD was proud of his agents and he was glad that it had ended successfully with the killer captured alive and nobody else getting hurt. Well, apart from him, but his eyes were feeling much better and the stinging had gone after the paramedics had flushed them. That pepper spray sure had been unexpected. There were no reports of it being used on any other attack and the tall man shook his head. ‘ Never a dull day in the FBI, ' he mused.

Chapter 5

CJ arrived home at 4.30pm the next day – having been awake for… well, she'd lost count of the hours - and went through the house looking for Kate. She'd missed her wife like crazy while she was away. Even though her mind was on the case and the capture, the little ache in her heart always remained when she was apart from the blonde. After changing out of her work clothes in the bedroom, she headed to the kitchen to grab a drink but got distracted by the sounds coming from the gym. Thinking about how Kate had reacted to her working out recently, she grinned to herself and crept towards the noises.

The door was ajar and CJ looked through the gap. She saw her wife sparring with her “Iron Man” freestanding punching figure. She watched intently as Kate battered the crap out of the dummy, jabbing and swiping with her staff, occasionally throwing in a roundhouse kick. The agent's nostrils flared at the impressive display.

She listened to the grunts of exertion and occasional profanity as Kate ran through her routine. CJ loved this side of the actress, just as much as she loved every other facet of her wife's being. She relished in her spouse's strength. Kate had so much of it and it showed in so many different ways. ‘ Aww hell, I just love all of her. I'm so damn lucky. '

The actress stopped for a break and CJ moaned long and low to get her attention. Kate turned to see the look in her wife's deep cobalt eyes. She smirked and waved her finger in front of her. “Don't you dare. If you want to spar then come ahead, otherwise you need to wait ‘til I'm done,” the blonde said, swiping a drop of sweat from the end of her nose.

“By spar… do you mean make love?” the agent purred, raising a sultry eyebrow.

“Hey!” Kate said, backing away from the stealthy approach of her wife but secretly enjoying the sight. “I'm not done working out. You can either spar with me or go away!”

The agent knew her wife wasn't being completely serious. “By spar… do you mean kiss or lick?”

“CJ, I swear…” the blonde warned, taking another step back to avoid the grasp of the long arms and blocking the agent with her staff.

The taller woman wiggled her outstretched fingers and narrowed her eyes. “By spar… do you mean, take all this wetness between my legs and join it with yours?” she asked, licking her lips.

Kate swallowed hard, feeling her body respond to the words and the imagery they created in her mind. “CJ…” she tried weakly. She felt the wall blocking her retreat and her resolve was disappearing fast.

The agent now stood with her abs pressed against the end of the staff. Her eyes were the darkest Kate had ever seen them. CJ narrowed the blue orbs. “By spar… do you mean come all over you, again and again and again?” she husked.

Kate couldn't breathe. “No… fair…” she squeaked.

The raven-haired woman grabbed the end of the staff and moved it aside to press her body against Kate's. The actress groaned in surrender and dropped the weapon on the floor. CJ swept her up in her arms and immediately slipped her tongue in the smaller woman's mouth.

Kate sucked on the muscle, feeling the fire burn throughout her body. The touch of CJ's lips and her hands running over the blonde's skin-tight clothing was enough to make Kate very, very wet. The anticipation overwhelmed her and she broke the contact, breathing heavily against CJ's soft, moist lips. “God, I missed you, Ciara…”

“Oh, baby, I missed you too… you have no idea…” CJ whispered.

They kissed again and CJ slipped her hands into Kate's pants, grasping at the firm buttocks and squeezing the smooth flesh. She pulled Kate closer to her and moaned into her lover's mouth. They kissed long and slow, savoring every movement and taste. Kate's hands moved across CJ's back, scratching and massaging the muscled flesh. The taller woman was on fire now and she thought she might come simply from kissing her beautiful wife.

The blonde suddenly broke the contact and pushed CJ back gently. They held their intense gaze for a few seconds as the agent tried to work out what was going on. Kate smirked. “Come get me…” she said, then ran quickly out of the gym.

Not wasting another second, CJ laughed and followed her spouse eagerly. She caught up to Kate at the bottom of the staircase and admired the actress' butt cheeks as she ascended in a run. CJ smiled widely and licked her lips as she took the stairs two at a time. When they got into the bedroom, Kate turned to face her wife at the foot of their bed, but CJ didn't stop and tackled the blonde, throwing her backwards onto the soft mattress. Pinning Kate's wrists above her head, CJ straddled the petite body. “You're not getting away this time, my dear.”

“Oh, I don't wanna go anywhere. Make love to me, baby.”

CJ purred deep in her throat and lowered herself to kiss her lover. Still holding Kate's wrists, she ground her crotch onto her wife's and the weight of her breasts pressed down on the blonde's. She heard Kate moan as the smaller woman pushed herself up against CJ. The agent slipped her hands upward to link their fingers. She broke the kiss and looked into the sensual, dark green eyes. “I love you, Katie,” she murmured, her breaths coming fast and shallow.

“I… love you, Ciara.” Kate was so aroused and needed to feel her wife's skin on hers. “Too… many clothes…”

CJ nodded and quickly removed the tee shirt and pants she had pulled on earlier. She rose up above her spouse and stripped the petite frame of its coverings. “Oh, that's better,” she whispered, kissing her way across the firm and very naked abdomen. Kate shivered at the contact, pushing upward again as the agent covered the blonde thatch of hair, inhaling deeply. CJ's eyes rolled under the closed lids. “Oh baby, you… oh, you smell great,” she groaned, unable to resist poking her tongue out to taste Kate.

The actress screamed out at the touch. She was so incredibly ready and she couldn't believe how much CJ could do to her before she even touched the tender flesh. As the agent pushed her tongue between the warm skin to lap at the swollen ridge, Kate lost all coherent thought and felt her climax take hold. She couldn't help it and CJ didn't seem to be stopping any time soon. As the smaller body convulsed during the powerful aftershocks, CJ slid down a little further and positioned herself between Kate's thighs, her shoulders pushing the blonde's legs open wide.

The agent looked at the throbbing flesh before her, feeling her own empathic orgasm subside as she tried to control her breathing. She couldn't imagine anything better in life than making love to Kate. She'd never felt so passionate about anyone before and she knew she never would again. Kate was all she'd ever want. This woman was everything to her and she leaned forward, wanting to taste her wife once more. Before she let her tongue touch Kate's sensitive clit, she used her fingers to spread her wife even wider. Hearing a strangled gasp coming from the actress' mouth, CJ wrapped her lips around the very wet flesh and teased Kate with her tongue. She had to reach up with her other hand to hold her spouse's hips in place as the actress writhed around at the rapturous feelings coursing through her.

Kate couldn't think, couldn't do anything other than feel. What CJ was doing to her was so totally incredible that she saw bright spots dancing across the inside of her eyelids. Those eyes popped open as another orgasm swept over her, making every nerve ending in her body burn intensely. CJ was sucking gently on her clit and she couldn't calm down. She felt another climax rising and reached down to grasp CJ's head to stop her. “Ciara, I want you to come with me… please baby.”

CJ's fevered body moved quickly and in one smooth movement, she was straddling her wife's mound. She breathed heavily, keeping eye contact with her lover as she reached down between them. Kate licked her lips, knowing that CJ was about to open them both up. She looked down as her own hand met with her wife's, both of them fondling the drenched folds at their centers. After they'd both moaned simultaneously at the touch, they spread their own engorged skin and removed their hands as the agent lowered her burning flesh onto Kate. The actress let out a blissful cry and CJ gasped aloud. The blue eyes above her bore into Kate's soul as the taller woman began to thrust. They were both so wet that CJ glided across the swollen ridge with ease. It was too good.

“Oh God, Katie… I…”

“Yes. Now, Ciara… come for me.” CJ moaned loudly and Kate felt the thrusts become frantic as her wife climaxed. The actress gasped when she felt CJ's wetness running over her skin and inside her. “Oh my God!” she shouted as another orgasm exploded within her. “Oh!”

CJ slowed her movements while they both tried to recover, finally stopping but keeping her center tightly connected to Kate's. She looked at her wife and grinned, nostrils flaring as her breaths continued to come hard and fast. “You… what you do to me,” she gasped, lowering her body to cover her spouse.

Kate kissed her, unable to speak just yet. She ran her hands through CJ's dark hair and felt her wife curl her arms under her shoulders. The blonde licked her lips. “I… honestly never knew there was… so much passion inside of me,” she whispered.

“I knew. I see it all the time, honey. You're so… so… oh damn, there are no words good enough to describe you,” the agent grinned.

“You know the other day, when you were working out and I, uh…”

CJ licked her teeth, pretending to think. “Ravished me? Uh huh.”

Kate nibbled the tip of the agent's nose. “Well, when I watched you I thought exactly the same thing. Do you realize how perfect you are to me?”


“Yes. For me… you are.”

“Ditto, baby. Just about every day, I wonder how I got so lucky.”

Kate pouted. “Not every day?”

CJ laughed and rolled them over. Kate looked down at her wife and a sultry look crossed her features.

“Again?” CJ said, eyebrow raised.

“Well, you only came once. I'm sure I could do better than that.”

“Uh, Katie, I came when you did… that first time. You know me…” the agent said, shrugging her shoulders.

That sent Kate into fits of giggles and she slumped down onto CJ's chest, resting her cheek on the smooth skin as her laughter faded away. They lay quietly smiling to themselves for a few precious moments until someone's stomach growled. CJ tried not to laugh but her vibrating body gave her away.

Kate lifted her head. “See? Sex and food. I'm really easy to keep, don't you think?”

The agent chuckled as they both got up. After kissing languidly for a few more moments, they headed to the ensuite to grab their robes before descending the stairs for a late dinner. While they ate, CJ told her wife about her time in Bakersfield.

* * * * * *

“So, Jamie caught the woman who stabbed her all those years ago. I'd say that's true justice.”

“I'd agree. Wow. Do you think if you hadn't been there, Jamie would've shot her?”

CJ shook her head and poked at her last piece of potato with her fork. “No. I don't think so. If she was really gonna shoot her, she would've done it before I got there.”

“When you told me on the phone you were going to Bakersfield to try and catch this woman, I tried not to think about any danger you'd be in. It drives me nuts sometimes.” The actress shuffled her remaining food around her plate. “I'm glad you're home, honey.”

CJ reached over to lift her wife's chin. “I'm always very careful, Katie. I'll never leave you.”

“Well, we both have to leave someday, CJ. Hopefully, it won't be until we're old and gray.”

CJ pursed her lips and shook her head slowly. “I don't think we'll be apart even then.”

“You're just an old romantic, aren't you, honey?” the blonde teased.

CJ grinned and they continued with the meal, discussing Jamie and Sam and their plans for tomorrow night.

* * * * * *

The next day, the Carsons enjoyed a lazy morning at home, catching up with one another in more ways than one. They also did those normal things that other couples do; reading the newspaper, playing with the dog, taking out the garbage and any other odd jobs that required attention. They also cleaned the house, which made for some hilarious moments as CJ danced around the living room while vacuuming the rug, mouthing the lyrics to the song that played loudly on the stereo. Kate had stood with a dust cloth in her hand, watching her wife in disbelief before bursting out laughing. CJ just shrugged and continued. She was enjoying herself too much but was even more pleased when Kate began to dance too.

It was mid afternoon before they went out riding. After blazing a vigorous trail for an hour, Nevada and Idaho walked slowly back towards home, their riders silently enjoying the time together. Kate looked over at her spouse. “What you thinkin', honey?”

CJ turned to her and grinned. “What… apart from how delicious you look in that Stetson?”

The actress smiled and blushed a little, making her wife grin even more. “Yeah, apart from that,” she said, sticking her tongue out.

“Well, I was thinking I'd call Mark when we get back, just to see how he's feeling. That stuff Timmons sprayed on him needed to be flushed out of his eyes a couple of times. It was potent, that's for sure.”

Kate nodded. “Good idea to call him. He's really a great guy. It's unusual to have a boss like that.”


Kamali trotted along next to the horses as they neared the barn and Kate had one of those moments where she just couldn't believe how her life had changed. From leaving Brooklyn and coming to LA, to going through all the Hollywood ‘you-must-change-who-you-are-to-be-successful' thing, she was glad she had finally found her happiness. And this was it. Of course, none of the other stuff would make her happy without CJ now. She sighed and smiled as she dismounted, seeing the tall agent look at her and frown a little in question. “I was just thinking about you,” Kate smirked.

“Ah. That explains the dreamy look on your face then,” CJ giggled and entered the barn with Nevada in tow.

The blonde bit her lip and shook her head. “She knows me so well.”

* * * * * *

Once Kate had finished grooming Idaho she strolled toward the house, knowing CJ had headed indoors to call Mark twenty minutes before. As she closed the back door behind her, she shed her dusty clothes and threw them in the laundry. Snagging one of CJ's cotton shirts from the hook, she went in search of the agent.

“Oooh, you look good in that,” CJ said, wiggling her eyebrows.

Kate spun around and spotted her wife sitting on the window seat in the kitchen. “Well, it is your shirt.”

“It looks better on you than me. Of course, it always helps when you're not wearing anything else with it,” the agent purred, getting up and placing her cell on the counter.

“Don't even think about it…”

“I'm always thinking about it,” CJ said, slipping her arms around Kate's waist. “You're just too damn sexy.”

“Well, hold that thought. We're running out of time before our visitors get here,” the actress chastised.

CJ formed the cutest pout the blonde had ever seen. “That could prove kinda difficult since I've drawn us a nice deep bubble bath. And we do have some time.”

Kate rolled her eyes. “To bathe or not to bathe, that is the question.”

CJ didn't answer and scooped her petite wife into her arms, heading for the staircase. Kate laughed and proceeded to nibble on CJ's neck, making the agent wobble slightly as she crossed the hallway.

Once in the warm, bubbly water, Kate sat behind CJ looking over her wife's shoulder. “Sometimes I wish I was taller,” she murmured.


“Because then, this position would be much easier and you wouldn't have to bend your knees up so high. I bet they're getting chilly up there.”

CJ laughed out loud. “Oh honey, you're hilarious. I think I can put up with dry knees once in a while. I love you exactly… exactly the way you are,” she said, taking a handful of bubbles and placing some on each knee.

The actress snickered quietly. She also took a handful of bubbles and put some on each of CJ's breasts, making the taller woman turn her head and raise that dark eyebrow. The silent teasing continued as CJ leaned back against her spouse's chest. Kate was enjoying the view since she very rarely sat behind CJ in the tub. She played with the agent's breasts and kissed and bit down on the strong shoulder in front of her until the agent's center throbbed so much that she stood up with an all-too-familiar look on her face.

As they were quickly drying one another off, CJ decided she couldn't wait and backed her wife against the wall. “Is it… is it bad that after a couple of days apart from you I want to consume you constantly?” she asked, kissing Kate's shoulder.

“I… I… no, honey.”

“Oh,” CJ muttered as she licked the soft skin, “good.”

She brought her thigh up between Kate's legs and felt the blonde thrust against it automatically. The actress grabbed her spouse's breasts, squeezing and twisting the nipples making the tall woman whimper.

As Kate continued to thrust her now engorged clit over CJ's muscled thigh, she brought her hand down to touch her wife. “Oh baby, you're so wet again…” the blonde gasped.

CJ shook, feeling the delicate fingers slide through her drenched folds. She had no idea how Kate did it, but she was pretty much permanently aroused right now. The smaller woman entered her and she tried her best to remain standing, falling against Kate a little as the digits sunk deeper inside her. “Oh! Katie… oh God…”

Kate kept her thrusts deep and slow, which drove her lover crazy. She slowed her own thrusts on CJ's thigh since she felt her climax start to burn but wanted to wait for her wife. She pressed her thumb onto the agent's sensitive bundle of nerves and CJ moaned. Kate whispered in the panting woman's ear. “Come… now…”

CJ complied, not able to stop her orgasm anyway. Kate felt the silky inner walls clamp tightly around her fingers and thrust herself harder onto her wife's leg. They both screamed in unison and came hard, holding onto one another for support as their bodies grew weak. A few precious moments later, Kate slid her fingers out carefully and sucked the juices off them, humming happily as she did so. CJ watched her but couldn't even form any words. She just stared at Kate with glazed blue eyes. The actress waved her hand in front of the agent, making CJ grin.

“I may need a break now,” the tall woman mumbled.

Kate laughed. “Okay, you can have a break until bedtime tonight.”

CJ groaned and as much as she wanted to go for a nap, they had to get dressed before Jamie and Sam arrived. Kate washed her wife's thigh and her own hand - much to CJ's amusement - and after much pouting and grumbling, the actress finally dragged her wife downstairs and they set to work on dinner.

* * * * * *

Kate pulled the front door open and was greeted by a rather sleepy looking blonde FBI agent. “Hey you. Come on in,” she said, pulling the taller woman down for a hug.

“Hi, Kate. Something smells great,” Jamie replied, handing the actress a bottle of wine.

“Yep. Joint effort tonight. CJ helped.” Kate laughed when Jamie raised a worried eyebrow.

They settled down with a glass of wine each – CJ, with her substitute of sparkling white grape juice – and talked about the apprehension of Timmons while they waited for Sam. CJ could tell that Jamie was slightly nervous about seeing the redhead again, as she kept picking at her nails and couldn't keep her hands still.

“You wanna talk about it before she gets here, Penfold?”

Jamie shook her head. “Not much to talk about. I need to apologize for the other night and beg for her forgiveness.”

Kate put her hand on the blonde's shoulder. “I'm sure she'll be fine about it. We set up the guest room at the opposite end of the hall from us… you know, just in case you need it,” she winked.

“God, Kate, no pressure huh?” Jamie gasped.

The actress just chuckled. “Well, we'll have a fun night and when it's time for bed, you two can just stagger up the stairs together.”

“Stagger? Are you gonna get us drunk?”

“No, just a couple of drinks. At least then, you'll both be chilled out. I won't let you drink a lot. And anyway, laughter is the best thing to make you relax. We have fun and games planned,” Kate said, showing all her teeth in a cheesy grin.

CJ bit her lips and pretended to zip her mouth shut when Jamie looked to her for backup. The blonde threw a cushion at her. “Some agent you are,” she pouted.

CJ just grinned and got up to check on the meal. She heard the doorbell ringing and shouted over her shoulder to Jamie. “Better go answer that, Penfold.”

Jamie followed Kate, who had already got up to answer the door and after the greetings the agent decided she had to do this now. When Sam turned to her after hugging Kate, the blonde agent smiled. “Can I talk to you for a few minutes, Sam?”

The producer nodded as Jamie took her arm and led her into the study, closing the door behind them. Sam watched her closely, trying to decipher what was coming next.

Jamie nervously cleared her throat. “I'm so, so sorry for running off like that the other night-” She stopped abruptly as two of Sam's fingers covered her lips.

“Do you want me, Jamie? I mean, really want me?” The blonde's eyes went wide and she nodded vigorously. Sam almost smiled. “Then no more apologies about that. We can talk about it later. Let's have dinner and some laughs. I know we'll make this work.” Sam stepped forward and kissed the taller woman passionately, slipping her arms around the slim waist.

Jamie needed no further encouragement and wrapped herself around the redhead, returning the passion easily. When they parted – quite a few moments later – they were breathless.

Sam felt surprisingly bold this evening. “Are you staying here tonight?”

Jamie was still licking her lips, tasting Sam's sweet flavor. “Yes, I think so. Those two are on a mission now, you know.”

The producer smiled. “So am I.”

“What… staying here or on a mission?”

“Both,” Sam husked, still holding onto the agent's waist.

Jamie's heart beat harder in her chest as Sam took her hand and led her into the living room.

“Well, this looks promising,” Kate said, noticing the joined hands.

“Indeed,” Jamie replied coyly.

Sam smirked and they settled around the dining table while Kate and CJ finished the meal preparation.

* * * * * *

A few hours after dinner, the women were enjoying each other's company immensely. There was much laughter and talk about both FBI work and showbiz. CJ disappeared into the kitchen and emerged with a bottle of champagne and four flutes.

“What we celebrating?” Jamie asked with a merry half-smile.

“We're celebrating good friends and good company,” CJ replied. “But we are also celebrating the successful conclusion of a rather important case.” She looked at Jamie with a loving expression on her face.

Kate knelt beside the coffee table. “Absolutely! Fill these up, CJ,” she said, holding her glass out for the agent.

After the four glasses were filled and handed out, CJ raised hers. “To finally getting Timmons off the streets and to my FBI partner, who captured her.”

Jamie held her emotion back and raised her glass. “Cheers!” They all shouted a reply and threw back a few sips of the bubbly liquid. “You gonna drink that, DM?”

“Yep. I'll have a couple in celebration of the fact that she's behind bars. It's a big deal, Penfold.”

Sam was slightly in the dark as she didn't understand the significance of the case and Jamie seemed to sense it. She turned to Sam. “I think you should know why we're celebrating the end of this particular case. Do you want me to explain?”

Sam nodded. “Of course. If you want to…” she said, seeing Jamie swallow hard and get up the nerve to tell her.

“Uh, Jamie, do you want us to leave for a while?” CJ asked quietly.

“No, CJ. I want to do this now with you all here… if that's okay with you, Sam?” The producer gave her a smile and nodded once more. Jamie cleared her throat. “This case was important to me… to us,” she said, pointing between her and CJ, “because I was one of this attacker's early victims.” Sam gasped and took one of Jamie's hands. The agent held it tightly. “She stabbed me twelve years ago… I still have… scars,” Jamie added quietly.

Before she knew it, Sam had thrown her arms around Jamie's neck and was holding her tightly. CJ and Kate looked at one another and smiled.

When Sam pulled back, she was crying and sniffed vigorously in an effort to stop. “I'm glad you caught her,” she said, looking down at their joined hands.

“Me too,” Jamie said, lifting the producers chin and smiling at her. “We'll talk about it more later, okay?” Sam nodded. They both took a deep breath and turned to their friends.

CJ winked at her Penfold and got a shy grin in return. “Okay, I'm glad we're all up to speed on the Timmons' case. Now, no more shop talk and let's play Twister,” CJ quipped, getting to her feet.

“Oh God,” Kate groaned. “She only likes Twister because she has ridiculously long limbs and wins easily.”

CJ returned with the box and looked to her giggling opponents. “I win because I have great coordination and skill,” she purred.

“Yeah, yeah,” the actress goaded.

They proceeded to play the game, which was occasionally paused due to copious amounts of laughter at the player's positions. When Jamie ended up spooned over the top of Kate's butt, CJ glared at the blonde agent with narrowed eyes, which sent Jamie into more fits of laughter and lost her the game.

Giving up on that, they all sat on the rug with their backs against the base of the two couches that had been moved to make space for the game. CJ and Kate sat opposite Sam and Jamie, their feet all intermingled in a central bundle. They sipped from their glasses and Kate suddenly came up with a new game.

“Let's play Truth or Dare,” she stated with authority.

Sam's eyes widened. Jamie looked slightly concerned. CJ looked positively devious.

“All right,” the raven-haired agent snarled.

“Oh crap,” Jamie muttered.

Kate giggled and Sam pursed her lips and looked at the actress, slowly coming round to the idea.

“Since it was my suggestion, I'll start,” Kate decided, sitting up a little straighter. “CJ, truth or dare?”

The tall woman pretended to think about it. “Truth.”

“What do you like best about me?”

CJ looked at her. “Well, that would be everything.”

“Cop out,” Jamie shouted.

“It's not,” CJ calmly replied. “I like everything about her. Now it's my turn. Penfold, truth or dare?”

The blonde agent had to think about this one. What would CJ ask her? Would a dare being preferable? “Dare.”

CJ smirked. “Kiss Sam.”

“Oh that's easy, DM,” Jamie replied, leaning to her side and kissing the redhead, who was very ready to accept the soft lips. It lasted for a few glorious seconds and Jamie sat back with a glazed look in her eyes. “Kate, truth or dare?”

“Dare,” the bold little actress said, taking another sip of champagne.

“Kiss CJ… like you would if we weren't here,” the agent grinned.

“Oh my. Are you sure you want to see that?” After receiving two nods, she turned to her wife, who had a sultry look on her face. Kate realized that CJ was enjoying this game. She knelt a little higher and wrapped her arms around CJ's neck, taking her in a searing kiss. The taller woman grabbed her wife and pulled her closer, slipping her tongue into Kate's open mouth. They got lost in the contact and began breathing faster, breasts heaving together as their bodies got slightly carried away. Kate suddenly remembered they were being watched and broke the kiss, licking CJ's lips as she backed away.

The agent's eyes were still closed, reveling in the feel of her wife's tongue. When she finally slowed her pulse, she opened her eyes. They both turned and found two flushed faces staring at them, mouths hanging open. “What? You dared her,” CJ said smugly.

“Phew, I sure did,” Jamie replied, pulling at her collar in an effort to cool down.

Kate tapped at her chin in thought. “Sam, truth or dare?”


“Do you intend to sleep in the guest room we prepared for the two of you… with Jamie?” Kate said, raising her eyebrows in an attempt to keep her heavy eyes open.

Sam blushed slightly but jutted her chin out and answered. “Yes.” Jamie chuckled, as did CJ and Kate. Sam decided to ask her friend something she'd always wanted to know. “Kate, truth or dare?”

“Hmmmm, truth.”

“Have you and CJ ever used sex toys?”

CJ barked out a laugh and Kate smirked. “No. In fact we only just talked about it recently.”

Sam forgot the game and wanted to know more. “Do tell…”

Kate laughed at the recollection of her conversation with CJ. “Well, we only just talked about it for the first time, like I said. It had never come up before and we think we might be too busy laughing to actually do anything with them.”

“Wow, more than three years and you never talked about them. I guess you didn't need them then,” Sam said, eyeing her friends.

“CJ has many skills,” Kate giggled.

The tall agent smirked. “Yes, and so does Kate. We certainly never needed them and still don't.”

Jamie shook off a vision of her colleague using toys on her wife. But when the vision of Sam using one on her came into her head, it was all she could do to stop the red-hot blush that crawled up her cheeks. CJ noticed it and her eyes widened. She nudged Kate and pointed to Jamie.

Kate picked up on the unspoken request immediately. “Jamie, truth or dare?”

“Uh, dare… no, truth!”

“What thought caused you to blush just then?” the actress asked.

“Oh damn. Can I change to dare?”

“No!” CJ shouted, crossing her arms.

“Shit. Uh…”

Sam turned her body slightly to stare at Jamie. “Come on, tell the truth now, Agent Green,” she said, poking the woman in the ribs.

“You sure you want to hear it?”

“Oh yes.”

“I was imagining you wearing… uh, I mean using a toy on me,” she coughed.

A resounding chorus of laughter filled the air as they all fell into a heap on the floor. After a few more dares - one of which had Kate flashing her breasts just like she had previously to CJ and Jamie, and Sam having to figure out which one of the three women she was touching while wearing a blindfold - they gave up for the night. CJ and Kate headed to bed and Jamie took Sam's hand to lead her up the stairs.

* * * * * *

As Jamie gently closed the door to the bedroom, she turned to find Sam standing mere inches from her body. Her breath caught as she gazed into the sparkling eyes of the redhead. Her nerves suddenly returned and she bit her lips, wondering why she had no idea what to do next.

Sam could see the uncertainty in the blonde's eyes and closed the distance between them. She didn't know where she was getting her confidence from but she did know that one of them had to start leading this first encounter. She reached up and caressed the agent's cheek with her knuckles.

Jamie gasped as the hand cupped her face and the producer tenderly kissed her lips. “Oh God…” she whispered, knowing this was it.

“Hey,” Sam said quietly, her lips only a few millimeters from the blonde's, “relax. Will you let me…” she trailed off, touching the buttons on Jamie's shirt.

Jamie felt her breath coming in short fast bursts, a combination of arousal and fear. She nodded since she was absolutely certain she wanted this to happen but good Lord, her nerves were getting the better of her. She felt like she had to flee but pulled strength from the loving look on Sam's face as her deft fingers unfastened the shirt. Once every button was opened, the producer pushed both sides of the material apart.

Jamie watched Sam's expression intently as the marked flesh was revealed, searching for any sign of disgust or repulsion. She didn't find a hint of anything remotely negative and when Sam lowered her head to press her lips against the scars just above the agent's bra, Jamie cried silently. As the tears trickled down her face, she smiled, feeling Sam's lips cover every piece of skin around her cleavage. She raised her hands to wrap around the producer's shoulders and held the smaller woman to her.

Sam had gotten lost in the smell, feel and taste of the flesh under her lips. She had known she wanted Jamie since that night at the party but she never realized how very hungry she would feel when they began a physical relationship. She suddenly remembered what she was doing and looked up to see Jamie's tear-stained cheeks. “Oh God, are you okay?”

The agent nodded. “Yes. It's just the first time…”

“First time?”

Jamie held Sam closer, kissing her forehead before getting up the courage to tell her new lover about always covering up. She took a deep breath. “This is the first time I've let anyone see them… well, except for CJ and Kate... it's the first time I've let a… a lover look at me…”

Sam pushed back a little to look into Jamie's eyes. “But I thought you were… uh, had a lot of lovers?”

“None of them ever saw these scars, Sam. I always wore a shirt…” she drifted off and looked away from the redhead's penetrating gaze.

Sam grasped the agent's chin to turn her back. Once Jamie looked at her, she spoke softly. “I can't believe you covered them for so long but it's over now. I don't ever want to see you hide from me. You're so beautiful, Jamie and I can't believe how much I want you, all of you. I'm so nervous… will you…” she added, pointing to her own shirt.

Jamie saw the sincerity in the dark hazel eyes and felt her fear dissipate. “After so long… I never thought I'd find…” She couldn't finish the thought and dipped her head, kissing the producer passionately. Both bodies instantly curled around one another, knowing that this was what they both wanted, that there was nothing to worry about any longer. As they shuffled over to the bed - bodies still wrapped together and mouths exploring one another - Jamie knew it would be okay. She may be crying, but they were tears of relief and she sunk into the bed with her lover's soft body covering her own.

Chapter 6

The next morning, Kate woke up early and headed to the bathroom, rubbing her sleepy eyes as she went. She thought of last night and wondered briefly if Jamie and Sam were all right. The thought was drowned out by the memories of CJ holding her tight while they talked about all kinds of things. Kate had laid her entire body on top of her wife; her breasts fitted neatly just below the agent's, her head on CJ's shoulder. They seemed to be content to hold onto one another and chatted sleepily for two hours about past relationships and experiences, coming to the conclusion that they were so damn lucky to have found one another even if it was written in the stars. It was a wonderful feeling and Kate had fallen asleep mid-sentence, she recalled. CJ had woken her during the night as she needed to shift position and when the tall woman moved to spoon herself around Kate's back, the actress had contentedly drifted off once more.

The actress walked out of the ensuite now, seeing her nude spouse sprawled across their large bed in a star fish formation, the sheet only covering up to her knees. The blonde drank in the sight and her mind began to form an idea. CJ was lying in the perfect position; one arm above her head on the pillow, one stretched out to the side and both legs apart, providing fantastic access to Kate. ‘ Could I? I wonder… it's always her who gives me a wake up call but… hmmmm, ' she mused, rubbing her chin.

She stealthily approached the bed and crawled carefully up from the bottom, taking her time since CJ was a lighter sleeper than she was. Satisfied that the agent hadn't stirred, Kate licked her lips as she looked at the soft inner thighs and the thatch of dark hair covering her target. She smirked and licked her lips again. Her mouth had filled with saliva and she was unable to stop herself now. She lowered her body and inhaled deeply when her lips met the soft curly hair. She poked her tongue in to tenderly nudge the warm lips aside and seek out the little nodule. Finding it with the tip of her tongue and not feeling CJ stir at all, she brought a hand up to spread the skin and wrapped her mouth around CJ's clit, which was now fully exposed. She began to play with it, lightly sucking and teasing between gentle strokes, making the flesh swell under her touch.

CJ was waking and something felt amazing. In her mind she was dreaming of Kate and she moaned softly, knowing that the fire shooting through her body could only be ignited by her wife. As her eyes drifted open, she realized she wasn't dreaming. God, it was better than a dream. Kate really was making love to her. “Oh Jesus… Katie” she gasped. The sensations were intense and now that she could focus completely on them, her heart began to hammer at high speed and every stroke of Kate's tongue made her cry out. She felt her orgasm take hold and wasn't sure she would survive this one. It was burning through her like fire but she was still hovering on the brink. Kate slipped her tongue down to the agent's opening and thrust it inside. CJ screamed and when her wife repeated the strokes to her clit, her climax ripped through her entire body making her hips buck and her back arch off the bed.

Kate whipped her arm up from under her body to hold CJ down. She didn't want to lose the sweet contact and gentled her ministrations as the agent tried to recover from her orgasm. CJ was attempting to speak but Kate didn't stop. She knew her wife would touch her head if she needed her to stop and so she continued to suckle on the very swollen skin beneath her lips. Kate moaned, enjoying everything about making love to CJ. It was such an incredible feeling and she was always amazed how her wife responded to her touch. The agent was still panting hard and the blonde knew she would come again… soon.

CJ's body was experiencing a state of complete bliss. She was in that zone where she was so totally aroused but Kate knew exactly how to keep her there. Every part of her body ached with arousal… an unbelievable sensation. The agent was aware that her wife would dictate when her climax would come by simply altering her strokes or adding her fingers to the stimulation. CJ loved the control her wife had over her. She also loved that Kate accepted that control as the exquisite gift it was and would never abuse it. She'd never given complete control, never submitted totally to a lover before but being with Kate was unique. There was nothing that could come close to this feeling.

The blonde sensed CJ waiting for her next move. As she manipulated the drenched flesh with her mouth – still feeling the occasional pulsing from the last orgasm - she decided that it was time to escalate the encounter once more. CJ had her hands gripping under her own thighs in anticipation. Kate brought her free hand up under her chin and touched the moist opening with three fingertips, hearing a burst of breath from her spouse's lungs. She then took her tongue on a long, slow trail from the base of CJ's clit to the top, making the agent cry out once more. She began flicking her tongue across the overly sensitive bundle of nerves and carefully thrust her three fingers inside her wife. CJ suddenly grabbed fistfuls of the sheets beneath her. Kate's thrusts became quicker and she intensified the movements of her tongue to match the speed, feeling the smooth inner walls begin to grasp at her fingers.

“Katie!” CJ screamed.

Her climax was intense and so incredibly pleasurable that she ripped through the sheet with her right hand. Every nerve ending in her body felt like the tip of a burning flame and her insides were molten lava. She writhed around as the waves subsided, unable to do anything but feel Kate driving her though it. The agent's taut body finally collapsed on the bed and Kate lapped up everything she could before kissing the sated skin and looking up at her wife. She noted the very hard nipples that she hadn't even gotten around to and her wife's sweat-covered bangs that the taller woman tried to blink away from her eyes. The actress grinned smugly and on her crawl up CJ's body, she saw the torn sheet and stifled a giggle. Once she'd kissed the neglected breasts lovingly, she licked her way up to CJ's face.

“Good morning, wife of mine,” she smirked.

“It… sure is…”

“You ripped the bedding, baby.”

CJ laughed weakly. “I don't care. It was so worth it.”

“Was I that good?”

“Holy crap, Katie. Good is an understatement. You're the best… wow.”

“Well, now you know how I feel when you give me one of your wake up calls,” the actress teased.

“I'll do it much more often if that's what you feel. I wasn't sure I'd survive that, honey. It was incredible,” CJ said, wrapping her arms around the petite body on top of her.

“It's always incredible for us… lucky, lucky us.” Kate kissed the agent's nose and looked lovingly into the taller woman's eyes. “Actually, I can't remember us ever having a bad experience in the bedroom… or the kitchen or the gym or…”

CJ laughed out loud, halting Kate's list of places they'd made love. The agent continued for her. “Or the truck or the barn or the couch or the cabin or…”

“Yeah, yeah,” Kate muttered, slapping the agent's shoulder. “Wanna get up now?”

“Only if you let me make love to you in the shower before breakfast?”

Kate pretended to need a moment to decide and CJ rolled them over, tickling her wife senseless until the actress was laughing so hard she could barely breathe. Finally, they made it into the shower and CJ made good on her promise, leaving Kate more than satisfied and not a little weak in the knees.

* * * * * *

They silently descended the stairs to see if their houseguests were up yet. “Why are we being quiet now?” Kate asked as they entered the empty kitchen.

“I don't know. I'm pretty sure they would've heard me scream this morning,” CJ replied sheepishly.

Kate chuckled as she started up the coffee machine. They decided to prepare a cooked buffet style breakfast for all four of them, assuming at least Jamie would get up in time for work and that both women would need some replenishment. On hearing a loud yawn from the direction of the living room, CJ turned from her position at the stove to see Jamie coming through the door dragging her feet under the long robe she'd borrowed.

The blonde agent stopped mid eye-rub to stare at the two mischievous faces looking back at her. “Good morning,” she said, sliding her buttocks onto the stool at the counter.

“Is it?” CJ asked, eyebrow raised.

“I'm completely exhausted and happy, DM, so yes it's a good morning.”

CJ laughed and Kate bit her lips as she continued to set the table. The actress grinned as Jamie yawned again. “Seems us showbiz types are pretty wild in bed,” she snickered.

The blonde agent smiled. “Yeah, seems like it. I'm pretty sure I heard CJ this morning… I'm getting to know her screams now.”

CJ just about melted into the floor in embarrassment. If she could've chosen a super power at that moment, it would've been invisibility. Instead, she blushed furiously and focused on her cooking.

“Morning, Sam,” Kate said, noticing her friend come into the room fully dressed for work.

“Hello all,” the producer replied. She walked straight over to Jamie and kissed her on the lips. “Good morning.”

Kate and CJ watched as Jamie smiled shyly and returned the greeting, looking at Sam from under her eyelashes.

“Oh come on, you two. We need details… like, now,” CJ said, turning from the stove and serving up the food.

“Not a chance, DM. You know more than enough about us. It's time to stop meddling.”

“Aww, I wasn't meddling. I was just interested in how your night went,” the raven-haired agent pouted.

“That lip only works with Kate. All you need to know is that Sam and I are doing fine now. Right?” she added, looking to her lover who was still standing next to her.

“Indeed we are,” the redhead nodded.

Kate intervened. “Okay, we won't push you for details. You're right, we have meddled enough.”

“Ah but we want to thank you both for that. We uh… we were struggling a little,” Jamie said, waving her finger in the air, “and if CJ hadn't stood up to me, I may never have faced things. Thank you,” she added sincerely.

“You're welcome. I'm glad you're both happy,” the tall woman nodded.

Jamie's expression turned very serious. “DM, I… I want to apologize for the other night… when I almost-“

“Don't,” CJ interrupted. “It's forgotten,” she added with a smile.

“Still, I'm sorry.”

“Accepted. You'd never have got me anyway. I'm too quick.”

Jamie smirked. “Yeah, that's what I heard.”

Kate barked out a laugh as CJ glared at her. The actress held her hands up. “I never said a word!”

“Uh huh. Shall we eat?” the tall agent snarled, making Kate laugh again.

“Food, yeah,” Jamie said, winking at her friend.

“God, the innuendoes are gonna kill me…” CJ drawled, feigning a faint.

After grins all round, they settled down to breakfast. Everyone was working today except Kate and once they had all left, the actress sneaked back into bed for a lazy morning. She wrapped herself around CJ's pillow and was asleep before her wife even got to work.

* * * * * *

CJ looked at the mountain of paperwork on her desk. Along with the report on the Timmons case, she had a ton of other work still to be done. Most of it was cases sent in from other departments to be cleared up while her team had the time. As much as they were a specialist group dealing with serial murder and other high profile cases, they did tend to have gaps between major incidents. Most of the time, CJ was glad of those gaps because it usually meant no one was being killed.

She sighed and got up to grab a coffee, passing Jamie's desk as the blonde yawned widely again. CJ unsuccessfully held back a laugh but stifled further outbursts when she saw the agent give her the evil eye, even if it was accompanied by a grin.

CJ wasn't looking forward to the next few hours. She was going with Mulroney and Ethan to interview Alison Timmons. As much as CJ was one of the best for the job, Mark was still concerned about her close friendship with Jamie and the fact that she had been one of Timmons' victims. He told CJ - in no uncertain terms - that if he feels, while she's in the interview that the agent is losing her impartiality, he'd remove her from the room and get someone else. The raven-haired agent had been slightly taken aback by his words but understood why he'd said them.

As she sat at her desk with her bitter coffee, she glanced over her list of questions. She had jotted down a few that she wanted to ask Timmons to confirm if she had figured out the woman's profile correctly. After about an hour, Mark appeared in the doorway and they headed to the interrogation room.

* * * * * *

They had dragged some basic information out of their prisoner but CJ and Ethan were getting nowhere fast. Apart from finding out that Alison did indeed live in her car for the most part – unless she could afford a hotel room – the woman was being very evasive. The tall agent was aware that Mark was watching from the observation room, choosing not to be present after being attacked by Timmons. She had agreed with the decision and was happy to have Ethan in the interview with her.

Alison turned to Agent Matthews. “So, Rookie, do you think you would've had the balls to shoot me?” she grinned evilly.

“Alison!” CJ snapped. “I asked you a question.”

Timmons smirked and focused back on CJ. “I forgot what it was,” she drawled, slouching back in her chair like everything was just too boring for her. She crossed her arms loosely over her stomach and watched CJ from her dark, emotionless eyes.

“How did you make a living if you were always on the move?”

Alison trailed her tongue slowly round her teeth. “I make my money,” she shrugged.

“How?” CJ was getting impatient.

“Honey, if I hang around on a street corner, I'm the one who stands out. They always pick me.”

“So, you're a hooker but you don't sleep with your victims?”

“Why would I sleep with my victims?”

“I'm just curious because you carve the hearts in their skin.”

“What I do with my ‘clients' has nothing to do with the heart, Agent,” Alison drawled. “I only fuck them for money.”

“Clearly. Why did the attacks start, Alison?” the raven-haired agent asked.

Timmons grimaced, clearly reminded of a past she didn't want to think about. She shrugged as if it was no big deal. “I was young, stupid and in love. She walked away… she looked kind of like you actually,” Alison said, slowly raising her eyes to look at CJ.

The gaze was so empty it gave the agent chills. This woman could devour people with her eyes and CJ appreciated how she would be able to lure her victims away, especially if they were under the influence of drink or drugs. “Why did she walk away?”

“She didn't love me. Left a note.”

“And you were heartbroken?” the agent said. Timmons nodded once, her lips tightening in anger. CJ continued carefully, not wanting the woman to clam up. “So, the first time you attacked someone, what happened?”

Silence descended for a few moments and behind the mirror, Mark repeated the question to himself as if to urge Alison to answer. Timmons looked up at CJ. “I went to a bar for some quick release one night. A woman took me to her apartment nearby. She fucked me on the kitchen table and when she was done she told me to get the hell out… like I was a piece of trash. I…” Timmons paused and frowned. “I got mad and picked up the knife from the counter. When I saw the marks I made on her, it made it hurt less.”

“Why attack men and women if it was a woman who hurt you?”

“If they wanted me and came with me when I asked…” she shrugged.

“Did you do it because you felt you had control over them?”

“Not really. It became a release of its own for me. To see the blood and how they hurt instead of me…” Alison dropped her eyes again but not in regret. It just didn't seem to mean much to her that she'd hurt people.

“You mean a sexual release?” CJ asked, surprised.

“No. A release of the pain.”

“Ah,” the agent nodded minutely. “Why did you begin to kill?”

“First one was a mistake. He fought back… wasn't drunk enough I guess. I began to like the effect I could have on someone… I wasn't the poor soul anymore.”

“And now that you've been stopped?”

“It was becoming a compulsion… like I needed it. I suppose it won't be fulfilled anymore…” Alison said blandly.

The woman fleetingly looked remorseful but CJ wasn't convinced and thought it was all an act. The agent knew from experience that a killer who took trophies didn't usually feel remorse. They took the items from the deceased as a reminder of their triumph. A killer who was sorry for what they'd done, wouldn't want a reminder.

“Where are the hearts, Alison? They weren't in your car,” CJ said calmly. Timmons stayed quiet. “Alison? Where are they?”

“There's a small key in my bag. It goes to a locker.”

“Where is the locker?”

“Airport,” Timmons stated abruptly.”

The agent sensed the woman was getting tired of the questions. She finished up the interview for the day. She knew she had to come back and speak further with Alison. CJ wanted to try and get her to admit to all the cases for the past fourteen years but even if Timmons didn't, she'd put them in her report along with the profile and evidence, and let the judge decide. They had to collect the hearts and enter them into evidence. That would put her away for a long, long time.

* * * * * *

Walking around the store downtown, Kate heard her cell phone ringing in her bag and rummaged around blindly with her hand in search of it. Tony smirked as Kate stuck her tongue between her teeth in concentration then smile to herself when she found it. As much as Tony wasn't one for shopping, he accompanied Kate as part of his job. It was better than sitting waiting in the car anyway.

“Hello?” Kate said into the phone.

Hi, Kate. What you up to?” came Sam's chirpy tones over the line.

“I'm shopping. How about you?”

At the studios… where else, right? Fancy a coffee today at some point?”

Kate's eyes lit up. She wanted the low down on Sam's first night with a woman. She tried to sound nonchalant. “Uh yeah, sure. What time?”

How far away are you? Can you make it in an hour?”

“Sure. See you then, Sam.”

Great. Bye Kate .

“Bye, hon.”

Kate hung up the call and turned to Tony. “Well, seems you have a reprieve today, Tony,” she grinned.

“Hey, I told you I don't mind coming shopping once in a while.”

“Uh huh,” the actress chuckled. “Let's go. We're off to the studios.”

“Do you want to go get those shoes first?” Tony asked helpfully.

The blonde tapped on her chin. “No. I don't want to spend that much on shoes. I'd rather give you a donation for your next charity skydive,” she winked.

Tony smiled as they headed out to the Mercedes. It was a sunny day and he was kinda glad they were going to the studios. Cyn was at work. Maybe he would see her while he was there. His relationship with Cyn was so easy and the young man wondered if everyone else had such a relaxed relationship. He wanted to ask Kate about it but felt that wouldn't be appropriate.

* * * * * *

Fifty minutes later, Kate strolled through the lot towards stage twelve, where she knew Sam would be working. As she walked through the door, her friend was doing the same and they literally bumped into one another, resulting in a giggle fit that rendered them unable to utter a proper greeting. Finally, they recovered and went to the cafeteria. Coffees purchased, they found a table and sat down. Kate just stared at Sam with a smirk crossing her lips, waiting for the in-depth description of her friend's passionate night with Jamie.

Sam knew Kate was desperate for information and sipped her coffee deliberately slowly, seeing the actress almost vibrate with anticipation. She knew how incredibly curious her friend was but she also loved to play with her this way. She took a long, deep breath and another sip of coffee and it was all Kate could stand.

“Arrrgghhh! Tell me how it went, woman!” Kate said, throwing her hands in the air and slapping them down on the tabletop.

Sam burst out laughing and rolled back in her chair at the predictability of the blonde. “Sorry…” she gasped, “I knew you wouldn't want to wait. It went very well…”

“Oh no… I need more than that. Who took the lead? What did you do, exactly? I want to know how you felt… I mean, it was all new to you. Did you go…” Kate made a nudging gesture with her elbow and winked at Sam.

“Kate… I'm not going into detail here in the cafeteria but I will say that Jamie and I were talking during the night and according to her, we did just about every position. And it was good… very good,” the producer said dreamily, remembering her night of passionate lovemaking. She blushed slightly at one particular memory and Kate's eyes widened.

“Aww, at least tell me what made you blush?” the blonde begged.

Sam leaned forward to whisper to her friend. “I love how she tastes…”

Kate leaned back to look at the redhead and smirked. “Thank the Gods for that huh?” she giggled.

“Heck yes. I never knew… doing that to her could make me so aroused,” Sam said, pointing to herself.

Kate nodded, knowing exactly what she meant. “I take it Jamie uh… you know, when you were doing that?”

“Since when did you get so prim and proper when it comes to talking about sex? Yes, she came… many times. As did I. I'm surprised you never heard us,” Sam grinned, sticking her tongue out.

“Okay, okay. Maybe this is not the place to talk about this. You need to come over for dinner or drinks soon. I want to hear about it all but I may light up like a beacon a few times so you're right, talking here is not good,” Kate said, spreading her hand out to the large eatery.

The producer nodded and they sipped at their coffees and indulged in some showbiz gossip. As they talked, Kate couldn't help but smile at the new sparkle in Sam's eyes and the giddy nature of her body language. She was glad her friends had finally figured out their problems. She smiled and listened to Sam telling her about some of her former colleagues from the Phoenix. Yes, she liked her job. Nothing wrong with a little gossip now and then.

* * * * * *

Jamie seemed to be shifting from foot to foot when CJ arrived back in the office. The blonde had wanted to go with Mulroney to watch the interview but he wouldn't allow it. The fact that Jamie had to face the woman in the alleyway was enough and he'd decided she was too close to the case to be involved further.

“Well, how did it go?” Jamie asked, her hands fidgeting with the pen she held between her fingers.

“Sit down and relax, Penfold. It went okay,” CJ replied, perching on the edge of her colleagues desk. “She said pretty much what I expected her to say but she's a cool customer, that's for sure.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, she's not remorseful in any way. I can see why her victims go with her, though. She's quite hypnotic.”

Jamie nodded sadly. “I guess she is…”

“Hey,” CJ said, tapping the desktop to get the blonde's attention, “You were nineteen, honey. Don't let her affect you anymore. Please?”

“I love it when you do that.”

“Do what?”

“Call me honey. It reminds me that you're human under all that super-agent,” Jamie winked.

CJ puffed out a breath of air that slightly resembled a laugh. “Just don't let it get around.”

“Yes, ma'am,” the blonde saluted just as Ethan walked in.

CJ resigned herself to the huge amount of paperwork ahead of her and was very happy to see Mikey arrive with the good stuff. Once she had consumed her coffee she set to work, looking forward to her half day tomorrow. She'd taken the afternoon off, wanting to be at home with Kate on the lead up to her big night at the Emmy's. CJ raised an eyebrow at the thought that she was looking forward to it… a little. She shook her head and concentrated on her report.

Chapter 7

Kate walked out of the ensuite and CJ just gaped at her in full makeup, new dress and… there was something missing. The tall woman grinned as she reached under the duvet on the bed to pull out the earrings she'd bought for her wife.

Kate watched her with a puzzled expression and when the agent pushed the little box into her hand, she gasped. “You got me a gift?”

“The first of two on this special night. You look beautiful, Katie.”

Kate opened the box and saw two of the most beautiful diamond earrings ever. “Oh CJ! They're exquisite,” she gasped, taking one from the box. “I was wondering what to wear with this dress.”

CJ carefully put the small silver post through Kate's ear, adding the fastening on the back. She did the same with the other one and stood back to admire the view. “Wow. Simply stunning.”

“Thank you, honey,” the blonde blushed. “And now for your gift…”

“Nope, not yet. I have another for you first,” CJ said, getting on all fours to find the larger box under the bed.

The actress raised a curious eyebrow and crossed her arms over her chest as she watched her wife's underwear-clad butt wiggling around as she stretched for the gift. CJ stood up and put a bag on the bed. She took Kate's shoulders and sat her down. In a dramatic display she pulled the box from the bag and presented it on her flat outstretched palms, while lowering herself on one knee. “For you, m'lady,” she purred.

Kate giggled silently at the display. “Thank you,” she said bashfully. She lifted the lid and squealed. “Oh my God, you didn't?”

“Of course I did. I love that you'd rather give your money to others than buy yourself a treat. But I thought we could manage both,” CJ replied.

Kate lifted one of the Manolo shoes she had admired a few days ago. She'd even gone so far as to try them on but told CJ on her return that she couldn't spend that much money on shoes. The agent decided they could buy the occasional treat since Kate was always so conscientious the rest of the time. And it was her big Emmy's debut after all.

CJ took the shoes and slipped them on her spouse's feet. “Perfect,” she smiled.

“Yes. You are,” Kate murmured, giving the agent a loving kiss on the cheek. “Go get dressed. I want to see you in that dress,” she winked.

“Now… you know we can't get all worked up before we go. This is the biggest night of your career so far,” CJ warned.

“Uh huh,” the actress snickered. “Go get ready.”

While CJ finished her makeup – much more than she'd ever worn before but Kate had told her it would be better for the cameras and flashing lights – Kate opened the drawer on the nightstand and pulled out the long red velvet box. She drew her finger along the length of it, liking how the texture felt under her skin. She turned to see her wife sliding into her red silken dress. It was so beautiful and hung on the end of her wife's shoulders with ease.

CJ slipped her shoes on and looked at her wife. “What ya got there?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at Kate's glazed look.

The actress snapped herself out of her stare and shook her head. “Oh, it's your gift.”

CJ crossed the room looking like she'd just stepped off the catwalk, hair swept up and makeup perfect. “You're not supposed to get me a gift. This is your night, honey.”

“CJ, it doesn't matter whether I win an award tonight or not, I'm still the winner because I have you, so let me give you a gift too,” Kate husked, feeling emotional at the truth in the words.

“Hey, don't start crying,” the agent teased gently, “or your eyeliner will run.” She took the box from Kate's offering hands. As the lid opened, CJ's heart missed a beat and her stomach flipped. She wasn't one for jewelry but the necklace and matching earrings were stunningly beautiful. “Oh God, those are incredible, Katie!”

“So are you. I saw them a while back and when you showed me your dress, they popped right into my mind.”

CJ touched a fingertip onto the diamond-encrusted necklace, moving it down to the ruby on one of the teardrops at the end of it. “I've never had anything like this before.”

“You don't tend to dress like that too often, honey, but you're married to an actress… an actress who wants her wife on her arm every second and who might be lucky enough to get nominated again.” Kate raised a hopeful eyebrow. “And I simply must see you wear that dress at least ten times more. Is that okay?”

CJ observed the uncertain expression on her wife's face for a few seconds. “Are you worried that I don't like getting all dressed up?”

“Maybe a little. I don't want you to feel like you have to do these events out of duty-“ She was silenced by two long fingers covering her lips gently.

“There's no sense of duty here, Katie. I'm honored to be by your side any time, day or night, no matter where we are and I'm so happy that you want me to go with you.”

Kate kissed the fingers and CJ frowned. The agent looked at her fingertips then at her wife's lips. “See… now you've got to re-apply your lipstick,” she grinned.

“Your fault,” Kate said, sticking out her tongue and heading into the ensuite. When she came back out, she saw CJ putting her earrings and necklace on while looking in the large mirror on the wall. “Here,” the smaller woman said, crossing the distance,” let me help with that.”

CJ smirked and bent her knees slightly as Kate came up behind her, taking the ends of the necklace and closing it. The agent was wearing her shiny, dark hair up tonight and the blonde kissed the soft skin at the back of her spouse's neck, making CJ shudder. Once they were both completely ready, they stood together in front of the mirror.

“I'd say we're good to go, baby,” CJ said, her eyes glistening with love and admiration for the smaller woman by her side. “The car will be here in five minutes. You ready?”

Kate nodded but her stomach was doing constant flip-flops. “Let's do it.”

* * * * * *

As the long black limo arrived outside the Nokia Theatre, CJ looked nervously through the darkened privacy glass. “Whoa, this is scary.”

Kate looked past her wife at the crowds of people and the flashing cameras that surrounded the car. “Honey, you're an FBI agent. I can think of scarier things in your life.”

“This is different scary, Katie. These people are all here to see you and I don't wanna let you down…”

Kate tapped on CJ's shoulder to get her to turn around. “Listen to me carefully, wife of mine, because I'm only going to say this once. You could never let me down. I love you more than anything.”

The tall woman nodded minutely, hearing the restrained ferocity behind the words. “I love you too, Katie… so much.” Then the chauffeur opened the door and the overwhelming noise penetrated the vehicle.

CJ shifted slightly to let Kate get past her and out the door first, the agent wanting to hide for a long as possible. Hearing the screams and shouts and whistles get louder as the actress waved to the crowds, CJ closed her eyes momentarily to try and prepare in some way. When she uncurled her six-foot frame and stepped onto the red carpet, her heart was doing its best to batter its way out through her ribcage. She had thought she'd have to catch up to Kate but the smaller woman was standing right there with a huge smile on her face and the photographers focused their attention on the stunning blonde. Kate wrapped her arm around her wife's waist and mouthed the word ‘relax'. CJ took a deep breath and smiled. The cameras went wild and the agent suddenly felt even prouder to be Kate's wife.

They walked up the red carpet and Kate shook hands with lots of fans and threw a dazzling smile at others. CJ tried to stay slightly behind her wife but the feisty little blonde was having none of it. She had CJ's waist in an iron grip most of the time and the taller woman finally relented, slipping her arm over Kate's shoulders as they walked. She began to relax even more and smiled for the crowd, who were shouting things like, “You two look fabulous!” and “Oh-my-God-oh-my-God! Kate, Kate!”

It was gonna be a fun night, that was for sure. CJ laughed when she saw Kate pointing to a large banner that said, ‘Kate Marshall for President' flapping around in the crowd. As they were both chuckling, the agent thought the camera flashes would blind her and wondered fleetingly what pictures would end up in the press. As much as she was going to enjoy this event, she was glad it didn't happen every day.

As they entered the large hall, Kate had a firm grip of CJ's hand. The actress tried to keep the nausea at bay as nerves and excitement warred within her. She took a deep breath and glanced at her stunning wife. CJ smiled and Kate blew out her breath in a gust.

“There's Phil. We must be sitting over here…” she said, pointing and tugging CJ with her.

The tall woman followed her spouse and waited while Kate greeted the man and a few other colleagues. After the introductions, the agent sat down – after pulling out her wife's chair for her, of course – and spotted Jack glancing nervously in her direction. He was sitting with his latest conquest and CJ threw him a sneer. He smiled briefly and hurriedly looked away, making the raven-haired beauty smirk to herself. She focused back on her wife, who was chattering wildly with her director.

The actress finished her conversation and looked to her date. “You okay?”

CJ smiled at the buzz of excitement that was emanating from her wife. “Yes, honey. You?”

“Oh, yes. As long as you're with me,” the smaller woman winked.

CJ laughed as the lights went out, indicating the beginning of the ceremony.

* * * * * *

Some time later…

“And the winner is…” As the announcer paused for effect, Kate's heart was hammering its way up her throat. She gripped CJ's hand and held her breath. “Kate Marshall for Mischa Barratt in Deadline!”

The crowd roared and Kate almost fainted. CJ helped her to stand on shaky legs as a huge smile crossed the smaller woman's features. Kate kissed her wife and hesitantly let go of the larger hand. After a few hugs from crew members, she began her walk to the stage, hoping with all her heart that she wouldn't trip up the steps.

CJ was beaming. She clapped her hands above her head and whistled, watching proudly as her beautiful spouse accepted the award and stood at the podium, waving and smiling that sparkling smile CJ loved so much. She knew her wife would be totally thrilled and her own stomach did flip flops as she listened to Kate's words. The actress made regular eye contact with CJ, as if to draw strength and calmness from her partner. The agent continued to smile lovingly and tried desperately to hold back the tears as Kate thanked her publicly and blew her a kiss. CJ bit her lips and blushed when just about everyone in the room turned to see who Kate was married to. It was certainly a new experience for the tall agent and she put on her best smile for the curious onlookers. Thankfully, they didn't stare for long and she took a deep breath to relax, seeing Phil grin at her knowingly. She chuckled and decided she was tough enough to cope with these events… only just.

* * * * * *

After dinner the next day, CJ sat on the couch in front of a pile of newspapers. Kate was perched on the arm of the couch, feet wriggling on the soft cushions, and was listening to her wife reading reports. Tony had just left after delivering the papers to the house and picking up Kamali, who was going with him on a visit to his young nephew.

CJ flapped her hand to get Kate's attention. “This one's good… Kate Marshall and wife gracefully floated down the red carpet last night, looking like an angel and her Goddess on their approach to the Nokia Theatre. Fans of Kate will be pleased to hear that she won the Emmy for ‘Best Actress in a Dramatic Role' for her portrayal of Mischa Barratt, the genius forensic scientist in Deadline. The show picked up three other awards…” CJ read from the newspaper. “More description about the show… yadda yadda yadda… oh here… Kate's acceptance speech was utterly heartfelt as she thanked the people involved in the show. But the main topic of reports today, is the thanks she gave to her wife… and those few words totally enthralled, and no doubt extended her huge gay and lesbian fan base. Kate told the attendees, “I might not have gotten this far and I certainly wouldn't have been the person I am today, without the love and support of my best friend and wife… ” the agent trailed off looking at the blonde with complete and utter love and devotion.

“Well, I like that one,” Kate said shyly.

CJ grinned. “I do too.”

“They always call you a Goddess.”

“It's only because of my height, honey. If I was your height, I'd be an angel like you,” the agent winked.

“Are you telling me I'm a short-ass?”

CJ laughed at the mock hurt in her wife's facial expression. “You know damn well I love everything about you, including your compact nature…”

Kate flew at her and pinned her to the couch, sending the newspaper flying. “Compact nature?” the actress said, holding CJ's arms above her head and licking the agent's face.

The taller woman felt an unbelievably fast surge of heat shoot through her body. “Be careful. I may have to take your compact form and ravish it until you can't walk.”

Kate bit her bottom lip. “That's not really a threat, honey. Maybe I'll take your gigantic body and ravish you until you can't close your legs.”

CJ faked a shocked face, then laughed. “Do what you will, Angel,” she winked mischievously.

* * * * * *

After a very hot and heavy hour of lovemaking, CJ stretched her tall body as she headed for the ensuite. Kate watched her go, laughing as her wife scratched her right buttock where the actress had just kissed it. At the sound of the shower, Kate jumped up and joined her spouse, leading to another brief session under the steaming jets before they got dressed and headed downstairs.

“You ready to go, honey?”

“Yep. Just let me grab the gifts,” Kate said, picking up the bag.

“Do you really think we should give them these? I'm wasn't sure what to get for kids,” CJ grumbled.

“I think Lucy will love the little jacket you got for Barney and Shannon will adore her FBI hat. I bet she wants to wear it all the time,” the blonde said, hugging her wife reassuringly.

CJ started the truck once Kate had selected the music and they began the drive to Sherman Oaks.

* * * * * *

When CJ pulled up outside the house, it was dark and she wondered if the girls would be in bed. They had taken a detour due to some major work being done on the highway and she thought she'd be too late to see them now. That thought was short-lived as a little head popped up at the window. Shannon's huge eyes were visible, even at this distance.

“C'mon, honey. Let's go say hello,” Kate said, nudging her spouse.

As CJ walked up the path, Shannon burst from the front door and her aunt Helen watched as the little girl ran straight into the agent's outstretched arms. CJ lifted the small body and twirled her around.

“You came!” Shannon squealed at CJ's face, almost going cross-eyed to look at the tall woman.

“Of course I did. But I'm sorry we're late. We had to take a different route,” the agent said, tweaking the tiny nose in front of her.

Shannon hugged her tightly and then looked at Kate. “Hi, Kate,” she said, a little shyly.

“Hi, Shannon. It's good to meet you,” the actress said, very impressed at Shannon's memory and trying to hold back her emotion at seeing her wife holding the little girl. Kate turned to see Helen waiting at the door. “We should go inside. We have a little gift for you and Lucy.”

Shannon's eyes opened wide. “You do?”


Shannon seemed to be permanently attached to CJ, so she walked up the path with the small body wrapped around her and greeted Helen pleasantly. Once they had all said their hellos, Kate sat on the couch and watched her wife play with the little girl - whom she had to admit was exactly like CJ - while Helen made the coffees.

Lucy sat on the other end of the couch and Kate patted her hand on her lap. “Want to come sit here?” she smiled at the infant. Lucy seemed to think about it quite seriously. She clearly understood the question but Shannon was right, Lucy was very quiet even for a two and a half-year old. The little brown-haired girl clutched at Barney and crawled over to Kate on her three available appendages. As she settled onto the blonde's lap, she swung her legs around so that she was facing away from the actress, leaning back against her chest. Kate slipped both hands under the little girls calves and supported her while she spoke. “Is this Barney?”

Lucy nodded.

“Does Barney have any clothes?” The little head shook, making the tiny curls bob around at the side of Lucy face. “Would he like a new coat?” Kate asked gently. Lucy turned her head and looked up at the kind, green eyes above her. She nodded again and Kate could see a little excitement peeking though the silence in the gaze. The actress pulled the little bomber jacket from the bag and held it in front of Lucy. The girl's face lit up and Kate smiled. “What do you think? Will he like it?” Lucy giggled and nodded again.

CJ was watching this with rapt fascination and Shannon noticed the agent's lack of attention, tugging on the tall woman's sleeve to get her to focus. “Sorry, Shannon. I was just watching Lucy getting her gift. Do you want yours?”

“Yes, please.”

CJ took the bag from her spouse and proceeded to give the little girl her hat. “This is a real FBI cap and I know how brave you are. What do you think? Could you be my Special Agent?”

“Ooh. Do you wear these?” Shannon asked excitedly.

“Sometimes we do. I have one just like this back at my office,” the agent said, pleased that her gift seemed to go down well.

“Thank you, CJ,” Shannon said, putting the cap on her head back to front, making the tall woman chuckle.

Helen came back in with the drinks and they talked for a while. It seemed to be quite a pleasant conversation until the girls were put to bed - FBI cap still on Shannon's head. When Helen returned to the room, she was still polite but the way she spoke changed somewhat.

“I don't know how long my sister will be locked up but I have no concerns about their future. They have trust funds set up for them so their college fees are taken care of. I never spoke with my sister so I have no idea why I was given custody,” Helen said, not unkindly.

But CJ was confused as to why she was telling them about the trust funds. “I don't know that you'll have them that long, Helen, but it's… good you're thinking of their future.”

“Well, my sister is a murderer. I mean, really, she'll be locked up for life.”

“She was an accessory to murder. She didn't actually commit them herself. I'm not sure what her sentence will be,” CJ explained amicably.

“Well, once they sort out Charles' will, I won't be worried about how long I'll have to keep them.”

CJ was horrified at the attitude but there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. And she didn't really know what was in Davenport's will. He may have left the girls some money but CJ doubted it, especially after he had found out about his wife's affairs. But why the hell was Helen talking about money? Surely she should be more concerned with the fact that Lucy still didn't speak or that Shannon seemed to love an FBI agent more than her own aunt? Didn't the girls' happiness come into her concerns at all?

Kate seemed to sense her wife's mood and straightened up. “Helen, would it be okay if I took Barney through to Lucy before we go?” The infant had given Barney to Kate before she went to bed. The actress had tried to return the bear to his owner but Lucy had insisted that Kate take him for a while.

“Of course. It's the third door on the right,” Helen said, collecting up the mugs.

“Thanks. CJ, want to come with me?”

“What? Oh, sure.”

Once in the spare room, Kate placed Barney under Lucy's limp arm and covered her up with the duvet. She went to CJ who was just standing staring at Shannon. “Hey,” the actress whispered. “They'll be fine.”

“Uh huh,” CJ replied just as quietly. “It just feels off but there's nothing I can do right now. What a mess.”

“I know,” Kate said, ushering her wife out of the room. “Let's go home, honey.”

After they left, Kate took the keys to the truck sensing her wife was a little distracted. It had been an emotional night. Kate loved the kids. They were so sweet and Lucy had sat with her for most of their visit. She sighed as she drove down the highway and turned to see CJ's eyes had fallen shut.

As she focused back on the road, Kate wondered what exactly would happen after Sheila was sentenced. She couldn't understand how their mother could put her kids through anything like that, never mind have her husband killed. She shook her head and decided to talk with CJ about the girls when she got a chance.

* * * * * *

CJ dragged her ass into work the next morning. Since she'd met Kate she had experienced something new - not wanting to constantly live her job. It was something she did in the past without even thinking about it. Her wife had changed her life in so many ways, including waking her up to the fact that there was so much more to life than a career. She still enjoyed her job but she'd never work herself into the ground again.

She entered the office to see Jamie with her head in her hands and Ethan standing next to her looking over a very thick case file. The tall agent walked over and put her keys on her desk. “Need some help, guys?”

Jamie looked up. “If you're not busy?”

“Never too busy to help my colleagues,” CJ replied. “What you got?”

The blonde sighed. “It's a serial killer case I was almost given just before I left Washington. A guy I worked with, Paul MacGuire, has been leading the case ever since and he can't get a break. He called me yesterday to ask for some new insight.”

CJ took the offered file and flipped through the pages. “Eww. This killer's leaving pieces of people in various locations?”

“Yes. And I know you had a case like that in the past. Could you give it a look and tell me what you get from it?”

“Sure,” the tall woman said as she sat at her desk. Her internal phone line buzzed and she picked it up. “Carson.”

CJ, its Mark. Could you come see me in my office, please?”

“I'll be right up, Sir.”

Thanks ,” he said, cutting the line.

The agent looked puzzled for a moment, then got up and told Jamie and Ethan she'd be right back. As she walked to the AD's office, she wondered what he could want. He didn't sound angry so she couldn't have pissed him off but he was quite abrupt. She was still pondering when she knocked on his door.

“Come in.”

CJ walked into the office and sat on the chair opposite her boss. “You wanted to see me, Sir?”

“We're alone, CJ.”

“Sorry. You wanted to see me, Mark?”

He smiled. “Yes. I have some news.”

“Bad news?”

“Well, it's not exactly good news. I got a call today. Sheila Davenport has committed suicide in jail…” he stopped at CJ's shocked face.

“Wh… how?” the agent asked.

“Seems she took the chord from her pants and hung herself. It's being investigated as she had bruising on her stomach but the warden said she had been beaten a few times previous to that. I guess some of the inmates didn't take kindly to her having her husband and kids killed,” Mark said, shaking his head.

“God, that's' awful…” CJ almost whispered. Her mind began to drift.

Mark watched her and knew what she was thinking about. “I made a call to Social Services after I found out.”


“CJ, Helen Ross had temporary custody and she would only get to keep the girls if she went to court to apply for full custody. Apparently, she's not doing that. Charles Davenport excluded the girls from his fortune after finding out they weren't his. However, he did leave them with trust funds and lifetime medical cover, but that's not enough for Helen and she doesn't want to keep them.”

“Oh,” CJ said, unable to think clearly as the anger surged within her.

“CJ, if I'm reading you right, I can help you get them if that's what you want? I already asked my contact what the procedure might be…”

“Oh… uh… I need to talk to Kate. I don't know…”

“I think you should take the rest of the day off and…”

“No, Sir. Kate's at work. I'll talk to her tonight. When do I need to let you know?”

“There's no time limit, CJ, but Helen is leaving town soon. The girls will be placed in temporary foster care, so the sooner the better I'd say.”

“We only saw her the last night. When did they inform her?”

“This morning. Apparently, it happened late last night.”

CJ pinched the bridge of her nose. “I'll talk to Kate and get back to you first thing tomorrow, Mark,” she said, her mind distracted by the possibilities.

“Right. Good,” the AD said, nodding.

CJ walked back towards her office, her mind spinning. Could they take on two kids with their busy jobs? Would Kate even be open to it? Of course she would. ‘Oh God, am I ready for two kids?” the agent gasped, feeling a slight nausea flow through her.

The rest of CJ's day was a blur. As she drove up to the house that night, she saw the Mercedes outside and the lights on in the living area. She passed through the hallway, dumping her jacket and keys in their usual place, and found her wife at the dining table reading a magazine. A delicious smell emanated from the stove and CJ inhaled deeply. “Hi, Katie,” she said approaching the blonde.

“Hey, honey. You came in awfully quietly,” Kate replied, getting up and slipping her arms around her spouse's waist.

“Yeah. Lots on my mind. We need to talk, honey,” the agent said quietly, pushing a soft strand of hair from Kate's forehead.

“You okay?”

“Yes.” CJ tightened her hold on her wife. “Katie, Sheila Davenport is dead.”

“Oh God. What happened?”

“Seems she committed suicide in jail. Hung herself.”

“Oh CJ, that's awful.”

“That's what I said…” CJ trailed off, not knowing how to broach the subject of the kids. She should have known Kate would read her mind.

“What about the girls?” the actress asked, squeezing her wife.

“I… well, that's what we need to talk about. Helen doesn't want them and they're being placed in temporary foster care.”

“Do you want them, honey?” Kate asked seriously.

“I… we need to…”

“CJ, I know you, remember? I knew if this situation arose, we would have this discussion. When I saw you with Shannon last night, so many feelings flowed through me. I think we should go see them and find out what the procedure might be,” the blonde smiled, kissing her wife's chin.

“You'd be okay with fostering them?” CJ asked, excitement threading through her voice.

“Fostering? No, honey, I mean let's see what the procedure is for adopting them. They don't seem to have anyone else and you and I love them…”

CJ was dumbstruck. Kate waved her hand in front of her wife's eyes, snapping the agent out of it. She blinked. “Adopt? Just like that? I didn't want to overwhelm…”

“Oh CJ, I've been thinking about it for a while now. It's what you want, isn't it?” At CJ's tentative nod, she continued. “Let's figure it out together and see what happens, okay?”

The taller woman nodded. “Okay. You're incredible, Katie. I don't know why I'm surprised. God, I love you.”

“I love you too, baby,” the smaller woman said, kissing her wife on the chin again.

“Oh no, gimme one on the lips. I think I need to make love to you…” Kiss “right…” Kiss “now…”

Kate smiled. “Dinner… then I'll have you for dessert.”

“I don't know if I can wait,” CJ husked, begrudgingly letting her spouse go.

Kate walked to the stove. “I'll make it worth your while,” she said over her shoulder, raising a sultry eyebrow.

CJ growled and decided they could have dinner first. They needed to talk a little more anyway. The agent set the table, her mind whirling around at the thought that their family might get bigger in the very near future.


Elizabeth Meredith Emerson – previously Marshall - looked at the newspaper with utter disgust. She hadn't spoken to her daughter in almost four years, apart from a very abrupt conversation on the phone when Katherine had been returned after her abduction. Now she could see why. Her daughter was an abomination, sprawled all over the front page of the national press with her ‘wife'. Elizabeth contorted her face as she read of the actress' success and smacked her lips together as if tasting something very bitter. It was most likely the taste of her own envy at her daughter's happiness, which was clearly evident on the blonde's face as she smiled brilliantly for the cameras. The fact that the ‘wife' had her arm around Katherine's shoulder just made it worse.

Elizabeth got up from her chair and threw the newspaper down on the hideously ornate glass coffee table, wondering how she could ever face her friends and neighbors again. Where she lived in Connecticut, they seemed to be very closed-minded about certain things. What Elizabeth couldn't see was that there were only a select few of her ‘Stepford Wives' friends who would oppose homosexuality… and maybe her husband of six years. Of course, she never knew what he thought as she didn't pay much attention to him anyway. She'd only married him for his money.

This would never do. Kate could not embarrass her like this. And she'd married that woman? Surely not! Was that even allowed in this day and age? Elizabeth paced the floor, the bile rising from her spiteful belly and cold heart. It was time for her to pay her daughter a visit and sort this ‘wife' of hers out for good. ‘ That woman must have poisoned my Katherine's mind. That's it. That will be what I'll tell my friends and I'll sort it out forthwith!'

And with that, she stomped off to make arrangements for her flight to LA.

To Be Continued…


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