Code Blue

Chapter One

© KatLynFic 2001

Author: KatLyn


Rating: NC-17

Status: WIP

Archive: Yes, just let me know where.

Disclaimers: There mine. Do not use them, steal them, or abuse them.

Category: Original Fiction

Logan McGregor

A tough Pittsburgh cop, who lives only for her job since losing the love of her life in an inexcusable way. She is thrown headlong into one of the most puzzling murder investigations in the ëBurgh's' history. Politics, money and greed are not the only barriers she must break through in order to find the truth.

Madison Cavanaugh

A self-proclaimed perfectionist with a penchant for the finery that life has to offer. By day she works as one of Mercy Hospitals best Orthopedic Surgeons, and by night, she walks the streets helping the downtrodden and unwanted citizens of the city. In the blink of an eye, her world is thrown into a vortex as a murderer stalks The Strip District.


There is violence and blood, This is a story about cops and docs.

Sexual Content:

Hmmm, yeah, lots.<G> If you're under 18, move on to the Disney channel. This story is intended for an adult audience only. You don't have to be mature just over 18.


Yes, this is a story of an Cop,so yes, there is violence, guns, and blood.


Yes, it would be English. Oh, I get it, Bad language. Yeah some, so be forewarned. I mean, really, could you get the true visual if they said, "Gee, gosh darn it, that bullet slicing through my body really hurt like heck."


I love feedback. Please let me know what you thought of the story.


I want to dedicate this, my second story to ML. You have given me the vision and the desire to continue telling my stories. You are my heart, my soulÖmy destiny. I will love you, always.


I would like to extend a special thanks to Denise for taking on the difficult task of beta reading Code Blue. You're the greatest!

Chapter One

The cold Pittsburgh air sliced through the narrow alleyway between the two abandoned buildings on Penn Avenue, sending discarded shards of paper and trash cast off by passersby's billowing into the air. The snow had begun to fall heavily an hour earlier, but Logan McGreror didn't seem to notice it or the biting cold as she pulled on a pair of latex gloves and knelt beside the garbage dumpster where the latest victim had been unceremoniously discarded. This was the fifth murder in as many weeks and her nerves were wearing thin.

Each time the murderer claimed another victim, the detective could feel the noose tightening around her neck. The Mayor had demanded a special task force be formed to solve the case, and quickly. Logan knew the task force wasn't formed because the community was concerned about the murders, but because the Mayor and several influential developers of the Strip District were concerned that the publicity of the case would frighten the tourists and locals away from the recently redeveloped area. As head of the task force, she was in the hot seat, as she desperately attempted to piece together the puzzle that had stumped the entire Police force of Pittsburgh for the last five weeks.

Looking down on the tattered body of the latest Jane Doe, Logan immediately recognized the M.O. of the murderer. A business card from Langston Development Corporation had been placed carefully on top of the body. Each time before, the card had been imprinted with the name of a top-level executive in the Corporation; this one, however, was inscribed with the name of Christine Langston, the Senior Vice President of the Langston Corporation and daughter of Christopher Winthrop Langston III.

Langston Development, having purchased several blocks of abandoned or dilapidated buildings along the Strip, had torn down the unsalvageable structures and rebuilt them, recreating the faÁades in such a way that the new buildings complimented the surviving structures. The Strip District, had at one time been one of the most popular areas of the city, but over the years had fallen into an irreversible downward economic spiral and been taken over by drug dealers and vagrants. With the redevelopment, the Langston Corporation had been responsible for the recent growth of businesses along the Strip District, and in an indirect way, responsible for the drop in the crime rate and drug trade that had run rampant along Penn Avenue.

Logan knew that upon further investigation she would find that this victim had been seen arriving alone at one of the nearby bars, and then most likely leaving the establishment a short time later with a man. All of the previous investigations had followed the same route. The victims had all left willingly with their companion, to be found brutally murdered a few hours later in a nearby, fairly exposed, location.

Glancing around the area, Logan couldn't help but think that the murderer was taunting her; testing her ability to figure out his or her next move. Her frustration was growing stronger with each day. All she had been able to piece together so far was that each victim was a regular patron of the area clubs with a history of drug abuse and sporadic employment. As she peeled off her gloves, she made a mental note to canvas the clubs again, this time pressing the managers and staff harder for information, and to have several of the investigative officers dig deeper into the victims lives.

Logan walked away from the body back into the cold air whipping through the alleyway, and took a deep breath, rubbing her temples, as the headache she'd had for days grew stronger. Making a connection with Langston Development was a frustrating task and C. W. Langston, as well as the other executives, were currently hiding behind closed doors, refusing to be interviewed by the investigative team.

The Mayor had used his political clout to protect his old friend, refusing to bend to the requests by the Police Department to force Langston to cooperate, while asserting that the development corporation was as much a victim as those murdered. Unraveling this case would be like walking blindfolded through a maze and the detective knew many of the dead ends would be conveniently placed political barriers set to protect the wealthy Langston family. Logan leaned heavily on the hood of the cruiser dropping her head; stretching the taut muscles of her neck.

"You know, a little sleep might be just what the Doctor ordered."

Logan turned to see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettes's top crime reporter, Jennifer Phillips, looking at her with concern. "No comment, Ms. Phillips and you know for a fact that I have no use for doctors."

Jennifer raised a thin, dark brow as she eyed the tall, dark haired detective. "Sometimes Logan, you can be a real pain in the ass. I don't recall asking you any questions. My concern at this moment is for you ‚ not the story."

Rolling her head from side to side, trying to loosen the tense muscles, the detective silently chastised herself for the verbal attack. They had been friends for many years and Logan knew that the reporter would be the last person to take advantage of their friendship in order to get a headline. "Sorry Jen, I'm just really beat and we have nothing to go on here. I didn't mean to jump on you like that ‚ really."

"Are you done here for the night, or are you going to squeeze in another ten or twelve hours before your next shift?" The sarcastic tone of Jens voice left little room for misinterpretation.

"I'm done." It had been a while since the two women had spent any time together outside of their jobs and Logan suddenly felt the need for some good company and a strong drink. "Want to go grab a bite to eat?"

Jen couldn't hide the surprised look that crossed her face. "Yeah, sure. Just give me a minute to call in and I'll be ready."

Logan dropped down into the Cruiser and radioed into dispatch, signing out for the evening. Technically, she should have been off duty eight hours before, but she hadn't felt like going to the dark, lonely, structure in which she lived. Home was simply a house; a place where she slept, showered, and occasionally ate, but not the warm, comforting home she once knew. Each time she walked through the door she was hit with the deafening silence echoing within the walls and the unforgettable faint scent of ObsessionÖthe scent of Diane.

Logan was still sitting with the radio microphone in her hand when Jen walked up a short while later. "Hey, are you alright?"

Through glazed eyes, Logan looked up into her concerned friend's face. "Yes, I'm fine ‚ umm, just tired."

Eyeing the detective intently, Jen's concern grew over her friend's despondency. She had witnessed Logan at her worst and best during the past few years, but during the last few months, the complacency the woman had shrouded herself with had turned into apathy. Apathy for everything in her life except her work. It was almost as if she expected her job to rescue her from the demons that haunted her life; a life that since Diane left, had been filled with only darkness. "Logan? If you'd rather take a rain check on dinner, we can. You look like you need some sleep anyway."

Tucking her long leg into the cruiser, Logan shook her head and looked over towards the body bag that held the latest Jane Doe, "No. After this I won't be able to sleep. I can't remember the last time I ate anyway. Follow me to headquarters and let me get my truck. What do you say to going over to Buskers for a while?"

Shrugging, Jen turned towards her car, "Fine, lead the way Detective."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Buskers, a jazz cafÈ located in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, specialized in an upscale menu of unique entrees. The establishment attracted affluent patrons who could not only afford the good food and drinks, but could also procure the works of several of the local artists displayed on the walls. Local jazz artists entertained the locals after the dinner crowd vacated each night and the melodic sound of a tenor sax floated out onto the sidewalk as the women entered. Looking for a quiet table that would allow them the opportunity to talk, Jen took a seat in the far corner, while Logan strolled to the bar to order their drinks.

Looking around the bar, Jen wondered how many of the patrons were aware of the current events taking place on the Strip. The murders had received fairly good press coverage, especially in the last two weeks, but the story never led the evening news and was often buried inside the local crime section of the Post. Jen suspected the reason was linked to the victims not being high or even medium profile citizens of the city. All had been long-term drug users, with little or no family in the area. So far, the only threads the police had been able to weave together in the investigative canvas had been the victim's regular appearances at the local bars, and some, as yet unknown, connection to the Langston Corporation.

She knew Logan was working day and night on the investigation and probably possessed one of her renowned gut feelings about the case, but given her current state of mind, Jen decided to hold off on probing for information. Tonight was a night for friendship; the story, she reasoned, could wait until tomorrow.

Dropping into the seat across from Jen, Logan set two beers down on the table and handed Jen a menu she'd taken from the bar. The two women sat in silence for a few moments while they perused the menus. From time to time, Jen glanced over towards the detective, noticing the other woman had been staring blankly at the menu for several minutes. "Hey kid, talk to me. What's going on in that head of yours?"

Dark eyes bore into Jens as the detective's internal defenses took over. Seeing only a look of concern and not the professional interest she expected, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, before shaking her head. "Too much is going on in my head, Jen. So much, I can't even begin to sort it out."

Jen spoke softly gently nudging Logan to elaborate, "Anything I can help with? You know, sometimes it helps just to talk." Seeing the walls quickly rising across Logan's face, Jen forced herself to continue, "If it's about the case, I understand if you can't talk about it, but if it's something else, you know I'm always here for you."

The detective's eyes held Jen's. Her reply postponed by the timely appearance of the waiter, pad in hand, ready to take their order, allowing Logan a small reprieve from delving into the darkness she so desperately tried to hold at bay. The women placed their orders and as the waiter departed, Logan, once again, looked across the table at her friend. "Look Jen, I know you care, but right now I don't have the time or the energy to think about anything other than this case." Logan could feel the tears welling up in her eyes and looked away pretending to find interest in something across the room. "I promise, once this is over, we'll talk about Diane. I promise."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter Two

Madison Cavanaugh shut off the lights in her office, closing and locking the door before heading down the quiet hallway towards the Physicians' locker room. The last thirty-six hours had been frantic with numerous MVA's caused by a sudden ice storm that had enveloped the city and which, according to the local weather forecast, would continue for the next few days. With a sigh, the surgeon shoved open the heavy door, walking into the cavernous silence of the room, and headed for her locker. She had been in surgery most of the day repairing broken bones resulting from crashing vehicles sliding across icy roads, and the fatigue now reverberated through her shoulders.

Turning the combination dial on the lock she debated forgoing her weekly excursion into the streets, but knew in the end that she would be out there walking, searchingÖwaiting. The overwhelming fatigue she felt would have to wait a few more hours before she could give into it, slide between the warm sheets of her bed and sleep. Opening the metal door, she dug out her street clothes and tossed them on the vinyl couch.

After removing her scrubs, she pulled on a pair of thermal underwear followed by a pair of faded jeans and a thick long-sleeved flannel shirt. Madison Cavanaugh was a beautiful woman, her 5'7" muscular frame offset by her long blonde hair, demanded attention, wherever she went. Tonight, she weaved her hair into a French braid before tucking the silky locks under a well-worn baseball cap. Sitting on the couch, she had just begun tying her Doc Martins when the doors swung open announcing the entrance of the one person she was hoping to avoid; Angela Kramer.

"Well there you are, Madi. I've been looking all over for you." Angela's face revealed an air of impatience, one that was renowned throughout the hospital, primarily among the interns and nurses. Madison was one of only a few people within these walls that Angela Kramer couldn't intimidate with her antics, which irritated Angela even more. "Let's go have dinner before you go out on your, ummÖcharity run, shall we?"

Madison's eyes cut a glaring path towards Angela before she dropped her head once again and continued tying her shoes. "No thanks. I'm not hungry and I really need to get going."

Rolling her eyes towards the ceiling, Angela could feel her patience wearing thin. "I can't understand why you would rather spend the evening scurrying around the alleyways of the Strip than going to dinner with me, Madi." Slamming the door to her locker, Angela glared at Madison as the woman calmly slid her arms through the sleeves of her heavy wool navy issued coat.

Reaching for the door, Madison turned to face her‚sometimes-lover, "This program is important to me, Angela. I made a commitment when I agreed to work with Operation Safety Net and unlike some people, I keep my promises." Swinging the door open, the doctor stepped out into the hallway realizing that she had just closed the door on any future she might have with the psychologist. For the first time in weeks, she felt the pressure lift from her shoulders. The feisty psychologist had been a lot of fun to spend time with in the beginning, but during the last few months, she had begun to feel the pressure as the woman had pressed for a commitment. I have no time in my life for anything or anyone, especially someone as demanding as Angela, Madison thought to herself, as she started down the long hallway towards the elevator.

Walking towards the exit on the first floor, the doctor felt uncertain eyes following her progress. She smiled, knowing the faces behind the eyes were trying to decide if the woman they were looking at was really Madison Cavanaugh, Mercy Hospital's top Orthopedic Surgeon or someone that simply favored her. She prided herself on the good looks she inherited from her parents, always taking extra time to make sure her makeup and hair were perfect before venturing out into public view. Tonight, however, she didn't have time to go home and change before going to the Strip for her weekly visits. Besides, one certainly didn't want to be caught alone in the Strip District wearing the tailored clothes and expensive jewelry that Madison normally donned during the day.

Bracing herself against the bitter cold on the other side of the door, Madison tightened the collar around her neck and walked quickly through the sliding glass doors out of Mercy Hospital and into the dimly lit parking lot. Climbing into her Pathfinder, she turned the key and waited as the engine warmed. She looked up at the majestic building before her, feeling the energy contained within in the wallsÖit was almost palpable.

As part of her job, life and death decisions were an everyday occurrence. As an intern, she had learned to make quick, decisive judgments with confidence. She had never questioned her skill as a surgeon; it was her skill as a person, a friend, and as a lover that had always given Madison anguish. After leaving the warm embrace of the hospital's walls to enter the world of everyday life, she could no longer fall back on scientific research to guide her. It was during these times that the doctor wondered if she was truly as ëtogether' as everyone thought she appeared to be.

Sighing heavily, Madison shifted gears and left the parking lot, turning right onto Forbes Avenue. As she crossed town heading towards the Strip district, her mood changed as quickly as the environment. She was no longer the wealthy orthopedic surgeon; now she was simply Ms. Madi, friend and advocate for the homeless and downtrodden of the city.

Madison turned onto Smallman street; a well-traveled area of the strip and parked under a streetlight. Bracing herself against the bitter wind whipping around the old buildings, she grabbed her bag from the back seat and began walking away from the more populated establishments until she came to a small in-descript alleyway just south of Twenty-Seventh street. Slowing her pace for only a moment to take in her surroundings, she made her way towards the glow of a small drumfire in the middle of the alleyway.

Madison was about a third of the way into the shadowed alley when she felt, more than heard, a presence behind her. Before she could react, a man in tattered and soiled clothes stepped out from behind a garbage bin, blocking her path. Turning, she found two other men in similar clothing blocking her exit.

"Ain't seen no pretty woman in a long time." The man before her said through a smile as he edged closer.

Madison could smell the stench of wine and smoke emanating from his body and noticed that his smile revealed poor oral hygiene and several missing teeth. Holding the man's eyes to show her lack of fear, the doctor edged closer, trying to move past the vagrant. "I'm not here to bother you sir, I just need to find Toby."

Sidestepping to block her path once again, the man's face became dark and defensive. "What the hell you be wanting Toby for?"

Holding her bag up for him to see, Madison once again tried to bypass the offensive man, only to be cut off once again. "I'm a doctor. If you know Toby, you'll also know he was attacked last week. I put four stitches in his cheek and now it's time to remove them." Holding the man's glare, she lifted her chin, "If you would be so kind as to direct me to him, I'll remove them and be out of your way in a few minutes."

Before the vagrant could respond, a very large man emerged from the shadows. "Leave Ms. Madi be, she don't mean you no harm."

Pushing her way past the first man, she walked towards her rescuer, her 5'7" frame dwarfed by his 6'4" height. Craning her head, Madison looked up into the smiling blue eyes. "How are you, Toby? You ready to get those stitches out?"

"Yes'm." Turning, Toby began walking back towards the flaming barrel, "Let's get closer to the fire where it's warm. You shouldn't be out here on a night like this, Ms. Madi."

Placing her bag on a relatively clean piece of cardboard, she motioned the large man to sit. "Sure I should, Toby. You don't think I would forget about your stitches, do you?"

With a sheepish smile on his face, Toby looked away, "No Ma'am, I didn't think you forgot me, but it could have waited ëtil it was more warm out here."

"I told you I'd be back tonight and I keep my promises. Now turn around so I can take a look at those stitches."

Madison knew coming into this project, that earning the trust and respect of the neighborhood's homeless would be one of the biggest obstacles she would face. Encountering men like those that had stopped her in the alley a few minutes before, had chased off more that a few would-be volunteers over the past few years. However, the doctor focused on the one thing she knew she could controlÖproviding a concerned and honest source of medical care to the men and women who called these streets home. She knew the danger of venturing off alone into the alleyways, but the need to help overcame her fears. Thus twice a week for the past year she had been walking these streets searching and caring.

Madison removed the stitches from Toby's cheek, applied an antiseptic and covered the wound with a clean bandage. The bandage was almost glowing against Toby's dirty unshaven face and she knew that before morning it would probably be one more piece of litter within the walls of the alleyway. She smiled and lifted Toby's chin with her hand, until their eyes met. "You think you can keep that clean for me for a few days?"

"Sure thing, Ms. Madi." Rising to his feet Toby began walking Madison back towards the entrance of the alleyway. As they passed the men she had previously encountered, Toby spoke "Those goons didn't mess with you did they?"

"No Toby, they didn't. They were just protecting their territory." She glanced, "Just like you would do if a strange person had come wandering in here unannounced. Right?"

Smiling down into the warm face, Toby chuckled. "Yes'm, I guess you're right, but if anybody ever messes with you, you just let me know. Okay, Ms. Madi?"

"I will Toby, and thanks." Madison had just cleared the building and stepped out into the sidewalk when she felt a strong hand grab her arm and pull her further away from the structure. The doctor watched in horror as the hand released her and grabbed Toby, forcing his face against the wall. She stood there speechless as she watched the scene unfold. A tall, dark, very muscular woman, pressed heavily against Toby's back, as she swept his feet apart, keeping him off balance. The woman had Toby's arm wrenched around his back, his fist pressed between his shoulder blades, causing him to cry out in agony, her other hand firmly against his head, pressing his face against the cold brick wall.

"What the fuck are you doing, Toby? Harassing the pretty women again?" The woman's low, menacing growl was full of revulsion and anger.

Toby's demeanor shrunk and his shoulders sagged against the building. "I was just walking the lady to her car Officer."

Shoving him harder against the wall the officer's voice became low and dark. "Yeah, I guess that's what you said last year when I caught you trying to rape that student two blocks north of here."

Finally finding her voice, Madison stepped forward. "Officer, he's telling you the truth. Please release him, he did nothing wrong." The doctor's eyes flared as when she saw the blood dripping off Toby's cheek as he turned around. "That's just great Officer. I just removed the stitches from his cheek and you've managed to barge in and in less than five minutes, bust his wound open again. Thank you so much for your help."

Turning around, Logan McGregor looked into the greenest eyes she had ever seen. Had they not been shooting daggers at her, she might have fallen in those pools and drowned.


Chapter Three

Madison glared at the officer as she pressed around her tall, muscular frame to reach Toby. "Jesus, Toby. I'm sorry but I'm going to have to put the stitches back in." Taking the large man by the arm, she glared loathingly at the womanas she began leading the man down the sidewalk, away from the alley and the intimidating officer.

Toby shuffled along beside Madison quietly until they reached her Pathfinder. As she unlatched the back hatch and motioned for him to sit on the open gate, he looked at her in surprise. "Ms. Madi, I can't sit in your car, ma'am. I'll get it all dirty."

Madison pulled Toby down beside her on the gate. "Toby, I'm not worried about my car at the moment. My main concern is your face, it's not going to be as easy to stitch it this time and I'm concerned about it scarring."

A shadow fell across her shoulder as Madison prepared a syringe so she could inject the local anesthetic into Toby's cheek. Glaring into the eyes of the officer, she scowled. "Don't you think you've caused enough problems for one evening, officer? You're in my light. Please move."

The detective's brow arched as she looked at the irritated expression on Madison's face. Her first inclination was to turn and walk away, but something in this woman's eyes held her there. Inhaling the faint spicy scent wafting from the woman, Logan pulled a Mag light from her back pocket and leaned in to shine the light on Toby's face. "Sorry Toby, I know it's bright but the Doc here needs to see."

"S'ok, Officer Mac, I understand." Toby closed his eyes grimacing as the needle punctured his skin. "Damn, Ms. Madi, I thought that stuff was supposed to stop it from hurting."

Madison turned, once again, to Logan after capping and dropping the empty syringe into her bag,. "Thanks for the light Officer."

"No problem." Logan watched as Madison disinfected the wound and began replacing the sutures. For the first time, she noticed the long, slender fingers of Madison's hands, which were steady and sure as she gently sutured the wound. Logan noticed the contrast in her own hands as the light shook under her trembling palm.

Madison glanced towards the woman, "I appreciate what you're doing but can you hold the light a little steadier, Officer?"

Sighing, she rested the butt of the light on her shoulder trying to steady the beam. "Sure Doc. Sorry, it's a little cold out here tonight." The detective prayed the doctor would accept the explanation of being cold and not see through the lame excuse she had contrived for her shaking hands. For the first time in what seemed like ages, Logan McGregor found herself nervous as she inched closer to the attractive woman.

Completing the sutures, the surgeon again applied a topical disinfectant to the wound before covering it with a sterile bandage. Resting her hand on Toby's shoulder, she looked at him seriously. "Now I want you to keep that covered and clean. Okay?" Reaching into her bag, pulling out several pre-wrapped bandages, she placed them in his hand. "I'll be back next week to see how this is doing. I'll meet you here, about this same time. Think you can remember?"

"Sure thing, Ms Madi. I always like seeing you around here." Glancing at Logan, he continued. "There aren't many nice folks come down here to see us street people." Turning and walking back towards the alley, the man yelled back over his shoulder. "You be careful out here Ms. Madi. And remember what I said - anybody mess with you, you tell me and I'll take care of'm for ya."

Madison chuckled as she called back to the man. "I will, Toby. You take care of yourself and I'll see you next week." With the bag in her hand, the doctor began walking down the sidewalk and away from the detective. Knowing she should thank the officer, even though her earlier actions had infuriated her, Madison turned back towards the tall, dark figure. "Thanks for your help, Officer."

The detective stood watching the retreating figure for a few moments before mumbling to herself under her breath, and setting off in a jog to catch up with her. Falling into step beside the woman, they walked a short distance before Madison stopped, and turning towards Logan, looked at her with questioning eyes. "Is there something I can help you with, OfficerÖummm, I don't think I caught your last name?"

"McGregor. Logan McGregor." She responded, instantly regretting her decision to pursue the woman, but knowing she had been given no alternative. "I, ahhhÖyou shouldn't be out here alone, Doc. If you haven't heard, there have been several murders in this area over the last few weeks." Regaining her composure, Logan stared back into the green eyes that bore into hers.

Finding that she was having a difficult time unraveling this unusual woman, Madison gave up and turned, walking further down the sidewalk. "I appreciate your concern, Officer McGregor, but I hardly think that I fit the profile of the murderer's victims. I don't frequent the bars in this neighborhood, and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't be leaving with a strange man." Madison tensed as a strong hand encircled her arm. Turning to face Logan, she was met with a dark scowl. "Will you please remove your hand from my arm, Officer?"

The detective dropped her hand and took a deep breath to calm her rapidly rising temper. "Look, I know we got off to a bad start back there but it really isn't safe for you to be out here by yourself. Why don't you let me tag along with you until you're done?"

The surgeon couldn't stop the boisterous laugh that escaped and noticed the woman's frustrated expression. "Sorry, Officer McGregor, but I think our initial meeting is the very reason for why you shouldn't tag along with me." Seeing the comprehension cross the woman's face, the doctor smiled. "I seriously doubt any of these citizens would allow me within fifty feet of them if they saw you walking along beside me. Sorry, but I think I'll go solo on this one." Continuing her trek along the sidewalk, she heard the officer mumble something unintelligible and smiled to herself, knowing she had put the overbearing woman in her place. As she turned down yet another dark alley, Madison glanced back to see the detective standing on the sidewalk where she had left her, watching. A slight chill ran up her spine as she regarded the dangerous yet very attractive woman.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Logan thought back over the last hour as she walked back to her truck. She couldn't understand why this Ms. Madi, had been so rude, she had only been trying to protect her and Toby had been arrested the previous year for attempting to assault a young coed. Of course, Toby had claimed that the young woman had snatched a dollar that a passerby had just placed in his hand. The coed had denied the accusation and refused to press charges so Logan had let the incident drop, but she had continued to keep an eye on the man whenever she was in the neighborhood.

Logan sat watching as people milled along the Strip. She'd had an unusual feeling all day. Something in her gut told her that the murderer was in the area tonight and she had decided to drive over, on her own time, to watch the area. It was while she sat watching the crowd that she saw the woman disappear into the alleyway.

She seriously thought a drug deal was about to take place and waited for a few minutes before dropping from her truck and crossing the street. She had been about to ease into the shadows when she noticed Toby exiting the alley with the woman, his hand on her arm. Recalling her previous experience with Toby, her first reaction had been to put distance between him and the woman. It never occurred to her the woman might actually be seeking Toby, much less be a doctor. Thinking back on the incident, Logan could understand the doctor's reaction to the offer to accompany her. "Great McGregor. You don't even know the woman's name and you've managed to piss her off. Yep, you're a real charmer."

The detective released a sigh of relief when she saw the blonde woman turn the corner onto Smallman Street about an hour later. She had unconsciously stopped watching the crowds some time ago and found she was searching every face she saw for signs of the mysteriously attractive woman. She felt her heart race as Madison climbed into her Pathfinder and pulled out into the late evening traffic. Pulling her Durango into traffic behind the Pathfinder, she began following the woman far enough behind not to be noticed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Madison suddenly felt the fatigue she had fought off all day encompass her body as she unlocked the door and entered the house. Switching on the foyer lights, she walked towards the kitchen hearing the familiar sound of her beloved Labrador slide through the pet door in the laundry room. Laughing as the overgrown pup's paws failed to gain traction of the slate floor in his excitement of her return, she knelt down and allowed his cold nose to nuzzle her neck. "Hey there, big guy. I'll bet you're hungry."

She lifted herself from the floor, walked over to his bowl and filled it with his food, and then turned towards the refrigerator to find something for herself. Placing a plate of leftover roast in the microwave, she began walking towards her bedroom. She abruptly stopped and turned back towards the door, sliding the security chain home as she recalled the uneasy feeling of being followed, that she had experienced driving home.

She shed her clothes as she moved towards the bathroom and the shower that awaited her. Stepping into the shower, Madison allowed the warm water to rain down across her shoulders, as she felt the tension of the day release its hold on her body. Washing her hair and body in record time, she found herself back in the kitchen ten minutes later, gulping down the warmed food under the watchful eye of Femur.

Madison looked down into pleading eyes and shook her head in resignation, and tossed him a small piece of roast. She watched as the Lab snared the morsel out of the air and groaned as he sat down in front of her with an expectant look on his face. She slipped down beside the pup and laughed as he eased his way into her lap, nudging her hand onto his head. She scratched his ear and thought about the remarkable strides he had made in the last few months, towards a full recovery.

She had found him on the side of the road, near death, after being hit by a passing car. She had stopped with the intention of dropping him off at her Vet but after looking into his pleading eyes, she knew they were bound together for a lifetime. When Nicole had seen Madison rush into the clinic with the canine in her arms, she had immediately evaluated the dog's condition. She had been adamant about assisting with the surgery to reset and pin his broken femur and had spent the rest of the night sitting beside the pup's cage after the surgery waiting for those dark eyes to open. When, at last, they finally did open she had gently stroked his head, and talked softly to him until his fear dissipated and he once again slept.

Femurs recovery had been a long, hard road for both of them. He had spent several weeks in the hospital before being able to come to his new home. However, once inside, he had claimed the domain his own and life as the doctor knew it hadn't been the same since. Hours of rehab had taken its toll on both animal and human but the bond that had been forged with each tear and cry from both had proven to be unbreakable. Now as she sat on the floor, Madison knew that the one thing in her life that was a constant was this beautiful animal's love.

Patting his back, she lifted herself off the floor and bolted in a dead run towards the bedroom. They both made a flying leap for the bed at the same time and fell into a friendly wrestling match which, before long, had both breathing hard and tired. As she stood and peeled off her clothes, Femur took his usual spot beside the bed. Giving him one last scratch, she slid between the sheets and turned out the light.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The detective watched Madison exit Interstate 79 into Bridgeville and then continued heading west until she came to the next exit. Veering off onto the ramp, she decreased her speed as she neared the traffic light. Making a left turn, she maneuvered the Durango down the entrance ramp and back onto the Interstate heading East, back towards the city. A pang of guilt surged through her consciousness at the thought of trailing the mysterious woman. Her curiosity had won over her sensible nature and before she realized what she was doing, they were well outside the city.

Pulling into her drive, Logan climbed out of the truck and trudged up the steps to the house. Even now, after a year, she still missed seeing Diane's car sitting in the drive next to hers. Locking the door behind her, the detective considered eating a light dinner but discarded the idea as the tension of the day settled into her tired shoulders. Walking into the bedroom, she tore off her clothes, slid naked between the sheets and was soon fast asleep.

The darkness of sleep provided only an occasional escape from the emptiness she felt within her soul. Tonight though, sleep wasn't a source of peaceful escape as Logan's eyes flew open, images of Diane's body flashing through her brain. Sitting up in the dark bedroom, she tried to slow her breathing as she tossed the covers back and headed for the bathroom splashing cold water onto her face, as the images once again flashed like a slide show behind her eyes. Toweling her face, she looked up into the mirror at her reflection. "It's all your fault, McGregor. If you had just been there for her that one time, just one fucking time." As the fury built within her soul, the angry woman struck out, smashing the reflection in the mirror with her fist, watching motionless as shards of glass and drops of blood fell haphazardly into the sink.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chapter Four

Walking into the investigative headquarters on Penn Circle, Logan felt the long night take hold of her body. After waking up from the dream she'd had of Diane and subsequently shattering the bathroom mirror, she had started a pot of coffee and gone into her office to review the evidence from her current case. Now at 7 am, she was regretting her decision to stay awake. Placing her backpack beside her desk, she looked up to find Lieutenant Beaudry standing beside her. "Lieutenant. What brings you out into the trenches this morning?"

Raising a brow at Logan's obvious bad mood, Lieutenant Beaudry motioned her into his office. Walking behind his desk, he sat and waited until Logan closed the door and sat in one of the hard government-issue chairs in front of him. Looking into her hard, cold eyes, he cleared his throat, "So how is the investigation going, and what happened to your hand?"

Releasing an audible smirk, Logan stared back into the unrevealing eyes of her Lieutenant. "How do you expect it to be going Lieutenant? It seems as if my hands have been tied. I'm not allowed to disturb the prestigious Langston Family, even though we both know someone in their organization holds the answers to at least some of our questions." Looking down at the bandage wrapped around her knuckles, Logan hesitated. "Umm, as for my hand, I cut it last night on some glass." Raising a brow at her Lieutenant, she added sarcastically. "It's nothing work related, so don't worry about it."

The Lieutenant held Logan's stare as he took a deep breath, choosing to ignore her last comment. "Look Logan, I'm only following orders too. Until further notice, the Langston's are off limits. You'll just have to find some other way."

Logan abruptly stood and walked towards the door. As her hand turned the knob, she looked back over towards her Lieutenant. "I guess it does pay to have friends in high places, doesn't it Lieutenant? One thing is for sure though; cooperation or not, I'm going to break this case. Let's just hope that when I do it doesn't blow up in your superiors faces."

The Lieutenant watched as the blinds crashed against the slamming door, and rubbed the pain that had begun to pulse behind his temples. Picking up the phone, he punched in the phone number he knew from memory; one he knew didn't exist in any interoffice Rolodex. On the third ring, the call was answered by a gruff voice. "Yeah, it's me. Tell your boss I just talked with McGregor and she has nothing. Something has to be done about this and soon. This is getting out of hand."


Madison woke to the early morning sun shining through her window. She listened as the birds chirped outside, singing happily as the sun burnt off the cool morning dew. Sliding out of the warm bed, she padded to the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee, thankful that she had remembered to set the automatic timer the night before. Femur trotted in behind her and whined as he looked hungrily at his master. "What? You think I live to feed you, little one?" Scratching his head, she leaned down, gave him a quick kiss and then reached into the cabinet for his food. Madison listened and watched as Femur devoured his breakfast in a few massive gulps and then trotted to the laundry room, through the pet door and outside.

Walking to the foyer, she unlocked the door and suddenly remembered the strange feeling of being followed she'd had the previous night, but quickly discounted it as a reaction resulting from her encounter with the unusual officer. Opening the door, she retrieved the newspaper from the front porch and walked back into the kitchen. Taking a large mouthful of the warm coffee, she almost choked when she spread out the paper to find a picture of Officer Logan McGregor on the front page. Those eyes, those incredible blue eyes stared back at her from the page, and for a moment Madison thought those firm, full lips were going to speak. Jesus, Madi, get a grip. She's a cop for god's sake. Tossing the paper aside, Madison went to the bathroom to shower. Stepping under the warm spray of the water, she was surprised to find her skin tingling from the gentle caress. Knowing the photograph of Logan McGregor had awakened her senses, she hurriedly shampooed her hair and bathed, trying to push the face into the far reaches of her mind.

An hour later, she was walking into Mercy Hospital, ready to start a fresh day. Entering her office on the fifth floor, she greeted her secretary and gathered her messages. Just as she was closing the door, Susan called out to her. "Doctor? An Officer McGregor came by earlier this morning and said she would like to speak with you sometime this morning. I told her you were in surgery for most of the morning but that she could call again this afternoon to check your schedule."

Madison stopped- mid-stride when she heard Susan mention the officer's name, wondering what the mysterious woman could possibly want to talk with her about. Remembering those deep blue eyes staring into her soul from the morning paper, a warm rush swept over her body. As she turned abruptly back to her secretary, her voice revealed her anxiety. "Tell Officer McGregor that I won't have any time today. Maybe she can schedule something for the end of next week."

Quickly closing the door, Madison dropped the messages on her desk and walked to the window, staring out at the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. What could she possibly want from me? Madison gathered her thoughts, and sitting down at the desk found it hard to concentrate on reading her messages. Finally giving up, she headed towards the door mumbling to herself, "Probably just wants to harass me some more. Well, Officer McGregor, this time we'll do it on my terms." Swinging the door open, Madison practically stormed across the reception area calling back over her shoulder to Susan, "I'll be in the OR most of the morning. If that Officer Whoever calls back, tell her I'm not available."


It took Logan most of the morning and her subsequent trip to The Strip district, to get her anger under control. She knew the Lieutenant wasn't being forthright with his information, but there wasn't a damn thing she could do about it. She decided the best chance she would have of gaining any headway would be to start from the beginning again. She parked her car in a no parking zone and tossed the Police placard on the dash. Unfolding her long frame from the car and walking towards the entrance to the bar, she noticed the glaring looks cast her way. Shaking her head, she knew these people were no different than most she encountered. They detested the police, yet never hesitated to call when trouble headed their way.

Pulling open the door to the bar, she walked inside, out of the bright sunlight. After taking a few moments for her eyes to adjust to the dark interior, she sauntered over to the bar and took a seat at the end, trying to be as discreet as possible. Waiting patiently as the bartender completed mixing a drink for another patron at the other end, Logan took the time to look around the dingy establishment. Years of rowdy patrons, full of energy and booze had taken its toll on the furnishings. Cigarette burns were evident on the tables and floor as was a permanent stickiness to the floor.

As she thought about the murders over the past five weeks, Logan wondered about the last thoughts of the victims. Had they known their attacker? Was he or she a regular patron of the establishments? Her mental questions were interrupted by the bartender's voice. "What can I get you?"

Logan turned to face the bartender and as she asked in a low, casual voice to speak with the manager, she noticed his body tense and take on an unconscious stance of defensiveness. "I'm the manager. What is it that you want?"

Placing her card on the bar, she slid it towards him. "I'm Detective Logan McGregor and I'm reÖ"

Her words were cut off by the impatient reply from the manager. "Look, Detective, I've already given my statement to you people several times. Why don't you go back to your squad room and look it up." The manager tossed the card back towards Logan and turned, walking back towards the other end of the bar.

Logan's eyes became dark and hooded as she struggled to contain her increasing anger. Taking a deep breath, she glared at the retreating figure and elevated her voice just enough to gain the attention of other patrons. "Fine. Then it looks like I'll just have to come back tonight and start interviewing your patrons."

She smiled when the manager stopped and turned back towards her, glaring. "I'm investigating a murder. You may not think it's all that important but the families of those victims, and many others in this community, do." Waiting, she watched as he retraced his steps and returned. "All I'm asking for is ten minutes of your time. If that's too much to ask for from your busy schedule, then I'll be back tonight." Looking up from her notepad, Logan once again met the manager's eyes. "So, what's it going to be Mr. Vanguard, do you talk to me or do I talk to your patrons later tonight?"

Logan waited as Mr. Vanguard called over another employee and then motioned her to his office. Twenty minutes later, she exited the bar, no more enlightened than when she had entered. Walking swiftly down the sidewalk, she entered the next bar and what she was sure would be another confrontation with yet another manager.


Madison trudged into the physicians' locker room, weary from a long morning in surgery. Sliding the surgical cap from her head, her hair fell from beneath the cap and flowed across her shoulders. She looked up just in time to see Logan McGregor's eyes darken, a primal hunger cascading down her face. Irritated by the intrusion, Madison stepped quickly across the room to her locker. "I thought I had my secretary tell you I wasn't available this afternoon, Officer McGregor."

Turning in her seat on the vinyl couch, Logan watched as Madison retrieved a bag of toiletries from her locker. "I'm sorry Doctor, but I didn't feel that this could wait until the end of next week. Surely you could spare me ten minutes of your time?"

Sighing audibly, Madison pulled a towel from her locker before turning to face Logan. "Alright Officer, I'll give you ten minutes and you're buying the coffee, but first I'm taking a shower." Turning, Madison shoved the door leading to the showers open with her shoulder, and escaped, if only for a few minutes, from the imposing officer.

Logan sat watching the door swing shut wondering how she had managed to irritate the doctor today. Just the site of me irritates her. Shrugging, Logan stood and walked to the window looking out at the parking lot below. "It seems like the high and mighty doctors around here didn't get a great view of the skyline."

"Pardon me?"

Logan jerked around to see that someone else, obviously a doctor, had silently entered the room. "Ahhh, sorry, I was just talking to myself."

The woman's lips curled in a small smile as she continued her path to the row of lockers on the far wall. "Well if I were you, I'd be careful what I said about doctor's around here. You are in the physicians' locker room, you know."

Logan could feel the heat rising in her face and knew that the other woman had overheard her statement. Adequately chastised, she returned to her place on the couch and began reading over her notes. A few moments later, she was pulled from her thoughts as the woman's voice broke through her concentration. "I'm sorry, were you talking to me?"

Making a show of looking around the room, the other woman's eyes finally settled on Logan's. "Well, I don't see anyone else in the room and I try not to talk to myself ‚ aloud anyway." Seeing Logan's obvious unease, she smiled and waved her hand in the air, dismissing her latest remark. "I said, I haven't seen you around here before. Are you new on staff?"

Seeing the woman's eyes devour her body in one long, lingering look, Logan crossed her arms over her chest, irritated by the outward display of lust. "No. I'm waiting for someone."

Smiling at her ability to perturb the woman so easily, the doctor retrieved her toiletries out of the locker and was about to press through the door to the showers, when Madison came from the other side almost knocking her off balance. "Damn, Madi, what's the rush?"

Madison's eyes swept from Angela to Logan, and then back again to Angela. "Sorry, I'm in a hurry." Glancing at Logan on her way to the locker she tried to keep some semblance of control in her voice. "Are you ready to go?"

Shocked by the revelation that the tall dark woman was waiting for Madison, Angela's well-known antagonistic side took over. "Well, Madi, I was wondering if some other more enticing, woman had lured you away from me." Once again canvassing Logan's tall, lean frame with her eyes, Angela smiled. "You should have simply told me it was someone tall, dark and gorgeous. I would have understood - really."

Madison's eyes pinned Angela with a glaring look. "Give it a rest Angela." Cutting a look towards Logan, Madison barked, "Let's get out of here." and then began walking swiftly through the swinging door.

Logan watched silently as Madison shoved the door open and stormed from the room, and then looked back at Angela, a smirk spread wide across her face. "Well, I guess I'm the unlucky one today. Have fun but be careful, she can really be a tiger when she wants to be, especially in bed."

Logan swallowed hard, her brain suddenly overloaded with visions she couldn't allow inside her head. She was about to rebut Angela's wrongful assumption, but then suddenly remembered Madison's hasty retreat from the room. Knowing she would be on the elevator and gone in a matter of seconds, Logan dismissed the idea and bolted through the door in search of the incensed doctor.

Catching up with Madison at the elevator, Logan quietly stood by the doctor's side silently awaiting the doors to open, their unease almost palpable. When at last the elevator doors opened, the women stepped towards the door simultaneously. Their arms bumped together, and both women drew away, the unexpected contact startling both. Logan recovered first, stepped back and allowed Madison to enter the elevator, her arm tingling from the brief touch from this mysterious woman. Logan followed and stood on the opposite side of the car, placing as many people as possible between them, hoping she could regain her composure by the time they reached the basement.


Chapter Five

The elevator doors opened and Logan waited until Madison had cleared the doors before pushing off the sidewall and exiting the car herself. Silently they walked into the cafeteria and stood in line. Feeling the uncomfortable silence, knowing Angela's incorrigible behavior was the cause, Madison turned her head to speak and was caught off guard as she found Logan's dark blue eyes peering into hers. "IÖumm, I'm sorry for, ahhhÖback there." Jesus, Cavanaugh, you sound like a babbling idiot.

The glint in Logan's eyes barely preceded the smile that crossed her lips. "Sounds like you have your hands full with that one."

Madison grunted as she stepped further down the line. "The correct term, Officer, would be had. I had my hands full with that one." Madison couldn't help but chuckle as she replayed the scene in her head, remembering the confused look on Logan's face. "Luckily, I got out before she did any irreparable damage to my psyche. With other's, I'm afraid, I haven't been so fortunate."

Logan was surprised to find Madison so open about her lifestyle and took some time to digest the information as they made their way through the line. Madison prepared a cup of coffee then looked at Logan with gleaming eyes. "Remember, you're buying. I have an extra-large double mocha latte, and a bagel." Logan shook her head and grinned as she watched Madison saunter away towards a table, purposely bypassing the cashier.

After preparing her own cup of coffee, Logan paid the cashier and made her way through the crowded cafeteria to the table Madison had laid claim to moments before. Sitting down across from the beautiful blonde, Logan took a moment to just look at Madison Cavanaugh as the woman looked out the window. Too soon, however, Madison's eyes turned back towards her and she no longer saw the teasing gleam that had been so evident a few minutes prior. "So Officer McGregor, what is it that's so important that you had to come all the way to Mercy, and then sit and wait on me for over an hour?"

Retreating into her professional persona, Logan's eyes met Madison's. "It's really quite simple, Doctor. There have been five people murdered along The Strip in as many weeks. It's Wednesday and so far, he hasn't claimed his next victim. I figure he'll strike tonight or tomorrow night, what with Friday and Saturday being too crowded to give him any amount of privacy." Logan looked out the window, knowing her next words were not going to sitl well with the independent and stubborn woman sitting across from her. "From what I understand, you visit The Strip on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm here to ask you not to go down there tomorrow night."

Madison's eyes bore into Logan's. "You mean to tell me you wasted both of our time to ask me not to do something that is vitally important to this community? I think not, Officer." Madison drained her cup and stood, but before she could walk away, felt Logan's hand circle her wrist. She couldn't help but notice the warm heat emanating from Logan's long fingers as she looked down at the bandaged hand that held onto hers. Her eyes traveled up the long arm, appreciating the taut biceps and firm deltoids, before taking in the dark silky hair, and finally coming to rest in the deep pools of blue sapphire.

Madison found that she was unable to respond as an unfamiliar heat spread throughout her body and paralyzed her with unexpected sensations that raced through her. Logan rose from the table and stood very close, so close that she could feel the heat radiating from the other woman. Madison's senses were further assaulted as Logan bent close to her ear and whispered, her warm breath teasing her earlobe. "Then let me come with you, Ms Madi."

Madison closed her eyes and inhaled as the faint scent of soap, and what could only be the essence of this mysterious woman, further battered her resolve. Her pulse quickened and she feared Logan would feel it under her fingers, as they gently gripped her wrist. Tearing herself from the onslaught of emotions, she roughly pulled her hand away, immediately feeling the loss of warmth. "No! Absolutely not, Officer. I'm going to The Strip tomorrow night just as I have for the last two years. I haven't needed your protection before. I don't need it now."

Logan watched at Madison Cavanaugh turned and bolted from the cafeteria. Sitting down at the table, she looked out the window and wondered to herself why and how this woman had suddenly gotten under her skin. Draining her cup of coffee, Logan tossed the cup in the trash on her way out the door. Fine Doctor, we'll do it your way. You've just made my job a little more difficult, but one way or another, I intend to see that you're safe tomorrow night.


Madison reached the relative safety of her office just in time to see Susan locking the exterior door. Struggling with a large bundle of paperwork and her keys, Susan let out a relieved sigh when she saw Madison heading towards her. "Thanks goodness. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to lock the door. Now that you're here, I don't have to."

Smiling at her energetic but stressed, assistant, Madison glanced down at the bundle of papers in Susan's arms. "So, where are you off to with the latest financial statements?"

Looking guilty, Susan peered up at Madison. "Well, I really didn't have anything to do tonight, so I thought I'd just take these reports home and finish them up." Susan began moving around Madison in an attempt to escape the lecture she knew was about to come.

Susan felt a hand on her arm. "Hold up there, missy. As I recall you promised me last week that you were going to quit taking work home with you every night, and start going out and having some fun."

Susan could feel the heat rise in her face as Madison reminded her of the promise. "Well, yeah, I did say that, but that was beforeÖummm, beforeÖ"

Madison cut off Susan's words as she relieved the woman of the bundle of papers.. "No excuses. Tonight, I want you to go out and have a good time." Turning to walk through the door, Madison called back over her shoulder, "And Susan? I don't want to see you here a minute before 10 tomorrow morning. Is that clear?"

Backing down the hall, Susan grinned at her boss and gave her a mock salute. "Yes Ma'am. No work, good time, not before 10 o'clock - got it."

Releasing a boisterous laugh, Madison returned the salute. "Now get out of here before that slave driver boss of yours returns and makes you work some overtime." Madison entered the reception area of her office, and then closed and locked the door behind her. Heading towards her office, she smiled at the thought of Susan's loyalty.

The young woman had worked as her personal assistant for the last three years and Madison still remembered Susan's first day on the job very well. It was a rainy Tuesday morning in mid-January and Susan had been 10 minutes late for work. Madison had been a little perturbed and let her feeling be known as soon as Susan had walked in the door. Susan, in return, had casually looked Madison straight in the eye and replied. "If you are going to be one of those typical self-centered, almighty, holier-than-thou, full of piss and vinegar doctors, please let me know right now so I won't waste my time taking off my coat."

Madison had stood dumbstruck at Susan's fiery appraisal and after what seemed like minutes, she broke out in laughter. Before long, both women were wiping tears from their eyes and Madison was handing Susan a cup of hot coffee to take the chill off the damp woman. Since that day, both had earned a tremendous level of respect from the other, and Susan had not only become the best assistant Madison had ever had, but a dear friend as well.

Dropping into her chair, Madison began looking over the financial statements she had confiscated from Susan, but found her mind wandering back over the exchange with Logan. The nerve of that woman, thinking I would desert my responsibilities just because some psycho is out there. After several attempts to discern the numbers before her, Madison realized the prospect of getting any work done was negligible. With a frustrated sigh, she threw the financial statements into her briefcase and left the office, deciding that home would be a much better environment for her at the moment.


In the darkness of the truck, Logan could see several blocks north of where she sat in her Durango on Smallman Street. It was a cold night, the temperature barely reaching into the low 20's, but the unfavorable weather had done little to quell the bar hoppers from coming out. Her alarm had sounded a little after 5 this morning and Logan had listened as the weather forecast predicted frigid temperatures and snow flurries for most of the day. She loved her work most of the time, but days like today, when she spent most of her time out on the streets, that made her bones ache. What am I whining about? I'm sitting here in a warm truck while Dr. Ego is out there walking the streets. Damn, that woman is stubborn.

She had been sitting here for over three hours, waiting and watching for any sign of unusual behavior. Something in her gut told her, that tonight would be the night the murderer struck. She had caught glimpses of Madison several times as she made her way through the alleys along Smallman Street. Luckily for Logan, the good doctor hadn't ventured close enough to spot her sitting there under the street light. Logan felt a shiver run the length of her spine and knew it wasn't from the cold air seeping in from the windows but rather from the prospect of Dr. Madison Cavanaugh being out there, alone, amidst the evil that had taken over The Strip.

Running a hand through her silky dark hair, Logan tried to analyze the unnatural attraction - if that was what she could call it - that she felt for the doctor. Her mind told her that it was nothing more than a primal urge, but her body reminded her that no one had ever elicited such sensations and yearnings from herÖever before. Damn, McGregor, you hate doctors. Couldn't you at least fall for an attorney or something? Anyone, with an ego smaller than Texas, for god's sake.

She kept her eye on the alleyway Madison had last walked into 20 minutes before. From Logan's calculations, the doctor usually remained within each alley for 10 to 15 minutes. She was beginning to get a little edgy and was reaching over to get her heavy jacket off the seat, when the doctor appeared under the streetlamp. Letting out a breath she hadn't realized she was holding, Logan watched as Madison came walking towards her on the opposite side of the street. She was about halfway down the block when a couple coming out of one of the neighborhood bars waved to her.

As Logan witnessed the interaction, the radiant smile she had glimpsed in the cafeteria the previous day flowed across Madison's face. Madison Cavanaugh was an extremely beautiful woman, and Logan once again felt the familiar heat traveling down the length of her body. The woman hugged Madison, and a laugh was shared as the doctor waved goodbye and headed for her car.

Logan watched as Madison climbed into her Pathfinder and pulled out into the late night traffic, turning her attention back to the street only after Madison's taillights disappeared from view.


Turning out the light in the bedroom, Logan lay on her back staring at the ceiling. Absently stroking the bandage on her hand with her thumb, she thought about the long lonely nights she had spent in this bed over the last year. Diane had been gone now for 12 months and 14 days, but to Logan, the pain was still so raw and acute that it seemed just like yesterday.

She was drawn away from her musings as the phone on the nightstand rang. Rolling over, she roughly grabbed the handset and barked into the phone. "McGregor" She immediately sat up as her Lieutenant's voice came over the line.

"Sorry to wake you Logan, but our guy just struck again. This time we got lucky, she's still alive. Someone just found a white female, approximately 30 years old, in an alleyway at the corner of Smallman and 23rd Street. She's already been transported to Mercy. Head over that way and see what you can find out. Rodgers will meet you there and fill you in on what they have so far."

Logan kicked off the covers as she listened to the few details the Lieutenant was able to relay to her. By the time she hung up the phone, she was fully dressed and on her way to the kitchen. Grabbing a soda from the refrigerator, she headed out the door and towards Mercy Hospital. Luckily, she lived only a short distance away and was running towards the ER entrance five minutes later.

She spotted Rodgers as he came through the doors leading back to the trauma suite. Walking towards him, she saw the grim look on his face and knew before asking, that the woman in question was in bad shape. "How is she?"

Rodgers pursed his lips and shook his head. "Well, if she makes it, she's going to have a hell of a long way back." Looking at Logan with a sad smile, he nodded his head back towards the door. "She put up one hell of a fight, Detective. If we're lucky and the doctors do their job right, the lab might be able to get some good physical evidence off of this one."

Logan took the bag the officer held out towards her and listened as he detailed the information he had gathered so far. "The woman, Jennifer S. Richardson is a white female, 32 years old, lives in an apartment over on Van Braam Street. I have some other officers over there now checking out the apartment, and trying to locate her next of kin."

Just as Rodgers was completing his commentary, a short, balding doctor in rumpled scrubs walked through the trauma suite doors. "The Richardson family? Anyone here from the Richardson family?"

Logan immediately walked over to the doctor and looking into tired eyes, told him that they were still trying to locate the family of the victim. "Is it possible for me to see her, Doctor?"

The obviously tired doctor frowned and glared at Logan. "No Detective, you can't. She just regained consciousness and we are about to take her to surgery. Maybe tomorrow."

Taking a deep breath, Logan tried to restrain the anger welling in her gut. "Look Doctor, I'm not trying to be unreasonable, but this woman is the first lead we've had in this case in the last five weeks. Can you promise me she'll make it through surgery to talk to me tomorrow?" Seeing the uncertain look in his eyes, she went in for the kill shot. "I didn't think so. I'll only ask a couple of questions, and then I'll be on my way."

The overweight doctor muttered under his breath as he motioned Logan through the doors. Walking beside her down the hallway, he outlined the conditions of her visit, pointedly regaining control over the situation. "If she shows any signs of distress from your questions Detective, you're out, no argument, no discussion, nothing. Is that clear?"

Deciding not to press her luck, Logan nodded her head and replied between clinched teeth. "Yes sir, perfectly clear." Damn doctors, always having to have all the control. No wonder half of them are divorced, separated, screwing around, or somewhere in between.

The trauma room was about 20 degrees cooler than the waiting room and the sudden change in temperature caused Logan to shiver. Monitors hanging from the walls and ceiling, detailed a menagerie of bodily functions, as thin lines danced across the screens and an audible beep kept perfect rhythm. Walking quietly towards the gurney, Logan carefully took in every detail of the woman that was visible to her. The woman's face was partially obscured from view by a large bandage over her right eye. She unconsciously gasped as the other eyes opened to meet hers, and her heart stopped as she looked at a face that had smiled back at her only 24 short hours ago.


To be continued in Part 2

Feedback welcome and needed

Return to Main Page