DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Cement Shoes Won't Stop Her
"Well would you look at what the dead body dragged in." Lindsay gave a mocking smile in Claire's direction and flopped down in the woman's office chair. Jill flashed her a look of the "where the hell have you been" variety.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. What have you got for me?" Claire turned towards the blond lawyer and raised an eyebrow.
"Does she really think that she can just waltz in here and expect results without telling us where she's been for the last couple of days, why she looks like hell, and" Claire sniffed the air "why she smells like she slept with Captain Morgan? Cause that ain't gonna happen."
"Well maybe she thinks she's exempt from friend rules." Jill offered with a shrug, neither the lawyer nor the Medical Examiner looking in the brunette's direction.
"Maybe, you never know with these types of girls."
Jill smirked, sensing Lindsay's frustration. "She's always been a little different from the rest of us."
"She's sitting right here!" Lindsay announced loudly, throwing her hands up in the air and then covering her face.
"Oh well hey there Lindsay. Didn't notice you were here. Did you see her come in Claire?" Jill held back a laugh, and leaned back in her perch on the wooden desk.
"I sure as hell smelt her come in here. Did you leave anything left in the bottle Lindsay?" Claire's expression went from amused to concerned.
"There wasn't much in it to begin with." Lindsay shot back defensively. Claire stopped what she was doing and walked over to the brunette, placing a hand on the Inspector's shoulder. Lindsay looked up the Chief Medical Examiner, and tears threatened to spill out of her eyes.
"Aw, Linds." Lindsay shook her head, clearing her eyes and smiled softly at one of her best friends.
"Seriously Linds, where have you been the last couple of days?" Jill asked softly.
"Big case, working overtime, drinking. The usual, you know. It's not that I didn't want to see you guys, it's just that "
"You had to take a break." Claire supplied. Lindsay nodded. The brunette shook her head again and stood up.
"So, do you have anything for me?" Inspector Lindsay was back.
"He was shot to the chest, point blank. 22. mm. Pretty straightforward." Claire opened the file folder in her hand and thumbed through the pages. Lindsay's head snapped up.
"22? You're sure?" Claire grinned.
"Honey, I do this for a living." Lindsay let out a whoop and hugged the shorter woman. Jill laughed and smiled while Claire looked at Lindsay, dumbfounded.
"Only one guy we're interviewing has that kind of hardware." She turned towards the blond lawyer. "You got anything?"
"Depends. Do I get a whoop if I do?" Lindsay smirked and flashed her trademark smile.
"It depends on whatcha got for me darling," Lindsay drawled out.
"Well, it looks like Mr. Keller " The blond was cut off as a storm of red came flying through the door like she was on fire. Lindsay impulsively jumped back into her chair and tried to look casual. Claire took a concerned step towards the reporter who was breathing heavily and looking behind her worriedly.
"There's no one behind me, right? I mean, no one came down the stairs after me?" Her eyes were showing her panic, but Lindsay kept her mouth shut and remained sitting. The redhead hadn't noticed her yet, and she wanted to keep it that way as long as possible.
Claire had both hands on the reporter's shoulder, trying to calm the younger woman down. "Honey, what are you running from? It's just us in here. This place is so small, you can't miss anyone coming down those stairs." Cindy visibly relaxed and breathed a sigh of relief.
"Someone followed me from my office," she explained. "I couldn't get a cab without letting him catch up with me, so I ran."
"That's 10 blocks. You ran 10 blocks? Why the hell would you run 10 blocks?" Jill rose to her full height, a worried expression now on her face. Claire got Cindy a glass of water and sat her down in a chair in front of her desk, the reporter's back to Lindsay.
"Yeah. Usually, I only run 5. You know, I try to keep my exercise to a minimum. But today, I just thought I was up for it, so I went the full ten." Jill looked at the redhead blankly. "There was a guy chasing me!" Cindy restrained herself from shouting too loudly. Jill put her hands up in front of her, blocking Cindy's verbal assault.
"Sorry. Just wondering why you didn't go back into your office and call one of us. If you haven't noticed, we're pretty powerful people. My voice alone can frighten "
"My twelve year old son?" Claire offered with a grin. Jill turned towards the Medical Examiner.
"I was going to give myself a little more credit than that. I scare Jacobi all the time." From behind the desk, Lindsay grinned, but remained silent.
"He's scared of your hair." Jill fingered her closely cropped hair and stuck her tongue out at Claire. "Anyways, why was this guy what did he look like?"
"Tall, lean, blond hair " Jill cut Cindy off mid-sentence.
"If you say that he was cute, so help me God " The lawyer let the statement hang in the air and Cindy smiled weakly.
"He was anything but. At one point, he got so close I could see his eyes. They were blue, which is a nice attribute, but they were a creepy blue. Piercing I guess. It just gave me the chills." Lindsay mentally went through all the men she'd encountered and tried to remember if she had seen their eyes. She caught the look Jill was giving her, the famous "you-better-be-listening-to-this" look and caught the tail end of Cindy's description.
" he was wearing the ugliest outfit I've ever seen. It was a fluorescent green tee-shirt and a pair of checkered board shorts."
"It's 50 degrees outside!" Claire gave Cindy a bewildered look. Cindy shook her head vehemently.
"I know!" exclaimed the reporter. "That's why I noticed what he was wearing in the first place."
"You mean, you didn't notice the fluorescent green shirt first?" Jill asked.
Cindy paused. "Well, yeah. But oh you know what I mean."
"Sadly," Jill grinned, "I know exactly what you mean."
"Did he say anything to you?" Claire moved to the desk and Lindsay was effectively blocked from Cindy's view.
"He called out to me. I think he said that he needed to talk to me, about I didn't catch that part. But he kept saying 'I know about what happened, I can help you fix it' but I don't know what he's talking about. I didn't break anything."
"Have you seen him before?" Jill piped up, asking the question that was playing across Lindsay's face.
"I might have." Cindy offered hesitantly. Jill and Claire exchanged a look and Lindsay leaned forward in her seat. "I might have gone on a blind date with him."
"Cindy!" All three women shouted the reporter's name at once and the redhead whipped around and caught sight of the Inspector sitting in Claire's chair.
Lindsay hadn't realized she opened her mouth until Cindy was staring at her. "Uh. Sorry. Um " The brunette stood and stretched her legs out subtly. " Well, I think I got all I need, so I'm gonna run upstairs and let Jacobi know that Keller was killed with a 22. and that should do it. I'll uh see you guys later tonight." The tall brunette made her way around the desk and headed for the door that led into the main examining room. She poked her head back in and told Claire that Edmund was here.
"Okay, thanks." Claire moved out of her office and towards the elevator. "You okay Linds?" Lindsay flashed her famous Texan grin and shook her head at the same time.
"But I'll be fine. I have a date with Simon tonight." Claire gave her a funny look.
"You're voluntarily going out on a date with Simon the wanna-be doctor?" Lindsay nudged Claire's shoulder playfully.
"He's going to med school." She said, trying to sound defensive, but failing when Claire gave her the "you're kidding me" look. "Yeah, okay. But he's a nice guy you know."
"He's not a redheaded reporter though, is he?" Lindsay managed a small laugh.
"If he was, it would certainly look funny."
Claire got serious. "Have you talked to her since " Lindsay shook her head.
"We've been doing that crazy avoidance thing. She e-mails me when she has a lead, or she tells you or Jill and you guys tell me. But she mostly tells you, because I don't know how to work my e-mail the way that "
" the way she did?" Claire offered up again.
"You have got to stop finishing my sentences. It's getting a little creepy." Lindsay was stepping onto the elevator now, and Edmund was wheeling himself off. They exchanged goodbyes, and Lindsay got off the elevator when it stopped on the main floor. Instead of heading up the stairs, the brunette headed out the front door of the Hall of Justice.
"Morning Inspector." A uni one whose named escaped her called out to her and she raised her hand in greetings.
"Lindsay!" A familiar voice called out her name and the brunette felt her heart quicken. She didn't stop walking.
"Lindsay." The footsteps got closer to her and the long-legged Texan slowed her stride slightly, smiling slightly when she noticed that the street was practically empty, and she wouldn't have to worry about what she would say to the reporter, if she said anything at all. "How is it that I always end up chasing you?" Cindy's voice held some humor, but the brunette did not smile, or stop walking.
"I don't really have time for this right now." Lindsay muttered.
"Well make time for it." Cindy demanded. Lindsay turned to give Cindy a piece of her mind when she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. Before she could yell out a warning, she watched a man in sunglasses swing a baseball bat in the direction of Cindy's head. Without thinking, Lindsay pushed the redhead down and felt the bat connect with her shoulder. She hit the ground with a thud; shoulder first, then felt her head connect with the pavement. The last thing she saw as her world went black was Cindy punching numbers on her cell phone, and a man in plaid board shorts sprinting down the block.
"Lindsay, please. Stay with me. Please," Cindy pleaded as she waited for Jill to pick up her phone.
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