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.

By Kristina K


Lindsay was hers. Not in that selfish 'she belongs to her' way, but in 'she feels right for her' kind of way. And setting all Toms and Lukes and Hansons aside, they were always true to each other. Like real friends are. Like lovers strive to be. It was a bit confusing at the beginning – after the first time it happened – because Lindsay was still so vulnerable, but too proud to admit how much Tom's leaving crushed her, and Jill was too casual in her understanding of things to even bother with setting up the ground rules. Why were labels and definitions necessary? Why should they have denied themselves of this affair, however casual they tried to make it seem, when it could have hurt no one? They were both grown up women. Responsible. Professional enough to know where to draw the line. They knew each other. There were no problems expected to arise.

And Jill was a sanctuary for Lindsay. The healer of Lindsay's body and mind in the manner she was most skilled: without too much talk, but plenty of contact and repeatedly so. Talk they could do as friends – huddled in a booth at Papa Joe's, snickering and whispering like prepubescent schoolgirls while Mamma Claire looked on and only half jokingly rolled her eyes at the two of them. That part where contact, a tactile one, was most desired and very much encouraged is where Jill stated her claim and, somewhere along the line during the two years she was tending to Lindsay's needs and body and mind healing, the distinction between 'feeling right for' and 'belonging to' got completely erased.

With a condescending scoff in her eyes, a thought What does she have that I don't went through Jill's mind and then buried itself there like soldiers do during battle. Cindy Thomas was young, awkward, chatty, invasive and everything else that Jill knew Lindsay would hate. And still, she was there, with the three of them, filling that last unoccupied seat in the booth at the diner, a perfect addition – an enormous imposition, if you ask Jill – and she was looking up at Lindsay like the police inspector was a godsend.

Jill knew that look; the one when eyes glaze over in that head-over-heels daze, and a smile simply refuses to fade away from one's face. She saw it once before in her reflection in the mirror. She saw it in the way Luke peeked at her over the pillows when they woke up, and she was looking at it, for weeks now, in the way Cindy watched Lindsay's every move.

"I've been thinking," Lindsay panted during her post orgasmic descend to Earth and Jill grumbled into her neck at the sound of coherent words and mention of lucid thinking while she was basking in the afterglow of an act that required no coherence whatsoever. "Cindy seems nice," Lindsay said and the spell was broken. Jill's head shot up with eyes wide and lips narrowed in one tight and stern line. "She's young, yes," Lindsay spoke further, reading off of Jill's face and thinking she translated the other woman's expression correctly. "But she has something. There's something about her that I can't completely grasp, but it's pulling me in."

"And that's why you just let me fuck your brains out instead of having a play date with her?" Jill deadpanned.

"All I'm saying is," Lindsay accentuated, "you're always trying to pair me up with this guy or that, but what if what I really need is right in front of me?"

Jill gave her a smug smile, "Or right here, between your legs?"

"I'm serious, Jill."

"Fine." Jill scrambled away and onto her feet, leaving Lindsay only slightly confused and completely tangled up in covers.

"Well, it's not like we can continue doing this." Lindsay pointed at the two of them, the nakedness and the rumpled bed. "It was supposed to be casual, remember? It doesn't feel right when you're cheating on doctor Luke." She noticed the redundancy of the statement and then added, "With me, anyway."

"So, you would take Cindy," and her face contorted there as if the young woman's name was something sour in her mouth, "over me?"

"Jill... Jesus!" Lindsay groaned, "There's no choice in this. She's single, you're not. You're shacked up with your boyfriend, Cindy is not. The drama is so unnecessary."

"And you've been thinking about this for a while, then?" The petulance in the attorney's voice was so evident.

"For a while, yes."

"You could have told me about it before you so eagerly approved of my eating you out, twice this evening!" When Jill was angry, her vocabulary turned sordid and tactless and she hated how revealing that fact was, because it wasn't just anger that came up on the surface there, it was jealousy as well. Lindsay was hers, goddamnit.

"Why are you taking this so personally?" Lindsay asked. "I'm allowed to have a life, aren't I?"

"Yes, Lindsay," Jill whined, "Of course you are. It's just..." Lindsay's arched eyebrow didn't manage to wheedle out the words Jill seemed to have lost. Just like she seemed to have lost the battle. The brunette sat there in front of her, unprompted to hide her nudity, waiting for some kind of explanation as to why was her friend acting so offensive. Jill realized, from the look on Lindsay's face, that her entitlement was nonexistent. "Forget it," she attempted a smile, "I'm sorry. I got a little… territorial. It's silly."

"You're in love with Luke." Lindsay reminded her and then prompted for verification when the blonde remained silent, "Aren't you?"

"Yes. Yes, of course."

"And you're happy."

Keeping that smile was so damn hard it almost became painful. "Very." Jill nodded.

"So let me be happy, too."

She felt like a child when Lindsay extended her arm and invited her back into bed, into her arms. Who was she cheating on, really? Luke was such a wonderful man, a perfect partner for happily ever after. But Lindsay... she was so many things. Docile and unpredictable. Friendly and aloof. Ideal distraction and perfect obsession. It could have easily been that Lindsay owned her.

Three days later, the waiter just left with hers and Claire's orders when a sight of Lindsay and Cindy appeared at the entrance of the diner. The two completely unsuccessfully tried to come off as professional, but they failed miserably in the wake of the telling smiles that shone on their faces. "I think my sugar level just went through the roof," Claire quipped. "They are so annoyingly cute."

Jill nodded idly, halfheartedly agreeing with Claire's observation. She never thought seeing Lindsay smile would be so painful for her and it never crossed her mind that there would ever be another woman to spark that kind of smile on Lindsay's face. She could make Lindsay smile, and she did, she always will. But not like Cindy. Not without touching or without saying a word, but simply by exchanging a glance, with her mere presence.

Lindsay was no longer hers to claim.

The End

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