DISCLAIMER: Karen Sisco and its all characters are property of Jersey Television. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Case of the Coconut Snow
"Karen, Jamison's back in town," Phil reported with a grin as the female marshal's head snapped up at the mention of her old nemesis. She'd almost captured him last year, but he pulled a Houdini at the last second when she was closing in on him.
"Where was he spotted?" Karen asked, standing and putting on her jacket.
"Whoa, hold on there; Amos hasn't assigned the case to you yet. He's probably going to give it to someone else this time around," Phil stated in a matter of fact tone.
Karen glared at the other marshal and walked toward her superior's office, muttering, "Over my dead body."
Amos looked up just as Karen walked into the room. "I guess you heard about Jamison." Standing he added, "I don't think you should be involved this time around, Karen."
"Amos, I want to nail this guy. He's escaped from my clutches three different times, and I can guarantee, there won't be a fourth," the marshal stated adamantly.
Sighing, Amos stared at Karen for several minutes, hoping that she'd see reason without the use of words, but knowing how stubborn she could be, he finally blinked and said, "All right. You can have the case, but, Karen, if this guy isn't in your custody in forty eight hours; I'm pulling you from the case."
Karen smiled and replied, "You've got a deal, Amos. I'll have him here by the deadline; I promise." Turning, she walked from the room with a purposeful stride.
Twelve hours later, she was sitting at her desk, looking over the layout of an abandoned warehouse near Miami Beach. Thanks to her informants, she was certain that Jamison had stored his latest cache of drugs there, and now, she had to decide who to call for backup.
With the FBI being discarded immediately, Karen picked up the phone and called her friend at the Miami police department. The phone was picked up on the second ring, "Novak."
Karen smiled and said, "Hey, Marley. This is Karen. Could we meet someplace? I have a proposition for you."
"A proposition, huh? Well, I certainly can't turn that down, now can I? Where do you want to meet?" The detective teased, happy to hear from the other woman, even if they could only be friends.
Glancing at her watch, the marshal replied, "How about the Lincoln Road Café in about thirty minutes?"
"Perfect, I'll meet you there," Marley replied, grabbing her jacket from behind her chair before she'd hung up the phone.
The detective pulled into the parking space, noting Karen's car a few spaces down. Climbing out of the car, she made her way to the entrance where she was met by the beautiful marshal.
"Hi, Marley. Glad you could make it. I've got us a table over in the corner so that we won't be disturbed," Karen greeted, turning to lead the way to their seats, and as Marley followed leisurely behind, enjoying the rare view of the marshal's lovely backside.
Each woman ordered a salad and tea before a nervous Karen got around to asking her favor. "Um, Marley? I've been working all day trying to track down a fugitive who has managed to elude me on more than one occasion. I think I've figured out where he may be holed up, or, at least, where his latest fortune is being stored, but I'm going to need some backup."
Slowly crossing her long legs, Marley asked, "Backup? What kind of fortune are we talking about here?"
"Probably cocaine; Jamison doesn't deal in anything else. This is my last chance to catch him. Amos is taking me off the case if I don't bring him in, in the next...," quickly looking at her watch, Karen added, "thirty five hours."
"Wow, that's not a whole lot of time. What do you need from me?" The detective offered without hesitation, causing Karen to smile at Marley's willingness to help.
As the two women consumed their meal, they planned how best to surround the warehouse, and by the time the waitress returned with the bill, they had a strategy firmly in place.
Karen quickly reached out and snagged the bill from the table before Marley could even move. "This one's on me. You don't know how much I appreciate you meeting me here and offering to provide backup. If the FBI gets involved, I'll never get my hands on Jamison."
"Okay, but when this is all over, you have to promise to go to dinner again soon; my treat," the detective countered, and Karen graciously agreed.
The women left the restaurant, each heading toward their respective office to plan for the morning's raid, and Marley promised to call Karen later to fill her in on the police's involvement.
Several hours later, true to her word, Marley phoned the marshal, but she began to get worried when both Karen's home and cell went to voicemail, so she made the decision to drop by the marshal's home.
The detective parked in front of the house and noted that several lights were on. Walking up the sidewalk, she glanced around the porch before knocking on the door. When she didn't receive an answer, she pulled her gun from her belt and put her other hand on the doorknob, surprised when the knob turned without any resistance.
Cautiously opening the door, Marley stepped over the threshold, her gun raised as she scoped out the room with a trained eye. Everything was neat as a pin, but there was no sign of Karen. Moving further into the room, the detective decided to start a room by room search until she found the marshal.
The adjacent kitchen was also empty, but Marley noted the empty bottle of wine sitting on the counter. Turning, she made her way down the short hallway and into the master bedroom where she found the bed turned back; however, it was empty.
A light shone from under a nearby door, and the detective slowly walked towards it. The knob turned easily, and she pushed the door open slowly. Lowering her gun, Marley sighed in relief when she spotted Karen sleeping in the bathtub.
When Marley moved forward to wake the marshal, she immediately realized her mistake. Once she got a glimpse of the naked marshal, she was wishing she'd just stayed in the doorway and called her name until she woke.
"Damn, you're beautiful," the detective whispered quietly before taking the final step that would place her next to the tub. Kneeling, Marley let out a sigh and gently pushed a stray hair from Karen's forehead.
"Karen, wake up," Marley said in a soft tone, not wanting to startle the marshal awake.
"Huh?" Karen replied, without ever opening her eyes.
Chuckling, Marley repeated louder, "Karen, wake up," and that was the second mistake the detective made as Karen sat up quickly, displacing quite a bit of water from the tub's edge and soaking the kneeling detective in the process.
Marley quickly stood and went through the motions of trying to rid the water from her arms and clothing, and an embarrassed Karen reached for a nearby towel while the detective was preoccupied with trying to dry herself.
By the time Marley looked up, Karen was out of the tub and wrapped in a fluffy towel. "Marley, I'm so sorry. I can't believe I fell asleep in the bathtub," Karen offered in apology.
Holding up her hand, Marley replied, "No, it was my fault. I shouldn't have startled you."
Karen handed the detective a towel and said, "Here, use this. Um, if you don't mind me asking, what are you doing here?"
Now, it was Marley's turn to be embarrassed as she took extra time to dry her face and arms before answering. "Well, I tried to call you, but I could only get the voicemail so I got worried that something had happened to you. I did some background on this Jamison guy, and he seemed dangerous. Anyway, I came over to make sure you were okay; however, you didn't answer my knock and your door was unlocked. I thought I'd better check things out."
"Aw, that's sweet of you, Marley. I'm sorry I didn't answer your calls. I always turn everything off when I take my bath. It's my one time to relax. I pour myself a glass of wine and soak away the day's worries, but I can assure you, I rarely fall asleep. I guess I overdid it today," Karen explained, not realizing that her towel had slipped and was dangerously close to revealing more than just cleavage.
Marley looked everywhere but at the goddess standing before her. Nervously, she suggested, "Why don't I wait in the den while you get dressed? Then I can fill you in on the number of police officers I was able to secure for tomorrow."
"Marley, you need to get out of those wet clothes before you catch cold. Let me see if I can find some sweats or something," Karen replied, striding from the room and removing the sweet temptations from the detective's line of sight.
Sitting on the tub's edge, Marley leaned forward and muttered, "I'm in hell."
Soon, the two were sitting on the sofa, sipping a glass of wine. Marley had rolled up the sleeves of the sweatshirt, but the legs were a lost cause. She finally just accepted that she was going to have to live with the calf length sweat pants.
"I think ten men should be enough if we strategically place them around the perimeter. With you and I walking in the front door, there's no way Jamison can escape. I checked the plans, and there isn't an underground tunnel like in the last warehouse," Karen explained, pleased that Marley was able to secure enough men to surround the building.
Taking her last sip of wine, Marley replied, "Okay, it sounds like a plan to me. I'll have the men meet at our checkpoint at nine a.m. sharp. Now, I better take my leave so that we both can get some sleep."
Karen rose and walked the detective to the door. Watching the detective make her way down the sidewalk, Karen couldn't resist teasing, "Hey, Marley. You're looking good in those short sweats."
The detective turned and shot Karen the finger before heading toward her car as a laughing Karen closed and locked her door.
Morning came too soon for the marshal as she turned off the alarm and rolled out of bed. A hot shower and a cup of coffee rejuvenated her somewhat, but the thought of capturing Jamison perked her up immediately.
Marley and crew were waiting when Karen drove up, and she quickly got out of the car to join her forces. After every minute detail had been covered, the men spread out to take their positions while Karen and Marley watched in silence.
At exactly nine fifteen, the two women started their walk to the front entrance of the warehouse. Karen noted a few large crates that hadn't been there the day before and wondered if they contained more drugs. Tabling the thought until later, she reached for the latch to open the door.
Both women entered with guns drawn, scanning the entire area before moving any further. Satisfied that they were alone, the two made their way to the back wall where several huge crates resided. Marley grabbed a nearby crowbar and began to prize the lid off the closest one.
Karen grinned when the lid popped off and bags and bags of white substance came into view. Marley cautiously opened one of the bags and dipped her finger into the powder. Tasting the substance, she frowned and lifted the bag up to her nose. She immediately began to sneeze when, suddenly, four of the warehouse doors flung open with shouts of "FBI" echoing in the partially abandoned warehouse.
Raising her badge, Karen returned the shout. "Hold your fire, US Marshal." Seemingly not able to stop, Marley continued to sneeze all over the evidence.
"Holy shit, that's a lot of white powder. It looks just like snow," one of the agents observed, moving toward the crates of cocaine.
The agent in charge ignored his colleague and directed his next order to Karen and Marley. "We've got jurisdiction here. You two need to leave the premises immediately."
Karen started to protest, but Marley, who'd finally stopped sneezing, took her by the arm and led her to the entrance with the marshal protesting the entire way.
When they got outside, Karen turned her wrath on Marley. "What are you doing? I can't let those guys take over this case. This is my case!"
Looking over her shoulder, Marley whispered, "Karen, that's not cocaine in those crates."
"Well, then what the hell is it?" Karen shouted as Marley took her by the arm and pulled her further away from prying eyes and ears.
"Coconut shavings," Marley replied, "You know, the stuff Floridians carve out of coconuts to use for imitation snow."
"What?" The irate marshal asked, getting more and more irritated by the second.
"That bag contained coconut shavings. It tasted like coconut and smelled like coconut. That's why I sneezed; coconut shavings always make me sneeze. We have a patrolman at the station that brings in his rendition of imitation snow every year, and he blows it into the squad room with a huge fan. I have to take two days vacation every time because I can't be anywhere near the stuff," the detective explained to the now grinning marshal.
"You mean to tell me, the FBI is in the warehouse processing coconut snow?"
Smiling, Marley answered, "Yes, that's what I'm saying." The two women broke into laughter as they turned to walk toward their cars, passing the large crates from earlier.
Noticing a huge crane starting up nearby, Karen asked, "Hey, Marley. Smell these crates for me, would you?"
"What?" Now, it was the detective that wondered if the other woman had lost her mind.
"If there are any coconut shavings in these crates, would you be able to tell?"
Cocking her head, Marley said, "Probably, especially since my nose is already sensitive to it." Karen walked next to one of the crates and crooked her finger, beckoning the human bloodhound forward.
Marley sniffed all four crates, and none of them caused a sneezing reaction. When a noise was heard from the last crate, both women drew their guns and motioned for the waiting patrolman to surround the crate.
Two of the men were able to prize the door open, and a shocked Jamison looked up to find eight guns pointed directly at him. Karen could hardly believe she was finally going to get her man, and glancing at the women standing next to her, she began to wonder that perhaps if she weren't scared shitless, she'd get her woman as well.
The other crates were found to contain the cocaine the FBI thought they'd confiscated, and Karen immediately called Amos who was able to pull some strings so that his marshal would get credit for the collar. He also sent a team of marshals to meet Karen at the crime scene to process the evidence before the FBI agents could figure out what was going on outside the warehouse.
Marley and her patrolmen watched from the sidelines before walking away from the scene. Karen was so involved with processing the scene that she didn't even realize her help had left. It wasn't until she felt comfortable enough to leave the remainder of the evidence to the other marshals that she began to look around for the detective.
Lying on the couch, flipping through the channels, Marley cursed when a knock sounded on the door. She'd just gotten comfortable and wasn't in the mood for company. Figuring the odds were that someone had the wrong apartment, the detective chose to ignore the knocking as she turned up the television.
When her cell rang, she snatched it up and grumbled, "Novak."
"Hey, Marley. Is there some reason why you're not answering your door? You're not in the bathtub with a glass of wine, are you?" Karen teased, standing on the other side of the closed door.
Grinning, Marley replied, "And what if I was?"
Gathering her courage, Karen responded, "Maybe I would just crawl in with you."
A loud noise was heard, followed by the sound of cursing, and Karen held the phone up closer to her ear so that she could hear better. "Son of a bitch that hurt. Stupid, stupid, stupid, Marley."
Concerned, Karen shouted, "Marley, are you okay? What happened?"
The sound of more shuffling was heard until Marley's voice finally filled the receiver on the marshal's phone. "Sorry, about that. I, um fell off the couch, and the phone kind of flew across the room."
Stifling a laugh, Karen asked, "Are you okay?"
Holding the phone with her non-injured hand, Marley closed her eyes and replied, "Yeah, though I might have broke my ass."
"Oh, I certainly hope you didn't. You have a very nice ass, Marley," Karen answered, feeling much more confident than she did earlier.
Another bang was heard, and the marshal began to knock on the door. "Marley, open this door before you really hurt yourself."
Footsteps were heard along with the sliding of a chain. Finally, the deadbolt turned and the door opened revealing the bruised detective. Karen quickly stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. Taking Marley by the elbow, she assisted her to the couch.
"Where's your kitchen? Your elbow is starting to swell," the marshal noted, assessing the injured limb.
Marley pointed to a swinging door, and Karen quickly headed for it. Soon, she had returned with a baggie of ice wrapped in a towel. "Here, lie down and let me put this on your elbow."
The patient quietly acquiesced to the marshal's demand, but she hissed the moment the ice touched the swollen joint.
"Marley, we should go get an x-ray to be certain that nothing is broken," Karen suggested to the scowling detective.
Shaking her head, Marley replied, "Nah, this elbow always gets banged up. A little ice and Tylenol, and it'll be good as new."
Questioning the detective further, the marshal finally decided to let the subject drop. She'd planned to stay awhile anyway, so if the pain increased or the joint continued to swell, then she'd insist that Marley go to the hospital.
Taking a seat at the other end of the couch, Karen offered, "Marley, I want to thank you for all your help today. I couldn't have gotten Jamison if it weren't for you."
Marley chuckled and replied, "You're just grateful for my nose."
"Well, yes, I guess you could say that's true, but I'm grateful for all of you, Marley," Karen said in a soft voice, suddenly finding the floor very interesting.
An uncomfortable silence ensued as each woman tried to gage what the other was thinking; while at the same time trying desperately to come up with something to say that wouldn't be misconstrued by the other person.
Finally, Marley realized Karen had already taken an enormous leap tonight, so she decided to try to meet her halfway. "Karen, when we went to dinner that first time, I was going to ask you out until I discovered you were seeing someone else, a male someone else at that. Have things changed?"
If the detective hadn't been listening so closely, she'd have missed the marshal's whispered reply, "Yes."
Carefully, Marley sat up and scooted next to the marshal. With her good arm, she reached over and took Karen's hand in hers, and she patiently waited until the brunette looked at her.
Eventually, dark eyes met blue, and Marley squeezed the detective's hand. "Karen, I still want to go out with you. I know this is new to you, and we can take it as slow as you want. Nothing has to happen until you say so. Okay?"
The marshal nodded and then slowly reached up to touch Marley's cheek. "Marley, I'd like to kiss you, if I may?"
The detective smiled and leaned forward, allowing Karen to gently kiss her lips. Both women reveled in the sweetness of the moment until the marshal slowly pulled away before the kiss could intensify.
"That was nice," Karen whispered.
"Yes, it was," Marley replied, clearly happy with the surprising turn of events.
"What do you have in your kitchen to eat?" Karen asked out of the blue.
Becoming used to the marshal's frequent change of subjects, Marley answered, "Not much, but I have menus from some of the best delivery places in town."
Grinning, Karen said, "Me, too." Rising she went into the kitchen to retrieve the cuisine of the evening.
An hour later, Marley had her arm in a makeshift sling, and the two were eating from the pizza box sitting on the sofa between them.
"Hey, Marley. I think you should call in sick for the next few days. Amos has given me the rest of the week off, so I can help you if you'd like," Karen said, reaching for a second slice of pizza.
"As it turns out, I'm on vacation for the next three days anyway. You know that patrolman I told you about? I think he must've stolen some of the coconut snow from the crime scene today because he came in later and blew snow all over the precinct. There must've been at least of foot of the stuff on my desk alone. I've been home since about four o'clock this afternoon," Marley replied as she quickly grabbed for the slice Karen had her hand on, but her elbow protested the move and she pulled back in obvious pain.
Dropping the pizza, Karen moved the box to the nearby coffee table and scooted closer to the detective, rubbing her back and reaching to support the injured limb. "Marley, I really think we should go to the hospital."
"No way; I just need to rest," the redhead protested vehemently as she slowly moved her good arm toward the box of pizza. Snatching up the piece with the extra pepperoni, she smiled and said, "Gotcha, Karen. You've got to get up pretty early in the morning to beat me to the best piece."
Karen retaliated by taking Marley's smiling face in her hands and kissing her with every thing she had, and the detective moaned her approval and returned the kiss with equal gusto. When the marshal finally released her lips, Marley had her eyes closed and was sporting the goofiest grin Karen had ever seen.
When the redhead opened her eyes, the brunette was munching on the same piece of pizza Marley had tricked the marshal out of earlier, and the detective suddenly realized that it didn't matter what time the brunette got up in the morning, she'd gladly give up anything to be on the receiving end of one of those kisses.
Sitting back against the couch, Marley leaned against Karen, placing her head on the marshal's shoulder. Closing her eyes, she reviewed the events of the day and realized she wouldn't be in her current position if it weren't for the coconut snow. She'd never been so thankful for an allergic reaction in her entire life.
Together, the couple sat in silence as they melted into each other in a way that imitation snow could never accomplish, and, unlike the coconut snow, this budding relationship was real, and if both women had their way, it would stick around for a lifetime.
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