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Darkness And Light
When the police stormed the man's house, they found him sitting on the couch in his living room, enjoying a warm meal for dinner. He didn't put up any resistance but warned them that his high-priced lawyer would sue them all. The members of the SFPD squad couldn't care less when a matter of minutes later they found the trap door with the ladder leading into the darkness underneath.
The woman was chained to the wall and gagged. The hoarse scream she let out once freed wasn't something that Lindsay would forget so soon, if ever. In the sparse light of the flashlights she shared an anxious look with Jacobi.
An anonymous tip had led them to this house and to Laura Fenner who had been missing for nearly two years. She wasn't the only case. It made you wonder what else was there to find in this house and how many bodies.
In the adjacent room that was no bigger than a few square feet, they found a freezer that nearly took up all the space.
Lindsay hardly ever turned away from a bad sight. Dealing with the horrors of what some people did to others was part of her job, and yet when the unis helped lifting the lid, she took a step backwards, nearly staggering.
In the stifling air of the room, for a moment she thought she'd be getting sick.
Then she straightened and said, "now that was one hell of a tip", pretending to ignore Jacobi's worried look for her.
It was a testimiony to her state of mind that she hadn't noticed Cindy following her until the little red car called Maggie pulled up behind her Jeep. Lindsay tried to muster... any kind of emotion, but she was simply too exhausted. It was close to three AM. She'd have to be back at the station at eight at the latest.
She just sat and waited until Cindy emerged from her car and came walking over to her, then she opened the door.
"Tomorrow, okay?" she simply said. Jill and Denise had retreated to the acting D.A.'s office, and it seemed like they'd stay overnight. Claire had gone home to her family to take a breath of good normal air away from the insanities of their work lives Lindsay wanted nothing more than to hide on the bottom of a bottle, but she knew it wouldn't happen tonight, not with estimated four hours of sleep. Not that she'd be sleeping. Jill and Claire would be here now if she had asked, but she couldn't bring herself to do that. Not like it wasn't any easier for either of them...
Cindy shook her head. "I'll stay," she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"I don't feel like talking."
"You don't have to."
"Cindy, it's late."
"Then we go to bed right away."
Lindsay raised her eyebrows at the use of 'we', but she couldn't come up with any smart retort, because the fear Cindy could change her mind seemed overwhelming all of a sudden.
"You can share the couch with Martha. If she lets you."
Cindy simply smiled to herself as if she knew something Lindsay didn't, yet.
Staring up at the ceiling, moderately afraid to close her eyes, Lindsay decided that bossy Cindy 'You can lend me a shirt tomorrow, right?' might be what was saving the last shreds of her sanity. Like every cop, she hated crimes against children with a passion. This--
She tried to focus on the very present, her moonlit bedroom, fresh air coming through the open window. Cindy lying beside her, an arm around her waist. At some point in a former life she must have done very good to deserve friends like this.
Her guilt pulled her back into the room where Laura Fenner had been held all this time. And the one with the freezer, and she tensed against the nausea once again churning in her gut.
"It's not your fault," Cindy whispered. "You weren't even on the case when it started, and you found her alive. There was no way you could save the baby."
Now, and then, rang unspoken.
Lindsay felt the pressure behind her eyes building and then the tell-tale warm wetness on her face. "Don't try to make me cry and let it all out," she advised even if it was too late obviously. "Crying makes a person ugly."
"It makes a person human," Cindy disagreed.
"Why are you here?" She hated to have her voice break like this, but couldn't stop it.
"Because I want to."
And I need you to.
Even if they didn't go anywhere from here, even if it was never mentioned again, Lindsay realized that for tonight, it would be enough to keep the darkness away.
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