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.
Working Doubletime In the Seduction Line
By Misty Flores
It had taken a few months, but Cindy was now officially part of the club.
To be invited to help participate in capturing Kiss-Me-Not was huge, and although the circumstances sucked, there was some pride at the security that came with the idea that Lindsay, and Jill and Claire all saw her as an equal part of the group.
Of course with that security there came responsibility, and the unspoken truth that things were complicated enough without a fourth member rocking the boat.
She seemed to be the only one in the group (NOT a club) that was drama free at the moment. Claire had her husband, kids and Jill to worry about. Jill had her tenuous relationship with her boss and Luke leaving her to deal with, and of course Lindsay was saddled with being on the Kiss-Me-Not killer's radar, and the cute but creepy FBI agent to boot.
Cindy decided that, for the good of the group, it was absolutely crucial that her life remained focused, and complication free.
Everyone had their distractions, and so long as Cindy had her focus on them and her job, they were safe.
"She's driving me crazy," the Medical Examiner confessed to her over Chinese food, on a day when the aforementioned lawyer was in court and Lindsay was out doing everything she always did when she and Jacobi were on a case. "Or, to be more specific, she's driving my boys crazy."
Fiddling with her chopsticks, Cindy Thomas was befuddled. "How?"
Claire's brow rose expressively. "Let me put it this way, the only female my boys are used to seeing around the household at nighttime is me in my big ass flannel robe."
Oh. Cindy grinned. "What? She doesn't have a flannel robe?"
"It's silk. And underneath it?" Claire paused to dig out an offending bit of bell pepper and tossed it to the other side of her take out platter. "This little silky negligee. You'd think the girl would have gotten more comfortable nightware once she was living with Luke, but I tried to give her a t-shirt? The girl rocks that thing too! Nate and Derek don't leave her alone! They want to brush their teeth with her."
Cindy straightened, her pride suddenly taking a hit. "I thought Nate loved me."
"Not to mention?" Claire continued, taking no time to assuage Cindy's wounded spirits. "She leaves her papers everywhere, and the boys don't know what that is! They nearly destroyed a deposition and nearly ruined Jill's case. Besides, I don't bring my work home with me. It's their home."
"Yeah, I suppose that tripping over a severed hand you accidently left in your briefcase could be pretty traumatic," she mused, happily popping a breaded shrimp into her mouth.
"Plus, you know, all this domesticity me with the kids the husband it can't be good for her. Remembering all she lost with Luke."
Chewing thoughtfully, Cindy considered the statement with a slight amount of suspicion. "Wasn't the reason they broke up because she DIDN'T want all of that?"
Claire dropped her chopsticks and leaned forward, face suddenly dead serious. "You have to ask her to move in with you."
"I mean it," Claire said, raising her chopsticks in a gesture that seemed menacing, even as Cindy turned a plum shade of purple. "She needs a woman her age who is single and can appreciate the single life."
There was so much wrong with this Cindy actually sputtered for a minute. " . No!" she managed finally, swallowing down a large chunk of broccoli that nearly stabbed her with a floret on its way down. "Claire, I have a teeny tiny apartment!"
"It's a two bedroom, don't lie."
"The other bedroom has my stuff in it!"
"Stuff like a bed?" Claire asked pointedly.
Oh, that was besides the point. "Lindsay has a big ole' house!"
"And don't you think if they thought they could be roomies she would have already been over there?" Claire clucked her tongue, and dove back into her chow mien. "You're asking her to move in with you."
"I hardly know her."
"This is your chance," Claire snipped. "You're asking her."
Feeling like a sulky child, Cindy glared at her fried rice. "She won't even say yes."
Claire smiled. "I already asked. It's settled. Jill's moving in with you."
Cindy felt oddly like she had just been hit by a truck, and was left flailing in the street.
It wasn't that she didn't like Jill. She liked Jill quite a bit. Jill was gorgeous and funny and quite the drinker. She was brilliant at what she did and immensely flawed, which Cindy actually really liked, because some flaws looked really good on people. She had a good heart. She loved sometimes too fiercely, and was exactly the person that Cindy would have picked to hang out and get manicures with.
But Cindy didn't have roommates for a reason. Her apartment barely had enough room for herself. She didn't invite people to it. She came home and fed her fish and kinda spread out.
Thanks to Claire's interference and her own lack of a spine, Cindy Thomas wound up spending an entire Saturday sifting through old newspapers and magazines, giving a pile of clothes to Good Will, spending three hours at a Laundromat, and getting a new roommate.
"What are you doing?" Cindy asked, coming home one Friday night with a dozen security tapes to discover Jill seated on her couch, a disgusting tissue rolled in the palm pressed against her chest, bare feet up on her coffeetable, sniffling at some Freddie Prince Jr. movie that was playing on Lifetime.
Jill's eyes were magnetically shiny as she turned her head and gazed mournfully at Cindy.
"They lied to each other," she replied, voice hoarse. "He's not really a fashion editor, and she thinks he killed someone."
"What?" Hoisting her heavy bag off her shoulder, Cindy moved around her couch, and squinted her eyes at the television. "Oh, God, Jill. This is 'Head over Heels'. You don't even pick the one good romantic comedy he's been in?"
"The models are hot," Jill informed her, before she once again buried her nose into her Kleenex. "And I couldn't find the remote."
"Okay but why are you watching TV at all? Didn't you have a date tonight?"
Jill shook her head mutely. "I cancelled."
Unsure of what to do, Cindy glanced down and discovered the edge of the black remote peeking out from underneath the couch.
"Jill the remote's right here," she pointed out, digging it out and pointing it at the television.
"No, don't change it now!" Jill grabbed hold of her wrist, restricting her movement. "I'm invested."
"In 'Head Over heels'."
"Don't judge me." Wrinkling her tissue into a little ball, Jill finally sucked in a noisy breath and admitted, "Luke loved Monica Potter."
Oh. Cindy had suspected that Jill's 'jump back into the pool with both feet' mentality and expressed joy at being single again was a smokescreen to allow her to mourn the loss of her relationship in private, but she hadn't actually been slapped in the face with it.
Now, in the presence of an obviously heartbroken friend sitting on her couch, Cindy wasn't quite sure she knew what to do.
"I'm calling Lindsay," she blurted.
"Don't you dare," Jill responded automatically, eyes back on the screen. "She's got enough to deal with."
Fair enough. Sinking down tentatively on the couch, Cindy chewed thoughtfully on her bottom lip. "Claire?"
"Husband and kids."
And then there were two.
"Okay " Cindy breathed, resisting the urge to mournfully glance back at the tape she had brought with her, kissing the night of work goodbye. "What can I do?"
"You can let me watch my movie," Jill answered evenly, and this was why it was awkward. They didn't know each other. Not really. Not in the sense that they related to the others. Lindsay was Lindsay and Claire was Claire, and Jill and Cindy could hang out in group settings and chat with each other one on one about cases but
"But it's Freddie Prince Jr," she whined, throwing a bewildered hand to the screen. "And it's bad storytelling and inconceivable climaxes and Monica Potter's just not very good in this!"
"No one's asking you to watch it with me."
Cindy wrinkled her nose at a scene which involved some cheesily sped up footage and obvious comedic pratfalls.
"Jill, I'm your friend and I just can't let you do this."
Shoulders immediately rolling in annoyance, Jill gave her a shiny-eyed glare. "I'm not asking you."
"Seriously. Let's go out. Let me take you out. We can have a girls night. You know clubs and dancing and too much drinking. Let's go." The suggestion came off the top of her head, and now that it was out in the open, she couldn't really regret it. "Please?"
Unfortunately, all it did was give Jill license to stare at her like she had suddenly grown horns. "You want to go clubbing. Now."
"Oh, come on," she snorted. "Don't tell me you don't want to. It's not like Claire can hit the floor and the last time you suggested it to Lindsay she looked like she would have rather eaten her own foot." Jill's mouth twitched an indication that Cindy had actually made a point. "Come on. This is when it's a plus to have a friend who is under thirty."
At least now Jill seemed to actually consider the idea. "What, you don't think I can keep up with you?"
Mustering as charming a smile as she could, Cindy shrugged. "Only one way to find out."
Jill had made one concession: no men, she just wanted to dance.
It was how they ended up at a gay dance club, getting their groove on with at least a few hundred hard bodied men who were all better dancers.
A techno-d 'Let's Hear it For the Boy' thumped the bass out so loud that Cindy's ears were ringing, but Jill seemed to genuinely have a good time, not the least surprised that Cindy knew the bartenders, and appreciative of the fact that the gay boys that came and gave Cindy hugs and free drinks were all bare chested.
There was a certain addiction that never faded; that need to get lost in music, the move against someone else and just feel that rhythm pounding inside your blood stream. Cindy recognized it in Jill, and wasn't surprised when after an hour on the dance floor, Jill threw her arms around her and kissed her on the lips.
It was her way of saying thank you, and high on music and liquor, Cindy just hugged her friend and kissed her back.
They tumbled into the apartment a little after three pm, snorting and laughing, and making exaggerating 'shh'ing sounds because Cindy was oddly afraid of scaring the fish.
Collapsing on the couch, Jill giggled loudly, and stared up adoringly at the little reporter. "You are the most fun person on the planet." She pointed a shaky finger in her direction. "You're funner than Luke."
Settling in beside her, Cindy snorted, and grinned. "What, he doesn't like to go to gay bars to shake his groove thing?"
"No," Jill said, head shaking emphatically. "But he liked puzzles. He loved puzzles."
The statement hung in the air, bringing with it the morose sense of heartbreak.
Cindy was not in the mood to go back to that.
"Oh, it's better to have actually loved than to never have had it at all." Cindy was aware she messed up the quote, but the truth was, she didn't really care.
"Oh, God, don't take this moment to start mooning about Lindsay," Jill spat, and the interjected name caused a sudden spasm from Cindy.
"What? That is so not what I was talking about."
Head falling back against the cushions, Jill's eyes opened and she shot Cindy an impatient, knowing look.
"Oh, God, fine," Cindy sputtered. "She's hot. She's got a gun. Can you blame me?"
"Get in line, honey," Jill grimaced, and for some reason, that just made it funnier. Of COURSE Jill would want Lindsay too.
"I would," Cindy admitted, "But I think that ride is out of commission."
"You're not joking," Jill agreed. "Kiss-Me-Not and Tom and Stalker Agent Ashe took care of that. And besides, I wouldn't be getting what I'd want from her anyway."
"I just want meaningless sex, you know?" Jill's head fell back against the couch, and her mouth tilted up impishly. "You know the kind that you have with someone you trust - without it meaning anything."
"Hence the term meaningless sex," Cindy replied, and the two women suddenly giggled. Sweaty, Cindy closed her eyes and sighed recklessly, "I bet you'd be hot in bed, too."
Cindy smiled, suddenly inherently relaxed. "Oh, God, are you kidding me? You're totally hot."
Beside her, she felt the brush of fine hair against her cheek before the weight of Jill's head settled on her shoulder. "I know," her friend replied narcissically. "But it's nice to hear it. Sometimes I really need that, you know? I need to be fucked I need to fuck someone. There's nothing like that release, and I used to be okay and then fucking Luke made it MEAN something."
"Counselor, you're approaching a potty mouth," Cindy giggled, and affectionately reached for Jill's hand, squeezing tenderly. "And Luke doesn't know what he's missing."
"No no, he's right. I fucked up." Jill buried her face into Cindy's neck, rolling over until she was snuggling up against the smaller woman.
The casual embrace was more than what Cindy was used to. Usually such a hands-on approach was reserved for Claire and mostly Lindsay. Still, at the moment, relaxed and tipsy, she enjoyed it.
"Yes," she agreed breathlessly, "You did."
Jill stiffened slightly, and suddenly laughed. "Well, at least you're honest."
"It doesn't mean you don't deserve to be happy."
Jill put her lips together and blew out a noisy breath. "I think all I want right now is sex."
Suddenly the fingertips caressing Cindy's collar bone slipped further, drifting underneath Cindy's collar. The face nuzzling into her throat grew still, and Cindy's eyes fluttered when she felt hot breath against her jaw and the feel of teeth sinking gently into the flesh.
Her eyes opened with a sudden jolt. "Jill," she breathed, panting now, captive now on the couch as her friend slowly dipped into her cleavage, and teasingly brushed a fingertip against the side of her breast.
"Jill," she began stiffly. "What are you doing?"
A low-throated chuckle was her response, before Jill began to suck slightly on her jaw, venturing toward her ear. "What does it look like I'm doing?"
"Oh, no," Cindy breathed, and then twitched despite herself, head falling back against the couch as Jill's lips found her earlobe. "Jill, come on. You're drunk. This is a bad idea -"
"I disagree," Jill murmured, hand back slightly to loiter at the buttons of Cindy's shirt. "I think it's a fantastic idea."
"Can I take this moment to totally not agree?" Panic was mixing with arousal and the mixture was completely embarrassing, because Jill was both sucking on her lower lobe and popping open buttons and Cindy was actually letting her. Scrambling, Cindy tried to move. "Jill, please? Come on - I'm trying to be level headed about this."
"Shut up, Cindy," Jill hissed, and then her fingers abandoned her shirt to grab hold of her chin, yanking it to the side just enough to allow Jill to bury her lips against hers.
What was probably the most humiliating thing out of all of this was the fact that Cindy really really wanted it. She started kissing her back almost immediately, and the low, self-satisfied chuckle that came from the back of Jill's throat just made her gasp.
When their tongues tangled and Cindy felt herself turning into Jill's body, thighs moving between thighs, she felt another jolt of panic.
"This is so a stupid thing to do," she panted, and couldn't get much else out, because Jill had already started kissing her again, and Cindy's tipsy mind rebelled with her diminishing sense of caution.
"But we're doing it," Jill said, seconds later, and Cindy leaned forward, capturing lips heatedly again as Jill's fingers were once again at the buttons on the front of her shirt.
The sense of teasing was gone, and Jill was now yanking, as the kisses became desperate, consuming. Rising to her knees, Cindy thoughtlessly reached for Jill's waist, aggressively pulling her toward her, shrugging off the shirt that Jill was now shimmying down her shoulders, and yanking at Jill's delicate black top.
Separating just enough to pull it over Jill's head, Cindy found herself taking in a half-naked Jill, with her flat stomach and breasts encased in a black lace bra.
"God," she whispered, "You're so hot."
She was a small girl, but she was lean, and she tackled Jill with surprising strength, stretching out over her friend and her fantastic body, to thrust her tongue into her mouth.
She had never, ever, considered sleeping with Jill. She had always thought she was hot, but Cindy had always assumed that if gay lines were ever going to be crossed, she would be fucking Lindsay.
In fact, it was kind of mind blowing that it was so well mind blowing.
Jill was fantastic. She was passionate, and she was loud, her mouth sucked on Cindy's lower lip, hips arching underneath Cindy, moving fast in time with Cindy's thrusts. It was just all so
Forehead falling against Jill's cheek, Cindy felt her forearms starting to strain. She was sweaty and slippery now, but Jill was so very wet, and she felt so damned good, and so Cindy hiked up on one knee and kept going, feeling Jill's fingernails claw down her back with a fierceness that told Cindy she was close.
"God," she heard against her ear, felt hot breath against her throat. "Faster. Oh, God. Cindy-"
The flood of wetness that slid in around her hand was such a turn on she nearly came herself, spasming along with Jill, struggling to keep her rhythm as Jill arched violently beneath her.
They were lying side by side, staring up at the ceiling. Cindy's body was humming and her breath was shallow.
"That was really good," Jill breathed, and Cindy swallowed hard, taking a moment to silently agree. "No offense," Jill continued, "But that was so much better than I thought it would be."
"Oh, thanks," Cindy remarked dryly.
"I told you not to take offense," Jill warned, and settled on her side, head supported by her palm as she now faced Cindy, observant eyes roving down Cindy's naked body. "You're really hot."
Cindy didn't know how on earth she could feel modest after the night they had, but she blushed anyway. "Thanks. Back at you."
And now came the awkwardness.
"I can't believe we did that," Cindy breathed, and Jill arched an eyebrow.
"Don't freak out. It's just sex."
"Meaningless sex," Cindy repeated, but moved eyes from the ceiling to connect with Jill's. "This is a one time thing, right?"
Jill frowned. "Do you want it to be?"
Inherently, that was probably the wisest thing to do. This was, after all, Jill, and thinking about how Lindsay would take all this gave her a sudden headache. Not to mention they were roommates. And Jill wasn't over Luke. And this was meaningless sex and that was something Cindy just wasn't very good with.
"It was really really good," she admitted, and Jill suddenly laughed, dipping down long enough to press a gentle kiss against Cindy's forehead.
"We don't have to decide anything right away," Jill decided, and then flopped back on her back.
"If we don't decide anything we're just going to do it again," Cindy snapped matter-of-factly.
Jill didn't respond, and instead turned over until she was facing away from Cindy. Lying there, Cindy felt the chill of the night air giving rising on her damp skin. With a resolved sigh, she sat up to flail for the blankets that had been flung off the bed.
After covering them both, Cindy closed her eyes, determined to salvage some hours for sleep.
She was taken by surprise when the body beside her suddenly moved, and Jill snuggled into her side, arm falling over her chest, and thigh pressing in against hers.
Who knew Jill was a cuddler?
"Thanks," she heard, in a whispered confession. "I really needed that."
And she really did. Just like right now, where Cindy realized that Jill needed to held. After a moment hesitation, Cindy reached up and gently stroked silky blonde strands, before letting her arm drift, to slip around Jill's shoulders.
She stared up at the ceiling again.
"I think I needed that too."
Jill's grip on her tightened.
Suddenly things had just gotten a lot more complicated.
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