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.
A blonde and a redhead walk into a bar
"You're sure this is where Claire said to meet her?" Cindy asked Jill as the pair slipped past a tall, colorfully tattooed woman at the door. The big woman gave Jill a wink and slid a crisp twenty dollar bill into the pocket of her jeans before turning her attention back to the throng of women standing in line outside the popular club. She really, really loved her job.
"Yes," Jill lied smoothly as she placed her hand in the small of Cindy's back and steered the redhead toward two empty stools at the end of the bar. She nodded surreptitiously at the bartender and eased onto the nearest stool, leaving the one closest to the wall for Cindy. "She said something about doing a little research." Experiment was actually the word Claire had used when she'd devised this little test for their reporter friend, and Jill was hoping praying, actually - for positive results. It would definitely be in her best interest if their hypothesis proved to be true. "Want something to drink while we wait?" Jill was already motioning the bartender over.
"Um, yeah, I guess," Cindy replied distractedly, her eyes scanning their surroundings. There were women as far as the eye could see: blonde, brunette, redhead, purple-haired, short, tall, petite, not so petite, fair-skinned, dark-skinned, and most all of them seemingly paired up with another. "You didn't mention that we were meeting in a lesbian bar."
"Didn't I?" Jill asked innocently, trying to gauge Cindy's initial reaction but coming up empty. Cindy didn't seem upset, but she didn't seem elated either. "Two Dos Equis Amber, please," Jill said to the bartender, figuring beer would be a safe drink for now. If the experiment failed, she could always drown her sorrows in something much stronger later. Maybe she'd pick up a petite redhead to drown them in, too.
"No," Cindy used more inflection than was necessary, "you didn't," she finished as she twisted her stool around to face Jill. "What kind of research is Claire doing?"
The bartender slammed two bottles down on the bar, causing both women to jump. "Here ya go." She gave Cindy a wink and headed toward the other end of the bar, her chuckles drowned out by the din of the spirited conversations of the other patrons.
Jill grabbed the nearest bottle and took a long swig before replying. "The various effects alcohol has on different sized women." She winced slightly; her answer had sounded so much better in her head. "Claire wondered if that might have a bearing on future cases."
"What does Lindsay say?" Cindy took a small sip of her beer.
"Lindsay? She can drink almost anyone under the table."
Cindy hid her smile around the rim of her bottle. "No, I meant what does Lindsay say about this research idea?"
Jill sighed in memory of Lindsay's reaction to 'the experiment.' "She thinks I'm wasting my time."
Cindy bit the side of her cheek to keep from grinning. "Your time? Don't you mean our time? Yours, mine, and Claire's?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I meant," Jill blurted, adding a round of exaggerated nodding to back up her answer. She grabbed her bottle again and chugged down half the liquid.
"Soooo," Cindy drew out the word and flitted her hand around in a circle, gesturing toward the bar and dance floor. "Why a lesbian bar?"
Jill grinned. She knew the answer to that question. "A better sampling. Claire said it would better prove the hypothesis."
"So, we what? Sit around all night and watch everyone drink?"
"That's the plan," Jill replied as she shifted on her stool. It wasn't her ultimate goal, but it would have to do for now.
"Okay," Cindy said simply, taking another sip of her beer. She settled comfortably on her stool and leaned her shoulder against the wall, turning her attention to the dance floor where a blonde and a brunette were reinventing the term 'dirty dancing.' Her eyes growing wide, she sucked down the rest of the bottle and watched the scene play out.
Two hours later
"You think they're going to have sex in the bathroom?" Cindy whispered into Jill's ear as the pair watched two women pawing each other as they headed toward the back of the bar.
Jill shivered at the feel of hot air against her ear and the half-squeeze of the hand resting on her thigh. If Cindy moved her hand a fraction of an inch higher, she'd grab the redhead and take her right there on the bar. "Probably," she answered, her voice dropping an octave. This experiment was going to kill her.
Cindy had quit paying attention to actual liquor consumption when Jill had answered her cell and then reported that something had come up and Claire wasn't going to be able to make it. She'd just sat back and concentrated on her own hypothesis. Her lips turned up in a slight grin, and she eased her hand further up Jill's thigh. "Think the alcohol has lowered their inhibitions?"
It was certainly lowering Jill's, although the DDA's 'inhibition bar' wasn't that high to start with, especially where a certain redheaded reporter was concerned. "Probably," Jill repeated her earlier reply and frowned slightly. Apparently her vocabulary had lowered as well.
"You know what I think," Cindy whispered as she eased her chin onto Jill's shoulder. She smiled at the shudder that shot through the other woman. Jill could only shake her head in reply.
"I think " Cindy looped her free hand around Jill's waist and stood, pressing her body fully against Jill's back. "I think we should go to my place and measure what effect alcohol has had on our own inhibitions." Her hand inched to the vee of Jill's jeans, and Jill shot to her feet as if she'd been fired from the barrel of a gun.
"Check!!!" she yelled to the bartender as she grabbed Cindy's roving hand. Jill couldn't wait to test this new hypothesis a hypothesis, much to Jill's delight, that only required a sampling of two.
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