DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
SPOILERS: Spoilers from the TV show, each episode aired so far as they are all link for the chemistry between the female leads.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Feels Like Love
Cindy sat at the small table in the café. She was randomly typing her most current story. Words formed in her mind, racing toward the tips of her fingers which tried desperately to keep up with each thought.
That was when she could smell her. Not a "get away from me. You stink," smell or even a "how long have you been wearing that shirt?" smell. No. No this was one of those good smells. One that only a certain Detective wore, and worse yet, it wasn't even a perfume. If it was Cindy was certain she'd run to the most local shop and purchase a year's supply simply so she could spray it on her pillows.
Side tracked she went back to her original thought.
She knew that smell.
"It's rude to stand behind people and read over their shoulders."
"Come on," came the all too familiar voice of Lindsay Boxer. "This is my story," she winked sitting down opposite the reporter. "At least to say I lived it."
"Umm hello? I do recall being involved in a few select parts," Cindy held her hand up. "Like tracking down the lead that led to your big tip pay off? Or how about the research I did on Cadozzi's gang? What about the guy from the ally who offered me " Cindy stopped. Rattling off her achievements, she'd forgotten she had failed to mention this tip since it led nowhere, other than if the said Detective sitting across from her found out, jail maybe.
"You want to continue on about the guy in the ally. What was it again he offered you?" Lindsay shifted in her seat. 'Sure, now I have her full attention' Cindy mused.
"You know, that's not important. What is important is your story," Cindy smiled her infamous grin and reached down begging for a topic change. "So where are the girls?"
"We're solo today. Claire's husband is running a fever. Jill is working some special case for her boss."
"That woman is such a bitch," Cindy rolled her eyes.
"Well that bitch got your boy toy's father out of jail," Lindsay replied sipping her own coffee.
"Excuse me? My what?"
"You know what's his name?" Lindsay was waving her hand.
Cindy stopped all typing. She locked eyes on Lindsay. "Okay first he's not my 'boy toy'" she said using her quotation fingers. "Second, we're just friends. I don't need any more rumors flying around about me shacking up with someone from a story thank you very much."
"Rumors?" Now Lindsay was giving her full attention to the red head, not like that was hard.
"Look I don't want to talk about it," Cindy looked back to her computer screen. "Let's just order lunch shall we?"
"Sure," Lindsay nodded. Given the red head's current mood, Lindsay was smart enough to know when to leave well enough alone. But she would file the question under 'ask again later'.
"So any new leads?" Cindy asked biting into her chicken house salad.
"Not one," Lindsay shook her head. "Starting to get a bit annoyed too. Clearly he's stashing these women somewhere for two weeks. He's torturing them. He's tormenting their loved ones by playing games, sending letters, pictures even. This is one sick bastard."
"I've got a meeting with a guy from Devils lane," Cindy began but saw the cop look cross her friend's face. "Relax. I'm meeting him at 4 p.m. Sunlight. Lots of people around. A park actually. So you can relax Officer."
"You and your connections," Lindsay laughed. "Though I've got to give you credit kid. They pay off."
"They do," Cindy smiled appreciating the acknowledgement of her contributions to solving many cases. "Have they analyzed the last picture yet?"
"Forensics is still working on enhancing some of the background that is blurred. We're hoping to get some kind of location hit from it." Lindsay made a sickened face. "Sending those pictures to her fiancé. Those images will haunt him for the rest of his life. Seeing her like that. I just can't I can't imagine."
"I know," Cindy nodded in agreement. "We have to get this guy Lindsay."
"We will. I promise you that Cindy. We will." Lindsay took a large bite out of her burger. She pulled out a bottle of pills and popped two in her mouth.
"What were those?" Cindy asked curious. They didn't look like Tylenol and Lindsay didn't seem to be bothered by any headache.
"Just some supplements I'm on."
"Always the reporter aren't you?"
"I'm not asking as a reporter I'm asking as your friend, smart-ass."
"I've been feeling pretty tired lately. Not my usual self. Claire ran a few blood tests. Luckily I wasn't pregnant but my red blood cell count was lower than normal"
"Whoa. Back the train of thought up. Did you say pregnant?"
Lindsay darted her eyes back and forth. "Well ummm "
"And they say I'm the worst liar ever?" Cindy rolled her eyes. She felt a strange stinging sensation in her chest. Lindsay had slept with someone. Lindsay thought she was pregnant. "Who was he?"
Lindsay wiped her face with a napkin. "Tom." The pain was getting worse, Cindy briefly thought. "It was Tom. After a bad case we turned to one another for comfort. It was a mistake. We both knew it. It was stupid and " Lindsay stopped. "You get the idea."
Cindy was lost in thought, just looking down at her salad. Lindsay had slept with Tom. Tom had slept with Lindsay.
Lindsay still loved Tom.
Her speech a few weeks ago about moving on and letting go, you don't just sleep with your ex-husband and move on a few weeks later. That's not how it works. Not with Lindsay. Cindy knew her well enough to know that.
"You know I just remembered I need to get this to the editor before he leaves."
"I didn't get to hear it yet. You usually read me the "
"I know," Cindy nodded. "Not this time though." She pulled a ten dollar bill from her pocket and put it on the table. "I'm sorry to run off like this. I just don't want to be late."
Cindy cringed at the choice of words. "I mean you know behind schedule. I want to make press tomorrow. I'll call you later."
"Cindy," Lindsay grabbed the reporter's arm. "Is this because I "
"I really need to go Lindsay," Cindy put on her best fake smile. "I'll call you after I meet with my informant." With that she spun around and walked out the door of the café. When she got to the end of the street, she rounded the corner and walked the ally where she parked her car. She took a deep breath and wiped the free falling tears.
Lindsay still loved Tom.
She probably always would.
Cindy was a fool for thinking anything other than that. A fool for thinking
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sharp pain in her neck, as she was forcibly grabbed from behind. "Goodnight Cindy," was the last thing she heard before blacking out.
"I'm glad his fever is down," Lindsay said into her cell phone glancing at her watch again. It was well past 7 p.m. and she still hadn't heard from Cindy. "Claire not that you've got a million other things going on but have you heard from Cindy today?"
"Just this morning," Claire replied. "She called to see if we were still meeting for lunch. At that point I thought I was. That was the last time. Why?" Even over the phone Claire could hear Lindsay's mind working.
"She was meeting with some informant at 4 and she was supposed to call me."
"I'm sure she's just double checking whatever lead she has," Claire replied optimistically.
"I should have heard something by now."
"Maybe she called Jill?"
"Maybe," Lindsay nodded. "Let me give her a call real quick."
"Okay. Call me if you need anything."
"Thanks but no thanks," Lindsay laughed. "You've got your hands full as is."
"This is true," Claire laughed. "But still I am super mom and super wife. I can handle it." Lindsay laughed and hung up. Walking over next to Martha she took a seat on her sofa while stroking the dog's belly.
She closed her eyes for a brief moment.
It was only a week ago, after Tom's wedding, she and Cindy sat here on the sofa together. They'd left the café and Cindy asked Lindsay to walk with her. That of course got a curious look from her friend, but she did as requested. Before they knew it, they'd walked all the way to Lindsay's house.
Cindy shrugged her shoulders. "You're the runner. Just go run tomorrow and get your car then," she smiled. "Now invite me in before I invite myself." That got a laugh out of the Detective who opened her door, and on some level her heart, to the young red haired reporter.
They sat on the couch, watching old black and white movies on TNT classics. "I love this movie," Cindy said somewhat dreamily as she glanced up at Lindsay who was simply watched her with a smile.
"Why's that?" Lindsay asked.
"The romantic notion that someone would be willing to walk away from the one they love so they can be happy, be safe." Cindy sighed. She quickly realized what she'd said. "Shit. I'm sorry Lindsay I didn't mean for "
Lindsay held up her hand. "It's okay," she smiled. "I'm not in love with him. I'm in love with the idea of him," Lindsay drew a short breath.
"The idea of him?"
"It's complicated," Lindsay responded, but could see she still had the reporter's attention. "Okay it's like your take on this movie. It makes you feel something. It's a deeper connection to something you know you want, and you know you need. And you can almost reach out and touch it. It's right there at the tip of your fingers. But you're never quite able to grab hold."
"Well when you do get it don't let go," Cindy said softly petting the top of Martha's head.
"I wish it was that simple."
"It is. I think we're the ones who make it complicated. We're the ones who take something so simple and turn it into a rubix-cube."
"Interesting. I'm impressed you even know what that is. You were born in what 89?"
"Hardy-har har. Smart-ass."
"I try," Lindsay smiled. "Have you ever been in love Cindy?"
Cindy considered the question carefully before answering. "I think so."
"You think so?"
"I'm still trying to figure it out."
"Love or the being in part?" Lindsay asked.
"Both," Cindy smiled. "It's complicated."
"Because you're making it complicated," Lindsay turned Cindy's own words against her.
"You're right," Cindy nodded.
"Thanks for staying with me tonight. I am sure you had better things to be doing."
"Actually," Cindy leaned into Lindsay who tucked her arm around the young woman's shoulder. "This is the only place I wanted to be. Now shhhh this is the best part "
Lindsay took note of the way they were sitting. It felt right, it felt comfortable. Martha was wrapped up behind Cindy's legs, which were tangled with Lindsay's own. Cindy leaned against Lindsay, Lindsay holding her. It felt good.
For the first time in weeks, Lindsay Boxer was happy.
A bell indicating a text message had come through startled Lindsay as she was in the middle of dialing Jill's number.
FROM: CINDY CELL
Lindsay arrowed down to the message and hit accept. The small envelope opened.
MESSAGE: CHECK E-MAIL
"Okay," Lindsay said curious. "That's a little odd." She stood and walked over to her laptop and double clicked on her mail link.
ONE NEW MESSAGE: CINDY
Lindsay opened the e-mail.
GOOD LUCK. TIC-TOCK, DETECTIVE.
"What the hell Cindy?" Lindsay was now very confused. She quickly realized there were files that were popping up lower on the e-mail. She scrolled down and felt her breath hitch. She flipped open her cell phone speed dialing Jacobi.
"I need you and Tom here now." She flipped her phone shut in case Cindy's cell phone tried to call her. He must have gotten her e-mail and cell phone # from Cindy's computer. The first picture was of Cindy standing in an ally. She was wearing the clothes she had on today. She was crying.
"Why are you crying?" Lindsay silently asked no one. Martha came and sat by her feet. The next picture was of Cindy tied up in the trunk of a car, clearly unconscious. "Oh God " Lindsay didn't want to scroll down anymore, but she did.
A picture of Cindy, eyes open, looking into the camera. Her face battered, bloody. Lindsay felt her anger rise. The minute she saw this son of a bitch, he was a dead man. Trial by jury be damned. She'd kill him the first chance she got. No one hurts Cindy. No one.
Below the picture were 3 sentence so mind blowing, so complex, Lindsay had to read it twice just to make sure she wasn't seeing things.
SHE'S CALLING OUT FOR HER LOVER, COME FIND HER, DETECTIVE. I AM SENDING YOU HER LATEST WORK. THOUGHT YOU OF ALL PEOPLE WOULD ENJOY.
That first sentence; it was the same thing attached to the note sent to the fiancé of the last victim. Lindsay looked up at the clock. Time wasn't on their side. Or Cindy's.
She read the document attached.
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