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Georgia on my Mind
By Ann


Glancing at the clock, I smile when I see it's finally time to call it a day, and thankfully a week. I've caught the worst of the worst cases all week and am definitely relieved to be off duty this weekend.

Signing my last case file, I place it in my outbox and stand to gather my things to leave. I am almost out the door when I hear Amos' voice.

"Karen, can you come into my office for a minute?"

Damn, I was so close to making my getaway.

I walk back to the open office door and stick my head inside. Maybe if I don't actually enter the room, I can get a head start back to the exit. I can assure you that I will make it all the way through before he can call me back again.

"Yes, Amos?" I ask in a less than enthusiastic tone.

Shuffling some papers on his desk, he picks up a file and says, "Could you bring this over to Sergeant Novak? I need her signature on the eyewitness report to Denton's death. I want to get all the paperwork completed on this case and file it away before too many people can read it. Having a suspect get hit by a car while being pursued by a US Marshall and a Miami policewoman, not to mention the fact that he was wearing only a towel at the time, is not exactly a case I want to publicize, especially with these crime photos of him lying nude under the car."

I can't help but smile when I remember Marley's comment as we stood near the parking lot wall looking out at the accident scene. 'Guy takes his clothes off around me; he's dead in ten minutes.'

Managing to hold back a snicker, I enter the room and take the file from my superior.

As I turn back toward the door to make my escape, I ask, "Can I return this Monday morning or do you need it sooner?"

"Once its signed, the case is closed so I guess it will be okay to file it first thing Monday morning ," Amos replies as he shoos me out the door.

I quickly leave the office before some unforeseen emergency can arise and head directly for the parking garage. Climbing in my car, I immediately reach for my purse to retrieve my cell phone.

Accidentally knocking the folder on the floor in my haste to call Marley, the first few pages fall to the floor on the passenger side, and I curse as I reach over to retrieve the papers when my eye suddenly catches the signature line Marley is to sign. I laugh aloud when I read her full name.

So Marley must be a nickname of sorts, although I can't imagine where it might have come from. I'll have to ask her later, but right now, I need to call her for drinks and try to figure out how I'm going to let her know I'm finally ready for that first date.

Punching in her number, she answers on the first ring, "Marley."

"Hey Marley, it's Karen. I have some papers that you need to sign, and I was thinking that maybe we could meet for a drink," I say in a casual tone.

The voice on the other end replies, "That would be perfect. I have had the worst day, and a drink sounds wonderful. Where do you want to meet?"

As I open my mouth to tell her to meet me at the same bar as before, another location pops into my head and takes center stage. There's nothing quite like a subtle hint so I go with my instincts.

Grinning mischievously, I answer, "How about 'The Pink Lady' in about twenty minutes?"

There is a brief silence before Marley manages to squeak out, "I'll be there."

Closing my cell, I start the car and back out of my parking space with a smile on my face. I do believe I have caught the good sergeant off guard as I'm fairly certain she was not expecting to meet me at a gay bar.

I arrive at the bar's parking lot at exactly the same time as Marley, and together, we head for the entrance and, more precisely, the bar and drinks, lots of drinks.

Neither of us wastes any time as we both go straight to the hard stuff and down the first drink before exchanging any words.

After ordering the second round, I reach down in my bag for the file. If we are going to continue to drink in this manner, I better get her signature before she is unable to see the dotted line.

Opening the folder, I pull out a pen and indicate the location in which she is to sign, but not before I point to her typed out given name.

"Oh, and Marley, you will need to sign the paper exactly as your name appears on the document," I explain with a huge grin on my face.

Looking down at the papers, her eyes immediately snap up to mine.

"Karen Sisco, if you ever tell a living soul about my name, I'll punish you severely," she growls in a menacing tone.

Deciding to drop yet another hint, I reply, "Promise?"

Her mouth drops open as it appears I have once again gained the upper hand.

Oh, this is fun, and I have a wonderful idea on how to proceed. Excusing myself, I head to the ladies room, but not before seeking out the DJ for a very special request.

When I return to the bar, Marley has signed the papers and placed them back in the folder. She has also just ordered her third drink of the night causing me to move up my timeline. I don't think it would be wise to ask a drunk Marley out on a date because she probably wouldn't remember it tomorrow, and I'd have to ask her again at another time.

Stepping up beside her, I simply hold out my hand. Confused, she looks back and forth from my hand to my face, and when I smile at her, she automatically reaches for my hand but never takes her eyes from mine.

"Let's dance," I say as Marley stands and allows me to lead her to the empty dance floor. We begin to sway to the music, and she finally relaxes as the last refrain of the current song sounds through the speakers.

The DJ is evidently very good at his job or perhaps he is looking forward to the rest of his tip because the minute the song ends, my request begins.

Marley immediately recognizes the tune and once again stiffens in my arms as Ray Charles' voice fills the room.

Georgia, Georgia
The whole day through
Just an old sweet song
Keeps Georgia on my mind

I lean into Marley and softly say, "Tell me about your name."

While Mr. Charles continues to croon, Marley relaxes once again and whispers in my ear, and I find myself leaning even closer to her, but I think it's because I'm enjoying her nearness rather than an attempt on my part to hear her words.

"When my dad first held me, he ran his hand over my head and remarked that my hair looked and felt just like Georgia peach fuzz. Mom smiled and said that's what my name should be, Georgia Peach Novak. I'm sure it sounded sweet at the time, but I can assure you my life wasn't peachy when I got to high school."

During her explanation, Marley has pulled me to her, and I melt into her arms. I don't know why I was so hesitant to tell her of my attraction when we went out that first time because this feeling right now outweighs any of the doubts I may have had.

As the song progresses, I concentrate on the words and smile at the truth in them.

Other arms reach out to me
Other eyes smile tenderly
Still in peaceful dreams I see
The road leads back to you

Another thought crosses my mind as I lay my head on my dancing partner's shoulder.

"Where did Marley come from?" I softly ask.

Chuckling, she replies, "Marley was my grandmother's dog. I loved that dog."

I join in her laughter as we continue to sway to the soft sounds of the music.

As the song comes to its last refrain, I recall my one trip to the state of Georgia to escort a fugitive back to Florida. I remember refusing to buy a road map and getting lost on the Atlanta turnpike. I was so pissed off I didn't take the time to enjoy the scenery.

Marley brings my full attention back to her as she slides her arms down to my lower back. Reaching up, I clasp my hands behind her neck. Ah, this feels both natural and comfortable, just like home.

As the song comes to its conclusion, I find I don't want to leave this safe haven.

I said just an old sweet song,

Keeps Georgia on my mind

Taking my hand, Marley leads me back to the bar and pays for our drinks before escorting me to the door.

I'm pretty sure I won't need a map with this Georgia, and this time I am going to thoroughly enjoy taking the scenic tour.

The End

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