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ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Getting Her Man
By Ann


Knocking on the door, Warrick entered his temporary supervisor's office, and taking a seat in front of the desk, he explained, "Everyone in the LVPD is tight-lipped on this one, Cath. I think the sheriff has ordered the entire department to keep mum. Too bad Brass is on vacation, he'd keep us in the loop."

"Well, there has to be someone we can talk to. How are we supposed to get anywhere on this case if the police department won't cooperate with us? I thought we were a team." Catherine offered, clearly upset by the recent turn of events.

Shrugging, Warrick surmised, "I guess when it's one of their own being accused, they circle the wagons. We've got plenty of physical evidence to nail the guy, but it'd be nice if his partner and some of his buddies would agree to testify against him."

"That'll never happen, Warrick. I know the boys in blue don't condone rape, but when the victim is a prostitute, they tend to be more laidback. I think deep down, they believe she asked for it," Catherine replied as she stood, gathering her files.

"It's a shame, really. If we could find just one person who saw him leaving the precinct alone that night, we'd be able to discredit his partner's alibi and we'd have a slam dunk case," Warrick noted as he pushed himself up from the chair.

Grinning, Catherine said, "You've just given me a wonderful idea."

"Care to fill me in, Cath?"

"No, not yet, but I'll let you know if it worked," Catherine supplied, grabbing her coat from the back of the chair and heading for the door.

Rounding the corner to her office, Sofia increased her stride when she heard the distinct ringing of her telephone, and she just managed to pick it up on the third ring, "Curtis."

"Hey, Sofia. It's Catherine. I was wondering if you'd mind meeting me at the diner on Seventh and Clark. I need to ask you a few questions about the Williams homicide."

The detective hesitated, and then questioned, "Why can't you just ask me over the phone?"

Grimacing, Catherine quickly ran a few white lies through her head and replied, "I need you to look at a few photos of the crime scene. My questions are in reference to the photos."

Ever the detective, Sofia asked, "Why can't we meet at the lab, or better yet, why can't you come to the precinct?"

Catherine rubbed her forehead in frustration. She should've known Sofia wouldn't just say okay and voluntarily meet her. She just had to make things difficult.

"Sofia, I don't know about you, but I'm in dire need of some really good coffee. Greg hasn't been bringing his special roast lately, and we're back to sludge. Besides, I'm near the diner, and I can hear the caffeine calling from here," Catherine stated, finding herself actually craving the elixir and hoping Sofia would take the bait.

Chuckling, Sofia agreed, "Okay, give me about fifteen minutes."

Relieved, Catherine turned into the small diner's lot and quickly parked. Heading toward the door, she set her sights on finding a private booth so that she could work her charms on the blonde.

The detective made her entrance precisely fifteen minutes later, and she slowly canvassed the place looking for the investigator. She couldn't help but grin when she saw Catherine sitting in the booth at the far end of the diner. If her suspicions were correct, the acting supervisor was going to try to wheedle information out of her concerning the ongoing rape case, and even though she already intended to give the investigator pertinent information on the case, she looked forward to seeing how far the redhead would go to procure vital evidence.

Catherine looked up as Sofia entered the diner, and she watched as the blonde locked eyes on hers and smiled. The investigator began to wonder who would be charming whom as the detective strutted toward her.

Taking a seat, Sofia greeted, "Hey, Catherine. Nice table."

"Thanks. Since we'll be discussing casework, I thought a little privacy was in order."

The waitress approached the table, interrupting the conversation and stopping Sofia from questioning Catherine as to which case she was referring to. Both women ordered a cup of coffee, and the woman quickly wrote the order and returned to the kitchen.

"So, about the case," Sofia started, but Catherine quickly stood and excused herself to visit the restroom. The detective leaned back against the seat and smiled. She was right; Catherine was going to question her about Officer Beck.

When the investigator returned to the table, the coffee had been served, and Sofia was adding sweetener to hers. Catherine slid into the booth and reached for the Sweet-n-Low, and the blonde detected a noticeable change. It seemed several of Catherine's buttons had mysteriously come undone, and her exaggerated stretch toward the sweetener afforded Sofia a very lovely view of her silky, lowcut bra.

Grinning, the blonde took a sip of her drink and patiently waited for the redhead to begin the game.

Catherine reached into her bag and pulled out a file, and Sofia was impressed the investigator actually remembered to bring the homicide file. She figured Catherine would have jumped straight to the rape case.

Sofia played along as Catherine asked several excellent questions, but the professionalism was lost on the fact that the redhead kept flashing her assets during the interview. In fact, when she laid a few photos on the table, she leaned heavily against the edge of the table, exposing even more skin.

The detective managed to ignore the temptation as she purposely reached across the table and picked up the photo nearest Catherine. Holding it up, she focused on the crime scene and blocked out the tantalizing image of the twin peaks.

Several minutes later, it became apparent that Catherine had run out of questions, and Sofia quietly bided her time, waiting to see what the investigator would come up with next.

The redhead placed the file back in her bag and hesitated slightly before pulling out another file. Slamming it on the table, she opened it up to show a photo of a badly beaten woman, and Sofia immediately recognized her as the victim in the Beck rape case.

"Catherine, I can't talk about this case, and you know it," the detective explained, pushing the file back to the other side of the table.

Reaching out and lightly rubbing the blonde's hand, Catherine replied, "Sofia, I need help, and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get it."

The detective looked down at their hands and made a quick decision. Standing, she turned to the investigator and offered, "Oh, really. Why don't we go back to my apartment, and we can negotiate?"

Catherine's head immediately snapped up in surprise. Flirting and partially exposing oneself was one thing, but following through was an entirely different matter. She never expected the detective to call her bluff.

Sofia reached into her pocket and threw enough money on the table to cover their bill as well as a sizeable tip. Holding out her hand, she tilted her head and raised her eyebrow in question, and of course, the question being whether Catherine would come clean about this elaborate setup or would she actually go along with the blonde's suggestion.

For her part, Catherine was having a difficult time responding to the sudden change in her plan. She was no longer in control of the situation, and frankly, she wasn't sure what to do about it. She knew what she should do, but that particular thought was warring with the surprising notion of what she'd like to do.

As she debated with herself on the right and wrong of her next action, the investigator slowly reached out and took Sofia's hand. It appeared that her subconscious had made the decision for her.

The detective led Catherine to her vehicle and opened the door for the investigator to climb in. The redhead continued to follow the blonde's lead, and she shivered when Sofia whispered, "I don't live too far from here; I'll go get my car and you can follow."

Not waiting for a reply, Sofia smiled and closed the door; Catherine watched dumbfounded as the detective walked confidently to her car, and the redhead was mesmerized by the movement of the blonde's hips.

"Get a grip, Catherine. When you get to the parking lot of her building, you've got to tell her the truth and hope that she'll have pity on you. Maybe she'll even help you out on the case," the investigator muttered as she pulled out behind the detective's car.

The next thing Catherine knew she was standing in the middle of Sofia's apartment, and the detective was mixing her a drink. She hadn't even realized shift was over until the blonde mentioned it when she opened her door after they'd arrived at the apartment building.

Now, the redhead was wondering what had happened to her second plan. She was supposed to talk to Sofia in the parking lot, not follow her up to the apartment, but the damn woman had been so charming.

Crossing the room, Sofia handed the redhead her drink and teased, "How do you want to handle this, Catherine? Drink, bed, information or drink, couch, information?"

The glass began to fall from the investigator's hand, but she managed to juggle it and regain control with only a minimum amount of spillage. Sofia quickly excused herself to retrieve a cloth to wipe up the escaped liquid from her floor, and Catherine placed the glass on the nearby coffee table with a very shaky hand.

When Sofia returned, she took in Catherine's nervous glance as well as her increased respiration. In fact, the detective was fairly certain that if she didn't let the investigator off the hook soon, the redhead would hyperventilate.

Kneeling on the floor, she wiped up the drops of liquid while keeping a close eye on Catherine. The investigator was sitting on the sofa fidgeting, and the blonde decided she'd teased the redhead enough to make her point.

Standing, she walked over to the couch and took a seat on the far end so as to not make Catherine any more nervous than she already was.

"Catherine, you know how Sara's always accusing you of using your sexuality to gain an advantage on your cases?"

The redhead simply nodded, and Sofia continued, "Well, one of these days, it's going to get you into trouble, or at the very least, in a situation you don't want to be in. Catherine, you're smart; you don't need to use innuendos or flash pieces of your anatomy every time you need information. I've actually been guilty of the same thing on an occasion when Brass suggested I interview a suspect by affording him a view of my cleavage, and I've got to tell you, I didn't like it one bit."

Catherine's nervousness quickly morphed into anger, and she defended, "I admit to using a bit of skin now and then when it's necessary, but I don't go around constantly flashing suspects."

Sofia replied, very calmly, "What about right now? You followed me back to my apartment, knowing full well what I'd suggested. Hopefully, you wouldn't have seen this through to the end, but, Catherine, it never should've gone this far."

Running her hand through her hair, Catherine offered, "I know, damn it. I never planned to come inside. Hell, I never planned to get out of my car, but you . . . Damn it, you . . ." The investigator continued to fumble at her attempt to explain her actions.

"I what, Catherine? Why did you come up?"

"Because I find you attractive," the redhead blurted as she leaned her head against the back of the sofa and closed her eyes, waiting for the detective to tell her to get the hell out of her apartment.

Sofia was grateful that Catherine couldn't see her shocked reaction to the investigator's response. She was expecting Catherine to confess to wanting the information so badly that she'd do anything to get it, certainly not that she actually wanted to be with the blonde.

"Catherine, I intended to talk to you about the case before you called me, and I knew what you'd planned the moment you asked me to coffee. I couldn't resist the challenge of beating you at your own game, and I apologize for taking things too far."

Shaking her head, Catherine replied, "Things did go way too far, didn't they? I'm sorry for trying to play you, Sofia."

"Apology accepted. Now, why don't we move the discussion to the rape case?" Sofia suggested, and Catherine opened her eyes and smiled at the detective.

Thirty minutes later, Sofia led the investigator to her door. She'd filled Catherine in on the precinct gossip, but more importantly, she'd told her of a conversation she'd had with the vacationing Brass.

Sofia had called the veteran detective at the beginning of shift to fill him in on the latest developments as well as the order by the sheriff to keep their mouths shut. She'd told Brass that all evidence pointed to Beck, but his partner had provided him with a solid alibi.

In the course of their conversation, Brass told Sofia about a couple of security cameras that were mounted on top of the police garage which happened to be adjacent to the rear exit of the precinct. If Beck had left, he'd have used the back door. The older detective pointed out that the cameras had been placed on the roof of the building a couple of years back when there had been a rash of vandalism to parked police cars. More than likely, no one in the department had thought of the cameras since the recording equipment was located in a room of the garage.

"Thank you so much, Sofia. If Archie can find a frame showing Beck leaving the building alone, we'll be able to throw out his partner's alibi," Catherine offered as the detective opened the door.

"You're welcome, Catherine."

Both women stood in the doorway smiling at each other, neither making a move to end their time together.

"Well, I guess I should be on my way. I'll get Warrick and Nick to head over to the garage to pick up the tapes," Catherine said, hesitating as she took a small step outside the door.

When there was no reply from the detective, Catherine added, "Um ... okay, then. I'll guess I'll see you later."

"Catherine?" Sofia whispered, stepping toward the investigator.

"Yes?" Catherine replied softly as she leaned forward.

Cupping the redhead's face, Sofia pressed her lips against Catherine's in a slow, gentle kiss.

Moments later, the blonde pulled away and offered, "Go get the bad guy, Catherine. We'll talk about this attraction later."

Catherine nodded her head and grinned. Turning, she headed for her car with a renewed purpose. She was about to get her man, and she hoped that soon, she'd get her woman, too.

The End

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