DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
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SERIES: I Do Series
Cindy looked stunningly beautiful in her wedding dress, just like Lindsay had known she would. She wasn't good with emotional moments under the best of circumstances at the moment, the circumstances were the worst possible. In a matter of hours, Cindy, their Cindy would be Mrs. Jamie Galvan.
If Lindsay's face hurt, it wasn't a body memory from when he'd hit her trying to escape, but the fact that she was smiling so hard all the time, pretending she was happy for her friend.
She was a reasonable liar. No one would know. Cindy was happy though, and at some point, that would be enough.
Cindy and Jamie would move to Washington. Frankly, it was killing her. On the other hand, Lindsay was knew she'd handle running into the happy couple here in San Francisco just as badly.
The dream was coming to an end. Time to wake up and get on with life.
Lindsay was sure she had hidden her secret well, and now she was relieved to have never confided in Jill or Claire. She couldn't stand sympathy now. Truth be told, Lindsay couldn't think of anything that would ease the raw pain, let alone friendly conversation. She just had to make it to the end of this day, somehow.
"Congratulations," she said, somewhat flippantly. "This is your day. Enjoy it."
Cindy's eyes were on her, attentive and affectionate. Lindsay fought the urge to turn away.
"Thank you." She sighed softly. "I still feel like I'm letting you guys down."
"You don't," Lindsay said too quickly. It's just me, right? "You need to do what feels right." She couldn't have become more cliché if she'd tried. Or more hypocritical, for that matter. But none of it mattered anymore, and this moment, with the tow of them alone in the sun-lit room, was as good a moment as any to say goodbye.
To that one chance she'd had, maybe, and blown. Stepping forward, she'd intended a quick embrace, but laid her hands on Cindy's shoulders instead, the feel of warm skin a distracting guilty pleasure. "Promise me you'll be happy," she whispered. That this is what you want so I can go and bury the ghost on my mind.
There was only so long a person could pretend though before going completely crazy. Lindsay knew she should have left the room minutes ago, but it was too late for sense or sensibility when she raised her hands to Cindy's cheeks and bend to kiss her, tongue running along those lips that had tempted her for a long time and then dipping inside. Pulling her closer, Cindy kissed her back.
A perfect moment for more pain to come, it seemed like a trade off. "I love you," Lindsay said, aware that her timing was bad, but still with that rest of hope waiting to be crushed.
Cindy just stared at her, shell-shocked, her eyes bright. "Linds..."
She didn't need any more proof. "I'm sorry." Lindsay turned away sharply as not to expose the lie, because sorry wasn't the way she felt. Leaving the room, she took with her the memory of kissing the beautiful bride, because from now on, that would be all that was left.
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