DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Crossover with 'The Sentinel'. Sort of.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Carolyn Plummer knew the other women at the table, of course, but the night Inspector Boxer first took her to meet them at Papa Joe's, she felt like an initiate to a secret society. And just as nervous, as if she'd have to pass a test.
When she mentioned it, Lindsay gave her one of those private smiles that never failed to get Carolyn slightly nervous, and said, "We just have some ground rules. That's all."
"Ground rules. That sounds like my ex-husband."
Lindsay laughed. "Not talking about ex-husbands is one of them, by the way."
She pulled up a chair for herself and let Carolyn sit in the booth next to the reporter, Cindy Thomas.
Across from her on the other side of the table, A.D.A. Jill Bernhardt and Medical Examiner Dr. Claire Washburn were seated.
"Y'all know Lt. Plummer," Lindsay introduced her.
"Carolyn," she corrected, still feeling slightly nervous, not sure which boundaries she was approaching, or overstepping maybe.
"Welcome, Carolyn." Cindy Thomas smiled at her warmly, extending her hand. "And let me tell you, I know exactly how you feel, I've been there. Though this might be easier for you, since you're on the same side of that Thin Blue Line. As much as they love me, I'm not."
The resulting laughter set Carolyn more at ease. She'd also caught the fond smile Lindsay had given the reporter, and for an instant, she couldn't help but think of Jim and Blair, a bit of homesickness gripping her.
"Lindsay told us you worked in Cascade before. You sure got a better deal with the weather now," Dr. Washburn said.
"Oh, yeah. The rain's definitely one of the things I don't regret leaving behind."
"And we're glad to have you here. The evidence you found helped to put the guy away for a long time." Jill raised her glass. "So, welcome to San Francisco!"
Any doubts Carolyn ever had about her decision, were fleeting rapidly. She hadn't felt this excited in quite a while, and being here, it was a little easier to accept the fact that her life wasn't in Cascade anymore.
She enjoyed the easy camaraderie between these women, all of them professionals, and friends, a close-knit group which made her value tonight's invitation even more. She had loved working in Cascade, because even after the divorce, she and Jim had been professional enough to make it work, respecting each other enough to stay friends.
This - was new, and different. Major Crimes had never had a female detective in her time. The last time she and Simon had talked on the phone, he'd told her that that would change, if only for a while, as the Officer Exchange Program was sending them an Inspector Megan Connor from Australia.
Whatever - she was here now. "So... I'm really curious about those rules..."
Later that night, Lindsay had walked her home. Carolyn was silent, still pondering what coincidence or fate had been responsible to bring her here.
'Good karma', she could almost hear Blair Sandburg say, and had to smile. Carolyn didn't believe in anything like that - but sometimes, you just were damn lucky, and when that happened, you better hold on as tight as possible.
"You know," she said finally, "I've worked around my ex for nearly three years. It gets better." It might have been against the rules, slightly, but there was too much that they shared to not mention it.
"Thanks. He wasn't your boss, though, was he?"
Carolyn laughed. "Thank God, no. Some folks you don't put behind a desk, even if they have good leadership qualities."
She could tell that Lindsay could relate to that, too. She needed to be out in the field. Like Jim. So much. Carolyn wasn't admitting that it was a certain trait she found attractive in people, regardless of gender.
"Amen to that," Lindsay said. "Good night, Carolyn. Hope to see you more often from now on."
Carolyn stayed on her porch for a while longer, watching Lindsay walk away. There was something to be said about the power of letting go. There was a wealth of opportunities out there, and she was just beginning to open her eyes to them.
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