DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Introduction to Night Life
Night life is a strange concept to Lindsay. She doesn’t understand why life changes according to time of day. Hers doesn’t. If she isn’t still breaking her brain over whatever case she’s currently working on, then she’s at home with Martha enjoying a beer and Mary Tyler Moore marathons.
The rest of San Francisco apparently has a different idea of what life should be like at night. Perfectly normal people trade in their suits for tight jeans and short skirts and other slutty attire and congregate in bars and clubs under the guise of having a “good time,” when really they’re just trying to make a connection. They remind her vaguely of vampires, the way they suddenly come alive after the sun goes down. Lindsay doesn’t understand it, doesn’t like it, and she certainly doesn’t want to be a part of it.
But tonight, she is.
How Jill and Claire managed to talk her into this would forever remain a mystery, replaying time and time again on her mental Lifetime channel. She suspects it had something to do with that sultry, suggestive look that Jill gave her and the tone in Claire’s voice when she told Lindsay they were going out tonight that said “You’re coming with whether you like it or not.” A few hours later, Lindsay has on a pair of presentable jeans, a tight t-shirt, and her hair is actually done. She wants to kill Jill.
The blast of music that greets them when they enter the club makes Lindsay want to turn around and leave, but Jill and Claire’s grip on both of her arms prevent her from doing so. There’s a strong stench of sweat and the heat is overwhelming. Lindsay thinks that virtually every person in the place looks like a likely suspect for the murder she’s investigating.
When Jill suggests drinks, Lindsay immediately offers herself up to get them. She can’t stand just sitting there while the music and smoke slowly liquefy her brain. She squeezes in between two barstools to get to the bartender, who takes about five minutes to realize she’s there. As he hands her the drinks, a tiny body bounces up next to her.
“Hey José, hit me with another!”
Lindsay can’t believe it when she looks down, because the person is completely unrecognizable, but the voice and the bright gaze and the grin are unmistakable. Cindy Thomas cleans up really well.
That’s not to say that she’s ever dirty. She always looks good, but Lindsay’s so used to seeing her in her reporter attire that the sight of her in the knee-length red dress leaves little to the imagination and a lot of desire. The redhead’s looking at her excitedly and Lindsay’s still trying to catch up with herself when she speaks.
“Lindsay! What are you doing here?”
“Uh… drinks,” Lindsay explains stupidly, holding up the glasses.
“Me too!” Cindy exclaims happily, taking a tall glass filled with a violently fluorescent pink liquid from José, with whom she’s apparently very friendly.
“What is that?” Lindsay asks, looking at the drink strangely.
“This?” Cindy holds her drink up, gazing at it with a kind of glazed expression. “I think José called it a Watermelon Crush.”
“It looks biohazardous. What’s in it?” Lindsay questions suspiciously.
“I don’t know, but it’s fantastic. Try it!” Cindy insists, pushing the glass towards Lindsay. The brunette grabs it to keep her from shoving it into her face, cringing as the strong smell of liquor and fake fruit invades her nostrils. She doesn’t want to try it, but she can imagine Cindy pestering her all night until she does. To avoid further annoyance, she takes a small sip, alcohol and sugar burning her throat.
Lindsay hands the drink back to its owner with a grimace, washing the aftertaste down with the beer that she ordered. she’s not sure how it’s possible that Cindy’s still standing. Lindsay’s from Texas; she can hold her liquor, not to mention the fact that she’s slightly larger than Cindy is. But this drink would have her flat on her ass in no time.
“That tastes nothing like watermelon. How many have you had?” Lindsay asks, eyebrow raised.
“Oh, not that many,” Cindy says dismissively, swaying a bit in the process. “Hey, are Jill and Claire here?”
The trip back to their table is a crooked one, but Lindsay stays as close as possible to Cindy to make sure the redhead doesn’t completely collapse. Jill looks slightly surprised to see Cindy, giving Lindsay a look as Cindy hugs her. Claire looks genuinely happy to see the reporter, but makes a point to take Cindy’s drink from her and place it on the table.
“There are distilleries with less alcohol in them than her,” Jill comments quietly as Cindy babbles on about how she’s just out to unwind tonight and she’s really glad that she ran into them because things were starting to get boring. Lindsay silently agrees with Jill and keeps a close eye on Cindy the entire time.
When the redhead announces that the drinks have taken a toll on her bladder, Lindsay lets her go to the bathroom alone because really, the whole protective streak only goes so far and she’s sure Cindy still knows how to pee by herself. But when a five minute bathroom break turns into ten, and then fifteen minutes, the inspector decides that it’s time to check up on their super plastered friend.
Getting to the bathroom requires crossing the dance floor, which is effectively packed solid with sweaty, smelly, gyrating bodies that Lindsay tries with all her might to avoid. She’s only a few yards away from her destination when a hand grabs her wrist and pulls her to the edge of the crowd with surprising force.
“Dance with me, Lindsay!” Cindy insists, pressing herself close to Lindsay. She moves with no particular rhythm, and certainly not in time with any music that Lindsay can hear, but it’s smooth and oddly sexy, and although Lindsay’s no dancer, she allows the reporter to have her fun.
Cindy’s body is small and soft and warm, and Lindsay particularly likes the way it feels against her own, likes the way they fit together as Cindy wraps her arms around Lindsay’s waist, likes the way they manage to move together without tripping as Cindy backs them further from the dance floor and closer to the wall.
Lindsay realizes what’s happening long before it happens, but it’s almost like she’s watching the events from the wrong side of the interrogation room, powerless to stop it. Cindy’s hands have long since left formalities behind, roaming Lindsay’s body freely, making her skin feel like fireworks, jumping and burning in that enjoyable sort of way. She closes her eyes for a moment as the redhead’s lips latch onto her neck, kissing a slow trail up to the sharp jaw line. There’s a small part of Lindsay telling her that this is wrong, that she’s taking advantage, that Cindy doesn’t really know what she’s doing. It’s enough to make her speak.
“Cindy, what are you doing?” she asks slowly, still unable to make her stop.
“What’s it look like? I’m seducing you,” Cindy mumbles against her skin, followed by a sharp bite that makes Lindsay groan.
“You’re drunk,” Lindsay persists, and Cindy pulls back finally, but she doesn’t look at all like she’s planning on stopping anytime soon.
“You think too much,” she replies. Before Lindsay can answer, her lips are occupied, and she can taste that disgusting watermelon crap on Cindy’s lips and tongue. Somehow, it only makes her kiss back harder. When Cindy pulls back, she sends Lindsay a grin. “And I can handle myself. Come on Boxer. We’ve been doing this two-step for too long. I’m offering up this body. What are you going to do with it?”
The statement makes Lindsay sweep her eyes across Cindy’s small form, from smooth legs to perfect curves to smoky eyes that dare her to break the rules just once. Too far gone to make any reply, Lindsay grabs petite shoulders and shoves Cindy against the wall, reversing their position. She claims Cindy’s mouth for her own, leaving the redhead breathless. Lindsay can no longer hear the music, nor can she see any other people but Cindy. From this point on it’s only slick fingers and sharp thrusts and desperate moans and whimpers that only spur her on further until Cindy gasps and collapses into her arms.
And Lindsay knows it’s wrong; knows that even if Cindy doesn’t remember this in the morning, she will. She knows it’ll be awkward, not because they fucked against a wall in a nightclub, but because she wants to do it again, because a part of her finally understands that maybe night life isn’t what she thought it is. At night, you don’t put on strange clothes and become something you’re not. You shed your costume and discover who you are. And Lindsay Boxer is someone who would very much like to make a connection with Cindy Thomas, whether she’ll ever admit it in the daytime or not.
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