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.
SERIES: The second part of the 'Just a...' series.
THANKS: To Ann for the beta.
Just a Friend
"Are you and Cindy...?" Lindsay's question trailed off and a look of confusion clouded her face as the exact nature of her enquiry shifted the more she thought about it. "Something?"
Jill hid her face in the steam curling up from her morning coffee. She didn't know what had prompted the question and really didn't want to, but she was also more than well aware that Lindsay would not let up until she'd had her answer. "Something?" She looked vague. "As in?"
"As in ... something." Lindsay's inability to put her finger on exactly what had changed between her two friends was annoying the hell out of her, and she decided that Jill was the perfect person on whom to take out her frustration. "There's a tension," she elaborated, working on the problem as she spoke, "and a certain vibe that... Oh my God, you're sleeping with her!"
"I am not!" The other customers at Joe's turned in their direction, but Jill refused to lower her gaze or in any other way show her guilt. "You're projecting."
"Projecting?" Lindsay had always thought of Cindy as a cross between a little sister and an overly rambunctious puppy dog, so she couldn't quite understand Jill's retort, unless it was a stalling tactic. "If you're not sleeping with her, then you're planning to very soon," she stated.
"I am not," Jill's reply was far less vehement, and this time she did lower her eyes. "She's just a friend."
"Just a friend?" Lindsay didn't buy it for a second.
"Are you and Jill..."
"She kissed me!" Cindy blurted, too overcome with the need for disclosure to listen to Claire's question. "Then I kissed her." She peered through the window in Claire's office, as if suddenly terrified that they'd be overheard and her secret would be out. "It wasn't planned."
"You and Jill?" Claire masked her shock well. "Uh huh."
"She said it was just a kiss, and we were kind of drunk, so I guess it could have just been one of those things, right? I mean, people do kiss other people all the time, at least that's what Jill said, although it's never really happened to me before, but then she was feeling ill and I was trying to be nice, and I kissed her."
"While you were both drunk?"
"No, that was later, at the crime scene." Cindy stood up and started pacing. "I didn't mean to kiss her," she explained, before turning on her heel and pacing in the other direction, "but she said I was twelve!"
"Twelve?" Claire had never been prone to seasickness but watching Cindy pace was starting to make her feel queasy. "I'm not sure I..."
"We're just friends," Cindy interrupted. "It was just a harmless kiss."
"Two harmless kisses, I think you said."
"One, two, what's the... We're just friends."
"Just friends?" Claire didn't buy it for a second.
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