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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Look Inside Your Heart, And Look Inside Mine
"I know you're smarter than anyone else I know, but you weren't reading lesbian mysteries in the 80s. You were a baby in the 80s."
"You know I didn't mean it literally, I wasn't... Come on." Cindy had realized too late that Lindsay was yanking her chain, the little smirk she couldn't hide giving her away finally.
"I'm sorry, baby, you were just walking into it."
The way Lindsay was calling her 'baby', casually like this, was quite enough to secure Cindy's forgiveness. If she was easy, Cindy didn't give a damn. "Anyway. You're really okay with staying here for a few days?"
"A free room and free organic food in exchange for a little handiwork? Are you kidding me? It's great."
"Yeah, that it is." Cindy smiled. How much of a coincidence that they had been invited by a bunch of twenty-somethings to help out with the town's Pride event, albeit way smaller than back home. She hadn't known Lindsay was ready for this. She'd underestimated her. Truth be told, Cindy hadn't known she was ready for this herself.
"Hey girls. Glad you like it here. It's not quite what you are probably used to, but we're--" Ally grinned. "Proud of it. You're going to be okay to help out with the exhibition today?" She studied Lindsay speculatively. "I take it you can handle an electric drill?"
Lindsay gave her a low, slazy smile. "Looking forward to it."
Cindy would have been offended that said smile and the somewhat flirty tone wasn't directed at her, but the image on her mind made up for that. Embrace your stereotypes, she thought giddily.
"She can too, though, but I assume Cindy will be happy to work in the reading room," Lindsay seemed to feel the need to add.
For a small town, they had assembled an astonishing collection of books and art by lesbian artists. Cindy had been impressed speechless at the first look they'd gotten last evening, and yes, Lindsay had assumed correctly. It filled her with happiness that with all the good that had already happened, they got the chance to do something not just for themselves. Change, they were a small part of it, and this time, no one had to be punched in the face to help it along.
"Sure. I still can't believe how you put all this together."
Ally shrugged. "By being lucky to have good friends, and never give up?"
Lindsay shared a smile with Cindy. "Sounds like a good concept to me. So we'll see you down in the hall in fifteen?"
"Yeah. Thanks for joining us."
"Wouldn't want to miss it."
A few days ago, Cindy had asked herself and out loud if this road was leading them anywhere, as women in this society, as two people undeniably attracted to each other. Today, she had her answer.
The day turned out to be more of an emotional roller coaster than she'd thought. In some of the rooms of the old house, the renovation work was still to be finished. In other parts, on display, books, handwritten papers, art. Cindy, just like the women she'd been assigned with, handled each piece with reverence. There were so many different energies in the room, she was literally feeling dizzy, experiencing all of them.
Into these words and images, women had poured all their joy and their pain, their love, their determination to fight for what they believed. When you lived in San Francisco, you tended to take some things for granted, Cindy realized. And yet, they still had to fight the offense that Prop 8 was.
"Ally said you live in San Francisco? That's awesome." Lucie had introduced herself yesterday evening, a friend of Ally's sister.
"Yeah. Most of the time it is." Because San Francisco had led her to everyone and everything she cherished in her life.
"I'm going on a trip next year. Still looking for someone to show me around."
Cindy smiled gently. "Depends on what you want to see." Lucie was barely twenty-one, and she had shown her interest pretty much right away. "Lindsay and I could show you some places."
Lucie's face just barely fell at the mention of Lindsay.
"You guys are coming to the party tonight, right? It's a thank you for everyone who has helped out."
"Probably. So we should be actually helping out to deserve a party later."
"Oh, yes, sure," Lucie agreed eagerly, returning to the box of books she'd brought in.
Cindy went back to the sculpture to be put on display, two women in a passionate embrace, made from clay. She smiled, thinking of Lindsay being so excited about helping to build stands for the outdoor part of the event. At the very last minute, she kept her thoughts from going into an even more distracting direction. There'd be time for that, later.
Lindsay's skin was still sunwarm under her lips and hands. "I missed you," Cindy whispered, shivering with the pleasure of the intimate touch. Lindsay didn't seem quite able to form words, but apparently, she shared the sentiment.
"You know, sometimes, when we were all sitting at Papa Joe's, I'd imagine you saying my name like this."
"Perv," Lindsay murmured, but she was laughing, if only for a moment until Cindy's touch stole her breath.
They had an hour left before the party started, and they probably wouldn't make it on time.
Cindy had fleetingly noticed the guitar leaning against the wall of the bedroom, still, hearing the chords of 'Hotel California' while she was drying her hair in the bathroom, surprised her. She opened the door, leaning against the doorway to watch.
Lindsay had dressed in jeans and a white shirt, the scarf to bind back her hair a splash of color on black. She seemed immersed in her play, so Cindy jumped a little when she asked, "You're going to appreciate me some more, or are you actually ready?"
"I think I appreciated you enough for the day. And yes, I'm ready. You?"
Lindsay put the guitar back into its place and got up. "Yes." She pulled Cindy to her, inhaling deeply. "Come to think of it... Maybe we'll skip the party?"
"No way. We earned it." Cindy was well aware that she was a heartbeat away from going with Lindsay's suggestion. She sure liked to be appreciated, too.
"That Lucie girl will be there. Making eyes at you."
Lindsay's fingers traced the waistband of her capris, and Cindy drew a sharp breath.
"But you love me, right?"
"You know I do, but..." Cindy took a reluctant step backwards which served no purpose other than having her trapped against the wall. "Stop this. We'll never get down there if you"
"Stop what?" Lindsay asked with feigned innocence. "Wasn't I just about to get down..."
Cindy moaned. "Okay. I guess they won't miss us... for another few minutes."
"That's what I'm saying," Lindsay said contentedly.
Voices drifted over to them, music, the scent of fire. Cindy thought that these things would probably turn her on for a long time to come in the future, reminding her of these moments.
"So how long have you two been together?" The question came from Sharon, Ally's girlfriend. Lindsay and Cindy exchanged a look. The truth seemed rather unreal, and Cindy wasn't sure she wanted to share it with their new acquaintances. "Five years at least, isn't it? You have that vibe."
"Not exactly that long, but thank you," Lindsay said diplomatically. "We hear that a lot."
"I bet." Lucie had arrived with another woman, a tall blonde carrying a baby. "Hey. Meet Chris and little Emily."
"Nice to meet you." Chris shifted the baby in her arms and extended her hand in greeting. Her smile was a lot more genuine than Lucie's. "You're the gals from San Francisco. I've worked there for five years."
Cindy leaned back, taking a sip of her beer, fascinated with the subtle interactions taking place. Lucie seemed to contemplate a scheme on how to get her away from Lindsay's side which Cindy had no intention of leaving. Instant liking with Chris. Lindsay with her eyes on the baby more than the mother, unaware of the longing in her gaze.
Cindy was aware, and it was making her a little sad, for what she couldn't give Lindsay. She had enough self-esteem to know that she was doing her part in this relationship, and what she had to offer. Cindy was also realistic enough to know her limitations.
"Would you like to hold her for a moment?" Chris asked.
Lindsay's face lit up at that. "You're sure you don't mind?"
"Hey. You're keeping a city safe, I'm certain you're not gonna drop my baby."
"Would you like another beer?" Lucie asked.
"No thanks," Cindy said, unwilling to interrupt her observations, as she sensed a storm brewing. Not of the rain and thunder kind though. Maybe it was too early to approach this subject, and she wouldn't push it. She'd find out soon.
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