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.
There were certain things that Lindsay Boxer was prone to doing. Throwing herself into her job to the point of having almost no life outside the station was one of them. Letting cases become so personal that her marriage fell to pieces was another. Ignoring every and anything to do with Tom was also fairly high on the list. But of all the things she was prone to doing, avoiding potentially distracting emotions was the worst, and most persistent.
It wasn't as though she did these things on purpose. There was never a conscious decision to stay up for nearly forty-eight hours straight, or to change the subject as tactlessly as possible whenever Jill or Claire mentioned Tom. She didn't intentionally freeze the people out that elicited strong feelings from her. Regardless of this, she did it anyway, because she just couldn't afford to do it any other way.
Tough as she tried to be, and tough as she really was, there was a softness to Lindsay's heart, and try as she might to cover it up, there were just certain things that got to her. Take the Kiss Me Not Killer, for instance. When the case had first come up, Lindsay had spent day after day looking over the evidence with a stone cold expression, vowing with every ounce of honor she had that she'd had. By night, however, she would hide herself away where even her husband couldn't see and cry until her heart broke at the horrors of the case. Now the F.B.I. was taking over things. It wasn't fair.
And then there was Tom. Lindsay knew she was responsible for the split. It was disappointing, yes, but truthfully if she could change things, she wouldn't. Her job would never stop being important to her, and the day that it did would be the day that she turned in her badge, picked up her things, and left for something knew, somewhere knew, with someone new. Still, was it really necessary for him to be parading around his office half naked with his (not very attractive) fiancé? Lindsay didn't think that it was, and regardless of the fact that she was most definitely over him, the whole experience was still awkward and fairly disturbing.
But avoiding her emotions, well that was something that she was good at. At least, she was good at it until, by some strange and horrible circumstance, her job forced her to face them. Such as now, with a case the papers were calling the Golden Gate Suicides, which had her traveling to the apartment of the reporter that had given it that name at nine o' clock at night to gather information that might help her find whoever had tied up five different people and pushed them off of the Golden Gate Bridge in an attempt to stage simultaneous suicides. Lindsay didn't really understand how one girl could manage to dig up information that a whole task force of investigators couldn't find, but she supposed that reporters learned to use their own devices over time to make up for the lack of machinery and bodies.
Cindy was a strange girl, always turning up out of nowhere with some new scoop on whatever case Lindsay was working. Annoying as it was, the detective had to admit that the reporter was intriguing. She did her research well, digging around in potentially dangerous places, risking the wrath of over-worked, under-caffeinated cops all for bits of a story that may not even turn up in the first place. Cindy was dedicated, Lindsay had to give her that, and she really didn't mind having a fresh brain to help out with cases. The girl had told her that she'd miss her when she didn't turn up anymore, and she was right. She hadn't heard from Cindy once this entire case until tonight, and she was starting to get a little worried. She couldn't help but think that there may have been other reasons for that restlessness than just a need for information, but as she climbed the last couple of steps leading to the second floor, she pushed these thoughts aside like she was prone to doing all the time.
Lindsay had barely knocked on the door when it flew open, startling her a bit. She stared down at the significantly shorter woman, wide-eyed as Cindy looked at her expectantly. A tiny voice crept up in the back of Lindsay's mind that told her that the reporter looked incredibly cute in her plaid pajama pants, white tank top, and square framed glasses, but the cop in her quickly slammed the door shut on those thoughts.
"God, I thought you were never going to get here. Hurry up, come inside," Cindy urged, stepping out of the way so that Lindsay could move into the apartment. The detective rolled her eyes, closing the door behind her as she walked in.
"Hello to you, too," she mumbled. She glanced around the room, realizing that it looked almost exactly like she would have expected it to had she put much thought into how Cindy lived. There wasn't much in the way of decoration, and yet the small place still managed to look slightly cluttered with papers spread out on virtually every operable surface in no particular order as far as she could tell. There was a small TV, most likely only used to watch the news to catch the latest stories, a laptop, which was now perched on Cindy's lap at the couch, and fairly large CD collection, the only thing in the apartment that seemed to be organized.
"You can sit down," Cindy called from the couch. Lindsay snapped back to reality and hesitated before taking a seat next to the reporter on the couch. Cindy opened her mouth and took a deep breath and Lindsay braced herself for a long-winded explanation of something before the girl suddenly stopped, looking as though she'd just remembered something. "Did you want something to drink?" Lindsay resisted the urge to laugh and instead settled on a small grin.
"Uh, water would be good, if you don't mind." Cindy was up from the couch in a second, flitting into the kitchen at high speeds, and Lindsay wondered where she got all of her energy from. She was back in no time, handing the detective a glass of water and plopping back down on the couch. She waited as patiently as she could for Lindsay to take a sip, looking as though she were ready to burst from excitement. Lindsay considered taking her time with the water because the look on Cindy's face was almost too enjoyable to let it get away, but she knew they needed to get down to business. "Okay, what have you got for me?"
"Well," Cindy started, as though gearing herself up for a big presentation. "I know that this is a murder made to look like a mass suicide, so you guys weren't really looking for anything suicidal, but just out of curiosity I decided to start digging around into the victims' mental health histories, and guess what I found." Lindsay waited for a few seconds before realizing that the reporter was waiting for a verbalized go-ahead to continue. Deciding that the only way to get the information was to entertain the redhead's whims, Lindsay gave in, and with a slightly amused expression said:
"What?" With that, Cindy launched into the encore.
"All of the victims were members of an anonymous attempted suicide group. They used pseudonyms instead of their real names, and it wasn't really an official group, which is why nothing would have turned up when you searched for them in the system," she explained, looking particularly pleased with herself. Lindsay had to admit that she had reason to be. This information could lead them to their killer. It was the only connection between all of the victims that they had.
"Given your track record, I'm not going to ask what illegal things you did to obtain this information," Lindsay said. Cindy rolled her eyes.
"Can't you just be glad that I found it?" she asked, giving the detective a slightly pleading look, and Lindsay realized that as of yet, she hadn't really thanked the girl for all of the help she'd given so far. With a sigh, Lindsay nodded.
"I am. Thank you," she said sincerely. Cindy smiled, looking genuinely happy to have been of service, and this time Lindsay had nothing in her arsenal to push back the sudden emotions dredged up by the girl's beauty. But by this point, Cindy had already moved on to something else.
"So I was thinking that you and I could work out a system," she was saying. "I could bring you information and you could" She was stopped by the sudden presence of Lindsay's hand on her cheek.
"Cindy shut up." Even as she stared at the cop in confusion, Lindsay could see the gears working in her brain, trying to assess and process the information. Before it could do that, Lindsay closed the distance between them, bringing their lips together in a kiss that was hungry and forceful and made her kind of glad that she was sitting instead of standing because she was pretty sure she might have melted to the floor if she hadn't been.
When she pulled away she could tell that Cindy's brain was still trying to comprehend what had just happened, but the redhead had already moved past over analysis and was on her way back for another kiss, this one with as much vigor as Lindsay had pursued the first with. Lindsay haphazardly set her water on the coffee table, ignoring it as it teetered on the edge and fell off, spilling all over the floor. She was too busy guiding Cindy onto her back, blanketing the small form with her own longer one, groaning slightly as the reporter's hands wound their way through her long black tresses, pulling tightly.
With a jolt, Lindsay jumped away, practically shooting out of bed. She looked around, trying to figure out how she'd gotten back to her home, when she realized that she'd never left. Sighing heavily, she flopped back down onto the pillows. Her alarm clock told her with its obnoxiously bright numbers that she'd only been asleep two hours. She wondered if there was something to be said for the fact that she'd woken up before she'd gotten to the sex part of the dream, and yet it was still the best sex dream she'd ever had. Now it was going to be awkward the next time she saw Cindy. The least her subconscious could've done was let her finish the dream, make it worth while. A shrill ring from the bedside table nearly scared her half to death, and with a frown she picked up her cell phone, barking a greeting into it without even looking at the display.
"Lindsay? It's Cindy. Look, do you think you could stop by my apartment tonight? I've got some information on the Golden Gate Suicides that you might want to hear."
Hmm perhaps her subconscious wasn't as dumb as she thought.
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