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.
FEEDBACK: To Demeter94[at]yahoo.de
SERIES: Film Noir Series
This was not going well, Lindsay reflected when she found herself tied to a wobbly chair, a furious Petra in her face. "Look, we're not messing around here. You tell me exactly how you got to Alex, and where Cindy is right now."
Lindsay gave her a mild smile. "I guess you'll be so disappointed when I tell you I have no idea. Besides, your problems are much bigger than that."
Petra was pacing angrily. Alex stood in the corner, holding the gun in shaking hands. "What are we going to do?" she asked nervously.
"Good question," Lindsay said. "The police is after you, and so are James' men. If I were you, I'd get the hell out of Dodge."
"Shut up!" Petra yelled. "You think we don't know what kind of game you're playing? You better tell us now. Or we can make you."
"Yeah, well." Lindsay was more worried about the arrest warrants and James' private army than any harm these girls could possibly do to her. About Cindy getting caught in the middle. She couldn't let that happen. "You're wasting your time. And mine."
Petra halted in front of her, leaning close. "Aren't you ashamed, Lindsay? Look what they did to Alex. And using Cindy like this."
"I never used her. But maybe, someone else in the room has?"
The slap to her face had her momentarily stunned. She tasted blood. "Feel better now?"
"I don't care what you think," Petra seethed. "We were fine before you came along, now it's all falling apart. I'm not stupid."
"Then start using your brain!" Lindsay shot back. "I've had nothing to do with any of this. There might be some source at the department, I don't know about it! If you get away now, I'm gonna try to help you. You keep up this shit, it's all gonna blow up in your face."
"No." Petra shook her head. "You were asking for this. Don't whine later."
Petra who had been raising her hand again swung around in mid-motion.
"She's telling the truth," Claire said calmly. "So stop it. Let her go."
"We can't! If what she says is right then we need to get out of here."
"So glad you finally got that," Lindsay said, readying herself, but Claire held Petra back. "We'll activate the emergency plan. It has nothing to do with her."
Petra looked from her friend to Lindsay, and back to Claire again. "I disagree." Her voice was even now. "We could use a hostage."
In the corner, Alex sank down against the wall, the gun in her lap. She started to cry.
"And how come you are deciding all of this on your own?" All eyes turned to the door again where Cindy stood, her angry words clearly directed at Petra. "What the hell did you do? This is not helping!"
Petra shrugged, visibly offended. "You haven't been helping lately by--"
"Oh cut the crap," Cindy interrupted her. "Alex, now get your act together. Claire, you get her loose, and then we'll pack up things here. Petra? Do you have a minute?"
Petra huffed but followed her out of the room, her shoulders straight. Lindsay sighed. Obviously Cindy didn't have any use for her in this scenario.
"What's your problem?"
The other woman turned away from her, still angry. "You know exactly what my problem is. You trust too easily. If we let her walk now, we're as good as dead. "
"Taking a cop hostage? Really?"
"She's not as innocent as you'd like to believe." Petra faced her again. "Of course you don't want to hear anything about it, because you're fucking her."
"Yikes, Petra! I would slap you right now if I thought it would achieve anything, but you're totally out of your mind! Do you want to know how I made it out of the city? Lindsay's partner took me. He made sure I got past the road blocks. She did not lie to me. So stop blaming her for everything that's been going wrong."
Petra didn't say anything, but her tense posture spoke volumes.
"That time," Cindy said into the silence. "You said you weren't ready. You were grieving for Sina. I understand that now, but you must understand that I've moved on."
"Whatever," Petra said. "Let's get the packing started."
Lindsay stood in the middle of the room, rubbing her probably aching wrists. She gave Cindy a wistful smile. "You changed your mind?"
"On...? Oh, no. You're free to go. I still have the last word in this." But I don't want you to go. She wouldn't ask this of Lindsay though. Both of them were in enough trouble as it was. They both stepped forward at the same time, and Lindsay wrapped her arms around Cindy, holding on tight. "I want to be with you," she whispered. "I just don't see how--"
"I know." There was no more time, Cindy reminded herself. If they didn't set the emergency plan in motion right now, there'd be no use for it. She'd already notified Mila and told her to go to the meeting place. The rest of them would go from here. She just needed to reach Jill. "I wish--" You could come with me. She wasn't going to say it aloud though. "Thank you. For everything. I'm really sorry about this."
"It's okay. Take care of--"
They were interrupted by the other women rushing into the room. "They're coming," Claire said. "We need to go right now."
"Alright." Lindsay picked up her own gun from the table. "So does any of you actually know how to use this?"
Petra rolled her eyes, but for once, she kept quiet.
"Don't worry about the evidence. You need to go right now. Go to the car slowly. We might make it without a confrontation."
When she got surprised looks, Lindsay assumed it was because of the use of 'we'. Well, the situation had changed. Maybe she had, too much to return to her own life, the way it was before.
"We couldn't reach Jill," Cindy said worriedly.
"She'll be fine," Claire came to her help unexpectedly. "She's been in it longest aside from you," she said to Cindy. "She's going to come as soon as she can."
Cindy nodded, unhappy.
They'd made it halfway to the car when the exchange of gunfire started. There were two jeeps and a police siren in the not so far distance. James' people or the police, it didn't make that much of a difference anymore. There was money and glory in it for bringing these women down, and Lindsay didn't have any illusions about it. The moment she had decided against walking out of the house with her hands up, walking away from them, she'd taken a side.
She'd chosen the woman she loved, and would do it all over again. It wasn't even a conscious decision to push Cindy out of the man's line of fire when she saw him aiming at her, even if the next moment, the world exploded in pain.
About two hours later, she sat in the non-descript but rather cozy room, trying to spare herself the embarrassment of fainting while Claire was poking around in her shoulder with sharp shiny objects.
"I'm impressed with that emergency plan. You went from giving up everything to having all the right equipment in this place?"
"They didn't stock up on the anaesthetic very well," Claire said dryly. "Sorry."
"It's ok-- fuck!" she cursed, a bead of sweat sneaking down her face. "Why he hell did I ever agree to let you do this?"
"Because it's one hell of a better alternative to just let the arm fall off," Claire said matter-of-factly. "You saved Cindy's life," she continued then in a softer tone of voice.
"Oh, I don't know. I just spared her this indignity," Lindsay joked weakly.
"I'm grateful in any case."
Lindsay tried to turn around and was promptly chided by Claire even before she realized it hadn't been such a good idea as the room started to spin. When her vision had normalized itself, a worried-looking Cindy was standing in front of her, her white shirt stained with blood. Distantly, Lindsay could remember bleeding all over her in the car. "You're welcome. Sorry about the shirt though."
"Forget about the damn shirt." Cindy dropped to her knees, leaning against Lindsay's legs tiredly. Letting Claire finish her work, Lindsay simply reached out to stroke Cindy's hair.
"I'm so glad you're here," Cindy whispered tiredly.
"May I join the party?" Leaning against the doorway with a smile was Jill. She'd made it here safely. They were free now to start all over again.
"Come on in," Lindsay said, reaching for Cindy's hand. "It's only just begun."
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