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.
The Rules of Engagement
"What's that?" Lindsay, arms folded across her chest, pointed at the object being pulled by Jill and rolling towards her front steps with her finger.
"It's my overnight bag." Jill rolled her eyes, yanking on the handle of a mid-sized suitcase as she attempted to heft it up the stairs to Lindsay's front door.
"A," Lindsay stepped towards her. She grabbed the handle to help Jill pull it up the stairs, letting out a slight grunt before continuing. "This isn't an overnight bag, it's a trailer. And B, you keep an overnight bag in the trunk of Claire's car?"
"Mine, Claire's, Cindy's, I think there might be one in the back of yours." One final huff and the two women pulled the bag into Lindsay's living room. Jill stood to her full height, placing her hands on her hips. "Although, I'm pretty certain the clothes in there are about two seasons out of date."
"And you're bringing this into my house because?" She already knew the answer but felt the need to ask anyway. Jill was using her 'not taking 'no' for an answer' voice with a tinge of 'there's no point in arguing because what's done is done'. Despite knowing she'd already lost the battle, Lindsay still felt the need to be ornery.
"Because we decided you shouldn't be alone."
"Cindy, Claire and myself."
"And I don't get a vote?"
"No. It would have been three to one anyway and this is something that isn't up for debate." She walked passed Lindsay stepping into the hallway. "Do you still keep your linens in the closet on the left?"
"You're taking the guest room?"
"Sleeping in your bed would be against the rules."
"Who decided it should be you who stays with me?"
"Well, Claire can't do it because of the boys, and you'd just browbeat Cindy into leaving. Which left me."
"I can browbeat you into leaving."
"You can try," Jill answered with a coy grin and a raised eyebrow.
"I could," she smiled cheekily. "But that would also be against the rules. Which reminds me, aren't you breaking them?"
"There's an exception to every rule. A serial killer sending pictures of you to the FBI is one of them."
"Jill, you don't even own a gun."
"No. But I do have a taser, and mace, and Martha." She squatted down, cooing to the dog sitting patiently at her feet, wagging its tail furiously at the sudden affection. "Beside," she rose to her full height, "it's technically not breaking the rules if we're sleeping in separate bedrooms."
Jill filled her arms with the proper linens then made her way towards the guest bedroom. Lindsay paused long enough to squint her eyes at the dog, hissing under her breath. "Traitor."
Martha gave Lindsay the equivalent of a canine shrug before padding playfully behind Jill. Lindsay growled softly under her breath before following the two most difficult women in her life.
She leaned against the door frame, arms folded across her chest, watching Jill as she changed the sheets on the bed. "Just how long are you planning to stay?"
"As long as it takes. I'm between places anyway," Jill leaned over the mattress, smoothing out the sheet over the surface. "So me staying here makes perfect sense."
"And what if something.. happens."
"Something can only happen if we let it happen." Jill paused, gazing up at Lindsay through her bangs, her eyes coy and flirtatious. "Which would also be against the rules."
Lindsay chewed surreptitiously on her lower lip. 'The Rules' had been her idea. Their one-night stand had turned into a three-year affair. Still reeling from her divorce, Lindsay didn't want to feel like she was using Jill. She figured they needed a 'break' from the complicated mess their relationship had turned into. So, she made up 'the rules'. They'd sounded pretty simple at the time - no flirting, no talking about sex, and no staying at the other's place for the night. Because one always led to the other, and then the other, and then they were going to work the next day feeling grumpy and tired from lack of sleep, and guilty from having done what they always swore would be 'the last time'.
Now, six months later, Jill was spending the night at Lindsay's, gazing up at her with teasing blue eyes. The months between them washing away in a lingering moment of eye contact. That thing between them, the one that always caused things to 'just happen' and ended with sated and spent bodies collapsed on wrinkled and sweat-stained sheets, thickened the air with a familiar but loose tension. She could feel it in the heat of her tightly clasped palms, the sudden drumming of her heart beneath her chest, the squeeze of her lungs reminding her to breath. Then -
Lindsay remembered 'The Rules'.
"This sucks!" She finally huffed between clenched teeth.
"Yes, it does. Now," Jill walked towards the open door. She placed her hand on the edge, smiling a coy grin. "If you'll excuse me, I have to change into something a bit more comfortable."
With that, Jill closed the door. Lindsay stood gaping at the now closed door. She turned to walk back into the living room, stopping at the sight of Jill's suitcase still sitting on the living room floor.
"Hey!" She shouted back at the closed room. "Your suitcase is still in the living room!"
The door opened just enough for Jill to poke her head outside. "I said I was changing into something more comfortable. I didn't say I was changing into more clothes!"
It was at that moment Lindsay remembered - Jill liked sleeping in the nude.
"Goddammit, Lindsay!" Jill had bolted upright. The adrenaline still surged through her even as she relaxed, her hand clenching the sheet and holding it above her chest as if she still expected there to be someone else in the darkened room besides Lindsay. "I almost tased you!"
Lindsay sat in the easy chair Tom had bought years early. One hand, elbow on the armrest, she used to prop her head while the other rested in her lap. "The taser's in your purse. Along with your mace. Some protector you turned out to be," she chuckled lightly.
"Yeah, well," Jill grumbled. "I still have those two weeks of Tae Bo lessons to fall back on." She inhaled a calming breath, trying to bring her heart rate back to normal. "Couldn't sleep?"
"No," Lindsay sighed. She lifted her head off her hand, leaning back into her chair. "I'd forgotten how much I loved to watch you sleep."
"Uh-huh. Did you also forget how much it freaks me out?" Jill flopped dramatically backwards just in case the room was too dark for Lindsay to see how annoyed Jill was with her.
"Consider it payback for the whole 'uninvited guest' thing."
A comfortable silence filled the air. Jill rolled onto her side, propping her head up with a hand while her eyes adjusted to the darkness. The dark corner of the room eventually brightened enough to where Lindsay was a light, person-shaped figure against the dark backdrop of her chair.
"I'm sorry," Lindsay broke the silence. She leaned forward, placing her elbows on her knees. "About before. I should have told you sooner."
"Yes, you should have," Jill kept her voice soft and warm. She knew Lindsay felt bad already. No point in pouring salt over the wound. She extended her arm. "Now, c'mere."
Lindsay rose from her seat and in two, quick strides was clambering onto the bed. The sliver of light coming through the window illuminated her face and the soft, smile plastered on her lips. "Isn't this against 'the rules'?"
"Probably," Jill laid back down as Lindsay molded her body against hers, sliding an arm across Jill's stomach. "But they're your rules and.. Hey!" She lifted her head to look down at the body stretched against hers. "Why are you on top of the sheets?"
"Well.." Lindsay nuzzled her nose between the crook of Jill's neck and shoulder. "If I get under the sheets, something's going to happen. And that's totally against the rules."
"Christ. You and your rules. Thank God I own a vibrator."
"Hey! No flirting and no talking about sex. Remember?"
"Fine. Just.. go to sleep."
The two settled into each other with a quiet familiarity, molding against each other like hands into long lost gloves. The moments ticked by, Jill could feel the last tendrils of the adrenaline coursing through her system dissipating. She closed her eyes, her hand in Lindsay's hair, gently tangling in the thick locks. Lindsay's hand on her stomach, thumb softly caressing the surface.
"I miss this," Lindsay mumbled into Jill's neck.
"So.. Do you really think about me when you masterbate?"
Jill's eyes snapped open. "Lindsay!"
"What? You opened the door with the whole vibrator comment."
"What happened to no talking about sex?"
"See? This is what happens when you break the rules. I mean, how do you expect me to fall asleep with the image of you and a vibrator stuck in my head?"
"I don't know? On your back?"
"Now who's talking about sex?"
"Lindsay," Jill whined. "Stop it."
"That.." She paused to lick her lips, followed with a hard swallow. "Thing with your hand."
"What thing?" Lindsay nuzzled her nose playfully into Jill's neck. "Oh, you mean this thing?"
Jill sucked a large breath of air through her teeth. She should have known, even with the barrier of a sheet between them, Lindsay would find some way to get her hand between Jill's legs. She could feel the pressure of her fingers, one lazily drawing circles over her clit. Almost instinctively, her leg slid upwards until the sheet slid off her thigh. Suddenly there was no protective barrier between Jill's flesh and Lindsay's fingers.
"Maybe," Jill whispered heavily. "This wasn't such a good idea."
"You want me to stop?"
"Fuck no! I just thought I'd throw that out there.. For nostalgia's sake."
"Good. Because I've really missed this." Lindsay grinned broadly before withdrawing her teasing fingers and rolling on top of Jill. "Plus, I need the distraction."
"So I'm a distraction now?"
"No," she answered with a peck of her lips on the tip of Jill's jaw. "You're about to come. Me making you come is the distraction."
Lindsay cut her off before she could finish, pressing their lips together softly but forcefully enough to keep Jill from talking. As much as she'd never admit it, the sex was always something.. more. More than a distraction, more than casual sex, more than something that just happened between them whenever they were alone together. She'd never say it. But she'd show it. She'd show it with the lips pressed against Jill's, the hands roaming her body, battling with Jill's as they pulled off her t-shirt.
She felt Jill's hands threading into her hair as she suckled on the spot on Jill's neck that always made her squirm.
"Lindsay," Jill gasped, her fingers tightening the hold on Lindsay's hair. Pretty soon, she wouldn't be able to talk and what she had to say needed to happen now. "Lindsay."
The brunette lifted her head because, quite frankly, she wasn't going anywhere until Jill released the stranglehold on her hair. "Jill," she breathed playfully, gazing down into blue eyes gone dark and serious.
"I meant what I said," Jill spoke softly. "I'm with you this time."
"You're just saying that because I'm about to go down on you."
"Oh, you're going down on me regardless," Jill smirked before turning serious again. "I just... wanted you to know I meant it."
"I know." Lindsay gently kissed her on the lips. There was more to be said, how much it meant to her, how much Jill meant to her, but Lindsay had never been one for talking about her emotions. She was a 'do-er' and she was much more interested in showing Jill how much it meant.
She kissed Jill deeply, passionately, until her lungs ached for air and her heart beat chaotically against her chest. They'd only managed to pull off Lindsay's t-shirt. Now, with Jill squirming beneath her, nails digging into Lindsay's back and her thigh pressed hard between Lindsay's legs, the friction and the cottony barrier between Jill's thigh was becoming too much to bear.
"Fuck!" Lindsay grunted, pulling her mouth away from Jill's. "I thought I was supposed to be making you come?"
"Sorry," Jill grinned playfully, gazing up at Lindsay through half-lidded and smoky eyes. "I couldn't help myself. It's been awhile."
"How long, what?"
Lindsay slid a hand between them, sliding her fingers downward until Jill was sucking a hard breath between clenched teeth. "How long has it been since you touched yourself while thinking about me?"
"Goddammit, Lindsay," Jill groaned, eyes snapping shut as a shudder rippled across her skin. "You're such an asshole."
"True. But I'm the asshole who can fuck you like no one else can. Now," Lindsay withdrew her hand and lifted herself off Jill's body. "Roll over."
Jill complied with a huskily exhaled moan, rolling over onto her stomach. Lindsay gently grazed her fingers down the length of Jill's spine, watching the muscles clench and roll under the smooth pale skin. A growl rumbled low and throaty across Lindsay's lips at the rise of Jill's hips, pushing subserviently onto Lindsay's fingers.
Lindsay playfully nipped at the base of Jill's neck. "Tell me how much you missed this."
"I thought you were supposed to be going down on me."
"Patience," she ran her tongue along the line of Jill's exposed ear, feeling Jill's shiver all the way down to the fingers teasing her. "I just wanna know did you miss this?" She suckled Jill's earlobe into her mouth. "Or this?" She stroked the pad of her index finger across Jill's clit, hard enough to make the woman buck beneath her. "Or this?" Just as quickly, she slid two fingers inside Jill. The blonde yelped loudly as her body arched and trembled, clenching around Lindsay's fingers as she began rolling her hips.
"Is this what you think about," Lindsay matched Jill's rhythm. "When you touch yourself?"
"Lindsay," Jill gasped, hands clenching the sheets as they balled into fists. "Please."
Jill wanted the moment to last forever, the sensation of Lindsay inside her, atop her, sliding across her sweat soaked skin. But it had been too long. It wasn't just that Lindsay fucked her like no one else, Jill never allowed herself to be this open, this vulnerable to any one else. And the need built within her like a dam with too much water. Her hips began a frantic pace, thrusting and grinding on Lindsay's fingers. Lindsay nibbling, biting, suckling on that spot on Jill's neck, and she could feel the tension building within her, even as she tried with all her might to hold it back. Because who knew what tomorrow would bring.
"Lindsay," Jill choked through clenched teeth.
Sensing her need, Lindsay rolled Jill back onto her back. She scampered down her body, tossing a thigh over her shoulder and plunging between Jill's legs. Fingers still pumping furiously, she clamped her lips onto Jill's clit, jamming her tongue against the tiny bundle of nerves and doing the one thing that always made Jill climb the walls.
Jill felt as if she'd lost control of her own body, her hips undulated wildly, her back bowed, her stomach convulsed, her hands flailed for something to hold on to and the one thing she wanted to do most, scream, she couldn't. Her throat seized, trapping the feral scream in the back of her throat releasing it as a guttural groan, like a saw drawn slowly over an old log.
She collapsed onto the mattress a spent, trembling, squirming mass of flesh.
"Linds," she drifted a hand down, tangling her fingers into the mass of brown hair between her legs. Lindsay growled, the vibrations on her clit sending another wave of ripples to cascade across her skin. If there were ever a case of 'too much of a good thing' this was it. Jill's body had gone into sensory overload and, as much as it pained her to realize such a thing could happen, she needed Lindsay to stop.
Lindsay kissed her way back up Jill's torso, making sure to get all the spots she skipped over on the way down. She kept her hand between Jill's legs, gently stroking the sensitive flesh, making sure she'd exhausted Jill of every tremble the woman had to give, despite Jill's not so stern protestations.
They kissed again, gently, leisurely, as if they had all the time in the world.
Jill pulled away enough to gaze up into Lindsay's eyes. Her lips spread into a soft smile. "And I thought I was the one who missed this the most."
"I figure if we're gonna break the rules, might as well break all of them."
"Which rule are we breaking now?"
Lindsay leaned over Jill, reaching towards the nightstand and opening the drawer. "The 'Lindsay fulfills her every desire before Jill passes out from extreme pleasure' rule."
Even with her eyes adjusted to the darkness, all Jill could see was a silhouette against the dim light reflected on the far wall. She squinted her eyes suspiciously, ignoring the visceral shiver running down her spine and returning her gaze to Lindsay. "You keep a strapon in your guest room?"
"And the living room," Lindsay chuckled. "The kitchen. The bathroom. Hey, I'm a cop. I'm always prepared. Now," she rolled back on top of Jill. "Are you ready to break some more rules?"
SIX WEEKS LATER
Lindsay entered the kitchen through the back door, giving Martha room to run past and head immediately towards her water bowl before closing it behind her.
Jill sat at the table wearing nothing more than a thick terrycloth robe, hair still wet and slicked back across her scalp from her shower, head tilted to one side as her eyes remained focused on the newspaper before her. She grabbed a mug of coffee next to her and raised it up in the air. "Two sugars, one cream."
"Thanks," Lindsay took the cup from Jill's hand, moving to kiss Jill on the cheek. "You're a lifesaver." Before she could make the connection, Jill jerked her head away.
"Ew! You're all sweaty!"
"You weren't complaining last night." She dodged Jill's raised hand, planting her lips quickly on Jill's cheek.
"That was a different kind of sweaty," Jill grumbled while wiping her face with the back of her hand.
"Yeah," Lindsay placed one hand on the back of Jill's chair, hovering closely over her shoulder. "The good kind."
Her eyes made their way towards the paper spread out before Jill. "What's this?"
"It's called a newspaper. It's a thing where people can become informed about the news of the day."
"Smart ass," she pointed with her finger. "I'm talking about that."
"The 'want ads'?"
"Yes," Lindsay grunted in mild frustration. "The want ads. What are you looking for?"
Lindsay straightened, her body going rigid with tension. "Oh?"
"It's over, Lindsay." Jill closed the paper before her. "Kiss-Me-Not's dead. The FBI's gone. Life's returning to normal. I said I'd stay here until the case was closed. It's closed. My purpose for being here is over."
"Mmm." She took a long sip of her coffee just to give her mouth something to do besides yell.
"Cindy's offered to let me stay at her place in the interim. I just figured looking for a place couldn't hurt until then."
Lindsay set down her mug, crossing her arms across her chest as she leaned her back against the kitchen counter. "You don't have to go."
"I think we both know I've overstayed my welcome."
"Jill," Lindsay ran a hand over her face. "I don't want you to go."
Jill twisted around in her chair to face Lindsay. "What?"
"I like having you here," Lindsay shrugged. "Besides, it'll take you several months just to get all your stuff packed."
"So," Jill squinted her eyes slightly, the corners of her lips fighting the smile pulling them upwards. "You're saying you want a roommate?"
"Don't make me say it."
"Well it's not like I'm a mind rea.."
Before she could finish her sentence, Lindsay rushed towards her, pulled Jill up from her seat then set her on the coffee table. Two strong hands clasped Jill by the face and crashed their lips together. It lasted for an eternity and still over too quickly. They parted, panting into the other's mouth.
"I like having you here," Lindsay whispered softly. "I like you making me coffee in the morning. I like seeing you wearing my robe. I like going to bed with you next to me, and waking up with you still here." She brought their lips together once more. "Stay with me."
Jill strained to make a smile, anything to keep her lips from quivering, blinking back the tears welling in her eyes. "Isn't that against the rules?"
Lindsay chuckled. "Maybe it's time we made some new rules."
"Such as," Lindsay lowered her hands from Jill's face to untie the belt of her robe. "You've been here for six weeks and we still haven't done it on the kitchen table."
"Kitchen surfaces are part of the new rules?"
"No," Lindsay moved in to kiss the side of Jill's neck. "Lindsay gets to explore Jill's body in unusual places is the new rule."
Jill leaned back onto her elbows as Lindsay clambered onto the table and over her. "Well that seems unfair. Why do you get to choose?"
"Well, that's just a rule," she leaned down, circling her tongue around one of Jill's nipples. "Doesn't mean we don't get to make more."
"Oh," Jill gasped, licking her lips as Lindsay went back to working on her nipple. "You mean like the 'Lindsay must make Jill come at least once a day' rule?"
"Something like that," Lindsay moved to working on Jill's other nipple. "There's also the 'Jill makes sure Lindsay comes at least twice a day' rule."
Jill hissed, arching into Lindsay's touch. "I think I'm going to like these new rules."
"You know what the best part is?" Lindsay lifted her head enough to meet Jill's gaze as she began a descent down her torso. "We have all the time in the world."
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