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The Seduction Of Cindy Thomas
By Demeter


"You wait here, I just have to talk to Ed for a minute. Did you hear what I just said?" Claire asked sternly.

"'Course," Lindsay mumbled, looking rather miserable, but it seemed safe to leave her alone for a few minutes. Tomorrow, she'd wake up with a killer hangover though, and while she had clearly done this to herself, Claire didn't want to leave her alone to deal with the consequences.

Especially when or if she remembered some of the revelations. Oh boy. Claire wasn't going to share the drama with her husband, but she'd have to give him some explanation why she'd skip brunch the next day.

"Hi, Lindsay." Ed didn't seem much fazed for a man who'd just been woken at 2 AM. "Tough case?" he asked sympathetically.

"The toughest," Claire confirmed in a whisper. "The asylum's still set up?"

At some point, that had become the appropriate nickname for their guest room. Ed smiled. "I had a premonition," he said. That was the best about love, when the other person could understand you without making many words. Claire was sure that Cindy had understood a lot tonight, but Lindsay in her intoxicated state clearly hadn't made the connection.

Claire saw her friend off to the guest room safely when her older son returned from a party, obviously not expecting his parents to be still up. In the privacy of her bedroom, she sighed, tired, and wished she could leave Ed to lecture their son on the hazards of drinking away the heartache. It just never worked. A good thing when you had a sober friend to make sure you got home safely.

It was much later when she finally could lie down. "Do you think he got it?" Claire sleepily asked her husband when the mattress dipped beside her.

"I don't know who you're talking about," Lindsay said, her words muffled by the pillow. "G'night, Claire."

Claire bolted upright in her bed, switching on the lamp on the bedside table. She was not dreaming. Beside her, Lindsay was fast asleep, still fully dressed, jacket, boots and all. Claire shook her head. "You got it bad," she said. "You know I'm a loving and understanding friend, but I'm still gonna make you wash those sheets."

"I love you, Cindy," Lindsay mumbled, hugging the pillow closer.

"Now there's a surprise," Claire commented. She turned to Ed who had finally returned, smiling apologetically.

"I suppose she's not gonna move for a few hours to come?" Bless her husband who was able to see the humor in this situation.

"I'm afraid not."

"This is not going to become a habit?"

"I'll make sure of that," Claire promised. She got up to kiss him, and they said goodnight, then she returned to her bed while Ed left for the guest room.

You owe me, Lindsay Boxer, she thought with more affection than irritation. A little friendly meddling was sure required in the immediate future. Not only she and Ed would have their bedroom to themselves again, but it also would be the beginning of a great love story. Claire couldn't wait.

The End

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