DISCLAIMER: Women's Murder Club and its characters are the property of James Patterson, 20th Century Fox Television and ABC. Popular belongs to Ryan Murphy. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: The version of Sam used in this story comes from another embarrassingly long Brooke/Sam saga I wrote a while ago called Just a Little Insight. But you donít have to read that to get this. I just used Sam becauseÖ itís Sam. And Carly Pope is hot.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
By Misty Flores
A thumb rubbed rhythmically into Lindsay's palm, massaging the pressure point in a distracted, soothing way that Lindsay found completely compelling.
And yet, she hesitated. The world had settled on her shoulders, and her posture had suffered for it, mind ringing with memories: mementos from the eventful night - a flash of Ashe's face, the pale beauty of Cindy's reporter friend, the haunted scream of the girl who loved her.
And beneath, deeper, were the faces of the women with their lips sewn shut, serenely placed, waiting to be found, as if some horrific version of a Prince Charming was attempting to save them from themselves, save Lindsay by giving her a villain to catch.
At what cost?
She had been consumed, had lost everything to an unknown monster who had taken her life, and now wanted to decimate it completely.
In the wake of this, she was in a small living room, holding the hand of a girl with red hair and expressive green eyes, who looked at her in a way no one had ever looked at her before.
There existed a curious crossroads here, and in the interest of self preservation, Lindsay knew she should have turned and left, ignored Cindy and ignored this emotion, because they were trapped in hell.
She looked about the room, at the inexpensive couch and the moderately sized television with the DVD's poking out around it in stacks. An aquarium hummed from the other corner, offering an ethereal kind of light that matched well with the LCD brightness of an open laptop, abandoned on a Big Lots type of coffee table.
"I was doing research," she heard, as Cindy saw where she was looking. "Hoping to find something. Anything." Lindsay didn't respond. She felt outside of herself, no real feeling other than an almost painful awareness of skin rubbing intimately on the inside of her hand, keeping them connected. "It feels almost like a black hole," Cindy continued, voice gone low and reverent. "We're just sinking deeper and deeper. And there's nothing to hold onto."
The statement caused Lindsay's attention to once again drift down to their conjoined hands.
"I don't know about that." The rough rasp was enough to force an intense glance from Cindy, and when warmness invaded her, Lindsay discovered she was so starved for that feeling, she couldn't even begin to fight it.
She had been almost rough, the first night she accosted Cindy. There was no choice, no sappy intentions. She had wanted something purely physical, and panicked when she discovered that with Cindy, that was nearly impossible.
Now, her chest tightened and she throbbed, but she was calm and careful, threading fingers through fingers and pulling lightly, until she was inches away from a suddenly enraptured face, searching deeply for the lingering connection she knew was there.
Her head dipped, and she waited for Cindy to make that choice, to give her equal weight in what Lindsay wanted to happen, without words, without promises.
A flush enveloped her body when the firm form of the younger woman leaned into hers, and she met the lips tilting up with a gentle kiss. Lindsay Boxer kept her eyes open, watching the flutter of red lashes against pale skin, acutely aware of thin arms drifting to her sides, warm spots of pressure that tingled as their mouths moved together.
Her heart pounded, loud and intrusive, and like before, she raised her head, breaking the kiss for a brief moment. Cindy's mouth had taken on a wet sheen, and now her cheeks were burning, creating a haunting pink glow that somehow, made her smile.
Another kiss, deeper, wetter, and Lindsay's gentleness gave way to the palming of shoulders, drifting down further over a firm ass, drowning the resulting whimper in Cindy's throat with a demanding tongue.
Her arousal took on a different intensity now, as Cindy's passivity broke and the other woman fumbled between them, jerking erratically at the buttons of Lindsay's shirt, yanking with a desperate ferocity, until she could break off the kiss and bury her face between Lindsay's breasts, fingers spreading wide over taut skin, skimming over her waist and up her back, plucking nimbly at her bra strap.
Panting, Lindsay grabbed hold of fistfuls of auburn hair and watched with breathless intensity as the support around her breasts loosened suddenly, and a thin nose nuzzled underneath the hanging fabric, a tongue laved against the swell of her left breast.
When a warm mouth enveloped her painfully sensitive nipple, a low, fierce growl emanated from the back of Lindsay's throat, and clutching the girl to her bosom, her eyes finally closed.
Agent John Ashe was more than aware that he was obsessive.
He was always intensely aware of his flaws.
Trading off rubbing one sore wrist to rub the other, he sat in his car and glanced through the rear view mirror, at the unmarked car with the dark looking Inspector glaring at him.
Inspector Jacobi, who was a man of few words and rarely issued empty threats.
A trip to the hospital had been on his mind for quite some time, as he sat stonily during Lieutenant Hogan's harsh words, threats and warnings, listened to Jacobi's more valid argument that evidence rarely contradicted gut instinct, and it was only a matter of time before they fell into place together.
At the moment, however, he had a shadow, and with Lindsay Boxer's personal watchdog trailing him, Special Agent John Ashe had no other option but to insert the key in the ignition, and head for the rented apartment that, he was acutely aware, had been ransacked by now.
There was a girl who haunted him. There were a dozen girls, who slipped from his fingers and ended up killing themselves.
John Ashe was a savior, but some people were simply determined not to be saved.
He wondered idly if it were easier to give up. Too many favors had been called in. Too much attention had been thrown in his direction.
He wasn't good with attention.
In the back seat was an object he hadn't noticed, until he unbuckled his seatbelt and noticed the gleam of shiny metal against the moonlight.
A knife, smeared with blood, greeted him, the ragged edges of the teeth seemed to grin.
It could have been a fierce coupling. Cindy imagined, had it not been for Lindsay's gun, it might have been. The temptation to sink fingers into moist folds had been too hard to ignore, and when it happened, fingers scratching against a tight zipper and her palm rubbing against coarse hair and the tantalizing contrast of smooth, smoldering wetness, Cindy had nearly lost control, wanting to forgo any sort of languid lovemaking for the experience of sliding into this intoxicating woman, and jerking fiercely inside her.
But the gun - and the reminder of what Lindsay was, that part of Lindsay she couldn't ever stop being, slammed into her fingers when she grabbed hold of Lindsay's waist, and it made them both stop, heaving breathlessly against each other, Cindy's forehead falling against the swell of Lindsay's breast as the other woman gripped her nape.
"Let me take it off." The strained request motivated a jerky nod from her, and she sucked in a lungful of air trying hard to contain her dizziness as Lindsay let her go and stepped back, fumbling with the gun and then the badge, a flash of gold glinting at her.
And it was Lindsay Boxer standing in front of her. Beautiful, damaged, incorrigible Lindsay Boxer, who looked flustered and turned on and insecure of all things.
If Cindy let it go, Lindsay would remember every valid reason they had for not taking things this far, this fast.
At the moment, Cindy could only think of every reason they should. But not fast. Not now.
Breathing harshly through her nose, chest rising and falling, fighting to keep her senses, she held her hand out and motioned with a quick jerk of her head, pleading with Lindsay to follow through.
Dark eyes burned into her, and then Lindsay's fingers slid over her palm, grabbing hold. Nearly tripping on her self, skitting backwards, Cindy led the way, until the darkness of her bedroom greeted her, and Lindsay pressed into her again, arm sliding over her shoulders, and mouth moving hungrily against hers.
"God, I want you," she heard, in an accented growl against her lips.
Jerking back, Cindy stared intensely into Lindsay's face, all the harsh angles and smooth skin, swollen lips.
She could have spoken - God-knew Cindy loved to speak, but she didn't have to. Not right now. Lindsay knew, she had always known, that Cindy wanted her too.
She more than wanted her.
Grabbing hold of Lindsay's fingers, Cindy deliberately dragged the entwined fingers between them, until Lindsay's palm was pressed against Cindy's breast.
There was a moment of silence, and then the hand squeezed, and Cindy groaned, as the form of the Inspector pressed into her again, knocking her off balance, sitting backwards on her bed, Lindsay crawling up over her, straddling Cindy, no longer hesitant, but purely demanding.
Sam's exhalation on her current state of affairs inspired a small, loving smile from her partner, who, at the moment, had curled up in an uncomfortable looking hospital chair, clicking away at her laptop, illuminating Brooke's pretty features in a ghostly glow.
"Hon," Brooke murmured quietly, reverent for the late hour, "It's what happens when you get stabbed."
It was the first mention of the incident since Sam had drifted off again, and now, feeling weighted down, thick and dizzy, Sam McPherson still felt the throbbing.
Because she literally had a hole. In her side.
The reality of what happened was only beginning to really dawn on her. Until then, she had been pleasantly hopped up on morphine and shock, and the comforting pressure of Brooke pressed against her, holding her as tightly as she dared.
That act, Brooke told her later, when Sam was jostled awake by Doctor Morris, had earned Brooke quite the angry glare and frosty attitude, where she was informed that visiting hours were over, and Miss McQueen would have to go.
Brooke, of course, had the trump card: she was, quite legally, family.
Sam was actually sorry she had been unconscious during that particular revelation. Over time, she found she really enjoyed freaking people out with the information that they were lovers as well as stepsisters: there was always a half second of glazed stupefaction as they tried to comprehend the relationship.
Imagining the look on the frosty doctor's face created a much needed smile, until she settled more comfortably into her bed (earning herself a wince) and noticed the folder that Brooke was now flipping open.
"Is that the Kiss-Me-Not Casefile?"
Her sharp tone caused Brooke to pause briefly, before her tired girlfriend reached up to deliberately brush a blonde bang away from her forehead, over her ear, and kept reading. "What if it is?"
The harsh headache induced by her medication didn't help the uneasy thump on her head. "Brooke, why do you have it?"
Colored eyes locked with hers intensely. Brooke betrayed no weakness when she answered simply, "I asked your friend Cindy Thomas for it."
"Okay, but why?"
"Go to sleep, Sam. You need your rest."
The calm easiness of Brooke's dismissal did nothing to alleviate Sam's increasingly grumpy mood. The pain, her entire body throbbed with it, combined with the nauseating pit in her stomach that only increased at the dispassionate way Brooke viewed the photos, resulted in a prickly sort of irritation. "You need to stop treating me like I'm five."
"Why should I? You acting like you were five got you stabbed," came the angry snap. The harsh outburst was stunning, a torrent of anger that had spilled over Brooke's calm façade. "You pulled us into this, Sam. I'm just making sure a knife wound is the worst thing that happens to you."
It wasn't fair really, to pick a fight now. Sam wasn't at her best; far from it, and Brooke had always been quick with the accusations, the come backs, the insults.
It was always worse when Brooke had a point.
Grimacing, Sam struggled to take in a deep breath, hold herself from saying something out of fear that she would later regret.
"Sammy," Brooke said suddenly, softer, gentler. "Please, honey. I'm going to need your help. You need to get better. When you're not full of morphine, you're actually kinda brilliant."
Brooke was teasing her now. She kept quiet, vision growing fuzzy despite her best intentions as the IV dripped medicine into her system, and Brooke worked quietly beside her, a pissed-off guardian angel.
"It's the fairy tales," she slurred suddenly, a blip of a thought floating up into her brain.
"Yeah," came Brooke's soothing voice, a soft whisper above the 'beep-beep' of Sam's equipment. "The ones with morals, more than likely. Female driven."
Her lids were growing progressively heavier, and she struggled, trying to keep her mind working, flowing with Brookes. "Little Red Riding Hood," she rasped. "The old version we learned about - you know when I was helping you with the research "
She heard a shuffle of paper, a click of buttons. "Charles Perrault?"
She nodded, eyes now closed. "The one where he eats her. There's no happy ending. Never talk to strangers "
The smile on her face was a direct response to the sadly ironic state that not following those rules had resulted in her own stabbing.
Something pinged in her brain, but she couldn't hold on. Sleep claimed her, and Sam didn't fight it.
They reeked of sex.
Lindsay could smell it; she could taste it. It lingered in her mouth, the taste of Cindy Thomas, slicked over her chin and lips, a welcome messiness that only happened with the type of intimacy that Lindsay absolutely craved.
Fingers curling over biceps, Lindsay pressed against a shuddering girl and kept her eyes closed as Cindy lazily explored her mouth, sucking and licking against her chin and her cheeks, to once again return to her lips, mingling the taste of her with their shared saliva. The euphoria was addicting, and Lindsay's head tilted, deeply involved in the passionate kiss, allowing Cindy's naked body to recover from Lindsay's ravishing attentions.
Warm lips nipped at her lower lip, then drifted further, suckling at Lindsay's jaw, then lower still. Lindsay arched her neck, allowing her access, eyes fluttering closed at the feel of a wet tongue smoothing just underneath her ear.
"I think you ripped the buttons off my shirt."
The comment was distracting, and Lindsay smiled indulgently, as Cindy paused, then resumed what she was doing. "They were in the way."
The statement was so matter-of-fact, she couldn't help but smile. Fingers glided over bare skin, sweaty with sex, branded so briefly with their activities.
This was why making love was so primal. At this time, at this moment, this girl in her arms, was completely hers.
Fingers reached up, guiding Cindy's chin, until their mouths could once again melt together.
From the corner of her eye, the clock blinked two am. It nagged at her, and Cindy could sense it, kisses slowing to pull back.
"What?" she whispered breathlessly.
Lindsay hesitated, torn between the reality that she would have to leave, and the uncharacteristic desire to stay. Carefully, she managed a smile, before leaning forward once again, to press another languid kiss against Cindy's mouth. Pulling back, she settled against Cindy's pillows, fingering the messy red strands that spilled across Cindy's cheek. "How's your friend?"
A shadow flickered over the younger girl's face, expression darkening. "As well as can be expected, I guess," Cindy muttered, voice husky, adopting a distracted frown. "The ER doctor was actually really helpful." Mouth pressing together, Cindy's brow lowered in contemplation. "Her girlfriend, Brooke, asked for the casefile that Ashe gave to Sam."
Lindsay's fingers stilled. "Did you give it to her?"
Green eyes met hers. "She said she could help." Shifting against the sheets, Cindy propped her head up with one arm, fingers moving in between them to scratch lightly at her collarbone. "Apparently, she did some really extensive research on the true stories behind faerie tales for some Travel Channel special. I figured it couldn't hurt. Besides," she added, when Lindsay's still looked conflicted, "You didn't give her the casefile. It was Ashe."
God-Damned Ashe. Shutting her eyes, Lindsay flopped back on the bed, burying fingers in her damp hair to rub harshly at her scalp, an unconscious attempt to scrub her brain of the recent memories.
"They let him go."
Her new lover blew out a ragged, audible breath beside her. "I know. Claire told me."
Inhaling deeply, Lindsay brought her hands down, tossing her a quick glance. "Tell me you've found something."
Cindy worried her bottom lip. "I'm close. I still have a deadline and now my editor wants me to do an article on Sam and the stabbing - can you believe he wants me to spin it as a hate crime?"
The incredulous look drew a bittersweet smile on Lindsay's face. "Well," she murmured roughly, "Given the lack of evidence, the lack of leads, and the fact that the only eye witness testimony we have is Ashes', that's as good of a theory as any."
In the ensuing silence, she glanced again at the clock.
"You need to go, don't you?"
Feeling caught, Lindsay hesitated, taking in the resigned expression on the gorgeous face. Her eyes drifted, catching bare breasts and mussed hair, and the visual evidence that gave what they had done so much weight.
"I need to look in on Martha," she finally admitted. "And I wanted to stop by the hospital, check on the uni "
"You're also going to stalk Ashe some more, aren't you?" At the matter-of-fact statement, Lindsay's mouth closed. "Will you just be careful?"
It was an odd thing to say, particularly when Lindsay had been expecting the younger woman to try and talk her out of it. Shifting so that she was closer, she smoothed an open palm over rounded hips, cupping Cindy's ass and curling into her body.
"What?" she asked, a sudden grin brightening her expression. "No, 'Don't do it' or 'Be reasonable'?"
Cindy's knuckles rubbed lightly against the swell of Lindsay's right breast. "Would it make a difference?"
The sensation made her sigh. Keening into Cindy's touch, Lindsay managed a contented shrug. "Probably not."
"I didn't think so."
In the darkest moments of Lindsay's life, she never imagined she would find it so easy to laugh.
Allowing Cindy to kiss her, Lindsay could only attribute it to the most amazing kind of miracle.
Warren Jacobi was getting too old for this shit.
He would never admit it out loud, most certainly not to Lindsay Boxer of all people, but sometimes, he did feel like the old man Lindsay liked to tease that he was.
Despite the body that neglected to keep up, his mind, however was as sharp as ever. He thanked God for that.
One of them needed to always be thinking - there was enough rash impulsive action done by Lindsay to make up for the both of them.
He never imagined this: the amount of affection he had for his partner was unique. She was a woman, but in her own league; above his old wives and new girlfriends.
Lindsay Boxer, quite simply, flummoxed, annoyed and confounded him. She was also his best friend, a stubborn but brilliant cop, who hid behind a dispassionate façade when the naked truth was, she just felt too much; got a little too involved.
But it didn't mean her gut instincts weren't usually right on.
Tom Hogan had ordered Lindsay away from Ashe. He didn't warn Jacobi.
It was now close to 2:30AM in the morning and he sat in his car, restless legs shifting, drinking cold coffee and eyeing the Agent with a menacing glower that was meant to be obvious.
The look on Lindsay Boxer's face at the beginning of what would turn out to be a very long day had been absolutely besotted, and to be frank, it frightened the wits out of Jacobi.
But he understood it. And he was bewildered, but grudgingly happy. Anything to keep Lindsay Boxer out of Tom Hogan's bed.
He suspected the reporter. They had never really discussed orientation (Because Jacobi would never been anything but a woman-lovin' man), but everything Lindsay did regarding the little reporter girl was always just a little too extreme. Too angry. Too possessive. Too much to complain about.
Hell, he probably saw it coming before she did, and goodness knew, she needed it. She almost had it.
Until this motherfucker decided to break code and stalk a reporter, and now they were all stuck ten feet deep in watery shit.
When John Ashe got out of his car, headed his way, Jacobi put down the coffee and picked up his gun.
He waited calmly as the agent approached, and when Ashe tapped lightly on the window, he lowered it, allowing an even stare.
"How can I help you, Agent Ashe?" The barrel of his gun glinted in the dim light provided by a street lamp.
"I need you to see this," Ashe said helpfully, and stepped back, arms up, presumably to prevent any unwanted bullet holes in his cavities.
"Just how stupid do you think I am?"
"On the contrary, I think you're quite brilliant," Ashe responded, "Figured maybe you could tell me why there's a bloody knife planted in my car?"
The statement made no sense, and Jacobi frowned, unsure of the trap.
Deciding, he opened the car door, and kept his hand on his gun. "Let's see it."
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