DISCLAIMER: No ownership, simply a really strange crossover.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Contest
By Ann


Mike Logan plopped into his chair and rubbed his forehead. "This is nuts. I've never seen so many desperate women in all my life. Any one of them could have murdered Amy Langdon."

"Well, one of them certainly did. We just have to figure out which one." Megan sat opposite her partner and put her elbows on her desk. "You know, I can understand why she was killed though. You just can't lead people on like that."

"I don't understand why they believed her. Who in their right mind goes looking for a potential lover on the internet? Surely, they had to know that there was a chance that it was some big hoax."

Megan shook her head sadly. "Langdon was very good with words. She made each of them feel special; each woman believed that she would be the one chosen. They'd probably never felt so good about themselves in their entire lives." Sighing, she added, "Maybe when we interview the woman who Amy did choose, we'll learn more about the situation. Amy must've confided in her."

"Logan, Wheeler, the winner of the contest is here. I put her in interview room 2." The sergeant smiled as he exited the room. The winner was definitely a winner.

Logan slowly stood. "Well, let's go see who's behind door #2."

Megan chuckled and followed her partner down the hallway. When the door opened, she almost stumbled into the room. The woman sitting at the table looked as far from desperate as they come unless beautiful had somehow become the new desperate.

"Ms. Curtis, I'm Detective Logan, and this is my partner, Detective Wheeler. We'd liked to ask you a few questions, if you don't mind."

Sofia crossed her arms and stared at the two detectives. "Actually, I'd like to ask you a few questions. First, why was I greeted at the airport by two of New York's finest, placed in a squad car without my luggage which I'm sure is still rotating around the carousel at JFK, and taken to your precinct without being told why my presence was so rudely requested?"

"Now wait just a minute..." Logan began, but Megan interrupted, moving to take the seat across from Sofia.

"You're right, Ms. Curtis. We ..."

This time Sofia interrupted. "Detective."

"Yes?" The New York detectives echoed in two different octaves.

Sofia chuckled. "I meant ... I'm a detective from the Las Vegas Police Department."

"What?" The stereo response struck again.

"Here." Sofia reached in her purse and pulled out her badge, sliding it across the table.

Megan stared at it with a stunned expression, and then passed it over to her partner.

"Okay, Detective Curtis. You're here because Amy Langdon was murdered." Logan stated in his usual blunt style.

Sofia stiffened in her chair, stunned by the news, and then, suddenly, another thought pushed its way forward. If they knew she was coming to New York to see Amy, then they knew . . .

Megan picked up on the other woman's distress. "Hey, Logan, do you think you could get us a couple of cups of coffee? I'm sure Detective Curtis would love to have some after her long flight."

Logan turned to protest, but immediately stopped his words. Judging by the expression on his partner's face, she wanted to be alone with the LVPD detective, and trusting her judgment, he nodded and left the room.

"There's no reason to be embarrassed, Detective Curtis. I can totally understand how frustrating it is for you. Being a member of the police department can put a real damper on one's love life, especially if you're a lesbian."

Sofia opened her mouth to deny the allegations, but Megan held up her hand. "Just so you know, I'm talking from personal experience."

Sofia glanced at the door and then at the two-way mirror. Megan shook her head and smiled, assuring the detective that they were indeed alone.

"Amy was my old college roommate. I sometimes surf the net to see what's out there, but I'd never actually follow through with any relationships I may make on the web. Imagine my surprise when I found a contest, promising the winning entry a weekend of fun. It asked for potential lovers to write an essay as to what they were looking for in a lover. I recognized Amy's picture and entered as a joke. A week later, she asked for everyone to submit a photo, and I thought, 'what a perfect punch line.' I'd send my photo, she'd recognize it, and we'd get a big laugh out of it."

Megan filled in the rest. "Only Amy thought it was a good idea for you to be the actual winner. You felt safe with someone you knew, so you took her up on it."

Sofia nodded. "That about sums it up."

"Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"No, go ahead. You have a murder to solve, and I'd really like to help in any way I can."

"Did Amy tell you about any of the other women?"

Sofia wrinkled her brow in thought. "No, not really; although, there was one woman in particular that made her nervous."

Megan leaned forward in her seat. "Who?"

"Karen? No, Kerry. It was someone named Kerry. Amy e-mailed saying that this Kerry person had been sending her notes daily. She wanted to know if she needed to worry about it, but I told her the woman didn't know where she lived, so she should be okay."

Flipping through her files, Megan pulled Kerry Taylor's information. She quickly scanned the data, looking for any kind of connection. Her finger stopped on the listing for place of employment.

"Shit." She couldn't believe they'd missed the link. Kerry Taylor worked in the same building as Amy Langdon.

A knock sounded on the hotel door, and Sofia groaned as she rolled off the bed. She'd been watching television, trying to stay awake until the news came on, but with her body still on Vegas time, she was having a difficult time keeping her eyes opened. She trudged across the floor and opened the door.

"Detective Curtis, sorry to interrupt, but I thought you might like to know we arrested Kerry Taylor this evening."

Sofia gestured inside. "Please, come in, Detective."

Megan nodded and stepped into the room. "We secured a search warrant and went to her apartment. We found the murder weapon in the drawer next to her bed. She confessed to everything. It seems she'd had her eye on Amy for some time, and thought the essay contest was the perfect way for the two of them to get together. She hadn't counted on losing."

A loud rumbling noise suddenly sounded in the room, and Sofia turned beet red. In all the chaos, she'd forgotten to eat dinner.

Megan grinned. "You know, there's a very good pizza parlor right down the street, if you're interested."

Sofia looked at the bed and then glanced at her stomach. Another roar made up her mind.

"I'd love to. Just let me get my shoes, Detective."

"Megan. Call me, Megan."

"Okay, but only if you call me Sofia."

Megan nodded and waited for the other woman to slip on her shoes. Sofia grabbed her purse, and the pair exited the room, heading for the elevator.

"When's your flight back to Vegas?"

"Not until Monday morning. I tried to get an earlier flight, but my agent booked a special deal, so I'm stuck here for the weekend."

"Um, I'm off tomorrow. Would you like for me to show you the city?" Megan pushed the button for the elevator, trying to keep her shaky hand steady.

Sofia smiled. "If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to see the sights."

"Great, we can talk about it over dinner." Megan grinned and stepped into the elevator; she'd never felt so giddy in her entire life.

The End

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