DISCLAIMER: I don't own Charlie's Angels or any of the characters associated with the show. They belong to Spelling Goldberg and probably Drew Barrymore. I'm also not making any profit from this story.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was written in response to challenge SFC #68 issued by Cj.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Turning on a Dime
Life can sure turn on a dime, I thought to myself as Kris and I hurried down the stairs of our office. One minute, we were all laughing and having a good time, and now well I can't even dwell on what could happen.
"Whose car should we take?" Kris asked quietly.
"Yours moves well and we're going to need to squeeze every extra minute that we can out of this."
Kris got in the car and then flipped up the lock on the passenger's side so I could get in.
"Why us?" She asked knowing I had no answer. "What he's asking us to do is impossible. Maybe we should contact the police. At least make them aware of what is going on. They could help us locate Murdock."
"Kris, I can't go along with that. Kelly and Bosley's lives are at stake. The police are already looking for Murdock. If they find him, we'll hear about it and then we can explain the situation. Otherwise, the police will surround the office and as soon as Dinsmore sees that, it will be over for Kelly and Bos. It's obvious that Dinsmore isn't stable, so we play by his rules until Kelly and Bos are safe. I'm going to call Charlie and let him know what's going on."
"You're right, but where do we start. Murdock could be anywhere?"
"Didn't Dinsmore say that he thought he shot Murdock? We could start by checking the hospitals."
I called Charlie and he agreed that Kris and I were on the right track. Hearing his voice was somehow reassuring, but my mind kept flashing back to the office. I could see Kelly's face as Dinsmore put the belt with the explosives around her waist. She remained steady and strong as she always did, but I saw the terror in her eyes and it pained me to my soul that there was nothing I could do. I couldn't fight back, and I couldn't comfort her. All I could do was leave her with that madman.
Kris and I sat silently in the car. A million things were running through my mind, but no matter how I tried, I didn't see this scenario ending well.
"They're going to be all right, we'll find Murdock, get the diamonds, make the exchange, and then once they are safe, we'll nail Dinsmore and his flunky."
"I hope so," I said dismally.
"Bree, I've never seen you so down. I know that you and Kelly and Bos but you've been in tough situations before and you've come out on top."
"I'm sorry Kris; it just feels like I somehow failed them."
"You haven't failed anyone, I know that there is no one else that Kelly would trust with her life as much as you."
Kris's words only made me feel more frustrated. I could reason out plans for any other case, why now, when it was crunch time, nothing was coming to me. We pulled into the hospital parking lot, and I hurried inside. Kris followed closely behind as we came to the information desk.
"Has anyone been brought in with a gunshot wound?" I asked quickly.
"I'm sorry I can't give out that kind of information," the attendant replied.
"Look, it's my brother" Kris blurted out. "I just want to know if he is here."
The woman looked at Kris and nodded. "I shouldn't tell you this, but a man stumbled in here just a bit ago. I saw him myself. He was bleeding pretty badly. I don't know if it was a gunshot, but he obviously suffered some sort of violent trauma. He's more than likely in surgery, but I would check the E.R. first."
"Thank you for your help." Kris said as we made our way towards the E.R.
Unfortunately, that particular E.R. was all too familiar for me. It had only been a few months back when Kelly had been brought there with a gunshot wound to the head. I had been distraught when I heard what had happened. I was angry that her supposed date hadn't been there to protect her. Oddly enough, I was relieved to find out that her date was a 12 year old boy. It was that day that I realized just how much I loved her. She was so caring and giving of her time, that the thought of losing her was unbearable to me. I tried to block out those images from a few months ago and focus on the task at hand. Kris had managed to catch the attention of an orderly who told her that the gunshot victim had been taken to a room. They were trying to get him stabilized before taking him in for surgery. The orderly told Kris the room number and we headed upstairs. I was sure that we would find Murdock unconscious and even if he was alert, he was going to be surrounded by medical staff. What we actually found was an even bigger surprise.
We entered the room; no one was there, not even the patient. I grabbed the chart beside the bed and it was listed as John Doe. Murdock probably hadn't been carrying any identification. Kris and I headed to the nurse's station outside the room and asked about the patient. The nurse informed us that the patient had somehow managed to get past them and left the hospital. Apparently he had used the phone. I asked to see the phone log and recognized the number of a local cab company. I only knew it because it was splashed across the sides of most of the cabs in town.
Kris headed to the car and I called the cab company. I lied to them saying that I was a police officer and I needed to know where the cab that left Good Samaritan Hospital in the last hour had dropped off its passenger. I used my ex husband Bill as my police contact should the cab company want to check. Luckily they were busy and just wanted to be rid of me so they gave me the address. We had been heading in the opposite direction so Kris spun the car around and headed to the Shady Pines motel.
We arrived at the hotel and checked with the short, Mexican man at the front desk to see if he knew of any new guests at the hotel. He was reluctant at first, but the $100.00 that I slipped him loosened up his lips rather quickly. Kris and I headed down to room 209. Kris thought we should knock and pretend to be maintenance, but my patience was already thin. I didn't even stop to think, just kicked in the door with my gun drawn. No one moved and Kris and I entered the room cautiously. Kris opened the bathroom door and checked to see if anyone was there. I found Murdock, dead on the bed. The room had been tossed and it was my guess that someone else had already beaten us to the diamonds.
"Damn" I muttered in frustration as Kris came around.
"He's dead and by the looks of the room, we aren't going to find the diamonds." I explained to Kris.
"Who would have known he was here?" Kris asked as any trace of her early optimism now waning.
"I don't know, but we're going to have to come up with some other way to get Bos and Kelly out of there. Those diamonds were our only real shot."
"Maybe Murdock contacted someone when he got here. He was obviously not in the best condition." Kris reasoned.
"Good thinking Kris. Let's get back to the car and I'll call Charlie. He might be able to pull some strings with the department and get a trace placed on the call. I'm also going to call the office; maybe Dinsmore might be able to suggest some colleagues of Murdock. I won't let him know that he's dead, but that he was at the hospital and that he left. Dinsmore will at least be happy to know that his bullet hit the mark."
I phoned Charlie and he said he would get right on the trace and get back to me as soon as he could. When I hung up the phone, my stomach was in knots as I started to dial the agency's number. What if no one picked up, I thought. What if I was already too late?
At the office Kelly sat at the bar while Bosley sat by his desk. Neither ventured to say much and tension was running high. Dinsmore walked over by Kelly and poured himself a drink.
"Hey, I could use one of those." Kelly said flashing a seductive smile at Dinsmore.
"I bet you could." He replied smugly.
"Single or a double?" He asked.
"Double." Kelly responded without hesitation.
"Your friends only have three more hours and we still haven't heard from them. I bet you're starting to get worried."
"I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't tense, but you came to the right place. They'll get your diamonds back."
"For both of your sakes, you better hope so." He replied maniacally.
"I wish there was a way that I could blow off some steam." Kelly said catching his eye and holding her gaze intently on him.
"Who knows I bet that could be arranged." Dinsmore replied lecherously.
"We have a room in the back, would you like to see it?" Kelly purred enticingly.
"You know this day started off with a bang, maybe we'll end it with one." He said smirking as he came around the bar.
"Kelly don't it isn't worth it." Bosley said getting up from his chair and starting for the bar.
Dinsmore's man put his hand out and stopped his progress, pointing the gun at Bosley.
"Bos, thanks for the thought, but I'm a big girl. I just can't sit and wait anymore. I need to do this." Kelly said opening the door that led to a small sunroom just off of the office.
No sooner did the door close when Dinsmore grabbed Kelly and began to kiss her. Kelly returned the kiss, but forced herself to think of other things. If she could just get him to put the box down for a second, perhaps she could get it. Dinsmore unbuttoned his shirt and proceeded to pull the sweater over Kelly's head. He was beginning to forget about anything other than his own need to be satisfied. He set the box down on the bureau. He then fished out the key for the belt; he would leave the belt under the bed until he was finished with her. He ran his hand down her side and kissed her forcefully. He was about to unlock the belt when the phone rang; Dinsmore snapped to attention and got up from the bed. Keys still in his hand, the belt still around Kelly's waist.
"Who is it?" He roared as he headed for the door.
As he moved a few steps from the bed, Kelly lunged for the box. She secured it for a moment before Dinsmore realized what was going on and returned. She did not have a secure grip and Dinsmore ripped the box from her hand.
"You tramp." He yelled as he got control of the box. "Push the button," he screamed as Kelly cowered away from him.
Dinsmore's man knocked on the door and informed him that one of the girls was on the phone and wanted to talk to him. He pulled Kelly up by the arm and forced her through the door.
When I called the office the phone rang 5 times before Bosley picked up answering with a tense version of his usual spiel, "Townsend Agency, how can I assist you?
"Bos, it's me Sabrina. We tracked Murdock to the hospital but by the time we reached his room, he had gotten away. How are you and Kelly holding up?" I asked hesitantly.
"Kelly's with Dinsmore in the sun room." Bosley replied disheartened.
The sun room was a little patio adjacent to the office that Charlie had built for us. It had a bed and some comfortable furniture. It was a haven to escape if we didn't want to go right home after a case or if we were pulling an all nighter at the office.
I knew by his tone that Bosley was more upset by the situation than he could actually convey. I felt sickened when I thought of Kelly alone with Dinsmore. His hands touching her, forcing her to cooperate against her will. Why didn't I think of something to prevent all this? A mixture of rage and hopelessness welled up within me.
Then I heard a door slam, and Kelly whimper, then Dinsmore raving in the background. I prayed that the next sound I heard would not be an explosion. Instead, I heard the disjointed sounds of the phone being taken away.
"I want an update." Dinsmore bellowed into the receiver.
"As I was telling Bosley, we located the hospital that Murdock went to, but by the time we reached his room he had left. I guess he isn't thinking very clearly because from all accounts he was in pretty bad shape. You got him good."
"Damn right, I got him and if you and your friend don't find those diamonds in the next two hours, these two are going to get it."
"By my watch, I've got just under three hours." I said glancing down at my watch.
"Your pal over here wanted to play some games, so now you've got an hour less. I'm getting tired of waiting for you people."
"Was Murdock working with anyone else? From what you told us earlier, it sounds like you had some inside help."
"Yeah a security guard named Brown, that's all I know about him. You might be able to get some information about him from the store. However, I wouldn't dally too much."
"I guess I don't have much time, Kris and I will split up. I will call you as soon as we locate Murdock and find the diamonds."
"You do that, but don't be late."
I explained to Kris that we had lost an hour's time. Right on cue, the phone rang and Charlie gave us the number and address of a Donald Brown. This was the number that Murdock had called from the hospital. With the information supplied by Dinsmore and Charlie's corroborating data, Kris and I headed off for Brown's apartment.
We had to deal with typical L.A. traffic and time was being gobbled up as we made our way to the apartment. We had a little over an hour by the time we came to the dilapidated building near Paramount studios. The building was not secure so I glanced at the mailboxes and found Brown's name. I took the stairs three at a time as Kris ran to keep up. This time there was no discussion about how to proceed. When we reached the door, I kicked it in and we entered the apartment. It was silent and mostly empty. Although obviously the apartment of a single man, it was fairly neat, and mostly empty. Kris checked the bedroom and I went to see if anyone was in the bathroom. This time we discovered no one. Our last best shot was gone. I walked back into the hall dejectedly when I saw a boy peering at me from the other side of the door.
"Don't worry," I said looking into his big brown eyes. "I'm a police officer, we're just making sure that everyone is safe."
He smiled back at me, and Kris and I hurried back down the stairs.
"We've played by Dinsmore's rules long enough, Kris." I said as we got back into the car.
"You want to contact the police?"
"No, we have to get him out in the open. I just thought of something regarding his explosive device. It won't work underwater. We've got to get him near water.."
"How are we going to do that?"
"You're going to double cross me and leave with Murdock and the diamonds on Charlie's yacht."
"Murdock's dead." She barely finished the sentence before a smiled crossed her face. "You know it just might work."
"I'll call Dinsmore and relay that you wanted to know the slip where Charlie's yacht was anchored. Then I'll tell him that Brown ratted on Murdock, telling me that he planned on taking a boat down the coast and then flying out when things died down. He couldn't risk chartering a commercial boat, so when you stumbled onto him, he offered to give you a share of the diamonds if you could find him transportation. Since you knew Charlie wouldn't be using his yacht this weekend, you offered it to him."
"Bree, that's a great plan. I knew you could do it."
"I'll tell him that there is still time to catch you and that Kelly can show him a shortcut since you are relatively new here and will have to take the long way. I'll also try to let Kelly know that the belt won't work underwater."
I picked up the phone, took a deep breath, and dialed slowly with shaking fingers. I had better be convincing or this could be Kelly's life.
Bosley answered with a plain "Hello," instead of the standard office greeting.
"Bos, put Dinsmore on the phone. I've got a problem."
He sounded weary and switched on the speakerphone as Dinsmore had requested.
"Yeah, I'm assuming since you're calling that you've got my diamonds."
"I know where your diamonds are, but I'm going to need your help in getting them back. You see, Mr. Brown got a call from Murdock hoping to get some additional help. Murdock found a way to get the diamonds out of the area. Kris, my associate called me after we split up and wanted to know the location of our boss's yacht. I couldn't figure out why, but then Brown enlightened me. It seems Kris managed to track Murdock down to a motel in Burbank. Like I told you earlier, he was hurt pretty bad. According to Brown, Murdock offered to give her a cut of the diamonds if she could help him stay out of sight for awhile. Kris brought up the idea of the yacht. Charlie is in Hawaii right now and won't be back for a couple of weeks. Kris figured she could hide Murdock out there and maybe even move him down the coast, collect her share, and return without anyone knowing that she had anything to do with this."
"I told Charlie not to hire her." Bosley piped in.
"I can't believe that she could be that cold. I know we've had our disagreements lately, but boy this takes the cake." Kelly added.
"I'm heading towards the boat slip now, but I probably won't make it in time. Kelly knows a great way to get there and you are a lot closer. The sooner you leave the better chance you'll have of catching up with Murdock and Kris."
"Bree, you're talking about the Santa Monica dock?" Kelly asked for clarification.
"Yeah the new dock, remember right near the place we went swimming a couple of months back. It's slip number 1026 in case you didn't remember."
"I remember," she replied warmly acknowledging that the day was special to her as well.
"Thanks Bree," was the last thing I heard before the line went dead.
Kris had made good time down Santa Monica Boulevard. We pulled into a parking space and headed for slip 1026. The previous year, Charlie had thrown a party for Kelly's birthday. He was, of course, in absentia, but it had been a great time. I had commented that the yacht's slip number was the same as Kelly's birthday. We were the last two to leave the party and as I helped her down, Kelly fell into my arms. We had both been rather tipsy and liquor always makes me a bit bolder. Instead of releasing Kelly right away, I held her tight and kissed her fearing the possible rejection, but fearing the loss of the opportunity even more. To my surprise I found her willingly returning my kiss. I helped her to her feet and we shared a longing glance before she turned away and headed down the pier. We had never spoken of the incident again until this last phone call.
Kris made her way on board while I chose a location on a rope ladder just below the dock. I would be out of sight but close enough to hear what was going on. I hoped that Kelly had gotten the idea to dive into the water. Everything was in place, now all that had to be done was wait. These next few minutes were probably the longest of my life.
Then I heard Dinsmore, Kelly, Bosley and Dinsmore's partner heading down the pier.
"Hey what are you doing here?" Kris feigned surprise as she stepped up to the front of the yacht.
"We've come for the diamonds." Dinsmore shouted.
"I don't have your diamonds; if I did I would have been back at the office to give them to you. I really wouldn't want to endanger my friends any further." Kris responded sounding insincere.
"Let me up on the boat." Dinsmore demanded.
"Sure let me lower the gangplank." Kris chirped happily.
"You first," he said poking Kelly in the back. "You stay down here with him. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, kill him."
Near the top, Kelly whirled around and kicked Dinsmore square in the head. He momentarily lost his grip on the box. Kelly dove for the water and Dinsmore recovered his balance then hit the button. To his great dismay, nothing happened. Meanwhile, I came up behind Dinsmore's man and put my gun in his back. He tried to retrain his gun on Bosley.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you." I said all too willing to use my gun.
Bosley took his gun and Kris fixed hers on Dinsmore. Bosley watched Dinsmore's man as I went over to the side of the dock and reached over to give Kelly a helping hand. I pulled her up but her feet were unsteady and she fell forward into my arms. With Bosley and Kris so near, I dared not linger in the embrace.
"You O.K.?" I asked as I steadied her.
"Yeah, I'm much better now that you're here." She replied.
I tried not to read too much meaning into the statement but when Kelly caught my eye I could see that she had meant it to be more. Kris called the police and they arrived shortly. They took each of our statements and let us know that they had caught Brown at the airport, and he reported Murdock's death. He knew that he could be tied to the killing so he thought it best to put the blame on Dinsmore and save himself a little time. They were happy to have Dinsmore who had been wanted for a number of other crimes. Kelly sat shivering on a bench under a blanket as the sun had gone down and the air became chilly.
When the police left, Bosley, Kelly, Kris and I got into Kris's cobra to leave. Bosley talked continually probably just trying to release some of the tension of the day. Kelly was quiet and seemed distant.
"Do you want to go back to the office and pick up your cars, or would you rather I took you directly home?" Kris asked as she headed out of the parking lot.
"The office isn't too far; I don't want to put you out Kris." Kelly replied quickly.
"Kelly, you wouldn't put me out. I'm just glad that you're O.K."
"Kris, thanks for everything that you and Sabrina did. I'm lucky to work with such good people." Kelly replied sincerely.
"I didn't doubt them for a minute." Bosley chimed in.
"No Bos, you were a rock the entire time." Kelly replied with just a hint of mirth in her voice.
We reached the office, Bosley went back inside to check messages and close up the office properly. Kelly got out of the Cobra and headed to her car.
"Bree, I don't think Kelly should be alone tonight, and you know Bosley could probably use some company as well. Why don't you see if she'd want you to stay over and I'll wait for Bos?"
"Good idea Kris, you're right. I don't think Kelly should be alone tonight."
I quickly made my way out of the car and ran over to flag Kelly down before she pulled away. She rolled down the window and I asked if she wouldn't mind some company. She smiled back sweetly and said she would like that.
"I'll follow you to your place." I said walking over to my car which was parked directly behind hers.
"Think you can keep up in that little orange pumpkin of yours?" She smiled broadly and put her car into gear.
I hopped into my car and found myself already behind Kelly as she had roared off into the night.
Kelly had already unlocked the door and turned on the lights by the time that I pulled into her driveway. I hurried up the drive and she opened the door to let me in.
"Bree, I'm going to take a warm bath if you don't mind?"
"No Kel, I don't mind." I replied casually.
She started the water and I made some tea. I thought she could use some additional warming up.
"Bree," I heard her call my name from the bathroom.
"Yeah Kel, what is it?"
"I forgot my nightgown, would you mind getting it for me. It's in the top drawer of my dresser. My robe is in the closet if you could get that too."
"I guess it's a good thing that I came over. It appears that you need a lady in waiting."
I knocked at the door.
"Just bring them in and set them by the towel rack." She said responding to the knock.
I opened the door trying to keep my eyes from seeing what they most wanted to see.
"I'm glad you're here Bree," she spoke forcing me to look at her. She was magnificent. Her body was in perfect proportion. Her face was radiant even without makeup. Kelly would have been a classic beauty in any age.
"Yeah, you know if there's anything you need." I responded fumbling for words.
"Anything?" She asked intently catching my gaze.
"Yeah anything." I replied seriously.
"Bree, I'm not really sure what I'm feeling. I just know that today you were the only person I could think about."
"Funny but you were the only thing on my mind today as well. I'll be in the living room if you need anything else." I said as I hung up the robe and set down the nightgown.
I sat sipping tea, a bundle of hope and confusion. Was she trying to open herself up to me, or was all of this just a reaction to the stress of the day. I wanted and needed her so much, but I just couldn't make a move on a night like tonight. She was vulnerable, but my body ached to comfort her. She came out towel wrapped around her hair, sheer sea green night gown that made her green eyes all the more beautiful. The robe was draped over her arm.
"Would you like some tea?" I asked hopping up from the couch and heading over to the kitchen.
"That would be great, but shouldn't I be offering to get you something."
"I think you deserve to be pampered a little bit tonight. You had a rough day."
"You don't know the half of it," she said her eyes misting up a little.
"You want to talk about it?" I asked not trying to push.
"Bree, I almost ruined everything today. I tried seducing Dinsmore and I succeeded in doing that, but I didn't get the box. I hadn't even thought everything through. Even if I had managed to get the detonator away, what would he have done to Bosley? I just hated not being able to defend myself. I wanted to take matters into my own hands. It nearly got me killed, and worse it nearly got Bos killed. I can still feel Dinsmore pawing me up, and the smell of scotch on his breath. I don't think I'll ever be able to get rid of those sensations."
"You were under a lot of stress and you were just trying to make something good come out of a bad situation. Kris and I ran all over town today and I couldn't think of anything to do to help you. Then it just sort of came to me. Eventually, he will fade further and further into your memory. I'll be here tonight and he's locked up so there's nothing to worry about. Everything turned out fine in the end."
She stood up from the stool in the kitchen and went to close the window blinds. Tears were flowing freely now and she tried to hold back a sob.
"Oh Bree, I'm still so scared. He got into my head and I just can't believe it's over."
I came up beside her and put my arm around her shoulder. "You'll be O.K."
She turned to face me and her eyes pleaded with me to comfort her.
I hesitated for only a moment and then wrapped my arms around her. She sobbed into my shoulder like a frightened child.
"It's alright Kelly," I said soothingly.
I stroked her hair and rubbed her back, whispering any words of comfort that came to mind.
When she pulled away from my embrace, she grabbed a Kleenex and patted her eyes and face dry.
"Bree come with me." She said taking my hand and guiding me towards her bedroom.
I wasn't sure how to respond and just followed her through the door. The light airy room looked inviting as did the brass bed.
"I'll sleep on the chair," I offered "if that'll make you feel safer."
"No Bree let's stop the games. I want you here with me." She said guiding me towards the bed.
"Kelly, there's nothing I want more, but I want you to be sure. Once we've crossed the line, I can't turn back."
She answered my hesitation with the most tender and yet carnal kiss that I had ever experienced. She continued to kiss me and her need seemed even greater than my own. Sensing that I wanted to let her go at her own pace, she took the lead. She pulled the sweater that I was wearing over my head, and then unfastened my bra. I moaned as she caressed my breasts and bent down to kiss and gently suck on the nipple. I was in a state of arousal that I didn't think possible. I began to stroke her breasts through the sheer fabric of her nightgown. I fumbled with the zipper in the back, but then freed her from the impediments of her garments. She lay naked on the bed before me. I gazed at her and was in awe of just how stunning she was. I got up and removed my pants, then lay down beside her and nestled my body as close as I could to hers. I began to feel for most sensitive area. She was already quite aroused and I stroked her until she came in a shuddering wave of satisfaction. Although I was now as amorous as I'd ever been, I had wanted this to be special for Kelly. I would wait to have my fulfillment. Kelly, fortunately for me, had other ideas. She wouldn't have to do much as I was nearly over the edge. She fumbled at first but then found the spot and dedicated herself to the fulfilling my pleasure. When I came, my heart was pounding fiercely and then there was the sweet release and my body relaxed and all the tension of the day had dissipated. Kelly fell asleep in my arms. I would wake up periodically and wonder if I had been dreaming, but this was no dream, she was still beside me each time I awoke. Yes, indeed it was strange how life could turn on a dime.
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