DISCLAIMER: Charlie's Angels and its characters are the property of Spelling-Goldberg Productions. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Special thanks to Debbie for the beta and the extra bit. No pun intended.
CHALLENGE: Written for Passion & Perfection's Big 5000.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Week from Hell
Sabrina sat in the drive of Townsend Detective Agency, staring down at her coffee-stained white pants. The guilty culprit, a Styrofoam cup, lay on its side next to the accelerator, the rest of its contents slowly creeping into the carpet of the floorboard.
Hitting the steering wheel in frustration, she winced at the dull pain in her hand. "Damn it! Will this week never end?" She closed her eyes and leaned back against the head rest, recalling the seemingly never-ending week.
It'd all started when Kelly was assigned a last minute case in Las Vegas. Sabrina had hinted to Bosley that she wouldn't mind accompanying the other angel, but he'd informed her that she was needed to investigate a case locally. She'd smiled as sweetly as she could, and then bid her lover good-bye at the office beside Kris and Bosley. She'd managed a short whisper of love but that had been all; how the two women hated the situation which hadn't allowed her to give Kelly a proper send-off.
And that's when things started to go as sour as the cream from her coffee would become, once it'd soaked into the floor mat.
Sabrina had left the office in the hopes of immersing herself in her case so that perhaps she wouldn't miss her lover quite so much over the next five days, but she soon found her plan had a few holes in it, or maybe it was the tire on her orange Pinto that had the holes instead. She muttered a few choice words under her breath and reached into her purse to retrieve her keys as she trudged towards her trunk.
An hour later, after she'd struggled to remove the lug nuts and chased the spare tire down the drive, the spare was in place, and the flat had been stored in the trunk of her car. Slamming the storage compartment closed, Sabrina moved towards the driver's side door, but her reflection in the side-view mirror had her looking down at herself and evaluating the damage to her appearance. Her outfit no longer had its freshly laundered look, and her hands were coated in black from handling the two tires. Disgusted, Sabrina headed back towards the office to wash her filthy hands; her only consolation was winning the wrestling match with the spare.
The rest of her day was filled with a series of misconnections. Ready to strangle Bosley for sending her on one wild goose chase after another, Sabrina finally met up with the client at a seedy country-western bar, but only after she'd had to endure numerous pinches and slaps to her ass. For once, she was thankful that her lover wouldn't return until the end of the week; she truly didn't want to have to explain the bruises which would soon line her butt cheeks; although, the thought of Kelly kissing them and making them better had her rethinking just how grateful she was to have missed this particular discussion with her lover. Her inner debate lasted for a very brief moment as her focus was abruptly diverted by the client, explaining exactly what the rest of her week would entail.
Besides being without her lover, she had the fortune, or rather misfortune, of going undercover as a stable hand to discover who was walking away with the stable's equipment. She pasted on a fake smile and pretended to be excited by the prospect as she shook the client's hand. If the guy hadn't been scared to death about losing his job because of the thefts, Sabrina would've told him to find another agency, not to mention how difficult it would've been to inform Bosley's cousin there was no way in hell she was taking the job.
The alarm sounded, and Sabrina reflexively reached across the bed for her lover. Instead, her hand came away empty, and she turned towards the offending alarm, squinting at the display to discover it was only 3:30 a.m. She groaned and rolled onto her back, pulling the covers over her head and wondering who in their right mind chose to voluntarily start their day at such an ungodly hour. Remembering her current assignment, she moaned pitifully and threw the covers back; it seemed that she was the insane one today. She consoled herself with the fact that had she not been on her current assignment, she'd never purposely crawl out of bed in the middle of the night. She might wake up to ravish her lover, but certainly not to leave the comforts of the warm bed for work.
"Oh, shit." Sabrina mumbled under her breath as she walked into the barn and laid eyes on the unsightly horse excrement she was expected to muck out. Grabbing a shovel, she grimaced and started for the numerous piles which awaited her, cursing Bosley every step of the way, especially the step that landed her in the pile of crap she somehow hadn't noticed.
After the sun had long gone down, Sabrina pushed off her boots and limped into the apartment, holding her footwear as far away as possible from her body. She walked as briskly as she could through the den and headed directly for the balcony to place her smelly boots near its edge. As she turned to go back inside, she made a mental note to charge Bosley for a pair of new boots because when this assignment was over, she was throwing hers away in the dumpster behind her building.
A rare smile split her face when she stepped into the bedroom and noted the red blinking light on her answering machine. Quickly crossing the room, she hit play and stood by, anxiously awaiting the messenger's voice. Kelly's voice filled the air, and Sabrina found herself unconsciously moving closer to the machine.
"Hey, Bree. Sorry I didn't get a chance to call yesterday, but I had to get settled into my new job. You'll never believe what I get to do." A slight pause followed before Kelly continued. "I get to run with the rich and famous crowd for the rest of the week. Can you believe it? The penthouse suite, free drinks, the most gorgeous jewelry you've ever seen, not to mention designer outfits, plus, get this . . . I get to gamble as much as I want. Talk about a dream assignment."
Sabrina looked down at her soiled clothes and grimaced.
"Anyway, sorry I missed you. I'm on my way out to a party, so I'll try to catch you tomorrow. You can fill me in on your assignment then, okay? Talk to you later, honey. Bye now."
The machine suddenly switched off, making the silence in the room decidedly more noticeable as the pangs of loneliness took hold of Sabrina's heart. Sighing loudly, she headed towards the bathroom. With her last shovelful of horse shit, she'd promised herself a quick shower, followed by a long, hot, bath. As an afterthought, she veered towards the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of wine and a glass.
Sabrina emerged from the bathroom an hour later, much cleaner than she was when she'd first arrived home. Decked in a t-shirt, boxers, and a shiny new band-aid, Sabrina limped towards the bedroom and fell face first onto the mattress, hissing in pain when her injured hand hit against the side of the nightstand. Pulling the stinging appendage closer, she inspected the area to make certain her cut hadn't started to bleed again; it'd taken her forever to stop the bleeding after she'd cut her hand on the shard from her dropped glass full of wine. She'd been so angry when she dropped the glass on the bathroom's white rug that she'd reached down to clean up the mess without taking care. Between the wine and blood, she'd finally given up trying to save the rug and just rolled it from end to end and placed it in the kitchen garbage can. Then, and only then, did she take care of her injury.
With one last pitiful groan, the exhausted angel fell fast asleep, lying horizontally across the mattress and holding her injured hand protectively against her body.
Startled, Sabrina flung her arm out to the side, and then howled in pain, her scream decibels louder than the 3:30 alarm. She cradled her hand with her uninjured one and groaned, uncertain as to how she could possibly manage to complete her chores today. Pushing to her feet, she headed to the bathroom. Only time would tell.
By noon, she'd only managed to muck out two stalls; the pain in her hand slowing her down, but not so much as her intentional dawdling to listen in on a few of the rider's conversations. It seemed that the riding club was quite popular on Wednesday's, catering to the more rich and famous clientele; Sabrina was shocked to find that most of the riders were women. Grabbing a broom, she began to sweep towards the front of the barn where two of the clients were engaged in an animated conversation.
"We meet at the old warehouse on Calhoun and Adams every Thursday afternoon around 3:00. The outside looks hideous, but Sally makes certain that the inside is kept spotless." The brunette leaned towards her blonde counterpart. "Well, except for the bales of hay."
A bark of laughter erupted from both women, and Sabrina moved closer, stopping her sweeping motion so as not alert the women to her presences.
The blonde lowered her voice. "I don't know, Jan. I'd be too afraid John would find out."
"C'mon, Harriet, live a little. You know you want to, besides . . ." The brunette whirled around towards Sabrina, and the angel quickly put the broom to the floor and began to sweep the loose straw into a pile. She even whistled while she worked.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing?"
Sabrina looked up, acting startled. She glanced over her shoulder and then back at the brunette. "Me? Did I do something wrong?"
Jan jammed a set of leather reins in her bag and glared at Sabrina. "Yes, you most certainly did. You're supposed to wait until the riders have left the premises before you sweep the floor. Out of sight, out of mind, you idiot."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm new here, and Mr. Sandles hasn't gotten around to telling me all the rules." Sabrina gestured back towards the stalls. "I'll just go finish mucking the stalls and wait until later to sweep."
"You just do that." Jan folded her arms and waited until Sabrina had moved further into the barn before she turned her attention back to her friend.
Sabrina smiled and reached for her shovel. Tomorrow, she'd check out the warehouse and find out exactly what the women were up to, and then perhaps she could ask Jan why she'd placed the club's equipment in her bag.
By the time Sabrina arrived home, her hand was swollen and throbbing like the tell-tale heart. Even the knowledge that she didn't have to go to the stables the next day didn't improve her humor. Using her feet to push her boots free, she grabbed them up with her good hand and threw them on the balcony before heading towards the shower.
Five minutes later, she was somewhat clean but still in a great deal of pain. She pulled her robe off the back of the door and slid it over her damp body. Heading for the kitchen, she found some pain pills from the year before when she'd injured her back, and tossing them into her mouth, she washed them down with a glass of water.
Sabrina slowly opened her eyes and took just a moment to get her bearings. The soft glow of the television was her first clue that she hadn't made it to the bedroom; the couch springs poking her in the ass was the second. She'd remembered lying on the couch and turning on the TV with the remote, but things were a bit fuzzy after that.
Pleased that the pain in her hand had subsided, she lifted and slowly placed her feet on the floor, taking great care to keep her hand cushioned against her body. She rocked to her feet and stood still for a moment to be certain that the dizziness which sometimes accompanied the knocked-her-for-a-loop side effect of the pills had managed to give her a miss this time around. Confident that her balance was steady, she headed for the bedroom where she immediately spotted the blinking red light. The glow of the clock, displaying 1:00, confirmed her suspicions.
"Crap. I slept through Kelly's call." She moved to the machine to play the message, and Kelly's voice once again breathed life into the room.
"Hey, where are you? I'd figured you'd be home by now, but I guess your assignment is forcing you to burn the midnight oil. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that my stint of glamour woman is over; we caught the jewel thief red-handed. I'll fill you in on all the details when I see you on Friday. I just have a few loose ends to take care of here, and then I'll catch the first flight out Friday morning. See you soon, sweetie. I've missed you."
"I've missed you, too." Sabrina whispered into the empty room. Shimmying out of her robe, she crawled under the covers and hugged Kelly's pillow close. A lone tear landed on the soft cotton as she drifted off to sleep.
The next time she woke, the sun was peeking through the curtain's edge. Checking the clock, Sabrina relaxed back into the covers. She had plenty of time to get to the warehouse ahead of the women. Sabrina smiled; it was sure going to be nice not to have to slide her feet into her shitty boots.
At 2:30, she pulled her Pinto to the side of a dumpster on the far end of the warehouse. From her vantage point, she would be able to see anyone who drove to the entrance. She turned off her engine and waited.
Eight different cars had parked outside the side door, and Sabrina had watched four men and four women enter the building. She noted that the men entered empty-handed, but the women all carried a bag slung over her shoulder. She waited for another fifteen minutes before she crawled out of her car and crept to the windows to the side of the door. Carefully, she peered through the glass, keeping her head low so that she wouldn't be seen, but she had to blink twice to be certain that she was actually seeing what her brain was trying to convey to her.
There, in the middle of the warehouse, was the woman named Jan being led around the room by some unknown male. Sabrina's jaw went slack; she still couldn't believe her eyes. If she didn't know any better, she'd swear Jan was some prize mare, decked out in a leather breast collar, a tender touch bit, and a fleece cinch around her torso and ankles; a set of leather reins were being held tightly by the man who was leading her around the room. He held a leather lasso in his other hand, twirling it above his head, as he directed his charge. The woman was prancing around in circles and actually whinnying at the top of her lungs. Disgusted, Sabrina moved her focus to the others.
In one corner, next to a large bale of hay, Harriet, also decked out in tack, sat still while her 'groomer' brushed her long blonde hair. Sabrina tsked out loud and turned her gaze to the far corner where a man was moving behind a waiting woman, and . . . Sabrina turned her head. "Yuck."
Glancing at her car and then the door, she spied the chain and padlock. A grin spread over her face as she crept towards the door. She'd lock the perverts in the warehouse and call Bosley to take care of the problem. After all, she'd done her job; she'd solved the case of the missing tack.
And so, here she sat with her coffee-stained pants, completely disappointed at not seeing Kelly's white Mustang parked in the drive. Sabrina grabbed for the door handle, deciding to let Bosley and Kris know that she'd return to the office as soon as she'd changed her clothing. She walked to the door as best she could with her wet pants clinging tightly to her.
"Sabrina? What happened to you?" Kris looked up from her magazine.
"Coffee slipped out of my hand. I need to run home and change."
"Oh, that's fine, Sabrina." Bosley nodded his head. "In fact, why don't you take the rest of the day off? There's really nothing important on the agenda."
Sabrina smiled at her first break of the week. Since she wasn't able to give Kelly a proper send-off, she'd be sure to welcome her home with open arms. "Are you sure, Bosley?"
"Yeah, go on home. You've earned it after the week you've had."
"You got that right. That had to be the weirdest case to date for me." Sabrina turned towards the door but stopped at the threshold. "Um, could you let Kelly know that I'm not coming in today?"
"Oh, I forgot to tell you." Kris looked over the top of her magazine. "Kelly called and said she won't be home until tomorrow."
Sabrina bit the side of her cheek; so much for the end of her bad luck streak. "Okay, thanks Kris. I'll see you two next Monday." Stepping outside, she closed the door and headed towards her car, her feet dragging with each step.
Making it home without any other incidents, Sabrina let herself into the apartment and reached for the zipper of her pants, shedding the still damp clothing on her way to the bedroom. In the doorway, she almost tripped trying to step out of her pants leg but managed to maintain her balance. It was when she glanced towards the bed that the material finally succeeded in landing her on her ass.
Kelly smiled as she held up an elaborate leather lariat similar to the one Jan's rider had been carrying during her prancing routine. "Hello there, cowgirl."
Sabrina swallowed hard. "Hello." Her voice cracked slightly. "What are you doing here?"
"I heard you've got a way with mares."
"Oh yeah?" Sabrina grinned cockily; well, as cockily as she could with her pants wrapped around her ankles.
"Uh huh." Kelly crooked a finger at her lover. "Care to give me a demonstration?"
Sabrina kicked off her shoes and then her pants.
Jumping on the bed, she grabbed the lariat, straddled her lover, and with a grin on her face, shouted out, "Yee-haw."
Kelly's answering laughter was all Sabrina needed.
There was nothing better than a trip to heaven after enduring a week from hell.
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