THE BRASS RING
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers, see Part One.
Thanks to my beta reader Joanne
As Always For Heather
CC shifted nervously from one foot to the other as she wrapped her arms around herself to fight off the cold. Hearing Jamie's response was almost a relief. Now she could simply go back to her condo and crawl into bed. She could picture pulling the covers over her head and hiding out until next spring. She looked over to see her sister glaring at her from the front window. CC shrugged at her younger sibling in an effort to convey that Jamie wasn't interested in talking. Stevie's glare grew fiery as she pointed towards Jamie's doorway.
CC rolled her head in defeat, turning back towards Jamie who was just leaning against the doorway looking very pale. "I'm sorry," CC began. "But we need to talk. Now may not be the best time, but Stevie has locked me out and isn't letting me back in until we talk," she explained in an exhausted breath.
"I always liked that Stevie." Jamie chuckled. "I'm just not up for this," she added in a tired voice.
"Please," CC pleaded. "If you shut the door on me too, I'll be stuck out here in my bare feet. I could freeze to death."
"It's not that cold," Jamie reasoned.
"Oh, come on," CC grumbled, her patience worn out. She was hung over, cold, and pleading with her ex-lover to let her talk to her. None of these events were sitting too well with the brooding brunette. "What's the worse that could happen? You’d end up hatingme. You already do."
"Yes, I do," Jamie responded as her jaw clenched. "Come in."
CC blew out a sigh of relief as Jamie stepped aside and let her in. Her body brushed slightly against the smaller woman's. She heard the moan escape from Jamie. CC bit down on her bottom lip as she tried to ignore the sudden tingling sensation her body was experiencing. Knowing that Jamie's audible response had been involuntary, she chose to ignore it. Now if she could just get her lower anatomy to do the same, she might just get through the morning with some sense of dignity.
She felt her body warming as the door clicked shut behind her. "I meant what I said," Jamie grumbled as CC turned to her. She couldn't help noticing how absolutely adorable the small blonde looked. Her hair was all rumpled and damp and her sweats hung on her. "I don't want to talk. But it is chilly out. You can hang around here until your sister decides to let you come home. I'm going to bed." Having had her say, Jamie brushed past her and headed up the staircase.
CC stood there with her mouth hanging open. "Could I feel more like a total dufus at the moment?" she muttered as she stood in Jamie's living room. "I could just watch some television," she reasoned. Then her shoulders drooped as she realized that Stevie was right. "Ah, what the hell," she conceded. "Might as well face the music. Even if I'm twelve years too late." Drawing on her last ounce of courage, she climbed the staircase.
Tentatively she stepped into Jamie's bedroom. She found her ex-lover lying face down on the queen-size bed on top of the covers. "Jamie," she began shyly, feeling her courage abandon her.
"I'm in hell," Jamie groaned without lifting her head off the pillow.
"Look, if you don't want to talk, that's fine," CC stated firmly, feeling her courage returning. "But you can listen."
"If I listen to what you have to say, will you let me sleep?" Jamie moaned in disgust. "It's my day off and some guy keeps pounding on my head with a jackhammer."
"Yes," CC reassured her. After all, the same guy was beating on her head.
"Speak," Jamie commanded her.
"That morning I didn't walk out on you," CC began to explain, suddenly feeling better. It felt good to finally tell the one person that had been hurt the most by the unforeseen events that had occurred that day. "I was on patrol. We pulled over a car with a broken taillight." CC’s body tensed as she recalled the terror she had lived through that day. "I never saw the gun," she continued as Jamie lifted her head and stared at her. CC couldn't read the expression in her eyes so she continued. "I was shot twice. It was bad. For weeks I drifted in and out of consciousness. My only clear thoughts were of you. No one knew about you since I was in the closet back then, so no one made an effort to find you. Except for Stevie. She ran away from home when she found out. The story never made the press. The guy was an informant who was about to expose an FBI conspiracy. He ended up dead not long after that. The whole thing was covered up."
CC stood there, waiting for what seemed like an eternity for Jamie to respond. She watched as Jamie's face scrunched up. "Was that before or after Scully and Mulder escaped from the space craft?" Jamie asked her bitterly.
"It's the truth," CC asserted. "By the time I was able to understand what had happened, you were gone."
"Are you under the disillusion that I would buy that load of horse manure?" Jamie spat at her as she climbed off the bed.
CC found herself standing toe to toe with a very angry little blonde. The veins in the younger woman's neck were bulging as her face turned purple. "Who do you think you are talking to?" Jamie snarled as she poked the taller woman in the chest. "I'm not some bimbo you picked up in a bar," Jamie flared as she poked CC once again.
"It's the truth," CC repeated firmly as her body winced from Jamie's assault.
"The truth?" Jamie spat back. "You wouldn't know the truth if it bit you in the ass." She poked CC once again, even harder than her first two attacks. CC could feel the anger welling up inside her.
"Fine. Don't believe me," CC shouted bitterly. "I know what happened. I wasn't the one who ran off and bedded someone else."
"Where do you get off?" Jamie yelled in return.
"You were my first," CC said as she gritted her teeth. "I loved you."
"What?" Jamie uttered in disbelief as her eyes narrowed.
"You weren't the only virgin that night," CC answered in a flat even tone of voice.
Jamie's eyes widened. "That's it," Jamie said in a low harsh tone. "Get out." She pointed to the doorway.
"Jamie." CC drew a breath to steady herself. "I'm not lying."
"Out!" Jamie commanded her firmly as she nudged the taller woman towards the door.
As she continued to guide CC back downstairs and out the doorway, Jamie released a string of obscenities that embarrassed the policewoman. The front door slammed behind her. Once again CC found herself standing outside in the cold morning air. "That went well." She sighed as she approached her doorway. She knocked on her own front door. "Stevie, can I come home now?" she pleaded desperately.
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