THE BRASS RING
By Mavis Applewater
For disclaimers, see Part One.
A big whopping thank you to my overworked beta reader Joanne!
As always, this is for Heather.
CC heard the tentative knocking and sprang to her feet. She’d fallen asleep on the sofa after returning from the hospital. Her blue eyes tried to focus on her surroundings. She turned around to see a smirking Jamie standing out on the deck. CC stretched out her long frame and listened to the sounds of her back popping into place. “Damn, I hate falling asleep on the couch,” she grumbled as she stumbled towards the back door.
CC unlocked the glass door and slid it open. “Good morning, Dr. Jameson.” S he yawned, quickly covering her mouth so she wouldn’t overpower Jamie with her morning breath.
“What happened to you?” Jamie asked in amusement as she stepped into the townhouse.
“Fell asleep on the coach,” CC responded with a scowl. “Now I feel like a mutant pretzel.”
“Poor baby,” Jamie cooed as she placed her bag on the floor and rubbed CC’s stomach.
“Hmm,” CC murmured as she relaxed into Jamie’s touch. “It’s my own fault. I was trying to wait up for you.”
“Goober,” Jamie grunted as she swatted CC’s stomach playfully.
“Ouch!” CC exclaimed as she pouted.
“Big baby,” Jamie teased her.
“Why are you coming in the back?” CC questioned her suddenly, thinking that it was a good idea.
“I had to get something from my place,” Jamie explained shyly.
CC gave the smaller woman a curious glance. “Okay.” CC shrugged as Jamie blushed slightly. “You’re so cute when you blush,” CC taunted the doctor who was once again rubbing CC’s stomach. “Could you keep doing that?” CC inquired thoughtfully.
“Forever,” Jamie responded softly as her hand drifted below CC’s tank top.
CC smiled at the comment and captured Jamie’s hand in her own. She raised the smaller hand to her mouth and brushed her lips against Jamie’s quivering palm. “That too,” she murmured against Jamie’s skin. “Actually, I was talking about coming in the back door.” Her jaw dropped as Jamie began to wiggle her fair eyebrows suggestively. CC squeaked in response and Jamie broke out in laughter. “My, you are in a feisty mood tonight,” CC said as a brilliant smile emerged on her lips.
“I can’t help it,” Jamie said with a mock frown. “You see, I had this terrible fight with my girlfriend.”
“Sounds awful,” CC responded in a rich tone as she tilted her head down and began to nibble on Jamie’s neck. Jamie moaned in response as CC lost herself in the taste of the young doctor’s skin. “Tell me about it,” CC said hotly in the blonde’s ear before she suckled her earlobe in her mouth. Jamie whimpered with desire; the sound of her need sent shivers up and down CC’s spine.
CC’s hands took on a life of their own as one cupped Jamie’s firm backside and the other slipped up to the gentle swell of her breasts. Her thighs began to tremble as Jamie’s body melted into her own. A sudden hardness pressed into her hip, startling her. At first she thought it was Jamie’s beeper but there was something else. “What the . . ?” she asked in confusion.
Jamie pressed her fingers against CC’s lips, stilling any further questions. “Are you?” Jamie inquired in a nervous tone. Her emerald eyes had grown dark and serious. CC blinked in confusion. “Are you my girlfriend?” Jamie’s voice trembled slightly as she spoke. Gently CC removed Jamie’s fingers from her quivering lips and tenderly kissed each digit.
She watched as Jamie’s eyes grew darker, only this time they were filled with desire. “I never stopped . . . ,” CC began slowly as Jamie pulled her hand away and reached into her pocket. CC swallowed hard, knowing that she needed to say the one constant thought that had lain in her heart since the day she had first lost Jamie.
“Jamie . . . ,” she continued as the blonde removed something from her pocket. “I never stopped loving you,” CC finally confessed as Jamie took her by the hand. She felt the coolness of metal being placed in the palm of her hand. CC looked down at her hand in confusion. Her heart raced as she saw the tarnished brass ring resting there. CC opened her mouth to speak but was unable to form the words.
“I’ve always kept it close to me,” Jamie confessed in a determined tone. “At times I hated myself for being such a sap. Now I know that I was meant to find you again. I love you, Caitlin.” CC fought the tears that were threatening to spill down her cheeks. She placed the brass ring back in Jamie’s hand and closed the doctor’s fingers over it. Then she raised Jamie’s hand and placed it against the doctor’s chest. She smiled as she felt the rapid beating of Jamie’s heart.
“Well, I see you two have made up,” Stevie snorted as she entered the room. CC growled in disgust.
“She brought me ice cream,” Jamie piped in cheerfully as she tucked the ring back into the front pocket of her slacks.
“Ice cream?” Stevie groaned in disbelief.
“Hey, it was Ben and Jerry’s,” Jamie explained enthusiastically.
“Oh well, there you have it,” Stevie grumbled as she rolled her dark brown eyes.
CC and Jamie yawned simultaneously and then grinned at one another. “I need to get cleaned up,” Jamie
said wearily. “As much as I would love to continue what we started, I think that tonight has been too much for both of us.”
“Sorry,” CC apologized sheepishly as she yawned once again.
“No worries, stud muffin,” Jamie teased her. “Go to bed. I just need to take a shower and I’ll be right there.” Jamie reached up and brushed her lips against CC’s cheek. “All I need tonight is for you to hold me and to wake up in your arms,” Jamie whispered in her ear.
CC ran her fingers through Jamie’s short blonde hair and nodded in agreement. Jamie shuffled off to the bathroom as CC watched the gentle sway of her hips. The spirit was definitely willing but the emotional roller coaster she had endured that evening had taken its toll. The policewoman diverted her attention to find her younger sister grinning at her. “What?” She scowled.
“Nothing.” Stevie chuckled as she held up her hands defensively. “So you worked things out?”
“We’re in love,” CC gushed like a schoolgirl.
“No!” Stevie exclaimed sarcastically.
“Brat,” CC growled.
“Jerk,” Stevie shot back before she smiled up at CC boldly. “I’m happy for you,” she added sincerely. “Now go to bed . . . stud muffin.” CC sneered as Stevie rolled her eyes once again.
“Thanks,” CC said softly before wrapping her sister up in a warm hug.
Feeling as if the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders, CC pranced into her bedroom. She climbed under the covers and smiled contentedly. Somehow knowing that she was waiting for Jamie to join her made the night seem calmer, the bed seem warmer, the mattress more comfortable . . . “Man, I’ve got it bad.” She laughed at herself as she snuggled deeper into the mattress.
Her smile faded as the pestering thoughts of reality invaded her senses. “I’m going to have to tell Jamie,” she muttered as her mind focused on the very real danger Jamie might be in.
“You’re going have to tell Jamie what?” Jamie’s voice startled CC. The blonde chuckled as she crawled into the bed and snuggled up against CC’s warm body.
“Jeez!” CC exclaimed as Jamie’s cool hands slid up under her T-shirt and came to rest on her stomach. “Did you stop off at the freezer on your way in here?”
“Some big tough cop you are.” Jamie snorted in amusement. “Tell me what you’re hiding from me or my feet are going to join the party,” Jamie threatened her as she ran the cold appendages up and down CC’s long legs.
CC yelped as she tried to squirm out of the blonde’s grasp. “Okay, I give up,” CC squealed as Jamie held her down while placing her cold body parts in some very strategic locations.
“Sissy.” Jamie laughed as she pinned CC to the mattress. “Now talk,” Jamie demanded as her nipples brushed against CC’s. The brunette inhaled sharply from the contact. “Are you sure you want to talk?” CC offered in a breathy tone as her hips swayed slightly against Jamie’s body.
She watched as the blonde’s eyes fluttered shut and she began to bite down on her bottom lip. Jamie shook her head furiously. “Yes,” she said firmly as her eyes snapped open. “No more secrets.”
“Let go of me,” CC responded as she nodded in agreement.
“No way,” Jamie responded wickedly. “First tell me what you’re hiding.”
“I’m worried about your safety,” CC explained in a solemn tone. Jamie stared down at her in confusion. “Simon Fisher. I think he was the one who broke your window and I suspect that . . .“ She hesitated, knowing she couldn’t reveal any details of the investigation. “ . . . I’m just worried that this might not be the last of it.”
“I agree,” Jamie replied quietly. “I’ve had him reassigned. He will be on the day shift for the rest of his rotation. My supervisor knows everything, including the police report.”
“How did he take it?” CC asked fearfully.
“Not well,” Jamie responded with a heavy sigh. “Jack, that’s my boss, has contacted security to keep on an eye on him. I never wanted things to get this far. I mean, what if I’m wrong? But frankly Simon is beginning to frighten me.”
CC simply nodded her head in response, not trusting her voice at the moment. She was more than a little frightened when it came to Dr. Fischer. “Now is that it?” Jamie demanded playfully as she clasped CC’s wrists a little more firmly. CC trembled as she watched her lover’s eyes darken with desire.
“Yes?” the policewoman squeaked out.
“Good,” Jamie purred as she pressed her body into CC’s. The brunette could feel her lover’s desire painting her thigh. “Now where do you keep your handcuffs?”
“Huh?” was the only response CC was capable of at that moment as her clit pulsated in a steady rhythm.
“Handcuffs, Officer,” Jamie demanded as she began to trace CC’s jaw line with her tongue and then the blonde licked her way up to CC’s ear. “Do you want to play?” Jamie offered hotly in her ear.
“Top drawer of the nightstand,” CC consented as she wrapped her long legs around Jamie’s waist.
“Don’t move,” Jamie instructed her. She shifted her hold so that she now had CC’s wrists pinned above her head with one hand while she frantically searched the nightstand with the other.
“Don’t forget the key,” CC cautioned her, recalling how embarrassing that could be. Of course, she wasn’t going to get into that now. Jamie’s body squirmed against her own as she extracted the small leather case from the drawer.
The doctor opened the case and removed the pair of silver handcuffs and held them up triumphantly as a positively evil grin crossed her lips. A deep growl rumbled in CC’s chest as Jamie opened the cuffs. The clicking sound caused CC’s breathing to become ragged as Jamie released her and placed one cuff on her wrist. CC stared at Jamie intently as she gently looped the free cuff through a rail on the headboard. “Okay?” Jamie inquired softly as she clicked the second around CC’s other wrist.
“Oh yeah,” CC reassured her, knowing that she could easily slip her thin wrists out of the loose restraints.
CC’s pulse was racing as Jamie nudged her long legs apart and settled her smaller body between her thighs. Jamie traced her lips slowly as CC watched her every movement. The blonde reached down to the hem of her oversized T-shirt and quickly yanked the garment up off her firm body. “Ugh!” CC cried out as she tried to reach out to capture Jamie’s breasts.
The blonde leaned forward, pressing her breasts into CC’s face and reached behind CC’s head to tighten the handcuffs. The silver rings weren’t tight enough to inflict pain, but CC could no longer slip her wrists free. Unable to touch her lover with her hands, CC nuzzled her face deeper into her lover’s cleavage and began to trace the valley with her tongue. “No you don’t,” Jamie chastised her as she pulled away.
The doctor captured CC’s face between her hands and placed a searing kiss on her lips. CC moaned deeply as Jamie’s tongue entered her mouth. The policewoman struggled against her restraints as Jamie explored her mouth thoroughly. Suddenly Jamie pulled away, placed a firm hand on CC’s broad shoulder, and gently lowered her back onto the bed.
CC’s eyes widened as she stared up at Jamie; her half-naked lover was clad only in a pair of dark emerald panties. CC whimpered as she watched Jamie cup her own breasts and began to roll her rose-colored nipples between her fingers. Her legs parted even further as she felt her wetness growing. Jamie continued to tease her nipples until they were fully erect.
Jamie’s eyes burned into CC’s as one of her hands began to slowly drift down her firm abdomen. CC yanked once again against her restraints as Jamie’s hand dipped below the waistband of her panties. Jamie shifted her body so that she as now straddling CC’s waist. The brunette could feel Jamie’s desire pressing against her stomach as her lover began to stroke herself. “I want to see,” CC pleaded as Jamie’s hand increased its motion. Jamie shook her head as CC tried to press her thigh against Jamie’s center.
Jamie laughed wickedly as she lifted her body just out of CC’s reach. She leaned over CC’s body while she continued to pleasure herself. CC released a frustrated growl as she tried in vain to reach her lover. “Please?” CC pleaded as Jamie’s breasts swayed dangerously close to her lips. Jamie panted as her hand increased its sensual rhythm. Once again Jamie leaned back so that she was straddling CC’s waist.
She removed her hand from the warmth of her center and brought her fingers up to CC’s lips. The policewoman could smell Jamie’s arousal and she lifted her head so that she could capture Jamie’s fingers in her mouth. She growled once again as Jamie pulled her fingers away just as CC was about to taste her wetness. Jamie smirked once again as she began to paint one of her nipples with her own wetness. “Do you want to taste me?” Jamie inquired innocently.
“Yes,” CC hissed in a tone that reflected how silly she thought the question was; Jamie simply quirked an eyebrow at CC. “Please?” CC added in a pleading voice as she felt her own desire threaten to overwhelm her. Jamie smiled in response as she lowered her body.
The blonde cupped her own breast and offered it up to CC’s eager lips. The brunette moaned once again as her tongue flickered across Jamie’s erect nipple. The taste of Jamie’s wetness filled CC’s senses as she suckled her in her mouth. She struggled against the restraints as she continued to devour Jamie’s nipple. She felt her lover’s center rocking against her stomach as she began to pinch one of CC’s nipples.
CC’s head fell back as Jamie moaned and thrust wildly against CC’s body. “Come for me,” CC begged her lover.
“Not yet,” Jamie panted in her ear. The feel of Jamie’s hot breath fueled CC’s desire. Jamie’s hips stilled as CC tried to raise her body in response. CC was whimpering once again as Jamie’s tongue dipped into her ear. Her stomach clenched as Jamie raised her shirt and began to kiss her way down her body.
CC’s body arched as Jamie’s mouth suckled one of her breasts and her hand slowly tortured its twin. CC could feel her entire being pulsate as Jamie teased her nipple with her teeth and her tongue. She lifted her body as far as she could in an effort to press her breast deeper into her lover’s mouth. CC was on the brink of losing all control as Jamie turned her attention to her other breast.
CC’s body thrashed against the mattress as Jamie continued to move from one breast to the other and then back again. “Please!” CC screamed urgently as her need for release reached the brink.
“Please what?” Jamie taunted her as she began to kiss her way down CC’s body. “Tell me,” Jamie said against her sweat-soaked body as she licked and tasted her way down to the waistband of her boxer shorts.
CC was ready to pass out as she looked down at her lover who was slowly pulling her boxer shorts over to her hips. “Tell me,” Jamie repeated playfully before dipping her tongue into CC’s navel.
“Please, Jamie.” CC groaned desperately as she felt her shorts being lowered further down her body.
“Tell me,” Jamie taunted her as she pulled the boxers off CC’s quivering body.
“Fuck me,” CC begged in a shaky tone as Jamie tossed her shorts across the darkened bedroom.
“Is that what you want?” Jamie asked in a torturous tone as she began to lick her way up CC’s endless legs.
“Yes!” CC hissed as Jamie kissed the back of her knees. She was about to expand upon her demand when Jamie’s lips caressed the inside of her thighs.
“Say it again,” Jamie insisted as she licked CC’s overflowing desire from her trembling thighs.
“Fuck me,” CC whimpered as she felt her lover’s breath caress the damp curls of her dark triangle.
She felt her swollen nether lips being parted as Jamie’s tongue dipped into her wetness. “I love you,” CC choked out as she fought the climax that was threatening to rip through her body. She could hear Jamie’s murmurs of pleasure as she pulled her throbbing clit into the warmth of her mouth. CC’s body arched sharply. She could feel Jamie steadying her body with one hand while she entered her center with the fingers on her free hand.
CC gripped at the chain of the handcuffs as Jamie filled her. Her body thrust wildly and Jamie held onto her while she plunged in and out of her wetness. She felt Jamie fill her deeper and harder as her ears began to buzz and the room began to spin. CC knew she was screaming as the orgasm tore through her, yet she was unaware of what she was saying.
CC’s mind went blank as Jamie continued to pleasure her. She was dimly aware of Jamie’s teeth grazing her clit as her fingers maintained their wild rhythm. Once again Jamie tried to hold her body while it convulsed in ecstasy. CC’s vision was blurred as her lover continued pleasuring her. “Stop,” she choked out. She felt Jamie’s mouth and hand still as her body collapsed against the mattress.
Jamie rested her head on CC’s trembling stomach as her fingers remained deep inside her center. CC rode out the last tremors of passion while Jamie kissed her stomach. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” CC panted.
“What did you just say?” The blonde laughed as she raised her head and carefully slipped her fingers out of CC’s wetness.
“I have no idea,” CC confessed as her lover climbed her body. “Undo these,” CC requested as she tugged on the handcuffs.
“If I must,” Jamie said with a reluctant sigh as she leaned across CC’s still quivering form to find the key. CC smiled as she heard the distinctive click of the cuffs being opened. She sat up slightly and rubbed her wrists as Jamie deposited the handcuffs onto the nightstand.
“It didn’t hurt, did it?” Jamie inquired with concern. CC shook her head, letting her lover know that she was fine. She pulled her sweat soaked T-shirt off her body.
“So you want to play doctor now?” CC suggested eagerly as she pulled Jamie up onto her lap. Before the blonde could respond, CC flipped her over onto the bed and began to suckle the blonde’s neck. The desperate whimpers her lover released encouraged the policewoman who was already lowering Jamie’s passion-soaked panties.
CC found herself moaning urgently as she dipped her fingers into her lover’s wetness. The abundance of her lover’s passion coated her hand and CC knew that Jamie needed her now. She leaned back and quickly removed Jamie’s underwear. The blonde opened herself up to CC’s touch. The brunette happily accepted the invitation as she pressed her fingers against her lover’s center.
CC captured Jamie’s nipple in her mouth; she could still taste her musky desire as she entered her lover. She felt the walls of Jamie’s warm, wet center grip her fingers, telling her that Jamie was already on the edge. She suckled Jamie’s nipple furiously as she plunged in and out of Jamie’s wetness while her thumb teased the blonde’s clit.
Jamie’s body rocked wildly beneath her as CC made love to her with wild abandonment. Soon Jamie was wrapping her legs around CC’s body as she cried out in ecstasy. CC leaned over her lover’s trembling body as she continued to wiggle her fingers inside of her. Jamie captured her wrist firmly and stilled her movements. “Baby I can’t. I already did when I was pleasing you,” Jamie confessed with a deep blush.
CC released a throaty chuckle as she removed her fingers from the warmth of Jamie’s passion. She lay down beside Jamie and wrapped her in her arms. “I thought you were tired?” CC teased her still quivering lover.
“Second wind,” Jamie choked out as CC tightened her hold on the smaller woman.
CC smiled contentedly as she relaxed into the feel of Jamie’s body in her arms. Their heats beat in unison as they drifted off to sleep.
CC woke in a blissful mood, the weight of Jamie’s naked body lying on top of her own. She smiled as she ran her hands down Jamie’s exposed back. She loved the feel of the blonde’s skin caressing her fingers. She felt alive just by touching the young doctor. She nestled her nose in the blonde hair resting on her chest. CC drank in the scent; the scent that was distinctly Jamie refueled her desires. CC had always possessed a healthy libido but there was something about Jamie that drove her completely insane.
CC sighed deeply, thinking that since it was Sunday morning the couple was finally awarded the opportunity to simply relax. As the delightful thought occurred to her, the sound of a ringing telephone disrupted her bliss. “Kill it,” Jamie murmured against her skin.
“You don’t know that it’s for me,” CC reasoned, knowing full well that the ringing could only mean that their bliss was about to come to an end.
“Right,” Jamie growled as her head snapped up.
CC swallowed as she found herself trapped in a fiery emerald gaze. “We had sex. Now all hell is going to break loose,” Jamie grumbled. “Come on. You have a gun. Go shoot the telephone then climb back into bed with me,” Jamie pleaded with a heart-wrenching pout. CC laughed as she watched the blonde push her bottom lip out even further and begin to blink her eyes that were now filled with a forlorn expression.
A soft tapping on the bedroom door invoked a deep scowl from both women. “Yeah, Stevie; I’m coming,” CC muttered bitterly.
“No, but you would be if you’d simply shot the telephone,” Jamie griped as she rolled off CC’s body and buried her face in the pillow.
“Maybe it’s nothing important,” CC offered as she climbed out of bed. In her heart she knew that Jamie was right.
“Hah!” Jamie spat out as she burrowed her body deeper under the bedcovers.
CC simply pulled on a pair of sweatpants and tossed on a filthy T-shirt before making her way out of the bedroom. She could hear Jamie grumbling into the pillow as she clicked the bedroom door shut. She went into the kitchen for the telephone and found Stevie leaning against the kitchen counter, yawning loudly. “Did Emma keep you awake, Sis?” CC inquired innocently as she picked up the telephone receiver. She was unprepared for the pair of angry brown eyes that shot up and glared at her. Suddenly CC was fully aware that it wasn’t her niece that had kept her sister awake all night. “Sorry,” she offered sheepishly as she quickly snuck out of the kitchen. “Calloway,” she barked into the telephone, keeping her back to her sister.
She could feel her sister’s eyes boring a hole into her back as she spoke with Max. She got both good news and bad. All of the lab, DMV, and forensic reports were finally ready; whatever bureaucratic snafus had been holding them up were out of the way. The bad news was that it was Sunday and both detectives wanted to spend their day off with their respective families. “That’s great! Keep us off the computers all week and get everything done on the weekend. Yeah, that’ll help the budget,” she growled. “I can’t wait until this woman is out of office.”
“Hey, I didn’t vote for her,” Max noted.
“No one did,” CC said in exasperation. She hadn’t liked the acting governor before she was moved up the food chain. Then, after being in office for less then an hour, the woman announced that she would never sign a bill that would allow same-sex unions. CC despised the woman.
“We could wait until tomorrow,” Max suggested sympathetically.
“No,” CC said with a scowl. “I want to wrap this up as soon as possible. I won’t be able to sleep until I know that Jamie’s safe.” She heard her sister snort indignantly behind her. CC ignored Stevie’s commentary and returned to the conversation with her partner. “If everything adds up to what we think it will, I need to talk to the Captain as soon as possible. I’m going to have to explain why I can’t go anywhere near the prime suspect.”
“Rousseau won’t be a happy camper,” Max grunted.
“Can’t be helped,” CC explained as she felt the weight of the situation bearing down upon her. “If Fisher is the guy and we don’t go to Rousseau now, then Fisher could foreseeably weasel out of this. I’ll go down to the station today and I’ll meet with you first thing in the morning.”
“You and Jamie are picking up your new car in the morning,” Stevie quickly reminded her.
“Right. Sorry, Max. I can’t get in until after noon,” CC explained quickly. “I’m picking my new car up at the dealership.”
“No kidding?” Max asked. “Well, it’s about time you got rid of that piece of sh . . ..”
“Hey!” CC cut him off indignantly as Max laughed heartily.
“See you tomorrow, Calloway, unless you come across something urgent today,” Max concluded as they ended the conversation.
Once she had hung up the telephone, CC tried to sneak away before she caught any flack from Stevie. “What in the hell were the two of you doing last night?” Steve demanded loudly. CC froze in her tracks. The absurdity of the situation suddenly struck the policewoman as funny and she decided to give as good as she got.
CC swallowed hard before regaining her composure. She turned to her younger sibling and curled her lips into a cocky smirk as she raised a single eyebrow triumphantly. “Do you really want to know?” she asked in a rich tone. Stevie seemed suddenly flustered as she grimaced at the question.
“God no,” Stevie spat out emphatically as she shuddered in disgust. “I for one will be happy when you wrap up this investigation and the two of you can start having sex at Jamie’s place.”
“Oh, we’ve already done that,” CC quipped proudly.
“Eww.” Stevie blanched as she covered her ears. “TMI!”
“Just what are you teasing your poor sister about now?” Jamie inquired in a sleepy voice as she shuffled into the room wrapped in nothing but the blanket from the bed.
“Stevie heard us making love last night,” CC explained flatly.
“Oh,” Jamie responded with a loud yawn as she snuggled up against CC’s body.
“CC?” Stevie sputtered.
“Oh pshaw,” Jamie scoffed as she burrowed her head deeper into CC’s body. “I had to listen to you and the lady contractor acting like a couple of sailors on shore leave.”
“Yuck!” CC and Stevie groaned in unison.
“Now that we’ve all shared . . .” Jamie yawned as she wrapped her arms around CC’s body and snuggled even closer. “Can we go back to bed?”
“I think you’re just trying to suck all the heat out of my body,” CC teased the burrowing blonde.
“Can I help it if you’re like a portable Bunsen burner?” Jamie yawned as CC wrapped her long arms around the blonde’s slender body. “Bed, please,” Jamie pleaded in a weary tone.
“Sorry, Honey - duty calls,” CC apologized as she pulled Jamie closer to her and placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head.
Emma’s wails could be heard over the baby monitor. “Speaking of duty calling.” Stevie sighed as she headed upstairs to her daughter.
“Why don’t you crawl back into bed?” CC suggested as Jamie’s emerald eyes fluttered shut and she nestled her head against CC’s chest.
“Don’t want to move,” Jamie protested sleepily. “Want to stay like this forever.”
CC chuckled lightly as she allowed herself to relax in the feel of Jamie’s body resting against her own. “Hmm,” she sighed contentedly as she ran her fingers through Jamie’s short blonde hair. When she felt Jamie’s breathing even out, she knew that her lover was about to fall asleep in her arms. “Come on, Sweet Pea,” she whispered softly in Jamie’s ear. “You need to get back into bed and I need to take a shower.”
Jamie mumbled something incoherent before stepping away slightly. “I’ll make you coffee.” The blonde yawned as she blinked her eyes rapidly in an effort to wake herself up.
“That’s okay.” CC smiled in return as she cupped Jamie’s cheek with the palm of her hand. Jamie smiled as she leaned into CC’s touch. Jamie rested her smaller hand on top of CC’s.
“Go hop into the shower and I’ll make the coffee,” Jamie encouraged her. “You haven’t had any sleep either. I don’t want you falling asleep behind the wheel.” CC opened her mouth to protest but Jamie spun her around and started to push her towards the downstairs bathroom. “No arguments. Since you’ll be driving my car, I rather you were alert. Now get into that shower, Officer. Because the sooner you get there, the sooner you can get your cute ass back here,” Jamie asserted more firmly as she swatted CC squarely on her backside.
CC yelped as her lover’s hand made contact with her back end. “My, aren’t we a pushy little thing in this morning,” CC responded playfully as Jamie shoved her into the bathroom. “Fine . . . I’m going.” CC laughed as she turned to her lover. “Now get into that kitchen, woman, and fix me some coffee,” she quipped before quickly ducking into the bathroom and locking the door behind her. She heard the knob turning as Jamie laughed on the other side.
“Just you wait.” Jamie taunted her.
CC took her time in the shower, allowing the warm spray to slowly awaken her tired body. Making love with Jamie made her feel alive. It was strange to feel complete satisfaction and a constant yearning for more. She smiled, thinking that she was truly blessed for finding Jamie again. She finished her shower and dried herself before wrapping herself in a large towel and making a mad dash to her bedroom. As she pranced across the living room, she knew Jamie was watching her every move.
CC dressed casually in jeans and a light sweater and then she slid her gun into its holster. As she turned to leave the room, she felt as if she was forgetting something. When she spied her handcuffs resting on the nightstand, she blushed as she realized what was missing from her wardrobe. She bit back her laughter as she snatched up the leather case and the cuffs before walking into the outer room.
She found her sister and Jamie sipping coffee in the kitchen surrounded by a delightful aroma. Both women were now more suitably dressed in lounge pants and T-shirts; they ignored her as they watched Emma trying to stick her foot into her mouth. “I made you some eggs,” Jamie said as she looked up with a smile.
“Thanks,” CC said with surprise. “That was quick.”
“I learned to make meals quickly when I was an intern,” Jamie explained as she slid a plate of scrambled eggs and toast over to CC. She then moved quickly to pour a fresh cup of coffee for CC. “Here you go,” Jamie offered as she began to sip her own coffee.
“Thank you,” CC said warmly as she absently started folding up her handcuffs so she could put them in their case.
Jamie’s eyes widened and she began to choke on her coffee. “Jamie?” CC said with concern as Jamie rushed over to the sink and spit her coffee out.
“I’m fine,” Jamie got out as she cleared her throat and returned to the conversation.
“Are you sure?” CC continued as she finished putting her handcuffs in their case. She didn’t stop to think about what she was doing since the action was so routine.
“Why do you have your cuffs out?” Stevie asked.
CC’s movements halted as she suddenly realized what had caused Jamie’s strange reaction. “No reason,” CC lied as she quickly snapped the holder onto her belt. Stevie stared at her with an odd expression. Her eyes then moved to Jamie and then back again.
“Oh gross,” Stevie choked out as her face screwed up in a most unnatural expression.
“What?” CC shot back innocently. Jamie once again spit her coffee into the sink as she began to laugh hysterically.
CC rubbed her temples as Wayne explained his findings in great length. “In English please, Wayne,” she pleaded wearily, tired of his long dissertation on how he had compiled everything and the computer jargon. Of course, he felt a need to explain all the terms to her in great detail. “I just want to know who was parked where and when they left the garage?” she implored him.
“I made you a chart,” he said sheepishly as he peered over his thick black plastic-framed glasses.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation as he handed her a very detailed chart showing who was parked where and when they punched out of the garage. She bit back the urge to spew a litany of harsh comments at the little man who definitely needed to spend more time outside of his tiny lab. “Thank you,” she said sweetly as a blush spread from his neck up to what was left of his hairline.
She peered at the chart and was instantly surprised that the car parked next to Sandra’s was not Dr. Fisher’s. But his BMW had been parked a few cars down. The vehicle in question belonged to an Ellen Murdock who, according to Wayne’s efforts, exited the garage exactly one minute prior to Dr. Fisher. “Now that is interesting,” she mumbled. “Wayne, I need a print out from the DMV for Ellen Murdock.”
“Way ahead of you.” Wayne beamed proudly as he shuffled through his stacks of paperwork and handed her the requested item.
CC smiled as he proudly handed her a sheet of paper that contained Ellen’s address, date of birth, height, and anything thing else she would require. Her smile vanished and her heart lurched when she looked at Ellen’s picture. The woman bore a stronger resemblance to Jamie than Sandra did. “I don’t like this.” She gulped.
She placed the sheet down and steadied her nerves. “Okay, what about the background checks?” Her voice shook slightly as she addressed Wayne.
“Nothing outstanding,” Wayne explained quickly. “The usual misdemeanors, domestic violence, parking tickets and so on. But I did do a nationwide scan since Boylston is a teaching hospital and people come from all over the country. I stumbled across something that I think you might be interested in,” he explained as he handed a stack of printouts to her. “This one,” he explained as he handed over a single report that he had carefully separated from the rest. “It kind of stuck out.”
CC scanned the computer printout and felt her heart stutter in fear. To the naked eye it appeared to be nothing, the charges had been dropped. But it was who it was for that peeked CC’s interest. “What time is it in San Diego?” she inquired absently.
“Just after nine a.m. They’re three hours behind us,” Wayne answered. “Here’s the number.”
“Good call, Wayne,” CC praised the smaller man. “Assault charges. Interesting, Dr. Fisher.”
CC quickly began to dial the telephone. After jumping through hoops to get authorization to make the long distance call, she was patched through. She said a silent prayer that someone involved with the case was available on Sunday morning so she wouldn’t need to call back. After a series of transfers she was greeted by a gruff voice that sounded as if it had been exposed to unfiltered cigarettes for far too many years.
“Detective Brooks?” CC began cheerfully. “This is Detective Calloway from Boylston Mass. If you have a few moments, I’d like to ask you a few questions regarding an old case of yours.”
“Anything to help out, despite what the Sox just did to our boys,” he teased with a heavy cough.
“Oh, you can’t blame us for the shape the Padres are in,” CC countered. The man coughed while he laughed once again. ‘Jesus, Dude! You really need to quit smoking before you cough up a lung,’ CC noted in disgust. “It’s an assault case from six years ago . . . . ,” she began carefully.
“Jesus H. Christ,” he barked in anger. CC wasn’t surprised by the reaction. “How the hell am I supposed to remember that?”
“Let’s give it a shot,” CC encouraged him dryly. “The victim was a Marylyn Steiner. . .”
“I remember,” he cut her off in a grave tone.
“Why?” CC asked as her voice trembled.
“She’s dead,” he explained in a pained voice. “There was another girl as well. I know who did it; I just couldn’t prove anything. The little bastard weaseled out of it. I never had a thing on him. Now he’s going to be a doctor and two girls that I know of are dead. The initial assault wasn’t really anything. The guy wanted to date Marylyn and he grabbed her roughly by the arm. She dropped the charges. It was just that she looked so much like the first victim; I couldn’t get past it. A couple of weeks later Marylyn turned up dead.”
“How?” CC asked as her mouth went dry and her heart started pounding urgently in her chest.
“A combination of blunt force trauma to the head and manual strangulation,” he explained quickly as if he had just witnessed the crime scene.
“Sexual assault?” CC continued, praying that she was wrong.
“No,” he responded in a painful tone. “But he tried. No penetration or semen. Tell me, Detective Calloway, why the sudden interest in an old case so far away?” he asked wearily.
“I have a victim that matches the same M.O.,” CC responded as she fought the bile rising in her throat.
“Blonde, short, with blue or green eyes?” he pressed in a disgusted voice.
“Yes,” CC answered flatly.
“Was Simon Fisher in the area?” he asked in an excited tone.
“Yes,” she responded gravely. “Tell me something. With either Marylyn or Natalie, did he give the impression that he had a relationship with either woman?”
“Marylyn,” he confirmed. “When she first came to us, he copped an attitude that it was just a lover’s spat. He was very convincing but I just had a feeling. When Marylyn explained that she had never had so much as a cup of coffee with the guy, I knew that there was something wrong that boy.”
The way his words eerily echoed Max’s made her shiver. “Thank you,” she said quietly. “Can you send me . . .”
“I’ll FedEx copies of everything out to you right now,” he cut her off. “Calloway, could you keep me updated? I’ll fly out there if you need me. I’ve got a ton of vacation time and I would love to see this guy get what he deserves. “
“I’ll let you know everything,” CC promised.
“One more thing you should know,” he cautioned her. “His parents have more money than God and they’ve bounced him from one private school to another. They made it very difficult for us to investigate him.”
“Are they on the West Coast?” CC inquired.
“One of the first families here in San Diego,” he explained; she could almost hear the smile in his voice.
“Good.” She gave him the address he could send the information before promising to send copies of her case files as well.
CC worked with Wayne a little while longer, knowing that she had to investigate every possibility before completely focusing on Fisher. Then she made her way down to the Forensics lab downtown. Corey McDowell wanted to speak to her. CC was more than a little curious as to why he needed to see her in person.
“Corey,” she called out as she wandered through the cool room. The older African American man looked up from the microscope and simply stared at her with indifference. “Calloway,” he greeted her dryly.
“Okay, Sparky. Tell me what’s so important that I have to haul my butt down here on a Sunday,” she pressed, feeling a need to go home and be close to Jamie. She didn’t like what she heard today and the last thing she wanted was for the blonde to be out of her sight for even a moment.
“Good afternoon to you as well,” he continued in the same dry fashion.
“Corey, your report didn’t show any prints or blood in the victims car or at the garage,” CC continued, ignoring his banter.
“Did you bring me anything?” he taunted her.
“No,” she lied with a wry smile as she hid the bag of brownies from Rosie’s Bakery behind her back. Corey had an incurable sweet tooth. He also had a wife that was very concerned about his health. CC learned early on that Corey would move mountains for any cop that would smuggle him some goodies.
“Hmm,” he responded thoughtfully as he turned his attention back to his microscope.
“Well . . . ,” CC hedged playfully. “I might have a little something.”
A smile formed on the older man’s face as he returned his attention to the tall policewoman. “No donuts,” he cautioned her. “For this I want something good.” She smiled as she pulled the white paper bag out from behind her back. “Rosie’s,” he responded as he nodded his approval. CC handed him the bag. He peered in carefully and nodded his acceptance of her offering.
“Now what do I get?” she pressed. “Besides a warning not to tell your wife that I helped feed your sugar high.”
“Your neighbor’s window,” he began in his slow fashion. Corey was a brilliant scientist; he loved to savor his work and he took his time revealing his discoveries. CC had learned a long time ago to simply allow the man to proceed at his own pace.
“Yes?” she said with interest as the man took a bite of one of the rich chocolate brownies. She watched with some degree of amusement as the man’s eyes fluttered shut. She allowed him to savor his treat a little while longer.
“At first I was curious as to why I was doing work on a vandalism case,” he continued thoughtfully. “Then I found traces of blood on the glass.”
“What?” she blurted out.
“I spoke with one of the officers who was on the scene and he assured me that no one had been cut,” he continued slowly, ignoring her outburst.
“No, nobody was hurt at the scene,” she confirmed.
“I’ve been hearing through the grapevine that your neighbor worked with the victim who was dumped in the park,” he continued, his eyes growing slightly dim as he spoke. “And she bears a certain resemblance to Sandra Bernstein.”
“Yes,” CC choked out.
“I had Roget do some tests,” he continued thoughtfully. CC could hear a hint of discomfort in his voice and it made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end.
“And just what did our blood expert find?” CC pushed as the gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach grew.
“On a hunch, I had him run some DNA tests,” Corey explained. “The blood was Sandra Bernstein’s.”
CC’s body swayed slightly and she grasped the end of the metal table to steady herself. “You didn’t by any chance find the object used to break the window?” he inquired hopefully.
“No,” CC choked out, fighting the urge to throw up.
“I’m almost certain that whatever was used to break that window was also used to crush your victim’s skull,” he concluded gravely. “Here’s the report.”
CC thanked him as she accepted the report. She ran out of the building, ducking quickly through the maze of corridors until she found herself outside. She barely made it around the corner of the building before emptying the contents of her stomach. As she wiped her mouth, she was thankful that it was Sunday afternoon and no one was around to see her lose her composure. She flipped open her cell phone and dialed the number she knew from memory quickly. “Max, we need to talk,” CC said.
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