The Brass Ring
BY MAVIS APPLEWATER
DISCLAIMERS: The characters and story belong to me and me alone. So no poaching! Do not post this story without permission. It's not nice. Oh and some of the characters may bear similar features to the two leads on a certain television show. You know the one. I don't own that . . . or them so thank Universal/MCA for them and just so you know I'm only borrowing them, blah blah blah.
SEX/VIOLENCE & ROADTRIPS: Yes, no & maybe. You know the drill . . . but here goes if you are too young or this is illegal in your neck of the woods get out now! If you are offended by a loving, intimate relationship between two women crawl back into your cave and leave me alone. I am also warning you that at times some of the characters may use less than lady like expressions.
LOCATION: Some are real and many exist only in my imagination. The story takes place somewhere in New England. Vague enough for you?
THANK YOU: To the folks hosting this wonderful Website that for some insane reason agreed to post my ramblings. Also to my beta readers Suzette and Shelia better known as the poster girls from Alabama, Joanne and of course Kiwi Dessert.
As Always For Heather
CC entered the townhouse quietly hoping not to disturb anyone. She needed to be alone with her thoughts and idle chatter with her kid sister was not on the menu. Jamie was back and CC hadn't a clue as to what she should do. CC closed the door and turned to find Stevie standing in the living room wiping the sleep from her eyes. "What are doing up?" CC asked trying to sound causal. "Is Emma all right?" She asked suddenly concerned that something might be wrong with her eleven-month-old niece.
"She's fine." Stevie yawned. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing." CC lied. It unnerved her the way her kid sister could always see right through her.
"Uh huh." Stevie replied in disbelief.
"Nothing is wrong." CC lied again. "Just a tuff day at work." She could tell by the expression on Stevie's face that she wasn't going to buy it. "I just ran into someone that I hadn't seen in a long time."
"With you that could be anyone." Stevie snorted.
"James." CC stated bluntly.
"James?" Stevie yawned not quite comprehending. Her eyes widen suddenly. "James? As in Jamie the love of your life?"
"She's not . . .” CC began to argue.
"Oh please Caitlin." Stevie scoffed. "Who are you trying to convince here me or you? Did you tell her?"
"Tell her what?" CC whined not happy with the path this little chat was taking.
"You know what." Stevie responded defiantly. "The truth. Did you tell her what happened?"
"No." CC grumbled simply wishing to rewind the clock and make all of this disappear. The real question was just how far back she wanted to go. Back to tonight where she unrepentantly ran into Jamie or back to twelve years ago when everything changed. "The woman hates me and she no longer wants to hear why I walked out on her."
"But you didn't walk out on her." Stevie argued. "You think she might want to know that?"
"Well she doesn't so just drop it." CC growled.
"No." Stevie fumed. "I watched you lying in that hospital bed calling out her name day after day. I watched you shut out everything and everyone, except for Emma and me. Never getting close to another woman all because of what happened. Tell me the truth here Sis, don't you think she has the right to know?"
"Stevie drop it." CC pleaded. "Please. Jamie hates me and maybe it's for the best."
"Is it?" Stevie pushed.
"Please let it go." CC sighed heavily. "I did."
"Did you?" Stevie asked quietly as she placed a comforting arm around her older sister's shoulder.
"Stevie please." CC pleaded one last time. "I'm tired, I'm cranky and I simply want to see the peanut and go to bed."
Stevie simply raised her hands in defeat and returned to her own bedroom. CC breathed a sigh of relief as she removed her coat and went about her nightly ritual of putting her gun in the lock box in her closet. She showered and changed into a beat up old T-shirt and a pair of flannel boxer shorts. She wrapped a towel around her wet hair and put the kettle on. Then she made her way into Stevie's room where her sister was sleeping soundly. Peeking over the crib she found her little peanut. Emma her niece was sleeping just as soundly as her mother. The sight of her niece never failed to melt her heart.
Knowing that she shouldn't she lifted the infant out of her crib. She could never resist spending time with the precious little angel. Sometimes CC found it unbelievable that her brat kid sister was someone's mother. Bright blue eyes stared back at CC. "Oh yeah that's my girl." Emma gurgled softly as her aunt cradled her into her arms and carried her out into the kitchen. Stevie had long since given up on trying to stop CC from kidnapping her daughter in the middle of the night.
CC prepared her hot chocolate while cradling her niece carefully in her arms. The sun was just beginning to rise gently kissing the morning sky. CC inhaled the scent of her niece. "Why is it you smell so good? Huh?" She asked the little bundle in her arms. This was their time together. CC sighed deeply as she settled down on the couch in the living room. "You know your Momma gave me a hard time this morning." CC explained as Emma kicked her legs. "Don't tell her this but this time I think she might be right."
CC sipped her hot chocolate careful to keep it out of Emma's inquiring grasp. "Life is funny, Emma. A long time ago I met the most beautiful woman in the world. Everything was perfect until . . ." CC grimaced slightly as Emma tugged on her hair and then gently removed her raven tresses from Emma's small fist. "I take it you want to hear the story?" She cooed towards little Emma. "Man the guys on the force would drop dead if they could see me now." But she told little Emma everything during their morning ritual. Emma after all was a very good listener.
She shifted and sank into the sofa resting her niece on her chest as she began to tell her story. She had left Jamie's dorm room and went home happier than she had ever been in her life. The only thoughts she had were of the night before and the night to come. She would see Jamie that night and tell her again just how deeply in love with her she was. Later that day everything changed. It was a simple traffic stop. At least it should have been. Her partner called in the plates of the aging Honda. It was nothing more than a busted taillight. She should have been more careful. CC never saw the gun. You know the dangers when you join the force but somehow you never think it will happen to you.
CC never expected to find herself lying in the middle of Dunster Street bleeding just because of a busted taillight. The first shot rang out and ripped into her stomach. She had been stunned as the burning blazed through her abdomen. Somehow whether from reflex, training or out and out fear she managed to draw her own weapon and fire. She hit her target but not before a second bullet ripped into her body. For weeks she drifted in and out of consciousness unaware of her surroundings. Her only cognizant thoughts were of Jamie.
By the time her mind could fully focus on where she was more weeks had passed. She awoke to find her kid sister sleeping in a chair. The awkward teenager had run away to be by her sister's side. It had taken the department weeks to track down her mother. Not surprisingly to CC her mother made no effort to see her. When Stevie found out she hitch hiked her way up from Providence to Boylston. The two had always been there for one another.
CC had been shocked by the amount of time she had lost. Her first thoughts turned to Jamie. Stevie told her that she had called out for her. But everyone with the exception of Stevie assumed that James was her boyfriend. "I have to call her." CC insisted.
"She's gone." Stevie reluctantly admitted to her sister. "I tried to call her but by the time I got here she was already gone. The dorms are empty now. Do you know how to get in touch with her parents? I assume she went home for the summer." Stevie offered hopefully only to be greeted by CC shaking her head in the negative as the tears began to fall.
CC could feel her heart breaking at the news. "Why?" Was all she could say. It didn't take her long to fit the missing pieces together. The punk that had shot her was an FBI informant. CC was never given the full details of what this guy was working on or why he panicked when she pulled him over. She had her suspicious but was never told anything. The entire incident as the FBI put it was unfortunate and swept under the rug. There had been no mention of it in the press. It had been more than a few weeks it had been almost two months since she found herself lying in the middle of Dunster Street. Jamie had no idea what had happened. All she knew is CC had left her room after a night of passion with the words, "I'll call you." This was bad. She had to find Jamie and explain what happened.
It was later in the fall of that year when CC finally returned to duty. It hadn't been hard for her to convince a judge that her kid sister would be better off in her care. Life with their mother and Stevie’s father was a living hell. Stevie's father was a sick bastard and there was no way she could continue to let her stay there. CC hadn't been welcomed in her Mother's home since she came out of the closet. Not that she had ever received a warm reception prior to that. Thanks mostly to CC; Albert Beaumont had never succeeded in his twisted attempts to get his hands on his stepdaughter or daughter. CC watched over her teenaged sister and regained her strength both physically and mentally.
Her sister started school and even though she felt betrayed by the department CC returned to work. Now it was time to find Jamie and tell her what happened. It wasn't very hard to track down the med student. Feeling the need to do this face to face, CC flew down to DC and rented a car. She felt nervous as she parked across the street from the dormitory. But she never doubted that once Jamie knew the truth they could start over again. Nothing could have prepared her for what happened next.
She had just stepped out of the car and was preparing to cross the street when another car pulled up. Jamie stepped out. CC's heart skipped a beat at the sight of her lover as the early morning sun caressed her golden locks. Of course if CC had been thinking clearly she would have wondered why Jamie was just coming home at this hour. Or perhaps she would have noticed the driver of the car, a tall redhead stepping out and walking over to Jamie.
CC felt as if she had been shot once again as she watched in horror as the two women embraced one another. She was certain that her heart died that day as she watched her lover sticking her tongue into another woman's mouth. The tears welled up in her eyes, as she felt sick. She threw open the car door and climbed inside hiding from the sight of betrayal. She was crying so hard that she never noticed the other woman's departure. For a brief moment she looked up and caught a curious look from Jamie. Never certain if Jamie had seen her she drove off and never looked back.
"Well that's the whole story, Peanut." CC whispered to her niece. Emma simply blew bubbles in response. "You are such a good listener. I guess I never told Jamie the truth because she had replaced me so easily. Never fall in love, Emma it's just not worth it. Of course you may never get the chance to date. Between your parents and me I don't think any gentleman caller would stand a chance. Of course I think your Dad has your prom gown already designed. I don't know why I'm worrying about all of this. It's not like Jamie and I would still be together. I mean look at your Mom. She and Katrina were the perfect lesbian couple and look what happened."
"Katrina decided to have an early midlife crisis." Stevie's voice interrupted her. "What are you telling my daughter?"
"Nothing." CC feigned innocence.
"Uh huh." Stevie chuckled as she reached out for Emma.
"No." CC whined.
"She needs to be fed." Stevie pointed out. "So unless you can do that . . ."
"Oh." CC blushed as she reluctantly handed Emma over to her Mother.
"Some big stuff cop you are." Stevie chuckled as she returned to her bedroom and sat down in the rocking chair. Opening her blouse she began to feed her daughter.
"Hey!" CC pouted. "Does that hurt?"
"Hmm." Stevie winced slightly. "Sometimes. Now what is this about a prom dress?"
"I was just telling the little peanut that her Daddy probably has already designed one for her." CC chuckled.
"Probably." Stevie said with a smile. "But what's the point of having a father who's a big drag queen if he won't design clothes for you? Nobody does Liza better than your Daddy. Do they sweetie?" Stevie smiled down at her daughter. "Do you know what you are going to do yet?"
"About?" CC asked suspiciously.
"James." Stevie answered directly.
"Not a clue." CC sighed in defeat.
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