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Night's Sweet Caress

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Age : 55
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Love and Bullets   Fri 16 Oct 2009, 3:20 pm

Author - Night's Sweet Caress


Rating - "R" for language, violence, and sexual content


Summary - Homicide Katharine (Kat) Mcphee was used to doing things her own way. But even after having six different partners in seven years, she wasn't prepared when she's forced to work with the hot-tempered Kellie Pickler. As the two women find themselves growing closer, Kellie begins to question the relationship with her longtime boyfriend, and Kat, never one to let anyone to get too close, begins to feel her defenses slipping in Kellie's presence. A difficult case to solve, and drug deals gone bad, the two detectives struggle with their feelings, trying to maintain their professional relationship while keeping their nearly flammable physical relationship in check.


This story was originally posted on IFF........I thought I'd bring it over here for people to enjoy, whether you're a first-time reader, or are familiar with my works.



Chapter 1:


“McPhee, get in here.”

Kat glanced at Lieutenant Martin, then tossed the file she had been scanning onto her desk. She ignored the curious stares of the other detectives as she walked calmly into his office.

“Shut the door.” He said.

She did and sat down quietly in front of him, waiting. His bald head glistened under the fluorescent lights and she silently watched him as he rubbed his bare forehead. Finally, he looked up from a thick file, locking glances with her. She looked down and realized that the file he had been looking was her own.

“You’ve been with me seven years, Kat.”

“Yes, sir.”

He took his glasses off and tossed them on top of the file, then leaned back in his chair.

“You’ve had six partners.”

She sighed and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. Not this again.

“Wasn’t it only a few months ago that we went over this?” she asked.

“Yes. And at the time, you’d only had five partners.”

“You cannot possibly blame me for Dickhead’s two broken legs,” she exclaimed.

“Detective Kapler will most likely be on desk duty the rest of his career.” Then he sighed. “Dickhead?”

“You didn’t have to work with him every day,” she said dryly. “He was a prick.”

“If witnesses hadn’t verified that you’d jumped out first, I’d be the first to think you’d pushed him out of the godddamn window.”

“Oh, please. If I’d wanted to get rid of him that badly, I’d have just shot him.

He let a ghost of a smile cross his face, laughing outright when he met her eyes.

“Kat, you know I let you get away with more shit than anyone else in this squad. You’re my best detective and you know it. Hell, everyone knows it. But this thing with partners, it’s got to stop.”

“Steve, it is my fault they get injured?”

“Injured?” He grabbed her file and flipped through the pages. “Two were killed in the line of duty, McPhee. One is on permanent disability. Two quit the force. And now Kapler. Desk duty because he’ll walk with a limp the rest of his life.”

She looked away. She wanted to feel remorse. She really did. But she’d not had a relationship with any of them. They had liked her and she had not liked them. They never clicked, never formed the bond necessary to be partners. They had not trusted each other. And that makes for the worst partners.

“You can’t blame me for this. I tried to tell you with every one of them that it wasn’t working. None of them could get past the fact that I’m a woman.” She said.

“I know you did, and I know they weren’t right for you. But I don’t always get to make the decisions. You’re too much of a maverick, McPhee. You don’t follow rules. I find it amazing that it hasn’t caught up with you yet.”

She glared at him. She’d heard this speech numerous times before. It always preceded his announcement that she would be getting a new partner.

“So who is he this time? Some burnout from Central?”

Lieutenant Martin shuffled through papers on his desk and put his glasses on.

“Detective Pickler. From Assault.”

“And?”

“And she’s been assigned to us.”

“She?” Kat sat up straight in her chair. “A woman? You’re pairing me with a woman?” She leaned her elbows on his desk. “Steve? A goddamn woman?”

“What’s wrong with that? You’re a woman.”

She rose quickly, pacing across his office. A woman? Some bimbo from Assault? Jesus!

“She won’t last a day,” Kat threatened. “And you know it.”

“She will last a day, Kat.” Martin stood, too, and pointed his finger at her. “Because if she doesn’t, they’ll ship you out to foot patrol in Central. Or they’ll put you behind a desk in CIU. Hell, McPhee, even the Chief called me.”

“The Chief? Christ, I didn’t think he knew my name.”

“I mean it, McPhee. Make this work. I don’t want to lose you, but I can’t protect you forever. In case you haven’t noticed, no one wants to work with you.”

Kat shoved her hands in her pockets, her brown eyes piercing his. A woman. Well, this ought to be fun.

“Very funny.”

Kellie Pickler smoothed her blazer over neatly pressed slacks one more time before entering the squad room. Walking confidently to the Sergeant’s desk, she stood patiently as he finished typing a report. Finally, he looked up.

“Yeah?”

“I’m Detective Pickler. Lieutenant Martin is expecting me.” She said.

“Through there.” He pointed. “Name’s on the door.”

“Thank you.” she said politely, but he had gone back to his typing, dismissing her.

She walked into the large room, easily sidestepping two uniformed officers who nearly bumped into her. She glanced around, noticing that most of the desks were empty. A phone rang insistently and she wondered why no one picked it up. Her eyes finally landed on a handsome young man with blue eyes who flashed her a grin. She nodded at him and continued on, her eyes scanning the offices for Lieutenant Martin’s name.

“Need some help?”

She turned. The blue-eyed man was standing, his eyes traveling up her body and resting on her breasts. God, could he be less subtle?

“Hey, eyes are up here.” She said slowly, pointing to her face.

When he finally looked up, she asked, “I’m looking for Lieutenant Martin.”

“Two doors down. Right there.” He said, pointing with one well-manicured hand. Then he walked over. “I’m Detective Stiles. John. Is there something I can help you with?”

Kellie looked him over, much as he had done her. Then she smiled.

“No, thanks.”

She knocked once on the Lieutenant’s door, then entered.

Kat hung up the phone and looked up as Stiles intercepted the young woman walking through. He flashed his most seductive smile and she shook her head. Any woman was fair game as far as Stiles was concerned. She was about to turn away when the woman walked purposefully to the Lieutenant’s office.

Surely to God this was not her new partner. She leaned back in her chair and studied the woman. The newcomer was petite. She looked almost slight in the blazer that hung loosely from her shoulders. She watched until the woman walked into the Lieutenant’s office, then slid her eyes to Stiles.

“Back off, McPhee. She’s out of your league.” Stiles said from across the room with a laugh.

Kat gave him a humorless smile. “She looks like she might have a brain cell or two. I think she’s obviously out of your league, Stiles.”

The other detectives laughed and John Stiles took his seat.

“Good one, McPhee.”

Kat looked up and caught the laughing eyes of Tony Ramirez. He was really her only friend on the squad, if she would even call him that. She often wondered why Martin didn’t partner her up with him. They got along well and on the few occasions they had worked together, he had never once treated her as anything other than is equal.

She looked around the room at the other detectives. Donald Matthewson had come up with her in the Academy. He probably knew her better than anyone here, but he avoided her like the plague. She was the only woman and he was the only African-American. He knew all about discrimination. Apparently he thought it only involved skin color, not gender.

Then there was Richard Adams. A fifty-two-year-old who was strictly old-school. Women had no place on the force, and they certainly had no place among the detectives. He took every opportunity to belittle her. But what he and the others didn’t understand was that she simply didn’t care whether they liked her or not. She did her job.

She finally glanced at John Stiles. Even she had to admit he was handsome. Blond and blue-eyed, he used his looks to get witnesses to talk time and again. Unfortunately, that was his best quality as a detective. He, most of all, despised her. Not because she was a woman. Stiles was probably the only one here who could work with a woman. No, he disliked her because she was gay.

She shrugged, then went back to her files. None of it mattered. She had the best conviction rate among them all and she never rested until her cases were solved. Night after night, they would all go home to their lives and their families and she would stay, poring over reports again and again. But then, it wasn’t like she had someone to go home to.

“Lieutenant Martin?”

“Yes, come in. You must be Pickler.”

“Yes, sir.”

Steve observed the woman who walked into his office and took a seat in front of his desk. He hadn’t known what to expect, but he assumed it would be someone older, more seasoned. Not the young blonde sitting before him now. She was attractive. Her blond hair reached just beyond the shoulders of her blazer, and she nervously brushed it away from her face. Oh, McPhee would eat her alive. He gave it two days before the woman came running scared to him, asking for a new partner. Then blue eyes met his own and he smiled. She returned the smile and his old heart did a flip-flop. She was beautiful.

He cleared his throat and picked up the file he’d been given yesterday. He’d barely glanced through it.

“I understand you requested this move,” he started. “Your Lieutenant said they had you earmarked for CIU.”

“CIU doesn’t really appeal to me,” Kellie said. “More desk work than anything.”

“A stepping-stone to the FBI,” Martin countered. “We’ve lost some good men that way.”

She smiled. “Yes, but I’m a woman.”

Steve felt his face flush. “Figure of speech.”

“Yes, sir.”

“So, you’ve been with the Assault Division four years. You have a good record, your Lieutenant spoke highly of you. Why the change?”

“Every Lieutenant and Captain I’ve met comes from Homicide. Not Assault.”

He smiled. “So, you have higher aspirations than just a lowly detective, huh?”

“I spent two years on the East side, two in Central. I was honored when they requested me at Assault. But after four years, I watched men come and go, moving on to Homicide, CIU, Tactical. They skipped right over me. Please don’t take this the wrong way, but as a woman; I understand if you want to move up higher in the chain, you have to do things twice as well as the men. Where better than Homicide?”

Steve Martin grinned, then laughed. Well, looked like he’d just found Kat McPhee the perfect partner. A woman with ambition.

She raised her eyebrows. “Funny?”

“No, no. I’m laughing at myself, not at you.” He patted the thick file on his desk. “I take it you don’t know anything about your new partner?”

“No, sir. But please don’t tell me he’s some old-timer who can’t stand to work with women.”

“Oh, no. Detective McPhee. He’s a she.”

“McPhee?”

“Heard of her?”

Kellie had heard the stories. She was a nutcase, by most accounts. Great. Just great.

“I’ve heard some,” she said. “Didn’t her partner get killed a few years ago?”

“She’s my best detective. Somewhat of a rogue. It’s hard to keep her on a tight leash. But you can learn a lot from her. If she’ll let you.”

“If she’ll let me?”

“She likes to work alone. Damn near lives here. Her partners go home, she stays here, cleans up the case. They come back the next day, it’s all done. Most men can’t take that. She rarely listens to advice from her partners, just does her own thing. They either follow her or get lost in the chase. Two have been killed in the line of duty. Everyone wanted to blame McPhee. But in both instances, they decided not to follow her lead. She came out unscathed and got her man. They ended up dead by simply making the wrong decision. Two actually quit the force after working with her. Another was injured when a car ran over him. Permanent disability. And Kapler, your predecessor, jumped out of a two-story window and broke both legs.”

“Why in the world did he jump?”

“He was following her.”

Kellie’s eyebrows shot up. “She jumped out of a two-story window?”

“Yes.” Then he grinned. “Just like the movies. Jumped to the fire escape, swung down the railing, bounced off the trash Dumpster and caught the perp.”

“Great,” she murmured. Definitely a nutcase.

He stood, motioning her to do the same.

“Let me introduce you around. A couple of things, but you’ll find out soon enough yourself: Adams is old-school. You’re a woman and he won’t give you the time of day. And Stiles, he fancies himself a ladies man. He will give you the time of day. Every day. But there’s no love lost between them and McPhee. In fact, Ramirez is the only one that gets along well with McPhee. A mild case of hero worship or a crush or something.” He stopped before opening his door. “Don’t you dare tell either of them I said that.”

“No, sir.”

He motioned her out the door, then followed, stopping in the middle of the squad room.

“Listen up, people.”

All heads popped up except Kat’s. She continued with her phone conversation, ignoring the Lieutenant and the young woman.

“Detective Pickler’s been assigned to us from Assault. She’ll be replacing Kapler.”

He pointed around the room and Kellie followed his introductions.

“Richard Adams and Donald Matthewson. John Stiles and Tony Ramirez over there. Sergeant Fisk out front there. And Kat McPhee. That’s our team.”

She nodded at them, murmuring hellos, her eyes finally landing on the woman who would be her new partner, landing on her profile anyway. The woman had yet to look her way.

“Make her feel at home.” Then, to Kellie, “Come on. I’ll introduce you personally.”

Kat hung up the phone just as Martin walked over.

“McPhee, this is Detective Pickler. She’s been assigned to you. Try to play nice,” he said with just a hint of a threat.

Kat looked over the blond woman in front of her, with her pressed slacks and neat jacket. No jewelry, save the watch and earrings. Hesitant blue eyes peered back at her, then the woman offered her hand.

“Nice to meet you, Detective McPhee,” she said pleasantly.

“Yeah. A real pleasure,” she said dryly. The woman looked like an attorney, not a cop. She wondered if she’d ever done fieldwork or just sat behind a desk. “That’s yours,” she said, pointing to the desk butting up against her own. At least the woman would be nicer to look at than Kapler’s old sour puss.

Kellie looked quickly at Lieutenant Martin, who smiled apologetically and squeezed her shoulder.

“You’ll be fine,” he said quietly, then left them alone.

She looked back to the other woman, who had already picked up the phone again. Great. Just great. She hates me already, she thought.

“Sit down.”

She stared at the woman, who had the phone cradled against her shoulder, and took the file she handed her. She sat, her eyes still on the brown-haired woman.

“Yeah, this is McPhee. I need the lab results.” A pause. “You said it would be this morning.” Another pause. “It’s goddamn nine o’clock! That is morning.”

Kellie raised her eyebrows.

“Fine. If you meant noon, then say noon.” Kat slammed the phone down. “Idiots,” she murmured.

The blonde watched, her apprehension growing with each passing second. She should have stayed in Assault. She should have requested CIU.

“Teenage girl found in a trash Dumpster on the East Side. Jane Doe,” Kat said, pointing to the file she’d handed Pickler. “Hooker, most likely. Consensus is a john killed her. But I don’t think so.”

“If a john killed her, why would he go to all the trouble of dumping her body? Why not leave it?”

Kat looked up, startled. That was her theory as well.

“Maybe if he left her at the scene, there would be too much evidence that would point to him,” Kat said.

“Motels that rent by the hour? Come on. You could get hundreds of prints.”

The brunette nodded.

“Okay. Her pimp?”

“That would be logical, but we can’t find anyone who recognizes her.”

“Then maybe she’s not from East Dallas,” Kellie said.

“Downtown?”

“Probably. There’s a small area on the West End and Little Mexico,” the blonde said.

Kat leaned back and studied the other woman. She looked young.

“How long have you been a detective?”

“Five years. Why?”

“You look barely twenty-eight,” Kat said.

“Thirty, but does it matter?”

“Of course it matters. No one takes a woman seriously, especially when she looks like she’s fresh out of college.”

“Why, thank you. I knew there was a compliment in there somewhere,” Kellie said sarcastically.

The brunette stood up and grabbed her coffee cup and walked away. Kellie stared after her. She was taller than herself, but only by a few inches. Straight, medium length brown hair and brown eyes. Well built and very attractive. Definitely moody. Why the sudden change? Did she answer one of the questions wrong?

“Don’t worry about her, honey. She’s just being her usual bitchy self,” John Stiles told her as he walked over.

“Excuse me?”

“McPhee,” he explained.

“No. Honey? Were you talking to me?”

He flashed her a charming smile and sat on the corner of her desk.

“Sorry. No offense.” He stuck out his hand. “John Stiles, at your service,” he said.

She took his hand, then dropped it quickly as he squeezed.

“No offense, John, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t call me honey. I’ll try to refrain from calling you names as well.”

He laughed and she smiled at him. He really was attractive, she had to admit.

“So, you’re stuck with McPhee. Sorry about that. I wish you luck.”

“I’m sure I’ll be fine,” she said.

“Well, if you need anything…anything at all, you just let me know.”

“Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.”

Kat came back with two steaming cups of coffee and set one on Kellie’s desk. She flicked her eyes to Stiles.

“Don’t you have work to do?”

“Just introducing myself, McPhee. Don’t get excited.”

“Trust me, you don’t excite me.”

He laughed again, then pulled himself off of her desk, ignoring the brunette. “So, Kellie, you want to maybe get dinner some night? I can fill you in on all the local gossip,” he offered.

“No thanks. I’m involved with someone. I’d doubt he’d appreciate that,” she said.

He shrugged. “You never know. Offer is always open,” he said as he walked away.

“Stay away from him,” Kat said. “He’s a jerk.”


Kellie smiled. Yes, she agreed.

“Does anyone here like you?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“I don’t bullshit, I don’t play games.”

“That doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with the people you work with,” the blonde said.

“Friends? With those guys?” Kat leaned forward. “Adams hates me because I’m a woman. He could care less about my job performance. I’m just a woman. Matthewson, his partner, follows his lead, even though Adams barely tolerates him because he’s black. Ramirez is the only one who shows me even the slightest consideration and because of that, he has to listen to ridicule from the others, especially Stiles, his partner.”

“That can’t all be because you’re a woman.”

“No, not just because I’m a woman. Because I’m a woman and I’m better at the job than they are.”

“Oh. Well, it’s good to know you’re not in the least conceited,” Kellie said with a smile.

“Why are you here?”

“Excuse me?”

“Did they ask you or did you volunteer?”

“I requested a transfer months ago. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Kat nodded and sipped her coffee. “So, you have a boyfriend?”

“Yes. Why?”

The brunette shrugged. “It’ll make it easier on you. Stiles will only hit on you every other day. Adams will at least think there’s hope you’ll get married and pregnant and get out of his territory.”

“You paint a very bleak picture of this office, McPhee. I’ve worked around men my whole career. I’ve never had a problem with them. I doubt I will here, either. I do a good job.”

Kat shrugged again. She was probably right. She was straight and attractive. She was no threat to them. Unlike herself.

“I’m going to go down to Central and show our girl’s picture around. Maybe she’s been hauled in before. Want to come?”

“As opposed to staying here and being leered at by Stiles?”


Last edited by Night's Sweet Caress on Sat 17 Oct 2009, 9:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mcpheever63

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Fri 16 Oct 2009, 5:20 pm

Kat and Kellie back together in my fav Police story. It should be just as good to read it again as it was the first time. Very Happy
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missime66

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Sat 17 Oct 2009, 10:35 pm

One of my all-time favorites NSC! Can't wait to to experience the, love passion and suspense again!

cheers cheers
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Voice In The Darkness
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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Sat 17 Oct 2009, 10:42 pm

This is clearly one of the best written and most enjoyable stories you’ve written and I’m glad you decided to bring it over to Writers Fortress. Thank you. I am thoroughly impressed with your imagination, always thinking out of the box, creating unique storylines to keep us, the readers, entertained. Detectives? Kat does seem to have the temperament to be an outstanding one, as for her new partner ...something tells me the fun is about to begin. Wink Update soon. Smile study
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Avenging Angel

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Sun 18 Oct 2009, 11:32 am

YES!!! Kellie and Kat are back as our intrepid detectives in what has to be our favorite story. We can't wait to read all the thrills, chills, and laughter all over again. I love you Very Happy cheers
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Wiccan Muse

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Mon 19 Oct 2009, 6:46 pm

It's Police Story, starring-----Kat and Kellie!! Very Happy Let the fun begin! cheers cheers
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Wolf's Lonely Cry

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Tue 20 Oct 2009, 8:10 pm

Bring on bad ass Kat and tender Kellie! Criminal beware, Kat is on your tail. cheers Very Happy I love you
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Night's Sweet Caress

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PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Wed 25 Nov 2009, 11:49 am

Thank you so much everyone for all of your wonderful comments. hug They really mean a lot to me. I hope that all the readers here will enjoy this next update. thanks


Chapter 2:


It was after six when Kellie walked into her apartment and collapsed on her sofa. It had been a mentally trying day and she was exhausted. She glanced over at the phone. Three messages. Kicking off her shoes, she stretched out, hitting her voice mail as she lay down.

“It’s me, sweetheart. I wanted to see if you were up to dinner. Can’t to hear about your first day. Call me when you get in.”

She nodded, waiting for the beep.

“It’s me. So how did it go? If you can sneak away from Kevin one night, why don’t we get dinner. It’s been awhile.”

She nodded again, mentally making a note to call Amy later.

“Sorry, Kellie, can’t do dinner tonight after all. I’ve got a late meeting. I’ll call you when I’m done. Maybe I can swing by.”

She shook her head. She was too tired. She was actually thankful Kevin had a meeting. She pushed off the sofa, taking her clothes off as she headed to the bathroom. A long, hot shower helped revive her somewhat. Unfortunately, her refrigerator didn’t miraculously contain dinner. Sorting through the frozen meals in her freezer, she grabbed one and popped it in the microwave. Her fridge, however contain a bottle of wine.

She took a glass and the entire bottle into the living room, settling into her recliner.

“Ahh,” she murmured as she put her feet up. She grabbed the phone, and with her thumb, punched out Amy’s number.

“It’s me,” she said when her best friend answered.

“Well, hello, Detective. How’d it go?”

She smiled and sipped her wine.

“I survived…barely,” she said. “I’m afraid it’s dangerously close to a mental ward, but I survived.”

“That bad, huh?”

“I’ve never in my life seen so many egos and that much testosterone in one place before.”

Amy laughed. “I told you to stay put. The boys in Homicide don’t mess around with little girls.”

“My partner’s a woman,” she said.

“You’re kidding? What? They lump you together so you won’t get in the way?”

“You may have heard of her. Kat McPhee.”

“Jesus Christ! She’s the nut that jumped out of a two-story building. We’re defending the guy she nabbed,” Amy said.

“Yes, that’s her. So, you got the case?”

“No, Michaels does. It’s a dead end, though. He’s going to plea.”

“She’s supposedly very good at her job,” Kellie said. “She doesn’t exactly fare too well with partners, though. I’m not sure we’re going to get along.”

“Oh, you’ll do fine. Everyone likes you.”

“Yes. But not everyone likes her. It’s going to be difficult. She’s moody as hell and she resents me being assigned to her.”

“I’m sure you’ll win her over. Where’s Kevin?”

“Meeting. Thankfully. I was too tired for dinner. In fact, I’m too tired for company, period.”

“So how are things going with you guys?”

“Okay.”

“Okay? You’ve been seeing him for two years. When are you going to talk marriage?”

“Marriage? I don’t think we’re at that stage, Amy.” In fact, she knew she wasn’t. Kevin had hinted they might move in together, but she’d balked. She liked her privacy and her time alone. He didn’t really understand but he didn’t push. Not much, anyway.

“He’s a good guy, Kellie. You could do a lot worse.”

“Yes, I know. He’s a sweetheart. I’m just not ready to get married.”

“You think it’ll interfere with your career?”

“Well, there’s that,” she said. “He hates it now when I’m out nights. Can you imagine if we were married?”

“And working Homicide, you’ll be out nights more often,” Amy replied.

“Most likely. So, how are you doing? Still seeing Eric?” she asked, thankful to change the subject.

“Yes. I wish I could say I’m in love with him, but I’m not. He’s just so damn attractive. I keep thinking it’ll come,” she said with a laugh.

Kellie shook her head. Amy had always been swayed by a pretty face. In that, she was lucky. Kevin was handsome and she was…well, she loved him. Was she in love with him? Maybe. At least she thought she should be.

They really had a great relationship. They rarely argued. When they did, it was usually over cases. He was a defense attorney. Thankfully, they had never worked the same case.

She was asleep on the sofa when he called later that evening. He wanted to come over.

“Kevin, I’m really exhausted. Can we hook up tomorrow?”

“Of course. How did it go today?”

“It went…okay,” she said. “It’ll be different, that’s for sure,” she said around a yawn. “I’m sorry,” she murmured.

“That’s okay. Go back to sleep. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

She wanted to burrow deeper into the sofa, but she made herself get up and into bed.




Kellie felt refreshed when her alarm went off at six. She showered quickly, deciding to grab coffee on the way. She wanted to be early. For some reason, she felt the need to beat Kat McPhee to work.

It was a sunny morning and warm for March. Of course, that was relative. March in Dallas was either hinting at summer or hanging on to winter. Spring lasted but a few weeks.

She was early enough to beat traffic and she stopped at a coffeehouse on the corner of Commerce and Oakland. She eyed the pastries before deciding on a croissant. Ham and cheese filled, but still better than a pastry, she reasoned. She ate while she drove the two blocks to the station. She was early. The lot was only half full.

But her good mood vanished when she saw Kat sitting at her desk, phone already tucked on her shoulder. The same as it was when she’d left last evening. Damn, did the woman even go home?

“Morning,” she said.

“Uh-huh.” Kat glanced up briefly, then away. “It’s McPhee. I want to go over the lab reports. I’ll be down in a half-hour.” A pause. “Yes, I know what time it is. Do Kellie felt refreshed when her alarm went off at six. She showered quickly, deciding to grab coffee on the way. She wanted to be early. For some reason, she felt the need to beat Kat McPhee to work.

It was a sunny morning and warm for March. Of course, that was relative. March in Dallas was either hinting at summer or hanging on to winter. Spring lasted but a few weeks.

She was early enough to beat traffic and she stopped at a coffeehouse on the corner of Commerce and Oakland. She eyed the pastries before deciding on a croissant. Ham and cheese filled, but still better than a pastry, she reasoned. She ate while she drove the two blocks to the station. She was early. The lot was only half full.

But her good mood vanished when she saw Kat sitting at her desk, phone already tucked on her shoulder. The same as it was when she’d left last evening. Damn, did the woman even go home?

“Morning,” she said.

“Uh-huh.” Kat glanced up briefly, then away. “It’s McPhee. I want to go over the lab reports. I’ll be down in a half-hour.” A pause. “Yes, I know what time it is. Do Kellie felt refreshed when her alarm went off at six. She showered quickly, deciding to grab coffee on the way. She wanted to be early. For some reason, she felt the need to beat Kat McPhee to work.

It was a sunny morning and warm for March. Of course, that was relative. March in Dallas was either hinting at summer or hanging on to winter. Spring lasted but a few weeks.

She was early enough to beat traffic and she stopped at a coffeehouse on the corner of Commerce and Oakland. She eyed the pastries before deciding on a croissant. Ham and cheese filled, but still better than a pastry, she reasoned. She ate while she drove the two blocks to the station. She was early. The lot was only half full.

But her good mood vanished when she saw Kat sitting at her desk, phone already tucked on her shoulder. The same as it was when she’d left last evening. Damn, did the woman even go home?

“Morning,” she said.

“Uh-huh.” Kat glanced up briefly, then away. “It’s McPhee. I want to go over the lab reports. I’ll be down in a half-hour.” A pause. “Yes, I know what time it is. Do you?” She hung up. “Idiots.”

“Well, off to another fine start,” Kellie murmured. She pulled out her chair and sat looking at her new partner, wondering what was on the agenda today. The lab reports, obviously. She’d left after five and they hadn’t received them yet. Apparently, Kat had gotten her hands on them somehow.

“Seems our girl was busy before she died. Four different semen types,” Kat said.

“When did you get the report?”

“Last night,” she said absently. “You want to come or do you want to stay here and settle in?”

She waited until the brunette looked up.

“Are you always this difficult to work with?”

“Yes.”

“No wonder Kapler jumped. He was probably wishing it was four stories instead of two.”

“Very funny. Are you coming?”

“Yes, McPhee, I’m coming. Christ, did you even go home?”

“No.”

“Did you sleep?”

Kat turned and faced the blonde.

“Whether I slept or not and where is none of your business.” She turned and left without another word.

“Lovely. I’ve landed in hell.”

The trip to the lab was made in silence and Kellie kept her lands locked together in her lap, staring straight ahead as they crept along in traffic. Couldn’t wait a half-hour and let the traffic die, no. had to leave right then. Had to have us stuck together in this goddamn car.

It seemed like hours later before they walked into the lab. Kellie noticed that no one greeted them. In fact, they avoided them. Great. I’m partnered with a psycho whom no one can stand. She thought it amazing that the brunette got any cooperation at all in the department.

“Jackson. Good morning,” Kat said, walking up to an older man and touching hands with him briefly. “This is Kellie Pickler, my new partner,” she said, motioning to the blonde.

“Nice to meet you, Detective. I’m Arthur Jackson.” He took a stick of gum from his lab coat and folded it into thirds before sticking it in his mouth. “My staff tells me you’ve been badgering them, McPhee. What’s the problem?”

“No problem. Just six hours late on lab reports,” she said. “I got impatient.”

He laughed. “You get impatient when we’re an hour late. I can’t imagine your attitude after six.” He walked down the hall and they followed. “Your Jane Doe was a popular gal, Detective. I’m guessing she’s sixteen, maybe seventeen. Hard to tell. Life on the street ages you quickly.”

“Her street name was Lorraine,” Kat said. “She’s fairly new on the streets, they tell me.”

Kellie stared, wondering how in the world Kat had gotten this information. And why the hell hadn’t she told her.

“I’m going to guess she’s from New Orleans,” Dr. Jackson said. “She’s got a tattoo on her right arm. Mardi Gras type of thing. We traced it. Some sort of gang symbol down there. Sara’s running a report for you.”

“Thanks. Now, what about the semen?”

Dr. Jackson held the door open to his office and they preceded him, each taking a seat in front of his desk.

“Four types. You’d think they’d be smart enough to use condoms.” He flipped open a file on his desk. “Two were from semen in the rectum. The only sign of violence was strangulation. No recent bruises. There were two old fractures. Wrist and tibia. That’s it.”

“You run the semen through? No DNA matches?”

“None.”

“Drugs.”

“Clean.”

“Not much to go on, Doc.”

“No, there’s not.”

Kellie sat and listened to their exchange, still seething because her ‘partner’ apparently had been working last night while she was sleeping peacefully in her bed.

Kat’s cell phone interrupted her thoughts. She watched as the brunette pulled it off the clip on her jeans.

“McPhee.”

“Got another hooker. Dumpster over in Central.”

Kellie saw the frown, the tightening of lips.

“Great. Thanks, Fisk.” Kat looked briefly at the blonde, then folded her cell phone. “Got another body, Jackson.” She stood, then turned back. “I’m looking for a semen match.”

The blonde hurried after Kat as she nearly ran down the hallway. She hated not knowing what the hell was going on. When they were on the again, she turned to the brunette.

“What’s up?”

“They found another body.”

“Yes. I heard. Thank you. But I want to know what’s going on.”

Kat shrugged. “You know as much as I do.”

“Bullshit! How do you know her street name was Lorraine?”

“I asked.”

“You asked who?”

“Hookers.”

“Goddamn it, McPhee! I’m supposed to be your partner. Not some puppy dog that just follows you around during daylight hours and goes home. If you were going out last night, why didn’t you tell me? I could have gone with you.”

“You’d already put in nine hours, Detective. You were tired. You have a boyfriend waiting. There was no reason for you to hang around the back alleys at midnight asking about a dead hooker.”

“What the fuck does that have to do with anything? If you’re working, I should be working. You could have at least asked me.”

“I work at odd hours. I doubt you’d be able to keep up,” Kat said lightly.

“Try me,” Kellie challenged. “You’re not going to run me off, McPhee. So unless you shoot me or push me out of a two-story building, I’m going to be here. I want to be here.” God, did I just say that?

“Why do you think I’m trying to run you off?”

Kellie stared at her. “You’ve hardly been friendly. Hell, you’ve barely been tolerable. You don’t share shit with me. You go off on your own like some cowboy. Do you even know what the word partner means?”

“Look, this is my case. I’ve been on my own for two months since Kapler…fell.” She nearly laughed. She could still picture him dangling from the railing, yelling for her to wait.

“Well, this is our case now and why the hell are you smiling?”

“Sorry. Thinking about Kapler,” Kat said.

“He fell out of a two-story window. That makes you smile?”

“He was twenty pounds overweight. I told him to go down and take the stairs,” she said. “But he couldn’t let me win. Couldn’t let me catch the guy without him.”

“So he jumped?”

“Jumped? No, he tried to hang himself from the fire escape,” she said. “He was up there doing chin-ups, trying to climb back up.”

Kellie didn’t know Kapler, but the visual she got made her smile.

“So, where are we going?”

“Central. Why don’t you call Fisk and get the address.”

Twenty minutes later, they were in the downturn warehouse district. Kellie recognized one of the uniformed men from her days at Central. Jim Rogers. He’d asked her out nearly once a week for the first year.

“Hey, Jim, how’s it going?”

“Kellie? What are you doing here? I thought you were with Assault.”

“I’m with Homicide now. Did you find her?”

“No. Someone called it in. By the time we got here, there was already a crowd. Got a woman over there that can identify her,” he said, pointing to an elderly lady talking to another officer.

“Thanks, Jim.”

Kat watched the exchange silently, noting the friendly smile the blonde gave Rogers. Well, they definitely had different methods. She nodded as Kellie headed off. She went in the opposite direction, to the Dumpster.

“What do we have?” she asked as she peered inside.

“What you see is what you get, McPhee.”

Kat glanced up quickly, then took a step forward. “I see what I see. I asked what you had?” she said quietly, her piercing stare pinning him in place.

“Working girl, most likely. Teenager. Dumped last night, probably. The guy in the bookstore found her when he was taking out the trash.”

“Why do you think she was dumped last night?”

He shrugged.

“Who’s here from the Medical Examiner?”

“Spencer.”

“Where is she?”

“Back in the van.”

She walked over to the van and knocked once on the outside panel. The back door swung open and Rita Spencer stepped out. Their eyes met and there was an uncomfortable silence. There was always an uncomfortable silence, ever since the one night they’d spent together nearly a year ago. Kat shoved her hands in her pockets and waited for Rita to speak.

“Figured this was your case, McPhee. Sara said you’d been raising hell at the lab yesterday over the other one.”

Kat nodded. “How are you?”

“Great. You?”

“Wonderful,” she said dryly. “What you got?”

“Appears to be the same MO. The only bruising I can see is around the neck. We’ll have to wait until we open her up, of course. But I’d say you’ve got a serial.”

“Yeah. Wonderful.”

Rita motioned with her head to Kellie as she walked toward them. “Who’s your partner?”

Kat waited just a second until the blonde joined them. “Kellie Pickler. Rita Spencer,” she said.

“Nice to meet you,” she said, shaking hands with the other woman. “Same as before?”

“Most likely.”

Kellie nodded, then looked at the brunette. “Mrs. Perez says her name is Crystal. Says she comes into the bakery every morning when they open. Seven,” she said in response to Kat’s raised eyebrows. “She doesn’t know where she lives. She walks north when she leaves.”

McPhee nodded. They had nothing. Well, except for the fact that the girl wasn’t dumped last night. Kat had seen her at one. She turned without a word and walked away.




Kat drove through the city, all four windows of her Explorer down. The air was cool. Once the sun had set, the springlike temperatures had disappeared. She didn’t care. She was too damn tired. She bypassed her small apartment in South Dallas and headed to Fort Worth. She needed to rest. She’d had only a few hours’ sleep each night for the past week. Taking the Loop, she headed west, out of town, toward Eagle Mountain Lake. She hadn’t been to her boat in three weeks, since the first murder. But tonight, she needed the peace and quiet that the lake afforded.

The marina was deserted by the time she got there. She punched in her code and walked through the gate, her footsteps quiet as the water rippled silently around the piers. She walked to the end, where her boat was docked, pausing to stare up at the twinkling stars before boarding. Flipping on the pier light, she slid open the glass door, leaving it cracked to let in fresh air. She grabbed a beer, drinking nearly half before heading to the tiny shower. She stood under the slow stream of hot water and closing her eyes, she tried to relax.

Later, she pulled a lawn chair out on the deck and sat, watching the stars overhead and listening as the water splashed gently against her boat. She reached for the bottle of wine that sat next to her chair and she refilled her glass, setting it back down without looking.

Two dead girls. No clues. She tipped her head back. Probably going to be more dead girls. Hell of a way for her new partner to get her feet wet.

She lifted one corner of her mouth in a smile. Kellie Pickler. Well, she was definitely the prettiest partner she’d ever had. And after two days, Kat knew she wasn’t going to run her off. Probably just as well. She’d had a lot worse. At least the woman was willing to follow her lead and not buck her at every turn. Again she grinned. Well, it wasn’t like she’d given her a choice. She did, however, suspect that the blonde had a temper. That could be fun.




“I’m just tired, Kevin. “I’m sorry.” She murmured as she rolled onto to her side. She just didn’t have the energy to make love. She’d barely made it through dinner.

“It’s okay, sweetheart. It’s just that we haven’t seen much of each other this week. I miss you.”

“Me, too. We’ll have the weekend, Kevin.”

She felt him nod, and she closed her eyes. Sleep claimed her immediately.




Kat sipped her coffee and watched as the blonde made her way through the squad room. Pressed navy pants today, she noted. Matching blazer. It made her blue eyes even bluer.

“Exactly what time do you get to work?” Kellie asked. She tossed her purse on her desk and grabbed her coffee cup.

“Early.”

“It’s seven-thirty,” she said as she walked away.

“Earlier than that,” Kat murmured.

The blonde came back and pulled out her chair, grimacing at the taste of the coffee. She should have stopped on the way.

“Please tell me you didn’t drive around the streets again last night,” Kellie said.

“No. I was tired,” the brunette replied. She snatched up the phone. “It’s McPhee. Jackson in yet?” She stared at Kellie, then nodded. “We’ll be over at nine.”

“They already have lab results?”

“They will.”

“Are you thinking serial?”

“Yes. This girl, Crystal, I spoke with her the night she died,” Kat said quietly.

“You what?”

“I saw her on the street. It was nearly two. I showed her our Jane Doe. She knew her as Lorraine.”

“Why are you just now sharing this?” the blonde demanded.

“What difference does it make?”

Kellie slammed her fist on the desk, causing the papers to fly around her. “We’re partners,” she said slowly. “I know you don’t know the definition of that word, McPhee. You can’t just drop information like that in casual conversation. They think she was dumped during the night. You knew all along that wasn’t true,” she accused. “I spent half the day trying to find out who she was with before midnight!”

“I’m sure the ME will give time of death. And it’ll be after two.”

The blonde stared at her with flashing blue eyes.

“Morning, ladies.”

Kat turned to Martin, away from the angry blue eyes of her partner.

“Morning, Lieutenant.”

Kellie shoved her chair away, walking purposefully behind Lieutenant Martin, following him into his office.

“Pickler? What’s up?” he asked as he hung his jacket on the coat rack.

“She’s impossible,” Kellie said, slamming the door behind her. “Impossible!”

“Ah. Third day. You’ve done good. I expected you in here yesterday,” he said. “Sit. What’s the problem?”

“What’s the problem? She’s insane,” she said. “Psychotic.”

He nodded.

“She keeps things from me, she goes out at all hours of the night, she barely speaks to me.”

He nodded again.

“She’s impossible to work with. No wonder Kapler jumped. I’d have jumped, too.”

Martin laughed, then stifled it as angry blue eyes shot his way.

“Please tell me it’ll get better,” she said quietly. “It’s almost as if she doesn’t want anyone to like her, Lieutenant. She goes out of her way to antagonize people. And one minute she’s nice, the next a total bitch. It’s like we almost connect, then she goes off and does something to intentionally piss me off!”

“Calm down, Pickler.”

“I am calm!”

“Look, I told you she was…difficult. She has her own rules. But they are effective. Would I like six detectives like her? No, of course not. And if not for departmental rules, I’d let her work alone. She can handle herself out there. She knows the streets. I don’t envy you, Detective. But like it or not, she’s your partner.”

“Why doesn’t she want anyone to like her?” Kellie asked quietly.

Martin stared at her. Kellie Pickler had been with McPhee two days and had already figured out what the others hadn’t in years. Kat McPhee was abrasive. Not by nature, he knew. But by design. It had taken him four years to figure that out. And one night in a quiet downtown bar, Kat had bared her soul to him. He hadn’t been able to look at her the same since.

Martin glanced out his windows, finding Kat’s chair empty. It really wasn’t his place to tell Kellie about the brunette’s past, but he thought this time, maybe he’d found someone who could stick by Kat. Kellie Pickler wasn’t in competition with McPhee, unlike other partners.

“What I’m about to tell you doesn’t leave this room, Detective,” he said.

She nodded.

“Kat’s father was on the force. A detective, too. When she was twelve, one night at dinnertime, a man broke in. He tied them all to chairs in their dining room. Mother, father, sister, and her. One by one, he killed them. Kat was the last alive. He held the gun to her head but didn’t shoot. He never spoke a word. He just left. Left her tied to her chair with her dead family all around her. The case was never solved.”

“Oh my God,” Kellie whispered.

“She has all the files, all the old data. She still works the case, I’m sure, although she won’t admit to it. It eats at her. She doesn’t have anyone in her life, Pickler. No family, no friends that I know of. Just this job and old memories. And she’s reckless beyond words because deep down, she doesn’t care if she lives or dies. So she makes her own rules and lives by them.

“I’m sorry.” She murmured.

“She’s angry, Kellie. Angry at life. So if she takes it out on you, it’s not personal.”

She nodded. Jesus, now what? How could she possibly be annoyed at the woman?

“If she ever finds out I told you that, it’ll be hell to pay. No one knows. That was twenty years ago.”

“How did she survive? I mean, mentally?”

Martin smiled. “Some would say she didn’t. She’s a very strong woman. Apparently, she was a very strong girl. She lived with her aunt down in Houston after that. Came back up here after college. She’s managed. She’s a good cop. I think that’s why she won’t let a case rest until it’s solved. I’ve seen her work twenty-fours straight on numerous occasions. But then, I don’t think she sleeps much, anyways. She said she still has nightmares.”

“I can’t believe she opened up that much to you. She barely speaks to me and then, only when I ask questions.”

He nodded. “I got her drunk one night in a downtown dive. I think she was embarrassed by it.

She wouldn’t talk to me for a week afterward.”

“I won’t ever bring it up, Lieutenant. But thank you for telling me. Her…attitude at least makes more sense now.”

Kellie was still visibly shaken as she walked back to her desk. She couldn’t even begin to comprehend the pain a twelve-year-old girl felt after seeing her family murdered. After nearly being a victim herself, only to be left behind, alone.

Kat’s chair was empty and she noticed the scribbled note on her own desk.

“Gone to lab.”

“Great,” she murmured.

“Good morning, Detective Pickler.”

She turned as John Stiles made his way over to her. His light blue shirt accented his eyes and he flashed her a charming smile. For some reason, it did nothing for her.

“Morning, Stiles.”

“Where’s your partner?”

“She went to the lab.”

“Taking off without you already? Get used to it.” He again sat on the corner of her desk and sipped from his coffee. “So, has she hit on you yet?” he asked casually.

“Excuse me?”

“As pretty as you are, I figured she’d try the first day. Matthewson said she’d wait a week, at least.”

“What are you talking about, Stiles?”

“Come on. She’s a lesbo. A dyke.” He bent closer to her. “I told her you were way out of her league, though. You have nothing to worry about.”

Kellie leaned back, away from him. She didn’t know what to say. Actually, the thought that Kat might be a lesbian had not even crossed her mind. She’d been too busy being angry with her to be curious about her personal life. But then, so much more made sense now. The guys didn’t just hate her because she was a woman. It was because she was a gay woman. A stunningly attractive gay woman who wouldn’t give them the time of day.

“Stiles, why do I get the feeling that you’re the one hitting on me? I mean, I thought you were the one who was gay,” she said with a smile.

He jumped off the desk, nearly spilling his coffee.

“What the hell? I’m not a goddamn fag! Where’d you get that?”

She smiled at him. “There’s nothing wrong with it if you are,” she said.

“Well, I’m not!”

She shrugged. “It’s just the way you dress, you know. So neat. Everything matching perfectly.”

His retort died as Martin stuck his head out of his office.

“Stiles, Ramirez, got a domestic over near Fair Park. Murder-suicide. A detective from Family Violence is already on the scene.”

“Yes, sir. Right on it,” Ramirez said. “Come on Stiles.”

John looked back at Kellie. “We’ll finish this later.”

“Sure.”

Kellie was left alone in the squad room with Matthewson and Adams. Neither of them looked her way. She noticed that theirs were the only two desks that didn’t butt up against each other. Instead, they sat at an angle. Most likely, so they wouldn’t have to stare at each other all day. She shook her head. Talk about a dysfunctional squad, this was it. She found it amazing they were as successful as they were. She had never heard rumors that there were problems in Homicide. In fact, she’d heard nothing but praise for the division and Lieutenant Martin. Of course, they probably kept everything in-house. Once they left the building, everyone put on happy faces and worked as a team. And wasn’t that how it worked with McPhee? Both days, out in public, she’d treated her as her partner. Well, sort of. At least she hadn’t totally ignored her.

It was only a short time later that Kat walked in, strode past their desks without speaking and went for coffee. Kellie sighed. She got up and followed the brunette.

“Want some?”

“No thanks. Did you find out anything?”

“Got a semen match. Of course, little good it does us. We already figured it was the same perp.”

“So, we need to find out who Crystal worked for,” the blonde said.

“She worked for Ramon Blackmon. I’ll go out tonight and see if I can find some of his girls. See if I can find him,” she said.

We’ll go out,” Kellie corrected.

Kat stared at her and shrugged. “Suit yourself.” She moved to walk away, but the blonde grabbed her arm.

“Can we talk?”

“Sure.”

“In private?”

Kat looked around, then motioned toward the ladies room. Kellie followed.

“What’s up?” the brunette asked when the door had shut.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Tell you what? That I was going to the lab? You were in with the Lieutenant. I figured you were requesting a new partner, anyway.”

“No. Why didn’t you tell me that you’re gay,” she said.

Kat smiled. “Why would I tell you? I don’t recall you telling me you were straight,” she said. “So what if I’m gay, do I look like a dyke to you?”

She looked at Kat, really looked at her for the first time. She was gorgeous, in every sense of the word. Her brown hair was straight, neat and impeccable. High cheekbones, smooth tan skin, full lips, long eyelashes that framed brown, intense eyes. Eyelashes that most women would envy. She had a body that screamed the word sex. No, she would never use dyke to describe this woman. But she was powerful. Tall, fit. No wonder the guys felt threatened by her.

“Look, you’re not a homophobe, are you? I’ve already worked with my quota,” Kat said.

“I just think you could have told me so I didn’t have to hear it from Stiles.”

“It’s not really your business, it is? I don’t bring my personal life into the squad room. I would hope you’d do the same and not subject me to stories about you and your boyfriend.”

“Don’t you think we could work together better as partners if we shared a little about our lives and attempted to be friends?” Kellie asked, ignoring her comment.

“I’m not your friend. And you’re not mine. We work together. After that, you go home to your boyfriend and you have another life. It’s separate from this.”

“Who do you go home to?” the blonde asked quietly.

“I don’t go home.”

They stared facing each other, brown eyes locked on blue.

“Why is it so hard for you to talk to me? Why won’t you even attempt to have a friendly relationship with me?”

“You ever think that maybe I don’t like you? Maybe I don’t want to have a friendly relationship with you. We work together. That’s it. And when you go home at night, you’ll be glad to be rid of me.”

She turned and walked away, leaving a seething Kellie Pickler staring after her.

“Yeah. I’m glad to be rid of you, all right,” she said loudly as the door closed. “Bitch,” she murmured through clenched teeth.

She looked at herself in the floor-length mirror, then raised her leg, executing the best sidekick she’d ever done.

Kat jumped at the sound of breaking glass. Even Matthewson and Adams stood up. She kept walking, ignoring Lieutenant Martin as he came out of his office.

“What the hell was that?”

The brunette shrugged. “Apparently, she’s got a temper.”

They all stared as Kellie walked out of the ladies’ room and brushed past Kat. She sat down and picked up the file on their Jane Doe. Then she looked up, seeing all eyes on her.

“What?”

They all shrugged and went back to their desks. Kat looked at Martin with raised eyebrows, and he shrugged, too.
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Cupid's Crooked Arrow

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Posts : 42
Join date : 2009-10-13
Age : 26
Location : North Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Love and Bullets   Wed 25 Nov 2009, 8:53 pm

I find it hard to believe that I've missed the awesomeness of this story. Kellie is sweet and pretty, like she usually is. Kat is really giving her a hard time isn't she? I wonder if she'll eventually thaw towards her. The murders are strange, what's going on there? When did you say the next chapter was being posted? I love it. wave smile group hearts
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