Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Disclaimers ~ This is an original work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, places or events is purely coincidental. These characters belong to me, if they have a passing resemblance to you or share your name, it's purely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author.

Bad language ~ A fair bit.

Love/sex ~ Romance between men and women and between women. Sex between consenting couples.

Sickness & death ~ There are some deaths in this story. If that's not for you, I hope you enjoy reading something else.

Author's note ~ Sorry for a lack of updating, been caught up watching the World Cup. This series takes place in the fictional town of Honeyport in the South of England. Questions, comments & thoughts all welcome. Loves_to_write_fic@yahoo.co.uk

© June, 2006 Cam Taylor

 

 

Chapter Four

C harley was taken to the hospital just outside of Honeyport, the cut to the back of his head requiring ten stitches. He had been kept at the hospital overnight because of his concussion, but released the next day when no complications arose. He hadn't seen who had got the better of him, but was sure it was a man. James agreed. Only a man would have had the strength to take Charley out.

* * * * *

Saturday, 31st October

Graham Archer, the fingerprints expert who worked exclusively for James, stood in front of the team of investigators who were seated at their desks, awaiting his news on the note Kate had received. "I rushed this through, realising the importance," he informed them. "There's nothing on the note, I'm guessing he wore gloves." He turned his salt and peppered head towards James Anders. "James, you said there was something else?"

The Colonel nodded. "Yes. A box. I sent it off to have the contents tested. We won't be getting it back for a while yet."

"Well, until we do get that back, I've got nothing to go on. Sorry." The man headed for the elevator that would take him down to his lab.

James sighed. "Okay... we've been on this case for five days. What have we got so far?" He looked around at each of the investigators.

"I've got a concussion," Charley put in helpfully, getting a laugh out of everyone. After being released from the hospital, James had ordered him to take a couple of days off to recover fully. He returned to work with his head wrapped in a bandage and with an even dopier look than he usually sported.

James smirked. "What else?"

"Two visits to the house... that we know about," Chris said, twirling a pencil between her fingers.

"Good, Chris. Two visits to the house that we know of. What else?" the older man encouraged.

"We guess it's a man, 'cause he took out Charley," Laurie supplied.

"He was at the house when he killed the cat, he was at the house to knock out Charley, he has phoned and sent letters to the house and he has also sent mail to the clinic," Joey listed on his fingers.

"Why do you think that is?" James asked, trying to get them thinking. "Why did he send the heart to the clinic and not to Kate's house?" They all sat quietly considering this.

"Maybe to let her know he knows a lot about her?" Harrison suggested, shifting his computer's mouse about.

"If he's been watching Kate, then we have to assume he knows a lot about her. Anyone else?"

"To let her know that he can get to her wherever she is," Joey said.

James nodded. "That could be it. To scare her. The phone calls, then the letters to her home, now harassing her at work. He might be saying I can get to you... at home, at work, it doesn't matter where you are I can get to you."

"What has this got to do with anything?" Jackson grouched. "It doesn't help us catch the guy!"

James frowned at the impudent man. "How is the patient check going?" he asked, looking straight into Jackson's eyes.

Jackson shook his head. "I don't know, I've been searching for the mayor's missing brat."

"Right. I think we can safely say that case has stalled," James said. Judging from how little you've done recently. "From today, I want you working with Joey on the patient list. And I do mean working, Jackson," he continued sternly. "No slacking off." James turned his attention to Joey. "How is the check going?"

"Slow," the dark-haired investigator answered. "I'm having to check almost everyone in town."

"As Laurie said earlier, we're probably dealing with a man, so we'll go with that assumption. That should narrow the list down a bit," James replied helpfully.

"Can we uhh... rule out the gay men?" Joey asked. "Surely they wouldn't be harassing the doctor?"

James shook his head. "Who says? I want every male patient of Kate's checked. It's the only way to be sure."

"Uhm... boss," Chris spoke up, a deep frown on her brow.

"Yes, Chris?"

"What about tourists?"

James blinked and frowned in confusion. "Tourists?"

"We'll, we're a tourist town," Chris explained. "I assume in the summer season Kate gets a lot of patients who don't reside here."

Joey groaned. "Gee, thanks, Chris. Make my job even harder!"

"Just check the names on Kate's list for now, Joey," James said. "Though Chris does have a point. Perhaps once you've finished with the list, you could ask Kate about out-of-town patients." He looked around at the seated investigators. "All right. Day shift get back to work."

Laurie stood up and got herself ready to head out for Kate's practice, while Joey and Jackson swivelled around to face their computers, Joey sighing heavily at having to spend the whole day checking out patients again, this time with Jackson for company.

"Good news night shift. Two of you get to have the night off," James said, smiling. "Kate is coming over to my house for dinner tonight and my wife will no doubt convince her to stay over. So, two of you get the night off."

"What about the third person?" Harrison asked.

"Someone has to be at Kate's house in case our guy shows up."

"I think Chris should..." Charley spoke up.

"Thanks a lot, Charley!" Chris responded, interrupting him. "I think Charley should do it!" she retorted childishly.

"No, I meant you should have the night off," Charley said. He looked at Harrison and James. "She's worked non-stop for the last few months. A night off will be good for her."

Harrison nodded. "I agree."

"Okay. Chris, you have the night off," James told the blonde. "Now, which one of you gents are going to work?" he asked, turning his attention to the two men.

"I think Charley should," "I think Harrison should," they shouted at each other at the same time.

"Chris gets the deciding vote. What do you think, Chris?" her boss asked.

Chris took a deep breath and smiled. "I think Charley should work."

Harrison burst out laughing, then cheered his victory.

"How come?" Charley whined.

"Because you would give me no peace if you had the night off," Chris told him, lifting a pale eyebrow and giving him a knowing look.

"You used to like it when I'd drop by," Charley pouted.

"All right then," James concluded. "Harrison and Chris, enjoy your night off. Charley, I expect you at Kate's at the usual time." The Colonel stood up from his perched position on the edge of a desk and headed for his office.

Chris stood up and walked over to Harrison's desk, perching on the edge. "Soooo, gonna tell me how your lunch date went?"

Harrison smiled shyly. "It was okay. Emily was nice."

"Nice. Is that all? What does she do for a living?" Chris prodded.

Charley joined them. "Who?"

"Harrison had a lunch date," she explained.

"She's a consultant, so she travels around a lot," Harrison told them. "She's nice, likes to read and learn different things and is kind-hearted. She gives a lot to charity."

"Are you going to see her again?" Chris asked.

"I don't know."

"Well, you have the night off. Why don't you give her a ring and set up a dinner date?"

Harrison blushed furiously. "I... I guess I could do that."

Chris smiled. "You deserve someone nice, Harry. You're a good guy. I'll see you tomorrow." With that said, Chris stood up, gathered her things and with a wave to everyone remaining, left the office.

Charley quickly followed, jumping into the elevator just before the doors slid shut. "Wish I wasn't working tonight," he said looking at the attractive blonde. "It's Halloween," he commented needlessly.

"I had noticed," Chris sighed.

Charley smiled wistfully. "Do you remember that Halloween when Helen almost gave old man Miller a heart attack?"

Chris burst out laughing. "When she got herself delivered in that box to try and scare Laurie!"

"Yeah! Poor Helen, getting delivered to the wrong house!" Charley chuckled.

"Laurie was so pissed off at her as well."

"So was old man Miller!" The elevator came to a stop and the doors pinged open. "That was the last party they threw before..." he said quietly.

Chris swallowed hard. "Yeah." Stepping off the elevator, the blonde sighed. "I still miss her so much," she said in a strained voice. "I... sometimes I expect to see her, expect her to come strolling in talking loud as usual," Chris smiled sadly. "God knows how Laurie copes."

"Listen, Chris," Charley said, following after the blonde. "If you want... you could stop by Kate's later, you know, 'cause I'll be there. If you... if you wanted to talk or... something."

Chris scowled at Charley. "I'm not interested, Charley. How many times am I going to have to tell you?" She stomped off.

"Then what was the other day about?" Charley called out, watching Chris breeze through the doors of the building and turn out of sight.

 

* * * * *

Laurie walked into Kate's practice and noted the patients waiting, some reading newspapers or magazines, others staring into space. It sounded oddly quiet without the builders working. Being Saturday, they had knocked off early and gone home. Why is it builders seem to think they can slack off so much? And why do they get away with it? The brown-haired investigator smiled at the scattering of patients as she walked towards the reception desk. Oh, stop being bitter, Laurie. Just because you're stuck working! "Hey, Fran. Is Kate in her office?"

"Hi, Laurie. Uhm... no. She's in with a patient."

Laurie opened her mouth to swear at the poor receptionist when she heard a door open somewhere and Kate's rich, velvety voice floating down the corridor.

"Give it a week, Mr. Logsdon. If you're still suffering, come back and I'll see what I can do."

"Thanks, doc. Have a good one." The older gentleman smiled and stuck up a hand in a wave of goodbye, then made his way slowly towards the front doors.

Laurie stormed over to the smiling doctor. "What are you thinking?" she loudly exclaimed, rather than asked.

Frowning, Kate took the investigator's elbow and led her into the nearest vacant room. "Not in front of my patients, Laurie!" she scolded, shutting the door to the room.

"You know it could be one of your patients, Kate. You shouldn't be alone with them before I can rule them out!"

"Well, it's hardly likely that it's Mr. Logsdon!" Kate retorted.

Frowning, Laurie reluctantly nodded in agreement. "But still, you should have waited until I get here."

The older woman smiled. "How goes it at the office?"

"Ugh, slow," the investigator groaned. "There were no prints on the note."

"And the... uhh..."

"We don't know yet, it's still being tested."

Kate nodded. "Well, let me get on with my work. The sooner I'm done, the sooner you can go home." She looked down at her watch. "I'm due at Marilyn's at four."

 

* * * * *

Wanting to keep the same schedule as if she was working that night, Chris spent the day catching up on her sleep. When she woke up, she took a long luxurious bath in her big tub and tried to decide what to do that evening. After cooking a meal for one, the blonde decided to spend her night off at The Sports Bar, not an original name by any means, but that's what it was.

The Sports Bar was one of many bars in the small coastal town, but the only place that was dedicated to sports. It was owned by Donald Timmins, a former football star who, just before going pro, suffered a nasty leg injury that destroyed his career. He had returned to his hometown and opened The Sports Bar. It was decorated with sports memorabilia, pictures and signed photos covering every sport you could think of. Donald also had two big screen televisions installed, one at each end of the establishment, which were only ever on the sports channels. The investigators loved the bar and spent any free time they had crowded around one of the old beer-stained tables, arguing over whatever sport was on that night.

Donald looked up from his newspaper as Chris walked in, his eyes watching her as she frowned, then walked towards the bar. Unusual to see her in here alone, he thought, setting down his paper. I wonder where the others are?

Chris stopped next to Janet, who was slumped over a beer at the bar. "Ms. Levens?" she inquired.

Janet looked up at her in surprise. Wow! She looks good. Okay, Janet, try not to look like a complete idiot! "Oh, hey," she greeted in response.

Chris was dressed casually in a white shirt and black jeans. A black leather jacket and a dark scarf around her neck to stave off the evening chill completed the ensemble. "Do you mind if I sit here?" she asked, gesturing to the free stool next to the brunette.

Janet shook her head. "No, go ahead."

Donald walked over to the pair, smiling warmly at Chris. "What are you having, Chris?"

"Bud, please, Donald. And one for yourself, my friend."

"You always were my favourite customer." Donald grinned and walked away to get Chris' beer.

Janet quietly looked the investigator over, an eyebrow raised in curiosity.

Donald returned quickly with the blonde's beer, putting it down silently in front of her before walking away again. Chris wrapped a hand around the glass, picked it up and took two deep gulps before returning the glass to the bar.

Janet watched all this in silence, waiting to see if the investigator was going to say anything. When she didn't, Janet broke the silence herself. "Why are you here? Shouldn't you be watching my mom?"

Chris finally looked at Janet properly, the policewoman's green eyes easily capturing her attention. "She's with the boss and his family," she replied.

"For dinner?"

Chris nodded.

"Is she staying there tonight?" Janet asked.

Chris nodded again.

"Are you here to escape the Halloween trick-or-treaters?"

The blonde laughed softly.

"You don't say much, do you?" Janet said pouting, turning back to her beer. Finishing it, she called out to Donald for another one.

"Bad day?" Chris asked, taking note of Janet's slumped shoulders and the missing twinkle in her eyes.

"Yeah."

Donald placed another beer in front of the brunette and walked away.

"Do you want to talk? Apparently it helps," Chris said. What are you doing? Why do you care?

Janet stared at her fresh beer, contemplating whether to tell Chris or not. She sighed as she wrapped her hand around the chilled glass. "Some kid jumped off Angel's Leap today."

Chris sat quietly, waiting for the policewoman to continue. She could see Janet needed to get it out in the open and was happy to just listen and be there for her.

"We found a note. He... thought he was gay. He... he was getting picked on at school and couldn't face his mother!" Janet traced her finger around her glass, leaving patterns in the icy condensation. "I had to spend the afternoon with his heartbroken mother. She lost her husband to the sea and now her only child. I had to sit there and say sorry for your loss, you'll be okay, you'll get through this." Janet snorted and shook her head.

"Ms. Levens, I've only known you five days... well, nights actually. But from what I've seen, you're a very kind-hearted young woman. You became an officer so you could help this community. But you know what?"

Janet shook her head.

"You can't save everyone," Chris said simply, picking up her glass.

"He was just a kid, Ms. Branagon." Janet watched Chris sip at her beer then set the glass back down again.

"Sometimes bad things happen to good people," the blonde replied. She looked around the bar, checking out which townspeople were in tonight. "Are you here alone?"

Janet nodded as she picked up her glass.

"Did you talk to anyone about what happened today? Your partner maybe?"

"No. I think tomorrow I'm supposed to see one of those counsellors they bring in whenever something traumatic happens."

Chris nodded.

"So, why are you alone, Ms. Branagon?" Janet asked, happily changing the subject.

"Chris. Call me Chris."

"Why are you alone, Chris?"

The blonde frowned down at her beer. "I'm always alone. It's how I like it."

Janet saw the pained look the investigator was desperately trying not to show. Why are you always so sad? What happened to you? she thought. "What made you move here?"

Chris looked up at the frowning policewoman, considering the question. Finally, she shrugged. "Why not?"

"Well... out of the whole wide world, you moved to our little town rather than a city. Why?"

Chris laughed. "You trying to run me out of town, Officer Levens?"

Janet smiled sheepishly. "No. Sorry. Maybe it's not coming out right."

Chris laughed again.

God, I love her laugh, Janet thought, as she watched the investigator. I love her accent, her blue eyes... oh, God, I barely even know her and I'm lusting after her! What am I thinking?

"I travelled around for a while," Chris was saying. "Then one day, I just... ended up here and stayed."

Janet nodded. "How are things going with my mom?" she asked suddenly, completely changing the subject.

"Okay."

"Any suspects yet?"

"Yeah. Every man in town." Chris smirked at Janet's raised eyebrow. "In saying that, though, I think we can let off the gay population. I just can't see it being them."

Janet laughed. "That's good of you."

"I thought so."

They laughed together, each relaxing in the other's company.

 

* * * * *

Charley dropped down onto Kate's leather sofa and switched on the television. I don't see why Chris chose me to work. Just because we would have both had the night off doesn't mean I would have ended up around her hoose. He flicked absent-mindedly through the cable channels. Who am I kidding? Of course I would have ended up around hers! I don't see why that's a problem though. I'm sure she's not seeing anyone, and I know I'm not. Finding nothing of interest on, the blonde stood up to go and do a check of the whole house. I wonder where Janet is this evening? She's usually here by now, he thought as he stretched. Great! Everyone has plans except me. Well... I did have plans, but I have to work, thank you very much, Chris Branagon.

He turned and left the living room, making his way over to the stairs and starting up. Chris Rigg. Christine Valentina Rigg. Ugh, that sounds terrible! I wonder if Chris has ever thought about it and that's why she's reluctant to get back with me? I cannae imagine that's the reason. A lot of people don't even change their names any more, though I would like her to. I would want people to know she was mah wife. Charley went through the tedious task of checking each room. Finding nothing amiss, he made his way back downstairs and dropped back onto the sofa. I wonder what Chris is doing?

 

* * * * *

Chris and Janet had moved away from the sports fans watching Premiership football on one of the big screens and into a booth, sitting opposite each other, each with the wall at their respective sides.

"So you've lived here since you were seven?"

Janet nodded. "That's when mom brought me over. She fell in love with this little town when she came over for school, so when she decided to move back, there was really only one place she would consider."

"Any plans on leaving? Maybe going back to the States?"

"Am I being investigated, investigator Branagon?" Janet asked, smiling flirtatiously.

Chris laughed, blushing faintly.

The brunette reached across the table, placing her hand on top of Chris', her eyes serious. "I don't plan on leaving. But uhm... if that changes, I'll let you know." She took her hand back and picked up her chilled glass. Oh, God, I think I'm a little buzzed, 'cause I am definitely flirting with her! Quick, change the subject. "So, Chris. What was growing up in.... where did you grow up?" she asked, frowning.

"Croydon."

Janet shook her head. "Never heard of it."

Chris chuckled. "You've heard of London?"

The policewoman nodded.

"Well, it's near there."

"Oh... so what was growing up in Croydon like?"

"Crap. There weren't a lot of places for kids to go or things to do. There was the small library that didn't give you a lot of choice, and a small park where you weren't allowed to play football. You could always walk or catch a bus into the town centre to shop or window shop if you had no cash. If you travelled in the opposite direction, you would eventually end up at Crystal Palace."

"I've heard of that!" Janet said excitedly. "When it was first built it had a glass dome."

Chris smiled. "That's right." She picked up her glass and took a long drag from it.

"Sounds totally different to here! When I was younger, and to this day if I have time, I would go walking on the trails of Cedar forest. There's the pier. My favourite place though, was down at the wharfs. I used to sit and watch the fishermen come home with whatever they had caught and the fish traders setting up their tables. I think that's where I learnt so many colourful swear words, much to my mom's dismay!"

They laughed together, before their attention was drawn to the opposite end of the bar as a loud cheer went up; Manchester United scoring a goal.

"What about back in America?" Chris said, her attention returning to the beautiful policewoman. "You mentioned you go back to visit family."

Janet smiled and nodded. She remembered that? "My uncle Rory takes me to baseball and football games." Her head tilted to the right, hazel-coloured locks cascading down. "I don't have to tell you who I support, do I?"

"Uhh..." Chris grinned sheepishly. "Of course not, you support... the... Boston teams of course!"

Janet laughed in delight. "You are too adorable!" she said chuckling. "The Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. Though I'm not as fanatical about the Pats as my aunt Louise!"

"See, I knew that answer," Chris said, smiling. "I was just testing you to see how much of a fan you really are."

Janet laughed again. "Yeah, right!" She picked up her drink, eyeing Chris over the rim of the glass. "Have you... ever broken any bones?" she asked.

Chris looked into the brunette's eyes, blinking in surprise. "You really want all the details of my life?"

Janet nodded and offered the blonde a small smile.

"Okay. Let's see," Chris grinned. "What can I tell you?" She took a deep breath as she thought. "No, I've never broken any bones, but I did fracture my arm and my ankle once. That hurt like hell!"

"How did it happen?" Janet asked. "At the same time or separately?"

"I hurt my arm when I fell over and landed on my elbow..."

Janet laughed, getting a glare from Chris. "How could you just fall over?" she asked in amusement.

"Well... I uhm... I tripped over one of my sister's skates. I wasn't going to tell you that 'cause it makes me sound clumsy."

"And tripping over thin air doesn't?" Janet laughed again, louder. Seeing the look on the blonde's face, she reached across the table and took one of Chris' hands. "I don't think you're clumsy. I'm sure you were just... young and running around like a loon."

Janet offered her sweetest smile and Chris felt her heart melt. "I actually am pretty clumsy," she confessed, blushing as Janet laughed again.

"You are too cute!" the brunette chuckled. "Anyway, carry on. I want to know everything," she insisted.

"I hurt my ankle falling off a fence. Not my proudest moment!" Janet gave her a sympathetic smile. "I've got no piercings and no tattoos. My favourite colour is blue, maybe that's why I like the sea so much... who knows? My favourite meal is... hmmm... I think anything Italian. Yourself?"

Janet looked down and realised she was still holding Chris' hand, their fingers now entwined. She doesn't seem to mind, or maybe she hasn't noticed. She cleared her throat. "Well, uhm... let's see. I once broke my leg playing soccer..."

"Football," Chris interrupted, getting a questioning look from Janet. "You're in England now, darlin'. It's football," she grinned.

Janet smiled. "Okay. I broke my leg playing football and I hated it! I was in a plaster cast for six weeks and it drove me mad! I've got my ear lobes pierced, but nothing else and no tattoos. My favourite colour is purple, my favourite meal is Lasagna, and my favourite film, which you left out, is City of Angels."

Chris nodded, taking all the information in. "I don't have a favourite film, but I like horror, then action and comedy. If I had to pick, I guess I would say... Alien for horror, Commando or maybe Predator for action, and... anything with Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler for comedy. They are all films I can watch over and over and still enjoy. Oh, and I absolutely detest romantic films and romantic comedies!"

They looked at each other, both smiling, as they stored away all the little details they had just given each other. Chris stuck a hand up to Donald, letting him know they wanted another round, and while they waited, they talked comfortably about this and that, getting to know each other better.

"So... tell me about your father," Chris said. "What does he do for a living?"

"Ugh, do we have to?"

"No. Not if you don't want to, Janet."

Janet swallowed hard, hating the ache that she suddenly felt in her chest. She thought back to living in America, back to when her father lived with her and Kate. "He was a bastard. Even at a young age I knew that."

Chris frowned. Oh, crap! Maybe I should change the subject? "Uhm..."

"He was a sports agent," Janet said, lost in thought. "I don't know about other sports agents, but my father was hardly ever around. He used to travel around a lot, trying to get new clients and taking care of those he had."

"That must have been hard on you and your mum."

"Mom was busy being a doctor, but she always made time for me whenever she could. My father..." the policewoman picked up her drink and took a mouthful before setting her glass back on the table. She looked straight into Chris' eyes. "He used to screw around. One night... I remember he came home and...they started arguing." In her mind, she replayed what she clearly remembered.

"WHO IS SHE?"

"Who is who? What are you talking about, Kate?"

"There is a fucking love bite the size of Texas on your neck, you bastard!"

The handsome man sneered at his wife. "Well, I can't get any here. I have to look elsewhere."

"I can't believe I fell for you! The one good thing you ever did was give me Janet."

"Yeah, well, I wasn't looking to marry you. It was supposed to be just a bit of fun!"

"You should have thought about that before you... before we..." Kate slumped down onto the couch.

"Go on, say it. Say it, Kate. We had sex. We fucked. I fucked you good and proper!"

"Shut up, you moron. Janet's asleep upstairs."

The sports agent lowered his voice. "You can't even say it, can you, Kate?" he chuckled. "God, you are so frigid!"

Green eyes widened. "I want you to leave," she said calmly.

"That's why I'm here actually," he smiled. "I'm moving in with Candi. I'll arrange for the divorce papers to be drawn up." He made his way to the front door, Kate following. Neither parent spotted the small girl sitting on the top stair in the shadows.

"What about Janet? You'll keep in touch?"

"Of course. She is still my daughter. I'll be going for custody, in fact. You're hardly a suitable mother, hardly ever around."

"What are you talking about?" Kate hissed. "I always have time for Janet. When she needs me, I'm there for her. I go to parent/teacher night, I go to her soccer games, I sit and have dinner with her. You, you're always away on "business", but we both know what that means."

The sports agent smirked. "We'll see what the judge says, Kate."

"GET OUT!" Kate shouted. "Get out and don't come back!"

"Mom told my dad to leave," Janet said. "So he left and never came back, though he said he was going to try and get custody of me. He moved on with his life."

Chris finished her drink and pushed the glass back, grabbing the fresh drink Donald had left near the edge of the table. "Do you think all this trouble with your mum could be him?" she asked.

Janet frowned. "I doubt it. He doesn't know where we are and even if he took the time to find out, why would he bother us after all these years?" Janet finished her drink and pushed the empty glass back. "I should get going."

"Are you sure? It's kinda ending on a sad note." Jeez, I'm practically begging her to stay! Chris thought in bewilderment.

The brunette smiled. "Believe me, Ms. Branagon, you've cheered me up immensely."

Chris returned the smile, pleased that Janet had enjoyed the time spent together as much as she had.

"I couldn't possible drink that," Janet said, looking at the beer sitting near the edge of the table. "I'm already more than a little buzzed and I have to walk home yet."

Chris looked over to the bar to see what Donald was doing. "You should get Donald to call you a cab. It won't take long to arrive. He has a friend who supplies him specially."

Janet looked over at the bar. "That's a good idea. Hey, Donald," she waited until the bar owner looked her way. "Could you get me a cab, please?"

"Sure thing, Janet. I'll let you know when it arrives."

"I'm glad I bumped into you this evening, Chris," Janet said shyly.

Chris smiled. "I'm glad I bumped into you, too. I really enjoyed our talk."

Janet beamed a smile at her, teeth flashing as her lips parted.

God, I love her smile, Chris thought. Stop it! the blonde reprimanded herself. You are straight, you are straight, you are straight, she started chanting. She stopped chanting as her blue eyes lifted and found Janet staring at her, apparently waiting for something. Oh, shit. She said something and I've missed it! Yes... no. Wait! What if it wasn't a yes/no question? Oh, shit, just ask her. I'm gonna look like a moron! Idiot, it's your own fault! Chris frowned as she continued arguing with herself. Great! I'm sitting here arguing with myself and I still don't know what the question was! "I'm sorry, Janet, what did you say?" she finally got out.

"Are you working tomorrow night?"

"Yes, as far as I know." A yes/no question. Typical!

"Janet," Donald called out, pointing to the door.

"Thanks, Donald," Janet said. She smiled at Chris as she stood up. "I'll see you then. Night, Chris."

"Goodnight, Janet. I hope you have a better day tomorrow."

The brunette gave her a charming smile and waved before walking out of the bar.

"Great, Chris! Could you be any lamer?" she muttered quietly to herself. Sliding out of the booth, the blonde picked up her glass and Janet's untouched beer and made her way toward the back of the bar, intent on watching what remained of the football match on.

 

Continued...

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