Inamorata (15/36) – WMC fic

PAIRING: Lindsay/Cindy
DISCLAIMER: Characters, not mine. Story, mine.

Lindsay was far from naïve. And she could certainly never be accused of being overly trusting. When Ashe had appeared at her door late at night, creepy as a night crawler, to tell her about Kiss-Me-Not’s threat, the first thing she had done, after leaving him out on the doorstep despite his attempts to ‘come in and discuss the situation’, was call the FBI.

A supervisor verified that Ashe was one of their agents and that they did receive a threat on her life from someone they suspected to be the Kiss-Me-Not Killer. What they hadn’t bothered to inform her at the time was the fact that Ashe had volunteered for this particular assignment. She found that out the day after her big reveal to the club.

Once Cindy knew what was actually going on, Lindsay should have known that she would rush to do some digging of her own, but she couldn’t have guessed that Cindy would do so much of her digging into Agent Ashe.

Cindy had asked to meet Lindsay at home, and had come by with copies of Ashe’s FBI badge, some of his records, even his application. Among all of that paperwork was the memo telling Ashe his request for the assignment was being granted. She and Cindy agreed that was interesting, though neither of them used the word suspicious. Would it have changed anything if they had?

Cindy sat beside her on the couch, the paperwork she’d brought with her spread before them on the coffee table. It was one of those unusual times when it was just the two of them. Ever since Cindy had joined the club, they rarely met without one or both of the other members. It just wasn’t something that they’d had much occasion to do.

There was touching, Lindsay remembered well, but it wasn’t necessarily intentional. If their legs or arms brushed, they just let it happen without hurrying to pull away. It was in the before time, when Lindsay was still unsure, when she didn’t know why every time she had Cindy to herself, she wanted to keep her that way, when she was too scared to let the desire to kiss turn into a kiss, the time when Cindy wasn’t hers yet and was therefore still safe.

“I guess he is legit,” Cindy had said quietly, looking over her findings.

Lindsay had been watching her peripherally the entire time. When Cindy was so deeply involved in something, it was easy to stare at her without her knowledge. She could tell then that Cindy didn’t trust Ashe either. Even if Cindy didn’t say so. She didn’t have to.

One of them could easily have made a mistake in judgment. Between the two of them, they should have trusted those initial instincts. Why hadn’t they?

Ashe was probably sitting in his car outside of her apartment that day. He probably saw Cindy enter and leave. But there was nothing to know then. Is that why he hadn’t done anything?

Whatever game it was they were playing, Lindsay had revealed to Ashe the ultimate prize. She’d made it clear what the most important person, place or thing in her life was. Even if it was by accident, she’d handed him Cindy.

But why did he want her?

He’d had ample opportunity. Lindsay had been alone with him. He could have taken her, killed her. Why not just do it? Why did he have to do this thing? If he wanted Lindsay to be a victim, why not just make her a victim? Why Cindy? It broke the pattern. What exactly was his angle? If she could figure that out, then maybe everything would click into place, and that was what Lindsay was determined to know before the end of their next conversation.

More than two hours had passed, so when she arrived back at the precinct and realized Ashe wasn’t there, Lindsay’s mind fell headlong into a dark, disturbing place that she had no choice but to numb her mind and body against or risk tumbling into completely. To make the images stop, the possibilities that may not even come to fruition, and that she hoped were simply the products of a mind that had suffered too much exposure to unpleasant realities, she went up to Tom’s office. On the way, she turned on the Inspector, the one that Cindy had once described as ‘hardened’, and turned off the woman in love, who died a little with each minute that passed.

Even though she pulled Tom’ office door firmly closed, Lindsay still felt compelled to whisper.

“Did they catch up with him?”

Tom nodded solemnly.

“His car has been at headquarters the whole time.”

“He’s still there?”

“He left about twenty minutes ago. They’re still on him.”

Lindsay nodded, though it didn’t bring her much sense of ease. She’d really suspected that Ashe would go somewhere other than the FBI. Or maybe she had hoped that he would. If he had, they might know where Cindy was being held. Now, they were no closer than they were to her location.

“You know the FBI’s cars probably have GPS. We can get them to track him.”

“No,” Lindsay shook her head. “I can’t take the chance that someone will tell him he’s being followed.”

“Where do you think he’s gonna go?” Tom asked.

Lindsay didn’t just hesitate. She shut down so quickly, he had to know she wasn’t planning to tell him.

“Come on. Give me something here,” Tom pleaded.

“Did they dust for fingerprints at Cindy’s apartment?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“Did they find Ashe’s?”

“Yes,” Tom answered slowly, already seeing where she was heading. “Along with about a dozen officers from this force. Everyone has been in Cindy’s apartment. To protect her. Not to hurt her.”

“Did you notice the flowers in the picture of Cindy?”


“Were there flowers like those in Cindy’s apartment?”


“Then whoever has Cindy was in her apartment. It had to have been sometime between her leaving with Jacobi and the CSIs getting there.”

“That could have been anyone.”

“I think it was Ashe,” she responded firmly.

“Why?” Tom questioned, because, as much as Lindsay hated to admit it, it was his place.

“When we’ve discussed the Kiss-Me-Not Killer, Ashe seems to be able to do nothing but accuse me of withholding.”

“Yeah, I know. I’ve listened in.”

Of course he had. But they didn’t need to get into that invasion of privacy at the moment.

“I was withholding,” Lindsay disclosed.

“I know that too.”

“But how did he know that I was?”

“Because we all do it,” Tom responded. “We all hold a little something back on our cases. I do it. Ashe does it. You certainly do it. Not to mention, your attitude wasn’t exactly forthcoming.”

He wasn’t arguing on Ashe’s behalf. He was playing devil’s advocate, trying to see how well her position held up when injected with reasonable doubt.

“But you still think it’s Ashe,” Tom said when she didn’t respond.

“I still think it’s Ashe,” Lindsay uttered, feeling more certain regardless of the fact that Tom could easily provide rational explanations for all of her damning evidence.

“He’s here,” Tom announced a moment later, looking out the window of his office.

Lindsay turned and saw Ashe walking toward the conference room where they’d been meeting. She glanced back at Tom and headed out of the office. Tom followed her down the stairs.

“It’s been more than two hours,” Lindsay said, catching up to Ashe just outside the conference room door.

“There’s been a development,” Ashe replied grimly.

He pulled another photograph from his bag and held it out to her. Lindsay took one look, and the woman in love aggressively clawed her way back to the surface. The tears were too instantaneous to even consider stopping.

Cindy was awake in the image, but she wasn’t aware. Her eyes were barely open. Behind her, there was a man, unidentifiable. The picture cut him off at the neck, just over the top of Cindy’s head. He was dressed in attire matching Cindy’s, the style of dress of a medieval prince. Both arms were wrapped around her. One hand was on her throat, the other splayed across her ribcage. He wasn’t holding Cindy captive. He was just holding her in a way that he had absolutely no right. Possessively. Intimately.

But that wasn’t the worst part.

Tacked to the wall next to Cindy and the man with no face, there was a copy of the Register. Today’s Register. Today, a day that Ashe had spent most of with her, and the rest of at the FBI.

She was wrong.

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  1. Ugh, I love how you made us think that Ashe was Kiss-Me-Not but turned out, he’s not.

    Fantastic chapter as usual, Riley. :]

    P to the S: I would like to request a gruesome death to the headless man in the picture, please. Anyone who’s not Lindsay should not be holding Cindy like that. He deserved to be shot. On the ass. Repeatedly.

  2. Great chapter! Nice red herring with the Ashe thing as well (unless the idea that Ashe ISN’T the KMN killer is meant to be another twist and he actually is…do I make any sense?).

    Have you ever considered changing your font colour to something darker? It’s kind of hard to read sometimes because it’s so light. 😉

  3. and the plot thickens…

    ashe is in cahoots with someone isn’t he?? i never liked him. really, you could drag this story out forever with false leads and lindsay setting her sights on the wrong person.

    you’re not going to drag it on forever are you?? heck, maybe tom is the kmnk. maybe even president bush.

  4. Shot on the ass huh? I’ll keep that in the back of my mind. There is something really gratifying about the idea of a bad man getting shot in his ass, isn’t there?

    K.U., you make perfect sense. Perfect. P.S. the font thing is part of the theme. It doesn’t work with every browser. Thinking about changing it though.

    The Hotness, here I sit greatly appreciating that you used the word cahoots and thinking that if Bush were the KMNK, the killings would be based on beer commercials instead of fairy tales.

  5. Hey, you’re right about the font…I just tried it out on Internet Explorer and it works better, for whatever reason on Firefox the background is white.

    President Bush as the KMNK makes perfect sense. 🙂

  6. ok, i have another theory.

    ashe is in cahoots with no one! he had an extra car stashed behind the FBI HQ and he ditched his tail. am i right???

    i just don’t like him. i think it’s because his hair falls in his face like he’s trying to look all emo. he’s a total poser. and a pretty boy. and definitely metro.

  7. I have no idea how in the hell I got so behind in commenting to your stories, I guess I’ve been studying too much! 🙂

    I have no time or strength now to leave you a long comment but I wanted to let you know that I’m still here and reading!

  8. oh, forgot to point this out (sounds kinda obvious to me, but i’ll tell you anyhow, it never hurts to tell): I’m still here and reading AND LOVING, of course.

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