Today is the last day to make the 50000 word goal for NaNoWriMo. I’m just over 4400 words away from that goal. The book, however, has no ending in site.
I feel like I’ve sort of written myself into a corner. Hmmm …
These are not my favourite two chapters.
Note: Don’t forget all comments left on ANY post between November, 4th and November 30, 2010 will count as one entry into the Wii should be friends giveaway.
If you are interested:
“Johnson here,” Lane answered his cell phone.
He’d spent the last hour in the kitchen, drinking coffee and going over the case. He’d written down several questions for Bridget (who was still locked in her office). He’d called into the station about a half-hour ago to give the Chief an update. The Chief hadn’t had any news for him, so he was a bit surprised to be getting a return call so quickly and hoped the Chief was calling to say they’d found another Bridget Riley that seemed to be a more likely associate of Max Giovanni.
Unfortunately, the news wasn’t about ‘another’ Bridget, but was relevant to the case nonetheless. The car the car belonging to Frank’s sister had been found, on an abandoned oil lease road south west of Edmonton. Frank and Robbins had been found in the trunk. Both had been shot execution style between the eyes.
The officers on the scene found a note in Robbins’s pocket. It read:
Photographer / Blogger
10425 – 94th Street
Accompanying the note had been a photo of Bridget. His Bridget, well not his Bridget but the Bridget he’d been ordered to keep safe. Damn, the note and the photo made the mistaken identity theory a lot less likely and that was disappointing.
The Chief was sending a copy of the note, the photo and several photos of this morning’s crime scene. He’d sounded surprised when Lane had requested the latter, but hadn’t questioned him.
Lane waited until the evidence folder arrived before knocking on Bridget’s office door. He knew she wasn’t going to be happy to see him, and very likely uncooperative, but he didn’t particularly care. He felt a little twinge of guilt when he thought about the unshed tears he’d seen in her eyes earlier in the morning, but quickly quashed the feeling. Bridget needed to understand that this was serious business and he hoped the contents of the folder he held in his hand would help him to do that.
Bridget cringed when she heard the knock on the door. It could only mean one thing, Detective Johnson wanted to talk. She waited for a few moments and considered calling out and telling him to get lost, but she knew that would just postpone the inevitable. She got up from the plump over-stuffed love-seat under the window, where she been sitting and walked slowly to the door.
Lane waited patiently at the door. He wouldn’t knock again right away. He knew there was no way she couldn’t have heard him the first time and would eventually come to the door.
Bridget opened the door and waited for Lane to speak. He held up a blue folder and said, “I’ve got some updates and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”
“Fine,” it was all she could manage.
Lane hated the look of hurt in her blue eyes. Normally, they were the brightest of blue with white striations that gave them a twinkling look, but this morning they seemed dull and he hated that he’d done that. ‘It’s necessary,’ Lane reminded himself. He wasn’t there to make her eyes sparkle, he was there to keep her safe and she didn’t seem to have clear handle on how much danger she was in. If all went as planned, he’d have that part of the issue solved in just a few minutes.
“Do you want to discuss this in here or in the kitchen,” Lane asked.
Bridget glanced around her office. She’d made great headway in cleaning it up, but besides the love-seat there weren’t really any other seating areas. “Let’s go in the kitchen, there’s more room”.
That was fine with Lane, who turned and led the way.
Bridget couldn’t help but admire the perfect male specimen that led her down the hallway and into her own kitchen. ‘What he lacks in personality is definitely made up for in looks,’ she thought. Then she snickered a little too loudly.
Lane turned, curious as to what was so funny, but Bridget looked serious and straight-faced so he ignored it.
Bridget was humiliated; she hoped he hadn’t seen her ogling his behind. As soon as she entered the kitchen she busied herself making coffee. Anything to keep her hands busy and to avoid this conversation he was obviously insistent that they have. Maybe she could make a batch of muffins too. He could talk and she could bake. That way she’d have something to keep her busy. It would be easier that way.
Bridget started getting out the ingredients for her favourite blueberry muffins and grouping them on the kitchen island. She’d been meaning to blog this recipe for a while. If she wasn’t going to the photo-shoot this afternoon, she may as well do something useful, so once she had all of the ingredients out she started to set up her camera equipment.
“Bridget, please come and sit down,” Lane asked. He’d intended to give her enough time to get a fresh cup of coffee, but from the looks of it she had plans to start baking and what he had to share with her couldn’t wait that long.
“I’m going to make muffins. You can talk and I will bake,” Bridget informed
“That’s not going to work Bridget. I have things to show you and questions to ask too. I’d like your full attention and your cooperation.” He said seriously.
Bridget poured herself a fresh cup of coffee. She was stalling and she knew it, but she’d rather be anywhere than with Lane Johnson right now. She kept reminding herself that she didn’t like this man, but that hadn’t stopped her from admiring his rear-end coming down the hallway and she didn’t suppose it would stop her pulse from quickening when she sat down beside him either. Now that she knew he had a girl-friend and was using his charm to butter her up, she had no interest in carrying on the light hearted flirting and easy camaraderie of the night before. Regardless, it sounded like she was going to have to sit down and endure his company during this ‘talk’ he was insisting on.
Bridget pulled out the stool next to lane, and climbed on to it. She’d made sure there was at least a foot of airspace between them. Lane gave her a pointed look, and then pulled his stool a little closer. He put the folder he’d been carrying around on the counter between them. He didn’t open it, but lay his hand over it and started to speak, “I spoke with Chief Daniels this morning and so far there are no Bridget Riley’s that have any more of a connection to Max Giovanni than you do. One is in a nursing home, two are under the age of 10 and they’re looking into the a fourth who’s currently on holiday in Australia and has been for six weeks.”
“Maybe she’s on the run,” Bridget suggested.
“Maybe,” Lane shrugged. “There is more though Bridget. We found Frank and Robbins. Robbins had this in his pocket. Lane opened the folder and showed her the top sheet of paper. It was a copy of a handwritten note and a photograph of her. She noted the details. It looks like they aren’t looking for another Bridget Riley, but you.”
Bridget felt her heart sink, ‘why is this happening to me,’ she thought. She turned to Lane and asked, “Did they say why? Surely they gave you some clue as to why they took my computer stuff.”
Lane pulled another piece of paper from the folder. He set it on the counter directly in front of Bridget. “Robbins and Frank aren’t talking Bridget, they’re dead.”
Bridget glanced at the photo and gasped in horror. She pushed the image away from her and towards Lane. It was repulsive. “Oh my God, put that away. Why would you show me that? It’s horrible.”
Lane pushed the photo back towards her. “Really look at it Bridget. That is what Max Giovanni is capable of. It’s time to start getting serious about this. It’s time to stop fighting me every step of the way. You might not like me here Bridget, but I’m trying to keep you from ending up like these two.” He tapped his finger on the photo of Frank and Robbins.
Bridget was shaken and scared. None of this made sense to her. “Why would Giovanni kill Frank and Robbins? I don’t get it.” She said to Lane in a quivery voice.
“I can’t be positive Bridget, but I have a good idea.” He looked at her wanting to be able to gauge her reaction when he told her his theory. “I think they failed Bridget, I think they were supposed to bring Giovanni some sort of computer file and they didn’t find it on the drives the stole.”
“What now?” She asked.
“When was the last time you backed up your laptop Bridget?” Lane asked.
“I’m not sure exactly of the date, but I usually do it right around a first of every month. It’s the 20th today, so about three weeks ago. Give or take a day or two. I could look at my backup folder on my laptop for you though.”
“There is no need to do it right this instant,” Lane replied. “Do you recognize the photo, do you remember it being taken? “ Lane pushed the photo of Bridget that had been in Robbins pocket towards her.
“No I don’t remember it being taken, but I’ve only worn that dress a couple of times. Once to a recital at the citadel and another to a cocktail function held at my father’s office. The cocktail function was later in the evening, it was dusky nearing dark. This photo was taken during the day and so it must have been taken at the Citadel in the lobby. It was a Sunday afternoon performance. I was doing a review for my blog.”
Lane looked closely at the photo and was surprised at all the information she’d been able to deduce based on the light conditions and the dress. The dress was amazing, and then again, so was the black V-neck sweater she was wearing today. Sitting here close to her on the bar stools while she leaned over the counter studying the photo, meant he had a great view of her cleavage and just a hint of her lacy bra. It didn’t surprise him at all that it was pink. He found himself wondering if she was wearing matching panties.
“Does that help you detective?” Bridget asked. Bridget wasn’t sure if Lane had been staring at her or the photos. She adjusted her sweater, lifting it at the shoulders with both hands and shifting it up and back. She supposed it was the photos, but knew it wouldn’t hurt to readjust. If it wasn’t the photos, she felt sorry for his girlfriend, the man was a cad.
‘Damn, there goes the cleavage,’ Lane thought. Then without missing a beat, “Yes, it does, it gives us a place to start.” He wasn’t going to let that he’d been staring at anything other than the photo in front of her.
“Start what?” Bridget questioned.
“Well we’ll start by finding out who had tickets to the performance. Maybe we can tie one of them to Giovanni. Let’s back up a little bit though, I’m thinking Giovanni didn’t find what he was looking for on the external drives and the desktop, then whatever he is looking for is still on your laptop.”
“Like what?” Bridget asked. She truly was at a loss.
“I don’t know, the must be something you have, that he doesn’t want public.” Lane guessed. “I am going to start by going through all of your blog posts and photos to see what I can come up with.”
“You won’t find anything on my blog Detective, there would be no point in coming after me for something that is already public!” Bridget argued. “I mean, go ahead and look at it but I don’t understand what you are hoping to find.”
Lane sighed, “Maybe I can piece together a timeline. Maybe you two were in the same location at the same time? We keep pretty good tabs on Max Giovanni, so our intelligence is pretty good.”
“And in the meantime, what do I do in the meantime Detective? Bridget asked.
“In the meantime, you stay out of Max Giovanni’s way, just like I’ve been telling you from the beginning.” Lane retorted. “Well, unless you’d like to end up like these two.” He flipped over the photo of Robbins and Frank lying twisted and dead in the trunk, and shoved it toward her.
Lane chuckled to himself as he read yet another post from ‘Bridget in Charge’. He thought the name suited the blog. Bridget definitely was an in charge kind of girl. He’d seen the evidence in the whirlwind of cooking and photography that had been going on around him since their ‘conversation’ earlier that morning. He wasn’t complaining, quite the opposite. He’d enjoyed hot blueberry muffins right out of the oven; they’d been accompanied by a vanilla latte. He normally drank his coffee black from Tim’s and avoided the overly priced fancy Starbucks kind of stuff, but he had to admit he’d enjoyed the latte. Not that he was going to start frequenting Starbucks, no way. Just ordering was a pain in the ass and what was with the venti, tall and grande crap? What was wrong with small, medium and large?
Bridget told him the fancy coffee machine she was using this morning was for a blog review. She hadn’t just whipped him up a coffee, but she’d made a variety of foaming concoctions for the officers outside as well. She had of course photographed the whole process and asked everyone for their ‘honest opinions’, explaining the entire review process and then counted the numbers of thumbs ups and thumbs down the specialty drinks were getting from their drinkers. As far as Lane could tell the machine was well on the way to a good review, although it seemed to him like a messy process based on all paraphernalia lying about on the counter.
Once the coffee and muffins had been distributed and the mess cleaned up, she’d started on another project that included home-made bread, steak, onions and cheese. Lane wondered if the woman ever stopped. All the food prep, however, had him thinking about lunch. He figured after feeding them all muffins and coffee he’d offer to buy her some lunch at the same time he had his and his crew’s delivered.
“I’m going to order sandwiches for the whole crew. Can I get you something too?” Lane offered Bridget. He’d gotten out his cell phone and was searching his contact list for the Italian deli he loved just a couple of blocks away.
“But why?” Bridget asked confused. “I was just making you all some cheese-steak sandwiches.” She motioned with both hands at the food prep going on at her end of the island. “Don’t you like steak? I could warm up some seafood casserole for you, if that would be better.” She started towards the fridge. Lane presumed it was to get the leftovers.
“No it’s okay. Stop. I love steak, but you don’t have to cater to us!” Lane explained. “You’ve done enough already. The coffee, the muffins they were great, but you don’t have to feed us every meal. It’ll cost you a fortune.”
“Oh,” Bridget said with disappointment. “But, I’d be making all of this food anyway, you know for the blog. It’s kind of nice to have someone to feed besides Mrs. Dupleski. She couldn’t eat this anyway though, because of her teeth. You know, because they not hers. So you don’t have to worry about stealing food from the elderly or anything.” Lane must have grimaced in displeasure because Bridget continued with, “Oops! Sorry, TMI, huh? Note-to-self don’t talk about icky stuff like false teeth to the big, strong detective.”
Lane laughed, “I’m that easy read, eh? I don’t know though, it doesn’t feel right having you slave away in the kitchen. It’s not usually how it works. I think we’d better just stick to feeding ourselves.”
“Okay, well this is my first home invasion. I haven’t the foggiest notion how it’s all supposed to work. Do whatever you like Detective, but I’m going to offer the others a home-made lunch instead of takeout. That’s allowed right?”
Lane who’d been sort of enjoying the fact that she thought of him as ‘the big, strong detective’ was brought back down to reality with the sharp-tone of her reply. “Jeez Bridget, I wouldn’t exactly call it a home-invasion, I prefer to think of it as a security operation, AND yes of course it’s allowed. I …”
“I wasn’t referring to you Detective when I spoke of the home invasion. I MEANT the break-in, remember that Detective, you know the one where the two now dead guys kick their way into …”
‘Great,’ he thought now she’s getting sarcastic. “Whoa … I was just going to say that …” he paused searching for the right words. “Most women I know wouldn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen all day cooking for a bunch of people she wasn’t crazy about having around in the first place. I didn’t want to take advantage of you that’s all.”
“Fine, but let me tell you this Detective. The women I know DO get insulted when they offer up lunch and get turned down for fast food. You did read ‘my’ blog this morning right, not some other woman’s blog who doesn’t LOVE to cook? The blog where I …”
“Okay, I get it, I really do. Please Bridget, please make me a sandwich!” It was his turn to get sarcastic now. This woman was driving him nuts. Even worse she was coming his way and it looked like it was highly probable that she was going to poke him again. Sheesh that index finger of hers was a lethal weapon.
It didn’t take more than few seconds for her to close the gap between them, “If you think I’m making you a sandwich now …” Poke. With him still seated at the tall bar stools and Bridget standing in her sock feet, they were essentially the same height and face to face. Damn he hated those pokes. Lane caught her right arm in his left hand and held it firmly.
Lane took the whole scene in, and couldn’t help himself, he laughed. Bridget was steamed, because he’d offered to buy her lunch instead of having her cook it for him. That definitely was a first for him. Now she stood in front of him madder than hell, and all he could think about was how sexy she looked when she was mad. The cleavage was back, and with it the glimpse of her hot-pink bra. The frilly, floral pink apron she’d tied on before starting on the bread did something for him too. It made her look softer, more feminine and nothing like the police women he generally dated. He didn’t even want to think about all the negative things that finding a woman in a frilly apron very sexy said about him. On the up side, her blue eyes were twinkling again, but this time there was a spark of anger too. He liked it way better than the dull subdued look he’s seen earlier this morning. Her mouth was full and kissable and more than ready to spew a rash of insults his way. Lane couldn’t think of a better way to shut her up, than kissing her so he did just that.
Bridget knew she shouldn’t be poking lane in the chest with her index finger, so she wasn’t at all surprised when he’d grabbed her arm in solid grip to keep her from poking him again. How dare he laugh at her though! She was, however, very surprised when he used that grip on her arm to pull her in closer instead of pushing her away as she’d expected. Bridget certainly hadn’t expected the tug forward or the kiss that ensued.
Lane wasn’t prepared for Bridget to feel this good. He’d felt a definite ‘something’ when his lips had met hers. Initially he’d wanted to kiss her hard and teach her a lesson.
He hadn’t though. He was gentle and she responded. He ran the tip of his tongue along her bottom lip urging her to open up to him just a little. He reached out and wrapped his hand around her waist, pulling her in just a little bit closer. His left hand was stilling holding on to her wrist, and he used it to gently pull her hand up and place it around his neck, before reaching out and gently cupping the back of her neck and burying his hand in her crazy curls.
He loved the way her large breasts felt against his chest. She tasted sweet, like the vanilla and coffee she just made them. Lane knew he could get lost in her sweetness. He also knew he should stop, but instead he pulled her even closer and kissed her even more thoroughly.
‘Please don’t stop,’ Bridget thought. She kissed Lane with even more passion than before and moved closer, closing what little space was left between them. Her breasts were pressed firmly against his chest and she could feel his large erection pressed against her belly. He shifted his lips from her lips to her neck and Bridget heard herself moan. It felt so good. She ran her hands through his thick hair and across his shoulders. He nibbled his was across her collar bone, his hands now cupping her full breasts, his thumbs caressing her taut nipples.
Lane couldn’t get enough; he longed to get a look at her in the hot pink lacy bra he knew she was wearing under her sweater. He moved his hands to her waist and inside her sweater intending to lift it up and over his head, and then his damn cell phone rang …
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