The cruiser stopped outside the front entrance of Mercy. Logan exited the car first, looking in all directions for any signs of trouble before holding out her hand for Madison. As Madison reached out and grasped her larger hand, she thought how nicely they fit together and found herself holding on much longer than needed. Quickly walking into the lobby, Logan immediately led Madison to the bank of elevators and pressed the call button, wanting to check in with the guard and alert him to the latest developments. The silence was almost palpable as they rode to the third floor, each lost in their own troubled thoughts.
Madisons main concern was Susan and wondered if she should have her transferred to another hospital outside the city as soon as her condition allowed. She made a mental note to ask Julie, Susans primary physician as soon as possible. Until then, she knew the only thing that could be done to assure Susans safety was being taken care of by Logan.
When the doors opened on the third floor, Logan stepped out and waited for Madison to follow. As they walked through the outer doors to the ICU, Madison could see the frown that crossed Logans face. "Logan? Whats wrong?" She could see the detectives jaws clench causing the muscles in her cheek to twitch. Madison had to jog beside Logan as the tall detective lengthened her stride and quickened her pace.
Stopping outside Susans door, Logan glanced inside, and then turned towards Madison. "Why dont you go ahead and see how shes feeling? Ill be back in a few minutes."
Nodding her head, Madison eased into the room, knowing that now was not the time to question the detective further. She stepped quietly across the floor but even in her effort to be quiet, Susan woke giving Madison a weak smile. "Hey there, I thought you would be sound asleep by now. Do you need something to help you out? Are you in any pain? Well, of course you are. What am I thinking?"
"Madi?" Susan couldnt get a word in as Madison fussed over her. "Madi?" The doctor stopped and fell silent as Susan rolled her eyes. "Will you please sit down? Youre going to drive me crazy. Dont you have some work to do or something?"
Sitting in the chair beside the bed, Madison absentmindedly ran a hand through her hair. "Okay. Sorry and no, its Friday remember, I dont have office hours today."
Groaning, Susan tried to sit up in the bed but before she could even raise her head Madison was once again pouring over her. "Madi, Im going to call the nurse on you in about three seconds if you dont sit down." Properly chastised, Madison sat down crossing her arms across her chest while pursing her lips in a faux pout. "Dont you have some volunteer work or something you can do?" Susan couldnt help but tease, as Madisons pout grew fierce. She had always teased the doctor about being a mother hen to her patients and knew first hand the nights Madison had slept in the office two floors above after an unusually troublesome surgery, wanting to be close by in case there were any difficulties. Today though, she was silently thankful to have her dear friend beside her, even if she was about to drive her insane with the endless picking, fluffing and doting.
The next time Madison came near, she reached out with her good hand and gently grasped the doctors arm. As their eyes met, volumes were spoken and each woman knew the love and the fright each was trying to hide. "Thank you!" Two whispered words in the midst of a nightmare were all it took for the bond the two women and forged over many days and nights to grow stronger.
Logan entered the room to see Madison leaning over the bed, holding the injured woman in her arms. Feeling like she was intruding on a private moment, she backed out of the room and headed out of the ICU, seeking an escape and a reprieve for the growing ache and emptiness she suddenly felt in her stomach. Taking the elevator to the basement, she stood in line waiting to pay for the two extra large double mocha lattes she had just prepared and replayed the scene over in her mind. Okay, maybe they are just friends and it was a touching moment. The line moved forward and Logan slid the tray a little further down the line. No, that was not a moment between friends. There is something more going on between those two. She paid the cashier and began her journey back towards the ICU. Pressing the call button for the elevator, she leaned against the wall, the images still flooding her mind. All right then, if there is something between them, then why was Susan Richardson out with a man, a stranger last night at The Strip? The elevator doors opened and Logan stepped into the car pressing the button for the third floor. On the ride up in the elevator, she continued the internal argument with herself. If there isnt anything between them, then what did I just see? By the time the elevator deposited the detective back onto the third floor, she had decided that it didnt matter what was transpiring between the tow women. Either way, she wasnt about to become involved with anyone, especially a doctor.
Stepping into the room, Logan noticed Madison was now sitting in the chair beside the bed, talking quietly with Susan. When the doctors eyes caught the movement by the door, she jumped. Stepping further into the room, she handed Madison a cup of coffee then gave Susan with an apologetic look. "Sorry I didnt bring you one, but I asked the nurse earlier and she said you were not allowed anything until after you completed your tests."
Looking at Madison, she received a concurring nod. "Ive got to take care of a little business outside but I should be ready to go to the station in about 10 minutes. Is that okay with you?"
"Sure. Just let me know when youre ready." Madisons eyes held Logans for a long moment creating even more confusion in the detectives mind.
Susan and Madisons conversation was interrupted moments later as a menacing voice was heard just outside. Walking towards the door, Madison peered around the opening and stopped short as Logans profile came into view. A shiver ran up the doctors spine as she watched the detectives features transform into a dark fašade. Listening, she heard Logan inform the uniformed officer that he was relieved of his post and thought the acutely controlled detective was even more intimidating than the one she had first met in the alleyway on Smallman Street as few days earlier.
"I dont really care if you do piss in your pants officer. You never, ever, walk away from your post on my cases." Swallowing hard, the officer attempted to speak, but was cut short with a single raised finger from the detective. "Not a word. There are no excuses for what you just did." Running a hand through her hair, Logan pinned the officer with her eyes. "Do you realize that the woman in that bed has seen, our Strip District murderer up close and personal? That she is one of only two people who can identify this guy." Receiving no answer, she moved closer to his face, until she could smell the onions he had just eaten for lunch. "I think I just asked you a question officer." The scared officer nodded his head, too frightened to speak. "Well, I certainly hope you think about that while youre playing meter mom for the next six months.
Easing closer, Madison watched the officer quickly walk away, most likely surprised to still be standing and probably much more still to have a job, even if it did mean he was back handing out parking tickets for the next six months.
Turning, Logan spied Madison lurking behind the door, watching her intently. The eyes that had just pinned the officer to the wall, now relaxed and smiled as Madison eased her way towards the detective. "That was what."
"Excuse me?" Looking confused, Madison couldnt decipher the detectives words.
Smiling, Logan stepped closer. "Before, when we got off the elevator and you asked me what? That was it. The officer wasnt at his post."
Madisons eyes reflected her comprehension as a smile crossed her lips. "Well, Im certainly happy that youre the detective and Im only a doctor. I didnt notice."
Laughing, Logan stepped even closer to the smaller woman, so close she could smell the scent of Opium filling the electrically charged space between them. Both were acutely aware of the other, their auras touching, caressing begging to be closer. Tearing her eyes from Madisons, Logan looked over the doctors shoulder towards Susans room. Is she all right? No one unusual came in while we were gone did they?"
Still considering the multiple layers of the detectives personality, Madison replied distractedly. "No, not that she mentioned."
Moving towards the nurses station, Logan picked up the phone and punched in a number, and then turned back to the doctor. "Good. As soon as headquarters sends a replacement for the guard, well leave."
"Sure fine." Madison stepped back inside the room still trying to fit together all the pieces of the detectives complicated persona.
Madison looked around the dull squad room on Central Avenue as she and Logan walked through on their way to the interview room. She had never been exposed to this side of the citys life, nor could she recall ever being inside a police station. Her family had been blessed with enough wealth to keep her safe from the darker side of life and she sometimes wondered if that sheltered childhood was what had planted the seed within her heart to aid those less fortunate, as she grew older.
Madisons father, Malcolm Cavanaugh, had been the District Attorney in Allegheny County for 23 years. Having been re-elected four times, he was planning his next election and would have most likely won in another landslide in 83, had he not died of a heart attack while in bed with his mistress. The death of her father was devastating enough at the age of sixteen without having to endure the public gossip surrounding the incident. She had been attending the Ellis School for Girls at the time, a prestigious school in Pittsburgh and remembered the wayward glances and the whispered comments after returning from a two-week period of mourning.
Her mother had thought it an appropriate period to mourn the fucking asshole as she had many times referred to him in the last few years of their marriage. Madison wasnt naive enough to think that her mother was blind to his infidelity; she herself had witnessed his brazen acts on many occasions. No, the only reason Marissa Cavanaugh had kept Madison from school for two weeks was in hope of having some of the gossip die down before they both had to face the world again.
Shaking herself from the daydream, Madison glanced around the squad room; I know she couldnt possibly be here, today, in this building. No wonder I hate cops when my own father died in the arms of one, the same cop, who is now the Commander of the Major Crimes Division for the City of Pittsburgh. Madison felt a gentle hand grasp her arm, pulling bringing her back to the present. "What?"
Logan noticed the faraway look in the Doctors eyes and knew she was thinking about something troublesome. Assuming it was the upcoming interview; she leaned in and spoke softly in Madisons ear. "Dont look some glum, Doc. I promise I wont pull out the bright lights, whips, and chains." Looking over Madisons shoulder, she saw Picasso, in baggy clothes and a two-day beard trudging down the hall towards her. "Come on, lets get the sketch out of the way so I can get the guys out on the streets with a picture, and then Ill take your official statement." Logan knew the sketch was the most important element in their visit to the precinct. There was very little Madison could tell them about her encounter with the man and Susan on the previous night, and Logan knew it; she had watched the entire interaction herself. Leading the Doctor into the interview room, she waited until Picasso had unpacked his supplies and had begun talking with Madison and intently sketching before she eased out of the room in search of two cups of coffee that hopefully, had been made within the last twelve hours.
Rounding the corner into the break room, Logan ran into her old partner Wilson Hennessey. They had worked the streets together for almost six years before each of the officers made changes in their career paths, Logan choosing the Major Crimes division and Hennessey choosing to work in the Narcotics division. Each had kept in touch over the last few years, always making time each month or so to have dinner together and catch up on each others lives. Wilson was married to Sarah, a beautiful woman and successful attorney at one of the larger law firms in the city. Logan had always kidded Wilson about being a kept man, and he had always taken it in stride, pleased that there was something in the world that could make Logan McGregor laugh.
"Well, Hen. I havent seen you around lately. Hows the drug business?" Patting his stomach, she laughed and continued to the coffee pot. "I hope youre catching more drug dealers than you are doughnuts, Hen."
"The drug business is going just fine Mac, I do believe last week my busts outnumbered my doughnuts." Grabbing the newspaper from the table, he sat down on a cracked and faded vinyl couch. "Youre getting as bad as Sarah." He thumbed through the sports section, looking for the latest stats on the Steelers. "Between the two of you I never used to get any peace. Thank god all I have to deal with now is junkies and dealers everyday."
Logan tossed out the old coffee grounds, which looked several days old, and started a fresh pot of coffee. Sitting down beside Hennessey, she snatched the paper out of his hands and tossed it across the room. "Hey, big guy, you havent seen me in weeks so dont think youre going to sit on your ass and read the paper while Im talking to you. Im not your wife and I wont put up with that shit from you."
Rolling his eyes, the other officer sighed and turned to his former partner. "Okay Mac, whats on your mind? You never were much for conversation and if I remember correctly, the times that you were, there was something heavy going on in that pretty head of yours."
A smile threatened to curl her lips as she shook her head, knowing the man beside her probably knew her better than any one else ever had. Leaning back on the couch beside him, she sighed. "Well, its like this. Im at a dead end on this Strip District case. The brass has my hands tied and wont let me interview the Langstons, god forbid we should inconvenience the high and mighty of the city, and as of last night we have another victim. This time we were lucky, although she was viciously beaten; she lived and is now under guard at Mercy. I have another witness with Picasso now, working on a sketch. Other than that I have nothing, and the Mayor is going to have my ass if I dont solve this case soon. I need some help, but I need it done quietly. Are you game?"
Wilson Hennessey eyed his former partner for a long moment. In all the years they had worked together, he had never witnessed Logan McGregor doing anything underhanded. He knew if she was playing off the record; there must be a damn good reason. Without giving her request a second thought he nodded. "Sure Mac, anything you need. You know Ill always have your back."
For the next fifteen minutes, the two police officers sat huddled on the couch talking over the situation. Finally, Hennessey stood and stretched his long, yet not so lean form, and yawned. "Well Mac, Im going home to sleep on this. Ill give you a call in a couple of days when I have something for you." Without another word, he turned and walked out of the room.
Logan prepared two cups of coffee and then walked back to the interview room. When she crossed the threshold, Madison looked up and Logan could have sworn her heart skipped a beat as the doctor smiled at her. Sitting the coffee in front of Madison, she walked behind Picasso to get her first close up look at the Unsub. Madison had provided a very detailed description of the suspect, even down to a small, but very important scar that ran from the bottom of his nose, across both lips, and down his chin. Logan knew an identifying mark such as this would make her job of finding the man somewhat easier. However, with that knowledge would also come the undeniable fact that once the suspect saw the picture, he would know for certain that Dr. Madison Cavanaugh had not only seen him, but had paid very close attention. Logan knew that when that happened, he would panic and become desperate and Madison would be in even more danger than she was now.
A few minutes later Picasso was packing up his supplies and promising Logan he would have the composite sketch out on the wire within the hour. Logan gave Madison a few minutes to relax and drink her coffee before calling in one of the other detectives to question the doctor. Logan knew she should be doing it herself, but since watching the scene unfold the previous night, she was afraid she would begin to transpose her own memories into the interpretation of Madisons statement, therefore she thought was for the best if the doctor was question by another member of the task force.
They were about to begin when the door to the interview room opened and a tall, dark haired, almost handsome woman entered and walked directly to Madison, extending her hand. "Hello Dr. Cavanaugh, my name is Loraine Osborne, Commander of the Major Crimes Division."
Madison stared, shocked as the woman stood in front of her, hand outstretched watching her. It took her a few moments to find her voice before she could respond. "Commander Osborne, Im well aware of who you are."
The Commander smiled nervously as she dropped her hand, slipping it into her pocket. "Yes, well, I just wanted to come by personally and thank you for taking the time to come down here today."
Logan watched as the scene unfolded and could almost feel the air in the room crackle with electricity. She didnt know the reason for the acrimony Madison was displaying, but she could see that it was taking every ounce of the doctors willpower to control her anger. Deciding the situation needed to be diffused; she turned to the other officer. "Are you ready Troy?"
Nodding, his eyes darted between the three women. "Sure, anytime you are."
The Commander took her cue from Logan and with a last glance at Madison, turned to the ever-watchful detective. "Detective McGregor, when youre finished here, Id like to see you in my office." Glancing at her watch, she looked at Troy Bingham who was being careful not to stare. "Say an hour?
"Sure Chief, I shouldnt be longer than an hour." Turning back towards Madison, Troy smiled, trying to break some of the tension in the room.
Logan walked the Commander to the door and then quietly sat at the table, allowing Troy to control the interview. Logan listened intently, almost as intently as she studied Madison Cavanaugh and the gorgeous features of her face. When the interview was complete and Troy stood up to leave, Logan looked down at her watch, surprised to find almost forty-five minutes had passed. I could look into those eyes forever.
Logan led Madison to the break room and retrieved another cup of coffee from the half filled pot. After handing the warm liquid to Madison, she checked her appearance in the mirror. "I shouldnt be but a minute with the Commander. Ill be right back, just make yourself at home, and if you need anything just ask Troy, hes right outside in the squad room all right?"
Heading down the long, gunmetal gray hallway, Logan reflected on Madison and the Commanders encounter. Her curiosity was soaring but she knew that now was not the time to be asking questions, especially of Madison Cavanaugh. Ive already dealt with her wrath once - not again.
"Sit down, McGregor." Looking up from her paperwork, Commander Osborne studied the tall, dark detective. She had, on several occasions, the opportunity to work directly with Logan McGregor, but she wasn't able to get a solid handle on what made the womans mind work. She had never given the thought much consideration, caring only that the detective's cases fell within the top five percentile throughout the entire Pittsburgh Police Force for being solved.
"Yes Ma'am." Logan sat in one of the visitors chairs in front of the Commanders desk returning the studious look. "Is there something wrong, Commander?"
Commander Osborne stood then walked around the desk and closed the door before returning to sit in the chair next to Logan. "No Detective nothing is wrong. I havent had the opportunity to speak with you directly about the Strip District case and thought now would be a good time to go over the details you have so far."
Logan released a silent sigh of relief. On her way to the office, she had been worried that the Commander was going to criticize the slow progress she was making. Now, though, she saw this as a possible means for assistance. "Actually Commander, Im having a difficult time convincing the Lieutenant and the Deputy Chief to let me interview the Langston Development employees." Logan carefully watched the Commanders eyes for any sign of disapproval. Seeing none, she continued. "I know in my gut that Langstons have some information that will help with this investigation, but for some unknown reason they are hiding behind the Mayors political clout and I need some help."
Commander Osborne bit her bottom lip, taking a moment to sort through the information the Detective Sergeant had just told her. She knew the Langstons were one of the wealthiest families in the city knew also the political fallout that would occur if anyone ever crossed them. However, she also knew that she wouldn't be in the position she was in had she followed the path of least resistance. God knows, I got my first promotion to Sergeant as a trade off for keeping quiet about Malcolms death. Returning her gaze to the detective, she nodded and stood, walking to the other side of her desk. She made a note on a legal pad then sat quietly for a moment, the beat from her pen tapping the desk blotter before her, resonating throughout the room. "Ill see what I can do Detective. In the meantime, keep me posted on your progress."
Logan stood, stretching out her hand to the Commander. "Thank you. Im sure Ill be in touch soon." She walked from the room and back down the long hallway no more enlightened as to the connection between Madison Cavanaugh and the Commander than she was before she entered the office. However, the meeting wasnt as unpleasant as she had feared and she decided it might even help the progress of the slowly diminishing investigation.
Logan stopped by the front desk to check her messages, then went into the squad room to get her backpack before returning to get Madison. Entering the break room a few minutes later she rolled her eyes and couldnt help but laugh as Madison tried to keep up with the questions being asked of her by three overzealous young police officers. Putting on her best cop face, Logan stormed into the room. "Jesus, guys. Can we not have attractive visitors in here without you three embarrassing the entire force with your drooling?" Looking each one of them in the eye, she stepped a little closer and inwardly smiled as they each took a step back. "Get out of here and get to work, or in your case Thornton, go home to your wife."
The three officers apologized and practically fled the room as Logan sat down on the couch beside Madison. "Sorry about that. It seems that the job also comes an enormous ego and an overwhelming primal compulsion to go forth and conquer."
Lifting a brow, which Logan now regarded as the doctors trademark sign of surprise, Madison rose and tossed her empty coffee cup into the trash. Turning back towards the detective, she reached for her bag and coat. "Oh, and am I to assume you were able to escape that perilous job malady, Detective?" An almost inscrutable gleam crossed the doctors eyes just before she turned and walked out the door.
Logan was taken by surprise by the womans comment, leaving her temporarily unable to respond as Madison smiled and continued walking away. Jumping up from her seat, Logan took off down the hall, once again in pursuit of the enigmatic doctor. Jesus, not again.
As she entered the parking garage, Logan finally found Madison smiling and leaning against the Durango. Tugging the keys from her pocket, she unlocked and opened the passenger door but didnt step aside. Instead putting on arm on top of the truck, she leaned closer to the beautiful doctor, eyes focused on her green orbs, she asked "Why is it that I always find myself chasing after you, Doctor?"
Madison could feel the heat radiating from the detectives body and inhaled the spicy scent that wafted in her direction. Feeling her own heartbeat quicken, she boldly returned the intense gaze. "Who knows Detective, maybe youre on to something." Winking, Madison slipped under Logans arm and slid into the passenger seat, leaving the stunned detective standing outside the truck. What the hell are you doing Cavanaugh? This ridiculous flirting is going to get you in trouble, big time if you dont watch it.
Swallowing hard, Logan closed the door, thinking that if Madison hadnt slipped by her when she had, the doctor would be receiving an extremely soul-searing kiss at the moment. Running a frustrated hand through her hair, Logan slowly walked around the truck. Yeah right, McGregor, just what you need, kissing someone right in the middle of the Police Station garage, and a damn doctor no less. Sliding into the truck, she pointedly avoided the doctors eyes and eased into the traffic on Penn Circle, Silently, they rode to Mercy Hospital, each woman mulling over the obvious attraction they had for each other and the self imposed barriers both had built which prevented either of them from exploring the possibilities of that attraction further.
As they neared the hospital, Madison directed Logan to the doctors parking lot. Turning into the space beside Madisons Pathfinder, the women climbed down from the truck, Madison saying she would be along after she dropped her briefcase into her car. Logan was about 20 feet from the entrance to the hospital when she heard the doctor calling her name. The look of fear etched across the doctors face sent Logan into a fast sprint across the parking lot and to her side.
Madison was pale and speechless when the detective reached her side, and could only point at the tire and the windshield of her truck. The rear tire had been slashed and a small Langston Development business card was neatly placed under the wiper. Reaching for her cell phone, Logan dialed the precinct as she led Madison away from the truck. She requested a CSI team knowing as she did, that no fingerprints or physical evidence would be found on or near the car. However, she didnt want to take the chance of missing anything in case the perp had been sloppy in his pursuit of Madison.
As they waited for the CSI team to arrive, Logan called upstairs and checked on Susan. Speaking directly with the guard, she re-emphasized the importance of not leaving his post and gave him her personal cell phone number in case he needed to reach her. Madison was leaning against a nearby car, arms hugging her own body in a sign of helpless fear. Walking over to the doctor, Logan gently lifted the doctors chin so their eyes met. "I promise you, nothing is going to happen to either you or Susan."
Madison met the confident look from Logan with a weak smile. "You cant promise me that and you know it." Tears sprang to her eyes and in a moment of sheer terror, the implications of what had happened to her car hit her in the gut as hard as any fist could have and she completely lost all control of her emotions.
Logan gently eased the doctor into her arms, feeling the tremors of fear shaking her body. She could feel Madisons arms wrap around her waist and tears soak through her shirt, dampening a spot on her chest directly in line with her heart. It was at that moment that Logan succumbed to the war raging in her soul and accepted that she was quickly falling in love with the woman in her arms. Holding Madison tighter, gently whispering soothing words into her ear, she vowed to protect this woman, no matter how great the price.
The CSI team arrived and spent over two hours going over Madisons car, but in the end, found nothing that they thought would be of any use. They had lifted several sets of fingerprints, but from their location, knew that the match would most likely be with Madison.
Logan had walked Madison up to Susans room and given her a cup of coffee before returning to the parking lot to oversee the CSI team. While there, she called her Lieutenant requesting an officer to stay with the doctor overnight. "Im sorry McGregor, but the only other available officer I have on that shift is out with the flu."
Pacing the parking lot, Logan began to feel the tension of the day as it took hold of the muscles in her neck like a vice. "Well, cant you pull someone from another precinct? I cant just leave this woman to her own defenses tonight Lieutenant."
She could hear a sigh on the other end of the phone. "Sorry Detective, I guess youll have to do it yourself if you feel she has to be covered tonight."
Logans temper began to flare. "Me? Come on Lieutenant. This woman lives all the way out near Bridgeville. What if we have another incident tonight? Id be at least 30 minutes away."
"Well, then just bring her into town and keep her at your place tonight, if you feel its necessary." He responded, knowing that that wouldnt appease his detective but might get her off his back for the moment. "Look, Ill see what I can do beginning tomorrow, but for tonight, thats the best you can hope for McGregor."
Slamming the phone closed, she stormed across the parking lot and headed back towards the hospital, the muscles in her neck creating the beginnings of a massive headache. Five minutes later, she entered the ICU and Susans room to find the women talking in hushed tones. Knocking on the door, Susan looked up and motioned her in.
Locking eyes with Madison as she moved across the room, she knew that her face told the doctor that the CSIs efforts had been for nil. "Sorry, but I dont think we were able to get anything of importance from your truck." Seeing the look of defeat on the doctors eyes, she gently touched her shoulder and knelt down beside the chair. "They are going to run the prints, but I think they will come back as belonging to you." Giving Madisons shoulder a gentle squeeze she dipped her head to look into the frightened green eyes. Hey, come on, look at the bright side; you get stuck with me for the night."
A look of confusion played across the doctors face. "What?"
Logan shrugged while putting on her best charming grin. "Youre stuck with me for the night. Well go to your house and get a few things and then youre coming home with me. I dont want you staying by yourself tonight, just in case this guy knows where you live."
Running a hand through her long blonde hair, Madison sat back in the chair exasperated. "I cant do that. I have a dog at home that needs taking care of. I cant just dump everything and go running off to hide."
Before Logan could respond, Susans quiet voice called out to her. "Madi, please. Dont argue with the Detective. Stay with her, at least for tonight for me, please." Seeing her plea weaken the doctor, she looked at Logan for reinforcement. "Im sure the detective will welcome Femur into her house for one night. Wont you Detective?"
Logans eyes widened at the suggestion, but she quickly recovered and forced a smile onto her face. "Sure, Femur is welcome to come along too. He may even be able to teach my cat a few manners along the way."
"Fine. Okay, Ill go, just stop with the directives." Looking between the two women, one tall and strong, the other weak and broken, Madison relented. "Jesus, if I didnt know better Id swear you two planned this together."
Winking at Logan, Susan reached out with her good hand and took Madisons. "Thank you Madi. I dont know what I would do if something happened to you because of me."
Leaning down and placing a light kiss on her friends forehead, Madison whispered. "I love you Susan. I promise this will be over soon." Looking up, she pinned Logan McGregor with her eyes. "Wont it Detective?"
The drive to Madisons house was spent quietly talking with the doctor as she retold the story of how she and Susan had met and the other womans confrontational remarks on her first day at work. Releasing a deep laugh, Logan thought about the look that had to have been on the doctors face that morning. She had a feeling not too many people stood up to Dr. Madison Cavanaugh, and decided that those who did probably earned the surgeons respect if they survived.
Pulling up in front of the two story brick house, Logan let out a quiet whistle. "Nice digs you got here, Doc."
Looking up at her home with an air of detachment, Madison eyed the modern structure, embraced in custom rose-colored brick. "Thank you."
Sensing a hesitation in the doctors demeanor, Logan decided not to pursue the conversation. "Well, lets gather up your things so we can get back to town, Im getting hungry, how about you?"
Appreciating the space Logan was offering, Madison opened the door of the truck and climbed down, heading towards the front door. Logan followed slowly, realizing that her intrusion was most likely unwelcome.
Walking into the two story foyer, Logan was struck by the elegant beauty of the doctors home. The banister and spindles on the staircase leading to the second floor appeared to be hand-turned oak and Logan surmised that the other woodwork in the house would prove to be custom milled as well.
Madison led her into a comfortable den and turned on the recessed lighting in the ceiling. "Please, have a seat. Would you care for anything to drink?"
Noticing the formal tone in the doctors voice, Logan could tell she was not accustomed to having a stranger in her private haven. "No thanks, Im fine."
"Okay, Ill only be a few minutes." Madison quickly left the room leaving Logan alone to take in her surroundings. She heard the doctor talking in the background, followed by barks from an obviously happy dog. Great, Im sure Clancy is going to love this. She heard Madison call out and was just about to stand when a blur of fur and tongue raced through the door and lept onto her lap. Logans attempt to hold the dog at bay was futile as was her attempt to shield her face from the excited licking of the Lab's tongue.
Racing through the door, Madison stopped short at seeing the tall, muscular detective pinned helplessly under Femurs hefty body. Leaning against the casing of the open-faced door, Madison burst out laughing at the site. "Well, I can see you met Femur." Having mercy on the detective, Madison walked over and taking the dog by the collar, gently tugged until he relented his hold on Logan.
Sitting up and wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, Logan tried unsuccessfully to hide her smile. "Umm, yes. He introduced himself."
Madison began leading the excited Femur from the room and then stopped. Turning back to Logan, she looked at the other woman hesitantly. "Are you sure you really want the two of us barging in on you tonight?"
For the first time all evening, Madison caught a glimpse of the woman beneath the hard fašade. She watched as Logan stood, walked over, and then knelt beside Femur, stroking his shiny coat. "Of course I am. Although Im not so sure how eager Femur will be to meet Clancy." Smiling up into the doctors face, she laughed. "I think he can hold his own with my cat from hell."
Madison groaned and shooed Femur from the room. "Great, a cat with an attitude and a wimpy dog." She looked at the detective with questioning eyes. "Its going to be a long night isnt it?"
Walking back to the couch, Logan sat down and interlaced her fingers behind her head, before responding to the doctors question in her best cop voice. "I, my dear lady, am a Detective Sergeant for the Pittsburgh Police Department. Im fully equipped to handle any situation that may arise."
Rolling her eyes, Madison picked up a pillow from the adjacent chair and tossed it towards Logan. "Whatever. Well I, for one, am going armed with a good supply of doggie treats and one of his tranquilizers Just in case."
Catching the pillow with one lightening quick hand, Logan wrapped her arms around it, hugging it to her chest as Madison walked out of the den. Okay McGregor, get a grip or it is going to be a hell of a long night.
Twenty minutes later, the two women were on their way back towards the city, Femur sitting in the back, his head stretched over the seat, smiling. Madison was turned in the seat stroking the Lab's head as she told Logan the story of meeting Femur and the ensuing months of recovery the dog had endured. "I cant believe that he is so happy after going through all that pain as a pup."
Glancing over at them, it was apparent that their devotion to one another was undying. "Maybe having you to help him through it is what gave him such a good outlook on life. Have you ever thought of that?"
After stopping for take-out Chinese for dinner, Logan turned onto Trenton Avenue, on the edge of the Forest Hills neighborhood and glanced at the woman beside her. "Umm, my place isnt nearly as ummm, nice as yours, but its warm." For some reason, it was important to Logan for the woman next to her to feel comfortable in her house. Why? After tonight, shell never be back. What does it matter if she likes it or not?
"What?" Pulling herself out of her musing, Logan turned towards Madison. "Im sorry, I was thinking about something else. What did you say?"
Chuckling at the detectives flustered face Madison repeated herself. "I said, your house is charming." Smiling into the relieved face of her companion she raised a brow in a questioning look. "Actually I had you pegged as one of the condo types over near campus."
Still sitting in the truck, Logan reached over and absently scratched Femurs ear. "Nope, not me. I like my privacy too much." Looking back towards the dark green wood frame house nestled closely between two others of the same era, she sighed. "Actually this is a little too crowded for me, but with my job, I have to be close to the precinct, so this is the best it gets." Sliding out of the truck, she opened the back door and pulled out Madisons overnight bag. "One day if youre lucky, Ill show you my cabin at Conneaut Lake." Geez, why are you going there?
Logan unlocked the back door and stood back for Madison and Femur to enter. Following behind, she watched the doctor carefully as she took in her surroundings. Femurs nose lifted in the air and the fur on his back stood up as he caught the scent of the resident cat. Madison knelt down beside the agitated dog and whispered soothing words into his ear. To Logans amazement Femur sat back on his haunches and immediately calmed down. "How do you do that?"
Looking at the detective she smiled and rose to her feet. "I guess its my great bedside manner, Detective."
Logan sat their dinner on the counter then led Madison through the house and down the hall to the guest bedroom. Placing her overnight bag on the foot of the bed, she eased towards the door. "There is a bathroom right through that door. Im going to get out of these clothes and then Ill meet you back in the kitchen for dinner, okay?"
"Fine, I wont be but a minute myself." She watched as Logan shut the door, and then sat heavily on the edge of the bed. For the first time that day she found herself alone and the events of the day suddenly overwhelmed her. Fighting back the tears that threatened to break through, she went into the bathroom and washed her face.
After changing clothes, she brushed her hair and then headed back towards the kitchen. Passing by an open doorway, she glanced in surprise to see Logan standing in the middle of the room naked from the waist up. Madisons eyes took in the muscular shoulders and the taut muscles in her back as the detective lifted a t-shirt over her head and slid it over her torso. Madison quickly resumed her trek to the kitchen thankful that she had not been seen.
They ate dinner at the small bar in the kitchen while talking and learning more about each others backgrounds. Logan learned that Madison had attended Ellis School for Girls and had been valedictorian of her graduating class before attending the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. The doctor skirted the issue of family when Logan asked and only vaguely mentioned a brother, Markus who worked as a graphic designer in Los Angeles. The detective picked up on her hesitancy to speak of her parents and didnt follow that line of the conversation, instead focusing on subjects she discerned the doctor was more comfortable with.
They learned that both were avid Pirates Fans and attended as many games as their busy careers would allow. Logan was not surprised but green with envy when she learned that Madison was a season ticket holder, her seats being row ten directly behind home plate. "Well, if youre really nice to me, I might just ask you to a game this season."
The rest of the evening was surprisingly comfortable as the two women moved to the den after dinner and continued their conversation. Madison sat on the leather couch with Logan on the floor leaning her back against the other end. She noticed Logan kept frowning and stretching her neck and finally during a break in the conversation, asked what was wrong.
"Nothing serious." She dismissed the question with a wave of her hand. "I just have a kink in my neck."
Before Logan knew it Madison was on the other end of the couch, one leg on each side of her body pressing against her arms as warm, strong hands took hold of her shoulders. Logan immediately tensed as the doctor began kneading the tense muscles and her heart began a staccato beat as a warm breath tickled her ear. "Does that feel good?"
"Umm" All she could manage was a groan for at the moment the formation of words was beyond Logans ability.
Sensing Logans uneasiness, Madison whispered in her ear "Will you relax, Detective. Im a doctor I know what Im doing." Sitting back and putting a little space between them, she continued to work the taut muscles of the detective's shoulders through her t-shirt, remembering how well formed and lean they looked when she had spied the detective in the bedroom earlier in the evening. Well, if you were a patient I would know what I was doing. But you, Logan McGregor are not my patient and I definitely dont have a clue about what Im doing at the moment. Madison chose to ignore the warning signals sounding in her head and instead continued massaging the knots out of Logans neck and back. After a while Madison began to feel the muscles release and Logans shoulders relax, but she continued until her hands had eased to a delicate stroke across the smooth skin of Logan's neck.
Logan had lost herself in the gentle soothing touch and was very close to sleep when she felt a change in the rhythm and pressure on her skin. Her breathing became deeper and a slow, warm sensation overtook her as she realized her body was responding in a much different way to the doctors touch. She knew she had to put some distance between them before she lost all sense of professionalism and seduced the doctor right there in her den. Stretching her neck from side to side, she cleared her throat and slowly turned towards Madison. "Thanks, that really helped my headache."
Madison was fighting her own war with her body and felt the sudden loss of warmth as she pulled her hands away from the detectives neck. She was all too aware that Logan McGregor was sitting between her legs, her arm mere inches from the throbbing heat. Pushing herself back further on the couch she tried to hide the images she knew Logan could see passing though her mind and attempted to regain some control as she slipped back into her professional persona. "Youre welcome. You really should think about getting regular massages. It seems as if you hold a lot of your stress in your shoulder and neck area."
Logan unfolded herself from the floor and stood, looking down at Madison. "Are you ready to go to bed?"
"Sure, whenever you are." She picked up her glass from the end table and walked to the kitchen, rinsing it out and placing it in the dishwasher. Calling Femur, she followed Logan down the hall until they reached the detectives bedroom. Logan didnt realize how close behind Madison had been following until she turned around and came chest to face with the other woman. Feeling the now familiar heat rush through her body, she attempted to step back only to be stopped by Femur, who stood solidly behind her. Inhaling the intoxicating scent of the doctor, Logan had the overpowering urge to lean down and capture the doctors lips between her own.
Their eyes met and held, both afraid to make the first move, both equally afraid the other wouldnt. Logans eyes followed the sensual movement of Madisons tongue as it darted out to moisten the full wanting lips and suddenly her resolve was shattered. Slowly, she bent her head, giving the doctor every opportunity to back away, to show her any sign that she was overstepping her boundaries. Sensing none, her face slowly descended and she watched as Madisons eyes closed in anticipation. Logans heart pounded in her chest, her mind reeling with emotion as she drew nearer, and just as her lips brushed across Madisons waiting ones, all hell broke loose inside the house.
Logan instinctively pushed Madison to the floor, covering the doctors body with her own. It took several seconds before she realized that the fracas occurring was a result of Femur and Clancys first meeting. Swearing under her breath, Logan bounded from the floor and rushed into the guest room. Clancy was perilously perched on top of the window valance while Femur frantically jumped and barked. Logan was soon joined by Madison, who had finally recovered from the shock of being thrown to the floor and tugged Femur from the room.
Logan carefully climbed onto the bed and placed her foot on the nightstand ensuring the table would hold her weight. She gingerly stretched and gently retrieved the frightened cat from the valance, noticing the animals heart was beating double time. "Hmmm, youre not such a terror after all are you, little one?" Cradling the cat in her arms, she walked across the hall and sat him on the bed, before closing the door and heading back towards the den in search of Madison and Femur.
Walking into the den, she noticed the doctors back was to the door, her head bent near the dogs ear as she whispered. Logan watched as human and animal conversed and was once again stunned by the calming effect her voice had on the dog.
Femur lifted his head causing Madison to also look up. Their eyes met and held, until Madison broke the stare and whispered something into the dogs ear. To Logans surprise, Femur walked over and sat down in front of her extending his paw. Logan looked at the dog, then back at his owner, a confused look on her face.
"Hes apologizing and wants to shake your hand."
Comprehension dawned and Logan reached down to take the proffered paw after which she was rewarded with a genuine lick to the face. Laughing, she patted his head, letting him know all was well in the world, before looking back towards Madison. "Well, I have Clancy locked in my room. I think the path is clear if you would like to try again."
For a moment Madison thought Logan was referring to the kiss, but soon realized that she was referring to their retiring for the night. She, once again, rose and followed the detective down the hallway to the bedroom. This time, Logan only turned her head and softly said goodnight, before stealing away into her bedroom and closing the door.
In their separate rooms, each woman discarded their clothes and slid between the sheets, relishing the cool relief the material brought to the searing heat of their skin. Turning out the lights, both women lay awake for a long time staring at the ceiling, thinking about what might have been, had Femur and Clancy not chosen that moment to introduce themselves.
Rolling over, Logan punched the pillow, silently cursing the purring cat at the foot of the bed as did Madison, the snoring dog lying curled on the floor beside her.Continued in Part Ten
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